6 Scary Cooking Hazards You Need to be Aware Of

For many of us, cooking is a fun past time activity. It can be a bonding session with your beau or with the entire family. However, there are quite a lot of safety risks when it comes to preparing food. Fortunately, by simply identifying these hidden hazards, you can avoid them to ensure that your kitchen is a safe and healthy place for all your culinary activities.

1. Storing Food in Plastic Containers
Reusable plastic containers are convenient for storing food and cutting down on waste, but they can contain harmful chemicals that may leach into your food. BPA, which is known to be a hormone disruptor, is quite common in food containers made of plastic. Since you don’t want any harmful chemicals on your food, opt for glass containers or at least buy food storages that says BPA-free on the label.

2. Cross Contamination
Washing your hands properly and more frequently can’t be stressed enough, especially when handling raw food like meat, fish and poultry. Similarly, sponges and countertops can also be sources of contamination. Use paper towels along with soap and hot water for easy disposal every time you need to clean up surfaces.

3. Thawing on the countertop
Thawing your frozen meat on the kitchen countertop may be a convenient way to warm up the food. However, doing it on your countertop exposes the food’s outer layer to temperatures where bacteria can thrive while the center of the food is still frozen. Always thaw your food inside the fridge or soak it in warm water for safe thawing.

4. Tasting Raw Batter
Unless you’re baking vegan food, licking the bowl or spoon of the batter can pose a health risk. Raw eggs in your batter mixture may contain salmonella, which can cause serious illnesses. If you must taste the batter, do so before adding in the eggs.

5. Shattering Glass Bakeware
Glass dishes are versatile—can be used for storage, baking, and are dishwasher- and microwave-safe. They just do it all for you! Perhaps, their only weakness is going from one extreme temperature to another. This means taking out a hot dish from the oven and placing it straight to a cold countertop may cause the dish to crack and shatter.

6. Microwaving Wrong Items
Most of us know that anything metal, including aluminum foil, shouldn’t be microwave, but other items like plastic can melt as well—even if it says ‘microwavable.’ Heating plastic can break down, causing its particles to seep into the food, which can be toxic when ingested. Stick to glassware at all times if you need to heat or cook food in the microwave.

Cooking should be fun and any homemade food should be safe for the entire family to eat. Ensure your and your family’s safety by preparing your meals the best way possible.

The Best Fitness Tracker for Every Personality

Whether you are prepping up for a marathon, working out to get your body summer ready or just trying to complete your 10,000 steps a day, these are a few of the best trackers out there.

1. For Cardio Buffs: Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro offers smartwatch-like features and super accurate heart-rate monitor—it automatically starts monitoring the moment you start moving, no ‘start’ button required. It also tracks every step you make, your sleep cycle and your calorie burn. In addition to its mega fitness features it looks slick and gorgeous on the wrist.

2. For Buffs on a Budget: Huawei B 2 Pro
Like any fitness tracker on their entry level, this fitness watch by Huawei features heart-rate tracking and step counting. However, there are a few features that you don’t typically see in trackers in the same price as this. This Huawei smartwatch has easy-to-use interface, can track specific workouts including swimming, special fitness features like run coaching and relaxation training, GPS connectivity and basic phone notifications like emails and calls.

3. For the Outdoorsy: Garmin Vivoactive 3
With heart-rate monitoring, GPS connectivity, barometric altimeter and 15 sports modes, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 can track almost everything you would want to do from running to hiking and swimming. And since this smartwatch is specially designed for adventurers, it gives you access on things like trail running pace, on-wrist compass and even customizable interface that shows the sunrise and sunset time of the day.

4. For the No-Fuss Man: Fitbit Zip
For a no-fuss tracker that doesn’t have to be worn like a watch on the wrist, check out Fitbit Zip. It’s so easy to use. Its LED display is visible at all times, unlike most of smartwatches that need to be tapped or requires pressing a button to light up. It doesn’t need charging as well. The smartwatch runs on replaceable battery, which can last for six months. It also syncs to Fitbit ap on your iPhone or Android device.

5. For those who just want the best: Fitbit Versa
If you’re a fan of Apple Watch, we won’t hold you back on that. It’s probably the best smartwatch in the market. But the new Fitbit Versa makes is a great competitor to the King of the smartwatches. It can start tracking your activities the moment you get up in the morning and when you hit the sheets at night. It is much cheaper than Apple and can sync to both iOS and Android devices.

These devices are great for monitoring your activity levels and workouts. Find one which one works for you and appeals to your taste.

Craving for Chicken Rice? Here are the Best Places to Get Some

Because Hainanese Chicken Rice is well known as Singapore’s national dish, you can expect to find it almost anywhere. But you can’t presume that every chicken rice stall will meet your expectations. That’s why we’ve listed some of the best places to get chicken rice in Singapore.

Tian Tian Chicken Rice
Tian Tian Chicken Rice is practically a landmark because of its popularity, with many of its customers saying they have the best Hainanese chicken rice in the country. They are best known for having firm chicken slices with fragrant, oily rice along with equally delicious side dishes. Because Tian Tian is popular, you can expect a long queue during lunch time. That is why it is best to go before 11 AM and after 2 PM if you don’t want to wait in line.

Chin Chin Eating House
Chin Chin Eating House is one of the oldest establishments serving chicken rice, having started operations in 1934. This has contributed to the authentic Hainanese flavor that you get from their dish. The oily rice gives off a sweet aroma of garlic and ginger. The tender chicken, on the other hand, gives a burst of flavors because of the sesame oil and light soy sauce drizzled over it.

Kampong Chicken Rice/Chicken House
For one, the service is pretty fast here. Chicken House is known for serving juicy chicken slices with rice that’s also quite fragrant. Their chicken is also considered leaner and healthier, not as fatty compared to those of other stalls. They also have a chili sauce that goes really well with the chicken rice and adds a thick and spicy flavor.

Nam Kee Chicken Rice & Restaurant
Nam Kee Chicken Rice & Restaurant is another establishment that’s been operating for a long time already. They also serve authentic Hainanese chicken rice which many people enjoy because of the tender and juicy slices of chicken. The sauce poured over the chicken meat, although not too strong, also adds a certain balance of flavors.

Ming Kee Chicken Rice
Ming Kee Chicken Rice is famous for keeping the chicken in the ice bath until it is served. This helps to retain the flavor and firmness of the chicken meat until the dishes reach your table. Today, leaving the chicken in the ice bath isn’t unique to Ming Kee anymore. Nonetheless, their chicken rice is masterfully prepared and is undeniably delicious. Also, the chili that they use compliments the whole dish well.

Good Year Local Hainanese Chicken Rice
All you really need to know is, the rice in Good Year is served differently. They serve traditional chicken rice balls! This is already pretty rare today in Singapore, that’s why you should go to try it. One issue, though, is that the rice is quite mushy and some people don’t like it that way. Even so, if you want to try new ways to eat your chicken rice, here it is.

A Quick Guide on the Best Korean Restaurants in Singapore

Ever since the popular Korean drama “Jewel in the Palace” was broadcast in Singapore in 2005, Singaporeans have had increased interest in Korean culture. Today, with popular Kpop groups and dramas gaining so much public attention, more and more restaurants are also popping up everywhere.

There are already more than 200 Korean restaurants and food stalls in Singapore. So here are some you can go to for your Korean food cravings.

Singkoba Barbeque
Korean restaurants are known to serve a variety of side dishes or ban chan and there’s no shortage of that here! The food is also served surprisingly fast, which of course, is very convenient for all the hungry customers. Their samgyeopsal is a feast for the eyes while cooking and just as satisfying when eaten. Even with the quality, Singkoba is one of the more affordable Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore. An added bonus is that they have staff who can speak Korean, English, and Chinese.

Seoul Restaurant
Seoul Restaurant, located in the Regent Hotel, is one of the authentic Korean restaurants in Singapore. The tables, chairs, and overall layout of this restaurant reflect that of the Regent Hotel as a five-star hotel. The layout and furniture were all very new and clean, matching up to the top-quality layout and amenities of the entire Regent Hotel. Anything part of Korean cuisine from charcoal barbeque, rice bowls, and vegetable sides, you can have here.

Bornga
When the first outlet of Bornga started operations in Star Vista Mall in 2012, it became so popular that the franchisee had to start more outlets later on. Bornga is a chain of barbeque restaurants by Korean celebrity chef, Baek Jong-won. He says he started Bornga with the aim of making Korean cuisine accessible to foreigners and not just Koreans. And we can say he succeeded in that! The meat they serve is juicy and there’s also no shortage of vegetables as sides.

E!ght Korean BBQ
This Korean barbeque restaurant is known for their unique 8 Colors Set. It is a set of eight thick-cut slices of pork belly, each with different flavors from herbal, to curry, to wine and so on. It also comes with side dishes like Seafood Doenjang Jjigae or bean paste stew, kimchi, potato salad, and etc. The 8 Colors Set should be good for 3-4 people. If you’re going alone or with a partner, you can order the 4 Colors Set.

Three Meals A Day
This restaurant shares the same name with a popular South Korean reality cooking show. You won’t doubt authenticity here because you’ll see that most of their customers are Koreans from office workers to moms with their kids. The dishes are also priced reasonably, which is always good. The side dishes were also very much appealing, from egg rolls to bean sprouts. Their kimchijeon or kimchi pancake is also must-have as a side

Reading: Why it is Unquestionably Important for Children

Reading is one of the most important skills and cognitive processes we need to develop. As we all know, knowing how to read is crucial for learning and overall success later in life. For a child, reading books is one of the best ways to learn language and communication, even in the digital age. So, here’s why reading should be encouraged in children.

Reading helps develop language
Reading is one of the primary ways a child can develop his/her language skills. Of course, they won’t be able to read at a young age, so reading aloud to them is key. This is because as they grow older, the main way they improve their vocabulary is through speaking with those older than them. But, if they start reading at an early age, they are at least already exposed to grammar, sentence structures, and etc. Plus, in Singapore where there is so much diversity, a child can even be bilingual and reading can always help with that.

Reading can improve parent-child relationships
There are already so many movies where you’ll see a parent and a child reading a book together. They put these scenes because they actually happen in real life. Reading can create stronger bonds between parents and children. Reading aloud even during infancy is known to improve intimacy and closeness. By spending quality time reading with the child, parents get to interact with their child and teach them valuable lessons.

Reading sparks imagination
Picture books, for example, are mostly aimed at young children. Children can associate words with the pictures and therefore, improve visual imagery and imagination. As the child grows older, he/she will slowly learn not to rely on the pictures and will start to create visual images in his/her own mind. This will be a great contributor to developing creativity and imagination. Additionally, it also helps that stories can take children to different places and different worlds in their imagination.

Reading enhances communication skills
Aside from parents and children interacting with each other, the child also improves his/her communication skills through the characters in the books. They learn how characters communicate and may copy those character themselves. Additionally, reading at an early age has been found to have a lasting effect on a child’s verbal capabilities. They will have a certain aptitude not only in learning words but in communicating their ideas as well.

Reading encourages empathy
Almost all children’s books mainly teach values and lessons. Being young, children obviously don’t have much experience and understanding of the world around them. What they read in books can help them better understand, appreciate, and empathize with other people. In a culturally rich and diverse nation like Singapore, this is essential to help children develop better relationships in the future and help them become respectful and well-mannered individuals.

Helpful Things to Know When Visiting Singapore

When visiting other countries, it is obviously important to get to know your destination before you’re even there. Singapore is an exciting place to go to, but there are a lot of things you need to know to make your visit as smooth as possible.

Singapore is generally safe
Singapore is considered the safest country in the world. Most of the crimes committed in Singapore are petty crimes like scams and pickpocketing, most commonly. So it does not necessarily mean that you should be care-free when in Singapore. It is safe, but not entirely crime-free.

Consider the weather
Being a tropical country, much of the weather in Singapore is dictated by the monsoon seasons. Basically, there’s dry weather earlier in the year and a wet season near the end. When they say dry weather, it’s not your simple “dry weather”, it’s going to be really hot. That is why flip flops, tank tops, and shorts are the typical go-to’s when walking around.

The transportation is great
You won’t have any problems not having a car in Singapore as a tourist. The subway system is quite reliable and can get you almost anywhere. Major areas and landmarks are connected through the train systems. Taxis, on the other hand, can have pros and cons. For one, you won’t have to worry about being scammed because taxis are regulated and metered. But, it can still get pretty expensive because of airport charges or highway tolls.

You’ll rarely get hungry
Food is a great part of Singapore’s culture given the diversity in the country. Hence, Singaporeans are very passionate when it comes to food. Along with all the tourist spots, it’s a grave mistake to not explore Singapore’s hawker center, food stalls, and restaurants. An added bonus is that many places also stay open day and night.

“Singapore is a Fine City”
Singaporeans and many tourists alike joke around with this statement as it has a double meaning. Singapore has been known to impose fines on so many things. If you think about it, it does make sense because they just want to discourage unpleasant behavior. There are fines for spitting, chewing gum, smoking in certain areas, littering, peeing in the elevators (this makes absolute sense!), and a lot more.

Tap water is safe to drink
The quality and standard of water in Singapore is very high. The tap water is clean and even safe to drink. Although that’s the case many Singaporeans still shun the idea of drinking tap water from hawker center or old coffee shops. Given that, you should still avoid being overly reliant.

Escalator etiquette
If in your country you follow a stand on the right, walk on the left rule, it’s the opposite in Singapore. You stand on the left. If you’re new to this concept, you’re basically just standing on one side of the escalator to allow those in a hurry to walk on the other side.

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