Monday, April 16, 2018

7 Reasons Potatoes Should Be on the Dinner Menu Tonight

Don’t know what to make for dinner? One word: potatoes.
It can be tough to come up with creative and healthy dinner ideas every day for your family.
It’s equally as hard to find a meal that will also appeal to all tastes; something that everyone will want to eat and enjoy.
As the chef, you want to find a dish that has all these qualities and above all doesn’t take too long to make.
So what’s out there that checks off all the items on your list?
Most would agree that this one thing probably does and that one thing is potatoes.
Here are seven reasons potatoes should be included on your dinner menu tonight.
1. Super simple
There are so many simple healthy potato recipes that will have both you and your family smiling from ear to ear after the first bite.
Most are super easy to throw together, even last minute, and usually require just a few simple ingredients.
Even served with just salt and pepper, potatoes still taste super good and are the best side dish.
2. So many options
The crazy and amazing thing about potatoes is that there are so many different ways to prepare them.
You can have them in a casserole, baked, fried, mashed, you name it and it can probably be done. You can even throw them in the microwave if you are in a bind.
You can have them as a side dish or even the main course.
3. So healthy
As was said earlier, if you need to find simple healthy potato recipes there are so many to choose from.
The great thing about potatoes is that you can usually combine them with other veggies and things that are good for you to ensure that your meals are high in vitamins and minerals but lower in calories.
For example, potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin E, and super high in vitamin C. In fact, one potato has up to 70% of your daily vitamin C intake. Also, it's a great source of protein, fiber, and potassium.
4. Many different types
If you are tired of just the same old baked potato, there is good news: there are so many types of potatoes to choose from.
These different types of potatoes mean there are so many different types of tastes and dishes you can make, ensuring a variety of flavors.
If you wanted to, you could never make a potato the same way twice.
5. Long-lasting
Another potato benefit is that they are easy to store and have a long shelf life if you aren't in the mood for potatoes tonight.
All you have to do is make sure you keep them in a cool, dark place and they should be good to go for the next couple of weeks, like when you really need to kick dinner up a notch.
6. Keep you fuller longer
Ever eaten dinner and then a couple hours later find yourself rummaging through the cupboards trying to find something to eat?
With potatoes that shouldn't be an issue. In fact, potatoes are a healthy carb that helps your body to feel full and stay full.  They are high in what is called resistant starch which activates every fullness trigger in your body.
It just goes to show that potatoes are great insurance to prevent midnight snacking.
7. It’s all you need
Technically speaking, one could survive on potatoes alone pretty well, according to Livescience.com. Well, potatoes and milk that is.
We know you and your family probably want a little more variety in dinner, and it’s a good reminder that throwing in a potato dish or two with dinner, or any meal really, is a great idea.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Your Road Trip Checklist

It’s almost summertime and you’re ready for an adventure with your buddies. If you’re planning a road trip, near or far, get ready to hit the open road with these pre-trip tips.

Car
Have you decided whose car you’re taking? Make sure it’s in good working condition for long distances early on. You don’t want to find out it has a major engine issue the week you’re supposed to leave. You should also get the oil changed and check your tire pressure a week or so before you leave.

The day before, get it washed and detailed (it’s not fun to start vacation sitting on a pile of crumbs), then fill up the gas tank just as you head out. If it’s going to be an especially long trip, find out who is comfortable taking a turn at the wheel and if the car owner is okay with other people driving.

Map
You don’t have a specific plan in mind, just see where the wind takes you before you reach the final destination, but a map might come in handy. Living in the “I” generation means everyone will probably have access to GPS on their phones, but you should throw a fold-up map in the glovebox just in case reception gets spotty on a random side tour you decide to take.

Cash
There are plenty of amazing things to stop and see (and eat) that you hadn’t planned on, and sometimes those establishments only accept cash, so have some on hand in addition to any debit or credit cards you’re toting.

You’ll also want to get a good estimate on how much you plan to spend for the duration of your trip, especially for necessities like gas. If you’re not prepared, the trip may end sooner than you planned, and you might find yourself waiting for an Idaho Falls towing company to rescue you.

Pillow & Blanket
The fun of a road trip is the journey, but after several hours in a car, you may be ready for a nap. Bring a pillow to lean against the window when you need to sleep and a blanket when everyone wants the AC on full blast but you’re freezing.

Both will be useful when repositioning yourself to get more comfortable. Your friends may even thank you, and if they’re begging you to share, you can always make a trade for something great they brought along.

Tent
Maybe you’re planning to stay in hotels, hostels, or with friends along the way, but no one can predict where your restless hearts will lead you. If you end up in a ghost town when it’s time to break for the night, a tent is a lifesaver. Who knows, you may find that you need a few more nights under the stars.

Sweatshirt & Gym Shoes
It’s easy to plan for the indoor portion of your trip, but don’t forget about the amazing natural wonders you’ll come across that you hadn’t planned on. It would be a shame if you didn’t go on an epic hike through the rain because you only brought t-shirts and flip-flops.

Your comfy old gym shoes will come through for you whether it’s a hike, a quick run, or a few turns on a fair ride. A sweatshirt, on the other hand, is the perfect crossover between lounge and activewear. It knows how to take a beating and is easy to wash when you inevitably drop it in the dirt.

Snacks
Let’s not forget the most important item you can bring on any kind of trip, road or no. Start out with a variety of sweet and salty, healthy and indulgent snacks that everyone can share. You may love your soda and other flavored drinks, but a case of water will be better for everyone and cheaper, too.

Pick up some new treats along the way, too, and you’ll make it back home with only one regret: that the trip wasn’t longer.

Monday, April 2, 2018

5 Snow Activities to Beat the Winter Blues


Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t have outdoor fun.
For a lot of people, winter doesn't just end after Christmas, it can stretch out all the way through March or even April.
That means many months are spent indoors trying to keep warm but also trying to stay entertained. It can be pretty tough, and most people can go a little stir crazy.
But if you are one to not let the cold stop you from getting outside and trying out something active and fun, there are several outdoor winter activities that are just for you.
Here are five of them, and it will have you saying, like Elsa from Disney's Frozen, "The cold never bothered me anyway."
1. Snowmobiling
Snowmobiling can be a super fun snow activity in the wintertime. Like a crossover between an ATV and a sled, this powerful snow-bike can have you touring the mountainside in style.
The fun part too is there are several different types of snowmobiles and brands, such as Polaris snowmobiles, who make anywhere from entry-level snowmobiles for beginners to power-snowmobiles for those who are a little more experienced.
All it takes is a little research to see where you are permitted to snowmobile, and if you need a license or not, and then you are ready to go.
2. Snowboarding
Ever tried surfing in the snow?
If that sounds like something you would like to tackle, then snowboarding is probably for you. Not only is snowboarding fun, but the more you do it that more that you can do, making it a sport you can do all winter long for years to come.
If you are a beginner and don't know where to start, most ski resorts have lessons starting at the most beginning level. And the good news is that if you want your family to get involved, snowboarding is for all ages. Even your little ones can get in on the action.
3. Skiing
Skiing is the most classic winter sport there is, but there’s a reason for that.  
Not only does it mean that you will get to spend some fun times at some beautiful ski resorts, but it means you will get to experience gliding down the mountains through the fresh snow.
Just like snowboarding, being inexperienced or a beginner doesn't have to stop you at all. Getting ski lessons can be a cinch and sometimes the ski resorts offer deals when lessons are bought with lift tickets. Also, skiing is a great family activity, and starting from very young age children can learn how to ski.
Who knows, your youngest may be flying down past you on the hill before you know it!
4. Tubing and sledding
Nothing is more fun than taking the family to find the perfect, snow-covered hill to sled or tube down.
Most ski resorts even have areas that are dedicated to just those activities, and it can keep the kids occupied for an entire afternoon.
5. Swimming in hot springs
A fun and adventurous activity to do in the wintertime is to find some hot springs and take a dip.

It will be such a fun experience to sit and swim in naturally heated waters while you are surrounded by snow. It would be an experience your family would never forget and will probably want to do every winter.