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Lifestyle

How to Cook the Perfect Steak: An Awesome Recipe

How to Cook the Perfect Steak: An Awesome Recipe


How to Cook the Perfect Steak: An Awesome Recipe

Each American eats around 220 pounds (or more) of beef every single year. It’s a delicious meat that we can’t have often enough, but a poorly cooked steak is easy to pass up. 

With such a beloved dish, it’s important to know how to treat your dinner guests to the perfect steak when they come over to your home. If your steaks never turn out the way you want, then now’s a good time to figure out what’s going wrong.

Listed down below are tips and tricks to help you learn how to cook the perfect steak. Plus, a recipe that’s great for beginners and masters alike!

Choosing the Right Steak

Even the best steak recipe won’t help if the steak itself isn’t the right one for the job. The first thing to look for in a steak is its grade level. The higher the grade, the better the steak, but it’s still possible to cook great steaks on a budget.

In the US, we have three types of grades:

  • Select – The lowest grade. These steaks are serviceable but the marbling and quality are not so good, making it tougher and less flavorful.
  • Choice – The medium grade. Choice grades have good marbling and flavor and are often the highest grade available in many supermarkets.
  • Prime – The highest grade. These are the top-quality steaks that we all dream about, but a lot of general supermarkets don’t even carry these beauties. Most often, you’ll need to go to a butcher for this grade.

Regardless of its USDA grade, always choose a steak that is firm with an even distribution of marbling. The color needs to be a bright pink color, and avoid anything that’s dark red.

Understanding Steak Temperatures

We all have different ideas as to what’s the perfect steak, but knowing how to cook each temperature is a huge asset. When a guest asks for a specific temperature, you want to serve them a steak they love.

While knowing the finger test is good for professionals, an instant thermometer is even better for accurate reads every time. Use the following list to help get the perfect doneness for all preferences:

  • Rare: 125º
  • Medium Rare: 135º
  • Medium: 145º
  • Medium Well: 150º
  • Well Done: 160º

Allow Time for Resting

It almost seems counter-intuitive to leave a hot steak covered to rest for any amount of time. The problem with skipping this step is that all of the natural juices that make for a flavorful steak are at the edges of the meat.

By allowing it to rest, you’re helping to redistribute those juices throughout the rest of the meat. This gives you the best flavor and texture every single time.

Always give your steak at least a few minutes of resting time before you dive in with high-quality cutlery, such as this modern knife set. It’s difficult to wait, but it’s well worth the effort!

Cater Your Seasonings

It’s easy to go overboard with seasonings. More seasoning seems like a good thing, at first, because it gives the steak more flavor.

For an even better result, it’s best to go with simple seasonings that allow the steak to speak for itself. You’re taking the time to cook a high-quality steak to perfection, why not have the flavor of the meat be the star of the meal?

Rubs and marinades are great for certain dishes, but most of the time, a simple seared steak is perfection, which is what our recipe is all about.

The Best Recipe for Simple Pan-Seared Steak

There are a lot of different ways to cook a steak that all result in a delicious meal. Before you dive into all of those different steak recipes, it’s a good idea to master the simplest version. The following is the best steak recipe to give you a lot of experience cooking steak while allowing you to experiment if you want.

Even if you never cook a steak in any other way, you’ll always have this method in your cooking toolbox. It’ll impress you (and your guests!) for many delicious years.

Ingredients:

  • Room temperature steak (1 to 1 ½ inch thick of your grade choice)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons garlic butter
  • Cast-iron skillet

Cooking Process:

  1. Make sure your steaks are at room temperature so that the outside cooks as soon as it touches the hot pan, creating a good sear. Take them out at least a half-hour before cooking.
  2. Start heating your skillet. A cast-iron skillet takes up to 10 minutes to heat up to the right temperature. Once it starts to smoke a little, it’s ready.
  3. Pat the steaks dry with some paper towels to get rid of excess moisture, then season with salt, coating both sides with a generous layer.
  4. Place the steaks into the hot pan, and leave them there for at least 1 minute or until a good crust forms. This is why there’s no oil in this recipe, as it’s not necessary and can hinder a proper sear.
  5. Once the crust is there, you’re able to flip the steak to the other side without it sticking. Cook the other side for 1 minute as well.
  6. Continue flipping between the two sides for another 4 minutes.
  7. Add in the garlic butter (use steak butter or regular butter if you prefer) and tilt your pan to one side to allow the melted butter to collect. Use a spoon to spread the buttery goodness over the steaks as it cooks, keeping the meat tender, juicy, and flavorful. Flip and repeat every minute or so.
  8. Continue cooking for another 6 minutes, at which time you’ll test for the doneness of the steak.
  9. Once it reaches your preferred temperature, take the steaks out, and allow them to rest for half the time they cooked.
  10. Enjoy with all of your favorite sides and sauces!

Cooking the Perfect Steak Only Takes a Little Practice

Trying to learn how to cook the perfect steak seems like a daunting task at first. Once you try it a few times, it becomes far easier and you’ll never worry about ruining an expensive piece of meat again.

Continue practicing and come back to this page whenever you need a refresher on tips and tricks. You’ll be a master at steaks in no time!

Getting ready for a night of entertaining your guests? Check out the rest of our blog for even more pointers on how to wow everyone at your dinner table!

Lifestyle

How to Find the Perfect Prom Dress for Your Body Type

How to Find the Perfect Prom Dress for Your Body


How to Find the Perfect Prom Dress for Your Body Type

Teens are spending more and more money on prom each year. In fact, the average family spends over $900 on prom, and most of that goes towards the dress.

Finding the perfect dress for prom is a big deal. For many young girls, it’s one of the biggest nights they’ve had so far in their lives. They’re not only commemorating the end of high school, but also the end of an era, so to speak.

So, yeah, there’s a lot of investment in finding the right dress, both in terms of money and time spent looking for it.

If you find yourself having difficulties finding the right one, then it’s probably because you’re not searching to fit your body type.

Here’s how to find the perfect prom dress for your body type to ensure you look fabulous on your big night out.

Get to Know Your Body Type

Shopping for your specific body type is one of the biggest advents in fashion that’s occurred over the past few years. Before, it was all about finding the hottest new dress and making yourself fit into it.

Now, people are wiser and they know that you’re going to look best in something that fits your specific body type.

Generally, young women fall into six different categories when it comes to body type:

  • Petite
  • Tall
  • Rectangular
  • Curvy
  • Triangle
  • Inverted Triangle

Petite women are under 5’3” and tall women are typically above 5’6”. This is a pretty small range, so you might not be able to classify your body type solely based on height.

However, if you’re particularly petite or particularly tall, then it’s going to affect the types of prom dresses you’re going to look for. We’ll get into that in a bit.

Women with a rectangular shaped body have similar measurements for their bust, waist, and hips. You’re not particularly curvy in any area of your body.

On the contrary, curvy women have very small waists and tend to have larger breasts that accentuate the curves of their bodies.

If you a fuller lower body, wide hips, and a smaller bust, then you likely have a triangle body shape. An inverted triangle body shape is the exact opposite. These women have larger busts and very thing legs.

It’s important to note that you probably don’t fall into one body type category perfectly.

However, if you can get to know the basic shape of your body it will help you find the best prom dresses for your body type and then make slight alterations to one of them to fit you perfectly.

How to Find the Perfect Prom Dress by Body Type

Do you think you’ve figured out which body type you have? Great! Shopping for the right prom dress is going to be so much easier now that you know what kind of body you’re trying to dress.

When it comes to prom dresses and body types, what you’re really looking for is a dress that’s going to accentuate your natural features or enhance weaker features that you want to make look better.

This means that if you’re curvy, the dress will accentuate your curves. Or, if you’re naturally small-waisted, then you’re going to look for a dress that helps enhance the look of your waist to draw it in.

Here’s how to find the perfect prom dresses for your specific body type.

Prom Dresses for Petite Bodies

As a petite girl, chances are that you’re small all around, not just short. This means that your entire frame is small and that you’re going to need to make yourself look taller.

Showing a little bit of side leg can help elongate your frame, and it compliments petite women as it doesn’t make them look incredibly tall or overpowering.

High-low dresses work great for petite girls as it allows them to show off their legs in the front while still enjoying a flowing, elegant dress in the back.

Or, you can opt for a cocktail dress with a v-neckline or some kind of vertical print. These will help lengthen your frame and they tend to look flattering on petite women.

Prom Dresses for Tall Bodies

Young women who are tall tend to shy away from making themselves look even taller. They usually opt for dresses and postures that make them look smaller, which is totally the opposite of what they should be doing!

When searching for your prom dress, you need to embrace your frame! Try on dresses that show off your body’s length and compliment your figure.

Long ball gowns work great on tall bodies, as do form-fitting maxi dresses, which fashion experts expect are going to be hot for prom dresses 2020.

Graphic patterns will look great on your frame, and two-piece dresses that allow the bottom skirt to have a really high waistline will help you look extra elegant.

Prom Dresses for Rectangular Bodies

If you have a rectangular body type, then your biggest goal is going to be to add dimension to your frame.

Because you have similar measurements all around your body, it’s really about figuring out how to add curves and flair to your shoulders, chest, and waist.

Look for prom dresses that feature a one-shoulder neckline or a high slit. These are great ways to add dimension to your look and show off a bit of skin.

If you have a particularly rectangular waistline then you might need help defining your shape. If this is the case, then you can look for a dress with an empire waist or opt for a trumpet skirt.

Flowing, layered dresses are also going to help add dimension to your body and create the illusion of more curves.

Prom Dresses for Curvy Bodies

If you have a curvy body, then you’re going to want to look for a prom dress that really works to accentuate all of your natural features.

Fitted dresses with well-defined waits are going to help show off your curvy waistline and natural body shape.

Cinched waistlines or waistlines with decorations are great if you’re looking for something really well-defined.

You’ll also want to ensure that the top fits you properly. Open necklines work great here as they ensure that all the attention is down at your waist and not up near your neck.

If you need to, it’s really worth sending your dress to get altered to ensure that it fits properly around your waist and your bust.

Prom Dresses for Triangle Bodies

With a triangle body shape, your goal is going to be to even out your body’s frame and silhouette. Because you have a stronger or fuller lower body, the goal with a prom dress is to find one that draws the attention up towards your neck.

Flowy off-the-shoulder prom dresses work great for this body type as they draw the eye upwards and off of your legs and hips.

Or, opt for a style that cascades down over your waistline to accentuate your natural frame.

A-line silhouettes, strapless dresses, and embellished necklines are all styles to look for if you have a triangle body shape.

If you can’t find the right dress with an embellished neckline, then spice up a normal dress with some flashy, chunky necklaces.

Prom Dresses for Inverted Triangle Bodies

As a woman with an inverted triangle body, it’s likely that you have larger breasts and very thin legs. If this is the case, then when you’re looking for a prom dress, try to try on ones that have very flowy bottoms.

Because your bust is larger, you’re going to want to accentuate that with a fitted top while evening out your frame’s look with a fuller skirt at the bottom.

Adding definition to your waist is important as it’s going to help you pull in your waistline to help accentuate both your bust and your lower body.

Look for a mermaid or trumpet gown to accentuate your natural frame as these two styles look especially great on your body type.

Making Alterations to Your Prom Dress

Learning how to find the perfect prom dress depends a lot on learning more about your body type.

Take time out to head to a professional seamstress. They’ll be able to measure your body in all of the necessary areas to give you a good idea of your actual body type, not the one you think you have.

With this in mind, it will be easier to shop for a prom dress in a way that helps you save time and money. However, try not to focus on finding the perfect dress.

If a dress fits you in the right places and you feel beautiful in it, then it’s okay to have to make alterations to it! It’s rare that you’re going to find a dress that fits your body type perfectly, as we’re all very different.

Enjoyed this article? Take a look at at our clothing and accessories section for more fashion tips and ideas to help you design your prom 2020 look.

Business

7 Key Tips for Finding the Perfect Financial Advisor

7 Key Tips for Finding the Perfect Financial Advisor


7 Key Tips for Finding the Perfect Financial Advisor

You want to grow your wealth and the easiest way to do that is by working with a financial advisor. And there are plenty to choose from.

Believe it or not, there are more than 200,000 financial advisors in the United States. And with so many, finding the perfect financial advisor can feel like a challenge.

It doesn’t have to be. Read on for a few simple tips to help you find the best advisor for your financial goals.

1. Think About Your Goals

Financial advisors help you build wealth over a long period of time. But they’re better able to do this if they understand your goals.

Think about what you want to accomplish with your investments.

Are you looking to increase your monthly income? Do you want to aggressively save for retirement? Or are you planning for your future to give your family the life you’ve always imagined?

Once you know what your goals are, write them down. It’s okay if they change over time, but this will give your advisor a starting point. And with that starting point, they’ll be able to create a strategy to help you meet those goals.

2. Know How Much You Can Invest

Unfortunately, some financial advisors require that their clients have a minimum amount of investable assets. If you don’t have enough, you won’t be able to work with them.

Think about how much you have on-hand to invest. If it’s just a few hundred dollars, you’re probably better off waiting or finding an alternative. But if you’ve saved up and are ready to get serious about your future, a financial adviser is the smart choice.

That said, it’s okay to start out on your own, especially if you don’t have much to invest. Robo-advisors offer a low-cost alternative to traditional financial advisors. And many investment platforms allow you to directly make trades on your own.

Keep in mind that if you go this route, you’ll want to be careful. Remember, investing on your own means you’re relying on your own experience and knowledge of the industry.

For most people, this means slower growth and less return on investments. And sometimes, it can mean catastrophic losses.

The last thing you want to do is lose all of your hard-earned money on investments that weren’t the right choice for your needs.

3. Get Referrals from People You Know

The best place to start looking for the perfect financial advisor is by talking to your friends, family, and coworkers. Online reviews and internet searches can only tell you so much.

But the people you know are likely the people you trust to recommend products and services anyway. Ask if they have any financial advisors they’ve worked with in the past. And don’t be afraid to ask what they thought about their services.

If they’re comfortable working with them and had positive experiences in the past, you’ll likely receive the same quality service.

And don’t be afraid to ask the people you know if they have any advisors they didn’t like. This will help you narrow down your choices.

4. Look at Their Credentials

Experience does matter when it comes to managing your investments and growing your wealth.

When researching advisors in the area, pay close attention to their credentials. Look for distinguishing certifications like the Certified Financial Planner distinction or fiduciary status.

These help ensure that you’re able to work with an advisor that’s out to help you, not just make a fast buck. You’ll also want to pay attention to their educational background. Remember, you’re paying them to help you make sound financial decisions.

5. Schedule Several Consultations

Remember, you’re looking for an advisor that you can work with for many years to come. And that means you’ll need to interview several advisors before you can find the one that fits your needs best.

Schedule consultations with at least three advisors and see which one you feel most comfortable with.

They should be willing to listen to your concerns and able to answer your questions in a way that you understand.

If at any point you feel uncomfortable, don’t agree to work with them. It’s okay to leave the office feeling like you need to keep looking. Don’t give up. You’ll find the perfect financial advisor eventually.

6. Make Sure Your Comfortable with Their Fees

Financial advisors charge for their services in different ways. Some expect a flat fee each quarter while others charge commission on each trade or investment.

There’s no right or wrong method, but you need to make sure you’re comfortable with how they charge for their services. And you need to be able to afford what they charge for their services.

Before leaving the consultation, make sure they explain their fee structure in detail. If you have any questions or concerns, ask them during the appointment. And if the advisor can’t explain things in a way that makes sense to you, keep searching.

7. Check Online for Complaints

Online reviews are not the best way to judge a financial advisor’s skills or reputation. In fact, most are anonymous and those complaints may not even be real.

Instead of relying on sites like Yelp and Google, dig a little deeper. Sites like FINRA’s BrokerCheck allow you to research individual financial advisors and firms to assess their reputations.

If anyone filed complaints against the broker, you’ll know what they were and what, if anything, happened to resolve the issue.

And if there are no problems, their record will be clean.

Final Thoughts on Finding the Perfect Financial Advisor

Finding the perfect financial advisor takes time and effort. You need to meet with advisors in order to know if they’re the right choice for your needs.

Be patient, do your research, and choose an advisor that you’re comfortable with. This way, you’ll have someone in your corner for the long-run.

Looking for more helpful tips and advice to grow your wealth? Check out our latest posts.

Lifestyle

Tips on Finding the Perfect Prom Dress

Tips on Finding the Perfect Prom Dress


Tips on Finding the Perfect Prom Dress

Finding the perfect dress for any special occasion can be a challenge. But, finding that one of a kind prom dress that fits like a glove and matches the night you’ve been dreaming of since the first day of high school can be an especially daunting task.

If you want to find a prom dress that lives up to your expectations, you’d better get started early.

There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute, ripping through what’s left at your local mall, and walking away with a disappointing prom pick. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with your ensemble, it’s going to show.

This is one night you want to feel confident and look great. And it will be here before you know it.

Will you be ready when your big day arrives?

Read on for tips on finding the prom dress that’s perfect for you!

5 Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Prom Dress

1. Shop for Styles that Flatter Your Figure

One of the biggest mistakes that girls make when shopping for a prom dress is choosing a style that doesn’t match their body type. A dress that looks beautiful on the rack, and great on your best friend, can still be a style disaster for you.

Know what looks best on your figure before you hit the racks. These shape-conscious pointers will keep you focused on the dresses that flatter you most so you won’t waste time on those that don’t:

If you’re blessed with a booty-full body type, with wider hips and not so much up top, avoid dresses that accentuate your bottom half.

What to steer clear of? Drop waist and straight dresses. The line at the waist will add inches and a straight design that fits your top might pull at the waist and hug hips too tightly.

Instead, try a two tone dress that’s top half is a blousy, silk material in a sherbet shade (think light peach, or pale blue) and a high waisted dark (a la pencil skirt) on your bottom half. Glam, sexy, and figure fabulous.

If you’ve spent years hiding your curves in baggy, dark oversized clothing, prom night is the time to shed your fears and the extra fabric and shine like the star you are.

Just because you don’t shop in the petite section doesn’t mean you should hide behind gobs of bulky fabric. Although, might we add, too much skin looks cheap and inappropriate on any figure.

A fitted waist, sweetheart neckline, and long satin gloves are a few ways to add some oomph to your prom look, without adding the appearance of extra inches. Also, look for fabrics sans spandex and avoid ruched fashions.

Strong gymnast body types can have a tendency to come off looking tomboyish in straight sheathed dresses that many magazines tout as a go to timeless style.

This isn’t the time to blend in. Stand out in feminine prints, gathered waists, flowy skirts, and those decadent detailed cut-out designs. They don’t look great on every body, but they look smashing on you.

You lucky girl, you.

You’ve got the body that models are made of. But, those sassy and sexy strapless numbers? Not so much.

We know it’s tempting, but avoid the straight strapless neckline if possible. These flatten the chest. If you must go strapless, match it with a ballerina cut, full skirted bottom half.

Or, skip strapless altogether and try a push-up wired bodice with skinny straps or a sequined dazzling top portion for a little extra boost up top. Or go for draped backless elegance or a mermaid shaped dress that no other body type can work quite like you.

2. Express Yourself in a Color-full Design

The color you wear can be worth more than words, so make sure the color you’re wearing sends the right message.

Look for unique, bold colors to really shine on prom night. Bold, dark hues are not as typical as black but just as shape-savvy.

3. Go Glam

This is the night that you can live out all of your dress up fantasies from childhood. And this year, glam is where it’s at.

Don’t be afraid of daring to wear red (it’s a shade that can look great on anyone). And, go all out with over the top glitz. After all, it’s not everyday that you can channel your inner Marilyn Monroe.

4. Be Different. But Be You.

Who wants to look unoriginal on prom night? No one. But, local department stores often carry styles so similar that you can easily fall into line with the looks everyone else is wearing.

Instead, go online and check out off the beaten path boutiques. Let your creative flag fly high on prom night.

Just don’t get so carried away being different that you forget to be try to you. Sure, no one else might be wearing fuschia florals, but that doesn’t mean you should, either.

Don’t know where to start?

Check out this year’s hottest prom dress trends and soak up plenty of dream dress inspiration here!

5. It’s Not All About the Dress

Your prom dress may be the main dish of the night, but without savory sides even the best dresses can fall flat.

Shoes should be beautiful, but comfortable enough that you can dance the night away if you choose. Go for hot, fashionable footwear that you can walk in without toppling over.

See through pumps are sexy even without a six inch heel. And strappy silver, gold, or sequin shoes are dazzling at any height.

Also, be sure to bring out your best with the right make up pallette. Choose one or two trends to play up your best features (smoky, smoldering eyes, a full, glossy pout, or dew-kissed rosy cheeks).

And, last but not least, use thoughtfully planned accessories to boost your style factor. Dangling shoulder dusting earrings, bangle bracelets, and a simple, satin clutch are just a few accessory trends that we love.

Get Shopping!

Get a jump start on shopping and avoid a last minute dash to find your perfect prom dress. Your much more likely to find a dress you love if you give yourself plenty of time to get something that looks great on you.