Expert cooks say making the best dumplings is not a challenge some newbies can easily tackle. Homemade dumplings in particular are time-consuming and difficult to make, despite it being a staple alternative to noodles and rice in some restaurants in Singapore that specialize in Asian cuisine.

To get an idea of the process of making dumplings, here is a guide on how to create homemade wrappers and pork and chicken dumplings.

Dumpling Wrappers

Ingredients: 420 grams or 3 cups of all-purpose flour and additional flour for dusting, 210 mL water and an additional 10 mL for adjustments, and ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions: Using a stand mixer, combine salt and flour first before adding the water. Switch to a hook to knead the dough for about 8 minutes until it becomes smooth. Once done, shape the dough into a round ball, cover, and set aside for 15 minutes. Knead the dough for about 2 to 3 minutes until it hardens, then rest again for an hour or more.

When the dough is elastic, soft, and easy to handle, shape it into a circle then cut in halves until you have 3-cm logs. Make sure to dust the tiny logs to prevent from sticking. Next, dust the work surface, take a piece of dough, and press it with a rolling pin until it becomes a flat disc. You should be able to produce not more wrappers with a diameter not more than 10 cm.

Pork Dumplings

Ingredients: dumpling wrappers, 1 pound ground pork, ½ cabbage, 1 cup sliced scallions, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 34 cup minced cilantro, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons grated ginger, 2 whisked eggs, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Instructions: Toss the cabbage and salt in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Then, squeeze the liquid from the cabbage and combine them with the ground pork, cilantro, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, whisked eggs, and ginger in another bowl using your hands. Create a line of bowls with water, filling, and baking sheet.

Place 1 tablespoon of filling in each dumpling wrapper then dampen the edges with water to seal it. Fold the dumpling in half and close the top before creating pleats on the sides. Once done, line them in the baking sheet ready for cooking or storage.

Chicken Dumplings

Ingredients: ½ pound ground chicken, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, a dash of fish sauce, 1 clove garlic, 1 ½ tablespoons chopped green onion, ½ cup green cabbage, ½ teaspoon pepper, and dumpling wrappers

Instructions: Mix the ground chicken, fish sauce, cabbage, green onion, pepper, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a food processor. Scoop ½ tablespoon each of the mixture onto the dumpling wrappers then fold according to the instructions already detailed above.

You can also use a dumpling maker to fold, close, and make pleats on the dumpling wrapper. Once done, the dumplings can be stored or prepared for steaming or pan-frying.

A high-protein diet can be dangerous, but close monitoring of the types of food you consume is needed when you seriously want to manage your weight or start a diet because of an illness.

Who Needs a High-Protein Diet?

Your doctor might recommend that you start a high-protein diet if you belong to the following groups: individuals who gain weight fast, bodybuilders, middle-aged people, and those who want to change their diet. This means that anyone can start a high-protein diet to become healthier overall. However, there is a misconception about what type of food you need to consume.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

The recommended daily allowance for protein depends on the weight of the person. Generally, those who weigh 150 pounds or less will need 54 grams of protein per day, while a person who weighs 200 pounds will needs 73 grams of protein daily.

However, this is only a guide that does not take into account the activities you do, age, and carbohydrate intake. If you are an athlete or a bodybuilder, make sure to consult your doctor or dietitian to determine how much protein you will need.

What Type of Food to Avoid?

Most of those who start a high-protein diet usually make the mistake of choosing food that are high in carbohydrates and calories, but low in nutrients. For example, if you want to build more muscle mass, then that does not mean you need to eat more of everything.

You should avoid food with simple sugars, lots of sodium, and greasy dishes. The idea of a high-protein diet is to look for wholesome food full of nutrients, not just food high in protein content.

What are the Best Sources of Protein?

Most of your diet should consist primarily of food that are rich in good nutrients but low in calories and saturated fat. These include consuming more seafood, lean meat, soy, beans, eggs, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy.

Similar to any type of diet, you need to learn how to read labels and to prepare your own food at home if possible. It will be easier to monitor your calorie count if you know what you put in your food than if you eat at restaurants or buy pre-packed food at shops in Singapore.

How About Fats and Carbs?

A high-protein diet does not mean you should avoid fats and carbohydrates altogether. These are essential for your body to function properly, which is why you should pick fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat yogurt and milk, and legumes and beans. You can get healthy fats from fish, avocado, nuts, nut butters, olives, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and canola oil.

Is It Bad for You?

A high-protein diet has dangers but only if you do not monitor your nutrient intake. This danger is common in almost any type of diet, however, that is why you should consult your doctor before starting a diet.

Do you have a craving for something fruity and sweet? You don’t need to be good at baking to make these easy cupcake recipes.

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients: ¼ cup sugar, 2 eggs, ¾ cup mashed banana, ½ cup sour cream, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/3 cup softened unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups flour, and ½ teaspoon baking soda

Pudding and Frosting: 1 cup milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 ½ teaspoons butter, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 cup whipping cream

Preparation: To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F and prepare lined muffin pans. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl, then beat sugar and butter in another bowl with a mixer. Gradually add eggs, vanilla, banana, and sour cream to the second bowl until combined. Then, add dry ingredients to the wet until combined.

Pour batter into the liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, make a pudding by heating milk in a saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, combine sugar with cornstarch, then gradually add to the milk until combined. Remove from heat so it thickens then add butter and vanilla. Let cool. Make a frosting by mixing cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. Then add powdered sugar. Spoon 1 tablespoon of pudding on top of a cupcake then top with frosting to serve.

Mimosa Cupcakes

Ingredients: 3 eggs, 2 teaspoons orange zest, 1 box vanilla cake mix, 1 ¼ cups champagne, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 4 cups powdered sugar, salt, gold sanding sugar, and orange wedges

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a bowl, combine cake mix with 1 cup champagne, eggs, 1 teaspoon zest, and vegetable oil. Bake according to instructions in the cake mix box. While waiting, make the frosting by beating butter until fluffy and light.

Gradually add 3 cups powdered sugar, making sure no lumps remain then add ¼ cup champagne, orange zest, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Add remaining powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Top cupcakes with frosting and a garnishing of gold sanding sugar and orange wedges.

Blueberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients: 3 eggs, 1 ¼ pints blueberries, 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup oil, 1 box French vanilla cake mix, 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/8 cup flour, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and ½ cup butter

Preparation: In a mixer, combine cake mix with flour, eggs, water, condensed milk, and oil for 3 minutes. Fold in 1 pint of blueberries. Distribute batter in cake liners and bake for 20 minutes at 325°F.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting by creaming butter until light and fluffy with a mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla until combined. Beat for 3 minutes. When the cupcakes are done, top with frosting and remaining blueberries.

Are you getting ready for your first date, but you have no idea how to pick the right restaurant? Making a good impression on your date by choosing a relaxing place with good food can leave lasting memories that you can share with your kids when they go on their first date, too.

Here are some ideas to help you pick the right restaurant.

Check the Location

If you want to go to a restaurant with a nice view, but your date will have to travel for hours to get there, then find another place for your first date. Find a restaurant that’s easy to get to and that’s not too far out of the way. Consider your date’s schedule and how he/she will get home if you’re planning to stay late after dinner. Save the restaurant with the nice view for later dates.

Make Sure the Food is Great

Maybe you’re the type who likes to try out different cuisines, but have you considered what your date’s preferences are? What type of food does he/she like? And most importantly, is he/she allergic to or intolerant of certain food or is not allowed to consume a specific food because of tradition or religion?

Asking your date about his/her preferences will be the easiest way to avoid an awkward first date, but if you are planning a surprise, make sure you research days ahead of the planned date. Avoid unusual restaurants with exotic cuisines; you can try those in your later dates As a precaution, you should always have a backup plan in case your date doesn’t like the menu.

Don’t Forget the Price

Make sure that you can afford most of the food on the menu. Remember that even if the date is supposed to impress the person, it’s not the bill he/she will be most concerned with, but your company.

Ask his/her friends about the usual restaurants and cafes he/she goes to and what he/she likes. If one of you feels out of place in a posh restaurant or if your partner feels uncomfortable eating street food, then you might have just blown off the opportunity.

Atmosphere is Everything

The atmosphere of the restaurant will also make a lot of difference, but don’t go to the most expensive restaurants in Singapore just because you’re looking for ambiance. Find something you are both interested in (that is why it’s important to research about your partner), such as the type of food, drinks, music, and other entertainment.

Your date’s personality should be at home with the location, so if your date likes to go to quiet restaurants, surprising him/her with a date at a bar with a live band might not yet be a good idea. You can take him/her there in your later dates.

Make the Necessary Preparations

Pick a restaurant that will take reservations, because you don’t want to end up waiting for hours just to get a table. There are a lot of restaurants that have their own website that you can check if you need to read the reviews, check the menu, and even book reservations.

Both verbal communication and non-verbal communication are important for people to understand each other. Though body language is important, more and more people are beginning to make wrong assumptions about it. One is that body language is the same for everybody.

However, if you are a Singaporean, chances are you may have different gestures compared to an American simply because of culture! Aside from that, here are some other body language myths.

You can tell what a person is thinking through their body language

It’s already known that what we’re thinking about can manifest on our body language unconsciously. So even if you lie, your body language might show otherwise. But is that really the case? Actually, it’s not necessarily true all the time. Sometimes we just have habits that even if we’re not lying, for example, we still do them. That means you won’t be able to pinpoint what a person is thinking all the time even if you watch their gestures. 

Looking to the right indicates lying

The belief that eye direction is related to lying came about as a result a certain neuro-linguistic system invented in the 1960s. The thing is though, there has not been any solid evidence of this to be true. There have even been many studies that disprove this claim as well. These separate studies found that there is no correlation at all between eye direction and the telling of a lie.

Liars avoid eye contact

Another common myth is that a person will not make eye contact when he/she tells a lie. But those who are already good liars and manipulators can actually make direct eye contact. Plus, there can be many different reasons why a person will not make eye contact with you. He might just be shy, or maybe he has a short attention span. That’s why you can’t easily say that people avoid eye contact when lying.

“Body language makes 93% of communication”

Although body language is just as important as words when it comes to communication, 93% is definitely too big of a number. In fact, there is no proven exact number! This myth came as a result of a misunderstanding of a certain study. It’s been concluded in the study that 55% of information is shown through the face, 38% in the voice, and 7% in words. That’s why people assumed that they can just add the 55 and 38 to mean that body language is 93% in communication.

Fidgeting signals nervousness

This can be true, but not in all cases. One of the main signs of nervousness is fidgeting, but that doesn’t mean you’re already nervous once you start doing it. For one, you might just fidget as a habit. This is again why you can’t directly know what a person is thinking or how a person feels just by looking at his/her body language.

Chemotherapy is one of the methods for treatment of cancer, often recommended alongside other treatments such as radiation therapy and surgery. If you have a loved one recommended to undergo chemotherapy, you need to know why it is done, what is it for, and what are its possible effects.

How does chemotherapy work?

The goal of chemotherapy is to disrupt the division and formation of cancer cells, but because healthy cells can be affected, it must be able to minimize the damage through chemotherapy protocols. These protocols are tailored depending on the type of cancer, a method which has been improved throughout the years.

For this to work, there is a medication or a combination of medication that treats cancer. The medication attacks the growing cancer cells which are about to split into two new cells. Other medications also damage only part of the cell that controls it division while other disrupt the chemical processes for cell division.

What is it recommended for?

Chemotherapy may be needed to shrink the tumor before radiation therapy or surgery, after surgery or radiation therapy to kill remaining cancer cells, or if the cancer comes back. The combination of the drugs, the doses, and how long the treatment is will be decided by the doctors by considering the type of cancer, how fat the cancer has spread, tumor size, tumor location, your age, other existing conditions, and how it might affect other functions.

How are doses determined?

The medication given are usually stronger than other medication, but if not given enough or given too much the effect might not be positive. To avoid side effects, doctors compute the dose based on the body weight of the patient or on the body surface area.

Children and the elderly will have different doses than the adults, but sensitivity to certain medications are also considered. The dose may also differ if the person is taking other medications, is overweight, is malnourished, is undergoing another cancer treatment, and has low blood cell count.

What is chemotherapy cycle?

The treatment is given at regular intervals. This is called the therapy cycle which mean that several doses may be given for a few days and then no medication for days or weeks so that the body has enough time to recover from the damage or side effects.

What are the methods of chemotherapy?

In chemotherapy, certain medications are given to target specific cell cycle phases. Alkalyting agents are non-specific but are active during the resting phase; plant alkaloids attack during the division of the cells; antitumor antibiotics attack during multiple phases; antimetabolites incorporate into the cell to stop division; topoisomerase inhibitors stop the topoisomerase enzymes; and antineoplastic which can be retinoids, antimicrotubule, etc.

What are the risks or side effects?

Common side effects of chemotherapy include fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, stomach pain, nerve damage, mouth or throat sores, diarrhea or constipation, loss of appetite, hair loss, vomiting and nausea, blood disorders, difficulty concentrating, and fertility issues.