17 Amazing Cooking Hacks


A typical lemon contains 3 tbsp of juice. To maximise the amount you can squeeze, roll the fruit on a kitchen counter, applying light pressure. This bursts the tiny juice-filled cells.

Alternatively, blast for 20 seconds in a microwave.

Then cut lengthways rather than crosswise. You will get around three times more juice.


Put it in a plastic bag with a fresh celery stick and leave overnight. The loaf will slowly absorb the humidity from the celery, giving it a fresher taste and bounce. As the celery does not have a strong flavour, it won’t affect the taste of the bread.


Before chopping them, rub a little vegetable oil onto your hands. This creates a barrier which prevents your skin absorbing their fiery properties and aroma. Be warned, though — it may make the knife slippery. Also, the fastest way to de-seed a  chilli is to halve it lengthways then use a teaspoon to scrape the seeds out in one downwards stroke.


Before opening a bottle, rinse your champagne flutes with a small quantity of white wine. This will coat the glass and prevent over-exuberant mousse overspilling as you pour. An added bonus is that this will greatly speed up pouring a tray of glasses.
 Also, you can always rescue champagne or sparkling wine that’s going flat by dropping a raisin or two into the bottle. Initially, the raisins sink.
But then the few remaining bubbles will stick to their rough surface, increasing their buoyancy and lifting them up. When the raisins reach the surface, the bubbles pop, making the champagne seem as fresh and fizzy as when it was first poured. The flavour will not be affected.


With all its lumps and bumps, root ginger can be tricky to peel. The solution is not to use a peeler or knife but to gently rub the skin off using the back of a teaspoon. This makes it easy to follow every contour and minimises waste.


To help vegetables maintain their colour throughout cooking, add a small squeeze of lemon juice to the pan. This is particularly effective with red veg (such as red cabbage) and white ones (such as turnips), as the acidity helps preserve their pigments or flavonoids. However, this won’t work for greens, which contain different pigments — chlorophyll. They will turn a drab olive colour when put in contact with lemon juice.


Cutting cherry tomatoes individually is a bore. Instead, find two similarly-sized Tupperware tub lids, sit the tomatoes on one and place the other on top to form a kind of tomato sandwich. While holding the top lid down firmly to keep them in place, slice through all the tomatoes horizontally in one go with a sharp knife. Easy.
Find two similarly-sized Tupperware tub lids, sit the tomatoes on one and place the other on top to form a kind of tomato sandwich. While holding the top lid down firmly to keep them in place, slice through all the tomatoes horizontally in one go with a sharp knife


It may sound unlikely, but water that’s been boiled will freeze faster than water straight from the tap. The reason is something called the Mpemba effect, named after a Tanzanian man Erasto Mpemba who first brought this to the attention of physicists.


Thump the whole bulb with the base of a saucepan to separate the cloves. Then place them in a metal bowl and put a similar one on top. Give the cloves a hearty shake  and they should come out perfectly peeled.


Simple! Just add a peeled and quartered potato. It will act as a sponge, absorbing the excess  salt and won’t leave a flavour. However, remove the potato before serving as it’ll be far too brackish to eat. Adding a cup of water or a pinch of brown sugar are alternatives.


If you burn your rice, don’t despair. Just remove from the heat and place a piece of white bread on top of it for about ten minutes. This will extract and absorb the burnt flavour. The rice should be fine to eat, but be careful to leave the blackened pieces on the bottom of the pan when serving.


If a soup, sauce or gravy is too fatty or greasy, turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes. Much of the fat will then float  to the top. Next, place a few ice cubes on the surface. The grease and oil in close proximity to the ice will solidify and congeal, making it easier to scoop out. But be ready to remove it quickly, as the ice cubes won’t stay frozen for long.


If your hands smell after chopping onions or garlic, rub them on a stainless steel spoon which will absorb the odour. The sulphur from the plants is attracted to and binds with one or more of the metals in the steel. Of course, wash the spoon afterwards.


If you want to re-use cooking oil without the taste and smells of what was previously cooked in it, pour it into a frying pan and heat on a low setting. Carefully add some sliced root ginger, letting the pieces soak for 15 minutes. At the right temperature, the slices should turn golden-brown very slowly. When you scoop them out, they will have absorbed any flavours and odours.


To make cottage cheese, creme fraiche or sour cream last longer, store the container upside down in the fridge. This will create a vacuum effect that inhibits the growth of bacteria, which causes food to spoil. Obviously ensure it’s a tight-fitting lid first.


simply put a long-handled spoon into the saucepan as it heats. The spoon acts to break the surface tension - allowing the steam underneath to escape smoothly without an eruption
Simply put a long-handled spoon into the saucepan as it heats. The spoon acts to break the surface tension - allowing the steam underneath to escape smoothly without an eruption
Milk often boils over and spills. This is because when it heats, the water in its structure starts evaporating from the surface. As a result, the  remaining fat and proteins concentrate into a thicker layer at the top of the pot, which eventually becomes so  thick that water vapour rising through the milk can’t break through very easily. Instead, it gets trapped, causing it to explode violently. To avoid this, simply put a long-handled spoon into the saucepan as it heats. The spoon acts to break the surface tension — allowing the steam underneath to escape smoothly without an eruption. 


Peel and cut the onion in a large bowl of water or under a running tap. This will prevent the fumes which cause your eyes to water from escaping into the air. You can also put lime juice on your knife before chopping. The acid reacts with chemical compounds of the onion, with the result that it releases less gas. Another way is to chew gum, as this makes you breathe through your mouth and not your nose, which will help reduce the gas affecting your tear ducts. Reposted from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2604736/How-THREE-TIMES-juice-lemons-brilliantly-simple-kitchen-tips-change-life.html


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Scientists have found a new method of fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria
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Stress often causes bacteria to form biofilms. Stress can manifest as a physical barrier, ultraviolet light, or a toxic substance such as antibiotics. The formation of these biofilms takes from several hours to days, and they can be of different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures depending on the type of bacteria. Being in a biofilm state protects them from harmful substances in the environment – biofilms have a unique outer wall with different physical and chemical properties than their individual cells. They can coordinate metabolism, slow down their growth, and even form an impenetrable barrier of wrinkles and creases. This is one of the ways they achieve high antibiotic resistance. Researchers from the United Kingdom recently studied the transition of the Hay Bacillus bacterium from a free-moving swarm to a biofilm as a defense mechanism and published what they did to combat its antibiotic-resistant properties in eLife.

To determine if their test strain was behaving like the others, they first ran stress tests on them. They tested the bacteria’s response to the physical barrier, ultraviolet light, and antibiotics. The addition of a physical barrier led to the transition of bacteria from one layer to a multilayer layer, followed by an increase in cell density and the formation of multilayer islands near the barrier. Later, wrinkles formed on the islands near the barrier in the place where they began to appear initially.
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When they applied ultraviolet light to the swarm, they again observed a drop in cell speed and an increase in density. And after the scientists added a large dose of the antibiotic kanamycin, the bacterial cells formed a biofilm. The researchers then developed a strategy to combat this bacterial biofilm. They added kanamycin to the environment of a new batch of swarming bacterial cells and watched as the biofilm began to form. They then re-injected the antibiotic at a much higher dose than the first, just before the biofilm formation was complete. As a result, the partially formed biofilm was destroyed and bacterial cells died. This shows that antibiotic-resistant bacteria lose their resistance to antibiotics when they undergo a phase transition, right before going into the biofilm, where they will become much more resistant. Thus, with the correct administration of antibiotics, the bacteria can be attacked in their most vulnerable state and destroyed. The researchers believe that similar transitions from swarm to biofilm occur in other bacterial species. Their research may pave the way for finding more effective ways to control clinically relevant bacteria. For example, Salmonella enterica, which spreads into the bloodstream and is transmitted through contaminated food. Or Pseudomonas aeruginosa with multiple drug resistance, which after surgery causes infections in the blood, lungs (pneumonia) and other parts of the body and spreads in hospitals.
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To write a diploma easier, you need to find a middle ground: the topic should not be “hackneyed” or too rare.
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Otherwise, it will be difficult to find aspects that are not covered by anyone and, on the contrary, to select materials for development, analysis, argumentation, comparison.
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The next stage is complex and consists in defining goals, objectives, research methods, selection and systematization of relevant literature and parallel drawing up of a thesis plan, which is a preliminary outline of the structure and content of future student scientific work. When familiarizing with the sources of information, one should take into account their novelty. The periods of obsolescence of educational literature are established by order of the Ministry of Education and Science No. 1623 of April 11, 2001: for a general humanitarian, socio-economic profile and special disciplines – five years; for general professional, natural science, mathematical subjects – ten years. The measures of relevance do not relate to sources of in-depth fundamental study of the issue. It does not stipulate the order and terms after which research publications: articles, dissertations, reports, etc., are considered outdated, but university regulatory controllers, when checking their thesis for compliance with standards, are almost always guided by the requirements set for textbooks. For informational purposes, no one forbids using them, but in order to avoid sending the finished diploma for revision, it is better to include only works no older than five years in the list of used literature. In January 2017, the order of the Ministry of Education and Science entered into force No. 1651, canceling the effect of orders No. 1623 and No. 133, which regulated the provision of university libraries with scientific and educational literature (it was in them that the terms of its obsolescence were prescribed). The new document aroused a lot of questions from the experts of the academic community, and the official answers of the department to them did not clarify the situation, so teachers still prefer to adhere to the old standards, determining the “expiration date” of the sources used to write the thesis. Algorithm of writing The scheme of work on a diploma is standard for all students – according to a single algorithm, graduates who write both project and research FQPs go to future defense. First of all, you need to decide on a supervisor, then choose a topic. It is approved before the start of the pre-diploma practice, to which the student is sent with the assignment for the FQP signed by the head of the department.
The structure of the thesis According to the generally accepted rules for writing a diploma, its main part should consist of three chapters: First (at least three paragraphs). Written on the basis of a synthesis and analysis of theoretical information gleaned from selected sources; reveals the central concepts, the essence of a phenomenon or process, different points of view on the object and subject of research. Second (at least three subsections). Assigned to factual material and analysis of the problem; contains statistical information with quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the phenomenon under consideration, a statement of the identified trends and shortcomings in its state and development. Third (the minimum number of paragraphs is three). Dedicated to developing a solution to a problem. His diploma student proposes on the basis of the second chapter with scientific justification, for which the theoretical provisions of the first are involved. The chapters should be approximately equal in length. At the final stage, a conclusion, an introduction, a final list of used literature are drawn up and a block with annexes is completed. How to properly draw up a thesis In student memos and on their official websites, all universities must post detailed methodological recommendations containing requirements for a diploma. They indicate: volume – how many pages in the diploma should be; structure – how many chapters to divide the study, what to write in the introduction and conclusion; what materials should be included in the attachments and how to number them; technical regulations – where to put down, from which sheet to start pagination, what font to use for text and headings, how to indent the paragraph and margins, line spacing; the number of sources in the bibliographic list; permissible percentage of uniqueness when checking for plagiarism. Most universities and institutes include in methodological collections: a template for the title page; forms of reviews, annotations, reviews; sample bibliography; examples of the design of references, footnotes, formulas, tables, figures, diagrams, photos. It remains only to carefully check with the university standard and follow the recommendations, since the normative control will be meticulously carried out precisely according to the points of the manual, and only then relying on GOSTs. Average requirements for a thesis: Volume – 50-70 pages, excluding attachments and, as a rule, bibliography. The number of sources is at least 40, and 70% are publications not older than five years. The bibliographic list is drawn up in accordance with GOST 7.80-2000, 7.1-2003, 7.0.5-2008, 7.0.1-2011. Times New Roman in black, 14th for text, 15th for subheadings, 16th for headings. The interval is 1.5. Margins – at least 2 cm to the left, bottom and top; 1.5 cm – on the right. Printing is only one-sided. The standard of uniqueness of the diploma: humanities – 80%, exact – 75%.
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8 effective ways to boost memory
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Like any other ability, memory can be trained and developed. The main thing is to choose the right exercise program.
Remembering the name of an actor or finding the keys left in the evening can sometimes be difficult. It takes a lot of effort to recover the information you need. Forgetting is a natural process that is designed to unload the nervous system from unclaimed information, to protect it from overstrain. But increased forgetfulness can significantly complicate life. It can be caused by lack of sleep, stress, addictions, or information overload.

If this problem is not related to injury or illness, it is realistic to solve it on your own. Memory can be developed and improved like any other ability. To activate its potential, regular exercise is necessary, as in sports or music. And vice versa – in their absence, the ability of the brain to memorize will decrease. Let’s talk about the most effective ways to help strengthen memory and improve brain function.

1. Create associations and visualizations

It will be easier to remember new things if you connect the unknown with the already existing knowledge. The essence of the method of associations is to combine the known and the unknown into a single history, to mark new information with familiar markers. So the information received can be easily remembered and quickly reproduced at the right time. With the help of associative parallels, it is easy to learn road signs, passwords and dates, phone numbers and credit cards.

In 1980, the Olympic Games opened in Moscow, and 600 years before that, the Battle of Kulikovo took place. The number 5813 can be represented as a numerical expression 5 + 8 = 13. In this case, images are remembered even more efficiently. Better if they are unusual and even absurd. For example, the figure eight resembles a woman with large hips and voluminous breasts, and the figure five is a circus unicycle. In your mind, draw a fat lady who buys such a bike and rides it around the city.
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Such illustrations should be large, three-dimensional, color and as detailed as possible. The skill of coding into visual images is trained and quickly automated. In the future, it will not be difficult to restore in memory both these images, and the meaning that is embedded in them. Once again putting the keys in this or that place, imagine a flower blooming here. In the morning you will definitely not forget where exactly the flower grew in your house, and you will quickly find the right thing.
2. Learn poetry and read aloud

The time-tested method is memorizing poems. This is not about mindless cramming, but about understanding the meaning, its conscious perception. Make it a rule to teach one little piece every week. Gradually increase the volume of the material. It will be easier to remember if you break it down into several parts in advance and teach it in quatrains. You can do this anywhere: at lunch, while walking or in transport. Don’t be afraid of a lot of repetitions. Over time, you will notice that it takes less and less time to memorize.

The effect will be even better if you take the works of those authors whose collections do not interest you. It will take more energy to learn such verses. Try to delve deeply into their content and reflect on the artistic techniques that the author used. Poetry can be recited in front of a mirror or recorded from memory. Reading aloud is equally useful. It helps to improve diction, intonation and develops auditory memory. If you don’t like poetry, learn the lyrics.
3. Try to remember forgotten

It is not necessary to take the shopping list prepared before going to the store. On the one hand, such a list will help not to miss anything and at the same time not to buy too much. On the other hand, its absence will have a positive effect on the state of memory. Do not buy something this time – by the next trip you will have an incentive to better memorize items from the list and keep them in mind. Forgot someone’s name, phone number, password or recipe ingredients? Try to remember. Take the time and take a few minutes to do this instead of looking for an answer in your smartphone or notebook. This is great for strengthening memory.
4. Master foreign languages

You can learn poems and songs not only in your native language. Don’t know a foreign language – start mastering it. It is one of the best ways to activate brain cells and enhance memory capacity. If you memorize a few words every day, then after a couple of months you can feel a noticeable result. Learning a new language develops the ability to structure, analyze and memorize information. In addition, it is a good prevention of age-related diseases. For example, Alzheimer’s disease. The most popular way to memorize foreign vocabulary is cards with words and expressions. This technique is based precisely on visual associations.
5. Remember the events of the day

Another way to activate memory is to plunge into the past day and remember all its events. Before going to bed, try to reconstruct snippets of dialogue, images of people, their facial expressions and gestures, every phone call and meals that made up your diet. Try to recreate the sequence of all actions from the moment of awakening. Provide these pictures in as much detail as possible. At the same time, it is important to connect imagination, visual, auditory and olfactory memory.

If it’s boring to remember the day in the form of imaginary illustrations, keep a diary and regularly write events on paper. It is recommended to repeat the same with the films watched. After the next movie show, scroll through the plot in your head again. Remember not only the main moments, but also the dialogues of the characters, the details of their clothes, the interiors of the shooting locations. It is even more useful to retell the content of films, plays, read articles and books to your friends. This not only trains memory well, but also develops speech, enriches vocabulary.
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