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Peter Cerruti
440 South West End Blvd, RT 309
Quakertown  PA 18951
 Phone: 215-429-7273
Office Phone: 215-538-4400
Fax: 267-354-6992 
petecerruti@yahoo.com
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Peter Cerruti

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How to Create Your Own Outdoor Kitchen

June 13, 2017 12:36 am

An outdoor kitchen sounds like hours of warm-weather culinary fun. But while most of us would love a sleek, state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen, the price tag may not be doable for all. But that doesn’t mean we can’t cook and eat al fresco! Below are 5 tips for a makeshift version.

Grill upgrade. Skip the outdoor oven or stove for a nice grill. To up the versatility of your grill, consider getting a skillet top or griddle. Pancakes, anyone?

Prep space. To make it possible to prepare food in your outdoor kitchen, set up a prep station with an outdoor butcher’s block or table. If you can, place this station near your grill for ease of use.

Consider installing a sink. If you already have a hose hooked up near your outdoor eating area, it may not cost that much to have a sink installed so you can wash up easy. Hire a professional to get a quote.

Add seating. A large outdoor dining table or small cafe table will turn your DIY kitchen into an eat-in space. Looking for a space to hang? A loveseat and a few comfortable chairs will do the trick. Add an umbrella overhead for sunny days.

 Aesthetics matter. To have an outdoor kitchen that looks, well, like an outdoor kitchen, it’s important to tie your aesthetics together. Installing that outdoor butcher’s block? Choose a wood stain that matches your outdoor eating table. Section off the space with potted plants or slate patio floor so the area is clearly defined. String lights overhead for a magical vibe once the sun sets.

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6 Great Foods to Slim Down for Summer

June 13, 2017 12:36 am

Not surprisingly, summer’s bounty of fresh fruits and veggies can be your greatest ally in the drive to shed a few pounds. In fact, according one Harvard study, the right diet can be more instrumental in losing weight than spending extra time in the gym.

Nutritionists at WebMD suggest six ways to slim down – without worrying about portion size – by making the most of summer’s harvest:

Chilled soups – Refreshing and easy to make, broth and veggie-based cold soups like gazpacho or cucumber-dill make a satisfying lunch or can fill you up so you eat less at dinner. Get out your blender and find recipes online.

Watermelon – Since half of watermelon is made up of water, it can satisfy thirst as well as your sweet tooth. Eat as much as you want sliced or diced, turn it into a filling slushie, or combine it with other fruits in a salad.

Grilled veggies – An ample supply of grilled veggies, like onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, asparagus, and mushrooms can be the basis for vegetable pitas, veggie and goat cheese salads, veggie, ricotta and fresh herb pastas – or combine them with eggs in frittatas.

Salads – No recipes required. Just slice, dice and toss a combination of fruits, vegetables, low-fat cheese, and a handful of toasted nuts with some salad greens. Dress with a light raspberry vinaigrette, along with a whole-grain roll, and you have a meal in minutes. Add extra heartiness with canned beans or cooked quinoa.

Low and/or no-cal beverages – Stay full and satisfy your thirst with appealing drinks that shun a lot of sugar. Try a root beer or orange dream float made with a half cup of vanilla frozen yogurt in 12 ounces of diet root beer or orange soda (100 calories) – or 12 ounces of lemon sparkling water mixed with the juice of a lemon and 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, served over ice (35 calories.) A large iced skim Latte from Starbucks is just 110 calories and a white wine spritzer (5 ounces of white wine mixed with three ounces of lemon/lime seltzer water is 120 calories.

Fruity desserts – No need to skip dessert when you can have grilled pineapple, peaches or bananas with low-fat ice cream – or some frozen grapes or cherries.

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How to Protect Yourself from Door-to-Door Scams

June 13, 2017 12:36 am

While some door-to-door salespeople may be reputable, hard-working professionals, others are less ethical and looking to swindle you out of your signature on a contract. According to the Connecticut Better Business Bureau (BBB), such scammers are usually armed with a clipboard and some sort of identification. Before opening the door, insist they pass their identification information to you so that you can verify their legitimacy.

The BBB advises keeping an eye out for the following front-door frauds:

- Pavers will claim they have material left over from another job in the neighborhood and offer a "today only" cut-rate discount. According to the BBB, the “discount” is usually just a ploy to get you to seal the deal and the result is substandard labor and materials. You may also be asked to make a deposit. Once you do, workers may start the work and subsequently disappear with your money.

- Deceptive sales tactics are another common door-to-door tactic, the most common being trying to sign-up consumers with electricity wholesalers or alarm monitoring services. These scammers may try to convince you to switch by saying that the company that monitors your alarm system is out of business, when in fact, it is not.

- Beware of door-to-door contractors who may be unlicensed, uninsured and unqualified to do the work they offer. Roofing contractors may make false claims that major repairs are necessary or that the roof needs replacement.

- The BBB receives numerous complaints about door-to-door alarm salespeople who sell burglar alarms but fail to disclose terms of the monitoring contract, perform shoddy work and give inadequate instructions on how to use the system.

Here are some tips from the BBB to protect yourself from the above scams and others:

Avoid making an immediate decision to buy something or sign a contract for a service. Check out the company’s credentials before committing.  

Do your research. Check with the BBB to find out if the company the salesperson is representing actually exists, and is qualified, insured and licensed to do business in your state. A legitimate company or professional will gladly provide such proof, and give you as much time as you need to do your research and make a sound buying decision.

If you need work done, services or goods, select an accredited business yourself at bbb.org. This will allow you to see what other consumers' experience was like with the company or individual.

Remember that safety is paramount. Some door-knockers are simply trying to determine whether anyone is home, with the intent to break and enter. Don't allow anyone inside your home.  

Don’t hesitate to call the police when warranted. Tell police if there is anything suspicious about the seller, such as their inability to provide proper identification, refusal to leave your property when asked or other unusual behavior.

Having the above knowledge will keep you and your family safe for the summer.

Source: Connecticut Better Business Bureau

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5 Tips to Avoid Binge-Watching Guilt

June 10, 2017 12:36 am

(Family Features)--Dozens of streaming video providers are making it easier than ever to watch the TV programming you want when you want it, and exclusive programming released an entire season at a time is transforming the way Americans watch TV. The flip side of this convenience is a surge in binge-watching, which can have some negative side effects, including binge eating. When your favorite show is available back-to-back, it's easy to let substantial blocks of time get away as you watch "just one more" episode to follow the twists and turns of the plot. In fact, according to a recent survey by Dole, the average binge-watching session clocks in around 5 hours. The same survey found that more than two-thirds of people prefer healthy snacks to fuel their marathon viewing.

Treating yourself to an occasional binge session may give your brain a well-earned break, and it's easy to do many forms of exercise in front of the screen. The trick to keeping your binge-watching session in check and getting rid of the guilt is to exercise good habits when you head to the kitchen.

- Opt for snacks that include valuable vitamins and minerals.

- Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy ingredients so you can create quick and easy snacks in between episodes or during a commercial break.

- Look for quick solutions that help trim prep time and skip the cutting, peeling and mess.

- Avoid waste or spoilage with convenient, re-sealable lids that let you use what you need for a single serving and save the rest for later.

- Get creative to satisfy cravings. Instead of reaching for cookies or cake, dip fruit in melted chocolate and pop it in the freezer. Let it sit while you watch a few episodes of your favorite show and then enjoy.

Source: DOLE

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Top Tips for Moving Out of State

June 10, 2017 12:36 am

Many moves don’t just involve driving to a new spot across town. If you have to haul yourself and your belongings across state, you’re likely facing a massive move. Below are a handful of moving tips from North Dallas Moving and Storage to help you navigate your out-of-state move.

 Choose a licensed mover. Depending on the requirements of your state, most moving companies require an active certificate of motor carrier registration, while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates interstate movers. Make sure your moving company is licensed by these agencies.

Confirm BBB rating. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to verify the mover's track record of customer satisfaction and complaint resolution.

Obtain a written quote. Reputable moving companies will provide you with a written proposal and quote detailing the services to be provided, pricing and payment details.

Determine liability coverage and insurance. Verify the mover's liability coverage for damage or loss, and decide whether you wish to purchase additional transit insurance.

Take advantage of free moving resources. Experienced movers understand the concerns and challenges customers face when preparing for relocation, and many offer helpful information. For example, NDMS provides detailed moving tips, including moving guides, questions to qualify a moving company, pre-packing checklists, items to keep in possession during a move, and more.

Review customer feedback. It's always wise to find out what other customers have to say about the moving company. Look for testimonials on the mover's website, check public consumer review sites and see if the mover has earned any awards that reflect client satisfaction.Source: North Dallas Moving and Storage

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How Stocked is Your Home Hurricane Kit?

June 10, 2017 12:36 am

Weathering hurricane season is no fair-weather fun. From dragging the lawn furniture inside to stocking up on non-perishables, it’s important to be ready for high winds and power outages. According to Mercury Insurance, stocking a hurricane kit is another key safety solution for hurricane season.  

The company suggests you keep the following items handy:

- A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person), non-perishable food items and pet food, if applicable;
- A battery-powered or hand-crank radio (and extra batteries);
- A flashlight;
- A first aid kit;
- A whistle to signal for help;
- A can opener;
- Blankets;
- Pliers or a wrench to turn off utilities;
- $200 in cash in small bills, as power may be out, making ATMs, debit and credit cards unusable; andPrescriptions for you and your pets.

Source:  Mercury Insurance

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How to Tackle Family Tension When it Comes to Alzheimer's Disease

June 9, 2017 12:36 am

Alzheimer’s disease impacts an estimated 5.5 million Americans today. But when it comes to the family members impacted by the disease, that number bounces to 15 million. This includes partners, children, and other extended family who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

New findings from an Alzheimer's Association survey show that people greatly fear becoming a burden to their caregivers as they age. Despite this, many have not planned accordingly, and this (when combined with the stress of an Alzheimer's diagnosis) can be overwhelming for caretakers.  and the stress of caregiving – especially alone–can be extremely overwhelming.  

The Alzheimer's Association offers various tips for families of Alzheimer’s patients.

Lend an ear. Dealing with a progressive disease such as Alzheimer's can be stressful — and not everyone reacts the same way. Give each family member an opportunity to share their opinion. Avoid blaming or attacking each other, as this will only cause more hurt.

Divide and conquer. Make a list of responsibilities and address how much time, money and effort may be involved. Divide tasks according to family members' preferences and abilities. The Alzheimer's Association online Care Team Calendar can help you coordinate.

Talk it out. Discuss if current methods of care are working and if the needs of the person with Alzheimer's are being met; make modifications as needed. Plan for the challenges you can anticipate as the disease progresses.

Stick together. Support family members and connect with others who are dealing with similar situations.  

Seek outside support. Sometimes, an outside perspective can help the entire family take a step back and work through difficult issues. The Alzheimer's Association 24/7 multi-lingual Helpline (800.272.3900) is staffed with care consultants who can help anytime, day or night.

Source: The Alzheimer's Association

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Tips for Exercising in Warm Weather

June 9, 2017 12:36 am

Whether you’re a cycling junkie or a road runner, if you exercise outdoors, warmer weather will likely impact your summer fitness schedule. But when it comes to adjusting your workout for summer, you should do more than switch from pants to shorts. As summer draws near, people exercising outdoors – from newcomers to top athletes – should make adjustments or their workouts could suffer, says Marni Sumbal, a prominent exercise physiologist and board-certified sports dietitian.

Here are 5 of Sumbal's suggestions to train smart in hot weather:

Reduce the intensity, stay inside or work out during off-peak hours. For the first month of hot weather, scale back until your body adjusts to the heat. Pushing too hard too soon can lead to fatigue or injuries.

If you don't want to reduce the intensity, work out either early in the morning or later in the evening, when the sun is down. You can also spend at least part of the workout indoors.

Hydrate. You will sweat more in the summer, which can cause headaches, nausea or fatigue. During a 60-minute workout, drink 20 to 28 ounces of either water or a sports drink. Sports drinks can be especially helpful because they contain carbohydrates (Sumbal recommends consuming at least 30 to 60 grams) as well as electrolytes (consume at least 400 milligrams of sodium). Afterward, she suggests either tart cherry juice to help with inflammation or orange juice that quenches thirst and contains potassium.

Warm up. Do some dynamic stretches (movements while stretching) to activate the muscles, increase the blood flow and to get full range of motion.

Cool down. Take a cold bath (not ice) or a put a cold rag around your neck to reduce the body's temperature. This helps you recover quicker by lowering your heart rate and increasing your appetite.

Soak in Epsom salt. This repairs muscle damage and offsets delayed inflammation. About an hour after the cold shower, add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a lukewarm bath.

"We really want to make sure the magnesium is absorbed, so soak for 20 to 40 minutes," Sumbal says.

If a bath isn't an option, she recommends scrubbing Epsom salt into your skin during a shower.

Source: TriMarni Coaching and Nutrition

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How to Choose a New Air Conditioner

June 9, 2017 12:36 am

Looking for a new AC unit to cool those long summer days? There may be more involved than you think. Selecting the right air conditioner for your home requires an understanding of more than just price range. You also need to think about the unit’s power use, the size of the space it will be cooling, and more.  

Follow these steps from The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to choose the AC that's best for you:

Check your measurements: Figure out how much cooling power you need by determining the square footage of your room. Measure your window as well and take the measurements with you when you shop. Both portable and room air conditioners need to be connected to a window, and it's important to make sure it will fit before you bring your new AC unit home. Finally, if you're buying a portable air conditioner, consider whether the size of the unit is appropriate for the room.

Choose your capacity: Air conditioner capacity is measured in BTU (British thermal units). Check the unit labeling as you shop. You'll likely see a chart with BTU and the appropriate room size for cooling. Choose a size appropriate for the room or rooms you'll be cooling.  If you are placing the unit in a kitchen, sunny room, or room with high ceilings, you may need to size up.  Some manufacturers may also have capacity information available on its website.

Frigid features: Smart technology is being incorporated into portable air conditioners. Some units can be turned on or off via smartphone or tablet, so you can come home to a cooler space on a hot summer day. Others offer a "follow-me" function that measures the temperature both at the location of the unit and of the remote control. If you're sitting across the room from the unit and holding the remote control, the unit will take the temperature in the remote into account and adjust its output based on both temperatures. Other features you might find are programmable timers and alerts that tell you when the AC filter needs to be changed.

Source: AHAM,  www.aham.org.

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Your Health: Preventing Diabetes

June 8, 2017 12:36 am

Diabetes, a metabolic disease that causes the body to produce too little insulin, is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Insulin allows the glucose, or sugar, from the foods that you eat to enter your cells and become energy. Diabetics don’t produce enough insulin to make this happen, and the lack of insulin takes a toll on every organ in the body.

But scientists tell us that a daily diet including certain foods can stimulate the body’s manufacture of insulin, helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent a disease that is rapidly on the rise:

Whole grains – While the refined carbs in white bread and rice cause spikes in blood sugar, the bran and fiber in whole grains slow the breakdown of glucose. The lower glycemic load can dramatically reduce the risk of diabetes.

Carrots – Carrots are rich in the antioxidants called carotenoids. A study by University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that of 4,500 people tested over a 15-year span, those who had the highest levels of carotenoids in their blood cut their diabetes risk in half.

Green leafy vegetables – The study further found that veggies like spinach and kale, or even broccoli or cauliflower, can result in a 14 percent decrease in the risk of type 2 diabetes,  the most common type affecting adults.

Blueberries – The sweet berries have both insoluble and soluble fiber that help with blood sugar control and lowering blood glucose levels.

Sunflower seeds – They are a great source of copper, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, and zinc, and their fat content is also helpful in preventing diabetes – as is the magnesium in this tiny seed.

Beans – Legumes are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Because they digest slowly in your system, beans can help ensure that your blood sugar stays stable.

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