The honeymoon phase in your relationship is over. Now what? – National

by BBG Hub

If you’ve ever been in a romantic relationship, chances are you’ve been through the honeymoon phase.

It’s feelings of missing your partner throughout the day, wanting to spend every second with them and still feeling butterflies in your gut every time you see them.

Toronto LGBTQ+ matchmaker Claire AH tells Global News the honeymoon phase often happens in the beginning of your relationship, regardless of whether you are married or not.

READ MORE: More millennial couples are going to marriage counselling early on – here’s why

“It’s characterized by intense feelings of infatuation brought on by changes to brain chemistry such as increased levels of dopamine,” she said.

“They tend to level out in a year to two years.”

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She adds that the honeymoon phase itself doesn’t necessarily put pressure on people, and most couples experience this type of romantic love in the beginning.

“People often think that when everything calms down, the love is gone,” she said. “In actuality, we are able to explore a deep, rich long-term connection.”

When it ends

All good things come to an end, but for couples, the honeymoon phase ending doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Speaking with Bustle, Jonathan Bennett, certified counsellor and founder of Double Trust Dating, says the phase ends when partners lose some of their “newness.”

“Although it sounds negative, the ending of the honeymoon phase can be positive. It allows you to both see each other openly and honestly and decide if the relationship is worth continuing,” he said.

READ MORE: 9 old-fashioned marriage tips that still work today that every couple should follow

“In addition, you can prolong the passion and happiness; it just takes more work. If you’re dating a great person, [they] should be more than willing to put in that effort.”

There are clear signs when the phase ends, Bennett continued, adding that people often start noticing their partner’s negative traits.

“You’re so in love that you are blind to your partner’s faults. However, as the honeymoon phase ends, you begin to more clearly see your partner, warts and all. For example, the little things that used to be ‘cute’ might quickly become annoying.”

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Others will feel the passion in the relationship starts to fade.

“However, as the honeymoon phase draws to a close, you feel less excitement about your partner, and this includes between the sheets,” he told the site.

Why do we love momentum?

Claire says we should enjoy every aspect of the honeymoon phase.

“Enjoy the honeymoon period, but don’t devalue the trust, intimacy and mutual respect that comes after it,” she said. “Temper the feelings of security by still trying new things together, allowing each other space to be yourselves and to do your own things, and keep time to really connect.”

She says the intense, almost “obsessively limerent view of love in pop culture” is very different than what we experience in our own relationships.

“[It] is very unlike the established long-term connections we see in relationships outside of the honeymoon period so we barely recognize it as love,” she said. “We think the spark is gone when our brains have just moved on from one phase of love to the next.”

READ MORE: Stuck in a sexless relationship? What it could mean and how to fix it

If you’re feeling like the end of the honeymoon phase is approaching or you’re already past the phase, there are ways to keep the romance in your relationship alive, Claire says.

“You can make sure to value novelty/adventure together, to spend quality time together without distraction and to make sure to keep aspects of your life apart from one another to enjoy the comfort while not succumbing to doing the same thing every night and basically melding together,” she said.

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It doesn’t take much to keep things interesting in a relationship.

“Research indicates that these are real things we can do to maintain relationship satisfaction.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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12 of the biggest cooking mistakes that can ruin your meal – National

by BBG Hub

We all love getting kitchen tips, those little tricks we should be doing to make us better cooks. But sometimes, it’s the things we should stop doing that matter.

Here are a dozen common kitchen mistakes and how to easily correct them:

Not reading the recipe all the way through

Before you start cooking, make sure you a) have all the ingredients, b) think through the timing of the steps and c) look up directions that might be confusing.

READ MORE: From chicken to tofu, how to marinate just about anything

This way, you don’t find yourself staring at the recipe in dismay when the words “marinate overnight” or “chill for at least four hours” pop up at the same moment your kids yell: “What’s for dinner?”

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Using too small a tool

Ever try blending dough in too small a bowl? Transferring a casserole into a too-tight baking dish? Chopping a pound of spinach on a tiny cutting board? Using a paring knife to dismantle a squash? Bigger is mostly better when it comes to kitchen prep. It means less mess, less overflow in the oven and, often, more safety.

Not prepping ingredients

As you get more comfortable in the kitchen, you will learn to multitask so you are mincing fresh herbs while the chopped onions are browning. But if you’re still getting your kitchen sea legs, have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you begin cooking.

Getting children engaged and enthused in the kitchen

Getting children engaged and enthused in the kitchen

The French call this mis en place, or everything in its place. It means that when the recipe says, “add onions, garlic and oregano to the pan,” the onions are chopped, the garlic is minced and the oregano leaves are pulled from the stem before you start cooking any of them.

Working with a dull knife

Sharp knives are safer than dull ones that slip and slide. If you don’t have a knife-sharpening tool or feel intimidated by the task, “there are lots of stores and services that can help you out,” says Alison Cayne, founder of Haven’s Kitchen cooking school in New York City.

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“You are not expected to know how to sharpen yourself!”

READ MORE: Why aren’t Canadians cooking anymore?

Many kitchen stores, like Williams-Sonoma or Sur la Table, will sharpen knives, and you can look for other places online. You might even be able to get your knives picked up and dropped off.

Fiddling with the food as it cooks

“Leave it be!” says Cayne. “So many people feel the need to poke and stir and flip way too early. Let your meat char on the grill before trying to flip it. Let your broccoli sear in the pan before tossing.”

Only when food has some sustained time up against direct heat will it brown and caramelize.

Taking the suggested cooking time on the package as gospel

“When I cook pasta at home, I never follow the cooking times on the package. I generally cook it two minutes less. This way, after you strain it and it sits a little, it won’t overcook,” says Bill Telepan, executive chef at Oceana Restaurant in New York.

Cooking gourmet meals in tiny kitchens

Cooking gourmet meals in tiny kitchens

“Even better,” he says, “if you put slightly undercooked pasta directly into the sauce and let it simmer for a minute or two, it will flavour the pasta better.”

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Remember to account for “carry-over cooking” — the fact that when you take food from the heat, it will continue to cook. Carry-over cooking is often discussed with meat since meat’s internal temperature will continue to rise even after you pull it from a hot pan.

Pork chops can go from just done and juicy to dry and tough. But carry-over cooking also applies to lots of foods, including baked goods and vegetables. Roasted asparagus that comes out of the oven tender can get too soft upon sitting so pull it out a few minutes before it’s reached the doneness you are looking for.

Cutting meat before it’s had a chance to rest

Allowing meat and poultry to sit for a while after it is removed from the stove, grill or oven not only lets it finish cooking but ensures that the juices stay inside where they belong.

READ MORE: Are these popular meal kits worth your money?

When meat cooks, its protein fibres contract, and if you cut into it right away, they won’t have had a chance to relax and reabsorb the juices. This is why you might cut into a steak right off the grill and see it perfectly cooked to a beautiful rare or medium-rare, and then a few minutes later, it seems to have lost its rosy hue, and all its juices are on the cutting board.

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Let thick steaks rest eight to 10 minutes before cutting. Big roasts or whole birds should rest between 20 and 30 minutes before carving. This may seem like a long time, but rest assured the meat will still be warm.

Getting distracted

Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine Magazine for over 20 years and author of Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen, says that after working with numerous chefs and experts, she’s learned some things.

Get from stove to table faster with these cooking hacks

Get from stove to table faster with these cooking hacks

“Here’s what I learned not to do: don’t get distracted. Don’t answer your email, help your kid with homework or catch up on the news,” Cowin said.

“When you’re distracted, that’s when the pine nuts burn, the butter blackens, the caramel hardens, the chicken dries out, the meal gets ruined.”

Seasoning the dish only once

Don’t just salt the onions you are sautéing for the sauce and call it a day. Conversely, don’t make the whole sauce recipe and add salt at the end. Add a bit of salt and adjust other seasonings as you build the dish, tasting as you go, if possible.

Forgetting to salt the cooking water

Add salt to the water — whether for pasta, vegetables, poaching shrimp or chicken — until it actually tastes salty. Your food won’t absorb all this salt by a long shot, but it will become seasoned and more flavourful.

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READ MORE: How Canadians are keeping cooking traditions alive

For pasta, grains or some vegetables like potatoes, this really makes a difference, as the starch is absorbing the salted water as it cooks.

Skimping on the time it takes to fully preheat your oven

The beep indicating your oven has reached the desired temperature is probably a bit premature, says Dorie Greenspan, author of the cookbook Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook.

“An oven repair person once told me that when the light on my oven indicated that it had reached temperature, I should wait another 15 minutes before putting in whatever I was baking,” Greenspan said.

“The oven needs that time to be truly at temperature and to be able to hold its temperature when you open the door. This is particularly important with cookies because they bake for such a short time.”

She advises keeping a thermometer in your oven.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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