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2014-12-09_162137

2014-12-09_162159

2014-12-09_162210

We all love the smell of freshly baked bread, nothing quite beats it. It always reminds me of my mother when I was a little girl, she loved to bake bread, maybe that’s why I like to bake bread. Sadly though my new job means more hours in the office and less time at home. I love my job but I miss baking. However, I still wanted to enjoy the taste of homemade bread and so therefore made the decision to buy a bread maker. That way I would have the best of both worlds.

The first decision I had to make was what brand to choose? There are so many different makes on the market. I asked friends and family for their advice and the name that kept popping up was that of panasonic. So a panasonic bread maker it was to be. I just didn’t know what particular maker.

That was the time to hit the internet, in order to find a good bread maker review that told me what the best bread maker would be to suit my needs. Budget was not a particular problem, I just needed a fairly large machine that I could pre programme and which would make me a decent loaf of bread.

I firstly checked out the panasonic website. This listed all of their available bread makers with customer reviews. Each bread maker was also given a star rating that helped me in my choice.
I then visited Amazon.com in order to read what panasonic bread makers they had available. Again customer reviews and star ratings were given.

By consulting both of these websites I was able to find the best bread maker for me. My advice is to always read those customer reviews, as they help you in your decision making process. You therefore get the best that is available to match both your needs and budget. I am so glad that I took the time to read reviews as I now have the perfect bread maker.

chef knives
Here are 4 tips to choose a chef knife.

Size:

For most tasks in the kitchen an All purpose knife will do the job well. An 8 inch knife is the most practical for most jobs, including cutting vegetable and small cuts of meat. A 10 inch or a 6 inch knife can be used if you want a little bit more specialization for the task. For cutting hard vegetables use a bigger knife

Weight:

Will you be using the knife for the whole day? 5 hrs? 30 mins? Imagine using a heavy chopping knife the whole day. If you don’t want to tire out before the end of your shift consider using lighter knives. The lack of weight can mostly be compensated by keeping the blade sharp. But there is another school of thought where chefs use heavy knives because it feels right.

End of the day, it is about your personal preference.

Handle:

Wooden handle or fiber? Or some other material like steel. Depending on your preference for the “feel” of the knife, choose a handle. What ever handle you choose, try to select a knife with full tang as it provides a good balance to the knife.

Sharpness:

Every knife is different. Some hold their sharpness for a long time. Some need to be constantly sharpened and honed and loose their shape because of that. Try to sharpen your knife at least once a day to maintain the quality of cuts and keep your fingers safe. A sharp knife is a safe knife.

Related: http://www.clarifiedbetter.com/

An Aerobed air mattress might not come off as the best buy for you or your family, but consider all the benefits to getting the best air mattress you can. An aerobed mattress is basically a large, inflatable bed that is mainly used for guests and camping trips. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and elevations you can think of. Aerobed air mattresses even come in children in mind by having the middle of the bed deprecated to that child does not roll off the side. With all the good and advancements they have made to air mattresses, can the best aerobed air mattress really be your permanent mattress? The answer is most definitely yes and there are many good reasons as to why!

For instance, think about when you first moved in to your house and the installation of the beds in there. An average size family in the US is 4 to 5 people which mean 4 to 5 beds! A regular mattress can be quite heavy and bulky, making it difficult to move where you want it. Now with the best Aerobed air mattress at your disposal you can assemble the rest of your room as you see fit and simply carry a small piece of plastic to the spot you want the bed, inflate and enjoy! Also think of getting a large mattress upstairs with a tight stair well to maneuver through.

After that situation you’d be very happy with the best Aerobed air mattress you could find! Further-more, if you don’t plan on living in one location for a long period of time or you like to redecorate your room often the air mattress is easily moved and repositioned! Finally, since you can deflate an air mattress it will also save you on time, room, a price of moving and or storing the mattress!

Box spring mattresses are only hurting your back with awful and inconvenient pressure points which cause you to lose sleep at night. Have you ever heard of a lumpy air mattress? My guess is no, this is because as long as you keep your best Aerobed mattress full of air, it will give good support as well have never have lumps or pressure points that keep you tossing and turning when you really need sleep!

Aerobed air mattresses come in various sizes including: twin, full, queen, king, elevated twin, elevated full, elevated queen, elevated king, and roll away bed. They come in various colors which allow you to get the best Aerobed mattress that suite your needs and color scheme of a room!

Also; not like with regular clothe mattress that if you spill on it, it will stained and seep into the fabric of the mattress. With an Aerobed air mattress all you need to do is remove the sheets, wash them like normal, take your air mattress outside, wash it with water, and let it dry. An Aerobed air mattress is that simple!

So why not try your luck with an educated decision and get yourself the best Aerobed air mattress possible today!

brewing
Before starting each cup, the head of the espresso machine must be flushed, according to most espresso machine reviews. This clears any old coffee from the screen, and allows fresh water to flow.

Flushing for 3-5 seconds should be enough for E61 Brew Group equipped machines, even less for double boilers.

After inserting the portafilter with tamped grounds into the machine, turn to make sure it is properly secured.

Once the extraction process begins, you will see a stream that is thin and dark. As it moves through the process, the stream will lighten and thicken a bit.

If you see a pale, almost transparent stream, the brewing process should be finishing up. This should take around 25 seconds. If it takes more or less time, adjust your grinder accordingly.

Ideally, a thin layer of crema will appear on the top of your cup to indicate that the pull has been successful. This crema will only last for about a minute, revealing the freshness of the beverage.

If you see a blond stream as you are beginning the pull, this is known as “channeling.” This is not good, as water is forcing a hole through the grinds, leading to a severely under-extracted shot.

A single shot of espresso or a “solo” is generally one fluid ounce (30 ml), while a double or “doppio” is usually two fluid ounces (60 ml). A triple or “triplo” rounds out the measurements for standard shots at the three fluid ounce mark (90 ml).

These shots use a proportionate quantity of coffee grounds, around 7-8, 14-16, and 21-24 grams respectively.

The single shot is considered the classic shot volume, being the greatest amount that could effectively be drawn using the older spring lever machines, although the double is now considered to be the standard volume.

Once you get into more advanced espresso brewing techniques, you will find that the taste, texture, and quantity can also be affected by the extraction length or the amount of time over which the espresso is pulled.

This is often confused with the size of standard espresso shots, but the terminology actually refers to the amount of heated water that is allowed to pass through the puck (another name for the coffee grounds held in the portafilter basket) for any given quantity of grounds.

However, merely adjusting the time that the shot is pulled may result in under (weak and/or sour) or over (bitter) extraction. Instead of the amount or weight of grinds being adjusted as in the single/double/triple examples, the particle size of the grounds is modified at the grinder to dial in the espresso pull to the “sweet spot.”

The length of the shot is then adjusted based off of the grind level, to get the taste that is desired.

This technique can produce at least four different types of espresso beverages. The first three include the ristretto, the normale, and the lungo.

The ristretto is believed to be the absolute best and is the smallest portion of pure espresso at just three-quarters of an ounce to one fluid ounce. This drink is generally a 1:1 ratio of coffee grounds to water.

A normale is around two fluid ounces, usually a 1:2 ratio. A lungo is usually a three to four fluid ounce serving, and is normally a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio.

To reiterate as this can be confusing, the grind level of the coffee grounds is fine-tuned, with the ristretto receiving a much finer grind than that of the lungo, with the normale being somewhere in the middle.

A fourth type, one that is much more rare, is the caffe crema. It its generally 4-8 fluid ounces, featuring a much coarser grind than the standard ristretto, normale, or lungo.

Adapted from THE BASICS OF MAKING ESPRESSO: TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR BREWING from the Foodal

I was told by friends that copper cored stainless steel cookware sets were the best available in the market when it came to selecting cookwares. I had an aluminum core stainless steel set, and was quite content with it until a couple of months ago when the pans started overheating and developing hot spots. Food would get burnt more often. That’s when I decided I needed to change my set. I got looking at the best rated cookware sets of different materials to know if indeed the brand they had suggested was the best or if something else was there that was better than that.

Copper I knew had absolutely excellent thermal conductivity. Cooking in a copper vessel would assure that the food would cook evenly. I simply needed to avoid acidic or alkaline food in copper cookware since that would leave a metallic after taste to the food. Also, I needed to be careful when cooking light-colored foods in copper since they would tend to have small grey streaks on them as evidence of some copper compounds being stuck to them. The best alternative would be stainless steel with copper core, since steel by itself was a relatively poorer conductor of heat compared to copper, to get the best of both worlds! (Related article: Cookware buying advice)

stainless-steel-set

Since I knew that much, choosing my cookware set online from the best rated cookware sets of different materials was a rather easy task. It was the most reputed brand; in fact they were the pioneers to have started cookware sets with copper and aluminum cores. The aluminum option was cheaper, but if you were ready to shell out a few bucks more, the copper core was far superior than anything else!

I have had the cookware set for little over a year now! It works perfectly. The heat is distributed evenly, food is cooked better, and the pans heat up real fast! Only thing though, I still prefer my traditional cast iron skillets. Call it blind faith or whatever, I believe they cook braised meat like nothing else, not even the ones that came with this cookware set. I simply cannot throw them away, though I have replaced all pieces from the old set and use the new pots and pans now, but the new skillets have been kept aside in the cabinet for that rainy day when I simply need to replace my old ones!

If there is a useful appliance that you need to have in your kitchen this holiday season, it is a toaster. But the fact that you have money to invest in one doesn’t automatically mean that you will get the best rated toaster. This is solely because there are a lot of important things that you need to have at your finger tips before you embark on selecting a toaster from the huge collection of toasters on the market. The other important thing you need to know is the best toasters on the market. As renowned analysts we have reviewed more than 200 toasters . These are some of the toasters that we are recommending to you today.

toaster

1. Cuisinart CPT-122

Of all the toasters we have reviewed since we started reviewing toasters, this is the most affordable toaster that we have reviewed so far. The 2-slice toaster comes in a high-lift carriage and it also features 7-browning levels. It features reheat, defrost, reheat and bagel settings. It features a 1  year limited warranty.

2. WestBend Muffin TEM4500W

The 700-watt toaster toasts bread, warm pre-cooked meals and cook eggs. With its wide slots, the toaster is spacious enough to toasts up to 4-slices of bread irrespective of their size and shape. It comes with 4-toast settings for you to select the setting that will help you make your breakfast sandwiches with ease. It comes with an auto shutoff system and pop ups to indicate when toasting is done. It features a black-stainless steel sturdy construction that is built for lasting durability.

3. Hamilton Beach TR14000SB

The 880-watt toaster comes with a smudge-proof brushed finish and versatile functions such as bagel, defrost and cancel functions. It comes with extra-wide slots that are ideal for toasting up to 5 slices of bread consistently and simultaneously. It further comes with 7 –toast settings and an auto shutoff system. It boasts of a 3-year limited warranty.

Learn how to make toast
Toaster story

kitchen-knives-set

When I got married, I received many beautiful kitchen gifts, including silverware, china, table linens, and a complete cookware set. But my favorite gift was a set of kitchen knives from my best friend. I had no idea that a good set of kitchen knives could inspire me to learn how to cook wonderful meals.

I rarely cooked before I got married, and usually just grabbed some fast food with my friends after work. My new husband, however, preferred to relax at home after a long day, and encouraged me to try new recipes with his help. Years before, he had taken a knife skills course at the local community college and learned that there are many types of kitchen knives available to help with various types of food preparation. Now I know the difference between a paring knife (used for peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables) and a bread knife (with serrated edges to cut through crusty loaves.) I use a chef’s knife for daily chopping and slicing, and a boning knife to prepare boneless chicken breasts. I even invested in some other kitchen knives, including a Nakiri knife, which is a type of knife popular in Japan for cutting vegetables.

My husband and I will often stand in the kitchen and discuss our day while we are chopping and dicing the ingredients for our dinner. We’ve prepared some memorable entrees like pork chops with thinly sliced apples, hamburgers with diced onions and parsley, and a delicious vegetarian chili with chopped zucchini squash. We also love entertaining on weekends, and invite our friends or neighbors over. One of our favorite meals is a stir fry with lots of chopped vegetables and meat. I break out the kitchen knives and ask everyone to help cut up the ingredients. It’s a fun and relaxing way to spend time with friends. You should try it too!

Learn more: Tips for handling kitchen knives

Cooking rice is relatively easier for almost everyone but cooking the best rice with the right aroma, tenderness and tasty requires one to have a rice cooker. This kitchen appliance makes it easy to cook high quality rice for the guests. In the use of this type of appliance you will be able to get the best quality for your rice. Large Aroma rice cooker has been designed in such a way that it I able to make the rice tender and have a nice aroma that adds to its taste. This type of rice cooker has a large capacity to hold large volumes of rice at a time.

In doing so, you will be able to cook much rice for many guests without wasting time in cooking multiple meals at different times. In addition to that it is economical in the use of electric power and hence saves on high electric bills. The best brown rice cooker have been rated the best due to their service provision to clients who have used them. In terms of capacity, customers especially restaurants and hotel owners have provided positive feedback on these kitchen appliances due to their capacity to cook more rice for their customers. This has minimized inconveniences on the part of the restaurant owner to their customers. In that case, they have improved the business.

Aroma ARC 787D is both a rice cooker and a food steamer. In that case, it is a multipurpose rice cooker whereby it is not limited in cooking rice only. It is able to prepare up to 14 cups of cooked rice for your guests. It is thus suitable in a medium restaurant as it will make it easier for one to cook rice that can be served to many customers at a time. In addition to that it is easy to use as it is a digital appliance. It has controls for cooking white and brown rice. On top of that it steams meat and vegetables as it cooks the rice, making it easy to prepare delicious meals.

Aroma 1033E has a capacity of up to 60 cups of cooked rice. It is thus ideal for large hotels and restaurant whereby there is a large turn out of customers at a time. This will help the owners of the business to attend to the customers’ orders in the shortest time possible. The kitchen appliance has an electronic control system so as to make it easy to control the appliance. It is specially designed for commercial purposes.

In choosing the best rice cooker for your kitchen, here are various factors you need to consider. The capacity of the rice cooker. For commercial rice cooking a large rice cooker is needed to save time and energy in cooking. On the other hand a medium sized rice cooker is needed in homes where the number of people is small. Simplicity in controlling the rice cooker is another important factor to consider before choosing a rice cooker. A rice cooker with digital control system is the best a sit is easy to control. In addition to that, the material used to design the rice cooker is essential in terms of durability. You should go for a rice cooker that is made out of stainless steel.

Additional information: Aroma Housewares

 

stainless-steel-pan-on-induction-cooktop

The search for the perfect pots is still on and everyone is looking for one that will satisfy all their needs. Choosing the best cookware set for your home or the best cookware set for induction may be very daunting with the many brands around. Many renowned chefs have recommended various varieties of pots and pans ideal for using at home together with tips of how to buy the best cookware. You might be interested read this best cookware set review.

You need to consider the price of the set as lack of planning on budget will set you back badly. Some sets are so expensive and you might not use all the pieces so consider the price well. Before you get that beautifully colored set consider the material used as this may define the quality of food. The more common materials of cookware are aluminum, copper, stainless steel and cast iron. This metals behave differently when heated and this should be a priority consideration.

Check the durability of the pots and pans as you don’t want to go shopping two months after buying that set. The reactivity of the metal is also a factor to consider as some materials may react with some types of foods. If you hate cleaning and polishing cookware just for it to look good, you should go for the easier to clean materials like stainless steel.

This is the most popular material for professional use cookware and the top chefs love it, no pun. Copper is a good conductor of heat and this fact helps with even cooking of foods. Other metals tend to over heat or concentrate heat in certain areas resulting in uneven heating and hot spots that make browning very hard.

The metal also responds well to heat changes so temperature control works best with copper. This makes copper cookware the best fort cooking most foods and sauteeing. Copper cookware is a favorite for the executive chef for the Ritz Carlton hotels, Henri Boubee.

He loves the copper cookware because, “they heat faster…hold heat more and cook the quickest”. This is just but one of the many standing ovations the copper cookware has been given. Stock up a set and see for yourself.

Learn more - Seeking Sources
Knowing the safest & healthiest cookware - Rodales Organic Life

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My Favourite Food Blogs

Love And Lemons

The Pioneer Woman

Smitten Kitchen