I Use These Tips For My Kitchen Knives

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Getting your own tea kettle

There are a number of advantages to using an electric kettle instead of a conventional stove top kettle, and some are more obvious than others. The most easily recognizable advantages of electric tea kettles are those associated with convenience. Since they are specifically designed for the purpose of heating water, electric kettles tend to be much more efficient than stove top cup of tea kettles–a couple of liters can heat up in 3-4 minutes, compared with closer to 10 minutes using a range with a heating element. Additionally, an electric kettle focuses most of its energy toward heating the water, while different stove tops present a varying amount of electricity waste caused by escaping heat that doesn’t come into effective contact with the water.

In some cases, a stove top kettle is not even an option–college dorm rooms and hotel rooms are often ill-equipped to accommodate the simple pleasure of a cup of tea, and an electric tea kettle is a portable and extremely easy solution. Kettle Starter Kit. Finally, if you’re forgetful like me, you might sometimes find yourself racing across the house to silence the ear-splitting shriek of a tea kettle that has been boiling too long. Electric kettles also solve this problem by automatically shutting off when the water temperature reaches boiling–many even have a feature that prevents the kettle from boiling dry, which can result in disaster for a stove top kettle.

brewed tea

Though the efficiency and energy-saving auto-stop features of electric tea kettles make for a strong economic argument (who wouldn’t want a kettle that eventually saves enough money to pay for itself?), there are some deeper, less obvious benefits that will make even the quickest cup of tea even better. Many people are not aware that water loses its vibrancy if it is boiled for too long–over-boiled water tastes flat, and tea made with it usually won’t live up to its full flavor potential. Again, the auto-stop electric kettle feature easily remedies this problem. What’s more, many electric kettles have extra insulation to keep the water hot and prevent the need for re-boiling.

Chef’s Choice Electric Kettle

Electric kettles are perhaps most indispensable to tea drinkers who love green and white teas, which require considerably cooler water to prevent incorrect brewing and unpleasant bitterness and harshness. Taking a conventional kettle off the stove at the correct temperature can be difficult, since there is really no easy way to measure the temperature while it is inside the kettle. Boiling the water and leaving it to cool to the correct temperature is an even more difficult proposition. Luckily for green and white tea lovers, some top electric kettles have been sensitively designed with the specific needs of these teas in mind. Specific temperature settings can be adjusted and the kettle’s internal thermometer provides exact measurement when it is the most crucial.

Electric kettles can be found for a variety of prices–many are even less expensive than conventional stove top kettles. Though some may prefer a less technological method of water preparation in favor of a more old fashioned aesthetic, electric kettles have become a viable, economical, and reliable option available to optimize any tea lover’s daily ritual – Article from Blog.englishteastore.com

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This tea kettle is everything you want

Choose the Right Knife Set

With the proliferation of low quality cutlery sets in the market however, choosing the right kitchen tools has become more difficult than ever. The key to getting the perfect sushi knife set is thorough research. Here is a set of criteria that you can use in shopping a set of cutlery that will help you create sushi the right way.

Take note of the material. The best tools are made from the best materials. You should choose a sushi knife set that is made from high carbon steel which is the same kind of material that is used to produce samurai swords since the 16th Century. If the blades made from high carbon steel is good enough for the battlefield then it is good enough for the kitchen. Knives made from high quality materials are sure to last for a long time.Just a short bit of trivia. Do you know that sushi knives are sharpened only on one side? This is done to provide a cleaner cut to the fish and other ingredients inside a sushi.

The set should include different kinds of knives. In making different kinds of sushi, different kinds of knives are also used. There is a knife specifically designed for tuna and then there is one that is designed for puffer fish. A sushi knife set, therefore, should be complete if you want to have the versatility to make different kinds of sushi. One of the most versatile knife that any set should have is the sashimi knife which also known as an all-purpose knife.

Should come with a decent price. Though price should not really be your basis of quality, you should be suspicious of sets that are priced very low. You cannot expect a $30 set to compare well with a set that cost several hundreds of dollars. Cheap knives are not as sharp and as strong as more expensive knives. If you do not have the budget to buy an expensive set, then get one that is priced at the middle of the price range.Get a sharpening stone. It is important to include in here a section on how to sharpen sushi knives. This kind of knives have only one sharpened edge instead of two. This is the reason why you should never use a mechanical sharpener with these knives or else, you may ruin their blades. To maintain the sharpness of the knives in a sushi knife set, get a sharpening stone. Better yet, get a set that comes with its own stone.

Cooking in Stainless Steel Cookware

For those accustomed to using Teflon, the idea of using stainless steel for much more than boiling pasta can be a bit intimidating! I know, because I was there once too.

Even though my mom has been using her stainless steel cookware for longer than I’ve been alive, I honestly didn’t do much cooking until after I was married — at which point I was using my husband’s Wearever Teflon pots and pans.

I loved using Teflon, but studies have shown that the fumes released during high heat are just not good for us (and DuPont, the maker of Teflon has lied about this for financial gain). (Since this isn’t a post about the dangers of Teflon, I’ll let you do your own further research if you desire!)
cooking
When our Teflon pans wore out, I relied on my cast iron skillet more than ever (read about cooking with cast iron here!), along with a few stainless steel pans from a garage sale. Even though my stainless steel pans weren’t the highest quality (far from what I now use!) they worked well enough and keeping the health benefits in mind, using the stainless steel pans was not the nightmare I had envisioned! :)

Obviously, the quality of the stainless steel cookware will determine somewhat how easy it is to use.

In a nutshell, when looking for stainless steel cookware (at thrift stores or even brand new) the best options are 18/10 stainless steel (18/8 is all right as well) and have either a thick multi-ply bottom or else multiple layers all the way through (like All-Clad or Multi-Clad), which help conduct the heat evenly. Pans that are thin just burn too easily. If you do a lot of cooking, good cookware is an investment that you’ll be enjoying every day!

One of my sauce pans
Tips from my personal experience with stainless steel cookware

1. Keep the heat at medium or below (sometimes higher but never above medium-high!) and keep an eye on what you’re cooking. Stir, check, and adjust the heat as you learn about your cookware and even your stove. (The electric burners on my stove are all very different from each other! Truly!)

2. Don’t be afraid to add some oil (for frying) or water (for re-heating leftovers). I often refer to package instructions for the best way to cook different frozen veggies. I’ve learned when I prefer to use my pan lids, and when I prefer to leave the pan uncovered. Usually it’s just a matter of experience and trial and error for the various foods! :)

3. Don’t expect stainless steel to cook exactly like Teflon cooks. But since I do have a high-quality set of cookware, I haven’t had issues with sticking food or burning things. (It is amazing how much difference the quality of the cookware makes when it comes to food sticking!!)

There is one exception though. I am still experimenting with the best way to cook scrambled eggs in stainless steel. (Cast iron seems to work better for eggs, usually.) Sometimes my eggs don’t stick a bit; other times they stick a lot. I’m guessing that there is a perfect balance of pre-heating time/temp, oil, and cooking temperature (which of course is affected by the number of eggs thrown into the skillet!) and I just haven’t figured out how to do it on my stove. Yet. :) (Anyone have tips for this??)

UPDATE: I tried your suggestions and now making scrambled eggs in my stainless steel cookware is easy and successfully non-stick every time!!

4. If something is stuck on stainless steel, I usually just do a soak in soapy water and it wipes clean the next day. If you’re in a hurry or have a particularly annoying stuck-food issue, Bar Keeper’s Friend works wonders. It’s mild and effective. You could also put some water in the pan and bring it to a boil, to loosen the food.

5. While it is certainly safe to use metal utensils on stainless steel, they will leave small scratch marks on the cookware. This is mostly cosmetic, though larger scratches could increase sticking.

For these reasons, I have personally opted to use only wooden/bamboo, silicone, or nylon utensils whenever they will touch the cookware. I do still have two of my “garage sale pans” and use metal serving utensils with those. They are very scratched but still don’t stick much, as long as I’ve followed rules #1 and 2 above! ;)

Read this article for bonus tip.

How I became a kitchen queen at my home

When I got married last year, I was quite nervous and confused about the fact that I will have to run a house all by myself. Yes, my husband works for an IT firm away from him home. So just after marriage I went along with him to start my new life and family. Being the only daughter I was never taught to learn a lot of cooking. However, I could very well manage cooking some special dishes at special occasion. But cooking on a daily basis seemed to be quite a nightmare for me. Starting off with my new home was hectic. But one little thing really saved me in my initial days of learning the homely stuffs.

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What made the difference?

One day my husband bought home the best rice cooker. Well, I have seen this thing before but never tried to cook in it. There was a manual along with it that helped me to understand the initial features function of the cooker and what it can do. From the very beginning I was quite impressed with this best rice cooker as it cooked rice without me being attentive towards it all the while. I started boiling vegetables, pulses and even eggs in it. It surely became the best stainless steel rice cooker that I ever had.

A few months after that…

Once I knew how to get the best out of this rice cooker, I started cooking delicacies like idli with an extra idli stand and dimsums using the perforated tray that comes along with the cooker. I can even make dhokla and steamed fish. This is certainly the best stainless steel rice cooker that my husband got me. Just because of this little thing I have become an expert cook at my own home. I have become the kitchen queen with my wonder cooker.

The Best and Recommended Espresso Machines under 200 dollars

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Espresso machines are in a class of their own thanks to their unmatched versatility to brew high quality coffee. But the fact that there are many espresso machines on the market doesn’t mean that all these machines can adequately handle your coffee brewing needs in the best way possible. Here are some of the best espresso machines that detail the best and recommended espresso machines.

1. Breville Espresso BES900XL

This great machine encompasses the functionality of a commercial coffee machine in the size of a household-friendly appliance. It features dual pumps that provide it with extra pressure needed to extract coffee from coffee beans. It also comes with dual stainless steel boilers used for purposes of milk steaming and coffee extraction. Its programmable features make it among the easiest-to –use coffee machines. If you are a fan of Breville Espresso machines, please read espresso maker reviews to learn everything regarding these machines.

2. Saeco Xelsis SS

This machine offers a user-friendly control mode hence making it quiet easy to use. It features an intuitive touch-screen interface menu that allows users to make a variety of customizable drinks. It comes with a removable water tank of 54-ounces capacity. Due to its stainless steel casing, it is one of the most durable Espresso machines on the market. Its aroma system is used for purposes of wetting coffee beans prior to extracting coffee from them, in a bid to give the best quality of coffee.

3. Pasquini Livia

It offers a blend of both modern and traditional features. It also boasts of having a host of superb brewing features. It offers a programmable automatic brewing thus making it the best machine to brew coffee with just a touch on its buttons. It features dual pump system that is ideally perfect for providing continuous and steady pressure that is needed for purposes of producing flavored coffee and thick milk cream. It comes with a removable drip pan, cup tray and cup warming settings that are designed to ensure that the machine does not lose the optimum temperature needed to brew a superb cup of coffee.

More: Espresso for Weight Loss

My new air mattress saved my back

I had suffered with back problems for quite a few years, and the doctors could not really tell me what was wrong. To be frank, I felt that there was a solution out there for me but I just wasn’t finding it. Sleep was more or less impossible, every morning I woke up exhausted and tired from a poor night’s sleep. Functioning during the day was really hard for me, and I often felt I wandered around in a hazy fog of painkillers and anti-inflammatory treatments. I was in bad need of a vacation and my friends eventually persuaded me to come away with them.

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When I arrived at the lodge we were going to be staying at, I thought the vacation was going to be a disaster. It looked more like a camping resort that a nice vacation resort. My biggest concern of all was the sleeping arrangements. At home I had spent a fortune on the latest in mattress technology only to end up being badly disappointed. Absolutely nothing had helped. Here, I was expected to sleep on air mattress! To me, it just spelt complete disaster from start to finish.

The next morning I woke and realized that I had the best night sleep in ages. As a matter of fact, I had slept through the entire night, and felt refreshed and ready to go. I didn’t know if it was the fresh air or the air mattress which I had slept on. As I was stretching and getting ready to tackle the day, I started to wonder if it had something to do with the air mattress. Even my constant headache was gone, and I felt taller somehow.

The next night I slept through the entire night again, and now even my slightly tense neck felt better. I could not believe that I had been hiking the previous day and slept only on an air mattress! A third night of peaceful sleep convinced me that something was going on here, and I decided to check things out a bit more when I came home.

Once back home and sleeping on my over-priced orthopedic mattress, all of my aches an pains came back within 48 hours. I could not believe that I had spent a small fortune on this mattress when a simple air mattress could possible have helped me more. The next day I sat down at my computer and checked out top rated air mattress reviews 2015. There were quite a few different options available, however, I was thanks to the excellent quality of the air mattress reviews, able to find the mattress of my dreams.

Now, six weeks later I am still sleeping like a baby through the night. The back pain is gone, and I feel refreshed every morning when I wake up. I knew there was an answer out there, but I did not think it would come to me in the shape of an air mattress! (Related information: Health benefits of using an air mattress)

Baker-in-the-making Meets Best Bread Maker

My title is very playful, I know. But, I’m just very pleased to tell you that I’ve met my ultimate partner in baking. I love baking bread. My addiction in this craft started when I was in New York some five years ago. I was with my aunt on Christmas because my mom and dad had to go to Texas for some month-long emergency errand. I wouldn’t consider it bad because I am super close with my aunt. Spending a Christmas with her (without my parents) wouldn’t hurt.

My aunt is managing a small bakery and you can guess that bread was overloading in the house. As for a person who’s not into outdoor fun, I frequently stayed inside watching my aunt bake some goodies for her bakery. I must admit I was quite puzzled about baking so I approached her and observed. Knowing my aunt, she’s very generous when it comes to me so she taught me how to mix and bake, and I LOVE IT! So that’s the story.
mixing dough
I’ve been itching to find the best bread machines. I had two in the past but they suck! They’re just too complex for me as a baker-in-the-making. But last weekend, I browsed the internet and found it! That’s why I’m super excited. I’ve found my partner. It’s not too intricate to use. Actually, I’ve mastered using it in just a matter of two days! My baked goods couldn’t be any better with my best bread machine today. You know I realized I’m an idiot for not shopping online, probably because we have a mall nearby. Nevertheless, that’s no more for me now.

For those who love baking, I advise you to go look for the perfect machines on the web. Online shopping centers are quite helpful. For now, I’ll be baking my favorite Whole Grain bread. It’s fairly simple; as simple as I am. So bye for now and thank you for hearing me out.

Do read through sewing machine review before buying one

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At the risk of sounding conceited, I dare to say I am good at sewing clothes, especially for little babies and toddlers. I have saved myself a decent fortune by giving gifts stitched by me. Over the years, my old sewing machine began to look and feel outdated. I was fascinated with how many different stitches the new sewing machines are capable of. It did not take me too long to convince my gullible husband that buying a new sewing machine for me is a good idea. We decided to buy a sewing machine on EMIs.

Now came the selection part. That is, in my opinion, the toughest job. Everything you see there on Internet is presented in a way that you do not notice the drawbacks, or forget to ask something crucial. Even with my experience, there were a few of those machines that seemed extremely tempting. Luckily for me, my husband and son are internet savvy guys. They delayed the purchase and chose to read through those sewing machine reviews. My son found a sewing machine review that did not speak too well of one of the sewing machine I was keen on. This made me realize that I needed to stick to the well known brands, and then too, go through those reviews for selecting one of the sewing machines from such a brand.

Eventually, we bought a Singer machine. I have stitched our curtains and cushion covers. I also stitch my nighties, my husband’s night suits, and night wear for my children. However, I prefer buying ready made clothes for formal wear and casual wear, simply because purchasing a fabric that my son will like is again a difficult job. I need to coordinate shopping time for purchasing fabric for them, and that is the difficult part. Another reason I prefer ready made garments for outside wear is because these are stitched based on trends. I may not realize that, and end up stitching something that makes my family appear old-fashioned and dowdy. But any and every type of frock and shirt looks good on little ones. There are no trends to follow there, and I save quite a bit on gifts because of my sewing skills.

The Hatori Hanso of Kitchen Knives

The instances where the adage old is gold’ holds good must be few and countable in my life. This story is definitely one of them.

As a kid, I’ve always been curious. Today I have a full grown beard and I still am, thankfully, curious. This means I ignored all warnings about playing with scissors, matches, batteries, knives or any other object a five year old should stay away from. Memories from childhood are usually effervescent and uncertain but some of them stay fixed like anchors in a bed rock.

knives

One such memory is this. It was a hot summer’s day in my coastal village and I, barely 2 feet tall, was bored out of my mind as usual. Always gifted with an aptitude for chemistry, and a love for cooking, I set forth to the kitchen with a packet of DDT (pesticide that I carefully stole from the shed), some Paracetamol pills and a bowl. The intention – I can only speculate in retrospect- was the genocide of a colony of red ants that had settled in my room. This is when I first came across the old kitchen knife which is the star of this story. It had a dull brown wooden handle with a flat bottom (ideal for crushing garlic I assume, but paracetamol pills would be just fine too!) and a smooth shiny stainless steel blade of about six inches. It had no serrations and its edge was straight as an arrow. It was, to my juvenile eyes, the best kitchen knife ever made. It was the Hatori Hanso of Kitchen Knives.

Halfway through my escapade, my Mother sneaked into the kitchen to check up on me, only to find me with a bag of pesticide and a cold steel blade. She screamed. I flinched. The blood began to flow. As far as I remember, this was the first time I cut myself with a blade or a knife. The loss of blood made me dizzy. I vomited. After my fair share of chidings, I was put to bed and comforted to sleep, a bandage on my wrist and a thumb in my mouth.

It has been over two decades since that day and we have moved over a dozen houses, but Hatori Hanso has always been around. My mother is a wizard in the kitchen – which is where I get my culinary skills from – and she does not compromise on her repertoire. She has the top of the line products in all categories – OTGs, Pans, Induction Cooktops, Baking Moulds, Cooking Wines and Knives.

Which brings me to the crux of this story. Over the years, we have had many salesgirls and infomercials convince us to buy the top of the line Cartini, Godrej and MAC knives. They have been used, over used and discarded. All promised to us as the best kitchen knives to buy. But when we have to make a quick dash of crushing garlic and chopping onions, nothing comes close to Hatori Hanso to this day. We do not know what brand it bears, since it has faded off. The edge has been sharpened over ceramic countless number of times. To this day, it remains the sharpest and sleekest blade in our kitchen. To top it off, it is the most loved too! It certainly is older than I am and the caring glow in my mother’s eyes as she washes it every night, I have never seen when she looks at me!

I recently learned that the knife in question was a prize my mom won at her very first cooking competition way back in the mid 80’s. There may be a thousand brands calling themselves the Best Kitchen Knife to buy. But the love that is attached to a prized possession can transform a knife into a Hatori Hanso sword! Something Money can never buy.

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