My Obsession with Plants

10.11.2014 | 10:08



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Why I Own a Variety of Cookware in My Kitchen

4.9.2016 | 02:42

When I first moved away from home to go to college, I didn’t want to move into residence because of one reason: I wanted to cook my own meals. My parents were generous and gave me some of their cookware to take. They thought I was just going to fry eggs and cook instant noodles so I got a small frying pan and a small pot to boil water. It wasn’t enough.

I didn’t have money so I ended up going home and “borrowed” more cookware from my parents, which I ended up keeping. I love to cook soups and stews so I took a large stock pot, and a medium pot for roasts. I thought I was set for life, but didn’t turn out that way. That was only enough for myself.


After marriage, I found out that certain recipes required a wok, a pressure cooker or a slow cooker. Those quickly got added to my pots and pans collection. When we bought our first home, I wanted everything to match, so I purchased the best cookware set I could afford to match my stainless steel appliances. Again, I thought the lifetime warranty on my cookware would last me until I handed them down to my grandchildren. I no longer had to invest in cookware. That thought was silly too.

As I cooked with different cookware, I quickly realized not all cookware was the same. Sometimes you needed non-stick cookware for things like frying a perfect egg. Sometimes you needed cookware that heated up fast for reheating. My family grew and relatives visited often so my stock pot had to be even bigger. The size that I needed didn’t fit on the stove. I had to use it on a portable induction cooker in the garage. The great thing about this was that it didn’t smell up my house with the hours of simmering. What I didn’t know was, my giant pot was not induction friendly! I had to return it and get a proper one.

Throughout the years, I found it was better to collect certain pieces that will do certain jobs well, than own the best cookware set in the market. There is no such thing. It’s nice to start off with the best set that you can afford, but expect to add to it if you like to cook.

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This stovetop tea kettle is my favourite

26.8.2016 | 03:27

stovetop tea kettle

This stovetop tea kettle is my favorite! I’ve had metal stovetop kettle, and the electric kettle that plug into the wall, and this one beats both.

Some people said the glass or the plastic broke easily, but we’ve had ours for about a month now, used it almost every day, and it’s holding up really well. You’re not supposed to have the plastic handle over the heat source at all – so just make sure to position it on your stove as such. If you have an electric stove, it comes with a little looped wire to place it on to distribute the heat evenly (since we have a gas stove, I can’t tell you whether that works or not).

Guide: How to choose the right tea kettle

For gas stoves, you just plop it on the range. They recommend not keeping it on the stove too much longer if it’s started to whistle, so keep that in mind as well. We live in a 3 story house, and from the second floor you can hear the whistle if you don’t have the doors closed. As for cleaning, you can reach in and and lightly scrub away any residue from water – it comes right off (although I have women’s hands – the average man’s hand might not fit?). I guess I’d also recommend not putting it on the table or other surface without a pad or something underneath it, after it’s boiled recently. Just think of it like any other glass cookware. It’s not as thick as glass bakeware, but it’s not as thin as a glass french press. I wouldn’t go banging it around a lot, but it’s also not going to shatter if it taps something. I would absolutely recommend this stovetop tea kettle!

Visually, it’s kind of cool to be able to see the water boil. It’s also supposedly the best way to make coffee or tea (boiling water in glass). And considering that the price of a glass water boiler that you plug in is really high, 10 bucks is such a bargain. I’m pretty sure the plastic electric water boilers cost more than that. Even if this one broke someday, I’d buy another one. Worth it. Loving it! - Sabinchen

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Delicious Ways to Make Iced Tea

16.4.2016 | 03:42

Source: The Domestic Geek

Classic Iced Tea

6 black tea bags
8 cups hot water
1 lemon, zested and sliced
¼ honey (optional)
1 cup hot water (optional)

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest of one lemon being careful not to get the white rind which is quite bitter.
Add the lemon zest and tea bags to hot water and stir.
Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and the zest and allow the tea to cool
For sweetened iced tea, add hot water to honey and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
In a pitcher combine ice and lemon slices.
Add tea and honey mixture and stir thoroughly.

Raspberry Peach Iced Tea
6 tea bags (I used rooibos)
8 cups hot water
¼ honey (optional)
1 cup hot water (optional)
4 ripe peaches, sliced
1 cup fresh raspberries

Add tea bags to hot water and stir.
Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool completely.
For sweetened iced tea, add hot water to honey and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
In a pitcher combine ice, peach slices and raspberries.
Add tea and honey mixture and stir thoroughly.
For best results, allow tea to infuse with flavor for 1-2 hours before

Mojito-Inspired Iced Tea
6 green tea bags
8 cups hot water
¼ cup superfine sugar (optional)
1 cup hot water (optional)
3 limes
10-12 mint leaves

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest of one lime being careful not to get the white rind which is quite bitter.
Add the lime zest and tea bags to hot water and stir.
Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and the zest and allow the tea to cool completely.
For sweetened iced tea, add hot water to sugar and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
In a pitcher combine ice and lime slices and mint.
Add tea and sugar mixture and stir thoroughly.
For best results, allow tea to infuse with flavor for 1-2 hours before serving.

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What makes All-Clad stainless steel the best

26.3.2016 | 09:00

all clad cookware set

When you’re looking for the best stainless steel cookware, All Clad Stainless Steel Cookware has been the industry standard in stainless steel cookware since 1990, for professional chefs and discerning home cooks alike, who want the best cookware available.

Everyone loves the look of shiny stainless steel cookware, but what makes All-Clad stainless steel the best stainless steel is what you can’t see. In this review of All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Cookware, you learn what makes All-Clad the best stainless steel cookware.
All-Clad Stainless Steel tri-ply is made with a magnetic bottom, which allows it to be used on induction burners, in addition gas or electric burners, and grills.

Regular high quality stainless steel is sold as 18/10 stainless steel, which refers to the percentage of chromium and nickel. Since Induction Ready Stainless Steel Cookware includes additional materials to create the magnetic bottom, it can no longer be sold as 18/18 Stainless Steel, and must now be labeled “Induction Ready” Stainless Steel Cookware.

All Clad Stainless Steel Features:

  • Premium tri-ply construction of an aluminum core sandwiched between two pieces of stainless steel to deliver even heat distribution along the bottom and up the sides of the skillets and pans.
  • Interior starburst finishing improves non-stick performance.
  • Made from 18/10 gauge stainless steel for optimum performance and durance, and with proper care will offer a lifetime of use.
  • Riveted on stainless steel long stick handles stay cool to the touch, and will never become loose or fall off.
  • Safe for use in the oven and under the grill up to 500° F.
  • Dishwasher safe, though hand washing is recommended.
  • With its stainless steel magnetic bottom, the Tri-Ply Stainless Steel cookware can be used with all type of cook tops, including induction burners.
  • All Clad’s durable, PFOA-free nonstick coating provides effortless clean-up
  • Lifetime Warranty.

Many professional kitchens have converted to induction stove top burners to conserve electricity and gas, as well as, prevent burns. Induction ready All Clad stainless steel is designed to work on induction burners, gas and electric stove tops.

To tell if your stainless steel cookware is induction ready, place a magnet on the bottom, and if the magnet sticks you have induction ready cookware. Induction burners have a magnetic field that only turns on the burners when an induction ready pan is placed on the burner. The heat is radiated into the pot, but the area around the burner stays cool. When the pan is removed, the induction burner immediately turns off is once again immediately cool to the touch. (Continue reading:

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Tips on finding a high performance rice cooker

21.3.2016 | 04:31

This handy one pot machine takes the guess work out of making fluffy rice every time. As well as rice, today’s models can also be used for everything from cooking your morning porridge, to making hearty soups and even delicious puddings.

Basic or multifunction?

There are two kinds of rice cookers: basic and multifunction. Basic models are the cheapest no-frills versions that are ideal for most home cooks. They usually come with a keep warm function to keep the rice heated once it’s finished cooking and some are equipped with a steaming basket. You can use a basic rice cooker to cook soups, stews and puddings.

Multifunction rice cookers are more expensive, but they have a range of automatic settings to let you slow cook, steam and cook a range of dishes. The most expensive rice cooker use ‘fuzzy logic’ technology that allows you to perfectly cook every type of rice imaginable and will adjust the temperature throughout the cooking process to ensure a perfect result. Look for one with presets for all of the dishes you’re likely to make and this is sure to become your most handy kitchen appliance.

It’s all about size

When you’re choosing a rice cooker, think about the quantity of rice you’ll want to cook at one time. If you’re likely to cook for many, then opt for the largest option, similarly, choose the smaller models if you’re only cooking for two. Think about the size of the machine and where you intend to store it.  Full post at Best Recipes: Choosing a rice cooker

Most chefs are tired of using Teflon or any other non-stick rice cookers since they allow for a lot of chemical leakage in to the food, which might cause a lot of health problems if used for a long time.

The other problem is, even for stainless steel rice cookers, you need to have the correct tips in mind for choosing the best brand and design with all the necessary and high performing features in order to be able to pick the right cooker.

The best stainless steel rice cooker market is crowded with a lot of different brands, making it difficult for new buyers to get the best stainless steel rice cooker.

Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker

This Zojirushi rice cooker tops our list of the best stainless steel cookers because of its micro computer technology that makes it the easiest to use among all rice cookers. This rice cooker has automatic keep-warm and extended keep-warm options for optimum operability.

Enjoy cooking perfect rice with this easy to use and clean stainless steel rice cooker with provisions for cooking brown rice, sushi rice, mixed rice and porridge. Its superior induction heat technology makes it the best rice monster in the market today.

The cooker absorbs heat fast and distributes it more evenly for perfect cook of your rice. It also has a delay timer with two settings. In other words, this is a perfect stainless steel rice cooker worth taking home.

You must have realized that when picking the best stainless steel rice cooker, you have to consider safety standards, performance, durability and ease of use among other important features. A good rice cooker should have all the optimum capabilities as well as be able to deliver satisfying results in your kitchen.

If it comes in a more appealing look and long lasting construction; that means it is an added advantage to your kitchen. Therefore, in as much as picking the best stainless steel rice cooker might be a problem, having the right tips for choosing a good cooker will guide you whenever you are in the market for a new rice cooker.

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Tips for Better Knife Skills

19.2.2016 | 07:13

A chef’s knife set is one of the most important tools in the kitchen. Without good knives, it can be a major challenge to execute culinary maneuvers effectively and efficiently when putting together a meal. Knowing how to properly cut a wide range of foods is imperative to ensuring that they cook evenly and have a nice presentation. Consider these four tips for keeping your knives in good shape and bettering your cuts:
chef's knifeUse the right knife for the job

Chefs don’t solely rely on one best chef knife because different blades are ideal for various tasks. Every home cook should have a paring knife, boning knife, chef’s knife, carving knife, bread knife and cleaver. These blades allow cooks to safely accomplish a variety of culinary tasks most effectively. Once you become an expert with a basic knife set, consider purchasing specialty knives for more complex culinary tasks, such as a tourne knife or an oyster knife.

Sharpen knives regularly

Gear Junkie notes that there’s a lot of technique involved in properly sharpening knives, but this process should be done in your kitchen on a regular basis depending on how much you utilize each knife. A dull knife is often more dangerous in the kitchen than a sharpened one, because it may be more prone to moving off course.

Practice your technique

Learn how to use each knife for its main purpose. Furthermore, to be most efficient in the kitchen, you should learn essential chopping skills so you can quickly slice, mince and julienne ingredients. Serious Eats recommends that every cook know how to slice, chop, back-slice and rock chop at the very least. Though mastering your knife skills may take a little practice, in the long term it will help you develop strong flavors and ensure that your food cooks more evenly.

Exercise knife safety

Your knifes should always be thoroughly cleaned and sharpened before use. Make sure to always chop up your ingredients on an appropriately-sized cutting board and, as noted earlier, always use the right knife for the job. Avoid using knives for other purposes, such as opening cans or boxes. Always store knives in a safe location where they won’t potentially fall to the floor. If knives get greasy or slippery, stop working and take the time to clean the handle.

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Combining Art and Skill with a Semi Automatic Espresso Machine

11.11.2015 | 09:59


My grand-father has been in the coffee business for almost three decades now. He is an importer of high quality coffee from Kenya. Last year (2014) the Annual World Barista Championship was held in my home town Dublin, Ireland. This was a great opportunity for me as a budding coffee enthusiast. After attending the event the things I learnt about the best semi automatic espresso machine are priceless.

I was lucky enough to interact with several coffee buffs and what stood out is their difference in opinion. Some would say that the best semi automatic espresso machine is one that can consistently give out the same quality coffee throughout its use. Others would argue that the best is one that will bring out the artistry in the user, test and explore their skill and potential. One interesting argument was that the best semi automatic espresso machine is the one that can boil and steam at the same time. This means the wait time between boiling and steaming is eliminated ensuring consistency and quality, at the same time exploring the maker’s artistry.

The artistry, quality and consistency employed by the winner, Australian Sasa Sestic, brought throughout the competition was amazing. It was clear he was using a dual boiler high-end machine that is able to boil and steam at the same time. Every element including temperature, pressure and coffee grind quantity was adjustable and controllable. With all these features being able to vary, employing proficiency, creativity and presentation was easier.

One contestant mentioned that the best machine is one that combines science with art to give you the best. Pressure and temperature variations are crucial. Single boiler semi automatic espresso machines may be pocket friendly but they will be limiting if you want to explore the artist in you. It is better to invest in a high-end and the very best semi automatic espresso machine for best results.

Overall, the Breville brands and Gaggia brands have always dominated the espresso machine market. These brands offer consistency in quality, are convenient to use and their features are highly automated.

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List of Highly Rated Japanese Kitchen Knives

12.10.2015 | 09:31

Among the best cuisines in the world, Japanese cuisine takes a significant place. Some of the most renowned chefs also come from this ancient region. You might be awed at how quick these chefs cut through vegetables and how precisely they slice fish. The trick is not entirely in the skill but even so in the type of the knife being used. Japanese kitchen knives are the sharpest in the world. So sharp they are that they cut through sponge while being washed. If you’re intrigued and would love to disfigure your veges like a ninja here some of the top Japanese kitchen knives;

Misono knives
These are among the most common knives and are ideal to use both by professionals and home cooks. The best thing about them is that they are sharp straight off the box and you don’t need to sharpen them. Just unpack and get down to work. The Swedish stainless steel that is used to make the blades of the knives makes them highly resistant to rust even if they’re used after a long time.


Masahiro Knives
Masahiro knives are designed to enhance sharpness. The MBS stainless steel that is used in their manufacture is superbly convenient to sharpen not to mention that they have a thinner blade than their counterparts to enhance the same feature. Do not be fooled by the thin blade they’re still very durable and strong.

Masamoto Knives
These are the best chopping weapons if your family loves Japanese sushi. For a long time, they have been used by Japanese chefs to make this very popular cuisine. The best part about these knives is that their blades are made out of a variety of metals that incorporate durability and sharpness all in the same knife giving it a very strong and smooth finish.

For some, the blood by now must have frozen in its vessels at all the mention of sharpness. However, the design of these knives has been customized in a way that they’re able to reduce your chances of getting sliced greatly. That is why Japanese kitchen knives have become so popular (Read the tons of knife reviews). They’re usable and safe so get your kitchen knives today.

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Is Your Air Bed Comfortable Enough?

28.9.2015 | 03:38

I believe that you and I have similar concept about a comfortable air bed. Yes, of course, it should be comfortable. Who would want to spend a night feeling restless, due to the low quality mattress. Yet, a comfortable feeling that an air bed offers can be disrupted if it is not easy to use. What I am trying to say is that, an ease of use aspect of an air bed is very important to avoid unnecessary hassles. I believe that, you would want to have an air bed with high quality internal pump for inflating and deflating the air bed in a few minutes. It was actually the main feature that I want to have on my air bed. I have a small bedroom and my kids always want to sleep with me overnight. I could not imagine if I still kept using my conventional bed, as I had to make up the bed which is always full of toys. It was the main reason why I changed my old bed and replaced it after reading some top air bed reviews and ratings 2015.


In the reviews and ratings, I could easily find lots of air beds with various features and prices. My option was the one with the ease-of-use feature, as well as the most reasonable price that I can spend. My air bed may not have some features to control the firmness, but it is comfortable enough for me and my kids to sleep well. This is why, I decided to buy two similar products, because I am keeping the other one for visiting guests.

Well, your needs and mine are different. You might want to choose better features of some air beds like the ones, which are equipped with comfort coils. Such beds will give total comfort for you—if you use it for yourself—or you will give your guests a long, yet convenient, long sleep, so they will regard you as the best host in the world. This is especially if the guests have to share the same bed because the comfort coils ensure less motions, thanks to its high-technology engineering.

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How A Rice Cooker Has Been A Blessing To My Kitchen

20.9.2015 | 04:05


Truth be told, just like the rest of other people, my week goes without 0ne 0r two plates of well cooked rice. I love it and it is one those meals I always cook when friends come over for dinner or even for lunch during the weekend. Rice is sweet, easy to cook and unbelievably versatile; you can literary take it with anything from vegetable, meat among others. However, had it not been for the stainless steel rice cooker I have in my kitchen all that would not have been possible. Unlike in the past when I had trouble cooking quality rice, this simple appliance has in a myriad of way changed the way I used to do things in my kitchen.

One of the biggest things I love about my best electric rice cooker is the way it does it job. Stirring the rice while cooking is no longer my things for the machine does all that for me. It coming with the ability to cook my rice consistently is just impressive. Moreover, that has not only been the best part; with the use of the best electric rice cooker, I have over and over netted improved nutrition. Unlike those traditional cooking method that leave your rice dry with no nutrition value at all, it is amazing how this appliance manages to give me healthy and quality rice.

Overall, come rain come sunshine; I will do anything to keep the best electric rice cooker in my kitchen. I can’t even list all the good things I have been able to net from it; I am willing to spend any amount on it. As a matter of fact, my friends have come to learn of my well cooked rice and they normally drop over for a taste of it, and one of them was telling me to open a fast food joint in town.

Additional information:
How to cook rice perfectly

Food & Cooking

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A Personal Guide To Using A Sewing Machine

13.8.2015 | 07:17


I have long been around sewing machines in my home, as both my mother and grandmother, continually work on various fabrics and clothing. I have only used a sewing machine a couple of times, the only times being an experiment to see if I liked it or not. For the most part, while it is a process that is foreign to those who have never done it, including myself, it was kinda cool. I don’t regularly sew by any means, as finding the time to do it next to impossible. However, from what I have learned, both from my mother and my real life experience, I am able to provide a top beginner sewing machine review.

Some Tips On How To Sew

This wont be a complete how to on sewing for beginners, for I myself am still not a pro by any means. Instead, I will go over a a few basics, in order to give you a top beginner sewing machine review. Here are some tips you get you started:

Before You Get Started

You will need to know that there are many different types of sewing machines that are available.The right sewing machine for you will depend, and it may take trial and error before you decide on one. For me, one of the hardest parts of sewing was choosing the fabric I wanted to work with. The best fabrics are those that are medium in weight, with fabrics that aren’t stretch, with a striped pattern. Medium weights means it wont slip under the needle, as well as non stretch will keep the fabric in place when you are sewing.

How To Make A Simple Pattern

Before you start doing elegant patterns, you should look to build on simple ones. First begin with the fabric previously chosen, and fold it it a crease, so that it remains in tact. The best size, from my experience, was about the 6-8 inch range for width, and 15-18 inch range for length. Threat the machine next, since there are so many types of machines, you will need to read the manual for specifics for your type. The needle you use will depend on your skillset, as many people use a variety of needles for their sewn work. Since medium fabrics were used, use a medium needle, and set the machine to straight stitch. Keep the position up, so that the needle won’t slip when you use it. Put your foot on the presser step, using the handwheel at first to change the level of the needle, and go down the stripe on the pattern. Do a straight line pattern, and after you are done, admire your work. Keep training at it, as you will eventually become precise with this sewing machine as long as you keep up with it.

Get more tips for beginners here, Craftaholics Anonymous

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