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Kitchen tips and tricks that save you time

If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time planning meals and preparing food, making all of those helpful kitchen tips and tricks that save you time (and your sanity) worth knowing! And so, I have rounded up some of the best kitchen tips that just might have you saying “Why didn’t I think of that?”. I certainly wish I had known these a long time ago!

A few of these “secrets” I know I will use often (like fishing out broken egg shells and freezing leftover sauces). Whether you’re a workaholic who barley has time to open the fridge, a busy stay-at-home mom, or are in the running for your own show on The Food Network, I think you’ll find a few hacks here that will make life easier!

1. Grate Cold Butter

I haven’t tried this little trick just yet, but I love the idea! Your stick of butter has to be close to frozen for it to work, and you must work fast to keep it from melting, but the grated butter is perfect for adding to flour before baking biscuits, scones, muffins, etc.. It also makes the butter melt much faster, so if your butter is too cold to spread, consider grating it first and then topping toast, veggies, or a baked potato!

Read More: Here and Here

2. Scooping Up A Broken Shell

It happens every time! I make eggs for breakfast just about every morning, and the brown organic eggs seem to break off into little pieces so much easier. Instead of fishing around with your finger to dig them out of your bowl (yeah, I do that), use one of the egg shell halves to scoop it out!

Source: Happy Roots Happy Soul

3. Peeling Garlic The Easy Way

This is not the job I like to sign up for (who likes to smell garlic on their hands for 3 days straight?), but this technique looks like too much fun to pa

ss up! Smash, shake, and separate! I’ve also seen this done with two ceramic bowls placed on top of each other (rim to rim) to create a dome for the garlic. The hard surface might work more efficiently than tupperware at breaking apart the garlic.

Source & Instructions: The Pin Junkie

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How to identify the best cookware? My Top 3 Tips

am undoubtedly one of the craziest kitchen fanatic in the 21st century. Every single day, all I do is cook, cook, and cook. In fact, I am one of those people who could easily convert my kitchen into a self-contained apartment. Cooking to me is as easy as peeling a hard-boiled egg. For this reason, I believe I have a solution to every kitchen problem I came across. Regardless of the problems you face in your quest to prepare the yummiest food in town, I am always there with an amicable solution. Today, I write about identifying the best cookware. As a newbie in the kitchen industry, I used to purchase any cookware I came across. I did not pay attention to any brand, besides, they are all cookware.

However, don’t be quick to judge me, I was as innocent as you are right now. It was until I discovered a lot more about the industry that I asked myself, what is in a brand?

Well, I believe a brand comes with quality. The best cookware brand will offer products made with the best materials available in the modern market. A good cookware brand will guarantee a lifetime service in all its products. It will always offer its customers with the best services such as giving wonderful warranties hence helping the customer minimize on maintenance costs.

Actually, the best cookware brand will come with a wide range of benefits, which should be a story for another day. I know you want to buy the best cookware brand, right? How do you identify the best cookware brands in today’s clogged market? Here are some tips that I rely on whenever I set out for shopping;

I depend on customer reviews

The internet is has always been my best friend whenever I want to purchase a cookware brand that I believe I will rely on for a long period of time. With many brands fronting themselves in online markets such as amazon, I am able to identify those that have worked best for others. I go through and analyze all customer comments about the brand. Once I am satisfied, I check the ratings the same customers have accorded it. A brand that has a customer rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 has always been my top pick. This is because I believe if a brand worked best for the majority, it will definitely work for me.

I check expert ratings

Apart from customer reviews, I pay a lot of attention on what kitchen experts have to say about a brand. I do this by extensively reading kitchen-related magazine, and watching kitchen-related shows. Since I am an expert myself (I didn’t brag, or did I?), I have developed contacts with other experts. I call them and inquire about various brands until I am able to choose the best.

I know the best cookware brands have the best terms

Well, every cookware brand has its own terms and conditions. However, the best brands have the best terms. As for me, the best is one which will offer me with nothing less than 1 year unlimited warranty in all its products. Period!
If you buy the best cookware brand in the market, you will not only stand out, but it might also be a stepping stone towards tremendous kitchen success. The above tips have worked wonders for me, retain them, they might work miracles for you.

My First Wusthof Experience

Wusthof Classic 7-Piece Knife Set

I’m usually busy with work and I spend the balance of my time with family where I occasionally help out in the kitchen. Last Christmas however, my friend had asked me to help her out preparing food for a big party. To be honest, her kitchen knife set were intimidating.

 They were the Wusthof Classic 7-Piece Knife Set. Even though she had told me that she purchased it six months ago, the condition of the knives still looked new. Even though I have only used my mom’s Henckels knife set, I could tell the differences straight away.


Effortless Cutting

The Wusthof knives sliced effortlessly through carrots, chicken and I even easily peeled fruits with the paring knife. The handle very comfortable to grip on. Imagine cutting through a sack of potatoes and two bags of carrots without suffering from terrible wrist tension. I was still able to carry on doing house chores the next day. The Wusthof knives also felt more balanced than the Henckels. It gave me more control and I actually felt confident in the kitchen.

After using this knife set, I bought the Wusthof Classic 7-Piece Knife Set for my mother. Now, she actually enjoys cooking much more than before. I was also surprised to see my siblings helping out my mother in the kitchen.

New Experience With Global Knife Set

Global Knife Set

I have never heard of this particular knife which is the Nakiri knife but I happened to stumbled upon it when I was searching for a new kitchen knife set. This knife was one of the knives that you get when you purchase the Global 7-piece Ikasu Knife Block Set.

Buying This Knife Block Set

I decided to take my time researching on this knife brand which is where I found the Ikasu Knife Block Set. The first thing I notice was the price but after reading many excellent review about this knife set, I went to the local store to check it out. The knives had a shiny and sleek design as it’s a one piece stainless steel knife.

I was slightly worried that the handles were not going to be comfortable and slippery but I was wrong. It was actually comfortable to grip on and the knives felt just right in my hand. The promoter even gave me a carrot to slice on. I was impressed with how easy and fast it the nakiri knife worked. 1/2 hour later, I was a proud owner of the Global 7-piece Ikasu Knife Block Set.


I really recommend this kitchen knife set to anyone who’s looking for a new set or is stuck on gift ideas.

Can drinking wine really make a difference?

Every year, there is a flurry of headlines about the health benefits of wine. But can drinking wine really make a difference? Here, the news—very good news, indeed—from the latest studies. Note: The health benefits come from moderate wine consumption, defined by the American Heart Association as one to two four-ounce glasses a day.

The Benefit: Promotes Longevity

The Evidence: Wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers. Source: a Finnish study of 2,468 men over a 29-year period, published in the Journals of Gerontology, 2007.

The Benefit: Reduces Heart-Attack Risk

The Evidence: Moderate drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack than nondrinkers. Source: a 16-year Harvard School of Public Health study of 11,711 men, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 2007.

The Benefit: Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

The Evidence: Red-wine tannins contain procyanidins, which protect against heart disease. Wines from Sardinia and southwest France have more procyanidins than other wines. Source: a study at Queen Mary University in London, published in Nature, 2006.

The Benefit: Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The Evidence: Moderate drinkers have 30 percent less risk than nondrinkers of developing type 2 diabetes. Source: research on 369,862 individuals studied over an average of 12 years each, at Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Center, published in Diabetes Care, 2005. (Source)

The Benefit: Lowers Risk of Stroke

The Evidence: The possibility of suffering a blood clot–related stroke drops by about 50 percent in people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Source: a Columbia University study of 3,176 individuals over an eight-year period, published in Stroke, 2006.

The Benefit: Cuts Risk of Cataracts

The Evidence: Moderate drinkers are 32 percent less likely to get cataracts than nondrinkers; those who consume wine are 43 percent less likely to develop cataracts than those drinking mainly beer. Source: a study of 1,379 individuals in Iceland, published in Nature, 2003.

The Benefit: Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer

The Evidence: Moderate consumption of wine (especially red) cuts the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent. Source: a Stony Brook University study of 2,291 individuals over a four-year period, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2005.

The Benefit: Slows Brain Decline

The Evidence: Brain function declines at a markedly faster rate in nondrinkers than in moderate drinkers. Source: a Columbia University study of 1,416 people, published in Neuroepidemiology, 2006.

Why Do I Need a Food Processor?

On so many occasions, I would arrive home late from work and all I could think of was fixing a quick tasty meal for my family to eat before sleeping. But then there were so many tasks like chopping of onions, grating of carrots, slicing of tomatoes etc, involved before I could have that meal ready. I however discovered one kitchen appliance that made my life easier. With a food processor, I am able to minimize on the time I take in the kitchen. Before settling on a good brand to buy, I did some research and even shopped around and came up with the best food processors 2016.

Other than facilitating repetitive kitchen tasks like kneading, pureeing and cutting, these food processors can really be helpful to individuals who have joint problems as they take strain off one’s wrists, lower arms and fingers. Patients with arthritis can also invest in these machines as they will be of so much great help. Most of these food processors are operated by electricity. I do not need to use my energy to operate them. All I need is to put my ingredients in, set the correct blade, switch it on and wait for the end product. They also come in different sizes and therefore I was able to choose one for my cooking needs.

Helpful reading: Learn to use a food processor

Having small babies in the house, a food processor came in handy. I have been able to save a lot from buying little portions of baby food as well as preparing healthy fresh foods for them. There are some fruits like apples that my babies would only take while pureed. All this was made easy by these machines.  These include Hotpoint HD Line and Kenwood FPM 910 Pro Excel Food Processors. All these are found on Amazon for online shoppers. These are my best brands. This is an item that should not miss in your kitchen.

Easy slow cooker dinners

Here is what you’ll need!

Serves 5

3 pounds chuck roast
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 ounce dried onion soup mix
1 onion, diced
3 gold potatoes, diced
3 large carrots, chopped.
½ cup water

Place the chuck roast in a 7-quart slow cooker.
Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and onion soup pack. Top with vegetables and water.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.

Serves 5

3 chicken breasts, diced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups baby carrots, diced
21.5 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can refrigerated biscuits

Place the chicken in a 7-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle on salt & pepper.
Add the veggies and condensed soup, and mix thoroughly.
Cook on high for 3 hours.
Rip biscuit dough into small pieces, and drop evenly over chicken. Cook an additional hour.

Serves 5

5 bell peppers, hollowed out
2 cups cooked rice
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 can corn, drained
½ onion, diced
1 can beans, drained
½ cup diced tomatoes
½ cup salsa
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup chicken stock

In a bowl, mix the rice, salt, pepper, corn, onion, beans, tomatoes, and salsa.
Place the bell peppers hollowed side up into a 7-quart slow cooker. Cut the bottoms of the peppers if needed to help them stand up better.
Fill peppers halfway with rice mixture, then sprinkle on 1 cup of cheese.
Fill to the top with rice mixture, and top with the remaining cheese.
Pour chicken stock into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Cook on high for 4 hours.

Recipe Source: Tasty

Why I Am Very Pleased With My New Cuisinart Bread Machine

Before I decided to purchase it, my wife and I spent many days reading the reviews on best bread machine 2016 I can find online. I finally bought it three months ago. I use it twice a week and so far, I have truly loved it. I like making cinnamon raisin bread and beer bread, and every loaf I have made has been aromatic and delicious. Right now I do not even need another air freshener, I just love the smell of making bread!

I have purchased different bread makers before and to be sincere, not all impressed me. After gone through the Cuisinart bread machine reviews, I decided to choose the Cuisinart CBK-200 because it had some qualities that really impressed me. It is weighty, a solidly constructed piece and nice looking on the counter. It is quite different from other bread makers that are made of plastic and doesn’t last an amount of time equivalent to their price tags.

Before going out to shop, I had in mind that there are some noisy bread makers that shifted around the counter. This is not a speculation, but it is a real concern my wife and I had. I was concerned because I wanted to make the best decision I can. In the end, am very pleased with the decision I made and my wife is thrilled with it too.

Just like some reviewers mentioned before, I have noticed that I cannot change some of the options mid-cycle. I love baking, and I think even at three to four loaves a week for the next two years, am not going to have those reviewers expertise to make mid-cycle decisions.

For the price, I am electrified with what I have gotten back. Am persuaded that the convention oven aspect of the appliance only adds to the diligence of the baking. The crusts come out exactly how I want them to, and the bread is delicious. I wish the machine would cut the bread, too!

The Best Gift, A Handmade One

It’s never too soon to start thinking about the holidays. The crushing feelings of trying to find the perfect gift can be overwhelming, I know it was for me last Christmas. I have several family members to shop for each year and it seems like every year it gets harder and harder to find a gift! Last Christmas, I ended up doing something a little different and little bit cheesy. I’m nearly 25 years old but I hand made my gifts and I think they were some of the very best that I have given.

For my very religious parents and southern parents, I made a door wreath. Now this wasn’t your typical wreath! It was made out of old barbed wire, a boot, a cross and some Christmas tinsel. The project turned out to be super cute and a perfect gift! Several months after Christmas my parents are still displaying the wreath proudly in their home, it looks like a custom showpiece instead of a homemade craft!

Even my for my nieces I went the homemade route. My eldest niece received a set of handmade jewelry. I’ve made jewelry for several years now, but I’ve always either hoarded it myself or sold it to strangers, family members rarely ended up with any of my work. This year, though, my 16-year-old niece ended up with a beautiful blue necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings. She’s putting my gift to good use this year and wearing them to prom!

My youngest niece, only 5-years-old was given a hand knitted soft octopus. I’ve been knitting for six months so let me tell you this project was tricky! The pattern was recommended to me on some website, but it turned out to the be the perfect gift!

Even my brother and sister-in-law were given some homemade candles and soaps, something they were too polite to refuse. Sometimes the best gift is one you make yourself.

Shop, cook and eat well all week long

Rethinking your dining strategy can lighten your load on school nights. We’ll help you create a schedule to plan, shop, cook and eat well all week long.

Do you spend so much time in the classroom—not to mention all of the requisite preparation and follow-up work—that you don’t set aside enough time to make healthy meals?

Organization and systemic thinking make all the difference in creating a schedule that will help you plan, shop, cook and eat well all week long. Planning is already second nature to educators, so getting healthful meals on the table quickly can be a manageable task—especially if you incorporate these time-saving practices into your routine.

Create your weekly dining plan. Preparing simple, healthful meals starts at the beginning of the week. That’s when you should set aside time to map out a seven-day menu. Save your fastest, easiest recipes for nights when you know you’ll be tied up with school events or your own personal/family activities.

For inspiration and guidance, check out these online resources:

  • Recipes and thrifty meal tips, including the Pantry Challenge, at Good Cheap Eats
  • Menu Plan Mondays with recipes, plus ideas for organizing your own recipe collection, at Meal Planning Magic
  • Weekly diet-friendly menus, complete with recipes and a printable grocery list, at Menu Plan Your Butt Off
  • Free archived menus and grocery lists from Eat at Home Cooks (new weekly meal plans are emailed to subscribers for a $7/month fee)
  • Creative ways to plan menus (wall boards, magnets, notebooks and more) pinned by professional organizer Laura Wittman
  • A busy teacher’s “Meal-Planning 101: A How-to Guide,” including instructions on how to create your own recipe index

Once you’ve decided on your menu, create the grocery list. “Buy all the ingredients you need in one trip to the store,” says Karen Friend Smith, co-founder of, which helps users plan easy, nutritious meals. “It will eliminate a huge amount of time.”

Timing is key. Plot out the week based on which ingredients are the most perishable. “That would be meat, fish and spinach,” says The Six O’Clock Scramble author Aviva Goldfarb, who produces a dinner planner at “You’ll want to schedule on your calendar accordingly.”

Pencil in prep time. You’re busy with schoolwork during the week, so it makes sense to carve out prep time on the weekend. On Sundays, spend an hour or two prepping various ingredients you’ll need that can be refrigerated for quick use later in the week. Think rice, pasta sauce, meatballs and shredded rotisserie chicken.

During the week, squeeze in fast prep work by multi-tasking. “You can wash and chop vegetables when you’re waiting for the kids to finish breakfast or their homework or even during a long phone call,” Goldfarb says.

Find purpose in repurposing. Taking leftovers or extra ingredients and transforming them into something delicious is easier than you’d think. “If you find yourself with extra ingredients—or find a great deal at the store on an economy-sized buy—don’t despair,” says Jennifer Brewer, a registered dietitian and author of Stop Dieting and Start Losing Weight. “And don’t throw away the extras.”

Brewer suggests these simple formulas for using leftovers:

  • Rice: Cook with onion, then simmer in broth; add meat, if desired
  • Fruit: Add to yogurt or salads
  • Vegetables: Mix into soups and casseroles
  • Chicken: Shred for quesadillas, tacos or casseroles
  • Roast beef: Top with carrots, peas and mashed potatoes for an easy version of shepherd’s pie
  • Ground beef: turns into chili with chili seasoning and some canned tomatoes and beans. Or grab a sloppy Joe mix and some hamburger buns.

Double up your recipes. Buy extra ingredients to make extra-large portions of your dishes, then store them as individual meals. You can eat them within a few days or freeze them to stockpile your own “frozen dinners.”

“You’ll have an entire dinner for another evening that will only take minutes to make,” Smith says. “And you can freeze much of this, such as chili or homemade pasta sauces. You get twice as much mileage and only make a mess in the kitchen once.”

Develop a systematic approach. For starters, be consistent about where you keep everything—from veggies and fruit to noodles and beans—so you won’t waste time hunting through your kitchen for what you need.

Before you start cooking, clear off the counters, empty the dishwasher, and pull out all the ingredients you’ll need. “Then, put ingredients away as you use them so cleanup will go more quickly, too,” Goldfarb says.

Enlist your significant other and/or your children to help. That’ll make your job easier and create quality family time.

Stock up on staples. Make sure your pantry always has plenty of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemons or lemon juice, pepper, herbal seasoning blend, a variety of spices, whole grains, dried or canned lentils/peas, canned tomatoes and pastas. These staples combine easily with an assortment of proteins and veggies to concoct a fast, wholesome dinner.

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Rachael Ray Cookware Sets Wow Users

Rachael Ray has won over American audiences as more than just a chef–she is funny, relatable, and very down to Earth. Rachael Ray cookware easily reflects her personality, as the pieces are obviously of very high quality, but they are not intimidating. These pieces are easy to utilize to their highest potential.

The beautiful colors brighten up even the drabbest of kitchens, and breath new life into the same old recipes. Using the Rachael Ray Cucina cookware set has greatly improved my cooking life. I’m very partial to the Agave Blue 12-piece set, but the Orange Gradient pieces are also absolutely gorgeous.

From start to finish, these pieces make even the most mundane grilled cheese something to look forward to making. The non-stick setting makes for incredibly easy and fast clean-up, and won’t burn your food! This is perfect for new cooks and picky eaters alike. The pots and pans are just the beginning, too, as each set includes useful utensils. The brightly colored spatulas make Sunday morning breakfast an even happier occasion, and help flip the perfect pancakes.

I’m honestly not sure what I did before I got my Rachael Ray cookware sets, but I know I didn’t enjoy cooking as much. These pieces are so beautiful that you’ll find yourself inspired to try to find a chic way to display these works of modern beauty in your kitchen. My cookware review has encouraged many of my friends and my family to invest in these sets, and everyone has been so happy! The pieces don’t even feel cheap, and I can tell that the non-stick attributes are going to last for a long time. These are easily the most beautiful, highest quality, and easiest to use pieces of cookware that I’ve ever had. Rachael and her team really hit it out of the park on this one!

Did you know that air mattresses are available with a frame

I couldn’t picture myself using one of those camping air mattresses with a frame. I always thought air mattresses are used directly on soil or floor, or as I do, with a thick sheet in between. Therefore, we were surprised when my sister’s husband suggested that we buy such an air mattress. Now, there was a good reason for him suggesting that. My husband met with a minor accident a couple of years ago. Prior to that, we used to frequently go for camping with our children and other family members. It used to be almost once in a month program. Everybody used to enjoy such a get together. But the last couple of years, we could only go once, and then too, my husband was not able to sit for most of the time. He spent most of his time in the car, which is why we had to put a full stop to our family get together programs. My brother in law learned about air mattress with frame from one of his colleagues, and was excited about the news. It never occurred to us that there could be a product like that. We went to the shop, and were shocked to find that this product more than meets our needs and expectations. This is the best camping air mattress for him.

For starters imagine that bed in the hospital’s ER. Yes, that is how this air mattress looks like. Even though it is supposed to be twin cot bed, it is merely 39 inches in width, which was a bit of a disappointment for me. The length of this air mattress is 74 inches, and its height 8.5 inches.

There is nothing great to write home about as far as the surface goes, but who is complaining when it comes to the purpose. There is no pump that comes with this mattress as far as I know. The frame, however, is impressive. It touches the ground in six different places. This gives me confidence that the bed will be steady alright and I would not have to worry about what he needs when I am cooking. I checked the way it is folded about three times to confirm whether I will be able to open it and close it. I would advise everybody to do that. I am also glad that this Coleman air mattress with its metal frame, though heavy can be folded compactly for storing. The frame also has casters for dragging it along. The price did not matter so much once we’d seen the product, so we bought it. We will be going for camping the next week.

The good, the delicious, and the gooey

There’s a show on The Food Network called ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’.  I think it runs somewhere between Sandra Lee making something weirdly boozy, and Alton Brown making chefs cook with both hands tied behind their backs.  ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’ details the best plates, usually cheese topped or caramel dripping, of today’s celebrity chefs.  It’s fun to live vicariously.  You’ll need some snacks for viewing.  Don’t go into this endeavor hungry.

Inspired by The Food Network and Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere, here’s my list of the good, the delicious, and the gooey.

Also… I’m tempted to cut this list very short and say that this mango and coconut dark chocolate bar I’m currently eating in bed is the best thing I have ever eaten.

•  The best Maple Buttermilk Donuts from Top Pot in Seattle.  The key in the thick layer of maple glaze over the dense but cake donut.  They’re hard to share.

This Strawberry Black Pepper Donut, the ones I made in my own kitchen, might have been the best donuts I’ve ever had.  That’s not a humble brag.  They were really delicious.

•  Coffee from Slate Coffee in Seattle.  I’ll be the first to admit that I rolled my eyes at the deconstructed latte served in wine glasses with a shot of espresso, a warm shot of milk, and a small glass of the two together, but… it was perfect.  And the wine glasses brought out the aroma of the espresso.  And the grassiness of the milk really came through.  I pulled up to this place blasting Kelly Clarkson from my rental car and got a HEALTHY amount of Seattle-resident dirty looks.  Chill Seattle.  Why so serious!?

•  Oysters at Maison Premier in Brooklyn.  Something about the seafood tower, crushed iced, briny petite oysters, fancy tropical drinks, and dreamy back patio that makes Maison Premier some of the best oysters I’ve ever enjoyed.

Louisiana oysters are so big and meaty, I’m still trying to build my relationship with them.  So far I’m scared.

•  Best roasted vegetable from Domenica in New Orleans. They make a whole head of cauliflower taste like butter.  Tender, rich, and still somehow a vegetable.

I tried to recreate the recipe with this Whole Roasted Caulifower with Cheddar Beer Sauce.

Cheddar Beer Sauce hides, compliments, and celebrates a multitude of sins.

Read the full list at

For the Love of Coffee: The Best Espresso Maker Review

If you love coffee like I do then I suppose you know about the importance of an early morning fix! Nothing gets me going like a good cup of espresso. I’m sure by the time you’re reading this you’ve probably gone through some best espresso maker reviews website or two… but I believe I can make things easier for you.

See the thing about any espresso machine out there is the convenience and ease of use. There are digital and fully programmable espresso machines as well as manual ones for the more experienced “home baristas”. A programmable espresso machine is probably what you will need. Why? You don’t need to remember the perfect recipe and quantities that produced the best brew. Just key in your preferences and bam! You can continuously have your favorite concoction with just a touch of a button.


The Breville Barista-Express BES-860XL espresso machine is a top class coffee brewers the market has received so far! It stores your coffee beans in a tightly sealed large-size hopper to keep them fresh for long without the need for refills. I use this espresso machine every time I go to my sister’s and I love the results it produces. The aromatic fresh beans coffee can make anyone’s taste buds do a backflip! The good thing with this espresso machine is that it switches between manual and automatic.

Past experiences with the Rancilio-Silvia espresso machine weren’t that bad either although the thing was too damn heavy! Cleaning it wasn’t so hard making it very easy to maintain and that’s why I gave it to my grandparents.

I had saved up close to 8 months to get myself the Nespresso espresso machines, it’s the most easy espresso machine to use and also very affordable. But the king of espresso is this Saeco Xelsis, this is the king of all espresso machines the world over. Picture this… the Saeco Xelsis stores up to 6 different profiles and all it needs to do is identify each stored fingerprint to make everyone their favorite cup! How cool is that? And that’s not all… each stored profile can further have 9 different mixtures (coffee qualities) saved up under their individual profile! You just have to buy this espresso machine to fully understand what I’m talking about.

Any other good espresso machines out there?

My Favourite Rice Cooker Recipe

Chicken rice has always been one of my favourite food – and after moving away from Singapore, it’s only natural that I crave for the oily and fragrant rice topped with silky and juicy chicken meat! But as there’s only X and me, it’s a little ridiculous to cook up one whole chicken as we won’t be able to finish it in one sitting.

I then remembered my mom tried cooking chicken rice in a rice cooker before – her rice cooker had a steamer insert, so she placed the seasoned rice in the rice cooker, add in the steamer insert, place the chicken in the steamer and cooked as per normal, so even though my rice cooker is very basic with no additional gadgets, I decided to give this method a go.

When you’re in a pinch with little time and you don’t want to be stuck with a pile of dishes, use slow cooker recipes! They’re great because they allow you to multitask while your food is being cooked. And no worries if you don’t have a slow cooker – simply transform your rice cooker into a slow cooker so you can still get the job done!

Great hearty meal for a family dinner or your post-workout meal prep.

Ingredients for 5 servings:

  • 2 cups uncooked sprouted brown Basmati rice
  • 1 lb chicken breast (chopped into pieces)
  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp (peeled, deveined, chopped)
  • 1 diced Roma tomato
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 4oz green chiles
  • 5 cup chicken broth (no salt)
  • 8oz tomato sauce (no salt)
  • 1.25 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Seasonings:
    • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 5 teaspoon chili powder
    • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Garnish:
    • Fresh cilantro


  1. Spray the inside of the rice cooker with olive oil.
  2. Then add all of the ingredients to the rice cooker.
  3. Briefly stir the mixture with a spatula, close the lid and select the appropriate cooking setting. I set my rice cooker to “brown rice” and it cooked for about 50 minutes. Just ensure the rice is neither undercooked (crunchy) nor overcooked (mushy).
  4. Once it has completed cooking, serve immediately or place in meal prep containers to enjoy throughout the week.
Find out other great recipes here.

Sure Tips to Buying the Best Kitchen Knives

Kitchen knives are one investment that is used daily in the kitchen for cooking and that is why choosing the best quality that is strong,durable and easy to handle is an investment that i don’t mind making.In this article i will share the tips to buying the best kitchen knife sets that has worked for me.

Kitchen knives are available in different sizes and shapes depending on the specific use.For instance we have a vegetable knife,a chefs knife,and a carving knife. However buying a set of knives that contain the above range is cheaper than buying each one of them. I therefore buy my knives according to the specific function i intend to use it for.

It is important to consider the set that is corrosion resistant because I wouldn’t want to buy knives that will let me down by breaking over time. Investing in high quality knives saves me money in the long run even if i bought it expensively. One set that i known to be strong is the Ginsu set. Corrosion resistance is another quality for a good set of knives as this makes the knives to last longer. I easily confirm the knives that are both corrosion resistant and strong by checking the manufacturers guarantee.

Another thing i do before buying a kitchen knife is feeling its weight.If buying the knife for everyday chopping of light ingredients then i go for a light weight chopper.However,for cutting hard food like nuts and palm sugar i would go for the heavy one.

To make sure i am buying quality kitchen knives i check for the balance both in the handle and the blade.I do this by placing my finger at the end of the handle then horizontally holding the knife with the cutting edge facing down. By doing this ,i would know a good quality knife when it balances at that point. A knife that is well balanced makes cutting easier without using much effort.

The ceramic kitchen knives are considered the best quality and i always look for those particular ones whenever i go to the store to buy my kitchen knives.This knives are able to stay sharp for a long time and are also rust free.

In conclusion, I would say that a good quality kitchen knives set is an investment that i will never regret making.I will always go for non stainless steel knives like those made from carbon steel because they are easy to sharpen.

My Amazing Cookware Sets

It has been a long time since I was in the kitchen. My ex wife has always a homely woman, and I found myself spending less and less time in the kitchen each and every day. However, since our divorce the kitchen is seeing a lot more of me. The divorce meant having to move house. In fact, I have had to buy an entirely new house and everything that comes with it.

We had been married for 15 years, during that time; I left all issues concerning the kitchen to my now ex wife. Thus, my reintroduction to the world of kitchenware left me in awe. Today’s kitchenware has so many features to choose from and at such fair prices. They are all so amazing and even harder to comprehend. Since I was beginning from scratch, a lot had to be put in consideration. Viewing of the best cookware set reviews quite important before committing oneself to a certain set. At the very top of the list was my choice of cooking. I have really embraced my carnivorous side since my divorce, all my meals are meat, or contain meat. My meals for the last 15 years have been green and tasteless, not that I have anything against healthy meals. But now, almost all my meals are dry fried, shallow fried or deep fried. Thus, my choice of pans was thorough.

I also had to make sure not to overdo everything. Hence, my extensive knowledge of what was otherwise, uncharted territory. I came to understand fancy terms that were in real sense quite simple. Some lingo was really quite unnecessary, as were some pieces in certain cookware sets. Avoiding non essential buying of utensils became as important as understanding what I was buying. Even more important was handling the utensils before purchase; this gives one a feel of what it would be like using the utensils in the kitchen. Even the look of the utensil is now a factor to consider. With so many varieties, the practicality of the item is almost as important as its look. The material making up the item is of primary importance; especially, the material that makes up the handle. These are the most important; however, the rim, lids and side walls are just as important factors to consider during purchase. Changes in technology have affected cookware too e.g. built-in thermometers in a lids knob.

How To Master 5 Basic Cooking Skills

A video on helping you to master your basic skills in the kitchen. Cooking rice, chopping an onion, sharpening a knife, deboning a fish and cooking pasta.
From Gordon’s Ultimate Cookery Course.

Best Small Rice Cooker I Have Ever Owned

My small rice cooker is the single most important kitchen appliance I own. Over the past few years, I have gotten into the habit of eating rice at almost every meal, sometimes even for breakfast. I eat rice with seaweed, rice with curry, rice with steamed vegetables, rice with soup, rice with chili – basically anything that you can think of. It’s easy to make (with the right cooker), filling, delicious, and cheap, so why not? This predilection for rice has given me a certain kind of expertise in rice cooking, which I am going to share with you now, because, in my opinion, everyone needs an electric rice cooker in their life.

The single best small rice cooker I’ve ever owned (and actually still do) is the wonderful Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-cup rice cooker and warmer. What can I say? The Japanese know their rice. It’s the right size for a single person living alone, and I’ve been using it daily for two years and it hasn’t broken down on me yet.

When I first started buying my own cookers, I went to Walmart and bought a cheap $30 plastic bucket looking thing. I thought, “It’s just a rice cooker. It’s not like there’s much of a difference between the cheap and expensive ones. Rice is rice.” I was wrong. The cheap cooker broke down in a matter of weeks, and I can say with some certainty that the rice that I get out of the NS-LAC05XT tastes much better than the rice I got out of the plastic bucket. It is as they say – you get what you pay for.

The NS-LAC05XT is a little on the expensive side. It retails on Amazon for $150, but believe me, it’s worth it. Just imagine this little scenario (which happened to me in real life): you’re driving home after a long day of work. You’re tired, hungry and already imagining what it will be like to walk into your apartment, go to the kitchen and reward yourself with a big bowl of hot, steaming rice, with a side of instant curry. Instead, you arrive home to a pile of cold, uncooked rice because your cheap Walmart rice cooker decided to break down while you were away, and now you’re stuck with gross instant noodles.

The Zojirushi cooker is the best small rice cooker ever. It hasn’t let me down yet. So if you’re into rice, go check it out!

Frontera cooking
How to choose a rice cooker

How to Make Flavored Lattes

Learn about and how to make flavored lattes at home from our expert in this free drink recipe video on making your own espresso drinks.

by Expert Village

How We Started A Profitable Kitchen Knives Store In Town

Although, I am one of the most successful kitchen knives store owners in town. My journey to the top has not been easy. The day I was dismissed from work is still stuck in mind my mind like yesterday. I was long time marketer to one of the biggest kitchen knives suppliers in town and my job description was simple. My work was to go through some of the kitchen knives reviews and make sure I bring them into our stores. However, one day I was seated in my office just like any other day when my secretary came in holding something in hands which I could see it was a letter. I opened the letter immediately and what followed left me trembling; I had been dismissed from work. Without wasting time I packed my belonging and left for home.

Two days after that fateful day, my wife thought if something was not done as soon as possible, I was headed to destruction. I was so stressed up and I spent most of my time sleeping. She came into our bedroom. We talked for a couple of minutes and she in later suggested that we also opened a family business just like the one I had been working for years. I liked her idea and the good thing we had one of the best spots in town; all we needed was furnishing, stocking and maybe one or two employees. When the place was ready we embarked on the search for the best knives for our customers. We combed through several kitchen knives reviews and at the end we singled out the best of the best. (More: How to choose the right knife for your job)

7 months down the line and thanks to some of the best kitchen knives reviews we go through on daily, our business is destined for greatness. As a matter of fact, if things go the way we are expecting, we are seeing ourselves venturing into new markets.

Good recommendation – The Shun kitchen knives