Basic Buying Guide You Need for Choosing the Toaster Oven

Nowadays, using the oven is quite easy even if you don’t usually use those types of modern kitchen appliances. However, there’s another problem that need to be cared as much as the way you use the product, that is how can you choose a good toaster oven among thousands of models in the market.

Similar to any other types of products, the toaster ovens are manufactured in various types of shapes, size and functions according to the requirements and the budget of customers. The aim of the manufacturers is to sell as many products as possible then they have to make their appearance exaggerated by commercials. That’s the reason why choosing the best toaster oven is becoming more and more difficult especially with beginners.

Things You Should Know About a Good Toaster Oven

You can see that the ovens are made by some particular materials and parts that we can’t know exactly even with experts. So with experiences working in kitchen appliances factories, I have made a list about things that are often added into a good toaster oven to add up its value and quality:

  • The control settings: I have seen lots of toaster oven filled with buttons. It’s quite handy with people who know exactly what they are going to do, but in fact, it’s not a good thing to choose when you find it difficult to control the whole board of buttons like that. Intuitive controls are quite simple and can be adjusted any time you want so at least you can cook without having to remember too much.
  • Presets for the dishes: Some of the dishes are quite common and cooked in a daily basis, so having presets help the users to reduce quite a large amount of time. With just a press, you can quickly complete a dish and move on to the next one without worrying about the quality. It even makes the oven simpler to get rid of the complex steps and has the system remembered all the time and heat settings.
  • Alerts and alarms: Many people find this not essential when buying an oven because they think they can be in the kitchen most of the time and don’t need some kinds of alarms that are too loud. But in fact, in some situation, you have to rethink about that. The beep when the food is done helps you to know exactly when the food is cooked and can be served right away. This keeps the freshness and the heat inside the toasted food so that your meal can be the best with the oven. In addition, some kinds of smoke or fire detector with loud rings alerts are very important because of kitchen safety. You should consider and test this function before investing money in any product.

There are so many functions that I want you to know, but we should leave it here and head to the next part: What should you know before going shopping?

What Should You Know – Before – Go?

Basically, the first thing you should know is the list of function that I gave to you. It helps you to have the basic knowledge – at least in testing functions. Then you should know some other aspects that play important part to the kitchen arrangement and how you cook with this type of kitchen appliance.

  • Which size you would like your oven to be? The description of the oven often has a part that displays the capacity of it according to some kinds of food often used with it. For example, the manufacturer’s description will inform you about the size of pizza that fits the toaster oven, or how many slices of bread for the best operation. Some kinds of food such as chicken, beef or fish will have some required methods of preparation before cooking. This can be the best information to narrow the information and requirements needed when you want to choose a good toaster oven.
  • Another thing is how your cooking plan is: You might think that this can only be decided after you bring the toaster home, but in fact, this must be done before that. With people who need a toaster for bread baking, it’s a good idea to select a product with steam function. On the other hand, you shouldn’t buy a whole oven just to toast the bread in the morning and take up too much space in your kitchen for nothing more. A regular toaster should be fine.
Category: Cooking

Let’s Bring the Great Benefits of Music to Your Child’s Brain

Most of children have their inherent ability on music. No matter how well babies respond to music, they also are able to make contact with music from just under two years old. For example, a YouTube video has being demonstrated, babies would move rhythmically forward the sound of music. In fact, they seems to make at least basic respond to heard tempo and rhythm more easily better than they do to make an even simple speech. In modern life, having devices making and playing music is quite easy. People have no reason to refuse letting their children expose to music. High quality MP3, Ipod, Ipad, radio, or even best turntable can be easy found on the market with a reasonable price. If you want to keep the budget, find a device on the Internet. There is the place for you to read many truly review and compare the price before making any purchase. At first, following the article to find down why we need a music player in your home.

According to many researches, experts have shown that there are influences of music on human heart beat. It is not only able to keep the heart calm down but also speed it up. Now scientists show as well how music can make a lot of positive effects on the children’ brains. Look for the reason bear your child near to music.

The Connection between Music and Brain

Positive Effect of Music on Children

  1. Music Improves Your Child’ Brain

Many studies show that music has great power impact to the brain development. Babies taking Suzuki music in their lesson series can reach better results in mathematical, reading skills and higher IQ scores. By being trained with focus and attention to the music, babies’ brains are involved to high level of concentration. Exposing to music, especially listening to suitable songs at the pauses between their movements, physical activities will help the brains’ capacity larger with better anticipation and attention. The way teaching and taking a rest with music or taking musical training should be used at early ages. It helps their brain has strongly respond and be sustained along child’s life.

  1. Music as a Good Lecture Teaching Babies Become Better Readers

Music and Read

If you are wondering music truly can improve your child’s reading skills? The answer is “Yes”. Many researches have shown that there are close and direct link between verbal skills and music training. Rhythm of music can activate the area in child’s brain and sharpen their ability to quick neural events help sound and speech in sight occurs faster. If children stay in early musical training, they are able to develop great literacy and best verbal skills.

  1. Music Helps Child’s Emotional Intelligence Development

By exposing to music via many training courses, one’s ability will be sharpened and easier to recognize the emotion along the melodies. This might help children realize the emotional cues more sensitively, anyways, in normal social contexts of their daily behavior. In other words, this is called empathy development of emotional intelligence which helps them avoid the aggression and bullying at school. It also makes children develop their own ability in responding to the other people on right way and still taking care of themselves.

Negative Influence of Violent Music on Child’s Brain

Besides a lot of benefits of music that I mentioned above, it still exists some negative effects if choosing music and listen to it in wrong way. Particularly, violent music is a clear example. People said that “music can tame one’s heart, but also inflame her/his mind to the violence”. In fact, many studies shown that the aggressive feelings and thoughts in child can be reinforced by violent music. The antisocial themes of this music kind accentuate children’s negative emotions and become a risk with antisocial behaviors.

In the same way, there are a lot of kids don’t know which type of music they should listen to. Some, they choose music that doesn’t fit their ages. A little boy is everyday exposing to love songs. He might even sing along the lyrics written about miss and love a girl. That is totally not good. Or another example, the other day, I met a little girl listening to a music video. In most of the video scenes, the actors fight together with full of blood on their faces and hands. What would you think in the moment? I just wondered if the little was influenced by the video. My sincere though was “yes”. Even though much or less, kid will be thought about what they saw in the past. As the result, music they listened and scenes they saw become a part of their memories. It is never wrong when we said that “music is one of great education”. However, let us choose suitable and best education for your kids.

Kids Exposing to Music

In Summary

We all know that everything has two sides. Yes, it is. But how we can take advantage of the good side and reduce the bad one; that is our mission. Choosing suitable type of music for your children is the issue for parents. Music training is the same as a special education in the beginning of their life. Most of us don’t care enough of music what our kids listen to. Why? Because of this so busy life in modern era. Too many tasks need to be achieved. That is one of the true reasons for children with antisocial behaviors nowadays. Let’s take a bit time to help your children grow in appropriate music. Now, it is right to look for a music player for yourself. Give your child the best music training. I hope the post bring you good idea as well as give a clear overview about your children music education. Have a good day!

Category: Tips and Tricks

Tips for Using Ceramic Cookware

A ceramic is known as an inorganic non-metallic solid which is made of both metal and non-metal compounds. Ceramic is normally shaped and then made harder through a heating process at high temperature. Ceramic was known having been used commonly in many ancient cultures. Today, cookware made of ceramic become popular in kitchens of household with the variety of colors, shapes and patterns. Here are some tips for you in order to have the best ceramic cookware.

Ceramic cookware

Ceramic cookware

General Information of Ceramic Cookware

There are two main types of ceramic cookware including: 100% ceramic cookware and ceramic coated cookware

Ceramic Coated Cookware

Ceramic Coated cookware consist the body part made of metal while the cooking surface is covered by ceramic coat. The base is usually made of aluminum to guarantee heat circulation and sturdiness. The advantages of ceramic coated cookware are due to the fact that the non-stick cooking surface is totally free from toxic chemicals. Namely, the ceramic coating helps to also prevent the release of the toxic chemicals into food during cooking process. It would be the best kind of cookware that guarantees food safety.

100% Ceramic Cookware

This type of ceramic cookware is made by mixing clay and water into pre-shaped molds. After these molds are shaped like expected for cookware, they are hilt at very high temperature for a long period of time in order to achieve the hardened ceramics surface. There has been a problem with previous types of ceramic cookware, particularly the cheap cookware.  That is they can be easily cracked and broke just with a small external force. This problem has been resolved by utilizing modern manufacturing methods in order to produce ceramic lines which are clay-based and crack-resistant. This type of cookware is considered to be the safest choice for cooking as well as food serving

Tips for Taking Care of Cookware Made Of Ceramic

  1. in Cooking Process: Cooking Under Low to Medium Heat

Ceramic cookware takes longer time to heat up than cookware made of other materials such as metal one, but it can remain the heat quality better then others. In addition, ceramic cookware cannot be heated under extreme temperature for a long time.

How to choose ceramic cookware?

How to choose ceramic cookware?

Therefore, it is advisable to use ceramic products under low heat or medium heating. When you use ceramic pot or pan, you should not use large fire. You should gradually heat up your cookware like pans on lower temperature at certain time. You just add food when it has reached the temperature that you think it is enough for your cooking. After that you should turn down the heating control and keep it in a reasonable level.

  1. Avoiding Damage after Cooking

You should not put hot ceramic cookware on glass surface, if you do that it can damage that surface with scratched. One tip here is that you should put paper or something soft under the ceramic bottom of the pot in order to avoid the damage of glass surface caused by heating of ceramic pot.

  1. Avoiding Soaking Heated Ceramic Cookware into Cold Water

Ceramic cookware can retain heat for a long time. After cooking, it still remains at extremely high temperature. If you soak hot ceramic cookware like plan or pots in cold water, quickly temperature changes can damage the ceramic coating, and affect the quality of ceramic pan. Therefore, you should put pan out of the oven, wait for complete cooling before washing it.

  1. Tips for Deep Cleaning Ceramic Cookware

When using non-stick cookware, usually you are given advice that is avoiding cleansers such as baking soda. Using that kind of cleansers can damage the ceramic surface of this cookware. Although this is truth, people who have never cleaned ceramic coated cookware using that kind of cleanser will understand that it can take too much time remove food waste in these pans.

  1. Store Ceramic Cookware

Using ceramic cookware, especially non-stick pans, you will be told stored separately from other cookware. Collision between ceramic cookware can damage them. Namely, other types of cookware being stored together with ceramic pans can also result scratches on its surface. When storing ceramic coated pans, you should locate a soft paper or any soft material between them in order to protect them from damaging non-stick surface. That kind of materials is relatively available in many supermarkets so that you can easily buy in order to help you decrease scratches on the both surface and inner part of ceramic cookware.

Category: Cooking

How to Clean Your Kitchen with These Useful Tips

Always dirty no matter how hard you try to keep it cool and clean – that’s the kitchen. It’s the place where grease, oil and other stuff stick everywhere. Even the best pressure cooker cannot perform well if you don’t take care of and clean it regularly. You cannot get rid of them perfectly but at least with some tips, you can reduce the dirty list you have to handle.

kitchen cleaning

The dirt can come from many place, it could be the left food from yesterday or the sauce you accidently dropped on the floor. You usually have to mop or clean something in the kitchen. Kitchen is the room which is used most often, so keeping it clean is not easy at all. So how do you keep your busy kitchen tidy? These tips below might help you a little bit. Let’s see!

  1. Clean all the spots as soon as possible

There is a little thing that you might not know is that if you know how to clean spots, you can keep your kitchen tidier and cleaner without wasting time and money. If you have small spots on the floor like some water drops or the soup, you should take care of it quickly. Instead of doing the huge work for one single day, just solve the little problems; it would be much easier and better. Your efforts to keep the kitchen clean will be minimized with the best results.

  1. Do the cleaning regularly

Sometimes even in your kitchen, there would be a chance to appear many bad factor for health from bacteria or spoiled food. At any time when you notice that there is something wrong with the surface of the food, make sure that the area around the food or contact with it was cleansed. The failure of cleaning them could possibly lead to some unhealthy factors in your kitchen.

  1. The Dishes…


The sink with full of dishes from days of eating and cooking is just like the kingdom of bacteria and toxic. It smells horrible and is a grand challenge every time you look at it. So please clean all of the dishes right after finishing the meal with warm water and dish washing soap. The dishes are things that contact directly to the food, so keeping it clean and dry is very important.

  1. Using the mop regularly and do something with your floor

You need to create yourself a habit of cleaning the floor at least 4 or 5 times a week. It is an amazing way to clean your kitchen. All the dirt, grease and oil can stack up through time and making them hard to wipe off. To prevent that, regularly mopping seems like the good answer. Do it often and you will be surprised of the result it brings you?

  1. Buy washing and cleaning liquid

washing the dishes

You should choose the brand carefully. These can help you to clean the kitchen effectively. The functions of disinfecting wipes depend on what chemicals were added in; therefore you should read the instruction carefully to use them the best way. The usage is very simple, but you have to make sure that the budget for this method is not too high, and you should not rely on disinfecting wipes all the time. The best way to keep your kitchen clean is that taking care of the smallest dirt as soon as possible, but don’t forget to clean and mop the kitchen regularly, maybe weekly. And also clean the appliances. They are like best friends of you in the kitchen, and easy to be dirty, too. Clean them often or else the grease and oil will stack up on them, prevent the machines to work properly.

These are useful tips that you can apply in daily life and make your kitchen clean and shine. Please check out our blog to see other tips in home improvement and improve your living. With the passion in home innovating, I believe you all will find this blog helpful and interesting. Thank you for reading this blog article. Hope you guys can keep the kitchen shiny all the time. See you later!

Category: Cooking

Your Listening Pleasure Will Be Totally Satisfied With This Device!

The number of modern music devices introduced to the market recently has reached thousands. You will be confused when trying to choose any kind of music player without knowing about the quality of the sound. Among all those modern devices, there is an old one still lives one and even be more popular over the period of 10 years until now. That’s the record player which is very familiar with adults at the age of 60 and more but is a totally new thing to young generations. In this buying guide, I will show you some of the most basic knowledge to buy the best record player based on you budget.

record player

The first thing you must know before choosing the record player is the type of LPs you are having and the type of records you want to play in the future. Some experts showed that there are many kinds of vinyl records; however, according to the RPM which means revolution per minutes, we can divide them into 3 main types

  • 78s means that mean it takes 78 seconds to spin
  • 33 1/3s that mean it takes 33 and a third seconds to spin
  • 45s that mean it takes 45 seconds to spin

Nowadays, almost all of the record players support all these kinds of records, but in some cases, especially if the player is vintage furniture, or it is an inherited object from a relative of yours, you should check this factor carefully.

After the first problem is solved, you might want to think about the second question: “Do you have to care about the technology change after all those years?” The answer is yes, but not much since the 80s. The materials used of the base and the platter have no differences. In fact, you can have a better choice for the base according to the type of music you want to hear. As normal you can choose the metal base for jazz and blue music, to acoustic record, I prefer wooden handmade base. There is another advantage from the new record player that you can realize easily is the compatibility between the record player and other output and input devices such as PC, laptop or USB.

Then you should consider the style of your record player. You might think it’s not important because any record player is very unique and luxurious, but it is not true at all. Each type of record player has its own shape and size which blends perfectly in a certain living room or bedroom style. According to expert audiophiles, the size of the record player depends mostly on the size of the room. If it is a music room with large size, you can choose some models which has additional jacks for the speakers and sub – woofers.

On the other hand, if your room is just in standard size or even smaller, it’s not a smart option to bring home a big record player that can obstruct the room traffic. Instead, you can take a look at Corsley models that are mostly made of wood in light weight and small size, so that the sound would be beautiful and warm because of the echoing effect of wooden base. In fact, if your room decoration is quite compact and modern, you might consider purchasing a plastic – based phonograph to match with the background, though the sound can’t be as perfect as the wooden one.

The last thing after the record player is yours is the problem of maintenance. Many decades ago, the maintenance of record players is very hard due to the lack of equipment and replacing parts. Nowadays, with the development of technology, the repair and maintaining process is much easier for both manufacturers and customers.  Generally, a standard record player can play for at least 10000 hours before having any troubles. Even in some models, the rubber belt – one of the most part that is easy to worn out – can be replaced easily with just one or two small actions. If you are a person that already has some experiences in fixing appliances, I’m pretty sure that there would be no problem doing the maintenance on your own.

Category: Sound Devices

What You Need to Consider When Buying a New HDTV

hdtvTechnology is constantly evolving and by doing that it makes it more difficult for people to decide on which tech piece they want to buy. The same applies for HDTVs nowadays. There are so many different makes and models, manufactured by different brands, incorporating all kinds of unique and common features. If you are in the market for a brand new HDTV for your home take a look at the following guidelines which should make your decision making process easier.

There are several categories which need be considered when buying a new HDTV. Let’s take one step at a time.

Setting Your Preferred Budget Range

The larger the number of models and all sorts of different features on a certain HDTV will make the price go up or down. The first, and possibly most important, thing to decide is how much you are willing to spend. Let’s see what the most common budget ranges will get you.

Starting with less than $500 you will get a LCD, HD-Ready TV. If you wish your TV do have an integrated tuner, in that price range you are looking at 15 inch TVs at most. If you wish to sacrifice brand quality you could find some larger HDTV, up to 27 inches from brands like ViewSonic or Olevia.

For a budget range of $500-1000 you will most likely be able to find a 32inch or smaller LCD HDTV with integrated tuner. That price range could get you a 50inch HDTV but with digital light processing technology.

For a budget range of $1000-2000 you can get up to 46inch LCD HDTVs with integrated tuners. The same range will get you a 50inch or less Plasma TV or a 65inch HDTV with digital light processing at most.

The highest budget range we are going to consider is $2000-4000. While we are completely aware of the extent of the budget, in this price range you can comfortably find a 52 inch LCD, a Plasma TV of 60inches or 75inch HDTV with digital light processing technology.

The Screen Size Should Match the Size of the Room

size TVBack in the day people simply acquired the biggest size TV they could afford. However, there were no TV with the sizes of the ones on the market today. Furthermore, now HDTV prices are more affordable to the majority of the population, and it is more important to get a screen size that will blend in with the room. A 52inch HDTV is not really necessary in a smaller room, just as you cannot cover a bigger room with a 15 inch device.

Distance and viewing angles are two of the most important factors that have to be considered when choosing the size of the screen. A smaller screen viewed by a bigger distance will put pressure on your eyes and you will feel more displeasure than pleasure.

That being said, a larger widescreen TV will cause your eyes to move constantly all over the screen if you are viewing it from a close range, which can also make your head hurt.

As a rule of thumb, a 4-8 viewing distance is ideal for 24inch HDTV, 8-16 feet for 50inch and 10-20 feet distance for 60inch HDTV. There is absolutely no point in getting a 60inch TV if you plan on watching TV on it being 10 feet away from it.

Consider the Additional Features Included

hdtv panelNowadays TVs are used for so much more than just watching the news. Some people enjoy playing games on gaming consoles. The better the image quality, the better the gaming experience. Others connect their HDTVs to their home entertainment system and enjoy watching their favorite movies in HD or bigger quality.

Depending on the number of devices you want to attach to your HDTV, be sure to check the number of connections it can handle. To cover the most basic needs of the modern age you would want a device that has 2 HDMI inputs at least and a couple of USB ports for different uses. Also, if possible, get a HDTV that is Wi-Fi ready, or has Wi-Fi built in, if you want to wirelessly stream your audio and video content to it without having to run even more cables connecting to it.

Category: Sound Devices

Most Common Pasta Cooking Mistakes and How to Remedy Them

pastaEveryone like to enjoy the taste and flavor of Italian pasta every now and then. Some of you simply go to Italian restaurants nearby, but there are others that would like to cook it on their own in their own kitchens.

Some Italian chefs and cooking experts have conducted a simple survey recently, regarding the way people cook pasta and have established that people make a number of mistakes when cooking pasta on their own. Let’s take a look at their findings in detail.

  • People don’t Use Cooking Pots of the Appropriate Size

Arguably the most common issue when cooking pasta. If you want to cook it properly, experts claim you need four quarts of water per a pound of pasta. However, Italian chefs use more than that – using up to six quarts of water.

cooking pastaPasta requires moving space if it is to cook properly. Using lesser amounts of water will cause the pasta to stick to the surface of the pot and that is yet another problem. Therefore you need to use bigger cooking bots which can accommodate that amount of water and allow the pasta to move freely.

  • People Add Oil to the Pot

As high as 44% of the people in the survey stated they use cooking oil when cooking pasta. Although the origin of this trend is unknown, people probably do this in order to prevent pasta from sticking while it cooks. However, it also makes pasta too slippery making it impossible for sauces to stay on it. When cooking pasta you only need to ensure you have enough water in the pot and stir regularly to avoid sticking.

  • People don’t Add Salt in the Water

People are worried about their health, and that is perfectly understandable. And since salt is thought to be perilous to our healthy diets, people avoid putting too much salt on anything. Most people add a tiny amount of salt in the water when cooking pasta and that is a mistake. Pasta requires a lot more salt to cook right, because salt keeps it from becoming slimy. Italian chefs recommend using a whole tablespoon of salt per gallon of water. Admittedly this sounds like a huge amount of salt, however, pasta doesn’t really absorb all of it.

One instance when you can skip adding salt to the water is when you are cooking fresh pasta.

  • People Put the Past in the Pot before the Water Boils

Never add the pasta to the water before it starts boiling. Normally, water will stop boiling for a short time once you add the ingredients, but this is normal and water will resume boiling soon.

  • People Forget to Stir while Cooking

It was already mentioned that adding oil can spoil the flavor. To make sure the pasta cooks evenly, it is crucial that you stir it regularly while cooking. Not only it will taste better, you will also ensure that nothing will stick to the pot.

  • People Overcook the Pasta

pasta cooksThis probably comes down to taste, but it is a matter of fact that many people overcook it. There are cooks who will cook pasta for as much as five minutes, some less, some more. Undercooking is not as common as overcooking.

Naturally, the best way to ensure you’ve cooked your pasta as per your desires is to taste it in regular intervals while cooking. Most pasta packages have simple instructions written on them, and a cooking time as well. Once you hit that minute number, start tasting it and check if it is done. Also keep in mind that while you keep the pasta in a colander it will still be hot enough for a minute or two and during that time it will continue to cook itself.

  • People Rinse the Pasta when It’s Done

There is no better way to ruin the taste and flavor of pasta than rinsing it when it’s done cooking. And according to the survey, 51% of people do it.

Now, if you have identified any of these mistakes in your pasta cooking routine, be sure to follow the tips and guidelines provided above. You can rest assured they will make the world of difference and your pasta will be that much tastier and enjoyable.

Category: Cooking

Kitchen Arrangement for Happy Cooking

pressure cookerNo matter what you try, proper kitchen tools such as the pressure cooker or a set of sharp knives play an important part. A well designed kitchen can turn cooking from an exhausting duty into the joy for everyone, even your children. In many years of my life, I have to do the cooking inside a small room and I don’t like that at all. After we built our own house, everything changed with the kitchen that I designed myself. Now cooking is one of my hobbies. I love to cook for my family and friends.

Basic knowledge about kitchen decoration and design can be helpful to you anytime. Sometimes, changing the positions of the equipment can also make a huge difference. If you want to make a whole new plan for kitchen renovation or just improve what you are having at the moment, please do not depend on architect’s opinions or a professional kitchen planner. They don’t know your family habit and the requirements you and your family members need. You are the only one that understands what to keep and what to get rid of to bring the best choice to the house and also the budget.

  1. Improve your life with a functional kitchen.

When we began constructing a new house for our own, I have searched and read many books about kitchen decoration and design. And there was one thing I realized that almost all the websites about kitchen are affected badly by the advertisement. I can’t see any of the above useful to me.

kitchenWhen you consider planning the kitchen, first of all, please make sure what you want your kitchen to have. Do you like baking and roasting or you enjoy boiling and frying food? How to have enough space for the fridge you need? And also how many tables and chair in the kitchen? If there is another one cooking inside your kitchen, how can you arrange the place so that it would be enough for 2 or even 3 cooks without colliding to each other? Should breakfasts and simple lunch in the kitchen or you just want the kitchen to be the cooking place?

  1. Should I place the washing machine in the kitchen?

washing machineThere is an important question that you need to answer:  Do you want to put it in your kitchen? It the answer is yes, you need larger space for the washing machine but also for other tools that go along with it such as iron, dryer and the area for dirty clothes waiting to be washed.

  1. Traffic report:

Before plan the detailed plans, make sure that you barely know the traffic of your kitchen that you will try to handle. Many people will move in and out your kitchen and use the fridge, the sink, or even your stove. You need to calculate if the children can get in easily and take their supper and drinks or not, and rill the way into your kitchen and other places will be easy throughout. Do you need a backdoor or basement door?

Mark all the main traffics from and to your kitchen and begin with a plan. If you have a small kitchen with many doors in and out, it could be very useful to close some of them to decrease the traffic and making more spaces. It is also essential to connect with the eating and living room. For most of the time you will live and entertain there, so use your time to design them for better life improvement.

  1. Sinks for your kitchen:

Sinks in your kitchen must depend on the cooking area of you. It can be small or large, with 2 or more trays. But in my opinion, the larger your sinks can be, the easier you can handle with the food. The raw food is what you have to deal with almost everyday, therefore a kitchen sink that is big enough for you to wash and prepare the meat or the vegetable or even both at the same time would be perfect!

The kitchen is one of the most exciting and interesting place in the house, so don’t be a fool and make it just a duty with a tiny space and dirty appliances. It could be the paradise for you when you need real space for your own. Thanks for reading my article. See you soon!

Category: Cooking

How to Get the Most of Spices and Herbs when Cooking

cookingAs you have probably heard it many times before on a number of cooking shows, timing is everything when it comes to cooking. However, the same applies to spices. The timing, i.e. when you add the spices is crucial to the flavor and taste you are going to achieve. For example, when you add cayenne to the simmering spaghetti sauce at the correct moment you increase the potency of the spice. But if you don’t apply it at the ideal moment, you can actually lose from the flavor and worsen the taste of the food. Most of the time, the latter occurs when cooking with herbs which have been cooked for a longer time period which leads to diminishing the effects of the spices.

How Spices are affected by Cooking

Spices and flavorings react differently when coming into contact with a hot environment. Heat is tricky because it can both increase and decrease flavor quality. This happens because sometimes essential oils from the spices can escape as a result of the heat. The best kitchen utensil for keeping the taste and quality of the added spices is the crock pot. Slow cooking doesn’t utilize extreme heat and it makes it ideal for spices to preserve their taste.

Because the crock pot is covered at all times, moisture and steam are kept inside, thereby allowing for the flavors and oils to remain in it for the entire duration of the cooking process. Using microwaves for cooking food with herb spices is not a good idea since microwaves have the exact opposite cooking effect of the crock pot.

Spice Up Your Cooking Most of the time people use baking spices adding them at the very beginning of the baking process. These spices include anise, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mint, cloves and mace. All of these spices can keep their taste and flavor for both short cooking times and long ones, regardless of what you are baking – be it a whole cake or a batch of smaller cookies. Most of them also do a good job when used in sauces which require simmering, apart from nutmeg which is most commonly used after the cooked product has already been served. Some spices tend to become bitter when cooked for a long time, like caraway. Others turn bitter when burned, such as turmeric.

How are Herbs Different

Unlike conventional spices, herbs are more susceptible to cooking. They require a lot less cooking time, as their effects diminish when cooked for prolonged periods, thereby making them obsolete to the overall taste of the cooked food. Herbs most commonly used for cooking include: chives, chervil, basil, coriander, dill, cilantro, lemon grass, sage, tarragon, parsley and marjoram. Some of these, marjoram in particular, requires no cooking at all, but is merely sprinkled over a served soup dish.

cooking with herbs As usual, there are always exceptions to the rules. Namely, the hardy bay leaf, unlike the rest of the herbs, can withstand longer cooking times and still be able to keep the flavor and enrich the food taste. Oregano and thyme can also be added at the beginning, provided it doesn’t last longer than an hour. Furthermore, not all herbs react the same when cooked at different cooking temperatures. So it is more of a combination of cooking time and cooking temperature.

For example, onions can keep their flavor when cooked for a longer period provided the cooking temperature is low. However, it is still recommended that you add them towards the end of the cooking. Garlic, on the other hand, reacts really badly when submitted to longer cooking.

Other herbs which work their magic best when added towards the end of the cooking process are peppercorns and hot peppers, since they increase their potency as they cook. Chili powder and Szechuan peppers have the same effect. The exception to this is the paprika, which can be added at the beginning without any risks of losing its flavor. Mustards do not react well to boiling.

Last but not least, there are herbs that best compliment the flavor without cooking at all, especially when added to salads. Green salad ingredients can absorb the flavor of the herbs easily making the overall taste much better.


Category: Cooking