Category: Cooking

Updating My Kitchen With A New Small Appliance

Posted on February 10, 2019 by

modern toaster oven benefits

I remember as a kid going over to my grandmother’s house when she had just bought a new countertop oven. This was about 15 years ago. She thought it was so modern. However, we quickly found out that it had its weaknesses when it came to cooking. I don’t know how many batches of cookies we tried to bake but only about half of them turn out edible. There were hot spots and cool spots and it just turned out to be something we used just for toast. In many ways it was a let down and a huge waste of money.

When I moved out on my own the experience in my grandmother’s kitchen is something that stuck with me. Finally I decided it was time to act more grown up and start cooking more for myself. This is when I looked to see if modern toaster ovens had improved over what I was used to. Boy, did they ever. If you are looking for a better way to cook without some of the hassle involved with using a full sized oven then this is the route to go. I was really surprised with how far toaster ovens had come.

Some Advantages

After having one of these in our kitchen for some time it has been easy to spot some of the obvious benefits that these small modern ovens can offer you.

Heating Elements

The main area of improvement that I noticed right away was how evenly they produce heat now. There are not longer large hot spots and food cooks more thoroughly on all sides. Some of the higher end brands like Breville use quartz heating elements for better results. Convection has also caught on. This is where a fan inside of the oven blows and circulates the hot air while cooking. Not only will this speed up cooking time, it also gets things done evenly. This has been a true advancement in small countertop ovens that make them a true replacement option for a standard sized oven. While using convection for baking may not always be ideal, it is a huge plus for most recipes.

Convenience

A smaller size also means you don’t have to wait forever for the oven to preheat. Another wonderful benefit is that toaster ovens are easier to clean. Most use some sort of non-stick coating on the inside and are made of stainless steel. A damp cloth will handle the job most of the time unless you let spills and splatters dry. We have used our oven quite a bit over the last few months and it has been extremely easy to keep it looking like new.

Bringing Back The Joy

I used to really dread preparing a meal for my family or just for myself. That is no longer the case. Some of the frustration and work of using a big oven has been replaced with something that helps me get in and out of the kitchen. I can truly enjoy a home cooked meal in less time and with less effort.

Versatility

While in the end we only used my grandmother’s toaster oven just for toast, the Breville oven that we use now does everything for us. We broil and roast meat, make casseroles, side dishes, bake cookies, reheat leftovers and so much more. Perhaps the only thing it can’t do is cook a full sized turkey. No matter what we have wanted to cook, our countertop oven has been up to the task.

Savings

With that level of versatility comes greater value. The more that you can get out of your  oven the smarter the investment becomes. It has been  less than a year and we have already gotten our money’s worth out of it. It also uses less energy than our monster oven. I have not calculated our cost savings but we know that it is there.

Buying a new convection countertop oven has been one of the better purchases that we have made for our new home. Turnagain Times published their latest reviews which helped us narrow down our choices. Fortunately, there are several high quality countertop ovens being made today no matter your budget. Popular brands such as Cuisinart, Breville, and Kitchenaid all make great ovens worthy of considering.

We Cook More

Luckily for me and my family I did not let my horrible experiences I had as a kid turn me off from getting this small appliance, at least not for too long. Technology is great and kitchen tech has given us better tools that our mothers and grandmothers were forced to use. Convenience, and even fun, are back.

Reducing the hassle has led to me spending more time in the kitchen than I ever have before. It is much more rewarding now that I can choose the ingredients and cook some that is both wholesome and delicious for those that I love. The transformation for my family has been great and perhaps this is something that your family can benefit from as well.

Of Course We Must Start Things Off With Some Homemade Ice Cream

Posted on February 8, 2019 by

A melty, creamy, fruity scoop of ice cream atop a crispy, crunchy sugar cone is something that just makes your mouth water just thinking about. There is nothing better than a frosty, luscious homemade dessert right after dinner. These treats not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but also bring the family closer. They are delicious, fresh and fun to make. What’s more, you can use the best quality ingredients or customize your flavors. Below are just a few of the many recipes that you can create when you have your very own ice cream maker machine.

Huckleberry Homemade Cheesecake Ice Cream

When made with the season’s sweetest ingredients, this dessert captures the heart of summer. This frosty treat gets its delectably rich texture and taste from an immersion of fluffy cream cheese. Try this fruity ice cream with fresh huckleberries. If huckleberries are not available, try substituting blackberries or raspberries.

For the recipe:

  • Take 2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature.
  • Pour in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Add 1 cup castor sugar and continue whisking until well combined.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium pan, whisk together 4 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Place pan over medium flame and whisk mixture until fluffy.
  • Strain into a bowl and allow it to cool.
  • Next, whisk in 1 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 cups huckleberries.
  • Blend huckleberries or blueberries or raspberries with 3/4 cup sugar.
  • Add the berries to the prepared mixture.
  • Whisk in cream cheese mix until well incorporated.
  • Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours until chilled.
  • Next, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and process it accordingly. Once it is made, stir in some more berries.

This recipe is super tasty and healthy. The berries are rich in nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are indispensable for your health. Enjoy this summery treat!

Peach Cobbler Homemade Ice Cream

Turn juicy summer peaches into creamy ice cream. This fruit adds a twist to this luscious and balanced frosty recipe. Addition of basil and fresh figs make for a syrupy taste. A pinch of cinnamon, adds depth to the ice cream.

For the recipe:

  • Take a medium saucepan. Add two cups sugar and 4 eggs.
  • Whisk them together and gradually add 1 cup whole milk and a pinch of salt.
  • Place pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk until mixture becomes a little thick.
  • Lower heat and whisk mixture for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Strain into a large bowl.
  • Next add 2 cups peeled and pureed peaches and incorporate them well into the mixture.
  • Add 1 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup half-and-half to the mixture.
  • Whisk well.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Now refrigerate for approximately 4 hours until chilled.
  • Pour mixture into your ice cream maker.
  • Add 1 cup figs and some basil. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and process it accordingly.
    .
    Another nutritional and healthy recipe! Peaches provide 6 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A. They also provide 15 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Figs and basils are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and nutrients. Enjoy this sweet and healthy treat!

Strawberry Delight

If you are looking for a refreshing and light way to end your meal, this is a perfect recipe. Fruity yet rich- this is a classic homemade ice cream.

For the recipe:

  • Chop 600 grams strawberries.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of castor sugar over it and leave them to impregnate with flavor.
  • Pour 500 ml milk and 500 ml double cream into a large saucepan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Place pan over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk 4 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy.
  • Put the pan back on the heat with milk, cream, sugar and egg mixture.
  • Stir for 10 minutes until it thickens.
  • Puree the strawberries in a food processor.
  • When the mixture is cool, fold in strawberry puree.
  • Sprinkle some lemon juice.
  • Next, add this mixture to your ice cream maker.
  • Allow it to freeze for a couple of hours.
  • Garnish with some strawberries and lemon zest and enjoy!

Fun At Home

These are just some of the fun things that you can make with your family when you have your own machine. If you are looking for a great activity that will get your kids out of their rooms then ice cream is the way to go. They are not that expensive. After combing through some of the reviews of the best home machines we found high quality options for every budget. Nothing brings everyone to the kitchen like the call for dessert and this is why we always recommend one of these small appliances for any home with children. You might just be surprised with the enjoyment one of these machines can bring to your family and why they are worth every penny.

Some Of The Distinct Benefits Of Using A Home Juicer

Posted on February 4, 2019 by

Vegetable Juicing benefits

Not only does the right drink add to your overall experience at the dinner table, it can also provide you with essential health benefits that your entire family can enjoy. We are always finding ways to make the most of our juicer and it has proven to be one of the more important small appliances that we have on our countertop.

Drinking a glass of freshly prepared juice can be a a fast acting energy boost as it is something that the digestive tract can easily absorb. It is a very efficient way for the body to get the vitamins and minerals that it needs to survive. Consuming a glass of juice early in the morning can also provide enough energy without resorting to stimulants such as coffee. The juice is in an easily digestible form and assist in revitalizing your levels of energy in a very short period.

How Juicing Can Benefit You

There are several reasons why you will need to consider including vegetable juicing into your main health program. Here are some of the greatest health benefits of juicing:

Nutrient Absorption

This is very essential to people having a weakened digestion system due to making less optimal food varieties over a number of years. This reduces the ability of the body to absorb all the nutrients required by the body (from vegetables).

Juicing will assist in “predigesting” them and therefore this will guarantee enough nutrients.

Efficiency

Generally, most of the health experts highly recommend that we consume 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Most of us do not accomplish that. Juicing is a simple way that can guarantee you to achieve your daily nutrition target.

You can add a large variety of fruits in your diet. Several people eat same side dishes or vegetable salads every day. This simply violates the regular food rotation principle and raises your chances of developing a strong allergy to some foods.

Variety

Vegetables and fruits will offer special benefits to your body. With juicing, it is possible to make a mixture of different fruits, which you may not have enjoyed eating as a whole.

Weight Loss

In one study, adults who took a minimum of eight ounces of fruit juice as part of their diet lost five pounds over 12 weeks. Those who followed the same health program, but did not take the juice lost only one pound.

Additionally, the vegetable juice drinkers significantly improved their intake of potassium and vitamin c, while lowering their overall intake of carbohydrates.

Immune Boost

Juicing supercharges your immune system with concentrated phytochemicals. In addition, raw juice contains bio-photonic light energy that can assist revitalize your body.

Energy

When your body has sufficient nutrients, and the level of PH is optimally balanced, then you will feel energized. It can be utilized in your body immediately. This will generate instant energy for various body processes.

Brain Health

According some studies, people who consumed juices (vegetable and fruit) more than three times in a week were 76% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who took less than once a week.

These are just some of the ways in which juicing can help you feel and look better while increasing the quality of your diet. It is okay to splurge a little and indulge in fast food and dessert, just as long as your body is still able to get what it needs to perform. You can compensate for some of your more indulgent and less healthy side dishes and desserts by adding fresh juice to your diet.

Home juicers can help alleviate some of the guilt of enjoying a decadent meal which makes it one of the more valuable tools that you can use while you cook. It is also fun to constantly try out new recipes and experiment with different flavors and fresh produce. It is the gift that keeps on giving.