Do you know how important your cookware set is?

If you have been follwing Iron chef america, you’d be thinking that being a great chef is one that is nothing but style. But when you go through the journey of accomplished chefs like Mario Batali, you’d realize that the truth is surely not even close to a bed of roses. To become a great chef, it’s about the total amount of dedication and hard works that you have dedicated. It doesn’t take a genius to perfect the art of cooking. Anyone can instantly be fascinated about it and actually give it a try yet somehow just a few handful could make it in the end. The initial step to realizing your aspiration to be a good chef is to be equipped with a decent cookware set. To a cook, cookwares is really as important as firearms is to a military personnel.

Even if you give an award winning recipe to the world’s top chef, it is just not possible to show out fine quality dishes without the best cookwares. Every pot and pan is indifferent, that’s a wrong assumption held by many homeowners seeking their first cooking ware sets. You might have interesting experiences using the various cookwares but tell these stories to some rookie and they will not be able to relate well as to the things you are attempting to tell them. If you’ve not undergone the frustration of clearing up the mess that sticks to your pan after each cooking session, you’ll not be able to fully comprehend the convenience that is being offered by non stick wares.

Choosing between nonstick and regular surface is probably the toughest thing that one has to pick when investing in a new seet of pans & pots. Teflon-coated surface is something which most people are knowledgeable about since it is the first who brought to mass adoption the nonstick wares. But Teflon has suffered its share of criticism from the academics and health authorities. Finding cookware reviews critical of Teflon coating is not too difficult. One health concern that is commonly talked about will be the result from a study that shows how the chemical discharge from Teflon surface that is heated up to high temperature can kill a bird. Other than health concern, you normally have to take extra care if you want to make sure that the nonstick finish on the pans will last. The utilization of wood utensils is normally recommended in favor of metal utensils.

Nearly all pots & pans sold today are either made of cast iron or stainless. Since ancient time, cast iron has been widely employed to produce cooking pots & pans. Handfuls of cast iron lovers still exist while cast iron is slowly losing its charm among the majority of the younger generations. Most of them are not rookies and they’ve seen the real great things about it in comparison with other material types. Stainless is nowadays the most used choice. But do not forget that stainless steel is just a poor heat conductor. This is why leading cookware manufacturers such as for example All-Clad have to employ multiple layers of metal cladding at the bottom of the wares. Materials with good heat conduction properties including copper and aluminum are often used to reduce the time required to heat up and for more consistent heat distribution. (Read: Recommendations on the best stainless steel pots and pans)

For those who understand the impact of cookware on their meals created, they’d make sure that they only buy the best cookware sets and go through each of the pan and pot discussions carefully. But understanding clearly what you need will be the first thing to begin with. Only then, it is possible to focus on the discussions that are relevant and forget about those that aren’t and not waste your precious effort. As an example, it is possible to just skip all of the cookware reviews discussing about stainless wares and concentrate only on those discussing about cast-iron wares. Ask yourself what benefit can it bring to you to learn about the best stainless set when it is clear what you want is obviously the best cast-iron set.



The Best German Kitchen Knives

Steel blades are commonly shaped by forging. German blades are created by heating single pieces of steel. The steel is then shaped while still hot using a hammer or press. Stock removal blades are shaped by grinding and removing metal. With both methods, after shaping, the steel must be heat treated. This involves heating the steel above its critical point, then quenching the blade to harden it. After hardening, the blade is tempered to remove stress resulting in a tougher blade.


Wusthof Classic
58 Rockwell rating in hardness; fully forged; full tang
• High carbon stainless steel blade and bolster
• Triple-riveted, full tang handle construction
• Made in Solingen, Germany with a lifetime warranty

Wusthof Classic Ikon
• 58 Rockwell rating in hardness; fully forged; full tang
• High carbon stainless steel blade and bolster
• Triple riveted contoured synthetic handle
• Made in Solingen, Germany with a lifetime warranty

Wusthof Culinar
58 Rockwell rating in hardness; fully forged; full tang
• High carbon stainless steel blade and bolster
• Sophisticated satin finish 18/10 stainless steel handles
• Made in Solingen, Germany with a lifetime warranty

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star
57 Rockwell rating in hardness; fully forged
• High carbon stainless steel blade and bolster
• Full tang, high-impact polypropylene handle
• Made in Germany with a lifetime warranty

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star II
57 Rockwell rating in hardness; fully forged
• High carbon stainless steel blade and bolster
• Full tang poly polypropylene handle with end cap
• Made in Germany with a lifetime warranty

Messermeister Meridian Elite
56-57 Rockwell rating in hardness; fully forged
• High carbon molybdenum chromium stainless blade
• Triple riveted full tang polyoxymethaline handle
• Made in Germany with a lifetime warranty

More listed here.

My Personal Experience When Shopping For A Cookware Set

I had completed relocating to a new spacious house and wanted to spruce up my kitchen. When found it cumbersome because I realized that the number of cookware set brands in the market continues to increase everyday. Also, there are many fantastic materials which cookware sets are made of and among the most popular cookware sets to buy are cast iron, stainless steel, copper and aluminum. What confused me more is the clad-style cookware style, especially where the cooking set is made of different metals. Also discovered that the price of different brands varied considerably and wanted to buy a set that is within my budget range.

I decided on a material that’s easy to clean and which conducts heat much easier. I also wanted a material which is coated with a non-stick material or finish, I’m considering the Rachael Ray brand. Nonetheless, I wanted a cookware which I can wash by hand. After checking around, I discovered that there are several brands that meet these requirements. Moreover, my preference was on cookware sets that have lids.


I found some with durable and hard to break glass lids while others had either stainless steel or aluminum lids. Because I wanted cost effective options, I discovered that buying complete cookware sets could help me save on costs. Even if I ended up having more saucepans that I needed, I could still buy such things as skillets or others that I don’t have.

Interestingly, I also found out that heavier cookware are much better in terms of heat conduction (Related article: Cookware materials and heat conductivity). However, not every thick option in the market would give me a great cooking experience. It was goof for me to ensure that I avoid lightweight and very thin pieces. I wanted a cookware set which is pretty comfortable and which gives a good grip. Also, handles which have been riveted into the pan offer more durability than those which have been screwed or glued on.

Cook Rice Perfectly

White steamed rice in black round bowl
Ah, the elusive bowl of white rice. It seems so simple at first glance… just a pile of fluffy grains, what could be so difficult about that? Many of us grew up learning the 2:1 water-to-rice ratio for how to cook rice, but if you’ve ever tried making a pot yourself, you know that it’s not quite so simple. Many times I’ve ended up with rice that was way too gummy, stuck to the bottom of the pot in clumps like you wouldn’t believe. Other times, in an abundance of caution, I’ve way under-cooked my rice and been left chomping down on hard bits of grains, wishing I had been more patient waiting for my rice to fully cook. Have you been there before? If so, you’re going to want to check out these 8 tips and tricks for achieving a perfectly cooked bowl of rice. They’re not hard to follow — in fact, many of them are “duh” ideas I felt I should have known before — but these tips are sure to make your rice cooking experience much less of a guessing game in the future. When all else fails, get the best rice cooker, that should do the trick.

8 Simple Tips for How To Cook Rice Perfectly:

  1. You can definitely start with that 2:1 ratio mentioned earlier as a jumping off point. Just use two cups of water for each cup of uncooked grains, as a general rule. However, you may want to experiment with this a bit, since some rices, like brown rice, require more water, while shorter-grain rices require less.
  2. More water = softer, stickier rice. Less water = firmer rice. Depending on your taste preferences and intended use, you’ll want to choose your own desired amount of water.
  3. Rinse your rice a few times in cold water before cooking. This helps remove loose starch, making the rice less sticky.
  4. If you’re using older rice from your cupboard, just let it soak for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will make the grains less brittle and prone to breakage. If you’re using freshly purchased rice, there’s likely no need to soak it at all.
  5. A tight-fitting lid for your pot is key. If your lid fits loosely, put a clean kitchen cloth between the lid and the pot.
  6. Keeping the pot closed for the entire cooking time is essential… no peeking! If you sneak a peek, the steam will escape and you’re just adding on to your cooking time.
  7. To add flavor to plain rice, try cooking rice in different broths, fruit or vegetable juices, tea or coconut milk.
  8. If you aren’t going to be serving your cooked rice right away, fluff the rice with a fork, then drape a kitchen towel over the pot and close it. The towel will catch the lid’s condensation so the rice doesn’t get gummy.

A Stovetop Frother will Make Quality Froth if Your Espresso Machine Doesn’t

frothing milk for espressoDoes your espresso machine froth milk well?

It’s important to start with very cold milk, and a very cold frothing pitcher. This will allow you to froth it for enough time to produce a thick foam. The milk should not be frothed past the point at which the milk hits 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you froth the milk beyond this, it will be slightly acrid, and the bubbles won’t be consistent. This is why it’s so important to start with very cold milk and a very cold frothing pitcher – it gives you more time to blow hot air into it before it hits 165 degrees. Use a thermometer to do this until you have experience.

Don’t fill the frothing pitcher more than 1/3 of the way with cold milk. Note that a full froth (as for cappuccino) doubles the original volume of the milk. Steaming the milk (as for latte) will not add much volume to the milk, but you should have a little froth to top your drink off. For Latte Art, there should be about a half-inch (or less) of froth on top of the latte.

It’s important to drain residual water from the steam wand before frothing the milk. When your espresso machine cools down (the last time you turned it off), steam from the boiler will condense inside the steam wand. When you first turn on the steam next time you use the machine, you’ll get a spurt of hot water before you get steam. You don’t want this water in your milk. The way to do this is with a barista cloth (or old dishtowel). Hold the towel under the wand, and turn the steam on. Water will spurt out. When the steam starts, turn it off and remove the towel. Now you can froth your milk.


While the points above might be “obvious,” and are easy to do in a large coffee shop that froths lots of milk, they are more difficult to do in small quantities, at home for yourself. In particular, commercial frothing pitchers (in which thermometers work, and in which the temperature changes slowly) are big. But when you steam 4 ounces of milk to put into a 2 ounce espresso, the temperatures change quickly, and the frothing wand barely fits – this is harder to do right.

So the first point at home is to use a SMALL frothing pitcher. Our small 12 ounce pitcher is about 2 ¼ inches in diameter, and a little less than 4 inches tall. For this pitcher, 4 ounces of milk will be about 1 ¼ inches deep – this is deep enough to completely submerge the tip of the steam wand, as we would for latte.

Note that the inside height of this frothing pitcher is only 3 ½ inches. So a frothing thermometer with a 5” stem will seem way too big for it. It isn’t. What you’ll need to do is to slide the clip about half-way down the thermometer’s stem, and clip it into the frothing pitcher right next to the handle. This will put about 3 inches of the stem into the pitcher, and it will keep the stem against the wall of the pitcher so that the milk can circulate easily, and so that you can move the pitcher relative to the steam wand as needed to get a nice “swirl.”


It’s important to note that 4 ounces of milk will heat very quickly relative to the response time of the thermometer’s reading. Many frothing thermometers have a red band spanning 140-160 degrees. For large pitchers of milk (as in a commercial shop), this band alerts you to stop frothing when the thermometer drifts above 140 degrees. The thermometer’s reading will continue to climb somewhat; it shouldn’t go beyond 160 degrees.

IMPORTANT: When using a 12 ounce frothing pitcher and 4 ounces of milk, you should stop frothing when the thermometer shows 120 degrees. You’ll see a much faster response time in a 12 ounce pitcher. If you stop at 120 degrees, you’ll see the temperature continue to rise to 160. This is exactly what you want to get professional quality froth and foam.


Finding The Best Cooking Knives

I began cooking at an early age, 4 or 5 years to be somewhat exact, and my mother would allow me to use one of those old dull pairing knives for chopping and cutting. There were a few nicked fingers, with no one realizing that a dull knife is a dangerous knife that takes more work and too much control than a finely honed knife.


Those old knives stayed in our kitchen, and heading to university, it was down to Woolworths back then, to find a cheap but good set of cooking knives if there ever was such a thing. Forget those forged steel knives from Europe, it was a five and dime store special package that gave me a whole set of the best kitchen knives.

The knives held their edge for all of one week, but they did last until my first job, and my first foray into buying a real set of the best cooking knives.

The Ultimate

Stepping into a real knife store, I was astounded by the best kitchen knives selection and the prices. Luckily, I had the one objective in mind, to treat myself to the best cooking knives that my money could buy.

Amazing, there were knives from Europe, there was Sheffield Steel, bone handled and hand forged knives from the United States, and better than those chop suey knives you may see on late night television, there were the best that Japan could make.

How could I Choose?

The best cooking knives were all there, staring at me. My hands started to shake, and I even salivated. This was the ultimate for an amateur “chef” to be able to absorb all there was to see and touch.

The Decision

The decision came down to what felt right in my hand. The best cooking knives were not only a thing of beauty, but of balance. They sparkled and attracted me like a fish to a silver spoon. But in the end, I made the decision to buy the best cooking knives for me.

It is now 35 years later, and those knives have been on two continents and in 5 different countries with me, and they are still my best cooking knives.

Looking for the best chef knives? Read this post!

Toast, Make Pizza, and Bake with my Toaster Oven


Below are the best toaster ovens to buy in 2015:

Proctor Silex Toaster Oven Broiler

A must have item in your kitchen is a toaster oven. They are convenient and fast not to mention they get the job done. One of the best toaster ovens hands down has to be the Proctor Silex Toaster Oven broiler. This oven is larger than normal toaster ovens. It can hold up to 4 slices of bread or 2 individual pizzas. It has the broiler feature that allows for cooking versatility.

It allows you to cook different cuts of meat in addition to your traditional pastries. It has a drop-down crumb tray that allows for stress free cleaning. Moreover, its non-stick interior enables swift cleaning. In addition, the proctor silex toaster oven broiler has a 15 minute timer. When the time is up it automatically switches off. This feature safeguards your food from been burned when time surpasses.

Waring Pro Oven

Another best toaster oven is the Waring pro oven. This oven can hold up to 6 slices of bread or a 12 inch pizza. It runs on 1500 watts. It is slick and very to clean as it has the same cleaning features as the proctor silex toaster oven broiler. It is versatile as you can toast, make pizza, and even bake!! In addition, it has a beautiful LCD display along with touchpad controls.

Black and Decker 4-slice toaster oven

Yet another best toaster oven is this slick looking toaster oven. It measures roughly 15.5″L x 10″W x 8.5″H. It has a light indicator that allows you to check up on your food without opening and interfering with the cooking. It has different heat settings that allow food to be warmed when needed. It has a 30 minute timer, which is more suitable for cooking foods that require longer cooking periods than the Proctor silex toaster oven. Similar to the two mentioned ovens above it has a drop down crumb tray as well as a baking and broiler tray.

My Personal Story When Buying a Bread Toaster

I love bread and was in the market to buy a bread toaster that’s most appropriate for my requirements. I didn’t know where to start, but I came up with a list of features which the kitchen appliance must have. I wanted a toaster with the ability to offer different shades of brow bread, toasters that guarantee even toasting and those that have electronic based toasters that guarantee a more convenient toast.


Moreover, I wanted a toaster that has removable crumb trays that can be cleaned with ease. I knew how important it is to keep the bread toaster superbly clean and was really interested in brands that are pretty easy to clean. Nonetheless, I wanted a toaster that can accommodate a variety of breads. How easy it was to use the features of the toaster was also one of the features that I was interested in. I was focusing on a machine that was easy to use, yet functionally superior.

Then, I went online to check the toaster brands that were available and I was really amazed at the extensive options that existed. I was able to come up with a list of the bread toasters that were available , and finally narrowed it down to a few choices. Most importantly, I was interested in a bread toasting machine that’s accompanied by manufacturer’s warranty.

Moreover, I was on a budget ceiling, so I had set aside a fixed amount which I wanted to spend on the toaster. I was incredibly fortunate to discover that there were many sizes and brands that were within my budget limits. Because I had listed down all the features of the toaster that I wanted, It was a bit easier for me to find one that suited my requirements. At last, I was able to buy a toaster that guaranteed me a superior performance, easy to clean and at a great price.

How Juicing Helped Me Lose Weight

As part of my New Year’s resolution, I decided to eat and drink healthier and so one of the first things I did was to check out the best juicer reviews 2015. Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables, which results in a liquid that contains more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Whole fruits and veggies contain healthy fiber but it is lost during juicing. This meant that I need to find a different source of fiber if I juiced most of my fruits and veggies. To overcome this, I use some of the pulp while cooking my food.
green juice
My goal was to lose weight and juicing has enabled me to stick to my goal. I read somewhere that if I drink at least eight ounces of vegetable juice as part of my diet, I could lose four pounds over twelve weeks. I also decided to start juicing because it can help me increase my intake of vitamin C and boost my immune system. Juicing also helps me to increase my intake of potassium while reducing my carbohydrate intake. After juicing for some time, I have discovered that I now have more energy, which is great because I can now exercise more.

After reading the health benefits of juicing, I decided to use the best juicer reviews to help me find a good product. I learnt that masticating juicers can juice all kinds of vegetables and fruits although they are the most expensive juicers on the market. The juice extracted using such a machine will also have more nutrition. Such a machine can also help me to produce a large batch of juice that I can store for longer. This is because it has reduced oxidation which helps to prevent spoilage. Once I was convinced that this was the best machine for me, I bought one and I have never looked back.

Looking for the best sewing machine?

I may not be an authority on sewing machines but based on my few years I have tried my hands on a few models and had an amazing experience. What really stood out was a computerized sewing and quilting machines. Here are the reasons I stuck with it and why I rank it as one of the best sewing machines around:
A good sewing machine ought not to have issues with thread tension common in many brands today and also have less built in which is limiting to a creative tailor like me. When it comes to creative use of fancy stitches on hems, I love a machine with perfect amount of stitches which are classic and easy to adjust.
A computerized machine that lights, beeps and gives a clear diagram of the stitches makes it easy for me to understand and adjust. It should have a needle threader which saves a lot of time as there is no trimming or licking threads!

For a machine to be considered among my best sewing machines, it must have a drop-in bobbin that isn’t picky about the various bobbin shapes, be it rounded ones, or metal straight ones. Any should work fine. This comes in handy when you want to change thread colors. A good machine ought to handle thick fabrics like denim comfortably, slippery fabrics or thin knits.

I love a machine that can withstand hour after hour of use, only needing an occasional servicing. Creating button-holes should be a breeze with a good machine. Either it does it automatically or I do it manually with customized stitches.


The best sewing machine comes with a little plug so you can use big spools of thread .In back-stitching, having a reverse button that locks the stitch automatically instead of pulling a lever helps as I don’t have to guess the back-stitching needed..

A machine have many features may make your work easier but then you want a machine that doesn’t bog you down. Lastly evaluate your sewing requirements and your budget. Test the various models available to you to find out what works for you best. Once you have done your research well, you should comes to the best quilt sandwich, bear in mind stitch quality and the ability to perform bulky seams. There is a large online quilting communities which you can also look up for other resourceful recommendations.

Extra Air Mattress for the Guests

woman sleeping in bed

Irrespective of whether you are looking for an extra bed for your guests or you are in need of a quality camping mattress, Coleman air mattresses are a great choice for you. These air mattresses are specially designed for luxury and comfort. Here are a couple of Coleman air mattress reviews that are worth reading before you go to shop for a Coleman air mattress, or you can read the reviews below on the best camping queen air bed.

Coleman Queen Quickbed Combo

The inflatable air mattress is suitable for both camping and indoor use. You can also use it as a spare bed. It features a soft suede top and a ComfortSmart coil system, a comfort system that comes with 48 coils. The in-built air tight system doesn’t only keep it firm, but also ensures that it guarantees leak-proof performance along with making sure that it is not vulnerable to humidity and temperature.

Coleman Comfort Smart Airbed

This is among the latest Coleman air mattresses to enter the market. Some of its notable features include adjustable folds hence making it great for indoor use. It has a Rayon-flocked surface material and a PVC frame. You can inflate and deflate it within 1 minute thanks to its powerful 120 V electric pump.

Coleman Elevated QueenAirbed

With this Coleman air mattress, you can get out of you bed easily and also sleep in comfort and style. The spectacular air mattress comes with soft velvet –like top and 8 coils. This top is designed to add comfort while the 8 coils are crafted with an aim of adding extra support. Its heavy duty construction doesn’t only make it firm, but it also makes it 100% leak proof.

How to choose the best Coleman air mattress

Consider your needs- if you want a mattress where your visitors who are adults can sleep, you should go for a thicker mattress than the one you could have selected if you wanted your kids to sleep on. this is because kids don’t need a lot of support as adults do.

Size- if you are selecting a Coleman air mattress for camping, the dimensions of your mattress need to fit in the floor space of your tent. If you want a Coleman mattress for indoor use, ensure that mattress will fit inside the room where you want it to be used.

How easy it is to inflate and deflate it- it is prudent you go for the mattress that can be deflated and inflated easily.

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The benefits of air mattress