Pros and Cons of Various Cookware

cookYou can find cookware in a variety of materials, from copper to porcelain and beyond. Which one you buy depends on how you plan to use it. Find out what you need to know before dropping hundreds on that matching cook set.

You can find cookware in a variety of materials, from copper to porcelain and beyond. Which one you buy depends on how you plan to use it. Find out what you need to know before dropping hundreds on that matching cook set.

Aluminum cookware
Pros
Anodized aluminum pots and pans are lightweight, resist denting and scratching, don’t rust and are excellent thermal conductors of heat (they’ll distribute heat evenly to cook food without hot spots). Approximately half of all cookware manufactured is made from aluminum, and it is often used to improve stainless steel.

Cons
Raw aluminum (as opposed to anodized) is reactive to alkaline and acidic ingredients (tomatoes, leafy vegetables and citrus) and prone to warping and scratching. It can also discolor certain foods (such as white sauces). Fortunately, most aluminum pots and pans are treated with a coating of aluminum oxide, which vastly improves the cooking properties.

Cast-iron cookware
Pros
A properly seasoned cast-iron skillet is the not-so-secret weapon of many cooks. Great for simmering and browning, cast iron imbues years of flavor into every meal. It’s inexpensive, won’t warp, conducts heat very well and, if seasoned well, has a relatively nonstick surface. You can also easily go from stovetop to oven.

Cons
Even though no kitchen is complete without a cast-iron skillet, it does have its drawbacks. It’s heavy, reactive, high-maintenance and not suited for all food. It also isn’t recommended for ceramic-glass cooktops. It’s worth noting that cast iron leaches — surprise — iron into your food. Many people consider this a benefit, but unexpected metal in the diet can be dangerous for certain people.

Ceramic cookware
Pros
Pots and pans made from ceramic are perhaps the most versatile cookware available in stores today. They can survive heat that would melt stainless steel (so oven-safe, unless you have one heck of an oven) but still can be used to store food in the refrigerator and freezer. And unlike metal cookware, they can be used in a microwave. They are generally very easy to maintain with a naturally nonstick surface, but can take mild abrasives and scrubbing without marring their attractive gloss finish, which is important since they also make attractive serving dishes. They’re widely considered to be the least reactive cookware available.

Cons
Despite many superior cooking and aesthetic qualities, ceramic cookware also has some drawbacks. It can be heavy and cumbersome and will crack if dropped. It may also crack your tile floor. Older cookware made from ceramic and stone may contain lead. Additionally, cheaper ceramic cookware may discolor ceramic-glass cooktops at higher heat.

More types of cookware here.

When it comes to making espressos, I would advise Semi automatic espresso makers

I have my reasons to recommend semi automatic espresso makers. Manual espressos are obviously a pain, especially for business. But fully automatic espressos are also not the best choice. That is because in many of those machines you get to select water volumes that are often preset. Even if you do get to program it, in the programmable models, there can still be problems with electronics. Therefore, everybody making customized brew can be a problem. Semi automatic espresso makers on the other hand have allowed me to vary the concentration of coffees as I want.

What is meant by semi-automatic

The automation part of it includes a sophisticated mechanism by which pump is engaged or disengaged as needed. The water temperature in this machine is also controlled automatically so I can concentrate on other chores at our cafe. This obviously means my espresso machine is not going to be burnt down due to my neglect or absentmindedness. The pump in this semi automatic espresso maker is also automated. The extraction in these machines stops after some time.

We bought the Breville with dual boilers for our new coffee house. This model is identified with a number, i.e., BES900XL. I need to grind the beans outside, which is not exactly want I wanted, but you can’t have best of both worlds always. The good news is I can vary the extent to which I want the beans to be ground. The looks of this machine are also not very inspiring. I have seen better looking coffee machines. But this machine maintains constant pressure and temperature. There is a valve for releasing over pressure, and there is a valve for infusion as well when there is low pressure. I liked the chrome and steel outer parts. They are easy to clean. The espressos from this machine are perfect. I have many customers who frequent the shop and bring others along with them.

Getting healthier with wheatgrass

My cousin is a real health nut. In fact, he recently ran an Iron Man event and plans to run more in the coming months. He is always ribbing me about my pretty unhealthy lifestyle and trying to get me to go on hikes and to the gym with him. I have resisted so far, but I was recently given my first bad cholesterol report and realized I had to start making healthier choices. I started by walking three times a week and decided to eat healthier. One of the foods that my cousin is always recommending is wheatgrass, so I decided to try it. After all, how bad can it taste?

Wheatgrass

I started by trying to eat it raw but it was playing havoc with my bathroom schedule. I read online that it was best as a juice. So I set about finding the best wheatgrass juicers reviews on the internet and chose a juicer. After it was delivered I tried to juice some wheatgrass but the taste was still very strong. So, I decided to try some smoothie recipes from the internet. I decided that I liked a Hawaiian style mix the best. I used some honey, pineapple juice and orange juice with the wheatgrass and blended it all together. The resulting mixture tasted great. The wheatgrass has also helped my stomach. I have a pretty weak stomach and any sort of spice and alcohol results in pain almost instantly. The wheatgrass works wonder in cooling down and comforting my stomach. Along with dietary changes like these and more exercise, I have noticed a real difference in the amount of energy I have and I have shown lower cholesterol levels on my last test as well. I sleep well and I have decided to start increasing my intensity of exercise slowly to make sure that I keep myself healthy.

Finding Schwinn elliptical for our home was time consuming

Most people are swift in taking their decisions. I am not blessed with that ability. I spend a lot of time analyzing the pros and cons, and eventually settling for what I believe to be the best option at that point of time. When my husband mentioned elliptical machine for our home, I jumped out of my chair. I was not sure he was serious, and in any event, I knew elliptical machines are expensive.

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But my husband mentioned that his juniors have machines for exercising in their own home, and so he does not feel comfortable going to the gym anymore. That was as good a reason as it gets for buying an elliptical trainer. As usual, I got to select the brand and features.

Among the many brands of elliptical machines, I felt Schwinn was a brand that was worth our respect. So I insisted on good value Schwinn ellipticals for home use. But Schwinn also has many models of these elliptical trainers!

I needed to select one of them, which is a time consuming task. I could not go by the price because my husband’s colleagues owned them. I had to go for a higher model. I therefore opted for the next higher model, i.e., the model in which there are 22 programs. This model can also be used by me, my husband, my sons, and my daughter. It keeps track of calories I want to burn apart from distance and time. This elliptical has a fan, and heart rate monitoring as well as control system. The best thing about it is that it is noiseless. I return late from office, and by the time I hit the bed, it is about 11 or so. I obviously cannot be up before 6.30 am, but my husband is an early riser. He likes to complete his exercises faster. I am not disturbed by any noises when he completes his cardio. I do not understand much about specifications but to me these are good enough reasons to say that Schwinn Elliptical 430i qualifies as one the good value Schwinn elliptcals for home use, even though costs may be on higher side.

What I Love About My Rice Cooker

Rice-Cooker

A few years ago, although, I loved cooking rice, investing on a nice rice cooker is one thing I had never given any serious consideration. However, that was soon to change after I visited a friend one day. I saw her cook using a stains steel rice cooker and I liked how the rice came out looking great and tasty. Three days after that day, I was out looking for a rice cooker; I went through every single rice cooker review I could get, but with the number of options that were available, I was practically spoilt for choice. I decided to call my friend and ask for a few recommendations and that when she advised I go for the best stainless steel rice cooker.

It is now months since I bought my rice cooker and what I have been able to net from it have all made this cooking appliance one of the bet investments in my kitchen. I love the kind of convenience and reliability it comes with. Unlike in the past, when I could spent hours ad hours trying cook great rice, I can now do all that with some much ease and within the shortest time possible. It does not even stop there; compared to those traditional cooking methods, my rice cooker is by far one of the best. Coming with a non-stick finish, I can preserve the aroma of my rice.

Last but not least; it is amazing how I can clean my cooker after each use with so much ease. With warm and soapy water, I am good to go. Overall, if you are out the looking for a great rice cooker, just like me, I suggest you go for stainless cooker. I have had this model in my kitchen for close to 4 months and all I have been able to do with it is simply mind blowing.

A camping air mattress to replace your regular bed mattress?

Unbelievable, but true, at least for us! written by: Anchordeep We love going camping ever so often. The wild outdoors simply beckon us to spend some time out of the concrete jungle that we live in. After every few weeks when fuel fumes, sound and other pollutants become too much of a nuisance to handle, we simply pack our bags and set up camp beside a lake to spend weekends and come back to the city absolutely rejuvenated! Our old camping mattress was getting a bit worn out and couldn’t hold air tight enough throughout the night. That’s when we started looking for the best air mattress to buy for camping among the vast plethora of options available in the market.

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We were basically looking for a queen size mattress that would have a height of at least 20 inches above ground level when fully inflated. We also needed the mattress to have an inbuilt pump that could be operated by a battery which could also be charged by our car’s lighter or charger console. And the most important feature was the mattress needed to be absolutely comfortable so that we could simply pop off to sleep and not have to wake up awkwardly sunk together in the middle of the mattress because it had lost some air during the night!

We zeroed in on the perfect mattress that we were looking for quite fast since we knew exactly what we wanted. The mattress top was waterproof, so in case it suddenly started drizzling when we were asleep during the night, we wouldn’t have to carry a damp and heavy mattress back home. It also had coil springs and vinyl supports to offer maximum comfort and give the feel of a real bed, just as if we were sleeping on our bed at home.

The best thing though was the price. It was unbelievably low, and for a moment we thought it was one of those beach toys and not a real mattress when we saw the price! Anyway, we read the reviews and noted how others were satisfied with its use. We ordered it and took delivery last month.

We have been out camping twice since then. Every time we have slept on it, we have had the most sublime sleep ever! In fact, we are actually thinking about replacing our regular mattress at home and using this instead! Thanks to our knowledge about mattresses, we could find the best air mattress to buy for camping since we knew what we wanted, and now are seriously considering sleeping on this every night, whether at home or out camping!

More on air mattress:
Finding the right air mattress

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