Back to Basics Cooking, Baking & Grilling

keeping your area clean while you cook is a chore in its self. My husband always laughs about the after math when I'm done baking. Here are some helpful ways to improve on making less of a mess in the first place. Use a bowl for your scraps and garbage as you go saving you time running to the trash making you more efficient. Using a thin flexible mat for your cutting board makes transferring vegetables to your pot much easier, by using the flexible mat as a funnel.

Getting into the habit of using a splatter screen when sauteing or shallow frying will save you a lot of time on your clean-up later. Measuring ingredients and using cooking spray over the sink will keep messes confined to an easy to clean area. Keeping a bottle of soapy water handy make it more likely that cleaning up as you go will become part of your cooking habits. Another tip is to cook more slowly. Be a deliberate in measuring, chopping and wiping between each step. but this is one tip I often do not follow my own advice, often trying to do to many task at one time.

With Spring just around the corner what better time than to take stock of what is in your pantry. Consolidate and organize and take note what you're low on. It is also a great time to check those expiration dates and dispose of any that expired. Make a list of items that you can stock in your pantry that will help make a meal quickly without a lot of planning. It is also a good time to add those family favorites.

Now that you have your pantry all organized it is time to turn your attention to the fridge. Do not be afraid to those bowls way in the back that have been forgotten about for weeks. It is a good time to check those condiments with cookouts just around the corner.

With everything clean and organized and Winter still here comfort food is the way to go. A pot of soup on the stove with grilled cheese sandwiches or a stew in the crockpot is the way to go. With Spring not too far away get those recipes out and start planning for fresh salads and garden vegetables. You will be amazed how time and clean-up will be and the fun of cooking, baking and grilling will not become a hard task but a lot of fun putting love in all the recipes for family and friends.

Four Basic Steps For Choosing The Best Kitchen Gadgets

Choosing the BEST KITCHEN GADGETS is all about making the right choice when it comes to shopping for kitchen utensils. Having regrets after purchasing your utensils may either be that you did not make good research (reviews) on the product; did not consider your kitchen budget; did not consider your kitchen size and above all have less need for the equipment. In most kitchen, about 9% of the kitchen budget goes to kitchen accessories, and you may absolutely do not want to misuse your fund by getting accessories that won’t be beneficial in your kitchen adventure; so ensuring better choices during your quest for kitchen gadgets will safe you from lot of troubles. Of course selecting your gadget carefully is to know about its sturdiness, performance and durability of your accessories ensuring the value for your money and enhancing high performance during your meal prep time. This article seeks to clear your worries when choosing the best kitchen gadgets for your kitchen.

These are some of the laid down points to consider while planning on getting your Best Kitchen Gadgets:

  • Features, Durability and performance
  • Your kitchen budget
  • Your kitchen size
  • Gadget brand name

Features, Durability and Performance:

We believe that there are unique features in appliance that makes you choose a particular appliance over another. So knowing and understanding what will solve your kitchen worries is important as you won’t regret after making a choice. Also the gadget performance might be what you’ll like to consider too as the main aim of going for them is to improve performance in your kitchen; Gadgets brand, Materials they are made off and how sturdy they are might give you a clue on the gadget’s performance.

Your Kitchen Budgets:

Of course you might not want to spend a 4 digit in your account for a piece of equipment that will be a total crap after few weeks; so in making budget or plans for your kitchen gadgets it should be for the best of it service. Having careful plan set up is very vital as it will help you spend less for a sturdy and durable kitchen equipment’s. Make no mistakes purchasing random kitchen gadgets without assessing the use it will be put into because it might really be a pain in the head when it serve no purpose in your kitchen.

Your Kitchen Size:

In choosing your kitchen accessories, you should know the size of your kitchen and as well know how to place the few recommended once for convenience. Stay off from bulky appliances when your kitchen size is small; as you need more working space in your kitchen for convenience. The good news is that both big and small kitchens can be well equip to render the same services at any point in time.

Gadget Brand Name:

Shopping with long standing manufacturers with a reputable brand name gives an edge when shopping for your best kitchen gadgets. This is important as so many crappy things won’t happen along the line because of their outstanding services and if it does, you may return for free repairs or have it replace if it is still within the warrantee period. As you are considering gadget performance, sturdiness and durability you’ll have to consider the gadget brand name too.

Differences Between Damask, Brocade, and Jacquard

Often times, uneducated individuals use the terms damask, brocade, and Jacquard interchangeably with one another. It can often confuse those who are unfamiliar with the world of fabrics. Jacquard is a decorative or woven pattern that is created by using a Jacquard attachment on a loom. The attachment resembles the punch card on a piano. It is purported to offer better versatility and fabric control for the operator of the loom. The Jacquard technique can be applied to a variety of fabrics, and it is commonly used on brocade and damask fabrics. It is commonly used in a variety of apparel and home goods, from tablecloths to bedding.

Brocade is defined as a lavishly decorated, shuttle woven fabric. It is primarily woven from silk; although, it is possible to find brocade constructed from a blend of silk and synthetic fibers. Often, it will be embroidered with gold or silver thread. Brocade can trace its origins back to India, where weaving is a traditional art form. It is typically woven on a loom, and it may or may not be woven using the Jacquard technique. It is also characterized by the manner in which the brocaded or broached parts of the fabric hang in loose groups or are clipped away. Although the scenes and patterns on brocade appear to have been embroidered, the scenes are actually woven into the fabric using advanced weaving techniques that involve manipulating the weft and weave of the fabric. The most common types of scenes depicted on brocade fabric are those of floral prints.

Damask, similar to brocade, is a fabric that features woven scenes of floral patterns, intricate geometric designs, or simple scenes of domestic life. It may be woven of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers. However, it is most commonly created from silk. It is primarily different from brocade in the fact that its woven fabric pattern is reversible, while that of brocade is not. Similarly, shorter weft patterns in damask allow for more subtle effects in the fabric to be created as it plays off of shadow and light. Damask weaves also contain a higher thread count than that of brocade. Double damask weaves are the highest quality of damask produced; however, it is also the most expensive.

Shoe Storage – The Shoe Aficionado’s Friend

You may not be in Imelda Marcos's league (in the 1980's, the widow of former Philippine president Fernando Marco was infamous for, among other things, her collection of more than 3,000 shoes), but you're no slouch in the shoe department. You have shoes for everyday wear, for your dancing nights on the town, and for each of your athletic pursuits. Oh, and you just found a great shoe sale, so you'll be adding to your already more-than-adequate shoe supply. Maybe it's time to think about shoe storage.

Stacking your shoes on the closet floor or lining them up under your bed might work, but if you want to be able to find just the right shoe at a moment's notice, a more organized form of shoe storage can do the trick.

With so many types and style of shoe organizers on the market, the only trouble you will have with shoe storage is deciding which one to choose.

Here are a few of your options:

If you want to keep your shoes out where you and others can admire them, consider a standing, rotating, shoe tree to display your collection. You'll find spinning shoe trees in attractive finishes like metallic bronze, and the best come with racks that can be adjusted vertically. Look for a rack with a weighted bottom to keep the stand from tipping over.

If you want the ultimate protection for your shoes, take a look at canvas shoe drawers, where you can hide your shoes away from dust and potential scuffing. You can find shoe drawers either as free-standing or hanging units. With shoe drawers, you gain the added flexibility of being able to store other items, like scarves, socks, or belts.

If saving space is an issue, how about an over-the-door shoe rack? Over-the-door shoe racks come in several styles, everything from a bamboo rack for your flip-flops and sandals to racks with fashionable wood frames and chrome inserts.

With the proper shoe storage , you'll always have room for that perfect new pair!