My cup runneth over.. or how I learnt to cook rice right

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I remember watching my mother cooking lunch one weekend. The rice cooker was on the counter and I could tell the rice was almost cooked by how the lid was hopping and rattling. Mum was busy cutting and dicing, opening and closing fridge and freezer, tossing things in a wok with beautiful arcs with magical flicks of her wrist. Her back was to the rice cooker when, all of a sudden, she turned and flicked the switch off a micro-second before the water boiled over onto the counter top.

My eyes went wide at the perfect timing, as Mum simply carried on cooking. Compare that ease and expertise with my own bumbling attempts to boil water and whistle at the same time….
When I first moved out, I did not know how to pick the best rice cooker size but this is what I have learned along the way.

Firstly, when a cooker is advertised as ’3-cup’, it means you can put in a maximum of 3 cups of RAW rice in it. Rice varieties differ slightly, but rice grains approximately double in volume after being cooked, i.e. if you cook 3 cups of raw rice, you will get about 6 cups of cooked rice. I forgot that once and ended up eating the same batch of rice for 3 days. Blegh!
I would say a ’3-cup’ rice cooker is ideal for most singles, 5-cup for a couple and 5-cup to 7-cup for a bigger family.

I also discovered that there is a minimum amount of rice you have to cook in each cooker. How much depends on the size, brand and model, but cooking less than the recommended amount can damage the cooking pot. Knowing this is important because if you buy a huge cooker but usually cook for one, you will either damage it or end up with leftover rice every time.
It’s best to adapt to the least amount you usually need – 3-cup for singles, 5-cup for a couple etc., and either borrow a cooker when you have guests, or cook the rice in batches.

More: How to choose the right rice cooker by How Stuff Works

Espresso Machines For Coffee Lover

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Forget that cup of coffee that you are about to buy from your nearest coffee shop. It is time to make your own coffee from the comfort of your home. The beauty of making your own cup of coffee is that, you can include as many ingredients as you want in a bid to ensure that you get a superb cup of coffee. The only thing you need to invest in for you to enjoy your own cup coffee is a coffee machine. Here are some of the best espresso machines suitable for you.

La Pavoni EPC-8

If you are among the persons who care much when it comes to making a superb cup of coffee, this is arguably the best La Pavoni Espresso machine for you. It boasts of an auto shut off function and a cleaning function that makes cleaning this machine a walk in the park. With its digital timer, you can have control over the entire brewing process.

DeLonghi ESAM3500

This best super automatic espresso machine features a push-button control panel that will allow you to select your drink setting from the many preset options for coffee strength, temperature and cup size. It also comes with a decalcification indicator that will automatically notify you when it is time to have the machine cleaned.

Mr. Coffee SJX

This great coffee machine features an auto shut-off function that automatically shuts off the machine after every two hours. It also features brew strength setting, a water filter, glass carafe and removable filter basket that make cleaning this machine quite easy.

Top features of a suitable coffee machine

  • Cleaning cycle

This feature repeatedly gives notifications when the coffee machine requires to be cleaned.

  • Glass Carafe

All the top brands of coffee machines come with this feature for purposes of holding the coffee after it has been brewed. It also keeps the coffee hot for a relatively long time.

  • Water filter

Nearly all the recommended coffee machines come with a removable water filter that is used for purposes of screening out mineral and impurities that can compromise on the quality of coffee.

Additional reading:
Coffee & Productivity - Daily Perk
Espresso & Weight Loss - Live Strong

There was a time air beds were used sparingly

It seems difficult to believe, but that is true. In about 3 decades I have witnessed changes in how people use air beds. When we were young, we used them when we were traveling, or going out on picnics. Mom was careful to spread a thick sheet beneath so that nothing poky on the ground came into direct contact with the bed. I still wonder how she made the same air beds last for as long as they did, and managed to give me one of them.

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Now, though air beds have become sophisticated. Unlike the old air beds, the air from this bed that I bought does not leave as easily. This bed is firm too like freshly stitched cotton bed, thanks to the technologies that integrate springs in them. Yet these air beds can be folded as well, which was a pleasant surprise considering the volume. I mean our old air mattress was barely 7 to 9 inches above the ground, and this air bed is almost 10 inches more. I am also ecstatic about the speed at which the bed gets filled with the air, and the speed with which I am able to deflate it.

The top of this new air bed is covered with a special type of material, which is water proof, but is not smooth like some rain coat. Our previous air bed is something like that, because of which the bed sheet does not stay in place. The one that my mom gave me is made from some stiff fabric. This air bed top instead almost feels soft like a fabric. The bed sheet too stays on it in place, somewhat. They have stitched this air bed like thick foam mattresses so it is difficult to make out whether it is air bed or normal foam mattress. The edges are neatly stitched to keep the shape like any other mattress. Of course, this is lighter, so it is likely to move more easily. That can be an advantage while cleaning or shifting, and disadvantage at other times. When we were searching for the best air bed for everyday use, we found that some of these beds were provided with these suction stands, so that they hold on firmly to the ground.

I am sure many may want it higher, but this air bed is so perfect for sitting in front of television and watching movies late in nights. My teenagers love it when they have their friends staying overnight.

Continue reading - How to pick your perfect mattress

The Ultimate Juicing Machine

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In this Breville 800jexl juicer review we are going to focus on how making vegetable or root juice can be extraordinarily fun. All it takes is just a couple of carrots, celery, strawberries, apples, watermelon, and mixing them all together to make a superior tasty juice. There are a number of juicers declaring to blend the very best juice, but lots of these are missing one juicer which is dominating the juicer market. In this article we will check out few tips on Breville 800jexl juice extractor, we are glad to present to you a brief and fast overview that should help to persuade anyone that it is the kind of juicer that you need. Read through this best Breville juicer reviews for to look for other top models.

When you purchase a Breville 800jexl Juicer, you will definitely be getting the best juicer machine for the money with one thousand watts of energy, this makes it extremely efficient to use. The motor discovered in this juicer is Italian made giving it flexibility to decrease or increase its power, depending on the type of juice being extracted. This machine has totally different speeds, needed if say you are doing comfortable or arduous fruits. This extractor is superb; it is not a pre-sliced vegetable or fruit. It is made up in a way that it is capable of dealing with them as whole, without any challenges. This type of juice extractor is made up of forged stainless die metal and making it a bit of an artwork inside your kitchen.

Ultimately Breville 800jexl is a juice extractor everyone must have in their kitchen, quite affordable, convenient, beautiful, and most of all it is user friendly. Trust me it gets a shiny five star due to its quality, it is the best machine you will ever have in your home someone once said that it is the best value for your money go and get one for your self and you will never be disappointed.

I am opting for lighter pots and pans

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With age, my wrists are no longer as strong as they once were. This is forcing me to look at lighter pots and pans, though I would have never endorsed these pots I am contemplating as the best pots and pans. Even as I am looking at them, I have gnawing fear that if they tip over, I am in for some scalds. You see, traditional pots and pans are heavier. But with kids no longer around, and cooking becoming simpler for us, it is high time, I bought some pots and pans for me that will make my life easier.

I found many interesting products, not that I have not been aware of new cookware in the market. My traditional cookware does not have the non-stick coating. I bought an anodized set about ten years ago, and prior to that, I bought a non-stick variety. But I use them sparingly. Now, the market is flooded with lighter pots and pans, which are non-stick variety, but designed for induction cooking. Hopefully, the seasoning does not get burnt in these. I might have to learn cooking once more on these considering the lower metal gauge.

I am also looking for pots and pans that can be washed easily. I hate leaving them for dishwasher. We don’t use dishwasher several times in the day now, as we used to when all members of the family resided here. That would be expensive way of doing things, now, wouldn’t it? Therefore, I need smaller pots and pans too. I am looking at the base, and handle. I have used a set in between that gave me a lot of trouble with its handle. Therefore, I had to return to old set of cookware. The edges of the cookware matter too to me, because I should be able to pour milk, and curries out more easily. I am also looking at the lids. There are a few pots and pans with glass lids. I am , however, avoiding them, simply because those lids are heavy, and breakable. The purpose of buying new pots and pans will be defeated if I buy such a set, even though my heart wants to buy those.

You might want to read  - Hard anodized vs nonstick cookware