Kitchen works Archive

Gear Review! Are Wine Coolers Really Different from Standard Fridges?

wineFor wine lovers, probably you will need to store several bottles in your house. This is awesome especially when you have guests around, because sipping some wine will take your conversation to another level. However, many of you face challenges when it comes to wine keeping. If you have a standard refrigerator, it will not do the best for wine storage.

You may have come across various terms such as home refrigerators and wine coolers, but they have distinct meaning and uses. Home fridges are typically for storing food and specific beverages, but not suitable for wines. Home fridges vary temperatures and other people keep on opening it frequently. As stated by WineCoolerLab, the best wine coolers are not frequently used by family members. Therefore, wine sediments can comfortably settle and help in preserving your wine. They also maintain the corks moist, and prevent air from entering the bottle. Note this; air entering the bottle can spoil your wine!

Additional benefits of wine coolers are that they are portable, though depending on the number of bottles inside. You can as well regulate temperature and humidity you want for your wines. As I said earlier, sediments need to be allowed to settle undisturbed. Home fridges vibrate, thus interfering with the state of your wines. So, if you want the wine to have that good taste, use wine coolers instead of the standard home fridges.

Main Differences between Wine Coolers and Standard Fridges

  1. Temperature regulation

Wine coolers are designed with temperature range set for wines to stay at finest temperatures. The temperature can be adjusted based on what you want, but the range still remains the best optimal for storing wines.

Standard fridges do not store items at a steady temperature, while wine coolers keep items at constant temperature as possible. In addition, wine coolers are not frequently opened and closed, especially where there are kids. Fridges are opened even more than 5 times a day, and this affects the steady temperature required for keeping wines.

  1. Stability of the content’s condition

Wine coolers ensure your wines stay in good conditions until the day you want to drink. They ensure the cork stays moist, hence preventing air from entering the bottle when cork dries up. Due to frequent opening and closing of the fridges, wine corks are likely to dry and allow air into the bottle.

Also, opening and closing keeps ‘disturbing’ the wines, hence interrupting the sediments from settling. This makes the wine to have a different taste, which does not add up to the original flavor you want. It is also difficult to keep the wines on their sides in a fridge, and that is why your wines will have a different tang. Remember, wines should be kept on their sides to maintain the quality of taste. A fridge cannot fit several wine bottles on their sides due to limited space, and therefore the need for a wine cooler to store them.

  1. Convenience in storage

If you receive visitors frequently, you will need to store different kinds of wines. For instance, red and white wines cater for people with different preferences. If you usually drink both, you will want to keep them in your house too. Wine coolers have separate compartments to store different wines, unlike fridges. Every compartment has its own temperature control, ensuring wines stay at their optimum temperatures.

  1. Vibrations

Standard fridges usually vibrate, making them unfit for keeping wines. As I said earlier, best wine should be allowed to settle its sediments without disturbances. The best units to store your wines are wine coolers, as they don’t vibrate too hard. Even though you will open the wine cooler occasionally, that small change in temperature cannot ruin your wines. I don’t mean wine coolers don’t vibrate at all. What they have is a steady fine vibration that cannot be felt by the wine bottles.

  1. Compressor cooling system

Most wine coolers with thermoelectric cooling systems ensure minimal vibrations. They are ideal for storing wines, unlike standard fridges that vibrate vividly. Fridges are made to store food stuffs, and they have too many parts to cater for that. This is why they are always vibrating, and can harm the quality of your wines.

If you really like drinking wine, it is better to have your wine cooler alongside the standard fridge. Both units are essential, as you will not be tempted to store wine in the fridge. Also, the fridge will take care of preserving you foods without worrying about the quality of your wines.

Benefits of a dehydrator from a child health point?

I think all mothers go through the phase of wanting to be a master chef. I’m at the point of learning how to bake. I’ve found it very convenient to use dried food for cheesecakes, cakes, cupcakes, bread and almost every pastry in the world! There are many dried fruits in the grocery store, but it’s a lot more fun if you use a Food Dehydrator.

Food drying is a way to preserve not just fruits, but vegetables as well. In the ancient times, people used to dry their food the old –fashioned way by leaving it in a table top to air dry but thanks to technology because now we have food dehydrators. Here are some tips for food sealing in this post.

How does a Food Dehydrator work?

Basically, this small appliance will preserve your food by removing the moisture from it. When moisture is eliminated, it automatically extends the shelf life of your pantry supplies because there is no longer any water where bacteria can grow. I’ve done it many times even with tomatoes and I have proven it to be true! I actually spend a lot of time researching different kinds of food that I can dehydrate. My kids mostly enjoyHow does a Food Dehydrator work? eating dried mangoes. I slice some mangoes, put them in sugar and dehydrate them. As the dehydrator removes the moisture from the healthy fruit, the mangoes also absorb the sweetness of the sugar. It’s an easy and healthy to-go snack for my children.

How is a Food Dehydrator Beneficial to my Children?

I’m speaking from experience here when I say that my children appreciated eating vegetables and fruits more often ever since I started dehydrating them.

Some mothers would argue that dehydrating food would deprive its consumer of the majority of the vitamins and minerals present in it. But this is not true at all. In fact, even if a food is dehydrated, it delivers the same amount of minerals and nutrients as its fresh counterpart.

It’s a challenge to let my children eat fiber rich foods to aid in their digestion because they aren’t delicious. But uncooked food can be easily delicious once they’re dehydrated. In fact, this technique has been used in fiber rich foods way, way back the biblical times. My kids eat dehydrated vegetables on a daily basis. I simply slice them into small pieces and mix them in different dishes and sometimes, even sauces. My little girl particularly likes her chicken with a gravy sauce that I make that includes dried mushrooms.

Another benefit that can help your mothering objectives is the fact that this kitchen appliance is very cost effective. Dried fruits and vegetables are quite expensive when sold in the market. But if you dehydrate it yourself, it’s like you slashed your expenses in half.

Healthy snacking is also one benefit that you and your kids enjoy. Your children can get the crunch that they love from unhealthy potato chips from dehydrated nuts or banana chips. I have actually invested in cute containers so my children can bring these healthy snacks to school. The best thing about letting your children bring dehydrated food to school is that it does not become messy. There is no moisture involved at all. They keep their things and themselves clean.  No more washing stained shirts during laundry day!

Food Dehydrator Tips

I’ve been using my food dehydrator for a little over 5 months and here are some tips I want to share. For further info check this ultimate list of dehydrator usage!

  1. Separate Flavors – don’t mix the sweet with the savory. You’re not going to like how that turns out. Just make a schedule for when you want to dehydrate different flavors.
  2. Cut Fruits or Vegies in half – I have found it a lot faster to dehydrate if I cut in half grapes, tomatoes, cherries and similar food.
  3. Don’t Overlap Food – as mothers, we have the tendency to maximize our space. It’s not the case for food dehydrators. As much as possible, just dry one kind of food at a time so that you don’t mix flavors together, unless you’re using all those food in one dish.

I strongly suggest mothers like me who love to cook start saving a budget for a food dehydrator. You may check product reviews online. I may recommend one expert dehydratorium.com for reviews.

This is one kitchen appliance that is totally worth it!

Importance of a Garbage Disposal at Home

One of the daily struggles of mothers is making sure that your home is squeaky clean. We don’t want to see our husbands or children sick so we exert extra effort to ensure the cleanliness of our homes.

A major source of bacteria is garbage. And believe me, I hate throwing out the trash. I feel like I can never get rid of the germs in my hand. I also don’t like the feeling that there is garbage left inside the house. It’s a terrible obsessive compulsive mommy problem!

garbage disposals

This is why when we decided to renovate our kitchen; I decided to buy a garbage disposal unit. A garbage disposal unit is a device that is electrically powered that is installed between the drain and the trap of your sink so that it shreds food waste into small pieces so it can pass through your plumbing seamlessly.

Importance of a Garbage Disposal to Moms

  • Sanitary Home Condition – as I mentioned a while back, mothers have the need to install a garbage disposal unit so that you incur less garbage in your home. Thus, there is also less chance of attracting pesky pests and insects that could give your children unwanted illnesses.
  • Way of Saving Money – you don’t need to spend as much for garbage transportation because everything goes through your plumbing. In addition to this, you won’t need to shell out cash for garbage plastic bags every now and then. I find it very difficult to dispose of garbage using cheap plastic bags that’s why I end up buying expensive ones. But ever since I had a garbage disposal installed, I didn’t need to buy so many garbage bags anymore.
  • Educating Children of Proper Waste Management – my children was intrigued of the “thing” installed in the kitchen sink. When I explained it to them, they were also able to learn proper waste management. As a mother and an environmentalist, I deem this very important because the world is not getting any better. All that we can do is to control the situation by teaching our kids how to segregate trash properly.

See a video to install a garbage disposal at home:

Mommy Shopping Tips for a Garbage Disposal

  • Material – Look for a garbage disposal that has stainless steel blades. It’s very easy for your rust to come up your sink again most especially if there is a clog. Rust is very dangerous to health. It’s toxic and can harm your children seriously.
  • Motor Size – The motor size you look for will depend on how big your family is. The bigger the family, the more garbage you are going to need to shred, thus you’re going to need a bigger motor.
  • Dishwasher Attachment – Some garbage disposal units have dishwasher attachments. The one I bought had one as well because I have a dishwasher. The attachment allows a tube to flush the waste from the dirty dishes into the garbage disposal. Don’t worry, the hook up is very easy to do.
  • Noise Reduction – For obvious reasons, you will need a garbage disposal that doesn’t emit so much noise because as mothers, we often do house chores when kids are asleep. You can ask anyone looking after appliance stores to assist you with hearing the noise of garbage disposals.

Before buying a garbage disposal, make sure that you have a plumber check out your place so that you don’t encounter any problems after installation. We recommend you read this post from disposalmag.com before you decide. Garbage disposals last for years as long as you don’t accidentally throw something into your drainage that could cause damage to the blades. With careful use, you can really utilize this great appliance for your disposal!

How to Keep my Foodies for my Kids!

A Vacuum Sealer is one small kitchen appliance that is so nifty that most mothers want it in their kitchen. We’ve all learned what a vacuum space is way back in primary school and we’ve done lots of experiments about it in Science class. This makes it super exciting to use the technique in real life.

What is a Vacuum Sealer for?

Vacuum sealer is for vacuum packing and is a method of packaging that removes air from the packing. This may seem like extra effort for a lot of people but it actually extends the shelf life of many kinds of food whenever you pack it this way. It reduces the atmospheric oxygen inside the package. Thus, this type of packing limits the growth of aerobic bacteria or fungi in your food. It’s a great way to store food most especially for moms like me that are very cautious when it comes to the food that we feed our children.

But the initial reason why I opted to buy my own is because I needed a space saver both in my fridge and in my food pantry. I simply cannot afford to go back and the forth the grocery now that I am juggling work and household chores. Ever since I had my Vacuum Sealer, I was able to create the so much space in my kitchen storage that I can store up to more than 2 weeks’ worth of food.vacuum sealers

Types of Vacuum Sealers

Nozzle Sealer – This vacuum sealer is also known as the Snorkel Sealer. This kind of sealer will allow you to seal faster and it also lets you have more control over the bag you are sealing. This is great if you are not used to the process of vacuum sealing. Usually, this type of sealer also has a foot pedal so you can use both hands to hold the package you are sealing.

Chamber Sealer – Consider the chamber sealer as a more powerful one because it can vacuum more oxygen but it does it more slowly. Well, you know what they say, slowly but surely. They are not foot pedal operated unlike nozzle sealers but they are automatic. According to SealerLab editors, these sealers have sensors that activate right away once the lid of your machine is closed. Pretty nifty stuff!

Gas Flush Sealer – If you are looking into purchasing a vacuum sealer so you can preserve food, then this is the best sealer to buy. Aside from saving lots of space, the gas flush sealer submits an inert gas into the package so you can minimize the amount of oxygen inside and prolong preservation of food.

Compact Chamber – this may be considered a downgrade from chamber sealers because chamber sealers are more of for commercial use. So if you don’t do so much sealing, then this could be great for you.

Top 5 Benefits of Using Vacuum Sealers

I thought that the only benefit you would get is saving space and preserving, but there’s actually more!

Top 1: Flavor and Nutrients – not only do you preserve your food, you also need not worry that they would taste different. If you vacuum seal your food, they would still taste good every time you re-open them. This is what I have proven in vacuum sealing my dried mangoes!Vacuum Sealer

Top 2: Meal Planning – for mothers like me, meal planning is something that I take very seriously. But it becomes a challenge to plan meals when you don’t have so many raw materials in your kitchen. The best way to plan your meals is to have lots of resources. I can buy lots of meat, vegies, fruits and other ingredients and I don’t even need to worry about using them right away.

Top 3: Grocery Shopping Becomes Cheaper – this is mainly because buying by bulk is a lot less expensive. I was able to use a lot of my coupons that were about to expire when I purchased a vacuum sealer.

Top 4: Organized Space – we’ve all arrived home just to see the fridge so messy and unorganized. I mean, who wants to work in a kitchen like that anyway? I know I don’t! Fixing my fridge and pantry has become a lot more fun ever since I used vacuum packing.

Top 5: No More Freezer Burn – I find this very helpful because I hate it when food in my meat gets freezer burn. Now I don’t need to worry about it anymore.

Conclusion

So, should you buy a vacuum sealer or not? In my opinion, it’s going to make your lives a lot easier. Just be very careful of what type you buy. You don’t need a bulky one or a heavy duty one. Just buy one that fits your needs and your family’s. See more kitchen appliances here!

Mom’s Rice Should be Perfect!

rice cookerA Rice Cooker is an electric kitchen appliance used to steam rice the traditional way, only easier. Not so many people, especially in America, know about rice cookers because they don’t really add rice in their daily consumption of meals. But ever since my family developed a love for Asia Food like Makis and Kimbobs, I was compelled to buy our very own rice cooker. Before preparing the mentioned dishes, I am going to need perfectly steamed rice. And without a rice cooker, I won’t be able to achieve this.

Honestly, I had no idea what to ask for when I was looking for something that could cook rice. I was convinced that I should look for a traditional steamer to get the traditional Asian taste. Of course, I didn’t find any except in traditional oriental shops. When I walked around some more, I found a small rice cooker that definitely wanted to come home with me.

How Do Rice Cookers Work?

The rice cooker has a removable bowl. That’s where you will measure uncooked rice and wash it. If you put 2 cups of rice, you will need to put 2 cups of water as well. This proportion may vary depending on how soft you want your rice to be. After measuring your rice, you will simply need to put the removable bowl in the cooker which has a heater and a thermostat. You are going to have to push down on the “Cook” setting so that the spring under the thermostat so that it has good thermal contact with the bowl. Eventually, you will notice that the water is being absorbed by the rice as it slowly gets the cook. The best thing about rice cookers is that it does not burn your food because once it detects that your rice is perfectly steamed, it automatically changes the “cook” setting to “warm”.

 

Benefits of Using a Rice Cooker

When I bought my rice cooker, a lot of people asked me why I bought such. Do I really need it? Are rice cookers extremely important in the kitchen for mothers like me? And what benefits do they really bring? I have asked myself the same before even buying one so I have consolidated a list of benefits. According to Cookermag Editors, rice cookers have 5 important benefits!

  • Never Burns Rice – you literally do not have to check on it from time to time. Once the rice is cooked, like what was mentioned above, the “cook” setting automatically turns into “warm”. Even if you leave it on overnight, nothing bad is going to happen unlike with other kitchen appliances. It’s just going to keep your rice warm enough so that people can eat it when they’re ready.
  • Easy Measurements – when you buy a rice cooker, you will notice that there are lines inside the rice bowl. That’s where you are going to see how much water you are going to use. It’s very easy to understand. I’m lucky because the rice cooker I bought includes a free standard measuring cup which makes it even easier to measure rice and water without any waste.
  • Uniform Cooking – during my research, I discovered that rice is very difficult to harvest. Every grain of rice counts. That’s why it’s extremely important that you don’t waste even just a single grain of it. If you use a regular cooking pan, you will most likely burn the rice at the bottom even if you cook it in slow heat. But if you use a rice cooker, it assures you that you cook the rice evenly.

Different Types of Rice Cookers

Basically, there are 3 different kinds of rice cookers.

  1. On/Off Cookers – this kind of rice cooker shuts off automatically. This is ideal for those who will do something else with their rice except to eat it as it is. If you are into eating fried rice for breakfast, then you should use an on/off rice cooker so you can just cook the rice before going to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, your rice will be cold and ready for frying.
  2. Cook and Keep Warm Cookers – this kind of rice cooker is great when you want to eat your rice right away with a viand or a different dish. This is they kind of rice cooker that I bought because it is more versatile than the first one.
  3. Rice Cooker with Steamer – some rice cookers features a steamer where you can steam different kinds of food like fish, dumplings or even buttered vegetables. It makes cooking a lot easier!

If you really want to experiment with new dishes, then I strongly suggest you get a rice cooker. I definitely do not regret getting mine.