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What’s In A Coffee Grinder

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“Oh look, its coffee o’ clock! Yes I’m a Coffee-holic. My hush-rush routine has made me addicted to it. A cup of coffee and I’m back in form! While Barista is indeed my all-time favorite coffee spot; it also causes me to skip my coffee most of the time. Come on! Nobody enjoys lining up for a coffee every day. So, finally I decided to brew my own espresso my way. Definitely, the quality of coffee depends greatly on the finesse of the coffee beans but you need a coffee grinder that could grind them well. So, here began my hunt for the best coffee grinder.

Thanks to the various e-commerce websites that helped me get a few amazing coffee grinder options. However, it also caused great confusion in picking the right choice. So, I decided to choose the best 3 options based on the ratings and customer reviews on various online websites and finally arrive at a decision. Baratza Virtuoso, this grinder has been on my mind since last few months; may be because I’ve seen it with a few people around me. With 5/5 customer ratings and positive reviews across some top e-commerce websites, people have been talking about its unmatchable consistency of grinding coffee beans, an on/off timer and definitely cost-effectiveness. Plus, it is easy to use and has a sleek look.

Next on my list was the Baratza Encore. This grinder is an alternate to the former one because of its low price range and performance. While it worked exactly the same way as the Virtuoso, it lacked automatic timer and is louder when in use. Last, I picked Hario Coffee Mill Slim, which has been considered as a high-performing manual-grinder by experts. However, it can serve only one at a time.

Considering all my needs, I finally chose to buy Baratza Virtuoso – easy-to-use, automatic and delivering the perfect brew! Spending a few more bucks in return for a delightful experience was an easy choice for me.


Best skillet to cook with

skillet recipe

Cooking for myself once I learned the basics, was going just fine. Although like anyone else, cooking skills develops over time. As I kept learning from cookbooks, cooking shows, cooking jobs I had, and a few times from traveling to different restaurants, I noticed that the utensils that I was a using were wearing out and I constantly had to replace my skillets, pots, and pans.

Take from me, finding high quality cookware makes up all for all the time you have to perfect those recipes for parties, kids, and any events that your friends and family may be given. I was a mess going back to those same stores and replacing my cooking ware out from severe wear and tear. That is until I research and found some cookware that is worthy of my money and will last a very long time. It is certain things that you cannot be cheap about and your cooking ware is one of them.

For starters, iron skillets are always recommended as one of the best skillets to cook with it. From my experience, it makes the best casserole dish to me. I substitute sometimes this cookware because it has the ability to bring out all the flavors and give your dish the flawless brown crust. Department stores such as Ross, JCpenny or Target are good places to find high quality cooking ware. The Red Copper nonstick, some of you may see on TV, that’s is also in my kitchen as we speak. I am one of those people that hate cleaning dishes after a big celebration so since this purchase, the Red Copper is so simple to wash, I love using it. Another good one I would say is good but one might actual have to save up for is the Le Creuset stainless steel cooking ware. Lasts for a while and will not break your bank at all.

I have grown to love cooking so these products are in you at my house and it relieves the struggle of having to cook small to even large quantities of food at time. You too should try these out and remember whether you’re a beginner, advancing, or professional, high quality cookware is not cheap and after all is well worth it.


I am a massive fan of smoothies!

I am a massive fan of smoothies and just like any other smoothie fan out there, buying a blender can become a hard task. Recently I’ve also been getting a lot of questions about which is the best one to buy and what to look for when buying a blender. Trust me, I have been down this road a lot of times and I never understood why it seemed so hard settling on one product until I decided to do some research on my own. The truth is that if you go to a shop looking to buy a blender without much information about the specifications that you want, then there is a high chance that you’ll buy something quite different from what you expected.

making smoothie

–So the question remains, what should you be looking for in blenders?–

First and foremost, when buying a blender, always ask about the motor and blades. You should look for a strong motor and thick blades. If you buy a blender with thin blades then with time the blades will warp and you’ll end up with half blended smoothies. A strong motor also assures you that the fruit or greens placed in the blender will be thoroughly blended into a smoothie. Again, it is good to know what exactly you will be using the blender for. If you just want to make smoothies at home, then I would advise you to go with a cheaper basic option. Remember that expensive does not necessarily mean that you get a wider array of features. The last and probably most important factor should be the size of the blender in terms of quantity and whether it can be a good fit on your kitchen counter as well as its ease of cleaning. With all this in mind, you can then head into an electronic shop and ask for your blender of choice.

Some of the best blenders out there include; Vitamix 5200, Blendtec Designer 725 and Oster Classic Beehive Blender. I recently tested the Vitamix 5200 blender with tasks for blending smoothies, margaritas and soups and the results were just out of this world. Its blend quality is top notch. Whether you are blending fruit smoothies or green smoothies, the result is still the same and the fiber from the smoothie is consistently maintained. Furthermore, the blender is quite easy to clean.

“I taped this demo and then bought the machine! It is amazing!! I’ve never had anything like it… blows all old blenders away. I am already eating healthier. So easy to use, especially for someone who doesn’t cook at all… worth every penny.” Becca Disney

So next time you are looking for the best blender for your home, keep the tips here in mind. I would love to know what you think when you read this blog post.


A night with the flamingoes and my air mattress

When I visited the beautiful country of Kenya I was so impressed with the many activities that one can do in the wild. I quickly planned my next escapade and headed to the Great Rift Valley. I was going for a wonderful camping weekend in the beautiful salty lake, Lake Elementaita. The lake is known for its wonderful camping experiences and many locals and foreigners frequent the lake to enjoy the lake. The hot springs near the lake add a beautiful touch to the camping experience. The Great Rift Valley provides a unique geographical structure for those who love hiking and mountain climbing. I quickly grabbed my stuff and started packing for the great weekend. I was more excited by the fact that there was going to be a festival at one of the camping sites. A great chance to interact with the locals. I had everything ready except that I did not have a camping air mattress.
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The hustle to find the best air mattress to buy for camping started. Most of the stores I went to lacked what I wanted. Most had simple hammocks that would not be very efficient and won’t be able to serve the purpose I needed. In my mind I was looking for something that could give me with comfort and security. I wanted an air mattress that had a good material, was light, comfortable and it could serve the purpose of being a camping mat and a mattress. After several rounds in the city of Nairobi I finally got what I wanted in a mall.

The new air mattress proved to be very effective. It had a wonderful design and I could pack it comfortably in my truck. The air mattress had a good material that would not tear. It was also very light and I could carry it comfortably with no worry of getting tired. I was sure my night with the flamingoes was going to be an awesome experience. As I parked in the camping site the beautiful lake was a breathtaking sight. The pink stretch on the other side was an assurance to that this was going to be a beautiful experience. The place was littered with people who were also getting ready for a camping weekend, just like me many had their air mattresses for camping. The crowd was enjoyable and soon a bone fire was lit. After a wonderful night of dancing and drinking I slowly went to my tent to my new friend. My best cheap air mattress for camping trip was very comfortable and I was glad that I had made this investment.

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Slow cooker: Forget Fast food, Slow is the Way to Go

In today’s hectic world, whether you cook for just yourself, you and a partner, or a large family it’s often all too easy just to drop by the burger bar or order in from the local takeaway come meal time. Convenient, yes, but it costs more to eat this way plus there is an additional cost to you and your family’s health if you miss out on proper meals too often.

A perfect solution to this is to invest in a slow cooker which allows you to prepare soups, pot roasts, or stews in advance and leave them to cook slowly all day whilst you are out. When you return your meal will be cooked perfectly.

slow cooker

So the question now is, which is the best small slow cooker for you?

If there are only one or two of you in the household, the Proctor-Silex 33116Y is an ideal choice. It has a 1.5-quart capacity, which is ample, and it is dishwasher safe so no need for elbow grease to get it clean. Best of all it is one of the lowest priced in the market so you’ll have enough for a nice bottle of wine to go with your slow cooked meal.

The Elite Gourmet MST-250XS is perfect if simplicity and ease of use are important to you. To operate it there is one dial with 3 settings, so it is simple enough for anyone to use. It has a modern, stainless steel finish and for easy cleaning, it can be put it in the dishwasher.

For something a little bit different, the Crockpot M250 Mini takes some beating. it has a beautiful, patterned design that looks attractive in any kitchen plus it has a larger 2.5-quart size just in case you need to cook for guests too.

When choosing the best small slow cooker for yourself the main points to consider are; the size required, ease of use, how easy it is to clean, and of course your budget. Happy cooking.


Seasoned Ground Beef Tacos

Here’s the recipe for my favorite ground beef tacos!

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Seasoned Ground Beef is mixed with corn and chunky salsa for a slight twist on the classic taco.

INGREDIENTS
1 pound Ground Beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (11 ounces) corn, drained
1 cup prepared chunky salsa
12 taco shells, warmed

Toppings:
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced lettuce, sliced ripe olives, chopped tomatoes

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONFETTI BEEF TACOS

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings; season with chili powder and salt.
Stir in corn and salsa; heat through. Serve in taco shells with toppings.

Test Kitchen Tips
Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.

Nutrition information per serving, using 80% lean Ground Beef: 464 calories; 23 g fat (8 g saturated fat; 7 g monounsaturated fat); 76 mg cholesterol; 1090 mg sodium; 38 g carbohydrate; 4.2 g fiber; 27 g protein; 5.9 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.4 mcg vitamin B12; 3.0 mg iron; 19.1 mcg selenium; 5.8 mg zinc.
This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber and iron.
Nutrition information per serving: 407 calories; 16 g fat (5 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 84 mg cholesterol; 1007 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fiber; 31 g protein; 6.9 mg niacin; 1.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.8 mcg vitamin B12; 3.2 mg iron; 21.2 mcg selenium; 6.7 mg zinc; 100.9 mg choline.
This recipe is an excellent source of protein, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and selenium; and a good source of iron and choline.


Customize Your Christmas

christmas gift shopping

When it comes to Christmas gift ideas, it’s quite easy to get flustered and stuck on what gifts you should buy for friends and family. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as the presents I buy are personalized or tailored to the individuals then I’m in the clear. Unless a family member or dear friend actually asks for a gift card, I’ve definitely come to learn that this just is not one of the best Christmas gift ideas (See best Christmas gift ideas 2016). If you are really in a bind you can always turn to Oprah’s Favorite Things or other popular shows like The Ellen Show, as both release lists as to what they think are the most trendy items of the year, but unfortunately these items usually sell out pretty quickly. Also, this is kind of a last resort as to where I’d recommend looking in regards to Christmas gift ideas. For me, the best thing to do is start that Christmas shopping ahead of time so you’re really able to put thought into what you want to buy for each individual. Often I’ve found that I’ll just be at a store and randomly come upon the gift that’s perfect for the individual hence the import of starting your shopping early. Regardless, just know that your friend or family members will love whatever you get them as long as they can see the thought behind the gift. This truly is what matters. A popular trend today, especially with this economy, is the DIY (“Do It Yourself”) gifts. This is something that has been a great success amongst myself and my family and friends. When someone knows that you’ve spent time and put effort into making something such as a cute necklace or a painted coffee mug, that means even more. There’s also an added shock value which makes me smile every time I give a friend a gift that I’ve made. Pinterest is a wonderful site to finds ideas if you decide to go this route for Christmas gift ideas. Whatever you choose to do just remember that thought it everything! Christmas is about giving, not about the money behind every present under the tree.


The Wonders of Mederma Stretch Mark Therapy Cream

You are not alone with your problems with stretch marks. It is one of the most common skin problems that are usually experienced by women like you. Yet it does not spare men from having this condition also known as striae. Some factors to this are pregnancy, rapid weight loss or weight gain, puberty and lifting weights. Today, topical creams that promise to reduce or diminish stretch marks are now available in many drugstores and beauty shops.

The Wonder Cream

Stretch marks or striae are treated by something that promotes healing deep down the collagen layers in the skin. You are lucky for dermatologic experts have discovered non-invasive treatments to eliminate stretch marks and allow skin healing.

Today, many creams flock the shelves of beauty stores and are available without a prescription. They contain substances known to promote skin healing and eliminate stretch marks. Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy, a cream, reduces the stretch mark’s appearance, lightens the discoloration, enhances the texture and promotes softness to the skin.

Click here to read how to use this therapy cream.


How to Use Mederma Cream

This cream for the treatment of stretch marks is also used in treating scars. Aside from the cream form, it also comes in a gel. It treats scars by reaching the inner layer of the skin and reaching collagen fibers. When you are injured or cut, a new tissue made up of collagen forms to serve as protection to the structures below the skin. This has lesser circulation compared to the surrounding skin and appears to be more tough and fibrous.

How to Use It

It is important that you know how to use this stretch mark cream for better results. Mederma cream is topically applied on the areas affected by striae. These commonly appear around area of the thighs, upper arms, abdomen and even the breasts. It is advisable that in treating newer stretch marks you apply it for at least 8 weeks. Old stretch marks need a longer treatment of 3-6 months. Its label says that Mederma cream can show great results after four weeks of use. Truly fascinating!

What are the Effective Ingredients of Mederma Cream?

It contains ingredients that are effective in eliminating striae. When combined, these substances make up a formula that is effective in bringing back the normal condition of your skin. It contains a botanical extract known as Cepalin (from onions or allium cepa) and Centella asiatica. With these natural substances from plants, this cream promises you minimal or no side effects. Also it has an active ingredient called hyaluronic acid.

What Studies Show about Mederma

Women who tried using Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy noticed results after one and a half months that indeed the cream is effective in treating striae. In fact, some women are satisfied with the product more than other brands of topical creams. This is why many women like you turn to using this product that fulfills a promise of a stretch mark free skin.


For the love of coffee! Thou shall have that grinder

As a coffee lover myself I am not content having just a cup or two in a day, not to mention the random coffee shop has become a natural thing. However, with the amount of each cup I was left thinking, are those coffees giving me my money’s worth? Of course, the usual conclusion would be “why not do it myself instead”? However, I have no idea how to start. So, I have to get some help from the online world and see what the most recommended DIY coffees are. After getting the brand that was perfect for my smell I was led to looking for the best rated coffee grinder to complete my search.

Coffee Grinder 7438One of the major consideration is the price of the product, and this brand called The Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder pretty satisfies it. It costs around $90-$140. Also, the great thing about it is that it doesn’t create too much noise when in use. Further, it is best used for drip brewing. However, if you are a French press and espresso lover this may not be the best choice for you since this leaves some coarse bits.

Another consideration is to make sure that the product is “user-friendly”, and in that case I would recommend the Cuisinart’s Programmable Conical Burr Grinder. It also only costs around $100, talking about practicality and convenience in use. The technology it uses is more advanced so it is guaranteed to leave a neat freshly ground coffee, plus the timer is quite solid. However, unlike The Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder, this brand is too loud. (Read: Tips for grinding coffee)

Lastly, the Breville Smart Grinder. This one’s a bit pricey, it costs around $200. However, this personally, is the one that I can best recommend because it’s a relatively smart machine. Indeed. The accuracy in dosing coffee straight to the basket and the super fine state of the art grinding will sure leave you wanting for more espresso. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Therefore, what is spending a one-time big time amount for a lasting pleasure right? We all need that little reward for ourselves once in a while.

 


My Experience With Portable Air Conditioners

 

I love traveling and sometime the weather is not very suitable. This made me quite uncomfortable especially when I was in new places. Most upcountry hotel rooms don’t have good thermostats. This has been my real challenge for my traveling until last year when a friend mentioned of existence of some best portable air conditioners for small rooms. I thought it was a joke. I did not believe him.

A portable air conditioner? How does it look? How does it Work? Anyway I decided to go out and explore on their features and performance. Here is my experience with the portable air conditioners I have used so far.

portable air conditioner

EdgeStar 8,000 BTU

I liked this model due to its small size. It is a high performer integrated with some smart features. It has an automatic thermostat and timer. Besides cooling you room this machine play as a dehumidifier when it’s cool outside. I learned its Eco-friendly, it’s said it doesn’t have toxic emissions. It comes with a 3 year warranty. I like the features of this machine.

Global Air – NPA1 8,000 BTU

This is a nice portable air conditioner with 4 way air direction. It is supplemented with a window installation kit that is flexible and easy to attach. Besides serving as a dehumidifier at sleep mode it will still regulate air circulation. It is easy to carry round and can be mounted on a small space. With its efficient timer, you can schedule it on a 24 hour cycle.

Whynter- Eco-friendly 8000 BTU 

I would say this is a top of class machine. It is quite advanced and a bit costly. But I recommend because it is much sleek and weighs only 47.50 lb. Its filters are washable and you don’t have to worry of leaking when using it. Its programming is very friendly and its thermostat is very efficient. It is automated and will detect any leaks and give warnings. It’s super silent and will serve a room of up to 300 square feet.

These are some of the best portable air conditioners for small rooms I managed to try. I liked them and would recommend them to you. They will give you room the best air regulation you have been longing for. Most of them are multi-functional to act as a dehumidifier and are self-evaporative. They will give you good result at very little cost. You will surely like them.

 


Stand mixer is a wonderful invention

Best kitchen stand mixer are a wonderful invention. They are a big kitchen appliance that has a bowl, arm, and beaters that mix ingredients for us while we are doing other things. They save us time and are a must in the modern kitchen of today.

With a good one of these, you will never have to mix by hand again. But choose a bad one and a fork will serve you better. This guide is to help you choose the best kitchen stand mixer for your needs and budget. Because buying 3 of them over a few years will not be cheap.

using mixer

If you bake or cook all the time and love to entertain many people at once then look into the 6 or 7-quart models. These can handle the big jobs. However, if you aren’t too serious and never do large batches, then a 4-quart model should be perfect for you.

Also, if you do a lot of meat grinding for sausages, juicing for fruit drinks or dough for bread then definitely look into the available attachments. There are many such as a juicer, grinder, hook, rod, whisk, etc. These make life a lot easier instead of having to buy all these appliances. Some brands even provide attachments with their mixers.

Read also: The benefits of a stand mixer

The wattage of the mixer is one of the most important features and again they range from around 300 to 900 watts. If you don’t do anything too drastic, 300 will be fine. If you love making German-style whole-wheat bread, then definitely get a 900-watt machine.

Stand mixers tend to be very heavy which makes them hard to move around but is very good for its overall performance. The heavier it is, the more you can be rest assured that it will work well and last a long time.

Looks are another important consideration that many people forget to mention. What color is your kitchen? What colors will look silly and will clash with it? Thankfully, stand mixers now come in a very wide variety of colors ranging from sea-foam green to dark silver and everything in-between. So take your time and choose a nice complimentary color wisely.


The Easiest Way to Remove Cellulite is with Dermology Cellulite Cream

Women want to look perfect all the time. But the sad truth is there will always be flaws that need to be fixed. These flaws require attention, time and in most cases, money. Try facing the mirror; do you like what you see? Or try wearing bikinis; do you admire the flawlessness of your body?
cellulite
Woman wants to be admired of having gorgeous body or beautiful skin. But there are circumstances that are beyond our control. Sometimes, there will be skin problems that are brought about by different predisposing factors. At times, these factors can’t be avoided at all. People have no choice but to pass by that stage. Take aging for example. We age year after year and there are skin problems related to it. One common example is cellulite. It is the appearance of dimples and bumps in the skin. It is texture resembles cottage cheese. It usually develops in the thighs, buttocks and stomach. This can be the result of poor skin elasticity. Most women are often alarmed when they see cellulite in certain areas of the body. Just imagine the thought that they won’t be able to wear that sexy bikini that is to die for or that little black dress for the fear of exposing the cellulite to others and this can result to insecurity.

What causes cellulite?

All women probably want to know the cause of their worst fear so that they can avoid it as much as possible. First factor, the genes. This one is a hard thing to consider because it is unavoidable. How much cellulite and how quickly it will develop is determined by a person’s genes. There is no actual test to determine this. The only thing to do is take a look at your mother. If she has cellulite, then most probably you will have it too.

Second is estrogen, which is a female hormone. High levels of this hormones cause cellulite. This usually occurs shortly after birth. The body can’t get rid of the enormous flow of estrogen.

Third is aging. This is one factor that is difficult to control. As a person ages, the skin becomes thinner. Older people are prone to surgery and injury which leads to poor blood circulation.

Next factor is poor diet and lack of exercise. This is a factor that you can work on to avoid having cellulite. Movement causes good blood circulation. Working out regularly is a good factor to avoid cellulite. Drinking a lot of water can also help because it is good for the skin and it eliminates wastes products that can cause cellulite. Starving oneself in order to lose waste is a predisposing factor that can lead to this skin problem. When the body is not receiving proper nutrition, it begins to store away the fats that it already has and this causes cellulite.

What to do?

Reduce the appearance cellulite in a natural way by using Dermology Cellulite Cream. They attack the problems directly where they live—just beneath the skin. This cream is absorbed easily by the skin creating a tighter and firmer look while reducing cellulite dimples. With just a daily application of this miracle cream, women will be confident again in showing off her arms, legs, and abs in just a matter of weeks.