kitchen http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8395/all en-US The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/olive_oil_000059796240.jpg" alt="Buying the best olive oils for cooking" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is nothing quite like extra virgin olive oil. Whether you like to cook with it or simply use it for dipping or drizzling over pasta dishes, you want the best. Extra virgin olive oil is packed with natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and can improve heart health and overall health, while reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?</h2> <p>Extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO) is the highest-grade olive oil available. It is unrefined and produced without the use of solvents or chemicals. It is made simply by cold-pressing olives and extracting the juice. It should be full-bodied, with the aroma and fresh flavor of olives. Unfortunately, not all EVOOs are created equal, so while some claim to be extra virgin, they are in fact just regular olive oil. That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;ve found the five best extra virgin olive oils available.</p> <h2>Top 5 Extra Virgin Olive Oils</h2> <h3>California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ULUVU4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004ULUVU4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6X56QD2SOZKEFHRN"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/cali%20olive.jpg" width="79" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>You won&rsquo;t find a more beloved olive oil than the award-winning <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ULUVU4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004ULUVU4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6X56QD2SOZKEFHRN">California Olive Ranch Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil</a>. It has a sweet nuttiness, with the flavor and aroma of California grown green olives. The olives are cold-pressed within hours of picking for a fresh, fruity flavor with a complex finish. It is described as buttery and fruity, with a bright, smooth flavor. The unrefined oil comes in a sturdy dark glass bottle, which keeps the olive oil fresher for longer. It is versatile enough to work with any ingredients, without overwhelming them.</p> <p>In a study conducted by UC Davis, they claimed this olive oil is the real deal. In fact, it scored top marks for freshness and quality across the board. Good Housekeeping selected this as one of the best olive oils available, calling it light and mellow in flavor. Real Simple selected it as the best oil for cooking. It is also recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated and The Kitchn. While it is a top-ranked oil that can stand up to some of the most expensive high-end EVOO brands, it is still a supermarket staple that you can pick up any time.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ULUVU4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004ULUVU4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6X56QD2SOZKEFHRN"><em>Currently $17.70 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YQ2FG2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000YQ2FG2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WANCRA6OVOSA2AOA"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/partanna.jpg" width="145" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>With a rich flavor and herbaceous aroma, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YQ2FG2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000YQ2FG2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WANCRA6OVOSA2AOA">Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil</a> is best for dressings, finishing dishes, and drizzling. The cold-pressed oil is grown and packaged in Partanna, Sicily only in October (early harvest). It has been produced by the Asaro family since 1916 and has maintained the same high standards since. The unfiltered oil comes in a large colorful tin, which also helps keep the olive oil fresher for longer. At first, the unfiltered oil appears cloudy and green, but over time, it will slightly mellow and become clearer. It has very low acidity and can complement nearly any food.</p> <p>This beloved EVOO was the winner of three Gold Medals and one Best of Class at the L.A. County Fair and NYIOOC. Real Simple selected it as the best oil for drizzling, and it is also the common choice among celebrity chefs.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YQ2FG2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000YQ2FG2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WANCRA6OVOSA2AOA"><em>Currently $34.70 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IFI6GCA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00IFI6GCA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GVGV3GWE54GSAFLQ" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/zoe.jpg" width="126" height="245" align="right" alt="" />Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil</a> has a rich green color, fresh fruit aroma, and distinctive flavor. Exclusively from Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, it is first cold pressed from the Cornicabra olive groves. It is then blended with other Spanish olive varieties, such as the Picual and Hojiblanca olive, for a more balanced flavor with notes of pepper and fresh basil. The buttery oil comes in a beautiful, colorful tin, which also helps keep the olive oil fresher for longer. The unique flavor can complement nearly any foods.</p> <p>This is Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in olive oils. It was also awarded &ldquo;Best Choice&rdquo; and &ldquo;Fruitiest Oil&rdquo; by The New York Times after a national taste test. It was also awarded the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) certified quality seal, which certifies that it meets the highest international olive oil standards. It is also the preferred choice among some of the top chefs in the nation.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IFI6GCA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00IFI6GCA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GVGV3GWE54GSAFLQ"><em>Currently $11.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ELLB16/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001ELLB16&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4NJMHD3IFIBPH6M4" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/colavita.jpg" width="135" height="245" align="right" alt="" />Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil</a> has been made by the Colavita family since 1912. It is harvested from the best olives in Europe. The Italian oil has a floral scent and full-bodied flavor, with fruity notes. Some reviewers also detected a spicy, bitter note and mild peppery finish. The everyday oil has a delicate flavor that is perfect for all of your cooking needs and can complement any meal without overpowering the flavors. It is also ideal for baking, drizzling, and marinades. The cold-pressed oil comes in two 34-oz tins, which also helps keep the olive oil fresher for longer.</p> <p>Colavita is the fourth-largest selling brand in the country. It received high ratings from The New York Times thanks to its subtle olive flavor. It is also a two-time winner of the &quot;Best Everyday Cooking Oil&quot; in Men's Health Magazine's Annual Nutrition Awards.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ELLB16/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001ELLB16&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4NJMHD3IFIBPH6M4"><em>Currently $36.47 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008410UFW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008410UFW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5RA4UVTAPGGGJFT7" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/lucini.jpg" width="69" height="245" align="right" alt="" />Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil</a> has a light herbal flavor and aroma, with fruity notes. Originating from central Italy from the finest olive trees that date back over 100 years, you can expect the very best quality olive oil with less than 1/2 the acidity of other extra virgin olive oils. They handpick the olives at just the right time and press them within 24 hours of harvest. This results in a buttery EVOO with a rich, bright flavor and peppery aftertaste. The authentic flavor is perfect for enhancing any dish or method of cooking, as well as for dipping or drizzling.</p> <p>The award-winning Italian olive oil is recommended by Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated and has a dedicated following. It has been shown in studies to stand up to the strict standards for extra virgin olive oil.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008410UFW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B008410UFW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5RA4UVTAPGGGJFT7"><em>Currently $28.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best extra virgin olive oil. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cutting-boards-0">The 5 Best Cutting Boards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sort-of-small-kitchen-gadgets-that-equal-big-savings">4 Sort-of Small Kitchen Gadgets that Equal Big Savings!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-glass-water-bottles">The 5 Best Glass Water Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping cooking oil extra virgin olive oil Food kitchen olive oil olive oils product reviews Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1691719 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Convenience Foods I Refuse to Do Without http://www.wisebread.com/14-convenience-foods-i-refuse-to-do-without <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-convenience-foods-i-refuse-to-do-without" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_making_dinner_000022705215.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter making convenience foods together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Convenience foods really can save money. For instance, if faced with the choice of either grabbing fast food or purchasing some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-stop-buying-gas-station-food">convenience foods</a> at the grocery store, you are better off buying bagged salad or jarred sauce. And if you work, have a relationship, kids, pets, and outside interests, you have to make choices about how you spend your time and money.</p> <p>Which brings me to this list. I went through my freezer, refrigerator, and pantry looking for my favorite shortcuts. I love these time-savers and won't give them up.</p> <h2>1. Grated Cheese</h2> <p>Sometimes I just want a couple of tablespoons for a baked potato, or to top some scrambled eggs. If I grate it myself, then I have to unwrap the cheese, get out the grater, grate the cheese, wash the grater, and put away the cheese. The alternative: buy a bag of pre-grated cheese, unzip, sprinkle cheese, re-close bag, and refrigerate. I never used to buy grated cheese until my husband pointed out that sometimes, on sale, the price per ounce for grated is actually less than the large block. Pay less for convenience? Count me in.</p> <h2>2. Chopped Nuts</h2> <p>I find that I fool myself with those big bags of nuts from Costco. When they come out in October, I think oh, yes, this is the year I'll bake cookies for everyone; I need this giant bag of nuts. Well, we all know about those good intentions. Nuts do have a shelf life. Sure, you can freeze them, but the odds of your remembering that you have those frozen nuts are not great unless you're a prepper. So, yes, I occasionally buy those little half-cup packages of pre-measured, pre-chopped nuts.</p> <h2>3. Olive or Canola Oil Spray</h2> <p>I resisted these oils-in-a-can for a long time before finally giving in, thinking they were an unnecessary expense. Oh, the ease of simply spraying a pan, or barbeque rack, instead of getting out a paper towel or a pastry brush! Now I own specialized sprays, too &mdash; canola, olive oil, and &quot;grilling&quot; spray. I do not use them on my frying pans, at the manufacturer's recommendation, but I love them for baking cakes and cookies or roasting vegetables.</p> <h2>4. Teabags</h2> <p>No argument here &mdash; loose tea makes a better-tasting cup, but I don't always have time to clean up the mess it makes. Especially at work, a teabag is easier and more practical (no one wants to deal with my loose tea in the sink, I am sure). Plus, by the time I heat water, then pack a tea ball, use it, empty it, and wash it, there went my break. Bags are just faster and less messy.</p> <h2>5. Dijon Mustard in a Squirt Bottle</h2> <p>I bought the mustard in the plastic squirt bottle (instead of the usual jar) because it was on sale, not anticipating how much easier it would be. Also, the lid doesn't get gunky; I like that for cleanup. You can shake it, rather than getting a spoon to stir it up. Because it was so convenient, I found myself making more sauces (add to a little butter and stir into vegetables, or spoon over grilled chicken). I also starting using it more often on sandwiches, since it is easy, has lots of flavor, and fewer calories.</p> <h2>6. Bagged Salad</h2> <p>In a hurry? You could stop and buy fast food. Or, you could buy a bag of salad, slice a grilled chicken breast on top, and add dressing. Not only would that be a healthier alternative, but you'd have enough for several servings. There are also so many varieties, from Asian to cranberry-pecan, Caesar, European, American, and the like. These can be turned into a meal very easily with the addition of a little meat, fish, poultry, or beans.</p> <h2>7. Bacon Bits</h2> <p>Per ounce, yes, it is much more expensive to buy a little packet, or jar, of bacon bits. The cheaper alternative would be buying bacon on sale, cooking it, chopping it, and freezing it. But sometimes I just want a tablespoon in an omelet, or to sprinkle on a salad. Those little bags (or jars) are just enough to get the bacon flavor without a lot of mess and fuss. To be honest, when I fry bacon, I tend to nibble at the cooked pieces (as does my husband, and then the dogs always want a bite). So, for me, there probably <em>is</em> a cost savings by buying the tiny bag. Not to mention the mess that cooking bacon involves, no matter how you do it.</p> <h2>8. Breadcrumbs</h2> <p>Making <a href="http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/BreadCrumbs.htm">breadcrumbs</a> is a great use of stale bread. I save pieces and ends in the freezer and those all become croutons or bread pudding, at some point. But as for making crumbs, naah. They aren't hard to make, but I have really grown to prefer these two options: Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or smashed Ritz crackers. Panko makes for superior fried chicken as well as fried vegetables, such as zucchini or eggplant. Shake chicken in a mixture of white flour (and a little rice flour, for super crispiness) and seasonings. Dip into egg wash, then roll in panko; bake or fry. Ritz crackers, or their knock-offs, are at their best when smashed to oblivion and used for breading (try dipping that chicken in egg wash, then rolling in a combination of grated cheddar cheese, smashed crackers, and seasonings; bake).</p> <h2>9. Ready-Made Pie Crusts</h2> <p>Ever since <em>Bon Appetit</em> grudgingly gave its green light to using Pillsbury pie crusts, I never looked back. I've always been crummy at making crusts from scratch, and they gave me license to make pies, both savory and sweet, with decent success. They come two to a package, which ends up being very handy &mdash; and they freeze well. If you bring somebody a pie, they are going to love you regardless of whether you made your crust from scratch.</p> <h2>10. Spaghetti Sauce in a Jar</h2> <p>I truly prefer my own homemade, simmer-all-day marinara, but in a pinch, a purchased jar of pasta sauce works. It is good over noodles, in an impromptu calzone, or on a pizza. The less expensive brands tend to contain corn syrup and, to me, are quite sweet. I watch for better brands to go on sale. There are several &quot;celebrity chef&quot; sauces out, now; some are worth a try.</p> <h2>11. Rotisserie Chicken</h2> <p>Ah, the Costco $5 rotisserie chicken. Need I say more? When you can't even buy a dang chicken and cook it for yourself for that price, well, load up. I use the carcasses to make chicken broth, but if I am pushed for time...</p> <h2>12. Canned Chicken Broth</h2> <p>It's very handy, isn't it? Some brands are dollar-store cheap, but if you are watching for MSG, be careful. There are brands that do not contain MSG; they naturally cost a little more. Even if you are a purist who wants to only make your own, if you are sick, I promise you there is nothing better than that bowl of chicken broth with your Jell-O. It is worth keeping around just for that emergency.</p> <h2>13. Frozen Vegetables</h2> <p>Watch for sales and load up! My favorites are mixed veggies, which are great in soups and pot pies; spinach, for stuffing mushrooms and quiche; and peas, for salads and fried rice.</p> <h2>14. Canned Beans</h2> <p>If you are watching your sodium, look for the brands without added salt. I prefer to rinse mine, too. The things you can do with a can of beans! Kidney beans make a quick chili (vegetarian or with added burger). Garbanzos quickly become hummus. Cannellini beans can go into soups or pasta dishes. Pintos with rice are a family favorite. Black beans make a salad a meal. The alternative, and the way I learned to cook beans, is to soak dried ones. This is definitely a cheaper method, to be sure, but you had better be a good meal planner. If you have a pressure cooker, that's another good way to go &mdash; but for pure convenience, open a can.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite convenience foods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-convenience-foods-i-refuse-to-do-without">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-lose-weight-without-counting-calories">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-easy-pizza-crust">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Easy Pizza Crust</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle busy convenience easy kitchen Wed, 17 Jun 2015 13:00:14 +0000 Marla Walters 1454513 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Cutting Boards http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cutting-boards-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-cutting-boards-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cutting_board_000014695950.jpg" alt="Woman using best cutting board to chop veggies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having the right cutting board in your kitchen arsenal can help reduce health risks, keep your counter clean, and provide you with a safe, sturdy place to chop. To get the most from this handy kitchen tool, you&rsquo;ll want to find a valuable investment that is durable, doesn&rsquo;t dull your knives, and is easy to clean and store.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are a range of quality plastic, wood, glass, bamboo, and cork cutting boards available, designed to best suit your kitchen and personal preferences. You can also choose from features like hand grips, flexible construction, pouring spouts, juice grooves, and more to get even more from your new cutting board.</p> <h2>What Is a Cutting Board?</h2> <p>A cutting board is a necessary food prep item that every kitchen should have. Using them to cut, dice, mince, and chop will help preserve your knives, protect your countertops from nicks and cuts, and provide a solid cutting surface. Once you&rsquo;ve chosen the right cutting board, it&rsquo;s important to keep it clean between uses. When handling raw meat, it is especially important to wash your cutting board before handing any other items. You may also want to purchase a reversible cutting board, which will allow you to use one side for raw meat and one side for produce to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.</p> <h2>Top 5 Cutting Boards</h2> <h3>CounterArt Flexible Cutting Mat&nbsp;</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CRF2JAK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00CRF2JAK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HVAC2IV6CXFZ6DQT"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/counterart.jpg" width="223" height="250" align="right" alt="" /></a>As Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in cutting boards, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CRF2JAK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00CRF2JAK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HVAC2IV6CXFZ6DQT">CounterArt Flexible Cutting Mat</a> is an affordable set of brightly colored cutting mats (11.5&quot; x 15&quot;) and offers the perfect cutting board for each application. With food icons in the corners of each cutting mat, you can easily determine which one to use for each type of raw food. The flexible material allows you to easily transfer your items to the pan, and makes cleanup and storage a breeze.</p> <p>Each mat is protected by Micro ban anti-microbial protection to inhibit the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew. The cutting boards are durable enough to be put through the dishwasher, but are still only 1mm thick for easy storage. At around $2 per mat, this cutting board set is the perfect addition to any small, large, or dorm kitchen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CRF2JAK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00CRF2JAK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HVAC2IV6CXFZ6DQT"><em>Currently $10.28 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Foodie's Kitchen Premium Silicone Cutting Board</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q3CAMPM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00Q3CAMPM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5ERSO7HYDYJO5TL7"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/foodieskitchen.jpg" width="250" height="250" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q3CAMPM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00Q3CAMPM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5ERSO7HYDYJO5TL7">Foodie's Kitchen Premium Silicone Cutting Board</a> is an Amazon best seller and has outstanding reviews from foodies and chefs alike. With a non-slip backing and large surfaces to cut and chop (14.5&quot; x 9.8&quot;), the board will stay still while you are cutting for a safer experience. The durable surface is ultra thick to resist scratches and nicks from your knives. The silicone surface can also withstand freezing temperatures and temperatures up to 480 degrees, so it can double over as a hot pad.</p> <p>The premium cutting board also includes a juice groove indentation around the edges to catch any liquid or small food items that would normally spill onto the counter. The edge also includes a practical ruler, so you can easily take measurements while you chop or roll out dough. The easy clean mat is also dishwasher safe and has handles for easy transport. It is also very flexible, so it can be folded, allowing you to effortlessly transfer the ingredients to the pan. The flexibility also makes storage a breeze. The eco-friendly natural product is also backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q3CAMPM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00Q3CAMPM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5ERSO7HYDYJO5TL7"><em>Currently $21.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CBOTQ8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000CBOTQ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KZNPFTE6VN7AVFNI"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/oxo.jpg" width="344" height="250" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CBOTQ8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000CBOTQ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KZNPFTE6VN7AVFNI">OXO Good Grips</a> cutting boards topped the list for a number of review sites, including Good Housekeeping, Cooking.com, and Apartment Therapy. The durable utility cutting board (10.5&quot; x 15&quot;) is a favorite with both home cooks and professional chefs alike. The double-sided cutting board has non-slip edges so it will stay put on your counter. The thick, non-porous, odor-resistant polypropylene surface can resist deep scratches and inhibit the growth of germs. The juice groove indentation around the edges of the board will catch any liquid or small food items that would normally spill onto the counter. It is also easy to lift and carry thanks to the soft tapered handles and sloped edges.</p> <p>You can even use your best knives on this high-quality cutting board, since it will never dull your knives. Available in black or red, the durable board can be placed directly in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CBOTQ8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000CBOTQ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KZNPFTE6VN7AVFNI"><em>Currently $14.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Totally Bamboo Cutting Board Set</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002M782UO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002M782UO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5WYAPJKZUEZVQYN"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/totallybamboo.jpg" width="250" height="250" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002M782UO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002M782UO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5WYAPJKZUEZVQYN">Totally Bamboo</a> quality sustainable cutting boards are a top-rated choice on Cooking.com and a favorite item for home chefs and professional cooks alike. The set includes three boards, (6&quot; x 8&quot;), (8.5&quot; x 11&quot;), (9.5&quot; x 13&quot;), so you can pick the correct size for the job. They are made of durable Moso bamboo, which is 16% harder than maple wood. They are also only 3/8&quot; thick each, making them lightweight and easy to maneuver. The natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo enhance the safety and hygiene of your kitchen. There are handles built into the boards, so you can easily transport and store them. You can even use your best knives on this high-quality cutting board, since it will never damage or dull your knives.</p> <p>These are easy to clean and can be enhanced by using a bamboo revitalizing oil every once in awhile. Totally Bamboo also takes efforts to be environmentally conscious, even sourcing bamboo from a place that is not a habitat for pandas.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002M782UO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002M782UO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5WYAPJKZUEZVQYN"><em>Currently $19.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Enviroboard 100% Microwavable Sterilization Antibacterial Cutting Board&nbsp;</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JZOUNYU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00JZOUNYU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FIZ632T4CBOAIMCT"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/enviroboard.jpg" width="275" height="250" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JZOUNYU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00JZOUNYU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FIZ632T4CBOAIMCT">Enviroboard set</a> comes with three colorful BPA Free &amp; FDA Approved cutting boards (15&quot; x 10.6&quot;), which are 99.9% antimicrobial to prevent bacteria growth. Each non-slip, scratch-resistant, odor-resistant cutting board is 100% microwavable for easy sterilization in only 60 seconds. Each board is also flexible, so you can easily fold it, lock in the tab, and transfer items to the pan or place the board directly in the microwave.</p> <p>The boards are made from Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE), which helps prevent blade scars and knife damage. With icon and color coding, you can easily find the right board for the job to avoid cross contamination. The juice groove around the edge also helps reduces leakage. Cleanup is a breeze and you can even throw them in the dishwasher or microwave for easy sanitation. The embedded holes also make hanging or storage a breeze. They are also backed by a 30-day money back guarantee for your added peace of mind.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JZOUNYU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00JZOUNYU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FIZ632T4CBOAIMCT"><em>Currently $26.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best cutting boards. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cutting-boards-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-popsicle-molds">The 5 Best Popsicle Molds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles">The 5 Best Aluminum and Stainless Steel Water Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping 5 best cutting boards kitchen product reviews Thu, 04 Jun 2015 09:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1402451 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Cool Uses for Your Coffee Maker http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-your-coffee-maker <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-cool-uses-for-your-coffee-maker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_eating_noodles_000016639297.jpg" alt="Woman using coffee maker to cook noodles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a fan of Food Network's Alton Brown, you know his philosophy on kitchen gadgets; don't buy them if they only have one use. Another way to look at that could be: how do you get multiple uses from the gadgets you already have in your kitchen?</p> <p>One gadget many of us have in our kitchen is a coffee maker. Whether it's a traditional version with a carafe, the popular &quot;pod&quot; kind, or a combination of the two, here are some ways you can use those coffee makers for more than just a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-your-morning-coffee-for-free">cuppa joe</a>. It's also a great life hack when you're stuck in a hotel room with minimal equipment at hand.</p> <h2>1. Poached, Soft-Boiled, or Hard-Boiled Eggs</h2> <p>Whether you want soft-boiled eggs with toast soldiers, or hard-boiled eggs for egg salad, the coffee maker is a perfect appliance for preparation. Add the number of eggs you want, carefully, into the coffee carafe. A standard 12-cup carafe can hold at least four eggs comfortably. Then, set the coffee maker (no coffee or filter) to make a full pot. Once the eggs are completely submerged, start the timer. It should take about three to four minutes for soft-boiled, and seven to eight minutes for hard-boiled. You will need to experiment with the timing, depending on the size and brand of coffee maker that you have. But once you have it sorted, it's easy. For poaching, wait until the water is in the carafe, then add the eggs carefully with a spoon &mdash; as you would if poaching in a pan.</p> <h2>2. Warmed Hot Dogs</h2> <p>No joke. Pop your hot dogs into the empty carafe, and then set the coffee maker to make a full pot (obviously, don't put any filter or coffee grounds in the machine). The hot water will cover the dogs, and the hot plate will keep them hot. As they are already cooked, this is simply a reheating exercise, and it's perfect for keeping them hot as you serve them up in batches.</p> <h2>3. Chocolate Fondue</h2> <p>Why spend your time making coffee in your coffee maker, when you can make something as delicious as a chocolate fondue? Simply heat &frac34; cup of cream in the carafe, and then start adding broken pieces of bittersweet chocolate bars (you'll need four 3-&frac12; ounce bars). You can also add a little liqueur if you're feeling fancy. Stir occasionally. Then, bring the carafe to the table, and dip your favorite fruits, pretzels, and cake squares.</p> <h2>4. Butter-Poached Chicken</h2> <p>Want to get a little creative? Put a raw chicken breast in the carafe, along with a few tablespoons of butter, a clove of crushed garlic, a little water, seasoning, and some fresh herbs. After about 15&ndash;20 minutes on the hot plate, you should have a perfectly soft and tender chicken breast for your salad. Here's the <a href="http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/08/macgyver-chef-poached-chicken-and-couscous-in-a-coffee-maker/">poached chicken recipe</a>, including a side of couscous!</p> <h2>5. Oatmeal and Ramen</h2> <p>This one works with both the traditional machines, and the pod variety. Simply put your oatmeal or ramen into the carafe, or a bowl, and then add the appropriate amount of water into the coffee machine's reservoir. If you're making oatmeal, add a flavored herbal tea bag into the coffee compartment. Then, turn it on. You'll have perfect oatmeal or ramen in under five minutes.</p> <h2>6. Rice</h2> <p>Don't bother with the stove or the rice cooker if you just have a small portion of rice to cook. Add &frac12; cup of rice to your carafe, and add the appropriate amount of water (it varies on the kind of rice you're using) to the reservoir. Turn on the machine, then let it cook on the hotplate for five to 10 minutes.</p> <h2>7. Perfect Broccoli</h2> <p>Fill your coffee carafe halfway with freshly cut broccoli, add some salt, then add a full pot of water to your coffee maker's reservoir. Once it has covered the broccoli, let it cook for around 10 minutes. The great thing about using a coffee maker is that you can see the color of the broccoli, and thus avoid overcooking it.</p> <h2>8. Salmon or Trout Steaks</h2> <p>In this recipe, you actually utilize the coffee basket. Place a salmon steak in the filter basket, along with a coffee filter, a few herbs, and seasoning. Add 10&ndash;12 cups of water to the reservoir and turn it on. Then, turn the steak over, and repeat the process. This will give you perfectly cooked fish. It's worth noting though that it will require a thorough cleaning of the coffee maker after this to ensure no fishiness taints your future cups of coffee. If you prefer, you can poach the fish in the carafe using water.</p> <h2>9. Beer &mdash; Yes, Beer</h2> <p>I am not going to go into details on the lengthy process you need to follow to create home brewed ale in a coffee pot, but the good people at Southern Fried Science have done all the hard work, and have a complete <a href="http://www.southernfriedscience.com/?p=1419">recipe for coffee pot beer</a>. As for if it's any good, the writer of the article guarantees, <em>&quot;...If you are careful, it will be at least as good as the cheapest commercial alternative.&quot; </em>So, you decide.</p> <h2>10. Grilled Cheese and Quesadillas</h2> <p>You don't need the water, or the carafe, for these. All you need to do is utilize the hotplate, which can get hot enough to melt cheese and make bread and tortillas hot, crispy, and delicious. For either dish, add a little butter to the hotplate, then when it starts to sizzle, add your tortilla or bread, followed by cheese, and another slice of bread or a tortilla. Flip them when they reach your desired level of crispiness. You'll amaze your family and friends with this coffee maker magic.</p> <h2>11. Pasta</h2> <p>Just like rice, spaghetti and other pasta products can be cooked to perfection in your coffee maker. Fill the coffee maker to the 12-cup mark, and put your pasta in the carafe. Now, turn the machine on, and let the pasta cook. If you have spaghetti or linguine, you will need to push the sticks down into the coffee pot as they soften. Krista of Heavenly Savings shows you how to <a href="http://heavenlysavings.net/2012/03/15/cooking-pasta-in-a-coffee-pot/">cook pasta in a coffee pot</a> on her blog.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used your coffee maker for anything besides coffee? What'd you make?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-your-coffee-maker">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-twinkies-and-other-secret-recipes-by-the-food-cloner-dude">“Make your own Twinkies” and other secret recipes by the Food Cloner Dude.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-uses-for-avocados">6 Unexpected Uses for Avocados</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink coffee pot gadgets kitchen recipes Mon, 25 May 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1429808 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Kitchen Gadgets That Aren't Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garlic-press-Dollarphotoclub_61613548.jpg" alt="garlic press" title="garlic press" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone wants to save time and get creative in the kitchen, but many kitchen tools simply aren't worth the money. Many &quot;new&quot; gadgets are designed for tasks that can be done with tools you already have in your kitchen, and some are just so weird that you'll probably never use them, no matter how gorgeous those turducken popsicles look on the infomercial. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10?ref=seealso">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</a>)</p> <p>So check out this list of 10 kitchen gadgets that aren't worth the money, and then maybe just stop watching infomercials altogether.</p> <h2>1. Garlic Press</h2> <p>Go into any home, and you'll probably find a garlic press tucked away in the back of a kitchen drawer. If you've ever used one, you know why. The poor results and the difficult clean up are not worth the money for many people, even professional chefs. Once you press the clove, most of it turns into a liquid paste that you can't use, and then you have to try to figure out how to salvage what little is left once it goes through the press.</p> <p>It's quicker and cleaner to mince the garlic with a sharp knife. The same goes for a garlic peeler. You can get the same result with a knife. Gently crush the clove with the broad side of a large knife, and the peel comes right off. Then you only have to clean one tool instead of two.</p> <h2>2. Zester</h2> <p>No zester I have tried has never given me the results that you see in the pictures from food magazines. Either use a vegetable peeler, or if you need a finer grade, use the finer side of your cheese grater.</p> <h2>3. Wire Cheese Slicer</h2> <p>I've actually owned two of these. One was a gift, and the other I bought after the first one broke. They always break. You're better off slicing cheese with a knife, especially harder cheeses. If you want thinner slices, you can use non-waxed dental floss and get the same effect.</p> <h2>4. Egg Poacher</h2> <p>While a microwave egg poacher might be worth the money if you are in a hurry and want a quick breakfast, metal egg poachers are a huge waste of money. They are designed to be placed in the bottom of a pot of water, but if you are going to go to the effort of boiling water, you are better off just poaching your eggs the traditional way. The eggs typically get stuck to the metal unless you use a lot of butter, and trying to get the pan out of the boiling water without burning yourself is nearly impossible.</p> <p>Poaching eggs isn't that difficult once you get the hang of it. The trick is keeping the yolk intact when you crack the egg into the water (fresh eggs are ideal for poaching since the yolks tend to hold up better). If you have a slotted spoon, you can easily remove the egg from the water when it's done.</p> <h2>5. Nutribullet</h2> <p>I've never owned one of these, but a friend of mine bought one and said it broke after a few uses. She also said it took too long to grind the food and even longer to clean after use. Plus, you lose a lot of the nutrients because it removes all the fibrous material. Most people buy these to save space, but if you are serious about juicing, look for a traditional juicer. You get more of the fiber and nutrients, and they tend to be more reliable and last longer.</p> <h2>6. Cake Pop Molds</h2> <p>I may be slightly biased on this one since I've never understood the concept of a cake pop. Why not just make a cake? But they can be fun for parties and for children. However, keep in mind that they are not as easy to make as it sounds. I looked up several reviews of different brands, and most people said it took them several tries before getting the right consistency. The pops also stick to the pan more often than not, so unless you really want to make cake pops all the time, it's not worth the money or effort to make them for one or two parties.</p> <h2>7. Electric Can Opener</h2> <p>I have to admit, I grew up with one of these, and they can be handy. But manual can openers are made with smarter designs now, making them easier and safer to use. You can get a decent manual can opener for under $10, and you'll be saving a little counter space.</p> <h2>8. Pickle Grabber</h2> <p>In theory, these are a great idea. But you could also save your money and just use a fork to get that last pickle out of the jar.</p> <h2>9. Strawberry Stem Remover</h2> <p>Yes, as the name suggests, this tool is designed solely to remove strawberry stems, but some people also use it to remove the tops of tomatoes, too. You can also do this easily with a serrated knife, or provide a dual use for your grapefruit spoon (which is actually handy gadget if you eat a lot of grapefruit).</p> <h2>10. Pepper Prepper</h2> <p>Of all the items on this list, I think this one has to be the biggest waste of money. This tool is designed to remove the cap of the pepper and the ribs and seeds from the middle. You can do that just as easily by cutting around the middle in four slices, which also takes care of the next part of the prep work. If you are making stuffed peppers, I can see how this item might be appealing. But again, you can easily carve out the cap with a knife and remove the innards by hand and only need to clean one tool.</p> <p><em>What kitchen gadget do you own but rarely use? Please warn us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kitchen-mixing-spoons">The 5 Best Kitchen Mixing Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping gadgets kitchen tools utensils Fri, 13 Feb 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Ashley Watson 1289196 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Easy Steps to Organize Your Kitchen http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-easy-steps-to-organize-your-kitchen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-easy-steps-to-organize-your-kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-clean-kitchen-Dollarphotoclub_38846224.jpg" alt="happy woman kitchen" title="happy woman kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on easy steps to organize your kitchen, cheap home improvements you can do this winter, and movie theater hacks.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.sarahtitus.com/2015/01/11/easy-steps-to-organizing-your-kitchen/">Easy Steps to Organizing Your Kitchen</a> &mdash; Think about the tasks you do in your kitchen, and place your tools and supplies where you use them most. Knives go near your cutting station, and the everyday dishes are at eye level in easy reach. [Sarah Titus]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/five-inexpensive-home-improvements-for-winter">Five Inexpensive Home Improvements for Winter</a> &mdash; It's easy to update the hardware in your home, and you don't even need to go outside to do it! [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Movies-35868516">13 Life-Changing Movie Theater Hacks</a> &mdash; Tickets are usually discounted up to $5 a pop if you buy them in bulk from Costco, the theater itself, or sites like BulkTix. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://happymoneysaver.com/4-ways-make-lettuce-last-longer/">4 Ways to Make Your Lettuce Last Longer</a> &mdash; When you're ready to use your lettuce, let them sit it cold water for at least 15 minutes. This will rehydrate the leaves and crisp them right up! [Happy Money Saver]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/3338/tax-saving-tips">10 Things to Do Now That Will Lower Your Tax Bill</a> &mdash; Send a new W-4 form to your employer if you've gotten married or had a baby. Major life events can affect how many withholdings you're entitled to claim. [Cheapism]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2015/01/13/how-to-save-money-from-falling-gas-prices/">How to Save Money From Falling Gas Prices</a> &mdash; Take advantage of falling gas prices and use the savings to pay down credit card debt, start a college fund, boost your retirement savings, or even schedule needed maintenance for your car. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/diy-ideas-for-home-shelving/">20 Fabulous DIY Ideas for Home Shelving</a> &mdash; Who knew you could turn baskets, drawers, and even doors into shelves? [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://creativemoney.biz/2015/01/13/top-5-ways-entrepreneur-wastes-money">The Top 5 Ways an Entrepreneur Wastes Money</a> &mdash; Your first priority should be connection &mdash; with your existing customers and your new ones. Emphasizing anything else is a mistake. [Creative Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.meetpenny.com/2015/01/25-things-sell-home-boost-income/">25 Things to Sell From Home (and Boost Your Income)</a> &mdash; Got a knack for graphic arts? Make clip art and sell them on Etsy! There's a market for printables, too. [Meet Penny]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-communications-skills-parents-can-teach-their-kids-starting-now">7 Communications Skills Parents Can Teach Their Kids</a> &mdash; Starting Now &mdash; Teach your kids to practice self-control and not interrupt someone while they're talking. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-easy-steps-to-organize-your-kitchen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-fumes-are-bad-for-your-health">Cooking Fumes Are Bad For Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Kitchen Gadgets That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips kitchen Fri, 16 Jan 2015 20:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1281843 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10 http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/custard-dish-Dollarphotoclub_68770101.jpg" alt="custard cup" title="custard cup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My kitchen is well-stocked with the basics, but there are some items that I just absolutely love. Several of them get used every day. Most aren't fancy &mdash; they just work really well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Great for Under $100</a>)</p> <p>The best part? They are under $10.</p> <h2>1. Knife</h2> <p>I absolutely hate the look of <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/KAI-Pure-Komachi-2-High-Carbon-Stainless-Steel-Kitchen-Knives-with-Sheaths-/171156552074">my knives</a>. The colors just repulse me. They look like something that belong in a preschool, and for goodness sakes, that would be <em>so wrong</em>. But&hellip; I found them on eBay for under $10! I have beautiful knives in a lovely knife-block; they work very nicely. However, the hideous fuschia knife (pictured in the link) is my go-to for serious slicing. It's so ugly, I keep it in a drawer so I don't have to look at it. The Kai Knife and I clearly have a love-hate relationship.</p> <h2>2. Glass Measuring Cup</h2> <p>I own two <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LGLHU0K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00LGLHU0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5YGPFJW2LI6OQWUV">Pyrex measuring cups</a>, because one is always in use, or dirty. I'm not sure I could cook without them. They are, of course, microwavable. Talk about sturdy! Mine have been dropped on the floor; they survive. I have dropped them in the sink, and they live on. They are ridiculously easy to clean. I used them as sauce or gravy boats until recently, when a friend decided I needed to class up my act and bought me a real gravy boat. My mother used hers so long the red measuring lines had faded &mdash; but still kept it in use. After 20 years, she had a good idea of where ⅓ and &frac12; cup were on the cup.</p> <h2>3. Candy Thermometer</h2> <p>Granted, if you don't make candy, you can get by without one. But think of it this way: If you own a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CFQN8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000CFQN8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3DMIBCDOK2DUF7E3">candy thermometer</a>, <em>you can make candy</em>. Let that sink in a little. You can also use it for deep-frying. Yup. At under $6, you now understand why I consider this to be an essential kitchen gadget.</p> <h2>4. A Mallet</h2> <p>You know when you've had a really crummy day at work, and you come home, feeling grumpy, and need to make dinner? Here is the perfect thing (and I really and truly do this). Get out your <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009LN48T6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009LN48T6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=FUVVVZFSQWUMGNDZ">meat mallet</a> and some thick chicken breasts. Pound those things. Not only is use of a mallet cathartic, but it's a money-saver (and results are delicious). Sale on chuck steak? Pound it. I recommend you buy this stellar equipment in a store, where you can pick the mallets up and feel how much heft they have.</p> <h2>5. The Ove Glove</h2> <p>I have sung the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money">praises of the Ove Glove</a> here before, but it's worth mentioning again. I now consider it an essential for candy-making. When you have boiling-hot candy bubbling on a stove, your new BFF is the Ove Glove. It takes getting used to, because unless you are stupid, the natural inclination is not to grab a pan of cookies right out of the oven. Mine has been washed many times and still works perfectly. It contains Kevlar, making it a pretty serious piece of equipment.</p> <h2>6. Kitchen Shears</h2> <p>Does a day go by when I don't use my <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R3Z4FR4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00R3Z4FR4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZXQOLLAWAGY7GV2M">kitchen shears</a>? I don't think so. I chiffonade. I snip. My favorite use of the shears is for cutting a game hen in half. It takes about two minutes to divide, season, and toss into the oven. What else are they good for? I have used them to cut up tough stew meat and skinny sausages. I have scissored chickens, pasta dough, slices of bread for croutons, and leafy greens. They have been washed hundreds of times, and they're still sharp.</p> <h2>7. The Pot Watcher</h2> <p>Have you ever put a pot of water on the stove to boil, then forgotten about it? In extreme cases of forgetfulness, this could be a fire hazard. But at the very least, it's a terrible waste of energy. And as expensive as energy costs have gotten to be, I highly recommend <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043FOZCM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0043FOZCM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZJJH7QBDURYNODR4">The Glass Boil Alert Pot Watcher</a>. (We just call ours the Pot Watcher.) I just will <em>not</em> stand at the stove, watching and waiting for the water to boil, to add pasta, or begin timing the hard-boiled eggs. With this gadget, I don't have to.</p> <h2>8. Quiche Dish</h2> <p>How often do I make a quiche? Oh, maybe three or four times a year. You wouldn't think that would justify needing to own a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RFPV/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004RFPV&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7UQ34R6BUDGRINWQ">quiche dish</a>, but that's where you'd be wrong. Check out this beautiful <a href="http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2014/02/parmesan-vegetable-tian.html">vegetable tian,</a> which works perfectly in a quiche dish. Heck, you can make a pie in it, roast chicken pieces, or serve a Dutch baby for breakfast. If you are feeling 50s, it's a pretty container for a Jell-O salad. It is also a practical piece, due to its shallow stature &mdash; great for dredging fish or chicken in bread crumbs. But we're not done! Its shape also lends itself to dips.</p> <h2>9. Custard Cups</h2> <p>Funny thing, but I didn't own a single one of these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DM71KQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001DM71KQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WI76LTBGPH6LJT2P">great little cups</a> until a couple of years ago. How did I exist without them? We are now up to two sets, because they are so handy. Of course, they are great for their intended purpose (custard, pudding, flans). However, they also get used at breakfast to scramble or poach individual eggs (cups are microwavable). They hold a nice amount of cereal or oatmeal. At lunch, they are perfect for a little cup of soup or a small salad. Their best use, though? <em>Leftovers</em>.</p> <p>I just surveyed the refrigerator. There is one cup of leftover spaghetti, and another of beets. We just save those little bits and put them into a custard cup, with saran or waxed paper, and out they come again. Taco night is another great way to use them &mdash; one cup for tomatoes, one for shredded cheese, another for olives, etc. In the morning, I often throw the cups of leftovers into scrambled eggs. Because they are clear, it's easy to see what the leftover is, which reduces waste, and, of course, saves money.</p> <h2>10. Roasting Pan</h2> <p>Do you like rotisserie chickens? How about pot roasts? I'll bet your grandmother has one of these sturdy roasters in her garage. Ask her if you can have it, or order your own <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QRAMMS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000QRAMMS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=M6E6WGDIBHK7YOAN">roasting pan</a>.</p> <p>These have been around forever, and I don't know why they fell out of favor, except that they are kind of big. I have mine on a pantry cart and I keep other stuff inside it, for storage. If you can possibly find room, buy one. Why? The best <a href="http://www.simplebites.net/back-to%E2%80%A6cooking-school-roast-chicken-101-recipe-lemon-oregano-roast-chicken/">roasted chicken</a>, ever, a <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/rosemary-pork-roast-with-carrots/f36c6605-8df5-485d-8935-320a6a26b5ae?nicam1=PAID_SEARCH&amp;nichn1=GOOGLE&amp;nipkw1=how%20to%20cook%20a%20pork%20roast&amp;niseg1=TDCORE_BC&amp;esrc=17089&amp;mkwid=s1GZnBBIx_dc&amp;pcrid=44200174016&amp;gclid=Cj0KEQiA5K-kBRDZ9r71gOvlxOMBEiQAwkK52PioMi_dBlPckiUO2YYbXrfIyJQjSoeGqkClf-dbLysaArBR8P8HAQ">pork roast</a>, or a big bunch of roasted vegetables. I have even used it to make this <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=0">no-knead bread;</a> it worked great. This is a very basic, versatile piece of cooking equipment. Mine is too small for a turkey, but I can fit two chickens at a time. This is wonderful when chicken goes on sale. I buy two and cook them both. One we eat right away. The second I cut up and put into freezer bags. We then have chicken on hand to add to casseroles, soups, etc.</p> <h2>11. Timer</h2> <p>I love my &quot;chicken&quot; kitchen timer because it's cute, but for accuracy, this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DOJX3TE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DOJX3TE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=O3LQVMXSDJS3IUA7">AcuRite digital timer</a> is great. It's loud enough to hear if I'm outside yakking with the neighbors, easy to operate, and I've had it for years. It has been dropped, and it still works. It's magnetic, and hangs on the refrigerator, so it's very handy. My favorite use for it, though, involves food safety. When I read this article about <a href="http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/waipahu-school-warned-of-food-safety-violations-in-september/">food poisoning</a> which occurred on a neighbor island, it was a good reminder to pay attention. We are very careful about cooling food (and reheating). We package up our leftovers, and then set the timer so that we don't forget to put food away.</p> <h2>12. Salt Mill</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KGPLMZG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00KGPLMZG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QFQFQDLN7M72XQIE&amp;network=g&amp;gclid=Cj0KEQiA5K-kBRDZ9r71gOvlxOMBEiQAwkK52KLxRGuqTeZAqfMJhBjIN13R0Vhcrqi4ATzRgbwW12oaAiLy8P8HAQ">salt mill</a> is just a &quot;must&quot; if you live in a tropical climate, as I do. We tried everything before this &mdash; rice in the salt, some fancy Swedish container, something else that had a cap, you name it. The bottom of this one will still get clumped up with salt, but it can easily be wiped away.</p> <h2>13. Covered Storage Container</h2> <p>Again, I own two of these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CFTP7/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000CFTP7&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RD52SOUQCDJD5YU5">Pyrex covered dishes</a> (what is it with me?). They are <em>awesome</em>. The lids haven't warped with time. They clean up easily. They can go from refrigerator to microwave, although I do not put the lid into the microwave. They fit nicely into my insulated lunch bag, so leftovers can easily become office lunch. I like how they stack either in the refrigerator or the dish cupboard.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite inexpensive kitchen &quot;essentials?&quot; Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Kitchen Gadgets That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kitchen-mixing-spoons">The 5 Best Kitchen Mixing Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping cheap gear essentials gadgets kitchen utensils Mon, 05 Jan 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Marla Walters 1274906 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-woman-kitchen-452417119-small.jpg" alt="senior woman kitchen" title="senior woman kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm no stranger to a tiny, cramped kitchen. Thing is, I have a food blog and a passion for cooking and baking &mdash; so I've had to get creative with my storage to make my operation run smoothly. Thankfully, with a little attention to detail (and some clever solutions), you can carve out counter space you didn't know you had and even organize your stuff so it's easier to find. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <p>Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Wire Baskets</h2> <p>Don't discriminate when it comes to storage. Those <a href="http://www.goldenboysandme.com/2014/09/wire-baskets.html">decorative wire baskets</a> used more traditionally for mail and magazines make a perfect place to stash stuff in your kitchen. Hang a double tiered basket on the side of your island or cabinets to wrangle tea towels, paper plates, or whatever else you need to get off your counters.</p> <h2>2. Shower Caddy</h2> <p>Speaking of repurposing, check out this <a href="http://domesticdivadomain.blogspot.com/2013/07/diy-produce-rack.html">produce rack</a> made from a shower caddy. You can easily find a caddy of this size for less than $10. The rest is finding a spot you like and hanging it with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FSORW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000FSORW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5TGS5DAFZXDNKJCG">Command hooks</a>.</p> <h2>3. Magazine Rack</h2> <p>I love this idea to use an <a href="http://cookiescraftsandchaos.com/2014/02/21/the-little-rack-that-could/">old magazine rack</a> to hold baking pans versus stacking them in messy cabinets. Not only does this solution look great, but it also serve a major purpose. Though the blogger who served up this idea decided to paint her magazine rack, I would have kept mine natural for easier cleaning (all those chocolate chips from the cookies I make would inevitably end up on that crisp white paint!).</p> <h2>4. Tilt Storage</h2> <p>You know those fake cabinet &quot;doors&quot; by your sink? If you own your home, consider turning them into something functional with this <a href="http://thediyclub.com/2011/09/rockler-helps-to-add-kitchen-storage/">DIY Tilt Storage</a> tutorial. The tip out trays you'll need for this project cost about $10 each. Once you're ready to start, just remove the false drawer fronts, install your tilt hinges, hang your trays, and enjoy!</p> <h2>5. Folger's Tubs</h2> <p>Here's a brilliant example of turning trash into treasure: <a href="http://kelliskitchen.org/2013/07/cheap-organization/">Repurposed Coffee Containers</a>. They can hold your bulk goods or whatever else you might want to corral &mdash; and they're virtually free. Just clean out the can, spray with your favorite color paint, and slap on some chalkboard labels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fantastic-chalkboard-paint-projects?ref=seealso">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a>)</p> <h2>6. Hanging Pipes</h2> <p>I recently made my own <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/11/industrial-diy-pipe-pot-rack.html">Industrial Pot Rack</a> using a couple plumbing pipes, connectors, and spray paint. Going with non-galvanized pipes helped save me some money on this project. Plus, you can paint them whatever color matches your kitchen. Best of all, the rack is an incredibly sturdy structure that will hold strong for years to come.</p> <h2>7. Freestanding Rack</h2> <p>If you can't drill holes in your walls, try this <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/claire-jeffreys-kitchen-our-inspiration-renovation-diary-claire-jeffreys-kitchen-183702">temporary pot rack</a> (the last photo in the series) which is nothing more than an old ladder with S-hooks. You can take it wherever you decide to move. The biggest difficulty of the project is finding the right height ladder, so check out thrift and antique shops, as well as Craigslist and any local classifieds.</p> <h2>8. Door Organizer</h2> <p>Check out this other amazing (and temporary) solution: the <a href="http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/rental-trick-3-a-door-organizer/">Kitchen Door Organizer</a>. The author of this project found a plantation-style door at her local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (just $5!). From there, she gave it new life with a coat of paint and accent color. The storage works using a system of hooks, freeing up cabinet space for stuff that can't so easily hang out.</p> <h2>9. Hanging Basket</h2> <p>I love a good <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UP233O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UP233O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=E5ALFAF6SZJPSYFS">three-tiered hanging basket</a> in almost any room in the house. It's cheap, looks good, and serves a purpose. And, yes, in the kitchen, it's particularly useful. Snag one for less than $10 and let it rock your storage world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-home-purchases-for-under-10-that-are-well-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">16 Home Purchases Under $10 That Are Well Worth The Money</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cork Door</h2> <p>Our refrigerator ends up being a catch-all for papers, coupons, bills, and hastily scrawled recipes. Get that pile of paper out of sight by <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2008/11/somebody-put-a-cork-in-us/">installing cork tiles</a> inside one of your cabinet doors. You can stick anything your heart desires on this instant cork board &mdash; and you might even be able to find your supplies at the Dollar Store.</p> <h2>11. Kitchen Armoire</h2> <p>Missing some major cabinets? I've totally been there, multiple times. For our lack of storage, we'd use what we had &mdash; in one case, a dresser &mdash; to make up for the deficit. This <a href="http://www.recapturedcharm.com/2011/08/armoire-redo-in-milk-paint.html">Kitchen Pantry Armoire</a> idea is super cool. I think the poster used it more for aesthetically pleasing display, but I'm sure you can organize a bunch of plates, cups, and even food inside without it looking too crowded.</p> <h2>12. Spice Jars</h2> <p>Make some <a href="http://davisongoons.blogspot.com/2010/11/check-out-my-moves.html">DIY Spice Jars</a> and hot glue magnets to the back so you can hang them on your fridge. If you have some old baby food jars at your disposal, this project is easy. Clean off the labels, then stick on new ones using Mod Podge. You could also use tiny Ball jars at a low price and even hang some metal strips in a cabinet door if you wanted everything out of sight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have?ref=seealso">12 Herbs and Spices Every Pantry Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>13. Wrap Dispensers</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.achievingcreativeorder.com/2013/11/its-wrap-dispenser.html">Wrap Dispenser</a> idea is so easy, I'm going to install a couple in my own kitchen tonight! Give tin foil, plastic wrap, parchment and wax papers a home using inexpensive adhesive hoots on the inside of a cabinet door. It's as simple as that.</p> <h2>14. Smart Hooks</h2> <p>While you're at it, use any leftover hooks wherever they might come in handy. This <a href="http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/08/organizing-my-baking-nook/">baking nook</a> got a dose of clean when the owner stuck mixer attachments to the cabinet with hooks. You can also use them to <a href="http://simplydarrling.com/2012/04/measuring-spoon-cup-organization/">hang measuring cups and spoons</a> in one convenient place so you're not searching when you should be baking.</p> <h2>15. Smart Board</h2> <p>Even if your stuff is neatly organized, sometimes there just isn't enough counter space to do what you need to do. Consider investing in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FB6TSK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001FB6TSK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TCAOFAYSLSE7CAAO">sink cutting board</a> that fits right over your sink (and sometimes stove) to give a few extra feet of workspace. I have used this idea for years without a special board &mdash; sometimes all you need is just a large cutting board to bridge the gap.</p> <p><em>How do you maximize kitchen storage space? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-super-cool-ways-to-add-hidden-storage-to-your-home">10 Super-Cool Ways to Add Hidden Storage to Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-ask-yourself-to-help-you-declutter">8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-lose-the-clutter-and-keep-the-memories">9 Ways to Lose the Clutter and Keep the Memories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization kitchen organization storage tiny spaces Wed, 03 Dec 2014 19:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1263085 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Awesome for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-arranging-flowers-kitchen-153749668-small.jpg" alt="woman arranging flowers kitchen" title="woman arranging flowers kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The kitchen is the hub of life. Sure, it's where we put the cat's food and scrounge for snacks in the middle of the night, but also, major life events happen in and around the kitchen. Why shouldn't it look a little nicer? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=seealso">14 Ways to Make Your Yard Look Awesome for Under $100</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to make your kitchen look awesome for under $100.</p> <h2>1. Display Fresh Flowers and Fruit</h2> <p>It's as easy as it sounds. Clear out a space on your main countertop or kitchen island. The next time you're at the farmer's market or grocery store, buy a little extra fresh fruit and a bouquet of flowers. Grab a basket and a vase from a place like Dollar Tree where you can find really <a href="http://www.dollartree.com/floral/vases-bowls-containers/559c543c543/index.cat">cute decor for only $1</a> each. Not only will it look beautiful, but you might eat more fruits and vegetables as a result!</p> <h2>2. Install Attractive Shelving Units</h2> <p>No need to head to Home Depot for plywood &mdash; you can buy <a href="http://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=wall+shelves&amp;category=0%7CAll%7Cmatchallpartial%7Call+categories&amp;lnk=snav_sbox_wall+shelves">pre-made fashion shelves</a> at places like Target for as cheap as $15. Find some shelves that only need a few screws or nails to install on one of your walls. Now you have a great spot to place spice bottles, utensils, and tchotkes.</p> <h2>3. Use a Magnet Strip for Prep Utensils and Knives</h2> <p>This is a trick many avid cooks use. The knife block is not always convenient, and why dig through a cluttered drawer for a bottle opener? Buy a magnetic strip (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Endurance-Deluxe-Magnetic-Knife/dp/B007SPKRMG/ref=lp_13840861_1_2?s=kitchen&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1415142100&amp;sr=1-2">like this $16 one</a>) for your wall so you can place your select knives, bottle openers, and other metal tools like nut crackers and more. It's utilitarian and elegant, like right out of a Sur Le Table catalog.</p> <h2>4. Find Cute Drawer Pulls</h2> <p>Give your kitchen unexpected flair by mixing and matching cute drawer pulls. You can find these anywhere from Lowe's to <a href="http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/category/hardware/home-hardware.jsp#/">Anthropologie</a>. It's a great way to breathe new life in your tired, worn out drawers with a shabby chic vibe for only $25.</p> <h2>5. Derust and Decalcify Your Fixtures</h2> <p>While cleaning is no fun, this could be one of the best things you could do for your kitchen. Clean out your sink area of dishes and other items. Use a <a href="http://www.jelmar.com/CLRbasic.htm">cleansing agent like C.L.R.</a> to coat your metal fixtures as well as any ceramic. Follow the instructions, scrub away, and you'll be left with what will look like a brand new sink for only $6 and some elbow grease.</p> <h2>6. Stick-On a Blackboard</h2> <p>Have an odd area of empty wall space? <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0016KQZGQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0016KQZGQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=O7Y56ICXQMKVCGNI">Try a stick-on blackboard</a> to make your kitchen feel like a cute cafe for only $10. Use it to write menus, a meal calendar, errands, or anything else. It's also a good place to make it clear whose turn it is to do the dishes!</p> <h2>7. Pour Staples Into Pretty Canisters</h2> <p>Items like flour, sugar, rice, beans, candy, and more tend not to do well in the same paper or plastic bags they came in. Buy some glass, ceramic, or stainless steel <a href="http://www.target.com/c/canisters-canister-sets-kitchen-storage-organization/-/N-5xtr4">canisters for under $30</a>. Not only will you avoid bugs, dust, and other ills, you can make your shelving look neater.</p> <h2>8. Change-Up Your Window Dressing</h2> <p>Have a window with nothing going on? Try buying a <a href="http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/category/home-decor/window-treatments/kitchen-bath-curtains/12156/">small window shade</a> in a bright and cheery color or pattern. There are many out there for $30 and under. It's the kind of small difference that makes a kitchen feel more inviting and attractive.</p> <h2>9. Paint Cabinets, Doors, and Drawer Faces</h2> <p>If you've got dark and dreary construction grade cabinets, brighten them up with a couple of coats of paint and primer. Sure, there's some planning and elbow grease involved in <a href="http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20209705,00.html">repainting your cabinets</a>, but this is a job that truly refreshes a drab kitchen. Shop aggressively for paint and supplies, and you can do it for $100 or less, depending on the size of your kitchen &mdash; and of your tool chest.</p> <p><em>Have you spruced up your kitchen for cheap? How did it come out? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home">19 Frugal (And Easy) Ways to Update an Old Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/furnished-for-free">Furnished For Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sort-of-small-kitchen-gadgets-that-equal-big-savings">4 Sort-of Small Kitchen Gadgets that Equal Big Savings!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living decor interior design kitchen refresh renovate Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1256480 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things in Your Kitchen You Should Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-kitchen-460315379-small.jpg" alt="woman cleaning kitchen" title="woman cleaning kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kitchens can easily become cluttered with less-than-useful gadgets, tools, and food items, but it's important to keep your kitchen tidy and organized for the health of your family and for your sanity. Stop fighting rarely used kitchen items for counter space. Get rid of the following things and cook with newfound peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today?ref=seealso">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sponge</h2> <p>Your sponge is where kitchen germs live and thrive. The moist nooks and crannies are a perfect breeding ground, so switch your sponge out often. Even with a new sponge, microwave it daily in an inch of water for a minute to disinfect. You'll keep from spreading lots of germs all around your kitchen and will help keep your family healthier.</p> <h2>2. Meat Mallet</h2> <p>Tell the truth: how often do you use a meat mallet? Most people use one once in a blue moon, and a number of tools can take its place. Putting the meat between plastic wrap and using a heavy skillet is a good alternative. An unopened canned good and rolling pin are other options.</p> <h2>3. Old Plastic Storage Containers</h2> <p>Studies have shown that plastic food storage containers with recycle codes 3 or 7 and many made before 2010 may contain BPA, a harmful chemical that can leach into food. If you own some of these containers, toss them. You can often end up with bottoms and tops that don't match or missing pieces, so throw out or donate any without partners.</p> <h2>4. Panini Press</h2> <p>Make paninis on a daily basis? Then ignore this one. But for most of us, this common wedding registry pick isn't a necessity. You can easily imitate this kitchen gadget using a regular skillet and a heavy skillet or pan (a cast iron skillet works great) to press your sandwich on top.</p> <h2>5. Old Dried Spices</h2> <p>Spices can accumulate, get pushed to the back of the cabinet, and crowd your storage space. But spices don't last forever, and can lose a lot of their flavor after a year or two passes. According to McCormick, <a href="http://mccormick.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11/related/1">ground spices last three to four years</a>, leafy herbs for one to two years, and whole spices for four years. Dried herbs and spices should smell and taste potent, and should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat (including your stove).</p> <h2>6. Bread Maker</h2> <p>Unless you are living the dream and making bread on a weekly basis, you probably don't need this clunky appliance. It's awkward to store and isn't required for making homemade bread. Flex those muscles and do a little kneading, get a dough attachment for your mixer or food processor, or try no-knead breads.</p> <h2>7. Jigger</h2> <p>Unless you're an amateur bartender, you don't need this awkward tool crowding your junk drawer. You can use regular measuring spoons, with two tablespoons equaling the small end of a jigger (one ounce) and &frac14; cup equaling the large end of a jigger (two ounces). Or you can just relax. You're at home &mdash; just eyeball it and enjoy.</p> <h2>8. Expired Canned Food</h2> <p>It may seem like canned food lasts forever, but they can actually go bad. Canned fruits and tomatoes last 18 months, while other items can last up to five years. Be sure to check your emergency kit and replace those, too.</p> <h2>9. Open Canned Food</h2> <p>Leftover canned foods are easy to store by just leaving them in the can and shoving them in the fridge, but the metal can leach into the food and create a metallic taste. This is especially common with acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes. Take the time to transfer your leftovers into a storage container and you'll be rewarded with better tasting food.</p> <h2>10. Toaster Oven</h2> <p>This appliance takes up a lot of valuable counter space without making up for it. If you're a frequent toaster, get a more compact and easily storable toaster. Everything else can be done in the oven, and if you only make toast now and again, you can do that in the oven, too.</p> <h2>11. Rice Cooker</h2> <p>Most people don't cook enough rice to make this large appliance worth the storage space. Although you can make <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/5-things-you-can-make-in-a-ric-111057">a few other things</a> with it, it's largely a unitasker. Rice can easily be made on the stovetop or even in the oven, so donating your rice maker is likely the right move.</p> <h2>12. Mandoline</h2> <p>This is another unitasker, and rarely used by most households. Most recipes don't require fruit or vegetables sliced paper thin, making a regular knife more than adequate. Most food processors also offer a mandoline attachment.</p> <h2>13. Pastry Bag</h2> <p>Unless you are making cakes and fancy desserts left and right (and if you are&hellip; can I come over?), you can easily create your own pastry bag with a plastic freezer bag. Just cut a hole in one of the bottom corners, attach the tip, spoon in your filling, and close the top. You can also use a cone of parchment paper wrapped closed and folded down at the top.</p> <h2>14. Electric Kettle</h2> <p>If you're a heavy tea drinker, then ignore this tip. Otherwise, a stovetop kettle doesn't take that much longer and doesn't take up space on your counter. Donate this one.</p> <h2>15. Leftovers</h2> <p>Leftovers always start with good intentions, but can often end up pushed to the back of your refrigerator. Periodically clean out your fridge, and get rid of leftovers that are more than a few days old. They can contain bacteria and cause illness, and simply aren't worth the risk. Always throw out food that has become moldy.</p> <p><em>What's cluttering up your kitchen?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-kitchen-you-should-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clear-out-financial-clutter">How to Clear Out Financial Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-words-you-need-to-declutter-your-life">The Only 5 Words You Need to Declutter Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization clutter declutter kitchen kitchen gadgets Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:00:12 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1248293 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Kitchen Mistakes Good Cooks Make http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-mistakes-good-cooks-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-kitchen-mistakes-good-cooks-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baking-disaster-119148197-small.jpg" alt="baking disaster" title="baking disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How did I manage to overcook that roast? Why did my cookies spread all over the pan? These cooking mistakes are common, yet can be avoided.</p> <p>We have all made mistakes, even pros like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR64GGyEv_o">Julia Child.</a> My mother once made a Baked Alaska mistakenly using salt; my mother-in-law set off the smoke alarm so many times we called it her oven timer. Just learn from your mistakes, and move on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-cooking-hacks-that-save-time?ref=seealso">7 Surprising Cooking Hacks That Save Time in the Kitchen</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 common errors, and how to avoid them.</p> <h2>1. You Didn't Taste Before You Served</h2> <p>So, you followed the recipe to the &quot;t,&quot; but it just didn't measure up when it hit the table. Who is to blame? You are! Taste as you go. Your sauce may need more sweetness, acid, or salt, and <em>while</em> you are cooking is the best time to add, not once it is ladled out. (Note: This does not apply to baking, where use of exact ingredients is important, and where you <em>do not</em> want to eat raw eggs.) If you are still unsure, get a second opinion. My husband is pretty used to me coming at him with a spoon.</p> <h2>2. Under-Salting</h2> <p>My parents' generation got a big scare from the media about the use of salt. As a consequence, food often tasted bland. Most salt in your diet comes from processed foods, so if you are cooking your own food, you don't have to be such a fraidy-cat. Just watch a few professional cooking shows or videos and see how much salt the chefs use. I am usually astounded. Certainly, if you have issues with high blood pressure or your heart, you need to be careful &mdash; but otherwise, salt away!</p> <h2>3. Eating Right Away</h2> <p>It is much easier to slice up a roast, or a chicken, and the result will be tastier, if you allow it to &quot;rest&quot; after cooking. Meat continues to cook even after you remove it from the oven. The center continues to heat while the outside cools down. Let the meat &quot;rest&quot; and re-absorb the moisture. A large roast needs about 25 minutes; a whole chicken or turkey should sit for 20 minutes. If you are worried about it getting cold, tent it with some aluminum foil. Slice too soon, and there go your juices!</p> <h2>4. You Don't Know Your Oven Temperature</h2> <p>The oven dial may <em>say</em> 350 degrees, but is it, really? Get a second opinion. For just a few dollars, you can buy an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004XSBV/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004XSBV&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5S3UVXXWHV4U5XPS">oven dial thermometer</a> to check. If it's off, check your owner's manual; you may be able to fix it. If not, you may want to call a professional repairman.</p> <h2>5. Over-Softened Butter</h2> <p>I do this too often, because I live in a warm, humid climate. Butter softens here in record time. And then what happens? Cookies, which should be plump, spread. Cake batter will not cream properly. If this happens, start over. Properly softened butter should be the consistency of Play-Doh.</p> <h2>6. Your Knives Aren't Sharp</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SBn1i9YqN1k?rel=0"></iframe></p> <p>Dull knives are <em>dangerous</em>. If your blade is dull, it can slip off of the food you are cutting and cut <em>you</em>! You also use more force with a dull knife. You are more likely to work more safely when using a sharp knife. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBn1i9YqN1k">Sharpening knives</a> is not that difficult to learn.</p> <h2>7. You Crowded the Pan</h2> <p>Sometimes, I just want to get some big-batch cooking done and put too many vegetables on the cookie sheet to roast&hellip; or try to brown too much meat at once. And then what happens? Things get soggy. Yuck! Food that needs to brown needs room, so it's better to do it in batches, if you have a lot of it.</p> <h2>8. Dang, Burned It Again</h2> <p>Most often, it's because I am using the wrong burner size on my gas stove. Sometimes, I have the flame up too high (it should never go up the outside of the pan). Also, sometimes I get distracted between the news, texting, or checking a recipe while I am cooking. Good tricks to prevent burning are to set a timer, if you are walking away, or to eliminate some of the distractions until you can turn the stove off.</p> <h2>9. What's Wrong With the Mashed Potatoes?</h2> <p>My mother insisted on &quot;whipping&quot; her potatoes with a hand-mixer, and that's why they became gluey. You are much better off using a ricer or a hand masher. The potato you select makes a huge difference, too. Try Yukon Golds &mdash; and <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_mashed_potatoes/">this perfect mashed recipe</a> &mdash; for really delicious potatoes.</p> <h2>10. You Didn't Practice &quot;Clean As You Go&quot;</h2> <p>Unless you want to end up with a sink full of dirty dishes, pots, and pans, you may as well clean up as you go along. It's pretty tiring to cook a meal, then turn around and survey the mess. If most of the dirty kitchen has already been dealt with, you will simplify mealtime.</p> <p>Cooking should be fun. Even if you make mistakes, chalk them up to experience, and move on. Everyone who cooks has a funny &quot;mistake&quot; story! Remember, as Julia Child said, &quot;Have the courage of your convictions!&quot;</p> <p><em>Have I overlooked any common kitchen mistakes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-mistakes-good-cooks-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-salvage-a-burnt-meal">10 Ways to Salvage a Burnt Meal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-ass-alternatives-to-canned-cranberry-sauce">Kick-Ass Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Sauce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/canned-vs-dried-beans-which-are-cheaper">Canned vs. Dried Beans: Which Are Cheaper?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/better-brewing-12-ways-to-make-coffee-at-home">Better Brewing: 12 Ways to Make Coffee at Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cooking kitchen Mistakes skills Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Marla Walters 1243332 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Great Gifts for Home Cooks http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-holiday-gifts-for-home-cooks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-great-holiday-gifts-for-home-cooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-177232797.jpg" alt="woman cooking" title="woman cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You might think that it would be easy to buy gifts for the avid home cook. After all, stores are bursting at the seams with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kitchen-luxuries-that-are-worth-it-and-5-that-arent">kitchen equipment and utensils</a>. But buying a thoughtful, useful, and unique gift isn't always easy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-awesome-kitchen-gifts?ref=seealso">9 Useful Kitchen Gifts</a>)</p> <p>As someone who loves to cook, I personally do not love to receive random gizmos and kitchen knick-knacks that clutter up my limited cabinet space &mdash; I greatly prefer something that I will use again and again that will earn its place in my kitchen. In consultation with many friends who genuinely love cooking, I've compiled this list of useful but thoughtful gifts for home cooks.</p> <h2>1. Immersion Blender</h2> <p>I have a full-size <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-food-processors">food processor</a>, a regular blender, and a mini-prep food processor, but even so, an immersion blender is on my wishlist for the holidays. These stick-style blenders are super useful for pureeing a pot of soup, mixing up a quick smoothie, or making a batch of homemade mayonnaise. I can't wait to be able to make a pot of pureed soup without needing to ladle the hot liquid into a separate food processor! Personally, I'm coveting the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AN9UJ68/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AN9UJ68&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Cuisinart Smart Stick</a> this year.</p> <h2>2. Kitchen Scale</h2> <p>If your giftee is serious about cooking and baking, a kitchen scale is a great tool. Weighing ingredients is much more precise than measuring them in a cup and assures that baked goods will come out well. Get a sleek. attractive model that is small enough to tuck out of sight when not needed. I prefer the ones with a flat platform, because not only are they smaller, but they allow you to put any size bowl on top. One with a pull out display (such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WJMTNA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000WJMTNA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">the well reviewed Oxo</a>) makes it easy to read the meter, even with a large mixing bowl on the scale.</p> <h2>3. Spice Grinder</h2> <p>A dedicated spice grinder will help your food-loving friend to pump up the flavor of his/her dishes. There are some inexpensive but well-rated ones on the market (like the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004SPEU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004SPEU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Krups Fast Touch</a>) that would make a great gift.</p> <h2>4. Olive Oil Mister</h2> <p>Plain old cooking spray is convenient but a little less-than-sexy. Get your friend an olive oil mister (the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004SPZV/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004SPZV&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Misto</a> is a great budget-friendly option), which will allow him/her to mist oil in pans like a true gourmet.</p> <h2>5. Stainless Steel or Copper Cookware</h2> <p>Quality stainless-steel or copper pots and pans are definitely a luxury &mdash; something your friend might covet but wouldn't buy for him or herself. You may not be able to buy a whole set, which will run hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars, but one or two saucepans would be useful for a serious home cook. Plus, they're shiny and beautiful, like jewelry for the kitchen. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Housewares/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=555018&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">All-Clad</a> is a great brand for quality stainless and copper for home cooks.</p> <h2>6. Enameled Cast-Iron Cookware</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cookg-123082873-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>You can't go wrong with an enameled French oven from one of the top manufacturers, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00917N9JM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00917N9JM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Staub </a>or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008ADR6R4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008ADR6R4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Le Creuset</a>. They do tend to be expensive, but you can often find them discounted for close to half-price at TJMaxx or Homegoods (although they are technically seconds, I've never been able to find any flaws). These French ovens come in all shapes and sizes, at varying prices. A smaller 3-quart size would be perfect for cooking meals for one or two. A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cast%20iron%20grill%20pan&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">cast iron grill pan</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=cast%20iron%20grill%20pan&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">skillet</a> would be useful and they are classic gifts too.</p> <h2>7. Kitchen Storage</h2> <p>Sometimes the best gift for a home cook is the ability to organize their ingredients and cooking equipment. Give your friend a set of magnetic spice jars, a good-quality olive oil cruet, a wire basket filled with beautiful kitchen towels, or a stainless steel caddy for their kitchen sponge. Something on my wish list is a two or three-tiered wire basket to store fruits, onions, avocados, and other produce in, which will help to clear off my cluttered counter.</p> <h2>8. Pie-Making Kit</h2> <p>An aluminum or silicone pie crust shield and a set of pie weights will help your pie-loving friend make perfect pies. Try this well-rated silicone crust shield by <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IZ7RDY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001IZ7RDY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Mrs. Anderson</a> along with this set of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S1BT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004S1BT&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">ceramic pie weights</a>. Add a pair of stylish oven mitts to complete the set.</p> <h2>9. Silicone Cookie Sheet Liner</h2> <p>If your friend loves to bake cookies, he/she is sure to appreciate a silicone baking sheet liner. The good brands (like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008T960/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00008T960&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Silpat</a>) run about $20, so it might not be something your friend would get for him or herself (and in any case, you can always use a few more). A great gift or stocking stuffer would be a rolled up silicone liner tied up with kitchen twine and a couple of cookie cutters.</p> <h2>10. Juicer or Blender</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cookg-blender-iStock_000019422077Small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you have a food-loving friend who is also on a health kick, a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-juicers">juicer</a> or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blenders">blender</a> can help them get their daily supply of fruits and veggies. I personally covet a high-speed blender (like the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004VMAC8I/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004VMAC8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Vitamix</a>), but at a few hundred dollars a pop, I may have to dream for a few more years.</p> <h2>11. Crepe Pan or Griddle</h2> <p>Breakfasts will be a gourmet affair with a crepe pan (like this one by <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YV61AE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004YV61AE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Cuisinart</a>) or griddle for making perfect pancakes. Present the pan with a bottle of pure maple syrup, and you might get an invitation to come over for brunch.</p> <h2>12. Chef's Knife</h2> <p>A friend of mine says &ldquo;a knife is always a good thing.&rdquo; All I can say is, if someone gifted me with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/W%C3%BCsthof-Kitchen-Dining/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=291361&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Wusthof</a> or a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Shun-Kitchen-Housewares/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=13033531&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">Shun</a>, or another quality chef's knife, I would be pretty excited. Of course, this is a great gift provided your giftee doesn't subscribe to superstitions about knife gifts being bad luck. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-chefs-knives?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Chef's Knives</a>)</p> <h2>13. Artisan Cutting Board</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cookg-153572513-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I'm not talking about your typical plastic cutting board. Some of the solid wood cutting boards out there are gorgeous conversation pieces in their own right. An olive wood cheese board (like this one from <a href="http://www.westelm.com/products/mrk-olive-wood-paddle-board-d768/">West Elm</a>), or an end-grain chopping block (try this one from <a href="http://www.crateandbarrel.com/end-grain-chopping-board/s628085">Crate &amp; Barrel</a>) will look great in the kitchen while being extremely useful too.</p> <h2>14. Pizza Stone</h2> <p>A pizza stone is a practical gift not only because it helps to make stellar pizza and calzones, but its heat retention capability also helps to regulate the temperature of your oven. You can store it right in your oven, so it doesn't take up any extra space. This <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/baking-and-pizza-stone/">pizza stone</a> from Williams-Sonoma is square, which maximizes usable surface area.</p> <h2>15. Gourmet Oils</h2> <p>I love getting kitchen tools, but if I'm going to be honest, in the words of the Little Mermaid, I've got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I don't really NEED any more stuff, and I don't have the room to store it. That's why I love getting some consumables to cook with, like a set of gourmet oils. Avocado, walnut, sesame, macadamia, coconut, olive, and other flavorful oils are both delicious and healthy, and are fun ingredients to experiment with. I love the artisanal oils by <a href="http://latourangelle.com/index.php/oils.html">La Tourangelle</a>, which are both beautifully packaged and reasonably priced.</p> <h2>16. Exotic Sauces</h2> <p>Give your food-loving friend motivation to cook international food by creating a gift basket of eclectic sauces from around the world. Fill a box or basket with harissa, fish sauce, aji amarillo, curry paste, tapenade, and other condiments, and let the home cook go wild with them! <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11413665" target="_blank">Cost Plus World Market</a> is a great one-stop shop to buy many of those imported condiments.</p> <h2>17. Homemade Gifts</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/cookg-181544357-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are homemade ones. Nothing says love like steeping your own homemade vanilla extract for three months, or making homemade limoncello, for example. How about a homemade fig jam that your friend can use in baking or to dollop on cheese when company comes? Or herb-infused olive oil, homemade organic BBQ sauce, or your grandma's secret marinara sauce recipe? The possibilities are endless. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=seealso">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>18. Cookbooks</h2> <p>Cookbooks are always a good bet for someone who loves to cook at home, but be sure you know what kind of cookbook your giftee will like. If they are a health nut, you probably shouldn't buy them Paula Deen's latest tome of artery-clogging desserts. Check out Amazon's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Cookbooks-Food-Wine/zgbs/books/6/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20" target="_blank">list of best-sellers</a> for a range of options. Another great idea is to compile a binder of your favorite, tested recipes. Perhaps this is the year you release your ancestral bread-and-butter pickle recipe?</p> <h2>19. Magazine Subscription</h2> <p>Ah, if only Gourmet magazine were still in business. But there are plenty of food magazines out there, such as <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/">Food &amp; Wine</a>, <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/">Bon Appetit</a>, <a href="http://www.saveur.com/">Saveur</a>, <a href="http://www.cooksillustrated.com/">Cook's Illustrated</a>, and <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/">Eating Well</a>, as well as lesser-known ones such as David Chang's <a href="http://store.lky.ph/">Lucky Peach</a>, or the specialty <a href="http://paleomagonline.com/">Paleo Magazine</a>.</p> <h2>20. Gift Cards</h2> <p>Gift cards have a reputation for being a generic gift, but not if it's a gift card to a specialty food shop that your giftee will actually be excited to use. I would love to get a gift card to <a href="http://www.surlatable.com/category/CAT-11149/Gifts-and-Gift-Cards">Sur la Table</a>, <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/customer-service/gift-services/gift-card-landing.html">Williams-Sonoma</a>, or even <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/buy-gift-cards">Whole Foods</a>. Maybe then I'll be able to get the gourmet organic fish sauce I've been eyeing (something no one would ever think to buy for me).</p> <p><em>Do you love to cook? What is on your wishlist this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-holiday-gifts-for-home-cooks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-for-your-co-workers">20 Gift Ideas for Your Co-Workers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-tool-gifts-for-fixer-uppers">10 Cool Tool Gifts for Fixer Uppers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-gift-ideas-for-geeky-fanboys-and-fangirls">10 Great Gift Ideas for Geeky Fanboys and Fangirls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-gift-ideas-for-crafters">12 Gift Ideas for Crafters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-holiday-stocking-stuffers-for-techies">10 Holiday Stocking Stuffers for Techies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Buying Guides buying guide Cooking gifts holiday gift guide kitchen product reviews Mon, 11 Nov 2013 10:00:04 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1086407 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Chef's Knives http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-chefs-knives <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-chefs-knives" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-3778697-small.jpg" alt="knife on cutting board" title="knife on cutting board" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Anyone who cooks knows how important it is to have a good chef's knife in your culinary armory. The size and versatility of the chef's knife often makes it the most-used tool when it comes to food preparation. A chef's knife is good for mincing, slicing, chopping, and even disjoining large cuts of meat, giving it a flexibility that is rarely seen in a kitchen filled with specialized tools and appliances. Here at Wise Bread, we've put together a list of the top 5 chef's knives for you to choose from.</p> <h2>What Is a Chef's Knife?</h2> <p>A chef's knife is a cutting tool that is used to prepare food for cooking. The original chef's knife was designed to disjoin large cuts of beef; however, it has evolved to become an all-purpose knife for cooks. Chef's knives typically range between 6 to 14 inches in length. When purchasing a chef's knife, the most important factors to consider are sharpness, build, and comfort.</p> <h2>Best 5 Chef's Knives</h2> <h3>Victorinox 8 inch Chef's Knife</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008M5U1C2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008M5U1C2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/chknife-Victorinox.jpg" alt="" /></a>Swiss knife manufacturer Victorinox's foray into kitchen cutlery has produced an extremely sharp and well-designed <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008M5U1C2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008M5U1C2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">8 inch chef's knife</a> at a very reasonable price. Users really appreciate the quality-to-price ratio of this particular chef's knife. The high-carbon stainless steel blade ensures sharp cutting and good edge retention. Finally, the patented handle design is ergonomic and slip resistant. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008M5U1C2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008M5U1C2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $36.59 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Wusthof Classic 8 Inch Cook's Knife</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005MEH1/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005MEH1&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/chknife-WusthofClassic8.jpg" alt="" /></a>Those who have purchased kitchen cutlery in the past may recognize the name Wusthof. This German knife manufacturer is known for its high-quality products. When it comes to buying a chef's knife, it is important to keep in mind the size of the knife and how it will fit in your hand. To that end, Wusthof's Classic line of chef's knives comes in a number of different sizes. However, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005MEH1/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005MEH1&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">8 inch knife</a> seems to hit a sweet spot for many users. Special alloyed stainless steel and full tang that is triple riveted into the handle ensures exceptional sharpness and durability. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005MEH1/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005MEH1&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $129.95 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Wusthof Classic Santoku</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005MEGX/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005MEGX&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/chknife-WustholfClassicSantoku.jpg" alt="" /></a>Santoku knives are general-purpose kitchen knives that originate from Japan. They are capable of performing the same tasks as Western chef's knives such as slicing, chopping and mincing with the same level of proficiency. The primary difference between a santoku and a chef's knife is the fact that a santoku primarily relies on single, downward cuts instead of rocking cuts. The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005MEGX/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005MEGX&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Wusthof Classic Santoku</a> has all of the design elements you would expect in a Wusthof knife: high-carbon steel blade, full tang construction and a solid, but comfortable handle. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005MEGX/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005MEGX&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $99.95 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Chicago Cutlery Fusion 7-3/4 inch Chef's Knife</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TFDPOA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004TFDPOA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/chknife-ChicagoCutlery.jpg" alt="" /></a>Recommended by Good Housekeeping, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TFDPOA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004TFDPOA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">this Chicago Cutlery chef's knife</a> is a great choice for those looking for a quality knife at an inexpensive price. This knife, the cheapest on this list, is comparable to many pricier options with a high-carbon stainless steel blade and a non-slip cushioned handle for comfortable use. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TFDPOA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004TFDPOA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $16.85 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Global G-2 8 inch Chef's Knife</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005OL44/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005OL44&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/chknife-GlobalG2.jpg" alt="" /></a>Considered the best chef's knife on ConsumerSearch, users and professionals agree that the blade of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005OL44/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005OL44&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Global G-2 8 inch chef's knife</a> is exceptionally sharp and that the knife is remarkably light and balanced. The blade produces thin, even slices and is capable of cutting into even the toughest foods. The blade itself is made of stamped steel rather than the forged steel of other knives on this list, which makes it harder than other blades but also more prone to chipping or breaking. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005OL44/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005OL44&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $91.78 on Amazon.</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-chefs-knives">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-spoons">The 5 Best Measuring Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-tablet-computers">The 5 Best Tablet Computers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-comfortable-stylish-clarks-dress-shoes-for-men">Stuff We Love: Comfortable, Stylish Clarks Dress Shoes for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards">The 5 Best Computer Keyboards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-march">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in March</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guides kitchen kitchen tools knives product reviews Mon, 21 Oct 2013 09:36:04 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 994618 at http://www.wisebread.com Cooking Fumes Are Bad For Your Health http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-fumes-are-bad-for-your-health <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cooking-fumes-are-bad-for-your-health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-1390760-small.jpg" alt="cooking fumes" title="cooking fumes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have taken an interest in improving the nation's air quality &mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/09/04/219012757/kitchen-range-hoods-may-not-be-as-effective-as-they-claim?">it's indoor air quality</a>. More specifically, researchers are studying the quality of the air <em>in your kitchen</em>.</p> <p>That's because a gas stove produces some of the same pollutants responsible for the smog outdoors. In tests of Southern California residential kitchens in which residents cook at least once a week, researchers found the pollutant <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_dioxide#Safety_and_pollution_considerations">nitrogen dioxide</a> at levels higher than the outdoor health limit in more than half the homes tested. As Jennifer Logue of Lawrence Berkeley, who is conducting the research, explained to NPR:</p> <blockquote><p>If you exceeded the standards outdoors, it would be a really big deal,&quot; she says. &quot;But if you exceed them in your house, nobody's paying attention.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>While electric ranges do not produce nitrogen dioxide, all ranges, gas and electric, generate cooking grease and fine particulate pollution. Prolonged exposure to unsafe levels of these pollutants can lead to heart and respiratory problems.</p> <h2>Proper Ventilation</h2> <p>The solution, according to Logue, is a range hood that vents outside. Unfortunately many range hoods vent back into the kitchen, and some of those that do vent outside are only 15% efficient due to the shape of the hood or the strength of the fan.</p> <p>Engineers at Lawrence Berkeley are working on more efficient hood and fan designs, but building codes will have to be updated with kitchen range hood ventilation requirements (such as those required for furnaces and water heaters) before the new designs start appearing in kitchens. That's a complex process involving many government agencies. It could be some time before new regulations and new, more effective range hoods and ventilation systems become widely available.</p> <h2>Steps to Take Now</h2> <p>In the meanwhile, Logue had a few suggestions about how to help reduce the pollution levels in our kitchens:</p> <blockquote><p><strong>Cooking Tips</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Always turn your fan on</p> </li> <li> <p>Cook on the back burners</p> </li> <li> <p>Use highest fan setting</p> </li> <li> <p>Clean grease traps periodically</p> </li> <li> <p>If you don't have a hood, open windows</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Tips for Buying a New Range Hood</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Look for one that covers the entire stovetop</p> </li> <li> <p>It should move 200 cubic feet of air per minute, certified by the Home Ventilating Institute</p> </li> <li> <p>Choose a noise rating of 3 sones or less for a quieter fan</p> </li> <li> <p>Choose a hood shape with a hollow space underneath for collecting fumes</p> </li> </ul> </blockquote> <p><em>What's the air like in your kitchen?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-fumes-are-bad-for-your-health">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">The Best Cheap Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-kitchen-storage-solutions">15 Genius Kitchen Storage Solutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-a-houseplant-can-save-you-money">6 Surprising Ways a Houseplant Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-improve-the-air-quality-in-your-home">10 Cheap Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Home air quality kitchen kitchen safety kitchen vent pollution Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:34:31 +0000 Lars Peterson 981776 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Simple Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-more-efficient <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-simple-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-more-efficient" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4787436060_2fe6fd6e32_b.jpg" alt="refrigerator energy" title="refrigerator energy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My friend Fabulous Frank is always coming up with neat ideas and inventions; one of his best designs boasts a refrigerator with a glass door on it. And while that may mean some extra-tough cleanups, just think of the one glorious advantage it offers: &quot;Every time you go to check the fridge,&quot; he says, &quot;you wouldn't have to open the door to see what's inside.&quot; Which, of course, means less energy wasted.</p> <p>Until Fab Frank's fridge becomes a regular consumer option, we have our work cut out for us. Even if you have an EnergyStar refrigerator, you know these big appliances still eat electricity &mdash; about 500 kilowatt-hours per year even for the stingier models. The question is, can we improve on that? You betcha. Below are some tips for making fridges (both standard and EnergyStar models) run more efficiently. And we'll start with a tip that comes courtesy of Frank himself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-big-on-appliances" title="8 Ways to Save Big on Appliances">8 Ways to Save Big on Appliances</a>)</p> <h2>1. Open the Door Less Often</h2> <p>Particularly if you have kids, you know fridge doors get opened dozens and dozens of times a day. Whenever that happens, warm air rushes in, making it harder for your appliance to keep cool. Leave the doors open longer than two minutes, and you're putting strain on the fridge. So until they invent glass doors, do what you can to limit how often and how long your doors get yanked open. With shopping trips, I lump all the refrigerated items into one big pile and then load up as fast as possible. Try determining how much time you need to shave off your loading time with this <a title="electronic clock timer" href="http://www.amazon.com/Presto-04212-Electronic-Clock-Timer/dp/B00006IV0U">Presto Electronic Clock &amp; Timer</a> (<em>$10.68 with free shipping via Amazon Prime</em>).</p> <h2>2. Pack It Up, Baby</h2> <p>After each shopping trip, I love to stuff the fridge &mdash; and there's a reason besides the fact that many Italian Americans like myself do this. A full fridge means that there's less hot air that needs cooling. Of course, a stuffed fridge means poor air circulation, and any well-stocked cooler begs to be opened many times. But so long as you police your clan from peeking out of boredom (or swinging on the handles) you should come out ahead on the energy-savings side.</p> <h2>3. A Freezer on Top is Tops</h2> <p>For those of you considering a new fridge, keep in mind that not all EnergyStar models are created equal. The <a title="EnergyStar refrigerators" href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&amp;pgw_code=RF">government's EnergyStar website</a> reports, &quot;Models with top-mounted freezers use 10% to 25% less energy than bottom-mount or side-by-side models.&quot; Besides, a bottom-mounted freezer means stooping over to get the Haagen-Dazs, which isn't exactly my idea of how to launch an indulgent dessert experience. The <a title="top freezer refrigerator" href="http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&amp;productId=202822214&amp;langId=-1&amp;catalogId=10053">GE Top Freezer Refrigerator</a> in White or <a title="black top freezer refrigerator" href="http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&amp;productId=202933768&amp;langId=-1&amp;catalogId=10053">Black</a> (<em>$448 via code &quot;APP50B2&quot; with free shipping</em>) is an inexpensive option that fits the bill.</p> <h2>4. Chill Out on the Ice-Cube Maker</h2> <p>Maybe we could stand to learn something from the Europeans, who don't take ice in their drinks. Icemakers and through-the-door dispensers not only increase a refrigerator's price by up to $250, they also increase energy use by 14% to 20%, EnergyStar figures show. So if you have an icemaker, why not give it a rest? And if you really need crushed ice, consider the merits of these <a title="ice cube trays" href="http://www.target.com/Tovolo-Perfect-Cube-Ice-Trays-pk/dp/B000F3LF0G/">Tovolo Perfect-Cube Ice Trays</a> (<em>two for $14.99 with $3.99 s&amp;h</em>) and a hammer.</p> <h2>5. Location, Location, Location</h2> <p>This one comes courtesy of our friends at <a title="allyou.com" href="http://www.allyou.com/budget-home/live-green-save/make-refrigerator-energy-efficient-00400000051318/">allyou.com</a>, who point out that a fridge shouldn't rest close to obvious hotspots. &quot;Place your fridge away from your oven, stove top, radiator, or other heat sources, and make sure there are a few inches of space around it. The unit can nestle, but it shouldn't abut walls, counters, or other appliances.&quot; I suppose that means no cold storage for my Twinkie flambé, either.</p> <h2>6. Check the Seals and the Frost</h2> <p>Just as leaky window and door seals yield a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-tips-to-winterize-your-home-for-cheap" title="7 DIY Tips to Winterize Your Home for Cheap">drafty house</a>, a fridge with bad seals around the doors can't do its job well. If your seals have suffered from wear or damage, check out <a title="RepairClinic" href="http://www.repairclinic.com/">RepairClinic</a>, which stocks just about every type of replacement part for large appliances. As for the frost side, it's a good idea to periodically defrost your freezer, as that will help it work better. If you see more than a quarter-inch of frost all the way around, it's time.</p> <h2>7. Clean Those Coils</h2> <p>Dust is the enemy of many large appliances, from air conditioners to stereo systems. In the latter, dust blocking the vents can cause overheating, and dust on the coils of your fridge forces it to work harder. Getting in back of that monster may conjure visions of an emergency room visit, but tidying up isn't hard if you consult a reliable resource, like your appliance manual. A vacuum with a <a title="crevice attachment" href="http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&amp;productId=100074040&amp;langId=-1&amp;catalogId=10053">crevice attachment</a> is crucial, as is a small brush (like a paint brush) to reach more troublesome areas. Your efforts will not only keep the fridge working better, but also preserve its longevity.</p> <h2>8. Pick the Right Temperature</h2> <p>Going colder than the preferred temperature wastes electricity, and for refrigerators, that ranges between 35 and 38 degrees, according to <a title="howstuffworks.com" href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/question121.htm">howstuffworks.com</a>. There are other benefits as well to sticking in this range: &quot;Anything higher and foods will spoil too quickly (it also presents food poisoning problems). Anything lower and freezing becomes a problem.&quot;</p> <p>Common to all these tips is one overarching principle: habit. Once you get in the habit of checking on the appliances you take for granted, they'll reward you in kind with extended years of service and extra savings in the bank &mdash; all while making a dent in your carbon footprint.</p> <p><em>This post is by <a href="http://dealnews.com/" title="Dealnews">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Even if you have an EnergyStar refrigerator, these big appliances still eat electricity. Here are some tips for making fridges run more efficiently. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-more-efficient">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter">10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-green-home-rebates-that-save-you-big-in-2015">4 Green Home Rebates That Save You Big in 2015</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings">9 Sneaky Home Money Pits That Sap Your Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home appliances energy efficiency kitchen refrigerator Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:24:18 +0000 Dealnews 671095 at http://www.wisebread.com