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Classic Or Belgian Waffle Maker?

Is your family a 'waffles for breakfast' family? Not only that, do they crave waffle treats at other times of day? Do you still use an old waffle iron left to you by your grandmother? Well perhaps you should be considering the addition of a modern electric waffle maker into your home kitchen armoury. A typical example of what modern manufacturers can offer is shown in the following video:

In choosing a waffle maker bear in mind that the design of the machine dictates the thickness of waffle which is fixed for that machine. Classic machines give a standard thin waffle, so if you and your family prefer to luxuriate with a thick waffle perfectly done, then you should be looking at purchasing a Belgian Waffle Maker version. The available features are the same on both types of machine.

Standard features of any electrically powered modern machine will include controls for on/off, oven temperature and cooking timer. These can be augmented by the addition at slightly higher cost, of electronic controls for 'optimum temperature reached', 'ready to bake', 'baking time complete' and other monitoring information that can be displayed on a digital readout screen. Choose a machine that has only the features you will use and is within your budget. Paying extra for facilities not used is a complete waste.

Also decide how many waffles you will want to do at any one time. Most waffle makers make a single large waffle that may allow easy cutting down of the whole into smaller ones, but some models on the market are designed as dual versions that make two identical waffles at a time. These latter ones are however, heavier, take up more space and are of course more costly.

Clean kitchens deserve clean appliances, so make sure you choose a model that has removable non-stick plates and that the casing of the machine is made of stainless steel or aluminium to ensure easy cleaning after use.

When it is time to purchase your new machine, look first on the internet at sites like this site which will give you a good idea of the features of many of the best waffle makers on the market. After browsing a number of these sites you will have started to home in on your best two or three for possible purchase. At this point it is worth going to the site of a large online retailer such as or a large hardware store and looking at each of your short list in turn. On these sites you will find heart-felt reviews (both good and bad) from previous customers on how well or otherwise the product has worked in practice. In the case of Amazon it easy to find over one thousand reviews for any one product.

Assuming you have now honed your choice to the one (or possible two) you want, you should now go to a local supermarket or large hardware store that sells that choice product and do a hands-on review of your own. Get a feel for handling the machine and ask any question of the staff that you wish. If you are really lucky, by talking to the salesman, you may be offered a better deal than you found elsewhere on the internet.

However and wherever you make the purchase, I'm sure your family will enjoy the tasty treats to come, whether at breakfast time or later in the day.

Halogen Ovens Versus Conventional Ovens

A halogen oven works by heating food through the use of a halogen lamp with the aid of a high performance fan. A conventional oven has an electric or gas element that heats up the box of the oven to a preset temperature.

With a halogen oven, the set temperature is reached almost immediately whereas in an electric oven it can take 10 or 15 minutes which means that electricity is wasted. Whereas a halogen oven can consume more energy per hour than a conventional oven, it cooks more quickly and therefore costs less to run.

Another point to consider, a halogen oven can cost as little as $35.00 for a basic unit up to a little over a $100 for a something a little more hi-tech. You can also purchase a number of accessories such as extra racks, pans for baking and an extender ring. Some units do come with these accessories as well.

These compact and portable ovens are perfect for a small apartment kitchen, a boat or camping or even at the cottage. In fact you can cook a whole chicken in a little over 30 minutes.

All you need for a halogen oven is a flat surface and an electric socket. Since they move air to transfer heat to the food, you can think of a halogen oven as a portable, electric convection oven. However, the best halogen oven unlike standard convection ovens, can also steam food.

As well as being able to observe the food while it cooks, you can easily add water to the bowl without fear of causing any damage to the halogen oven.

With a halogen oven you can cook everything you would cook in a conventional oven. Everything from a roast dinner to pizza to grilling steak or steaming vegetables. You can even bake bread or a cake in one. They can also be used to roast, toast, broil, grill and even dehydrate foods.

So which is better? Conventional ovens are larger and take more energy to heat up. If you regularly cook for a large group or your family and you require a lot of cooking space, then a conventional oven might be your best choice. However, if you are looking for a cooking appliance that provides a quick meal a halogen oven may prove to be the better choice.

Halogen ovens are certainly less expensive, take up less room and can cook a complete meal in a matter of minutes. As well you get great tasting food that you didnt have to take a lot of time preparing.

5 Best Ice Cream Scoops On Amazon And Why I Am Sticking With Supereze

In all the years that I have been making ice cream and serving them, not as a business, but to my family and friends, I have come to trust only one brand of ice cream scoop the SuperEze Ice Cream Scoop which is available on Amazon. It has received some of the best ice cream scooper reviews i have read on the internet.

Call me old-fashioned but I really did like those fancy mechanical ice cream scoopers called dishers that Mr. Alfred L. Cralle invented in 1897. I've tried out many scoopers even an electric ice cream scooper. Although some would prefer one-piece, simple designs with no frills and adornments, I really am a sucker for older, yet trusted designs. Besides, I can do so much more with the SuperEze scoop than just scooping ice cream for my family and friends.

Dont get me wrong, I did try other ice cream scoops. I did try another Cralle-inspired ice cream scoop, the Piazza 2-inch stainless steel ice cream scoop for $30 on Amazon because it looked nice as a welcome addition to my kitchen utensils. Unfortunately, I find my ice cream getting stuck in between the scoop and the disher assembly which is something that I have yet to experience with the SuperEze scooper. I also tried the Berco Kitchen classic ice-cream scoop that was designed with a heat-conducting aluminum handle. Unfortunately, I dont like the idea of having antifreeze on my palms in order to release the ice cream. The Berco was inexpensive, however. At $13 from Amazon, I guess this should be quite an interesting utensil for the preppy individual, especially its red variant.

Then there is the cheaper alternative, the Smaier ice cream dipper that has, what the company claims, as a self-defrosting technology. But with an Amazon price of under $10, I doubt if the so-called self-defrosting technology deserves it.

And then, there was the Jamie Oliver Easy Ice Cream Scoop for a price $13. I tell you, this is one amazingly-looking ice cream scoop with a durable build. The handle has a metal inlay and finished in high-gloss black. Also the head of the scoop is made of high-strength zinc alloy which therefore, makes this product durable enough to last for long. With its price and quality, you have invested in a good purchase. The Jamie Oliver ice cream scoop did look so sexy in my kitchen.

However, I still prefer the SuperEze ice cream scoop even if it means I have to pay a little more for it. It has the original classic form of the Cralle, the sexiness of the Jamie Oliver Easy, and the durability of the Smaeir. Call me old-fashioned but I really love the idea of creating perfect balls of ice cream for my family and friends. The SuperEze ice-cream scoop is dishwasher safe as it is made of high grade stainless steel. Its ergonomics is sexy and its unique scoop and release mechanism is so ingenious I can perform scoop after scoop of ice creams without missing a beat. My only lament is that I usually run out of ice cream a lot faster than I run out of energy scooping onto my serving glasses.

You can call me a fanatic but when it comes to ice cream scoops, Id reach for the SuperEze scoop over any other scoops even if they look sexier, more stylish, or cheaper (although it is at a great price). Their scooper is as good as any of the commercial ice cream scoops you can buy. The other great thing about it is the company offers a lifetime warranty with their products (which is almost unheard of these days). And I believe many ice cream parlors would agree with me, too. All you have to do now is find a good ice cream scoop sizes chart so you know you have the correct scooper for the job.

Teaching Your Child To Be Confident Around The Kitchen

If you have been watching every episode of Master Chef or even its Junior series or any other reality cooking competition, you would be simply amazed at the dazzling array of kitchen utensils that they have in their pantry. For the most part, the kiddie version of these cooking shows are definitely so much fun to watch, especially 7- and 8-year olds handling those cleavers and different cheese grater  type gadgets more like professional chefs. Some of these kids are practically way better than some adults who do not even know how to properly hold a kitchen knife.

Now it would really be great if you could also have a child who can do wonders in the kitchen, dont you think?

While many consider the kitchen as the last place in the home where you would want to put your kid, some child experts as well as culinary giants recommend otherwise. The kitchen is a place where creativity and independence can be fostered and nurtured. It is also the place in the home where you can readily teach kids about the concept of safety as well as efficiency. There are simply a lot of things that you can teach your child in the kitchen.

The one major obstacle however, is how to make your child feel more confident around the kitchen. Heres how:

Watch kiddie versions of reality cooking shows together. Show your child how enthusiastic you are about working in the kitchen. Take note of one particular recipe that you would like to try on your own.

Start with very simple dishes. Create a plan that will slowly introduce him to the different kitchen utensils. So before you let him prepare the cheese for example, maybe you would like to teach him first about the different parts of a cheese grater and how to use it properly.

Be copious in your praises every time he accomplishes something. If he is doing something wrong, correct it immediately and show him how it is done properly. Also, do not punish him or shout at him if he makes mistakes. Remember, you are teaching him to enjoy working in the kitchen. This means that you need to make sure that the kitchen experience is something that is really fun and enjoyable.

Post his culinary creations on his own personal Facebook page. You will simply be amazed at how his enthusiasm and confidence grows with each cooking session.

* Buy him his very own set of kitchen utensils. From knives to pots and pans to a cheese grater and fryer, he will treat them as his own.

Now dont you think its about time to get cooking with your kid?