10 Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill

10 ways grocery bill2

A significant chunk of our income every month goes towards groceries and dining out.  These are two areas that I’m trying my best to cut back on.  On average, our family of four has been spending about  $300-400 in groceries each month.  Its a little steep and unlike fixed expenses like our mortgage, food expenses is an area that we have more flexibility with.

This year, my goal is to reduce our grocery spending down to $270 a month and continue reducing from there.  Baby steps.

These are some strategies I already use to save money on groceries each week:

Cook according to what is on sale that week. 

By meal planning based on what is on sale that week, I find I’m able to save quite a bit of money.  If you need some inspiration or ideas on what to cook based on an ingredient, I’ve found that sites like Allrecipes.com or Tastespotting to be very helpful in meal planning.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Buy seasonal produce

When a certain fruit or vegetable is in season, it will be sold at lower prices than at other times during the year.  This is the time to buy a lot of it and incorporate it into meals.  Some fruits and veggies, such as strawberries and grapes, are freezer friendly.  By buying these items while they are in season and freezing or canning them for later, you can save some money in the long run.


Buy in bulk and stock up when you can

Sometimes a store will have rock-bottom prices on something like chicken, beef, box pasta or canned food.  If you have the pantry and freezer space to do it, take this opportunity to stock up.  By taking advantage of these sales, you can create a well-stocked pantry and on weeks when grocery store sales aren’t so great, you can “shop” from your own pantry.

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Invest in a second freezer

This is not for everyone, but for those who can afford buying a second freezer and have the space, this can really enable you to stock up and take advantage of low-price sales on meat, frozen vegetables and fruit. For example, if boneless skinless chicken breasts are on sale for $1.99 a pound, I’ll buy at least 6 pounds worth and separate the chicken breasts into plastic bags before freezing.  That way I’m able to defrost just what I need at a time and avoid having to buy chicken when it’s not on sale at double the price.

You can also use this second freezer to prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them for later, thus saving you from spending money on dining out and groceries (no need to buy frozen meals or ready-made breakfast sandwiches when you can make your own for less).  We bought this chest freezer on sale from Home Depot last year and I absolutely love it.  I make a lot of freezer meals, breakfast and chicken burritos, copycat egg mcmuffins, and an assortment of breads and muffins that I store in here.  It has definitely saved us money in the long run.

Go generic

Oftentimes, the generic option is just as good as the name brand option, but for less.  If your Target has a grocery section, you can buy the up&up Target brand of groceries and household items for less.  On top of that, if you use your Target Redcard, you can score an additional 5% off everything.

Use coupons

You can get many great coupons from the Sunday newspaper, but if you don’t subscribe to the paper, you can also find many coupons online.  Websites like coupons.com offer printable coupons that can help you save on groceries each week.  If you can, use coupons on items that are already on sale to reduce your grocery costs even more.

Make things from scratch

If you can make some things from scratch instead of buying them at the grocery store, you can save quite a bit of money.  For example, buying pre-made chicken stock is costly and often high in sodium.  Yet, making your own chicken stock and freezing it for later costs almost nothing.  All you need is a large pot of water, chicken bones and vegetable trimmings to make some delicious broth that beats out the store-bought stuff any day.  Making your own breakfast sandwiches is another way to save some cash, and chances are, what you make will be tastier (and less salty) than the store-bought frozen version.

Make a list and stick to it

If you can, plan out your menu for the week and make a list of the ingredients that you need.  By making a list and only buying what you need, you can avoid impulse buys and purchasing items that you didn’t really need in the first place.  As a bonus, by shopping from a list, you would save yourself from making multiple trips to the grocery store to pick up things you forgot on the first (or second) trip.

Don’t go shopping when you are hungry

Go buy groceries after you’ve had a full meal.  This way, you would be less likely to succumb to impulse purchases and buying more groceries than you actually needed (because when you’re hungry, everything looks good!).

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Check the unit prices

Most stores will provide the price per unit breakdown for you, right on the price tag.  Use this to your advantage to make sure you are getting the best price on what you are buying.  For example, a 16 ounce container of Noosa yogurt may be on sale for $4.49 next to the smaller 6 ounce container priced at $1.79.  You might initially want to grab the larger container thinking it is a better deal, but the price per unit cost will show you that actually, the smaller container is cheaper at $0.22/ounce.

These money-saving strategies have helped us cut down on our grocery bill.  Hopefully these money-saving tips help you save on your grocery bill this month!

A Story of Bleu Cheese and Chicken and a Farmers Market

Now it is no secret that I love food. I enjoy exploring food combinations and new ingredients. I love finding new ways to use familiar ingredients and in true Spontaneous Kitchen fashion, I like knowing that I have what I need at my fingertips.

Inspiration from Natures Bounty

One way that I like to find inspiration is a visit to a farmer’s market. Every area of the country has a farmers market. Even cities have some kind of access to fresh foods other than a grocery store. In the United States there are 8,268 farmers markets and the number is growing. Small family farms provide direct to consumer fresh produce and home made goods like jams, jellies and pickles via farmers markets and consumers eat it up. Why? Because it is really good to know where your food comes from and nice to be able to ask the farmer questions about his growing practices. For heaven’s sake, it’s downright educational! Want a great day out with the family? Don’t go to an amusement park, go to a farm! Let the kids milk a cow and chase the chickens; it will be a day they will never forget!

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Make it a day to Remember!

Now back to farmer’s market inspiration. This past fall we visited a very popular farmers market, located in a small city not far from my own. It was a beautiful fall day and my husband and I took a walk around, taking in all the beautiful colors of fresh produce, seeing some new things we had never seen and being able to ask the farmers about a new variety of apple or potato. We heard an announcement that a presentation about cheese pairing was about to start. We ordered a breakfast crepe from one vendor and some freshly roasted coffee from another and found ourselves a seat. The cheese maker talked about the process of making cheese and we tasted various cheeses that she makes at her family farm. They were all so fresh and delicious; it was easy to see why her stand had a line as we walked by.We were particularly taken by a bleu cheese that she served and purchased some. All the way home I was thinking about what to do with this chunky piece of tangy, creamy goodness. I had plans for that fabulous bleu cheese but they were not to be, for we enjoyed it with fresh pears, a fresh baguette and a bottle of Riesling.  What a glorious dinner!

During this past week, with its lovely spring weather I was reminded of that enjoyable day (see what I mean about the simplest things in life…)and decided that I would get another chunk of her lovely cheese and not give in to temptation to just eat it, but actually create with it. It had to be used in a way that would showcase its amazing flavor, simple and pure.  I came up with Chicken Bleu, chicken with a creamy yet chunky bleu cheese sauce. We really enjoyed it, hope you will too.

Chicken Blue plated

Chicken Bleu

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
¼ C. Butter
2 C. Sour Cream
½ C. Bleu Cheese, crumbled
¼ tsp. finely chopped garlic

Melt butter and brown chicken on both sides turning once. Place browned chicken in a baking pan and set aside. Combine sour cream, bleu cheese and garlic; pour over browned chicken. Bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes.

With the weather getting warmer and the summer markets opening I will have more markets to explore and more farmers to meet. Want to know what I find?

Stay tuned…

Cleansing and maintenance of an electric kettle

electric kettleIf you, yes you, the one reading this is an addict of coffee and tea, then there must be an electric kettle at your house which is used many times a day to boil water. Electric kettles when used daily a couples of times get an accumulation of minerals at its bottom, possible on and near the metallic coil. The accumulation of mineral at the bottom or on the metallic coil which is used to heat up the water might reduce the efficiency of the heating material to boil the water rapidly.

These minerals at can sometimes flake out and get mixed in the water spoiling your hot cup of tea or coffee. Now you definitely would not want to have a cup of coffee filled with mineral flakes. To avoid this situation, one must regularly clean and take care of the electric kettle. Even if you buy the best electric kettle for your kitchen, you must take care of it to keep it functional.

The most appropriate way to clean an electric kettle is with the ingredients everyone has in their home for cleaning utensils and dishes. Vinegar is an effective ingredient to clean up the electric kettle. Take one cup of water and approximately half a cup of white vinegar and pour this in your kettle. Now switch on the kettle and let this solution boil in the kettle. Let it boil for about twenty minutes to get best outcome.

Switch off the kettle after twenty minutes and keep the solution inside the kettle for about fifteen minutes. Now pour the solution out and you won’t see any mineral flakes inside your kettle. After pouring out the water vinegar solution rinse your kettle with a good dish washing liquid so that the vinegar odor goes away.

This cleaning procedure can be done with lemon nectar. Squeeze 2 to three big size lemons in one cup water and set it for boiling in the kettle. Let it boil for 20 minutes then pour out. You can repeat this method once in a week so that your kettle always stays clean. To clean the outside of the kettle damp a towel with warm water and vinegar or lime juice to clean off the food stains, Greece or dirt.

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It’s vital to clean the kettle from time to time so that it would keep working for a longer period of time. Non-maintenance often results in kettle getting damaged and the heating material stops working. You can clean your kettle with the help of above mentioned method whenever you see mineral accumulation inside your kettle. Always keep your electric kettle empty when not in use. Let the kettle dry after boiling the water and the close it and place in a safe place where it hardly comes into contact with dirt.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the electric kettle would restore the effectiveness of the kettle and it would continue heating the water at faster rates and would look good in appearance for a longer period. It’s better to remove the mineral deposits inside the kettle before they become too hard to remove.

How to create a Charcoal Fire using a Weber Ranch Kettle

Weber Ranch KettleWeber Ranch Kettles is easy to use in building a strong Charcoal fire.

Many novice charcoal grill users have difficulty starting and maintaining a strong fire. Here are a few simple steps and hints which can improve your fire-making skills.

Form a “pyramid” of charcoal briquettes, with the peak in the center of the grill. Although you can arrange the briquettes with your hands, this is usually unnecessary. By aiming the opening of the bag at the center of the grill when dumping out the briquettes, you will ensure that a pyramid forms naturally.

Soak the briquettes with lighter fluid. Do not light the grill at this time; instead, wait about five minutes, allowing the initial lighter fluid to soak in thoroughly.

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Apply a light second coat of lighter fluid. Wait a few seconds for it to soak in slightly, then light the grill.

When most of the briquettes become covered with gray ash, spread them out evenly across the bottom of the grill.

Another good method is to use Match strike or another charcoal that already has lighter fluid on it. Pour the charcoal into a large metal coffee can that has holes punched on the outside of the coffee can along the bottom but not on the under side of the can [a can opener that punches triangular holes is good to use]. Light the briquettes through the holes in the can and let it burn for 5 – 10 minutes until the coals get hot. Use caution, the coffee can will be extremely hot, DO NOT use your hands to dump the ready coals on to your grill or spread evenly above and below your dutch oven.


  • Never touch a burning fire; severe burns will result.
  • Never spray lighter fluid on burning coals. This can result in severe injury. By following the steps above, you will avoid the need to re-light or supplement the fire.
  • Never use gasoline to start a fire.
  • Charcoal started with lighter fluid should NEVER be used for smoking meats unless you want your meats to taste like they were basted in gasoline.

Making hard boil eggs in an electric kettle

Electric Tea KettleBoiling eggs are supposed to be so simple, isn’t it? Boil the eggs and peel them off for using in a number of yummiest ways for eating. This sounds so easy and simple. But often people gets so messed up with boiling eggs; boil the eggs for a long time, but not that long, peel them immediately, or not so immediately, it all sounds like making a hard boil egg is a science. The most quickest and simplest of ways to make hard boil eggs are to set them for boiling in an electric kettle. If you don’t have any electric kettle, read our electric kettle reviews before buying.

Eggs boiled hard in a kettle would be the easiest and fail proof boiled eggs you would ever have. There are no greyish rings round the yolk, neither over cooked nor under cooked, just perfect hard boil eggs without having to take out a big stove pot and messing the stove.

The amount of eggs you can boil at one time depends on the type and size of the electric kettle. If you have a kettle which consumes larger electric current flow and has enough of space then you can boil up to 5 to 6 eggs in about 15 minutes. Placing too many eggs would take more time and chances are that they would get broken. Make sure there is enough of empty space inside the kettle after placing the eggs inside and approximately half inch of water should be kept above the eggs.

If you are unsure about the freshness of your eggs then you can check whether they are fresh or not by dropping them into a bowl of cold water. If they get sink then they are absolutely fresh. But if they get dropped and bounce then they might be old but still enough fresh to eat. But if they keep floating on the surface of the water then they must be rotten and must not be consumed.

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Place the eggs inside the electric kettle, fill it up with fresh water and switch on the kettle and place its lid on the top. Many electric kettles now days come packed with an electric mechanism and switch off automatically when it reaches the time you have set. Set the kettle’s timer to 15 minutes. If you do not have such kettles then wait for 15 minutes and switch off the kettle yourself.

While waiting for eggs to boil, take a bowl or dish filled with cold water to place your hard boil eggs. When the time gets over, drain out the hot water from the kettle very carefully and take out the eggs. Do not use your hand to remove the eggs and use some kind of spatula or filter to take the eggs out from the kettle. Put the eggs in the bowl of cold water and let them cool. One cooled, peel them off, and use it in sandwiches, salads, burgers, or pasta. These hard boil eggs can be used for up to seven days in an airtight jar of ice water.

Modern Tradition with Electric Tea Kettle

Electric Tea KettleAn electric tea kettle is one useful kitchen appliance that is conceived due to the modern man’s need for convenience; with the help of contemporary technology, plain and simple things, such as enjoying a nice cup of tea, are made even more effortless for every individual to revel in. While tea drinking can be one form of art in some parts of the planet, there are people who are keen to simply have the opportunity to relish a soothing and calming fix of tea in the most uncomplicated way; hence, the electric tea kettle – a very handy kitchen appliance for quick way of preparing a brew without the snag of inconvenience.

Electric Tea Kettle – Breaking Knotty Barriers

In preparing tea in the traditional way, the most crucial part of the process is boiling the water; even though it can be perceived as the simplest step, preparing the water at the exact temperature is critical in either enjoying the brew or having a mediocre mix.  This is very crucial since different kinds of teas require specific water temperatures which make boiling the water trickier that it actually is. By using an electric tea kettle – which comes with specific settings for boiling water – a person who looks to brew tea can be certain that he or she is making the most ideal cup each and every time; not to mention that it also helps in saving costs on gas.

Don’t forget to read my next post – A Few Options For Electric Kettle

In general, brewing tea is simple, but it can also be very easy for any individual to feel intimidated with the process of simply boiling water for a brew can entail. Some people really do not mind if they hit the right temperature or not; but for a lot of individuals, there is just no substitute in preparing tea in the appropriate manner. For tea connoisseurs, not only is it proper, but the overall taste depends on it.

A Punter’s View on an Electric Tea Kettle

An electric tea kettle can either be made of metal or plastic; the metal ones are obviously heavier but they are more robust than their lightweight plastic counterparts. Both kinds have a concealed heating element that allows preparation of the boiling water needed for the brew faster. A person preparing tea no longer needs to do the boiling on the stove and use gas and most of the electronic tea kettles available today come with settings that will assist users to achieve the perfect water temperature essential in brewing the perfect tea mixture making the preparation a breeze.

There are a lot of manufacturers who make these kettles; some concentrate on the functionality and human engineering while others are more focused on the aesthetics. The key in purchasing an electronic best tea kettle is to find that one brand and model that balances form and function effectively.

Apart from the functionality and the appearance of the kettle, a buyer should also seriously consider the quality of the item. Since the appliance will be using electricity to function, it is paramount to be very critical on the kettle’s built; from the materials used for its body, the heating element components and the overall “feel” of using it, a buyer should be always remember safety. It can help if someone will opt to buy an electronic kettle from a reputable brand known for making quality kettles.

Electric Tea Kettle – A List of Favored Brands

As expected, there are countless models and types of electronic tea kettles from many different brands; each of them having its own distinct selling point to answer the diverse yet exacting needs of the buying public. Here are some of the brands that are famous among buyers:

Braun’s Aquaexpress – this electronic tea kettle from Braun is well-known for its ergonomically designed handle whose contours fit almost perfectly with any user’s hand; this gives way to effortless pouring of the kettles content. The best feature about this model is that the jug itself is cordless, making it a perfect choice for people who value portability.

Bodum’s Ibis Tea Kettle – renowned for its large capacity, this electronic kettle is preferred by a lot of folks who like to prepare tea in huge volumes. It can boil up to seven cups of water and with its sophisticated heating element, boiling can be achieved in less than five minutes. Its speed and capacity are its best marketing point.
Delonghi Metropolis’ Cordless Tea Kettle – stylishly designed to be pleasing to the sight, this electronic tea kettle is created to be safe with its clever automatic shut off feature. Using this kettle can allow you to enjoy brewing with priceless peace of mind.

Designer Tea Kettle from Bosch – a brainchild of the renowned designer F.A. Porsche, this kettle is one of the ones that come with quite a steep price tag. Its best feature is its sleek appearance which makes it an item of beauty in anybody’s kitchen countertop.

These are just a few brands that have carved their names in the electric tea kettle business; they share the market with other manufacturers that also present valuable options to consumers. What’s important is that in the midst of the need for this type of kitchen appliance, shoppers can be sure to have virtually limitless options to choose from depending on their criteria.

An Electric Tea Kettle Necessity

We thrive in an era where technology is constantly on our side to make things easier, better and more efficient. In the case of tea drinking, it cannot be discounted that anything that will help people brew the beverage is most welcomed. Tea drinking is a centuries old tradition and it comes with rich historical background behind it; today, preparing a brew of tea is far from the process it originally required. Even though authentic preparation can still be done, a marriage between tradition and modern practices is inevitable. In the end, people deserve to have means of savoring authenticity in a cup of tea by using modern-day practices.

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The best cookware to use for great results

cookwareBelieve it or not I have the day off in the Spontaneous Kitchen, at least from cooking dinner!  We are being treated to a lovely dinner out by our daughter and her boyfriend.  Have I told you how much I love my kids? After 20+ years, I think we’ll keep them.

Today I’d like to talk about another aspect of the Spontaneous Kitchen that is every bit as important as food, and that is your cookware.  There are as many different opinions on cookware as there are cooks.

There are differences in materials, finishes and if the finishes are re-active or non- reactive, even the right material for your cooking surface.  And of course, let’s not forget price point, quality will determine how long your cookware lasts, but then so will the care you give it.

Let’s take a look at the four most common cookware materials:

Stainless SteelStainless Steel is a very good all round choice. It is non-reactive, meaning that you can cook anything in it without damaging the surface or affecting the taste of your food. It is durable and dish-washer safe. Now here is a case where quality is key, an inexpensive set of stainless steel cookware will certainly last for a long time but if you purchase a set of higher quality it will have features that will allow for better heat distribution as well as longevity.  When I got married I bought a set of cookware through a home party. It was made in America, and cost a fortune, people thought I was insane.  Truthfully, I had buyer’s remorse when payments started and I thought I was insane.  Thirty+ years of meals cooked in those pots and pans and they look like new and cook like a dream. It was the best kind of insanity! Higher quality cookware will have an inner core made of either copper or aluminum, which are both great at conducting and distributing heat.

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Now you might say “Well, I’ll just buy copper or aluminum cookware and I’ll get the heat distribution that’s so important.”  You may want to rethink that, here’s why:

Aluminum  –  Aluminum is a reactive metal, which means that the surface is reactive to any foods that are highly alkaline or acidic such as tomato sauce, that are cooked for long periods of time. Traces can be leached into foods causing heath concerns. It is also a lighter material making it prone to damage and scratching more easily. Anodized Aluminum was created by treating aluminum with an electro-magnetic process that hardens it making it lightweight and scratch resistant, yet strong.  It is a definite improvement and worth a look.

Copper  –  Copper is beautiful ! It is a reactive metal, like aluminum and has similar concerns such as the leaching which in this case affects color and flavor of food.  Not sure you would want to be ingesting trace amounts of copper on a daily basis. And if you want to consider cost, copper is expensive and requires a lot of care to keep it looking good and working well. Good quality copper cookware will have a stainless steel lining that will eliminate the reactive concerns. Expensive, but nice to have as a special piece in your collection.

And the there is…

Cast Iron – Well you can’t get more economical or durable than cast iron.  Cast iron pans have great heat distribution and if well-seasoned and cared for, can be naturally non-stick. Cast iron can also becast iron reactive with acidic foods like tomatoes or wine and leech out some iron, which for most people isn’t an issue.  A solution to this issue would be enameled cast iron, which is very popular for dutch ovens. They are a bit heavy to lift, especially when filled with food.  They do require a bit of special care to keep seasoned and non-stick, but nothing difficult or more time consuming than good care for any cookware.  I bought my first piece of cast iron last winter, fell immediately in love and have purchased three more pieces since.  I am slowly replacing any of my non-stick cookware with cast iron.

Non-Stick Cookware –  Non-stick cookware is a bit of a sticking point for me, no pun intended. Over the years I have used it, all different brands and replaced it often. This cookware is coated with finishes made of Teflon or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) and  PFOA ( Perfluorooctanoic Acid)  that have been suspected of being unsafe. They have been used   since their introduction in the 1940s and have many supporters. Personally, I’m not a fan of coatings, they scratch and flake overtime becoming an unwanted ingredient in my recipes. I am not condemning or recommending them here, I am just stating that from my personal experience, I prefer not to use them.  I am down to one, small very well cared for pan used primarily for crepes. You can buy best kettle for boiling water.

A great alternative to coated non-stick cookware would be seasoned cast iron or anodized aluminum.

So all that being said, here is what I use: a 12 piece set of Stainless steel cookware circa 1984. Lodge Cast Iron Skillets 10” and 12” and an 8” Hard Anodized fry pan.  These are my go to tools.

I won’t say that I don’t have a few other occasionally used pieces, like a pasta pot with strainer that is never big enough or the amount of pasta I cook and the giant stock pot I use when I make ravioli for an Army.

I have to say that I was really surprised at how much I love my Lodge Cast Iron. I was always a little scared about how much care I thought cast iron needed. That was what kept me away, it was really a misconception.  There are people who are real cast iron collectors and enthusiasts and now I understand why.  I encourage you to give them try, if you don’t already use them.  At Christmas, I made tenderloin steaks on my stove top grill…AMAZING!!!

You can find Lodge Products just about anywhere good quality cookware is sold but for great prices and selection you can’t beat our friends at Sur la table.  Really nice site, great prices and loads of great tips and information.

We’ll be cooking up more fun and tips for you.

Stay tuned…

The non-plastic kettles—a better option for the consumers

non-plastic kettlesThe electric kettles are extensively used by the people for boiling water, making tea or coffee, for boiling egg etc. The advantages of electric kettles are so much and they have definitely eased the kitchen related activities of each and every household. Today, we are going to discuss one of the most important aspects of the electric kettles.

It is a wide spread concern that the plastic made kettles are considered harmful for the health of the users. We will discuss some health aspects, some important facts from health point of view and the best material for kettles.

Health related issues of plastic kettles

The plastic material when exposed to heat starts breaking and small cracks are likely to appear on them, which makes it more vulnerable to be reacted with certain harmful chemicals that are ultimately harmful for the human health. And when the people start boiling water in the plastic kettles, any harmful chemicals are being added into the water. Now, the kettles are made up from the polycarbonate PC and the polypropylene PP.

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Both of these materials have bisphenol, which poses a serious threat to human health and is related as the cause or increasing obesity issues, low level growth of the brain and other serious problems. The propylene material contains the oleamides which creates several problems of depression.

The metal kettles present a better option

Now, in each and every case the plastic kettles are not the wise choice for the people. The totally metal or the stainless steel kettles presents a better and a wise solution to the users regarding the electric kettles. The stainless steel kettles are also very elegant and graceful in appearance and they are considered sturdier and long lasting in performance. The stainless steel or the metal kettles do not have any harmful effects on the human health.

The Alice electric kettle—a perfect example of all metal kettle

The Alice is an all metal electric kettle that is being manufactured by an Italian company. It includes come of the highest quality features and it is made up from all meal. It provides 1.7 liters capacity to the people. It comes on a wide range of colors and all of them are attractive. The handling of this kettle is also perfectly designed for providing easy pour feature to the people.

The Precise Heat Electric Kettle—an American manufactured steel kettle

This is another useful alternative for the plastic made electric kettles. This kettle manufactured by an American company and it has no touches of plastic it in. It is easy to handle and use. The customers can definitely go with this option if they want to get themselves save from the harmful effects of plastic electric kettles. It is one of the best electric kettles.

The consumers must keep these things in their mind while shopping for the electric kettles. The plastic kettles have scientifically tested and they are regarded harmful for the health. The people must switch to the electric kettles for enjoying the great features of the electric kettles as well as a sound health too.


Which Coffee Maker is the One For You?

Coffee MakerEverything seems to be more complicated these days, there are so many more choices, and coffee is no exception. There are so many different types of coffee to choose from.

Everything seems to be more complicated these days, there are so many more choices, and coffee is no exception. There are so many different types of coffee to choose from, not just the original “black or white”, it was so easy to make a decision then wasn’t it? Well, there’s good news because there are now different coffee makers on the market which are designed to make a perfect cup of coffee every time, no matter which is your favourite. In this article, I will tell about how to choose the best coffee kettle for you.

Some people are strictly “espresso”, and for those there are a large range of wonderful espresso coffee makersin the shops today, all offering plenty of information about why their particular make or model is the best on offer. However, if you take a look at, say, DeLonghi coffee makers you will soon see that the latest in the range, the Nespresso EN660 is an espresso coffee maker with a difference, because it also makes cappuccinos and lattes, it even has a built in memory so that it knows how much milk you take.

The DeLonghi EC270 coffee espresso maker is ideal for those who are always on the run and like their coffee in an instant, you don’t need to wait around for ages for the machine to prepare, the self priming system means that it’s ready almost instantly.This one uses the traditional method to make wonderful espresso coffee but the self priming system means that you don’t have to wait around for ages for it to be ready – it’s ready almost as quickly as you are. If you sometimes fancy a cup of something frothy and milky for a change it’s also a pretty nifty cappuccino maker.

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These coffee makers really are brilliant for everyone, those who like their coffee hot and strong and need an espresso coffee maker and those who are a little more milky and frothy and need a cappuccino maker (or those who like both, depending on their mood).

With so many different makes and models to choose from it can be a difficult decision to find the best coffee maker to suit your style (in coffee and in design) and your pocket, but these price comparison websites take all of the worries away and let you see exactly what you’ll be getting for your money, and where to find the best bargain. You can let these websites do all of the legwork and find the best model for your needs at the best price available.

Recipe: A Chip off the Fresh Apple

This Monday, October 24th, is Food Day, a revival of a movement that first began in 1975. There will be events in many cities across the country staged to raise awareness and advocate for healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food. We are also encouraging everyone to celebrate with a meal prepared at home and conversation centered around exactly where our food comes from – not just that it comes from a farm, but where that farm is, who the farmer are, and how each ingredient finds its way into our kitchen.

Last week we were going to prepare a recipe that included fresh orange peel as an ingredient. When we went to the grocery store, we discovered that the only oranges on the shelf came all the way from South Africa. The last time I checked, the distance from Colorado Springs to Cape Town was more than 9,000 miles. We have no idea how long it took those oranges to make the trip, but it probably wasn’t overnight.

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On the other hand, apples are abundant right now, at their freshest, and if not grown in the neighborhood, at least grown in most states; which led us to a change in plans and a bag of apples.

Apple Chips, dried in the oven at low temperature, are very easy to make and pretty to put out for fall parties. Prepared this way, they are not leathery like the dried apples from the grocery store, but pleasantly crisp, like a thin potato chip. The drying concentrates the flavors and takes out the drips, so some people like them even better than the fresh-from-the-tree produce. And what could be healthier?

Apple Chips

Serves 4
Time: 10 minutes prep + 40 minutes in the oven

1 large fresh apple

Preheat oven to 250° F.

Horizontally slice the apple very, very thinly (see note below). Don’t worry about the core – just pick out any seeds that you come across. The core will add a pretty design and becomes the same texture as the rest of the slice on drying.

Spread the slices out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the slices over and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, until they are just beginning to brown and have a leathery texture. Remove from the oven and transfer the slices to a cooling rack where they will become much crisper. After they are completely cool, pile into a bowl and put out for nibbling.

Note: If you are having trouble holding the apple still enough to slice it thinly, cut it in half vertically first, then set the apple cut-side down so that it is more stable. You will end up with half-moon shaped chips instead of round, but it will not affect the taste.

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