Pulling the perfect shot of espresso at home can be an intimidating thing, especially if you’re just starting out. But like everything else in life, practice makes perfect, and you can certainly turn into a home barista in no time!
Espresso makers range from small, easy to use machines, to complicated machines that can be hard to control. As a beginner, you’ll want just the right machine to practice on. In our opinion, here’s what makes the best beginner’s espresso machine:
A quality espresso maker that is easy to use, but has enough features for you to develop your skills.
A durable machine that will last you for a long time
A machine that you won’t find dispensable even after you’ve developed your espresso making skills.
A beginner’s espresso maker isn’t necessarily the cheapest, many people fall into the trap of buying a cheap espresso maker to learn with and then find themselves in the need of a new one shortly after. That is definitely a waste of money. There are a number of affordable yet durable espresso machines that you can learn on and keep for the long run. (Full information)
If you’re tired of paying café prices for your morning latte, it might be time to invest in an espresso machine. There are tons of options out there, so you can find the right fit for your home, whether you’re a coffee lover or a cappuccino connoisseur.
The Hands-On Coffee Drinker
If you’re interested in learning the skills to become an at-home barista, consider a manual espresso machine, usually around $800. Manual espresso machines give you complete control, which also means you have to do all the work. If you’re wary of committing to a machine that requires so much know-how, consider a semi automatic espresso machine, which is usually around $600. You’ll still have some control over the espresso, but it requires less expertise to use.
Just Like the Real Thing
If you want to brew a good cup of coffee at home, but don’t want to pay top dollar for a complex machine, consider a moka pot or a steam-driven espresso machine. Moka pots, which are usually around $30, produce pressurized coffee at a higher temperature than a standard coffee maker. The result is a coffee similar to espresso that’s popular in Europe, especially Italy. Steam-driven espresso machines, usually around $50, also make strong coffee instead of real espresso.
The Cup of Joe On the Go
If you’re worried you won’t be able to find the time to brew your own espresso at home, consider an automatic espresso machine, which usually costs about $300. These machines typically use pods and only require the push of a button to enjoy quality, at-home espresso. For the truly time-conscientious, consider a super-automatic espresso machine, which is usually around $2,000. These speed demons grind your coffee, froth your milk, make a variety of café-style drinks and clean themselves.
See more at http://blog.davincigourmet.com
If you’ve ever been struck with indecision while shopping for cookware, not knowing whether to go with the anodized or the stainless steel pots and pans, then keep reading — we’ve got help for you. Buying cookware can be difficult and confusing, to say the least. Do you go by price? Do you choose the most professional looking? Do you select the most popular brand? It’s actually none of the above — you want to pick the one that’s the best cookware for you, and we’re going to show you how to do it.
First, you should understand that each material works differently. Some cookware is better for heat conduction than others. Certain metals react with acidic foods, so you wouldn’t want to cook a tomato sauce in them. Other pots and pans are very durable and easy to care for. Browse the slideshow below to learn more.
Traditionally copper pots and pans were made with a copper exterior and tin interior, which prevented food from reacting with the copper. Modern-day copper cookware is lined with stainless-steel for the added benefit of durability and ease of cleaning. Pros Professional look. Excellent heat conduction. Cons Very expensive. Requires polishing. Old copper cookware requires retinning. Copper bowls (which are copper inside and out) react with acidic foods.
Nonstick pans are made with a specialized coating that reduces sticking, which is great for cooking with less oil or butter. But nonstick pans are not ideal for cooking sauces. There are also health reasons why nonstick isn’t the best — pans that are made with Teflon can release an offgas (at high cooking temperatures) that is toxic to humans and fatal to birds. Pros Nonstick surface. Easy to clean with the wipe of a sponge. Requires little to no oil or butter. Cons Should not be heated to high temperatures. Coating scratches easily and flakes with heavy use.
Aluminum is very common in bakeware, which is made from sheet aluminum. Aluminum pots, such as Dutch ovens, are made from cast aluminum, which doesn’t conduct heat well. Because aluminum cookware reacts with foods, it is not commonly used. Pros Excellent heat conduction. Resists rust and corrosion. Inexpensive. Cons Scratches and dents easily. Sheet aluminum pots and pans warp under high heat. Reacts with acidic foods. Should not be used for storing food.
Anodized aluminum cookware has gone through a special process that creates aluminum oxide on the surface of aluminum, making it non-porous and non-reactive. However, there is some fear over aluminum food contamination after the surface has been worn down. Pros Nonstick and scratch-resistant. Affordable. Cons Takes time to heat up. Surface can wear over time especially from constant cooking with acidic foods.
Whether you’ve got Thug Kitchen on your shelf or Modernist Cuisine, at least one of the six knives here will suit your culinary preferences and your inspiration, from Lagassi to layman.
Robert Welch has worked with professional chefs to develop the Signature knife range and the result is optimum cutting action at a reasonable price. Each blade is honed and tempered to razor sharpness and the 14cm is particularly versatile.
Trust the Swiss Army knife, and trust this knife. The Victorinox comes in at the price of a few packs of Easy Mac, but it’s no less of a knife for it. It’s a stamped knife, cut from a ribbon of steel rather than individually forged, sharpened and honed. The good news is that stamped knives keep their edge longer, so there’s less upkeep required for them to remain plenty sharp. The handle’s slip resistant to help preserve fingers, and the blade’s high-carbon stainless steel can be resharpened when it does eventually go dull. Sorry, it doesn’t have scissors or a toothpick. But the 17cm ceramic Santoku knife from the makers of the famous Swiss Army knife features a white ceramic blade made from high-purity zirconium oxide, which makes it almost as hard as a diamond and exceptionally light in the hand.
How a knife looks should be the last thing you buy a knife for, but that being said, a good looking knife is a real treat. As we’ve picked only the best kitchen knives feel free to pick a pretty one and buy it safe in the knowledge it will be a great performer.
We typically recommend a “Santoku” or “Gyuto” knife as a first purchase if you’re looking for an all rounder with a blade usually around 6-7 inches long, it’s not too big or small and so is usually the one knife type you’ll use daily.
Lakeland’s Chef’s Knife easily covers all basics in the kitchen. The stainless steel, fully forged blades have undergone an ice-hardening process for reinforced strength, so they stay sharper longer, and the soft-grip handles are easy to control, even with wet hands.
Sometimes you go camping thinking the worst thing that could possibly happen to you is you getting lost and having a short in the food and water supply. I however beg to differ. The worst things that can happen to people in a camping tour, except animal bits are cheap tents. So my boyfriend and I had planned for this trip for a long time. We were going somewhere in the woods during summer to give ourselves sometime alone to relax and just enjoy each other’s company. Something many couples do, I presumed. The trip was going to be great, food, check, water, check, tent, check, GPS, check, clothes and blankets, check, first aid kit, check. We had parked a great deal of things and told some friends where we were going and for how long just in case we got lost or died. Just preparing for the worst.
No cell reception and just me and my love in the woods. We pitched the tent for the first day and it was extremely cold. We thought it was just because it was at night. In the day our tent was so hot almost boiling point heat and it smelled like burning polythene bags. It was so uncomfortable. The tent was making the whole camping trip a disaster. Almost unbearable. To make things worse it did not keep any of the bugs away, if anything it attracted them. In the morning we would wake up with blisters and sore because of the numerous bites. It was a bad trip, in fact, by far the worst. In that trip I remember wishing we were just lost in the woods but with a good tent. It was supposed to be a relaxing trip and yet we could barely sleep. The only best thing was going out during the day for a walk or nap on the grass under shades because there would be no sleeping. I know no sleeping when it’s just you two is usually fun and naughty but not when you have a war to fight against bugs, heat and excess cold.
The tent had been bought just two months before the tour and by the time we were going home it had holes and rips. So I will advise anyone who is going on a camping trip with a tent for two, please avoid buying cheap camping tent for two. Just so you do not have to cut short your trip like we did on account of trying to save some little change instead of getting the best quality there is.
Planning the next trip – Parks Canada
When it comes to working your cardio and staying fit, nothing gives your workout routine better results than an elliptical trainer. However, for even better results, you need to have the best trainer that can not only give you a good workout but also help you to feel more comfortable. Here are some top elliptical machines 2015 that I’ve tried and I have to say they are pretty impressive.
The sole E95 is among the best elliptical that comes with a motor-adjust incline ramp, adjustable foot pedals and a heavy flywheel which are among the stand out features that make this machine top this list. Above that, the machine has a sturdy frame that helps you feel more comfortable allowing you to work out for longer without the fear of toppling over. The smooth and quiet functioning of this elliptical trainer make it easier for you to train at anytime of the day or night without your neighbor or roommate coming to knock down your door. With two heart rate interactive programs, it helps you to also be in the know as to how well you’re working that heart. This trainer easily scoops the first position because of these stand out features.
What you will love most about this trainer is its compact design and the fact that it offers you more than any other elliptical will offer you. For once not only does it have small footprints that feel comfortable under your feet, it also has multi-grip handlebars which improve comfort ability and also ensures that you can constantly change your stance and be able to work out for longer. The robust weight makes it a comfortable to use even for the larger athletes and also operates quite smoothly. With added durability, the only thing that makes this best elliptical come in second is the fact that it does not incline. Aside from that, it is one that you will desire to jump on first thing after you wake up every morning.
Having the best elliptical for your workout routine will mean that you not only jump on it because you have to but also because you love to do it and it makes you feel comfortable up there. You will also have a better work-out because of the superior features and qualities which is why investing in one of these two ellipticals would be a worthwhile investment for you and your body.
My decision to start practicing yoga stems from the fact that I am a very anxious person by nature and do not handle stress well. I even remember tensing up and getting horrible stomach aches as a child when I was worried about school projects. Now as an adult, my stress and anxieties manifest as stiff muscles which cause everything from back pain to headaches. I think I’m at a point in my life now where I’m ready to make a major lifestyle change, so I don’t have to endure this discomfort. Committing to weekly yoga classes was a lot easier than shopping for yoga mats. What’s the difference between mats? Does it matter? Which is the best yoga mat for beginners? These are questions I’ve needed to consider in my search for the perfect yoga mat for me.
So, as it turns out, there is no special beginners yoga mat as I thought there’d be. Yoga mats are a fairly simple product that should be universally easy to use. That being said, the matter of making a decision on one is not any easier. Yoga mats have a huge range in price with some costing as low as a few dollars and others reaching far into the triple digits. I just need to look at all the facts and see what specifics are most important to me. Some yoga mats have especially good grips, so you know you won’t slip, others help you to keep your body perfectly aligned through out your work out. Many mats come in fun designs and prints and there are even mats that fold up into tiny squares so you can pop them into your purse.
I’m not trying to make any particular statement with my mat. In fact I’d rather go completely unnoticed during my workout. So I won’t be purchasing the printed mats. And while I like the idea of keeping my body aligned and the convenience of popping my mat into my bag after a workout, it’s not all that necessary for someone with workout commitment issues. I think I’ll stick with plain and affordable for now.