Amazing Ocean Coffee Table

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The Abyss Table by Duffy London is a conversation piece made from multiple layers of stacked wood and glass. The stunning coffee table mimics the geological cross-section of an ocean as layers of glass darken the deeper they are situated.

The handmade table measures (L)160cm (W)80cm (H)46cm and is limited to a mere 25 editions. Having the ocean inside your living room doesn’t come cheap with a price tag just shy of $10,000 usd. You can find more information on Duffy’s official website.

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via Design Boom

Why should you buy a home espresso maker

It’s to cut on the amount you spend buying mochas almost every day. Today there a couple of brands and models just like there are coffee flavors. Again, just like coffee, espresso makers range from simple ones, fairly complex and exotic and expensive ones. Therefore you should consider your budget before choosing an espresso maker.

When buying an espresso maker, you should first figure out the exact machine that suits you. There are two basic types of espresso makers, steam driven and pump driven.

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The steam driven machines were the first espresso machines and are still in use. This type of machine uses steam pressure to force water through coffee grounds to produce espresso. Pump driven machines use an electric pump to force water through the coffee grounds. A pump driven maker makes the true espresso.

According to my experiences, the steam driven espresso makers are not recommended. If you are passionately connected with your espresso, and you looking forward to doing it well at home, this one will disappoint you. Rather go for a pump-driven espresso maker and you can choose either super-automatic or semi-automatic espresso machine.

Espresso Buying Guide

When buying an espresso machine you should consider its price and don’t assume a higher price guarantees better results. Surprisingly it’s actually some several cheap machines that produce high-quality espresso.

Consider machine features and functions. Many espresso makers don’t just brew, a range of extra features offer espresso consumers free rein and versatility over their drinks. Couples or friends sharing an espresso maker may need to brew varying taste.

Take to consideration on the flavor produced by an espresso machine. A machine is an element by itself and it affects your coffee taste. So it’s advisable for a buyer to taste a shot from the machine the intend to buy to make a better judgment.

Lastly, inquire about the time a home espresso maker will take to brew your coffee. As a buyer, you need to consider the amount of time you will spend waiting to enjoy your beverage. Whether automatic or manual, every espresso machine delivers a brew at its own speed.

Good Knife Set

Best Tips And Tricks

Good Knife Set
Planning to buy yourself a good knife set? I have brought to you some of the best tips and tricks which can be followed to get best value for money. Most of us do not overview our kitchen requirements and end up purchasing a knife set which contains tools of no use. So, in order to avail a decent set of tools to prepare your daily meals, it is not necessary that you select a popular brand which is highly priced. I have personally collected some of the best factors which I would like to share with you in order to ease your selection procedure.

What should your knife set perform?
At first, I recommend you to overview your cooking habits so that you do not end up purchasing a knife set which contains unnecessary items. Slight variations in size and blade edge do not matter for home use unless you are much determined about precision cutting. A set you chose must reduce your cooking time, cut efficiently and retain blade edge for a certain period of time. Construction, handling and weight are the factors which can determine your cutting speed so it is important that the knife set must match your cooking style as well.
Some popular brands such as Mercer Genesis, Victorinox Fibrox, Wusthof Classic, Global G Series and Shun Premier knife sets offer the most durable and efficient tools by which you can cut and chop like a professional. Although these might cost higher when compared to other brands, but they surely have to offer great performance and durability perks.

Performance measures
According to my research, a best knife set must include a fillet knife, a carving blade, a boning knife, a meat cleaver and a honing steel to keep the edges of your blades sharp. Most popular knifes are made out of carbon steel and stainless steel blades as they are easy to sharpen and resistant to corrosion. Even if you are not sure about what type of blade to select, you must avoid any joints or welds as they can damage the lifespan of your knife set. Furthermore, the handles made out of thermoplastics and stainless steel have proved to give ultimate grip and comfort upon daily usage.

What else to consider
Before you purchase any knife set, do consider the lifespan of blades because some brands promise that their knives do not need to be sharpened. Those knife sets do not last longer and tend to become harder before time. So, to make your purchase safe, I prefer you to select brands which also offer ceramic sharpener along with the knife set.

Choosing The Right Cookware – What Have You Been Missing?

Ah, the perils of cooking! All the hard work gets wasted if certain things are not taken care of. One of them is not picking up the right cookware. I am sure many of us like me have spoiled a couple of their dishes thanks to the wrong cookware chosen. Obviously picking up the best cookware set is tough. I might even call it a daunting task unless you have a few tricks up your sleeves. I have done a lot of research on this topic and have finally zeroed in on 3 cookware sets which will fulfill your purpose and not let you down in front of your family.

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1) T-fal E918SC Cookware set
A unique feature of this product is the thermo spot indicator which lets you know when the pan has reached its optimal temperature. Its non-stick interior is scratch resistant and can be easily cleaned up in a dishwasher. The even warp base provided ensures uniform heat distribution for best cooking results. However, this product does not have stay cool handles and thus is not suitable for cooking at very high temperatures.

2) Cuisinart MCP 12N Stainless steel 12 piece cookware set
The unique triple-ply construction of this cookware set gives durability to the pots and pans. Cool grip pot handles provided remain at the same temperature even during high heat cooking. However, the cleaning up, in this case, may be more difficult than non stick pans and stainless steel always require heating up before you put in the food for cooking.

3) Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 piece set
This wonderful set of cookware has a hard anodized aluminium construction which helps in even heat distribution and lends strength to the piece. The double coated surface gives a non-stick property to the product which can be easily cleaned using soap and water making it easy to manage. The only problem here is that the non-stick surface chips off very easily and sometimes due to excessive heat the bottom of the pots blacken.

Hope you have got fair ideas about which are the best cookware sets available in the market. Before making a final purchase it is best to understand your budget and then pick a piece which suits your requirements the best. Happy shopping…and happy cooking too.

Kick-start your exploration of wine

Want to kick start your ongoing exploration of wine? We’ve got you covered. These simple and smart guidelines will help you discover your palate and launch your long and tasty journey to understanding wine.

Getting Started with Wine Tasting

Learning to taste wine is no different than learning to really appreciate music or art in that the pleasure you receive is proportionate to the effort you make. The more you fine-tune your sensory abilities, the better you’re able to understand and enjoy the nuances and details that great wines express. The time and effort invested in palate training is rewarding—and very, very fun.

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How to Taste Wine

The ability to sniff out and untangle the subtle threads that weave into complex wine aromas is essential for tasting. Try holding your nose while you swallow a mouthful of wine; you will find that most of the flavor is muted. Your nose is the key to your palate. Once you learn how to give wine a good sniff, you’ll begin to develop the ability to isolate flavors—to notice the way they unfold and interact—and, to some degree, assign language to describe them.

This is exactly what wine professionals—those who make, sell, buy, and write about wine—are able to do. For any wine enthusiast, it’s the pay-off for all the effort.

While there is no one right or wrong way to learn how to taste, some “rules” do apply.

First and foremost, you need to be methodical and focused. Find your own approach and consistently follow it. Not every single glass or bottle of wine must be analyzed in this way, of course. But if you really want to learn about wine, a certain amount of dedication is required. Whenever you have a glass of wine in your hand, make it a habit to take a minute to stop all conversation, shut out all distraction and focus your attention on the wine’s appearance, scents, flavors and finish.

You can run through this mental checklist in a minute or less, and it will quickly help you to plot out the compass points of your palate. Of course, sipping a chilled rosé from a paper cup at a garden party doesn’t require the same effort as diving into a well-aged Bordeaux served from a Riedel Sommelier Series glass. But those are the extreme ends of the spectrum. Just about everything you are likely to encounter falls somewhere in between.

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“Good Wine” for Beginners

You have probably heard from both friends and experts many times that any wine you like is a good wine. This is true if simply enjoying wine is your goal. You don’t have to do more than take a sip, give it a swallow and let your inner geek decide “yes” or “no.” The end.

It’s true that figuring out what you like is an important component of wine tasting, but it’s not the only component. Quickly passing judgment about a wine is not the same as truly understanding and evaluating it. If you’re tasting properly, you will be able to identify the main flavor and scent components in every wine you try; you will know the basic characteristics for all of the most important varietal grapes, and beyond that, for the blended wines from the world’s best wine-producing regions. You will also be able to quickly point out specific flaws in bad wines.

Finding Wine Flaws

Rest assured, there are some truly bad wines out there, and not all of them are inexpensive. Some flaws are the result of bad winemaking, while others are caused by bad corks or poor storage. If you are ordering a bottle of wine in a restaurant, you want to be certain that the wine you receive tastes the way it was intended to taste. You can’t always rely on servers in restaurants to notice and replace a wine that is corked. You are ultimately the one who will be asked to approve the bottle. Being able to sniff out common faults, such as a damp, musty smell from a tainted cork called TCA, will certainly make it easier for you to send a wine back. (Article source: Wine Mag)

Bread makers make good gifts

I received a bread maker from a family friend, so I should know. But when it came to selecting a bread maker for another friend, I did not know where to start. Of course, there are the usual and famous companies. The task should be simple, right? Wrong! Even the best companies have products that are flawed at times. So reading those bread maker reviews can shed some light on the product’s quality I suppose. But I most certainly do not have that much time, and would love somebody else to find the best bread maker review and tell me which of these deserve my attention. In fact, I would be glad if somebody else decided which bread maker qualifies as the best based on all such reviews. Unfortunately, that does not happen in our home.

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You see, we believe in democracy in our home, but when it comes to decision making I am the one who has to give the final nod. I did not ask for the position, believe me! It is their way of cleverly transferring the responsibility on my shoulders should anything go wrong. The decision to give bread maker as gift for the family friend’s house warming ceremony was unanimous, but everybody still looked in my direction. In keeping with my position, I asked them how do they know that this friend would be interested in the product we have in mind, and what if somebody else also had plans to give a bread maker. I knew I had scored. My younger daughter who I know will have a great career in public relations job came up with a solution. She suggested why don’t we send some of those reviews over to “aunty” and ask for her opinion on them. Bullseye! We did exactly that. We send a mail over to my friend asking her to read these bread maker reviews and tell us which one we should be buying for her. My friend took pains to go through all those reviews and selected five of them. Now, the ball is back in our court, and we have to order one. Why can’t decision making jobs be easy? We’re looking at this one, what do you think?

Fuzzy logic rice cooker is god sent

For people who know how rice should taste would find it difficult to appreciate rice that is not properly cooked, overcooked, or unevenly cooked. If you are hosting a party with guests like that, take my advice and buy the best fuzzy logic rice cooker, because this technology is god sent for us. Traditional methods of rice cooking underwent sea change with the arrival of electrical rice cookers. Most people adjusted to what those rice cookers churned out, including me, simply because we had no time. But now that fuzzy logic rice cookers are around, I for one see no reason not to enjoy authentic taste of rice that I used enjoy when I was a child.
rice cooker
So what does a fuzzy logic rice cooker do? Honestly the words confused me as well. But the fact that there was a microchip integrated in the rice cooker was enough for me to buy this Zojirushi NHS-06. The concept was explained somewhere on net, and I had to try it. I must say I am not disappointed because it does come up with absolutely even cooking. In conventional cooking we do lower the heat or increase it after periodically checking the cooking. The chip does that for us in the fuzzy logic rice cooker.

Me being me, I have also bought another fuzzy logic rice cooker for my daughter so that she would realize what authentic rice tastes like. She has never tasted such rice out here, since we’ve been using less sophisticated rice cookers so far. For her, I have purchased the Panasonic fuzzy rice cooker, SR-DF 101 to be precise.

The best news is both these rice cookers keep my rice tasting fresh unlike the keep warm feature that I had in my older rice cooker. We can cook different dishes and steam different food at different temperatures. We are also able to cook brown rice better in these rice cookers. Cleaning is also considerably easier with these rice cookers since the cooking pot can be placed in dishwasher and no rice sticks.

What makes a great kitchen knife?

A kitchen knife; it slices, it dices, it minces, it cuts…it is that handy tool we all use. But how much data do we know about them? Let’s face it; a well-equipped kitchen ought to have at least four different types of kitchen knives. While any typical person will less likely differentiate each of them, a chef’s knife, a slicer, a parer, and a utility knife are all but entirely different from each other. Most good kitchen knife set reviews often offer urban myths and half-truths about this paraphernalia.

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Kitchen knives are rated, not just by how razor-sharp cutting process but also how one feels while using them as well as their durability. Standard knife reviews will help you determine which is the best chef knife that fits your cooking. However, a chef’s knife is identified by its wide cutting blade as well as vast array of uses. Thick or thin the edge is, an 8-inch triangular one is the most common; you might have, perhaps seen one. Click here to learn more about Chef knives.

For decades, the Japanese have been highly lauded by most of the kitchen knives reviews for creating some of the finest kitchen knives. Japanese knives are famed for being sturdy, light-weight and most importantly easy to use and handle. Besides their native Japanese names, they offer that unique grip, primarily derived from their unmatched design and precision. There are other top brands too, albeit Germany is another great destination. They often package theirs as a set of three or more, starting from a relatively smaller one to a bigger one.

Whereas the blade identifies a great knife, its material is equally vital. Carbon-bladed knives particularly are the most sought after, according to the many kitchen knives reviews. However, proper care of a kitchen knife is everything. It’s the aspect to define not just its longevity but its sharpness. After using one, you ought to carefully wash it, dry it and store it in a dry and moisture-free location. Remember that honing should be done only when it’s beginning to get blunt. Additionally, watch your cutting surface.

What Do You Think About Grandma’s Surprise Visit

It goes without saying that grandparents have a high affinity to their grandchildren no matter their gender. It was last Sunday that my grandma, Jane, made a surprise visit to my apartment after service at the local church. The fact that I was not expecting any visitor this particular afternoon threw me into total confusion as a string of question ran through my mind. What should I prepare for her? Would she like it? She is such a choosy woman, and when it comes to drinks I bet she is undisputed queen of perfection. Guess what? There was only one savior in this situation and that was my highly prized machine that I bought after reading tons of best manual espresso maker reviews.

This was my best opportunity to prove to her that I am still her favorite and have not lost touch with what she spent years teaching me. I had grown with her in the countryside and well understood what she valued most. I decided to search the cable TV channels for ‘great programs’ and yes, there was this channel playing the “old good hymns”. I looked at her and saw the smile flicker at the corner of her mouth and knew I had won her heart. “Do you like it?” She asked. I was expecting this question way before it was asked and without hesitation I said “Yes!” It was only after I had made her feel as comfortable as possible that I excused myself and rushed to the kitchen. I had passed the first test.

Making espresso with an automatic espresso machine

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The second test was to make her an espresso of all time to make the visit memorable. I thank God because of my busy schedule as I always have all the ingredients ready. The automatic espresso maker has always been my best friend. It was not long when I served it at the best temperature with all ingredients balanced to perfection. As we sat together to watch the songs we enjoyed the drink in silence. Then the question was shot to me “When are you planning to get a man and tie the knot?” This was a surprise and was the last thing I was expecting to be asked by her.

It is a fact that deep down me I knew the she liked the espresso because she had gulped down the first cup. And of course, wanted to prolong her stay but I personally did not like the marriage topic. She asked me to make another drink and we can talk the matter over it. As I went towards the kitchen to prepare the espresso I was not sure whether I will survive the storm of questions. However, the one thing I was sure about is that the automatic espresso maker will always make the drink perfect. It was less than 30 seconds and I was back on the table with her. I kept asking myself if this is all about the espresso or she came over because she really wanted to talk me into marriage.