I’m Fully Motivated

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Beautiful Espresso Machine with a Grinder

espresso machine review

Been using this espresso machine for several months now and couldn’t be happier. It’s one of the best espresso machines to buy today. It took a bit of fiddling to figure out the right grind and quantity to get a good pressure, but once I got that right for my beans it’s been smooth sailing. A couple of years ago I had given up espresso and just gone for the convenience of Keurig k-cups. Wow. I had forgotten what real coffee tastes like. There is simply no comparison (I guess that shouldn’t be surprising). It’s worth the extra few minutes every morning to get an Americano to savor vs. something with caffeine to get me out the door.

I’ve owned “super-automatics” that grind and tamp and discard all internally, and I was always disappointed with the lack of control over the espresso as well as the finicky, easily broken innards. Taking the brew group in and out was always worrisome as I was afraid of breaking something — which eventually always happened. With this unit I get the convenience of the grinder on-board (and a GREAT grinder no less), but the rest of the unit is solid and low-tech so I’m expecting it to last a long time.

The steamer is really easy to use and, just as important, easy to clean. I’d avoided making lattes with previous machines because the steaming want was such a huge pain.

Read about how to choose the best espresso machine here.

One caution. After working hard to get the grind setting just right (it is changed with the numbered wheel on the left side of the unit), I was cleaning the machine and when I ran my dishrag over the wheel it zipped to some new setting! Aaak! I hadn’t made a mental note of the perfect setting I’d finally found so it took me a few times to get back to the right setting. So, when you’re wiping the machine down, be careful not to undo the work you’ve done finding the perfect grind setting!

Beautiful design
Hot water option for teas is great
Once you figure it out, espresso is delicious
Grinder is great to have and works fine
Price is right

It really took a while to figure out how to pull a good shot
Although cleaning is easy, I was a little surprised how often machine asks me to clean it with the tablets (about once every 2 weeks)
This may just be me but it seems that when I make a latte or cappuccino it gets cold a little quickly, even though cup is pre-heated and textured milk seems hot enough
Water tank is plastic and seems a little cheap, but I guess for the price, not so bad


Wusthof Santoku Knife – Is It For You?

One trend that has eventually made it’s way to home chef’s is that it’s OK TO MIX KNIVES! German, French, Japanese STYLE all have they’re champions and advantages for various cutting and chopping jobs. Despite what you see on TV shows, you’ll actually find very few professionals who have all German or all Oriental style knives. And don’t tell the kitchen snobs, but it’s OK to mix BRANDS too! Buy what feels good, what costs right and how often you’ll use it.
wusthof knife among others
The Wusthof Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife combines several ideas that combined, make slicing vegetables into precise pieces. This looks nice, but also lets the food all cook at a quick and similar amount of time. Be aware that a Santoku knife is NOT MADE TO CHOP THROUGH BONES or frozen foods! Despite a small similarity, that is best left to a Cleaver.
The high “wall” of the knife blade makes for quick slicing and chopping. The indentations or “kullens” reduce friction and suction, preventing food from sticking to the side of the blade.

This Wusthof knife is just slightly bowed to facilitate the rocking motion needed for what this knife is made to do.

Also realize that with the intermingling of knife designs one Santoku is not EXACTLY like another. Compare any knife design before purchase! And don’t feel bad if you end up with a few from the Big Boys, and even a few left over from your grandmother!

I enjoy knives. I know alot about em. BUT especially enjoy USING knives. I do that mostly in the kitchen like everyone else.
This is a purchase I’m happy with!


Tips for your kitchen knives


News flash! You know the little slots in your handsome knife block? They’re filled with dust, bagel particles and other things you’d really rather not think about. Here, three ways to clean it so you can get on with your chopping…in a sanitary fashion.

Tips for getting the best kitchen knives

Use the Vacuum Cleaner Crevice Tool This suck-em-up attachment is a quick way to get in there and get the gunk out. Simply remove your knives and give the whole thing a vacuum once-over.

Or a Hair Dryer Can’t find your crevice attachment? No sweat. Give the block a less-direct blast just by tilting it forward and running your hair dryer over the openings.

Or a Pipe Cleaner And if you still suspect there’s more stuff in there, insert a pipe cleaner and twist, remove, repeat as needed.

Welcome to crumb-less slicing and dicing!

Source: HuffingtonPost

To avoid spilling over of milk when boiling it: If you see yourself standing in front of the stove guarding it till the milk boils, here’s what you need to do. Before you pour milk into the pot for boiling, rub butter along the top edge and the inside lip of the pot. Due to this, the milk won’t overflow when it foams up.

To chop onions without crying: Onions are a great addition to a dish but chopping them can be frustrating, as they bring you to tears. Try peeling and cutting onions under running water or try chopping them near a gas flame. Refrigerating onions before cutting them is also a good idea.

Source: iDiva


Cooking with nonstick cookware

Many RACO© products feature non-stick – a way of cooking for your family that is quick, easy and healthy. Non-stick cooking allows you to cook with the minimum amount of fats or oils and food products do not stick in your cooking, but when it comes to cleaning, will make it quicker and easier. All RACO© non-stick cookware is PFOA free.
When cooking with non-stick cookware, there are some great tips to help you get the maximum out of your cookware. Not only will it last longer, but it will also help…

Your pan will then heat evenly and quickly and ensure perfect results every time.

Do not use oil sprays on non-stick cookware. The sprays will create an ultra-thin layer of oil that will quickly burn the surface. Over time, the use of oil sprays will result in an invisible build up which will impair the non-stick surface. If you would like to use oil sprays for flavour, then lightly spray the food before adding it to preheated cookware.

If you are wishing to brown or sear food, preheat the cookware on medium to high heat for one to two minutes before adding the food. Reduce the heat to low or medium to ensure the heat is spread evenly and eliminating “hot spots” that can cause food to burn.

Wooden or heat-resistant nylon utensils are recommended when using non-stick cookware. They will help prevent scratches to the surface but please note that minor scratches will not affect the cookware”s performance.


One of My Workout Best Buddy

workout-at-homeThe Schwinn 420 elliptical coach is as I would like to think one of the best ellipticals. In spite of the fact that I have utilized numerous trainers so far as a part of the rec center, nothing beats the Schwinn 420 elliptical that I have at my home. Its stature and stride length is splendidly suitable for a person with a physique like mine. I feel good while holding the handlebars and accelerating on the flywheel and significantly in the wake of exercising for augmented periods I don’t feel quite tired.

Here are some of the things that I really delighted in about the Schwinn 420 elliptical mentor:

1) Comfortable and ergonomic configuration: Almost everyone grown-up in the family likes exercising on my machine. Indeed my companions sometimes come over, only for a 3 moment run.

2) Transportation wheels: You don’t understand their quality until you need to move an overwhelming machine like this one from one room to the next.

3) Quite operation: You will need to deal with this coach to accept how quietly it works.

4) Preset activity schedules are adequate for most individuals as I would see it.

5) Well valued.

6) Sturdy base – does not wobble whatsoever.

Assuming that each item was impeccable and fulfilled everything, this item survey might have been pointless. Here are some of the things about the Schwinn 420 elliptical that I decided to disregard, when contrasted with the focal points specified previously:

1) A couple of wrongly named jolts.

2) A hard to program support. Presets are fine however.

3) Tedious gathering system that obliges support from somebody else.

4) Only five year guarantee on the casing.

These were some of the things that I discovered to be very irksome on a generally great item. There are a couple of things to recall however when utilizing this item.

1) Keep the moving parts overall greased up. Wear and tear is a marvel that can destroy even the best of machines.

2) This item does not accompany a bottle holder as publicized. An addendum to the manual affirms this.

3) Proper support and sensible utilization will guarantee that any item keeps up long, this item is no special case to this tenet.


My Bad Experience with Yoga Mat

yoga poseWhen I started yoga exercise, I was using a yoga mat that did not really help me get the experience I expected. It was slippery and I never felt relaxed as I expected after yoga exercise. I would finish the exercise feeling pain on my lower knees, back and the area around my ankle. But since I had just started practicing yoga a few months ago, I would not have realized that this was actually a problem. I only thought that these are the normal feelings of a beginner!

I practiced yoga on this mat for more than six months but the pain and the sliding never ceased. I decided to try it again for few more months but the problem persisted. I couldn’t take it any more! On my eighth month, I decided to stop the exercise. I needed to get advice from a yoga expert or a person who is well acquainted with the exercise. I wanted to know why I was sliding on the mat and why I was always feeling persistent pain on my legs and back. And why I felt no relaxation.

My high school friend, Julia, who lives in another town, was the one who really encouraged me back to the exercise. Although we didn’t usually see each other, we wouldn’t go for days without chatting through the social media. One day I brought up the yoga topic; and that is when she told me that she has been practicing yoga for more than 5 years. No wonder she still looked younger, energetic and flexible! Unlike me, she did not jump into practicing without doing her own research.

I told her my experience; how I was feeling pain on my legs, back and how I would slide in the middle of trying a new style. “Wrong mat!” she exclaimed. She advised me to look for a thicker mat. She explained to me how a particular extra thick yoga mat review helped her make an informed decision and also advised me to always consider reading various reviews before purchasing anything. She also told me that sliding may occur when you are using a new mat but it later acquires a slip-free surface when you continue using it. She however told me to pass my new mat through a washing machine and to always have a towel with me whenever I am practicing to increase friction.


I like any strapless heart rate monitor with GPS because it is convenient and easy to use. The difference between that and the one that has chest strap is its comfort. A heart rate monitor without strap is good because its band is more often than not wide and soft, and it provides several holes to suit wrists of any sizes. I can use it anywhere I want to from the wrist to the arm, unlike a heart rate monitor with chest strap. Usually, that kind of monitor fits on the wrist well compared to the one with strap.

One of the most renowned brands when it comes to heart rate monitors GPS without strap is the ALPHA. The brand gives the first ever known strapless heart rate GPS monitors. They are proven and tested effective as well as accurate even when you are running at a fast pace up to 12 mph (20 km/h). Before, the most beneficial way to getting an exact heart rate was to wear one that has chest strap, but now the strapless heart rate monitor is tremendously different. You can wear it around your wrist, forearm, or arm and it is still going to work, detecting your heart rate continuously while exercising.

Now, all hear rate monitors are technologically advanced. They now built with GPS, speed, pace, and distance. With GPS, I will be able to access the tracking speed. Most heart rate monitors already have their own tracking apps. These are beneficial because if you run at a place unknown to you, you will be carefree because its tracking speed will help you get on your way to and fro. Just access the app and look for the best route to run.

On top of that, the pace, speed, as well as distance will give you accurate measurements of how long you have ran, what pace you have been getting, and what distance you have been going. These can be accessed in a heart rate monitor with GPS. What’s more, there is this so-called built-in bluetooth connectivity that you can get from a heart rate GPS monitor. Just turn it on and you can now link it to any compatible mobile devices. You can either update or download apps from the Internet to your heart rate monitor with GPS.

These are the reasons why I choose a strapless heart rate GPS monitor compared to one that has a chest strap. With chest strap, you will only get fewer features, and the most drawback of it is its discomfort because you can only wear it on your chest.

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