Home & Kitchen

Picking The Best Cookware Sets – 5 Things To Look Out For

cookware sets


The number of cookware sets available in today’s market is completely overwhelming. Numerous brands are being born each and every day so as to satisfy the growing needs of the vast consumer population. The range of pots and pans set made of different materials from clad style, cast iron, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum have made it more difficult than hissing and yawning at the same time for consumers to pick the best.

How then can one decide on the best without developing stomach ulcers? How do you pick the best cookware set without making tremendous changes on your budget? The following are the things you should look for to help you make an informed decision;

The price tag

The amount of money you will use in buying a cookware will be a great determinant of what you will buy at the end of the day. However, it is important to note that the price of any cookware set will not determine how good or bad your meals will be. In fact, you can cook the best meals with the cheapest cookware set. On the flip side, you can serve the world its worst meals even with the most expensive set. The rule of the thumb therefore is to buy the best you will afford at any given time.


You probably want a kitchen equipment that will serve you for the rest of your life, right? You may also need one that will keep your cooking legacy for a very long time. Whenever you are out and about looking for the best cookware set, always know that the best certifies astounding durability. Ensure you pick that which will maintain its aesthetic appearance, and that which will last much longer than others. Kitchen experts recommend cookware sets made of stainless steel whenever durability is a factor in consideration.


Well, in the times we are in today, many lifestyle diseases have come to kill and destroy. Research shows that some cookware sets, especially non-stick ones are made of carcinogenic materials which react with certain foods hence causing cancerous infections. Before buying a cookware set, always research on the reactivity of each and every material. This way, you will never go wrong in your quest to pick the best that will give you a diligent service.

Heat Conductivity

Heat conductivity is key in picking the best cookware set for your kitchen. Most people do not have much cooking time as others do, hence having a cookware that conducts heat best is a great deal. It is important to note that the better the heat conductivity of a cookware, the better and the quicker your food will cook. Clad style cookware sets with a copper base are the best in terms of heat conductivity.

Ease of maintenance

Never go for a cookware set that will give you a hard time when cleaning. Go for one that will easily clean, and which will look shinier each day. Experts say that cast iron and copper are the most difficult cookware sets to maintain. On the other hand, stainless steel cookware sets are the easiest to clean and maintain. Be wise and good luck!

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Tea Kettles for My Induction Cooktop

I am a great fan of tea because of the great aroma and taste. I don’t just take any tea but one that is properly brewed. In the recent past, some of the tea kettles I have acquire have been real disappointments. I remember having some of my workmates passing by my new house to see the recent paintings and renovations I had just made. I offer to prepare them some tea just to realize that my tea kettle has a leakage. I had to go looking for a new tea kettle.

tea kettleAll my problems became history when I went to a store and discovered this tea kettle for induction cooktop. There was quite a number but I settled for the Fino pour over tea kettle. It wasn’t very costly but I loved this design. It has a narrow spout that is of a good length and it carries up to 1 liter of tea. It is made of stainless steel and since I bought it have never seen it rust. It also gives me easy time to wash. The handle is ergonomic friendly made of plastic.

The next time I wanted a kettle, I wanted something unique but one that will serve me just like the Fino tea kettle for induction cooktop had served. I walked to the same shop and he gave the glass teakettle for induction cooker. This was a glass kettle and at first, I didn’t want it because of it because I had the fear that it wouldn’t serve me more than a week. But I must admit I was wrong. This kettle has been a very loyal servant. I like how it gives me the color of my tea before I even have it in my cup. The glass is resistant to heat. I have even used it to a temperature of 150 degrees.

I know with these two kettles I will continue enjoying my tea in confidence.

Related: How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea

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A perfect air mattress for our small apartment

We live in a rather small studio apartment that has a single bedroom and study-cum-living room! Since the apartment is situated in a posh locality in Manhattan, we have guests who drop in often and decide to spend the night with us. That’s ok since we love people around us, especially family, but having them sleep comfortably at night sometimes poses a major problem. If they are parents, we have them sleep in our bed while we crash out on the couch in the living room. If they are friends, we stay in our bedroom while they crash out outside. This got rather vexing when guests started complaining about the bad nights they had, and how difficult it was for them to sleep on the couch. That’s when we started looking for an air bed, and went to a site that listed the top air mattress reviews 2016 to help us decide the ideal mattress that would fit our budget as well as our home space.

We wanted a queen size since we would more often than not have couples as sleepover guests. Knowing that a queen bed would occupy far lesser space than a king size air mattress and could fit in easily between sofas, it made our search that much easier. Since our apartment didn’t have much storage space, we wanted a mattress that had an inbuilt bump that could be inflated as a headrest and would also couple up as a pillow. That would do away with buying and storing separate pillows. The last thing needed in the mattress would be how great comfort it provided. This had to be looked at carefully. The best mattress would have great internal reinforcements and circular coils that would fit the contours of the persons sleeping on them and then hold them in position throughout the night. Of course the inbuilt pump needed to be self-inflatable, meaning it would detect any fall in air pressure in the mattress automatically and start working on its own to fill in the lost air!

The model that we selected had undergone rigorous tests and then selected to feature in the top air mattress review site. It was weighed with 500 pounds for two days straight to check for any sagging. It retained its 18-inch height despite that much weight over it for two straight days! We decided that this would be the perfect air bed for us, since it came at a rather reasonable price and had all the features that much more expensive air bed brands had.

The last time we had guests, they slept so comfortably that they couldn’t wake up in time before we left for work! We left the extra keys near the headboard for them to use during the day. By the look of it, it seems so tempting that we have decided to sleep on the mattress ourselves and see if it’s really that good!. Who knows, we may replace our regular felt mattress with this one if we do find this a more comfortable option!

Helpful article - Choosing your perfect air mattress

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Cookbook Update

It is so hard to believe that this time last year, I was nervous about moving across the country, finding a new home, and my kids’ adjustment to changing preschools.  One of my biggest worries was how to pack a healthy lunch that my preschoolers would actually eat.  The school my children started in provided hot lunch and nutritious snacks daily.  They had an on-site chef and meals were served family-style to encourage good eating habits and table manners.  There was no way I could compete with that and my spoiled kids would certainly know the difference!  Plus, I’m no cook!  I truly felt intimidated by the daunting task of packing lunches every single day.


Fast forward 11 months later and we’re settled in our new home, the kids are adjusted, I have a new job (upgrade!), and on top of it all, I’ve become a bento blogger with a recipes in a cookbook!  I can’t exactly explain how it happened, but I became obsessed with the works of the amazing bento bloggers and their creativity and passion for getting their kids to eat healthy foods. I started copying them and taking pictures. I sent some of the pictures to a few friends.  Eventually, I wanted to share with a larger audience and pay back some of the inspiration I’ve received by looking at what other moms are doing.  And somewhere along the lines, I was invited to participate in a Cooking with Trader Joe’s cookbook! Trader Joe’s has been my grocery store of choice for more than a decade and I already owned several Cooking with Trader Joe’s books.  I rarely use cookbooks, but I’ve used many recipes from their Pack a Lunch book and was thrilled to participate in the next volume.


The cookbook was a lot of work for me, even as a contributor.  I had to create 10 recipes and write them out with precise measurements and cooking times.  I submitted drawings to demonstrate the layout of how my food fit in the EasyLunchBoxes.  My recipes were narrowed down to three confirmed entries and I had to submit some revisions on those too!  I had photos done by our amazing photographer, Rachel Beck.  I wrote a bio.  I edited draft versions and gave sign-off on our final copy.  If this is what I went through as a contributor, I cannot even imagine how much effort the core team expended in getting this book together!


It will all be worth it though, when the cookbook is released in September! It will be a great book for anyone looking for inspiration for to-go meals and it will be an awesome piece of memorabilia for my family to hold on to.  When the kids are older and my lunches are a distant memory, we’ll always have the book to remind us of this fun and special way I sent a piece of home to school with them every day. I can’t wait to get the final copy in my mailbox in just 2 months.

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Finding the best pots and pans set for an aspiring amateur chef

I love cooking and in all the years that I have been preparing great food in my kitchen. I have burnt broken and dented a lot of pots. I have the idea in my head of having those nice copper pants hanging over my kitchen stove like they have in kitchen décor magazine pictures. They seem to give a kitchen a homely character, but a good cook needs the right implements, not decorative pieces to cook, besides, those pans are hard to come by. I have also gone through my fair share of “non-stick” pots and pans as well as a couple of stainless steel utensils. I would like to find the best cookware that will make cooking easier and make the food that comes off my kitchen stove tastier. So I did a little research on the best pots and pans set on the market.

buying pots and pans


The material of cookware

The first thing I realized was that cookware is rated according to the material it is made of. The types that are available are stainless steel, non-stick, anodized, cast iron, ceramic, stone and my master chef dream – copper pots and pans. In my search, I noticed that a lot of the TV chefs I idolize so much have their own range of cookware. I could simply choose a pot and pants set that my favorite chefs have created for instance the range that Rachael Ray has. I was drawn to the Rachael Ray 10-piece hard-anodized pots and pans set.

Hard-anodized cookware is primarily non-stick, but it does not have the Teflon coating found in most non-stick cookware, which makes it safer. The complete set comes with a stockpot, a French skillet, a sauté pan, a stockpot and two saucepans. The pots have glass lids, which would enable me to see my food cooking without having to lift the lid which is great for cooking stews and braising meat or cooking anything that requires constant temperature. The cookware is also oven proof, which is great for dishes that need to be pre-cooked on the stovetop and then transferred into an oven. The pots and pans set look amazing and it turned out to be very affordable. For now, I am happy with this set, but knowing me and how I like to push boundaries and try new things, I’ll probably need to look for another cookware set in a year or so.

Additional reading: These are the pots and pans you really need

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My experience with bread machine reviews

Making a purchase decision has not always been easy for me. Nowadays, it is even harder because I get to shop over the internet. Don’t be mistaken, though. I am not against online shopping. In any case, I love the fact that I can choose a product, pay it over the internet (from the comfort of my home or office) and then have it delivered to my doorsteps. Shopping has become extremely easy. Of the essence is to ensure that sufficient research is done to avoid any kind of foul play. It happens all the time. Internet shopping comes with a couple of risks that we all must be aware of.

Well, I love sharing my experiences while buying items on the internet. The last item I purchased – one that sits comfortably on my kitchen shelf – is an incredible bread machine. I say incredible because it has been such a great addition to my home. To a large extent, I relied on the top bread machines reviews of 2016 to make the final decision. Making the final decision requires taking several factors into consideration. For me to know what factors are important, I use these sites.

The bread machine review web site I chose had several machines discussed. Just like other appliances, there are many brands of bread machines. They come in different sizes, styles, design and even colour. They are also made of varying materials- and this aspect is especially important. In that case, I carefully read all the reviews, ensure to understand every detail to simplify my decision-making process.

Typically, when I am reading the reviews, I go to the extent of taking notes. This helps me make an informed decision after making the necessary comparisons. Some of the factors that were brought to light include durability (the material the machine is made of), the functionality, and the size of the bread machine as well as the added features. The cost of the bread machine also came into play- particularly because I was working on a budget. I didn’t want to stretch my finances so far.

A good bread machine review offers some recommendations as well. Nevertheless, since I have the potential to make a personal decision, I decided to do so. My bread machine and I are still going strong. I am glad I no longer have to rush to the bakery to get bread. Better still, I am so happy because I have made significant savings in the past one and half years.

I recommend the use of product review websites when planning to purchase a bread machine – or any other appliance for that matter.

Learn how to use a bread machine by Baking Mad


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There are many new features in the best rice cookers

rice cookerI was going through rice cooker reviews and I realized how times have changed. I am still using my old Sanyo rice cooker that I’d bought almost 30 years ago. It is still useful, though now that our family is shrinking, I do need something that is smaller, which I can wash without having to run the dishwasher, and also consumes less power. This is why I was casually going through the rice cooker reviews, and was surprised with the new features. Mine has the thermostat, and it also has the keep warm feature. I never knew rice cookers could do more than that.

Nowadays, the cooking pan comes with non-stick coat. I am not sure I want that feature because this aluminum or whatever is the alloy used for making the cooking pot has worked for 30 years, and looks good enough for another 20 years at least. Non-stick, on the other hand will have to be changed, right? I am definite that is not a feature I am hankering for.

But I love those timer and auto cook features. I could be watching television program, and would not feel my food is getting burnt. Yes, indeed, those features are definitely worth in these modern rice cookers. Steaming basket is available in some of the models, and that is useful too. I can avoid using other vessels. But what would I do with what I already have? I will have to find somebody who needs these old vessels, i.e., if I decide to buy this new rice cooker with the non-stick cooking pot. I would still have to use my dishwasher, so I would not be saving on power bills. It is a difficult choice. I guess, I need to read a few more rice cooker reviews tomorrow, so that I can find something that meets all my requirements. For now, I seem to have decided against some of the sophisticated pieces.

More reading – How to select a rice cooker

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Selecting an affordable Japanese kitchen knife


Cooking is an activity that takes place in our homes daily. This means it is very close to our hearts. No one would survive if this activity was to stop. Therefore, we need to consider the right materials for cooking. Your kitchen needs to be equipped with the right cooking ware. Before you go shopping for your cooking ware, ensure you have the right information concerning them. In our current world, technology has made acquisition of information quite easy and cheap. There is a variety of stores all over the world in which you can do your shopping.
You do not necessarily need to visit them, you can do your shopping online. You just need to be in a position to access internet and get moving. Coupons are very useful in this case. You get the advantage of comparing prices of same commodities from different store. This helps you to make you budget easy to manage.

Japan is well known in manufacturing quality metallic product. It has been ranked as one of the best countries that are doing well in the market. They have been producing a variety of kitchen ware. If you are looking for quality knives you are in the right place. Some of the top japanese kitchen knives are quite affordable and very available all over the world.
Depending on the kind of work you want to do, there are a variety of knives for you. Shun Sora Starter knife Set is one kind that is high quality. They have very easy sharpening mechanism. They do not require any expertise to sharpen. They are pocket friendly and last for a long time.

Another kind is known as Miyabi Fusion Chef’s Knife. Many chefs have a preference for this type. Once they have been sharpened, they serve for a long time before they get blunt. In case you own a butchery, you need to acquire a quality knife for cutting meat. I acquired a meat cleaver from Japan that are made purposely for cutting meat. It is made of a stainless material to ensure they do not contaminate your meat. They are also very resistive to rust. This increases their life span as well. They do not demand reshaping each single day. After sharpening it, I use it for more than a week before I can re-sharpening it. The interesting thing is that you get your knife alongside its sharpener.

There are other models of stainless cooking ware from Japan. These includes the frying pans, steaming pots, Dutch oven and many more. I have been using these products and thus I gained the confidence to recommend them.

More reading: Choosing the right kitchen knives

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My Best Masticating Juicer


When it comes to preparing homemade juices, I always prefer using a juicer that will offer me quality juice without changing the taste of the juice or adding extra flavor. The market gets flooded with different masticating juicers every day and pick the best at times is a challenge. As a result, I always like checking through the juicer reviews 2016 available online from different sites. The juicer I pick from the market must be from a reputable manufacturer so as to guarantee me quality years of service.

When I have to make the best green juices and drinks that come with some healthy veggie juices, I have to consider various masticating juicers available on the market. I prefer using the masticating juicers as they come with a horizontal design that is easy to hold as I use them. These masticating juicers use an auger so as to grind as well as break down the food more thoroughly than the centrifugal juicers.

These masticating juicers always offer me excellent services in getting healthy juices that contain high nutrients that are of importance to the body. The slow process of crushing the food plays a major role in preserving the nutrients I need from these leafy greens like spinach, kales, and other super foods.

When I come to deciding the juicer that I have to use, I always ensure that I use the best masticating juicer reviews in the market to ensure that I get quality juicers at the best price that I can afford. The masticating juicer that I have to pick from the market must do more than juicing. I always pick a juicer that can also do and make some pasta, nut butter or even grind some coffee for me.

The top rated juicer that I will select from the market must be one that won’t destroy the minerals and vitamins from the greens and foods that I have to grind. My best masticating juicer ensures I extract a large volume of juice from fruits and vegetables and at the same time aid me in reducing the destruction of different macro as well as micronutrients in these fruits. My best masticating juicer offers no loss of nutrients through heat inactivation or oxidation.

I prefer using the masticating juicers as they always provide me with some juice that is tasty and very rich in nutrients. Although they have a small diameter feed slot that will require me to cut all the food I want to grind into small pieces, the masticating juicer keeps offering me quality and more nutritious juices and drinks.

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Living It Up!




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