How I Changed My Eating Habits With A Toaster Oven

As long as I can remember I have always had a stove and oven in every apartment and house that I have lived in. The amount of times that I actually used the behemoth of an oven can probably be counted on one hand. This was for a number of reasons. I thought that it used too much energy. I was a little intimidated by its size. It was much simple to by frozen microwavable dinners or eat out. Plus I was never much of a cook. I simply used it to store my pots and pans that I never used. At least it prevented them from collecting dust.

Cut to about 20 years later and things have changed. My poor diet choices have caught up with me. What I was able to get away with when I was younger is now show its ugly side. So I decided to finally do something about it and change what I eat and the way that I eat. The last year has been a real learning experience. I bought a countertop toaster oven and started cooking for myself and it has really started to pay off. Hopefully this can be useful to anyone who was in the same place that I used to be.

Advantages Of Home Cooking

There are several benefits to cooking for yourself. I was always aware of them but never really paid that much attention to it since the convenience of eating out was so appealing.

Cost

Getting to work in the kitchen is typically going to be cheaper than eating out in a restaurant. You can get everything you need for a recipe that feeds 2 to 4 people and have plenty leftovers for the following days. Stretching it out will save you a lot in the long run. Plus you don’t have to tip your waiter.

Ingredients

Being in control of the ingredients is important as well. Choosing healthy and natural foods for yourself and go a long way to improving your overall health. This can also be beneficial to those with allergies. You can avoid the bad stuff and be confident about what you are eating.

Portions

Preparing as much or as little as you wish to eat is another crucial benefit to home cooking. If you are looking to lose a little weight then portion control will help. Even if you cook more than you need you can have leftovers the next day.

Cooking For Others

Slaving in the kitchen is more rewarding if you have others to cook for. Those with kids can see real benefits by having a homemade meal as it brings the family closer together. Getting the kids involved by letting them help you can also have long lasting advantages. Showing them how to eat right at an early age is something that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Advantages Of Using A Toaster Oven

This is where things really changed for the better in my case. As I laid out earlier I had plenty of reasons that I never used a full sized oven. However, once I took the plunge and splurged on a toaster oven my whole world changed.

There are several different types of countertop ovens out there but I went with one that had convection. If you plan on cooking a wide range of recipes then this is something that I would recommend. They may be a bit more expensive but for every day cooking it is a great feature to have. It can help speed up cook times and it gives a nice even result.

Luckily there are many high quality brands from which to choose. Some of the newest toaster oven reviews rank Breville the highest but KitchenAid, Cuisinart and Oster are all great options for your kitchen. Typical prices range from $75 up to $300 for this small appliance. But is it worth it? Here are some of the benefits to using a countertop oven.

Energy Efficient

Generally these smaller ovens use less energy than their bigger brothers. Getting something with a convection cooking feature will also help you reduce the amount of time that the oven operates. They also heat up quicker. Energy savings leads to cost savings over time.

Simple To Clean

Most of the popular models are made of stainless steel, have non-stick interiors, and have easily accessible drip trays. This all lends itself to an easy to clean appliance. A simple wipe down with a wet rag is usually all it will take to keep your oven shiny and new looking.

Convenience and Versatility

Not only toaster ovens portable, but they are more convenient to use than a standard oven. Their smaller size and simple controls make it quite easy to use on a daily basis. The more expensive models also feature a wide range of cooking functions. You bake, broil, roast, reheat, defrost and toast to name a few. This lets you prepare a variety of different recipes and handle a bunch of different tasks all in one machine. Not only can it do just about everything your full size oven does but it can even replace your microwave in a few instances.

Fun Factor

I have never been a huge fan of homemade meals before because of all the work involved. While there is still work, using the oven now is less intimidating and is more fun. For family’s it is probably even better.

No Regrets

Getting my own toaster oven was probably one of the better purchases I have ever made for myself. Not only is my diet better now, so is my outlook. I enjoying being in the kitchen now and my waistline is seeing the benefits. If you are looking for a way to shake up your eating habits and have better control of what you eat then perhaps this is the direction worth going. It was for me and I look forward to my next cooking adventure.

Going With A Proven Name To Bring Your Family Some Homemade Ice Cream

A great way to enjoy the taste of your organic ingredients is to create your own frozen treats in the comfort of your kitchen. Making home made ice cream is not only an economical activity, but it can be a lot of fun as well. This type of appliance is something that every member of your family can truly enjoy. But if you have never looked at getting a new machine for your kitchen, then you may not know where to start.

We recommend getting a Cuisinart ice cream maker as they are the best selling and best owner rated machines currently on the market. Among theĀ best rated ice cream makers currently on the market, Cuisinart machines tend to be the most popular with users. We have tried a few of them and found them to be extremely easy to operate and the ice cream that they produce is delicious with good consistency.

Cuisinart makes a great line of frozen dessert machines that can accommodate any type of budget. Below we will try to break down some of their more popular models and give the positives and negatives of each.

Cuisinart ICE-21

This is their best selling model primarily for the quality that it offers at such a reasonable price. This machine makes one and a half quarts of ice cream, as well as other frozen treats such as gelato and frozen yogurt. It features a double insulated freezer bowl and one button operation. This model can usually be purchased for around $50.

Pros

  • Budget Friendly – The ICE 21 delivers exceptional value for the money. For those on a tight budget or if you do not want to spend a lot on a machine that you are not sure that you will use often, this is the maker to get.
  • Automatic – Very simple to use. Freeze the bowl, mix the ingredients, push the button and let the machine do the work.
  • Quick – Usually only takes 20 to 30 minutes to produce ice cream. Very fast and convenient.

Cons

  • A Little Noisy – It does come with a heavy duty motor that is used to mix and turn the bowl, however it may be on the noisy side when compared to other models
  • Must Freeze Bowl – This unit does not come with its own compressor, so the mixing bowl must be put in the freezer to chill before hand.
  • Style – Simplistic design that is not too modern. White color which may seem dated for those who like silver or chrome colored appliances.

Overall this is an excellent ice cream maker for those trying a home machine for the first time. Budget friendly, simple to use, with a large enough capacity for a small family of 1 to 3 people.

Cuisinart ICE-100

Here we step things up with Cuisinart’s top of the line model ice cream maker. What makes this one so special is that it comes with its own compressor. This provides the cooling aspect and you do not have to put the mixing bowl into your freezer for a few hours before use. This feature, however, does add to the over all price of the unit as it usually goes for around $250.

Pros

  • Compressor – Saves time and makes things more convenient as you can make frozen treats any time you want without waiting for your bowl to get down to the proper temperature in your freezer.
  • Two Paddles – This machine also comes with two different mixing paddles. One is designed to make ice cream, while the other is used to make delicious gelato.
  • Cool Down Feature – After this unit is done making ice cream, it has a feature that can keep it cool for ten minutes if you are not ready to eat it right away.

Cons

  • Price – It may be worth it, but the price of the ICE 100 is quite a lot higher than some of Cuisinart’s other models. It is not the most budget friendly choice.
  • Size – Since it has its own compressor, this model does take up a little more counter space than their other machines. This may not be ideal for small kitchens with limited counter top real estate.

The ICE-100 is perfect for those who do not want to mess with a freezer bowl and want the convenience of a machine that comes with its own compressor. This unit is very versatile as it can make not only ice cream, but also gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet and more. If you can afford it then this is a terrific option.

Cuisinart ICE-30BC

This is Cuisinart’s mid-range model that offers some higher end features than the ICE-21 for those that want to get a little bit more out of their home machine.

Pros

  • 2 Quart Capacity – Great for those with larger families, this unit is capable of making two quarts of dessert.
  • Automatic Operation – This model is very simple to use as you just mix the ingredients, push a button, and let the machine to the rest. No hard labor is involved.
  • Stainless Steel – The housing of this ice cream maker is made with brushed stainless steel which is a lot more modern looking that the white color of the ICE-21. It also has a smaller footprint than the ICE-100
  • Powerful Motor – The ICE 30BC is capable of turning out batch after batch of frozen ice cream , sorbet, frozen yogurt and more with the same consistency every time.

Cons

  • No Compressor – This model does not have its own compressor and the mixing bowl must be put into the freezer before using.
  • Softer Results – For those that like a harder ice cream consistency, you may have to put the finished product into the freezer for a bit for it to firm up.

The Cuisinart ICE-30BC is a wonderful option for those that would like a step up from their basic model or if you need a machine with a slightly larger capacity. It also has a more stylish design.

Why Choose A Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker?

Because they work, it really is that simple. They offer ice cream lovers the chance to make dessert in their own kitchen without having to break the bank. From classic vanilla ice cream to more decadent creations, these machines offer families the ultimate flexibility. Their line of machines also offer something for everyone, including features and price range.

Cuisinart makes some of the top small kitchen appliances, and part of that reputation has come from their line of ice cream makers. So if you would like to treat yourself or your family to something decadent and indulgent while also making great use of organic fruits and veggies, then getting one of these machines is a great way to put a smile on your loved one’s faces.