Don’t Let The Bad Press Scare You From Making Your Own Ice Cream

Nothing quite brings you back to your youth like a sweet bowl of your favorite ice cream on a hot day. With the recent outbreak of listeria that has lead to a significant recall of store bought ice cream, more people have started to look for alternatives to satisfy their sweet tooth. One option that is gaining steam is getting a home ice cream machine where you control the ingredients and have a better eye on food safety. If you love ice cream but the latest news surrounding some of the more popular brands has scared you, then making your own frozen desserts may be something worth pursuing. This might just be the perfect opportunity to discover the joy that making ice cream in your own kitchen can give you and your entire family, especially the kids.

It used to be that making your own ice cream was a labor intensive chore that required a lot of ice and salt. However, those days are over and today’s home machines are super simple to operate, usually just a push of a button, and they do not require anything more than putting the mixing bowl in the freezer before using. Some of the higher end models do not even require that as they come equipped with their own compressor for added convenience. It is probably easier than you think, and with summer just around the corner, now would be an opportune time to look into what one of these machines can provide you.

Ice Cream Machines Worth Considering

Making your own desserts has never been simpler and we have found that there is a wide variety of high quality options for you to choose from. We have looked and found that the latest home ice cream maker ratings all have a few things in common. First is that Cuisinart makes some of the top rated models in this market. They are relatively cheap depending on the features you want or need, and they produce great ice cream. Owner ratings for their ice cream machines are superb and you really cannot go wrong if you go in this direction. Below is a quick preview of some of the best rated home ice cream machines.

Cuisinart ICE 21

  • One button operation. It really does not get any easier than that.
  • Mixing bowl must be put in the freezer to get to the right temperature before use so you must plan ahead.
  • This unit is very affordable. It is simple, clean, and has very few parts. Perfect for those who want hassle-free appliances.

Cuisinart ICE 100

  • Higher end model that has its own compressor. This means that you do not have to freeze the bowl first and can make ice cream whenever you get a craving. The Cuisnart ICE 100 is their most expensive ice cream maker due to this feature.
  • Its added convenience comes with a higher price tag so this is not going to appeal to anyone on a tight budget. Worth it if you can afford it.
  • Makes great gelato, frozen yogurt, and sorbet as well. If you put the effort into experimentation you can really get a lot of of this machine.

Other Machines That Users Like

Cuisinart is not the only game in town. Breville also has an ice cream maker that stands out. For those that are feeling nostalgic, there are machines that have old school looks mixed with modern technology.

Breville Smart Scoop

  • Modern dessert machine with LED display, easy to use modes and sleek styling.
  • This unit also has its own compressor for the ultimate convenience.
  • Very high end with a high end price tag. Definitely not something for a casual ice cream fan. You will probably have to be a serious connoisseur to spend this kind of money for an ice cream maker, although it can produce other frozen delights as well.

White Mountain Appalachian

  • Outside looks like an old fashioned ice cream maker which is fashioned out of wood and looks like a barrel. Extremely unique look that turns heads.
  • Modern motor and controls for automatic operation. Best of both worlds that is a great alternative to a standard looking small kitchen appliance.

Fun For The Entire Family

It is hard to have a bad time while you are eating ice cream and purchasing your very own machine is a great way to bring the entire family together. It is something that can get kids to look up from their phones and stop texting for a few minutes. Better yet, you control what goes into it. There are ways to make ice cream healthy, although we have no real interest in trying them. I mean, ice cream is supposed to be decadent and you are supposed to indulge yourself right? So in today’s landscape of bacterial outbreaks found in some big name brands, it is a great time to try something different, safe, and delicious.

Three Toaster Ovens Worth Considering For Healthy Cooking

We finally decided to break down and splurge a little bit and get a new toaster oven for our kitchenette as our old one was just about on its last legs. It had served us very well and we had it for about 7 years. When we went looking at what was currently available we were quite shocked. It seems like countertop ovens have come an awfully long way in just a short amount of time. They have embraced the “oven” part of the toaster oven moniker and now you can cook just about anything you want in one of these.

We ended up getting a high end, modern, and very versatile Smart oven and we are simply amazed with what we have been able to prepare in this tiny powerhouse. We are enamored so much that we thought that we would share some of the top ovens that you can get for your own kitchen. These also make great gifts so we are thinking about sending a couple of these out to the kids and older grandchildren.

Our first step when we went looking for a replacement was to see what was available and find some feedback. We were digging through the toaster oven ratings at the Gourmet Worrier and came across a few models that we were interested in that received favorable reviews . Here are the top three that made our short list for our kitchen.

Cuisinart TOB-260N1

I have always have had good experiences with Cuisinart appliances throughout the years. They have been extremely dependable and tend to last a long time. The TOB-260N1 is their high end entry into the countertop oven space and it looks stunning. A modern LCD display and tons of stainless steel give it a futuristic design that should fit nicely into older and newer kitchens alike. It has a ton of cooking features that are perfect for the amateur chef in your family.

It has 11 preset cooking functions that include things like bake, defrost, broil, roast, bagel, toast, and a few more. It comes with something called “Exact Heat” cooking technology that Cuisinart came up with to ensure everything you place in the oven gets done to perfection. No hot spots or cold spots, just even food every time. It has a big interior that can do up to 6 slices of toast. This means that you can cook just about everything except a full sized turkey in there. It is quite expensive for a small oven but not quite as high as a Breville Oven. This was a very attractive choice for us, but we did not go with this particular model.

Breville BOV8455SS

This is known as the “Smart Oven Pro” and it does indeed live up to its name. Breville toaster countertop ovens have been quite popular and given a closer look you can really see why. The BOV845SS is their latest model that includes an interior light and a “Slow Cook” feature that some of their older models don’t have. It also has a stainless steel body and modern LCD display that is very easy to use and read. They tried to make everything as simple as possible to use and it is just about a set and forget it type of oven.

It has 10 preset functions and convection cooking features, like the Cuisinart oven above, to enhance your experience and reduce recipe times. This has proven to be very handy for us and our food has come out perfect every time. Yes, this is the model we splurged on. It was the most expensive of all of the models on our short list, but so far it has been well worth it.

It looks complicated at first glance but the controls were very easy to understand. We did not even have to read the manual as we had it down in just a couple of minutes. It is extremely roomy on the inside and it can fit the baking dish we always use. So far we have made things like casseroles, baked salmon, and even barbecue ribs. The funny thing is, we have yet to try and make toast with it. This was a major step up over our older model which we basically just used to reheat items or make garlic rolls. We are actually cooking more homemade food now and it makes me wish that we had gotten one of these a lot sooner.

KitchenAid Digital Oven

KitchenAid is also another brand name that we have grown to trust over the years and their KCO273SS oven was quite appealing to us. It has an LCD screen and stainless steel materials like the other two, but it was a little more affordable. It has regular knobs and a black screen and it didn’t feel as modern as the Breville and Cuisinart ovens we were considering. It did get pretty good reviews and feedback from owners however that made us take a closer look. In the end however it was not what we were looking for. We had the money to spend a little extra, but if our budget was a little tighter then this is probably the toaster oven that we would have gotten.

Cooking More Than Ever

I have not really been a big fan of using a full sized oven and so I never really spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I would always take the easy way out and make frozen dinners in the microwave. However, since I got one of these more convenient smaller countertop ovens, I am now looking forward to dinner time and trying to find new recipes that I can make. It is actually a lot more fun now. Clean up is also a breeze which makes it less work and adds to the experience. If you are looking for a way to enjoy your time in the kitchen more, then we highly suggest you look into getting a toaster oven. You might just actually look forward to having a home cooked meal again.

The Basics Of Juicing And Buying A New Juicer

The older we get the more important maintaining proper nutrition becomes. Eating right is not always fun, and sometimes it is just too much work. This is why seeking convenient dietary alternatives is so attractive. The vitamin supplement business is booming, but have you read the side of those little bottles? They often state that none of their claims have been tested or approved by the FDA, and there are some studies that suggest that taking multivitamins might just be a waste of money. Our desire to take an easy to consume pill may not have the desired effect on our health as we all hoped. Juicing, on the other hand, can give you an easy to absorb, concentrated dose of natural vitamins and minerals from fresh foods that will serve you well. It is a great way to fill any gaps in your diet and it is not that hard to maintain.

It all starts with having a juicer in your kitchen. This one appliance can have a huge impact on your health and it is something that we recommend to all of our older friends. You will be surprised with how many different fruits and vegetables that you can fit into just one glass of juice. But which options are worth picking up? Below are just some of what you need to know before you get one of these wonderful machines for your home.

Which Type Of Juicer Should I Get?

The great things, and also the frustrating thing, about shopping for a juicer is that there is not one brand or type of machine that stands above all of the rest of them. It is a personal choice and it really depends on what you want to get out of your daily experience. Centrifugal and masticating juicers are the two most popular home juicing options available. Let’s compare the two and see which one may be the perfect fit for your kitchen counter.

Centrifugal Juicers

These are super convenient and are a great starting point if you want a hassle-free machine.

  • Fast
  • Loud
  • Slightly less efficient
  • Cheaper
  • Easy to clean
  • Less prep time
  • Did I mention that they were fast?

These types of juicing machines are quite popular for the convenience that they offer and the speed at which they operate. If you can stand a few minutes of a blender-like noise then this might be the perfect option to try first.

Popular Brand Names

There are plenty of manufactures that make these types of juicers but there is really only one that you should pay attention to. Breville is by far the leader. If you comb over some of the newest centrifugal juicer reviews you will more than likely only see their name at the top. Stay away from the ultra cheap alternatives out there, they will usually leave you filled with regret. You want your juicing experience to be enjoyable and ideally would want to be something that you do every day. Getting a low quality machine will make this hard to achieve. You really can’t go wrong with a machine from Breville if you are inclined to want a centrifugal extractor.

Masticating Juicers

Using one of these types of machines has some added benefits if you are patient enough to use it.

  • Quieter
  • Slower
  • Better juice quality
  • Great for leafy foods
  • High juice yield
  • Requires a little more prep time
  • More expensive

You will end up with a better quality juice and more of it, but it does come at a price. Masticating juice extractors work a little slower and will generally cost you a little more money up front, but it is usually worth it if you are not in a hurry.

Popular Brand Names

Unlike centrifugal juicers, there is more than one high quality option available to those looking to get a masticating machine. Omega is one name that really stands out and they are probably the most popular choice in this area. Their juicers have been around for a number of years and they have a proven track record with owners. They do great with vegetables like spinach, kale, herbs, and other leafy greens. They also have exceptional warranties between 10 and 15 years, so you know that you can juice without worry. Omega juicer ratings are also quite impressive with extensive positive reviews from owners over the years.

Kuvings is another name we also recommend. They have a few masticating models worth considering and their B6000 is a great upright juicer that offers extra convenience features like a wide food chute. Another brand we have also used is Tribest. They also have a couple of wonderful machines that we have put through the ringer without any problems.

These are probably the three top rated masticating juicing options on the market and their feedback from users is superb for the most part. The best thing about using these type of juicer is that they are nice and quiet. We personally hate loud appliances which is why these are so lovely to use in our kitchen.

There Is No Wrong Choice

Juicing, in general, is going to help improve your diet no matter which type of juicer that you get so don’t worry too much about making a wrong choice. Keep it simple and find something that you will truly enjoy using every day so that you can turn this into one healthy habit