This food processor makes many kitchen tasks much easier

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I’ve had this for a couple of weeks now. I do still have some trepidation about the reviewers who posted about having problems, especially after a few months or a year. If that happens to me, I will update this review. I went ahead and purchased this despite those reviews because the competitors also have some people reporting a bad experience, and because this had the features I wanted. I bought this to replace a basic 7 cup Cuisinart that served me faithfully for 12 years (gave it to my son and daughter-in-law who are establishing a household), and before I got it I first purchased and returned the Kitchenaid 14 cup processor with the dicing kit.

So far, I love this machine. The 14 cup size allows me to grate a couple pounds of carrots or thinly slice a medium head of cabbage without having to stop and empty out the bowl. The wide feed chute allows you to cram more stuff in, thus reducing the number of times you have to “reload.” But if you have something narrower that you don’t want going sideways (like say you want to finely slice green onions), there is a smaller feed chute inside the pusher for the main chute. I really like the coarse grating disc; the Kitchenaid only came with a “medium” shred which I found too small for carrots, practically juicing them. I’ve made almond butter with it as well, worked great. It does not dice (which the Kitchenaid did) but for my purposes the included French Fry disc is an acceptable substitute. That’s worked great for zucchini and eggplant. It’s much easier to assemble than the Kitchenaid, there are clearly marked spots to align the bowl and the lid. The julienne disc is handy too.

It does come with a small bowl which I have not used. It has to be put inside the larger bowl and you still use the larger lid (As far as I can tell all the larger food processors which come with a smaller bowl are the same). And I think you can only use it with the chopping blade (not the discs). I got a Ninja Master Prep which is perfect for just chopping an onion (or a couple shallots or a small quantity of nuts).

It takes up a fair bit of space, although less than the Kitchenaid did. The included case that stores the blades and discs can be stored on its size to save space.

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Toaster oven I would recommended for beginner

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Toaster ovens in my experience are good for a year or two than elements need to be replaced, knobs fall off, etc. So when I found the toaster oven I purchased at Overstock lasted seven plus years as a reconditioned item, I knew when I needed a replacement I’d be buying another from Cuisinart. My older oven still works, but it definitely is showing age as the light-dark dial for toast is toast (just spins) and the door no longer closes successfully. So I started comparing Cuisinart models and also sites to purchase from (narrowing it down to Overstock and Amazon). This Cuisinart TOB-135 came out the winner as it was a trifle larger than some others and also offered the preprogramming functions, including a cooking timer. Amazon also offered the best deal – at least $15 less than Overstock and with my Prime free shipping, purchasing from here was a no brainer!

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My only concern was my housemates admitted lack of electronic capability, but the way this Cuisinart is designed even an admitted technophobe was baking, toasting, and broiling with the simplest instructions from me – and the Cuisinart too. That’s right this little toaster ovens controls blink to tell you what to do next. It could not be easier to learn to use. Toast comes out shaded the way I want, the baking function and auto timer shut off – fabulous. It’s roomy enough for a smallish (4lb) chicken or even a small boneless leg of lamb – which is great when you don’t want to use a large oven or heat up the whole house. I haven’t yet tried the convection function, but plan to when I do some baking. One thing…definitely read the instructions as there are some handy tips there, including where and when to place the oven rack for the most successful cooking.
This is a really solid toaster and so well constructed. Love the removable crumb tray – along with the baking tray and broiler rack – all easy to clean surfaces as well.
I’m hoping this one will last 7+years as well – It seems from previous reviewers comments it should. Kudos to Cuisinart for another indispensable kitchen item and to Amazon for fabulous service and prices!

Interesting post: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com

Mistakes You’re Making Reheating That Food

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Leftovers can be a boon — two homemade meals for the effort of one. Or, if improperly handled, leftovers can be sad and unappealing. Some minor adjustment to your methods will pay off, turning that foil covered dish into treasure.

1. Don’t Forget the Water
It is the rare food which can be successfully reheated without a sprinkle of water — especially in the microwave. Most foods, including pastas, rice, grains and root vegetables, absorb surface liquids as they cool in your refrigerator. Replace that water by dripping, drizzling or flicking water onto the surface of any of the above before you reheat them. If you skip this step, the steam that the oven creates will be drawn off the surface of your food, leaving it rubbery and stiff.

2. Where’s the Lid?
Do those leftovers taste dry? In the first place, tightly wrap food in the refrigerator, because it is always easier to take moisture out of a reheated food than to put moisture back in. Then, if you’re reheating in a conventional or toaster oven, you will probably want to cover the food for the first half of the reheat time. This allows the oven to warm up the ceramic or metal dish which holds the food. Once that comes to temperature, you can remove the cover and allow the food to heat evenly. (Guide: Reheat leftovers for the best taste)

3. Don’t Walk Away From That Microwave
Reheating tasty leftovers takes a bit more babysitting than you’d think. In spite of what the manufacturer tells you, microwaving is a contact sport. Go ahead and set the timer for three minutes, but after sixty seconds you should open the door, carefully remove the lid or covering, and stir. Microwaves heat quickly but wildly unevenly. Without a stir, you will have cold spots as well as overcooked sections. Even soup needs a stir during reheating.

4. Don’t use the Microwave for Foods With Multiple Moisture Profiles
The microwave is a quick and useful appliance, but it should only be used on foods which are consistently moist: pasta dishes, rice, steamed vegetables, soups & chilis. Anything which should be crisp on the outside and moist within (bread, fried chicken) should be warmed in the oven or toaster oven. Microwave technology turns crisp food soggy or rubbery. There’s no getting around it.

5. Try Your Broiler
Even if broiling is not a comfortable part of your cooking repertoire, it can be invaluable for perking up leftovers. Foods that get soggy in the microwave, such as breads, pizzas or anything breaded or fried, can be crisped up under the broiler. If you are looking at a plate which is warm but unappetizing, try a minute underneath the preheated broiler. Keep food at least six inches from the coils and watch constantly for burning.

Learn more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-pinneo/reheat-food

Other posts:

How to reheat food correctly

Dinners Cooked in a Toaster Oven

Toaster oven cooking may seem elementary, but it can make for some tasty cooking! The toaster oven is a great appliance to keep in your kitchen, as its heats up in seconds and can make for many versatile last-minute dinner dishes. The toaster oven heats and crisps meals to perfection, and it tends to involve substantially less effort than its conventional brethren. (Full recipes at http://www.cheatsheet.com/life/toaster-oven-cooking-6-recipes-to-try-for-dinner)

Toaster Oven Salmon

Quick, easy, and tasty! The tangy and sweet flavors of the soy sauce and vinegar are nicely offset by the addition of a dry, fragrant sake to the marinade in this dish. This miso glazed salmon from Serious Eats takes just 15 minutes to complete and yields 4 servings — a great choice for last minute dinner prep.

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup red or white miso
  • ⅓ cup sake
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 skinless salmon filets, at least 1 inch thick, 5 to 6 ounces each

Directions: Whisk together miso, sake, soy sauce, oil, and sugar. Rub mixture over every surface of salmon filets. Transfer to a plastic zipper lock bag or sealable container. Proceed immediately to next step, or for best results, marinate for about 30 minutes or up to two days.

Preheat toaster oven to high on broiler. Cover a small broiler pan with aluminum foil. Rub excess marinade off of salmon and place on broiler pan. Broil until top surface is well charred and salmon is barely warm in the center, about 5 minutes, using the foil to protect any areas that threaten to burn. Serve immediately.

Herb-Roasted Chicken Tenders

You’re never too old to enjoy chicken tenders for dinner! Celebrity chef Eric Ripert shares this quick and easy meal with Today. Herbes de Provence lend the dish its flavorful character. It’s savory and delicious — particularly when served alongside a sweet honey Dijon medley for dipping. This recipe takes 20 minutes to complete and yields 2 servings.

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Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces chicken tenders
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions: Heat toaster oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Drizzle half of the olive oil onto the toaster oven tray. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence.

Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the tray and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the seasoned chicken. Bake the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, stir together the Dijon mustard and honey. Serve the chicken tenders with mustard on the side. Alternately, serve the chicken tenders on skewers as an appetizer or with an arugula salad.

by Cheatsheet

Very pleased with this bread machine!

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I was skeptical about the reviews raving about this product and how perfect this bread maker seems to be but dang it, they were spot on. This bread maker is the most unbelievable appliance I have ever bought. You put everything in and hit the button and bam, perfect bread.

Also, I have found the dough making on this thing wonderful. I always had trouble baking until now because I put the ingredients in the machine and out comes perfect bread dough for the oven or Pizza dough. The instructions on how to use and the recipes given to you are perfect and so easy to follow. I have yet to have a screw up in this machine and I am a beginner on baking. I highly recommend this is you want perfect bread or a machine to spit out the dough ready for anything you want to bake. Just a fabulous machine!!

Using this espresso machine pretty much daily

Going on 10 months of using this machine pretty much daily. I grind my own beans but have used pre-ground as well. The machine works very well especially considering the price! It was a little tough to prime the very first time and it gets a little cranky if the water runs out and you have to re-prime. I also find that the frother works best when full. It provides less froth as the level of the milk drops. I’m not too concerned about this as I prefer less froth for my cappuccino, and none for my Americano. It does do a really good job for hot chocolate!

espresso-makerSo far it has held up pretty well though it does show some wear and tear from the ceramic cups on the plastic and aluminum. I have cleaned it up after each use and have even unscrewed the screen from the group head a time or two to ensure it is good and clean. A small bottle brush is handy to clean up the frother by the way.

Given the convenience of the machine and the quality of the coffee made, I give it two thumbs up. No, it’s not an Italian espresso from a $1000+ machine but for the price it does a great job. David C. Beedle