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Enhancing Your Kitchen: 11 Tools & Appliances That Will Revitalise Your Cooking Game

Enhancing Your Kitchen: 11 Tools & Appliances That Will Revitalise Your Cooking Game

Do you catch yourself preparing the same dishes over and over? Maybe it’s not because they’re your favorites; it is usually because you don’t have enough time or inspiration. How to change this?

There is no better way than expanding your kitchen toolkit. Some new appliances will open new cooking possibilities, and you will be able to make different types of meals. Other gadgets might speed up the process so laziness or lack of time won’t prevent you from making something that you truly love. In the end, you can’t make a masterpiece without proper tools. You might have some of the items on the list I’m sharing today, others will be a refreshing idea. With every tool and gadget added to your arsenal, your cooking game will only get stronger.

Enhance your cooking game with the following gear:

Air Fryer

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    We all love fried foods, no question about it, but it is also certain that this is not what the doctor would recommend. Today, air fryers present a healthier alternative to frying.This device is a new kid on the block. It uses hot air along with a minimal amount of oil to prepare your favorite fried dishes. Furthermore, it is smaller, faster, safer and infinitely better than traditional fryers. It can be used for cooking pretty much anything you want, from French fries to meat. Check out the air fryer guide to learn more about these devices. Say goodbye to liters of oil for cooking and cholesterol in your blood, and say hello to healthier nutrition and more fun.

    Pizza Stone

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      It is true that you do not need to go to a pizzeria or get an overpriced delivery to enjoy an authentic taste of Italian pizza. If you have an oven, the only thing you need is a pizza stone. Yes, a stone. What it does is help the heat spread evenly and therefore properly bake it. There are different types of stones depending on the desired crust crispiness and thickness of the pizza. Have a look at best pizza stones for the home page to go more into detail about these handy tools. A pizza baked on a good pizza stone really tastes better – just try it for yourself and see. Your guests will be impressed, and ask you where you got that beautiful dough and ingredients.

      Juicer

        People who buy juices surely have their good health in mind. If you are one of those people, you should know that there is no healthier or more money-saving way to drink juice than to make your own. To do this, you will need a juicer, and choose wisely when buying a juicer for your home. These machines will give you the highest quality. Use the leftover pulp on cakes, pastries or savory dishes. A win-win situation; more fruit brings more vitamins and fiber to your nutrition, and you’ll save money, and enjoy truly natural juices without any additions.

        Pressure Cooker

          This is an obvious time saver, no question about it. A simple pressure cooker can reduce the cooking time up to 70%,  which will enable you to prepare your favorite vegetables fast, whenever you want. Another thing it can do is retain and preserve most of the nutrients found in food, due to shorter exposure to heat, and thus giving you a healthier meal. This appliance can help save energy as well since it doesn’t require burners for heating up. It’s amazing how a $100 product can change the way you cook and improve your food significantly. Here’s more on pressure cookers.

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          Food Processor

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            Not a fan of chopping, slicing or cutting? Me neither. Luckily for us, there is the food processor. Have you heard about this bad boy?
            This device will do all of the previously named, as it saves time and energy, much faster and more efficiently. Besides this, different blades and attachments will provide you with more options, for example grating cheese, making French fries, whipping eggs and many others. You can make baby food or various other meals, so there is no need to buy the overpriced, pre-packaged ones.

            Electric Griddle

            improve kitchen - griddle

              Looking to save time and space? An electric griddle might help with both. Its big surface will allow you to prepare more portions of food at once, and when you’re done with it, you can fold it and put it away. The temperature is adjustable, and the surface heats up evenly, not to mention that it’s easy to clean. This appliance is a cheap, practical, time-saving tool that you didn’t know you had to have. Check out the electric girdle guide & review page to help yourself choose the best one for yourself. Remember always to opt for quality before the price, simply because your food will grill on it, as you don’t want cheap materials.

              Dehydrator

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              enhancing your kitchen - dehydrator

                A relatively new addition to the modern kitchen appliances, dehydrators are becoming more and more popular. Today, it is most widely used within the healthy food communities, but it is a perfect option for people who want to try something different. Create your own snacks by dehydrating fruits and vegetables. These food items have a long shelf life and are way healthier than anything that can be bought in a store. You might also get ideas for new, exciting dishes using this remarkable device.

                Electric Knife Sharpener

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                  Blunt knives are a chef’s worst enemy, just ask anyone who spends a considerable amount of time in the kitchen. Back in the day, you had to visit a professional to get this problem fixed, but this is a thing of the past. Electric knife sharpeners are a safe, simple and efficient way to get your knives as sharp as possible. Just put the knife in one of the slots of this machine and let it do the work. Used up knives will not ruin your joy of cooking ever again. On the other hand, the sensation of a well-sharpened blade going through raw food is so appealing. Get yourself a fine electric sharpener, and enjoy.

                  Spiralizer

                    As important and delicious as they can be, vegetable salads tend to be boring and repetitive. A spiralizer can help fix this problem and bring back the joy of preparing and consuming vegetables. This creative tool allows you to cut vegetables in beautiful spiral shapes, thus making something that looks refreshing and interesting. For example, you can replace pasta and noodles with spirals made from zucchini, sweet potatoes, and other vegetable delights. By doing this, you will reduce the calories and increase the nutritional content of your meals.

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                    Fat Separator

                    improve kitchen - fat separator

                      Fat or gravy separator is a tool which helps separate the fat from pan drippings and leaves you with tasty, delicious juices. It is basically a large jug with a spout. After the roast liquid sits in the cup for a while, the fat goes up to the top, and the remaining juices stay at the bottom ready to be poured out. This tool can be used for purifying soups and stews as well. All in all, it allows you to have a flavorful meal with much less fat.

                      Slow Cooker

                        It might sound like a paradox, but a slow cooker is a time saver. This pot doesn’t require any special attention while the meal is being cooked, only the initial preparation of ingredients. The meals that you can prepare in a slow cooker are nutritious, delicious and hearty meals, hard to reproduce with any other cooking appliance. Therefore, it can open up a whole new world of flavor that you didn’t know about. Easy to clean and energy saving, overall it is a good idea to get one. In addition, you can find great slow cooker recipes to save you some time in searching for your next delicious meal. Here’s more on which type and model to pick.

                        What’s for dinner?

                        Have you tried any new recipe recently?

                        With new kitchen gear presented today, you’ll be aching to try something new every day. And by that, you’ll grow your kitchen skills, as you grow your kitchen gear. Everybody wins.

                        Let us know in the comments what you’ve got recently, and which tasty dish you’ve made!

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                        Dejan Kvrgic

                        Blogger, Writer

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                        Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                        At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                        Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                        One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                        When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                        So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                        Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                        This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                        Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                        When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                        Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                        One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                        Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                        An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                        When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                        Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                        Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                        We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                        By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                        Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                        While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                        I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                        You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                        Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                        When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                        Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                        Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                        Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                        One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                        Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                        Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                        This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                        While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                        Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                        Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                        This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                        For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                        Con #4: Unique Distractions

                        Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                        For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                        To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                        We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                        More About Working From Home

                        Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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