October 9, 2015
All About Frosting Tips
As you pass by the bakery aisle in the grocery store, the brightly decorated cakes may catch your eye, but it’s likely that you take for granted just how to achieve the unique, intricate designs of the sugary frosting woven on each cake. Our comprehensive guide to frosting tips breaks down each tip and the icing design it produces.
For basic cake design, you must learn how to pipe the edges of the cake. For this, you can use the round tip, star tip, or a ruffle tip for a whimsical flair. Next comes flower design – the all-time staple of cake decorating. For that you’ll need a flower drop tip, or a rose tip, as well as a leaf tip for embellishment.
When it comes to displaying your message, whether it is “happy birthday,” “congratulations,” or even outlining an image, you will want to use a small, round tip. A good piece of advice for writing clearly with icing is to first outline the message lightly with a toothpick. That way you have a template to follow. Use your non-dominant hand to support the bag while you pipe the icing, and if you go outside the lines, simple scrape the icing away with a butter knife, re-applying the base layer as necessary. Just make sure to keep some of the base layer of icing the original color to touch up mistakes. Read on for many more frosting tips!
September 4, 2015
What’s Cooking: Everything You Need to Know About Your Oven
The oven serves as the cornerstone appliance in any kitchen. It is quite simple to use, but there are always more tips and tricks to learn about how to use this appliance more efficiently, for better cooking results. Like turning off the oven a few minutes before your food is due to be cooked and using the remaining heat to finish the job. Read our infographic below for lots of information on your faithful kitchen servant!
For example, if you’re cooking a large dinner for a group and need to put multiple items in the oven at once, that’s fine! Simply adjust the temperature to a mid-point between the two separate cooking temperatures if they are about 50 degrees apart. Or, if the temperatures required are vastly different, start with the highest one and turn the oven down as time goes by.
The self-cleaning feature that many ovens have has often been touted as a time-saver, but it could be doing damage as well. The high temperatures involved can do damage to the fuses and electrical components. Instead, try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to get the interior of your oven spotless. Follow the directions below for an overnight cleaning session. And for those with gas ovens, we’ve got you covered as well with a tried-and-tested cleaning method!
June 26, 2015
An Extra Hand in the Kitchen
A food processor is a crucial kitchen tool for many recipes. You can usually achieve similar results using individual tools, but why not eliminate the clutter, effort, and confusion by having one appliance that can chop, dice, grind, and whip like a champion? In order to start to discover the extraordinary culinary options at your fingertips with your food processor, read our guide to learn some tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your appliance.
The first lesson in food processing is learning what all the different attachments can do. The S-shaped blade is one of the most common, and can be used to achieve a variety of different consistencies in your food! Other less-used but equally handy attachments include the dough blade, the citrus juicer, and even a French fry disc! Foods you never thought you’d make at home suddenly become possible when you own a food processor.
Although the processor is a handy gadget with many uses, it does have limitations as well. Certain foods just aren’t meant to be prepared using a food processor, and these include mashed potato, which will become gummy and sticky if over-processed. If you identify these foods, you will never end up with a food processor snafu! For cleanup, consult our guide below, which will teach you how best to clean your beloved new kitchen treasure!
December 12, 2014
A Guide to Ice Fishing
The ice may be forming, but that doesn’t mean fishing season is over. Winter brings new opportunities to fishing-lovers who have never tried ice fishing before. This traditional pastime has its own set of rules and distinct culture, and will give anglers a new thrill at the experience of catching a fish through the ice.
Preparation and proper gear is integral to the sport of ice fishing. You can’t bluff your way through a winter ice fishing trip with insufficient clothing like you can in the spring and fall. It’s important to wear multiple layers of clothing that are designed to keep the body dry. A combination of wool and moisture-wicking fabrics are best.
Checking the thickness of the ice is crucial when planning an ice fishing trip. The ice must be at least four inches thick to be considered safe. This number doubles if the ice is white rather than clear, as this type of ice is less sturdy. The four-inch rule only applies to people, not automobiles. Check our guideline for ice thickness to determine when it’s safe to bring your snowmobile, car, or truck onto the ice.
Finally, it’s time to get fishing! Most ice fishing skills are transferable from regular year-round fishing, but there are a few tricks of the trade to help you find where the fish are hiding. Read on for ice fishing tips and tricks!
October 9, 2014
Shower Optimization: Keep Your Shower Clean, Efficient, and Safe
The shower is your faithful servant, helping you get clean as a whistle before you begin your day. Have you taken the time lately to repay the favor? It may seem counter-intuitive, but showers too need to be cleaned from time to time, in order to remain safe and do their job efficiently.
It is important to take preventative measures to clean your showerhead and drain, before they start showing symptoms of malfunction such as clogs. This infographic provides chemical-free solutions for maintaining your shower’s functionality. Make cleaning your drain a routine that you practice every one to two months, to avoid a buildup. Follow our tips for keeping your shower curtain clean, free of mold, and mildew resistant. Finally, use white vinegar to clean mineral clogs from your showerhead, ensuring an even spray that is free of mineral buildup.
What causes these mineral buildups? The usual culprit is hard water. If you find yourself constantly encountering mineral clogs, it may be worth your while to take a hard water test, in order to find out what you’re dealing with. In addition to rendering your cleaning products less effective, hard water can also leave your skin feeling itchy and dry. If the test confirms you indeed have hard water, consider installing a water filtration system. In addition to improving the quality of your hard water, it can help to weed out harsh chemicals. The amount of chlorine that enters the body during a shower is actually more than is consumed when drinking unfiltered tap water!
If you think the cleanliness of your shower might not be up to par, read on for great cleaning tips that will soon become routine!