Re-thinking Your Cookware Needs.

How long is it since you looked through your cook ware?  I mean really looked!  It’s surprising how we keep things that we don’t use or need year after year. Or, on the other hand we have things that are so worn and discoloured that they should have gone out with the garbage long ago.

I recently visited a friend and needed something in one of the kitchen drawers. I tried to open the draw but it wouldn’t budge. It was with great difficulty that I got it open. The problem was, it was jammed packed full of old trays, cake tins, and pans.  I wouldn’t use them if I needed one. These are years old, taking up space and just gathering dust. It made me think about going home and check my own cookware.

Remember when you began putting your first kitchen together. Maybe you had lots of gifts from a wedding shower managing to equip your kitchen with everything you needed and more. Or maybe you had a few make shift left over’s from family and friends.  Like anything in life our needs change over time and so do our tastes.

We strive for the bigger home to bring up our family.  For those that like to cook the bigger the kitchen, the more cookware the better we like it.  When we are young and beginning our domesticated lives we add more and more to our homes.  Let’s be honest having a family usually means lots of cooking and entertaining.

 As we age and our families leave home we find it’s time to start making a number of lifestyle changes. It’s a time when we may want to travel more or pursue interests that we have put on hold while raising our families.

   There are those that have had and enjoyed a large house and garden that provided the needed space for their growing family.   Now the nest is empty they may be feeling that they have put enough of their time, energy and money into maintaining this home for long enough. They are ready to downsize. They want something more manageable and low maintenance.  This will allow them the time and funds to pursue travel, learn to paint, or perfect their golf swing; which is doable when practicing with the Medicus golf swing trainer  As we get even older there is also the challenge of physically being capable of maintaining a large home and garden.

For others that have been so busy in their careers, they have had little time to pursue their passion of gardening, cooking or whatever their interest is.  They welcome the opportunity to finally have the time to enjoy their home based special interests.   Some love to cook and entertain especially as they reach their 50’s and over. Many find it increasingly difficult to find suitable places to go for a social life once they reach their 50’s. They often find entertaining friends and family in their homes far more appealing.

One particular couple I know, after they retired they turned their modest home into a beautiful oasis. The husband’s passion is gardening.  He had spent many years at a high stress job in the justice system. During that time his form of relaxation was to lose himself in his garden.  After he retired he transformed their large garden into a relaxing Zen like park with a huge variety of colourful plants, flowers, and garden water fountains.  His wife a retired school teacher loves to cook. They spent some of their retirement savings on creating the kitchen of her dreams. This time she did not have to make do, so after doing the product research and checking out the cookware reviews, she equipped her kitchen with the best cookware.  She got out the cookbooks that she had rarely had chance to use, dusted them off and now cooks till her heart’s content. She cooks the most fabulous gourmet meals, and superb deserts.  This is a couple that know how to follow their passion while not going far from home.

Often if there are just one or two people at home our cooking skills tend to be little used. We may prefer to spend our time doing other things rather than cooking.  However, most of us know the value of preparing our own meals. As we get older it’s even more important that we pay attention to our health.  Cooking healthy meals is a big part of this.  Some of the healthiest and easiest ways to cook a meal when you don’t want a lot of preparation is with a casserole, or an electric wok. Several of my friends and I find this an excellent way to cook tasty low fat meals.  It’s so handy to have everything cooking in one piece of cookware.  As with most purchases it pays to get a quality product especially when it’s something that will last you a long time. 

 Author Bio:
Shirley Price lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is the author of a social website called LifeByDesignOver50.  It’s a place for the over 50s to come together and share interests and ideas. As a mum of 3 and a grandmother Shirley has done her fair share of cooking-now she’s happy when others cook for her.

How to Choose a Steamer – Cook Healthy Food Without Fat

Steaming your food is one of the healthiest ways to cook. You don’t have to worry about food drying out when you steam. Another benefit to steaming is you don’t need to use oil when you cook, cutting calories.

With steaming, vegetables keep their nutritional value, they don’t get boiled away. So whether you’re looking to just make up a pot of rice or steam some vegetables there are a few things you need to think about with how to choose a steamer.

The first thing to consider with how to choose a steamer is if you want a stove top steamer that you can just use with another pot of water like a double boiler or do you want a stand alone plug in unit. There are benefits to both types.

  • Double Boiler: You don’t lose storage space with another kitchen gadget.  You can control how fast an item steams simply by using the range controls.
  • Countertop Steamer: Dedicated unit specifically designed for steaming. It cooks faster than a double boiler. You don’t need to wait for the entire pan of water to start boiling.

Once you’ve figured out whether you want a range steamer or a countertop steamer you’ll need to figure out how large the dishes are you plan on preparing. If you’re only cooking for yourself then you can choose a much smaller steamer. If instead you’re cooking for a large family look for stackable steamers. These let you add one or two layers on top of the steam unit doubling or tripling the amount you can cook.

Whether you want a range steamer or countertop steamer you’ll be thrilled with the results you get from steaming your food. Just pick a unit sized right for your family and you’ll be enjoying great tasting rice, vegetables, and delicate fish dishes in no time.

Blog of the Week – Months of Edible Celebrations

Months of Edible CelebrationsThis week I have a real treat for you.

 Our blog of the week is

 Months of Edible Celebrations

This blog by Louise is  a exactly what the title says, edible celebrations by month.

I thought this title was intriguing and  I was totally sucked in (no pun intended) when the first story I came across was called ‘Nibbling my way to Count Dracula’s’.

The tale of Dracula and Transylvania is interspersed with recipes such as Chicken Paprikash and Oszre Valo Ecetagy Keszitese (a wine vinegar for Autum). 

Louise tells us what the celebration days are for each month,  and then she gives us a beautiful narrative along with recipes to cook for the day.

And just as I finished reading about United Nations day via Argentina which includes a recipe for Humita Mendocina – a tasty creamy corn pudding; up pops a post all about pumpkin days, just in time for Halloween.

I love this blog.  Louise has included  lots and lots of great reading,  she keeps you up to date with all the celebration days that you may like to cook for and there are many excellent recipes included.

Thoroughly recommend that you visit Months of Edible Celebrations, I just know you will end up like I do, totally engrossed in the stories.  A worthwhile way to take some time out for yourself.

Relieve Blunt Knife Frustration – Review: Wusthof Precision Edge 2 Stage Knife Sharpener

51A1VcI4fnL._SL1000_Blunt Knives = Frustration

Here you are in the middle of your latest culinary creation only to find that your favorite knife has lost its wonderfully sharp edge and needs to be sharpened.

Talk about frustrating.

Many people take their knives to someone to have this job done, so that means your knife is out of commission for a while.

Well, this  doesn’t have to be the case. If you have the Wusthof 2 Stage Knife Sharpener you can sharpen you knife yourself right there and then in the convenience of your kitchen.

The Wusthof 2 Stage Knife Sharpener is a simple device that will work  wonders on your kitchen knives. It is made with carbide steel for the coarse sharpening side and then when you are ready for that fine sharp edge, you will switch to the ceramic rod side of the device.

Using this knife sharpener is easy. With one hand, hold the handle on the sharpener to keep it steady. You will get a little help with this as it also has rubber grips on the bottom to aid in keeping it still, then pull your knife through the carbide steel site 3-5 times. Next, move to the ceramic side and pull the knife through another 3-5 times or until the blade has as sharp of an edge as you would like.

 

What We Like

  • The Wusthof sharpener is an easy to use device that beautifully restores your kitchen knife edge.
  • This sharpener is a fraction of the price of our favorite kitchen knives and will extend their usefulness making it a smart spending decision.
  • The rubber grips holds it firmly in place and the handle on the side of the sharpener lets you be in complete control.

 

Blog of the Week – Noshtalgia

NoshtalgiaOur ‘Blog of the Week’ this week is Noshtalgia.

 And here, once again,we have another  blog chock full of tasty  recipes to tempt your taste buds.

What a great name for a blog – Noshtalgia. 

When I first found Julie’s blog I was captured by her Hats off to A Special Lady post, for a couple of reasons. Firstly it brought back memories of the era I was raised in where my grandmother and all her friends would never dream of leaving the house without their hat and gloves, and immaculate hair.

I too belong to the big hair brigade and find it hard to accept the flat look of today. I can’t help it, I like big ‘Fran Drescher’ style hair.

The second reason was the clam sauce, in fact there are two beautiful recipes for clam sauce – Aunt Lena’s Red Clam Sauce and Julie’s White Clam Sauce.  You see I love clam sauce over pasta and these recipes really appeal.

And if you are anything like me, you will find Julie’s ‘ No Knead To Thank Me’  post on no knead home made bread recipes a godsend.

You will find a wealth of great recipes on Noshtalgia that you will really want to get right in and try. The recipes are accompanied by interesting anecdotes which give the recipes a homey touch.

So its that time again – grab a coffee, put your feet up and browse through Noshtalgia for some inspiration and a pleasant read.