Archive for January, 2014

Awesome Super Bowl Recipes!

Well, the Super Bowl is coming up. Super Bowl XLVIII, to be precise. Don’t get too worried by that string of Roman numerals; we’re only two years away from 2016’s Super Bowl L. Here in New York, we may not have a team in the game but for the first time, the game itself is being hosted on our home turf, just across the Hudson at the Meadowlands, home of the Giants. This is the first open-air Super Bowl to be held in a cold weather city, which means that it might be frigid out there, both for the players and for the spectators. And since if you don’t have a ticket already you probably can’t get one, you’re just gonna have to watch it at home.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a party, does it? Absolutely not.

Break out the bright-red Daisy cups, make sure you’ve got plenty of ice, and get ready to dig in, because a Super Bowl party is more than just cracking open a bag of Doritos and ordering a pizza.

Chicken Nachos!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups blue corn chips
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon fajita mix
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced banana peppers
  • 1/2 cup sliced black and green olives
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the corn chips on a large baking tray. In a large bowl stir together the shredded chicken, ¾ cup sour cream, ½ cup salsa, green onions, fajita seasoning mix, and fresh lime juice. Mix well. Spoon the chicken mixture evenly on top of the corn chips. Sprinkle the chicken with the black beans, banana peppers, and olives. Top with shredded cheese. Bake the nachos for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with avocado slices, the remaining salsa, and the remaining sour cream. Add the jalapeno peppers for additional flavor, if desired.

Tamale Corn Cakes!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup green Verde sauce (green enchilada sauce)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapenos
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup very soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, combine the enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, the jalapeños and 2 of the green onions. Cover and process for 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour in to a small container and refrigerate. Rinse the food processor bowl. Place 1 cup of the corn in the food processor. Cover and process for 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth. Add the butter, sugar and a pinch of the salt. Cover and process for 30 seconds or until smooth and well combined. Add the masa harina and the flour. Cover and pulse for 4 or 5 times or just until moistened. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup corn. Turn the dough onto a work surface lightly coated with masa harina. Roll the dough into a log. Cut in 8 portions. Pat each portion into a 3-inch round. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake the cakes for 15 minutes or until the bottom is a deep golden brown. Turn the cakes over and bake for 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. Meanwhile, chop the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. In medium bowl, mix the cilantro, tomatoes, bell pepper, lime peel, lime juice and remaining salt. In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup of the sour cream, the mayonnaise and taco seasoning. To serve, pour the chilled green sauce on a serving platter. Top with the hot corn cakes. Spoon the tomato mixture over each corn cake. Drizzle with the sour cream sauce. Dollop the cakes with the remaining sour cream.

Potato Skin Poppers!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen, diced potatoes (or hash browns)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 3/4 cup cooked bacon pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 dash salt & pepper to taste
  • 14 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the potatoes in a skillet according to the package directions. In a large bowl, stir together the cooked potatoes, Cheddar cheese, 1 cup sour cream, bacon, green onions, and salt and pepper. Warm the tortillas according to the package directions. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture in the center of the 14 tortillas. Fold in two sides of each tortilla to meet in the middle, and then roll burrito-style. Brush the outside of each rolled tortilla with melted butter and place on baking pan with seam down. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes then cut diagonally into halves. Serve with the remaining sour cream.

Guacamole!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1/4 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream

Directions

Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; mix well. Add the avocado and mix, mashing the avocado slightly. Fold in the sour cream. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

Chicken Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from 7 ounce can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons taco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.1 ounce package refrigerated pie crust dough
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Move the oven rack to the center position. Mix the chicken, cheese, chiles, adobo sauce, taco sauce and chopped cilantro in medium bowl. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one pie crust to a 12-inch circle. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 15 circles. Using half the chicken mixture, place 1 slightly rounded teaspoon mixture in center of each circle. Brush the outside edges lightly with the egg. Fold over to make half-moons and pinch the edges to seal. Place the empanadas 1-inch apart on a large ungreased cookie sheet. Press around sealed edges with a fork. Prick the tops with a fork and brush with the egg. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, using the remaining pie crust and chicken mixture and cheese, prepare the remaining appetizers. Place the second batch of empanadas on another cookie sheet. Bake as directed above. Mix the sour cream and garlic powder in small bowl. Serve the empanadas with a dollop of the sour cream mixture. Tip: The empanadas can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated prior to baking. Add one minute to the baking time if prepared ahead.

Ranch Potato Wedges

Ingredients

  • 5 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 1 packet dry ranch dip mix
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, oil, salt, pepper and chili powder. Toss until the potatoes are evenly coated with the seasoning. Spread the potatoes out on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Bake the potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. While the potatoes are cooking, mix the sour cream, the dip mix and the heavy cream in a medium bowl; combine well. Once the potatoes are done, transfer the wedges to a serving platter. Spoon the sour cream sauce over the potatoes. Top the wedges with bacon bits and green onions.

Spicy  Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 16 chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

Place the hot sauce into a small saucepan and heat until warm. Add the butter and whisk until melted; set aside. Mix the sour cream, blue cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and garlic in a medium bowl. Mix the dip until incorporated; place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the wings on a sheet pan and toss with the oil. Bake the wings for 20 minutes. Remove the wings from the oven and place them in to a large bowl. Add the hot sauce mixture and toss with the wings until they are evenly coated. Serve the chicken wings along with the blue cheese sauce for dipping.

 

Modernizing Appliances: How Much is Too Much?

ImageLiving in a time when technology is advancing at a rate faster than ever before can be extremely comforting when it comes to medicine and communication. It can become confusing when large scale corporations expect you to be perfectly comfortable with talking to your appliances. Recently, the big bandwagon that many home electronics companies seem too eager to jump upon is forcing their models into the “computer age”. The most obvious example of this overwhelming need to digitalize everything is the refrigerator that owners can freely communicate with.

Want to know how much milk is left? Simply ask the glowing screen on the front of your refrigerator to find out. Interested in cooking dinner for a few friends, but have no idea what to make? Just let the fridge decide for you. While these features might seem awesome at first, practicality soon catches up with novelty when it comes to futuristic appliances. First, in order to keep an accurate record of how much food is in the refrigerator, you actually have to key in the amount added or removed from the ice box. Failing to do so will lead to false testimonies, and the last thing you want to deal with at7:00 AM is drinking black coffee because your son or daughter forgot to punch in their withdrawal of breakfast milk.

Is it possible that our kitchen could do with a little modern updating? Of course, but the technology to make conversational appliances convenient without needing to obsessively catalogue your grocery usage does not yet exist. For the time being, we might have to deal with the fact that opening the door and taking a cursory glance at our provisions is the best way of figuring out what there is to eat.

When you look at refrigerators for sale, are you interested in the most advanced model or one that fulfills the simple need of keeping food cold? Are you interested in having a fully voice operated home, or are you satisfied with kitchen technology as it stands?

Capital Cooking: The Legend

Something remarkable happened in the mid-1980’s.

Since the middle of the 1970’s, luxury-conscious consumers had been installing full commercial ranges in their homes. They liked the stainless steel construction — designed to be effortless to clean — and the easy engineering of the large knobs and pulls. Commercial ranges had a sense of solidity and gravitas which communicated a certain je ne sais quoi, making the kitchen start to feel like a truly special place where amazing things could be done. But as this practice spread, problems began to arise. Quite simply, these were appliances which were not designed for usage in the home. They ran too hot, too quickly; designed for bulk cooking, they would overwhelm smaller home meals. They were dangerous in homes with children, as they kept their gas light burning constantly and lacked child safety locks. They didn’t even have anything as simple as a broiler. This would not do.

So when Fred Carl, Jr. had his famous idea of a high-end commercial-quality and commercial-style range that was specifically designed for home use, he knew he had to turn to the best to design it. That’s why he turned to Surjit Kalsi. Kalsi, who got started in industrial design in 1957, had nearly thirty years of experience engineering home cooking appliances. He’s been called a “barbecue cowboy” for his original innovative outdoor stainless steel grill (which got him thrown out of a distributor’s office, and is now a multi-billion dollar industry). Kalsi, in other words, is the industry-defining designer who has completely changed the field in the same way Steve Jobs changed home computing. He’s the man who engineered the first Viking range, that legendary appliance that redefined home cooking.

He’s also the chairman of Capital Cooking, where his genius continues to influence and define the industry. Capital carries forward the design legacy of the original Viking range, bringing that same brilliant thinking and innovation to their entire product line, from indoor and outdoor ranges — including the ultra-powerful Culinarian series featuring an open burner system, 23,000 BTUs of cooking power, and a constant even simmer — to the world’s finest stainless steel grills. All of them carry the imprint of the original genius, Surjit Kalsi.

So don’t be afraid of making the switch from Viking to Capital. Viking might have the legendary name, but only Capital has the legend.

 

Christmas May be Over, But Don’t You Deserve a New Kitchen?

Now that we are locked in the freezing threat of winter, we must hunker down in our homes and stay warm until spring arrives once again. While very few of us enjoy the extreme chills and potential snow fall, we can still get excited about the prospect of updating our home during the winter. For the most industriously minded out there,the cold season is a wonderful time for interior home improvement. If you’ve already taken care of the most common problems that plague home owners, you can look into the bigger tasks since over the next few months you’ll likely find yourself indoors more often. A popular trend that has recently gained a lot of attention is kitchen improvement.

Though it may seem somewhat laborious at first, there are actually several benefits to installing new kitchen appliances. With enough work, you can even transform your kitchen into something completely different and innovative. Most people are overly accustomed to how they kitchen already looks and forget it is within their power to change it. Set yourself apart by providing an alternative that is sure to turn heads. Your friends and family will all wonder why your kitchen looks better than ever, and you can explain to them it was due to your own skillful endeavors!

The cardinal place to start is at the most popular place in the entire kitchen – the oven. There are countless different ovens and ranges available to choose from, but pick the one that best fits the look of your new kitchen. It will serve as your reference piece, and much of your new look will be dependent on whether it matches the new oven. Slowly and surely, from the starting point outward, you’ll notice your kitchen will begin to take on a newer, fuller, cleaner appearance. It’s up to you and you alone to decide how far to take the transformation, so have fun and let your imagination run wild.

Continuing to put off this upgrade will only cost you more money in the long run. It would be best to procure all of the needed tools and materials before it becomes much colder, as well. Take control of your home, and adapt it to your great taste today!

How to Make that Smaller Home More Comfortable

CaptureHave you recently moved out of a larger house and can’t possibly find a way to fit everything you own into a smaller living space? Do you not have the funds to rent out a storage space for all of your excess possessions? If tossing out what you can’t fit just isn’t an option, there may still be hope. Finding enough space in a new living arrangement can often be difficult and frustrating, but it’s never impossible! Whether you’re a newlywed couple moving into your first apartment together, or a college student dueling for space in a new dorm room, there are always methods of freeing up unused area.

Under the Bed

Anything small, flat, or long that you can’t find a better place for can easily be stowed under your bed. As it is typically the largest item in a bedroom, the bed can easily consume a huge portion of your available space. The underside, however, is perfect for those objects you don’t need immediate access to on a daily basis – luggage, alternate pairs of shoes, and other such things can easily be slid in and out of this hiding space. If you’re afraid of clutter, you can also package up a collection of small things into a plastic container and slide the whole box under the bed as a single unit.

Buy Appliances By Your Size

There are certain tools that we cannot live without, no matter how big or small our home is. Imagine trying to live without having a refrigerator or over? Thankfully, it is possible to purchase electronic appliances that fit the shape and size of your home, even if it’s not exactly large. If your apartment complex doesn’t offer a service room to wash your clothes at, it may be best to buy dryers or washing machines of your own. Even if there is a Laundromat nearby, depending on how often you wash your garments, you may end up losing money traveling there and back.

Wall Hooks

Your wall is more than just a place to pin your favorite posters, its perfect room real estate! There are many different sorts of wall hooks, and you should make your decision based on the weight of what you wish to hang. These hooks are great for holding your jackets, bags, wires, cords, and pretty much anything with a wire or strap! Also, hanging things on or near your door is a sure way to help you remember them on your way out.

How to Occupy Your Winter

Winter is right around the corner, and what better time is there to start working on interior home improvement? Although the weather might not be perfect, that doesn’t mean you should shirk the duty of keeping up your home. If you still want to accomplish your goals while snow is falling, get ready to turn your interest indoors. Check out these brilliant ideas that are sure to keep you busy and improve your home during winter! 

Redecorate

With summer a long way off, it’s time to ensure that your home has the right look for the colder season. The same colors that help make your rooms seem alive during August or June don’t work the same magic when snow is falling outside. Switch out those bright and flashy hues for something a bit more muted and reserved for a calming, soothing winter season.

Update the Kitchen

One of the busiest rooms in your house during the winter season is most likely the kitchen. Due to the amount of holidays and need for warm meals, you might find that your old stove or oven can’t quite keep up. Thankfully, new freestanding ranges are easy to find and purchase without much hassle. Ensuring that your kitchen is in perfect working order before the family comes to visit is integral to a happy holiday. After all, don’t you deserve to have an up to date, fully functioning stove and oven?

Stock up on Supplies

Depending on where you live, snow could be a serious threat. If you live anywhere that has a relatively high amount of precipitation, it is important to stock up on household goods before you become trapped. There might not be a guaranteed time by which you can get to the store, so remember to pick up a little more than you think you’ll need. Consider purchasing things such as light bulbs, batteries, water, and canned food to help last the season. Even if you don’t need to deal with a state of emergency, having the extra supplies won’t hurt!

Find a New Use for a Spare Room

Many homes have spare rooms, usually converted into a guest room. If you aren’t getting as many guests as you expect, this could be a waste of precious real estate. Perhaps that room could be put to better use as a place to do activities or work out, since you won’t be going outside as much. Don’t allow your quality space to collect dust, find a new hobby and embrace your new creative space.

New Dishwasher Features from KitchenAid

Washing dishes is such a chore, isn’t it? You have to stand at the sink, applying vigoroous amounts of soap, water, and elbow grease to try and pry some stubborn specks of food off your nice china. It’s unpleasant, and what’s more, it’s wasteful. Not only does it waste your time, it’s also bad for the planet. Clean dishes aren’t worth the planet. Not when there’s an option.

KitchenAid has been making great advances in dishwashing technology ever since they released their very first dishwashing unit in 1949. With every year, their machines have gotten better, smarter, easier to use, more effective at cleaning, and quieter. Bit by bit, KitchenAid is improving your life.

So what’s in store for 2014 in KitchenAid dishwashers?

Everything.

Like what?

Well, the era of pre-rinsing and pre-scrubbing your dishes is rapidly drawing to a close. For decades, we’ve had to wash our dishes before we washed our dishes; well, no more! KitchenAid this year is introducing a brand-new smart wash cycle called ProWash. ProWash will use a water rinse to determine the size of the load, the level of dish soiling, and just exactly how stubborn the mess is, and will then intelligently adjust the wash cycle so that it cleans your dishes perfectly on the first go. And not only that, but it will make sure it uses the most energy- and water-efficient method to do so. So it will get your dishes cleaner than usual faster than usual while using less water and energy than usual. Smashing!

KitchenAid also unveiled their new ProDry system, designed to get your dishes dryer faster, getting you better results than you might receive from competing dishwashers. ProDry hinges on the mingling of dry and humid air to improve drying performance. As the tub cools, the remaining moisture condenses on the stainless steel surface, drawing moisture off the dishes. Combined with the low-profile recessed heating dual-watt element, ProDry is simply more effective at finishing the cleaning job.

Washing has also been made more effective with their new filter-based wash system. This amazing new development features press-optimized wash warms, which pumps water out through jets throughout the entire dishwasher interior, alternating three targeted wash zones for increased washing efficiency. The targeting means that more high-pressure water is project at a single location, doing more effective work at removing tough encrusted bits of food. All this with a self-calibrating wash sensor, like in ProWash above, which keeps track of the wash progress and adjusts the output and performance on the fly, making sure your dishes are being washed right.

What else? Well, KitchenAid dishwashers, always the quietest on the market, are even quieter. The Whisper Quietsystem now reduces noise to a barely audible 39 dBAs, which is quieter than a library. You could operate this thing in the middle of the New York Public Library and never get asked to leave, except for the fact that you are operating a dishwasher; the noise sure wouldn’t be an issue. The noise in a KitchenAid dishwasher will never exceed 46 dBA’s, quieter than a normal conversation, during normal operation.

The ProScrub Trio option features forty water spray jets at the back of the dishwasher which will pump powerful streams at your dishes to remove caked-, seared-, and baked-on food matter  with 40% more coverage than the standard ProScrub feature. Kiss pre-soaking goodbye forever.

And aiding in overall efficiency in operation is the new AquaSense Release System. This special system increases water efficiency by re-filtering and re-cleaning water from the last load and uses it instead of fresh-water for the pre-rinse cycle in your next load, storing up to 3.5. quarts of water for re-use in a side tank. This feature will reduce your water usage by up to 33% per load.

KitchenAid is at the forefront of changing how your kitchen works and how you use it. Embrace the kitchen revolution.

It’s Not Easy Being Green (Or Is It?)

Making your home more energy-efficient can sound like a difficult endeavor. Visions dance in your head of painstakingly installing solar panels on your home and only eating food you grow in your own specially-designed geodesic dome. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be as simple as a few best-practices or upgrading your refrigerator. It can, in fact, be easy being green, and we’re here to show you how.

Image

However, if you can afford the geodesic dome, definitely give it a good think.

 

First, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency with a few little home hacks.

– Use shades, blinds, and drapes to help with heating and cooling. Open or close them as needed to take advantage of the sun’s natural heating, opening them when you want a little free warmth and closing them during the dog days of summer. This will supplement, not replace, your current heating and air conditioning systems.

– Seal off cracks and gaps around windows and doors with caulk and weather stripping. It helps keep the warm or cool air in your house.

– Use fans in summer, even if you have an air conditioner, because it will circulate the air, meaning your entire home will cool off faster. That means your air condition simply won’t need to work as hard.

– Turn off your lights when no one needs them. This seems like a no-brainer, but lots of people routinely leave lights on where they aren’t being used. Additionally, you can look into getting a dimmer switch installed, which gives you increased control over lighting levels and means you can use less electricity by finding an acceptable lighting level that uses less energy.

– Use power strips! Lots of home appliances and gizmos use electricity even whey aren’t turned on. Sometimes called “energy vampires,” these are products that have some sort of standby mode that means they continue to drain energy from the outlet, and can cost you upwards of $100 a year.  You can use power strips as a central “off point,” letting you cut these vampires off from their food. While we’re at it, phone chargers also tend to be energy vampires. Unplug them when you aren’t charging your phone.

You can start using more energy-efficient appliances.

– These may require an upfront investment, but they will save you money in the long run, and are much better for the planet than more wasteful appliances.

– Switch to natural gas appliances if you can. It’s usually less expensive than electricity, and is much more energy efficient, only losing 10% of its energy to heat burnoff, meaning that 90% of the energy is put to use. In contrast, your car has only 35% efficiency.

– Consider installing a tankless water heater. Since heating water accounts for up to 30% of a home’s energy budget, any reduction is a welcome one, and tankless gas-fired water heaters can reduce your energy costs by 50% over regular storage heaters. Upfront costs may be high, but significant energy savings over time can be expected. And as they are far more efficient than traditional units, they’re environmental value can’t be overstated.

 – If you have an older refrigerator, look into replacing it with a more recent unit. Energy efficiency improves all the time, and has made significant strides in the last few years. That means a new unit could be considerably more efficient — and cheaper to run — than one even a few years old, and units coming up on twenty years old can be replaced by Energy Star units that cost a third as much to run. You can check out the Energy Star Refrigerator Calculator to find out how much you could save. There’s no reason not to check.

– Replace your air conditioner with a more energy-efficient model; look for SEER (Season Energy Efficiency Rating) of 14 or more. If you don’t have central air and are currently using a series of window units, look into a mini-split system; less intensive in installation than central air, it provides the sort of comprehensive control  and versatility you get from single-window units with greater efficiency provided by the single central AC unit. That’s unparalleled flexibility and efficiency at  minimal cost, without requiring wasteful and inefficient ductwork.

Benefits of Dishwasher Ownership

bosch-dishwasher-zeolith-eco2-openThere are plenty of reasons to own a dishwasher. Perhaps the biggest one on your mind is ease of use. Yes, dishwashers give us permission to be lazy. Washing dishes can really be a pain; you have to scrub away, really putting a lot of elbow grease into it sometimes to get those last bits of old, encrusted food off your nice new china. Who wouldn’t prefer to just be able to stick the dishes in a machine. But did you know there are actually good reasons to own a dishwasher? And that in fact, you’re actually being environmentally friendly in doing so?

The best reason to own a dishwasher is that it will almost certainly reduce your carbon footprint. Straight up. The reason is that the way most of us hand-wash dishes –under a constant stream of scalding water — is incredibly wasteful. And I really mean that “incredibly,” as in “very difficult to believe.” This can use almost 8000g CO2e (CO2e is “Carbon Dioxide Equivalent” is the conventional laymen’s measurement of the climactic impact of an action, totaling the impact of all the greenhouse gases caused by an item or activity rolled into one and expressed in terms of the amount of CO2 that would have the same impact); conversely,  a dishwasher running at 130°F could only use 770g CO2e. That’s less than a tenth the measure for conventional hand-washing. It’s also only marginally more carbon-intensive than using far the far less effective method of washing by hand with sparing, mildly-warm water, which most people don’t do anyway.

The reason the difference is this dramatic is that most people get their hot water from gas-powered boilers while dishwashers use electricity to heat up cold water;  while electrical generation is generally less efficient than gas heating, most people will use such a dramatically larger amount of heated water, so while gas may be technically more efficient, actual usage favors the dishwasher. Dishwashers are also simply more effective at keeping your dishes clean and relatively sterile; hand-washing using water sparingly will often leave up to 400x more bacteria on the surface of your dishes.  In fact, dishwashers in the United States are required to meet NSF standards for sanitation which mandate certain levels of dish sterilization, which you will simply never be able to meet washing by hand.

To summarize, dishwashers use less water, less energy, pump less CO2 into the atmosphere, all while getting your dishes much cleaner than you could on your own. In other words, dishwasher ownership and use can be seen as a form of responsible environmental stewardship, and you should use yours fearlessly. For best results, use only when full, and make sure you’re using the appropriate settings. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Energy Star label, too, to be sure you’re getting the most energy-efficient product in its category. Whether they’re Whirlpool dishwashers, GE dishwashers, Bosch dishwashers, Frigidaire dishwashers, or any other manufacturer, dishwashers as a rule are great ways to exercise responsible conservation of the planet’s resources.

There are other benefits, too. So let’s go into those, too.

First, you’ll save money. Because they use less water and less energy, you can expect to save around $100 a year with regular and appropriate dishwasher usage as opposed to hand-washing.  Additionally, your dishes really do get much cleaner and more hygienic due to the dishwasher using far higher temperatures than human skin can tolerate. With a strong detergent, your dishes will be rendered virtually sterile and preserved from exposure to the sorts of bacteria that can build up on exposed, wet sponges.

Not to omitted is having a cleaner kitchen due to dishes not hanging around in the sink or dish rack, so there’s simply more space available and far less visual clutter and exposed food.

They’re also not difficult to use or maintain, so you get all the benefits enumerated above without any difficulty in operation or upkeep; dishwashers with hard food disposal spare you even having to rinse your dishes first, as they can adequately deal with any chunks of leftover food remaining on your dish surfaces. And many quiet dishwashers operate at near whisper-quiet sound levels — often as low as 40 dB — which means that these aren’t loud, clanking machines, so you also get cleaner, safer dishes and a smaller carbon footprint in near silaence. Most of these benefits can be extended to portable dishwashers and countertop dishwashers as well, which means that in situations such as rentals, sublets, and co-ops where you can’t install a full-service dishwasher you can still get a workable dishwashing solution. These small form factor dishwashers are single-load dishwashers usually limited to holding around six place settings, and are usually more than enough for homes with only one or two people. They’re inexpensive, easy to maintain, and don’t require extensive installation, while offering you all the benefits of larger units.

So there you go. Dishwashers are a sound investment, good for the environment, and better for your home than washing your dishes by hand. They’re certainly worth considering.

Christmas May be Over, But Don’t You Deserve a New Kitchen?

Now that we are locked in the freezing threat of winter, we must hunker down in our homes and stay warm until spring arrives once again. While very few of us enjoy the extreme chills and potential snow fall, we can still get excited about the prospect of updating our home during the winter. For the most industriously minded out there, the cold season is a wonderful time for interior home improvement. If you’ve already taken care of the most common problems that plague home owners, you can look into the bigger tasks since over the next few months you’ll likely find yourself indoors more often. A popular trend that has recently gained a lot of attention is kitchen improvement.

CaptureThough it may seem somewhat laborious at first, there are actually several benefits to installing new kitchen appliances. With enough work, you can even transform your kitchen into something completely different and innovative. Most people are overly accustomed to how they kitchen already looks and forget it is within their power to change it. Set yourself apart by providing an alternative that is sure to turn heads. Your friends and family will all wonder why your kitchen looks better than ever, and you can explain to them it was due to your own skillful endeavors!

The cardinal place to start is at the most popular place in the entire kitchen – the oven. There are countless different ovens and ranges available to choose from, but pick the one that best fits the look of your new kitchen. It will serve as your reference piece, and much of your new look will be dependent on whether it matches the new oven. Slowly and surely, from the starting point outward, you’ll notice your kitchen will begin to take on a newer, fuller, cleaner appearance. It’s up to you and you alone to decide how far to take the transformation, so have fun and let your imagination run wild.

Continuing to put off this upgrade will only cost you more money in the long run. It would be best to procure all of the needed tools and materials before it becomes much colder, as well. Take control of your home, and adapt it to your great taste today!


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