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Blogger Karen at I Am Not Left-handed shows off her new Sharp Microwave Drawer. Warning: your Pampered Chef Rice Cooker will NOT fit in this microwave.
In an interesting twist (literally) on the old non-stick cookware we now have silicone bakeware. They are a unique blend of what looks and feels like plastic made to be put into the oven. However, cooking temps are limited – most limit the upper range at 428 deg F. which would be a bit low for some types of baking. The pans are flexible which allows you to peel your baked product out of the pan instead of prying it out with a knife. It also claims to eliminate the need for greasing your pan, which always ticks off the low-fat crowd. Kitchen-aid has them available at their website but there are many other lesser known brands as well. I wonder what cooking your food in a silicone tray will do to your body in the future. I mean, I hope it turns out to be safe in the long term.
I saw an ad for a product called a Microfridge. Saying that it was a 3 in 1 appliance (fridge, freezer and microwave), I thought that I would be looking at something like the old Woods Compactkitchen. But when I went to the Microfridge website that is not what I found. Looks like someone took a cheap bar fridge and screwed a cheap microwave to the top of it. That’s a 3 in 1 appliance? Not very inovative at all and believe me, you can buy a separate bar fridge and microwave for far less than what you will pay for this thing.
“Even with the U.S. housing market cooling, Whirlpool executives recently announced price increases in North America of 6 percent to 12 percent to cover a $150 million jump in costs. The company wouldn’t break out fuel costs for competitive reasons, but spokesman Christopher Wyse said Whirlpool had hefty transport costs and uses plastics, paint, resins, hoses and other goods derived from oil.”
I suppose that it is time for service prices to go up as well. About this time last year, I could gas my van up for 69 cents per liter. Now, I am happy to find $1.09 per liter. I usually fill the tank twice a week, which means that I am spending $80.00 more a week to do the same work. Yep, that confirms it – service prices will be going up.
Fisher & Paykel have launched their new Active Smart ice and water dispensing refrigerators in New Zealand. They are available in both Iridium or brushed EZKleen stainless steel – two models in Designer Series flat fronted doors and two in traditional curved Icon Series door panels. Nice looking fridge – not sure if they are available in North America yet though.
Got a big kitchen you want to fill? Try on the new GE 72″ refrigerator for size. You thought a 48″ Sub Zero was big? This is just ridiculously huge! Featuring two fridge doors and two freezer drawers down below, this 41 cubic foot behemoth will retail for approximately $14,000.00 US. Pity the poor service tech that has to pull it out for service.
According to information posted at the American Academy of Family Physicians web site, 19,109 washing machine injuries were reported between 1993 and 2000 in children under age 15. That’s a lot of injuries! I would suspect that many are related to falling injuries – where children are placed on a washer while a parent is loading the dryer. However, I can attest to the power of an agitator – it will break your arm if you stick it in there. The spin cycle on most top loaders runs at about 350 rpm – that too will break bones rather easily. Most washers have safety devices that stop the unit from operating during wash and spin cycles but still the danger is there.
I know this is not exactly about appliances but here is a neat idea for cooking once a month and freezing everything. Cook food for a month, package it up in individual meal packs, then freeze it all. Come home from work, pull your meal out of the freezer – nuke it, or warm it in the oven and eat. Sounds like a good idea.
“Once-a-month cooking sounds intriguing, but how many times have you read articles, or purchased a book on the subject, without ever actually getting around to organizing a cooking session? Do you want to make freezer cooking work for your family but feel overwhelmed with making dinner for tonight in-between soccer practice, diaper changes and housework? Read on to find out how you can stock your family freezer in a week the easy way.”
Of course, you need a good (empty) chest freezer for this meal plan.
When servicing warm refrigerators, customers often ask me whether the food is good or not. My advice is always to err on the side of caution.
If your fridge has been above 40 deg for any longer than a couple of hours then I would begin to throw some stuff out. Certainly any dairy, egg, mayo and milk products. Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc. will usually be Ok for a while in a warm environment. Basically anything that you would not keep out on the counter for a day should be thrown out.
On the freezer side, I say that if the product is anything but rock hard, either cook it (then refreeze it) or throw it out. This applies especially to any chicken our poultry products. If things stayed hard, then don’t worry about them – they should be good. Breads, concentrated juice cans and the like can become a bit soft and be refrozen without any problems.
Finally, if the power is out or if your fridge is not working – LEAVE THE DOORS SHUT!!! Every time your ‘check the fridge’ to see if it is still cold you warm it even more. Every time the door is opened, all the cold air literally falls out of the fridge and is replaced with warm air from the room. When the power is out, don’t even check the fridge – believe me, the power is out in it as well. Just leave it till the power comes back on, and then check your food to see how warm it got.
A chest freezer will stay frozen if full of food for up to 2 days with out running. Again, don’t open it – just let it be till the power comes back on.
Finally, if you have any doubt – throw it out. It’s just not worth getting sick over.