Microwaves are one of the most important appliances in every household. We will not be wrong if we say that, it is probably the only appliance of the kitchen which is as useful as the person who is doing the cooking. A microwave is used for a wide variety of purposes in every kitchen.
The only issue with Microwaves is that they start to malfunction if they are not taken proper care of. So, if you have purchased a microwave recently and want to use it for a long period, then you must take care of it. Here, we will tell you about the tips that you can follow if you want to increase the life of your microwave.
The most basic as well as the useful way to prolong the life of your microwave is by cleaning it regularly. Every time after you use the microwave, make sure to pull its plug out after the work is done. You should let cool completely every time after you use it. After all, this is done, you need to take a damp cloth and then wipe the inner surface of the microwave carefully.
User proper containers
One of the most important things to keep in mind while using a microwave is to use the correct containers. You should always try and use microwavable glass as well as ceramic dishes. You can also use plastic containers in the microwave, but you should always use containers which are microwave safe. You should avoid using dishes which have got a wooden handle or dishes which have got paint or metallic trim. Another thing which should strictly avoid in a microwave is tinfoil.
3. Avoid damages to the door
The one thing that you can do to make sure that the door of your microwave remains safe is to work as much gently as you can. There are a lot of microwave users who just slam the door, well if you do so, then you might end up with a blown-up fuse. If the people at repairclinic.com are to be believed, there are three switches in a microwave oven and there’s a particular pattern in which these switches need to be closed. You can only make sure of this only if the door of the microwave is closed gently.
This is also one of the most basic as well as the important tips that you need to keep in mind to keep your microwave safe. If you want to make your microwave last for a longer duration of time, then this is probably one of the most important things needed to be kept in mind.
These are some of the most important points that you need to keep in mind to take care of your microwave. If you follow these tips then your microwave is sure to last long. If you have invested, then it’s best to make the investment a bit lasting.
Kristy Lee Cook Performs Mariah Carey’s “Forever” Tuesday, April 15
American Idol Mariah Carey week was like a dream come true for me. I have been a fan of Mariah Carey since I was a little girl and to hear these songs re-done was awesome. What was truly awesome to me was Kristy Lee Cook’s performance of “Forever.” Mariah said that Kristy’s rendition gave her goosebumps, and I have to admit, it gave me goosebumps too.
Her performance on Tuesday was phenomenal. She sang it with a country twist but she didn’t make it too country, which was refreshing. Mariah Carey week could have been an absolute disaster for Kristy, since she lacks a little “flavor” that I think makes Mariah Carey so special. She usually puts such a country twang that it completely changes the song, but tonight, she rocked it out!
Even though I am not typically a fan of Kristy I felt that she gave one of the best performances (if not the best) of the night. Tonight, she had a little bit of the “flavor.” Maybe she truly is coming into her own, after working out a few kinks. Her Tuesday performance was truly amazing. Kudos to you, Kristy!
I’m not sure that Kristy has made it to front runner status yet. She is definitely getting better each week, so she might reach front runner status but at this point I think there are a few other contestants that can give her a run for her money, like David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado, David Cook (who did an awesome rendition of “Always Be My Baby”) or Jason Castro.
Most of the remaining contestants are very talented and all have a chance at winning this season. If the winner was being chosen from tonight’s performance, the winner would be Kristy Lee Cook. She made an excellent song choice and gave an excellent performance. If she keeps going in the same direction, she could easily be at the top!
Soap/Candles – This gift is appropriate for women, mostly. Soap can be given to girls too young to be given candles. You don’t have to be a whiz to do this. Stores have kits that you can use to make candles and soaps. Places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels are pretty much guaranteed to have an excellent variety. You can add dyes and fragrances, and a variety of different shaped molds are available. The prices are pretty friendly, too, since you’re only paying for the supplies and doing the work yourself. If your first attempts aren’t as attractive as you’d like, keep them for your own personal use.
Baked goods – Almost everyone would appreciate some sweet treats, but a good target for this sort of gift would be college students and people who are moving out on their own for the first time. Cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies, cakes, and casseroles are some examples. Anything that does not require heating before they eat it, or anything easily reheated, is a good idea. Recipes are readily available online, or just grab a cookbook. Cooking not your thing? Try something simple. Cookies are hard to mess up. You don’t have to make them completely from scratch. Buy Pillsbury. They won’t know the difference. Most people don’t care either way. So few people go to such efforts they’ll still be thankful for the thought.
Photo album – This is a good gift for people who are very close to you. Maybe you have pictures they’d like to have? Pictures of you or your family, or pictures you have of that person, or pictures of you and them together. Just take the negatives to a photo center and have some more copies made. You can put them in a photo album or in a scrapbook so that you can add decoration and your thoughts. Also, framing a favorite or significant portrait is a nice thought as well.
Blanket – Everyone loves blankets. Plus, they can range in difficulty, from extremely easy to extremely difficult. Most people aren’t up to making quilts. But if you are, there are plenty of books on the subject. Or you can consult a relative. A simple fleece throw is nice and easy to make. You can add their initials or a special trim to make it a unique and special gift. You can also crochet or knit a blanket, though this requires more effort. You can also buy blankets that have spaces for cross stitching, so you can personalize them that way. Cross stitching is very easy to pick up if you haven’t done it before.
Stationary – This is very easy and very impressive looking. If you have Microsoft Publisher or something similar, I would recommend using that. You can also use Word, though it is more limiting. Create some stationary using the person’s initials, their business or personal information, or their name as the heading. You can print it on nice thick paper, or on paper with a fancy border. They have nice stationary paper at Staples and Office Depot. Scrapbook paper works nicely as well, if it’s standard size. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add embellishment, but keep in mind the sort of person you’re giving it too. Give them a thick stack of it, and include some envelopes and some sealing stickers that match. Return address labels are nice, too, and easy to make with Publisher or Word. Just tie the whole thing together with an attractive ribbon or some twine, and they’ll love it.
Pressed flower bookmark – You can also use a three leaf or four leaf clover if the person receiving your gift is male or doesn’t like flowers. Simply pick the flower/clover, and find a thick book to press it in. They make kits for this purpose, but you don’t really need them. After a while the flower will be flat and dry. To preserve it all you have to do is laminate it, and cut the lamination to a nice bookmark size.
Mug – This is a great gift for a parent or a grandparent. You can buy whatever color mug you like, and decorate it with ceramic markers. Michael’s sells these in a variety of colors. You can decorate it with flowers, a witty remark, something that shows what they’re interested in, or simply their initials. The markers are made for this sort of thing, so you don’t have to worry about it wearing off or looking bad later.
Tie-dye t-shirt – This is a great gift for the fun people in your life, and it’s also one of the more fun and easy ideas. Kids can do this, too. You can buy a tie-dye kit, or look up some do-it-yourself instructions online. You can use as few or as many colors as you’d like. It just depends on who you’re making it for. What’s their favorite color? Sports team? Use those colors if you can, it’ll make it more personal and they’ll be more likely to wear it.
Coupon book – Not real coupons, of course, but little slips of paper they can redeem for things like hugs, hot chocolate made by you, or back-rubs. This is appropriate for the people you are around on a day-to-day basis, like parents or spouses. Just write whatever pops into your head on little slips of paper, roughly the size of a coupon book, and staple in together. You can include expiration dates, or requirements similar to the “buy one get one free” idea. You can give them a lot of coupons, or just a few. I would recommend giving them a lot.
Monogram – Most people love to have their initials on something. Anything that you can paint, sew, iron, or stick their initials on that they use every day qualifies. Handbags, golf bags, luggage, book bags, key chains, blankets, pillows, mugs, jewelry, towels, or journals are some examples. Depending on which one you pick, it could be easy or difficult. But the little touch of personalization makes it really special to the person who gets it.
Men are simple creatures. They like to play, relax and eat. If you can satisfy one of those primal urges you are already half the way to selecting a perfect gift for a man. A few ideas to satisfy the “Play” urges in a man include:
PLAY: All guys like to play something. Find out what your boyfriend’s favorite “play” pastime is and go for it.
1) Game System: Clearly the most expensive of the “play” suggestions but probably the one that will get the most attention. There are several popular ones to choose from. Your selection should include one that has the interactive capability. You know, where you can stand up and play tennis and your physical motions transfer to the player on the screen. This way you are satisfying his electronic need while at the same time still ensuring he gets some sort of exercise.
2) Video Game: If he already has a system and he is pleased with it, consider getting him the absolute latest release game for that system. The new releases are typically more expensive at first then they are say 6 to 8 months later, but he will have it before his buddies do. Find out what type of game he likes playing then ask the store clerk for the very latest game in that type.
3) Internet Game Subscription: There are so many sites offering game services today. Most of them cost something to join though. These fees are usually rather economical so don’t let that scare you away. Consider the sites that offer multiple games of many different types in addition to the individual sites, referred to as; MMORPG: Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.
4) Sports Equipment: Is your boyfriend particularly athletic? Then consider getting him something branded, like a sports team sweatshirt or jersey. Make sure whichever one you select brandishes the name of one of his favorite teams and not one of the opposing teams. If he is personally involved, consider shoes for his sport of choice.
RELAX: After a good round of playing electronically interactive games or even running around on a basketball court for a couple of hours, your man will want to take a break.
1) Bathrobe: Not just the ordinary cotton ones you see on the department store sales rack. Get him the thick and thirsty terry robe. Get one of those that hang to the floor; something he can wrap up in if he feels a need to. Choose a color that screams masculine though. It’s one thing to be caught wearing a bathrobe but if it is a pastel blue one then the trouble just gets thicker. A nice dark brown or black is best. Even white would work.
2) Massage Appointment: The ultimate in relaxing would be a professional massage day, or spa day. Try to mask the inference to a woman’s spa day by calling it simply “a massage.” Make sure the masseuse includes a scalp massage; this one will put him to sleep he will be so relaxed.
3) Favorite Movie: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, it doesn’t matter. Just get him one of his favorite ones and promise to sit there and watch it with him. That’s the important thing; watch it with him. Make it as close to a new release as possible. This to ensure he has not seen it yet.
4) Universal Remote: Don’t just buy the remote in a vacuum pack and expect him to set it up. Bring your cable guy out or get your brother-in-law to help set it up. It should be ready to go when your boyfriend first unwraps it. Get the one that will control up to five components so he can do whatever he wants from one remote and one remote only.
EAT: This is probably one of the easiest categories to fulfill; all guys like to eat and usually they aren’t all that specific about what they are eating.
1) Breakfast Buffet: Take him out to your local buffet for breakfast. I say breakfast because that is the one meal we don’t always get to go out for. There are plenty of evening dinners in his future but breakfast offers such a myriad of interesting foods. Try to make it a buffet so he can have his choice of what and how much.
2) Pizza In: Order pizza and have it delivered or you go pick it up. You can wrap this one up with one of the relax titles. Make it so your boyfriend does not have to lift a finger to provide dinner, at least this one evening. Get plenty of pizza so he can have seconds later on in the evening while he is enjoying one of his “play” gifts.
3) Snack Selection: While he is innocently sitting in his new bathrobe, getting ready to watch his new release DVD, prepare a platter of his favorite finger foods. No knives and forks for this guy; let him caveman it all the way. Some selections could include veggies and dip, little hotdogs, cheese and crackers, pizza rolls, potato chips and so on. Don’t look at it as not being good for him, look at it as one night of guiltless pleasure.
4) Chocolate Chip Cookies: Every guy likes chocolate chip cookies, especially if they are hot from the oven. You don’t have to go so far as to make them from scratch but don’t settle for a bag of pre-made cookies either. You can get buckets of cookie dough, or pouches of precut cookies or one of many other “ready to cook” presentations. The magic here is that you had to put them in the oven, time them and then take them out. You did it all for him. Now he has a platter of hot, melty, chocolate chip cookies.
I would like to repeat that most men are not picky. They like creature comforts before anything else. Please try to discipline yourself and don’t fall for the necktie, T-shirts, socks, watch, cologne or soap on a rope stand bys. He can get those anytime he wants and will, if he wants them. The littlest bit of thought will result in your boyfriend getting a piece of happiness that he will remember for a long time. He will also remember who got it for him just as long.
Step 1: Heat the oil in a deep fryer or frying pan to 325 degrees. Caution, if the oil starts to smoke or catches fire, immediately cover the pan and turn off the source of heat. Never pour water on an oil fire.
Step 2: Cut the potatoes lengthwise into narrow strips resembling french fries. To optimize efficiency, cut the potatoes into narrow slivers, then stack the slivers on top of each other to cut again into narrow strips. The more narrow the strips, the fast the fries will cook and the tastier they will be. In my opinion the fries taste better with the skin on them, but if you want skin less fries, you can peel the potatoes beforehand.
Step 3: Carefully place the fries in the hot oil and cook 5-10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
Step 4: Turn off the oil, take the fries out, strain out the oil, sprinkle some salt on the fries, and enjoy!
How to Cook a Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Easy, Delicious, Quick and Cheap!
Create a Famous Dish, at Home, Delicious and Easy on a Frugal Budget that All Can Afford
One day my wife talked to me about Philly Cheesesteaks, how easy they seem to be to make and yet how there were hardly any restaurants in ‘our City’ that made it. I researched online, reading multiple lines of text, watching various videos, commenting and rating the various content I came across, and finally took the plunge to take action and see for myself how easy and delicious (and quick) it could be! Note: this was several months ago and since then quite a few restaurants have indeed attempted to recreate the famous Philly Cheesesteaks. I still recommend the homemade version, as its fun to create, delicious to eat and in these troubling economic times for all, a great way to be frugal and cost conscious!
I used delicious sukiyaki meat from the local supermarket, (but you could easily purchase other meat and slice the meat thinly), regular onions, and Kraft QuickMelt Cheese and half sized baguettes. I figure my total costs to make about 4 (four) came to about $10.
Slice the baguette down the middle, chop two onions, slicing off the top and bottom of the onion, so as to get crunchy circular shaped onion rings, and then grate about a half cup of cheese per portion.
If you are oil conscious, lightly grease your pan with low fat unsaturated butter (not oil) – if you do NOT care proceed with a tablespoon or two of sunflower oil, and set the heat on medium. Once the butter/oil is moderately hot, put in the onions, stirring them around quickly. As the onions start to become less crunchy, put the to one side ad put in the meat and start cooking it until the meat becomes brown. You can then add a little salt and pepper to taste prior to pouring the grated cheese over the meat to melt.
You can then place the baguette directly onto the pan to grill the outside and inside. After about 2 minutes you can take the baguette out, placing it on a plate, and then adding the onions, meat and melted cheese. Allow to cool or grab your favorite beverage before admiring, and then chowing down, on your homemade, easy, delicious and quick Philly Cheesesteak! Enjoy!
Second Note: Not all of you will like the onions, so please leave out this step. I’d still add however that onions are not only delicious but great for your blood flow and great for your skin!
Dating in, or having a date night at home rather than going out, is becoming increasingly popular. Dating at home is good for times when you can’t go out because of your budget or other reasons. Even if you don’t go out for a meal, though, you can still have great food.
Here are some ideas to help you have the best food possible for your at home date.
1. Tie in your food with your activity.
For example, if you’re watching a movie, pick a food that relates to it. Watch the incredibly romantic Chocolate and serve chocolate fondue, or watch the sweet and funny My Big Fat Greek Wedding and eat falafel. Or you could pack a picnic hamper to bring out into the garden with you as you stargaze.
Dates are not the time to count calories or worry about your waistline. Just enjoy yourselves. Indulge in foods that are decadent, delicious, and sensual. Make romantic foods like these rose cupcakes, and then you can decorate with the rest of the roses, or scatter rose petals on the table (or anywhere else). If you love rich foods, but never normally eat them, think of foods in creamy sauces and decadent desserts. Date nights in are a time to indulge in great food-worry about your diet another day.
3. Serve aphrodisiacs
Some foods have been associated with love and romance for centuries. Serving a menu full of reported aphrodisiacs can be fun, and you can decide for yourself whether they work.
4. Finger Foods
Make an intimate atmosphere by making finger foods and feeding them to each other. If you don’t want to cook your own, a lot of supermarkets sell pre-made canapés in their party food sections.
5. Cook Favourites
If you know that your partner’s absolute favourite food is lasagna, but you rarely take the time to make it, then consider making lasagna for your date night. If you really love ice cream, open up a tub of ice cream and grab two spoons. Or dish up ice cream with a buffet of toppings: bananas, chocolate sauce, nuts, cream, and cherries. No matter what you choose, it will probably be cheaper to cook it yourself than it would be to go out and eat (plus there’ no tip).
6. Let someone else do the work
If you’ve both had busy days or just really don’t feel like cooking, then you can always get take-away or a food delivery for your date night in. Sometimes ordering pizza and eating it straight from the box is just what the two of you may need. For a cheaper option, many supermarkets offer pre-made or ready made meals that you can just warm. It’s usually cheaper than eating out but saves you the work of making something.
7. Be Inspired
If you want to make something special, but aren’t sure what to do, then flip through your cook books or look at some food blogs for ideas.
Shining Once Again, David Cook Performs Two Neil Diamond Songs
Once Again, David Cook rocks the Idol stage. David Cook can pretty much take any type of song and make it his own! We’ve seen him do just about everything on American Idol.
Last night Neil Diamond made a statement about Cook. Neil Diamond said that David Cook gave him goosebumps! It is true. Cook has an amazing talent. He picked two songs that aren’t two of Diamonds extremely popular songs and added his own artistic talent to them. He played the guitar during both of his performances last night.
Cook first sang I’m Alive. I thought that this song was very good, his vocals were nice and strong. However, it didn’t jump out at me as being his best or one of his greatest songs or performances. His second song of the night was, All I Really Need Is You. I thought the second song was done with more of the Cook twist that I love. Paula had stated that, she was already looking at the American Idol! I thought this was true too after his second performance, he deserves that title, the title of the next American Idol.
If you ask me who will be crowned the next American Idol, I would probably say David Archuleta although the person that I think should win it and the person that I hope to win it would be David Cook! David Cook, no doubt about it, has had the most amazing vocals and performances out of all the contestants this year. Cook has also been the most consistent in all of his performances.
However, the reason I feel like Archuleta may win American Idol is because of his age. Most of the the kids and teenagers across America are all voting for him, this is a large population of the American vote. The young girls are falling in love with him, and the young guys think he’s cool because they can relate to him age wise.
The rest of the votes would be split upon the other four remaining contestants. I even see this on my own street. My 7-year-old son and his friends all vote for Archuleta, my 14-year-old sister-in-law and all of her friends vote for Archuleta. Then the adults on the street all seem to have split opinions, and voted for all different contestants. My gut instinct is that the two David’s will be the two remaining on the last episode of Idol. I hope that Cook is crowned the Idol, but if the American youth can have it their way we will be looking at Archuleta. Regardless, David Cook is going somewhere big after his time shining in the spotlight of American Idol!