Blog

Is a Water Softener for Shower Worth the Money?

One of the common water problems, Hard Water, is being rightly dealt these days. This is made possible with the invention of water softeners. They help in reducing the hard minerals in the water and replace them with the sodium or potassium ions.

There are two ways in which you can benefit from it – either by installing softener for a particular plumbing unit or get the Whole House Water Softener for your home.

Is a Water Softener for Shower Worth the Money?

Water Softener for Shower Worth the Money

Hard water comes with many problems, where one issue generates some other issue.

We are aware of the fact that such kind of water is safe for drinking purpose, and does not cause any health problem. But it is found that hard water damages the skin and hair texture drastically.

The water simply leaves some amount of minerals on whichever surface it is passed through. If you are using showerheads, then you can get one Water Softener for it.

It does the same work as an ordinary softener, just that it is designed specifically for the Shower Heads only.

Within some days usage, you will find improvement in the skin and hair condition. But is it all worth the investment? We will find out.

Working Explained 

We genuinely feel that these shower head softeners arrive at a decent price considering the working.

Water Softeners for the shower heads come in the form of a showerhead. These softeners have inbuilt water filters too which are replaceable ones. So, you can purchase one softener component, and get the filters replaced as per the need.

Filters make use of activated carbon for the filtering work or any other element for easy filtering through the water supply. This helps in filtering out the minerals thus keeping your hair and skin healthy. It also helps in keeping shower head free from mineral buildup.

This is how a shower softener does it’s work, providing you with ‘n’ number of benefits.

Are the Water Softeners for Shower costly? 

This type of softener is not much costly as you may imagine. You can find many quality shower softener at a cost less than $100. Here the only cost incurred is for the filter replacements. Just make sure that you replace them time to time, as they mainly work in handling the water minerals.

The filter cartridge lasts for a period of 3 to 6 months. If you have got many water showers at home, then installing softeners for each of them still remains a feasible option. The only maintenance expense is relating to the inbuilt filters.

There is no comparison between a Shower Softener and a Whole House Softener system! 

Shower Softener and a Whole House

Comparing both the whole house softener and a Shower Softener is completely pointless.

How can one compare the unit used for just a shower head and another unit which can work for all plumbing!

By installing one shower head softener doesn’t resolve all your hard water issues. If you wish to get a single solution for all the faucets, then you can go for the Whole House Softening setup.

Shower Head softener only deals with the Shower Heads and provides other related benefits.

You can find more similar post updates on our page Selfie Turkey!

Blog

How to Train a Cat to Use a Litter Box

You have brought a new Kitty at home, so it is your duty to check on all the necessary things needed for it. Made a new house, bought cat food, and even clothes! But amidst all this, you are forgetting one essential product, and that is Litter Box.

Well, you may find it less important, but it is something which is equally vital like other cat basics. Keeping your home as well as surrounding clean is a must for healthy you and pet! This is made possible using a Litter Box only.

How to Train a Cat to Use a Litter Box

You have made up your mind to buy a Litter Box and got one too. Getting started with it is not as easy as it may seem to you. By the end of the article, you will surely be aware of all the Training tips.

How to Train a Cat to Use a Litter Box

While many of you will ask the question, whether a Litter Box is compulsory or not? The answer is no. Still, it will help in keeping your home clean as well as incorporate good litter habits in your cat. In any manner, these boxes haven’t done any harm to anyone yet. So why not give a try?

Some Litter Box Basics

Do not expect your cat to use a Litter Box which is not cleaned regularly. The cat will not ever prefer using the box if the litter smells of urine. Just for example, when your cat litters on your carpet or floor, what do you do? You will clean the place asap.

Thus, the cat will always feel to do the litter in clean place only. Therefore, maintain cleanliness within the litter box if you wish them to litter within the box only. Cleaning must be done at least once in a week. Also, rinse the litter box with water.

For reducing the odor, you can add vinegar or lime juice. Strictly avoid the use of ammonia – this will worsen the smell.

Place the Litter Box at the right Location

Cats prefer quiet and silent places while they do the litter business. So avoid placing the box in loud surroundings, and also place where there is a frequent movement of the people. Keep the litter box away from all kinds of buzzing units for example; washing machine.

Make sure that your kitty is not disturbed or threatened by any other pet like a dog or another cat. This will badly affect the litter usage, and chances are they will litter outside the box.

This is even harmful to the dog too, as they might get ill on consumption of any cat litter. So you need to keep a close check on all the elements which bothers your cat during the litter use.

Do's and Don'ts during Litter Box Training

Some Do’s and Don’ts during Litter Box Training

One of the most important Do is to maintain the Litter Box clean. If your cat has pooped inside the litter, clean it the same day. Wash with water and soap at least once in a week. Cats are very particular about using fresh litter only, so do not underestimate them in this case.

Do not make use of perfume and cover up the Cat’s litter smell. This will work as a strong repellent.

The final point to note is to search for a litter type which is liked by your cat. This is the toughest job, but don’t lose your hope and keep the search on. After many trial and error, you will find the right one for your kitty.

Don’t forget to reward your Kitty

It is important to know your kitty’s litter time. Because only then you will be able to award your cat for using the litter box. There are some cats which urinate after they wake up, while some urinate just after having food. So you have to set the timings and remember your cat’s schedule.

If you feed your cat at regular time interval, then they will do the business at the regular time only. Call your kitty for a play session, feed them after a while. Then again call in for a play session, during this time make sure that you carry your kitty in the places which have litter box around.

This will give your kitty an idea that it is the time to do the litter work.

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Product Reviews

Best Espresso Machine Under $200: Top 5 Picks of 2017

Is it difficult to find a quality Espresso Machine Under $200? The answer will vary of course. Some people believe in buying the Best only regardless of the price. They won’t bother about the price anyway. As a beginner who has just got interested in home brewing must go for a budget product only.

Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Premium is at the #1 position on our list. It comes with features like one-touch operation, removable drip tray and water reservoir, milk frother, and much more. It is a bit costlier than the other Espresso Machines still within the $200 budget.

Our Top Choices: Best Espresso Machine Under $200

The statement ‘Good Espressos come at an expensive price’ is false. Yes, there are machines – low in cost, and low in quality, but this doesn’t prove that Expensive ones are only the Best!

As we said earlier, for a beginner or someone looking for a budget Espresso Machine – $200 is a respectful budget only. There are many recommended options available in this price range. We will check the Top 5 of them, and they are given below:

#1 Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso Machine

Coming from a five decades old brand Mr. Coffee – they are mainly into providing the Best Brewing solution till date. They believe in bringing memorable coffee experiences at your home space. We have got the ECMP1000 model by the Mr. Coffee which is a Premium Series in the category of Espresso Machines.

Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso Machine

You can now make professional kind of coffee without wasting your bucks at different Cafés.

Features:

  • Smart Control Panel with single and double shot options.
  • The milk container is removable and can be easily cleaned too.
  • You can prepare Espresso, Cappuccino, and Latte Coffee – on this single machine.
  • It comes with an automatic milk frother feature.

With the ECMP1000 you can brew almost any kind of coffee with your taste preference. You can prepare aromatic espressos, unique latte recipes, try out different cappuccino styles on this Mr. Coffee machine.

#2 Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by DēLonghi

For a tiny and Compact solution, the Nespresso Inissia is the best which you can opt. The handle is designed with keeping the convenience in check. This little gentleman will do wonders for you, and could easily fit anywhere in your kitchen. It comes in a color combination of black and silver, which looks classic for any home decor.

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by DēLonghi

It works in a one-touch mode, as soon as you trigger the action, within 25 seconds water will reach to a suitable temperature. At this temperature, you can make about 9 cups of coffee, without refilling the tank back.

Features:

  • Nespresso Inissia does not need any warm-up time before starting the preparation.
  • You can get barista-style coffee using a simple one-touch operation.
  • Energy Saver mode switches the machine off automatically after an exact 9 minutes duration.
  • The drip tray is foldable and is capable of holding large coffee mugs.

Only thing is that you have to buy Nespresso capsules which will only work for this Inissia Espresso Machine. There is almost no other way for preparing coffee on this unit.

#3 STARESSO Espresso Coffee Maker

To make the best Espresso, you require the love and strong passion for the Espresso itself. These days you can even make the best kind of Espresso without the requirement of electricity too!

STARESSO Espresso Coffee Maker

This is a Manual Espresso that does not need any power source. It only requires a few pumps, and there you go!

Method of making coffee is unique in this. Imagine, if the ‘Press’ action of a French Press is done manually by you. That’s exactly how the coffee is made on this STARESSO Espresso.

Features:

  • Easy Quick and Compact solution for your Espresso cravings.
  • You can make all types of coffee drinks on this STARESSO; be it Latte, Cappuccino, etc.
  • Pressure applied here goes upto 15 bar which is a good score in all.
  • The Press feature lets you enjoy the natural and strong flavor of the coffee. This makes the drink less acidic.

Using this unit, you can prepare different Espresso, Lattes, and even your favorite Black tea! We can say that all of them are just some Pumps away.

#4 ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker

Next, we have the ROK Espresso Maker which is yet another manual machine. It was designed with a vision to bring back those olden times where the espresso coffee was made using hands. The product was initially launched in the year 2004 by the name of Presso.

ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker

Later in the year 2012, the product name was renamed to ROK Presso. People loved this unit. We will quickly list out the features and give a brief on the working.

Features:

  • Much more complicated than the previous STARESSO Espresso Machine.
  • The engine used in the making of ROK Presso is considered to last for a long duration of 10 years.
  • It includes one Frother, using which you can easily froth milk manually for your lattes and cappuccinos.

ROK Presso features one arm, and it stands as the main component of the entire machine. Because, it is one used for grinding, frothing and brewing your favorite coffee shots. Fill the reservoir, do the arm job (raise up and down), and that’s pretty much of it!

#5 Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker

Another pumping Espresso drink for you!

It is not much practical to visit different cafes each weekend for having Espressos. To solve this problem, engineers have figured out ways of preparing Coffee shots at home comfort itself. Pumping Espressos are just one type of these machines.

Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker

The container present on this Hamilton Beach machine holds upto 40 ounces of the drink. This can easily serve you with many servings.

Features:

  • The reservoir is large considering the cost; serves you with multiple servings.
  • Control panel comes with simple push buttons. This makes the working easy and fun.
  • The drip tray is removable and washable too. Warm Soapy water is the best for cleaning purpose.

At first, you may find the machine a bit perplexing. But when you get to know the right way of using it, things will get comfortable and relaxed for you. You can make use of Espresso pods, thus processing is pretty easy.

These were our Top 5 Picks for Espresso Machine Under $200! We did a thorough study on all the machines for a week, and have prepared this list. Share us your thoughts in the comment space below.

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Recipes

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken, better than from your local Indian restaurant .
Vegetarian option substitute chicken with selection of fresh veges or tofu.
Recipe serves 2-3.

Recipe ingredients

200g chicken pieces cubed per person
Butter
Large crushed garlic clove
1 Tbls of finely chopped fresh ginger
1½ tsps Garlam Marsala
1 tsp ground cumin
2-3 tsps of crushed chilli (or to taste)
2-3 tbls tomato paste
300ml cream
Salt

Cooking Steps

  • Brown chicken in a good dollop of butter in heavy bottomed pan, once cooked remove & set aside
  • In same pan add garlic, ginger, garlam marsala, cumin and chilli cook for 1-2 minutes stirring continuously, add more butter if mixture is dry.
  • Add cream bring to slight simmer then add tomato paste, simmer for 1 minute.
  • Add back chicken and simmer until thickens. If too thick add more cream.
  • Season to taste
  • Serve with jasmine rice and flat bread
Recipes

Chinese meatballs

Chinese meatballs casserole dish served with rice and green vegetables.
Original recipe by, Connie Clarkson.

Recipe ingredients

  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 egg white
  • 4 spring onions – chopped
  • 1 tbl Shaoxing rice wine (dry sherry can be used in its place)
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 3 tbl soy sauce (not dark)
  • 3 tbl oyster sauce
  • 2 tbl fine chilli sauce (or according to taste)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 300g cabbage
  • ¼ cup corn flour
  • Oil for frying
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 4 tbl hoi sin sauce

Cooking Steps

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degreesC. Place ginger, egg white, spring onions, soy sauce, mince, rice wine, oyster sauce, fine chili sauce, sugar and sesame oil into a food processor and process untill just combined.
  • Wet your hands and form the meat mixture into bite size balls (about 20 meatballs) then set aside till needed. Separate cabbage into individual leaves and tear off pieces about the size of the palm of your hand.
  • Line a casserole dish (or any heavy bottom saucepan with lid) big enough to hold all the meatballs in a single layer with the torn cabbage. Heat the oil in a pan.
  • While the oil is heating up, lightly dust meatballs in corn flour then use pan to brown in batches.
  • Now drain and put into the casserole dish on top of the cabbage in a single layer.
  • Bring stock and hoi sin sauce to the boil in a pot and add carefully to the casserole. Cover with a lid and bake at 180 degreesC for up to 1 hour or untill meat balls are cooked.
  • Serve immediately in the casserole (or other dish) accompanied by rice and tossed greens.
Benefits of Recipes

The Benefits of Recipes

A significant idea stressed in almost every cooking session is the 90 percent chemistry and 10% art. Recipes are to chefs what methods are to chemists- essential instructions for a reliable result. In similar way which as chemist is just one missing element away from disaster, the distinction between a pancake and birthday cake can be a dash of baking powder or one scoop of sugar. For reliable results, it is very essential for chefs to follow accurately the recipes whenever possible.

One essential cooking factor given by recipes is amount or proportion. A chef may already familiar the basic components of a pancake such as milk, eggs, flour and so forth, on the other hand only recipes give the proper ration among the components. There is a reason why most recipes call for three eggs not two or one. Expert’s chefs that make these recipes already savvy much flour can be integrated into a calculated quantity of sugar for instance. Without understanding the accurate measurement of ingredients stated in the recipes, chefs can end up easily with sticky masses of dough rather than of waffle batter.

Recipes are listings of essential ingredients needed for cooking, this indicates the proper measurement of the ingredient and the step by step process on how to cook or baked the food.

Another advantage of following accurately the recipes is the consistency. A novice cook may test in the kitchen and make an exceptional sauce or casserole, on the other hand it could show nearly impossible to replicate. Recipes offer all the artistic and technical elements needed so as to produce as well as reproduce a good and successful item without fail. Chefs may feel motivated to alter some of the flavorings and proportions; on the other hand the basic recipes will produce always the needed results. Significant technical notes when it comes to recipes which include temperature settings, cooking times, serving instructions as well as signs of doneness.

Maybe the most compelling basis for chefs to fool these recipes is the art of cooking. As reported earlier, cooking or baking is first and foremost a practical work out in chemistry.  Every ingredient stated in the recipes serves one or removing one of these important ingredients also eliminates the chemistry behind it. At the same time, it can be enticing to leave out a dash of salt, for instance, the rest ingredients cannot bond properly without it. Lots of recipe calls for components such as baking soda or baking powder for their particular chemical properties.

There are some number of instances in which usual recipes cannot not be firmly needed, on the other hand until a chef gets enough kitchen know how as well as knows enough theory regarding cooking so as to improvise, recipes must be treated and followed as your roadmaps to your success in the business. Always keep into your mind that following accurately the recipes will help you obtain a good result as well as rest assured the outcome is the one that you are looking for.

Fruit Juice

Blackberry Juice

This delicious berry has been cultivated in Europe for thousands of years, not only as food but also for its medicinal properties. Europeans used blackberry juice to treat mouth and eye infections. The Native Tribes in North American ate wild blackberries as part of their diet and made a tea from its leaves to treat vomiting and aid digestion. In the north-western United States blackberry bushes grow prolifically and the berries can be gathered freely during the season. Berry picking expeditions are a popular pastime.

Blackberries contain useful amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, fibre and pectin. They’re also a good source of vitamin E, folate, copper, potassium and magnesium. If you are keen on incorporating anti-cancer, anti-aging foods into your diet, then you probably know about ORAC (oxygen radical absorbent capacity). This is a universally recognized method of rating food antioxidant capacities. Blackberries are in the ORAC top-ten list. Blackberries rank highly among fruits for in vitro antioxidant strength, particularly because of their dense content of polyphenolic compounds, such as ellagic acid, tannins, ellagitannins, quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins, and cyanidins. One report placed blackberry at the top of more than 1000 antioxidant foods consumed in the United States. Previously we would have mainly eaten blackberries for their vitamin C content but today we eat blackberries mainly for their antioxidant pigments and their ellagic acid content, which protects against cancer.

There are over 375 species of blackberry which are closely related to raspberries. The naturally occurring varieties grow in a wild bush of arching thorny canes and can be found in most temperate and colder climate zones around the world. Because blackberry bushes propagate easily and are thorny, they are often classified as weeds and invader species in many countries. Mexico is the leading producer of blackberries, with nearly the entire crop being produced for export into the off-season fresh markets in North America and Europe. The Mexican market is almost entirely from the cultivar ‘Tupy’ which was developed in Brazil.

Making Blackberry juice is amazingly simple

First select plump, firm berries with a rich dark colour. Rinse them well in cold water. After rinsing the berries can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. When you are ready, just juice the berries and then strain into a jug or closed container and chill for an hour before serving.

Blackberry juice also makes great blends with other juices. Try blackberry and strawberry juice blends and the delicious blackberry and kiwi fruit blend. A very healthy breakfast blend can be made by juicing 1 orange followed by 1 cup of blackberries and 3 large strawberries and then juicing 1 cucumber into the blend. It not only tastes delicious but its thirst-quenching as well.

When working with blackberries be particularly careful to avoid getting the juice on your hands or clothing as it stains.

Recipes

Beef Wellingtons

Recipe ingredients

1 lb beef tenderloin fillet
Salt and pepper
Canola, grapeseed, or olive oil
1 lb mushrooms (we used half cremini, half shiitake)
4 thin slices ham (Parma ham if you can get it) or prosciutto
2 Tbsp yellow mustard (we used Coleman’s Original English Mustard)
7 ounces puff pastry (needs 3 hours to defrost in refrigerator if using frozen)
2 egg yolks, beaten

Cooking Steps

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large pan on high heat. Season the fillet generously with salt and pepper. Sear the fillet in the pan on all sides until well browned (hint: do not move the fillet until it has had a chance to brown). Remove the fillet from the pan and let cool. Once cooled, brush the fillet on all sides with mustard.
  • Chop the mushrooms and put them into a food processor and purée. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Scrape the mushroom purée into the pan and let cook down, allowing the mushrooms to release their moisture. When the moisture released by the mushrooms has boiled away, set aside the mushrooms to cool.
  • Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap. Lay out the slices of ham on the plastic wrap so that they overlap. Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham. Place the beef fillet in the middle, roll the mushroom and ham over the fillet, using the plastic wrap so that you do this tightly. Wrap up the beef fillet into a tight barrel shape, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to secure. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a size that will wrap around the beef fillet. Unwrap the fillet from the plastic wrap and place in the middle of the pastry dough. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten eggs. Fold the pastry around the fillet, cutting off any excess at the ends (pastry that is more than 2 layers thick will not cook all the way, try to limit the overlap). Place on a small plate, seam side down, and brush beaten egg yolks all over the top. Chill for 5-10 minutes.
  • Place the pastry-wrapped fillet on a baking pan. Brush the exposed surface again with beaten eggs. Score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, not going all the way through the pastry. Sprinkle the top with coarse salt. Bake for 25-35 minutes. The pastry should be nicely golden when done. (To ensure that your roast is medium rare, test with an instant read meat thermometer. Pull out at 125-130°F for medium rare.) Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing 1-inch slices (optional).