Mary J. Lynch

Author Archives: Mary J. Lynch

Which Is Better: Filtered or Bottled Water?

Did you know that almost 60% of your body is made up of water? What do you suspect will happen to your body when you do not take enough water? Research shows that humans can survive 30-40 days without food. However, the same species will have difficulties after spending only three days without water.

Water is the carrier of all the useful nutrients in our bodies. It also the same water that flushes out toxins from the system. Water also plays a crucial role when it comes to the regulation of body temperature. There are different types of water sources, which come with varying benefits and limitations. Our focus today will be on filtered and bottled water:

Filtered water

It is typically tap water that has been purified. The purification process aims to make the water safer or improve its taste. The extent of purification and safety of the water will depend on the filtration that is in place. There are basically two major types of filtration systems that you will find in most filtered water systems; reverse osmosis and charcoal filters.

Reverse osmosis

Separates clean water from impurities after the impure water passes through a porous membrane under high pressure. The method eliminates almost 100% of dissolved material, harmful bacteria, and organic material. The process takes longer to implement even though it is efficient in energy consumption. The systems are generally complicated to maintain.

Charcoal filters

It uses activated charcoal as it is known to be extremely porous. The activated charcoal binds chemically with the bacteria and other chemicals in the drinking water and leaves the water clean. The activated charcoal does not bond with all impurities. The charcoal also needs to be replaced after some time because the pores get clogged and make it hard to bond with particles.

Benefits of drinking filtered water

It is healthy

There are certain particles in water that are not fit for human ingestion. Filtration eliminates elements such as herbicides and pesticides. Reverse osmosis comes in handy to eliminate such particles. Water has some natural substances that are good for our general health. Most filtration systems leave such substances in the water after purification.

Odorless

You may find that water from some taps comes with a funny smell. Chlorine is the major cause of this odor, which makes it uncomfortable to consume water. However, chlorine kills bacteria that are a threat to your health. A filtration system will eliminate that smell and allow you to have an easy time as you drink water.

Tastes the same or better

The filtration system does not compromise the taste that you need in water. A good number of bottling companies sell filtered water to their consumers. The fact that a filtration system will remove odors makes it a good choice for most homeowners.

You can order on demand

The world is changing, and people are now banking on convenience and ease of doing different things. People are looking forward to creating a world with minimal wastage. Filtered water creates the perfect environment for those looking for on-demand services. You can now get a home water delivery service only when you need clean drinking water. You can have several water bottles that you can refill at will and store in your home.

Cheap and good for the environment

Concerns over plastic bottles disposed of different parts is something worth looking at. Reusable bottles can be the answer to this nightmare, threatening the quality of life that we lead. The initial investment in reusable bottles might be high. However, you will incur reduced costs with refills.

Demerits of filtered water

Purchasing and maintaining a filtration system can be expensive. The filters demand frequent replacements, or else you end with an ineffective system.

Bottled water

Bottled water is water that has been purified and stored in water bottles. The following are some of the benefits associated with buying bottled water.

Convenience

It is a convenient choice if you are looking for a solution when you are on the road. You can always grab a bottle of water when you are in the yard, your garage or in your car. The beauty of bottled water is that you can buy from the local store if you forgot to carry a bottle from home.

5 Essential Kitchen Gadgets For Inexperienced Cooks

Cooking is one of life’s most pleasurable joys. Who doesn’t like being able to whip up a sumptuous meal on a whim, or cook up a feast for loved ones, friends and family? If you’re just at the beginning of your cooking journey, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of recipes and resources that exist on the web in 2020. Well, fret not. Today, we’re here to give inexperienced cooks the 411 on 5 essential kitchen gadgets that you need to begin your culinary adventure. Read on to find out more!

1. A Trusty Stand Mixer

I know what you’re thinking...a stand mixer for someone who is just starting out? Well, hear us out for a minute. Most people think that stand mixers are used solely for the purpose of baking cakes and desserts, but what if we were to tell you that a stand mixer can do so much more than that? Take the KitchenAid for example.

This world-renowned stand mixer does more than just mix - it comes with a variety of attachments that allow you to knead the dough, roll out pasta, make ice cream, grind meat and so much more. A quality stand mixer is one of the best investments you will make for your kitchen, and something that will last you for decades, so hope online and get one right now - that is an order! 


2. Quality Sheet Pans

A quality sheet pan is one of the most versatile tools a cook can have in his or her kitchen. Sheet pans are ideal for roasting vegetables, cooking pizzas, baking cookies and making sheet pan meals. A sturdy sheet pan made of high-quality materials (avoid buying cheap ones as they tend to discolour and warp in shape after a few uses), is something that will last you for years upon years.

Sheet pans are also fantastic surfaces to freeze veggies and fruit prior to bagging them up in plastic bags. Hello, homemade frozen berries! Talk about a handy and low maintenance kitchen “gadget”! 


3. A High-Speed Blender

You could always opt for an immersion blender over a high-speed blender if you’re low on budget, but we highly recommend investing in a quality high-speed blender that will serve more than just the purpose of blending. High-speed blenders are 21st-century tools that not only blend soups and smoothies but can also make ice cream, sorbet, nut butter, homemade flours and a variety of other things that will save you lots of money in the long run.

Why pay $20 for Almond Butter when you can roast up some Almonds and turn them into high-quality homemade Almond Butter for a fraction of the price? You’ll also be able to control what goes into your food if you’re someone who is looking to avoid additives, colouring and other things that just don’t belong in food! 

4. Cookware That Doesn’t Suck

Hop into K-Mart, Target or even Ikea and you’ll find some of the cheapest deals for massive sets of cookware that you’ll ever find. However, chances are they suck or are made of poor quality materials that won’t last you longer than a year. The solution? Invest in a quality set of cookware that includes essentials such as a saucepan, frying pan and stockpot. You really don’t need more than that if you’re just starting out, so choose wisely! 

Kitchen man prepares lunch or dinner. Close-up of the pot on the stove.

5. All The Accessories in the World 

If you’re inexperienced in the kitchen, you may not know the difference between a silicone spatula and wooden spoon. We highly recommend that newbies to the cooking game get their hands on at least some wooden spoons, mixing bowls, a quality chopping board and cooking utensils that will make your life a whole load easier. Ever tried flipping pancakes with a fork? Fun fact: it doesn’t work. The great thing is that most homeware stores carry all these basic items and accessories, and you won’t have to blow your entire salary on them either. 

And there you have it -- everything you need to go from an amateur cook to a confident home cook who dishes out Gordon and Jamie recipes with one eye closed. Cooking is a learning process, and one that is meant to be enjoyed, so don’t stress yourself out too much if things go awry - it’s all part of the journey! 

6 Best Reviewed Mini Fridge Kegerators 2020

Kegerators are refrigerators designed to reserve and dispense kegs. They are a mix of a barrel and a refrigerator. They keep the keg in refrigeration and use carbon dioxide to pressurize and dispense it. Kegerators keep the contents fresh for a long period of time. They are suitable for both commercials as well as residential use.

Nowadays, a mini fridge for kegerator is economically beneficial and thus a popular choice among many. They help in dispensing kombucha, draft beer, cold brew coffee and wine with certain modifications. The following is a list of some best reviewed mini fridge for kegerator 2020.

1. EdgeStar Kegerator

Edgestar Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler is a value priced kegerator with a beer cooler of ultra low temperature. It can be set up anywhere in a home or a commercial area. This mini fridge for kegerator has high-quality beer components, a Domestic ‘D’ coupler and a carbon dioxide regulator. It also contains a stainless steel draft tower faucet along with a gas and a beer line.

Pros

  • It is the coldest among all kegerators.
  • Features air and beer lines approved by NSF.
  • Can be easily converted into a refrigerator.

Cons

  • It can only be used for freestanding
  • It does not support oversized kegs.

2. Kegco Keg Dispenser

Kegco K309 is a full service mini fridge for kegerator which can accommodate kegs of any size. It can keep the beer at the right temperature for a long period and includes a digital temperature display for better control. It is easy to clean and has a removable drip tray. It also has rolling casters for movement and a chrome guard rail to rest the mugs and glasses.

Pros

  • Kegco K309 Keg Dispenser has the coldest range of temperature as it comes with powerful cooling technology.
  • It ensures superior and long-lasting performance.
  • It also has attractive styling.
  • There are no such cons to this product.

3. Nostalgia Kegerator: Draft Beer Dispenser

With the capacity of 5.1 cubic foot, Nostalgia KRS210 weighs 95.6 pounds. It has a tank which fills carbon dioxide along with a double meter regulator. It also includes a drip tray of stainless steel and a grand wire shelf. The thermostat is adjustable as per requirements.

It has a 13 inches long chrome beer tap along with a spring loaded tap. This makes the process of pulling and dispensing easy. It can hold keg sizes that are ½ barrel, ¼ barrel and ⅙ barrel.

Pros

  • KRS2100 has casters which makes it easy to move.
  • The temperature can be adjusted as per requirements.

4. SPT BD Mini Kegerator and Dispenser

SPT BD is a mini fridge for kegerator which contains three carbon dioxide cartridges. These cartridges help in controlling carbon dioxide pressure. It weighs 13.83 pounds and has a capacity of 0.17 cubic feet. It is made of stainless steel and can hold 5-litre kegs.

Pros

  • SPT BD has a thermostatic cooling technology.
  • It has a LED temperature display and the temperature can be adjusted.

Cons

  • This product needs to be installed in a free-standing position.

5. RCA IGLOO Mini Fridge for Kegerator

RCA Igloo 3.2 is a mini fridge for kegerator with sleek and modern refrigeration technology. Its sleek style helps it in blending with its surroundings. It has a total capacity of 3.2 cubic feet. It also consists of a built-in van dispenser and a reversible door.

The product is quite sustainable as well as attractive. It has many storage options and weighs 45 pounds.

Pros

  • RCA Igloo 3.2 is very spacious due to its flush back design.
  • It looks very attractive and modern.
  • It consists of a reversible door and a built-in dispenser.
  • It has an adjustable thermostat and consumes less energy.

6. EdgeStar Craft Brew Kegerator

EdgeStar Craft Brew Kegerator can easily fit into places due to its compact size. It consists of a carbon dioxide tank and can hold 1/6th barrel keg. It also has an internal circulation fan. The temperature in this product can be as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit and yet the beer will never freeze. This kegerator also consists of a steel faucet and a circulation fan.

Pros

  • Craft Brew Kegerator has a very integrated locking system and strong protection.
  • Interior lighting gives it an attractive appearance.

Cons

  •  The product is not compatible with casters.

Conclusion

There was a time when barrels were made of brew and opened with force while a larger portion would spill out. With the invention of a mini fridge for kegerator, large amounts of drinks can be stored and protected. This article contains all the updated information on the best reviewed kegerators and can help the reader in choosing the one best for them.

How To Make Well-Marinated Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

There is nothing more exciting than making your own sun-dried vegetables. It’s no secret that they’ll last longer in shelf life and taste so much better compared to regular tomatoes. If you want to make sun-dried tomatoes that are well-marinated and taste good, you’re in the right place.

You will learn step by step how to make marinated sun-dried tomatoes so you can add them to your favorite salads and foods. You will also need some other ingredients that will make those tomatoes burst with flavor every time you take a bite. Once you’ve made your first batch, you’ll probably want to end up making more.

With that said, let’s dive in:

What You Need?

Here’s what you need for ingredients: tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil. Optional ingredients include garlic cloves, onions, etc.

There are three different ways to make sun-dried tomatoes. We’ll be taking a look at how to make them using any of these three methods:

  • Food dehydrator (Option #1)
  • Oven (Option #2)
  • Single layer racks (Option #3)

How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are perfect for salads, pasta, casseroles, and so many other dishes. But when they are marinated with other herbs and vegetables, they really are tasty. Let’s dig in and create some magic by “sun drying” some tomatoes:

Instructions

  1. Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
  1. Cut the tomatoes into ¼ slices. Alternatively, you can cut the tomatoes in half. As a rule of thumb, just know that thicker pieces of tomato will take longer to dry compared to ¼ slices.
  1. Take the slices and place them in the dehydrator tray. If you have any dried oregano or basil handy, this would be a good time to liberally sprinkle some on your slices.
  1. Power on your oven or dehydrator and set it to 150 degrees (see further down below for instructions to dry tomatoes in the sun). At this temperature, it can take ten hours to dry the tomatoes. However, it may also depend on the liquid content of the tomatoes. The less it has, the shorter it will take to dry. Check on the tomatoes every four hours. You’ll know they are completely dry if they appear to look leathery.
  1. Once complete, remove your sun-dried tomatoes and place them in an airtight container. You can store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Either way, the shelf life will be extended. You can expect these sun-dried tomatoes to have a shelf life of six months to a year if they are properly stored.

Option #1 - the food dehydrator

If you are looking for a way to make healthier foods like sun-dried tomatoes or beef jerky, food dehydrators are a must-have in your home. Choosing the best food dehydrator depends on  many factors, like how often you plan to use, what you plan to use it for, and what your budget is. For something like sun-dried tomatoes, however, an entry level dehydrator would be fine

Not to mention, it’s a real money saver when compared to purchasing foods that are already packaged for sale. In other words, the cost-effective way to get your hands on sun-dried tomatoes is to make your own.

Not only that, if you are growing your own vegetables, you can be able to grow more and make an abundant amount of freeze-dried foods. That way, you’ll never run out and you’ll always have them on hand long after you’ve made them. Because the shelf-life is lengthy, you won’t need to throw away foods as often due to spoilage.

Simply put, when it comes to using a food dehydrator, you are making sun-dried veggies that put their canned counterparts to shame.

Option #2 - the Oven Method

If you do not have a food dehydrator, you can still be able to dry the tomatoes. You can use an oven and set it to a temperature of 150 degrees. They will typically take a few hours to dry, so check on them regularly. If they take on a leathery texture, then they are done.

The instructions on how to prep them are roughly the same. You can be able to sprinkle some basil or oregano so you can give it that enhanced flavor. One bite and they will be the best tomatoes you’ve ever tasted.

Option #3 - The “Sun-Dry” Method using Single Layer Racks

Of course, you can literally dry tomatoes in the sun. However, there are certain conditions that need to be met in order for you to make this method more effective. For one, you have to live in an environment where high heat and low humidity is normal.

Clearly, a high-humidity environment would defeat the entire purpose since there will be moisture in the air. Tomatoes left in the open air with plenty of moisture will mold and create a hotbed for bacteria. If you live in an area where the weather gets hot and humid, one of the previous methods above will be your best bet.

With this method, you’re going to need to blanch the tomatoes and remove the skins. Next, you’ll need to cut them in half and remove the pulp and seeds entirely. Using a single layer rack, place the tomatoes on top and let them sit in the sun.

You also need to make sure there is a two-inch space that will allow for appropriate air flow. The tomatoes must be in the full sun in order for this process to work. Every day for the next 12 days (which is the estimated time for this method), turn the tomatoes and bring in the racks every night.

The natural sun dry method is the longest in time elapsed since it doesn’t rely on the use of either an oven or a food dehydrator. The air temperature will be less than 150 degrees, so you don’t want to use this method if you quickly want to make sun-dried tomatoes.

What makes the “sun dry” method great?

If you are using the sun dry method, you’ll be able to make the flavor a bit more nuanced compared to the other two methods above. However, it may not be a good idea to use this as a way to preserve them for a longer shelf life.

Final Thoughts

Making marinated sun-dried tomatoes can be a great culinary skill to have up your sleeve. Especially when you want to make something that will make a great add on for plenty of dishes. You can also be able to give them more extra flavor with additional ingredients like garlic cloves, salt, and onions.

Whether it’s with a food dehydrator, an oven, or nature itself there is no wrong way to make sun-dried tomatoes that are “oh so tasty”.

Instant Pot and Chicken: A Match Made in Heaven

There are hundreds of different recipes for cooking chicken. It’s such a versatile meat and one that can be cooked in so many different ways and with so many different dishes from soup and pasta to a delicious Sunday roast. You could be barbecuing chicken legs during the summer, and then making tasty chicken fillets in the winter. It’s a meat that can be consumed anytime of the year, hot or cold.

Chicken can be boiled, roasted, grilled, fried, barbequed or baked. With so many different ways to cook it, there are so many wonderful recipes that you can try out.

If you are lucky enough to have an Instant Pot at home, then you are going to be able to whip up a whole range of unique and tasty recipes in no time at all. One major benefit that the Instant Pot has over other types of cooking pot, or method of cooking, is the amount of time that it takes. Instant Pots cook quickly and thoroughly.

They are a combination of different cooking pots all merged into one, and are a great piece of equipment to have at home in your kitchen. They will also save you energy, and cut down on the amount of washing up you’ll have to do.

With your Instant Pot, there are loads of delicious recipes that you can try out, and in this article, you’ll find some of the more popular ones, which will give you the chance to prepare a wonderful meal for your family or dinner guests.

Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms

There’s something about chicken and mushrooms that get the taste buds tingling. They are such a great combination, and when topped with a creamy sauce, become almost a work of art. The time to prepare and cook this meal is around 30 minutes, which is very quick.

This recipe works best with skinless and boneless chicken breasts, though you can also use chicken thigh if you prefer. The meat is lightly cooked and brown and crispy on top, while staying soft and moist inside. You can top off the chicken with the mushroom cream, and then serve with some potatoes or green vegetables, which go perfectly with the chicken.

For the sauce you can also add in any additional vegetables and seasoning that you enjoy. Garlic goes great with this dish, so if you can add a clove of garlic, you’ll be giving it a real kick. This is a perfect meal for the family or a weekend lunch, and it is an easy and quick one to prepare.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a chicken dish that is loved the world over, and one that is very easy to prepare and ideal for cooking during the week after work. You can also put any leftovers in the fridge and have them again the following day.

The dish is packed full of goodness and flavor, and is a great choice for dinner during the cold winter months, where it can really warm you up. The best chicken for this is boneless and skinless thighs or breast. You can use any type of yogurt for this dish, but if you want something really tasty, try and find a tub of Greek yogurt. Nothing can beat that for a tikka masala.

You’ll add the spices and seasoning that you prefer, but the main one you need for this dish is garam masala, which is a very common spice for Indian food and can be found in most supermarkets or food stores. The amount of spice you add will depend on how hot you like your curries. It’s quick, simple and extremely tasty, and something that the whole family will enjoy at the dinner table.

Chicken Wings

These are an all time favourite with families all over the world. The only problem was that they were a little messy and time consuming to cook, especially if you were grilling them in the oven or on your BBQ. However, if you have an Instant Pot then these are a doddle to prepare and cook and you won’t need more than 30 minutes to have them ready and served.

The great thing with chicken wings is the variety of dips that you can serve them with. You can also add a range of different seasoning onto the chicken, giving it a spicy or tangy taste. The Instant Pot cooks the chicken wings and locks in all the flavors and aromas from the herbs and spice, with the meat staying very soft and juicy, and not all dried out as can be the case with other methods of cooking.

If you are planning a gathering during the spring or summer, and want to avoid having to fire up the barbeque, then chicken wings in your Instant Pot is the best recipe you can try.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Chicken is a meat that can be accompanied with a range of different vegetables. One of the most popular, healthy and easy to prepare is broccoli. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, broccoli is a great vegetable to eat with your meals, and it goes perfectly with chicken.

Creating a stir fry dish of chicken and broccoli with your Instant Pot is extremely easy, and you can also add in any other vegetables that you enjoy. It’s a dish made famous at Chinese takeaways, and now is something you can prepare at home in under 30 minutes.

Your chicken should be diced into chunky pieces that can fit easily on a fork. Any larger, and they can be a little too much for people to chew, while too small, and you lose the flavors that are locked into the chicken while it's cooking. This dish can be served with rice, noodles or even quinoa if you enjoy it.

With an Instant Pot, there is a whole world of chicken recipes that you can try and experiment with. The great thing with chicken is that it's an easy meat to cook and season, and with the Instant Pot, it’s so much quicker to cook when compared to an alternative method. Why not try one of the suggestions mentioned in this article and see how they come out. Your family are bound to love them.

Best Ways to Get Food Delivered at Your Doorstep

Long gone are the days when you had to call into a restaurant to talk with a rude host. Whether you’re talking about having to scream your lungs out just to place a Fajita order through deafening background noise to always being put on hold, ordering food has always never been easy in the past.

Well luckily, that is no longer the case nowadays thanks to some awesome on-demand food delivery service apps. But while this is good news to shoppers and consumers everywhere, the plethora of on-demand food delivery apps can be overwhelming. So, how do you narrow down to the right app for what you need quickly? Here are simple suggestions.

Available Types of Food Delivery Apps

When it comes to food delivery apps, they are grouped into two categories or basic models: platform-to-consumer delivery, and restaurant-to-delivery.

Platform-to-consumer delivery Apps

Platform-to-consumer apps combine order-focused food to deliver services with logistics-focused delivery services. They serve as food aggregator apps where people can check out different menus and compare prices, check out restaurant ratings and reviews, and place orders. By providing the logistics, these delivery marketplaces open new horizons to other food vendors including grocery and specialty food stores.

Mercato is a Perfect Example!

Mercato.com operates a platform that takes advantage of the resurgence in the popularity of food artisans and independent groceries. As more people look to local shops for the baker, the small grocery store, and the fruit salad, Mercato has modernized how people make purchases locally. The app equips high-end grocers with a user-friendly platform of marketing, e-commerce, and service tools that facilitate smooth online ordering and delivery right to your doorstep. The online grocery e-commerce platform hosts over 900 different independent groceries and specialty food stores across the United States.

Restaurant-to-consumer Delivery Apps

Restaurant-to-consumer delivery services are basically what pizza chains have been doing for years. Unlike platform-to-consumer services, restaurant-to-consumer delivery services do not deal with third-parties. Instead, they have their own chefs who prepare all the meals in-house. They also hire their own courier services to do deliveries and offer full-service on-demand food delivery to customers. Some classic examples include Pizza Hut and Dominos.

Comparing the Two

The main difference between the two online food delivery platforms is that platform-to-consumer platforms significantly widen the options available to consumers. This makes it possible for customers to order healthy and elegant options from big, popular vendors as well as from local diners, cafes, independent groceries, and specialty food stores. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why platform-to-consumer delivery services like Mercato are increasingly witnessing impressive growth at the moment.

Final Thoughts

In summary, if you want to order food online fast you have to consider two things. First, you should consider whether the platform offers variety in such a way that you can do all your shopping for different foods and groceries from different vendors through one platform. Second, you must consider whether you simply want a specific quick meal from a favorite restaurant near you.

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