Check Out This Great Next Gen Kitchen Technology

Check Out This Great Next Gen Kitchen TechnologyThere’s perhaps no better indicator that we are living in the technology age than Smart gadgets infiltrating the kitchen. Whether they are little conveniences or big-ticket items, the chef in every home can benefit from the devices that help improve cooking, storage and food preparation. These are some of the next generation kitchen items that are making life a little easier and homes a tad more valuable.

Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge Provides Constant Contact

This big-ticket Samsung line has definitely taken refrigeration to the next level. It features a touchscreen that you can connect to with handheld devices to connect with your unit. One of the key features is that it enjoys an embedded camera and you can literally look at what is on your shelves while shopping for the evening meal. The days of being one ingredient short are over.

But beyond the shopping aid, the Family Hub lets you know when food is expiring, provides recipe suggestions, plays music and can utilize an Internet of Things method of ordering items for you. The Smart fridge has all the bells and whistles that can help improve your quality of life.

Smart Ovens Are Trending

Star Trek: Next Generation fans may recall Capt. Jean-Luc Picard ordering tea by simply saying “Earl Grey, hot.” The days of voice-activated meals may be closer than you think.

The latest lines of Smart ovens are integrating WiFi and connecting to recipe apps as well as that friendly home bot Alexa. Amazon reported that Alexa will be integrated into the kitchen and laundry room going forward. Several lines of Smart ovens on the market are already set up for tech-oriented homes. This Smart kitchen trend is likely to be popular with Millennial homebuyers who are flooding the real estate market.

Tech-Savvy Toaster Ovens Rule

The sometimes-forgotten toaster oven could be making a comeback in a huge way. Some of the new lines, such as Breville’s Smart Oven and Smart Oven Pro could double for a full-sized unit. Reviews on the brand tout the device’s ability to cook a 13-inch pizza or 14-pound turkey.

But the next generation aspect of these Smart ovens are things such as the “air fry” capabilities. It also features 13 pre-programmable cooking options including dehydrate. Those college dorm room days of crumb-filled toaster ovens heating up pre-cooked frozen foods are last generation.

Futuristic PancakeBot Amazes

Tech buffs often see 3-D printers as the device that could make the largest difference in terms of machinery and even ending hunger. The 3-D technology has been put to use making amazing and artistic pancakes of all shapes and sizes. You simply program it with a computer image to create the pancake design you desire, pour in the batter and serve.

The next generation of Smart kitchens are shifting the way home cooks function. In terms of property values, integrating Smart technologies appear to be highly sought after and can be a difference-maker in home sales.

If high-tech kitchen gadgets are on your list of must-haves, contact your trusted mortgage professional to discuss financing options.

Can Your Waistline Be Affected By Your Kitchen Colors?

Have you ever walked into your kitchen and instantly felt hungry?Have you ever walked into your kitchen and instantly felt hungry?

Rarely do people think about the colors that they choose to paint their kitchens. They are often too busy worrying about whether the kitchen will match the rest of the home, or whether the colors will be satisfactory to the rest of the household.

However, as much as you might want to have a special color in your kitchen, your brain is very likely wired in a way to react in ways that you may not have intended! When painting and decorating your kitchen, you may want to think about the process in a way many people do not — how the colors you choose will affect the way in which you eat. 

Colors affect a lot of our subconscious thinking. As behavioral psychologists have documented, the presence of specific colors your the kitchen can change your eating habits and your cravings for food.

Here are some examples :

Red: The color red increases your appetite. This is why so many restaurants paint their walls red. Although associated with romance and passion, red is also a color which promotes hunger. Furthermore, it has been noted that the color red in your kitchen can influence high blood pressure.

Orange: The color orange is a “stimulating” color; increasing oxygen supply to the brain and providing a mental boost. An orange-themed kitchen may stimulate your appetite, therefore, and make over-eating more likely.

Gray: Gray can be an ideal appetite-suppressing color for your kitchen. This is because, psychologically, gray is calming and relaxing, and it neutralizes anxiety. Gray can arrest binge eating and impulsive snacking. It’s also a color which home stagers recommend for its neutrality.

Blue: The color blue is calming, which can slow your eating speed, and prevent you from over-eating. When decorating your kitchen and dining room, therefore, using blue wallpaper or blue paint; and blue placemats, for example, can result in “slower” eating and fewer feelings of fullness.

And there’s more about blue! There are very few foods that are naturally blue outside of blueberries and some varieties of potatoes. So over time your subconscious mind has trained itself to be wary of any food that is blue. Some weight loss programs suggest eating on a blue plate and even putting a blue light in your refrigerator!

So if you’re concerned about the amount you or your family is eating, painting your kitchen blue may very well help curb the appetite.

Whether you’re a home buyer, a home seller, or just getting ready to remodel, consider the influence of colors in your home. They do more than just “match the next room” — they affect your food and drink cravings as well.

How To Beat The Bacteria In Your Kitchen

Within homes, the kitchen is often the most “used” room in the house. It’s a meeting place for meals, for conversation, and for family. Unfortunately, that makes it a meeting place for bacteria, as well.

Along with bathrooms, kitchens are the most bacteria-heavy rooms in a home. Kitchens require a good, daily cleaning. This 4-minute interview on NBC’s The Today Show shows you how to do it.

Using ordinary household cleansers and some elbow grease, you’ll learn :

  1. Why sponges should be out of your kitchen and why loofahs should be in
  2. How to catch and trap fruit flies that spread germs and disease
  3. How to clean and disinfect porous cutting boards

You’ll also get tips on removing stubborn stains from the bottom side of a frying pan.

The video is loaded with good advice and is worth a watch if only to learn a single sanitizing tip.

For example, did you know that you shouldn’t soak wooden bowls or boards in water because the water causes the wood to separate, leaving it “open” to kitchen-borne bacteria? Or that, because of new soap-types, today’s dishwashers should be regularly disinfected?  

Keep your kitchen free from bacteria is a constant battle but, using the tips from the video above, you’ll give yourself a fighting chance. 

How To Keep A Clean Refrigerator

Clean refrigeratorDo you clean your refrigerator regularly, or only after you’ve run out of space? If your answer is the latter, your refrigerator may be harboring dangerous bacteria that can make you, your family, and your house guests ill.

Refrigerators should be cleaned monthly, inside and out, ideally. The process involves removing all foods, cleaning all shelves, and wiping down drawers. Spoiled food is removed and old containers reclaimed.

The process takes 20 minutes. Here’s how to do it.

First, prepare your cleaning stations, including filling a sink with soapy water, and having drying towels handy. Complete this step before you start to remove food from the refrigerator. This limits the amount of time that food has available to reach room temperature.

Next, remove all food from the appliance. Throw out old food past its expiration, and leftovers which have been in containers for more than a few days. Check dairy products for expiration dates — especially cheeses and creams. Toss fruits and vegetables that have spoiled. Wipe down condiment jars and bottles with a damp towel.

Next, with the refrigerator empty, remove all shelves and drawers and wash them in the water-filled sink. Scrub to remove any caked-on foods and spills. Rinse off the soapy water and dry the part on your drying towels.

Then, while the shelves and drawers are drying, using a mixture of baking soda and water, wipe down the interior surfaces of your appliance. The mixture should be roughly 2 tablespoons of baking soda for every 1 gallon of water. Wipe the mixture off with a clean towel.

Lastly, move the shelves and drawers back into the refrigerator and replace all of the food that’s “good”.

Refrigerators can be a dirty place. We rarely wash our hands before handling food in a refrigerator and that can contribute to a bacteria-heavy environment. A good cleaning, though, can keep our foods — and our home — healthy.

Clean your refrigerator regularly.

How To Seal A Granite Countertop

Seal granite countertopsAmong homeowners, granite countertops remain a popular kitchen and bathroom finishing choice. Granite boasts a combination of natural beauty and durability that’s unmatched among most commercial options.

But different from many other countertops choices, granite is a natural material; mined from the Earth. It is porous and highly absorbent.

To protect the granite in your home, therefore, and to ensure its quality over time, you’ll want to seal your countertops at least once annually. A proper granite sealing will prevent stains and damage that can ruin your countertops’ appearances.

Sealing your granite countertops is a simple job, but one that requires a little bit elbow grease.

First, you should make sure your granite is actually ready to be re-sealed. To do this, soak a white cotton cloth in water and leave it on the corner of your countertop for a 10 minutes.  Lift the towel and check whether the area under the towel is discolored, or dark. This will indicate that your granite is absorbing liquid and needs sealing.

If the area is not disclored, your granite is already sufficiently sealed.

If your countertops do need to be sealed, here’s how to do it :

  1. With a spray cleaner, wipe down the entire surface and allow to dry
  2. Using a clean white rag, apply granite sealer to the surface uniformly
  3. Allow 30 minutes for the granite to absorb the sealer, or longer
  4. When dry, re-apply a second coat of sealer

Depending on the thickness and quality of your home’s granite, it may need to dry overnight so allow yourself the proper time to finish the job.

Once sealed, use preventative maintenance to keep your granite countertops looking great. Place coasters under beverages, hot plates under dishes and clean up spills immediately.

A well-cared for granite countertop will last for years.

The Five Minute Tidy: How to Keep Your House Clean in a Few Stolen Moments per Day

The weekend is finally here and you are exhausted from a busy week. You are looking forward to sleeping late and lounging around thefive minute tidy house, enjoying your day off. However, the sink-full of dirty dishes is staring you in the face, the shower is in desperate need of a scrub, and the dust creatures under the couch are starting to growl at you. Oh well, looks like another Sunday will be spent cleaning the house again!

So many of us are so busy during the week that we leave our housework until our day off when we finally have time to commit several hours to giving the home a good clean. However, there is a clever trick to remember that will help you keep your home clean throughout the week and reduce the amount of time you have to spend scrubbing and dusting on your precious days off.

The Five Minute Tidy

The Five Minute Tidy is the idea of taking advantage of any small burst of time within your day, even if it is only five minutes, to clean or tidy something in your home. There are many moments throughout our day to day lives when we are waiting around for a minute or two, whether it is for our dinner to heat up in the microwave, for the computer to boot up, or between commercial breaks during our favourite show. If you can take advantage of these small moments, you can keep your house tidy through a serious of many short cleaning sessions rather than one big one on the weekend.

You can do a five minute tidy in any room, but here are some ideas for the kitchen and the bathroom, two of the most daunting rooms to clean!

Five Minute Kitchen Tidy Ideas

Waiting for the popcorn to pop? You can:

  • Wipe down all counters and surfaces.
  • Clean the food from the oven elements.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor.
  • Open up the fridge and throw away anything that has expired.
  • Wash and put away a few dishes.

Five Minute Bathroom Tidy Ideas

Waiting for your bath to run? You can:

  • Wipe the toothpaste stains from the sink.
  • Clean the bathroom mirror.
  • Organize the bathroom cabinet.
  • Scrub the toilet.
  • If you are taking a shower, you can even take a bottle of shower cleaner with you and give it a spray as you are getting out!

If you can get in the habit of doing a five minute tidy whenever you find a spare moment, when the weekend rolls around you will discover that you won’t need to spend your entire day off cleaning because everything will already be done!

Which Is Better : Fresh Produce Or Frozen Produce?

Frozen Fruit and Fresh Fruit : Which Is Better?There’s a long-standing myth that freezer-section produce is “worse for you” than fresh produce from a farm. The truth, however, is often the opposite.

Because of upgrades in packaging and delivery methods, frozen produce is often more fresh than “fresh produce”, and contains higher nutrient levels, too.

The key is to know how to shop for it.

The main advantage that frozen produce carries over fresh produce is that frozen produce is picked in its most ripe — and most nutrient-rich —  state. Then, when the produce is flash-frozen, its nutrients become locked-in and sealed.

Fresh produce, by contrast, tends to be picked before it’s ripe, and is left to ripen in transit.

Because food nutrients degrade with exposure to heat and/or light, the longer it takes produce to get from the farm to the supermarket, the fewer nutrients the produce will have. 

Did you know? Fresh fruit and vegetables might sit for up 2 weeks before they’re sold by your local supermarket. And not to mention how long it may take you to consume them.

Another advantage of frozen produce is that it’s often less expensive than fresh fruit. For example, looking at the cost of strawberries bought in bulk:

This isn’t to say that frozen produce is “better” than fresh produce. It just depends on your circumstance. If you plan to consume the produce within a short period from purchase, and can account for its ripeness and freshness, fresh produce may be preferred. Or, if you eat organic produce, free from pesticides and chemicals — certain produce may be better eaten fresh.

But know the facts. Frozen produce can be healthier and cheaper — a good combination for your household.