Air fryers | The Cool New Way to Fry Food

Air fryers | The Cool New Way to Fry Food

For the love of some crispy, delectable, dip-able goodness – who wouldn’t want fried foods? Talk about some french fries, donuts, fried streaks or fried chicken nuggets! Those dishes are as old as time itself, making a complete delicacy statement when dipped in any mouthwatering sauce. But for some health issues, some people find themselves being prompted to either go with moderation or totally steer clear of fried foods dripping in greasy oil.

When you find yourself in this situation, which way do you go? It’s the classic battle of temptation. Do you just give up on what you love or seek to find a better way around it? Well enough of the story – that’s where air fryers come in handy. You can actually fry without drenching in oil, lending you a great opportunity to keep your health in check. We can thank advancements in technology for items that help us create tasty dishes that are healthier than the traditional way of preparing them.

How Do Air fryers Work?

Air fryers are machines that fry delicious dishes without compromising on taste and quality. This item works just like the deep fryers, only that they are a much more considerable option for a more healthy approach that presents frying with hot air. This incredible item creates amazingly tasty fried-style foods with little to no additional cooking oil (sometimes barely a tablespoon) that keeps you away from fat and unhealthy lifestyle. With the hot air, your food cooks very quickly giving you time to focus on other things.

Hot air is generated from an electric coil heating chamber within the item and the air is circulated throughout the entire cooking compartment with the aid of a fan chamber that keeps the air moving around quickly. Following this process, whatever you have inside the air fryer cooks from inside out, leaving you with an interior yummy and outer crusty coating just like fried foods. While you might want to call it baking, considering the hot air procedure, grab a bite and you know exactly why they call it an air fryer.

Why would I need an Air Fryer?

With a fast-paced changing environment in technology and cooking, many people strive for a way to have healthy, yet delicious meals. The real question to ask is – why would you not need this item? If you want to enjoy the traditional taste and texture of typically deep fried foods, air fryers are your go to option. If your health doesn’t permit consumption of fried food – here’s an opportunity to play a trick on it. Air fryers deliver and replicate the same goodly crisp exterior and ooey gooey interior of fried goods without needing all that oil. More so, while people may say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, with an alternative healthy method like “air fryers” available, you are sure to keep the doctor away for a very long time (not actual medical advice!). When you use an air fryer (like those from Philip), you are setting yourself for an about 80% reduction in fat consumption – care to talk about a healthy lifestyle, sparing you fat and calories? Air fryers are the “IT” thing right now!

What is the history of Air Fryers?

Just like every other market, the market for kitchen gadgets have welcomed quite a lot of technological advancements. Seemingly out of nowhere, new appliances that promise more usefulness and longevity spring up and the market becomes flooded with many product types. Before the heroic entry of air fryers, consumers were pretty much stuck with the traditional deep fryers. The main differences were in size and available accessories. Over time, the need for healthier approach to frying food led to the introduction of the first ever air fryer.

In the third quarter of 2010, air fryers stormed the market, standing tall as an answer to all areas of healthy cooking and eating struggle. This feat was achieved by the Philips Electronic Company. The first ever air fryers introduced by the company were based on a very simple design founded on a scientific principle called the Maillard effect. This holds to account the fact that hot air is said to trigger a chemical reaction that bonds amino acids, delivering the texture, taste and irresistible scent that fried foods have.

After Philips introduced this innovation, just as trends always spell attention and competition, in no time other companies began the production of products similar to Philips air fryers. These items, less than a decade old have come in to unceremoniously over take the use of deep fryers.

Air Fryers | Which options are available?

If you have decided to get an air fryer, there are numerous options out there. But here’s something worthy of consideration. Since the emergence of their first ever air fryer, Philips has hardly changed any feature or design and have been getting commendations from their users. This goes to show “the old but gold” remark in the real sense of it. Philips boasts of some economic, convenient and long lasting air fryers available in the market. However there are several other good products in the market but here are some things to look out for when deciding on which version to buy

  • Choose the air fryer that is able to perform a number of functions as some air fryers are limited to only basic functions. This helps you to eliminate the need for too many gadgets, lending you some cabinet and counter space.
  • Be sure to take into consideration the capacity of your fryer. Be sure to choose one that is large enough.
  • Go for air fryers that give you a number of setting options, even pre-programmed settings (say for certain foods) so you don’t go wrong on cooking…you won’t even have to think about the settings.  
  • Be sure to go for a high powered unit, as the higher the watts, the faster your food will cook.

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Wine Coolers | What a Modern Kitchen Needs

Wine Coolers | What a Modern Kitchen Needs

Wine coolers are gradually becoming the trendy appliance to own, especially for people who live in small apartments or condos. Its perfect size makes it a good choice to place in any location in the living quarters so that owners can easily reach for their chilled bottle. Wine coolers chill wine to the optimal temperature for your drinking pleasure. Many people who enjoy the benefits of the wine coolers call them wine refrigerators. There are many benefits of the wine coolers and these put it ahead of refrigerators in wine cooling.

Wine Cooler Savings

The wine coolers cost very little when compared to the huge amount of money you need to spend to get a refrigerator for wine or to build a wine cellar. This means that you get a better value for your money as you get a specific equipment, tailored specifically for wine, at a cheaper rate.

Environmentally friendly

Due to the popular campaign to keep the earth green by reduction of greenhouse gases, wine coolers are an eco-friendly choice. Its mode of operation makes use of a thermoelectric medium of cooling which gradually replaces the compressor wine coolers. The amount of energy that is saved helps preserve the environment. Unlike most refrigerators, dangerous chemicals are not used in the cooling process. The operation makes use of a metal rod which exchanges energy between the inner chambers and the environment. So when it comes to an eco-friendly option, the wine cooler is the best alternative.

Reasons for Using Wine Coolers

Regular refrigerators could create an extremely cold temperature for the wine bottles, and actually make them them break. A wine cellar still isn’t a competition for the wine cooler because the wine cellar was designed to provide an environment that can store wine for longer periods of time (sometimes more than 20 years). A wine cooler has optimum temperature and humidity settings to provide better results.

My Pillow – A Memory Foam Pillow with a Story

My Pillow – A Memory Foam Pillow with a Story

My Pillow is a brand of pillows created for troubled sleepers by troubled sleepers. If you live in the USA, you’ve probably come across one of their ads in recent times. Ever since CEO Mike Lindell was young, he was never able to find a quality pillow and therefore was never able to get a good night’s sleep. He tried every pillow on the market, and teenage Mike even spent his entire paycheck on an expensive pillow, only to find he was still tossing and turning during the night and waking up with a stiff neck.

Mike Lindell – The Face of MyPillow

As an adult, Mike pursued several business ideas (bars, restaurants) but eventually came back to the pillow. In 2004 he was still having problems sleeping and got the idea to create his own perfect pillow. It took him about a year to get the formula correct but he did it. After several years of marketing the pillow by attending trade shows in Minnesota and surrounding areas, MyPillow gained success. They also began running infomercials and radio ads that massively helped the growth of sales. This greatly increase Mike Lindell’s net worth. By 2018 MyPillow had sold over 40 million pillows and grew from a small company of 5 employees to an enterprise with over 1600 employees and 15 retail locations.

Polyurethane foam and adjustable pillows, oh my!

So what makes My Pillow better than other pillows on the market, even the expensive luxury pillows that didn’t work for Mike? My Pillows are created with a special patented design, made out of a blend of interlocking open cell poly-foam (polyurethane foam). Each pillow contains hundreds of pieces of special cut foam to get the ideal shape and provide the perfect amount of support. Mike spent over a year researching and testing out almost a hundred different types of foam to get the formula just right. In order for the pillow to maintain its shape, the foam contains a special resin that holds it in place according to the user’s preference.

Neck and shoulder pain relief?

The My Pillow fill conforms to the shape of your head and comes in different sizes so anyone can find a pillow that works for them, unlike standard one size fits all pillows. My Pillow comes in five different sizes/fills based on age, gender, neck/shoulder length, and sleeping position. You can figure out what size you need by consulting the guides and videos on the website or by talking to a customer service representative. For example, a tall man with broad shoulders who sleeps on his side needs a pillow with extra filling to ensure his pillow has the right amount of space between his head and his shoulder. A petite woman who sleeps on her stomach needs a pillow with minimal filling because she takes up a lot less space. A simple way to figure out which size pillow you need is by using your t-shirt size, as outlined by the guide on the My Pillow website.

Small Memory Foam Pillow (if needed)

Since the shape of My Pillow’s hold so well, it’s recommended to go down a size if needed. Many people are accustomed to pillows going flat and reducing in size with time, and might be inclined to go up a size. My Pillow warns against this as the user may end up disappointed because the pillow will stay too high! Each pillow comes with a 10 year warranty that it will hold its shape from the first day until the very last. Plus, it’s machine washable so care and maintenance is simple as can be.

MyPillow Sleep Study

Besides Lindell’s extensive research on how to create the perfect pillow, a sleep study has been conducted to test out My Pillow against user’s regular pillows and goose down pillows. The study found that users who slept with My Pillow increased their amount of deep sleep, had less interruptions during the night, reduced snoring, daytime fatigue, and had an overall better quality of sleep. Many participants refused to go back to using their regular pillows after sleeping with My Pillow.

NASA and Foam Pillows

Foam pillows have been a staple in the pillow/bedding market for several years now. Memory foam was originally created in the 1960s for astronauts, but has since been adapted to the mainstream market once companies began seeing its potential for daily use. The first company to start using foam products was Fagerdala World Foams in the 1980s, who created the first Tempur-Pedic mattress.

Memory foam products have gone through several changes since their introduction to the bedding market. Initially memory foam was very expensive and inaccessible to many people. Consumers also complained about its heat-retaining properties; sometimes the products would make it too hot and uncomfortable to sleep. Second and third versions of memory foam were created to perfect the product, and the open cell structure was introduced to improve breathability.

Memory Foam Gel

In 2006 memory foam gel was introduced. This kind of memory foam has less heat retaining properties and faster spring back time than the original version. By 2011 memory foam mattresses and pillows had become commonplace in the bedding market, and also a lot more affordable. Nowadays memory foams are being combined with complementary products such as aloe vera gel, activated charcoal, and green tea extract to reduce odor or rayon to wick away moisture.

Mike Lindell Case Study

Mike Lindell began developing My Pillow right after the main rise and development of memory foam. This allowed him to test out so many different versions to find the right formula and create the pillow of his dreams. From the start he has been passionate about being the face of his company and sharing his story, whether it was with real customers he met at local trade show, writing his own newspaper ads, or starring in his own commercials (he declined the offer of hiring a professional actor, insisting that he be the one to talk about his pillows).

Pillow preference is a very specific and personal thing. It would be impossible to create a universal perfect pillow, since we all have so many different requirements. Love My Pillow or hate it, you’ve got to give it to Mike Lindell. As someone who suffered from troubled sleeping and its negative effects on daily life, Mike was committed to creating the best product to resolve his sleep problems once and for all. Through years of hard work and perseverance he succeeded. He’s living the American Dream, and now he’s sleeping it too.

Sewing Machines

Sewing Machines

Sewing machines! What would the world be like without them? “Invented” by Thomas Saint during the first wave of Industrial Revolution to hit the world in 1790, they have gone some way to drastically improving the ease of sewing and stitching cloth pieces together.

Since those heady days when sewing machines were first introduced to relieve the difficulty of hand-stitching materials from start to finish, they have come a long way. Without them, it’s hard to say just how many of your fancy wears you’d have at your disposal right now. We can also only imagine just how expensive the available few will be, and perhaps how stylistically bland they would be.

So, what is a sewing machine? How does it operate? What features should you look out for when trying to get one for yourself? Let’s delve deeper!

Sewing Machines – What are they?

Sewing machines are an essential tool in most homes, so the answer to this question shouldn’t be too difficult. The simple – and obvious – answer to the above question is that sewing machines are machines that sew. For quite a long time, sewing machines were largely mechanical in nature. These machines were based on the combination of components like cranks and cams, gears, and wheels.

Over time, in the 19th century, the machines shifted from mechanical operation to electrical power, while maintaining largely the same operational structure. Today, modern sewing machines are much more advanced, with electronic and computerized sewing machines which run on microchips more readily available.
Sewing machines make it easier for individuals to craft their own products from fabric. From clothing to home décor items like curtains, decorative pillows, beddings, napkins, furniture covers, etc. everything that requires stitched seams goes under a sewing machine. As much as they could be used for “creation”, they could also be used to mend cloth items, embroidery, and quilting.

While the invention of sewing machines is sometimes credited to the Englishman Thomas Saint, they have a more complex history than that would suggest. Like cars and computers, they have received various notable inputs over the years from many different individuals.

How do Sewing Machines Work?

Sewing machines are rather complex, despite their small frames. With so many moving parts cramped into the tiny space afforded, they have a complex operational mechanism that many have struggled to illustrate. To keep it simple, though, a sewing machine is built around an electric motor – the size of which may be similar to the one found in your lawn mower. This motor works in your place to push a tiny needle through the complex layers of fabric.

The electric motor in a modern sewing machine drives three mechanisms that all work together. A mixture of cranks and cams power the “feed dog”, a set of teeth that move up and down beneath the needle and the “presser foot” which holds the material in position. While one of these mechanisms pushes the feed dog up and down, the other slides it back and forth. Another mechanism entirely keeps the needle moving back and forth, while the last mechanism turns the “shuttle” and “hook”.

Typically, the sewing machine is run based on the combination of all four mechanisms which work to keep the threaded needle moving and your material sliding firmly across the sewing area. With each needle puncture, the thread is fed through the fabric, creating a loop for the next stitch. With each movement, the needle tightens the thread around the loop, and creates another – to make for a firm, sturdy stitch.

Benefits of Sewing Machine

Whether you are a professional tailor or not, there are many reasons why you may want to keep a sewing machine in your home. Some include,

  • Sew your own clothes to your taste
  • Repair worn out or torn clothes
  • Re-design old wears
  • Save money that would otherwise be spent on the tailor

Enjoy the therapeutic and relaxing benefits of sewing

Types of Sewing Machines

Answering the question of the available types of sewing machine will largely depend on context. While it is mostly categorized based on their mode of operation, it is sometimes also categorized based on its functionality. Here we try to form a slight merger of both characteristics to create a sort of balance – meaning some sewing machines may belong to more than one category.

  1. Mechanical/Manual: Mechanical sewing machines are so known for the role of human effort in their operation. You would have to control most of its parts by yourself, from threading all needles, to actually engaging the stitching process through the foot pedal or hand control.
  2. Electronic: While beginners may love the manual system, expert tailor would much prefer the electronic machine. It boasts more features than its manual counterpart – combining some mechanical characteristics with some computerized features – including a built-in needle threader, auto tripping bobbin, at least 7 in-built stitch functions, etc.
  3. Computerized: For a much larger design option pool (with internet connectivity) and in-built stitch capability (between 50 and 200), you would have to turn to the computerized sewing machine. It features multiple needles and multiple spinners for different thread colors, and can be used for sewing, embroidering, quilting, etc. They are mostly industrial grade machines for expert use.
  4. Embroidery: Embroidery sewing machines are used specifically to design embroidery patterns on fabrics. These machines feature a variety of patterns which can be sewed into a fabric, and are mostly computerized or electronic in nature.

Overlocker: An “overlocker” or overlock sewing machine is used to stitch the edge of one or more pieces of clothing. It is basically applied on the seams of clothing to make sure they are smooth and professional. The machine is mostly used in the professional world for edging fabrics like clothing, napkins, curtains, etc., and can be used to create single or multi-threaded overlock stitches.

Ceiling Fans | It Goes Around

Ceiling Fans | It Goes Around

Ceiling fans are fans that are mounted on the ceiling. They use rotating blades to help circulate the air around a room. Usually powered via electricity, they tend to have less immediate effect than tower fans or desk fans. Miniature ceiling fans are perfect in small rooms to save space and they come in a variety of styles and designs.

History of Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can date back to 500BC in India. Known as Punkah fans, they moved the air and were operated by a cord. It wasn’t until the 18060s-70s that the first rotary fan made its way to the United States, powers with water instead of an electric motor.

The electrical ceiling fan was invented by Philip Diehl in 1882, using the motor from the Singer sewing machines. They originally had two blades but now tend to have four blades for better air circulation and to keep the fan quiet.

While they were popular at first, the Great Depression and then the growth of electric air condition meant that ceiling fans grew out of popularity. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s when the energy crisis hit that homeowners looked for more energy efficient options and they became a go-to option.

How Ceiling Fans Work

Contrary to popular belief, fans don’t actually make a home cooler. It’s not like running air conditioning around the house. Instead, some fans can make the air around them hotter because of the heat given off while the motor is running.

Fans helps to circulate the air. Whether you have ceiling fans or even tower fans, the blades help to keep the air moving, offering the feel of cooler air in the area. That’s why there’s no point running a fan when you’re out of the house. It’s a waste of energy since you can get the same feeling rather quickly by just turning the fan back on when you return home.

The blades are usually installed on a slight angle. For a counter clockwise-moving fan, you’ll need the blade to sit to the right (clockwise-moving fans need to sit left). This moves the air downward to help create the sense of cooling the room.

You can use the fans to heat the room! Sit the blades the opposite way around and you’ll move the air upwards to help keep the air circulating but without creating what feels like a draft. It is possible to use a fan with the air conditioning unit. When pitched to circulate air downward, the unit will be able to push the cooler air throughout the room.

Why You Need a Ceiling Fan

If ceiling fans don’t help to cool a room, why would you bother getting one? Wouldn’t air conditioning be better? The truth is that you still get the feeling of a cooler room when the fan is moving. Ceiling fans are far more energy efficient than your air conditioning unit and even tower fans. You can leave them running throughout the night without worrying too much about the costs to your energy bills or the use of fossil fuels.

They can also be used in the colder months. Switch the blades around or get the fan moving in the opposite direction and you’ll be able to move the air in the opposite directions. You get the feeling of a warmer room without spending more on your heating bills.

Ceiling fans are also decorative. They come in a variety of styles and colors. There’s something for every room in the home, whether you just want a fan or you want it connected to your lights.

Just because you get a ceiling fan doesn’t mean you have to forgo other cooling options in the home. Ceiling fans work excellently with the air conditioning to spread the cooler air throughout the room. You can end up using your air conditioning less as the cooler air feels like it sticks around for longer. Once again, you’re saving money on your bills.

Types of Ceiling Fans Available

With so many types of ceiling fans available, you need to decide between your options. What will work best for your décor? Which option is more energy efficient? Are there certain ones that are safer than others?

Cast iron ceiling fans used to be extremely popular, but haven’t been in use as much since the 1950s. They need to be oiled regularly but when well maintained, they last for decades. They don’t tend to have electronic components, which makes them a studier option.

“Pancake” motor ceiling fans became extremely popular in the 1970s and are one of the most energy efficient options on the market. They’re made of cast aluminum housings, and it consumes less energy than your incandescent light bulbs, making them perfect for the bedroom where you want to use them overnight.

Still worried about the cost? Look out for stack motor fans. They are very similar to the Pancake motor and offer excellent energy efficiency. These remain common to this day, using a flywheel in the center where the blades are attached.

It’s not just about the type of motor or fan design, though. Look at the design of the blades and the materials used. Vinyl or PVC blades are becoming popular for easy maintenance. They can be painted in any color to make the fans fit the décor better and are much lighter.

Alternatively, wood and faux wood have grown in popularity. They usually come in the natural wood colors, offering something that you’ll want to work with your window shutters or blinds or your hardwood flooring. The wood or faux wood is durable and lighter than the cast-iron, which can help to settle minds when it comes to weight and gravity.

Ceiling fans are a highly effective way to creating a cooler (and sometimes warmer) space in the home. They are more energy efficient than many other fans and even your air conditioning unit and can be used with other cooling methods in the home. It’s time to consider one for your home. You won’t be disappointed.