Stylish, Functional and Affordable
Beauty and functionality are two of the things that housewives are looking for in kitchen sinks. Both of these qualities are incorporated in ceramic kitchen sinks.
These types of sinks are available in various designs and styles therefore you can surely find one that can fit the design of your house. They also include functional features that will make the work of any busy mom easy and convenient. These sinks are made of ceramic material which is very easy to clean and maintain. Compared with other sinks, they are also less expensive. Kitchen sinks made of ceramic are most suitable for homes with contemporary design.
Types of Ceramic Kitchen Sinks
As in all types of kitchens sinks, you can also find various designs of ceramic kitchen sinks. They include the following:
• Single Bowl – this sink is comprised of just one single bowl and is designed for kitchens with limited space. Some single sinks are deeper in order to accommodate larger dishes.
• Double Bowl – this type is composed of two sinks in one unit. This is suitable for kitchens of large families where there is high frequency use of the sink.
• Triple Bowl – this unit is composed of three bowls. Usually, the first two bowls are large and the third bowl is smaller than the other two. They are usually made for commercial purposes.
• Under Mount Sink– this sink is mounted underneath the kitchen countertop.
• Drop In Sink – this sink has raised rims above the sink in order to prevent water spilling out of the sink. It is installed in such a way that the sink stands out and you’ll not be confused if the sink and the countertop are the same. They are easily installed which is perfect for the DIY homeowners.
One of the major reasons why ceramic kitchen sinks are very popular is their advantages over other sinks made of other materials. Following are some of the advantages of ceramic kitchen sinks:
• They are easy to clean and maintain – the glazed surface of the ceramic is very smooth and highly polished. It is next to impossible for dirt, grime and stains to be deposited on its surface. To clean the surface, all you need to do is to take a soft non-abrasive cloth, dip it into a small amount of simple detergent and wipe off whatever stain, dirt or grime is deposited on the ceramic surface.
• They are highly resistant to heat – since ceramics are fired to develop their glossy finish, their surfaces are naturally resistant to heat. They can withstand your hot pots and pans and hot water spills without showing any signs of stress.
• They will also resist scratches – their glossy finish and their dense structure will not permit any accidental scratches from happening in their surface. This means that they will retain their surface shine for a long time.
• They are available in various designs, styles and colors – with continuous development, you can now get any style and color that you want as long as they conform with your overall house décor.
• They are less expensive than sinks made of other materials – they are also available in many price ranges you can afford.
Even with ceramic’s fine qualities, there is one main disadvantage to using this kitchen sinks made of this material. Ceramic kitchen sinks have a tendency to chip. When a heavy or sharp object is accidentally dropped on its surface, it can be chipped. Once there are chips on the ceramic surface, there is nothing you can do but to replace it. Another thing you need to watch out is food scraps and dirty water left remaining on the surface. They will leave unsightly stains on the ceramic surface.
Even then, the advantages of using ceramic kitchen sinks far outweigh the disadvantages. They are very functional, very affordable, stylish and most of all, very durable. These are the qualities that make a very fitting kitchen sink for your every day use. Just make sure that you don’t allow dirt, grime and dirty water to remain in the surface for days on end. Make sure to clean the surface of all dirt and liquid once you are over your kitchen duties for the day. This will ensure the shine and sparkle of your ceramic kitchen sinks for years to come.
Comforters and bedding duvets are essential in cold weather. In much the same way that comforters provide warmth and comfortable cocoons, so do your bedding duvets covers. They are made up of feather and soft material for maximum comfort and ample heat insulation. Since they are ruined when washed, they come in duvet cover bedding that are washable and changeable. Materials of bedding duvet covers They are usually derived from gabardine, rayon, silk, cotton and suede. You can select from a wide variety of designs, colors and texture. An example is a Minky striped golden color coming in single, twin, and Queen or King sizes. They have also ultra soft duvet cover bedding that respond to people who want the softest covers of all.
They can be used as blankets or comforters, the duvet cover bedding lend a lot to how effective the material would be.
They could double as beds. They are soft and cozy to position atop your beds. In cold weather, they are a good and vital addition to your bedding materials. They are not used only in cold seasons but also in any type of weather. You have a plethora of bedding duvet covers to choose one from. Pick one that you can easily modify to suit any weather.
There are those also which can double in their use because they are reversible. If you are too in hurry to wash them because of time constraint, all you have to do is reverse the duvet cover bedding, and you will have a new cover, presto!
If you are a person who likes some hardness then you can go for duvet cover bedding made up of feathers and some other not so soft material like cotton.
If you want ultra soft, then select ones that are made up of pure soft feathers. These are extremely feathery and smooth. For persons who want just the normal softness, then the ones that are made of cotton. The bedding duvet covers come in various types and material that everyone could choose from a wide array from stores. You could wash them as often as you want so there will not be any problem making your duvets always clean, spic, and span. There are online stores that offer good quality at affordable prices. You will have to be patient to surf online to search for bedding duvet covers that will suit your personality.
This Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5-cup Rice Cooker and Warmer from Zojirushi has the identical functions to another rice cooker from the same manufacture with the name of Zojirushi NP-HBC18 10-cup Rice Cooker and Warmer. The major difference between them is the capacity of the cooker, one can accommodate 5.5-cups of rice while the other can accommodate up to 10 cups of rice. Hence, deliberate profoundly and choose the rice cooker that best fits your needs.
Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5-cup Rice Cooker Review
The most significant feature that differentiates this Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5-cup Rice Cooker from all the other Fuzzy Logic rice cookers is the deployment of brand new technologies in this rice cooker. These technologies are Induction Heat Technology and Micro Computer Technology, which have enabled consistent and even heat distribution during the cooking process, leading to perfect rice cooking. Besides, this rice cooker offers a wide range of cooking options that can be divided into Healthy Cooking functions and Multi-menu Cooking settings. They are Brown Rice, GABA Brown Rice, Germinated Brown Rice, White Rice, Mixed Rice, Sushi Rice, Porridge, Sweet Rice and Quick Cooking.
There are many other amazing features that provided by this Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5-cup Rice Cooker and Warmer. For instance, it is equipped with a black and thick inner cooking pan, a detachable and washable inner lid, an easy-to-read LCD display, an assortment of basic accessories, interchangeable melody signal as well as the unique stainless steel housing. The built-in Timer and extend-able Keep Warm features are another two unique selling points of this product.
Most of the users are particularly in love with the brown rice cooking functions. They claimed that the brown rice produced by this cooker is optimum in various aspects. They also gave high commendations to the extendable Keep Warm feature, which preserves the freshness of the rice even hours after the completion of the cooking process.
All in all, although Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5-cup Rice Cooker and Warmer is expensive, but its versatility, reliability and durability will get your money’s worth!
Amaretti cookies are classic Italian macaroons. Served with coffee they are a traditional way to finish off a meal.
Crispy on the outside these sweet little confections have an intense almond flavour and are sometimes made with ground almonds and sometimes made with almond paste.
Our recipe uses freshly blanched almonds that are then ground to give you that distinctive, authentic almond flavour. Buy whole almonds with the skin still on them.
Amaretti cookies should be a golden color with a cracked appearance. They may take a little time to perfect, but once you have they are well worth it.
Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Blanch the almonds by placing them in a pan of boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes. The water should cover the almonds. Drain, then rub them in a clean towel to remove the skins. To dry the almonds spread them out on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes. You simply want the almonds to dry, not to brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then dust the almonds with a little flour. Shake off the excess.
Process the almonds with half of the sugar in a food processor until the almonds are finely ground.
Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer on medium speed. The eggs are ready when they form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted out. Gradually add half the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat well after each addition. Beat on high speed until very stiff peaks form. The sugar should be almost dissolved at this point. Using a spatula, fold in the remaining sugar, the almond extract and the ground almonds with a metal spoon.
Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays, shaping them into small mounds. Leave sufficient space between each cookie.
You can also pipe the cookie mixture onto the prepared baking trays. If piping, spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe small mounds on the trays.
Sprinkle lightly with confectioners sugar and leave to stand for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and bake your amaretti cookies for 15 minutes or until a pale golden. The center will still be soft.
Remove from the oven and peel the baking paper off the back of the cookies. Place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies will store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Traditional Amaretti-style Italian Cookies I had been looking for a great recipe for an almond cookie and by chance came across this recipe for almond paste cookies.
I decided to try them. Similar to amaretti, they were unbelievably easy and delicious with their crisp outer shell and soft, chewy center.
Made from almond paste these cookies have a rich almond flavour. A sweet confection, they are an ideal way to finish a great meal with friends or family served with coffee.
A delicious after dinner treat.
450 g / 1 lb almond paste
1 cup slivered or flaked almonds
2 egg whites
Scant cup confectioners / icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 150C / 300F.
Break up the almond paste and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the paste resembles breadcrumbs. This will only take around 20 seconds or so. Be careful not to over process at this stage.
Add 2/3 cup of the almonds, the egg whites and sugar and process until the mixture becomes thick and smooth. If the paste is too runny, let it stand for a few minutes.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking tray, allowing plenty of space in between as they will spread during cooking.
Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top. Bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes or until a light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays. Then very carefully peel the paper off the backs of the cookies.
Serve with your favorite coffee.
Use almond paste not marzipan.
The mixture should be thick and gooey and not too runny. If it is too runny it will not hold its shape when dropped onto the baking trays.
These cookies should be cooked on a low heat. If you are not sure of the temperature of your oven, test it with an oven thermometer.
If you do not have an oven thermometer, place a couple on a tray and test bake them. If they cook too quickly, the outer shell will crack. If this happens lower the temperature of your oven.
Note: Unsuitable to freeze, they should be stored in an airtight container and will keep for up to a week.
For an original almond flavor, try our macaroon recipe
Macaroons are a perennial favourite worldwide. Who doesn’t love one of these sweet, soft confections. The original ones were made with almonds.
Today there are many modern variations on the original recipe with the addition of ingredients such as chocolate, nuts and fruit.
Macaroon recipes vary from country to country. In some countries they are light and fluffy, similar to meringues. In others they are small, soft, chewy cookies. They are usually made with egg white beaten with sugar.
Most of the macaroon recipes featured here are quick and easy. We have that perennial favorite, the coconut macaroon, as well as some interesting combinations, such as white chocolate and cranberry and dark chocolate and hazelnut.
History of Macaroons
Macaroons are thought to have originated in Italy in the 18th century, around 1792, in an Italian monastery. Later the chefs of Catherine de Medici took the recipe to France in 1533 on the occasion of her marriage to Henri II.
The early ones were almond meringue cookies, similar to today’s amaretti and were made from egg whites and almond paste. They had a crisp crust and a soft interior.
As the recipe spread through Europe,they became popular among the European Jewish community, as they used eggs instead of a leavening agent and could be eaten during Passover.
How to Make Macaroons
Only the egg whites are used, not the egg yolk.
Bake in the centre of a moderate oven for about 20 minutes.
When cooked they should be crisp on the outside but soft on the inside.
Always line your tray with baking paper, as they can be difficult to remove from the baking tray.
To make it easier, remove them from the baking paper before they have cooled completely.
This recipe resembles the early macaroon cookie recipe. Made with egg white and almonds, it is a simple and easy recipe.
2 egg whites
100g / 3 oz ground almonds
1 cup caster / superfine sugar
teaspoon almond essence
10 whole blanched almonds
Heat the oven to 180C / 350F.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the ground almonds, sugar and almond essence, until the mixture is smooth.
Line your baking trays with baking paper. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture on to the tray spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Split the whole blanched almonds in half and place a half on top of each one. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
Remove from oven. Allow to cool on trays for a few minutes then carefully transfer to wire racks using a spatula. Cool completely.
When beating your egg whites, the stiff peak stage is reached when the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks that hold their shape when the beaters are lifted out.
It is best to use fresh almonds and grind them yourself. Simply place blanched almonds into a food processor and process until ground.
A rich, buttery recipe for lovers of sugar cookies
I was recently rummaging through some of my old cooking books and came across this sugar cookie recipe.
This has to be one of the best sugar cookie recipes ever. Don’t be put off by the large amount of butter, certainly more than you usually find in more modern recipes. These cookies are absolutely delicious.
The secret to success with these cookies is to work with chilled dough. Because of the high butter content the dough can be sticky, but once baked they have a beautiful flavor.
I have to confess I was not a huge sugar cookie fan, but after tasting these I am now a sugar cookie enthusiast.
1 cups / 10 oz / 275 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
cup superfine / caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups plain / all-purpose flour
Beat the butter in a large bowl until it has considerably lightened in color. Gradually add the sugar, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. The mixture should be pale and fluffy.
Sift the flour and salt together and add to the butter mixture. You can stir by hand with a wooden spoon or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Mix until just blended.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently knead it into a smooth rounded ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with baking paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge. As you work with one disk, leave the others chilling in the fridge. Roll out each portion of dough to a thickness of 1/8 – inch (3 – 6 mm).
Cut out cookie shapes using a cookie cutter. Try to get as many shapes as possible from the first roll. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather all the remaining dough and re-roll.
Arrange on the cookie trays leaving about an inch of space between each cookie. Bake in the oven for about 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before transferring them to wire racks with a spatula.
Allow to cool completely before decorating.
If using regular sized cookie cutters, this best sugar cookie recipe should yield about 3 dozen cookies.
If incorporating the flour and butter with an electric mixer, use your paddle attachment.
This dough can be made the day before and left in the refrigerator before baking.
After removing the dough from the fridge let it sit for about 15 minutes or until it is soft enough to roll.
If you find the dough is too sticky roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper.
Because of the high butter content in these cookies you will need to work with chilled dough. If it becomes too soft to work re-chill for a few minutes.
If using an intricately shaped cookie cutter, chill the cut out cookies in the fridge for 15 – 30 minutes before baking. This will ensure they keep their shape.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
To make chocolate sugar cookies, reduce the amount of flour to 1 cups and add cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
These chocolate chip cookies are simply awesome.
This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have come across. Not only do these cookies look spectacular but they taste great too.
What makes them so great? Extra chocolate chips are pressed into the cookie dough before baking to give you a double chocolate hit.
But dont take my word for it, try this recipe for chocolate chip cookies today.
Not only is this the best chocolate chip cookie recipe it is also very easy. Follow our step by step instructions below to learn how to make these them.
150 g / 5 oz unsalted butter
cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup caster / superfine sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cups self-raising flour
cup dark choc bits / chocolate chips
cup milk choc bits / chocolate chips
Assemble all your ingredients before you begin. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Line two baking trays with baking paper. In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugars and egg yolk until the mixture is light and creamy. You will find it easier to cream the butter and sugar if the butter is at room temperature. Add the vanilla essence and beat until the mixture is well mixed and creamy.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Using a metal spoon fold in half the flour. Then add half the choc bits / chocolate chips and mix gently. Fold in the rest of the flour and stir gently until just combined, being careful not to overwork the mixture. Using your hands, press the mixture together to form a soft dough. Take level tablespoons of the mixture and roll them into balls, then place them on the baking trays, allowing sufficient room for the cookies to spread during baking.
Take a fork that has been dipped in flour, then gently flatten the tops of the cookies slightly. Press the remaining chocolate bits firmly onto the tops of the balls. As the cookies will spread during baking, the choc bits can be pressed very close together
Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on the trays, then transfer to wire racks. This recipe will make between 24-26 chocolate chip cookies, depending on their size.
Always place your cookies onto cold baking trays.
Use two baking trays and rotate them. Leave one to cool while the other is in the oven.
Do not leave your cookies on the baking trays longer than 5 minutes as they will be difficult to remove.
Cookies are ready when they are lightly browned.
These cookies will store for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
Now simply eat and enjoy. I can guarantee these cookies wont last very long.
Bar Cookie Recipes – Tips and Techniques for making Perfect Bar Cookies
Discover the secrets to making the perfect bar cookies
Bar cookie recipes are among my favorite. Why? They are:
Quick and easy to make
Can be served as a dessert or for afternoon tea
Versatile. There’s an infinite variety of flavors, tastes and textures
Can be topped with anything from frosting, meringue or chocolate
Ideal for fetes, barbecues or picnics
Some of the most famous bar cookie recipes are brownies. We have a great variety of brownie recipes.
To help you in your quest to bake the perfect bar cookies, we share with you our secrets, including:
Tips and Techniques for Baking Bar Cookies
Multilayered Bar Cookies
Bar Tin Sizes
Preparing the Tin
Cutting and Serving
Decorating Tips and Ideas
Storing and Freezing
Secrets to Baking Bars
Always use the tin size recommended in the bar cookie recipe. Changing the tin will affect the outcome.
Bar tins come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Choose a deep tin to ensure even cooking.
Bar cookies are usually baked in a moderately low to moderate oven.
In some instances, the base is partially cooked, then the topping added. This allows the base to become firm without over-cooking the topping.
Spread the batter evenly in the tin, extending to the sides and corners.
Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
If the recipe requires you to melt butter or chocolate, allow them to cool slightly before adding the eggs. Always have the eggs at room temperature.
Tips for Multilayered Bar Cookies
These are usually easy to make but there are a few techniques which will ensure they always turn out successfully.
Multi-layered bars usually require the base to be partially cooked. This enables the topping to be added later without the base becoming soggy.
Most bar cookie recipes have a shortbread type base, which is usually comprised of flour, sugar, salt and butter.
Stir the flour, sugar and salt together with a fork until well mixed.
Use chilled butter which has been cut into pieces. The butter can be rubbed into the flour using your fingertips. Alternatively you can use a pastry blender or food processor.
The dough is then pressed into a baking tin, again using your fingertips. Make sure the dough covers the base of the tin. Even out the dough, pushing it into the corners.
While the base is cooking, prepare the filling, which is then poured over a warm base, unless the recipe states otherwise. Again make sure it is spread evenly.
When cooked allow the cookies to cool completely in the tin.
You will need a range of different sized baking tins. Most bar cookie recipes use the following sizes:28 x 18 cm / 11 x 7 inch20 cm / 8 inch square cake23 cm / 9 inch square20 x 30 cm / 8 x 12 inch
If you don’t have the tin size specified in the recipe, use the closest size you have, but remember you may have to vary the cooking time and the end result may be different. A smaller sized tin will make the cookie cake-like rather than chewy. A larger size will make it dry and brittle.
The type of tin used will also affect the outcome of your baking. Tins with a dark finish or made of glass will absorb more heat and therefore cook faster and the underside of your cookie will be browner. In contrast, lighter colored or shiny trays will result in a less brown, softer cookie.
Preparing the Tin
Most bar cookie recipes call for the tin to be greased and lined with parchment paper. When lining the tin with baking paper, allow it to overlap two sides of the tin. These techniques enable the slice to be easily removed from the tin.
To line the tin, cut a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the tin, then cut squares out of the corners. Your parchment paper will then fit neatly in the corners.
Cutting and Serving
Always allow the slice to cool in the tin. Removing it from the tin too early may cause it to break or crumble.
There are several ways of cutting your cookies. The most common are fingers or squares.
To cut into fingers, bars or squares remove the bar from the tin first. Use a ruler as a guide to give you even sizes.
However, if you want to give a professional finish to your baking why not try diamonds. To cut diamond shapes, make parallel cuts along the length of the tin. Then cut diagonally across the pan.
To create triangles, first cut the cookie into squares and then cut each square diagonally, working from one side of the pan to the other.
Use a long, sharp knife rather than a smaller one. Wipe the knife clean of crumbs between cuts, so that it cuts cleanly and does not drag.
If the bar has been cut in the tin, remove the corner piece first using a palette knife. Then remove the rest.
If you plan to jazz up your bars to serve for a special occasion here are some ideas:
Superfine sugar, confectioners sugar, cocoa, spices mixed with sugar or alone (eg. cinnamon sugar) can all be dusted over the top. For a special effect use a patterned stencil.
Chocolate of course is always popular and can be piped, curled, grated or added to icing. Check out our chocolate decorating ideas.
What about toasted nuts or coconut? Nuts can be used whole, flaked or chopped.
To toast nuts or coconut, spread on an ungreased baking tray and place in a moderate oven for 5 – 10 minutes. Check frequently to make sure they don’t burn.
Bar cookies can be stored in their baking tin. Wrap the tin tightly with tinfoil, then wrap in plastic wrap ensuring as much air is pushed out as possible.
Your cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
However, if your bar cookie recipe includes a topping which contains cream cheese or cream it will need to be refrigerated and used within 3 days.
Freezing your bar cookies is easy. Check out how at our freezing cookies page.
Banana Cookie Recipe – Banana Cookies with Raisins or Coconut
All the goodness of bananas packed into a cookie
I love trying out new recipes and this banana cookie recipe proved to be a winner.
There are several variations of this banana recipe. By simply changing a few ingredients, they can be transformed into banana raisin cookies or banana coconut cookies.
Bananas give a delicate, subtle flavour to cookies. This banana cookie recipe uses dried bananas instead of fresh, giving them a crunchy texture.
A soft, buttery shortbread style cookie, filled with juicy raisins and crunchy dried bananas. Try them today!
Banana Raisin Cookies
cup orange juice
225 g / 8 oz butter softened
140 g / 5 oz / 2/3 cup caster / superfine sugar
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
280 g / 10 oz / 2 cups plain / all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup dried bananas, finely chopped
Place the raisins in a bowl, pour over the orange juice and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain the raisins and reserve the remaining liquid.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C / 375F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of the reserved orange juice.
Gently fold in the sifted flour and salt and mix until almost combined. Add the raisins and the finely chopped bananas and continue stirring until all the ingredients are combined.
Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking trays allowing sufficient space for the cookies to spread during baking. Using a fork dipped in flour, gently flatten the cookies.
Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 30 Banana Coconut Cookies
To make Banana and Coconut Cookies substitute the raisins with 50 g /1 oz/ cup desiccated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut.
It is important to soak the raisins beforehand, as this adds moisture to the recipe.
These cookies stored very well in an airtight container for up to 5 days.