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A Waffle Machine For Your Kitchen

A fairly recent addition to small appliances designed for use in the family kitchen is the modern version of the waffle maker. This machine consists of two metal plates that come together, with a flavored batter residing inside, which are then heated until the fully baked 'waffle' is extracted for eating. This technology is many hundreds of years old and probably originated in Belgium in Europe.

The modern waffle maker machine consists of two cast iron plates, often with non-stick surfaces, pivoted together within a stainless steel housing. The cast iron plates are designed with a mirror image of criss-cross patten with indentations that, when the plates come together, they form cavities which can then contain the waffle batter. The plates are mainly electrically heated and all waffle makers feature basic controls for switching on and off, and controlling the baking temporatures etc.

The best waffle maker machines must produce a perfectly cooked, hot waffle that has a fluffy texture and is not burnt. It must be sturdy for every day family use, yet of a size and weight that allows it to be stored easily in your own kitchen, which may have limited storage space available. Some of the best ones are designed to be show pieces and look sleek and beautiful in any kitchen decor. A typical example of the modern waffle maker is described in this video:

When considering what type of machine to easily make waffles you and your family like to have, you should first decide if waffle making is the only requirement for the product. There are some other appliances that are really intended for other things but can in fact make waffles as well. However you will not have as much control of the end result as you would get from a dedicated waffle maker.

Dedicated waffle maker machines come with a wide variety of plate shapes, which offer square, rectangle, round or heart shaped waffles, not to mention Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty! Additionally the thickness of the completed waffle varies from machine to machine.

Each machine comes with at least basic controls for on/off, temperature and timer. Budget range waffle makers may have manual or mechanical switches and timers and simple 'lamp' power indicators. As the range progresses towards premium machines, and the cost increases, the use of digital technology increases and machines start to feature more complex monitoring and control features and digital displays that give every bit of information needed to produce the perfect waffle every time, easily.

The taste for finished waffles is very personal and top end machines even allow 'browning control' so that everyone can stipulate not only how fast a waffle should be baked and at what exact temperature, but also how brown it should be at the end of the process. Now that's a perfect waffle.

The internet is a good place to start searching for your new waffle making machine, with sites such as and large stores offering a wide range from most manufacturers. At those websites you will also see feedback from previous customers to help you decide on which model to choose.

Before buying on the internet however, it is always worth going to your local hardware store or supermarket to look at the model you have chosen and to see first-hand how easy (or not) it fits into your plans for the perfect waffle maker.

For more information on the best waffle machines currently available, you may wish to visit

10 Things You Can Make With An Ice Cream Scoop - Its Not Just For Ice Creams

If you think that the ubiquitous ice cream scoop is just for, well, your favorite cold dessert, you will be amazed at just how versatile this particular kitchen utensil can be. However, let us be clear that what we are referring to as the versatile ice cream scoop is the disher type that has a mechanical scraper built-in into the hemispherical scoop. While the one-piece ice cream scoop that resembles a deep and oversized spoon can be versatile as well, it pales in comparison to the number of practical applications of the traditional ice cream scoop or disher scoop.

Dishers come in different sizes often with reference to the quart. So a Size 4 means you have ¼ of a quart or 4 level scoops into a quart. A Size 16 disher therefore is 1/16th of a quart or roughly equivalent to about 60 mL or about 2 ounces. Technically, this is where the versatility comes in. A traditional ice cream scoop or disher can make for an excellent measuring tool for all of your cooking needs. And, because of its hemispherical shape, it can create beautiful balls about almost anything.

Here is a list of what you can do with the traditional ice cream scoop.

1. Fabulous looking side dish:  Think mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, or even brown rice perfectly molded to complement your main dish

2. Pancakes:  The trick to creating beautiful, rounded, and equal-sized pancakes is to make sure you put equal batter on the pan each time. Stack them up before drizzling with your favorite pancake syrup

3. Muffins:  Your need muffins that will bake all at the same time. You want them golden brown. You dont want some to be burned to crisp while others are still pale yellow. Portioning your muffin batter allows for beautiful muffins.

4. Cookies:  The key again is in accurate portion sizes. Because you will be using exactly the same measurements, you are guaranteed to make beautiful and crunchy cookies every time with a cookie dough scoop.

5. Cupcakes:  Like your muffins, all you have to do is to scoop a level portion of your cupcake mixture and pour it into your ramekins or cupcake wrappers and you are good to go.

6. Meatballs:  We couldnt even begin to tell you how wonderful meatballs look on your classic meatball spaghettis. Need bigger meatballs? Use a Size 4 ice cream scooper.

7. Fruit balls:  Melons, watermelons, papayas, and even pears and apples. Carve out beautiful fruit balls and use them in your fruit punch. Or put them on a skewer for an instant fruit-cue.

8. Hamburger patties:  You need big, juicy hamburger patties? Get a Size 4 or a Size 6 ice scooper. That should give you equally-portioned meat patties.

9. Ice cream pops:  Stick a popsicle stick onto your portioned ice cream balls, put them back in the freezer and let them set before taking them out.

10. Sandwiches:  If you made a tuna or chicken sandwich spread, the disher is the right tool for the job especially if you will be serving a lot of people.

The list goes on. Technically, you will only be limited by your creativity when it comes to using the traditional ice cream scoop, whether you use plastics scoops or metal scoops, or even the high quality commercial ice cream scoops.

Cooking With A Halogen Oven

Does cooking an entire dinner in a glass bowl that is plugged in to an electric outlet on your kitchen counter sound a little weird? It shouldnt. If you have a halogen table-top oven in your kitchen you will know this is a great way to cook a meal.

You can find halogen ovens for sale on shopping channels, small appliance sections in a store or even online. Today they have become a very popular way to get a meal from the freezer to the table in only a few minutes.

The one thing that most people love about these small appliances is that they don't take up a lot of space in the kitchen. As well they cook everything in one pot that would normally take up an entire oven. In fact you can saute, boil, roast or even bake cakes and you can do it three times faster than when using a conventional oven.

This type of oven uses halogen heating elements that convert electrical energy into intense heat. They rely on the infrared waves along with a high performance fan to circulate the heat throughout the bowl. This action cooks the food fairly quickly and does it without a lot of energy being used.

The halogen oven comes with a clear glass bowl that has a lid that contains all the workings for the oven. This includes the halogen light bulb along with the fan. Since the bowl is glass you will be able to see your food cooking. It also come with a temperature nob and a timer.

Cheaper than a conventional oven, they take up less space and are ideal for small apartment kitchens, camping or the cottage.

The halogen oven may be small and compact but you will be able to get a surprising amount of food in the bowl. In fact you can easily cook a medium sized chicken or turkey and add vegetables around the meat in the bowl. This way everything is cooked in one place.

The oven usually comes with a couple of wire shelves so you can put food at difference heights depending on the amount of direct heat you need. You can for instance put potatoes on the top rack and other vegetables and cook your chicken on the bottom rack.

Because the heat is circulated with a fan you get even cooking with a halogen oven so you dont have to turn the meat or vegetables during the cooking process. Also, the meat turns out moist and tender from this cooking method. The heat is not a dry heat like you get in a conventional oven so you will find you can produce a melt in your mouth experience when you cook chicken or turkey or even steak.

3 Kitchen Utensils You Simply Cannot Live Without

The modern kitchen is nothing less than a place where creativity and imagination abound. While you may be tied to following the recipe at any given time, flashes of ingenuity, no matter how small, can occur from time to time. Such moments of culinary brilliance call it a stroke of luck can be best carried out if you have the correct tools for the job. This means you have the correct kitchen utensils, kitchen appliances, and food utensils to whip up a culinary masterpiece. But seriously, what kitchen items can you not live without?

Sharpening Stone
While kitchens will always have knives of varying sizes, functionalities, purposes, and construction, all of these will be useless without a whetstone or anything that can sharpen the edges of knives. While you can always bring them to your favorite tool shop to be sharpened, it pays to have a sharpening stone or tool in hand in your kitchen. You can choose among diamond stones, oil stones, and water stones which can also be great not only for sharpening your knife set but also for other kitchen utensils that need sharpening, like your trusty kitchen shears.

Box Grater
Sure a microplane is perfect for a lot of different applications, but nothing can compare to the versatility and functionality of a box cheese grater . It can serve as a cheese grater, a vegetable shredder, a fruit slicer, and even a course nut grinder. The convenience of the box grater is unparalleled especially when you need to create delectable and rich tasting soups consommés, bouillabaisses, and gumbos as well as other soup-based dishes that will require finely grated or shredded ingredients. Think of creating your own Neapolitan pizza? The slicing hole of a box grater will be perfect for making those beautifully cut thin slices of cheese then topped with mozzarella, either shredded or thinly sliced.

Kitchen Thermometers
While sticking a piece of toothpick onto your pastry will give you an idea if it is already baked through or not yet, you cannot poke a wooden toothpick into a slab of meat so you can say it is already cooked through and through. A meat thermometer is thus very important for every modern home, lest your Thanksgiving Day turkey or roast beef will be crispy on the outside yet raw and bloody on the inside. Oven thermometers will be indispensable when you are on a baking mission. A thermometer that is specifically designed for refrigerators will ensure that the fridge temperature is kept below 40oF, otherwise you have bacteria all over your food.

These are the three kitchen items that all professional chefs all over the world cannot live without. Dont you think its about time you have these in your kitchen, too?