Review: Chefman Precision Electric Kettle

This does what it’s supposed to do! I love that. I love when you buy something for a purpose and it does it! I’d say even to perfection. Okay, so all it does is boil water, how difficult is that? Well, this has temperature control and that is the key when making a good cup of tea.

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The kettle doesn’t take up a lot of space. Also – still love the hanging cups underneath the cabinet. See how I did it HERE! 

What I love:

Easy to use!

Hot water anytime I want it; even if the unit is shut off, from off to boil, is darn near instant. I usually turn it on first thing in the morning and I go about my business. The beep will sound that it’s ready (loud enough, but not obnoxiously loud); warm lemon water, followed by an herbal cup of tea. As I sip away, I’m using the boiled water to heat up dog/cat food; I’ve used it to make instant oatmeal, heating up pasta, I’ve even made coffee!

Easy to clean; add white vinegar and water and set to boil! Doesn’t get any easier than that! Tip to keep my sink drains unclogged… I will pour the boiled white vinegar and water down a drain in the house. I pick a different one than the last. (Another tip; adding baking soda first in the drain then the boiling white vinegar and water helps to keep my drains clear).

If I’ve made tea in the pot and leave the tea sitting for a while, it will leave a stain at the bottom. No a big deal! To remove the stain I will use the white vinegar and water method. Set the pot to boil. I will do this 2-3 times and the stain will lift. If there is any stain left over, I will just use the kettle as is and the stain will eventually be gone after a few uses. I have used the kettle for just boiling water with the stain and it does not affect the taste of the water. I have very hard water, so even using filtered water, in time, there will be bits of hard water deposits. The white vinegar and water method keeps the hard water deposits out of the pot and it will come out totally clean the first time.

Programming is simple and straightforward; One button for the ON/Off and a red light will turn on letting you know the unit is on. The button next to that is the program button; press that. And a blue light will go on, then you have two buttons on the left side of the base that controls the temperature you want to set it at. It’s super easy, if I so say so myself, since I’m not the best with most electronics of any kind!

If you just press the ON/OFF button once it will turn on the kettle and warm up to whatever temp it was on last, then once heated, it will turn off. This unit heats to a maximum of 212 F and can be adjusted down in increments of 5. If you press the ON/OFF button and then the program button, it will heat water to what you had it set at last and stay heated for 60 minutes. That is what I do automatically as I want hot water all day long. I will keep making teas and as the water level goes down, I add to it and turn the unit back on as needed throughout my day. The temperature setting will stay on the last setting unless you unplug the unit for it to reset. I just adjust the time by using the (+ or – ) buttons on the left to control the temp. And another thing; you will notice an ER indicator when removing the kettle. It does NOT mean there is a problem with the unit. It shows up when you remove the kettle from the base. Once you place the kettle back on, the ER indicator goes away.

Holds a good amount of water. 7 cups…1.7 liters. I have filled mine past the max line with no issues. (not saying I would recommend this, I just haven’t had an issue)

Kettle is made for right and left-handed users. Returning it to the base can be done from either side, even from behind the unit base!

Comfortable to hold. The kettle handle is comfortable in large and small hands. (My husband has large hands and I have small hands and we both can hold the kettle easily). The lid release button is substantial; easy to find and press.

Tea infuser; I’m just gonna say, I LOVE this! Adding tea leaves, herbs, dried flowers; this infuser holds them and steeps them beautifully! The water flows into the infuser easily allowing a wonderfully infused pot of tea. Removing the infuser is simple and cleaning it is just as simple; press the button on the handle, remove the infuser, dump the contents into compost bin, and wash tea infuser with soap and water, rinse well and set out to dry.

The display light makes it is easy to see/read; bright enough to read with no other light on at night and bright enough to read in good daylight.

No cord on the kettle. The cord is on the base (obviously), just not on the kettle which makes it super convenient when pouring and taking the kettle to another area such as the breakfast table. The unit will stay on and remember the setting for five minutes after removing the kettle.

Glass kettle; I can easily see what I am brewing or if I need to add more water. It’s also rather soothing watching the bubbles. There’s a soft blue light that adds a nice touch too!

It’s a nice size. Kettle is next to my Ninja coffee maker (which is still going strong! We brew about a pot or two a day. Check out that review here.)

Parts of kettle can be removed and cleaned. The tea infuser, tea infuser mount, spout filter can be removed and cleaned. I don’t need to clean it often as I mainly boil plain water. Once or twice a week I will make tea in the pot using the tea infuser. Most of the time I make tea using the tea infuser inside my cup. I like to drink many types of teas during my day and the tea infuser is awesome. Just find a cup/mug that it can fit into. It eliminates me having to use a tea ball or straining it out with a strainer or something like that. Like I said before, when I am done using the infuser I dump out the contents in my compost and wash and rinse. It takes about 30 seconds.

One complaint:

If I had to pick one, I suppose I wish it would stay on longer. It has a boil-dry protection mode and if there isn’t enough water in the kettle, the unit will turn off automatically. That is a good thing. Though, as I mentioned above, I fill the kettle throughout the day so there’s always a good amount of water.

All in all, I really can’t complain about anything with this unit. I am very glad I bought it and have used it for about five months nonstop. I turn it on first thing in the morning and off last thing at night. If I don’t turn it off, it will shut off within the hour of the last time I turned it on. I would buy this again as well as give this as a gift!

I hope this was helpful for you in choosing an electric kettle.

Happy tea making/happy boiling water!

Love and Peace…Koko

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Make Space: Get More From Your Kitchen!

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I really could use the space in this cabinet. I have jars and jars of stuff I use on the daily. I forget what I have because as you can see, it’s hidden behind more jars, and so on…

We all are trying to gain more cabinet space/counter space. How do we do that without going into debt? What if we can’t spare the room? What if we can’t add on? What if tearing out cabinets isn’t an option or adding more? How do we gain more…?

My solution was to take four inches away from my counters. What I mean by that is I built a shelf that sits on the back half of my countertop. I don’t ever recall a time when I’ve used my counters to the very back, so I knew I wouldn’t miss it. Here’s is what I did…

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Off to the scrap pile I go…

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1 x 4’s … I measured the length of the counter this shelf would sit on and cut accordingly.

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Drill holes counter sinking each one. I then used wood screws to screw it together.

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Sanding the wood before screwing it all together is much easier than doing it after, which I did…Here, I’m sanding/smoothing the screw holes as there are always burrs left over from drilling.

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Here it is!

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Turn on the lights! It fits the space just right.

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I some gained serious space…Like whole two shelves in that cabinet!

This was a total win-win. I’ve freed a cupboard and gained a useful shelf that makes it super easy to get to ingredients I use daily. No more pulling jars out to see what’s behind. Very convenient! I’ve prepared dishes and rolled dough on this counter and haven’t missed those four inches!

Figure out what it is YOU really need from your kitchen. Remember the blog post on the coffee cups here? Whatever your needs are, more than likely there is a way to make your kitchen space more usable for YOU. An organized kitchen that works for your lifestyle makes all the difference in creating those wonderful dishes you make with love!

I’m looking for suggestions….should I stain this shelf or whitewash it?

I hope this gives you some ideas to making your own space work for you!

Remember, if I can do it, you can do it!

Peace, Koko

If you know someone who this post would benefit, please share/follow. I so appreciate you and thank you in advance! 

 

Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe

I had a Cuisinart Coffee maker I had been using for almost three years. The review on that can be found here . I really liked that coffee maker. A lot! At almost three years, the machine itself started leaking water. The coffee maker still worked, but the side where it made hot water sprung a leak. I tried taking it apart to see where it was coming from and I found the parts I would need just wasn’t worth it to fix. Enter the Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe!

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This is the Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe!

I looked at a few dozen types of coffee pot machines and after careful thought, I decided on this Ninja. It didn’t hurt that it was on sale at Target! I believe I picked it up for less than half the price. Winning! 🙂

Ninja’s words…”Ninja has a patent-pending brewing technology designed to deliver better, richer- tasting coffee with variable richness levels that are never bitter. Only the Ninja Coffee Bar® brewer has Thermal Flavor Extraction, which truly unlocks the full flavor potential of your coffee using automated controls for Temperature Calibration, Pre-infusion & Coffee Saturation.”

The settings brews four types of coffee; classic, rich, over-ice, specialty. I have used them all. It’s stepped up my coffee game! Classic Brew is what I’d call a regular brew, a nice perfectly brewed coffee. I like this setting when I drink it black. The Rich Brew is a bolder flavor. And by bold I don’t mean bitter. Just a nice stronger flavor. If you use milks or creams, I find you don’t lose out on that coffee flavor. Using the Over Ice Brew makes the coffee even richer so as not to lose any coffee flavor when pouring over ice. No watered down taste! The Specialty Brew is even more concentrated coffee, making the coffee flavor just right when making any type of “fancy” concoctions. It comes with a recipe booklet too. Tweaking the recipes to my tastes is a lot of fun. WE have coffee bar nights where we pick a recipe to try! A great “party” theme.

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Their trademarked Ninja Easy Frother™ is such a simple design that does the job very well! I’ve had other frothers, yet there’s something about this one that sets it apart. To me, it froths the milk much faster and the consistency of the froth is much thicker.

This coffee pot doesn’t have a filter. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me as I use filtered water anyway, though I  had to “get over” not having my coffee double filtered, hahaha! As it turns out, it’s good in the way that I don’t have to remember to change the filter (and the cost savings of buying them) and have to deal with another compartment to keep clean. And speaking of keeping it clean, this pot is very easy to clean. The machine comes apart easily. Nothing tricky about it. Seriously easy!

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The reservoir is a neat feature. Ninja’s Auto-iQ™ One Touch Intelligence feature sends out the right amount of water you need depending on what size you want. Super cool! I keep it full of filtered water, so making a cup, half a pot, or full pot is quick and easy. You can remove the water container to fill it or you can pour water into it from another pitcher or other vessel (which is what I do most of the time).

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See that silver round piece? It flips down and that is where you set your cup for that single serving cup. Flipping it back up allows you to make a travel sized mug full of coffee, or of course, a half pot or full pot.

What I like about this feature is you can make that single serving or travel mug size without using those “pods”. I have yet to meet a pod that made a decent cup of coffee or tea for that matter. By the way… I’ve used this machine to make yerba mate tea! It does a fantastic job at brewing it just right! How does it know? 😉

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My only “con” about this set up…the mouth of the carafe is small. You can’t fit your hand inside to clean it. So, you need a bottle brush or something like that to clean it effectively. This is not a complete deal breaker, however, if I were looking at two coffee makers, both being equal, but one had the traditional carafe opening, I would buy the wider opening. Ninja does sell a soft sponge brush for $5.95. See the video I made below to so see how I clean my carafe!

Continue reading

DIY Magnetic Message Board

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Your refrigerator is the perfect spot to post a note to remind you of something. In my home it’s one of the most opened door; which means papers/coupons, cards, notes can go flying off. My kitchen isn’t wide where the fridge sits and often times the “stuff” that is on the front of the fridge gets knocked off. My solution was to create a message board near enough where we could still see it, but out of the way from walking traffic. Remember, if I can, you can! Let’s get started…

Materials needed:

Sheet metal

Screws

Rubber grommets

Tools:

Screw driver or drill

Drill bits to pre-drill

Level

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I purchased a piece of sheet metal. I was prepared to cut the sheet metal to size using tin snips, however I got lucky that the area I decided to put the sheet metal is a size that the hardware store readily stocks.

I had several ideas for how I was going to hang the sheet metal. If I had to cut it using tin snips I knew the cut edge wouldn’t be smooth and I was going to “hide” it using molding to “frame” the sheet metal. That would have still looked nice, but I decided to use only screws and grommets. I like the clean/modern look of how it came out.

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I predrilled where I wanted the screws to go. Added the rubber grommet and screwed the screw in.

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There you have it! A message board that’s still accessible without clogging up the front of the refrigerator.

It was a quick and easy project that anyone with any skill level can do. If you are using tin snips; remember to wear gloves. And always protect your eyes!

I am on the go constantly! Often times I wish I could duplicate myself! I may not post weekly (I’m a bit more active on twitter and instagram as I can post pics while in between my crazy busy life…follow me!), but I do read your posts! I enjoy every one of them. I read your blogs every chance I get and get inspired daily from them. Your posts make me smile, think, energize me, and carry me when I am down. Just wanted you to know I appreciate you and the time you take to write!

Hope you had a wonderful Valentines. I got my guy this:

(Evan-the-dog adorably photo-bombing!)

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Who am I kidding…I probably will be on it more than him! Teehee 😉 He actually loves it! After 25 Valentines you have to get creative.

Be kind to yourself and to others! Have a beautiful day!

Peace and hugs, Koko 🙂

Easy DIY Cabinet Space Saver You Can Do!

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Ooooh…Ahhhh… Cute polka dots!

Organizing is always on the forefront of my mind. For me it just makes sense. If I can find things and easily store things, that makes my life run smoothly.

Is your cupboard full of coffee mugs; stacked one on top of the other? Mine was a mess. And I worried that they’d chip being cramped in such a small space. Also I couldn’t showcase how cute my cups were. This is what I did to free up valuable cabinet space as well as something pretty to look at and make me smile…

I took some paper (taped pieces together to make it large enough) and made a template. I then measured out how far apart I wanted the cups. Keeping in mind to give room so the cups don't hit the back of the wall.

I took some paper (taped pieces together to make it large enough) and made a template. I then measured out how far apart I wanted the cups (see orange dots). Keeping in mind to give room so the cups don’t hit the back of the wall.

After the template was made I taped it to the bottom side of the cabinet. I then took a 16d otherwise known as 16 penny nail (any nail or sharp pointed object will do)(though I like using nails better as it makes a great starter guide hole) … Using a hammer I tapped once or twice straight through the paper at each dot/mark. Your goal is to make a “guide” hole to make it easier to screw the hook into.

After the template was made I taped it to the bottom side of the cabinet. I took a 16 penny nail (any nail or sharp pointed object will do) ... and tapped it straight through the paper at each dot/mark I made.

And then comes the easy part…I removed the template and screwed each hook into the holes I had made using the 16 penny nail. (For those of you who don’t know what a 16 penny nail is–it’s just a very large nail.)

Hang cups...

Hang cups…

To complete the look...insert coffee pot here. :)

To complete the look…insert coffee pot here. 🙂

This coffee pot also does hot water. See my review here

Factoid:

The “d” in 16d refers to “penny”. Way back in the Roman times the “d” stood for denarius which was what they called their coin (money) then. The nails were hand forged during that time period (obviously…hehehe) and was said that a hundred 3 1/2″ nails cost 16 pennies. Hence the name we now use as 16 penny nails or also can be referred to as 16d. The cost of one hundred 14d nails (during that time) was 14 pennies and so on and so on… 🙂

Nails come in many lengths from 4d on up to 60d. There are different shaft shapes too!

This was a very easy project anyone can do. Yes YOU! I believe in YOU! The cost was my time (FREE–though I wish I were paid…hehehehe) and the hooks which run a few dollars. Tip: You can use newspaper or paper bags to make a template with. Any questions you might have, ask away!

Save some cabinet space and give this project a go! If you do, please post it or email me a picture. I’d love to see your collection of mugs!

Enjoy your day everyone and please like, follow, and share, your support really touches my heart. ❀Koko❀

Glass stove top cleans sharply!

Glass stove top cleans sharply!

All my years of cooking has always been using gas stoves.  My last stove was a beauty.  Lots of stainless and huge metal grates It looked like a smaller version of a chefs stove.  Though every time I used it, I wish I had a sous-chef to do the necessary cleaning!  I have a glass, smooth top stove now, and I learned fast the use and care differed; from the way it cooks to the types of pots/pans you can use.

I grumbled at first with the change.  I had to be gentle in how I set the pans on the surface as well as take care not to slide the cookware around, (kind of like quiet ninja cooking!)  I quickly adapted and found working with a smooth top cook surface was really nice, especially where clean up was concerned.

I cook a lot and I’ve found I’d developed this “thing” in the back of my mind; I will call a stress meter of sorts.  (this was pre smooth top cooks surface). The thought of cleaning the stainless and grates just made me want to order take-out.  I worried about every spill and every grease splatter.  I painstakingly watched each pot so it didn’t boil over or I’d be left with huge clean up duty.  I like clean and shiny surfaces, stove included.  So I cleaned and shined and repeated.  The process was taking off the grates and scrubbing the stainless top and then buffing.  The grates had to be scrubbed and dried completely otherwise rust would set in.  Cooking a couple of times a day, times seven days a week, equals what could quickly be an icky stove if not cleaned with each use.  Stainless isn’t terribly difficult to clean, but lifting off the metal grates just wore on me.  They were heavy and cumbersome and I never looked forward to dealing with them.

Fast forward to this new stove, well new-used-stove.  I love the ease of cleaning a glass stove top.  That stress meter is GONE! Oatmeal bubbled over, spaghetti sauce drips, grease splatters, you name it, I can easily clean it off.  Most spills are easily wiped away, (I usually clean as I go). But if the spills are left, I can take care of most by soap and water and a cloth.  If there’s a “burned” spill I go to my handy-dandy very shape razor blade.  I just angle it and scrape away!  I then follow-up with soap and water and a clean cloth.  In the picture you will see my new gadget, (expensive as heck! Nah, about $3 dollars at my Home Depot).  It’s just a plastic handle you can put your razor blade into.  I guess it helps some, with the holding of the blade, but mind you I had cleaned the stove top with just the blade for a couple of years, so the handle isn’t necessary if you can’t find one.  My secret to cleaning the stove in a nut shell, razor blade, soap, and water.

dirty spots!Shiny stove!