Things to Consider before Buying Keurig Model

Keurig coffee machines have been a great demand nowadays. With their extraordinary features and superb results, these coffee makers have recommended and preferred over others. Still, there are many things you need to consider before you get one.

Features to look for

Before you buy a Keurig coffee maker, you should have done a full-fledged research about it and also should have all the information regarding its features. Most of the Keurig models have same features but they vary minutely with respect to one feature to more. Check out Keurig coffee maker reviews, know about the top models and make a pick worth your penny. To make things easy for you here are the must-have features to look out for.


This is very important to know the purpose or the place where you want to keep the coffee maker. Different coffee makers are designed according to different purposes. For example, the coffee maker which is specially designed for a household purpose cannot be used for office or other commercial places. So, you have to choose the suitable model according to your location.

Cup size serving

Keurig coffee maker means single-serve coffee, but you can select from single serve to travel sizes in various models. Simply, you need to see how many people would be using the machine and how many cups would be required per person. Thus, you can choose from the coffee makers which have an option of cup sizes.

Compact and portability

This is an important factor to consider if you have a small kitchen counter. You need to choose the perfect model that can fit on your kitchen counter or cabinet. Some people love to take their coffee machines while traveling thus, it is important for them to look for the portability factor and if it is compact or not.

Keurig Coffee Makers 1

Programmable features

Always in a hurry? But also need your coffee right after you wake up, without wasting any time. Some drip coffee makers have certain programmable features that can brew your coffee even before you wake up, you just need to set the timer and you can save your time.

Silent Models

Most people don’t like the noise coffee makers make while brewing. No worries, some models have a feature called Quiet Brew Technology that brew coffee in silence, hence keeping the entire process as quiet as possible.

Hot water Brewing

There are some Keurig coffee makers that have the option of the hot water dispenser. It means the machine produces hot water within to make the brewing process faster and you are ready for your coffee in no time.


Different Keurig coffee makers offer you different features, and thus they are priced at different rates. Even you are getting a coffee maker with all the features required and is expensive, it is of no use. Thus, what you need to do is consider all the features and aspects you want on your machine along with its affordability.

Water Reservoir Capacity

Models having water reservoir capacity can only brew one cup of coffee, while others have a larger capacity. If you need more than one cup at a time, it is recommended to get a larger capacity model, which is more efficient. On the other hand, some models have a removable water reservoir which can be refilled easily.

Hot water Brewing

Learning How to Smoke a Chicken on a BBQ Pit

There are endless ways to cook chicken—you can grill, broil, boil, fry, bake and braise. But how about smoking the chicken on a barbecue pit? You can learn how to smoke a chicken on a bbq pit quite easily, and it will give you a wonderful, moist flavor that your whole family will enjoy. Before you learn how to smoke a chicken on a bbq pit, you will need a few essentials.

Backyard BBQ Pit

First, you will need a bbq pit. These are pretty popular now and are quite easy to find. Of course, if you are handy, you may want to get the plans to build one yourself in your backyard. As you begin to learn how to smoke a chicken on a bbq pit, you should remember that there are a wrong way and a right way to do it.

The fire needs to be at the perfect temperature and you will need to watch the chicken. If you are not careful, you will end up with a charred mess, instead of a moist, flavorful meal.

Prepare Chiken

Next, you will need to prepare the chicken. This is a very important step when you smoke a chicken. For the best results, use whole chickens or pieces of chicken, with the bone and skin.

This will keep your chicken moist as it cooks. The skin will hold in the moisture. You will also want to consider marinating the chicken over the night or for several hours. Use your favorite spices such as chili powder, garlic, and salt to give it a good flavor.

There are many great smoked chicken recipes that you can use as you learn how to smoke a chicken on a BBQ pit. When you learn the proper techniques, you will be rewarded with a wonderful meal.

Buying a Planer? Here’s What You Need to Know!

What is a Planer? A planer is a tool that woodworkers and carpenters usually use to smoothen out the wooden surface and shave off the unnecessary areas. It is quite handy and can be found useful in all kinds of woodwork projects. Although it can be a little tricky to choose the correct Planer for yourself as there are many types of Planers available in the market with different features and construction so one must look at all the planer’s features before buying one.

This guide will tell you all about the important features and functions that one must look at while buying a planer.

1. Planer Types

The first thing to learn about planers is that there are different types of planers available in the market:

Thickness Planer – This type of planer is used to give a consistent thickness to a board and shave off the unnecessary uneven sides from it. This is particularly useful when you need to join two wood boards and you need their edge to be completely even and smooth.


Hand Planer – This is another type of planer in which universal motors is used which makes it lighter and easier to carry around. This portable planer is powerful and is good at smoothing smaller pieces of wood.

2. Motor

The major difference between planers is the motor, and usually, there are two types of motors: induction motors and universal motors. An induction motor is more long-lasting and powerful than a universal motor but it is also heavier than the universal motor. A universal motor is good for portable and hand planers while an induction motor is good for stationary workshops and industrial settings.

Features to look out for:

1. Workspace

One of the most important things to consider when buying a Planer is to determine the area available for your planer. You don’t want to cramp up your workshop space and leave no space for the extra wood to dangle about. Make sure you have enough space for your planer and a little extra space left for your move around.

2. Thickness Capacity

The next thing to consider is the thickness which your planer would accommodate when working on a wood. If you are going to work with thick blocks of woods, you would need an industrial planer and else a hand planer is good for dealing with smaller pieces of wood. A lot of planers also come with adjustable thickness feature which allows a user to choose the desired thickness by adjusting the ‘depth stop’ of the planer.

3. Width Capacity

Another important feature to consider is the width capacity of your planer which basically means the width of the wood that the planer can cut. For this, you would need to determine your project types and then buy a planer accordingly.

4. Blade types and speed

Some planers come with adjustable speed while many come with a single speed too so decide the usage of your planer and then choose accordingly. Another thing to consider would be the blade type. There are many types of blade types ranging from two to five blades. As the number of blade increases, the faster and smoother the planer will cut. So, make sure you choose a planer with an adequate stroke rate.

Drip Coffee Maker – All You Ought to Know

If you are having a coffee maker, then you have to know all this stuff.


What is the best temperature for coffee brewing?

Generally, experts agree that the perfect temperature for coffee brewing is 200 degrees.  Several dining establishments do not permit the temperature to get too high as a cautious action when a customer spills coffee and gets burned.

What influences the quality of a coffee?  

There are numerous things that can influence the quality of a brewed coffee.  Some things that influence the coffee quality are the standard of coffee beans, the length of time since the coffee beans were roasted, the length of time since the coffee beans were grounded, the water quality used in coffee brewing and the clarity within the brewing apparatus.

How do you clean the coffee maker?

The coffee making appliance should be cleaned every week or as if necessary. Some professionals suggest using water and dish detergent. While some others support running ¾ water and ¼ vinegar through the brewing series 1 or 2 times ensued by running pure water through the series.

In this way, rigid water deposits and other build-ups are eliminated. If you have one from Keurig then there are a lot of resources available online.

Can you use espresso beans in a drip coffee maker?

Definitely yes. There will be no problem using espresso beans in a drip coffee maker.

Even though drip coffee makers all brewed coffee in the same manner, not all drip coffee makers (read reviews here) are created identical.  There are so many versions and designs in the market on and offline which you can select from. The most important thing to do before you purchase your new drip coffee maker, you must do some researchers to make sure that you get out of the best tasting coffee maker of all.

Turkey Pops?

At our Thanksgiving dinner this year there will be kids. Seventeen kids to be exact. I wanted to make something fun to put on each kid’s plate. Then last night at around midnight it hit me… I could make a Bakerella Cake Pop shaped like a Turkey for each of the children.


Then I got to thinking about how skilled Bakerella is with her hand shaping and how I have never tried hand shaping a cake pop yet. Then I thought about how it might not work too well if I tried dipping the little turkey pops with their drumstick legs.

Would they fall off? And let’s just say they did stay intact and actually looked good… could I then, somehow get a bone rammed into the end of each leg without ruining my entire turkey pop? Hmmmm…. then I had an epiphany.

I would simply sculpt each pop out of caramels. So I unwrapped a few, heated them up until they were barely warm and just pliable enough to shape. Then I shaped the caramel around the stick.

I added the legs after I made the body and I wrapped them around tiny little Wilton bone sprinkles that I had from Halloween. Voila, and there you have it, folks. A solid caramel turkey pop, on a stick, complete with bones… ready to add a touch of humor and a bit of whimsy to our Thanksgiving table!

English Toffee

A couple of years ago, my sisters and I sent e-mails with some of our tried and true Christmas recipes. This recipe was from my sister Lois. It is buttery and delicious and I can honestly say I haven’t tried a better recipe for homemade English Toffee. I made a big batch last night in preparation for my Old Fashioned Candy Cane Pulling Party.

I adjusted it a bit to suit my tastes, but only a bit. It is 1/2 gone now. I will probably make another batch tonight knowing that what we have left from batch number one certainly won’t last until next weekend!


English Toffee from Auntie Lois

  • 2 Cups Butter
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 4 TBSP Water
  • 2 TBSP Light Corn Syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup Chopped, Ground or Slivered Almonds
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Butter Extract (optional)
  • 12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


  1. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter and then add sugar until dissolved.
  2. Add water, corn syrup and salt. Mix well and stir over medium heat to 290 degrees on your candy thermometer.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter extract.
  5. Pour into a lightly buttered sheet pan and with mitted hands tilt pan to disperse evenly. When cool, (my sister puts hers on the porch until it is hard) melt chocolate chips in microwave at 30-second intervals until smooth.
  6. Spread on top of toffee evenly and sprinkle with almonds.
  7. Break with a knife and store in a tin that is NOT airtight in the freezer, unless you are like me and just chip away at the buttery goodness all day eating small pieces for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  8. This makes 2 1/2 lbs. of candy and is great for gift giving.

Perfect Pie Crust

I know, I know… it is too late for this post. You have already eaten your Thanksgiving pie. But hey, Christmas is just around the corner. A perfect pie is a fab dessert choice after any dinner and Christmas dinner is no exception! Above is a creamy deep dish pumpkin pie with a nutty streusel top.

I made it for our family Thanksgiving dinner today. I will include the recipe below the perfect pie crust recipe, in case you want to file it away for next Thanksgiving. Believe me, you will want to make it next year, it is divine. So here is my Mom’s perfect pie crust recipe. But first, a few tips and tricks for you before you make it.


  • The fat doesn’t have to be cold, but I have found that ice water seems to work better.
  • Try not to handle the crust much with your hands. Once you cut the fat to the dry ingredients and then add the water… dump it out on the counter. Even if it is crumbly… go ahead, dump it out. Then gently scoop up the crumbly bits and put them into a small round disc shape. Now… don’t ever touch it with your hands again. Only the rolling pin gets to touch it until you are ready to put it into the pie plate that is.
  • Use dough bands so you get an even thickness every time. This will ensure that your crust will bake evenly as well as look pretty. The crust should be 1/8 of an inch thick.
  • Don’t overdo it with flouring your counter and rolling pin. Add just enough flour so your dough won’t stick. If you are worried about knowing how to tell if you are being overzealous with the flour, try rolling your crust out on a fine dish towel. If you flour the dish towel then, roll your dough on it, all of the excess flour will go into the cloth instead of your dough.
  • A large deep dish ceramic pie plate will always look more impressive and give a guest a much larger slice of pie… and cmon who doesn’t want a bigger piece?
  • Piercing your crust aka docking with a fork needs to be done excessively. I’m talking all over the entire crust, up the sides, on the bottom, on the fluted edge between the flutes… Everywhere you look on the crust, you should see the little holes from the fork. Why? Well, first it helps prevent your crust from bubbling and shrinking. But make sure you only dock a blind shell… not a pumpkin or double crust pie.
  • Pie weights? No need for them if you pierce your crust as suggested above. Also, I feel like it is just one more unnecessary gadget to get lost in a kitchen drawer.
  • Always bake your pie on the lower racks in your oven. This ensures that our crust gets completely done at the same time as your filling. Unless you have a fancy schmancy convection oven and in that case, I don’t know what rack to put it on!

Nancy’s Perfect Pie Crust

  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Cup Butter Flavored Crisco
  • 1/4 Cup Ice Water


  1. Mix flour and salt together. cut in shortening.
  2. Add a bit of ice water at a time until the dough starts to come together but is still crumbly.
  3. Roll out using a light dusting of flour on your counter and rolling pin.
  4. Lay into pie plate.
  5. Trim and crimp edge. Pierce with a fork all over the entire crust. Everywhere. Even the edges… take out all of your holiday stress and frustration. Do it! The more holes the lighter and flakier your crust will be.
  6. Bake as directed with your pie. If baking a blind shell to fill later (like for a banana cream pie) Bake at 400 degrees until just starting to get golden on the edges… about 8-10 minutes.

Pumpkin Streusel Pie

  • 1 unbaked pastry shell, 9-inch
  • 1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin, or 2 cups puree
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Pecan Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup firm butter (or more you kinda need to eyeball this a bit)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut (sweetened flaked shredded)


  1. Heat oven to 400°. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices, and salt; blend well. Streusel topping:
  2. Combine brown sugar and flour; cut in the butter until crumbly.
  3. Stir in chopped pecans and coconut. Set aside.
  4. Pour pumpkin mixture into the unbaked pastry shell.
  5. Place a rack in the middle of your oven and one a step or two higher.
  6. You want the pie to fit on either rack because you are going to move it to the top rack at the end of baking. Bake for 15 minutes on middle rack.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes longer.
  9. Next, sprinkle streusel topping over pie.
  10. Move to a higher rack and continue baking at 350° for about 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until golden brown and the filling is set.
  11. Serve this with cinnamon infused whipped cream and it is amazing! You will be the hit of the party yet again!

Butterscotch Gingerbread

And so it was that Christmas was upon us… and so it was that I had kids who don’t like gingerbread. Whose kids are these anyway? They can’t possibly be mine if they don’t like a cookie! In light of this sad and terrible fact, I decided to make a more mild and “kid-friendly” version of gingerbread.

One that would be most pleasing to the tongue of a North American child. And so I give you “Butterscotch Gingerbread”. A touch of spice mixed with the sweet flavor of butterscotch, topped with a vanilla bean royal icing. All-in-all the perfect balance. My children wolfed these down like they were the last cookies on earth.


Butterscotch Gingerbread

  • 1 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) cook-and-serve butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cardamom


  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs.
  3. Combine the flour, pudding mixes, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness.
  5. I find dough bands extremely helpful at this point. Cut with lightly floured cookie cutters.
  6. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets, I lined mine with parchment. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until firm.
  7. Remove to wire racks to cool. Decorate as desired. 
  8. I used a royal icing recipe and just added 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste to give it a rustic appeal.

A Little Brittle

Every Christmas when I was growing up my Mom, “Nanni” made peanut brittle. It was shiny, almost like glass and filled with Spanish peanuts. She used the 1970′s Better Homes and Gardens red and white checkered cookbook recipe. One of Naini’s secrets was to use Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup in lieu of light kayro syrup.

I have used the same trick every time I make it and it always turns out divine. It tastes rich and buttery, more so than any other brittle I have ever had. The funny thing is, it doesn’t ever taste like maple? This season I decided to use a mixture of whole nuts instead of peanuts. It is not only pretty, but delicious and so festive! Here is the recipe.


Mixed Nut Brittle

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup (I use Mrs. Buttersworth as does my Mom)
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3-4 Cups Raw Mixed Nuts (I used whole almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and macadamia)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda


  1. Combine sugar, syrup, and water in a heavy pot. (Oh wouldn’t a Le Cruset be lovely right about now)
  2. Cook to soft ball stage (test a few drops in a glass of cold water).
  3. Add nuts and salt and cook to hard crack stage stirring constantly. (Always remove candy from heat while testing)
  4. Add butter and soda and stir to blend, candy will bubble and kinda foam.
  5. Pour onto a standard size cookie sheet/sheet pan that is lightly buttered.
  6. Cool slightly by lifting edges with a spatula, keep spatula moving under mixture so it won’t stick.
  7. When cool enough turn it over and take off of pan… pull on edges to make thinner and more glass-like.
  8. Break into large pieces when completely cooled. If you don’t mind having a thicker more substantial looking brittle these last few steps aren’t necessary.
  9. Simply pour into pan and let cool. Then break the end.

Cold oil, Cold pan

Here is a necessary rule to abide by when using oil in a frying pan or wok. Cold oil, cold pan. You see if you put cold oil into a hot pan… you will never know how hot the pan is or when the oil is ready to cook. Your pan may be so hot that your oil smokes immediately.


But, if you put cold oil into a cold pan… then turn on your heat, add a few bits of whatever you are cooking (garlic, onions, etc.) and then, when it starts to make noise and sizzle… The oil is ready!

This way it never gets too hot or reaches and unhealthy smoking point. If your oil does smoke, it can make your food taste off-putting. The smoking point marks the beginning of both flavor and nutritional degradation. So try it next time you are making a stir-fry… cold oil, cold pan!