12 2015 Oct

Three Things We Should Have Thought of When We Built This House

31xZJ-zpQ2L._SL210_ (1)Every time I flip through the TV channels I seem to be drawn to HGTV and the DIY Network.  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them just as much as anyone, but I have come to realize they are not my friend!  Fifteen years ago when we built this house the only remodel TV show of note was “This Old House.”  , Who knew in 2000, as we drew up plans, we were supposed to design an open concept house with granite countertops and nothing but stainless steel everything else?  Nobody told me that fifteen years later big houses on acreage without these three basics would be so hard to sell!

Now, as I try to upgrade my home to appeal to today’s buyers, I turn my attention to what I can do to spruce it up a bit without completely breaking the bank!  Starting in the kitchen those white appliances had to go!  Finding the well-priced LG Fully Integrated Dishwasher and the LG Over the Range Microwave Oven, I decided to stick with that brand and ordered the LG Freestanding Gas Range and the LG French Door Refrigerator.  A bit expensive but this upgrade alone made a huge difference!  Next I pulled the brass and popped on some new cabinet pulls Amerock BP53015G10 Allison Value Hardware Round Knob, 1-1/4 Inch, Satin Nickel.  Now I wonder, will this be enough to sell my house?

10 2015 Oct

Ready Get Set, It’s Pumpkin Carving Time!

Pumpkin Carving kitOctober is here and everywhere we look there are pumpkins galore!  Of course these days we get to choose between different colored pumpkins along with a multitude of shapes and sizes.  For the real purest, carving pumpkins doesn’t just mean carving a Jack O’ Lantern face but saving the seeds to roast plus seeing who can carve the most intricate pattern.  A book written to help is titled Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors.  Then there’s the all-inclusive Halloween Pumpkin Carving and Seed Roasting Kit with Pumpkin Light and Stencil Set or for some more crazy fun the Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit – Pumpkin Teeth for your Jack O’ Lantern – Set of 18 glow in the Dark Buck Teeth.

Fortunately parents no longer have to use a dangerous butcher knife and warn their children to stand back in case that huge knife slips.  Blood everywhere would definitely put a damper on the pumpkin carving fun!  Much safer tools such as the Pumpkin Masters® Deluxe Pumpkin Carving Kit: 21 Pieces; 15 Patterns; Safer than Kitchen Knives to accomplish this chore have been invented and are packaged in just about any possible way.  An assortment of colored carving tools Colossal Pumpkin Carving Kit and fancy made-to last Brass and Walnut Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit and electric Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit are available as tool investments.  Or simply rely on Grampa Bardeen’s Family Pumpkin Carving Set! and enjoy!!

29 2015 Sep

Tips on Bread Making Machines for This Fall’s Baking

PAC-20 Bread MakerEach fall as the temperature outside drops I head to the kitchen to bake, and, ever since discovering luxurious bread making machines, the job is so much easier!  Whether I’m looking to bake a simple loaf of white, wheat or rye, or am eagerly trying out a new recipe for brown nut bread, a cranberry orange or some variety of pumpkin, the bread making machine turns hours into what seems like just minutes.  Having the right machine for you is, of course, a must!  Some of the favorites rated by Best Reviews are:

Zojirushi Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu Setting is of consistent quality, bakes a variety of breads, doughs and cakes and bakes everything evenly every time.

Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker with Yeast Dispenser is easy to clean, with a non-stick inner bake pan from a quality company.  It boasts a 2 ½ pound capacity and is reasonably priced.

Cuisinart Programmable Breadmaker is a deluxe stainless steel machine with a variety of settings including pasta and gluten free.

Two machines priced under $75 are the Sunbeam Programmable Breadmaker, a good basic white plastic 12 setting machine, and the Oster Expressbake Breadmaker a lightweight easy to use machine with Teflon coated baking surfaces.

Happy Baking!