Tag Archives: appliances

The Asian Kitchen

Asian food is as diverse as the cultures across the continent. Each country and its regions have its own style and method of food preparation, that have a significant impact on the type of cuisine and the flavors in each dish.

Integral to the whole food preparation process are the utensils used in preparation, which can vary as much as the regional tastes of each country. While most traditional Asian cookware have contemporary, modernized counterparts, sometimes the traditional materials add a sense of authenticity to the flavors and overall gastronomic experience.


Chopsticks are most commonly seen as eating utensils, but in most asian countries they are one of the fundamental kitchen tools, that serve multiple functions. They can act in the same capacity as tongs, whisks or beaters, and ladles. Cooking chopsticks are usually longer than the regular dining kind, and made of a durable wood such as bamboo.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Image from Daily Icon

Mikiya Kobayashi’s Ukihashi might be dining chopsticks, but have a slight angle at the tips so that the end that touches the food never touches the surface it rests on. This slight modification makes the traditional rests unnecessary.

Bamboo Steamers

Image via The Kitchn

While these commonly seen tools originate from China, they are used throughout Asia for steaming food. Bamboo steamers differ from modern synthetic material steamers because they absorb excess moisture and prevent condensation from touching the food – which is why dimsum dumplings look perfect every time! They were also traditionally used for space and time saving reasons – by stacking the steamers you can cook several types of food at once over the same heat source.

Image via Design Milk

This take on the steamer, designed by Office for Product Design for JIA Inc, rethinks and streamlines the steamer’s stacking capabilities, combining it with stoneware components so you can cook and steam at the same time.

Clay Pots / Palayok

Image via Edible Communities

The Palayok is the Philippine incarnation of the clay pot. In Filipino cuisine today it is mostly used for serving traditional dishes, but it was originally used to cook food over a fire. The pots are still widely made today and are a Philippine cultural icon. The pots are used mainly to cook soups or stew-like dishes over a charcoal fire stove. They can also be used to cook rice.

Image via Purple Yam

Rice cooker

Image via Appliance Wise

Speaking of rice, rice cookers have now become a typical household appliance, but are usually associated with asian cooking since rice is the main staple in most asian countries. Rice cookers these days however have gotten more sophisticated and are almost like mini-computers.

Image via Squidoo

You can program certain types with a timer to start cooking at a certain time of day, and most have functions that allow you to chose between regular rice, or rice porridge (congee). Some come with a steamer add on that converts the cooker into a steamer, and some can even make bread.

Most of these tools and appliances have made their way into the mainstream kitchen, and have proven to be useful and effective tools that transcend cultural origins. Whether you’re cooking asian food or simply adapting a method, these tools will surely enhance your kitchen experience!

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Climate Control

Image via Santa Barbara Wedding Style

What’s the weather like?

This time of year we tend to really engage in conversations about the weather, because it increasingly encroaches on our lives. We become more concerned about precipitation and temperature as these dictate more and more our leisure activities, our outfits, and even time (haven’t clocks just been readjusted in some parts of the world?).

However since we just can’t help but want to exercise some measure of control over our surroundings, we like to engage in “climate control” — a misnomer, for sure, as we can’t really control climate nor weather, but we use the term because we like to think we can. Heaters become cherished friends for many, except for those of us who live near the equator, in which case air conditioners are our friends all year round.

And now with the sheer number of brands, models, and configurations of these appliances, we get to control how they look in our homes! No more do we have to put up with bulky unsightly contraptions ruining the look and feel of our rooms! There are some heaters and AC’s out there with great powers of efficiency and invisibility, and some that are really sleek, stylish, and meant to be seen.

Air Conditioners

Trox Technik's Smart Beam by Hadi Teherani

These beams are have a simple, streamlined look that can really look as if they “belong” in a room.

LG ArtCool Gallery

Who’d guess that this is an airconditioner? This unit by LG allows you to display your favorite print, family photo, or kiddie drawing.


Dyson heater fan

“Look Ma! No blades!” By some marvel of science and technology, this space age-y fan gadget circulates warm air without the rotating blades.

Adax Syklus' Huggable Heater. Image via Unpluggd

Image via Unpluggd

Love the concept of a heater that you can actually cozy up to! Adax Syklus’ Huggable Heater is genius!

Hot Radiator by Tomasso Colia

It’s getting a little H-O-T! These radiators by Tomasso Colia are just so quirky and fun.

Sofono 1960's heaters. Image by Stephan Welz & Co. Auctioneers.

Get a little retro kick out of these 60′s heaters.

Canoon green heater by Younes Duret. Image via Yanko Design.

Heat some pillows with this dainty Moroccan-inspired heater. It’s made of recycled plastic and can be adjusted with a touch of a hand.

Wood by iRadium. Image via Digs Digs.

When did radiators get so sculptural? This one by iRadium is awesome and makes such a gorgeous wall adornment.

Shanghai by Sirocco. Image via Digs Digs

Another gorgeous radiator cum wall art by Sirocco.


Nest, the learning thermostat

With the launch of Nest some weeks ago, we have been opened to the possibility of a climate control gadget that is sleek and sexy, and which learns our preferences and patterns, thus minimizing the need for actual handling.

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Slow Cooking

It’s Foodie Tuesday

All Clad Slow Cooker from Williams and Sonoma

I’ll admit that until a few years ago I was skeptical of crockpot cooking. The idea of crockpot cuisine called to mind soup packets, mixed with cans of soup and questionable cuts of meat. Yuck. After receiving a shiny stainless steel slow cooker for Christmas one year I decided to reevaluate my thinking, and now this is one of my favourite and most used appliances.  Here are a few of my favourite slow cooker recipes.

image via tastespotting


I just made this dish last night and I was really pleased with how it turned out; the perfect  warm and hearty dinner before heading out for some trick or treating. I mostly followed this recipe, but with a few tweaks (I cut the spices a bit in order to take the heat down a little so it would be more kid friendly) but if you prefer your jambalaya more on the hot side you could certainly add some cayenne pepper or up the hot sauce.

serves 4

2 boneless skinless chicken breaks, cut into cubes

1 pound andouillie sausage (my grocery store didn’t have andouille so I substituted chorizo. Any dense smoked and spicy sausage should work in a pinch)

1 onion chopped

1 green bell pepper

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 ½  teaspoon of dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoons of Cajun or Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon of thyme

2 bay leaves

1 can of diced tomatoes (low sodium or no salt added)

1 cup chicken broth

1 package frozen cooked shrimp

1. Add chicken, sausage, onion, pepper, tomatoes, stock, spices and bay leaves into the crockpot.

2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or 7-8 hours on low.

3. The original recipe called for shrimp, which I know is in most Jambalaya recipes but I’m not a big fan so I left it out. If you want to add cooked frozen shrimp just put it into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

4. Serve over rice.

image via ezrapoundcake

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe isn’t actually a slow cooker recipe but can easily be modified. Just add all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours. Sometimes I’ll add a teaspoon of cocoa powder, some chopped sweet potatoes or ground chipotle peppers.  Don’t forget the hot buttered toast, or even better, buttery cornbread.

Slow  Cooker Roast Chicken via Baked Bree

Roast Chicken

When you think of slow cooker meals a roast chicken probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The low temperature slow cooking method results in meat that falls off the bone. Your slow cooker can’t give you crispy skin, so the recipe recommends broiling it in the oven for a few minutes before serving.

image via My Baking Addiction

Apple Butter

Here’s a sweet treat you can make in the slow cooker. Spicy apple butter ready to bottle and give as gifts or keep for yourself. Making apple butter will also make your home smell amazing.

Do you have any slow cooker favourites? I’d love to add a few more recipes to my roster.

Welcome November!

Posted in Food | Tagged , ,

Fridge Attractions

image via instructables

A refrigerator is more than just a box in which to store food — it is a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the colors and moods of life. Refrigerator magnets help us do this. Thanks to their magnetic holding powers, those vast blank surfaces end up holding relics of humdrum routines and reminders, sweetness nothings and silliness, shining moments and stellar awesomeness.

Little wonder that there are quite a number of passionate designers and inventors who aim to bring as much personality, expressiveness, and life into these objects that hold up the little bits of our existence. What they come up with provide refrigerators with attractions that are just as zingy as last night’s chili.

Here are 7 of the best things that happened to refrigerator magnets.


Magnetic Poetry changed the way people used refrigerator magnets, and they became not just pretty and utilitarian things, but wonderfully interactive as well. The simplicity of its concept was brilliance that unlocked brilliance from people. Those magnetized words were really building blocks of wit that drew out originality from people who would only otherwise be drawn to leftover noodles.

This Shakespeare Kit contains tasty mouthfuls of fragrant words that were the Bard’s currency. I had so much fun checking out the other offerings at the Magnetic Poetry site too. They’ve got a boxes and boxes of vocabulary there, for different ages and leanings, from the wholesome to the R-rated, from Latin phrases to sign language, to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Magnetic Shelves

The fun of these Magneto Shelves is in their strange incongruity with the fridge. There’s awesome surprise factor there, as well as practicality. You never know when you’ll need that extra shelf space (ha!). A great idea by designer Henry Julier


Ninja Stars

Taiwanese designer Lee Weilang adds menace to fridge messages with these shuriken shaped magnets. The sleek black things can give your kitchen a dangerous, ominous, action-suspense vibe!


I think there is huge hilarious potential in these magnets disguised as bolts. The very illusion of macho strength and permanence adds a layer of ridiculous to the most mundane, inane messages and photos.


Cold metals get a dose of organic warmth with these gorgeous leafy magnets designed by Richard Hutten for Gispen.

Water Droplets

Korean designer Sang Woo Nam of Appree came up with these perfect little droplets. Their shape, sheen, transparency, and variable sizes make them look so natural, so fresh and wet, that you can almost smell the rain.

Woody Cubes

Where’s that pen when you need it? These adorable little magic pen cubes eliminate the need for that frantic pen rummage. And even when they are not holding pens, the grain and warmth of the smooth neatly cut wood  looks fabulous on any fridge door. From Less and More on Etsy.

Wanna DIY?

In theory, you can stick a magnet on anything, and so barring limitations of size and weight, anything can become a fridge magnet! I’ve seen buttons, twigs, coins, bottle caps, and a whole bunch of other objects that have been made into fridge fun. So if you feel like making your own magnets, with a healthy bit of finesse, here’s a tutorial from Megan of Not Martha on how to make lovely glassy marble-y magnets.

5 Favourite Kitchen Appliances

It’s Kitchen and Bath Month at Greentea Design.

Whether you’re planning a kitchen renovation or just like to drool over the latest in gadgetry, here’s our top five list of favourite kitchen appliances.

1) For swoon, this LG Side-by-Side Refrigerator is a true case of style and storage converging.  Love the black finish and the slide out shelving it offers.  Yes that’s right: not just drawers, but sliding shelving too. It’s about time!

Fresher Food: This fridge has digital sensors that constantly monitor temperature and humidity in your fridge. Plus strategically placed vents mean your food is surrounded by cool air, no matter where you put it.

Energy Efficient:  Everyone knows that new appliances are always more energy efficient.  And the fridge is often the biggest energy sucker of all the major appliances.  This one uses 20% less energy than federal standards allow.  LG has really taken efficiency to heart, the walls of this fridge are lit using LED lighting, which provides a brighter light and uses a fraction of the energy over regular bulbs.  Plus the water and ice dispenser in the door keep you from having to open the fridge for one of your daily eight cups.  Keeping the door closed also keeps the temperature steady and your energy bills lower (and not running your tap to get cold water means less waste there too).

2) The Dual Fuel 60” Range by Wolf makes for a transcendent cooking experience. If you have the space and are serious about cooking, this offers a long list of amazing features like the ovens’ 10 cooking modes, the beautiful design – from the stainless steel exterior to the beautiful cobalt blue porcelain interior – your choice of range top combinations that can include up to 6 burners, infrared griddle, French Top, and charbroiler, and of course the ovens’ self-cleaning feature (one of the greatest an oven can offer if you ask me).  This range is also Star-K Kosher certified.

3) The Miele Touchtronic Dishwasher packs a lot of punch in a tiny and sleek package.  If you’re looking to make room for the Wolf range above, or just have a smaller kitchen, here’s Miele to save you some space. At only 18” wide, this dishwasher will astound you with its ability to accommodate 10 international place settings!  Like that skinny glutton at your dinner party, you’ll marvel at how it all fits in.  While sophisticated in design in its own right, this model is available in both integrated and fully-integrated styles, so it can be customized with your paneling, or optional pre-made door panels.

4)  Most people chill white so it’s too cold to taste and red at room temp often ends up being too warm. This unit solves both problems at once. For the true connoisseur the Liebherr 26” Wine Storage Cabinet holds 143 bottles and has three temperature zones (storing wines between 41-68 degrees Fahrenheit) ensuring you pour a perfect glass each time. Just beautiful in open kitchens in lofts where it is a proud free standing appliance.

Image courtesy of AJMadison.com

5) A range hood hardly seems like a sexy appliance.  But I assure you the luxury market is tackling that with vim and vigor.  From sculptural units encased in crystal to high tech visions from the future, there’s something for every taste. While range hoods don’t tend to top people’s lists of preferred appliances, they are important.   Not that you’d ever have a cooking mishap, but with open concept  and multifunctional kitchens it’s nice to not have yesterday’s dinner linger in every corner of your space during today’s breakfast.  The Elica Evolution Floating Hoods Collection is a current favourite.  It’s got form and function and is a little quirky.  This is perfect over a cook top in your island as they’re pretty enough to double as pendant lighting.

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