Top 5 – Stand Mixers

Stand Mixers

If you are in the market for a stand mixer, chances are you will do some research on the internet.  You will need to use a site you can trust for this. I have always found the best way to guarantee this, is to look at reviews and use your common sense, don’t rush into it, take your time and always make sure if you buy online you use a site that has a secure payment page, always look for a padlock on the top right of the page, next to the web address, if there isn’t a padlock or the padlock isn’t locked, do not use it.

In order to help you with your choice, here is a top 5 of the best stand mixers on the market today.

Number 1 

Premium Brand – Oster 250 Watt Hand/Stand Mixer (Black and Grey)

  • 6 speed settings
  • Power boost switch for turbo speed
  • Convenient one touch beater eject lever
  • Detachable head from the stand
  • Durable full size beaters and dough hooks
  • 5 year warranty

This stand mixer costs a little more but is totally worth it. It mixes well, has a power boost with a turbo speed and the bowl is easily removable as the head tilts. This is a reliable and powerful machine, suitable for someone who would use a mixer regularly.

Number 2

Long Warranty – Phillips HR1565/50 Hand Mixer (White)

  • Stand mixer, cord storage clip
  • Dough hooks
  • Turbo function
  • 400 W power
  • 10 year warranty
  • 3 L rotating bowl

Phillips stand by their brand (as usual) and provide a 10 year warranty with this mixer. It has everything you would expect from a mid range machine. It has a medium sized bowl; this may be a problem if you have a large family. The motor is quite powerful and the attachments mix well, this machine is a good all rounder.

Number 3 

Sturdy – Panasonic MK-GB1 3 Litre, 200 Watt Stand Mixer

  • 3 litre rotating bowl/detachable as hand mixer
  • 5 speed selection
  • 200 watt motor/hands free mixing
  • Egg beater and dough hook
  • 1 Year warranty

The Panasonic is a sturdy machine. The bowl is made of reinforced plastic and the machine fixes to your kitchen counter top, so it doesn’t move around when you mix. It comes with 8 attachments and has a one year warranty that will give you piece of mind if anything goes wrong.

Number 4

 Powerful – Sage by Heston, 250 Watt 6 Speed Stand Mixer (White/Grey)

  • 8 speed settings
  • Power boost switch for turbo speed
  • Convenient one touch beater eject lever
  • Detachable head from the stand
  • Durable full size beaters and dough hooks

This machine was designed by the world famous chef, Heston Blumenthal. It is beautifully designed and looks great. It has 8 speed settings, so would suit most mixing needs. It is powerful and large, so would suit a larger sized family. 

Number 5 

Budget – Hamilton Beach 63326 6 Speed, Stand Mixer by Hamilton Beach

  • 6 speed
  • Detachable head
  • 13 attachments

This is the cheapest of the top 5. It has 13 attachments; this machine is not for heavy use but would be more suited to once or twice per week. It is powerful enough to mix most things and has six speeds.  It has a 2.5 litre capacity bowl, so would be suitable for a family of 2, 3 at a push.


There is a size, attachment, powerful, large, small machine out there to suit every need and every budget. Just ensure before you buy, you work out what your requirements are and go to a trusted, safe website.

Safety Concerns When Using a Toaster Oven

Toaster Oven

When using a toaster oven, most people never encounter any problems. An important thing to keep in mind is that a toaster oven is essentially a small oven, and it will get hot!

The fact that your toaster oven is an electrical appliance means that you need to be careful of electrocution and burns. Always use a modern appliance, click here to see the best toaster in 2016.

Therefore, it is important to touch on some basic safety measures that should be taken whilst using a toaster oven to protect yourself, others, and your home.

Instruction Manual

You would think that reading the instruction manual is common sense, but many of us don’t want to be bothered and feel that we are smart enough to figure things out on our own. This may be true, and most toaster ovens are pretty straight forward and easy to figure out, but please remember, instruction manuals can provide a wealth of information and are usually very helpful in learning how to use the toaster oven in a safe and practical way.

You should always read the instruction manual for any new appliance you purchase. This will not only ensure that you are taking proper precautions, but also ensure you get the most out of your toaster oven.

Leave Some Room 

The lower end models that have less insulation have a tendency to get hot, therefore it is very important you leave enough room around the toaster oven, a general rule of thumb is to leave about 8 inches around the appliance, but refer to the manual for the manufacturer recommendations. This will allow for adequate air circulation and also help prevent any possible wall discoloration.

A simple way to avoid fires or accidents is to ensure you place the toaster oven away from flammable materials such as drapes, curtains or fabrics. You should also place the toaster oven on a solid and stable surface, not on a table cloth.  You should also make sure that all food particles and are clear from the area, and that the oven is clean and ready for use.

Plug & Cord Safety 

To protect yourself from electric shock, do not immerse the toaster oven, power cord or plug, in any kind of liquid.  Also, it is advisable to buy a toaster oven that comes with a 3 prong plug that has a grounding wire.  In the event of an electrical short circuit, grounding will reduce the risk of electrical shock.

Caution When Handling 

You may think this sounds obvious, but any cooking appliance generates heat. Therefore, caution must be taken when placing/removing food or handling the oven. The interior and exterior will become hot during and after cooking, so be sure to be careful when handling. Always allow the appliance to completely cool before moving or storing.

An easy way to avoid burns is to ensure you always wear oven mitts. It is recommended that these should be worn even when changing settings or touching the dials.

Lots of the food we buy today comes in a huge amount of packaging. Be sure that you have removed all flammable materials, like cardboard and plastic, before you place the item in the oven. If using ceramic or glass pans or dishes, make sure they are oven safe to avoid cracking.

If you are using dishes that have a lid, always ensure that it is in a safe working order. Some dishes can create an incredible amount of pressure and this can increase the risk of spillage and cracking.

Never insert metal utensils into the oven, not only can you damage the heating elements, you are putting yourself at risk of an electric shock.


The most obvious thing before cleaning is to ensure the machine is off and the plug is out of the socket.

Only use soft cleaning cloths. Metal scourers can leave small metal deposits, and they also scratch the surface. Clean the oven on a regular basis, ensuring all food deposits and crumbs are removed.

Disney Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker

Disney Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker

My 7-year-old son is a real Disney fan.  As a family we have all been to Disneyland in Florida and Euro Disney.  My son is absolutely obsessed with Mickey Mouse. His bedroom is covered in Mickey merchandise.  Wallpaper, curtains, duvet cover and soft toys.  You name it, he has got it and he is always looking for more.

I wanted to buy him something for doing so well at school, he came top in his math set that term and I was really struggling for gift ideas.

I searched the internet for weeks to find something suitable and wanted to get something that my son didn’t have already. I came across some Mickey Mouse flip waffle maker reviews online.  As present ideas go, this isn’t the first thing that came to mind. I was looking for maybe a Disney computer game or t-shirt but when looking at the positive reviews and the fact that Mickey Mouse’s face is inside the machine and out, I knew my son would love it.

I ordered it on the internet and when I opened the box to look through and check everything was in order, I was pleasantly surprised. The external casing is beautiful; it has a print of Mickey Mouse’s face on it. For a machine that is most likely mass produced, it is really well made. It has solid controls and although compact, the machine is a lot heavier and more solid than I thought it would be. The plates look sturdy and it certainly should last for a while as it looks reasonably durable.

Machine Specification

It makes one large Mickey Mouse face waffle at a time and has 800 watts of power. Quite powerful for a small, domestic machine. It has a red electric signal to tell you the waffle cooking is complete and you can use it with any waffle or pancake batter.

It has an internal Mickey Mouse design and a non-stick cooking surface. It has various heat settings, a cord that easily wraps around the machine neatly and rubber feet so it doesn’t slide whilst on the surface of wherever you are using it.

Lots of Fun! 

It is small and compact, cleans well and as the plates don’t heat up to a dangerous heat, I let my son, under close supervision, use the machine. The waffle maker makes waffles in the image of Mickey Mouse and they do actually look like Mickey too, not just a blob.

My son loves making waffles and covers his with sprinkles, banana, honey, chocolate and various other toppings.  Sometimes altogether and sometimes one at a time. He really loves the machine, and what is great, is we have a really nice family time together when we make the various waffle deserts. 


My family and I have now become waffle experts.  Trying to mix things up a little, my husband, son and I have little competitions to see who can make the best waffles and pancakes. We add various spices to our batter.  Sometimes we add a little sugar to the waffle to crisp them up and we are becoming quite inventive with some of our batter recipes, toppings and overall waffle creations. As this machine has a consistent heat and has a light to indicate when the waffles are ready, it makes really well cooked waffles and pancakes that are absolutely delicious.


Seeing your family having so much fun making Mickey shaped waffles and pancakes would make this a worthy investment alone. I have to admit because of the lower price range, I thought it would be of a cheap standard but that is simply not the case. This machine is solid, easy to clean and makes really great food.  I really have been pleasantly surprised and if anything happens to it, I will definitely invest in another. Happy waffle making!

Asia Rice Cookers

Asia Rice Cookers

The following are 6 dishes provided by Asia Rice Cookers you can cook with your rice cooker, no matter what brand name it is. If these don’t peak your interest, there are plenty more recipes available like these, but for now see what you have been missing. As you expand your mind about what rice cookers can really do for your home cooked cuisine choices.

  1. Curry Chicken

This is easy to make in a rice cooker, plus there are a number of great reasons to make curry. First curry is a fun spicy meal that has an out of this world combination of flavors. It is so simple to make, that everyone should learn. Curry can be made with such common ingredients that there is no need to go searching for obscure spices. Curry has an aroma that will waft through the house, reviving your senses with it’s delicious smell. Curry can be made with chicken, shrimp, beef or just skip the meats add extra veggies for vegans, to get a jambalaya style to the finished product.

  1. Jambalaya

Speaking of hot spicy things, jambalaya is another great dish to make with your rice cooker. Dare to start channeling your hunger for the deep South and chow down hard on some jambalaya with your favorite fixings. Adding just six ingredients into any rice cooker produces a meal that’s ideal for busy lives, just add rice, beans, ham, sausage, shrimp and creole sauce. Once this mix has time to simmer for a while, the only work will be resisting the urge to start eating before it is finished cooking.

  1. Vegetable Frittata

Frittata served with summer vegetables is a masterful dish, but can be made with just a rice cooker quite simply. Normally it is a dish that requires some timing and planning to cook on the stove, but again, not with a rice cooker handy. Put all the best potatoes, zucchini, and peppers into a pan for browning, then scoop them all into the rice cooker. Frittata is better with all kinds of veggies, so it is also the perfect excuse to clean out your refrigerator. It can be served freshly cooked, between slices of bread or paired up with a side salad. Frittata is a classic that is sure to impress, so try it soon.

  1. Country Style Ribs

Listen to this: Ribs cooked in beer that don’t require a grill or an oven. Did your heart just skip a beat? Turns out your humble rice cooker can give you fall-off-the-bone pork cooked to perfection. Here it’s slathered with a classic Guinness-and-BBQ sauce. Bonus: Hands free cooking guarantees less mess and time mopping up, that is a big problem with sauce based recipes. So consider this, ribs cooked in beer don’t need a stove, oven or grill. You can turn your simple rice cooker into a pork cooking machine. Make country style ribs that literally let their meat fall off the bones, every single rib cooked to perfection.

  1. Chicken Chili

Good things always come with chili, but no other dish comes together as simply in a rice cooker. Chili is the staple of slow cooking style food dishes. Anyone can put together a basic chicken chili recipe, plus the recipe can be adapted with beef or even as a meatless dish. Try throwing some Greek yougurt into chili recipes atop a sour cream topping, it’s to die for. Or sneak in some crushed red peppers to give it that extra fire, if you are brave and can stand the heat. Chili is a hot and spicy original dish, that is great for parties or small gatherings. So make sure your rice cooker is ready to serve it. that slow-cooker staple, comes together just as easily in the rice cooker.

  1. Rice Pudding

Four ingredients are all you need to create tasty rice pudding, plus one rice cooker. Slow cook white rice, french onion soup, beef broth and butter, then get ready for one super dessert. If you aren’t a fan or rice pudding generally, consider how easy it is to make for company or special guests. It is so simple a child should make it and this home made dessert is a real treat, sure to curb late night snacking on unhealthy sweets. Rice pudding and the rice cooker, a winning combination recipe.

Mixer How to Maintain your Mate the Mixer


This is a simple guide on how to keep your food mixer in tip top condition and includes some indicators of what a good mixer is like.

If you have a mixer, old or new it doesn’t matter it is good to know a few tips on how to maintain it and keep it working for a long time.

How to Fix a Broken Blender and a little Information on Troubleshooting


Blenders are relatively simple gadgets and can narrow down troubleshooting to three main areas; motor, blades or electric power.

This an easy guide to take the steps to fix your blender.

What can go wrong with the motor?

A Primer on Memory Foam Mattresses


The last time you purchased a new mattress, there were probably fewer choices, but today, there are many more options available. Memory foam mattresses, new to consumers in the last twenty years, are an excellent option for today’s shopper. Having some basic information will help you make a proper comparison between the different types of mattresses available.

Cleaning, Maintaining, Using your Rice Cooker


Cleaning tips


  • Cold water
  • Hot water
  • Soap
  • Soft brush

What are infrared heaters?


Infrared heat is similar to the heat we receive from sunlight.

Infrared is invisible to the naked eye, it is beyond the spectrum we can see and this invisible light gets absorbed by our skin, clothes and other items in proximity.

My Asian Experience: Staying With my Friend in Tokyo

Photographer Angela Ward

food and drink spread 

Notts Food and Drink Awards nominee. Pix of the food, staff, surroundings.

Contact King Tang 9811400

With Lynette

Tokyo is a city filled to the brim with bright lights, but there are plenty of other things to look at when it comes to Tokyo as well. I was always curious as to what the city would feel like, and it always gave off the impression that everyone was looking to get ahead. I loved that sort of mentality, so I felt it was only right to make my way over to Tokyo itself; I’m hapy that I decided to do that!