Rainy-Day Tomato Soup

Rainy-Day Tomato Soup

Topped with buttery fresh-baked croutons, here is a tomato soup that is anything but ordinary.


Ingredients

Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrot, peeled and cut into 5cm sticks
  • 800g can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Italian Croutons
  • 1 loaf day-old bread, crusts removed
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent. Add celery and carrot; cook 5 more minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until thickened. Ladle soup into 4 bowls; top each serving evenly with Italian Croutons.
  • Italian Croutons: Cube bread and place in a large plastic zipping bag; set aside. Combine butter and seasoning; pour over bread. Mix well; arrange bread cubes on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 220° for 10 minutes; turn bread cubes and bake 5 more minutes.

Original Recipe by My Recipes

Cleaning Your Kitchen Appliances the Easy Way

Cleaning Your Kitchen Appliances the Easy Way

Nothing makes a kitchen sparkle like clean appliances. So show your appliances a little cleaning love, and they’ll thank you by looking and performing better.


Your Dishwasher

You’d think you wouldn’t need to clean your dishwasher because it cleans itself every time you use it. But you should check the drain in the bottom of the machine for debris, and wipe the gaskets around the door to ensure a tight seal.

Once each week, deodorize it by placing a bowl of white vinegar on the top rack and running it, empty, for a full cycle.

Your Toaster

Unplug your toaster, pull out and wash its crumb catcher, and shake the machine over the sink to get rid of food. Dry thoroughly before plugging back in.

Your Coffee Machine

To remove mineral deposits that can clog your machine, pour a solution of two parts water and one part white vinegar into the water chamber, insert a coffee filter, and run the solution through the machine. Then run clear water through twice to remove the vinegary taste.

One old-timey way to remove stains from your glass coffee pot — or any vase, pitcher, etc., with stains — is to cover the bottom with table salt, add ice cubes, and, when they start to melt, swish around for a couple of minutes. Then rinse.

Your Stovetop and Oven

Most ovens have self-cleaning options. We heartily recommend letting the oven do the work for you. But there are a few spots the self-clean option doesn’t reach, such as the gunk around door hinges and frames, and the crumb-catching space between double ovens. You can wipe them up with vinegar or soapy water.

Baked on crud comes off with a little baking soda on a sponge, or a spritz of commercial oven cleaner. Make a habit of wiping spills quickly after using the oven, and you may never have to scrub it again.

To clean your stovetop:

  • Fill your sink with hot, soapy water; soak burners, knobs, and hood vents (if they fit) for a couple of hours; then scrub. Repeat if necessary.
  • Replace stained metal drip plates if they’re beyond the help of steel wool.
  • Vacuum crumbs that have fallen in cracks between the stovetop and counter. Use the sofa attachment on your vacuum to get into those cracks.

Original Article By House Logic

10 Things You Should Know About A Washing Machine

10 Things You Should Know About A Washing Machine

If you’re looking to buy a washing machine, it’s important to know your needs and what kind of machines are out there. So before you go out to bring home a washer, here are 10 things you should know about the machine you’re buying.

  1. Is it a semi-automatic or fully-automatic machine? This will depend on what your needs and budget restrictions are. See more about the difference between semi-automatic washing machines and fully-automatic washing machines in these articles.
  2. Wash settings. Many fully-automatic washing machines offer various programs for different washes, like delicate wash or wool wash. Some can be customised, and you can even save your favourite settings so you have them on hand. What kind of features are you looking for?
  3. Spin cycle. Depending on the fabric and the type of clothes you want to wash, the spin cycle, denoted by the revolutions per minute (rpm) is important. Delicates should only be spun on a cycle of 300-500rm, while more robust items can go to 1000rpm.
  4. Efficiency. How efficient is your washing machine when it comes to saving power and water? An economical washing machine means savings in the long run.
  5. Size. Top load machines tend to be narrower than front load fully-automatic washing machines. Do you need to put your washing machine in a tight corner? Or can you afford the extra space and you need a larger washing machine for larger loads, which brings us on to the next point.
  6. Load capacity. If you have a large family you’ll want a washing machine which can take larger loads, as opposed to a person with a small family or a single person.
  7. Does it have a dryer? If you live a busy life and you don’t have time hang out the washing, a washing machine with an inbuilt dryer might be a suitable option for you.
  8. Material of the drum. The material of the washing machine drum can come in varieties, such as plastic, stainless steel or even porcelain enamel, with steel being the more expensive version and the most durable. Also, enamel is perhaps less durable than the other materials, even if it’s cheaper.
  9. Is it a top or front load? There are various pros and cons for top and front load machines, you can read about the difference between a top or a front load machine in this article.
  10. Does it have pre-soak? If you have kids who like to get messy, or you have a many tough stains, you might want to invest in a washing machine with a pre-soak cycle.

Keep these points in mind when browsing for a washing machine. You can also reach out to the Cape Demo team to find out which scratch and dent washing machines we in stock and which will suit your needs the best.

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Article sourced from Ariel.

Handy Tips To Keep Your Fridge Clean And Food Safe

Handy Tips To Keep Your Fridge Clean And Food Safe

If your fridge is regularly filled with containers of unidentifiable fuzzy stuff, spills that no one ever seems to confess to and limp, sad produce, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to get your fridge clean, keep it clean, and keep your food safe.

​Use baskets

Hit up your local plastic store for inexpensive, brightly coloured baskets. Small plastic baskets can round up small items, bottles that tend to fall over, eggs or items stored in plastic bags, like shredded cheese.

Remove clutter

Chances are, there are a bunch of things in your fridge that don’t need to be there. In fact, there are a number of items – like potatoes, that people keep in their fridge that don’t need refrigeration. Move these items to your cupboards.

​Line your crisper

Always line your vegetable crispers with paper towels or newspapers. The reason is twofold. 

First, they soak up any juices that may come off of fruit and veggies, making cleaning the drawers a breeze. You can just throw out the liner and put in a new one.

Second, the paper liner in the crisper drawer absorbs any extra moisture. Less moisture equals crisper produce and produce that stays fresh longer. 

Unbag it

Also, don’t leave fruits and vegetables in their plastic grocery bags. This will make them spoil faster, plus you can’t see what you have. 

Put them in an open mesh, plastic organizing basket or just leave them loose in the crisper drawer.

​Start a one-bottle rule

To cut down clutter – enforce a “one bottle” rule. For example, only one bottle of salad dressing, mustard, mayo and tomato sauce is allowed in the fridge at once. Your extra, unopened bottles can be stored in the pantry with no worry and you’ll save a lot of space in your fridge.

No plates

While you’re at it, make a “no-plate rule”, too. From now on, everything that goes into the fridge needs to be in proper storage containers with lids. This will reduce spills in the fridge and nix mouldy plates of umm-what-is-this-mess grossness.

​Designate shelves

Remember the mantra, “A place for everything and everything in its place?” The easiest way to organise your fridge is to designate a certain type of food to each shelf. This eliminates search time and makes your fridge neater. 

To keep track, use a dry-erase marker to write the type of food on the lip of the shelf.

​Stop drips and spills

If bending over and wiping out your refrigerator shelves rates low on your list of fun things to do, then line your shelves with plastic placemats. When a spill happens, all you need to do is remove the mats and rinse them in the sink.

Keep cool

Chances are, the items in your fridge aren’t where they need to be. Some areas of your fridge are colder than others – making them better suited for certain foods. 

For example, the door is a good place for tomato sauce and other condiments that don’t grow bacteria rapidly, but not other items.  

The temperature of the the door area fluctuates a lot because of it being opened and closed often. That makes it a bad location for eggs, meat, milk or other items that are highly perishable. Store these items on the inner shelves of the fridge to keep them fresher for longer.

You can also make milk last longer if you move it to a bottom shelf. Bottom shelves tend to stay cooler than the top shelf.

Original Article By CNET.

Frozen Cherry Chocolate Pudding Cake

Frozen Cherry Chocolate Pudding Cake

Give tradition a cool twist with this crowd-pleasing cake!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg store-bought Christmas pudding, crumbled
  • 6L vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 2 cups cherries in cane sugar syrup (from delis and specialty food shops)
  • 2/3 cup (165ml) cherry syrup
  • Chocolate shards and pitted fresh cherries, to decorate

CHOCOLATE ICING

  • 1/2 titanium-strength gelatine leaf
  • 11/3 cups (330ml) thickened cream
  • 1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tbs pure icing sugar, sifted

METHOD

  1. Grease and line base and sides of a 22cm springform cake pan with baking paper. Press 400g crumbled pudding into base of pan. Spread 2L ice cream over the pudding then cover with remaining 600g pudding. Freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
  2. Meanwhile, chop drained cherries and fold through remaining 4L ice cream with cherry syrup. Transfer to a container, then cover and freeze, stirring occasionally so cherries don’t sink to bottom, for 2-3 hours until just firm.
  3. Using duct tape, seal the ring only (do not use base) of a second 22cm springform cake pan to first pan to form a two-tier cake mould. Spread the cherry ice cream over pudding layer, then freeze overnight.
  4. The next day, unmould ice cream cake by rubbing a hot cloth around pan. Release top pan first, then bottom. Transfer to a serving plate and freeze until needed.
  5. For the icing, soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, place 1/3 cup (80ml) cream, cocoa and icing sugar in a in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until warm. Squeeze excess water from the gelatine, then stir into cocoa mixture until melted and combined. Cool slightly.
  6. Using an electric mixer, whisk remaining 1 cup (250ml) cream to soft peaks, then fold through cocoa mixture. Using a palette knife, spread icing over top and sides of cake, then freeze for 1 hour or until firm.
  7. Decorate cake with chocolate shards and fresh cherries just before serving.

Recipe from delicious.

Rustic Apple Tart

Rustic Apple Tart

This is the flakiest, easiest, best pie crust ever. Master chef Jacques Pépin has created a virtually fail-safe recipe that is completely hassle-free: You don’t even need to chill the dough before you roll it out. You can use almost any firm fruit in season, such as pears, peaches, apricots, plums or rhubarb. If using especially juicy fruit, add 1 tablespoon of ground nuts to the 1 tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar that are sprinkled over the pastry before the fruit is added.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 170g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 large Golden Delicious apples—peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-cm-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons melted and strained apricot preserves

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the salt. Add the cold butter and process just until the butter is the size of peas, about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and process just until moistened, about 5 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a disk. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a +- 40cm round about 1/2 cm thick.

Step 2    

Line a large unrimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it onto the prepared baking sheet.

Step 3    

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and sprinkle over the dough. Arrange the apple slices on top in overlapping concentric circles to within 7,5 cm of the edge. Fold the dough over the apples in a free-form fashion. Brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Refrigerate the unbaked tart until slightly chilled, about 10 minutes.

Step 4    

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the tart in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the apples are tender and golden and the crust is deep golden and cooked through. Brush the apples with the melted preserves. Slide the parchment onto a wire rack and let the tart cool slightly before serving.

Original recipe by Food & Wine.