Most people do not know the proper way to handle a knife, whether it be in the kitchen or some other everyday use.

I have worked in a kitchen as a chef for 25 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how carelessly people handle a knife; one of the most used and dangerous tools in the kitchen. A knife is not a toy and it should not be used as one. Always respect a knife. It is also not a can, bottle or jar opener. It is also not a screwdriver, as this can cause damage to the tip of the blade and possibly slip and injure the user.

Always hold a knife in your dominant hand. If you are right-handed, hold the knife in your right hand. Likewise, if you are left-handed you would hold the knife in your left hand. You should always have the angle of the blade away from you. Never slice anything in the direction of your body, as you have a better chance of cutting yourself.

Never cut anything while holding it in your hand. Always use a cutting board with a damp cloth underneath it whenever you are slicing, chopping, or dicing. This will stop the board from slipping or moving on the counter top.

Also remember to keep your knives sharp at all times, as a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife. A dull knife will jump or slip off the item your are cutting and possibly cause serious injury to the user. That is why it is a important to own a honing stone or a knife sharpener.

Most people do not know the proper way to pass a knife to someone else. Some people will hold the knife by the blade while others will hold it by the handle. Each of these methods is incorrect. What if someone was to bump into the person receiving or passing the knife, this is an accident waiting to happen. The only proper way to pass a knife to someone else, is to lie it flat on a table with the edge of the blade facing away from the other person so they can pick it up themselves.

When walking through the kitchen, you never carry a knife loosely in front of you. The only way to carry a knife in the kitchen if you must, is by the handle, at the side of your leg with the sharp edge facing the back.

You should always hand wash your knives yourself after each use. Never put a knife in the dishwasher or sink with sudsy water as someone may reach in and cut themselves not knowing a knife was there.

Make sure you always use the proper knife for whatever job you are doing. Paring knives for coring or cleaning products, a chef knife for chopping or dicing and a slicing knife for slicing. Serrated knives are only to be used for slicing bread or sandwiches.

Always store …

One of the biggest working parts of any household is home appliances for the kitchen, and without a solid line up, could be difficult to manage home cooking. When choosing any set of appliances, it’s important to look at several key features, prices, and warranty information. Making an educated decision about these things can help save time and money.

First and foremost, before buying anything in regards to home appliances for the kitchen, it’s important to measure the space that you have free. This is a crucial thing to remember no matter what you’re purchasing in the near future. By measuring the free space that you have, you can make sure that you will be utilizing your appliance without any major complications. The second step is to set a budget. Setting a budget might seem trivial, but it will save you energy when you’re ready to purchase your items, and are faced with a purchasing decision.

After measuring your space and setting a budget, consider looking at the various color options that are available to you. Many people want to match their kitchen décor with their appliances. It’s important to consider what style and décor you want to go with, especially if you’re buying home appliances for the kitchen, separately. If you purchase a limited edition color, or a color that isn’t necessarily the norm, you might have a hard time matching everything in your kitchen. Consider something standard like black, white, or stainless steel if you’re purchasing items one by one. If you’re buying sets, you might be able to match everything with relative ease, but it might cost more up front.

Energy star rated options are gaining popularity amongst all different walks of life. Look for highly efficient, energy saving appliances, and you’ll ensure money is saved over time. Highly efficient machines run better and faster, and consume at least 30% less energy than other options. You’ll be amazed at the low cost of use, and definitely be happy to own one. It is true that they cost more up front, but you will save money over time. Traditional options still abound, so if you’re not ready to take the energy saver leap, do not fret, there are still other options available for the consumer.

Another key point to looking at home appliances for the kitchen is warranty information. Never forget to read the fine print on any warranty information that comes coupled with your investment. Some manufacturers offer a limited time; limited warranty and that could end up costing you down the road. To make sure you have peace of mind, always look for extended warranty options, or make sure you understand the terms of your limited warranty. Making sure your appliance works for the longevity you desire from your home is vital to picking out the right appliance.

There is a plethora of options to explore in regards to ovens, sinks, refrigerators, and so much more. Always shop around for the best price, and make sure …

Despite the fact that many families provide their dog with a wooden dog house in their backyard, only a few people realize there happens to be quite a few various kinds of wood offered on the market.

Cedar is definitely the most popular kind of wood used nowadays. It is a very common choice for wooden dog house simply because of its resistance to corrosion, rotting and insect devastation.

This type of wood is simple and easy to work with as well as being resilient, reputable, and low maintenance.

Pine and hemlock are among other kinds of wood that are chosen in constructing a dog house although they do not tend to be as popular. It is attributed to the fact that they are lacking resistance to decay, rotting and destruction by insects as opposed to cedar wood. Whenever in contact with the yard, these two types of wood will get rotten rather fast so they are hardly ever used to construct the frame work of a dog house as well.

If you decide to build your own dog house, be weary of utilizing pressure-treated timber. Even though they resist rotting and damage from bugs, they carry dangerous chemical substances that may possibly present a threat to your dog.

Also, you should decide on a wooden house over a plastic one simply because they keep a lot warmer throughout the winter season. Additionally, a wooden dog house will help to dissipate warmth the natural way during the summer time.

Furthermore, wood is less of a challenge to work with when compared to plastic material. All you need to have is a hammer, a saw, and a good quality woodworking plan to construct your dog house. In case you are eco-conscious, then making a wooden house is actually much more environmentally friendly in addition to being conveniently recycled for various other uses.…

Impact of Cooking Oil Disposal

With over 2.5 billion gallons of used cooking oil created in the U.S. annually, proper oil disposal is a significant waste management issue. Due to the environmental impact of grease disposal, a conscious effort should always be made to recycle rather than disposed of waste oil. Grease disposal into a landfill can lead to long-term environmental harm. Furthermore, used oil is often improperly disposed of down kitchen drains, which can lead to clogged plumbing, sewer blockage, and groundwater contamination. Here are some facts about the negative environmental and financial impact of grease disposal:

  • The City of San Francisco spends $3.5 million every year to unclog sewers, with a large contributor being cooking oil poured down drains
  • One liter of waste cooking oil can contaminate up to one million liters of groundwater
  • Animals exposed to large amounts of cooking oil are at risk of suffocation, smothering, and coating of fur and feathers

Benefits of Cooking Oil Recycling

Recycling has become easier for both households and businesses in recent years. Many municipalities have implemented grease recycling programs and more companies have focused on providing oil recycling and grease trap cleaning services to businesses that create large amounts of waste oil. The majority of what is recycled is refined into various types of biofuels used for fueling automobiles and home heating. Some of the benefits of recycling include:

  • Biofuels produced from vegetable oil burn cleaner, emitting 78% less carbon dioxide than traditional diesel fuel
  • Biofuels, when used as an alternative to traditional fuels, have the potential to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by 80%
  • Recycling can provide additional revenue for restaurants in the form of compensation from the recycling company, as well as significant tax deductions
  • Reduction in the blocking and deterioration of sewage systems

The many benefits of recycling grease are leading to widespread implementation of grease recycling and waste oil collection programs:

  • In Europe, more than 80% of used vegetable oil is currently being converted into biofuel
  • The average U.S. McDonald’s restaurant recycles nearly 1,450 gallons of oil per year
  • 100% of used oil from Darden Restaurants is recycled (Darden owns popular restaurant chains including Red Lobster and Olive Garden)

How Can you Recycle Cooking Oil?

Recycling For Households

  1. Go to Dispose of Cooking Oil to have all the necessary information about proper disposal and recycling at your fingertips
  2. After cooking, allow the oil to cool down and pour it into plastic storage containers. You can store the containers in the freezer to allow the oil to solidify and prevent spills during transportation to the recycling drop-off point
  3. Locate your nearest recycling drop-off location
  4. Plan ahead for recycling. Designate storage containers and drop-off periodically (e.g. once per month)
  5. Be happy that you are protecting your home and city from damage, helping the environment, and possibly earning some extra money for your used oil

Note: Many cities and recycling companies will offer additional drop-off locations after Thanksgiving to handle increased demand.

Recycling for Businesses (e.g. restaurants)

Since …

Extractor fans in both the kitchen and bathroom are ideal for keeping the air around you clean, reducing the risk of disease and illness. After cooking a meal, and indeed with plates and cutlery waiting for washing, there are all sorts of potential bugs and germs hanging around in the air – this is one area where extractor fans excel.

The other is keeping the air at a reasonable and comfortable temperature. After a hot bath, or cooking a roast dinner, the air temperature is significantly higher than previously. To keep a good level of moisture in the air, and for you to remain comfortable, an extractor fan will therefore remove a lot of that hot air, to keep temperature low, ensuring the air is clean and fresh.

However with bathroom and kitchen extractor fans, you might think they both do the job as good as one another – this is not the case. There are explicit guidelines regarding usage and safety for each to comply to. To be saleable, an extractor fan needs to comply to the safety guidelines set out by industry standards, as well as being above a certain level of quality – an extractor fan has to be able to remove a certain amount of air from the room in a given time in order to qualify to go on sale.

So what are the differences between an extractor fan in the kitchen or in the bathroom? Simple really, but a bathroom extractor fan must be safe for use in the bathroom environment where contact with water is unlikely, but entirely possible. Therefore for the bathroom, fans must be low power and well covered. The cover ensures good protection from contact with water, while the low power makes sure that if water contact ever occurs, it’s unlikely to cause injury.

In comparison, a fan installed in a kitchen is totally different. While in the bathroom, safety is paramount, the kitchen has much different considerations. Here, there are of course safety regulations, but with the fan likely to be out of reach, away from contact with water, they are much less strict. Here almost the only concern is the amount of air which can be shifted in a second by the fan. Provided the fan is capable of removing 15 litres of air per second from the room, the fan will be within the governing regulations, and perfect for use in the kitchen – much different to the low power, safety-conscious bathroom alternatives.…

The Quest for Significance

People are looking for ways to add significance, peace of mind, a quality experience, and an escape from the “rat-race” in their lives. Stated differently, people want to add depth and meaning to their lives. One way to accomplish this, it is asserted, is to make or purchase decor for your garden.

Make Your Garden Unique

Garden decor, along with things related to gardens, provides a return to nature, a sense of spirituality, and a return to the earth as people journey on their quest for significance and ultimate meaning. Moreover, through the use of decorations, gardeners reveal their quirks and shortcomings, their wit, their creativity, and their desire to make their gardens unique.

Transform Your Life

Gardens and their ornaments are symbols of enchantment, of mystery, of meaning, and of ultimate being. Another way of looking at this is to see that gardens and garden accents provide the power to transform one’s mood and one’s life. To be sure, garden accessories can become symbolic reminders of life’s blessings as they encourage people to enrich their surroundings by transcending the mundane.

The Gardening Imagination

Garden ornaments help people take an active stance in their lives by enabling them to create a niche in the world that is in concert with their values and their dreams. Indeed, it is this “gardening imagination” that provides people with the opportunity to select meaningful objects that speak to their senses, to their experiences, and to their lives.

An Invitation to Add Garden Decor to your Life

Websites that sell garden decor can be viewed as invitations for people to experiment and let their imaginations run free so that they can, with conscious effort or with playfulness, select the accents that they like–decor that speaks to their dreams and to their soul. With this in mind, look at the different products that are sold and select garden accessories that help elicit childhood fantasies. Examine the different garden accents and choose ornaments that speak to your inner self.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

Garden decor helps calm the spirit, soothe the soul, and delight the senses. By letting your individuality shine through as you select your decorative accents, you will transform your garden into one of the most meaningful experiences in your life. The challenge is to capture moments of wonder, joy, and inspiration and experience the lasting pleasures of beauty and the splendors of nature by decorating your garden in a way that is congruent with your noblest thoughts, feelings, and aspirations.

Your Garden Sanctuary

Strive to decorate your garden with ornaments that magically call you to return to your garden sanctuary. Look at different garden products and decide on decorations that motivate you to tap into your playfulness or into your artistic bent as you contemplate how you will decorate your garden. In a word, you can add richness, depth, and a sense of discovery to your garden with different garden ornaments.

Summary

In conclusion, garden decor is significant because …

If you have a two story house, and you are going to replace the windows on both the first and second floor, there are little tricks that you can use to make the upper floor job a bit safer and easier. If the windows are replacement style frames, you install them from inside the house, so the only thing that you will do different than the first floor windows is to use an extension ladder to caulk the exterior. So, let’s talk about doing retrofit style windows on the second floor. You can usually remove the old window from inside the house, but if you have a picture window, you have to use the extension ladder to remove the stops holding the glass in place. Then, you can go inside the house and cut the glass free from the frame using a utility knife. Put a tarp on the ground below the window, to catch any glass pieces that may fall during the removal. Also, don’t forget to keep people and animals away from the area below the window.

Once you are ready to install the new window, you can do it from inside the house. Remember, when installing retrofit style frames, you install them from outside and raise them into place. Instead, carry the window upstairs. If it’s a slider, remove the screen and sliding panel. Then, using a helper, you can angle the window frame through the opening, extending the retrofit lip completely outside of the opening before pulling the window back toward you, and installing the window as if you were outside. Have your helper hold the center bar while you put a screw into the top center to hold the frame in place. You can do the entire installation from inside. The only time you will need to go on the extension ladder is when you’re ready to caulk the exterior. Make sure you put a generous amount of caulk where the top of the frame meets the stucco or exterior material. You don’t want any water getting past the new frame, otherwise it can work it’s way through the wall and down through the ceiling or the walls. You would be surprised how easily two people can install an 8′ wide by 5′ tall sliding window on the second floor if you remove the sliding panels and screens. In fact, my helper and I did one 10′ wide and 5′ high. That was the biggest one I ever did on the second floor. You can run a bead of caulk on the outside face of the old frame before installing the new frame right from inside the room.

Now, if you are installing a picture window, it’s a little tougher. You can’t remove any panels to lighten the load, and it’s tougher to get as firm a grip on the frame. But, on the positive side, picture windows aren’t usually much larger than 3′ by 5′ on the second floor. If you have a large …

As the cold season approaches, energy bill goes up. This is mainly because of the need for heating systems on winter months. But not all the heat generated by your heating device stays in your house. Some, or in certain occasions, most of them escape from your house. As a result, your heating device has to work harder resulting in unwanted increase in energy consumption and cost.

This can be avoided by effectively seeking out the root cause of the problem, and dealing with them accordingly. Follow these simple do-it-yourself methods and save hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars on energy cost.

Doors and windows

Doors and windows usually have gaps and spaces on them where heat can escape. Although they may not be that much, if you consider how many doors and windows there are in your house, they collectively result in a huge loss which will reflect badly on you next month’s energy bill. A simple remedy to this problem is covering the gaps with curtains, drapes and/or sheets. You can also use rugs and door sweeps to cover the gap beneath your door.

Electrical and cable ducts

Electrical wires, telephone wires and internet cables and others of the like enter your house through holes and/or ducts. And through these channels, heat can escape. You can easily remedy this by installing outlet gaskets or stuffing the holes and ducts with certain materials such as foam.

Cracks, gaps and leaks

First, you need to find where they are, but looking for them just by sight can be very tricky. You can use a lighted candle and move it near suspect places. The flame of a candle is sensitive to airflow and will sway at the minutest air movement. When you see the flame swaying at a certain spot, there must be an air leak there. Once you have found the cracks, you can seal them by using a caulk. But make sure to apply it both on the inside and the outside.

Attic and ceiling.

A popular physics law states that “hot air goes up”. This is also true inside your house. The heat produced by your heater is likely to accumulate on the ceiling and you attic. This will only result in wasted energy because people don’t normally stay on those places. You can prevent this by making sure that the gaps and cracks to your ceiling and attic are sealed. You may want to check your folding attic stairs if you are using one. You can use weatherstripping and caulk to remedy the problem.

Heat only certain areas

You may ask yourself: “do you really need to heat the entire house?” Maybe there are areas in your house that are not frequented by people and do not need to be heated. If you can manage to limit the range of your heater only to places that are frequented by people, and avoid places such as hallways, storage rooms, attic, and others of the like, you can …

What you need to know about how to avoid the most common type of car scratch (swirl and spider). This article covers what to avoid and the single easiest way protect your car paint from the most common type of scratches that degrade the overall look of your paint finish. If you decide to remove micro swirl scratches yourself look for a car scratch remover designed to give professional results at home with a guarantee and good product support.

You may have noticed numerous ultra fine scratches known as a swirl or spider that is most noticeable on the hood, trunk and roof of cars. They usually stand out on a sunny day when you look straight down at them. If you really want a shock pull your car in a garage under direct overhead fluorescent lighting and brace yourself for car paint scratches galore. The majority of swirls or spider scratches can be traced to a poorly maintained car finish that is not regularly waxed or sealed. The 7 innocent things you may be subjecting your car to that can cause a micro swirl car scratch.

– Automatic drive through car washes are hard on paint.

– Automatic car wash workers with poor hand drying technique and substandard towels.

– Abrasive or dirty at home or self serve “brush wands” the type that connects to a hose.

– Using dish washing soap when washing your car at home.

– Wiping or rubbing dust or grit off a dry paint with a dry towel, rag or paper towel.

– Not using a chamois or premium micro fiber towel to dry a car paint finish after washing.

– Improper at home hand car washing technique – a subject all by itself.

NOTE: Anything from under the kitchen sink should never be used on your car because household cleaning products are designed to remove grease etc and are not properly pH balanced for automobile paint therefore over time they have dire effects on not only the paint but rubber and plastic as well. A high quality car washing shampoo is designed to gently lift dirt from car paint and leave behind luster enhancers that help protect the paint.

Pro trick to reduce the incidence of micro swirls after hand washing a car. Dry hoods and trunks front to back in one motion, not circles. Only use a chamois or micro fiber towels to dry car paint. Wipe the side of your car, side to side in a horizontal motion, not circles. The reason for this is any micro scratches you may induce will not reflect light as much as circular micro scratches will. Additionally, a professional quality car scratch remover designed for home use can remove fine micro spider scratches with great results.

The single most important thing you can do to protect your car from micro spider swirls is to use a quality sealant or wax at a minimum of twice a year . Preferably a quality car sealant which bonds …

Tuscan interior decor begins with an understanding of Tuscan architecture. Even a cursory page-flipping through the history books of Tuscany and its architecture reveals two impressions: Strength and Grandeur.

In the minds of modern day homeowners, these concepts seem to have translated into ‘security and permanence’, and ‘nobility of design’.

The book and subsequent movie, Under The Tuscan Sun, seem to have awakened a long dormant desire for the rustic, simple beauty found in the hill towns of Tuscany. Often described as voluptuous, sensuous, and seductive, this region of Italy has experienced an unparalleled awakening in both the European and North American consciousness.

The power of broad facades, massive stones, and symmetrically aligned square windows are once again the fashion of the day. Perhaps we are drawn to such strength of design if our own country of origin and its heritage are so young, so unrefined, and so seemingly impermanent when compared to Italy and the ancient Etruscan and Roman societies.

Thankfully, the ‘throw away’, ‘use it once and toss it’, light weight, impermanent mindset of recent decades has been abandoned in favor of enduring quality. The stark simplicity of contemporary design seems to have gone cold and lifeless. All now replaced by a quest for homes designed with a sense of history, luxury, rustic strength, and an air of permanence.

Tuscan decor says, “I’m here, I’m of the earth, and I will be here forever.”

The brilliance of using what we have –

Out of necessity, Tuscan architects utilized readily available materials, such as stone from local quarries. They adapted dwellings to the warm climate, and incorporated depth and strength of walls during warring times. Hence, we see massive stone facades, the most easily recognizable feature of Tuscan architecture.

There also seems to have been an innate love of simplicity and symmetry. This appreciation for beauty, evidenced in even the most humble buildings, is no doubt born of daily exposure to the pure elegance of the Tuscan countryside. Endless vistas of undulating green hills, gracefully thin cypress trees, lush olive groves, and intertwined grape vines have slowly evolved into the Tuscan decor so loved today.

Early Etruscan architecture was easily recognizable by its massive stones, the square forms of their edifices, and their heavy projecting beams, even when later embellished with Greek or Roman design elements. Often called Mediterranean (a broadening of the geographic area of design elements), Tuscan decor brings to mind sun washed colors, liberal use of stone, metal, square windows, and symmetry. Intricate details are often found that soften the strong, masculine features. There is always present a meticulous attention to quality craftsmanship, and stones marry with precision.

Even during the time of Michelangelo, who frequently combined rustic with polished, old with new, and Etruscan with Roman, builders faithfully retained the original elements of Tuscan decor. Before Michelangelo’s day, the earliest Etruscan architects, while originally designing almost solely for strength and defensive integrity, later gave way to including details that added nobility.

It’s no wonder that …