Food & Cooking

My Hunt for the Best Espresso Machine under $200

I am a huge espresso lover. That will go to great heights to get a good cup of a strong, bold espresso. Having bad espresso is not an option for me. My love for espresso has seen me going through hundreds of reviews and web pages looking for the right or the best espresso machine under 200. It has not been easy as there are very many brands in the markets with some being very expensive and some are cheap but not the right quality.

There are many different types of espresso machines under 200, and some are better than the expensive brands. However getting the right brand for my taste was my focus and here is how I did that.

At first, I made a list of the expectations I had for the espresso machine. I needed it to be automatic, and I wanted it to have a milk frother for my lattes and most important I wanted it to be able to make several other coffee drinks as it will be in a family setting and we have different tastes. Here’s how to make a perfect shot for espresso drinks.
The requirements I had in mind got me through many different units, and I was left with two of the best espresso machines under 200. The first one was a DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, the problem with this unit is that it is not fully automatic, and it has a problem with its steaming wand otherwise it is a good piece.

Nonetheless, after getting rid of the DeLonghi from my list I was left with Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso Maker this unit has all the features I desired, and it is fully automatic. The unit is also very cheap costing around 170; it also makes the meanest espresso yet.

Searching a perfect or best espresso machine under 200 is not an easy task but going through this article might make it easier for you.

My knives set

My husband is on transferable job and during the last transfer, the last four days became very hectic with many people inviting us over for lunch and dinner. I could not concentrate much on packing as my daughter was down with flu. I do not remember in which box I packed the knives, or if I packed them at all. After the first couple of days of unpacking we have not found them. We’ve been eating out and soon my kitchen needs to be functional. My husband suggested that I buy a knife set and start cooking so I bought this block knives set.
knives set
I was not sure which kitchen knives set I should opt for. If I find my full set of 12 pieces, this new set would be a waste. But if I don’t, then I would need a 12 piece set. In any event, I could think of know other knives set but Wusthof. Their knives have always been better than my expectations.

This knife set has two paring knives, one with a blade of 2.5 inches, and the second with a blade of 3 inches. The utility blade in this set has a blade of 4.5 inches, which I think is .5 inch longer than the one in my old set. The bread knife has 8 inch long blade, and so does the cook’s knife. I think those blades in my older set were also smaller. The steak knives in both sets have blades of 4.5 inches. There are four such steak knives. The sharpening steel in this set is 9 inches long. I do not know the length of the sharpening steel in my other knives set. I never had to use it. In addition to these, this set consists of kitchen shears and of course a wooden block.

I nearly bought Wusthof’s 7 piece set, which had pretty much the same things without the 2.5 inch blade paring knife, and fours steak knives. But my husband insisted that I buy the 12 piece set, and I am now suspecting whether he knows something that I don’t. He is a generous man, and may have given away my older set to one of our house help there.

The Most Popular Toasters Ovens On The Market

As you may be aware, a toaster oven is among the most important appliances that you ought to have in your kitchen if at all you consider your kitchen a modern kitchen. But in your quest to select a toaster oven, you must have realized that it isn’t that easy thanks to the thousands of toaster ovens brands and model on the market. But don’t worry since you can learn how to select the best toaster oven. Here are some of the toaster ovens that have been reviewed by Anne cuisine.

toaster oven

1. Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven
It prides itself for being one of the best and most reviewed toaster ovens on today’s market. It also boasts of featuring an incredibly superior technology and 9 preset cooking functions that are tailored at consistent and even cooking. It further comes with a quiet convection fan for purposes of speedier, even and consistent cooking. Besides cooking perfectly, it is also quite easy to use, thanks to the fact that it comes with an easy- to – operate digital control interface. It features a 2 years limited warranty. 2. Waring TCO650
Even if this oven is relatively new, it has however received numerous praise owing to its unmatched cooking and toasting ability. It is also among the toaster ovens that don’t use a non-stick lining, therefore making it the best choice for health-conscious individuals. It also bakes and toasts wonderfully due to its precise cooking functions. It comes with a front access crumb tray for purposes of easier cleaning. It features a 5-year limited warranty.

3. Cuisinart TOB-195
Many users have hailed this toaster oven as a great convection toaster. It comes with exact heat sensor that is designed for purposes of maintaining set temperature till cooking is done. It also features a digital control interface for better and faster cooking. Unlike many ovens that can’t heat up to 450 degrees Celsius, the oven is capable of heating up to 500 degrees Celsius. It comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Besides these toaster ovens, there are other types of toaster ovens that are readily available on the market. Please research on different types of toaster ovens and choose one that is capable of meeting your needs.

The rice cooker – A good substitute for many kitchen appliances

I don’t think there are many people who still use pressure cooker for cooking rice anymore. But almost 30 odd years ago, rice cooker was not a common. In fact, the first day I went to work, I had placed that rice in the small pressure cooker that I’d bought, and the rice was burned. Mom used to say those who eat burned rice will be very rich. I am still waiting for my wealth to arrive at my door step. However, I did get a nice rice cooker as wedding gift, and thereafter, we added a couple more. One gave way, and the other one was essentially for larger gatherings. None of them were versatile, and we were not expecting much either. After all, a rice cooker is exactly that.


Last year, the smaller rice cooker that I had used so far, fell from my hand as I was moving it. Its internals were shaken up, and there was nobody who could repair it. Rather than be electrocuted by it for the ill-treatment I meted out, I opted to buy a new one. All our rice cookers were Panasonic, so we didn’t bother with any other brand. The shopkeeper showed us the Panasonic fuzzy logic rice cooker, which we eventually bought. Honestly, what I liked about it was the way it can be carried. It is so light! I can clean my kitchen counter top more easily now. I was also amused at the shape these rice cookers have nowadays. But the digital display completely bowled me over. It was the number of choices that this rice cooker offers. Cakes? If my microwave gives way, I can use it for that. Making porridge is also possible. It is also possible to program when it can be started and switched off. I remember my old rice cookers had started giving me problem and the rice used to stick at the bottom or sides if left too long in it. This rice cooker does not have any such problem thanks to the non-stick cooking pot, which incidentally fits beautifully inside the unit.

We’d never read any of those rice cooker reviews prior to our shopping. We just knew that this appliance was created for us, and it is indeed turning out to be a good purchase.

What Type of Juicer is Good for Me?

I cannot thank online reviewers enough for letting me in on a few secrets about the best juicers to buy and I liked the centrifugal juicer. I have always wanted a good juicer that has excellent performance and can work really fast. I have to rush to work every morning so I don’t have much time to do many things in the morning. I also prefer a glass of fresh juice in the morning to freshen me up before going to work but my current juicer is too slow. I do most of my juicing at night before going to bed but sometimes I’m too tired to do it. That’s why I want a juicer that can give me fresh juice in seconds when I wake up in the morning. Fresh juice provides more nutrients if taken immediately after juicing (oxidation is at a minimum).


My primary concern is getting a juicer that can extract the most juice from the fruits or vegetables I put in, easy and fast to clean as well as fast on the juicing. I also need one that is readily available and can withstand daily use without breaking down easily. Above everything else, I need a juicer that will not suck my wallet dry!

I found good information on the different kinds of juicers available in the market today at Euro Juices and the choice was easy to make. I decided to go with the centrifugal juicers. The only downside to these juicers is that they don’t work well for wheatgrass which is fine with me since I’m not a wheatgrass person. The other thing is that they can be quite noisy but that’s okay for now since I live alone and don’t have to worry about waking anyone.

My question is, “Can I get one that has automatic pulp ejection?”

I’m thinking of getting the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite, any better suggestions?

Related information - Centrifugal juicer reviews

How I learnt that pot metal can make a difference in cooking

Anytime I walk into my kitchen, I am greeted by these old pots and pans that look like they have seen better days. Each day I see them I do the best I can to ignore them but these days, they seem to be calling out to me and begging for a change. I know I have not given my kitchen the best care lately partly due to my busy schedule but now the feeling that I have to start looking for the best pots and pans to buy is just constant. I talked to my friend about it and she gave me a look that said “I thought you will never notice”.


Now, I do love to cook and I am sure my cooking is not that bad (at least hussy has not complain… yet). However, when it comes to kitchen utensils , I am not that fussy. I can use my cookware for as long as possible without bothering about their state. However, this time around, I just can’t seem to stand the look of those old utensils in my kitchen. Now, I have to look for new ones but how do I get quality ones that wouldn’t ruin my cooking. Thankfully my darling friend was there to help.

She taught me the different types of materials I should be looking at and their advantages and disadvantages. She told me stainless steel was good and non reactive which meant I could cook any type of food in it. However, she was quick to point out that I may face problem with food not cooking properly as these materials have poor heat distribution. On the other hand, pots made from copper have good thermal conductivity only they turn to react with food that are alkaline and acid based. This could mean the food ends up having a metallic taste. This is the same thing that happens to those made of aluminium and cast iron.

From where I was standing I could see that all the best pots and pans to buy may have their pros and cons. However, it may be better to find those that have mixed metal in them. Just as my friend suggested, for best effects, I should try to get a metal that conducts heat efficiently but that is lined with some stainless steel. Armed with this information, I hurriedly dashed out of the house to the supermarket ready to confront the salespeople if they tried to force me to buy anything I knew I didn’t need.

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