Category Archives for "Kitchen"

Wine Refrigerator Reviews and Tips

What is the best under counter wine cooler? For those who are not aware of what a wine refrigerator is, it is a storage device meant to keep wine at a standard temperature suitable for serving. Wines can be stored in these wine refrigerators even for a long period of time, and these devices enable you to serve wine at an optimum temperature which can be anywhere between 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another storage medium for wines is a wine cellar, but people prefer a wine refrigerator over cellar because these are excellent, less expensive substitutes meant for the same purpose and it is easy for people to own a refrigerator instead of a whole cellar. Wine refrigerators are manufactured in such a way that the temperatures are always maintained between a standard range and do not fluctuate. This is a characteristic of wine refrigerators created by quality manufacturers. There are various known names in the field of quality wine refrigerator manufacturers and more information regarding these brands and the models of wine refrigerators can be found easily on the internet. High quality wine refrigerators have features such as Ultraviolet radiation protection and tints, anti-vibration mechanism and humidity control etc. These features make these particular models stand out from the rest significantly.

Types: Wine refrigerators also vary on the capacity of wine bottles that they can accommodate at one time. You can select the perfect one according to your needs and requirements. For commercial and hotel usage, generally, wine refrigerators with a larger capacity are preferred. You will also find wine refrigerators varying in shapes, from square ones to long, elegant looking rectangular pillar ones. Some function on the compressor while the others use the thermoelectric mechanism of temperature control.

Leading manufacturers of wine refrigerators: Some of the top, leading manufacturers of wine refrigerators are Eurocave, Vinotemp, Sunpentown, Whynter, Koolatron, EdgeStar and the Wine Enthusiast etc.

Vinotemp is a much more recognized and popular name in quality wine refrigeration. There are quite a few models out, varying in capacity, size and features. Here is a review on the VT-28TEDS. This model consists of attractive double paned glass doors, it works on the thermoelectric mechanism of temperature control, has a quality digital display for the current temperature, the maximum capacity is 28 bottles and is therefore ideal for collectors at home, it has a gleaming silver exterior, and an interior blue light which makes it a treat to look at.

Deals on various different brands and types of wine refrigerators can be easily and conveniently found on websites and retailers online, you must make sure that you are purchasing the authentic brand, which is why you should always consult authorized dealers before finalizing a purchase. The price range varies with additional capacity, quality, brand and features.

Two of the most renowned wine refrigerators are the Whynter WC-16S SNO 16 Bottle Wine Cooler, Platinum with Lock and the Sunpentown WC-1271 ThermoElectric 12-Bottle Slim Wine Cooler.

Caring For Your Wine Cooler

The cost of purchasing a wine cooler can be quite high, and since it will be storing your collection of wines, you will want to make sure that you keep up with the proper wine celler maintenance and cleaning requirements so that your cooler will continue to run at optimal levels. Caring for your wine cooler is simple, but you will have to follow these tips strictly if you want to get many years out of this appliance.


Placement Tips and Directions

The first thing that you will need to do after you have purchased your wine cooler is to store it in the right location. You will need to make sure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight and other sources of heat. The optimal environment in which to store your cooler is one that is neither too hot nor too cold; a mild temperature should do just fine. It is also imperative that you place your wine cooler at an appropriate distance from obstructions, such as walls and cupboards, as this will ensure that the vents are not blocked.

Cleaning your Wine Cooler

Once in a while, you are going to have to get your hands dirty and clean the cooler; inside and out. The exterior of the cooler is easy to clean; simply wipe it down with a non-abrasive cleaning solution and cloth to keep the finishes shiny and new. When it comes to the interior, however, you will need to take extra measures to ensure the job is done right.

Start by disconnecting the power chord from the wall and then move on to removing the bottles and wracks from the wine cooler. Once this is done, use a non-abrasive cloth and cleaning solution to wipe down the interior of the cooler. If there are any puddles of water at the bottom of the cooler, make sure you mop them up. Once you have wiped down the cooler, make sure that you remove any traces of soapy residue from the appliance and then plug it back into the power source.

Transporting your Wine Cooler

When transported, your wine cooler should be handled with care. Start by removing all of the bottles from the cooler and taping up the doors; you don’t want them swinging out and getting damaged (or damaging other items in your home). When you are ready to move the cooler, make sure you keep it standing upright; if you let it down onto its side, you will have to wait two hours before plugging it back in again.

Proper Maintenance for your Safety

Although these steps should be sufficient to ensure that your wine coolers function and look great for many years, you will still need to inspect the power chord on a regular basis for fraying or rodent damage. Any interruption in this power chord could cause a fire and damage more than your cooler.

Follow maintenance steps regularly to ensure that your wine coolers remain in good condition; after all, they can only enhance the quality of your wine if they are able to function properly.

Cooking in a Tiny Kitchen | A Detailed Guideline

stoThis is my kitchen and it’s not the smallest I’ve had. But it’s still pretty tiny, especially when you consider that we work from home, hardly ever eat out and therefore prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner in our kitchen every day. My kitchen is L-shaped, small, and yet is perfect for us.There are a lot of myths about cooking in a tiny kitchen, which I’ll be debunking in this article.

The tiniest kitchen I have ever had was a kitchen-in-a-cupboard. I’d open two doors and there was a sink with a minuscule cheap fridge below it, a single bowl sink, a two-ring gas cooker and shelves above. My current kitchen isn’t as bad as that, in fact, I love it. It’s compact, there’s plenty of space and cleaning it is so easy. Something is especially like is that everything is near at hand. I used to be a kitchen designer when I lived in England and for many years would plan huge kitchens and dream that one day I’d have one of my own. Eventually, I did but I prefer my tiny kitchen!

There’s a lot of advice on the internet about small space living – often from writers who don’t actually have that lifestyle. I enjoy living (and cooking!) in a small space and I also have employed the same principles to prepare meals in boat galleys and tiny RVs. These tips are also invaluable if you’re vacationing in self-catering accommodation – their kitchens are often tiny. They are also great if you have a new dorm room-dweller in your family and want to ensure that they get good home-cooked meals!

The entire room

cook in a tiny kitchen

Here’s another shot of our kitchen. I’ve included this because it shows the entire room. As you can see our fridge, which is much smaller than the usual American refrigerator is on the left of the room. On the right is the back door; you can just see the black doormat. As you can see, my first rule is:


The sink is an appliance too.


Our sink measures about twenty inches by sixteen inches but it’s used more than anything else when I’m cooking. You’ll notice that there are two items in the sink. On the right is a plastic rectangular bowl. I do the dishes in this so, when I’m cooking and I’ve finished with an item or utensil, it goes straight in there, ready to be washed.


This is intended to hold the dishes and silverware when they’be been washed. I use it for much more than this. The first step for cooking a meal is gathering the ingredients from the fridge or cupboard and putting them in the drainer. I carry it to the fridge and add the items from there, then the cupboard for any canned or dried goods. See the next image.

Decide where garbage will go.


No, I don’t have one. I also don’t have a dog (and dogs can do a pretty good job!) So it’s important to decide what you are going to do with food scraps and peelings while you work. Piling them up on one side of he chopping board isn’t a good idea because they can overflow onto the worktop and make more mess for you to clean.


I simply put a glass jar in the sink and when I trim vegetables, add the trimmings and peelings to it. If I feel a vegetable stock coming on, I store this in the fridge so that I can add them when I make stock. This keeps all the mess under control. If necessary I move the jar from the sink to the countertop if I’m working there.


I know that I’m going to need a plastic or wooden spoon to stir the beans and a spatula to remove the pasties from the oven so before I start to cook I get those out and hang them from the tension rod that’s over my sink. Now I have everything to hand.

Utensils I don’t use daily


I need my can opener for the beans but it’s not something I use every day. Neither is my pizza wheel or my ladle. So these live in a plastic box that’s kept in the cupboard below. It’s easy to reach when I need it but it keeps my knife drawer uncluttered

Use a Lazy Susan


My pasties are cooking in the oven, I have a pan on the stove ready to cook the beans and now I need to get plates and silverware together and make a quick salad. But using a Lazy Susan on the countertop I can easily make use of the wasted space in the corner and it’s protecting my white surfaces too. It can be stored vertically so takes up little space and I also use it on the dining table.

Just a touch of decor


You’ll have seen from the top photograph that I have a lovely ceramic jug and a black and white vase in the unreachable corner of my countertop. Hey, I like uncluttered rooms but I like a little decor too. But they are practical too. If I’m following a recipe, it’s a great place to keep the cookbook and the jug holds it while the vase keeps it in place. As you can see, I use clothespins to make sure that the pages stay open.

Plating the meal


It’s only steps from the kitchen to the dining table but I like to use a tray so that I don’t have to make more than one trip. I put our meal and its accompaniments on a tray. This protects the surfaces but it’s now also easy to transport everything to the table. Oh and the tray also fits perfectly on my trash can if I need extra surfaces.

Doing the dishes


When items are used during cooking, I put them straight into the washing up bowl in the sink. Just before we eat, I fill the bowl with warm soapy water so that the used items are soaking. After the meal, we simply add the plates and silverware we’ve used and doing the dishes takes about three minutes tops.


I like to use a cloth but I’ve learned over the years that ‘people’ (guys) are likely to grab cloths and use them for just about anything. We don’t have a draining board but our drying mat is placed on top of the ceramic hob, the dishes are piled there and they air-dry themselves. (Once the stove top is cool of course!). Read wood stove reviews.

More tips for Cooking in a Tiny Kitchen


You may not be able to store all your kitchen equipment in the room itself. We have a small storage area in our apartment building and if anything isn’t used on a regular basis, it goes into the storage area. If your pressure cooker that you only use at the holidays lives in your clothes closet, so be it.


Many people who have small kitchens complain that they can’t take advantage of special bulk-buying offers to save money. There’s nothing wrong with having a twelve pack of canned tomatoes under your bed! We have a suitcase stored in one of our cupboards for when we go traveling – at the moment, it contains bulk-bought cans of soda. I’ve even stored bulk purchases in the car for a few days until I’ve found them a home in the apartment. A wine rack can live in the lounge.


Our fresh bread lives in the halogen oven. Why not? It keeps it close to hand and when we use the oven, we just put the bread into the basket on the shelf above.


When I first moved to the tiny apartment I found that I had seven egg whisks – seven! We don’t even eat eggs very often. And even if we did, how many egg whisks can I use at one time? It was the same with mixing bowls. I only need one medium sized bowl. For small items, I use a cereal bowl or even my jug.


I have five. Two skillets and three saucepans. They live in the drawer underneath the oven. I only really use two of them. If I really needed more space, I could give away a couple. It’s a good idea to consciously inventory your kitchen equipment to see what you really use regularly.


When we moved to the tiny apartment I grandly declared that we’d downsize to two plates, two cereal bowls, two knives, two forks, two wineglasses and so on. This was a little impractical because we do have guests from time to time. But nevertheless it’s a good idea to donate any items you don’t use to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. The less clutter in your kitchen, the better.


The more organized your store cupboard and your refrigerator are, the easier it will be for you to cook quickly and efficiently in a tiny kitchen.


I can’t claim that this is original – I read it on the internet and loved the idea. Instead of keeping a shopping list of what you need keep a list of what you have. I started to do this and you can immediately see what’s in stock and what foods you should be using up.

Some small kitchen myths

I’ve seen these items of advice on the internet. They may or may not work for you but here’s why they don’t for me.


My kitchen is way too small for any of these. If you have the room for them, you don’t have a small kitchen 🙂


Another bad idea if it can be avoided. Unless you use the items on your shelves every single day, they will attract dust and dirt and create a mammoth clean-up job. If you fry an onion, the grease gets into the air and attaches itself to items on open shelves – yuck.


This creates the same cleaning problems. I’ve seen photographs on the internet with lovely racks holding a dozen or more pans. I’ve never used a dozen pans for making a meal. Keep handy only what you need.


Home editors and journalists also like to recommend that utensils such as spatulas, lades etc. are hung on racks and that the best place to store knives is a magnetic knife rack. Again, there’s the cleaning problem, plus I rarely use more than one knife per meal – one good knife is all you need.


Home editors love these as a ‘solution’ for small kitchens. If a kitchen has an area for a table to pull out to then it’s not what I’d call a small kitchen!



There was a time when I thought this was a good idea and, if you have a double sink, they normally automatically arrive with a board. That’s fine but remember that if you have a kitchen sink that has a single bowl, which most small kitchens have, then your sink is out of action when the board is in place. How are you going to strain the spaghetti or wash the salad? These boards can be more trouble than they’re worth.

Final tip

For example, I often cook curries and foods that need certain spices. I keep all of these in a tray in the cupboard. That way I don’t have to search for my curry spices, just get the tray out. For example, if you regularly bake keep flour, baking powder and other similar items in a specific basket or tray.