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The most practical gaming accessories for your laptop

Nowadays, most people have a laptop instead of a desktop. There are various reasons for that, but the most important one is the fact that laptops are portable and you can take them with you wherever you go. But what happens when you want to play a game? Well, there are many great gaming laptops available in the market that can help you play your favorite games. If you are a heavy gamer though, you know that having a good laptop is not enough in order to excel in a game, you need to have the right accessories that will boost yourefficiency.

Below we will present some of the most important gaming accessories that you need to have in order to get the best gaming experience.

  1. Gaming Mouse

No matter what is your favorite game, you definitely need to have a great gaming mouse. If you already play games, you know that a standard mouse is not suitable for gaming since it cannot perform well. Instead, you need a gaming mouse that is equipped with all the features that will allow it to perform better when using with more taxing programs. Such a mouse will allow quicker reactions and more comfortable movements. Thus, you will see that you will be more accurate and fast. Also, if you spend a lot of hours in playing games, you need to find a mouse that is ergonomically designed in order to avoid any injuries.

  1. Gaming Headset

Headsets are a big issue in gaming and they can make the whole experience even better. Especially after the major improvements in graphics and sound quality, gamers have the chance to immerse themselves in virtual worlds. Most gamers pay extra attention to the screen and console requirements and neglect purchasing a good headset. The truth is that a good headset can improve the sound reproduction as well as enhance the in-game communication between the players.

There are three common options for sound reproduction, headphones, speakers and headsets. It is suggested to use headphones since they isolate the outside noises and help you concentrate in your game. There are many available headphones in the market today but HIFI ELITE Super66 headphones are a good option and really affordable. Using them will make your gaming experience great so, why not try it out?

  1. Monitor

As said before, the right monitor can play a crucial role in a game since it can determine whether you will win or not. In order to utilize fully all the features of the new games you need to have a proper gaming monitor that can display the action without any unwanted disturbances like blurred images and screen tearing.

One of the most important things that you need to look for in a new gaming monitor is the pixel response and the refresh rate. As you can imagine, gaming monitors should have a fast pixel response as well as a high refresh rate in order not to miss any precious moment of your game or delay in your response. A low pixel response will eliminate the smearing of moving images and provide a smoother overall picture.

  1. Keyboard

A good keyboard is another peripheral that you need for a great gaming experience. You do not need to be a hardcore gamer in order to invest on a good keyboard since it can help you perform other tasks as well, like writing a text for your work effortlessly. Even if you are new to gaming you can understand that a good keyboard can optimize your experience and increase your victory rate.

First, you need to consider if you want a membrane or a mechanical keyboard. Usually membrane keyboards are cheaper but mechanical keyboards are better (and more expensive) since they work by placing a mechanical switch underneath each keycap. The way they work makes them more reliable and it feels better when you use them. But, as said they are more expensive. Thus, you need to estimate your available budget and then you can visit a few shops in order to try both categories and decide which onesuits you best.

As you can see, you need to have more than just a laptop in order to be able to compete and enjoy your game. You might think that you need a lot of money in order to purchase all the above items. Well, that is partially true. If you want to have the best quality and buy something that will last for at least some years, you need to invest a great amount of money on all these accessories. The good thing is that you can purchase them one at a time and only when you have spare money. Although gaming is a very expensive hobby, it can offer you great moments of pleasure so, do not wait any longer!

Get the vintage look

Remember the time when men were men and women were women? Yeah, neither do we. But if you’re a fan of old movies and vintage styles from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, you may be wishing you lived at a time when style was more precise, tailored and dramatic. But don’t let the inevitable passage of time stop you from living the dream. The vintage and retro scene is alive and well and you can still look and even live the part if this is the look you want. From fashion to hair, makeup and lifestyle, you can add as much or as little vintage flair as you want. The following article will give you some tips and tricks on how to research and achieve your vintage look. Luckily for you, while the Internet didn’t exist in the first half of the 20th century, it certainly exists now, giving you all the information you need to go back in time. Ironic, isn’t it?

Vintage Hair

Obviously, different periods had different hairstyles, from the short crops of the 20s to the beautifully curled styles of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Traditionally women used leave-in curlers and “do rags” to curl their hair overnight. Some women still choose to do that, leaving their curlers in wrapped in a hairnet or a towel. But nowadays you can achieve the look in a faster, easier way by using curlers plus a hairdryer or a dedicated curling iron. To be honest, most women don’t have the time nowadays to start working on their hairstyle a day or so in advance. This is especially true if you have a last minute invitation to a party and want to wow everyone with amazing hair.  Don’t worry if you’ve never used a curling iron before. There is plenty of info available online, such as this perfect introduction with all the basic concepts explained by That’s Foxy.

Many vintage hairstyles actually work better with unwashed hair. Maybe women in those times didn’t wash their hair as often? Either way, curling seems to take much better to hair that’s not as smooth, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your pre-event schedule.

Complete your vintage hair look with vintage accessories such as hats, fascinators (those tiny little hats with flowers and other cute things on them), bows or even flower clips for that lovely tropical look.

Vintage clothes

Depending on where you are in the world, getting your hands on authentic vintage clothes can be an expensive pursuit. The further you go back in time to your favourite decade, the more expensive the item will be. 20s flapper dresses? Expect to pay through the nose for those! You can often get some good finds in 2nd hand and vintage markets, shops or online stores (also on online auction sites). But unless you want to be 100% authentic, you can still get the look without shelling out the big bucks.

If you’re handy with a sewing machine or know someone who is, you can still buy vintage patterns online quite cheaply. Sometimes these are printable PDF files, rather than actual physical patterns. The same goes for vintage knitting patterns – plenty are available for sale. All you need to do then is simply buy some material and make your own vintage clothing item that’s also brand new.

Alternatively, there are plenty of modern day designers who make “vintage-inspired” clothes. These vary in price but are bound to be cheaper than many of the originals. They may not be as unique as your own vintage piece, but can definitely help you complete a look at the very least, if not form the basis of one. Even the most common vintage-inspired dress can be made more unique if you pair it with vintage jewellery or a hat.

Another option is to go retro rather than vintage. Styles often repeat themselves throughout the ages and many vintage styles were echoed later on. For example, there are many 80s dresses that are very much inspired by the 40s and the 50s. Unless you are a fashion pedant, they may appear almost identical to those from earlier times, or at least close enough to give you the coveted vintage look for a cheaper price.

Vintage Makeup

Complete your vintage look with makeup styles true to the era. Again, each decade had its own style, but luckily there are plenty of online guides that’ll teach you everything from how to style your eyebrows to eyeshadow styles and even how to paint your mouth with lipstick. While you’re obviously not going to go hunting for actual vintage makeup made in the 50s, many makeup companies make specifically vintage-inspired styles. Lipsticks were generally matte in reds and pinks, while eyes were often smoky. Because we are living in the 21st century, you can also add a bit of sparkle to make the look slightly more modern while keeping the spirit alive.

KitchenBoss Vacuum Sealer Review

Vacuum sealers are irreplaceable kitchen appliances that prolong the shelf life of various food products. There are several terrific models in the world and the KitchenBoss Vacuum Sealer is among them. It’s an easy to use, powerful, and efficient machine that should be included in everyone’s kitchen.

Keeps Foods Fresh

First of all, if a vacuum sealer is incapable of keeping food’s fresh then it should not be released to the general public. After all, that’s exactly what they are designed to do. However, the KitchenBoss does more than just keep food products fresh. By properly sealing every single bag, this machine will protect all food items from outside bacteria, freezer burn, and excess oxygen.

Several Ways to Seal

The KitchenBoss accommodates many different ways to seal. For standard purposes, there is the option for automatic vacuum sealing. Most likely, this will end up being the most used option. As one would guess, the machine does all the work. Another option available is the Seal Only function. This comes in handy for resealing bags that have been opened. For example, instead of putting a clothespin on a bag of potato chips the Seal Only function can reseal it. Thus, it’s like opening a new bag of chips every time.

The last two functions are an inching function and an air suction function, respectively. The former is designed to be used as a manual sealer. This gives full control to the user when sealing something delicate. The air suction option allows a hose to be connected to various jars and containers to properly seal them.

Incredibly Powerful

This particular vacuum sealer uses a commercial grade vacuum pump. What this provides is a highly effective motor with a super-strong air function. Thus, sealing can be done efficiently in a matter of seconds.

An Included Warranty

No matter how great an appliance is designed, including a warranty is always a good idea. Great comfort will be taken knowing that the KitchenBoss Vacuum Sealer comes with a five-year warranty; which includes technical support and customer service.

Vague Instructions

Unfortunately, the instructions that are included with this model are very vague (and overall disappointing). Before one gets used to the machine, it can be quite difficult to position the bag correctly to get it to properly seal.

The lone downside of below average instructions doesn’t take away from the KitchenBoss’s many sealing functions, power, ease-of-use, and efficiency. For those who want to go a different way, though, check out these other vacuum sealer reviews.

Making a good impression on a first date

First dates can be stressful, especially if you’re a man. While women’s magazines are full of information (useful and otherwise) about how to appear attractive to the opposite sex, men often struggle to figure out what women are looking for. Of course, there is no magic formula for winning the heart of every woman you meet. You can’t force chemistry where there is none, no matter how much you try. On the other hand, there are some common mistakes men often make that are more than likely to put off any woman. The tips below will tell you what they are and how you can avoid making them.

Personal appearance

Depending on how you and your date first got in touch, your personal appearance may be the very first impression you give. But even if you’re meeting after lengthy Internet chats and phone calls, the way you present yourself carries a lot of weight. While it’s true that some things about looks can’t be helped, you have complete control over others. It almost goes without saying that showering and taking care of Manly Matters such as shaving and ridding yourself of any unwanted hairs is a must before any first date. But guys are often at a loss about what to wear. If in doubt, think smart casual. A clean T-shirt and jeans should be fine for most occasions, unless your first date is somewhere that requires a suit. Trainers should be fine for most places you go to.

Be polite

Undoubtedly, you will be polite to your date, especially if things are going well and you want a second date. But it’s important to be just as polite to other people around you too. Your date will be paying attention to how you interact with people you may view as insignificant, such as serving staff, homeless people begging on the street, annoying people in the next table over, etc. Treat them all well if you want to make a good impression. Also, pay close attention to tipping and make sure you tip any serving staff well. This is one of the things people look out for when trying to tell whether their date is a kind and generous person.

Pay attention

Don’t spend more time on your phone than you do listening to your date. Don’t spend the whole time talking about yourself. If you want to make a good impression, show your date you are interested in her by listening to what she has to say. There’s no need to stare in silence either (that can be a bit creepy), but make sure you’re spending some time letting the other person speak. If you’re paying attention and the other person is rambling on and on about herself, you may be tempted to tell her this and demand your turn to speak. Keep in mind that this may not go down well. Nobody likes being told to shut up when they are in full swing, especially not by a person they’ve only just met. If this is a deal breaker for you, it’s best to just quietly realise this lady is not for you and not ask for a second date.

Don’t be a penny-pincher

Nobody likes being taken advantage of and in this day and age you’d expect most women to at least offer to pay for their own drink or half of the meal. On the other hand, making a big deal out of this when the bill comes is not going to make you popular. Even fiercely independent women who expect to pay their own way don’t often appreciate a big speech about “feminism” from a man. If you want to make a good impression, it’s best not to come off as someone who’s going to argue about every cent or dime. You’ll make the best impression by offering to pay. However, don’t do that unless you’re willing to follow through if the woman accepts. Not all of them will insist on paying for their half. Often enough nowadays, you can just casually ask something like “shall we split the bill?” when it comes without coming across too stingy.

Alternatively, setting your date at a bar where you can buy rounds for each other means you can make a good impression without spending too much money on an expensive dinner.

Conclusion

First the bad news: there is no guarantee that anything you do is going to make a particular woman find you interesting and attractive – some people are not meant for each other. But following the above tips will make women who are attracted to you want to spend more time with you once you meet.

My garden table

A while ago I decided to take down the fence at the bottom of my back yard and replace it with a hedge. The wooden panels were still in good condition so I took them completely apart and kept them stored in the garage, not sure whether I’d give them away or use them for something else. As it turned out it was something else. I like to have a barbecue from time to time outside and invite friends around. I have a couple of plastic tables and chairs but nothing really suitable for putting on a nice barbecue. So, my part of my old fence has become my new garden table. Here’s how:

Obviously I cut my own wood. I actually saw a picture of the type of table I wanted to build, so I came up with a plan that would enable me to use the panels that I already had. Within reason, you can change the dimensions that you cut to – if it’s your first time, ask someone who has more experience to take a look at your plan before you start cutting. This is going to be a lot easier if you use a miter saw (take a look at straightkerfs.com for some good ones).

Cut the apron ends according to your plan and with 45 degree ends. Then mark them at roughly 10-inch intervals, or whatever fits your plan, as this is where you should attach the supports. Always use glue with your screws. Most people find it easier to predrill and countersink the screw holes. Once you’ve done that you can attach the end aprons and square the frame.

Lay out the boards as they will be on the table top. Place the frame in the correct position on top of these boards, then screw them in. That’s the top of your table. You can put it to one side for now as you make the legs.

Your legs will be the outdoor ‘X’-type made of two of the longer pieces, cut according to the scale of your plan. Place one on top of the other, making sure that the angles at the end of each piece are correct. Screw them together. Do this again for the set of legs which will hold the other side of the table top up. Once you’ve done that, make sure the screw you used to attach the two pieces is on the inside (it looks better) and centre and screw the legs to the side apron.

The last piece of wood you need is for the stretcher – which keeps the legs from moving too much. Screw it to the center of the ‘X’ of each pair of legs.

Now, you’re free to paint and seal is as you see fit. I’ve done mine in dark brown with a waterproof sealant.

Now that’s one job out of the way and another created – now I have to make some chairs! I’ll get around to it some day…

Where to Buy a Bread Making Machine

If you’re like me, then you absolutely love fresh, homemade bread. Homemade bread is a delicious treat for my whole family and it gives me peace of mind because I know and trust every ingredient that goes in it. However, if you’ve ever tried making bread from scratch, you know that it’s not the easiest process in the world.

There’s the constant kneading, measuring out ingredients, knowing how long to let the dough rise, and many more responsibilities that make break-making a difficult task. Luckily, there are bread maker machines out there that help automate some of the more time consuming parts of making bread.

Bread making machines are wonderful tools that not only speed up the process of making bread, but also ensure to deliver delicious, wholesome bread for the whole family. Many bread making machines let you simply add the needed ingredients and the machine takes care of the rest, letting you spend time on other important tasks.

This is especially important for me with my ever-busy lifestyle. Having homemade bread ready for my family is a special treat that’s fast and simple for me.

Buying a bread making machine doesn’t have to be difficult, and there are many different places that offer qualify bread making machines. When doing research, it’s a good idea to check the web for different reviews and ratings of bread makers.

Using reviews is a good way to see how other people rated the machine in question and it will give you a good idea of whether or not the machine is a quality bread maker. Once you’ve found the type of bread maker that you want to purchase, it’s time to take a look around and find the best price.

Though the Internet is a great place to price bread making machines, be sure to check out local retail stores as well. Many times, retail stores will match the prices of their online competitors. This is especially convenient because you get to pay the same price that you would have paid on the Internet and you will be able to take your bread making machine home with you that very day.

When buying a bread machine, make sure you look at all of the features and warranties that come along with the machine. Though these types of machines rarely have any type of problems, it’s nice to have the peace of mind that the machine will be repaired or replaced if anything goes wrong. Wherever you purchase your machine, you’ll be happy with your new-found love of bread making.

Your new bread making machine will make it fun and easy to bake delicious bread for you and your family to enjoy.

Editor Note: We like to thank www.doughbreadmakers.com for this buyers guide!

I’ve Had an Epiphany; I Want an Epiphone!

They aren’t Yamaha, but if there were a “runner up” for the most influential brand of electric guitars in North America – and perhaps in the world – today, it would be Epiphone. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee – one of the major centers of the music scene in America today – Epiphone is a major producer of electric and acoustic-electric guitars, known the world over for the quality of their work. Epiphone guitars have wounds up in the hands of performers such as Rhett Atkins, Alondra, Paul Brandt, Wayne Avers of The Monkees, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, and Antsy of Trailer Park Troubadors.

Epiphone guitar reviews praise the melodic sounds of each instrument. What they don’t necessarily do, and certainly not on an individual basis, is tell you which Epiphone guitar is best for you as a beginner… or as an experienced player, looking to try something new. Or as a former Epiphone guitar owner, looking for your next instrument – whether to replace your primary, or just to add a new item to your collection. Epiphone has been manufacturing fine guitars since the late nineteenth century; owning an Epiphone is definitely the mark of a certain kind of prestige, like you’ve suddenly found a place in music history.

The following list includes three Epiphone electric and electric-acoustic guitars. We browsed a few prominently placed affiliate reviews, as well as the accounts of former buyers – all of it content from high-traffic websites, sites which get a lot of attention and evidently have a certain following. We then took that information, and boiled it down, picking out the three instruments which seemed to have received the most positive – and the most consistently positive – feedback.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar

This, by general consensus of trending Epiphone guitar reviews, appears to be the go-to choice for a “starter guitar” from Epiphone. It has a Mahogany body, with a maple top and a rosewood fretboard. The overall effect? Dark, with a streak or two of brightness – like a flash of energy or inspiration, from within a moodier and more contemplative sound. There is a deep, almost wholesome richness to the music you can make with this guitar – it isn’t inherently “dark” in the negative sense of the word. If you’re visually inspired to create art, this might just be the Epiphone guitar for you – whatever your level of experience. The fretboard offers a 24.75 scale. The guitar also comes with Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups. Overall, it’s a great piece to pick up by way of strumming out your first few chords in accordance with those instructional videos you found on YouTube.

Epiphone Casino Electric Guitar

This baby is cherry (no, I mean literally; it’s cherry-red). The body, top, and sides are all made of laminated maple, while the neck is a rich, dark mahogany… like the stem of a cherry. They really do go all the way with that particular theme… but y’know, it works! It’s flashy, shiny, and definitely draws the eye away from other elements of one’s surroundings. It looks and feels like something special when you’re holding it. It adds an air of sophistication to any musician’s profile. This shiny piece features a lot of chrome, especially in the binding; it comes with two Alnico V P-90 pickups, and its rosewood frets offer a 22.75 ratio.

Epiphone Acoustic-Electric Guitar

This Epiphone Acoustic Electric Guitar was inspired by the 1964 Texan acoustic, and it remains true to the potential of its forebear while at the same time offering the uniqueness of an acoustic-electric hybrid. It features a solid spruce top, and solid mahogany back, which combine to deliver to a deliver a full, rich tone. The guitar’s neck is made of a single piece of mahogany, secured by a glued joint and incorporating a rosewood fretboard. The guitar is faithful to the appearance of a traditional Texan acoustic, and according to multiple online reviewers it offers “a lot of bang for its buck,” generally being deemed at once affordable and to have a great feel to its handling.

For Perky Parrot Real Estate, Look No Further

There are lots of places online where you can find stylish and affordable parrot cages for sale. Parrot cages can be found new, used, or even refurbished, available from specialty retailers and general marketplaces alike – Amazon itself does a brisk trade in parrot cages and related accessories. Costs aside, of course, you want to know what it is that you’re getting into; what is honestly the best cage for your particular feathered friend?

There are a lot of blogs, forums, and other websites concerned with parrot ownership in the US. We scoped out all of them, by which we mean “the ones that appeared on the front page of four different optimized searches,” because that’s what it’s all about, right? Right. So, we spent the day looking over these websites, and we put together a small list for your benefit. That’s right. That research? It’s on us, bro.

Whether you need a new cage for an old bird, or an old cage for a new bird, or a fancy cage for a middle-aged bird that’s going through some sort of crisis (better than an unexpected sports car sitting in the driveway… right?) you’re going to want to find something well-suited to your particular “intended.” So, give the following list of four items a perusal… and, as always, let us know what you think about our choices!

YML Tall Round 4-Perch Bird Cage with Stand

This is a four-feeder cage, meaning that it’s capable of maintaining four birds at once. The cage itself is sized for small birds, such as parakeets. It provides ample space for them to move up and down between its two separate interior perches; a standard cage would only be between one-half and two-thirds the height of this particular cage. The cage is quick and easy to assemble, and relatively painless to clean; its door opens wide, and its bottom detaches to facilitate complete access to the interior. It comes with a four-wheeled stand for mobility, in case you want to attach a motor and give your parakeets a remote-control ride they’ll never forget (please don’t do that).

Kings Cages Flat Top Aluminum Parrot Cage

This is a high-tech cage that is particular to the coming year, meaning that it involves trends which are only just cresting the horizon. Trends, such as aluminum cage construction: an aluminum cage is lighter than a steel or a wrought iron cage, and it rolls more smoothly as a result. In addition to requiring less effort to move about, this cage can safely be taken out of doors; flaking paint is no longer a concern, and the scattered dust slowly chipping away from a stainless steel powder-coated finish is likewise not a problem anymore.

Yaheetech Play Top Bird Cage

Parrots are naturally curious creatures. They enjoy exploring their surroundings, investigating new items in their cages, and climbing, crawling, and swinging from more or less anything presented to them. With that in mind, one of the popular additions to large bird cages is the outdoor “play top” area, which often includes – as this cage from Yaheetech includes – a ladder, an additional perch, and some feeding bowls. Don’t worry about the mess; unlike many large parrot cages, this particular cage features an expansive debris guard. There are also interior feeding bowls, of course – if you would rather abstain from teaching your bird to expect food up top. This cage is designed for one to two medium-sized birds, or one large bird. Due to its relatively spartan features – such as only one interior perch – we do not, despite its overall size – recommend it for larger numbers of birds, regardless of how small they may be.

Prevue Hendryx Wrought Iron Flight Cage

A “flight cage” is a cage intended to allow a small community of small birds, such as between three and six individuals, plenty of room to fly around within the cage itself. This helps to keep the birds healthy and happy, as it resembles the less restrictive environs in which they evolved. There are a series of three escalating perches within the cage, which your birds can flit quickly between as they so desire. There are also four food dishes included with the cage. The bottom of the cage, and the bottom grill, both slide out to facilitate ready and immediate cleaning of your feathered friends’ debris, and there is a large “main entrance” to help grant complete and unrestricted access to the cage’s interior. If you want to keep a small cadre/company/party/entmoot of feathered companions, this would be an excellent cage to contain them… although we don’t suggest going higher than six with this cage alone. Even that’s pushing it. Four is ideal.

My Espresso isn’t Your Espresso

The holiday season is a time to reconnect. It’s a time to join with friends and family who, over the intervening year, you might not have spent as much time with as you should have. It’s a time for togetherness and its a time for thankfulness. It is also a time for parties.

The hallmark of any good holiday party isn’t the buffet, or the wet bar, or even the desserts. No, the hallmark of any holiday party is the coffee. I’ll explain. No matter how fun the party is, no matter how long it lasts, no matter the size of the bar or the quantity of the food, at some point it must come to an end.

When it comes time for the end of any holiday party coffee is key. The important reason for this is because its hopefully the last drink that someone will have for the night. As such it both helps to ground the over imbiber and it helps wake up the unenthusiastic designated driver who has been dozing on the sofa for the past two hours. That is, of course, unless you’re at the holiday party I recently found myself attending.

So this was a yearly gathering. It’s grown over the years from a small gathering of five friends from high school to a group of about thirty people. The additional people being the addition of college friends, significant others, and graduate school friends. This eclectic group likes a good party.

So, it was with no small amount of anticipation that we all got together this year for the annual party. I was particularly excited this year as I knew our host had just purchased a new espresso grinder after relying on the quality reviews on http://www.espressogusto.com/best-grinders/. The new grinder would, undoubtedly, grind the fresh espresso beans into the perfect coarseness for the espresso machine. I’ll be honest, the espresso that this espresso machine kicked out was my personal highlight of the party.

So, as the party slowly began to draw to a close, I looked forward with an ever growing sense of anticipation for the farewell espresso from my favorite espresso machine. The buffet was put away, some of the guests had already left, the wet bar was nearly dry and it was going on towards three in the morning when the new coffee grinder finally made it’s appearance.

The espresso beans went into the grinder. The grinder was fired up and ground the beans into the pert consistency. The grounds weren’t too small, nor were they too course, it was, in other words, the perfect consistency for what was sure to be an excellent cup of espresso.

Those of us still at the party, or still standing, gathered around the espresso machine and awaited our cups of perfect coffee. The grounds were scooped out of the grinder, they were slotted into the brewer and damped down with the metal pestle.

We waited in patience as the espresso machine went to work heating the water and using pressure to force that water through the grounds as it pulled out a shot of espresso. The first shot collected into the cup below and I’ll be honest, I thought it was a little more foamy than was normal. But, since it smelled alright, I ignored the extra foam and watched as one of my friends took the first glass.

It only took a few more moments for the other shots to be pulled. Soon, the seven of us left, all held hot cups of espresso in our hands. It was, undoubtedly, sure to be an absolutely delicious cup of espresso.

We toasted the holiday season, we toasted good friends and strong traditions and we all took our first sip of what was always the highlight of the holiday party. Sadly, this year it was not.

You see, that extra bit of foam, the foam that I commented on earlier, turned out to be soap in the espresso machine. Now, soap, of course, has no business being in an espresso machine. Unfortunately, my friend’s boyfriend didn’t know that. So, before the party had started, indeed, while my friend had been out doing the last minute shopping, he had run soapy water through the espresso machine trying to clean it. And so that was that.

That espresso machine, that had helped to make so many fond memories over the past six or seven years, has sadly now been retired. Hopefully, there will be a new espresso machine next year, one that will never feel the touch of soup coursing through its important parts, one that will never taint the perfect espresso it should be producing, one that will make many more new and lasting memories.

Waffle Iron Buyers Guide (FAQ)

Foreword: Our friends from Delicious Waffle Makers asked us to publish this waffle makers buyers guide, well, I’m a fan of waffles so no problem with that, I sure hope you like it.

There are many different kinds of waffle irons available for purchase in stores. How do you know which one will be the perfect fit for you? This article will discuss some of the frequently asked questions regarding waffle irons.

What Kind of Waffle Iron Should I Buy?

The number one question people ask when purchasing a waffle iron is what kind of waffle iron should I buy? There are three different kinds of waffle irons. They are Belgian, traditional and waffled pancake irons. Belgian waffles irons create thick soft waffles, with deep pockets. These kinds of waffles are best served with toppings such as fresh fruit, syrup or whipped cream. A traditional waffle iron creates thin square shaped waffles. These waffles will look similar to ready made waffles that you can purchase at a store. A waffled pancake iron just like its name suggests will create a thin pancake with a waffled texture. These kinds of waffles are great for breakfast and with toppings such as syrup and cream.

What Features Should I Look for in a Waffle Iron?

The features that you should look for in a waffle iron will depend on your taste and the waffle recipes you plan on using. If you plan on creating waffles using non traditional ingredients such as cornmeal or sweet potato then you will want to make sure the waffle iron you purchase has temperature controls. This will ensure that your waffles will be well cooked regardless of the ingredients you use in your waffle recipe. If you have small children then you should consider getting an iron with cool handle touches and insulation. This will prevent kids from getting burned if they accidentally touch the iron when it is in operation. Other features that you should take into consideration include a timer, indicator lights and a nonstick grill surface. A timer can be handy when you need to time the amount a waffle is going to be cooked. An indicator indicates that the waffle iron is ready to use and will indicate when it is heating up. A nonstick grill surface will make removing the waffles easy when they are finished cooking. Other features to consider include a removable grill surface and a drip pan. A removable grill surface will make cleaning easier, and a drip pan will catch any leaking batter from spilling on a counter top.

What Size Waffle Iron Should I Get?

If you have a large family, when you should consider getting a larger waffle iron that can create several waffles at once. While if you live alone or with a partner a one or two serving waffle iron should be more than enough. Take into consideration how much waffles you consume, and how many other people will be consuming them to make a decision on the size of the waffle maker.

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