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March 31, 2008

home appliances

Tags: Home Improvement — 11:27 pm Comments (0)

What I’ve learned about home appliances over the years.  Not that much, but enough.

  • In general, Kenmore appliances (from Sears) are the way to go.  Solid products (mostly private-labeled) and solid customer repair service.  A lot of appliances are private label Amana or BoschFagor is a Spanish appliance company and their appliances look nice.  Not sure about quality.
  • Always good to go to the back of dept stores and see floor models and returned appliances for big discounts 30-40% off.  We’ve gotten a bunch of stuff that way.  If you buy a set or multiple appliances, bargain for more of a discount.  Good to buy during a holiday sale weekend.
  • Also, look for the EnergyStar label.  However, non-EnergyStar appliances are already more energy efficient than appliances from 10-15 years ago.  Look for rebates from your electrical and water companies, you could get $100 to $300+ back.

Range/Cooktop

I like BlueStar a lot.  Crazy expensive, near restaurant grade heat and temp control but they look *much* better than Viking and others.  Induction cooktops are really cool (highest energy efficiency and temp control) but about 5 – 7 years from being affordable.  Don’t get self cleaning ovens.

Refrigerators

Whatever brand you get, get a top mount refrigerator (where freezer is the bottom).  The $200 difference is worth it.  Ours is just Kenmore-Amana.

Dishwasher

Bosch all the way (again ours is Kenmore-Bosch).  Interior should be stainless steel.

Washer/Dryer

We have Bosch labeled and Kenmore-Frigidaire.  Both washers are front loaders, the higher the rpm 1000 to 1200 the better.  Front loaders are more efficient with its use of water and spinning water from the clothes for faster drying.

Go for vented (most common) rather than condensation dryers since the vented ones will dry faster.

The all-in-one washer/dryers are supposed to take a long time to dry so the higher capacity ones that are coming out are supposed to be best.

Warranty

Go for the extended warranty and repair.



March 21, 2008

Haiga brown rice

We try out new rice every so often brown rice, some multi-colored rice, jasmine, etc.  I picked up this brown rice Kagayaki haiga rice.  It’s supposedly brown rice in nutritional value but tastes like white rice.  It’s pretty good and probably we’ll keep this as our main rice.

While we’re here, if you can find/buy Louisiana gulf shrimp, it’s much, much better than the regular shrimp you get in the store, it’s not gummy, and it’s a little “shrimpier”/”murkier”.  We usually only get a chance to eat gulf shrimp in Louisiana so when we saw some in the store we picked some up and I remembered the difference in taste.



March 12, 2008

Dell XPS M1330 RED

Tags: Web — 11:47 am Comments (2)

I got one of these Dell XPS M1330 RED computers.  It’s a good computer, I recommend it.



March 11, 2008

pizza

Pizza in North Oakland/Berkeley Area

  • Zachary’s Rockridge on College -Chicago style, spinach and mushroom or Zachary’s special
  • CheeseBoard Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto on Shattuck – foo foo Berkeley style
  • Pizzaiolo Temescal on Telegraph – wood oven, former Chez Panisse pizza cook
  • LaneSplitter’s Temescal on Telegraph- New York style; thin crust

Too good.



March 3, 2008

beef and turnip soup

Tags: Recipes — 12:13 pm Comments (0)

A friend made this for me and I recreated.  It’s simple and hearty and seems like good diet food.

Ingredients:

  • some lean beef, maybe 1/4 to 3/4lb ground, cubed, whatever you have
  • a dozen turnips (the root part, can keep unpeeled if you want)
  • can of beef stock, 1 to 2 cups of water
  • oil, salt, pepper, garlic

In a soup or sauce pot, fry beef and turnips in oil.  Add water and then boil.  Add garlic, salt, and pepper and beef stock.  Simmer until turnips are ready.

I suspect you can add other vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and celery.  And you can probably swap out the beef with chicken or turkey and chicken stock.

That and roasted sweet potatoes is what I’m digging lately.



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