Creating Magic In The Kitchen With High-End Toaster Ovens

If you do not like the taste of microwaved food but you are also not fond of all of the hassle involved with using your full sized range, then getting a toaster oven can be a perfect solution. For years they have gotten a bad name and have usually just had a reputation for making toast or heating up frozen dinners. However, the modern toaster oven has evolved into a high tech machine that you can use to truly create some of the best tasting meals that may just suprise you and your family.

Gone are the days of hot spots and burnt toast. Today they come with features like convection heating to produce an evenly cooked result that is both juicy and tender. From side dishes to the main course, there are literally loads of recipes suited for a toaster oven. With that mind we are going to focus on some of the best performers that are geared towards those that need a full sized oven replacement. If you love to prepare homecooked meals then these are the models that you should be considering.

Breville Ovens

For the best of the best you cannot go wrong with a Breville. They have a stellar reputation for their modern small appliances and their entire line of small ovens are superb. The BOV800XL has been the best rated oven for a number of years but it has recently gotten an update. Breville has made some minor improvements and additions and have introduced the BOV845BSS. This is perhaps the top rated oven out there and it has many premium features that owners have fallen in love with in their kitchen.

Besides its sharp and sleek looks, this oven has some high-end cooking features that set it apart. Convection cooking, quartz heating elements, an easy to learn and use LCD display, 10 preset functions, and a front accessible crumb tray are just some of the aspects of the BOV845BSS that we love. We actually have one of these in our own kitchen and can attest to its prowess. Everything comes out remarkably perfect without little interaction from the user. From ribs to roasts, this oven does an excellent job when it comes to cooking meat as well.

It is pricey, but oh so worth it. This is probably going to be the most expensive option, but it is truly a top performing oven that we highly recommend. It gets fantastic user ratings as well, so we are not the only one singing its praises.

A Cuisinart Option

Cuisinart is another brand name that carries with it an excellent reputation. While they have a sturdy line of ovens that vary across different price points, their TOB-260 is their best effort to compete with Breville ovens. This is most apparent when looking at both of them side by side. They both have stainless steel housings and LCD displays, but Cuisinart tries to add a little more for a little less.

The TOB-260N has not one, but two different convection features to ensure that your food comes out delicious and evenly cooked. One of the great things about this feature is that it will also end up reducing your cooking times. This added convenience is one of the main reasons why convection cooking is starting to catch on.

It also has a host of preset cooking functions as well as Cuisinart’s Exact Heat system to ensure that your food is done right. No hot or cold spots. This oven is a little cheaper than the top Breville offering, but it is still not going to be cheap. With a huge interior for a countertop oven, this model is an excellent option for those with a lot of mouths to feed. We really like this toaster oven and the review of the TOB-260N on shows just how well it has been recieved in kitchens across the world.

The Rest

Honestly, the two models above are going to be your best top-end options. These are for serious chefs that love to spend a ton of time in the kitchen cooking for the family. There are some worthy ovens from KitchenAid and Oster that will let you save a little money, but they also have their drawbacks that keep them from measuring up with Cuisinart and Breville. If you have the money to spend, then they are your best choices for countertop convection workhorses. While you cannot go wrong with either one, we give a slight edge to the Breville BOV845BSS for its feature set, durability, and performance.

Finding The Right Food Processor Will Make Life Easier

Every fish lover should own a food processor, especially if you love to cook what you catch and serve mouth watering meals for your friends and family. We spend a lot of time in our kitchen preparing a wide array of meals during the week, and we just don’t know how we could manage without using this invaluable small kitchen appliance. Any type of food dish that you are planning to prepare can be enhanced with one of these small appliances. While you may also have exceptional knife skills, like when you filet your fish, it is nice to have a machine that allows you to put down the knife for other time consuming tasks.

While Cuisnart does produce an excellent line of food processors, today we are going to look at another maker of top quality small appliances, Breville. The Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef is a top of the line food processor which currently is ranked as one of the best of 2016. It is a high end model that comes with a high end price tag, but for a lot of owners this food processor is well worth the cost.

BFP800XL Features

Breville makes some of the most modern and sleek machines and the BFP800XL is no exception. Some of what makes this food processor stand out from others in its class in the kitchen include:

LCD Display – This goes not only to the modern styling, but also to its overall functionality. It enables the timer to count up or down and stops it automatically when the timer is at zero. This is a very cool feature that is just not found on most of today’s food processors.

Wide Feed Chute – This enables larger pieces of food to be dropped into the machine while operating. It has two different pushers for greater flexibility.

8 Discs and Blades – This machine is designed to handle just about any food chopping task. The different blades let you customize just how big or small you need to cut, slice, or dice something. The sliding disc for example can produce 24 different sizes for the ultimate control. The blades are stainless steel and are built to last.

16 Cup Bowl – Whether you are cooking for 1 person or 6, the BFP800XL should be able to handle it with a big 16 cup capacity. It also comes with a 2 and 1/2 cup bowl for smaller jobs.

Die Cast Metal Base – The extremely solid construction of this machine means that you do not have to worry about it moving around your counter top when it is operating at high speeds. This unit is very well built with high end materials to deliver years of quality performance.

Customer Reviews – While its higher price makes it less of an option for most people, those who have bought this model have rated it as one of the best food processors on the market.

Is It Worth It?

This is a subjective question and a lot has to do with what type of budget that you have to work with. We realize that not everyone can afford a food processor that runs between $400 and $500, but if you can then this Breville food processor is worth considering. Breville produces well built, modern, and technologically advanced small kitchen appliances, and the BFP800XL is yet another example of this. For someone that spends hours every week in their kitchen then investing in a top notch food chopper, slicer, mincer, and dicer is more than likely going to be a nice investment that will definitely end up paying off in time and effort saved.

If you love to eat, but you hate to cook, then having the right tools can help making your own home cooked meals seem like less of a chore. If you can afford its higher price tag, it is investment definitely worth considering to reduce the amount of time that you spend in the kitchen.

For a better demonstration of just what this powerhouse can do for you in your kitchen, check out the video below.

Don’t Fall Victim To Common Depression Myths

Depression can be a complex illness to diagnosis and treat, and one byproduct of its sometimes tricky nature is the prevalence of depression myths and misinformation. These myths can be harmful to those who suffer from depression and their loved ones if it prevents those battling the disorder from seeking timely help. Often times patients prolong getting treatment because of some bad information that they may have heard from friends, family or have read on the internet. Better information and having the facts leads to better choices for those that need help. Below are some of the more common myths associated with depression along with the actual facts.

Common Depression Myths

Myth: “Depression is a woman’s disease”

Fact: No one is immune from depression. While statistics show that women are diagnosed and treated nearly twice as often as men, these numbers can be a little misleading. Men tend to resist acknowledging that they may have a problem with depression. They typically try to hide how they are feeling and put on a “strong” face. They often feel that depression may be a sign of weakness. Instead of exhibiting some of the signs of depression that women may typically show, men tend to exhibit agitation, irritability, physical complaints, sleep disruption etc. They may have been brought up to keep their feelings to themselves. All this may contribute to why men are less likely to seek help for depression than women. Depression is an equal opportunity illness, affecting both men and women.

Myth: “A family history means I will suffer from depression” and conversely “I don’t have a family history of depression, so I don’t have to worry about it”

Fact: A family history of mental illness is just one of many factors that may lead one person to suffer from depression over another. Having a family history is not a guarantee that you will have a major depressive episode in your lifetime, nor is not having anyone in your family who has battled with depression a guarantee that you will not at some point in your lifetime have a bout of clinical depression. A family history or lack of family history goes to a person’s risk factor for developing depression, it is not an indicator of direct certainty.

Myth: “Depression is a weakness or character flaw”

Fact: Depression is neither of those, it is a complex mental health disorder that has nothing to do with someone’s strength of mind or character. Having depression does not mean someone is weak minded. Unfortunately depression still has a stigma attached to it and this is the kind of myth that often prevents some from getting proper treatment.

Myth: “Suffering with depression is a natural part of the aging process”

Fact: While depression is not a natural part of getting old, the elderly tend to experience some of the triggers of depression such as declining health, loss of a spouse, abrupt change to living situation (being moved to nursing homes), financial hardships and lack of family support system for example. Often times elderly depression symptoms get mistaken for other medical ailments common in older patients. Symptoms such as an increase in physical complaints, loss of memory and trouble thinking clearly get misdiagnosed or attributed to other health conditions. As such, elderly patients often do not get the proper treatment for their depressive illness. Because someone advances in age does not mean that they will suffer from depression, but certain life experiences more common in elderly patients can make them more prone to the illness.

Myth: “Antidepressants are the magic cure. All I have to do is pop some pills to fix my depression”

Fact: While antidepressants may certainly help those suffering a major depressive episode, they are not magic. They are often used in conjunction with psychotherapy to better prevent a recurrence of depression. Antidepressants can help stabilize a patients mood and help their depression symptoms to make talk therapy more effective although they can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to take full effect. For more mild to moderate cases of depression, antidepressants might not have the same impact as psychotherapy. In either case, depression is not fixed by just taking pills alone.

Myth: “Depression will eventually just go away on its own”

Fact: For some lucky people this may be the case, but for the majority of depression sufferers it can have long lasting effects if not properly treated. It can severely interfere with a person’s life for weeks, months or years and can substantially impact the quality of their lives. It can disrupt sleep habits, weight, social interactions, careers, family relationships for example. Major depression also carries the risk of suicide. Believing depression will eventually go away on its own can carry significant risk for the patient, not only to the life of the person battling it, but their quality of life as well. Anybody who experiences any kind of depressive symptoms that negatively impact someone’s life and normal everyday activities for at least two weeks should look into seeking help from a qualified mental health professional. If suicide is an immediate concern then call or visit your nearest emergency center right away. Depression should never be ignored.

As depression awareness continues to grow and more and more people understand more about this mental illness, hopefully the less some of these myths will continue to spread. Bad information often times prevents those in desperate need of help from getting the treatment that they deserve. Reaching out for help is often the hardest obstacle to the road to recovery, but it is the most important hurdle to overcome. Don’t let any depression myths get in the way of getting help for you or a loved one.