5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Bread Machine

After learning how your bread-making machine works, it’s time to start considering baking other things. With your imagination, you’ll find that a bread machine is an extremely versatile kitchen tool.

Over the years, bread machines have been used in making bread sticks, sticky buns, focaccia, pizza dough, coffee cakes, kolache, donuts, baquettes, and so on.

So, let’s begin. Here are some useful hints for using as well as maximizing your bread machine.

 Tip #1

Don’t hesitate to open up your bread maker to examine and even prod the dough while it’s undergoing kneading. This way, you’ll be able to know if you’ve mixed the ingredients well to create good dough.

However, this doesn’t mean you poke the dough while it rises, and you should not open the lid of the bread maker while your dough is in the second rise or baking cycle either. Before that, however, getting to know the dough is the best thing to do.

That’s how you’ll learn ways to create good dough and understand how your bread maker works with it as well.

 Tip #2

When baking using the delayed cook setting on the best bread machine, don’t use fresh ingredients such as milk, cheese, eggs and so on. These fresh ingredients are a perfect environment for bacteria to grow, which means an increased risk of food poisoning for letting the dough stay at that room temperature for a very long time.

 Tip #3

It’s absolutely vital to watch the dough as it rises and bakes. This is to check if it has enough yeast to enable it rise well enough when cooked. Then again, if you put excess yeast, it’ll rise and collapse afterward.

If you don’t watch it carefully, you may find it hard to know whether it rose and fell afterward, or it didn’t rise at all. If so, you won’t know how to solve the problem as you won’t understand just what went wrong.

 Tip #4

With trial and error, doing at least one of these things improves your chances of making a sweet loaf of bread successfully: reducing the quantity of salt used, using the setting with the longest period of rising on your machine; using a little ascorbic acid, removing your dough from the bread maker, and baking and molding it by hand; or doubling the quantity of yeast.

 Tip #5

Try to match your flour with the kind of bread you want. Whole-grain flour produces heavy, dense, more substantial bread. All-purpose protein-rich bread produces high-rising bread. Combining the two kinds will produce something in between.

Best Technology Devices for Home Entertainment Use

The way each one of you entertains yourself, and your family, in your household will differ. However, it is safe to assume that most of you will do so with some sort of technology device. With how the world has shifted its focus, technology has moved to the forefront of everyone’s mind. There are so many different types of entertainment at your disposal, but the forms that center on technology always seem to take precedence over anything else. So, with that thought in mind, why not construct a list documenting the best ones available? If you have any, or all, of the following devices present in your home you should be able to entertain yourself (and your guests and family) with ease.

Netflix

Ironically, this list kicks off with an entry that qualifies under the moniker software, and not a device. That slight technicality aside, Netflix is the ultimate form of home entertainment. Instead of having to track down each individual TV show and movie yourself, Netflix compiles a plethora of them that range from everything imaginable. The library of movies and shows is so immense that you will never be able to watch everything at its disposal. In fact, you will never even get close. Better yet, it can be streamed from multiple devices (some that will make their way on this list) such as computers, tablets, and video game consoles. About the only downside is you do not get to keep the physical copies of what you watch, but that is purely subjective.

Wii

Video game enthusiasts will probably question why the Wii got chosen over other consoles; such as the PS4, Xbox One, or Switch. Yes, the Wii is not Nintendo’s next-gen console. As a matter of fact, Nintendo just recently released their second home console since the Wii. So, why is it that the Wii is on this list? Simply put, it will accommodate more people with its focus on motion controls and party-style games. Now, there are still classics to be found (such as Super Mario Galaxy) but at its core, it is a party console. Hardcore non-Nintendo gamers will probably pass on this one, but it is great for families. Plus, it can stream Netflix!

Bluetooth Speakers

What you are physically doing in your home, for entertainment, is very important. That does not mean, however, that it is the only aspect you need to worry about. Take, for example, the audio that is being emitted from whatever device you are using. To complete the experience, you are surely goingto want elite speakers for the ultimate sound. For those of you who agree with this, consider Bluetooth speakers. Not only will they provide a breathtaking sound, with all the bass you can handle, they are also extremely convenient. The Bluetooth technology enables them to be used without cables, so you never need to be concerned about cable management. If this sounds like a match for you, then you can get more information here.

Television

This really goes together with the concept for speakers. Watching Netflix and playing video games is great and all, but the experience can be altered with a television that is less than stellar. Only you will know what television will suit your needs when it comes to dimensions, but there are some that are better than others. Take for example the versions that have OLED and LED screens, 1080p native resolution, and ridiculously high frame rates. Then, there is the size you will want to get. This is the core aspect that you will vary from house to house. It is unnecessary to fill a small room with a larger than life television, and vice versa.

Laptop

All the above entries play off one another, but what if you are just looking for a cheap form of entertainment? Not necessarily cheap in price, as laptops can be expensive, but in nature. Laptops can give you a quick fix on your entertainment needs, whether by music, online surfing, social media, or games. Now, they are diverse enough to play off the previous devices listed, as well. For example, you can connect your Bluetooth speakers (if the laptop has the technology built-in) or stream Netflix straight from your laptop. In addition, you can easily take this anywhere you want to go for constant entertainment.

In a world that is driven by technology, it is almost impossible to enjoy yourself at home without the use of it. Other activities will suffice for a short period of time but, eventually, you will need to get your technology fix. If you include all the devices and software in your home collection that were documented above, you should be able to keep your family (and self) preoccupied for a while. Plus, you can entertain yourself for hours on end.

Ideas for a Perfect Boys’ Night Out

When the never-ending pressures of finance, work and relationships start driving you nuts, you have no better remedy that a fun guys’ night out. This is a longstanding social institution that is one of the last remaining joys of the male species, where men can be men and have unabated fun.

It’s Special

Free from the shackles of relationships and responsibility, something special always happens when you get together with the boys for that night on the town. You can sit back and relax, grab your favorite beer, forget any worries and let off some steam without anyone judging you.

Many things happen on this night, and there might be some casualties along the way. But one thing is for certain, you get a full dose of fun and merriment. You have the chance to run with your peers, feel the adrenaline and enjoy the sweet taste of extreme freedom – just for one night. So, what can you do on this special night?

Attend a Sports Event

Men love sports, and it becomes better when you are with your buddies in tow. You have the opportunity to yell, cheer, curse and hog on meat pies and drink until you drop. You might not know the other people in the stadium, but you will have a grand time with an awesome crowd. Hint: shout yourself hoarse; kick your worries out the door!

Go Watch a Movie

If you need a quiet and serene environment, a night at the movies is the solution. Men are for gruesome horror, the dumbest comedies or the latest action movie. You and your buddies can experience a quiet night especially when you need to be back at your house by midnight.

Go for a Concert

You have two options, a stadium with fireworks or a pub gig. Choose the gig and music style that suits your taste. After a few drinks, you will feel like you are in a music heaven, surrounded by fans that are keen for good times, and heavenly tunes.

Play a Game of Pool

There is nothing as interesting as being competitive in an environment that is edgy. The dudes in pool halls always have this mean look and are always serious, hitting shot after shot. A pool hall is the best place to catch up on recent developments, create some friendships and rip into the mean-looking guys on a game of pool. With your favorite drink at hand, the fun is unmatched.

Drive to Nowhere

Round up your buddies and head out of town on a drive. Let the windows down, crank up the volume on the stereo and take a route that you have never taken before. Use the GPS to find the hotspots and check out the attractions. If you are the shy type, you have the chance to get boldly flirtatious in the car. Make sure you stick to the traffic rules and have a designated driver.

Go Clubbing

This is for the dancing fanatic. Loud music, continuously flowing drinks and pretty girls make clubbing so interesting. There aren’t any place as perfect as a clubbing scene where you meet a cute lady one minute and the next instant she is grinding her body against yours.

If luck is on your side, you and your buddies might experience the perfect men’s fantasy, where a guys’ night out meets a cute girls’ night out. When this happens, you might end up with a few numbers, but only if you impress. Perfect grooming is the key here, check out Manly Matters for a few pointers.

Hit the Local Pub

The local pub is a haven for spinning yarns, drinking beer from the biggest glasses, shooting darts and swearing. You can check out the new ladies in town as you watch a boxing match or football. Since the home is just a block away, you can take the experience to the next level with shots of tequila or drinking games.

Poker Night

Poker night has slowly crept into the top ten list of the great pastimes for adults. You can now access the platforms from the comfort of your home. So, get the drinks, some pizza, and head to one of the boys’ houses, get online on a huge console and smash the bookers!

Playing poker is more than just technique – it is also all about the competitive spirit. It is also at the core of male bonding that the females just can’t decipher.

Beer Tasting

Guys have a natural affinity to beer, and this gets better with the right crowd. A beer-based evening can be made more attractive by going for beer tasting. You can get samples of beers right from the manufacturer. Having such an assortment is the best way to know new favorites.

Conclusion

Nothing beats the allure of having a boys’ night out. With so many activities to do, you can’t run short of ideas to stay entertained as you have fun. Keep the spirit alive with a guys’ night out– fun is lurking around every corner.

Introducing a new cat to your home

So you’re bringing home a cat for the first time. Congratulations! A cat is a perfect addition to the family and will bring much joy and love to your household. However, if you’re entirely new to pet ownership, there are some things you need to know before you get started. Introducing a pet to your home can bring with it some challenges, so it’s best to be prepared. This article should help set you on the right track so that you can get your home ready to receive your new cat. Hopefully it will help both you and your cat adapt to your new circumstances.

Get the gear

Cats are pretty independent, but they do require a few accessories to feel happy. You will need a food bowl and a water bowl, of course, plus some cat food. Cats can be fussy, so you may want to get a few sample packs of different foods (both wet and dry) to see which one your cat prefers. It’s best to offer both dry and wet food, but consult with your vet for more guidelines specific to your cat.

Another thing you will need is a litter tray for your cat. This is true even if you intend for your cat to go outdoors. When introducing a cat to a new household, it’s best to give it some time to learn that this is now its home. You do this by keeping the cat indoors for the first two weeks. During this time the cat will need a litter tray to do its business. Here, again, you may find that your cat is fussy. You may need to experiment with different kinds of cat litter, as well as an open or covered litter tray before your cat is happy. It’s important to get this right, because a cat that’s unhappy with its litter tray situation may avoid using altogether, choosing instead to go elsewhere in the house. It’s best to start with an open tray and your own best choice of litter. If the cat seems unhappy, try a different type. Change the litter regularly and remove solids daily. How regularly you need to change the litter will depend on the type and brand.

A scratching post for your cat is essential, unless you want your cat to scratch your furniture. Keep in mind that some cats will go for the furniture anyway, but most will prefer their own scratching post. Many cats prefer the cheap cardboard scratchers, which is a bonus. You can also invest in bigger cat trees that provide climbing options and other entertainment for the cat.

Cat toys will also help the cat feel more entertained, as well as provide a great way for you to bond. Different cats prefer different toys, but there are plenty of cheap options around so you can experiment and find what works best for your new friend.

Make adjustment

If you’re used to your house being squeaky clean, you may be dismayed to discover the mess a pet can bring. Yes, cats are very clean animals, but they do shed hairs (especially on the run up to summer when they change over from their winter fur to their summer fur) and can also drag litter around the house. You’ll need to invest in a good vacuum cleaner to counteract this effect. It should have the ability to deal specifically with animal fur. Many vacuums have special attachments and brushes for dealing with pet hair and can make your life a lot easier.

As for “tracking”, the act of dragging litter across the floor, many cat owners have found success with placing a rubber math or a bath math by the entrance to the litter tray. This acts like a welcome mat and helps clean the cat’s paws before it heads off back into the house.  A similar trick can be used under the cat’s food and water bowls to deal with any spillage. If you’re really bothered by cat hair on furniture and would like to keep your cat off it as much as possible, invest in a cat bed and place it somewhere the cat would find pleasant, such as by a window or a radiator. You could also place it near where you tend to sit, so that you and your cat can still be close. Cats prefer having their own dedicated bed, although they may wish to show affection by being near you.

Welcoming the cat

Cats don’t like it when their circumstances change, so you’ll need to allow some time for your new friend to adjust to its surroundings. Introduce it to one room first and place all its stuff there so that it doesn’t need to go very far to find it. It may wish to hide for a while, so let it. Don’t force it to come out, although you can entice it with treats.  It will slowly adapt and begin to explore its new home. Treat it gently to begin with, letting it retreat back into its hiding place when it feels things are too much. It will feel right at home in no time.