Best Movies Of 2013 So Far

Today I’ve just been spending some time with my parents and then travelled back to London in the evening. On the journey I was thinking about the films I’ve seen in the cinema since the new year (which actually isn’t a lot compared to last year) and how I would rank them against each other. So I decided to make a little chart of the films I’ve seen and what I thought of them. Enjoy.

8. I Give It A Year

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Although I did like this film, it was rather mediocre compared to the others I’ve seen. It was really funny in parts but the ending was too predictable and the story felt like one I’d seen before many times.

7. The Amazing Burt Wonderstone

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Really funny film, but not much more to it than that. Jim Carrey’s character was great, and Steve Carell was the most attractive he’s ever been. Who knew he’d suit blonde hair!

6. Django Unchained

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This was a really great film but overall too gruesome and violent. I loved the storyline and acting though, and Jamie Foxx is so damn fly I can’t even handle it.

5. Side Effects

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If you saw my post about this film you’ll know what I thought of it. Basically I loved it right up to the twist which I felt completely ruined it.

4. Gangster Squad

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Really great film, again a bit too violent, but great storyline and great acting, and beautiful people getting together which is always a bonus.

3. Zero Dark Thirty

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Loved this film, badass female lead character (which is rare), gripping story, interesting style of filming. I was on the edge of my seat for most of it, and I thought the ending was absolutely perfect (*spoilers* I did have a theory at one point that the body wasn’t actually Bin Laden and the reason she is crying at the end is because she had to lie about it being him in order to validate her rash decisions. This theory was quickly disregarded by everyone I shared it with though. It’s almost definitely not what the director intended at all, but it’s interesting to think about these things).

2. Cloud Atlas

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This was an epic film, like several rolled into one. I loved the story and all the different things going on and how they linked together. Visually amazing too, my only criticism was the way they did the prosthetics. Great actors, and really great score too.

1. This Is 40

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This is my favourite film I’ve seen in 2013 so far. I was looking forward to it for so long, and it didn’t let me down at all. Hilarious from beginning to end, subtle but meaningful and extremely enjoyable to watch.

I’m going to see Spring Breakers with Louise to celebrate her birthday tomorrow. If I were to add it to this list I’m pretty sure it would be right at the bottom, it looks so awful but I’m so curious to watch it!

Even Microwaved Food Can Be Good

According to the best microwave oven reviews, the microwaves in the market today can perform a lot more functions than just defrosting or heating. Most of them have custom settings that allow automatic operations for specific baking and defrosting purposes. The following are some of the best microwave reviews 2015 from an expert point of view and considering the features, durability, performance and user features:

  • The Panasonic NN-H965WF; it is a countertop microwave with 2.2 cubic foot performance level. It has great features which include an inverter. The inverter allows the microwave to operate continuously with low power and not cycle between no power and high power.
  •  The Samsung SMH1713W; It is an over the range microwave with a 1000 watt power capacity. It has good reputation from experts and home users due to its quiet operation and even heating abilities. It has a good number of user friendly features with 10 power levels.
  • The LG LCRT2010ST microwave; it has a good reputation because of its even heating and defrosting abilities. When compared to the Panasonic model, it is much quieter. It has a power capacity of 1,200 watts and quickly cooks food, reheats and defrosts.
  • The Nostalgia Electrics RMO-400; most users have loved this microwave oven because of its perfect power and size. Especially in offices it has been praised for the quick lunches and water heating. The controls are easy to use and intuitive. Actually, they are faster and easier to use when compared to the modern keypad controls on most models.
  •  The Amana AMC5143AAW microwave oven; it is a countertop oven with a simple white finish and digital controls. Its one great and unique feature is its adjustable sound. This microwave contains moisture sensors and a turntable, which are very important features that should not miss in a microwave. It ensures cooking is even with fewer hot spots using its turntable that spins food around during heating. Its controls are also user friendly and intuitive. Its door also closes tight and well.

A microwave is an important appliance in the modern families and therefore, before purchasing, it is important to look at the best microwave oven reviews. You can do more reading at Bellalunaknox website.

Buying the Right Pots and Pans Shouldn’t Be This Complicated

One of the weird things about life is the hardest things to buy are the ones that you use the most. That’s certainly the case with pots and pans, which most people will use at least a couple of times a day. These are items that you’re going to be living with for a long time and yet deciding which ones are the best for you can be a long and painful process.

Most of us bought our first set of pots and pans in college and if we had any requirements at all, it was that they be as cheap as possible. But it doesn’t take long to learn that cheap isn’t good with pots and pans, since all you’ll end up are some flimsy cooking equipment that sticks and burns no matter how careful you try to be. Then you go through the phase of buying pans that “go with your decor”, which usually means that you’re paying more attention to their color than their functionality.
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So you end up with beautiful pans that are too small for your needs or pots that don’t have a cover that works correctly. Step three is usually when you give up all hope and buy a set of pots and pans. Usually with a celebrity’s face on it and more often than not that means you’re paying a lot of money for equipment that isn’t all that much better then what you had when you were buying them piecemeal.

So what are the best pots and pans to buy? That depends on how you cook. If you fry a lot, then you’ll want a sturdy, non-stick surface. Pay attention to whether or not you can run them through the dishwasher. And don’t forget the lids. All of your major pots ans pans should have lids, hopefully clear ones that allow you to see what’s cooking. And that’s about all you need to know about buying the right pots and pans for your needs.

Finding The Best Immersion Blender for My Needs

Although I’m a professional chef and I have two full fledged counter top blenders even at home, for most of my tasks I stick with my immersion blender. Actually, I think it is probably my favorite kitchen gadget – it is not only fast and easy to use in a lot of different scenarios, but also inexpensive and easy to clean.

Choosing the best immersion blender is not an easy task. Now don’t get me wrong, in terms of efficiency, all modern blender do a decent job and you can’t go totally wrong. Still, there are a lot of small details which can make a difference, and we’ll try to cover them in this article.

If you’re like me and you plan to use your hand blender a lot, one of the most important things you should care for is the comfort it offers you – it should not be too heavy (three pounds or lower is recommended) and it should have big, ergonomic buttons (since, due to safety reasons, they must be constantly pressed down during use).

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Also, it should be easy to clean – a good blade guard should prevent the food from getting stuck and a detachable shaft which is dishwasher-safe makes the cleaning process much easier. Finally, if you plan to use your blender a lot, you should look for one that comes with a long warranty; actually, being totally honest, I have to admit that this was the main reason why I picked my Cuisinart hand blender. You can refer to By jen altman for blender guides and top picks.

Except these general criteria, there are a few more things you should consider, that depends of the way you plan to use your blender. And the most important thing is if you need a chopper or not – because yes, it adds a whole new use to your blender (being able to chop vegetables and nuts), but can also easily double or triple the cost. Cordless or corded is another question – the first one makes it a little more comfortable to use, but it comes with the disadvantage of having to change the batteries quite often; also, corded models usually perform a bit better in tests. Finally, you should also consider how deep are your pots, and choose a model which is long enough to allow you to reach the bottom of your pots.

For me, the best immersion blender is a Cuisinart blender. For you it could be a totally different brand or model, but following the guidelines in this article you should have no problem finding the right one.

More information on benefits of immersion blender at http://www.doityourself.com

Saving My Time and Energy With a New Stand Mixer

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Stand mixers are small kitchen appliances that use a motor to rotate blades found inside the cooking bowl where food has been placed. The machine automatically stirs, whisks and beats anything that placed inside for a softer texture. Stand mixers work by either moving the device vertically or rotating the main mixing container. Below are some of the best stand mixers under 100 available in the market:

63326 Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer. Hamilton is a dependable, hands-free mixer that’s designed to save you both time and energy, while at the same time providing exceptional results. This award-winning device is made from quality metal and often lasts longer than most brands within the same category. Users are guaranteed of superb mixing experience as well as accurate control on every speed level. This product is made for tough kitchen mixing and can effortlessly handle even the thickest bread or cookie dough. 63326 Stand Mixer can produce 300 Watts of power and has an additional whisk dough hooker to untangle kneads of dough.

KitchenAid 250-Watt 4.5 Quart Stand Mixer. The KitchenAid Mixer runs on a powerful 275Watts motor and direct drive transmitter that delivers enough power to churn large batches of food, for instance it can blend 8 cups of flour with great ease. Also available is a multipurpose attachment space with detachable metal covers that add robustness to the machine. KitchenAid is one of the few mixers that contain three convenient accessories which are the wire whip, dough hook and flat beater.

Hamilton Beach All-Metal Electrics Stand Mixer. This unique machine delivers high-performance and is reasonably priced compared to other appliances in the same category. It’s made from quality die-cast metal and delivers 400Watts of power with an automatic 12-speed dial setting. The device also has bowl locks on the base for maximum stability and a quick-release nozzle for easier access to the main bowl. With a comprehensive 3 year warranty for new owners, this is definitely one of the best stand mixers.

Tips for Choosing a Chef Knife

Every functional kitchen contains a large variety of kitchen appliances and in that list, it is totally impossible to miss a knife. A knife is an essential part of kitchen life and though ignored by many people, its quality matters a great deal in making cooking a joy rather than punishment since good quality knife will make your tasks in the kitchen easier and faster. The following are great tips to help you in choosing the best chef knife for the money.
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Considering the material of which the blade is made of is very important. It should be German or Japanese steel which is stainless and more resistant to rust and discoloration. German steel is usually thicker, stronger and easier to sharpen thus making it ideal for heavier jobs like cutting through tendons and bones while Japanese steel is thinner, lighter and razor-sharp thus perfect for delicate tasks like cutting vegetables. They require regular sharpening. Away from where the blades originate, any chef knife should have a blade that is resistant to stains, rust and discoloration and is stronger thus does not easily lose its edges requiring frequent sharpening. A good example of this blade is the High-Carbon stainless steel that combines both strength, resilience and durability.

Choosing a handle that fits and feels comfortable in your hand is also advisable since it promotes work efficiency by gives it the maneuverability required for finer tasks like dicing and carving. Most chef knife handles are ergonomically designed to enhance their grip and some are made from wood, plastics, metal and other synthetic materials. The handle should also be long enough and broad enough for a good grip which reduces the probability of the knife slipping off your hand hence reducing the risk of chopping your fingers as well as other accidents. This also makes work in the kitchen easier and quicker.

The best chef knife is one that is balanced from handle to tip. This makes it easier to perform a larger variety of tasks in the kitchen without the knife tipping from side to side. It is advisable to ask for a sample knife and try it out on different tasks such as cutting, dicing, mincing and carving before finally deciding on which one to purchase.

The weight of the knife should also be carefully examined. The best knife should be light enough to allow for finer cuts and easier manipulation. Though weight is mainly a personal preference, it is a great factor to consider especially if you perform heavier tasks such as cutting through tendons or disjointing bones in large chunks of meat. Most chefs prefer heavier knives for these heavy tasks.

The size of the blade should be optimal to all kinds of tasks you want to perform. Broader thicker blades are strong enough to withstand bending or breaking when performing heavier tasks and are most preferred. Some tasks usually require longer blades while some require shorter ones thus it’s advisable to own a set of knives with different blade sizes. The blade should also run all the way to the butt of the handle; known as a full-tang knife, thus promoting durability and strength of the knife. It is safer to purchase knives with a bulging finger-guard between the blade and the handle to protect your hand from slipping during cutting.

Equipped with a keen eye for beauty, enough money and the above tips, you will be on your way to finding the best chef knife for all your cutting needs.

Get more information on how to select a kitchen knife at Wiki How

Find The Best Espresso Machine For Your Needs

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There are so many ways that having an espresso machine can make your life better. Not only is making your own espresso a much better value than buying it, but since you get to choose the beans, the quality is often better too. In the past few years, the quality of the espresso machines that are available to the consumer has grown exponentially, so that now there are great choices for every need and budget. The advances in consumer technology have not only helped to create better espresso machines, but also they have allowed the introduction of consumer-grade of best super automatic home espresso machine as well.

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If you are interested in the best espresso machines for 2013, then you’re in luck. There are two models, one consumer-grade and one for the espresso aficionado, that you can count on to make fantastic espresso. The De’Longhi BAR32 Retro Espresso make, available for about $100, is one of the best consumer-level espresso machines that you can find. De’Longhi has a much more expensive line of espresso makers, and they use some of that technology to make this small, capable machine. It lacks some of the features of larger machines, so if you’re looking for a machine that has all of the bells and whistles, the Breville BES860XL is the one to get. Not only do you get easy touch operation, but there is an integrated grinder that freshly grinds the beans for each espresso.

If you want the best in automatic coffee makers, then the Cuisinart DGB-700BC is a great place to start. It has a grind and brew functionality that will let you freshly grind your coffee beans right before brewing. Not only can it grind the beans fresh, but you can set it to automatically start brewing in the morning, meaning that you get a steaming cup of fresh coffee the moment that you wake up in the morning.

Regardless of what you choose, adding any of these machines to your morning routine will surely liven up your day.

Juicing for Daily Dose of Vitamins

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We all want to be healthy. If we think of our ideal selves, they usually are fit with bright smiling faces. If we want to be this ideal version of ourselves, we need to eat the right amount of vegetables, protein and carbs and have exercise be a part of our routine. Best way to know what you put in your body is if you prepare everything yourself. However, not all of us have the luxury of time to do so.

Juicing is a fantastic way to get your recommended daily dose of vitamins and minerals. With the best juicer, you should be able to make your breakfast within seconds and be out the door with time to spare. A Jack Lalanne juicer or a Breville juicer are two of the best juicers around for regular users. Not only is juicing fast and easy, research says that the body absorbs the vitamins and minerals from food better compared to when they are from supplements.

Here is a short top juicer reviews as well as a few things you should consider before heading out and buying one.

How to Choose a Juicer

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1. Juice Volume

The most important aspect of a juicer is the amount of juice you can get out of your fruit or vegetable. You want to get the most amount to get the most bang for your buck. In juicing, you want to have as dry a pulp as possible. This means your juicer squeezed as much as it can from the fruit. The Jack Lalanne juicer and the Breville juicer output similar amount of liquid per item. There is no big difference between the amount of juice they produce.

2. Purpose

What juice do you want to drink, fruit, vegetable, or both? There are a lot of great recipes online to try. You can mix and match fruits and vegetables for a fantastic refreshing glass of juice. Both the Jack Lalanne juicer and the Breville juicer are able to process fruits and vegetables.

3. Price

The Jack Lalanne juicer and the Breville juicer come in all sorts of price points. You can go simple or go fancy. The choice is really up to how much you want to shell out. When considering price, think of it as a long term investment for your health and wellness. How much is that worth to you?

4. Speed

The Breville juicer is more versatile since it has two speed settings while the Jack Lalanne juicer only has one. But it doesn’t mean the latter is inferior. It can still juice most of the fruits and vegetables you throw at it.

5. Loudness

Juicers can be really noisy. The Jack Lalanne juicer and the Breville juicer can be loud but they sound different. The former sounds similar to a wood chipper while the latter to a jet engine. So it basically which sound do you mind less?

So which should you choose? The Breville juicer and the Jack Lalanne juicer both get the job done. You will not be mistaken in choosing either one. As you read other juicer reviews, you should keep these guidelines in mind. You should choose the best juicer that will fit your needs, lifestyle and budget.

Oster Blender with Food Processor

Since its inception in 1924, Oster had strived in producing useful kitchen appliances. This brand had grown into a name that is associated with high quality and elegance.

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Moreover, Oster are quite well known for its convenient and budget appliances. One of Oster reputable product is the blender.

A series of high quality blenders had been produced under the Oster brand and many can be found in many household. However, one unit that attracts many users is their particular Oster blender with food processor. Most blenders will function only as a blender and that would be the same for food processors. Therefore, this unit is definitely one of the best blender food processor in the market.

The Oster blender with food processor is excellent in preparing smoothies, salsas and could even processed frozen food. This is an ideal kitchen appliance for those who do not want to buy separate blenders and food processors. It will certainly fulfill your various cooking needs; for both conventional blending and more intricate food processing. If you are looking for effectiveness and convenience, this is definitely the best food processor for you. You check out the link for more info on best food processor ratings.

Some users might think that having a kitchen appliance with combination function might be more complicated to use. However, it is really quite simple to use the Oster blender with food processor. The best way to understand its functionality is to read the given manual. It is comprehensive and provides plenty of useful informations. When you get the hang of using the unit, you will need to add your ingredients and choose the right buttons. One of the best things about this unit is the sharp blades that are good enough to process ice cubes. The processing result is smooth, consistent, and certainly perfect for making smoothies.

Most of the time, food processors does not have the necessary parts or blades to effectively crush ice. However, blenders are perfect for this type of processing. With an appliance that combine both blenders and food processors functions, it minimize the hassle of using two kitchen appliances.

Apart from that, Oster blender with food processor is also equipped with various speed features, which allows you to process your ingredients just the way you like it. With the food processor function, you can do a number of things like grinding, chopping, slicing, and grating; features that is not commonly associated with a conventional blender.

The best thing about it, you can cook and then prepare iced drinks without the need to use different kitchen appliance. Runs on 500 watts, this combo unit can be effectively used to process different types of ingredients. Other than its well-known functionality, the Oster blender with food processor is also known for its All Metal Drive design. This indicates that the inner parts of the unit are made fully using metal instead of plastic. In other words, the unit is highly durable and last a long time even with prolong use.

These are among the major key points that you should know about the Oster blender with food processor. It is a good guideline if you are considering this particular unit as your next kitchen appliance. Read full information here.