A is for Apple, B is for Bookcases

Sourced content from: https://theletteredcottage.net/a-is-for-apple-b-is-for-bookcases/

Steevenson and I made apple butter rolls this week. The recipe came from my mother-in-law’s First Baptist Favorites cookbook, and while my sonny boy was a big fan of the finished product, I craved something a little sweeter. Some Insta-friends suggested we try Ree’s Mountain Dew Apple Dumping recipe and boy were those recommenders right!…

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We Made Our Ojai Ranch House Open-Concept—And Saved $4K Doing It

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/ranch-house-renovation-ojai/

wood kitchen on white bacgroundPin It

In Renovator’s Notebook, homeowners open up about the nitty-gritty of their remodels: How long it really took; how much it actually cost; what went horribly wrong; and what went wonderfully, serendipitously, it’s-all-worth-it-in-the-end right. For more tips to nail your next project, follow @reno_notebook.

Location: Ojai, California

Year built: 1960

Top priority: Raise the ceiling height to create an open and airy main living space.


Exposed concrete subflooring and nonfunctioning bathrooms didn’t scare Sarah Yates Mora the first time she walked into her 1960s ranch home. “It was kind of love at first sight,” she recalls. It was also luck. The artist and owner of Kiniko and her husband, Lou, had put in their offer already solely based on real-estate listing photos. But even when touring the property through a screen, she could tell there was potential for her family (the couple has a 4-year-old son, plus a rabbit named Pepito). “In my opinion, most of the time, rooms are just boxes that you can rearrange and play with in so many different ways,” she says. 

The only thing Mora didn’t see coming was 2017’s Thomas Fire (the largest in California’s history at the time). In the summer of 2018, when Mora and her husband started on their house, they were hard-pressed to find tradespeople to do the work—everyone was busy recovering and rebuilding. For about six months the place went untouched, but Mora didn’t just watch the clock. She used the time to source all the materials for the project, saving her contractor the work and themselves from markup fees. “It was all ready to go,” she says. 

Inspired by minimalist Japanese design, she focused on incorporating vertical-grain Douglas fir everywhere she could (the only exceptions are the lam beam and maple floors). “The end result is a family home that really speaks to our way of living, simply with a light footprint and a lot of togetherness,” she says. In her own words, Mora walks us through some of the places they invested in and other areas where they saved.

Splurge: Safety First

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We ran into asbestos during the demo. It cost $14,000 to test for it and have it professionally removed. These are the types of unexpected expenses that pop up, and they can add up very quickly.

Splurge: Custom Cabinets

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Because the kitchen is right beside the living room now, I wanted it to look as little like a kitchen as possible. I didn’t want the appliances taking up the attention, so we had the fridge and freezer integrated into the wood cabinetry. 

Save: Ambient Lighting

whtie bedroom with large lantern over bedPin It

I’m a photographer, so I naturally obsess about light. Lanterns offer the perfect quality (they’re just so glowy, which is hard to get from bare bulbs). The ones in the dining room and the kitchen are by Barber Osgerby (around $400 each). The fixture in the living room is a real Akari design by Noguchi.

Splurge: The Ceiling Height Hero

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I had my heart set on a wide-open room with 12-foot ceilings. We had to get an engineer involved to make it all come to life with a 28-foot-long beam. I think we see ceilings vaulted a lot on reno TV shows without any discussion of the fees (it cost $2,000!). It was just an extra expense that we decided was completely worth it. 

Save: No Fancy Beam Treatment

We were originally going to wrap the beam in the same Douglas fir that’s everywhere else, but I thought it might be too matchy-matchy. We saved about $4,000 by leaving it exposed. You can still see the stamp on the bottom that says what kind of wood it is and the date it was made.

Splurge: A Clean Fireplace Facelift

I wanted a simple, functional, minimal fireplace, so we covered the stone with stucco. We hired a subcontractor to do the job, because it’s one of those things everyone thinks they can DIY, but in my opinion it’s an art if you want it to look good. I would love to plaster a million things all the time, but this one would have been a bit of a conundrum. 

Save: Minimal Window Treatments

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Our house is tucked back from the street, which is why I felt comfortable not having curtains or shades in our main room and having a door that you can look through so much. I know it’s controversial (and I’ve definitely had those moments where I’m crouching behind our island when someone rings the doorbell), but I love the superclean aesthetic. And when we have the sliders in the back and the top of the Dutch door open, it creates a nice cross-breeze. 

Save: Salvaged Sliders 

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We also saved by salvaging some enormous sliding glass doors in our living room. Each glass panel is almost 5 feet wide, and it would have been a major expense to replace them (I don’t believe they’re even made that large anymore without it becoming extremely expensive). We paid roughly $1,000 to move them over a few feet—they were originally awkwardly close to the fireplace. The contractor warned us we’d run the risk of the glass breaking, but we decided to go for it, and it makes so much more sense where they are in the room now. We get compliments on them anytime anyone comes over. 

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For hands-on advice from designers and pro DIYers, plus more scrappy before-and-after transformations, subscribe to Reno. Let your in-box do all the hard work—for now.

Studio McGee’s Best-Selling Target Item to Date Is Patio-Approved

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/studio-mcgee-target-wicker-chair/

man and woman sitting on couchPin It
Courtesy of Netflix

Studio McGee founders Shea and Syd McGee have outdoor living down. An in-ground trampoline, herb garden, and diamond-shaped pavers are just a few highlights from their Salt Lake City backyard, but they also know a thing or two about patio-approved seating. In addition to their own line of furniture, which will be growing in major ways this year (they just announced they’ve joined forces with growth-equity firm Strand Equity to expand their product offerings), the McGees designed a collection for Target. The chic egg-shaped wicker chair they created for the retailer’s Threshold line is not only a small-space gem (it can easily fit on a balcony), it’s also their best-selling product to date. 

The patio staple comes with a $550 price tag, which might seem steep, but the piece is 50 inches wide, meaning you can definitely squeeze two people on it. It also features a rust-resistant steel frame (so you don’t have to move it inside every time it rains), and the plush cushion is made out of 100 percent recycled polyester fabric that won’t fade in the sun. 

The brand’s most popular pick is a solid place to start, but your outdoor space isn’t complete yet. We had our style editor pick out four more backyard finds to pair with the fan-favorite chair. Psst: If you didn’t know it yet, dusty clover green accents are the way to go this season. 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.

How To Strip Wire Safely With Wire Strippers And Other Tools

Sourced content from: https://www.homedit.com/how-to-strip-wire/

There are many reasons that you may need to strip wires. The main reason is usually that you need to rewire something. Stripping wires allows you to rewire them back together in order to let the current flow back through. 

There’s not much you need to know about stripping wires, but there is quite a bit you should learn about working with wires in general. If done wrong, you could be seriously injured. So always do so educated and with caution. 

How To Strip Wires With A Wire Stripper

how to strip wire

The easiest and most efficient way to strip wires is to use a wire stripper. If you’re not familiar with a wire stripper, a wire stripper is a one-handed tool that allows you to easily remove the insulation from small wires. 

The tool can be purchased for $10 or less and can last you a lifetime if you take care of them. Keep them indoors and away from water and your wire strippers will likely never need to be replaced.

Finding The Wire Size

The first thing you need to do with wire strippers is finding the correct slot to use. The slot should let the insulated wire fit snugly but not so much that it endangers the wire beneath the insulation. 

The slots are called a gauge and can be used on any wire strippers. When using a different tool there won’t be a gauge, so you have to be even more careful. As long as you’re not in a too-small slot, you should be fine with wire strippers. 

Stripping The Wire

After you’re confident with the slot you choose, clamp down and twist. This will cut the outer insulation. Then, once it is loose, you pull up to slide the insulation off of the wire. This works in small areas and for stripping large areas. 

Though, when stripping wires this way, it’s most common to strip a quarter to three-quarters of an inch off the end. This way, you can rewire while keeping as much wire as you can be insulated properly. 

How To Strip Wires By Other Means

There are a few other things you can use to strip wires. Some are expensive while others are simply not as effective if you’re not a professional. Most of them you probably already have lying around the house. 

Scissors

Scissors can work fine. You clamp down slightly to cut the wire and twist. Believe it or not, it’s better if the scissors are sharp so you don’t squeeze too hard and damage the wire, which is always a possibility. 

Utility Knife

A utility knife is a cheap and easy way to remove insulation from wires to strip them. You simply cut the insulation and pull it off. The reason you use a utility knife instead of a kitchen knife is that you get more control with a utility knife. 

You can score all the way around the insulation to make it really easy to strip. A utility knife with a good blade is the biggest staple for most construction workers or home repair people. So keep one on hand. 

Lineman’s Pliers

Lineman’s pliers are a staple in every tool kit around, no matter how small. They come with built-in wire cutters, which can be used as wire strippers if you’re careful. Just don’t clamp down all the way and use them normally. 

Keep in mind that there are many different types of pliers and that you can’t use them all the same way. Lineman’s pliers are for electricians but can be used for many things. 

Sandpaper Helper

For most of these methods, you can use sandpaper to give you a better grip and pull the insulation off of the wire after you cut it. If it’s too hard to pull, then stop and evaluate because it might be tearing the wire. 

Wire Stripping Machine

A wire stripping machine is always a viable option. They are more expensive than any other option but if you have a lot of wires to strip then it will save you a lot of time. If this is your professional, your time is money.

You can buy one for $50 that is quite decent or invest in a really nice one for $200 or more. It all depends on how much you’re planning on using it. 

Stripping Entire Wire

If what you want to do is take the entire piece of insulation off instead of just the ends, then you probably need to go about it differently. You can just strip one side and then the other, but there is another way. 

Simply use a utility knife to score the insulation at the way down, lengthwise. Then, you can simply remove the wire from the insulation like it’s a hotdog in a bun. Just be careful not to cut the wire if you’re preserving it.

Reinsulating The Wire

If you’re simply rewiring something and only strip the ends of the wires, the best way to reinsulate the wires is to use electrical tape. That is what electrical tape was made for. To use on electrical wires like this. 

Electrical Tape

To use electrical tape, simply wrap the tape around the exposed wire, preferably while it’s not hot. Wrap it like you’re wrapping it with medical tape. Make sure that you overlap the exposed wire a half an inch on each side.

You do this so that there will be no chance of exposed wire electrocuting someone. It’s best to wrap it in two layers as well for the same reason. You want to do it one way and the second layer should offset the first. 

Wire Nuts

Another option that is easy to do and perfect for projects that need to be redone a lot is wire nuts. Wire nuts are plastic nuts that can secure wires that have been twisted together. They are used when wiring houses. 

Types Of Wires

There are many different types of wires you may need to strip. Identifying them is one thing, but knowing how to strip them is another. The thinner the wire, the easier it will be to cut, but you should always be careful. 

Electrical 

This is used in its simplest form. The colored wires that are easily stripped with a wire stripper are what we’re referring to. They are singularly insulated with copper wire inside in a thread-like manner.

Plastic-Sheathed 

A plastic-sheathed cable has multiple smaller cables inside. It usually contains three electrical wires inside of the sheathing. In order to access them, you need to strip the plastic sheathing with wire strippers. 

Then, you can start stripping the smaller internal cables. 

Underground

An underground table is more difficult to strip. It is well, and tightly, insulated. This type of cable can’t be stripped with wire strippers initially. You will need to use a utility knife to skim the edge of the insulation. 

Then you can start accessing the smaller cables that the outer layer was protecting. 

Coax

Stripping coax is different than stripper other cables. There are multiple layers to coax. The outer layer is the outer insulator. It is usually black. Underneath that is a silver shielding. After that, you can find the second insulator.

The second insulator is small but thick like plastic. After you cut through that, you will find the inner copper wire. 

Best Wire Strippers

If you’re in the market for some wire strippers then look no further. These are the top five best wire strippers you can buy online. Though there are many other amazing options, these are tried and true. 

Best Price: IRWIN VISE-GRIP Wire Stripping Tool / Wire Cutter

These wire strippers can be purchased for less than $10, which is ridiculously cheap for wire strippers of their caliber. They have about twenty different stripping/cutting options and are about as ergonomic as you can get.

Best All-Around: Klein Tools – 11055KLE 11055 Wire Cutter and Wire Stripper

If you’re looking for a good middle-ground set of wire strippers then this is a good option. They are easy-to-use, come in multiple options, and are offered at a great price. This is a safe bet if you’re unsure what to get or are looking for a gift. 

Best Lineman’s: Klein Tools D213-9NE Pliers, 9-Inch Side Cutters

If you want something really simple but really high-end, then this option by Klein is a winner. This is a set of Lineman’s pliers that work for any job. From wire stripper to wire cutting and other construction needs. 

Best Automatic: Knoweasy Automatic Wire Stripper and Cutter

This may be the best set of automatic wire strippers you can buy for under $50. And no, they aren’t $40, they are less than $20. So if you prefer a more automatic approach in stripping wires, check this tool out. 

Best Alternate Option: Klein Tools K12055 Wire Cutter and Wire Stripper

Finally, our last option is another one from Klein. This is simply a middle-ground option. It has fewer options but it is more solid and sturdy. It is high-quality, slightly higher priced than others, but is also quite reliable. 

The post How To Strip Wire Safely With Wire Strippers And Other Tools appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

Top American-Made Grills For Summer Date Nights and Backyard Parties

Sourced content from: https://www.homedit.com/american-made-grills/

There is something about American-made grills that makes all other options seem obsolete. Even with some people still being tempted to order grills from other countries, there are a few drawbacks to opting for something not made on American land.

Best American Made Grills

Today, we’re going to explore the world of the best American-made grills and understand why they are superior to other choices.

Top 3 Picks

Best Overall: American Muscle Grill

Having a heavy-duty stainless steel construction, integrated lights, drawers for store, and capable of burning five different types of fuel, this American Muscle Grill unit has left us almost speechless.

Budget Pick: Solaire AllAbout Gas Grill

Available at a good price but with a superior construction, this Solaire grill might not be as feature-packed as some of the other models, but it’s still a high-quality grill that you can rely on.

Customer’s Choice: Broil King Regal S420 Gas Grill

“Best BBQ I have ever owned or used. Does an unbelievable job on the meat and very easy to clean. Would definitely buy again.” (Customer review)

American Grills vs. Others

American-made grills are believed to be superior to imported ones, but there is so much more at stake here rather than just assuming the construction quality and the materials used are superior. There is more than one reason why someone who lives in America should choose to buy an American-made grill over others, and the list of reasons includes:

  • When you buy an American-made grill, you can easily find out the strict regulations that dictate how these products are supposed to be made. Under American laws, grills meet labor, environmental, and manufacturing standards that respect ethical codes, which means that the people who made it have been properly compensated for their labor.
  • Whenever you have to replace a grill part for a product that you purchased from a different country, you might be frustrated in discovering that these parts aren’t easily accessible. If you can’t find suitable replacements, then you’ll probably won’t be able to use your grill.
  • Importing grills also means that you can’t rely on manufacturing equipment commitment. That means that manufacturing if contracted, might easily go out of business. If the manufacturer changes the equipment, the model of your grill will also change, and replacement parts will become obsolete.
  • One common situation with imported grills is the fact that the brand on the grill and the manufacturer are not the same entity. Consequently, that means that it’s almost impossible for you to get in touch with the actual grill manufacturer. What you’re essentially buying if you choose imported grills are private-labeled products. There are plenty of people that buy imported grills and what they actually purchase is a ghost grill with some big box store label on it. In these situations, customers are very unlikely to benefit from proper customer support, making it difficult to get the parts you need.
  • Since imported products are subjected to all kinds of fees, you are less likely to actually save any money. In the end, you’re likelier to end up being frustrated with buying an imported grill rather than saving money and being a happy customer.

Does this mean that all imported grills are bad? No, but it’s a risk that not a lot of people are willing to take, and for a good reason. Imported grills aren’t subjected to the same rigorous standards that American-made grills abide by.

Quick Brand Overview

Today, we’re focusing on some of the best American-made grills that we’ve found in our journey, so let’s have a quick overview of the brands that you’re about to see in the next section of this article.

Alfresco

Alfresco Grills have been around for decades and are considered to be amongst the best products of their kind. The late 90s marks the launch of Alfresco Open Air Culinary Systems, offering outdoor kitchen appliances inspired by restaurant performance and durability. This California-based company has made it its mission to deliver products that offer unmatched performance through products made from stainless steel.

Related: The Best Weber Grills Will Make Summer Cooking Great – Guide and Reviews 2021

TEC

Decades ago, TEC invented the first infrared grill, offering a product that could cook steaks and burgers to perfection. Made mostly from 304 stainless steel, their products offer performance through high-quality materials, making sure that all your money is well invested in their products.

Texas Original Pits

Ever since 2007, Texas Originals has delivered pits, grills and smokers to people who were looking for quality products. They offer products for just about any budget, but you can rest assured whatever product comes out of their hand is a qualitative and durable item that’s user-oriented and packed with features.

Viking

With 40 years of innovation and experience in the field, Viking grills are a true benchmark in their industry. These products are designed for luxury kitchens, improving and re-improving their line of products for years. Since the company was first founded, 85 percent of their products have been re-engineered to deliver quality and performance with every cent that you spend.

American Muscle Grill

With a name that’s more than self-explanatory, the grills delivered by American Muscle Grill are peak innovation at its finest. With grills that accept multiple fuel sources at once, they offer raw power and unmatched performance, even if their products tend to be more expensive than others.

Solaire

Another brand that takes pride in its American heritage is Solaire. The story of the brand goes back to 1907, when a Danish blacksmith put the basis of what is now the Solaire brand all the way in California. With a name that needs almost no introduction, Solaire grills are appreciated by customers and promise to deliver a restaurant-like meal from the comfort of your own home.

Broil King

Built-in North America, the grills delivered by Broil King are designed to offer a complete cooking experience in a product that understands there’s more to a grill than just the cooking surface. Their grills range from inexpensive to costly, from small to large, offering integrated storage solutions and making sure that everything you need to cook delicious outdoor meals is at an arm’s reach.

Cajun Grill

Established by Percy Guidry in 1945, Cajun Grill is another American-made grill manufacturer that has a rich and impressive backstory. What started off as a name that delivered metal structures and iron tools is now one of the most popular brands of American grills, offering quality cooking tools and accessories for the American BBQ passionate.

Primo

Primo Ceramic Grills was established back in 1996, with “primo” being the Italian word for “the best”. What began as a really small business where the founder has to drive across town to a kiln for every two grills that he could make at a time is now an innovative brand that’s recommended by almost everyone who has used a Primo grill.

Best American-Made Grills

Alfresco ALXE 36-Inch Propane Gas Grill With Rotisserie

If you’re looking for a quality propane gas grill, Alfresco makes some really good products, such as this model over here. It comes with three titanium and stainless steel blend burners that deliver a total of 82,500 BTUs heat output. It integrates a rotisserie system with a rear ceramic infrared burner that has an 18,500 BTU heat output. It also has a 5,000 BTU smoker system with a 200 degrees smoke output.

It also features an air-cooled front control panel so that the knobs will stay cool even when the grill has been on for hours. It comes with 660 square inches of cooking area, a removable warming rack, and a grill cart that provides two access doors. Some other interesting features include rotisserie and lighting controls, push-button ignition, and an included grill cover.

Pros:

  • Dedicated smoker burner.
  • Air-cooled control panel.
  • Features a rotisserie system.
  • Integrated lighting.

Cons:

  • Lacks heat zone separators.

TEC G-Sport FR Infrared Propane Gas Grill On Stainless Pedestal

Another quality propane gas grill is the TEC model that we’re looking at right now. It is designed to prevent uneven heating and flare-up, offering a high-quality product with uncontested useful features. Thanks to its all infrared burner system, the grill uses this energy to reduce food moisture loss with up to 35 percent. It also promises to use 50 percent less gas compared to other similar products.

What’s even more interesting is that the design of this grill allows you to transport it with ease once you remove the thumbnail screws located on the grill’s underside. There are bars located on each side of the grill that will make transportation easier. With a dent and rust-resistant construction, the TEC grill is made from 304 stainless steel. It comes with a push-button battery ignition and removable components that make the grill easier to clean.

Pros:

  • Can be easy to transport.
  • Self-cleaning cooking surface.
  • Uses 50 percent less gas.
  • Grids and radiant panels replace the need for a side burner.

Cons:

  • Lacks smoker box and rotisserie kit.

Texas Original Pits Luling 16x36x18 Single Lid Offset Smoker

Care for a high-quality smoker to complete your outdoor kitchen arsenal? Then you’re in luck, because this Texan Origin Pits smoker is one of the best products in its category. It is designed with a steel construction that ensures you benefit from a stable and flat cooking surface that measures 864 inches. For those who love a nice sear, the unit comes with an offset firebox that allows you to cook directly over a flame.

There is a pot warmer located on top of the firebox, keeping stuff warm until you’re ready to serve the food. The unit is equipped with dual airflow dampers to make sure that you can control the temperature as precisely as possible. The smoker is also quite mobile, thanks to the steel wagon wheels it’s equipped with.

Pros:

  • Leak-free stainless steel construction.
  • Dual damper airflow system.
  • Built-in pot warmer.
  • Integrated grease drain pump.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with side shelves.

Viking Professional 5 Series 36-Inch Propane Gas Grill With One Infrared Burner And Rotisserie

If you’re a big spender and don’t mind going all-in on a quality propane gas grill, then the specification and features of the Wiking Professional 5 Series are bound to impress you. Made from 304 stainless steel, this grill comes with properly welded seams and successfully eliminates gaps that are prone to collect moisture and grease. The unit is equipped with a 3,000 BTU 2 infrared burner and two 23,000 BTU cast-brass burners, leading to a total of 73,000 BTU heat output.

Thanks to the hot surface ignition system combined with ceramic briquette trays and stainless steel cooking grates, the grill provides even heating to make sure that you cook perfect meals every time. The control knob is equipped with blue LEDs that makes it easy for you to use the grill even at night or in low light conditions.

Pros:

  • Excellent heat retention.
  • Integrated LEDs and halogens.
  • Integrated rotisserie system.
  • Wheels for easier movement.

Cons:

  • Weighs 400 pounds.

American Muscle Grill 36-Inch 5-Burner Dual Fuel

Imagine having a grill that allows you to choose your fuel. Such a product exists, and it comes from American Muscle Grill. It is a heavy-duty unit that allows you to combine five different fuels or use them separately, making sure that you can cook foods using propane, pellets, charcoal briquettes, lump coal, and even wood. But the list of impressive features for this grill don’t stop here. You have five stainless steel burners that can deliver a total heat output of 110,000 BTUs, which is nothing short of impressive.

The list of cool features and specifications could go on and on, since this grill comes with an effortless lighting system, an easy-to-clean drip tray, interior lights, an over-sized drawer, heavy-duty casters, leather gloves, and a grate tool.

Pros:

  • Compatibility with 5 different fuels types.
  • 110,000 BTUs cooking power.
  • Exceptional durability.
  • 5-burner system.

Cons:

  • No heat zone separators.

Solaire 56 Inch Built-In InfraVection Natural Gas Grill With Rotisserie & Double Side Burner

The Solaire grill that you’re looking at right now is another high-quality gas grill that delivers beyond one’s expectations through its stainless steel construction and features that are just useful to have. It offers 1,027 square inches of cooking surface, all heated by a ceramic infrared main gas burner and two stainless steel convection burners. The dual side burner offers another 34,000 BTUs.

The V-shaped grilling grates will catch drips to reduce flare ups and give meats that exquisite flavor we all want to taste. The ignition is as simple as pushing a button, while the burners can easily be removed for cleaning.

Pros:

  • Customizable burner setup.
  • Quick heating for rapid grilling.
  • Designed to reduce flare ups.
  • Generous 1,027 square inch cooking surface.

Cons:

  • Difficult to reach low temperatures.

Broil King Regal S420 Pro 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill

When you’re strapped for cash but would still like to invest in a quality gas grill, the Regal S420 by Broil King might be the right product for you. It comes with a stainless steel firebox that uses aluminum end caps to make sure that you get the best durability and performance even when looking at a budget-oriented grill.

With minimal maintenance and super heat retention, this grill comes with several features worth mentioning, such as built-in control knob lights that makes it easy for you to cook even in the dark, a cooking system that vaporizes drippings, stainless steel side shelves, and a cabinet base that features a pull-out tank drawer.

Pros:

  • Even heating and excellent heat retention.
  • Built-in control knob lights.
  • Enclosed cabinet base.

Cons:

  • Some components have lower warranty periods than the cook box.

Solaire AllAbout 2-Burner Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill

When you’re looking to buy a quality American-made grill but don’t want to spend too much money on one, options like this Solaire grill are perfectly viable. This model here is constructed with quality 304 stainless steel that’s resistant to rust and corrosion. It comes with two infrared burners that deliver a total heat output of 24,000 BTUs. The surface can heat up in less than three minutes, offering you the possibility to start grilling really fast.

The cooking grate measures 253 square inches and has a V-shaped surface that can reduce flare ups and catch drippings for flavor enhancement. There is a warming rack integrated in the grill’s hood, keeping food warm while you wait to serve it. The hood is made with spring-loaded hatches for easier operation.

Pros:

  • 304-grade stainless steel construction resists rust and corrosion
  • Operates on standard 20 pound propane tank

Cons:

  • No thermometer.

Cajun Grill Combeaux 36-Inch Built-In Stainless Steel Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

As far as high-quality smokers go, this Cajun Grill product is one of the best in its category. It comes with two adjustable height charcoal baskets that grant you the possibility to cook at two different temperatures at the same time. The double-sided walls are great at retaining heat and offering consistent temperature throughout the use of the smoker.

There are four stainless steel grates that offer 1,215 square inches of cooking surface, allowing you to add more food at once. The charcoal hopper is capable of delivering up to 16 hours of continuous runtime. There is also a fold-away grease pan that makes it easy to clean up the smoker tower.

Pros:

  • Dual-chamber construction for smoking and grilling.
  • Offers a 1,215-inch cooking surface.
  • A full hopper can offer 16 hours of runtime.

Cons:

  • Difficult to move because of weight and handle lack.

Primo Oval Junior 200 Ceramic Kamado Grill On Steel Cart With Side Tables And Stainless Steel Grates

If you’re interested in a portable grill, this option should be at the top of your list. Offering you the possibility to cook delicious meat, you can use direct or indirect heat and expand your grilling options in spite of the fact that this grill model is smaller compared to the others we’ve seen today. Offering 210 square inches of cooking surface, it’s easy to maintain a constant cooking temperature that varies between 180 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

It comes with a cast iron chimney cap, a thermometer, and a stainless steel lower vent door. It comes with four heavy-duty caster rolls that allow you to move the grill around with ease. The hinge system will keep the lid steadily in place even when lifted, while the stainless steel shelves are rust-resistant.

Pros:

  • Constructed with premium-grade ceramic.
  • Highest sitting lid available (can cook an entire turkey vertically).
  • Reversible cooking grids.

Cons:

  • Cooking grates are not made from stainless steel.

FAQ

Which grills are made in the USA?

There are a lot of quality American-made grills, such as Phoenix, Twin EAgles, Alfresco, American Muscle Grill, Delta Heat, Weber Summit, and Broil King, just to name a few.

What gas grills are made in America?

You have a wide range of American-made gas grills to choose from, from a variety of respected manufacturers that have experience in this industry. Some of the American brands that make quality gas grills include Alfresco, Firemagic, Hestan, Delta Heat, and American Outdoor Grill.

Are Weber grills made in USA?

Weber grills have been manufactured on American soil ever since 1952.

Is Nexgrill made in USA?

While the Nexgrill company is American, their grills are manufactured in China.

Conclusion

If you live on American land, importing a grill is almost futile considering how many excellent American-based brands you have at your disposal. With grills for every budget and for every cooking skill level, American-made grills are a dime a dozen, and it’s up to you to decide which one best suits your needs.

The post Top American-Made Grills For Summer Date Nights and Backyard Parties appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

How This British Designer Finds the Perfect Size Lampshade (Online!) Every Time

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/lampshade-shopping-advice/

Ever wonder how a Domino editor shops? For holy grail finds, the best deep discounts, and intel on what’s trending at the Domino Style desk, subscribe to Scouting. It’s like having a personal shopper in your in-box.

One time my boyfriend bought a lampshade online for an absolute steal. Proud of his thrifty find, he opened the box when it arrived a few days later, only to find that he’d actually purchased a lampshade—wait for it—for a dollhouse

But beyond his epic fail, buying the right size lamp topper online can be a tricky endeavor, no matter how much design experience you have. Scale is important, but so is shape and style. No one understands this more than housewares designer Matilda Goad, who has made a career of providing the world with her signature scalloped lampshades. 

As someone who swaps her shades out on a regular basis—“It’s an instant uplifter,” says Goad—she knows all the tricks for finding the right match for every kind of lamp base. “In general, the lampshade should be much bigger than the lamp,” she says, though she’s recently been experimenting with skinny lamps and narrow shades. 

Collage of newspaper lampshadesPin It
Courtesy of Matilda Goad

Overall, Goad says another good rule of thumb is to buy a shade that’s wider than the height of your base. To make sure the measurements work, she uses a hack that involves a simple household material: newspaper. “I’m not that techy,” she admits. “I still design with paper and pens. So say I’ve seen a lampshade online; I just draw it out on paper and hold it up against the base.” That way you won’t be surprised when you’re opening up the box for a shade you bought online. 

When it comes to what style to buy, Goad prioritizes practicality. If you’re putting a reading lamp near your bed, for example, she recommends a pleated version for a soft glow as opposed to a raffia one that will give off more light. Consider the material of the base as well: If you’re working with a bright brass base, a neutral shade will even things out. 

And while she can’t completely save you from ordering the wrong size shade, she does have strong opinions on buying bulbs. “Go for warm, soft light, and avoid blue fluorescents, “ she says. “It kills the atmosphere.” Here are a few more things you might want to add to your shopping list, too. 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.

Weekend Reading 3.27.21

Sourced content from: https://centsationalstyle.com/2021/03/weekend-reading-3-27-21/

I attended a funeral yesterday. They are always a reminder of the impact people have on each others lives, how quickly life moves and how fleeting it is. The takeaway for me each time I go to a funeral or memorial is to appreciate the moments we have while we still have them, and to do something everyday that makes you come alive.

I doing some of my favorite things this weekend. I’m starting on a bathroom remodel by demoing an existing backsplash and priming cabinets for fresh paint. My new front porch rug arrived, so I’m sprucing up that spot as well. The weather is perfect so I’ve got my windows open to welcome the fresh air and I’ll be spending extra time outdoors. 🙂

Favorite links from the week:

Amazing: these homes made with 3D printers.

A beautiful bathroom makeover in shades of green.

Amazing what paint can do: a bold fireplace wall makeover.

“Warm minimalism” and other elements people want in their homes in 2021.

How to ripen avocados quickly.

Greywater defined and how it can be used.

10 islands you can visit in the U.S. (instead of Hawaii).

Money saving strategies for adding plants to your home and garden.

The timeless fantasy of Stanley Tucci eating Italian food.

We Asked a Designer for Her All-Time Favorite Finds on Etsy

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/best-etsy-vendors/

Ever wonder how a Domino editor shops? For holy grail finds, the best deep discounts, and intel on what’s trending at the Domino Style desk, subscribe to Scouting. It’s like having a personal shopper in your in-box.

Nowadays there are plenty of ways to shop for one-of-kind designs, whether it’s at flea markets or scrolling through Instagram for vintage auctions. But Nashville-based interior designer Jessica Stambaugh’s favorite go-to for pieces she can’t find anywhere else is a true classic: Etsy

When Etsy launched 16 years ago, it had a crafty connotation. Today it’s a refined shopping spot with tons of professionally made (and well-priced) wares from around the world. “Naturally in my sourcing, I like to use a lot of international crafts and vintage from different cultures, so Etsy kind of became a back-pocket resource for finding things that aren’t necessarily conventional American mid-century vintage,” says Stambaugh. 

But it can be hard to navigate the site’s thousands of shops, so she has a trick: Search by material, not by item. For instance, if she’s designing for a room that needs a hit of clay, she’ll search the word terracotta (instead of, say, terracotta pot) so that she can sift through the results—and she’ll often be surprised by what she finds. The same goes for patterns, such as checkerboard or paisley.

Over the years she’s whittled down a list to include her all-time favorites. We tapped Stambaugh to share the sources she keeps going back to over and over. Here are her picks.

For Candy-Colored Lamps: Oliva Lova

For Supersoft Linen Bedding: Sand Snow Linen

For Wavy Wall Mirrors: Vermont Wood Design

For Flora Cocktail Napkins: Pattern and Posy

For Graphic Flat-Weave Rugs: Sahjad Carpets

For Vintage Tile: Reeso Tiles

For Custom Patterned Lampshades: Cruel Mountain

For Brass Light Fixtures: DL Designworks

For Handwoven Baskets: Willow Souvenir

For Photography: Wanderlustography

For Bright Woven Pillows: Christian Rathbone

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review: the perfect combo machine for family kitchens

Sourced content from: https://www.idealhome.co.uk/buying-guide-reviews/bosch-multitalent-8-food-processor-review-271585

MultiTalent by name and multitalented by nature, the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor is one of my favourite food processors I’ve ever used. It’s by no means a budget option, but compared to the Magimixes and KitchenAids of the world this is a fantastic mid-priced food processor that takes on many kitchen tasks. 

Check out the best food processors for more top picks

I put the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor to the test in my own kitchen for over a month, using it for everything from chopping onions and mushrooms to blending smoothies and even juicing oranges. There’s a lot included with this machine, so prepare to sacrifice a fair chunk of your kitchen counter if you do buy it, but it does so many tasks I didn’t mind how much space it takes up when testing. Keep reading for my full Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Reasons to buy:

  • It has a huge range of attachments to choose from
  • As a food processor, it chops evenly and powerfully
  • There’s a large bowl for family-sized meals
  • The controls come in a dial, offering you maximum control
  • It comes with a carry case for all its attachments
  • Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid: 

  • This food processor has a large footprint
  • The attachments take up a lot of space
  • It’s hard to pack everything away into the carry case

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor

The Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor is a capable and high quality food processor, but it also acts as a blender, shredder, and even a mini-chopper. For the price, kitchen tools don’t get much more versatile. 

Bosch MultiTalent 8 review

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor: Specs

Material: Stainless steel body, plastic bowl
Power: 1250 watts
Bowl size: 3.9 litres
Attachments: Mini chopper, blender, whisk, dough hook, citrus press, shredder disc, julienne disc…
Working capacity: 1.5 litres
Speeds: 5
Pulse function: Yes
Size: 30 x 25 x 43 cm

How well does the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor chop? 

Bosch MultiTalent 8 review

It may have a bunch of other features, but unless the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor is actually good at being a food processor that’s not much use. I’m pleased to report that this food processor is excellent. The steel blades are very sharp (I actually cut myself when carelessly washing one of them, so heed my words!) and they slot into the centre of the XXL chopping bowl with a central column that goes right through the middle of the machine. 

The control dial lights up when the machine is ready to be used, and you can switch from speeds 1-5 easily. It also has a pulse setting that requires you to turn the dial in the opposite direction.

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review

One onion chopped in the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor.

I used the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor to chop onions, carrots, mushrooms, celery, garlic and more and the results were always even. The XXL bowl means it’s a little tricky to chop smaller quantities. Anything less than one small onion may chop unevenly, but that’s what the mini-chopper attachment is for. When blending up two cartons of mushrooms I found that the food processor struggled to chop the last few mushrooms, probably because this exceeded the 1.5 litre working capacity. For an even chop make sure you only fill the bowl to its half way point. 

Using the other Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor functions

Other than food processing, the Bosch MultiTalent 8 is an effective multi-tasker. It comes with a carry case filled with blades for chopping, shredding and even julienning. Grating cheese was fast and efficient, and I was able to slice courgette and cucumber with the slicing blade, which comes in two thicknesses, and the blade stayed sturdily in place when feeding food through the chute and pushing down with the included stopper. 

Bosch MultiTalent 8 review

There’s also the mini chopper attachment, which looks comically small on the large metal base of the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor. It slots into place and locks down, with a bowl-like shape and a plastic lid that secures tightly on top. The mini chopper is on the small side but it is very powerful, and I’ve used it to chop garlic, herbs, shallots and even to make a pesto. It’s great for those who see the advantages of a mini chopper but don’t want to buy a separate device, and it also compensates for the large size of the main bowl, which is sometimes too deep and wide to effectively chop smaller items. 

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review

Finally, the blender jug attachment is surprisingly effective. It’s not the best blender I’ve tried but I used the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor blender jug to make iced smoothies and while it took longer than some blenders to get through the ice cubes, it did manage the task as well as the average blender. The large size also means it’s great for blending up soup and large servings of smoothies. 

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review

What else does the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor do? 

The MultiTalent lives up to its name. The food processor comes with an electric juicing attachment with a reamer that spins on top of a plastic pulp filter to extract the juice from citrus fruits like orange and lemons. This does a great job of removing all the juice from the fruit, but because the jug itself is so large it does look like a comically small amount of juice that’s left at the bottom of the food processor bowl. 

Other attachments include a whisking function. This locks onto the top of the bowl and spins around, like some more compact stand mixers. It’s no rival for these in terms of quality but it can bring cream to peaks after a few minutes. 

Bosch MultiTalent 8 review

Finally, there’s a dough hook. Again, this doesn’t work as well as the best stand mixers for kneading dough but it does do the job of forming a dough and working it around the side of the bowl. 

These attachments come packed into a smart carry case, but once I opened and removed these attachments I found it physically impossible to fit them back in. It was a miracle that they ever slotted into place, but what matters is you can keep your blades and slicing plates here to prevent them from injuring you when being left loose in a drawer or cupboard. 

Cleaning the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor reviewFood Processor review

 

Good news for dishwasher owners, the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor’s attachments are all dishwasher safe. The base can be wiped clean and because it’s metal you’ll need to do this semi-regularly to prevent fingerprints from being left on the base. Because the mixing bowl is so large you may be better off washing by hand, as it struggled to fit into my somewhat small dishwasher. 

Should you buy the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor?

Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review

If it’s within budget and you want a true kitchen multi-tasker, the Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor is a top choice. It’s capable and comes with a huge range of attachments for expanding your kitchen repertoire. It’s also not the most expensive food processor on the market by any means, likely because most of the attachments are plastic. 

This food processor is seriously huge. I was so surprised at the size of the box it came in, and the blender, mini chopper and whisk attachment may end up knocking around a cupboard even if you store the wide base and XXL bowl on your countertop. There may be smaller options for you if you’re dealing with a small kitchen, but for preparing family-sized meals like batches of bolognese or large smoothies, it’s a top choice.

About this review, and the reviewer

Millie Fender heads up all things small appliances at Future. There’s nothing she loves more than testing out the latest and greatest cooking gadgets, for indoor and outdoor use, from toasters to air fryers. She reviewed the Morphy Richards Homebake from her own kitchen, testing it rigorously for a couple of weeks before writing this review.

Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen.  If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time, you know an appliance is worth the hype.

The post Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review: the perfect combo machine for family kitchens appeared first on Ideal Home.