Janet Laughead BHHS Commonwealth Wellesley MA


The microwave does not get the respect it deserves in the kitchen. In reality, it is a useful appliance that is under-utilized in the kitchen. Did you know that apart from warming leftover dinner, there are many things that a microwave can do for you? A microwave is actually designed to cook some food items for you quickly and efficiently compared to other cooking methods. Here are some things you can whip up using your microwave.

Bacon

Instead of stressing out to fry bacon, a microwave can cook it for you without the splashing fat. Simply line a plate with paper towels, line up your bacon strips and set your microwave to high heat for up to five minutes. Most moderately-sliced bacon strips will cook to a crisp.

Popcorn

You can make DIY popcorn at home using a microwave. Take a brown paper bag and put in some kernel corns. Fold the bag several times and heat it until it begins to pop. Once the popping reduces to a minimum, put some olive oil or sweet butter, seasoning and anything else you like in your popcorn. Shake it all in, and that's it!

Frittatas for one

Take a mug, spray it generously with cooking spray and break an egg into it. Add in some milk, salt, pepper, and your favorite vegetables and anything else you like in your frittata. Microwave it on high heat for about two minutes, and it's done!Steamed milk for lattesIf you are making your latte at home, you can complete it with “steamed” milk and foam just like your favorite barista. Put two-percent milk into a mason jar and close the lid. Shake it until it foams for about a minute. Then take off the cover and put it in a microwave for about a minute till it is warm. Pour milk into your latte and add the foam for a special topping.

Toasted nuts

Toasting nuts in a pan can leave your kitchen smelling like burnt nuts. You can avoid this smelly nut kitchen issue by using a microwave to get the crisp on your nuts instead. Use a microwave-safe flat dish to cook it instead to get the same crisp without the smell. Don’t cook your nuts for a long time. For the best results, set your microwave to one minute and check your nuts after each round to see if it’s toasted enough for you.

For more cool things you can do with your microwave, take a glance at the user manual to learn more cooking tips.


It has been written; the kitchen is the heart of the home. So, when walking through a model or open house, the kitchen is a significant appeal or detractor. Where the kitchen is relative to the rest of the living space is essential. The layout of the workflow can make or break the impression of the house as a whole. Any upgrades and extra convenience features can turn an ordinary kitchen into your culinary dream area. Other architectural choices can affect the ascetics of the property. 

Layout and Function

When looking at kitchen layouts, the choices are almost endless. How you use the kitchen will give you direction on what will work for you and your family. The number of people that will use the space at any one time can determine how much floor space in the kitchen you need. If you entertain often or tend to gather in the kitchen, an open concept may be up your alley. An island kitchen is another great idea for people who like to congregate and spend time in and around their kitchen. A raised bar on the island can help hide any messes while still enjoying the open island kitchen concept when entertaining.

Work Triangle

Placement of what chefs call the work triangle is an essential element in any kitchen layout. The triangle is made up of the placement of the refrigerator, sink, and oven/stove. In other words, gathering ingredients, prepping, and cooking. Having an optimize work triangle can increase your enjoyment in the kitchen. When touring open or model homes, walk the space as you would use it at home. You could visualize the steps you would take in that space to get your morning cup of coffee. Does the layout make sense concerning how you work in the kitchen?

Upgrades and Add-ons

Many remodeled and new construction homes boast kitchen upgrades that look impressive. A hot water dispenser alongside the sink is convenient, as is an ice cube and water dispenser built into the fridge. Look for those upgrades that lend themselves to helping you make better use of your time. Remember, the more gadgets there are, the more items to maintain. Go ahead and enjoy the undercabinet lighting, so you don’t stub your toes when grabbing that midnight snack. In addition to functional upgrades, some are just there for the overall esthetics; such as crown molding, Italian tile work, or pendant lighting over an island bar. Those can give an otherwise ordinary kitchen a “wow” factor that makes a real impression.

Contact your realtor for more information on locating your dream kitchen.


Many homeowners are unaware that the most common causes of house fires are cooking related. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires cause 46% of house fires and 44% of household injuries.

You aren’t alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips to protect you and your family from the most common and some lesser known causes of kitchen fires. 

Cooking fire statistics 

Knowing the most common causes of cooking fires is a great way to understand just how dangerous certain types of cooking really are. The NFPA reports that frying is the most dangerous type of cooking. Two-thirds of cooking fires were the result of the ignition of food and cooking materials.

In terms of equipment, the range or cooktop is the most dangerous part of the kitchen, causing over 60% of fires. However, much of the time the cause comes down to leaving your equipment unattended.

Cooking safely

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. Unattended ranges, stovetops, and ovens can be particularly deadly since they can happen as a result of someone dozing off while watching television, or someone forgetting they left a burner on after they go to sleep.

A good way to monitor your cooking is to always use a timer, even if you don’t necessarily need one for the cooking that you’re doing. Also, be sure that your smoke detectors are working and that you have a functional fire extinguisher in your home. Make sure your family knows what to do if they encounter a fire.

Before you turn on your burners before frying, make sure there is nothing around your oven that can catch fire. A food container, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels, or curtains could all potentially catch fire if they come in close contact with a burner.

Clothing is also a leading cause of kitchen fires that turn fatal. Make sure sleeves and other pieces of clothing aren’t near any burners or open flames.

In case of fire

If you encounter a large cooking fire that is spreading throughout, the best thing to do is to immediately gather your family and get out of the house, avoiding the kitchen entirely. Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are safely outside and don’t re-enter the house under any circumstances.

For small grease fires, smother the fire with a lid and turn off the burner immediately.

Understanding cooking fires

Most fire requires oxygen to burn and spread. If there is a small fire in your kitchen, using a soaked towel or a pan lid to smother it will suffice.

However, grease fires work differently. Never put water on a grease fire, this can cause the fire to spread very quickly. Rather, use a lid to put out the fire if it is small enough to get near. You can also throw baking soda, or use a fire extinguisher on a small grease fire.




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