Create Amazing Espresso with your Espresso Machine just like a Barista

Just like a lot of people, we’re jealous of the best baristas! They have all the inside knowledge on how to make the best coffee-based beverages – espresso being one of them.

Espresso’s used in many different drinks and if you know how to master it from home, that really opens up a lot of what you can do with coffee and coffee-related beverages. You may not even need to spend more money on Starbucks.

The general guidelines on how to make great espresso is to do three things. The first is to set your extraction time at 25 seconds and not a millisecond later. Secondly, it’s recommended to use 8-10 grams of coffee per espresso shot. Lastly, a single shot should yield between 25 and 35 ml.

Although these are very general guidelines, there are some modifications advanced espresso makers can choose to make. For example, for ‘doppio’, 18-22 grams of coffee grounds can be taken to increase the serving volume to 60 ml maximum. For ‘ristretto’, the same volume used for a single shot is applied however serving size is reduced to 18 ml. For ‘lungo’, the volume is maintained at 8-10 grams however the serving size is measured at 60 ml. These elements can be played with.

If you want to get great at creating amazing espresso, you need freshly roasted coffee beans, a high quality coffee grinder, and an espresso machine. Although you can technically make espresso without a machine, an espresso machine is going to provide a more consistent taste in addition to being an easier process. Only a coffee brewer like this will provide the pressure you need to make espresso.

There are two types of espresso makers – steam-driven and pump-driven. Steam-driven espresso makers use steam pressure generated in a boiler to force water through coffee beans however unfortunately they are generally low in quality. Pump-driven espresso machines are more common, higher quality, provide the desired pressure, and have the needed water temperature for proper extraction.

When selecting your coffee beans, this is the other aspect of an amazing espresso which can go unnoticed. Select coffee beans which have been roasted ideally no more than 1-2 weeks prior, grind them and brew it immediately, and use a fine grind on your electric grinder when possible.

Buy Canada’s best espresso maker today from Canada’s own Living.ca. When you pull off your next espresso shot, we’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what comes out. Train your hand and equip yourself with the right tools, and that’s all it takes! Shop Living.ca today.

Top 3 Toaster Oven Settings and How to Use Them to Maximize Taste

Toaster ovens can come with functions, buttons, and settings that aren’t always clear. Trying to prepare a bagel or cook a small pizza can prove to be challenging. Thankfully, you can keep things simple with no more than 3 toaster oven settings you’ll find on pretty much any model.

Remember, the setting you choose is what controls to heating elements inside. Each preset or suggested cooking time will modify how a given food is prepared. Complicating things, a setting such as ‘cookie’ does not always know whether you’re preparing a small pan of mini-chocolate chip cookies or a larger sized one. How to best approach your toaster oven is use your best judgment and stick with these 3 basic settings.

 

Bake.

The ‘bake’ setting on a toaster oven is what you’ll use most. It’s similar to a traditional oven with heat coming from the bottom. Baking in a toaster oven usually involves it cycling or pulsing top and bottom elements, varying the intensity and helping to maintain an even temperature. After you’ve selected your temperature, preheat for 5 minutes before throwing in a pan of anything. Remember, things will usually bake faster in a toaster oven. Check on anything 5-10 minutes earlier than you normally would.

Broil.

Broil is like grilling. The heat comes from a single direction, usually from the top elements. For melting cheese, roasting peppers, making indoor s’mores, or heating up thin slices of vegetables, this is what you want. You generally won’t need to preheat your toaster oven on ‘boil’. You’ll want to use top rack placement and remember the heat’s only coming from one direction.

 

Toast.

Toaster ovens can make toast, although some do so better than others. The setting is relatively straightforward. The upper and lower elements will distribute heat, temperature is generally controlled either by the general ‘toast’ setting or manually, and rack position can be modified accordingly. The best results are usually found with the middle rack position. Toaster ovens fortunate to have ‘Light’, ‘Medium’, and ‘Dark’ settings can provide more guidance on where things need to be to make the perfect pair of toast.

 

Although the recipes might be a little different, generally, you can make almost anything in a toaster oven – at least, anything you can make in an oven. Roasted sweet potato rounds, sandwiches, and all sorts of fun. It can be overwhelming at first having to learn new recipe approaches but the differences are minimal between a large, traditional oven and a toaster oven. Purchase yours today at Living.ca.

How Does a Toaster Oven work and where you Can Find Yours at Living.ca

The first toaster oven was introduced to market in 1938. It was designed, as one can imagine, as a small oven which would cook food faster than a regular toaster. It was considered a favorable improvement over a toaster, able to heat larger amounts of food, add more ingredients, and cook meals of a greater size. But how does a toaster oven actually work – here’s the question we’re here to answer.

A toaster oven uses an electrical system of coils which heat. These coils are on the bottom and back of the toaster oven. The coils can be seen glowing in red, producing infrared heat or radiation. It’s this which heats and cooks the food, adding warmth and crunch depending on the setting selected. These coils’ heat are also reflected with nirchrime wire, which helps to radiate heat in locations of the toaster oven which does not have coils facing direct towards it.

Comparatively, a toaster oven which is a digital countertop convection oven also produces heat in a similar way, with coils heating up and with hot air which is then circulated throughout. The advantages of a convection oven includes primarily being able to cook food more thoroughly and more evenly. Due to the distance from the food and method used, in some cases, a toaster oven can cook food in as little as half the time a conventional oven can. For small meals or smaller items which need to be toasted, there’s no better way to save time and energy than a toaster oven. A toaster oven can make everything from bagels to pizza.

A huge reason why toaster ovens are so popular in Canada is because of these reasons as well as their size. Toaster ovens can fit into tight spaces, which are perfect for college students and condos. They can cook a wide variety of foods, reheat leftovers, double as a classic or traditional toaster, and also warms up frozen packaged foods. People with busy lifestyles or living in tight quarters don’t need much more than a toaster oven to ensure they get a hot meal. They’re frequently purposes in RVs and among seniors as well.

How a toaster oven works is pretty straightforward, as it turns out. Their popularity is recognized widely and as the world continues to move towards small, convenient living spaces, there’s no telling how much more popular toaster ovens may become in the decades ahead. Purchase Canada’s best toaster oven today from Living.ca, on-sale for a limited time only!

7 Absolutely Amazing Home Storage Organizers to Keep your Home Tidy

Making the most of your home’s space can be challenging if you’re operating out a small apartment or condo, or if you have a lot of stuff to place somewhere on your property. There’s no shortage of home storage organizers which can easily be placed throughout the home to coordinate things like shoes, clothing, and toys.

 

Shoe storage

There are several shoe storage options, including those smaller two-tier shoe storage organizers. The only issue with these though is that, any time they’re purchased, you still end up with pairs of shoes on the floor. Alternatively, you may want to purchase a larger 7-tier, 35-pair shoe organizer such as the one with Living.ca.

 

Wooden wine rack

From Living.ca, be provided with a 36-bottle holder wine rack made from wood. Stackable and easy to install, if you’re a wine lover with a lot of bottles to keep track of, this organizer can be installed anywhere in your kitchen or dining room.

 

Cosmetic makeup storage

If you’ve got a lot of makeup or nail polish occupying your tabletops, countertops, and dresser surfaces, consider a cosmetic makeup storage organizer. This makes it easy to keep all your makeup organized.

 

Folding ottoman storage

A great piece for a living room or hallway, assemble a folding storage ottoman with built-in drawers. This is a great piece for the bedroom as well, if you need some place to put clothes or items that don’t necessarily fit in your dresser drawers.

 

Shelving storage

Classic metal storage shelving units can be installed in the basement, kitchen, or wherever. Use them as a pantry or to keep almost anything large and difficult to handle on. From Living.ca, these shelving units are huge!

 

Hanging clothes storage

You may have seen these before in closets. They hang from the bar and provide additional storage for things like socks, towels, shirts, and more. If your closet or dresser’s traditionally a very messy place, one of these can work wonders at simplifying your storage.

 

Bicycle rack stand

If you have a bicycle that you don’t quite know what to do with in your garage, we have a freestanding telescopic bicycle rack stand that’s well worth purchasing. Using this freestanding structure, you will keep your bicycle off the floor and propped up ready for use.

 

Buy all these home storage organizers and way, way more at Living.ca. Create the ultimate organized home using these and other products. Shop with us today.

4 Appliances to help you get the Most from a Small Kitchen

If you’re living in a small condo, apartment, or pre-war home, you’re likely working with a pretty small kitchen. Every inch of kitchen is prime real estate. If you’re looking for some cooking appliance hacks to make the most from what you’re working with, we’d love to help.

Living iron fry pan
Living iron fry pan

Sous vide

A sous vide allows you to cook food in water. Things like meat and veggies have never been so easy to cook. It requires minimal effort and even better, the sous vide can be stored anywhere. It’s no bigger than a 2-litre pop bottle. You can pull it out when you need it, cook your food, and then, wipe it down and put it back into storage. Using a sous vide, your food will always be perfectly cooked and you won’t need to take up an inch of kitchen space.

Cast iron skillet

Flat and with the promise of heating evenly across its area, a cast iron skillet is not going to leave behind any scorch marks from meat or veggies and will always leave you with a thoroughly cooked meal. For many people, their favourite kitchen small appliance is their cast iron skillet – even if it’s not a classic appliance per se. Also, cast iron is typically enameled meaning it can be cleaned in a dishwasher or sink without having to worry about rust.

Simple kitchen scale

A kitchen scale is not expensive and it’s small enough to be able to be stored almost anywhere. Pull out your kitchen scale as needed and always know you’ll have your ingredient amounts just right. If you’re a baker and/or you’re regularly having to rely on basic measurements for recipes, buying a kitchen scale is a simple way to keep things easy. We cannot recommend a kitchen scale enough.

Thin single serve coffee maker

Living.ca’s coffee maker is tailor made for small kitchens. Small in design, the 2-in-1 single serve coffee maker is perfect for brewing, ground, and capsule. If you’re a coffee lover, we’re sure you’ll love this. Place your coffee maker wherever you have some free space and you’ll never have to worry about where to grab an excellent cup of coffee. Shuts off automatically when a brew cycle is completed and it’s all in stainless steel.

In a small kitchen, serious consideration needs to be made on any decision resulting in space taken. These appliances are small, inexpensive, and provide a high value-to-space ratio. Buy these small kitchen products, appliances, and more from Living.ca today.

What are the Best Nail Colors to use for Spring 2019

Spring 2019 is almost here and with that, a lot of women are going to be heading out for manicures and pedicures celebrating the warmer weather.

 

If you don’t know where to start in capturing those amazing spring feels, instead of reaching for classic black, here are some of the best nail colors you can use.

 

Soft pink

 

Plucked from the Instagram pages of on-trend celebrities, soft pink is a great color to blend from spring to summer. They look amazing across most skin tones, work wonders at bringing out your natural glow, and are welcome additions to anyone’s nail polish collection.

 

Crisp white

 

A crisp white nail polish suggests a hint of winter while giving you something new, creamy, and muted to partake in for the spring months. You can go with something brighter and akin to a borderline neon white, if you’re not invested in a more muted presentation.

 

Red-orange polish

 

A red-orange polish remains as one of the top salon picks for spring nail colors, this year just like last’s. All across the world, women are getting ready for those spring vacations with a color that balances somewhere between the perfect orange and the perfect red.

 

Silver glitters

 

Silver glitters are on-trend and look festive for anyone who has a big spring planned. Keep in mind sparkles are always very eye-catching and so this isn’t for someone looking to not be noticed. It’s a fine color to keep in your nail polish organizer and storage display rack. Bold, sparkly, and fun, you’ll be glad you went with a glitter manicure you show-off!

 

Classic blush-toned

 

It never hurts to go a little neutral to keep things toned-down for spring. A classic blush-toned neutral look is recommended for both hands and feet to give that clean, chic look that won’t disappoint.

 

Milky beige

 

Among the top nail colors for a neutral spring look, a milky beige suits more outfits than perhaps any of the other options on this list. It’s almost a guarantee to suit anything you want to hear in your spring dress collection and even better, any chips are hardly noticeable.

 

Hot pink

 

Hot pink is a color not everyone will necessarily go for but it’s a classic 1980s-inspired spring look which continues to work well March through June. Pulling it off on a more adult contemporary outfit can be difficult however it’s a fun color worth it for anyone looking to take spring in a more fun direction.

 

Living.ca has a wide array of impressive nail polish products and accessories in its catalogue, including a wearable nail polish bottle holder, non-toxic nail polish remover, multi-tier nail polish display racks and organizers, and more! Shop with Living.ca today.

How to Choose the Right Makeup Organizer for your Cosmetics

The best makeup organizers to store your beauty products in is going to appeal to your sense of style as well as have the right functionality to it. We all have our different beauty products that come out on the daily and then, there are others we use some of the time, and then others we barely use. The right makeup organizer for you should be able to strategize all of this to add organization and save you time getting ready.

Acrylic make up box
Acrylic make up box

The display of a makeup organizer counts for a lot. Assuming you have a flexible budget that’s not going to decide for you which makeup organizer’s your favourite, you’ve got to find an organizer that suits how you want your makeup displayed. Otherwise, it’s hardly going to be motivating to clear out your makeup bag and get everything set up in an organizer you don’t have that sort of attachment too.

 

Next, does it have a system of organization you enjoy – not all makeup organizers are built from the same template. There’s a different presentation to each, in material and design. If an organizer doesn’t organize your makeup in a way you like, you could struggle finding things in a rush similarly to what may be the case now with your makeup bag.

 

Deciding whether you want a small cosmetic organizer or something larger is a key decision to make as well. A small organizer can benefit you as it only gives you room for the essentials, restricting your beauty routine and keeping you focused. If time management is a concern, something small works. If you have a lot of makeup accessories and products you want to have organized, choosing a larger design is where you want to go. This way, your cosmetics organizer will act as a hub where everything you have is in one place and you can pick-and-choose the products you want before setting out for the day.

 

Lastly, look ahead a year down the road and ask yourself if you will still require the same type of cosmetics organizer. Do you plan to grow your makeup collection, will you need more compartments or a larger organizer, will you buy big and fill it in over time, are you purchasing a makeup organizer that’s too big for where you intend to put it – all these questions are worth answering. You don’t want to spend money on a makeup cosmetic organizer only to need a replacement or an upgrade in six months.

 

Browse makeup organizers, cosmetic kits, makeup travel bags and more at Living.ca on-sale today. See a wide range of shapes and sizes, and find what speaks to you and