Although most days start and end in the bedroom, chances are you spend more time in the kitchen while you’re awake than anywhere else in the house. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend more time eating, drinking and preparing food than any other activity besides sleeping.
There are any number of gadgets which make this kitchen time more productive, efficient, or just plain cool. Here are the best kitchen gadgets and accessories for a technology-savvy household.
Keurig Coffee Makers
Whether at your desk or in your kitchen, Keurig’s focus is on making perfect coffee – one cup at a time. With models designed for serious and casual coffee drinkers, these systems are among the best (and most convenient) home coffeemakers. No longer do you need to worry about grinding beans, buying filters or anything else except enjoying your gourmet java. Special coffee packages are required for brewing, but can easily be found at most major retailers and grocery stores, with the widest selection available at Bed, Bath & Beyond. The Platinum Plus Brewing System and Vue V700 come especially recommended for home or office use.
The acme of blenders is the Vitamix, with self-cleaning offerings that are hailed as the most versatile and durable on the market. They may cost a little more than other blenders, but they’re powerful, reliable and come with a lifetime guarantee. It’s no wonder that Vitamix blenders are coveted by restaurants and professional chefs worldwide.
Cuisinart Food Processor
Whether it’s restaurant-sized, kitchen-sized or a mini one, Cuisinart is the gold standard in food processors. With simple to assemble and safety-proofed parts that only fit together one way (the right way), Cuisinart food processers make everything from grating cheese to chopping vegetables simple, easy, and even sort of fun.
Here’s the cool thing about induction burners – they don’t get hot. The secret is magnets, which generate heat – provided you are using a pan that accepts magnetism. Touted by pros as a way to accurately control temperatures while providing a safe cooking environment, induction burners are a seemingly magical way to boil water, and can be purchased as a separate, standalone portable burner.
Although soda may one day be viewed as the late 20th centuries version of the cigarette, there’s no disputing its popularity and carbonated deliciousness. With the Sodastream, you can create your own sodas at home with proprietary CO2 cartridges and flavor packets that are available at most major local retailers.
Nostalgia Electrics Ice Cream Maker
Although it looks like a classic old-time barrel, this electric ice maker features a convenient motor that churns all the ingredients for you. Simply add some ice and all the ingredients before dinner time, and delicious home made ice cream is churned and blended for you while you eat.
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer
Seal left overs and bulk food items for longer with a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer, which removes all the air and creates compact, freezer friendly food and dishes for storage. Sure, you need to buy the proprietary wrap, but by saving food up to five times longer, it’s definitely worth it.
Small Business Expert
Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.
If you’re an entrepreneur, especially for a small, independent business, then you’re going to have to learn a few things. First, you need to learn how to thrive on peanut butter sandwiches (at least until you start seeing some financial success). Second, you need to know about the best apps and programs for helping an entrepreneur get his or her business off the ground.
You need programs and/or apps for communication, organization, and managing your finances. Luckily, it’s all out there, and whenever it’s not free, at least it’s affordable. Here are the five best programs and applications for any entrepreneur who’s scrambling to find his or her footing in a frenzied time.
Evernote – Evernote is a free-to-download program that lets you save ideas, pictures, and sounds. It’s available across multiple smartphones, tablets, and computers, including PC, Mac, iOS, Blackberry, Android, and Windows Phone. Evernote’s search function lets you find what you’re looking for without a hassle. Never forget a prospective client’s name ever again—unless you really want to, for whatever reason.
FlightTrack Pro – Available for iOS or Android, FlightTrack Pro is a must-have application for anyone who spends a considerable amount of time in the air. With the touch of a few buttons, you can look up your detailed flight information, including possible delays and gate numbers. FlightTrack Pro even informs you of cancellations and suggests alternative flights. If your flying experience turns into a scheduling nightmare, you’re going to want FlightTrack Pro by your side.
Skype – Free Skype-to-Skype phone calls with clients or other workers can save you a bundle in phone bills. More importantly, whenever you travel out of the country, Skype-to-Skype calls via smartphone apps will prevent you from having to give up your first born child in roaming fees.
Dimewise – Dimewise helps you manage your budget as simply as possible. You can record and categorize your purchases, then take a look at your spending habits with the aid of a handy pie-chart. Dimewise is web-based, so you can access it anywhere you can find a browser.
Trillian – Many companies conduct a great deal of business via IM (instant messaging) chats. Problem is, everyone has their favorite, and they’re often not cross-compatible. Fear not. Trillian lets you log into several of your favorite chat clients at once, saving you the agony of having to juggle multiple programs. Trillian supports AIM, Windows Live Messenger, ICQ, IRC, Google Chat, Facebook Chat, and much more. It can be downloaded as a desktop program, or as an app for iOS, Android, or Blackberry.
For more great suggestions on programs that every entrepreneur should have, visit:
Top 25 Apps to Grow Your Business at AvivaDirectory
10 Best Digital Tools for Entrepreneurs at Forbes
10 Must-Have Business Apps for 2011 at Entrepreneur.com
Are you looking for a way to store, share, and organize your photos? We feel compelled to remind you that it’s never a bad idea to develop your pictures physically and slap them in a photo album. After all, when our robot overlords finally rise up and take the gift of electricity away from humankind, your descendants will appreciate having something to pore over in between their 15-hour shifts in the plutonium mines. In the meantime, there are still dozens of photo storage options to be found on the Internet.
In fact, online photo organizers are already among the most asked-for apps and services. Here are five ways you can organize and store your photos:
Windows Live Photo Gallery – The Windows Live Photo Gallery lets you edit your photos, organize them, and share them online. Importing videos and pictures from your phone or camera is easy, and the program is free to download an use.
Picasa – Google’s Picasa lets you upload, organize, and manipulate your photos. You can also tag your Google+ friends in said photos whenever applicable! Picasa’s side-by-side photo comparison/editing feature is also helpful for touch-ups. It’s free to download.
Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition – This handy piece of software from Adobe lets you organize and display photos. You can also do easy edits of pictures to sharpen the image, get rid of red-eye, crop larger images, adjust color contrast, and more. Photoshop Album is extremely versatile, but less experienced computer users may find it intimidating to use. Luckily, there are lots of tutorials available.
picManager – picManager lets you get super-intense with the whole “photo organization” thing. With this program, you can filter and sort through mounds of pictures by file type or file date. picManager also automatically excludes non-picture files that may have snuck into your source folder.
Canto Cumulus: Single User Edition – Canto Cumulus is a single portal that allows you to manage and store files securely. That includes video and photo files, so you can manage photos and movies that are stored on hard drives, DVDs/CDs, and networked computers.
Need more suggestions for places to park your photos? Visit:
Five Best Digital Photo Organizers at LifeHacker
Top 20 Photo Sharing and Storage Sites at App Storm