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Chill Out with These Blender Tips and Recipes this Summer

With summer in full swing, there’s no doubt a lot of us will be using our blenders to whip up a frozen concoction. However, you can also use your blender to accomplish a lot more at your backyard barbeque or dinner party than you may realize, such as:
Homemade dressings for summer salads

  • Shakes, malts and fruit smoothies
  • Cold summer soups
  • Salsa and other fresh vegetable dips
  • Homemade barbeque sauce and other sauces for veggies and meats

From budget to high-end models, to handheld and countertop blends and multifunction models with reversible blades you have numerous options so finding a blender that best fits your needs should be pretty easy. Additionally, manufacturers are designing blenders with an array of bright colors in addition to the traditional classic models. They also offer easy cleanup and most units are small enough to fit under standard kitchen cabinets. Consumer Reports and Housewares.com have great advice on what to look for when purchasing your next blender.

To help you plan that next barbeque or family dinner, The Blender Girl has a list of healthy recipes to get you started. Food.com has a long list of recipes that show a wide variety of food you can prepare using a blender, from pizza dough to buffalo chicken soup. And last but not least, Delish.com has a recipe list of the best blended drinks.   What are your favorites blender mixes?

Rewarding Refrigerator Recycling in Utah

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Do you know that on average, approximately 90 percent of major household appliances (by weight) are recycled each year?

Additionally, according to the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), the typical appliance contains 60 percent steel which can be recycled rather than being sent to a landfill.  Recycling has even more environmental benefits, too.   According to SRI, in a year, the steel industry saves the equivalent energy to electrically power about 18 million households for that same amount of time.  Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) and Utah Food Bank have joined forces to combine recycling, energy efficiency and meals for the hungry, according to a recent article in the Deseret News.  For over a decade RMP has been offering its customers $30 if they recycle their old, inefficient refrigerators.  Now RMP customers will have the option to automatically donate that $30 to Utah Food Bank, which distributes meals to food pantries, churches and soup kitchens throughout Utah.   Since the program was implemented in 2003, over 10,000 refrigerators have been recycled in Utah – saving the utility’s customers $150 annually on average, according to RMP.  Thanks to the program, Utah Food Bank estimates it helps provide 2,000 meals a week to families in need!

While your local utility may not offer a program exactly like RMP’s, you can still help the environment by purchasing a new refrigerator and reducing your electricity usage.  According to AHAM’s 2013 Trends in Energy Efficiency, on average, a refrigerator manufactured in 2013 consumes 52% less electricity than one manufactured in 1991 – and it’s 6% larger, too!

If you’re interested in cutting your energy bill by purchasing a new refrigerator, visit www.coolsavings.com to learn more about the latest energy efficiency guidelines for refrigerators, and how to use the updated yellow ENERGY GUIDE labels.  Meanwhile, SRI’s website can help you find the recycling location nearest you.

Peek Inside the Refrigerator of a Top Chef!

124081Ever wonder what was in the refrigerator of some of the country’s top chefs? The New York Times asked 11 top chefs in New York City, and their answers might surprise you.  Peek inside their fridges and you’ll see that many of them probably don’t look all that different than your own – yogurt, half-empty bottles of pickles, inexpensive beer and the occasional leftover.

They also provide tips on everything from utilizing space in a small refrigerator to their policy on leftovers and what foods they always keep around.  Some of them explain their idiosyncrasies when it comes to food and refrigerators.

Einat Admony, a chef at Balaboosta, explains why she has no leftovers: “We don’t want anything in there getting moldy and forgotten. My husband comes from a French family, but they also lived in Africa for seven years, so he’s very aware of waste. And I grew up with an Iranian mom in Israel who wouldn’t throw anything in the garbage — anything. When she would break an egg, she used to take her thumb and scrape out all of the egg white. I remember when I came to New York and I started to do that at a restaurant, the chef looked at me like, Wow, that’s interesting.??

Bryan Schuman, a chef at Betony in Midtown, explains why his refrigerator is taped shut. “That’s because I have a cat named Bud. There’s roast beef in the fridge, so I have to tape the door shut. We went out of town once, and I was dry-aging a duck in there. When we came back, the place was permeated with the smell of death. The fridge is open, the duck is on the ground, half ripped apart, and the cat is looking really nonchalant. ‘What? I got the duck, so what?’??

Read the full article here.  This might sound comical, but some of today’s refrigerator features, like built-in air purification systems to keep food fresher longer, and door alarms might help these two chefs.