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Monday, February 10, 2020

How to of the Day

How to of the Day


How to Air Fry Vegetables

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 08:00 AM PST

Air fryers have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, in large part because they allow you to cook crisp, delicious vegetables without having to deep-fry them in oil. Even better, most air fryer frozen vegetable recipes are very similar, no matter what veggies you choose. You can even make crispy air fryer vegetable chips that are perfect for guilt-free snacking!

[Edit]Ingredients

[Edit]Fresh or Frozen Veggies

  • of vegetables (potatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, etc)
  • of olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) of salt
  • 1/4 tsp (0.5 g) of black pepper
  • Your choice of other seasonings (optional)

Makes 4 servings

[Edit]Vegetable Chips

  • of your choice of veggies
  • of oil
  • 3/4 tsp (4.5 g) of salt
  • 1/4 tsp (0.5 g) of black pepper
  • Your choice of seasonings (optional)

Makes 4 servings

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Air-Frying Fresh or Frozen Veggies

  1. Turn the air fryer to . If you'd like, you can play around a little with the temperature of your air fryer for cooking vegetables, but in general, a temp of about will work for air-frying vegetables. However, if you find your food is cooking a little too fast, you can bump the temperature down to about , and just add 1-2 minutes to the cooking time if it's needed.[1]

    Air Fry Vegetables Step 1.jpg
    • One advantage of using an air fryer over a conventional oven is that an air fryer preheats very quickly, so you can wait to preheat it until about 3-5 minutes before you're ready to cook.
  2. Start with about of your favorite vegetables. You can cook almost any veggie you can imagine in your air fryer, from potatoes, carrots, and yams to broccoli, peppers, and zucchini. You can air fry frozen vegetables, as well. Just open the bag and pour them into a bowl to season them, then cook the same way as fresh veggies.[2]

    Air Fry Vegetables Step 2.jpg
    • Air-frying veggies is quick and healthy, so this is perfect for a weeknight side dish, or even an afternoon snack!
  3. Peel and cut larger veggies into pieces. If you're cooking a larger vegetable like potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash, you'll likely need to cut them into bite-sized pieces. If you want to remove the skin, place the edge of a knife or a vegetable peeler at the top of the food you're preparing, then drag it firmly down to slice away the peel, if you'd like. Then, place your veggies on a sturdy cutting board and cut them into cubes, sticks, or slices—whatever shape you prefer![3]

    • For instance, you might slice carrots into rounds, while you might cut a sweet potato into large cubes.
    • Don't cut the vegetables too thin. If you're cooking potatoes, for instance, you might dice them or cut them into French fries or steak fries, but shoestring cuts will tend to burn quickly in an air fryer.
    • If you're working with smaller vegetables, like baby carrots, brussels sprouts, or broccoli, or if you want to serve the vegetables whole, like carrots or ears of corn, you don't have to cut them.[4]
  4. Toss your vegetables in oil and your choice of seasonings. Place your sliced veggies in a large bowl and pour in about of olive or vegetable oil. Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) of salt and 1/4 tsp (0.5 g) of pepper, or whatever seasonings you want to use. Then, gently toss the vegetables in the bowl to coat them evenly.[5]

    • Choose seasonings that will complement the dish you're making! For instance, if you're serving your veggies alongside lasagna, you might use 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) of salt and 1/2 tsp (7 g) of Italian seasoning.
    • If you're serving grilled hamburgers or ribs, you might mix 1/2 tsp (1.5 g) of salt and 1/2 tsp (0.9 g) of smoked paprika and sprinkle the mixture on the vegetables.
    • Consider how the seasoning will go with the vegetable you're eating, as well. For instance, if you're making sweet potatoes, you might sprinkle them with brown sugar and cinnamon for a sweet treat, or you might use salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne if you'd prefer a more savory side.
  5. Place the veggies in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Slide the basket out of your air fryer and shake in some of your vegetables. Spread them across the bottom of the basket. Depending on the size of your vegetable pieces and your air fryer basket, you'll probably need to split them into 2 batches.[6]

    • If you overcrowd the basket, your vegetables won't crisp up properly or evenly.
  6. Cook the veggies for 10-20 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes. As you saute the vegetables in the air fryer, give them a good shake every 5 minutes or so. That will help ensure that they cook more evenly.[7]

    • Thicker, denser veggies, like potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts will take longer to cook. Soft or thin vegetables, like asparagus or bell peppers, will cook faster. Also, the larger you cut your veggies, the longer they'll take to cook.
    • Check the vegetables frequently as they near the end of their cooking time, as they can go from just-done to overcooked quickly. When the veggies are browned and tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork, they're ready to come out of the air fryer.[8]
  7. Enjoy your air-fried vegetables while they're hot. Try to plan your meal so that the veggies will be ready at about the same time as the rest of your food. They'll taste their best fresh out of the air fryer. However, if you're making multiple batches, cover the first batch tightly to keep them warm while the next batch finishes.

    Air Fry Vegetables Step 7.jpg

[Edit]Making Vegetable Chips

  1. Preheat the air fryer to . Find the temperature setting on your air fryer and start heating it to a few minutes before you plan to start cooking. An air fryer only needs about 5 minutes to pre-heat, but letting it come up to temperature first will help ensure that you get consistent results, even if you're making multiple batches of veggie chips.[9]

    Air Fry Vegetables Step 8.jpg
  2. Slice of potatoes or veggies into rounds. If you want to make vegetable chips, you'll need to cut very thin slices of your chosen veggie. Use a knife and a cutting board to carefully slice the vegetables into pieces, or run them along a mandoline placed on the thinnest setting.[10]

    • Some vegetables that you could use to make chips include zucchini, squash, beets, sweet potato, and carrots.
    • You can also make kale chips in an air fryer—just cut the leaves off of the stalk instead of chopping them.[11]
  3. Place the slices in a single layer on the air fryer tray. Once you get your vegetables cut, lay the slices in your air fryer basket or tray. Try not to overlap them, since they'll cook more evenly if they're in a single layer.[12]

    Air Fry Vegetables Step 10.jpg
    • Work in small batches if you're making a lot of chips.
  4. Cook at for 25-30 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes. Turn on your air fryer and set the temperature to . Then, place the basket in the air fryer and set the timer to about 25 minutes. Every 5 minutes or so, lift the basket and shake it back and forth to shift the chips around. This will help ensure the chips crisp evenly.[13]

    • Thinner, more delicate vegetables, like kale chips, might only need 7-10 minutes.
  5. Check the chips frequently near the end of the cooking time. During the last 5 minutes or so, keep a close eye on your vegetable chips. Once they get crispy, the edges can start to burn easily, so you'll want to pull them out right away once the chips appear to be thoroughly cooked.[14]

    • The chips should have a relatively uniform toasty color when they're ready.
  6. Toss your chips in a bowl with oil and seasoning. After they're finished cooking, transfer your veggie chips to a bowl, then add about of canola or vegetable oil, along with seasonings like salt and pepper. Gently shake the bowl to coat the chips evenly, then serve and enjoy![15]

    • For a simple, tasty treat, season the chips with 3/4 tsp (4.5 g) of salt and 1/4 tsp (0.5 g) of black pepper.
    • If you love the cool tangy flavor of ranch, try shaking on 1 tsp (2 g) of ranch powder.
    • Make craveable savory chips by mixing 1/4 tsp (1.5 g) of salt, 1/8 tsp (0.25 g) of garlic powder, and (5 g) of grated parmesan.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

[Edit]Fresh Veggies

  • Air fryer
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Bowl

[Edit]Vegetable Chips

  • Air fryer
  • Knife and cutting board or mandoline
  • Bowl

[Edit]References

How to Identify Raw Diamonds

Posted: 10 Feb 2020 12:00 AM PST

Diamonds which have not yet been cut are referred to as 'rough' or 'raw' diamonds. To identify whether the stone you have is a diamond, you can do a quick visual evaluation to rule out other gemstones. From there, you'll want to perform a more precise test with a piece of corundum or an electronic diamond tester. You can also perform a gravity test to determine the specific gravity of the stone, which will tell you whether it is a diamond.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Performing Simple Tests at Home

  1. Look down at the top of the crystal and count the sides. Diamonds are cubic, while other similar stones like quartz are hexagonal. Look down at the point of the crystal and count the number of sides. If there are 4 sides, there's a possibility the crystal is a diamond. If there are 6 sides, it means that it's likely a quartz crystal.[1]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 1.jpg
    • The visual test is a quick way to rule out other gemstones but is not a definitive test.
    • If you see 4 sides in the crystal, use additional methods to verify that it is, in fact, a diamond.
  2. Scrape the crystal against a piece of corundum. Corundum is another kind of crystal that's slightly less hard than a diamond. Purchase a cheap piece of corundum or buy a mineral testing kit that includes corundum. Hold the corundum firmly against a table and scrape the suspected diamond against the corundum. If it creates a visible scratch, the crystal is a diamond. If it doesn't create a scratch, then it is a different mineral.[2]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 2.jpg
    • The Mohs Hardness Scale scientifically rates crystals by hardness. Diamonds are a 10 on the scale while corundum is rated a 9. This is why it creates a scratch when you rub the two crystals together.
  3. Use a diamond tester instead of using a scratch test. You can purchase a diamond tester online. Check the device to see if it has a full battery by making sure that the green light is on. Then, press the tip of the tester against the suspected diamond. If it makes a noise and lights up, the mineral is a diamond. If it doesn't, then it is a different kind of gemstone.[3]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 3.jpg
    • Diamond testers use thermal and electric conductivity to determine whether your gemstone is a diamond.
    • Cheaper diamond testing devices may not be as accurate as more expensive models. #*Read customer reviews before you make your purchase.

[Edit]Performing a Specific Gravity Test

  1. Weigh the crystal on an electric scale and record the weight. You can purchase an electric scale online. Place the stone on the top of your scale and record the weight on a piece of paper.[4]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 4.jpg
    • Some electric scales are more accurate than others. Find one that goes at least 2-3 decimal places after the whole number.
  2. Fill up a cup with water and zero the scale. Take a paper or plastic cup and fill it up with enough water to fully submerge your crystal. Then, place the cup with the water on the scale and hit "tare" to zero it out.[5]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 5.jpg
    • Zeroing out the scale will enable you to determine the specific gravity of the diamond without including the weight of the cup and water.
    • If you don't have a plastic cup, you can also use lightweight Tupperware or plastic bowl.
    • Make sure that the container doesn't hang off the edges of the scale.
  3. Wrap a paper clip around the crystal so you can hold it in the air. To determine the stone's specific gravity, it must be suspended in the water without sinking to the bottom or touching the sides of the cup. Completely unbend a paper clip, then wrap one end tightly around the widest part of the stone. Suspend the stone by picking up the other end of the paper clip.[6]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 6.jpg
  4. Submerge the entire crystal in the water and record the weight. Hold onto the end of the paper clip and dip the crystal into the cup of water, making sure not to hit the sides or the bottom of the cup. Record the weight on the same piece of paper that you used to record the stone's weight.[7]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 7.jpg
    • If you hit the bottom or sides of the cup, the scale will give you an inaccurate reading.
    • The weight of the tip of the paperclip is negligible.
  5. Divide the weight of the crystal by the weight of the crystal in water. If you divide the weight of the gem with the weight of the suspended gem in water, you'll get the gem's density. Diamonds have a density of 3.5 - 3.53 g/cm3. If the results are less than this number, you have a different gemstone. If the number is close to this figure, there's a good chance your stone is a diamond.[8]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 8.jpg
    • For example, if your stone weighed and the weight of the suspended gem was you'd get 2.625, which would be the approximate density of quartz, not diamonds.[9]
  6. Determine whether the specific gravity falls in the 3.5 - 3.53 g/cm3 range. You may have a diamond if your equation gives you a number within the range of 3.5 - 3.53g/cm3. For example, if your stone weighs and the weight of the stone suspended in water is , you would calculate /=3.51 g/cm3. This would verify that the density of the stone you have matches the density of diamonds.
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 9.jpg
    • If you determine that you do have a diamond, you can get it appraised by a professional jeweler.

[Edit]Doing More Advanced Tests

  1. Determine whether the diamond was found near kimberlite pipes. Kimberlite pipes are igneous stones, or stones that formed from molten magma, and can found under the surface of the soil. Naturally occurring diamonds are mostly found in these kimberlite pipe deposits. If your crystal was originally sourced from a kimberlite pipe, there's a greater likelihood that it is a diamond rather than another stone.[10]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 10.jpg
  2. Use a telescope or 10x loupe to examine the stone closer. A loupe is a special magnifying glass that jewelers use. Put the diamond under the loupe or microscope and look for rounded edges that have tiny indented triangles. Cubic diamonds, on the other hand, will have parallelograms or rotated squares. A real raw diamond should also appear like it has a coat of vaseline over it.[11]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 11.jpg
    • Cut diamonds will have sharp edges.
  3. Take the diamond to a professional for evaluation if you're still unsure. If you performed the tests and suspect that you have a diamond, take it to get graded and verified by a professional jeweler to ensure its authenticity. They can also obtain a letter of authenticity and specific report number through GIA or another diamond grading organization.[12]
    Identify Raw Diamonds Step 12.jpg
    • Getting your crystal professionally evaluated is the most definitive way to determine whether it is a diamond.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

[Edit]Verifying a Raw Diamond

  • Corundum
  • Diamond tester

[Edit]Performing a Specific Gravity Test

  • Electric scale
  • Cup
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Calculator

[Edit]Doing More Advanced Tests

  • Telescope or loupe

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Clean a Keurig

Posted: 09 Feb 2020 04:00 PM PST

Keurigs are great for making single cups of coffee, but over time, they can get dirty and buildup can form inside the machine. Every now and then, you need to clean your Keurig so it keeps making full cups of flavorful coffee. Every week you should clean the removable parts, and you should change the filter and descale the machine every few months. When your Keurig is clogged, you can manually clean out the pod holder and needle. Once the machine is clean, your coffee will taste fresh with each brew!

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Performing Weekly Maintenance

  1. Wipe the entire machine with soapy water. Mix liquid dish soap in a sink full of warm water. Wet a cleaning cloth in the soapy water and wring it out so it's not dripping. Wipe all of the exterior surfaces on your Keurig to clean off any dust or dried-on coffee. Focus on areas like the mug tray and pod holder since they get the dirtiest.[1]

    Clean a Keurig Step 1 Version 7.jpg
    • Make sure there isn't a K-cup or coffee pod in the holder when you start cleaning.
    • If your Keurig has a touchscreen display, wipe it dry with a paper towel when you're finished cleaning it so it doesn't get damaged.
  2. Remove and wash the bottom reservoir. The bottom reservoir is underneath the mug tray and is used to catch any accidental spills. Pull out the bottom reservoir and soak it in your sink filled with soapy water. Scrub any stuck-on residue with your cleaning cloth before rinsing it off.[2]

    • The mug tray usually rests on top of the bottom reservoir. You can either wipe the mug tray with a cloth or soak it in your sink.
  3. Soak the water tank in soapy water. Pull the tank off of the Keurig and empty the water into your sink. Rinse out the tank with warm water before soaking it. Scrub the inside of the tank with your cleaning cloth before rinsing it clean again.[3]

    • If you have a Keurig filter in the water tank, pull it out before washing out the tank.
  4. Let the bottom reservoir and tank air dry. Put the tank and reservoir upside down on a drying rack so they can air dry. Leave them to dry completely before putting them back on your Keurig. Don't use a towel to dry them since it could leave lint inside the tank.[4]
    Clean a Keurig Step 4 Version 7.jpg

[Edit]Unclogging the Needle and Pod Holder

  1. Pull out the pod holder from the top. Lift the handle on top of your Keurig to access the pod holder. Grab the edges of the pod holder and pull up carefully to remove it from the machine. The pod holder cartridge will easily come out so you can clean it.[5]

    • Be careful of the needle above the pod holder since it's sharp.
  2. Separate the funnel from the pod holder. The pod holder is made with 2 pieces that are held together in the middle. Gently pull the pod holder apart to remove the bottom funnel from the pod compartment. You may need to twist the funnel to help loosen it.[6]

    • Take apart the pod holder over your sink or a paper towel in case leftover coffee grounds fall out
  3. Poke a paper clip through the tube on the pod holder. Unbend a paper by hand until it's straight. Stick the end of the unbent paper clip into the small tube at the bottom the Keurig's pod holder to break apart any clogs. Take the paper clip out of the pod holder so any residue you broke apart can fall out through the hole. Keep poking into the pod holder until you don't see anymore residue.[7]

    • You can also use a toothpick if you don't have a paper clip.
  4. Rinse the pod holder and funnel under warm water. Turn on your sink so it's running warm water. Hold the pod holder and funnel upside down underneath the water to rinse any residue out. Rotate the pod holder and funnel under the water until it's completely rinsed.[8]

    • Avoid using any soap while cleaning out your pod holder since it could affect the flavor of your coffee if it's not completely rinsed out.
  5. Clean the inside of the needle with your paper clip. The needle is located inside your Keurig above the pod holder. Use the same paper clip you used to clean the tube on the pod holder and poke it inside the hole in the center of the needle. Work the paper clip back and forth to loosen any coffee grounds or scale that may have gotten stuck inside.[9]

    • Be careful while cleaning the needle since it is sharp and could hurt you.
  6. Put the pod holder back in your machine. Reattach the funnel and the pod compartment by pressing them together. Set the entire pod holder into the space where you pulled it out and gently push it back into place. The pod holder will click once it's secured again.[10]

    • There is usually an arrow on the pod holder and the Keurig to show which way to insert it. Make sure the pod holder is lined up correctly.
  7. Run 2 water-only cycles through your machine. Place an empty mug on the mug tray underneath the dispenser. Fill the water tank up to the max fill line and start a water-only cycle on your machine. Let the water fill the mug until the first cycle is finished. Empty the mug and run the machine one more time without a K-cup so it can clean out any residue.[11]

    • Some Keurig machines will make you press a button on a touchscreen to confirm that you want to run the cycle without a K-cup. Other machines may make you lift the handle and close it again before starting another cycle.

[Edit]Descaling the Tank

  1. Empty the water tank and remove the filter. Take the reservoir off of your Keurig machine and dump out any water that's inside it. If your Keurig has a water filter, pull it out of the tank and set it aside while you descale the machine. Put the water tank back onto your Keurig once it's empty.[12]

  2. Mix equal parts descaling solution and water in the tank. Pour a full bottle of Keurig descaling solution into the water tank, which is usually around . Fill the bottle again with water from your sink and add it to your tank to dilute the solution.[13]

    • You can buy Keurig descaling solution online or in the kitchen section of big box stores.
  3. Run the Keurig until the "Add Water" light blinks. Place a mug underneath the dispenser so the solution doesn't spill when you run it. Make sure there isn't a K-cup inside the machine before you start running a regular brew cycle. Start the machine and let the first cycle fill the mug. Once the first cycle is over, empty the mug and start another cycle immediately. Keep running cycles until the tank is empty and the "Add Water" light starts blinking.[14]

    • If your Keurig has a touchscreen, the screen will display when it needs more water in order to run.
  4. Let your Keurig sit for at least 30 minutes. Your Keurig stores some of the solution inside an internal reservoir after you run the cycles. Leave your Keurig alone for at least 30 minutes so the descaler can break apart any residue or buildup inside the reservoir.[15]

    Clean a Keurig Step 15.jpg
    • If you're using vinegar to descale your Keurig, leave it alone for about 4 hours so it has time to break down the buildup inside.
  5. Fill the tank with clean water. Pour out any leftover solution or liquid into your sink and rinse it underneath warm water. Make sure you rinse the tank thoroughly so there's no solution left inside. Fill the tank to the max fill line with clean water and put it back on your machine.[16]

  6. Run through water-only cycles on your Keurig at least 12 times. Set a mug on the mug tray and run a hot water-only cycle through your machine. Once the first cycle is complete, empty the mug and run another cycle immediately after. Keep running cycles until you've done it 12 times to clean out all of the descaler solution.[17]

    • You may have to fill the water tank at least once to run all of the cycles.
    • Descale your Keurig every 6 months.

[Edit]Replacing the Water Filter

  1. Soak a new filter in water for 5 minutes. Keurig filters should be replaced every 3 months or every 60 times you fill the tank. Take the replacement filter and put it in a bowl of cold water. Let the filter soak for at least 5 minutes before putting it in your Keurig. This helps the filter work better once it's inside your tank.[18]

    Clean a Keurig Step 18.jpg
    • You can buy new Keurig filters online or in the kitchen section of big box stores.
  2. Pull out the filter tube from your water tank. The filter tube is usually found in the middle or near the back of your Keurig's water tank. Simply pull the tube out from the Keurig and set it on a piece of paper towel so it doesn't get your counter wet.[19]
    Clean a Keurig Step 19.jpg
    • Not every Keurig will have a filter.
  3. Take apart the bottom of the tube to remove the old filter. Keurig filters consist of a long tube and a mesh piece on the bottom to hold the filter in place. Grab the mesh piece on the bottom and pull it loose to take out the filter. Once you remove the old filter, throw it away.[20]

    • Take out the old filter while the new one is soaking. That way, once the new filter is done soaking, you can immediately put it in.
  4. Rinse the new filter in water for 1 minute. Take the new filter out from the bowl of water and rinse it underneath cool water. Rotate the filter in your hands to rinse it completely. Keep the filter underneath the stream of water for at least 1 minute before you put it in the tube.[21]

  5. Place the new filter in the tube and put it back in the tank. Hold the filter tube upside down and set your filter inside of it. Replace the mesh bottom to secure the filter in place before putting the filter back into your Keurig. Once the filter is replaced, you can immediately use the Keurig again.[22]

[Edit]Video

[Edit]Tips

  • Wipe your Keurig off every time you use it to keep it clean and prevent any residue from forming.

[Edit]Warnings

  • Be careful while unclogging the needle since it's sharp.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

[Edit]Performing Weekly Maintenance

  • Dish soap
  • Cleaning cloth

[Edit]Unclogging the Needle and Pod Holder

  • Paper clip
  • Mug

[Edit]Descaling the Tank

  • Descaling solution or white vinegar
  • Mug

[Edit]Replacing the Water Filter

  • Keurig water filter
  • Bowl

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary