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Start to enjoy cooking again while spring cleaning your kitchen

'Huawei': A foreshadowing name?

Chinesepod's Carlie discusses the meaning of the name 'Huawei' in light of the recent national security concerns of the Whitehouse

Spring is a time of year known for cleaning. What that usually means is pulling the couches and fridge away from the wall, scrubbing and dusting in, over and through everything in the house. Or it means lots of time in the yard, raking leaves, pulling weeds, mowing the lawn and generally getting sweaty, dirty and sunburnt. But when you're done with all those chores you still have to make dinner. I know! Exhausting! But maybe this year instead of putting so much effort into cleaning you can spend some time shopping for new and improved kitchen products that will make your life easier all year round.

Pots and Pans
When was the last time you replaced any of them or added to your set? Technology, especially for saute pans has exploded in the past couple years. Here are two brands that are affordable and easy to use. Hexclad From stovetop to oven to dishwasher the Hexclad pan is amazing for a quick sear or caramelizing veggies. Did we mention it's virtually non-stick stainless steel? Plus their patented HexClad pattern allows you to get that great stainless steel sear with little or no oil, keeping your meals healthy and light. T-Fal Also dishwasher and oven safe, the T-Fal  ProGrade Titanium Nonstick Thermo-Spot is constructed to not only heat evenly, but the dot in the center tells you when the pan is hot enough! I love this for eggs and pancakes.
Someday you're going to cut your finger off with those dull blades. Not sure what you need? Chef Ivan Flowers tells you about what you need and what to use them on in his cooking class on knives. But what brand do you get? I have had my Henkel's forever and got a secondary set when the style was on clearance last winter. But for the casual chef something simple and sharp can cut through any kitchen task. We got to try the Ergo Chef SHINZUI Chefs Knife 8 Inch and instantly fell in love. The superior Japanese steel -vg10 Japanese super steel core is combined a 67 layer Damascus pattern, which makes each knife pattern slightly different, therefore one of a kind. The triple riveted handle is angled for comfort and precision. It comes in a beautiful box, which makes it great for gifting too! 
Countertop Electrics
So many gadgets so little space! If you don't have a lot of storage there are two items that should be at the top of your list - a crock pot and a griddle. Crux Kitchen and Bella Housewares both have amazing lines of products to suite any space and lifestyle. What you probably need most is a new toaster or toaster oven though. Once you start pushing the button twice or finding it easier to turn on the actual oven, it's time to upgrade. But if you do have a bit more space, I highly recommend a waffle iron. I got my first one over 20 years ago from my husband, then fiance, who was incredulous that that was what I wanted for Christmas. Just like the pans, technology has changed quite a bit with waffle irons, so it's a great item to update. Still have some space? A deep fryer, an espresso machine are great additions to any kitchen!   [gallery columns="2" ids="697975,697976"]
Even when you're just grilling some hot dogs and burgers at the end of a long day, it's a royal pain to scrub the crusties off the grates. That's where the GrillBot comes in with their set it and forget it auto grill cleaner.
Pack your lunch again
Let's be honest, as much as we try to reduce, reuse and recycle the plastic bags and old Rubbermaids are just that easy to use. I know I use baggies when I am pretty sure leftovers are going to get tossed - saves me some time, but totally not landfill friendly. Plus, let's be honest, it can cost a lot to get reusable products, many of which don't seal right. Russbe saves the day with reusable bags and truly leak-free Bento lunch box. The 4-pack of bags is just $7.99 and the Bento box is $8.99. The slide grip technology on the Bento ensures even the kids can seal it up and the bags have expandable bottoms so they hold things like grapes and strawberries without the squish. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="697979,697978"]   Don't forget to bring your water! With the Puritii portable water filtration bottle you can refill anywhere and stay hydrated. Free of BPA/BPS or any other bisphenols and EA free the 25 oz. bottle is actually leak proof as well as dishwasher safe.