Moving in together brings quite a few changes — romantic dinners, cosy breakfasts in bed, evenings cuddled up on the sofa watching the television… and a lot more ironing ! So you’ve given the old dry iron to your little sister and bought yourselves a steam iron. Efficient, easy to use and perfect for those tricky garments, you’ll soon discover that it’s also a major timesaver !

Steam ironing

Speed things up with your steam iron

Your housewarming party was the ideal opportunity to ask for a useful gift — your new steam iron, that you knew needed to be both lightweight and easy to use. Thanks to your brand new iron, you shouldn’t need to spend all day ironing shirts, trousers and household linen. With the help of a little steam and a few clever ironing tips, you can say goodbye forever to unsightly creases and tennis elbow, and even discover that ironing can be a pleasure !

The most important factor in choosing a steam iron is how much ironing you need to do in the week. If you can’t stand misshapen skirts and over-stretched T-shirts, then choose an iron that’s extremely user-friendly (some even have vertical steam, for perfect crease-free clothes). And finally, don’t forget that limescale is your steam iron’s public enemy N° 1. For perfect results every time, use filtered water and clean your iron regularly. Because let’s admit it, you couldn’t live without it even for a week !

 

You love your coffee filter – after all, it’s the only thing that gets you up in the morning ! Yet somehow your own coffee, while not quite resembling dishwater, never tastes quite as good as in the restaurant. So what’s the secret ? Here are a few tips to get you making perfect coffee even at the crack of dawn !

Filter coffee

The golden rules of good filter coffee

No two ways about it — poor-quality coffee grounds will never turn into a delicious, aromatic drink! Not all coffees are equal, far from it. You need to choose a finely ground, special filter coffee – preferably arabica, as robusta coffee may prove too bitter. One important ‘top tip’ is to wet the coffee filter – just dampen it slightly (don’t soak it !) before adding your coffee grounds.

Also, avoid using too much coffee. The general rule is a single teaspoonful per cup. More than that and it may end up way too bitter. And needless to say, never use the microwave to heat up yesterday’s jug — filter coffee should be made fresh and drunk hot. It’s practically a crime to heat up coffee that’s been sitting around for 24 hours !

 

Once upon a time, you were quite happy to fold and put away your sheets straight from the tumble dryer. Now, all that’s changed – you long for well-ordered cupboards and perfectly-ironed sheets. So here are a few tips for hassle-free sheet ironing.

Iron sheets

A few ironing tips to simplify your life 

Before ironing them, you first need to wash your sheets at the right temperature (check the label) and dry them properly, ideally on a large clothes line or in a tumble dryer. Steam generators are perfect if you often have a lot of sheets to iron – highly user-friendly, they feature a very powerful steam jet to get creases out in an instant.

But don’t panic – a steam iron will work just as well if your sheet is laid out right. Above all, don’t let it trail on the floor – you may walk on it, get it dirty and have to start all over again! Fold your sheet lengthwise and use horizontal strokes from the centre to the outer edge. Once you’ve finished the section on your ironing board, gently slide your sheet forward and continue until you reach the other edge. Then turn it over and repeat the process on the other side. A few jets of water or steam will quickly get rid of any creases and make the task even easier

 

From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, there’s only one thing on your mind – coffee !Breakfast wouldn’t be breakfast without it, and how could you possibly get through the day without those regular pick-me-ups? Plus there’s nothing better than a real espresso at the end of a good meal. But do you actually know the difference between an espresso, a ristretto and an americano, for example? Here’s a quick guide…

 Expresso.min

Cappucino, espresso or latte – which are you ?

Small, black and strong, espresso coffee is drunk all over the world, mainly first thing in the morning and after meals. A typical espresso is made with approximately 7 g of coffee and 30 to 40 ml of water. In Italy and elsewhere, you can also order an espresso macchiato (topped with a dab of steamed milk foam) or an espresso con panna (topped with whipped cream).

Lovers of very strong espresso coffee, such as ristretto, are no doubt horrified at the thought of a cappucino! A cappuccino is one third espresso, one third milk and one third milk foam, topped with a sprinkling of cocoa powder. It’s practically a dessert in itself, and can be made with either cow’s milkor soya milk, for those who fancy a change. Another variation is mocha coffee – take an espresso, add some sugar and diluted cocoa, and top with milk foam. Absolutely delicious! And if you like the taste of espresso but love a long drink, opt for an americano. Simply make your espresso, add as much hot water as you like and it’s ready!

 

If you often find yourself brandishing a huge meat cleaver to dice a tiny onion, or a breadknife to slice your julienne vegetables, then you’re brave – but doomed to failure! Each kitchen knife has its own specific purpose, and equipping yourself with a good set of knives should help save you valuable time and avoid any nasty accidents!

knives

Carving knives, paring knives, boning knives – how to tell them apart?!

Far from being just for show, each different kitchen knife is designed for a specific task, to make cooking easier and help you make the most of your ingredients. Of course, if you have to choose just two, you should go for a paring knife – perfect for cutting fruit and vegetables as well as all sorts of herbs – and a large cook’s knife that will adapt to anything, from fish to vegetables to meat. The smaller knives include vegetable knives, tomato knives, steak knives and even boning knives (perfect for meat and poultry). While the larger varieties include a long, thin knife specifically designed for cutting and serving salmon, plus the good old carving knife for cutting your roasts and legs of lamb.

Knives for table use include the indispensable steak knife, plus the fish knife with its flat edge designed for lifting and turning fish fillets. Usually shared by the whole table, the butter knife has a rounded tip, while the cheese knife bends back on itself. And although ordinary table knives are often used for dessert, a set of smaller dessert knives is sure to add an extra touch of class to your meals!

 

It’s high time you said goodbye to that rickety old iron and to all those endless hours spent slaving over sheets and shirts in a desperate attempt to render them vaguely presentable! So why not go really modern with a cordless iron? Highly practical and powerful, the Tefal Freemove is set to change your life!

Cordless Ironing

Results as good as a corded 2400W iron

You don’t have to sacrifice power for user-friendliness! Just because your new iron is cordless doesn’t mean it can’t cope with that mountain of sheets and T-shirts that’s gradually mounted up in the cupboard! On the contrary, it’s as reliable, powerful and effective as any corded iron in its category, but with the added bonus of total freedom! Gone are the days when you had to be a contortionist to iron your sheets properly, and thanks to the steam function you can be sure of perfect results every time.

And because time is too precious for unplanned stoppages, your Freemove cordless iron recharges itself in record time. There’s barely time to smooth out your next garment on the ironing board to stop it creasing when, hey presto, you’re ready for the off again!

It’s your turn to discover how simple and effortless ironing can be!

 

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