What To Consider When You Are Looking To Buy a Rice Cooker

By using this guide you can help find yourself the best rice cooker suited to your needs and desires. We offer information at Arran on the different uses of rice cookers, measurements and sizing options to choose from, feature outlines from leading brands and how to utilize some advanced features.

how to buy a rice cooker

Different appliances can be purchased for your kitchen to make sure that stress from cooking can be lowered and to make some tasks much easier. A Rice Cooker is a perfect example of a tool that will make everything so much easier. Dealing with timings, cooking type and temperature it can perfect the cooking of your rice, whilst requiring less work! Whether you simply want a basic rice cooker or an advanced appliance for large families, parties or gatherings it is an almost essential tool for every kitchen.

– Different Uses Of A Rice Cooker. Leading brands have all developed unique features for their Rice Cookers and several of them can be used for different uses. Many of the rice cookers also can perform as a pressure cooker for steaming vegetables alongside your rice, or to even cook a stew. The rice cooker will handle all the measurements, cooking and timings, so you can set and forget until your ready to serve your food.

– Choosing The Right Size. Making sure you pick the right size is very important. Many of the leading brands have sizing options that vary between model number. Some rice cookers can only cook 3 cups, whereas others can cook over 10 cups of cooked rice! Beware of sizing differences around the globe, UK cup sizes are 250ml, however many of the cookers are developed in Japan who value cups at 200ml. Smaller cookers will yield a smaller amount of overall cooked rice usually between 3 and 4 cups. Larger cookers will often yield around 8 to 14 cups of rice.

– Cooking and Warming. Some rice cookers will only allow cooking, but some others will allow cooking and warming. A beginner level cooker is most likely to only feature cooking, which will most likely to lead to timing issues and cold rice, with a warming feature you can set your rice cooker to keep food warm for an unlimited duration of time. This makes timing easy and will allow food to always be served at the ideal temperature.

– Advanced cooking features. Modern day rice cookers have evolved from the basic level cooking to some very advanced cooking techniques that are fully automated and create the most splendid rice. Often Rice Cookers that have these advanced options will come with extra accessories and the most high quality cooking tools built inside. They often feature multiple settings, so you can cook white, brown or even sushi rice with different temperatures, cooking settings and times. Are you a fan of sticky rice? Well the advanced cookers are made for you.

With different cycling settings it opens up the world of uses to your rice cooker, you can start cooking porridge or even some rice grains that are intended for breakfast. Often these require very slow cooking to make sure they are cooked perfectly and this is where the cycling process of the cooking is essential.

The most high level advanced cookers will feature induction cooking which is growing to become the most popular way to cook food. It accounts for different weighing errors and is extremely environmentally friendly as it utilizes less energy that other conventional cookers. The only downside is that the pricing is rather expensive, however the cost is definitely justified with the results you will see in each grain of rice, cooked to perfection!

The Best Attachments for Stand Mixers

There is a whole lot a thing a stand mixer can do other than beating the eggs, whipping creams and mixing ingredients. Nowadays, top of the line mixers come with attachments that are so helpful in the kitchen. There are also attachments that are sold separately. Here is a list of attachments that are must-haves to all kitchens.

1.    Food Grinder

These days, mixers are now able to grind meat and other food like bread and cheese. With the proper attachment, it is now easy to make burgers at the comfort of your home.

2.    Food Processor

A food processor is ideal for food preparation especially if you have limited time. It speeds up dicing, slicing and shredding fruits, vegetables and others. To have a separate food processor, it would be more expensive than just buying an attachment. More so, it will also take space on your countertop or kitchen cabinet.

3.    Grain Mill

Milling grains is easy with the help of the grain mill attachment. It can grind grains finely for your baking needs.  It works well wheat, rice, oats, and corn. It is perfect for those who love using freshly made flour in their cooking and baking session.

4.    Ice Cream Maker

This attachment is perfect for summer days and in satisfying the cravings, especially of the children. Homemade ice creams are perfect for parents who are particular to the sweets consumed by their children.

5.    Juicer

For health conscious individual, this attachment is for them. Juicing is beneficial to one’s body giving it the nutrients from vegetables and fruits that are easily absorbed and used by the body. Sometimes this attachment can also be used in making sauces and dressings perfect for salads and pasta.

6.    Pasta Maker

Speaking of pasta, it is also feasible with a stand mixer with the proper attachment on it. Homemade pasta is way better in quality than the store-bought pasta. Many people prefer buying ready to cook pasta because they are intimidated on how pasta is being made. With this attachment, pasta dough is already rolled and then cut to your desired shape, saving effort and time.

7.    Ravioli Maker

Ravioli are pasta with stuffing inside. Just like any pasta, ravioli needs time and effort to make with all the rolling and stuffing. However, with the ravioli maker attachment, it will do all the work for you cutting the time for preparation.

8.    Sausage Stuffer

The sausage stuffer attachment is used together with the food grinder. Ground meat from the meat grinder directly passes to the sausage stuffer to the sausage casing. Less time and less mess in making sausage are made with this great attachment.

9.    Slicer/Shredder

For slicing and shredding fruits, vegetables, and cheese, this is attachment is the perfect solution. Although intended only for small jobs, it also very helpful I the kitchen.

10.    Spiralizer

This attachment is used for peeling fruits and vegetables. More so, this can also make vegetable pasta by spiralizing beets, zucchinis, and other veggies.

The versatility of these products is very useful in the kitchen. There is no need to purchase other equipment, only ONE stand mixer can do the work of others.

The Isle of Arran

The Island of Arran is situated on the south west coast of Scotland

“Often referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, the Isle of Arran within a short compass captures many aspects of the beauty of Scotland as a whole, from towering granite peaks inviting hill walkers and climbers to peaceful sandy bays overlooked by palm trees growing in the warm climate of The Gulf Stream. The wildlife is outstanding, with deer, pheasant, otter and eagle readily seen in the mountains. There are over 100 species of birds. There are colonies of seals near coastal caves, trails and pathways to mysterious Bronze Age Stone Circles, and many relaxing angling hours to be enjoyed by streams or sea. 7 challenging golf courses tempt the golfer, whilst history and heritage is catered for at Brodick Castle and various museums.” Bruno Baumgärtner, Argentine House Hotel, Whiting Bay.

If you want to visit a village just click on it.

These pages have been created by Bill and George Stewart they are sponsored by the contributors herein. We hope you enjoy your visit to our Island site, if you have any comments on our site we would like to hear from you. We are sorry that it is not fully working at the moment but we will be working on it constantly and updating daily.

Yours,

Bill & George

A Brief History of Austria

Austria first emerged as an important force in central Europe during the 15th century with the formation of the Hapsburg Empire, maintaining this role until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the First World War. In 1918, the Republic of Austria was formed only to be annexed within a mere two decades by the German Third Reich (Economist). In the post World War Two era the Allies occupied Austria until 1955, during which a State Treaty simultaneously recognized Austria’s independence and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law declaring Austria’s “perpetual neutrality” went into effect that year as a condition for the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Making large economic strides, Austria grew rapidly into one of the world’s most advanced nations, joining the European Union in 1995 and the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999 (CIA World Factbook). It continues to be a constitutional democracy, based on its original Constitution of 1920, later revised in 1929 (Austrian Embassy).


As a federal republic, Austria is divided into nine states under a central government. Split into a bicameral legislature, the National Council, or Nationalrat, holds 183 seats elected by direct popular vote and the Federal Council, or Bundesrat, holds 62 seats elected by provincial parliaments. The National Council is primarily responsible for national interests, while the Federal Council is representative of state interests (Austrian Embassy). Each state is headed by a state governor, but the federal government has the power to dissolve state assemblies with the consent of the Bundesrat. Members of the Nationalrat are elected for four year terms, and a national election is rapidly approaching in Fall of 2006. The executive branch consists of the Chief of State, President Heinz Fischer, and the Head of Government, Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel. Directly elected by the people every six years, the president has no executive powers in times of peace, but is responsible for the appointment of the chancellor. Traditionally chosen from the plurality party in the Nationalrat, the chancellor heads a Council of Ministers (Economist).

Austrian government operates under a multi-party system, and the current Chancellor is head of a coalition between the people’s party, the OVP, and the Alliance for Austria’s Future, the BZO, formerly the freedom party (Frey). Other major parties include the Social Democrats and the Green party on the national level, although both the Liberal Forum and the Communist party have representation in local parliaments (Austrian Embassy). Schuessel remains one of the most influential moderately conservative leaders in Europe, although his coalition with the original Freedom party has been a subject of much controversy (Frey). The Freedom party, headed by Jorg Haider, began as a highly nationalist party, and gained overwhelming national support for its xenophobic attitudes. However, Austria endured embarrassing relations with fellow EU nations in 2000, when EU members froze bilateral contacts in protest to the inclusion of the Freedom party. In April of 2005, Haider engineered an internal split within the party, and began the BZO, completely abandoning his earlier ideals. Although his ministers and the majority of his deputies followed him into the BZO, this has barely maintained Schuessel’s power, as most of the grassroots activism remains with the original party (Fizzles). The moderate government has been slipping in favor to the Social Democrats since this party split, and both the BZO and the OVP have lost representation in recent regional elections. There are rumors of a possible attempt by Schuessel to scheme a grand coalition between the OVP and the Social Deomcrats, or even more radically, the Green Party, in desperate attempts to remain in power. Yet, Schuessel is relying heavily on his distinctive personality and notoriously excellent campaigning skills for the upcoming election (Frey).

As one of the globe’s most highly developed countries, Austria’s per capita income is ranked twelfth worldwide. It has strong ties to fellow EU nations and the United States economically, and it has served generally as a link between Central and Eastern Europe (Krautgartner). Although traditionally, Austria has maintained a free market economy with an emphasis on social factors, the current government under Schuessel has persistently pursued a number of economic reforms. Overhauling the state pension system and pushing for the privatization of companies, much of these new economic policies tend to be in favor of business growth (Frey). Much of this corporate expansion and rapid growth can be attributed to Eastern Europe, and an export boom is driving company profits to new highs while new laws favor profit from foreign subsidiaries (Krautgartner). Yet, strict laws continue to exist, preventing most Eastern European themselves from joining the Austrian labor market. Like most other EU nations, Austria chose to retain control over labor laws until 2011, shutting its doors to the vast majority of migrant workers (Wagstyl). Although Austrian government insists that this is based primarily on the growth of previously low unemployment rates, other European nations have insinuated otherwise.

With a plethora of historical prejudice, Austrian culture includes an underlying xenophobia. As a free, democratic nation, the Austrian constitution guarantees universal suffrage, but the overwhelming popularity of the Freedom party suggests a widely accepted sense of racism (Frey). In October of 2005, Schuessel obstructed the start of EU membership discussion with Turkey, dropping his demands that Turkey be offered something short of full membership only in return for the beginning of accession talks with Croatia. Infuriating other EU members, many nations insinuated that these actions could be traced back to anti-Muslim sentiments in Austria, while Croatia was supported as an outpost for the Christian west. The controversy revolved primarily around the fact that Croatia was to have handed its war criminals to the Hague Tribunal before talks of its membership into the EU could begin. Some said that Austria was willing to compromise European principles in order to allow Croatia through a back door. Yet, Austria continues to maintain that Croatia is simply better prepared for EU membership (Jones).

In addition to fighting for an uphill reelection, the current Austrian government faces a challenge as it takes its turn on the rotating EU presidency for the first six months of 2006. This becomes further complicated by the fact that other than the UK, Austrian public support of the EU is the lowest of all its countries. Polls show that the public believes that the EU has brought with it more disadvantages than advantages in the past decade. Issues include a Constitution ratified by some nations, but rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands, the entry of Romania and Bulgaria, an ongoing battle over the budget, and the notorious accession talks for both Turkey and Croatia. Schueller will have a difficult time balancing both this international presidency and his domestic political agenda (Frey).