Value Add Singapore

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Cooking With a Cast-Iron Skillet

Cast-iron skillets have been around for a long time, and from one-pan pasta sheets to sheet-pan meals, the secret to avoiding having to wash multiple dishes after each dinner has always been right there with us.

While a cast-iron skillet may look heavy and intimidating to someone who doesn’t cook often, it’s actually very useful around the kitchen and will save you from having to use multiple pans when cooking at home.

In fact, here’s why you should be cooking with a cast-iron skillet at home:

1. It heats up evenly
Cast iron is really dense (it’s made whole in one cast and is made entirely of iron), and can hold onto heat really well. This makes them ideal for browning meats and cooking vegetables, as well as frying or baking.

This is because even heating makes food cook faster without constantly having to manage the heat source, or rotate the pans in the oven to achieve the same results.

2. The surface is naturally non-stick
Few non-stick pots and pans can go easily from the oven to the stovetop and vice versa, but with a well-seasoned cast iron pan, you can achieve different cooking methods for your dishes easily.

3. Cast-iron gets better over time
Though cast-iron skillets may be notorious for being really needy in terms of constant maintenance (and you can’t clean them the same way with non-stick or stainless steel pans and pots), they are one of the few rare cooking items that get better with every use.

This is because the “seasoning” in the cast-iron pan is the fat or oil baked into the iron, which is what gives it its natural non-stick coating. The more it’s used, the better the pan becomes in taking on heat and being naturally non-stick.

4. It gives you a lot more control than with a stainless steel pan
A cast-iron skillet makes things less messy when you’re cooking, and because it holds onto heat really well, you can cook with it over a stovetop or place it in an oven with ease. This means that you can try out different kinds of dishes that need time on both the stovetop and in the oven.

And because you have all kinds of options open for you, there’s no limit to what you can come up with for the next potluck.

5. They’re extremely durable
With regular (and proper) seasoning, a cast-iron skillet can be a long-lasting heavy-duty piece of equipment that you can get for your kitchen. Used well, it can last for more than a decade.

However, you might want to stay away from acidic foods, as they can leave any unwanted metallic foods onto your food.

Advantages of Hiring Good Plumbers

One of the most important systems in anyone’s household today is the plumbing system, or water and drainage system if you like. Pipes, in general, will surely look complicated to any person who’s untrained with plumbing. Plumbing can involve installation and repair of sinks, toilet bowls, pipes, taps, and a lot more. To avoid all this confusion, just save your energy by calling for plumbing services.

Expert service and results
When you hire a PUB licensed plumber you are assured of expert-quality works and services. Those who live in flats also don’t have to worry because you can always call an HDB plumbing contractor. These professionals will provide fast and reliable service from start to finish. You can expect good services from Singapore plumbers when you need to unclog drains on kitchen sink or fix pipelines. On the outside, it may look simple enough to deal with. But there is also a chance that you move something that should not be moved. That can mean a lot of problems. Fortunately for everyone, 24 hour emergency plumbing is now very easy to reach.

You won’t have to worry about repairs
Because a toilet is one of the most used facilities in a house, toilet bowl choke can be a pretty common problem. The good thing is, you can usually deal with clogged toilets yourself. But, if the toilet trap or the plumbing vent is blocked, it’s best to call the experts. Plumbers can fix toilet bowl easily!

As mentioned earlier, to fix broken pipes can be quite complicated if you hardly know anything about plumbing. You might touch things that are not supposed to be touch and you can make disastrous mistakes too. In this case, it should always be better to call a plumber rather than to try to fix things on your own. Plumbers will also know if there are any hazards around and will be able to inform you then.

24/7 work
Most plumbing companies also have a 24 hours plumber ready to deploy at any time of the day. You might wake up in the middle of the night and see that water is overflowing all over the place. This can be the result of a leaky pipe that finally burst. That is why having an emergency plumber read on call is a very valuable asset.

You won’t waste your money
Now, of course, you can always call cheap plumbers! There’s no denying that a lot of plumbers and installers don’t necessarily charge a lot even if they provide good services. But if you really want to save money on services like fixing or installing pipes, hire a good kitchen pipe installer in Singapore. Not only will they do the installing or the repairing, but they will also give you advice on Plumbing basics and all the necessary information you need to know about your plumbing system. It will definitely be worth it for the plumbing cost!

Even if the job is as simple as to install a sink, it’s always good to have a reliable plumber you can call instantly. Plumbing services in Singapore are very valuable whether it’s for an HDB flat, commercial building, or residential home. Especially because just like electricity, the plumbing system is a big necessity for people today.

Get to Know the Different Types of Services for Your Aircon Units

Your AC unit is more important than you think – not only does it keep you cool and comfortable during a hot day, but in an office setting, it could mean the difference in workplace productivity.

The best way to take care of your aircon is by calling a professional aircon servicing company to take a look at your AC unit and recommend the best service for it.

Aircon services fall under the following categories:

1. Repair – Is your air conditioner not cooling even at the highest setting? If so, you should call a home AC repair service to get it running again.

It could be the cause of one or many parts failing at once. For instance, you might have a defective compressor that won’t circulate the refrigerant, or that you have insufficient coolant because of a previous leak.

Other less serious problems include having a faulty thermostat, which can give you an inaccurate reading on your room’s temperature and cost more power in the long run.

It’s best to fix cooling system problems even though they seem small at first – they can easily get worse if you leave them alone.

2. Maintenance – A clean AC is an efficient AC that will keep working for a long time. Let a professional aircon servicing company based from Singapore clean your air-con filters and dirty coils to bring your air conditioning unit’s functions back to normal. Regular, thorough cleaning also keeps you from having to call a repair service for emergencies, which can get quite expensive quickly.

3. Installation – Installing an aircon unit can be difficult if you don’t know how to do it properly, so it’s best to leave it to a professional service to get the job done.
With proper installation, you minimize any damage and reduce the cost to upkeep AC units at work or at home.

Types of Aircon Units

Before you call an air conditioning services company for your unit, it’s important to know that there are different types of aircon units and yours may fall into any one of the following:

• Window – Older HDB flats in Singapore will have a windowsill designed to fit this particular unit (where all components are included in one box), which is designed to fit in a window, hence the name.

• Portable – Portable units also have all their components included in one box, but instead of being fixed to one location, you can move them around.

• Split – The most commonly used AC unit in Singapore consists of two part: one internal and one external. These two parts are connected to each other through pipes and cables.

• Cassette – Cassette types work the same way as split-unit types, but free up more space thanks to their design.

Keep in mind that if you need to install aircon at your premise, it’s crucial to look for a certified aircon master installer in Singapore. The cost of AC system fitting also depends on the type of unit that you have in your home or office.

And because different units have different capacities, it’s important to know whether your unit is fit for the area it’s installed in. In fact, your AC unit can break down because it’s often used at capacity in the wrong room (i.e. it’s too small to cool it properly).

If they do break down, be sure to tell your aircon servicing company about how often you use your units. This lets them make a more accurate assessment and make the right repairs.

Are There Differences in Whole Grain, Wheat, and Multigrain Food?

For people who love bread and are lucky to have no intolerance to gluten, there are a lot of choices in the market for different types of so-called healthy bread. Are there really significant differences among the different types? Let’s examine each bread.

Whole Grain
To understand the names below, remember that a grain kernel is composed of three parts; endosperm, bran, and germ. The bran is the outer skin, while the germ is the embryo. The endosperm on the other hand, supplies the food of the germ, but all three are rich in nutrients and vitamins. As the name implies, whole grain food is made up of fully-intact grains of wheat, brown rice, oats, rolled oats, and barley.

Whole Wheat
Whole wheat is a type of whole grain food, which means that its germ, bran, and endosperm are still found in the kernels. A whole wheat bread, therefore, is food made up of wheat kernels.

Wheat Bread
A wheat bread is made of wheat flour or refined white flour, not wheat kernels. Be careful when selecting products that say wheat bread or whole wheat bread, because there are differences between the two. Some producers falsely label wheat bread as whole wheat.

In its simplest meaning, multigrain is a type of food made from more than one type of grain. It could be a mix of oats, wheat, and others, but it does not mean that the grains are whole. Some of these have had their germ and bran removed, so look for labels such as enriched and bleached, which will indicate that it’s not made from whole grains.

White Bread
White bread is usually made from wheat kernels without its bran and germ. While most health-conscious individuals prefer the whole wheat bread over white bread, it’s much tastier and affordable than the latter. There are producers, however, who fortify their white bread with the missing nutrients.

White Whole Wheat
This type of food is made from albino whole wheat grains, which means that all three components are intact. White whole wheat’s nutritional value is the same as that of whole wheat bread. There is also a red variety of wheat which will result in a dark-colored food.

Sprouted Grain
This type of food is made from flour of sprouted grains, which is the transition of a seed into a new plant. The producers of sprouted grain can create the right conditions to stop the seed from sprouting into a new plant at the right moment. The sprouting process can either be dry or wet, which will determine its shelf-life. Sprouted grain is considered an alternative to the white flour and the whole grain flour.

Essential Items for Oil Painting Beginners

If you are ready to start your training with oil paint, you will need tools different from that you use for watercolor and acrylic. You do not need to buy the most expensive items or professional-grade tools just yet, but you can start with student-grade materials.

These are the most important items you will need to start oil painting.

• Oil Paint
Buy a painting kit that contains a pack of several oil paints, because these are usually more affordable than single-color products. For a beginner, you will need the following colors: cadmium red, permanent alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow light, ultramarine blue, ivory black, and titanium white. Some artists, however, do not advise getting an ivory black paint and encourage mixing of colors to achieve grays and darks instead.

• Brushes and Palette Knives
You will be using a separate set of paint brushes for oil from your watercolor and acrylic brushes, because oil paint can easily destroy some of them. You might have to spend extra money on quality, durable brushes in different sizes. You must have at least a pair each of round, filbert, and flat brushes; with sizes 2, 6, and 12. You could get sizes smaller or bigger than those listed here as well as other types of brushes if you think you need them. The palette knife is also ideal for mixing and applying paint directly on the canvas.

• Palette and Jars
Any type or size of palette will work for oil, as long you choose one that has a surface for mixing the paint. You will also need at least two pieces of ceramic or plastic jars for cleaning your brushes and storing your mineral spirits or turpentine.

• Mineral Spirits or Turpentine
Oil paint on your brushes cannot be cleaned off with water alone, instead, you will need solvents such as turpentine and mineral spirits to thin out the paint. There are mineral spirits that are odorless and easier to handle than turpentine and paint thinners.

• Oil Medium or Linseed Oil
While mixing oil paint, you will need to add linseed stand oil or a painter’s medium. It will act as a diluting solution, pretty much like water acts as a thinner to watercolor. It has the same function of turpentine and mineral spirits, but the oil medium is more useful for achieving an ideal paint consistency and texture.

• Rags, Newsprint, and Apron
Oil painting is messy, so you will need rags and newsprint to protect other items in the room while you’re painting. You should also wear an apron to protect your clothes, because the oil paint is difficult to remove.

• Painting Surface and Easel
You can paint on any surface besides on a pre-stretched canvas as long as you treat the material first with gesso. You might also want to invest on an easel if you’re planning to paint on canvas, because they will make painting easier.

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