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With 18 years of experience working in industrial food production and a lifetime of experience cooking for self and family, plus a passion for good food, I have tips and information to share with you.

My newsletter contains information to help you know more about food, how to keep food safe, how to cut waste and maintain quality.

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Check out previous issues below.


The Health Benefits of Some Common Herbs

Parsley & Thyme

June 1, 2021 


Summer Outdoor Eating Season Is Coming

How To Keep Cold Food Safe in the Heat

May 1, 2021


Summer and Barbecue Season Are Coming

Safe Temperatures to Cook Food 

April 16, 2021


Are Potatoes Healthy?

How Should You Cook Them?

April 4, 2021


Meet The Brassica Family

With Some of the Most Healthy Vegetables

March 15, 2021


Plus, leave me a comment and let me know if you like the content.


All About Food – Join My Newsletter To Learn More

Check out my YouTube Channel for fast, easy, healthy recipes and tips and information about food.

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The Un-Holiday, Pandemic Winter, Lockdown Isolation Survival Guide

Do you want to have a copy of this free ebook with 87 tips and recipes to help you build a positive, resilient mindset, be healthy in body, mind, and spirit, make fast, easy healthy meals that are not expensive, and get through this pandemic. Read below on how to get my free ebook.

The Un-Holiday, Winter Pandemic, Lockdown Isolation Survival Guide

The ebook is free. Just click on this link or any link from the home page and you will be put on the list. The book will be available as of December 27, 2020. It will remain available, for free, until the pandemic shows signs of waning.

I hope you like the book. There are a series of 12 videos that go with this book. You can watch them here or from the home page.


Happy Holidays. Stay safe. Thank you. Deborah Esplin Dec. 25, 2020


11 Great Gift Ideas Under 35 Dollars for Kitchen and Home

Here are 11 great gift ideas under 35 dollars for your kitchen, at home or work, and for your home. Many of these ideas are less than 25 dollars. These gifts are good for any occasion, most people and for home or work. Plus they are useful, practical and durable.


This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my Affiliate Disclosure in the legal page link in the footer for further information. If not otherwise stated, all prices are intended in Canadian$.

Oct. 21, 2020 by Deborah Esplin

Great Gift Ideas For The Kitchen

Silicone Baking Mats


Silicone Baking Mat
Silicone Baking Mat

Silicone baking mats are great because they perform really well as a baking surface, you do not need to use oil and you do not use parchment paper which goes to waste and then to landfill. They provide even heat, are easy to wash and store and are very durable. You use them on top of your regular metal baking sheet.

These ones are from Culinary Couture, a set of three, in different sizes.

Or, you can buy one large baking mat.

Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan’s are so useful for storing in areas where the back of the cupboard is hard to reach. This one is 18 inches across but you can get them smaller. I love Lazy Susan’s in my cupboard because they save my knees and back.

Here is an 18-inch Lazy Susan.

Here is a 12-inch Lazy Susan.

Bamboo Cutting Boards

Bamboo Cutting Board
Bamboo Cutting Board

Bamboo is a sturdy, washable cutting surface that is gentle on your knives. Plus bamboo is lighter than wood so it is less heavy to manipulate the bigger boards. Bamboo cutting boards are easy to wash, maintain, and are very functional. They come in many sizes.

Bamboo cutting boards, set of 3 different sizes.

Bamboo cutting board, 11 by 15 inches.

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

Stainless steel mixing bowls are durable, non-reactive with most foods, easy-to-clean, and light-weight. This is a set of six bowls of different sizes so they stack inside each other and take very little room in your cupboard. Stainless steel bowls are so practical and strong.

Stainless Steel Bowls, set of 6.

Stasher Silicone Bags

Stasher silicone stand-up bag with a large bottom. This bag is large enough to hold a large lunch or a lot of food. It is self-standing because of the wide bottom, it is leak-proof and it has a ziplock top. It is made of premium food-grade silicone by Stasher, a reputable company. These bags can be refrigerated, frozen, microwaved, and used for cooking as well as being able to be washed in the dishwasher. With silicone bags, you no longer use disposable plastic bags to store your food.

Clear Stasher Stand-Up Silicone Bag

Aqua Stasher Stand-Up Silicone Bag

4-Slot Stand-Up Storage Racks

Storage racks are useful for storing large items horizontally. I use these to store baking sheets, cutting boards, and other large items that take a lot of space if they are stored flat and fall all over the place if they are stored standing up. This is a set of 2 racks made out of metal.

Bakewear Organizer Rack

Pot and Pan Lid Organizer Rack

Wide-Slot Toasters

Wide-slot toasters are very useful for people that like to toast bagels, crumpets, English muffins, and other bread products that are wider than normal. If you know someone that likes all these pastries but doesn’t have a side-slot toaster at home or work, then this is a great gift idea. And they come in different colours.

Red Wide-Slot Toaster

White Wide-Slot Toaster

Black Wide-Slot Toaster

Electric Kettle

Electric kettles are very useful and safe. They use less electricity than using your stovetop to heat a kettle or a pot. Plus if you get the kind of kettle that has a separate base so that you do not bring the electrical part to the sink to add water and that has an automatic shut-off, it is very safe. Electric kettles are very long-lasting. The one I have now is over twenty years old and still going like a young-un. YOu get very good value for your money, you use less power and they are very safe.

2 Litre Stainless Steel Kettle

1.7 Litre Clear Kettle

1.2 Litre Red Kettle

Coffee Press

Coffee Press
Coffee Press

Coffee presses make excellent coffee, in my opinion, one of the best cups of coffee, because they allow all the flavours and oils of the coffee to be infused into the liquid. I’m not the only that says pressed coffee is excellent. There are many articles that explain why and here is one. In a filter system, some of the oils and flavours are caught by the filter and don’t make it to the coffee. Plus making coffee in a press is easy, fast and the clean-up is also easy.

Kitchly 8-Cup Glass Coffee Press

Bodem 8-Cup Glass Coffee Press

Kitchly Stainless Steel 8-Cup Coffee Press

8-Cup Insulated Coffee Press

Coffee Grinders

Coffee grinders are nice because freshly ground coffee is amazing in taste. Nothing beats the taste of freshly ground coffee. Plus just the smell is equivalent to a cup of coffee. And coffee beans cost less than ground coffee.

I don’t grind all my coffee but when I want a nice cup, I use freshly ground coffee.

Black & Decker Electric Coffee Grinder

Small Electric Coffee Grinder

Manual Coffee Grinder

Great Gift Ideas For The Home

Multi-Function Plug Extender & Surge Protector

What is a multi-function plug extender and surge protector that plugs right into the wall socket? It is a plug extender with 3 spots for plugs, and 4 spots to charge using USB and it is a surge protector. Plus it has two slide-out slots, one on either side, to hold your phone while it is charging.

This gadget is so useful and practical. You can charge multiple things at the same time, have them held in place so they are not falling all over and know that they are protected against surges. This is one of my favourite things to have found recently and I could use one on every floor of the house.

Bestten Wall Plug (3) with USB (4) Surge Protector

Bestten Wall Plug (4) with USB (2) Surge Protector

These gift ideas under 35 dollars are good for any occasion and for most people. Check them out and let me know if you found anything that was useful or made a good gift.

Check out the companion video here.

Check out posts on other topics here: Blog Table of Contents.

Join my monthly newsletter to get new posts in your mailbox and access to the recipe cards and tip sheets.

Please comment. I would love to know what you think.


9 Great Gift Ideas Under 25 Dollars For Your Kitchen And Home

Do you need a gift for a graduate, a colleague, a retirement party, a housewarming, a birthday, a family member, a friend, a holiday, a gift exchange? Here are 9 great gift ideas that anyone can use for under $25 each for the kitchen and the home. These gift ideas are just plain useful items that people can always use more of even if they already have the same thing. I use all of these products and love them all.


This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my Affiliate Disclosure in the legal page link in the footer for further information. If not otherwise stated, all prices are intended in Canadian$.

Sept. 18, 2020, by Deborah Esplin

Here are 9 useful, practical, or fun gift ideas for any occasion and for family, friends, or work. All under $25. Either for the budget-conscious or maybe an occasion where a less expensive present would be the best option.

These choices are all items that I have had and used for the last few months to last few years. I enjoy and appreciate each one and really do not want to live without it. They are all available from Amazon. Click on the links to purchase.

The prices mentioned here are not guaranteed. They can change at any time.

1. Coffee Press

Coffee made in a coffee press is so good. That is because the water has a chance to be in contact with all of the coffee; the oils, the grinds, and after a few minutes in the press you have the best brew. This article explains in more detail why coffee made in the press is so good.

Plus, it is quick and easy to make coffee in a press. You boil the water, add the coffee, and add the hot water. Wait 4 to 5 minutes and you have your morning joe. Plus clean-up is easy. I make my coffee every morning with a coffee press.

      8 oz Coffee Press  

      32 oz Coffee Press  

2. Clean/Dirty Dishwasher Magnet

Do you have family discussions around why the dirty dishes are in the sink and not the dishwasher? This is a common family problem and often it is because some people in the family don’t know if the dishes are clean or dirty. With this dishwasher magnet, the confusion is gone. It has saved many complaints and discussions in my household.

The Clean/Dirty Magnet will stick to a metal dishwasher, but it also comes with double-stick tape for non-magnetic surfaces. It has a cover that slides to show either the word dirty or clean and is colour-coded to visually help people know if it says clean or dirty. Everyone in the family loves this little gadgetand it’s inexpensive.

   White Clean/Dirty Magnet

    Black Clean/Dirty Magnet

3. Collapsible Bowls

These bowls open up and fold flat. They are made of food-grade materials and are BPA-free. Intended as portable dog food and water bowls, they are great for that purpose. They have a carabiner and can be clipped on a leash or bag. With a water bottle and this bowl, you can take your pooch anywhere with minimal gear and weight.

However, I love these bowls for everything; camping, hiking, and just around the house. I put one out with water in the backyard for the dog and I use another to go around the garden and pick my vegetables. They wash easily and take no storage space.

Practical and useful, I love these for the dog and many other purposes.

    Pack of 3 Bowls

4. Short-Stem Food Thermometer

Food thermometers are very useful for meat and many other foods where you want to reach a certain temperature as part of the cooking process. Food thermometers are no longer expensive and come with rapid digital read-outs.

This thermometer reads quickly in Fahrenheit or Celsius. However, it has a short stem, so it is not safe to use for making candy, in smokers, or with barbecues.  It is really best for baked or grilled meat or cooked meals. This model is slightly less expensive than the next model, but it has fewer features and uses.

Short-Stem Digital Thermometer

5. Long-Stem Food Thermometer

This food thermometer has a very long stem so it is safe to use with meat, candy, barbecuing, smokers, and many other foods where you want to reach a certain temperature as part of the process. This digital thermometer also reads very quickly in either Fahrenheit or Celsius mode.

Plus, this long-stem thermometer comes with a light, a calibration function and it is waterproof for only a few dollars more. In my opinion, the extra features and uses make it worth the few dollars more in the cost.

Long-Stem Digital Thermometer


6. Fridge/Freezer Thermometer

It’s useful to have a thermometer in your fridge and freezer for several reasons. One, your fridge and freezer should be within certain temperatures to get the longest shelf life out of your food.

In this blog post, I discuss the best temperature range for your fridge: How Long Can You Store Fresh Food

In this one, I discuss the best temperature range for your freezer: How Long Can You Store Frozen Food.

Also, if you have a power failure of more than a few hours, a thermometer will help you know the temperature of your fridge and freezer and help you decide if you need to throw out your food or is it okay to keep.

This model of a thermometer is made by Rubbermaid of plastic and metal. It comes with a little stand and a hook so it can hang or sit on a shelf. It has readings in Celsius and Fahrenheit and has temperatures from -20 to +80 F or -30 to +30 C.

Fridge/Freezer Thermometer

7. Motion-Detector Night Light

Low-level motion detector lights are so useful inside the home. We have them in hallways and bathrooms and they only turn on, with a small light, when there is motion.

With these lights, we can move around the house in the dark, at night, and do not need to turn on the big lights that blast our eyes and wake up others in the house. The motion detector night light turns off automatically after a period with no motion.

This model is made by GE, and gives a soft light that is just enough to be useful.

GE Motion Detector Night Light

8. Motion Detector Night Light with Full On Function

The motion detector night light, made by Sensky, is a regular motion detector night light that goes on with motion and goes after automatically after a period of no motion. However, it has a switch and it is also a regular night-light. You can flip the switch to on, and when it is plugged in, you have a night light, that stays on. Or you can flip the switch to auto and you have a motion detector night light. The second model is slightly more expensive, but it is useful for children’s rooms or rooms where you need a little light on a steady-basis.

    Sensky Motion Detector Night Light with Switch

9. Tea Infuser

This is a teapot or tea infuser from David’s Tea. It can be used to make hot or cold tea. It comes with an area in the bottom where you put the tea leaves and a strainer-cover over that area. Of course, you can use it with tea bags as well.

The teapot also comes with an extra feature where you can put it on a cup and the bottom will rise and allow the tea to enter the pot. When you remove the pot from the cup, the bottom descends and the tea stops flowing.

It is made of plastic so that it is not breakable and it has a pleasing shape.

16 oz Tea Infuser

    32 oz Tea Infuser

Check out my other blog posts here, where you can access the Table of Contents: Blog Topics.

Here is the companion video for this blog. Check it out:

Check out posts on other topics here: Blog Table of Contents.

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Please comment. I would love to know what you think.