Tips on Where to Put Your Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters (also called demand water heaters) heat water on demand using a powerful gas burner or electric heating element. They don’t need or use a storage tank. This frees up some space in your home and allows you more options of where to install the tankless water heater. Here are some tips.

High Water Demand Outlets

Every home has them — faucets that seem to take forever to turn hot. They are generally located far away from the water heater, which means the heat from hot water is being absorbed by the water pipes. Look for an installation space closest to the appliances that use most of the hot water in your home. You’ll save energy and use less water.

Consider Plumbing

Whether gas-fueled or electric, all tankless water heaters need a plumbing line. If you’re installing your tankless water heater in the same place as the old system, you probably won’t have to make any plumbing modifications. This reduces the cost and time of installation. Check out here for the best tankless water heater reviews.

Gas Lines

Gas-fueled tankless water heaters need a gas line and a good safe area for venting fumes. Like the plumbing line, if you need to make modifications to the gas line, your installation costs go up. Though, in some instances, it’s necessary to make modifications. If you use a gas furnace for heating your Orlando home and the gas line is shared with the tankless water heating unit, you may not have adequate gas supply to run both systems efficiently at the same time.

Venting for Gas-Burning Systems

If you’re replacing a gas-burning storage water heater, then you’re familiar with the venting requirements of gas systems. Consult your HVAC technician to see if your current venting system will suffice for the new tankless unit. For installing new venting, an attached garage works well since you don’t need to worry about extended freezing temperatures damaging the tankless water heater in the Orlando area.

To schedule an evaluation for the best place to install your tankless water heater, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve served Orlando area residents since 1969. Give us a call today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Article Credits: http://www.rinaldis.com/tankless-water-heater/

Some Things I’m Loving Lately

Happy Friday everyone!  We have a long weekend here in Canada, which will include fire works for Canada Day.  My kids are so excited to see them and I’m looking forward to watching them enjoy it.  Unfortunately the weather looks iffy for most of this weekend, so here’s to hoping it will cooperate.
 
Anyway, back this post, here are some things I’m loving lately: 
 
1)My Kate Spade sunglasses.  I bought them at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet and I absolutely love them.  For a long time I wore black sunglasses, but I was starting to find that black was too harsh for my skin tone.  So I decided to go with a tortoise shell color this time.  And would you believe they only cost me $40.  Never would you find such a deal in Canada!
2)I buy this kale and brussel sprout salad at Costco.  They sell smaller bags in the grocery store, but they are usually $4.99 for a little bag and at Costo it’s $5.99 for a bag 3 times the size.  I don’t know why anyone would buy this salad at a regular grocery store if they have a Costco membership.  It comes with cranberries and sunflower seeds to add as well as a poppyseed dressing.  I always throw away the dressing it comes with because salad dressing that comes packed in a bag of salad grosses me out for some reason.  Instead I use my home made lightened up cream poppy seed dressing.  This salad is so good as side to your meal or with some chicken thrown in for lunch.
3)Eating ice cream from the ice cream truck in the park with my kids.  I had already devoured mine by time this picture was taken.  H and I always get the same thing…a vanilla kiddie cone with sprinkles on top.  I can’t eat ice cream or froyo without sprinkles and I think I may have passed that habit on to my kids.  E always gets a rocket “lollipop” (that’s what he calls anything on a stick).  I never correct him because it’s so cute to hear him say it and I’m pretty sure he’ll eventually learn on his own what it’s really called.
4)This OPI Cajun Shrimp color on my toes.  Every pedicure I’ve gotten since April, I’ve asked for this color.  It’s so summery and goes with everything.

5)I love this dress!!!  I’m not sure I can pull off the amount of color in this dress.  I would love it in either a solid color or maybe a lesser amount of colors.  I have a few weddings coming up over the next year and a half, and this is the style dress so I will be looking for the best garment steamer.

Asian Nachos!

That description doesn’t even do it justice honestly. The peanut sauce is the thing that kitten dreams are made of. The flavors of the wontons, sauce and chicken blend so perfectly that you are left wondering how you lived before they were in your mouth. They need to put all of this in the description.

 

I was pretty intimidated about attempting this recipe because my Google search didn’t turn up any good matches. Food experiments don’t happen often in my kitchen because I’m afraid of buying a bunch of ingredients only to end up with non-edible foodstuffs. This recipe had so many steps that, as a wannabe chef, I knew the best thing would be to break it down and attempt one thing at a time, which is why it took me twice as long to make it. You will find the much more refined version below:

Asian Nachos

Ingredients:

8 wonton wrappers (16 if you burn a couple  like me)

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella

chopped green onions (garnish)

1 medium sized chicken breast fillet, cooked and sliced (or shredded)

Rice

1 cup brown rice

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup red pepper, diced

1/4 cup black beans

1/4 cup corn

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp chili powder

Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup water

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. Thai style chili sauce

1 tsp. minced garlic

squeeze of lime

Directions:

1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in a small pan and sauté red onion and peppers. Once onion is translucent, stir in black beans, corn and spices.

3. Mix the bean mixture into cooked rice and keep warm.

4.  For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan at medium high heat. Add more water if necessary. You want a ketchup-like texture.

5. Set oven to broil setting (I set it on Low). Place wontons on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Put cookie sheet in oven for 3-5 minutes, maybe less depending on your oven. You must focus on this step or you will burn many wontons.

6. Once wontons are toasted, place them on the outside of a large, ovenproof plate.

7. Top wontons with sliced chicken, sauce and mozzarella cheese. Throw nachos in the oven until the cheese is melted.

8. Finish everything off by scooping brown rice mixture into the center of the plate. Garnish everything with chopped green onions.

Check out Lighter Lasagna Soup

Whew.

If you are still with me, here are a few notes from my cooking adventures:

  • The wontons came in the shape of squares, but I cut them into circles to make things more official. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to fry them or put them in the oven, so I tried both. Ultimately I decided on broiling them because the difference was insignificant, especially after the toppings. However, I don’t know if the cooking spray was the best thing to use in this situation because of the high heat. When I tried broiling them with nothing added, they wouldn’t brown. Suggestions?

wontons

  • The easiest way to add the peanut sauce to the nachos was to fashion my own icing bag out of a Ziploc bag. I threw the sauce in the bag and cut one of the corners. It wasn’t the ideal method, but I had eaten one too many wontons at that point.

 

  • This is the chili sauce I used:

  • I didn’t include any cooking instruction for the chicken because, frankly, this recipe was getting too long. I think you all know how to cook some chicken. I marinated it in soy sauce, garlic and ginger beforehand.
  • I skipped the wasabi because I don’t like it. Feel free to drizzle over your own nachos.
  • The amounts I included for the rice ingredients yields way more rice than what you can fit in the center of the serving plate. Who wouldn’t want extra though?

I have to say, I am pretty damn proud of myself for this one. I didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off without a recipe to follow. As for the taste, they were about as close to it gets to the real thing! Frying the wontons would’ve made them a little crispier, but it wasn’t too big of a deal. The sauce really made the dish. And if you want to make this vegetarian, just omit the chicken. You can sauté more bean mixture and top the wontons with that instead.

 

Reverse Prejudice….and blood

I suffered a horrendous wrong the other day……it’s almost too painful to talk about, but I feel in sharing with you all maybe, just maybe this prejudice can be brought to light.

It all started as I was going through the routine screening process before donating blood:

….finger pricked to check iron level: Check
….self- read questions and answers: Check
….read through very boring blood pamphlet: Check
….go to screening nurse for more ahemmmm personal questioning: Check

it was at that final step, before the actual drawing of blood, that I experienced a case of reverse beauty prejudice. We had made it through the preliminary questions and were now checking my blood pressure and body temp. Then in the middle of the process, the nurse said (to my horror)…”I’m sorry but you are too hot to give blood today”!!!!

To hot? TO HOT!!!!

What kind of messed up world do we live in when people can be so cruel to those who happen to be blessed with more visually pleasing proportions than most?? I was so stunned that I couldn’t even speak in my defense! It wasn’t my fault I looked this way…I had nothing whatsoever to do with creating my specific combination of features. And what right does she have to say my blood is no good because of them???

I slowly made my way to the sitting area…..still trying to absorb what had just happened…. I called a close personal friend and described what I had just been through. She advised me to wait it out….”if you’re hot, you’re hot!” she said “the nurse will soon get over her prejudice and let u donate.

And so I waited……5 min……10 min…..15 min……. finally the nurse called me back and resumed the screening process. Neither one of us mentioned what had happened earlier, I can only assume that as she sent me away the first time she was consumed with a strong sense of guilt and that guilt is what forced her to bring me back in.

After the screening, I quickly went to donate (I’d had enough of the cruelty….the judging). But unfortunately, my body and blood were more sensitive to the harshness of the criticism than I expected and refused to behave. Both arms received cruel jabs with needles and when it was finally time to drain the blood…..nothing came out 🙁

Hanging my head I left the clinic….unable to look back…unable to offer even the smallest encouraging smile to the lady waiting by the screening nurse…I knew with her features she too would feel the stinging blade of this cold reality.

. . . . . . . . .but . . . .I guess. .. when you’re hot you just hot…nothing to do about it.

Disclaimer: The above story is based on reality, however, facts may have been altered, and dare I say stretched as is the authors write. Also, it may just so happen that the nurse was speaking about the internal temperature of my body not the external……but that doesn’t make a good story 🙂

Kitchen Hobs Buying Guide

Kitchen hobs – or cooktops as they are sometimes known – are an integral part of any modern kitchen. They’re widely accepted, relatively simple and modern consumers are given a fantastic choice. We’ll be covering all of them in this kitchen hob buying guide, providing you with all the necessary information for you to make the best choice for you and your home.

One of the most common assumptions about kitchen hobs is that they have to sit above an oven. It’s important to realize early on, that they don’t. Kitchen hobs are usually designed to slot into a predetermined, 60cm gap with an overlap resting proudly on the surrounding kitchen top.

The main choice for buyers looking for a new cooktop is between gas and electric power. We’ll cover this a little later in the buying guide.

Buying Basics for a Kitchen Hob

There are numerous independent models of kitchen hobs available, giving you full flexibility when incorporating a new kitchen hob into your kitchen.

There are very few exceptions to the common dimensions of kitchen hobs: they’re mostly 60cm wide, and almost all them consist of 4 burners (heating zones).

Exceptions could include sizes ranging up to 90cm, and occasionally a fifth burner, but these would usually be purchased for use specialist kitchens.

Of the popular four burners, it’s normal for them to include one large hob, two medium and one simmer. There is a growing demand for fish burners and works, so expect to see some variations and bolt-ons to accommodate these needs.

Ideal Domino Hob

Of the variants, the most popular are the domino hobs, which are essentially a one or two burner section that can be placed adjacent to an existing cooktop, or domino hob, giving you a convenient extension to your cooktops.

Domino hobs are available in a wide variety of heating styles, including grill, ceramic, induction and gas.

If space is at a premium, consider a small boiling ring as an alternative. These portable hobs are a great way to add some additional hob space to your kitchen hob, and due to their size, they’re suitable for studio flat style accommodations.

Cheap Gas Cooktops

Choosing the right cooktop is an important part of buying a kitchen hob, which is why it’s important to know the difference between the different heat sources on offer when shopping for a new one.

Buying the wrong type of hob for your current cooking pans can damage the hob, as well as the cookware.

Gas hobs are popular among British consumers for a number of reasons; not least they’re cheaper to run than the electric counterparts. The flames are clearly visible, giving users a clear indication of heat levels, with instant response to the simple controls.

Gas hobs are usually operated by a simple combination of a gas valve, and an ignition and are the standard in professional kitchens.

Quality Ceramic Hobs

The easy-to-clean, electric-powered ceramic hobs are ideal for cast iron cookware and are a popular and cost-effective kitchen hob. They work by incorporating a smooth plate over the electrically powered heating element, which distributes heat evenly and conducts heat directly into the base of the pan.

Ceramic Hobs are easy to clean due to there not being any nooks on the smooth top for dirt to escape into, and are generally well-liked, especially for low-temperature cooking.

Induction Kitchen Hobs

On first appearances, induction hobs look very similar to electric ceramic hobs. They have a smooth cooktop and sleek, modern appearance, which often incorporates touch screen technology.

The major difference is the requirement of special cooking pans. The bases of the pans themselves need to contain ferrous iron, which works in conjunction with the technology. You cannot use aluminum or copper cookware with an induction cooktop.

Typically, induction hobs are heated by halogen and are considered the premium style of kitchen hob. They’re also among the safest and most economical hobs to run, as heat transference is targeted towards the cookware itself, as opposed to the hob as a whole.

Buying the right sort of kitchen hob is a matter of choice for your cooking style and budget. Take time to test out the different styles of cooktops, consider your major needs and look for a cooktop with a quality guarantee.

Also, consider your current collection of cookware, will it need replacing? Do you have curious children? What’s your budget? Each of the kitchen hobs we’ve mentioned come with a certain degree of giving and take, but it’s important to realize one thing; none of them will make you a better cook!

Lighter Lasagna Soup

How does one come up with the idea of lasagna soup?  I guess the same way people come up with cheeseburger soup and chicken tortilla soup.  I’m assuming they couldn’t decide whether they wanted a cheeseburger/chicken tortilla or soup.  
 
And that’s the exact predicament I was in last week.  I had bought everything I needed to make a lasagna since I put that on my meal plan for that week and at the last minute, I wasn’t feeling so well and decided I wanted soup.  That’s how I ended up with lasagna soup.  It really did taste like lasagna in soup form.  The only difference was I used macaroni noodles instead of lasagna noodles which I though would look nicer and fit on a spoon better.  
 
I lightened up this lasagna-inspired soup by using extra lean pork sausage (you could also use turkey sausage).  I also used reduced fat ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella for the cheesy topping which, by the way, is what really makes this soup so delicious, so don’t skip it!

Ingredients:
Soup

500g extra lean pork sausage or turkey sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
6 cups fat free chicken stock
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (leave out if serving to children)
1.5 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
Salt
3/4 cup whole wheat macaroni pasta, dry
Cheesy Topping
1.5 cups reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1.5 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt

Directions:
1. In soup pot over medium heat, cook sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces.  Halfway through cooking sausage, add chopped onion.
2. When both sausage and onion are cooked, add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
3. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to direction on box.  Drain and rinse.
4. Once soup has simmered for at least 30 minutes, add cooked pasta and continue simmering for another 15 minutes.
5. While soup is continuing to simmer, mix together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, Italian seasoning and salt.
6. Spoon soup into bowls and top with about 1/4 cup of cheesy topping.

Nutritional Information:
Servings: 8
Serving size: 1.5 cups soup plus 1/4 cup cheesy topping
Calories 261, total fat 10.5g (sat. fat 4g), total carbs 18.5g, fibre 2g, net carbs 16.5g, sugar 6.6g, protein 22.6g

Weight Watchers Points: 6
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 7