Maintaining Your Major Appliances

Here are some tips to maintaining, cleaning, and inspecting your washing machine and clothes dryer. You can save time and money by following this advice, and avoid breakdowns, or hazardous situations.

Washing Machine

Washer Hoses

It’s a good idea to periodically check and replace the fill hoses on your washing machine. If you have rubber hoses, you should consider replacing them with braided stainless steel hoses. It is recommended that you replace your washer hoses every 3-5 years. While you are back there, take a look at the electrical connection. The plug needs to be firmly in place, the cord connection to the washer should have a restraint, and should not evidence any corrosion or burn marks. Also, you should periodically clean the inside of your outer washer tub. Whirlpool makes a cleaner called Affresh for this purpose. There are also a variety of home remedies including using combinations of bleach, vinegar, and/or baking soda. You can discover these cleaning remedies online, or just look on the aisles of your grocery store for washer cleaning products.

Front Load Gasket

If you have a front loading washer, pay special attention to cleaning the front gasket, especially at the bottom where it’s possible for moisture to settle and mold to grow.

Automatic Dryer

Dryer lint filter

Make a habit of cleaning the lint filter in your dryer once a week. It’s also very important to regularly clean the dryer vent. If you’re lucky you’ll have a short direct vent pipe to the outside that you can clean with a vacuum cleaner or even a spiral brush. In extreme cases of long vents with bends or turns, it may be necessary to have the dryer vent cleaned professionally. A clogged dryer vent can cause a fire, so this is definitely important. It’s also a good idea to periodically remove the front panel and vacuum the dryer cavity. As with all your appliances, take a look at the electrical and gas connections, and deal with any corrosion or frayed wires. If there is any evidence of a problem such as a short circuit, bad gas connection, etc. call a plumber or electrician and don’t use the appliance until the problem is fixed.

Of course, if your washer or dryer needs replacing you should call or visit the professionals at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center for the best selection and lowest prices on major appliances and decorative plumbing fixtures.

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Terrific Commander’s Palace Souffle’ Recipe from Jenn-Air

Commander’s Palace in New Orleans opened in 1880. It soon became a New Orleans institution and then an American one.

In almost a century and a half, the generations of staff at Commander’s have developed, honed, and perfected many recipes. Want the best Bloody Mary in America? Go to Commander’s where you can enjoy that beverage in their gracious restaurant setting.

 

Bread Pudding Dessert

After your meal, surely you must sample the best of their desserts, this magnificent bread pudding. Actually, you don’t have to go to New Orleans. You can make this opulent treat right at home.

The preparation requires a double-dip in your oven: first baking a bread pudding, then combining it with meringue for a second quick but definitive round of heat.

But what kind of heat? The perfect meringues you see were baked in our Jenn-Air® Steam and Convection Oven. For this dessert, you don’t want the steam feature for the meringue, but you do want that convection heat, driven by a powerful fan system, generating a grand meringue finale. A Parisian pastry chef could do no better. The combination of this recipe and the Jenn-Air® oven, with its powerful flow of uniform heat, is deliciously formidable.

Grand Meringue

The recipe title and the recipe shown below mention a whiskey sauce. This dessert is rich enough that you can skip the sauce which is quite whiskey intense. A trait of New Orleans, I suppose. You can reduce the amount of whiskey called for in the recipe or substitute, say, a crème anglaise.

You will never think of bread pudding as “merely” bread pudding again.

Maintain Your Refrigerator in the Summer

The kids are home from school. It’s hot outside, and they’re in and out of the refrigerator all day long. Why? The refrigerator has the same contents now that it did fifteen minutes ago. Then they keep the door open while they stare inside. What are they doing – taking inventory? When they finally close the door, teenagers seem to think they need to be especially forceful in slamming appliance doors shut.

What does this mean for your refrigerator?

  • Every time your refrigerator door is opened cold air goes out, and the interior temperature of the refrigerator goes up.
  • Your refrigerator must run longer to reach and maintain the proper temperature.
  • Repeated opening and closing of refrigerator doors, causes wear on the hinges and of course, the latch itself.

It all adds up to more energy usage, more wear and tear, and shorter refrigerator life.

What can you do?

  • Set a good example yourself.
  • Make rules. Set times that the kids aren’t allowed in the kitchen, or at least not allowed in the fridge.
  • Set out some fruit and snacks so they don’t need to open the refrigerator.

Here are some tips to maintaining your refrigerator in the summer:

  1. If your refrigerator has coils that need cleaning, be sure to keep them clean by brushing the dust off the coils. You may need a special brush to reach the coils. If so, visit your local appliance parts company, or order online from the refrigerator manufacturer.

  2. Many refrigerators have a vacation mode. Engage the vacation mode before your leave on vacation. Don’t forget to go back to normal operation when you return.

  3. If you are going on a long vacation, consider saving up empty gallon or half gallon containers. Fill them with water and put them in the refrigerator before leaving. When the containers get cool they’ll help keep the refrigerator cool and it will not need to work as hard.

  4. Turn off your ice maker while you are on vacation.

Remember, when it’s time to replace your refrigerator call or visit the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center.

Great Lamb Recipe

Jenn-Air Oven Microwave Combo

I ran across this terrific recipe online. The author was kind enough to let me reproduce it here. Even though Easter has passed, it’s still a great time for spring lamb. Also, this recipe shows how versatile the Jenn-Air oven really is. Of course, I’m biased. I had this same Jenn-Air oven in my last home. I loved it, and in full disclosure I previously worked for Jenn-Air. Here is the article/recipe in its entirety:


Easter is the first great culinary weekend of the year. And it brings up that basic question: ham or lamb. This year it was lamb and it will be lamb next year, too. And, during the rest of the year, when we want a spectacular feast, lamb will be on our list. The lamb spent five hours in our Jenn-Air® Microwave/Wall Oven with V2™ Vertical Dual-Fan Convection System. This oven has all the space needed to hold a leg of lamb, in this case a very big 12-pound leg of lamb. With the space and circulation of the Jenn-Air® dual-fan convection system, our roast achieved a perfectly uniform heat treatment. After five hours, the meat was done, no pink, but still moist. That strong, consistent, uniform heat is the secret to success of this recipe.

The recipe is titled Five Hour Lamb with Potato Gratin. Usually, “gratin” denotes adding cream and cheese to produce some rich, succulent potato extravaganza. Not here. No dairy at all. Just the lamb. Those potato slices in the bottom picture become candy in the top in the top picture. The juices and fat from the lamb drip down into the potatoes, first cooking them to tenderness, then beginning to actually crisp and caramelize them.

The lamb is wonderful, flavored with a coating of anchovies, garlic and mint sauce. But the potatoes? Oh, you have never in your life experienced potatoes like these. But you can. You need a grand oven with perfect heat. And you might want a bottle of wine as you watch the transformation. The aromas begin by Hour 3. You’ll have two hours to develop patience. I suggest a bold red.

This recipe comes from the new book Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Waite, the winner in 2012 of The Great British Baking Show. He’s a young chef and writer of exceptional talent. This recipe, his take on Greek ideas, is certainly a perfect plate and an elegant one as well.

The marinade here has proportions for a 4 ½ pound leg of lamb. Ours was 12 pounds, so we scaled the marinade proportionately. Feel free to dabble with proportions and taste test before using. The recipe comes Great Britain so it refers to mint sauce. We used mint jelly which is much easier to find here in the United States. Or, you can Google and find and make your own mint sauce if you are obsessive about authenticity. That’s a fine obsession to have.

The leftovers are wonderful. If there are any.


Five-Hour Lamb with Potato Grain

Yield: serves 6-8, assuming 4-5 pound leg of lamb

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ ounces jarred anchovies in olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon mint sauce
  • 4 ½ pound leg of lamb
  • 6 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Coarse black pepperPreparation:

For the marinade, blitz the anchovies and the oil they came in, with the peeled garlic cloves and the mint sauce to a smooth paste in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you could make the paste using a sharp knife and bold ambition. Stir in 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

With a sharp knife, stab the lamb leg repeatedly all over— you need as many deep cuts as possible, without completely massacring the meat. Spread the paste over the entire surface of the meat, working it well into the cuts. Refrigerate for an hour, or until required.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove the lamb from the fridge 1 hour before it goes into the oven, to bring it up to room temperature.

Slice the unpeeled potatoes as finely as possible—I use a mandoline—and arrange them in layers in a deep-sided roasting dish, seasoning with a very small pinch of salt and pepper every couple of layers. Place the lamb on top of the potato slices. Cover with a couple of sheets of foil, ensuring you seal it extremely well. Roast for 4!4 hours.

Remove the dish from the oven, and increase the heat to 425°F. Remove the foil, and baste the lamb with some of the juices from the roasting dish. Put everything back into the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven, transfer it to a plate, cover it with foil and leave to rest. Return the potatoes to the oven for a final 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly crispy around the edges.

Source: Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite [Kyle, 2017]

Our In-House Repair Center!

Purchasing your appliance from Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center gives you access to our in-house repair center. Each member of our repair team undergoes continuous training in order to stay on the cutting edge of appliance repair service. We are a factory authorized repair center for virtually every appliance product we sell.

 

 

Today’s Favorite Recipe: Shrimp Scampi Recipe

This garlicky, lemony shrimp dish is a classic best served with plenty of crusty bread to sop up the sauce. The cooking process moves as quickly as a stir-fry, so you’ll want to have all your ingredients prepared in advance and ready to go.

Preparation Method

Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat until it shimmers, 1Photo-20170518105155286 to 2 minutes, then add the shrimp. Cook, stirring often, until the shrimp start to curl and turn pink, 1 to ½ minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds more. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vermouth. Add the butter, stirring it into the sauce until it melts. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley over the top and serve.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (21 to 25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vermouth or dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Can a splash of color brighten up your kitchen?

Can a splash of color brighten up your kitchen?

Selective Use of Appliance Colors

Brighten Your Home with Colorful Appliances

We’ve written often about appliance colors and finish. Trends such as stainless steel appliances, and now black stainless steel appliances are regular topics throughout the industry. Most of what we see is buyers considering matching kitchen suites, e.g. range, refrigerator, dishwasher, and vent hood.

However, there are some bold and daring ideas out there about using a colorful appliance to brighten a kitchen. Here’s an example from Bertazzoni, an up and coming appliance brand from Italy:

Can you picture having a bright spot like this in your kitchen? Is it too daring? Certainly, bright colors are not new when it comes to kitchen appliances. Here’s a retro appliance package below in a newly remodeled kitchen.

I do remember when appliance colors found their way to the laundry room. Colorful, big, front-load washing machines helped make front-loaders popular. Buyers got so caught up in their bright red washing machine, they didn’t seem to care about the brand or the features. “What the heck? All washers are going to get my clothes clean. THIS ONE IS RED.”