9 Reasons to use a Gourmet Cooking Oil Sprayer

9 great reasons to use a gourmet cooking oil sprayer instead of a store-bought cooking spray

I’m not the kind of person that has to have every fancy little kitchen gadget that comes on the market. But I do recognize when there’s something that stands to add a bit of value to my life, whether that’s in the way of saving time, money, or making it a little easier to be healthy.

That’s why I got myself a Misto Gourmet Oil Pump Sprayer, and I use it ALL the time!

The Misto is a pump sprayer with a very fine misting spray nozzle. You fill it halfway with the cooking oil of your choice*, screw the top on tightly and then use the pump lid to pressurize the chamber. Pump about 10 times or until you feel resistance, and you’re ready to spritz!

misto gourmet oil sprayer in brushed aluminum

Misto Gourmet Oil Spayer in brushed aluminum

Why use a Misto Gourmet Oil Sprayer?

1.) You can use the oil in your Misto like you would any aerosol cooking spray – to coat casserole dishes, frying pans, or cake pans before baking, sautéing, or grilling to prevent food from sticking.

2.) Spraying your cooking oil means that you can control the amount of oil you are getting to be exactly what you need, whether you’re spraying it in a pan or right on your salad.

3.) This pump spray works without chemical propellants, unlike store-bought cooking sprays, which makes using the Misto sprayer a much healthier choice as well. You know exactly what’s in your cooking oil spray, because you poured it in there yourself!

4.) The Misto is a more environmentally friendly choice – since it doesn’t use any aerosol to propel the oil, you’re not responsible for adding to the destruction of the ozone layer. Also, since it’s refillable, you’re not adding empty spray cans to the landfill every time you need more cooking spray.

5.) It helps you save money because it makes your cooking oil last so much longer. Pouring oil out of the bottle tends to give you way more than you need almost every single time, which means you’ll go through the cooking oil that much faster. Since I started using the Misto sprayer, my cooking oil lasts about ten times longer!!

6.) Using the Misto helps you be healthier too. Using less oil not only means saving pennies, it also means saving calories!

7.) Making your own cooking oil spray means you have more options than you do if you buy a can of cooking oil spray. You can use olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, truffle oil, etc.

8.) You can use the Misto to spray flavorful oil, lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar on top of salads, pasta, or vegetables.

9.) Mix oil & vinegar in the Misto to spray a light homemade vinaigrette dressing!**

The Misto is available in a variety of fun colors and patterns:

Misto gourmet oil sprayer in raspberrymisto gourmet oil sprayer with damask patternmisto gourmet oil sprayer in eggplantmisto gourmet oil sprayer in orange

Tips for using the Misto Gourmet Oil Sprayer:

* I don’t recommend using coconut oil in the Misto sprayer, because coconut oil will solidify below 76˚ and it will clog up the sprayer. Similarly, DON’T keep the misto in the fridge with other oils either because you will have the same problem. Just store the Misto at room temperature in the pantry just like you would your other cooking oils or sprays.

Try mixing a flavored oil or more expensive oil (like truffle oil) with a less expensive oil like olive oil to extend it that much more.

**Don’t use any oil mixtures with food particles in them – like pepper or herbs – since they can clog up the Misto nozzle.

Clean your Misto regularly as recommended below to keep it working well and your oil tasting good.

How to clean your Misto Oil Sprayer:

Clean your Misto every 6-8 weeks. Do NOT run it through the dishwasher. Instead, discard any remaining oil and fill the bottle halfway with warm water. Add one drop of liquid diswashing soap. Replace the lid and pump 15 times, then spray for 15 seconds. Remove the lid and dump out the soapy water and rinse the inside of the bottle. Then fill it again with warm water only this time and repeat the 15 pumps and 15 second spray to clean the soap out of the nozzle. Rinse well and it’s ready to fill again!


What about you? Do you have any favorite money-saving kitchen gadgets?

Great Deal at Hang To Dry


I know this is very short notice but I wanted to let you know about a great deal going on at Hang To Dry. Right now they are offering everything they currently have on their site plus everything they digitize for the rest of 2012 for one low price.

I have purchased about 8 of their designs and every one of them has stitched out perfectly! I only wish I hadn’t purchased so many only hours before they made announcment yesterday.

What are you waiting for, if you embroider you don’t want to miss this deal! Hurry up this deal ends Friday at noon, MST!

Beating the Heat: LED Lights

Our next heat source to deal with was the recessed lights in the house. Our den has six of them and the kitchen five. They now make recessed lights that are airtight however ours are 16 years old and are not.
I have never liked the ones in the den so I suggested we remove them and drywall the holes. To my surprise Scott agreed. Removing them mean Scott had to crawl into the attic to remove the wiring and housing, not a pleasant thing to do in this Texas heat. We patched the holes with drywall and now all we need to do is smooth it out and paint.
In the kitchen I wanted to keep the recessed lights and either put covers on them that make them airtight or buy new ones that were. The covers would cost the same as new ones. Either option meant Scott had to go back into the attic, not something he was looking forward to. Then while I was looking online at how to save energy with recessed lights I came across LED bulbs for recessed lights. They screw into your current fixture and make it airtight.

The LED light bulbs use less energy, give off no heat, become airtight and it meant Scott didn’t have to work in the attic. The only downside was the cost, $50 each. How in the world would I convince Scott that double the cost was a good idea in the long run? I was prepared to plead my case when he came home from work but all it took were two facts: they give off no heat and installing them means not working in the attic.

Installing them was very easy and we had all five done in less than 40 minutes.
Depending on the type of recessed lights you have currently it can take less than 5 minutes per bulb.

Start by turning off the power to the switch by flipping the breaker on your electrical panel that controls that switch. You don’t want someone walking by and accidentally flipping the switch.

Take all your old bulbs out and remove the outer ring/trim from the light. Our socket was not free standing which meant we had to unscrew it, no big deal.
Next we had to remove the plate at the top of the housing. According to the box it slips down easily. Not so in our case, the wires were ran a small hole making it impossible to slide pass the socket. Instead of cutting the wires and from the socket Scott used tin snips to cut the plate once it was hanging loose. This was really the only time consuming part and why it took us 40 minutes to install the new lights.

The new light attaches just like a light bulb. You screw it in and the metal clips on the side catch in the can of the recessed light. The bulb and trim are all one piece.

I am very pleased with the light they give off; it is a true bright light not the blue tint you normally associate with LED lights.
Prior to installing these I had asked Scott about installing another row of lights but these are bright enough I no longer need it. The LED lights can be used with a dimmer switch but we did not install one. When we redo the kitchen next year it is something I want to add.
Just the facts:
1.  LED bulbs do not produce heat therefore they do not add heat to the room. The average CFL bulb can increase the room temperature by as much as 2 degrees.
2. Gives off bright light: 25,000 lumens; 65-watt incandescent equivalent
3. These bulbs have no Mercury content and do not need to be recycled the way CFLs do.

4. Average lifespan of the bulb is 20 years!

5. Only uses 10.5 watts of power that is about 3 watts less than a CFL bulb and 50 watts less than a regular incadescent bulb.

6. None of the warm up time that CFL’s require, you flip the switch and like a traditional bulb you have instant light at full brightness.

7. The total cost was about $250 after a 10% off coupon and tax but each bulb will save over $200 in the course of its lifespan.  That does not include the fact it will reduce the temperature in the kitchen which also saves money.
Below are the after pictures. My only regret is that we did not paint the ceiling and exposed beams prior to installing the new lights. We know that we are redoing the kitchen next year and didn’t want to waste time or money with painting now.

Hemming Jeans

I am not terribly short, 5’2″ at least I don’t think that is short. However every time I go to buy jeans I feel incredibly short. I can usually find a good fit in the waist and hips but the length is always an issue.

I like buying “new” clothes as much as anyone but I also find it too expensive and often feel as though I have wasted money when I do. We have several nice resale shops around here that benefit good causes and carry nice brands in almost new shape. Occasionaly I even find clothing with the tags still on. Let me say I am not a brand snob but I have found that Gap, Old Navy and Levis jeans fit better, look better and last longer than the cheaper ones I have tried.

Ok, on to my problem, my inseam is   “

Start out by measuring from the inner crotch to how many inches long the legs need to be. Hubby has short legs (shhh don’t tell him I said that). He needs his pants to be 27 inches. I need one inch to fold up so I mark 28 inches with a Sharpie.

Mark straight across with a ruler.

Cut and save the piece.

Use it to measure the second leg, mark and cut it.

If the only reason I bought my serger was to hem jeans then it was money well spent! Serge all the way around, just barely trimming. Yes I know it’s white thread, and I know I should change it to blue, but I hate changing it and besides who’s going to see the inside of Hubby’s pants? If you don’t have a serger I’m sure you could do a zig-zag stitch using your sewing machine. We just want to stop the fray.

Remember that extra inch when you measured? Fold the jeans up one inch and pin.

Make sure the seams lay flat.

Pin all the way around.

Use your sewing machine, and with blue thread, stitch all the way around. I like to follow the serger line.

Iron everything flat.

This step is purely optional but it will look more professional if you do it. Change your thread to gold and, using your sewing machine, sew around about a 1/2 inch from the edge.

Because the hem is only doubled over you can even backstitch over the seams, something I could never do if I had them folded up twice without risking a broken/bent/flying needle.

Beating the Heat: Doors and Windows

Sealing up the leaks was our next project for beating the heat. We knew we had a few but we had no idea how many places are potential leak issues. You can see by the diagram there are a lot.

We purchased high temp attic grade silicone from Home Depot and went to work. Scott took care of the attic including around flues, electrical boxes, vents and anywhere else we saw light coming through or felt air coming in. We installed foam weather-stripping around the attic door to finish off the attic area.

I used silicone to seal around the door frames and windows. Then we installed H-4 Spring-v weather-stripping to the door frame. It prevents any leaks between your door and the frame. Home Depot does not carry it in store but Ace Hardware does.

Finally we put door sweeps on the bottom of the doors leading outside and to the garage. This cost less than $10 for both and has made a noticeable difference especially in the door leading to the garage.

Altogether to seal up the house we spent about $25. The great thing about sealing the house is that it helps with the temperature of the house year round.

Next week I will share with you how we handled the recessed can lights in the den and kitchen. This repair has been my favorite so far, excluding getting the AC working properly.

Beating the Heat: Have your AC unit Serviced

This summer has been incredibly hot here in Texas and as I told you before we have been going crazy trying to reduce the heat in the house.

So far we have put up solar screens, reduced our indoor cooking,  and a few other things I will be sharing with you soon. The one thing we had not done yet was to have our AC unit serviced. We had our old unit serviced yearly after it was three or four years old but since this one is only 2 years old I figured we could invest the money somewhere else in the house. BIG MISTAKE!

Last week Scott mentioned that I should probably go ahead and have them come out and check it since the house is not really cooling down. He also reminded me that sometimes not having it done can void  the warranty. I figured it would’t hurt so Tuesday I called Metro Energy to schedule our service.

Brian came out Today (7-28-11) and at 10:54 am the house was 80 degrees, nothing new for us. After a few minutes of looking at the unit outside he let me know that it needed to be cleaned out. The condensing unit outside was clogged with cotton wood gunk, leaves and just everyday dirt and stuff that blows around in the wind. Brian compared the way the unit was working to putting a blanket around it and expecting it to work. With the air unable to circulate the unit could not operate efficiently. That is why we got cool air blowing from the vents but not cold air. (A poorly running AC is probably why we did not notice a big difference instaling the solar screens.)

Brian got the outside portion of the unit cleaned then when into the attic to check the rest of it out. Come to find out our unit needed 3 pounds of coolant. By the time Brian finished cleaning out the condenser and charged the coolant the house was already dropping in temperature. He was here for about an hour; when he left the house was at 78-79 degrees. Within another 30 minutes it was at 78 and for the first time in months cycling off.

It has stayed 78-79 all day. I beat myself up for most of the day for not getting it serviced sooner but it is done now and that is what matters!

FYI: Metro Energy is not compensating me in any way for this post. I only mentioned them by name because they installed our first unit and have serviced our house for over 15 years without ever disappointing us! If you need your unit serviced and in the DFW area I would highly recommend you give them a try.

We went from an average daily use of 97 kw in June, 111 in July and in the 72 hours since it was fixed about 64 kw. That should drastically change our electric bill!

Don’t put off regular maintenance!

Beating the Heat: Solar Screens

It was 100 outside

Every year I swear it is hotter than the previous year and this year has been on exception. Our home is an older home; I think it was built in 1965 or 1966 so it is by no means new. With that comes some pluses such as large rooms and an open floor plan. It also comes with some drawbacks such as not being insulated well or energy efficient on any level.

Over the years we have made little changes but this year we are trying hard to put as much spare time and money into the house as we can. Funny how a huge electric bill can motivate you.

The first thing we did this year was to have a company come out and put solar screen on the windows. Solar screens reduce the sun that gets into the house by providing some shade on the glass. The whole process went pretty quick. I called the company on a Friday and they cam out the following Monday to give us an estimate. I called two companies for estimates so that I could compare the products, warranty and price. The second company came out that Wednesday.

Each company brought samples of colors, went over their product and warranty with me and then left an estimate. I chose the first company because of the warranty. They were also about $100 cheaper but the main thing was the fact that their warranty covered damage to screen no matter how it happened.

I called Wednesday afternoon and placed the order for 13 windows. That is all the windows minus the ones in the garage. We chose the dark brown and 90% blockage. The next week we had the screens on the windows. A great turn around time, especially if you consider it was the week of July 4th.

Our trim color is actually a shade between these two images. I am not sure why the camera picked it up so differently.

I have to admit they didn’t lower our house temperature as much as I had hoped (about 1degree is all) but the rooms that get the most direct sunlight feel much better and since my studio has the three largest windows that get direct sun all day that is what counts.

Overall we are very happy with them and do not regret the purchase. I also think the screens make the windows look better. We feel like once we add some insulation to the attic and make a few other improvements we will feel an ever greater impact from the windows.
How do you beat the summer heat? Any home improvement tips?