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Valentine's Day cookies

How do you plan on spoiling your loved ones this Valentine’s Day? Heart shaped scrumptious iced cookies hot out the oven… need we say more? We’ve got the cookie recipe, the icing recipe, and plenty of decorating ideas. All you have to do is preheat that oven to 350° and get cracking!

For the cookies you’ll need:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter – room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed for about five minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat. Next, beat the flour mixture in at a lower setting. Divide the batter into two and wrap in plastic wrap, shaped into disks. Now freeze them for at least 1 hour.

Once the batter is frozen, roll it out on top of flour. Cut the dough into heart shapes using your cookie cutters! If you haven’t already, preheat your oven to 350° F. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Now for the icing – this part is nice and simple and you can do it while your cookies are baking.

Ingredients:

1 cup powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Food coloring – we would recommend pink, white, and red, in that St. Valentine spirit.

Directions: Combine and mix (by hand) ingredients until smooth.

Don’t forget to grab your cookies out of the oven – burned cookies can be a bit of a holiday spoiler! Of course, if they do get burned, that’s probably not your fault. Likely there’s something funky going on with your oven – Call American Repair Service for your Long Island Appliance Repair and we’ll be glad to sort things out when your appliances are acting up!

Here are a few ideas for icing your cookies – Warning: don’t be intimidated! These results look so professional as to be unattainable, but all you need is a steady hand and some patience and your creations will come out just like these!

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Going green is a great way to help save the Earth. However, did you know that it can also save you money? Here are some tips to help you improve the efficiency of your washer and dryer, two of the largest users of electricity and water in your house.

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Washing Clothes

Wash only full loads of clothing–Washing machines are designed to work best when they are loaded completely. However, don’t make the opposite mistake and overload the washer either. Read your machine’s owner’s manual to make sure that you are properly loading the machine.

Wash in cold water–With today’s higher efficiency washing detergents, there’s really no need for hot water washes for lightly soiled clothing. Studies have shown that clothes washed in cold water get just as clean as those washed in hot water. The only reason to wash in hot is if you are washing oily or greasy items. Washing in cold water for most of your laundry will save you big bucks since hot water costs significantly more than washing in cold.

Experiment with the detergent amount–Don’t always go by the line in the detergent cup. You may be able to get by with less laundry detergent than recommended. Especially if you have hard water, you may simply be rinsing excess laundry detergent down the drain.

Give it an extra spin–If you give your laundry an extra spin cycle, you will get rid of a little extra water, which means less time in the dryer.

Drying Clothes

Hang up heavy items–Heavy clothes like jeans can take forever to dry. Hang these items overnight to dry. If the stiffness bothers you, toss them in the dryer on a short cycle to soften them.

Clean out the lint--Your dryer works most efficiently when clean. Clean the lint screen before every use, and each month, vacuum out the vent that leads outdoors.

Don’t overload–Dryers work best when there’s plenty of space for the clothes to tumble. Overcrowded loads take longer to dry because of this.

A broken washer or dryer can back up your laundry pile for days. Call the Nassau appliance repair experts and American Repair Service to quickly resolve any problem with your washer or dryer.

For most families, keeping the laundry caught up can seem like a problem with no solution, especially in homes with young children. However, when the washer or dryer are not working efficiently, the laundry problem becomes even worse. If your laundry appliances are not being cooperative, use these easy tips to troubleshoot and solve some common minor issues.

Dryer Repairs

Are your laundry appliances level?

Washers and dryers that are not installed properly or are not level can vibrate, make strange noises or, in the case of a washer, even leak, during operation. To check this problem, place a glass or jar half-filled with water on your appliances and watch to see of the water level appears even or dips to one side. If they appear not to be level, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for instructions on leveling them.

Are hoses, vents and screens free of clogs?

Dryers that seem to take too long to dry or washers that do not fill or drain properly may be suffering from a clogged hose, vent or or screen.

  • To troubleshoot this type of problem on a dryer first clean the lint screen thoroughly. Next, disconnect the exhaust hose and use a shop vacuum to clean lint buildup from the exhaust hose, the opening on the rear of your dryer and the vent opening.
  • To troubleshoot this on a washer, disconnect the intake hoses on the back of the washer and make sure that the screen in the connection is not clogged. To check the drain hose for clogs, disconnect it and use a garden hose to run water through it to see if it is running freely or clogged.

If your washer or dryer still does not operate properly after taking these steps, or the problem seems to be more serious, you may want to give our Long Island appliance repair a call so you can conquer your laundry problem once and for all.

Winter Home Safety Tips

January 12th, 2016 | Posted by michaels in Safety | Tips for a Better Home - (0 Comments)

Many people appreciate the enjoyable holidays and outdoor activities that winter has to offer, but this season also introduces major safety hazards. Cold temperatures, snow and freezing rain create serious risks.
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These tips can help you stay safe at home throughout the winter months:

1. Avoid putting combustible items within 36 inches of a fireplace, boiler, furnace, space heater or wood stove. They could catch fire if exposed to excessive heat or sparks. To prevent burns, don’t allow children to enter this area.

2. Shut off any space heaters before you fall asleep. Do the same when you leave home or plan to spend time in another room. Remember to test your smoke detectors every month; this becomes particularly important during the heating season.

3. People tend to use ovens more often in the winter, so it’s important to clean and inspect them regularly. Be sure to replace deformed coils. Don’t leave your oven unattended while you cook food or run the self-cleaning system.

4. To stop pipes from freezing, insulate them and avoid thermostat temperatures below 55 F. Turn off your water supply if a pipe bursts. Don’t attempt to melt ice in pipes with a torch; this is quite dangerous.

5. Prepare for winter power outages that happen when tree limbs or cars hit utility poles. Set aside extra water, snacks, batteries and medical supplies in a kit. It’s wise to keep three gallons of drinking water for each family member.

6. Don’t forget to switch off any machines that were running prior to an electrical outage. When the utility restores power, this will stop appliances from overloading circuits or starting a fire by burning food.

Please contact American Repair Service if your kitchen equipment needs replacement parts or other maintenance. Our skilled technicians can inspect your appliances and fix any problems to ensure that you stay safe this winter. Among other services, we offer authorized viking oven repair.

The holidays may be over, but chances are your refrigerator is still packed with leftovers from hosting all those parties and extended family dinners. While all those leftovers can make it easy to grab a tasty snack, keeping them cool may be placing a strain on your fridge’s cooling system.

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Are you packing your fridge correctly? 

Refrigerators work by cooling foods quickly and then keeping them cooled to a safe level. To do this effectively, refrigerators must be able to circulate air throughout the interior chambers so that each container of food is exposed to the cool air.

When foods are packed in too tightly, the refrigerator may be unable to properly cool the foods or circulate the cooled air throughout the interior. This can force the system to work harder to achieve the right temperature or to remove any excess humidity that occurs when warm foods are placed into the refrigerator.

To keep from placing too much stress on your refrigerator when storing a large quantity of food, remember to leave space between containers of food to ensure proper circulation. In addition, always quick chill large quantities of hot foods before putting them into the refrigerator.

A good way to do this is to put the food into a tightly sealed, covered storage container of your choice and then place the container in your sink. Plug the sink and run cold water a few inches deep in the sink, making sure to keep the water level below the level of the lid. Let the container remain in the cold water for 20-30 minutes to reduce the food’s temperature before placing it inside the fridge.

Monitor temperatures closely

In addition to taking care not to overload your refrigerator, it can be a good idea to add a thermometer to the interior so that you can easily monitor the temperature. This will help you ensure that your foods will remain refrigerated at a safe temperature to avoid spoilage, as well as help you spot any issues that may be developing with your refrigerator’s cooling system.

viking appliance repair

If you find that your refrigerator is not cooling as it should, consider calling on the factory authorized Viking refrigerator repair specialists at American Repair Service for a thorough diagnostic checkup and efficient, affordable repairs, if needed.

Freshly baked cookies make great desserts for holiday feasts, or you can give them to friends and family members as presents. If you’re looking for something seasonal to bake this year, check out these holiday cookie recipes. They’re simple and easy recipes, making them perfect for your busy holiday season.

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Sugar Cookies

Seasonal sugar cookies are a holiday favorite for many families. Mix up some butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt, and divide the dough into four sections. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour, then roll it out and use cookie cutters to make a variety of holiday shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes, and decorate them any way you want with different colors and candies.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

For a chocolate holiday treat this year, make some sugar cookie dough and mix in unsweetened baking cocoa. Scoop the chocolate dough into balls, and bake them at 350 degrees for about ten minutes. Decorate them with marshmallow creme, and sprinkle them with crushed peppermint candies to give them a festive look.

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies are another holiday favorite, and they’re very easy to make. Make gingerbread dough with flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt, pepper, molasses, eggs, light brown sugar and butter. Mix these ingredients, and refrigerate the dough for about an hour. Flatten it out, and cut gingerbread man shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes, and decorate the cookies with icing and cinnamon candies or other sweets when they’re completely cooled.

Having your stove break down can put a damper on your baking plans. Give Long Island appliance repair a call, so you can have your stove fixed quickly and get back to baking batches of holiday cookies.

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with loved ones, but it’s important to make sure they’re safe. There are several potential hazards that can put your loved ones and your home at risk if you’re not careful.

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Follow these tips to ensure that you and your loved ones have a happy and healthy holiday season. 

1.When you’re cooking a big meal for the holidays, make sure you watch the oven and stove. Whether you have turkey or ham baking in the oven or stuffing and potatoes on the stovetop, fires can break out quickly. Stay in or near the kitchen while your food is cooking, and check on it from time to time.

2.Having holiday decorations up, such as lights on the tree or lights around the windows, means that you have quite a few cords lying around your home. These can be an electrical hazard for curious kids and pets. They can also be a tripping hazard when they’re lying near walkways. Hide cords away where no one will fall over them or play with them.

3.If you have a live Christmas tree in your home, make sure it gets watered regularly. While these trees can give your home a nice scent and a fresh look during the holidays, they can also dry out and cause a fire risk. If you’ll be away from home, make sure the lights on the tree aren’t plugged in before you leave. You should also make sure that your tree, whether it’s fake or live, is securely anchored in a stand, so it won’t tip over and hurt someone.

Don’t let a broken stove or fridge jeopardize your holiday plans. Call American Repair Service for Nassau appliance repair and reliable service this season, so you can have a safe holiday.

As the holiday season approaches, the last thing you need is trouble with your appliances to wreak havoc on your already busy schedule. La Cornue and Bosch make excellent quality appliances, but they still need to be maintained properly to continue to perform at the level you’ve come to rely on. In the event that something goes wrong, you can find reliable La Cornue and Bosch appliance repair in the New Jersey area. Before calling in a professional repair person, you’ll want to check the following basics so that you don’t wind up calling in a service guy when all you need to do is plug in your appliance. You’re laughing, but it’s happened.

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Appliance Maintenance and Troubleshooting

  • Ensure the appliance is plugged in. We know it sounds silly, but you’d be surprised how many times an appliance can get unplugged because it’s moved and the owner doesn’t think to check that because it’s always plugging in.
  • Clean after every use. For most appliances, a quick wipe down after each use will help keep things in working order. For a dryer, the lint trap should be emptied. For a stove, the top should be wiped down so grease and debris doesn’t accumulate in the burners.
  • Check temperature setting and rack placement. Sometimes food won’t cook properly because you aren’t setting the placement in the oven right or are using a higher/lower temperature than is required.
  • Check pilot light. Occasionally, there can be an issue with your gas connection which should be dealt with immediately. If your pilot light isn’t lit, check the model’s specifics for lighting it.

Most simple issues will be covered in the User Guide for the particular appliance you have. Always read through your manual for proper care and maintenance tips and to troubleshoot any issues prior to calling an expert.

The holidays are a great time of year for family gatherings, as well as inviting guests and friends to enjoy the spirit of the season and delicious meals with you. Even if you’re the one in charge of whipping up turkey with all the trimmings, you still want to spend time with company. If, however, one of your major appliances starts acting up in the middle of a crucial prep period, you’ll feel stressed instead of jolly.

Uh Oh – What Now?

You’re in a panic – your ice cubes are melting in the freezer, and the stove refuses to heat up – but the clock’s still ticking away and dinnertime is imminent. Do you cross your fingers and hope it pans out? Do you break out the wrenches and try – likely unsuccessfully – to fix the issue while dressed in your Sunday best? Calling a professional for Sub Zero appliance repair for your fridge problems or Wolf appliance repair for your stove is the best way to make sure you still have time for caroling and hot cocoa and aren’t at your wit’s end. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem right away, saving you valuable time, and fix it with expertise honed over decades of dedicated customer service.

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The Best Gift of All

Time spent with those you love is an amazing present that never needs a bow. Why not treat yourself to extra time – and peace of mind – instead of yet another pair of slipper socks? Schedule maintenance and repair on troublesome appliances before those out-of-town guests land at the airport and your fridge, freezer and oven are working overtime until January. It’s a smart move for your schedule, your sanity and your happy holiday season.

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, you need to ensure that visitors will be able to enjoy themselves. This means that there should be enough food, there should be places for everyone to relax after the big meal, whether indoors or outdoors, and you should look around your home to make certain everything is in tip top shape to prevent elderly people and toddlers, and everyone in between, from falling. When you look at something every day, you soon forget that it is out of place or needs fixed; it just blends into the surroundings, but your guests might notice it, or it could cause someone to be hurt.

Stove Repairs

One of the things that people should do to prepare their home for guests is to declutter, both inside and outside. That loose shingle that you fixed last month? Now would be a good time to finally take the ladder down. Visiting kids might give in to the temptation and end up falling off of the ladder or the roof. Next, prepare for toddlers and babies by installing corner guards and outlet covers.

If you have older folks coming over, look around for throw rugs that easily bunch up and can cause and older person to trip. Also, look around at your lights and replace those bulbs that haven’t yet. If there are things that are in the way of modes of travel, move them. The footstool that your own family is used to being in one spot, might not be something Grandma is used to.

Finally, with a larger group of people coming over for a visit, if you haven’t already done so, put new batteries in all of the fire extinguishers. You might think that fires will only start in the kitchen or where the fireplace is, but you’re wrong.

Help protect your guests and everyone will have a great time eating until they’re stuffed and watching football. If you need help fixing an appliance before your guests come, call Long Island Appliance Repair and that will be something important you can mark off of your list.