First Black Woman on ‘America’s Test Kitchen’ And Her Mission For Women Chefs of Color

As the first woman of color on America’s Test Kitchen—a PBS TV cooking show, Elle Simone, doesn’t view her “test cook” role as just a job. She believes it’s part of her life’s mission to advance the representation for women of color and provide them with a platform for mentorship, sisterhood, and job placement in the culinary world. “Through my social enterprise SheChef, I’m most proud of the women chefs that I’ve been able to mentor directly, said Simone. Their products are on the shelves of Whole Foods, they’re cooking for celebrities, and food styling with Food52.

“I would like to see the full dismantling of the “good old boys club” ideologies. The ones that condone mental, verbal, and emotional abuse as a measure of gaining respect or shaping chefs. I want more support for those who are choosing to go against the grain of these concepts in order to create positive kitchen cultures. I would love to see our male counterparts stop pretending that it’s such a phenomenon that women chefs are equally capable, and often more so, in the kitchen.”

As a culinary activist, Simone is also passionate about creating safe spaces for all women. “The culinary industry is no stranger to the types of behaviors that spearheaded the “#MeToo movement” and since women are largely the minority of our industry, it is easy for us to slip under the radar,” she said. I’ve always felt that women chefs, especially those of color, needed a place for support and guidance; figuring out how and what that looked like, became a priority for me. I believe it’s great to create beautiful content and create social settings for women chefs but what good is any of that if we don’t feel safe, affirmed, and represented?

Below, Simone shares her insight on how she plans to bridge the culture cap for women of color in the culinary world.

Talk about your role on America’s Test Kitchen.

On the PBS show, America’s Test Kitchen, my role is that of a test cook. The test cooks at ATK work long hours to test and develop recipes to get them to the level of perfection that the company strives for. On the show, the test cook shares with the host some of the challenges of the recipe and the ways in which they overcame those challenges in testing; essentially, making all the mistakes so that the ‘home cook” doesn’t have to. I’m also the food stylist for all the food on ATK TV and our secondary show, Cook’s Country.

What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in the culinary industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?

This year, I moderated two very important panels on the “good old boys club” topic. The first was offered by SheChef Inc. at SXSW in Austin, Texas, about how women create and curate culinary careers. Our panelist were women who have used their unique career paths to start their own food business and how they’ve been able to foster positive kitchen cultures. The latter was with WCR (Women Chefs & Restaurateurs) Conference in Minnesota, where we discussed ways in which women chefs can speak up and show up for each other; reinforcing and strengthening our leadership voices and skills. People can feel exhausted from hearing these conversations time and time again, especially over a long period of time. But my feeling is that until the culinary industry is safe and fully inclusive, the dialogue should continue.

You’re in the midst of launching the Art of the Hustle Event Series for people pursuing culinary endeavors, what’s the purpose behind those events?

These events are a place where women in culinary can have a platform to teach and share about ways they have become successful and also share the mindsets and actions that may have hindered them. The goal is for everyone to walk away with several new ideas to implement that can help sustain their business. I always hope that networking will happen but I’m hoping for a sisterhood that will become the pulse and vein of SheChef Inc.

What’s the one thing you wish you had known before going into the culinary world?

I wish I had known that there are many paths that can be taken in this industry. You don’t have to be a restaurant chef! You can be a purchaser of a food distributing company, you can be a food stylist, you can be a nutritionist! I wish someone would’ve told me that the possibilities were endless, perhaps also that as a black woman, it’d be a bit more difficult but that despite that, I could do anything I wanted.

 

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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4 Ways to Add Character to a Monochromatic Kitchen

Kitchen by Tapestry Decor

Creating a monochromatic kitchen with a focus on white cabinetry requires careful planning to ensure the end result has plenty of character!

DRAMATIC CONTRASTS We chose to complement white cabinetry with dark gray and black accents. We selected dark gray stools, a black countertop and a backsplash with black and gray detailing to bring depth and contrast into this kitchen.

USE TEXTURE AND PATTERN From a patterned backsplash to a variety of textures throughout the kitchen and adjoining rooms, we were able to add visual interest and a luxurious feel as well.

DECORATE DISPLAY SPACES To create spaces where decorative touches can be added, we chose to offer glass front cabinets and open shelf space below each window. This space can be used to add pops of color in the future if you wish as well.

PLENTY OF BLING Metallic finishes like chrome and stainless steel, mixed with crystal pendants, add glamour and drama to this kitchen without introducing additional color. – Tapesty Decor

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Preparing a Kitchen for Resell

Love This Home staged this Mississauga, Ontario kitchen in the Spring of 2016. The homeowner was about to retire who wanted to downsize and needed to take as much money with her as possible from the existing house. She was very reluctant to invest further in the house. We convinced her to upgrade lighting, paint the cabinets, replace knobs on doors and a few other repairs as well. The total investment was $ 10,000 and we staged the entire house as well. The result: She sold her home for $ 162,000 over asking with 17 offers after only 7 days on market – and she waited 4 days before accepting offers!

Tips for Staging Kitchens:

  1. Don’t be afraid of painting cabinets. People are looking for a move-in ready house. They may still want to upgrade the kitchen but they may not have the money right away to do so. When they see a kitchen that needs to be torn out, they are reluctant to place an offer because of the large expense of replacement. Note: buyers always over-inflate the price of repairs/changes etc.
  2. Remove everything off the counters/in sinks/on stoves/on window sills. Leave only major small appliances (toaster, toaster oven, coffee maker, kettle). Add some greenery. Add some lifestyle elements eg. bowls of fruit or water bottle/glass. Add some canisters. Remove all dishtowels and floor mats/rugs.
  3. Modern chairs can make all the difference. We used her existing wood table to save her some money on rentals and just augmented with some modern black parson chairs to finish the look.

As Seen in Canadian Home Trends Magazine May 2018.

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Designer Kitchen Renovation: At the Heart of It All

Design details and quality cabinetry allow this designer kitchen renovation to create a multi-functional kitchen and entertaining space.

designer kitchen renovation

CANADIAN HOME TRENDS CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GOAL FOR THIS PROJECT?

BOB MOON Working together with Veneto Homes, our goal was to create a modern kitchen that would incorporate multiple functions.

designer kitchen renovation

CHT CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE KITCHEN’S DESIGN AND LAYOUT?

BM This kitchen is a tasteful mixture of finishes and colors. The kitchen features three distinct cabinetry colors. Matte finish white is used for the appliance wall while a black stain on maple is used for the hidden coffee station, island base and serving areas. A walnut wood is used on the table, accent areas, bookcases and riser to add warmth to the space. The kitchen also features a mix of stainless steel and brushed gold hardware. The same hardware and matte finish white cabinetry are carried into the laundry room for a cohesive feel.

Large windows bring plenty of natural light into the home to create a bright and sunny space. In the serving area, mirrors are used to bring more light and color into the entertainment space. It also features a beverage center that can be closed off when not in use.

designer kitchen renovation

CHT WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT IN THIS SPACE?

BM The hub of this kitchen is a beautiful island that incorporates both working and eating areas. By combining these areas, we were able to maximize the use of space, providing a larger area for both functions.  The island includes a Galley Workstation for a second water and work surface. The interchangeable accessories available for The Galley make this a multi-functional work area. – Gem Cabinets, www.gemcabinets.com

designer kitchen renovation

As Seen in Canadian Home Trends Magazine

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Miss Robbie Cussin’ and Fussin’ in the Kitchen | Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s | Oprah Winfrey Network

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Trends Spotted: Creating an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

National Design Editor, Glen Peloso, shares tips for creating one of this year’s hottest trends: an outdoor kitchen!

outdoor kitchen
Photo Source: Sub-Zero and Wolf

The thing about Canadians is that we just can’t wait to get outdoors as soon as the weather gets even slightly warm. With soaring housing prices, the cottage escape is out of reach for many Canadians. Homeowners without cottages are now transforming their backyards into an oasis. As a result, outdoor kitchens have grown in popularity.

outdoor kitchen
Photo Source: Sub-Zero and Wolf

Quality BBQ: Gone are the days of briquettes and lighter fluid. The gas BBQ has upped its game with many brands now offering outdoor solutions with the quality and functionality you would expect from an indoor appliance.

Outdoor Kitchen
Photo Source: Cosentino

Work Surfaces: Integrating low maintenance work surfaces is they to designing a functional outdoor kitchen. I prefer to use Dekton by Cosentino which creates an exceptionally beautiful surface without any of the issues you might have with other surface materials.

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Dream Kitchen Inspiration: Roches Point

dream kitchen inspiration

While this project is an older project, completed a few year ago – it is one that I love to revisit from time to time when looking for dream kitchen inspiration. The classic style and timeless details never grow old and this kitchen offers a ton of inspiration!

 dream kitchen inspiration

This country home was thoughtfully and lovingly updated by the homeowner who is a designer in her own right as well. The kitchen was originally very small and cramped. A lovely bright addition was added to create an eating area with a cozy fireplace and view to the lake. The screened porch was reworked into a server area behind the main kitchen that really makes this lay out unique and saves the character of the exterior while adding to the charm of the inside.

On a bright summer day this house is so charming you feel like you are in the south of France. It is always a challenge to respect the heritage of the original house while updating the kitchen and the goal is to make it look like the new parts look like they have been there all along. – Rhonda Thornton, Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry

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Design Tips for a Small Kitchen

small kitchen

small kitchenWhen built with functionality in mind, a small kitchen can have the most amazing potential to feel endearing, charming, and perfectly compact. However, this isn’t always the case! Most times, functionality comes as an afterthought so a small kitchen can feel or seem claustrophobic and cluttered. So today, we’re going to help you make the most of your small kitchen and show you how to take advantage of this small but necessary space in your house!

1. Light Cabinets & Walls – Selecting light & bright colors like white, cream or soft beige for the color of your kitchen cabinets will help the space to feel bigger and more open. If you’re looking to add some color to your small kitchen why not add light accent walls or statement pieces like we incorporated into this kitchen?

2. Disguise Storage as Décor – One of the best ways to make your kitchen look & feel bigger is to eliminate clutter. The centre island of this kitchen houses a hidden dishwasher opposite the sink and much needed extra post and pans storage.

3. Opt for Open Shelving – De-cluttering can prove to be difficult when you don’t have adequate cabinet space. So why not opt for open shelving? Hang open shelves on the wall, however you must be sure to keep them tidy! A shallow plate rack over the bench seating in this kitchen adds to the charm of the space and provides extra storage for their good dishes! It serves as both storage and a decorative way to display kitchenware everyday!

Want more great tips like this? Visit the Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry Facebook Page!

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Kids in the kitchen: Valentine’s Day dipped pretzels

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

This may barely qualify as a recipe but it was easy fun for my preschooler and is simple enough that even a toddler could have a ball. Something about the dipping and sprinkling made my little guy feel so accomplished.

Once you melt the chocolate, the kiddos can do all the work. There’s no wrong way to dip — they can dip a little or a lot — and the selection of sprinkles is up to them.

These are really pretty when packaged up in a cellophane bag and delivered to your friends and neighbors!

Valentine’s Day Dipped Pretzels

Pretzel twists
Melting chocolate wafers or chocolate almond bark
Assorted Valentine’s sprinkles

Instructions

1. Melt chocolate according to package directions.

2. Dip pretzels in chocolate.

3. Set on waxed paper or silpat liners.

4. Before chocolate hardens, sprinkle as desired.

Do you bake for Valentine’s Day?

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9 Kitchen Makeovers That Will Make You Swoon

Don’t let previous owners’ questionable decor choices stand in the way of your dream kitchen. These total transformations prove that some white paint and new lighting can erase even the biggest interior design sins.

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24 Fun (and Functional) Kitchen Products You Can Buy on Amazon

We strongly believe that kitchens should be fun and functional, which is why we can’t get enough of these kitchen products. While our experts at Good Housekeeping Institute haven’t tested all the products, the ones below did catch our attention thanks to their practicality — hopefully they will make prepping and cooking so much easier.

Home Ideas – Good Housekeeping

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Kids in the kitchen: Easy Valentine’s dipped cookies

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

This easy recipe is something even toddler hands can handle. I did it with my preschooler and he meticulously dipped and sprinkled all 50 cookies. (Anything that can hold his attention that long is a freakin’ miracle!)

I took him to the store with me so he could pick out his own sprinkles. I don’t know why it was so exciting but it literally made his day. While there, we grabbed the strawberry wafer cookies and some almond bark for melting and dipping. That’s all you need!

I melted the almond bark in the microwave while he laid out all of the cookies on Silpat liners. Then he did all the dipping, followed by all the sprinkling. I think they turned out so cute!

Valentine’s Dipped Wafer Cookies

1 package strawberry wafer cookies
1 package almond bark
Assorted sprinkles

1. Melt 1/2 package of almond bark according to package directions.

2. Dip cookies in melted mixture and set on waxed paper or Silpat liners.

3. Sprinkle immediately with sprinkles. Let sit to harden.

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12 Inspired Tricks for Small Kitchen Designs

Just because you have a small cooking space doesn’t mean you have to de-prioritize the decor in your kitchen to make it functional. These clever ideas prove you can do more with less, without sacrificing style.

Home Ideas – Good Housekeeping

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

3 Kitchen Trends To Watch For in 2018

A couple of weeks ago, we shared some of our favorite kitchen trends of 2017 and we felt it was appropriate to make a few predictions about what we’ll most likely start seeing in our kitchens in 2018! Read below for three kitchen trend forecasts for the new year!

1. Integrated Appliances – This is not necessarily a new trend, however we wanted to include integrated appliances on this list because we feel as though it is undeniably here to stay! Integrated and furniture style appliances are a cornerstone staple of Bloomsbury Design – it creates a cohesive, handsome look that is timeless.

2. Appliance Garages – We saw this trend popping up quite a bit at the Las Vegas Woodworking Show. Look out for more creative storage solutions and minimal counter top appliances making headway in the upcoming year!

3. Purples & Plums – Ultra Violet has officially been declared Pantone’s  2018 Color of the Year, so you can expect to see various shades of purple popping up in kitchens this year! We especially fancy deep, darker purples or plums for 2018 kitchens!

What trends are you expecting to see this year?!

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5 fun cookbooks to get kids in the kitchen with you

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

Happy holidays, everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying your time with family and friends and having a lovely week of celebrating. I always find that everything leads up to a fever pitch on Christmas, and then we spend the rest of the week decompressing – hanging around in fuzzy clothes, playing in the snow, maybe going to see Christmas lights we didn’t have time to visit yet. After a hectic first part of the month, I really like spending this week between Christmas and New Year’s just taking it easy with the kids.

If we’re home, we’ll play games, or do puzzles…and I enjoy cooking with the kids, too. This is the perfect week for it, because we don’t have to rush to get dinner on the table after school and everything else. We can dawdle, and stick our fingers in the batter, and turn up the music and have a good time in the kitchen together. Aside from fun family time, kids who cook tend to eat more varieties of foods, and it even introduces them to math and science concepts.

Here are a few of our favorite cookbooks for kids – one of the things I love is that almost all of these books are spiral-bound, so they actually stay open to your recipe page, and you’re not breaking the binding. Most of these books say they’re for kids 5 and up, but if you’re willing to do more work yourself, you can start them younger.

cookbooks for kids

1.  Cooking With Curious Chef 

This cookbook contains 36 recipes for kids to make and also includes nutrition tips and food facts without being boring and preachy about it. We also have the Curious Chef Prep Kit, which includes a kid-safe knife, vegetable peeler, produce scrubber, and more. The cookbook is recommended for kids 4 and up, the prep kit for kids 5 and up. (Cooking With Curious Chef; Amazon, $ 19.99)

cookbooks for kids

2.  Better Homes & Gardens New Junior Cook Book

I had a (much-older!) version of this when I was a kid and I made every recipe in it. It’s been updated several times since then, but it still begins with an introduction to cooking terms, instructions on how to measure ingredients and practice food safety, and other important notes for beginners. The book has 65 recipes, with pictures and stories to go along with each. Kids can make breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and healthy treats. (Better Homes & Gardens New Junior Cook BookAmazon, $ 12.24)

cookbooks for kids

3. Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ Cookbook: 50 Favorite Recipes To Make In A Slow Cooker

While this has recipes for every meal, we like to make the snacks and drinks best. Toss in ingredients for Crunchy Snack Mix or Minty Hot Chocolate, head outside and play, then come in and have a tasty treat waiting for you! (Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ CookbookAmazon, $ 8.98)

cookbooks for kids

4. Mermaid Cookbook

The Mermaid Cookbook has exactly what you’d think – frothy floats, some snacks, sweet little cookies and cakes, and various other treats. It’s not big on hearty meals, but it would be fun to spend an afternoon making Sea Turtle Cookies or Little Luau Cakes and Sea Foam Floats and having a mermaid party in the dead of winter. (Mermaid CookbookAmazon, $ 12.08)

cookbooks for kids

5. The Everything Kids’ Cookbook

More than 90 recipes that cover everything from pancakes to tacos to peanut butter squares. There’s a scale to indicate how hard each recipe is, so kids can start easy and work their way up, and there are recipes for holidays along with everyday standards. (The Everything Kids’ CookbookAmazon, $ 7.74)

Do you have a favorite dish you make with your children?

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Trump reunites with his kitchen cabinet in Mar-a-Lago

Minutes before President Donald Trump departed the White House on Friday for his languid Florida hideaway, he appeared to exasperate aides who had hoped he might avoid holding court with the press. 


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Ensemble: Leggings and The Kitchen Sink

Example

This ensemble was inspired by an outfit I recently saw on a Zara mannequin. It’s like a modern version of Madonna’s early ‘80s look. It combines leggings with lots of layers, to the point where the leggings are an afterthought, and barely visible. That’s quite the change from wearing leggings as pants. The combination is also a great way to insulate a skirt.

Although the outfit is high contrast, it has low-contrast components too. You can create a low-contrast effect from head to toe if that’s more to your taste. Leggings tend to look best in black, so including black in your colour palette helps to pull the look together.

Here are the components:

Skirt: Choose a pleated skirt, or another A-line silhouette with personality. A tulle skirt could work. Pleated skirts with less volume look more streamlined. A knee-covering length looks fab.

Leggings: Layer a pair of black ankle-length leggings under the skirt. Black pleather leggings are another option.

Tops: Zara layered a black graphic tee over a floral blouse. They tucked the blouse into the skirt and semi-tucked the tee for waist definition. Another option is to wear a black welted sweatshirt or pullover with a neckerchief for a similar effect — less bulky and no need to tuck or semi-tuck tops. Try an asymmetrical tunic pullover or a cropped pullover or knitted top too. Again, no need for tucking.

Jacket: Choose a black moto jacket or cropped black jacket. The shorter length of the jacket elongates the leg line from the hips upward.

Footwear: Choose dressy black pumps, smoking slippers, loafers or ballet flats. Black patent is fab.

Accessories: Finish off the look with a small crossbody bag with a chain handle strap. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.

The outfit is an acquired taste. But if you like to wear black, enjoy leggings and have an orphaned skirt, it might be worth a try.

Ensemble: Leggings and The Kitchen Sink


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10 Kitchen Products That Will Last a Lifetime

It seems like every year there’s a hot new kitchen gizmo that promises to cook better tasting meals or make prep and cleanup a breeze. Alas, kitchen gadgets come and go, and many homeowners spend their hard-earned cash on items that just aren’t built to last. When it comes to stocking your kitchen with gear, trust only the best brands and products. Here are 10 long-lasting picks we trust.
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9 small kitchen purchases that make a huge difference

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

Ahhhh…’tis baking season, my friends.

Between now and next March, while the weather is colder and the nights are darker, I get the urge to bake and cook. Certainly between now and the end of the year, we cook up a storm around here. I pour a little wine, turn on some music, and start chopping and throwing things around in frying pans like I’m Giada.

I’ve noticed that there are a bunch of little, mostly inexpensive, kitchen gadgets that make all this baking and stirring and cooking so much easier. Do you have things like that? Things that seem like such a small amount of money for the amount of convenience and satisfaction you get out of them? I rounded up a few here, but if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

9 small kitchen purchases that make a huge difference

1. Tovolo Silicone Potato Masher

The silicone-covered head means the masher won’t scratch your bowls, and the stainless steel handle is comfortable to hold. After enough years using a potato masher that hurt my hands, I say this one’s worth it – and it’s the nicest-looking potato masher I’ve seen, in case you keep your utensils out where people can view them. Choose from red, green, blue, and charcoal.

Buy it: $ 11.99

2. AmazonBasics 3-Piece Baking Sheet Set

I made due for years with just one baking sheet, but having different sizes really is nice. This non-stick coated set is dishwasher safe, and made from carbon steel so it’s got heft.

Buy it: $ 15.29

3. Braun Multiquick Hand Blender

A handheld blender is useful for so many things – from making soup or chili to blending gravy. This one comes with three attachments – a blender, a whisk, and a mini-chopper. The slip-proof ergonomic handle also lets you control the speed one-handed.

Buy it: $ 70.99

4. Luigi Bormioli Sugar and Creamer Set

I had a friend whose mother insisted you never put anything on the table in its original packaging. Salad dressing, ketchup, butter – all of those things went in nice-looking containers and those went on the table. I’m not going to go that far, but there is something about putting your condiments…or in this case, cream and sugar…in fancy containers that just makes things feel special. I like this set because it looks classy and was designed in Italy, but it’s dishwasher-safe because we still live real lives, you know.

Buy it: $ 19.99

5. OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Potato Ricer

There are two kinds of people in the kitchen…potato mashers and potato ricers. I’ve always been a masher myself, but I’ve talked to enough ricers to start thinking about getting one of my own. They swear ricing potatoes makes them fluffier and creamier, and I may take the plunge this year. BONUS: the ricer also works for ricing carrots or making baby food.

Buy it: $ 24.95

6. Gourmet Basics 8-Piece Stainless Steel Serving Set

Another one of those little things that just makes everything look so much classier – matching serveware. We spent years serving food with a hodgepodge of wooden spoons and plastic ladles…and serving cakes and pies with a fork. It doesn’t work well. This set has all your food taken care of and looks just as good for everyday as it does for nicer meals.

Buy it: $ 29.99

7. OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set

My son took a cooking class at school and insists these are, in fact, called “rubber scrapers,” not spatulas. Regardless of what you call them, having multiple sizes is key – the bigger ones are great for scraping out dough or batter, and the smaller one is wonderful for getting the remnants out of jars of peanut butter or mustard or other thick liquids.

Buy it: $ 11.99

8. AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Wire Whisk Set

A big whisk for whipping cream for pies, or lots of eggs for large families, and a small whisk for whipping up a bit of cream for hot chocolate – perfect! The contoured handles are comfortable to hold, and the whisks are dishwasher-safe as well.

Buy it: $ 9.99

9. OXO Bladed Dough Blender and Cutter

I’ve cut dough for cakes and pies using two butter knives before, but it’s unwieldy and makes me cranky. This dough cutter and blender makes the job so much easier…and this is another task where it’s important to have a comfortable handle to work with. This one is excellent.

Buy it: $ 11.99

Also, be sure to check out these 7 larger kitchen gadgets that are saving my life this season. 

What would you add to this list?

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Kim’s Modern, Monochromatic Kitchen Design Board

I am currently infusing black accents into my signature grey and white palettes. For this kitchen design board, I created a monochromatic scheme with elegant touches and dramatic black accents.

I started with a large format Grey Concrete Porcelain Matte Tile for the floor and all white cabinets with clean fronts. Topping the cabinets would be a concrete look counter top and a Genova Porcelain Tiles back splash.

To finish the look, I added accessories in crisp white and black, modern stainless steel appliances and a few textural pieces for a bit of personality.

Sources:

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Kids in the kitchen: Easy cinnamon roll turkeys for Thanksgiving morning

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

These will make your Thanksgiving morning so fun! The kids can do most of the work (you handle the bacon, they can decorate the rolls) and the end result is festive AND delicious!

If you have a homemade cinnamon roll recipe you love, go for it. I was looking for quick and easy so took some help from the store. There are two important things about this recipe:

1. Before baking, you have to unroll the cinnamon rolls a tiny bit and tuck the end up into the roll. See pic below. This helps create a “neck” for the turkey.

2. You need to bake these in a round (9-10″) cake pan. If you bake on a cookie sheet, they spread and don’t rise as high, so your turkey looks a little flat.

That’s it! Then let the kids at it. The bacon “feathers” don’t need to be perfect, so let the little hands put them wherever they want!

Everyone will gobble, gobble these up…

Easy Turkey Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Pillsbury. I just simplified everything so little hands could help with these.

1 can (17.5 oz) Pillsbury Grands refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
10 slices bacon
5 candy corns
candy eyes

Cook or bake bacon until crisp; drain on paper towel-lined plate.

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray round baking pan with cooking spray.

Set icing aside. Separate dough into 5 rolls. Unroll each roll about 1 inch; tuck dough into roll to create neck of turkey. (See pic below for “tucking”, make sure to pull the end all the way down. Remember do NOT bake these on a cookie sheet. I learned the hard way!)

Follow package baking instructions (or until light golden brown). Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack; cool 5 minutes. Drizzle tops of rolls with icing.

Cut bacon slices in half. Tuck 4 halves of bacon into back of each cinnamon roll so they stick up and look like tail feathers.

Decorate turkeys with candy eyeballs and candy corn. Enjoy!

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Crystal’s Modern Classic Kitchen Design Board

 

My partner and I are currently in the planning process of our first new home build so dreaming up a custom kitchen is quite a timely assignment! This dream board pulls together some of my favorite’s right now: colorful cabinetry, gold accents and just a touch of whimsy.

The centerpiece of this kitchen is a beautiful island with a white, waterfall countertop and Genova large format porcelain tiles accenting the front for an elegant detail. I choose a wide rail shaker style cabinet door for a clean, modern look in a timeless style and added  satin brass hardware. For the backsplash, I went with a White Malojica Glossy Wall Tile from the Ames Tile Trends Collection that is both subtle and glamorous at the same time.  Flooring is a 8″ x 48″ Brown Wood Porcelain Tile; the dark color brings a rich warmth to the space.

To complete the look, I picked a faucet, light fixture and accessories with gold detailing and interesting details for a look that is both classic and trendy, with plenty of glam.

Sources:

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7 kitchen gadgets that are saving my life this season

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

love pretty kitchen gadgets. Sometimes I wander around Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel (ONLY when I’m kidless, you understand. All those wine glasses are a disaster waiting to happen), and I pretend I’m one of those people who holds dinner parties with gold-accented dishes and real glasses and fancy gadgets and everything in my house is white and not sticky.

In reality, though, I need things to be practical. And I don’t have the space or money for kitchen gadgets I only use once a year on Thanksgiving. They need to pull their weight the rest of the time if they’re going to hang out in my cabinets. Which is why I love this list of kitchen supplies — everything on it is something you’ll use for Thanksgiving and other holiday meals, yes…but also over and over again afterward.

kitchen gadgets

1. Black + Decker 7-Quart Digital Slow Cooker with Chalkboard Surface

If you’ve never saved your turkey to make stock the day after Thanksgiving, you’re missing out on some liquid gold, my friend. Toss your turkey carcass in a slow cooker with the ends of all the veggies you used (carrot tops, onion ends and outer layers, celery bits, literally whatever), season with a little salt and pepper, cover it with water, and let it go on low all day. You end up with stock from things you were going to throw out anyway, and now you can freeze it to use later in soups, stews, casseroles, or to give sick people all winter long.

The other reason I love this Black + Decker slow cooker is because the chalkboard surface means you can make something for a potluck or football game, and write the name of the dish right on the pot!! Genius.

Buy it: $ 32.99

2. Nordic Ware Exclusive Bundt and Bundt Bag

Bundt cakes are 1.) delicious and 2.) way less fuss than messing about with layer cakes that need frosting and piling on top of each other. And they just look so fancy with all those ridges along the outside. Bundts make it look like you did some hard work when really all you did was pour the batter into the pan (this right here is my all-time favorite bundt recipe – it’s a nice pear spice taste for fall and winter). The Nordic Ware Bundt even comes with a storage bag to prevent scratching and wear and tear.

Buy it: $ 31.99

3. CorningWare 12 Piece Bakeware Set

CorningWare is a serious kitchen workhorse. We use ours just about every evening for dinner. They’re good for casseroles, side dishes, cold dishes, hot dishes – everything. They’re sturdy. You can take them from the oven to the table…and the classic white means you can use it for a nice Thanksgiving dinner or for every day.

Buy it: $ 36.49

4. Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine 

I started making my own bread when I realized how much we spend on store-bought…and it tastes so much better. It also makes the house smell AMAZING. You can use this for more than just making bread, though – bread machines can do dinner rolls, pizza dough, even make jam. The Expressbake setting means you can bake fresh bread in less than an hour.

Buy it: $ 47.99

kitchen gadgets

5. Instant Pot 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker (& More)

This is saving me at least three nights a week right now. The kids are starting up with recitals and concerts and holiday whatevers and we’re out late each night and I always forget to take something out for dinner. The Instant Pot gets frozen chicken cooked in 15 minutes flat. You’ll use it on Thanksgiving to make mashed or sweet potatoes or another side, but you’ll use it the rest of the year for everything from dinner to oatmeal for breakfast. My original hesitation was the price and the fact that I already had a slow cooker, but I do not regret this purchase for one second. (Try Lindsay’s Garlic Parm Chicken recipe here to get started!)

Buy it: $ 97.50

kitchen gadgets

6. Oster Pro Blender 3-in-1 with Food Processor Attachment

As I mentioned, I like saving money and space in my kitchen. So this blender is awesome because it combines a blender and food processor. It also comes with a 24-oz. smoothie cup with a lid, so you can make up individual recipes as well as stuff for the whole family.

Buy it: $ 89.99

kitchen gadgets

7. Le Creuset Shallow Dutch French Oven 2.75 quart

I know. I know. Le Creuset is expensive. But it will last forever…you’ll pass it down to your children one day. And cast iron is expensive in general so if you’re going to invest, go with the tried-and-true. It’s great for casseroles, side dishes, dinner, or even to bake bread. You can use it in the oven, on the stove, or outside on the grill. Also, it’s so so pretty!

Buy it: $ 139.95

You can find more kitchen gadgets here!

What’s the one kitchen item you can’t live without?

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How to Get Rid of Those Pesky Gnats Plaguing Your Kitchen

The first step is figuring out whether you have fruit flies, drain flies or fungus gnats.

Home Ideas – Good Housekeeping

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8 Reasons You Should Try Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

This polarizing design choice has more positives than you think.

Home Ideas – Good Housekeeping

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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Kids in the kitchen: Easy monster eyeballs for Halloween

by

Lindsay Weiss

posted in Life

My kids had no school on Friday, so we needed a project. These little Halloween cookies seemed like the perfect thing and we only needed a few ingredients to make them happen. My 4-year-old could do this project from start to finish, but my older kids loved it too. I just spread out a big plastic tablecloth on our kitchen table and let them have at it. I also melted the candy wafers for them (because their attention span for the microwave is questionable).

I mistakenly took the long route and baked mini cookies from some sugar cookie dough for the kids to use. But after I did that, I realized mini vanilla wafers would have been ready-made and much easier!

We actually included these in our “Boo” baskets we gave to friends. It was a super cute homemade addition that the kids felt really proud of.

Easy Monster Eyeballs

Mini vanilla wafers (Or mini sugar cookies)
Green candy melts (I found Wilton melts at Walmart)
Eyeball candies (Also from Wilton)

Melt candy according to package directions. Stir in canola oil to thin if necessary. Dip cookies entirely in melted candy and shake off excess. Top each with eyeball candy. Let set for 20 min or so to harden.

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Jack’s Luxurious Custom Kitchen Design Board

Have you ever wondered how top kitchen designers would style a dream kitchen of their own? Jack Creasy, Senior Designer at Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry recently shared some of his  must-have design choices for the perfect custom kitchen!

Jack’s Design Choices Explained:

1. Waterstone Faucet in Specialty Satin Gold Finish

I love the Quality and Finish of the Waterstone faucets; the perfect compliment to the detailed craftsmanship of a Bloomsbury Kitchen. They also come in 30 different finishes and have all the coordinating accessories to make the perfect faucet suite for your kitchen!

2. Schaub Atherton Collection Hardware in Hammered Satin Brass

The detail and proportions of this hardware are a perfect pairing with the clean, classic, English furniture style of our Bloomsbury framed inset cabinetry. I especially like the Hammered Cup Pull & Knobs for an added level of detail with an organic twist.

3. Walnut Wood

Whether it’s a walnut herringbone wood countertop or walnut butler’s serving trays or a walnut island, the warmth and richness of this wood creates a perfectly inviting space. Distressed for a more rustic vibe or pristine to set a more formal & elegant tone

4. A Marble Ledge or Shelf to Display Art

With so many hard surfaces in the kitchen, it’s nice to break it up a bit with some artwork, decorative finds & layers of lighting (sconces, pendants, etc.). A marble ledge or shelf provides the perfect opportunity to do so, while keeping these treasured finds up off the work surface and out of harm’s way.

You can find more inspiration from the talented team at Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry on our Facebook page!

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How gross is your kitchen sponge really?

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

The thing no one warned me about when I became a parent was the amount of wiping. Faces, noses, tables, computer screens, chairs, coffee tables, bottoms, bottoms, bottoms. So. Much. Wiping.

It’s no wonder I have disposable wipes of all kinds around here. Electronic wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, Lysol wipes. I even have some special stainless steel wipes for my fridge. The only thing I haven’t been able to find a suitable wipe for is my dishes. I use a very questionable kitchen sponge for those. Every time I use it, I wonder whether I’m actually cleaning things, or just helping the bacteria in the sponge to get around my kitchen even faster than it would on its own.

This article has my answer. In a nutshell, the average kitchen sponge has a crapload of bacteria on it. This might be my favorite quote:

“We found 362 different species of bacteria, and locally, the density of bacteria reached up to 45 billion per square centimeter,” says Markus Egert, a microbiologist at Furtwangen University in Germany, who led the study.

Well, that’s a party right there.

How gross is your kitchen sponge really?

Do not despair, however. Despite the discoveries at Furtwangen University, you’re probably not at risk of infecting your entire household with awful diseases. There are actually only five species of bacteria that cause more than 90 percent of hospitalizations from foodborne illness…and they’re not usually found on sponges.

Jennifer Quinlan, a food microbiologist at Drexel University, says the best ways to keep your sponges from spewing dangerous bacteria around are to keep them away from raw meat, replace them every couple of weeks, and clean them every few days by putting them in the dishwasher or microwaving them. That should get rid of the dangerous ones…and the rest? Well, there are gazillions of bacteria microbes crawling all over your house anyway, what’s a few billion more in your sponge?

I guess the answer to my question is that my kitchen sponge is pretty gross but since I’m not using it to scrub-a-dub my chicken, we should be okay.

Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us that dirt is good for you, too. 

Do you clean your sponges? Replace them? Use something else entirely? I could use some suggestions!

Images by Laura Falin

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