How to make a statement in your kitchen

Whether you love to cook fine cuisine for friends or whip up a quick meal for the family, the kitchen of the modern day is the heart of the home. It’s the place where people gather at the beginning and end of each day. So how do you ensure your kitchen hits the right heartwarming notes?Here are five tips on how to make a statement in your kitchen.

 

kitchen

Appliances

If you enjoy cooking and spending time preparing food, then appliances are the place to start when planning your kitchen. Great appliances equal ease of entertaining, from ovens that take the legwork out of cooking and cleaning to dishwashers that ensure the room is clean when you leave.

A cook knows the appliances they need to get the job done and one of these has to be a great oven that can accommodate your style of entertaining, whether that be a family roast or intricate delicacies. Appliance experts such as ASKO have the top of the range appliances on offer to ensure you never slave over a hot stove.

Workspaces

When designing your awe-inspiring kitchen, consider your work zones. Just like a professional kitchen, there should be places for preparing food, enough room to rest hot pans and areas for dishing up. Good workspaces should also incorporate the flow of cooking, meaning you aren’t traipsing across the kitchen in search of pans or spices.

Cupboards

A stunning kitchen should make food preparation look effortless. That means a place for everything and everything in its place. In recent times, this has led to the popularity of the butler’s pantry where the messiness of cooking can be shut off to the prying eye. But should a butler’s pantry be a little beyond your space or budget means, then cupboards that can secrete appliances and the paraphernalia of cooking are a must-have.

That means including bench height cupboards with power points where large appliances such as blenders and toasters can be discreetly stashed away.

The little things

It can be the little things that make a kitchen truly beautiful, such as clean lines and soft close drawers. From double sinks or large sinks that can accommodate pots and pans when washing up to designated pot cupboards complete with racks for your potlids, the small things add up for ease of use and aesthetic appeal.

The heart of the home

Ultimately, the kitchen represents the heart of the home and the cockpit for modern entertaining and it should reflect this with its position and design. Consider island benches that guests or family can sit around to take part in food preparation and ensure your kitchen is not tucked away in a corner of the house.

Great kitchens don’t come about by accident. They are the result of planning, investment and the acknowledgement that cooking and entertaining play a pivotal role in family life. Creating a statement is all about ensuring it does this with ease and minimal fuss.

Are you thinking of making over your kitchen? Do you have any other tips to share? Do so by commenting below.

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A Night To Remember: How To Throw An Awesome Dinner Party

It is an awful shame, but it seems as though dinner parties are going out of fashion. When was the last time that you invited friends to enjoy a meal in your home? Sure, meeting at a bar is an enjoyable way to spend an evening, but why not try something formal instead? If you want to host a dinner party for your friends or family, it doesn’t take all that much work. Here is how you can create a night that everyone will remember.

 

Step 1: Choose the perfect attendees

Of course, you need to decide who you want to invite before you do anything else. When you are picking your guests, you should consider who of them loves fine cuisine. There is no point wasting your culinary skills on people who are fussy when it comes to what they eat. Choose people who you know will appreciate your hard work in the kitchen.

 

Dinner party with Synne and Mike

Image credit: Elin B – https://flic.kr/p/5o9Nat

 

Step 2: Create your menu

Creating the right menu for your party is difficult. Before you do anything, you need to think about whether anyone has any dietary requirements. Loads of people are allergic to simple things such as cheese or bread. You should ask your guests about their needs before you plan what you want to cook. You should choose exotic recipes that your friends may not have tried before now. That way, they will experience something new at your party.

 

Step 3: Sourcing your ingredients

Once you know what you will cook, it is time to find the right ingredients for you. You can, of course, buy almost anything in supermarkets these days. Rather than getting everything from one store, though, you should get your produce from a range of places. There is no doubt that the butchers will have the best meat out there. You can get fresh vegetables from a greengrocers and even some fruit as well.

 

Step 4: Decorate your room

Many people forget to decorate their rooms when they have people as guests. You need to create the right atmosphere in the room so that your attendees feel comfortable in your home. You should create place settings with each of your guests’ names on them. You could also use a tablecloth as the base of your decor. Click here if you need to buy some new linen for your dinner party. Finally, you should consider creating a centerpiece from flowers or other decorations.

 

Step 5:  Get some fancy tableware

When it comes to setting the table, only the best-quality things will do the job. You should ensure that you have beautiful tableware for your party so that everything looks brand new. It is crucial that the cutlery matches. Make sure that you clean the pieces and polish them before you use them. That way, everything on your table will shine and sparkle.

 

Step 6: Choosing alcohol

When it comes to choosing the right alcohol for your dinner party, you need to consider what your guests want. There will likely be people attending who don’t drink, and so you should choose some soft drinks to serve. You should also ensure that you buy some excellent table wine to serve with your courses. Remember, the alcohol you want needs to compliment your meal, rather than overpowering it.

 

Step 7: Create an original dessert

If you have the time, you should make your dessert from scratch. Sometimes, people get lazy when it comes to making a dessert. Many people just buy a cake or a trifle and leave it at that. Unique and original puddings always go down well at dinner parties. Try baking something special for your party so that you have something for people to try.

 

Hosting a dinner party is a fantastic way to bond with the people around you. After all, who doesn’t love attending a fancy meal?

 

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Tikoy a symbol of a “higher year” to come

Tikoy or Nián gao is abundant in this time of the year. It is typically given out as gifts in the days leading up to Chinese New Year. This sticky sweet snack is commonly considered as the centerpiece eaten during the Chinese New Year. It is also traditionally known as a symbol of a higher year to come.

 

tikoy

 

This Chinese pudding is made from glutinous rice – pounded or ground into a paste, steamed and is then molded into a round shape. You can buy different molded designs which are store-prepared in various Chinese delicacy outlets in Ongpin, Binondo area, famously known as the China town in the Metropolis.

 

Our family love it cooked by dipping slices in beaten eggs then fry in a little cooking oil. It results to a slightly crispy layer while retaining a chewy, soft and sticky center. Chilling uncooked Tikoy the night before cooking or until it stiffens will make it easier to slice before frying.

 

tikoy cooked

 

By the way tomorrow is Chinese New Year. Be merry and don’t forget to cook and eat your Tikoy :) Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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Finger licking Blueberry Cheesecake

 

I’ve been hooked into baking lately, trying different bread and cake recipes. Because, I have no formal studies yet in baking, but planning to enroll in a baking class this summer if schedule permits, all I do for the meantime is trial and error. If my baked goods fail, I just charged it o experience, ahaha.

 

Aside from the Everyday Baking cookbook that a dear friend gave me, I also search on different recipes in the web, compare and choose the ones which are easier to bake, ingredients wise and procedure as well.

 

So here it is my ever first Blueberry Cheesecake. My husband and sons gave a two thumbs up for it is finger lickin’ good :)

 

blueberry cheese cake

Home made Blueberry Cheesecake

 

 

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup of unsalted butter, melted, I use the butter compound from Wonderbake

 

For the filling:

340 grams of Blueberry preserves

2 large eggs

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

1 (300ml) can of condensed milk

2 tsp of vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon extract

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to moderate settings at 350 º F or 177 ºC

Using a fork mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl.

Pour the mixture into the baking pan, press it into the bottom of the pan and bake it for 12 minutes or until it is set.

When set remove it from the oven and let it cool.

Next is to prepare the filling. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk using an electric mixer until smooth.

Add the eggs, vanilla extract and the lemon extract, continue beating until it becomes well combined and creamy.

Pour the filling over the cooled baked crust, use a spatula for even spreading.

Now, bake it for 25-30 minutes, until the filling is set but still jiggly in the middle.

Let it cool for an hour then refrigerate for another hour or until it is completely chilled.

After chilling pour in the blueberry preserve on top, spread it evenly then refrigerate it again before serving.

 

 

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Tips on Proper Care for your Fancy Tableware

If you’re like most people, your “fancy” tableware is probably stored safely in some corner of your home, gathering dust and taking up space simply because you’re not sure how to properly care for it and you don’t want to risk ruining your fine china. Instead of saving your luxury tableware for the special occasion that never seems to come, learn how to care for your tableware with this infographic.

tableware-care-guide-by-kneenandco delectableideas

 

Sterling silver: Dishwasher safe as long as you only use a small amount of detergent. Polish with silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth to slow tarnishing. Keep in mind when storing that silver reacts to sulfur, which is found in rubber and wool.

Gold vermeil: Hand wash gold vermeil tableware with mild soap, and dust regularly with a dry cloth instead of polishing. Store gold vermeil pieces in a flatware case so that they won’t bump against each other and scratch.

Gold plated: Hand wash gold plated tableware with mild soap, polishing with general metal polish and a gold polishing cloth. Store gold plated tableware in a soft-lined flatware case to avoid scratching and exposing the metal underneath.

Silver plate: Silver plate tableware is dishwasher safe with a small amount of citric-acid free detergent, and it can be polished using silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth. Take care not to wash silver plate tableware next to stainless steel in the dishwasher, since the metals will react and discolor the silver.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is dishwasher safe, and you can rinse stainless steel with club soda after washing to remove any water spots. Polish using stainless steel polish, and avoid hand washing stainless steel with hard-bristled brushes or scouring pads, which can wear away the chromium oxide film.

White porcelain and decal or underglaze porcelain: Most white and decal/underglaze porcelain is dishwasher safe, but follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. These types of porcelain do not need to be polished and are microwave safe (as long as they do not include metals).

Hand painted porcelain and metallic porcelain: Hand wash these types of porcelain with mild soap. Hand painted porcelain does not need to be polished, but silver coated porcelain can be polished using silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth (gold coated porcelain should not be polished). Hand painted and metallic porcelain are generally not microwave safe; follow manufacturer recommendations.

Glassware: Most glassware is dishwasher safe, however, blown glass items are typically too fragile to be used in the dishwasher. Glassware washed in the dishwasher should be dried on the lowest setting to avoid spots forming; remove the film that forms with regular washing by using glass polish.

Crystal: Hand wash your crystal with mild soap, unless your dishwasher has a crystal setting. Use glass polish to remove the film that forms with regular washing.

 

 

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How to Keep Your Kitchen Sparkling Clean

If you constantly try to reach the image of spotless and perfect kitchen,but you does not succeed in achieving this effect, do not feel disturbed. I assure you that it is not as easy as it seems. The busy working schedule and other arrangements often take all our time and we simply miss to provde the regular cleaning duties. When it comes to kitchens, they definitely need cleaning on regular basis, because we all know that when preparing the meals  or simply when eating our breakfast, we happen to make a “little mess” that should be cleaned afterwards. Kitchens are considered the sacred place for every self respecting lady who is keen on preparing delicious specialties.

 

Modern_kitchen_gnangarra

 

In this article you will learn some useful tips how to keep your kitchen sparkling clean. Of course the first thing, that you need to have is the motivation and the habit to provide cleaning on regular basis.You also need to have free time, so make sure that you could “steal” a couple of hours from your busy schedule at least once per week.

 

Pay Attention to The Fridge

When kitchens are mentioned, the next thing that probably occurs to you is the fridge. Fridge needs regular cleaning, as it is the place where your food is stored. The first thing to check is whether there are some meals that are no longer suitable for eating. Throw them away and empty the whole fridge. After that, by using a clean towel and soapy water, provide complete cleaning   from the inside and make sure that every stain or grease are effectively removed. Leave the doors open and let the fridge dry for a couple of minutes. Another tip for keeping your fridge fresh is to place some baking soda on the inside.

 

Clean The Countertop and the Sink

Traditionally, people clean the sink and the countertop only by using a pure water. However water cannot remove all the germs that may have found their place, so you need another approach to make sure that everything is sparkling clean. Use an anti-bacterial cleaner to apply on the sink and the countertop, every single day. In addition to that, you can use a solution of water and bleach and to apply it twice per week on these surfaces.

 

Provide Cleaning of The Chopping Boards

Whether you are acquainted with this or not, chopping boards often tend to be a place for different food contaminants. The pathogens that are found in the potatoes as well as in some leafy green vegetables may stay on to the surface of the chopping board. For the purpose, you had better wash the vegetables well and try to use chopping boards that are made of plastic. Clean  thoroughly the chopping board by using soapy water to get rid of the germs. Finally, rinse the board with a hot water.

 

These are some basic tips how to keep your kitchen sparkling clean and free of germs. Apart from them, you also need to provide regular mopping and vacuuming of the floors as well as excellent cleaning of the other kitchen appliances. If you do not want to use traditional and sometimes expensive cleaning products, you can try with homemade detergents that will do a great job for the removing of all the stains and accumulated dirt. Kitchen cleaning can be a real challenge but as long as you know the basic tricks, you will enjoy its sparkling and shiny look. Ensure the welcoming and cosy atmosphere in your kitchen, and you will be inspired to make the the best specialties for your relatives and friends.

For more interesting and useful tips follow Move out Cleaning Ealing

Image source:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Modern_kitchen_gnangarra.JPG

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