Having a great kitchen is the dream of many couples and single people who love to cook. For them, the kitchen is the star of the house and they make it as functional as possible.
Indeed, this particular area in the house where you prepare and cook food can serve many purposes. It can also be a place to dine and enjoy conversation with family members and can even serve as a study area for the kids.
While not all families can have their dream kitchen, it’s still possible to create one that best suits your lifestyle by doing some renovation work. For those building a new home, however, it’s always best to plan well the layout of the room to ensure you have enough space where you can prepare, cook and serve up meals to your loved ones.
Basically, the most important sections of a kitchen are the cooking area, storage area and the cleanup area. Many of today’s modern kitchens follow a work triangle layout to make it easier for the cook or head of the family to go back and forth between these areas. The triangle needs to have just enough space and not too big or too small. Continue reading »
Some of you may be guilty of this – storing ingredients such as flour, baking soda and butter beyond their expiration dates. While you may think that these items can be stored for a long time, they too have their expiration dates.
It’s about time then that you check their shelf life and label your container to make you aware when you need to throw them away. Here are useful tips you need to keep in mind.
Flour is a common kitchen ingredient that many housewives believe can last for a long time. When stored in the pantry, the maximum time you can keep your flour is six months. If you want to keep them longer for up to a year, though, the best storage space for it is the freezer or refrigerator. Just be sure to store it first in an airtight container before putting it in the fridge.
Butter is good for up to two weeks only but if you want to make it last for a month, again the freezer is where it should be stored. If you have several bars of butter, do remember to put only one of them in the fridge and the rest should be placed in the freezer.
Continue reading »
Being an important room in the house, any kitchen should have the proper lighting to ensure that those who use it can see everything clearly even at night. There are tricks in lighting a kitchen and it’s not actually enough that only a single light is installed on the ceiling.
Having only one ceiling-mounted lighting fixture creates a glaring effect and causes shadows which is a no-no in the kitchen, according to interior designers. To create a well-lit room, blending and layering four types of light is most ideal. Depending on what you want to achieve in your kitchen, all four should be taken into consideration but you can also choose to use only two of them if you’re after practicality.
Task lighting is the most important of all and this is one placed above a person’s head and the countertop (work surface). This provides sufficient illumination when preparing ingredients and reading recipes whether from a book, magazine or an iPad. Ideally, this kind of light should be installed below the overhead cabinets.
Continue reading »
People have a lot to be thankful for particularly with regards to the advancement of mobile technology. The cooks, whether the newbies or the veterans, are among those benefiting from many of today’s smart mobile devices.
The most important role that smartphones and tablets play is providing information on recipes to people who love to cook for their loved ones and friends. With so many websites and apps that feature recipes and tips, it’s fairly easy to prepare and cook dishes with the help of a mobile gadget.
A 2013 survey on the global food trends done by Allrecipes.com showed that a growing number of people are using a mobile device to search for recipes and food inspiration. The survey covered more than 7,000 cooks with many of them cooking for their families as the top users of mobile gadgets.
So what are the top uses of smartphones and tablets for these cooks?
The study found that searching for recipes is the most popular activity with 63 percent of them doing this with their gadgets. Very understandable because with just a few swipes, they can easily find recipes without exerting much effort. Continue reading »
Barbecue is a favorite food of many people worldwide. Whether in the developed countries or in the developing nations, this food is very popular among kids and adults alike.
A major proof confirming people’s love for barbecue is the high sales of grillers and smokers. In 2010, for example, more than 15 million were shipped in North America with the gas grills as the most preferred type. The latest study on barbecue lifestyle, usage and attitude done by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association showed that majority of grill owners use their grills all year round. The summer are the most popular grilling times particularly during Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Father’s Day.
Barbecues won’t be as tasty as they are without the marinade. Marinating is an important process as it makes the meat softer and juicier. Most marinades make use of vinegar, wine or lemon juice but other products may be incorporated. Continue reading »
Spring is here and with this season comes Easter. For many people, this time of the year calls for some celebration and when there’s celebration, there’s bound to be food.
When it comes to Easter treats, pastels and sweets abound. Easter is often associated with pastels because of their sweet color. But besides the sweet ingredients, the egg also takes the limelight during this season.
If you wish to prepare something sweet and tasty for everybody, here are some ideas you can follow.
Continue reading »
She’s that blonde chef you’ve seen and you still see on TV today who sports different hairstyles. She became Mario Batali’s sous chef in the Iron Chef and now has several shows on the Food Network. She has already published her first cookbook entitled “Cook Like a Rock Star” and a new one is in the works set for release this October.
Make way for Anne Burrell, host of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and reality shows Chef Wanted as well as Worst Cooks of America. Before hitting the TV, this tough woman worked for some top restaurants in New York City. Now, she loves her work on television and considers Chef Wanted as the most rewarding.
Burrell said what is remarkable about Chef Wanted is it’s a win-win situation. They help people land jobs and everyone involved benefits from the chefs and their families to the restaurants.
The other reality cooking show “Worst Cooks of America,” she added, is also beneficial in that they are able to help improve their skills. The rewarding part, she pointed out, is the part when they see participants transform to become respectable home cooks despite the mistakes they commit along the way.
Continue reading »
Famous celebrity chefs in the U.S. have their hands full in managing their own restaurants and different cooking competitions aired on television. Chef Gordon Ramsay has his MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen and the F Word. Bobby Flay has his own shows BBQ with Bobby Flay, Grill It!, Throwdown! and Worst Cooks in America.
Among the reality cooking shows on TV, perhaps the Worst Cooks in America is the most unique today. When most shows cater to people who love cooking and are good in it, this Worst Cooks series encourages those not so good in cooking to join the competition and learn to be better in preparing food for their families who knows, in their own restaurant in the future.
The show hosted by Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell, now on its fourth season, offers a grand prize of $25,000 for the team that comes out the best. The finale is set on March 31st and will only have two contestants tasked to prepare a three-course meal of restaurant quality for three chefs – Andrew Carmellini, Anita Lo and Floyd Cardoz.
Continue reading »
When we hear the word high-tech, we often think about something advanced, futuristic and one that makes life so much easier. Many people equate high tech with robots that can do so many things in just a simple touch of a remote control button.
In the home, the kitchen is one area where more advanced appliances and gadgets can be used. In terms of appearance, a homeowner can create a high-tech look as well using stainless steel. This particular material can be used not only in the cookware but even in creating the counter tops, cabinets, wine racks and workbenches.
Other than the overall theme of your kitchen area, the appliances you put there can also contribute to that advanced look. Those you can get made from stainless steel are the gas range, refrigerator, oven, microwave, dishwasher, the grill, smoking gun, tea maker and digital nutritional scale. Beyond their material, however, you also need to look for that high-tech functions they can do.
There’s a refrigerator today with a built in LCD screen. The display is where you can leave notes to family members or show photos and there are even some that come with apps to help you in certain kitchen tasks.
There’s also an oven that is capable of refrigerating your food while you’re still not ready to cook it. It can be switched on remotely using the internet, cell phone or telephone or using its touch screen controls. How cool is that?
Another cool kitchen tool is this latest microwave with a bar scanner and a database of some 4,000 items. It works by scanning the bar code of your food product and then automatically programs the cooking time and power level.
For some reason, this silver look has always been associated with the future. Perhaps because of those robots that are made of steel and those half-human, half-robot characters such as the Terminator we’ve seen in the movies.
Finally, if you don’t want separate appliances, the answer is the all-in-one type. In today’s high-tech world, there’s already such a thing as this – one that combines a fridge, oven, stove and dishwasher and it is called the eco green system kitchen.
Photo via thehightechsociety
Many homes in the city center such as apartments, flats and condos have limited space. This being the case, their kitchens are also smaller. Normally, they can just fit in a gas range with oven, an overhead cabinet and a small counter that can accommodate a coffee maker, a toaster and a few smaller kitchen appliances.
Smaller kitchens have an advantage in that you don’t need to walk around to get what you want. With just one turn, you can already do your tasks from preparing your ingredients, cooking your food to making your coffee.
The downside is it can become a dark corner or what some real estate experts and home designers call as a bat cave. But this does not have to be so if you know how to brighten up the space.
Installing the proper light fixtures is the best solution to this kitchen woe. There are several ways you can do this and you can even do it on your own without the help of an electrician.
Continue reading »