Pages Navigation Menu

Family Kitchen Boutique

3 Ways That A Water Softener Can Make Kitchen Chores Easier

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways That A Water Softener Can Make Kitchen Chores Easier

If you are like many people, you might not like spending any more time on kitchen chores than you have to. However, if you have hard water in your kitchen, your chores might be tougher than they have to be. These are a few ways that a water softener can make kitchen chores a whole lot easier and more pleasant. 1. Get Cleaner Dishes Did you know that hard water can make your dishes look dirty, even if you have run your dishwasher or washed them carefully by hand? This is because the mineral deposits in the hard water can leave themselves on your dishes, which can cause glasses and silverware to look “streaky” and can prevent dishes from looking nice and clean. In the past, you might have blamed not-so-clean dishes on a faulty dishwasher, your dish soap or your own dishwashing routines. Once you install a water softener in your home, however, you might find that your dishes look better with less work…and you don’t have to worry about re-washing dishes anymore. 2. Avoid Drying Out Your Hands Have you found that your hands get really dry, itchy and uncomfortable when you wash dishes? If so, it could be because of hard water. Once you install a water softener, you might find that washing dishes or rinsing vegetables isn’t nearly as unpleasant as it once was and that your hands don’t feel as dry when you’re finished. You’re sure to notice a difference when you take a shower or bath, too. 3. Reduce How Often You Have to Clean Out Your Dishwasher Do you find yourself having to clean the inside of your dishwasher often to get rid of gross mineral deposits that can clog the lines? If so, you’ll probably notice a big difference once you install a water softener. A water softener can help get rid of these mineral deposits, so even though you’ll still have to clean your dishwasher out sometimes, you should not have to worry about these same clogs. This means that your dishwasher can work easily and more efficiently, you won’t have to worry about it wearing out as prematurely and you won’t have to clean it out as often. As you can see, installing a water softener in your home is a great way to reduce your kitchen chore workload. Then, you can spend less time in the kitchen and find the time that you spend in that part of your home to be a lot easier and more enjoyable, too. For more information, contact Hague Water Conditioning or a similar...

read more

How To Plan A Great Graduation Party For Your Child

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Plan A Great Graduation Party For Your Child

Now that your child’s graduation is drawing near, you are probably having mixed emotions. On one hand, you are excited that your child has adventures in life ahead of him or her. On the other hand, you might be experiencing feelings of melancholy as you remember days gone by. One thing is for sure: having a graduation party for your child is a wonderful way to honor accomplishments that have taken place over the years. From invitations to the reception hall, here are some ideas that might help you to plan a memorable and fun event. The Invitations – Of course, you can email invitations or you can phone those who are on the guest list. However, there’s something very special about getting an invitation in the mail. It sets the mood for the upcoming event. Send clever invitations. For example, put a graduation cap on a picture of your child as a baby and add a caption like You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby. Another idea is to send a picture of a train and put a message on each of the cars. The message could include the pertinent information, like the time and the place of your party. In addition, different cars could state things like Chugging Right Along or This Train’s Bound For College. The Place – As you start writing down the names of everybody on your list, you’ll probably be amazed at how many people are in your child’s life. Besides family members and friends, there’s special teachers, coaches, church leaders, and others who have played a part in your child’s life. If this is the case, consider renting a reception hall for your child’s graduation party. Often, hotels and restaurants have large rooms that serve perfectly as reception halls. The benefit here is that you can use the caterers on site. Be sure to reserve the reception hall early, as there will be a lot of others having graduation parties, wedding receptions and other events. Be clear on how many people will be attending so that you can obtain enough tables and chairs for your guests. You can also check out a venue such as Halls of St. George. The Activities – Dance! Make it a super memorable affair by hiring a DJ so that everybody can dance. Renting a reception hall means that you’ll have plenty of room for the DJ’s equipment and that there will be amble space for a dance floor. Request music of all types so that people of all ages will have some music they can dance to. Don’t forget to have a book where guests can write a message to your graduate. This will be a wonderful reminder of a special...

read more

4 Appliances You Need For Your New Basement Bar

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Appliances You Need For Your New Basement Bar

If you are in the process of adding a bar to your basement, you need to make sure that you put the right appliances in so that you have an awesome bar where you and your friends will enjoy hanging out. Here are the top appliances you need to put into your new basement bar. #1 Wine Cooler If you want to have a real bar, you need more than a wine rack; you need to have a wine cooler. Even if you are just slightly interested in wine right now, putting in a wine cooler will give you a specific space to put your wine. You can purchase a stand alone wine cooler or have one built-in to your new bar. If you go with the built in option, you’ll want to make sure you install a nice wine cooler that has all the best features since it will be a fixture in your bar for years to come. Make sure that the wine cooler you have installed has a duel-zone cooling, allowing you to store both white and red wines inside of your cooler. You should also make sure that your wine cooler can hold at least a dozen bottles or so, so you can keep a variety of different wines ready to go.  #2 Kegerator To accompany your wine cooler, you need to also purchase a kegerator. With a kegerator, you will feel like you have a real bar in your house when you can enjoy your favorite brews straight from the tap. If your new bar is small, you can install a single-tap kegerator. If you have a lot of space and plan on doing a lot of entertaining, you can install a triple-tap kegerator. A kegerator is designed to keep your beer at the ideal drinking temperature. You can fill it up with your own kegs from beer you brew yourself, or you can purchase kegs from your favorite local brewery to put in your kegerator.  #3 Beverage Refrigerator You are going to need a place to put your canned beers, alcohol, soda ,and mixers, which is why a beverage refrigerator is a must-have for your new bar. The best thing about a beverage refrigerator is the door is generally made of glass, allowing you to quickly see what beverages you have with a quick glance. You can go with a more economical size that is made to just hold 12oz cans, or you can scale up for one that is designed more for 20oz bottles. You can build a space for it right into your new bar. #4 Ice Maker Finally, if you really want to call your new space a bar, you need to purchase an ice-maker. You don’t need a big refrigerator in order to have an ice-maker. You can purchase a small-ice maker that fits under your bar if you are designing a smaller bar space, or if you are going all-out with your bar, you can purchase a large-stand alone ice-maker for your space.  You don’t even have to keep it full all the time, you can purchase an ice-maker that you can program to just produce ice when you need it. With your own ice maker, you’ll be able to make mixed drinks for all of your bar...

read more

Six Strategies For A Stress-Free Holiday Season This Year

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Six Strategies For A Stress-Free Holiday Season This Year

Wouldn’t it be nice, just once, to have a holiday that is without stress and hassles? While you can’t always plan and prepare for unexpected situations, drama, or guests, there are some things that you can do to make the rest of your holiday a bit more relaxed and stress-free. Try keeping things simple and using a few tips to keep you less frazzled as the holidays approach. Consider implementing some of the following this season: Make a plan. It always makes sense to create a plan; use a calendar or day planner to break down shopping, chores, tasks, and events to complete, little by little, in time for the holidays. Opt for delivery. Did you know that you can have everything from fresh-baked bread to liquor delivered to your door for your party or holiday gathering? Talk with local bakeries, grocers, or vendors to have delicious hearth breads brought to your home; guests will think you were up all night baking! Check with local retailers to determine minimum purchase requirements or delivery charges, when applicable. Speak with a company like Klosterman Baking Company for more information. Order online. Instead of wasting time fighting traffic and waiting in line, do as much of your holiday shopping online as possible. Go a step further and order special gift handling so that the items are sent, wrapped, directly to the recipient’s door. Clear the air. Make this holiday a time for reconciliation; forgive others for any issues, disagreements, or problems in the past. Clearing the air will make it less stressful at family get-togethers and will relieve unhealthy tension from the air. Cut it down. Don’t try to make this the holiday to beat all holidays. Cut down on your gift-giving list, downsize the holiday preparations, and keep decorations simple. This will free up time to spend with loved ones during this festive season. Keep it simple. The thing that people remember after the holiday season is the time that they spent with their family and friends. Enjoy the season, and remember that you are only human. Accept only those invitations that you want to attend, and try not to over-extend yourself during a time that you might prefer to stay in with those you love. Postpone parties or festivities. Another way to take some of the stress off the holidays is to postpone festivities until after Christmas. Plan your party for the week in-between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to take a little of the pressure off, and you may find many of the things that you need for your event at a discounted, post-holiday price! Take it easy on yourself this year and set the stage for a stress-free holiday. These suggestions are simple to use, and you may find that these tips cut down on the worry and stressors that can accompany the Christmas season. The holidays should be a time to relax, socialize, and enjoy the many wonders of the...

read more

Your Morning Coffee Is Good For Your Mental Health

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Morning Coffee Is Good For Your Mental Health

A recent Harvard study has shown that drinking coffee can decrease the risk for suicide. Approximately 100 million Americans drink coffee each day, and Public Health researchers wanted to know how drinking coffee affects people’s overall happiness. Researchers analyzed the data from a survey given to 208,424 coffee drinkers about their coffee habits. Over a span of about 15 years, the numbers showed that the rate of suicide among this group was less than half the number of suicides among people who do not drink coffee. This study concluded that people who drink 2-4 cups of coffee each day reduce the risk of suicide by 50%.  What Does Coffee Do to My Brain?  Researchers believe that coffee contributes to better mental health because of the biological changes that take place when you drink it. Coffee stimulates the nervous system. This makes the brain produce more dopamine and seratonin. These are neurotransmitters that increase your sense of well-being. Coffee also blocks adenosine, a process that not only keeps you more awake, but also improves your memory. The reduced adenosine decreases stress. Another study found that mice who were given coffee were able to cope much better when they were put in stressful situations, compared to the mice that were just given water.  Coffee is a Social Experience  Another reason why coffee can decrease stress and make you feel happier is the associations people have with drinking coffee. Getting coffee can be a chance to spend time with friends or take a break from work. When people consistently pair drinking coffee with the social experience and the relaxation, they will soon associate drinking coffee with experiences that make them happy. Drinking coffee will put them in a good mood.  All Things in Moderation  It is important to note that coffee intake should not be increased because someone is depressed. This can actually lead to more problems. If the individual is severely depressed, once they come off of the caffeine, his or her symptoms will be worse. Experts say that coffee, when ingested in moderation, can help to prevent the onset of symptoms of depression, but should not be the only source of treatment for depression.  So it turns out that the cup of coffee you brew for yourself in the morning can do more than just give you an energy boost. It is contributing to your mental health and putting you in a better mood. Consider buying something like Keurig K Cups to help you get the coffee you...

read more

How To Create A Kitchen That Is Both Attractive And Efficient

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Create A Kitchen That Is Both Attractive And Efficient

Are you moving into a brand new home, or are you redecorating your present kitchen? Either way, here are some ideas that may inspire you to create a room that is unique, attractive and efficient.  Cabinetry – Even though the inside of your cabinets don’t show, the organization of what’s inside will make a big difference as you cook and set the table. When you select cabinets, it’s a good idea to consider where you will store items like electric skillets, crock pots, dutch ovens and other large items. Another great feature in state-of-the-art cabinetry is the inclusion of tall, narrow spaces where you can store things like cookie sheets and large cutting boards. If you aren’t buying brand new cabinets, a restaurant supply store will have portable dividers that will work perfectly. Consider installing lazy Susans for things like spices. Besides making it easier to get to items you need, you will be saving space. This is especially true in corner cabinets. Decor – As you purchase items for your kitchen, consider how they can do double duty. One excellent investment for you to think about is that of a portable kitchen island. Besides being an attractive addition to the room, you will be able to use it for preparing your meals and then, when it’s time to serve, the fact that it’s on wheels means that it can be easily transported to the kitchen table.  Another thought is to purchase a baker’s rack where you can display cookbooks, crockery, containers holding wooden spoons and decorative items. Consider matching the baker’s rack to your portable kitchen.  Think about adding some drama to your kitchen by hanging a large rack above the island where you can store your pots and pans, and even the lids that go with them. A fun touch would be to hang pretty dish towels on one end of the rack.  Consider borrowing ideas from fancy bed and breakfast hotels that offer special meals on beautiful table ware. White dishes are a good place to start because you can give them a different look as you combine them with pieces of a different color and design. Buying platters and other serving dishes that complement your dishes and setting the table with them will make your kitchen look like a beautiful picture found in a decorating magazine. Consider buying linens that can be tossed in the washer and dryer without the need for ironing.  To learn more, contact a company like Louis Wohl & Sons...

read more

From High Fashion To Prohibition: How To Create A 1930s Wedding Of Your Own

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on From High Fashion To Prohibition: How To Create A 1930s Wedding Of Your Own

Looking for a classy vintage wedding style for your big day? While the ’20s ‘Great Gatsby’ look is popular with many engaged couples, a ’30s wedding inspiration combines it with a sophisticated, classic vibe. How can you add a 1930s feeling to your wedding?  Dresses Unlike the Roaring Twenties, the following decade suffered through the Great Depression and ended with World War II. Times were harder and partying no longer had the wild abandon it enjoyed earlier. This led to a renaissance in glamorous, demure fashion with accessories like fur, feathers, white gloves and pearls. For inspiration, look at some of the great films of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  To create a true ’30s wedding dress, think about draped silk with long sleeves or long matching gloves and a full veil. For a bit of a showy surprise, add a modern V-shaped back. If you want something a little less modest, embellish V-neck bridal and bridesmaid dresses with beading around the neck and shoulders and even a fully embellished beaded back. Complement with embroidered or studded headbands over soft wavy hair or a pin-curled updo Flowers Actual 1930s weddings tended to have long, trailing bouquets to go with long, trailing trains. Look for a soft or neutral color palette like blush roses, calla lilies or peonies with a few bolder colors in the middle. Add a modern twist with oversize pearls and other gems as well as pale feathers.  If you don’t want a large bouquet, opt for a small wildflower and herb bouquet wrapped neatly in basic ribbon. As the ’30s went on and the Depression ate into family savings, many brides carried smaller and more simple arrangements that reflected the times.  Food While deciding on a menu for your wedding, keep it elegant in both food and presentation. Think china settings and teacups served with finger sandwiches and light, creamy desserts. Food during the early part of the Depression continued to encompass American staples like pork chops and chicken, so it’s easy to create a classic American meal with your caterer.   The most important part of choosing the right food for a ’30s wedding is the alcohol. This was still the era of speakeasies and Prohibition, so provide classic mixed drinks in martini glasses and highball glasses. You might even consider providing a photo spot for your guests to take pictures with their drinks and some ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ props for fun entertainment.   The value of a 1930s wedding is the ability to combine the leftover excess of the ’20s and the popular conservatism of the ’40s. From glamorous fashion to Prohibition-era imbibing and timeless American meals, your ’30s wedding will surely give guests a lot to talk about once it’s over. Contact local wedding caterers, such as Marians Island Wide Catering, to see how they can best help fulfill your...

read more

Avoid The Crash And Maximize Your Productivity With Coffee

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Avoid The Crash And Maximize Your Productivity With Coffee

Coffee is one of the most powerful tools for increasing productivity, but only if you use it correctly. If you consume too much coffee, you risk causing a crash, which can ruin your work productivity. But if you take the following actions, you will be able to maximize the benefits of drinking coffee: Consume the Right Amount of Caffeine The optimal amount of caffeine to consume to maximize performance, according to research conducted by the Navy Seals, is 200 mg. On average, the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee is 95 mg. Therefore, to maximize your productivity, you will want to drink two to three cups of coffee. However, each individual’s response to coffee will be different, so you will need to pay close attention to how much coffee you have consumed so you can assess how productive it makes you. Developing a tolerance can also make it necessary to drink more coffee. Drink Your Coffee Gradually Rather than drinking your coffee all at once, it is more effective to try to spread the coffee out throughout most of the day. Then, about an hour before you are finished with work, you can begin to scale back your coffee consumption. Also, after you have had your first cup of coffee, wait a few minutes before you start your next cup. Get Plenty to Eat Make sure you get something to eat before you begin consuming coffee. Also, make sure you get enough to eat throughout the day. Food helps slow down the absorption of caffeine, allowing its effects to last for longer. The best foods to consume are those that do not metabolize as quickly, which provides you with more energy over a longer period. Drink Water Too When you drink coffee in the morning, make sure that you drink water alongside it. Coffee does not dehydrate you, but the water will still help hydrate you more than you otherwise would be. Treat Your Caffeine Crash If you drink too much coffee, you will often experience a loss of of concentration, fatigue and nervousness. This can make it much harder to focus on getting your work done. Fortunately, there are remedies for the caffeine crash. First, you can consume much more water to flush the caffeine out of your system. Drink about the same amount of water as you consumed in coffee. After being sufficiently hydrated, get some sleep. Only nap for 30 minutes because any longer will trigger a sleep cycle, which will make you more tired. Also, make sure that your employer is okay with you taking a nap break. If you want more help, or have other questions, try contacting a company like Five Star Water to learn more about office coffee needs and...

read more

Three Must-Have Small Kitchen Items For Your New Restaurant

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The restaurant industry is more competitive than ever, so it’s important to make your business stand out. From choosing the perfect name and menu theme to selecting the right d├ęcor, every little detail matters. The same is true for stocking your kitchen with the right small wares and cooking accessories. These tools help your cooking staff to create delicious dishes that will keep your customers coming back for more. Here are a few essential items you should stock in your kitchen in order to deliver great customer experiences with every meal service. Waffle Maker A waffle maker might sound like a surprising addition to the list, particularly if your restaurant doesn’t serve breakfast. There are lots of surprising uses for a waffler maker that allow you to create a range of dishes for your guests to enjoy. Most waffle makers come with different plate options, so you can make Belgian waffles, round waffles, and even waffle cones. Add savory ingredients to a buckwheat waffle for a unique dinner menu item, or focus on making waffle cones for decadent desserts. If you do offer breakfast or brunch, the waffle baker can be used in the kitchen or at the buffet line for added versatility. Condiment Dispenser Containers Whether your restaurant is a fast casual eatery or a more upscale restaurant, it can benefit from condiment dispenser containers. These versatile tools keep everything from cocktail garnishes to pizza toppings organized. Place one at each prep station in your kitchen for frequently used ingredients, such as parsley and chives for garnishing dishes. Two of these dispensers in the bar area make it easy for bartenders to serve up delicious drinks. For fast food eateries, placing a few dispensers filled with ketchup and mustard packets allows your guests to easily access the condiments they need. Rolling Storage Bins While many of your ingredients will be stored in your walk-in refrigerator and freezer, there are other ingredients that will need to be stored in a cool, dry place. Some of these ingredients, such as flour, sugar, and rice, are often needed in large quantities. Instead of keeping then in sacks from the vendor, you’ll want to place them in containers that seal to prevent dirt, debris, and other contaminants from ruining your ingredients. Rolling storage bins offer the benefit of secure storage with the added bonus of being mobile. Your cooking staff can easily roll the bins from one prep station to another, and the bins can be rolled under the kitchen counters at night for convenient storage. These items might not be as obvious as other small kitchen items, such as cookware and aprons, but they are versatile, durable, and help you to create dishes that your guests will love. Consider all the different counter top appliances and kitchen accessories available on the market to create a kitchen that works seamlessly to produce great foods with ease. Suppliers like Chef’s Warehouse can help you explore your...

read more

Effective Ways To Boost Business At Your Bistro

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After opening a small restaurant, corral a crowd of customers by trying out some new ways to draw attention to your new establishment. After keeping your new diners satisfied, they will continue to do business with you and will be sure to spread the word about their positive dining experiences. Family Festivities Hold a family night at your restaurant that caters to adults and children of all ages. Offer a discounted price on these occasions. Have a magician or clown entertain the guests while their dinners are being prepared. If you do not have a lot of money to invest in an activity like this, ask friends and family members if they would like to be part of the act. Offer small gifts to each child and adult as a token of your appreciation. If the event proves to be successful, advertise future ones several times a year. Lucky Draw Hold a drawing that awards the winner with a coupon for a free meal of their choice. Place tickets on the counter for each of your patrons to fill out. Select a date to hold the drawing and post an advertisement that specifies when it is. Offering a free meal is a small investment that won’t set you back financially. It will, however, have a lasting impact on your customers and may draw some positive attention to your new establishment. Theme Nights Plan to set the mood in your bistro by adding a specific theme each week. For example, if you are going to plan a seafood theme, add fish and shell decorations around the dining area. Try out some new dishes that fit into the category. Play music that is popular at the beach. Have each of your employees wear outfits that fit into the scheme of things. Change themes regularly and advertise in your local newspaper or on the radio. If people are interested in the cuisine that you are featuring, they will be likely to come out and give your restaurant a shot. Adding new food choices and keeping the atmosphere upbeat will help your small restaurant succeed. By owning an establishment that is unlike any other one that is in the area, your restaurant will draw large crowds of people and many of them will continue to do business with you on a regular basis. Be open to new ideas and try them out in order to find the ones that work best for you. (For more information on restaurants, contact Zac’s...

read more