5 Optional kitchen appliances for your everyday needs

Whether you’ve moved into a new home or remodeling your current kitchen you can always overlook a few things that would be essential for your culinary creativity to grow as well as give you better control over your work space. I’m not talking about the major appliances like our beloved Stove or Fridge, but instead the small appliances that are popular enough to be standard and those that we simply don’t think of until the time comes that we need them.

12216055_16181361_trimmedI’ll start with the Microwaves:

In today’s world we don’t always have time to cook, and reheating leftovers in an oven is also not an option if you’re strapped for time. Let’s say you want to have a movie night, the microwave is your friend from popping popcorn to defrosting your frozen meals. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and features to fit everyone’s needs and are usually standard in every household.

168999_electric_griddle_lrg_1098890903050Griddles:

These things make breakfast a breeze and most of them allow you to regulate the heat settings. Which means you can make some fluffy pancakes on the low settings and turn it up to include yourself some bacon and eggs. They also come in a range of sizes so make sure to start simple.

 

flip-down-toasterToaster:

I know a lot of people out there that would rather push that snooze button for another half an hour than to get up and make themselves some toast and waffles for breakfast. Pop in some bread and after you’re done washing up you’ll have yourself a breakfast sandwich with a little extra work.

senseo-and-keurig-are-both-good-coffee-makers-so-which-one-should-i-choose-21525460Coffee Makers:

Although they’re optional they will save you time and money. Isn’t it better to put that coffee maker into drive while you start getting ready for work and enjoy your brew, rather than stand in line at the store to overpay for a cup of coffee. Coffee makers differ from simple ones to espresso machines that taste like your favorite Starbucks.

food_in_slow_cookerThe last but not least would be a Slow Cooker:

It may not seem like something that would help too much with on the spot cooking but when left on all day it’s great to come home to the smell of a meal in the air. Seems like a sci-fi movie I know but it’s possible, just throw together something before you leave for work and come home to a ready to serve dinner with a lot of different recipes.

 
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5 Things to Consider Before Starting to Remodel Your Kitchen

A kitchen remodeling project is definitely a plus, by giving you the most return on your investment, right? Let’s face it, when you bring your friends over, you usually get the high-fives on the nice TV and couch set up but it’s like a dramatic event when they enter the kitchen area. You get judged from appliances to how the space usage was utilized and even down to your faucets and utensils. I’ve been there, so before you think about remodeling, think about these 5 things and be sure to get the most out of your new kitchen.

Let’s start from the ground up with the cabinets:

This is going to be the starting point of your work so you have to consider hard whether you’re going with new cabinets or just updating the look of your old ones. If the placement doesn’t bother you it’s best to try and install new door faces with different knobs and hinges, you won’t only save the majority of your cash to update your appliances but you can do this yourself with a little time and effort.

Moving onto the counter tops:

This shouldn’t be too hard once you’ve settled on the cabinet style and color. Be sure to compare all the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of material they come in and possibly pick the one with the least maintenance that will still complement your overall style.

The faucet:

Have you ever seen a kitchen without one? Me neither. Many of the faucet styles can be updated by you, making it an affordable addition to any remodeling project. It’s always a good chance to change that 1980’s stained faucet you got with the house when you purchased it from an old lady. She may be a sweet old lady but the faucets served it’s purpose and it’s gotta go.

The illumination:

Now unless you plan to live in a futuristic “Tron” type kitchen where you have neon lines for lights going through about every little curve of your kitchen then my guess is that you’re going to need to shed some light on the situation. Even the brightest and newest stainless steel appliance will look dull without the applicable lighting. Be sure to try and keep it as close to the natural lighting as possible or you will see your kitchen space losing out on some brilliance.

Storage:

Sometimes we don’t all have the most convenient kitchen set-up but be sure to have adequate space for things you use most. No one likes running from one corner to the other, be sure to optimize all your cabinet space while organizing things you would need for certain cooking scenarios. That way everything is within a hands reach and sitting where you can find it as well as plan where everything would fit as you assemble your kitchen.

 

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Recipe Of The Day: Super Crunchy Quinoa Salad

I was attending our weekly get together to reminisce on the happenings of the previous day’s, catch up on the short amount of time I have been absent from everyone’s lives and of course to indulge myself in the finest of culinary arts that my family and friends have mastered over the past decade. The one thing that I had the pleasure of engulfing without hesitation, that which I still cannot seem to get off my mind is the perfect combination of flavors a salad can possess while still keeping under my calorie counter limit. It took me 2 whole hours of following my Nana around and helping with the catering to finally get a name and recipe out of her, followed by these wise words of wisdom: “The recipe is one I shall give you but the flavor is something that will depend solely on you”. A smile across my face and the memory of the karate kid running through my mind as I scurry to write everything down and eagerly plan my shopping for tomorrows evening dinner. The Recipe is as Follows:

Winter Greens + Crispy Quinoa Salad which served about 6 with these ingredients.
Another quick note before you start, when cooking the quinoa for this salad specifically to help it crisp up during this phase you will want to use a 1 – 1.5 ratios of quinoa to liquid when you are cooking. For example, I use ½ cup rinsed quinoa in a ¾ cup vegetable broth. You will want it a bit drier, slightly undercooked before you put it on the frying pan to get it nice and crispy. And let’s continue:

- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- ¾ cup cooked and completely cooled down quinoa
- 1  head butter lettuce
- 2 cups of arugula
- ¾ cup of toasted hazelnuts chopped roughly
- 1 cup of pomegranate seeds. (i’m not sure if you can purchase them seperately but I peeled and pulled them out myself.

And now for the Dressing which Nana always said she added a special ingredient only to be referred to as love.

- ¼ Cup meyer lemon juice
- 1 Clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
- 2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp of Honey
- 1 Tsp of sea salt
- 1 Tsp of dried italian herbs (I used a mix of oregano, parsley and basil)
- I can’t stress this enough but only a pinch of pepper
- ? cup of whole milk greek yogurt or sour cream will do
- 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
Now that we have all the necessary things to create this masterpiece let’s try to make this without eating it halfway through. Start by heating the coconut oil over high heat in a regular frying pan. Once it’s hot add the cooked quinoa and saute for roughly 2 to 3 minutes until it’s dry and crispy. You will want to hear the crackling and see the steam release, add a bit more oil if need and set aside to cool off completely. While that is cooling down you have a perfect moment to prepare the dressing. Whisk the lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and the yogurt in a bowl. Whisk in the oil, taste for seasoning and alter it as you wish depending on your taste and the best thing is that this can be made up to a week in advance. Let’s move on to the greens, toss both in the dressing to coat and top it with the crispy quinoa, hazelnuts and pom seeds if preferred and serve immediately otherwise you will run the chance of eating everything yourself. Here’s a picture and I’m still perfecting it, added some radish. pass it on and enjoy!

quinoa salad

quinoa salad

 
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Modern, creative custom island range hood

Quite simply, the coolest custom range hood enclosure we’ve seen in a while!

Creative custom island range hood - Tom Hurt Architecture

Creative custom island range hood – Tom Hurt Architecture

For a custom kitchen ventilation solution, combine 1 “insert/liner” type range hood (source links below), a large dose of creativity, and a dash of boldness. Result: a completely unique look that transforms a kitchen necessity into a work of art.

Photo credit: Tom Hurt Architecture, Austin, TX.

Range hood insert/liner options:

Insert-Liner Integrated Range Hood w/Baffle Filters

Insert-Liner Integrated Range Hood w/Baffle Filters

 
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Happy Holidays from Futuro Futuro!

We would like to wish all our customers and professional associates a happy holiday season and a happy & successful 2013!

Thank you for your continued patronage!

Happy Holidays & Happy 2013!

Happy Holidays & Happy 2013!

 
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