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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 10/5/2017

If you walk down the kitchen aisle of any department store you'll see dozens of kitchen tools--some you've maybe never even heard of. As long as people keep buying gimmicky kitchen tools and utensils, companies will keep making them. The temptation might be there, when walking through Target, to buy that chicken-shaped egg yolk separator, but do you really need it? In this article, we'll cover the essential list of kitchen utensils. Once your drawer has these items, you won't need anything else. You'll free up space in your kitchen and avoid money-wasting gimmicks that often don't even work, allowing you to buy better versions of the tools that really count. Note: We won't be talking about the basic silverware and dishes (forks, spoons, plates, cups, etc.) since we can assume you already have those.

  1. The chef's knife. A chef's knife is arguably the most important item in any kitchen. A good chef's knife is made from steel, has balanced weight, and is comfortable to hold. Be sure to keep it sharp and there's nothing you can't cut with it.
  2. Two spatulas. One metal for flipping items on your baking sheets and meat on the grill, one plastic for your frying pans. Thin, heat-resistant, and durable are what you're looking for here.
  3. Three spoons. One wooden (for stirring), one plastic with holes and one plastic without holes.
  4. A strainer. You don't need four sizes of strainer; one big one will do. Be sure to pick one with handles, sturdy handles, for draining big pots of pasta.
  5. Shears. Whether it's for de-stringing a Thanksgiving turkey or opening up a bag of frozen peas, they'll save you a headache trying to use a knife.
  6. Serrated bread knife. Unless you like to ruin a fresh loaf of bread by crushing it while cutting it, you'll need a serrated edge.
  7. Measuring cups and spoons. Clean your measuring spoons by hand so they don't get tossed around in your dishwasher and melted.
  8. Can opener. Skip the huge electric can openers and buy a good handheld one that will last years.
  9. Cutting board. A quality large wooden cutting board will make your life a lot easier, and it won't dull your blades.
  10. Peeler. Y-shaped peelers are much easier to use than their knife-shaped counterparts.
  11. Mixing bowl. You could benefit from multiple mixing bowls if you do a lot of baking, but oftentimes you only need one large bowl for most recipes and can use your smaller soup bowls for other ingredients.

Avoiding the gimmicks

It seems like every day there's a new infomercial for a lemon juice squeezer or a banana slicer. You'll notice that they tend to follow certain trends and offer the same promises. Here are the ones to avoid:
  • Fruit and vegetable slicers. If you have a knife, there's no need for tools that claim to slice certain types of vegetables better than others.
  • Single-use tools. Shears designed just for cutting and serving pizza? Yes, they exist. Avoid items that will just take up space in your cabinets and opt for those that serve multiple purposes.
  • Things you've never heard of. If it's an object that you've never seen or heard of before, odds are you don't need it in your kitchen cabinets. The most time-tested tools are all it takes to make great meals in your kitchen.




Tags: tools   home   kitchen   Cooking   utensils   kitchen tools   cook  
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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 8/10/2017

Selling your home can be an uphill climb, particularly for those who fail to devote the necessary time and resources to enhance their kitchen.

The kitchen serves as a central meeting place in any home, regardless of size. As such, home sellers will want to do everything they can to create a warm, inviting kitchen atmosphere that helps make their residence attractive to homebuyers.

Ready to transform an ordinary kitchen into one that homebuyers won't soon forget? Here are three kitchen remodeling tips that every home seller needs to know.

1. Consider All of Your Lighting Options.

Pendant lights represent wonderful additions in a kitchen because they make it easy to brighten up the entire space. Plus, these lights are both stylish and practical and may prove to be a viable option in your kitchen for an extended period of time.

Furthermore, under-cabinet lighting offers outstanding value, especially for those who want their kitchen to stand out to homebuyers.

As a home seller, you'll want to do everything you can to impress homebuyers whenever they visit your residence. And with small, inexpensive under-cabinet lights, your kitchen may be better equipped to make a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.

2. Don't Break the Bank to Revamp Your Kitchen Floors.

Over the years, your kitchen floors may have suffered scratches and dings that you'll want to eliminate as soon as possible. Although your kitchen floors may be an eyesore, you won't necessarily need to break the bank to enhance their appearance.

For example, if you have wood floors in your kitchen, you may be able to refinish them rather than having to commit substantial time and resources to replace them. Refinishing wood floors may allow you to make them appear as good as new, and the time and money you save by choosing floor refinishing over floor replacement could be invested in other home repair projects as well.

Also, if you have tile or vinyl kitchen floors, you may want to consider sealed cork in the future. Sealed cork boasts a distinct look and feel and will maintain its appearance for years to come, making it a stunning and cost-effective kitchen floor replacement option.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent.

Improving your kitchen can be exceedingly difficult for any home seller, at any time. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who understand what it takes to revamp a kitchen's appearance in no time at all.

Hiring a real estate agent may prove to be a great choice. This professional will help you evaluate your kitchen and ensure you can complete the right repairs to enhance its appearance. Moreover, your real estate agent will make it simple to establish priorities so you'll be able to allocate time and resources to the right kitchen repair projects.

When it comes to enhancing your kitchen, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Instead, work with a friendly, experienced real estate agent, and you can streamline the process of transforming your kitchen into an asset that helps your house stand out to homebuyers.




Tags: kitchen   kitchen remodel  
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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 4/27/2017

When you’re buying a new home, one of the first things that you’ll examine closely in the home search are the kitchens. The kitchen is often the center of most homes. It is also one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. People tend to gather in the kitchen. This makes the kitchen a heavily weighted factor in the home buying process. Whether you’re buying your first home or you’re a seasoned home-buyer, the kitchen is an important room to consider because of how much you’ll be using it. Think of the following items with follow up questions when you’re searching for a home with a great kitchen. Some items have less impact on your buying decision like the color of appliances. However, you don’t want to be stuck with a refrigerator taht you can’t stand to look at.

Cabinets

Are they in good condition?

Are they the color and material you’d like?

Can they be restored?

Countertops

Are they made of high quality material?

Flooring

Note the color and material of the floor

Note the condition of teh floor

Stove

How old is the stove?

Does it function well?

Refrigerator

How old the refrigerator?

Does it work well?

What color is it?

Microwave

How old is it?

What color is it?

What is the size and wattage of the microwave?

Dishwasher

What is the color and make of the dishwasher?

Does it function well?

How old is the dishwasher?

Garbage Disposal

Do you want a garbage disposal?

Does the home have one?

How old is the unit?

Does it function well?

All of these things are great areas of concern to consider in a home search when looking at the kitchen. You should note any problems with any of these areas. Finding out how much needs to be fixed or replaced as well as the cost of these repairs could be a deciding factor in your home selection. Keep in mind some things are easier and less expensive to replace and repair than others. Countertops in particular can be really expensive to replace. Other items like cabinets are easy to touch up and refinish. Material quality often matters as well. Remember that some more expensive materials stand the test of time whereas cheaper alternatives may need to be replaced often. Sellers are often required to disclose functionality issues with any appliances in the home before the closing papers are signed as well.

It’s important to conduct your own assessment of the kitchen in addition to home inspections and seller’s reports. This way you have seen the issues that you may have in front of you with your own eyes. There’s no better assessment of a home’s condition than your own! Hopefully, these tips will help you to find a home with a kitchen that is right for you!





Posted by Deborah Schilling on 4/13/2017

A larger kitchen might be on your wish list if you're always hunting for a place to store several bags of groceries. Despite how vigorously you push and shove cereal boxes, canned vegetables and paper towels inside your kitchen cabinets, there's never enough space in your kitchen.

It's easy to gain more kitchen space with a pantry

It's reached the point where you're starting to leave desserts, canned goods, rice and macaroni and cheese on the kitchen counter. This is causing you to feel cramped whenever you pull out your cutting board and start preparing meat for large dinners, including holiday meals. You could knock out a wall and expand your kitchen. But, that could easily cost more than $15,000.

Another solution is to install a kitchen pantry. Specialty shops and home goods stores sell removable kitchen pantries. You may get more space with a double door kitchen pantry. Some pantries have storage drawers and swing open doors. Opt for pantries that give you more shelf space and no storage drawers if your standard  kitchen drawers give you enough space to store silverware.

Looking for style? Choose a kitchen pantry that is topped with a glass storage area. As a tip, you could use stackable storage units to build your pantry. Stackable storage units may offer you more style options. To get the look you want, pay attention to color. You won't have much choice when it comes to the texture that pantries are built with, as most pantries are wood.

Kitchen pantry types that offer lots of style

Modular kitchen pantries have a door at the top and a open bottom space. For style,check out a modular pantry that's designed with a glass door. To save space and expand on style, you could line three to four pantries next to each other. For example, you could place three four-drawer kitchen pantries side-by-side, creating a look similar to what you find in a library.

This kitchen pantry option might surprise you. If you're crunched for space and short on cash, use a bookcase as a pantry. There won't be a door to conceal your food items. What you will have is extra space.

To save on cost, shop at outlet stores and industrial supply stores. This way, you can get a pantry at the same price that restaurant owners pay for the furniture. Buying a cabinet that serves as a pantry will also save you money. Just make sure that the cabinet is large enough to keep you from running out of kitchen space.

The easiest way to get more space with a kitchen pantry is to buy a house that is built with a permanent pantry. Go with a house that has a door in front of the pantry and you'll get a clean look. A pantry door will keep you, your family and guests from staring at the extra food and supplies that you stock on your pantry shelves. Just make sure that you seal food before you place them in the pantry. Doing so, could keep pests away. It could also keep food from losing its freshness.




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Posted by Deborah Schilling on 1/19/2017

What is it about cabinets that make them so difficult to keep organized? Despite our best efforts storage containers always seem to take over while baking ware get lost in the far back depths of corner cabinets. I’m here with X tips to keep your kitchen cabinets neat and tidy once and for all.

  1. Start with a major clear out to eliminate any unnecessary clutter. The kitchen is the easiest room in the house to build up excess stuff as it all seems so useful. However, in truth all those specialized gadgets and extra plates simply collect dust and make organizing more difficult.

  2. Give everything a place. By assigning each and every item in your kitchen cabinets a “home” you will be less likely to shove things away into drawers or into the back of cabinets. You will also be able to more effectively put the following tips to use as you will know exactly which solutions will work best for your belongings.

  3. Adding stacking shelves for plates and bowls adds extra storage to tall cabinets. Stacking shelves make the most of empty space without stacking plates a mile high and prevents having to pull from the bottom of a pile to grab a dinner plate.

  4. Add slide out organization to cabinets to create easy to reach access to the depths of cabinets without requiring a step ladder. They are easy to find at your local hardware or home goods store and easy to install on your own.

  5. Keep similar pantry items together in easy to grab bins. Think baking items together in one bin and spices in another. Matching bins placed on open shelves add a stylish touch to your home while clear containers allow you to see what is in each bin at a glance.

  6. Drawer dividers avoid the classic jumbled drawer of kitchen gadgets. Just as with pantry bins keeping like items in each section allows to easily find utensils at a glance. When shopping for dividers be sure to keep your utensils sizes and shapes in mind to find appropriately proportioned containers that will make the most of drawer space.

  7. Lazy susans in cabinets make it easy to find spices, canned goods and cooking oils with a quick spin of the fingertips. Keeping a lazy susan in the cabinet nearest your stove makes cooking an easier process.

  8. Alternatively, a spice rack on the inside of a cabinet adds storage space while putting cooking spices within arm's reach and puts the whole array at an eye’s glance. Again, this makes the most of vertical space to free up shelf space for other items.

  9. Hang mugs up on a spinning mug tree, mug rack or hooks under upper cabinets to make the most of vertical kitchen space, again, to free up precious shelf space. So often homeowners stuff their cabinets with mugs, unnecessarily monopolizing cabinet space.

  10. Invest in a matching food storage set that can nest easily. Better yet, look for the type where the lids snap together for an even easier storage solution. This also allows your food storage containers to be tucked away into one of the organizational bins from tip number four.

By making the most of vertical space and thinking outside the box when it comes to adding storage space to cabinets you can finally have organized cabinets that stay organized. To get the most out of these tips be sure to follow through on tip number one. Happy organizing!




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Deborah Schilling
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