Monthly Archives: June 2012

Kitchen Organization Beneficial to Better Cooking

Having the proper setup in your kitchen can be beneficial to cooking. Looking around for a pot and fumbling to find a particular pan can be frustrating. There are ways to prevent these annoyances from happening. Becoming organized is the first step, and here are some things that can help:

  • Shelves – Shelves are an easy item to install. They are decorative and can hold your favorite spices or kitchen utensils. Shelves come in different sizes and styles.
  • Racks – Pots and pans tend to be awkward in size and normally will not fit in a cabinet. Racks are the best way to get your pots and pans out of the way while offering easy access to them. Racks can be placed hanging from the ceiling or are available in free standing units.
  • Storage – Get rid of any clutter you may have in the kitchen. Cabinets and other additional space saving units can be added to help create storage and organization for your kitchen. In addition to shelves, racks and cabinets, you may need a large pantry or other approach to storage.
  • Containers – What a great way to save space. Containers can hold your cooking supplies as you can put more than one item in them. They are available in different sizes and can be purchased almost anywhere that sells cooking supplies.
  • Jars – Everyone has an empty jar or vase around the house. You can put it to use in your kitchen on your path to becoming organized. Jars and vases can hold your cooking utensils and serve other functions. You can use these to be decorative or keep them placed out of the way and unseen.
  • Countertop – Having the ideal countertops is more than just having marble, granite, quartz or stainless steel. Having amazing countertops means keeping them free from clutter and mess as well. Having the storage you need, will help you stay organized and have plenty of space to work on your countertops.
  • Refrigerator – Last but not least on the path to kitchen organization is cleaning out your refrigerator. You want to be able to cook meals that impress your family and friends and don’t make you ill. You will need to eliminate any food or condiments that have spoiled. Baking soda is a good item to purchase in order to make your fridge fresh.

Having a neat, clean and organized kitchen is crucial to having a functional kitchen. Whether you are designing your dream kitchen or straightening up the one you have, the key to success is getting organized. There is nothing more frustrating than burning a meal because you spent too much time looking for a spice. You can visit KitchenRemodelCosts.com to help design your ultimate kitchen.

A good kitchen set up is part of the organizational path you’ll need to see any benefits. The next time you prepare a meal you can begin to notice what could be improved upon in your kitchen arrangement to help the room make more sense.

facebooktwitterpinterest

Decorating ideas for your Fourth of July party

Grilled steaks are often the menu item of choice on the Fourth of July. However, along with the grilled steaks come the party decorations. If you are planning a Fourth of July party, you will need decorations to go along with those grilled steaks you will be throwing on the grill. So, what kind of decorations can you use for your Fourth of July party? Well, I’m glad you asked. Allow me to provide you with a few ideas.

Neat Fourth of July Centerpieces

The first idea I want to run by you is the centerpiece decorations. Centerpieces will definitely set off your tables at your party and this particular centerpiece is quite easy to make while also inexpensive. So what you do is grab yourself a few small pots from the dollar store. The clay flower pots work best. Then paint the pots red, white, and blue. You can get creative with the painting. Once all of the pots are dry, you can place red tinsel or any kind of red string and paper to fill the pots with. Next, you will want to use some cardboard to cut out different size stars. Again, you will need to paint the stars or use markers to color the cardboard stars. When you are done with the stars, place white skewers in the stars and place the skewers down in your pot. This makes an awesome centerpiece for your tables. Not only will the guest love the grilled steaks, but they will love your home made centerpieces.

Finger Food Toothpick Ideas for Fourth of July Parties

Another cute little idea for decorations for your Fourth of July party is finger food decorations. If you are serving finger foods like peanut butter balls, small blocks of cheese, or anything that requires a toothpick, use this idea. At the dollar stores and at craft stores, you can find small American Flag toothpicks. It is basically a toothpick with a small flag at the top. Pick up quite a few of these and instead of using the boring old toothpicks, using these beautiful flags instead.

Star Confetti for Tables

You can also add to your tables some star confetti. Visit your local party, craft, or dollar store and look for the red and blue star confetti. The stars come in different sizes and many come in a pack. I like to use these to scatter on top of the table cloth at my parties. It adds a real feel of Fourth of July to the party. The best part of it is the clean up. When everyone is done eating their grilled steaks and desert, simply fold up the table cloth and throw it in the trash. If you aren’t using a disposable table cloth, simply fold it up and shake it over the trashcan to throw the stars away.

I hope you have an awesome Fourth of July party! Grilled steaks, desserts, fireworks, and party decorations are the key to throwing an awesome party!

Amanda, MagicKitchen.com blogger

facebooktwitterpinterest

Discover yesterday’s food today

Guest blog by Dain Turner

Did you know your refrigerator leftovers could be used for more than growing mold? Unless you’re in the penicillin business, a lot of what you have could be going to waste.

With the rising cost of food (up almost 800% from a year ago), being frugal doesn’t mean sacrificing on flavor. There are many ways to use leftovers to prepare tasty meals your entire family can enjoy.

Try this one:

Seared Salmon

Seared Salmon Salad
Makes 2-4 servings

2 servings of MagicKitchen.com Seared Salmon Fillet (or your own leftover fillet)
1 Bag of baby spinach
1 Large Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 cup Cucumber, Sliced
1 Avocado, diced
Vinaigrette/Italian Dressing or your favorite salad dressing

Prepare the seared salmon filets according to the instructions on the package.

Toss all remaining ingredients together and serve with 2-4 portions of the salmon.

See how easy it is?

Apparently you can curry anything.  Try this:

Buttered Carrots

Curried Carrot Soup       
Makes 4-6 servings

2 servings of MagicKitchen.com Buttered Carrots (or your own leftover carrots)
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Diced
½ cup Celery, Diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
1Tbsp Curry Powder
4 cups Vegetable or chicken stock (low-sodium optional), hot
¼ cup-1/3 cup Half and Half (optional)

Cook the Buttered Carrots according to the instructions on the package and let them cool. In a 2-quart saucepot cook the celery and onion over medium high heat with the olive oil. Chop the carrots roughly and add them to the celery and onion.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the curry powder. Mix to combine. Add 2 cups of the stock and bring to a simmer.  Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree, adding up to four cups of hot stock. Blend in half and half if desired.

Find more recipes on MagicKitchen.com! Recipe above by Mariel Balderas

facebooktwitterpinterest

A World Tour of Wedding Cocktails

Most of us want to have a wedding that reflects who we are.

Travel lovers might want to bring out their traveling passion and share it with all of their guests on their special day through some worldwide yummy beverages!

Ideally I’m sure you’d rather take all of your friends and family somewhere stunning, nestled in the Amazonian Forest or celebrating your union in a typical Nepalese village surrounded by overpowering mountains, but for most of us, this just simply isn’t an option.

So, here is a suggestion of how to bring that taste of travel and adventure to your wedding – an incredible journey through colorful, exotic cocktails!

 Source

Start the afternoon in sunny France with a Kir Royale

As your guests will be sober at this point, it may be better to give them this refined and classy harmony of crème de cassis (French Blackcurrant liqueur) topped with French champagne before they get too out of control!

The modern Crème de Cassis is a French liqueur which became famous in 1841 within the region of Dijon and was mostly produced by Monks.

The blackcurrant trees were planted at the extremities of the Burgundy vineyards of Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, which as we all know are renowned wine names.

This will sure get the wedding reception off to a good start!

A Long Island Iced Tea to slurp up the speeches!

Fly to the States to get a punchy long Island Iced Tea, an explosive refreshing drink to prepare you for the big night ahead!

This cocktail is so easy to make…

In a shaker with some crushed ice, mix equal parts (15 ml) of Vodka, Gin, Rum, Orange liqueur (wow that’s a lot of alcohol) fresh lemon juice and orange juice. Add a tablespoon of sugar syrup, a dash of coke and a lemon wedge to garnish.

Source

Hit the dance floor in Brazil with Extravaganza Raspberry Caipirinha

Because you know that your wedding will most likely turn into a massive carnival anyway, you might as well have one of these fabulous Brazilian beverages while dancing to the wild rhythm.

Based on the traditional Caipirinha, this reddish concoction is an absolute delight. The fresh raspberries replace the limes which are muddled with a dash of lime and 2 table spoons of fine sugar.

Add some crushed ice in a shaker, pour 2oz of cachaça and start shaking.

Mingle whilst sipping an Indian Mango Lassi Cocktail

The last stop of the world tour of wedding cocktails is in India for a traditional luscious Mango Lassi Cocktail. This blended cocktail is a creamy delight delivered straight from the Orient combining the sensuality of yogurt and the sweetness of mangoes.

To make, simply get a blender and fill with crushed ice, add 1 cup of mango pulp, 2 cups of yogurt, 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of superfine sugar and salt. Mix all ingredients and add some cardamom for a spicy taste! Perfect for those non-alcoholic drinkers!

For an alcoholic version, add some fresh diced mangoes (1 oz), vodka, (1 and ½ oz), fresh lemon juice (1 oz) and top it up with soda water (2 oz), blend until frothy.  Garnish with a lovely fan of mango slices!

So there you have it, my world tour of cocktails, by the end of the night I’m sure we would all be fed up of travelling!

Any cocktail suggestions for the morning after?  Bloody Marys everyone?

Source

Elise Lévêque loves organizing dinner parties and wedding receptions as she is always full of sparkling ideas! She writes for Wedding and Party Store who offer a range of wedding supplies and party supplies to make those days extra special!

facebooktwitterpinterest

Celebrity Gifts – A Timeline

It’s fair to say that nobody gives and receives gifts quite like celebrities. First of all they’ve usually got a lot of spare cash lying around, so spending $600,000 dollars on a rocking horse seems like a normal thing to do, even if it is more expensive than most people’s homes. But I guess when you’ve got as much money as some of these celebs you eventually run out of conventional ways to spend it.

But the art of celebrity gifting isn’t just about being extravagant. It’s often more about coming up with the wackiest ideas imaginable an area where a lot of our celebrity friends have excelled, whether they’re the gift giver or the recipient. An alligator for Noel Coward? A wallaby from Elvis? A waterfall from Angelina Jolie? These are all totally genuine and you’ll find them on this timeline of the craziest celebrity gifts of the last 100 years, along with many more ridiculous items. Enjoy!

This infographic was created by Find Me A Gift, the home of next day delivery gifts.

facebooktwitterpinterest

Absurd Energy Fixes

Guest Post

The modern world moves at a fast pace––too fast, if you ask me––and to get up in the morning, and then keep up with the never-ending demands of work, school, family, and a social life, it takes a lot of energy. This, of course, is why millions of people around the world keep their blood pumping with a steady supply of over-the- counter energy enhancers. For some, a cup of coffee suffices, but others get their energy fixes in more creative and extreme ways. Here’s a look at some of the weirdest.

Caffeinated Soap

Wikimedia Commons

That’s right, there is such a thing as caffeine-infused soap. So for the hyper-efficient multi-taskers amongst us, who scoff at the antiquated idea of sipping coffee while reading the morning paper, there is always the option of absorbing that morning jolt directly through the skin while cleaning the gunk from your under your armpits. Each wash is equivalent to about two cups (200ml).

Turbo Snort

No, I did not make up that name. And yes, there is actually a product out there that allows you to snort caffeine, being advertised as a “high performance brain cocktail.” So if you grew up snorting pixie sticks or are trying to wean yourself off your recent Afrin addiction, you may want to check out their website. Each spray purportedly contains about 1mg of caffeine (1/100th of a cup), along with some other fun stuff, all of which is apparently a lot more potent when you put it up your nose.

Nuts of Destruction

Marketed under a brand name called ‘Gamer Food,’ it doesn’t take too much imagination to figure out who the target consumer of these artificially flavored energy peanuts is. If you’ve been wasting those valuable downtime seconds between ‘checkpoint’ saves shoving your face full of Monster drinks and Doritos, why not simply your life and try some nuts that are chock full of all the conveniently rhyming energy drink staples like taurine, lycine, ginsing, and, of course, caffeine (1 bag = 3 cups).

Cut to the Chase

For people who don’t cut corners and prefer their fun unadulterated, there is Blast Caffeine: 100% pure caffeine powder. Anyone remember that ultra tangy-spicy Mexican powder candy called Lucas that the ice cream man used to sell? (No one actually liked it, but everyone said they did to show how tough they were.) Well, Blast Caffeine is like that, except for sleep-deprived adults. One shake gives 100mg (1 cup of coffee). Just try to resist the urge to pull your mirror off the wall and hunt down a razor blade. Anyone? No? Ok, never mind.

Caffeinated Chocolate Milk

Via Geek Alerts

Big fan of Nesquik growing up? Me too. Ever wonder what kept the permanent smile plastered across that fun-lovin’ bunny’s face? Me neither. But it turns out that he was into some heavier stuff that what you and I were drinking. Luckily, it too is now available to the public. One serving gives you a two-cup, 200mg, jolt. Enjoy responsibly.

Obviously, there are some bizarre ways out there to get you through your day and to help you avoid electrocution via head-on-the-keyboard-drooling. It seems that the only question worth asking now is: now that you know about them, will you ever go back to just plain old coffee?

 

facebooktwitterpinterest