Dinner Rut? Parmigiano and Fig Grilled Cheese

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Do you sometimes have a middle of the week dinner rut? We do…

Here is a great spin on a grilled cheese from one of our favorite recipe blogs, Love and Lemons.

How delicious…a Parmigiano and Fig Grilled Cheese.

 

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Published in: on April 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Spring is Coming to Sarasota

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With a few cold fronts behind us, Spring is near!

What better way to celebrate Spring with growing your own herbs in your kitchen. Check Williams-Sonoma’s Herbs de Provence.  

What a great price for a great way to spice up your cooking this Spring. 

Published in: on March 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What We Love: The KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer

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Now that Valentine’s Day is over, we always feel like Spring is on the way.

Wouldn’t this retro blue KitchenAid mixer look great in your kitchen and give you a little pop  of Spring we could all use.

Published in: on February 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cabinets Extraordinaire Tip of the Day: How to Clean your Garbage Disposal

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This is advice that your mother may have taught you, but maybe you forgot how simple it is.

How do you clean your garbage disposal?

Answer: Take half a lemon and put it down the garbage disposal, turn on the motor until is all gone and wash it down. A good tip: You can cut up the half of lemon just in case your plumbing is slightly questionable.

Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Kitchen Storage in 2013

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Okay people, it is January 15 – have you tackled your New Year’s Resolutions? If you said no, and one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get organized, we have some great tips and tricks for you.

We are all about clever storage and love the idea of using your drawers as a pantry or a place to keep your dishes. With using air-tight storage bins, you can keep lots of dry food out of your top shelves or off your counters. OR by using easy to find pegboard, that is also customizable, you can keep your drawers a safe place to keep your dishes.  (Photo courtesy of houzz.com)

We also like the idea of using a knife wall-mount magnet. Like the one above from William-Sonoma. It is a great option to free up counter space rather than using a butcher’s block.

Published in: on January 16, 2013 at 11:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kitchen Remodel: A New Year’s Resolution

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Is your New Year’s Resolution to remodel your kitchen? Do your cabinets look drab, or is your countertop made of a material you are not quite sure where it came from? We can help!

We can work with you to do a full kitchen remodel, or just help you spruce up your kitchen and bring it into the 2010’s. Yes, I said 2010’s! We have new lines of cabinets that will fit into your budget and will make your next house guests…spring break visitors possibly…say “wow!” 

Remember: According to Remodeler Magazine, a typical kitchen remodel will allow you to recoup 78% of the cost when you sell your home. 

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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In The Kitchen: Great Gingerbread Cookies

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This recipe has been passed from one friend of mine to another in Sarasota. Gingerbread reminds me of the holidays and it is a great recipe to do with the kids as well. Gingerbread man anyone?

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Directions

1 In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended.
2 In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended.
3 Add molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to mix until well blended.
4 Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
5 Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
6 Preheat oven to 375°.
7 Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
8 Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface.
9 Sprinkle flour over dough and rolling pin.
10 Roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick.
11 Use additional flour to avoid sticking.
12 Cut out cookies with desired cutter– the ginger bread man is our favorite of course.
13 Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart.
14 Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes 
15 Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
16 After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like.
17 Brush them with a powdered sugar glaze, or decorate with Royal icing.

Published in: on November 26, 2012 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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In the Kitchen: How to Cook the Perfect Turkey

This article was printed in 2010, but still rings true for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

 

14 Tips to Cook the Perfect Turkey

    • First things first: thaw your bird completely before putting it in the oven. Thaw it in the fridge for a few days – up to four, depending on the size of your turkey.

 

    • 400°F is the perfect temperature for cooking a whole bird. You’ll get crispy skin without compromising tenderness.

 

    • Depending on the size of your bird, it should take anywhere from 3-6 hours to roast at 400°F. I highly recommend a meat thermometer, one that stays in the turkey while it cooks and lets you set an alarm for when it reaches the proper temperature. This keeps you from continually opening the oven door, which will greatly increase your cooking time. Here’s a great time chart for turkey roasting.
    • Basting the bird won’t give you crispier skin. In fact, you’ll get limp, soggy skin and it only marginally affects the flavor.
    • Some argue that rubbing the entire bird with fat, inside and out, doesn’t affect the flavor, but I disagree. It depends on the fat, though – olive oil won’t give you a flavor boost, but butter mixed with a heaping dose of salt and herbs will yield a tasty dish indeed.
    • It doesn’t matter what orientation you roast your turkey in. Breast up, breast down, flipped over halfway through or hanging from the rafters – no position will make the breast more moist.
    • Stuffing some flavored fat (such as butter with salt and herbs) under the skin will help flavor meat, but don’t go overboard. Too much fat will just just make the meat greasy.
    • They (whoever “they” are) say that you’re supposed to cook a whole turkey to 180°F, but I find that 170° yields a perfectly moist bird that’s still cooked completely through. Make sure to measure in the thickest part of the breast.
    • I don’t recommend stuffing your turkey before roasting, and this can lead to all sorts of holiday misery – namely salmonella. If you insist on stuffing the bird, make sure you roast it until the stuffing has an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
    • Let your bird rest for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven. A good 20 minute nap will let everything settle and keep the moisture where it belongs: in the meat.
    • The easiest way to guarantee that pieces of breast will be moist is to let them soak in the bird’s juices for a few minutes after they’ve been cut. This includes the fatty runoff from what you’ve rubbed over the surface or stuffed under the skin.
    • You want the entire thing to roast evenly and have crispy skin all over, so consider elevating it off the surface of the roasting pan. A good-sized roasting rack will do the trick, which allows air to circulate under the bird – crisping it all the way around.
  • Don’t waste the juices in the bottom of the pan! Reduce in a saucepan with a little white wine, add a little cornstarch and you’ve got an amazing gravy.
Published in: on November 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In the Kitchen: The Perfect Thanksgiving Recipe

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The Perfect Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter or non-dairy margarine to keep it dairy-free
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, cut crosswise in 1/4″ slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 10 cups dried unseasoned bread cubes (found in the bread section at the grocery store)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 egg
  • Optional garnish: 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a large pan. Saute onions, celery, salt, sage, and thyme for 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat. Add bread cubes and gently stir them into the onion mixture. Slowly pour chicken broth over the bread cubes folding everything carefully so the bread cubes do not break apart too much. In a small bowl, gently whisk the egg and add it to the stuffing mix. Continue to fold everything until the egg is incorporated. Scoop uncooked stuffing into a medium casserole dish and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until nice and toasty on top.
Published in: on November 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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