What Kitchen Appliances Are Perfect as Christmas gifts?

What Kitchen Appliances Are Perfect as Christmas gifts?

So you’ve been reading up on reviews of ovens with rotisserie and other options, but find it hard to choose just one model out of a hundred brands, sizes, functions, and prices. Imagine that this scenario isn’t exclusive to ovens – almost all kitchen appliances from airfryers to electric kettles are ripe with options. 

I understand why it can be confusing, even if you’ve read reviews everywhere. 

For those running out of shopping time, here is our must-buy list of kitchen appliances that are perfect as Christmas gifts:

Kitchen appliances under $100

  • Hand mixer – Also known as immersion blender or hand blender, this tool is a perfect kitchen appliance for anyone who wants to learn all kinds of soups. You can make tomato soup, squash soup, pumpkin soup and any other soups without bringing out your bulky food processor or blender. Plus you use it straight to your pot or pan, so you wash fewer items once you’re done cooking. 
  • Ice cream maker – If you know someone who still doesn’t have an ice cream maker, and you just can’t decide what kind of kitchen appliance he/she would appreciate, an ice cream maker or cold dessert maker is a sure people-pleaser. You’re going to make someone happy with this gift. 
  • Nutribullet and other personal blenders – For a person who is trying to eat healthy or embark on a weight loss journey, juicing or drinking healthy shakes could encourage them to push through. Check Nutribullet or other personal blender brands you’re willing to buy. 
  • Set of oven thermometers – If you know someone serious about exploring different ways to cook, buy him/her a candy thermometer, oven thermometer or deep-fry thermometer. If there’s a “quick-read” function that would allow the user to check the temperature instantly, pick that model over the one without. 
  • Vacuum sealer – This isn’t a very popular kitchen appliance, compared to microwaves and anything else on this list, but if you know someone who loves to prepare make-ahead meals, a vacuum sealer could make the food prep much more enjoyable. Plus sealing marinated dishes and other food is super satisfying. 

Kitchen appliances $200 to $400

  • Airfryer – This kitchen appliance has been around for a couple of years now and still remains a favorite for people who love crispy-fried food. Sure, you can find airfryers under $200, but if you’re cooking for a whole family, stick with airfryers in this price range. This also reduces the number of batches you’ll need to cook to feed your household. 
  • Programmable coffee maker – If you’re planning to gift someone who’s a coffee lover, buy them a coffee maker that you can program to blend coffee for them even before they wake up, so they’d be welcomed by freshly-brewed coffee in the morning without doing a thing
  • Sous Vide – For someone who’s trying to cook different kinds of meats, sous vide cooking would let them explore collagen-heavy cuts of meat. This tool provides the meat with a unique tenderizing effect. 
  • InstantPot or other multicookers – The cool thing about multicookers like the InstantPot is that you can use it to cook, sterilize, steam, saute and even warm the food you’ve just slow-cooked. It could work as an electric pressure cooker, rice cooker or even a slow cooker. 

Kitchen appliances above $500

  • Food processor – For someone who cooks a lot at home or has a small business starting out, a high-quality food processor would speed up most meal preps significantly. A good processor could run over $500, but these should last for several years. I’ve seen food processors last for over a decade!
  • KitchenAid stand mixer – Aside from the ice cream maker, the KitchenAid stand mixer is on everyone’s wish list. It isn’t easy to buy, since it could cost a pretty penny, but once you do invest in one, you’ll soon discover that it is the best thing you’ve ever bought in your life. 

Sounds exaggerated? For the person who does all the cooking and experimenting on new dishes, it isn’t. The KitchenAid stand mixer by itself is a gorgeous kitchen appliance that allows you to mix stuff in bulk batches, such as baking dozens of cupcakes at a time. But with add-ons, this mixer can be a meat grinder (for sausages), pasta maker, food processor, and all other kitchen tools in one.

  • Espresso coffee machine –  If you’re thinking of a gift for serious coffee drinkers, there can never be a better gift than a full-sized espresso machine with all the bells and whistles you see in coffee shops. They’re commercial-grade, expensive, but are definitely incomparable to smaller coffeemakers. 

I hope you were able to find the perfect Christmas gift for your friends or family members from this list of must-have appliances. You can pay under $50 and still find a cool kitchen item, or splurge on something the receiver has been dreaming of having. It’s up to you.

 

How to add “spice” to your kitchen design

How to add “spice” to your kitchen design

The lack of bright colors or catchy decorative elements that make the interior truly original and eye-catching is a common problem in modern kitchens.

We suggest in this article to consider successful options for using an active color, which can become a kind of “anchor” and create a special, bold festive atmosphere in a room where the whole family meets every day.

kitchen design

1. Center of gravity

The dining table is an integral and one of the main elements of the kitchen furnishings, and if the dimensions of the room allow, then the dimensions of this piece of furniture can be very impressive. The material can be luxurious wood or light glass, durable metal or polycarbonate. But we especially like the decision of the cardinal coloring of the table in a rich shade, for example, scarlet, herbal, dandelion, ocher. Since these colors are natural, they will organically fit into the main gamut of the kitchen interior, without causing dissonance in it.

Remember that the dining area should be kept in an exceptionally pleasant natural range, which, if it includes rich shades, is perceived by the eyes of a person only favorably.

A bright small table with curly elements (legs – balusters, underframe) is worthy of all praise and the title of the main art object in a neutral minimalist kitchen interior.

2. Heart of the kitchen

A kitchen decorated in a modern style with simple forms of furniture, laconic accessories, and lighting fixtures should still stand out due to a catchy accent element. This may well be colored household appliances, for example, a refrigerator or a gas stove with an electric oven.

This is not only very beautiful but also very symbolic because the stove is a descendant of the old oven, that is, the personification of the hearth in which the fire does not go out, warming the whole house. This is why we recommend installing a bright orange, red or yellow stove.

3. Focus on the work area

You can also highlight with the help of color the area that is used for processing food. The hostess spends a lot of time here, therefore, comfortable conditions are simply necessary. So, not only a clean and functional work surface matters but also adjacent surfaces, such as a protective apron or even an entire wall (if there is no upper tier of cabinets).

If you revet this area with ceramic tiles of a rich shade, you can significantly save on the design of the retaining walls, because a full-fledged active element will appear in the room, which does not require addition.

A bright countertop above the kitchen cabinets of the lower tier or island is not at all trivial, because not many will be able to decide on such an experiment, but it’s worth it. An accent will appear in the kitchen, which carries a useful function.

4. Instead of a sculpture

Today, the current trend is the use of furniture from different styles in the kitchen. That is, along with the main objects of simple geometric shapes with smooth facades, you can install an elegant cupboard for dishes or even a whole sideboard with carved decor and elegant fittings.

But the main thing here is the color of a built-in or free-standing object, it is decisive for the entire interior because it helps to create a sculptural accent. You should not be afraid of bright colors, and here we again recommend turning to wildlife: a coral, cobalt, or azure piece of furniture will refresh the kitchen, and your well-being in it will always be positive.

Do not rush to get rid of the old grandmother’s wooden sideboard, it can still come in handy, and will help you significantly save on purchasing a dish cabinet. Remove the old layers of paint and varnish, use putty to remove chips and bumps, prime the surface, and then cover with two or three coats of fresh paint in a rich shade you like. We are confident that the result will definitely be amazing.

And if you don’t have any vintage furniture piece, you might pay attention to the Nyfurnitureoutlets that has a wide assortment of products in this design style.

5. Bright light around

Often, even during the daytime in autumn and winter, there is not enough light in the room, so you have to use additional light sources. In the kitchen, bright high-quality light is simply necessary, which means that each of the functional areas should be supplemented with sconces, spots, suspensions, diode lamps, or other illumination.

By the way, you have an excellent opportunity to add beautiful colors to the interior without significant investments or purchase of bright furniture. Just choose unusual lighting fixtures made of colored glass, painted metal. You can also order the production of unique illumination on the wall in the form of a wide variety of objects, food, phrases, or letters of your choice.

Colored lampshades of pendant lamps or stylish illumination in the dining area on the wall will add a dosed amount of bright colors to the kitchen interior: just as much as you need.

6. Lively accent

Green plants are natural spots of color that transform into a splash of color in a light monochrome kitchen interior (or dark one). We recommend paying attention to simple clay, ceramic pots with no patterns or with light ethnic motives – this is a real trend today. And don’t forget about terracotta vessels – in them the plants not only look organic but feel great.

kitchen design

Living luscious greenery, young decorative trees with fruits, and flowering plants are an easy way to make your kitchen bright, but cozy, beautiful, but not pretentious.

Food & Beverage Life: Simple Startup Advice for the Beginning Restaurateur 

Food & Beverage Life: Simple Startup Advice for the Beginning Restaurateur 

So you’ve decided to finally take the plunge and go full-throttle into the high-energy life of restaurant ownership. Well, congratulations are in order because this is not an easy life at all, but it can be one of the most rewarding.

Whether you’re interested in opening or expanding your own home bakery, or renovating a downtown building and opening a 5-star fine dining establishment, you’re going to need to know what you’re doing and plan ahead.

Becoming a restaurant owner is fairly simple, but becoming a successful restaurateur will prove difficult if you don’t have the right staff or the right tools. But if you’re about to embark on this goal, then chances are you know a thing or two about the business already.

If you’re about to open your doors, or you’re still planning your vision, the following advice can help you through the process.

Choose Your Staff Wisely 

If there’s one thing that will make you fail in the restaurant business, it’s poor staff and poor management. As such, you’re going to want to be very choosy when it comes to hiring your wait staff and management.

Your front-of-house (FOH) personnel are those who will be giving your guests the first impression of you and your restaurant. And if you have inexperienced FOH staff, this can make your restaurant fail before it even gets going.

When you set out to hire, look for at least a few years of experience, and be sure to check references. If you find that a prospective employee has a bad reputation or isn’t known to be friendly, this is the wrong person to have on your team.

Waitstaff, hosts, and especially bartenders, need to be energetic and able to show your guests a good time. The last thing you’ll want is a dry staff that gives no life to your establishment.

Products 

The type of ingredients you choose to put in your recipes are going to be the keys to your success. 

You want to be unique and authentic, ultimately. And the best way to do this is to seek out quality products from distributors with solid reputations. 

For example, if you produce a lot of baked goods or if you plan to use a lot of whipped cream, finding the right type and quality of cream chargers is not exactly a simple task. Cheap cream chargers can reduce the flavor and consistency of your cream-topped dishes. So you’ll want to choose each product based on quality, not cost alone. 

Additionally, many first-time restaurant owners choose to go the cheap route. But this will only reduce your quality and the number of guests you serve. When it comes to your actual food products, quality will always be king.

Opening 

If you’re planning on just flipping on the “Open” sign on your first day without any advertisement at all, this is the first way that you’ll fail. 

Opening a restaurant is somewhat of a baptism in the world of food & beverage. As such, you’ll want to hold a soft opening before you advertise for your grand opening.

A soft opening allows you to work out all the problems that your staff might face on opening day. This not only shows you where your employees need to improve, but it also gives you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses.

For your soft opening, you may choose to do a limited guest list of other business owners near you or have a combination of friends and family opening consisting of 2 to 3 guests of each staff member. 

Once you have all the kinks worked out, then it’ll be time to open your doors to the public.

Across the country, restaurants are part of American culture. And this is brought forth from the determination and ingenuity of the great restaurateurs of our local communities. Being a part of this community can be rewarding, but it won’t come without hard work.

How to Choose the Best Entrees for Your Dinner Party

How to Choose the Best Entrees for Your Dinner Party

A dinner party will be much easier to pull off if you plan ahead of time. Making accurate lists and allowing enough time for each task can help you avoid turmoil and deal with the inevitable glitches that may happen. One of the most significant accomplishments a home chef can boast is a successful dinner party. Family dinners are a great way to gather with family and friends, share delectable food and beverages, and, simply enjoy one other’s company.

Even if you can’t hire a catering team for your private event, consider what you don’t have to do yourself—like having delicious recipes, scooping up a dessert, having wines, flowers, or other things delivered, or hiring a house cleaner for before or after the party. It’s critical to keep things easy for yourself.

If you’re thinking of throwing a dinner party but aren’t sure where to begin, we’ve put together a guide that will show you how to throw a successful dinner party at home. These dinner party planning tips will teach you all you need to know, from creating the perfect dinner party invites to deciding on a theme. Don’t let the fact that entertaining can be stressful deter you. These tips will assist you in achieving your goals:

Make a List of Guests

Consider how your friends and family will blend when choosing who to invite to your dinner party. Make an effort to ask people you think will get along so that everyone, including yourself, has a pleasant time. Compile contact information in your Digital Post address book as you prepare your guest list so that when you send out your invitations, you have everything that you need in one spot.

Invitations to the Dinner Party

An invitation informs your visitors that you’re arranging something special for them and distinguishes a typical meal from a dinner party. Yours should reflect the tone of the event and the level of formality you want to convey. 

Send a printed or handwritten invitation if you’re planning a more formal meal. An email or e-vite might be used for more casual parties. Send out the invitations as soon as possible; the more notice you offer your visitors, the more likely they will attend. Request the attendees to respond and follow up to ensure that they received the invitation.

Your invitation should include the time and date of your event, the address of the place, the theme of the party if one is planned, a deadline for receiving RSVPs, and any particular dress standards to be aware of if you’re doing something fancier than a casual dinner.

Prepare a Menu for Your Party

Planning your food ahead of time keeps you organized and lets you figure out what you can do in advance. Easy meals are the most acceptable options when it comes to pre-planning food for parties. Choose meals that are simple to prepare and require few ingredients. With fewer ingredients, you’ll spend less time measuring and prepping, allowing you to finish your meal faster. To save time, avoid foods that need many stages or complicated preparation methods.

Another aspect of keeping the menu basic is to provide only a few main dishes rather than an abundance of food. Of course, you don’t want your guests to go hungry, but you also don’t want to spend hours preparing 20 different recipes only to have a fridge full of leftovers. Instead, keep the number of goods you manufacture to a minimum. The less diverse dishes you have to prepare, the less time it will take to finish.

Do Your Shopping for Groceries

Ensure that you get everything you require at this party. Just to be sure, double-check the list you generated with the ingredients you’ll need. To avoid spoilage, place anything that needs to be kept fresh for several days in the proper storage after buying your food and other products.

A good rule to remember is that a bottle holds around five glasses when it comes to wine. Depending on the length of your event, you can estimate that each of your wine-drinking guests will have one drink every hour. Multiply the number of glasses per visitor by five, then add a couple to be on the safe side.

Is it Homemade?

Your guests will be surprised that you prepared the extras. Spiced almonds, Cheese straws, no-knead bread, chutney, chocolate truffles or ice cream are all simple to make and can be prepared ahead of time. We don’t recommend creating for all, but if you include even one of them in your buffet, your visitors will be blown away.

Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

It won’t go away if you ask your guests if they have any special dietary needs. If only it were that simple. To save time, ask folks ahead of time if there is anything they can’t eat, and make at least two of the courses accessible for everyone.

Make Plans Ahead of Time

Cook at least one course from start to finish ahead of time to avoid a last-minute scramble. That’s the one to pick if you want to do something challenging. Some of the foods that you may prepare ahead of time will surprise you. Consider each course and consider which parts you can do early. If the answer is “nothing,” you might want to consider a different option.

Add the Finishing Touches

A beautiful presentation may elevate a simple dish to something truly extraordinary. Pea, mint, and spring onion soup is cooked ahead of time and served with homemade Parmesan biscuits and sliced spring onion and mint on top.

As You Work, Keep the Area Clean

It may seem inconvenient at the time, but washing pots and pans after each use is usually a good idea. That way, you won’t have a terrifying mound of dirty dishes at the end of the night (or at least one that isn’t quite as tall). Start with an empty dishwasher, if possible.

Choose a Theme for Your Dinner Party

Choosing a theme is a terrific way to make a dinner party more exciting. Dinner party themes simplify creating online invitations, selecting the appropriate decor, planning a dinner meal, and determining what activities to perform. You can use the theme to inspire your cuisine, decor, and invitations if you’re throwing a dinner party.

Choose Appropriate Music to Match the Theme and Mood

Choosing the right playlist is a (semi)serious undertaking. Make sure it fits the concept, isn’t too loud, is subtle but not off-putting, and contributes to the right mood. Do you want a dynamic, high-energy party? Make sure the music is playing at a fast pace. Looking for an attractive, though modestly extravagant evening complete with fancy attire? Opt for classical music or even opera. Just make sure the volume is set correctly.

Give Yourself Time for Your DIY Projects

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to complete a solid DIY project. It might take a week or two to finish putting together those hand-made table settings and goose-shaped cotton napkins. Begin as soon as possible so that you can complete them all—or as many as you can.

Good Lighting is Essential

The secret to a great gathering is adequate lighting, not necessarily the food. You can serve takeout pizza on a simple table with no decorations, but if your lighting is on the spot, you’ll have the makings of a memorable lunch. Use string lights and candlelight to cover all of your bases. They are the dynamic duo of creating a festive environment, especially outside, and make even the most casual gathering feel so much more special. To further enhance the effect, make sure you turn out any nearby lights.

Wine and Beverage Selection

Consider what would go well with your cuisine, what you like to drink, and what the group might appreciate when choosing beverages to serve. Consider the type of night you want to have. Do you want a tequila-fueled dance party or a business card exchange fueled by sparkling water? Wine is the typical libation for dinner parties otherwise.

Don’t Over-rely on Your Guests

Indeed, they asked if they could bring something, but individuals have a habit of forgetting stuff at home or arriving late. You don’t want to be caught off-guard if it’s a necessary item, such as ice for the cocktails.

Have Fun with the Party Planning Process

While you are the host and must ensure that all of the necessary tasks are completed for the party to operate well, make sure that when the time comes, you sit down, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself with the people you care about most. Even with all of the minutiae that go into arranging a dinner party, you should be able to relax and enjoy yourself! Planning is part of the pleasure, so go easy on yourself and utilize it to display your creativity and personality.

I hope these tips will help you plan a fun and successful dinner party. Follow them to have a great time with friends and family.

Comprehensive Guide to Start a Food Delivering Business From Home

Comprehensive Guide to Start a Food Delivering Business From Home

As people’s schedules are getting busier and their jobs more demanding, food delivery businesses are gaining widespread popularity around the globe. Due to the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that people carry many of their activities from home, the industry is continuously growing and slowly shaping a new norm for food consumption.

women eating noodles

Another thing the pandemic has taught us is that working or starting a business can well enough be done from the comfort of our house. Digital businesses require digital solutions, and assembling or growing your customer base is no exception. When it comes to the food delivery sector, your options are endless; from fast food to home-cooked meals, to groceries, you can certainly find – and feed – the demand for it.

Running a food business is undoubtedly a potentially profitable venture but still involves a delicate set of rules and challenges to look out for if you don’t want to drain your wallet or close your services too early. If you’re looking to start a food delivery business from home, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process.

Licenses and Legal Coverage

When it comes to food, safety is always a concern. That is why national and regional government organizations closely monitor and regulate the industry. The type of license you may or may not need will depend on the place of business, but you should check your local regulations to explore the legal requirements and procedures.

Other legal coverages include food delivery insurance to protect your business from accidents, taxes, and other online service regulations. These may cover location data security, information exchange, and even food regulations that apply exclusively to online businesses. There are even laws that limit the amount sold for specific items and food groups, so be sure to cover all legal grounds before ordering your supplies or creating your menu.

A Business (and Meal) Plan

Even when starting a small business, your success relies on a carefully crafted business plan. Within the food delivery industry, this also means coming up with a meal plan. Primarily, you should evaluate if your business can generate a high-enough return on investment, which you should be able to arrive at by considering the following things:

  • The cost of each meal, including ingredients, packaging, and travel;
  • Necessary costs like electricity and gas;
  • Total labor expenses, including part-time and full-time workers and all forms of compensation.

If you have a defined meal plan, you will be able to make close-enough estimates for all these areas and compare your returns. You should also be realistic about your revenue potential and adjust it often to level your expectations. If the numbers aren’t adding up, you can make adjustments to your meal plan or your overall model.

food delivery

Preparing Your Materials

A great thing about starting a food delivery business is that you can do it without securing a large amount of capital. If you’re preparing home-cooked dishes, chances are you already have most of the utensils you need for the preparation or can buy new ones at relatively low prices. You will typically need the following materials:

  • Plastic or cardboard meal containers and bags and single-use utensils for deliveries;
  • Pots and pans – preferably large so you can cook multiple meals at a time;
  • Food containers to store the cooked food.

When buying the supplies – including the ingredients – look for good local deals and preferably suppliers that sell in bulk. While you should, of course, make sure not to run out of supplies, you should also make calculations about your needs, especially since fresh food can expire quickly and your budget can be exhausted by overestimations.

Marketing Strategy

If you’ve landed on a business idea, you’ve probably researched the local market and identified your target audience. To get your business off the ground, you will need a good marketing strategy for reaching that audience and raising interest in your product.

If you’re starting small, some great cost-effective marketing options are word-of-mouth marketing, local digital campaigns, and distributing flyers in nearby residential areas, schools, or other facilities. You will also need some preliminary branding, like a logo, flyer design, or campaign slogans, for which you can either hire a freelancer, acquaintances or even try to do it yourself.

Final Words

Food delivery is a great business option to explore – specifically because of the current opportunities in the industry and especially if you want to work from home. When starting your business, be sure to acquire any licenses and legal coverage, create a business and meal plan, prepare your materials, and craft an effective marketing strategy.

In a time when people are increasingly leaving their kitchen stoves for precooked meals, there are plenty of opportunities for success.