• Kitchen Essentials Every Chef Should Have

    Have you ever decided against making a new recipe because it called for a gadget you don’t own? Some kitchen tools are superfluous while others are essentials no chef should live without. Here are the items to ensure you have in your cooking arsenal.

    Sharp Knife Set

    There’s nothing worse than squishing a ripe tomato or smashing a loaf of bread with a dull knife. Invest in a set of high-quality stainless steel or ceramic knives you can use for everything from slicing an apple to dicing fresh parsley to butterflying a chicken breast.

    Cast Iron Skillet

    Cheap pots and pans don’t belong in a chef’s kitchen. Along with the widely adopted nonstick cookware, you should also invest in a cast iron skillet. This can cook at high temperatures and retain its heat for a long time. It’s even oven-safe, making it perfect for cornbread or peach cobbler. The rustic good looks of a cast iron skillet allow you to transfer it straight from the stove to the tabletop – on a protective trivet, of course.

    Slow Cooker

    Meats are juicier, soups more flavorful and vegetables more tender when you cook them slowly at a low temperature. With a slow cooker, you throw in your ingredients several hours before dinner and enjoy the tantalizing aroma all afternoon. Then, you get to enjoy a hot meal come dinnertime, even on the busiest of days.

    Countertop Grill

    With a small electric indoor grill, burgers can be more than just a summertime food. Plus, versatile countertop grills let you cook fish, chicken, veggies, Panini sandwiches and more in mere minutes.

    Food Processor

    If you plan to make sauces or dips from scratch, you need a quality food processor. This versatile kitchen essential also shreds lettuce and cabbage with ease, turns dried bread into breadcrumbs and crushes graham crackers for the perfect pie crust.

    Instant-Read Thermometer

    If you plan to make a pot roast or Thanksgiving turkey, this gadget is a must! After all, meat must be cooked to the proper temperature before serving: 140 degrees F for steak, 145 degrees F for ham and 165 degrees F for poultry. Stick your meat with an instant-read thermometer to take the guesswork out of safe meat preparation.

    Immersion Blender

    A whisk can only get you so far. Take your cooking to the next level with an immersion blender. This nifty tool can blend single-serve smoothies and milkshakes on the go, mix up pancake and waffle batter, and beat fluffy eggs for an omelet or frittata. It’s compact, versatile and easy to use.

    Along with having the right kitchen essentials, every chef needs ample counter and storage space and a well-designed kitchen to work in. Do you wish this part of your home was more functional and beautiful? When you’re ready to discover your new kitchen, please contact Blue Water Kitchens & More at (810) 958 – 3193. We install cabinetry , countertops and so much more!

  • At-Home Valentine’s Dinner Date Ideas

    Few things are more cliche on Valentine’s Day than chocolates, roses and going out to eat. While these traditions are all well and good, you might want to shake things up a bit. Perhaps you and your significant other have such busy lifestyles that you barely ever enjoy a relaxing evening at home together. Set aside February 14 as the day to slow down and keep the home-fire burning for once. These at-home Valentine’s dinner date ideas will make the evening extra special.

    Make Heart-Shaped Food and Love-Themed Drinks

    Whether you routinely serve home-cooked meals or not, make sure your Valentine’s dinner stands out by planning dishes that allude to this day of love. Heart-shaped food is extra fun and may include pizza, stuffed pasta, pancakes, waffles or sandwiches. Heart-shaped plates and bowls add to the theme.

    Make your drinks festive as well. Since you’re staying in, there’s no need for a designated driver. Cocktails with fresh cherries or strawberries, cranberry juice or grenadine lend a red hue to your drinks that make them worthy of your Valentine’s dinner date.

    Have an Indoor Picnic

    After the meal is prepared, skip the dining room table and move straight to the living room floor. Spread out a blanket, bring some pillows over and set a vase of flowers nearby to lend their fresh aroma to your indoor picnic. There’s something innocent and simple about eating on the floor that will take you both back to your dating days.

    Eat by Candlelight

    Whether you jump on the indoor picnic idea or opt for a traditional meal at the table, nothing says romance like a candlelit dinner. Dim the lights and spend the entire evening gazing into each other’s eyes by the light of flickering candles. Add to the atmosphere even more with some romantic music playing in the background.

    Bake Dessert Together

    Valentine’s dessert is just as important as dinner, and making sugar cookies together can quickly become a romantic affair. Keep to the theme with heart-shaped cookie cutters and pink and red frosting.

    Not a huge fan of sugar cookies? You could also bake strawberry muffins, red velvet cake, macaroons, chocolate truffles or any other favorite dessert. The point is to bake them with your significant other and enjoy spending the time together.

    Your at-home Valentine’s dinner date is bound to be more fun and romantic if your kitchen is equipped with everything you need to cook, bake and eat in comfort. When you’re ready to make improvements to your kitchen and other parts of your home, please contact Blue Water Kitchens & More at (810) 958 – 3193. We install cabinetry , countertops and so much more!