10 Easy Steps for Prepping Your Kitchen for the Holidays

It’s soon to be THAT time of year, prepping your house for the onslaught of holiday entertaining is something of a necessity! It’s officially holiday party time where you have holiday potlucks, gingerbread house building parties, and extravagant dinner parties. It’s also a time that can get pretty stressful if you’ve decided to host a festive get-together for friends, family or both! Here are ten easy steps to help avoid the stress and making sure your kitchen is in top shape before the holidays hit.
 

1. Purge Old Food

Set an afternoon aside to clear out all old food items in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. You will not only be getting rid of expired and unwanted items you’ve forgotten about, but you’ll also be creating more room for all those holiday culinary creations. Make more room in a crowded freezer by taking things out of their bulky boxed packaging and storing food in resealable plastic bags. Discard foods that show signs of freezer burn, and place food items that you’ll need up front and center. While your at it, take a quick moment to give your fridge shelves a good wipe down. The quick clean will make your fridge feel fresh thru out the holidays.
 

2. Check Your Spices and Oils

Check the “best by” dates on all the spices and oils you plan on using. When in doubt, throw out all spices or oils over a year old as well as any that don’t have an obvious aroma when opened. Did you know that spices and oils can go rancid or lose their flavor and scent entirely?  Some spices that you might need this holiday season are poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, sage, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract, and sage. Making sure you have those in stock before the holidays is a good item to put on your to-do list.

3. Clean Your Appliances

Cleaning your appliances is one of those chores that is easy to put off. A simple cleaning tool for any of your household appliances is ammonia. Inexpensive ammonia, baking soda, or plain white vinegar can help to loosen and dissolve those tough messes when dealing with your appliances. Never mix ammonia with other strong cleaning agents, such as bleach or commercial oven cleaners. If you have a gas oven, make sure the pilot light is out and the gas has been turned off before you start cleaning. Also make sure you check each appliance you plan to use – microwave oven, stovetop, oven, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, crockpots, food processor, mixer and blender. Nothing better than the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie! A clean oven insures that is all you smell…
 

4. Wash Dishes, Flatware, Glasses, and Linens

A few days before the bustle of preparations, pull out any special dishes, glassware, flatware and serving pieces and give them a good wash. It’s one preparation that can be done easily ahead of time before the kitchen gets super busy with the hustle and bustle of food prep.
 

5. Check For Restocking

Save yourself some time and be sure you have the supplies you need food and supply-wise. You may think your pantry is well-stocked but double-check just in case. Do any of your guests have food allergies?  Are they vegetarian, vegan, etc.? Take these into account and prepare accordingly. No one wants to be spending their time on a holiday hunting down a can of French’s fried onions.

6. Start Meal Planning

Prep what you can ahead of time. Most casseroles and potato dishes can be put in a baking pan ahead of time, and vegetables can be chopped and stored, too. Cookie dough is another easy one to prep and freeze. Having a schedule will keep things organized and allow your guests to know when and how to help. Bake one thing for your freezer once a week starting now for your busy time later.

10 Easy Steps for Prepping Your Kitchen for the Holidays

7. Sharpen Knives

Start the season off right with sharp knives. To use a sharpening steel, hold the steel in your left hand and the knife in your right hand, with the cutting edge toward you. Lay the blade on top of the steel and raise the back of the knife 20 degrees. Place the heel of the blade at the tip of the steel and using light pressure draw the edge across the steel in a sweeping, curved motion. When in doubt take them to a professional to be sharpened. No one wants to have to hack away at their honey-baked ham!

8. De-Clutter Your Pantry

You want to start off your holiday plans with spending time organizing your pantry, cabinets, and fridge. Just like cleaning your fridge in step 1, throw away any expired or rancid food. If you find there are things you just don’t use, it’s the perfect time of year to give to a food drive. Another great way to organize is to pour your flour, sugar, chocolate chips, etc. into canisters or old jelly jars and label them. This gives a cute and organized look to your kitchen.

9. Child-Proof Your Kitchen

First make sure any young children can’t get a hold of any potentially harmful objects, such as matches, lighters, sharp utensils and household cleaners, by storing them in upper cabinets or by using child-safety latches. When cooking, unplug appliances not in use and wind up all cords and try to use the back burners of the stove as much as possible. Make sure all electrical outlets are covered when not in use.
 

10. Keep Kitchen Decorations Minimal

Here at Kitchens Unlimited we love our holiday decorations. But, decorations can often get in the way if you do a lot of cooking or baking. If you want to spruce up your kitchen for the holidays, add some fern garland to your windowsill or hang mistletoe from an arch. Keep decorations off the counters and away from the pantry. Another great and fun way to decorate this holiday is to show off what you made! Display the pies and cookies on a cute glass cake plate.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen?

All that time in your kitchen make you realize a remodel is on your wish list? It’s never too early to start planing. Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients all over the San Francisco East Bay since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood!

 

We take designing a beautiful kitchen for our clients very seriously, focusing on creating a kitchen space that is both functional & beautiful. We love to provide insight and education to our clients while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel?  Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.



Sources

How to Choose Your Kitchen Color Scheme; Will My Color Scheme Be The Avocado Refrigerator Of The 2010s?

How to Choose Your Kitchen Color SchemeSelecting the right color scheme for your kitchen can be difficult when you’re not sure what specific feel, theme or design you have in mind. The range of styles and colors may leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. The good news is that certain colors work best in specific rooms – especially for the kitchen. Here are some ideas on how to choose the best kitchen color palettes to suit your taste.

Choose Great Kitchen Color Combinations

You can make your kitchen an expression of your own personal style by immersing it in colors you love. For a no-regrets approach, choose neutral tones for the expensive foundation elements such as cabinets, floors, countertops, and appliances. Introduce color on the walls, backsplash, window treatments, lighting, and other accents. With this strategy, you can easily and affordably swap out the color scheme. Use a color chart to determine which colors complement one another and pick two dominant colors and one accent color. It is best to keep both dominant colors simple, yet complementary, and using the third color, you are able to accent and bring an attitude to tie the three together. The following combinations are bright and beautiful together – blue and orange, red and yellow, gray and purple, black and white, blue and brown, gray and yellow, black and red, brown and green, and pink and white.

“It is best to keep both dominant colors simple, yet complementary, and using the third color, you are able to accent and bring an attitude to tie the three together.“

 

For more contemporary or modern designs, bright colors and contrasting tones are much more common; vibrant reds, gentle greens and yellow give a retro-feel for the kitchen. Whether your kitchen style is modern, traditional or in between, some classic paint colors will work great. Black can be a great choice if you’re looking to create a contrast with a primarily light-colored design. Grays and dark browns for cabinets can help create a visual contrast with light-colored kitchen designs.

Most Recommended Colors

Choosing paint colors can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. If you’re looking to create a warm and welcoming space, red, yellow, and green are a great option. Warmer colors such as red are believed to stimulate appetite and are an excellent option for the kitchen. Red is very versatile and can really make a kitchen pop. Yellow can instantly brighten up a room – it has a soothing quality that makes people feel calm and happy in the kitchen. For smaller spaces, yellow can make rooms feel bigger and brighter, and it pairs well with white and gray accents. Green is also a smart shade to use in the kitchen; different shades of green can leave your kitchen feeling calm and soothing or adventurous and striking.

“Have more fun with your countertops and backsplash in an all-white kitchen and choose brighter colors or designs for those.”

Wanting more of a crisp clean space? Look to a white, gray or blue paint colors for this look and feel. White can really energize a room and give a fresh, and clean feel the moment you step in it. You can also have more fun with your countertops and backsplash in an all-white kitchen and choose brighter colors or designs for those. Gray is a neutral color that can work wonders; it pairs beautifully with a wide array of other colors and is the perfect base to build upon in a kitchen. Blue can create a crisp, clean look and is recommended for walls, cabinets, or even the ceiling. It’s an invigorating color and can sometimes overpower a room so use sparingly.

Finding paint colors overwhelming? Tried a color you thought would be perfect only to realize it was scary? Call us to schedule a consultation. We can help get you back on track and rocking the colors that speak to you.

Standing the Test of Time

Kitchens can range from flashy to classic, but how do you know if their colors will outlast trends? A great way to beat the trends is choosing a color you love and go back to again and again. Many people find that her the last 10-20 years they LOVE the same shade of teal, blue, green, yellow, etc. These are safe choices because no matter what the trends do, you will love your space. Wait long enough, everything comes back again. Choosing colors that will stand the test of time doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Neutrals and rich colors can create interest in a timeless design. Try taking color inspiration from a rug or fabric and using intense colors in small, replaceable amounts. For countertops, look for classic color trios or lean toward white, neutral or black for lasting colors. These classic colors in solid surface materials like the quartz based materials, will stand the test of time. Most times, it is recommended to start with the countertops first, since they are the most expensive, and depending on the style you can create a theme surrounding it. You can coordinate the countertop color with the floor color and keep the secondary dominant color of the cabinets separating the two.

“Choosing colors that will stand the test of time doesn’t mean sacrificing style.”

 

Materials such as granite, quartz, ceramic tile and butcher-block-style wood come in naturally enduring colors. When considering the look for your backsplash, you can try one that gives an intense splash of color in the room or white subway tiles as a go-to classic backsplash. Custom-made mosaic reflecting other colors in the room, and organic, natural choices such as the muted, neutral colors in marble or limestone. Bold colors work great for walls, small decorative accessories, and smaller kitchen appliances. Metallic colors can be used to highlight and brighten your space. You can get this look with satin nickel/stainless finishes on fixtures and appliances, brass knobs and accessories or picking a countertop or floor that already has gold or silver accents.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen or Bath?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! Designing a beautiful kitchen using the right colors for you can be difficult, but our specialty is designing a kitchen that is functional & beautiful. Our clients love the help we give them in creating the space of their dreams – within their budget.  Kitchens Unlimited provides insight and education while empowering our clients to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel?  Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.

Sources

  1. https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/kitchen/kitchen-colors-that-stand-the-test-of-time
  2. https://blog.kitchenmagic.com/blog/how-to-match-your-countertops-cabinets-floor
  3. https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/kitchen-remodel/paint-colors-for-kitchen-cabinets
  4. https://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/kitchens/best-colors-to-paint-a-kitchen
  5. https://www.bhg.com/kitchen/color-schemes/inspiration/no-fail-kitchen-color-combinations/
  6. https://www.bhg.com/kitchen/color-schemes/

10 Essential Gadgets Your Kitchen Needs Now

10 Essential Gadgets Your Kitchen Needs Now

Setting up a new kitchen or updating your old one? With so many gadgets on the market, you could be feeling overwhelmed in deciphering what’s worth it and what’s not. Here are ten must-have gadgets and appliances that would make your cooking life a whole lot easier.

1. Silicone Spatula

A spatula is a small cooking implement that is essential for scraping out the food processor or sides of a mixing bowl. Why not purchase a set of silicone spatulas that are heat-proof up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit? Not only will you have the ease of mixing, scrambling, and serving, but the heat resistance allows for the spatula to avoid melting if you leave it against your pot or pan. This item is a joy to use and reasonably priced for the quality

2. Immersion Blender

Once you’ve tried this, you won’t ever want to give it up. The immersion blender, also known as a stick blender, is a handheld tool that makes it easy to blend soups, smoothies, and pestos with a push of a button. Soups can be pureed right into the pot; small batches can be easily mixed in a bowl. Sauces can be thickened and emulsified without removing them from the stovetop. They are typically easy to clean and store, and dishwasher-safe to boot. It is much easier to handle than a traditional blender and takes up much less space.

3. Instant-Read Thermometer

A quality meat thermometer is a must if you often cook meats and want to stop guessing at when they’re done. With an instant-read thermometer, you are easily and quickly able to check to see if your meats are cooked enough. If you are cooking a lot of meat, passionate about your meat, or even paranoid about it, a digital thermometer will become invaluable. A few degrees can be the difference between a tender and tough steak.

4. Cast Iron Skillet

Made with thick, heavy bottoms and sides, cast iron skillets have been workhorses in kitchens all over the world for over 2,000 years. They can evenly heat to high temperatures and retain heat for a long time a give beautiful sear to any class of meat. They can be used on the stovetop and also able to go right in the oven for making cornbread or cobblers. They are also virtually indestructible and will last a lifetime.

5. Mandoline Slicer

The mandoline slicer is indispensable for thinly, slicing, crinkle-cutting, or waffle-cutting veggies. An adjustable-height slicer makes cutting precise slices as simple as waving your hand.

6. Silicone Baking Sheet Liner

Having a baking sheet liner will help provide an even heat transfer for your goodies while they bake. It also allows for easy transfer from baking pan to plate with its silicone technology to share with members of your family. It’s durability, non-staining, and non-sticking surface makes it easy for delicate pastries and goodies to come off without tearing, and cleanup is simple.

7. Kitchen Shears

Every day we reach for shears to open up packaging, snip away herb stems, or trim fats from meats. You might use them to cut up a chicken or trim the crust off a pie. Look for a pair that dismantles for cleaning, so that residue doesn’t build up in the hinge.

8. Microplane Grater and Zester

A microplane grater and zester are for making the most finely-grated pieces of fruits, vegetables, and cheese in basically no time at all. It is perfect for adding thin sprinkles of Parmesan over a pasta dish or adding lemon zest to a flaky fish.

9. Tongs

Tongs may seem less immediately essential, but being able to easily and precisely grip hot foods is a major plus. For easily flipping meats and vegetables, a good pair of tongs that can handle all kinds of different sized foods is a must. It’s important for them to have silicone tips to prevent scratching and a high degree of heat-resistance so they don’t melt after frequent use.

10. Countertop Toaster Oven

A countertop toaster oven makes anything from pizza to cookies. Not only do you save a little money on your energy bill, but it also greatly increases functionality being able to heat up quickly.

Ready To Get Started on Your New Kitchen or Bath?

Kitchens Unlimited in Walnut Creek and Brentwood, California has been professionally transforming spaces for clients since 2003. Designing high-end quality kitchens and bathrooms is in our blood! Designing a beautiful kitchen is not that hard, the hard part is designing a kitchen that is functional & beautiful. We love to help our clients by providing insight and education while empowering them to create the kitchens and spaces that they can thrive in.  Have a project in mind but just can’t decide? Need an expert interior designer who’s easy to work with? Want a stress-free & pain-free remodel? Contact Kitchens Unlimited to schedule your free consultation today.

 

Sources

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  6. https://www.mealime.com/kitchen-essentials-list
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