Man caves were a big trend in 2013, but if you really think about it, they’ve been around for a long, long time. I’ve seen pictures of a room my Dad had in the early 1970’s that had dark wood paneling, orange shag carpet, and a bar in the corner. He might have called it a den or maybe even ‘the bar,’ but the humble origins of the man cave most likely came from these retro rooms.
Our grocery stores may be filled with rows of baby food claiming to be the best for baby but that's mostly a myth. Most nutritionists and paediatricians agree that homemade baby food is still the healthiest choice you can make.
Many commercial brands either water down their products or use cheap thickening agents such a cornstarch or refined white flour – not good for your baby’s delicate digestion.
Invest in the right equipment for the perfect baby food maker and making your own will be a snap. You’ll be giving baby a healthy start to life plus saving tons of money.
In much the same way there are foodies who appreciate a good gourmet meal, there are coffee lovers who love a freshly roasted brew. Those of us who have lurked around the coffee shop long enough to know the difference between a bean that’s just been roasted and one that has sat, sad and lonely in a non-vacuum sealed bag, really do appreciate the time and effort baristas go through to make a great latte. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to recreate that same coffee magic at home.
Tis the season to go to parties! Holiday gatherings are one of the best parts of the festive season – fun, food, friends, and family are just a few of the things I look forward to every year when it’s Holiday times again, and you can always guarantee a relaxing time when you join in. But even if it’s relaxing for those attending, you often forget about all of the work that goes into the party on behalf of the hostess.
People on the Prairies tend to talk a lot about how cold it is out, and because it can often dip below -40 on any given winter day, I’d say they have the right to. But when someone asks me now what I think of the Saskatchewan/Manitoba region, I look back on living there for 18 years and I can’t help but think it was warm.
No, I’m not talking about outside. Unless you’ve lived in a place where the wind-chill was a common problem and you’ve never experienced what it feels like for your calves to freeze to your jeans, you don’t know cold. I’m talking about the people – they were warm, friendly, and very welcoming. I also think ‘warm’ when I think about my Grandma’s kitchen and everything we baked together on those cold winter days.
When I was first moved out and was setting up my kitchen, it wasn’t that important to me how an appliance looked as much as it was that it did the job it was supposed to. You could call that mindset striving for functional and hoping for the best.
Fast forward to now and you could say my tastes have evolved. When it comes to kitchen appliances, how they work ranks right up there in importance with how they complement the kitchen. Same old, same old white has been replaced by black, fiery red, and lime green, because I want an appliance that I look forward to seeing in my kitchen every day, not one I want to tuck away in the cupboard.
In the grand scheme of things, cleaning doesn’t rank right up there on my list of fun things to do every day. I realize it must be done, but I’ve struggled with fitting it in to my already crazy busy schedule. I’ve often thought how nice it would be if someone else would just jump in, know exactly what I need clean, and keep it that way for me.
That's where robots come in. I had the opportunity to try out two of the Neato Robotics robot vacuums. They’re really easy to use and they really do keep your floors clean for you.
Even though I tend to keep the family eating on the healthy side of things, I usually throw all of that out the window every October when Pumpkin Spice Scones are readily available and Halloween treats must be created.
Because I’m planning a huge party this Halloween, I’ve been a little more focused on Halloween treats than usual. After all, what’s a party without gooey white chocolate eye balls and buckets of candy corn?
Slow cookers are a home chef’s best friend. Actually, if you really think about it, you don’t have to be a chef to love a slow cooker – it could be your best friend even if you’re someone who just likes to eat, and that pretty much includes all of us.
A slow cooker will take the guess and stress out of cooking your evening meal!
If you’ve ever looked longingly at pillowcases full of candy being toted around by little ones on October 31, or waxed nostalgic over teenage weeknights spent lighting fire crackers, I have good news for you – Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore. In fact, this annual celebration of ghosts and goblins is becoming increasingly popular among adults – and the statistics prove it.
There’s just something about a muffin that makes you feel good on a cool day. Or on a warm day. Or any day really. Ok, let’s just say that muffins are good for everything from a morning pick me up to a late night snack, and they can range in flavour from fruity to mini-cake style.
Muffins have been baking up in both yeast and quick bread varieties from the early 19th century, and they’ve been found in the oven as well as on the stove when an oven wasn’t handy. This week they’re going to be found in my oven, because on Shelly’s Friday Favourites we’re going to focus on those magnificent meal-replacement morsels that are muffins.
Every September the leaves change colour, the nights get cooler, and a little cobbler must be eaten - otherwise it just doesn’t feel like fall. In honour of September, I’ve taken a break from filling the cookie jar and jumped straight into cobblers.
Why you may ask? For starters, if made correctly, a cobbler is the ultimate fall treat. Full of nutmeg, fresh fruit, and topped with a big old bomb of whip cream, you seriously couldn’t serve anything better tasting on a chilly night than a cobbler.
byShelly_Wutke09-14-201309:32 PM - edited 09-26-201310:42 AM
The pantry is one of those areas in the home that is easy to overlook, until you need something that is. Take chocolate chips, or bread flour, or cinnamon for example – I could never find a single thing I really needed while cooking because my pantry was an utter disaster.
But this fall I decided to change all that. With the temperatures dropping and my interests leaning towards baking again, I decided there had never been a better time to go shelf by shelf through the entire pantry and toss everything I didn’t need.
True story – whenever we’ve been in the market to sell a house and move, I put a loaf of bread in the oven about an hour before a home showing. Somehow the scent of baking bread just made the entire place feel even homier, and hopefully helped them overlook a few piles of toys that may or may not have gotten in the way of a closet opening.
There’s something about bread that just makes you think ‘cozy,’ so I try to bake up a new loaf at least once a week. Although some people may think that baking bread is difficult, nothing could be further from the truth. Here is a quick list of items you will need to create bread:
It used to be that most people went to the old 8-cup coffee pot over and over during the day to get their daily caffeine fix. Or, if they wanted something really special, they trekked off to their local coffee shop and treated themselves to a heavenly, foamy latte complete with a dusting of chocolate or caramel.
These days, you don’t have to leave the house to get your coffee brew on, and you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds to the somewhat dubious java that’s been sitting in your old coffee pot either. With the invention of single serve coffee makers, bad coffee at home really is a thing of the past.
byShelly_Wutke09-06-201310:26 AM - edited 09-06-201310:42 AM
I know I can’t be the only Mom out there who was sad to see their kids go back to school. After a fun summer of just hanging out, it has been a little challenging getting back into the routine of drop offs, pick ups, and the daily struggle of making lunches.
But with back to school comes back to baking, and because the initial rush of packing lunches tends to be overwhelming (4 kids, 4 lunches, 5 days a week), I know I need to get creative when it comes to what I put in those lunch boxes. And that’s why, when it comes to treats, I start off my fall baking with batch after batch of homemade cookies.
In 1973, the world of home cooking was forever changed with the introduction of the food processor, commonly referred to as a Cuisinart®.
The Cuisinart® was nothing short of a culinary miracle – ok, perhaps ‘miracle’ isn’t the right term, but with this handy machine, the days of manual mincing, dicing, and chopping were gone. So too were the days of onion induced tears and inadvertently sliced thumbs. These days you’d be hard pressed to find any modern kitchen without a Cuisinart®, so the question arises, who was the mastermind behind these countertop powerhouses?
It used to be that when the big game came on, Dad would squirrel himself away in a quiet corner and the rest of the family would either be instructed to be completely silent or have to leave the house altogether.
But times, they are a-changing, and these days entire families like to get behind their favourite teams.
Game day has turned into a big family day for everyone.
When it’s just someone sitting solo to watch sports, there isn’t a lot of prep required for snacks and drinks. But when you have an entire family to feed, that’s where the fun of family game day truly begins.
If you watch a cooking show or look through a foodie website, you’ll see tons of different kitchen ideas designed to inspire you and save you time while preparing your daily meals. But as far as kitchen appliances go, how can you tell which ones will cut through the tedious tasks and get you to the table faster?
Although there are as many appliances available as there are people to use them, past experience has shown that there are a few amazing kitchen time savers that live up to the time-saving label.
Who doesn’t like to save time during cleaning, especially when it comes to the big 3 – laundry, dishes, and floors? These areas really do require the most amount of backbreaking effort where cleaning is concerned. So when a product hits the market that takes two of these chores and makes them easier, it definitely grabs your attention.
Thanks to the Dyson Hard cordless vacuum cleaner, you can say goodbye to your vacuum/mop/steam cleaner routine. With a unique dual suction system and a wet wipe, the Dyson Hard cordless vacuum removes debris and cleans your floor at the same time.
Having 4 kids means you learn quickly what works and what doesn’t work in life. Case in point? I found out early on that not all kitchen appliances are created equal, and not every single one will be utilized on a daily or even weekly basis.
But there are a few tried and true kitchen appliances that are absolute must-haves for a family, no matter what size your family is. For saving time, inspiring your creativity, or just helping you on your way to a relaxing evening, these great appliances for kitchen will save you time and sanity during your busy week:
Pasta, roast beef, chicken – when you find you’re eating the same old same old every week, chances are you’re stuck in a dinner rut. And when you’re stuck in a dinner rut, it can be hard to think up new and inventive ideas for meals.
But easy dinner ideas are just a click away if you know where to look, and as long as you have a few of these great kitchen tools from Oxo, you’ll be ready to chop, dice, and peel your way to something new and amazing every single night.
Anyone who has eaten pizza in Chicago, New York, or even downtown Vancouver knows that not all pizza is created equal. Deep dish, pan, extra thin – there are so many varieties, and that’s just the shell.
Take out pizza can be great, but there’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh, homemade pizza. And even better? You can customize it exactly the way you’d like it, which is great if you’re gluten-free or don’t like what’s traditionally offered when you order out.
Now that you’re in a pizza mood, here is how to make pizza your way:
There’s nothing quite like a cool summer breeze blowing in your window on a hot day. Open windows are great for keeping your house a nice, moderate temperature and chilly wind can feel great when you’re trying to sleep at night. But in the summer months, we don’t often get a lot of cool breezes, and at night it can be almost impossible to sleep because the house can feel like being on the inside of an oven. So what’s the best solution to stay cool and comfortable this summer? Look no further than a portable air conditioner or cooling fan.
This year stay cool as the days and nights heat up with one of these great air conditioners or fans:
It’s not stretching the truth to say that kitchen upgrades are expensive. New tile, new cabinets, and large new kitchen appliances like fridges and stoves can break your kitchen renovation budget. But if you want to feel like you’re in a new kitchen and you don’t have the cash to do a complete kitchen upgrade, you can still make the most used room in your house brand new – all you need are a few cool, new small kitchen appliances and you’re good to go.
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