- ISBN13: 9781561584840
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- 54" width is ideal for placement over a standard washer & dryer
- 2 adjustable shelves
- Assembly Required
- Dimensions: 54"W x 24"H x 12"D
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- 5-speed settings
- Origin: China
- Material: Plastic/Stainless Steel
- Warranty: 1-year unlimited
- Weight: 2.3-lb.
A great meal starts with proper food preparation. At a restaurant, the head chef has a team of workers who chop, slice, and mix, so that he or she can put the final meal together. In your home, you may not be so lucky, but having the right supplies on hand can make your job a whole lot easier. If you want to improve the quality of your cooking, keep the following tools in your kitchen:
Every wonder how restaurants get thin, perfect slices of vegetables? They probably have a mandoline slicer. These hand slicers are great for cutting smooth pieces of potatoes and other foods, even if your knife skills are not world class. They can even be used to cut thin slices of meat that has been frozen in some cases, and are relatively inexpensive and very easy to clean, so there is really no reason not to have one.
If you are anything like the typical home cook, chopping fresh garlic is probably one of your least favorite tasks in the kitchen.
It can be difficult to get the pieces fine enough without a grater and it makes your hands and the cutting board smell for hours. One remedy to this problem is a garlic press. With a garlic press all you have to do is load the garlic, choose your setting, and grind the garlic through. Look for one that has multiple settings, since you may want larger or smaller chunks, depending on the recipe.
You do not need a rice cooker to make rice, but it definitely makes the job easier. Rice is notoriously hard to cook, since bad timing can mean that the grains start to get extremely mushy. A good rice cooker can really make the difference in your meals.
You can make almost any kind of rice in a rice cooker, and it can be eaten as is or used in hot meals or even sushi.
No home chef should be without a great knife set. Most knife accidents in the kitchen happen because the knife being used was too dull or was the wrong blade for the task. Choose a knife set that has at least five to ten different sizes and kinds of knives so that you are prepared for any task. Also, do not forget to also purchase a sharpener, as well as a nice set of cutting boards to save your countertop from scratches. Typically, natural materials make better cutting boards than plastic, but it depends on the size and type of board you want.
Deli slicers are not just for delis anymore! More and more home chefs are purchasing slicers, which are great for cutting cheese and meats. With a deli slicer, you can save money, since you will be able to purchase your sandwich supplies in bulk. You can also use your the slicer for other tasks, such as chipping meat that has already been cooked, slicing thin pieces of potatoes or other vegetables, and shaving frozen, raw fish for sushi or other raw meals.
Having a juicer on hand at home can really change how you think about drinks. With a juicer, it is extremely easy to create old standbys, like orange juice and lemonade, as well as completely new concoctions that could turn into family favorites. Haven’t you always wanted to try lime-plum-orange juice? Juice is not just for drinking either. You can make your own fruit and vegetable juices to be the bases for marinades, sauces, salad dressings, and more.
Ice Cream Maker
The prep work for ice cream takes a long time if you are making a traditional batch with ice and rock salt. An ice cream maker streamlines the process, though. With just a simple recipe, you can create a creamy, sweet treat for your family. Ice cream makers save you time as well. While the old style can take hours to churn the dessert, newer makers take just a fraction of that time. Keep in mind that you can also use your ice cream maker to make ice cream for ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, root beer floats, and more, so don’t feel limited to making cone after cone.
It is very difficult to be a great chef without the right tools. Professionals may have culinary training, but at the end of the day, half of the battle is prepping the food with the right supplies. Start adding to your kitchen piece by piece, and before long, you will have a wonderful stock of equipment that would make even Bobby Flay jealous. Investing in supplies for your kitchen is one of the best ways to become a better cook.
Eat Big to Get Big!
Lighting your kitchen doesn’t need to be a complex matter, but it is layered. “The most common mistake people make is trying to light their entire kitchen with one fixture centered in the ceiling,” says Randall Whitehead, a lighting designer in San Francisco, and author of Residential Lighting: A Practical Guide. “It ends up being what I call a ‘glare bomb,’ visually overpowering everything in the space — including family and friends.”
According to Whitehead, the most effective lighting for the kitchen involves four layers blended together: task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting. The end result: a warm and inviting environment that works with your other design elements to create a practical workspace and lively entertainment area.
“Task lighting is what people think of first when designing a lighting system in the kitchen, because it’s integral to preparing food,” says Joe Rey-Barreau, director of education for the American Lighting Association. “However, if task lighting is misplaced it can actually hinder your ability to work efficiently, throwing shadows on your workspace.”
According to Rey-Barreau, key locations for task lighting include underneath the overhead cabinets and over the island — anywhere you’ll be chopping, slicing and reading recipes. The pantry is another place where you’ll want bright, focused lighting.
Under-cabinet lights can be a hidden asset in any kitchen, providing task lighting as well as soft ambient lighting to give the room a warm glow with the touch of a dimmer switch. Strip lights are a popular choice, long linear bulbs or a string of lights contained in a single fixture. Another popular option is a puck light system, made up of a series of hockey-puck shaped halogen lights.
According to Whitehead, ambient lighting is an important layer that is often overlooked in the kitchen. “This indirect lighting is what I like to call the humanizing ingredient to any lighting design,” says the designer. “It softens the lines and shadows on people’s faces and creates a warm inviting glow in the room.”
The kitchen used to be strictly for food preparation and children who were not to be seen or heard. Now, floor plans are more open and parties often flow from the living room through the dining room and into the kitchen. “Ambient lighting will attract people into the kitchen and make them feel welcome while eating appetizers and sipping wine at the island,” says Whitehead. Ambient lighting fixtures may include flush-mounted ceiling fixtures, a pendant hanging over the island and adjustable track lighting.
“Accent lighting is the least common layer in the kitchen, but it is becoming more common as people spend more time in the kitchen for casual entertaining,” says Rey-Barreau. You may want to hang a piece of artwork on the wall behind the breakfast table, or a tile splashback over the sink may be a decorative focal point. Occasionally, Whitehead installs lighting inside glass cabinets to illuminate collections of china and glassware.
Track lighting, up-lighters, directional eyeball lights and wall sconces are all accent fixtures. Whitehead recommends recessed adjustable low voltage fixtures to highlight artwork. The MR16 bulbs often used in these fixtures come in a variety of beam spreads. I the diameter of the art changes, a simple change of bulb will be all that is needed to illuminate the new art.
Decorative lighting should be considered in direct proportion to the size of your kitchen — the larger the space, the greater importance chandeliers, hanging pendants and other eye- catching fixtures play. “There are two major considerations when it comes to decorative lighting,” says Whitehead. “You want to make sure that the scale of the fixtures is right for the space, and that the shade material has enough opacity to effectively hide the light bulb.”
Decorative lighting is the most expensive element of your lighting design scheme. If you’re on a tight budget, Whitehead recommends installing the infrastructure for decorative lighting — the junction box and/or recessed box in the ceiling — then, purchasing the actual fixture down the road.
MAKING THE LAYERS WORK TOGETHER
The idea behind a layered lighting design is to have a variety of light levels available at your fingertips. “Dimmers and switches are the most economical way to coordinate lighting levels,” says Rey-Barreau. “For about per layer, you’re able to do most anything to modulate the mood and environment.” Whitehead recommends implementing zones, wherein each layer of lighting is on a different dimmer for easy adjustability.
The drawback of dimmers and switches is that while it’s easy for you to enter a room and tinker with the light levels, it’s equally easy for children, grandparents and guests to take the same liberties. If your budget allows, you may want to consider a “scene” integration system that allows you to preset, typically, four different lighting levels. (For example, daytime, food preparation, dinner and evening entertaining.)
According to Rey-Barreau, a standard scene integrator that is hardwired into your electrical system and controlled by a switch plate with a limited number of scene choices will run under ,000. Of course, more scenes and a higher level of technology are available — for a price.
“Smart” homes are the wave of the future. You can preset and administer lighting in all rooms of the house through one centralized computer network, all through a computerized keypad. “The biggest advantage of smart systems is the high level of control,” says Whitehead, who recommends this option for new houses, but cautions that it can be quite expensive for a remodel. “You can preset a large number of scenes and turn on lights in any room of the house from your car or your bedroom.”
Just as the layers of lighting are combined in a variety of ways, so are the methods of controlling them. According to Whitehead, homeowners are typically use four-scene presets in all of main rooms, including the living room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom. Standard switchers and dimmers are usually used in the secondary rooms, such as children’s bedrooms, bathrooms, the basement playroom and the office. The best part is that your lighting options just keep expanding.