Top 5 Interior Design Tips For a Beautiful Kitchen in Toronto

Kitchens are often left out in interior design discussions, as the focus is often on the bedrooms and living rooms. All too often, we spend a lot of energy designing other rooms in the house the kitchen is treated like an afterthought. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because designing your kitchen isn’t that hard.

  1. Hire a Professional Toronto Home Painter

First impressions last, and the first thing people will see is the color of your kitchen walls. If it’s cracked, peeled or just dull, hire a professional quality Toronto painter and give the place a makeover. You should do this before proceeding with the design overhaul.

  1. Make Space for Storage

Place overhead cabinets on the ceiling so there’s no gap there where dust will gather, and you should also consider getting deep drawers so there’s more room for your pots and pans. The bottom line is you must make space for storage so kitchen appliances don’t end up scattered all over your countertop.

Speaking of space, it’s about time you discard those old appliances and replace them with compact ones that save space and energy. It will cost now, but you’ll save money in the long run.

toronto home painters

  1. Lighting is Important

Overhead lighting isn’t enough for a kitchen, and if you can make the cooking area brighter, the better. Don’t put the light behind you however, because that will cast a shadow and affect the view. What you need to do is set up the lighting so it falls right in front of you. There are a lot of fixtures that can do this, but under cabinet lights in particular are good because the light falls on the countertop directly.

  1. Lines of Power

Make certain there are enough power lines and connections before you move any kitchen appliances. This is especially important for appliances that use gas and / or electric lines. Finally don’t forget to measure the space you allocate for each appliance and make sure it is appropriate. You can do the measurements or hire a plumber to help you out.

  1. Counter Space Matters

Last but certainly not the least, get as much countertop space as possible. Never underestimate how much space you will need, and it’s better to overestimate. Make sure also the countertop surface is easy to work with and isn’t difficult to maintain. Avoid countertops with grout between tiles as that’s difficult to clean up.

The Best Examples of Advertisement in the Cooking Industry

Competition in the food and cooking industry is very tight, and the ad they use can literally make or break the product. Through the years, food companies have come out with several ad campaigns that have captured people’s imagination, and the following are among the best.

Big Mac

When people talk about McDonald’s, it’s the Big Mac that comes to mind, and it began with their classic 1975 commercial which became popular for its rap style rhyming. Long before viral videos became a buzzword, the ad already was one.

Wendy’s Chili

Chili isn’t something that customers had in mind when Wendy’s opened for business in 1969. But through clever commercials, marketing campaigns and advertising, chili quickly became a favorite among patrons and remains so to this day.

Life Cereal’s Mikey Commercial

Several children’s cereals advertisements have had great impact, including those from Crackle and Pop, Rice Krispies’ Snap and the Froot Loops toucan among others, but few have had as much impact or success as Life Cereal’s Mikey commercial back in the 1970s. The reason why it’s effective is the message: Life Cereals is good for you, but even if you’re a picky eater you’ll savor it.

The original commercial hasn’t aired since the early 1980s, but the line “”He likes it! Hey, Mikey!” is still popular and a byword in the US today.

Got Milk?

The Got Milk ad campaign was the brainchild of Goodby Silverstein & Partners and on behalf of the California Milk Processor Board, after which it was subsequently licensed to dairy farmers and milk processors. The campaign lasted from October 24, 1993, to February 24, 2014, and it is widely considered as one of the most successful in history. Although imitation is not unusual in the ad industry, few have been ripped off, copied or parodied quite like Got Milk.

Tootsie Roll

How many licks does it take to reach the Tootsie Roll center in a Tootsie Roll pop? That question was asked in a popular commercial, and it was revived recently after rapper Lil’ Kim made a song about it.

The answer to the question of course, is that you will never know because you won’t be able to resist not biting the candy to get through the chewy middle part.

Oscar Meyer’s Jingles

Commercial jingles are no longer as common as they used to be, yet the good ones never fail to make an impact on people, and one of the best were those for Oscar Meyer wieners and bologna. Even if you weren’t around when the commercials aired, you can still find them in YouTube, and the impact they have had on consumers and the ad industry cannot be ignored.

“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”

Of course you can’t talk about commercial jingles without mentioning the 1971 song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”. This was originally an advertisement for Coca Cola. In the original Coke commercial there was a line “I’d like to buy the world a Coke”, and it featured young people from different cultural groups. The song was eventually recorded without the Coke line and sold millions of copies.

Where’s the Beef?

“Where’s the Beef?” has a catchphrase directed at someone or something that doesn’t have enough substance. For this we have to thank the 1984 Wendy’s commercial, where Claire Peller was served a huge bun with a very small patty inside. The commercial was a hit, the phrase caught on and remains in use today.

Bud Light Real Men of Genius

And of course there is the “Real Men of Genius” ad campaign of Bud Light, which portrayed male stereotypes in a funny way that turned them into classics.

Broil King

Finally there’s the 2013 Broil King commercial, “Date Night”.

The above video was created by a well known Kitchener-Waterloo video production agency Memory Tree, and it became a hit with consumers due to its style and message. At the beginning it looks as if the couple is meeting in a fancy restaurant, but they’re actually in their own backyard. This reinforces the product’s motto that Broil King provides superior performance and what you get is comparable to what’s served in restaurants. The visuals in the video are striking, so it’s no surprise that it struck a positive chord with viewers.

 

Why is Japanese Food So Healthy For You

Japan is known for having the highest life expectancy in the world, having the average life span for women is 87 and 80 for men. According to the World Health Organization, Japanese people can live about 75 years of their lives without health complications and disability. With this alone, it is interesting to know that not only is their lifestyle contributing to a longer lifespan, but also the kind of food they consume. Here are some reasons why Japanese food is indeed healthy for everyone.

Less Cancer

We are aware that Western countries have cancer rates that are practically really high compared to many other countries. Surveys and researches prove that Japan actually has a very low rate of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and brain cancer. This is mainly because of the traditional Japanese diet that they are into.

All Protein, Less Fat

Soy is one of the prominent food in Japan. It is mostly served as tofu, green soybeans, soy sauce, and miso. It is high in protein but low in fat. Unlike red meat where not only protein but also fats are high, Soy is basically the best option for people who love healthier alternatives.

Sushi

Weeds and more Food from the Sea

Sushis and Makis are two of their favorites. These are only two of the many dishes that they use seafood and seaweeds with. Even more so, Japanese love to eat raw seafood, hence preserving nutrients and vitamins that are destroyed mostly when preparing and cooking.

Seaweeds are packed with high levels of iodine, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin B12. Fish, on the other hand, contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. This helps the brain function well, it also helps with one’s growth and development and prevents serious health concerns like cancer, arthritis and heart disease.

Carbohydrates at its Best

Asians are used to eating rice and noodles. Japanese people use the short-grain variety of rice and use side dishes that are very low in calories and fats. The Shirataki noodles is also popular in Japan. This type of noodles is known for having high fiber and low calories, making it known not only locally, but also in Europe and North America.

Low Cholesterol for Everybody

Japanese are not fond of cooking and eating fried chicken or pork. This is why there is a fewer number of deaths caused by high cholesterol in the country. Moreover, the Japanese diet is also used and fond of adding and eating ginger to a lot of their dishes. Ginger is also a very effective root that can help lower cholesterol.

Top 4 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient

Are you worried about the rising cost of electricity? You’re not alone, as most Italian homes are feeling the pinch of higher power rates. But don’t let that bother the cook in you, as these four tips will turn your kitchen into an energy saver.  We teamed up with an expert friends of ours who is an excellent Toronto area electrician.

  1. Use Energy Efficient Light Fixtures

Start by replacing standard light bulbs with Energy Star fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs as they are up to 75% more energy efficient than regular light fixtures. At the same time, modern light fixtures produce 70% less heat and most importantly, last ten times longer so you don’t have to constantly buy new bulbs. LED and energy efficient lights are being sold everywhere, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have one in your kitchen.

In addition, turn off the kitchen lights when you’re not using it, and if they’re not necessary don’t open them at all. For instance, if it’s bright in your kitchen and you can see very well, then just turn off the lights.

Energy Efficiency

  1. Have Proper Ventilation

Ensure that all the kitchen air registers aren’t being blocked by furniture so air flows freely. Put heat-resistant reflectors between the walls and radiators as it helps retain heat in the room. You can also install new ventilation fans in your kitchen and save up to 60% more compared to old fans. In addition, energy efficient fans run quietly and are equipped with high end blades and motors that guarantee a long lifespan.

As wintertime approaches you should put on storm windows around the kitchen to keep the cold air out, and it will also help if you learn how to use weather stripping and caulk to prevent air leaks.

  1. Use kitchen Appliances Properly

One of the keys to an energy efficient kitchen is by learning to use appliances the right way. For example, you can save on water by scraping the plates before putting each one in the dishwasher. Also, running your dishwasher on full load and using the air dry option is more economical.

Rinsing dishes prior to loading on a dishwasher uses up a lot of power so it’s much better to just scrape the food off and let the dishwasher do the rest. Again, don’t run the dishwasher unless you have a full load so you don’t waste any power. You should also consider replacing your old dishwasher for a new one as they are more effective when it comes to using energy.

 

  1. Adjust the Refrigerator Settings

By and large, refrigerators and freezers use up the most power in the kitchen, but you can take several steps to counteract this. Start by adjusting the fridge temperature and keep it around 2°C and 5°C, and the freezer -15°C and -18°C. You should also learn to listen to your refrigerator compressor, as it should cycle around 30% daily. If the compressor runs longer than that, something may be wrong with the fridge.

It’s also a good practice to store food with some space between them as it improves air flow. You should also remove any large, thick wrappings on any food item before you put it in the fridge. You should also keep in mind refrigerators and freezers are most effective when filled up, so ensure you find one that meets your requirements.

Thaw frozen foods to cut down on cooking time, and make sure that the oven door is closed until the dish is completely cooked. Whenever you open the door the temperature goes down 20 C, increasing the cooking time. Finally, ensure that pans and pots cover hotplates, and consider using a pressure cooker as it’s faster and doesn’t use as much energy.

 

 

 

Lasagna: The Most Delicious Pasta?

A family favorite, lasagna is probably one of the oldest types of pasta that originated in Italy. Many, not only Italians have become fond of recreating and customizing the cheesy, meaty and hearty pasta all over the world. It is a classic comfort food that is always seen in occasions and Italian restaurants, as it is easy to make and is loved by children as well. Hence, lasagna is undeniably considered the most delicious pasta possible.

It Comes in Different Recipes

Unlike some other pasta where the recipes are hard to change, lasagnas come in different recipes. It can vary from the classic lasagna with meat sauce, béchamel sauce and tomatoes, to all sorts of vegetable lasagna. Few of which that even children would adore are the following: Pumpkin lasagna, Lasagna Toss with Spinach and Ricotta, Roasted Ratatouille Lasagna, and Lasagna with sautéed Vegetables.

What’s even great about preparing lasagna is that one can make do with their extra vegetables and meat from their fridge. For example, the sausage you haven’t finished from breakfast can be an addition to the recipe of your lasagna for dinner. It can be cheap but tasty and it can also be classy and scrumptious if you have the budget.

Complete and Healthy Meal

As mentioned above, there are hundreds of ways to make a delicious plate of lasagna. One does not need to have every single ingredient just to prepare one. With a little amount of meat, vegetables and the pasta alone, one can make a perfect complete meal for the family.

Lasagna

It does not stop there, with the vast possibilities of vegetables one can add to their recipe, lasagna would not only be delicious but it will be a nutritious meal packed with the following: carbohydrates, Protein and Fat, Vitamins and Minerals, and fiber.

If your family is a fan of the classic lasagna, then you need not worry, as the classic lasagna still contains the B Vitamins, helping the metabolism of your body. If you are using beef, then it is still a good source of iron which helps the body to have a healthier circulation.

Perfect Match with Other Meals and Drinks

Lasagna is perfect as a stand-alone meal, but what makes it more interesting are the side dishes and drinks you can have it with. If you are into vegetables and you need something to perk your dinner up, you can start with a plate of mixed green salad and/or Bruschetta. Not only is it healthy, but it doesn’t take too much of your time preparing. If you want to go an All- Italian dinner, you can opt to have the Marcella Hazen’s argula and fennel salad.

For drinks on the other hand, you can make your dinner even more lavish and even romantic with a glass of wine. For classic lasagna, Rioja Crianza, Syrah/Malbec Blend and/or a medium-bodied Cabarnet Sauvignon would be the best choices.

Vegetable lasagnas go well with white wine like an oak-aged Chardonnay if you used pumpkin or squash, a Rousillon red for a roasted vegetable based lasagna, and a white wine like Gavi if you included spinach or chard in your lasagna.