site stats
2012 March 20 |

Archive for » March 20th, 2012«

Free seminar on kitchen remodeling

March 20, 2012 12:36PM




Updated: March 20, 2012 2:25PM

Free seminar on kitchen remodeling

Homeowners considering embarking on a kitchen remodel can learn from Normandy Remodeling of Hinsdale how to combine elements to develop their ideal kitchen at a free seminar from 7-9 p.m. April 11 at Abt Electronics, 1200 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served and Normandy designers and Abt experts will be available after the seminar to answer questions. The seminar is free of charge and open to all who register at www.NormandyRemodeling.com/Seminars.aspx.

The kitchen remodeling seminar, titled “Secrets of the Ideal Kitchen,” will share the importance that layout plays in the overall enjoyment of the kitchen and the impact that the relationship and positioning of primary access points can have on the space.

Trends in kitchen design will be shared, as will ways to make textures, colors and styles meld together to create a unique kitchen aesthetic. The seminar will allow consumers to browse kitchen appliances, accessories and designed kitchens after the seminar.

Normandy designer Vince Weber will present the kitchen remodeling seminar. Weber’s projects have won design awards and have been featured in national publications.

Charter Fitness
to open club
in Willowbrook

Chicago area-based Charter Fitness is opening its newest club in Willowbrook.

Charter Fitness of Willowbrook is located at 6300 Kingery Highway near Dominick’s.  The new location boasts 18,000 square feet of workout space, more than 90 pieces of cardio equipment, a private personal training studio and a large free weight area.

Free trial memberships to the Charter Fitness of Willowbrook are available online at http://www.CharterFitness.com, by calling (630) 795-9270 or by stopping in at the Charter Fitness of Darien, 6214 S. Cass Ave, Westmont.

Bridal registry trends reflect old and new

(ARA) – Amanda Davis grew up listening to stories of her grandmother’s beloved china. When her grandmother surprised her by giving those cherished pieces to Davis to celebrate her own wedding, the precious gift marked a dream come true.

“I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to receive this piece of family history,” Davis says.”I can already picture myself as a mother and grandmother pulling this same china out of my own hutch as I tell stories of my grandmother. I hope that in the future my children will feel the same sense of family history and pride and that I will one day be able to pass it on to my own granddaughter. To know that it will be used in future generations of my family in the same way it was used in past generations is an amazing gift.”

Davis’ grandmother chose the pattern more than 60 years earlier when she married, but unfortunately through the years the cups and saucers were lost. To complicate her story, the manufacturer stopped making the pattern decades ago, which meant the missing pieces seemed nearly impossible to find.

Their search led them to Replacements, Ltd. Known as the world’s largest retailer of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles, the North Carolina retailer specializes in discontinued and hard to find patterns. The company’s researchers not only identified the pattern, they helped Davis’ family complete the set in time for her big day.

With more than 360,000 patterns in stock, Replacements’ bridal registry staff hears from brides looking for something old and something new. The company receives requests for a mix of discontinued heirloom patterns that have been in families for generations, along with those being produced today.

As for current trends, many dinnerware manufacturers are refocusing their pattern mix around brides’ changing preferences.

“For the last six years, bridal registrations shifted to more casual everyday dinnerware, but recently we are experiencing a resurgence of brides in their twenties returning to fine china for the clean lines and versatility,” says Robin Long, Replacements’ vice president of product marketing and business development. “Shades of white are a staple on the tables of new brides and offer a great canvas to add seasonal accent plates which can give a table a whole new look without purchasing an entire new pattern.”

Long adds that among current patterns, platinum trim patterns are the best sellers, but gold trim patterns are also high on the list for millennial brides.

“Some of the biggest trends we’re seeing are designs inspired by nature, such as flowers and birds. Bridal patterns are moving away from neutrals and pastels; color is everywhere,” Long says. “Some of the hottest colors right now include turquoise, lime green and tangerine tango, which the experts at Pantone named color of the year.”

For brides like Davis, opting for “something old,” Replacements’ bridal registry marks a valuable resource in tracking down cherished older pieces.

“We’re one of the few retailers brides can depend on for help filling out heirloom patterns because of the breadth and depth of our discontinued pattern inventory,” says Long. “Because we offer a mix of old and new patterns, Replacements’ bridal selection is truly unmatched. We’ve put together a group of associates to specifically handle all registry requests. Since this team is familiar with our bridal customers, we can offer more personalized attention. It’s almost like having your own personal shopper.”

Long adds the company offers other valuable resources for brides. For example, if the bride doesn’t know the name of her pattern or the company that produced it, Replacements offers a free pattern identification service. Other tools include dinnerware care tips and place setting guides for various meals on the company’s website, along with etiquette and decorating tips on the company’s YouTube channel.

© 2012 Carroll County Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

For the Love of Baking

By Madison Murphy

I have recently discovered my love for baking. When I tell people this, I get one of two responses, both equally selfish. The first is the, “Oh my gosh, you should totally bake me something” response, in which the speaker attempts to guilt me into wasting my amazing new-found skills on something for them rather than for myself. Let me be honest. If I’m baking, I’m probably not sharing. Get your hands off my chocolate-peanut butter-cookie dough high-calorie, 90 percent sugar brownies.

The second response to my admittance to being infatuated with baking is the, “Oh, you do? I bake, too. I use the KitchenAid Professional 620 Stand Mixer from Williams-Sonoma. It’s $1,000. What do you use?” I use a freaking spoon. In this example, the selfish person is not trying to gain sweets from you like the former but, rather, is trying to turn the spotlight onto them. They think they’re the superior baker, but, let me tell you, a fancy mixer doesn’t make you a good baker, in the same way an expensive set of golf clubs doesn’t make you good at golf.

Now you may be asking yourself what does make someone a good baker. There are a few simple ways to succeed without having to be a professional. The tips I offer are far from professional, because I bake to relieve stress and have fun. Regardless, here’s a quick list of baking tips from a not-so-professional baker:

1. Ask someone who can bake.

The easiest way to learn how to bake is to ask someone you know who can bake. For me, I always call my mom if I have a question. Another great thing about this is that this person can often be a solid resource for good recipes.

2. Figure out what you want to bake.

I pick what I want to bake based off my mood. I’m not partial to any one thing: cookies, cakes, brownies, cupcakes. I like to try different things, but some people like to pick just one thing and become really good at that. Whatever it is, finding a recipe isn’t hard. Just run a quick Google search or browse Pinterest. The only caution I offer is about recipes that lack detail. Make sure there are measurements, oven temperatures and information like that included.

3. Be prepared.

Once you have the recipe, read it. You need to have all the ingredients in the correct amount. The worse thing that can happen is getting half way through a recipe and realizing you don’t have the ingredients you need. I buy all of my ingredients cheap. I’m talking about store-brand flour. I don’t care. It all tastes the same. The only exception is chocolate, which I firmly believe is only good if it’s Hershey’s.

4. Don’t sweat it.

You’re going to screw up, so just accept it now. I’ve messed up more recipes than I can count. In some cases, they were irreparable. After a taste test of some coconut-hazelnut bars I once made, I threw the whole batch out because they were so awful. In other cases, botched recipes can be saved. A few months ago, I made chocolate frosting that ended up being more like a chocolate glaze. My family ended up loving it. If you make a mistake, try to fix it. If not, go with my motto: It’s not you, it’s the recipe.

5. Enjoy.

You may not choose to be selfish with your baked goods. In that case, share them with a friend who’s having a bad day. Hopefully, you’ll get to enjoy a serving or two yourself. After all, you worked hard.

Remember, bake for the love of baking and not to be a snotty professional.


Follow The Technician on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/TechnicianView

Category: Kitchenaid  Tags: ,  Comments off

Chicken Scratch, Tim Byres’ New Chicken-and-Tetherball Joint, Opened in Oak …

Chicken Scratch_2.jpgCatherine Downes​Chef Tim Byres, chef and owner of upscale meat palace Smoke and the latest recipient of Food Wine’s People’s Best New Chef award, opened his new fast-casual chicken joint on Monday at Pittman and Fort Worth Avenue in North Oak Cliff.

Chicken Scratch is a small, corrugated-metal-and-glass building right next door to new bar The Foundry, which opened a couple months ago in the building that used to be Jack’s Backyard. Chicken Scratch and The Foundry share a huge courtyard located in a sort of compound that looks like the home base of a local-seasonal hipster cult, if such a thing existed (and I’m not so sure it doesn’t).

There’s a garden area where various herbs and vegetables are just beginning to sprout, and the courtyard is littered with picnic tables, with more seating sheltered from the elements inside old shipping containers. There’s a tetherball court and hopscotch for the kids (or drunk adults), a hammock, and a stage built of wooden pallets, plus a cactus garden. There were a ton of kids running around already today, and I imagine this place will be absolutely swarmed with families come summer. Luckily, for those of us less tolerant of tiny humans, you can get your grub and take it over to the bar.

Chicken Scratch’s interior is charmingly rustic — lots of shiny red paint, vintage couches and even a wooden swing. The chalkboard menu is simple and homestyle: chicken, either skillet fried or rotisseried, the usual array of side dishes (collards, mashed potatoes, fries, mac and cheese, biscuits), a couple light appetizer options (hummus, quinoa salad), plus delicious-looking housemade popsicles in a variety of fruit flavors. There’s a few scratch-made sauce options for your chicken, too: red tomatillo, gravy, buttermilk ranch, and a tasty oregano-vinegar honey. Beverage options are limited to a basic soda fountain and pitchers of iced tea water, but The Foundry’s got plenty of draft and bottle options, plus a full selection of liquor.

Prices are reasonable, with dinner for two coming in at around twenty bucks. Make no mistake, this is not fast food; chicken is fried up in cast iron skillets rather than deep fryers (a method that’s becoming harder to find these days in restaurants since it takes more time and attention), and it’s made to order to expect a bit of a wait.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of crowds gather here, especially as warm weather approaches; it’s really a one of a kind setting that seems tailor-made for large gatherings and parties. Scroll for more photos.

IMG_9646.JPGPhotos by Catherine Downes​

IMG_9668.JPG

IMG_9703.JPG

IMG_9688.JPG

IMG_9649.JPG

Chicken Scratch_1.jpg

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off

Free seminar on kitchen remodeling

March 20, 2012 12:36PM




Updated: March 20, 2012 12:39PM

Free seminar on kitchen remodeling

Homeowners considering embarking on a kitchen remodel can learn from Normandy Remodeling of Hinsdale how to combine elements to develop their ideal kitchen at a free seminar from 7-9 p.m. April 11 at Abt Electronics, 1200 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served and Normandy designers and Abt experts will be available after the seminar to answer questions. The seminar is free of charge and open to all who register at www.NormandyRemodeling.com/Seminars.aspx.

The kitchen remodeling seminar, titled “Secrets of the Ideal Kitchen,” will share the importance that layout plays in the overall enjoyment of the kitchen and the impact that the relationship and positioning of primary access points can have on the space.

Trends in kitchen design will be shared, as will ways to make textures, colors and styles meld together to create a unique kitchen aesthetic. The seminar will allow consumers to browse kitchen appliances, accessories and designed kitchens after the seminar.

Normandy designer Vince Weber will be presenting the kitchen remodeling seminar. Weber’s projects have won design awards and have been featured in national publications.

Charter Fitness to open club in Willowbrook

Chicago area-based Charter Fitness is opening its newest club in Willowbrook.

Charter Fitness of Willowbrook is located at 6300 Kingery Highway near Dominick’s.  The new location boasts 18,000 square feet of workout space, more than 90 pieces of cardio equipment, a private personal training studio and a large free weight area.

“We’re very happy to be opening Charter Fitness of Willowbrook and proud to be part of the community,” said Dan Collins, Charter Fitness’ director of sales. “In addition to Willowbrook, the club will serve Darien, Westmont, Burr Ridge, Hinsdale, Downers Grove and the surrounding area.

“Charter Fitness of Willowbrook is going to be a great place to stay fit and healthy. We invite everyone to come check us out.”

Free trial memberships to the Charter Fitness of Willowbrook are available online at http://www.CharterFitness.com, by calling (630) 795-9270 or by stopping in at the Charter Fitness of Darien, .6214 S. Cass Ave, Westmont.

Less is More at Catalina Cooking Store

Don’t let the pricey copper cookware, fancy Japanese knives and aged Balsamic vinegars fool you. The Catalina Cooking Store is all about quality, yes, but it’s also about simplifying the process of food preparation.

If Don Koeberle, owner of Riviera Village’s newest addition to Catalina Avenue, has his way, he and his staff will not only take the mystery out of cooking, they will demonstrate why less is more.

“I want to try to get people to understand (that) if you know just a few simple things, you can make anything,” said Koeberle, 46, who launched his retail store without fanfare on March 1. (A grand opening is planned for mid-April.) “Cooking is not all so precious that people should be intimidated by it.”

Koeberle, a former advertising executive whose love of cooking propelled him to culinary school, combines a passion for good food with an academic’s grasp of how best to prepare it—especially the equipment to use.

“People get overwhelmed by details … intimidated by following recipes,” said the graying, blue-eyed father of three. “They don’t realize (that) if you have a good pan, a good pair of tongs, a good spatula, (and know) just a few basics, cooking is easy.”

And oh, yes, it helps to have a few good knives.

“An 8- or 10-inch chef’s knife is the main knife a cook will use for 90 percent of the tasks at hand,” he said. “And after that, probably a paring and maybe a serrated or bread knife.”

Although he’s always cooked, Koeberle, who lives in Rolling Hills with wife, Lianne, began “cooking every meal every night” after the kids (Chris, 7, Andy, 5, and Kate, 4) started to come along.

“My wife works for an investment firm (The Capital Group) downtown and is very busy with her job,” said the Redondo store owner, who used to travel a great deal in his capacity as a writer of TV commercials for Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, Nestle and more.

Several years ago, he began to ponder what he could do “that would be fun and keep me more in the area.”

The idea of a retail cooking store came to mind, he said, because he’s “really into cooking” and because he couldn’t find commercial quality supplies in the area. “I had to go to Surfas (Restaurant Supply), the biggest cooking store in Los Angeles,” or Sur La Table in Culver City.  

His store “is not going to be everything to everybody,” he said. He wants to appeal to “serious cooks” and those aiming to improve.

While places like Williams-Sonoma in Palos Verdes cater to the bridal registry crowd, and Bed Bath Beyond offers “mass retail type items,” the Cooking Store’s inventory is largely “quality cookware,” he said.

“Everything here, if I don’t use it myself, I know it by reputation,” he said. He indicated the floor-to-ceiling shelves of All-Clad stainless steel cookware, Swiss Diamond non-stick pans, enameled cast iron cookware by Staub, etc.

Although all manner of prep tools—from whisks to J.A. Henckels paring knives—are decoratively displayed, you won’t find anything “cutesy” at the store, Koeberle cautioned.

“A whole world of equipment consists of one-use tools, which are silly,” he said, things that simply slice an egg or “something where you pound the top and it chops.”

Along with his crusade to get people away from processed food, he wants to focus on “people who love to cook and know how to use the right equipment in the right way.”

Even if a customer doesn’t know a Magic Line from a Bella Cucina, however, Koeberle and his staff of four are all skilled in the culinary arts and able to elaborate at length on the benefits of, say, a stainless steel product over non-stick.

The educational aspects, in fact, may be the most interesting part of shopping at the Cooking Store.

Even if you can’t afford the French copper cookware from Mauviel ($200 to $600 per item), it’s fascinating to learn how it is made. Copper is “the best thing in the world to cook with because it conducts heat so efficiently, which is why it is so expensive,” Koeberle said.

The reason copper is layered with stainless steel on the inside is because stainless is the best surface to cook on, “so you get the best of both worlds,” he added about the line that has been around since 1830.

On the other hand, Koeberle carries “quality pans that start at $30,” he said, aluminum bakeware that begins at $5. “I don’t want people saying we’re just like William Sonoma—too expensive—because we’re not.”

Other than some plain white dishes and ramekins, you won’t find tableware at the store. “Good restaurants serve on white plates, because that’s what makes the food look good,” Koeberle explained. “Never use colored plates.”

And while Koeberle does carry a few “high-quality cookbooks for inspiration,” he neither follows recipes nor uses non-stick pans—unless for eggs or omelets.

Preferring stainless steel pans, he cooks by instinct. “Once you realize how to use ingredients and how to use flavors, you don’t need recipes,” he said.

He likes to cook “everything,” he said, launching into a detailed description of one recent meal, a pan-roasted chicken, which he “cooked under a brick to get the skin crispy,” and served with cauliflower puree and roasted fennel and tapenade (ordinarily a mix of olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil).

Tapenades, flavored olive oils, aged balsamics and flavored finishing salts (black truffle, smoked, Thai ginger, jalapeno, roasted garlic salt, etc.) are musts in Koeberle’s Rolling Hills’ kitchen, as well as in his store. (He even has balsamic testers.)

Basically, he said, “cooking is technique driven.” Knowing when to use olive oil as opposed to peanut or canola or butter (or a combination) is a requisite.

“Olive oil has a burn temperature, so it will smoke if too high a heat,” he said. “Every oil has its own burn temperature, so generally you want to use olive oil for sautéing vegetables, or anything where you want to add a little flavor.”

Koeberle plans to offer cooking demos, as well as classes, in the near future. “We don’t have a kitchen here, but I want to build out a kitchen eventually.”

Doing what he loves and sharing his knowledge are the best rewards, he said, along with the chefs, cooks and caterers who swoon with delight when they enter his store.

“I’ve had people come in and say, ‘Finally! I can finally get aluminum cake pans. I haven’t been able to find those anywhere.’”

Koeberle, who has lived in the South Bay for 30 years, is particularly happy with his location at 1915 S. Catalina Ave. near the intersection of Palos Verdes Boulevard. “All my life is up in Palos Verdes, and I feel I can serve that area, as well as down here,” he said.

Category: Cookware Pans  Tags: ,  Comments off

Bridal registry trends reflect old and new

(ARA) – Amanda Davis grew up listening to stories of her grandmother’s beloved china. When her grandmother surprised her by giving those cherished pieces to Davis to celebrate her own wedding, the precious gift marked a dream come true.

“I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to receive this piece of family history,” Davis says.”I can already picture myself as a mother and grandmother pulling this same china out of my own hutch as I tell stories of my grandmother. I hope that in the future my children will feel the same sense of family history and pride and that I will one day be able to pass it on to my own granddaughter. To know that it will be used in future generations of my family in the same way it was used in past generations is an amazing gift.”

Davis’ grandmother chose the pattern more than 60 years earlier when she married, but unfortunately through the years the cups and saucers were lost. To complicate her story, the manufacturer stopped making the pattern decades ago, which meant the missing pieces seemed nearly impossible to find.

Their search led them to Replacements, Ltd. Known as the world’s largest retailer of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles, the North Carolina retailer specializes in discontinued and hard to find patterns. The company’s researchers not only identified the pattern, they helped Davis’ family complete the set in time for her big day.

With more than 360,000 patterns in stock, Replacements’ bridal registry staff hears from brides looking for something old and something new. The company receives requests for a mix of discontinued heirloom patterns that have been in families for generations, along with those being produced today.

As for current trends, many dinnerware manufacturers are refocusing their pattern mix around brides’ changing preferences.

“For the last six years, bridal registrations shifted to more casual everyday dinnerware, but recently we are experiencing a resurgence of brides in their twenties returning to fine china for the clean lines and versatility,” says Robin Long, Replacements’ vice president of product marketing and business development. “Shades of white are a staple on the tables of new brides and offer a great canvas to add seasonal accent plates which can give a table a whole new look without purchasing an entire new pattern.”

Long adds that among current patterns, platinum trim patterns are the best sellers, but gold trim patterns are also high on the list for millennial brides.

“Some of the biggest trends we’re seeing are designs inspired by nature, such as flowers and birds. Bridal patterns are moving away from neutrals and pastels; color is everywhere,” Long says. “Some of the hottest colors right now include turquoise, lime green and tangerine tango, which the experts at Pantone named color of the year.”

For brides like Davis, opting for “something old,” Replacements’ bridal registry marks a valuable resource in tracking down cherished older pieces.

“We’re one of the few retailers brides can depend on for help filling out heirloom patterns because of the breadth and depth of our discontinued pattern inventory,” says Long. “Because we offer a mix of old and new patterns, Replacements’ bridal selection is truly unmatched. We’ve put together a group of associates to specifically handle all registry requests. Since this team is familiar with our bridal customers, we can offer more personalized attention. It’s almost like having your own personal shopper.”

Long adds the company offers other valuable resources for brides. For example, if the bride doesn’t know the name of her pattern or the company that produced it, Replacements offers a free pattern identification service. Other tools include dinnerware care tips and place setting guides for various meals on the company’s website, along with etiquette and decorating tips on the company’s YouTube channel.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off