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April 9, 2012 |

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Decorate Your Kitchen with Counter-worthy kitchen accessories

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Selecting the proper appliances, gadgets and accessories can create a world of difference, not only in the cooking, but also fulfills your aesthetic sense as kitchen decoration makes you want to work more. Even if you have no problem of storage, you can still proudly display any of the kitchen accessories on your kitchen countertop because they are not only useful but look stylish, too! Here are a few of the kitchen accessories for kitchen decoration ideas:

Grill and Griddle
If you love the feel of the stainless steel utensils in the kitchen, you will then definitely fall in love with a grill and griddle. This will help you in kitchen decoration and utility likewise. You can use it in three different ways: open grill, flat griddle or panini press.

Chopping boards
Organization is main key in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to kitchen decoration ideas. You can have the boards tabbed for cutting fish, meat, vegetables, and cooked foods. It is a significant kitchen accessory that is sleek to keep on your kitchen ccountertop as well as good for kitchen decoration.

Antique-silver 3-tier stand
It is your own choice whether you put appetizers, desserts, fruit in this stand, or just put it for kitchen decoration, it will look awesome in your kitchen.

Coffee maker
For kitchen decoration a durable, chic coffee maker is a fantastic option!

KitchenAid Artisan Series stand mixer
It does not matter what your culinary talent is, you make your life quite easy and you will become better equipped with a stand mixer. Along with all the varying attachments it is a powerful whipping, mashing, whisking machine! Amongst different colours to select from you can choose the right one for your kitchen decoration.

You will never ever regret the investment in a set of quality kitchen and steak knives. Good kitchen knives normally display nicely on the countertops for kitchen decoration. Quality knives get the job finised with speed and accuracy which you can never get from the inexpensive knives.

Mixer or Food Processor
It is imperitive that before you go out to get the top-of-the-line food processor and best mixer in the market, just simply ask yourself one question: do you want to bake or cook? The point is, it is not essential to splurge onto both. If you bake rarely, then go buy the food processor. This wil also help you in your kitchen decoration.

Click HERE to read more from Fashion Central.

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Emeril Brings New Cookware to JC Penney

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April 9, 2012 10:10AM

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Dishwasher-safe nonstick frying pans, pots with silicone handles that stay cool, and a safety focused pressure cooker are just a few of the features of Emeril Lagasse‘s new line of cookware for JC Penney. The line, which will be in the retailer’s stores this month, includes everything from a knife set to a bread maker — but it’s the deep fryer that Emeril got really excited about when showing off the new goods in New York City last week.

“It has this oil filtration system, and I can’t tell you what that means today, especially in today’s economic times. Oil – gas – as you know, is not cheap. We have testimonials from customers who’ve used their oil in this machine six, eight, nine, 10 times with this oil filtration system.” Take a look at the other things that set this cookware apart.

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Win a KitchenAid Mixer with Pinterest & Food on the Table!

We are all big fans of Pinterest these days and my friends at Food on the Table are holding a great contest on the site. Check out this post on the way you can enter to win your very own KitchenAid Food Processor! The fun part is that it involves using Pinterest. Woot! Start by following Food on the Table, they’ll make you a board contributor, and pin up your favorite clean spring recipe.

Do you eat clean in the spring? Have some fun and check out their board for some inspiration as well as to pin up your own. You’ll love everything you see. The pin with the most comments wins!

Photo: Food on the Table


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When Home Is Your Kitchen

Dorothy was right. Did she also cook? (photo: jonfeinstein/Flickr)

For the past four months I have been on the road, traveling with my new book Notes from a Maine Kitchen. I’ve been on airplanes and buses, trains and cars. I’ve seen the West Coast and the East — hiked through the hills of northern California and a park in Seattle with stunning views, and talked about my book in crowded rooms in New York City. I have eaten some extraordinary food along the way in some very talked-about restaurants.

But now I am home.

As I drove north from NYC last week after an intense six days of talking and signing books, and talking and eating in restaurants, I crossed the Piscataqua River into Maine. At that moment I imagined a camera sailing along above the car, focusing first on the blue waters of the river, then the pine trees, then the clean air Maine offers abundantly, but which seems in short supply in other parts of the country. This imaginary camera next zoomed in on the car, and on me. You can see me wiping away a tear (well, maybe more than one), emotional at my homecoming and so deeply grateful to live in such a gorgeous place.

Once I got home and petted my dog for what seemed like hours (I missed that girl a whole lot and needed  to let her know), I unpacked, did laundry and checked up on hundreds on emails. But there was really only one thing I wanted to do: I wanted/needed to get back into my kitchen.

Cooking at home is the single most grounding thing that I know how to do. For some, its yoga or meditation. For others, a trip to the gym. But I needed to get some vegetables and garlic and olive oil and start chopping. The minute I started cooking, I could feel myself settling in. The very definition of “home” became palpable. And once the skillets were sizzling and the heady smell of garlic and onions and olive oil filled the air, I knew I was home. In my kitchen. All the thousands of miles I had traveled suddenly melted away, like a freak New England storm in April.

This past weekend my daughters came home and we made a Passover seder. I simmered chickens into a classic soup and added light, plump matzah balls (made with seltzer and not water, our little secret). We braised brisket with spring root vegetables — parsnips, leeks, carrots and onions — and made a noodle kugel with fat raisins and chewy dried apricots. The kitchen was filled with the sounds and smells of a family cooking — laughing, bickering, chopping. And when we sat around the table Friday night, surrounded by ceremonial foods, I understood that cooking and sharing food is for me the very closest I’ll ever get to true religion.

Kathy Gunst will be reading from her new book, Notes from a Maine Kitchen, at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, this Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. She will sign books and brings treats based on recipes from the book.

Read Kathy’s previous post on PRK: That Uninvited Dinner Companion: Your Waiter.

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Breathe New Life Into Your Home With Spring Decorating Tips From Ashley

Besides the view outside our windows, spring has so much to offer
our homes, including simple ways to celebrate it. But what are you
doing to welcome spring inside your home this year?

“It’s easy to usher in the warm weather and bring new life inside, no
matter what style you prefer,” says Kris Woodcock, VP of
Merchandising. “From facing furniture toward the light, to placing a
favorite armchair near a pretty outdoor view, to opening curtains
wide — it’s relatively simple to make nature’s biggest spectacle
part of the decor.”

Ashley Furniture HomeStore has spring decorating tips to help you
greet the season in style:

Whiten Up. White is fresh; it simulates natural daylight and offers
an easy transition between indoors and out. Welcome in spring by
adding this simple hue to your home:

        --  Paint your kitchen cabinets white. White kitchens aren't just
            white-hot; they're cool and coastal-feeling. Choose cool whites for a
            modern feel; warmer antique whites for a classic, vintage or rustic
        --  Place white tulips or Easter lilies in a glass vase or pitcher.
        --  Use the one-color-plus-white rule for toss pillows, table linens and
            bedding. Just choose patterns that pair white with another color for a
            light-and-airy effect.

Go Green. Spring greens are uniquely cool and warm, on the border
between warm yellow and cool blue. Even a hint of this breezy hue
makes our rooms more open and airy, blurring boundaries between
indoors and out. Welcome in spring by adding this fresh hue to your

        --  Place limes in a sleek glass bowl or hurricane for the perfect
        --  Invest in a set of spring green napkins or placemats. Green is one of
            nature's neutrals and works with almost any color.
        --  Choose a leafy green toss pillow like the new Penelope - Peridot
            Pillow, green bedding or lime-colored table linens.

Make Hay. Sisal, straw, raffia, jute, coir, and seagrasses feel casual
and coastal, recalling gardening hats and picnic baskets. As much a
natural color as a natural texture, they put us in a pared-back, warm
state of mind. Welcome in spring by adding nature’s favorite texture
to your home:

        --  Place a sisal rug, jute rug, or one like Ashley's Hula rug under a
            table, seating group or bed. Or place a woven welcome mat at the front
            door, indoors and out.
        --  Add square or rectangular-shaped woven baskets on shelves or under the
            coffee table. Fill them with anything and everything to reduce clutter
        --  Add a wicker or rattan accent chair (or a pair of chairs) in the
            living room, next to a window in the bedroom.
        --  Use jute or straw placemats. They add an outdoorsy texture to plate

To learn more about spring decorating or to browse the latest styles in
furniture and accessories, visit

About Ashley Furniture HomeStore
Ashley Furniture HomeStore, the #1
furniture retailer in the United States, delivers quality, affordable
furniture to customers at over 435 independently owned and operated
locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and
Japan. Ashley Furniture HomeStore is an exclusive provider of
furniture from Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., the largest
furniture manufacturer in the United States.

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        Paulette Rippley
        Media Relations
        Ashley Furniture HomeStore
        E-mail: Email Contact
        Phone: (608) 323-3377

SOURCE: Ashley Furniture HomeStore            

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My spring break: Cooking with dietary restrictions

I write this knowing I will be waking up at an ungodly hour in the morning, packing my car full of as many teenage girls as I have seat belts and joining a small caravan to the Florida Panhandle.

My wife and I made the foolhardy decision to chaperone a group of 16 11th-graders during spring break. Other parents will be staying nearby, but we’ll be the ones sharing the beach house with this brood and cooking for them every night.

This must be doable. I remember my parents’ generation going through massive Old El Paso taco kits whenever more than 10 children needed food. But I’m afraid that ship has sailed.

Of the 16, we have one garden-variety vegetarian, one strict vegan and one who eats fish but nothing higher on the phylogenetic tree.

We have a couple of kids who do not let fish cross their lips but love all kinds of meat.

And we have three kids who do not tolerate gluten because of celiac disease or other diagnoses.

I am assuming this beach house will be equipped with a cheap aluminum cookware set, three dull knives and a cutting board made from warped clear plastic. I may be wrong, but in my experience this is what beach houses in Florida offer in terms of equipment.

So how do we handle this without setting up a nightly cafeteria?

For starters, I know what I won’t cook: lasagna, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti or roasted chicken. I really don’t want to cook two meals.

I’ve put a minor amount of thought into what I actually will cook and have come up with this game plan:

1) Rice: I’m bringing my rice cooker and 15-pound bags of both short grain white rice and brown rice. By the time this week ends, these kids will think they’ve spent their spring break in a Chinese restaurant. But everyone eats rice.

2) Salad: Every dinner will include an enormous salad filled with every vegetable I can find in the Publix around the corner from our rental. If I can get my act together in the first couple of days, I may prepare a vat each of balsamic vinaigrette and ranch dressing made with loads of fresh herbs.

3) Lots of gluten-free mixes: I figure the kids and I can do a lot of taste-testing to see which pancake and bread mixes are worth getting to know.

4) Burgers: I’m assuming the rental will have a big crusty gas grill. (They always do.) Guess it’s time to develop my own recipe for grillable veggie burgers made with canned beans, rolled oats and tofu. I already have a good salmon burger recipe.

5) A daily lunch buffet: Cheese, cold cuts, hummus, sliced tomatoes, cut fruit and carrot sticks — right? Make the kids lower their expectations for lunch.

6) Two pots of chili: This is the no-brainer that every parent who has ever fed a soccer team knows. You make one vegetarian version and one with ground turkey. Everyone is happy, particularly those who choose to shower their chili with grated cheese and sour cream.

7) Divide-and-Conquer Nights: One night I’ll want to have a big shrimp fry because we always do this at the beach. Another night we’ll want to grill chicken. I figure on those nights I’ll take a couple of young sous chefs under my belt and have them plan and prepare the meal for those kids who can’t eat the dinner. This may be a disaster or it may be a learning experience. I’ll let you know.

Because by the time you read this, my week will have just ended and I’ll be back in the safety of my own kitchen, having a tall beer and an Old El Paso taco, right from the kit.

Whether you’re hosting the spring break crowd or the family’s holiday gathering, what’s your approach to cooking for across-the-board dietary restrictions?

– John Kessler for the AJC’s Foof and More blog

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Openings, expansions mark Heber/Overgaard’s business growth

HEBER/OVERGAARD — Businesses were busy in 2011, either choosing to open up shop or expand their existing services.

Heber/Overgaard’s business community saw a lot of activity last year, a certain boost for the small community. Whether it was new citizens or established citizens making the move, it led to an active year.

New businesses in Heber/Overgaard included Catherine’s A Cut Above, Premier Auto Body, Mountain Top Transport and Economy Door Service. JH Designers Hair Salon expanded to include a boutique, while Pit Stop Pizza owner Mark Gibbs added The Woodshed Cafe to his restaurant lineup. Outback Bob’s Saw Shop expanded as well.

The Heber/Overgaard Service Team also expanded their thrift store, while the Rim Community Library added a children’s section. On top of all of that, Blondie’s Deli reopened in the community as Blondie’s Deli and Dogs.

Catherine MIller is the owner of Catherine’s A Cut Above, and she certainly has experience in the hair salon business. She said she has been in business for 25 years and had two beauty salons while she lived in Southern California. She moved to Heber/Overgaard in 2005 and opened A Cut Above last August.

Miller said a move to Heber/Overgaard was a natural one for her.

“I was in love with the mountains of Big Bear and Arrowhead in California,” she said. “I wanted to come out here in a quiet community and build a business.”

A Cut Above, located next to Mama Santina’s bakery, is a full-service beauty salon, offering hair and nail service, waxing, colors, extensions, pedicures and more. Miller is not alone in serving customers’ needs. Tammy Jones and Kim Goodall also help out, with over 15 years salon experience between them.

Miller said A Cut Above has been dubbed “the happiest place in town,” a title she earned during the grand opening. The salon can be reached at (928) 535-4440.

Premier Auto Body opened up in September. Located next to Bison Ranch, the auto body- and collision-repair shop is owned by Scott McLaws.

Office Manager Amanda McLaws said this is Scott’s first business, after working in the auto body business for 15 years. She said they moved up to Heber/Overgaard in July, but Scott grew up in Joseph City. Before moving, the two lived in Rapid City, S.D., for 10 years.

“He’s always wanted to have his own shop,” she said. “It’s a dream come true for him. We’re happy to be here and serve the area.”

Premier Auto Body also offers painting services and free estimates. They can be reached at (928) 535-9505.

Speaking of transportation, July marked the opening of Mountain Top Transport Services. Located near Bison Ranch, the company is family-owned by Thomas Terryah and his daughter Dorri Thyden.

Operations Manager Peg Terryah said their business wants to provide a service to people that cannot get around. She said Mountain Top Transport can help people with shopping services, mobile notary, delivery and courier services and more.

“What we’re trying to do is bring back old-fashioned service,” she said.

The family has lived full-time in Overgaard since 2005. Terryah said they are also looking to expand, creating hubs in Snowflake and Show Low and offering service to the PInetop-Lakeside and Show Low senior centers. Mountain Top Transport can be reached at (855) 686-7433.

Aaron Haneline owns AJ Lock, which had its first full year of business after opening in December 2010. Based out of his home in Heber, Haneline said he offers residential locksmithing services.

“People buy a house and there’s a bunch of old keys floating around,” he said. “I make it to where the old keys don’t work and the new ones do.”

Haneline has lived in the area since 1984 after moving from Glendale. In Glendale, he said his parents managed mobile home parks, so he has been working with locks for much of his life. He said he opened AJ Lock because he saw Heber/Overgaard as needing the service.

AJ Lock can be reached at (928) 240-0346.

Economy Door Service opened in September and is owned by Stephen Neese. Working out of his home, Neese said it is a profession he has had for 34 years, including 24 years as owner of the business which began out of Phoenix.

Neese said he specializes in garage doors and openers, repair and service. He described Economy Door Service as a family-owned, Christian company.

Neese said he usually splits his time between Heber and Phoenix, but he hopes to be in the area full time in March. Economy Door Service can be reach at (928) 535-9502.

Blondie’s Deli and Dogs held a grand reopening on Oct. 5. Located an eighth of a mile east of state Route 277 on the south side of state Route 260, Manager Ladean Burkhardt said they are open every Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Blondie’s, owned by Ken and Marci Cratte, serves sandwiches and hot dogs, with specials every Wednesday through Friday. Burkhardt said they also offer a hot sandwich every Saturday and homemade soup every day. She said it is good food with good portions, and customers will not walk away hungry.

Burkhardt said the Crattes have long wanted to open Blondie’s and are grateful for the opportunity.

“This has always been their dream, to have a little deli,” she said.

Blondie’s can be reached at (928) 535-4002.

As far as expanded businesses, Jeffrey Sacino and Henry Soyos of JH Designers Hair Salon decided to include a boutique in their store, opening it during Memorial Day weekend last year. Called JHD Boutique, it is also located in The Red Barn in Heber.

Sacino describes himself and Soyos as “celebrity hair dressers, from their work for the film industry while they lived in Los Angeles. He said they both found Heber/Overgaard from selling dog biscuits at a farmer’s market in Phoenix, seeing it as a way to avoid the heat in the summers. The salon opened in 2010, and the business they received allowed them to pursue and extra opportunity.

“When I found (The Red Barn) was going to be an indoor place and we didn’t have to move (in the summer), we came up,” he said.

JHD Boutique sells purses, jewelry, belts, shirts with “bling” and more. Sacino said the boutique also sells dog toys, dog biscuits, scarves, different types of soaps, handmade crafts by Soyos and more. He said everything is inexpensive and they are open every Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The store can be reached at either (480) 321-9707 or (480) 414-3688.

The Woodshed Cafe opened up in May and serves breakfast and lunch every Wednesday through Sunday. Located next to Pit Stop Pizza, Gibbs said they are open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., but they serve breakfast all day.

For breakfast, The Woodshed Cafe serves eggs benedict, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, waffles and much more. Their lunch menu includes burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads and skillets. The inside of The Woodshed Cafe is decorated with Western decor.

Gibbs said he moved to Heber/Overgaard in 2006, opening Pit Stop Pizza shortly thereafter. He said a traditional breakfast and lunch cafe presents its own challenges, but it has been worth it.

“Getting up at 4 in the morning, that’s kind of rough in the winter,” he said with a laugh.

The Woodshed Cafe can be reached at (928) 535-3700.

Outback Bob’s Saw Shop, which has been open since October 2006, also expanded in 2011. Bookkeeper Carolyn Litviak said the move came around April or May and they took up half of the neighboring Nik-L-Nik’s restaurant, which had closed down.

With the expansion, Litviak said owner Bob Litviak is now able to take in larger small equipment for repair.

“He works on quads and he actually has a cement mixer right now he’s working on,” she said.

Outback Bob’s is still a retail store, selling chain saws, weed-eaters, generators, snowblowers and more, along with supplies. She said Bob also does repair work on saws, weed-eaters and other small-engine goods in the store’s two work areas.

Outback Bob’s can be reached at (928) 535-3144.

The Heber/Overgaard Service Team expanded their thrift shop in 2011, allowing for the donation of gently used furniture on top of the clothing, housewares, small appliance and other donations they receive. The Rim Community Library’s expansion in 2011 added 1,440 square feet and 2,000 to 3,000 additional books to their children’s area.

Reach the writer at

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