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April, 2012 | - Part 2

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Kitchen Progress: How to choose dinnerware

We’re working on the kitchen over here… verrrrry slowly. I have a kitchen list of 8 things to do, and dishes is #1.

I had no idea buying dishes was going to be such a feat. There are so. many. choices. We had a gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. So, at the very least, we knew where we were buying these suckers. 

Our current dishes are a hodge podge of randomness. The plates are dollar section Target finds from my college days plus fancy plastic plates with polka dots and hula girls, also from Target. The bowls and mugs are leftover from a mosaic table craft project I did with my mom for my first college apartment.

And the hula girl plates that I can’t seem to let go of…

What we wanted from our dinnerware:

  • Casual, simple, plain white, no pattern dishes. Easy to replace if one is broken or chipped. Patterns get discontinued and white goes with everything.
  • Dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. No brainer. 
  • How the bowls stack. I’m not a fan of our current bowl stacking situation. See them up there? They don’t sit nicely in one another. 
  • Bowl shape. We want a nice deep bowl for cereal and milk. This proved to be harder to find than we thought!
  • The shape of the dinner plate. We want to avoid plates that tip easily when cutting on them. Have you ever eaten off of a plate like that?
  • Durability.
  • Price. We want to eat on these suckers everyday and not worry if 1 or 5  plates break.

There are lots of dinnerware material options and it’s confusing. I wanted to know exactly what I was buying. The terms ceramic and pottery were confusing me. From what I understand, ceramic is a more generic term, it just means made of clay and hardened by heat.  Pottery is a more specific kind of ceramic.

According to lots of articles online, Melamine is not safest choice for eating off of. We decided to stay clear of melamine. Good Housekeeping had great tings to say about Corelle’s break resistant dinnerware, and gave them an A. I was not a fan of the patterns of Corelle at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Remember, we wanted white, simple, sturdy and durable.

We checked out Salt and Pepper stoneware set first. $79.99 for a 16 piece set. It came in white, we liked the plate shape…

 but, the bowls did pass the stack test. We we’re moving on…

 Next we had the Gibson Elite Paradiso set.

Everything looked good minus the plate shape. It’s the kind of plate that will wobble when you cut on it with a fork and knife. Check out the side view… We need low profile plates over here. So the Gibson set was out…

Next, we checked out this studio set. The plate scared us again… We really don’t want wobbly plates 🙂

I really liked this set by Loft and it was on sale too. Still $179 for a 16 piece set, but it looked so pretty… Andy was not impressed with the bowl shape or the price. We moved on.

 and check out the nice, neat stack comparison of old vs. new bowls.

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Whirlpool® Ace Presented With 2012 Silver Edison Best New Product Award

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
The Whirlpool® Ace Wash Station, a product of Whirlpool Corporation

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India, was honored with a Silver 2012 Edison Best New Product Award(TM). Recognized under the Social Impact category, Whirlpool Corporation was presented with the award during a gala at the Capitale in New York City on April 26th.

The award is the latest in a long line of innovation distinctions for the company. In 2011, the company was named one of the World’s 10 Most Innovative Consumer Products Companies by Fast Company. It also received 10 “Best Buy” designations and was ranked first in five product categories by a leading U.S. consumer magazine. Globally, the company’s portfolio of innovative brands continues to excel. Whirlpool Brazil was named the most innovative company in Brazil in 2011, and its Bauknecht brand in Europe was awarded with the Plus X Award as the Most Innovative Brand of the Year in 2011. Innovation remains a key to the company’s consumer satisfaction and organizational growth.

“Whirlpool Corporation is honored to receive this distinction from the Edison Awards,” said Moises Norena, Global Director of Innovation for Whirlpool Corporation, who was on hand to accept the award. “This is an example of how our deeply embedded consumer-centric innovation process continuously produces results to improve our consumers’ lives – in and around the home – each and every day. At Whirlpool Corporation, our innovation is leading the market and will remain a strength for the next century.”

Whirlpool® Ace is a unique line of semi-automatic clothes washers sold in India. Design was a key element of this product’s delivery, according to Hari Nair, industrial design director, Whirlpool Corporation. “Whirlpool® Ace has smooth edges and a curved body that provides easy access. The unique top surface enables the consumer to sort, stack and carry dry clothes, redefining the usage experience of the washing machine. It also comes with a unique handle and large wheels for easy mobility.”

A number of innovative companies joined Whirlpool as Edison Award winners, including: 3M, Nielsen, Kraft Foods, Procter Gamble, Craftsman, Logitech, and Johnson Controls.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Edison Awards recognize ideas at the forefront of new products, services, marketing, design and innovation. The awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison, whose extraordinary methods and innovative achievements garnered him 1,093 U.S. patents and made him a household name. Every year, the Edison Awards Steering Committee accepts nominations from companies and inventors throughout the world.

The ballot of nominees for the Edison Best New Product Award is judged by a panel of more than 3,000 individuals, including members of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), an organization comprising America’s top marketing professionals and academics. The panel also includes companies such as Nielsen and the Discovery Channel, as well as other professionals from the fields of product development design, engineering, science and education.

This year, the nominees were judged on a new set of criteria developed in partnership with Nielsen and leveraging the primary themes of Concept, Value, Impact and Delivery.

About Whirlpool CorporationWhirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2011, 68,000 employees, and 66 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at .

About the Edison AwardsThe 2012 Edison Awards are sponsored by Nielsen, Discovery Communications, Science Channel, USA today, CSRware and applepeak. For more information about the Edison Awards visit .

SOURCE Whirlpool Corporation

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved


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The thrill of the grill

The Thrill of the Grill

No one can turn down a barbecue.  Americans love to cook and they love to eat outdoors.  Increasingly, people are claiming the outdoors as an extension of the comforts and convenience of home.  Cooking and dining alfresco is more popular than ever before.  Whether it’s the fresh air, soaring coals, or a relaxed atmosphere, food just tastes better when it’s cooked outside.

The most coveted room in the house, the kitchen, has moved outside into the great outdoors.  Outdoor kitchens offer a perfect place to prepare meals without missing out on all the backyard and poolside fun.  

Like all outdoor spaces, an outdoor kitchen should have a style that matches its surroundings.  Its location should be convenient for entertaining and relaxing.  Extra space used for dining tables and chairs, or for a counter bar with seating where you can mingle with the chef while he’s concocting his favorite dish is important.  Dining areas outside need to be more generous than their counterparts inside.  Room for a table and chairs, plus space to move around easily is best.  Outdoor fireplaces should have plenty of space for comfortable seating and lounging for guests as well.  

Outdoor kitchens can be an a tremendous asset if they’re well planned and well equiped.

Choosing materials that withstand the weather, are durable, and shed water, is practical.  Weatherproof surfaces for counter tops and workspaces such as ceramic tile or granite, guarantees years of durability and good looks throughout the seasons.  These materials also add a sense of luxury to the outdoor kitchen. 

Cabinet storage is an important element to an outdoor kitchen.  Cabinets alleviate the need to bring out necessary cooking equipment and utensils from inside that are used outdoors.  Storage is a luxury in any space, but especially in the outdoor kitchen.  Preparing meals with everything at hand as you would in the kitchen inside your home makes good sense.  No need to leave the party and make trips into the house time and time again.

Barbecuing has gone high-tech.  And the market for barbecue grills is hot. “Consumers are grilling much more than burgers and chicken today – and they are looking for quality tools and a greater range of accessories to have the versatility to cook any meal on the outdoor grill,” said Trace Weskamp, Director of Accessories Product Development at Weber, the world’s leading manufacturer of outdoor gas and charcoal grills..  New smoking accessories are one of the areas of focus for Weber.  Some of these accessories includes smoking woods such as hickory, apple, mesquite, cherry, pecan or beech, depending on the chef’s choice of flavor.  Other new product lines are stainless steel smoker boxes which when placed on the cooking grates transforms any gas grill into a smoker.  I find the new Plancha Universal Griddle,  very interesting.  This flat top griddle enables grillers to cook a variety of dishes on the barbecue.  The Plancha features a slightly angled cooking surface, draining fats away from the food.  The cast-iron construction retains heat, while the porcelain-enameled surface resists sticking.

Spicy Italian outdoor kitchens whould likely feature an imported wood-fired pizza oven, perhaps from Naples.  They’re integrated into a wall, create amazing flavors, and retain heat very well.  You can cook other foods beside pizza in these ovens such as fresh veggies.



To cool things down, how about a swim-up bar with benches that have “zero-depth access” to give the impression you swam up from the beach, for an apres dinner beverage?  Chill after you grill, and watch a movie or catch a game on a pop-up plasma while “beaching” it.  And then there’s the swimming pool misting system that fogs for those special evenings when you want to create a certain mood while you take a dip.

By expanding indoor life outside, outdoor activities become a part of everyday existance.  Turning a blah backyard into a spectacular backyard kitchen where you can entertain, cook together, and have fun with family and friends, suddenly takes on a new and exciting dimension.  The outdoor kitchen is the perfect place for good food, good friends and great surroundings that can be enjoyed anytime of the year.  Now how would you like your steak cooked?

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Arttdinox celebrates "Indian Craftsmanship and Designs" by launching its …

Arttdinox celebrates “Indian Craftsmanship and Designs” by launching its maiden flagship store!

Designed by FRDC, Bangalore, Arttdinox, a brand by Jindal Steels and Lifestyle, launched its first flagship store to offer Indian houses contemporary design range of dinnerware and kitchens. An amalgamation of European minimalism and Indian ethos, the range captivates users.The store is a first of its kind in India to offer comprehensive range of kitchens and kitchenware at one place. Its a treat for housewives!

deepika Jindal at store launchdeepika Jindal at store launch

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store launch by Deepika Jindalstore launch by Deepika Jindal

New Delhi, Delhi, April 29, 2012 /India PRwire/ — Well-heeled consumers of the Capital may give a makeover to their abode with high quality home decor products, as lifestyle brand arttd’inox opens its first flagship store in the Capital. Arttd’inox is the first brand from the house of JSL Lifestyle Limited, a subsidiary of Jindal Stainless Limited. This novel brand, launched in New Delhi recently, would absorb the proficiency and creative valour of world’s leading designers in collaboration with conventional designs of craftsmen from various regions of the country, in creating beautiful luxury home décor items.

ARTTD’INOX the first brand from the house of JSL Lifestyle Ltd, jump in the modular kitchens business and launched its first flagship store in Defence colony New Delhi. The new store marks the primary retail space for its discerning clientele to provide 360 degree solutions from conceptualizing to design to the installation of the kitchen and offer great functionality and innovative designs along with a wide range of options. The store showcasing the diverse products on offer by the brand.

The store and retail experience concept is designed by DFC, FRDC (Future Research Design Company) Bangalore. Says Sanjay Agarwal, Director, FRDC, -“We wanted to provide a design driven by Indian minimalism. We looked inspirations in Indian and European kitchens. Featuring an eclectic selection of modular kitchens in stainless steel and home décor products in 5 categories of bar, beverage, dining, kitchenware and accessories, the store also combines a ‘Design with us’ corner for customization and client’s specific needs. Store colour palette is muted for sophistication, hence natural washed ozone grey flooring, ceramic tiles on walls, and curvilinear shelves with LED glow, mustard/haldi yellow tint of glass as surface all blend to harmonize the environment and make it like a working studio.”

Furthering the brand’s strength as the leading player in stainless steel kitchens, arttd’inox has an exclusive tie-up with three international kitchen brands – Faber, Franke and Hettich. Its modular kitchen establishment starts from Rs 15 lakhs onwards. ‘We have launched an assorted selection of modular kitchens in stainless steel and home décor products in five categories including bar, beverage, dining, kitchenware and accessories with one distinctive product as Pooja Thali,’ said Akansha Jain, Deputy Merchandiser, JSL Store. The new store marks the primary retail space for its perceptive patrons to provide 360 degrees solutions from conceptualising to design in the installation of the kitchen and offers great functionality and innovative designs along with a wide range of options. ‘Jindal Stainless Limited provides best quality steel, so the objective of changing the business model from that of a direct retailer model into a store is to bring the excellent designs and forms in stainless steel tableware and home décor products in India,’ said Deepika Jindal, Managing Director, JSL.

The product would have premium pricing, ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 30,000, as each product would depict originality, individuality, craftsmanship and innovation. ‘Each product would depict a relationship between the conventional Indian roots and modern living,’ she added. The brand has been operating through an extensive dealership network across 15 cities in India, including metropolitans like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahemdabad and Pune among others. ‘We are launching our second exclusive outlet in Mumbai at the end of this year,’ she further added.

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Right at Home: Plastics get playful

Your salad spinner’s made of the same sort of silicone rubber developed to make Neil Armstrong’s moon boot. And those acrylic salad bowls and patio chairs? World War II fighter pilots needed safer canopies, and Plexiglas was the answer.

Manufacturers of home goods are quick to adopt innovative materials and technology, and synthetics have long been a favorite. The newest ones are a designer’s delight: They’re malleable, strong, lightweight and take color easily.

The product range in colorful plastics is expanding, with great shapes and fun hues.

From a crafting standpoint, acrylics are easy to work with. Using heat, they can be stretched and molded without losing clarity, and joints are heat fused rather than glued or screwed, which makes a finished piece virtually seamless.

Two Palm Springs, Calif., designers — Larry Abel and Raymond McCallister — run Art Style Innovation, a fun factory of whimsical takes on vintage and modern décor. The duo’s curvy acrylic vases and rippled bowls, done in neon hues, are décor dancing. Their playful acrylic bookends come in a variety of silhouettes including cats, roosters, dogs, flowers, even a pair of shapely female legs. You’ll find clear acrylic cube tables, too, in modern takes on classic architectural design. (, $35 and up)

Plexi-craft in New York stocks a wide array of furniture in crystal-clear acrylic. The material works well in small spaces — entryways, boudoirs, small living rooms — because it’s nearly invisible. The company will custom tint, however; designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz likes to use a milky white acrylic for an ethereal quality. (

Italian design powerhouse Kartell has frequently dominated the synthetic materials marketplace, with “wow” factor pieces such as Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost chair and Ferruccio Laviani’s Bourgie lamp. There’s a wide range of colorful transparent pieces in the company’s collection. (, from $73)

Kartell also has manufactured Starck’s Bubble chair, a cartoonishly scaled piece that looks like an oversize upholstered chair but is made entirely out of polyethylene. It’ll survive indoors or out, and comes in several shades including pale yellow, black and zinc white. (, $680)

There was a time when kitchen cupboards and drawers were full of boring basics. But today’s cook has a paintbox of hues available when buying mixing bowls, cooking tools and utensils. Whether it’s a Kitchenaid blender in hot pink or a set of Rachael Ray’s sunny orange cookware, there’s more color in good-quality, functional, synthetic-material gadgets than ever before.

Flexible silicone has fans in fashion, where accessories designers love its pliability, color friendliness and soft feel. The same characteristics make it big with kitchen and home designers, who also appreciate that it’s dishwasher-friendly. Sky-blue spatulas, tangerine whisks — just about any kitchen tool can be found in a fun, friendly hue.

San Francisco-based Bkr makes a glass water bottle with a silicone sleeve, in hip shades like Jet black, Rocket red, Julep teal and Space indigo. Bkr donates to cancer research as well as clean water projects in Africa. (, $28)

Lifefactory goes one step further in the category with not only an adult bottle, but baby bottles and sippy cups. The collection comes in cheerful hues like lemon, raspberry, lilac and spring green. (, $14.99 and up)

Target’s Room Essentials line has everything from colanders to mixing bowls in a rainbow of pink, turquoise, lime or blue heat-resistant synthetics. (, $7.99 and up)

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Celebrity chefs dish up grilling tips at Spring Fabulous Food Show

Emeril Lagasse grills at Spring Fabulous Food Show

Cleveland, Ohio —

Foodies love food, of course. But the devotees of fine dining also love toys, and at this time of year, most of their coveted favorites involve an open flame and the great outdoors. Or just the great suburban backyard.

The Spring Fabulous Food Show catered to their culinary desires with a grilling-themed show chock-full of demonstrations, sauces, marinades, meat and every kind of gadget imaginable at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland.

There were $79 fire rings and $279 smokers, skillets large enough to fry 30 scrambled eggs or five pounds of bacon, basters and brushes, $75 custom wood cutting boards and $1,000 knife sets.

In the outdoor tented grilling pavilion, “Barbecue Bible” author Steven Raichlen demonstrated his craft on charcoal grills and smokers, filling the air (and sometimes observers’ hair and clothes) with the sweet smell of lazy summer days on the patio.

At the vendor’s booths, row after row of shiny metal grills beckoned attendees with their stainless steel, in-cover thermometers, infrared burners and warming racks.

People have been investing more in outdoor dining spaces in recent years as consumer confidence has come back, said Tim Neel of Sagamore Hills Township, a Wolf grill vendor showing for the first time at this weekend’s food show.

“We’re sticking our toe in the water, and interest has been good,” he said.

Celebrity chefs like Food Network grilling star Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse brought in the crowds, as usual.

Tim Thole, of Avon Lake, brought his wife, Diane, to see Lagasse’s second of two demonstrations Sunday afternoon as a Valentine’s Day present. They sat with a crowd of several hundred people who watched Lagasse deliver grilling tips from a fully equipped backyard patio mockup.

“We needed grilling lessons,” Diane Thole said as the couple checked out a $2,500 Weber grill model that Lagasse used during his demonstration.

Lagasse’s menu — chipotle barbecue oysters with homemade salsa fresca, melon and pineapple aqua fresca, marinated grilled shrimp and fish tacos — was light and summery.

His first piece of advice: “You have to have a drink while you’re grilling.” Lagasse chose a pinot noir, reminding the crowd that you don’t always have to drink white wine with fish.

And when it comes to your biggest cooking toy — the grill — he recommended turning down the heat to medium or medium-low and putting the cover down to avoid charring or drying out the food.

The whole idea of grilling is to take it easy and enjoy the atmosphere. “Put down the cover and drink your wine,” he advised the crowd.

The foodies shouted and clapped in agreement. He was preaching to the choir.

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DECO EXPO 2012 to kick off May 1st

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