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April 9, 2018 |

Archive for » April 9th, 2018«

Living With Style: Big Design Impact from Small Changes


Update a light fixture and change the feel of the entire room.

—Gazette photo byt Sasha Witte

Sometimes a full remodel is just the thing. 

But there are times when small changes can really improve the look, feel and livability of a space.  Here are a few ideas to consider to achieve just that.

Update A Light Fixture and change the feel of an entry or dining room completely!  Choose something fun and interesting and a little bit unexpected and it’ll become a special focal point.

Awkward Corner Updates can be as simple as filling a large container with branches and lighting it from behind with an inexpensive up-light.  This can cast a fabulous layer of fun shadows at the corner and onto the ceiling.


Paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways of updating a room.

—Gazette Photo by Sasha Witte

Paint One Wall or repaint one room.  Paint is of course one of the easiest and least expensive ways of giving new life to a space! 

If your room can handle an accent wall, voila!  Project made easy.  Or consider repainting a small room such as the foyer in order to change the experience of friends and family when they enter into the home.

Organize with Trays:  Sometimes a living room or family room can begin to look messy with the many items that lay around on a table or ottoman.  Corral things like your TV remotes, stacks of books and candles onto an attractive tray atop your cocktail table.

Liquor bottles, glasses and bar accessories also look well put together on a tray at your dining room or service area!

Cleaning up the look of clutter in a way that is both beautiful and purposeful is always a good thing!


New bedside tables can update the look of your bedroom.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Replace One Item of furniture and change the feel and flow of the space.  For instance, a new bedside table can really update the look of a bedroom.  Likewise, a new and interesting coffee table can change the feel of the family room.

Consider something bold that will offer more visual change to the space than something similar to what you already are used to.  For instance, in the bedroom you might select a bedside table with inlay mirror to offer a reflective quality or a chest of drawers in a bright lacquer finish. 

In the family room, you might want to consider an oval table instead of the rectangular table you are used to and it’ll change the flow of the space.


Change out the rug and dramatically change the feel of the space.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Change Out The Rug and you can dramatically change the look and feel of any space!  If you’ve been used to a solid area rug, consider changing it out for one with more dramatic pattern and color to really take the room to a whole new level.

A Mirror In the Right Place can make a big difference.  Consider using one on a wall without windows opposite a wall that has windows – in order to balance out the feeling of lightness and brightness in the room.

Update Lamp Shades:  Any of your lamps still have great bases but could use a spruce up on top?  Replace just the shade and the lamp will feel brand new! 

This is also a great way to impact the light and color in a space by adding a shade that has texture, pattern or color to it!


Artwork moved to a new location is a great way to see it in a fresh context.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Artwork Moved to a new location is a great way to see the art once again in a fresh way in a new context! 

Consider featuring several of your smaller pieces on one wall together – this way their stories and colors will play off of each other.

Also consider updating your matting or framing on a favourite piece of artwork to better bring out its best features.

Textiles are an easy and inexpensive way to make a bedroom in particular feel brand new.  Consider new drapery at the windows or all new bedding to dramatically change the feel of this space.

Or, consider changing out just the accent pillows at the bedroom and the pillows and throws at the living room to freshen up the look!

Be bold and surprise yourself!  Changing out something as small as pillows is an easy and inexpensive way to test out your desire to experiment with a new color!


Add color to the back of your shelving to liven up your displays.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Add Color Pop to the back of your open shelving at the kitchen or living spaces.  This can be done with either paint or wallpaper.  It will also inspire you to rearrange your shelves!

You can also add a pop of color by putting together a collection of accessories that all feature one color palette.  For instance, clustering a collection of green glass vases or turquoise ceramic collectables can make for a bold color statement on a shelf, mantel or in the center of a table.

Refresh Your Bath with a new shower curtain and new accessories.  Try out a new color for the new season to completely change the experience of the space.  If your accessories and shower curtain for spring and summer were in white and blue, consider changing to warmer colors for fall and winter.

Also think about changing out the shower curtain rod for a curved rod making the inside of the shower feel more spacious while you shower.


Sconces on a dimmer are one of the best ways to control the atmosphere in a room.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Sconces in any room — but especially a bathroom or dining room — add a wonderful touch.  We all look better and see better when we have lighting sources from up high, at near face level and from down low.

Plus sconces can be a great opportunity to bring in a little extra visual interest to an otherwise overlooked wall.  And they look terrific framing a mirror or artwork!

Change Out Knobs at your kitchen or bath, or even your bedroom chest of drawers to add the sparkle of new jewellery to the space! 

Dimmers are one of my favourite finishing details for any space!  Give yourself the option to change your lighting from bright to romantic and subdued with the flick of a switch!  So easy and such a profound difference!


Create a space just for you to read and relax.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Create a Space Just for You by doing something as simple as setting up a chair, small table, ottoman and reading lamp near a favourite window.  Spruce up this area with some of your favourite photos and accessories so it is a nice place to take an adult “time out.”

I hope this gives you a few good ideas for your own home.  We are always happy to help any time you are looking for just the right item to make the difference in your space.

Sasha Witte can be reached at or (562) 434-8824. 

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Local libraries are valuable resource for home kitchens

What’s cooking at the library? Why, an entire buffet of food-related items and programs, that’s what.

And we’re celebrating that smorgasbord during National Library Week, sponsored by the American Library Association, which continues through Saturday.

Books, magazines, and DVDs are some of the culinary resources you’d expect to find. But the varied food-related components of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library system address “all the different ways we can look at the word ‘nourishment,’” said Business Technology Manager David Topoleski.

As a starter, there are programs for every demographic. Get some tips for preparing smaller portions to feed one or two people, or bring the family to a session about campfire cooking. Teens and younger children can learn to make their own snacks. You could even become a member of the Cooking Club, which welcomes food enthusiasts to potlucks centered around a theme. (To see the full list, go to

Authors! Authors!, the popular speakers series co-sponsored with The Blade and Buckeye Broadband, also plays a part in the library’s food programming. Activist Michael Pollan talked about diet and the agricultural industry at the Stranahan Theater on March 27. French chef Jacques Pépin and his daughter Claudine, a sommelier, gave a cooking demonstration there in 2015.

But libraries don’t just teach about food. They can also be a safe haven to ensure that kids under the age of 18 get enough to eat.

“We work with the Children’s Hunger Alliance,” said Meg Delaney, Main Library manager, to serve nutritious meals at 4 p.m. weekdays and noon Saturdays during the school year. There is even a library café for the public to enjoy at the Main Library. It’s open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

But there is still so much more to the cooking curriculum.

Information and knowledge are what libraries traditionally provide for patrons, said Natalie Dielman, programming specialist at the Way Public Library in Perrysburg. But her facility, like the Toledo library, strives to be creative about it, featuring fun classes to teach frosting and fondant decoration techniques and also hosting an annual cake contest with categories for all ages.

The Way Library even serves up pans to bake those cakes in, too.

The Baker’s Way collection, initiated by Mary Turain, who donated 130 pans to the library, has grown to about 200 now. You can borrow kids’ favorites, holiday motifs, television characters, sports and religious themes, and miscellaneous shapes ranging from a graduation cap to a guitar to a tractor, and even standard pans for making tiered or loaf cakes. (For the complete list, go to

The Bedford Branch Library of the Monroe County Library System has three 4-by-8 foot garden spaces for anyone with a Monroe County library card to borrow for the growing season, March through October. Only one of those spaces is being used at this point, said Jodi Russ, community librarian for the Bedford Branch, 8575 Jackman Rd. in Temperance. The library also has tools to borrow for its garden spots as well as a rain barrel for watering what’s planted. For more information, visit or call 734-847-6747.

But don’t forget the mainstay of any library’s food-focused fare: cookbooks.

Joyce Smith, a librarian in the business technology division of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, estimates the system’s collection to be at least 1,000 books. She said that cooking and baking constitute chemistry.

“It’s applied science, that’s why it’s in our department,” she said.

To help navigate the vast assortment, Ms. Smith has put together a user-friendly hand-out called Cooking by the Numbers that organizes all of the topics in the collection by cuisine or theme.

Often, finding old, beloved recipes for patrons can be like a search for buried treasure for Ms. Smith. It’s “the thrill of the hunt,” she said, of assisting people whose taste memories are calling to them but who need assistance finding just the right version of the dish they want. One time, she said, a man had come in seeking the recipe for a particular apple cake that he remembered. She helped him to find it, and he reported that he was then able to bake the treat and share it with a group at his church.

“Food is so important to people’s memories,” Ms. Smith said. “It’s so strong.”

Community cookbooks — which local churches, social organizations, and other groups often produce as fund-raisers — are rich with Toledo-area history and are “super well represented” from many decades, said Mr. Topoleski.

Ms. Smith likes the newer canning and preserving cookbooks that offer more contemporary flavors. It’s interesting to compare these with older books, she said, noting the difference between food storage as a creative hobby versus a time when it was a necessity.

She also likes books devoted to cast iron cookware, which is seeing a resurgence, and those for easy one-pan dinners. Her colleague at the Main Library, Linda Fayerweather, has made use of sheet pan cookbooks recently, borrowing several to test them out before committing to buying those she preferred.

More people seem to be looking for international cookbooks, Ms. Smith said, as they seek new tastes and try unfamiliar ingredients. Patrons at the King Road branch, she pointed out, tend to request books about health, vegetarianism, and specialized diets such as Paleo.

“One of the really interesting things about this collection is that it is really helpful for new situations,” Ms. Delaney said. “Maybe they got a new gadget or their family circumstances have changed.”

Perhaps people are still trying to figure out the Instant Pots they were given at Christmas, or someone’s been diagnosed with celiac disease or has decided to become vegan.

“We want to be that resource,” Ms. Delaney said. “We want to be supportive with the collection as people discover more about themselves.”

For National Library Week: Kartoffel Salat (German Potato Salad)

The Blade/Katie Rausch


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Kartoffel Salat (German Potato Salad)

“This is the recipe I used during the years I was in charge of making the Potato Salad for the German American Festival,” wrote Ilona Yark, who served as co-editor with Georgia Mahon of the community cookbook published by St. Hyacinth Church in 1993.

6 to 7 medium potatoes (not bakers)

¼ cup chopped onions

2 strips bacon, browned and drained, chopped

Chopped parsley


⅓ cup cider vinegar (may add more to taste)

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

White pepper

1 Knorr brand bouillion cube or 2 small cubes

Boil potatoes in skins in salted water until tender. Peel and slice very thin while warm and layer with onions in bowl.

Bring the dressing ingredients to a boil and pour over potatoes and onions. Stir well and let marinate at room temperature.

When ready to serve, add bacon bits and sprinkle with parsley. Should be served at slightly above room temperature.

Yield: 8 servings

Source: Adapted from Ilona Yark, What’s Cookin?

For National Library Week: Pollan Signature Salad

The Blade/Katie Rausch


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Pollan Signature Salad

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” says Michael Pollan, who was a featured speaker in March as part of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s Authors! Authors! program.


⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon raspberry, champagne, or sherry vinegar

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

⅓ cup grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper


5 to 7 ounces mesclun or mixed baby greens

½ cup chopped caramelized walnuts

½ Bosc pear, cut lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced

⅓ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

For the dressing: In a glass jar with a lid or in a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegars, mustard, grapeseed oil, olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Shake the jar vigorously or whisk in the bowl to emulsify.

For the salad: Place the mesclun in a large salad bowl. Pour on half the dressing and toss the greens to coat. Add the walnuts, pear, and more dressing to taste (taking care not to overdress) and toss again. Top with the Parmesan cheese shavings and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Source: Adapted from Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan, The Pollan Family Table

For National Library Week: Vegan Tomatillo-Poblano White Beans

The Blade/Katie Rausch


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Vegan Tomatillo-Poblano White Beans

“These tangy beans can be used as a side, in a burrito or on top of your favorite grain,” writes Kathy Hester in her book that showcases both increasingly popular plant-based dishes and the trendy Instant Pot.


1½ cups dried Great Northern beans

1½ cups water

2 teaspoons dried oregano

Salt and pepper, to taste


2 cups chopped tomatillos

1 cup chopped poblano, seeds and stem removed

1 cup chopped onion

½ jalapeño without seeds

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

Soak the beans in water to cover by at least 2 inches for 8 to 12 hours, then drain.

For the sauté, add the tomatillos, poblano, onion, and jalapeño to your blender or food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are in tiny pieces, but not puréed.

Use the sauté setting over normal or medium heat, and pour in the blender contents; add the cumin and stir to combine. Cook for about 4 minutes to remove the edge off the onions and make the cumin more fragrant.

For the pressure cooker, add the beans, water, and oregano to the sauté mixture and stir to combine. Put the lid on and make sure that the steam release handle is sealed. Cook on manual setting at high pressure and set for 35 minutes.

Allow the pressure to release naturally.

If there is still more liquid in the pot than you’d like to have, switch back to the sauté setting and simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Source: Adapted from Kathy Hester, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot

Contact Mary Bilyeu at, and follow her at​thebladefoodpage, bladefoodpage on Instagram, or @BladeFoodPage on Twitter.

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Now You Too Can Eat Off of Judy Chicago’s Famous Feminist Dinnerware

Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.

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Future chefs break out their skillets at Young Chef’s Academy

Have a kid who likes to be in the kitchen? This Maryland chef’s academy could be right up their alley.

These future chefs are hard at work inside the Young Chef’s Academy learning skills that, until now, they’ve only seen on TV.

Take a look at the video above to see these junior chefs in action.

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Cast Iron Cookware Market – Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2017 – 2025

LONDON, April 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Global Cast Iron Cookware Market: Overview
Transparency Market Research offer 8-year forecast for the global cast iron cookware market between 2017 and 2025. The global cast iron cookware market is expected to register a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period. The primary objective of the report is to offer insights on the advancements and opportunity in the cast iron cookware market. The study demonstrates market dynamics that are expected to influence the current challenges and future status of the global cast iron cookware market over the forecast period. This report also offer updates on trends, drivers, restraints, value forecasts, and opportunities for manufacturers operating in the global and regional cast iron cookware market.

Download the full report:

Cast iron is a material that has been used to make cookware for hundreds of years.Cast iron is one of the materials that holds heat in a better way, made of an iron alloy and very rich in carbon.

Cast iron cookware is extremely durable, and it can be used on every type of stove, and even on grills or campfires. Cast iron cookware is naturally non-stick if seasoned properly.

Global Cast Iron Cookware Market: Segmentation
By product type, the cast iron cookware market is segmented into unseasoned, seasoned, and enamel coated.The unseasoned cast iron cookware segment is likely to be the most attractive segment in the forecast period owing to its natural non-stick feature when seasoned property with oil.

On the basis of end user, the cast iron cookware market can be segmented into households and food services. The food services segment is estimated to account for a significant revenue share of 67.6% in 2017 and is expected to register significant growth rate during the forecast period. By style, the cast iron cookware market is segmented into Dutch ovens, cam pots, skillets/ fryers, woks, griddles, and bake ware. The skillets/ fryers cast iron cookware segment is likely to be the most attractive segment in the forecast period. Furthermore, on the basis of sales channel, the cast iron cookware market is segmented into direct and indirect. Indirect segment is further sub-segmented into modern grocery retailers, traditional grocery retailers, and online retail. Amongst these sub-segments, the traditional grocery retailers is anticipated to occupy the largest market share of 52.2% in 2017. The online retail sub-segment is expected to register high growth rate during the forecast period.

Global Cast Iron Cookware Market: Scope of the Report
The report includes market share of each segment according to the region with analysis towards market trends respectively.A section of the report highlights cast iron cookware demand.

It also provides a market outlook for 2017–2025 and sets the forecast within the context of the cast iron cookware ecosystem, including the new product developments as well as product offerings in the global cast iron cookware market. This study discusses key trends contributing to growth of the global cast iron cookware market, as well as analyses the degree to which drivers are influencing the global market.

In addition, it is imperative to note that in an ever-fluctuating global economy, we not only conduct forecasts in terms of CAGR, but also analyze on the basis of key parameters such as year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth to understand the predictability of the market and to identify the right opportunities.

Also, another key feature of this report is the analysis of all key segments in terms of absolute dollar.This is traditionally overlooked while forecasting the market.

However, absolute dollar opportunity is critical in assessing the level of opportunity that a provider can look to achieve, as well as to identify potential resources from a sales and delivery perspective in the global cast iron cookware market.

Global Cast Iron Cookware Market: Competitive Dynamics
In the final section of the report, a competitive landscape has been included to provide report audiences with a dashboard view.Key categories of providers covered in the report are cast iron cookware’ key players of the global cast iron cookware market.

Detailed profiles of the providers are also included in the scope of the report to evaluate their long-term and short-term strategies, key offerings and recent developments in the cast iron cookware space. Key players in the global cast iron cookware market includes The Coleman Company, Inc., Tramontina USA, Inc., FINEX Cast Iron Cookware Co., Staub USA, Inc., Lodge Manufacturing Company, Le Creuset of America, Inc., Lava Cookware USA, The Vollrath Company LLC, Meyer Corporation, Camp Chef, Inc., American Metalcraft, Inc., and Marquette Castings.

Cast Iron Cookware Market: By Product Type
Enamel Coated

Cast Iron Cookware Market: By End-use
Food Services

Cast Iron Cookware Market: By Style
Dutch Ovens
Camp Pots
Skillets/ Fryers
Bake Ware

Cast Iron Cookware Market: By Sales Channel
Modern Grocery Retailers
Departmental Stores
Franchised Outlets

Traditional Grocery Retailers
Cookware Speciality Stores

Online Retail
Key Regions/Countries Covered
North America
Latin America

Download the full report:

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At The Spring New York Tabletop Market: Dinner’s Ready

From classic blue and white to textured grays, the Spring 2018 New York Tabletop Market at Forty One Madison will see a variety of color combinations represented in dinnerware. Tabletop vendors will also showcase patterns that focus on texture, metallics and organic shapes.

See the gallery below for some of the dinnerware introductions at the spring New York Tabletop Market.

For more coverage of the New York Tabletop Market, see NOUVEAU in the April 2 issue of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®.

vista alegreVista Alegre’s Casa Alegre Shine collection vibrantly combines metallic shine with pieces of stoneware, creating tableware art that is rustic and sophisticated.

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