Flooring

Install Kitchen Cabinetry Or Flooring First?

A repetitive, yet relevant question you may be asking yourself could be delaying your first step to renovations and that tricky questions is: “Do I reface my cabinetry first or does the flooring need to be done first?” Google has all sorts of answers which can often lead back to square one of being confused again – although there is no wrong way to do this there is safer, more practical ways of sorting the schedule.

When you replace your cabinetry, your existing flooring does run the basic and obvious risk of damage, although our busy working bee’s take all precautions there can be some un-intentional markings/damage made.

Here’s where you may be getting confused; when you are having a whole new kitchen put in, flooring is best to go in BEFOREHAND as the layout of the new kitchen will most likely be different therefor flooring is required to go in first to guide the layout BUT when you are just refacing the existing units the flooring is suggested to wait until after the refacing is done as the layout is set up already so the workers can update the fronts and the flooring is being updated in the existing layout it already is generally.

One of the benefits to having the kitchen renovated first is that you can be more confident in your flooring selection, matching your cabinet finish to smaller flooring samples and hypothetical finishes is about as helpful as painting a home’s interiors via the colours shows on small paint swatches—a process many of us have pulled our hair out over, by waiting to install your flooring after the kitchen is done, you’ll have some time to contemplate which colours or finishes will look best with your brand-new kitchen.

The only exception – install floating hardwood floors AFTER the cabinets, if you are planning on having a hardwood floating floor (or any floating floor such as cork or laminate) you should consider installing the flooring after, why? Because floating floors are clicked together and not glued down to the floor, the reason for this is that the floating floors tend to move, and they expand and contract. If part of the floor is trapped under the cabinetry (which is quite heavy) it cannot properly move resulting in all sorts of issues including bulging, buckling or even breaking. Having this in BEFORE the cabinetry ensures the cleanest look with the cabinets – you don’t need to worry about cutting some to size to fit around the cabinetry and instead can have a nice, flush floor with no issues.

 

There we have it! hoping this helped a few head scratches and has helped you move onto the next step.

Oven

How to clean your oven naturally

Today I am inspired to write this blog as my oven is in dire need of some TLC – I did some research on how important this is and the results where mind blowing, I had no idea how regularly you theoretically should be “maintaining” your oven. It seems to be one of those things that “you’ll get around to that tomorrow” and tomorrow turns into the next day, and the day after that and so on but let me remind you how important this is!

My first question I had when I opened my oven last night was “when did I even last clean this?” my answer was struggling to come to mind, it must have been a good 4 months ago (not so bad, right?!) well – WRONG! Here my next question came, how often are you supposed to clean your oven?

Once. Every. Month. HOW BIZARRE! Of all the years I have been in charge of that sort of thing, I never even realized there was actually a time period on how often you should be doing it.

Why is there a time on this? I get the hygiene side of it but what’s the actual history behind this? Simple, your oven can become less efficient at reaching temperatures and eventually may just stop working all together if burnt food/build-up is left unattended.

Crusty build up can also impact the taste of your food and, while high temperatures can kill some bacteria, it’s not a good place to be cooking food (like I said, hygiene)

So, now that I’ve got you itching to go have a look at your ovens – I also have a natural guide on how to clean your oven without even turning it on, this method is super easy and really cost efficient.

 

What you will need:

  • Baking Soda (1/2 cup)
  • Water (to make a paste)
  • Rubber Gloves (Preferably durable, non-disposable ones)
  • Damp dishcloth
  • Spray Bottle
  • Vinegar (White)

 

Instructions:

  1. Clear out the oven

Take out all dish-racks (clean those as well) make sure everything is removed so you have access to get deep in the back of the oven to clear that build-up.

  1. Mix the paste

In a small bowl, mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the ratio of both as needed until you have a spreadable paste.

  1. Coat the oven

Spread the paste all over the interior surfaces of your oven, steering clear of the heating elements. Use gloves for this portion, as the oven may be pretty gunky. The baking soda will turn a brownish colour as you rub it in; it also might be chunkier in some places than others, which is fine. Just try to coat the whole oven to the best of your abilities, paying extra attention to any particularly greasy areas.

  1. Let it sit overnight

Allow the baking soda mixture to rest for at least 12 hours, or overnight.

  1. Wipe the oven out

After 12 hours or overnight, take a damp dish cloth and wipe out as much of the dried baking soda paste as you can. Use a plastic spatula to help scrape off the paste as needed.

  1. Spray a little bit of vinegar

Put a little vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz everywhere you still see baking soda residue in your oven. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and gently foam.

  1. Do a final wipe down

Take your damp cloth and wipe out the remaining foamy vinegar-baking soda mixture. Repeat until all the baking soda residue is gone. Add more water or vinegar as needed while wiping to really get the oven clean and shiny.

  1. Replace your clean oven racks

Replace the oven racks and anything else you keep in your oven, and you’re done!

 

 

Go give that oven some TLC – You’ll thank yourself later.

Spring

Make Your Kitchen Spring Ready!

What pops to mind when you hear or see the word spring? For me it’s a feeling of freshness, a window of new beginnings and a great chance for ideas to bloom. This is a great chance to spice up your kitchen and give it that “Spring” feeling, don’t run away in fear this will cost an arm and a leg because it certainly doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket.

 

Get that feeling of freshness:

Starting small at a very low cost (or if any cost at all) Firstly, gather some flowers and a pretty vase that draws you in – this will give that feeling of a crisp, fresh feel. No need for a large, over-the-top floral arrangement… just a few stems will do the trick! Change it up with colours to compliment the season, here’s a few:

  • Lavender/Purple
  • Rapture Rose (Intense pink)
  • Sky Blue
  • Peach
  • Yellow

Just to name a few, feel free to incorporate any coloured flowers you like!

A window for new beginnings:

When was the last time you fully renovated your cooking utensils range? Swap out the cutting board that has seen better days and the plain plastic cooking utensils and replace them with ones that have a little more energy, Spring is also a great excuse to biff all your tea towels that have seen better days and replace them with new, fresh ones.

New ideas to bloom? I think yes!

Forget about making a huge investment – a small painting or framed quote is an affordable way to own a piece of original art. Get creative and visit your local opshop or even get one of the kids to paint you a picture!  You can frame it and then rest it on your benchtop, or even hang it up on an empty piece of your kitchen wall.

Bring the texture in

Wood and natural wovens are such a golden addition to any space, they add a bit of texture to the area and interest as well as warmth. Find a large bowl and fill it with fruit and your kitchen will be screaming its spring ready.

This is a few ways to get your kitchen in the spring season and will be easy to change when the next season is on the way! Some of these ideas can be incorporated with other seasons anyway

Color scheme

Most Included Trends In 2018 Designs

Most included trends in 2018 designs.

If you have just recently renovated or are looking into doing so, you’ll probably already know about these common trends everyone’s diving for in 2018 and we don’t blame these choices – read on to see what everyone’s hyping over!

Banquette Seating:

Believe it or not, this is an older trend which has rocketed into today’s trends and we aren’t complaining! This simple, yet practical idea has an edgy yet comfortable look and has more room for family/friends for that Sunday night roast or even a nice hot cuppa’ tea on that rainy day with your favorite book. With its space-saving design of bench seating made more sense than including a full set of table and chairs in the space of the kitchen.

Furniture historians trace the banquette, derived from the Germanic word for bench, back to 15th century France. Having seating is the kitchen was to have a concealed entry to secret passages that may have been located underneath banquettes in palaces and castles and was typically made from wood whereas nowadays they are made with cushioning and material to match your style.

Flat front Cabinetry:

We all want the simple yet elegant look but also still want to be able to open and close our cabinets and drawers, so this is where our push touch system comes into the trends of 2018 – no more catching your clothes on the edge of your handles, no more bumps and bruises on the children’s foreheads from running into the edge. Unfortunately, this design has no history behind it but take it from us that if you’re wanting a clean, seamless edge then for sure go for this!

Tile splashbacks:

While the kitchen splashback is a common aspect in many houses now, it wasn’t always this way. In fact, the modern idea of a kitchen splashback is a relatively recent invention, but where did this fantastic, practical idea originate from?

Like many common household features, the splashback can’t be traced to one single source. What we can confirm about the original splashbacks is that they came into use shortly after running water became widespread around the 1930s due to the advent of running water, kitchen innovations emerged swiftly, and the backsplash became a common kitchen sight.

Originally, backsplashes were about 4 inches high and were made of fragile materials like glass or tiles. Many were simply attached to the then-popular butler sink. When under-mount sinks rose to popularity in the 40s, splashbacks were no longer directly attached to the sink, so the only solution was mounting the backsplash directly to the wall. Over the following decade, the splashback became a popular place to demonstrate decor tastes. Around this time, the bright colors and creative patterns of the cement tile backsplash became the stylistic standard.

Even though the cement tile splashback rose to fame in the 1950s, it’s held up to the many home decor style changes over the years with ease whether it adds liveliness to a simple kitchen or accompanies a lively, colorful kitchen, the cement tile backsplash shines in just about every setting. In addition to its persistence’s, cement tile has proven to be one of the best materials for a splashback, why? Because of Its natural durability and easy clean-up is perfect for facing the splatters, stains of cooking. Over the years, production quality has only increased, so modern cement tile is likely to last even longer and hold to even more sauce stains, oil spatters, and splashes of water than its prototypes.

Mixed Metals:

This is such an elegant touch to incorporate into your designs to give the kitchen an edgy yet modern touch, there are different sorts of colors and finishes to choose from to suit your style like Matte black/white, polished chrome, brushed nickel just to name a few. There isn’t much history behind this one as it’s more so a design compliment for the finishing touches.

Multi-purpose islands:

2018 has just gone a step higher with trends and practicality has seemed to really boost up there alongside all the trends – this is a great example.

Shortly after World War II, popular home design shifted from closed floor plans to open concept spaces (sound familiar?) designed to make the work within the home more efficient and less labor-intensive. An expansive, wide-open kitchen meant that dinner could be prepared while children in the family room were in clear view. Once dinner was ready, everyone could eat in the kitchen itself rather than the dining room, making it easier for the cook to serve and manage the meal but with all the benefits an open concept floor plan presented, it came with challenges, namely a shortage of storage and counter space. Therefore, the kitchen island was born.

The kitchen island became a solution to space challenges, providing more surface area, storage potential, and a place for everyone to come together while others were cooking (plus, as we well know now, it also serves the purpose of separating the kitchen from living areas in absence of walls).

It is very popular to add in a cook top or a sink into your island now, but the options of design are endless! Come and talk to us down at Next Edition Kitchens to see what we can do for you!

 

 

Style trends come and go, so don’t invest in the latest look unless you love it. That said, highly-personalized or outdated style choices can limit the appeal of your property for resale.

For major renovation projects, it’s always a good idea to stick to the more neutral colors and classic styles. It will give your remodel durability and appeal to the greatest number of buyers when it comes time to sell. It will also give you flexibility to update your look in a few years without a total overhaul. Use non-permanent fixtures – like paint, furniture and accent pieces – to personalize the space and incorporate trendier choices.

 

Butler sink

The Butler sink – Must have sink 2018

A couple of weeks ago, one of our suppliers had come to us and proposed an updated brochure of beloved sinks and mixers we use with a few new additions thrown in here and there and let me tell you – we are in for a jolly good treat!

One sink that particularly stuck out to us was the butler sink (or otherwise known as the farmhouse sink) I decided to do a bit of research on this gem and prepare to be amazed – there is a bit of history behind the idea designers had whilst designing this little beauty.

Let’s start with the history so we can appreciate it even more knowing is origination.

You will notice this sink has many different names it goes by depending on what part of the world you live in, here in NZ and Australia we most commonly identify these as a Butler sink or Farmhouse sink, but they are also called apron front (mostly in the US), London and Belfast. (I’m going to stick with using Butler sink for this blog) London and Belfast are in fact two specific designs of farmhouse sink – read a little more about this below.

The Butler sink originated in a time when there was no running water, so in this time we all used buckets (or pales if you will) of water, the idea behind the sink was that it was a place to hold large amounts of water – water that had to be collected by hand with buckets and barrels from nearby water wells, lakes or rivers.

The two original iconic Butler style sinks, which emerged in Ireland and Britain in the late 17th century, were the London and the Belfast sink. They were both of similar design, however – each had their own noticeable different characteristics designed to suit the area they would be used for. The Belfast sink was deep and had an overflow so that excess water could be easily drained away instead of flowing over the sides of the sink. Unlike Belfast, the London sink was designed to be shallower and had no overflow so that every drop could be kept inside the sink.

The design of the sink means that the user can stand directly at the front of the basin – with no cabinets or benchtop in between. This made the Butler sink more comfortable to use for women who would, in olden days, spend some of their day at the sink, preparing food, washing dishes, washing clothes and even washing babies.

Practicality of the size:

While you could still wash your baby in today’s Butler sink, you’ll probably find it more useful for washing large pots, baking/oven trays etc. – items that you would generally struggle to wash in a typical sink, and – if one large bowl isn’t enough, you can find several double bowl options, too.

Installation:

Originally, Butler sinks were designed to sit slightly to the front of the cabinets so that any water that spilled over down the front of the sink it would run directly to the floor instead of flowing on and damaging the cabinets, this is still how Butler sinks are typically installed in a kitchen.

They are also installed just under the benchtop level so that the bench can slightly overhang the sides of the sink, making it easy to wipe water from the bench straight into the sink.

Whats the material?

White Butler sinks are most commonly made from either fireclay or porcelain.

Fireclay sinks are made of clay, which is heated to an extremely high temperature that makes the sink very hard and durable. It also gives the sink its beautiful high shine. The durability of fireclay means that it is very resistant to scratches and chips and is also very easy to clean.

Porcelain sinks are a ceramic material, again heated to high temperatures, although not quite as high as fireclay. They look like fireclay sinks but are less expensive. Porcelain sinks are not quite as durable as fireclay and are more prone to chipping and discoloration.

There are many other options regarding copper colors & stainless steel which both have many benefits.

There is a modern version which unlike the butler sink, it sits on top of the benchtop and has a space for a tap hole incorporated into the sink, eliminating the need to have a benchtop run around the back of the sink. The fact that this sink sits on top of the bench eliminates the risk of water finding its way down the sides of the sink, making for a more water tight option – although not as authentic as the original design.

If you’re needing inspo, don’t fret! i have you covered….https://www.pinterest.nz

 

Clean bench-top

How to clean your Stone bench-tops (Uniquartz, Silestone, CeasarStone, Granite)

We all want to keep our beautiful bench-tops in great condition but what is the best way to clean these and keep them looking brand new? Don’t be sucked in to buying hundreds of cleaning detergents – most of these have nasty chemicals in them that can cause more harm than good. We have easy, affordable ways for each different type of stone to suit your needs.

 

Caring For Your Uniquartz Benchtop

Uniquartz surfaces are virtually maintenance-free.  There is no need for polishing, sealing or reconditioning.  Light dusting followed by cleaning with warm soapy water is enough to restore the shine to the bench-tops.  However, make sure not to use any abrasives or harsh chemicals on the bench-tops.

 

Caring for your CaesarStone Benchtop

To clean CaesarStone, we recommend using warm water and a mild detergent or quality spray and wipe type cleaner.  Virtually maintenance free, CaesarStone’s hard, non-porous surfaces require no sealing to renew the luster and are simple to clean.  In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is enough to keep your CaesarStone countertop looking like new.  If necessary, use a non-abrasive soft soap along with a Norwex microfiber cloth.  Afterwards, thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove residue.

 

For stubborn stains or dried spills, apply a non-abrasive household cleaner and rinse to remove residue.  To remove adhered material such as food, gum, nail polish or even dried paint, first scrape away excess material with a plastic putty knife and then use a damp cloth to remove any marks or residual dirt.

Like all stone material, Caesarstone can be damaged by sudden and rapid temperature changes.  Therefore, we suggest that hot pots and pans never be directly placed on the surface.  We also recommend a rubber pot mat which you can purchase from Kmart or a trivet which can also be purchased from Kmart, be placed on the surface under cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock pots, or roaster ovens.

Caesarstone is highly scratch resistant, however avoid abuse of the surface by refraining from using sharp objects such as sharp knives or screw drivers directly onto the surface.

It’s important to be aware that like any other surface, Caesarstone can be permanently damaged if exposed to strong chemicals and solvents that can damage its physical properties.  Never clean your CaesarStone surface with products that contain Trichloroethane or Methylene chloride, such as paint removers or strippers.  Avoid the use of highly aggressive cleaning agents such as oven/grill cleaners and dishwasher polishing agents that have high alkaline/pH levels (pH 8.5 or higher).  Products containing oils or powders may leave a residue and should be rinsed off thoroughly.  Should your surface accidentally be exposed to any of these damaging products, rinse immediately with clean water to neutralize the effect.

 

Caring for your Silestone Benchtop

it is recommended that you wipe up food and liquid spills as soon as possible.  For everyday routine cleaning, you can use warm soapy water (containing a mild detergent) and a damp cloth.

Before the use of any cleaning product outside of the above option, please check that the product does not contain trichloroethane, methylene chloride or high levels of alkaline/pH.  Should the surface be accidentally exposed to any of these damaging products, rinse immediately with water to neutralize the effect.

We do not recommend placing hot pots, pans, and oven trays directly from the hotplate or out of an oven onto the surface.  We always recommend the use of a rubber pot mat or trivet to place hot items onto.  Prolonged direct contact with, or radiated heat, from very hot pots can cause thermal shock, discoloration or damage.

Engineered Stone, like all stone, is like glass.  And like a glass table top, if you hit the edge with something hard with enough force, you can damage the edge.  So, take care around the sink when washing cast iron pans etc.  Also take care loading and unloading the dishwasher.  If an accident occurs, it can be repaired by a trained technician.  The repair will be just that, not a complete fix meaning that you may notice the repair.

 

Caring For Your Granite Benchtops

The most important facet of understanding your granite bench-tops is that it’s a porous material.  Any natural stone has the characteristics and must be understood to ensure the beauty of the stone.  Porous simply means it can be penetrated by water, oils, grease, and chemicals.  Your bench-top will be coated with a non-toxic sealer upon installation, to resist all types of stains.  You ideally should be getting it resealed every 12-18 months in which your general hardware shop should have a spray on one that you can easily do yourself.

It is important to clean all spills and keep unwrapped foods from being on the tops for extended periods of time as the oils and minerals can eventually work thought the sealer and can stain your top.  Under normal conditions this is never a problem.  An example of a potential problem would be to leave for a holiday with a grease spot on the granite surface.

The best aspect of granite is the resistance it has too heat.  You have the freedom to take hot dishes directly out of the oven and place it on the granite without fear of damaging your bench-tops.

Regular Maintenance & Cleaning

If your granite darkens when it is wet, do not be alarmed.  It will return to its original colour when the water evaporates.  The safest way to clean your granite tops is to use products designed specifically for stone.  Cleaners and disinfectants of this type are neutral on the acid scale, so they pose no risk of hurting the polish.  Dish-washing liquid and water will work to clean your tops, as will spray on cleaners such as window cleaners.  Avoid anything that contains bleach or any wipe or cleaners that have grit in them.  If you want to avoid water streaking while cleaning, you must wipe your tops until they are completely dry.  If lime build up occurs around your faucet do not use lime removal products.  Gently scraping the lime off with a straight razor is the best solution.

Avoiding Scratches

Granite is a quartz based and can therefore be scratched by quartz or anything harder.  Knives will not scratch granite, although cutting on your bench-tops is not recommended as your knives will dull very quickly.  Diamonds will scratch granite – removal of diamond rings before cooking is recommended.  Certain stoneware dishes contain rough silica sand and pose a risk of scratching.  Some pizza-stones will scratch granite if they are spun around while cutting the pizza.

Avoiding Chips

Chips in granite are not a common occurrence.  When they do happen, chips are most often caused by banging something into the edge of the bench-top.  Heavy pots and pans and the bottoms of large bottles do most of the damage.  Take care when you handle them around your granite.  If a chip does occur and you find the piece that chipped out, save it.  Most of the time it can be epoxied back into place.

 

Do’s and Don’ts for Granite:

  • Do clean surfaces with mild detergent, stone soap or specialty cleaner, with a soft clean cloth.
  • Do rinse surfaces thoroughly after cleaning them dry, with a soft clean cloth.
  • Do blot up spills with a paper towel immediately.
  • Don’t use vinegar, lemon or other cleaners such as bathroom, grout or tile, and tub cleaners.
  • Don’t use cleaners containing abrasives.

https://www.kmart.co.nz/product/grid-trivet—matte-black/1124400 – Trivets

 

Sold

How to ace selling your home

When it comes to selling your home, a hundred aspects run through your mind like “what do potential buyers actually look at, what is the focal point in my home etc” the kitchen gets the most attention and comments from potential buyers. It’s often the room that is easiest to fall in love…and the one that is easiest to hate. I have a few pointers on how to make these clients fall in love with your sale.

 

Embrace Grey and White,

To create a kitchen that sells, ditch the complicated and risky colour trends that out-date in few months to come, go for the simplicity and elegance associated with Greys and Whites, Simplicity is an increasingly popular design trend when it comes to kitchens, and should be reflected in the colours you would ideally use when preparing your home for selling.

Why white? Well, simple – white is associated with the clean, bright and crisp illusion. This is also a very versatile colour your potential buyer would be able to alter their personal style with, white gives many opportunities to decorate the kitchen with a pop of colour on appliances or cutlery and storage containers etc.

Okay, so why Grey then? So Grey on the other hand can be portrayed as a very calming and charming colour, it is a very common colour to use if you want to create a warm welcoming environment and comfortable feeling (making those buyers feel at home already!)

 

Focus on utility,

Buyers don’t just want a kitchen that’s pleasing to the eye – they want a kitchen that functions properly as well. When you’re selling your home, you need to find a good balance between aesthetic design and actual function. Thankfully, there are a lot of creative techniques that you can work into different parts of a kitchen that promote function without degrading the overall personality of a kitchen.

Examples of techniques that promote functional kitchen design include:

  • Built-in storage racks in pantries.
  • Deep drawers to hold more pots/pans/plates/bowels etc, so these are all tidily tucked away.
  • Mini centre islands on wheels that can be moved around various areas of the kitchen based on need (next to the sink, next to guests, off to the side and out of the way).
  • Pull-out bins disguised as a drawer (saves more room than having a free-standing rubbish bin in the way!)

 

“A great-looking kitchen will draw attention. A great-looking kitchen that also has great function will be unforgettable.”

 

Create more space,

We all dream of a big kitchen to make our time using it a breeze – highlight the space you have as best you can, there are many techniques best suited to your spacing (read our blog kitchen layouts to identify yours now!) small kitchen space? you can still create the illusion of space and open the room by exposing shelves and cupboards, rather than keeping storage items, plates, and bowls hidden behind suffocating doors, consider replacing your traditional cupboards with open-concept ones. At first thought, you might think that this small change would make a kitchen look messy or cluttered—but it can lend to the warmth and character of a kitchen.

 

Make a focal point,

I know these tips are guiding you to be simple but having a good focal point can be very mesmerizing like a patterned bench-top or unique lighting to enhance aspects of the kitchen. You can even just spice it up with having funky coloured appliances like your jug or oven! The options are endless, but this gives the view that this kitchen is versatile and again, can be adapted to any taste/style.

 

Use quality appliances,

Everyone wants to feel like their living in luxury and who wouldn’t want to feel like a top chef?  A lot of buyers are viewing what appliances are in the current design as these appliances are always being updated to the latest gadgets – having a high-quality oven can make this a baker’s paradise, they’ll leave wishing and waiting to bake up a storm using this kitchen! it also adds value to your home and will be one less thing for potential buyers to renovate or upgrade.

Casserole/stew

Winter’s Beef Casserole

Don’t just warm your tummy – warm your soul as well! this recipe is a MUST for these winter chills.

  • 600g chuck or gravy beef.
  • 1x onion, sliced.
  • 2x medium carrots, sliced thinly.
  • 2x Tbsp plain flour.
  • 3x cups beef/vegetable stock.
  • 1x tsp Worcestershire sauce.
  • 1x Tbsp soy sauce.
  • 1 Tbsp thyme.
  • 2x bay leaves.
  • 2x tsp garlic.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut beef into cubes/strips.

Season with salt and pepper, add about 2 tablespoons of oil and mix well.

Heat a large fry pan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches then place in a casserole dish.

Reduce heat in pan, and sauté the onion and carrot in butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle in flour and stir until the vegetables are coated.

Gradually pour in stock, stirring well. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Pour into a casserole dish, cover then place in oven and cook until the beef is tender. Stir every 40 minutes or so, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. (Roughly cooking time is 2hrs and 30mins but will depend on different types of ovens and temperatures)

Smart tip: This casserole can be cooked on a stove top or slow cooker.

Stove top method: Place the browned beef and other ingredients in a heavy-based pot. Partially cover, keep the heat low. Simmer until the meat is very tender. Stir occasionally, adding water if needed to keep ingredients just covered.

Slow cooker: Place the browned beef with other ingredients into the slow cooker and place onto low for 6 hours or until the meat is tender. Depending on size and cut this can take up to 8 hours.

 

Toe Kicks

Why toe kicks are a MUST in the kitchen.

This blog is about an aspect in your kitchen you probably didn’t even know existed – the all mighty toe kicks. The toe kick for those who don’t know is a small panel located under your cabinets where the doors usually end, the toe kick covers the space from then to the flooring. It turns out that paying a little attention to this hidden away spot can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your kitchen.

There’s a reason the toe kick exists to begin with, the next time you’re standing in front of your kitchen sink or working at the benchtop, take a look down at your toes, chances are you won’t be able to see your toes because they’re actually positioned underneath the front edge of your cabinets, in the toe kick.

When you stand at your kitchen sink or cook at the bench, chances are your feet are positioned so that your toes are in the toe kick, without this little foot cubby hole you’d either bang your toes into the front of your cabinets, or have to learn over awkwardly to reach things at the back of your benchtop. It’s a helpful little ergonomic detail that’s so common that most people don’t think about it at all. (Bathroom cabinets that go all the way to the floor also have these.)

The toe kick can actually be more than just a practical thing in the kitchen – in most kitchens the toe kick is either painted black or the same color as the cabinets, to make it as invisible as possible. Although, some people like to make a statement out of these toe kicks, there is many different colors you can make these (you can even get a mirrored one! how snazzy is that?) reason being is it can actually be a good, simple way to tie in the color scheme of your cabinetry with the benchtop right up to the handles.

So there you have it, a toe kick is pretty much a tiny compartment for your feet to sit so you have a lot more comfort while working in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Mangatapere Beauty- new kitchen Whangarei

Check out this beautiful new kitchen in Mangatapere created for Trevor and Cheryl Barfoote by Next Edition Kitchens.