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Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

cupcake-panOne of the great things about Facebook, besides reconnecting with long lost friends (and maybe a few you’d rather have remained estranged from), is being able to check out your friends’ latest and greatest pictures. Thanks to Facebook, I’m able to stay in touch with friends in a way that we just didn’t seem to have time for before the rise of social networking. I can get instant updates on their travel plans, see every angle of their newborn’s smile and check out what they were up to on the weekend. It’s great fun and while nothing replaces the necessity of face-to-face contact over drinks, it’s a pretty decent alternative when you’re busy. Anyhow … all of this is by way of explanation for how I stumbled upon this fab new find! Whilst snooping, I mean … casually perusing a friend’s photos of a baby shower she’d recently attended, I spied the loveliest, cupcake-shaped cake adorning the buffet table. Love at first sight! Where, oh where did she get the pan to make this, I wondered? But I wondered only momentarily because, in perfect Facebook fashion, everything I needed to know was right there in the comments section with a list of retailers for curious gals like myself. So I hunted it down at Williams-Sonoma and now I’m sharing it with you. Drum roll, please! I give you … The Great Cupcake Pan!

Available at: Williams-Sonoma
Price: $36

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simple-humanEvery now and then, you find a product that you never knew you needed. And then suddenly, there it is, in all its glory and you wonder how you ever lived without it. That’s sort of how I feel about Simple Human’s sensor soap pump. We’ve all used sensor pumps in public washrooms but it never occurred to me how brilliant it would be to have one at home. Well, now that I’ve used this, I realize just how great it is. Particularly in the kitchen, this soap pump makes a lot of sense. Let’s say you’re working with raw meat and you need to wash up frequently. With this pump, you don’t need to touch a soap dispenser with your contaminated hands. Just place your hand underneath the sensor and voila! Just enough soap comes out for you to wash up. So simple, so smart.

Available at: Home Outfitters or visit simplehuman.com for more information
Price: $49.99

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Happy New Year! I hope each and every one of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday. I know I did. But it never ceases to amaze me how quickly it goes by. It seems like Christmas Eve was just yesterday and now it’s January 5 and I’m back at work. Boy, I hope this winter goes by fast!

So, I don’t know how many of you made new year’s resolutions this year – you know, those dirty little promises we tend to make and break? While personal resolutions are private, we asked the Style at Home staff about their around-the-house resolutions for 2009. You can read about them here.

grayglassMy around-the-house resolution is to finally get around to updating the backsplash in my kitchen. I hate the one that’s there and I dream of something more striking like glass, which can be illuminated beautifully with under cabinetry lighting. I was originally thinking of one-inch by one-inch glass tiles but then I saw this backsplash (pictured here), which is also quite lovely. This is from New York-based Grayglass. Grayglass will custom-make glass backsplashes with coloured and patterned glass, according to their clients’ specifications. Ooh! The options! Now I can’t decide what I want to do. But it’s only January; I have time, right?

If you’re thinking of doing a kitchen renovation this year, check out our kitchen section; it’s full of helpful ideas for creating your dream kitchen.

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Delight your guests with a table that looks perfectly pulled together. It’s really not that hard. Pretty placemats, tablecloths and table runners instantly dress up a table and at trendexhome.com, you’ll find a huge assortment of styles, colours and patterns to choose from. The simple gesture of dressing your table will let your guests know that you care enough to go to a bit of trouble for them (though it’s really no trouble at all!).  Or if you’re dining solo, it’s nice to do something special for yourself and set a pretty table before you sit down to eat. Boldly patterned pieces, like the ones pictured here, are a whimsical way to liven up stark white dishware. If your crockery is bold enough on its own, choose from simple but elegant solid colours – trendexhome.com has a wide assortment; you’re sure to find something that’ll suit your table just right!

These products also make a great Christmas present. Order by December 1 for delivery by December 22 in Canada and the United States.

For more information, visit trendexhome.com. For inspiring ideas for dressing your table in style, check out Style at Home’s tabletop section.

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You just can’t go wrong with the gift of food. Well … okay, maybe that’s not true. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly be thrilled if someone showed up at my house with a cabbage casserole. They say it’s the thought that counts but I’d just be thinking, Wow. This person really doesn’t like me. So let me rephrase. You just can’t go wrong with the gift of baked goodies. And if you don’t have time to whip up some tasty treats yourself, then just leave it to the professionals. Frostineedibles.com is an online Canadian bakery that makes a vast assortment of cookies and other baked treats and offers overnight shipping to anywhere in Canada and the United States. So next time you’re looking for a hostess gift or housewarming present, a birthday gift or just something to satisfy your own sweet tooth, then consider Frostines Edibles. My favourite part is how they’re packaged – beautiful, re-useable boxes that come in a variety of colours and truly look like something special. Here at my office, we sampled the cookies and here’s what my colleagues had to say:

“Soft and crumbly. It dissolves in your mouth – delicious!”
Alaina Chapman

“These yummy cookies were truly delightful, melting away in my mouth. The butterscotch ripple was my fave — a simply sweet treat to cap off my lunch. If this is the way the cookie crumbles, I want more!”
Lauren McPhillips

“I had the chocolate brownie cookie … very chocolate brownie like! It was really rich and quite tasty, but somewhat dry. Would be perfect with a cold glass of milk. I imagine a serious chocolate lover would be very grateful to receive some of these to feed their craving.”
Daniela Payne

“This cookie makes a valiant effort to be all things to all people – it’s got shortbread, it has a modest filling, it has cranberries and who knows what else. That said, the holiday hubris pays off: In several sweetly satisfying bites, you get an essential taste of Christmases past, updated for the present. The verdict:  A-. The minus is for leaving out the chocolate. Now, can I have another one?”
John Kuipers

Good to know: All flavours of Frostines Edibles cookies are nut- and peanut-free.

For more information, visit: frostinesedibles.com

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I love, love, love these fab, fun aprons from domistylegifts.com. Made in Canada (love that, too!), these trendy aprons add sass and style to time spent in the kitchen. With cute statements like: Will cook for shoes and Caution: Hot dish, these aprons are fresh, fun and fashionable. And who said that aprons had to be frumpy? These are well tailored and actually feel like a stylish accessory that you’ll want to wear. The pretty designs that adorn each apron are drawn by hand and then silk screened onto the aprons, which, by the way, are machine-washable and have adjustable neck straps. They make wonderful gifts; at their great prices, you can stock up on your Christmas gifts for the season! The aprons usually retail for $39 but their holiday sale starts today: Buy one, get the second at half price! It’s a great deal, so what are you waiting for? Get a head start and tick those names off of your Christmas shopping list!

For more information, visit domistylegifts.com. For a list of e-tailers, click here.

Happy shopping!

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OK, yesterday, I had striped bowls on the brain. Strange, I know. But I was checking out this story on styleathome.com (Bargain beauty: Decorating for less) and I couldn’t stop admiring the striped bowls that caught my eye in the story’s photo. So, I started looking for stylish striped bowls to include in my blog. Alas, I couldn’t find the exact ones featured in the story but I did find another set of dishware that I quite liked. (You can check out that blog post here.)

But, thanks to the help of my colleague (Helen Racanelli, editor of canadianliving.com, who insisted I credit her for the elusive find) I was directed to the designer/manufacturer of the exact bowls I was marveling at. Alors, voila!

These cheerful and bold bowls by Scandinavian design company iittala can be found online at dinnerplates.com and the full product line ranges in price from $10 to $42. P.S. dinnerplates.com ships to Canada!

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