In this issue:
Time for Family and Friends
Welcome to the Elite Kitchens and Bathrooms Newsletter, Winter 2013-2014 Edition. This winter, make your time with family and friends extra special.
Verona Jungling masterfully brings family and friends closer to the centre of your home with tips on using your kitchen island to its fullest potential. She shares her crowd-pleaseing recipe for Eggnog Cheesecake, as well as a Gluten Free & Dairy Free Spiced Pear Crisp that everyone will love.
Finally, Verona shares 12 Tips to help you take time to re-charge with spa treatment in your own home bathroom.
Keep an eye out for Elite Kitchens and Bathrooms in the New Year, we will be at the 2014 Fraser Valley Spring Home Expo in Abbotsford’s Tradex, February 7-9. (Tip! Visit our booth there for Golden Tickets to enter our Valentine’s Day contest.)
Wishing you a joyful Christmas and holiday season.
Owner & Designer
Elite Kitchens and Bathrooms, Langley BC
News & Events
Elite at Home Expo 2014
Visit us at the 2014 Fraser Valley Spring Home Expo, February 7-9 2014 at Tradex Abbotsford. Please come for a chat and be sure to ask for your Golden Ticket to enter our Ultimate Date Night contest.
Facebook Contest Winner!
The contest will be on our Facebook page in the New Year,
www.facebook.com/elitekitchensandbathrooms. (Click on “Enter to Win!”)
A stunning dessert and always a hit!
2 packages chocolate laced pirouette cookies
1/3 cup graham wafer crumbs
3 Tbsp melted margarine
Two 8oz packages of softened cream cheese
2 cups cold eggnog
2 cups cold milk
2 packages (4 serving size) Jello Instant Pudding-Vanilla or French Vanilla
1 Tbsp white rum
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Combine crumbs and margarine. Press into 9″ springform pan. Beat cream cheese until smooth-low speed of electric mixer.
Gradually add 1 cup of the eggnog, blending until mixtures is very smooth. Add remaining eggnog, milk, pudding mix, rum and nutmeg. Beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Pour cream cheese mixture into pan. Chill until firm-at least 3 hours but best if overnight. Run hot metal knife around edges of pan before removing. Press cookies into sides of cake and wrap with a Christmas ribbon. Enjoy!
Spiced Pear Crisp
-Gluten Free & Dairy Free-
This is a delicious and healthy treat that everyone can enjoy. It’s even free of refined sugar! -Verona
1 cup apple juice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
5 medium pears, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Use 8″ square pan. Whisk together apple juice, lemon juice, arrowroot powder and nutmeg. Add pears and toss to coat. Place in baking dish. Combine flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in large bowl. In medium bowl, whisk oil, agave nectar and vanilla together. Stir into large bowl until crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over fruit. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5-10 minutes longer, until top is golden and juices are bubbling. Let cool for 30 minutes before enjoying! Goes well with whipping cream or ice cream or, as a dairy-free alternative, whipped coconut milk!
Time to Re-Charge!
In December, there is just so much to do. The holidays require so much preparation: shopping, baking, planning, decorating, eating, visiting, Christmas concerts, school plays, writing Christmas cards, trimming the tree, the list goes on and on. It seems like we need a holiday from the holidays! So, for those of us who just cannot escape to an all-inclusive resort, why not bring the relaxation home to you?
In my attempt to keep life simple, I still find myself running around this time of year to get everything done and when I feel like I am almost under control, I realize I forgot something. But something we shouldn’t neglect, is time for us. While taking care of everyone else and making sure they have a wonderful Christmas, we have to find some time to take care of us. So, how about a spa day at home? Transform your bathroom into your very own spa!
Here are some things that I have found on the “must have” list for my own “12 Steps to Relaxation in the Holidays” for a spa experience in your own custom bathroom:
- Unplug – take some time away from the computer, the IPad, your phone, the TV, etc. The only thing I don’t recommend unplugging, is your ipod. In fact, make sure you plugin your iPod in your custom bathroom and listen to a selection of beautiful, soothing music.
- Take everything off – yes, clothes, jewelry and makeup. This is a great time to cleanse your face. Well, you might want to wait a bit to take off your clothes or maybe put on a bathrobe instead.
- Steam your face. Boil some water in a pot and lean over the pot with your face. Then apply a face mask.
- Run some warm water in the bath and add some bath salts. Epsom salt with a few drops of essential lavender oil is absolutely amazing. Epsom salt relieves stress, soothes sore muscles and softens the skin. It also claims to reduce wrinkles! Hmmm, maybe I need more Epsom salt! You can make a lovely skin exfoliant with 2 cups Epsom salt with ¼ cup petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and a few drops of lavender oil. Use this to scrub away dry skin on elbows, feet and knees!
- Put on a hair mask. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds and mix it again. If it isn’t warm enough, heat again. Get your hair completely wet, wring out excess and pour the mask a little bit at a time onto the ends of your hair, working your way up to the scalp. Wrap it in a damp, warm towel or shower cap and keep on about 30 minutes.
- Light candles, lots of candles! I turn off all my electric lights and enjoy only candlelight while in the bath. Line them around your tub, on the countertops, any flat surface will do! There is something so relaxing about the flickering of the flames. Everything slows down in your custom bathroom.
- Drink lots of water. Being dehydrated is common this time of year with the cold air outside and the dry heated air inside. Think spa and add slices of cucumber or lime or strawberries to your water to really get in the mood.
- Grab a book or a magazine and a cup of tea or glass of wine and a bath caddy to rest them on if you have one. You can also put some more candles on the caddy in your custom bathroom!
- Shut the door! This is strictly “You” time in your custom bathroom.
- Sink into the tub and count your blessings. Take this moment to be still-almost anything can wait for you to be recharged.
- Rinse out your hair mask, wash off your face mask and wrap yourself in a fluffy robe or comfy pajamas.
- Indulge in a manicure or pedicure with some fun nail polish colour!
And voila! You are recharged and ready to tackle more shopping, wrapping, baking, etc. tomorrow!
Build your custom bathroom!
When it’s time to give your bathroom a new look, why not try making it into your own custom bathroom spa retreat? Simply choose natural materials, such as bamboo, earthy tones or clean light colours that evoke a spa-like feeling. Keep in mind that a spa-like setting doesn’t include clutter and that’s where we can help! We have many design ideas to keep your custom bathroom organized and looking beautiful at the same time! We would love the opportunity to help you create the oasis in your home. Custom bathrooms are our business-it’s right there in our name! We welcome you to come down to visit our showroom and see some custom bathroom displays that might be just what you are looking for.
Happy Holidays from our home to yours!
If an island getaway isn’t in the plans for you right now, there is another kind of island that may be exactly what you are looking for! Kitchen islands are very popular at the moment and for good reason! They are great ways to expand your counterspace, give extra seating and storage, but there is more to having an “island oasis” than that!
Just imagine, the holiday party at your place. Where does it end up? In the kitchen, always! Now imagine your kitchen with an island-that is, unless you already have one! This is where the party is. The guests all mingling around the island, perhaps some sitting on the stools at the breakfast bar, others resting their wine glasses on the countertop while nibbling the appetizers set out in front of them…well, that certainly makes an island sound inviting! But it doesn’t stop there, I have more ideas for how to use that extra space in your kitchen.
First, consider the function the custom kitchen island would have. Would it be mainly for extra storage space? How about for extra seating and countertop? What about to house your larger appliances? Or, how about an additional sink or cooktop area? These are some of the ways you can maximize your custom kitchen island.
Consider putting in a single sink for vegetable prep with a new in-counter compost bin. These bins fit just under the counter and have a stainless lid that can be removed to add to the bin from the counter. The bin has a sleeve that can be emptied at a later time.
Sometimes, you might just want the kitchen island to be storage.
How about a place to put your microwave so that it doesn’t take up counter space?
Or something that might come in very handy at your holiday party, a wine storage area. Adding a wine rack and a wine fridge to your custom kitchen island seems to be winning idea for keeping everyone at the party from becoming thirsty!
And where do you keep your cookbooks? How about in a rack at the end of your kitchen island. Handy and they might just inspire others in the family to start making dinner…well, I can dream.
Another idea for the kitchen island is a place to store your appliances and seldom used larger serving dishes. If you would prefer the clean counter look but find it cumbersome to haul out the kitchenaid mixer every time you want to bake cookies, consider a heavy-duty mixer appliance lift! It stores your mixer in the cupboard and when you need it, it lifts it forward and up. Now that’s what I call clever customization!
Speaking of mixers, does your holiday include some baking? Did you know that bakers recommend a marble slab for rolling out dough? Marble stays cold and prevents the dough from sticking and keeps it cool longer so it stays manageable to handle. Not only is marble good for bakers, but candy makers and anyone who has ever made homemade ice cream also enjoys the benefits of marble. Consider a marble countertop for your island and you have a ready-made baking center! If you would like some help with the ice cream, I know a few people who might be able to help out with eating it!
With so many uses, a custom kitchen island does make a lot of sense. If you would like to know if putting an island in your kitchen would work, consult with one of our design specialist at Elite Kitchens and Bathrooms and find out what works for you.