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Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card in Our Women’s Day Giveaway!

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card in Our Women’s Day Giveaway!

The International Women’s Day is coming up, so the MyGreatRecipes team decided to show our appreciation for the gorgeous, brave & hard-working women of this nation. We’re going to award one lucky lady with a FREE 50$ Amazon Gift Card, so she can get herself something nice for this special day! Or, maybe you have a special lady in your life you want to spoil a bit. Either way, don’t wait – Enter the GIVEAWAY now!

To enter the giveaway, you need to complete at least one of the tasks. The more tasks you complete – the greater your chances of winning the gift card!

  • Like MyGreatRecipes on Facebook
  • Follow @mygreatrecipes on Instagram
  • Follow @mygreatrecipes on Twitter
  • Subscribe to MyGreatRecipes’s channel on YouTube
  • Follow MyGreatRecipes on Pinterest
  • Visit our website
  • Share with your friends so they can enter the giveaway as well!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from February 26, 2018, at 12:00 AM PST until March 7, 2018, at 11:59 PM PST.

The winner will be randomly selected and notified via e-mail on 8th of March – so make sure you use a correct e-mail address! Once the winner has responded, they will be sent the code for the $50 Amazon Gift Card.

We wish a Happy Women’s Day to all our lovely ladies out there. Keep shining and smiling always!

 

Women’s day giveaway!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Perfect Pancakes for Pancake Day 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Perfect Pancakes for Pancake Day 2018

Everybody knows how to make pancakes. You can prepare a fairly decent stack of pancakes even if you are a first-time cook. There is nothing simpler than making pancakes from scratch. Or is there? Have you ever wondered why your first pancake never works? Or why instead of the fluffy, tall pancakes yours look like flat discs?

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This post is about pancake PERFECTION. It will show you how to make easy fluffy golden pancakes in no time, with a minimum mess in the kitchen.

Kitchen Arsenal

To make perfect pancakes, you need to own high-quality kitchenware elements. Here are the basics.

pancake day

Frying Pan

The first and most important cookware element is the frying pan. An unsuitable, sticky pan will ruin even the best pancake recipe. The three rules for pans are non-stick, wide enough, and no hot spots. If you have a griddle or a skillet, feel free to use them.

Avoid pans with sloped sides and choose a heavy-bottomed pan. If the pan’s bottom is too thin, your pancakes will burn. You will need a pan that is wide enough to allow you easy flipping. I recommend a ceramic coated pan that is nonstick and can be heated to very high temperatures. Another upside is that ceramic pans don’t rust. The ceramic coating conducts heat very well so there will be no hot spots.

Buying a high-quality pancake pan will pay off. If you buy a bargain-cheap, non-stick pan at the supermarket you might end up with flakes from the non-stick coat in your sweet treat. A more expensive pan will last forever!

Spatula

Second on the list is the spatula. This tool is essential for easy and efficient flipping. I have tried to do it with a spoon once, trust me, it is impossible. That is unless you are a flipping master and you can turn your pancakes by tossing them into the air, like that guy who holds the world record for most tosses (140) in one minute.

The perfect spatula should have a thin edge to let you get under the pancake and flip it easily, without any tearing or wrinkling. You can use a metal one, but if you have a nonstick pan or skillet you can choose a silicone or rubber spatula.

Cups, bowls, spoons, and more

Besides the two above mentioned key elements, you will need a few more to have on hand to prepare a standard easy pancake recipe.

  • Two cups (for flour and milk)
  • A teaspoon (for raising agents and salt)
  • A tablespoon (for sugar and butter)
  • Two bowls (one big and one medium, preferably metal, ceramic, or glass, not plastic)
  • Whisker (for mixing the ingredients)
  • Brush (for applying fat to the pan)

The Fluff Factor

If the pancakes don’t look fabulous, I won’t bother eating them. I want to fall in love with the pancakes at first sight. I want them to be tall, soft, and fluffy. When it comes to texture, the first commandment is: choose easy pancake recipes. Easy equals foolproof. Check out our pancake collection with over 200 of the best American pancake recipes!

pancake day

Let’s talk about the ingredients first. In an easy pancake recipe, there are dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt, and wet ingredients: milk, egg, and butter.

Dry Ingredients

  1. Rule number one for fluffy pancakes: your raising agents (baking powder and baking soda) must be fresh. The shelf life is 6-12 months from opening date, but if you’re not sure, apply this simple test: add ½ teaspoon of baking powder or baking soda in 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar. If the raising agent is fresh, it will bubble and fizz.

If you have forgotten to buy baking powder and have already started to make the pancakes, you can prepare a homemade baking powder, by mixing 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar and a teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl. Store this powder airtight, in a dark and dry place at room temperature, for up to 6 weeks.

Wet Ingredients

The wet ingredients should be at room temperature. If they are cold the pancakes will be sultry.

1.Use buttermilk instead of milk for lighter and more tender & fluffy pancakes. If you don’t have buttermilk at hand, know this: acidity equals fluffiness. Create a home-made “buttermilk” by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a cup of milk (any type of milk will do, even non-dairy).

You can also use Greek yogurt or mix the milk with plain Greek yogurt (1-part milk + 2 parts yogurt).

Another secret ingredient for fluffiness is carbonation. The fizziness in carbonated beverages, like beer or sodas (e.g. seven up) is responsible for making the pancakes extra fluffy. Did you know that beer pancakes are called “mancakes”?

  1. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk. Beat the whites separately and fold it into the batter to make it lighter. It’s a science thing: egg whites are made almost entirely of protein, so when whipping them, the proteins unfold and recombine in rigid structures, i.e. they transform into a mass of foamy bubbles.
  2. For best results, use all-purpose flour in the batter because it won’t affect the structure of the pancakes. Other good alternatives are whole wheat, buckwheat, or cornmeal. Mix and match any of these flours and find what works best for you.
  3. Make your pancakes immediately after mixing the batter. The fresher the batter, the better the pancakes. The raising agents start working immediately after coming into contact with the wet ingredients and their effect decreases with the time. So, if you want you can mix the dry ingredients in advance, but once you add the wet ones, you’d better start cooking!
  4. Leave the batter lumpy. The more you mix the batter, the chewier the pancakes will be, due to gluten development in the flour. You don’t want that. Stir the ingredients until they are just combined, but make sure there are quite a few lumps inside.
  5. Another idea to speed up the mixing process is to use a blender. First, add the wet ingredients. Once they are foamy, add the dry ingredients and keep mixing until smooth.

The Art of Cooking

Once you’ve prepared the best pancake batter it is time to learn how to cook perfect small golden pillows that simply melt in your mouth.

pancake day

Photo credit:williams-sonoma.com

Test batch

I recommend that you treat the first few pancakes as a test batch. Use them to adjust the heat and practice your flipping skills. Make sure the pan is not too hot to avoid burning the pancakes. On the other hand, if it is not hot enough, the batter will smear. Sprinkle a few drops of water before you start cooking. If they are shimmering, you’re good to go.

Fat

Use vegetable oil for frying, not butter. Butter burns easily, due to the milk solids contained inside. Especially when your pan is on medium heat for a longer time.

If you insist on using butter, chose either the clarified version, in which milk solids have been separated beforehand or the unsalted version which has a lower whey content and doesn’t burn as easily. The last option is to mix the butter with oil.

Use a heat-proof silicon pastry brush to apply the chosen fat onto the surface of the pan.

If you use too much oil, your pancakes will fry. Wipe the excess oil before you pour the batter into the hot pan or griddle using a paper towel.

Frying and Flipping

Do not flatten the pancakes with the spatula, even if you are tempted to do so, in order to cook them faster. They will cook faster but they won’t be fluffy.

How to avoid smearing the batter because of a sloppy flip? The problem is that you’re using the whole arm, instead only the hand. Slide the spatula under the pancake, lift slightly, and then turn it using your wrist.

Flip the pancake when bubbles appear on the surface and the edges have set. Don’t wait for the bubbles to burst, it will be too late! The bottom of the pancake should be light brown. It should take you about 2-3 minutes to cook the first side and 1-2 minutes more for the opposite side.

Your awesome & easy pancakes are now ready. All you need to do is choose a splendid topping to match these expert-made pancakes and enjoy.

Add-ins and Toppings

pancake day

Add-ins, like berries or chocolate chips, can be easily burnt. That is why it is best to add them as late as possible. First pour the batter into the pan, then add the chips or berries (distribute evenly). Bananas, on the other hand, caramelize during cooking so you can add them directly to the batter, mashed or in slices.

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Standard picture perfect pancakes require a perfect topping. Out of respect for the perfect fluffy pancakes you’ve just prepared, choose pure maple syrup instead of the pancake syrups sold in plastic bottles that are full of sugar and God knows what else. Add a pat of butter on top and dive in!

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

5 Foods That Promote Brain Health

5 Foods That Promote Brain Health

Proper nutrition is the key to a healthy self. Focusing on the right foods and eating healthy does help reduce the risk of developing terminal conditions such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and even kidney infections.

In addition to promoting good health, eating right does take care of the most important part of your body, the brain.  Some foods have the power to reduce depression symptoms, anxiety, boost cognitive functions, and even fight insomnia.

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Improved brain power makes many things possible, such as learn a new concept or even be able to reason and act fast in tight situations. Among other behaviors, eating the right foods can boost your cognitive functions significantly.

You, however, need to ensure everything that gets in your gut is healthy and nutritious enough for brain cells. The brain communicates with your stomach via the vagus nerves. Any nutrients beneficial to brain cells are transported directly to the mind through the blood. Some of the best foods for brain health include:

Fatty Fish

brain foods

Fatty fish are some of the best and abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Since the human system cannot manufacture these fats, it relies solely on the foods we eat. Having a hearty meal of oily fish, therefore, supplements your supply of these essential nutrients. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are common compounds in the standard American diet today.  Most of the foods we have today are high in Tran’s fats as well.

According to mental health therapists Clarity Clinic, only omega 3 fatty acids can reverse some of the toxic effects of trans fats and DHA on brain cells. Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and other cold water fish are some of the best sources of omega fatty acids. These fats can also be found in walnuts and flaxseeds.

Supplementing your supply of omega fatty acids not only helps fight depression as well as improve brain health, but also reduces the risk of contracting schizophrenia, dementia, and other mental disorders. These fats are known to boost serotonin and dopamine secretion in the body, hence increasing your memory and learning capacity.

Whole Grains

brain foods

Glucose is the primary source of energy for the human brain. Glucose comes from the breakdown of carbohydrates. According to research, simple carbs tend to worsen one’s moods due to spikes of blood sugar in the system. Complex carbs, on the other hand, help one feel full for longer and also helps maintain a positive mood for hours.

This is because glucose is released slowly into the bloodstream. The steady supply of glucose keeps brain cells fueled thus improved brain functions and capacity. Whole foods are some of the best sources of high-quality complex carbohydrates. Wild rice, oats, bulgur, whole wheat products, soy, and beans are other recommended sources of high-quality carbs.

Lean Protein

brain foods

Lean proteins are good sources of amino acids. Amino acids are not only the main body building blocks, but also contribute greatly to neurons and neurotransmitter health and efficiency. The nervous system mainly relies on high-quality amino acids to remain effective. Tryptophan (commonly found in turkey) is one of the essential amino acids that influence one’s moods and even boost serotonin production.

Serotonin (often referred to as nature’s Prozac) is associated with depression. Protein sources from chicken, lean red meat, eggs, fish, turkey, and beans play a considerable role in keeping serotonin levels in check. Healthy serotonin levels reduce pressure on brain cells thus lowering effects of anxiety and depression. Enjoying a hearty meal of lean proteins can, therefore, boost your overall brain functions.

Green Leafy Vegetables

brain foods

Green leafy vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and folic acid. These constituents are essential for improved functionality and efficiency of the nervous system. A deficiency in any of these nutrients is often linked to insomnia, fatigue, and depression. Many individuals today, however, get enough supply of B vitamins and folate in their meals. Adding green veggies to your diet plan should supplement the supply of the same, hence recommended.

Broccoli is one of the excellent sources of antioxidants and selenium. This mineral is essentially needed for improved thyroid hormone metabolism, reproduction, and proper immune system functioning. Selenium deficiency in the body is also linked to fatigue, depression, and anxiety in most patients. You can also supplement selenium from eating seafood, onions, chicken, whole grains, and Brazil nuts.

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Yogurt

brain foods

Fermented foods with active cultures, yogurt, kimchi, kefir, pickled veggies, and temper all contain healthy bacteria. The healthy bacteria (probiotics) are essentially needed for a healthy gut and are known to reduce stress and anxiety hormones.  Processed foods, however, do not contain these healthy bacteria, and are known to eliminate the same by introducing unhealthy ones. Having a cup of yogurt or any of the foods outlined above should help replenish good bacteria to the system.

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

Food of Love – 28 Valentine’s Day Suggestions

Food of Love – 28 Valentine’s Day Suggestions

“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.” – Julia Child

Valentine’s Day Traditional Foods

How February 14 became associated with love remains unclear. Most Historians believe that it was a physician by the name of Valentine who started the frenzy of sending love cards on this day. Namely, the poor man fell in love with one of his patients, the daughter of an emperor. Before being executed because of his religious beliefs, he sent his beloved a note signed with “Your Valentine.”

And while cards are a must when it comes to this holiday, food doesn’t fall behind either. When we think of foods associated with Valentine, most of us immediately think of the most popular love food – chocolate. Chocolates became a common gift during the Victorian era when people were greatly inspired by medieval courtly love and chivalry. So, if you are looking for a chocolate recipe, you’ll find it difficult to select just one. Our suggestion is Chocolate Pots de Crème. Looks good and tastes divine.

valentine's day food

Still, there are a few more traditional foods used to celebrate love and for each and every one of them, there is a logical explanation.

Wine. The feeling that one gets when enjoying a glass of wine is often compared to the feeling of being in love. Don’t forget to buy a high-quality wine to serve on this day. If you and your loved one don’t fancy that euphoric feeling wine creates, use it in recipes like the one for Creamy Pistachio Chicken. This dish is made with white wine which gives it incredible depth and flavor and the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process so there is no need to worry.

Strawberries are heart-shaped and red colored so it’s no wonder they were considered a symbol of Venus by the ancient Romans. Dip them in melted chocolate, or even better, incorporate them into an amazing recipe just like the Strawberry Cream Cake.

Honey. As a symbol of love, bees were associated with Cupid during the Renaissance and are often depicted stinging Cupid, the god of love, in paintings. Honey is a symbol of procreation and contains boron, which provides an energy boost and helps regulate testosterone and estrogen levels. This natural aphrodisiac can be incorporated in savory recipes, but it definitely works best in sweet ones, like Honey Fudge Parfaits.

Herbs. There are three herbs often associated with the day of love –  lavender, basil, and rosemary.  With its scent and beautiful purple color, lavender relaxes the senses. Basil is a traditional symbol of fertility and boosts sexual desire by increasing the heart rate and improving circulation, whereas rosemary has been associated with wedding ceremonies since the Middle Ages and is often incorporated in wedding bouquets. Use lavender and rosemary in a single delightfully fragranced and delicate recipe – Scented Cupcake Trio.

valentine's day food

Valentine Breakfast in Bed

Valentine’s Day is a perfect way to show your love, but also a great excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast. If love and devotion do not offer a sufficient justification for such a guilty pleasure, here is a little extra: Chocolate is absolutely sensual, from its aroma to its taste, but it has also been known to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure. This fact makes chocolate a powerful aphrodisiac which is sure to get you in the mood for love.

In addition, chocolate is really good for you – it lowers the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, boosts brain function, and acts as a powerful antioxidant.

So, why wait for dessert? Feel free to start the day in a decadent fashion.

The easiest option is to make chocolate pancakes. However, in order to capture some of the love that is in the air, cook these fluffy flapjacks in a heart-shaped mold.

The beauty of pancakes is their versatility and flexibility; for instance

  • you can stack them on top of each other, adding vanilla frosting in between the pancakes and on top, to create a delicious cake;
  • you can pour the batter into muffin tins to create cute chocolate muffins; or
  • slice cooked pancakes and incorporate them in various trifles and parfaits that look absolutely tempting!

Another option is to add some red food coloring to the batter and prepare luscious red velvet pancakes. They make use of cocoa powder as well, but for additional chocolatey flavor, serve them with Nutella cream.

valentine's day food

Here are some other chocolate morning options:

–    Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

–    Triple Chocolate Banana Bread

–    Pecan Chocolate Chip Maple French Toast Bake

–    Chocolate Waffles a La Mode

–    Dark Chocolate Granola + Valentine’s Twist

–    Double Chocolate Oatmeal

Valentine’s Date Night Dinner

As Jay Leno once pointed out, men call this day ‘Extortion Day’. So, if your significant half doesn’t feel like putting on their fancy outfit and leave the comfort and safety of your home on a chilly night, why not stay at home and cook? This decision has another upside – your joint bank account will remain intact, allowing you to save some money for a romantic weekend getaway once the weather decides to improve a bit.

Invest your time and energy in really fancy dishes packed with aphrodisiac food that really spark the romance. By definition, an aphrodisiac is a food or drink that increases the sexual desire. Aphrodisiac foods reduce the stress levels, increase circulation, or affect neurotransmitters.

Do aphrodisiacs work? Try these 10 recipes with your baby and see if scientists are right:

valentine's day food

#1 Chili Lime Tacos with Mango Salsa

Besides the passionate red color and the fiery taste, chili peppers stimulate endorphins which are responsible for good moods. Their hotness increases circulation and stimulates the nerve endings, making you feel more aroused.

This spicy dish can be served wrapped in tortillas or turned into a main dish salad by swapping the tortillas with romaine.

#2 Oyster Mushrooms, Garlic, and Green Onion Sautee

Besides being very easy to make, this recipe is also paleo and gluten-free. Oysters are one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs due to the fact that they are full of zinc and amino acids that support the production of sex hormones and increase the sex drive.

#3 Spicy Tuna and Avocado Sushi Bites

Avocado’ reputation as an aphrodisiac goes as far as the Aztec times. This silky and creamy fruit is filled with vitamin E, which helps the body produce sex hormones and stimulates vigor and energy levels.

#4 Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta with Bell Peppers, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Asparagus is rich in folate, which aids the production of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, and histamine, which is released in the body during orgasm. In addition, this green veggie contains B vitamins which have been known to boost the libido.

valentine's day food

#5 Saffron Shrimp and Peach Rice Bowls

Studies have confirmed that saffron increases the sexual performance. Moreover, this tasty spice is very healthy; it is packed with Vitamins B6 and C, as well as minerals like manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

#6 Pesto Pizza with Pine Nuts and Feta

If you are not ready to give up great pizza even on days like this, that’s OK. You can simply upgrade it to a new tastier and sexier level.

Pine nuts abound in energizing zinc, which is essential for producing testosterone. They have been popular aphrodisiacs since the Middle Ages.

#7 Mushroom Gnocchi with Arugula and Walnut Pesto

Arugula is yet another libido-boosting food that has been used for a long time; to be more precise, since the first century A.D. This green leafy plant is packed with antioxidants that prevent negative effects of contaminants on your libido.

This recipe contains another aphrodisiac – walnuts, which contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids needed to boost the production of sex hormones.

#8 Asian Pan Seared Salmon Salad with Honey Sesame Dressing

Much like walnuts, salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids that balance the hormones. Plus, it is combined with another powerful aphrodisiac in this recipe-honey.

valentine's day food

#9 Spinach and Artichoke Quiche Cups

These tiny veggies come in handy to feed each other when you don’t have strawberries. Besides this convenient feature, artichokes contain antioxidants and vitamins needed for healthy blood circulation and overall health.

#10 Cashew Chicken Ding with Jicama, Celery and Red Bell Pepper

Celery is a crunchy, aromatic veggie that contains androstenol and androsterone, pheromones that are secreted by women and men when they sweat and serve to create sexual attraction. Consider replacing the cashews with another powerful attractant – almonds.

All of these amazing dishes can be complemented with libido-boosting spices, herbs, and add-ins such as:

–    Olive oil

–    Cardamom

–    Garlic

–    Carrot

–    Coriander

–    Aniseed

Valentine Lovable Desserts

No meal is complete without a dessert! Whether you are inspired by the infamous food scene in “9 ½ Weeks” or just want to share a tasty sweet treat, ask your boo to join you in the kitchen and prepare these delicious aphrodisiac-packed recipes together.

#1 Banana Pudding

It’s not just the phallic shape! Bananas also contain bromelain, an enzyme which boosts testosterone production, as well as vitamin B and potassium that increase the energy levels. This recipe also contains whipped cream…in case you want to recreate the above-mentioned movie scene.

#2 Mexican Coffee Ice Cream Pie

In addition to caffeine, which increases the heart rate and makes the blood flow, this recipe contains two additional feel-good ingredients – cinnamon, which heats up the body and normalizes the blood sugar levels, and vanilla, which stimulates the nerves, thus enhancing your sexual drive.

valentine's day food

#3 Gingerbread Cookie Dough Truffles

Ginger is very similar to chili peppers in boosting the blood flow and body temperature. This fact was well known by French courtesans in the past, who gave ginger to their lovers to boost their pleasure and desire. The recipe also contains nutmeg, a spice that has been used as a libido-booster in Hindu cultures for centuries.

If you need a little something to boost your confidence and liven up the atmosphere, prepare these hot cocktails. Remember, consume in moderation – you don’t want to end up to stewed for love.

Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Watermelon White Sangria

Believe it or not, watermelon is said to have a ‘Viagra’ effect on the body! This is due to the high content of lycopene which relaxes the blood vessels and improves blood flow, which causes you to feel aroused very quickly.

valentine's day food

Pomegranate and Orange Champagne Punch

Pomegranate is a powerful antioxidant which supports circulation. Studies have shown that these red gems also help with erectile dysfunction.

We hope that you have found a recipe that sparked your interest. All you need to do is find the perfect scented candles and create a sexy playlist.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

Kitchen Islands Essentials to Increase Your Effectiveness in the Kitchen

Kitchen Islands Essentials to Increase Your Effectiveness in the Kitchen

Do you have an island in your kitchen? If not, you are missing out; there is so much that you can do with an island, and it truly makes the space in your kitchen more functional. Islands are popping up all over right now, and they are a priority for many people that are undergoing a kitchen renovation.

However, installing an island is not a project that should be taken lightly. You need to think about your decision so that you don’t create more problems for yourself in the attempt to transform your kitchen into an unusable space.

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The goal is to come up with a design that works for you and the other people that will be using the room. As you look to design your kitchen, there are a few tips to keep in mind in order to make sure that the space is practical and useful but still beautiful.

It doesn’t matter whether you are starting from scratch or redesigning an existing space, these ideas can help.

kitchen island

Think About the Room as A Whole

Once people get the idea of an island in their head, they seem to throw everything else to the wind, including the size of the room. Before you do anything else, you need to look at the usable space and figure out what makes sense for your kitchen.

What is the room lacking right now? How can an island help meet those needs? Does the island need to serve more than one function? For example, do you need additional prep space for food but also need storage for your kitchen items? Your island should help meet the needs of your kitchen without interfering with anything else in the space.

Pay Attention to Size

As you design your kitchen island and figure out what role it is going to play in your space, you also need to think about what size it should be. If you have a large kitchen, you may think that you have a lot of space to play with.

You probably do have plenty of room, but it isn’t always easy designing a big kitchen. Any island that you build has to look right in the space, which means that it can’t be too big or too small. If it is too big, you won’t have enough room to maneuver around the kitchen. However, if it is too small, it will not look good and you will waste a lot of usable space.

Don’t Forget About Aisle Space

As you measure out where you want your island to be, make sure to leave plenty of space between the island and your counters. This aisle is essential to ensuring that you can move around your kitchen without any problems. If your kitchen is not very large, about three feet is essential for the aisle. If you can, three and a half feet is even better. Of course, you don’t want your aisle to be too big because it simply won’t be functional!

kitchen island

Get Creative

When you picture a kitchen island in your mind, you probably think of the traditional square shape suggest arltops.com. However, it is important to realize that you don’t have to simply follow traditional if you don’t want to. There are a lot of styles and designs that you could incorporate into your kitchen, assuming that the space will allow for it.

For example, both “T” shapes and “L” shapes look great and can make a statement in your room. You could even design your kitchen island in a circle or oval shape! Look at your room and figure out what would look best in it. Don’t simply fall back on tradition or you may miss out on a great design scheme!

Make It Personal

When it comes to the countertop, you need to think both about the style of the kitchen and your own unique needs and wants. For example, will you be preparing food on the island? If so, a butcher block is a great addition to the countertop. If you like baking, you might want to go with a marble surface. If you want something that will last a long time, stainless steel might be your best option. And, of course, quartz remains a favorite among many homeowners.

Don’t Forget Storage!

When it comes to your island, you can’t forget about cabinets and extra storage. They allow you to organize your space and make sure that you can keep your countertop clear of any mess. When it comes to exactly what you put in, you should allow your kitchen to dictate the design.

For example, if you don’t have much room, go with deep drawers to maximize your storage space. Fold-away inserts are another great idea as well. However, if you have a big space, you can install shelves and cabinets with glass doors. You don’t necessarily need storage space, since you probably have plenty of that already, so you can use your island to display some of your favorite kitchen pieces instead!

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Plan for Gatherings

People gravitate to the kitchen, primarily because of the food that is available there. Think about who will be eating in your space on a regular basis and make sure you have ample seating for those individuals.

Islands can also function as a bar; in fact, you can have two levels so that there is a lower area for food preparation and a higher area where people put their food and drink. Remember, though, that someone at the island needs to have space for their knees when they are sitting down. Make sure you have plenty of clearance before going through with your design.

Think About Appliances

Are you just prepping food at your island or do you want to cook there, too? That is something you need to figure out early on because if you are going to cook, there are additional considerations that need to be taken into account. For example, the area will have to have a gas line. Also, consider which appliances you want to have on your island. You will give up room for a dishwasher, for example, but in doing so you make your space as functional as it possibly can be.

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

An island is a great addition to any kitchen. However, if you are considering installing one, you must think about the space that you have and how you can make the addition as functional as possible. If you aren’t sure what to do, you can bring in the professionals to help.

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

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