I decided I had to watch the HGTV Design Star Sunday night since they were making over two kitchens. The results were not good. The HGTV website tries to gloss over how bad the rooms are by taking photos from a distance and showcasing other areas like the Dining Room that were more the designers’ fortes.
The kitchen below was not finished. The designers did not allocate their budget or resources well. They chose to do a black ceramic tile countertop but they did not purchase enough material and did not even grout the tile they had down. No amount of accessories is going to fix this room – although they tried. The judges commented that they liked the old kitchen better. I’m not sure what the home owners thought, their reactions were not revealed. Other comments on the HGTV site are just as scathing citing the lack of lighting and bad material choices.
The “winning” kitchen was not much better. A heavy crackle finish was applied to the upper cabinets leaving the lower cabinets with only new hardware. The time spent faux painting the backsplash should have been devoted to finishing the cabinets. While the homeowners were pleased with their results, the judges commented that they should have had better.
Their is truth in hiring a Kitchen Designer to get the best results.
This soon to be released residential wall oven from American Range features dual dependant french oven doors. When one is moved the other is activated; so you can hold your oven tray in your right hand and open the oven with your left.
This oven features Innovection Convection Technology which means it has 2 convection motors and louvered side panels to enhance baking performance. It comes in a 30″ electric version or a 30″ gas version. According to American Range the Innovection Convection technology in the gas oven allows for a 20% reduction in the use of gas over other ovens since it does not rely on radiant heat to bake.
The commercial grade high temperature procelain interior measures 4.7 cu. ft. It has a 30,000 BTU concealed oven burner and a 15,000 BTU Incone banquet broiler burner. The outside is made of commercial grade stainless steel with easy to use analog controls. Color options are available.
American Range Company is a 30+ year old manufacturer of restaurant cookign equipment that inlcudes specialty ranges, ovens, griddles and specialty restaurant cooking products. For more information or to locate a dealer visit www.Americanrange.com
I hear this question a lot. Many people believe that new dishwashers with “Fine crystal and China” settings are safe for washing such items. These settings are usually a temperature control since fine china and crystal are sensitive to heat and may crack.
According to Waterford fine crystal and glassware should be washed by hand in moderately hot water with a mild detergent and 1/4 cup ammonia to prevent spotting. I had a friend tell me he squirts Jet-Dry in his sink when he washes crystal but I haven’t tried it yet. It’s a good idea to put a rubber mat or dishtowel in the bottom of the sink to prevent chipping and breaking.
While I do not recommend it, if you must use your dishwasher, follow these tips.
If you have a China and Crystal Setting, use it.
If you do not, set the machine to Air-Dry and open the door to help with the air-drying.
Read the detergent labels for the mildest detergent possible. Avoid detergents with bleach and acid (lemon.) Then use only half the amount recommended.
Lower the top rack if possible to accommodate the height of your crystal
Make sure to space the items so they do not touch another. Vibrations can cause chips and cracks.
Wash your china and crystal soon after use. The longer food sits on the plate the more acid eats away at the glaze.
Items with gold or silver rims should never be washed in a dishwasher.
Does the back of the detergent box confuse you? Here are some definitions for the ingredients you will see.
Phosphates tie up water hardness minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium) so the minerals won’t interfere with cleaning or deposits on surfaces. Phosphates also help keep food soil particles in suspension after removal from the soiled surfaces and prevent their redeposition. Update: Most detergents no longer contain sodium triphosphate, or STPP.
Silicate Minerals or microporous silicate minerals (known as Zeolite A– sometimes called sodium aluminosilicate ) is used as a Phosophate alternative to soften water and suspend solids. Note: Many companies are moving away from using Zeolite because it has been found to significantly increase sludge volumes in sewage treatment plants.
Sodium Disilicates are now the preferred Builder Enzyme for detergents over STPP and Zeolite. Layered sodium disilicates (manufactured as SKS-6) protect glassware from clouding and pitting and dissolve completely in cool water and revert back to silicon (sand) in the environment.
Surfactants or surface active agents loosens soil and emulsifies fats, helps hold them in suspension, and leaves surfaces clean and free from spots and film. Specially developed surfactants having the lowest sudsing characteristic are used.
Chlorine or Oxygen Bleaches are added to help prevent spots by leaving a cleaner surface than would be obtained with either surfactants or phosphates alone. The very small amount of bleach helps break down protein soils and aids in removing stains such as coffee or tea. Note: Oxygen bleaches tarnish silver components more than Chlorine bleaches.
A Corrosion Inhibitor, such as sodium silicate, helps provide protection for the dishwasher and the wide variety of materials that are washed. The corrosion inhibitor is also a soil suspending agent and an important source of alkalinity.
Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins that help break down food and soil residue into small particles. The small particles are then washed away. (Great for heavy duty cleaning.)
Special Additives, such as sodium aluminate, boric oxide or aluminum phosphate, may be used to inhibit the removal of overglaze and pattern from fine china. Sometimes antifoams are added to reduce sudsing.
Additional Alkalis, such as sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide may be used to aid in handling greasy food soils.
Polymers help prevent film buildup from hard water.
Thickening Agents are used in gel automatic dishwasher detergents so the product remains in the dishwasher cup(s) until automatically dispensed at the appropriate time.
Colorants are added to lend individuality and an appealing appearance to the product.
Processing Aids, generally inert materials, allow the active ingredients to be combined into a usable form.
Fragrance covers the chemical odor of the base product and stale food odors that might come from the dishwasher.
Microsoft is beginning work on the first of a family of customized Windows platforms designed for specific rooms around the home.
The “Kitchen Client” software will extend the Windows operating system and integrate with current and future Windows Live services. The software is expected to include a family calendar, recipe center, entertainment features and a shared bulletin board. The Kitchen Client will encompass both customized user interface and middleware that will allow developers to further customize the environment with their own products and services.
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