chefs-tips-remodeled-kitchen

Chefs’ Tips for Cooking in Your Newly-Remodeled Kitchen

Now that you’ve remodeled your kitchen (or if you’re looking forward to remodeling it), you’re bound to be excited about cooking in it! Shiny new appliances, gleaming countertops and ample cabinet space make it a pleasure to be in the kitchen. And no matter where you are in your cooking prowess, there’s always something to learn. Here are some chefs’ tips to enjoying your newly-remodeled kitchen.

chefs-tips-remodeled-kitchen

Employ Mise en Place

Mise en place is a French term meaning “putting in place.” Gather your recipe, ingredients, cooking utensils in one place prior to cooking and prepare any items in advance, like chopping vegetables or measuring flour. Think about where you will be using each item and plan out accordingly. This is how chefs create a meal quickly.

You Only Need 5 Knives

Professional chefs usually purchase their own knives and take great care of them. Their knife packet includes a paring (2-4” blade), boning (5-7” firm blade), fillet (5-8” pliable blade), French chef’s (8-14” blade), and serrated (12-14” jagged blade) knife.

How to Cook with Oil

  1. Heat the pan before adding oil for charring, searing, stir-frying or sautéing. If the oil is put in too early, its chemical bonds break down and it loses its lubricating quality. Pan-frying and deep-frying are exceptions due to the greater oil volume.
  2. Add the right oil with the appropriate smoke point.
  3. If the oil smokes or changes color before adding the food, it’s too hot. Throw it out, wipe out the pan, and start over. If the oil gets too hot it releases carcinogens and can reach the flash point where it combusts into flames.
  4. Use dry, room-temperature food.
  5. Don’t crowd the pan.
  6. Don’t flip proteins (meats, eggs, fish) early. When it is properly seared, it will naturally release from the pan.
Oil Smoke Points

The oil smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to break down and burn. Going past its smoke point can ruin a dish. Different oils are appropriate for different types of cooking, and it’s important to know which type works best.

  • 400°F = Sesame oil; refined canola oil; extra virgin olive oil; vegetable shortening; regular butter
  • 450°F = Extra light (refined) olive oil; refined soybean, sunflower, corn or peanut oil; clarified butter
  • 500°F = Refined avocado oil; refined safflower oil

When to Add Salt

You may be tempted to pick up the salt shaker when you begin cooking, but professional chefs know that the optimal times to add salt can vary.

  • Tenderizing meat: salt 1-4 hours ahead of cooking
  • Boiling liquids in aluminum or cast iron: Add the salt after boiling begins to avoid pitting the pot. Salt the water when cooking vegetables or pasta.
  • Deep-frying: salt after frying
  • Making stock or reducing: don’t add salt during cooking or reduction, the result will be too salty
  • Baking: salt not only adds taste, it activates rising; add according to recipe directions
  • Finishing: salt that is added just before serving or consuming food; varieties include Fleur de Sel, Maldon, Himalayan Pink Salt, or Grinding Salt. See How to Use Finishing Salts.
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Types of Salt

There are generally four types of salt, and each can be used for different applications in the kitchen.

  • Table salt: fine granules generally used in a salt shaker; highly refined; easily measured for recipes; additives can lend a metallic taste
  • Kosher salt: varying-sized coarse granules; easy to pinch and sprinkle; no additives; a chef’s favorite for cooking
  • Sea salt: coarse or fine grains; evaporated from sea water; strongest flavor; most costly; comes in gray, pink, brown and black varieties
  • Rock salt: large unrefined crystals; not suitable for eating, normally used to presenting shellfish; grayish hue

Chefs Say: Remodel Your Kitchen for How You Will Use it

Remodeling your kitchen isn’t just about making selections of countertops or cabinet colors. It’s about HOW you will use your kitchen for a long time to come. Work with a design/build remodeling firm that will review your current and future needs, your lifestyle, and your dreams for your kitchen, and then design and build it to match your vision. Then enjoy it using these chefs’ tips.

For Kitchen Remodeling in NOVA, Contact Schroeder Design/Build

If you’d like to explore remodeling your residential or commercial kitchen in Northern Virginia, contact Schroeder Design/Build.

–excerpted from 101 Things I learned in Culinary School, by Louis Eguaras with Matthew Frederick

remodeling-project-trends-2022

5 Remodeling Project Trends Expected in 2022

People are always curious about what’s coming next. And in remodeling, we like to look at what consumers are asking for. What the industry is seeing are five remodeling project trends expected to boom in 2022.

Remodeling Project Trends for 2022

Trend 1: Better mudroom functionality

Families are well familiar with the frantic searches for keys, backpacks, gloves, hats, and other essentials, especially during the morning rush to get out the door. Remodelers can help alleviate the confusion with a mudroom constructed to a family’s individual needs.

Those designing a mudroom, or an “all-purpose drop zone,” can build from scratch or convert an underutilized space such as an area in or near the garage or laundry room. Other areas that function well include drop-off areas for package and grocery deliveries; pet washing stations with an oversized sink or shower pan; specified storage for each family member; laundry equipment area with shelving, a folding counter and a sink; a central charging station; and even something fun like a boot dryer. A waterproof, easy-to-clean luxury vinyl tile floor helps.

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Trend 2: Specialized Outdoor Rooms

Homeowners are asking remodelers to build spaces to suit their favorite interests. Landscape architect Ryan Kettelkamp of the Chicago-based Kettelkamp & Kettelkamp found that “more clients wanted an outdoor kitchen this past season.” This included a grill, water source and a pizza oven!

Remodeling project trends indicated that other families may want a firepit or outdoor fireplace; a lawn or terrace area where a large screen can be put up to watch movies; an edible garden; and raised wood planters and trellises.

Trend 3: Larger Windows

Homeowners want to feel like they’re connecting with the outdoors even when they’re stuck inside and are changing out windows and doors to fit larger glass options. Windows installed higher, as in a clerestory; garage-style glass doors that roll up; and smaller framework for a thinner window profile are being requested. Durability and energy efficiency remain at the top of the list.

remodeling-project-trends-2022

Trend 4: Flexible Home Offices

Having a place to work or study from home became a need during the pandemic. According to the 2021 Houzz Emerging Home Design Trends Report, searches for home offices were up 108%. Designing a room or area with privacy, light and quiet was important.

Connecticut-based designer Sharon McCormick suggests asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you need a door?
  • Do you want natural light?
  • Do you need or want to share space?
  • Do you have an extra room or space, like a large walk-in closet, landing, attic or basement?
  • What furnishings and accessories do you need?

Trend 5: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Those with space on their property may opt for the remodeling project trend of building an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU. Similar to a tiny house, these structures are “generally detached from the main house and range in size between 500 and 800 square feet, but as large as 1,200 square feet,” said Caitlin Bigelow, an ADU advocate who runs Maxable, an educational resource on ADUs.

Increased approval from planning and building departments has boosted the popularity of ADUs, which can be used as a housing solution for returning grown children, renters, or older parents (granny flat).

Bigelow recommends installing doorways that accommodate a wheelchair, and removing thresholds between areas when designing your ADU, and including natural light, insulation, key appliances and universal design features overall.

Related: Did you miss our July 2021 design seminar on ADUS? Watch it here!

For Expert Remodeling, Contact Schroeder Design/Build

You too, can add function, value and joy to your home, both inside and out with these remodeling project trends. Contact Schroeder Design/Build to talk about your remodeling dreams in Northern Virginia.

 

–Excerpted from “5 Remodeling Projects Expected to Boom in 2022” by Barbara Ballinger, published in Pro Remodeler, September 20, 2021.

What’s Most Important in Your New Kitchen?

What’s Most Important in Your New Kitchen?

Nearly 25% of homeowners are now spending more time in their kitchens than just two years ago. Between the pandemic, home schooling, and working from home, the kitchen is now a vital multi-functional space in your home. It must serve numerous purposes other than preparing and eating food. Using several surveys, we culled out what’s most important in your new kitchen in 2021.

Dual fuel range with sous vide

Most Important Kitchen Features

The Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) held a recent survey of what homeowners were envisioning for their dream kitchens. The features they found most important included:
• Storage space (49%)
• Walk-in pantry (41%)
• Central island (38%)
• Table space for eating (31%)
• Better lighting (30%)
• Built-in water filtration (21%)
• Enhanced ventilation (20%)
• Germ-resistant surfaces (17%)
• Connection to an outdoor area (15%)
• More than one sink (10%)

Working with a design professional is more important than ever to transform your kitchen into an area that can support these multi-functional needs. Today’s kitchens are larger than ever and incorporating smart features like Wi-Fi/Bluetooth capabilities, hidden built-in docking stations, small appliance storage, and virtual assistants. Of course, what’s most important in your new kitchen is based on your own needs and desires.

Other Uses for the Kitchen Area

Other favorite activities in the kitchen indicated in the survey included:
• Gathering and socializing with family & friends
• Feeding pets
• Listening to music
• Watching TV/videos
• Paying bills

Biggest Regrets in Kitchen Remodeling

RICKI reported that 51% of homeowners who remodeled their kitchens regretted not spending more to get what they really wanted. Failure to invest in more storage (33% store kitchen items they frequently use in other rooms in the house), higher-quality cabinetry, statement-making countertops, higher-end plumbing fixtures, lighting design, and fixtures were the most-noted items for remorse.

The Latest for Home Chefs

The 2020 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show featured the latest technological trends for home chefs, using the term “Technicureans” for this new generation. Some of the most important desires for a professional-quality home kitchen included:

Sous Vide Cooking

Sous Vide has been the restaurant standards for professional-quality food for many years as it prepares foods to precise temperatures and exact doneness every time. With luxury appliances, home chefs can get their sous vide built right into their cooktops. Induction and gas cooking dual-fuel professional ranges, also popular pro models, can incorporate sous vide cooking as well.

Smart Appliances

Today’s high appliances have the capability to calculate exactly what is needed for each task: including water levels, detergent amounts, and humidity and temperature controls. This can save resources and energy. Wi-fi connectivity makes it easy to control, program and monitor your smart appliances.

Smarter Sinks

Making kitchen clean-up easier is important for the home chef, with demand for pull-down or pull-out faucets, voice-commanded faucets, and build-in water filtration systems on the dream list.

Craft Ice

Even ice has gone beyond the basic cube. Craft ice is now the rage, with slow-melting spherical ice, crushed or cubed ice options. In addition, the newest water dispensers offer measuring options to dispense exact amounts into your glass or bottle in 4, 8, 16 or 32 ounce pours.

Contact Schroeder Design/Build for Northern Virginia Remodeling

What’s important in your new kitchen? If you’d like to talk about remodeling, please contact us. As a true design/build firm, we have a full staff of architects and designers who can help make your dream kitchen your reality. Check out our Kitchen Portfolio for ideas!

Contact Schroeder Design/Build at 703-449-1700 or info@SchroederDesignBuild.com.

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Kitchen Remodeling Trends From 2020

Kitchen Remodeling Trends From 2020

When Houzz interviewed 2,598 U.S. homeowners about their upcoming or recent kitchen renovations, the survey results indicated a number of trends. Here are some of the popular kitchen remodeling trends from 2020.

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Kitchen Remodel Checklist: What to Expect When Remodeling Your Kitchen

Kitchen Remodel Checklist: What to Expect With a Kitchen Remodel

Planning a new kitchen is exciting, there’s no doubt about it. It can also be stressful with all the decisions and choices that need to be made. That’s why we’re helping out with this handy kitchen remodel checklist that can at least give you an idea of the process you’ll be going through with your remodeling company. That way you can be prepared and ready to move ahead with your kitchen remodel.

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How to Care For and Maintain Your Cabinetry

Your cabinetry, whether it is your kitchen or bath cabinets, or cabinets anywhere in your home, is an essential part of why your home is aesthetically appealing. To keep your cabinets looking beautiful, they do require a little special attention. We’d like to thank Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. for their help in developing these tips on how to care for and maintain your cabinetry.

Care for your cabinetry by ALWAYS:

• Cleaning up spills or standing water immediately (including condensation). Pay special attention to the areas around your sink, range, dishwasher, toe spaces and baseboards, and use a blotting action rather than wiping.
• Applying all cleaning solutions to a cloth when cleaning, and never directly to the cabinetry itself.
• Avoiding extreme temperature changes or humidity levels. This can cause the wood to warp or the glue that holds the veneers to loosen.
• Rotating accessories that sit on your cabinets so that they don’t remain in the same spot all the time.
• Using pads, cloth or felt to protect surfaces from plastic, rubber, hot dishes, beverages, bookends, flowerpots and vases.
• Using a protective pad when writing with a pen or pencil.
• Making minor repairs while the problem is small.
• Treating your cabinetry as if it was furniture. They are constructed with the same grade of wood as your furniture and require the same care to reward you with lasting beauty.

Maintain your cabinetry by NEVER:

• Using a damp cloth, water or ammonia to clean your cabinetry. Do not use a used dishcloth to wipe cabinets, as it could contain traces of grease or detergents.
• Using an abrasive cleaner or abrasive cloth on a painted surface. This will scratch, scar and dull the finish permanently.
• Using concentrated detergents. Harsh detergents, strong soap and self-polishing waxes can have a damaging effect on the finished surface.
• Using silicone polishes on the cabinet surfaces. This will raise the sheen to beyond that of the manufacturer’s intention. These polishes can seep into the finishes and are very difficult to remove.
• Using petroleum distilled polishes on the cabinet surfaces. These are often flammable and toxic, and are seldom ever completely removed.
• Leaving damp or wet cloths draped over cabinet doors. This can cause permanent water damage.
• Letting water run off the sink to the countertops and sink cabinetry. Care for and maintain your cabinetry by watching for and cleaning up water deposits or drips.
• Placing rubber or plastic objects on a wood finish; their ingredients react with those of the finish.
• Pulling downward on doors. This can cause them to split at the hinge area and sag.
• Placing more than 75 pounds of weight into a drawer. This may cause the drawer bottom to sag, or the drawer slides to function improperly. Evenly distribute weight inside a drawer.
• Using a drawer as a step to reach higher. This may cause the drawer bottom to sag, or the slides to warp.
• Attempting to repair badly-damaged surfaces without the proper materials or professional help. Contact your Authorized Wellborn Dealer, like Schroeder Design/Build.

Your cabinets are an investment in your home and should last a lifetime if you understand how to care for and maintain your cabinetry. After we install cabinetry and complete your remodeling job, we will provide you with warranty and care instructions.

For Cabinetry or Cabinetry Inspiration, Visit Schroeder Design/Build

Need some ideas for beautiful kitchen cabinetry? Visit our Kitchen Remodeling Portfolio!

When you’re looking to put on an addition, redo your kitchen, or remodel any room in your home, contact Schroeder Design/Build, Inc. We are glad to serve clients throughout Northern Virginia with award-winning remodeling services.

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Why White Kitchens are always in Style

Why White Kitchens are always in Style

why-white-kitchens-are-always-in-style

As a remodeling company in Northern Virginia, we get a lot of requests for white kitchens. Whether it’s the fact that a white kitchen is bright and cheery, or looks clean and fresh, white kitchens are always in style.  

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How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost in Northern Virginia?

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost in Northern Virginia?

Offutt_IG3Whether you live in Alexandria, Arlington, or any other town in Northern Virginia, you may be living in an older home. Older homes have plenty of charm and character, but their kitchens aren’t always suited for modern lifestyles. Homes built 60 or even 20 years ago may not offer enough room for the latest appliances and gadgets.

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The 5 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

The 5 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

ceiling-kitchen

Hastily made decisions can lead to renovation regrets month or even weeks after your kitchen remodel is finished. If you’re planning to remodel your Northern Virginia kitchen soon, you’ll want to be sure to avoid these common remodeling mistakes.

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The Open Concept Kitchen – One Solution Suitable for Many Lifestyle Stages

The Open Concept Kitchen – One Solution Suitable for Many Lifestyle Stages

The Open Concept Kitchen – One Solution Suitable for Many Lifestyle Stages Kitchen remodels are always at the top of the list for homeowners considering a renovation.  It’s the part of your home that can cause a lot of aggravation when it’s not functioning to its full potential.  And this is certainly understandable. Your kitchen […]