My dream kitchen has a walk in pantry with floor to ceiling shelves to hold all of my small appliances. White marble countertops that feel like they sprawl for half a mile and of course a sink large enough to hold my border collie. But until I can make that happen, I have to make due with my play-house sized kitchen. Having a small kitchen can definitely be difficult! There's little space to cook, and prepare a meal - especially for larger gatherings, and it most certainly lacks storage for all of my appliances, tools and ingredients. The plus side is that it's easy to clean!
Preparing your meals in a small kitchen doesn't have to be hard, it just take a bit of prep and some organization and you can work smart in the space that exists. Check out our tips for the making the most of your small kitchen!
Have more tips? Let us know in the comments below.
Organization Is Key
Lists are your friend. I am a huge fan of writing things down, it helps you figure out what needs to be done and map out the steps in which you should do them. From breaking down your menu, and the time it takes to cook each item, to what you need to make ahead of time, what to thaw and when to put it in the oven.
Plan and Cook Ahead
Just because you are hosting a dinner tomorrow night, doesn't mean you have to cook everything tomorrow night! Through planning ahead, you may notice that there are a few items on your menu that you can cook a day or two in advance and it won't ruin the quality of the dish. For example soups, and casseroles are fantastic items that can be frozen for up to a month - just don't forget to make a note of the date you cooked it on the bag or freezer container.
One of the best ways to create space is by building up, not out! Shelves, wall hangers and storage containers are your friend!
I also love placing a large cutting board on top of the sink for some extra prep space!
Clean As You Go
While this can be so annoying, washing the dishes as you go is key. You can always enlist your partner or roommate to help you. Take turns cooking and cleaning.
Heart of the Home is Edmonton's premiere kitchenware, accessory and gift shop in downtown's High Street. We carry quality products including baking supplies, handy kitchen gadgets, small appliances, kitchen storage solutions and so much more.
Come and visit us today! 12539 102 Avenue
Finding the perfect gift for a loved one can be the most frustrating thing! You don't want to get them something that they already have, and you certainly want to give them something that will actually use. To point you in the right direction, here are a few of our top picks for every food lover, or at home chef!
W&P Porter Products
W&P makes food and beverage essentials that empower you to live your best life, today. The way we cook, eat and drink is changing faster than ever and they’re on a mission to create products that can keep up and carry you through your day.
Folding Chopping Board
Chop your fruit, veg, meat or herbs on a Chop2Pot chopping board then simply squeeze the handle to create a chute and add your food directly to your pan or pot!
A chef's knife is your most important kitchen tool. They are a multi-purpose knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks. They can be used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts. To learn more about chef's knives, read our Chef's Knife FAQ blog.
Reusable Storage Bags
It's time to kick the ziplock habit and rethink plastic when it comes to food storage. These air-tight, non-plastic are funky, functional and eco-friendly. A healthy alternative to plastic that can be used in your lunch or even as purse or office storage!
Prepare your favourite meals with the Le Creuset stoneware dish set. These casserole dishes offer superior highly functional performance both in the oven and at the table. Resistant to odours chipping cracking and staining the Le Creuset square dishes are both functional and versatile.
Microwave Pasta Cooker
At work or for on the go, cook hassle-free pasta in the microwave with this clever microwave pasta cooker, it allows you to drain and serve all in one and is perfect for use at home or taking to the office for a pasta lunch. Simply add pasta to the cooker and cover with water. Microwave for the specified time and then drain quickly and easily using the integrated colander. The design features a handy portion guide for spaghetti, a water-level indicator for efficient cooking and easy-carry edges.
How to craft the perfect charcuterie board
Ah yes, the ever-so-popular charcuterie board; One of the easiest ways to look classy at your next dinner party or wine night! The charcuterie (pronounced shahr/kew/tree) board is one of my favourite appetizers to throw together for any occasion - from wine nights with the girls, to appetizers at a house party, or even for a party of one with a glass of wine in hand and my favourite TV series on Netflix.
What’s a charcuterie board?
A charcuterie board is an assortment of meats and cheeses paired with various accompaniments like bread, fruit and jam. Most people place it on a natural wood serving board or any kind of nice serving tray.
What should I put on my charcuterie board?
The ideal charcuterie board should have a nice balance of flavours and variety of options that complement each other.
We recommend popping by Meuwly’s, located just down the road from Heart of the Home, to find house-made meat products, pickles and condiments that can all be used on your charcuterie board! Below are just a few types of meat you may want on your board.
For all of your premium cheese needs (and help with selecting which ones will work with your charcuterie board) go to Paddy’s cheese, located just next door to Heart of the Home Edmonton. Check out our cheese suggestions below - but by all means, venture out and add whatever you desire - that’s what charcuterie is all about!
Check out this helpful guide on wine and cheese pairings!
Bread & Toast
You want to add crackers and bread to your charcuterie board, as they act as a sort of a building block or foundation for the layering of items and flavours. I always stick 3-4 different options such as grain crackers, baguette slices, and crostini.
Jams, Jellies and Spreads
Condiments help elevate the flavours on your board! Salt Spring Kitchen Co., which we proudly carry in-store, have the best hand-made sweet and savoury jams, as well as flavour forward and funky hot sauces. Their sour cherry, rhubarb & rosemary preserve is TO DIE FOR.
Fruits & Veggies
Lay It Out
I always start by placing the bowls and jars of jam and spread around the board and then laying out the rest from there. Add the larger items like meats and blocks of cheese. Next place the crackers and bread around the board. I like to follow a bit of a pattern of meat, then cheese, then fruits or veggie, and finally the bread. Then keep following that pattern around the board. Fill any gaps with fresh or dried fruit. Finally, add garnish like rosemary or sage.
If you have cheese marker signs, definitely use those to let your guests know what they’re eating!
Have leftovers? Wrap up your cheese in Formaticum Cheese Paper, and everything else in Bee Happy Food Wrap—a locally made alternative to plastic wrap—that we carry in-store.
Don’t have time to make your own?
Dine-in at Partake right here in Edmonton’s High Street and feast on their charcuterie board. It’s one of my favourite places for charcuterie in Edmonton because they give the best recommendations. Meuwly's also has a charcuterie to-go option that you can purchase.
What essentials do you need from Heart of the Home?
If only gift giving could be as simple as picking something from the "under $30" section of Heart of the Home. Oh, wait. It can! Here at Heart of the Home Edmonton, we’ve curated a small collection of items, all under $30, that will please everyone from the novice baker, to the life-long chef. If you’re looking for even more ideas, come by the store and check out our front shelves where we’ve sorted some of our favourite gifts to suit all price-points and budgets. It’s holiday shopping made easy AND local!
1. Picnic in style with Kikkerland Stackable Wine Glasses. The step and cup detach for easy, compact travel and sturdy nylon straps make for easy carrying.
Review: "Perfect for picnic or festival use, or in fact to take anywhere you want something sturdy but light and compact and you want to avoid disposable plastic glasses." - Anonymous
2. Escuminac Maple Syrup. This is a pure maple syrup; its aromatic profile brings to mind warm buttered brown sugar, date purée, English toffee and green anise. We carry all three gourmet maple syrup flavours: Extra Rare, Great Harvest and Late Harvest. They are 100% pure, organic, gluten free, vegan and made in Canada!
Review: 'I thought I'd give this a try was not disappointed at all. I made a pork rib roast with a macadamia nut stuffing with a maple syrup glaze using this maple syrup. The gravy was so good and paired beautifully with the dinner. And it is amazing on pancakes, waffles, and so much more. I almost just wanted to chug it back but that's probably wouldn't be the best use for it. But still tempting nonetheless. Highly recommended if you love maple syrup. Thinking about trying to make a maple syrup creme brulee with it and see how that turns out." - User
3. Moscow Mule Mugs. The Moscow Mule cocktail is traditionally served in a copper mug. The nickel and copper plated body helps to keep your drinks colder for longer, while the handle makes the mug easy to hold. Although the mug was originally dubbed for the Moscow Mule drink, it is suitable for any icy drink alcoholic or non-alcoholic, anything will do.
Review: "Found the Brilliant Moscow Mule Mug in the 20 oz. size and ordered it. The cup came and is beautifully crafted. The outside is copper and the inside is stainless steel. The packaging for the mug even came with the recipe for how to make that tasty Moscow Mule drink that I had at my friends party. I can't wait to go buy the ingredients and drink one myself next weekend." - Greg & Erica
4. Car and Camper salt and pepper shakers make a wonderful addition to anyone's table, especially during the holiday season!
5. Adventure Flask. A flask that is ready to accompany you on all of your adventures!
Review: "This flask is great. It holds a full 8 oz which is a generous amount to carry. It's pretty flat so it is easy to hold while pouring, but won't fit into a tiny evening bag. Choose the smaller size if that's what you carry. I would have preferred that it come with a small funnel to fill it with, but that didn't slow me down much, just not as convenient. It seems well made and I expect to have it for a number of years." - Anonymous
6. The flexible gooseneck Kikkerland Flexible Tablet Holder clips on to your desk with a super strong clamp and holds your tablet device for easy, hands-free viewing. Great for viewing photos/videos; video chat; cooking; travel and GPS; watching movies and TV; and more. Fits tablets 5.1" to 8" wide (not included).
7. Salt Spring kitchen Co hot sauce collection gift box. Salt Spring Kitchen Co. makes some of the best things to ever come out of a jar or a bottle. They offer handmade, small batch preserves and sauces to pair with cheese, charcuterie, & anything else you want to put them on.
Review: "My family has been enjoying Melanie's Jams and preserves as long as she's been on Salt Spring Island. Her Spicy Tomato Jam won me over, but I confess I buy it in threes and always try to keep one on hand for guests or as a gift." - Maggie O'Scalleigh
Christmas comes but once a year, so instead of stuffing stockings with things you’re loved ones will never use, these pint-sized gifts will be a welcome surprise!
1. Since 1985 Galerie au Chocolat has been producing fine chocolate products using the best available ingredients from around the world. Their chocolates use the finest Belgian couverture chocolates available to produce among the best chocolates you will ever taste.
Review: “I received a box as a Christmas present. Possibly one of the finest chocolate makers I've tried.” - Karen Zhou
2. Add fun to the dining table with Typhoon’s Rookie Stix, an easy to use chopstick!
Review: “I've been borrowing these from a coworker regularly for months, and I'm so happy I finally bought my own! I use them at my desk job for snacks that are typically finger-food. No mess on my fingers to get on my mouse or keyboard! Works great for cheetos, cut fruit chunks, bite sized veggie pieces with dip, and of course anything you would typically eat with chopsticks!” - Hilary Young
3. Add a little colour to any situation with Topi’s hilarious toilet paper rolls!
Review: "It was a great touch to the bathroom for the holidays. Everyone commented on my enthusiastic holiday spirit to the last detail. It is strong, not overly soft but not scratchy either.” - JanaJo
4. SugarSin Gourmet Cocktail Gummies. These unique, cocktail inspired gourmet gummies are infused with real sparkling wine, rose and gin, topped with sweet and sour sugary fizz. They're the perfect sweet for grown-ups and a great addition to a fancy cocktail.
Review: "[I had] been trying to get hold of some prosecco gummies for a while and finally managed to to find them. Can I just say they are absolutely amazing and I will definitely be buying more! Haven't tried the prosecco gummies yet but I'm sure they will be lovely too! - Annette Mealing
5. Say hello to Zoku's reusable stainless steel Pocket Straw. This small and lightweight straw telescopes for storage and easy transport on the go. It extends up to 9 inches and fits any glass size. Loophole for keyring on the carrying case and included cleaning brush makes it easy to bring with you anywhere and anytime. BPA and phthalate free.
Review: “Absolutely love this straw as it is compact, easy to carry with me, easy to clean and suitable for both hot & cold liquids because of the silicone top but most importantly is eliminating my need for single use straws!” - Alison
6. Russbe reusable BPA free snack and sandwich bags are the perfect solution for meals on the go. Their food grade plastic construction with reinforced seams and locking seals keep food fresh and prevent unwanted leaks. Russbe bags help reduce the number of disposable bags that are currently being dumped into landfills.
Review: "Really like these bags. Very sturdy, good closure and easy to wash. The smaller ones are a bit small but perfect for nuts, small crackers etc. I plan on buying another set soon." - Anonymous
7. Everyone knows someone who is naughty or nice. Next time show them by adding Zoku’s Naughty Or Nice Ice into their glass. This playful silicone ice mold comes in a set of eight—perfect for your next get together. Once frozen simply remove the legible word ice by inverting the silicone—no rinsing required. The bold word ice is specifically designed to fit into double old-fashioned glasses.
Here are the 6 best Eco-Friendly kitchen products as seen in the Tomato Magazine
Looking for the perfect sustainable gifts for kitchen lovers this Christmas? Going green in the kitchen doesn't have to be a difficult task. Here are some awesome products that will help the chef in your life reduce, reuse and recycle. BONUS, you can get them all right now at Heart of the Home.
1. Cover Blubber - $30
2. Full Circle Walnut Shell Scouring Pad - $7
3. Reusable Straws, Sillicon and Stainless Steel - $10-$22
4. Joseph Joseph Go Eat Cutlery Set - $25.50
5. Swedish Dish Cloths - $7
6. Stasher Bags - $13-$30
For more eco-friendly kitchen tips read about the 5 ways you can green-ify your kitchen.
Autumnal decor ideas to help you achieve hygge | Heart of the Home Edmonton
Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. Why? One word - cozy. Or, as the Danish and Norwegians like to call it “Hygge.” Most of you have probably heard that word before, as it completely blew up the internet last year! Hygge is a word to describe the feeling of comfort, coziness, utter contentment and wellness. There’s no better time to immerse yourself in the world of Hygge, especially as the crisp winds blow through Edmonton and the river valley around us turns orange and red. I’ve been slowly trying to create a sense of Hygge at my own home, and what I’ve found is that one of the easiest places to do it is in the heart of the home. How do you plan on making your home more cozy this year? Let us know and tag us in your photos! @heartofthehomeyeg #HeartoftheHomeYEG
Candles. Turn out your lights and fire up candles instead. Seriously. I think this is the easiest way to evoke that sense of comfort and warmth in your home. I have candles in almost every room of my home and switch out the scents with the season. Right now you’ll find fall flavours like pumpkin pie, and vanilla. Check out Heart of the Home where we carry an assortment of Wrendale Designs candles with adorable animals on the tin containers, or Thymes scents of all kinds. It’s also been a wonderful addition to add Michel Designs Fall Harvest line throughout the home. Their foaming hand soaps are heavenly!
Wood. I’ve been inspired by Scandi-design aspects like incorporating wood in the living room and kitchen. Toss some fruit in a wooden basket and place it on your kitchen island, or throw a blanket and some magazines in a wicker basket for a nice and cosy touch in the living room. I also like displaying my assortment of wooden cutting boards on my kitchen counter as if they are precious art. It’s a great way to warm up your space and you most likely have those items in your home already.
Pumpkins. It’s not autumn without pumpkins and gourds of all shapes, sizes and colours! Whether real or fake, if there’s a pumpkin in the room it brings a nice pop of colour to a space and evokes that sense of warmth. It’s also a fun DIY activity to have some fun by painting them in neutral colours like white and pastel green. You might want to add a little more pizazz by glueing pearls or diamonds down the sides.
Neutral earth tones and pops of colour. Like I mentioned with the pumpkins, neutral, earth tones certainly amp up the hygge atmosphere in your home. Our stock of Le Creuset cooking products come in a variety of colours including volcanic orange, cerise red, and meringue which look fantastic as accent pieces on a countertop or on an open shelf in your kitchen.
The school year has started back up and while you have probably already stocked up on binders, notebooks and pencils, you can't forget to add some of our favourite kitchen tools and lunch packing necessities to your back-to-school shopping list. Heart of the Home, located in downtown Edmonton, has all of the things you need to help make your hectic weekday mornings easier and a heck of a lot less stressful!
Don't forget to check out our quick and easy lunch tips and recipes while you're here!
Breakfast Served Funny Side Up
The kids are sure to chow down on breakfast in the mornings with Fred's FunnySide Up dog and cat Egg Molds.
Meal Prepping Made Easy
Packing lunches is a breeze when you have the right storage solutions. Stasher bags come in all shapes, sizes and colours. If you're a fan of meal prepping, organize the colours by day of the week (orange for Monday, blue for Tuesday, green for Wednesday etc...), this way the kids can grab the day's colour from the fridge and toss it in their lunch bags on the way out the door. If you pack different items for each child (Egg salad sandwich for Bella, and chicken salad for Spencer) you could assign each kid a colour of Stasher bag, that way they know which items are theirs to take!
Save It For Later
Save it for later, with Now Designs Save-It bowl covers. Eliminate the need for plastic wrap by introducing reusable covers for leftovers, batter and more. The lining prevents moisture from escaping and keeps food happy. Remove, machine wash, and repeat.
Cold Packs = Cold Snacks
Keep lunches, or after school snacks cold all day with this funky Avocado hot/cold pack. It can also be heated in the microwave!
Healthy Lunches Are A Breeze
Salads in a jar - the easiest healthy lunch ever! With Kilner's snack on the go jar you can store just about anything, but our personal favourite it to layer our favourite salad recipes. There's even a holder attached to lid for dressing. Other uses include, celery and dip, or pita and hummus.
The Underrated Lunch Bag Essential
Sporks! We think sporks are the most underrated tool. The spoon, fork, knife combo is the easiest thing to throw in a lunch bag because there is nothing worse than bringing a fork when you needed a spoon.
This month we celebrate our 3rd birthday, and it only feels suiting to introduce you to our founder/owner, Katryna, who will tell you how Heart of the Home started, share insights about what it's like being an entrepreneur and dive into some of her favourite kitchen tools and must-haves!
Q: When and why did you decide you wanted to open Heart of the Home?
A: It all started when I was a university student and working at Call The Kettle Black, a kitchenware store here in Edmonton's High Street. In early 2015, Gord, part owner of CTKB, had let me know that they were planning on closing the store that had been open for two-decades, and put the bug in my ear that I could potentially take over the business.
I immediately set out and began to do my research and put together a business plan, but Darcy Kaser, the other owner, later decided that he wanted to close and retire the Call The Kettle Black name and story. Given that I had always dreamed of owning my own business, being my own boss and creating a connection with people, it only seemed right to take my research and open my own store. That dream became a reality in July of 2016, less than a year after CTKB closed their doors.
Q: Why did you choose to open a kitchenware store?
A: I had loved every single second of of working Call the Kettle Black. From the relationships that I built with the customers, the products we carried, the staff, and owners. It was such an amazing experience and learning opportunity. Once CTKB closed, I knew that High Street and the 124 street community needed a new kitchen store, plus I just love cooking and wanted to share my passion with others!
Q: What did you do prior to becoming an entrepreneur?
A: I was in university studying for my BA - Psychology Major and Education Minor, and I was also a manger at CTKB while in school
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I spend most of my free time with my two Great Danes – Duchess (4yo) and Luna (1.5yo) who is my newest addition to my family. We love going to the dog park and enjoy walking in the river valley. They are super cuddle bugs and the lights of my life!
I also love cooking for friends and family. I enjoy a good wine and cheese night or a summer BBQ. My house is always open for friends and family! They are the lucky ones that get to be the guinea pigs for any new recipes I cook up!
I also play Slo-pitch in the summer.
Q: What is your favourite thing to cook?
A: Now that is a very hard question! I have to break it down haha!
Q: What is the most underrated kitchen tool?
A: I couldn't pick just one!
Q: What is your favourite food?
Hit it out of the park this father's day with a gift that is absolutely perfect your dad!
Every year, we find that shopping for Father's Day is either extremely easy or ridiculously difficult. Dad will never tell you what he actually wants so it becomes a giant guessing game. This year, we've made Father's Day gift shopping easy by providing with a gift guide of things every dad will love.
Has your dad been watching a ton of the Food Network lately? Maybe, you've noticed that he's pulling out some new fancy moves - a la Chef Gordon Ramsay?
Why not get him putting those new skills to work by giving him a gift that keeps on giving? The Epicurean hexagon cutting board and board butter, and Zwilling 8" professional chef's knife are perfect for any inexperienced and veteran chefs alike.
If your dad's favourite thing to cook is a classic grilled cheese sandwich, help him up his game with the "Grilled Cheese and Beer" cook book which is fill with simple, delicious, hoppy recipes. Happy hour just got a lot more tasty!
Help dad get creative in the kitchen with the ultimate essential kit for homemade pizza! There seriously is no better way to spend a weekend than with the family customizing your pizza's and seeing whose tasted the best - presentation points are a bonus!
I don't think I know of a dad who isn't thrilled when it comes to grilling. Gift him with these cheeky grilling items that even mom will approve of.
Still not sure what to get for dad? There's so much more in store! Pop by Heart of the Home in Edmonton's High Street, just one block east of 124 street (the popular shopping destination) and a block north of Jasper avenue, and our wonderful staff will be more than happy to help you find the perfect gift.
See you soon!