Easter is one of our favourite times of the year (besides Christmas of course!) because of the traditions that we have made with our family in the heart of our home. To us, Easter means being thankful for all that we have, enjoying the company of our friends and family, and of course delighting in the food and colours that fill our table.
It can feel overwhelming to host Easter dinner because there is so much that needs to be done! From cooking the food, cleaning the house and decorating the table, it can be difficult to figure out how to mix in both the traditional and modern when it comes to all things Easter. Should I only cook my family’s tried and true traditional recipes, or can I introduce something new?
Before you begin stressing out, here are a few things that you can do to ensure your Easter dinner is perfect.
Let Your Guests Get Hands On
It’s hard to manage cooking the food, serving drinks and entertaining guests so help yourself out by setting up a drink station. Include your single serve coffee machine, pods, cream and sugar, tea, pop, water, wine, punch and don’t forget glasses and mugs!
Bring Spring In, with a beautiful table setting
images c/o: Wrendale and Le Creuset, we carry all products in store at Heart of the Home, in Edmonton
April is always a tricky time of year because we are left wondering if we’ll have a beautiful spring day, or if we’re going to have a snow storm. Either way, you can ensure that spring fills your home through florals and bright colours. Jillian Harris says to layer everything when it comes to setting your table. “From plates, to bowls, to napkins, to cutlery, candles, flowers...layer, layer, layer!”
Put a Twist on Your Favourite Recipes
We usually eat the same recipes every single Easter, and while we love them, we’re ready to put a spin on the traditional and try something new and fresh! For example, this year we are going for a fresh take on an old favourite: Devilled Eggs!
We’re giving these fancy devilled eggs filled with smoked fish and beetroot aioli a try! Plus they’ll look gorgeous on our colourful table!
Introduce a New Tradition
Again, I love traditions and I love the ones that I have with my family, but this year it feels like the perfect time to introduce a few new ones!
While dinner is being cooked, do a fun DIY project like dying and decorating eggs. Because eggs represent rebirth and life, many people like to give them away as gifts during the spring since the season is associated with growth! Encourage your family members to exchange their finished projects with one another.
Have an egg hunt. This may seem like something only the kids will enjoy but you can definitely put an adult spin on the classic holiday game. Fill the plastic eggs with mini bottles of alcohol, money, lip balm or any other small item you can find!
Host an Easter Potluck. There is nothing wrong with asking for a little or even a lot of help when it comes to hosting a holiday dinner. In the weeks prior to the big day, set up a spreadsheet and ask your guests to fill it out with the item that they are choosing to bring. This will make your life a heck of a lot easier!
Give a Gift
As a token of appreciation for those who attended your dinner, it’s always nice to send your guests home with a small gift! It can be a small Easter basket full of chocolate, a cute mug with all of the necessary mug cake ingredients, a candle or anything else you can think of!
This blog has been republished with permission by www.reviews.com/chef-knife/ * some edits have been made.
Know which parts of your knife are which:
No single feature makes a knife objectively better. Rather, they’re indicators of how the knife is designed to perform. But it’s good to know the names of each feature to understand your personal preferences.
Keep your chef knife properly sharpened:
As Rachel Muse, private chef and founder of Talk Eat Laugh, puts it: “If you buy a professional knife, you need to keep an edge on it, otherwise it’s like owning a car and not putting fuel in it.” Stayed tuned to Heart of the Home's social channels to see when our next FREE knife sharpening is, so you can outsource the task of sharpening your knives to a professional. If you can't wait for the next in-store knife sharpening you can certainly learn to sharpen your knife yourself.
Hone your knife:
A knife honing rod, or honing steel, is designed to keep your knife functioning well between sharpenings. Honing straightens the edge of a knife, while sharpening literally grinds away part of the steel to produce a sharper edge.
It's recommended that you hone your knife each time you pick it up (the whole process should only take 10-20 seconds) or, if prepping a lot, whenever it starts to feel dull.
Be aware that not all experts recommend honing. If you don't hone correctly it's not worth your while.
Learn the right way to chop:
If you’re looking to improve your chopping game, we offer these tips:
Only use your knife on food:
A chef's knife is your most important kitchen tool. Don't use it to complete tasks around your house such as opening boxes: buy a pair of kitchen shears for boxes and bags!
Avoid the dishwasher:
Regardless of manufacturer instructions, never put your chef knife in the dishwasher. And while you’re at it, never toss it into the sink. Every time the knife blade bangs against something — like the plastic spines of your dishwasher or the metal sides of your sink — it has the potential to dull, and you want to keep the blade as sharp as possible for as long as possible.
Instead, wash your knife by hand with standard dish soap, then use a clean dish towel or paper towel to rub it completely dry. (If you let it air-dry, it can develop water stains or rust spots.)
This blog has been republished with permission by www.reviews.com/chef-knife/ * some edits have been made.
Ahhh, yes, the sweet, sweet sound of summer: Steaks sizzling on the BBQ, glasses clinking, the fire pit crackling, and a hum of laughter. One of the best ways to soak up the summer time fun is by giving your living room a break and taking the party outdoors! Having the perfect evening under the stars isn't as hard as it seems, just follow our tips!
Go Wild With a Charcuterie Board
We LOVE charcuterie boards. They are a crowd pleaser and SO easy to make! Pick your favourite meats, any cheeses of your choice, toss on some olives, pickles, crackers, apples, grapes and anything else your heart desires. And as an added touch, make little signs to mark what each item is.
Infuse Your H20
We'll say it, drinking plain water is boring. Amp it up with a bit of infusion fun! Much like the charcuterie board you can add what ever you'd like to your water. Below are a few of our favourite mixtures:
Choose Acrylic or Plastic Wares
Just because you are having an outdoor party doesn't mean you have to go out and purchase 100 red solo cups. But you also don't need reach for your expensive glass wares. Pick acrylic or plastic in a fun colour and style to amp up your table scape, and keep your expensive glass ware from getting broken.
Mix Up Your Seating Options
We like to mix up our seating options for two reasons: The first is to create different spaces for your guests to mix and mingle. The second is because it's more comfortable and looks so much nicer than spreading out a bunch of lawn chairs on the grass.
Have Fun with Colours
Spice up the space with colurful tables cloths, napkins, pillows and blankets. Don't worry about following a specific colour scheme just have fun with it! This will create a more home-y, comfortable feeling.
Create a Drink Station
We love to set up a little "help yourself" kind of bar situation. Include cups, straws, ice, punch and alocholic and non alcoholic options. It's always nice to provide coffee and tea to help warm up and wake up your guests during the later hours
End the Night Perfectly
End off the alfresco evening perfectly with smores around the fire while you stargaze! Bonus - if you want to provide your guests with a little takeaway, take 1 giant graham cracker, 1 large marshmallow and a few peices of chocolate, wrap them in cellophane and tie it in a bow. Add a a little tag that says "S'more for Later" and hand them out as your guests depart!
Head over to Heart of the Home for all of your outdoor entertaining needs!
Come over! We're Open:
Monday - Saturday: 10am-5:30pm
Cooking and non cooking gifts that will light a fire in every Mom's heart
This mother’s day, take the opportunity to show your mom how special she is by thinking outside the box with your gift giving. Don’t reach for the flower bouquet and back away from the spa package. Get her something for the heart of her home - the place where her loved ones come together to indulge in good food, good laughs and share great memories. Whether your mom is a green thumb, one with a refined taste or she’s the on-the-go type we’ll help you pick out that perfect out-of-the-box gift with this gift guide for Moms of all kinds!
From birthdays to baby showers, to dance recitals and everything in between, there are so many dates that Moms need to remember! Help her stay up to date with the Sara Miller address book and matching ballpoint pen. With different sections to write down addresses, birthdays, Christmas card lists, and notes, all the details are covered in this handy and beautiful book.
Mother’s day is about spoiling mom, so why not spoil her to a gorgeous 4 QT Staub Round Cherry Cocotte? BONUS, if you buy one in store by May 13, you’ll receive $200 off, making the cocotte a steal of a deal at $149.99.
While supplies last!*
Help your mom’s home smell as sweet as she does by treating her to the Thymes Fragrances body lotions, hand soaps and mists. Her home can smell like a fresh garden, a tropical getaway, or even a spa-like escape.
Is your mom more of a refined taste kind of gal? Gift her the Sara Miller Chelsea Collection tea set. The pink cup with matching saucer and spoons is the perfect addition to an afternoon tea party with friends, book club gathering, or family brunch. Pinky’s Up!
Do you have a green thumb kind of mom? Treat her to this gift that does double duty. The Thymes Millefleur Collection Candle gives off scents of jasmine, hyacinth, lily of the valley, orange blossom and raspberry. When she’s burned it all up, the statement flower pot that held the candle was made with re-usability in mind, because it comes packaged with a seed envelope containing ready to plant Forget-Me-Not seeds! Tell her to read the Thymes blog here for help on re-using her flower pot candle!
For the mom who loves her furry friends, pick up an adorable piece or two from Wrendale Designs. Add a splash of the British countryside to your mom's kitchen with the charming hand-painted fine bone china tableware, cutlery and giftware. The perfect addition to every animal lovers home!
For the Mom who seems to have it all, we bet she's still missing a few key pieces in her kitchen! Does she have a microplane classic series zester/grater? Does she chop her garlic rather than use an Epicurean garlic press? Read our 10 Must Have Kitchen Tools blog and make sure your Mom has everything on the list!
Choose Cookware and Utensils That Last
The utensils and cookware that you bring into your kitchen should be able to stand the test of time. From the skillets that you cook in, to the containers you store your leftovers in, the least amount of waste is the main goal. Rather than teflon, fill your kitchen with stainless steel or cast iron skillets which can last for generations if you take care of them!
Having a kitchen drawer full of funky colourful knives is fun, but you’ll have to replace them in a few short years, instead purchase high quality knives, like Zwilling J.A Henckels that you can sharpen yourself or bring into our store during our free sharpening events (check our website to see when the next one is).
A generally effortless way to green-ify your kitchen is through using materials that can be used over and over again. We absolutely love the Bees Wrap, a natural reusable and comfortable alternative to plastic wrap! You can use it to wrap your lunches, store leftovers and even meal prep for the week ahead. You can also upgrade your school or work lunches by storing your food in Stasher Containers rather than plastic ziplock baggies.
We’ve all heard numerous time how terrible plastic water bottles are for the environment, but do we know how truly bad they are? According to banthebottle.net plastic water bottles can take between 400 to 1,000 years to decompose, it requires 3 times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it and bottled water costs over 1,000+ times more than tap water. Using a reusable waterbottle is not only good for the environment, but is great on our bank account well! We currently have a large stock of funky and unique beverage bottles that will keep your drinks hot or cold and can be reused over and over and over again! We’ve also had parents raving about the Asobu Reusable Juice Drink Box that they have been sending with their kiddos to school, dance class and daycare.
Choose Specific Eco-Smart Products
When it comes to being eco-friendly it’s important to think not only about how you are going to use a product, but how that product was produced in the first place. What kinds of materials were used to make it? Are they sustainable and environmentally friendly?
We have recently brought in the EcoSmart PolyGlass Collection by Architec because their products are innovative, durable, lightweight, easy to use and of course eco-friendly. Each Eco-Smart product is made from translucent, recycled, food grade polypropylene (plastic) and recycled glass particles; the glass particles are suspended in the plastic, creating a shimmery natural textured appearance with a smooth surface. By purchasing one of the EcoSmart products you are keeping 20 or more plastic cups out of the landfill! WIN!
We love EcoSmart because these products are easy to care for, dishwasher safe, and are built to last a lifetime.
Supporting local has become a regular, everyday thing for most Edmontonians. We feel so lucky to a part of such a strong community of local businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs and fully understand both the environmental and economical necessity of supporting these local entities.
The food and products that you bring into your kitchen, and home are just as important as every gadget and appliance that you own. That is why we urge you to purchase local whenever you can. With local farmers markets such as the City Market (on 104th street in the summer, and in city hall in the winter) and 124th street Grand Market, you are able to purchase food and goods that have come direct from a local farm or grower. On top of less transportation pollution, purchasing local foods means you are ingesting products that are devoid of preservatives, biocides and many other chemicals that can be found in conventional foods.
Celebrate Earth Day with Us
We are celebrating Earth Day on April 22, and are offering 20% off of all eco-friendly products! Stop by the store and ask us about our eco-friendly products and be sure to share with us how you introduce eco-friendly habits into your daily life.
Soothe Your St Patrick’s Day Hangover
We’ve all been there before, sipping green beer after green beer, hoping the luck of the Irish will be on our side in the morning and we don’t have a hangover. We’ve learned over the years that when it comes to St. Paddy’s Day you must pace yourself and make sure to mix in a water, but the older we get the harder it is to avoid that green beer hangover. Thanks to your friends at Heart of the Home we’ve got everything you need to make sure March 18 isn’t a complete write off of a day, because we all know that a Sunday well spent brings a week of content.
Eat A Full Breakfast
Easy Peasy Green Smoothie
*Smoothie is best served cold. Use frozen fruit or ice to achieve cold temperature.
Not in to trying a green smoothie? Make a banana and honey milkshake instead!
dRINK A hot Cup of Tea
Hydrate inside and Out
We all know that hydration is key when it comes to combating a hangover. Rehydrate by drinking 8 glasses of water. Looking to add a fresh flavour to your water? Try tossing in cucumbers and lemons or limes.
Not only do we need to make sure we are hydrating the inside of your body, we also need to take care of the outside. We always find that our skin is extremely dry after an evening of heavy drinking. We combat that by moisturizing with our favourite Brompton and Langley Luxurious Hand and Body Cream.
Do as the Irish Do
If none of these hangover cures sound good to you, do as the Irish do and cure it with the hair of the dog. What does this mean? It means sitting back down at a bar stool and having one last beer – Guinness to be exact.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
1. Fred and Friends, Hangover Mug | 2. Tealish, Chill Out Loose Leaf Herbal Tea | 3. Tealish Pineapple Tea Pincer | 4. Wrendale Designs, Candle | 5. Brompton & Langley Hand and Body Cream