Christmas Breakfast is a Real Treat

Christmas Breakfast isa Real Treat

The holidays are fast approaching, and many of you will soon be rushing around your kitchen preparing Christmas dinner. But while the turkey and trimmings might be the main event, I’ve always thought the first meal of the day is one of the best things about Christmas.

The image of a family sat up at the breakfast bar, talking about how they’ll spend their special day over some delicious food (along with a nice simmering cup of tea or coffee) is an image which really appeals to me.

As a mini survey I asked some of my customers what they’ll be tucking into on the big day, and I got some great responses. Here are a few of their choices…

Eggs Benedict

A couple of customers enjoy a proper meal to celebrate the first day of Christmas and both said Eggs Benedict as it combines the crispiness of bacon, the rich buttery flavour of Hollandaise sauce, the delicious and filling English muffin – and to top it all off, the runny yolk of the poached eggs.

Bacon Sandwich

A bacon sandwich with brown sauce has always been a British favourite, and according to one chap as it’s a popular choice for Christmas breakfast. Part of the appeal, it seems, is the wafting scent of frying bacon which permeates the house and signals the arrival of Christmas! But are you more of a red sauce person?

Porridge

Porridge was high on the list of Christmas breakfasts – a good solid source of energy to set you up for the rest of the hectic day. One customer told me their own special recipe that they use for their Christmas porridge; they use vanilla soya milk and sultanas, prepared on Christmas Eve to allow the porridge to soak up the milk overnight and then drizzle it with maple syrup and cream after heating it up.

Chocolate

Of course, Christmas breakfast is a different story for children. For many parents, Christmas is the one time where sweets and chocolate are permitted as a breakfast food! There’s always a selection box, Toblerone or a bag of chocolate coins from a stocking, and kids are usually so excited with their presents that they can go the whole morning (and sometimes the afternoon) without eating any ‘real’ food at all!

What do you like to cook up in your kitchen on Christmas Day morning? Share your own suggestions in the comments below.

Simple Tricks to Stop Your Kitchen Feeling Stale

Keeping your kitchen feeling fresh

Taking pride in your kitchen is important – but even with constant tidying, there are many subtle issues which can make the room feel stale and unwelcoming.

Here are a few tips for maintaining a fresh and pleasant kitchen space.

Cleaning The Fridge

It’s amazing how dirty your fridge can get over its lifetime. It’s easy for spills and crumbs to build up in hidden, hard-to-reach areas, and nearly everyone has something buried at the back of the fridge which is out of date.

These will all contribute to a decidedly unfresh and smelly fridge, which will subtly permeate your kitchen every time you open the door.

Take time to regularly clean your fridge. Temporarily store the contents in a cool bag while you wipe down the surfaces with a 1-litre-water-to-3-tablespoons-baking-soda solution. Once you’ve cleaned the fridge, place a box of baking soda inside – this will absorb any lingering food odours. Replace your food in the fridge, examining expiry dates as you go to see if anything needs throwing away. Repeat this process every 3 to 4 months.

Keeping Out Flies

In the summer months, flies seem to find any way into the house and then become incapable of finding a way back out. Having them flying around your kitchen is not only annoying; flies can pass on bacteria if they land on the food you’re preparing.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep them out. Simply place whole cloves near your doors as windows. The odour of the cloves will repel the flies, meaning you won’t have to put up with them while you’re preparing dinner. This strategy also works for other insects including ants.

Washing your kitchen sponge

Did you know that used kitchen sponges can be a big source of kitchen odour? As they are exposed to warm water almost all the time and are rarely dried, they are a magnet for bacteria to thrive on. Not only will this make your kitchen smell unpleasant, it also means that you’re helping bacteria spread onto your cutlery and crockery every time you wash them up.

To prevent bacteria using your kitchen sponge as a breeding ground, place it securely in the dishwasher and send it through a complete cycle. This will kill almost all the bacteria on the sponge. For a quick fix, you can soak the sponge in clean water, then stick it in the microwave for two minutes – although keep an eye on it and stop the microwave immediately if the sponge dries out completely. This approach should not be used for sponges that contain metal.

Worktop Edging Strips: A Quick Guide

Axiom Laminate Kitchen Worktop Showing Edging Strip

Cutting laminate worktops to fit your kitchen will inevitably leave you with unsightly cross-section edges and the chipboard showing through. Luckily, there is a simple solution available – edging strips.

What is an edging strip?

An edging strip is a strip of laminate which can be attached to exposed worktop edges to give them a clean and professional finish.

Edging strips have a considerable amount of flex, so they can also be applied to curved edges as well as straight edges. However, they cannot bent to a right angle, so you would need to use two separate strips.

How are edging strips applied to worktops?

To attach an edging strip to your worktop, you need to use a high strength impact adhesive which is waterproof and won’t lose adhesion if you spill liquids on your worktop. Make sure you read the instructions on the adhesive first to find out how long it will take for the strip to be fully secure.

First, make sure both the edging strip and worktop edge are completely free from dust and dirt. Spread the adhesive on both the inside face of the edging strip and the edge of the worktop, covering the surfaces completely. Wait the required time for the impact adhesive to cure – it will still be slightly tacky – and then then place the edging strip against the exposed edge of the worktop.

Impact adhesive will grip almost instantly, but ensure you press hard along the entire length so that it’s fully fixed, paying special attention to the edges. Some people prefer to use a roller to ensure no air pockets are left.

Edging strips are always slightly bigger than the worktop edge, so once the glue has dried, trim the edging strip with a laminate edge trimmer or sharp block plane and sand down any excess with sandpaper (taking care not to scratch the worktop). Work towards the worktop to ensure that your new edging does not get chipped. Wipe off any excess glue – you will often find this can be removed with a damp cloth, but if not check the directions on the packaging.

Once you’re finished, you’ll have a smooth and attractive worktop edge which won’t seem out of place in your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions about Edging Strips

  • What sort of glue should I use to attach worktop edging strips?
    Use a high performance impact adhesive. We suggest “Evostick Impact” solvent adhesive.
  • Where can I get edging strips?
    All our laminate worktops come complete with a full length edging strip – plenty for most kitchens. You can also buy just the edging strip on its own – see Laminate Kitchen Worktop Edging Strips section.
  • Do I need an edging strip for Upstands or Splashbacks?
    Splashbacks are too thin to need edging strips, but upstands will need one to finish cut edges. Special narrow strips are included if you buy an upstand from RefitMyHome, or you can cut down a worktop edging strip.
  • Help! My existing edging strip is peeling off. What do I do?
    If the edging strip is undamaged, you should be able to re-attach it. Clean off as much glue as possible, and refit with impact adhesive, following the instructions above. If the edging strip is damaged, you will probably find it neater to replace the whole section by scraping off the old edging strip and attaching a new piece.

Got any other questions? Please contact us.

Free Unika Worktop Protector Rods

We have a limited stock of Unika Worktop Protector Rods to give away! Unika Worktop Protector Rods

Until stocks run out, we are offering six, 300mm long Unika Worktop Protector Rods (normal price £25) with every purchase of £300 (inc VAT) or more.

These high quality self-adhesive rods are easy to install and give valuable protection to your new worktops. Laminate worktops can be damaged if you put hot cookware straight out of the oven or off the hob onto the surface. These worktop protector bars are best installed next to the cooker so you have a permanent safe place to set hot pans down.

The chrome finish goes with almost any worktop colour and they are easily installed using the included high strength self-adhesive pads.

Just request your free rods in the text box provided when you checkout online, or mention this offer when you place your order by phone. Offer ends 15/07/13, while stocks last.

Watch this video on the Unika Worktop rods for more…

Unika Worktop Rods from Unika on Vimeo.

Making life that little bit easier: awesome kitchen hacks!

Picture of some chopped onionsHave you ever been making something in the kitchen and just wished there was an easier way to do it? Haven’t we all? Don’t despair though as there are many hacks that you can use in the kitchen to make your preparations a lot easier. Whether your fizzy drink fizzes over the side, or you cry when onion cutting these tips might be able to help you out a bit.

Onion tears: If you breathe through your mouth and press your tongue against the roof of your mouth it should prevent you from tearing up. Alternatively you can pop the onion in the freezer for 15 minutes and that should take the edge off things.

Hard butter: If the butter’s too hard to spread, use a cheese grater to make the pieces even smaller so that the gratings melt more easily.

Too-fizzy drinks: Adding ice cubes often causes your carbonated drink to fizz up and flow over the side of the glass (or at least pretend to do that as to scare you!). A way to combat this is to wet to ice cubes first so that the drink doesn’t react with the dry ice. If you have a can that’s been shaken up, you don’t have to wait forever for it to calm down – just tap on the can a few times and it won’t spray all over when you open it.

Sensitive smoke alarm: If your smoke alarm decides to sing the song of its people every time you make a piece of toast it might be worth covering it with a shower cap when you cook. Just don’t forget to take it off afterwards!

Intact pizza: When you order a takeaway pizza, ask them not to slice it. Do this yourself at home so that the cheese will have had more time to set and won’t be as stringy when you pick up each slice.

Fiddly tomatoes: To save time there’s a way to cut cherry toms all at once – just place several of them between two plastic lids and ‘saw’ through them with a sharp knife. It saves you having to cut them all individually.

Sticking egg shells: It’s annoying when the shell decides to come off the egg in miniscule pieces so a way to get around this is to add some bicarbonate of soda to the water when you boil the eggs. The eggs will absorb it and prevent the albumin in the whites from sticking to the shell.

Dirty oven: No matter how hard you try, ovens will get dirty from time to time so instead of spending ages trying to pry the stubborn stuck-on food off the sides, just put a bowl of water in for a few minutes and this will loosen the dried-on particles and make them easier to wipe off.

Filthy fridge: If liquids often spills in your fridge it might be an idea to line the shelves with clingfilm. When the shelves get messy you can just throw away the clingfilm and put down a new layer.

Prepared pancakes: It’s typical that you’re in the mood for pancakes, but you don’t have half the ingredients…or you don’t have time to make a stack. The next time you make pancakes, make a double batch and freeze the remaining batter. It’s ready for when you’re next craving some.

 

Guest Post

This has been a guest post by Rachel, who also writes for the hungryhouse blog, the UK’s best fast food delivery platform for quality.

Photo source: Darwin Bell http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/303874154/sizes/z/in/photostream/.

What is a Laminate Worktop Edge Profile?

5mm Laminate Worktop ProfileYou may have seen Refit My Home talking about ‘edge profiles’, but you may be unfamiliar with the term, or the different edge profiles available. Here are some details on worktop edge profiles.

What is a worktop edge profile?

The worktop edge profile is simply the style of the worktop’s outer edge. Different edge profiles give your worktop a different look.

The current standard edge profile is the square-edged profile, which gives a chunky, functional look. Alternatively, you can opt for rounded edges to give your kitchen worktop a smoother, more natural look. Edges can be profiled to a range of different radiuses, with smaller profiles looking more square.

A true right angle square edge is not available for post-formed laminate worktops as the laminate needs to be folded during the manufacturing process and will split.

A true right angle square edge can however be manufactured by using a separate laminate strip on the front edge.

What types of edge profile do Refit My Home offer?

The Bushboard Omega range is available with 5mm-radius profiling (referred to by Bushboard as ‘Q5’) for most products. Some however are available in a 3mm profile.  The Bushboard Prima range stocks exclusively 3mm-radius (Q3) profiles. This is currently more fashionable than the Q5 profile, as it offers the best of both worlds – the chunky aesthetic of a square edge with a more natural, less angular look.

The Axiom by Formica range is available with 3mm-radius ‘Axis’ profiling, as well as 6mm-radius ‘Linea’ profiling.

If your preferred worktop doesn’t come with the edge profile you’re looking for, Refit My Home can provide the profiling of your choice on post formed bespoke worktops.

For more information and help choosing your new kitchen worktop, please contact us.

Latest Kitchen Styles


If you are struggling for inspiration for your kitchen renovation don’t worry, there are a wide variety of styles and trends which you can chop and change to create to make your own.

Below is a selection of inspirational ideas that use bold, bright colours to great effect – maybe one of these will appeal to you?

(Click an image for a bigger version; click the X in the top left to close)

Ideal Home Show 2013: Kitchen Design Style Ideas

Ideal Home 2013 Kitchen DesignsRight now at Earls Court in London, the Ideal Home Show 2013 is serving up inspiration for homeowners wishing to improve their homes.

The exhibition features all of the latest home innovations, styles and trends, with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their products. Everything you could ever need for the ideal home is here, from interior and garden design, to home improvements, a ‘village’ of show homes, food and housewares and an entire upstairs section where attendees can shop for a variety of goods for their homes.

A number of celebrity guests are on hand at the show, offering advice on the different aspects of the home. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Greg Wallace, Suzi Perry, George Clarke, Melinda Messenger and Alan Titchmarsh are this year’s celebrity ambassadors.

We’ve added some images some of the kitchen design styles that we liked from the displays at last years’ show. Click on the small images to view a larger version.

(Photography by Theo Cohen)

If you want to get any of these looks in your new, browse our range of laminate or composite worktops, or contact us for help and advice.

Planning a New Kitchen Made Simple – Easy Planner 3D

Are you planning a kitchen renovation project? We’ve found a great little tool to help you plan out your ideal kitchen.

Easy Planner 3D is a free computer-aided design (CAD) program which allows you to create your kitchen design in virtual three-dimensional form. You can adjust the size and shape of your kitchen, drag and drop doors and windows, add cabinets, appliances and worktops, change the colours and add finishing touches.

Once you’ve finished building your kitchen, you can view your new kitchen layout in 3D, and drag your mouse to view it from any angle. You can also save the design (once you have registered), and come back to make more changes later. There’s even the ability to share your new kitchen design.

The software runs in your web browser, so you won’t have to download it onto your computer. While not as full featured as the systems used by professional kitchen designers, it it a great free resource if you are planning a new kitchen

Visit www.easyplanner3d.com to try it out!

Caring for Laminate Worktops

Laminate worktops are tough and durable, but to get the best out of them you need to care for them properly.

Do not expose to direct heat.

Laminate Kitchen Worktop

  • Most laminate worktops are good for up to 180 degrees Celsius, however do not take kindly to direct heat i.e. placing a hot saucepan directly onto the surface.
  • There is nothing to fear. When installed and looked after correctly, your laminate worktops can last a lifetime. Modern laminates are of a much higher quality than those of the past.

Do not cut directly on the surface.

Always use a chopping board! Modern textured surfaces are incredibly resilient to damage when not abused. Gloss laminate worktops do require some care however.

How do I clean my new surfaces?

  • Warm soapy water or appropriate surface wipes and cleaners. No strong cleaning agents!
  • Keep worktop joins and edges as dry as possible.
  • Laminate worktops can blow at the joins if water is allowed to ingress. All worktop joins and sink/hob cut-outs should have a layer of low modulus silicone applied as protection against this. I personally have found PVA wood glue to be a better sealant, and it has caused me less problems than silicone.
  • If your worktops aren’t already installed, consider using Bushboard BB Complete Worktop Adhesive and Sealant. Bushboard guarantee their worktops for 3 years against water ingress when used (correctly). We are currently offering BB Complete for free with all retail worktop purchases until the new year. Use coupon code “BBChristmas” at checkout and don’t forget to add the BB Complete to your basket.

Here’s a video from Bushboard with more information: