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  • DIY Fall Table Decorating Ideas

    Fall Table Decorating - Do-It-Yourself Ideas

    fall table decorating

    With all the dinners, feasts and family gatherings happening in fall, you want your home to look the part for the season. Adding a little decor around your house or even just on the dinner table will make your home look and feel warm and inviting. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive decor. With a little bit of crafting and creativity, you can easily create fabulous fall table decorating pieces yourself.

    Here’s a look at a couple of easy DIY fall home decorating ideas:

    Make it Fruity

    Fall is apple season and the red, green, and yellow colors are perfect for adding a splash of bright color to your table or home. A great way to use apples as decoration is to turn them into votives. Take a bunch of (washed) apples and cut into them with a melon baller. Remember to rinse them with salt water or lemon juice so they don’t go brown. The space left should be the perfect size to fit a little tea light candle. Arrange the apples on the table or server and light the candles when the guests arrive.

    Pretty on Pumpkin

    Pumpkins are super popular around this time of year and are a decor favorite. This year, try something different and turn pumpkins into flower vases that are a little unconventional. Hole out a number of pumpkins of various sizes, larger ones from the bottom, smaller ones from the top, then drill or poke holes in the sides around the centre of the pumpkin. When you’re done, gather a bunch of colorful flowers of different kinds and push the stems through the holes. If you’ve holed out the pumpkin from the top, use it like you would a regular vase. This can be done with either real or fake pumpkins and flowers. Now arrange them on the table either as centerpiece or as part of a decorating spread.

    Subtle Succulents

    Who doesn’t like succulents? Their interesting shapes and evergreen colors give them an air of earthy sophistication, not to mention their low maintenance, which means those of us without even the faintest hint of green fingers can enjoy them. Succulents are also perfect for creating fall table decorating pieces. If you don’t have any succulents already, get a couple from your local garden center, most stock them year-round. While you’re there, get a few interesting pots, big and small, fancy or simple.

    When you’re decorating, mix them up in singles, arrange them in little groups, or plant a couple together in a bigger pot. Arrange them around the table according to their different colors. Make things interesting by using cake stands to put them on different levels. Another great idea is to mix them with colorful seasonal flowers, this adds interesting contrast between subdued and bright colors. When the party is over, simply put them outside where they can get lots of sun, and water with a spot of water once a week.

    On the Upcycle

    Upcycling is a big trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Everything from reclaimed lumber, old bottles of different colors, old crates, even old books, can add a warm, rustic atmosphere. There is so much you can do with these items, in fact the potential is as wide as your imagination. Use lumber and crates to hold flowers, fruit or candles, use old bottles as vases, or make interesting cutouts from the pages of old books (rope in the kids to help with these), and many more. Scrounge around your garage, especially that one corner you haven’t cleaned out in years, browse farmers’ markets, second-hand or antique stores to find pieces. One of the great things about these items is that imperfection is a good thing - those little scratches, stains and cracks add character, giving them a feeling of warmth this chilly season.

    Few things give you a sense of accomplishment like making something beautiful yourself and fall table decorating is no exception. With a little creativity and crafty fingers, you can add some fall color and a warm atmosphere to your home.

  • Cashing in on Football Season for Bars and Restaurants

    Football season is here - what do we do now?

    Football season for bars and restaurants can be an extremely lucrative time of year. Many fans prefer to watch the game in a group environment with the beer and wings flowing. There are two main things that can draw in those football hoards to your establishment: atmosphere and price point. If you are able to offer both, you can expect to enjoy a nice bump in business this time of year.

    football season bar restaurantBe Prepared to Support Football Crowds

    When it comes to giving sports fans a good experience on game night, there are a few things your bar or restaurants needs to have for it to go smoothly. First off, how will guests be watching the game? Do you have large TVs visible from most of the bar stools and tables? The game won’t be any fun at all if the TV is difficult to see or hear. Be sure that you have the equipment to enjoy the game before you invite fans to watch there.

    Second, will service be ready for the demands of game night customers? Expect a surge on nights when the game is on and make sure you have the staff to accommodate. This includes behind the bar, wait staff, and in the kitchen. If guests are waiting the whole game for their beer refill or for their pizza to come out, they’ll find somewhere else to watch next time.

    Game Night Promotions

    On game nights, just about every sports bar and a lot of restaurants will have football on. How do you set your place apart? The service and atmosphere is important, but a great way to get bodies in the door is through a promotion. A competitive deal like bottomless wings or $5 beers will draw people in to watch. Then it’s up to you to make them want to return!

    Stock Your Bar or Restaurant with the Necessities – Beer, Pizza, and Wings

    There are a few staples to every football watching experience. Beer, pizza, and wings are often the most popular items on game nights, so make sure you are ready to meet demand. Have your kegs tapped and ready to go and plenty of ice cold bottles. For pizza, wings, and any other game night food, have a plenty prepped ahead of time so your guests aren’t left impatiently waiting.

    Plan a Super Bowl Party Early

    The Super Bowl is the holy grail of football season for bars and restaurants. Beginning to advertise what you will be offering on the big night throughout season will help fans make their plans early. If you are hosting a party, let groups make reservations to ensure that they have a table or prime viewing location.

    For the Super Bowl, many football fans will be ready to spend a lot of money so the promise of a great viewing experience will be more important than food and drink deals. Hosting a party with a projector to show the game on a big screen is a great solution for bars with only scattered TVs.

    Football Season for Bars and Restaurants

    There’s a reason that football season seems to take over bars and restaurants on game night. It’s a lucrative event for businesses and a fun experience for fans. Cash in this year by attracting spectators to your establishment!

    Read more from CRAVE.

  • Get Your Home and Table Ready for Fall

    Fall Decorating for Home & Table

    fall decorating

    Dining Table Decor

    Centerpieces
    A beautiful centerpiece can bring your dining table (and room) to life. For this fall, incorporate pumpkins, candles, branches, cones, leaves and other fall foliage to create mesmerizing and breathtaking dining table centerpieces that are sure to impress. Get some ideas here.

    Place-Settings
    To add as finishing touch to your centerpiece, add fall flowers, such as mums, carved pumpkins, rustic design pieces such as bronzed or brass holders, as well as fall colored napkins and rustic or golden cutlery to the place-settings. Find some inspiration here.

    DIY Home Decor

    From wreaths to pillows to firewood carriers, get started with these 25 fall craft projects. Our favorite is the Fall Leaf Mason Jar, for both the design and functionality. If DIY is not for you, consider a trip to Home Goods (or your favorite home store) to stock up on decor classics.

    Knit and Crochet Creations

    Fall is the perfect time to knit or crochet, sitting by the fireplace or snuggling outside in warmer weather. Recommended yarn colors are deep green, pumpkin orange, spicy orange-red, and mustard yellows. Projects can include wreaths, toss-pillows as well as blankets and throws to keep warm on colder evenings. Here are some projects to get you started.

    The Great Outdoors

    Haven't you ever walked by a house in your neighborhood with amazing decorations and thought "next year, I will do this too". Well, this year is the year to show off your creative side and decorate your porch, front yarn, patio or balcony. Fall decorating outdoors is fun and can be done with the whole family. Here are 37 ideas to get your creativity flowing and get some fresh air in the process!

    Fall Menu

    Nothing excites more in the fall than the abundance of hearty and warming food. Pumpkin spice, sweet potatoes, cinnamon, marshmallows and of course, turkey, are the staples. Click here for some quick and easy fall dinner ideas and visit our recipe section to see more!

  • 7 Sensational Holiday Entertaining Must Haves For Your Kitchen

    Holiday Entertaining Kitchen Essentials

    holiday entertaining in the fall

    The air is getting cooler and bringing thoughts of jackets, sweaters, and the holidays. No doubt, it's already time to start thinking about our holiday entertaining. The upcoming holiday season has numerous holiday hosting opportunities. It is also a chance to show off your culinary skills and of course, enjoy time with your friends and family.

    Here are seven sensational holiday entertaining must haves for your kitchen. Incidentally, this list is in no particular order. It is simply must have essentials for your kitchen to keep you organized, on task, and making everything as convenient as possible.

    The 7 Sensational Holiday Entertaining Must Haves For Your Kitchen

    holiday entertaining hamburger pressNumber 1

    One of the most “pressing” items you’ll want to make sure is present in your kitchen is the Adjustable Thickness Hamburger Press. You know the colder weather is around the corner, and you're enjoying the decent weather as long as possible. Maybe you are hosting a fun filled hayride and big cookout to say goodbye to summer. At the cookout, you can make things easier by using this hamburger press to make each burger perfect. This "hamburger" press can also be used for Fancy Salmon Patties as an appetizer when it is time for more holiday entertaining.

     

     

     

     

    holiday entertaining zesterNumber 2

    Typically an overlooked item, our second must have is the Micro-Etched Zester Blade. Why is a lowly zester so important? This zester helps you add just the right amount of citrus, ginger, or nutmeg. It will help your meals, desserts, and favorite drinks have the perfect hint of flavor.Consequently, as the holidays arrive and you're doing more holiday entertaining, this zester will need a prominent place in the kitchen.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Number 3

    When it comes to preparing aiolis, marinades, and pesto, you cannot be without a mortar and pestle. It is a highly functional addition to any kitchen. First used in ancient Greece, the mortar and pestle provide a level of control to the cooking process that new items just cannot deliver.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    holiday entertaining container

    Number 4

    Pretty much any holiday entertaining event delivers a bounty of unused food, otherwise called leftovers. There are few things in the kitchen more challenging than re-imagining leftovers. The refrigerator and pantry are the only things able to limit your results or creativity. The next item on our list is storage containers. Every kitchen needs an assortment of plastic and glass storage containers.

    The storage containers serve two essential functions:

    • Holiday entertaining meal preparation can begin in advance. Thanks to the storage containers the food stays fresh.
    • Storage containers make clean up easier and serve as an excellent waiting place for leftovers.

     

     

    holiday entertaining slow cookerNumber 5

    Slow cook meals are incredibly popular nowadays. You can put a meal on in a slow cooker while you are doing things with family and friends. It is so easy to put something in a slow cooker in the morning as you leave for the day. It's convenient and rewarding to return to a delicious meal ready to eat as you sit down at the table that night. A slow cooker can help you get through the busy holiday season with less stress and less meal preparation time.

    For holiday entertaining, a slow cooker is also an incredibly valuable resource to have in your kitchen. It also keeps food warm. You can even have a large batch of hot apple cider or hot cocoa ready to serve.

    Slow cookers serve a broad range of purposes. No matter how much you enjoy cooking and being in the kitchen, ultimately, you want to enjoy the guests too.

     

     

    holiday entertaining pressure cookerNumber 6

    Pressure cookers are the yin to the slow cooker yang. You can braise meats, make flavorful soups, and cook delicious meals using a pressure cooker which significantly lessens the cooking time. The pressure cooker will help you get the holiday meals on the table quicker.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    holiday entertaining cast iron skilletNumber 7

    The final item provides another trip to our culinary past. Few things in the kitchen are as easy to rely on as a good set of cast-iron cookware. At the center of that cookware set is the skillet. A cast-iron skillet is versatile and used on the cooktop and in the oven.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you're looking for an easy dessert, try a classic pineapple upside down cake. This time, prepare it in a cast iron skillet in an oven. You flip it on a large heat proof round tray within a few minutes of coming out of the oven. The brown sugar, pineapple, and cake are sticky and delicious. You'll find sweet perfection in the center, and the edges are crisp. Strangely enough, the difference in taste and texture comes only from baking it in a cast iron skillet.

    Don't be afraid to add or use cast-iron in your kitchen. You can do so many great creations for holiday entertaining with just one cast iron skillet. Of course, that will lead to wanting more cast-iron cookware. It can also become a great gift suggestion for your family and friends.

    With these 7 sensational holiday entertaining must haves for your kitchen, we hope you find the time in your kitchen during the holidays even more enjoyable than ever before.

  • Fall Kitchen Essentials: Are You Ready?

    Fall Kitchen Essentials: Tools, Gadgets & More

    fall kitchen essentials

    The holidays are a time for relaxing and fun with friends and family. But while it’s great to have a house full of people, hanging out and getting cozy (especially during winter), it can be quite stressful if you’re the one doing the hosting. The best way to make sure you don’t spend all the time in the kitchen is to be prepared when friends and family come a-knocking.

    Here are a couple of ways you can take the hassle out of hosting:

    Essential tools

    When preparing for a party, relaxed get-together, or family holiday feast, there are a couple of essential tools your kitchen needs to entertain like a pro.

    • Mixing bowls: Whether you’re baking, cooking or preparing drinks, cocktails or sauces, a good set of mixing bowls is an absolute must-have for the kitchen.
    • Roasting Pan: That turkey is not going to cook itself! A good roasting pan is always good to have in the kitchen, no matter what time of year. It’s quite versatile and can be used to make everything from lasagna to casseroles, roast vegetables, and even cakes. If you’re going to be cooking meat, remember to get a good set of meat lifters, especially for turkey and chickens.
    • All-Purpose Pot: Another versatile kitchen must-have is an all-purpose pot. From stews to soups to hearty chili and even pastas, a big pot allows you to cook meals in bulk so you can feed a whole gathering of hungry tummies without too much hassle.
    • Serving Platters: Good food looks even better when served beautifully. Serving platters are great for serving snacks, sides and even desserts. Get serving platters that are oven-proof so you can heat up food in the oven and serve straight away.
    • Dinnerware: Speaking of serving, there is something to be said for beautiful dinnerware. It not only makes food look presentable and delicious, but adds to the ambiance and decor of the entire room. A classic look dinnerware set will last you a very long time, so don’t be scared to spend a bit here.

    Get the gadgets

    There are many fall kitchen essentials or gadgets that can make things easier and do things faster, but there are only a few that really make a difference, especially when it comes to preparing food for groups of people. Here are a few of those:

    • Slow cooker: When it comes to cooking tasty meals for a bunch of people, nothing beats a slow cooker. Let the pot cook succulent stews, smooth, rich sauces, or a spicy curry while you hang out with your friends and family. The great thing about modern slow cookers is that most have a removable inner pot that makes it easier to clean.
    • Induction cooker: From slow cooking to really fast cooking. Induction cookers use an electromagnetic field, as opposed to burners or heating elements to heat up food, which cooks the food much quicker than burners or elements. The best part? Because the cooking surface remains cool, you don’t have to worry about burning your hands.
    • Broiler Toaster Oven: this is a truly versatile gadget to have in your kitchen. A broiler toaster oven allows you to quickly and easily toast, broil and even bake without the hassle of traditional gas ovens. It can make delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for snacks or a quick batch of cookies.

    A few other resources

    Here are a few other resources on making the most out of the fall season and making sure you don't spend all of your time in the kitchen (even if it is with all of our amazing fall kitchen essentials!):

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