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The Scoop On White Kitchens

White kitchens have definitely stayed a trend for homeowners over the last 20 years and is continuing to rise for the next few years to come. All white kitchens tend to have a timeless quality and are almost able to camouflage their age. Since it is such a universal color, white is appropriate for any style of decor, whether it’s traditional Victorian, modern contemporary, retro and vintage, mid-century, or industrial. The versatility is another reason why white kitchens are so popular, it tends to be appealing to most people due to being both basic and bold, vivid and dramatic and not too flashy. They could also be considered a template for additional personalization if you choose, such as adding colored accents or material to make the space your own.

While white kitchens aren’t going anywhere, expect to see a rise in color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue. Warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets. The two-toned look started catching on in 2017, in which cabinet colors were mixed and matched in the kitchen. For example, the bottom cabinets might be a darker color, such as gray, and the upper cabinets then all in white. Having a color that is bolder for the kitchen island contrasts the rest of the kitchen and makes a statement. This is why white has many benefits because then you can play with color in unique ways. White is such a basic color, that you can go along way with design and it also makes the space feel light, airy and clean. White can also make your small space look bigger than what it really is.

In kitchen remodeling, cabinets receive the highest allocation. They take up a lot of real-estate and are costly to manufacture and install. White cabinets avoid the decision of having to select a wood finish that dates a home quicker than is needed. You can also rest easy knowing that your kitchen can easily be updated with accessories and appliances while keeping the cabinets longer.

 

Versatility

Whether your kitchen has an upscale or shabby chic vibe, white cabinets are workable. This adaptability can be appealing to potential home buyers. While they may not see eye to eye with you on your kitchen decor, they know they won’t have to completely gut the kitchen when they move in. White plays well with nearly every other shade, making it convenient to coordinate countertops, appliances and lights fixtures, and backsplashes.

Warmth

Even though white is the name of the game, one mustn’t forget that the kitchen is part of the house and therefore in its design, it must project warmth and preserve an inviting appearance. In order to prevent a cold and sterile feeling, it is recommended to select a number of elements that will disrupt the monotony of the cold white and that will provide splashes of color and warmth to the space. Herbs of an intense green color, placed in a decorative vase on a white work surface would do the trick wonderfully. Adding paintings with splashes of color will give your kitchen an inviting look without cluttering the countertops. Even adding colored appliances might warm up the white monotony of the space.

Natural Light

High electricity prices and environmental awareness contribute greatly to energy-saving LED lamps. This trend is welcomed but full of potential home-lighting catastrophes in the form of white fluorescent bulbs. In order to prevent an office atmosphere in your kitchen, choose lighting with a warm color, not fluorescent. Warm natural light completes and emphasizes white surfaces without creating a cold feeling. If you are able to, try to plan your kitchen ahead of time so that during the day, those sitting in your kitchen can enjoy natural light entering through large windows which are essential for the ventilation of an active kitchen, among other things.

Wood

In order to generate interest and break the uniform appearance of the space, you can incorporate segments of wood (butcher) into your work surface. The segment can be a part of the work surface that is integrated creatively such as in a zigzag formation or a portable element such as a large cutting board that can turn into a hosting platform in an instant. You can always integrate into the general kitchen design cabinets made of wood and create a complex design combining materials.

Color

A color’s character is often determined by the material on which it “lies”. When designing a white kitchen, it is important to remember that for different materials, different finishes influence the manner in which the white reacts to the material, and what amount of light will reflect from it. A glossy finish, with a reflective characteristic, gives depth to the white color that will also be affected, among other things, by the colors of the elements around the space that reflect off the white. On the contrary, a matte white finish, which absorbs the light, allows, relative to the glossy, for the white color to appear as a single unified piece.

 

 

How to add color to your white kitchen

  • Get furniture with color to add a pop to your white space
  • Add wood to your white space to help add contrast
  • Add a dark color to window treatments will add a pop to the white space and you can change them out when you want to update it.
  • Be Bold! Give your island a pop of color.
  • Put a splash of color in the backsplash to break up the white concept.
  • Add a dark flooring or dark countertops to a white kitchen
  • Get stone white countertops with excessive dark veining to add texture to your white space without taking away from the white concept.
  • Make your oven hood the centerpiece of your white kitchen by making it extraordinary. Think copper or a wood material.
  • Embrace black stainless steel appliances or even colored.
  • Paint the walls using color to make your white kitchen pop with warmth.

 

     

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Celebrating July Fourth with Retro Pro!

History of Independence Day!

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate the Fourth of July or how the Fourth of July holiday came about? Many people think we celebrate the Fourth of July because it is the day we received our Independence from England. While those people are thinking along the right track that is not the entire reason that we celebrate the Fourth of July, nor is it the reason that the Fourth of July holiday came about.

Way back in the 18th century, the United States was not considered the United States. In fact, what we now call states were actually called colonies. The United States was actually an extension of England. People traveled from England aboard ships to settle in America, but eventually, differences in life, in thought, and in interests began to develop which caused a rift between Britain and America.

When the colonies were first settled they were allowed to pretty much develop freely without hardly any interface from Britain, but things abruptly changed in 1763. Britain suddenly decided that they needed to take more control over the colonies. Britain decided that the colonies needed to return revenue to the mother country and they needed to pay for the colonies defense, which was being provided by Britain. But the colonies did not agree with these new rules at all. They felt that since they were not represented in Parliament that they shouldn’t have to pay any kinds of taxes to the mother country, hence the saying “no taxation without representation.” When Britain continued to tax, the colonies formed the First Continental Congress to persuade the British government to recognize their rights. When this didn’t work a war was declared, which is known as the American Revolution.

After the First Continental Congress failed to persuade Britain to recognize the colonies’ rights, and war was declared, things began to heat up. Many people who were both considered moderates and radicals had decided that enough was enough and that any kind of taxation without representation was considered tyranny. People such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Ben Franklin, as well as a group called the Sons of Liberty decided that it was time to unite all of the colonies and to stand together against Britain.

During the course of the American Revolution, a second Continental Congress was formed. It is this group that adopted the final draft of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was drafted by John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. After the first draft was written by Thomas Jefferson, it was revised by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson before it was sent to Congress for approval. All thirteen colonies stood behind the Declaration of Independence and adopted it in full on July 4, 1776.

This is where the Fourth of July holiday comes in. The Fourth of July is known as Independence Day because that is the day that the Second Continental Congress adopted the full and formal Declaration of Independence. Even though we had declared that we were independent, the American Revolution was still being fought, which meant that we were still not independent. Regardless of the ongoing war the following year, people in Philadelphia celebrated a muted Fourth of July.

While celebrations on July 4th during the American Revolution were modest, after the war ended in 1783 the Fourth of July became a holiday in many places. The celebrations included speeches, military events, parades, and fireworks. To this day the Fourth of July is the most patriotic holiday celebrated in the United States.

 

Recipes

Star Marshmallow Pops

Ingredients:

  • Kraft Square S’more Marshmallows
  • Star Cookie Cutter (about 2″ wide)
  • Red Sugar Crystals
  • Blue Sugar Crystals
  • Paper Straws-patriotic colors
  • water

Directions:

Start off by laying out some wax paper to avoid a sticky mess. Grab your cookie cutter and press it into as many marshmallows as you think you’ll want for star pops. Push the paper straws into the middle (sticky part) of the marshmallow stars and set them back down on the wax paper. When you ready to start decorating, put another piece of wax paper on the counter. Press the marshmallow into a cup of water-turning it over to coat both sides with water. Then press the “wet with water” sides into the sugar crystals coating the marshmallow with the sugar crystals. Set the coated marshmallow pops onto the wax paper sheet to dry-it will probably take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then once they have had a chance to dry place them in a mason jar with rice at the bottom to hold them in place looking like a bouquet. Store in an airtight container if you want to keep them for a couple of days.

 

 

 

Red, White, and Blue Frozen Bananas

Ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate melting wafers or chocolate chips: red, white, blue
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Red, white, & Blue sprinkles

Directions:

Peel the bananas and then cut them in half. Place each banana piece on a lollipop stick. Freeze the bananas for at least two hours. Melt the Ghirardelli chocolates in the microwave and then use a spoon to cover the frozen banana with the melted chocolate. If you are going to decorate your red, white and blue frozen bananas with sprinkles, add the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. If you want to drizzle on the candy melts, place the chocolate covered frozen bananas back in the freezer until the chocolate is completely hardened. For the candy drizzle, place 15 Wilton blue, red and white candy melts in a Ziploc bags. Place the plastic bags in the microwave.  We started at 40 seconds increments until the candy melts were fully melted. Once the candy melts are melted, cut the tip off the bag and drizzle the candy over the frozen bananas. Place the decorated red, white and blue frozen bananas back in the freezer until you are ready to serve them.

 

DIY Projects

4th of July Fireworks Decor

Supplies:

  • Variety of sticks
  • Flat spray paint Red, white & blue
  • 3 Mason jars
  • A ribbon that is red, white & blue or themed for Independence day

 

Directions:

Spread out a bundle of sticks in pile of three. Spray each pile with red, white, and blue paint. Let dry and reapply if you see any missed sections. Take the mason jars and wrap the themed ribbon around the top. Place the sticks in the jar and display as a centerpiece or mantel decoration.

 

 

Firecracker Poppers

Supplies:

  • A stapler
  • Scissors
  • Craft or needlework needle
  • Fun craft punches for making your own confetti
  • Hole Puncher
  • Toilet paper (to make the rocket shape)
  • Colored construction paper
  • Red and Blue tissue paper
  • String
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Beads (these will not show so it doesn’t matter what they look like)
  • Ribbon for the streamers (red, white, & blue)

Directions:

Cut a small square of tissue paper that will be big enough to cover the bottom of your cardboard tube (about 3” across). Cut a small disc out of a sheet of construction paper that will fit just within the radius of the cardboard tube. With some glue attach this disc to the center of the tissue paper. Let it dry a few minutes. Thread about an arm’s length of string onto your craft needle and tie a bead to the end for a knot. With this, puncture the center of your disc that is attached to the tissue paper. This will be the trap door.

Next, you will need to glue this tissue paper trap door to your cardboard tube with a small line of glue around the bottom of the tube. Make sure you attach it with the bead side inside the tube and the string side hanging outside of your tube. You can add a pull tab to your long dangling fuse or just let it hang. We added stars to some of ours. Let dry. Cover the toilet paper with decorative paper so you don’t know that it is toilet paper. The length is roughly 6.5×4.25. Attaching the ribbons to the bottom inside of the decorative covering will keep it looking more professional. Roll your paper around the tube and staple the top for strength. You can’t staple the bottom because your tissue paper trap door keeps the stapler from getting inside but I found that a couple of pieces of tape did the trick. Now you can fill your tube with confetti. We just put in a few handfuls but feel free to load this sucker up. Just think about how much confetti you want to clean up later. Attaching the cone to the top of your rocket can be a bit tedious. It’s purely aesthetic so if you opt out of this part that’s fine.

Cut a circle about 3.25 inches wide across, then cut one snip all the way to the center of the disc like you see above. Take the edges of your cut and pull them together, probably about a half an inch or more. When your cone has reached a desirable height, staple it at the base. Attaching the cone to your rocket can be a little tricky. The important thing is creating a strong holder that you can use to hang your rocket from. Since these rockets will be tugged upon, you don’t want it to fall apart before it explodes. Putting a weight-bearing string through two holes punched in the top of the rocket body works best.  

Then string the two sides of the string through the center bead and up through the center of the cone so that it comes out of the point at the top of the cone. The cone itself can’t really hold the rocket together so taping it wouldn’t work. An easy way to string the cone is to open up the stapled cut from the inside of your cone and pull your string through the gap.

 

       

Here’s a Scientific Diagram 

I found that I needed to “prime” some of the rockets to ensure maximum explosiveness. You can do this by simply poking some small holes (or cutting with a sharp blade) around the bottom of the trap door. Just make sure you don’t cut it completely out because the ripping sound of that trap door being yanked out is probably the biggest part of the fun.

 

Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Happy Memorial Day!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children through bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” -Ronald Reagan

History

Memorial day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally it was called Decoration Day and started in the years following the civil war and became an official federal holiday since 1971. Many Americans observe the day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. It unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season.

Recipes

Fruit and Feta Salad Stacks

Ingredients:

  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Fresno Chili Pepper, thinly sliced
  • Fresh Mint or Basil
  • Flaky Sea Salt
  • 6-8oz. Feta Cheese sliced into ¼ inch slices or crumbled
  • Star shaped cookie cutter or a knife if you’re talented

Directions:

Slice the watermelon and cantaloupe into ½ inch slices. Remove the seeds from the cantaloupe. Cut the fruit slices into stars using the cookie cutters into 1-inch cubes. Cut the  Feta cheese into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange the fruit and feta on a large serving plate. Layer alternating the fruit and cheese into stacks. Sprinkle blueberries and raspberries over top. In a small bowl, stir together the zest of 1 lime and the juice of 2 limes, the honey, and the Fresno pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit. Add the fresh mint and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle extra honey if needed. Serve fruit platter chilled.

 

 

Summer Herb Chickpea Chopped Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4-8c. Butter Lettuce, chopped
  • ½ c. Fresh Basil and Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Thyme
  • 2 ears of Grilled Corn Kernels, removed from cob
  • 1 ½ c. Tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 3/4c. Blueberries or Blackberries
  • 1 Peach, finely chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2c. Cooked Chickpeas
  • 1/2c Mixed Toasted Pepitas, Pecans, Walnuts and Pistachios
  • 1/4c. Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Honey
  • ½ -1 Tsp. Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • Salt n pepper to taste
  • 1 Avocado, pitted and chopped

 

Directions:

In a large bowl combine the butter lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, grilled corn, tomatoes, red pepper, berries, peaches, jalapeno, and chickpeas. In another small bowl or glass jar combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, chipotle chili powder, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk until combined. Once ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Add avocado and goat cheese and gently toss again.

 

 

Guacamole Turkey Balls

  • ¾ # of Ground Turkey
  • 1/2c of ground up mushrooms
  • ½ Tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Cumin
  • ½ Tsp. Onion Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ Avocados
  • A few sprigs of Cilantro, diced
  • 2 Tsp. lime juice
  • ¾ Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tsp. Olive Oil

 

Directions:

Mix the ground turkey together with the ground mushrooms (this helps make the turkey juicy), chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Form into three patties. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 3 teaspoons of olive oil. Cook the patties, making sure they brown on both sides until they are cooked through. Meanwhile, make your guacamole. Mash together the avocados, lime juice, cilantro, and garlic powder in a bowl. Season to taste with salt. Serve turkey balls with a dollop (1 blue container’s worth) of guacamole on each patty.

 

Watermelon on the Grill

Ingredients:

  • 1 Watermelon
  • ¼ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Grated Lime Zest
  • ½ Tsp. Red pepper Flakes
  • 8 Lime Wedges, 2 limes cut into quarters

Directions:

Prepare grill. Cut up watermelon into triangles about ½ inch thick slices. Combine sugar, lime zest, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Sprinkle the watermelon slices on both sides with mixture. Rub into the watermelon to make it more of an even coating. Grill watermelon until grill marks appear and the watermelon is warmed through about 2-3 minutes on each side. Squeeze lime wedge and serve. It’s optional if you want to add a sprinkle of feta cheese or greek yogurt on it, or a scoop of ice cream if serving as a desert.

 

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ c. Graham Crackers crumbled
  • ⅓ c. Almond Meal
  • 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Butter melted
  • 1 pkg. Cream Cheese
  • ⅔ c. Icing Sugar
  • ⅓ c. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • ¾ c. Raspberries or Strawberries
  • ½ c. White Chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 8 small Paper Cups
  • 8 Popsicle Sticks

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together graham crackers crumbled, almond meal, brown sugar, and melted butter until combined. Make sure it is crumbly, the mixture should hold together when you squeeze it. Set aside until ready to assemble. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in icing sugar, and lemon zest until smooth. Next add in greek yogurt, heavy cream and vanilla, then beat again until smooth and evenly combined. Place the raspberries or strawberries into blender and puree until smooth in a new bowl. Separate ¼ c. from the bowl and set aside for later. Add the remaining puree to the yogurt mixture and beat until evenly combined. Now you can start filling your cups. First, spoon about 1 heaping tbsp. Of the yogurt mix into the bottom of each cup. Next, take the remaining raspberry puree and evenly distribute it in each cup. Next, sprinkle 1 heaping tbsp.  of graham cracker mix. Add another layer of yogurt mix and then add the remaining graham mix on the top. Once the pops are assembled, place a popsicle stick into them. Then place into an 8×8 inch baking pan and place in the freezer to firm up for 5-6 hours or overnight. Now that your pops are frozen, in a small bowl microwave the white chocolate and coconut oil together to melt and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool about 10-15 minutes. While waiting, whisk together a tbsp. Extra of the almond meal and graham cracker crumbs for garnish. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out the popsicles and peel away the paper cups gently. Set the pops onto the prepared parchment paper. Dip the bottom of the pops into the white chocolate and use your finger to wipe away the excess and then immediately dip into the graham garnish. Once coated, set back onto the parchment paper. Remove pops from the freezer 5-10 min before serving to soften slightly.

DIY Projects

Table Decoration

Supplies:

  • 3 mason jars or clear vases
  • White Daisies or other preferred fresh flowers
  • Food coloring (red, blue)
  • Water

Instructions:

Fill the jars with water and add 1 drop of food coloring of the red in one jar and blue in the other jar. Leave the third one clear. Add the flowers, after about a day the food coloring will travel up the flower’s stem and change the color of the daisy to the food coloring.

 

American Twine Letter Decoration

Supplies:

  • The twine of your choice
  • Box lettering a U, S, & A
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Patriotic ribbon or bow
  • Red, Blue, or White large button

Instructions:

Start your twine at the bottom of the letterboxes and glue every so often as you twine up the letter. Make sure to wipe the excess glue so you don’t see it as it dries. When you are finished covering the entire letter add a bow or make a bow from your patriotic ribbon and glue around the U letter. Add a button and place the decoration on your mantel or on your table as a centerpiece.

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Dreaming of a Spa Bathroom

To Dream Or Not To Dream

Inspired by dream magazines and 5-star resorts, homeowners are willing to spend the money to make their bathroom look and feel like a luxury, relaxing spa oasis. Bringing the experience to your personal bathroom is no easy task and definitely not cheap but here are 10 spa bathroom ideas you can use that will take you right to your favorite vacation spot.

 

Go Minimalist

One thing that makes resort spas so relaxing is lack of clutter. It gives you a piece of mind and room to relax forgetting about the rest of everyday life. Start with your cabinets and drawers throwing away anything you do not need. Put everything away and out of site.

 

Let in Natural Light

Natural light is the number one to getting the mind to relax. It also triggers the release of happiness-inducing hormones. It can be a large window on one wall or medium sized window next to the bathtub. If your view isn’t very relaxing you can purchase a film to place on the window to add privacy and a soft look.

Use White

Most spas are light and bright. They love to use white so use white as much as possible and accent with a pop of color to bring it all together. The lights should also complement the bathroom decor as well. If you are worried about cleaning more with white use more durable and maintenance free products in your bathroom.

Create Some Privacy

Privacy adds the true spa-like feel when you want to escape from the world and its troubles. A curtain, plants or even a divider will add depth and give it a calming and relaxed feel. It will also keep your privacy in the room if you share it with your spouse.

   

Style up the Artificial Lighting

Stylish lamps in various areas of the bathroom with create a more uniformed lighting than just a fixed overhead light. You can also make use of dimmers to lower the brightness when you want to relax and adds drama. Candles are still relazxing so be sure to place them spratically around the room for when it is time to relax.

Add Some Music

The greatest part about relaxing is involving all of the senses. Our ears are one of the senses we forget when creating a relaxing atmosphere so incorporate sound into your bathroom. Use soft music or nature sounds to create a pleasant auditory experience. There are plenty of different kinds of ways to have this: going full out or just something small and portable.

      

Keep Everything Neat

Disorganization has been proven to create stress. Decluttering your space is very important to have a zen feeling. Don’t leave a towel lying around or clutter of toothbrushes and knick-knacks all over the countertops. If you find it is a challenge, start with the first tip of going minimalists.

Pamper Yourself With Softness

Adding texture and softness to your bathroom adds coziness. Soft fluffy towels, a thick bath mat are a few things to add comfort to the space. The texture on the walls or accents can be a great way to break up the softness but still keep it cozy and spa-like.

 

Add a Piece of Art

Hanging some paintings or one large painting warms up the space and makes it more than just a bathroom. It makes its another space in the home to relax and enjoy. This is where color should play a role if you choose to have a white bathroom. It will be the center of the room, so make it stand out. If you don’t want to have a painting choose a sculpture and place it in a spot where it grabs your attention.

      

Use Plants

Plants, real or fake always warm and brighten up any room. It creates a natural relaxing feel. Some plants that do well in bathrooms are Bamboo, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp (mother’s tongue), Peace Lily, Philodendron, Aloe Plant, and Succulents.

      

Some other ideas to create a spa-like bathroom:

  • Use earthy paint colors
  • Install dimmers
  • Add faux wood tiles
  • Add a fluffy rug
  • Add a tub tray to your tub
  • Install a massage shower head
  • Add a steam shower with aromatherapy
  • Heat your towels
  • Add oil diffusers and candles

 

 

Feel free to contact us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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Easter with Retro Pro!

Easter is a time of a year when you gather with your family and celebrate a feast of food and memories to cherish. Kitchens play a huge role in Easter. They are the central place for food and entertaining, so get your creativity going and take a look at some of these holiday recipes and decorations that can go a long way with your guests. 

Easter White Chocolate Toffee

Ingredients:

  • 1c. Butter (2 sticks)
  • 1c. Brown sugar
  • 1 stack of saltine crackers
  • 1# pkg. White almond bark melted
  • Easter sprinkles

Directions:

Melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat, bring to a boil and stir while boiling for 5 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place crackers evenly on the foil pan. Pour sugar mixture over the crackers. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes. While crackers are baking melt almond bark in the microwave using the directions on the pkg. Pour white chocolate over the cracker mixture and spread evenly. Top with your favorite sprinkles or M&Ms. Allow to cool completely and break into smaller pieces.

 

Carrot Apple Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet red apple
  • 1 large Tart green apple
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 3c. Shredded carrots
  • 1/3c. Mayo
  • 1/3c. Plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 2 tsp. Rice wine vinegar
  • Salt n pepper
  • 3/4c. Crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2c. Dried cranberries

Directions:

Cut up apples and shred. It should end up being 3 1/2c. Place in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Add carrots and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, yogurt, honey, and rice wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over apple/carrot mixture and stir to coat. Mix in crumbled feta cheese and dried cranberries. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 30 min. to an hour to allow flavors to blend. If a bit of liquid accumulates at the bottom of the bowl, serve using a slotted spoon.

 

 

Rice Krispie Easter Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 6c. Rice Krispies cereal (split into 1 1/2c portions)
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 pkg. Mini Marshmallows split into 4 portions
  • 4 different colors of food coloring

Directions:

You will need to make four batches of Rice Krispy treats for each color. Heat 1 tbsp. of butter in a pot over the stovetop. Once it is melted, add 1 portion of the mini marshmallows. As soon as the marshmallows melt add 1-2 drops of colored food coloring. Add 1 1/2c. of Rice Krispy cereal and mix together with a spatula. Form treat into an egg shape and place on a cookie sheet well greased. Repeat these steps with each color. Let sit 15 minutes or until hard.

 

Peeps Fruit Kabobs

Ingredients:

  • Wooden skewers
  • 1-2 package of peeps
  • Fresh fruit: strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, and grapes

Directions:

Layer fruit on a skewer with a peep in the center. Make soon before serving so the sugar on the peeps doesn’t run.

 

DIY Projects

 

Bunny Napkin Decoration

  1. Add the napkin weight to a triangle. The important thing is that the two tips on the sides are even, the one in the middle is not as important.
  2. Roll right against the long side.
  3. Fold, put an egg in the middle and tie a strap just above the egg.
  4. Draw your face, if any. Or maybe write a name?

 

 

Carrot Wreath

 

Cabbage Centerpiece

 

 

Centerpiece Decorations Ideas

         

If you think your kitchen looks outdated it doesn’t hurt to look into your remodeling options, it will definitely be the talk at the dinner table for the next holiday dinner. For a free estimate give Retro Pro a call today 480-649-1422

 

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Time to Celebrate Halloween with Retro Pro!

 

  

 

  Halloween is a day for being creative, having fun, and bringing out the inner kid. Did you ever wonder how the holiday came to be? Why were we encouraged to go around the neighborhood and beg for candy when we could just go buy it at anytime? Historically strangers giving you candy was always considered a bad thing. So, it’s no wonder you may think Halloween is a strange holiday but it is no stranger than say Valentine’s Day; where you give candy to your loved ones. Halloween has changed so much over the years that I want to give you some facts on how it was celebrated in the beginning.

 

    This day originated from a Celtic festival for the dead called “Samhain.” They believed the ghosts of the dead roamed Earth on this day, so people would dress in costumes and leave “treats” out on the front door step to appease the spirits. Instead of wearing costumes made from fabric and plastic, ancient archives noted, traditionally they wore costumes of animal heads and skins so they could connect to the spirits of the dead. Talk about creepy!

 

   And did you know Jack-o-lanterns which were invented by the Irish Celts were mostly made out of turnips, beets and potatoes instead of the pumpkin. Also, later on the tradition of going door to door on All Hallow’s Eve became more of a job and dancing was a custom in order to receive treats. You can see how far we have come in this spooky tradition. Now it is time to have fun and be creative on this one night where all the traditional rules are placed on hold so kids can be kids…or adults can be kids too!

 

 

Recipes from the Kitchen

Here at Retro Pro we are getting ready to celebrate Halloween this weekend. From the tradition of trick or treating, decorating with ghosts or goblins and stirring up some all time favorites in the kitchen; we are excited to celebrate in our favorite place…the home! So take a look at some of these spooky tricks and treats and experiment in the kitchen this Halloween.

 

   Rice Krispy Treat Pumpkins

 

Ingredients:

6 cups of rice krispies

Food coloring red & yellow

1 bag of Marshmallows

¼ cup of cooking oil

¼ cup butter

1 bag of M&Ms green

1 bag Mini Rolos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Heat the butter in a pot big enough to hold 6 cups of rice krispies. Add marshmallow when the butter is completely melted. Mix together until marshmallow is smooth and then add food coloring to the mixture. The amount of food coloring you need is about 6 drops of red and 12 drops of yellow but experiment with a drop at a time is best. Start with the yellow drops and then add a few drops of red until you get your desired color of orange. Then add your rice krispies to the mixture and stir together using a spatula. Having a small bowl of cooking oil to rub your hands will make it easier to roll the rice krispy treats into a ball without it sticking all over everything. Be sure to reapply with each pumpkin for best results. Place the pumpkins on parchment paper. Make a little indent at the top of the pumpkins and place a mini Rolo candy in it. Lastly place the green M&M upright next to the Rolo.

 

 

   Vampire Hot Chocolate

 

Ingredients:

(hot chocolate)

3 cups of whole milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz. white chocolate in tiny pieces

½ cup mini chocolate chips

Red food coloring

(whipped cream)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp fine granulated sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

(for sugar blood)

½ cup light corn syrup

½ cup of water

1 cup fine granulated sugar

Red food coloring

 

 

 

Directions:

For the whipped cream part add 1 cup of heavy cream, vanilla extract, and 1 cup fine sugar into a bowl. Whip with mixer on medium high until stiff peaks form. For the hot chocolate add the whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla, white chocolate, and mini chocolate chips to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the chocolate is melted and the it starts to simmer. Do not let it burn or boil! Stir in a drop or two of red food coloring. For the sugar blood combine water, corn syrup into a saucepan. Pour fine granulated sugar and stir. Heat on medium heat WITHOUT stirring until the sugar mixture reaches about 300 degrees on a thermometer. Once it reaches the desired temperature then add food coloring and stir. Let it cool for just a second and then dip the rim of the mug into the sugar mixture. Dip to coat and then immediately sit it upright so the sugar blood will drip as it hardens. Pour chocolate milk into mug and top with whipped cream.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts

 

Ingredients:

1-2 pkg of Strawberries

1 bag White chocolate

Candy eyes

Wax or parchment paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Melt white chocolate in a saucepan. Dip strawberries one at a time in melted chocolate. Drag out some of the chocolate on the bottom to make a ghost tail. Set on wax or parchment paper. Place candy eyes on front. Store in fridge to set desired hardness before serving.

 

 

 

 

How to make the perfect pumpkin seeds

 

 

Ingredients:

Seeds from 2 large pumpkins

½ tsp. Of Lawry’s seasoned salt

½ tbsp. Of olive oil

Dash of salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Clean your pumpkin seeds well. You want to wash them using a colander  and discard any pumpkin fibers. The cleaner they are the better they will taste. Let soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes on the counter or overnight in the fridge is fine also. Drain the seeds when ready to use. Fill a pot of water with a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Place seeds into the boiling water for about 10 minutes. This helps cook the inside so when you roast them the pumpkin seeds get the perfect crunch.

Drain the seeds and place back into the bowl. Add olive oil and toss until coated. Lay seeds on a cookie sheet in a thin layer. Sprinkle with Lawry’s salt and place in oven for about 40 minutes but check on them every 10 until roasted. Look for them to be firm and no longer soft. You don’t want any dark spots on them just a darker yellow color. Allow to cool and enjoy!

 

Other Ideas with food

Here are some great ideas to make your ordinary food look Halloween themed. The kids will have fun making these ideas come alive…….

Pumpkin carrots

 

Decorating for Halloween through creative food

 

Clementine Pumpkins

 

Decorating the home for Halloween

  With Halloween just around the corner there are so many fun ways to decorate your house. One popular project families are doing this year is making front door decorations. Instead of your traditional wreath or door hanging, decorating the whole door is taking trick or treating to a whole new level of creativeness. With so many different ideas below are just a few of different ideas you could use or make up a new one.

 

 

 

 

Some ideas for your kitchen

There are so many ideas to decorate your kitchen. Here are just a few to get you started.

 

Some ideas for your bathroom

The bathroom is good place to creep out your guests. They are not expecting it when they walk in so you will for sure get a reaction.