4 simple swaps when planning a kitchen refresh

(BPT) – Spring is in full swing, which means it’s time to reinvigorate your kitchen with a new look! When planning your refresh, consider these simple, stylish swaps that don’t require investing tons of time or budget. Upgrade your kitchen fixtures Faucets often serve as the centerpiece of the kitchen. Replacing an outdated model is an easy way to give your space a facelift. Choose a piece that’s as functional as it is fashionable such as the Delta Allentown Faucet, available at The Home Depot. This faucet offers an industrial, versatile design and tech-savvy appeal for every modern homeowner. Complete with …

3 Ways to set the stage for the perfect summer soiree

(BPT) – The backyard barbecue is a staple of the American summer. Long days filled with sun, fun, family and friends are what make lifelong memories. Now is the perfect time to start planning for your next barbecue, so you, too, can create memories you won’t soon forget. However, before you fire up the grill, you will want to ensure your backyard is prepped and ready to host your friends and family. Here are three tips to help you create the perfect setting for your patio party: 1. Lay the groundwork The first step to setting any stage is to …

Credit tips for buying an investment property

(BPT) – If you love the idea of being a landlord, and don’t mind being on duty around the clock, buying an investment property may be the wealth-building option for you. Property values have enjoyed a steady increase over the decades. That’s why real estate has earned its reputation as a sound investment that builds wealth and credit. Most people, however, don’t have the quantity of cash on hand to purchase a house or apartment building outright. Still, if becoming a landlord means taking out a 30-year mortgage, the monthly payments from the tenants should be enough to service the …

4 easy projects to turn trash into treasure

(BPT) – Crafting is a great way to relieve stress and express your creative side — and fortunately, you don’t have to be a master craftsman — or spend a fortune on materials — to have fun and enjoy the benefits. “A great way to get into crafting is by ‘upcycling’ — bringing new life into items you already have,” said Dinah Wulf, author, and blogger of the website DIY Inspired. “Some of my favorite projects can be done with ordinary household items and just a dab of glue.” Here are four easy “upcycled” projects to get your creative juices …

Boston Cream Pie Crepes

Turn your morning breakfast crepe into a delicious and totally satisfying dessert with creamy custard filling and decadent chocolate sauce. To make filling: 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups milk 4 egg whites 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream In a saucepan mix milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt over a medium heat. Stir until mixture thickens. Pour 1/3 of sugar mixture into egg whites and stir, return to saucepan and heat for 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat and pour in vanilla. Transfer filling to medium bowl, cover and press plastic wrap to …

Father’s Day Gifts for the Man Who Loves to Cook

Father’s Day Gifts for the Man Who Loves to Cook   (Family Features) While the typical Father’s Day gifts generally get the job done – think golf clubs, fishing tackle or grilling equipment – don’t forget about the dad who enjoys spending time making magic in the kitchen. Give him the tools he needs to succeed, whether baking for the big game, preparing a meal for the family, trying out a new recipe or simply seeking to master the perfect cup of coffee. Reaching one’s fullest potential in the kitchen requires the right equipment, so put the best gear in …

Wedding Planning 101

Wedding Planning 101 (Family Features) First comes the proposal then comes the wedding planning. There are dozens of decisions that need to be made before it’s time to walk down the aisle, which can be overwhelming for brides and grooms. To help make it less stressful, these tips from Macy’s can help couples through the entire wedding-planning process, from on-trend apparel and accessories for the entire wedding party to all the essentials to create a perfect registry. Dressing the Ladies When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, the mix-and-match approach is trending in popularity. Start by deciding on a color palette, …

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Spaces

(Family Features) Over time, the appearance and function of any outdoor space can dull due to combinations of heat, precipitation, and use. With some careful attention, you can quickly spruce up your outdoor living areas and get them back in great working order for patio season.           Take Care of Textiles Outdoor textiles often take a beating from the elements. Freshen up often-overlooked things like outdoor rugs, lawn furniture cushions, pillows, and umbrellas. A thorough vacuuming may be adequate to remove leaves, bugs or dirt. However, if stubborn spots persist and a deeper cleaning is needed, …

Marshmallow Crescent Puffs

Marshmallow Crescent Puffs Take your crescent rolls to the next level with this recipe for Marshmallow Crescent Puffs. The flaky crust and sweet marshmallow filling will be a sure delight to your tastebuds. Find more recipes at www.culinary.net. 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 TBS all-purpose flour 1 Tsp cinnamon 2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 16 large marshmallows 1/4 cup butter, melted Glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3 teaspoons of milk 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional) Preheat oven to 375° F.  Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Seperate crescent …

Chef Michael Voltaggio’s kitchen essentials inspire culinary innovation

(BPT) – When award-winning chef and culinary visionary Michael Voltaggio was remodeling his West Hollywood home, he purposefully selected kitchen essentials that facilitate restaurant-level culinary innovation in a residential setting. Chef Voltaggio’s home kitchen couples superior functionality with style, integrating handpicked fixtures and tools of the trade necessary to establish an environment that inspires an elevated culinary process. Mindful mise en place One of the most important lessons a chef learns is the concept of mise en place — French for “everything in its place” — to streamline organization and enable efficiency. With expert forethought and understanding of the importance …