Making your own gallery wall

While gallery walls often look as if they evolved organically over time, they require some planning to get the look right.

First, identify a wall that needs a style upgrade. Good gallery wall candidates include large, empty walls or awkward spaces where traditional artwork doesn’t quite fit (next to a stairway, for example). Another good place for a gallery wall is the first wall you notice when you enter a room.


Next, determine what kind of style you want your gallery wall to be. Take a look around the room; would classic black-and-white images work best with your furnishings and decor, or would colorful artwork or objects make the wall pop? Do you want an ordered, symmetrical wall, or would you prefer an organic, free-flowing collection?

Finally, estimate how much space you’ll use. Do you have an entire wall to play with, or a few square feet? Is it a very vertical or horizontal space? This will dictate how many items you use.


Choosing Your Gallery Wall Collection

You now have a space chosen and a style goal. What will you be hanging? There are two approaches to your collection.

  • Unified: A collection of similar items such as photographs, mirrors or dishes
  • Eclectic: A combination of items such as pictures, objects and paintings (like the image below)
  • Some gallery wall ideas include:
    • Baskets
    • Vinyl album covers
    • Framed wallpaper or patterned fabric
    • Empty antique frames on a contrasting color wall
    • Mirrors in different shapes and sizes

    How to Hang a Gallery Wall

    Get your collection in order and plan the hanging layout. You can do this in one of three ways:

    On the floor. Use some painter’s tape to mask out a space on the floor the same size as the wall area. Start arranging your collection within the outline on the floor until you’re happy with it. Once the layout is complete, take a picture of it and note distances between the items. Hang the items on the wall in the same spacing, one item at a time.

    On the wall. Outline the shape of each object on a piece of paper and cut it out. Label each shape to represent the object on the wall, and tape the paper shapes on the wall until you’re happy with the layout. Hang the actual piece where the paper shape is taped.

    Using a wall gallery kit. Perfect Picture Wall makes hanging a gallery wall simple. You can order predefined gallery layouts on the company’s website that come with photo frames, mats and a wall template. Insert your favorite images in each frame, hang the paper template on the wall and then hang your photo gallery. Here’s an instructional video on how to use the wall gallery kit.

    Read more:

Recipe For Beurre Blanc

*White wine 1 fl. oz. 30 ml. *White wine vinegar 4 fl. oz. 120 ml. *Salt 1 1/2 tsp. 7 ml. *White pepper 1/2 tsp. 2 ml. *Shallot, minced 3 tbsp. 45 ml. *Whole butter, 2 lb. 1 kg.

Yield: 1 qt.


  1. Combine the white wine, white wine vinegar, salt, white pepper and shallot in a small saucepan. Reduce the mixture until approximately 2 tablespoons of liquid remain. If more than 2 tablespoons of liquid are allowed to remain, the resulting sauce will be too thin. For a thicker sauce, reduce the mixture au sec.
  2. Cut the butter into pieces approximately 1 oz. in weight. Over low heat, whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time, using the chilled butter to keep the sauce between 100 degrees F and 120 degrees F.
  3. Once all the butter has been added, remove the saucepan from the heat. Strain through a chinois and hold at a temperature between 100 degrees F and 130 degrees F.

For Beurre Rouge, substitute a dry red wine for the white wine and red wine vinegar for the white wine vinegar.

Compound Butters

A compound butter is made by incorporating various seasonings into softened whole butter. Butter and flavoring ingredients can be combined with a blender, food processor or mixer.

Recipes For Compound Butters


Basil Butter – Mince 2 oz. basil and 2 oz. shallots; add to the butter with 2 teaspoons lemon juice.

Herb Butter – Add to the butter up to 1 cup of mixed chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, chives, tarragon or chervil.

Pan Gravy

Pan gravy is a sauce made from meat or poultry juices combined with a liquid and thickening agent; made in a pan in which the meat or poultry was cooked.

Procedure For Preparing Pan Gravy


  1. Remove the cooked meat or poultry from the roasting pan.
  2. If mirepoix was not added during the roasting process, add it to the pan containing the drippings and fat.
  3. Place the roasting pan on the stove top and clarify the fat by cooking off any remaining moisture.
  4. Pour off the fat, reserving it to make the roux.
  5. Deglaze the pan using an appropriate stock.
  6. Add enough stock or water to the deglazing liquid to yield the proper amount of finished gravy.
  7. Prepare the roux in a seperate pan using a portion of the reserved fat.
  8. Add the roux to the liquid and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer until the mirepoix is well cooked.
  9. Strain the gravy and adjust the seasonings.


Coulis is a sauce made from a puree of vegetables and/or fruit; may be served hot or cold. The texture is that of tomato sauce.

Procedure For Preparing A Coulis

  1. Cook the main ingredient and any additional flavoring ingredients with an appropriate liquid.
  2. Puree the main ingredient and flavoring ingredients in a food mill, blender or food processor.
  3. Combine the puree with the appropriate liquid and simmer to blend the flavors.
  4. Thin and season the coulis as desired.

Recipe For Red Pepper Coulis

*Vegetable Oil 1 fl. oz. 30 ml. *Garlic, chopped 2 tsp. 10 ml. *Onion, small dice 3 oz. 90 g. *Red bell pepper, 3 lb. 1.25 kg. medium dice *White wine 8 fl. oz. 250 ml. *Chicken stock 1 pt. 450 ml. *Salt and pepper TT TT

Yield: 1 qt.

  1. Heat the oil and saute the garlic and onion.
  2. Add the bell pepper and saute until tender.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
  4. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Puree in a blender or food processor and strain through a china cap.
  6. Adjust the consistency and seasonings and hold for service.

Impressive christmas gifts to buy this year

If you are reading this article, I can understand your mind. You are looking for impressive Christmas gift ideas in 2016. It is said ‘you get what you pay for.’ However, this does not hold true for gifts. Price alone does not justify its value. A gift conveying personal concern for the recipients can win their hearts despite being cheap. So, here go my ideas.

Christmas gift basket which can include gourmet foods, fruitcake and chocolates gifts. You can also make your goodies and cookies, put them in a good basket and use a special ribbon or wrapping paper in covering the it beautifully.

Christmas music CD’s for Christmas music are also best gifts. Songs are a very crucial part of this celebration. Consider popular audio music tracks, powerful CDs, children’s Christmas CD or Christmas classics.

Another one is a Christmas DVD selected with a diligence which is a great gift for the family. All of the members of the family who will sit in a common place to watch and be grateful to you many times for creating this priceless moment for them.

You can also buy chic make up a bag of tote, a coin purse and cosmetic leisure bags. Priced under $10, these bags constitute great Christmas gifts. These are great gifts for the family during the Christmas holiday

The jewelry Costume gift for Christmas is a great idea and works great for friends and colleagues. Besides, teachers can also consider this gift for the students. Costume jewelry has near identical look and finish when compared to their original counterparts, but these are available at throwaway prices. You can also consider ornaments for Christmas as special symbol for remembrance of this very special occasion.

You can as well buy a Photo Album to Help the gift recipients to make their exclusive moments memorable with a photo album. Do not forget to write your personal note. And if possible, decorate it with your artwork.

Christmas candles are also the best Christmas gifts. Despite the arrival of new gift items, a traditional gift like the candle for Christmas is still a very popular idea. Consider also different kinds like a floating jar, scented, , or taper candles.

Experience with my own coffee machine

I am one lover of coffee, but venturing downtown for a café is not my thing! This is why I decided to get myself a coffee-making machine. It was quite a daunting task getting one with the fact that there are endless options in the market. I am also not a good buyer, which makes me gullible to the sweet words of the sellers not knowing that they have to market their products and make sales. In fact, some of them do not care whether the product they are selling you will work or not as long as they get something into their pockets money of course. I know many people face the same challenge and this is why I think it is wise for me to share shed some light on how to choose the best coffee machine 2016. How many ways of making coffee do you know? There is quite a number of them. One thing that should guide a buying decision is how you want your coffee made. You are free to choose from espresso makers, percolators, capsule coffee makers, and filters among others. You must also consider the convenience of use, the additional features as well as the price depending on your budget.


Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT 12-Cup Coffee Maker: I find this design quite good for enhancing any kitchen style. The filter basket is removable and features a reservoir where you can see the amount of water in its reservoir. It has a carbon based filter that allows it to remove the high percentage of chlorine in water to give it a better taste. You will also find coffee making fun with its other features.

Hamilton Beach 12-Cup 48464 Brew station Summit Dispensing Coffee Machine: If you are looking for a unique design, then this is your choice. It does not have glass coffee pot or carafe. It comes with an insulated tank and can store the coffee while warm for hours. You can also make ice coffee with this.

Go ahead and make your morning palatable with any of the above options!

How I shopped for the top rated home espresso machines

Watch that temperation … a coffee machine at Prufrock's

I can’t do without my morning cup of coffee and so when my old machine broke down, I started shopping for the top rated home espresso machines. I soon discovered that purchasing the right equipment is quite intimidating, and it was made even more complicated by the different features in the machines and the ever increasing price tags. I discovered that there are four main categories of machines, which are manual, semi-auto, full auto and super automatic. This meant that deciding on a particular category would make my search more focused and I could get a machine that was just right for my needs.

For starters, I learnt that manual machines are not very complicated when you compare them with the more advanced models. Constant water pressure is not maintained and I had to do this on my own by pushing water through my coffee manually. The quality of my final product would therefore vary, and so these machines are not recommended if I’m not an experienced home barista. Semi-automatic espresso makers come with electric pumps, which means that I don’t have to maintain the water pressure manually. I can decide when you want to turn my pump on or off and the temperature of the boiler is automated.

A fully automatic machine is similar to the semi-automatic machine, but there is an electronic device for regulating how much water passes through my espresso. The super automatic machine has every feature you need, and it normally comes with a built-in grinder. Apart from learning about the different machines that are available, I also learnt that buying the top rated home espresso machines 2016 involves knowing the types of coffee I wanted to make, whether it’s cappuccino, straight espresso or both. In addition, I had to base my decision on the number of drinks I wanted to churn out during each coffee making session and how often I would be making coffee.

My decision would also involve gauging the performance of the machine as well as its durability. I also had to ask myself whether I would use a direct plumb machine that will connect directly to my home’s water supply. The power supply in my house was another consideration because some machines require more power than others. The last thing I had to consider was the number of boilers in the machine, which can allow brewing and steaming simultaneously. After learning everything, I was well informed and I went ahead and bought one of the top rated home espresso machines.

How to brew the perfect espresso shot:

Food Choppers Make Cooking Simpler

Most of the kitchen work can be done quite easily and conveniently with the help of the kitchenaid food chopper. The food chopper is quite light weighing about 1 pound. There product comprises of some really good features. Firstly you don’t need a chopping board because the base part of the food chopper works as my board.

food chopperAs the cutting portion is formed of stainless steel blades, so you can easily keep it clean. Moreover the different parts of the food chopper can be detached and washed by hand or washed in the dishwasher. One of the best advantages of this device is, you can handle all the requirements easily.

Homemade soup certainly not tasted so better. A food chopper helps you do chop greens, potatoes and onion together and make delicious and healthy soup. Now all round the year, your family can be served with a variety of soups.

Normally kids might turn their noses up while chopping carrots and other smelly vegetables so food chopper is the perfect solution for this. They might not know what vegetable is being cooked for them. Let kids have all surprise and healthy diet as the disliked vegetables will be invisible in the soup.

Everyone really loves to bake bread and homemade cookies, but most of them dislike kneading and the whole process of mixing by hand. A food processor offers an effective hands free solution in the task of managing your favorite dough.

A food chopper is much handy in making all types of fresh vegetable and fruit juices. Your delicious juices and smoothies can be homemade with ice, yogurt and even nutritional supplements with it. So get set to entertain your guest and friends with fanciful cocktail juices.

Food choppers come in a wide range of sizes to meet your kitchen needs and generally in a two cup to a fifteen cup capacity. Those who love to cook by the traditional methods of doing everything by hand will find this food chopper much effortless and time saving in the kitchen. They will also find ample time for other household chores because of this at home.

A food chopper makes a great gift to someone who really loves to cook and spend much time in the kitchen. It is a best gift for newlyweds and new parents who are going to have a great time in the kitchen preparing food for their loved ones. A woman’s world is just not the kitchen; she need rest, relax and time to meet her personal needs and taking care of other members of the family. A food chopper is the only solution for a smart kitchen and busy homemakers.

The best cookware set for my cooking

I have always loved cooking and one of my year 2016 resolutions was to take my cooking game a notch higher by cooking healthier more delicious foods. After extensive research online on the best cookware set for my cooking, I settled or the 10-piece Calphalon Classic stainless steel cooking set. I ordered one at for only $199, and it was delivered within only three days. This cooking set has turned out to be the best cookware set I have used for the reasons below.


The set comes with all important pieces for day to day cooking at an affordable price. You don’t get a bunch of mixed up and useless utensils you may never use in the kitchen. The cookware pieces are made from medium weight stainless steel. Courtesy of this durable material the pieces can sustain high temperatures of up to 450 degrees and still last longer than sets from other brands. I liked the set more on the realization that it comes with a ten-year warranty which is a sign of manufacturer’s confidence in the quality of his products.

Related reading: 10 things to know before you buy cookware

The other reason why this set rocks is the nice set of features it comes with. Pots and pans in the set come with well fitting stainless steel lids while the glass items have lids with strainers. Pots also have measurement markings inscribed on them and spouts on both sides for an easier discharge of liquids. The measurement calibrations are large enough for I can read the ones on my items from as much as five feet away. Isn’t that convenient?

This set is also safe to use and cleans easily. The stainless steel quality used in this brand is not reactive to food and is easy to clean. The handles to the lids are specially designed to ensure that they do not get too hot for the hand. I cannot forget to say that the strainers on the lids are awesome to use for they prevent liquids from leaking from the pots. They just pour from the spouts.

This Classic Calphalon 10 piece set is the best cookware set in the year 2016. It gives you value for money and convenient cooking. Get yours today and refine your cooking.

Japanese Knives Like Swords

japanese knife

Kitchen knives are similar in shapes and function. Yet, I was wondering whether Japanese knives are as popular as other Japanese products like electronic equipment or vehicles. Until one day, I was watching a cooking program on a television in which the chef was also showing her own collection of Japanese set of knives. She mentioned that she loved using those knives because they were not only durable, but also perfectly made as conventional Japanese swords!

Then, I browsed around to find similar products. Not only because I was interested in their artistic design and function, but also wondering about how they were made. Then, I decided to visit a popular knife Japan manufacturer, which has been in this business for more than a century! Surprisingly, it was producing Japanese swords or samurai. It was stated that this company manufactures various sets of knives with similar methods as manufacturing swords.

I was amazed and decided to buy one set. I didn’t really need those knives, though. But, I was wondering how those sharp tools were manufactured like swords! The ones that I bought were utility knives because I found out that they were the most practical ones. I’ve used them for almost five years now and they are still as sharp as they were. I was very much interested with other kinds of Japanese knives like sashimi, paring, filleting and sushi knives. But, as quality come up with the price, I still can’t afford them so far. They are somewhat expensive, though I am sure that they are worth buying.

As other products, prices range from one manufacturer to another. However, nobody should worry about the quality, because we know for sure that Japan never takes quality for granted in all kinds of products. Buy, at least, one set and you will notice that knives from Japanese manufacturers are worth having.

The Sophisticated Zojirushi Bread Makers

my zojirushi bread makerI would love to have one of these top best bread makers with sophisticated features. My husband has gone out of town for a month or so. That leaves me with plenty of time to surf. Like any other lady, checking some appliances, clothes, perfumes, footwear, cookware, and jewelry comes naturally to me too. Frankly, I don’t need any new bread maker. But reviews of high end Zojirushi bread makers is tempting me to order one of them. I am beginning to notice the “non-existent” flaws in my existing bread maker.

I agree the control panel on this 8 years old bread maker is truly in bad shape. It is no match for the high end Zojirushi bread makers, either in looks or in performance. The Zojirushi bread maker has many options, such as meat loaf, which I feel I should be making at home. Whenever we have a party, or weekend family gathering, we do include meat loaf, but we buy that meat loaf from a bakery. I can’t offer my guests fresh meat loaf, much as I would like to.

I also need the timer gap feature, which is giving problem in my existing machine. We love soft bread and most of these high end bread makers from Zojirushi offer that option, apart from option to bake firm bread. I wonder who eats firm bread. My machine does bake soft bread, but it is no longer as evenly soft as it once used to be.

These reviews of Zojirushi bread makes are my best guide for selecting one of the bread machines, though I am not sure my husband would consider my request. He may not be happy at the thought of spending almost 200 USD. But the reviews and features are impressive enough to convince him, like they convinced me. I just forwarded some of these reviews to him. Hopefully, he does not find my request to be unreasonable.

Steps on how to marinate and make beef steak

How to marinate & make beef steak at home in easy steps.










2 Pieces (2 lbs / 907 g) Beefsteak
4 Garlic Cloves
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Honey
2 oz (57 g) Tamarind (or 2 Tbsp Tamarind Paste)
Paprika, Ground Chili Pepper

1- Dissolve 2 ounces of tamarind in 1/4 cup of boiling water, stir until thoroughly dissolved.
2- Pass the mixture through a strainer.

Beef Steak Recipe
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Why Choose These 3 Stainless Steel Rice Cookers


It can be pretty difficult for you to choose rice cookers with so many good rice cooker brands available out there. However, if you understand the basics then you will be well placed to make an informed decision. I would recommend the stainless steel rice cooker because of the many benefits users enjoy. What you need to do is find out about the capacity you need, features, accessories of the cooker, and ease of use. In other words, you should know your unique needs. The below mentioned are some of the top that you can choose from;

The Aroma Simply ARC-753SG stainless steel is a product worth adding to your kitchen. This one touch can easily steam, cook and keep warm up of 6 cups. Its surgical grade 304-stainless steel makes it have excellent heat conductivity capabilities, of which helps the food cook well. It comes with several accessories including serving spatula and measuring cup. Overall, you get restaurant quality results and this means that it is worth every single dollar spent.

The Oyama CFS-F12W 7-Cup is another great great stainless steel rice cooker that you can have in your home if you treasure quality food. It boasts of a 3-dimension cooking capabilities (side base, and lid) because it is entirely made of steel material. The cooking bowl is articulately designed with triple layers that make it possible for heat to uniformly spread while cooking. The keep warm function is a great addition that you can always enjoy.

The Aroma NRC-1000 is simply a wonderful cooker that can hold up to 9 cups and it comes with an excellent LCD panel. Its heating technology is unmatched in so many ways making it a top choice for tech-savvy persons. It is equally important to note that it can also be used for boiling potatoes and pasta. If you are thinking of rice cooker with great steaming capabilities, then look no further.