Tips for Cooking in Small Spaces

Tips for Cooking in Small Spaces

Cooking in small spaces doesn’t have to be scary if you’re equipped with the right information! Just about all of us have had at least one small apartment in our days, so the stress is likely familiar, but Sarah has some great tips to help keep you happy while you work. Let’s see if she can squeeze us in and give us a lesson?

Greetings, entertainers! I have designed the kitchen of my dreams multiple times, revising as my tastes change. It always has a dishwasher, lots of counter space, big, sunny windows, and a giant kitchen island. I have never had any of those things, but a girl can dream! Since I’m used to cooking in small spaces, I thought I’d share my tips today! It doesn’t take a gigantic, sunny kitchen to make food with big flavors.

Dedicate Space

When you’re short on counter space, the first thing to do is dedicate space for cooking and prep. I have a beautiful wooden cutting board that I try to keep clear, since that’s where I chop vegetables. This has necessitated me prioritizing my countertop space, and has led to me keeping small appliances tucked away unless I’m actively using them. My stand mixer goes in the pantry, my food processor goes in a drawer, and my coffee bean grinder is stowed away, too. I also make sure that my cutting board is clean, because that removes another barrier to me getting down to business.

One-Pot Wonders

My favorite recipes have fewer steps to prep, and with a small stove and sink, I have learned to love things I can make with one pan on the stove. These recipes usually involve browning meat, adding vegetables that cook quickly, and then adding liquids or tomato paste to make a sauce. After you’ve eaten and put leftovers away, you only have one pot to clean, so I’m done cleaning up before my hands get pruny. If you want more elements in your meal, roast vegetables in the oven while your main dish cooks on the stovetop. This gives you more flavors, and more crunch, without making a huge mess, or requiring super specific timing.

Clean Right Away

The least fun part of cooking a great meal is cleaning up (obviously the most fun part is eating it!). When cooking in small spaces, dishes pile up more easily in the sink and stove. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it feels like the kitchen is full of dirty dishes. Commit to cleaning measuring cups as you use them, and clean knives or any prep dishes as your meal cooks. Try to get your pans clean just after they’ve cooled, so any residual gunk doesn’t get crusty, which means more scrubbing.

Meal Prep

All hail the slow cooker! Planning meals ahead of time has been proven to lower your grocery bills and reduce stress throughout the week. This can be as easy as planning to cook two big meals on Sunday afternoons so you’ll have leftovers all week, or investing in a big slow cooker for roasts, soups, and more!

Slow cookers are a great solution for cooking in small spaces because you assemble and cook ingredients all in the same pot!

So if you have a busy social life after work during the week, or are just too tired to chop veggies and make sure the chicken is done, try a slow cooker meal to have something to look forward to when you get home.

Strategize

If you have an ambitious cooking adventure in mind, set yourself up for success by planning ahead. If you want to make macarons, plan where the cookies will cool while you mix up the filling. Christmas cookies? Maybe set up a small card table for a decorating station so you have enough room for multiple batches to go into the oven, cool, and be ready for frosting!

If you’re adjusting to a new small space, don’t feel discouraged or limited by having less counter space than the kitchen of your dreams. By making the most of the space you have, you’ll feel more organized and up for cooking in small spaces!

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Over the past four years, I have seen all sorts of creative uses for butcher block. One of my very first projects was for a customer making a shuffleboard table. A high quality shuffleboard table can run several thousand dollars, and this customer was a skilled craftsman, so he figured he could make it himself. He ordered a 14-foot long maple butcher block countertop to use as his playing surface since he didn’t have the equipment to fabricate something that long in one piece, let alone ensure its stability and level surface. He built his own base for the table and put it all together, saving himself thousands while creating a one-of-a-kind piece of functional art.  I wish I had had the foresight back then to follow up with him and get photos!

We love seeing our customers’ creative uses for butcher block!

Now that we are much more social media savvy, we regularly encourage our customers to send in photos of their projects, whether they are showing off their kitchen, laundry room, office, or something even more unique.  We certainly love seeing butcher block in its traditional role, and get a special thrill when it’s applied to an unconventional base (like this block attached to a vintage sewing machine base), but every once in a while,  we see something totally unexpected, and it just makes our day!

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

A few weeks ago I received a call from someone ordering a Boos dining table top. She had a few questions and when we got to talking, it came out that she was using it as a speed bag platform. Amazingly enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve sold a butcher block for that!  I only know of two instances, but this has me wondering if it’s more common than we thought.  This customer was kind enough to send us some photos showing the setup, and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty dang cool! Who knew a speed bag could look so sleek?

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Another fun project comes from Ben, whose neat ideas we have featured in the past. Ben used a Boos round cutting board (with feet removed) as a topper to a vintage milk can to make this super unique end table. It’s an unexpected use for butcher block, but it sure looks cool and makes a great conversation starter! Simple projects like this are easy to accomplish and make a big impact. It’s just a matter of getting creative!

Creative Uses for Butcher Block

Have you come up with any creative uses for butcher block? We would love to see your projects!

“Choose Your Boos” Cutting Board Giveaway

“Choose Your Boos” Cutting Board Giveaway

“Choose Your Boos” Sweepstakes Will Feature Famous John Boos Cutting Boards

Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of kitchen furniture and equipment, unveiled its latest consumer sweepstakes event. The winner of their “Choose Your Boos” promotional giveaway will be awarded a John Boos butcher block cutting board with a retail value as high as $350.

The company’s Marketing VP, Kathleen Grodsky, says, “Since September kicks off the fall cooking and baking season, it’s the perfect time to showcase the incredible variety of butcher block cutting boards on the market; they come in a wide assortment of woods, sizes and styles. John Boos & Co., the best-known and most renowned supplier, makes over 100 different wood cutting boards.”

“With so many great options to choose from, it was difficult to select a single Boos board to feature, so instead, the winner of  the sweepstakes will have the option to choose his or her own prize from the full Boos cutting board collection.”

Echoing Grodsky on the subject of cutting board diversity, Ted Gravenhorst suggested, “It can be more complicated than it first looks. After all, there are Boos cutting boards designed for everything from serving cheese or slicing bread to chopping vegetables or carving roasts. Plus, you have different wood species and grain styles to consider, along with size and shape.” Ted is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at John Boos.

Ms. Grodsky says the Boos cutting board promotion runs through the end of September and is open to U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. “It’s easy to enter by visiting Facebook and no purchase is required,” she emphasized.

About Butcher Block Co. – BBC is an online seller of wood countertops and kitchen furniture, stainless steel kitchen equipment, and such accessories as cutting boards, kitchen knives and knife blocks. Besides John Boos, the company carries products made by Catskill Craftsmen, Chris & Chris, Cotton & Dust and Proteak.

For more information please visit: https://butcherblockco.com

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com

Butcher Block Co. Giveaway Promotes Tiger Wood Cutting Board, and Safe Food-Prep Practices

Butcher Block Co. Giveaway Promotes Tiger Wood Cutting Board, and Safe Food-Prep Practices

Consumer Sweepstakes Aims to Educate Public about Safe Use of Cutting Boards

Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of “all things butcher block,” has a consumer sweepstakes giveaway slated for August. The grand prize is a spectacular end-grain cutting board made of South American tiger wood, designed and constructed in West Texas by the artisanal studio, Cotton & Dust. It’s reversible, 2 inches thick and 22 by 11 inches. All Cotton & Dust boards carry a Lifetime Reconditioning Guarantee. You can return the board for a free annual refurbishment and reconditioning.

According to the company’s Marketing VP, Kathleen Grodsky,

“This giveaway promotion will serve two purposes. First, it will draw attention to Cotton & Dust’s magnificent cutting boards. Second, it provides an opportunity to remind consumers of the best, safe practices concerning the use of cutting boards.”

“Summertime is peak grilling season, when the risk of cross-contaminating food through unsanitary practices is at its highest. With that in mind, Butcher Block Co. is disseminating the following information and helpful tips across various media outlets.”

Reminder – Unsanitary Use of Cutting Boards Can Pose Risk to Your Health

The Center for Disease Control estimates that foodborne illness sickens one in six Americans each year. A key cause is the mishandling of food, which allows for the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Since cutting boards play an essential role in the food preparation process, their unsafe use can contribute to the problem. For example, using a single cutting board both to cut up raw meat, poultry or fish, AND to slice fruit or vegetables, can result in cross-contamination. In other words, microbes can be transferred from contaminated food to clean food.

Best Practices for the Safe Use of Cutting Boards

  1. Use Two Cutting Boards – Dedicate one board to cutting raw meat, poultry and/or seafood. Reserve the second board exclusively for fresh produce and bread. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
  2. Wood vs. Plastic – While it’s true you can sanitize plastic cutting boards via dishwashers, cutting on them can leave deep grooves where bacteria can hide, persist and thrive. In contrast, any bacteria that remain in grooves in wooden cutting boards do not multiply; they die off as the wood dries after cleaning.
  3. Cleaning – Plastic cutting boards should be washed in very hot water. To thoroughly clean a wood cutting board: rinse off debris; scrub with soapy, hot water and a bristled-brush, sponge or dish rag. Dry the board thoroughly. Moisture promotes bacterial growth.
  4. Disinfecting – Once in a while, and after prepping raw meat, fish or poultry, disinfect with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Pour it on the board, spread it around and let it stand for 10 minutes, rinse and dry.
  5. Moisturizing – Re-oiling (at least once a month) helps prevent butcher block from drying out or cracking. Apply food-safe oil liberally and allow it to soak into the wood overnight. Remove any excess the next day.

For more information, including instructions on how to care for and repair butcher block cutting boards, visit our Help Center:

https://butcherblockco.com/butcher-block-info

To enter our August 2016 Cutting Board Giveaway visit our Butcher Block Co Facebook page.

Butcher Block Co. Custom-Sized Cutting Boards in 15 Wood Types

Butcher Block Co. Custom-Sized Cutting Boards in 15 Wood Types

Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of wood countertops for residential and commercial kitchens and offices, as well as retail food outlets and industrial job shops, aggressively promotes kitchen countertops, furniture and accessories made by such leading American manufacturers as John Boos & Co. and Catskill Craftsmen. This week the company expanded its product line to include custom-sized cutting boards in fifteen wood species.

Since 2007 the online store has marketed standard and custom-sized wood countertops and a broad line of butcher block cutting boards and chopping blocks made by John Boos, headquartered in Effingham, Illinois. Boos started making blocks for blacksmiths in the 1880s and to this day is recognized as the industry leader. Since Boos countertops only come in four types of North American hardwood – maple, walnut, cherry and red oak – earlier this year BBC began marketing private-label countertops in custom sizes, in the process increasing to fifteen the total number of wood species available. The eleven additions were ash, beech, birch, Brazilian cherry, hickory, knotty alder, knotty pine, mahogany, poplar, Spanish cedar and white oak.

According to Kathleen Grodsky, the company’s Marketing and Operations VP, “The greater variety of wood species and grain styles broadened appeal and drove overall countertop sales higher.” So Grodsky and her team decided to execute a similar strategy for custom-sized cutting boards. She went on to explain the process saying,

“It involves five easy steps. The shopper simply specifies one of the fifteen wood types, a grain style, edging, finish and dimensions, and the associated price is instantly revealed. She can either order the custom-sized cutting boards right then and there, or save her quote and cart for retrieval later.

Grain-style options include edge or end-grain butcher block or plank-style. Eight different edging options are available: square, eased, beveled, coved, radius with or without a step and small and large Roman ogee. Finish options are natural oil or conversion varnish.”

About Butcher Block Co. – BBC operates exclusively online at https://butcherblockco.com, offering butcher block kitchen counters islands, carts, tables and work stations; kitchen knives and knife blocks; and cutting boards made of wood exclusively, since scientific studies have confirmed the superiority of wood over plastic cutting boards.
Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com

Announcing 12 New John Boos Products With More Modern Style

Announcing 12 New John Boos Products With More Modern Style

New John Boos Products – 129 Years After Its Founding, Iconic Maker of Boos Blocks Still Relevant
Even though the company was founded more than a century ago, the John Boos name remains one of the best-recognized brands in the home and commercial kitchen furniture and equipment space. Ted Gravenhorst, Boos’ VP of Sales and Marketing, explained the company’s focus on new product development: “One way to keep a brand top of mind with consumers is by continuously refreshing your product line – adding on-trend features to best-selling items and introducing all-new products that tap into emerging tastes and trends.” A full slate of new John Boos products were previewed with customers during the 2016 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago. Designs were refined based on feedback they received, and one dozen new products were just announced for immediate availability. The new slate includes:

  • 5 distinctly different butcher block tables, in maple, cherry and walnut, and in edge-grain, end-grain and blended grain construction styles
  • 4 carving boards that incorporate full-perimeter juice grooves plus handle grips holes or wing extensions
  • 3 cutting board designs, including maple and cherry boards with walnut end rails; Mezzaluna herb boards; and chopping blocks elevated on stylized, wooden pedestal-and-ball legs

john boos products

According to Gravenhorst of Boos & Co., “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Boos dealers seem pleased with the breadth of this year’s new product line-up, as well as the magnitude of the tweaks.” His sentiment was echoed by Kathleen Grodsky, Marketing VP at Butcher Block Co. (website: https://butcherblockco.com), the leading online seller of Boos Blocks:

“These new John Boos products incorporate bigger shifts in design than seen in past years. These sorts of changes position Boos to appeal to consumers who seek the heritage of traditional butcher blocks but prefer a more contemporary style for modern or urban settings.”

About John Boos: Boos & Co., headquartered in Effingham, IL, manufactures wood and steel products designed principally for residential and commercial kitchens.
Butcher Block Co.: BBC is a leading online seller of butcher block countertops; kitchen islands, tables and carts; plus cutting boards, knives and knife blocks.
For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

Butcher Block Co. To Promote John Boos Brand in March Giveaway Sweepstakes

Butcher Block Co. To Promote John Boos Brand in March Giveaway Sweepstakes

John Boos’ Products Also Highlighted in March 2016 Issue of Good Housekeeping

The Hearst Corporation’s women’s magazine, Good Housekeeping, was founded in 1885 – just two years before Conrad Boos and his son John created their first eponymous butcher block. The paths of these two venerable American brands intersect this month, as Good Housekeeping’s March 2016 issue showcases two Boos butcher block cutting boards. In their “Organize Everything – Quick Clutter Solutions” cover story, Good Housekeeping pictures Boos’ Maple Countertop Kneading Board and their 2-1/4” thick Maple Cutting Board with Finger Grips, naming them as necessities for well-organized, modern kitchens.

Also paying homage to the iconic Boos brand during the month of March is Butcher Block Co. (https://ButcherBlockCo.com), the leading online distributor of John Boos products. BBC’s “John Boos Butcher Block Giveaway”, which runs through March 31st, is open to U.S. residents who are at least 18 years’ old. Throughout the month BBC will accept sweepstakes entries on the company’s Facebook page (https:/Facebook.com/ButcherBlockCo).

The Giveaway Grand Prize is a Boos C Classic Maple Country Work Table with a retail value of $1,000. It’s topped with a 1-3/4” thick Rock Maple butcher block and can be configured in various sizes and colors and equipped with a drawer, as many as two shelves and up to three sliding wicker storage baskets.

According to Kathleen Grodsky, Butcher Block Co.’s VP of Marketing, “the winner of the giveaway will have the chance to configure a table of his or her choice. Considering high recognition of the Boos name and appeal of their products, plus the high prize value, consumer interest in the promotion is expected to be quite high.”

Grodsky went on to explain that, “The Boos Table Giveaway will also be showcased on the leading giveaway promotion website, Giveaway Promote® (http://www.giveawaypromote.com/), in order to expand awareness of the sweepstakes and to drive contestant-count even higher.”

About Butcher Block Co.: BBC is a leading online seller of kitchen countertops, furniture and accessories made by John Boos & Co. and other major manufacturers.

For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

German Study Confirms Superiority of Boos Wood Cutting Boards over Plastic

German Study Confirms Superiority of Boos Wood Cutting Boards over Plastic

German University Compared Hygienic Qualities and Found Wooden Boards to Be More Sanitary.

For years, plastic was favored over wood as a surface on which to prepare food, based on the fallacious presumption that germs could easily penetrate wood, which is porous and susceptible to knife scarring, and could be difficult to eliminate. But that presumption was turned on its head in 1993 when University of Wisconsin food microbiologists Dean Cliver and Nese Ak released findings of their study: “that wooden cutting boards kill bacteria that survive well on plastic boards.” (source: http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm)

Cliver and Ak contaminated wood (7 different species) and plastic (4 different types) boards with Salmonella, Listeria and E coli bacteria – all known to produce food poisoning. Overnight the boards were exposed to cold or room-temperatures and normal or high humidity. According to Cliver, results consistently favored wood over plastic by a wide margin.

A separate, more recent study conducted by Dr. Ulrike Kleiner at the Laboratory of Hygiene Research at the Anhalt University in Bernburg, Germany compared NSF-certified John Boos hardwood maple cutting boards with professional-grade, plastic cutting boards made in Germany. Kleiner reached a similar conclusion:

“With proper care and cleaning, high-quality hardwood maple cutting boards that are certified do not pose a greater health risk and are equal to or better than plastic ones.”

(source: http://www.johnboos.com/mailchimppdf/WOODvsPLASTIC-GERMANSTUDY2015-V1.pdf)

Kleiner used test boards for cutting either chicken breast or lettuce, then manually cleaned (using dish soap, a scouring pad and warm, running water) and dried (using paper towels) the boards. He measured residual food waste and residual germ presence after each daily cleaning for 4 weeks. At the end of the test, Kleiner observed little difference between the John Boos wood and German plastic boards used for cutting lettuce; whereas he recorded a marked difference between the boards on which chicken was cut. The oiled, wood Boos board was far superior. Still, he noted that food waste and germs built up over time, even on the oiled wooden boards, reinforcing the need for regular, thorough cleaning and drying.

About Butcher Block Co. – BBC is an online seller of butcher block cutting boards, countertops, tables, carts and islands. The company is a leading distributor residential and commercial kitchen products made by John Boos & Co.

For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

John Boos To Build 100,000 Sq. Ft. Butcher Block Products Wood Plant in 2016

John Boos To Build 100,000 Sq. Ft. Butcher Block Products Wood Plant in 2016

Boos & Co. Renews Its Century-Old Commitment to Central-Illinois

No other business in the small town of Effingham, Illinois (population: 12,500) has been in operation longer than John Boos & Co. Founded in 1887, the company manufactures kitchen furniture and equipment for residential and commercial use. They’re most famous for their eponymous butcher blocks, as well as countertops, islands, tables, carts and cutting boards made of butcher block.

But soon, all these Boos wood products will be manufactured in a new facility. On December 15, the Effingham City Council will meet to consider selling to Boos a 15-acre parcel appraised at $300,000. It’s owned by the city and located near Boos’ corporate offices and modern metal plant situated at 3601 South Banker Street in Effingham. Production of stainless steel work tables, cabinets, sinks and shelving began there in 2011.

According to Vic Jansen, Director of Manufacturing for Boos & Co., “The wood plant is located at 315 South First St., and the outlet store is located at 507 East Fayette Avenue. But after the move it would all be together, except being separated by Thies Avenue. First we’d like to get the land secured.” Boos expects to break ground on a 100,000 square-foot facility by spring; sooner if weather permits.

Mark Shook, President of Boos’ online dealer Butcher Block Co. (website: https://butcherblockco.com), explained that, “It’s a smart move for Boos to opt for a greenfield project. That way they can invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment that expands their capabilities, enhances flexibility and lowers costs. Plus, by shortening the physical distance between departments they can improve internal communications. This should boost innovation and shorten the time it takes to develop and bring new products to market.”

John Boos butcher blocks and cutting boards are used daily by such celebrity chiefs as Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse. They’re featured regularly on food and cooking-oriented channels, including The Food Network. Professional chefs also employ them at such famous restaurants as The Border Grill in Santa Monica and New Orleans’ Bayone Restaurant. The company’s factory outlet and showroom in Effingham is open to the public daily.

Since 2006, Butcher Block Co. has been selling products designed for home and commercial kitchens. The company offers for sale butcher block cutting boards, carts, islands and tables, but is best known as a destination site for premium custom wood countertops.

For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:

Kathleen Grodsky

[email protected]

website: https://butcherblockco.com

phone: (877) 845-5597

Butcher Block Co. Adds Italy’s Artelegno Products

Butcher Block Co. Adds Italy’s Artelegno Products

The E-commerce Company’s Kitchen Product Offerings Now Include Stylish Artisan Knife Blocks

Butcher Block Co. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to distribute on its website (https://butcherblockco.com) knife blocks and other kitchen accessories designed and manufactured by Artelengo of Italy. Butcher Block Co. currently sells butcher block countertops, islands, tables and carts, as well as cutting boards.

Mark Shook, Butcher Block Co.’s president, stated the move is in keeping with the company’s overall business strategy. “Our mission is to offer visitors to our online store not only the finest butcher block furniture and accessories, but also other types of distinctive kitchen products, as long as they’re beautiful and functional,” he explained. Earlier this year the company added to its “virtual shelves” handcrafted Cotton and Dust-brand cutting boards, as well as the innovative Scrapesation wooden grill scraper. “Our latest discovery is one we’re even more excited about,” Shook continued, “since it moves us into an all-new product category: knife blocks, both the magnetic variety as well as conventional blocks with slots for knives, scissors and knife sharpeners.”

According to Company Vice President, Kathleen Grodsky, “Artelegno was founded in 1960 but began distributing its products in the U.S. only recently. Their gorgeous knife blocks and unique cutting boards made of beech wood are clearly a cut above the standard domestic fare. We’re eager to help Americans discover such elegant and stylish products for their kitchens.”

According to company promotional materials, Artelegno’s mission is “to improve the quality of everyday life.” They seek to create truly innovative products based on proprietary, original designs. The company intends to continue “in the path of Italian tradition, always striving to blend beauty, functionality and durability.”

Summing things up, BBC’s Shook said, “We view this as a win-win partnership. We get the chance to offer our discriminating customers Artelegno’s top-shelf products and in turn, they gain visibility on one of the premier U.S. online stores specializing in first-rate kitchen products and catering to self-described food and cooking fanatics. You can expect other announcements of a similar nature in the near future.”

About Butcher Block Co: “The Experts in All Things Butcher Block” pride themselves on being the number-one resource for helpful information on kitchen furniture and accessories, and one of the premier sources for butcher block countertops, kitchen islands, carts, tables and cutting boards. They set the standard for outstanding customer service and employ sharp, dedicated, hard-working people who share a passion for all things kitchen, and especially for all things butcher block. For more information please visit: https://butcherblockco.com

View the Artelegno line of products at https://butcherblockco.com/artelegno

Contact:

Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597