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March, 2011

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream kitchen in mind.

Kitchen Assistance for a Busy Family

Kitchen Assistance for a Busy Family

Too little time. Too many activities. These are the common complaints of today's working families. And companies that make everything from faucets to pre-cooked pot roasts are listening. This has led to innovations in the design of the kitchen and the introduction of a host of time-saving appliances.

Innovations at the Sink

The sink is the heart of the kitchen. Whether it's to wash fruit, clean dishes or fill a glass, the sink is visited by every family member numerous times throughout the day. But high traffic often comes with more mess. For this reason, more and more consumers are selecting commercial-quality undermount sinks like Moen's Lancelot® Professional Sink. This sink's angled walls facilitate cleaning, while its 16-gauge stainless steel construction can withstand even the most demanding kitchen environments. Plus, it lacks the ‘lip' at the counter that catches dirt and crumbs, so, with the swipe of a sponge, debris is swept into the sink to clean the counter faster.

Recent upgrades in kitchen faucets have made our lives easier as well. Pulldown faucets, such as the sleek, modern Level™ and the sophisticated, transitional Solidad™ kitchen faucets from Moen, are growing in popularity for their looks and functionality. Both Level and Solidad feature multiple flow patterns, including spray and aerated stream, plus Moen's patented pause button, which allows the user to interrupt the flow of water while moving the spout outside of the sink. Pull the wand out and add water to your coffee maker, fill a vase on the counter, or even water the plants, saving you a step or two in the process.

Speed Cooking

New cooktops and ranges have been developed that can use halogen light to cook food, giving you the clean convenience of electric cooking with the same speed and power as gas, with surfaces reaching full power in as fast as three seconds. Some stoves no longer require preheating time, while others can cook two different foods at different temperatures. Imagine cooking dinner and dessert at the same time without fear of burning either!

Fast Fridges

Refrigerators have stepped up the pace and can do more things – faster. A new quick thawing bin can safely and quickly thaw frozen meat, eliminating the need to delay dinner while the chicken thaws. Quick chill compartments can chill a bottle of wine in 17 minutes and a six-pack of beer in 30 minutes, so they are guest-ready in no time. Fast ice refill sensors ensure that you will never run out of cubes.

A New Kind of Fast Food

Beyond its more permanent fixtures, the food that we bring into our kitchen is changing as well. In recent years, there has been a shift toward meal solutions, pre-packaged and self-contained kits to simplify meals. Retailers like The Dinner A'Fare have tapped into the busy mom market and offer complete, nutritious dinners for the entire family. These one-dish meals require minimal preparation and clean-up, allowing you more together time. If you're looking more toward single or double servings, specialty grocers such as Trader Joe's now cater to the needs of smaller families with individual sized portions, frozen gourmet or fresh meals on the go.

If you find yourself strapped for time, pick up a few of the tools above. Soon, the time that you once spent working in the kitchen will turn into time well-spent with your family.

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