How to Pick the Best Kitchen Sink and Faucet

Sinks and faucets are essential to any kitchen. Recent trends may influence your decision for your next upgrade, but it’s important to choose a sink that will work well for your needs and withstand years of use. Material Options. Sinks come in many different materials such as stainless steel, enamel-coated cast iron, and solid surfaces. If you tend to throw dishes into your sink, then stainless steel may be better for you, due to its tougher construction. Stainless steel is also an attractive choice when paired with solid surface counters like granite or engineered stone because of its undermount capability. Solid surface sinks are easier to clean due to their smoother area but can be chipped or damaged with hot pots and pans. Number of Sinks. Double-bowl sinks are the most common kitchen feature, but may not be necessary if you don’t wash as many dishes. Dishes may not always be hand washed when dishwashers are available, so the extra space isn’t always needed. Larger pots and pans may fit better in one large oversized sink bowl. The need for space differs from household to household, so recognize your needs when deciding on a sink construction. Faucets. There are many faucets to choose from on the market. Most use cartridge, ball or ceramic disc valves. These valves prevent water from leaking and control the water pressure.  A ceramic disk valve and solid brass base materials will be the most durable. A faucet with a spray arm is useful for filling pots with water or cleaning the sink afterwards. Other features to consider are garbage disposals or hot water dispensers. It’s best to avoid brass finishes as these faucets aren’t as suitable for high use areas like a kitchen. Instead opt for materials like chrome, polished nickel, brushed nickel or pewter. Sources: HGTV

3 Ways to Cook the Perfect Turkey

Cooking turkeys can be a daunting task. Instead of resorting to an old recipe, try something new this year if you’re up for the challenge, here are three different ways you can cook that perfect turkey. Smoke It Smoking turkey takes about the same amount of time as cooking it traditionally in an oven, however it requires more attention. You’ll need to truss your turkey to make it easier to flip in the smoker for an even cook. Cotton butcher’s twine is a must. You’ll need to have a slow and mellow fire. Be sure to keep your coals glowing and add some hardwood chunks for a unique flavor. Keep an eye on the turkey throughout the day and measure its temperature. Avoid a dry, hot smoker as this will make the turkey’s skin crack. Have a silicone brush on hand to keep the turkey basted. Grill It A gas grill can be ideal for cooking turkey with the right tools. You’ll need a roast rack to hold up your turkey upside down and away from the grill as it starts to cook. The breast will take the longest so start with the breast side facing the burners. After an hour or two you can flip it over directly on to the grate. Add some smokey flavor with a smoke box as gas doesn’t naturally do this. Keep track of the temperature of your turkey. Use a dual probe thermometer as the breast will take longer to cook. Fry It One of the quickest ways to cook a turkey is frying it. You can cook an average sized turkey in about an hour, making it a much more attractive method. It’s best to brine your turkey beforehand to maintain moisture in the turkey as frying can dry it out. Safety is key when it comes to frying a turkey. Be sure you have a thermometer to keep track of the oil’s temperature. Use proper equipment when lowering and lifting the turkey in the oil, such as heat resistant gloves. Turn off your fryer prior to lifting it out of the fryer and check the turkey’s temperature once it’s out. It’s only safe to fry a turkey outdoors and with the proper fryer. Keep flammable items away from the area. How are you going to cook your turkey this year? Let us know over on our Facebook and Instagram, or in the comments below. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving this year! Sources: HGTV

Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid

Kitchen design can be daunting. It’s best to learn the biggest mistakes people often make before designing your own. Check out these tips below! Inconsistent Layout The placement of appliances and cabinets is crucial. Good organization goes a long way. First decide, what kind of kitchen works for you? Are you somebody who entertains in the kitchen? Maybe you’ll need an island with extra seats. You could need extra counter space if you love to bake and cook for all your ingredients. Putting all your appliances in one counter may not be the most aesthetically pleasing idea. These questions will help map out your space more effectively. Cabinets and the Color Choices You Make Cabinets can be one of the most expensive items in your kitchen. When deciding on your cabinets it’s important to keep two things in mind–versatility and durability. You won’t be replacing your cabinets all the time and these decisions can carry a hefty cost. Look for solid wood construction cabinets that are at least ½ inch thick with well finished surfaces. Pay attention to any imperfection such as wood knots or bad sanding. Countertops Marble counters may look beautiful at first, but these surfaces easily stain from certain drinks and dyes. Other acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemons can actually erode marble quickly, making it less practical in a kitchen. Affordable and durable counters such as quartz or granite are safer choices for kitchen counters. Empty Spaces Above Cabinets Having a large empty space between cabinets and the ceiling leads to kitchens feeling empty and dust buildup. These spaces are hard to reach and clean. Consider placing a soffit here. A soffit is a decorative architectural feature that can fill up these areas in an appealing way. Thinking over how you can improve your kitchen with these tips? Show us over on our Facebook and Instagram and be sure to tag us! Source: Insider

Taking Care of Your Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel is one of the sleekest modern finishes any appliance can have. As a matter of fact, it’s the most popular among dishwashers, ranges, and refrigerators sales. But as you may soon learn, stainless steel attracts fingerprints, smudges and streaks. There are many stainless steel cleaners on the market to bring the shine back to your appliances. But we’ve compiled some tricks if you’re looking for other cost saving alternatives. It’s always a good idea to refer to your product’s user manual on any cleaning recommendations. Always avoid scouring powders, steel wool, bleach, or ammonia as these can damage your appliance’s finish. Dish Soap. You can actually mix a mild soap detergent and warm water to help clean your stainless steel. Use a microfiber cloth and rub the solution into any marks, going with the grain of the stainless steel. Rinse with cold water and dry immediately with a clean cloth after. Mineral Oil. Apply a light coating of mineral oil and buff with a cloth to avoid any tacky buildup. Steer clear of any food-based oils such as vegetable or olive oil. These kinds of oils can turn rancid. Glass Cleaner. Spray a soft, dry cloth with a glass cleaner that is ammonia and vinegar-free to buff out any pesky fingerprints that may persist. Wipe the surface clean after. Baking Soda. Create a paste of baking soda and warm water, then apply to a soft cloth or sponge. Always remember to go with the grain of your appliance. Wipe with a clean wet cloth and dry with a towel. For any remaining scratches or stains you can utilize a stainless steel cleaner to the area. Sources: Good HouseKeeping , Consumer Reports Looking to learn more? Follow us on our Facebook and Instagram. 

Ducted and Ductless Range Hoods–What’s the Difference?

All range hoods are not created equal. It’s important to know the differences when deciding which range hood would work best for your kitchen. Searching through the options, you may come across some terms you’re unfamiliar with: ducted and ductless. To better understand these functions, let’s establish the main function of a range hood: moving odors, smoke or fumes away from your kitchen when cooking meals. Ducted Range Hoods Ducted range hoods require a duct inside a kitchen that connects to the outside. The range hood pulls the air up through the duct and away from the kitchen. The main restriction here is the location of the duct, and how the kitchen is built. If you’d like to have your range hood in another location where there is no duct available, then a ducted range hood may not work for you. Humidity is a key difference here. Since the air is being moved outside, you would have a dryer air quality than a ductless option. Ductless Range Hood Ductless range hoods recirculate air back into the kitchen. They require an additional filter, usually carbon activated. One of the biggest advantages of ductless use is that they can be placed anywhere in the kitchen. Ductless range hoods can contribute to higher humidity and heat levels in kitchens since the same air is remaining in the area. Filters do have to be replaced, usually once or twice a year, which can lead to additional costs. Ductless range hoods often require more power to recirculate the air, which may create higher noise levels. At Cosmo, we offer both ducted and ductless options in our range hoods so you have the option in deciding what’s best for your needs– without sacrificing aesthetics. Check out all our range hoods here. Looking to learn more? Follow us on our Facebook and Instagram.

Cook Once, Enjoy it Twice Mexican Beef Recipes

With so many Americans preparing meals at home, the practice of cooking once and eating twice can extend your grocery budget while also making meal planning less stressful and more comforting. Cook a base dish that can be enjoyed today and used for an entirely different meal tomorrow. It’s a kitchen practice as simple as it sounds. For example, bake some fish for tonight’s dinner, and   fish tacos for tomorrow’s lunch. Cooking meals that feed the entire family is essential and even better if they give you a jump on a second meal. Whether your love for cooking runs deep or is being newly discovered, keep the following in mind when planning to cook once and eat twice: Stock up on staples. Before heading out to the store, develop a list of ingredients that can be used for multiple dishes. Canned goods, such as black beans and corn, are great items to store in the pantry and have on hand for a variety of favorite family recipes. Other basics like corn tortillas can be used in multiple ways, such as tacos, casseroles and even salads. Don’t forget produce. To increase flavor and nutrition, adding produce is key in your planning.  Make meat go further by using the same meat base two days in a row in two different ways in dishes like Mexican Lasagna and Tacos.  Beef Tacos Makes: 8 tacos Ingredients 1 lb. 90% to 93% lean ground beef 1 Tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 cup tomato sauce 1/4 cup water 12 taco shells – either hard shells or small 6-inch soft flour tortillas will work Optional Taco Toppings: shredded cheese shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, taco sauce, sour cream, guacamole, etc. Instructions Add the beef to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break the meat apart with a wooden spoon. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper to the meat. Stir well. Cook until the meat is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomato sauce and water. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes, until some of the liquid evaporates but the meat mixture is still a little saucy. Remove from the heat. Warm the taco shells according to their package directions. Fill the taco shells with 2 heaping tablespoons of taco meat. Top with desired taco toppings: shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, taco sauce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.   Mexican Lasagna Servings: 6-8 Ingredients 1 pound ground beef  1 package taco seasoning 1 (10 ounce) can of tomatoes with green chilies, undrained 1 (15 ounce) can refried beans 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained and rinsed 1 (15 ounce) can black  beans, drained and rinsed 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 10-12 corn tortillas Instructions Preheat oven to 350 In a large skillet brown ground beef, drain off any grease. Add the undrained tomatoes with green chilies and package of taco seasoning, stir mixture until seasoning has dissolved. Let mixture simmer until all liquid is gone, about 6 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the black beans and corn. Set aside. Open refried beans and set aside. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Begin your casserole with a base layer of corn tortillas 4-6 depending on the size. Then layer the rest of the ingredients in this order, refried beans, taco meat, corn, black beans, sour cream and cheese. Repeat, until your fillings are gone. Bake 30 minutes, let cool 5 minutes before serving. Top with your favorites like avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro!

7 Best Kitchen Garden Herbs for 2020

If the dishes you’ve been cooking feel bland and boring, fresh herbs are a great way to give them some liveliness- but herbs can be hard to keep and store in the fridge, and always seem to wilt just when you want to use this.  If you want fresh herbs easily accessible year round, you can start a small kitchen garden in a sunny window, and with our top seven picks, you’ll be covered for a variety of cuisines with no worries. Oregano: A far cry from the dried flakes you can find in pizza parlors, fresh oregano packs a punch. This earthy herb pairs well with boldly flavored dishes, proteins, especially poultry, and vibrant veggies like bell peppers. Cilantro: This staple of Mexican food can taste soapy to some, but for others, it’s a welcome addition to tacos, rice and other foods. Parsley: Not just the weird green decoration on the sides of your plate, parsley can add a clean, fresh flavor to almost any dish. It plays especially well with citrus and fish. Chives: This kissing cousin to onions pairs with nearly anything. It’s a friend to baked potatoes, soups and more- chop it up and sprinkle on top for a sweet, almost delicate onion flavor Rosemary: A bush rather than a plant, rosemary is a friend to proteins and potatoes. This woodsy herb is best left on the stem and removed before serving, or chopped finely enough that its sometimes tough texture isn’t a problem. Thyme: Indispensable in so many cuisines, Thyme is commonly used in French, Italian, Greek, Cajun and Creole food. It blends beautifully with other herbs to make wonderful seasonings. Basil: With so many varieties, basil compliments cuisines from Italian to Thai and even more. Pair sweet basil with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and quality olive oil for a dreamy Caprese salad. The best time to have started a kitchen garden would have been a few weeks ago, but the second best time is now. Put your planters together and assemble this all-star team to liven up your foods in no time.   For more recipes, ideas and inspiration, visit our website at or follow our Facebook page at

Spring Cleaning 101: 6 Easy Steps to Clean Your Refrigerator

Spring cleaning your refrigerator is about more than tossing old stuff and restocking it with fresh food. There’s more involved than just that, you’ll need to deodorize and disinfect, then take steps to ensure your refrigerator runs well and use less energy. Follow these 6 simple steps to clear it out, clean it up and restock the fridge. Gather your Supplies: Here’s what you’ll need Old towel for floor Bucket  Baking soda   Paper towels or rags  Sponges, dishcloths or rags Toothbrush  Multi-purpose surface spray Cooler Trash bags Vacuum Turn Off the Refrigerator To conserve energy it’s a good idea to turn your refrigerator off unless you have removable shelves and you’re good about keeping the door shut, then it’s okay to keep it plugged in. It’s safer to have the fridge unplugged when dusting the coils and cleaning the drip pan. If you can’t easily move the fridge or access the plug, turn off the circuit breaker that serves the refrigerator.  Empty the Refrigerator  The refrigerator completely of all items. Put any perishables like milk and meat in a cooler and leave other items on the counter. Do not leave food out for more than an hour. Go through the contents of your refrigerator and remove all expired or spoiled food. Compost old produce and recycle containers when possible. Clean the Removable Refrigerator Parts Take out all the removable shelves, drawers and door inserts; you can clean them more thoroughly when they’re outside the fridge, and this gives you better access to clean the inside of the refrigerator. Mix fragrance-free dish soap with warm water in the sink. Wash the items with a dish soap sponge, as you would hand-wash dishes. Once the removable parts are washed make sure they are completely dry before putting them back in place. Clean the Inside The good news is there’s a variety of cleaning solutions you can use to clean the interior of the fridge. While the choices for what you can clean with are flexible, we recommend making your solution instead of a harsh cleaning spray. You can use baking soda and water mix (1 tablespoon of baking powder per cup of water) or a mild soap and water mix to wash the counters and bins. Thoroughly wash the built-in fixtures, the bottom of the fridge, and be sure you get in the cracks. An old toothbrush is handy for the nooks and crannies. Wipe the inside of the freezer just as you did in the fridge. Wash ice cube trays and replace the ice with fresh water. Thin rags are great for cleaning the rubber seal around the door- one of the grimiest areas of the fridge where crumbs and debris end up. Clean the Outside The exterior of your fridge use microfiber cloths to clean, they’re great at eliminating the streaks and fingerprints on stainless steel. Carefully pull the fridge out from the wall, then vacuum the coils to remove dust that’s collected. Keeping your coils dirt-free can help your fridge run better. If your fridge has a drip tray, remove it and clean it like you did the shelves and place it back. Refrigerator Cleaning Hacks To absorb odors, keep a box of open baking soda in the fridge — don’t forget to replace it every one to three months. Wipe stainless steel in the direction of the grain. Clean your fridge right before a big grocery shop.Clean shelves and drawers in the dishwasher. Tell us: Do you do spring cleaning?

The Ultimate Kitchen Spring Cleaning To-Do List

Spring is here! Warmer weather, longer days, and thanks to that extra dose of Vitamin-D we’re feeling more energetic. It’s the perfect time for some spring cleaning and we’re ready to make our homes sparkle and shine! The kitchen is one room in the house that gets messy fast, and since it’s our favorite room, that’s where we’ll start our spring refresh.  Here’s a simple deep cleaning step-by-step routine for the kitchen.  Having an order in which to clean your kitchen makes getting the job done much simpler and faster. Everything seems easier when you have a plan. PRE-CLEAN: Wash, dry and put dirty dishes  away any. Quickly clear counter tops and wipe clean. Clear any clutter that does not belong in the kitchen. Determine if you need new kitchen supplies. Clean under the sink and eliminate the unnecessary. Clean and organize plastic ware and storage containers.  GATHER KITCHEN CLEANING MATERIALS Get all of your kitchen cleaning materials so you have everything on hand. Running around looking for cleaning supplies e.g. cloths, sponges etc. wastes time. Here’s a list of suggested items you might need:  Sponges.  Cleaning cloths.  Gloves.  Toothbrush.  All-purpose, non-abrasive cleaner.  Stainless steel cleaner, if you have stainless steel appliances.  Glass cleaner.  Lysol wipes.  Caddy or basket for cleaning supplies.  Telescoping duster.  Steam mop or conventional mop and bucket.  Vacuum or broom and dustpan  Empty basket or box. PANTRY When you’re getting things organized in the kitchen the pantry is one area that needs some special attention. To begin, check labels and toss expired, stale and empty items also, go through and top up old herbs and spices. Consider donating unopened items that you won’t use before they expire.  Wipe down all shelves with soapy water or kitchen cleaner. After wiping down the shelves, create a separate area for open items, arrange like items together with the oldest items in front; newest in back.  MICROWAVE  Simply, place a bowl filled with water and slices of lemon into the microwave and heat for 5 minutes. The lemon water boils like a sauna, loosening up all the caked on bits. The inside of your microwave gets dirty with splatters and splashes but cleaning it is “easy peasy lemon squeezy” with this cleaning hack. THE FRIDGE Like the Pantry, the refrigerator gets filled up quickly so first thing to do is go through the contents of your refrigerator and remove all expired or spoiled food. Wipe down the shelves with a soft rag and a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaning agent. Work from top to bottom. Place the crisper drawer in the sink to soak, if you need to. If not, just wipe it out and replace it. For a deep clean, unplug the fridge, pull it out, sweep and mop.   Finish with a new box of baking soda stuffed in the back.  STOVETOP No kitchen spring clean is complete if you don’t tackle the stovetop.  Using a dry cloth, brush loose crumbs to the ground. Remove the grates, if your stove has them, and wipe the stovetop with a non-abrasive cleaning agent. OTHER APPLIANCES Clean and/or polish exterior of dishwasher.   For the interior of your oven follow the manufacturer’s instructions to run self-cleaning cycle, if you don’t have this feature Baking soda and vinegar will do the trick. Then clean and polish the exterior of oven. Don’t forget to clean your small countertop appliances, e.g. coffee maker, toaster and toaster oven. CLEAN SINK, COUNTERTOP & CABINETS Free counter space is hard real estate to come by, especially in a smaller kitchen, so get rid of all the clutter from countertops first; try to get them as clear as possible, including countertop appliances. Only keep items out that you  use regularly.  Spray countertops with kitchen cleaner and wipe them clean. Tip! to make granite shine you can use glass cleaner. Wipe down cabinet exteriors and polish wood cabinet doors with furniture polish. Remember to clean inside cabinets and drawers, they tend to gather dust and crumbs. FLOORS Start by removing any movable furniture, then sweep the entire floor. Spot clean sticky or dirty areas with stains. Mop the floor with a heavy duty floor cleaner or use a solution of equal parts vinegar and hot water. The vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant and odor remover. THE WALLS Wipe down the walls, determine if the walls need spot washing in dirty spots don’t forget to clean air vents, doorknobs, doors, and switch plates. DUST Use a telescoping duster and dust the entire kitchen, starting up high and working your way down. Don’t forget light fixtures, the top of cabinets and the fridge. LINENS You may regularly launder your dish towels, but things like runners, oven mitts, and aprons get overlooked, so this is a good opportunity to throw them in the washing machine. GARBAGE DISPOSAL This spot is generally full of germs and can emit all sorts of odors! Give it a thorough flush with hot water, ice cubes, and lemon peels. THE SINK  Fill your sink with hot soapy water and pour in 1 cup bleach. Let stand for about an hour, then empty and scrub clean using a paste made from water and baking soda. Rinse well. EMPTY TRASH Finally, wipe down the outside of the bin and lid. Lysol wipes are excellent for this purpose. Place a fresh garbage bag in the bin. FINAL TOUCHES  You’re all done! Your kitchen is spotless and boy, does it sparkle!  Now add pretty touches with these quick and easy fresh Spring decor ideas. Because kitchen countertops are already at a premium to make the most of your décor, use a tray or cake stand to display smaller decorative items.  Remember to include soft spring colors and fruit & flowers of the season are perfect counter pieces.  We like fresh flowers and greenery because they look amazing on a kitchen counter. Other decorative pieces we like are wooden cutting boards,  you can lean them against your backsplash or stack them under decorative pieces.

Bakers Edition: How to Create a Better Kitchen

Whether you’re whipping up a big batch of extra fudgy brownies for a school bake-sale or crafting a delicate three-tier Orange Cardamom Cake with Rose Buttercream for a special occasion, we have practical tips and advice for the ultimate kitchen layout, tools, and equipment so you can turn your kitchen into a bakers dream. Do you love to bake? Here are some great ways to make your kitchen work for you. Custom Counter Heights  Different tasks call for different countertop heights. Home cooks serious about baking may want to consider custom countertop heights to achieve the most comfortable height. A counter-height surface works fine when mixing or assembling recipes. For kneading or rolling out dough, most bakers prefer a lower surface to get the right amount of leverage. To achieve this, you can Install countertops at a custom height or lower a section of an island so it’s the right height.  For a simpler solution, stand on a step stool and use a counter or use a kitchen table to achieve the most comfortable height. Previous Next Turn to Your Pantry  Baking often requires lots of ingredients and bulky countertop equipment, so pantry organization is the key to maintain a pristine kitchen. Install pull-out and horizontal pantry drawers that help you easily access your baking supplies. If you have enough space, consider putting your baking station inside your pantry. Also consider extra shelving for mixer storage. Organizing the pantry into specific sections and using bins with airtight lids allow for easier access when you need the basics – flour, sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips, etc. Previous Next The Right Work Station  Granite and marble stay cool, making pastry dough easy to roll and clean up easily. Other baker-friendly countertops that can accommodate rolling, cutting and direct heat with no fuss are Quartz and Corian. If you can’t afford to install a whole slab, purchase a small marble section specifically for baking, or place marble on the kitchen island. Previous Next Double Ovens If what you are looking for is more baking and less waiting, double ovens are a bakers dream. They’re Spacious and versatile enough to accommodate your needs and allow a baker to cook two dishes at different temperatures at the same time. The double ovens, with convection are a must as the Convection ovens work with fans that recirculate heat, which evenly bake cookies and crusts. Even baked goods such as croissants develop a crispy, even texture with convection heat. An oven with a warming drawer or built-in Proof mode create the perfect oven environment for proving dough, you can also cook a variety of dishes in the warming drawer like meringues or melt chocolate. Extra Deep Sink  The sink is an essential element to keep the kitchen clean. Clean-up will be a whole lot easier with a deep, wide more functional kitchen sink since baking often involves using odd-shaped pans, oversized cookie sheets and large mixing bowls – many of which can’t go in the dishwasher. Previous Next Stand Mixer Serious bakers have more than one, and double or triple up on the bowl attachments so they don’t have to stop to wash them before moving on to the next phase of a baking project. Previous Next Baking Supply Cart It’s easy to run low on countertop space and having your supplies within reach is essential when baking. With a rolling cart you can move around your kitchen more easily and have your baking essentials wherever you’re working. Tech Corner There are thousands of recipes and how-to videos online to access these you can wire in a TV, desktop or laptop computer or an iPad in a small corner next to your countertop. A kitchen desk area works well for multi-tasking bakers so you can monitor the oven when working or catching up on emails and social media.