Going Pro and Chili Time

Why Go Pro

In the computer age it’s hard not to be a do-it-yourselfer. Want to know how to grout kitchen tile or install a hardwood floor?  Hundreds of suggestions are just a Google search or youtube video away. And if you’re one of those people who thinks a tool belt is a piece of fashion clothing, performing such specific tasks is likely to have a successful outcome.

But when it comes to designing or remodeling an entire kitchen, we believe the only way to go is pro. Bottom line (and that is a key consideration), a savvy design professional will help you make informed, cost-saving decisions, as well as addressing the pertinent function and lifestyle issues that will guarantee a happy end result. 

Remember there’s more to a kitchen than meets the eye. In addition to making a myriad of decisions about color, cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, appliances and so on, there are electrical, plumbing and lighting considerations.  There’s undoubtedly a youtube video for each of these items but trying to put that puzzle together on your own could will quickly turn your dream kitchen into a nightmare and be way more costly in the long run.

At kabi we encourage working with design professionals so you can get on with the all important business of enjoying your kitchen.

Picking A Pro

Start with who you know.  Does a friend or neighbor have a kitchen you really like or admire? Ask them for a referral.  Or take the time to go on kitchen or home tours in your area.  It’s a good way to see the work of a variety of designers and you’ll likely get some great ideas for your own project.

Many professional organizations such as the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association: www.nkba.org) include online services for finding a designer in your city or town. Organizations like the AIA (American Institute of Architects:  www.aia.org) and ASID (American Society of Interior Designers:  www.asid.org) offer similar services on their websites.

Once you have a list of names visit their websites to see if their design styles mesh with yours. Narrow your list to three or four and start the contact process. Then look to our next blog entry for tips on how to prepare for your meeting with a design professional. 

Squash Lover’s Delight
In the meantime, consider making the yummy fall recipe below. It’s a perfect combo for meat eaters and veggie lovers alike.  With the abundance of squash available this time of year, the recipe uses butternut squash to add an unexpected layer of richness to an otherwise classic chili recipe.

Beef and Butternut Chili 

1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons diced jalapeño pepper
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
6 tablespoons (reduced-fat )sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 teaspoon oil; swirl. Sprinkle beef with salt. Add beef to pan; sauté 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef.
2. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, and jalapeño; sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; bring to a boil, scraping pan. Cook 2 minutes. Return beef to pan.
3. Stir in ancho chile pepper and the next 7 ingredients (through kidney beans), and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add butternut squash and 1 cup carrot, and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is tender. Ladle 1 1/3 cups chili into each of 6 bowls, and top each with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1 teaspoon cilantro