5 Tips To Creating A Bar Area In Your Finished Basement

If you are looking to build a man cave in your basement where you can hang out with your friends, the cave must feature a bar. So, how do you go about building an eye-catching bar set-up in your abode? What are the things you need to consider in order for your project to succeed? .

Here are 5 tips to help you create a bar area in your finished basement. For information on bar stools and accessories, read more at danetti.com.

Tip 1: Purchase bar stools and seating

Selecting the best bar stools for your home is not exactly as easy as a walk in the park. It´s because there are various factors to consider and some of these factors include style, looks, comfort, and convenience etc. You can go for the common backless bar stool if you are looking for something that can be easily concealed. However, backless bar stools don’t fare well in the comfort department. If comfort is your priority, you should acquire a bar stool with arms. If you want to swivel around, you can opt for a swiveling bar stool. If you have plenty of cash to burn, you should purchase a wood bar stool because they go well with any style. However, if you are looking for something modern and something that complements small space, you should buy a metal bar stool.

Tip 2: Bar Molding

So, what does bar molding achieve? Well, bar molding plays an instrumental role in preventing the spills from leaking. Apart from that, it also allows one to rest his/her arms on the bar top. You can easily acquire bar molding accessories and they are available for purchase in various wood varieties.  If you are not good with carpentry, you should purchase a pre-cut bar mold design that can be installed to your bar easily.

Tip 3: Pay attention to the lighting

It is important to get the lighting right in order to set the mood. The bar in your basement need not necessarily have to be as dark and dusty as your favorite bar. Instead, you should focus on installing LED-strip kits and flexible light strips. These strips are available for purchase in various colors and can be customized to your preferred length. And, you can fit these light on the bar top or bar cabinets to give your bar area a refined ambiance.

Tip 4: What about the back bar?

If you have a wide range of liquor at your disposal and you want to display them, you should consider installing open shelves in the back bar. However, if you don’t have various different bottles to showcase, you can instead opt to place large, framed mirrors to act as showpieces.  You can also install 3-D wall panels and tiles to improve the aesthetics of your back bar.

Tip 5: Refrigeration

So, what kind of refrigeration works best if you need to keep your beer, wine, and mixer cool? Well, you can invest in an under-the-counter beverage center that boasts of the feature, temperature control.

 

Have you ever considered turning your basement into a home bar?

 

Sugar Free Prunes Muffins

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.This recipe is a spin-off from my Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. It has more defined flavours, has less fats due to the reduce amount of coconut oil used and with the addition of the optional dark chocolate and almonds I find it works perfectly as a breakfast muffin too 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 250g prunes; chopped
  • 1 tin / 400ml coconut milk
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 25g raw cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 50g almonds; chopped coarsely (optional)
  • 50g dark chocolate; chopped coarsely (optional)

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 space muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones if you have them.

In a medium size cooking pot place the chopped prunes, add the entire 400ml tin of coconut milk after a good shake and bring slowly to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or until most of the milk has incorporated itself into the fruit.

Put aside and allow it to cool for 10 minutes; then add 1 table spoon of coconut oil into the mixture and mix well until it has melted and combined into the mix.

Meanwhile sift the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, into a large mixing bowl and then add the bicarbonate of soda and mix.

In a seperae bowl, beat the eggs till they are uniform and fully mixed.

Once the prunes have reached room temperature add the vanilla extract, beaten eggs and again mix well.

Finally, fold in the flour mixture. At this stage, if you have opted for using the chopped chocolate and nuts then add them now and fold in gently.

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.Spread the finished mix evenly between the 12 muffin casings and pop into the earlier preheated oven. Try to work as fast as you can… as the slower you are, the less fluffy the muffins will be when they come out of the oven.

Bake for 18 minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove them from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on a wire rack and allow them to cool completely (if you can).

Enjoy all day and night 🙂

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar free and low fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.

British Food And Current Trends

* by Naomi Powell

How very reassuring it is that the basic humble foods of childhood and indeed often of economic necessity have been making a comeback onto the dining menus even into top society restaurants, though often at not too humble a price.  And how refreshing it is that the humble and recognisable cauliflower cheese, shepherd’s pie and macaroni cheese, to name but a few, are making a comeback as quality sophisticated dishes with simple accompaniments, and hopefully, described plainly on menus by their original specific names.  They appear to be indicators perhaps, of a move away from the elaborate, competitive cuisine of the celebrity-chef schools.

It is thanks in part to the street food markets that these newly exploited food trends are now making a come-back and the simple comfort foods of yester year have now again become an acceptable and healthy food option in many and varied food outlets.

I for one am delighted with this change of direction, since I grew-up with the comforts of uncomplicated food, instantly recognisable by its humble appearance.  It needed no fancy title, or gentrification to make it appetising and memorable.  Oh for the simple meal which is what it claims to be; cauliflower cheese needs little introduction.  A pie was always a joy, as the contents were lovingly revealed.  The new ‘deconstructed’ creation fails to hold the mystery of its predecessor, although it offers an attractive, flavoursome and satisfying menu option.

The food outlets advertising ‘Home Cooked Food’, tend to invite the expectation and assumption that British food forms the basis of the menu and many potential diners would, like me, seek out such an option.  The best of British food is to be applauded and is for me ‘The Best.’  It recognises the quality of British meat, poultry, and fish, the vast selection of home grown vegetables and the specific value of individual herbs and flavourings.  If prepared to traditional British recipes, our national food is exceptional and reinforces the value of tried and tested flavours and accompaniments.

i.e.

horse-radish and mustard with beef.

apple sauce and red currant with pork, and

mint with lamb.  Etc.

The modern and growing trend to add strong and often quite inappropriate flavours to simple food/dishes is not only unnecessary, but in my opinion, a sin.  Garlic is the worst culprit and much over used in so many restaurants.

I was utterly frustrated and not a little critical of this lack of subtlety when, having selected what appeared to be a really well thought through and appealing main dish – built around rack of lamb – arrived and I could instantly detect a heavy waft of garlic; and was horrified to realise that it came from the lamb on my plate.  There had been no mention of garlic on the menu.  The chefs had taken the liberty of disguising the lovely delicate flavour of English lamb with an over powerful dose of continental flavour.  I complained and sent it back, only to have to re-order, but the waft of garlic still hung in the air and completely ruined what had started out as a promising evening meal.

Another striking food fad, but much more worrying, is the annoying present tendency to serve very undercooked meat.  Not only is it mostly unpalatable, but looks distinctly unappetising, with uncooked white fat and oozing blood.  Undercooked egg look equally unpleasant, and without any apology I add these culinary crimes to my list of frustrations.  British food can be the best when properly cooked, but can be dreadful when not.

I can’t clearly define when food and menus began to be ‘gentrified’ and often unrecognisable, but the trend has gradually crept into our modern food-obsessed lifestyle and become well established.

Complex food technology and artful preparation have possibly encouraged some of the more elaborate and often misleading meal descriptions.

Very often unsuitable and over-fussy vegetable accompaniments produce unnecessary and confusing flavour combinations. This of course can encourage disappointment and dissatisfaction with the meal however well presented. Understanding the menu therefore, can present a challenge and for me, total frustration – which was the very starting point of my book ‘Taking the Mystery out of the Menu.’

One only has to watch Master Chef to realise that until the finished meal is actually presented, it is often difficult to perceive what is being cooked-up, or indeed what it will look like on the plate.  Even then the complexity of presentation often needs masterful explanation.  I applaud quality cuisine, artistic presentation and superior flavours, but I am exasperated when something quite simple is described beyond its merits.

So, listen up chiefs: There are plenty of people out there like me, who love eating out.  They enjoy personal service and exciting menus, but also need a clear idea of what you are offering, what the main ingredients are and the flavours to be expected.  Be creative and adventurous but simplicity very often steals the show, and leads to greater satisfaction!

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The post above is a guest post by Naomi Powell, author of Taking the Mystery out of the Menu, as a part of her week-long book tour.

Tarator – Chilled Cucumber Soup

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days.

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days. Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners. It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes… Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners.  It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes…

Personally I was avoiding this dish for quite some time now, the idea of a yogurt soup simply didn’t appeal to me very much, but then came that moment when visiting friends and I was cornered with no escape, the dish sat before me on the table coaxing me to try and surrounded by expectant faces waiting to see my reaction to eating it. To everyone’s joy, there was no screwed up face just wide eyes and that feeling of hmmm… more… now I’ve tried it, there is just no going back… it is definitely staying on the regular “go to” menu in our household.

One thing to have in mind, the longer you leave it in the fridge, the more intense the flavours…

The recipe below is for quite a large portion but we usually keep it in the fridge for up to a week, as the intensifying of the flavours works for us rather well, and it’s wonderful to be able to just open the fridge and grab a bowlful when you want a snack or a starter. If you think it’s going to make way too much for you or you just want to try and see if it’s for you simply halve the ingredients and prepare a smaller serving.

Ingredients:

  • 800ml Greek yogurt
  • 400ml filtered chilled water
  • 4 large garlic cloves; minced
  • 1kg cucumbers
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill; finely chopped
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp black pepper (optional)
  • Ice cubes – for serving (optional)

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days. Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners. It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes…

Method:

Wash the cucumbers (do not peel) then grate half of them; the remaining half chop into cubes. Place them in a large bowl and add the salt – let them rest like this for at least 5 minutes so they can start to absorb some of the salt.

In the meantime, mince the garlic and finely chop the dill and add to the cucumber mix.

Add the yogurt and water to your cucumbers, season with fresh cracked pepper and mix well.

Serve well chilled or even better over some ice and enjoy the cool sensation.

See, told you it was easy, now go and enjoy!

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days. Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners. It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes…

I Love India – Homemade Lassi and Falooda

This classic sweet and salty mint lassi is very popular in the northern Punjab, where field workers use it to replenish their bodies with both salt and sugar whilst refreshing and cooling themselves with the buttermilk, mint and cumin seeds. Easier to digest than milk and yogurt, buttermilk is considered a light and healthy way to get your dairy, but now most of us just blend yogurt and water together until we have a light frothy lassi.

Put a spin on the classic lassi and turn it into a lassi float – the slight sourness of the lassi has to be a great balance for the ice cream – and they really work together a treat; complex but easy, and much more sophisticated than a soda float.

For an extra dimension, make it into a falooda, a colourful part-drink, part-dessert dish that you eat with a spoon. It is delicious and lighter than many puddings!

Classic sweet and salty mint lassi; serves 1

  • 180g (3⁄4 cup) plain yogurt
  • 120ml (1⁄2 cup) water
  • 2tsp sugar, or to taste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1⁄3–1⁄2 tsp roast and ground cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. shredded mint leaves, or dried mint
  • crushed or shaved ice, to serve

Blend together the yogurt, water, sugar, salt, cumin and half the mint. Stir in the remaining mint, taste and adjust the sugar and yogurt. Chill, before serving with crushed or shaved ice.

Lassi floats; serves 6

  • 480g (2 cups) chilled plain yogurt
  • 400ml (12⁄3 cup) water
  • 5tsp sugar, or to taste
  • crushed ice, to serve
  • 6 small scoops of ice cream

Blend together the yogurt, water and sugar until light and frothy. Adjust the sugar to taste; the amount you need depends on how sour the yogurt is. Pour into glasses furnished with some crushed ice. Add small scoops of your chosen ice cream. Leave for 5–10 minutes, then serve.

Falooda; serves 6

Soak 5tbsp of black chia seeds in enough milk to cover them for approximately 20 minutes, or until they plump up. Cook 80g (2¾oz) falooda sev noodles (Indian cornflour noodles available in most Indian food stores), or some thin rice noodles, according to the packet instructions. Mix these together with a little coloured syrup (either grenadine, violet or the more traditional rose syrup). Divide the noodles and syrup between glasses; there should be 1 teaspoon of the syrup per glass. Add the chia seeds on top, pour over your lassi, prepared as per the recipe above.

Enjoy!

For more delicious recipes from all over India check our “I love India” cookbook by Anjum Anand.

*Photo credit: Martin Poole