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Drop leaf kitchen cart solves small space cook/work woes

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From ALEX drawers to dual function drop leaf kitchen cart.

I live in a small studio apartment with no real kitchen.

Behind the butcher block, you may notice half of an IKEA RAKKE, which houses some food, some spices and sauces, my microwave and my slow cooker, as well as my small vacuum cleaner in the bottom drawer!

With counter space at a premium, I’d been thinking about a trolley for a while. 

But then lockdown hit and I was spending all day at home working in a dark corner. (I only have windows on one wall.) And I realised I needed a way to have a table I could work at and get some sun.

A few days of googling later and I decided I could make my own drop leaf kitchen cart using items and materials I already had at home (except for hinges)!

Because of this, the total project cost came in at under £5 and was done within a day.

IKEA items used:
alex drawer unit

ALEX drawer unit | Buy on IKEA.com

Other items used (most could be replaced with IKEA items):
  • 2 x pine planks cut to desired length (IKEA alternate: anything you can cut down to max 68 L [the length when it’s dropped down] 60 W [depth of table] .e.g 2 x IVAR shelves 83 x 30 cm)
  • 1 x mending plate (optional) and some screws short enough not to go through the table)
  • 2 x brass door hinges, which came with 6 screws each
  • 2 x shelf brackets (IKEA alternate 18 x 22 cm RAMSHULT or SANDSHULT)
  • 6 x nails with heads small enough to go through shelf bracket holes
  • 1 x Cabinet door handle (IKEA alternate: take your pick!)
  • Optional: Wood treatment (I used wax and oil)
Tools used:
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Pen and marker

IKEA ALEX drop leaf kitchen cart

First, mount the ALEX drawers on locking industrial castors⁣.

Then, turn the mounts on the BEKVÄM spice rack upside down. Add screws to butcher block and mount, so the rack faces downward, flush with the top of the butcher block.

BEKVAM to hang utensils


Place the butcher block on top with BEKVÄM overhanging and the rail against the back of the unit. I’ve made this stable using rubber rings placed under the butcher block but you could obviously do something more permanent.

Next, cut planks, sand, treat and fasten together with the mending plate.(Originally, I was going to have it optional whether or not both went up. I could still revert to this as they’re on separate hinges.)⁣

drop leaf kitchen cart ikea alex hack
drop leaf kitchen cart ikea alex hack


To determine hinge placement, put one of the planks butted up against the butcher block overhang. Place hinges underneath and draw in the screw placement on both the bottom of the table and on the drawer unit. (This is easier with a friend but I managed to do it alone.)

Adding removable brackets for the table

The table is held up by removable shelf brackets. It can take a good amount of weight but I wouldn’t sit on it. I will probably add a leg at some stage.

drop leaf kitchen cart ikea alex hack
drop leaf kitchen cart ikea alex hack

To determine where the brackets under the fold out table should be (note: the longer side of the bracket should be horizontal), after securing table to the side of the unit, place bracket under the table pushed all the way up, putting enough pressure on it that it’s slightly higher than level.

Draw markers for holes on the drawer unit only. Then, hammer in small nails at the hole placement so that the bracket can be easily popped on and off over the nails. (Remember to double check the nail heads fit through the holes!)

Finally, attach cabinet handle to the other side to ease movement.

~ by James Fox

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Home & Kitchen

Ulster Street Pastry Creates World-Class Pastries From Their Home Kitchen

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Ulster Street Pastry Creates World-Class Pastries From Their Home Kitchen

Carolyn Nugent and Alen Ramos are blurring the line between home bakers and bakery experts with their new pop-up boulangerie – fitting comfortably within their house at the end of a cul de sac in Parker, Colorado. They face the finicky temperatures that home ovens always seem to have and the minimal workspace which usually works for making dinner for four. However, this micro-bakery – Ulster Street Pastry – makes treats that could easily be found at an esteemed French bakery rather than a school bake sale.

This husband and wife are fully committed to their baking as they have spent years refining their craft to what it has become today. While Parker is their home now, their residency has spanned the U.S and abroad — providing them with the expertise to build an artisan bakery. Their notable start began in Las Vegas work alongside Joel Robuchon, who was deemed the “Chef of the Century” in the early ’80s. After spends time under the bright Vegas lights, they decided their next adventure would be touring through Europe and absorbing all there is to know about the art of pastry.

Alen Ramos and Carolyn Nugent standing outside their house that doubles as their bakery. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Nugent.

“We have been the recipients of priceless training by some of the best chefs of our time,” stated Nugent. She reflects on her and Ramos’ stints at El Bulli and The Fat Duck laid the foundation for their exploration by surrounding themselves with the creativity from the top restaurants in the world.

Back in the United States, their knowledge continued to flourish as they led the two Michelin-starred pastry and bread side of L20 restaurant in Chicago. Their flight continued as they trained with chef Thomas Keller in Beverly Hills with his rebound Bouchon Bakery. Stagnation was not in the future for either chef as they continued to progress and made their way to San Francisco to cultivate fresh-milled flours and heritage grains as the expectation for bread making.

All these unparalleled experiences could have landed them in any number of Michelin-starred venues, as it has in the past, but instead, they are breaking away from the expectation to formalize their own vision.

Their micro-bakery technically opens shop with their ordering site going live on Sunday mornings. Arriving anytime later than the early morning to their pastry pop-up site can result in the dreaded red letters of Out of Stock sitting beside each item. After scoring an item or two, reaping these rewards won’t come until pick-up on Saturday at Annette — the gastropub located inside Stanley Market in Aurora. In the early stages of their business, customers came to their home for pick-up and were able to see the unexpected bakery that lived inside their white suburban home.

Some of their most priced desserts are their humbly-looking doughnuts. The Berliners are their take on a yeasted doughnut. This German-style doughnut lacks the iconic hole that gives this breakfast confection its looks. The sweet fried buns come with a light glaze or a decadent filling and covered in sugar. They offer two varieties, one for the chocoholics with Nutella and fruity with a vibrant jam that tastes like biting into berries straight from the vine. Rather than a filled doughnut found elsewhere, each bite radiates with enough filling.

They upgrade the everyday cinnamon roll by making their version of a sticky bun. It forgoes the creamy frosting for gooey salted caramel that drips into every swirl. The cinnamon comes through even more with the dashes of salt added to the caramel. The final crunch comes from chopped pecans that a sticky pun cannot live without.

Nugent and Ramos enjoy straying from the conventions, much like their setup calls for. Many pastry chefs struggle with achieving the perfect choux pastry because the complications with temperature and texture can lead the dough astray. Their cream puffs bake into thin shells strong enough to support their mousseline––a pastry cream that has extra butter and whipped cream to create the perfect velvety texture—and a layer of blended hazelnuts, almonds, and caramel. The sugar work continues with a layer of sugar coating the top similar to that of a creme brûlée. They bring together elements of a traditional praline and cream puff but execute an offering unlike any other.

While sweets have a tender place in their heart, they explore the realm of floral and savory as well. Their speckled earl gray tea angel food cake retains the fluffy texture but has a more complex bite than the usual vanilla and almond. On the other side of the spectrum has their crumbly buttery scone that flakes similarly to a biscuit. It has spice from the mingling of chorizo and poblano chilies folded into the crust. Shreds of cheddar cheese melt within and also crisp up the bottom for a mix of textures.

Their menu remains limited as well as their quantities. They are not among an assembly line like other mass production shops. Recently, they have expanded to adding rotating specials and a secret pastry. It adds a sense of enticement for those interested in seeing what this pair can come up with next. They do hope to find a home specifically for their baking but for now the comfort of their home is a true reflection of the care that creates each of their pastries.

Orders can be placed here and pick-up time is between 9-10 a.m. on Saturdays at Stanley Marketplace–2501 Dallas St., Aurora.

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Veranda Chef George Mendes Leads Kitchen in SoHo – WWD

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Persistence paid off for restaurateur David Rabin.

Veranda, his new restaurant helmed by acclaimed chef George Mendes, is located on the second floor of the forthcoming hotel Modernhaus SoHo, formerly known as the James Hotel. Rabin — behind hot spots like the Lamb’s Club, Cafe Clover, American Bar and the Skylark — had been pitching a restaurant concept for the space since 2009, when the building was still a construction site. The restaurant was already spoken for then, but the hotel offered him Jimmy, the hotel’s impressive rooftop and pool cocktail lounge.

Five years later, the hotel was sold, and Rabin inquired again about the restaurant. It wasn’t until two-and-a-half years ago that the hotel switched hands again, and he finally got the opportunity to put his mark on the space. Rabin found an opportune partner in Mendes, who a little over a year ago closed his Michelin-starred Portuguese restaurant Aldea after more than a decade. The accomplished Mendes wanted to take a break; around the time he started looking for a new project, Veranda began searching for a chef. Rabin met Mendes for coffee at Lamb’s Club.

Mendes was the first and only chef the team met with and he was everything they wanted. “Mature, delightful, open to suggestion,” says Rabin, referring to Mendes. “Definitely has a point of view, of course, because he’s a super-accomplished guy, but bought into our idea of being something that was, for lack of a better phrase, aspirational but accessible.” Rabin mentioned that he was thinking of collaborating with Mendes to an industry friend, Bobby Flay.

“Without even missing a beat, he was like, ‘Wow, that guy can really cook,’” adds Rabin. “And I thought that was about as good an endorsement as we were ever going to get. Because Bobby has seen almost everyone cook live on his show, he knows who can really do it.”

The concept at Veranda is an approachable menu served in a casually elegant space. Rabin wanted to make Veranda a neighborhood restaurant, the sort of place guests will want to return to often versus an over-the-top experience reserved for special occasions.

Homemade sourdough 
Courtesy of Evan Sung

Mediterranean shrimp with Goan curry. 
Courtesy of Evan Sung

The menu is driven by recognizable American fare, with a seafood bend and emphasis on clean eating and fresh ingredients. Mendes’ Portuguese culinary background is also at play in dishes like the Mediterranean shrimp with Goan coconut curry, charcoal-grilled chicken with piri-piri pepper marinade, and whole branzino grilled with fennel and lemon-arugula pesto. There are several flatbread options, made in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven, and homemade sourdough bread is given prime billing on the menu. Like many, Mendes has gravitated to bread-baking in the past year. As a result, a small shop in the restaurant is selling bread for takeaway alongside jams and olive oils.

The dining room is situated in a greenhouse pergola — the stylish space is filled with light during the day and illuminated by strung lights at night. An adjacent bar area features a terrace overlooking Grand Street. After dinner, guests will be able to visit the hotel’s 18th floor, where poolside cocktails and unobstructed views of downtown Manhattan await them at a renovated Jimmy.

“It’s a little gussied up,” Rabin says of the reimagined Jimmy, comparing the new vibe to a resort in the South of France. “It’s like someone who was in high school is now in grad school.”

The dining room at Veranda. 
Courtesy of Andre Maier

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Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe | Mini Cake | One Dish Kitchen

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Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe | Mini Cake | One Dish Kitchen

Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe For One – A decadent, gluten-free, single serving flourless chocolate cake that’s easy to make and will definitely satisfy a chocolate craving.

A flourless chocolate cake recipe is my go-to cake recipe. I’ve baked this type of cake more times than I can count and my daughter requests it for her birthday every single year. I’ve taken my standard sized flourless chocolate cake recipe and scaled down the ingredients so that it makes one small mini cake. It’s the perfect size to serve one or two people.

A flourless chocolate cake is just what the name implies, made without flour or leavening and is naturally gluten-free. It’s such a rich, decadent dessert and the cake has the texture of a fudge brownie with a gloriously crisp topping.

Please don’t be intimidated by this recipe – it’s a really simple cake to make.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.

How To Make This Recipe

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Expert Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store a flourless chocolate cake?

I like to keep this cake in the refrigerator, covered. As the cake cools, it becomes more solid and more fudgy.

I like to keep this cake in the refrigerator, covered. As the cake cools, it becomes more solid and more fudgy.

How long will a flourless chocolate cake last?

This is a small cake so you’ll most likely want to eat it up. If you would like to save some for later, the cake keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days.

This is a small cake so you’ll most likely want to eat it up. If you would like to save some for later, the cake keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Can I freeze a flourless chocolate cake?

Yes! Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe container or zip topped freezer bag. When you are ready to enjoy it, move it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. It keeps well in the freezer for up to up to 3 months.

Yes! Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe container or zip topped freezer bag. When you are ready to enjoy it, move it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. It keeps well in the freezer for up to up to 3 months.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this flourless chocolate cake recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Other Mini Cake Recipes 

I use a 5-inch baking dish for this flourless chocolate cake recipe. For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this flourless chocolate cake or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

Flourless Chocolate Cake For One

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (plus more for dusting the pan and ½ teaspoon for topping)
  • whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
Lightly butter a baking dish and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess.
Combine chocolate chips, butter and oil in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from saucepan and set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 large egg, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Gradually whisk into melted chocolate. Set aside.
In another small bowl beat the egg white and 2 tablespoons of the sugar together until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg white into chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top with ½ teaspoon sugar.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cake will begin to crack on top.
Transfer baking dish to a wire rack to cool completely.
Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 242IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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