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Today's kitchen has eclipsed the culinary centers of the recent past in terms of function and fashion. With the advent of such innovations as built-in computer desks, beautiful yet durable countertops and spacious layouts, the kitchen has become an inviting and livable part of the home that can help busy families reconnect.

Every aspect of food preparation, from the meal planning stage to dining, the delicious creations is an opportunity to create lasting memories and bridge generations. During the winter holiday season, magazine articles and television commercials abound depicting multi-generational families sharing holiday meal prep duties or seated around a table filled with family favorites. Why wait until winter solstice to enjoy the warmth and coziness of a shared meal with family and friends?

Making shared meals an enjoyable experience for everyone takes a bit of creativity and forethought. The perfect dinner party may consist of simply inviting a few friends over for a soup recipe sampling midday meal. Sharing a hearty yet heart-healthy bowl of soup can be a delicious way to reconnect with loved ones and feel good about what you’re eating.

Hot summer days are the perfect excuse for outdoor eating activities. Creativity and forethought must be partnered with flexibility, particularly if children are involved. Proper food handling practices are especially important because it can be challenging to maintain safe food temperatures in outdoor kitchen settings. Fresh fruits, melons and green salads are a great choice for this type of meal.

Why not plan a garden and orchard luncheon for that next play date? An added benefit is that the little ones may develop a preference for fruits and vegetables over less-healthy fare. Add a checkered tablecloth and disposable utensils for a true picnic feel and quick clean-up.

Another great way for family and friends to enjoy a kitchen-centered gathering is to plan a mystery dinner. The menu is selected in advance and served restaurant style to invitees by the hosts. Menus are prepared with humorous clues substituted for each course’s offering and each utensil. Courses and utensils are mixed up on the menu to add to the fun. Children can be included in age-appropriate ways from designing and coloring menus to seating guests or serving menu items. It's worthwhile to find creative ways to enjoy the kitchen and all that it brings to a home. In fact, for many families the kitchen is home.

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Euro Flooring and Design Center, Inc.

Euro Flooring and Design Center, Inc.
4424 US Highway 19 N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33714
Phone: 727-545-9900

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