Our Holiday Host and Hostess Gifts to You

Ideas for your worksgiving.

Are you hosting a get together this Holiday? At Village Home Stores we think entertaining guests in your home is such a wonderful gift to all who experience it. When people gather, memories are made. We want you to enjoy your time at home and make the Holidays as easy as possible for you. So with the approaching Thanksgiving holiday this week, we thought we would put together a few host/hostess gifts from our family to yours.  Are you hosting a meal this week? Wanting to find a polite way to ask everyone to “park” their glowing screens someplace else other than at their place-setting? How about giving them a polite instruction and location for it:No phones at the table policy? Enforce it politely with this free printable sign. | villagehomestores.com

Find a location to place a small basket for your guests to “park” their phones in during mealtime. Download this sign fro us for free!  Tap HERE For This Be Present Printable and find an unused frame to put it in. We made these printables simple and easy to crop to fit a frame. Speaking of phones, it has become a norm of modern hospitality to offer your home WiFi to guests. If you want to avoid having to repeat the information every time the doorbell rings, grab this sign to customize:Have houseguests this Holiday? Let them hop on your wifi with this free pdf printable sign. | villagehomestores.com

Just tap HERE For a WiFi Printable and add your network name and password before framing. This can be located near the appetizers, home bar, or in the powder room when entertaining. NOTE: this framed sign is a very thoughtful addition to a guest bedroom if you have overnight guests. Is your home is a “shoes off” house? Remind your guests with a Friendly Shoes Off Sign that reads “Leave all worries (and your shoes please) at the door”. Is your house a shoes off please house? Enforce it politely with this free pdf printable sign. | villagehomestores.com

Last week we hosted a “Worksgiving” event after hours here at the store. “Friendsgiving” and “Worksgiving” events are becoming more and more popular and we totally understand why! Who doesn’t love an excuse to get together to snack and sip!? Since Village Home Stores is in the business to creating beautiful spaces for entertaining, it should not be a surprise that we can also create a pretty amazing pot luck feast! For last week’s “Wine-Down Worksgiving” we each brought an appetizer to share. Easy appetizers for holiday entertaining, friendsgiving, and worksgiving events. | villagehomestores.com

Of course we had countless crock pots full of so many tasty snacks and the showroom smelled so good all day we could hardly wait until 5pm. We posted a few of the appetizer recipes to the Village Home Stores Pinterest page just in case you are looking for a last-minute recipe for your own gathering. Find a simple Caramel Apple Dip, Apricot Crustini Bites, and Spicy Sausage Stars on our recipe board. Easy appetizers for holiday entertaining, friendsgiving, and worksgiving events. | villagehomestores.com

Love crock-pot season? We do too! Be sure to scroll through and follow that whole board on our Pinterest page because we have pinned a lot of great crock pot and toaster oven recipes there for our clients who are currently going through a remodel and don’t have a full kitchen at the moment. We think a Worksgiving was a great way to gather as a work family and get us ready for the Holiday season. Our new lighting showroom made for the perfect space to do it.
Hosting a get together and want every to ditch their screens? Enforce it politely with this free pdf printable sign. | villagehomestores.com

Need to service your appliances before a big meal? Call our expert appliance service team at (309) 944-1344 for a service appointment. We service most major brands. Shopping for new appliances this month? Don’t forget that we purchase from a multi-million dollar buying group and offer our Local Low Price Guarantee to all customers! That means we have prices competitive with the box stores but you get to have the award-winning expert customer experience you deserve! Our team will help you find the right deals and the right models for your lifestyle and budget.  Shop our Black Friday savings here onlineBlack Friday and Small Business Saturday deals from Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

We want to remind you that Village Homes Stores is a family-owned small business and we proudly stay closed on Thanksgiving Day so all of our staff can enjoy the Holiday. We will be open Black Friday from 9am until 5pm and again on Small Business Saturday from 9am until noon at 105 S State in Downtown Geneseo, IL. Stop in and see us! We always have fresh baked cookies for our guests. No matter where you are spending your holiday, we hope you are safe and blessed. A very special thank you to all of our amazing clients who are preparing their first Thanksgiving meals in their new kitchens from Village Home Stores this year! Cheers! 

Recipe: Vanilla Latte Cupcakes

When KitchenAid® announced their “10,000 Cupcakes One Great Cause” program to help raise support for the Susan G. Komen foundation this October we were very excited!  Cupcakes, yes! Supporting breast cancer awareness, yes please! At the very mention of the word “cupcake” we knew this was a perfect occasion to call on our staff baker extraordinaire Pat. You don’t have a staff baker extraordinaire? You should seriously look into getting one (you can’t have Pat, she’s ours). vanilla_latte_cupcakes

When we asked Pat to bake us her favorite cupcakes for a blog post she knew right away which ones they would be. Now that we have tried one…or two…ok fine three we can see why she loves this recipe! These Vanilla Latte Cupcakes are delicious and include some of the best frosting we have ever tasted. Here is a printable version of this cupcake_recipecupcake_recipe

Coffee in a cupcake? That qualifies as a valid reason to have one for breakfast right? In place of sprinkling instant coffee on top of the frosting, we embraced the opportunity to take a coffee break. We are lucky enough to have a great local coffee shop right around the corner from our store. Elizabeth Ann’s Kitchen is also home to The Local Motive Coffee Shop. the_local_motive

Beth was kind enough to give us some ground espresso for our sprinkling needs.  If you aren’t known to be a from-scratch-baker do still file this recipe away for the future for the frosting. Pat’s mind began to run with other great ways she could put a new twist on this frosting recipe with other pudding flavors. We look forward to trying them all of course. Speaking of frosting, a coworker saw me eating my own cupcake and was not aware of the mess-free way of cupcake consumption. Just in case you are also unaware reader, we give you the one-handed-no-frosting-on-your-nose-cupcake-sandwich:mess_free_cupcake

Not rocket science, but it does take the mess out of cupcake eating. Just split the cupcake at it’s center, flip and smoosh. We have shared this recipe with you now you need to “share” your own cupcake creations. This October, you can make a difference just by baking and sharing cupcakes. Join KitchenAid® to support Susan G. Komen.  Snap an original photo of a cupcake and tag @KitchenAidUSA including #10000cupcakes and #donate and you will help support this great cause. Learn more about the “10,000 Cupcakes One Great Cause” program here.  Be sure to also follow us on social media as well. Post your images on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.cupcake

Holiday Recipe: Cranberry Pecan Brie Bake

Recipe_BrieLast week we had the honor of hosting a bus-load of Quad City women for a demonstration upstairs in our test kitchen. They were part of a group hosted by the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce who arrived to shop and explore Geneseo throughout their visit. We wanted to share with them a recipe they could use for the upcoming holiday season. This brie bake is the perfect appetizer if you are hosting an event or even a take and bake item you could bring to a friend or family member’s home to enjoy. You will need:ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough and cut into two squares slightly larger than brie round. Cut off corners of squares. Use excess for decorative cut-outs if desired. Cut Brie crosswise into two layers. Place bottom layer onto one section of dough placed onto cookie sheet. Spread cranberry sauce and pecans atop and cap with top Brie layer.recipe1

Place second dough layer atop your stack. Connect dough along side of Brie by pinching closed and brush dough with beaten egg. Add any decorative cut outs you would like. We liked how our stars hid the seams where we connected the dough. Be sure to slit top layer of dough in center before baking. Brush entire bake with egg. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden deep brown. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve on platter with crackers and fruit slices (pears pair perfectly with brie).recipe2We loved participating in the Chamber of Commerce bus trip and any excuse to bake up something delicious like this to share at the store is a great day! Happy Holidays!

15 Must-Have Items For Your Temporary Kitchen During a Remodel

Remodeling a kitchen is a process. During that process you will need a temporary kitchen to prep and clean in. How can you keep the essentials handy for your day-to-day life? You set up a temporary kitchen! This can be located in a dining room, living room or even a corner of the kitchen itself. Village Home Stores suggests these 15 must-have items for your temporary kitchen during a remodel. Print off your own checklist of these items here

15 Must-Have Items For Your Temporary Kitchen During a Remodel:

The best small appliances for your temporary kitchen

1. Decide what small appliances best fit the lifestyle of your family. Choose appliances that can be used for multiple tasks. A toaster oven may become your new favorite small appliance. Many are available with convection features and interior capacities that will make it possible to prepare many different meals. Take note that these ovens can get very hot in the areas surrounding them. Keep the space clear and avoid stacking items on top. Crock pots, rice-cookers, and countertop grills can each be used and stored off-site in another room. You can still prepare meals at home without eating out every day. Follow our Pinterest board of recipes to enjoy during your remodel.

2. No immediate access to water? Keep a bottle of anti-bacterial gel accessible for you and the crew. Stop germs from spreading without needing running water.

3. While they can be very wasteful to use regularly, using “disposable” products during your remodel can be a great way to keep dirty dishes from piling up. When cleared off properly, many can even be recycled. Plastic utensils and cups can even be washed and reused. Just be aware that certain plastics should not be heated up to high heats and reused for food service.

4. Keep a roll of paper towels handy. Some snacks and meals can even be prepped and served on a paper towel (no judgement from us if we catch you eating a slice of pizza off of a paper towel). Be excited to know that in just a few weeks you will be cooking a gourmet meal in your brand new kitchen.

5. For quick meal prep, reheating leftovers, and even warming up coffee, a microwave really is a necessity. If you do not have a portable model microwave, consider borrowing one or purchasing an inexpensive one that can later be sent with a child to college or moved to a basement bar or “man Cave” area. Village Home Stores keeps many countertop model microwaves in stock so ask your design team about our options.

Life goes on in your home no matter what state the kitchen is in. Busy families, single adults, and empty-nesters all create dirty dishes. When they do start to pile up we recommend to set up a dish-washing station.

Set Up a Dish Washing Station:

DishWashingStation

6. Not having a running kitchen sink and faucet is probably one of the largest inconveniences during a remodel. Find a large plastic tub that will act as your sink during this time. If you do not have another running sink nearby, make sure your tub fits nicely in the closest bathtub you have. If you are preparing a meal at home, we suggest filling this tub with warm, soapy water and adding dirty dishes as they are used.  This gives them time to soak as you prep the meal and will mean less time scrubbing in the bathtub later on.

7. Of course you will need a bottle of dish detergent. Keep it nearby whatever water source you are using.

8. Set up an area for drying clean items. Find a drying mat or rack that does not take up too much space and fits the dishes you do plan on using often.

9. Using a dish scrubbing brush that also dispenses detergent can eliminate the need for a sponge at all in your dish-washing station.

Where Should It Be Located?

We have seen many temporary kitchens set up throughout the many years we have been remodeling kitchens. Some of the most innovative locations we have seen use existing furniture or spaces already accessible near the kitchen. Do you already have a buffet or built-in bookcase? Consider these spaces first before unfolding a large camping table for your temporary kitchen. If you find an existing space you may only need a small cart in addition to that. Always seek out a location that is outside of any masked off areas from the jobsite.

Keep a Command Center:KitchenCommandCenter

10. Establish a command center for your family and even the crews. Keep a notebook and writing utensils available for notes and lists. Project information should also be in this location. Village Home Stores will give you a project binder with schedules, specs and up to date plans to be kept on-site. If you have a busy household, create an  “Action File” for papers and piles to stay organized. This is a great addition to your temporary kitchen command center and may even find its way into your permanent one. Here you can keep bills, incoming mail, school papers, schedules, and paperwork that may normally end up piled on a kitchen counter.

11. Borrow a shelf or two. Relocating a few boxes of books or movies can clear off enough shelf space for pantry items and even some small appliances. If you have set up a folding table, large tubs or bins below can be used for pantry storage. Always have trash bags and lunch packing items handy by the pantry area as well.

12. A coffeepot is absolutely a must-have item for most customers. Just remember this part of your temporary kitchen does not need to be near the rest. Reduce clutter and free up counter space by setting up your coffeemaker in the master bathroom or even a home office.

13. Find an all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle that you can keep on hand. This can be used to clean work surfaces and even appliances as they may get dusty during the remodeling process. All-purpose cleaning wipes can be fantastic as well for quick clean up.

14. Running water and a clear work surface are as desirable as available outlets in your temporary kitchen. By using a power strip for your small appliances you can gain surge protection and access extra receptacles for charging devices.

15.The most important item of course is patience. Being torn up for a short period of time is always worth it once you can enjoy your new finished kitchen space. Patience truly is a “Must-Have Item” when remodeling. Just remember that the project is only temporary. Soon you will have a new space to enjoy.

We wish things could happen overnight like they seem to do on television, but in reality these things take time. Our Project Management Program allows us to use your time most efficiently and get your new kitchen up and running as quickly as possible. Be sure to check out our board on Pinterest full of great tips and examples of temporary kitchen.  If you are reading this post because you are about to start a project with us we thank you so much for your business! We can’t wait to have your new kitchen up and running as soon as we are able to. If you are still in the research phase of a remodel feel free to contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our expert kitchen designers. We can’t wait to hear what you are working on. Your first step is to contact us and start the conversation. Complete this short form or call us at (309) 944-1344Village_phone_number