A New Twist on Thanksgiving Traditions 

Interesting fact: Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, was first celebrated in Canada 40 years before it became a tradition in the States. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October.

Every family has tried and true Thanksgiving rituals. Why not “shake it up” a little this holiday season by adding a new tradition (or two) to your Thanksgiving holiday.

Here are a few not-so-typical traditions to consider adopting for a joy-filled celebration.

Enjoy some “me-time” before the festivities.
Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving day with your entire extended family, a group of friends or with your significant other, consider dedicating an hour or so early in the day to enjoy your own company obligation-free. Take a morning walk in nature, enjoy a carefree soak in the tub, or savor a cup of your favorite tea in front of the fire before the hustle-and-bustle of the day’s activities start.

Share a recipe, create a recipe.
Ask members of your family to pull out their recipe collection and share a favorite recipe and an associated memory. Or, leading up to the Thanksgiving gathering, request suggestions for new recipes and then invite the cooks in your family to create a couple of new dishes together on Thanksgiving day. Add the recipes that everyone enjoys to the collection.

Tip: Elmira’s Antique and Northstar appliances are great options for whipping up tasty Thanksgiving dishes.

Set up a wishbone scavenger hunt.
Keep kids of all ages entertained after the meal with a scavenger hunt. Early in the day, ask teens or adults not involved in meal preparation to come up with scavenger hunt clues and then scatter the clues around the house and yard. After dinner, send the kids out to search for the hidden hints, which will eventually lead them back to a secret spot where you’ve stashed the turkey’s wishbone. 

Give thanks in a new way.
At the beginning of the Thanksgiving celebration, hand out notecards and ask your guests to spend a moment writing down what they are thankful for. Once everyone has congregated for the meal, read all of the submissions out load and have guests guess who wrote what. Place all of the cards on a piece of string and display it across the mantel for guests to read at their leisure.

Let the kids handle dessert.
Make kids a bigger part of the celebration by putting them in charge of dessert and coffee after the Thanksgiving meal. Let the little kids take orders for dessert and then have the older kids cut the pie, plate it, scoop the ice cream or whipped cream, and pour the coffee. The younger kids can also serve dessert – don’t forget to tip!

Go for a turkey run.
In preparation for indulging in one of the most memorable meals of the year, find a local “Turkey Trot” to participate in. Even if you’re not much of a runner (it’s only a three-mile run, after all), there is no better way to step out of your comfort zone than in a homemade turkey costume complete with feathers – and bystanders encouraging (or laughing) you to the finish line. Afterwards, go ahead and eat an extra slice of pumpkin or pecan pie – you’ve earned it.

Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving day, enjoy the celebration with family and friends!

A Charming Farmhouse Kitchen Steps Back in Time

The farmhouse trend has taken the interior design world by storm. There are a multitude of ways you can mash upthis style to fit your personal taste – whether you are looking to channel a traditional vintage aesthetic, a more modern look, or something in between.

For Wes Kestermont, President and CEO of Laurel Mountain Structures in Ebensburg, PA, farmhouse decor is much more than a trend – it’s a way of life. He realized that he had a love for farms when he started working at a local dairy farm at just 12 years old, where he was taught by local farmer Ava Berkey “to appreciate the land and animals for which we are just stewards while here on this earth.” Now, Kestermont is the proud owner of a farmhouse that was built in 1890 and was an active horse farm until the early 1960s. 

When updating their kitchen, Kestermont and his wife Tricia wanted to stay true to the integrity of the period in which the home was built. In addition, they wanted their home to reflect the humbleness of the farmhouse design, which embraces simplicity and functionality with a relaxed, down home feel. “We were told the house originally had an old black cookstove in it and wanted to create a similar look in the renovated farmhouse kitchen,” says Kestermont. He and his wife selected farmhouse inspired appliances from Elmira Stove Works due to their superior quality and attention to detail. Notes Kestermont, “We went with an entire suite in the Black/Bisque color combination to create a two-tone look that really enhances the rustic character and style of our home.” 

The Kestermonts couldn’t be more pleased with the way their kitchen turned out. “When guests visit our home, they say it’s like stepping back in time, and what makes the Elmira products so unique is the fact that they take people back to a time when things were simpler.”

As functional as it is beautiful, the kitchen is regularly put to good use. Says Kestermont, “Tricia loves to bake apple dumplings with the double convection ovens. Each fall, she bakes hundreds and then turns her focus to Christmas cookies.”

Elmira Stove Works appliances make it easy for homeowners to re-create styles from yesteryear without sacrificing the modern amenities to which they have grown accustomed – from ranges, cookstoves and woodburning stoves to refrigerators, wall ovens, microwaves and dishwasher panels. Learn more about Elmira’s line of farmhouse appliances.

Banish Boring Beige with Take-Notice Kitchen Designs

Looking to refresh your kitchen? Ditch the stainless steel appliances and endless rows of vanilla cabinets. Instead, join the latest kitchen trend – using color, color and more color!

Increasingly, homeowners are spicing up their kitchens and adding personality by incorporating vibrant, fun hues. Check out this basement kitchen design with a classic diner feel. The nostalgic look – anchored by retro appliances in rich royal blue – serves up design elements such as beveled-edged countertops, soda fountain style barstools, checkered tile and plenty of shiny chrome accents. Anyone else craving a root beer float?

Don’t know where to start with your kitchen design? The first step is to pick a theme. The homeowners who brought to life the kitchen below went with a colorful 60s vibe. The retro-inspired appliances in Robin’s Egg Blue, butcher-block countertops, vintage style lighting and psychedelic accent wall definitely make a statement, earning this kitchen the highest marks for originality – and personality.

Once you have a theme in mind, select your appliances. They will serve as the foundation for the kitchen and can help guide the rest of your design. Nadia G, actor, chef and punk singer, really knows how to show off her rockin’ personality in the kitchen created for her Cooking Channel show, Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen. The expressive design highlights retro style appliances in Candy Red paired with unexpected elements such as a zebra-print floor, “upholstered” cabinets and an extra helping of rivets and metal hardware.

Finally, pick out some accents to complement the appliances and realize your vision. Some of the best pieces can be found at local antique markets or thrift stores. Add a few quirky touches – or many, as seen in this eclectic kitchen – to show off your personality. Here, a bubble gum pink, 1890s-inspired stove is surrounded by blocks of green, blue, orange, yellow and more pink, while funky knick-knacks such as a replica VW Bug, vintage cookie jars and a ‘teacup’ chandelier add a whimsical feel to the space.

Though your style might not be as bold as this homeowner’s, it’s easy to create a kitchen that showcases your personal design aesthetic. Just remember to pick a theme, select appliances, and then add fun touches to round out the design. The only limit is your imagination!

For more design inspiration, follow @elmirastoveworks on Instagram, or visit www.elmirastoveworks.com.

Americana Road Trip – Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Summertime offers the opportunity for travel and exploration, and is the perfect time for a road trip. Route 66 is one of the most popular – and photographed – cross-country road trip destinations in the United States.

This iconic roadway spans 2,400 miles and eight states, and was the first all-weather highway in the United States. As John Steinbeck wrote in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath,” Route 66 was “the mother road” in the 1900s and played a significant role in the transportation of hundreds of thousands of Dust Bowl Migrants.

After 59 years of operation, the Federal-Aid Highway Act instituted America’s 47,800-mile Interstate Highway System, leading to the decommissioning of Route 66. Although the iconic highway was officially shut down in 1985, travelers from all over the world continue to set out on the original highway route, exploring some of the most unique attractions in the nation.

If you ever plan to motor out west, consider stopping at these favorite highlights on the ultimate Americana road trip. As Dinah Shore belted out in a television commercial for Chevrolet, “See the U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet” (or your vehicle of preference).

Following are four “can’t miss” stops along the famed route.

The World’s (Second) Largest Rocking Chair in Fanning, Missouri

It all started on April Fools’ Day in 2008 when a local general store owner, in an effort to increase traffic to his archery and feed store, erected an oversized rocking chair. At 42 feet, 4 inches high and weighing an impressive 27,500 pounds, this Paul Bunyan-sized rocker set a new Guinness World Record for the largest rocking chair in the nation. The behemoth rocker was knocked out of its No. 1 spot on August 25, 2015 by a 56.5-foot-high version in Illinois. Soon thereafter, the rocker was painted red and is now known as “The Route 66 Red Rocker.”

Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma

This stop may not have existed until after the highway was decommissioned, but it is considered one of the best ways to experience the culture and unique offerings of Route 66. Oklahoma Route 66 Museum takes visitors on a nostalgic journey that explores the history of the nation’s most beloved highway. From learning about the Dust Bowl to enjoying sounds of the Big Band era to enjoying a meal at the 1950s-style diner, the museum has something for everyone. And, make sure to check out the “world’s largest curio cabinet” full of items ranging from original road signs to full-sized gasoline pumps.

Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas

Designed as a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin, Cadillac Ranch was created and built by a group of artist hippies from San Francisco, who called themselves The Ant Farm. Ten Cadillacs – from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville – were half-buried, nose down in the dirt facing west in a line, leaving their tail fins proudly on display. The creators wanted the art installation to be an interactive monument that let people express themselves. Over the years, visitors have been encouraged to use the cars as a graffiti canvas, and today, all that remains are their time-worn frames, splattered in bright paint.

Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In in Seligman, Arizona

Located in Seligman, Arizona, along one of the most extended stretches along Route 66, sits an eccentric diner owned and operated by the Delgadillo family. In 1953, Juan Delgadillo, with the help of his father and brothers, built the Snow Cap out of scrap lumber that Juan had collected when he worked for the railroad. To create more interest in the restaurant, Delgadillo sliced the roof off of a 1936 Chevrolet, and then adorned the car with paint, horns and automotive emblems. A visit to Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive delivers a hefty dose of Americana, including the vibes of a retro diner that serves up menu items such as “cheeseburger with cheese” and the “dead chicken.”

Fun Fact: When the idea for the Cars movie first came up, filmmaker and animator John Lasseter drove the route and learned as much as he could about its history. Inspired by his trip, Lasseter ended up incorporating a number of the locations in the movie!

So, if you’re looking for the quintessential cross-country road trip experience, look no further than Route 66. Sit back, buckle up and enjoy an adventurous ride!

To echo Nat King Cole’s popular song, aptly titled Route 66:                                                                    

If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

A beloved family cabin gets a “rustic retro” facelift

Nestled in the lushly forested area of Roberts Creek in British Columbia, Canada, the “Cheeky” Cabin features an eclectic mix of styles and motifs anchored by a retro style kitchen designed by the Emerge Design team.

The cabin, part of a larger property, was an addition to the ‘Sandy Castle’ cabin, which was constructed in 1943 by the homeowner’s grandparents. Over the years – various parts of the property were passed down to members of the homeowner’s family, and in 1989, her parents renovated the Sandy Castle cabin and added a separate garage, which became the Cheeky Cabin.

The original decor in the cabin was very dark and had lots of antiques as the centerpiece. The homeowner was looking to transform the cabin into a fresh and bright space while still maintaining the cozy cabin feel. The goal was to lift the mood in the room and make the cabin a welcoming, enjoyable retreat for any season.

In order to revamp the unique home, the design team took their cue from the homeowner’s diverse style. Her openness to different colors and themes gave the designers lots of options when it came to creating the kitchen.

“We were very inspired by our client’s fun, adventurous spirit and curiosity for life, which set the tone for the design process,” said kitchen designer, Gwyntie Van Tuyl.  “We found a vintage stove and then decided to build the kitchen around that using Elmira’s retro style appliances. To complement the existing color palette, we chose Northstar appliances in Robin’s Egg blue, which really brought the whole look together while adding a wonderful pop of color.”

The project was a true collaboration with the owner and showcased her approach to style in a fresh and unexpected way. Says Gwyntie, “We took our time when designing the cabin, which was completed in less than a year. The focus was on having a good time, and the final result reflects that.”

The end result was a cabin that artfully mixed 50s style with rustic cabin style. Adds Gwyntie, “We love the Robin Egg’s Blue Northstar appliances that we used to create a beautiful retro feel in this amazing spot, and the homeowner was thrilled!”

Incorporate Elmira Stove Works appliances into your kitchen design renderings! Elmira Northstar and Antique appliances are catalogued on the 2020 Design 3D CAD cloud platform. 

Retro Recipes Meet Their Modern Cousins

One of the best parts of summer is cooking delicious food with your family and friends. Everyone has their favorite go-to recipes, some of which may be generations old. The best part of these retro recipes is that – in many cases – modern updates are available that are just as tasty. This summer, you can impress everyone at your party with these traditional favorites or their present-day counterparts!


One of our favorite traditional appetizer recipes is for tortilla pinwheels. These fun looking cheese-filled treats are easy to prepare and are always a hit at any gathering.

Tortilla Pinwheels


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can (4-1/4 ounces) chopped ripe olives
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, well drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Seasoned salt to taste
  • 5 flour tortillas (10 inches)
  • Salsa, optional


  • Beat cream cheese, shredded cheese and sour cream until blended. Stir in olives, green chilies, green onions and seasonings
  • Spread over tortillas; roll up tightly. Wrap each roll in plastic, twisting ends to seal; refrigerate for several hours
  • Unwrap. Cut into 1/2 to 1/4 inch slices, using a serrated knife. If desired, serve with salsa.

A delectable modern take on this recipe is ham-and-cheese pinwheels with a brown sugar glaze. These savory appetizers will remind you of a gourmet Hot Pocket!

Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels


  • 1 can Pillsburyrefrigerated Classic Pizza Crust
  • 3/4 lb. deli ham (thinly sliced, but not shaved)
  • 12 slices Swiss Cheese (thinly sliced)


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Unroll the pizza dough onto a cutting board and press into approximately a 13×18 rectangle. Top with ham and cheese slices. Starting on the longer side of the rectangle, roll up the edge tightly. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. Cut into 12 slices, approximately 1 inch wide. Arrange in prepared baking dish.
  • Next combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and the glaze is smooth and combined. Pour evenly over the rolls.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or bake uncovered for 25 minutes until golden brown.


Casseroles can make a wonderful addition to any summer party. They’re easy to make and great to share with large groups. A favorite traditional casserole is tuna noodle.

Tuna Noodle Casserole


  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 cups cooked yolk-free wide noodles
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 can (6 ounces) light water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  • In a large bowl, combine soup and milk until smooth. Add the noodles, peas, tuna and pimientos; mix well.
  • Pour into a 1-1/2 qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over the top. Bake 5 minutes longer or until golden brown.

A modern take on tuna noodle casserole eliminates the soup from the dish. All of the ingredients in this recipe are fresher, making it a little more time-consuming to make, but the end result is scrumptious.

Grown-Up Tuna Noodle Casserole


  • Butter, to grease pan
  • 12 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3-1/2ups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup thinly-sliced kale or spinach
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, to top (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-1/2 or 3 quart casserole dish and set aside.
  • Cook pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling water. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent and mushrooms begin to soften. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 additional minute. Slowly pour in wine, lower heat to medium-low and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  • Add flour to pan and stir well to ensure all mushrooms are coated. Increase heat to high and slowly pour in milk, bringing mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring to avoid sticking or clumping, until milk begins to thicken and starts to look more like a sauce, about 4 minutes
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, capers, tuna, sour cream, kale (or spinach), thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the creamy mushroom sauce into bowl and stir to coat all ingredients. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Sprinkle in breadcrumbs and cook until fragrant and slightly toasty, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle crispy breadcrumbs over top of casserole and bake for 20 minutes, or until top is light brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Serve hot. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. This casserole also freezes beautifully.


The old fashioned pot roast is a traditional recipe staple that’s simple to prepare, and easy on the taste buds too.

Old Fashioned Pot Roast


  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 lbs.)
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 celery rib, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces


  • Sprinkle roast with 1 tablespoon flour. In a Dutch oven, brown roast on all sides in half of the butter. Add water, bouillon, onion, celery, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add carrots; cover and simmer 45-60 minutes longer, or until meat is tender. Transfer meat and carrots to a serving platter and keep warm. Strain cooking juices; set aside.
  • In the same Dutch oven, melt remaining butter. Stir in remaining flour; cook and stir until bubbly. Add 2 cups of the cooking juices and blend until smooth. Cook and stir until thickened; add additional cooking juices until gravy has desired consistency.

This updated roast recipe will make a regular appearance at the dinner table. Rather than the traditional pot roast, baked in an oven, this roast is grilled with a delicious seasoning and rosemary chimichurri sauce.

Pepper Crusted Grill-Roasted Beef with Rosemary Chimichurri


  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 lb. boneless beef top loin roast, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch

Rosemary Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a small bowl, mash oil, rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic with the back of a spoon. Rub all over beef and refrigerate for at least 12, and up to 24 hours.
  • Heat all burners on a gas grill to medium low. A thermometer resting on the grill grate should register about 450 degrees with the lid down – or you should be able to comfortably hold your hand a couple of inches above the grill for 3 or 4 seconds. If hotter than this, lower heat on burners slightly. Brush grill grates with a stiff wire brush and then wipe with a lightly oiled wad of paper towels.
  • Set beef on grill, cover, and cook until it’s nicely browned and easily releases from the grates, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully during this stage. If a flare-up occurs, move the meat away from flames until they die down. If necessary, squirt flames with a little water to quench them.
  • Transfer meat to a cutting board and let cool for 10 minutes. Thinly slice and serve with chimichurri.
  • Chimichurri sauce: Heat oil and rosemary in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until rosemary is aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar and garlic. Whisk in rosemary oil and 1/4 cup water. Then stir in parsley, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper (don’t worry if the emulsion separates). Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Side Dish

Side dishes can make or break a meal! Our favorite retro side dish is this sweet-tart cucumber salad.

Sweet-Tart Cucumber Salad 


  • 10 pickling cucumbers or 3 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced


  • Place cucumbers in a colander over a plate; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt and toss. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain.
  • In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, celery seed, pepper and remaining salt until blended. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers and onions. Pour dressing over cucumber mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours before serving.

This newer take on cucumber salad adds some unexpected elements for a refreshing, mouth-watering dish.

Cucumber Salad


  • 1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs. fresh dill, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)


  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp. za’atar (or 1 tsp. oregano)


  • In a small, mix together the ingredients for the dressing, set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, parsley, mint and dill.
  • Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine.


No meal is quite the same without dessert! A classic dessert that reminds us of days gone by is mincemeat trifle. This sweet treat features layers of custard and mincemeat, topped with cream.

Mincemeat Trifle


  • 6 large yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cup prepared mincemeat
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • Red and green candied cherries, optional


  • In a saucepan, combine egg yolks, milk, sugar, lemon zest and salt until blended. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, combine mincemeat and lemon juice. Tear cake into 1-inch cubes; place a third of the cake in a trifle bowl or 2-qt. serving bowl. Top with a third of the custard and half of the mincemeat. Repeat layers. Top with remaining custard.
  • In a bowl, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form; spread over custard. Garnish with cherries, if desired. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Mincemeat trifle has inspired many modern adaptations. This version of the traditional trifle uses fresh blueberries and lemon pudding to create a light, summery treat.

Lemon and Blueberry Trifle


  • 1 block (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 boxes (3.4 oz. each) instant lemon pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk brought to room temperature
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
  • Angel food cake (2 loaves or 1 tube cake), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pints (3-4 cups) fresh blueberries
  • Sliced lemon, for garnish (optional)


  • Beat cream cheese and pudding mix together until smooth. Slowly add room temperature milk until smooth. Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping.
  • In a 3-quart bowl, layer 1/3 cake, 1/3 pudding and 1/3 blueberries. Repeat layers two more times. Garnish with whipped topping and lemons.
  • Cover and chill until ready to serve.

While many of these classic recipes remain family favorites, the updated renditions offer an enticing “variation on a theme”. We challenge you to try each of these retro recipes and their modern counterparts and let us know which version you prefer!

How to Achieve a Health(ier) Kitchen

Every day, more research is being conducted on how our environment affects our health. According to The University of Minnesota, our environment can encourage or discourage interaction with others, influence behavior and motivation, affect mood, and create or reduce stress. The same goes for our kitchen environment. Because of the amount of time we spend there, maintaining a healthy kitchen should be a priority in every home for the sake of increased health and well-being. Follow these steps to create your own healthy kitchen.

Go Fresh & Organic
The first step in achieving a healthy kitchen is to be mindful of the food that you put into your body. As knowledge about the harm some pesticides and chemicals can cause becomes more accessible, it’s easier to make better – and safer – food choices. This means stocking your kitchen with organic, fresh foods like grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed foods. An abundance of healthy recipes can be found on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Open It Up
Properly utilizing available space is one of the most important aspects of a healthy kitchen. Because kitchens are the center of the home, they should promote activity and socialization. The Global Wellness Summit says, “Open floor plans, kitchen islands, and other design elements that encourage communal activities have been a staple of modern kitchens for years.” When utilized in the kitchen, these elements not only allow more space for cooking, but also provide optimal room for seating so that everyone can take part in conversation and meal preparation.

Let the Sun Shine
Natural lighting provides benefits that artificial lighting can’t. In fact, a study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology reports that natural lighting can boost productivity, especially important if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Incorporating as much natural light as possible in your kitchen, whether it be from windows or skylights, will not only open up the space but also make it easier to grow your own fresh herbs in a kitchen garden – another contributor to good health.

Color Your World
Color has the power to impact our behavior, mood and motivation, making it important to take into consideration the colors used in the kitchen. A warm and welcoming space that will encourage socialization and reduce stress is the goal. White helps a kitchen look clean and rejuvenating whereas gray and lighter shades of blue will make a kitchen space feel cool and comfortable. Red is intense and known to boost energy, while yellow is a positive color that can evoke feelings of hope and happiness. Green has a calming effect and can relieve stress.

Consider using accent colors to balance out the primary color used in the kitchen space. A great way to do this is by adding colorful appliances. Retro- and antique-inspired appliances from Elmira Stove Works come in a range of standard hues along with more than 1,000 custom colors, and are a great way to make a statement in any style of kitchen. 

A healthy kitchen designed with wellness principles in mind will not only improve your mood and energy but will also make time spent in the kitchen more enjoyable for you and your friends and family. After all, a healthy kitchen is a happy kitchen.

Seeing Double – A cabin on Canada’s Lake Simcoe brings home vintage style

A Toronto-based couple wanted a place to escape the hustle and bustle of their busy city lives. They chose to build a getaway retreat on scenic Lake Simcoe, located an hour north of the city.

It was important that the home have a cozy, welcoming feel while also providing a space that could accommodate and entertain guests, including the homeowners’ large extended families. Offering rustic good looks and unassuming charm, a log home fit the bill.

Upstairs, Downstairs

Because the couple entertains often, they decided it made sense for the home to have two kitchens – a personal kitchen situated on the main level and a second kitchen on the lower level for hosting friends and family. That way, visitors could congregate in the lower level, where they could enjoy the patio, pool and lake. It was also important that the kitchens feel like they were part of the nearby spaces, which was accomplished via an open floorplan.

Kevin Swart of Chervin Kitchen & Bath designed the kitchens. He selected vintage-style appliances from Elmira Stove Works for both kitchens, which served as the foundation for the kitchen design. The appliances not only bring character to the spaces but are also able to handle the demands of frequent social gatherings.

Ready for Action

In the lower level kitchen, a large three-tiered island offers ample space for preparing and serving food and libations when the couple’s families come together.

Cabinetry in a woodsy green complements the brick walls, quartz countertops and Northstar retro-inspired appliances in Buttercup Yellow. To avoid overpowering the appliances, Swart chose accents that would add just the right touch of flair – custom corbels (decorative supports) on the island, decorative nails on doors and drawers, and ‘X’ motif crown moulding and roping. A hammered copper farmhouse sink adds warmth and helps to tie together the different design components.

Take Two

The main-level kitchen evokes a more traditional Old World feeling. Soft blue cabinetry is topped once again by ‘X’ moulding, which is backlit around the entire perimeter of the kitchen for added ambiance. Antique copper hardware along with vintage pitchers and jars are accentuated by unexpected elements such as pull down window shades with a trompe l’oeil olive grove.

Elmira Stove Works antique appliances in Bisque provide a subtle contrast to the earthy wood tones in the kitchen and surrounding living area. The large French door refrigerator features Antique Copper trim and offers plenty of space to store food. Because the range is self-ventilating, there was no need for a traditional ventilation hood. Instead, Swart designed a custom shelving unit that enables the homeowners to showcase personal items.

The Lake Simcoe cabin is a great example of how vintage appliances can be used to create distinctive looks that work with a range of design styles; and how a home owner, log home builder, kitchen design company and appliance retailer can collaborate on a unique and innovative project. The home was built by True North Log Homes. All appliances were sourced from and delivered by TA Appliances & Barbecues out of Mississauga.

Incorporate Elmira Stove Works appliances into your kitchen design renderings! Elmira Northstar and Antique appliances are catalogued on the 2020 Design 3D CAD cloud platform. 

Transform Your Kitchen from Ordinary to Stunning With Vintage Finds

Vintage and re-purposed items have become increasingly popular in today’s homes. Mementos and keepsakes remind us of simpler, less hectic times. Plus, finding a new use for old items extends their life and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle. From a style perspective, incorporating vintage items into a home’s interior can spice up living areas and create an eye-catching – and uniquely inviting – space.

Here are some easy ways to bring the charm of days gone by into your kitchen…

Utilitarian Beauty. Decorating with brand new items can quickly add up if you’re not careful. Instead, why not utilize vintage finds that can do double duty as decor items and functional kitchen pieces? Cutting boards are a great example. Antique cutting boards can be found in a variety of styles, including wood, copper and stone. Other great multi-purpose items include tea kettles, serving trays, pots and jars. These vintage finds can bring extra pizazz into your kitchen while also earning their keep.

Cozy Collectibles. From china and ceramic cups and dishes to glassware and canisters, collectibles can infuse a dose of character and charm into your kitchen. Whether you opt for a full collection, just a few items, or an eclectic mix, you will have an instant conversation starter. Be as creative as you want – the options are limited only by your imagination.

Cheerful Hand Towels. Doing dishes may be a chore, but the task becomes a lot more fun when you can dry your dishes in style! Vintage hand towels offer a simple way to incorporate different colors, patterns and themes into your kitchen in small doses – without overwhelming the space. And, they can easily be switched out according to the season or occasion.

Alluring Artwork. Decorating with vintage art is an easy way to bring some added flair to a kitchen. Try arranging several old paintings – or antique road signs or store signs – on an accent wall to create a striking backdrop. Round out the look with touches such as vintage lighting fixtures and hand-crafted woodwork to give your kitchen the perfect balance of old and new.

Versatile Appliances: Retro- and antique-inspired kitchen appliances can provide an excellent focal point around which to design your kitchen. Appliances in neutral tones provide a great foundation for the many different textures, patterns and colors that vintage finds offer. Or opt for brighter colored appliances to infuse some vibrance and cheer into your kitchen.

Whether your kitchen design is classic, farmhouse, transitional or more contemporary, don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to vintage items. Regardless of the era they come from, vintage pieces create a familiar, welcoming feel and endless style. Check out 1890s- and 1950s-inspired appliances that can take your kitchen to the next level!

When it comes to kitchen design, take it personally

It’s funny how people always seem to crave styles from the past – kitchens are no exception. People have been remodeling their kitchens for decades, and some of the most popular themed choices are 1950s retro as well as turn-of-the-century vintage. These themes have become an important staple in interior design. However, they’re more than simply retro or antique – they’re an expression of one’s unique personality and style.

During the past ten years, kitchen styles have expanded to encompass a multitude of design preferences: from subtle and understated to bold and colorful. Whatever the style, retro and antique style appliances won’t be pigeon-holed. In fact, these versatile appliances lend themselves to just about any kitchen design style that can be envisioned. Following are some of our favorite examples.

Traditional Style: A traditional kitchen offers a unique yet significant benefit – it’s timeless. In this kitchen style, the design relies upon classic elements that have withstood the test of time. The design typically incorporates lots of interesting details, such as arches, raised-panel cabinet fronts, decorative moldings and antique finishes. The kitchen above artfully combines an 1890’s inspired range paired with brickwork, wood paneling and flooring, a dramatic Tiffany light fixture, along with vintage style accessories and artwork to create a functional and distinctive space.

Transitional Style: The transitional kitchen style is defined by a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, with the use of eclectic additions to round out the design. Think a new take on an old classic, or a younger, more energetic version of traditional design. The retro style appliances in Mint Green are perfectly in place in this transitional kitchen, providing an unexpected and refreshing pop of color that complements the rustic-themed decor. Clean-lined countertops, retro style bar stools and weathered elements all come together in harmony to create a statement-making space.

Coastal Style: The coastal kitchen style takes us back psychologically to a quieter, safer time, serving up thoughts of the seaside and relaxation. While incorporating an antique style appliance isn’t the first thing that typically comes to mind when designing a coastal/nautical-themed kitchen, this approach works surprisingly well in the kitchen above. The juxtaposition of an 1890’s inspired range in bold Cayenne Pepper Red against the soft cream cabinetry provides a dramatic counterpoint and introduces a welcoming, whimsical feel.

Contemporary Style: Today’s contemporary kitchens utilize crisp, clean-lined surfaces, understated embellishments, unfussy fixtures and hardware, and lots of natural light to create a fresh, minimalist look that is soothing in its simplicity. Don’t let the streamlined appearance fool you though. A contemporary kitchen can be made just as warm and inviting as other kitchen styles through the introduction of color – witness how the blue subway tile backsplash and retro style fridge in Tropical Blue bring this cheerful kitchen to life.

Ready to add retro or antique elements to your kitchen to create your own signature design style? Get inspired by building your dream kitchen with Elmira’s Northstar and Antique appliance visualizers!