Holiday Entertaining Guide

Holiday Entertaining Guide

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go!

Are you hosting this year’s holiday party and looking for a simple guideline of “Do’s” and “Don’ts?”

If so, this post may help you better plan for the upcoming party as we share some of the essential components of the entertaining guideline including a full course menu, table décor tips and our favorite video clips to show how ASKO Dishwashers can clean the dirtiest and greasiest dishes like casserole and baking sheets!

 

Do’s

Don’ts

Plan ahead <guest list, menu, table setting and décor theme/ideas> Stress or worry!
Create children’s menu Forget to complete a proper table setting
Be brave, cook something new! Use disposable tableware
Use your finest china; bring out your fancy champagne glasses. (Because ASKO can handle even the delicate dishes.) D5434XXLS to Fully Integrated D5894XXLFI Forget to stock up on the essentials (tissues, paper towels, and bathroom supplies) and ICE for drinks!
Expect to have messy guests who will spill and drop on your extravagant table cloth. (ASKO Washer can wash even the most gentle cloth.)W6424 & W6884ECO Forget to create a festive playlist
Thank you notes to follow after the party! Forget about the floor mat by the door entrance to avoid dirty snow foot imprints on your floor!

 

Before we start with the exciting menu, here is a quick tip on table setting:

Pick a color scheme that complements your theme the best.  We favor red and silver and thought this was a festive setting from Craft Thyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, now we are going to share some of our favorite holiday menus that are well loved by many at most parties.  Oh yes, and if its a family gathering, be sure to have a designated menu for the little ones!

 

Let’s start with the first course.

Appetizers & Small Bites:

Simple finger food is what we prefer and how about these mouthwatering Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili sauce, Greek 7 layer Dip and Ashi Tuna Toastadas to Marinated Feta with Olives and Roasted Red Pepper?  (Click on the picture below for more recipes.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocktails & Sips:

We adore White Christmas Sangria made of cranberry and rosemary.  Sangrias are usually very easy to make and quite tasty!  We would also suggest Christmas Cranberry Juleps and Bloody Marry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For nonalcoholic beverage consider eggnog, because you know it’s not a Christmas party without it! We found this incredible recipe for an eggnog smoothie with vanilla whip.  Sounds delish doesn’t it? (Click on the image below for recipe.)

Festive Main Course:

How about Macadamia & Parsley Crusted Lamb Rack, Roasted Fall Vegetables in Cheddar Crust, Quinoa Stuffed Squash or Hot Buttered Rum and Pecan Encrusted Ham? Also click on the pictures below for recipes.

 

Desserts:

This is probably our favorite part of the meal, and we found “10 Christmas Desserts That Look Almost Too Good To Eat” by Cosmopolitan. We are talking about Almond Cheesecake to Orange Custard Tart!  How exciting is this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids menu:
You can easily serve kids the main entrée, but it wouldn’t hurt to prepare some pasta.  From our personal experience, most kids seem to like pasta especially with cheese!  Also these little fun Reindeer Cupcakes or Chocolate Candy Cane Pretzel Kisses will make an amazing dessert. Take a look at some of the simple and quick menus for the little ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, that you have successfully hosted a marvelous party, it’s time to thank your guests for coming, and what’s the best way to show your gratitude other than with a thank you card, and perhaps a small gift?  Here are some ideas on DIY cards and gift wrapping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of us worry about the aftermath of the party, mostly about, how we are going to clean up all the dishes, tall champagne glasses, baking trays and larger cookware that may not fit in the average dishwasher.  You don’t have to worry about any of the above with ASKO Dishwashers.  An ASKO allows you to wash larger loads and easily fit 17 (XXL) or 16 (XL) place settings compared to a standard dishwasher with (14 place settings).  ASKO XXL model dishwashers fit larger plates (up to 15 ¼ inches), taller glasses (up to 9 inches) as well as larger pots and pans together with taller cookware.

Another magical feature of ASKO Dishwasher is the spray system with up to 10 highly effective spray zones that reach every corner of the tank.  This includes up to three power zones for heavily soiled dishes like pots, pans or casserole dish that is difficult to get clean.

View this short video showing a real life holiday cleaning situation involving and ASKO dishwasher!

Another awesome factor would be the quietness of our dishwasher.  The last thing on your mind is to run a loud machine while you have guests at the house.  For instance, ASKO has several models which operate at 48 dB(A) and how quiet is that?  Well, a buzzing bumble bee is approximately 50-60 dB(A) and a normal conversation is about 60 dB(A) so you get the idea.

Some of the Dishwasher models to consider:

The Classic front control model D5434XXL comes in TouchProof™ Stainless steel, white and black with LED displaying time remaining in program.

Our Fully Integrated if you want to promote “less conspicuous” and “disappear” look for your kitchen. D5894XXLFI, D5554XXLFI and D5534XXLFI

 

 

To wash your finest table cloth or anything gentle in our laundry products:
ASKO Classic model W6424 and Logic W6884ECO.  We suggest setting the option as “Wool/ Hand wash” or “Sani” and adjust the temperature as well as the spin level.

 

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Fall into Autumn!

Leaves are falling and the colorful painted landscapes welcome us to another season that brings the feeling of Autumn entrenched by the warm memories of our younger years.  Candy corn, pumpkin pies, hot apple cider… and anything with nutmeg and ginger spices that add a distinct autumnal flavor! 

If you are a fan of Autumn, you not only look forward to indulging yourself in some of the seasonal treats as mentioned from above, but also to transform your house from Summer to Fall.  Here we have gathered some of the hottest trends to redecorate your space in the most simple and pocket friendly way possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key point in decorating is to tweak and enhance your space to feel more of the season.  Try to utilize what you already have going on at the house to make this transition smooth and easy. Shall we begin?

Trade out your pillows

How about cozy faux fur, velvet and woven wool pillows in solid warm colors?  It will be a perfect accent piece for your sofa or a club chair, especially if you own natural toned furniture.  A nice pop of color will go a long way of changing the vibe of the entire room.  Don’t be afraid to use bold colors, be spontaneous and mix and match!

While at it, bring out the blanket to add autumnal shades to your space.  Cashmere or lamb wool usually does the trick over the arm of your sofa along your pillows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Update your floor

If you have wood floors or a flat file carpet, try adding a rug that has warm tones, and will give an inviting look to your space.  Fluffy wool and an exotic print, there are so many options to choose from!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set the mood right

You finally get to use your fireplace after all!  It almost seems pointless having one, but when the weather cools down, the fireplace instantly becomes a real treasure in your home.  We not only favor the pleasant smell of wood burning, but the gentle warmth the fireplace brings to the house is just incredible.  If you don’t have a fireplace, try candles, it is just as beautiful. Find a tray and candles of your choice and use it as the center piece of the table or any place you desire!  You can add fall branches, dried leaves or pearls for extra holiday flair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall fragrance

Smell often brings back nostalgic and fond memories.  Here are a few recommendations to consider.  Cedarwood Rosemary Vanilla blend is always our go to pick; it has a bright herbalness that makes it just right for Fall and sets a relaxed and welcoming mood.  Another one is a scent with a hint of tobacco, vanilla and balsam which has an amazing warm and cozy smell that easily transit from Summer to Fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it!  From pillows, blankets, rugs, and candle light to Fall fragrances, you can effortlessly update your space and enjoy the beautiful array of colors the nature has to offer this season.  For more images and tips, please check out our Pinterest!

**All images used in this post were aquired through Pintrest.

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ASKO Laundry Featured in Houzz!

ASKO was hand-picked by one of the Houzz writers to be featured in an editorial ideabook on their homepage!

Check it out here:

 

Modern Laundry Room by Asko Appliances

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Does your Laundry Room need a Face Lift?

 

Who says your laundry room can’t be fabulous and functional?  As we all know how frantic it can be to have a spanking new laundry room, here we have selected a few tips for you to consider while upgrading the room to suite your liking.

It will require a bit of tweaking, moving around and adding staple pieces to complete this project.  Are we ready for the face lift?

First thing first, consider the amount of space you would like to have in your laundry room.  How about creating a low impact layout?

1) Low Impact Layout

·         Appliances: Stack them or put them side by side to transfer wet clothes easily from washer to dryer. Machines should be placed directly in front of utility hookups.

·         Supplies: Store detergent, stain sticks, and other clothing-care items, such as a sewing kit, in closed cabinets, cubbies, or open shelving that’s above or next to machines.

·         Baskets: Leave enough room in front of machines to empty or fill them easily, and create a nearby niche to tuck baskets or hampers out of the way but within easy grabbing distance.

·         Work surface: Add a counter or a freestanding table adjacent to stacked or top-loading machines for sorting, treating, and folding. With front loaders placed side by side, consider installing a counter on top of the machines to save space.

Laundry Room Tips from This Old House

 

2)  Consider Front Load Washers

They normally cost more, but front-loading washers tend to clean better and more efficiently than most top loaders—a faster spin cycle, up to 1,200 rpm, wrings out more water to cut drying time and energy consumption. ASKO W6884 and W6984 FI have a spin speed that goes up to 1800. A front loader also offers design flexibility and comfort; you can stack it with a dryer to save floor space.

ASKO W6884 ECO

ASKO W6894 FI

3) Eco-Friendly/Energy Efficient Washers

Consider ASKO washers as we promote ways to help the environment and ‘go green.’ Why not help to take care of our earth and promote healthy living? Energy Star recently has designated all ASKO washers as the Most Energy Efficient 2013 under 2.5 cubic feet capacity category.  You can also save money by choosing energy efficient and long lasting products.  By converting to our ASKO ECO washer, you will see the difference in lower energy bills.

ASKO W6984FI & T794CFI

4)  Give it a color!

One of the most simple and cost efficient ways to give your laundry room a personality is to paint the walls with a pop of color.  Try using semi-gloss paint, it is easy to wipe clean and adds a subtle shine.  Even better, try adding colorful accents such as flowers, paintings and other crafty accessories of your choice.  Be creative and have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5)  Add a chandelier

Good lighting tends to make the room appear bigger.  Using a nice contrast of colorful walls with a chandelier can make your laundry room feel dynamic while giving an elegant vibe all around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6)  Change your attitude

Where do you spend the most time changing in and out of your clothes?  Your bathroom perhaps?  Why not consider the possibility of turning your bathroom into a practical laundry room?  With the ASKO Washers and Dryers, it’s possible!  It’s so quite that you won’t even notice it!  The noise level goes as low as 41dB during the wash and 70dB during the spin.  Pretty incredible huh?

7)  Cover it up!

Are you tired of looking at the hamper, basket and other mess located under the sink?  Here’s a quick fix that you can try.  Find a fabric of your choice that acts as a curtain and you can conceal any under the sink mess!  Not only it hides, but with an accent fabric, your laundry room can look more alive.

8)  Go Go Gadget

Having useful gadgets especially an ironing board around the laundry room will make your life so much easier.  With the ASKO HiddenHelper Double Shelf HDB115, you can finish the last step of your laundry on site and not to mention the space you get to save.  I bet no one will ever guess you had a hidden ironing board!

9)  Bead It! (Bead Board & Pin Board)

Has anyone thought about adding bead board or even a pin board on their walls? It comes in handy as you can utilize the given space, moreover it is so easy to install.  The boards are available at the local home improvement stores; check out the paneling section.  It’s a perfect destination for towels, jackets and coats.

10)  Add organizational shelving

You can have it both ways, either on top of the washer or underneath the sink or even next to the washer if the space is allowed. Instead of tossing detergent bottles next to the washer, why not have a designated place for it?   Adding shelves can elevate the look and feel of your laundry room as well as to help to maintain the neat structure for a long period time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully these tips can motivate you to take the first step into creating a stunning, yet functional laundry room.  I’m sure we can all attest to reducing the feeling of doing the “chore” while doing the laundry, because there is nothing more fabulous than spending time in your favorite room! ASKO Washers and Dryers are designed to have the flexibility to be installed in any laundry room you can imagine!

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Spring is nature’s way of saying “let’s party!”

Are you getting an itch to throw a little shindig to welcome this delightful weather back into your life?  How about a casual gathering with close family and friends in the backyard or patio?   Here are some thoughts and ideas to organize an impeccable spring party, and for all the fellows out there, this may be the perfect time to put the flat screen to a good use, and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.

 

The special ingredients you need:

1)      Great company

2)      Healthy appetite

3)      ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher D5954

Simple enough!

Next, your plate setting.  I found this nice DIY from House of Earnest.com.  All you need is a pair of wire cutters and one artificial blossoming branch.  Cut each stem off, twist it around a napkin and you’ve created something that brings a new life to your table.

 

 

 Lastly, the menu.  Raid your pantry, refrigerator and freezer for items you can grill. Wrap up chopped vegetables in foil packets, marinade chicken, poultry, steak, tofu and veggies and throw them on the grill!

 

Mix in all the greens for salad, add a little bit of cheese and almonds and drizzle balsamic vinaigrette for a tangy taste!

 For dessert, how about Raspberry Tiramisu? Click on the picture to follow Giada’s delicious recipe from Food Network.

  For other menu options check out this link:

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/seasonal/patio-dinner-recipes

Now here comes the easy part.  Put all the dirty dishes, pots & pans into ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher  and let it do the magic!

The first dishwasher specifically designed for outdoor use.  You can now dine, load dishes and continue entertaining guests without so much as a break in the conversation. No more running back inside with piles of plates and missing out on the fun.

With its smart, user-friendly features, the ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher can handle just about anything the serious outdoor entertainer can throw at it. Incorporating high-end Scandinavian design and quality that ASKO is famous for, the ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher features a stainless steel top, sides and back for added environmental protection.  All steel parts come with advanced corrosion protection while sealed electronics keep out harsh weather elements.

The ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher has been designed to make outdoor entertaining more convenient; giving you added time to enjoy your time outside with your guests. With exclusive outdoor programming, you can rest assured your precious glassware and serving platters will be cleaned to perfection.  And at a whisper quiet 48dB(A), you can enjoy a glass of wine after dinner without being disrupted by noisy cleaning.

With holding capacity for you and 13 guests, there’s more than enough room for all your plates, bowls, and grilling utensils.

 

 

 

Visit www.askousa.com to find out how you can remodel your outdoor living space with high-quality, functional and energy-efficient solutions to your outdoor kitchen design.  Join the online community on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Pinterest to stay in tune with ASKO!

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What you don’t know about ASKO: Laundry Capacity

There are some misconceptions in the world of washing machines that 24″ front loading washers are too small. Not true! The fact is they have the same size capacity as most traditional top loading washers with an agitator. This video will demonstrate that, then you too will have the facts.

Learn more about Asko Family Size Laundry products here: ASKO Ultracare Laundry

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How to Organize Your Home This New Year

The New Year is here! Many of us are doing well with our resolutions, but before life gets chaotic once again, we wanted to share some great organizational tips for those whose 2013 resolution is to stay organized.

Let’s start with the different rooms in your home! Beware, in order to get truly organized, you have to make a bit of a mess first. We recommend you tackle one room at a time.

Kitchen: Get everything off the counters! We know you love those little knick knacks, but this is a busy room where your family spends a lot of time.  To keep an easy workflow when cooking, you need the least amount of clutter possible. Once you tackle the counters, make your way to those drawers and cabinets! Baskets can be your best friend.  Better Homes and Gardens has some great examples! For more ideas, check out our Tips For the Kitchen Pinterest board.

Laundry room: Folding space is key! Clear those counters! It’s also really helpful if you have all the tools that you need in one place. Find a place for the steamer, laundry baskets, and ironing board. Asko’s HiddenHelpers™ are great tools for hiding these items. Tuck your ironing board or folding shelves away, and pull them out when you want to use them. Thinking about redoing this room all together? We have laundry room inspiration for you!

 

Closet: Go through your clothes. If you haven’t worn that shirt in the last 6 months, there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be wearing it again. Same thing goes for clothes that don’t fit anymore. They’re taking up room in your overstuffed closet. Make sure you’re using all the space you have. Don’t just think horizontally. Go vertical! Shoes that you only wear for special occasions can go on the top shelf!

Garage: Pegboards! Pegboards! Pegboards! Get things off the floor and off the work bench! It’s much easier to find items if you can easily see them hanging on the wall.

Being organized is one of the greatest feelings! Once you accomplish organization bliss, you can free your mind to focus on other things. If you’re inspired by your fresh and clean home, think about updating your appliances. Asko Appliances manufactures environmentally friendly dishwashers and washers and dryers. Swedish quality since 1951, these Asko Appliances focus on purity, simplicity and naturalness, themes which recur in the design language and choice of colors and materials.

Spring is upon us! Explore our blog for spring inspiration. Also follow us on Twitter and Pinterest to keep up with our posts!

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Eco-Friendly Holiday Home Decorations

For many of us, the holidays are a time of reflection, when we think about our convictions, so shouldn’t those convictions show in our home holiday décor? Even for those who normally try to live carefully and stay green, it is easy to be overindulgent during this season, when everything from food to gifts to decorations is lavish and rich. However, by putting a little bit of thought into your holiday home decoration, you can have an eco-friendly holiday while celebrating in style.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Christmas trees: Some people consider artificial trees to be the most environmentally friendly option, because they reuse these trees yearly. While that is beneficial, the chemicals released from the manufacturing of fake trees are quite harmful to the environment, and off-gassing continues year after year, as the tree sits in your home releasing dioxin. This toxic chemical accumulates in fatty tissues, affecting immune systems, and contributing to cancer. It is far better to purchase a real tree, grown without pesticides or chemicals, from a farm that will plant another tree in its place. After Christmas, remember to turn your tree into compost or mulch. Alternately, choose a live Christmas tree that lives in a pot and can be planted after the holidays. If you’re a wino and you’ve saved your wine bottles all year long, take inspiration from the Gaylord Texan. They created a Christmas tree from upcycled wine bottles.
  • Ornaments: Using the ornaments passed down through your family is a green option, as is reusing anything! As an added bonus, those ornaments and decorations that you reuse year after year add a nostalgic feeling to your holiday, and help you to preserve your family memories. Another eco-friendly holiday option is recycled ornaments, cleverly fashioned from a variety of materials, from old light bulbs, to glass bottles, to tin barn roofs! Using natural materials, like gingerbread men, garlands made of cranberries and popcorn, or pine cones painted gold and silver, to create ornaments is another way to make your Christmas merry and green.

  • Holiday lights: LED lights are the best choice, as they use less power, are cool to the touch, and are eco-friendly. Candles, too, are a great way to bring a warm glow to the holiday season—just be sure you are using them safely, away from the tree and other flammable items.
  • Deck the Halls: Skip the plastic garlands, and hang real greenery around your home. Not only will it create less waste and pollution, it will bring a lovely fragrance into the house. Think beyond evergreen boughs of spruce and fir, and incorporate eucalyptus, pepperberry, and even magnolia, for a unique look.
  • Bake your décor: The traditional gingerbread house is a wonderful piece of home holiday décor. Creating it is a fun activity to do with your family, and once it is finished, it will not only look wonderful, but also smell wonderful as well! However, that is not the only way to incorporate baking into your home holiday decoration. Ornaments, and even wreaths can be made from baked goods.

  • Wrap greener. Wrapping paper is a tremendously wasteful product, and wrapping paper cannot be recycled. Create your own wrapping paper from old maps, comics, or children’s drawings, or put gifts into reusable grocery bags, for a more ecologically sound option. If you have some wrapping paper left over from last year, use that before you buy more, and always save gift bags to reuse.

 

Caring for the environment is something we should all think about when we are bringing things into our homes, from holiday home decorations, to furniture and appliances. If you are in the market for a new appliance, consider ASKO, manufacturer of high quality, environmentally friendly washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Because ASKO cares about the environment, they offer some of the most energy and water efficient appliances in the world, designed to fit your home and lifestyle. Visit their website to learn more, or join the online community on Facebook and Twitter. For more holiday décor ideas and recipes, check out ASKO’s Pinterest Board, Wonders of Winter!

 

 

 

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The Outdoor Entertainer’s Dream Kitchen

Introducing the ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher – the first dishwasher specifically designed for outdoor use.  You can now dine, load dishes and continue entertaining guests without so much as a break in the conversation. No more running back inside with piles of plates and missing out on the fun.

With its smart, user-friendly features, the ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher can handle just about anything the serious outdoor entertainer can throw at it. Incorporating high-end Scandinavian design and quality that ASKO is famous for, the ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher features a stainless steel top, sides and back for added environmental protection.  All steel parts come with advanced corrosion protection while sealed electronics keep out harsh weather elements.

The ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher has been designed to make outdoor entertaining more convenient, giving you added time to enjoy your time outside with your guests. With exclusive outdoor programming, you can rest assured your precious glassware and serving platters will be cleaned to perfection.  And at a whisper quiet 48dB(A), you can enjoy a glass of wine after dinner without being disrupted by noisy cleaning.

With holding capacity for you and 13 guests, there’s more than enough room for all your plates, bowls, and grilling utensils.

The ASKO Outdoor Dishwasher is the final piece to your outdoor kitchen.

You can make your dream outdoor kitchen a reality by checking out ASKO’s new outdoor dishwasher, D5954 Outdoor. Visit www.askousa.com to find out how you can remodel your outdoor living space with high-quality, functional and energy-efficient solutions to your outdoor kitchen design. join the online community on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Pinterest for more great ASKO information.

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Eco-friendly Halloween Decor

Go green this year when it comes to decorating your home for the spooky occasion! Many times, you will find all kinds of plastic decorations that are harmful to the environment, so let’s switch it up this year! Asko Appliances is a proud, green appliance manufacturer, so we want to share some helpful tips on how to decorate your home for an adorably cute and eco-friendly Halloween party! Check out our collection of autumn recipes and other fall décor ideas on our Pinterest board, Fall Into the Season.

Book Page Pumpkin

Have old, damaged books around the house? Upcycle them into smart pumpkin decorations! All you need is an old book, scissors, an ink pad, a stick from the yard, and a little ribbon.

Googly Eyed Cereal Box Mummies

Fun craft for the kids! Grab some cereal boxes, old white t-shirts, a pair of scissors and some googly eyes! Before you know it, you’ll have spooky mummy decorations!

Garlic Wreath

Use a wire coat hanger you have around the house and find some moss and leaves to weave onto it for the base of the wreath. Use floral wire to weave the garlic around the coat hanger. This wreath might be stinky enough to ward off all those vampires on Halloween.

Cozy Sweater Pumpkins

Have old white, cream, or orange sweaters you’ve outgrown or have been in your closet since the 80’s? Turn them into adorable pumpkins! The Country Chic Cottage has easy step-by-step instructions. These sweater pumpkins will last through many Halloweens and Thanksgivings!

Pumpkin Lollipop Holder

Instead of placing your candy in a plastic bowl this year, use one of your pumpkins. It will not only be cute decoration, but can be composted once your party is over.

Backyard Leaf Garland

Instead of raking the leaves in your backyard and throwing them away this week, save some for an easy DIY leaf garland.

Explore the ASKO blog for tips on what to do with your carved pumpkins when Halloween is over. We also have some great recipes to bring the warm, fall scents of cinnamon and cloves into your kitchen. Check out our easy simmer pot recipes for wonderful fall aromas!

While you are learning how to have an eco-friendly Halloween, check out energy efficient appliances from ASKO. A maker of fine European appliances for more than half a century, ASKO is committed to the environment and it has been an important part of ASKO’s philosophy, perhaps because the factories have always had nature on their doorstep. ASKO dishwashers, for example, have a very low energy and detergent consumption and are among the most water-efficient in the world.

Visit the website to learn more, or join the online community on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Pinterest

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