Q: My blender is on its way out — literally one smoothie away from never working again. I know Vitamix is the ultimate, but it's out of my budget. Any suggestions for alternatives that are cheaper yet still reliable?
I love to entertain, but I'll be frank: I'm on a pretty strict budget. And because I try to buy sustainably-raised meat, even supposedly "cheap" cuts like pork shoulder or short ribs are too expensive to be more than an occasional treat, so more often than not, my dinner party menus are mostly vegetarian, fairly healthy and quite budget-friendly. This menu features freshened-up versions of classic comfort food and is perfect for a casual gathering to catch up with a few friends before the bustle of summer begins.
So you've scraped a vanilla bean to use in in a recipe — don't toss it! Vanilla beans or pods aren't cheap, so you might as well make the most of them. Plus they still have plenty of fragrance and flavor. How about using them to make your own vanilla extract?
Sometimes there are just no words. I mean, this is... I don't know. Amazing? Incredibly ingenious? Completely wacked out and hilarious? But hey, you have to admit it's practical. Why carry a lunch bag when you can just wear one? All kinds of questions arise, though: does she match her snacks to her clothes? Does she follow the rule of style to 'look in the mirror and take one thing off' and take out one snack instead? The mind boggles.
Q: I love making homemade salsa, but when I buy cilantro, half the bunch always goes to waste. I use quite a bit in the salsa, but I just don't know what to do with the rest. Are there any good ways to use the rest up?
If you followed along with Faith's kitchen renovation, you already know about Semihandmade, the LA-based company that makes custom fronts to fit IKEA kitchens. She said ordering from them was "the single best decision" she made through her entire kitchen renovation process. High praise indeed! If you're new to this company, here's what you need to know:
Punch is a fun-to-serve, often less expensive way to offer an adult beverage to your guests. And have you noticed? In the last few years, the cocktail bowl has made a comeback in bars, a festive way to share a drink with a table of friends. At the very least, punch will make your party memorable, even more so if you make a complementary ice ring. My favorite punch recipe has a secret ingredient, a really cheap one, that no one suspects.
This week we're sharing the second party in our Gatherings from The Kitchn series, an elegant, make-ahead spring brunch I hosted for my book club. I often admire the intricately-styled table settings on design and wedding blogs, but they rarely seem realistic for my budget or styling capabilities. My goal for this party was to create a table that was inspirational, not just aspirational; in other words, a table that could move from Pinterest to reality without requiring a degree in design or hundreds of dollars. Here are four concrete tips for putting together a special, stylish table on a small budget.