Kitchn Archive - 2024
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Kitchen Inspiration: Functional Style from Julia Child
(Image credit: The Kitchn) The Smithsonian’s Museum of American History in DC is home to the reassembled kitchen of Julia Child, the master chef who demystified French cuisine for the common cook. There is a wealth of kitchen design knowledge to be gleaned from a space where function and comfort went hand in hand, so
Mar 5, 2009
What’s the Deal with Lardo?
Have you ever heard of lardo? We’ve seen this product cropping up lately in food articles and classy recipes, so we thought we’d do a little research to find out more about it…Although it shares some similarities with salt pork and lardons (cubes of fatty bacon), it sounds like lardo is it’s own distinct entity.Lardo is made from the thick layer of fat on the back of a pig (that is to say, fatback!), which is cured with a mixture of salt, herbs, and spices.
Mar 4, 2009
Queijadas de Sintra: Sintra Cheesecakes
Although I’m still kicking myself for not joining my boyfriend on his recent stay in Sintra, Portugal, I have been happily enjoying the culinary souvenirs he brought home. Among them were these local specialties called queijadas de Sintra, or Sintra cheesecakes. The ingredients are simple – sugar, cheese, flour, egg, and cinnamon – but their effect is intoxicating, and I’ve found myself craving more of these little cakes ever since I polished off the last one.
Mar 2, 2009
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette
If you’re a fan of cooking blogs (which if you’re reading this is likely) then you may know Molly Wizenberg simply as Orangette. One of the early and most popular blogs focused on food and cooking, Orangette has won the hearts and minds (inside joke) of many people with its casual, intimate prose and unabashed love for time spent at the chopping board and stove.
Mar 2, 2009
Is This the Easiest Cake Ever?
Last week, we spotted something called a Nantucket Cranberry Pie over at the blog Cooking Books. It’s a recipe from Laurie Colwin, and it involves so few ingredients and so little effort, we had to make it immediately. Yes, we know those don’t look like cranberries. Bear with us…There were no cranberries to be found at the grocery store (nope, not even frozen), so we went with a mixture of frozen cherries and blueberries.
Feb 27, 2009
How To Make a Cake Stand Hollie’s February Jumpstart Project 2009
To Jumpstart Page Info and All EntriesProject: How To Make a Wood PedestalName: HollieTime: 3 days (mostly drying paint)Cost: 20$ CAD Looking for a pretty, inexpensive cake stand for a wedding or a birthday party? Check out these stands that Hollie made herself with supplies from a basic hardware store. Read on to see how she made the stands, along with a photo of her own wedding cake!
Feb 26, 2009
Quick Tip: Season Your Molcajete With Rice
Do you use a molcajeteWe picked up an inexpensive molcajete at Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market last year, but it’s left bits of rock in our food every time we tried to use it. Not tasty. We were ready to replace it when we learned it has to be properly seasoned – with rice!Molcajete’s are traditionally made of volcanic rock, but inexpensive versions are often made of concrete and other soft stones, making them softer and more sandy.
Feb 25, 2009
How To Make Over Mom’s Kitchen In One Weekend Alix’s February Jumpstart Project 2009
To Jumpstart Page Info and All EntriesProject: Mom’s Kitchen: From Storage Box to Tiffany Box!Name: AlixTime: 3 daysCost: $275 Now here’s an early Mother’s Day present that goes far beyond a bouquet of flowers! Alix made over her mother’s kitchen as a surprise, and she took her inspiration from the little blue Tiffany jewelbox. Read on to see how Alix transformed this space into a jewelbox of a kitchen. BEFORETOOLS:– Drill (can not live without my cordless drill!!!
Feb 23, 2009
Quick Tip: Keep the Oven Door Closed!
It really is so very very tempting to keep opening the oven door to check how a dish is coming along, isn’t it? Unfortunately, this is one lesson we’ve definitely learned the hard way…For the longest time we’d check the temperature on a roast by opening the oven door, sticking the thermometer in, and waiting…waiting…for the internal temperature to appear. All while leaving the oven door open. And we wondered why the roast was taking so long to cook!Shirley O.
Feb 23, 2009
Farmers’ Market Report: Kumquats Los Angeles
We hope you’ll forgive us for writing about kumquats again, but these ones are different! We just can’t contain our excitement over finding these two unusual kumquat varieties at the Hollywood farmers’ market this weekend. They exemplify one of our favorite things about farmers’ market shopping – the unexpected discovery of new colors, textures, forms, and flavors.
Feb 23, 2009
Pretty (and) Easy: Polka Dot Cake from Country Living
We aren’t really whizzes with a pastry bag. In fact, we don’t own one. But we think we could get this look using a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. These dots don’t have to be too precise, or even the same size, to be charming…Polka dots are just cute; there’s no way around that. Dots of varying sizes all over a layer cake is simple enough to do, and they can hide imperfections in your icing (if, say, you have a few crumbs that got rustled up).
Feb 23, 2009
Look! Digging for Razor Clams on Not Martha
Have you ever gone digging for clams? We’ve always wanted to, and Megan’s post on her blog Not Martha makes us want to even more! Check out a few more of her clam-digging pictures after the jump…Regulations for clam digging (and other shellfish) vary from state to state, but it’s usually a simple process of acquiring a permit and then following the rules for number of clams per day and per person.
Feb 23, 2009
Traditional Scandinavian Kitchen Storage Cabinet
We are so smitten by this baby blue Scandinavian storage cabinet. We spotted it over at Living Etc., and after some sleuthing discovered its source. • Click here to read the whole post: Traditional Scandinavian Kitchen Storage Cabinet
Feb 23, 2009
Basic Techniques: How to Brown Butter
Brown butter is one of those magical secret ingredients that just seems to enhance the flavor of just about anything – sweet or savory. It has a rich nutty taste and the aroma is out of this world. Even better, it’s a snap to make…To make brown butter (also called beurre noisette), simply start melting butter over medium heat. Use a pan with a light-colored bottom so you can keep track of the color. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.
Feb 20, 2009
Recipe: Yogurt Barley Soup
A recent meal at an Armenian restaurant inspired this recipe for yogurt barley soup. Creamy without being heavy, the zesty yogurt provides a nice balance to nutty and chewy barley. When the barley is cooked ahead of time, the soup is a snap to put together, and it can be served hot or cold. This one is definitely going into our comfort food repertoire.
Feb 20, 2009
A Tour of Grand Central Market New York
Grand Central Market is a long, often very crowded arcade of food stalls on one end of Grand Central Terminal. We think of it as a pit stop for commuters, a mecca of prepared foods and last-minute dinner staples, which it is, mostly. But it’s also the only place in the city you’ll find Penzeys SpicesOn each end of the market is Greenwich Produce, where you can pick up fruit and vegetables. They are expensive but necessary if you’re trying to do one-stop shopping.
Feb 19, 2009
Picture Yourself Cooking with Your Kids by Beth Sheresh Book Review 2009
Do your kids help out with the cooking in your house? Whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, Beth Sheresh thinks that there are lots of ways that kids can contribute in the kitchen – not to mention the garden, the grocery store, and the farmer’s market! After reading her book Picture Yourself Cooking with Your Kids, she definitely has us convinced…Rather than simply focusing on “kid-friendly” recipes, Sheresh takes a very holistic approach.
Feb 18, 2009
The Perfection of Simplicity: Potato Leek Soup
Two ingredients. That’s it. Well, if you want to be a stickler and count salt and pepper and a touch of olive oil, it’s five. OK, and water makes six. But the oil method is optional, so we’re back to five again but really, it’s two ingredients. Potatoes and leeks. Two of the most humble ingredients, plus the simple alchemy of simmering water, come together to make one utterly blissful, satisfying soup. Read on for the recipe.You can do anything to this soup.
Feb 18, 2009
Five Small Kitchens from This Old House
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) This Old House is not usually the first resource we turn to for small-space tips and ideas. But this may be a mistake; many of the older homes they feature have small kitchens, and there are some treasures in their archives for those of us in older, smaller spaces. Here are
Feb 18, 2009
Our Adventures in Oven Cleaning
Several months ago we posted a survey about how you clean your ovens. Many of you are self-cleaning oven fans, it turns out. We gave ours a whirl recently, after we got tired of the sticky roasted chicken grease splattered everywhere.Well, it did not go as planned. Not at all. A neighbor complained, the super showed up… Read on. Maybe our pain can be your gain.This is what our oven looked like before. Most of that gunk is chicken grease.
Feb 13, 2009
10 Ways to Improve a Rental Kitchen
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy) We get lots of questions from renters who want to spruce up their kitchens without breaking the bank (or their lease agreement). As we move through DIY Month and our February Jumpstart event, here are ten ways to help you make your rental kitchen more beautiful, healthy, and organized. • Click
Feb 12, 2009
Ten Kitchen Improvements for Renters
It’s DIY Month, and we’re encouraging you to take care of all your projects around the house, even in the kitchen! We get lots of questions from renters who want to spruce up their kitchens without breaking the bank (or their lease agreement). When you rent you rarely have permission or resources to renovate a cramped or ugly kitchen. But there are simple, inexpensive, and creative ways to make your kitchen brighter and better.
Feb 11, 2009
Quick Tip: Use Tea Balls To Flavor Soup
Do you use a bouquet garni to flavor your soups? If so, try tucking them into a tea ball instead of cheesecloth.We came across this idea at Williams Sonoma – it’s so simple and obvious, but we’d never thought to try it. Cheesecloth and muslin bags are great, but this is a good alternative. Plus, it’s reusable.We found a few other tea infusers that could work well with spices too, including a couple of heart-shaped versions. A little cheesy, sure.
Feb 11, 2009
Food Science: Why Some Batters Need to Rest
Many recipes for batter foods like crêpes and our very own Big Pancakes say to let the mixture rest briefly before proceeding to cooking. This may seem like a strange step, but there’s more going on during that rest than meets the eye…During the resting period, starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency.
Feb 10, 2009
Soup of the Day: Creamy Garlic (Knoblauchcremesuppe)
Knoblauchcremesuppe! Say that eight times fast. It’s actually a very simple thing, and it’s quite deserving of our soup of the day. Creamy garlic soup, an Austrian favorite.This soup is so simple and easy: just some onion and garlic, a little flour and a little milk. Toasted bread croutons and ta-da! Dinner. Sweet and simple.• Get the recipe: Knoblauchcremesuppe (garlic soup) at Dinner for OneHave a great soup recipe? Email us here if you have a recipe and photo to share.
Feb 10, 2009
Knife Skills: The Claw
We briefly mentioned this technique in our round-up of knife skills lessons last week, and today we wanted to spend a little more time with it. The “claw” is all about being safe with knives and preventing any kitchen misadventures. Here’s how it’s done!Perhaps obviously, this technique is called “the claw” for the shape your hand should be making while you do it!
Feb 9, 2009
Mexican Bottle Glassware Handmade by Marfa Brands
Marfa Brands got its start with handmade soaps. Then, about two years ago, creator Ginger Griffice started making glassware out of reused glass bottles from nearby Mexico. In Mexico, the bottles are reused again and again, not recycled as they are here… [via Apartment Therapy]
Feb 6, 2009
Recipe: Chickpea and Chorizo Soup
This rich, spicy stew really hits the spot on cold winter nights. Chorizo, the Spanish pork sausage flavored with smoked paprika and chilies, has a spicy, robust flavor that just permeates this soup. Onions, garlic, thyme, and a little wine round out a broth that gets soaked up by the beans as they simmer. It was easy, quick, and incredibly satisfying on a cold night.
Feb 6, 2009
Clicking Kitchen Grip Oven Mitts
What do you get your pixel pushing, computer obsessed friend who also enjoys some behind the stove time? How about some oven mitts in 8-bit glory for those vid game inspired cupcakes for your next Wii party? [via Unplggd]
Feb 4, 2009
Cocktail Party Tip: Serve Cake Bites on Washi-Tape Toothpicks!
If you’re wondering what kind of dessert to serve at a cocktail party (or really, any party!) let me offer this suggestion: cake bites! This is a fun little way to serve cake without fussing with plates, forks, or even cupcake wrappers, and their poppable nature makes them tailor-made for a cocktail party. Get a recipe: Essential Recipe: Chocolate Layer Cake Making cake bites is super easy: just bake a sheet cake in a larger pan than usual.
Jan 30, 2009
Recipe Report: Quince Ratafia
Two months ago I started a ratafia. What’s a ratafia? Well, it’s a simple liqueur made from fruit steeped in alcohol. Or, as reader Bx put it, BOOZE FROOT.Want to hear how it turned out?Here’s the original post with the recipe:• Quince Ratafia: How To Make Fruit LiqueurI shredded a couple of quince fruit (delicious, heavenly things) and let them sit in a jar of pure vodka along with some sugar and a pinch of spices.
Jan 29, 2009
Recipe Review: Zucchini Muffins from Simply Recipes
We mentioned this recipe a couple weeks ago in our roundup, but we just made these muffins again and we had to report back on how easy, fast, and good these are.We found this recipe for zucchini muffins at Simply Recipes earlier this fall, and we’ve made them several times since. We like this recipe because it calls for oil or melted butter, instead of creamed butter and sugar. This makes them easy to whip up in just one bowl, without a mixer.We also love how flexible they are.
Jan 28, 2009
Light Eating: Braised Chicken with Shallots
This photo, and everything about the accompanying recipe, too, makes our mouths water. Eating light doesn’t mean avoiding meat entirely; protein is still essential, and chicken thighs are a frugal, tasty way to put it in your diet. But you do still want to avoid heavy sauces and lots of fat, which is where we come back to this recipe.The recipe is simple. Brown a pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Then create a base sauce with some shallots, garlic, dry mustard, and wine.
Jan 27, 2009
Four Great Chinese Cookbooks
When most American homecooks think of Chinese food, it’s the kind eaten out or ordered in, not cooked at home. This is partly a function of a pantry not fit for Chinese cooking and partly the intimidation factor. Heating a wok properly, making tasty condiments, folding dumplings; it can all seem like a lot of trouble when a bowl of pasta, just a boiled pot away from the plate, beckons at the end of a long day.If this sounds familiar, might I make a plug for some good Chinese cookbooks?
Jan 26, 2009
Good Question: What Can I Do With Morello Cherries?
Katherine has a jar of cherries and needs some help using them up! Want to help?I was at Trader Joe’s this weekend and on impulse I bought a jar of Dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup. What do I do with these? The ingredients are: cherries, water, sugar and glucose syrup. Maybe in a sauce for meat or tempeh? Could I flambé them? Help!Katherine, these cherries are very easy to use. First of all, you can eat them straight out of the jar with a spoon; we highly recommend that.
Jan 23, 2009
Kitchen Equipment: Choosing a Pasta Maker
If you’re starting to make pasta at home and don’t already have a pasta maker, you’re going to start pining for one soon, we guarantee! With price tags often over the $100 mark, basic pasta makers can feel like a pretty big investment to most of us. Here are a few thoughts and bits of advice for when you (inevitably) start looking…The vast majority of pasta makers on the market are hand-crank models that clamp onto your table or counter top with a vice.
Jan 22, 2009
Good Question: What To Do With Duck Fat?
This question is completely off-topic during Eating Light month, but what the heck. We’re here for you. Breanne has a problem: she was gifted some duck fat and she doesn’t know what to do with it. Can we help her out? Yes, we can.My roommate brought me a jar of duck fat from his recent trip to France. I am totally grossed out but he seems so excited by it so I’m willing to give it a shot. How do I use it?
Jan 22, 2009
New Idea: Roasted Orange Wedges with Herbs
Here’s what happened. Kim says: For our New Year’s dinner, I impressed our friends (and myself) with an amazing menu. But what impressed me the most was something completely accidental. Rewind to our Christmas Eve dinner… … I’d stuffed a hen with onions, orange wedges, thyme, sage, and rosemary, and I had a few leftover orange wedges. I put them in the roasting pan with the bite-sized creamer potatoes just to see how they would turn out. Surprise!
Jan 21, 2009
Good Question: Can I Freeze Cooked Beans?
Ava is inspired to cook beans, but she’s looking for some tips on freezing cooked beans. Can you help?All this talk of beans makes me want to make nothing but bean soups, stews, and chilis, and I’m determined to start using dried beans instead of canned. My question has to do with freezing pre-soaked and pre-cooked beans. Everywhere on the internet it says to freeze the beans after they’ve been soaked and cooked, then defrost and use them like canned.
Jan 20, 2009
Tip: Finishing Undercooked Chicken Breasts in the Oven
If there’s a hang-up with roast chicken, it’s usually that the breast meat gets too dry before the whole bird is finished cooking. But we often have the opposite problem, pulling the chicken out when the meat is still a tiny but underdone.
Jan 8, 2009
Seasonal Spotlight: Braising Greens
Mom always told you to eat your greens. In the cold, dark days of winter, the farmer’s markets are full of baskets of these thick, green leaves in various sizes, shapes, and shades of greens. Braising greens are a mix of greens that include kale, chard, collards, mustard, bok choy, raddichio, and turnip greens. They’re really great because you get several varieties of dark, leafy, chock-full-of-vitamins greens that are so versatile.
Jan 7, 2009
Seasonal Spotlight: Rangpur Limes
No, that’s not an orange; it’s a lime. An orange-colored lime! It’s a rangpur lime, which is a hybrid of a mandarin orange and a lemon.While not a true lime, the Rangpur lime is highly acidic and is a wonderful substitute for regular limes due to its lime-like zestiness and its orange-like juiciness. The flavor of the lime is said to taste a little bit smoky.Originally from India, the Rangpur lime found its way to the US in the 19th century.
Jan 6, 2009
Weekend Meditation: Resting in the Dark Winter Solstice 2008: December 21, 7:04 AM eastern time
In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, a time of deep rest that is sacred to all living things and necessary to life. As a culture, we push against this darkness with celebration and light, busyness and bustle. This is fine, essential even, but there is wisdom to be discovered in the slumbering dark, in allowing the brightness to fade and the quiet to prevail.
Dec 21, 2008
Recipe: Peppermint Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Flecks
The only frozen thing many of us have on our minds right now (especially in New York) is what’s falling out of the sky. But the snow piling up on our windowsill is not stopping us from making ice cream—especially when it’s a minty, Christmasy flavor.Peppermint ice cream with hot fudge sauce is pretty much a perfect dessert for us. This round, we tried putting the chocolate in the ice cream.
Dec 19, 2008
Celebrate Winter Solstice With Yuzu In The Bath
By the time you read this, I will have landed in Tokyo and stuffed myself with beer and delicious food at the first izakaya I find. When I return in January, I’ll have a lot of food-related photos and tales to tell. In the meantime, as we near the winter solstice, I thought it fitting to talk about yuzu fruit.Yuzu is a golfball-sized citrus fruit that originated in East Asia. It’s very tart, with little pulp and lots of seeds.
Dec 19, 2008
Tip: Use Spreadable Goat Cheese in Place of Cream Cheese
I recently got hip to a great cream-cheese alternative for bagels and such and was thinking it’d be a nice time to pass on the tip given what a brunch-y time of year this is between Christmas and New Year’s and all the other excuses for gathering and eating. Spreadable goat cheese is a lower-fat form of goat cheese with a looser texture as compared to the chèvre usually sold in log form and usually comes in a tub so it even looks like cream cheese.
Dec 19, 2008
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels with Mint Sugar Un-Gift Guide 2008
Here is a very, very last-minute food gift that takes literally five minutes to make, and yet everyone you share it with will love it (and you). Too good to be true? No — it’s just chocolate-dipped pretzels.The other very nice thing about this pretzel project is that it is quite inexpensive. All you need are pretzel rods, chocolate chips or another chocolate good for melting, and some sprinkles or coarse sugar.Here are a few tips for making these salty-sweet treats.
Dec 18, 2008
What Makes Food Tangy?
Here is a rather fun question from reader Kelly:What ingredients, spices, seasonings, etc. make food tangy? I was craving something tangy the other night, and I realized I was having a hard time pinpointing exactly what would fulfill that desire.What an interesting question, Kelly. We usually associate “tangy” with “sour” — but they aren’t completely the same.
Dec 18, 2008