Kristin Appenbrink's Recent Articles
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Before & After: Farmhouse Meets Modern in This Kitchen Remodel
We see so many kitchens here at The Kitchn stuck in a bygone era, and this kitchen revamp is no exception. The rust-orange cabinets and the countertops that match the floor scream retro, and we can’t blame the homeowner Judy for wanting to remodel. When planning the remodel, Judy had two goals: brighten up the kitchen and create a modern farmhouse feel. Take a look at the results. Looks to us like Judy accomplished her two goals flawlessly!
May 30, 2019
Before & After: A Dated Kitchen Gets an Update
When we first came across Debbie’s kitchen, we thought it looked pretty good for a before kitchen. Yes, the border at the top and the diamond tile backsplash felt a little dated, but there was plenty of counter and cabinet space, and the double oven was an excellent detail. But once we saw the renovation (and learned that Debbie’s husband kept accidentally bumping his head into the vent), we realized just what a good idea this remodel was. Talk about a kitchen shuffle!
May 30, 2019
Rental Kitchen Before & After: Drab to Fab with a Geometric Backsplash
We can undoubtedly say that this is one of our favorite DIY kitchen upgrades to ever hit our inboxes at The Kitchn. It’s such a simple makeover, but it makes a huge impact. Robyn Andrea, of the blog Runaway Apricot, told us the kitchen is a big part of why she loves her Harlem studio apartment, but it felt a little boring. She wasn’t in a position to make permanent changes since it’s a rental, but we’d say her solution is perfect. Take a look! Do you love it?
May 30, 2019
Before & After: A 1980s Kitchen Gets a Dose of Color
While at first glance you might not think this kitchen needs a makeover, when you start to look closely, you’ll see that some of the details are a bit out of date and could use a refresher. Plus, the white walls and cabinets are kind of bland and could use a pop or two of color. That’s what homeowner Carrie thought as well. And with a former Pantone color of the year in mind, Carrie went to work updating her bland kitchen. Take a look at how it turned out! What a big change!
May 30, 2019
Behind the Scenes in Ottolenghi’s Test Kitchen
We’re big fans of Yotam Ottolenghi here at The Kitchn, and we shared several of his recipes and thoughts about lunch last month. But NPR snagged a chance to visit the Ottolenghi test kitchen, where his team was currently testing recipes for Nopi: The Cookbook. NPR learned several things about how Ottolenghi’s team tries to test recipes for the home cook.
May 30, 2019
17 Potato Recipes We’d Make on Mars
We love the Oscars as much as anyone else, and with less than two weeks to go until we find out this year’s winners, we’re getting in the mood by reviewing some of our favorite flicks. Of course, we wanted to put our own unique spin on the nominees — starting with The Martian. Starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney, a NASA crew member left for dead during an aborted mission to Mars, the film is up for six awards, including Best Picture.
May 30, 2019
A Modern Take on Classic Indian Recipes
Whether you know it or not, you’re probably already familiar with Anjali Pathak’s connection to the food world. Her parents started Patak’s Original, the line of bottled sauces, relishes, chutneys, and more that you can find in the international aisle of your local grocery store. But Anjali’s contribution to spreading Indian culture and cuisine takes a different form.
May 30, 2019
Is Homemade Vegetable Stock Worth the Trouble?
Last week one of the editors at Food52 declared that she just doesn’t find it worth it to make vegetable stock from scratch. It’s an interesting discussion, since you do have to buy vegetables specifically to be used in the stock, in addition to using scraps that you might otherwise discard. The author does make the point that for specialty vegetable stocks, like Parmesan, corn cob, or kelp, it’s worth it to take the time to make your own.
May 30, 2019
Handy Thaw Wants to Sell You a Claw for Defrosting Meat
We’ve all been there. You forgot to take the chicken breasts or burgers out of the freezer to give them enough time to thaw in the refrigerator. Now you’re left scrambling to quickly defrost your dinner or figure out something else to eat. The best way to defrost your meat quickly is by submerging it in a sink full of cool water. The only problem? Those packages from the grocery store tend to float. That means only one side of your pork chops or steak defrosts.
May 30, 2019
Planetware Wants You to Eat from Plates Made of Plants
Most of the eco-friendly options for plastic dinnerware out there come from recycled plastic. All those old yogurt and deli containers become the perfect picnic place settings. But what about plastic dishes you can use at home? Our green crowd-funding project today (in honor of Earth Day) is Planetware, a project that aims to create a line of dinnerware that’s made completely from plants.
May 30, 2019
Meld Wants to Take the Guess Work out of Stovetop Cooking Temperatures
For anyone that has attempted frying or sous vide cooking on their stovetop, we predict you’re going to be pretty excited about this new project on Kickstarter. The makers of Meld are tackling the problem of maintaining a consistent temperature on your stovetop by automating the whole process. We are definitely very excited to test it out. So how exactly does this work?
May 30, 2019
SaloonBox Wants You to Try a New Cocktail Every Week
The subscription box trend shows no sign of dying down. In fact, there seem to be new ones launching all the time. Add to that roster this new cocktail kit — SaloonBox on Kickstarter. As people who love a good cocktail, but don’t always have the spirits necessary to make some of the more inventive drinks in our cocktail books, this subscription looks right up our alley. Even better? It’s a weekly subscription! For $35 each week, you’ll get a new SaloonBox in the mail.
May 30, 2019
Lékué’s Cheese Maker Lets You Make Queso Fresco in a Microwave
Item: Lékué Cheese Maker Price: $30 Overall Impression: In the past, I’ve had mixed results with Lékué products, including a disastrous turn with a microwave oatmeal cooker. So I was skeptical going into this test. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised. The cheese maker is a pretty basic gadget. You mix a milk of your choice with a souring agent (they recommend lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt), and then use the microwave to speed up the curdling process.
May 30, 2019
Ikawa Wants You to Roast Your Own Coffee at Home
How serious are you about your coffee? Serious enough to consider roasting your own coffee beans? In the past, doing so at home was a complicated process that required a lot of attention to detail, but a new project on Kickstarter — Ikwawa Coffee — is aiming to make home roasting a more accessible process for coffee lovers everywhere. Our favorite part? Just how quickly the beans roast — you can go from green coffee beans to fully roasted in just a few minutes.
May 30, 2019
Strip Your Kale Naked with the Chef’n Looseleaf Kale & Greens Stripper
Item: Chef’n Looseleaf Kale & Greens Stripper Price: $8 Overall Impression: Yes, this gadget falls into the unitasker category, but it does make the chore of de-stemming your favorite leafy greens and herbs a little bit easier. For someone who makes a lot of salads, it is an inexpensive and easy-storing gadget to add to your kitchen. One of my favorite salads calls for de-stemming two bunches of kale, and ripping off the leaves on each side of the stem seems to take forever.
May 30, 2019
The Polar Ice Tray Will (Finally) Give You Perfectly Clear Ice Spheres
If you are a cocktail connoisseur at all, you’ve probably heard someone wax poetic about how important quality ice is for your drinks. Cocktail bars go through a lot of ice, so it makes sense for them to spend the time or money to get clear ice cubes. But at home, it’s generally more of a hassle than it’s worth. That’s where this new Polar Ice Tray on Kickstarter comes in.
May 30, 2019
6 Menu Board Ideas to Copy in Your Home
Adding a menu board to your home is a fun and functional way to incorporate your cooking routine into your decor. Most often, you’ll see them used in one of two ways. Either they are used to plan out your meals for the week, or they can be used for dinner parties and special occasions to show guests exactly what they’ll be enjoying for dinner. We love both ideas; here are six ways to add one to your home.
May 29, 2019
This Is My Favorite Water Bottle for Traveling
I’ve collected a lot of water bottles over the years. From the cute ones that have cost more than I’d like to admit (and normally end up leaking in my purse) to the promotional ones from the bank or my alumni association, I’ve tried and donated more than I can count.
May 24, 2019
Jeffrey Morgenthaler Has Some Rules About Making Cocktail Videos
Just like there’s no crying in baseball, there’s no smiling in cocktail video making. At least not according to Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon. We’ve long been fans of Morgenthaler and his site full of useful information for bartenders new and old. And this tongue-in-cheek video is no exception. In addition to no smiling, a few of our other favorite rules are: All drinks must be shaken. That’s what the people want to see!
May 24, 2019
10 Chefs Share Their Favorite Kitchen Tools
There are some kitchen tools that are just universally indispensable, but there are also favorites that vary from person to person. While one cook might have never used a mandoline, another may reach for theirs several times per week. With that in mind, we scoured our archives to find some of the best kitchen tool recommendations from some of our favorite chefs.
May 24, 2019
5 Anti-Fatigue Gel Mats to Save Your Back
If you’re spending a lot of time in the kitchen, it can start to take its toll on your feet, legs, and back. These five mats will help you cook with ease. Imprint CumulusPro Commerical Grade, $126: Recommended by The Wirecutter for standing desks, this mat was their top pick for being comfortable for long periods of time and for not giving off nasty chemicals.
May 2, 2019
13 Vintage Tomato-Themed Kitchen Goods
Over the years there have been a shocking number of kitchen goods made in the shape of tomatoes. We scoured Etsy and eBay to find a few of our favorites. From a ketchup bottle phone to a novelty lighter, here are just a few goods inspired by tomatoes. 1 Tomato Teapot by Pantry Parade, $60 from Etsy: This is one of our favorite items on the list. It dates from the mid-twentieth century, and will be a definite conversation starter at your next dinner party.
May 2, 2019
15 Free Downloadable Labels for Your Canning Jars
If you’ve gone to the trouble of making homemade jams, jellies, or pickles1 Canning Party Printables, from The Cottage Industrialist: This printable set doesn’t stop at cute jar hang tags; it also comes with invites and recipe cards for a complete canning party.2 Canning Labels, from Make: This printable set gives you a variety of shapes and designs so you can keep your gifts straight.
May 2, 2019
Before & After: A Vintage Kitchen Cart Gets a Pastel Update
Talk about a great find! Chaney of May Richer Fuller Be inherited this cart from the previous owners of her parents’ new house. And while it’s a little beat up, it’s a great piece that can be versatile in any home. Check out how Chaney gave it new life. While we didn’t mind the red-orange color of the cart before, it definitely needed a lot of TLC, and a fresh coat of paint did was just the trick.
May 2, 2019
Food Myth Debunked: MSG Isn’t Actually Bad for You
Are one of the many people who go out of your way to avoid monosodium glutamate a.k.a. MSG? Turns out, not only is it nearly impossible to avoid, but it also is completely safe to eat. A new video by the American Chemical Society is attempting to dispel the MSG myth and explain where our misconceptions originated. MSG’s bad rap started in a letter written to the New England Journal of Medicine in the late 1960s in which the author attributed his symptoms after eating Chinese food to MSG.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: A Galley Kitchen Gets a Big Update
When reader Kelly’s kitchen remodel hit our inbox we were blown away by the transformation. The wood-paneled cabinets were straight out of the 1960s, and they made the kitchen especially dark. Check out how Kelly and her husband made over their space. We wouldn’t have even recognized this as the same kitchen to be honest. Kelly and her husband did all of the work themselves, she says “he was the foreman and I was the apprentice.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: A Closed Off Kitchen Opens Up
When Jessie of Cape 27 Blog and her family got their new home, they got right to work on renovations. Just two months after moving in they were making big updates, including opening up this kitchen that was closed off from the rest of the house. Take a look at what they did. They started by tearing down the wall that separated the kitchen from the rest of the living space. They also removed a bar-height counter that created another barrier to the kitchen.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: A Drab Kitchen Gets Artfully Arranged
Reader Belinda’s kitchen was functional, and had lots of cabinet space, but not a lot of personality. The wood grain cabinets and the beige walls made for a drab space that even her colorful dishware couldn’t make up for. Just take a look at how Belinda renovated and rearranged her space. Belinda really lightened up her kitchen by removing a good portion of the closed cabinets.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: A Galley Kitchen Gets a Sleek Upgrade
Reader Barbie sent us photos of the dramatic transformation her kitchen underwent as part of her remodel. We were excited to see how this narrow kitchen got a modern update, and how Barbie and her family gained a lot more space. Take a look at how her kitchen looks now — it’s almost unrecognizable! The renovation made the kitchen feel more connected to the rest of the house instead of being so closed off. There had previously been a wall where the large, dual-sided island is now.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: A Fresh $150 Kitchen Makeover
Reader Jillian was dealing with an very dated, dreary kitchen when she and her husband bought their house. In fact, the kitchen was one of the things that kept the house on the market for so long before they bought it. With just a couple of updates Jillian was able to give it a fresh new look while spending only $150 on the makeover. Take a look at what she did. It’s amazing what a little white paint can do, isn’t it?
May 1, 2019
Before & After: A Dated Space Turns Into a Dream Kitchen!
This kitchen was completely serviceable, but it was just a little bit blah. Yes, it has great counter space and plenty of storage, and it gets decent natural light. A pretty good starting point! But the owner, Danielle, was ready to bring it up to date and add some special touches to make all the cooking she does that much easier. Check out the transformation!
May 1, 2019
12 Little Luxuries That Make Lovely Housewarming Gifts
When your friends or family members move into a new home, you want to celebrate with them. And while you can go the practical route (cleaning supplies or pantry staples they might have tossed are always appreciated), it is also nice to warm their home with a splurge that they wouldn’t buy for themselves. Need some ideas? Here are 12 good-for-everyone gifts that will add a touch of homey luxury to their new kitchen.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: A Dark, Dull Kitchen Gets a Sophisticated Update
Reader Jennifer had been in her home almost five years before she was able to get started on her kitchen renovation. Unexpected expenses related to a garage update meant that the appliances were the only things that had been updated. But on the plus side, this meant that she knew just what she wanted in the space, and what she didn’t want. Take a look at how her kitchen was transformed.
May 1, 2019
Before & After: A Closed-Off Kitchen Gets an Expansive Upgrade
When Jenna moved into her house in the California countryside, she had some dated details to contend with. Just off the entry to her home was a dining room, complete with recessed bar, and a kitchen that was closed off except for a pass-through to the dining room. It wasn’t ideal for entertaining or for Jenna’s aesthetic. After five months of renovating, you’ll barely recognize this transformed kitchen and dining area. Take a look!
May 1, 2019
Before & After: A Gradual Renovation on a Budget
We share a lot of amazing, and very comprehensive kitchen remodels here in our Before & After column. But we also realize that gutting a kitchen might not be within everyone’s budget (or terms of your rental agreement.) With that in mind, we’re happy to share Ann Marie’s kitchen renovation from her blog White House Black Shutters. Ann Marie started her kitchen renovation in 2009, and bit by bit turned it into the kitchen she was happy with.
May 1, 2019
10 New Dinnerware Sets That Deserve a Place at the Table
Sometimes with a new season swapping your closet isn’t quite enough. This year, it might be time to swap your dinnerware as well. If you’re in need of a full kitchen cabinet upgrade, take a look at these new dinnerware options. Bristlecone Dinnerware, $12–$22 per piece from Anthropologie: This bone china dinnerware was designed to resemble the grain of pine trees — knots and all. Noon China Dinnerware, $8–$12 per piece from CB2: Bye-bye boring white plates.
May 1, 2019
7 Simple & Elegant Teapots for Rainy Fall Afternoons
Now that the weather is cooler, we’re working hot tea back into our afternoon routines. Because for all the beautiful bright days in October there are also plenty of cloudy, gray, and rainy ones that require something to warm you up. These seven teapots are great basics, and they all make about four cups of tea. Perfect for sharing or for fueling a long afternoon reading session.
May 1, 2019
Before & After: A 1940s Kitchen Gets an Era-Appropriate Makeover
The kitchen in this 1940s-built house was desperately in need of an upgrade. Not only did it need more storage space, it also needed more personality. The white cabinets and simple black and white patterned floors weren’t cutting it. The homeowner worked with the team at Howells Architecture + Design, and the kitchen underwent a major transformation — but one that still kept the feel and spirit of the home intact. Talk about color!
May 1, 2019
10 Clever DIY Wine Bottle Stoppers
If you’re looking to up your game on your standard hostess gift, bring along a little something extra with that bottle of red. A DIY wine stopper is one of the easiest and most impressive gifts you can bring along. In fact, once you master the technique the sky is the limit in terms of what you can pop on the top. Here are 10 of our favorite DIY ideas.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: A Magical Mosaic Backsplash
When the new owners moved into this house, they found the kitchen to be a little bit sad. The colors were pretty, and everything was simple and clean, but the design of the kitchen was unimaginative, so they worked with a local interior designer to improve the layout and brighten up the space. But the most memorable part of the new kitchen happened almost by accident. Their designer, Tracey Stephens, was inspired by a broken plate that the owner discovered when unpacking.
May 1, 2019
17 Table-Saving Coaster Sets for Entertaining Season
Now that we’re just days away from November, it’s time to start thinking about the holiday entertaining season. You’ve probably already nailed down your travel schedule and whose family you’ll be spending each holiday with, but it’s also time to start thinking about all those parties and dinners we try to cram in during the last two months of the year. With that in mind, these 17 fun (and functional) coaster sets serve dual purposes.
May 1, 2019
Before & After: Foreclosure Becomes a Fantastic Farmhouse Kitchen
When Meg bought her first house, it was in need of a lot of love. She bought a house that had been foreclosed in Georgia, and she decided that the kitchen was the first place she wanted to start. Meg took the drab kitchen, which was also in need of a good scrubbing, and made it into a lovely farmhouse style space. We’re not only impressed with Meg’s kitchen because it looks so inviting, but also because she DIYed many of the projects herself.
May 1, 2019
Before & After: A Rental Kitchen Gets a Landlord-Friendly Upgrade
Like many renters (including several of us at The Kitchn) when Julia moved into her Chicago rental she was faced with a kitchen that she calls “builder basic.” It had all white walls, light wood cabinets without any hardware, and no personality whatsoever. Luckily, she got the go-ahead from her landlord to make a few changes. And that’s all it took to make her kitchen feel completely different.
May 1, 2019
7 Smart Ways to Store Your Stemware
If your wine glass collection just keeps growing (red wine, white wine, champagne flutes, coupes!) you’re going to run out of cabinet space soon. One of the best ways to store stemware is by hanging them upside down. Not only does that keep dust and dirt from collecting in the glasses, but it also makes it less likely that they’ll be knocked off a shelf and shatter into hundreds of tiny pieces. Here are seven ideas for hanging your wine glasses that you can buy or DIY.
May 1, 2019
Before & After: An Outdated Peach Kitchen Enters the 21st Century
Ashley and her family moved into this Texas ranch house in 2008, and they took their time with renovations (toddlers do cause some delays after all). The peach paint and light wood cabinets weren’t their style at all, but the first thing they replaced were the appliances. Next, they tackled the kitchen one project at a time, and now it looks like this — take a look! Such an improvement right?
May 1, 2019
Before & After: A 1950s Ranch Kitchen Gets Its First Makeover in 60 Years
There are plenty of good things about buying a house from the original owner. No questions about when appliances were replaced, when work was done, or whether there’s a reason for that sticky window in the guest room. But the downside? The house might be in need of a major update. Emily found herself in this situation when she bought a 1950s ranch house from the original owner. Here’s how her kitchen looked before. Get ready for a major update.
May 1, 2019
5 Folding Chairs to Order Now If You’re Hosting Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and will be quickly followed by any number of other opportunities for holiday entertaining. If you’re playing host for any events this year, take stop and take a minute to figure out whether you need extra chairs. Here are our five picks for chairs that will look nice around your table, fold away out of sight, and won’t break your budget.
May 1, 2019
Kitchen Before & After: 1970s Orange Explosion Is Reborn as Farmhouse Chic
When the photos of this kitchen renovation hit our inbox, we were shocked by the transformation. Especially given that the reader, Laura, who sent them isn’t an interior designer (although she tells us she is in her dream life), but an English teacher at a university. Laura and her husband took this incredibly dated (have you ever seen an oven that color?) kitchen and gave it a whole new life. Take a look at how this kitchen went from 70s Tang to farmhouse chic.
May 1, 2019