Kristin Appenbrink's Recent Articles
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12 Cocktails to Kick Off the Weekend
Is there any greater time of the week than Friday happy hour? The work week is finally done, but the weekend to-do list — filled with errands, events, and obligations — has yet to begin. It’s basically your free pass for the week. So why not mark this magic hour or two with a fabulous cocktail … or two? Here are 12 of our favorites that are sure to get your weekend off to a good start.
Mar 25, 2016
10 Finds Under $10 to Brighten Your Kitchen for Spring
It’s finally time to welcome spring into the kitchen. Longer days and warmer temperatures call for something to spruce up your space. But you don’t have to break your budget to freshen things up; instead add one of these inexpensive finds (all $10 or less!) and enjoy brighter days ahead. Taste Trampling Butter Dish, $10 from ModCloth: The easiest way to make your toast better each morning? A pat of butter from this trumpeting elephant dish.
Mar 24, 2016
11 Egg-Shaped Kitchen & Dining Goods for Easter
When it comes to Easter decorations for your table and kitchen, you just can’t escape the egg. From place card holders and deviled egg trays to salt cellars and mini cake pans, the egg is king. Here are a few of our favorite eggcellent egg-shaped items to dress up your table. 1. Florentine Egg Plates, $28 for 4 from Williams-Sonoma: These beautiful marbled plates were inspired by Italian marbled paper. They’ll make a perfect addition to your table all spring. 2.
Mar 24, 2016
12 Finds to Dress Up Your Easter Table
If there’s a day to go overboard with cuteness, it’s Easter. Why not get hopped up on pastels? This year, consider adding any of these adorable serving dishes, plates, napkins, and more to the pieces you already have. We guarantee there’s something for everybunny. 1.
Mar 21, 2016
The Prettiest Way to Display Your Dyed Easter Eggs
What is it about a pretty ceramic egg carton that makes us weak at the knees? We love proudly displaying them on our brunch table or just opening up the fridge and seeing that pop of color. These egg cartons from Le Creuset — made from stoneware and available in Easter-appropriate pastels, as well as all the signature Le Creuset colors — are at the top of our list.
Mar 21, 2016
17 Tasty Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is a day for meat and potatoes if there ever was one. The traditional foods — corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, anything green — are some of our favorite comfort food dishes. And of course you can’t forget about the drinks! From a boozy shamrock shake to Guinness everything, it’s a day to eat, drink, and make merry. This delicious cabbage dish is a far cry from the wilted cabbage you’re used to seeing alongside corned beef.
Mar 17, 2016
Decorate Your Kitchen with Rainbow Fruit & Veggie Art
One of the best things to come out of the local and heirloom food movement is the realization that many of our favorite fruits and veggies come in an array of colors — from red carrots to purple tomatoes to the full spectrum of apples. Seattle photographer Brittany Wright has been exploring these vibrants shades, and portraying them in her range of fine art prints. We think they make the perfect artwork for the kitchen.
Mar 17, 2016
10 Tropical Smoothies to Brighten Your Morning
Smoothies are one of our favorite breakfast options year-round, but especially in the winter because it’s an easy way to brighten the mornings by adding extra fruit to our diets. And since frozen fruit works just as well (if not better — hello, icy, creamy texture), there’s no worry about whether it’s in season. If you’re stuck in the doldrums of gray days, try these tropical smoothies.
Mar 11, 2016
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.
Mar 11, 2016
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.
Mar 1, 2016
The Best Place to Buy Indian Spices Online
Thanks to the lengthy list of often unfamiliar ingredients, preparing Indian food at home can be daunting — especially if you don’t do it often. You can’t always find the right kind of fenugreek or cardamom at your local grocery store, after all. If you have the option available, the best place to find all of those spices is your local Indian grocery store.
Feb 29, 2016
The Serving Set to Fit Everyone’s Style
While it might not seem like it, wedding season is rapidly approaching. Before you know it, those first warm months of spring will be booked with engagement parties, bridal showers, and even a few early wedding ceremonies — which means it’s also registry season. If you like to go off-registry, which can be good or bad depending on how well you know the couple, it’s smart to get something so classic and universally appealing that your recipients can’t help but love it.
Feb 26, 2016
Why Chefs Love This Baking Staple
If we had to guess, we’d say that the 9×13-inch pan is the piece of bakeware most people have in their kitchens. Yes, there are probably some out there who prefer an 8×8-inch pan, but the 9×13 still reigns supreme — and for good reason. It comes standard in a variety of materials (metal, glass, and ceramic), which means it really is perfect for every dish and cooking style.
Feb 25, 2016
3 Aprons That Will Last a Lifetime
While we love cute aprons, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you may need something a bit sturdier and less likely to show stains. Plus, something dainty isn’t always the best choice if you’re sharing stove time (and aprons) with your significant other. These three finds, while pricey, are guaranteed to last a lifetime — and they look smart on everyone.
Feb 25, 2016
Take Your Coffee on the Go with This Travel Press
I feel like I’m on a never-ending quest to find the best way to get my morning caffeination. I’ve tried pour over and moka pot; I’ve also skipped the whole home-brew ordeal and picked a cup up at the coffee shop on my way to the subway. For the past several years, I’ve been fairly loyal to the French press, even though I’m not always 100 percent happy with the way the coffee turns out.
Feb 22, 2016
5 Ways to Make Your House Smell Amazing
If you’re like us, your home starts to get a little stale this time of year. Your pine-scented Christmas tree is long gone, and it’s too cold to open the windows. So how do you freshen things up? Naturally we have a few ideas, from DIY candles to recipes guaranteed to make your home smell amazing. We know that many of you have strong opinions about whether or not scented candles belong in the kitchen, but for us, it all depends on the scent.
Feb 19, 2016
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.
Feb 17, 2016
Beautiful New Cotton-Linen Dish Towels from IKEA
We’re suckers for new kitchen linens. Show us cute dish towels, pretty aprons, or a set of hand-dyed linen napkins, and our interest is guaranteed to be piqued. Show us any of those with an affordable price tag, and we’re sold. So it’s no surprise that we’ve fallen hard for IKEA’s new VARDAGEN line. While these dish towels do look pretty basic, we know from experience that their rich charcoal hue will hide stains way better than our flour sack dish towels.
Feb 16, 2016
25 Bowl Lunches You Can Make Ahead and Enjoy All Week
They're make-ahead situations that simplify the midday meal.
Feb 15, 2016
17 Bright and Beautiful Ways to Eat Your Greens This Winter
In the colder months, when seasonal produce is scarce, it can feel like a challenge to get your daily dose of vegetables — especially your greens. But luckily, frozen vegetables can fill that void. Frozen veggies are the best option after fresh because they are generally frozen at their seasonal peak. And unlike canned vegetables, they don’t have a lot of additional salt. Here are 17 ways to get some greens back on your plate.
Feb 5, 2016
Is This Clay Griddle Better than a Cast Iron One?
We’ve long been fans of the black clay pottery from La Chamba, and this new piece from their line is no exception. If you’re unfamiliar with the comal, think of it like a clay griddle. You use it much in the same way you would a cast iron one, but it has a few benefits. Believe us, your tortillas will thank you for investing in this piece. La Chamba is a line of black clay pottery that comes from Colombia and is made using traditional methods.
Feb 5, 2016
Treat Yourself with These Precious Soap Stones
If you’re your own valentine this year, there’s no reason not to treat yourself to a little something special. Preferably something a little frivolous that will make you smile every time you use it. We think these soap stones from Pelle Designs are just the thing. Pretty bar soaps seem to be a bit of a lost art these days, as most everyone favors the liquid variety instead.
Feb 4, 2016
20 of the Best Appetizers for Super Bowl Sunday
We’re just going to be honest: we don’t always know a ton about sports here, but we know plenty about food. And that includes appetizers. When it comes to a great party for the big game, a table filled with mouth-watering apps that are easy to snack on between drives is your best play. Take a quick timeout to scroll through these winning recipes that’ll be the VIPs in your Super Bowl game-day spread.
Feb 3, 2016
The Only Zester You Need in Your Bar
Thanks to limited drawer space in my kitchen, I’m always looking for multitasking gadgets that save space, which is why I’m a fan of this simple zester. It manages to pack four different functions into one small tool that doesn’t take up much drawer space. I’ve stashed it with our bar tools to make prepping cocktails even easier.
Feb 2, 2016
12 Small Snacks to Satisfy Big Hunger
What’s the worst-case scenario when that 3 p.m. post-lunch slump hits? Heading to the vending machine? Pulling out that stale candy bar? We get it. To avoid such dire situations, we’ve taken to keeping good-for-you snacks on hand. Any of these 12 snacks will quell your hunger pangs and keep you from ending up hangry, so the rest of your afternoon goes smoothly. Think of these roasted edamame as a nutrition-packed replacement for popcorn.
Jan 29, 2016
The Secret Deal at Costco for Non-Members
Costco is a go-to for family-size everything. Do you need a 25-pound bag of flour? An eight-pack of ribeye steaks? This superstore has it. And if you’re feeding a family and have the storage space to keep items you purchase in bulk, there are some real savings to be found. But the best bargain probably isn’t what you’d expect — and you don’t even have to be a member. I’m talking about booze — specifically Costco’s Kirkland label.
Jan 21, 2016
3 Clever Bottle Openers That Make Great Gifts
The gifting season is behind us, but it’s always smart to have something on hand. After all, who knows when you’ll be invited to a last-minute housewarming party or potluck dinner! I always think interesting bottle openers make a wonderful and inexpensive gift for these occasions. Here are three design-forward options that are particularly chic. This solid brass bottle opener reminds me of a napkin ring or a ferris wheel of some sort.
Jan 21, 2016
The Best Pantry Ingredient You Can Buy at Whole Foods
There’s a reason that Whole Foods has been given the nickname “whole paycheck.” While the grocery stores have a great selection, that variety often comes at a premium. But there’s one area where we’ve found Whole Foods just can’t be beat — the bulk bin aisle. If you haven’t made this a priority during your trip to Whole Foods, here’s why you should start.
Jan 20, 2016
A Can Opener That Takes Up Less Drawer Space
This week at The Kitchn, we’re talking about canned goods and learning to love your pantry — and what’s the most essential thing when cooking with canned goods? A good can opener, of course. Because I live in an apartment in New York City, with a grand total of two drawers, I’m always on the lookout for the most compact kitchen tools out there. This little one from Joseph Joseph fits the bill. In the past decade I’ve purchased and gotten rid of several can openers.
Jan 18, 2016
12 Wonderful Ways to Eat Your Oats
Think a hot bowl of stove-cooked oatmeal is the only way to eat your oats? Think again. From jam-filled granola bars and vegan oat pancakes, to sandwich bread and breakfast cookies, there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy this heart-healthy pantry staple.
Jan 13, 2016
5 Intelligent Ways to Use Your Refrigerator Crisper Drawers
Be honest — when you get home from the grocery store, do you just haphazardly toss your fruits and veggies into whichever crisper drawer has the most space? If so, you’re not making the most of those seemingly simple plastic drawers. Here are five ways to hack your crisper drawers for a more organized fridge. If you leave it in the plastic bag from the grocery store, lettuce can quickly become a soggy mess.
Jan 6, 2016
15 Surprising Tips That Will Make You a Better Cook in 2016
One of the signs of a good cook is that they’ve learned little tricks of the trade along the way. They know how to make the most of the food they have in their fridge and how to improvise or take shortcuts to make a recipe even better. Here are 15 tips that will help you become a better cook in 2016. Use this tip to make sure your eggs are fresh: That way you’ll know which should be poached and which will be better hard-boiled.
Jan 3, 2016
10 Things You Might Not Know About Your Kitchen
Even if you’re a relatively confident cook, there are likely still some things you don’t know about your kitchen — we’re here to demystify all of it. From making sure your fridge is running safely, to knowing the differences between gas and electric ovens, these guides will make you a more informed cook in 2016. There is a correct way to load your dishwasher: Take a quick look at the manual that came with it to find out if you’ve been doing it wrong.
Jan 3, 2016
10 Ways Your Freezer Can Make Everyday Cooking Easier
Your freezer isn’t just for ice cream and that half-empty bottle of vodka — it can actually be a tool to help you streamline your everyday cooking routine and make life easier on yourself. Follow these 10 tips for stocking your freezer, and you’ll stress less about meal time. Organize your freezer: First you need to make sure your freezer is organized to get the most out of it — or rather into it.
Dec 31, 2015
10 Things We Learned About Eating Healthier This Year
Even though we think we know so much about food and health, there seems to always be something to learn. For example, you might be doing some things that make your vegetables less nutritious. Who knew? With the aim of starting 2016 on a healthy note (resolutions, anyone?), here is the best information we learned about eating healthier in 2015. You might be making your veggies worse for you: They’re still healthier than a piece of cake, but you should stop these practices now.
Dec 30, 2015
Our Favorite Stories of the Year
While most of the time we’re focused on recipes and tips to get a better dinner on the table, we also appreciate the fact that food is one of the most important and emotional parts of our lives. There are food stories — the good, the bad, and the ugly — to share. These are the best long reads on our site this year, conveniently located in one place so you can dive deep.
Dec 30, 2015
10 Real-Life Kitchens to Inspire Yours
We love the chance to peek inside someone else’s kitchen. Not only does it tell us a lot about them, but it helps us find smart ideas to steal for our own spaces. Here are some of the most enviable kitchens from 2015.
Dec 28, 2015
Buy the Best: 15 Taste Tests to Guide Your Shopping
When it comes to grocery staples, it’s important to be an informed shopper. That’s why we taste test all the things that make it onto your shopping list, week after week. Here are the results from our most popular taste tests of 2015. The best orange juice: We tested the best pulp-free juice that didn’t come from a concentrate. The best peanut butter: Creamy only for this test, since it can be used for both sandwiches and baking.
Dec 26, 2015
10 Food Science Lessons Worth Learning
Much of what goes on in your kitchen is actually more science than art. From baking to braising, knowing the why behind the technique can help you be more confident in the kitchen. Here are a few lessons we learned this year that will help you be a more confident and informed cook. We bake at 350°F for a reason: It might not be the best reason, but there is a precedent for it. Learn when to deviate from the most common temperature.
Dec 23, 2015
What’s the Difference? Learn the Truth About These 21 Common Ingredients
There is a raft of common ingredient pairings that not only seem to be similar, but practically beg to be substituted for one another in a pinch. But when is this safe, and when will it produce unintended results? Can sweetened condensed milk be swapped out for evaporated? What about bleached and unbleached flour, or active vs. instant yeast?
Dec 22, 2015
15 Things We Learned About Coffee This Year
So many of us start our days with coffee of some sort. From a full French press of black coffee to an espresso drink with a mountain of foam, there’s something for almost everyone. There’s also still a lot to learn to help you make a better cup of joe at home. Here are our favorite coffee lessons from 2015. Introducing fika: This was the year of fika, the Swedish coffee break. Learn what it is and why it will make your days so much better.
Dec 21, 2015
How To Make Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
Cinnamon is one of those aromas that just makes us think of the holidays. Whether it’s gingersnaps baking or mulled cider simmering on the stove, we just want our homes to smell of the warming spice. That’s why I’m so in love with cinnamon dough ornaments. They are easy to make — a great project for kids — and when hung on your tree, they make the house smell of cinnamon. Today I’m showing you how to make these easy ornaments for yourself.
Dec 18, 2015
10 Generous Food Gifts That Give Back
It’s always a lovely gesture to give a donation to charity for a holiday gift. But it does kind of take the fun out of having presents under the tree and something to unwrap on Christmas morning. Luckily, there are plenty of gifts that both give to your favorite charitable causes and have something tangible to give. Here are 10 of our favorites that we wouldn’t mind seeing under the tree. (Hint, hint!
Dec 14, 2015
Watch Alton Brown Take Down the Worst Kitchen Unitaskers
How do you feel about unitaskers? Those single-serving gadgets that seem to multiply in your kitchen drawers, and never seem to work as well as you want them to? While there might be some that are truly worth having in your kitchen (I swear by my cherry pitter), there are plenty out there that we’d probably just be better off not spending our money on. Luckily, Alton Brown feels the same way, and he’s properly (and comically) outraged.
Dec 14, 2015
My Favorite Holiday Food Tradition
When it comes to the holidays, my family doesn’t have a ton of traditions. Yes, we always see our extended family, and exchange gifts, but things change slightly from year to year. Sometimes we would have a big meal on Christmas Eve, and sometimes we would be driving to my grandmother’s house and wouldn’t arrive until late.
Dec 11, 2015
The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: Japan’s New Chocolate Slices
We’d love to meet the genius who came up with the chocolate equivalent of Kraft Singles. The new product has just recently been released in Japan, and the ways to use it are seemingly endless. The chocolate is a type called nama chocolate, which Mental Floss describes as “richer than milk chocolate, but not as sweet as fudge.” The chocolate is available in Japanese stores and can be ordered online in packs of five individually wrapped slices.
Dec 11, 2015
In Search of Organic Cranberries? Good Luck
Cranberries seem pretty ubiquitous this time of year. From cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving to cranberries strung on the Christmas tree, they are in high demand. But if you want organic cranberries, be prepared to hunt for them and, possibly, pay a premium. Why are organic cranberries so hard to find? It all comes down to the bog.
Dec 10, 2015
Trader Joe’s in Hot Water Over Possible Trademark Infringement
In a lawsuit that could set a bad precedent for the Trader Joe’s store brand, Pepperidge Farm has sued the private label chain for trademark infringement, claiming that the TJ’s crispy cookies are a knock off of the brand’s famous Milano cookies. While this might not seem like such a big deal — Trader Joe’s could probably change the shape of their chocolate-filled sandwich cookie pretty easily — it could spell trouble down the line.
Dec 10, 2015