Kristin Appenbrink's Recent Articles
Page 5
Why I Always Make Extra Desserts to Freeze for Later
When it comes to food, I have a serious sweet tooth. And because I like to bake, I’m always one to serve desserts when I have people over to my apartment. But my schedule doesn’t always allow for baking time before hosting. That’s why I’ve begun to embrace the make-ahead-and-freeze-for-later option. I started doing this a while ago, but had a moment where it really saved me last month, and now my goal is to never be without a dessert in the freezer.
Dec 9, 2015
Cities Accept Food Bank Donations as Payment for Parking Tickets
The holidays are meant to be a season of giving, and some cities across the country are trying to encourage residents to give even more through new Food for Fines programs. Designed to boost food bank donations, the programs enable people to shave money off their parking tickets by donating canned goods to a food drive. One program that started last year in Lexington, Kentucky, forgave $15 off a ticket for a donation of 10 canned goods.
Dec 7, 2015
Things Are Looking Bad for Bananas
Every couple of years, studies and rumors surface that we’re facing the extinction of bananas. While we haven’t seen the popular fruit die out yet, things are looking kind of dire. The journal PLOS Pathogens has published a study that predicts bananas will be wiped out by a fungus called Panama disease. The fungus has no way of being stopped or slowed at the moment, but the good news is that it isn’t going to wipe out the world’s banana crop tomorrow.
Dec 4, 2015
5 Spots You Should Clean in Your Kitchen Every Day
Here at The Kitchn we talk a lot about how to clean all of those special and persnickety things in your kitchen — from cleaning your knives to maintaining your cast iron skillet to cleaning the outside of your wood cabinets — but what about those cleaning tasks you should tackle daily? There are a few things that should be cleaned daily to help you keep a tidy kitchen. Luckily they don’t take that much time at all. Here are the top five things you should be cleaning every day.
Dec 3, 2015
5 Traditional and 5 Modern Nutcrackers
One of the most traditional symbols of the holiday season, nutcracker figurines date from the 15th century in Germany. But not all the ones you find today are strictly decorative — here is a mix of five traditional nutcracker figurines, along with five modern choices you can actually use the next time you need to shell some nuts. Christian Ulbricht Santa Nutcracker, $90 from Wayfair: The most traditional of all, this Santa nutcracker has family tradition written all over it.
Dec 2, 2015
The Dirty Secret of Meal Kit Services
Pre-packaged meal kits have become increasingly popular over the last few years. While the convenience of these kits may win you over, there’s another important aspect to consider: the astonishing amount of packaging they require. With many of these kits, each ingredient comes individually packed and clearly labeled to eliminate the need to measure at all. If you need one carrot, you’ll get one carrot in its own bag with a label that says carrot.
Dec 2, 2015
7 Smart Tips for Storing Your Fine China
Now that Thanksgiving is over, you might be able to hang up your hostess apron for a little while (unless, of course, your home is the December holiday headquarters as well). That also means you can return the fine china to its home in storage. But this year, instead of using that same old cardboard box and a few pieces of newspaper, it’s time to really protect your plates and make sure they are safely stored until they next grace the table. Here are seven tips to keep in mind.
Nov 30, 2015
Famous Chefs Share Their Dinner Disasters
We’ve all had moments where we’ve messed something up in the kitchen, like over-whipping the cream, using baking soda instead of baking powder, or setting off the smoke detectors. The good news? We’re in good company — kitchen disasters happen to even the best chefs. NPR interviewed three of our favorite chefs and authors about their worst kitchen nightmares.
Nov 30, 2015
The Best Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals for Your Kitchen
Now that the Thanksgiving meal has been eaten and everyone has had a chance to share what they’re thankful for, it’s time to save some money. Even if you don’t plan to stand in line or camp out for the best deal on a new TV, you can still take advantage of the lower prices that accompany the official start of the holiday shopping season. To help you out, we’ve compiled some of the best deals on kitchen goods.
Nov 27, 2015
The 1-Hour Thanksgiving Cleaning Plan
Hosting a large group of people for Thanksgiving can be stressful. The days leading up to the meal are focused on prepping as much food as possible in advance, which means you’ll probably be running around at the last minute to make sure your home is in order. To make things a little bit easier, here are a few last-minute cleanup chores for the whole family. Take a break one hour before guests arrive to have everyone help tidy up.
Nov 25, 2015
Traditional or Experimental? The Thanksgiving Stuffing Debate
Thanksgiving may be the one meal of the year where family traditions rule strongest across the country. Even the most experienced and experimental chefs can be found making recipes just like their parents and grandparents did. NPR asked their listeners and social media followers about their Thanksgiving traditions, especially around the most hotly contested dish: stuffing. Or is it dressing?
Nov 25, 2015
Restaurants Are Paying Instagram Influencers to Dine and Post
You’ve probably Instagrammed a photo of your meal when eating at a restaurant, but now there are some Instagram users who are getting paid to get the perfect shot of that runny egg sandwich during Sunday brunch. The Wall Street Journal reports that many restaurants are now reaching out to “influencers” and paying them to come to the restaurant and Instagram their meals.
Nov 24, 2015
8 Beautiful Storage Containers for Thanksgiving Leftovers
One of the best parts about Thanksgiving? Leftovers. Some of those foods just taste better the next day. And with the amount of food you’ll be cooking, you’re going to need storage containers — lots of food storage containers. Here are a few of our favorite containers that will add a little beauty to your kitchen as well.
Nov 23, 2015
The New Luxury Food Sweeping Europe: Snail Caviar
Eating snails is nothing new; escargot has long been considered a delicacy, and the same goes for caviar. It’s consistently one of the most expensive foods, but have you ever heard of snail caviar? Currently most popular in Italy, snail caviar has been experiencing a bit of a boom recently. The delicacy is being served on canapés and beef dishes, among other things. And thanks to a new Sicilian start-up, it finally seems like the supply might be able to keep up with Italian demand.
Nov 20, 2015
Set the Table for a Thanksgiving Crowd with These Inexpensive White Plates
If you aren’t normally the host of your family or friend group, you might not have quite enough plates for all the guests you’re expecting to sit around your table this year. And while it’s easy to opt for paper or plastic plates for a more casual party, a formal affair like Thanksgiving calls for nicer things. But white plates are one thing you can stock up on easily and inexpensively. Here are a few solid options that can be delivered before Thanksgiving Day.
Nov 17, 2015
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.
Nov 17, 2015
Why I Always Finish the Dishes After a Dinner Party
As I mentioned in a post last week, I have a thing about dishes. If you come to my apartment for a dinner party, I will almost certainly decline your help with the dishes. (I share Anne’s reasoning; she explained it beautifully.) And it’s not because I’m planning to let the dishes sit until the next morning. When hosting, I always make sure the dishes are done before my head hits the pillow. And it’s all because I don’t want to be crabby the next day.
Nov 12, 2015
The Good, the Bad & the Awkward of Being a Private Chef
If you like to cook (and we’re guessing you do, based on the fact that you’re currently reading The Kitchn), you’ve probably had at least a fleeting fantasy about saying goodbye to your day job and trying your hand at being a private or personal chef. One former restaurant chef who opted for the private chef life shares what the job entails in this Serious Eats essay. Here are a few of the things we learned. You get to play around with menus and cuisines.
Nov 12, 2015
10 Rules for Organizing Your Fridge When You Have Roommates
No matter how long you’ve done it or how many different people you’ve lived with over the years, sharing storage space is one of the most challenging parts of living with roommates. The refrigerator can be especially tricky territory. If you’re currently navigating a roommate refrigerator situation, here’s some advice on how to keep it organized and keep the peace. Since going off to college, I’ve lived with a total of 15 different people.
Nov 10, 2015
Have We Been Buttering Our Toast All Wrong?
We may have been making one of the easiest breakfasts in the world the wrong way all these years. Raquel Pelzel, author of the new book Toast, recommends buttering your bread before you put it in the toaster. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But the more you consider pre-buttering your toast, the more it starts to make sense.
Nov 10, 2015
Use the 3 Rs to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods
There are few things quite as frustrating as a kid who is a fussy eater — especially when you love food and want to share that enjoyment with them. A new research study published in the journal Appetite gives the advice to just follow the three Rs to get your kid to try new foods. No, it’s not reduce, reuse, and recycle. Instead you’ll be using “repetition, role modeling, and rewards.
Nov 5, 2015
The Best-Tasting Tap Water Is in Hamilton, Ohio
According to the annual Berkley Springs International Water Tasting, Hamilton, Ohio, has the best-tasting tap water. Each year the competition evaluates water samples from 46 states and more than 50 countries. Think of the judges like water sommeliers. The water is graded on taste, smell, mouthfeel, and whether or not it “embraces the natural zest of the source.” Most of the winners come from the middle of the country.
Nov 4, 2015
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!
Nov 3, 2015
This Cake Is Colored with Vegetables, Not Red Dye 40
The days for food ingredient labels with a long list of artificial colors (Red 40 Lake and Yellow 6, anyone?) might be numbered. As NPR reported this week, many big-name brands are starting to ditch those questionable, chemical colors in favor of dyes made from plants and vegetables instead. Kraft, General Mills, Nestle, and Panera Bread have all pledged to release products with natural dyes, or to eliminate artificial coloring from their product lines between now and next year.
Nov 3, 2015
10 Kitchens with Dramatic Black Cabinets
The day before Halloween calls for a slightly spooky look at interior design. Yes, we love colorful kitchens, but there’s also something infinitely appealing about kitchens done almost entirely in black. Here are 10 of our favorite dramatic black kitchens. Cabinets & Grilles – Lonny: Not only does this moody kitchen have black upper and lower cabinets and a black drop-leaf table, but the grilles on the expansive windows also add to the dramatic look.
Oct 30, 2015
Pizza Is the Most Addictive Food, According to Science
No wonder you always reach for that second (or third) slice. In a recent study from the University of Michigan, the Italian dish was the food that participants were most unable to resist, as graded by the Yale Food Addiction Scale (yes, there is such a thing). Unsurprisingly, many of the other top contenders on the list — chocolate, chips, cookies, ice cream — were also considered processed foods by the creators of the study.
Oct 30, 2015
The Most Expensive Cracker in the World Costs $23,000
No, it’s not gold-plated, but it is one of the few surviving food artifacts from the Titanic. And this week at auction, a collector from Greece purchased the Spillers & Bakers Pilot cracker for the hefty sum of $23,000. But before you think this was something that might have been served in one of the many dining rooms on the ship, this cracker actually has a different origin, and that’s the reason it probably survived the shipwreck.
Oct 29, 2015
7 Halloween Costumes for Food-Lovers (Yes, with Overnight Shipping)
So maybe you procrastinated because you didn’t think you wanted to do Halloween this year, or maybe you just plain forgot that the holiday was this weekend. Whatever the case may be, it’s still not too late to get a fun food-themed disguise to wear to that costume party, but you’d better get clicking. Of course, these costumes won’t be the most original options, but you can always make a few tweaks to make them feel more of the moment.
Oct 29, 2015
6 Ingenious Ways to Create Storage Underneath Your Countertop
Sometimes I come across a detail in a kitchen and it just strikes an aha moment. That’s the way I felt when came across a built-in countertop bread box (pictured above) — it got me thinking about all the other things you could store in your countertop. Here are a few favorite ideas. Bread Box – Viola Park: I’ve been on a bread-baking kick lately, and in my quest to master some techniques, I’ve ended up with a lot of loaves.
Oct 28, 2015
The World Health Organization Has Bad News for Bacon Lovers
Bad news for bacon lovers and sausage lovers: The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially stated that processed meats — bacon, ham, sausage, and the like — do cause cancer, and red meat is “probably carcinogenic.” But it’s not the whole story. Before you swear off all animal products and become a raw foodist, note that the WHO report did mention the health benefits of red meat as well. The report simply recommends cutting back on red and processed meats.
Oct 28, 2015
5 Spooky Ways to Use Dry Ice at Your Halloween Party
What’s the number-one way to take your Halloween party to the next level? Dry ice. There’s something still so mysterious and awe-inducing about the hyper-cooled substance (and the fog it creates when it comes in contact with water) that adds to the ambiance of any spooktacular party. To get those creative juices flowing, here are a few spooky and favorite ways to use dry ice.
Oct 27, 2015
Pop-Tarts to Release Limited-Edition Maple Bacon Flavor
With all the pumpkin spice mania reaching a fever pitch over the past few years, we’d forgotten all about the original food craze: maple bacon. Like they say, out of sight, out of mind. Well, Kellogg’s is trying to bring maple bacon back with their latest limited-edition flavor launch. The salty-sweet Pop-Tarts will hit store shelves in December, along with chocolate caramel and watermelon flavors.
Oct 27, 2015
9 Cozy Kitchens with Fireplaces
The week leading up to Halloween always tends to be dreary, which makes us want to cozy up with a cup of tea in front of a fireplace. Since we don’t have fireplaces in our kitchens, we’ll just have to do the next best thing: imagine ourselves hanging out in one of these warm and inviting spaces. Wood-Burning Stove – Bruce Hemming Photography: Our favorite part about this kitchen (in addition to the fireplace with the stove) is the copper pot display hanging above it.
Oct 26, 2015
Chicken Salad & Pasta Salad Recalled at Whole Foods
Whole Foods has issued a recall on curried chicken salad and a deli pasta salad after samples showed traces of Listeria. The affected salads were sold at stores on the East Coast, specifically in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. The curried chicken salad was served both in deli containers and wraps, and the pasta salad was just sold in containers. So what do you do if you think you might have some of the recalled food in your fridge?
Oct 26, 2015
Local Food Means Less Food Waste at Schools
When schools put a portion of their food budget toward local food, there’s a big (and unexpected) benefit. According to the USDA census of schools that have incorporated local produce into their lunch programs, the kids at those schools ended up eating healthier meals and throwing less food in the trash.
Oct 23, 2015
7 Container Gardens Fit for Even the Smallest Spaces
At my apartment, there is some outdoor space, but that outdoor space doesn’t really lend itself to planting a garden. (After all, I’m not so sure I want to haul potting soil and a full watering can to the roof using a fire escape ladder.) But my container garden dreams aren’t dashed yet. Just take a look at these seven mini gardens that have flourished despite the lack of space.
Oct 22, 2015
10 Colorful Storage Containers for Leftovers
We love leftovers. They make great breakfasts (just add eggs!), lunches (provided your office has a moderately clean microwave), or dinner (no changes necessary!). The question then just becomes: What do you store them in? In hopes of creating a happy, cheerful kitchen, here are 10 bright and colorful storage containers for leftovers of all shapes and sizes. 4-Cup Glass Storage with Silicone Sleeve, $20 from Lifefactory: Butterfingers, this is the container for you.
Oct 21, 2015
In Praise of Starting a Cookbook Club
Have you ever heard of a cookbook club? Think of it like a traditional book club, but with a more cohesive menu. Serious Eats has a great essay this week about one writer’s history with her cookbook club of more than four years, along with some good advice on starting your own. The basic gist of a cookbook club is you choose a cookbook and everyone makes a dish from that cookbook to bring to the gathering.
Oct 21, 2015
Move over, Molecular Gastronomy — There’s a New Food Science in Town
While those foams and flavor balloons might not be disappearing anytime soon, there’s a new food science on the horizon called neurogastronomy. Neurogastronomy is the study of how our brains affect our sense of taste. The focus here switches from altering food to make it taste better to changing the brain’s perception of the foods to make it taste better.
Oct 20, 2015
Not Sure If Your Food Is Gluten-Free? Test It at the Dinner Table
Good news for anyone with a gluten sensitivity — you will soon be able to test any food to see if it contains gluten right at the dinner table. 6SensorLabs, a start-up in San Francisco, has developed the Nima device, which can test a food for gluten in as little as two minutes. No more guessing based on ingredient labels or trusting the word or your server when you’re out to eat. The Nima sensor works similarly to a blood glucose monitor.
Oct 19, 2015
Before & After: My Little IKEA Pantry Gets Reorganized
Despite liking things neat and tidy, I have a secret organizational confession: If a space is hidden, whether in a drawer or cabinet, I don’t care that much how it’s organized. My closet is filled with things in a moderately tidy fashion, and my nightstand is a jumble, but my pantry had approached problematic levels of clutter. As you can see above, nothing really had a designated place; baking supplies were mixed with vitamins, and pantry staples were mixed with coffee and tea.
Oct 16, 2015
Do Shoppers Trust Organic Food When It’s from a Big Company?
This week, NPR posed the question: What happens when those small organic food companies get bought up by larger factory farm competitors? Do consumers still trust them? It’s a valid question, as we hear about brands like Odwalla being owned by Coca-Cola, or as the article points out, Niman Ranch being recently acquired by Perdue — one of the largest chicken producers in the country.
Oct 15, 2015
6 Ceramic Artists Making Mugs We Covet
Although you might not want to think about it, gifting season is right around the corner. That means it’s time to start stocking up on good ideas for your best friends near and far. Since coffee and tea mugs are some of our favorite things to give and receive, here are six fun, wildly different independent ceramicists to keep an eye on. Brit McDaniel: Known as Paper and Clay, McDaniel has a sleek Scandinavian aesthetic that has wide appeal.
Oct 13, 2015
Buzzfeed Tried Five Gross Vintage Recipes (So You Don’t Have To)
It might be entertaining to browse through vintage recipes (they put everything in Jell-O!), but what if you actually had to make and eat them? The editors at Buzzfeed Life took one for the team and made and tasted five different vintage recipes, just to see if any of them held up. Spoiler alert: they didn’t.
Oct 13, 2015
10 Beautiful Encaustic Tile Backsplashes
Encaustic tiles are a type of tile whose beauty goes deep. What makes it different? Instead of being simply painted with a pattern, encaustic’s color and pattern is literally baked in with materials — cement or clay — of different colors. There are many traditional shapes and patterns that are good examples of the material, and of course there are a wide range of colors that are simply stunning. Here are 10 of our favorite examples.
Oct 12, 2015
This Alternative to the My Plate Nutrition Plan Could Save You $750 per Year
We’ll give you one guess what the biggest difference is between the My Plate meal plan, championed by the USDA, and the Raising the Bar on Nutrition plan, put forth by The Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. Did you guess getting rid of meat? Then you’re exactly right. Being billed as the more economical version of My Plate, the new plan could save as much as $14 per week, which adds up quickly.
Oct 9, 2015
The 5 Most Important Tips for Actually Cleaning Your Silicone Bakeware
Silicone baking pans — muffin tins, nonstick sheet pan liners, loaf pans — can be great if you are short on storage space, hate using cooking spray, or can’t ever seem to get a Bundt cake out of the pan to save your life. But then you go to clean them. They seem like they should be easy to clean. Yet somehow, they aren’t. There never seems to be a way to get rid of that oily residue.
Oct 8, 2015
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!
Oct 8, 2015