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Good Question: Are IKEA’s MOTTO Dishes Safe For Use In the Microwave?
My office is looking into replacing our disposable plates, bowls, and cutlery with reusable items. I checked IKEA because their prices are appealing, but I’d like to know if anyone out there has used the MOTTO line of plates and bowls in the microwave. In my experience, the SYNTES line gets very hot when microwaved even though it is deemed microwave-safe. Do the MOTTO pieces also heat up to unsafe or uncomfortable temperatures?
Jun 10, 2008
Kitchens of the Month at House Beautiful
We love looking at beautiful, envy-inducing kitchens, and we know you do, too (hence the popularity of our kitchen tours). Which is why we’ve already spent much more than our allotted procrastination time today looking at some doozies over at House Beautiful’s website.See more photos below…These are not our kitchens. These are not our friends’ kitchens — even our friends who have more money and space that we do.
Jun 9, 2008
What Was the Best Wedding Meal You Ever Had?
Summer is high season for weddings – do you have invitations coming by mail already? We have blogged extensively in the past about DIY wedding food – elegant finger food, for instance, and a whole menu of desserts that you can make yourself.We’re going to have a weekly column this summer on wedding and party food and some of the challenges of making a wedding or a party more delicious – whether you’re working with a caterer or all by yourself.
Jun 6, 2008
Kitchen Tour: Robert and Elizabeth’s Soulful Sterling Place
Earlier this week I toured the Park Slope, Brooklyn kitchen of Elizabeth Crowell and Robert Wilson, the owners of the Sterling Place fine home décor and specialty gift stores. Robert and Elizabeth live in a beautiful four-story 1897 brownstone that they bought four years ago and live in with their two small children and two cats.
Jun 6, 2008
What Temperature Should You Set Your Refrigerator On?
As the days get warmer and we start running air conditioners and paying higher electric bills, it’s good to remember ways to keep your kitchen energy efficient. Step one: Setting your refrigerator and freezer on the right temperature.You want your fridge cold enough to prevent bacteria from forming but not so cold it freezes things. We’ve pulled out many a bunch of herbs and vegetables, only to find hardened, brittle leaves that got too cold.
Jun 2, 2008
Kitchen Tour: Eric Gower’s Breakaway Kitchen with Annex
When I asked Eric Gower how often he cooks in his kitchen his answer was “Three times a day! At least!” Eric also teaches cooking, works as a private chef, is the author of two beautiful and innovative cook books, The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen and The Breakaway Cook, and maintains a wonderful food-centric blog on his website. In short, he is a man obsessed with food, which is good news for us.
May 30, 2008
Good Product? Keepeez Vacuum-Sealed Lids
We were reading the comments on our post about storing leftovers and noticed ksmile’s enthusiastic endorsement of Keepeez lids.When we went looking for more information, we found a promo video on You Tube that has some really catchy sound effects, and now we want some lids for ourselves (mission accomplished, promo video). Click below for the link…The cool thing about Keepeez is that while you can buy containers that match up with the lids, you don’t have to.
May 19, 2008
Spring Gardening: Protecting Seedlings with a Pop Bottle Cloche
Seeing those first seedlings peek up out of the soil is a proud moment for novice and veteran gardeners alike.Which makes it all the more dispiriting when a late-spring cold snap blows through or a squirrel decides your container garden is a good place to look for dinner.An easy and inexpensive way to protect your wee plantlings is with a plastic pop-bottle cloche!Any plastic bottle will do.
May 15, 2008
Good Question: Creative Ways to Display Cookie Cutters?
Here’s a fun and interesting question from Lou. This is a different sort of question for us – any creative ideas from you kitchen decorators? Lou asks…I’m looking for a cool way/decorative way to store cookie cutters. Nothing in a box. Any ideas?(To All Good Questions) Lou, a couple ideas came to mind. First of all, it sounds like you already own cookie cutters.
May 8, 2008
Gardening Idea: Window Boxes That Don’t Face the Street
Kristin’s lovely pictures of herb-filled window boxes in London brought up some comments about strangers stealing herbs or, worse, um, “watering” them. And yet we love the idea of planting a small herb garden and hanging it out the window — especially since we live in a high-rise building with no fire escape.
May 6, 2008
Kitchn Cure: What Every Pantry Needs: Savory
With a well-stocked pantry, you’ll not only be prepared to cook a wide range of dishes, you’ll save time and money in the long run, because by getting accustomed to your personal set of supplies, you’ll develop your own style, and you will not have to go out to the store and buy every single ingredient in a dish when it’s time for dinner. In the Kitchn Cure, I’m starting to try to impart some techniques for cooking more by instinct than by recipe.
Apr 25, 2008
Entertaining Tip: Individual-Sized Desserts
We’re on a dessert kick today. We already showed you a heavy-hitting Rhubarb Fool, and now we’re pushing little glasses full of chocolate mousse…But our intentions are good! We think individual desserts that can be made ahead are a great way to give dinner guests something special without making more work for you.Any pudding, mousse, or parfait lends itself well to being served in small glasses.
Apr 24, 2008
Organization: Getting Rid of Old Food Magazines
That’s a 2004 issue of Gourmet on the far right. Isn’t the cover nice? We’ve had it sitting in a stack of magazines on our coffee table for years, through multiple moves, and still haven’t thrown it away. And yet, we’ve never cooked anything from its pages.
Apr 21, 2008
Bakers, Bowls, and Pie Pans from Fiesta
Yesterday we gave you a quick video snapshot of the rainbow of beautiful colors from Fiesta. We love Fiesta’s classic durability and made-in-America history. So we couldn’t resist showing you a few more photos. Here’s their newest product: a return to the classic set of three-sized mixing bowls. More below, including an up-close look at our favorite color and other new products.
Apr 11, 2008
Good Question: How to Clean Rusty Dansk Cookware
I have a full set of the Dansk (DANSK IHC KOBENWARE on bottoms) Kobenstyle cookware in navy blue and white that has served me well, but the bottoms of all of the pots and pans have rusted and leave rust rings in my sink if I don’t clean them immediately. How do I safely remove the rust and somehow seal the bottoms so that they do not continue to rust in the future?(To All Good Questions) We love Dansk Kobenstyle pots and pans; you can’t beat that classic look and punchy color.
Apr 11, 2008
Entertaining Tip: Our Answer to “What Can I Bring?”
It’s lovely when dinner guests ask what they can bring. At the same time, it’s tricky figuring out what to tell them. Deep down, we always want fresh flowers to brighten up our house (if any of our friends are reading) but feel that’s like asking for a gift rather than something to help with the meal. We have a few guidelines we follow that take into account who’s asking (i.e.
Apr 10, 2008
Kitchen Tip: Sanitizing Sponges in the Microwave
What’s the most unsanitary item in your house? The toilet? Nope, think again. It’s your trusty, well-used kitchen sponge. Sponges are germ vectors. Think about it; all those holes, the dampness, the bits of food … perfect real estate for microorganisms to move into and throw a party. You could bleach the sponges, but we generally feel that less bleach in the environment is a better thing.What kinds of microorganisms can be found in sponges?
Apr 9, 2008
Good Question: Cute Three-Ring Binder for Recipes
Emily, like many of us, is making her own collection of recipes, and she needs a binder to store them in. Do you have any suggestions?I am compiling a recipe “folder” and would like to find a very cute/chic three ring binder to store them in. Do you have any suggestions? There have to be cute binders out there somewhere!Thanks!
Apr 2, 2008
Good Cure Question: What Are Processed Foods?
Last Thursday I gave a controversial assignment as part of Week Two of The Kitchn Cure: I asked you to pitch your processed foods.And the questions started rolling in about what, exactly, processed foods are?Processed food is basically food that has been changed from its natural state for the sake of shelf life and safety, or for the sake of convenience.
Mar 31, 2008
Good Question: Best Storage for Loose Tea?
I know there are plenty of tea drinkers at AT and I really need their help. My husband and I are avid tea drinkers and are looking for a storage solution for our loose leaf tea. I know I want something that is air-tight and preferably rectangular (easier to store in cupboard). My husband wants something that is opaque so he can leave it on his desk at work. We haven’t been able to find something that meets both of our requests.
Mar 28, 2008
Hot or Not: Chia Herb Garden
This product seems like the less glamorous stepsister of the Trio Herb Pot we blogged last week. On one hand, it’s an easy, space-saving option for growing herbs indoors. On the other, you insert a “Chia growing sponge” into each pot instead of soil.The sponges look like dirt… feel like dirt… But they aren’t dirt.We do get six seed packets to choose from: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Marjoram, and Parsley (curly, not flat).
Mar 26, 2008
Good Question: Earth Friendly Kitchen Trash Bags?
I was wondering what you recommend as a good kitchen trash bag. Right now I use grocery store bags. I like to bring my own earth friendly bag shopping with me, but then I am out of trash bags! What is an earth friendly option for dealing with my kitchen trash? Are plastic bin liners that bad? Thanks!– Britt (To All Good Questions) Great question, Britt.
Mar 25, 2008
Kitchen Tour: Dutch’s Renovation Done Right
This tour comes to us from Sabra Krock, a new tour contributor and photographer based in New York City. She also has a beautiful food blog of her own at Cookbook Catchall. Welcome Sabra! Read on for the story of a New York renovation done right, in one of the smallest kitchen spaces we’ve ever seen.Most people would see a dysfunctional, ill-equipped miniature kitchen in poor repair as the depressing reality of apartment hunting in New York.
Mar 18, 2008
Open vs. Closed Kitchens: Which Do You Prefer?
Open kitchens are often the norm in new houses or apartments, the assumption being that most people like to cook without feeling isolated from the action in the living room. But one of us here at the Kitchn is about to build a wall specifically to close off a kitchen…The wall will give us a better layout in our living room, providing a spot for a bookcase. But we are actually happy it will hide the kitchen from view.We like being secluded while we cook.
Mar 18, 2008
Personal Care Kitchen: How to Make Homemade Body Scrubs
March is Bathroom Month at our sister sites, and while cooking and bathrooms don’t instinctively mix (although, oh, how we loved Kramer’s shower drain garbage disposal on “Seinfeld”), there are some common kitchen ingredients you can use to whip up all-natural bath products.First up: We’re test-driving a trio of homemade body scrubs.
Mar 4, 2008
Tiniest Kitchen Ever? Jack’s Micro Home
We are always interested in seeing how city-dwellers work with tiny kitchen spaces. Perhaps the reigning champion of tiny kitchen spaces belongs to Jack, an artist and musician who lives in a 10×16 Manhattan apartment. See more of Jack’s kitchen and some of the things we noticed about it, below…• Jack’s whole apartment is only 10×16 – our dorm room was bigger than that! The kitchen is immediately to your right as you walk in the door.
Mar 3, 2008
Winter Color! Kevin and Greg’s Sugar Shack Kitchen
We’ve been trawling the house tour archives at our sister home sites, looking for kitchen inspiration to liven up these last grey winter days. This kitchen didn’t just pop out at us – it practically exploded with color! See more details from Kevin and Greg’s Melrose kitchen below, plus a link to their whole tour… The tulips really pop against the baby blue of their kitchen.
Feb 28, 2008
Good Question: Dinner Party Menu for Ten?
Here’s a doozy of a Valentine’s party question from Jessica. Well, she never actually says that there will be 10 for Valentine’s, but we are imagining a sit-down dinner for 10 in romantic candlelight. Quite the dramatic picture! Check out her request and see if you can help.I just moved in with my boyfriend and we are having a dinner party for his parents and siblings and my parent and siblings. In total there will be 10 people.
Feb 14, 2008
eBay Scavenger: Arcade Coffee Grinder
Maxwell’s Apartment Therapy Daily Email was all about coffee grinders yesterday – specifically, the best coffee grinder you don’t know about. There’s one of these rare coffee grinders available on eBay here: Spong Cast Iron Coffee Grinder. The auction ends in 5 hours and it’s already up to $56 so hurry on over. We also really like this antique wall-mounted Arcade Coffee Grinder, pictured above. $36.50, ending January 31.
Jan 29, 2008
Good Question: Cute Recipe Boxes?
Do you know of any sources for good looking recipe boxes that aren’t stodgy? Something more modern…perhaps Marimekko-esque?– DonnaThis was a fun question – we went on the hunt for a good-looking recipe box. There are many, many cutesy and frilly boxes, which we really don’t enjoy either. Stodgy is a good word too.
Nov 29, 2007
Good Question: Compostable Kitchen Sponges?
Compostable kitchen sponges? This question comes from Sara, who also came up with a great answer! I go through my sponges so frequently and it seems a really terrible waste to throw them in my landfill trash when sponges can be made naturally. I appeal to you, please, I can’t find any sponges that are made of natural ingredients so I can compost them! Help! I can’t bear to throw away another!Or, any other green alternatives? Sponges that are at least made sustainably?
Oct 17, 2007
Good Question: How Do I Clean My Vintage Kettle?
I just won a great vintage Michael Lax tea kettle (yellow kettle in photo). It was super cheap on eBay and unfortunately is nasty beyond use. There were no promises so I can’t really fault the seller, but it smells like a mixture of Chanel #5 and cigarettes.It smells so strongly that I can taste it just by taking the lid off. I haven’t even tried to use it yet, but I have tried to clean it. I’ve boiled a mixture of vinegar and water, let it soak.
Sep 19, 2007
Good Question: How To Clean My White Dinnerware?
Can my white dinnerware be saved? After only a few years of use, most of my dinner plates are full of gray utensil marks. What is to blame here? Low grade utensils, low grade porcelain or guests that insist on using a fork instead of a knife to cut food into bite size morsels?I’ve tried a few different cleaners but nothing seems to be able to remove the scuff marks.– Marc(To All Good Questions)Marc, we sympathize. We have tried to find out what causes these marks, but with no luck.
Sep 12, 2007
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory Tour
Chocolate in the making. We visited the Scharffen Berger chocolate factory in Berkeley, California, and took a few pictures. This is a highly recommended trip; the tour is free, and you get to sample cacao beans from around the world, then walk through the factory – past the beautiful red roaster and the assembly line.The factory is an old brick building in downtown Berkeley – it used to be a Heinz ketchup factory. You can smell the sweet chocolate from a block away.
Aug 24, 2007
Fishs Eddy: New York,NY
End your search for affordable everyday dinnerware at Fishs Eddy. Visit the store in Manhattan’s Union Square or stop by their excellent website to send a gift. Fishs Eddy sells American-made sturdy plates and mugs for every price point: from overstock items made for hotels and diners to special dishes that celebrate the New York City skyline, Brooklyn Bridge and brownstones, or even the Brooklyn accent (Cawffee, anyone?).
May 25, 2007 Online is one of the oldest and hardiest online cooking shops – they got started before the dot com boom and they held on throughout the crash and are now still thriving with a wide selection of cookware, kitchen appliances, tableware and other accessories.They have some great website features missing from other online retailer sites, including an active forum area and a very appealing selection of recipes and reviews.
May 7, 2007
Stacks and Stacks: Online
Stacks and Stacks is another popular giant in online shopping for storage and organization products. Like The Container Store they boast a vast amount of products to help make your kitchen organization chores easier.From under-sink organizers to a wide array of food containers they have all sorts of storage products to browse and buy. They also sell a good range of generic cookware that seems reasonably priced, like this 5-quart Dutch oven for $59.99.
Apr 30, 2007
Tip: Whipped Cream with Cream Cheese
When piping out lots of whipped topping for cupcakes or mini-tarts, or just covering a cake, we often like to pump up our whipped cream with some cream cheese. Adding in this tangy workhorse of the dairy world gives whipped cream some extra body and flavor. It’s another way of stabilizing whipped cream for a big party where it might be sitting out for a while in a warm room. You get the body of a heavier, sweeter icing, but the lightness of whipped cream.
Feb 26, 2007
Desserts for a Crowd: Planning Quantities
Desserts for a Crowd is our February series looking at tips, hints, and recommended recipes for beautifully and economically throwing a big party or even a wedding reception! You’re planning for a big party of 40 or more, and you want to know if you can feed them something sweet without breaking the bank or your sanity. Yes, definitely. There are two principal considerations when planning the variety and quantity of food for a large-scale dessert party: guests, and presentation.
Feb 13, 2007
Kamei Restaurant Supply: San Francisco
Like a well-stocked bakery entices the passing sweets addict, the doublewide storefront of Kamei Restaurant Supply beckons kitchen junkies inside.With its unparalleled selection, this is one of the best kitchen supply stores in the city. It’s really two stores in one. There are rows of commercial goods like hotel pans, industrial stockpots and plain white, deep soup bowls.
Dec 11, 2006
Zabar’s Housewares Dept.
There’s nothing like an old standby. At the center of Upper West Side Levantine food culture is Zabar’s. Started in 1934 by Louis and Lillian Zabar this is a family operation and there is always “a Zabar in the store.”We all know and love it for their gourmet groceries and prepared foods that are perfect for Central Park picnics. But have you seen the second floor? It is one of the best stocked kitchen supply stores in the city.
Apr 27, 2006