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Freshen Up! How to Get Food Smells Out of Clothes
Have you ever put on a pair of jeans or a sweater the morning after you’ve cooked a big meal, and find that your clothes still have a faint, lingering eau de pot roast? Short of putting them through the wash, here’s what we do to get rid of the odor!If we’re thinking ahead, we hang our clothes up before going to sleep. Hang each article of clothing on a separate hanger and put them somewhere well ventilated. If it’s warm outside, we put them next to an open window.
Mar 3, 2010
Kitchen Cure Week #1: Clean Out the Fridge and Pantry
coffeechaser’s cabinets need a dusting badly!• This Week’s Assignment: Clean Out the Fridge and Pantry• Cure Clock: Liftoff! 4 weeks remaining• Cure Takers: 1,971 and counting… Welcome, everyone! There are almost 2,000 of you signed up. It’s like we’re sitting in a giant lecture hall together. But don’t worry, it’s going to be cozy with lots of one-on-one attention.
Feb 26, 2010
Simple Solution: Hang Kitchen Towels from Bull Clips
We were tired of our kitchen towels constantly slipping off the oven handle and winding up on the floor, so we devised this handy solution. It works quite well and we think it looks pretty cute, too!All this takes is a few lengths of leftover ribbon or yarn and some bull clips. Tie the ribbons in a square knot around the handle (“right over left, leftover right, makes the knot tidy and tight!”) so the ends lie flat and the knot stays tight even after repeated use.
Feb 11, 2010
The $15 Kitchen Makeover
Often times, when we talk about kitchen makeovers, even our most inexpensive options can seem a little pricey, but not this time! This kitchen makeover totaled a small $15 and gave the space a fresh new look. Ready to see the changes made?The cabinets were covered in white contact paper, giving them a new crisp feel and placemats were purchased from the dollar store and thumbtacked to the backsplash around the kitchen.
Feb 10, 2010
How Can I Clean Up a Major Honey Spill?
Q: Any good tips for getting a major honey spill off of my wood pantry shelf? I was thinking about scraping it, or steaming it, but I don’t even know where to start without making a bigger mess.Sent by AlexisEditor: Alexis, when we spill something majorly sticky like this, our approach is usually to just use lots and lots of very hot water. You could try soaking a kitchen cloth in boiling water and laying it over the honey to soften it.
Feb 5, 2010
How Do I Clean the Stains Off My Le Creuset Dutch Oven?
Q: My very favorite Le Creuset pan has gotten all scratched and stained.You can see a dark ring where the warming burner has burnt on a stain. Is this all patina, or can I remove it somehow? I have stopped using it because it looks so messy, but I miss it and how well it cooks.Can you tell me if it’s possible to get these stains off my Le Creuset?Sent by StephenEditor: Stephen, we have scrubbed bad stains off our own Dutch ovens with Bon Ami or Barkeeper’s Friend and scrubbing pads.
Jan 28, 2010
Do You Use Cupcake Stands?
We’re thinking about throwing a few small get togethers between January and February and we’re thinking cupcakes would be much easier than baking an entire cake (less clean up, less fuss!). Problem is, we’re trying to figure out the best way to serve the cupcakes.We came across a few cupcake stands that would do the trick. We only managed to find one that seemed to be neutral in its design and we found that to be pretty surprising.
Jan 13, 2010
What Are the Pros and Cons of Square Dishware?
Q: I’m planning to upgrade from the homely dish set that I bought as a college student ($12 at Goodwill, so I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of them by now). I’m drawn by the clean-cut look of square plates, but I am wondering if there is a trade-off in functionality. Will they be a pain to put into cupboards or the dishwasher? Will dinners look undersized on a plate with all that extra real estate on the corners?
Jan 5, 2010
DIY Over-the-Door Pot Rack with Lid Holder
Back in September, reader Theresa showed us her DIY over-the-door pot rack. We decided to make a similar version in our own kitchen, and while our pots are nowhere near as nice and shiny as Theresa’s and our rack is slightly crooked at the moment, it’s already made a big space-saving difference.I (Joanna) installed my pot rack on an exterior door that leads to the back porch of my apartment. (We’ve joked that it doubles as a DIY burglar alarm.
Dec 1, 2009
The Oven Space/Time Continuum: How Do You Schedule Oven Time for Your Thanksgiving Dinner?
Between turkey, pies, stuffing, and sweet potatoes, it seems like almost everything for the traditional Thanksgiving meal needs a spot in the oven. How do you make it all fit? How do you schedule your oven time? I have one very small apartment-sized oven; you can’t fit two 13×9 pans side by side on the racks, and a jelly roll pan barely fits. So I can’t double-up on dishes very much.
Nov 25, 2009
Best High-Capacity Dish Rack for a Small Space?
Q: My boyfriend’s apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher, and with all of his roomates living there, and everyone cooking each night, dishes are a real problem. There is limited counter space as well, so we are trying to find a multi-level dish rack — hopefully something with at least two full levels if not more.Short of building shelves for multiple standard dish racks I haven’t seen anything.
Nov 11, 2009
Handmade Ceramics from Mud Studio in South Africa
Over the past year I acquired several ceramic pieces of servingware that I really treasure. They’re fluid, organic, and unique. Well, I just realized that they were made by the same artisans: Mud Studio, in South Africa. Here’s a look at few more of Mud Studio’s organic, handmade pieces. Mud Studio is a small company in South Africa (and is not to be confused with Mud Australia, which is another ceramics company we like very much).
Nov 5, 2009
Room for Color Winner: Heather’s Coral Rental Kitchen
Look! A kitchen, and a rental kitchen at that, won first place in the International division of our Room for Color contest! We were very excited to see such a vibrant kitchen in the first place spot.Heather says that she built the color palette for her little kitchen around a paper parasol that she loves.
Nov 3, 2009
Dinner Parties: Is it Rude to Ask Who Else is Coming?
For etiquette advice, the last person we’d turn to is Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David, or at least his on-screen persona. But an issue he raised in Sunday’s season premiere got us thinking: Is it bad form to ask a host who else is coming to dinner?In typical fashion, Larry offended his friends with the question, particularly because he posed it before agreeing to attend the party and made it clear he didn’t really want to be there.
Sep 22, 2009
How to Host an Iron Chef Dinner Party
Five skilled home cooks. One featured ingredient. A few hours of kitchen competition. One really good dinner. These were the makings of a recent “Iron Chef” party we hosted for a small group of friends. Our friends hold a mid-month cooking competition that they call “the Ides,” which takes place at a different home with a different panel of judges each month. When they asked us if we would host one of the dinners, we were more than happy to oblige.
Sep 15, 2009
Quick Tip: Separate Your Measuring Spoons!
Removing the measuring spoonsrightThis is one of those simple and rather obvious tips that really makes such a difference. Single measuring spoons are a lot easier to maneuver into small jars of ingredients, and we’re not constantly trying to keep used measuring spoons from touching the clean ones. We also use the tablespoon and teaspoon measure the most, so there’s really no need to mess with the entire set every time we cook.
Sep 4, 2009
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee Book Review 2009
If you’re the type of cook who needs to know why onions make us cry and gets curious about the molecular structure of melting sugar, then this is definitely the book for you. It has become our #1 reference book for all questions relating to food science, and not a day goes by when we don’t end up consulting its pages for one reason or another.Title & Publisher: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. Published by Scribner, 2004.
Aug 21, 2009
My Favorite Wine Glasses: Best Value for the Money
When I first became serious about wine, I really noticed the difference that a good glass made to my appreciation of the wine. At that time the choice of wine glass was pretty polarized. Either I spent a great deal of money (more than I could afford) or I had to be content with an industrial, heavy, thick-lipped glass. There was very little to choose from in between.Today, I can still spend a lot of money on a great glass, but I can also get a really good wine glass for a modest spend.
Aug 20, 2009
The Perfect Finish: How Do You End a Meal?
For some of us, it’s a nice slice of pie. For others, maybe a wedge of cheese or a cup of coffee does the trick. Whatever that “little something” is, our meal doesn’t quite feel complete until we’ve had it! How do you like to finish your dinner?For my part, I’ve never been keen on big elaborate desserts, but I do like something sweet! A simple cookie or a scoop of ice cream will usually do it for me.
Aug 17, 2009
Great Wineglasses: Are They Worth the Investment?
Are good wineglasses worth the money? Does a good wineglass enhance the wine? Should you use different glassware for red, white and sparkling wines? Are all good wineglasses expensive?In my opinion, the wineglass matters. However, as with wine itself, there are many opinions about wineglasses, and, as expected, a great deal of snobbery. From my experience tasting wine professionally for many years, here are a few of my thoughts on what really matters in a wineglass.
Aug 6, 2009
Quick Tip: Use a Spill Tray
Not only will a spill pan under your baking dish catch those stray drips and dribbles, but it will also make it easier to move awkward pans in and out of the oven. Not all of our baking dishes have handles, and trying to grab them with thick oven mitts can sometimes be troublesome. It’s much easier to pick up and balance a whole tray instead!We usually use a free cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment for our spill tray. The foil or parchment makes clean-up much easier!
Jul 27, 2009
Kitchen Color Inspiration: Apricot and Aqua
When we brought these apricots home from the farmers’ market on Saturday, the first thing we thought, seeing them on the counter, was, “What pretty colors for decorating the kitchen…”In fact, it reminds us of another color combination that we’ve frequently thought of as being great for a kitchen: the terracotta-orange clay courts of the French Open with the turquoise backdrop of the fences around them (sorry, we’re big tennis fans).
Jul 6, 2009
The Well-Stocked Kitchen: Our Essential Serving Dishes
We received a question from a reader asking about the most useful and essential serving pieces. Carrie said that she just inherited a set of fine china, but the set (as well as her everyday Fiestaware) has no serving pieces. If you’re in the market for serving pieces, like Carrie, what should you get? Here are our picks for the most useful, basic, and essential serving dishes, and we’d love to hear your take on this as well.
Jun 17, 2009
Entertaining Etiquette: Do You Set an Ending Time?
We never gave much thought to this issue until recently when the subject came up at, of course, a dinner party. And really, it’s an interesting question to think about. After all, we always set a time when we want guests to arrive – so should we specify when they should leave?A friend of ours from Puerto Rico said that in her culture setting an end time would be considered very odd and even rude – like kicking your guests out before they even get to the party.
Jun 8, 2009
How To Prevent and Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen
Who doesn’t hate walking in their kitchen and seeing a long trail of ants coming down the wall and amassing in a large group on the trash can? These persistent little critters can be difficult to deal with, but the situation is not hopeless. You can get them out of your kitchen without using toxic chemicals! I had tons of ant problems in our 1890’s Edwardian when we first moved in.
May 28, 2009
Mice In the Kitchen! How Have You Dealt With Mice?
Mice in the kitchen! Have you ever had this problem? This is not a pleasant topic, and we’ll be the first to admit that. But it’s one that many of us have to deal with at one time or another, and we are curious: if you’ve had mice in the kitchen, how did you get rid of them? I live in a 100-year-old house that is full of creaky boards, massive heating ducts, loose wiring conduits, and great hiding spots for mice.
May 12, 2009
No More Mops: Cleaning the Kitchen Floor with a Sponge
A few days ago, Emma asked for your suggestions on the best mop for the kitchen. You all gave a lot of good opinions, but I have one more. See, the mop I use most frequently is attached to my arm. I get down on my hands and knees with a sponge to clean my kitchen floor, and I have several reasons why. First is my own persnickety nature. I like to get eye to eye with the dirt. I want to see the nooks and crannies up close and make sure they’re getting clean.
Apr 23, 2009
Kitchen Cleanup: Looking For One Good Mop
Please, just one! We’ve tried all sorts of mops, from those sponge-type ones to smaller home-versions of the industrial cotton string mop. They’re unwieldy, messy, and half the time we just feel like we’re pushing dirt around. We’re in the market for a new one and we’d like a good one this time!
Apr 20, 2009
Quick Tip: Freeze Pre-Baked Cakes
When we’re throwing a dinner party or any other kind of gathering, we like to do as much of the cooking ahead of timeJust bake the cake as normal and let it cool completely on the counter. Then wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of tin foil to protect it from freezer burn, and lay it flat in the freezer. Don’t forget to label it with the type of cake and the date!
Apr 20, 2009
Tips for Organizing a Refrigerator and Freezer
Let’s help Kitchen Cure-taker woodnymph here with their refrigerator and freezer issue. This was their note to me along with the above photos:fridge (notice the gross spill in the bottom – who knows how long that’s been there?)door (thing often fall out when you open or close it)freezer (no idea what’s in back) We need to help this person get their Cure going!What are your favorite tips for organizing your refrigerator and freezer?
Apr 16, 2009
Easy Entertaining: Five Stylish Carafes for Your Table
We tend to associate carafes with Parisian street cafés and shmancy high end dining, but they can have a place at home, too! Serving wine, juice, or even just plain water out of a carafe is an easy way to add a touch of elegance to a dinner party. Here are a few we’re currently coveting…• Cora Carafe from CB2, $9.95 – hand-blown glass and a sleek modern design (via Black Eiffel).
Apr 16, 2009
Gallery: Helpful Pairs of Salad “Hands”
The first time we saw a stocky pair of salad hands sticking out of a friend’s salad bowl, we were not impressed. They look like bear claws, frankly. But over the years, we’ve noticed we tend to toss salads with our bare hands—so much more efficient than trying to use traditional tongs. We can really dig down into the bowl to get the dressing and ingredients perfectly combined.
Apr 10, 2009
Five Practical Kitchen Designs from Tomas Kral
We just came across Tomas Kral’s portfolio of kitchen tool designs, and we love his practical yet whimsical sensibility. Take a look at five designs that have real potential for use in the kitchen!We love looking at designers’ portfolios and prototypes for new kitchen gadgets, but we’re often left a little cold by the lack of potential for really practical applications. They may look cool, but they’re not going to work in a real kitchen.
Mar 13, 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
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
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
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
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
Winter Wonderland Dinner for Eight on a $100 Budget
We were all fascinated by the swank dinner party on a budget from the Times last weekend, and it also generated quite a bit of discussion yesterday. The general consensus was that the table was gorgeous and magical — a setting for a special dinner that went far beyond our usual small arrangements of flowers and candles. It was breathtaking. But the food — well, it didn’t overwhelm us the way the once-a-year-special, magical realist table setting did.So we went shopping.
Dec 2, 2008
Tip: Warm The Plates
With Thanksgiving nipping at our heels, it’s a good time to remember all the things that help make a meal a great meal. Here’s one I learned from both my mother and my husband: warm plates make a huge difference.I’ll admit that I don’t warm the plates every time I serve someone food, but when it feels special, I always try to give them a little kiss of warmth. Here are a few ways of doing it.
Nov 26, 2008
Tips: Bay Leaves in the Pantry
Why is there a bay leaf in our flour canister?Years ago, in the midst of a moth infestation, we read that bay leaves repel pantry insects. Everyone from beetles to weevils, moths, cockroaches, ants, and flies is said to hate the herb’s fragrance. The leaves can be placed in containers of flour, rice, and other dry goods, or taped inside cupboards and shelves. Of course, this should not preclude other bug deterring efforts like regular cleaning and storing foods in airtight containers.
Nov 14, 2008
On Leaving the Dirty Dishes Until the Next Morning
We know that, to some of you, the thought of waking up to a kitchen full of sticky, crusty dishes is worse than any hangover. And usually we agree. We like to clean up as we cook, as much as possible, and have all the dishes finished before we go to bed. But.
Oct 14, 2008
Can You Hold a Conversation While Cooking?
Because we can’t! We’ve tried and practiced and strategized, but if those guests arrive before we’re done cooking, we’re goners. What about you?!We’re pretty good at multi-tasking while we’re actually cooking, but carrying on a conversation at the same time seems to require a different kind of concentration – and one at which we are not adept!We miss steps in the recipes and forget to finish our sentences.
Oct 10, 2008
Tips: Repel Fruit Flies with Rue
We recently noticed rue at our farmers’ market herb stand. Our only familiarity with the plant was from Shakespeare (Ophelia used it in her garland), so we asked our vendor for recommendations. She told us that rue has traditionally been used in folk remedies, but that most people find it too bitter to eat. She also had another intriguing suggestion…Put it in the kitchen, she said – it will keep flies at bay!
Sep 19, 2008
Fruit Flies! What They Are and How To Get Rid of Them
As we make our way through all of the tomatoes and peaches in our kitchen, we’re noticing fruit flies hovering around the garbage can full of pits and skins. The bad news: These suckers can create hundreds of offspring within a week or two. The good news: AT: Re-Nest posted an incredibly simple way to get rid of them. See a close-up picture of a fruit fly and get the instructions for its demise, below… Those red eyes are a trademark of the fruit fly — yuck.
Sep 4, 2008
Fighting Odors: Do You Keep Baking Soda in Your Refrigerator?
This is one of those things we do because our mom did, and we have no idea if it’s actually doing anything. Our guess is no, but we still do it — and we found funny little product devoted to the practice. See it below…This is from The Container Store, and it is supposed to let air reach your open baking soda while keeping the baking soda “fresh.
Aug 15, 2008
How To: Make Risotto in a Rice Cooker
Not since a roommate in college had a rice maker have I played around with one. If I remember correctly, that one singed the bottom layer of rice and then broke before Thanksgiving break.Not much of a gadget-cook myself, I usually avoid appliances like these. But I’ve been playing around with Zojirushi’s latest model, the Rizo, and recently took their suggestion in the instruction manual to make risotto using the machine’s intriguing risotto setting.
Aug 13, 2008
Kitchen Nightmares: Cleaning Scorched and Burnt Food Off Pots and Pans
Has this ever happen to you? We’d just finished enjoying a home-cooked meal and went back to the kitchen for cleanup to find this. Scorched food burnt to the bottom of the pan. Sigh. Whoops. We were searing something and took it a little too far, or we were making soup and didn’t realize the bottom burned until it was too late. It happens. And when it does, here are a few things we try. 1. Deglaze the pan.
Jul 24, 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: 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
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
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 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
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