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farmgirlinky kitchen before/after -- too long, too many pictures

posted by: farmgirlinky on 04.23.2011 at 10:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

Apologies in advance for a long post! and thanks to many thoughtful GW denizens who served as sources of inspiration to this frequent-lurker, sometime-poster: xoldtimecarpenter, rhome47, marthavila, palimpsest, buehl, boxerpups, marcolo, johnliu come to mind, among others.

We live in a 1910 house in urban Connecticut, and have been gradually renovating it for the last ten years. We hope to live here another twenty--thirty years or so, next stop would be assisted living vs. skilled nursing! So: nardellos-to-the-wall renovation, amortized over decades.

The original space included a walk-in pantry, originally the ice-box room, and the "telephone closet", which we ripped out when we moved in. The "servant's dining hall" and kitchen had long since been combined into one room. So the "before" space was raw and ugly but functional, and we installed our old Aga range and were happy for a decade. Five years ago we acquired the Subzero when our old fridge gave up the ghost. Maybe I pronounced the old fridge dead while it still had a thready pulse, but I hated it. With this renovation we ordered an Aga Module to append to the old 4-oven gas-fueled Aga range, so that we could turn the latter off in the warmest months. In the winter, we are glad to have a separate heat zone in the kitchen, where we tend to live. The rest of the house is kept just above freezing. The windows and doors were restored, except for one new window that was built to match the old ones.

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Steven Marchetti of Peix & Marchetti is our friend and architect. The space was gutted last August, and our excellent builder friend Allen Mathes built around the Aga and the large refrigerator. Allen built a fir "floor" on the ceiling and "strapped" it. The Aga is vented into the old flue and could not be moved -- the range hood could only be vented through one bay between joists to the rear of the house, so we held our breath until the custom Rangecraft hood arrived and was installed and fit like a glove: that's why the ducts are assymetrical. Very Terry Gilliam.

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The floor is cork, and here is a picture of unwaxed Jucca soapstone countertop. The cabinetry is custom-made in New Haven, by fantastic Bryan Smallman:

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Here are the just-about-finished pictures: there's a little trim to be done yet. We love the kitchen and it works well -- prep sink at the window and the utility sink accessible from both sides of the island are especially handy, because several cooks can work comfortably together and clean-up seems more communal. The Profi faucet is terrific for clean-up, also accessible from both sides because it is side-mounted on the Julien undermount steel sink. Friends off to one side at our old kitchen table seem happy and it they're not, we just pour more bourbon....

We worked with an architect friend, and were influenced by a favorite space, the Yale Center for British Art: the palette and the quiet feeling of the materials were what we tried to emulate, even as almost every material in the museum was switched for something else. Tennessee Golden Oak became vertical grain fir (oak today isn't Louis Kahn's oak), travertine became cork (who wants to stand on stone?), brutalist concrete became soapstone (who wants to worry about sealing concrete). Steel is still steel! The cream Aga that we have had for years dictated the choice of the biscuit fireclay farm sink and the cream ceramic subway tiles.

I have this idea that it's okay to mix a lot of materials if the palette is restrained, or it's fine to mix a lot of colors if the number of materials is restrained, but I'd be interested to see examples of lots of materials AND lots of colors working well. But that's just me.

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sawkille stools

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sawkille stools

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I'll list materials in a subsequent post. Again, sorry for the many pictures: I get cross-eyed trying to post these things! Let me know what you think. Except maybe you, marcolo ;)
Lynn

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clipped on: 03.03.2013 at 12:41 pm    last updated on: 03.03.2013 at 12:42 pm

Corner Cabinet Space Calculations and Analysis

posted by: davidahn on 02.20.2013 at 02:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is an attempt at putting some numbers to the age-old question: what do I do with this darned corner?!? I have answered this question for myself, but thought my analysis might be helpful to others pondering this same question.

Methodology:
- Tried to standardize on a 24D x 48W blind cabinet
- Lazy susan & corner drawers required 36 x 36 corner cabinet
Total usable space is calculated based on the interior space of the drawer/pullout
Usable space given is PER TIER and calculated based on the footprint of the box
Multiply usable space by number of tiers/drawers for total storage area
Drawers and pullouts are 22” deep minus 5/8” drawer front/back
Drawer widths are box width minus 3/4” box sides, 1/2” drawer slide clearances, and 5/8” drawer sides
- Your cabinet builder’s specs may vary slightly from my numbers

Corner Cabinet Studies

Shelves & Non Corner Drawers
Plain shelves (not shown) maximize space use (88% of footprint due to plywood box sides and back) but minimize accessibility. The gold standard is drawers (see 'Non Corner'), balancing space utilization and accessibility (only 73% of footprint due to hardware and clearances), but obviously, two drawer stacks are NOT an option for a corner. Space efficiency should be compared to the drawer 'gold standard' rather than plain shelves which are a terrible idea for any deep cabinet, especially corner cabinets!

Corner Drawer
The corner drawer solution (53% of footprint, 73% of non-corner drawers) does have LARGE dead dead space in both corners, and awkward angles all over the drawers. The pluses are: you can store a lot of stuff by having 4 drawers (2728 sq in), and you can have access to ALL of your stuff. 4 corner drawers offer 81% of two 24W drawer stacks, but takes up 12.5% more floor space.

Super Susan
The super susan (60% of footprint, 82% of non-corner drawers). It’s impractical to do more than 2 tiers, and it lacks a certain sex appeal, and stuff can fall off and get lost in the dead space areas. There’s a maximized version of the Super Susan called the Korner King, which looks like it stores a LOT of crap, but it looks like a Frankenstein’s cabinet, an esthetic purist’s nightmare. For those not offended by its looks, functionally it has a lot of broken up pieces of storage of which only about 10-40% of your stuff is accessible at a time.

Custom Corner
My 'custom corner' (narrow pullout, wide side slide), my choice, has the same usable space as drawers per tier (73% of footprint), but a lot less accessibility due to the limitations the corner imposes. I chose it because while we have lots of storage space, I still wasn’t ready to seal off the corner. The large sideways slideout is perfect for items like our 60 and 100 qt pots that wouldn’t fit in drawers anyway (we occasionally cook for LARGE groups). The main pullout would have 3 tiers for more often-accessed items, for a total of 1494 sq in (514 s.i. x 1 full height slideout for big pots, 327 s.i. x 3 for front pullout), a decent amount of storage including a very large, full height side-slide. 2 L + 3 S tiers would give 2009 s.i.

Dead Corner
The simplest corner solution, the 'dead corner,' only gives 29% of the footprint in storage, or 40% of the storage of 48' of non-corner drawers. But if you use a 4-drawer stack, you get a lot of functional storage - 1348 sq in, though no room for tall/large items.

Magic Corner
Hafele’s Magic Corner offers that WOW factor when you see it gleaming and gliding in and out with soft-close. But it’s only 536 s.i. per tier (49% of footprint, 67% of non-corner drawers), 1072 total s.i. It could store more, but it’s designed to fit in more applications (21D cabinets, narrower cabinets), and therefore has a lot of dead space.

Thoughts
- Unlike straight base cabinets where there’s clear consensus that drawers are best, corners are ALL about limitations and compromise (and debate, with everyone having their own favorite corner solution that fits their needs)
- Drawers offer the greatest accessibility, and by using 3 or 4 drawers, you quickly make up for less space efficiency over 2-tier solutions. For example, even though the dead corner only offers 29% of the footprint of storage per tier, multiply that by 4 drawers = 1348 sq in, more than the Magic Corner’s 1072 s.i. and almost as much as the Super Susan’s 1550 s.i. with 144 s.i. smaller footprint. Despite the large dead spaces, the Corner Drawer offers a LOT of potential storage, up to 2728 s.i. with 4 drawers, though losing large item capability.
As impressive as the 'Magic Corner' solutions are to demo (I too “ooooh”ed at first), they are extremely costly (about $900 and up after hardware and baskets) and optimized to fit in shallower cabinets so have more dead space than other solutions.
My custom corner maximizes total use of the footprint area and also maximizes large and bulky item storage with relatively limited access to the inside corner area, while minimizing cost.
- As with marriage, there is no perfect match, only great or poor fits for your needs. If you’re unhappy with your corner solution, either ignore the limitations or find a better solution. Just don’t expect perfection!

Here is a link that might be useful: Korner King - not for me, might be right for you?

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clipped on: 02.27.2013 at 10:58 am    last updated on: 02.27.2013 at 10:58 am

finished! Vintage Cream in the City

posted by: shanghaimom on 05.01.2010 at 09:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all,

We are finally finished with our kitchen remodel of our 1889 home. I have been a daily (truthfully, sometimes HOURLY) lurker and sporadic poster for almost two years. There is NO WAY I could have planned this remodel without the help of GW--We were living in China for over 5 years and I had to do all of my planning from there. This meant NO MAGAZINES, nor could I visit showrooms and see anything in person. Every time I had a question, I seemed to be able to find a thread about it. Not to mention all of the inspirational photos!!! I was so afraid of missing an important tidbit! (We were 13 hours ahead there, so I could easily miss a thread as it fell off onto pages two, three, four...)

Anyway, many thanks to all of the great TKO people who contribute to this forum.

Photos first! Details at the end. (o:

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pass-thru detail
Berta!
kit

cabinetry--local custom painted in BM Bone White oil-based enamel
walls-- BM Ballet White
counters--Zodiaq quartz Mystic Black (kind of a charcoal color)
pulls--Amerock Revitalize in Burnished Bronze
sink--Ticor zero-radius SS508
faucet--Kohler Vinnata in Vibrant Polished Nickel
range-36" Bertazzoni Heritage Series in Anthracite
hood- Vent-A-Hood NPH9-136
backsplash- 3" hexagonal Calcatta marble
pendants--Hinckley Knickerbocker (these are on clearance all over for a song right now...)
windows--Marvin double-hung cottage style

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clipped on: 02.27.2013 at 10:09 am    last updated on: 02.27.2013 at 10:09 am

Finally posting my new 'antique' kitchen for the FKB

posted by: arlosmom on 05.25.2010 at 07:01 am in Kitchens Forum

Some of you may remember my kitchen. I posted pictures of it at 80% completion almost 2 years ago. Since then, I've been finishing all the little nagging details that take a while to figure out -- window treatments, decor, etc. You know how it goes. Well, we recently bought a new camera with a wide angle lens and I took a bunch of new kitchen photos, and it occurred to me that it was finally time to officially declare the kitchen "done". So here goes.

Background:

When we bought our 1905 foursquare house in 2004, it was in very original condition with few updates or changes. That was a big part of the appeal for us. The widow who owned the house before us had been here since 1942, and she and her husband had raised their five children here with only one bathroom.

I loved the original kitchen, but it was small and had no dishwasher (and no place to add one), and very limited cabinet and counter space. It also had 4 doorways, a back staircase, and a low window to work around. We made the original kitchen into our breakfast room (changing as little as we could about the space), and built a rear addition with the new kitchen, a small walk-in pantry, powder room, and screened porch. We tried very hard to keep the look and feel of the original kitchen and make a space that fit with the character of the whole house. The new kitchen space is approximately 10' by 17'.

Whenever possible, we incorporated materials that were original to the house, salvaged or antique. The wood floors, lighting, cabinet hardware, sinks in both the kitchen and powder room, doors (to the pantry, powder room and screened porch), and stained glass panel are all old.

Details:

Cabinets -- Crownpoint (I ordered them primed and hand painted them myself with Ben Moore OC13 oil based satin impervo)
Cabinet hardware -- antique latches and pulls, mostly from ebay
Flooring -- reclaimed heart pine in random widths from 8"-13"
Lighting -- antique lighting that we cleaned and rewired
Range -- Wolf all gas
Range hood -- Viking insert in custom steel powder coated hood
Backsplash -- antique subway tile with Pratt & Larson egg and dart accent liner tile
Dishwasher -- Bosch with cabinet panel
Refrigerator -- Amana that we purchased when we bought the house, but cabinet built for 36" counter depth
Sink -- double drainboard sink came with the house; my guess is it dates to the 1930s
Faucet -- Chicago faucet with custom spout ordered from Baths From the Past

Here is just one teaser photo, with a link to the rest of the album (why is it that when I go to take pictures, I don't notice things like dishes drying on the drainboard?...oh well, I hope you don't notice them either):

from breakfast room into new kitchen addition

Here is a link that might be useful: Arlosmom's kitchen

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clipped on: 02.22.2013 at 09:42 am    last updated on: 02.22.2013 at 09:42 am

RE: Lindac's Apple Cake with Cake Gravy (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: elisamcs on 10.28.2012 at 04:19 pm in Cooking Forum

Could someone please repost the original recipe? When I did a search, the fractional part of the ingredients' measurements was replaced by diamonds with question marks. A former teacher drummed the mantra, "baking is chemistry" into my head and I don't want to botch this up.

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clipped on: 02.02.2013 at 07:53 pm    last updated on: 02.02.2013 at 07:54 pm

What constitutes a "cook's kitchen" ? (and a slight introduction)

posted by: rosylady on 12.03.2012 at 06:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

Today, for some reason completely unknown to me, I have decided to de-lurk after five years of reading this forum! I've been meaning to post about my kitchen remodel for some time now, but I never seem to get up the steam to do it. It will require pictures and descriptions and floor plans and probably, some explanations!

My husband and I are renovating a 1910's farmhouse (it used to be a strawberry farm and a christmas tree farm). We have been renovating the kitchen and dining room (and the plumbing, and the electrical, and the roof, and the foundation, etc, etc) for over three years now. Garden web has, hands down, been the smartest, fastest, most concise source of info I have found. I had a kitchen designer in the beginning. You guys are better. Hands down.

Anyway, I was recently in the home of a lady who is a local farmer and caterer. Her kitchen was absolutely enchanting. It was, to me, a real cook's kitchen. I could have spent all day there just looking at everything. It was almost as sensory an experience as actually eating one of her meals.

Some of the highlights were: a huge Wolf range, and it was used looking and not shiny. A magical pantry where the shelves groaned with home canned pickles, jams, vegetables, fruit. The colorful jars looked more appealing to me than jewels... A little nook under the stairs where she had a small built in desk. There were stacks of cookbooks, and recipes tacked to the walls. There was a coffee maker that always had fresh coffee, it just seemed to magically appear. Her husband built this kitchen for her and he built the cabinets, but hadn't gotten around to putting the doors on yet. It was fascinating to see the contents exposed. It was like perusing the books in someone's library: you could tell as much about her from her cupboards as you could from her books. Spices, vinegars, oils, flours, sugars, teas coffees - everything told a story about the way she spent her days.

She would be shocked if she knew I was writing about her kitchen. To her it is rather small and somewhat humble. To me it epitomizes how cooking and food are at the heart of life for many of us.

I am a rabid home cook. I have been cooking since I was two and helped my dad make scrambled eggs in my footie pajamas on a chair pulled up to the stove. I am creating a kitchen that hopefully pays homage to the history of this house, and hopefully represents me, is an expression of me, the way hers is for her. I am hoping my kitchen will turn out to be a "cook's kitchen".

What is your idea of a cook's kitchen? Have you been in any that were memorable? How would you describe them? How would you describe their owners?

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clipped on: 12.04.2012 at 10:54 pm    last updated on: 12.04.2012 at 10:54 pm

The lowdown on Super White

posted by: karin_mt on 10.26.2012 at 07:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am mostly a lurker here so far, and as our kitchen remodel plans take shape I have been enjoying seeing other people's progress and taking comfort that there is a strong community of kindred spirits who like to sweat all the glorious details of a kitchen!

I'm a geologist so perusing the slab yard is always fun. Rarely do you get to see so many fascinating rocks all in one place.

So today when I picked up my backsplash tile and put down a deposit for some small slabs (a separate story), I had a great time visiting various slabs with one of the fabricators. We talked about the minerals and textures that make some rocks winners in the kitchen, and others not so good.

I asked to see some Super White, knowing there is a lack of clarity about what this rock really is. He gave me a piece to bring home and I did some diagnostics. Maybe this is common knowledge to you all, but here's the lowdown.

The rock is dolomitic marble. It's not quartzite - it's not even close to quartzite in terms or hardness or resistance to acid.

Dolomitic marble is a sibling to regular marble. Regular marble is made of calcite. Dolomite is made of calcite plus magnesium. Calcite is CaCO3 and dolomite is CaMgCO3. So this rock started out as the sedimentary rock called dolomite then was metamorphosed (heat + pressure) to cause the grains to recrystallize into dolomitic marble.

My hunch is that this marble would be slightly more resistant to etching than regular calcite marble. But it is still just as soft as marble and has all the other requirements of caring for marble. It sure is a beautiful rock. But no way will it wear like granite or quartzite.

The decorative stone industry has a whole different way of naming and classifying rocks than geologists do. (The first time someone showed me a back granite I protested loudly. There is no such thing as black granite!) But I am coming around to understand how the rocks are classified from the countertop point of view. So yes, the terms are contradictory and confusing, perhaps even deliberately so in some cases. But at least in this case I am certain of what the actual rock type is.

I hope that's helpful or illuminating. And if you have questions about the real identity or geologic history of your countertop, I may be able to shed some light!

Karin

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clipped on: 11.23.2012 at 11:53 am    last updated on: 11.23.2012 at 11:53 am

questions about bread makers?

posted by: jadeite on 11.14.2012 at 09:12 am in Cooking Forum

I just acquired a bread maker. It's a big Panasonic, comes with high recommendations etc. I've never used one before, so before launching into this, can someone please help me get started?

I know the books recommend instant yeast which I have. But is standard dried yeast completely out?

Is there a way to make a pre-ferment, a biga or poolish, and use it in the machine? I find it adds a lot to the flavor of good bread. The instructions which are quite clear don't allow for variations like this.

Finally, are there any tips which could be useful to a beginner? I've made bread by hand and with a mixer for years so I'm not inexperienced in breadmaking, just in using this new gadget.

Thanks,
Cheryl

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clipped on: 11.16.2012 at 10:28 pm    last updated on: 11.16.2012 at 10:28 pm

Marcolo, debrak, et al - Linoleum Reproduction

posted by: gwgin on 08.06.2012 at 04:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

Just ran across this & thought it would be of interest to you.
http://www.gracewooddesign.com/view/linoleum-reproduction-project/
Wonderful kitchen. I'm in lust. And do check out the rest of their site. Wonderful craftsmanship.

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clipped on: 08.06.2012 at 10:22 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2012 at 10:23 pm

Towards a unified theory of tile. (Many pics)

posted by: Angie_DIY on 06.08.2012 at 01:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

Okay, grandiose title for a thread. What I am actually trying to figure out is what are some of the "tells" (or markers) of upscale ceramic tile (useful to me as I try to select my backsplash). I have a few thoughts, but hope you can check my ideas and lend your own.

By the way, I am only talking about ceramic field tiles. I am not trying to cover glass or natural stone. I also am excluding trim, decos, and tiles that are meant to look like other substances (wood, natural stone, etc.).

What strikes me (a bit) odd is that the lowliest ceramic tile is the familiar, perfect, glossy, white 4.25"x4.25" tile, like this:

It is so perfect, what could be wrong with it? But perfection is boring… My theory is that a number of steps away from this "perfect" tile in several different dimensions results in a move upscale. (However, I believe too many steps away from this ideal starts to bring you back downmarket.)

The first dimension we will change is color. Colored tiles seem richer than white. Agree?

Another attribute is color uniformity (i.e., shade variation). For some reason, it seems that completely uniform tiles are at the base, and tiles with color variation are more desirable. Although I feel that way, too, this strikes me a bit funny. I imagine it stems from favoring handmade or vintage goods over machine-made or modern goods:

There is actually an ANSI standard for shade variation in ceramic tile, ranging from V0 (Very Uniform Appearance) to V4 (Substantial Variation). I think either V2 (Slight Variation) or V3 (Moderate Variation) looks the most rich.

Another dimension is sheen. This one does not seem as absolute to me, but matte or eggshell glazes seem like a move upmarket, other things being equal:

Closely related to the sheen is a crackled finish.

This does not appeal to me personally, but I think it looks richer than uncrackled.

Also, it seems to me that not just the shininess matters, but also how "wavy" the surface is. I have 1929 subways in my bathroom; they are quite glossy, but somewhat wavy, so reflections are not mirror-like. This also seems like a richer look to me. I think you can see what I mean in this picture of Circuspeanut's lovely tile (mid-construction shot):

This is closely related to uniformity of the tile's shape, i.e., hand-molded vs. machine molded. It seems to me that a little shape non-uniformity makes a tile look richer:

Of course, how much is "too much" is a matter of taste. These next two still seem on the correct side of tasteful to me, but getting near the edge of my comfort zone:

It seems to me that this is the dimension where it is easy to get to the wrong side of the curve, and go downmarket as you get more nonuniform, heading towards rustic and then on to sloppy.

Next, there is size and shape of the tile to be considered. Size is a tough one. I have opined elsewhere that smaller tile sizes look richer to me, as I think about the labor of installing them. However, I also understand that there is beauty and richness in larger tile formats, too.

Shape matters, I believe. It seems to me that many deviations from simple square or rectangular represent a move upmarket. Here is a nice harlequin pattern:

Bee's famous and lovely arabesque:

Fish scale:

You can also have multiple shapes in the same installation:

Perhaps the apotheosis of richly shaped tile is an installation with multiple custom shapes, such as this favorite of mine:

Of course, these dimensions interact and compete. A handmade, multiple-shaped, wavy tile with variegated matte colors and crackle finish may be unattractive. (Or, it just may set you back $140/sq. ft. at Ann Sacks! ;-) Obviously, context matters, too. You likely wouldn't want to install handmade tiles in an ultra-modern loft kitchen.

If you have made it this far, I would like to know your thoughts. What makes a tile look richer to you? What do you attribute that to? (I.e., do you agree with me that we may be reacting against machine-made goods?) Where is the best bang for one's buck in choosing "perfectly imperfect" tile?

Thanks! A_D.

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clipped on: 07.15.2012 at 01:54 pm    last updated on: 07.15.2012 at 01:54 pm

Major kitchen remodel--Long and Pic heavy

posted by: Bellsmom on 11.05.2011 at 04:40 pm in Kitchens Forum

For the last year or so, you folks here at Gardenweb taught me more than I had any idea I would or could learn about kitchens.
I came to Gardenweb last year after living for 20 years in a house I love and a miniscule kitchen I didn�t love. NOBODY could have loved that kitchen. But I simply could not imagine how to do a remodel that would not conflict with what I love about the house--the wooded views, the warm old wood, the spaciousness.

Just before demo:
old breakfast room, kitchen beyond
Here is the old kitchen, termed by a friend as my "one butt" kitchne
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Between the sink and the refrigerator was the only drawer stack, barely visible in this photo, 15" wide, and a collapsed lazy susan that we could not repair.

The adjacent family room is a huge, open warm area with skylights, heavy beams, a pegged oak floor, panelled walls, and a monstrous fireplace wall. The breakfast room, which I wanted to combine with the kitchen, opens onto it. A white kitchen would have looked starkly alien to me. There was so much wood around I couldn�t imagine adding more wood tones, but I couldn�t imagine painted cabinets. For twenty years I couldn�t IMAGINE ANYTHING.

Then, came the first inkling of ideas. A designer friend suggested black cabinets and recommended the wonderful guy who became my GC. Many, many, many more ideas came Gardenweb gurus where I found inspiration, information, and great ideas, I now have a new kitchen. And I love it. And I want to share it with you.

Photos of the demo:
Here you can see the retaining wall between kitchen and breakfast room coming down.
supporting wall going down
Under the new supporting beam, new flooring is laid and pegged to blend seamlessly into the old breakfast room and family room floors. All tongue and groove paneling has been carefully removed and will be reused. The window, once over the sink, will be reincarnated as a "backsplash" over the range in the finished kitchen.. (I wouldn�t have known I could do that without GW.)
New wood floor blended with old
Finally the cabinets went in. Without Gardenweb, I would never have known how much I would love frameless, custom -made cabinets. Hey, the ones at Home Depot looked pretty good, I thought. I chose a small local company run by two brothers who do it all. The perimeter cabinets are a warm stained cherry, and the island is a dark stained walnut. Both contrast to and complement the old red oak panelling and floors. Cabinet installation was meticulous, as was nearly every step of the project. It took the Chris and Gary three days to install the cabs.
cabinets going in!
I was SO lucky to have a wonderful GC who came in under budget, Here he, on the left, and a subcontractor manuver the fridge into place once the cabinets were installed.
refrigerator edging into place
The next step was countertops, both of which I love. These are the ONLY slabs that "spoke" to me, and I searched northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana thoroughly. Met some nice people, but only two granite slabs I would treasure. The perimeter is brushed black pearl, a very figured black pearl with a pettable texture and no trace of green. (Of course, I learned about textured granites here at GW! The cabinet makers had never seen brushed granite before.) It contrasts perfectly with the dark cherry and the Amerock Kane oil rubbed bronze pulls and knobs..
One image below shows the color variation of the Black Pearl in direct sunlight with the color in shadow around it; the second image shows the beautiful texture. The brushed surface makes the direct sunlight that comes through the large sink and range windows much less glaring than a polished surface would have.
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It is a typical high gloss finish with a lot of contrast which adds visual texture to the room. This slab also combines all of the warm reds, browns, and golds in a pale warm overall color and contrasts beautifully with the dark stained walnut island below. My picture does not do justice to its clarity and depth.
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Last to go in was the backsplash. The linear tiles were netted on the back, but only in the center. The tile guy worked three and a half days on it, laying the tiny pieces of tiles meticulously one by one around the window over the stove.
Back splash tile goes in.
And so it all came together. Now,from the most used entrance to the house, visitors enter the family room and see the kitchen beyond. Several old family pieces are featured. A corner cabinet, wall cabinet, breakfast table, and a very old leaded glass fixture are in the kitchen. The wall cabinet heights were varied to allow me to showcae a collection of “glug jugs” or fish pitchers on top.
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The dimensions of the new kitchen are about 10 1/2 feet wide by 24 feet long. Because I walk with difficulty (due to polio as a child) I didn’t want to trot across an empty space to get to cabinets on both long walls. So there is 24 inch wide x 8 foot long island with about 3 foot wide walkways on both sides. Perfect for me.
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At the left end of the window wall is an old wall cabinet. It is flanked by two old pewter sconces and under it is a stained walnut cabinet, 15 inches deep, 42 inches high, custom designed and built and installed by the cabinet makers.
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Tight money constrained or postponed a few choices. One is the window over the sink, which I wanted to come down to counter level. Choosing a standard window instead of a custom to save what seemed too much money for a few more inches of window is the biggest regret I have. I currently am using the same old JennAire range I have had for nearly ten years. Its feeble broiler frustrates me beyond belief, but in my mind it is already the Capital Culinarian it will become when my bank account recovers a few more decimal places. The 1200 cfm hood above it is a pricey (for me) custom ModernAire which does exactly what I wanted: it completely covers the stove area, blows out air hard enough to toss branches on trees ten feet away, and blends inconspicuously into the room. Even when it is on full, I don’t find it too terribly noisy.
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The oak wall opposite the windows has no built in cabinets. Panelled doors replace the old white-painted hollow core doors to a small bathroom and the basement steps. On the long plain wall itself are two 3 foot long bookshelf potracks that store an unbelievable amount. In the corner nearest the family room is a corner cabinet that holds dry foods, staples, and some spices.
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clipped on: 05.23.2012 at 09:03 am    last updated on: 05.23.2012 at 09:03 am

For Those Of You Who Make Homemade Pie Crusts

posted by: trudymom on 11.02.2011 at 10:18 am in Cooking Forum

For those of you who make homemade pie crusts, what recipe are you using this Thanksgiving? What kind of flour is best?

Thank you!

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clipped on: 05.21.2012 at 06:50 pm    last updated on: 05.21.2012 at 06:50 pm

Need help with 'glue' for oven fried chicken...

posted by: shambo on 04.20.2012 at 02:22 pm in Cooking Forum

My granddaughters are coming to spend the night, so I thought it would be fun to make oven fried chicken legs for dinner. I've got plenty of crumby things, so that's not my dilemma. My question is about the "glue" that keeps the crumbs on the chicken.

When I normally make breaded and baked fish or chicken breasts,I smear a mixture of mayonnaise and flavoring on the meat before pressing on the crumb mixture. For tonight I'd like to bread the entire chicken leg. So what's the best "glue"? Beaten whole egg? Egg white? Milk or cream? Mayo?

I plan on baking the chicken legs on a jelly roll pan. I'm concerned that the bottoms would get greasy/mushy rather than crispy. So which "glue" would be best? Also, I could bake the legs either on non-stick foil or parchment paper. Which of these would work better?

Thanks for your help.

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clipped on: 04.27.2012 at 01:59 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2012 at 01:59 pm

Oatmeat report back

posted by: kaismom on 03.09.2012 at 02:00 pm in Cooking Forum

I made the steel cut oats in a crock pot per recipe inserted by someone. It was TERRIBLE for our family.
The dried fruit turned into stewed fruit and mush. The texture of the cooked fruit was not good at all. I will give it another try without the dried fruit.

If that does not work, I will try the steel cut oats boiled the night before, and finished in the morning. :)

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Steel cut oats recipes
clipped on: 03.21.2012 at 07:07 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2012 at 07:08 pm

Beyond Vanilla---Exploring Extracts & Flavorings For a Dummy !

posted by: ci_lantro on 02.22.2011 at 07:10 am in Cooking Forum

After I had to buy lemon extract for that wonderful sour cream lemon cake recipe and after I had a tiny flash of inspiration to include some almond extract into a Waldorf Salad, I realized that there is a whole other dimension of flavoring possibilities that I needed to explore. My pantry is practically bare of any of these possible enhancements to cooking.

Soooo, I'm curious (read that I need tips!) about how you use extracts & flavors other that vanilla. And what are your favorites? And what brands are considered to be among the best...esp. what is a very good raspberry extract & how can I use it? Any & all tips wanted!!

Thank You!!

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clipped on: 02.03.2012 at 04:56 pm    last updated on: 02.03.2012 at 04:56 pm

Let's Talk Lentils

posted by: booberry85 on 01.28.2012 at 08:18 am in Cooking Forum

I like lentils (when somebody else has cooked them!) The thing is, I haven't a clue what to do with them myself. I know there's different kinds. I think the last time I bought them I wound up giving them to my sister, because I didn't know what to do with them.

So please help educate me about lentils. If any of you grow lentils, I'd like to know about that to.

Thank you!
Becky

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clipped on: 01.29.2012 at 03:25 pm    last updated on: 01.29.2012 at 03:25 pm

Capital Culinarian range accessories

posted by: zartemis on 01.26.2012 at 08:00 pm in Appliances Forum

The oven rotisserie is our favorite part of the CC range so far (since we have 2 other ovens, I suspect we'll just keep the racks out for the most part and leave the rotisserie set up full time) and I looked into getting a rotisserie basket that would fit on the spit. I found one and gave it a try.

The CC spit is a hex-sided spit with 1/2 inch from flat side to flat side (a little more pointed edge to pointed edge). So rotisseries that accept up to a 1/2 inch square spit (one of the more common ones) won't fit. The Fire Magic basket 3618, in stainless steel, accepts up to a 5/8 inch square spit:

It's a standard spit basket. For those who aren't familiar with them, it clamps to the basket via eye hooks. Not the best, most secure option, but it does work:

One side of the cage is removable and adjustable. Because of the beefy spit and the large basket design, it can't be set as narrow as some baskets. Here it is in the tightest position, against the spit and holding some bratwursts in place:

The brats rotating in the oven:

Here's an accessory I'd like to make or find: A burner cover that fits over the grills of the burners of the stove and turns the unused burners into a flat continuous surface from burner to burner. Ideally it would be cast iron or similar surface so you could actually cook on it as well. Any ideas?

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clipped on: 01.28.2012 at 05:13 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2012 at 05:13 pm

Share your favorite apps to eat while you wait for the REAL food

posted by: loves2cook4six on 05.24.2011 at 09:11 pm in Cooking Forum

off the grill.

Looking for stuff I can make ahead. At least 10 adults and about 16 kids will be "snacking" while they wait.

And while you're at it...favorite drinks both alcoholic and not.

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clipped on: 01.08.2012 at 10:08 am    last updated on: 01.08.2012 at 10:08 am

Spice mixes

posted by: lpinkmountain on 12.01.2011 at 08:37 am in Cooking Forum

The more I struggle to get dinner on the table being exhausted after a long commute, the more I'm appreciating spice mixes as a good shortcut tool. The ones I love so far are Penzey's Adobo (Mexican and Spanish) and Turkish seasoning (which also works for Greek, Egyptian, Lebanese and Scicilian), and their "Mural of Flavor" which is kind of like a shallot seasoning. I also love Mrs. Dash's Garlic and Herb seasoning and their Carribean blend. I have some Ras el Hanout that I made up from a recipe I found online (for Moroccan) but I also recently purchased a "Seven Spice" mix at the local ethnic market. I have no idea what the seven spices are, it doesn't say on the jar, lol! I haven't opened that one yet, I'm waiting until I use up my own Ras el Hanout.

I'm not doing too good with finding a curry I like, since I don't like fenugreek and cardamom in savory dishes. I use garam masala but that isn't very jazzy. I also haven't found an oriental blend I like, since I don't like star anise. I've tried Penzey's Singapore seasoning and don't much care for it. For Thai I use a curry paste I make up mysef and freeze in ice cube trays, but that is leftover from before my commuting days and it's unlikely that I will make more.

So what are your favorite spice blends? Brand recommendations or recipes welcome. I'm thinking these would make great Christmas gifts for foodies too!

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clipped on: 01.05.2012 at 02:20 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2012 at 02:20 pm

Make ahead appetizers - suggestions?

posted by: katkatf on 11.16.2011 at 02:29 pm in Cooking Forum

DH and I are having our almost-annual Holiday Open House party in a few weeks. We usually have 50-60 people that come for minutes or hours during the afternoon, and I love offering a generous spread of fun and interesting appetizers, mostly finger foods. I have some T&T things I make every time, but want to bring in some new items. I've always done phyllo triangles with roquefort/walnuts and spinach/feta before, but want to try some new things. I am especially looking for things that can be made ahead (as in weeks or at least days) and frozen or otherwise stored, then either just need reheating or baking during the party. I also have 2 additional crockpots that can be used to rewarm/cook/keep warm.

Things already on the menu:
Baked brie in puff pastry with mango chutney
Ham balls (kept in crockpot) with cherry sauce
Hot mulled cider
Proscuitto pinwheels (made with puff pastry)
Various cookies
Crudite with dips

The key is I don't want to be stressed with too many things I need to do the day of the party other than plating/presenting or popping things in and out of the oven.

I'd be especially delighted to get suggestions for recipes of things I can prepare one or more days ahead in these general categories:
- Chicken wings/sate/skewers
- Mini quiches/tarts (especially any I could make soon and freeze)
- Mini sandwiches
- Something with crab (I'm in No. CA, and it's Dungeness crab season)
- Other fabulous finger food that doesn't need a lot of time the day of the party

While I don't need to do this really cheaply, I also can't afford to offer a large platter of shrimp or lobster. :)

TIA,
Kathy

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clipped on: 11.17.2011 at 01:41 pm    last updated on: 11.17.2011 at 01:42 pm

bread crumbs... and other things I don't BUY

posted by: Malika9 on 10.12.2011 at 03:07 am in Kitchens Forum

bread crumbs... and other things I don't BUY
... or at least VERY RARELY!

Growing up, my grandmother ALWAYS had a big bowl that sat on a shelf and held old stale bread or uneaten heels. Once they were good and dry, she'd use one of those hand-crank grinders to make bread crumbs. Today, I use the food processor and can't remember the last time I bought bread crumbs!?! If I find myself running low, I'll sacrifice whatever's left of the current loaf of bread and start a new batch. Wondering if you can make dried bread crumbs from corn bread?? Might be an interesting change.

My Grandmother would be rolling over in her grave if I EVER tossed bacon grease! I KNOW it's far from a "health" food, but that's what she ALWAYS used to shallow fry crab cakes or fry/scramble eggs... in a big old black cast iron skillet. You should try making REAL popcorn using bacon grease instead of oil... pretty darn tasty!

Will only buy canned/boxed stock when it's SERIOUSLY on sale. I just can't toss bones without getting everything outta them first. Bones from whole or pieces of chicken, no matter how originally cooked, some carrots, celery, & onions... et voila! I have pretty much FREE stock from things too many people just toss.

I don't buy seasoning mixes or rubs. First, they're mostly salt. Salt isn't a dietary issue for me, but take a look at that "lemon pepper" you PAID for that's sitting in your cabinet. Bet SALT is the #1 ingredient! Was getting ready to make a mega batch of REAL lemonade one time and got this "brilliant" idea. I thought about all that zest that would go into the trash after reaming the lemons because I didn't need it then or in the near future. Have one of those apple peeler/corer/slicer gizmos... stuck lemon on, moved slicer part outta the way, and ended up with a mound of lemon zest ribbons. Let it dry out till crispy and then into a coffe grinder (not one I actually use for coffee) till a powder. My lemon pepper is just that... lemon & pepper.

Have found recipes online for big Chef-name seasoning blends... like Emeril and Paul Prudhomme. Still looking for a suitable clone of Old Bay seasoning.

How about you?

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clipped on: 10.15.2011 at 05:16 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2011 at 05:16 pm

Need recipe for gumbo.

posted by: arosegirl on 10.04.2011 at 01:45 am in Cooking Forum

I am looking for a tried and true recipe for gumbo. There are a lot of recipes out there but I want one you have made and enjoy. Thanks so much. Charlene

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clipped on: 10.09.2011 at 05:23 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2011 at 05:23 pm

rasperry scones

posted by: mjrdolfan on 08.09.2011 at 01:05 pm in Cooking Forum

I have not been on this site in a long time, however, I was in Vermont for a few days and we picked wild blueberries and I finally tried Ann T's scones. They were the most amazing scones I have ever had!
Thank you !! thank you!!! thank you!!!!

The next time I make them I am going to try blueberry with some lemon zest, cranberry with orange zest!

They are the best ever

marcy :)

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clipped on: 08.19.2011 at 01:27 pm    last updated on: 08.19.2011 at 01:27 pm

What is your most cherished and well used cook book ?

posted by: wheatciti on 02.25.2010 at 05:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

Now that my kitchen is complete, I need to use it more.
I have acquired quite a few "Company's coming" cook books, however no matter what recipe I try out of them my family doesn't like it enough to have me make it again:-(

I know it must be me, however all the other cooks in the house have had the same end results.

I know I can google any recipe but some times I just seem to want it to come from a book

Any suggestions?

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clipped on: 08.18.2011 at 03:13 pm    last updated on: 08.18.2011 at 03:13 pm

LOOKING for: Best of the Best

posted by: benflower on 11.16.2008 at 01:52 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

I am putting together a cookbook for my adult children for Christmas. I would appreciate input on your VERY, VERY BEST, FAVORITE,TRIED and TRUE-- ALWAYS TURN OUT GOOD recipes. The ones that always come to mind when you are thinking of something to cook for dinner. I have gotten some great recipes from this site and think you folks are all great cooks. Thanks a lot for your time and trouble.

J

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clipped on: 08.18.2011 at 02:59 pm    last updated on: 08.18.2011 at 02:59 pm

Do you have a 'signature dish'?

posted by: slowlane on 07.28.2010 at 09:39 pm in Cooking Forum

My sister and I have been trying to decide if we have signature dishes. To us, this doesn't just mean a dish people expect us to make, but it's more a dish we love to make and know we will make well, something that, like a signature, says something about who we are, at least as cooks.

Because we both like to cook and like to try new recipes, we aren't sure we actually have our own signature dishes :P

What about you? Do you have a signature dish? If so, what is it, and is there any reason you think it serves as your culinary signature?

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clipped on: 08.11.2011 at 07:40 pm    last updated on: 08.11.2011 at 07:40 pm

Lets talk casseroles

posted by: claire_de_luna on 07.28.2011 at 01:53 pm in Cooking Forum

I recently heard about a casserole I knew nothing about; King Ranch Chicken Casserole. I had no idea if it would be good, although others seemed to think so. I heard about this one day from two different people who had both made it the night before, unknown by the other. After realizing I had everything I needed to make this, I tried it but wasn't in love with it. Being from the midwest, it seems most casseroles have cans of Cream of Something in them, which can sometimes be good but most often is not. It kind of seems like bad retro food in many cases. Am I the only one who feels this way?

I depend on them sometimes, for my version of a ready-to-eat homemade dinner from the freezer. I know they tend to be comfort food-ish, which sometimes is what hits the spot. Although they are not my favorite meal, sometimes time or lack of present energy dictates what's for dinner so I'll make several for something Ready to Go.

What's your take on the lowly casserole? I think my favorite so far has broccoli, onions, cheese, rice and chicken combined or Mac and Cheese. Do you have a favorite?

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clipped on: 07.28.2011 at 04:26 pm    last updated on: 07.28.2011 at 04:26 pm

Kitchen Gadget: Waffle Maker

posted by: booberry85 on 07.09.2011 at 02:17 pm in Cooking Forum

My husband became rather found of the waffle maker in the hotel where we stayed recently. You could make your own waffles. So he did! (Sure see if I can get him to cook at home though!)

Anyway, This threads about all things waffles. What waffle maker do you have? Why did you pick that one? What's your favorite waffle recipe? What's your favorite way to "dress up" your waffles?

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clipped on: 07.12.2011 at 04:33 pm    last updated on: 07.12.2011 at 04:33 pm

I Finished my White Zen Kitchen!

posted by: celineike on 07.10.2011 at 05:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ahhhh, it's good to be done.
What fun this whole process has been!
Here's the low down.

We had a slab leak in February. The entire downstairs had wood floors and water had been leaking into them for weeks/months? we don't know. But long enough that the walls and cabinets were wet as well. So they gutted and we got to work.
Our old kitchen was a dark place for me. We have north facing window and the light was always dim. We also had light wood cabinets and dark greenish black granite (Uba Tuba?) on the counters, island and backsplash!!!! ugh! what a light sucker that was!

I had always known that if we changed the kitchen it would be to white. I know people say timeless doesn't exist in kitchens... but every decade I can think of has had white as an option. So I never thought of this a trendy thing. -til i got here, lol.
Anyway, White cabs and grey counters were the only things I had in mind for sure. The rest fell into place the more I looked around and if you see a part of your kitchen in here... THANK YOU!!!! I stole SO many details from GWer's.

Details...
Apparently we have a small kitchen,lol... didn't think so til i got here either, it's 13'x12'

Counters.... Qortstone perimeters in Cemento
Island & Bar is Statuary Marble
Butcher Block on Island.... oiled Dark Walnut End-Grain 18"x38"
Cabinets .... shaker, inset, framed
Paint on Cabs ...BM Cloud White
Paint on Walls ... BM Smokey Taupe
Hardware is mostly RH & Rejuvenation for the Latches (way worth that investment!) All Polished Nickel
Island now measures 38"x 84"
walkways are 38" on sink side; 42" on oven side; and 36" on fridge side... all plenty wide, i was worried about pushing these measurements.
Bluestar RNB 36"
Proline 36" Hood
Sharp MW Drawer
Kenmore Elite French door Fridge
Fisher & Paykel Dish Drawer Washer
Sink.. Krauss 33" double Bowl Stainless
Main Faucet is Hansgrohe Pull Down PN

Befores...
way before
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and after...
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Fridge wall, Appliance garage on right and coffee station on left
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Island with BB and Rubbish/Recycling Bins/drawers - love these!
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Bluestar tee hee
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I'll post some more pics of fun details. Things i liked seeing from other's kitchens and ended up adding to mine.

At one point, I had chosen everything and had a huge set back of worry that the whole thing would be boring instead of calm and bright and peaceful. Thank you all for your encouragement and opinions on various choices and ideas. This is such great forum with wonderful people.
I love how my kitchen turned out!

xo

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clipped on: 07.11.2011 at 03:30 pm    last updated on: 07.11.2011 at 03:30 pm

Awesome window cleaner!!

posted by: Joiful on 09.27.2004 at 01:30 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum

I just got this tip from another board. It was posted by Lois. It works better than anything I have ever tried. Here's the info:

Posted by: LoisLaneTX Replies: 80 Posted on: 9/13/2001 7:10:47 PM
#T3239
While in line at the grocery, I let a lady go ahead of me, because I had many items and she had only about 20 boxes of Corn Starch....I asked her what she was going to do with all that corn starch. She said she was a professional window cleaner and it was the best thing she'd ever found to make the windows sparkle.

Here's how: Just dilute a little bit in a bucket and make a solution. Take a clean terry cloth and dip into solution, wipe over mirror or window. Then take a clean/dry terry cloth and wipe excess. Turn cloth to dry side and polish off.....you'll see it sparkle and never buy that blue or green stuff again. Or use smelly vinegar!!!

Note:
I just put a few Tablespoons of cornstarch in a qt. spray bottle and fill 1/2 full with water. You can't store this solution for any length of time because it will start to smell. Just mix a small amount to use up each time you want to clean windows, mirrors, etc.

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clipped on: 06.30.2011 at 09:02 am    last updated on: 06.30.2011 at 09:02 am

What is the best way to clean my new stainless appliances?

posted by: hungryheart on 02.27.2011 at 09:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

I realize that I am about to join the world of fingerprints - Yikes!

In Bed Bath today - the manager wanted me to buy some super duper cleaner and microfiber cloths but I didn't purchase anything (well, not cleaning related, anyway) yet. Is it microfiber or chamois that I am supposed to use? And the cleaner?

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clipped on: 06.29.2011 at 02:00 pm    last updated on: 06.29.2011 at 02:01 pm

How do you clean your kitchen hardwood floors

posted by: vidyaram on 06.15.2011 at 10:46 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi
I have medium cafe brown maple hardwood floors with a satin finish. It is not very shiny. I have had the floors for 5 months only now but I am not able to clean it like how it looked the first time. I am using cedar mop with bona cleaner. Please share your tips on making it look streak free and a little shine.
Thanks

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clipped on: 06.18.2011 at 05:23 pm    last updated on: 06.18.2011 at 05:23 pm

cooking with cast iron

posted by: paulwheaton on 09.20.2006 at 06:17 pm in Cookware Forum

I learned of gardenweb some time ago when somebody sent me this e-mail: "Just a quick note on your "Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy" page. I found it since it is mentioned frequently on gardenweb.com forums...."

Well, I hope this is an okay thing to do ... I wrote another article. Kinda like that one. I have spent years on it and it still needs a bit of work. The driving force behind it is rather similar: something I'm keen on; something that can save the world if I post it; something where if I show it to experts, they will gladly point out where I need to learn more!

I call the article "using a cast iron skillet ain't so hard!" and it can be found at http://www.richsoil.com/castiron/

I hope you'll take a gander at it! Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: using a cast iron skillet ain't so hard!

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clipped on: 06.02.2011 at 05:17 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2011 at 05:17 pm

Cast iron question

posted by: petaloid on 10.25.2010 at 09:08 pm in Cooking Forum

I have been using Crisco to season our vintage cast iron cookware, which seems to work well.

My hubby wants to re-season the pans with mineral oil instead, because he heard this is better.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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clipped on: 06.02.2011 at 05:13 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2011 at 05:14 pm

Want to try my hand at Eggplant Parmigian...

posted by: kframe19 on 01.13.2011 at 10:27 am in Cooking Forum

anyone have a good, but relatively simple recipe?

And, do I need to purge the eggplant before I use it?

So confused.

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clipped on: 05.16.2011 at 02:49 pm    last updated on: 05.16.2011 at 02:50 pm

The best hummus I've ever had

posted by: shaun on 02.11.2010 at 08:41 pm in Cooking Forum

I went out to dinner last night to a Greek place nearby. They served chunky hummus with warm pita bread sprinkled with what looked like Parmesan cheese.

This hummus - was absolutely the best I've ever had in my life.

Today I emailed the restaurant asking for their recipe. The chef wrote me back and I'm in shock at how simple this recipe is.

I made some tonight and it tastes just as good as what I ate at the restaurant!

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2 cups of Chick peas, rinsed & drained well
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
Pinch of salt & pepper
Method:
In mixing bowl... combine all ingredients and "smash" with a wooden spoon or with a hand mixer "slow speed" until a "chunky" texture.

*note* I used my potato masher.

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clipped on: 05.15.2011 at 03:31 pm    last updated on: 05.15.2011 at 03:31 pm

Drawer dividers

posted by: cessnabmw on 03.23.2011 at 01:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our kitchen is finally almost done. What do most of you do for drawer dividers? I'm looking to get wooden ones for cutlery, etc.

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clipped on: 05.03.2011 at 10:56 am    last updated on: 05.03.2011 at 10:56 am

RE: Some of the best advice from the braintrust on this forum (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: buehl on 02.05.2011 at 03:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

I don't know if you've read the "Read Me" thread, but the "Best Advice" and other, similar, threads are linked in it. They're located in the "Miscellaneous Information"-->"Helpful Threads" topic.

Here's your list, reformatted for ease of reading (see "Curious about text in messages (adding bold, italics, etc.)", also in the "Miscellaneous Information"-->"Helpful Threads" topic.)


++++++++++++


  • lay the kitchen out on the ground outside with all the measurements and walk around it to see if it felt right. I took my measurements and scraps of wood and laid them out in the various plans I had come up with.

  • check out the sound of the fan in the new ovens. I would have been pretty steamed to spend a bunch on a new range and have that sound come blaring out each time I used the oven.

  • putting Blumotion on the cabinet doors. This is my favorite feature in our kitchen and the cost was cheap to add these on after the cab install.

  • "zones" on this forum, and designed my kitchen around them, with a tremendous amount of help from my forum friends. In my old kitchen, the dishwasher opened across from the island (right into the backs of my legs). Now, the cleanup zone is on the peninsula, the prep area is between the fridge and sink, etc. It's really wonderful.

  • No air gap -- most modern dishwashers don't need them, so you don't have to have that extra unattractive "thing" on your countertop. Easy way around that if you need to pass code inspection is to drill the hole for air gap... pop it on for inspection and when they've gone take off the air gap and pop on your soap dispenser. Then put the loop in the hose at the back of your dishwasher...

  • Advantium

  • Miele dishwasher

  • Test tube rack for spice storage

  • Lay it out with tape to double check

  • advice for setting up a temp kitchen

  • Measure from 3 points wall to wall. Had I known this when we remodeled the entire house in 1990, I would now have the room to put in a pro-style range. As it is, I am exactly....1/4" short. Talk about frustrating! Our cabs are in great shape and I love them, but I'm stuck with the 29-7/8" width on the range.

  • I really like this that I stole from Dmlove--- I love not having all those cords on my desk/countertop! So best advice from this forum... details make the difference! for now my phone sits over the hole

  • pull down (rather than pull out or side spray) faucet

  • Bluestar, after asking about the best 30 inch slide-in range

  • batch-feed garbage disposals

  • adding outlets

  • Galaxy Tool Supply for our sink

  • Never MT

  • Plugmold

  • Wide/shallow cabinet for William Sonoma ultra-thin step stool.

  • Airswitch on disposal. Never minded the wall switch, but now that I have a nice backsplash and an island

  • Floodstop on icemaker and washing machine.

  • I put power into the back of 4 drawers, so each family member has a place to charge the cell phone (or camcorder or whatever) out of sight.

  • I also have a false panel behind a niche so that the power / wallwarts / phone wire / wireless access point is hidden. Only the phone sits out exposed. Similar to the idea above, but using depth.

  • Don't pack your booze prior to remodeling (this is VERY important! VERY IMPORTANT!)

  • Lacanche

  • caulk on change of planes verses grout...look at the underside of your cabinets

  • Plugmold for under the ends of my island so I didn't have to cut outlets into my beautiful cabinets

  • integrated drainboard cut into the countertop

  • raising the countertop for my wall oven - which gave me a bonus "standing desk" for my laptop

  • never thought I could get talked out of gas. So, that is the best advice so far

  • I'm a single sink convert, based solely upon the reviews on this website.

  • DH and I made a "never mt" out of tubing bought for $0.46 at Lowes. It's really not very exciting, though. It's clear tubing (like the kind you see on aquariums) attached to the bottom of the soap dispenser thing, and then extends down through the lid and into the bottom of the bottle of soap. (We just drilled a hole in the top of the bottle and shoved the tubing down.) So low tech! The tubing is something like $.23/ foot and we bought 2 feet. Super easy.

  • Landing space between appliances

  • Aisle clearances

  • Wait until its right - the right plan, the right time, the right appliances.

  • instant hot water heater

  • Getting a 36" range

  • baking center

  • online resources for sinks and faucets

  • the importance of putting functionality first in all design decisions

  • how to test granite for durability

  • remote blower for hood fan

  • single deep fireclay sink

  • lots of great online resources for sinks, faucets, etc

  • Never NEVER NEVER!!!! Leave your construction site to go on vacation ::scary music:: I MEAN NEVERRRRR!!!!!

  • the best (and most costly) is don't settle. You have to live with this kitchen for quite some time. Don't settle! (Even if that means you scrapped the cabinets today, called of the GC for 8 weeks while you order new ones, and you can't live in your home so you have to find somewhere else to live for three months). And maybe Santa won't know where you live!!!

  • Pegasus under-cabinet lighting here. Slim, good-looking, very energy-efficient, and reasonably priced.

  • I was convinced of the superiority of the Miele cutlery rack

  • do not rush..get a good plan in place. Pick what you love ..NOT what the designer loves

  • Brizo Floriano/pulldowns in general

  • xenon lighting

  • Venting

  • Tapmaster

  • take pictures of everything while your walls are open. It is very helpful to have that photographic record of where electric, pipes, studs etc. actually are. Also, plan for where you want to install pot/wall racks, shelf brackets, etc.--and add extra framing in the walls before they get closed up.

  • Get your floor plan right!

  • The Franke Orca sink ... to die for.

  • Inexpensive but quality Ticor sinks for laundry and prep.

  • Plugmold giving me a crisp, clean and outlet-free backsplash.

  • The personal, real life stories shared here gave me the confidence to push back at the stoneyard and insist on marble for my island. It pairs beautifully with the soapstone perimeter.

  • Bertazzoni range

  • White America Quartzite to go with SS

  • LED undercabinet lights

  • internet and eBay vendor recommendations

  • Hancock & Moore leather furniture (from GW furniture forum)

  • Microfiber cloths for cleaning SS and granite.

  • we had scaled drawings, pictures, and sketches taped to walls and cabinets all over the kitchen. A sketch of the island layout, a drawing with dimensions for light fixtures and switches, a sketch showing the spacing of shelves, a picture of how we wanted plugmold installed - you name it, we had it on a piece of paper and taped on a wall. When we would discuss anything with the electrician, plumber, etc., usually we would show them a drawing or sketch so they would know exactly what we were looking for. Then we would post it on the wall in the kitchen. It may have been slightly annoying to those working there, but it was amazing how much it helped. A number of times after someone screwed something up I would just point to a drawing and they would immediately have to take the blame and offer to fix it. There was never any chance to claim that we never told them or that we had said something else. It was right there on the wall the whole time.

  • undercounter light switch for undercounter lights

  • tilt-out shoe storage cabinet

  • Get hardwoods instead of laminate. Once I investigated I couldn't believe at how little difference in cost between the two (good decent laminate vs. hardwood)

  • This is AWESOME! I now have a list of things I had never even heard of to check on...and I thought I was on top of things!

  • posters here are willing to share their good and bad experiences so that newbies like me can have a smoother reno.

  • Something that I'm slowly realizing as I continue to read the posts here is that, despite the best of planning, something (or things) likely will not go as planned.

  • Buy appliances available locally (so service is available), from retailers who will actually stand behind the sale instead of shifting all blame and responsibility to the manufacturer - even when they shipped a defective product. Just finished reading a long thread about someone that bought from an internet retailer, and it was shocking to see the attitude of the retailer. Forget the pre sale promises and assurances from some of these disreputable internet companies who won't be there if you have a problem and just get them locally. No small percentage of savings is worth it if you end up with a defective product shipped and the retailer says it isn't his problem. If you must buy via internet, make sure you get in writing that the product will be shipped defect-free and if there's anything wrong with the unit at all - IMMEDIATELY contest the charge with your credit card company. Don't rely on promises that a minor (or major) problem will be promptly repaired by a service company.

  • learning all the lingo was great. When the contractor asked if I wanted plugmold I didn't go "huh?" I think by being knowledgeable before talking to the contractor it helps a lot.

  • Knobs vs. Pulls. There have been several discussions of knobs vs. pulls. Some comments:

  • Knobs on base cabinets can catch on clothing (and rip sometimes).

  • Cabinets/drawers w/pulls can usually be opened w/one finger...even the pinky finger.

  • Susan Jablon glass tile. Everyone who comes in my house walks up to my backsplash and has to touch it. I had just about given up the idea of a glass tile backsplash before finding out about her site on this forum. The price of her tile, even with shipping, was about half of what I could have bought it for locally and it is gorgeous!

  • No sockets/switches in backsplash (under cabinet plug strip)

  • Toe kick on trash pop out BUT... ADD a second spring to add power to the pop (thank you for whoever mentioned this ingenious bit of info)

  • Double layered cutlery drawer (secret drawer within a drawer)

  • What to look for when choosing undercabinet lighting eg... reflection, spread of light, color of light, heat...

  • Benefits of a large farmhouse sink

  • Miele dishwasher

  • superb

  • Thermador cooktop and all the controversy about the popup draft and how I could get away with not having one. THANK YOU!

  • Miele warming drawer FANTASTIC and thank you for making me realize that it doesn't have to be on the floor under the oven!!!

  • PLAN YOUR STORAGE SPACE. measure boxes, measure food processor, mixer, stack of plates etc. etc. then make a note of contents in the drawers or cupboards on your plans or diagrams or in your notes.

  • Plug strip under center island.

  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE- PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT YOUR CD FRIDGE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU and it's OK to really take your time with your decisions

  • Orca single sink

  • Pot rack in upper cabinet (I think this idea was from loves2cookfor6??)

  • Electrical outlet inside a drawer for a charging station

  • filling in the gap between the fridge and the cupboard above it with some leftover filler and a piano hinge. Cambro...where did you see this idea? Just yesterday we discovered that we might have a significant gap b/w the top of the refrigerator & the bottom of the cabinet above. Our contractor is just going to use filler to hide the gap, but if we put it on hinges it would actually become usable space!

  • knife drawer (I hated that block)

  • gel stain

  • Getting rid of my ugly phone jack and getting a phone that doesn't need one!

  • How to get rid of the drip inside my oven door - with a hanger and a sock going up through the holes at the bottom of the door. Worked like a charm!

  • Get a spine when talking to GC about his version vs. my version of cleaning up the jobsite each day (aka our home).

  • Use masking tape and a measuring tape and make a mock up of where your new cabinets will go. This is a biggie!

  • Dimmer switches! I put them on ALL of the new lighting, including the patio lights adjacent, and have not regretted it once.

  • how great Silgranit sinks are to live with. Never even heard of one before GW.

  • Buying Sources

    • Ticor sinks: Ticor Sinks at Galaxy Tool Supply: http://www.galaxytoolsupply.com/category_s/58.htm

    • Tapmaster: http://www.tapmaster.ca/

    • Never-MT: Never-MT: http://custominserts-store.stores.yahoo.net/nevsoapandlo.html

    • Pop up Outlets: Popup Mocketts: http://www.mockett.com/default.asp?ID=469

    • Plugmold Power Strips: http://www.wiremold.com/www/consumer/products/plugmold.asp

    • Angle Powerstrip: http://www.tasklighting.com/ap/angle-strip.htm

  • Our Vac Pan. Ours is hooked up to a wet/dry vac in the basement because we do not have central vac. The idea came from this forum and our electrician and contractor figured out how to make it happen.

  • DIY on gel stain. Thanks Celticmoon and Projectsneverend.

  • Soapstone, getting it, finding the right fabricator right here, and caring for it

  • where to find a deal on saddle stools

  • Kohler Vinnata

  • Not to put my cooktop on my island.

  • best advice I got was around my budget and how to make the hard decisions on what should stay in and what should go (that was from Buehl).

  • What is not that important to me and doesn't add functionality? [Candidate for elimination altogether]

  • What can I do at a later date? [Candidate for deferring until a later date]

  • What can't be done at a later date and I can't live without? [Candidate for keeping and doing now]

  • This forum helped me see which terms are worth using, and which can be saved for later. This forum helped me get clearer communication going. Resistance could be expressed when I raised ideas; it all helped to refine the concept.

  • This forum helped me justify personal innovations. This forum confirmed ideas.

  • Tweaking and innovating. I tweaked everything in my kitchen along the way.

  • I don't know if I would have a remodeled kitchen if it weren't for this forum. I would have still been looking at the dreadful old one wishing it was nice and not knowing how to get it nice. Even the ideas & photos of things I didn't want for me helped to define what I did want.

  • I have to give credit to my carpenter, too. There was a time when his eyes rolled when I said, "but the people on the kitchen forum say......." But I had photos and conversations printed off to show him what I meant.

  • Lisalists organized drawers where the dividers go from front to back or side to side so you don't have to nest objects-and you can fit so much stuff in. Easy, easy access. No nesting. Yay

  • Layout, efficiency. This has to be the most important thing I've been learning here. What tasks do you perform, what zones will you organize them in, what items do you need close at hand in each zone, how does traffic between and through zones flow. etc.

  • Styles, materials, looks. People here have great ''eyes'' for style and looks. My eyes have been opened to these looks, and I've learned the vocabulary to describe them.

  • Specific ideas/features I learned about here that seem like they'll be useful: prep sinks, base cabinet drawers, counter top materials other than granite, true convection ovens, unfitted kitchens, under-counter refrigeration.

  • Many things, one of which is using a 13-15" depth cabinet for inset cabinets, as 12 is not sufficient.

  • Carefully placing all the appliances and storage thinking about what you use with what. For example, I moved the microwave to be next to the refrigerator because we use it mostly for reheating leftovers. I have fridge, prep sink, prep area, range, more prep area on one side and on the other I have prep area/ landing zone (across from fridge), main sink, prep area / dishwasher (across from range, but offset so both people can work) in the island.

Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens!

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clipped on: 04.19.2011 at 12:04 pm    last updated on: 04.19.2011 at 12:04 pm

LOOKING for: a good stew recipe

posted by: mst___ on 10.19.2007 at 12:53 am in Recipe Exchange Forum

I have 2 lbs. of beef stew meat in the freezer and am looking for a really good recipe for a stew. Most stews I've tried are ok but not something I want to make again. Can you share your favorite recipe? TIA.
Teri

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clipped on: 04.11.2011 at 05:04 pm    last updated on: 04.11.2011 at 05:04 pm

A Polenta Primer?

posted by: johnliu on 03.26.2011 at 11:21 pm in Cooking Forum

I'm really trying to learn about new foods lately.

Tonight, polenta. I've had it twice, I suppose, but had never made it. So I got a recipe from the Internet: ''1 cup grits, 3 cups water, 1 tbsp butter, salt; bring to boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often at first; the end result should be firm enough to slice'' . . . Whereupon I looked down at the pot of grits I was stirring, and wondered how to ''slice'' a deep potful of solid polenta. So I poured the sludgy mix into a baking pan and stuck that in my toaster oven at 300F for 20 minutes. And the result? Uh, too soft and too boring. But I guess it is a start.

Do you have a simple, versatile, quick approach to making polenta? Are there any interesting ''other'' things - cooking or serving - to do with this food?

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clipped on: 03.28.2011 at 06:35 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2011 at 03:44 pm

Put Some Variety In Couscous?

posted by: johnliu on 03.25.2011 at 10:05 pm in Cooking Forum

I haven't had couscous all that much, and have only made it occasionally - had some tonight - but I've noticed that, well, it's always the same. Looks the same. Tastes the same. Cooks the same.

A tasty, golden, pleasantly-textured sponge for sauce, butter, and other flavor - those flavours vary, but the couscous itself is always the same.

What am I missing? What are some different ways to prepare couscous?

Mudlady's rice thread got me wondering about this. There are more varieties of rice, and more ways to prepare it, than one might initially imagine. So, is there a similar diversity of possibilities with couscous, of which I'm ignorant?

(Tonight: couscous cooked in chicken stock and pureed onion. Had with pressure cooked beef short ribs, steamed clams, roasted carrots).

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clipped on: 03.28.2011 at 06:33 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2011 at 06:33 pm

Quinoa

posted by: r2ringkc on 03.26.2011 at 07:06 am in Cooking Forum

I'm been lurking here for sometimes now & I been wondering if anybody have a great quinoa recipe to share. Thanks in advance.

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clipped on: 03.28.2011 at 05:20 pm    last updated on: 03.28.2011 at 06:24 pm

After Market Cabinet Organizers?

posted by: 10KDiamond on 01.12.2011 at 10:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

What is a good source for cabinet organizers (spice racks, cutlery & silverware holders, etc.)? My fabulous Cabinet Guru knows I am on a tight budget (involuntary kitchen remodel due to house fire) and did not try to sell me all of the assorted drawer accessories. Instead, he said that they were much cheaper from other sources. Any ideas? TIA -

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clipped on: 03.26.2011 at 03:29 pm    last updated on: 03.26.2011 at 03:30 pm

Favorite family recipe?

posted by: RuthieG in MA (Guest) on 03.31.2001 at 08:01 am in Once-a-Week Cooking Forum

OK lets have your family's favorite recipe.

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clipped on: 03.13.2011 at 03:15 pm    last updated on: 03.13.2011 at 03:15 pm

OT: What tickles your taste buds?

posted by: melaska on 03.12.2011 at 05:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

Since you make the stuff that tickles your taste buds in the kitchen, I figured this would be an OK place to post this ;)

I just finished my version of Dal Makhani. My mouth is burning SO good! I LOVE Indian food! It's like it was created JUST FOR ME! I love their exotic spices & the way they combine them.

What we Americans call 'curry' is such a sad, sad thing. That yellow stuff (turmeric) in the cans at the local supermarket is just one of their spices. YOU MUST discover curry in its entirety. A good starting place is a spice house called Penzeys. Their print catalog is a primer on all things spices & herbs. I'll link them below.

Dal Makhani uses "Beluga" Black Lentils that are so luscious...I just discovered them. The gal at the local health food store didn't even know they existed. I ordered some...I fell in love. They retain their texture unlike some lentils. They call them 'Beluga' because they are black and shiny. Some Indian recipes combine light red kidney beans in the recipe. That's the way I like them. They are more expensive than other lentils but oh, so worth it! :)

My journey started with a healthy packaged food called "Tasty Bite". My favorite of theirs is called "Madras Lentils" which is basically Dal Makhani, a toned-down version of what I like but still good. I was determined to find a recipe online so I could make my own. Buying the packaged food was kinda spendy & it goes against my frugal nature. We have 100's of pounds of grains, legumes, etc. and I need to add those luscious black lentils to my stock :)

Anyway...I found several recipes and combined, experimented until I came up with the one I like for now. I'm always trying to evolve so I won't get bored so here is the current favorite:

CREAMY SPICED BLACK LENTILS (Dal Makhani)

This recipe is for a 5½ to 6½-quart Crockpot (for a smaller Crockpot, just halve recipe):

3 cups Black lentils (picked through & washed)
1 cup Light Red Kidney beans (picked through & washed)

Add lentils & beans to Crockpot

Dry fry following spices…(heat skillet over medium high heat & ‘dry fry’ for a minute or so stirring constantly. This ‘blooms’ the volatile oils in the spices which greatly add to their flavors. Remove from heat immediately. This is different from frying in oil…the heat can get much hotter in dry frying so more flavor comes out.

1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon Red Chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Remove from heat & empty spices into Crockpot.

Add to Crockpot:

2 to 8 Tablespoons butter (according to your taste) Indian cooking calls for “ghee” which is clarified butter �" I just don’t take the time to do it!

½ cup Half & Half (or you can use full cream which is more traditional)

12 cups water (use a little less if you want a thicker dal)
2 cans chopped green chilies
4” piece ginger (or 4 teaspoons ginger powder) guess which one I use? ;)
2 cloves garlic (or garlic powder)
1 Tablespoon Cholula Sauce (you can also use Sriracha Sauce (‘Rooster Sauce’). My addition.

1 medium red or yellow onion, diced (or onion powder). You can also add dehydrated minced, toasted onions. I get mine from Penzeys or My Spice Sage. I live in a remote Alaska town so I don’t have a local ready supply of a lot of ingredients.

1/3 cup Red Curry Paste (use less if you want less heat) More traditional recipes call for the whole pepper such as, Thai, Serrano & cayenne chilies…I just like easy

Tomato paste (about ¼ cup)
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Asafoetida (Optional) This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles. Its odor, when uncooked, is so strong it must be stored in airtight containers; otherwise, the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby. However, its odor and flavor become much milder and more pleasant upon heating in oil or ghee, acquiring a taste and aroma reminiscent of sautéed onion and garlic. Asafoetida reduces the growth of indigenous microflora in the gut, reducing flatulence. Wikipedia

Cook on high for 8 hours.

Add at end:

Salt - 2 Tablespoons, or to taste

Add some acid. I add juice from 2 fresh limes but you can use anything you want. My addition. I’m a lime freak 

For each serving, garnish with cilantro & a splash of rich cream.
You can also serve it alongside Classic Saffron Rice

CLASSIC SAFFRON RICE

2 cups long-grain white rice (I use Basmati)
4 cups water or chicken broth
2 Tablespoons butter (real)
2 Tablespoons minced onion (optional)
2 small pinches of Saffron, crumbled (not powdered)
1 teaspoon salt

For regular Class Rice, omit the saffron.

Place butter and minced onion in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Sauté over medium heat until onion is transparent. Add rice and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes or until grains look translucent. Add water & saffron; bring to rolling boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes.

NOW...what tickles YOUR taste buds? :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Currys

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clipped on: 03.12.2011 at 09:21 pm    last updated on: 03.12.2011 at 09:21 pm

RE: 'Labor Saving Devices?' (Follow-Up #62)

posted by: warmfridge on 02.25.2011 at 12:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have Norton waterstones, 1000 and 4000 grit, and use them on my Henckel's and carbon steel knives. There are numerous YouTube videos out there on technique, but I learned most of what I know about knife sharpening from the Cheftalk website, which harbors fanatics on the subject. I've never used oilstones...they seem unnecessarily messy...nor have I tried a strop.

The Chef's Choice sharpens well but removes a lot metal, so I use that on my ''throw-away'' knives. We have a lakeside summer home with lots of guests, and knives are frequently abused or lost. I can't bother with expensive knives and time-consuming sharpening there.

I just use a steel for ''touch-ups'', which tells me I really need to get busy and actually sharpen the knives.

This all works for me, but I don't own any Japanese knives that require different sharpening angles. I know Chef's Choice now makes a sharpener with adjustable angles that some people like.

I've been rethinking the practice of washing knives by hand. I've always been told, and believed, that it's evil to put knives in the DW basket because they bang around and that dulls the edges. However, I now think maybe they're safer in the slots in the plastic top cutlery rack than they are in my soapy hands over a granite sink. And DW detergents are much less noxious now than previously. So, assuming the handles are impervious to DW's, is it safe to put knives in the DW now? I don't know but would be interested to hear others' opinions.

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clipped on: 03.05.2011 at 02:13 pm    last updated on: 03.05.2011 at 02:13 pm

Beautiful Backsplashes:Links to BreathTaking Pictures & Resources

posted by: cupofkindness on 06.21.2004 at 08:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

This thread is to provide links or in-text pictures of backsplashes that, unlike the other backsplash thread in the Gallery, are not a forum member's own backsplash. It is also to provide links/pictures to inspiring manufacturers and designers, tiles, stones, metals, glass and other materials that are backsplash elements. Please limit "conversations" about various links to the "Discussions" section of the Kitchen Forum so that this thread can be a resources list only. Please, please post any completed backsplashes or materials that you have come across as you have worked on your own backsplash. Let's start this thread with the gorgeous red tile backsplash that Sharon G found for me on a "Discussions" side of the Kitchen Forum. Thank you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Red Tile Range Mantle: Tile By Country Floors, Work By Jose Diaz Contractors

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clipped on: 02.26.2011 at 01:30 pm    last updated on: 02.26.2011 at 01:30 pm

'Labor Saving Devices?'

posted by: plllog on 02.21.2011 at 03:51 am in Kitchens Forum

I've been doing a little project recently, checking a stack of recipes I've never seen or tasted, and doing them as written, instead of my own way. Basically, testing them. So I've been using the Cuisinart a heck of a lot more than I usually do. It can't be beat for shredding large blocks of cheese, or many cabbages for cole slaw for armies. Also for fine mincing of carrots and stuff like that. But I don't generally use it a lot. It's a big bother to wash, if nothing else. Quite a number of these recipes call for the food processor, however, and I've been using it.

So. Then I remembered Rococogurl, in Appliances, talking about using the Cuisinart to make choux paste. So I tried it. What a big mess!!! I mean, it did a good job until the fourth egg, but it was harder to get the eggs in than just in the pot or a bowl, and harder to spoon it out again. For a four egg batch I usually just use a wooden spoon. Simple. Works great. Keeps one out of the gym. :) Saves a lot of washing.

I do love my gadgets when they work well, like my silicone garlic peeler and OXO garlic press (best danged garlic press ever!). Love my rotating OXO egg slicer too, and my wire avocado slicer, even though I'm perfectly able to use a knife. I will never use anything but tin snips to trim artichokes because they work so well, and I'd be lost without poultry shears. I even just bought a certain kind of citrus press because I thought it would be good for squeezing the excess water out of cooked greens for layering, because I'm tired of pressing them by hand. But the machines?

I was making a filling for the puffs and was so sick of the FP, and so not in the mood to wash the food mill, I just used an old fashioned wire whisk to pulp the (cooked) vegetables into the yoghurt. Squish squish squish. Stir stir whip. All done. One whisk. One bowl. Easy set-up. Easy clean-up. No separate tool for mixing in the nuts. No chance that it'll get too wet.

Then I realized there are a lot of things I don't bother using the mixer for, even though it's right there on the counter. I rarely volunteer to whip a dozen egg whites by hand (BTDT but it's not fun), however there are a lot of things that are just easier to use a whisk or wooden spoon to beat.

I grew up with an automatic egg boiler, so I'm fond of that, but I really only care for the bigger small appliances when I'm doing a really big job.

Am I alone? Do you all love your food processors and use them several times per week? And your mixers and other machines?

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clipped on: 02.24.2011 at 05:48 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2011 at 11:40 am

RE: 'Professional Style' Versus Professional Appliances (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: itsnotrocketscience on 01.17.2011 at 12:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

OT...

Sayde & Robyn,

If you want to try the oven first, pan sear last technique, try something like this...(four servings)

Buy two really thick steaks, about 1 lb each. Cut in half vertically to create two equal size steaks. Remove excessive fat along the outside edges. (Note - for Rib-Eye, you may need to use twine to help hold shape) Pat steaks dry, then season each with kosher salt and cracked pepper. If necessary, use your hands to shape steaks so the are even in shape and thickness. In an oven preheated to 275, place steaks on a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet in the middle rack position. If you like medium rare, 20 to 25 minutes ought to do it. (Robyn - at this low temp, there is very little smoking.)

When finished in the oven, pan sear in vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. 1-1/2 to 2 minutes ought to do it. Because the steaks are thick, you may wish to use tongs to hold the steaks on their sides to sear the sides (hold the steaks side by side).

Use the wire rack and a foil tent to let them rest a bit when finished (to capture the juices, you may wish to place a plate or something under the rack under the steaks). Use the browned bits in the pan to make a sauce if you wish.

Robyn - in your other post showing pix of your kitchen, I notice you have an OTR Microwave with vent. That certainly explains your concerns about generating smoke in the kitchen. Yes, I have a strong hood (1200 cfm Modern-Aire) so that is a big difference.

Sayde - you are going to have so much fun with your BS!

Jon

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OVEN COOK STEAKS BEFORE SEARING
clipped on: 02.23.2011 at 02:35 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2011 at 02:35 pm

The best way to clean....

posted by: kitchenconfidential2 on 02.10.2010 at 05:20 am in Kitchens Forum

Does anyone know if there is one place where the best kitchen cleaning tips can be found?

Cleaning granite
Cleaning marble
Cleaning SS
Cleaning glass oven top
Cleaning wood floors
Cleaning brushed nickel

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clipped on: 02.20.2011 at 12:34 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2011 at 12:34 pm

Best advice from this forum

posted by: justadncr on 07.14.2007 at 08:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

I was just thinking about what all I have learned from this forum and was trying to think of what was the most valuable advice.

I really think it was the advice to actually lay the kitchen out on the ground outside with all the measurements and walk around it to see if it felt right.
For me it was much better than plans on paper. I took my measurements and scraps of wood and laid them out in the various plans I had come up with.

My husband thought I was crazy standing out there pretending I was cooking and getting stuff out of the frig and such.

Of course I learned many, many more things but this helped the most.
What about you all?

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clipped on: 02.20.2011 at 12:32 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2011 at 12:32 pm

Stone Information (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: buehl on 01.03.2011 at 05:38 am in Kitchens Forum

Thread: Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

Getting granite or other natural stone? Read the linked thread:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0402564914989.html


Marble/Granite Stain Removal Threads

  • Marble poultice: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0502034822079.html
  • Oil stain in granite: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg030842032164.html
  • Coffee Stain on Granite: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0914442618231.html
  • Update on Removal of Coffee Stain on Granite: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg091310171907.html
  • First stain on white marble: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg1213183711789.html

  • Thread: Is there a DIY fix for scratched quartz countertop?: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0816513323387.html


    Thread: Best website I've found yet to view granite

    Posted by remodelfla on Fri, Mar 20, 09 at 22:58

    While doing a search I came across marble.com website. They have some amazing links including galleries with real life kitchens with a huge variety of stones installed. I didn't even get to the bathroom side yet. The pictures are beautiful. They also seem to have 3D and 2D interactive capacities which I haven't yet played with either. Will have to wait for a rainy Sunday when I want something to do.

    Anyway... I've haven't seen one this good yet and thought others might be able to utilize it. ENJOY!

    http://www.marble.com/countertops/galleries/thumb/kitchens/1.html

    NOTES:

    see bottom site
    clipped on: 02.20.2011 at 12:11 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2011 at 12:12 pm

    RE: Backsplash for 30 inch Range - Confused (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: sue_b on 01.25.2011 at 10:14 am in Kitchens Forum

    If you go to this Finished Backsplashes Slideshow and click play with your cursor on the 'stop' button, photos will go buy of so many ranges backsplashes that you will not believe it. Stop when you see ones that fit with what you are doing and do Save As on your computer. Then you will have lots of photos to go back over and you can print or send the ones you like to the KD. I think you will see that backsplashes extend past the cook top or range and flow under the cabinets at the sides. Then splatters from food prep or stirring also hit backsplash instead of painted wall. Does that make sense?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Backsplash Slideshow

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 02.20.2011 at 11:33 am    last updated on: 02.20.2011 at 11:33 am

    How do you store your skillets?

    posted by: warmfridge on 01.30.2010 at 04:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Another storage question: How do you store your skillets? In a pullout? Nested in a drawer? What has worked for you and what hasn't?

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 02.17.2011 at 01:23 pm    last updated on: 02.17.2011 at 01:23 pm

    RE: What should go within easy reach of the cooktop? (Follow-Up #13)

    posted by: buehl on 12.08.2009 at 04:47 am in Kitchens Forum

    This might also help...

  • Cabinet 1: 24" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 2: 30" base, 2 drawers + Warming Drawer
  • Cabinet 3: 6" filler pullout w/3 shelves
  • Cabinet 4: 36" cooktop base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 5: 6" filler pullout w/3 shelves
  • Cabinet 6: 31" base, 1 drawer + Microwave Drawer
  • Cabinet 7: 36" corner sink base w/15-3/4" square sink
  • Cabinet 8: 24" base, 4 drawers
  • Cabinet 9: 27" base, 1 drawer + 2 roll out shelves (2 doors)
  • Cabinet 10: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 11: 21"W x 12"D x 30"H upper, 3 shelves
  • Cabinet 12: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 13: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 14: 21"W x 12"D x 30"H upper, 3 shelves
  • Cabinet 15: 18"W x 15"D x 36"H upper, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 16: 36"W x 24"D over-the-refrigerator cabinet
  • Cabinet 17: 33" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 18: 18" Trash Pullout + 1 drawer (2 bins)
  • Cabinet 19: 36" sink base w/35-1/2" sink
  • Cabinet 20: 24" DW
  • Cabinet 21: 27" base, 3 drawers
  • Cabinet 22: 31.5" double-oven cabinet, 1 drawer + cabinet above w/dividers for tray storage & 1 shelf
  • Cabinet 23: 23"W x 12"D x 36"H upper cabinet, 4 shelves
  • Cabinet 24: 23"W x 12"D x 36"H upper cabinet, 4 shelves
  • NOTES:

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    clipped on: 02.17.2011 at 01:12 pm    last updated on: 02.17.2011 at 01:12 pm

    Pantry photos/ pics of pantries

    posted by: rhome410 on 02.03.2009 at 02:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

    There are some great pantry threads that will eventually be lost and Starpooh suggested I post links here so that others can post and, hopefully, we'll keep some of these resources alive for those planning pantries in the future. (She pointed out that threads 'live' longer here than on the discussions side of the forum.) There is one thread, in particular, that has awesome photos of pantry interiors that I can open through a link I've saved, but if anyone posts on it, it doesn't become current again. Starpooh has put it in .pdf form and it is too large to download here, so I've linked it below.

    Here is another walk-in pantry thread with helpful shelf spacing guidelines/recommendations:
    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0518351723171.html

    There is also a previous thread with photos of closet style pantries, which I'm still trying to track down. Of course, photos of pantry cabs will be helpful to people, too.

    Anyway, here's hoping people will start showing off their pantries here, so we form a pantry album for others to consult.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Thread as .pdf: Anyone Willing to Share the Inside of their Pantry?

    NOTES:

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    clipped on: 02.13.2011 at 11:40 am    last updated on: 02.13.2011 at 11:40 am