Clippings by loves2cook4six

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

RE: Your favorite Crockpot recipe! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: caliloo on 12.23.2010 at 07:01 am in Cooking Forum

I will second Ginger's French Dip Sandwiches, my guys love them. Here is another one that is so easy and delish any time of year.



Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Place in crockpot 2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.

Without draining anything, combine in bowl:

2 (15oz) cans black beans
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans Mexican stewed tomatoes (or Rotel)
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 cup salsa, your preference as to strength

Pour over chicken and cook on low 8 hours.

Just before serving, remove chicken, shred it, and stir it back into the soup.

Stir in:
1 can Niblets corn

Heat just long enough to get corn and chicken hot.

Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips. Or put the chips in the bowl first and ladle soup on top. Either way, YUMMY and so easy!


clipped on: 12.23.2010 at 07:57 am    last updated on: 12.23.2010 at 07:57 am

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bbstx on 11.26.2010 at 11:32 am in Cooking Forum

DD was home a couple of weeks ago and helping me find ways to use up lemons. We made these cookies. They were fabulous!

Citrus-Kissed Honey Buttons

From EatingWell: November/December 2010

These citrus-flavored sugar cookies are a lovely addition to any holiday cookie platter.

3 dozen cookies : Active Time: 20 minutes : Total Time: 1 1/4 hours (including 30 minutes chilling time)

•1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 cup granulated sugar
•4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (see Tip)
•1 large egg
•1 tablespoon honey
•1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
•1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
•1 teaspoon lemon extract


1.Whisk flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a small bowl.

2.Beat sugar and butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, honey, lemon zest, orange zest and lemon extract, and beat until blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or overnight.

3.Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

4.Roll the dough into 36 balls (about 2 level teaspoons each) with your hands. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

5.Bake, one batch at a time, until puffed and beginning to crack, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Per cookie : 59 Calories; 1 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 0 g Mono; 9 mg Cholesterol; 11 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Protein; 0 g Fiber; 36 mg Sodium; 15 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (other)

Tips & Notes
•Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the dough for up to 1 day. Store cookies airtight for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. : Equipment: Parchment paper or nonstick baking mats
•Tip: To soften butter, let stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Or cut into small pieces and let stand for about 15 minutes. (Do not soften in a microwave - the uneven heat may melt the butter in spots.)


clipped on: 12.07.2010 at 09:16 pm    last updated on: 12.07.2010 at 09:16 pm

RE: Care package for the college kid (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: loves2cook4six on 10.17.2010 at 05:48 pm in Cooking Forum

Here are some of the ones I've used in the past:

Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients for Cooking Day:

* Chicken- you can use any chicken parts that you like for this recipe: breast, legs, thighs, wings or a mixture!
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 small piece of fresh ginger, crushed
* 1 tsp. garlic salt
* 1 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/4 cup white wine

Directions for Cooking Day: Put raw chicken in a freezer bag. Combine rest of ingredients and pour over chicken. Freeze.

Ingredients for Serving Day:

* Sesame seeds to taste

Directions for Serving Day: Defrost chicken mixture. Cook this any way that works best for you. Sometimes during the summer we will grill the chicken and other times I will cook it in the oven. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before cooking. I usually do about 30 minutes at 425. Cook until chicken is completely cooked through.

Wine and Herb Chicken Marinade

Ingredients for Cooking Day:

* 2/3 cup white wine
* 1 tsp. tarragon
* 1/4 tsp. rosemary
* 1/4 tsp. thyme
* 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
* 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
* Chicken (this will marinade 2 1/2 - 3 lbs.)

Directions for Cooking Day: Combine all ingredients. Put chicken pieces in a freezer bag. Pour Marinade over the pieces. Put in freezer.

Directions for Serving Day: Completely thaw chicken and marinade. Cook on grill.

Chicken Paprikash

Ingredients for Cooking Day:

* 3 lbs. chicken, cut up
* 2 cups sour cream
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tbsp. flour
* 3 cans tomato soup
* 1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
* 1 large onion coasely chopped
* 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Ingredients for Serving Day:

* Noodles

Directions for Cooking Day:

Fry chicken until lightly browned. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are tender. Add tomato soup and sour cream. Heat chicken broth and add the flour. Combine to chicken mixture and add parsley. Cool completely and freeze using freezer bag.

Directions for Serving Day:

Defrost completely. Cook on med. low heat for approximately 1 hour or until chicken is completely cooked. Serve over noodles.

Pull Apart Cinnamon Apple Rolls


* 4 packages cans refrigerated biscuit dough (7.5 oz)
* 3 cups white sugar
* .25 cup ground cinnamon
* .5 cup melted butter
* .5 cups chopped pecans
* .5 cups applesauce
* 1 cups apples, peeled and diced


Lightly grease an 8×8 deep dish pan. In a large zippered bag, mix together 2 cups sugar, cinnamon and apples. Open biscuits and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Put the biscuit pieces into the mixture, and shake/mix, until they are all completely coated. Add in the applesauce and shake until covered again. Arrange in pans. Stir pecans and 1 cup sugar into the melted butter. Pour butter mixture evenly over the pan. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes, until top is golden brown.
Freezing Directions:

Cover with foil and freeze BEFORE baking (ie do not bake). To serve: Thaw. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Orange Chicken

* 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts; cut into bite size chunks

* Orange Sauce:
* 1 1/2 c. water
* 2 Tbsp orange juice
* 1/4 c. lemon juice
* 1/3 c. rice vinegar
* 2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
* 1 c. packed brown sugar
* 1/2 tsp minced ginger
* 1/2 tsp minced garlic
* 2 Tbsp green onion; chopped
* 3 dried pepper pods/ dried red chili peppers
* 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

* (added later)
* 3 Tbsp cornstarch
* 2 Tbsp water

* Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

1. Pour water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium- high heat. Stir in orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, pepper pods, green onions and red pepper flakes. When mix comes to a boil remove from head and let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Place chicken in a zip lock bag and pour 1 cup of the sauce in with the chicken. Try to get out as much air as possible so that the chicken is fully submerged in the sauce. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours or freeze at this point. If you can do it over night then that is even better. Store the rest of the sauce in the frigerator as well.
3. Thaw frozen packet overnight. Pour about 2 Tbsp of oil on the bottom of a skillet over medium heat, just enough so that the chicken won't stick to the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook until brown on both sides. It is ok if the chicken isn't fully cooked. Once the chicken is browned take it out of the skillet. Wipe out the skillet to get the chicken residue off of it.
4. Add the sauce into the skillet and bring it to a boil over medium- high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and water and stir the mix into the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the chicken into the skillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes stirring occassionally.

Taco Soup Recipe


* 2 pounds ground beef
* 1.25 cups onion, diced
* 15.5 ounces kidney beans (undrained)
* 15.5 ounces black beans (undrained)
* 15.5 ounces pinto beans (undrained)
* 15.5 ounces canned corn, drained
* 10 ounces canned green tomatoes with chilies (Ro-Tel)
* 1 packages Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
* 1 packages taco seasoning
* 16 ounces tomato sauce


Brown hamburger and onion; drain. Place ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook for 3-5 hours on high or until heated through. Top with sour cream, cheese, and/or jalapenos, if desired.
Freezing Directions:

Let cool; divide among 2 gallon freezer bags. Freeze. To serve: Reheat on stove top or in microwave for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Top with sour cream, cheese, and/or jalapenos, if desired.

Mustard Marinated Chicken Breasts
1/4 c. Dijon Mustard
1/4 c. Soy Sauce (lower sodium)
1/4 c. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Thyme
3/4 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Parsley
1/8 tsp. Sage
6 Chicken Breasts

Mix mustard, soy sauce & lemon juice and pour over chicken.
Sprinkle spices over meat. Freeze in Ziploc freezer bag or let marinade for several hours in fridge.

Serving Day:
Thaw. Grill or bake @ 350 for 25 minutes or until chicken is done.


clipped on: 11.01.2010 at 02:31 pm    last updated on: 11.01.2010 at 02:31 pm

RE: Lemons - lots of Lemons - looking for three recipes (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: annie1992 on 03.31.2010 at 11:49 pm in Cooking Forum

Ilana, I hope you've resolved that curve ball...

Here's the recipe I have for the marmalade, it doesn't have canning instructions but since it has no commercial pectin it can be doubled or tripled and then canned with the usual 10 minutes in a boiling water bath thing.

Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Marmalade
Bon Appetit

1 1/4 pounds Meyer lemons
5 cups water
5 1/2 cups (about) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Pinch of salt
Working on large plate to catch juice, cut lemons in half lengthwise, then very thinly crosswise. Discard seeds. Pack enough lemons and any juice to measure 2 1/2 cups. Transfer to large nonreactive pot. Add 5 cups water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand uncovered overnight.

Measure lemon mixture (there should be about 5 1/2 cups). Return to same pot. Add equal amount of sugar (about 5 1/2 cups). Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Add pinch of salt. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Attach clip-on candy thermometer. Maintaining active boil and adjusting heat to prevent boiling over, cook until temperature reaches 230F, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Transfer to jars. Cover and chill. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

The limoncello recipe was Lori's, here it is, we agreed it would also be good without the mint, if you don't have fresh mint:

Limoncello-Mint Sorbet with Fresh Blackberries

Limoncello, the citrusy Italian liqueur, brightens this sorbet. It's nice to have a bottle on hand to splash with soda in a spritzer or macerate with fruit for a quick dessert.

2 cups water
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup limoncello
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 large lemons
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 cups blackberries
Lemon slices

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and mint. Cover and chill.

2. Strain juice mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm. Serve with blackberries; garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup sorbet and 1/4 cup berries)

CALORIES 184 ; FAT 0.2g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.1g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 13mg; CARBOHYDRATE 39.3g; SODIUM 1mg; PROTEIN 0.6g; FIBER 2g; IRON 0.2mg

Cooking Light, MAY 2009

Have fun, I keep threatening to make limoncello, but I know I never will, I wouldn't use a bottle in 20 years!



clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 09:00 pm    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 09:00 pm

RE: Lemons - lots of Lemons - looking for three recipes (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: doucanoe on 04.01.2010 at 08:31 am in Cooking Forum

Here's the Limoncello recipe I make. It's the one that we had at Peppis.

from BH&G "Italian"

10 large lemons
1 750ml bottle of good vodka
3 c sugar
2-1/2 c water

Scrub lemons well. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully remove enough of the yellow peel to make 2 cups. (Juice lemons and save juice for another use).

In large glass pitcher or bowl, combine the lemon peel and the vodka. Cover tightly and let stand in a cool place for 10 days, gently swirling the mixture in the container ach day. At the end of 10 days, strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discard the lemon peel. Return the lemon-infused vodka to the pitcher.

For syrup: In medium saucepan, combibe sugar and water. Bring just to boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool to room temperature. Pour syrup into infused odka, stir to combine. Cover and chill overnight before serving.
Pour into clean bottles with lids and store in refrigerator up to one month.

My changes: I added 1-2 cups of the reserved lemon juice to the final product to give it a more lemony flavor. One could also make the simple syrup by substituting lemon juice for the water, I would think.



clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 09:00 pm    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 09:00 pm

GW Must Haves and Other Interesting Gadgets

posted by: plllog on 01.19.2010 at 07:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

When I first came here there were some toys that the GW denizens had moved from workplace use to kitchen musts, but they don't seem to be getting a lot of discussion nowadays. They were ubiquitous here, and I think it's worth trotting them out for the newbies who haven't heard. Also, there may be some new gadget that enhances the kitchen greatly that we should add to the list.

I'll start with the obvious ones:

Tapmaster. A friendly little Canadian company makes these. It's a device in your toekick area that turns your faucet on and off. The first of us to put one in was looking for the ones they have in dental offices.

The basic unit has a plate that you can touch to start the flow and let go to stop it, or push down to keep it on. The Tapmaster uses air pressure to open and close its valves--there's no electricity or anything particularly complex involved. You set your favorite flow rate and temperature at the mixer and leave that open. If you want to change to using the mixer instead of the Tapmaster you can just lock the Tapmaster open.

Since that time, and as more and more of these started showing up in kitchens, they've come up with their "euro" model, which has a single bar controller that you nudge sideways with your foot, or nudge farther to lock open. Some shoeless cooks prefer this.

You can also get multiple controllers on a single faucet so that you can operate the faucet from two sides of an island, or whatever suits your project.

Plugmold. This one comes from the laboratory. Tired of outlets interrupting your planned beautiful backsplash? You can put plugmold either near the base of the backsplash, or at the top, under the upper cabinets. You can install a GFI in a plugmold unit, but you can also make the whole circuit GFI.

Wiremold Corp. bought up most of their competitors, and discontinued most of the interesting colors, but I've heard that some more decorative ones are coming back. Home Depot carries basic white plastic plugmold. It can be mounted flat on the wall, flat under the cabinet, or on an angled wood strip. There's also "angle plugmold", which isn't really "plugmold" since that's a term like "Kleenex" that's a brand name. Tasklighting makes it. It's reputedly very expensive, but some people think it's worth it.

If you have some countertop appliances that are always plugged in, like a coffee pot, toaster, or microwave, you might also want a regular outlet so that the cords don't always wave in the breeze, and are more hidden.

NeverMT. Do you have a soap dispenser in your sink? Keep a gallon jug of soap or lotion under the sink and pump it directly from the pump that came with your faucet kit. That is, it replaces the receptacle that goes under the counter with a hose and jug. If you use your pump a lot it saves constant refilling.

I'll also give shout outs to some other things:

Demeyere cookware for induction. Great, no rivets cookware for anything, but they have some technically special features for induction. Some other manufacturers do too, though any cast iron, or stainless steel pot that sticks to a magnet, will work.

De Buyer Pro V mandoline. If you ever feed mobs, this can't be beat for making short work of all your knife tasks. This one has continuous adjustment so you can make any width in between minimum and maximum. The V keeps soft things like tomatoes from getting squished.

I hope the rest of you will chime in with the other received wisdom that so many of us are so familiar with here that we sometimes forget to say...


clipped on: 01.21.2010 at 11:52 am    last updated on: 01.21.2010 at 11:52 am

Am I using too many materials for my kitchen counters?

posted by: lucretzia on 12.27.2009 at 02:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

I received very helpful feedback from several GW members regarding my counter top choices of soapstone versus honed dark green granite; see post:
Honed dark green granite that looks like soapstone?
I am leaning towards the honed green granite for ease of maintenance.

I am now grappling with a couple of dilemmas...
1) Can I break up my island with two surface materials? I like the combination of these two materials because wood provides a comfortable surface for eating and the stone protects it from water damage around what will be a heavily used prep sink.
2) Do you think it would be more interesting to use soapstone for the island sink as I think I will be using honed granite on the perimeter? I like the look of soapstone but do not feel comfortable about using it as a primary work surface. I'd likely leave the soapstone natural (i.e. not oiled) to hopefully reduce the chance of water stains.

My ceiling height is 8' for half the kitchen area and the other half is 9'. The overall room size is 16' x 16' at the widest points. It faces south and will have a skylight.

Here are two graphics of my proposed kitchen with the idea of using honed green granite on the perimeter, cherry butcher block on the island with a soapstone farmhouse prep sink. Below I have included a gorgeous kitchen from which I got the inspiration plus a forth picture showing my honed granite and soapstone samples.

Any and all thoughts regarding my two questions/concerns above?

Dolls house view  (Click on picture for larger view)

Dolls House view

Floor level view  (Click on picture for larger view)

Floor view

Inspiration example  (Click on picture for larger view)

Reference picture

My granite and soapstone samples [Top - Granite, Bottom - Soapstone]  (Click on picture for larger view)

Granite and soapstone


clipped on: 12.27.2009 at 02:28 pm    last updated on: 12.27.2009 at 02:28 pm

Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens! [Help keep on Page 1]

posted by: buehl on 02.08.2009 at 03:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

Welcome - If you are new here - you may find the following information and links helpful.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages contain helpful information about how to navigate this site as well as the world of kitchen renovations.

The Kitchen Forum Acronyms will help you understand some of the acronyms used frequently in posts.

The Finished Kitchens Blog has pictures and information about many GW members' finished kitchens. Not only can you see them alphabetically, but there is also a category list if you're looking for specific things like a kitchen w/a Beverage Center or a kitchen w/a mix of dark and light cabinets.

The Appliances Forum is very useful when you have questions specific to appliances.

To start off the process...take the Sweeby Test. Then, move on to Beginning a Kitchen Plan.

Other topics such as planning for storage can be found by doing a search on the forum.


  • Before posting a question, search the forum. There's a very good chance someone has already asked the question.

  • When using the "search" function, be sure to use the search box on the bottom of the page, not the top!

  • In the Subject, the site changes the inches indicator (") to a foot indicator ('). We don't know why. To compensate, use two single qoutes and it will appear as a double quote in the Subject. Luckily, the double quote works in the message box.

  • When composing a new thread, you have a couple of options:

    • Have replies emailed to you: check the box offerring this option. However, you must have "Allow other users to send you email via forms at our site." box checked in your profile for this to work (see the "Your Profile" link at the very top of the page)

    • Insert a link: When you "preview" your message, you will be provided with two boxes for a is for the link itself and the second is for the name or description of the link.

  • When using the "Clip this post" option (far upper right corner of each post, small print), remember that only the current post is clipped, not the entire thread. Also, you are allowed a maximum of 50 clippings. Once you reach this max, you will no longer be able to clip or email posts.

How are the home page and the Forum organized? (from the FAQs)

The Kitchens Forum home page lists 30 thread titles, starting with those that don't yet have a response. Then threads are listed in order of most recent response. That first page displays the last 2 hours or so of activity. (If there is no response to a thread in an hour or two, an unanswered thread starts to drop down.)

Below that are page numbers 1-67 for the total 67 pages of threads available -- capturing maybe 2 months or so of threads, less when the Forum is busy.

Below that (and at the top of the thread list) is a space for you to switch to the Conversations or Gallery "sides" - these are set up similarly but not nearly as active. Conversations and Gallery.

Next down is a Search button -- very important!

Next is a place for you to start a new thread. And finally are some instructions and links at the bottom.

Kitchen Forum "Sides"

Discussions: This is the "side" you are on. It's for on-topic discussions concerning kitchens...renovations, use of, etc.
Conversations: This is the "side" where you can post off topic threads such as regional get-togthers and non-kitchen subjects.
Gallery: This is the "side" where members often post pictures...especially if you're posting a lot or a finished kitchen.

Posting a link

There are two ways to post a link:

Using the provided boxes below the "Message" box:

  1. Insert the link in the Optional Link URL box

  2. Type in the description or name of the item being linked int the Name of the Link box

  3. If this is a new Post, then you won't see these two boxes until you "preview" your message.

To insert a link inside the "Message" box,

  1. Copy the following into the "Message" box where you want it:
    &lt;a href= http://www.XXX/&gt;Description&lt;/a&gt;
  2. Next, replace the http://www.XXX/ with your link

  3. Now, replace the Description with the description (words) you want displayed with your link.

With either method, you will see your link when you "preview" your message

Posting a picture from your photo hosting account (e.g., PhotoBucket)

FAQ: Adding Pictures and Links [Note: If using PhotoBucket, copy the code from the line/box labeled "HTML Code"]

Posting a picture from somewhere other than your Photo hosting account

  1. Copy the following into the "Message" box where you want the picture to be:
    &lt;img src="http://www.XXX/image.jpg"&gt;
  2. Next, replace the http://www.XXX/image.jpg with the address of the image.

  3. When you "preview" the message, you should see the picture


Layout Help

We often get requests to help with layouts. Many of us enjoy doing this but it would help if you can post a copy of your layout, preferably to-scale.

  • The best place to start is to draw up your kitchen (to scale, if possible) either without cabinets & appliances if you don't know where to start or w/your proposed new layout if you have something to start with. Regardless, measure and label everything...walls, ceiling height, widths of doors & windows, distances between windows, walls, doorways, etc.
  • If you cannot move plumbing or gas, mark them on your drawing as well.
  • Mark all doorways & windows (w/dimensions) and label them as to where they lead. If they're actual doors, mark how they swing.
  • It also would be helpful to see the connecting rooms, even layouts so you see how they interact with the kitchen and/or extend the kitchen feel and flow.
  • Make note of traffic flows in and out of the kitchen

Make a list of things like:

  • What are your goals? E.g., more counter space, more storage, seating in the kitchen (island? peninsula? table?), etc.
  • Do you plan to merge two rooms/areas (e.g., Nook and Kitchen into a Kitchen only)
  • Where are you flexible?
    • Can windows or doorways change size?
    • Can they be moved?
    • Can windows be raised/lowered?
    • Can any walls come down?
    • Does the sink have to be centered under a window?
    • Does it have to be under a window at all?

  • Do you bake? Do you want a coffee/tea/beverage center?
  • What appliances do you plan on having (helps to figure out work flow, work zones, and types of cabinets...upper/lower vs full height, etc.)
    • Range or Cooktop?
    • Single or Double or no Wall Oven?
    • Warming Drawer?
    • MW? (Advantium, drawer, OTR, countertop, built-in, shelf?)
    • DW? Standard or drawers? If drawers, 1 or 2?
    • Refrigerator CD or standard depth?
    • Vent Hood?
    • Other?
    Sizes of desired appliances (e.g., 30" or 36" or 48" cooktop; 36" or 42" or 48" wide or other Refrigerator? Counter depth or standard depth refrigerator, etc.)

  • Pantry: Walk-in or cabinets?

***** Very Important *****

Is there anything you:

  • Can't live without?
  • Definitely don't want?
  • Would like if you can find a way?

This information will be valuable to not only you, but also any Kitchen Designers you may hire or talk to. Additionally, if you've been haunting the site, you'll notice that we also help with almost all aspects of the remodel, including layout help.

If you do ask for help, then all of the above information will help us help you. Sometimes we stray from what you think you want to give you some ideas that you might not have thought of, but it's your kitchen and you can veto anything...we may argue for something (we're good at that!), but in the end it's what you want. And remember, we are just giving you ideas and possible layouts, in the end when you finalize your design it's whatever you want and decide on! After all, this is your kitchen! [Keep this in mind if/when you use a Kitchen Designer--it's your kitchen, not his or hers...don't let them talk you into anything unless you're sure it's what you want!]


When your kitchen is complete, please submit it to the Finished Kitchens Blog! This way your kitchen will join others in inspiring and helping newcomers!

Add your kitchen to the FKB!

Again, welcome and good luck! The journey is wild, sometimes bumpy, but fun!


Links from above:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Kitchen Forum Acronyms:
Finished Kitchens Blog:

Sweeby Test:
Beginning a Kitchen Plan:

Appliances Forum:

FAQ: Adding Pictures and Links:

Add your kitchen to the FKB!:


clipped on: 03.17.2009 at 10:47 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2009 at 10:47 pm

Has anyone seen these uses for Coffee Filters?

posted by: diana55 on 01.26.2009 at 11:11 pm in Cooking Forum

I thought this was interesting..........................................


Coffee filters ..who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave.
Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China
. Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.
Soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."



clipped on: 01.27.2009 at 06:00 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2009 at 06:00 pm

RE: toe kick drawers (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: loves2cook4six on 12.12.2008 at 09:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well, I can tell you for SURE that mine are way higher than that. It all depends on the profile you are after. Mine come up into the the cabinet so I have one shallow top drawer for utensil storage, placemats etc, then 3 usefully deep drawers including the toekick area. The front of the drawer follows the profile of the toekick/cabinet so there is a little shelf in the front of the drawer.

These three pictures are the toekick drawers in the Butler's Pantry before the handles went on. BTW, we delibrately left off the handles on these drawers so the finished bank looks like there are only 6 drawers when in fact there are 8


Drawer removed from cabinet so you can see the carcass


And this is one of my best toe kick drawers. You open the toekick drawer and inside are two more draws for storing cans. It's in my prep area so right where I need it. Talk about maximizing storage


clipped on: 12.16.2008 at 08:02 pm    last updated on: 12.16.2008 at 08:03 pm

Teriyaki Chicken & Stir Fried Vegetables

posted by: canarybird on 10.15.2008 at 07:23 pm in Cooking Forum

I don't often start my own thread but this recipe is so easy to make and tastes so good that I thought I'd pass it on.

I tried to copy a dish I had in a Canadian restaurant and this resulted pretty well identical to the original.

Teriyaki Chicken & Stir Fried Vegetables over Rice

For 3 servings.....
Ingredients:....quantities are variable

1 lb chicken breast cut into bite-sized strips
3/4 cup green bell pepper - finely chopped
3/4 cup red bell pepper - finely chopped
1/2 cup white part of spring onion bulb - sliced finely
1/2 cup grated carrot (optional)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup fresh or frozen heads of broccoli sliced & chopped
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce for marinade plus more for
drizzle over when serving
basmati rice - 3 cups cooked (200 grams raw)
or 1 cup cooked rice per person
3/4 cup sliced green stalk rings of spring onion - for garnish only
olive oil for cooking
salt & pepper

1. Put 1/2 cup Teriyaki sauce in a small glass bowl and
put in chicken pieces to marinate for 30 to 60 minutes.
Turn pieces and spoon over sauce from time to time.

2. Chop and prepare vegetables, putting all except green onion rings
into a bowl. Put 2 TBS olive oil into a large non-stick frying pan or wok over
medium heat and when hot, add the vegetables from the bowl.
Stir constantly with wooden spoon until they are cooked enough
but not overdone....10 to 12 minutes. Add more oil as needed.
Turn off heat and put lid on pan to keep warm.

3. Put water on for cooking the rice.

4. When chicken has marinated, drain and reserve half the marinade,
putting the other half of it together with the chicken into a second
non-stick frying pan and cook, reducing the liquid and browning chicken
pieces, about 10 minutes. Then add the reserved marinade, cooking for a couple
minutes more until it has formed a reduced syrup around the chicken.

Drain cooked rice, add butter or oil, season to taste with salt & pepper.

5. Spoon chicken and sauce over vegetables, stir and season with S & P.
Serve over rice, drizzle with more Teriyaki sauce and garnish
with green spring onion rings.


I use a Japanese brand of bottled Teriyaki sauce although I know you can make your own. I can't find the Mirin - the Japanese sweet cooking wine - that is an important part of the real Teriyaki flavour so I buy the sauce even though it's a bit expensive over here.

Wolf and I are really hooked on the flavour of this dish and just to be sure I don't run out.....I bought several more bottles of that expensive sauce!



clipped on: 12.06.2008 at 07:18 pm    last updated on: 12.06.2008 at 07:18 pm

RE: Post pics of your table all set - please (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: kathleen_li on 11.28.2008 at 01:49 pm in Cooking Forum

We went elsewhere for T day, but I made a turkey for us on Sunday..




Leek and potato soup sprinkled with bacon

Vertical pear salad
Indiv apple crisps


pumpkin bowls
clipped on: 11.29.2008 at 12:08 pm    last updated on: 11.29.2008 at 12:09 pm

RE: Annie, or canners- I have salsa questions (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: annie1992 on 08.09.2008 at 11:27 pm in Cooking Forum

Di, I'm sorry I'm so late, but Kathy is right. If you are going to water bath process the salsa, up the vinegar to one cup and process 15 minutes for pints. I used to do mine in quarts, then the USDA decided that they hadn't tested it for timing and so there is no guarantee that it'll be safe in quarts. I never use more than a pint anyway, so it all gets done in pints.

There are pressure cookers and pressure canners. Some are used interchangeably. You can cook in a canner, but you can't can in a cooker, if that makes sense. Your owner's manual will say "pressure cooker/canner" or just "pressure cooker". If it's a canner, can away. If not, well, buy a pressure canner, LOL.

As for the pickled beans and corn, I make dilled beans and corn relish every year. Most of the recipes are safe, but some don't contain enough vinegar. If you post them or send them to me, I'd be glad to take a look and see if I can figure it out, or if they are close to the recommended recipes.

Then again, both the National Center for Home Food Preservation and my own favorite, Michigan State University, have websites with recipes. Moo U (MSU, the Agricultural College, LOL) has "Preserving Food Safely". NCHFP is at the University of Georgia site. I'd love to link them but since I got this blasted Vista, I can't link anything.

Happy Canning, and I'm glad you enjoy that recipe, it's sure gotten popular beyond anything I imagined.



clipped on: 11.23.2008 at 02:41 pm    last updated on: 11.23.2008 at 02:41 pm

RE: Is anyone willing to share good make-ahead meals to freeze? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: hostagrams on 09.14.2008 at 09:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

Chicken Tortilla Soup -- Crockpot

15 minutes preparation, 8 hours cooking

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 (15oz.) cans black beans
2 (15 oz.) cans Rotel tomatoes with chilies .
1 (14.5 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies .
1 cup salsa, your preference as to strength (I use medium)
1 can Niblets corn
Rinse chicken and set aside. Without draining, place beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies and salsa in crockpot and stir until mixed. Submerge chicken in the mixture. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken from crockpot and shred with two forks. Return chicken to pot and stir in corn. Heat 10 -15 minutes, or just long enough to get corn and chicken hot. Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.

Using the Rotel tomatoes with chilies will produce a slightly spicy soup for a less spicy soup, use regular diced tomatoes and mild salsa. This recipe freezes well its like money in the bank! Enjoy! :o).


clipped on: 09.16.2008 at 12:30 pm    last updated on: 09.16.2008 at 12:30 pm

How do you store a LARGE collection of spices?

posted by: cj47 on 02.10.2008 at 12:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

For those of you who keep large numbers of spices, what storage solutions do you employ? I currently store my spices in two (overflowing) 10X18 narrow boxes slid into narrow cabinets next to the stove. I also have a wall rack where the everyday spices reside--various cinnamons, peppers, salts, salad seasonings and the like. We are planning a major renovation in our home, including a new kitchen. I need ideas on how to manage the spice inventory. I love to cook, and I do use them all. So, those of you with large spice inventories--please, please, share your storage solutions with me! If you can manage it, pictures would be MOST appreciated!!

PS, I live near Penzey's. It's a both a blessing and a curse. :-)



clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 07:10 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 07:10 pm

RE: homade mustards? (Follow-Up #40)

posted by: loves2cook4six on 07.12.2008 at 09:23 am in Harvest Forum

I'm reviving this thread in the hopes that someone can help me with a recipe for Blueberry Mustard.

Also what exactly does "canning" mean. It that the term you use instead of saying BWB or boil in water bath?


Some yummy mustard recipes
clipped on: 07.12.2008 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 07.12.2008 at 09:26 am

RE: lascatz' spice storage info? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lascatx on 09.02.2007 at 10:31 am in Kitchens Forum

Good Morning! Wish you were here -- you could see my spice drawer and help me with my roses that got neglected suring the remodel and planning. Next year -- the garden gets reclaimed.

My spice drawer is a standard top drawer (Brookhaven framelss cabinets -- some will vary in dimentsions). It is in a 24" wide cabinet and it holds 110 spice jars (or the equivalent) on a cushioned no-slip liner. Everything is labeled on the lid and alphabetized. DH put some things in by catergories initially, but I found I was looking for them alphabetically. Now I am relearning where a few of the most used have been relocated, but it really works great. If you don't have full-extension glides, I don't think you could use the last row or two inthe back.

I got my bottles at I've ordered from them on other projects too, and they were recommended by other kitchen nuts who had used them. Very easy to deal with, great prices and good results. My bottle is this one

Look around the site -- you might like a different size or the tins with the clear tops (I needed too many to fit those in my space). I loved the test tibes I saw pictureed by others here, but my needs call for something I can quickly open and stick a spoon into the jar. These jars have a nice, wide top that my measuring spoons work easily with. Now a pop top lid would be even faster, but I can work with these. ; )

I've added a link to the photo of my drawer below. If you click on the previous photo, you can see the close up with labels. My cabinet designer took some leftover bottles and is going to set up a display with the spice jars in her new display kitchen. She is going to use a divider and put utensils or hot pads on the other side.

Hope that helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: spice drawer


clipped on: 10.02.2007 at 08:24 pm    last updated on: 10.02.2007 at 08:24 pm

RE: Where to buy spice bottles in bulk and for bulk (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: lascatx on 09.11.2007 at 11:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

Penzey's also sells empty jars, but they were too small or too tall for my use, so I bought mine from Specialty Bottle. I think they were 54 cents each.

clipped on: 09.12.2007 at 06:42 am    last updated on: 09.12.2007 at 06:42 am

RE: Where to buy spice bottles in bulk and for bulk (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: igloochic on 09.12.2007 at 12:36 am in Kitchens Forum

There is a baby formula that comes in 2 oz jars (glass) as well as 3 oz jars and is used in NICU units in hospitals (you can buy them full and pour them out as well) that are perfect for spices. The formula is Enfimil Enfacare high calorie. The jars are fabulous, wash easy, easy to fill and aren't short like baby food jars. You can see them when I do pics of the kitchen...I have hundreds and all of my friends have them as well LOL Some offset of the million dollar medical bill I guess. Anyhoo, I did finally run out when we changed formulas and the neighbor asked the hospital to save them for him for his new kitchen. I'm sure the same could be done if you know anyone in a hospital. :)


clipped on: 09.12.2007 at 06:41 am    last updated on: 09.12.2007 at 06:41 am

Where to buy spice bottles in bulk and for bulk

posted by: loves2cook4six on 09.11.2007 at 07:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am doing a search but can't find the post. Can anyone advise where I can find bottles to store spices bought in bulk packages?



clipped on: 09.12.2007 at 06:06 am    last updated on: 09.12.2007 at 06:06 am

Is that a real granite? (and does it really matter?!)

posted by: stonegirl on 09.05.2007 at 02:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

As with so much in the natural stone industry, there is a fairly large amount of confusion regarding the actual geologic classification of most commercially available slab materials. The amount of misinformation is astounding and often quite discouraging for the average Sally and Joe Consumer trying to decide on what material would make just the best counter top for their new kitchen. With this article I will try to clarify some of the intricacies of stone classification.

I'll start with a given: Not all commercial granites are true geologic granites. I can already hear you sigh and roll your eyes. I sympathize - science was not my forte either, but take heart, I will try my best to make this entertaining!

In the commercial realm, a "granite" gets classified as a hard natural stone which can be polished and that requires more aggressive tools and abrasive than what would be used on marble. This is a pretty broad and not very scientific kind of description, which leaves some pretty big loopholes and some really wide wiggle room.

A true geologic granite gets classified as an igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, feldspars and mica - much more concise and restrictive.

To be quite honest, real geologic granites are not very exciting pieces of rock at all (from a design perspective, I have to add). They will have quite an homogeneous grain pattern and can range in color from grays to browns, yellows or pinks. A good example of a real geologic granite would be Georgia Gray (from Elberton, GA and it has a water absorption weight of 0.2%-0.3%). True granites are not reactive to acids, but could be quite absorbent as our example illustrates. This stone would be OK for use as a counter top, but would require sealer. It has been used as cladding for buildings and for monuments and gravestones for many, many years, though.

The rest of the commercial granites can be divided into a couple of broad groups: Magmatic rocks and Metamorphic rocks.

Magmatic rocks are formed when magma cooled and crystallized. True granites (like Tropic Brown), syenites (like Ubatuba), gabbros (like Black Absolute), diorites (like Brazilian Black) and charnokites (like Atlantic Green) will fall under this umbrella.

Metamorphic rocks were formed when one kind of stone i.e. sandstone, got transformed into another kind of material i.e. gneiss. An example of such a stone would be Giallo Veneziano (a gneiss from Brazil with a water absorption weight of 0.25%-0.35%). Metaconglomerates (like Verde Marinace), Quartzites (like Almond Mauve), migmatites (like Paradiso Classico), gneisses (like Santa Cecilia) and granulites (like Verde Jewel/Tropical Green) also fall under this group.

What makes the commercial "granites" so appealing, is the fact that they are just so diverse. You have hundreds of different colors and patterns that will go beyond even your wildest imagination.

And this brings us to the second part of my question: Does it really matter if it is not a true geologic granite?

In a word: No. (and yes - you are right - I am not done yet!)

Earlier in my dissertation you might have noticed me mentioning something called the "water absorption weight" (WAW - for further reference). This is an indicator of just how absorbent a specific stone might be. The lower the number, the less absorbent the stone would be.

Following the discussions of natural stone and how they always gravitate to the question of whether a sealer would be required, this number would be a pretty good indicator of how good a stone would stand up to use in a kitchen. Without further ado, I will list a few popular stones, along with their geologic classifications and WAW's:

Black Absolute (gabbro) WAW: 0.05%-0.15%
Baltic Brown (granite) WAW: 0.15%-0.2%
Santa Cecilia (gneiss) WAW: 0.25%-0.35%
Verde Butterfly (charnokite) WAW: 0.1%-0.2%
Shivakashki (gneiss) WAW: 0.25%-0.35%
Silver Sea Green (granite) WAW: 0.15%
Marinace Green (metaconglomerate) WAW: 0.05%-0.15%
Kashmire White (granulite) WAW: 0.3%-0.5%

As you can see from the above sample, there are a number of stones that far out-perform true geologic granites in the absorption department. There are also a number of stones that absorb a tremendous amount of water (take the Kashmire White for instance). On the other side of the scale, there are stones that are too dense to benefit from the application of a sealer any way - Verde Marinace would be a great example.

Although modern sealer technology has advanced a long way in making stones less absorbent, there are a few materials (notably mostly Chinese and Indian in origin) that, even with the best sealer on the market, should not be considered for use in any high traffic environment. Again the Kashmire White would be a shining example.

Testing for absorption issues on granite samples would be as easy as dripping some water on your sample and letting it sit for a while. If it darkens the stone a little, a sealer might help. If the stone immediately becomes darker and maintains the dark spot for some while, stay away! Maintaining this would be a constant battle.

Etching is another must-do test for stones to be used in a kitchen. A lot of stones are chemically inert. Baltic Brown, Verde Butterfly, the REAL Black Absolute, Blue Eyes, the list can go on and on. Some stones on the other hand do react to acids. Blue Bahia (a sodalite-syenite) would be one example. Etches will show up as dull spots on an otherwise shiny surface. Sealers will not prevent etches, purely because etches are chemical reactions and have nothing to do with the absorption rate of the stone in question.

There are two ways to work around this issue. One is to avoid the stone that etched in testing and the other is to hone and enhance the stone. This would still give you a depth of color, but the shine would be absent and thus the etch marks - though they would still happen - would not be as prominent as they would have been on a polished surface.

To test for etching, place a wedge of lemon or lime, cut side down, on the sample overnight. Wipe the sample in the morning and hold it at an angle to the light. If there is a rough looking spot where the shine is absent, you have an etch. Etches would normally occur where calcium or calcite is present in the make-up of the stone.

Another subject of relevance in this discussion would be resining. Resining is a process where resins get impregnated into the stone slabs before they are finished. The slabs then get polished and most of the resins get polished off, leaving it only in the pits and fissures in the slabs. This serves a few purposes:
1. It can consolidate a fissured or flaky slab (Golden Beach would be an example of this - without resin, this slab would probably not have been commercially available)
2. It can reduce the WAW of a material (Santa Cecilia is a great example here. Even though it is quite an absorbent material, once it is resined, it sometimes does not require the application of a sealer even)
3. It is conducive to a superior surface finish. (Flaky stones like Verde Butterfly get resined to eliminate surface crystals from flaking off. This then provides a smooth finish to the polished slabs)
4. Another side effect of the resining process is enhanced colors. On some stones like Lady's Dream the colors could deepen with the application of the resin.

So what would be the bottom line of all this? It does not matter whether the stone you have is a real granite or not. The geologic classification has virtually no impact on the performance of the material in a kitchen. I can also say with a lot of certainty that most stone suppliers and distributors will not be able to tell a gneiss from a schist if they ever had to. It is indeed sad, but oh, so true.

So where does this leave the consumer? Well, kinda' up a creek, but hopefully I supplied a paddle here

TEST TEST and test your stone to see if it would hold up to the rigors in your kitchen. But probably the most important advice I could give you would be to choose your fabricator carefully. Make sure they have a knowledge of stone that you are comfortable with and could trust. Ask for references and look at kitchens they have done. New counter tops is a considerable investment. Do not make the mistake of thinking that stone is stone and that the guy doing it at $29 a foot will produce the same quality as someone more expensive. Conversely, do not expect the most expensive guy to be able to produce the best quality work either. A bad fabricator could make a mess out of even the best piece of stone on the planet.



clipped on: 09.05.2007 at 08:50 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2007 at 08:50 pm

Raise your hand if you live in Chicago....or nearby

posted by: organic_donna on 07.08.2007 at 02:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi everyone,
I am trying to find out how many of us live in or around Chicago. If you live in Chicago please let me know. Also would you be interested in a Chicago Kitchen Forum get together? What month would be the best for you? How about August or September?


clipped on: 07.09.2007 at 01:57 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2007 at 01:57 pm

Is there a difference in buying Granite from China or Brazil?

posted by: tkml74 on 06.12.2007 at 12:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am looking at 2 different types of granite for my kitchen (A) Golden Leaf from China and (B) New Venetian Gold from Brazil. I have had a lot of people tell me not to go with the chinese granite that it was "cheap" in price and "real-cheap" in quality. I received 5 quotes and the chinese, Golden Leaf, granite is $3000 less than the New Venetian Gold. What do you know? What would you do? Do you think there is that much of a difference in quality/look? What should I be focusing my decision on? PLEASE HELP!! I need to order within the next day or so.


clipped on: 06.22.2007 at 07:05 pm    last updated on: 06.22.2007 at 07:08 pm

Looking for quirky one of a kind cabinet/drwaer pull

posted by: loves2cook4six on 04.24.2007 at 07:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have stainless handles/pulls like these:

planned for the entire kitchen but wanted to put about 4 fun, each one different, handles in different places.

I did find some different pulls for the fridge but I'm open to even funkier ones if you want to share.

Show me yours or ones you weren't "brave enough" to use.


clipped on: 06.01.2007 at 03:21 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2007 at 03:21 pm

Brizo Venuto Soap/lotion dispenser ???

posted by: loves2cook4six on 06.01.2007 at 03:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am looking to purchase new soap dispensers for my kitchen. Please tell me if you like the FUNCTIONAL design of this dispenser. Is it easy to keep clean? I wonder about this because it looks like the plunger is just a small button on top. Does it put out enough soap per squirt?



clipped on: 06.01.2007 at 03:21 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2007 at 03:21 pm