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Kitchen Cure Weekend Report: What Did You Cook?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_05_26-Table.jpgWeek 6 Assignment: Throw a dinner party
Cure Clock: Done!
Cure Takers: 831

Hello, Cure-takers! Congratulations to all of you who did at least one or two things to make your kitchen a better place to cook, who improved your workflow and learned a new thing or two. Did you get a chance to throw a dinner party last weekend? Perhaps a Memorial Day brunch? Here's your space to tell us all about it.

Planning Dinner? Popular Recipes for Every Course

2009_05_22-WeekendRoundup.jpgAre you putting together a big meal for this weekend? Are you planning an end-of-Cure party, a holiday weekend brunch, or perhaps a raucous Sunday afternoon cookout? Are you perhaps looking for one more recipe to round out your menu?

Well, we went through the most popular recipes of all time in our archives and pulled out just a few for every course. No matter what kind of meal you're making this weekend, there's something in this list that will round it off, and every recipe is Kitchn-tested and reader-approved. Happy cooking!!

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Setting the Table
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 6

2009_05_22-Table.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gifWeek 6 Assignment: Cook for a party!
• Cure Clock: One weekend, and beyond...
• Cure Takers: 831

Congratulations, Cure Takers! You have stuck with us as we cleaned out cupboards, scrubbed stoves, reorganized refrigerators, sorted pantries, and restocked shelves. We've sharpened knives, tried something new, and planned our weekly meals. Now we're wrapping up and looking forward to a summer of hospitality.

How will you set the table, both literally and figuratively, for the guests you would like to feed in your freshened-up kitchen? Here are three examples from your fellow Cure Takers, with some final ideas and take-aways for your summer parties and gatherings.

Dinner Parties: 5 Great Tips for Newbies (Plus Lots More)

2009_05_20-pierparty.jpgSome of you may be pros at throwing dinner parties. Others may be intimidated. But whether you are an old dog looking for new tricks or a Cure taker approaching her first big fiesta, we've got loads of tips to help you out. First up, our top five for beginners...

Survey: What is the Perfect Size for a Dinner Party?

2009_5_19-big-table.jpgIn yesterday's Cure Assignment, I got cure-takers off and running on their final project: a dinner party. I casually mentioned that I felt six was the perfect number for a sit-down dinner, a loose rule that guides Maxwell and I when we entertain.

Then at dinner last night (for ten) we got to talking about this very question and it turns out not everyone agrees with me about the number six being ideal. Cure-taker klt108 says she used to regularly "host regular dinner parties for ten in my tiny East Village studio." I'm impressed.

Kitchen Cure Week #6: Hosting a Dinner Party
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

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A table we set for a small birthday party.

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• Cure Clock: 1 week remaining. This is it!
• Cure Takers: 831

New Flickr Group: 2009 Kitchen Cure
Submit your photos directly to The Kitchn

This is it. The last week. By now you should feel armed and ready to plan an entire dinner party. In fact, your graduation party is that dinner, so invite people to celebrate. Even if your date is in the future, you can start planning now. There's plenty to do.

This week we'll be talking about the flow of a meal and other entertaining topics like what music we like to play for cooking and eating. We'll also be asking you to show us your planning pictures, meal plans and finally, shots from your party.

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Meal-Planning Inspiration
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 5

2009_05_15-Cure.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gifWeek 5 Assignment: Plan and cook a meal
• Cure Clock: 1 week (plus a weekend) remaining
• Cure Takers: 831

Hello Kitchen Cure-takers! How is your kitchen feeling these days? Are you still on board with the Kitchen Cure, and are you working on thinking through your weekly meals? Think of this as an encouragement to step back and think a little more purposefully about what you eat throughout the week, really planning it out. Here's a quick look at how this is going for one of your fellow Cure-takers.

Cooking By Feel: Baked Pastas

2009_5_14-baked-pastas.jpgIn this week's Cure assignment, Cure-takers are planning a menu. All along I've been encouraging people to cook by feel a little more and use formal recipes a little less, so I hope these menus involve some cooking by feel.

The way this is done is by arming oneself with skills, but you also need ideas. Here's a great idea for making pasta: bake it.

Meal Planning 101: What Are Your Building Blocks?

2009_05_15-Meal.jpgWe are talking about meal planning during this week of the Kitchen Cure, and we started out with a look at sample seasonal menus. Seasonality is one thing to consider when building a meal, whether it is a quick supper for yourself or a sprawling weekend brunch for friends.

But another aspect of meal planning is building blocks. Some of us think of our meal building blocks in a very traditional Western European way: meat, vegetable, starch, sweet. Others of us may have a different idea of what consitutes the basic parts of the meal.

Seasonal Menu Planning from Around the U.S.

2009_5_12-cure-menus.jpgThis week in the Kitchen Cure we're talking about menu planning. Yesterday I promised I'd give some suggestions for seasonal menus from around the country.

Leave us your suggestions in the comments, and make sure to tell us where you are geographically, since "seasonal" and "local" are not interchangeable. International contributions encouraged!

Click through for menus from New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ohio.

Kitchen Cure Week #5: Meal Planning
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_5_11-cure-menu-plannin.jpg

4-2-kitchncure.gifCure Clock: 2 weeks remaining
Cure Takers: 831

New Flickr Group: 2009 Kitchen Cure
Submit your photos directly to The Kitchn

Two weeks to go, guys! This week we're going to focus on meal planning. When you signed up, many of you asked for help in this department. Posts this week will focus on tips for planning menus including shopping tips, suggested menus for a dinner party, and how to stretch dinners into left-over lunches. This is a practice run for planning your graduation dinner party in a few weeks.

Tomorrow I'll post some menu suggestions based on seasonally inspiration about the U.S. (international readers, write in your suggestions!), but in the meantime, here's the assignment to get you started on this meal-planning business...

Kitchen Cure Weekend Report: What Did You Cook?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 4

2009_05_11-Cure.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gifWeek 4 Assignment: Learn one new thing
• Cure Clock: 2 weeks remaining
• Cure Takers: 831

Good morning, Cure-takers! How was this past weekend? Did you try something new? Did you learn something new in the kitchen? We hope that you are enjoying your freshly organized and cleaned-out kitchen. I know I am! I finished moving around all my pots and pans and deep cleaned; it's a pleasure to reach for my bowls and pans because everything is much more organized and easy to find. I did try some new recipes (chicken in the slow cooker - so easy!) and I'll share one of them later today.

What about you? What did you do in the Kitchen Cure this weekend?

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Cook Something New This Weekend
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 4

2009_05_08-Mise.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gifWeek 4 Assignment: Learn one new thing, practice the basics, and bring flowers in
• Cure Clock: 2 weeks (plus a weekend) remaining
• Cure Takers: 831

How's the Kitchen Cure going for you? We hope that even if you have not had time to cook that at least you've cleaned out a drawer or two, reorganized some cupboards, or brought fresh flowers or an herb box into the kitchen. Been too busy to cook? Getting overwhelmed by the busyness of the spring season? Well, before we start throwing more meal-planning and cooking tips at you in next week's Cure assignment, here's one last push for the week:

Just get in the kitchen this weekend. Cook one new thing.

How To Do Just About Anything in the Kitchen

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This week, Cure-takers are learning one new skill. So what if you're not one of the 800+ participants, why not make a spring resolution to learn a few new tricks in the kitchen?

Mining the site for how-to posts, I couldn't believe how many we had in our archive. Here is a hefty helping:

Kitchen Cure: What Help Do You Need to Get Cooking?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

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Mama Ark says: "It was time to pitch useless items, like these bottle openers. Do I really need 5? Our standby beer in the house is now a twist-off. I kept one for craft beers, but these all went to Goodwill."

Yesterday we surveyed you Cure-Takers to see how it was going. (Only a few of you have taken the survey; take it here!) It seems like many of you are still working on getting your kitchen in shape and all cleaned up for spring cooking, optimizing and tweaking to make it a better place to work. But others of you said you'd like a little inspiration, and we're wondering: How can we help?

Kitchen Cure Survey: How's It Going?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

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From Kitchen Cure-taker jkdmb03, via our Kitchen Cure Flickr pool:
"I wanted something fresh and colorful and food related for the kitchen."

Hello, Cure-takers! After a flood of emails and photos in the first few weeks, things have been a little quiet. Nary a peep from you in a few days, so we're sending up a hallo and a flare to see how things are going for you. (Maybe you're so busy scrubbing your kitchens and sharpening your knives you haven't had a moment to check in!) Where are you at in the Cure, and are you feeling good about your progress so far? There are 831 of you signed up — we'd love to hear from you all right here!

How To Sharpen a Knife

2009_5_6-sharpen-knife.jpgTaking part in the Kitchen Cure? This would be a great week to learn how to sharpen your knives, especially given all the cooking you'll be doing in the final three weeks. Even if you're not one of the 800 plus Cure-takers, my guess is your knives haven't been sharpened lately, if ever.

First a quick survey, then click through for a great how-to video on knife sharpening.

What Is the Latest and Greatest Thing You've Learned?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_05_05-Learning.jpgThe assignment for Week 4 of the Kitchen Cure is to get back into your freshly cleaned, newly organized kitchen, and learn something new. So we're curious about all your latest kitchen discoveries, Cure-related or otherwise — what is the most recent thing you've learned in the kitchen, and the best new tip to come your way lately?

How To Carve a Chicken (or a Turkey or a Duck)

2009_5_5-roasted-chicken.jpgThis week's assignment in the Kitchen Cure is to learn one new skill. I've heard from many people that they'd like to know how to carve a chicken, so I dug up a video of Marc Bauer of the French Culinary Institute (where I learned to carve a chicken) demonstrating a very easy and precise way of doing it.

Kitchen Cure Week #4: Cooking Basics & One New Technique
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

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4-2-kitchncure.gif• Cure Clock: 3 weeks remaining
• Cure Takers: 831

New Flickr Group: 2009 Kitchen Cure
Submit your photos directly to The Kitchn

By now your kitchen is clean, well-stocked and ready to be used. Today begins the second half of the Kitchen Cure when you'll start using your kitchen to cook. For the next three weeks you'll hone your skills and use your improved space to learn to cook with what you have, with what's available to you. The goal is to cook more by feel and less with recipes. This week you'll make sure you have the basics like roasting, salad dressings, and knife skills down, and you'll take on learning one new skill.

Recycled Beauty: Boylan Soda Bottles as Bud Vases

2009_05_04-ranunculus1.jpgIn Week Three of the Kitchen Cure, part of your assignment was to do something beautiful for your kitchen. Here's a shot of our dining table over the weekend—not exactly the kitchen, but close. And it uses those recycled soda bottles we've been talking about...

Kitchen Cure Weekend Report: How Did It Go?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 3

2009_05_03-Flowers.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gifWeek 3 Assignment: Deep cleaning, special projects, and beautify!
• Cure Clock: 3 weeks remaining (halfway done!)
• Cure Takers: 831

Good morning, Cure-takers! How was this past weekend, and did it help you move forward in your Kitchen Cure? We'd love to see some of what you did in your kitchen, especially something to make it a little more beautiful. Here's a look at my flowers and below there is a dramatic drawer transformation from one of your fellow Cure-Takers. Before we give you your fourth assignment, check in and let us know where you're at.

Kitchen Cure Download: Food Storage Safety
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_05_03-Download.jpgHere's one more Kitchen Cure download for you as you restock your fridge and think about cooking for the coming week. We swiped some basic, very conservative food safety guidelines off the FDA's website and put them together in one tidy reference sheet for you.

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Is Your Kitchen Clean Yet?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 3

2009_05_01-Cure.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gifWeek 3 Assignment: Deep-clean your kitchen, restock pantry and tools, finish up any little projects you've been meaning to do, and do one thing to beautify
• Cure Clock: 3 weeks (plus a weekend) remaining
• Cure Takers: 810 (sign up here - today is the last day!)

How is Week 3 of the Kitchen Cure going for you? We'll take a look in a moment at some of your fellow Cure-takers, but first, a reminder. The point of the Cure is to do at least a little of what your kitchen needs. Even if you can't do that kitchen renovation, install all new shelves, paint your cabinets, or whatever other huge project you're dreaming of, you can still break out the cleaning supplies and mop the floor. You can clean behind the stove, put flowers on the sill, and donate some tools that are just cluttering up your kitchen life.

Pick one or two things to do this weekend. Add one beautiful thing to your kitchen, and then show us. A bowl of fruit? A vase of flowers? A vintage plate? Show us one beautiful thing you've done and then next week we'll move on to cooking and meal-planning.

It's Cleaning Time! Kitchen Cleaning Tips and Inspiration
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_30-Cleaning.jpgYour Kitchen Cure assignment this week is to clean up the kitchen and finish restocking, reorganizing, and doing whatever your kitchen needs to be ready to get cooking next week. Cleaning isn't the sexiest topic, but we still love to talk about it. A clean kitchen is a healthy kitchen, so here are tips, ideas, and inspiration for getting it sparkling and fresh!

How to clean granite countertops, tips for cleaning cast iron, getting rid of odors, fighting fruit flies, and getting the floor really shiny, below.

Best Jars to Organize Your Pantry
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_30-jars1.jpgThose who are participating in The Kitchen Cure know that Week Three's Assignment has you stocking the kitchen. This is a nice opportunity to stream-line your cabinets by replacing some of that ugly, clunky packaging with jars.

I love storing our food this way because I get a good seal and I can see what's inside. In particular, I like to keep my pasta, grains, dried herbs and spices, dried mushrooms, raisins and other dried fruit, baking ingredients like sugars and flours and tea bags in glass jars. That's a lot, I guess you could call it an obsession.

Kitchen Cure Survey: Do You Need Any New Gear?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_29-Pot.jpgOK everyone, this is it! The big push to get your kitchen clean, organized, and well-equipped before we turn and start in on the cooking part of the Kitchen Cure next week. We're going to give you lots more cleaning resources and inspiration during the rest of the week, but first: as you cleaned and organized your cupboards, is there anything you discovered you're missing?

What Every Pantry Needs: Sweet
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 3

2008_04_25-pantry-sweet-lis.jpg(Here's a post from last year's cure that I've updated. We'll keep this one alive with each and every Cure, taking into account your suggestions.)

It's a listy week here for Kitchen Cure takers as we guide you through Week Three. Yesterday, in the spirit of item number three of this week's assignment, "stock the kitchen," I posted a pretty big list of suggested savory ingredients for stocking your kitchen.

For the sweet side of cooking, and all manner of baking, there is another list.

What Every Pantry Needs: Savory
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 3

2008_04_25-dried-mushrooms.jpg(Here's a post from last year's cure that I've updated. We'll keep this one alive with each and every Cure, taking into account your suggestions.)

Beginning next week in the Kitchn Cure, I'm going to start giving techniques for cooking by instinct rather than by recipe. In most places in the world, spring is a great time of year to try this style of free-hand cooking because inspiring ingredients, produce in particular, are bountiful. Ironically, the best place to start is not at the farmers' market, but at the grocery store. Sure, those fiddlehead ferns are sure pretty, but what are you going to do with them?

You need to stock your pantry.

Kitchen Cure Tip: Remember That Shelves Can Be Moved
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_28-Shelves.jpgAs we urge you to finish cleaning your kitchen this week and restock your pantry with any needed supplies, you may be struggling with a tiny space that just doesn't seem to work for you. Maybe your cupboard shelves are too close together for your tall bottles of vinegar, or maybe the only place for your spices is too high up for you to see very well. So here is a little tip — one that we so often forget: Move your shelves around!

Recycled Glass Soda Bottles for Dish Soap, Oil, and Vinegar

2009_04_27-Bottles.jpgTake a look at these vintage soda bottles, recycled by Monika into easy-pour bottles for her oil and vinegar. This is a great idea for this week of the Kitchen Cure, as we ask you to finish deep-cleaning the kitchen, and do one thing to make your kitchen more beautiful. This is an easy way to make your kitchen a little nicer: get rid of your ugly branded dish soap bottle!

Kitchen Cure Week #3: Deep Cleaning, Special Projects and Beautifying
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

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EM in Japan says "I stuffed a glass with many toothpicks and put the knives in. If the knives are short in length (like a paring knife) and light in weight, I think it will work."

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Cure Clock: 4 weeks remaining
Cure Takers: 712 and counting... (Friday is the last day to sign up.)

New Flickr Group: 2009 Kitchen Cure
Submit your photos directly to The Kitchn

It's the third week, the final week of prepping the kitchen for the three-week cooking bonanza ahead. We'll help you understand what basics you need in your pantry and fridge in order to cook just about anything, anytime. We'll also talk about good options for storing food in an organized way (jars jars jars!) This week is your chance to get a new tool if you "need" it (no skillet in the house? get one this week or join the dozens of others who say their cooking tongs are indispensable.) You'll do a deep cleaning, a special project and add one beautiful thing to your kitchen. It's a busy week!

Kitchen Cure Weekend Report: How Did It Go?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 2

2009_04_27-Cure.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gif• Week 2 Assignment: Declutter Kitchen Equipment
• Cure Clock: 4 weeks remaining
• Cure Takers: 711 and counting (sign up here)

We are just finishing the second week of the Kitchen Cure. You'll have a new assignment in just a few hours. So we wanted to check back in to chat about your weekend work and see how things are going. Did you Cure this weekend? Are you all done, waiting and ready for a new assignment? Or are you still organizing a few more things?

Kitchen Cure Download: Leftovers Log
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_24-Leftovers00.jpgLast week when we gave you the first Cure download, a reminder sheet for your groceries, reader Eliza said she would also like a way of remembering when each leftover was cooked. We realized that some of us shop frequently for groceries and our problem is remembering what we have and when to use it up, but some us have more problems remembering what we've cooked and when to eat it!

This download is for the latter issue. If you like to cook a lot and squirrel things away in your freezer, or if you like to cook ahead for the week, here's a refrigerator sheet to help you keep your leftovers straight.

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Decluttered Cabinets and Storage
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 2

2009_04_24-CheckIn.jpg2009_04_24-CureThumbs.jpg4-2-kitchncure.gif• Week 2 Assignment: Declutter, Give Away, and Organize Kitchen Equipment
• Cure Clock: 4 weeks (plus a weekend) remaining
• Cure Takers: 695! and counting (sign up here)

How is Week 2 of the Kitchen Cure? Are your cupboards and kitchen gear freshly decluttered and organized yet? Or are you saving this part for the weekend?

Here's a little inspiration for your Kitchen Cure efforts: a check-in with your fellow Cure-takers, a great storage idea for cookbooks, a look at my formerly embarrassing tool drawer, and more results of my own Kitchen Curing. Don't forget to check back in tomorrow, too, for another Kitchen Cure download goodie!

Survey: How Do You Organize Your Pot Lids?
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_4_24-pot-lid-survey.jpgOkay, after so many Cure-takers called out for help with their pot lid problems, both Faith and I have weighed in, in depth, on the issue. I slide mine above my hanging pot rack (here are the details on my solution) and Faith has just installed a wall-mount rack for her lids (read about Faith's lids here.)

Now it's your turn:

Good Idea! Sharing Kitchen Equipment

2009-04-24-SharingEquipment.jpgIf you're doing the Kitchn Cure, you've been busy decluttering and re-organizing your kitchens this week. We've been thinking about the appliances and other equipment we only use a few times a year and wondering if we could put them to more use - if not in our kitchen then maybe in someone else's! Do you ever share your kitchen equipment?

Kitchen Cure Update: New Pot Lid Rack and Better Storage
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_23-PotLids.jpg2009_04_23-Thumbs.jpgHow is this week's Cure assignment going? Have you reevaluated your kitchen tools and utensils, and decluttered? Are you Curing your equipment and storage? Send us photos of your before shots, and your after shots too, if you have them! We're looking forward to sharing updates from you in the big Cure Check-In tomorrow.

For now, I'll show you my own work on Curing the kitchen. I show you mine, and you show us yours — deal?

Decluttering Tip: Use It or Lose It!

2009-04-23-UseItLoseIt.jpgHaving trouble parting with that old potato peeler? Or the cute egg separater you use twice a year? Well, here's an easy, low-stress way to wean yourself off your "occasional use" kitchen utensils and determine whether they're really worth keeping...

Reader Gallery: Knife Storage Solutions

2009_04_22-Knives.jpg2009_04_22-KnivesT.jpgYesterday we asked you for your best knife storage solutions. Where do you store your knives? Do you hang them on the wall? Throw them in a drawer? Well, several of you responded, and here's a look at some of your favorite knife-keeping products, as well as real-life photos of where you store your knives. If you'd like to show us your knives too, just send us a photo and we'll add it to this gallery.

Kitchen Cure Tip: Stand Back and Reevaluate Storage
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_21-Cupboard02.jpgAs you are clearing out extra tools and pans in your cupboards, you may also be confronted afresh with a state of disorganization. We don't all have custom-built drawers and shelves, crafted carefully to hold our perfectly-selected kitchen stuff. Instead we have patched-together collections of pots, pans, and knives that don't seem to fit just right in rental-kitchen cabinets.

Take mine, for instance. You've already caught a glimpse in this week's Cure assignment. I moved into this kitchen about seven months ago, and while I've organized and optimized a little, I still feel like I live in a temporary state of affairs. Time to stand back and look freshly at the cabinets. Here's how I'm doing it.

Solving the Pot Lid Problem: The Space Above the Pot Rack

2009_4_22-pot-lids1.jpgWhen we launched the Kitchen Cure, we asked people to tell us about the problems they had with their kitchens. One issue that came up many times was the problem of where to store pot lids.

Faith and I have two different solutions. Mine isn't perfect by any means, but for me it solves the problem and gets those clanky lids out of my way.

Survey: How Do You Store Your Knives?

2009_04_21-Knives.jpgWe want to see how you store your knives! As you are cleaning up extra tools and decluttering cupboards, are you making changes in how you store and organize those most essential of kitchen tools: the knives? Tell us here how you store your knives, and then send us a picture, too, of your knife storage and organization solution.

How To Declutter Your Pots, Pans, and Kitchen Tools
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_21-Cupboard.jpgCongratulations to everyone who finished the first week of the Kitchen Cure by cleaning out the fridge, freezer, and pantry. If you haven't got that far yet, no worries — the Cure is fluid, and you can work on everything as we progress. This week's assignment is similar to last week's: clean out the clutter in your cupboards, but this time focus on the tools and pans you never use.

Have you started this yet, and if so, what are you finding? Are there tools you never use? From worn-out tools to unneeded appliances, here's a list of things to look for.

Essential Kitchen Tools: A Roundup of Basics
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_20-Essentials.jpgOne of the most common questions we get from readers goes something like this: I'm outfitting a new kitchen — what do I need? Or, similarly: I'm moving and I have to pare down! What do I get rid of, and what do I keep?

Essential kitchen equipment is a subjective question. It all depends on how and what you cook most frequently. But here's a first look at the most common basic tools we like to recommend, and some posts to help guide you to a well-equipped, decluttered kitchen.

Kitchen Cure Week #2: Declutter and Give Away Kitchen Equipment
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

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Faith says her pots lids are slithering everywhere. We'll help you with that this week. She adds that her tool drawer is "embarrassingly jumbled." See for yourself on the next page.

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Cure Clock: 5 weeks remaining
Cure Takers: 648 and counting...

New Flickr Group: 2009 Kitchen Cure
Submit your photos directly to The Kitchn

Week Two is here. Now that you tackled your collection of ingredients, it's time to pay a little attention to the equipment piled up in your kitchen. Take a long honest look at the stuff you keep in your cupboards and on your counters. From little stuff like flatware to big appliances. Do you really use that George Foreman grill? Do you truly need three strainers? This week we'll be posting our thoughts of the bare bones essential kitchen tools and how best to clean out those crumby drawers.

Kitchen Cure Confession: Reverse Cure for the Fridge

2009_04_20-Cure.jpgSo, how did your weekend Cure activities go? Is your fridge gleaming? Are your cupboards decluttered and neat? I wish mine were! I have been meaning to show you my own fridge, in the spirit of honesty and fairness, and here it is. But I'm afraid there isn't anything inspiring about it — I've got a reverse Cure going on! Here's why.

Kitchen Cure Download: Eat This! Grocery Reminder
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_18-Download.jpgEvery Saturday morning during the Kitchen Spring Cure we are going to post a tool for you to download. They are tools that will hopefully help you as go forward from the Cure, keeping the kitchen healthy and organized.

Here's the first one: a reminder sheet to help you remember what to use up, cook with, and eat each week.

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Pantry and Fridge Before-&-Afters
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009 - Week 1

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4-2-kitchncure.gif• Week 1 Assignment: Clean Out Fridge and Pantry
• Cure Clock: 5 weeks (plus a weekend) remaining
• Cure Takers: 574 and counting (sign up here)

So, how has your first week of the Kitchen Cure progressed? We gave you your Week 1 assignment on Monday: Clean out your fridge, pantry, freezer of old and expired foods, and get organized. Scrub those shelves and countertops down, too! A few brave souls have submitted photos of their pantry and fridge before cleaning, and some of you have given us post-cleaning photos too. Here are five before and afters.

Plus, a reminder about our Kitchen Cure discussion board, and a sneak peek of a goodie we will have available for download first thing tomorrow morning!

What To Do With...? 75 Tips for Leftovers and Ingredients

2009_04_17-HowToUse.jpgOne of the most common sort of question we get here at The Kitchn starts like this: What do I do with ________? Fill in the blank: onions, lemons, exotic oils, coconut jam, duck fat, an abundance of hot peppers, quinoa, barley leftover pie dough, rice, pasta — the list goes on and on. Maybe you also are discovering some leftovers or challenging ingredients as you clean out your pantry and fridge for the Cure. Well, don't throw them away!

Start here first, and see if you can find an idea or two for using up your leftovers.

Kitchen Cure Tip: Label and Date Everything In the Freezer
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

This Kitchen Cure tip is more in way of a reminder to those of us who stick things in the freezer and say confidently to ourselves, "Oh, no need to label this — I'll remember what it is!"

No, no you won't. Label everything.

Tips for Organizing a Refrigerator and Freezer

2009_4_16-woodnymph-fridge.jpgLet's help Kitchen Cure-taker woodnymph here with their refrigerator and freezer issue. This was their note to me along with the above photos:

fridge (notice the gross spill in the bottom - who knows how long that's been there?)
door (thing often fall out when you open or close it)
freezer (no idea what's in back)

We need to help this person get their Cure going!

The Kitchen Cure: Discussion Board

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Let's get cookin'!

This is for all Kitchen Cure discussions, a free form space for questions, answer, inspiration and links to what you're doing.

Please comment below and feel free to include links to pics or sites where you are documenting your Cure. Also, please remember that if you want us to post your progress you should email us directly at any time of night or day:

>> The Kitchen Cure Page
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Kitchen Cure Tip: Save Wilted Vegetables For Stock
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_15-Vegetables.jpgAs you clean out your fridge (and perhaps the top of your fridge, too) for this week's Kitchen Cure assignment, are you finding vegetables that look decidedly less perky than that upright stalk of celery? Are you finding a few sad carrots, a wet noodle bunch of celery, brown and dusty parsley? Well, don't throw them out yet. Here are two ways to make good use of even the saddest vegetables.

Kitchen Cleaning Products: What Are Your Favorites?

2009_04_15-Cleaning.jpgPart of this week's Kitchen Cure assignment is to clean out your fridge and pantry. We've given you some tips on cleaning out the food itself, but now, what about those cupboards? And those sticky fridge doors? Are you cleaning as you go, and if so, what are your favorite cleaning products? Read on for a few favorites, plus some great tips on non-toxic cleaners, and getting your appliances really shiny.

Condiments and Expiration Dates: Pantry Cleaning Tips

2009_04_15-Pantry.jpgAre you deep into cleaning your pantry during this week of the Kitchen Cure? I confess that I haven't started yet, but I have a lot of things to work on in my cupboards and pantry! I am looking forward to pushing through old spices, nearly-empty packages and greasy jars. Time to consolidate and clean! Here are a few tips and helpful ideas from our archives on some of the issues that come up when cleaning the pantry, fridge, and freezer

Kitchen Cure Tip: Save Your Jars!
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_04_14-Jars.jpgIf you're following along with the Kitchen Spring Cure (there are nearly 500 of you now!) then you're working on this week's assignment: cleaning out old food in the fridge and cupboards.

This is one of the simplest parts of the Cure: look for old, expired, unused, unhealthy foods that you just aren't eating. If they are cluttering your cupboard or your fridge, get rid of them! If they aren't expired, donate them to a food bank. (Food bank contributions are down this year; they'll definitely appreciate it.)

Old food in the fridge and expired packaged foods should be thrown out or composted. But wait! Don't throw out that jar!

Renters: What Would You Change About Your Kitchen If You Could?

2009-04-14-RentalKitchen.jpgWith the Spring Kitchn Cure getting underway, we've been looking over our kitchen with a critical eye. Since we're renters, some of the things that we'd really like to change (the faux-wood cupboards...the curling linoleum...) are unfortunately here to stay. But we can still dream! If you could, what one thing would you change about your rental kitchen?

Freezer Organization: Toss an Ice Tray or Two

2009_04_14-icetray1.jpgWeek #1 assignment in the Kitchen Cure is to clean out your fridge and pantry. That includes the freezer, and we're considering one way to make more space: eliminating two of those ice trays above.

Kitchen Cure Week #1: Clean Out Fridge and Pantry
The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009

2009_4_13-cure09-wk1-1.jpgOkay, I'll go first: My freezer is a disaster but my pantry is in pretty good shape. Don't worry, I'll show you close-ups after the jump, over abundance of ice cream cartons and all.

4-2-kitchncure.gifThis Week's Assignment: Clean Out Fridge and Pantry
Cure Clock: Liftoff! 6 weeks remaining
Cure Takers: 338 and counting...

Welcome, everyone! Happy first day of the second annual Kitchen Cure. There are over 300 of you signed up, wow! This week we want to start you on the path of cleaning out your kitchen.

Haven't joined yet? Join here. It's easy and free. Already signed up and ready to go? Read on for this week's assignments.

The Kitchen Cure Starts Monday: Sign Up Now!

the kitchen cure.gifHuge news: Our second annual Kitchen Cure starts on Monday. You know the Cure, the thing Maxwell leads over at Apartment Therapy where hundreds, heck probably thousands, of people sign up, buy his book, and heal their homes of disarray and abandon and get what's stuck moving again.

Well, we do it here at The Kitchn too - it's called The Kitchen Cure and it will get you back into your kitchen, organizing, cleaning and most importantly, cooking with vim and vigor.

Check out the Kitchen Cure page where you can now sign up for the six week program.

Click through for the basics...

The Kitchen Cure is Coming!

the kitchen cure.gifIf you got my weekly email today, you know we're starting our online Kitchen Cure soon. (You know the Apartment Therapy Home Cure? It's like that, but just for your kitchen!)

As I tinker with the syllabus, I'm taking suggestions from people who are interested in participating about what they'd like to learn.

It might be related to organization ("my kitchen is a disaster, I can't find anything, so I never even go in there, help!") or it could be that you just want to be a better cook and need a structured and free class of sorts to get you there, with plenty of online support.

Tell us below...