The Posts

Clearing the Pantry? Make a Free-Form Pasta Casserole

2010_03_10-Casserole.jpgLast week Sara Kate showed you her favorite way to use up a lot of odds and ends from the pantry and fridge: Free-form soup. Here's one more way to use up little scraps of cheese, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and even beans that you would like to sweep out of your pantry. Pasta casserole!

Julie's Lightened-Up Vintage Portland Kitchen
Small Cool Kitchens 2010 - Own Division

Who cooks here? Julie
Location: Portland, OR
Owned or rented? Owned
Kitchen size: 60 square feet

What challenge have you overcome in your kitchen? We removed the large plaster hood vent that was hulking and non-functioning, placed an undercounter refrigerator where the dishwasher had been (since most of my dishes are vintage, and I didn't use it anyway), removed the layers and layers of linoleum and vinyl and painted the floor, and used a salvaged cabinet from my downstairs neighbor who remodeled his place to replace the old, oak refrigerator cabinet that stuck out too far, and thus it limited my usable counter space.

Give Julie a THUMBS UP if you think this kitchen belongs in the finals!
Thumbs Up Voting is only activated for 48 Hours — so don't delay!

Jeremiah's Significantly Improved Kitchen Storage
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_04_05-Jeremiah.jpgThe Kitchen Cure wrapped up last week (we showed you a big gallery of our readers' victories and improvements) but here is just one more inspiring example of a reader significantly improving his kitchen during the Cure. Jeremiah's before and after is pretty impressive!

Countertop Choices

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There are a mind-boggling number of countertop options including concrete, solid surface, natural and engineered stone, glass or ceramic tiles and even cast recycled materials. Whether you are looking for eco friendly materials or something easy to maintain and clean, it’s quite often color and style that are the most influential factors. But what if you could find an option that that delivers on all your wants for a new countertop?

Kitchen Cure Success! A Gallery of Improvements
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

Our Kitchen Cure just wrapped up its final week, and we hope all of you who participated are luxuriating and feeling victorious in your freshly clean, freshly Cured kitchen. Here's a look at a few particularly victorious readers — they sent us photos of some especially improved things in their kitchens.

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: A Neat Countertop
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_29-Countertop.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant kknina shows us her finished countertop: "Makes sense to keep the bread on this side since the cutting board is in the highest drawer." Nice!

Kitchen Cure Wrap-Up: Congrats, and Happy Graduation!
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

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I found this old oven grill and S-hooks at the local salvation shop. Living in Whitehorse, Yukon and living in an rental keeps my improvement options limited. This place beside the oven was always sort of useless before now. Finding the stud in this old house was the hardest part!

02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngWell, Cure-takers, if you're not there yet, you're pretty close. You put four weeks of hard work in and, if all went according to plan, your kitchen is clean, healthy and organized. And that means you're ready to take on spring cooking with your kitchen in tip-top shape.

There were over 2,600 of you on this journey and you all did amazing work. I know not everyone is done, but I encourage you to stay the course. Join the leagues who are finished and cheering you on from their sparkling, organized, cheerful kitchens.

Let's take a look at some success stories...

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: A New Pot Rack
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_26-Snapshot.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant deniseandpete finish off the painting and shelves we saw earlier: "The hanging pot rack is a new addition. A strip of lights were also added for accent lighting." Looks great!

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Flowers in the Kitchen
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_24-Fiesta.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant The Rose on Fire says: "Add something beautiful and add fresh flowers. One fell swoop. Fiestaware is a match made in heaven for my 1930's apartment!" How lovely!

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: A Neat and Tidy Pantry
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_24-Cupboard.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant DLouise21's neat, organized, and colorful pantry cupboards! Great job, DLouise21!

Cure-Takers! Show Us One Improvement In Your Kitchen
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_23-Frame.jpgHello, Cure-takers! You're in the homestretch of your Kitchen Cure. You've cleaned, decluttered, and reorganized. Doesn't it feel great!? Now as we approach the finish line we'd love to see just one photo with an improvement you've made during the Cure. It's inspiration to finish strong! Read on to submit your own photo.

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Painted Walls
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_23-Snapshot.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant JEAW's freshly painted yellow wall, and her tranquil and clean kitchen. So lovely!

Kitchen Cure Check-In: What's Left?
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure - Week #4

2010_03_19-Checkin.jpg02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: Restock Pantry & Cookware
Cure Clock: Less than a week to go!
Cure Takers: 2649

Happy Monday, Cure-takers! You are almost DONE! You have cleared out your cupboards, tidied your refrigerator, deep-cleaned and decluttered, scrubbed and beautified. What's left in your kitchen? Do you need one new pot to pull your cooking equipment together? Do you need to restock with fresh spices, since the ones from 1998 are now safely disposed of? Do you need to finish a bit of cleaning, or a bit of painting, or hang a new shelf? What's left to make your kitchen ready for spring cooking?

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Pantry Staples
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_22-Snapshot.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant thedabble's pantry staples. Looking good — we see some of our own favorites in there too!

Kitchen Cure Week #4: Restock Pantry & Cookware
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

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02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: Restock Pantry & Cookware
Cure Clock: Finish line! Complete the assignments and meet back here next Friday for the party.
Cure Takers: 2,649

This week is the final week of work. Phew! We will assume you have sorted through your refrigerator, freezer, cupboards and drawers. You have gotten rid of rancid oils, spoiled condiments, and tasteless spices. All the surfaces are clean. Now you're ready to stock your kitchen so that you can actually use it.

Now we will focus on the ingredients you need to cook the kinds of food you like to eat. You will also think about any new tools you need and can afford. Of course, you'll also have fresh flowers in the kitchen.

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Yogurt with Oats and Kiwi
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_19-Snapshot.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant Purple Plum shows us her breakfast and says, "Yoghurt with oatmeal, banana, kiwi, almonds and a touch of vanilla. Kicks off my morning." Yum! Good energy-food for cleaning out the kitchen.

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Favorite Pantry Shelf
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_18-Snapshot.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant coffeechaser shows us this favorite shelf and says: "Holds great finds like my oversize coffee grinder, $15 thrifty Kitchen Aid, some vintage pans from estate sales, and the extremely loud alarm clock I use for baking. I'm behind on the Kitchen Cure so I'll paint pantry and shelves after the kitchen remodel." Looking good, coffeechaser!

Beautify: 7 Spring Flowers for the Kitchen

The Kitchn Cure theme for this week is Beautify, and we can't think of anything that does this better than a vase of fresh-cut flowers on the counter. We feel happy just looking at them. Here are a few spring blooms we're starting to see come into season!

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Tile Grout Before & After!
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_16-Grout.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant windowshoppinginpjs shows us her freshly clean tile grout. She says: "After my husband pooh pooh'd our grout cleaning efforts, I showed him the before picture and he agreed it was indeed cleaner." Yay! We love deep cleaning week!

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: An Organized Pantry
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_16-Pantry.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant meghan_e shows us her neatened-up pantry. What a great storage spot! And so neat, too. (See the BEFORE photo here.)

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Is Your Kitchen Clean?
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure - Week #3

2010_03_15-KitchenCure.jpg02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: Deep Clean & Beautify
Cure Clock: 3 weekends down! 1 and a half weeks to go!
Cure Takers: 2649

Happy Monday, Cure-takers! You're now over halfway through the Kitchen Cure, and we are curious about how it went last weekend. Your assignment was to deep-clean, add some beauty, and pick a special project. How did this go? Did you do some scrubbing this past weekend?

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: IKEA Drawers for Cookware
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_12-CureSnapshot.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Kitchen Cure participant Purple Plum shows us her organized pots and pans. She says: "Love my Ikea drawer-shelves - they make it so much easier to reach all of my trays and pots." Looks great!

Kitchen Cure Week #3: Deep Clean & Beautify
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

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02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: Deep Clean & Beautify
Cure Clock: 2 weeks down, 2 to go. You're halfway there...
Cure Takers: Over 2,600

It's the third week. How are you doing? I'm so impressed with the photos Cure-takers are posting on the Cure's Flickr page. You guys are going deep, and I know it's not easy. Even those who are behind are keeping their eyes on the prize - a more beautiful and organized kitchen that's ready for some serious spring cooking.

This week you'll do a deep cleaning, start that "special project" and add one beautiful thing to your kitchen.

A Quick Kitchen Cure

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The kitchen is the most functional place in the home. You spend the most active time there. You cook, clean, eat, entertain, build second grade projects, create extraordinary recipes and feed everyone from just you to small armies. After a while, it starts to show signs of wear. The time has come. It's time to update.

How to Find More Space in the Kitchen
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_3_11-kitchen-organization.jpg[Today organizing expert Stacey Platt shares a few tips on finding more space in the kitchen. Stacey is the most organized person I know, but understands with great compassion how unorganized many people can be. Here are some ideas from her new book, What's a Disorganized Person to Do?. Welcome, Stacey!]

Now, thanks to The Kitchen Cure's Week #2 assignment, your kitchen de-cluttered and you've probably freed up a lot of space. But if you still wish you had more (and who doesn't?), then look around your kitchen. Extra space abounds.

Organize This! Help for the Junk Drawer

2010-03-09-JunkDrawer2.jpgThe thing about the junk drawer is that...well, it's the junk drawer. Things find their way in there because they don't really have anywhere else in the kitchen to be. And frankly? We think that's ok! But just because it's the designated junk drawer doesn't mean it can't be an organized junk drawer! Here are a few ideas to help.

Tame Kitchen Clutter: The One In, One Out Rule

2010_03_09-Spoons.jpgDo you subscribe to (and follow) the "One In, One Out" rule? You know this rule, right? Bring in something new, toss out something old. It's a primary weapon in fighting the battle against kitchen clutter.

Food Storage Containers: 7 Tips for Controlling Clutter

2010_03_08-containers.jpgNo matter how organized we are in the rest of the kitchen, food storage containers always seem to pose a threat to the order, with their varying shapes and sizes, orphaned parts, and frequent relegation to the darkest and lowest corners of our cupboards. Sound familiar? Here's how to tame the clutter.

Kitchen Cure Check-In: Are Your Cupboards Organized?
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure - Week #2

2010_03_08-Pantry.jpg02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: De-Clutter & Reorganize Tools
Cure Clock: 2 weekends down! 2 weeks remaining
Cure Takers: 2603 and counting...

Happy Monday, Cure-takers! You're now deep into Week 2 of your Kitchen Cure, and we are curious about how it went last weekend. Did you hit those cupboards full of pots and pans? Did you thin out your duplicate tools? What happened to the bread machine — did it stay or go? Tell us how it went last weekend!

Kitchen Cure Week #2: De-Clutter & Reorganize Tools
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

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02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: De-Clutter & Reorganize Tools
Cure Clock: Getting the hang of it! 3 weeks more!
Cure Takers: Over 2,500!

Week Two! Now that you have tackled your ingredients in the fridge and pantry, it's time to turn our attention to your equipment. You are going to take a long honest look at the stuff in your cupboards and on your counters, from little things like flatware, to big appliances like the ice cream maker. Do you really use that George Foreman grill? Do you truly need three strainers? We'll also be talking about picking a special project to complete during the Cure — good fun!

Haven't joined yet? Join here. It's easy and free. Now read on for this week's assignment.

Fridge-Clearing Cooking Without a Recipe

2010_3_3-no-recipe-fridge.jpgIf you're one of the over 2,400 people participating in our Spring Kitchen Cure, you spent the better part of this past week cleaning your refrigerator and pantry. (Not signed up? There's still time!) I hope it's been fun and that you've had great music playing.

When we delve deep into the crisper and cabinets we often find forgotten ingredients. Some might be plain rotten, but others might be just a little past perfect: about-to-sprout onions or meat with a touch of freezer burn.

Use It Or Lose It: The Bread Machine

2010_03_05-breadmaker.jpgI have a monster hiding in one of my kitchen cabinets. It made really odd noises the one time I used it, but mostly it just sits there, taking up space and collecting dust, haunting me. It's name is the bread machine. Perhaps you have one of your own?

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Liberated Spice Rack
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_05-SpiceRack.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Lucy cleaned out her spice rack and it looks clean and new! She says: "I just dumped everything without an expiration date since everything is quite old. Feeling very liberated and ready to build up a working and most importantly, fresh tasting selection of spices." Congrats, Lucy!

Curees! What Needs Special Help During the Kitchen Cure?
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_04-Disastrous.jpgHello Kitchen Curees! How's it going? How does your fridge and pantry purge feel? I did an impromptu and much-needed clean-out of my own freezer last night, and it feels great to be able to see the back wall of the freezer again. Now, as we gear up for tomorrow's Week 2 assignment, we would love to hear directly from you on what still needs special help in your kitchen.

Find Your Kitchen Style with Wilsonart HD

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Style is so personal, so special to each individual that it is genuinely intimate. How does one go about figuring out his or her decorating style? Deciding what to express in your home can be difficult. One approach is to decide how you’ll use your space—your kitchen, in this case. Do you have a big family with lots of kids and activities that make your kitchen the epicenter of your home? Do you cook often and need a kitchen that will be easy to clean without fear of bacteria or stains? Do you entertain often and use your kitchen as a showplace?

Kitchen Cure Snapshot: Pancakes & Freezer Syrup
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_03-Pancakes.jpgA snapshot of Curees' progress from our Kitchen Cure Flickr Pool: Here are snow day pancakes from cneu, who says: "what better way to clean out the freezer? we made a nice compote/syrup out of the rest of our summer berries today...YUM." Yum indeed - a great example of clean-out-the-freezer cooking!

Pantry and Fridge Cleaning Resources
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_3_2-midweek1-mrsolkid.jpgThis week, participants in our Spring Kitchen Cure and purging their pantries and refrigerators. Here are a few tips and helpful ideas from our archives on some of the issues that come up when delving into the depths of food storage.

Soundtrack for a Kitchen Cure
Kitchen Cure Snapshot

2010_03_02-Snapshot.jpgWhat are you listening to as you clean out your pantry and your fridge this week? Need some beats for your Kitchen Cure? Here's a peek at Kitchen Curee Swisstine's mix. She says: A mix of Q-tip, Corrine Bailey Rae, The Smiths and Snob Scrilla.

Kitchen Cure Week #1 Check-In: Is Your Pantry Purged?
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

2010_03_01-Kitchen.jpg02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: Clean out the fridge and pantry
Cure Clock: 1 weekend down! 3 weeks remaining
Cure Takers: 2306 and counting...

Happy Monday, Cure-takers! The first assignment of your 4-week kitchen cure is underway, and here's the spot to tell us how it went last weekend. Did you get much fridge-cleaning and pantry-clearing done this weekend? Tell us all about your first steps!

Kitchen Cure Week #1: Clean Out the Fridge and Pantry
The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure

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coffeechaser's cabinets need a dusting badly!

02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.pngThis Week's Assignment: Clean Out the Fridge and Pantry
Cure Clock: Liftoff! 4 weeks remaining
Cure Takers: 1,971 and counting...

Welcome, everyone! There are almost 2,000 of you signed up. It's like we're sitting in a giant lecture hall together. But don't worry, it's going to be cozy with lots of one-on-one attention. That's the deal with the Cure: if you participate and submit, the community will help you along. I may even show up in your inbox with some advice if you ask me point blank for help. If you're shy and want to watch from afar, that's okay too.

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.

Read on for this week's assignments.

Kitchen Curees! Have You Joined the Flickr Group?

2010_02_25-Flickr.jpgHere we go — the Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure starts today! (Look for your first assignment around lunchtime.)

We're so excited to get going on this season's Kitchen Cure. We'd love to see your photos and your progress as we go. We have a Flickr group for sharing your photos on an ongoing basis, so if you've joined the Kitchen Cure, take a look at the Flickr group and please pitch in! We'd love to see your kitchen!

The Kitchen Cure group at Flickr
• Need help? How to add your photos

Your Kitchen Needs a Cure

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Here's my kitchen from before the last Cure. Even I needed a little help.

02_05_2010-KitchenCure-post-badge.png"Your kitchen needs a cure." I make it sound like your kitchen is sick; it might be. Maybe it only needs a tune up. The majority of kitchens I see, including my own sometimes, have at the very least symptoms of chaos, disarray or atrophy.

If yours is suffering in any way, consider the Kitchen Cure to be your healer. Maybe you need rehab, or just a weekly massage. The Kitchen Cure gives you as much help as you need. Admit it, we all can use a little help.

Spring-2010-KitchenCure-boards-banner.pngThis is the place for all Kitchen Cure-related discussions — a free-form space for questions, answers, inspiration and links to what you're doing.

Please comment below and feel free to include links to sites where you are documenting your Kitchen Cure. We'd love to see (and share!) photos of your progress! To share kitchen photos, upload them to our Kitchen Cure Group at Flickr.

The Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure Page
The Kitchen Cure Flickr Group