Last 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!
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.
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The 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!
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, itâ€™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?
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.
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!
Well, 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...
Hello, 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.
This 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?
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.
A 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!
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!
A 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!
This 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?
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.
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.
[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.
The 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.
No 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.
This 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!
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.
If 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.
I 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?
A 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!
Hello 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.
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 youâ€™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?
A 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!
This 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.
This 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!
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.
Here 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!
"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.
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.