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MuppetGrrl's Profile

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Small Kitchen DIY Fixes: Submit Your Stories

Keep it clean, AMEN! One thing a tiny kitchen has taught me: do dishes while you work. If I have any idle moment during cooking, I use it to wash whatever dishes I've already used. The dishes pile up fast and just take up space.

We use plastic grocery bags for our trash, but we keep them in a handy pull-out rack under the sink. We also reuse other plastic bags and hang those on a hook inside the undersink door--and we also have three shelves under the sink, and various wire baskets to hold cleaning supplies.

And "think up" is definitely the way to go! That said, living in San Francisco, we had a tremor a few weeks ago while we stood in the kitchen, and I have nightmares about a glass jar of bulk couscous tumbling five feet onto my head. But being that it's a small kitchen, it's only a step to the living room. :)

Mar 21, 2007
MuppetGrrl in Not About Food

Small Kitchen DIY Fixes: Submit Your Stories

We not only have a galley kitchen, but we also live in an apartment--no chance of upgrading the stove or refrigerator unless they both break down miserably. So we've made do. Fortunately, my fiance is very handy around the house.

1. Shelves, shelves, shelves. We have shelves going up the side of our doorjamb (no photo of that yet); along the top of our doorjamb; he removed the doors on the cabinets so the shelves are exposed; and he recently added new shelves to the top of the refrigerator.

2. Hanging pot rack AND two hanging utensil racks near the stove.

3. Use the space near the stove for a rolling rack and toaster oven (not shown in this picture).

4. Pegboard!

5. Built a shelf between the refrigerator and sink to support some extra space and our dishrack.

6. And the piece de la resistance: He stained and cut a $10 piece of plywood to extend the length of our kitchen counter AND create a garbage hole. It's so incredibly convenient that I'll cry if our next home doesn't have a similar feature. Another feature: The trash can is on a shelf, so the recycling bin fits beneath it.

These photos show the left and right side of the kitchen; the linoleum meets in the middle. We have about 2 1/2 feet clearance between counters.

http://beanersprout.com/apttour/image9.jpg
http://beanersprout.com/apttour/image10.jpg
http://beanersprout.com/apttour/image...

If you need more recent photos (they really just include more shelves) let me know.

Mar 21, 2007
MuppetGrrl in Not About Food

Cold-fighting soups?

Best soup ever: it's a carrot soup made with plenty of lemon, ginger and garlic. Kills the heck out of colds!

I don't have the recipe on me, but I imagine if you cook, you can figure something out. :)

Dec 05, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Homemade Pizza at super-hi heat: it works

I always cook on the pizza stone after heating the oven at 500 for an hour.

Dec 01, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

All Beef Meatloaf Recipe?

If you have Marcela Hazan's cookbook, do the white-wine braised meatloaf.

Dec 01, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Little tricks that help make cooking faster, easier?

What, the garbage hole or the pegboard? The pegboard you can do yourself. I painted mine pretty. :)

The garbage hole was also a way to expand counter space in our galley kitchen. Our counter ended about two feet from the wall, in the space where we keep the garbage can, and we wanted to use all of that space.

My SO just bought a big piece of plywood ($10), cut it to the proper size/shape, stained and sealed it. Then just used one of those fun drill-saw-things (I am NOT a handy person) and cut out the garbage hole.

It's divine! My cutting board's right next to it, so I can sweep right into the hole. It's pretty obvious from the picture--it's a simple setup, and would probably only work in some kitchens.

Dec 01, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Little tricks that help make cooking faster, easier?

Those are SO fantastic. I love mine.

And the pegboard idea was all Julia's. :)

Dec 01, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

What's your go-to, tried-and true, entertaining meal

Pizza and osso buco. I always check ahead re the veal, though.

Nov 30, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Little tricks that help make cooking faster, easier?

I so wish I had the freezer room to do that! Someday...

Nov 30, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Little tricks that help make cooking faster, easier?

I have a boyfriend who's a fanatic about making an efficient kitchen. My two favorite time-savers: the pegboard, and a thin sheet of plywood he laid over the counter and garbage can. I don't need a garbage bowl, because I can just sweep everything off of the cutting board into the garbage hole.

See here:

http://beanersprout.com/apttour/image...

Nov 30, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Unique food gift recipes 2006 - what have you got?

I think we'll be making muffaletta again this year.

Nov 28, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Cooking with wine - does quality matter?

I've had gone-over red wine completely spoil tomato sauces. I only use wine I'd drink myself.

Nov 28, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Sides to go with tuna braised in tomatoes, capers and olives?

FYI, I ended up going with couscous and a warm side of cannellini beans, arugula, garlic, pancetta, celery and carrots. I skipped the polenta because I figured that plus the beans would be a bit too rich and creamy.

The white beans and arugula were the star of the meal for me--I'll definitely be doing it again! The tuna turned out just fine, but not uber-spectacular.

Nov 28, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Muppetgirl- Best Polenta you'll ever eat!! for next time:

Thanks for the rec! I cheated and bought pre-made polenta, and then ended up serving couscous anyway. :)

Nov 28, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Sides to go with tuna braised in tomatoes, capers and olives?

So I'm definitely doing polenta. The only greens I could find was arugula; I also bought butter lettuce. So it'll either be some kind of cooked arugula with cannellini beans or a nice butter lettuce salad.

Nov 27, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Sides to go with tuna braised in tomatoes, capers and olives?

Ooooh, beetlebug, that might work, if I can find rabe. I don't have my cookbook on me; is it an involved recipe? I'm making it for almost-in-laws, so I'd like it to be stress-freeish.

I was also thinking maybe just a simple butter lettuce salad.

Nov 27, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Sides to go with tuna braised in tomatoes, capers and olives?

Making All About Braising's tuna pot roast with olives tonight, and I can't think of a good veggie side. I'll be serving couscous as a grain.

Do we need a veggie side at all? Maybe a salad to start?

Nov 27, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Americano (in the Hotel Vitale)

Not impressed with their carpaccio. The almonds are tasty. And I had to describe what a Pimm's Cup was, and they still got it wrong.

But it's a great place for a nice Sunday afternoon.

Oct 30, 2006
MuppetGrrl in San Francisco Bay Area

What's Your Secret Ingredient?

Lemon and parsley are my two favorite last-minute flavor boosters. Usually brightens the idsh considerably.

Oct 30, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Could "better the next day" be a myth?

I love reheated lasagna, but I think it's best fresh. It loses texture the next day.

Stuffed shells, though, are always better the next day, to me--the pasta doesn't lose much texture, and the cheese is much richer.

Oct 28, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Quintessential San Francisco restaurants

It's pub grub. I've had a perfectly fine grilled ham-and-cheese with a side of fries. Nothing too spectacular.

And I LOVE me some Tommy's Joynt sandwiches. I always take out-of-towners there for lunch--always fun, good beer, big sandwiches. Along with Rosamunde/Toronado for lunch.

Oct 27, 2006
MuppetGrrl in San Francisco Bay Area

First crack at eggplant parm

That's why i do the leaning thing, instead of stacking! But I like the idea of serving the sauce on the side, or right at the end. Thanks!

Oct 27, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

First crack at eggplant parm

I've never soaked eggplant in cold water. I just salt them and set them aside for about thirty minutes. Then I rinse them, lay them flat, and press them. Works brilliantly.

Oct 27, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

First crack at eggplant parm

Cooks Illustrated's recipe is the best I've found--my only change would be to spray the breaded slices with olive oil, then bake them on a pizza screen. It doesn't require layering--more like "leaning"--so the bottom doesn't get soggy.

I use ricotta, part-skim mozzarella, and parmesan.

Oct 26, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Chicken Pot Pie

Joy of Cooking has a good one. I use store-bought pie crust--Pillsbury rolled frozen--and I find it works just fine. But I'm not picky about crusts.

Oct 26, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Would You Still Goto A Restaurant If The Owner/Chef Was A JERK?

No. Once I started getting the inside scoop regarding what happens at the restaurant where my SO works, and I won't go there anymore. I don't want to give any money to people like that.

Oct 25, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Not About Food

Froggy's Coonass Jambalaya recipe

You gonna share that recipe or just tease us? :)

Oct 24, 2006
MuppetGrrl in Home Cooking

Fried Chicken in SF

I haven't, alas, and realized I should've mentioned it in my post. The previous location, I always liked the chicken and the cornbread, and the rest of the sides were acceptable.

I'm bummed to see it's gone downhill, though. They were never very good with handling large crowds, that's for certain.

Oct 24, 2006
MuppetGrrl in San Francisco Bay Area

Fried Chicken in SF

I second Powell's!

Oct 24, 2006
MuppetGrrl in San Francisco Bay Area

Had "A Gourmet Experience" lately?

That's the place I meant with the attic smell! I can never remember the name.

Oct 24, 2006
MuppetGrrl in San Francisco Bay Area