MaedchenT's Profile

Display Name: MaedchenT
Member Since: 5/22/14

Latest Comments...

When living in Europe, I had a very small L-shaped kitchen. I had a sink, 2-burner cooktop, a refrigerator and a washing machine all tight together. (Maybe +1.5 meter square.) I had a small oven on a shelf above. (I had made a pantry that held my dishes and dry goods.) I went shopping for food more often, but it was built-in to my lifestyle (living in a city, using the bus). It all worked.

Now, my kitchen is +4 x's the size and it works too. I still find myself looking at 'tiny kitchens'...

Stylish & Efficient: 5 Tiny Kitchens
7/21/14 07:36 PM

My advice:
Only have table cloths that can be laundered. Less stress and more practical. I have used the same two (identical) white (restaurant style) table cloths for years, and they are still in pretty good shape, even after red wine and kids at the table. Same with my cloth napkins.

How To: Foolproof Red Wine Stain Removal
7/21/14 07:14 PM

Re: WHITE WINE to 'neutralize' red wine stains--PLEASE READ:

There are sugars in white wine (and red wine). They can caramelize if not removed when later dry cleaned, or get weird later if not removed from the fabric completely. My advice: if you attempt this method as noted above, then you must then address the complete removal of the white wine.

How To: Foolproof Red Wine Stain Removal
7/21/14 07:09 PM

'How to Properly Set a Table'--Good to know, but is it still relevant at home?

Knowing how to set a table correctly is good to know, but I do not, and choose not to do so purposely. I set the table according to the food I am preparing. If it is steak, then there is a steak knife, and a butter knife for the herbed butter (for the steak), along with a fork. If I serve salad, then there is a salad fork. I do not put out spoons until coffee and dessert are served. I put the spoon on the saucer with the coffee, and put the fork with the cake (or ice-cream spoon with the ice-cream, etc.). I put out water glasses, and wine glasses are given according to who wants wine and the type they are drinking. If it is beer, then we use the appropriate beer glass. I use a table cloth, cloth napkins and candles when dining so no one has to feel too barbaric.

Please, know that I do not wish to trample on tradition, but wonder if this is universally relevant anymore? (F.Y.I.--my 10 yr old knows how to eat with a fork in one hand, and a knife in the other without switching hands. We own European flatware with ice-creams spoons, egg-spoons, cake forks, etc. and like to use them. I just like a more practical approach.)

How To Set The Table Properly
7/21/14 07:00 PM

'Know thyself!"

Work on having good basic items, and the rest is highly individual.

Don't get caught up in the trendy, 'I've got to have that too...' acquisition game. If you only bake occasionally, get a good electric hand mixer instead of a KA Stand Mixer. If you want a turquoise blue KA Stand Mixer to accent your turquoise kitchen, and you'll use it, then buy it. But don't buy expensive plushy towels unless you really like plushy towels. (I found out the hard way that I do not.)

I own a KA stand mixer that resides under my counter. (Now mostly Paleo...) My Vita-Mix gets used regularly, and my favorite paring knife comes from Ikea. I enjoy my Boos cutting boards, and my tri-clad cookware came from Sam's club--which work fabulously. My Wustof cleaver sits in the drawer mostly, but when I buy a bunch of whole chickens that need to be cut-up, I am so glad I have that thing!

Upgrade-Worthy: 5 Cheap Household Items Worth Replacing (When You Can)
7/21/14 06:19 PM

'not-so-deep-frying'--The wider design of the wok helps contain the splatter better than traditional pans. Using 1-2" of oil can work well. I was also impressed by a recipe that has you fry a whole chicken one half at a time in the wok. Since a chicken is 'hollow' in the middle, it cooks through quickly, and yields good results.

Before & After: My Wok One Year Later Before & After
7/21/14 01:49 PM

I cover my freshly changed bed with a sheet. (Just think how much dust accumulates over a week.) If you are gone for more than a week, when you arrive home, a fresh bed is wonderful after a shower!

For food:
We try to leave something in the freezer than can defrost quickly so we don't have to go shopping if we aren't up to it, or if you arrive very late. Smoked salmon and toast work well.

7 Smart, Safe & Money-Saving Things To Do Before Leaving on Vacation
7/21/14 01:37 PM

If you click on the links to the places referenced in the photos, you will find that the changes are reversible or sanctioned by the landlord. That being said, the article's tone lacks respect for the landlord. 'Apartment Therapy' should not set nor incite such a tone considering the international standard it has become. Surely, this was just a 'slip', and the writer can learn to translate better respect for other's property in future articles.

Radical Renters: When Renters Make Big Changes
7/21/14 01:27 PM

Take time for yourself to freshen-up before your guests arrive.
1. Pour yourself a drink. (Mineral water or something will drink this during getting ready.)
2. Take a quick rinse-shower from the neck down.
3. Get dressed and accessorize.

Then, return to your duties.
Make sure music is on and your lights are adjusted (i.e.--candles lit) to the gathering before you guest arrive.
Most guests offer help, let them...

How to Keep Your Cool, Relax and Have a Blast at Your Next Party Apartment Therapy's Guide to the Perfect Summer
7/19/14 11:25 PM

Being a fan of white kitchens, some can be a bit too stark or sterile, but not here. Enough texture and balance from the brick, the island counter top, and other touches with the white. Enjoy!

Before & After: Jason's Reconfigured \"Perfect for Friends\" Kitchen The Big Reveal
7/19/14 01:43 AM

I volunteered at my son's two-way immersion school--English/Spanish to make the Mexican Corn on the Cob-'Elote' for fundraisers.

Here's how we did it:
Corn on the cob with a skewer in the end.
Rub it with mayonnaise and butter.
Roll it in parmesan cheese. (You can use more authentic cheese.)
Sprinkle it with a Chili-Lime Seasoning or one w/o the Lime. (You can find the seasoning a Mexican market.)

I made it at home with really good quality mayo, butter, cheese and spice was divine!

6 Toppings to Make Your Grilled Corn Even More Magical Grill Your Heart Out
7/19/14 01:33 AM

I've done this for years with a large tea towel. (You can cut your own from cotton muslin.) I have never done this without the towel getting dripping wet. As you spin the lettuce, the water flies out from the towel. So you are using the towel to hold the lettuce in more than blot the moisture from the lettuce. So, if you can't go outside or do it in your shower (the water will hit the ceiling), then this method would likely not be such a great idea.

Can You Really Use a Pillowcase to Dry Lettuce? Putting Tips to The Test in The Kitchn
7/19/14 01:21 AM

I keep my spices in three plastic boxes (from Ikea) that fit neatly in my cabinet (dark, away from heat). My most used cooking spices/herbs go in one. My baking and spice mixes go in the second. And the third is odd stuff, peppercorns (for refills), etc. They are easy to grab when I am cooking, and I keep them in their original bottles, unless it will work better in a re-purposed bottle.

I always have to replenish cumin, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and dill. (I regularly use these, and run-out of them before 6 months passes.) Most others I replenish seasonally. I tend to use them more in the season they were purchased, and not as much after that. I find buying spice/herbs mixtures is more economical than buying a few (or several) bottles to mix my own. A pre-mixed bottle that will last through a few uses for specific dishes, and then its mostly used up.

Our Guide to Cleaning Out Your Messy Spice Drawer Tips from The Kitchn
7/19/14 01:10 AM

Cords on window blinds:
I always thought that the cords on window blinds couldn't be that dangerous...that it must be negligent parents. Well, to my horror, upon moving in to our new place, our 1 1/2 yr old walked right up to the window, picked up the cord, and started to wrap it around his neck! Almost like it was some weird instinct. Those blinds were removed that same day.

Widow 'gates':
I installed a gate (one that would typically be placed in a doorway) in each of the windows in my sons room, and they are still there 9 years later. When he has friends over they jump on the bed (even though not allowed), pillow fights, etc. They are white as are the curtains and the window trim, so they blend-in enough.

6 Steps To Safer Windows In Your Family's Rental
7/19/14 12:44 AM

Outdoor Patio Curtain:

Using a shower tension rod, I was able to hang two 118" curtains positioned between two pillars (on either side of my patio gate). I tied up the curtain by the gate, so it won't be in the way when the gate opens. It elevated the look of the whole patio.

15+ Uses for Tension Rods You've Never Thought Of
7/17/14 05:35 PM

Two from me: For both of these looks, a nice area rug, artwork, and accessories would bring both better to life. Painting the 'nook' wall (the short wall by the bathroom door) an accent color could lend a nice pop of color. Some accent mirror wall decorations could help reflect the light better. Finally, lighting.

Convertible Office: Leave the space as open as possible for your office. A desk on wheels, perhaps a book shelf. Then you can stash two folding guest beds (they've come up in quality, and don't take too much space) behind the shelf, or maybe one the laundry room? This way it isn't too claustrophobic, and the investment isn't too great. Since you want to take whatever you invest in with you, these items are flexible.

Cozy Nook: Buy a sleeper sofa that uses the seat and the back part as the 'mattress' (Not the pull-out kind). They often are sized like a full or a 'super-twin'. Then add a storage ottoman with a tray or a set of nesting tables.

Ideas for Narrow Loft Space? Good Questions
7/17/14 02:46 PM

TeaMaltese/DW not cleaning well...Try this:

Use a dishwasher detergent additive/booster agent. (Lemi Shine & Finish both make them, available on Amazon.) And, make sure that you use DW detergent that isn't 'natural', but one like--Cascade, Finish, or such.

We bought a new DW/Bosch, and after a few years it just wasn't working efficiently enough to use, so we replaced it with another Bosch DW. The same thing happened again, and found out it was becoming compromised because of our hard water. (No, our DW was not coated in 'white', though our previous one was starting to look that way.) We used the products mentioned above, ran it empty a few times (so 'stuff' wouldn't re-deposit on the glassware and dishes). And we are back in business. Sadly, the repairman for our previous DW did not explain this to us.

Our Best Tips for Life Without a Dishwasher
7/17/14 01:17 PM

F.Y.I.--for those of you with dishwashers that do not use them:

A dishwasher needs to be regularly used to stay in working order, or hoses and such can dry-out. Basically, creating a leaking mess for the next tenants...happened to friends of mine, they only hand wash, and ran the DW one day...the repairman clued them in likely why it leaked.

Our Best Tips for Life Without a Dishwasher
7/17/14 01:06 PM

Know your needs and constraints.
My Waring Pro Ice Crusher sits out on my counter, but my KA mixer 6qt. resides under the counter behind closed doors...

Avoid one-trick ponies, unless that is the one-trick you really need (read: 'need'=use regularly.)

A Tale Of 13 Appliances: What Stays and What Goes?
7/17/14 12:20 PM

"What to Consider Before You Rent"...these comments could be a basis for an article with new questions to ask landlords.

I live in planned community with a strict HOA with strict CC&R (Home Owner's Association/Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions). Most places around here have restrictions on hard surface flooring unless you are in a ground-floor unit. Often times surround sound with subwoofers are not allowed. (There is great on-line advice how to lessen the affect on your neighbors if you have such a set-up, I know, we had to adjust ours, now our neighbor can't hear it.)

About dogs barking all day. If it isn't possible to talk to your neighbor with a direct but kind approach, you can call Animal Control and ask what they recommend. I did, and it did help curb some of our neighbor's dogs behavior.

We had a bad neighbor. Parties, loud swearing while playing video games mid-day, generally in an altered state...then he bonded with the guy who moved in next door. His new BFF. Then our hell just doubled. Until Mr. Unstable substance-abuser tried to shoot him! He missed, but got arrested, is awaiting trial, and his new BFF moved out for fear that Mr. Unstable would finish him off when he got bail. I had learned to cope with it for a good two years, but when they were gone, we hadn't realized how much it had affected our daily living. The owner of the unit had used a service to help find & screen prospective tenants. (Mr. Unstable had a criminal record...obviously no background check was done.) The owner was so sorry she ever rented to that guy. This time she took extra diligence to find a good tenant, which she did.

The Neighbors are Noisy as S#*!: How to Cope When You Love Your Home But Hate Your Neighbors Renters Solutions
7/16/14 11:00 PM