Ways to Give Your Kitchen Personality

by  Jane Blanchard for Modernize.com 

No matter who you are or what type of house you live in, odds are that you have a kitchen. The kitchen is the food mecca for everything from home cooked brunch with the family to late-night snacking at 2 am.

Chances are, you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so make yours a fun place to be. Read on for some inspiration:

Update your backsplash

Kitchen Backsplash Design via Houzz
via Houzz

If you think backsplashes can only be made with tiles, think again. Show off your style with something interesting like a mosaic or even fabric like in the picture above. That’s fabric that has been laminated and put behind glass.

Cork Backsplash
via Houzz

Another fun idea for updating that backsplash is a DIY project that involves saving your wine corks – and probably all your friends’ wine corks as well.

Chalk it up

Chalkboard Paint Wall
via Houzz

Chalkboard paint is the perfect way to have ever-changing variety on your kitchen wall. Write down your grocery list where you’ll see it or let your kids doodle and decorate. The really great thing about a chalkboard wall instead of just boards being hung is that you can still hang pictures and artwork or even put up shelves.

Color your drawers something fun 

Colorful Kitchen Drawers
via Houzz

If the natural tones of your kitchen make it look too bland but colorful walls feel too much like an eyesore, consider painting the drawers of your island or counters. It’s a more subtle way to add a pop of color to the room.

Or the appliances! 

Colorful Appliances
via Houzz

Why go stainless? A colorful refrigerator has a great mod look to it which can go retro or mid-century modern with ease.

Mix it up 

Colorful Kitchen
via Houzz

Who says that you have to be matchy-matchy? The rule of thumb is to simply not clash. Try mixing up the colors of things like lighting fixtures or chair cushions. Tastefully mis-matched chairs are a popular trend for the shabby chic or quirky homes.

Light it up 

Unique Kitchen Lighting
via Houzz

Speaking of light fixtures, go ahead and take the risk of getting that super cool statement piece. With the right lights, you can set the tone or theme with a fun shape, or take classy to the next level with the right chandelier.

For more tips and tricks, go to Modernize.com.

When Two Registered Dietitians Road Trip to Atlanta

This past week Kati and I went to Atlanta, GA for the International Gift & Home Furnishings Market on a mission to find some unique, innovative and awesome kitchenware to add to our already pretty stunning line up of essentials.  Call us crazy, but we drove down to the big city in the middle of 2 snow storms both on the way down and on the way back, in hopes to locate some tasty foodie finds during our travels.

Kati, Sarah and their server Charlie at Meehan's Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA.
Kati, Sarah and their server Charlie at Meehan’s Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA.

Our first foodie goal was to scope out a mom and pop shop for lunch.  As success would have it, Kati and I did just that and found a little place called Kewpee in Lima, OH.  With a simple of menu of mostly hamburgers and french fries this place drew a large crowd for lunch.  Quick and delicious, Kati and I ate lunch among the locals as well as their mascots, two larger than life naked baby dolls.  Despite the fact that we were slightly creeped out by their presence,  we decided they must represent the words that were located on their burger wrappers- clean, pretty, plump, and sweet!

Kewpee Mascot-Clean, Sweet, Pretty, Plump!
Kewpee Mascot-Clean, Sweet, Pretty, Plump!

After many, many hours of driving we arrived in Atlanta, GA where the good eats kept coming as well as the southern hospitality.  For dinner we found ourselves at an Irish Pub called Meehan’s, where we decided to eat like the Irish and dive into some traditional cuisine.  The most delectable being our appetizer called Devil’s on Horseback. Imagine goat cheese and dates strapped together by a piece of crispy bacon, drizzled in a balsamic reduction on top of a golden beet.  It was an explosion of flavor to our tastebuds and we both decided it needed to be replicated back in Michigan. Southern hospitality was also in full swing because our server named Charlie did not even flinch when I asked for extra veggies to beef up the nutrition in my entree.  He was even so nice as to snap a photo with us on our way out.

Devil's On Horseback at Meehan's Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA
Devil’s On Horseback at Meehan’s Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA

Though the food we encountered was amazing, our biggest discovery of the trip was the innovative gadgetry we got to play with.  We definitely picked our favorites, but we also love to hear about our customers must haves, so, we hauled back a pile of product guides that our customers can browse through to let us know what they can’t live without. If you’re one of our avid shoppers, be sure to let us know what sort of items you’re looking for. Our trip was a total success, from food, to education, to awesome kitchenware, it was an epic adventure across the country!

What sort of restaurants do you like to stop at while traveling? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments! 

OneBowl Might Just Change the Way You Cook Forever!

When it comes to eating well, there are many obstacles that seem to get in our way. Most of us know what we should do, but actually doing it… well, that’s a whole different ball game.

Unfortunately, I sort of think most people assume dietitians simply tell you what to eat. To me, that doesn’t seem to cover our full value and fortunately, its not a completely accurate depiction of what we do. Our jobs are really about helping you discover ways to apply nutrition guidelines to your everyday life so that you can be healthy, active, and full of energy every single day. To accomplish this, we often have to rethink how we incorporate food into our day and develop an environment that’s conducive to positive change.

Often when I work with people who want to eat better, time and money are two healthy eating saboteurs that often come into play. So when I talk about eating healthy, I’m often looking for ways to keep meals and snacks simple and affordable. That means I’m always keeping an eye out for new tactics and tools that put a stop to the tyranny time and money can often infer onto our best laid plans.

credit: theonebowl.com

A few months ago potentially helpful product came across my radar. It was the OneBowl – a bowl that would allow you to cook, strain, eat, and store your food all in one container. Its multi-functionality alone peaked my interest because if you’re going to pay for a new gadget to go in your kitchen, it can be a real money and space saver if it does more than one task.

The OneBowl is also microwave safe, meaning you could quickly steam up some veggies or reheat leftovers at work for a tasty, homemade lunch. It could also be used to store your favorite produce and, just like our ever popular berry boxes, I would assume you’d be able to extend the shelf-life of your favorite berries because of the ability OneBowl has to strain and store.

OneBowl is currently a project being funded on Kickstarter. The creator of OneBowl is a college student and is hoping to take his idea to the next level. You can be apart of that by supporting his campaign.

Although the OneBowl was envisioned and marketed as a perfect bowl for quick and easy dishes like Ramen and Mac & Cheese, I think you could actually do better by thinking outside the box (or bowl in this case) and creating more healthful dishes that are quick, easy and delicious.

What do you think of the OneBowl? What sort of healthy meals do you think you’d create with it? 

Disclaimer/Disclosure: We have not personally reviewed this item nor were we paid to talk about it. We simply saw it online and thought it looked pretty awesome. The opinions expressed are Kati’s alone. We just thought you should know. For more information on our disclaimer and disclosure policies, check out our legal page

#002: How to Grill the Right Way with Courtney Stinson, RD


Download file: #002: How to Grill the Right Way with Courtney Stinson, RD

The Side Dish Logo

On this episode of the Side Dish with Aaron and Kati Mora, MS, RD, we talk about how you can begin grilling the right way. Okay, so there isn’t exactly a right way to grill, but there are many ways to grill in a way that promotes better health and better flavor.

Today on the show we have a good friend and colleague of ours joining us. Like me, Courtney is a Michigan-based registered dietitian and mom. She’s super creative and full of great ideas and it felt wrong to keep her wisdom all to ourselves.

Recently Courtney shared her grilling knowledge at Polly’s Country Market in Jackson, MI and we took note. We HAD to pick her brain on what she’s been up to and how she’s encourage people to break out their grills and think beyond brats, dogs, and burgers.

In this Episode We’ll Cover:

  • Creative ways to take your meats up a notch – and keep ‘em healthy!
  • How flavor can be an indicator of good nutrition
  • What the best nutrient-rich foods to throw on your grill are
  • The benefits of grilling with beer and wine!

Key Takeaways:

  • Grilling can be a nutritious, healthy cooking style for you and your family.
  • Adding flavor to your grill routine is a great way to increase nutritional value and reduce carcinogen risk.
  • Make sure your grill is clean when you start and that you allow your grill grate has time to heat up before you get started to prevent food from sticking and to keep your food safe!
  • Don’t limit yourself to just the foods you know – think outside the box and keep eating healthy fun!

Items Mentioned in this Episode:

Listen to the podcast on iTunes.

Grill the Right Way with Courtney Stinson RD

Question: What’s your favorite meal to cook on the grill? 

Meet the Unbreakable Kangaroo Cup and the Amazing 11 Year Old Behind It

We’ve all been there; losing grip on a slippery cup, destined to hit the floor – or worse – our lap and spill our delicious beverage everywhere. This happens to me at least once a week. Seriously. This week alone I’ve already spilled coffee on myself TWICE!!

That’s why I had to jump for joy when I stumbled across the Unbreakable Kangaroo Cup. Designed by probably the coolest 11 year old ever, Lily Born, the Kangaroo Cup is quickly topping my list of kitchen must-haves. Thanks to Lily’s ingenuity and practicality, I can sip down beverages all day long with a little more confidence and flair.

Of course, the benefits of the cup go beyond my own needs. In fact, being able to hold a cup is often something many of us take for granted. From Parkinson’s Disease to poor circulation, there are many health conditions that make the simple act of drinking a challenge. For best health, discovering ways to ensure a positive eating or drinking experience is important. Not only does it improve quality of life, but promotes a safe eating and drinking environment. After all, some beverages are really cold while others are scalding hot.


Lily originally invented the Kangaroo cup with this idea in mind. You see, her grandpa was struggling to hold on to his glass while living with Parkinson’s Disease. Lily dreamed his experience could be better and that’s how the Kangaroo cup was born. By taping legs onto his glasses, the Kangaroo cup took shape. Next came a ceramic model, and now… the unbreakable kind!

But the unbreakable Kangaroo cup can’t become a reality until funding is raised. That’s why she and her dad have gone on to create a Kickstarter campaign. To go from ceramic to plastic, they are ready to take their cup to the next level and make it more versatile and safer for both adults and kids alike.

If you still aren’t convinced that this is probably the coolest cup ever, you also know that in addition to being spill-resistant, the Unbreakable Kangaroo Cup comes in a variety of colors, doesn’t require the use of a coaster, and sits on uneven surfaces! That means you can literally set this cup just about anywhere worry-free. As a spill-prone person, I again rejoice! And as a mom with two spill-prone kids who like to take their cups EVERYWHERE, I’m pretty much ecstatic and might just trade in all my standard, spill-a-lot glasses for multiple sets of these. I’m told they also stack well, so we’re talking easy storage no matter how big or small your kitchen is.

Kangaroo Cup Hero

What do you think? Coolest cup ever!?! 

For more information on the Unbreakable Kangaroo Cup and to help Lily make it a reality, be sure to check out her Kickstarter campaign and consider becoming a backer. For a pledge of just $25, you’ll get your own set of 4 Kangaroo cups!