Making More With Less

If I could, I’d spend all day baking and cooking in the kitchen. Well, all day in the cold, snowy weather at least. In the nicer weather I prefer working after it gets dark so I don’t feel like I’m missing a beautiful day outside. I do that often enough when I’m writing freelance.

The kitchen of my dreams that I discussed in my previous post might seem a bit extravagant I suppose but believe me, I’d make great use of everything in it! The kitchen in my current house isn’t overly big but it’s set up pretty well for baking. I have a nice peninsula on one side that I can use as a baking prep area when it isn’t covered with school papers and design magazines. The countertop space otherwise isn’t overly plentiful and with my coffee maker, toaster oven, spice rack, baking canisters and dish rack on them, the surface area is greatly diminished. I make do with the space I have though and have learned to consolidate and tuck away.

The secret ingredient in my applesauce.

The secret ingredient in my applesauce.

My range is a nice gas unit with reliable burners and ample oven space for two sheets of cookies. In my previous home there was an electric range and I was worried about using gas because of my occasional mishaps with open flames. I got the hang of using gas pretty quick though and I love how much easier it is to control the temperature on the burners. Thankfully my microwave is a space-saving unit above the oven so it doesn’t use up any premium counter space. Oddly enough the microwave is black but the range, dishwasher and previous refrigerator were white.

My least favorite part about cooking and baking is washing the dishes. You didn’t read wrong, I did just say I had a dishwasher. However, I also have sulfur water and it’s not very effective at removing dishwasher detergent from plates, glasses and silverware. So instead I wash everything by hand because then there isn’t nasty film all over everything I eat off of. My nice big refrigerator died this spring and as I couldn’t afford to replace it with another big unit, I bought a small fridge/freezer combo similar to what you’d find in a hotel. It was supposed to be a temporary fix but I’ve been living with it for six months. Putting groceries away is kind of like a puzzle but I’ve got a system now. Hopefully I’ll be getting a new, grown-up size fridge in the near future. In the meantime, I make do.

My latest batch of fluffy pancakes!

My latest batch of fluffy pancakes!

The size of my kitchen doesn’t prohibit me from making what I love. I’m always mixing up cookies, muffins, soft pretzels, bread and cakes. I love to cook fish, rice, veggies, pasta, tacos, you name it! Would I love more area for my prep work? Or one of those neat fridges with the freezer on the bottom? Or enough counterspace to keep my food processor, blender and mixer out? Or a dishwasher that washed dishes? Of course! I’d be in paradise in a nice big kitchen. I like the ones where the burners are in the middle of the island so people can watch what you’re making. I could pretend I have my own cooking show when I’m entertaining! That would require a social life and friends to entertain as well as the kitchen, but oh well. My dream, my personal cooking show.

The picture below is similar to my kitchen layout (with way nicer appliances) only the island in this one is a peninsula against the wall in mine.

Below is an example of a kitchen that’s a bit over the top even for me. Talk about open flames!

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Envisioning a Dream Kitchen

 

wayside kitchens littleton ma

Kitchen Design by Wayside Kitchens in Littleton, MA

I think I managed to perfect my pancake recipe the other night. I often make pancakes for dinner. It’s a tradition my father started and one I enjoy carrying on. The pancakes came out fluffy, moist and melt in our mouths! The girls had four each that night and they were gone after two morning breakfasts. I was so proud of myself I finally took out a new 3×5 card and rewrote the recipe so I’d know exactly what to do next time. I’m looking forward to next time!

The following night I made my best homemade macaroni and cheese ever! It wasn’t technically macaroni and cheese because I didn’t use elbow macaroni, I used mini shells but it was still good! I don’t think every woman’s place is in the kitchen but I love being in the kitchen cooking and baking and I happen to be a woman. My kitchen sink is right in front of a window and I love being able to watch and listen to the birds on my back feeder. I also just started a small herb garden and every day I set it on the windowsill to soak up the sunshine.

The view out my kitchen window.

The view out my kitchen window.

It should come as no surprise that when I’m looking at pictures of homes and interior design online my favorite room to investigate is the kitchen. I dream of having one of those big kitchens with an eat-in island or peninsula, double ovens, several professional-grade gas burners, a huge fridge/freezer combo, two sinks (one of them apron front), a stand mixer with tons of attachments and beautiful layers of light from windows, pendant lamps, under-cabinet lighting and recessed fixtures. That might sound excessive but this is a dream and I don’t put limits on my dreams.

In between articles today I’d pause to look at gallery photos from kitchen remodeling businesses in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I decided it would be good to know what my options are when I need my dream kitchen built in my dream New England home. Just because it’s a dream doesn’t mean I can’t be practical about it. I’ve embedded links to the businesses in the photos I used. I will now shamelessly plug that I’m available to write blog postings for them if they’re ever interested.

The picture below is my winner for ultimate dream kitchen layout. I love the colors, the unique backsplash behind the cooktop and all the windows but there are some things I’d want to change. Pros: The overall layout, tons of natural light, combination of darker wood cabinets and lighter wood island (complete with beadboard wainscoting), glass front cabinets with interior lighting, the tile wall, has all the features I like including double ovens, dishwasher, two sinks (one by the window and one in the island), gas cooktop and large island with seating. Cons: stainless steel appliances (I prefer black), no cabinet facade on the refrigerator, knobs as cabinet hardware (I have them now and they come unscrewed all the time) the color and style of the stools doesn’t seem to fit the room and the pendant lights are pretty but a bit too small. Perhaps I’m a bit picky but hey, this is my dream and I’m allowed.

Design by Dream Kitchens of Nashua, NH

Design by Dream Kitchens of Nashua, NH

To see all the pins I added today check out my Favorite Kitchen Designs on Pinterest!