a kitchen left unused…

Cookingtools_2 Kitchen_3
Cookbooks
…makes for a sad home.  This is not a new or original idea.  Apartment Therapy has a whole section of their site dedicated to encouraging us to get back into our kitchens and not just to reheat our Starbucks in the microwave (yes, I do that).  The idea of the kitchen as the heart (or hearth) of the home is a relatively new one thanks to conveniences such as plumbing and electric appliances.  Before convenience, the kitchen was mostly utilitarian.  Modern day kitchens have become in many homes the family command center and act as the main area for entertaining, crafts, homework and much more.

We have our favorite local restaurants (Jack’s Firehouse in the city and Four Dogs in the country) but we are not foodies.  I would choose any meal cooked in my mother’s kitchen over restaurant food any day.  I guess I was lucky enough to grow up in an Italian (and half Irish) food-centric family  Our two-person family eats out most times out of pure laziness.  I’m tired.  He’s tired.  Let’s get Chinese.  That’s typically how it goes.

But no experience (as of yet) that I have had in a restaurant compares to preparing a meal in our kitchen and sitting down to eat at our table.  I always have an eye out for delicious recipes that are simple and easy to make, especially for during the work week.  During my ‘good’ weeks, I do a little bit of pre-planning which helps to make my trips to the grocery store smoother and evenings after work a little less hectic since I already know what I will make.  It cuts down the time I stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open thinking of creative things I can make with minced garlic, creme fraiche and blueberries.  My favorite source for yummy and simple recipes is Everyday Food.  One of our favorite recipes is Chicken Legs with Carrots and Cauliflower.  Another is Gemelli with Sausage, Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts.

Our kitchen (above left) has both good and bad qualities.  There are things I would change if given the chance to have my own ultimate kitchen.  Ceramic tile can be beautiful.  Not in white with white grout though (I’m convinced a man picked all the finishes when they built our house).  And when you drop a cast iron wok on ceramic tile, the tile always loses.  It’s also hard on your back, so I’ve gotten a couple Chilewich mats to stand on which really help.  Overall, though we make it work for our life and cooking style.

I started drafting this post yesterday.  And just today I came across this great kitchen blog by a Certified Kitchen Designer.  Good stuff on The Kitchen Designer.  Susan has a good sense of humor.  And Kristen of Taylor Made designs posted a yummy sounding recipe for Cheddar Corn Chowda modified from the Barefoot Contessa’s version.  Kristen’s sounds better.

If you don’t cook, start out by just making your morning tea or coffee instead of buying it.  Get a great teapot or french coffee press.  If you have appliances or tools that you are afraid of, don’t use or that don’t work properly get rid of them (Goodwill or Salvation Army).  Get rid of expired food items.  And keep your kitchen clean.  You’ll be much more likely to want to use it when it is.  Your kitchen and your home will thank you!

Kitchen book list

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