I post a lot of recipes here on TAA and I realized that I've yet to share my own Avid Kitchen with all of you. It's the place where I spend most of my time (when I'm not working), cooking up enchiladas, baking birthday cakes and decorating TV-themed cupcakes. As you may know, the mister and I purchased (!) our first home here in Jersey City this past May. It still feels surreal that we own such a freakin' awesome place of our very own. When we were looking for a new place, the kitchen was, of course, a huge priority. It needed to have: a dishwasher, lots of cabinet space and plenty of countertop space. When we found our little place that we now call home, it was love at first sight the minute we laid eyes on our kitchen-to-be. New appliances, long countertops and cabinets galore, we were totally smitten. Suddenly that tiny apartment kitchen that I always talk about wasn't so tiny anymore.
I love decorating the kitchen to feel like home. While the grey countertops and white cabinets were standard issue, I like to dress it up a bit with natural things like a bright bowl of delicious fruit, some apple cupcakes and a sweet sign that we were gifted at our wedding. I love looking at this every night while making dinner and taking a moment to appreciate Shaun and my happy life together! Though this corner is often reserved for drying pots and pans, it's nice to doll it up when the opportunity arises.
This next shot is what I like to call 'the red corner'. I love red things in my kitchen. From the matching paper towel stand and napkin holder to the red stand mixer, it just makes such a splash in an otherwise white and gray space. Punchy, no?
And you may have noticed that almost all of my recipes are photographed on red & white leaf-patterned dishes. I know that for presentation purposes plain ol' white would be best. But these are just so pretty and I love using them all the time! I love red so much in fact that this site was very close to being titled "My Red Kitchen." I even have a giant red china cabinet on the diagonal side that I love oh-so-much which houses said red and white dishes along with cooking accoutrements like giant salad bowls, a tea pot, and fancy baking dish.
I also love to display some pretty oil and vinegar bottles (from left: white wine vinegar, white truffle oil). Since they are really too tall for any cabinet shelves, I keep them out as decor on a little cream-colored dish. Oh and the Bon Bini sign, which means "Welcome" in Papiamento, was a gift from our friends at our 2008 beach wedding in Aruba. I love that it's in plain sight at all times for a wonderful reminder of our amazing wedding and our completely awesome and thoughtful friends! Not to mention one of our favorite vacation spots!
Oh and I can't get enough of my giant, stainless steel sink (complete with garbage disposal) which makes cleaning up this place a breeze. And see that cabinet on the right? Yeah, it's a hidden dishwasher. Genius, no?
I know it seems like since I have lots of space in my kitchen it's easier to whip up delicious eats at the drop of a hat, right? But it wasn't always this pretty. Before our current abode, we lived a ways away in another Jersey City neighborhood. Though the area and building were truly gorgeous, the furnishings left a lot to be desired. Our new kitchen is really a dream come true considering the kitchen in our first place looked like this:
Yuck. Dingy linoleum, appliances from the early 80's and some weird funk between the oven and side cabinets that I can't believe won't cause us cancer at some point in the distant future are the cornerstones of this dated space. Not to mention virtually no counterspace for cooking. But we made do and somehow still made dinner almost every night and concocted delicious baked goods quite frequently. It's not ideal to have a small kitchen, but if I can do it with limited space, so can you! Oh and a tip if you do have limited counterspace - look into purchasing a butcher block. You can see mine on the right side in the above photo. It was the one space sanctuary that I refused to junk up with mail, coffee pots, notebooks, or any other crap that usually makes its way into the kitchen. A wonderful gift from my parents, this little beauty did come with us to the new place, however, it is currently being used solely for storage until I can come up with a new pantry solution so I opted not to photograph it just yet...stay tuned for updates on both of these items - the new storage and my pretty wooden block! Meanwhile, I'm happy to dream of this all day long:
So there you have it, a tale from my Avid Kitchen that I may or may not have an unhealthy crush on. And so now I'm dying to hear your own kitchen tales. What kind of kitchen do you get down in? Lots of counterspace? How about cabinets? Storage? As you can tell, even with so many cabinets, I still have storage issues (which might be a sing). Or are you in a tiny renter but still making it work? Please dish in the comments!