Three years ago I could barely boil water. Determined to be a kick ass wife who not only watched football, but who could make a mean meal anytime, I taught myself how to cook. Now I write recipes, sample local eats & blog about it all!

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The Pantry

Entries in At home (5)

Tuesday
Oct182011

My Kitchen Office Nook: Phase I

I'm so super excited this morning. Last night I came home from work to a home full of light! We {finally} got the electrician here to install lighting in 4 spots around the apartment and I cannot believe the difference it makes! I'll be back with photos once the walls are painted since honestly, the pics just do not do it all justice. But just know that I'm one happy lady :)

Meanwhile, I'm also making a lot of progress on my kitchen office nook. It's only half way there, but I want to share some in progress updates with you since this tiny change has made such a difference in my life!

Ta da!

Please forgive my dark photos. There are no windows near by this area in the apartment, so there's simply no way to get a great photo. I took this one last night and digitally lightened it up a bit. But you get the idea.

Who would have thought that adding a simple white desk and a few other small changes would make such a difference!

Let's get down to some details, shall we?

 

I picked out the Micke desk from Ikea because it was small, not very deep and sleek white. I wanted it to match the kitchen cabinets (which are white laquer) and not take up a ton of space. Luckily the desk was extremely reasonably priced and just the right size. We already owned the red chair (which we lovingly call the Swiss cheese chair), also from Ikea, also reasonably priced, and already matches my red-themed kitchen.

Starting on the left side, I stacked up my unread magazines (I have a lot of work to do in that department!) and set a white Ikea planter on top which holds some paint swatches that I'm considering for various spots in the apartment. You'll also notice my skinny little lamp. This is a super old find from Target that we've had laying around for some time now. I have no idea why I didn't throw it away, but it works great as a simple lamp and doesn't take up much space - a double win!

The main goal of the office nook was to have a spot for my Macbook so that I can blog with ease and not in front of the television while watching Good Morning America. I stacked it on top of a cobalt blue placemat that I snagged at Ikea for a couple of dollars. You'll also notice my computer background image is a throwback Halloween image of the man and me :)

Next to the computer is my DIY dry erase board! I've been wanting to make one for some time now. I simply picked up a large frame, covered the inside with a piece of red fabric and put the fram back together. Voila. A simple and adorable DIY dry erase board. My favorite part of this is that the fabric can easily be changed out whenever I'd like! I can't wait to get a holiday themed fabrice going in there! Oh and the dry erase marker wipes right off with a tissue (or with your finger ;))

Pulling back out a bit, you'll see I also added a pen cup, which consists of another Ikea planter. I filled the bottom with rice and added my dry erase markers, a few pens and a pair of scissors. I love the industrial vibe on this planter - it perfectly complements our loft-style apartment!

So there you have it! My DIY kitchen office nook, in its first phase.

Phase II will consist of painting the wall behind the desk (which will hopefully make all of that white pop!), adding a few other organizational fixtures and hanging some shelves overhead for some open storage options for my extensive cookbook collection as well as my binders which contain all of my files. They are currenly all hiding in the den and are extremely unaccessible there. I can't wait to install them!

Questions of the Day:

Do you ever repurpose things from around your home? I repurposed the little planters, the placemat, the Swiss cheese chair and the lamp!

Do you have a desk for your computer? Or is it a roving machine, as mine used to be?

Wednesday
Nov032010

Kitchen Confessions, Part I

These are my confessions…

I don’t know what’s worse…the fact that I sing that in my head every time I think about writing this article, or the fact that it’s usually the Gleeked version which includes a mash up of Usher's Confessions and Bon Jovi's It’s My Life. You decide. Vote in the comments.

Anyhow…back to the task at hand. I really do have a confession for you. I am a messy cook. I mean, a messy cook. I'm not sure if it stems from my overall lack of grace or my slight case of ADD which causes me to jump from one task to the next without finishing the first. But either way, my beautiful kitchen, which I like to pretend always looks like this:

too often looks like this...

(I left out the sink of dirty dishes and the full dishwasher). And that's not even the close up shot, of which I will spare you. You see, not only do I tend to sprawl out my cooking utensils and ingredients, but I also mange to cause a small disaster beyond the clutter. You see, cooking has become my passion and I try to exhibit poise and style. But...I don't. I even got the most adorable apron hoping this would help my street cred. But...it doesn't. Instead, I still manage to have dirty fingerprints on my refrigerator door from searching for rogue ingredients in the midst of baking. I still splatter olive oil from my saute pan, all over my stove and countertop. In fact, Shaun can often hear me yelling and cursing when I inadvertently break a wine glass or get my fingers stuck together with honey. Or simply spill a partial measuring cup of flour when I try to be so careful to keep the kitchen clean. Oh and did I mention that despite my best efforts, I still always seem to have a sink full of dirty dishes?

Somehow I doubt that Giada, in all her Anthro-wearing, white kitchen glory, is splattering tomato sauce on her top while spilling cumin on the floor as her saucepan overflows on the newly cleaned stainless steel stove. Or that her apple pie drips all over the bottom of her oven (and still hasn't cleaned it...oops).

So there it is. One of my major confessions of my cooking endeavors. So what about you? Are you a hot mess in the kitchen? Or are you the perfectly neat chef by nature?

Wednesday
Oct062010

He Cooks!

It may or may not come as a shock to you that I do a majority of the cooking in the Humiston household. That’s not to say that Shaun doesn’t like to cook. Actually, he likes it. A lot. In fact, he’s come up with some pretty amazing dishes. Since I also like it a lot, I usually demand offer to cook most of our weeknight dinners. Unless I’m tired and cranky and then Shaun (or our local pizza delivery man) is automatically on the hook for dinner. Luckily he usually takes the reigns with a smile (and probably secretly jumps for joy that I get out of his way in our avid kitchen for once). And he'll even pose for some pics when I mention the blog (which is in just about every conversation we have).

Tuesday was one of these nights. Since we try to order in once a week at most and it was so early in the week, Shaun offered to whip up a lil’ somethin’. After a close inspection of our refrigerator and pantry, turkey meatballs and whole wheat spaghetti it was!

And for as much as I like to create my own recipes or alter others’ recipes, Shaun really takes it to the extreme in that he hardly ever uses a cookbook or follows recipes. Ever. But somehow his creations are nothing short of yum-inducing. Though I leaned over his shoulder a few times to snap some delectable looking photos, I can't be sure of all the ingredients since I was the cookee, not the cook (a fun place to be, I might add)! But I do know that tomato paste and Frank's Red Hot were involved. And since I have yet to tackle meatballs or sauce until I can learn the secrets of the sauce from a one Sandy Cannon (aka, my Italian and very sauce-particular mom), this was really a treat. You see I never order spaghetti and meatballs in a restaurant since it's never up to par. This version? I'm still dreaming about it.

 

Served over some whole wheat pasta and ricotta, this was the perfect, filling dish on a cool evening at home. In fact, I may or may not have eaten this entire (and entirely inappropriately filled) dish:

So what do you think? Do you ever whip up recipes on a whim? Are you the frequent cook in your kitchen or do you leave it to your significant other? Or do you prefer to make cooking a joint effort?

Psst...wanna hear more from the Mr.? Let's see if we can't convince him to jump on a guest posting one of these days...