Where the Magic Happens 2



Whenever someone new visits my home, they always want to see the kitchen. “So THIS is where the magic happens!” I thought it might be fun to do a post on that.

When we bought this house, the kitchen was beyond useable. There were double wall ovens that barely creaked open and one that didn’t want to shut again once I won the opening battle; the gas range top looked really cool, but was a rusty fire hazard with a leak; the refrigerator was tiny and had a definite funk; the dishwasher… well, none of us, not even the inspector, were brave enough to even turn that one on to check it.

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The original kitchen in all its glory

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I wanted to just keep the clock

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Looks cool, but was declared a fire hazard by the inspector

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Yeahhhh, not turning THAT one on!

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A place for menu-planning, perhaps?

So, yes: the entire kitchen needed work, and we wanted to get as much done as possible before we actually moved in. The cabinet doors were removed, the floor was torn up, the range and its cabinets were removed so we could put in a stove, and the wall ovens and their cabinet were taken out entirely – they were sticking half off the wall, making the whole kitchen look much smaller than it really is. Unfortunately, due to multiple delays with the closing, we didn’t make that goal and had to live in the house without a useable kitchen for a while. It was SO HARD. We ate out and only bought meals that could be microwaved or grilled. But… no baking.

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Banana surveys the work

We spent ages looking at appliances online and in stores, reading countless reviews, and finally ordering everything. Early on in the process, I had found this gorgeous double oven and I HAD TO HAVE IT. There was no room for compromise on this in my mind. Refrigerator? Just make sure it keeps stuff cold. Dishwasher? Get one that washes. But THIS STOVE. While trying to pick tile for the backsplash, we held paint samples to that gorgeous interior of the ovens, and found that it most closely matched a purple called Victorian something-or-other. So now my stove is named Vicki.

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Pretty Vicki with her perfect tea towel

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She’s just showing off now..

Now let’s get down to a Day In The Life… our kitchen is stocked with baking supplies. There is an extra IKEA cabinet against the wall that the old wall ovens used to block, and it stores nothing but baking pans and paraphernalia. Not my main pans – cupcake tins and cookie sheets are in that cabinet just to the right of Vicki. These are cake pans, specialty pans, pie tins, plus cookie cutters, silicone pastry mat, cupcake carrier, silicone cookie sheet liners, extra Baker Smurf bowl (Baker Smurf is my Kitchen Aid stand mixer)… it’s a lot of stuff, gang.

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I fabricked those doors myself, folks. Be impressed.

Here’s our cookbook shelf. A few of those are for actual cooking (vs baking), and they almost all belong to Boyfriend. The notebooks on the far left are for printouts, and those probably get used the most. The one with the green spine has hand-written recipes, largely copied from my mom’s collection when I was a teenager.

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There are SO many recipes in here that I still have yet to try!

Here’s my drawer of candies, various baking chips, nuts, baker’s chocolate bars… yeah, it’s a pretty deep drawer, and it’s very full.

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Not for snacking

A couple of average scenes of our kitchen on a baking day:

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The canned air is unrelated, I promise.

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Mmmm, cupcakes…

My latest bakery-related addiction has been cupcake liners. Every time there’s a sale, I have to get them. I picked these up recently and I adore them:

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nananana nananana BATMAN!

I use what looks like an ice cream scoop to fill cupcake tins. It’s a 3-tablespoon scoop designed for cookie-scooping, and it helps me fill each tin fairly evenly. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time I still manage to spend eyeballing each tin and trying to make sure they’re as even as possible. This one needs ooooone more little blob… 

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Juuuuuuust right

And one of the best renovations in our kitchen: the former dark, cramped menu-planning desk with land-line phone is now my fancy-schmancy “decorating desk.” I store all kinds of baking paraphernalia here – decorating bags & tips, sprinkles galore (our contractor built me “sprinkle cubbies” to the left there), candy molds, cupcake liners, lamp for detail work, and of course, my iPad and speaker so I can rock out while I work.

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My happy place

I figured you all don’t need to see the end of it all: the sinks full of dirty dishes. I actually tend to clean as I go, so it’s not usually too terrible. Having a dishwasher helps, though not everything can go in there. In my last place, I didn’t have a dishwasher, but I still baked a lot. Here’s an old shot from my apartment back then:

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I always forgot to wear gloves – my hands were SO pruney!

 

So there you have it! The kitchen of the Bunneh, where all the delicious magic happens. 🙂

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