In full disclosure: this blog is kinda dorky, but hey, as my mom always tells me “Normal is just a setting on the washing machine”
Recently my hubby and I have been taking this slower-work time to do some home improvementy things. We live in a trailer from the early 70’s, so things need to be fixed all the time. We actually really love our house and work really hard to make it a nice, relaxing place to be. Mostly because we work from home, so we have no where else to go!
This week we have been working a bunch in the kitchen as we are getting a new fridge delivered today (YES!) , but we had to fix the floor boards as our old fridge was all messed up from the uneven flooring. While we had the fridge, stove and such pulled out from the wall I repainted the wall and fixed a messed up outlet that has been bugging me forever. In the middle of all this mess I was thinking about how much I LOVE being in my kitchen. I missed it so much the days it was all ripped up. So Here is my ode to my kitchen or "The Best Things In my Kitchen"
1. Cast Iron Pans - I have two of these that we use Every Single Day. They are so amazing, I cook almost everything in them. I use them for baked mac and cheese, fried eggs, cornbread, pasta sauce, searing meats, cooking greens.. the list just goes on and on. I even threw my round cake pans away because i can make a layered cake with both of them. Plus they make all our food look so sexy against that deep black patina.
2. Penzey's Creamy Peppercorn Dressing Mix - If you have never heard of Penzey's spices, please check them out. They are a mail order type company and they have the most amazing fresh spices. The Creamy Peppercorn Dressing is kinda like ranch mix... except so much better and with no nasty chemicals. The ingredients are: Tellecherry black pepper, coarse salt, sugar, minced garlic, thyme and minced parsley. It sounds so simple, but for some reason it just tastes so damn good! I put it on popcorn, on veggies, in my salad dressing, in grits, greens, hummus... pretty much everything that needs a bit of salt tastes better with this stuff. I am a hopeless addict.
3. Pizza Oven - Last year we bought a new stove and picked out one that has a large bottom oven and a small half size oven right above the big one. The Stove looks like this-
The top oven can keep things warm or be used like a toaster oven. Of course it also can bake like a normal oven. Because there is just two of us, i often just make one casserole or a half dozen muffins and don't need a whole big oven. This little guy is such a workhorse. Love it. It was our big house splurge last year and I don’t want to ever live without it.
4. Fage 0% Greek Yogurt - I must be the last person in the world to realize how amazing Greek yogurt is. Dare I say better then sour cream?
5. Homemade Vinaigrette's - 1 part vinegar : 1 part oil + some honey and spices = the best salad dressing I have ever had. Wish someone had told me sooner how easy it is to make homemade dressings.
6. Crock Pot - I use mine every week. Mostly for cooking beans and soups, but it sure does a good job making broth.
7. Sourdough Starter - I just started one this summer and all I ever do with it is make sourdough pancakes but they are the best pancakes I have ever had. And the whole wheat recipe is by far the best. Plus it it like a pet, but it never barks if you forget to feed it.
8. Garbage Disposal in my sink - Just got one for the first time this year and it rocks. Don't take it for granted. I probably spent days worth of my time in 2010 unclogging my sink.
9. Eggs - More flexible then a master Yogi and comes a cute compost-able container. Need I say more?
10. Fermentation - I did my first lacto-fermented pickles this year
11. Beautiful Dishes- when I first met my husband I was sooo impressed he had matching plates, bowls and nice matching silverware. (is it strange that I find a man with matching plates and bowls a turn on?) They are dark brown with drippy light brown glaze around the edges. They are a pretty common pattern from the 70’s. My parents always kept there beautiful ‘special’ dishes in antique hutch, so eating with nice matching dishes everyday makes me feel so special, like a little girl at a tea party.