Friday, July 19, 2013

have a seat in my kitchen

I mentioned in my last post that I had done some room rearranging ~
the kitchen included. Would you like to see what I've done?

You might remember that the butler's table used to be in my living room
in front of the window, topped with a lot of plants. I'm loving it here in the
kitchen. It'll be perfect for when we have company...I can use it as the beverage
station and top it with glasses, an ice bucket, and an assortment of drinks.
Or, I could even use it to hold the cutlery, napkins, and plates.
What used to be in this place was a metal and wicker bookcase that
held all my cookbooks. That's been moved into my office/Phil's old room.
And where you see the white stool is where the painted black table was ~
that's now outside on my porch, used to hold potted flowers.

Here's where we eat all our meals. And where Brian and I play board games in
the evening. And where I make out my meal plans and grocery list. And sometimes
read a magazine or the Sunday newspaper. And where I visit with friends
or family members that come over. Isn't that usually how it goes...
that everyone gravitates to the kitchen? 

 I'm still looking for two more chairs for my kitchen table, but for now it's
perfect for just the two of us. Tim is rarely home for dinner as he's usually
working or at school. On my to-do list...painting these chairs! I also want to
eventually get a new rug (finances don't permit right now) and move this
sisal one downstairs.

This is the view of my kitchen as you walk into it from the living room.
On my wish list is tearing out the narrow upper cabinet above the sink
and the three to the right above the counter ~ and replacing that area with
open shelving. We also want to replace the old (original of the house!) range
hood with a microwave range hood. Again, finances stop us from getting these
things done. Please don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining! I am satisfied with
what I have and know I'm blessed to have a decent house and to be a
full-time homemaker right now. That is what I've chosen and I am happy
with my choice. I'm just pointing out what we eventually hope to have done 
in this room. Oh yeah, and we also want to have recessed lighting put in the
ceiling as this ceiling fan fixture is the only light source we have besides the light
over the stove and sink.

Of course, a kitchen wouldn't be complete without something delicious
being whipped up. Here's one of my latest creations - gazpacho! Talk about
perfection in a bowl on a hot summer day when it's too hot to cook. I've
made gazpacho in the past, but it was always pureed. After having the chunky
gazpacho at The Lucky Platter in Evanston, IL last week, I wanted to experiment
with making it like that. I started with a base of Trader Joe's low-sodium Garden
Patch juice and added a jar of my friend's canned garden-fresh tomatoes.
I then added a little bit of chopped onion, garlic, jalapeno, cucumber, and
cilantro and used an immersion blender to make this smooth base. I then added
chunks of all the above except for the jalapeno, but adding a little bit of diced
fennel, green pepper, and fresh cilantro. Oh. My. Goodness. And the longer it sits, 
the better it tastes. I just ate the last bowl for lunch today and am almost crying
 that it's all gone! Yes, it's a little time-consuming to chop up all these veggies, 
but sooo worth it. Another thing that's great about making something like this
is that you can vary the veggies that you put in. You can use red pepper instead
of green. You can use anaheim peppers instead of jalapeno. Basil instead of
cilantro. I think the main thing is to use the freshest tomatoes that you have
or can find. I was so glad to still have a jar of homemade canned tomatoes
since mine aren't ripe in my garden yet!

 Thanks for visiting ~ hope you have a happy weekend!

Linking up to My Healthy Green Family - Farm Blog Hop


  1. Melanie I really love the white wainscotting. Especially with the white frames on the wall.

  2. I'm hoping to make some gazpacho this summer when my tomatoes ripen. I've never had it, but am sure it is delicious!

    1. You've got to try it, Tammy - I bet you'll love it!

  3. Your kitchen is so pretty. I really love your tablecloth.

  4. I like your's very roomy! Is it possible to find a smaller table, like a drop leaf, since it's just the two of would make a better fit. I think the three cabinets to the right of the sink and the two to the left would be perfect for open shelves, and you still have more for storage as well as the ones below the counter. I know you can get wood pieces and brackets at Home Depot, etc., for a song and then paint or stain them. The cabinets can always be re purposed for the basement or garage. I'm sure you have thought this through, but believe me, it will update your kitchen for little $$$.

    The gazpacho looks wonderful...I'm just starting to get tomatoes and can't wait to make it. I also love tomato bisque and Cioppino (fisherman stew) which is great hot or cold. Let me know if you want the recipe.

    Hope you are having a good weekend. Today the humidity dropped (at the lake) and the temps are going down.


    1. Yes, my kitchen is roomy, but I don't have a dining room - so this is it! The table that's currently there now is indeed a drop-leaf table - I just have the leaves up now. I definitely wouldn't want the leaves down...I think this table size as it is now is just perfect. If we had the leaves down, it'd be much too small, even for two people. We always play a board game while we're eating dinner!

      Yes, we've thought of doing the shelving ourselves...we'll see. Neither one of us are much of do-it-yourselfers. If we tore the cabinets down, we'd have huge holes to patch and we'd have to repaint. I don't even know if we have any kitchen paint leftover. Oh well, food for thought.

      I'll have to pass on the fisherman stew, as I don't eat seafood. Thanks, anyway!

  5. your house is very comfortable and the soup makes me hungry :D

  6. Your kitchen is so cute & cozy! :)

  7. Mel I took a look around and must say that the wall above that table is perfection. I just love it.

    1. Thank you so much, Teri for such a nice compliment!

  8. I like your kitchen! You did a fantastic job on the frames on the wall by the table. That looks so great!

    The butler's table is fantastic. I need one like that!

    1. Thanks, Manuela! I finished the frame wall awhile ago...I had posted about it. Love the butler's table - so glad I found it last month. I plan on painting it "some day". You know me! lol

  9. I like your kitchen a lot, I am envious of your ceiling fan and want one but our kitchen ceiling is too low. So dumb because the rest of our ceilings are the 10 foot high ones. Those finances do stop some of my wishes, but I would rather have less money and spent my days in a less than perfect home than to have money but have to spend my days in an office. I know you feel the same

    1. I hate the look of a ceiling fan in a kitchen, but it really does help cool the kitchen down in the summer. Great to have the air circulating in there when you're cooking or even just visiting and relaxing with others in the kitchen. I totally agree with you re. the finances and staying at home! :-)


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