Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Happy Kitchen

It's February, and the garden is still asleep. That means I still have nothing garden related to post about! But as I moved around the kitchen this morning, I realized how much that space makes me smile. Even eating off my favorite plates makes me smile!
Whether or not it's a cliche, I think most everyone would agree that a kitchen truly is the heart of the home. It's where we gather, it's where we are fed. It's where we connect with our family and friends. It's where nourishing foods are prepared with a loving touch.
The sunny, south facing windows were one big reason why we bought this house. Enough sunshine streams in, even in winter, that it encouraged a bloom from the cactus that grows in a pot I brought home from Mexico. I've never seen this plant bloom before. This qualifies as gardening, right?
And I can never resist those brightly colored primrose pots blooming in the grocery store this time of year. I do plant them outdoors once the weather cooperates. 
We've been slowly updating our kitchen space. We already added bright paint colors, and other simple touches. But now we're starting to do some bigger projects. We added new quartz counter tops, and I just love the silver sparkles in it. That's why I added a shiny silver colander full of apples in the middle of the island, to reflect the sparkles. It makes me happy every time I see it! Sometimes I fill it with lemons or limes, and next I might even use fresh artichokes.
Now I think I want to paint the cabinets white. The orangey oak color just isn't the thing anymore, is it? But I do love the orange soffit, and the asparagus green walls. Since I'm a wine aficionado, the Wine and Dine signs over my pantries were just the touch I was looking for. We bought the microwave over the stove as a Christmas present to each other, and I like how it looks there. But it does make me want to match up all the rest of my appliances so that they are all stainless steel. Ooh, that sounds pricey. I'd better wait on that. 
Besides being a wine lover, I'm also a tea lover. I drink it hot and iced, all day long. I have a habit of picking up teapot and tea cup shaped objects when I see them, especially planters.
I also pick up cute teapots now and then, even though I don't really use them. This one resides on my baker's rack next to the back door. The microwave was on this rack before, and I like being able to keep a few special objects on it now.
Well, that's about it for today in my kitchen. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a bowl of BBQ Bean Soup with my name on it. What better way to stay warm on a cold winter's day?
Barbecue Bean Soup

16 oz bag dried northern beans
8 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. diced ham
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
16 oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 T. mustard
1/4 c. chili sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight, then discard water before cooking. Fill bean pot with fresh 8 cups of water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 3 hours until beans are tender, adding water as needed. As beans soften, watch closely for scorching.


  1. I think white cabinets in your kitchen space would be outstanding with the orange and green. I have had a white kitchen for 20 odd years now and I love it. It's so bright and light even on the dullest of day, which beats all th dark and dingy and windowless kitchens I've had over the years. Someone asked me how I keep it clean and it's like wearing black or white. You spot clean immediately because it GLARES at you otherwise, lol.
    Lovely to see your colorful personality in that kitchen, Robin. I have very fat and lovely buds on my daffodils. And it's supposed to freeze Saturday night. I may be clipping them for cut flowers to have indoors. There are cobalt blue glasses just waiting on them.

    1. Cobalt blue and daffodils are a perfect combination! Thanks for stopping by my kitchen Terri.

  2. Your kitchen literally sparkles. We have been in this house six years now and will be installing new counter tops, back splash and floor. I am keeping the cabinents, oak that they are. Your microwave does add that modern touch and you may do as we did, replace each appliance as it wears out. The first was the dishwasher, then the oven died at Thanksgiving no less, and finally the fridge. All stainless and mathing now, but it took six years. I'd love a white kitchen; I like the clean look, but hubby is an oak guy. You will love your counter top forever. It is gorgeous. Happy Valentine's, too, speaking of love.

    1. I'm a firm believer in doing what you like in your own home, despite what the decorators would do. And happy Valentine's day to you too!

  3. I love all the color in your kitchen! My cabinets are just like yours - the oak ones. If you can either paint them white or have someone do it for you - go for it! I'd love to do mine, but I am just not good with painting and know I would totally screw them up. And I can't afford to have them re-done right now - we have way too many other pressing home projects right now. Your BBQ bean soup recipe sounds really good. I'm going to try it though think I might do it in the Crockpot.

    1. I'm hoping to hire out the painting of the kitchen cabinets. I know it certainly won't be me! And hubs travels so often that probably won't have time. Have you ever cooked dried beans in the crockpot before? Does it even work? It takes a long time to get those beans soft even on the stove.

  4. Oh my gosh Robin I love the orange touches in your kitchen plus the really cute tea pots !
    I couldn't get quartz in the black I wanted so we had to go with granite but having had that and the refacing of the cabinets plus new flooring ... all last Spring ... so glad it is over and done with .. it was a busy year last year!
    I am loving that recipe too .. I will have to try that out ! Thanks !!
    Joy : )

  5. I love your kitchen, especially your countertops and your cheerful colors. We once painted dark cabinets white, and it made a wonderful difference. Also, once your cabinets are white, your white stove will look better.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Your kitchen is so bright and pretty it makes me forget the winter! You have such a lovely decor and your plants are thriving. It made my day to visit :)


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