Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Goodness from a Teensy Little Kitchen

The kitchen here is about 10 x 10, if you include all the cabinets. Walk-around space is probably 5' x 5' at best. It's been a long time since I've worked in a kitchen so small.

I find it somewhat charming. We'll see if I feel that way in about six months. It feels somewhere inbetween our last home and a camper setup.

The mood to cook has hit me, so I rearranged the counters yesterday. I'm loving that it doesn't have to be 'staged'. I can leave my big, always in the way, kitchenaid mixer right out there for God and everybody to see. That mixer was several months of allowance so it's nice to have it handy. When we were staging the house, it had to be tucked away because it took up too much counter space.

Here's what my little cooking space looks like:

The condo is actually very bright and cheery, but I'm not much of a photographer, so alas a dim photo.

There you go - some sunshine! It has everything I need to cook, and is a snap to clean.
Here you have our coffee bar, tucked in right next to the laundry closet. I went from a laundry room that was 6' x 20' to this teensy little closet. That makes me smile too. It's big enough and actually very handy. I come out every morning, after Don has left for work, to my coffee cup sitting out waiting for me. Who wouldn't love that?

We had dinner guests this past weekend, which included a certain almost 3 year old. He gets a stuffed bunny at his seat. You'll notice the salad bowls don't match. That's because I only kept dishes we'll give to Goodwill when we move to Texas next spring. I had three matching yellow and one white, but friends and family don't mind, or notice, such things.

I made this recipe yesterday, to go with dinner, and to take to a girlfriend get-together. It started with 'country bread' basted with olive oil and grilled in the oven, then cut into bite sized pieces. I used some 'barely past their prime' sub buns.

Four ripe tomatoes, and I should have gone to the farmer's market. These four tomatoes cost over $6.00. That's crazy in July! (Note my huge kitchen sink...)

Here's what the cookbook's version looked like.

Here's mine - I added a tub of bleu cheese, because almost any salad is better with it I think. Breath - not so good, but then I was going to be with friends, and as long as they all eat it too it doesn't matter a bit.Here's the recipe, if you have dining plans with friends. I think I'll make it again soon, (with tomatoes from the farmer's market this time). It would go well with grilled chicken breasts or some broiled fish. Either would be so healthy, you could add a scrumptious dessert guilt free!

Tomato and Grilled Bread Salad
1/2lb country bread, cut into thick slices
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil
3 large tomatoes, diced (about 4 cups)
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite sized pieces
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat a grill to medium. Brush the bread slices on both sides with the 2 Tbsp oil. Grill til lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let bread cool slightly, then cut into large cubes. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the diced tomatoes, cucumber and basil. Drizzle with the vinegar and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve. A very nice summer salad to serve to family and friends, even if all your salad bowls don't match!


Becky said...

That salad DOES sound great. I can eat that while the others use it as a side dish.

Your condo IS charming. I somehow think it would be very nice to live somewhere that I did not have to take care of past wiping the sinks and swishing the toilets. I mean, major stuff, you know? I know you know. No yard to mow. Hey! that rhymes.

I know you know
No yard to mow
No roof to wash
No stuff to stow

It's just for here
And not for there
Cause with this space
Well, who will care??

Ha! Look at that!

dianne said...

that salad would be perfect for me, seeing as the best part of a salad is sopping up leftover dressing with a piece of good bread! why not just start there in the first place.

i hate to tell you this, but you have at least double the counter space your condo that i have in my kitchen. it's amazing what we can do when our stomachs speak up!

Gretchen said...

Look at Becky being all poetic and rhyme-y today!

That looks wonderful.

What a great idea about using only giveaway dishes now. Brilliant, in fact.

Dawn said...

We had a family picnic this weekend and I was thrilled to be in my next kitchen. Our old kitchen was itsy bitsy, but this new one is massive. I think we had 7 people in there with room to spare and counterspace to work it. Yeah! I hope you enjoy your home.

Barb said...

What an unusual salad. I have to try this one. And your kitchen really reminds me of the kitchen in the condo Rob and I lived in, in Firestone, right before we moved out here. Remember? Small, but it worked.

Love your mismatched salad bowls, almost as much as I love the stuffed bunny at Landon's spot.