In My Kitchen – January 2016

Not only has another month passed by, it’s a whole new year!  The time just keeps flying by.  I’m joining Maureen at Orgasmic Chef for another month of In My Kitchen.  Maureen is our new fearless leader so stop on by her site and check out all the links.

Back in early December, which seems ages ago, I had a diverticulitis flare up which meant complete exhaustion, antibiotic side effects, pain and limited diet.  Needless to say not much happened in my kitchen.  Then came the holidays and the kids were with me constantly.  Josh worked insanely long hours.  We were all exhausted.

Despite all all that madness we had the best Christmas yet.  It was quiet and relaxed.  Brunch was fantastic and dinner was superb.  I didn’t get all the baking done I wanted to, but my mental and physical health were more important as I recovered.  Maybe we’ll make our mini gingerbread houses for Valentine’s Day!

Anyway, here is what happened in my kitchen.  Let me introduce you all to my new pantry.  My best husband ever built this and we put it in the kitchen the weekend before Christmas.  This is another reason I got less baking done since I was moving everything around in the kitchen!  It was so worth it.

Pantry

I will still be moving things around until I find a good system. The doors still need to be made too. Since I had to lose a corner cabinet to put this in the kitchen I had to resort to putting things on top of it. I also still have things without a home, it’s a constant moving game in my kitchen right now!

Pantry

Also new in my kitchen are some Christmas presents I received. I have two sets of measuring spoons. The wooden ones are just too cute and will likely be used as props. The metal set is perfect for fitting into spice jars.

Measuring Spoons

I also got a bowl scraper and a lame. Both have already come in handy with my sourdough baking. I will need to practice with the lame but have hopes for pretty slashes on my loaves.

Lame

I also have a new bottle of Copper Horse Distilling’s Red Velvet Peppermint Cream. I bought the last bottle at one store for my mom’s birthday and had to hunt down another bottle for myself. It was worth it, so smooth and creamy. It’s also nice to have a great local liqueur producer!

Cream Liqueur

Now for a few Christmas items. Don’t think we didn’t eat well, I just didn’t take nice photos! Time was always an issue so it’s phone pictures now. Then of course dinner time is dark so lighting is bad, but the food was great and we had fun. Christmas Eve we always have homemade pizza. This year the pizzas were fantastic!

Pizza

For brunch one day I made my petits pain au lait. This is my attempt to shape them like Santa, they look more like snowmen! Hey, still festive and delicious so we were all happy!

Petite Pain Au Lait

And here is Sean decorating Christmas cookies. I managed to bake the sugar cutout cookies Christmas Eve when the boys napped. We didn’t get around to decorating them until a couple days later!

Cookie Decorating

Finally have have something unusual in my kitchen. Not an unusual object, but unusual for this time of year. For those of you in the Eastern United States you know how unusually warm it has been lately. I picked these flowers in January! That is insane! The plant already died from a frost in early December but I never got around to cutting it back. Then it got warm again and I found some flowers, in January!

Flowers

Swing on by the Orgasmic Chef to see what is happening in kitchens around the world.

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49 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – January 2016

    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks Deb! I am loving the pantry too, looking forward to the doors. We’ve been eating all kinds of things I discovered when moving everything into the new pantry. Lots of different dried beans, pastas. Next is baking with various flours and something to put all the jams on!

      Reply
  1. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Oh your house is a true home with wonderful aromas of good food and sounds of laughter – I can tell that through your posts. I love those little loaves and my wish list has a lame on it too.

    Happy New Year!

    Reply
  2. anotherfoodieblogger

    I went through an entire kitchen remodel last year, I know the feeling! Sorry about the diverticulitis, I hope you keep on track with recovering. And you know those measuring spoons you want to use as “props?” LOL, I can’t tell you how many I’ve used because the other ones were dirty. 😀

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I don’t even want to think about an entire kitchen reno! As much as I would love new cupboards I don’t need them and I have no desire to move everything again. Yea, I’m sure the wooden spoons will get used when all the others are dirty, is t that always the case?! Happy New Year to you!

      Reply
  3. ladyredspecs

    Happy New Year Gretchen, I’m envious of your wide shallow shelved pantry, mine is the total opposite and it’s impossible. I like the display on top too. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I had the narrow deep shelves before and it was so easy to lose things in there. That is why I found all kinds of things when I cleaned it all out! We’ve been having lots of beans and pasta lately since I found so many, I won’t even mention some of the nasty expired things I found!

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks Laura. We do love homemade pizza nights. The pantry is working out well, doors will make it complete. The boys get distracted looking at all the food while sitting at the table during mealtime!

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Happy New Hear to you too! I am feeling much better and also thrilled the kids are back in school now too. It is quite amazing having a handy husband, I guess helping him build his workshop was well worth it since now he was able to build a pantry.

      Reply
  4. ChgoJohn

    How I envy you your pantry, Gretchen! My prior home had a walk-in pantry and I do miss it. Glad that you’d recovered enough so that your Christmas Eve pizza tradition could go on. Christmas is a time for traditions. Skip one, for whatever reason, and things just won’t seem right. Thanks for the peek behind the scenes. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      What I wouldn’t give for a walk in pantry. And a root cellar. Not that our climate is suitable for root cellars! The handmade pantry is excellent and every day is move things around to figure out a good system. Thanks for popping by John and Happy New Year.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Feeling fantastic now thanks! The pantry is wonderful and I am moving things around daily until I like where everything is. The boys had a wonderful time decorating their biscuits, I’m sure heart shaped ones are in our future soon.

      Reply
  5. Jan (agluttonouswife)

    Happy New Year to you and your family Gretchen 🙂 Sorry to hear you weren’t well but it sounds and looks like you still managed alot!! I adore your measuring spoons and desperately need a ‘lame’ – I never knew it was called that so thanks! Jan x

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks and Happy New Year to you too. I look forward to experimenting with the lame. I’m sure it will take time but hopefully soon enough I’ll have beautiful sourdough loaves

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks Glenda. He did a great job in the pantry and was indeed kissed for his work. Now for the doors. Feeling much better and now enjoying the new year.

      Reply
  6. Nancy |Plus Ate Six

    I’m curious about the doors on your pantry! Are you going to have wire or wood? It looks wonderful either way. Only a food blogger would get a present and think ‘oh that would be a good prop!’. Happy New Year to you and your boys.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      An the doors. Good question! They will be a wood frame with punched metal inserts. Then I can use magnet spice jars on the inside of. the doors! Once again more work as I’ll need all new spice jars but worth it in the end. Happy new year to you and Rich as well.

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I am really enjoying the pantry and move things around every day. Thankfully I am feeling well again and enjoying the new year, especially now that the boys are back in school! Happy New Year to you as well.

      Reply
  7. My Kitchen Stories

    Aw thats no good you had a rocky start to Christmas but you made it work in the long run. i love the picture of your boy working on those cookies. What a lovely sounding time you had and those pizzas look so good.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      All three boys just love decorating cookies. To them it’s artwork that they can eat too! Pizza night is always popular around here. Thanks for peeking in our kitchen.

      Reply
  8. Maggie

    Happy New Year, Gretchen! The pantry is looking fabulous! I am sure you will have it sorted in no time. I can’t wait to see the doors and new spice jars.

    The sugar cookies look divine – great decorating, Sean! The pizza looks amazing – especially the one with the mozzarella (?)! I want a bite. The wooden measuring spoons are incredibly cute – I’d only want to use them for props, too.

    Hope you are feeling better and that you got plenty of rest over the Christmas. Hope 2016 goes really well for you all. Chat soon!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Feeling much better, thank you Maggie. I love the new pantry and look forward to the doors and spice jars once done. The boys all love decorating their cookies, I picture heart cookies from February!

      Reply
      1. Maggie

        Oh, that sounds delightful! I look forward to seeing them! It’s great fun watching kids decorate cookies – and it’s great fun do do so oneself! Glad you are feeling better!

  9. fergie51

    Great minds….I’m putting a shallow pantry in too, much better than struggling to find things at the back. That is beautiful timber, are you going to leave it exposed or paint it? Love those measuring spoons, the shape of the stainless one is perfect. Such concentration by Sean decorating those cookies. Love to see how you go with the lame, I use a similar shape but made with a coffee stirrer and a razor blade. I promised myself this year I’ll get to master scoring or at least become much better. Cute little michelin men “petits pain au lait”. Cheers, Maree.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The pantry is staying natural. It has a light stain on it and that’s it. I love how it is shallow, I’m not forgetting about things as often since they don’t get lost! Michelin man is exactly what I thought as the “Santa” buns came out of the oven!

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Definitely feeling much better and glad the kids are back in school. Now we can all settle back into a routine which will hopefully result in more blogging. Thanks for peeking in our kitchen.

      Reply
  10. Ania @ Milk, Toast and Honey

    Happy 2016 Gretchen, may it be a healthy one for you, Josh and the boys. Hope you are feeling better by now and lovely to be regularly catching up with in on IG xx

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thank you Ania. So far the year is going well. IG is definitely a fun way to keep up with everyone, we certainly have plenty of boy antics to keep busy on there! Happy New Year to you and you family.

      Reply
  11. Kim Bultman

    Gretchen, so sorry to hear about your health woes, but glad you’re feeling better now. Your new pantry is gorgeous and your hubby is a superb craftsman! Loved your pizzas and the Christmas cookie decorating. 🙂 Tickled that you got a “surprise bouquet”, too — a day brightener after all you’ve been through! Happy New Year, xo.

    Reply
  12. Liz

    I love your new pantry especially the wood and the blue colour of course. I think blue is my favourite colour, because right now I have a blue top and blue earrings…Those christmas cookies look fun. I think you had a very good time, expect for the diverticulitis. I hope you’re feeling great right now. I wish you the best of 2016!

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      The blue is a fun pop of color in the back of the pantry. I also painted the kitchen right before the pantry went in. It was a brighter blue, now a lighter blue with a slight gray tone. He holidays were wonderful, nice and quiet and stress free. Other than Josh’s long hours it was perfect. How was your Christmas?

      Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      Thanks Liz. It is quite wonderful having a handy husband. Be is always building or fixing something. We just had another pizza night, it’s a family favorite!

      Reply
  13. missfoodfairy

    Happy 2016 Gretchen – love your measuring spoons, they are just beautiful, especially the wooden ones. Your pantry looks amazing & can’t wait to see your new doors too – our hubby is very clever 🙂 Lovely food for #IMK x

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I love the wooden spoons as well. The pantry is great and I’m excited to see doors, though hubby hasn’t had any time to work on them lately. Thanks for peeking in our kitchen.

      Reply
  14. EllaDee

    There can never be enough best husbands ever in the world. I love your pantry 🙂 And I get the shuffling to find the best location-system – I’m still doing it.

    Reply
    1. Gretchen Post author

      I do so love having a handy husband! The slices have mostly all been out in their new magnetic jars, just awaiting the doors to stick them on. In the meantime they are all on my fridge.

      Reply

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