My kitchen

I took on a painting project last week.  My kitchen cabinets. Nothing fancy.  Our house was built in the 50s and the cabinets are original custom built-ins.  They don’t make cabinets like this anymore.  Anyway, beige is out.  Not that I follow trends but it’s nice to not look outdated.  Ironically,  I went for the old farmhouse kitchen look. New but old.  I love beadboard so was excited to install it in the backsplash.  The counter top might look cluttered but I like my kitchen user-friendly. The less time I spend in there, the better.

Before

After

It’s nice to have the kitchen fresh and clean, since I spend 80% of my existence standing right there. 😉  Love the new faucet too. Funny how these little things can make life simpler.

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Kitchen maid

Sometimes I feel like I spend 80% of my existence in the kitchen. If you’re wondering where I am, look first in the kitchen. If I’m not there, I’m probably in the barn or the garden, depending on the season.

Today is an intense kitchen day. I barely have time to tell you about it. I got way behind on cheesemaking over the holidays. The clutter of jars in the fridge is driving me crazy!

Yesterday I made mozzarella and put the curd in the fridge, so today I will do the stretching. The ricotta has been drained overnight and this morning I salted it and put it in the freezer. I put 2 1/2 gallons of milk on the stove to make cheddar and I’ve got the yogurt maker going.

That's better! sort of

Wait, there’s more. I have 5 quarts of cream warming to room temperature so I can make butter. And a pot of chicken bones simmering into broth. Today’s eggs still need to be cleaned and put away. Must get my son to empty the compost pails. I’ll have to have this all finished and cleaned up in time to start supper (which I haven’t figured out yet). Maybe if I get it all done, I can take a break from the kitchen tomorrow?

Do you ever feel like a slave to your kitchen?

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop, hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Culinary Bliss, and A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

Rainy day in the kitchen

It’s been rainy and cool the past 3 days so I took the time to try some new things in the kitchen.

The first thing is this hearty Aduki Bean Stew.  I made it up based on a few recipes.  It turned out very tasty.

Aduki_bean_stew

  • 2 cups aduki beans (soaked overnight and rinsed)
  • 10 cups ham stock
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • handful of pot barley
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

Simmer first 6 ingredients for 1 1/2 hours.  Add tomatoes and oregano and simmer another 30 min. 

This recipe makes LOTS.  Three of us had 2 or 3 bowls for supper and there were about 3 bowls leftover for lunch today.  It’s all gone, by the way. 😉

The other recipe I tried was a Cold Rice Salad and Maple Vinaigrette.  I’ve never made either before today.  Thank you, Wardeh (http://gnowfglins.com) for the inspiration.

cold_rice_salad

  • 1/2 cup raw brown basmati rice, cooked
  • 1/4 cup raw wild rice, cooked
  • tomato, sliced
  • celery, chopped
  • cucumber, chopped
  • little bit of onion, chopped

Toss with Maple Vinaigrette.  Before serving, add some walnuts.  You could add just about any vegetable you like.  I used what I had on hand.

I have never made a vinaigrette before but I can tell you this won’t be the last!!  I was taking a chance with the Maple Vinaigrette, but it is really good and goes well with the Cold Rice Salad.

maple_vinaigrette

Maple Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Mix the ingredients in the blender, slowly drizzle in oil, blending constantly until thickened.  Serve at room temperature.

I’ve been snacking on the salad… it’s so good!! I’m trying to leave enough for supper tonight. 🙂