Kitchen Confessions – Cookbook Contest

So there are a few things regarding cooking, eating and the kitchen (and beyond) that I’m not always proud of.  We all have these things right?  Nothing crazy, just things we’d rather not share with our kids, spouses and friends.  But here goes.  I have to tell someone.

1. When my kids aren’t looking I take a lick of batter.  I do share the spoon/beater with the kids if there are no eggs in the batter.  But I tell them it’s not safe if it has egg.  The message is correct, but I risk it for myself.

2. I forget to set or listen for timers.  My biggest mistakes in the kitchen are because I’ve overcooked something.

3. I used to eat Taco Bell breakfast burritos frequently.  Mind you this was 20 years ago.  I also ate Pop-Tarts as a kid.

4.  I’ve told my family a particular food was gone and I actually hid the very last of it for myself.  Specifically with a homemade chocolate sauce.

5.  I am secretly screaming inside when my kids are served (and eat) a birthday cake from Safeway.

6. I do not have a slow cooker.

7. I do not like raw oysters.

8. I am not fond of paper plates, plastic utensils and paper napkins (especially if you invite me for dinner).

9. I’ve turned off a burner with my toes.  I know other moms have done this while holding and/or nursing a baby.  Fess up.

11. I don’t like to be “out-ordered”.  This is when you go out to eat and your dining companion’s meal is better than yours.

12. I eat many lunches standing up by myself in the kitchen, bewteen pick-ups, while checking phone messages, searching cookbooks, and making to do lists.

13. I often cook to get out of doing something else, like cleaning.

14. I put rosemary salt on just about everything.

15. I don’t always sift, when instructed to.

So let’s have our first contest here.  I’d love to see if anyone else does some of these things and any other confessions they’d like to share.  These should be G rated please.  The top 3 answers will receive a copy of one of the new Idiot books (and no I didn’t call you one): Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local, Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Baking and Complete Idiot’s Guide to Easy Freezer Meals.  Simply blog a confession or agree with one of mine.  I’ll choose the top 3 funniest and most honest.  Winners will be contacted via email for their addresses (and must respond within 72 hours, or I’ll make a new pick).  Must be in the continental US and blog here between Friday June 17th and Friday July 8th.



Kitchen Shelving – What are you Hiding?

My Shelves
My shelves (photo by Sarah Wert)

Before we moved into our house (about 1 1/2 years ago), we remodeled the kitchen and baths.  The kitchen was very small and dark with original 1950’s everything.  Of course being like everyone who enjoys cooking, you always want to someday design your own kitchen.  I had a folder of ideas and pictures, and a list of “must haves” (Viking stove, eat in island, green construction).  The list changed with the boundaries of (1950’s) construction and the budget (the 6 burner changed to a 4).   However, I love my kitchen and a few things that I always wanted, worked great for the remodel.  One of the biggest was open shelving.  I love the idea of the convenience as well as having it all out in the open.  This kitchen especially needed open shelving because of the previous dark and heavy overhead cabinets.  And while the kitchen has been transformed and looks, feels and functions nothing like the original kitchen, I do have some friends and family that question the open shelving decision.  “How does it stay so organized?”  “Do you like looking at your stuff?”  “Are you worried in an earthquake?”

Even when I had traditional kitchen cabinets they were always organized and I had nothing to hide.  Now I’m even more organized and can even decorate (or change the decor and color of the kitchen) with a simple addition or change of dishes, vases or glasses.   Just so you know I do not have open display for everything.  That’s just not practical or eye pleasing.  I do have lower shelving for pots and pans, strainers, storage containers etc.

However there is one drawback to open shelving …the cleaning of the shelves.  Yes, they do get dusty, so I clean them routinely.  I take all the dishes, glasses, mugs and vases down and clean the shelves.  It’s a bit dangerous and I try to do it when the kids aren’t looking .  I use a step stool and stand on the counter.  (We actually have friends who allow their kids to stand on the counters to reach the pantry, and I hold my breath everytime I see it).  Most of the dishes are used regularly so are not dusty at all.  However there are some glasses (champagne, beer, port) which display nicely but are not used regularly, so I wash them while they’re down for the shelf cleaning.

Cleaning the Shelves. (Note: the only thing not demolished was the 1950's lights)
Cleaning the shelves (Note, the original 1950's lights we kept)
Dishes during the process
Dishes waiting to return to the shelves

So yes, the open shelves are convenient to get dishes in and out of on a daily basis, but are inconvenient to clean.  But not so that I’d go back to hiding in the cabinet.  Plus my guests never have to ask “Where can I find a glass?”  They just help themselves.