Cookie Monster's Cave
Here's where I spent much of my week, making various recipes for my two columns, Cookie Monster and Wake and Bake. Though it's essentially a galley kitchen, it's big enough to work in all day without going bonkers.
I am a wee bit obsessed with cookbooks, and before I moved to California, I had at least two Ikea bookshelves worth. They were "lost" during the move, and all I can say is that I hope that some culinarily-inclined FedEx worker is using them somewhere, perfecting his soufflé.
Now I have only have that one bookshelf, which is filled with cookbooks with the exception of the one shelf which is home to my two decanters. I have one elegant, expensive decanter for when I want to pretend that I'm dining at a beautiful Tuscan farmhouse, and one covered in rope, for when I want to pretend I'm on a pirate ship.
That overflowing basket on the side of the cart is for placemats, table runners, cookie cutters, and all the other girly kitchen things that I collect. Would I let my husband have an overflowing basket of man-crap sitting out in the middle of the room? Obviously not. But who said life was fair?
We built this cart and it's held up well under the weight of assorted bowls, strainers, boxes of sanding sugar, and the many samples I receive from PR firms but haven't yet tried. The Crate and Barrel box on the left is a wedding gift we still haven't returned six months on, topped by an Amazon shipment of K-cups, and a box of Easter chocolates waiting to be photographed.
Random Crap Bowl
Everyone has a spot to put their random crap, and this is mine. It gets a place of prominence in the kitchen because of the never-ending incoming of sweets that I get sent. I've been trying to keep it under control though, and today it's looking pretty good. Apparently only Rancho Gordo beans, coconut flakes, almonds, fancy pants chocolate, and marshmallow ducks made the cut.
I promised myself I wasn't going to be the type of person who magnetically attached things to their fridge. Then we got this awesome photo (far left) of us and some friends going down Splash Mountain at Disneyland, and the floodgates opened.
Fridge, top shelf
Pretty standard stuff: homemade tomato sauce, Medjool dates, Peppadew peppers (best snack), Greek yogurt, white miso, chicken broth, cottage cheese (second best snack, don't hate), eggs, lemons, leftover homemade BBQ sauce that we said we were going to use on chicken and we never did and I should really throw out, and an assorted fruit salad I never should have bought because it's not summer you dope and obviously it's mostly hard, flavorless cantaloupe that sucks.
Fridge, bottom shelf
Reed's ginger beer, regular beer, milk, an OJ/tangerine juice blend that's basically why I get up in the morning, legit grits I special ordered from Old School Mill in Albemarle, North Carolina, and a batch of winter tabouleh marinating away.
The Happy Door
All the things that make life worth living: hooch, mustard, soy sauce, pickles, Vermont maple syrup, and jam.
This is actually the top of my dish washer and it's where I prep a lot of my baked goods. That's why I never take off the stand mixer, food processors, or trivet. The K-Cup machine was a wedding gift and I've been significantly more effective as a worker since it arrived.
Tiles & Cabinets
The blue tiles and glass-fronted cabinets are my favorite things about the kitchen.
I wish that window overlooked something other than the trash alley, or that it really glowed in the way that it appears to in this photo. In reality, the light coming through is always dim and it is a weird wind channel for Arctic breezes. That's why we keep our red wine bottles here, like this one we picked up at Trefethan in Napa. Note to future houseguests: the lemon container is where we keep the quarters for the laundry.
These are the winners of the Mullins kitchen beauty contest. They include a few French ceramic bakers, our first adult stemware, some pie plates from Anthropologie, some Frank Lloyd Wright- style glasses from the MoMa store that one awesome friend gave us, and a homemade cake stand from another. I love the blue and white speckled baker because it reminds me of clambakes on Cape Cod.
Extra spices. Extra cutting boards, including my favorite, Mr. Fish.
I.e. my mug tree, the toaster, and coffee pods.
Coffee from Cafe du Monde and all the teas that I use regularly (the other 20 boxes are in a cupboard.) The red tin is an old Amaretti cookie container and now it holds my favorites.
Fact: It's more fun eating muesli out of a bowl that says muesli.
Here's my oven, which you have to set to 400°F to get to 350°F. And my dutch oven, which sees action pretty much every night.
My parents have one of those cool electric kettles that boils water in like 30 seconds, and I thought about getting one. But it's not for me—I love my red kettle and the whole process of making a cup of tea.
Hot sauce and Golden Spurtle-winning oats. What else does a girl need?
Assorted spices and grains and beans. I make sure that the Old Bay is in easy reach.
We have this weird problem in my household—we are constantly breaking our spoon rests. That's usually a shame because I like to buy them on vacation and the last one we broke was from a trip to Italy my husband and I took together in college. So on our honeymoon this past summer, we bought this lemon spoon rest in Capri as a replacement...and proceed to break it two months later. I bought this cool retro-y one from the offical Tabasco shop in New Orleans (uh, it was on the way to Cafe du Monde) but I didn't have the heart to throw the other one out. Now we have two and I try to love them equally.