Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Appliances = Julia Child

     One of my favorite movies has become Julie and Julia - when I moved to Denver and didn't have cable I watched it all the time, whenever it's on TV I stop to enjoy it and when we flew to Rome I brought it with me as my movie of choice (along with Under The Tuscan Sun and With Six You Get Egg Rolls) - sorry, back on track.  When I found out I was moving back to Chicago and into my condo I decided I would make 2013 the Year of the Kitchen Project and so I started saving money for new stainless appliances, new counters, backsplash and cabinets.
     After talking with friends, "pinning" ideas on my Pinterest board, scouring the Internet and going ga-ga over - I was ready to begin.  I knew there was an order to this madness but my appliances had a mind of their own.
     You would think buying appliances would be fun, maybe even adding in some creativity but as the process began I wanted to call up the people who designed these condos 16 yrs ago and ask what they were thinking - every space was just "off" from standard sizing, but that didn't stop me from researching every site until I found exactly what worked with my kitchen and budget.  Hello, Whirlpool, I'm going with your Gold Series.
     The appliances were delivered yesterday and I'm very happy with my choices and already my place looks more fresh and updated. I am so excited with the new stove/oven - it has fun new buttons and a digital pad.  Everyone knows with new appliances must come a fun new dish to cook, so I pulled out my Mastering The Art of French Cooking (by fabulous Julia Child) and thought about the scene from the movie when she and her husband are in the French restaurant and she takes a bite of her fish with creamy sauce and since I had everything in the house -  I decided I'd go for Dover Sole with a Browned Butter Sauce.  I've never attempted this sauce before but heck with butter and lemon how can it be bad!
Yes, it's dated but all that stops today. Good-Bye white appliances, you won't be missed but hello creamy white cabinets - I already started playing with paint samples to see what works best - do you know how many "kitchen whites" are out there... well, don't ask.  
I'm keeping my green as I love the pop of color.  The shelves to the left will come down and stainless from IKEA are going up. 
The microwave is another story - the shelf was built for the standard 1997 model... that will be a search in itself. What do you think about the backsplash - I'm taking comments - it was created by the original owner and is a grout nightmare!!!! I even stumped Ace and The Home Depot with the removal process.
So welcome to the start of my new kitchen - new stainless fridge WITH water and ice! Love! It's so clean and fresh and for people that know me well, yes, I actually went to the grocery store and stocked it so there is now food in my house. 
I've used the dishwasher, not sure I needed to but I'm like a kid with a new toy and wanted to hear how quiet it really is.. .it's quiet and yes, my dishes are now clean and don't need to run it a 2nd time. 
This is my favorite - it has AccuSimmer, AccuBake, the timer works and it heats up quickly - wow! Now I'm really excited to look at next step... granite or sealed concrete, with my condo being an old industrial building and exposed brick - I'm leaning towards the concrete with epoxy.  Thoughts? 
Dover Sole - this won't be "Julia" perfect but I'm sure it's going to taste just grand.  I use coconut oil when cooking - learned to use it while living in Denver, claims to be better for cooking.
Look at that butter!!! I told you, with lemon and butter you can't go wrong.  I also add in a pinch of Ancho Chili Powder.. yum! 
It doesn't look like the movie but the taste is delicious. Cooked the lemon juice until it reduced to about 1T then added in the butter and seasonings. 
Baked the fish for 10 min and POURed the sauce on... I could have licked that plate!  I think Julia would have been proud of my 1st attempt at this fabulous butter sauce.

Well, I'm excited for you to follow me on this journey - Year of the Kitchen has officially started and I'm looking forward to sharing the process as I go forward -
  • Cabinets - What is the best color, creamy white? Do you have a favorite? I like Benjamin Moore's Atrium White but I'm open to ideas
  • Counters - As I stated above, I was set on granite and was looking at Grey Steel, got the quote but now that appliances are in - I'm rethinking my ideas and now leaning towards Sealed concrete - there are so many things you can do with it
  • Backsplash - Keep the current or start the tear process and do something new - subway tile? glass tile? Drywall and color with a Sharpie (are you paying attention and reading this?????) are you? 
My friend Katie in Denver told me about this book over one of our lunches and I finally got around to ordering it - excited to start looking through it tonight.  Congrats to Katie and her husband Rob on the birth of their daughter over the weekend! Can't wait to meet her when I'm visiting in Sept! 

Jenn - I'm hoping to start the cabinets before you visit this Fall - it would be more fun to have you here and just enjoy Chicago, but you know I will need you to skype a few times with tips on how to paint them the right way. 

Enjoy your kitchen! xo

From what I can tell it's going to offer some terrific tips for living a clean life. 


  1. Check out these links:

    I'm considering quartz for my countertops - it's supposed to be as durable as granite but you can get it without all of the marbling that granite has. I think concrete would look cool too. I just don't know that much about it. Are you going to tackle your countertops yourself or hire someone?

    1. not tackle your countertops - I meant cabinets

  2. Lookin good, KL!! Love the concrete idea ...

  3. Love the kitchen... and the splash of green! I'm not much of a fish eater, but I'd eat your fish. Looks yummy! Love you, Mom