cozy home, kitchen

I love my kitchen and spend a lot of time here.  As a stay at home mom with the kitchen to turn to whenever the mood strikes (and even when it doesn’t), I now have almost 20 years of cooking and baking experience, and there is always something new to learn.  My goal this week is to try making an angel food cake for the first time. 

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  Life-giving nourishment is lovingly prepared and served here, and around the kitchen table so much family history is made; games to play with loud laughter, puzzles to quietly work on, food to eat, books to read, prayers to pray.

It’s fun to have fresh baked treats to offer when the children come home from school, and the baking urge usually hits me at around 1:30.

On this day, Davy came home from school and said, “Oh good!  You made enough to last a whole day!”  And then promptly took half a dozen.  I had a lot of fun placing the m n m’s on each cookie, just so. 

Homemade bread, which used to be so very common, is now a special treat.  I love my new pullman bread pan, which makes a perfectly lovely square loaf.  I recently made fresh apple bread, with sweet vanilla scented dough.  Recipes from Sarabeth’s Bakery lovely cookbook.

Yesterday I made a copycat recipe for Nabisco Nutter Butter cookies.

I tried a new banana muffin, with crumb topping.  Hannah passed the recipe along to me, and recommended adding a teaspoon of vanilla, which I did.  They were delicious.

I made my husband’s favorite muffin this morning for breakfast; blueberry.

Of course, we don’t always eat baked goods and each afternoon I consider the question we all ponder daily, “What’s for dinner?”  Usually by the time I get it on the table, there isn’t a thought in my head to take a picture.  I think my favorite new recipe that I tried was Alton Brown’s recipe for Swedish meatballs.  Yum!

I make Sarah do the dishes.  It takes her all day.


This spring, I’m getting an updated kitchen!  We are replacing the cupboards and adding another dishwasher and a double oven.  I took a picture of the email we got, with the draw-up.


We are taking out the long counter and putting in a huge island, with bar stools.  At the end of the island will be a bookcase for all my cookbooks.  The new cupboards will go to the ceiling, and I requested some open shelving so that I can display my fiestaware collection.

At the same time as the remodel, we will also be putting on an addition off the kitchen, with a new space to put the table, and also a big pantry.

It’s going to be a lot of chaos for a while this spring, but it will be worth it. 

 “You will be surprised how much adventure can enter into ordinary things.”  Laura Ingalls Wilder


0 thoughts on “cozy home, kitchen

  1. Kitchen renovation? How terribly exciting! I do hope you’ll share the process with us! Is there a link to the nutter butter recipe? Those are among my husband’s favorite cookies, but I rarely buy them.

  2. um wow. so much goodness in one post Shanda. first of all, awesome new kitchen. i can imagine all the fun you’ll have there. I remember one of your xanga friend’s visiting and i believe her husband and Davey made pie together? what a blessed time. ohh, i like the idea for the open cabinets to display your Fiesta wear, you have such colorful choices. and the double oven is a great idea, all kinds of fun can take place.thank you for sharing those recipes Shan, the apple bread with vanilla scent made my mouth water. and i love fresh out of the oven blueberry muffins with a bit of butter…yum!

  3. Yes indeed the kitchen is the heart!! Here too:) I can’t wait to see the process of your renovations!!!! Your home is already functional and beautiful but I’m sure the renovations will make it all the more so!Davies comment sure made me smile! Cookies sure don’t last long do they?

  4. I am dying to know how the Angel Food cake turns out! ANy time we’ve done it, it falls out of the pan while it is hanging upside down, AFTER baking, of course! LOL! Davy is such a doll, still. And what a funny boy to take so many cookies. He probably figured he could do that and because there were SO many, nobody would notice?!? Anyway, I am so very excited about your new kitchen plans! The new plan looks and sound fabulous! I do wish our island had been done a bit differently but that’s okay. DO take lots of pictures!!! I now want bread. The apple bread looks so yummy with the lumpiness and all.

  5. i love this Shanda! your kitchen is very warm the way it is, but i adore the new look you are going to have! especially the island with the chairs on the side! i can just see all those kids lining up and eating and talking and you just drinking it in as you serve up warm muffins to them! do i say this every time i come here? that you really are an inspiration to me? oh well. i mean it every time if i do.happy weekend!

  6. I hope your kitchen remodel goes as smoothly as mine did last year.  I had nightmares ahead of time, but we resolved them in the planning process, and all worked out really well.  The plan looks wonderful, and the freshness of a new kitchen is most enjoyable!

  7. I loved the Sarah photo. It reminded me of the movie Uncle Buck when the Left Alone kid was doing all the dishes himself.I love your house and hope your plans go perfectly.frank

  8. Love the pictures.  I have been a working mom all my life.  And I must say, I didn’t start to enjoy cooking until after I retired.  Alas, health issues for both me and my husband have curtailed a bunch of the things I would have loved to make….however, I do bake and cook for neighbors and friends and church and parties.  Not very fancy.  But I do get immense pleasure from producing something that people enjoy eating.  We are building a new, smaller house out in the country.  I just ordered my cabinets….and they are going to be beautiful.  So exciting to look forward to changes.

  9. I’m officially jealous. In the rent house we’re living in the kitchen couldn’t possibly be more ill-set-up. I long to bake! I have an idea, how bout you ship me your kitchen since you’re getting a new one. Love the pic of your girlie at the sink!

  10. Wow, everything looks so yummy! I too have health issues so don’t too much baking, but I’d sure eat it if I had it around. And how exciting to look forward to having a new customized kitchen upgrade. I enjoy your posts, you are such fun!

  11. hi shanda…….wow – what a lucky homemaker you are getting a new kitchen!  i’m sure the end result will be fantastic.  no wonder there’s been so much extra loving on that husband of yours! 

  12. What fun things you’ve been baking lately! I’d never seen a big square breadpan like that but it looks fun and a great one for a big family! All your treats wish are making me hungry now! Wish I could stop in and taste some of those!Good luck on the kitchen update. From living through 2 kitchen remodels, I think kitchens are one of the hardest things to remodel but SO worth it in the end! Your plans look amazing and I’m sure you’re going to love it when it gets done! I really don’t know how big families do it with only one oven!?! When we did this last remodel of this kitchen we got a double convection oven which means we can make 6 sheets of cookies at the same time. It’s SO nice!

  13. That sounds and looks very beautiful :)I love all your baked food pictures they look yummy.And I absolutely love the picture of your kitchen the very first one. The play of light and the details all make it look so loved and cozy.

  14. oh my! That new kitchen is going to be AWESOME!!!! Enjoy it!!!!Since I have not had breakfast yet……now I’m HUNGRY!!!! You look like a wonderful cook. Since I am new to you, have you done a post on your favorite cookbooks?

  15. Suddenly, I feel HUNGRY! Seeing all that wonderful food. YUM! Your new kitchen sounds wonderful! I have never had a dishwasher, but I can imagine with a large family they are a real blessing. I look forward to seeing the new kitchen. While it is in the works, you can do a lot of outdoor grilling!

  16. My kitchen is a small-sized one. We need a bigger one now as I realized I have always not enough place for anything there. Now, we too, had a plan made to renovate the kitchen to which mean that the dining are will be out on the back porch and the kitchen will be double size bigger than it is now. The backporch will be made into another room connected to the kitchen glass door. I cannot wait for this!I love that plan of yours up there! Looks neat.

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