Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Peek Inside the FeauxKitchen.


33 Shades of Green is hosting a Link Party centered around the theme of Kitchen Essentials…the “must-haves” that make our kitchens such a wonderful place to spend so much time.  So, I figured: I’m game. 

When my husband & I got married earlier this year, I was a renter & he owned a home, so naturally I moved in with him.  And while our kitchen is possibly the second-to-smallest kitchen I’ve ever had, I make do, and have adapted it to make it feel like home. (As someone who loves to cook, kitchen size has always played a large role in my selection of apartments & rental homes.  Perhaps another day, I’ll do a photo blog of my historical kitchens, because there have been many, and some of them were just too cute for words.)

So, without further ado, these are the items that I cannot live without.

1. My KitchenAid: Cobalt Blue Artisan series.


This was a wedding present from my mom.  My husband likes to point out how many other things she could have possibly bought us with the same amount of cash (not to mention the attachments that other friends & family gave us for it), but he does this jestfully & lovingly, as he knows I’ve had this baby on my personal wish list for a long time.  This is not disposable, like so many other items made today.  This was made in America, and someday I can give it to a child of my own, because it will likely still be blowin’ & goin’.  My husband is also not a huge fan of cooking, so it’s just a different type of appreciation.  His condition is that it must get used to earn its keep.  And it does. :)

2. My whisk.


I bought this at a Marshalls in Louisiana, around 2007-2008, because it was so cute that I couldn’t resist.  I mean, it’s practically an art piece.  But the amazing thing is how FUNCTIONAL it is.  For a long time I wouldn’t use it, as I was afraid the cage inside would just get gunked up, but it doesn’t (unless you’re trying to say, cream eggs & butter, but you shouldn’t be using a whisk for that anyway).  The marble and cage inside the whisk adds extra aeration when I’m making sauces or roux, adding flour to thicken,  beating eggs, etc. 

3.  Cookbooks.


I have a big squishy soft spot in my heart for cookbooks.  Particularly Cajun & Creole cookbooks, but I like to have a variety.  Look closely & you’ll see the compendium of italian recipes discussed in Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta novels, an encyclopedia of cheese, crockpot cookbooks, the Dr. Suess cookbook (tucked away for the day that I actually have kids), etc.  Behind the easel is my Grandaddy of ‘em all cookbook:


“After the Hunt”—a collection of recipes for wild game and cherished cajun recipes, along with page after page of gorgeous photos and interviews with Louisiana chefs & locals.  Autographed by Chef John Folse.  It weighs about 30 pounds and therefore qualifies as a “cookbook Bible”.

Tucked away on a shelf up above these is a series of 1970-something spiral bound Time Life “Foods of the World” cookbooks as well, but I so rarely cook from them that they haven’t earned a countertop place of honor.  The ones you see are the ones I use regularly.  There’s also a binder back there of printed out internet recipes, family hand-me-downs, and torn-out magazine mages with recipes that are on the “must try” list.  Good ones stay in the book…”meh” ones go in the trash.

4. Louisiana Décor.

I started collecting food-themed Louisiana décor back in 2006, with my very first ad print bought at the Pontchatoula Strawberry Festival:


And from there it just grew.



There’s also a tin pelican sculpture that I forgot to photograph; he hangs out on one of the upper ledges, overseeing all my work and waiting for scraps.

5. Cajun Seasoning.


While Fontenot & A Half is my favorite, friends seem to like to give me other brands as gifts.  So, on a shelf above this, we also have cans of “Slap Ya Mamma” and “Punch Ya Daddy” seasoning blends.  No, seriously…that’s their names.IMG_0122


6.  Hand Sanitizer & Rock Décor.


Hand sanitizer is a must.  I load up on Bath & Body Works Handi-Bac travel size bottles when they’re on sale.  And as an environmental scientist, I love all things stone.  Here is a mortar & pestle (occasionally used for grinding up pills) made of onyx and a bunch of stone “grapes” that a friend brought me as a gift from Brazil.

7. Clever magnets on the fridge.

Okay…so I collect things, if it’s not obvious.  Magnets are another of those things, because they’re functional.  This one I picked up at the Alcatraz Prison gift shop, as it seemed quite perfect for the kitchen:


8. Garlic.


This is a Cajun blog.  Nuff said. (There’s also the garlic press, but that was in the dishwasher at the time.)

9. Good knives & cutting boards.


I gave this Ginsu knife set to my husband (then boyfriend) last Christmas when I discovered he only had STEAK KNIVES to work with.  Now that we’re married, we sold my much older set and I LOVE having these.  Cuts through everything like butta.  And the cutting board set was a wedding gift.  The bendable mats are nice because once everything’s chopped I can carry it over to the pot & dump it in easily without much handling.  And these Casabella mats have a slightly tacky back, so they don’t shift around on the countertops.

10. A good dishwasher.


Having a dishwasher has also always been one of those things that falls on the “must have” list.  As a renter, I could be touring a beautiful apartment with cheap rent—but if it didn’t have a dishwasher—no thanks, see ya, have a nice day.  I didn’t grow up with a dishwasher; in my dad’s words, “Why do we need a dishwasher?  We have you!”  So, to be frank, I bloody HATE hand washing dishes with a fiery passionate grudge.  Thankfully, I’m also blessed with a fabulous husband who acquiesces to my bargain of “If I cook, you do the dishes.”  He’s a wonderful man, so he deserves to be on this list, too.


That’s him & our pup—aka, the vacuum.  Also essential for kitchen cleanup. :)


  1. Great list! I love that whisk - I don't think I've ever seen one like it! And I am definitely with you on the garlic. My kitchen is never without a it. Thanks so much for linking up!

  2. Thanks! I love the whisk too. I can't put it in a drawer because it's just too pretty!

  3. I thought of you when I included that, Jo!!! :D