Take a #KitchenTour at The Rustic Foodie and see Christine's kitchen in Minnesota.
I love the breakfast nook in my kitchen. It's a great central spot in our house where my husband and I spend a lot of our time. I have a standing work station set up in the breakfast nook where I stand and do a lot of my computer work during the day. The breakfast nook looks out into a large window so I'm able to soak up sunlight, watch the birds and other wildlife during the warmer months.
Tell us about your kitchen?
My kitchen is roughly 10x20 square feet. It is not a large kitchen but is super functional. There is a dining room off the kitchen but the kitchen is used far more than the dining room. The kitchen is the busiest room in our home. I cook in my kitchen nearly every day and work on the computer during the day. My husband likes to hang out in the kitchen, watch YouTube videos and chat while I cook dinner in the evenings. It is my favorite part of the day.
What have you done to make your kitchen cosy, functional, beautiful or inspiring?
I think the most important part of a kitchen is that it is functional. A kitchen does not need to be fancy and equipped with expensive appliances to be functional. It's important to set it up in such a way that cooking is convenient and not a hassle. Make sure to arrange all of your cookware and utensils so that you can easily reach them and put everything away in the same spot every time so you're not spending extra time wondering where you put the spatula the last time you used it. It's important to keep a kitchen clean, comfortable, and inspiring so that it's a place you want to spend time. I always feel the best in rooms that feel natural and open. I don't like clutter and so I make sure that the countertops do not become cluttered with appliances. It contains natural elements like wood, plants, and neutral colors.
How do you keep organized while cooking?
It's important to be mindful during the cooking process. I do my best to only pull out the ingredients and utensils I need to make a recipe and then return them to their place when I'm finished but oftentimes it looks like a mad scientist has taken over the kitchen when I'm finished cooking. My husband definitely helps me stay organized because he does most of the dishes.
Any tips & tricks for organising your pantry, fridge and ingredients?
Try to make sure everything has a place. I like to keep dry ingredients like rice, noodles, and quinoa in one cupboard, canned goods in another, and snacks in another. I have an open shelf for skillets and cast iron cookware that are easy to reach and use everyday. Cookware and bakeware that's used more often are stored in one cupboard and lesser-used cookware like waffle irons and pie plates are kept in a separate cupboard. I store my knives on a magnetic strip on the wall so they're easy to grab and they're located right in front of my large wooden cutting board. Ingredients that are used commonly like salt, pepper, and garlic are in the same area so that they're within an arm's reach. I keep all of my cooking oils and vinegars in one spot on the counter right next to the spices so I don't need to dig around in cupboards searching for any long-lost spices. I try to stay on top of the ingredients in my fridge so that I don't buy too much of something and this helps to prevent food waste. We do have a compost bin in the fridge so any vegetable scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds become garden compost. My biggest tip is to make sure the kitchen is set up in a way that is convenient and makes sense to you. If cooking is a hassle due to a poor setup you're less likely to want to spend time in your kitchen.
Do you do a lot of cooking and what are your favourite dishes to make?
I cook nearly every day. My favorite dishes to make are ones made with vegetables grown in my garden. There is nothing better than stepping into the backyard, picking a freshly grown pepper, and making dinner with it. I love savory dishes made with earthy ingredients like soups, stews, salads, and grain bowls.
Where do you turn for new recipe ideas?
I love to cook seasonally and am inspired by ingredients and dishes that are in season. During the summer I love dishes made with fresh vegetables and herbs. In winter I make lots of soups. I listen to what my body is craving and try to eat as healthy as possible.
Do you plan out your recipes for the week or do you like to be spontaneous?
I love to be spontaneous but life is busy so some planning is necessary. Monday-Wednesday is reserved for quick, easy, planned out meals that tend to be the same every week. Thursday-Sunday leaves a little more room to be spontaneous with meals that are more creative and time-consuming. I follow a predictable shopping list so that I'm able to make a few staple meals every week and then add some more 'wild card' ingredients for spontaneous meals toward the end of the week.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make this your dream kitchen?
I would love a huge farmhouse pantry to store homemade canned goods and dry good storage, an oven range hood, and a super nice espresso machine.
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