(Eight-Candle Cake Image from Bruce’s Birthday Images and Links)

When I sat down at the computer and wrote this post eight years ago, I couldn’t imagine what an adventure I was starting with this little food blog.  Since then I’ve retired after 30 years of teaching, met a lot of fellow food bloggers and become real-life friends with some of them, been inspired by the amazing women at BlogHer, been a speaker at a few food blogging conferences, remodeled my 100 year old house in Salt Lake City, got an amazing stove, built a raised-bed garden,  and started a second blog focused on Slow Cooker from Scratch recipes.

I’ve written 1,958 posts on Kalyn’s Kitchen in eight years (!) and I’m grateful I now have a fabulous web designer as well as my nephew/cooking assistant Jake, who helps me test recipes to make sure they work when you try them in your own kitchen!   I also appreciate the ongoing design help from my brother Rand, who originally suggested I start a blog (and how can I ever thank him for that?)  Rand has created all the headers and other graphics you’ve seen on the blog through the years. 

Eight years have brought a lot of changes, and this year I decided on another big change and bought a bigger house in the town where I grew up north of Salt Lake.  As hard as it was to leave the house and garden I had lovingly refurbished and a neighborhood filled with nice people, from the time my father died in early 2011, I wanted a house big enough for my whole extended family to gather.  I found a wonderful house that’s perfect for having family and friends over, and since I’ve been promising to share kitchen photos, that seems like a fun way to celebrate eight years of food blogging.  

But before I get to the photos, I want to give a big Thank You to my readers.  Without readers and your encouragement and comments there would be no incentive to keep blogging, and I’m tremendously grateful for the support you’ve given my humble little blog.  In last year’s anniversary post on Seven Things I Know About Food Blogging, I mentioned my goal of staying focused on things that are useful for readers, and I’m hoping I can continue doing that for many more years to come!

And now, on to the new kitchen!

The new house has a garden, but it’s nothing like the garden I left behind, and building a new garden space will be a project for next summer.  In the meantime, I always wanted a warm window where I could grow herbs, so I’m loving this spot in the new kitchen.  So far I have basil, rosemary, cilantro, mint, and parsley, and I’m hoping I can keep some of them going during the winter.

The new kitchen has big windows so there’s plenty of light for food photos (and actually too much light at certain times of the day).  I’m not a good enough photographer to really capture the view, but I can see mountains and even the Great Salt Lake from my windows!  (When I save some money I have plans for a square table that seats eight, which will fit perfectly in this space.)

I always wanted a rack to hang knives, but until now I never had a kitchen with a spot that would work.  After I realized I had the perfect place for one in the new kitchen, I read the reviews and found this Magnetic Knife Bar at Amazon.com, with ultra strong magnets that keep my knives handy and out of the way.  It’s the little things like this that make a kitchen easy to work in, and I love this knife rack!

I also love my new fridge with french doors on top, a refrigerator drawer in the middle, and a big freezer drawer on the bottom.  (Two of my sisters have this type of fridge, and even though it was kind of a splurge I am so glad I got this for the new house.)

When I started looking for a house, one of the things on my “must have” list was a kitchen island where people can sit and talk to you while you’re cooking.  I love this island in the new kitchen, and even though the gas cooktop is not as powerful as the fabulous stove I left behind, it feels like a good trade-off to have a kitchen that’s so perfect for having guests.  (And yes, I am really cooking here, which you can tell by the knife and veggies I left out in this photo.  Oops.)

In my old house I had wonderful pan racks, designed by my brother-in-law Kelly for the first remodel and then updated by my contractors when I got the professional stove.  The same contractors who did those house renovations installed pan racks in the new house for me.  They’re high enough in the window that they still leave plenty of room to enjoy the view, but not so high that I can’t reach the pans; very important!  (I highly recommend this contractor if you’re in Utah; click the link above to get their contact info.)

It’s ironic that the kitchen has a double oven, since I’m not really much of a baker.  But I’m hatching a plan with some of my sisters to invite their grandkids to come here and decorate cookies at the kitchen island, so maybe having two ovens will come in handy.  And I also need to figure out what to put in those narrow little shelves left of the ovens, but the food processor spot is pretty nice. 

And finally, I love it that there’s a deck right off the kitchen where I can keep my gas grill year round.  In fact, after I had looked at this house several times, discovering the natural gas hook-up for a grill on that deck was the deciding factor that made me realize I was meant to live in this house!

What Do You Love (or Hate) About Your Own Kitchen?

I hope you enjoyed this little peek at my new kitchen, which may be the best blog birthday present I’ve ever gotten.  And now I’d love to hear from you in the comments about the things you love (or hate) about your own kitchen!  

More Blog Anniversary Posts:
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns One
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Two
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Three
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Four
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Five
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Six 
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Seven

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