Kalyn's Kitchen

Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Eight Years Old (and Kalyn Gets a New Kitchen!)

(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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    78 Comments on “Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Eight Years Old (and Kalyn Gets a New Kitchen!)”

  1. BTW, if you enter "new toaster oven" into the search bar I think you can see one of the ones I had. My second one was just a slightly updated version of that model.

  2. I actually had an oven (first one that didn't keep the temperature constant and then later one that took forever to heat up.) I mostly used the toaster oven because it was quicker and cheaper than heating up a huge oven for small amounts. I've had two Oster toaster ovens and loved them both, would highly recommend that brand!

  3. Hi Kalyn!
    Congratulations on eight years and counting! I've been reading your blog on and off for years and one of the things that I found interesting was that I believe you did a lot of your early cooking just using a toaster oven? In so far as I am only cooking for one, I'd like to economize and try that as well. Do you have any recommendations on what I should look for in a toaster oven? Thank you for any advice!

  4. Carolyn, you MUST come and visit. And this time you can stay at my house.

  5. Well, Kalyn, congrats on the blog anniversary. We who blog all know that although it's fun to do, we also have to have dedication, which you have in spades. SO happy to see photos of your new kitchen – it looks wonderful. And the view – gorgeous. Hope to visit you there and see it in person! Idea for the shelves next to the stove? Small cookbooks? Maybe it's not deep enough – hard to see in the photos! Much happy settling in, Kalyn.

  6. Congratulations Kalyn for 8 great years of food blogging – i read a lot of food blogs and yours is one of the the most useful to me!

    Enjoy your new house! The view is magnificent. I loved that you have all your calendars on the fridge (-:

    I also have 2 ovens in my kitchen which is very useful to me as I bake all of our breads & pastries and we also make a lot of vegetables, chicken, fish etc in the oven.

    When we bought our current house the former owner also showed us that there is a gas hookup for a gas grill on the deck but this is going to be our fourth summer here and we still haven't bought a grill.. shame on us.

  7. Thanks Amy!

  8. Kalyn, I have been a quiet follower for years, but had to speak up to say congratulations on 8 years of blogging success. And also, congratulations on your beautiful new home and especially the kitchen! I absolutely love it! Can't wait to see what delicious things you cook up in there!

  9. I'm a little late to the party, but I wanted to extend a hearty congratulations, Kalyn! 8 years? What an achievement! I've loved getting to know you more via your blog and your recipes have saved me on the dinner-planning front on more than one occasion. Thank you for continuing to share your love of food and cooking with us!

    PS. I'm in love with your new kitchen! XOXO

  10. Susan, fun to hear we have the same standards in knife racks as well as so many other things!

    J-Mom, I remember well those WHB years!

    Alanna, didn't it go by so quickly!

  11. Love-love-love your new kitchen, Kalyn, I've been dying to see pictures! The view is spectacular and the island/stools, so easy to imagine lots of family hanging out in your kitchen, one big gathering place! Can't believe it's been eight years, either … onward!

  12. Happy Blogversary, Kalyn's Kitchen! And congratulations, Kalyn for maintaining consistently great blog posts for 8 years! I still remember the early days when you were so kind to link to one of my recipes and that's how I discovered yours. Then the Herb Blogging events that you hosted where I always found inspiration. I have been sporadic in my blogging and bloghopping the last few years, but thanks to facebook, I remain updated on your posts and still visit your blog every time one of them catches my attention. Your new slow-cooker blog also got me interested in using mine again.

    So, THANK YOU! You remain an inspiration to all food bloggers and food lovers. Congratulations again on 8 years and your beautiful new kitchen!

    Jeanette aka JMom @ Cooked from the heart

  13. Congratulations! On eight years of blogging (I can't believe we've been blogging that long), on the tremendous success of Kalyn's Kitchen, on your gorgeous new dream house, on your fantabulous kitchen. I am so happy for you. And that view is truly breathtaking! xoxo

    P.S. I've been using that exact same knife bar for 20+ years and love it.

  14. Thanks Lawchick, Meeganjae, and mom. And putting cookbooks in those little nooks by the food processor is probably perfect for a "normal" person, but I have 3 full bookcases of cookbooks (they are in my office.) Still experimenting with those little spots!

  15. Happy Birthday to your wonderful blog. And congratulations on your new home and beautiful kitchen. How exciting!

  16. Love the new kitchen. Little nooks where you have your food processor, would make a lovely spot for recipe books.

  17. Happy blog-anniversary Kalyn! I am a relatively new reader (I was so happy to find your how to make perfect grilled chicken breasts recipe about a year ago!) I have become a way better cook thanks to you! I always learn from your posts, always written with great heart and great skill. (Also, a shout-out to Jake, your collaborator!) Congratulations on your new house and kitchen and view!

  18. Thanks Katie! It's been a long time hasn't it?

    Love you too Lindsey; so glad we are real-life friends now!