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!)”
Your new kitchen is beautiful! And so is the rest of the house. 🙂 So glad I have been able to connect with you over the years and that you've become one of my cherished friends–IRL and in Blogland.
Love you, Kalyn! You're wonderful and Happy 8th Anniversary!
Happy, happy Blog Birthday!!!
And what a wonderful way to celebrate. Your new kitchen is gorgeous! What a joy it must be to cook there – esp. with that view.
Thanks again to everyone for making my blog birthday so much fun!
Not only have you done it, you've done it with consistent grace. Congratulations Kalyn! You are an inspiration to us all. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary
Congratulations! Your low carb recipes have been such a blessing; I use your recipes ALL THE TIME!
I am so grateful for your blog. It is my go-to place for yummy vegetable recipes. As a low-carber, it is very important to me to find ways to add variety in the vegetable dishes. The fresh herbs in your recipes are wonderful! I also enjoyed your gardening posts. I'm going to try to grow those round zucchinis you always write about.
Happy Bloggiversary!! I love your new kitchen- it is perfect for you. As for my kitchen I love my vintage green cabinets and pendant light over my sink. I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that I don't have a dishwasher. I try and stay positive and use the time as a peaceful pause in the day.
You really are amazing, Kalyn! Eight years here and now over a year with your new blog, and you're never disappointed us! Big, big congrats to you, dear!
I LOVE your new house. After seeing that view and reading in comments that it will always stay that way, I totally see why you couldn't resist this house. I'm so happy for you!
Lovely morning read with my first cuppa, Kalyn. And congrats to you on your new home and beautiful kitchen. The view and light from those windows is amazing! I think I'd have a whole different reason to be off task every day standing in front of them, or being on that patio. Loved remembering the remodel work at your old house, and smiled over the photos of all the conference shots. Fun! Here's to another milestone. Sending hugs.
I am so touched by all the nice comments, and it's fun to hear from so many readers and fellow bloggers I've "met" through the years. And I do feel blessed to have such a great kitchen!
Congrats, Kalyn! Your kitchen looks amazing. That fridge!
It was such an honor to get to be on the BlogHer food blogging panel with you oh-so-many years ago. Who knew then that food blogging was on the verge of a major explosion! Your blog remains one of the few I keep reading because of the consistently professional yet personable way you write it. Here's to the next 8 years! (And PS–thanks for once again giving me kitchen envy! Love it!)
Congratulations on 8 wonderful years! I've only discovered you within the last year, but I love your blog, and your recipes are becoming some of my "go to" ones.
And kudos on that gorgeous kitchen! It's great to have a kitchen that you love. When we moved into our house in Ann Arbor 22 years ago, it had a typical, 70's kitchen with dark cabinets, no counter space and patterned wallpaper everywhere! A kitchen remodel was the first thing we did, and although there's not room for a kitchen island, we were able to push a wall back so now there's room for 3 people to cook at once without banging into each other, and things are mostly in the "right" space where I can put my hands on them quickly (including a knife rack like yours!) I call it my "better homes and gardens kitchen", and I love it just as much today as I did 20 years ago!
Congrats on the eight years of blogging! Your new kitchen is beautiful and I hope you make many wonderful memories in it as you did in your old house. A new adventure for you! Keep on bring those lovely recipes.
Happy 8 years! And congratulations on your new house and kitchen! I love it!! Thanks for always sharing your knowledge and talents!
Congratulations on 8 fantastic years, Kalyn and that beautiful beautiful kitchen is well-deserved. I hope it brings you wonderful times with friends and family and good food.
Congratulations! I'm always so glad that I found your blog. Some of your recipes have now become our family favorites, and my family thinks of them as "ours!" I even served the Hungarian Pot Roast to my sister in law for her special 65th birthday dinner! Your new house looks wonderful, and yes I do envy that gorgeous, big kitchen. My little galley kitchen has served us well for 26 years now but I still dream of having a big island someday 🙂
Oh, Kalyn, I've been looking for a knife magnet!
Thanks, for the link. I'm ordering it now.
Congratulations on 8 wonderful years and on your gorgeously functional new kitchen! Thank you for your recipes and tips which have added so many healthy delicious dishes to my meals! I have never found a bad one on your blog..delicious!
Congratulations on eight fabulous years, Kalyn! Kalyn's Kitchen is one of the first blogs I read when I first got into blogging seven+ years ago, and you've always been a great inspiration. Best wishes on your new home and on many years of delicious blogging to come.