As you know we have brought our first family home. We tackled the big jobs on moving in like eradicating the purple people eater of a fireplace, the deck which we built from the ground up … literally and we turned a stripey blue kitchen into a beautiful space which has allowed me to create wonderful food.
We had Pintrest boards for days. These were vital to planning what we wanted because even though they were all very different it highlighted the aspects and looks we did like.
Unfortunately the Lotto gods haven’t been in our favour so we are working with the old budget nightmare.
Both Luke and I sat down and worked out what we wanted out of the space, what were the non negotiable and what were the nice to haves (basically the things that I really really wanted but I needed to work on him to get them!).
What we wanted out of the space.
As a family of 5 we wanted and needed functionality. We were lucky that the original lay out had TONNES of bench space. One thing ticked off the list. There was also the perfect kitchen triangle. Sink, fridge and stove all connect for an easy flow kitchen.
Our non negotiable/this must go or stay.
TO GET RID OF THE STRIPES!!!
While I loved the fact that the previous owner was mad about colour and patterns that is just not us. We got to work stripping the wood back and the original plan was to stain it all for a rustic/industrial feel. Half way through the paint stripping it dawned on us there was ALOT of wood and by alot I mean ALOT!
Plan overhaul number one. After much negotiation (a polite way of saying that I was not loving what the husband was thinking) we settled on white subway tiles halfway up the wood paneling, adding a scotia rail and painting the rest in Resene Quarter Black White water based enamel.
We (my step-dad and I) tiled the whole kitchen and I got in there an grouted. It was a pretty epic job but I am so happy with how it turned out. With stained hand and cracked nails I wasn’t going to win any hand modeling contests but the charcoal grout and white subway tiles are clean and simple. But also easy to clean and easy to add colour when moods and trends change.
On to the beautiful cabinetry. Apart from the deep blue/purple hue it’s bloody well made and solid wood. Very solid Luke informed me when he was cutting it out to fit the new dishwasher in because I measured it wrong – whoopsie on my part! Back to the cabinetry. New handles and a coat on Resene Nero we will be away laughing (again I have done one door and am yet to find handles I like – can you tell I don’t have enough hours in the day?)
New appliances were our other non-negotiable. I love cooking on gas and our previous rental had it (please note at the time of writing this we still have not had our beautiful gas stove fitted – we are useless!!).
On settlement of this place we had a little money to spare so splashed out on a new stainless steel fridge and gas hob and oven but my life was not complete until the holy trinity was completed and the new dishwasher arrived just before Christmas. Best Christmas present ever!!
My wants – Luke’s nice to haves.
I would love new work benches. Now I don’t need hand milled marble from Italy I am a pretty simple gal. We have been looking and playing but nothing is locked in yet all I know is that I am thinking a white/pale bench would look amazing with the tiles and cabinetry. Do we go laminate? Do we go vinyl (DIYers dream)? Do we save and get engineered stone? Goodness there are so many options both with their own pros and cons. Hence this one is on the nice to have list!!
Another want is a new sink and taps. While the one we currently have is fine and functional I secretly have my heart set on a deep butlers sink. One big enough to bath a baby in it (not that I have one of those anymore!) because our current sink would just about wash the hind legs of Lloyd the Pug if we were lucky. The idea of a sink that can fit baking dishes and mixing bowls (and a potential baby) is my idea of dish-washing heaven.
The other thing that would take me kitchen to the next level would be probably the most fantastic tap I have ever seen. InSinkErator have made a MultiTap. This genius bit of kitchen wizardry gives you near boiling and filtered water from the same tap! Save time boiling that kettle just turn on the tap!! When making pasta I always add boiled kettle water to my pasta pot to speed up the process. But I probably don’t save any time because I have to boil the kettle twice. If I get this bad boy all I will have to do is turn on the tap!!
Couscous, noodles, tea, coffee, vegetables and washing those hideous roasting pans the list endless of the things it can be used for.
I will also be decluttering the bench because who needs a kettle when your tap is like something from Harry Potter, because it lives under the bench it’s almost invisible!! Also being a MasterChef Australia fan I have seen these at work in their kitchen and cripes. I must have it in my kitchen!!
Here is a link to where you can see them in store for yourself. It’s a kitchen game changer.
So this is our kitchen progress. It’s 75% of the way there. It has been a challenge but it has also made us realise that we are very capable of the ol’ DIY gig. We just need to find the time to finish those last bits to make it perfect. Maybe that is how I can sell the InSinkErator MultiTap to Luke. The time I save boiling the kettle I can have those cabinet doors painted!! Worth a try if you ask me!
I’ve been tutu-ing with my cinnamon rolls AGAIN.
Who doesn’t like Ferrero Rocher?
Well actually my mum doesn’t. She digs chocolate and she loves nuts but it is a cardinal sin to combine the two.
If your like me and love them take the original brioche dough and change up the the filling.
Gooey and rich but not too sweet you will be in heaven.
Ferrero Rocher Filling
150gm Whittakers 65% cocoa chocolate (chopped)
3/4 cup hazelnut spread (any kind) – I’ve used Nutino. Made in Italy and nowhere near as sweet as Nutella.
In a dry pan toast your hazelnuts until brown and toasty smelling. Eyeball them the entire time they burn QUICKLY! Take the hot nuts and place in a tea towel. Rub to remove the bitter skins and roughly chop the nuts.
Roll out the brioche dough and spread out the hazelnut spread. Sprinkle over the nuts and chocolate.
Roll and follow the original recipe.
There is nothing better that hot, sweet and cinnamonny (that’s a word right!?!) buns.
I have been experimenting with a traditional cinnamon roll recipe and this is my version of Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze.
The great thing with the second prove overnight, you look like a baking legend when you rock up at the kindy shared lunch or work morning tea with warm buns!!
1 1/4 teaspoon dried yeast
160ml luke warm milk
3 cups plain flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 free-range eggs
125g butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste OR 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100gm butter (softened)
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup of dried fruit or chocolate (optional)
1 1/3 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste OR 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
In a bowl mix together the warm milk and yeast. Leave for five minutes. Make sure your milk is not too hot otherwise you will kill the yeast and your dough will be a dud.
In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar and salt. Melt butter and add to the flour mixture. Lightly whisk the eggs and add the vanilla paste/essence then add to mixing bowl. Lastly add the milk yeast mixture. Place a dough hook on your stand mixer and knead until a thick combined dough is made (roughly 8 minutes). Place in a lightly greased bowl and stand covered in a warm place for 60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
After it has risen roll out the dough on a lightly floured bench so it’s roughly rectangle shaped and 1cm thick.
For the filling switch from your dough hook to the whisk on your mixer. Add the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and beat until light and fluffy. Spread over the rolled out dough leaving a 0.5cm edge. Here is where you add any fruit or chocolate. Sprinkle evenly over the filling.
Starting from the longest edge roll into a large sausage. Cut the roll in half then half again. You should then cut those halves into 3. Making 12 rolls.
So there are 2 ways you can go from here. If baking immediately you can grease a baking dish and place the rolls in all comfy and let them proof again for 45 minutes OR you can place the rolls into a greased dish and place in the fridge covered overnight. Don’t put the refrigerated rolls straight in the oven. Pull them out of the fridge 15 mins before hand to warm up a bit!
From here both of these need to be cooked in a preheated oven at 180 degrees (160 degrees if your using fan forced) for 20 minutes. Then loosely cover with foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until cooked. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
In a bowl mix all the glaze ingredients. Spoon the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls.