Inside/Outside: Kitchen

*updated with winner, below*
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One of the main criteria when we started looking into new homes way back when was a decent kitchen. Seemingly simple and yet? Very, very hard. Our last place had what one might call a kitchenette with zero counter space, (I used the ironing board for chopping. Not fabulous.) so when we walked into our new place with its blue Spanish tile and heaps of windows...
a view from a room

...Not to mention the arched doorways and built-in cabinets, I threw up my hands and sang hallelujah.
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We had to buy us a new table to furnish the breakfast nook, which has become more of a breakfast, lunch and dinner nook on the days when the dining room table has been turned into a Legoverse. I found the table at my favorite prop/junk store on La Brea, a place I have purchased more furniture than perhaps anywhere else.
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I love retro dining spaces - they charm me like crazy. The table is a bit lopsided, yes, but also happy-making. A cozy little family retreat.
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original light-fixture, above
good morning, bird!
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Fable rocks a Rayanne Graff 'do. Behind her = the original 1920s mailbox

Unfortunately, our kitchen did NOT come with a refrigerator so we would have to purchase our own, or so I thought, until some friendly folks at Kenmore contacted me through twitter amidst my flurry of inquiring tweets re: fridge recommendations and consumer reports.

"We have a pretty cool fridge," they emailed me. "Wanna check it out?"

"Uh... yes." I responded. "Yes, yes, YES!" So? Kenmore hooked it up.

And hooked it up they done did. I've never been an appliance person at all. Maybe because I've always rented property and have never taken much of an interest in stove/fridge/washer/whatevers because they didn't *really* belong to me, and come on, now, let's be clear, I'd rather spend my money on clothes and/or cool furniture than state-of-the-art equipment but this fridge = the awesome. Quiet, energy efficient with tons of fridge and freezer space and a million compartments for quinoa.
Fridge also has magnetic areas, rare for stainless steel/important to me because to-do lists are my co-pilots and family portraits must always be on display:
family portrait
"my family" by: Archer
Hal as a baby = aw.
So thank you, Kenmore. Thanks for the fridge and the memories and this amazing sexy-red stand mixer I get to give away to one lucky reader because you guys rule.


Want it*? Just tell me your must-have kitchen gadget**. Besides my spankin' new state-of-art mega-fridge from space, these days I swear by the Citrusmate juicer. Twas a gift from my mom last year when I was struggling to get Archer to eat his fruits and veggies. Fresh-squeezed orange juice has since become a daily must in our house. Yum slash relief.

What are you cookin' with in the kitchen?


*This is the first of several "Hooray for summer!" giveaways I'll be hosting this week. Stay tuned!
**One winner will be chosen via and announced Thursday evening. Good luck!

Updated: Congratulations comment #361, Ashley 8:03pm! Thank you all so much for participating!!!


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Loukia | 7:04 AM

AWESOME! KITCHEN! LOVE IT! And aweasome fridge. I need a mixer too! Seriously, I do. I suck in the kitchen, though. But maybe if I won that... I'd get better at baking?

Julie | 7:08 AM

My stick blender! I love that thing! I use it for everything..It's amazing! Love the website!

ChrisC | 7:09 AM

That mixer is awesome! I have a lot of must-have kitchen gadgets. First, my french press for coffee. SO much better than a coffee machine. Also, citrus zester, good sharp knives, my food processor, etc. I'd love to win this mixer -- that is something I am sorely lacking!

Alicia | 7:13 AM

My favourite kitchen appliance? My dishwasher of course!

cd0103 | 7:13 AM

OXO slanted measuring cups. Best ever.

Jesse K | 7:13 AM

I love my food processor. It makes making hummus so quick!

dreadpiraterach | 7:15 AM

I live outside the US so these comps usually don't apply to me but I'm going to be optimistic and decide that as you didn't mention it, the competition is open to all! Hurrah!

And the item I can't do without in the kitchen? If I was being cheeky I'd say my boyfriend as he does almost all the cooking, but as I'm not I'll say a fridge. Our fridge was broken for 10days recently and lordy but I never realised how brilliant they were until it was gone..

AnnabelVita | 7:15 AM

Without a doubt it's my stick blender. Ask me in a year and it might be my mandolin slicer...

ACB | 7:16 AM

Especially in this heat, I can't operate without my boiling-water-in-a-minute electric tea kettle. Great for coffee for unexpected guests!

Rhea | 7:17 AM

WHOA!! I have always wanted a stand mixer :D
My favorite appliance is my blender. Makes smoothies a breeze... mmm.

Rae | 7:18 AM

I love stand mixers, they are brilliant time savers and the red is quite catching. This is not really a gadget but the one kitchen tool I cannot live without is my garlic press-I use it almost daily and it saves so much time. In the more gadgety category, my pizzelle maker. The cookies remind me of my grandma, and it enables me to make homemade ice cream cones.

Amy W. | 7:20 AM

Cuisinart food processor. In daily use around here for making baby food!

Kim | 7:21 AM

Ooo, nice mixer! I can't live without my George Foreman. I love grilling chicken but in the winter, it's impossible to do so outside on the grill. The Foreman allows me to do it inside.

Kendra | 7:24 AM

My must-have kitchen appliance? I'd like to say a refrigerator--yours specifically, since we have never had one that didn't make me want to scratch my eyes out. Anyone want to hook me up with one that keeps things cold, doesn't need to be defrosted every week, and closes right? That's really all I'm looking for.

But in terms of things we actually have, I'd say my chest freezer. We make pancakes double or triple batches at a time, bake all our own bread, and buy meat in bulk. So we we have a completely full chest freezer all the time. When you can make things and freeze them, it's really easy to eat a lot of things healthier.

Itskellerific | 7:25 AM

Hmm... my favorite kitchen gadget. The thing that immediately came to my mind was a good set of knives, but that's not a gadget. I guess it would have to be my blender. I make lots of things in it - I purée baby food, soups, and sauces, make smoothies, and have even made a few adult beverages in it. Good times! My blender is pretty versatile.

My husband and I have been looking at mixers like the one you're giving away for some time now. We can never decide on one/afford one. A free one from you would sure make it easier!

Anonymous | 7:25 AM

Wow, awesome fridge! Lucky girl! My favorite kitchen gadget is our new oven. It has two compartments for cooking, a large one and a small one. The small one, which my husband and I are able to use for almost everything heats up super fast and we're not wasting as much energy! And we can cook different things at different temps! Great for Thanksgiving! Anyways, I would kill for that mixer!

LiciaLee | 7:25 AM

I must have my blender. :D. Smoothies and milkshakes yummy. I would LOVE to have an awesome mixer like that. And a fridge. One day....

Rachel | 7:27 AM

Ironically, my must-have is my stand mixer. But, I've been trying to swing getting one for my best friend for some time now, and stuff just keeps popping up.

divrchk | 7:28 AM

We're getting tons of use from our electric frying pan. Who would have thought?

candace | 7:29 AM

To be honest, I have no great kitchen gadgets but use my blender for everything. I'm vegan and so make many things from scratch and since I do not have a food processor, I use the blender. Without her life would be bland!

Karen | 7:29 AM

Why would you ever NOT want to eat in that enchanting breakfast nook? I am so in love with your house. When I think of how nerve-wracking it was, waiting to see if you got it ... well, I am just glad those days are done.

I could not live without my chopper. You know, one of those put-the-onion-or-whatever-in-the-bottom, put-on-the-top, and SMASH with your hand and quicker than you can say chop me some onions, they are beautifully diced. It rarely sees the dishwasher because I have to wash it by hand to use it again.

Congrats on the frige.

Anonymous | 7:30 AM

I just love all the light in your new home and the arched windows are to die!

My favorite kitchen appliance is my lil baby cuisinart. I use it all the time to make guacamole, hummus, tapenade and other deliciousness.

Katie I. | 7:30 AM

My fiance's mother gifted us with a small, barely used cast-iron skillet that I swear I cook with every single meal. It just does everything so well. Actually, it's kind of an overachiever, but the endearing type.

Anonymous | 7:31 AM

I have a number of things I feel "I must have to have" but I guess the most would be Def. my awesome pots and pans my mother bought me for my wedding gift 10 years ago. It heats quickly compared to other brands and cleans simply. I also love my pampered chef stones too. :) Happy 4Th! Love you and your family!

R from NC

Katie I. | 7:31 AM

My fiance's mother gifted us with a small, barely used cast-iron skillet that I swear I cook with every single meal. It just does everything so well. Actually, it's kind of an overachiever, but the endearing type.

Stacy | 7:32 AM

I think this is my first comment...maybe my second...but I've read the whole blog! That mixer is great. Mine is dying, because it is the most used gadget in my house. From wedding cakes to dog cookies I use it ALL THE TIME! It'd be great to win a new one, since when this one dies I have to go back to mixing by hand.

Clare C. | 7:32 AM

Food processor ALL THE WAY! oooh-ooh, and a juicer!

Elle Vee | 7:32 AM

WOOOOO!!! MIXER envy!!! Best giveaway ever!
Hmm... my top kitchen gadgets are probably my Beaba babyfood maker (so easy to steam and puree all in one go!) and also my Saeco espresso machine which kicks serious ass. Besides those two machines, I tend to use a lot of non-electric gadgets like my ricer for gnocchi or mashed potatoes, or my wooden reamer and mint masher for summery mojitos.

kim {the non-mom blogger} | 7:33 AM

I love my waffle maker! And that mixer would really help with the makin' process ;)

Clare | 7:35 AM

Food processor ALL THE WAY! oooh-ooh, and a juicer!

lauren | 7:36 AM

your entire place is causing me 'house envy' at the moment!! :)
my must-have kitchen gadget is our keurig. i am not a coffee drinker, but it keeps my bf from turning into a grumpster when he wakes and sets out for his day...priceless! :)

Allison the Meep | 7:37 AM

In general, kitchen gadgets are my porn. My favorite right now is my Vitamix, which was given to me by my grandmother because I could never pay $500 for a pimped out blender. It seriously is the best piece of equipment we own though, because it has so many uses.

Allison | 7:39 AM

my favorite kitchen gadget is my chefs knife.. oh and the kuerig

Julie in TX | 7:40 AM

I could really use a new food processor! Mine is old and only holds about 2 c. The food shoot is tiny, too!

Love your new space!

Alison | 7:42 AM

My favourite kitchen gadget at the moment would have to be our new glass blender. With two kids under two, it's great for soups and smoothies!

Laura | 7:43 AM

Ooh that mixer is sexy!

I'd have to say dishwasher - I'm lazy.

Dawn | 7:43 AM

My blender. It is good for fancy drinks, smoothies, and it works better than my food processor.

The Wh0le Story | 7:43 AM

For the past year, I have been obsessed with cooking and baking. I would really love a better food processor - my current one is a cheapy that I bought for like $30 2 years ago.

Of course, that mixer has been on my list for awhile as well :o)

Unknown | 7:43 AM

it sounds so lame but my fav kitchen accessory is by far my flexible cutting boards from Ikea. So technically it is not a gadget but I would be lost without them. Makes prep work for the week super duper easy and the bend to fit into the skinny cabinet on the side of our stove where nothing else fits.

Adrianne | 7:44 AM

My must have kitchen gadget? Ummm....does the microwave count? :) But seriously, I have no fancy gadgets. However if I had to choose the thing I couldn't get by without, it would have to be our fancy knife set. Love those!

keri1776 | 7:45 AM

Dang that is a good looking fridge! My kitchen gadget of choice is my electric hand blender/mixer-- perfect for making baby food.

Anonymous | 7:45 AM

My pampered chef chopper! Great for mincing garlic or chopping veggies in a snap.

Tana | 7:47 AM

I would say a good juicer! I love juice, so very much.

ttsc | 7:48 AM

I have really been wanting a Vitamix blender, my husband has one for work that I love to use, I'd love one at our house too. I'd also love that pretty red stand mixer, it would match my cherry red washer and dryer. (and we live in a rental so it isn't really ours)

Meghan | 7:49 AM

My wooden spoons :)

jeannette | 7:49 AM

I've read your blog for a long time, but this is my first time commenting! I love my steamer! Years ago I moved into a new apartment that didn't have appliances, and we had to wait two weeks for our stove to come in. It's amazing how much you can make using only a steamer! It has been my go to appliance ever since.

Leslie | 7:50 AM

My blender! It seriously only cost about $20 at the most at Target, but it made all of my kid's baby food and our green smoothies, etc. Who needs a Beaba Babycook when you can use a cheap ass blender?

(I do need that red mixer, though. Please and thank you. :)

Martha | 7:50 AM

I love my little escali primo digital scale. i hate using those old balance scales now, the digital scale is so easy to tare and cooking by weight is so accurate!

JillyL | 7:50 AM

my fav appliance is the espresso maker - can't live without the coffee!

Kait | 7:54 AM

Our stove top. Oh I love it. It's electric and it's separate from the oven so I don't melt when the oven is on and I need to use the stove.

Kristen | 7:55 AM

Oh, the beauty of the mixer!
My favorite gadget would be...the blender.

My son is fearful of fruits and veggies but drinks my smoothies down like nobody's business.

Totally understand the relief.

Cait | 7:55 AM

In this kitchen? The closest thing I have to a gadget is a whisk and my chef's knife. A mixer would increase the breadmaking by eleventybillion percent. I love your new kitchen!

Beth | 7:55 AM

oh wow - i love the kitchen and your fridge, of course. when i was little i thought anyone with a door ice/water dispenser was incredibly wealthy!! the mixer is wonderful - have wanted one for years. my most used kitchen appliance is my toaster over. i am in need of some kitchen inspiration - bring on the mixer - i do make a mean muffin and cupcake!

Brandi | 7:56 AM

love being in the kitchen :-) it's just where everyone gets together. my fav kitchen gadget? hmm, the toaster oven. it's a great way to heat things up fast.

Laura in A2 | 7:57 AM

My coffee maker. Naturally.

Shelley | 7:59 AM

Vitamix blender. It is awesome. Made my twins all their baby food with it.

Love, love, love your kitchen. We have a boomerang countertop that would great with your table!

Congrats on the new house. it seems like you guys are all SO happy there.

Tammy | 8:01 AM

Love the regrigerator. It's great that Kenmore came through for you. I remember the frantic tweets when you were trying to make a decision.

My go to items in my kitchen are my steamer and my set of knives. I've been wanting to get a mixer for years but have always felt it was a selfish purchase for myself and choose to spend the money elsewhere. I NEVER buy things for myself, always for others.

BuenoBabyGirl | 8:02 AM

Rebecca, I'd start tweeting things like: Any tropical vacation spot recommendations? or Can anyone recommend a good [expensive] case of wine?

Favorite appliance? Coffee maker.

Mara Z | 8:03 AM
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ProudMomma | 8:04 AM
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Mara Z | 8:08 AM

i live with my mom right now and i use her food processor non-stop. have you tried making one ingredient (the one ingredient being frozen bananas) ice cream? food processor is especially helpful for that! :)

Holly F. | 8:10 AM

My favorite appliance, by far, is my rice cooker. Not only does it mean that I don't have to burn brown rice onto my pots and pans, it also steams vegetables! Yum!

Wendi | 8:10 AM electric can opener?
I use the hand mixer for baking. Although it is fun for licking the batter, I would love the red one.

Amanda | 8:11 AM

What a great kitchen! I had the same requirement when apartment hunting in LA, and it was nearly impossible to find a decent one.

My kitchen gadget must-have is a Vita-Mix. I'd been wanting one forever and spoiled myself when I got a new job.

Tammy | 8:14 AM

In love with that fridge! Mine is my food processor. I only have a mini one right now and have to process food in shifts, a big one is on my list!

Shaina | 8:15 AM

ohhhh i lust after a mixer like that. the number one gadget that i use in the kitchen is probably the george foreman grill. it's great.

Maria Melee | 8:16 AM

Mine is my coffee maker. I guess the dish washer as well. They automate the two tasks I least enjoy doing, but oh I love a. coffee and b. opening a dishwasher and getting a mini steam facial.

I want that stand mixer for my friend Diane, who bakes far more than I do and far better than I do and NEEDS one like woah.

Leslie @ Body Won't Break | 8:17 AM

my food processor! it helps me make amazing homemade hummus!

Anonymous | 8:19 AM

I am currently living in your former kitchenette hell and as a hobby baker it SUCKS. I cannot live without my food processor a the moment :)

helena | 8:21 AM

the bread baking machine i'm wanting to buy today :)

Michele | 8:24 AM

That mixer was on my wedding registry and I just hoped that someone would buy it but nobody did. As for my current must have, it would have to be the (in its former glory) the mini cuisinart. It's on its last leg. But it's come in handy for some homemade baby food, and sauces.

wendyrose | 8:25 AM

congrats on your new home!
the only thing in my kitchen that gets daily use is the hot water kettle.
but I love to bake in my free time.

everyday amy | 8:25 AM

I love my avocado slicer, and I have a little one cup chopper that's great for mincing onions, garlic or whatnot.

I've been eyeing stand mixers for awhile, but haven't wanted to drop the cash - so here's hoping!

Unknown | 8:27 AM

Mine is the dishwasher - through all those dirty dishes in and let it do its magic!

But I'm sure if I won that mixer it would become my fav.

Unknown | 8:27 AM

Mine is the dishwasher - through all those dirty dishes in and let it do its magic!

But I'm sure if I won that mixer it would become my fav.

Unknown | 8:28 AM

our refrigerator is older than our house; the first homeowners brought it in with them. it still works and all, but for a family of five it's bit tight. the icemaker is long gone, and it's FUGLY.

wah! i would love to win something - ANYTHING.

Andi | 8:29 AM

I love my food processor.

Courtney Perry | 8:29 AM

Right now it's a toss up between my food processor and my blender... for making salsa and margaritas respectively! Mmmmm.

Jeanette | 8:29 AM

Coffee maker! I love the thing so much that I take it on vacation with me!

Barb | 8:33 AM

I love the pizza cutter to slice up food for the baby!

paula | 8:34 AM

My can't live without kitchen item....DISHWASHER! And do I get bonus points if I say it's a Kenmore?

Heather Tull | 8:38 AM

My Jack Lalaine power juicer is my must have gadget but doesn't get enough use due to lack of counter space. Sigh. I'm a total out of sight out of mind type of girl.

Kristen | 8:38 AM

We were gifted a small ice cream maker when we got married a few years ago and love to use it every summer!

Anonymous | 8:39 AM

I adore my toaster oven. It's large enough to cook dinner in for my family of two. I can't remember the last time I used my large oven, which requires pre-heating. Who has time for pre-heating?

Anonymous | 8:39 AM

That mixer was on my registry too!! Sadly I didn't get it. booo...
Favorite gadget? Does my I-Home count?? I love some good music while I am cooking for my family. If it doesn't count then I would say my coffee grinder. I love some freshly ground coffee!

Jen | 8:41 AM

For the past year my food mill has been my most used gadget... perfect for making all homemade baby food!

Anonymous | 8:43 AM

We bit the bullet and invested in a VitaMix blender. It is amazing! It allowed us to get rid of our food processor and we use it at least twice a day!

Annevel Knievel | 8:43 AM

I can't live without my milkshake maker. I swear it's better than a blender and I need my peanut butter shakes!
Although I know it will take up even more of the limited counter space, I really am hoping this summer to get an ice cream maker!

flyabuv | 8:45 AM

right now it is my ice cream maker. I make orange julius with oj concentrate, coconut milk, water, sugar, and vanilla. So freakin' good!

Courtney | 8:47 AM

My apple corer/slicer is my must have kitchen gadget. Love it, makes eating apples as a snack so much easier

Hillary | 8:47 AM

We just moved too and have a new my fav at the momemt is the built in ice and water dispenser, how did I ever live without it?!

LauraES | 8:48 AM

It's not a gadget, but as a cook I can get more done with a good chefs knife then anything else.

Krysta | 8:49 AM

My favorite kitchen thing is my Breville Juicer. Changed my life.

Unknown | 8:50 AM

my must have gadget is the cuisinart blender/ food processor. couldn't live without!

Unknown | 8:51 AM

My favorite kitchen appliance has to be my dishwasher. Before I bought one, I had given up on cooking because of the amount of washing-up it implied. Now that it washes all mu utensils, I cook almost every day!

Lis | 8:52 AM

without a doubt our dishwashers. remodeled the kitchen JUST to get a dishwasher (we got the drawer kind so we have two) put in.

Jen L. | 8:52 AM

My favorite kitchen gadget is my blender. Nothing better than summer mornings with smoothies and summer evenings with margaritas.

Ms. K | 8:54 AM

There are 3 things I use on a daily basis, my food processor, my papered chef concrete stones and my thick calphalon pan.

Cindy | 8:54 AM

I love my Blendtec! Couldn't do without it!

Abby Johns | 8:55 AM

My favorite kitchen appliance has to be the blender. We use it to blend up veggies to add to our daughter's hummus so she will actually eat them. It also comes in handy for margaritas on hot summer days ;)

the happiness project | 8:57 AM

I need a mixer, actually. I cook and bake so much that I burn through hand mixers like crazy. YAY!!

Jamie | 8:57 AM

A must...our new dishwasher! A Father's Day gift for my husband given by my parents. We've always had hand-me-downs, and let me just tell you how amazing a new dishwasher is!!!!!

Margaret | 9:00 AM

Kitchen must-have? Holy moly. All I do is buy my husband kitchen gadgets. ALL I do. But so far my favorite has been a Shun santoku knife. Sharp knives = happiness in the kitchen.

ewenique | 9:02 AM

dunno why i'm bothering to post cos it ain't as if i can use that beauty in these parts :(

i think that is a pretty special stand mixer.

one gadget i cannot do without is my flower cupcake/muffin pan! i swear they make EVERYTHING taste great!

i'm off to search for that post about pubes. i'm gonna overcome my shyness and tell all about my landing strip!

JB | 9:02 AM

Our must is probably the George Foreman grill. We have a "real" grill in mind but it keeps getting pushed down the "to buy" list, and I love how easy to clean our GF is and how versatile it is.

However, I have wanted a stand mixer for years. When we first got married we lived in on-campus housing because I worked for the school, and we didn't have room for such luxuries. But now ...

kathryn | 9:03 AM

my blebd tec blender... I am a smoothy girl

Mama Skates | 9:05 AM

can't live without my stand mixer...but i'm a cake artist & baker - so i could DEF use another one! :0)

nass | 9:06 AM

It would have to be a toss up between my blender and my washing machine which, with two kids, gets used a couple of times a day!

SarahK | 9:06 AM

My favorite/most used kitchen gadget would have to be my coffee maker. This working mommy wouldn't be able to get out of bed without it!!!!

Sadie | 9:07 AM

I love my food processor. I think I use it everyday. I've been dreaming of stand mixers for a month now. . . I want one bad.

Andrea | 9:07 AM

It sounds ridiculous, but my waffle iron is always needed! Between breakfast (topped with maple syrup), lunch (with fresh berries), dinner (topped with pepperoni and cheese), and desert (ice cream and chocolate sauce), it's the fall back for every meal! Gorgeous mixer!!

Jaime | 9:11 AM

A good knife, and, up until recently, my incredibly worth-it, cheap margarita blender for making pureed soups and hummus. Darn thing's on her last legs.

Alison aka Baby B | 9:12 AM

I have a college kid's kitchen, so no super fancy gadgets here. I do rely on my pastry cutter a lot. It's a low tech gadget I love. :) I covet a stand mixer though!

Melissa | 9:13 AM

Love your kitchen. The windows are PERFECT.

My must-have gadget is a coffee maker. It's nothing fancy, but with 4-yr old and 8-mo old boys, it keeps me awake and sane!

Unknown | 9:15 AM

My must-have kitchen gadget is my cast iron skillet, for everything from stir-fry's and cornbread, followed by my enormous collection of heirloom wooden spoons. Less precise than spatulas, maybe. But way more satisfying to draw a line in custard on.

Speaking of dessert, a kitchen aid would make baking my baby's first birthday shortcake a cinch rather than a, 'uh, just a minute' balancing act!

Anonymous | 9:15 AM

I couldn't get by without my crockpot...especially in the fall/winter. As a single gal who lives alone, coming home to a hot meal makes me feel like someone was cooking just for me!


Faith | 9:19 AM

I love your kitchen. The windows are incredible. My favorite gadget is probably my microplane zester--love it.

joanie | 9:19 AM

I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE my Blendtec Blender. Oh! but it's so much more than that! it can liquiefy an avocado pit. oh, yes.

gemma | 9:20 AM

My food processor saves my pastry. But I'd love a stand mixer...

Anonymous | 9:22 AM

I have serious fridge envy. My fave thing right now is my lemon/lime hand press. So simple, yet so satisfying. And making lemonade in this heat is a breeze.

Anonymous | 9:22 AM

I have the same Kenmore fridge. It's amazing, isn't it?! But mine doesn't have magnetic areas, nice feature! Having a good fridge makes life so much easier.

Linley | 9:24 AM

Wouldn't that mixer make a great birthday present for my momma. :)

My must have kitchen appliance? A plain ol' blender. Oh so many ice cream treat possibilities... also old ones are good for making paper!

Sharon | 9:25 AM

Nice fridge, Rebecca. My favorite tool is my whisk--have to have it for sauces and gravy!

Lisa/Kaiasmom2003 | 9:30 AM

Your kitchen is gorgeous! I love favorite kitchen appliance is my toaster oven, I hate microwaves and on hot summer days, using the oven isn't ideal, so out comes the little toaster oven.

Unknown | 9:30 AM

Hmmmm.... I'd have to say my hand held immersion blender. I love it!!!!! It's perfect for pureeing a can of tomatoes right in the can or for whipping cream, or pureeing homemade soup. It's awesome!

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph | 9:32 AM

That's fabulous!!! I do love your built-ins, too. I actually have that Kenmore Mixer and LOVE IT. But if I win I would really love to give it to my Mom- would totally match her kitchen and also totally cheer her up.

My must-have kitchen gadget? FOOD PROCESSOR/CHOPPER


Anonymous | 9:35 AM

For me it is my mixer! I am an awful cook, but I love to bake and I make some pretty fun cakes and cookies.

elisabeth | 9:36 AM

My boyfriend is my favorite kitchen appliance. Can that count? He slices, dices, makes wicked salsa and hummus and gives sweet kisses on the cheek while I stir sauces and saute.

Doesn't count? Okay. Favorite REAL appliance is, hands down, our food processor. We started w/ one of those small ones and used to so often - over filling it many times, that we eventually sprung for a bigger version. We use it all the time and have made countless batches of pasta dough, gazpacho, salsa, hummus - you name it. It's great!

Anonymous | 9:39 AM

We don't have a lot of gadgets in the kitchen, just the basics. My dream machine would be the Vitamix, and of course this sweet little mixer. Maybe....just maybe.

Emily | 9:39 AM

i love your house! the kitchen is amazing. you will have so many great family memories in there!
i LOVE my toaster oven. i don't have a microwave so it makes me breakfast in the morning and often heats up or defrosts my dinner at night. plus its great for whipping up a batch of baked tofu to get me though the week!
i would love that mixer...

Overflowing Brain | 9:41 AM

I tend to agree with the people who say dish washer. It definitely gets used the most.

But besides that, my mini-chopper is king in this kitchen. It makes things like cookie crumbs and crumb toppings for coffeecakes and muffins. And it's pretty easy to clean to, which is good because it's one of like 4 things in my kitchen that can't really go in the dishwasher.

Stephanie | 9:42 AM

I think my must have kitchen gadget is my toaster oven. I use it all the time, it's great.

Sandra Pree | 9:43 AM

I love my blender!

Jenny | 9:47 AM

My must-have kitchen gadget = my husband :) We both cook and use many gadgets a lot, but his prowess in the kitchen is one of the reasons I married him.

trish t. | 9:54 AM

I must admit that I love our George Foreman grill. I live in the midwest and don't like the idea of outdoor grilling in -20 degree weather, so it definitely gets a lot of use!

Helen | 9:57 AM

I like your kitchen!
favourite gadget... blender for making smoothies. And I recently got a microplane grater - fun toy :)

Kate Giovinco Photography | 9:57 AM

I might have to get a juicer that looks pretty cool!

I love my mandolin! Love it!

Rochelle | 9:57 AM

Oh, how I've wanted that mixer since my parents got one 3 years ago. It's amazing. A-MA-ZING. My must have kitchen appliance is my dishwasher (even though I hate its inefficiency) and my coffee maker. Mmmmm, coffee.....

Anonymous | 9:57 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous | 9:59 AM

My go to gadget would have to be my Magic Bullet!! Ahh portion sizes were perfect for baby food and now even more perfect for an afternoon smoothie with the babes! :) This mixer matches my toaster!!! Love it! ~ Love your blog

krista | 10:00 AM

i need a blender. our last one lived a short but fruitful life, trying so so hard but never quite living up to its potential. **note to self: do NOT buy a cheap blender**
other than that, my kitchen must haves are (1) good knives and (2) toaster oven. i roast a lot of veggies and they come out so much more carmelized in a toaster oven than a regular oven.
p.s. the mixer would be a wonderful addition since the one i use is borrowed from a friend. i'm betting she would like to finally get it back. :-)
p.p.s. your kitchen makes feel all sorts of happy and covetous at the same time.

Mary | 10:00 AM

Before I got to the part where you wrote about the fridge, I seriously thought, "WOW. Nice gleaming fridge you've got there!" Even though we are homeowners, our kitchen has the same crappy yet functional fridge it had when I moved in, and I have fridge envy.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama | 10:02 AM

My dishwasher is, hands down, my fave appliance! But, I'd have to say I'm a sucker for adorable Japanese gadgets. Rice cookers that cook more kinds of rice than I've ever heard of, and the water heater thing-a-ma-bobs that keep your water ready for a cup of hot tea at a moments notice!

Brooke | 10:03 AM

i just got a juicer for my birthday! Any fabulous recipes are welcomed!

My kitchen wish would be for a gas stovetop/oven. I absolutely hate electric ranges...I feel as though cooking on it is a total waste of time. Or, at least that's my excuse : )

Christy | 10:03 AM

I love your kitchen. It's so cute.

I can't live without my food processor. I make graham crackers for my daughter and they would be next to impossible without it.

jinxy112 at gmail dot com

stephanie marie | 10:08 AM

Loving the new house! And that mixer! I am absolutely terrible at cooking, but at least my kitchen would look fabulous with a shiny red mixer. As for dishwasher is my favorite, of course!

Brooke | 10:08 AM

Oh i did this all wrong. I entered what I wish for in the kitchen, not my favorite gadget! It would have to be my food processor. I spoil our dog with ground chicken and cutting it up was such a chore! Then I remembered I had a food processor. Preparing JJ's meals is much easier now!

Roxanne Dubier | 10:10 AM

My favorite gadget? A Pampered Chef mini spatula. It's perfect for brownies, crescent rolls, hors d'oeuvres, and anything in between. I actually am on my third one! One disappeared while my mom was visiting, another disappeared during a party I had. I'm pretty sure they "walked off". For Christmas this year I'm getting everyone I know a mini spatula in hopes that mine stays put :-)

charlene | 10:10 AM

microwave... we live in a tiny apartment with zero counter space and were too cheap to buy one for a year and a half. Never knew how much you use one, till you don't have one!

A standing mixer would make life a breeze! I'll find counter space for it!

Jme | 10:10 AM

I have the same kitchen you described as your old one.. but no stove.. just a hot plate! haha

Leeshka | 10:10 AM

Oh, jeez, probably my new spiffy toaster with the bagel AND frozen setting. It's nothing super-fancy, but I love it.

Laura | 10:15 AM

I want that mixer! My favorite kitchen gadget is really low-tech, but I have a mini-spatula that I use all the time. It is perfect for getting out the first serving of a casserole or brownies or whatever.

TracyW | 10:20 AM

Amazing fridge! Having the freezer on the bottom makes complete sense! My favourite kitchen item would have to be my mixing bowl with a handle. Being a baker I have been through several bowls but having the handle there is so handy when you need to pour into the baking pan!

tcs | 10:22 AM

Hmmm, right now I'd say my salad spinner!

robin | 10:24 AM

I covet your fridge. Very nice. As I was reading about your former kitchen, then seeing your new kitchen, I could totally relate-we moved pretty recently from a tiny cramped apt with a terrible kitchen and ZERO counter space (the table was where I chopped) to a great old house with a massive kitchen and lots and lots of cupboards and space. Sigh. Only mine is nowhere near as clean as yours :)

My must-have kitchen gadget actually is my kitchenaid. I wonder if the kenmore is any better?

rutty1221 | 10:26 AM

I have some serious house envy here! Your home is perfect. Just perfect. :-)

My go-to kitchen gadget is my veggie steamer. My mom got it at a thrift shop YEARS ago, but it's still truckin'. Since I grew up in Southern California, I am ADDICTED to artichokes, and this steamer turns out some beauties. That, plus steamed broccoli, carrots, asparagus, etc.?? I'm salivating now.

Amy | 10:27 AM

Right now I'd have to say my grill pan - but is that really a gadget? But I love it more than anything else in my kitchen.

megan marie | 10:28 AM

blender, hands down. smoothies, soups, dressing, crumbling... I could do none of these things without my trusty blender!

Jinxi | 10:28 AM

Without a doubt, my coffee maker. It makes the whole day possible. ;)

Baby Z's Mom | 10:29 AM

Awesome kitchen, awesome house. Seeing pictures of your house makes me want to crawl thru the computer and come live there. It exudes home. The kithen gadget I can't live without is my santoku chef's knife. It gives me mad knife skills like a real chef. It grab it every time something needs cutting, dicing or chopping.

Goodness | 10:33 AM

I couldn't make it without my Kitchenaid blender - makes perfect smoothies (and margaritas.) Love the new kitchen!

Amanda | 10:35 AM

Such a beautiful home! Someday I would like to have a dishwasher that runs silently. And that works, ya know actually CLEANS the dishes. I love that mixer!

Emily | 10:36 AM

My cooking is still of the college-student sort. Most vital kitchen gadget? The coffee maker...self-explanatory.

Z | 10:39 AM

I have always ALWAYS wanted a mixer... As for kitchen gadgets, I love 'em all - but the one I use the most is a press-down chopper thing (not sure if it has an actual name) that is oh, so handy for onion-chopping without any tears ;)

Kitty | 10:39 AM

I'd have to say my immersion blender, which I use for smoothies, soups, mayonnaise, and just about anything else that possibly can be mixed without me hauling out my big blender.
Love your kitchen!

Portia | 10:43 AM

I'm going to have to go with my blender. It's so multi-functional and I wouldn't be able to make my awesome smoothies without it.

Gina | 10:45 AM

I love my kitchen-aid immersion blender. I use it for soup and sometimes on salsa when it's too chunky (I don't like chunky salsa).

Clara Womack Barksdale | 10:46 AM

Favorite gadget: snow cone maker. It has been such a fun thing for the kids (and my husband and me) this summer!

Jasmine | 10:47 AM

I love my vita-mix blender, I use it almost daily for green smoothies... And yes, you have a bad ass kitchen, mine is only one tiny square millimeter above chopping on the ironing board.

Ashley | 10:48 AM

I use my high sided All Clad Saute pan constantly, for eggs, for rice for pan fried anything. Distributes heat beautifully, which is great for my 30 year-old electric rental stove. Can't wait until I'm in a place where I can pick out my own appliances, I want a gas cook top.

birdette | 10:49 AM

My must-have is my food dehydrator. The constant hum of that baby can be heard year round as I make healthy snacks to keep me going.
I would love to add that beautiful red mixer to my kitchen gadget family.

smileyk76 | 10:50 AM

I love your kitchen and your house! My favorite kitchen gadget would have to be a tie between my potato masher and my meat masher from Pampered Chef. You can do sooo many things with those>

Catherine McNeur | 10:51 AM

My favorite gadget is a garlic press. Nothing better than being able to smoosh garlic with its skin on and have all that work done for you. I always thought these things were unnecessary until I owned one. LOVE it!

Cara | 10:51 AM

My "Baby Cook"... French gadget to make yummy homemade babyfood - steamer/mixer combo though I must admit to using it for myself sometimes : )

apricoco | 10:52 AM

My must have gadget.. Hmmm. I'm tempted to say the coffeemaker. We have both the electric and the french press. But, maybe that's not what you are looking for here... We aren't very gadget heavy (though I would LOVE to have that stand mixer) so my blender would probably be about it. We don't have a food processor either, so the blender does a lot of work!

ste | 10:52 AM

Our fridge could die any day because it makes funny noises and we have no idea how old it is. But currently, our must-have kitchen thing is a small pot because handle on the lid of our small pot (crap-ass pampered chef set)is gone and it is dangerous when we need to use it!

Tomorrow I'll be making Tuscan-style white beans I think.

Thanks for the contest!

ObiKate | 10:55 AM

Probably our Cuisinart, which as I googled the name to figure out the spelling, I realized that, wow, they are sure making them a lot more high-tech these days! Mine is a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law, and I'm pretty sure it was new in 1970. Still works though!

Other than that, I'm not real high-tech in the kitchen, would love, love, love a mixer, I've been doing more baking lately, and a dough hook would = heaven.

Stephanie Z | 10:55 AM

Beautiful kitchen! My must have gadget is my garlic press. As far as appliance it would have to be my stove. But I heart your fridge alot! :)

Amanda | 10:55 AM

My answer would be that mixer if I had one! Right now, it is a toss up between my salad scissors and my mezzaluna knife - perfect for cutting ground beef into small pieces for breakfast burritos, tacos, stuffed bell peppers, etc.

*Now I'm sure to be chosen because I've made the most uncool comment about ground beef. Oh well.

Amy K | 10:56 AM

My husband would be sooooo happy if we had a mixer! He's the cook in the family, but I'd say the thing he uses more than anything else in the kitchen is a non-stick silicone Chef'n Switchit spatula.

satiate | 10:59 AM

I can't survive without my vitamixer... it's amazing.

Mammy P | 11:04 AM

Can I just say? That fridge? Is like kitchen PORN for me. Living in the UK, our fridge is so frickin' teeny weeny... I would LOVE a massive fridge with compartments like that.

Holy shit - thunderclap realization? I like my fridges like I like purses and luggage. The more compartments the better! Drawers and pockets and hidey holes and DESIGNATED AREAS FOR SPECIFIC STUFF.



One Fine Thing | 11:06 AM

Pretty fridge! So shiny. My current must-have kitchen accessory is my lemon squeezer, so I can constantly have fresh-made lemonade syrup on hand.

K+S+J | 11:07 AM

I love, LOVE, my cheese grater with rubber feet :) We eat a whole lotta cheese in our house, so a killer cheese grater is a must!

Leslie M | 11:08 AM

Gotta go with the coffee maker...

The Hojo Family | 11:11 AM

For me, its a toss up! A must have in my kitchen is my espresso maker (LOOOVE it and it saves a ton of $$ on starbucks/coffee bean!) and my bread maker. I love making all kinds of bread!

Sarah | 11:13 AM

LOVE your kitchen!! My must have gadget is my set of white handled Cutco Knives! They are SUCH good knives and make everything easy to chop!

Lindsay | 11:14 AM

Probably my food processor - I only really use it when making hummus or macarons, but both are pretty much necessities in my life!

Also, your kitchen beautiful! My student-housing-style kitchen is pretty much a window-less closet, so yours is a dream!

Jacinta | 11:17 AM

I love our Beaba babycook. It steams veggies and then purees them for my little one. So much tastier and healthier than those jars of pre-made overcooked commercial babyfood. In the long run it's probably saved us a lot of money too. Awesome!

Rebecca | 11:17 AM

Um, a wooden spoon and an awesome set of Cutco knives. I had a hand-held mixer, and when I moved in with my now husband I lost one of the attachments. This mixer looks awesome :)

Unknown | 11:22 AM

I love my food processor. I was never able to get my mom's pie crust right until I got a food processor, now mine is better than hers. I don't have a mixer. I borrowed my neighbors to make pavlova for my cousins birthday last week. Wow- I don't know how I have survived so long without a mixer. I was dreading taking it back over to the neighbors house! :)

Carrie | 11:22 AM

I need a mixer. That is my next kitchen purchase.

Melt Momma's Heart | 11:23 AM

The Vitamix is one thing my fam can't live without. It will turn ANYTHING into a smoothie! Yum!

Hannah Faith | 11:27 AM

My juicer - there's nothing better in the summer than fresh squeezed lemons and limes.

SpillingOutBeautiful | 11:30 AM

I'm lusting over that mixer.

My fav kitchen gadget is my crepe maker.

It makes breakfast so simple and easy and the whole fam loves crepes.

(Waffle irons kick ass too)

Cara | 11:32 AM

We are on a tight budget, so my $30 Target espresso maker is a must. Not going out for life saving lattes has saved us a bundle!

Anonymous | 11:35 AM

It's gonna sound lame and boring, but my favourite kitchen gadget is my mini-chopper (food processor thingy). It's brill because chopping onions the old fashioned way causes buckets of tears to pour forth from my eyeballs.
I've recently dipped my toes into the world of wheat-free baking and would love a mixer!


I want to move in to your breakfast nook! What a great space!

I have so many favorite kitcheny things. I love my stick blender, but my Le Creuset teakettle (in green) lives on my stovetop, sees daily use, and just plain makes me smile!

Unknown | 11:36 AM

Our most used gadget is our rice maker. It's by far the handiest thing in our house- we eat rice like no body's business.

I also love my measuring cups, cutting boards, and my awesome knives. I know they aren't gadgets, but they are the items that are always dirty and I can't own enough of.

One day I hope to own a fridge like yours. And a mixer like the one you're giving away! I'd love to make my own bread!!!

blair | 11:36 AM

Favorite kitchen appliance? Toaster oven! Perfectly warm and toasted leftover pizza? Check. Impromptu s'mores? Check. The question is what can't you cook perfectly in the toaster oven.

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