Vegan MoFo #1: Kitchen Tour

I’m suppose I’m fashionably late to starting MoFo on this blog, but here we are!
My theme this year is documenting the cookbook writing process from my 375 square foot apartment (not sure how big the kitchen is, but less than half of that!). I’ll go over recipe writing, recipe failures, photoshoots, organizing recipes, testing, some blurbs on the actual publishing process, and staying sane throughout it all while going to school full time, doing MoFo on my other blog as well, making progress on the book, and having something like a social life. Writing this book is going to be a little trickier. When I wrote the cookie book, I was living with my parents, a dishwasher, and lots of ingredients, and high school is EASY. Now, I obviously don’t have a lot of space or a car, and photography school is difficult and time consuming. When winter rolls around, the last thing I want to do is go on grocery store runs (bus rides) in the freezing cold. There will be lots of yelling of expletives when I realize I don’t have any powdered sugar, or spill something because I put it too close to an edge, which happens all the time! Luckily, I find myself spending the majority of my food money on flour, sugar, Earth Balance, or crazy baking supplies I want to try out. I don’t have the fanciest dinners most of the time because I HATE doing dishes, but I always do them because it would be gross if I didn’t. I don’t mind doing dishes when it’s cleaning up after baking because cake batter washes off bowls and utensils easily, but with food, that shit gets crusted onto pans and takes a lot of scrubbing to not smell like whatever was cooking. Lately, I’m a big fan of roasting vegetables on a sheet of foil (no cleanup!). But I digress.

The theme for the book this time is baked goods inspired by drinks, so when I have extra time at the grocery store, I’ll look through the soda and tea and coffee aisles at all the different drinks and think about how they would translate into a baked good. I’ve been doing the same thing at coffee shops and with drink menus at restaurants. When it comes to the baked goods based on alcohol drinks, sometimes including liquor in the baked good isn’t necessary, but when it is, planning out those recipes is going to be a whole lot easier now since I turned 21 last week. No more asking people to buy me a bottle of wine and then having to think about how to ration it for a batch of cupcakes so I don’t run out and have to wait until the next time I can get a bottle. And I always feel really bad whenever I have to ask people for favors! So what I’m saying is, the tequila can be free flowing during a baking session because I can just go buy more! Actually, not really. I screw up measurements when I’m not drunk so I don’t like to add fuel to the flame. And I’m not huge on drinking. One of the most exciting things about my birthday was “OMG, I could eat vegan bar food on a regular basis now!”

So for this series of MoFo, I thought I’d start out with a tour of my kitchen and baking supplies. I have two cabinets in my Barbie Dream Kitchen devoted to baking and cake decorating. I lucked out with this apartment since most studio apartments don’t have full kitchens, but mine has a kitchen area and dining space, which is important.

This is my kitchen table. Normally, I don’t sit at it for meals (that dining space was super important, huh?), in favor of the couch by my computer. But I do like to change up the table settings a lot because it’s really fun for me to find new plates, teapots, antiques, and stuff like that, then create a display. I’m also dealing with still life in the domestic space for my art photography work (which never sees the light of the internet) right now, so I’ve been creating new spaces and set ups in my kitchen a lot.

This is the kitchen area. The apartment building was built in the 1930s and it hasn’t changed since then. I even have an functioning icebox which I don’t use because I, uh, have a refrigerator. The icebox is the cabinet below the sink and to the right. It’s used to store bags of flour right now. The glass cabinets in the pillars are used to store my spice collection, mugs/cups/plates (which regrettably have the essence of curry now from being under the spice drawer. Looking to change that set up), teas, and cake decorating stuff in the other glass cabinet.

Microwave, Rishi Teas (local!): Chocolate Chai, Black Tea, Blueberry Rooibos.

Sugar and flour, coffee maker, more tea (and in the cabinet below), basil/cardamom/orange ginger/vanilla bean infused sugars made by my friend Stephanie, Emergen-C from earlier this month when I got strep twice, and wine and chocolate because I’m a fancy gal.

Cake decorating cabinet. L-R, then top-bottom: India Tree sprinkles, Wilton Sugar Pearls (no confectioner’s glaze!), lustre dust, Wilton Food Coloring, a paintbrush, cupcake liners, cookie sticks and cocktail umbrellas, pastry bags, candles, apple cake toppers, Satin Ice fondant, balloons, cookie icing, gummy stars (yummy candy from Whole Foods, but I’ve used them on top of cupcakes), pepper mill (don’t ask), licorice scotty dogs from Trader Joe’s, squeeze bottle, pre-cut 8″ circle cake parchment, mostly broken food processor, mini cake pans, cake bottom things, and dinosaur cake/cookie boxes. I have a really random, kinda small collection and always looking for more stuff.

My oven. That tape measure reads 19 inches across.

KitchenAid, which I just got a couple months ago as a generous gift from my friend Jess who had an extra one!

I present you with the grossest sink ever. I clean it everyday but it still looks gross no matter what.

This is my recipe bulletin board. All the recipes written on the paper slips are color coded by type of dessert with the thumbtacks. There’s an “ideas” section, “recipes in testing” section, and completed recipes are denoted by the side of the paper the thumbtack is on. And a Vegan Milwaukee sticker on the weird circle-y thing on the wall.

I used to have a bunch of zines lined up on that ledge, but they kept falling onto the stove and that was not good because the pilot light is REALLY hot all the time. The last zine standing is Don’t Eat Off The Sidewalk, issue 2.

My baking cabinet. There’s lots of random stuff in there such as three kinds of rosewater, lavender buds, matcha, cacao nibs, cola extract, ice cream extract (I can’t get that bottle open!), agar, pomegranate molasses, pink salt…

Grains, spices (maybe I’ll move the rest of my spices into here!), sauces, nooch

Beans, canned goods, breakfast-y food, snacks

Refrigerator exterior, complete with a card signed from my landlady’s cats

Ted Leo ticket stub and magnetic letters

Top of the fridge. Glasses, plates, some zines (the rest fell off)

Inside of the fridge. You caught me on a day far away from my last grocery shopping trip. And I don’t normally have a giant box with a white chocolate biscoff cheesecake in my fridge made by Jess, but a girl can dream.

Veggie bin, chocolate bin including truffles from Canary Confectionery

Milks, grape soda from when I made grape soda cupcakes (which will be in one of these upcoming posts!). I also bought root beer and cream soda that day for cakes, which will also be a MoFo post.

Pots n pans

So, I hope you enjoyed this look into my kitchen. It’s nothing fancy by any means, but it’s where I’ve been baking and photographing for the past year almost. I even made deep fried yeasted donuts in here. Kitchen space shouldn’t be a limitation!

14 thoughts on “Vegan MoFo #1: Kitchen Tour

  1. I also have an old enamel sink that gets gross. Mine isn’t cracked, but it is scratched and gets stained pretty easily. I have found that a scoop or two of Shaklee’s Nature Bright laundry booster (“natural enzymes and active oxygen”) in a sink of water over night makes it look almost like new…until the next time. I generally spruce it up for company and when I just can’t take it any more. It’s amazing what a difference it makes in the way the kitchen looks. I haven’t tried OxyClean which is similar, I think, and easier to find in regular stores in the US.

  2. Possibly excluding the sink, your tiny kitchen is hella adorable. I love the yellow wall. And you’re completely right, space shouldn’t be a limitation! I had a cubicle kitchen for a couple years (though not as small as yours), and even though I longed for a huge, well-lit and spacious kitchen, it was completely functional.

  3. You really make the best of your space! I’ll never complain about my small kitchen again–I just need to re-organize. Also, I’m honored that you have a Vegan Milwaukee sticker on your weird circle-y thing :^)

  4. Thanks for the tour – I love to take a peek in other people’s kitchens and I especially love older kitchens even with manky sinks – love your little dining table and how you store everything – my kitchen is small though not tiny but it is still jam packed with stuff! BTW I always thought an icebox was the same as a refridgerator – now I will have to look this up

  5. The studio apartment I lived in in college had a kitchen that was smaller than the closet in the apartment. It was just wide enough to be able to turn around in (and I’m a petite person.) There were no drawers, and the (mini) refrigerator was this tiny little thing built into the cabinetry, and you pushed a silver button to open it. I have very fond memories of that little retro kitchen!

  6. This reminds me so much of my first apartment- our bathroom sink even looked just like yours! And I have that same ‘Republicans for Voldemort’ sticker in my cubicle at work.

  7. My flat was built in the 1930s too. The kitchen’s so small I’ve made the coat cupboard in the hall into a pantry! Thanks for sharing it’s always fascinating to see others people’s cooking spaces and you’re right lack of space is no limitation!

  8. Pingback: Thanksgiving 2011 « Seitan Beats Your Meat

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