This is my view from my kitchen stove....pleasant! There is a lovely, lush, green park and doggy run in front of our new building. Where the crane is they are building a Fresh Market and that small highrise behind it is actually where the ocean is. (Our building is on Biscayne Bay) It's the historical Fontainebleu and Eden Roc Hotels where the Rat Pack, Lucy and Ricky Arnez and Jackie Gleason played and relaxed. Cool.
Darlings! Well, it only took almost 30 years of living in rented homes with crappy, dingy, little kitchens where yours truly had to do a lot of compromising that I FINALLY gots my own fabulous cucina!
Even Moi was surprised to see the tiny galley cubby hole of a kitchen La Diva prepared her divine dinners in when she came for a visit the Spring before last....much too small, cooking in it was a constant challenge. Every time La Diva or the DJ would open a cupboard, an avalanche of goods would come tumbling out...plastic containers, spices and even ceramic bowls (which even though it sounds very I-Love-Lucy-like, in actuality, it was not funny, the bowls hit me in my hard Diva head and broke! They were nice pasta bowls from Italy too.)
This is what the kitchen floors looked like before we put in the cork, dingy, hard depressing and not done very well cement floors that I HATED. I had my doubts that the sellers had them done professionally and in an effort to save money (to pay for the kitchen!) they might have "finished" it themselves. And you could certainly tell! Cement is a very unforgiving medium for a floor and especially so for a cook with bad feet. The cork is so much better and more comfy to stand on for hours when I have to cook for my classes or parties, not to mention the brightness and light it adds to all the rooms.
The sliding glass door is the only "wall" in my kitchen. It's so nice to be able to open the door when I'm cooking and get fresh air. And of course, we have many meals out on the balcony, so it's also very convenient!
My fabulous new kitchen includes: KitchenAid appliances, lacquered white and solid wooden cupboards from Italy, glass tile and blue oahu quartz countertops. Nice.
And on top of that, my kitchen is BLUE! I love all blues and I have a counter top that is all sparkly and full of all different blues and reminds me of the sea. Perfect for a water baby Diva!
When we were looking at properties initially, a quality, NEW and modern kitchen was a HUGE selling point to me and I knew I wanted this place as soon as I saw it! In fact, we only looked at three condos before we made an offer on this one. It was a relief that we didn't have to refurbish the kitchen as the previous owners claimed to have spent $50K on the kitchen alone, which was a bit crazy to me considering some, ahem, "shortcuts" they took in outfitting their home. We bought the house in a short sale and got a bargain as the lowest priced condo sold in an expensive building for years! Thank you, Stephen Anderson, our realtor for finding this gem!
According to the previous owner, this sink and faucet cost $1500 alone. I LOVE the deep sink, it's perfect for cleaning my big catering tubs and pots. I also love the wall railing system they put in around the kitchen to save counter top space.
The wall rack system allows me to keep things handy that I use all the time like oils and spices yet allows for more counter space underneath! Now all I need is one to hold my knives and cleaver and my kitchen will be complete.
In my new kitchen, I want my counters FREE and CLEAN for prepping and serving food. The only thing that will live on it is my food processor. And there is another handy wall rack. It took me three weeks to figure out that it was for paper toweling and cling/foil wrap as nothing else would fit in it! Doh!
And there is my new pot rack! Yippeeee!!! And yes, that IS a little tv! They had the wiring already there and a hole in the tile, so why the hell not?! I actually like having the news and weather on sometimes but the other day when I was prepping for a class, I enjoyed listening to Chef Gordon Ramsay tear strips off some poor bum of a restaurant owner! haha!
This exhaust hood and extension was also very expensive but really was overkill considering I could only use it to recirculate. That's kind of like having a Hummer to do the job that could be handled by a Volkswagen Beetle. I felt it really overpowered the kitchen and glad I took it down.
Out it came and my contractors built a cupboard offering a much more reasonable solution, a microwave with a recirculating fan instead. The hood is for sale on Craigslist!
A place for everything and everything in its place....
In my last place, I really beat up the insides of my pot cupboard struggling to get them out every time I needed to cook dinner. Oh, and see my pretty floors? See them? You can biggify and look even closer, if you want! (C'mon, I know you do, Nosy Parker!)
Ahhh.......nice organized drawers that easily pull out! No. More. Struggling!
I LOVE the pullout pantry drawers too. One thing I hate is to DIG in a cupboard and having to pull things out to see what one really has. This will allow for me to utilize all my dry goods and take stock instead of forgetting about what's been sitting in the back for months! Yay! No more rice and pasta avalanches!
The DJ put this rack in for me that I brought from the old place and makes it easy for me to seek out the proper vinegar from over a dozen varieties! A cooking Diva can never have too many vinegars, oils and sauces!
This KitchenAid dishwasher runs so quietly that I had to put my ear up to it to make sure it was actually working the first time I ran it! Having a reliable dishwasher that actually works after my last dishwasher fiasco with Frigidaire is a dream. After hours on the phone and three visits from really useless repairmen, Frigidaire replaced my brand new lemon with another lemon, and I had to rewash my dishes every day for a year with two "brand new" dishwashers until I realized that moving to a new place would actually be easier than calling and fighting with Frigidaire for a third dishwasher.
I just bought these herbs and am hoping that two hours of sun daily will be enough for them to grow so that I can just walk out and snip what I need.
Do you see that? NO, THAT! The ICE MAKER...YES! That is called a "marriage saver" as one of the things I used to get ticked at the DJ over was there was never any ice or room in the freezer to make ice! No more fights over who was going to fill the ice tray and no more spilled water in my freezer!
It's a JOY to be in my kitchen now. Every day I'm so grateful that after all of these years of putting up with crappy little kitchens, I finally have a beautiful, workable kitchen of quality that I will enjoy for years to come.
The La Diva Cucina tour is now complete. I hope you enjoyed your visit here today and thanks for stopping by, darlings! xo