12 August 2011

putting the kitsch in kitchen

Sorry about the long hiatus kiddies.  It's been super hot and I've had the dreaded Summer cold that has pretty much kept me in the bed and resisting blogging because it tends to require too much thinking.  But it hasn't kept me out of the kitchen, so stick around for a few belated bloggings about my recent culinary creations.  While I was being lazy though, something interesting did happen.  After three years of living in the same apartment, I decided to sign a lease to make it four.  Wow!  I've been in the city for awhile and it feels kind of awesome that I haven't moved around too much.  Instead, I've created a cozy little home for myself in my own corner of Brooklyn.  With that in mind, I've decided to make it even more my own and redecorate the one room that has managed to escape the paint roller - my kitchen.  How I haven't already taken on the task is a bit of a mystery.  I suppose I spend so much time in there cooking and baking and experimenting that I haven't really had time to think about how it looked.  Or maybe all of the surfaces have been too covered in flour and sauces to see what's really underneath.  I must be nuts to have let this go on for so long.  The current kitchen is drab and messy and nothing matches! Yuck!

But I've found inspiration - in my KitchenAid mixer!  I was mixing up some pink icing awhile ago for a pink lemonade cake, when I had a vision of pistachios, sea foams, avocados and flamingos.  Images of 1950s Boca and Miami fluttered about in my head and an inspiration was born!  The tacky wood paneling, the black and white tiles, the abundance of daytime sunlight!  It was as though I had just stepped out of an old issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

it all starts with icing

So I searched around the internet for a bit and found some great pictures that captured exactly what I was envisioning.  Of course I got a little carried away with myself and started imagining floor plans and countertops, deep sinks, top-of-the-line appliances... my brain started filling with imaginary images of my dream kitchen.  Seriously, I started going a little Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors.

But it doesn't have to be completely imaginary.  My dream kitchen could be something I work towards, more of a goal kitchen with an update (or maybe a flashback) of my current kitchen being a trial run, or a baby step.  With that in mind, I got in touch with my gal LK of Elle Kay Interiors and enlisted her interior design genius to help me come up with some ideas that could help me fix up my current kitchen and some bigger ideas for fun and future planning!  While I keep dreaming, she's busy whipping up some images and ideas about kitchen design for me and you dear readers.  That's right, keep an eye out for another guest post!  Yay, we love guest posts.  But while LK is doing her homework, we should all enjoy these last few weeks of summer (nooooo!) and dabble in another sip & sweet recipe and enjoy the inspirational pinkness of this pink lemonade cake -

pink lemonade cake
2 1/2 c sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 milk
1/2 c fresh lemon juice
neon pink food coloring
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 c pink lemonade powder (I used Country Time)
1/2 c confectioner's sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.  In a mixer, beat butter and lemon zest until light and fluffy.  Slowly beat in the sugar until well blended.  One at a time, add the eggs and beat on a medium speed for about 2-3 minutes or until the mix looks fluffy.
2. Beat about a quarter of the dry ingredients in with the creamy mix, then add all of the milk and continue to beat until well combined.
3. Alternating between lemon juice and dry mix, add the remaining ingredients beginning and ending with the dry mix.  Blend well and add food coloring a drop at a time while continuing to mix, until you've reached the right pink.
4. Pour batter evenly into two greased and floured 8" cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, and cool completely before icing.
1. Blend the ingredients together until light, fluffy and tasty.  Don't be afraid to add a little more lemonade powder or sugar until you get the right taste.  You can also add food coloring if the powder doesn't add enough color for your taste.
*A quick note on the icing: I was trying to make a combo meringue butter cream icing for this because I kind of wanted it to look cloud-like and dreamy, but I think the combination of extreme Summer heat in my kitchen and the lemonade mix messed it up because it wasn't staying stiff enough and I ended up making a regular old butter cream.  But don't fret, I'm going to keep trying and will definitely get it right and keep you posted.

I'm going to leave you with a reminder and a fun fact - Don't forget to keep an eye out for our upcoming guest post from Ms. LK of Elle Kay Interiors; check out her blog, too - she's got a heck of an eye!  parter with the finale being the final result of my kitchen redo!  And your fun fact - it is rumored that pink lemonade was invented by a circus concession man named Pete Conklin who sold peanuts and lemonade.  One day, he used water that had been dyed from one of the horse rider's red tights to mix with his lemons and the end result was a pretty and popular pink!  Gross or awesome?  A little of both?  I think I'll stick with my Country Time powder.

1 comment:

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