Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Eight Years Old (and Kalyn Gets a New Kitchen!)

(Eight-Candle Cake Image from Bruce's Birthday Images and Links)

When I sat down at the computer and wrote this post eight years ago, I couldn't imagine what an adventure I was starting with this little food blog.  Since then I've retired after 30 years of teaching, met a lot of fellow food bloggers and become real-life friends with some of them, been inspired by the amazing women at BlogHer, been a speaker at a few food blogging conferences, remodeled my 100 year old house in Salt Lake City, got an amazing stove, built a raised-bed garden,  and started a second blog focused on Slow Cooker from Scratch recipes.

I've written 1,958 posts on Kalyn's Kitchen in eight years (!) and I'm grateful I now have a fabulous web designer as well as my nephew/cooking assistant Jake, who helps me test recipes to make sure they work when you try them in your own kitchen!   I also appreciate the ongoing design help from my brother Rand, who originally suggested I start a blog (and how can I ever thank him for that?)  Rand has created all the headers and other graphics you've seen on the blog through the years. 

Eight years have brought a lot of changes, and this year I decided on another big change and bought a bigger house in the town where I grew up north of Salt Lake.  As hard as it was to leave the house and garden I had lovingly refurbished and a neighborhood filled with nice people, from the time my father died in early 2011, I wanted a house big enough for my whole extended family to gather.  I found a wonderful house that's perfect for having family and friends over, and since I've been promising to share kitchen photos, that seems like a fun way to celebrate eight years of food blogging.  

But before I get to the photos, I want to give a big Thank You to my readers.  Without readers and your encouragement and comments there would be no incentive to keep blogging, and I'm tremendously grateful for the support you've given my humble little blog.  In last year's anniversary post on Seven Things I Know About Food Blogging, I mentioned my goal of staying focused on things that are useful for readers, and I'm hoping I can continue doing that for many more years to come!

And now, on to the new kitchen!

The new house has a garden, but it's nothing like the garden I left behind, and building a new garden space will be a project for next summer.  In the meantime, I always wanted a warm window where I could grow herbs, so I'm loving this spot in the new kitchen.  So far I have basil, rosemary, cilantro, mint, and parsley, and I'm hoping I can keep some of them going during the winter.

The new kitchen has big windows so there's plenty of light for food photos (and actually too much light at certain times of the day).  I'm not a good enough photographer to really capture the view, but I can see mountains and even the Great Salt Lake from my windows!  (When I save some money I have plans for a square table that seats eight, which will fit perfectly in this space.)

I always wanted a rack to hang knives, but until now I never had a kitchen with a spot that would work.  After I realized I had the perfect place for one in the new kitchen, I read the reviews and found this Magnetic Knife Bar at Amazon.com, with ultra strong magnets that keep my knives handy and out of the way.  It's the little things like this that make a kitchen easy to work in, and I love this knife rack!

I also love my new fridge with french doors on top, a refrigerator drawer in the middle, and a big freezer drawer on the bottom.  (Two of my sisters have this type of fridge, and even though it was kind of a splurge I am so glad I got this for the new house.)

When I started looking for a house, one of the things on my "must have" list was a kitchen island where people can sit and talk to you while you're cooking.  I love this island in the new kitchen, and even though the gas cooktop is not as powerful as the fabulous stove I left behind, it feels like a good trade-off to have a kitchen that's so perfect for having guests.  (And yes, I am really cooking here, which you can tell by the knife and veggies I left out in this photo.  Oops.)

In my old house I had wonderful pan racks, designed by my brother-in-law Kelly for the first remodel and then updated by my contractors when I got the professional stove.  The same contractors who did those house renovations installed pan racks in the new house for me.  They're high enough in the window that they still leave plenty of room to enjoy the view, but not so high that I can't reach the pans; very important!  (I highly recommend this contractor if you're in Utah; click the link above to get their contact info.)

It's ironic that the kitchen has a double oven, since I'm not really much of a baker.  But I'm hatching a plan with some of my sisters to invite their grandkids to come here and decorate cookies at the kitchen island, so maybe having two ovens will come in handy.  And I also need to figure out what to put in those narrow little shelves left of the ovens, but the food processor spot is pretty nice. 

And finally, I love it that there's a deck right off the kitchen where I can keep my gas grill year round.  In fact, after I had looked at this house several times, discovering the natural gas hook-up for a grill on that deck was the deciding factor that made me realize I was meant to live in this house!

What Do You Love (or Hate) About Your Own Kitchen?
I hope you enjoyed this little peek at my new kitchen, which may be the best blog birthday present I've ever gotten.  And now I'd love to hear from you in the comments about the things you love (or hate) about your own kitchen!  

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More Blog Anniversary Posts:
Kalyn's Kitchen Turns One
Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Two
Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Three
Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Four
Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Five
Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Six 
Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Seven

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78 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Kalyn, on eight fabulous years of blogging, and lots of joy with the great new kitchen with the deck right outside!

    I have learned so much from you over the years. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and the fantastic recipes that grow out of it. I am so grateful to have found you.

    Cheers and best wishes,
    Merisi

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  2. Merisi, and thank you for the sweet comment! So glad it has been helpful for you.

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  3. P.S.:
    Kalyn, have you read about Dr. Robert Lustig's research and his book "Fat Chance"? I highly recommend it.

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  4. Congrats! You write one of my favorite blogs. Your kitchen is awesome! Many more happy blogging years to you!! Thank you!

    Michelle*

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  5. Merisi, just ordered it! Thanks.

    Thanks Michelle; really appreciate the support.

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  6. Beautiful! I love the plants in the window. I also have the magnetic strip for my kitchen knives and I absolutely love it.

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  7. I feel like such a "pro" with that knife rack, love it here too!

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  8. Gorgeous kitchen, Kalyn. Looks like the kitchen of my dreams. :)

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  9. Happy eighth birthday! I don't comment very often, but please know that I read every single post and have gotten so many wonderful recipes from you that I've lost count. Also, I am very envious of your kitchen.

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  10. Wow! 8 years! How exciting. Congrats on everything Kalyn. Have loved your blog for years. ;)

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  11. Happy magic 8! Your blogging journey continues to inspire me, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to revel in your new kitchen. Congratulations, and many thanks, for all you have done for the food blog world. I treasure our friendship, and I have blogging to thank for that.

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  12. Congratulations! and thank you for the recipe and all the inspirations. So grateful to you.

    I love love everything about that kithcen - the heart of a home. The saddle stools I love and the knives and the island, the cabinets and the marvelous view!!

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  13. Gorgeous house, gorgeous kitchen, gorgeous Aunt!

    My kids would love to make cookies with you anytime :)

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  14. Kalyn, congratulations on both your house and achieving such a huge blogging milestone!

    Your kitchen island is gorgeous, and I'm uber-impressed with your lovely kitchen view--- that would have been the selling point for me!

    I am so grateful to you for being such a wonderful mentor and role-model. lots of love, and continued success.

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  15. Thanks everyone for the nice thoughts. It is reminding me that it's the people you meet that's the very best thing about blogging.

    Lydia, ditto for me!

    Kara, can't wait to make cookies with the kids!

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  16. Congrats on the anniversary and new kitchen! Looks like you'll be doing some fine entertaining.

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  17. Congratulations on 8 years! Have learned a lot over the years from you and your blog! Love the new kitchen. What I want most in MY kitchen--a double oven! That's because I AM a baker and my oven has been giving me fits and is old. Time to upgrade.

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  18. Congratulations Kalyn! Your new house is so beautiful with those views, light and such an open, airy feeling. And, Happy 8th Anniversary :)

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  19. Your kitchen is gorgeous. Congratulations on 8 years!

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  20. Congratulations! I love the view and all the natural light.

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  21. Congratulations on eight years, my friend! Can't believe my nine year blogaversary is coming up next month... :o) I just love your new kitchen - especially that *view* - just gorgeous :)

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  22. Happy 8th birthday!
    I just adore that view you have from your dining table. Such a wild expanse beyond...

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  23. Yeah Aunt Kalyn! We are so proud of you and all the hard work you've put into everything! Love you tons!

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  24. Congratulations on your 8th blog birthday Kalyn - I am so glad to have met you and gotten to know you better. You have been such an inspiration from the first day I started blogging. The views from your kitchen are beautiful - I hope you are enjoying your new home.

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  25. Congratulations on 8 years of successful blogging Kalyn!! Your kitchen looks amazing. Perfect for making all those healthy dishes and developing recipes. You will LOVE having 2 ovens on holidays where you can cook turkey on one.

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  26. One of the best things about blog anniversaries is hearing from so many people. Thanks for the good wishes everyone. BTW, the view outside the kitchen windows is Forest Service land, so I will never have another house there to block my view. I see deer and squirrels quite often.

    Thanks Becca, love you!

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  27. So nice to see your new space! If the cooktop is your biggest complaint, you've got it made! Thanks for the recipes so far!

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  28. I didn't realize you had been blogging that long. Congratulations on your 8 year birthday!

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  29. My favorite part of your new home is the huge windows in the kitchen! I love the view and all that light. So cheerful and bright!

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  30. Congratulations on your new house and eight years of blogging. I haven't been reading your blog for long so there is a lot for me to catch up on. :-) Your blog caught my eye when I was looking at images of mini frittata. The photos for this recipe on your blog where by far the best and that's how I found you!

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  31. Congratulations on eight great years and on the new kitchen! Your blog is seriously one of my absolute favorites, and the only one that I have kept up with for years. I remember I found it in 2008 when I was using South Beach to prepare for my wedding and it has remained my go-to spot for healthy and delicious meals.

    Thank you for your recipes and thank you for blogging.

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  32. Hi--I've never posted before, but I read your blog every day--you are a tried and true resource for my family, and I enjoy your writing very much. You've inspired me to try new things in my quest to keep dieting/South Beaching interesting :)

    Congratulations on your new house--the kitchen is gorgeous! I'm so excited for you! :)

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  33. What a lovely kitchen - and a view to die for!

    Thanks for sharing your home with us and thanks for all the lovely recipes.

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  34. Wow I love the view from your kitchen! Congratulations on making 8 years, I really enjoy reading your blog so I hope it will still be here for many years to come :)

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  35. Congratulations, Kalyn, on your 8th year of food blogging! That is awesome.
    Love the look of your new bright kitchen...and your herb garden pots in the window with a view!
    Cheers, Wanda

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  36. Congrats on the new kitchen! Oh my would I love that! I love your kitchen -- double ovens, granite counters, herbs, and everything else! There isn't anything to love in my kitchen really. I live in Ukraine. It's so tiny, 2 people cannot pass each other and there isn't room for everything. My appliances stink. What can I say? I need a new kitchen, which means a new house, and normal (American) appliances!

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  37. Congrats Kalyn!! The new kitchen is gorgeous!!

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  38. Happy 8th anniversary! Your new place is gorgeous! I love the views and so wonderful to have so much space for all those herbs and veggies - and how lovely to be closer to family.

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  39. How nice to wake up to so many nice comments. And thanks for all the good thoughts about my kitchen. I do love the new house, but most of all because of the way it has room for more of my family!

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  40. Dear Kalyn, Congrats on your 8 years of food blogging. Nice that you shared your new kitchen with us ... now we can visualize you in there making all those healthy, delicious recipes. LOVE your appetizing, step by step photos. Keep up the good work! Jan

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  41. Congratulations on eight fabulous years, Kalyn! Kalyn's Kitchen is one of the first blogs I read when I first got into blogging seven+ years ago, and you've always been a great inspiration. Best wishes on your new home and on many years of delicious blogging to come.

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  42. Congratulations on 8 wonderful years and on your gorgeously functional new kitchen! Thank you for your recipes and tips which have added so many healthy delicious dishes to my meals! I have never found a bad one on your blog..delicious!

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  43. Oh, Kalyn, I've been looking for a knife magnet!
    Thanks, for the link. I'm ordering it now.

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  44. Congratulations! I'm always so glad that I found your blog. Some of your recipes have now become our family favorites, and my family thinks of them as "ours!" I even served the Hungarian Pot Roast to my sister in law for her special 65th birthday dinner! Your new house looks wonderful, and yes I do envy that gorgeous, big kitchen. My little galley kitchen has served us well for 26 years now but I still dream of having a big island someday :)

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  45. Congratulations on 8 fantastic years, Kalyn and that beautiful beautiful kitchen is well-deserved. I hope it brings you wonderful times with friends and family and good food.

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  46. Happy 8 years! And congratulations on your new house and kitchen! I love it!! Thanks for always sharing your knowledge and talents!

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  47. Kayln,
    Congrats on the eight years of blogging! Your new kitchen is beautiful and I hope you make many wonderful memories in it as you did in your old house. A new adventure for you! Keep on bring those lovely recipes.

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  48. Congratulations on 8 wonderful years! I've only discovered you within the last year, but I love your blog, and your recipes are becoming some of my "go to" ones.
    And kudos on that gorgeous kitchen! It's great to have a kitchen that you love. When we moved into our house in Ann Arbor 22 years ago, it had a typical, 70's kitchen with dark cabinets, no counter space and patterned wallpaper everywhere! A kitchen remodel was the first thing we did, and although there's not room for a kitchen island, we were able to push a wall back so now there's room for 3 people to cook at once without banging into each other, and things are mostly in the "right" space where I can put my hands on them quickly (including a knife rack like yours!) I call it my "better homes and gardens kitchen", and I love it just as much today as I did 20 years ago!

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  49. It was such an honor to get to be on the BlogHer food blogging panel with you oh-so-many years ago. Who knew then that food blogging was on the verge of a major explosion! Your blog remains one of the few I keep reading because of the consistently professional yet personable way you write it. Here's to the next 8 years! (And PS--thanks for once again giving me kitchen envy! Love it!)

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  50. Congrats, Kalyn! Your kitchen looks amazing. That fridge!

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  51. I am so touched by all the nice comments, and it's fun to hear from so many readers and fellow bloggers I've "met" through the years. And I do feel blessed to have such a great kitchen!

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  52. Lovely morning read with my first cuppa, Kalyn. And congrats to you on your new home and beautiful kitchen. The view and light from those windows is amazing! I think I'd have a whole different reason to be off task every day standing in front of them, or being on that patio. Loved remembering the remodel work at your old house, and smiled over the photos of all the conference shots. Fun! Here's to another milestone. Sending hugs.

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  53. You really are amazing, Kalyn! Eight years here and now over a year with your new blog, and you're never disappointed us! Big, big congrats to you, dear!

    I LOVE your new house. After seeing that view and reading in comments that it will always stay that way, I totally see why you couldn't resist this house. I'm so happy for you!

    Shirley

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  54. Happy Bloggiversary!! I love your new kitchen- it is perfect for you. As for my kitchen I love my vintage green cabinets and pendant light over my sink. I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that I don't have a dishwasher. I try and stay positive and use the time as a peaceful pause in the day.

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  55. I am so grateful for your blog. It is my go-to place for yummy vegetable recipes. As a low-carber, it is very important to me to find ways to add variety in the vegetable dishes. The fresh herbs in your recipes are wonderful! I also enjoyed your gardening posts. I'm going to try to grow those round zucchinis you always write about.

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  56. Congratulations! Your low carb recipes have been such a blessing; I use your recipes ALL THE TIME!

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  57. Not only have you done it, you've done it with consistent grace. Congratulations Kalyn! You are an inspiration to us all. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  58. Thanks again to everyone for making my blog birthday so much fun!

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  59. Happy, happy Blog Birthday!!!
    And what a wonderful way to celebrate. Your new kitchen is gorgeous! What a joy it must be to cook there - esp. with that view.

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  60. Your new kitchen is beautiful! And so is the rest of the house. :) So glad I have been able to connect with you over the years and that you've become one of my cherished friends--IRL and in Blogland.

    Love you, Kalyn! You're wonderful and Happy 8th Anniversary!

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  61. Thanks Katie! It's been a long time hasn't it?

    Love you too Lindsey; so glad we are real-life friends now!

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  62. Happy blog-anniversary Kalyn! I am a relatively new reader (I was so happy to find your how to make perfect grilled chicken breasts recipe about a year ago!) I have become a way better cook thanks to you! I always learn from your posts, always written with great heart and great skill. (Also, a shout-out to Jake, your collaborator!) Congratulations on your new house and kitchen and view!

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  63. Love the new kitchen. Little nooks where you have your food processor, would make a lovely spot for recipe books.

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  64. Happy Birthday to your wonderful blog. And congratulations on your new home and beautiful kitchen. How exciting!

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  65. Thanks Lawchick, Meeganjae, and mom. And putting cookbooks in those little nooks by the food processor is probably perfect for a "normal" person, but I have 3 full bookcases of cookbooks (they are in my office.) Still experimenting with those little spots!

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  66. Congratulations! On eight years of blogging (I can't believe we've been blogging that long), on the tremendous success of Kalyn's Kitchen, on your gorgeous new dream house, on your fantabulous kitchen. I am so happy for you. And that view is truly breathtaking! xoxo

    P.S. I've been using that exact same knife bar for 20+ years and love it.

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  67. Happy Blogversary, Kalyn's Kitchen! And congratulations, Kalyn for maintaining consistently great blog posts for 8 years! I still remember the early days when you were so kind to link to one of my recipes and that's how I discovered yours. Then the Herb Blogging events that you hosted where I always found inspiration. I have been sporadic in my blogging and bloghopping the last few years, but thanks to facebook, I remain updated on your posts and still visit your blog every time one of them catches my attention. Your new slow-cooker blog also got me interested in using mine again.

    So, THANK YOU! You remain an inspiration to all food bloggers and food lovers. Congratulations again on 8 years and your beautiful new kitchen!

    Jeanette aka JMom @ Cooked from the heart

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  68. Love-love-love your new kitchen, Kalyn, I've been dying to see pictures! The view is spectacular and the island/stools, so easy to imagine lots of family hanging out in your kitchen, one big gathering place! Can't believe it's been eight years, either ... onward!

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  69. Susan, fun to hear we have the same standards in knife racks as well as so many other things!

    J-Mom, I remember well those WHB years!

    Alanna, didn't it go by so quickly!

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  70. I'm a little late to the party, but I wanted to extend a hearty congratulations, Kalyn! 8 years? What an achievement! I've loved getting to know you more via your blog and your recipes have saved me on the dinner-planning front on more than one occasion. Thank you for continuing to share your love of food and cooking with us!

    PS. I'm in love with your new kitchen! XOXO

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  71. Kalyn, I have been a quiet follower for years, but had to speak up to say congratulations on 8 years of blogging success. And also, congratulations on your beautiful new home and especially the kitchen! I absolutely love it! Can't wait to see what delicious things you cook up in there!

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  72. Congratulations Kalyn for 8 great years of food blogging - i read a lot of food blogs and yours is one of the the most useful to me!

    Enjoy your new house! The view is magnificent. I loved that you have all your calendars on the fridge (-:

    I also have 2 ovens in my kitchen which is very useful to me as I bake all of our breads & pastries and we also make a lot of vegetables, chicken, fish etc in the oven.

    When we bought our current house the former owner also showed us that there is a gas hookup for a gas grill on the deck but this is going to be our fourth summer here and we still haven't bought a grill.. shame on us.

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  73. Well, Kalyn, congrats on the blog anniversary. We who blog all know that although it's fun to do, we also have to have dedication, which you have in spades. SO happy to see photos of your new kitchen - it looks wonderful. And the view - gorgeous. Hope to visit you there and see it in person! Idea for the shelves next to the stove? Small cookbooks? Maybe it's not deep enough - hard to see in the photos! Much happy settling in, Kalyn.

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  74. Carolyn, you MUST come and visit. And this time you can stay at my house.

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  75. Hi Kalyn!
    Congratulations on eight years and counting! I've been reading your blog on and off for years and one of the things that I found interesting was that I believe you did a lot of your early cooking just using a toaster oven? In so far as I am only cooking for one, I'd like to economize and try that as well. Do you have any recommendations on what I should look for in a toaster oven? Thank you for any advice!

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  76. I actually had an oven (first one that didn't keep the temperature constant and then later one that took forever to heat up.) I mostly used the toaster oven because it was quicker and cheaper than heating up a huge oven for small amounts. I've had two Oster toaster ovens and loved them both, would highly recommend that brand!

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  77. BTW, if you enter "new toaster oven" into the search bar I think you can see one of the ones I had. My second one was just a slightly updated version of that model.

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible.

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