Thursday, 3 March 2011

where meals and memories are made

my kitchen...the heart of my home...


a place where cakes and bread are baked...


a place where meals and memories are created.



It is with much hesitation that I decided to put up this post. My newly renovated kitchen has got nothing to boast about. It is a far cry from those beautiful kitchens you see on home and deco magazines.  With bare walls on most part of the kitchen, it looks almost half-done. So, please don't laugh as I walk you through my kitchen. Even the 'gas-pipe man' jokingly asked me was it because I do not have enough budget to install the top cabinets (^^''')

But, that is how I wanted my kitchen to be. A place that serves its primary function for cooking simple meals, with utensils easily accessible, enough storage space for a small family, and most important of all, one that requires minimal maintenance. With a higher than usual ceiling height, without the top hung cabinets, I no longer had to climb up a ladder each time I needed to clean them. Even with a ladder, I was not able to reach deep inside the highest shelves. So, unless I am able to grow taller by another 10cm, I would rather do without the extra storage space. The tower cabinet on the other side of the kitchen, furthest away from the cooking area, is built all the way up to the ceiling...which is 3m or almost 10ft high. I am using the uppermost shelves to store...'hopefully never gonna use but cannot be throw away items' aka my husband's military uniforms, boots, full pack, etc.


Here are my squeakily clean stoves...right after I gave them a thorough cleaning. I have opted to get a glass hob over a stainless steel one, again, for ease of cleaning. These gas stove come with inner flames...good for Asian type of cooking...lots of stir frying over high heat, and yet able to adjust to the lowest heat for slow cooking.


My humble kitchen...no expensive pots and pans nor delicate bone china for me to break ;') You are not able to find any crystal glasses, shiny cutlery, nor a single cast iron dutch oven or a standing mixer, not even a food processor. It is equipped with only the bare essentials...basic utensils that I can get by for simple, everyday cooking.

But, it is a place with no shortage of homemade goodies and desserts...a place that is seasoned with love and warmth...a place where I will enjoy preparing meals for my family, and also a place I enjoy keeping it clean and tidy (I hope I won't loose the enthusiasm too soon!).

3D design
My finished kitchen is pretty close to what I had in mind (read about my kitchen design here). The cabinets were built according to my design with a good balance of drawers and shelves. I'll probably add some wall decals to jazz up the empty space a little, but I think an ipad velcroed to the wall will be great...I can watch J. Olivier while trying to re-create some of his recipes ;)


A kitchen is never complete without a fridge. Here's my fridge corner...a place that double-up as a notice board. The fridge is covered with fridge magnets I have collected over the years. I have also reserved the empty space beside it for a future food trolley...that is, if I ever need it.

So, that's it...we have come to the end of the 'tour'. In case you ask, I will do up a review on my oven only after I have tested all the function. Hope you enjoy this little peep into my humble kitchen, and maybe one day, I may just invite you over for a cup of tea ;)

63 comments:

  1. its simple and beautiful HHB! i love the concept i would love to have this design in my home too!

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  2. Would you recommend the contractor that you had?

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  3. I like the space and the colour combo! True, how often we tend to clutter the kitchen. I only wished I could do the same but for all the stuffs I have, no way!

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  4. Hi HHB,
    Simple and nice kitchen!
    CF

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  5. I love the clean lines of your kitchen :) And guess what, I have the same cooker too!! It's a breeze to clean. (My only gripe is that the smallest flame isn't quite small enough.) Can't wait for more bakes from your chic looking oven...

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  6. I love your kitchen! Plenty of storage space & looks so cozy :)

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  7. This is a very interesting and philosophical article. I share your sentiments. Yes, sometimes it is good we live with just enough.

    Looking forward to more goodies generated from this basics only kitchen.

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  8. Congrats on your new oven and new kitchen, your kitchen is look simple and modern! Looking forward more good bakes from you.

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  9. Hi HHB, thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I like to read your blog. I like your new kitchen, looks tidy, clean and bright, just like your blog. I am planning to get a glass hob too. What is the brand/model you've installed? Any special advice on using a glass hob? Noted the pictures of your wall calendar are your creations. So proud of you! I think this will make you feel more motivated to cook and bake for your family. jIA yOU!

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  10. So beautifully written.. I have read every bit of your home rennovating posts.. .
    When I do mine.. guess will write to you... My kitchen is in dearth of space ..SO I need to plan it efficiently too...

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  11. i love ur kitchen very much,simple and nice:P

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  12. Clean and neat kitchen. Very simple and easy to maintain. I am sure you will enjoy every single moment spent in here. :)

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  13. Ohhhh!!! I love it!!! And those fridge magnets!! ^_______^

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  14. Hi HHB, yr kitchen looks so minimalist, yet cosy and inviting ;-)

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  15. I remember I was cleaning like mad when my kitchen/house was newly renovated. It took me a good 4 to 5 months to finally ease it down a little, hahaha! I can share the joy about having a new kitchen, it's such a fresh new feeling. :) Hope you will create more wonderful memories in this newly improved one too. :)

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  16. Thanks Jess!

    Linee Yeo, I won't be recommending my contractor. Although his service was prompt and was able to provide solutions, his team of workers that was assigned to do up my place was not that skillful, especially the carpentry work for my wardrobes.

    The Experimental Cook, thanks for the compliment, I can't write well and never good with words.

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  17. Hi Mary, my glass top gas hob is Fujioh FG792 (http://www.fujioh.com.sg). There is another similar one with inner flame from Rinnai, which is made in Japan and more expensive. I didn't go for the Rinnai brand although it is more sleek and of better quality, but the stand for the pan is not made of cast iron. I think it is enamel coated, so I thought it won't last that long. For glass top hob, you need to let it cool off before cleaning, and do not place hot pans on the glass surface, or let any sharp objects fall hard on it.

    You have very sharp eyes! Yes, I got the calender printed last year...it was free from shutterfly, I only paid for the shipping charges :)

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  18. Thanks Sandhya, will love to share my experience with you. You have a lovely blog!

    鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝, 我很懒,所以一切从简,容易打理 ;)

    Thanks honey boy!

    Apest, I love those magnets too!

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  19. HBB, you love your humble kitchen, simple and nice! Hope one day I can design my kitchen too!

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  20. I like your new kitchen. It is not cluttered and have a lot of working space... :)

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  21. It's so clean, classic and beautiful! The design of the kitchen really tells a lot about you! It's simple, but yet, very elegant! Just like all the bakes and the photos that you share. I just love the kitchen! Thanks for sharing. Made me so envious of the oven that you have. Hahaha... I can only afford a counter top oven due to the space!

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  22. you are really sticking to what you planned. I always envied people who keeps to bare essential for I am someone that will never be able to do that. Nice clean lines.

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  23. Are those photos from Home & Design? JUST KIDDING! I love your kitchen! If this is my mine, I know I'd be spending a lot of time in there =)

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  24. My kitchen has no top cabinets too and the colour theme is very much like yours. Brown cabinets with white counter top. But my solid surface top turned yellow over the years. I'm also thinking of doing up my kitchen as the sink area is leaking and a part of the wood is disintegrating. Trying to endure for as long as I can now as I won't be able to handle renov + 3 kids + frequent traveling DH.

    Is that stainless steel on the wall? I have a big panel of stainless steel on the wall, such a breeze to clean up but I've got lots of scratches on it now.

    Love your kitchen!

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  25. Min, you will have fun designing your own kitchen, but there is also a lot of headache too ;)

    hanushi, I find my countertop quite cluttered, I want to keep everything inside the cabinets, but it is almost impossible :(

    Jane, I think you will faint if you ever see me! Elegance will never be a suitable adjective to describe me, lolz! As long as it is homemade with lots of love, it doesn't matter whether it is a big or small oven. I am still keeping my small tabletop oven :)

    Edith, I will love to have more kitchen items, but maintenance is a big issue for me ;)

    Bake for a Queen, nah, I had a hard time taking photos with my camera...the lens is not wide enough, so my pics look distorted at the sides, the images are also too grainy because of the lighting :(

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  26. Blessed Homemaker, it was a nightmare handling the renovation on my own. I should have done the renovation a few years ago, but I kept delaying as my children were still too young. I hope your kitchen can keep you going for another few years. If not just replace the affected sink area. My kitchen counter top is white solid surface with black speckles...brand is Corian, suppose to be of better quality, I hope it will not turn yellow too soon. I did not install any backsplash, those are wall tiles not stainless steel panels. I wanted to install glass panels but decided against it as it may look odd without the top cabinets?

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  27. You kitchen looks simple but functional. I love your oven, how I wish I can place it in my kitchen.

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  28. Hi HHB..
    I am glad you have finally got your dream kitchen done according to what you wanted :) Happy baking and we are all waiting for more bakes from your new built in oven :) Beautiful kitchen :)

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  29. Your kitchen is beautiful :)

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  30. Oh, it's like my dream kitchen. Simple yet elegant and clutter free. And I like the homely touches. I know I'm the one asking to see your kitchen. Thanks for showing the photos! :p

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  31. Very beautiful kitchen, simple yet classy

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  32. Hey HHB,
    I think your kitchen is really perfect. Its simplicity makes it easier to maintain, which I think is really important for a kitchen. I'd love to have a kitchen like yours! =D

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  33. Nice kitchen!
    I was reading an article previously and they actually do not recommend having so many magnets on the fridge cos that will make ur fridge work harder to cool down and in turn increase electricity.

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  34. wow! this is everybody's dream kitchen!
    so glad u have ur new kitchen now :P

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  35. gorgeous, squeaky clean kitchen!

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  36. Your kitchen is sparkling clean & bright, unlike mine! :D I also notice your calender pictures...look so familiar! :) No cooker hood? ;)

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  37. Simple and nice kitchen. Most important, is e food that you churn out from here.

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  38. Your new kitchen is just gorgeous, HHB! I love its clean, minimalistic look!

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  39. SSB, I hope you are not too disappointed. My kitchen is quite 寒酸,

    Spear, I am a minimalist...or rather someone who doesn't like to spend too much time cleaning up the house, so I keep everything simple, not just the kitchen :)

    clloud, thanks for the info! Will try not to load my fridge with too many magnets!

    MH, no budget for the cooker hood, lolz. Nah, since I don't have the top cabinets, I do without the hood, otherwise it will stick out like a sore thumb...and I really don't find it useful.

    Fong, thanks for the kind words :):)

    thecoffeesnob, I have always been a minimalist...not just the kitchen, the other areas in my house look half furnished too!

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  40. HHB, congratulations on your new kitchen. This reminded me so much of my own kitchen when I first moved in... Clean, neat and bright. Now, I have cluttered it so much with all the cooking tools and ingredients...sigh!

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  41. I can't wait for your oven review.
    My kitchen cabinets are in the process of getting done now, and I still haven't decided on the oven yet.

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  42. This is a great kitchen.... neat and clean... i just love it.

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  43. Hi, I know this is a bit random but I must tell you I'm big fan of your blog. I have tried a couple of your recipes and the cakes always turned out wonderful. I know I can always count on your recipes when I need to bake something delicious and healthy.

    I'm also thankful that you reply to all the questions asked in the comment box. This shows that you really try your best in guiding all the readers out there. You are truly down to earth and helpful

    I just wonder do you have any simple raisin bread recipe which don't require a bread machine? I intend to bake a soft & fluffy bread for my grandma as she has digestion problem but I do not have a bread machine.

    Regards
    Angie

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  44. Hi Angie, thanks for reading my blog :)

    Maybe you can try this Sweet Buns recipe (http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2007/01/sweet-buns.html), you just need to add raisins (soak it in some water, drain and pat dry before using) to the dough after kneading (end of Step 2). Or you can use the raisin loaf recipe even though I made it using a breadmachine...just knead the dough by hand till it is smooth, elastic and no longer sticks to your hand. Hope this help :)

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  45. HBB, My wife and I love your blog and can stare at the photos of your creations all day! You are very humble for one with such talent in baking and photographing. I believe your family feels very blessed to have you taking care of them. Enjoy your new kitchen and I hope your new oven is prepared for a lot of use. :)

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  46. HHB, I like your kitchen, simple, neat and clean. My kitchen can never be like that, my MIL has too much stuff to store :(

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  47. Hi HHB,

    m a fan of ur blog too... mesmerized by the photos...

    i'm also in the process of doing up my kitchen for my new nest. kind of tricky cos it's so small... i really like ur kitchen, so clean and sleak. will have 2nd tots on having a white cupboard now.

    ~Elaine~

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  48. Hi HHB,

    Thanks for your reply. I've made the raisin bread for my grandma, and she loves it very much! Now... next question is, should I invest in a bread machine? =)

    Angie

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  49. Showed my Sis your kitchen and she fell in love with your stove. Unfortunately she has already bought her induction cooker, else will settle for your kind of stove.

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  50. hi HHB,
    this is my first time comment in your blogpost. wow!! i love your kitchen how i wish i could have one like yours.. after seeing your kitchen's pictures, i told my hubby that i want one similar yours but must added one island table in the middle..then he said, it will take up a big space just a living room size then only enough lo...

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  51. Hi Janetan, thanks for your comment :) My kitchen is not that nice, it is very simple and plain, I've designed it that way to minimise cleaning ;)

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  52. Hi! HHB,

    Like your kitchen, it's simple & classic. I also got my bosch oven end of last year still trying out the oven. Does your oven come with 3D fan function? Caused once I tried making muffin using fan heat after almost an hour the muffin still not bake, decided to change to top & bottom heat and it was done within 20-25 mins. Following your blog very closely so that I can also use the recipe to tryout on my bosch oven. If not a trouble for you, will appreciate if you can tell us which shelf and what kind of tin you use to bake your cake etc. Have a nice weekend.
    Christina Poh

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  53. Hi Christina, yes my oven comes with the 3D fan function. I have used it to bake a chiffon cake, and it turn out ok. I have also used the same function to bake cookies (on two trays) and two pizza too. Both were able to brown nicely. Did you preheat your oven? Do you use a oven thermometer to check?

    As recommended in the instruction manual, I usually bake cakes using the 3rd rack position (counting from the top). For baking two trays of cookies/pizzas, I use the lowest rack (using the enamel drip as a baking tray) and the 2nd rack position (from the top). For baking chiffon cake, I place the wire rack at the lowest rack position, but flip the wire rack over so that the rack position is slightly higher. The rule of thumb is to position your cake pan so that it is in the middle of the oven.

    I only have 2 round cake pans, they are made of tin, which I bought from Phoon Huat. The other is a chiffon cake pan and a new greaseproof bundt pan. I don't have a muffin pan, I bake all my muffins in paper liners/cups. I don't think I will put in the rack position and type of pans as I do not want to confuse readers as the ovens we use are different. Hope you understand.

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  54. two thumbs up for this post. its perfect! how i wish to have a kitchen like this.

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  55. Heavenly kitchen!
    You go girl!
    From olivia

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  56. Hi hbb,

    is it possible to use the oven you have for fish grilling ? or chicken roasting ?
    How about cleaning ?

    Thx.

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  57. Hi, I have not tried grilling fish. I use it to roast chicken quite often, it doesnt come with self cleaning function.

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  58. LOVE LOVE LOVE your new kitchen!!!
    And LOVE LOVE LOVE your post rdgs ovens :)
    I think I ll just get the same oven u had bought :D
    Have u tried baking 2 trays of cupcake using the oven?
    I m using my table top with uneven heat, can just replace with the built in with no new kitchen? :P

    Jac

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  59. Hi Jac, I dont bake cupcakes, and as for muffins, I only bake them in one tray as I usually bake in small batches. However, I have baked two trays of cookies and they turn out great, both trays were evenly browned.

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  60. Hi,wonder how u maintain the white top since u do a lot of baking and cooking(stain),I'm thinking of white counter top when I Reno my kitchen,but scare hard o maintain'thanks

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  61. Hi, the counter top is from this brand, Dupont, Corian. It is more expensive but value for money. I wipe the counter top every morning. After every cooking/baking session, I will clean/wipe to remove any grease. I also clean up immediately whenever there is a spill. I also take care not to place damp grocery bags on the counter top as the printing of the bags will stain the surface if the bags are wet (from condensation of cold grocery items). So far my kitchen still looks as new as the picture above ;) hope this helps.

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  62. Hi, I'm considering to buy the same hob as u but can't find much reviews online so really hope to hear your feedback. How has it been working for you so far, especially its inner flame function? Is it easy to clean? Thanks.

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  63. Hi Mei, the hob is easy to clean, but I cant really comment on the inner flame function since everyone has their own preference or criteria, to me it works fine (for the price I paid). the cast iron stands and the cast iron round rings(?) are good, but the inner metal parts (inside the stove) got rusty very quickly :(

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