Kitchen of the Week: A Cooking Maven's Little Kitchen

Cara Eisenpress decided a long time ago that the dimensions of her kitchen would have nothing to do with that which she’d cook. This New York blogger, writer, food stylist and recipe developer has been creating delicious dishes ever since she can remember. Although she is cooked in her fair share of tiny spaces, her present Brooklyn apartment includes a decent-size kitchen — at least by New York standards. However, she has had to earn lots of compromises — except for her cooking. Handy tools, good components and creative cooking and storage options assist Eisenpress put together the amazing recipes onto her aptly named blog, Large Ladies Small Kitchen.

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Q. What do you enjoy most about your kitchen?
A. The black marble counter tops. Additionally, my cooker — it is from Ikea — has really nicely calibrated burners. If I wish to boil something fast, I do it on the front right-hand burner; if I want to simmer slow and low, that is the rear left-hand.

Q. What types of items make working in your kitchen difficult? How can you work around them?
A. We don’t have a dishwasher. When my landlord redid the kitchen — beautifully — that is the one thing she left out. In other words, I hand-wash an insane number of dishes.

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Small kitchen trick: Place your prettiest foods out on screen. Eisenpress’ jars of pickled products add color and interest for her kitchen windowsill.

Q. What are three of the kitchen luxuries or accessories which you love?
A. Does truffle salt count? It actually ups the ante on foods from eggs. In addition, I love my Le Creuset pots, and I only got a copper saucepan that is great for producing fruit jams and syrups.

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Small kitchen tip: Wall area is additional invaluable in more compact areas. A wall-mounted wine rack and tall bookshelves will keep counter and floor area clean.

Q. Where would you go to find kitchen supplies? Any favourite stores?
A. I think Crate & Barrel includes super-reasonable, handsome supplies and equipment. But right now I am pretty much on a kitchen accessories — I have too much already!

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Small kitchen trick: Colorful kitchen accessories, like Eisenpress’ fun cloths and cheerful food processor, help add personality to kitchens in a rental. A sturdy spice rack comes in convenient right near the cooker.

Q. What are three kitchen necessities which you utilize the most frequently?
A. My cheese grater, my cast iron pan and parchment paper to generate cleanup no big thing.

Q. What types of food do you like to cook? What is your dish?
A. I just love making simple but tasty pasta dishes, like this Creamy Orechiette with Zucchini. And I think there is nothing better than a homemade cheeseburger on the grill.

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Small kitchen trick: Artwork is a undervalued kitchen accessory. Do not be afraid of hanging a fairly print on your kitchen wall or an open plate. Just make sure your artwork is coated in a glass frame to shield it from food splatters.

Q. What was the strategy to decorating your kitchen?
A. Fitting everything in! It was most important to make room for my large supplies, so I tried to figure out ways to store pots, pans and cake pedestals while making the mess look appealing. The open shelving assists with that.

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Small kitchen tip: Mason jars are lifesavers in every part of the house. Get a box of those very affordable storage containers for your kitchen. Use them for dry products, pickled foods, flowers and herbs.

Q. How did you organize your kitchen? Any storage or space-saving strategies for other homeowners with little or leased kitchens?
A. I received a couple of Rubbermaid bins for groups of things I don’t use too often, like cookie decorating materials. Then I put the whole box off somewhere and know that when Christmas rolls around, I’ll know where to locate everything I want. That way I don’t have to clog up the easily accessible elements of my kitchen using seasonal equipment.

Big Girls Small Kitchen

For more of Cara Eisenpress’s excellent recipes and small-kitchen cooking tips, visit Big Girls Small Kitchen or check out her novel, In the Small Kitchen.

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