Bunnie-luscious Coconut Carrot cake

 

Here are some of your beloved childhood rabbits from all the classic fairy tales….which one is your favorite? I always favored Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby,  as my grandmother told it to me all the time with such animation. 🙂 Uncle Remus was a great folklore writer.

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We are blessed to have a wealth of “muses” to rely upon to help us conjure up creative ideas as to how we want to decorate our havens.  Nostalgia is a wondrous troubadour for creating… Whenever I see the ancient, colossal Oak trees with their beards of hanging Spanish moss or read novella’s with stories about the romantic and remote  Murrels Inlet or Pawleys island, I get so nostalgic for the South, as  a good portion of my heritage is from there. When ever I see ‘The Wizard of OZ,’ I  begin to get a little maudlin and sentimental…it’s almost like a sudden down pour of rain…I reminisce about all the joyous times my large family would huddle up together on the couch to watch the scary flying monkeys… I would always shut my eyes tight whenever the wicked witch appeared in her evil, dark aura.  The same thing happen when I go to Barnes and Nobles and browse through the Children’s book section…seeing all the beloved stories from my childhood. (Especially all the Folklore  with the prominent and mischievous Rabbits in them.) Who can forget Beatrix Potters, Peter Cottontail,? Uncle Remus’ Brer Rabbit, and the Velveteen Rabbit who learns that becoming real is not as easy as he thought, (but surely worth it.)  🙂 In my vignette on the “Enchanted kitchen,”  I hope to inspire each reader with ideas to turn there room of ‘cooking and creation’ into an ambiance and aureole of  a childhood, enchanted forest.You know, the place where the trees roamed the timberland’s and spoke elegantly of their poignant domain, the kaleidoscopic flowers sang such beautiful, whimsical melodies and the fireflies would dance as they brilliantly glowed, fluttering around  the garish weeping willow trees all year long?   These are the fairy lands that brought so much comfort to us as youngsters and still do, when we allow the blissful memories to emerge…So why not create a room that takes you back in a time ?

With each Kitchen Blog, I am sharing a recipe conducive to the decor of that particular “cucino.” For this kitchen, I am sharing my “much loved” recipe for a very delicious Coconut carrot cake. I hope you enjoy it!

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The Best Carrot Cake in the World! It’s bunny –  luscious 🙂

You will need; 2 cups  all purpose (unsifted) flour, 2 ½ tsp. Baking soda, 2 tsp. Cinnamon ,  1 tsp. Salt, 1 cup oil, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, 2 cups grated carrots, 1 cup shredded coconut,  and ½ cup chopped pecans.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl, set aside.

In another bowl beat oil and eggs and sugar until well blended.  Add flour mixture, beat until smooth. Blend in remaining ingredients and pour into greased 10 inch tube pan or 13×9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan then remove and frost.

Frosting, (This is the good part.) 🙂 You will need:

1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup shredded coconut,¼ cup butter + another ¼ cup of butter, 1 tsp vanilla and milk or half and half.

Saute coconut in  melted butter until golden brown. Spread out on an absorbent paper towel, allow to cool. Cream ¼ cup butter with cream cheese. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar alternatively with the milk  and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add half of your browned coconut and stir into frosting. After your cake is frosted, top with the remaining browned coconut! (I use Coffee Mates liquid vanilla creamer and half and half cream instead of milk, and I still use the vanilla.) I also use a tad  more butter, creme cheese  and coconut than the recipe calls for…This cake freezes extremely well and tastes just as fresh, when thawed.

If you are serving this for an intimate dinner party or :Mad Hatters” afternoon tea, it looks beautiful on a lovely cake plate.

Enjoy!!!!!!

Additional Links: More Cake Plates

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***If you would like to learn about about the newly incorporated links withing Living Winsomely, please read the blog, “WE NOW HAVE LINKS,” in the category file. Thank you, 🙂

 

 

Spicy and delicious Guacamole.

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In America and all around the world, we have so many superb and diverse CHEFS to bless our pallets, create romantic evenings for us and allow us to abandon the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and enjoy a choice and excellent home cooked meal, amongst a magical, enchanting ambiance.  Not only are there word-renowned chefs, but there are also many chefs ‘lying wait’  within  many of us…My husband and I love to create, research and try new recipes, create up a myriad of concoctions and cook together in our kitchen. No it’s not gourmet, but it’s ours.  🙂  If you would like to read more on the “Chef’s Dream,” (a kitchen created for a chef,)  be sure to check out the blog when you have a chance, in the category file. For each kitchen I am writing about, I am also sharing a recipe that is advantageous to it’s alluring theme. This is a recipe created by a  famous “CHEF.” 🙂

Here is a delicious new Guacamole sauce for all of you “spicy people” out there. I hope you enjoy it.

Guacamole: Alton Brown

This recipe is for homemade guacamole sauce. It is great for soft tacos, Tostado salads, chicken burritos, fresh pico de gallo and chips.  It also perfect for a Sunday brunch with Mexican omelets, fresh fruit and home fries. I hope you like it. 🙂

YOU WILL NEED;
3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
Directions ;
In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher,  add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.
This recipe is from Food Chef John Alton.

Superb Zucchini Gratin

 

France is an exquisite place to visit as well as to live. Whether you are creating your favorite cuisine within your French Country kitchen, or enjoying your ‘Belle Maison” (Beautiful home in the French language,) nestled upon the rocky cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea or French Atlantic Ocean…you are sure to be blessed and inspired by this beautiful country and it’s warm and welcoming people.

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French Cuisine is known for its delicious and delectable sauces, rich foods, crepes, Creme Brulee, fine wines and their famous and renowned, Beef Bourguignon. I “aimer” (French word for love,) zucchini! Whether it’s zucchini bread, muffins, omelets, casseroles or a cheesy side dish for a festive gala, I have yet to taste any zucchini recipe I did not enjoy.  Here is a delightful recipe, originated from a well known French Cuisine chef…It is called Zucchini Gratin. I hope you enjoy it and that this recipe will be a ‘keeper” for you and your loved ones.

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You will need;
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
1 pound yellow onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced (3 large)
2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Gruyere
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.Combine the bread crumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.
This recipe is from the wonderful French cuisine chef, The Bare Contessa.

***I am sharing a recipe with each blog  that I am writing on “kitchens,” that are conducive to the theme and stye if that particular kitchen. This recipe is written for the blog, “Frances Finest…The French Country Kitchen.”

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

The delizioso Italian ‘CUCINO.”

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The Beautiful country of Italy… If ever there was a land filled to overflowing with romance, allurement, mystery and grandeur, it is the riveting and mesmerizing commonwealth, Italy.

Not only is this country filled with a stellar loveliness, it is also ‘HOME’ to some of the worlds most delicious and renowned cuisine as well as winning, intriguing and fun-loving residents, (a people, WHO LOVE LIFE and celebrate it everyday! ) Italians are warm and welcoming, love family, food, wine, relaxing and PEOPLE.

Now, these people, REALLY know how to eat… 🙂  Sometimes their meals are a 2 hour affair. Do you know that all the business shut down in the afternoon for a couple of hours so the residents of the towns and villages can enjoy a redolent, three course meal, consisting of  superb cuisine, relaxation and fellowship.?  (I want to live there. 🙂 )

The Italian people love to celebrate everything with food and if they run out of an occasion to emblazon, they will gather around their dining table or their favoritBest Meatball Recipee Italian eatery and just  ‘revel in jubilation’ for  ‘the great food and wine itself.’   🙂 They adore cappuccino, espresso coffee, pasta, fresh seafood, vino, freshly made conolies and walkingITT8  down to the piazza, where they gather with their friends and get ‘caught up’ on the all the latest news and happenings. They proudly own a passion for cooking and are renowned for their superb, spicy sauces and variety of cheeses they use in all of their pasta dishes. They are great creatorsITT3 of  “comfort food.” (Like our moms.) When I was a youngster, and I felt sad, frightened  or anxious, (in need of consolation and cheer,)  my mom would bake a scrumptious pecan pie, cut me a slice big enough for three people, put mounds of whip cream on top and give me a big hug, assuring me; “Everything will be OK.” ) Still to this day, pecan pie and whip cream bring  comfort to my soul…but certainly not my waistline. 🙂

Here are some famous quotes from these beloved people, mostly Italian Proverbs.

“He who goes to bed without eating, will regret it through the night.”

“Eat to live, not live to eat.”

“At the  table with good friends and family, you do not become old.”

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“Everything you see, I owe to pasta.” Sophia Loren

“I love the places that have an incredible history.  I love the Italian life. I love the people. I love the attitudes of the Italians.” Sir Elton John (He sure has a lot of lovin’ going on in his heart, doesn’t he?) 🙂

 

The Italian kitchen, the “Cucino,” is one place on this earth, I would adore frequenting. I can only imagine the aromas of the butter, fresh garlic and Virgin olive oil simmering together amongst an abundance of newly cut garden herbs…The Italians cook with a bounty of sweet and savory spices…garlic, basil, rosemary, thyme, fennel, pesto, cayenne, cracked black pepper, (and the list goes on…)  They are renowned for their pastas, pizzas and fresh cioppinos with ample, decadent seafood from the blue waters, served over fettuccine or Angel Hair spaghetti.   You can be sure that an Italian cucino will have plenty of  prosciutto cheese, Parmesan, freshly picked and ripened tomatoes from the garden, pine nuts, and sweet basil, pesto sauce with arugula, a myriad ofacc7

olives, rice for risotto, olive oil and tempting, Italian breads, fresh from their fire brick ovens. My brothers girlfriend was a beautiful Italian lady and I loved dining at her home, not just because her cuisine was “delizioso” but because the talks we had as we prepared our meal, were just as warm and  fulfilling!  (Cucino talks are delightful.) 🙂

Are you ready to take a look at a beautiful collection of Italian cucino’s? Just imagine the delightful, ambrosial aromas coming from each oven and stove top… Throughout Italy, you will hear the chef’s, restaurant staff and local grocers, saying words  that you may not understand… 🙂  “Ciao,” “Buongiorno”, “Benvenuto.”  Meaning Hi! Welcome and Good Morning. If ever an Italian cook shares a taste of their special, spaghetti sauce they are creating in their cucino, (you know, the one recipe from generations of old?,) say “Grazie.” (Thank you! )  My much needed and favorite Italian word that I have learned is “Attenda Prego.” I find that I am actually saving my energy and  breath as I have to tell my Briard dog, Grantham, at least 50 times a day to  “Hold on, just wait a minute, pleeaasse…” (as he makes a ‘specific noise’ every time he wants something and he wants something all day long! 🙂  Now, I just hold my hands up in the air and say ” Attenda Prego.” 🙂 I will tell you when it starts working on him.  🙂

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I adore the large, roomy feel of an Italian cucino. This particular kitchen is cozy, warm and yet light, ardent and ‘airy.’ I can think of a million plates, tea pots or china serving bowls to fill theses delightful, elfin glass cabinets, and can only just imagine how many  wondrous conversations I would have over a hot cappuccino or latte, shared with my husband, friends or family, within these inviting and welcoming walls. 🙂

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What a unique and charming stove…This is also a beautifully incandescent kitchen filled with natural sunlight amongst soft, pastel colors.  Very lovely!

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I absolutely adore the Italian themed tile,  combined with marble counter tops and walls amidst the soft woods.  Does it get any more sensational and impressive than this?

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It is a dream for my husband and I to have an eat in kitchen like this. I can just in-vision a large, family gathering, everyone sharing delicious cuisine, stories of the ‘old times’ and lots of laughter and joy around these two tables!  (I would invite our entire colossal family, put a Junoesque  flower pot in the tiny sink on the center- Island marble table, add some more chairs and utilize this entire table along with the other dining table! 🙂  (If you build it, they will come!) 🙂 I wish!

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More examples of the awesome and striking, scenic Italian tiles amidst the brilliant black and regal, rich wood. Simply amazing! This kitchen is sure to make it’s many happy guests feel as if they are dining at a five star eatery. 🙂

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A quaint kitchen…small but certainly toasty and convivial. 🙂 (Another eat-in dining table.) Very cozy.

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You could feed an army in this cucino… The wooden, beamed ceilings are rustically picturesque…I love the way the decorator has mixed the sage green cabinetry amongst the delicate, brown wood and creamy white counter tops.  The display of brass gourmet cookware is a wondrous, tasteful addition… It  definitely owns a resplendent and fetching appeal.

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All of these lovely kitchens share a specific common ingredient…They clamorously shout out;  “Buongiorno!” The warmth of the colors, the subtle decor, decorative tile , diverse textures and hues, would cause every guest or family member, to feel invited, welcomed, as well as pampered.

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WOW!  Don’t you love the gorgeous Italian themed tile amongst  the old brick… Absolutely stunning! It brings forth an old world, vintage appeal!

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This kitchen is my favorite…(OK, they are all my favorite. ) 🙂 I dote upon this classy, one- of-a-kind stove with it’s serene, charming and enchanting vineyard decor tile. I wish these were “made to order.” 🙂

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An Italian cucino, though beautiful without a single decor item, can still be enhanced with  a few colorful and distinct kitchen accents.   I love these  bright dishtowels and classy, colorful Italian frescoes. What a great idea to enliven the walls as well as counter tops.

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If you are a connoisseur of fine wines,  then you know you’ve ‘got to have’ a place to display your beloved vintage collection. This is ideal for any kitchen, or dining room…I love to have a center-island within my kitchen, (if the kitchen is large enough.) This piece of furniture is not only eye catching, exuding charm but very convenient as well.

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This chopping block is more authentic and rustic…still a wondrous center-island. I love it!

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These alluring tiles are both enchanting and creative…as well as the marble counter tops and Italian themed mural – decor. The Italian kitchen is like no other cucino I have seen… Just think, you can bring Italy, right into your very own home… I can just imagine all the concoctions being created in these rustically and charming kitchens…Chicken Vesuvius, Brushetta, Clam and Muscle spaghetti, Lobster ravioli, four cheese and sausage lasagne and freshly whipped cream to fill those delicious, divine Italian delicacies, conolies. I think everyone who owns an Italian kitchen should also have a brilliantly white ,  starched and freshly ironed “chefs hat.” 🙂

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These are lovely ‘Back-splashes’ for your Italian Cucino…they exude the charm of Italy amongst your classy granite or marble counter tops…

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Lastly, all of these beautiful and creative kitchen accessories are sure to add warmth, color and depth  for an enchanting, alluring ambiance. I adore the blue and yellow china.

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For this lovely kitchen vignette, I want to leave you with a delightful and superb Italian recipe… It is my husbands, homemade, renowned rendition of  a ‘Basil Rathbone’ Pizza and is unlike any pizza I have ever consumed. He got the idea from a pizza we tried at an eatery on the coast of California, (and It is to die for!) For your next Pizza and movie night, give this savory dish a try!

Even though Basil Rathbone was a British actor and born in South Africa, this pizza is still eminently Italian… (At least his first name is (kind of) Italian… (sort of.) 🙂

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You will need, one large pizza dough…(You can make your own, buy it from a bakery or get it from your local grocery store.)  Make sure you read the directions on your dough before you make this pizza, for example, some doughs require a short pre-bake before you place  the ingredients on top…we use homemade dough and do not pre-bake the pizza.

You will also need a bottle of pesto sauce. (We use, Classico Traditional Basil Pesto sauce) or you could make your own. One half of a large red onion, sliced in thin slices, one bell pepper, seeded and  sliced in thin slices, 4 sweet or Hot Italian sausages, cooked in a small amount of olive oil or butter. As the sausage is almost cooked, cut it up into pieces so your finished consistency is ‘crumbled.’ You will also need a box of fresh, cleaned sliced mushrooms,  fresh cilantro, rinsed and cut fine and a can of artichoke hearts. (We buy the ones in brine water and drain them, then cut them in half,) and lastly, a large bag of Mozzarella cheese. (OK, our guilty pleasure has been revealed…we are extra cheese lovers.) 🙂 (You can use as much or as little as you would like.) 🙂

1. Preheat your oven to 450. If you have a  pizza stone, preheat it as well. If you do not have a stone, do not worry about preheating your pizza pan.

2. Spread the pesto sauce on the bottom of your pizza dough. Use a little or a lot…it’s up to your taste. (We use a moderate amount…taste the pesto, and you will know.) 🙂

3. Place the  sliced onions, fresh mushrooms, bell peppers,  halved artichoke hearts, and cilantro all over the pizza.

4. Add the crumbled sausage, (after it as been drained upon a paper towel,)  evenly throughout the pizza. Place your pizza in the 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Check your pizza to see how the bottom is browning and make sure your veggies and meat are hot.  Take your pizza out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees. Cover your pizza with the  Mozzarella cheese. Bake at  350 until the cheese melts. (About 5 minutes.)   When done, take out of the oven and  allow it to cool down a little bit. You have a meal fit for a king. Delicious with a fresh garden or Caesar salad,  or  sweet marinated tomatoes and cucumbers.  ENJOY!

 

 

 

A Chefs dream!

What exactly is a chef? The Specialist tell us that he, (or she) is a person who cooks professionally for other people…They are highly skilled and proficient in all aspects of food. Hmm! That almost sounds like most mom’s I know, and some dad’s! 🙂 (Except they don’t get paid! 🙂  The name “Chef” originated in France, though the concept has been around for centuries… Seriously, a Chef’s job is a lot of work…they have to learn all the tricks and trades of marketing, attend Culinary schooling, perhaps specialty classes for a certain metier they are looking to ace and spend many hours doing internships…  Now a days, there are all types of chefs… THEY just don’t look like the ones in our imagination. 🙂

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There are several categories of CHEF’S.

Chefs who have gone down in history as being noteworthy, successful and renowned.

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Chefs who are famous in the 21st century, who are currently teaching us through television, how to cook everything from healthy, hearty cuisine, to outrageously fancy drinks. Some of these notarized chefs illustrate delicious , everyday, home cooking, BBQ and grilling dishes, decadent seafood dishes as well as fabulous Italian cuisine and divine pastas. (Can’t forget the sweet, decadent confections!) 🙂

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How about the successful businesses that began in the home, or still exist in the home but have become so renowned, they are now famous? Each person began as a “Chef,” however humble their predicaments were…They just needed faith, trust, motivation, strength, the smarts and a BIG KITCHEN. 🙂

Lets take a look at some of those people.

Mrs. Fields cookies. “The Cookie Chef.”  This is a beautiful woman who began with baking superb chocolate chip cookies in her own kitchen, and then, joyfully took them out to homes, stores, neighborhoods, (still warm from the oven,) and bestowed upon thousands of people, free samples... Now, look at her success…I wonder how big her kitchen was then, and can only imagine HOW BIG it is today. 🙂

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How about the men or women who love to bake at home? Their specialty could be cookies, cupcakes or quiches? Gigi’s Cupcakes offers on line ordering and actually has a menu for a different cupcake everyday. Just think, if you love to bake, you could be the Cupcake-Baking Chef of your own kitchen. 🙂

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Another type of bakery chef is a Cake Chef. Do you have a specialty cake that you make that others have begged and pleaded with you, to give them the recipe? If you had a kitchen large enough, and some help, you could begin baking cakes in your own home.   That is what the women on Smith Island,Maryland did. They live on a tiny, remote and serene village Islet.  With most of  their husbands being  fishermen, they   are away, out at sea for about 3 months at a time, so the women of the village got together and began making cakes from scratch…Now they are famous. (Smith Island Baking Co.) What a great “happy ending story.” 🙂

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There are Sub Sandwich Chefs, who make a myriad of fresh sandwiches, (hot as well as cold,) from their own kitchens and deliver them to construction sites or professional offices buildings.

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How about the renowned restaurant or cruise ship Chefs? These chefs fit the experts definition of what a chef is, as they are paid very well for their expertise and profession, blessing many people who would love to have a great meal cooked for them in the midst of a soothing, pampering and beautiful ambiance. 🙂  

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The new and upcoming, highly successful Chefs are those who cater to neighborhoods with home cooked cuisine on a Food Truck.(That would make them Truck chefs or how about  Chefs on the run?) 🙂

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Then there are our personal Chefs that we dream we had... some of you single people out there, probably already have yours picked out… (Everyone would probably like to have a, Giada or Bobby Flay.)  🙂 You know the one who will cook dinner for you after a long hard day at the office, bring you breakfast in bed, cook up a delicious Sunday Brunch or put on a five course, five star meal for you and all your friends? (Mine came when I said “I do.” ) 🙂 (He is a fantastic “Grill Master.” 🙂

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Lastly, there are the catering Chefs. These men or women do all their creations at home, and yes, they are in dire need of a colossal kitchen. Rehoboth beach has a wonderful catering company only 30 minutes from our home. (“Creative Food without the Tude,” at Nage Catering.) They serve at weddings, parties, brunches, BBQ’s, corporate events and special lunches.

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Here are what a few famous chefs have to say about food, life and more food…They should know as they are the expertise on creating, tasting  and eating! 🙂

“Bon Appetit.” ~ Julia Child

“Cooking is the art of adjustment.” ~ Jacques Pepin

“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” ~ Julia Child

“Food is life, life is food. If you don’t like my approach, you are welcome to go down to McDonalds. “~ Keith Floyd

“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandonment or not at all.” ~ Harriet Van Horne

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.” ~ Norman Koplas              (I really like this quote.) 🙂

“Home cooking is a catalyst that brings people together.” ~ Marian Cunningham.

And we can’t forget Forrest Gump….”Life is like a box of Chocolates.”  🙂

So, we have looked into all the diverse types of chefs, but the one chef we left out is the Chef in you! For many of us, cooking, creating, eating new and exciting recipes, entertaining and serving others is our passion…we just lack the big kitchen to reach out to a larger group of people… So in a way, these kitchens you are about to see, (A chefs dream, are our dream kitchens.  I hope they give you some great ideas of how you can turn your current kitchen that you have now, or the one you will build at a future time,  into a kitchen that is perfect for you and enables you to cook, bake, create and enjoy the “Inner chef” that is waiting to take off and fly. 🙂 (That kind of sounds like a talk show theme! ) 🙂

 

Wow! This kitchen looks like it has two Center Island, marble top tables…can you even imagine the space to create the largest, freshest and most ‘gourmet,’ exotic, Asian Chicken salad you have ever seen? (Filled with ample fresh vegetables.)   The color combination used in this ‘cucino’ is wispy and diaphanous with it’s soft whites and browns, light colored walls and abundance of windows. It is certainly any cooks dream come true.

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This kitchen is quite stylish and though on the darker side, fabulously cozy and warm. I love the high ceilings, the decorators display of cast iron pots hanging upon the wall, dried flower arrangements and is that a little TV-computer screen I see in the corner? (I love having a tiny TV in our kitchen.) I could see cooking a large, savory pot of Carolina chili with black beans, lean ground beef and bacon, served over rice in this inviting kitchen. (I am already getting hungry! 🙂 )

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This kitchen is amazingly recherche. It exudes charm, character and is ethereal with it’s soft whites, shiny warm floors and the over head lighting is perfect.  I could see this as a kitchen where my guests would want to enter in and have a glass of wine, snack on a few Hors d’oeuvre’s  and enjoy it’s beauty.  How about a nice  chardonnay with a rich, lump crab dip with a banquette of warm sourdough?

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Charming, romantic, lovely, welcoming and graceful. This spacious, winter-wonderland white ‘cucino’ is any chefs dream come true, not only for creating and cooking, but for entertaining. The back-splash mural tiles, behind the stove top is once again ,”The in-thing” for kitchen decor today.  The mural that this decorator has chosen is not only  exquisite, but very rich and baronial.  I love this kitchen. How about some homemade carrot cake and delicious Hazelnut coffee?

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This kitchen is definitely designed for an exceedingly large amount of cooking, preparing and FUN! It’s more on the baronial, tasteful and handsome side as far as decor.  I could see my husband chopping up all of his fresh veggies, red onion, garlic and cilantro for his famous  Italian Pizza.  Muy Bueno!  Or should I say “Delizioso.” 🙂

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Another eminently spacious kitchen. It is anything but modern with all of it’s quaint features…custom built, artful cabinetry, the combinations of light and dark hues, rich colors as well as the warm, faux painted walls that tie in all the tones within this lovely room. The stunning, open dining room, creates an even larger look for this winsome kitchen. This ambiance  reminds me of  a wondrous, early summer evening…a perfect time to make a Spinach Bacon quiche with a savory Caesar salad… and some excellent choices for back ground music as you create and cook away? Maybe some Opera, R&B, or Blake Sheldon’s favorite, country music. 🙂

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Very clever, original, refined and polished. You can never go wrong with high ceilings… They wondrously enlarge any room to a spacious, gossamer ambiance.  This looks like a chicken Cacciatore night with fresh asparagus topped with a decadent, French Hollandaise sauce… Mm! 🙂

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Implausible and fantastic, this ‘cucino’ is kaleidoscopic, bright, spacious and undoubtedly an inspiring  motivation to research a potpourri of new and exciting recipes for your family… I love this Brobdingnagian center island, the warm, cozy colors of the granite and cabinetry mixed with this  unique ceiling with it’s decorative, rustic beams as well as the open, old brick dining room. Magical! I think  “open space” is the number one ingredient for a Chefs kitchen, no mater how large or small your room is. Space is a hard one for me…(not that I am a hoarder,) 🙂 but I love decorative items to much. 🙂  I am getting better at De-cluttering  as I am getting older… 🙂   This might be a nice evening to serve an ambrosial Caribbean Pork roast, cooked with potatoes and carrots served with a tossed green salad, (lots of fresh veggies,) with a Raspberry walnut dressing. 🙂

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OK. I had to put this kitchen in our “Chefs dream” tour. You will never guess who this kitchen belonged to.(I know I didn’t.) 🙂    Micheal Jackson! That man had excellent taste.This room is elaborate with its rich, dark woods, white marble counter tops and intricate design work on the cabinetry. It would be a great kitchen for baking all kinds of confections with your kids, entertaining a house full of guests or teaching your children how to do the ‘moonwalk.’ 🙂  It is not only beautiful but very regal.

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A very formal kitchen…The architecture is very quaint and I love the back-splash mural tile…Definitely a great kitchen for  elegant entertaining and creating many a decadent, five star meals…

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Charming, spacious, soft, welcoming, inviting and cozy. The colors blend together to a “T.” This ample center Island is fantastic for making kabobs; beef, chicken, steak and shrimp, accompanied with cherry tomatoes, green pepper, red onion, pineapple and fresh  mushrooms.  Slow grilled to perfection over charcoal with a glass of sweet tea, would make for a wondrous summer supper!  🙂 Don’t you just love the back splash mural tile in this ‘cucino?’

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This resembles an incredibly popular restaurants’ kitchen…It is almost intimidating, but truly, it is ‘a chefs dream come true!’ It looks as if it comes with a commercial Cappuccino, espresso maker…My husband would frequent that side of the kitchen, morning, noon an night! 🙂

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A kitchen with a gorgeous view…That is something you don’t see everyday! Definitely more on the masculine side with its regal blacks and browns, yet very picturesque and noble looking. I imagine a dinner of baked leg of lamb with mint sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts with blue cheese crumbles along with fresh mushroom rice. 🙂 Then perhaps a cup of coffee out on the verandah’s balcony.  The ending of a perfect day!

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Our last three kitchens are created with the fabulous and popular color, RED. This first one is down right adorable! It definitely embodies  a cozy- country, with a touch of cottage style, decor. I adore it’s potpourri of plants, diverse textures and shades of red, the abundance of decorative items and the brilliant checkered floor. ( I adore this tile as it is unique, cheerful and FUN!)  You can’t see much of the kitchen, but because of the spacious floor and open dining room, I am guessing it is large. This atmosphere exudes an afternoon of baking a hot apple pie…maybe a dutch apple with Vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. 🙂

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This kitchen leans towards the feminine chef… it’s cheery, colorful and clean with a very small amount of personal decor. (It needs a few chefs on it’s bare counter tops.) 🙂  (“Just sayin’.”)  🙂 It is quaint, original, congenial and livening. Maybe a bowl of delicious homemade chicken noodle soup with some hot rolls for lunch would warm up this kitchen a little bit! 🙂

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Last, but certainly not least… This a cool, trendy kitchen that would definitely be a conversation piece within any home. It contains a striking and bazarro,  ‘Natural Camillus Buffet hutch.’ I keep thinking someone is going to glide in with roller skates on at any time, to take my order. 🙂 Its original, custom made and nostalgic. A triple decked Ice cream cone or cheeseburgers and hot fries would be perfect!

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Here is the fun part…For your ‘Chefs Dream’ kitchen, there are a myriad of specialty accessories and kitchen accents to enhance your ‘cucino.’  (Especially for the red kitchens with black or brown highlights.)  🙂 Actually, they would look good in any of these kitchens. They add so much character, personality and cheer… (I myself, am a connoisseur and collector of a myriad of chefs. They always make me smile as they possess so much personality and  bring forth an abundance of color  to our kitchen.)  🙂

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The Chef in the first photograph below is my new “Mr. Chef,” that my brother and his spouse surprised me with last Christmas while we were visiting  them in Southern California. It  has become one of our families favorite decorative items as it “alerts” all three of us, (Graham  included,) of  what our evening  meal will be. It is great for galas, diner parties and Ladies Afternoon Teas… People love to know “what the menu is for any event.”  🙂  (They even have various colors of chalk to write in, so you can be more creative! 🙂  It is a great gift idea, as well as riveting addition to your kitchen or dining room.

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Some more great accents for your kitchen would be Chef hand towels, wall plaques, standing chefs, (in all shapes and sizes,) 🙂 Chef wallpaper, canister sets, salt an pepper holders, spice racks, chef cookie jars, designer paintings for your richly painted faux walls, boarder paper or menu holders. There is a wealth of accessories out there to make your kitchen a “Chef’s theme,” no matter what size it is! 🙂

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Here are a few back splash tile mural scenes for the back of your stove top in a “chef-like theme.”

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I do not have my colossal, spacious and grandiose “Chefs Dream kitchen” yet, but this blog has given me some great ideas...I am going to create some more space in my kitchen,  stick to one theme, (adorable chefs,) and keep the clutter out so my husband and I can create together, an abundance of new recipes and delicious cuisine. I want to leave you with a spicy and superb recipe to go along with your creation of your “Chef’s Dream” kitchen. Happy Creating and Enjoy!

 

Guacamole: Alton Brown

This recipe is for homemade guacamole sauce. It is great for soft tacos, Tostado salads, chicken burritos, fresh pico de gallo and chips, as well as for your Sunday brunch with Mexican omelets and home fries. I hope you really enjoy it!

YOU WILL NEED;
3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
Directions
In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.
This recipe is from Food Chef John Alton.