Guest Post by Heather Neilson
We are nearing the four month mark of using our basement kitchenette while we are remodeling the upstairs kitchen/dining/family room areas. At first down sizing to such a small area seemed like an impossible task for a family of six, with a mom who LOVES to cook.
It took a couple of years kicking around a few ideas and a trip to IKEA to get inspired.
Here is a video of the installation of the Kitchenette. The cabinets and wall system were purchased at IKEA and installed by us. *note that we planned ahead and put 2X4′s in the wall wherever we knew the wall system would attach. Our home was a basement home from 1939-1944 and we just put a kitchen back where there once was one. It is a walk-out basement and with the kitchenette/living area, two bedrooms, and a bathroom it will make a cozy 700 sq. ft. apartment someday.
Sure, it was cute to look at, but I have been most surprised at how much I can do in this little gem. We eat family dinner together nearly every night and for six people that is no small task. Three of these people are ravenous teenagers. Originally, we had purchased a much smaller fridge, but decided that with all of the milk consumed in this household, a bigger (but still small) one was necessary. The far wall where the “dining area is will revert back to a small living room and the dining table for two you can see part of on the right side of the photo (the flip up kind from IKEA)
I love LOVE LOVE my convection Microwave. I was pretty used to cooking in the Microwave Convection and this year I even made Christmas dinner of Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, Mashed Potatoes and got rave reviews from the Children. It is an Amana that I bought several years ago and it fits perfectly under the counter. It was on clearance for $250. Most Convection Microwaves will run about $350-$1,000. Newer ones also have halogen and steam features. There are many over-the-stove models that would also work great that have air filters and lights. I love my Convection Microwave so much that I bought another one for the upstairs kitchen. I can’t believe that these little babies aren’t more popular, because it is pretty unbelievable what you can do in them. There is an element in the back of the oven and a fan that makes it Convection, PLUS it’s a microwave. If you use a microwave safe dish you can combo cook things. In regular convection mode you just use it just like you would it’s larger counterpart and bake and roast to your hearts content. I have even baked a medium and large Papa Murphy’s Pizza in here at the same time. I have had to get a little creative, but there really isn’t much that I haven’t been able to do in my kitchenette.
My second Love in the kitchen is the little $99 Frigidaire Portable induction cooktop.
The one thing that I don’t like about my Induction cooktop is that it emits a high pitch when it starts up and the kids go running…although that isn’t always so bad to have a peaceful kitchen to cook in
- Crock Pot
- Electric Griddle
- Waffle Iron….there would be a mutiny if we could not have Waffles on -Sundays.
- Hand Mixer ( *sigh*, however I dearly miss my KitchenAid stand mixer)
I have found that I will probably be getting rid of a lot of unnecessary pots and pans and other clutter when I move back upstairs. I have found that while everyone misses having a dishwasher, having a few people in the kitchen to do them by hand is good for conversation and family togetherness. Happy With What You Have Blog