happy new year!

chocolate magic shell
“But the kitchen will not come into its own again until it ceases to be a status symbol and becomes again a workshop. It may be pastel. It may be ginghamed as to curtains and shining with copper like a picture in a woman’s magazine. But you and I will know it chiefly by its fragrances and its clutter. At the back of the stove will sit a soup kettle, gently bubbling, one into which every day are popped leftover bones and vegetables to make stock for sauces or soup for the family. Carrots and leeks will sprawl on counters, greens in a basket. There will be something sweet-smelling twirling in a bowl and something savory baking in the oven. Cabinet doors will gape ajar and colored surfaces are likely to be littered with salt and pepper and flour and herbs and cheesecloth and pot holders and long-handled forks. It won’t be neat. It won’t even look efficient. But, when you enter it you will feel the pulse of life throbbing from every corner. The heart of the home will have begun once again to beat.” — Phyllis McGinley
sarah kieffer
My theme for this New Year is kitchen-as-workshop; I love the picture painted above: you and I will know it chiefly by its fragrances and its clutter…the pulse of life throbbing from every corner. Too often I find myself daydreaming about how to make my kitchen space bigger and better, ignoring the simple beauty in what my hands have put together on well-worn counter tops and aged appliances. The memory I hold to from my Grandmother’s kitchen is not of her posh center island or one-of-a-kind dishware, but of her long, wrinkled hands gracefully kneading bread dough on an old, wooden cutting board. There was soul in that wood, soul that just can’t be bought. The heart of the home will have begun once again to beat.
Almond Ring

Apple Rum Cake

Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

caramelized onion tartlets

brioche wreath


candy cane ice cream
If you follow along on Facebook, you may have noticed I contribute to quite a few sites. Here are a few recipes I’ve done recently (I’m sort of cheating on a post here, but I’ll hook you up with some recipe links). Also, all these sites are really great spaces! I highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t yet:

Brioche Almond Ring on Wit & Delight
Apple Rum Cake on Food 52
Sweet Potato Lentil Curry Soup on Food 52
Caramelized Onion Tartlets on Wit & Delight
Brioche Wreath on Bread in 5
Panettone on Rewire
Candy Cane Ice Cream with Chocolate Magic Shell on Handmade Charlotte

And, another big thank you for all your kind words and emails, checking in on all our house problems. I am happy to report that our basement is completely gutted, and our house is no longer a stink zone. We’ve had our furnace on for an entire two weeks, which was perfect timing as it is now currently -5 here in Snowland. I have my fingers crossed 2015 is going to be good to us.

Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Yes! I love the ‘kitchen as workshop’ idea. I find workspaces of all types to be so inspiring – and not just the pristine, organized, pinterest-worthy ones (although those are inspiring in their own way), but the places where real things are made, and done, and created.

    ? Stacey @ http://www.sweetlittlesparrow.com

    PS: Your brioche wreath is gorgeous 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah C @ Taste Neapolitan
    Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Your blogs are my absolute favorite. They resound inside of me. Thank you for writing!

  • Reply
    kristie {birch and wild}
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Wow, you make some beautiful food! Happy new Year to you!

  • Reply
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Happy, Happy New Year, Sarah! The photographs in this post are so lovely… seriously gorgeous. Wishing you and your family a healthy, fun-filled 2015. xx

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Happy 2015, Sarah! So glad to hear the house troubles have subsided just in time for this lovely weather we are having. I love how you mention that the memories of your grandmother’s kitchen have nothing to do with its outward appearances, and that’s so very true. A wonderful reminder for me as I enter this new year. xo

  • Reply
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Happy New Year!
    Lovely post, lovely recipes. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I love this perspective. My grandpa had a woodworking workshop when I was growing up and I love the connection this leaves in my mind between that space and my own kitchen (with its ugly yellow Formica countertops). Beautifully written-and photographed, Sarah!

  • Reply
    Emma Galloway
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Gosh you’re a busy girl! SOOO happy to hear things are on the up with your house, yay! Much love xx

  • Reply
    Becki Explorer
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 6:46 am

    This is such a beautiful sentiment! Sometimes it’s easy to forget what a kitchen is all about when you’re in it so often.

    Happy new year!

    B x

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see what 2015 brings for your blog!

  • Reply
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 5:24 am

    Happy New Year! I feel so good about my kitchen right now 🙂 Thanks!

  • Reply
    Monday, January 5, 2015 at 3:51 am

    Happy new year Sarah! Wishing you and your family every happiness for 2015 xo

Leave a Reply