My kitchenaid kitchen

 

 

 

I recently moved into my new house and I needed to update the kitchen appliances.  As a professional chef in Atlanta, I am used to working on Wolf/Subzero, Thermadore and Viking appliances.  I have never worked on a Kitchenaid product.  I decided that this house would be a Kitchenaid kitchen.  I didn’t want to re-do the entire kitchen but remove the old dishwasher, stove, refrigerator and add a new range hood.

 

 

 

 

 

chef alexis hernandez

 

The first part of the project was to see if the refrigerator would fit in the built-in.

The height of the built-in was not tall enough.  I removed the top part of the built-in and I made sure that the specifications and measurements were followed exactly.

If you are doing this as a project and making the refrigerator built into the wall, make sure you are reading the correct specifications. If you don’t it will be difficult to complete the project.

 

 

 

The refrigerator fit perfectly with a couple of minor adjustments.  I didn’t take the plastic off until this kitchen project was completed.

 

 

 

The second part of the project was to replace the old cook top.  I ran into a couple of problems when I was measuring.  The top part of the cook top measured 36″ but the box under it that controls the gas and heat was smaller that 36″.  When hen my cook top arrived I tried to put it into place, only to find that the space was too small to fit the new cook top.

If you are replacing a cook top make sure to measure the box under the cooking element to make sure that you don’t run into the same problem I did.

 

 

 

The fix for this problem was easy, we just had to cut about 3 inches away from the counter without breaking the rest of the granite around the area. My contractor agreed to cut the granite and connecting the gas and electric was just simply plugging a wire into an outlet and connecting the gas to the source.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third part of the project was to install a new hood.  I put up tape and marked out where the hood would be to visually see if I would like it.

I also needed to cut out the top part of where the old hood went to fit the new hood.

 

It was easy enough since when I got home from a clients house it was already done for me.  I did need to remove the shelves and cut the venting pipe to the right height.  I tried to install this myself but the hood weighed so much that I decided to let a professional install it.

 

 

 

My kithcenaid kitchen

 

The hood works great and now I just need to patch above the hood and finish the back splash. It has 600 CFM’s and is enough power to remove smoke and odors when I am cooking.

The Kitchenaid dishwasher was the easiest of the renovation activities.  It was delivered and installed in 30 minutes.  Very quiet and cleans stuff that would normally be left by other dishwashers.

 

 

 

 

 

The last part of my kitchen project is to purchase new double ovens. These two ovens are about 20 years old but they work great but I will be moving these into my catering/test kitchen and replacing them with Kitchenaid ovens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage cookie Jars

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Monk Cookie Jar

 

 

I have received messages from my friends on twitter asking if I would take pictures of some of the items I look at when I venture out on the weekends to the consignment stores.  This past weekend I saw lots of stuff. The amount of vintage cookie jars that was in this store was astonishing.  I don’t collect cookie jars but there is something about the act of collecting.  To some people it is just fun and to others it provides inspiration or because it reminds people of their childhood.  I like to collect vintage Christmas ornaments.  The ornaments can be scratched, faded or worn.  I don’t care they make me smile when I pull them out during the holidays.

For those of us that like to collect cookie jars here are some I saw this past weekend.

The Monk on the left was under $45.00 and most were under $85.00.

 

 

My favorite was the clown cookie jar.  I never understood the fear some people associate with clowns.  I would of purchased this piece if the access point to the cookies were through the clowns mouth instead of the head of the clown.

 

 

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Clown Cookie Jar

Vintage finds in Atlanta

 

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Antiques & Beyond in Atlanta

 

 

On the weekends, I enjoy going to different antique or consignment stores Atlanta. I find it relaxing and it has become a ritual for me on the weekends. I was at Antiques & Beyond, one of m favorite furniture consignment stores this past weekend. As a personal chef I enjoy collecting vintage items to grace my tables. I didn’t purchase any because I usually use small salt cellars when I have guests over to my house.  I found this array of salt and pepper shakers that were truly wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These sunflower salt and pepper shakers were only $4.00  I didn’t purchase them since I don’t know how many times I can use this type of theme.  The glaze work on all of the older/vintage salt and pepper shakers are exquisite. I think you can drop these guys on the concrete and they will never break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the rest of the salt and pepper shakers I saw today.  If you are interested, click here for pictures of vintage glass jars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mc Manis 2010 vintage Viognier

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Spotted a deal for my wine living friends. This wine is under $12.00 and is great for summer. I snagged mine for $8.99 at Kroger on piedmont. Peachy and hints of melon. Goes well with burgers or other grilled foods.

The fruits of Summer!

 

 

 

 

Chef Alexis Hernandez with pears.

 

 

 

Our pear tree in Atlanta has lots of pears this year! Even though they are not ripe…20 or 30 pears have fallen to the floor and I have picked most of them up to make some jam. Growing up in Union City, N.J. I never thought that I would have an old 30-year-old pear tree. As a chef, I love the idea and reality of it.

 

 

 

 

 

I am happy about this bowl of pears, I guess it’s the simple things in life that make us ultimately happy!

Uses for coffee grounds

I have tried to find a use for things I would normally throw away.  Being a chef in Atlanta, I do that with just about every piece of food I make.  I can’t throw away food in the kitchen; I have to find a way to use it in my dishes. One of the things I  reuse in the garden is coffee grounds.  I use it in my garden because it’s easy to do! It also helps amend the soil and make it a little more acidic even though most of the acid as been removed by the brewing process.

chefalexishernandez.com If you don’t drink coffee and you need to add some coffee grind to your soil don’t fret. I have a great solution for you that will be inexpensive.

 

 

 

All you have to do is go to  your local Starbucks coffee shop and ask if they will give you some used coffee grind. They will happily give you pounds of used coffee grinds free.  At some locations in the spring, they will have the bags of used coffee neatly packaged in bins for customers to use at no cost.

 

 

Recently I planted  five new hydrangea and I used the 8 oz of used coffee grinds I had saved over the last couple of days.  Some of the flowers are a light pink but I think it would be pretty of have the flowers bloom in the color blue.  If the soil is acidic it will turn the blooms on the flower blue.  It was easy enough to apply.  I just sprinkled some of the coffee at the stem of the plant. I also put a tablespoon or too around the soil of other flowers in the garden as well.