Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TKO Tuesday: Breakfast Center/Snack Zone

Continuing with food prep/cooking areas, I'll veer off to left of the Baking Center (as if facing it), and discuss a secondary cooking and prep zone.

When we moved into our previous house, the single wall oven was in disrepair, as was the cooktop.  We replaced the cooktop with a 30-inch range, and the wall oven remained for a couple of years until we remodeled.  During that time it served as a very handy storage area for chips, cereals, breads, and crackers.  After the remodel I missed that feature, and no longer had large enough, in-kitchen storage for those things, so wanted to remedy that in our new home's kitchen.

Over the years, the toaster oven became a well-used appliance in our kitchen.  We rarely had regular toast, but used it for browning burritos, crisping English muffins, melting cheese on open-faced sandwiches, reheating pizza, etc., etc.  The white and chrome exterior and glass door were stained from heat, grease, and burned on spills.  Being a cheap less expensive model, the handle was sometimes crooked, and the knob fell off.  It was an aggravation and it was ugly... but a necessary evil, and with the daily use, it needed a convenient spot in the new kitchen. 

The solution to meeting both of these needs meant the creation of our Breakfast and Snack Center.

At first I hoped for a low-visibility location for the toaster oven, and actually worked on several ideas to try to hide it.  Knowing my family and the constant use of the heat-producing appliance, I realized that any doors or other cover would just end up getting left open, so settled on counter space.  I also spent a bit more for a sturdier oven whose exterior would be more forgiving in showing the signs of heavy use.

The counter in front of the toaster oven could be larger, but serves a purpose as landing zone for the toaster oven, and singular sandwich prep space.  
If more sandwiches are being made, that usually happens on the island.

The cabinet above stores crackers, chips, cereals, as well as peanut butter and honey.

The drawer immediately underneath 
the toaster oven houses our breads.  The bigger drawer under that holds napkins, placemats, and rarely used paper plates.  The bottom drawer holds waters bottles... and the salad spinner that seemed to fit nowhere else.

The refrigerator to the right is also a crucial part of this zone.  It holds milks, fruit, salad veggies, and anything to include in sandwiches that requires refrigeration.  This fridge also serves the dining room table by housing condiments and salad dressings.

Our kitchen table was included mostly for a 'hang out' spot for those doing homework or reading the paper while others cook or bake, but it serves this zone, also, as a breakfast or lunch spot on days those meals are done in shifts.
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