Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kitchen tour: Beth Stephens, The Food Adventuress.

nwafoodie Beth Stephans The Food Adventuress kitchen tour
{wouldn't you just want to be her friend?}
Once upon a time, in a lazy mid-summer day filled with warm breezes and a belly aching for the deliciousness that was soon to come, I stepped into a dream world.  A world filled with charm, character, and stories that made me want to never leave.  Begging me to stay in this magical place forever or, at least until the dinnertime bell chimed.

That dream world was the historical home, dining room, and kitchen of food blogger and friend, Beth Stephens, The Food Adventuress.  Three hours of bliss and inspiration.  Three hours of friendship, strengthening.  Three hours of pampered food and drink, what’s not to love about that? Seriously.

Let me take you on a tour of Beth’s kitchen.  Step into this land of surely-this-is-make-believe with me.  I’ll be your guide.


Beth lives in the historical downtown district in Rogers, Arkansas.  A distinction that does stir up jealousy within me, I admit.  Who doesn’t love the idea of strolling a few blocks to the farmer’s market, or being an instant member of a passionate historic district community? Who wouldn’t like coming home every day after a hard day of work and sitting in a homemade swing in the front yard, legs dangling as kids breathlessly run by, chasing fireflies?

nwafoodie kitchen tour Beth Stephens The Food Adventuress
{her home draws you in, begging for a visit} 
The kitchen, oh the lovely kitchen. Let’s go there.

Beth’s kitchen is in the opposite direction of the ‘model home’ layout.  Whereas one is coldly designed as a staging technique, when you step into Beth’s world your heartbeat slows down and a wave of peace and calm washes over you.  This is a real home. A real kitchen. Yes, hers is a kitchen restored to reflect an updated usability that an one hundred year old home needs yet it still manages to keep its charm.  I just love that one wall is a Stephens family community chalkboard.  Daily quotes, the upcoming weather report, and displays random bits of notes that only a family would understand.  A family connected.

nwafoodie
{I dare you not to walk over and read the chalkboard}

Did I mention a chalkboard? Try about a hundred on for size.  Beth may have a chalkboard addiction, and may need professional help.  Chalkboards are scattered throughout her home, particularly abundant in her kitchen.  Yet somehow, somehow, it really just works.

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{her meals make me hungry... and that lighting, gorgeous!}

 Here, she uses a smaller chalkboard near her sink to give me an impromptu cooking lesson that explained the difference between croque monsieur and croque madam.  She treated me to croque monsier, er, that is, croque smoked-salmon because I do not eat ham. Is there a French name for that?

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{right now, find a spot in your kitchen that needs a chalkboard and do it already!}

 I do know there is an English phrase for it = savory deliciousness. I wish you could taste this over the internet. Picture crisped edges of rich French bread, homemade pesto mayonnaise, Dijon, and a sprinkling of herbs de provence.  Add the savory smoothness of goat cheese and top it with a smoked salmon that brings just the right earthiness of depth by itself. Once combined with the cheese and condiments it is engages just about every taste bud within your mouth.  A salad perfectly complimented our sandwich and was beautifully arranged on her built-in and century-old sideboard. 

Gotta’ love a gal with a built-in sideboard.

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{believe me, it even tasted better than it looks}

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{white cabinets make everything seem crisper and more friendly}

 Let’s keep touring the kitchen, shall we?

The kitchen has an adorable corner sink.  Have you ever come across one?  It made me want to instantly go home and remodel my own kitchen.  (If only it had an available corner, sigh.)

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{I wonder which side she washes the dishes on?}

 Yes, the sink is adorable and truly is cozy, however it is more than a chalkboard here or there or an adorable sink that makes Beth’s kitchen so approachable.  Take a look around at all of these photos and really see all the little personal touches?  Do you see the fleur de lis painted on the window? The tin pot with flours? Glasses stacked within arms reach, each with their own personality?

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{I wanted the printed ones}
This is a kitchen of nooks and crannies.  Of imagination.  Charming and cozy.  Each corner brings something new within in sight.  Everything has a story and believe me, there are not shortages of conversation starters.

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{peek-a-boo, I see a nook or two}

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{a sitting room is just beyond the kitchen, perfect for a glass of wine and conversation}

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{displays of a time spent living in France}

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{she still has the bottle from her very first wine}

My eyes landed on an old weather-worn recipe equivalent notation, clipped on a wired hutch door with an antiquated clothes pin.  Beth has a story for that one, too. A story about how she found that raggedy piece of paper in her grandmother’s hutch. I love that she displays it. Still part of her grandmother’s hutch. I love her stories.  

Beth isn’t your ordinary food blogger.  

She starts conversations.

You'll want to be a part of them when you follow her blog.

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{the clothes pin says "mom 2003"}

Her pantry stopped my heart. Her husband took out the shelves and created a wrap-around and to-the-ceiling blank canvas for her.  Spices lined all the way up on one side. I admit that I shameless stole this idea from her for my own pantry.  I love how functional it is.  I love that she can see all of her pantry essentials and cookbooks.  I love it so much that I made it my own personal “favorite space” in my newly remodeled kitchen.  The Arkansas Democrat Gazette even interviewed me for it.  Thanks Beth for the inspiration.  Feel free to gather inspiration yourself.  I promise she won’t mind.

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{yes, this really does go all the way to the ceiling}

 The kitchen tour winded down and Beth plated the final finishing touch, a homemade tart.  She is a girl after my own foodie heart, providing us both with a savory tart and a little after dinner blackberry bubbly apertif.

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{a picture of domestic bliss}

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{red, red, red accents everywhere}

 Can you see why I love to call her my friend?  Everyone should be so lucky to have a little big of sunshine and inspiration in their lives.  I call mine… Beth. 

nwafoodie kitchen tour
{tummies are full and hearts are singing}

May our friendship live happily ever after.

Lyndi

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.

20 comments:

  1. Love this kitchen tour! I wish I were this organized.

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    1. Thanks Wendy, it was a fun tour for sure! Beth and I joked about going into business together and organizing people's kitchens. :)

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  2. Great tour, jealous I was not there. I am not sure what could be better than hanging out with you two lovelies, having wine, talking food, and EATING.

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    1. It pretty much defined a great afternoon which could only be improved it you were there! :)

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  3. Lyndi, thanks for this! I met Beth at AWBU and she is such a wonderful gal! I knew her kitchen had to be wonderful after hearing stories about her daughter's lunches for day care.

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    1. Hi Kim, thanks for the note! Seriously, she is so out of the ordinary, isn't she?!

      Have a great day Kim!

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  4. I {heart} Beth...and her kitchen. And, her mobile bar...I haven't forgotten the mobile bar!

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    1. Oh Gina, you and I just had to know her kitchen wouldn't be cookie-cooker, right?! Sadly I never got to experience the mobile bar... I left too soon!

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  5. You two are so cute. Feel free to come visit MY kitchen ;)

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    1. That is a great idea! I'll do just that!!!

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  6. I have been in Beth's kitchen haven, and everything you say is true! Your post makes me want to go back right now! Watch out, Beth. You'll soon have a kitchen full of hungry bloggers with posts like this out there. And Lyndi, I mean it. If you two need a "guinea pig" when you start your buiness, I have the perfect worst case scenario kitchen for you.

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    1. Let's see... hungry bloggers? I think Beth can handle that!

      You're tempting me on the kitchen clean-up... how far away in Missouri are you? :)

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  7. Wow. I am super jealous. Before reading this, and looking at the pictures I was all, yeah I want Lyndi to tour my kitchen! And now I'm all like, I want chalkboards. Fun post!

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    1. I dare you! 2013 is the year of chalkboards!

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  8. Kitchens with chalkboards rock. Get one and call me and I'll be right over with my camera! :)

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  9. Can we talk about how jealous I am that I wasn't there for this magical afternoon in Beth's cozy, adorable home?! Loved the tour and now I'm really hungry... :-) thanks for sharing!!

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  10. Ohh that is definitely my dream kitchen!So awesome!

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  11. I love the character that reigns in Beth's kitchen. It just oozes warmth and interest - just like Beth. You two are very special ladies. Love to you both and Happy New Year. I will look forward to the next kitchen installment:)

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    Replies
    1. {thank you -- hugs to you!!}

      I have 6 kitchen tours already lined up!

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