My latest girl crush and cooking inspiration is Rachel Khoo, star of The Little Paris Kitchen, a show documenting her cooking adventures in a tiny kitchen in the Belleville district of the French capital. The Little Paris Kitchen was also the name of the smallest restaurant in Paris, a table in Rachel’s apartment where she delighted many guests with laid-back food, as she says, “as Parisians cook and eat.”

I recently got her book and have been drooling over the delicious recipes included. and was planning on attempting one when suddenly, our stove died. The oven, to be more precise. We had had problems with the microwave before and since it was all one unit, once the oven died, we decided to replace it.

Here is our old range, a.k.a. Carol Brady:

Two levels, just like Carol’s haircut šŸ˜€ dependable, but showing its age. Also, not having to do with Carol Brady at all, but apparently ti was also illegal, since the microwave and stove were too close together, which meant we could never stir a pot of pasta in the back, and there was a gap between the top of the microwave and the bottom of the cabinet, which was built for a modern-sized range and microwave.

Once we took out the range and microwave and slid in the new stove, a.k.a. Rachel Khoo II šŸ˜€ a little detail became clear:

When we re-painted the kitchen last year, we decided not to paint behind the range unit because “it’s not like we’re ever going to move it”. Mm-hmm.

Instead of painting, though, we decided on a decorative touch, using something I had seen at Lowe’s and had been wanting to try:

We did not want to cover the entire perimeter of the kitchen with these tiles, but instead, just add a little pop of sparkly goodness (and cover up all that red!). My awesome husband did all the installing, although we will be having an electrician run a new line for the microwave since it uses more wattage than the old one.

I am so looking forward to making recipes from Ms. Khoo’s cookbook on our new range. Easy, affordable, laid-back, no-pressure French cooking? Count me in! And let’s just hope the refrigerator doesn’t decide to kick the bucket any time soon!