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Thursday, July 25, 2013

No More Bitchin in my Kitchen

You know how there can be a space in your home can be on the blah side of life? And you just roll with the blah because you just really don't have the time/energy/money to change it at this moment? But then something ignites inside of you and you really just don't want to be stuck in the boring and you spend so much time in your home that you might as well make it as happy as you possibly can. For me that space is was my kitchen. Functionally it was completely fine. But fine isn't exactly joyous to spend a lot of time in. And since that is always the space that people gravitate to, style was exactly what this kitchen was yearning for.

Instead of doing a complete remodel our kitchen story went more like this.

Husband: Let's replace our insanely dated oven and microwave so you actually have some counter space.
Me: No thanks. I'm good. I'd rather wait until we can update the whole kitchen at once.
Husband: Trust me on this.
After weeks of convincing...
Me: Okay. Let's do it.
New sparkly shiny oven/stovetop/microwave are installed. There's now a giant hole in the island where the old stove top used to be. While convenient for reaching the crockpot inside of the hole, the island looks ridiculous.
Me: Maybe we could get new countertops and cover up that giant hole?
Husband: Okay.
New beautiful countertops are installed. Backsplash tile looks like the most dated broken thing ever.
Husband: Yes. We'll put a new backsplash in.
Me: I'll paint the cabinets.
Husband: Or I'll see if the painters I work with will do it.
Painter: We should really paint the walls too.
Husband and Me: Okay.

Yes. I omitted all of the cursing that happened inbetween those conversations. I recommend a getaway in the middle of this project and returning when it is completely done. And a lot of wine throughout.

After what started with an oven came piles of sawdust, lots of profanity over dust and unfinished projects, new granite, new tile backsplash, a facebook paint opinion poll, freshly painted cabinets and walls, more profanity, a new sink, new hardware and a new dishwasher came a whole lot of happy. The whole project cost much more than we anticipated but it was definitely cheaper than a full remodel and it feels like a new, beautiful space. Here are some pictures for you:

I don't have pictures of the old oven but picture something really old school  in a not good way. But this baby was the one that inspired us to up the all around joy factor of this space.

There's the island hole! What a beauty...

And then came granite.

then the backsplash and the (slightly painful) choosing of colors. #1 grey won for the cabinets and #2 white-gray won for the island and the backside of the bar. Thank you to everyone who played on facebook.

Lucy's choice, glitzy gold won for the walls. It's bold but I dig it.


The grey on the cabinets is definitely darker and more sexy than it appears in photographs. I'm not sure that the pictures do it justice but you get the idea.

Did I mention that I love my husband?

Happy summer projects to you...

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Best Grilled Cheese

This is the easiest recipe ever. I'm sharing it anyway because we've been in and out of town, we're remodeling our kitchen, I'm covered in saw dust, our dishwasher is randomly broken, it is summer and I have all of these children. So please forgive me for me being loopy. And cheesy.

You know I dig the farmers markets and I dig simplicity (and I already mentioned the broken dishwasher so we are using dishes with extreme thoughtfulness) so enter my summer bff: the panini maker. My mother-in-law got me this for my birthday and I am a girl obsessed. If the house was on fire I'd probably be grabbing this and my Vitamix on the way out the door. Of course this is after my children are safe and secure (I have a soul people!). Even if you are not engaged you should definitely register for one. Seriously. Why should brides have all of the fun?

I'll give you the recipe but please know that I know that this recipe isn't really necessary. You know how to make grilled cheese. But this one was just that scrumptious that my 8-year old told me, "Mom you really need to put this on your blog. It is soooo good." I don't want to disappoint Lucy and all the grilled cheese loving children in the world. I also want you to know that I love green juice but I also love bread. And if there is a life that exists without cheese and bread than I just don't know that I want to live in it. It is all about the balance baby, balance.

The Players:

  • 2 pieces of wheat bread (I'm not trying to insult your intelligence, they are just a necessary ingredient)
  • 2 slices of cheddar (get this at your local farmers market if you can- it really is all about the cheese)
  • 2 thin slices of tomato 
  • Fresh basil

The Game:

Fire up your panini maker or just an old fashioned pan if you fancy (if using a pan, you will just want to make sure that you butter the bread to prevent sticking; no need to with the bff panini maker). Layer your cheddar, tomato and basil and anything else you feel like throwing in there you wild child. Cook until the cheese is oozy and the bread is golden (don't mock me, I told you this was unnecessary recipe- I just love to see how grilled cheese makes everyone so very happy). Serve over a cloth napkin and while it might be messy, you won't have to hand wash any dishes. 

If Kate Middleton was coming over, this would be what I would make for her.
And something organic in my Vitamix for her baby.

Hope you love it and that you are loving the ease of summer meals. I would love to hear your go to recipe when your dishwasher is broken (or you've given up cooking for July and August).