Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Meeting Eleanor

With Great great Aunt Matie
 While in Kentucky, we all got to meet the newest addition to the family: Baby Applecookie.  Though her parents are insisting that we call her Eleanor.  Really, Applecookie is so much cuter!

Eleanor met a whole host of family members-- I am sure that she remembers all of their names.  She was passed around, hugged, cuddled, rocked, sung to, snuggled, kissed, bounced, and all around squeezed.

Can you blame us? Look at *just* how adorable she is?!!  Apple cookie, indeed.  She is deliciously precious.

With Cousins Chloe, Annabelle, Juliette, and Brando

kisses from Brando

Are you going to rescue me from tummy time? 

posing for photos is something she is really good at


Monday, January 30, 2012

Pasta Making

I went home earlier in the month for some family time.  My nieces were visiting and as activity, Grandmother decided that they should help her make fresh pasta for our evening meal.  Egg fettucini noodles are easy to make, actually, but first, Annabelle, Juliette, and Grandmother had to mathematically figure out how much of the ingredients were needed when quadrupling the recipe-- with 12 people to feed, a recipe has be at least 4 times more than what is called for!

How many eggs do we need? and cups of flour? 

After the math problem was solved, came the fun part: mixing the dough.  Annabelle was the expert egg cracker and Juliette the master of the food processing machine.  

Cracking and mixing

Juliette Child

The dough rested for a bit before the three chefs kneaded into smaller, flatter pieces.  This required both Annabelle and Juliette to stand on chairs in order to get enough leverage behind their kneading.

Time to knead the dough!

Once the dough was in smaller, flatter pieces, then fun really began!  The pasta machine was set up, ready for use.  

Annabelle fed the dough through the first section of the machine, cranking it slowly through, pressing the air out, and flattening the dough.  Starting at width 1 and working her way to a smaller width at level 5, Annabelle and Juliette turned the handle, moving the dough.  Once it was thin enough, they moved the handle to the second opening, where the dough was cut into noodles.

Turning the dough

Catching it on the other side

Annabelle cranked, and Juliette caught the noodles.  They then hung them up to dry.  Since we aren't in the noodle-making business, we don't have all the official equipment.  So, we improved with a clothes drying rack.  It is actually perfect for hanging out noodles.

drying on the rack

After a few hours on the rack, it was time to cook the noodles up and serve them with homemade pasta sauce.  The meal was absolutely delicious!  The best noodles I have had in a while.  The family nicknamed our budding chefs: Juliette Child and Annabelle Batali.  They can cook for us anytime!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The BIG Reveal

The Kitchen is DONE.  And we have moved back in.  We can't find where we have put things, but that doesn't matter.  We have a stove! water! and no more construction dust (on the first floor, don't ask us about the second floor...)

The new entry way into the kitchen/loo/dining room with a proper coat closet

Left side of the kitchen

Right side of the kitchen
looking back to the front door--and the transition from the old floor and new floor finish (and basement door slightly ajar)

sink in the loo

square toilet
under cabinet lighting

vases and jugs on the glass shelves next to the hood cabinet

orchid and lanterns on the other glass shelf, on the other side of the hood

light and mobile in the sink window

fancy lighting of the stove's knobs
chef's pantry

with movable shelving for lots of storage

the galley kitchen--about 6 feet wide

Truly Great-- a magnetic wall for our collection

Will's office, with the return of his many orchids-- which are about to bloom again

the back door

other side of the magnet wall

dining room with a new corner (where the easel is)

the various openings 

We have a punch list, which include some painting touch-ups and dimmer switches.  The crew will return next week to go over our list and get everywhere done/taken care of.  We had a lovely brunch with 20 people today and the kitchen performed beautifully--it dually impressed with its looks AND its function. Plus, the brunch provided us with a deadline to get the boxes unpacked and the house put back to together.  We have pictures still to hang, and there may be a few more boxes left upstairs still.

However: the kitchen renovation is 99.8% complete and we are thrilled. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Standard White, Italian Marble, and Tobacco

oh, someone is in the loo!
Tile work is done
The tile work is now complete.  All the grouting was done yesterday and has dried now.  We chose a "standard white" grout and it is a creamy color that matches the cabinetry.  We were both surprised at the difference it made in terms of making the glass tiles pop.  (Hehe, Will hates it when I say that.)  At first we were hesitant to put the tiles around the window, especially considering how deep the one window is, but it turned out all groovy, baby.

Close-up of the tile with grout
Next thing now marked off the list: ceiling and wall painting.  We choose the same color for the kitchen as is currently in our sitting room: Pratt and Lambert's "Tobacco".  For the new hallway/closet/bathroom, we went with a color several shades lighter but in the same color family as the tobacco.  It is called "Italian Marble" and I am slightly disappointed in just how light the paint is.  It is almost as if the walls haven't been painted at all.  It might be better once the trim is painted (which happens on Monday), or when we start hanging art, etc.  But for the moment, I am not really pleased with the color we chose in bathroom/hall area.
The walls with paint!
Now, however, I am over the moon excited about how the walls look in the kitchen!  The tobacco color looks perfect with the tile and the counter tops.  Our contractor and the painters were impressed with how bold we went.   


As a bonus, the column (pictured below) is where the magnetic wall will be!  So far it has about 3 coats of magnetic paint on it--which is why it is black in color.  We plan on putting a few more on before the tobacco color is painted on.  
The black paint on the column is the magnetic paint. 

I tested it with the few magentas I have out on the fridge: it works!! It isn't a super strong magnetic pull, like when you put two magnets next to each other.  Hopefully with more coats, it will be better. This column is where we are putting our magnet collection from around the world.  Not to mention photo sent to us, recipes, etc.  It will be just like our old fridge.  Only a wall, and therefore, cooler.

The best hardware store. ever.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Further Kitchen Developments

What, did you think that the kitchen was going to be done by the end 2011?  Ha.  We are looking at another month.  You know what that means?:  another month of construction photos on on the blog!  I knew you would be thrilled when I told you that. 

So. we have now: door/drawer handles in place.  Trim everywhere.  Walls resanded and ready for primer + paint.  Door knobs installed on closet doors, french doors into the dining room, and the bathroom. We also have a special bathroom lock that tell us if the loo is vacant or engaged.  

bathroom door with knob and lock
the loo is available! 
trim installed, ready for primer! 

doors into the dining room

closet dooors
double handles on the drawers


 Also, we have tile!  Two extra orders, two home deliveries and one pick-up late, we have the one wall of the kitchen tiled and setting.  Tomorrow: grouting in a light creamy white.  It looks amazing.  Running the tile vertically distracts you from the fact that we have an incredibly long galley kitchen.  

tile goes around the windows

where tile meets counter, sans grout 

 It is starting to really come together.  By the end of the week, we should have the whole thing tiled, grouted, and painted.  Makes coming home from work every day exciting!