More Kitchen Updates

It’s been a long time since I updated but I finally have good pics of the changes to the kitchen.


I painted just about every surface in the kitchen–the cabinets, the cubby hole, the counters, the walls and even the tile backsplashes! Above you can see the cubby hole is now bright red against a soft green. The backsplash used to be a yellow/tan. And the counter, which was once just a simple formica, has been replaced by two IKEA modular pieces.

Dale eventually plans to gut the kitchen but I think with this refresh we can hold off!

A couple of before and afters:

This is how it looked on the first day we moved in–and how it looks now:

The only appliances we haven’t swapped out in past two years are the microwave and the stove.

I love that new clock over the sink! And while I still don’t like the rug, I picked up a couple of throw rugs that I like quite a bit.
Kitchen2014-1If I had to do it over again the only thing I would do differently would be the counters. I am glad I painted them but I would go a few shades lighter and I would put a few more coats of wax on it to make it stronger. Still, very happy with the new look in the kitchen!

Kitchen Updates Pt. 1

We’ve been making some updates to our kitchen this year, slowly but surely.

As a refresher, here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

120831-034As you can see we had an L-shaped formica countertop!

120831-020And black appliances on the opposite wall. The dishwasher was almost as old as the stove (which is basically ancient).

So the first thing we did this spring was to knock out the old formica countertop! And we put in place two mobile Ikea pieces that provide a ton of storage and butcher block counters:



Here is it all dolled up for a get-together! It’s not perfect but it’s a huge improvement in functionality for us.

Then we got an almost-new dishwasher from a friend (it’s Bosch, all stainless interior and basically 25 years newer than the one we had).


So this is the new Bosch! And while it’s a huge improvement, I actually really wanted stainless steel. And the miracle of modern technology gave me one: IMG_2877

This is actually a giant magnet you put on the front of the dishwasher to make it look like stainless steel. Ha! It works great. We got it at Amazon (affiliate link) and it worked like a charm! I really can’t tell you how much I enjoy this particular upgrade! For some reason it gives me more joy than almost anything else we’ve done in the kitchen so far. Weird, right? IMG_2885Then on Memorial Day weekend we upgraded our refrigerator to this giant beast. YAY for holiday sales! I am in LOVE with this thing. I want to refrigerate my life.

Next up: My kitchen cabinet refresh project.

New Year’s Long Weekend

We had a lovely New Year’s! Since we didn’t have a lot of time before or during Christmas, we opened our presents after Christmas once we got home. The carnage was still evident on New Year’s Eve.

Dale was a cooking fool on NYE. (I made the enchiladas the day before and they were very, very good). Dale made chocolate espresso mousse from scratch. Delish!

He also made a batch of his grandmother’s homemade chocolate syrup. In this picture he’s also showing off what was probably his favorite Christmas present of the ones I gave him. He has used the infrared laser thermometer for all his home-style cooking this year.

However, dinner was the real prize. He made crab cakes. very, tasty little brown puffs from heaven!

We served them with a lemon wasabi sauce we bought ages ago back when we first went to Lake Geneva!

We started the new year with fresh homemade hash browns. My mom would be happy to know that Dale is putting the Kitchen Aid she bought for him (seriously, she gave it to him, not me).

And it wouldn’t be a post from me without the cats. I went to make the bed and Monty was sitting on the edge of the bed, transfixed. Two squirrels were feasting on the seeds I left out for them. Monty is deeply fascinated by woodland creatures. Particularly when they show up on the porch of our third floor apartment!

Since Memorial Day…

What have we been up to since Memorial Day? It’s been pretty random…

I made Dale his favorite pancakes! This mix is from American Spoon and is one of our favorite things. They turn out brown and thin and tasty!

When my Aunt Diane and Uncle Randy came to visit a few weeks back we took them on a little mob tour and we meant to stop at Al Capone’s grave but it was closed when we got there. Dale and I just happened to be driving past the cemetery on Memorial Day and stopped to get a couple of photos. The gold cross is made from clothespins, oddly enough.

For some reason Mother Theresa Capone seemed like a funny name to me.

Matthew Capone was Al’s brother and somebody left him an offering. He couldn’t refuse it, obviously.

Further Randomness…
Dale reached way back in our hall closet and pulled out the crate that holds the hats and scarves. And he thought, “Gosh this feels heavy…” and out popped Sidney. Heh. And, oddly, Dale rifled around under him, got what he was looking for and put him back in the closet without Sidney ever feeling the need to get up.

I was making us some eggs and I cracked the egg and as I went to put it in the pan the egg FLEW out of the shell and landed under the pan. So, yeah, that’s not something you see everyday.


One of our new favorite things to do is to make pizza! We started lazy. I buy whole wheat crust from Whole Foods and rub a little olive oil on it. Then I take some pizza sauce–also acquired from WF–and spread it on evenly. We started out with just pepperoni but have quickly graduated to a whole new level (because we’re dorks).

We bought a brick of smoked mozzarella and some Crimini mushrooms in order to replicate one of our favorite pizzas from Trattoria 225 in Oak Park.

Anyway, we also re-discovered our Kitchen Aid slicer/shredder attachment–and it works so awesome with the smoked mozza brick! Check out the silly video! I would highly recommend the attachment if you have a KA. And I would also highly recommend smoked mozzarella with Crimini mushrooms on your next pizza.
We were so excited with teh results that we forgot to take the “after” photo of the pizza until, well, “after” we ate some! If you come visit me? I will make you some of this pizza!