Thursday, October 31, 2013

Foodie Friday

 Happy Halloween!
This Foodie Friday finds me under the weather.
Which means it's time for chicken noodle soup.
 Which means Bandwidth is in the kitchen again.
 


 
Not much has happened in the food department lately.
 
Here's an edited peek at the home renovation saga.
 
The photo on the left is a "before" picture. On the right is an "in progress."

The Kitchen Clock Project.
The magnificent Jimmy took my clock (and inspiration photo) to his workshop.


We love the Timberlane shutters. Bandwidth couldn't wait to close/open them.

 
Upcoming Projects:
Footing for the potting shed

A remodeled entry courtyard
 
Steps at one end ... leading to a someday garden.


 
 
 
If you are participating in Foodie Friday, please take a moment to read the guidelines.
To add a link to your post, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x"
beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error;
the red "x" is visible to you only.

For a complete guide to this linky party, click HERE.

** Would you like to add your recipes to the "Consuming Passions" group board at Pinterest?
It can be found HERE. We're a small, sociable group; Foodie Friday folks are always welcome to "pin" with us and chat about food. Just leave a comment on one of my recent"pins," so I'll be sure to see it, and I will send you an invitation. Or you can email me.

 Thanks for visitin'!

Foodie Friday


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Foodie Friday: Grilling with Bandwidth

Welcome to the October 25th Foodie Friday.
 
Bandwidth is your host this week, and he has prepared a lip-smacking
version of Chochos, skewered beef kabobs that are found on the menu at many Asian restaurants. 
 
His quest for homemade Chochos began when his dad developed some chewing problems. Though he loved Chochos at the local Asian restaurant, he was unable to enjoy them. Bandy
began to search for a tender version.
 
He started with a homemade marinade.

Honey Teriyaki Beef Chochos
 
 
Marinade:
 
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons minced ginger (fresh)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped green onions
 
Into a large bowl or container, mix ingredients and pour over 2 sliced New York strip steaks.
Cover and let strips marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour (overnight is awesome).
Remove beef from marinade. Place strips on soaked bamboo skewers (if you prefer, use metal skewers). Cook beef on a grill at medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Garnish with parsley.
 
Bandy used a charcoal starter, which he found at Home Depot.
He says it takes the angst out of grilling.



 
These chochos are moist, tender, and layered with flavors.
And so easy to make.
 
A couple of Halloween spiders crashed our dinner party.

 
 


If you are participating in Foodie Friday, please take a moment to read the guidelines.
To add a link to your post, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x"
beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error;
the red "x" is visible to you only.


For a complete guide to this linky party, click HERE.

** Would you like to add your recipes to the "Consuming Passions" group board at Pinterest?
It can be found HERE. We're a small, sociable group; Foodie Friday folks are always welcome to "pin" with us and chat about food. Just leave a comment on one of my recent"pins," so I'll be sure to see it, and I will send you an invitation. Or you can email me.

 Thanks for visitin'!

 




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Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Anniversary Potting Shed

Today, Will and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary.
We were married in my parents' living room on October 20, 1978. My sociology professor
conducted the ceremony, and a shaggy-haired musician played the guitar and sang "Annie's Song."
I borrowed a wedding gown, and Will rented a gray tuxedo.



Will is the gardener in the family. I have a black thumb. Opposites attract, right?
It took him thirty-five years to get me in the garden. This summer, he noticed that our Jeep had turned into a mobile potting shed, crammed with tools, fertilizer, gloves, Round-Up bottles,
and various types of deer-repellent.
And dirt.
 
Will likes those things, no matter where they're stored. However, the Jeep had shrunk. It held only two passengers and minimal groceries, requiring some creative shuffling when the family went to see Gravity.
 
Earlier this summer, I found plans for a whimsical shed.
 
Just what two gardeners need.

 
 
Of course, I imagined a cute shed, filled with clay pots, glove boxes, and whatnots.

source

Will envisioned a place where twisted bags of soil were lined up along the wall. A place filled with power tools and hose pipes.
After 35 years, we have adjusted to our different styles. Girly vs the rough 'n tumble Big Guy.
 
Speaking of tumbles...
One evening, Will went up to look at his garden and fell down the hill.
It wasn't a big hill, but the ground gets harder every year. 
A tricksy incline wasn't the only problem.
Chiggers and ticks lurked in the small patch of grass that lay between the driveway and garden.
 
Not a biggie.
 
Unless the tick gives you an icky case of Lyme Disease.
Or a night-time tumble down the hill results in a herniated disc.
 
Will and I kept gardening through rain, infirmities, bugs, bruises, and rabbit-attacks. We weren't giving up. Our harvest has been puny, but when we drive up and see a majestic deer on the hill, we don't chase it off, we take pictures.
 
"Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better."
--Albert Einstein.
 

We decided to commemorate our anniversary (and my milestone birthday) with
garden steps and a potting shed.
 
 
The Steps:
Bluestone steps with a broad landing.
Lighting.


 
Construction on the shed starts tomorrow, weather permitting.
(Prompting me to check the 7-day forecast every hour.)

 

Gardening isn't for sissies (me) or weaklings (me again),
but it gives you back ten-fold, even if the deer eat your tomatoes and you must buy Romas at Publix.
 
Digging in the earth is life-affirming.
 
 
"God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures."
--Francis Bacon, "Of Gardens."



Shared at Metamorphosis Monday

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Renovation Diary--Mid October 2013

 Nerves of steel are required if you are renovating a house.
If you've remodeled, you automatically get five bonus points, a hug, and chocolate.
 
 The first time we saw the house, I imagined wooden shutters, and Will imagined
a tear-down.

 
He's a football obsessed physician, the type of guy who wouldn't know a corbel from cheesecake (and has no desire to learn the difference). He shocked me when he demolished the front porch.
"Something's missing," he kept saying. "Something's wrong."
 

Shutters would help, right?
Will had zero interest in selecting paint colors, thank heavens. So I got to work.
 
I'd secretly longed for a light, airy farmhouse feel.
I dusted an old shutter and tested BM's Stratton Blue. It looked great in the shade.


 
A little coastal in bright light.



I had more paint pots in the garage, so I tried SW Intellectual Gray and Anonymous.
I chickened out.

 
I was smitten with the tone-on-tone look on the right.
 Will thought it was bland.
I posted photos on the blog and Rattlebridge's Facebook page.
Some people liked the darker gray; others preferred the lighter.
 
Timberlane Shutters had sent a color sample sheet. I tried several itty samples. Then I saw this photo on their website. The shutter color was a mossy green.
 
Timberlane sent a mossy green sample. I liked it, but I was afraid to commit.
What if the green looked wrong? I didn't want to repaint brand new shutters!

 
In June, I tested gray-browns: SW Warm Stone and SW Griffin.

Again, I sent a shout out to bloggers. Everyone liked SW Griffin.


 The shutters arrived in mid-October, along with detailed instructions.
The carpenters installed one shutter, then asked me to take a look. As I walked up from the side, I thought: too much brick is showing.

 
But I was wrong.
A lot goes into the installation of functional shutters. When closed, they
must cover the window. And, these shutters are heavy. 

 
Next, I had to decide about the shutter dogs.
No! Not another decision!
 
And if I wanted the shutters to be aligned perfectly straight with the windows or to gently fall back against the brick. I loved the old fashioned "falling back" look. 






 
The bottom windows now have shutters.

 
Do you remember Will's porch?
I showed him a photo of designer Mary Carol Garrity's corbels.
I found something similar at the local builder's supply.
 
While we're waiting for the corbels to be installed,
We painted the ceiling Haint Blue and added dentil trim.
 
 


 
 
Here's a peek at our new interior doors. 
This was another difficult decision. I went back and forth between 7' and 8' doors.
I saw a few examples in person.
Eight foot doors and a nine foot ceiling.
Eight foot doors and a ten foot ceiling.
Seven foot doors and a nine foot ceiling.
Eight foot doors and an 8-1/2 foot ceiling.
 
I chose JELD-WEN 8 foot doors and refused to second guess the decision,
which is my second favorite activity, the first being eating peanut butter fudge.
The rooms seem so airy. Even Will loves the new doors and stopped talking about For Sale signs.
 
The opening to the dining room was enlarged to an 8 foot opening, too.
 

Though I like black interior doors, I decided they weren't right for my house.

 
 
However, that doesn't mean I'll go with creamy white paint. :-) 
 
 
The Saga of the Kitchen Clock continues.
Chocolate is required before you proceed.
Lots and lots of chocolate.
You can find a recap HERE.
 


 
Meanwhile, the kitchen was primed (that's why it's extremely white).
I tried to color the rest of it with wonky Photoshopping.
 
What to do.
A clock was featured in the inspiration photo.
My kitchen has a lower ceiling and a smaller range hood. But I just had to try a clock.
:
 I began with a 22" inch round clock. 
 
The carpenters built a "prototype." No trim or frills.
They couldn't make the housing smaller, fearing the clock might not be secure.
Even though the prototype wasn't to scale, I sort of liked the idea of a clock.
 


I liked how the round clock echoed the arched window.


 I found a smaller clock at Ballard Designs.
Now, I had a Goldilocks dilemma.


The scale is much better...almost in the Goldilocks zone.
The design was close. But not close enough. 
 
 
My knock-off Photoshopping resembles Cool Whip, but it helped me
see how the clock housing might look when it's painted.
Still, something was wrong.

Houston?
 
We have a few problems.

The carpenter was reluctant to add curves to either side of the the wooden housing, fearing each swoop will be too low and reveal things that we'd like to hide, like the hood vent.
 
Another problem: the existing base of the clock housing isn't fully integrated into the trim and hood. 
 
When I got home, I studied the photos. The housing above the top curve of the clock can be made higher, from 4 to 10 inches. That would help with the scale and allow for curves.
But the bottom of the housing needs work.
Each little tinker costs $$, so I'm trying one more time.
Then my cabinet maker, Jimmy, will build a clock housing, so that it's better integrated with the hood and trim.
 
The ceiling beams will be trimmed so they aren't so boxy, and corbels will be added to the base of each beam, if possible.
 
 
 The Rear Porch Decision:
 
I've been going back and forth about the back porch. Should we
screen it, turn it into a room, or leave it alone?
You can read about that dilemma HERE.


 
Will has been eyeing the garage for a conversion, and Bandy has been eyeing the space above it.

 
Then I found an inspiration photo, one that resonated and felt right for the house.
source
 
It was fate.
We already had Gothic windows in the foyer and kitchen.
 
 
My contractor set up an appointment with an architect.


 
As he walked around the house, he sketched a few ideas.

 

 
If you've revamped a room or a house, you've probably got a story.
I'd love to hear about your "ah ha" moments.
Do you have a funny (or hair-raising) story?
 
Thanks for visiting--have a wonderful weekend!
 

Shared at Metamorphosis Monday.

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