Tag Archives: kitchen

Country Kitchen Redo

18 Jan

Turns out I can’t move into a house without throwing myself into some DIY projects! I knew the kitchen was a must as soon as we looked at this house…

Cabinets were good quality, but the fluorescent light fixture, plastic counters, drop in sink, and dated pulls had to go…


After a little bit of work, voilà!



I actually didn’t take any before pictures (whoops), and they only had two pictures of the kitchen that I was able to copy from the MLS listing… So you can just barely see that they had cabinets hanging over the peninsula. Dave and his dad took those out ASAP.

ISy7878ghwn3h01000000000 (2)IMG_20180118_105733_022Ah, breathing room and an eating space!

IMG_20180118_104150108_HDREven though we went with the basic (and classic) subway tile, we added some flair. The edge of our butler’s pantry has a chiseled finish, which is subtle but fun up close. We also couldn’t find any bullnose corner pieces on short notice, so instead of doing 45° cuts on the tile, I had bought these really cool tiles from a local artist in Hendersonville a few months ago, and I had them put in instead.

IMG_20180118_104202376Painting along those grout lines was scary! And the white took three nerve-wracking coats to look good.


I love our granite (Typhoon Bordeaux Light), and the sink is a regular undermount sink with a low divide. This was the feature I liked best from our expensive farmhouse sink that we had picked out in our last house.



The counters were hard to pick out. We had a bad experience at our last house with soft granite from India that sucked up every spill no matter how many times we sealed it. Because shop hours in Asheville are mostly during the week, David could never take off work to help me pick something out. My mom came with me one of the several times I went to the giant warehouse that had so many choices I was tired halfway through just looking at them. But I finally settled on one that has delighted us after install. We wanted something with movement and flavor, and we got it! It sparkles and never fails in its beauty. Thank you, earth magma from long ago, for creating this magnificence!


Our Total Kitchen Remodel

5 Oct

The biggest thing we did to our new house before moving in was gut and remodel the kitchen.

Because it looked like this. Not the worst, but not what we wanted either.kitchen-4-a

We had our contractor remove everything of course. Only took him a day! Walter thought the kitchen fell through a tiny hole in the floor into the basement.


I ordered white, wood cabinets from ProSource that are made by the Amish in the United States (thank you to Bobby for helping me design the new kitchen!). They also have soft close drawers! And they were only a week late on delivery!


I had everything so tightly scheduled so we could move in in a month, that both the flooring and granite people ended up at the house at the same time. No, that month wasn’t stressful at all!


The house started coming together. It was fun to watch the process. It was slightly less fun to make sure everything got done on time and done right, but luckily I’m Type-A enough that I did enjoy that too.


And then, suddenly — oh yeah and a few extra months of work later — it was finished!

As a reminder, it looked like this:


And now!!! I love having the kitchen and living spaces together. Makes for cozy, comfortable living.


The dog and cat happily posing.

Who doesn’t want all their appliances crammed in together?


Ah, nice and bright and open! And our awesome woodworking friend Alex made and installed our floating shelves for us.


They had a little eat in area (and a window we made disappear).


Which we turned into the fridge/pantry area.


Lovely giant wall in the middle of the room!


Brought up to the 21st century! I kind of have a Parisian café/1950’s diner theme going.


It’s much, much smaller than our kitchen in our old house, but once I got everything organized and realized I don’t need a million cabinets to store stuff I rarely use (hello basement storage!), I love it.

Kitchen Cabinet Remodel

19 Nov

A few weeks ago we went through a week-long kitchen renovation. I don’t know how people stay in their houses for remodels that take six weeks or more! However, I am now in love with my kitchen. I have always appreciated the cabinet and counter space, but now, it looks fantastic as well and feels great to be in.

This is what it used to look like:


A year ago we rearranged and moved the large dining room table into our gigantic living space. Then this year we painted the walls blue, and I painted the new kitchen table black. And then, much to David’s chagrin, I couldn’t handle the “orange” cabinets any more. So, this happened:


Even with everything taped off, a dusting of white oil paint got everywhere and on everything. I guess we’ll have memories of this project for years to come.

The beautiful new kitchen!:

Not only did we get this amazing kitchen, but we got to relax at the in-laws house and have them cook dinner for us for two days while our house was a disaster.


It feels so big in there now, and the countertops and backsplash pop (and match!)… I love it! I got David to install a new Pottery Barn light fixture over the table that really brings the room together, and I made curtains for the window to add a splash of color. It’s my favorite room of the house to be in now!


20 Oct

Saturday we went for a hike in Montreat, NC. It looked like this and I was happy:

IMG_20141018_145615841 - Copy


Monday is absolutely back to the grind. I’ve been working at the computer all morning, and Jose is giving our kitchen a facelift.


Not nearly as relaxing a view, but I do appreciate the Dexter-esque kill room look.


11 Oct

We visited baby Edward in Chattanooga again a couple weekends ago. David was talking to Jeremy and asked him if he wanted to know the worst thing about being a parent. “It isn’t the sleepless nights, crying, or the insane worry over everything. It’s having butt cream permanently stuck under your finger nails.”


I am never comfortable cooking pork. For whatever reason, it never seems quite cooked, even when it’s been in the oven for hours. Other people don’t seem to have this problem. But luckily I’m married to a man whose solution when I ask him if he thinks the meat is OK is “how sick could we really get?”


Bought some all-natural fish sticks for lunch food for Walt. He likes them, which is good, cause it’s always nice to have food a toddler will eat. The instructions of course include cooking time but also “or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.” Why does this company think I am going to stick a meat thermometer into a fish stick?


We spent a yummy evening eating dinner at Jalisco’s, our favorite Mexican restaurant in Atlanta. Dave decides to break off little pieces of chips for Walt so he can better eat the guacamole. Not long after Walt chokes on a piece, a different waiter than the one serving us comes up to our table with some oyster crackers, telling us how they have them for the little ones since they tend to choke on chips.


Me, “Walt must love to chew on shoes because they’re extra germy.”
Dave, “Yeah, they have lots of flavor.”


Here’s how I see the status of our kitchen floor degrading over the next few years: some parts weakened and mushy from the near constant mopping (there’s a certain throw radius around Walter’s chair) and the other bits scarred from pot and pan throwing (loud noises are fun).


I walk around my house sighing at the forgotten mess/destruction in each room and clean it up yet again. Then I remember I’m still in my pajamas at 3pm. I think I should put “shower” on my to-do lists.

IMG_20131011_171323What you can’t see is the overturned kitty water bowl, soaking most of the bottom layer of tissues. The rest I had to refold by hand.

The more cabinets I open, the more fun I can have.

The best fish tacos you’ve ever had

18 Apr

If you like fish tacos or you don’t like fish tacos, these are still the tacos for you (you could probably substitute fried chicken strips for the fish and it would be just as delicious). It is another recipe taken from my mother, and I was actually able to make it just as good as her original dish!


fish (tilapia, cod, or grouper works well. We did three pieces of tilapia for the two of us and had a little to spare ~ .8lbs)
bread crumbs
vegetable oil
tortillas (corn or flour, your preference)
1/2 head of cabbage, cored
1/2 lb carrots
can of chipotle peppers (they come in adobo sauce – find in the international food aisle in your local grocery store, along with the salsa)
2 heaping spoonfuls of lite mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
chipotle salsa


First, prepare your coleslaw. I don’t normally like coleslaw, but this one is amazing. Either use your food processor or hand chop your cabbage and carrots. My mom hand chopped but I like to use the food processor. So easy. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in 3-4 chopped and de-seeded chipotle peppers (4 was fairly hot) and as much of the sauce from the can as you want. Add your sour cream and mayo, mix well, and you’re done. This amount of coleslaw probably serves four people if you’re generous with your helpings.

Next, fry your fish. Cut it into strips and bread it (my mom suggested Panko breadcrumbs but the ones I had from the farmer’s market worked just as well); add salt to your breadcrumbs and no need to use egg to adhere the crumbs to the fish. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.

Finally, load your tortilla. Fish, salsa, coleslaw – I put a lot on there. Eat. Enjoy.