Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The House that Bob "RE-built"

Where does the time go?  It was just January and Bob was starting on the new kitchen!
Now it is May.......the cabinets took forever to be delivered and when they were, many
of the doors and drawer fronts were defective.  The representative from Medallion and
our kitchen designer from Just Cabinets came over and took photos and assured us that
replacements would be ordered and delivered soon.
Well, that took two months!  The replacements arrived, finally, and as Bob and I unwrapped
each one ~ they were all defective in one way or another, from a nick to a gouge to some
kind of green on the white cabinets!
Now, in the meantime, Bob was in the basement and noticed there was water around the
hot water heater.
We called the home warranty insurance company the former owner had taken a policy with
and they sent a man over.  He agreed we needed a new heater and the insurance would
cover the cost of that.  We, however, had to pay a deductible, the cost of the hook up and
the cost of removing the old water heater.
Two weeks later Bob noticed the furnace would turn off right after being turned on!  We again
called this insurance company and they sent a man over.  Yep, we need a new furnace!  We
are just now waiting to hear what they are going to do about this and what it will cost us.
I ordered a lovely antique brass headboard for a king bed ~now that we have a large bedroom
we can finally get a king bed!  Fed Ex delivered it.  The box was bent in an arc.  (The headboard
inside was also bent in an arc!) The company I had ordered it from, Wayfair, was lovely.  They
immediately sent us a new one and told us to donate the mangled one.
That brings us up to date so far.......a definite work in progress!
Bets are on for when we can finally move in......July 4th is a popular date.....I am having Thanksgiving
Dinner so we had best be in by November!  More to follow, along with photos!

Cannellini Beans and Fresh Spinach Cakes

This is another bean cake I devised for daughter Barbara (and her Sean!).  It has become a
Kelly family favorite.

2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (use 1 can whole, process 2nd can smooth)
4 cups fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, grated on box grater
1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. salsa (medium)
1/4 red pepper, finely diced
1/4 c. shredded asiago-fontina
1 egg
1/4 - 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Mix well.  Form into patties.  Heat saute pan.  Drizzle bottom of pan with olive oil.  Saute
patties 4 minutes over medium heat. Turn over.  Saute 4 additional minutes.  Should be crusty
and browned.

Black Bean Cakes, Best Ever!

I devised these for daughter Barbara who is about 90% vegetarian these days.  They are so tasty, even
Sean loves them!  They are quite easy, just time consuming.  You can make the mixture the day or night
before and then cook them up for dinner, freezing what you want to save for another meal.

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (use one can whole and process smooth the second can)
1 cup cooked quinoa (I have started using the Earthly Choice 3 continent mixture of quinoa, brown rice,
       wild rice, amaranth and red quinoa)
1 t. cumin
1 carrot, grated on box grater
1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 medium zucchini, grated on box grater (salted, weighted and then squeezed of liquid)
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. salsa (medium)
1/2 c. parsely, chopped fine (I sometimes use cilantro)
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. romano, grated
2 eggs
1/2 - 1 cup bread crumbs (start with 1/2 cup and then add more as needed)
kosher salt

Heat saute pan.  Drizzle bottom of pan with olive oil.  Make patties out of mixture and gently lay in
pan.  Cook 4 minutes medium heat.  Flip over.  Should be crusty and brown.  Cook 4 more minutes.
Serve with paprika cream.

Paprika Cream:   1/2 Mayonnaise, 1 T. paprika, 1 T. lemon juice....stir to mix.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The demise of the White Tablecloth

i knew it was only a matter of time, but, nevertheless, i was disheartened with the recent announcement
by Hilton Hotels worldwide  that they were eliminating all white tablecloth dining in  their hotels.
The feeling is that guests will patronize the more casual, sometimes waiter-less, choices of dining
within their hotels over the more traditional, formal seated, served dinner.
Along with the loss of the white tablecloths i fear will be the loss of graciousness, of manners.
Look around you in your every day life and see where this more casual attitude has reached
all levels ~ people dress as they want and many times inappropriately for the event or, even,
disrespectfully (if i go to one more wedding and see a guest wearing jeans I will scream!); displays of affection are no longer sacred to the privacy of many couples but,
woefully to most of us, are "in your face" to all who happen by, regardless of viewers'
age; the loud music blaring from cars, with no regard for others......
'Downton Abbey' is must~see viewing for most of us and isn't it ironic how proper all the
characters are and we all just cannot get enough of it!  Perhaps we are all a bit disillusioned with
all the changes in our society,  even if subconciously.  People my age were privy to the ways of
our parents (and some of their grandparents) and we are now experiencing the loss of their era
as well as our own.

Our New Home ~ a work in progress

We have purchased a new home.  Well, new to us.  It is a twenty year old townhome in a planned
community.  It is an end unit, has an oversized two car garage (we have never had a garage!), two
full bathrooms on the second floor and a powder room on the first floor.
We decided to gut the kitchen and also to remove carpeting on the first floor and install hardwood
floors in the living and dining areas.  The kitchen and breakfast room already have hardwood floors
that need refinished.  That is scheduled for next week.
We worked with a kitchen designer at Just Cabinets.  The cabinets are all custom and will go all the way to the ceiling with no "dust-catcher" space.  Our counter will be quartz and our island, actually
a peninsula, will be granite.  We are also creating a butlers' pantry on the one wall of the breakfast
room.  (This all sounds rather grand but it is a very small area).
The cabinets have arrived and Bob is set to start installing next Monday, after the floors are refinished and painting of the kitchen and breakfast room are completed.
I am going to try to post photos of our progress.