Monday, December 31, 2007

So long 2007

It's been an interesting year--the first full year without my father in my life. If I learned one thing this year, it's to take action. If there's something you have always wanted to do, there's no sense in waiting, because the sooner you get started, the better. Being "ready" is totally overrated and irrelevant to a good outcome.

I'm most proud of having successfully met the National Novel Writing Month Challenge in November, and I hope to get my manuscript in shape to sub this year.

No, scratch that. I WILL sub the manuscript in 2008. No waiting. The time is now.

Here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2008!

photo by RichYak...thanks honey!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Making Pesto

In preparation for Christmas Eve tomorrow, I taught my middle daughter how to make pesto sauce. She did such a great job, we ended up making another batch to bring to Christmas dinner on Tuesday.

Finished Kitchen pics

's done, and right in time for Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Welcome Winter

My husband Rich took this photo a few hours ago. He went out in search of a bald eagle, and as luck would have it, he just happened to find one!

Gearing up for Christmas Eve

The kitchen is done! Huzzah!

It looks absolutely will be posted soon.

In the meantime, I've been busily preparing for my big Christmas Eve shindig. Every year, I host The Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is an Italian tradition that my paternal grandmother used to host. After she passed away, I decided to keep it going. My mom still does the big Christmas Day dinner, but Christmas Eve is all mine!

Here's a sneak peak at this year's menu:

Hot & Cold Appetizers
Raspberry & Brie Fillo rolls
Mushroom bites w/roasted garlic & olive oil
Pastry bites w/carmelized onions and feta cheese
Assorted mini-quiches (mushroom & cheese, artichoke & cheese, spinach Florentine)
Crab cakes

Assorted cheeses (cheddar, provolone, gorgonzola, asiago)
Crackers & Italian Flatbread
Red & Black caviar
Anchovies w/capers

Shrimp Cocktail
Fresh mozzarella w/cherry tomatoes and basil

First course:
Oyster stew
Homemade bread

Salad course:
Venetian Seafood Salad

Sorbet course:
Lemon sorbet

Main course:
Stuffed clams
Broiled lobster tails
Black & White Fettucine tossed w/garlic, butter & olive oil
Grilled artichoke hearts in olive oil

Dessert course:
Assorted individual desserts from Bindi (berry-topped Crème Brulee, chocolate mousse, Coppa Mascarpone, Tiramisu)
Coffee and cordials

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Backsplash done!

Fernando of Aisoni Tile was here bright and early this morning, and finished up the backsplash. It turned out great!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Backsplash, part one

This isn't a very good picture (it was taken with my cell phone) but it'll give you an idea of how the backsplash is turning out. Tomorrow, once the grout is done, I'll take some better shots and post those. In the meantime, here's one more:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

O' Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree 2007

A morning visitor

This visitor came by this morning while we were having our coffee. He had 3 other friends with him, but he was the only one willing to pose.

Tile and Glass choices

These are the tiles that will comprise the decorative backsplash, which is being installed at the end of next week:

The deco tile in the center costs $22 apiece. Needless to say, we'll be using those sparingly! The small square mosaics were also used in the flooring, in 3 x 3 increments.

You see just a bit of the granite countertop material peeking through underneath the tiles. We chose a Terracotta Bordeaux from Spain. The granite is set to be installed on December 12th...we might just make it in time for Christmas Eve!

We were planning to use a beautiful stained glass design for the glass front cabinets, but the prices were wayyyyyy too high (we're talking thousands of dollars PER panel). Instead, we went with a simple "waffle glass" design. I like it because it adds a 3-dimensional element, allows the glassware in the interior of the cabinets to show through, but is still opaque enough to cover for me if the cabinets get messy.

Here's a small sample:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Day 50: Cabinets nearly complete

A wide shot of the new kitchen. I love the way the island is turning out, and all of the decorative elements we've incorporated into the design.

The new stove area, with mantle

Most of the appliances have been slid into place, although only the refrigerator is plugged in. We still need to have the plumber hook up the ice maker, but it's great just to be able to keep containers of milk and some snacks up here on the main level.

The carpenters are doing a great job with all of the finishing details, particularly the mouldings for the mantle and island. They'll be back on Monday to finish up.

My computer desk area, which will also double as a serving area when the laptop is stowed away

Here's the wall behind the island. The microwave convection oven will go into that cutout area

The sink area

Monday, December 3, 2007

Day 48: A big day for the kitchen

This was the busiest day we've had yet for our kitchen remodel. We had two carpenters here installing the cabinets, an electrician finishing up some more outlets, the painters adding some fresh color to the walls, and the contractor making some repairs to the dining room ceiling where our bay window had a leak. Workers everywhere!