Monday, May 30, 2011

A work in progress.

So, if you saw our post about our new house, you'll remember that our new kitchen is quite small.  Also, if you know us very well, you know that we really enjoy cooking and entertaining.  Therefore, we decided to make our first project a full renovation of the kitchen to make it a more open space for us.

Because we had such a long weekend, we decided to just get started!  Our first step is to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room.

Here's the before picture ...

The room is quite small as it is, but it has yet to have any appliances, so it'd be very hard to move around with more than one person in the kitchen. 

Dan decided to get a start on removing the cabinets last night, however we had to stop after he removed the top cabinets because the countertop was too heavy for the two of us. 

Today my dad and brother were out and helped to take down the rest of the kitchen cabinets and get the room down to a nearly bare wall.

Here's the whole process...

And the before and after.

As you can see, Dan LOVES having his own house to demolish...until next time. 

We have a house...finally!

Friday morning we finally closed on the house that we've been working on for nearly 2 months.  Though there were issues along the way, we're choosing to look at them as blessings as many of the things that came up would have caused more headaches, or cost us more money in the long run.

We are so excited to finally be homeowners.  Though we didn't see ourselves here a year ago, it's the only thing we've been able to think about for the past six months.  It's exciting, and a bit overwhelming but we're ready for the adventure ahead of us.

The house is a bit of a fixer-upper...we have a lot of hopes and dreams, it may not look like much now, but it has so much potential.  Excuse the mess, it's a work in progress...enjoy.

Until next time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tomato Soup

If you aren't already a fan of tomato soup, you might be after you try this recipe...totally converted my husband! Delicious!

Tomato Soup


3 28 ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes, juices drained and reserved
2 Tbsp brown sugar
5 shallots, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups chicken broth

Heat oven to 450

Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Open cans of tomatoes and pour them into a strainer over a bowl separating the tomatoes from their juice. Use your fingers to open the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds (you can trash them). Place tomatoes flat on the foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the tomatoes cool.

Mince shallots. Set aside.

Heat butter in a stock pot on medium until foaming. Add shallots, tomato paste and spices. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 10 minutes.

Add flour to the shallots and cook until combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add reserved tomato juice, chicken broth and roasted tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and strain the soup to separate the solids and the liquids. Put the solids in a blender with 2 cups of the liquid and puree until smooth. Return the puree and the liquids to the pot and return the pot to the stove. Heat on low for 5 minutes until everything is hot and combined. Correct seasoning with salt, pepper or brown sugar. 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fiber Arts.

Over the past few years I've really fallen in love with knitting, and more recently have developed a knack for quilting.  I love the challenge and the satisfaction of completing a project that I can say is 100% handmade - especially when I get to give it as a gift to others!

Today I was able to visit a Fiber Arts Celebration here in Fort Wayne.

Everything from Alpacas...

to raw wool and various demonstrations on how to dye naturally.

Aren't the colors beautiful!?!

There were demonstrations everywhere...spinning, basket weaving, knitting, and even quilting.

The Fort Wayne Quilters Guild had a beautiful display of handmade quilts...

So many wonderful if only I can get myself to sit down and channel some of my own creative juices! =)


patience is a virtue.

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time"

Today I must practice patience. 
The past few weeks have been exhausting for both of us...and it seems the waiting will continue into next week.  We've been on the lookout for a house since arriving in Fort Wayne.  Though we didn't get out act together and start seriously looking at homes until February, things seemed to fall into place rather quickly.  We looked at a few houses the last few weekends in February, liked one and went back the first week of March.  While we thought it was "the one" we reconsidered due to the amount of work that would have been necessary before being able to move in.  A week later, one of the first houses we'd really liked came back on the market after an offer fell through.  This particular house had been in the back of our minds for months.  So during the first week of April we put in a bid.  Played the counter-offer game for a bit until we finally settled on a price with the seller.  (*a good deal if you ask us*)  
Unfortunately, through the process of the inspection, we learned that there were some major issues with the house.  Instead of walking away, we continued to pursue the house - which we'd fallen in love with!  Now, nearing the end of May, we have yet to close.  It seems we can't catch a break, something always comes up at the last minute.  So, once again we wait....