Thursday, May 29, 2014

Staircase Remodel

In the process of deciding how we wanted to remodel our home, my husband (who is super easy going, and doesn't really care about this kind of stuff) was adamant that if we were going to have to patch in hardwood floors and have the entire first floor sanded and stained (due to the rearrangement of the kitchen), he would like to reroute the staircase, as it really drove him nuts.  I was way on board (my remodel list was a bit out of control, so I was super excited that this was his idea!!!)

Here are a few pictures of the staircase in their original form:

I am sure some will think we are super
 nit picky, but that's a whole lot of railing!

 Our biggest complaint was the large, jutting out platform
at the base of the stairs.  It pulled the flow of traffic
one direction, when desending the stairs.
 The removal of platform stairs.  The posts of the railing, removed and
resting at the top of the picture were reused for the new set up.

 What was once a cumbersome twisting platform was simplified
into an addition 4 steps.  What a space saver!!!

 Baby Benny inspecting the work.

And now, THE AFTER!

Added gloss white to the yellow oak rails and
fresh carpet to the rearranged stairs.  Love!

The carpet is called Stitches by Milliken.

Yay!  Project complete!!! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Layered Spring Salad

Sorry for this ridiculously generic post, but I put a photo of this salad on Instagram and my friend, who talked me into blogging in the first place asked me to please blog the salad, step by step.  So, I must oblige.

What you need:
bag of salad greens
fresh mozzarella
maple spiced pecans (recipe link below)
olive oil
balsamic reduction
sea salt
garlic (optional)


Cut zucchini on the diagonal and brush with olive oil and cook on the grill (or pan saute, if you do not have a grill or grill pan). Once the zucchini is a bit tender remove from heat and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside to cool.

Slice tomatoes

Slice fresh mozzarella

Toast baguette (cut chunks of baguette roughly the circumference of the tomato and mozzarella you sliced). To toast the baguette, generously brush the bread with olive oil (or, place a bit of olive oil on a plate and dip one side of the bread) and sprinkle with sea salt and crushed garlic (optional), bake at 350 for 10 minutes (the bread with be crunchy, like a crouton) **you can do this step a several days in advance, just place in an air tight storage container until needed.

Now you are ready to build on the platter.

Start by piling a  heap of your favorite greens (I love the spring mix blend) on the platter

Top the greens with Maple Spiced Pecans (recipe) **this can also be made days in advance.  I always have a jar of them in my pantry.

Around the edges of the platter create stacks, topping the toasted baguette with the mozzarella then the tomato.  Sprinking sea salt and a light drizzle of olive oil atop the tomato stack. 

Tuck a slice of grilled zucchini between each baguette stack, around the edges of the platter.  

Generously drizzle with a balsamic reduction.  I used to make my own, but my daughter told me it makes her eyes burn, so I started buying it at Trader Joe's.  You can find it at any market, in the balsamic section!!!

Again, many apologies for this crapTastic blog post.  But for my sweet Tanya, I hope this helps.