Friday, February 21, 2014

My Little Kitchen

Our kitchen cabinets have finally been installed! Though it is just the base of them I am thrilled with the way they came together. My husband and his fellow CH crew did an amazing job and I could not be happier. We completely reconfigured the kitchen to make it more functional. We also wanted the open concept feel so we had to do some demo to achieve that.

If you think about it, you are in the kitchen a good 30% of your day. And you want to make sure you enjoy the space you are in. When we were re-configuring the cabinets we had to think about what we currently have and what we needed storage for. We made a list of everything we needed to store and everything we didn't. Our last house we did not have any extra storage outside of the kitchen so all small appliances had to be stored in the kitchen. Now I can store my crock pot or my toaster over, things that I don't use that often, elsewhere like in the basement and just bring it up when I need it.

I knew exactly what kind of pantry I needed. I have had a wide and deep and I have had a skinny and deep pantry before. The depth was a problem for me because things would get pushed back and I wouldn't be able to see them. Then I would buy something brand new that I already had new in the pantry....doing that makes me want to scream when I get back from the grocery store! Our new pantry is going to be wide and shallow so that I can 1.) see what I have and 2.) things won't go bad as fast. I see it as a win win!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cooking While Moving

So I thought I would throw in some yummy recipes along the way. Since every blog I have read about moving tells you to stop grocery shopping at least 2 weeks before your move, I needed to get creative with our menu. This recipe comes from my childhood camping trips with our family. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that I could make it at home and not just over a fire. But I must say, over the fire is the best!

Grilled Cheese Pizza
-2 slices of bread
-1/4 cup of pizza sauce
-1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
- a few pepperonis, or whatever pizza topping you enjoy
-1 table spoon or so of butter

1.) Take your two pieces of bread and spread the butter on one side of each piece. Make sure you cover the whole side with butter, this is where the 1 table spoon or so accuracy of mine comes in.
2.) Place the butter side down and the clean side of the bread up. Take your pizza sauce and spread that on the clean side of the bread. Depending on how much sauce you like, you can go more or less than the 1/4 cup.
3.) Scatter the mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce on only one piece of bread. When you have to put the two pieces back together this will make it easier to combine them. You can use parmesan, mozzarella, gouda or whatever you favorite pizza cheese is.
4.) Add the pepperonis however many you like. You can also add whatever pizza topping you like. My husband loves to put banana peppers on his.
5.) Now put the two pieces of bread together with the butter side facing out.
6.) Turn on your skillet to medium high. Once you feel it is warm enough, put your Grilled Cheese Pizza on the skillet and let it ride. I like to check mine every once and a while because I'm not a fan of burnt toast!

Once you have pan seared both sides of your Grilled Cheese Pizza its time to enjoy! This is great simple and cheap family dinner with items you already have in your pantry.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First Time Home Owners

We recently purchased a home in Southwest, Michigan. It's a quaint little beach town that has a lot to offer. While the winters here can be somber the summers are vibrant and full of energy. My husband grew up in here, so I'm glad we can start growing our own roots here together. The house we purchased is a whopping 1.6 miles from my in-laws. They are just a hop skip and a jump away. Being that close to your in-laws could drive some people crazy but it really has been a blessing while fixing up our home. They built their home 16 years ago so they know more about this process than we do. I always thought you bought a house, painted a wall or to and moved your stuff in. If you want to do that in this area you have to have either have a high budget or low expectations of what you want your house to look like.

Our home sits on 14 acres. For those of you who know me, I am a bona fide city girl. Growing up I always had a store, a restaurant or a movie theater within 5 miles of my home.  Not only would I have one store or restaurant to choose from but I had hundreds to choose from. Living in Southwest Michigan your options are a bit more limited. Which is not always a bad thing. When I first moved here 2 years ago to be with my husband, it was a big adjustment. I wasn't used to going to mom and pop stores, or not being able to make a target run whenever I wanted. The nearest Target is about a half hour away. While that doesn't seem far, trust me it is! I feel that I have finally adjusted to life in the 'sticks'.

Since purchasing our home 55 days ago we have made some serious improvements thus far. Making hundreds of decisions a day on what finishes go where and how to manage our budget has been interesting. My husband works for a company that builds luxury lake homes along Lake Michigan. We have amazing friends and family that have helped us turn our house into a home. We'll start with the before pictures and as everything starts to assemble, I will show you the progress. I hope you enjoy our journey as much as we have.