Construction has begun on my little kitchen "freshen up".

I still have my stove. Fortunately, my contractor will see to it that there is only 1 day that I am without my stove. Good man!
I'll start documenting the changes and share them with you on What's On The Menu Monday. NOW, it's getting exciting!

These are the before pictures!

StoneGable is a farmhouse inspired home with a big wrap porch. My kitchen reflects the farmhouse style.

Goodbye~ counter tops, porcelain sink, faucet, sprayer that only squirts 
Hello~ soapstone counters, soapstone trough sink, oil rubbed bronze arch neck faucet with sprayer



Goodbye~ dishwasher
Hello~ custom panelled dishwasher!



Goodbye~ appliance garage
Hello~ more counter space!



Goodbye~ no backsplash, old hardwared, switch plates, lighting, table and chairs (we recently gave our old table and chairs away, and it will be 4-6 weeks till we get our new farmhouse table... so for now it is card table and chairs!), wood stained window frame, old yellowed paint
Hello~ beadboard back splash, new hardware,new switch plates, new chandeliers, new drapes, rattan shades, new table and new chairs, white painted window trim, Atrium White Benjamin Moore Oil Paint.





Goodbye~ desk I never used as a desk.
Hello~ new microwave home, soapstone shelf, 3 deep drawers for pots and pans.



Goodbye~Too long island, too low island, chipped countertop
Hello~ two foot shorter island top, 2 1/2 inch taller island, new soapstone counters


Goodbye~ only 1 trash can in island, no kick plate, no legs on island
Hello~ trash cans on each end (I love to cook on the close end of the island), kick plate that matches the bullnose on the rest of the cabinetry, beautiful legs


Goodbye~ microwave, dish shelves, bad ventilation, no backsplash
Hello~ custom architectural  hood to the ceiling with trim, ventilation system, stone tile cooktop backsplash



Goodbye~ crusty stove, island lighting and fan
Hello~ new cooktop, built-in oven, new lighting


AND MORE! I'll share the changes as they happen over the next 4 weeks!

Now, What's On The Menu
Monday: Soups On!
Creamy Chicken Rice Soup
Crusty Bread
I had this fabulous soup last Friday at my dear friend Eileen's home. She made lunch for us before we took off... meandering through the countryside hunting down garden and thrifting treasures. This is a flavorful and filling soup. I'm sure it will be a staple at StoneGable. Thanks, Eileen!

Recipe: Creamy Chicken Rice Soup
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
3 ribs of celery, sliced
64 oz or more chicken stock
8 oz. cream cheese
1 can evaporated milk
1 box wild rice with the flavor packet
1 cup prepared white rice (great use for Chinese takeout rice)
2-3 cups cooked diced chicken
Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook for 4-5 minuets until onions are translucent. Cut cream cheese into chunks and add to the veggies. Add the evaporated milk and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the boxed rice and flavor packet. Cook until the wild rice is tender. Add prepared rice and diced chicken and heat through. Serve topped with crumbled cooked bacon or crunchy croutons.

Printable Recipe

Tuesday
Jicama Orange Salad
Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla Stacks

Recipe: Jicama Orange Salad
I tasted Jicama for the very first time a few weeks ago at Wegman's. YUMMY! It is slightly starchy like a potato but is a little sweet like an apple. What a great the interesting new food for my repertoire!

1 jicama, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 tangerine, tangelo or orange sectioned and each cut in half
1 green onion, chopped including green top
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS fresh squeezed orange juice
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
dash of orange zest
dab of stone ground mustard
salt and pepper

Put jicama, tangerine, green onions and pumpkin seeds in a bowl. To make vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Drizzle dressing on salad. Mix and serve.
Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla Stacks
3 TBS olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 onion sliced
1 eggplant (or zucchini or yellow squash)
1/2 TBS chili powder
salt and pepper
1 can refried beans
1 cup (or more) good cheddar cheese, grated
8~ 6 inch flour tortillas limes, quartered
sour cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put peppers, onions and eggplants in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 TBS olive oil. Add chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss. Put veggies on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until just slightly browning. Turn off oven. Heat a large skillet with 1 TBS olive oil. Meanwhile, spread a thin coat of refried beans on the tortilla. Add some veggies and top with cheese. Press down. Add another tortilla spread with refried beans to the stack. Layer tortilla with more veggies and cheese. Add final tortilla on top. Using a large spatula, gently place the quesadilla stack in the hot skillet. Cook for 2 minute, until the tortilla is golden. Put a large plate over the skillet and invert so the tortilla lands on the plate, slide the tortilla stack back into the skillet and lightly brown the top tortilla. Put the tortilla on a large rimmed baking sheet and cover with foil. Place in the warm oven. Repeat for the remaining quesadillas. Serve with limes and sour cream.
Wednesday
Marinated Flank Steak With Mushroom Cream Sauce
Mashed Potatoes (Make extra for Sunday)
Green Beans in Garlic Oil

Recipe: Marinated Flank Steak With Mushroom Cream Sauce
Talk about the ultimate comfort food... oh this is going to be soooooo good! I found this on a delightful blog, Loving My Domestic Life. To view this recipe click HERE.

Thursday
 Arugula, Shaved Parmesan, Toasted Pine Nuts Salad In A Lemon Vinaigrette
Pesto Pecan Bow Ties With Smoked Salmon And Bacon

Recipe: Pesto Pecan Bow Ties With Smoked Salmon And Bacon
2/3 cup pesto (click HERE for Pesto recipe, store bought can be used too)
1/3 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/3 cup skim milk
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small chunks
1 large box of bow tie pasta
reserved pasta water
8 oz. smoked salmon, flaked
4 oz. bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
4 oz. toasted pecans, rough chopped

Cook pasta according to directions. Mix yogurt and skim milk in a bowl. Put hot pasta in a serving bowl. Add cream cheese and stir till melted. Add yogurt/milk. Mix to coat. If the sauce is too thick, thin with pasta water. Add salmon, bacon and pecans. Toss and serve in a large shallow bowl. Garnish with chiffonades of basil.

Printable Version

Friday
Pulled Pork And Coleslaw Sandwiches
Oven Fries
This recipe should be done ahead. It is really easy, but pay attention to the timetable.

Recipe: Pulled Pork And Coleslaw Sandwiches
Doesn't that sound awesome! My friend at Susan at Savoring Time In The Kitchen offers the best recipes. I want to try everything she makes, and this pulled pork is no exception. It makes a lot, so into the freezer the extra goes for another lunch. Click HERE to try this yummy recipe.

Saturday
Martini Glass Salad with Chipolte Lime Dressing
Margarita  Chicken Strips
Artichoke Rice

Recipe: Martini Glass Salad
Serve this fun layered salad in a jumbo martini glass!
1 Boston bibb lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup good cheddar jack cheese, grated
broken blue tortilla chips (do not crush them)
2 green onions, finely chopped
2-3 plum tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed 
1/2 cup baby corn, drained
1/2 TBS olive oil
salt, a good dash
1 tsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
10 large black olives, finely chopped
1/2 cup guacamole, fresh or store bought
4 large pimento stuffed green olives
4 lime wedges

In a large bowl add onions, tomatoes, beans, corn, cilantro, black olives, oil and salt. Set aside. Put lettuce in the bottom 1/3 of 4 jumbo martini glasses. Drizzle with dressing Layer with broken tortilla chips. Drizzle with dressing. Mound up the tomato mixture in the bowl on top of the tortillas. Put a bid dollop of guacamole on the top. Skewer a slice of lime and a big green olive and place on top of the guacamole. OLE'!

Dressing:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup adobo chili sauce and chilies
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of chili powder
salt

In a medium mixing bowl add sour cream, mayonnaise and adobo/chili. Add lime juice, zest, spices and salt. Stir. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors marry.

Printable Version
Recipe: Margarita Chicken Strips
3 lbs fresh chicken tender strips
6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
3 oz. tequila
1 TBS lime zest
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
3 shallots, finely minced

Combine all the ingredients with the chicken in a bowl. Marinade for at least 8 hours or overnight. Heat grill to medium heat. Grill chicken tenders, brushing with marinade until chicken is done but not dry.

Printable Version

Sunday: Slow Cooker Day
Classic Meat Loaf
Mashed Potatoes
Sauteed Broccoli Rabe, Garlic and Lemons In Olive Oil

Recipe: Slow Cooker Classic Meat Loaf
1 TBS olive oil
1 small onions, finely minced
1/4 cup green peppers, finely minced
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, 85%
1/2 lb. country sausage in casing
1/4 lb. ground veal
1 large egg
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and green peppers. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Let them cool. In a large bowl add ground beef, sausage removed from casing and veal. Be very gentle when mixing meatloaf. If you smoosh it too much it will be tough. Add egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and vegetables. Gently mix. Form into a loaf. Cook in slow cooker on HIGH for 1 hour. Cook on LOW for 6 more hours. Cover with ketchup the last hour of cooking. Take meatloaf out of slow cooker and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Printable Version

                          

I am participating in Menu Plan Monday at Organize Junkie.

 
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