Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kitchen Planning 2: Kitchen Elements

Here are the elements we hope to use in our (badly photo edited) dream kitchen. 

We are trying to keep to a pretty tight budget in order to paint most of the house, modify the kitchen cabinets, and add granite. We found an awesome deal on a Delta faucet that has been discontinued (have I ever mentioned how much I love the fact that companies discontinue things?).

Delta Dennison Bridge Kitchen Faucet
from Amazon 

A pretty sweet deal on a sink...

Ruvati 16-gauge Steel 32-inch undermount kitchen sink
from Overstock 

And hardware that I like and found at a reasonable price...

Cosmas Flat Black Cabinet Pull
from Amazon 
$24.95 for a 10 pack

Cosmas Flat Black Mushroom Knob
from Amazon 
$32.95 for a 25 pack

Sterling Hardware Elegante Shelf Bracket
$1.79 (7 inch) to 2.39 (10 inch)

Monday, May 19, 2014

New Kitchen Project Planning

Well, we're moving once again. After seven years away from family, my husband landed a great job back home in North Carolina. We have loved living in Alabama, but with the kids growing up and another on the way, it's nice to be home. We are about to close on a house and I'm currently finalizing paint colors and kitchen planning. 

We are trying to plan the perfect kitchen on a budget, working around the existing tan tile flooring. Our plans are to raise the upper cabinets to the ceiling, paint them white, and add a shelf underneath. We will also be painting the lower cabinets a warm gray, adding a tile backsplash, modifying the cabinetry around the fridge, and putting in new granite countertops. Hopefully this will all (or mostly) be happening in the next three weeks or so, before we move in. That's a pretty small time frame for us since we normally live in our projects and take our time. We'll see how it goes :-)

I was searching around for the perfect inspiration kitchen and found an amazing one at Our Vintage Home Love:

Hello, gorgeous kitchen! I absolutely love the warmth they brought to this kitchen by adding the rustic wood shelving and bamboo shades. I also love that they don't have a farmhouse sink, which we would absolutely love, but isn't in the budget this time around. This photo gave me the confidence that we can still get an awesome cottage kitchen look without having to have the farmhouse sink. Again, I cannot express how much I love this kitchen and what a great job they did.

Our first big decision is what kind of granite we want. Here are my badly photoshopped images to give us an idea of what each would look like. Our top two choices are honed black with the lower cabinet similar to our inspiration kitchen, or cotton white with darker lower cabinets.

I didn't feel that the rustic wood shelf looked as good with the white granite so I added a white floating shelf instead.

Though I absolutely loved the look of the white granite in the store, I think I like the more casual charm of the black granite. I definitely wanted to do either darker gray lower cabinets or a dark countertop to add some contrast with the light tile floors and I think the darker countertop gives me the look I want.

Any opinions?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gluten Free Almond Meal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I don't normally do food posts, but these are seriously yummy... 

Almost two years ago I found out I had a problem with gluten. About six months ago I found out I also have a tapioca allergy, which excludes most gluten free flours and bakery mixes from my diet. I'm always in search of a good cookie recipe since chocolate chip cookies are my FAVORITE! I found an awesome one over at Meaningful Eats, and have since played with it until arriving at my own version. This recipe makes about 30 cookies.

  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick) softened
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or whatever oil you like)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar, or whatever)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 and 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • Whatever other little fun goodies you want to add on top (I used m&ms this time)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, peanut butter, grapeseed oil, and brown sugar in a mixer until well combined.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until blended.
  4. Add baking powder and salt, mix.
  5. Add almond flour one cup at a time and mix.
  6. Fold in coconut, flax seed, and chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.
  7. Drop dough onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and press down the cookies with your spoon. You can put them about an inch apart as they don't spread too much once you have pressed them down. 
  8. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes on pan.
  9. Try not to eat all of them immediately :-)

Jam Hands