These cookies might be some of the best I've ever made. They are so delicious. I've previously made other miso cookies - but took this recipe up a notch. I had a strong craving for a big, warm, fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie last night. But I didn't want just any cookie, I kept thinking of the Chick Fil A cookies. They are wonderful. Great balance of chewy and chocolate and structure. While I have never looked up the recipe, I think there is just a bit of rolled oats in the Chick Fil A cookies. So, after finishing my last work meeting for the day at 7:30... I quickly whipped together these miso chocolate chip cookies. But what made them different? ONE - I super whipped the sugar and butter combo so that it was extra extra light and airy. You'll know you've gone far enough when the batter lightens up in color. I'm almost not sure you can over mix at this point. A true baker might disagree though.... TWO - To be honest, I did not measure the exact amou...
Life is too easy. I clearly don't have enough going on, so I've decided to also try and freshen up my front room. This space has been on my radar for a long time. I'm a big front door person, so this is literally the first thing people see in my house. And it's just not that great.  But it has a lot of potential. Because of the obvious other projects happening (ahem - garage project)... there are a couple drivers in this project: try to limit the scope to something reasonable try to keep the budget low try to not DIY everything So, I'm kicking off this space for the next 8 weeks as part of the One Room Challenge. Design Intentions: My goal is for this to not seem like a nothing space.  This is a 1900s beach house, so it was the "parlor". I'd like to just feel proud and that it doesn't look like a dumping ground. It might not get used a whole lot because it is a little weird but I need it to just be better than it is :-) There is nothing tying anyth...
One month in ... and lots of progress has been made. We've got all the framing done (I think), the roofing laid out, and just need to make it actually livable. So, electrical, plumbing, insulation, drywall, windows, shingles, and doors. Pretty much nothing left to do. In real life when you compare the pictures from one week to the next, this week might not actually look like that big of a jump - but it did take a lot of thinking to figure out the mudroom roof layout. I feel like in the blink of an eye it could look like a real garage. what happened this week: - more kitchenette design talk - roof went on the new mudroom - talked to the patio guy about doing the granite steps for the new mudroom entry - took advantage of the Wayfair Wayday Sale - 2nd floor got framed out - windows arrived! Kitchenette talk - more to come on this. I connected with my sister's friend who runs a custom woodworking business out of Rhode Island called Riveted Woodworking . Truly trying to find the b...
Dare I say that I actually got things accomplished this week? Might be a bit of an exaggerated hope, but even though everything is going to take WEEKS to come in... it feels good to have made progress on some things. I have been itching to get up and see how the second floor looks. That being said, I have limited experience on ladders or with heights so it felt like something I should call in backup for. Thankfully my dad was in the area and patiently watched me creep up the ladder to look in the window. It felt like I was peering into a secret cave filled with treasures I hadn't been expecting. Don't worry, I've got some pictures below.  Kitchenette Stuff - I went back and forth a bit with the designer from Cape Cod Lumber. I'm still apprehensive about our ability to achieve my "vision" of the pull out table and pocket doors in a reasonable fashion. But - she is actually trying to solve the problem which is miles beyond what the previous designer was attempt...
Source: Kelsey Leigh Design Ah, the kitchenette. So simple at first glance... and then it got complicated. I made it complicated, but still it got there.  I talked about it in this post about what my intentions were for the space and why I wanted the features that I wanted . BUT, then I talked to a few people and they really suggested I consider adding a range. I pushed back. "There isn't enough space!". They said try harder :-) But, I'll be honest it was my friend Meredith that really made the decision for me. It was clear that anyone with kids (and I hope to be that some day) needs both a stove and an oven.  In the interest of really weighing out all my options, I mucked around a bit in Ikea Planner to see how things might look. You have to use your imagination for sure, but just play pretend a bit. Option 1: Hidden Microwave Option 2: "Speed Oven"--> like a microwave and oven combined Option 3: 20 inch range Initial thoughts?  Yeah, nothing is quite as...
So this was a relatively big week - but at the same time not a whole lot happened from a construction perspective. I spent a lot of time this week on the kitchenette. Like a lot of time. But it all feels really valuable. Designing the kitchenette is important because it's not easy to change after it's installed. Cabinet color? That can be fixed. Sink placement? Not as easy. I'm trying to get a whole lot accomplished in this small amount of space... and a recent discussion has caused me to really assess whether or not a more substantial cooking appliance should be added. Okay... so here's the summary.... Things that happened: lots of blueskin up on the exterior walls flooring went up for the 2nd floor  East and West walls got framed up and vertical - and you can see the framing for the Marvin windows! found out the mudroom tile is delayed for 6 weeks from Bellew Tile so much kitchenette thinking so much garage door talk limited research on decorative brackets Want more d...
Source: Room for Tuesday As part of the garage project, I'm including a friendly little kitchenette.  The idea being, it's a place to keep drinks, make popcorns, and perhaps party overflow appetizers or what not. After looking at a LOT of kitchenettes on Pinterest, I got a pretty good idea for what I am hoping to accomplish.  Here's what I'm trying to account for: 24 inch wide (or shall we say narrow) fridge not a miniature sink as much countertop as possible not a million cabinets hidden microwave space for coffee / Keurig maker What I'm not trying to do?... fill the wall with silly cabinets. If you can't actually cook in this area, what are you actually putting in all these cabinets? Source: my design via Ikea Seems simple enough right? Ok, here are the wrinkles. There must always be wrinkles in my hair-brained schemes. pocket doors on the "utility pantry" as I'm calling it pull out counter space to extend the working area only 9 ft of space... b...
... and we are back for update and design posts! The garage construction has officially started and is running right along. It is amazing how quickly new construction can go up when compared to rehabbing a 1900s beach house. A little preamble? Prior to this week, we've repaired the septic system, demoed the existing garage, and poured a new foundation. All of that probably took 6 weeks give or take due to weather challenges. Thankfully to a Nest camera, I've been able to keep a solid history of the construction. While I haven't looked back at the recording, this would have been quite a week to do so. The garage went from a pit in the ground to something with all the necessary walls. It also would have caught the crew correcting for a placement of a giant steel beam by hand... and opposed to a giant crane which had placed it the day prior. So what happened this week? all the walls went up steel beams installed to support the structure all first floor windows and doors framed...
source: Houzz Life has just been to easy - so I decided to finally start the last phase of my renovation... the garage. Sounds so simple, but of course my vision is a bit more complicated than that. The original garage was perfectly charming. I loved the stucco walls, lofted storage area, and bath house feature. What wasn't great? It was slightly crumbling and too small for modern day cars. It was a wonderful home for probably some mice and chipmunks... and my stash of antique bricks. What was my vision? attached 2 car garage bonus first floor living area with kitchenette outdoor shower fully conforming to local zoning So why spend the money on something like this? Living near the ocean, the salt water can be murder on cars. Never mind running errands in the cold New England winters. I'd like to grow my family and life is hard enough without an attached garage. I'm joking of course. Life is quite great. I'm feeling pretty great about the design. It was a very iterative...
It feels a bit like a stretch to call this a chili honestly - but it is quite good. It is also wildly easy and that is why I'll probably make this again and again. We were expecting some snow earlier this week. I found this recipe on SkinnyTaste and was drawn to the fact it is served over rice. I'm a sucker for white rice. I added the necessary items to my Target grocery order on Sunday and was good to go.  It took all of 5 minutes to prep the slow cooker for this meal. You can't miss with this one. Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomato, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and mix well. Nestle the chicken in to completely cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours. I even went with frozen chicken and it was still totally fine. Since I had plenty of time, I went with 8-10 hours on Low. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cila...
  File this under one of the best and easiest cookies on planet earth. The first time I made them I doubled the batch and was very happy that I did. I found  the recipe  on the New York Times Christmas cookie roundup. Of the 24 or so listed there were many that seemed very enticing.... but this is the only recipe I could get in front of the paywall. The other benefit is I only needed one more ingredient in order to make them - miso paste. One quick Amazon Prime delivery later I was ready to make these cookies.  I'll absolutely consider these to be my favorite peanut butter cookie on record. There is something extra special about the flavoring and they taste AMAZING fresh out of the oven. They are wonderfully, perfectly, heavenly soft and chewy.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add miso and peanut butter to the mixing bowl, and continue to m...