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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Satisfying Seafood Cravings

I've had some wicked cravings for seafood lately...particularly salmon and lobster. It seems like great seafood is everywhere you look during the New England summer, but in fall and winter, it takes a back seat to hearty comfort foods. And then suddenly it's February and I feel like I haven't had fresh seafood in forever.
So for Valentine's Day, we stayed in and I whipped up a light and fresh salmon fettuccine, with a lemon butter dill sauce and capers. One craving down, one to go...

And since Steven and I were good little homeowners this weekend and worked on several projects around the house, I thought we deserved a special Sunday dinner.
This creamy lobster stew, featuring fresh lobster, onions, corn, white wine, butter and milk, was just the ticket. It was quick and easy (shucking the lobster took the longest) and only took about half an hour to prepare. It probably would have been even better if allowed to meld for a while, but we couldn't resist eating it right away. It was delicious and definitely hit the spot. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Blog Obsession: Tartelette

Have you seen the movie Julie & Julia, in which blogger Julie Powell, apparently rather bored with her life, endeavors to work her way through all 524 recipes in Julia Child's first cookbook? Well, if I had to choose a similar challenge for myself, I would probably choose to work my way through the recipe index of my new favorite blog, Tartelette.

I am seriously smitten with the recipes, the photos, the desserts...

like S'mores Doughnuts (*omg, drool*):
That's just a glimpse of all the goodness going on over at Tartelette. Head on over if you're in need of culinary inspiration...so many beautiful things!

*Special thanks to Helene for allowing me to use images from her gorgeous blog*

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dining Room

Wanna take a photo tour of the refinished dining room?

For comparison, here's what the room looked like when we moved in...

After pulling out the carpet, removing the wallpaper (related post *here*), and getting a new skim coat of plaster, we painted the walls Sharkey Gray by Martha Stewart (I love this color!) and the mouldings white.
Just like in the other rooms (living room post *here*), we also had the floors redone and painted the radiators.

As cool as it was to have a chandelier that dated back to at least the 1940's, it just didn't work in the refreshed space. So we splurged on a Schonbek crystal chandelier and could not be happier with the upgrade. It's hard to capture the sparkle with my point & shoot camera, but just imagine.
We kept the dining room furniture that came with the house, which included a matching buffet and tallboy china cabinet, six chairs, and a table that extends to seat 8. We simply recovered the chairs (the fabric was 50% off at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and we had an additional 20% off coupon...so the project cost us less than $40 total!!!) with a neutral print. Take a peek back at the old pics to see the rather putrid spring green fabric we replaced.
We're really happy with how the dining room turned out. We're still decorating, and of course there are no curtains yet (curtains are my kryptonite!!!), but at the very least the built in china cabinet is fulfilling its decorating duties!
We just hosted our first major family event--my mom's birthday dinner (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and it was a great success.
The dining room is officially open!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Wall Decor: The Wave Painting

Upon hearing that Steven particularly liked a painting she has had for years, my mom just up and gave it to him as a housewarming gift. :) I have to say that the ocean colors go perfectly with the cool green walls in our living room (Lyndhurst Celadon Green by Valspar).

We gave the frame a quick refresher before hanging the painting, because the driftwoodesque finish sort of clashed with our bright white mouldings.
After a quick sand, 1 coat of primer, and 2 coats of ivory spray paint (we wanted something a bit softer than straight up white)...
...the wave painting makes its debut on the living room wall...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Peppermint Marshmallows

Inspired by this blogger, and galvanized by my love for hot chocolate, I knew I had to try and make Peppermint Marshmallows for myself. I thought maybe they'd be a little funky (like homemade oreos vs. real oreos...yeah, they're good, but they're not "it") but these are better than store-bought fo' sho'. The texture is perfect...they have this nice semi-firm consistency and then they go all gooey in your hot chocolate. Not to mention kicking it up a notch with the peppermint, cashing in on the best wintertime flavor combo ever. Ah, so good!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Antidote to the Snowpocalypse Blues

So I never managed to get the roses from *this post* into the ground last fall. Which had me frantically tugging them inside one November night because we were supposed to have our first hard frost. I have to say that I doubted they'd survive the winter inside....but they're actually thriving.

They're actually....blooming!
Today I clipped a blossom and placed it in a lovely aqua blue vintage bottle I found a couple years ago at a yard sale. Just seeing it, and burying my nose in it, relieves the winter blahs.
I ended up putting this beauty front and center on the dining room table, so it's staring at us every time we pass through...reminding us that spring is just around the corner and summer will be here before we know it. Thank God.