Thursday, February 5, 2009

30...after 3 months of living

We finally got off in gear and took some pics of our living and kitchen space, which is where we spend most of our time and thus most of our decorating effort.

The biggest impact to date was relocating the fridge from the credenza wall to the door way niche. Although it renders our side door useless, it's totally worth it for opening up the kitchen feels so much bigger now! We took the freed up space and made a two tier seating and work surface using some laminate surfaces (bright yellow!) from Ikea from the as-is for $40 and an old Eames table base. It's great for eating and computer use and the added counter space is a huge plus when cooking. This is where Jean took the retro 50's cake she made couple weeks ago.


The living room is decked out with the Eames lounge and Knoll sofa accompanied by our JOIN Seattle projects: AlphaBrass (lamps) and Megadoiley (rug). The blue tape you see on the wall is a sketch of the modular shelving and panel system we're going to put in hopefully soon (brackets from rakks). It will house the TV and all of our glorious trinkets.
Plus, we put up the really simple mid century globe lamps in the hall way (scored off ebay, 5 for $40) and installed custom base trim (scored for FREE by my Step-Dad Stan! Nothing better than free stuff. Thanks Stan!).
BEFORE HALL WAY: (with boob lights)
AFTER HALL WAY:Also, thanks to Home Depot gift cards from my Fam in Wisconsin, we've been able to deck this place out for very little out of pocket $$. Yah!

Progress is slow, but not bad for 4 months in I suppose...plenty more to come!

More on Jean's Flickr.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ahhh, Superbowl Sunday. It's practically a holiday in conservative, flag-waving Ballard, where residents of the dupe did what any true patriots would due when faced with gridiron mayhem: we invited a bunch of people over, flipped on the big screen, and adjourned to the kitchen where we tried desperately to stay warm in front of the deep-fryer.

In between our asides in deep-fryer experimentation (Chika insists that America is just not ready for the bacon-wrapped marshmallow), we made some downright tasty fried goodies. There were fried plantains, fried pickles, fried lotus root, fried burdock root, fried bacon (that's right), and these bad boys:

Lavender-Infused Honey and Thyme Goat Cheese Jalapeno Poppers:

24 medium-sized jalapenos
8oz goat cheese
16oz cream Cheese
1/3c honey
2T lavender petals
1T thyme, minced
1t + 1T kosher salt
1/2t black pepper
4 eggs
1/3c milk
1c flour
2c panko breadcrumbs
2c oil for frying

Prepare the honey by placing 4t lavender petals and honey together in a glass bowl or jar. Set the jar in simmering water and melt the honey. Let the honey infuse overnight.

1. Set a pot of water to boil. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and stems. Blanch the peppers in the boiling water for 90 seconds, and chill them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further.

2. Set up a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Blend the goat cheese, cream cheese, 2t lavender petals, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste until creamy. With the mixer running at it's slowest speed, drizzle the honey into the cheese 1T at a time, tasting as you go.

3. Heat up oil until it reads 325 on a deep fry thermometer. Prepare a dredging station with three bowls: in one mix the flour with 1T of salt, in another beat the eggs with the milk, and in the last put the panko.

4. Fill each jalapeno half with the goat cheese mixture. Dip each pepper in the flour, dust off the excess, dip in the egg, and then roll in the panko, pressing to adhere. Fry each pepper until the panko darkens, and the filling just starts to leak through the batter. Remove the peppers to paper towels to drain.