Calling in the experts

Have you ever survived a kitchen remodel? No? Me either. But I’m hoping to.

Several weeks ago, we decided to replace our kitchen counters. A slab of granite was chosen. Estimates were gathered. The date for templating (that’s what the stonecutters call the time when everything is measured and there are no changes allowed to the existing area from that point on) was scheduled.

Removal of the counters brought to our attention the extremely poor quality of our existing cabinets. Placing granite on these cabinets would not make sense.

Change of plans!

Templating was cancelled. New appliances chosen. A new sink and a new faucet purchased. Plans for new cabinets drawn. Paint samples are being mulled over. Oh, and a new slab of granite has been placed on hold.

Now, two weeks before Thanksgiving, we’re in full remodel mode, phase one.

Here’s what our kitchen looked like before demolition started…



I have to admit, it is pretty fun to plan a new kitchen. I’ve spent many hours on Houzz bookmarking many fabulous ideas. If you haven’t checked out this site, you must!

Here’s the basic color scheme I’ve narrowed down.

Kitchen planning

Keeping the walls, cabinets, appliances and counters neutral, would then allow me to throw in a splash of color. Like this yummy ‘spring grass’ green…

Kitchen planning

Working in the our kitchen in its current state is a little like cooking at a campsite… most of our supplies are in boxes around the perimeter of the kitchen. Our makeshift countertops now consist of plywood. The sink is propped up on a couple additional pieces of wood, and the old faucet is still in place, so at least we’re not washing dishes in the bathtub… yet.

Did you know Thanksgiving is only two weeks away? Did I mention this already? Fortunately, I will not be hosting this year. I will, however be making the pies.

In my search for ideas, I found these tasty looking pastries…


French Pear & Almond Tart by David Lebovitz


Pear and Almond Tart from Bon Appetit, February 2005

I’ve also had the urge to make a sweet potato pie.


Sweet Potato Pie (from Martha Stewart, channeling Danny Glover)


Sweet Potato Pie (from Joy the Baker’s Dad)

I could skip my traditional pumpkin pie for one slice of sweet potato.

Tell me, what’s your favorite, must-have Thanksgiving Day pie?


13 thoughts on “Calling in the experts

  1. Love your new colors! Fav pie: praline pumpkin. Well, actually, I could go for apple, but the guys would riot if I didn’t make this.

  2. I cannot wait to see pictures of the remodel, with your designing it, I’m sure it will be fabulous. (IN fact the kitchen that you just demolished didn’t look too shabby at all!
    Since Thanksgiving is an adopted holiday for our family pumpkin pie was not something we knew or appealed to us. I once enjoyed a delicious slice of pumpkin torte but like the look of the French pear and almond tart (by David Lebovitz) very much!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! (Now I wonder, will you eat at home or out?)

  3. I have lived through a kitchen re-model at my parents house a couple years ago while I was finishing up my nursing degree. We ate a LOT of subway sandwiches and take out of other types. If I were to have to go through that again, I would fill up my freezer with healthy frozen entrees and put the microwave to use! Hoping you don’t have to get hold ups on the contractors like they did. It was a 2 month process! Have fun!

  4. They just finished our remodel the second week of September, and it’s wonderful! Not the out-of-commission part, but the end result. It was a complete gut job, including wall removals, and a bathroom removal (a new one was built in the new addition). It took about two months, and the only reason we survived was the fact that there was a 26 foot camper with an adequate kitchen sitting in my backyard. And don’t forget the grill! The only baking I did was in my convection toaster oven, and if you don’t have one, I suggest buying one. Kenmore makes a very good one.

    I chose quartz countertops for easy maintenance, and I love them. The island has maple butcher block. The perimeter cabinets are a warm maple Shaker style, and I chose ebony stain for the island.

    Before, there was no real organization; now I have a baking center, a cooking center, and a beverage center. I love everything about it!

    I hope yours goes well and quickly!

  5. I think I may be making that Pear Tart for my group of adoring food fans that I meet with a couple times a week. Unfortunately those in my household have an aversion to anything “mushy”, and so they would not appreciate the wonderful eye appeal let alone the delicious combination of flavors I can tell that will be found in this dish. 🙂 Yummy…I like soft mushy combined with tender bits of crust and cake like yumminess!

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