Kitchen “Before” Pictues And What’s On The Menu~ Week Of March 28, 2011

Construction has begun on my little kitchen “freshen up“.
I still have my stove. Fortunately, my contractor will see to it that there is only 1 day that I am without my stove. Good man!
I‘ll start documenting the changes and share them with you on What’s On The Menu Monday. NOW, it’s getting exciting!

These are the before pictures!

StoneGable is a farmhouse inspired home with a big wrap porch. My kitchen reflects the farmhouse style.

Goodbye~ counter tops, porcelain sink, faucet, sprayer that only squirts 
Hello~ soapstone counters, soapstone trough sink, oil rubbed bronze arch neck faucet with sprayer

Goodbye~ dishwasher
Hello~ custom panelled dishwasher!

Goodbye~ appliance garage
Hello~ more counter space!

Goodbye~ no backsplash, old hardwared, switch plates, lighting, table and chairs (we recently gave our old table and chairs away, and it will be 4-6 weeks till we get our new farmhouse table… so for now it is card table and chairs!), wood stained window frame, old yellowed paint
Hello~ beadboard back splash, new hardware,new switch plates, new chandeliers, new drapes, rattan shades, new table and new chairs, white painted window trim, Atrium White Benjamin Moore Oil Paint.

Goodbye~ desk I never used as a desk.
Hello~ new microwave home, soapstone shelf, 3 deep drawers for pots and pans.

Goodbye~Too long island, too low island, chipped countertop
Hello~ two foot shorter island top, 2 1/2 inch taller island, new soapstone counters
Goodbye~ only 1 trash can in island, no kick plate, no legs on island
Hello~ trash cans on each end (I love to cook on the close end of the island), kick plate that matches the bullnose on the rest of the cabinetry, beautiful legs
Goodbye~ microwave, dish shelves, bad ventilation, no backsplash
Hello~ custom architectural  hood to the ceiling with trim, ventilation system, stone tile cooktop backsplash
Goodbye~ crusty stove, island lighting and fan
Hello~ new cooktop, built-in oven, new lighting
AND MORE! I’ll share the changes as they happen over the next 4 weeks!
Now, What’s On The Menu
Monday: Soups On!
Creamy Chicken Rice Soup
Crusty Bread
I had this fabulous soup last Friday at my dear friend Eileen’s home. She made lunch for us before we took off… meandering through the countryside hunting down garden and thrifting treasures. This is a flavorful and filling soup. I’m sure it will be a staple at StoneGable. Thanks, Eileen!
Recipe: Creamy Chicken Rice Soup
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
3 ribs of celery, sliced
64 oz or more chicken stock
8 oz. cream cheese
1 can evaporated milk
1 box wild rice with the flavor packet
1 cup prepared white rice (great use for Chinese takeout rice)
2-3 cups cooked diced chicken
Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook for 4-5 minuets until onions are translucent. Cut cream cheese into chunks and add to the veggies. Add the evaporated milk and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the boxed rice and flavor packet. Cook until the wild rice is tender. Add prepared rice and diced chicken and heat through. Serve topped with crumbled cooked bacon or crunchy croutons.

Printable Recipe

Jicama Orange Salad
Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla Stacks
Recipe: Jicama Orange Salad
I tasted Jicama for the very first time a few weeks ago at Wegman’s. YUMMY! It is slightly starchy like a potato but is a little sweet like an apple. What a great the interesting new food for my repertoire!
1 jicama, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 tangerine, tangelo or orange sectioned and each cut in half
1 green onion, chopped including green top
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS fresh squeezed orange juice
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
dash of orange zest
dab of stone ground mustard
salt and pepper
Put jicama, tangerine, green onions and pumpkin seeds in a bowl. To make vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients and whisk to incorporate. Drizzle dressing on salad. Mix and serve.
Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla Stacks
3 TBS olive oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 onion sliced
1 eggplant (or zucchini or yellow squash)
1/2 TBS chili powder
salt and pepper
1 can refried beans
1 cup (or more) good cheddar cheese, grated
8~ 6 inch flour tortillas limes, quartered
sour cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put peppers, onions and eggplants in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 TBS olive oil. Add chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss. Put veggies on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until just slightly browning. Turn off oven. Heat a large skillet with 1 TBS olive oil. Meanwhile, spread a thin coat of refried beans on the tortilla. Add some veggies and top with cheese. Press down. Add another tortilla spread with refried beans to the stack. Layer tortilla with more veggies and cheese. Add final tortilla on top. Using a large spatula, gently place the quesadilla stack in the hot skillet. Cook for 2 minute, until the tortilla is golden. Put a large plate over the skillet and invert so the tortilla lands on the plate, slide the tortilla stack back into the skillet and lightly brown the top tortilla. Put the tortilla on a large rimmed baking sheet and cover with foil. Place in the warm oven. Repeat for the remaining quesadillas. Serve with limes and sour cream.
Marinated Flank Steak With Mushroom Cream Sauce
Mashed Potatoes (Make extra for Sunday)
Green Beans in Garlic Oil
Recipe: Marinated Flank Steak With Mushroom Cream Sauce
Talk about the ultimate comfort food… oh this is going to be soooooo good! I found this on a delightful blog, Loving My Domestic Life. To view this recipe click HERE.
 Arugula, Shaved Parmesan, Toasted Pine Nuts Salad In A Lemon Vinaigrette
Pesto Pecan Bow Ties With Smoked Salmon And Bacon
Recipe: Pesto Pecan Bow Ties With Smoked Salmon And Bacon
2/3 cup pesto (click HERE for Pesto recipe, store bought can be used too)
1/3 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/3 cup skim milk
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small chunks
1 large box of bow tie pasta
reserved pasta water
8 oz. smoked salmon, flaked
4 oz. bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
4 oz. toasted pecans, rough chopped
Cook pasta according to directions. Mix yogurt and skim milk in a bowl. Put hot pasta in a serving bowl. Add cream cheese and stir till melted. Add yogurt/milk. Mix to coat. If the sauce is too thick, thin with pasta water. Add salmon, bacon and pecans. Toss and serve in a large shallow bowl. Garnish with chiffonades of basil.

Printable Version

Pulled Pork And Coleslaw Sandwiches
Oven Fries
This recipe should be done ahead. It is really easy, but pay attention to the timetable.
Recipe: Pulled Pork And Coleslaw Sandwiches
Doesn’t that sound awesome! My friend at Susan at Savoring Time In The Kitchen offers the best recipes. I want to try everything she makes, and this pulled pork is no exception. It makes a lot, so into the freezer the extra goes for another lunch. Click HERE to try this yummy recipe.
Martini Glass Salad with Chipolte Lime Dressing
Margarita  Chicken Strips
Artichoke Rice
Recipe: Martini Glass Salad
Serve this fun layered salad in a jumbo martini glass!
1 Boston bibb lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup good cheddar jack cheese, grated
broken blue tortilla chips (do not crush them)
2 green onions, finely chopped
2-3 plum tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed 
1/2 cup baby corn, drained
1/2 TBS olive oil
salt, a good dash
1 tsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
10 large black olives, finely chopped
1/2 cup guacamole, fresh or store bought
4 large pimento stuffed green olives
4 lime wedges
In a large bowl add onions, tomatoes, beans, corn, cilantro, black olives, oil and salt. Set aside. Put lettuce in the bottom 1/3 of 4 jumbo martini glasses. Drizzle with dressing Layer with broken tortilla chips. Drizzle with dressing. Mound up the tomato mixture in the bowl on top of the tortillas. Put a bid dollop of guacamole on the top. Skewer a slice of lime and a big green olive and place on top of the guacamole. OLE’!
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup adobo chili sauce and chilies
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of chili powder

In a medium mixing bowl add sour cream, mayonnaise and adobo/chili. Add lime juice, zest, spices and salt. Stir. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors marry.

Printable Version
Recipe: Margarita Chicken Strips
3 lbs fresh chicken tender strips
6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
3 oz. tequila
1 TBS lime zest
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
3 shallots, finely minced

Combine all the ingredients with the chicken in a bowl. Marinade for at least 8 hours or overnight. Heat grill to medium heat. Grill chicken tenders, brushing with marinade until chicken is done but not dry.

Printable Version

Sunday: Slow Cooker Day
Classic Meat Loaf
Mashed Potatoes
Sauteed Broccoli Rabe, Garlic and Lemons In Olive Oil

Recipe: Slow Cooker Classic Meat Loaf
1 TBS olive oil
1 small onions, finely minced
1/4 cup green peppers, finely minced
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, 85%
1/2 lb. country sausage in casing
1/4 lb. ground veal
1 large egg
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and green peppers. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Let them cool. In a large bowl add ground beef, sausage removed from casing and veal. Be very gentle when mixing meatloaf. If you smoosh it too much it will be tough. Add egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and vegetables. Gently mix. Form into a loaf. Cook in slow cooker on HIGH for 1 hour. Cook on LOW for 6 more hours. Cover with ketchup the last hour of cooking. Take meatloaf out of slow cooker and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Printable Version

I am participating in Menu Plan Monday at Organize Junkie.


  1. says

    Yvonne, I love soapstone and all the changes sound so exciting. I know you can’t wait even though it will be a bit of a mess for a while. We got rid of our appliance garage too when we got our new counters and got the cabinets redone.

  2. says

    Hi Yvonne! OH, my goodness! Your before is totally gorgeous so I can’t wait to see your after! I could be jealous, but I won’t be! :)
    I’m very happy for you. We did a little makeover last year on my 1970s kitchen and I was just thrilled! Can’t wait to see yours all redone!
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  3. says

    Yvonne I love the before I can’t wait to see the after, I’m sure it going to look amazing!! Stop by and check out my giveaway when you get a chance! Martina

  4. says

    Can’t wait to see the new kitchen Yvonne, but I have to say, the before photos are awfully charming! This week’s menu sounds amazing as always. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, xxx tami

  5. says

    Ms. Yvonne,
    How exciting! I will be praying for you that all goes smooth and well and not take one day longer than you anticipate!
    Can’t wait to see the new look!

    Have a wonderful week!

  6. says

    I’m loving your version of a “freshen up”! I can already tell this kitchen is going to be a show stopper! Honestly, Yvonne, I can’t wait to see the finished remodel. And what a great contractor to work around you and your stove!

  7. says

    I’ve been through the kitchen remodle and I can only wish you luck!
    I’m sure it will be fantastic.
    I’m going ot try the chicken soup. It sounds great.

  8. says

    Whoo-hoo!!! How exciting! I’m so happy for your, Yvonne. I remember fondly the time I designed a kitchen from scratch – I had a blast doing it and it turned out exactly the way I had envisioned. I can’t wait to see your work in progress, as well as your finished kitchen.


  9. says

    OMGoodness Yvonne, it all sounds gorgeous! I love the before but can’t wait to see the after.

    Enjoy your day,

    P.S. Your menu for the week sounds YUMMY!

  10. says

    Yes I like your current kitchen but the freshening up sounds wonderful.
    It will be fun to see the changes. Glad you finally got blogger to work for you!

  11. says

    What a cute kitchen you currently have, and I look forward to seeing the “after”.

    Glad you finally were able to get your pictures posted.

  12. says

    Your current kitchen is lovely and cheerful but your new kitchen sounds well thought out and wonderful! Cannot wait to see the after. You are going to LOVE the deep drawers that will house your pots and pans. I have three in my island and wish I had more. The things we think of AFTER a remodel LOL!

    Looking forward to more pictures.

    from Virginia

  13. Anonymous says

    I would be so happy with the kitchen you now have but the ‘new’ one sounds wonderful though. The menu for this week is delicious and your hubby is a very lucky man.


  14. says

    I want your old kitchen! Look how big it is! My kitchen is like an afterthought hallway. Your new kitchen sounds like it is going to be gorgeous! How fun! I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it is done. I can’t believe you are going to be doing all that cooking among the construction! Lucky workers though! I am sure that you will keep them well fed!

  15. says

    I am so anxious to see your new changes in your kitchen!! I have soapstone and a farm sink in my new kitchen. I can’t tell you what a love affair I have with my soap stone. Love, love love it!!!!!!!

  16. says

    Looking forward to your new look! I do like my appl garage though, I can get my KA, Cuisinart, little cuisinart and hand blender in there, and room for other things too!

  17. says

    You have a wonderful, roomy kitchen now, and I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the newer version. :) I have a question and if you think I am crazy, OK. lol Do you know what color you have used on your walls? Taupey-beigy-sandy….I am not sure what to call it, but I sure do like it. I am in the process of choosing a new wall color for my downstairs and like what you have. You may not have time to handle my question and I certainly understand if that is the case. :)


  18. says

    I think I’m as excited as you are about the remodel. I can’t wait for the tah dah! I am amazed you’re able to cook in what must resemble a construction sight. Your menu is, as always, wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  19. says

    I wasn’t that lucky, to have the stove till almost the last minute when my hubby and son redid our kitchen, yea many years ago. Your before looks to me like some afters, so looking forward to seeing your new kitchen!

  20. says

    OMGoodness, this is all so exciting!!!!!!!!!! I ahve missed you and your blog but I am home now so am going to go back and catch up. Even though we had a laptop, we didn’t have much opportunity to get online at all. All of your changes for the kitchen sound WONDERFUL and I am SO excited that you are sharing it all with us! Thank you!!!!! I do love your OLD kitchen but the new one will be fabulous, I know!!!! Hope to see you SOON! XO, Pinky PS, the menu is wonderful, as usual:):) I am SO ready for some HOME COOKING!!!!!!!

  21. says

    Wow…the ‘after’ is going to be amazing. Can’t wait to see all the beauty. Hope your contractor can donate your old things to one of the ReStore locations operated by Habitat for Humanity; they resell donations so they can build new homes.

  22. says

    You are still going to try to cook? I had my stove the entire time…but, the clean-up stopped me after cooking a couple of meals. No sink…no cooking. We got the countertop today, the non-plumber I’m married to is TRYING to hook up the sink, dishwasher and disposal as I type this. We have a plumber on call:) we have painted, changed out half of the hardware, put in new shelf liner (I’m a dinosaur, I still line drawers and cabinets-bet you do too), and I’ve started putting things back in place. Our backsplash will be tile and my dad is going to do it in May when he is here and needs a project. So far, I love it but I’m still fighting a huge mess. I should have taken more before pictures!

    You know there will be many who would love to have the kitchen you are getting rid of!!

  23. says


    You are getting rid of the sweet white kitchen ? I would so love to have it in my kitchen .. It is wonderful and just what I have always wanted.. It would be just perfect and would match my breakfast room that is vintage. and where is the dumpster … cause I wanna go dumpster diving ! :o) That is my dream kitchen !


  24. says

    “Good-bye desk that I never used as a desk”. Ha! We all have spaces that we thought we would use and then don’t – at least not in the way intended. I am waiting with baited breathe to see how this project evolves Yvonne. Can’t wait!

    As always, love your menu.

  25. says

    Want to make your chicken soup tonight but noticed there was no size for the can of evaporated milk. Also, how many does this soup serve? Hope you can help!

    Love the kitchen plans

  26. says

    Wow! You have such a great kitchen space…and it looks beautiful now. I can only imagine the finished product…I know it will be amazing. I so long for a nice kitchen.

    The recipes are to die for and can’t wait to try a couple of them at least. My printer ink just faded out so will have to come back & print them. I LOVE having that feature…thank you so much!

    Have a wonderful week!

  27. says

    I can’t wait to see the changes in your kitchen, Yvonne! I’m sure going through a remodel isn’t the best fun but will be so worth it in the end.

    Thank you for featuring my pulled pork recipe! My husband is already asking me to make it again 😉

  28. says

    How exciting to be making over your kitchen with all the details you’ve dreamed up! Looking forward to the big reveal! I’m sure it will be even more heavenly than this!
    ;-D Kathleen

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