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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here to show you the final pictures of our kitchen. This might take a while so grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy.

First I will start where I last left off. The cabinets were installed and the finish details of the knobs, crown molding and base trim were in place.

The crew had a couple of days before the granite would be installed so they took that time to install all the appliances except the cooktop.

The granite was installed the Monday I was returning from my recent trip so I don’t have any pictures of that while it was being installed so here is the completed granite installation.

The granite color is called Santa Cecelia. The above picture doesn’t do the color any justice so here are a couple of close ups.

A wide view of the granite on our peninsula

A close up detail of the same area

The Santa Cecelia is described to have “colors that fall more in the grouping of gold-gray due to the slight hints of burgundy, ivory and black veins interlaced on the consistent white stone background. I also found this great description of all the colors found in this stone.

Next up it was time for the tile back splash to be installed.

Back splash tile without grout

We picked out Durango Travertine from Mexico in 3″ x 6″ tiles and paired it with Precious Gems Woodland Teak Glass and Slate Medley for the accent color.

Durango Travertine with Precious Gems Woodland Teak Glass and Slate Medley

The Precious Gems accent is described as a “collaboration of glossy and frosted glass with natural slate and quartzite”. We really love how the colors in the accent tiles resemble the colors in the granite.

Cooktop Backsplash Tile Detail

For the cooktop backsplash we used the same Precious Gems detail and paired it with the 4″x 4″ Durango tile. It is framed with Sandgate Antique Bronze Cove Liner.

Finally the cooktop and the glass for the cupboard doors was installed. It took quite a few days to clean all the cabinets and fill them up.

The kitchen looks great mom! When are you going to cook me some treats?

The view from our family room

I love all the large drawers we put in. They are great for holding pots and pans. The best part is that you don’t have to get on your hands and knees to try to drag something out of the bottom shelf any more.

This is a great place to hang out and be right in the middle of all the action.

Besides moving the door and window the biggest change in our kitchen was to remove a small wall that was on the left of the doorway from the family room that you can see above. You can see the wall in this next picture.

Old view of refrigerator

It created a little cubbie that our refrigerator fit in.

Corner where refrigerator used to be

Now there are cabinets that wrap around the corner. Without that wall the entrance from the family room is more open and makes the kitchen seem bigger.

View from the kitchen window

The new window is bigger and lower than the old one and gives us a beautiful view of the back yard. With LED under cabinet lighting the kitchen is very bright even at night.

View from the eating area

We don’t have the table in our eating area yet because Charlie is working on refinishing it. We really love is our new refrigerator. It is a Samsung counter depth unit and the thing we like best about it is there are no handles sticking out. I will do a review of it and our new microwave in another post.

I hope you have enjoyed watching our new kitchen construction. We are very happy with how it turned out. I have already done some cooking and felt it was great to work in. We now have a lot more counter space which makes it easy to prepare meals and work around the oven and cooktop.

I’m still catching up on my blog reading but now that this project is behind me I will have more time to comment. Thanks for your understanding.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie here.

Millie - head shot

Do you know what day it is? Let me give you a hint.

puppy birthday cake 2

That’s right…it’s my birthday! Today I turn 3 years old. My pawrents can’t believe I can be 3 already. I hope mom bakes me a cake like the one above. I might even be nice and share some with Walter too.

2015 Birthday card from VET

Check out the cute e-card I got from my VET!

Millie - hanging out under tree

The weather is a little nicer today (we had record temps of 90º F during the past few days) so I expect to be hanging out in the yard and snoopervising my dad’s yard work.

Since this is supposed to be Mischief Monday mom found this video of me from the first day I came to my forever home. It is cell phone video and until recently she couldn’t get it to play right side up. The quality isn’t as good as our regular videos and there are some glitches but I think you will enjoy it.

If you can’t see the video or want to see a larger version you can go here to see it.

As you could see I was very fierce and ready to take on anyone who was in my yard even if they didn’t move. You can’t see what I’m barking at very well so here is a picture of it from last year in the garden.

German Shepherd Dog Sculpture

German Shepherd Dog Sculpture

It’s in a new location now and I don’t even notice it any more. Doesn’t that sculpture look scary to you?

Well I hope you all have as nice a day as I’m having.

Happy Birthday to Me!

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here to tell you about the fantastic cake our mom made for us for our big celebration.

Millie Walter - celebration cake

Okay it might not be a fancy as the one we pictured on our celebration day post, but we think our mom did a pretty good job. She said the squirty green icing was not very easy to control, but you can still read it just fine. She found the recipe online at allrecipes.com and added some canned cream cheese frosting. Since she put frosting on it mom and dad decided it would be best if we had out pieces outside so we didn’t make too much mess.

Mmmm...that smells great! Are we done with the pictures now?

Mmmm…that smells great! Are we done with the pictures now?

We each got our own plate with a small piece on it (stingy pawrents!).

Millie Walter - eating cake

I, Walter, had my piece gobbled up in no time.

Nom, nom, nom!

Nom, nom, nom!

Whereas I, Millie, was more cautious about eating it and needed a little help.

Nom, nom, nom!

Nom, nom, nom!

While Millie was taking her time eating her piece of cake I had to just watch. It is torture watching Millie eat…she is sooooo slow!

Thanks for holding the plate dad.

Thanks for holding the plate dad.

Dad helped me out a bit too and held the plate so I could be sure to get every molecule of frosting.

Gobble, gobble...this is good.

Gobble, gobble…this is good.

After being so dainty with my cake at first I decided it was good enough to just snarf it down in one gulp. We are very happy that mom made us this great cake and we even got more for the next few days until it was gone. We are joining Sugar’s Tasty Tuesday blog hop today.

By the way all the ingredients in the cake are human edible too and our dad even tried a piece. His only complaint was that it was a bit dry. If it weren’t for the frosting he said he couldn’t have gotten it down.

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celebrate

Hi Everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here together to start our celebration! First up mom thinks you all should click on this video and let it play in the background to get you in the mood to party!

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Okay, now that you have the music going let’s start the festivities.

Millie in party hat - Happy Gotcha Day

It’s hard for me and my pawrents to believe that one year ago today I came to live with them. The year has just flown by. Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane.

Foster Parents Michael & Darcy watch as Charlie has Millie sit for a treat.

Foster Parents Michael & Darcy watch as Charlie has Millie sit for a treat.

I had no idea that day, one year ago, when my foster pawrents brought me to mommy and daddy’s house that they were going to leave me there. I was a little upset at first when they left, but daddy played with me a little, I took a nap and when I woke up I knew I was home and didn’t worry about where Darcy and Michael went. I still love to see my foster pawrents and get pretty crazy when I visit with them. I will never forget what a great time I had at their home.

So much has happened over the past year. I made some new friends, met a fellow blogger and learned that grandpawrents give good scritches. One of my favorite things was learning about snow and how much fun it is to play in.

I love to dig in the snow!

I love to dig in the snow!

Of course there was a bit of mischief along the way too. Do you remember what happened to the  “The Last of the Mohicans”

I swear I heard squirrels in here

I swear I heard squirrels in here

Of course my life changed a lot about half way through my first year here when Walter joined us. I knew from the minute I first met Walter that we would be the best of friends forever.

 millie and walter - yin yang - bw - vignette

As all of our followers know we play hard and sleep hard. I would have to say that Walter is one of the best things that happened around here this past year. He really is a great brother and always so much fun to play with, wrestle with and chase. On that note I will turn the blog over to him because today Walter becomes a real big boy!

walter - sitting with party hat - happy birthday

Woo Hoo! I can’t believe I’m a big boy now. I have to give a shout out to my brother Brodie (if that is still his name) and wish him a happy birthday too. We had a rough start until we were rescued by Big Dogs Big Hearts, but I’m glad I had him by my side through that ordeal. I sure do miss him and hope we can see each other sometime and I hope he is as happy as I am in my forever home.

puppy birthday cake 2Mom was baking all day yesterday and she said there would be a special cake for Millie and I to share (I don’t think it really looks like the one in the picture though). Grab a plate and enjoy some of our cake and make sure to grab a drink too. We have all kinds of soft drinks and some great New York State apple cider. Mom says we are still too young for any of the harder stuff, but I bet some of our furends might have a flask or two with them {{wink, wink}}.

I might have had a rough start in life, but since I came to my forever home life could not be better.

I love playing with water!

I love playing with water!

I learned how much fun playing in water could be although I still haven’t been swimming yet. I will put that on my list for this next year. Of course I have had a great time getting to know my sister and having the time of my life playing with her.

Sticking together

Sticking together

All in all I could not be a happier boy. Millie and I want to thank Big Dogs Big Hearts for not only bringing us to our pawrents, but for bringing us together too. We are lucky pups to have the pawrents we do (although some might say they are lucky to have us) and we also want to thank all our friends in Blogville for joining in our big Celebration Day! Let the party begin!

 

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Baking in July?

Yes, that is what I did this weekend.  Usually you would expect it to be too hot to do any baking during the month of July, but this year has proved otherwise.  The weather this summer has been unusually below average in temperature and it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change any time soon.  We have been saving money on our electricity bill this summer by not having to run the air conditioning very much.  I have also taken advantage of the cool weather by baking and cooking like crazy the past couple of weeks.  Over the July 4th holiday long weekend, I cooked 4 dinners with plenty of left overs so for the next few weeks dinner is as simple as picking out what to have and heating it up.

Muffin Top Pan

Muffin Top Pan

As part of my weight maintenance program I like to have healthy snacks with  me at work so I don’t indulge in something I shouldn’t.  For my birthday recently, I ask for and received some baking mixes and muffin top pans from Vitalicious (Thanks Colleen!).  I had also re-arranged some things in the kitchen cupboards and discovered some muffin mixes I had for a long time and never used.  Normally these mixes call for whole milk, oil and eggs.  By substituting skim milk, apple sauce for the oil, and Egg Beaters egg substitute for the eggs I cut out all of the added fat the instructions normally call for.  To add a bit of fiber to the mixes without adding a lot of calories I added oatmeal to one of the mixes and crushed Fiber One cereal (original flavor) to another.  This didn’t effect the consistency of the mix or baking time at all.

In addition to the muffin tops I also tried a new brand of fat free brownie mix called Krusteaz I found at Wegmans. Charlie prefers “real brownies” over the chocolate Vitalicious Muffin Tops, but I refuse to make a full-fat variety.  The Krusteaz brownies are a big hit.  These brownies came out very fudgy with a great consistency.  I tried the No Pudge Fat Free brownie mix previously.  While very tasty, they are so gooey that they are almost impossible to cut into squares.

Brownies and Muffin Tops

Brownies and Muffin Tops

Baking is usually thought of as a winter activity, but I enjoyed being able to do some in the middle of July!  Now I have a good stock of muffin tops and brownies to last for quite a few weeks.  That way if Summer does come back I won’t have to worry about heating up the house when we are trying to cool it down with the air conditioning.

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