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RE: Am I the only one.... (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: joyce_6333 on 10.12.2011 at 08:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

I also wondered about our decision to go with stained cabinets, but I know I would soon tired of an all white kitchen. I love the beautiful white kitchens shown here on GW, but am I alone when I think they all start to look the same?

Our last two kitchens have been stained wood. In our previous home, we used QS oak with fruitwood stain, which I loved! This time DH wanted hickory, so we used premium hickory stained chestnut. I also like it alot. Paired with natural character hickory floors, it's a nice contrast. We still have crown moulding to put up. We're using a deep double bracketed moulding with picture rail. Hoping it's the look I'm envisioning.


hickory with hickory/stain
clipped on: 11.07.2011 at 05:13 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2011 at 05:13 pm

RE: Please post pictures of your counter-tops (Follow-Up #69)

posted by: francoise47 on 11.04.2011 at 10:08 am in Kitchens Forum

My honed Black Pearl Granite counters look like asphalt!
That's what I get for having last minute cold feet about soapstone
and second-guessing my original desire for Caesarstone Raven or Cement.

But they are super functional. And they feel great on my hands.
And, I guess not everything in the kitchen need to be pretty,
or should be pretty.

Honed Black Pearl granite

Honed Black Pearl Granite


honed black pearl
clipped on: 11.07.2011 at 05:04 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2011 at 05:04 pm

RE: Please post pictures of your counter-tops (Follow-Up #67)

posted by: celineike on 11.04.2011 at 09:45 am in Kitchens Forum

here's mine...
island...Statuary Marble

and the perimeter... Engineered quartz



clipped on: 11.07.2011 at 05:03 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2011 at 05:03 pm

RE: SMARGE- your backsplash? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: smarge on 07.24.2009 at 09:54 am in Kitchens Forum

Sorry I haven't checked GW for a while!

I'll happily post more pictures of my backsplash, and am happy also to share contact info re: the wonderfully talented mosaic artist I found online, named Cynthia Fisher.

My husband and I have always loved a "Tree of Life" - it represents home, family, lifecycle - all good things we have always prioritized and wanted to honor in our kitchen, the "heart of the home".

We both also love intricate mosaics and wanted a creative, artistic backsplash to make our kitchen less of a boiler plate, "classic" white kitchen. This is where our former designer's vision differed from ours. I'll go into those issues in another post below the pictures -

Here is the final sketch Cynthia came up with after many conversations and trials, along with her planned tile colors -

Cynthia Fisher's Chagall inspiration sketch

From that sketch, we had many back and forth emails approving the actual mosaic which came to life as she worked on it in her studio in Mass. I'd make suggestions and tiny changes along the way. It is a very difficult thing for an artist to take direction from a non-artist (many simply won't do it!) and Cynthia was wonderfully patient and tolerant to help us arrive at an end product that we would love in our home!

As she worked, she'd send progress pictures for approval to make sure we liked the budding work of art.


- we removed apples from the tree and altered colors a bit. She explained that the grays in the planned grout color would tone down colors at installation. It was a wonderful learning process!


Here is a final "proof" before she put the tiles on backer -


We hired Cindy and her husband to come to our house for the installation. She usually does not do this, but agreed for our project since we were having terrible issues with our GC's tiler and we didn't want these works of art ruined by poor installation. They arrived early one morning, worked all day, stayed one night in a hotel, worked the whole next day and finished. Not inexpensive, but imo we have a true work of art, as the artist intended it to be, as a result!


And, finally, here is the final result for the Tree of Life mosaic installed!


Cindy used tiny pieces of mirror in the Tree mosaic that, along with the blue tree and the Chagall-like birds, lent the mosaic a surreal/fantastical feeling.

A closer look -


This mosaic was created to compliment the Tree of Life mosaic, without being too similar. It was inspired by an actual Chagall lithograph, with the color of the vase being chosen to coordinate with the "Raven" Caesarstone countertop. The "fantasy" feeling found in the tree is not present in these sunflowers and there is no mirror used. The background mosaic beautifully makes the transition between the different feel of each main mosaic.


Here is the inspiration for the sink mosaic - I love how Cindy translated it into mosaic!


Another view of the sink mosaic -


A funny thing is, we focused so much on the two main mosaics that we didn't really focus on what the general background would look like and really LOVED what she did with the curving waves of neutral whites, grays and iridescent tiles!

Here is a long view of each total backsplash to help give the overall effect in the kitchen

Kitchen in the morning

And the stove mosaic is perpendicular to the sink mosaic -



clipped on: 11.02.2011 at 08:02 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2011 at 08:02 pm

RE: bread crumbs... and other things I don't BUY (Follow-Up #52)

posted by: raro on 10.17.2011 at 02:17 am in Kitchens Forum

Ricotta cheese. Don't buy it Anymore. Gently heat half gal of whole milk and tsp salt to boil. Add three tbsp white vinegar. Cut heat and let sit until curds separate. Strain through colander lined with dish towel. You will never go back once you taste this in lasagna or blintzes or drizzled with honey. Whey can be used in cooking or water acid loving plants.


ricotta cheese
clipped on: 10.17.2011 at 06:22 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2011 at 06:23 pm

What kind of backsplash do you have?

posted by: AilsaM on 09.04.2011 at 10:56 am in Kitchens Forum

How many of you have your back splash as a 4" continuation of your countertop - or did you leave it 'clean'? I am planing on a green slate countertop but I can't decide between having a 4" slate back splash and then tiling above it or just the tile. My cabinets will be medium-dark colored Oak in a craftsman style. I need to decide before I put in the stone order. I would love to hear what others did.

Here is the slate for the counter with the cabinet color samples behind it.

Thanks in advance. I always get such great suggestions from everyone.


beautiful slate for counters. Owner says no sealing or etching.
clipped on: 09.05.2011 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 09.05.2011 at 11:59 am

Sun Dried Tomatoes

posted by: brokenbar on 08.20.2008 at 09:54 pm in Harvest Forum

I raise tomatoes for sun drying. I do about 1000 to 2000 lbs a year which I sell to the upscale restaurants in Cody Wyoming & Billings Montana. I wanted to pass on my favorites for you considering doing some drying. Any tomato can be used for drying but some varieties are better than others.

I grow 15 mainstay varieties that I have kept as I culled others that did not meet my criteria.
I also try at least 5 new varieties of paste types each year and am lucky if one makes it into my herd. I am looking for specific things:

Meaty with a low moisture content
Few seeds
A rich and tangy flavor
Size-Small tomatoes are just more work for me.
Not fussy-Take heat and cold and wind. No primadonnas!
Bloom well and set lots and lots of fruit
Dry to a nice pliable consistency

These are my Top Five
Chinese Giant
Carol Chyko
Cuoro D Toro
San Marzano Redorta

I wanted to add that were I to be stranded on a desert Island with only one tomato it would be Russo Sicilian Togeta. This is my gallstarh that sets fruit first, ripens the earliest, bears heavy crops in any weather and is producing right up until hard frost. It is not a true paste but rather a stuffing tomato. None-the-less, the flavor of these dried is as good as it gets. It is also wonderful for just eating or slicing and the fruit is extra large.

For those wanting to know my Secret Recipe for drying, here you go:

Wash, stem and slice each tomato into 1/4" thick slices. Place in a very large bowl or clean bucket and cover with cheap red wine. I use Merlot but if you prefer something else, knock yourself out. I have a friend that swears by cheap Chianti! Soak tomato slices 24 hours in the wine. Drain well. Lay tomatoes just touching on dehydrator shelves or on screen in your sun-drying apparatus. Sprinkle each slice with a mixture containing equal parts of dried basil-oregano-parsley and then sprinkle each slice with Kosher Salt. You may choose to forego the salt if you wish but tomatoes will take longer to dry. Dry tomatoes until they are firm and leatherlike with no moisture pockets, but NOT brittle. (If you get them too dry, soak them in lemon juice for a few minutes.) To store, place in vacuum bags or ziplock bags and freeze.

IMPORTANT!!! If you will be storing sun-dried tomatoes in Olive oil you !!!MUST!!! dip each slice in vinegar before adding to oil.

To pack in oil:
Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off theexcess vinegar and pack them in olive oil adding 1/4 cup red wine. For tomatoes in oil I am selling, I put the tomatoes into the oil two weeks ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Make sure they are completely immersed in the oil. When the jar is full, cap it tightly. I use my vacuum sealer to seal the canning lids on. Store at *cool* room temperature for at least a month before using. They may be stored in the refrigerator, but the oil will solidify at
refrigerator temperatures (it quickly reliquifies at room temperature however). As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. I have stored oil-packed tomatoes in m root cellar for over a year. . I have tried a number of methods to pack the tomatoes in oil, but the vinegar treatment is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one. It is also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the oil and discourages growth of bacteria and mold. Soaking in the wine also acidifies them.

****** WARNING ********

Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves or fresh herbs of any kind to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you store them in the refrigerator and plan on using them within 7 days. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment just
perfect growth medium for botulinum bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated. Be safe and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as part of the recipe for them *after* they come out of the oil.


clipped on: 08.09.2011 at 02:18 pm    last updated on: 08.09.2011 at 02:18 pm

RE: How do I make kitchen soffits fit into my elegant vision of k (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: boxerpups on 08.07.2011 at 08:38 am in Kitchens Forum

I love the ideas mentioned about soffits.
You can turn the soffit into a faux molding of doors.
I adore Celineike's beautiful kitchen, what a creative
way to deal with soffits.
Here are a few more examples. Soffit into a stacked
cab or even adding molding to the soffit in the pic
with the yellow. All fun ideas to make the space
even more beautiful.


I would put some elegant drapes on the windows something
like this...Not a Duncan P table but lovely nevertheless.


Oriental rugs over your tile floors and rich woven
drapes will make the coolness of the room flow with the
duncan pyfe table you are invisioning.

What about a built in fish tank?
Fish tanks can take on a mood or feel of their own but
built in ones remind us that they are part of the art
and passion of the owner not an entitiy of their own.
The built in fish tank becomes elegant art.


Back to the kitchen...
Here is a combo of gray and white with a gentle soffit
above. That sort of blends into the wall. I thought
of this when you mentioned gray.

Painting soffitts above to match walls and cabs unify the


clipped on: 08.07.2011 at 01:25 pm    last updated on: 08.07.2011 at 01:25 pm

finished cherry kitchen with stone

posted by: tateland on 04.18.2010 at 12:23 am in Kitchens Forum

I cant believe I am actually submitting my kitchen. Thanks to all who have answered questions, Bill Vincent, for all your grout advice. Jamielo, (you were my original inspiration) and Elizpiz, your backsplash blew my mind. Our house is 1950's so if anyone remembers the original mint green tile and black linoleum. Sorry no before pics We kept the original kitchen footprint but knocked the wall out that faces the kitchen table (it was a small doorway) now the fun stuff

Cherry inset cabinets with natural finish
Uba Tuba granite
AZ Tile stacked stone backsplash in Golden Gate (took 9 months to pick out but glad I didn't settle I found exactly what I envisioned)
red oak floor to match original throughout the house
Kohler Simplice faucet
Ticor sink
Maytag french door fridge
Kobe 30" range hood
Miele double ovens
Thermador 5 burner cooktop
Miele Incognito dishwasher
Amerock Forgings foursquare pulls and knobs (thanks Jamielo)
Bed Bath and Beyond stools
undercabinet and recessed lighting


clipped on: 05.09.2010 at 04:51 pm    last updated on: 05.09.2010 at 04:51 pm