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Monthly Archives: May 2010

What a difference (2 hrs makes)!

Justin and I were having a bit of a lazy morning, when a short phone call changed the course of the day.  Mom and Paul were coming down to visit Paul’s mom and wondered if we wanted some help putting up the last of the ceiling tiles.  Hard to turn down free labor!  So from about ten until noon, Justin and I finished up the last bits of flooring while Paul and Mom measured and cut the ceiling tiles to go around the perimeter of the room. Thank you, Mom and Paul for helping finish up the putzy part of the ceiling!

This week there will be a lot happening in the space.  Changes with the lighting, and getting the last of the outlets and switches put in, getting the plumbing fixtures installed, connecting the venting for the bathroom, closets, and ovens, as well as having all the trim work and doors finished.  So close to having the renovations complete!

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2010 in Building, Julie

 

What a difference (1,000 sq. ft. of flooring makes)!

Wowsa!  I think we have something that looks a bit like a kitchen taking shape!  After a bit of miscommunication, frustration, and chaotic phone calls, our vinyl flooring was delivered Friday afternoon.  We found this flooring months and months ago, and to see it finally laid is quite satisfying.

The dot print is fun, without being overwhelming (which was our one minor concern).  My stepdad Paul came down on Saturday morning to help us install it.  The easy part of the install is that this type of vinyl is a “floating” floor, so it does not require any adhesive.  The (incredibly) tricky and time-consuming part of this type of vinyl is the pattern.  We found out the hard way that you just can’t measure and cut a piece and put it into a place.  Lots of precision matching needed to happen before any cutting could take place!

While it was a long day and a bit hard on the knees, we got so much accomplished.

Thank you, Paul, for your patience and help!

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2010 in Building, Julie

 

A Birthday Weekend

Justin, his mom Sarah, and dad John all have birthdays within 9 days of each other.  On Friday evening we went up to John and Sarah’s house, where Aunt Maggie and Cousin Beth were also staying for the weekend, to celebrate the special days.  Last year we had found a fun, vintage basketball player cake topper belonging to Justin’s grandma, with the plan to put it on John’s birthday cake.  Somehow we managed, through all the renovations, packing up, and moving into our apartment, to keep track of it to get it onto the Red Velvet Cake for the celebration.  It made its appearance among lots of laughs, and Beth only checked out the back of his shorts a couple of times. 😉

Mag and Beth earned the “Best Gift Givers” award, by gifting Justin with these amazing “Sumo Thumb Wrestlers.”  Everyone took a turn playing with the hilarious thumb toppers.  Who knew something so small and goofy could illicit gut-busting laughs.

In addition to the above-mentioned items, Justin received a pack of vintage soda from his parents.  Definitely a way to his heart!

We were able to enjoy some extended time with this family this weekend, as well as plenty of food and fun.

A very happy birthday, and lots of love, to each of you, Justin, John, and Sarah!

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2010 in Family, Julie

 

Textures (not quite Pat the Bunny)

While most of the bakery space is going to be white, one thing I’m really loving about it is the different textured surfaces throughout the room.  Bright white can look very different upon closer inspection.  In the main kitchen area you’ll find the easy-to-clean washboard.

And the front, customer-friendly space has classic bead board paneling.

One of my very favorite portions though, is one that won’t be too easy to see next week.  Mat did a fantastic job of subway tiling the wall where our ovens will be.

It will serve as extra protection for the wall against the heat produced by the ovens.  I almost don’t want to cover the craftsmanship up, but leaving the ovens in the middle of the room probably isn’t the best idea. 🙂

We’re running into a few short delays, but nothing that won’t take care of itself in the next week or two.  We are also in the process of making decisions and getting in bids regarding the exterior of the building.  I’ll share pictures very soon!

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Building, Julie

 

How does this even exist?

Growing up in the 80’s, I would fall asleep most summer days listening to Bob Ueker and the Brewers.  My favorite player was Paul Molitor, followed closely by Robin Yount.  Imagine my surprise when I was in the grocery store today and saw this.  Lemonade, named after Robin Yount.  Priceless.

Only in Wisconsin could something so spectacularly awesome exist.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Justin

 

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Goodness Gracious, are these cookies yummy.  And pretty.  And have a great texture, crisp on the outside with a wonderfully chewy interior.  And they’re yummy.

This is the second recipe I’ve tried out of The Perfect Finish cookbook, and this one will absolutely be an offering at the shop when it opens.  I played with the Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Nutella recipe just slightly, incorporating Whole Wheat Pastry Flour in place of the all purpose flour, and adding a splash of milk so the dough wasn’t too dry.  Plus I added the sprinkle of sea salt, which I definitely think helped cut into the sweetness of the cookie a bit. But mixing some Nutella into the cookie batter?  Genius.

Yum.

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
adapted from The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses

2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
8 Tblsp unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Nutella
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped and reserved
splash of whole milk, if necessary
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Coarse Sea Salt, for sprinkling

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.  Add the Nutella and beat until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla bean seeds.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  If necessary, add milk, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough is crumbly or the flour isn’t able to mix in.  Stir in the chocolate chis and hazelnuts.  Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.  Or alternatively, portion the dough at this point onto the baking sheets and either refrigerate for an hour, or freeze to use another time.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Portion dough onto cookie sheets, and sprinkle each with a bit of sea salt.  Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes for tablespoon-sized cookies, or 12-14 minutes for 1/4 cup-sized cookies (pictured).

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Baking, Julie

 

A Day in the Dells

Justin and I had a COMPLETELY FREE DAY on our calendar today.  For the last few weekends, and for the next 6 or 7+ weekends, we are booked solid.  Between weddings, golf tournaments, and family events it is going to be a busy summer.  Which we’re looking forward to, truly.  But that makes the EMPTY Saturdays that much more sacred.  We decided we wanted to GO somewhere, though really didn’t have anything specific in mind.  In the end, we decided to drive down to Wisconsin Dells, and simply walk around their quirky and touristy downtown, taking in the gorgeous summer-in-spring day.

What classy lady DOESN'T need a lipstick knife?!

We were able to find a parking spot right away, and simply walked along the silly t-shirt and tacky souvenir shops, and then curved onto the fairly recently created Riverwalk.  It was relatively uncrowded, and it was great to stroll together, take some pictures, and take in the sun.

We stopped for lunch on the deck of the Riverwalk Pub (great setting, food alright, but scam you with charges that aren’t clear for sides).

While eating, I spotted the Top Hat Motel. This old little motel is located on River Road, right off of Hwy 13, which is the main drag.  I have very happy childhood memories of staying here with my brother and Mom and Aunts.  We would spend the day at Family Land Waterpark, come back and my Mom and Aunts would pick up freshly made saltwater taffy (which always disappointed me, as I don’t like taffy, but I don’t remember minding all that much – I probably did and put up some sort of stink to get candy that I wanted :)), and we would sit out on the common balcony and talk and laugh.  I don’t have a single memory of the inside of the room, though that is probably just as well.  Though, as you’ll notice from the sign, they do have Air Condition and Color T.V.  Big bonuses!

We debated taking an Original Wisconsin Dells Ducks tour, practically the quintessential tourist activity of the old-school Dells, though at $24.50 a head, we decided against it.

I really just wanted to use my zoom lens a bit more, though I can certainly practice with other items of interest for free, such as the ever-welcoming Dells Bells Wedding Chapel, down the road!

We also happened upon the “famous” Glockinspiel, though we didn’t see it playing music and being entertaining.  Instead, Justin had to take a silly picture with the mural on the wall.

And then caught him with a normal smile. 🙂

In all, it was a fun day away, low stress, lots of laughs and plenty of sun.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2010 in Activities, Julie