Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's coming together!

By that I mean life in general!  The townhouse is amazing - I love it!  Rich has been busy painting and everything is looking great!  I can't believe how much has been done in a little over a month!  The whole first floor is painted except for the bathroom and that is awaiting my choices of a new mirror and light fixture but the colour has already been chosen......

He just finished the downstairs hallway today and what a difference a paint colour can make to a home!  From dark and dreary to bright and cheery!  (I'm a poet suddenly!)

Here's the before......sort of a grey taupey kind of colour......
Here's the after......butter yellow.....
It's like night and day!  He finished the kitchen last week, Thursday I think and now it's all on me to get it sorted but he even painted my old green bookcase blue for looks fabulous - really a bright colour!

Here's the before.......just a white finish!

Now I love going in there in the morning and all my cookbooks are finally unpacked - the real decorating will soon begin.....
....and here's the bookcase.....once I get the dishes hung on the wall it will look gorgeous!  I'm so happy with this colour........
The living/dining room was the first room to get done but I'm still thrilled by the changes, this is the before.....
Simon is quite happy here and has just nestled right in, we kept him cooped up in the house for about two weeks after we moved but he's been going out quite regularly for the past few weeks and there's been no problem.  He doesn't ask to go out every day anymore and when he does he tends to come back alot faster.  I think he's just content that we took him with us....I suspect his previous owners left him to fend for himself in the neighbourhood.  (Simon adopted us after we moved into the house we just sold)  He's quite the personality and has taken over the house and all "his" possessions with renewed enthusiasm!
So now it's just a matter of putting up the finishing touches, like curtains and pictures and wallhangings and all those wonderful things that really make a house a home!  The things that comfort us!

While Rich was busy painting today I finally tackled the Snowball quilt and it's borders.  Got the first border on and once I finish the blog I will get to the second one, it's pieced so I wanted to get this done first.....also I am wavering on the border size so a break was needed.....

Barb is in the store this weekend filling in for me because I am home starting a course of antibiotics for an abscess tooth!  Not something I needed right now as I'm preparing for another surgical procedure.  Haven't got a date yet but I should know within the next week or so.....  I'm finally looking after some health issues that have been plagueing me for awhile!

I promised to post the recipe for the fabulous Parmesan Penne I served last Sunday and Monday so here it is.....this recipe makes about 12 servings, so you can split it in two or three if your serving 4-6 people.

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar marinara sauce (28 ounces)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divide into thirds
1/2 teaspoon allspice (yes allspice!!!)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package penne pasta (16 ounces)
1/2 cup butter, cubed, divided in half
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Cook the beef and onion on medium until meat is done, drain.  Stir in the marinara sauce, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, allspice, salt and pepper.  Let come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  At the same time, cook pasta to package directions.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter, stir in butter until smooth.  Gradually add milk, bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.  Gradually whisk in the eggs until blended.

Drain the pasta and add the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup butter, tossing lightly to coat.

In a 13" x 9" greased baking dish (glass is best) spread 1/3 of the meat mixture, half the pasta and half the white sauce.  Repeat, ending with the meat nixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly......

ENJOY!  I'm going back to quilting!

Have a great day everyone!


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