Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Architectural Project

Project: To take this house and downscale it while still maintaining the architectural detail and integrity of the exterior and the features of the interior.
Sussex house
I will be eliminating the basement entirely because it is supposed to be a house plan that could be used locally. How many basements are there in Mississippi? ;) Plus it will take away a lot of unused square footage. I'm still trying to decide what to do with the back stairs? Take them out completely? Raise them to give access to the second floor? Ideas?
One of the main features I fell in love with was the kitchen/living space. It is large, open and such a good place for a family to gather together.
It is absolutely amazing. Points of interest:
- I like how they added cabinets along most of the walls (look at the 1st and 3rd kitchen pictures).
- Check out the ceiling - I love the wood accents!
- In the first picture you can see a small butler's pantry tucked away to the right side of the stove
- You can't see the pantry too well in the pictures but it is a large walk-in pantry (7'-0" x 7'-0" according to the plan, not square but more triangular because of the wall angles.
- I like the generous size of the bar and island.
- I am definitely keeping the second sink that is by the pantry.

1st floor. Honestly, how many families need 2 2-car garages? ;) Check out the size of the master closet and bathroom. Or the whole master suite for that matter. *sigh*
If you click on the link above it says there are only 2 bedrooms. Yeah, there are definitely 6, including the second master suite. And they aren't small bedrooms either. The second floor also includes a 3rd living area. 
The basement includes a ridiculously large recreation room with full kitchen, a playroom, a 2nd office, a ridiculous amount of unfinished storage and a home theater. How many "real" families actually need all of that? Note that I said need not want. ha

What is your favorite feature of this house? What should I keep and what, other than the obvious, is unnecessary?  

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parmesian-Basil Tilapia

I knew I wanted something light but flavorful and my first thought was to bake a tilapia filet. We normally take a frozen filet, cover it in lemon pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes. But I wanted something different. And I found it! ;)

I got the recipe from Shape Magazine's website. Since it was just me eating, I halved the recipe with the exception of the olive oil. 
I didn't have any lemons or lemon juice so I passed on their version of the green beans and made my own.

Parmesan-Encrusted Tilapia
4 skinless tilapia fillets (1 pound total)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat the broiler. Cut the tilapia fillets lengthwise into two pieces, then pat dry with a paper towel and season to taste with pepper. In a small bowl, combine basil and Parmesan cheese; set aside. 

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté the fish for 3 minutes or until brown. Flip the fillets over and remove the skillet from heat. Dust the tilapia with the cheese mixture. Place the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the fish and slightly brown the cheese, about 3 to 4 minutes.

I don't have an ovenproof skillet so I placed it in a baking dish. It adds an extra dish to wash but totally worth it. ;) It was delicious, light and refreshing!

Clegg's Kitchen Green Beans
I love me some green beans. I like them to be flavorful. I suppose you could say I am picky when it comes to my green beans. But I blame it on my mom for making them taste so good. ;)
For every one can of green beans, add one chicken bouillon cube. Sprinkle with onion flakes. Bring all 3 ingredients to a boil. Stir to break up the cubes and reduce heat until ready to serve.