rahrighouse projects | open concept + dream kitchen

When I look at original photos of our house, I can’t help but wonder a few things: Why all the piiiinkkkk? Wallpaper on the ceiling??? And, what the HECK were we thinking?!?

Built in 1870, and loved by the same family for the 55 years before we moved in, this house took vision. We crossed the threshold with a one year old in-arms, 10 hours away from everything and everyone we knew. It took literal blood, sweat, tears,  and planning and working until all hours of the night, at times. But, we had fallen in love! In love with the history of this house, and this town, and I have to say that adoring my space every day has made it worth it. SO worth it.


So, it’s been long enough coming – here’s what we were working’ with:

The Kitchen

Wallpaper on the ceiling, laminate flooring, dark and small…

The Dining Room

Pink and closed-off and…pink

The Living Room

Pink. Just, pink.

Besides the kitchen, dining room and living room, we also remodeled a laundry room, mudroom, pantry and half bath. It wasn’t a small project – it took nine weeks of washing dishes in the bathtub upstairs and cooking paninis and easy mac in the master bedroom. But, bit by bit, magic happened…

HUGE shout-out to my amazing, hard-working mom, who probably worked harder on our home that we did… We couldn’t have done it without her!

We worked with an amazing contractor, who understood our goals and our budget, and who  – most importantly – creatively tackled the project with an understanding of what it takes to work with the quirks of an antique home. 

They completed the bulk of the work, but we took on painting, and rehabbing the cabinetry (thanks, mom!

We were very fortunate that we didn’t come across anything  unexpected – whew! It was slow, tedious work at times, but I think the results surprised everyone…

**Angels. Literally. Singing.**


The Kitchen & Dining Room

I knew I was picking elements that I liked – my pinterest boards had been out. of. control. for weeks throughout the project, of course – but, I was floored when things actually came together! And, the LIGHT! What a change!

Removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room allowed us to have the open concept that we wanted, and add a “peninsula” with extra cabinetry and bar seating!

The outdated decorative woodwork above the sink was replaced with more modern trim, and the bottom bank of cabinets were replaced. We were able to paint the cabinets above to match the new cabinetry, and reuse the vintage hardware. The pantry/laundry room was enclosed, and washer/dryer were stacked. A new counter-depth refrigerator now stands where the stove used to sit.

Our new stove, hood, open shelving and cabinetry replaced the small breakfast nook, and allows much more counter space for food preparation and storage. The addition of canned lighting replaced the single hanging light in the original kitchen, and did wonders!

Our “waterfall”-style butcher-block countertops came from Ikea – I ADORE THEM. We read lots of reviews before purchasing, and made sure we understood the care and upkeep required (it’s not much!), and after a year of use, I can say they look just a lovely as the day they were installed! I would recommend them to anyone, and you simply cannot beat the price.

Our farmhouse sink and fixtures, as well as our cabinet pulls, are from Ikea as well. At a fraction of the price of other options, again, I cannot say enough how much we love their look AND function!

We chose simple white subway tile with a light grout for our backsplash- stylish and cost-effective! And, we chose a dark grey 12″ x 24″ tile laid in a herringbone pattern for our new floor. It used a bit more tile, and took a bit more time to achieve the look I had fallen in love with, but I think it truly made the room look unique and customized.

Our appliances are Maytag  – the industrial look of the handles sold me! And, though we went back-and-forth a TON, we would’t trade our counter-depth refrigerator for anything! The low profile made such a difference in the design.

I also had fun with the little details. The vintage scale we found in the old pantry when we moved into the house (!), and the chandelier was a fun on-sale find at West Elm. The little hidden bar cabinet is original to the kitchen, and one of The Husband’s favorite parts of the house ;) Painted robin’s egg blue on the inside, it’s certainly a bright spot! Other favs: Bar stools from home goods, the seafoam green pitcher from my great-grandmother, our Nespresso machine, and those Kate Spade arrow salt and pepper shakers :)


The Pantry, Mud Room & Bathroom

This  back stairwell was blocked off at the ceiling long before we bought the house, and the previous homeowners used it as a makeshift pantry. But, with the addition of cabinetry and a GORGEOUS marble countertop (thanks, Amazing Space!), we now have a butler-style pantry that is perfect for entertaining, and a really fun feature!

In the same area, we have a half-bath. Originally, it was very small – a built-in in the dining room and a storage closet made it too tiny even for a standard-sized vanity! But, knocking out, a getting rid of the cray green tile let us open it up to match the flow of the rest of the house. I love the penny tile, and curtain I made from fabric from Ikea.


The Living Room

We were fortunate that the living room was already open to the dining room, and featured five BIG windows. In here, a little paint and curtains went a longgg way.

Ripping up the carpet and painting the stairs made a big difference to the entry as well. And, thanks to Amazing Space, the removal of the wall and addition of the glass railing and loft change the whole character of the house!

A big difference, huh? A little imagination and a lot of hard work made this house into our home, and we are so proud that we were able to add our own chapter to its long history…


Well, we’re glad it’s done, and we have thoroughly enjoyed living in this space, in this house, in this neighborhood, and in this state for the last two years. But, believe it or not, the Rahrigs are actually getting ready to embark on another adventure!

In the next few months, we are trading in our snow shovels for palm trees, and will be moving to Tampa, Florida! Yes, this move is coming a little quicker than anticipated, and I have already cried over leaving my pretty little kitchen more than I would like to admit. But, we feel that this is an amazing opportunity for our family, and we pray that the Connecticut “rahrighouse” will bless and bring joy to another little family just as it did to us!

We would LOVE your prayers as we embark on the search for another rahrighouse… Florida sunshine edition!


Style Notes & Sources:

Paint colors

  • Living room, Kitchen and Dining Room: Sherwin Williams, Repose Gray
  • Mudroom: SW, Dorian Gray
  • Bathroom: SW, Eider White
  • Inside of bar cabinet, laundry room, pantry: SW, Sea Salt
  • Cabinetry: SW, Eider White
  • Stairs: SW, Gauntlet Gray
  • Trim: SW, Extra White

Kitchen/Dining Room

Bathroom

  • Vanity: Home Depot
  • Mirror: Ikea
  • Towel bar and flower pot: Ikea
  • Lighting: Ikea
  • Tile: Lowes

Mudroom

  • Lighting: Ikea
  • Cabinetry: Lowes, unfinished

Living Room

See my other rahrighouse posts here!

Questions? Let me know! I am happy to answer them!

goodbye, sweet little kitchen!

 

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rahrighouse projects | sun porch “glow-up”

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our snowy wonderland a few weeks ago

Ahhhh – sunshine. This time of year I LONG for it. Winter has hit that it-feels-like-it-will-never-end point, the snow has been on the ground for weeks, and we are ready to thaw!

Fortunately, there is one particular spot in the house that provides a little respite from the cold, and, it’s one of the Husband’s favorite spots in the house – our little sun porch!


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last winter, looking out on the frosty yard

 

The moment we walked through the house, we knew this room had promise – what a unique space! But, we were still so pleasantly surprised at how lovely it turned out. With interchangeable screen and glass panels, it’s cozy on sunny winter days, and breezy on summer nights.

 

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family reading time

The previous owners had a “thing” for pastels, and made the floor into a unique and slightly unconventional canvas… In short, it was very nice for them, I am sure. However, we weren’t feeling’ it. Yes, it looks like a pleasant spot for a nice iced tea, but it was a little colorful, a little kitschy, a little cluttered…

 

But, not for long!

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great for painting!

With some leftover paint, a trip or two to Ikea (of course!) and some digging through the decor we already happened to have on hand – or even found in the old garage at the house – things came together quickly… especially after that floor was toned down a notch or two!

 

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Now, this cozy spot provides an entertainment space, book reading haven, and an extra toddler play area (that requires no shoes, and less hosing down afterwards than an hour digging in the garden ;) And, you could still comfortably sip some tea, or a nice malbec, with your friends!

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Another view: This door opens from our kitchen, and the porch leads to our back yard and gardens. I love to leave it open  – so breezy!

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Details: 

  • Wall decor: Crate & Barrel candle holder, painted.Processed with VSCO with f2 preset Vintage tennis racket, found in the neighbors trash, buoys, purchased at a marine salvage in Mystic, CT
  • Trim paint: Sherwin Williams “Sea Salt”, the perfect subtle blue/green
  • Curtains and hardware: LENDA, Ikea
  • Furniture: Estate sale, repainted black. Cushions, Ikea. Antique hutch holds items found at the house.
  • Rug: Ikea, the same style as the one in our master bedroom

image2There is barely a corner of the house that we haven’t changed or fussed with or painted or spruced, and I have a few more projects to show you before you’ve got the whole picture ;) It’s been fun, and challenging and rewarding – and we’ve learned a LOT along the way! Always feel free to ask any questions you might have (and stop visit if you’re ever out this way!)

Cheers to spring around the corner!

rahrighouse projects | behind the scenes

Hey, all! It’s been a few months, but now that the literal dust has settled on our Amazing Space project, the show has aired, (AND, the series was officially picked up!) I wanted to share a little more about our home renovation!

Wow – what a whirlwind!

We have to say that even though Connecticut is far away from lots of our friends and family, we have felt SO loved through this process! It was an amazing experience to have the opportunity to have our home renovated, and get those 15 (okay, maybe 22 minutes….) of fame, but it has also been a blast to talk about the project with our friends and neighbors, new and old, near and far.

| T enjoying the filming equipment! |

(The local media in Milford picked up “our story”, and it was shared more than 100 times, with more than 200 “likes”, and this little blog almost doubled it previous readership record!)

So, particularly because it is snowy and cold outside, I am excited to share a few warmer-weather throwback “behind the scenes” pictures, and to show you more of our renovations in future posts!


Focused on our second floor (and now THIRD floor loft!) Amazing Space truly transformed our home. A rather dark sitting room – painted spring green when we moved in, and with no distinct function – now is a bright, airy focal point of our home!

rahrighouse-before-after2

Left: The sitting room when we moved-in Center: Sitting room before renovation Right: Sitting room after HGTV magic!

And, a largely unused walk-up attic, magically has become the cheeriest spot in the house! An office space, desk for our little one, a hidden bed/reading nook AND the most lovely fairy-tale-esque spiral staircase you can imagine.

rahrighouse-before-after1

BUT: The BEST thing about Amazing Space, besides the actual space that was amazing, of course, were the folks we got to work with…

|The Husband, Producer Mark Philips, Host Eric Griffin and I on “Reveal Day” |

They made the process – though the dust and mess and some stress is inherent – streamlined and enjoyable! Even with the time crunch of filming, and the pressure of making a great first show, they were considerate of our family, our home, and our tastes.

| a new little chair for T!|Donna, of Donna Benedetto Designs was our amazing
designer – the decor she chose for our new space flowed seamlessly (with a little added flair!) with the rest of our home. A detail I LOVE that they didn’t show was the little chair that Donna hand painted for T! It was in the house when we moved – another treasure from a different era.

 

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset IMG_2640Denis, of Guiltec Development,  was our contractor, and his attention to detail still astounds me. His company has specialized in historic and reclaimed spaces, and he was in his element! Throughout the entire project, his team was efficient, and went above and beyond in a million ways.

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| Vintage rail finishes, meticulously matched by our construction team |

Some of my favorite details: The wainscoting in the loft, the rail finishes that were matched to the original in the second story (apparently a funky, old method that

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|Storage view |

they’re going to try in future projects, as well!), and the sliding door made of the original flooring from the attic! Also, the Irish accent. Of course.

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| Our sliding barn door and bed “nook” made from the antique flooring of the original attic |

Steven, of Keedle and Lee Architects, who also had an amazing  – British, this time – accent, by the way, was also fantastic! He and his team had wonderful ideas, and made us feel so secure that all decisions that were made were the right ones for our family, and our home. And, his illustrations and animations of the house were so fun, too! He answered a million questions, and worked tirelessly to find creative solutions to our home’s unique space needs.

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|Hudie and Ricky watch filming taking place in the yard from our kitchen|

And, of course, the show’s host, Eric Griffin, who not only knocked on our door and handed us this amazing opportunity, but who also pioneered the idea of the loft and spiral staircase! Producer, Mark and Hudie of MPPT and his team, who came from L.A. to take a chance on our home, and with their impressive resume of television successes and endless creativity, made Amazing Space a hit! And, Rick of NYLAC, who made most of the magic happen behind the camera (and drone!) and whose chill attitude made even stressful filming a breeze. And finally, head production assistant, Eric Mathis, who handled every scheduling detail, on-camera cue and the no-so-easy task of walking two newbies through what it takes to make a successful tv show. These guys, and every other person that walked through the door were truly great people. Even during the early mornings, or when it was 90 degrees outside, or when the ceiling fell down faster than anticipated… We couldn’t have asked for a better group to have in our home!

We are so happy that we were able to be a part of the birth of a new series, and look forward to watching coming episodes! Our home has truly felt complete since this project was finished, and our space makes me smile every time I walk into the room – no joke!


In the coming weeks, I hope to show a few more details of our other home renovations, including our big kitchen project, and even more before-and-afters… ’cause everyone loves a good before-and-after ;)

rahrighouse-before-after

 

rahrighouse projects | lights, camera, action!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetI’ve been quiet for a while, I know. But, I’ve had a realllllly good reason. A totally unexpected, never could have predicted, one-in-a-million reason:

Basically, we’ve lived THE dream. You know – the dream you have when you’re the type of person who binge-watches Property Brothers, have designed your “tiny house” in your head, and whisper “shiplap” as you drift off to sleep most nights…

That’s right, folks. The Rahrigs, and our sweet little Connecticut home, are going to be ON TV!


It alllll started when we received a knock on our door on a rainy day in February. The Husband was out of the house, I was upstairs with the little guy who was grouchily waking up from a nap, and the last thing I wanted to do was run down to see who was there (like, we had two friends so far in CT… maybe it was the mail lady?). I finished getting T settled, looked through the window on the off-chance someone was still there, and noticed a truck in the driveway. I cautiously walked down the stairs, and saw a man in a baseball cap jogging up to our doorway. With a big grin, and a ton of energy, this stranger started excitedly talking…

“My name is Eric, I’m with HGTV and we think YOUR HOUSE IS PERFECT...”


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|I mean, it IS pretty cute…|


askdjfhalskdjfh. What? I thought, as I stood there with no makeup, in my socks, with the door cracked.  Was I hard-of-hearing?… He started again:

“We are doing this great new show, I’m the host, and we’re looking for a historic New England home, and a young family! Your realtor sent me over! The concept is that we are maximizing and getting creative with space that might be usually ignored…”

askldjfhajskdfh. Huuuuuuh? I was visibly scoffing at this point. Like, this sounded too good to be true, right? Or, I just finished a nine-week renovation and barely escaped with my sanity, so NO I do NOT want any more construction within 100 MILES OF MYSELF ever, ever, ever agin, right?

But, he seemed genuine enough. So, I let him finish talking. And I kindly took his name and number, thanked him, closed the door, and called the husband to tell him this hilarious story… Little did I know where this random happening would take us!

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Fast-forward a few months, and our home is now more lovely than I could have imagined. And, the husband has fulfilled his lifelong dream to be a tv star. And maybe Titus has a future on Law & Order. And, we had the adventure of a lifetime.

SO, tune in to the *DIY Network on Wednesday, August 3 at 8:00p.m. to watch Amazing Space and see the new and improved RahrigHouse in all of its glory! UPDATE: Watch on the HGTV Network on Saturday, August 27 at Noon!

Also, a VERY special shout-out to my mom, sister Bekah and sister-in-law Jessica for lots of couch sleeping, box and furniture moving and babysitting during the process!

You can see more of our home renovation adventures here, and expect updates here at FreshlyMinted soon!

AMAZING SPACE LOGO

*DIY is the HGTV sister network. The show will likely air on HGTV at a later date – we’ll keep you posted!

 

The Trip: {Sicily, Ephesus, Athens & Crete}

After a week of having no power at home, I can say that I am extremely thankful for deodorant, fresh foods, blogging, air conditioning, and not having to fold laundry by candlelight while sitting on a towel because you are sticking to your leather furniture.

True story. Winds 85+ mph aren’t good for power lines, fences and trees, apparently. And, when it’s 90* inside your house, it makes you very hard to live with.

So now, on to the FINAL chapter of this trip thing… I promise!

(Missed part I, II & III? Read ’em!)

After our first 10 days of travel, we needed a break.

As in: If I didn’t get to just sit for several hours at some point (and maybe get a drink with an umbrella in it), I might die. Also, not sweating all day long and walking more than 10 miles in a day would be great, too.

{Read more about the particulars of the cruise below – it was wonderful!}

Enter, The Navigator of the Seas. This beauty was a floating resort, and included multiple pools, restaurants, bars, a theater, a rock climbing wall, putt-putt, sport courts, free frozen yogurt machines and an ice skating rink: H.E.A.V.E.N.

It was also going to carry us – in our well-appointed state room with a balcony view of the Mediterranean – to Sicily, Ephesus, Athens and Crete.

{Mt. Etna’s black lava, landscape, lunch, the terrifically blue sea}

Our first destination was Sicily. We hired a private tour with Sicily Life, and totally enjoyed having our local guide walk us through the sights we had arranged. We saw Mt. Etna, an active volcano; an oil & honey shop; and the pristine village of Taormnia. But – our favorite spot of the day, and arguably the best meal of the trip – was at a little mountain side restaurant. We enjoyed three types of pasta (one with wild mushrooms and a light cream sauce; one with pine nuts, fennel, and raisins; and one with a fresh vegetable primavera) and two fabulous desserts (a sponge cake with icy cream drizzled with chocolate, and small fried pockets of crispy dough filled with mascarpone and chocolate chips. I. die.) with our guide as we spoke in depth about politics, education, marriage & courtship, cooking, the mafia, economics and everything else we could think of! The views were spectacular, and we purchased luscious olive oils, pesto, flavored honey, a painted bowl, and a vintage embroidered handkerchief.

{Fresh pom juice, ancient ruins, rug making, Mary’s House, and a view of our ship}

After a peaceful day at sea spent lounging in the sun by the pool, we arrived in Turkey. Another private guide, booked with Celsus Travel, and a driver awaited us to whisk us off to Mary’s House, Ancient Ephesus and the Terrace Houses, the mountaintop village of Sirince, a rug maker and bazaar. We walked where Paul preached, drank fresh pomegranate juice and Turkish coffee, and picked up a beautiful scarf, Turkish delight (which always makes me think of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe!) and lovely pottery to take home.

{View from the Acropolis, olive tree, Mars rock, Greek yogurt, new watch}

A quick overnight journey brought us to the shores of Greece, and a short taxi ride brought us to the foot of the Acropolis. We were awed. The ruins were positively majestic, and the clear sunny day allowed us to see the rest of the ancient city sprawled out below us. We visited the Agora, Acropolis museum, walked the streets, browsed the shops, and ate spanakopita, Greek Salad, Baklava, and my favorite (and a MUST on my trip to-do list) authentic Greek ewes milk yogurt… cold, creamy and tangy with a spoon of rose and strawberry preserves. I can taste it now… totally delightful. We took home a lovely gold anchor charm (a Christian symbol used in the catacombs we saw in Rome), and cool watch for the Husband.

{Blue, blue, blue…}

Finally, we reach our final destination: The crystal blue waters of the Greek isle of Crete. We simply hopped on the city bus at Chania to the center of the city, and took an amazing walk to the beach. A shorter excursion day, we lounged in the sun for a few hours, and then wandered back to port, stopping for gyros and an olive wood serving set. This spot was gorgeous – each house was dripping with flowers (no matter how small or dilapidated), and the port (which was designed by Venetians!) looked like something from a painting.

We arrived back in Rome after another delightful day at sea, and took the train to the airport to fly back to our cozy home… We were tired and happy, with minds and hearts and souls expanded to capacity with the joy of discovery, and the richness of fresh knowledge and life lessons.

It had all bee totally worth it… and we were better for it.

{Happy to be home at last!}

Special thanks to all that helped us dream, plan and explore: {Our awesome parents, our “Friends up North”, Hannah & Federico and many, many others…} Missed part I, II & III? Read ’em!

A few notes about the cruise – Just in case you’re planning a trip soon!:

Booking – We booked the trip ourselves over the phone after checking the Royal Caribbean website, and monitoring deals and special offers. A travel agent wasn’t necessary at any point during our trip!

Food & Drinks: Even the somewhat critical foodie that I am, I was surprised at the freshness and variety of the meals offered on board. Partially because the passengers were made up of people from a wide variety of nations, you could find brioche, baked beans, pancakes, curry or muesli for breakfast, and always had a variety of pretty well-prepared dinners in the dining room at night. We purchased a wine package, which was also a great value for us. Bottles were expensive on board, and you (technically) weren’t allowed to bring any on with you. We enjoyed a few drinks around the pool, but mostly stuck to enjoying a bottle at dinner. We also got a water package, but two bottles were provided in the room, and it wasn’t really necessary. Personally, I would steer clear of soft drink packages – pricy and too easy to fill up! Regular coffee was free, specialty drinks from Starbucks had a regular charge.

Room: We were advised to pick a room away from elevators, and close to the upper decks – great advice for a quiet, smooth trip with easy access to amenities. Also, the balcony was a must, as we ate quick room-service breakfasts there at each port before we disembarked (and opening our anniversary champagne would have been difficult without it ;).

Excursions: Don’t. Use. The. Ship’s. Tours. We zoomed passed groups of 50+ that followed rather lame guides through the sights of each stop. They might be a little cheaper than booking private tours like we did in Sicily and Ephesus, but you really miss out! And, if you have a group, or just need a taxi or city bus, you can SAVE by going it alone, like we did in Crete and Athens! Don’t be fooled – it’s easy to find great companies and deals at your port cities. Check Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor to see what other passengers recommend!

Retro Squash {Truffles}

First off, these really aren’t truffles. Sorry to disappoint, but I just didn’t want the name of my post to be “Squash Balls”.

Umm… doesn’t exactly inspire cozy, happy, holiday thoughts. So, because these little treats are round and have somewhat of a crispy, sweet coating… truffles they became.

I found the inspiration for this recipe in a April issue of Family Circle from 1955 (one of my grandmother’s magazines). “Crispy Sweet-Potato Balls” – They are little funky-retro, and a lot fun to eat.

Unlike Mrs. Eisenhower’s Apple Pie, I did make some modifications to this recipe.

With the biggest eating day of the year looming close, I wanted to be sure I could pound some stuffing, mashed potatoes and Black-Friday-Power-Shopping-Frappuccinos without overwhelming guilt.

Don’t worry. The “yummier” PG-13 version is below also… Worth a shot if butter and zweiback crumbs are your thing. I’ll let you choose for yourself ; )

Retro Squash Truffles

Makes about 10 larger-than-golf-ball-sized truffles

Squash Mixture:

  • 2 Cups of roasted squash (I used a Kabocha, but Butternut or Sweet Dumpling would work well also, or even Sweet Potatoes like the original recipe suggests.)
  • 1 T Earth Balance (or butter), melted
  • 1 t Brown sugar (May need to vary based on the sweetness of your squash)
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  • Dash of Nutmeg and Pepper (to taste)

Coating Mixture:

  • 2/3 Cups of Panko Breadcrumbs (graham crackers or a few crushed pecans would be great additions, too)
  • 2 t Earth Balance (or butter), melted
  • 1/8 t Cinnamon and Nutmeg and Salt

Directions:

  • Mash squash in a large bowl; add remaining squash-mixture ingredients; beat until fluffy; form into balls truffles.
  • Combine coating-mixture ingredients in a pie-plate; roll truffles in the mixture until coated well, place in a shallow baking pan.
  • Bake in slow oven (325) for about 35 minutes, or until truffles are heated-through and coating is crisp.

Garnish these little spheres of sweet-fluffy-mashed-potato-like goodness with a drizzle of real maple syrup, or….

…yep, I went there.

Add half of a marshmallow for the last five minutes of baking time for a gooey treat. Perfect nestled next to a turkey, and fun to make (and eat) with kids.

That is, unless you get TOO into the retro thing, and make the whole family dress alike…

Just. Don’t. Do it. They won’t appreciate that when they’re older. And, therapy is expensive.

Enjoy!

For all of you adventurers out there, here is the original recipe, as printed:

Crispy Sweet-Potato Balls

Makes 8 large Potato Balls

Potato Mixture

  • 2 Cans (1lb, 2oz each) of vacuum packed sweet potatoes
  • 4 T (1/2 Stick) of melted butter or margarine
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 1t Salt
  • 1/4 t Nutmeg
  • 1/8 t Pepper
  • 1 t Lemon juice

Coating Mixture

  • 3/4 Cup coarse zwieback crumbs (About 6 slices)
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 2T Melted Butter or Margarine
  • 1/8 t Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Salt

Directions: Same as above, but bake for 40 minutes.

{TRI}ed and true

I am SO PROUD.

The Husband, who loves sports and games and golf, but is not terribly fond of pointless running (umm… remind me why we have to get sweaty if no one is even keeping score?!), successfully completed his first mini-Tri last weekend!

After an already great weekend, the two of us, along with our friends Destrey and Sheri (remember them from this adventure?), competed in a fun, low-key tri hosted at a local University. It consisted of a 250 yd. swim, followed by corn-hole, a 4 mi. bike ride, an egg race and a two mi. run. It was a blast, and the perfect way to attempt to get the Husband hooked on racing ; )

It was a small group, but we did well (Destrey got second place!). The Husband tore it up in the pool, and I only barely got an edge on him during the run. We’ve been swimming two days a week for about a month, and it’s been amazing to see his progress. He was brave just to jump in and try with such short notice (we only decided to do the race a few days before) and I think I might even be able to convince him to do another in the spring. It would be easier to persuade him if the required attire didn’t include obnoxious amounts of spandex…but I’m not complainin’ :)

Haha…awkward.

Anyway… to reward ourselves for a superior performance, even in nippy October weather, we enjoyed a post-race lunch at Wilson’s Sandwich Shop. It is a depression-era landmark, famous for its “Mity Nice Hamburgs” and “frosted malts”. Founded in 1936 by Stub Wilson, the meat for the burgers is ground fresh daily, and it beats any other fast-food hands down for quality and price.

You can’t go wrong with a hamburg, fries and a malt, but they also have awesome homemade pie, hot dogs, chicken, chili and spicy black bean veggie burgers (my choice for lunch – yum!). At Wilson’s, however, you CAN go wrong with how you order. It is an art form, and if you do it wrong you’ll get a glare and maybe even a tongue-lashing. Reminiscent of the “soup nazi“, these unwritten rules are part of this restaurant’s charm. It also makes it easy to spot newbies (like us!) who can’t seem to get it quite right…

Watch this video to learn more about Wilson’s! (And if you visit me, I might take you there… or try to get you addicted to racing. Maybe both).

Perfect end to a great weekend.

More adventures await!