Two weeks ago we moved into our new house. Ten days before that we closed, and the night before that we realized that 99% of the downstairs was not just painted bold colors, but painted bold colors on top of wallpaper. So the past three weeks have been a whirlwind of stripping wallpaper, scrubbing walls, priming (and priming and priming) and then painting like mad. We still have a few rooms to go and we still have a horrifying number of boxes to unpack, but I’m happy to say the house is starting to feel like our home.
As you might expect, the kitchen was high priority. When we bought the house the walls were painted highlighter yellow on top of floral wallpaper and the cabinets were a medium wood tone. This didn’t work at all (in my opinion) with the black and white checkerboard floors, the dark gray (with flecks of red and some shimmer) counters, and the black appliances. After much pinteresting with the center of my design being the floors, I settled on blue lower cabinets, light gray upper cabinets, and white walls. The adjoining room will be my studio, so we chose a darker blue/slate color that complimented but didn’t match the cabinets. It all came together with a lot of elbow grease and even though we know we have at least a few big projects ahead of us in here (backsplash?) we’ve started adding some details that make it feel like home.
The first dinner we made in this house was a crock pot soup, appropriate for both the cold snap and the fact that when we moved in our oven didn’t have any racks and our stovetop was covered in painting supplies. I had an abundance of red potatoes leftover from our camping trip to the mountains (which became a “camping” trip because of the hurricane forecast), so I made a simple potato, sausage, and mushroom soup that I topped with wilted arugula. Nothing fancy, but very good.
I know that over the years we’ll make countless meals in this kitchen, every day dinners and feasts and everything in between. I hope that this kitchen will be the center of our home, and that this house will be our home for decades to come. It feels really wonderful to be investing in something that could be ours for the long term, and it’s so much fun to dream up the possibilities.
Slow Cooker Sausage & Potato Soup
12 medium sized red potatoes
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 hot Italian sausages
2 cups porcini mushrooms
2 tsps salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful fresh arugula
1 tbsp olive oil
Quarter potatoes and combine in crock pot with stock. Chop onion and mince garlic and add to the pot, along with salt and red pepper flakes. Turn the crock pot on low (6 hours) or high (4 hours) with the lid on. Stir occasionally.
About an hour before you’re ready to serve the soup cook cook the sausage in a skillet until done, then slice and add to the crock pot. Slice the mushrooms and cook them in the drippings from the sausage until they are tender, 2-3 minutes. Add them to the crock pot along with the cream and lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
Allow to cook for another 30-45 minutes on high. Wilt arugula in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and plate each serving with arugula on top.