Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Furniture for sale

So it looks like we've cleared all of the major hurdles and while I know nothing is ever truly complete until that fucking fat lady sings, I say with 65% confidence (I'm a cynic to my very core) that WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!!

We close on June 27th and I'm having a MAJOR party here on June 14th.  How's that for some damn good timing?  On June 15th I start my freak out and will begin selling practically all of my furniture because we're old and like all old people, we're downsizing and getting rid of all extraneous bullshit in preparation for death.  

I was really smart in my youth and spent a BUNCH of Mr. Buker's hard earned cash on all custom made/high end furniture.  That's the shit I'm selling and will undoubtedly make Mr. Buker cry when we get pennies on the dollar for all of this really NICE STUFF.

Here it is.  Email me at jillbuker@gmail.com if you're interested or need further information like dimensions.  Like I said, I can't get rid of it until June 15th so all of my guest have somewhere to sit on the 14th.

Oh and everything is in GREAT condition because we DON'T HAVE KIDS!!

FYI.....I don't deliver.

Vanguard custom chairs  There are two of these
  $200/chair or $350 for both 

Vanguard custom sofa.  There are two of these
$800/sofa or $1500 for both

Vanguard custom sofa

two rugs
6 x 9 $100
8 1/2 x 12 $150


(this thing is massive...it's hanging in my foyer and it's 9' high and 9' wide...that's 9 FEET!)
I paid $4500, asking $1000

 Japanese style screens
This is four separate screens that could also be used as room dividers, etc
They're heavy and substantial....all four together are 13 1/2 feet wide and 7 feet tall
I paid $6000, asking $1500


Iron bed in dark green - King size
$100 for frame
$175 for frame and mattress/box springs

Desk $200

Custom chair $75
this is slightly faded but great bones
also includes a matching stool


Custom chair
There are two of these
$100/chair or $175 for both

dining chairs 
There are 8 of these
$25/chair or $175 for all

two rugs
6' 1" x 8' 9" (originally $3000) $500
9' 3" x 12' (originally $5000) $800

Bar height teak table and chairs (Kingsley-Bate)
I've had these for about 15 years and they're still in great shape.  We just sanded them all down last week and re-oiled them.
$150 for set including cushions

Kingsley-Bate lounge chair
$50 including cushion

Kingsley Bate lounge chair with arms
$50 including cushion

Kingsley Bate teak rocker, side table and chaise
$50/chair and $15 for table


Kingsley Bate teak furniture 
Couch, four chairs, two foot stools and coffee table
$350 for complete set including cushions

Kingsley Bate teak Bench
there are two of these

Adirondack Chair & footstool
I have 8 of these and they're a composite material so they'll last forever you never have to do anything with them.  I love these!

Washer and Dryer
Free to a good home!  They both work but they're 12 years old.

That's it for right now, but there may be more later.
jillbuker@gmail.com for inquiries

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oatmeal Cream Pies with Ginger Cream

Did you grow up in a Hostess home or a Little Debbie home?  We were firmly planted in the Little Debbie camp.  I don't know why......maybe they were cheaper??  I don't ever remember my mom buying Hostess brand snacks.  She would buy the Little Debbie swiss cake rolls, the nutty bars (which I liked to eat by first separating all the layers) and my favorite.....the oatmeal cream pies.  Oh my gawd, I loved those things.  

When I saw this recipe in The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook, my mouth started watering from the memory of those Little Debbie cookies.  I'm sure they wouldn't be near as good to my adult self as they were to my 12-year-old self, but no matter because this version is soooo much better!  The recipe calls for toasting the oatmeal which gives them a great nutty flavor and the crystalized ginger in the cream filling is warm and spicy.  These are a grown up twist on a childhood favorite.

Here's the recipe:

Oatmeal Cream Pies with Ginger Cream
The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

(this makes 24 cookies or 12 sandwiches)


1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temp.
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger

Cookies:  Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 deg. F.  Place the oats on a baking sheet and bake on the upper rack for 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice to prevent burning, until lightly browned and fragrant.  Remove from the oven but leave the oven on for the cookies.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and the granulated and brown sugars until light a fluffy.  Beat in the egg.  Add the flour mixture, beating until just combined  Stir in the roasted oats.

Using a 1 ounce ice cream scoop, drop the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  With a dampened hand, flatten each round into a 1/2-inch thickness

Bake for 12 minutes, switching the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotating them from front to back halfway through, or until lightly browned around the edges and set.  Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Filling:  In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth.  Beat in the ginger.  Spread the mixture on 12 of the cookies and then top with the remaining 12 cookies.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New England Clam Chowder

I was finishing up buying some snapper at the Whole Foods fish counter yesterday and as I was leaving, passed by the end of the display where they keep the fresh shellfish on ice and I could hear hubs voice haunting me.....

"Hey, sometime do you think you could make me some clam chowder?"

So damn demanding.

 Clam chowder happens to be one of his favorite foods and I've totally failed as a wife because since it's not one of my favorite foods, that shit ain't getting made.

 I happen to love a big bowl of clams steamed in some white wine and a little garlic with a big chunk of crusty bread to sop of the juices so, of course, I've made that, like, a billion times.

Wife of the Millennium right here.

 But since I was in a giving mood and those clams were staring me in the face at WF, I decided to throw the old guy a bone and make him some clam chowder.

So I bought three dozen clams which came out to about 2.5 lbs.  It looked like a lot of clams.  Apparently NOT.  Recipe called for SEVEN POUNDS OF CLAMS!!!  So now, we're just making 1/2 a recipe.

Oh and I forgot that clam chowder had potatoes in it, so I had to send the poor dude whose wife never makes him clam chowder to Publix to get some potatoes.  Yeah, I know what you're thinking...."hey genius, while he's at Publix, have him get some more clams."  Totally didn't think about that.

It all worked out fine in the end, because Mr. B got his clam chowder and since I'm not a huge fan, I opted to also let him have the leftovers!  I got the recipe from The Best Recipe, Soups & Stews and since it's from Cook's Illustrated, I knew it would be good.  

I opted to use an applewood smoked bacon and hubs mentioned that he loved the smokiness of the soup, so SCORE.

Here's the recipe:

New England Clam Chowder
Cook's Illustrated

7 pounds medium-sized hard-shell clams, such as cherrystones, washed and scrubbed clean
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large Spanish onion, chopped medium
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Bring three cups water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.  Add the clams and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Cook for 5 minutes, uncover, and stir with a wooden spoon.  Quickly cover the pot and steam until the clams just open, 2 to 4 minutes.  Transfer the clams to a large bowl, cool slightly.  Open the clams with a pairing knife, holding the clams over a bowl to catch any juices.  With the knife, sever the muscle that attaches the clam belly to the shell and transfer the meat to a cutting board.  Discard the shells.  Mince the clams, set aside.  Pour the clam broth into a 2 quart measuring cup, holding back the last few tablespoons of broth in case of sediment (I strained mine through a coffee filter because there's nothing worse than gritty chowder!); set the clam north aside.  (You should have about 5 cups.  If not, add bottled clam juice or water to make this amount.)  Rinse and dry the pot then return it to the burner.

Fry the bacon in the empty pot over medium low heat until the fat renders and the bacon crisps, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the flour and stir until lightly colored, about 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the reserved clam broth.  Add the potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the clams, cream, parsley, and salt (if necessary) and ground pepper to taste; bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and serve immediately.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Before and Afters.......and Prom!

Last week was full of messes and painters and their paint fumes but about five o'clock on Saturday afternoon it was finished.  And I no longer have painters in my house!  Wheee!!

We couldn't be happier with the results and maybe this is just the push this ole place needed to entice a buyer!!  It's brighter, cheerier and that dated faux painting is GONE!!

Here are the before and afters...

BEFORE......all we did in here was paint the walls.  My pictures don't really do the change justice!  It's a subtle but welcome change.  After we painted the tv room, the faux painting in here just made the walls look dirty.  Not any more!!


BEFORE.....the sun room

AFTER....dark wood work gone along with the heavy couch and ottoman.  I went shopping in one of the upstairs bedrooms for the two chairs!  I love them.

BEFORE....tv room....dark, heavy, blah!

AFTER....much better.  New couch and chair, same ottoman, and again.....I went shopping upstairs for the two leather club chairs (one is out of the shot)

My favorite thing might be the repurposing of my  bar cart.  I don't know why it had never crossed my mind to use it for its original intent, but.....


Saturday night was also Prom night for several of the areas high schools and my BFF's son asked if he could bring his friends up to the pool house for their pictures.  Mother nature cooperated and provided a beautiful day.

Whalen with Mom and Dad

I know!  Such a beautiful couple.

Boys!!  I've gotta wonder if Whalen's placing a bet??

Great kids and it was fun having them here.  

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