March 29, 2011


Mussels taste like fish.

Quail is not worth eating.

All false at Salt Air Kitchen in Rehoboth. The food is delectable, the atmosphere is incredibly refreshed, and at Salt Air, I eat mussels and quail. Lots of it. As some random girl wrote on a comment card in the bathroom, "Salt Air is the new Black". True Story, True Story.

Salt Air is certainly back!!! The renovations are unreal and the barn wood and the handmade furniture drew me in immediately. Nino, who knew you could cook and design spaces?  Apparently, a lot of the things I fell deeply and madly in love with and thought about leaving Jamie for came from the Georgetown, DE Re-Store, a store that is basically stocked full of cheap furniture and other pieces that are often used in Habitat for Humanity ventures.

Now, I've seen Salt Air from its opening days until now. The restaurant underwent a restoration well worth the wait. I have also eaten Nino's cooking from pre-Salt Air days, and I must say it just gets better and better. I seriously never thought I'd eat quail and enjoy it, but the apps on the menu on Sunday evening made me eat my own words (and thoughts).

Before I even get to the incredible food, let me talk about the renovations. Salt Air always boasted a great atmosphere. But, the ambiance that has emerged from this reno is to die for. When you walk in the door, it smells like a backyard BBQ at the beach. A little smoky from the wood-fired grill, and immediately appetizing. The barn wood is legitimately wood from an old barn. The decor is unbelievable. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of the GORGEOUS cobalt blue french doors between two of the dining spaces. Also wish I got a few shots of the bar area as well, but oh well. Here's what we've got.
Salt Air from my table's view near the window. Love the old lockers next to the open kitchen.
Textiles are my favorite. Great pillows and curtains give the area an airy but warm feel.
Yep, we got there realllly early, like before they were actually open, so we had the place to ourselves, with the exception of one other cute couple behind us.

One of my favorite things about Nino and Salt Air is you can tell their hearts are poured into their restaurant, their menu, and the story of their food. They even have their own farm out on Route 9. Nino even converted from chef to pig veterinarian one time for one of the animals on the farm, but that's a story for another day. Farm to Table could not be more accurate. So, when we got our menus on Sunday, we also got a handwritten note from the crew. Sure, it was a bit illegible, but that's not the point. The point is, they put their souls into this place and it does not go unnoticed.
Our nice little hand-written sentiment. We all know hand written real paper goods bring me to my knees. L.O.V.E.
Mmmm. So many good choices. Check out the "Salt Air Farm" bolded options.

So, after perusing the new menu, I went back to my go-to fav when Nino is cooking... mussels. I once asked Nino if he could give me some muscles. He said J wouldn't appreciate that. Ha. So now I make sure to check my spelling when I request the little shell-covered treats. We just ate lunch a few hours before, so we decided to get some appetizers and a few cocktails to quench our appetites for Salt Air. 

The biggest problem with me trying to document our meals anywhere, anytime, is that J digs in before I can get to snapping. I like to take a picture of the whole shebang. J likes to eat the whole shebang. Details, Details. Anywho, I managed to capture a few shots. 
I think the reason that I can eat devour muscles at Salt Air is that it always has some form of bacon or sausage in it. Who wouldn't adore seafood mixed with spicy meat? I for one am a fan. Also this is a new mussel recipe. I told Nino (who gave me the stink eye) on the way out that my favs are still the ones in the more creamy-wine sauce, but these 100% still did the trick and I was completely satisfied. Look at that delicious butter. mmmmm.
J- here is your warning. If you completely inhale the food before I take a picture, you are getting weird photos of you posted on the blog. It's my blog, and my rules. This is what is left of the quail. It had some sort of amazing cherry sauce with cherries in it, onion, and again, probably some form of sausage. I can't see the menu to remember. Whatever it was, it was amaaaazing. A+. 

Our plan was a few apps, a drink, and to make our way out. Buuuut, after those two apps we wanted to try more. We went for two new options we hadn't tried before. The thing is, I am never disappointed with the new choices at Salt Air, so I am willing to be more adventurous than normal. I eat the most random foods here and know that I will not gag on it and be grossed out dislike it.

Here you have my simple new obsession. Date and chorizo pinchos. My mouth is watering just looking at them. The sweet and spicy was a perfect combination. Dates + Chorizo = Love Forever.

Smoky/sweet chicken wings and pickled spicy veggies. Best wings ever. Enough Said.
Oh wait, when am I ever able to reallllly just say enough said?
If you are going to eat a few carrots or peppers at once, have water ready.

All in all, it was another incredible meal at Salt Air. Thank you Nino, thank you extremely friendly wait staff, and thanks to the attractive tall girl who is the hostess. You guys better keep her around. (yep, that's right, we love Em Imily and we aren't afraid to say it).Yay Salt Air is back. And yay for summer being around the corner and many more dinners at our favorite place!

Pssss... If you find yourself in Rehoboth, stop by Salt Air. I 100% promise you that you will not be disappointed.
50 Wilmington Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
302 227 2444


March 24, 2011

Happy St. UCONN's Day!

Okay, so maybe it is St. Patty's day. But in our household, it was UCONN (and corned beef) day. My dad had 15 UCONN hats lined up on the mantle prepared for the Big East Championship against Louisville. My parents have a tradition of inviting over family friends and their kids, who also now have kids, over every St. Patty's Day. While mom whips together a great tablescape and decor, dad tells us all "It's all about the corned beef."

Except this year. I'd like to say it was all about the food, but truly it was all about the UCONN Huskies. This started playing in the house circa 3pm and did not stop until the game ended.
My brother has never been one to be quiet and sit still. His younger days of irritating have turned to (mostly) amusing. His wife is probably to thank for that.

So we spent a few hours reveling in the company of friends and good food before the game began. And mmm the food was as good as usual.
 Apparently it takes four men to put ice and beer into the laundry room sink (yep, that's right, beer in the sink).
I tried to make it into the photo... but nooot quite. note dad's green uconn shirt!

And the weirdest part of these parties is that now the "kids" are having kids.
Umm did someone reincarnate Chris Giovanni? Nope, that's just his adorable son. And pretty wife.  We also had some other cuties crawling and walking and running around all over the place...
So after some fun and a lot of food (ummm I took zero pictures of the 20+ lbs of corned beef, I was too busy eating. sorry), we watched the UCONN game. It didn't matter what college you actually went to. Penn state alum? Uconn hat. UVA Alum? Uconn hat. BU alum? Uconn hat. Northeastern? Uconn hat. You get the picture. And I also got a few pictures.
Like father like son.
 Getting a little tense for awhile...
And a WIN!

We played the UCONN fight song about 3 more times, there was lots of cheering... and then back to the guiness and some dessert. Now, let's just cross our fingers that the Huskies can pull of something similar in march madness. 

Thanks dad, for showing us how much fun tradition can be. 
Happy St. Patrick's Day (a bit late!)

March 23, 2011

Stud(s) of the Walls' House

Let's discuss the fact that my our kitchen is stripped down to studs.
Now let's discuss how OCD I am going to be as a parent. Can you guess my #1 concern with this?  I was afraid the cats would soooomehow climb behind the very small slits between the floor and the walls now. I was so worried I made Jamie move those ikea packages into the kitchen (yeah, there were alterior motives). Now, you see, our two cats, Internet (Jamie named him) and Dex, are afraid of everything in life. EXCEPT power tools. That's because J has used them since the day we got them. So while J claimed they would be too afraid to explore back there, I knew better. But then, this is where I found those two little devils about a half hour after forcing J to move the ikea boxes in front of the spaces they could "fall into". If this is how much I worry about my cats, what will happen when we have a real life baby?!
Ok, so maybe I was wrong. Exploring was not on their list. They were too busy napping and looking pissed off I woke them up with the flash of the camera.

Here are some more of the down to studs pictures:
Jamie loves those power tools. And is safely wearing a mask because all of the dust was flying in the air. Which brings me to point number two.

Those are the wall studs.

This is my Walls stud. Get it? Ha I crack myself up sometimes.
He cleans up well, right? So we have no kitchen, but we do still have a functioning fridge and freezer. I must share what J does for me sometimes that makes me smile inside and outside. And seriously ask myself WHYYYY did I not find this man earlier in my life? So, after we ate dinner the other night and I was doing my normal snoop around for snacks, I happened to open the freezer, and it was the MECCA of Meg snacks.

 I nearly lost my mind. Now, I don't need to eat junk every night. In fact, I work in a weight management clinic and these foods are RED (as in a stop light, red means stop, do not pass go, do not put those foods in your mouth). However, once in awhile, I need to splurge. Especially after my long commute. And in case the birthday party ice cream isn't enough to make me celebrate, we have these too:
Heaven. In my Freezer. I realize I cannot eat them every day. But what more could  wife want than her hubby to buy her ice cream.... x3. Yep, that's right I had oooone more treat waiting.
Now, you might think, wait your hubs got you skinny cow? Is he trying to tell you something? I am actually 99.9% sure J bought these for himself, since they are not chocolate. He hates chocolate, which I think is not really human. But, whatevs, more Snickers for me.

There's my studly house at the moment.

Oooooo guess what else? Shannanigans is having a Yard Sale May 21. It is on my calendar. I am so pumped. By that time our kitchen projects (and our office and deck, which I promise to reveal soon) will be finished and I will be ready to take some new items into our home. Woohoo!

March 20, 2011

Ikea = Hawaiian for "Many Little Pieces"

Okay, so I made that up. But that's what it should mean. We thought, no big deal, we've put together many items since moving into this house. But this was different, this appeared a bit overwhelming. Since we had no clue what we were going to do with all the boxes, we just asked the delivery guys to put the boxes on the back deck. The deck is actually currently in its own reno-- you know, just something on the side since the kitchen isn't time consuming or anything-- so it has no posts or rails. So forgive that. But here are our boxes, Saturday early afternoon, as we Jamie and the delivery guys piled them all on the deck.
Here's a shot from another angle. Please also disregard anything random in the yard. You see, when you are gutting a kitchen there is a lot of trash. And wood. And everything gets all moved around.
So last night, we gathered everything and carried them all into the kitchen. We knew this couldn't be the permanent solution, but leaving cabinets and appliances sitting outside also did not seem like a good plan. Today, we separated all of them by base, doors, accessories, and did more carrying. My muscles hurt. I call them the bendy over muscles, Jamie says that they are my hamstrings. Also my shoulders and arms hurt. I am weak. This is good for my weakness, and to burn some calories. Especially since now we are pretty much down to take out or restaurants for eating. Unless you can microwave or toaster it up. Which I did this morning for breakfast. Again, I digress. Anywho... here are the boxes after some moving around. Still "many little pieces" though, as you can see. Or, big pieces.
These are the top pieces. We placed them on a wall. I realized shortly after they need to move again, because the fridge will go there. Also check out the immense amounts of dust on the floor. Breathing hazard!

The pieces in the kitchen still are cabinets for the bottom half. The base cabinets if you will. More dirty. Yuck.

Now, the last pieces (the doors) are upstairs in the guest room. Said guest room has not been revealed on the blog yet, because it still needs my DIY headboard and a few other accessories to complete the look. But, for purposes of showing you that there are indeed, more boxes, here we go...
And now, for the things that keep me going, pictures of other people's ikea cabinets after they are complete. This is why I am allowing this whole kitchen project to continue... the dream of one day having beautiful cabinets and a kitchen I actually enjoy cooking in.
Oooo, Ahhhh. Except, we are cool and got granite countertops, so ours will look like, even cooler. But, I do love those pulls for these cabinets. J and I disgree on hardware choices, so we went with his for now... but I secretly (okay not so secretly if it's on the internet) hope to get some of those cute little pulls on the drawers at least.
Okay, so our kitchen is 1/4 this size. Well maybe 1/2. But still, I think this is actually a very similar set up and I like it. Approved. Dream Dream Dream. Again though, our counters will be prettier.

In conclusion, I realize we saved a ton of moolah by ordering from Ikea, plus I really do love the cabinets design and the countertops we chose. However, be prepared to be scared out of your mind by the sheer number of boxes. Now, because my forearms hurt from both lifting boxes and playing in a philanthropy volleyball tournament, I need to stop typing and go watch mindless television.

Tomorrow I'll show you the latest and greatest in the kitchen. And someday soon I'll post the pictures from a St. Patty's day bash at my parents.  Busy Busy bees!

P.S. Cheers to our parents who have offered to come help us. Dad, we have no coffee pot but I swear we will buy you an entire box o joe from Dunkin Donuts, conveniently located down the street, for your hard work.  We can also offer you wawa, or microwaved bagel bites. Your choice. Aren't we generous?

March 19, 2011

Kitchen Demo... and a whole lot of Sawz All use.

WARNING: This post is LONG. Totally understand if you ignore the writing and look at the pictures. But you may want to read the first paragraph so you don't think Jamie shops at Forever21 or something.

A digression before I even begin:  I would just like to say my husband is so handsome. Maybe even more attractive when being rough and tumble and tearing down walls and using sledgehammers. However, J has the UGLIEST jeans known to man that he does his house work in. So when viewing these pictures please do not judge his fashion choices. I mean, I do, but I am his wife so I am allowed. Also, they cost about $7 (no joke) which means I can buy a new pair of $198 True Religions without feeling guilty we are saving more money for house renovations, too. That being said, the ones he is wearing in day 2 of renovations, I call the "plastic" jeans. They look and feel plastic and they have ugly zippers on the butt pockets that look as cheap as Wet Seal pants circa 1999.

Okay, so let's move on from hot Jamie and his ugly jeans. We started demo in the kitchen. Well, J did yesterday before I got home from work. I walked in and instead of saying, "thank you amazing husband", I was all "OMG How am I going to immediately eat dinner?!?" I am starving after my two hour commutes on Fridays. After feeding me, J showed me his work. I was actually quite impressed. But, I sort of also thought our kitchen now looked like the people on those Hoarders shows... because everything.was.everywhere.  So let me just remind you what the kitchen looked like when we moved in.
Here she is. As 60s/70s as you can get.
Our first set of renovations included stripping (the devilest job ever) the cabinets and getting new hardware. We also painted the walls bright colors.

Here is our first cheapy update that we did awhile ago before the decision to totally renovate:
This picture is a very big sacrifice for me to post on the interwebs. But, I wanted you ll to see what our (still ugly) kitchen looked like post renovation #1. I look scary and that weird santa statue was a "trophy" that J and I won on Christmas for winning the sibling competition to solve a puzzle. J is smart. I am glad I married him.

Okay, here is what it looked like Friday night:
And unclear why the fridge is sitting in the middle of the room here.
See? Hoarders I tell you.
Today, we've made mmuuuuch more progress. And Jamie is loving using every power tool, heavy tool (sledgehammers), and other loud noise making tools he can find. It is very loud in here. I keep putting my fingers in my ears. I should invest in ear plugs. Anywho, here are some more photos.
No cabinets!! But, really I am sad because do you see? The microwave is gone behind me.. and the dishwasher is not going to run anymore. So my pretty glasses could not be washed well. Oh, J also had to turn off the water at some point. And the electricity. It was almost like living in a tent in the jungle. Exaggerate? Me? Never.
Oh yeah, our family room is a disaster too since we are storing everything in there. And I decided it was probably a good plan to cover our couches with sheets we can wash easily, since flakes of dust are getting legitimately EVERYWHERE today. 
Still messy, but not nearly as much of  disaster as before... except the dust that is everywhereee. Including on the camera lense, no matter how I try to avoid it. 
Ahhhh you can really see those plastic jeans here. But the sledgehammer is CLEARLY doing its job. Go J, Go!
This is a fantastic look for the kitchen, right? Well, at least we won't have to cook for a few weeks. Mmm take out and dinners out. I mean, I guess we could microwave bagel bites every night. Okay, also, I swear, I did help. But I am also the photographer. I am taking a half hour break now to write this post. I will go back and help again (against my wishes) for the evening.
My OCD messies are coming out here. This mess literally was making me shake. I had to clean it up, pronto. So we took all of that wood out to the trash...errr our backyard for now.
Oooo those $7 jeans. Nice j. Also ew, look at the fake stone flooring the people chose. This is so ugly, I cannot believe people in the 60s liked this stuff. I wonder if people will look at our kitchen one day thinking the same thing. I sure hope not. 
Ohh look! It's me! Doing Work! See, I told you I did. I love pulling nails out of the walls. Or any other little teeny detail jobs of the kitchen. What do I not like? The noise. I think I already said that. Okay, now just a few more pics. First I'd like to visit the old wallpaper we can now see peeking out.
I think it's fungi. And not like my good old dad, who says he is like mushrooms, a fun guy. This is straight up fungi. And ugllyyy city. Thank god that whole wall is being bashed out. And one more hilarious pic.
Why you ask, is this hilarious? Because that box on the floor blocking the hole that our cats could fall straight through the basement to, is a ProActiv box. Yep, when all the celebs told me I should get ProActiv, I did. Then, in my usual ADHD fashion, I forgot to keep using it. And boxes of it were everywhere. At my parents house. Oops. My mom asked me x45 to cancel it. I swear I did. But it kept coming, so maybe I didn't. Eventually, she did. But look mom!! This is some good use!! 

That is all for now. I can hear slamming and other noises upstairs that make me worry J is laying on the kitchen floor electricuted or that the refrigerator fell through the walls or something. I should go check on that. 

Next post I will show you the bazillion trillion boxes that Ikea cabinets come in. Charlotte and Pat Markey, if you are reading this, I blame you for telling me Ikea cabinet putting together was "easy" and that you did it yourself on your old house's kitchen. The boxes make me legit want to scream bad words and then cry. But that's for next time.

Stay tuned!

March 13, 2011

Kitchen Reno..... with a very close deadline.

We finally decided that we'd renovate our kitchen. In true form, we will tear everythingggg out and put everything new back in. At the advice of some friends who do a ton of remodeling work and design, we checked out Ikea for cabinets. I was 100% nervous. Ikea? For Cabinets? Are they going to fall apart after 3 days? Let me just say... I fell in LOVE the minute we walked into the store. This gives an idea of what we saw.
If you pay attention to seconds 0-13, those are very similar to the cabinets we chose. We were floored that we could pay so little for such nice looking cabinets. And granite. Yep, we went for granite. Partially because, again, we were at Ikea and couldn't believe how much less we were going to pay for this stuff than we expected. In a matter of three hours, plus a serving of mac and cheese and swedish meatballs, oh and some apple crisp, we had ordered brand new cabinets, a hood for the stove, and a dishwasher (ummm built into the cabinets- AWESOME), and picked up a number of other affordable items, mostly for our unfinished office that is always in the back of our minds. I will have to post about all the other fantastic items we bought. 
I mean really this doesn't look nearly as good as I thought it did at the time, but I skipped lunch that day. Besides, anything related to mac n cheese is my friend.

Okay, so the cool thing about Ikea is that you can design your entire kitchen before purchasing a thing. Jamie worked on getting all the measurements at home (twice- since once crashed and we lost it all), and we went to the store "more prepared than anyone I've ever worked with," per the Ikea salesman. The salesman also quickly told us that he does not work on commission. Awesome, we thought, because we have 8 billion questions and are going to consume your entire life :)

Here is a hint at our design. Use your imagination- we are thinking black subway tiles for the backsplash, and the countertops will be granite. The table we don't own yet- just a smaller version- but we will do it eventually.
We went for white cabinets to make the room brighter and bigger. We plan to do black subway tile as the backsplash-- but not all the way up to the ceiling. probably just to where the cabinets begin. Then, we will get some slate grey flooring. We haven't bought the flooring yet- nor do we exactly know what we are doing. But what we do know is that there are many, many youtube videos bout how to properly install cabinets. We plan to use those. I'll keep the blog updated as we go through the process... cabinets arrive march 18. For now, we will begin the process of moving everything out of the kitchen and starting to prepare to eat take out, grilled food, and microwave meals for approximately 2 months. Our deadline is May 14 because we are having a big party at our house- you know- since I decided to finally walk in graduation and be a real doctor.

So we need all the luck (and hands to help) we can get for this one. Once it is finished though, all of our major projects will be totally complete. Did I mention that simultaneously I need to finish the office room and we are stripping and refinishing our deck? Big times here at the Walls House!!
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