Since buying a fixer-upper I have been reminded more frequently and more tangibly than ever before of how very lucky I am. I have some friends who have spent weekends and weeknights working hard helping me fix up my
hovel little starter nest. Recently several of my fantastic pals, plus BF and his insanely helpful family, planned a Sunday Funday productive-day, to which I would contribute libations, brunch, and little else.
Our mission was to build a huge deck on the back of my house. Sunday got off to a rocky start when the Lowe’s employees convinced BF and his father that they could transport 18′ wood beams in the 8′ bed of a pickup truck. This advice provided BF and his father the opportunity to meet the sweetest old gentleman, who had room in his flatbed trailer to transport said beams the rest of the way (from approximately the middle of the Lowe’s parking lot where they came tumbling out of the truck all the way to my front door). Needless to say, mimosas were necessary.
*This is the last photo evidence of my home, pre-updated countertops. Just wanted to point out one last time that I willingly bought a home with lime green paisley-patterned laminate counters. Seriously.
Baked Brie Dip
You will need:
- 10 ounces Brie, room temperature
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 medium-sized apples (I used Honeycrisp, and suggest you do the same.)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
- French bread or pita chips to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Spread the walnuts in a single-layer on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until roasted and fragrant, no more than four or five minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash, core and dice apples into tiny pieces.
- Saute diced apples in butter on medium heat with the cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, and pepper until soft.
- Slice brie into thin (no thicker than 1/4 inch) slices. Arrange half of the brie in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish.
- Add half of the walnuts and honey to the brie. Top with the entire apple mixture.
- Add the remaining slices of brie and evenly distribute the rest of the walnuts and honey.
- Bake for about fifteen minutes, until brie is melted and bubbly.
- Serve hot with pita chips or warm French bread and grapefruit mimosas.
- Make sure you have at least one non-handy friend to clink champagne flutes with while those busy bees are outside working.
Here are some photos of the progress, complete with Ketch posing majestically (left) and Mops lurking (right). Beer boxes are visible in both, sadly, because apparently champagne flutes and work gloves clash:
All snark aside, I have been so humbled and touched by the contributions my friends and family have made to this little house. A multitude of helpful hands have worked hard – really, really, hard – with the sole aim of transforming my house into exactly what I want. This renovation has been a frustrating process, but more rewarding than any deck or coat of paint is the sense of support I have had for every step of the process.