428 days after we signed the contract, gutted the house, fixed structural problems, battle with the DOB, redesigned the interior architecture, replaced all the windows, ripped down the siding, replaced the plumbing, heating and electric… the sheetrock goes up!

It was hard to “feel” the space when we saw the plans on paper and even when it was framed out. But with the walls up, I know we made the right architectural decisions, I’m so happy with the layout.

It’s a huge milestone. The word sheetrock will always hold a special place in my heart.


Kitchen looking into dining room

Dining room looking into living room and sun room

tagged in b91, renovation

Rockaway Roasters Seeks Artist Submissions

Credit: Rockaway Roasters, Facebook

Great news… Rockaway Roasters our first gourmet coffee shop on restaurant row  (92-06 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) is open (!!!) and they’re seeking submissions for their first art exhibit.

The theme of this exhibit, Rockaway Life is the visualization of life in the Rockaways, through a focus on culture, landmarks, people, imagery, activities and landscapes.

For submission guidelines contact Liorr Karasanti: liorrk[at]
Submission Deadline: April 7th

rockaway roasters

Source: Rockaway Artists Alliance newsletter

Moogie’s Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

In my post last week, I mentioned a vegetarian shepherd’s pie that my mom made that was really delicious (according to Matt). She was kind enough to share the recipe below. Make this on St. Patrick’s day tomorrow for your favorite Irish vegetarian.

Shephards Pie

Moogie’s Vegetarian Shephard’s Pie


I lb red lentils (or brown lentils)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
3 carrots cut up
4-5 cups water
1 package of frozen peas
3lbs of portobello mushrooms
2-3 lbs Potatoes
1 stick of butter
~1 cup of whole milk

Wash and rinse lentils.  In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil and add the celery, carrots, onion, parsnip and turnip.  When translucent add lentils with 4-5 cups water.  Bring to a boil and turn to simmer.  Cook for 3-4 hours until the base is creamy and the lentils are very mushy. This step can be done ahead of assembly ( the night before).

Cut up 3 lbs of portabello mushrooms and cook in 2 tbsp of olive oil.  When soft, turn off the heat and drain off most of the liquid.  Reserve the liquid until  you see the consistency of adding the mushrooms to the base.  If you like a more liquid base, add some of the portabella juice.  Add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are hot. This step can be done in advance also.

As the mushrooms are cooking, peel and cut up 2-3 lbs of potatoes, depending on how much you prefer.  Cover the potatoes with salted water enough to cover the top of the potatoes.  When the potatoes are soft and mushy, drain off the liquid and mash the potatoes.  Add 1 stick of salted butter and slowly add enough milk so the mixture is nice and creamy, not runny.

In a 9×13 or similar size pan,  line the bottom with the portobello and base mixture.  Smooth the potatoes on top and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until hot.  If you like, pop under the broiler of another 5 minutes until the top is browned.

tagged in recipe

what comes down, must go up

In October our old siding was removed. The only protection from the weather this winter has been the 125 year old exterior sheathing. It was pretty damn cold because of the record breaking low temperatures this winter.

Nevertheless, here we are 6 months later and finally the siding is going up! Why the delay? There were two other jobs scheduled ahead of us and when we hit number one in the queue, it was January – it was too cold for the workers most days or it was polar vortexing.

We’re making some serious progress this March.

hardie board 2

Here are before and afters!

Hardie Board

This is the start, I’ll be sure to update when the whole house is complete!