Menu of the Week!
April 22 – 28th

I really shouldn’t be counting on having any sort of meals at all for the next month or so … and neither should the fella.   But I’m making out a menu for this week to ensure we don’t eat as poorly as we did last week when I was ripping out floors.

You’ll find out what I ate those nights on Monday when I put up my first renovation post.

Kay. No more talking. I have gray paint colours to research. Turns out Revere Pewter, which I was counting on using in the kitchen, is way too greige. It’s a beautiful colour, it just isn’t really gray.  Plus it’s too light.  I need something darker.  And more … gray.  I’m looking for a true gray with no blue, beige, green or purple undertones. I’m not sure such a gray exists. I want gray, gray. Is that so hard?

Apparently … it is.

Menu time!


And yes. I did specify exactly what type of dill pickle I’ll be eating. I discovered Vlasic pickles last year and holy CROW I like them. They’ve got a good crunch, them pickles do.


Fried Calamari – To make fried Calamari, just slice whole calamari tubes into rings.  Dip in milk, then in flour that’s been seasoned with salt & pepper.  Fry in oil for one minute on each side.  NO longer.  Any longer and they’ll go tough and rubbery.  Drain well on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt and balsamic vinegar.

My recipe for:  Szechuan Carrot Soup.

My recipe for: Perfect French Fries

My recipe for: Caesar Salad

My recipe for:  Burgers

My recipe for: Quinoa Salad


  1. Raymonde says:

    Do you have something, anything, that’s exactly the right shade of gray?
    You just have to bring it to the Home Depot and they’ll be able to match it.
    I once had them match a tomato that was the right mixture of pink, red and orange. They laughed (a lot) and told me it was harder to put a round thing in their colour scanner, but they managed to match it perfectly!

    • Karen says:

      LOL. That’s great. A tomato. Um … I’m not sure if I have the perfect shade of gray. But that’s a good thought about the Home Depot colour matching. I do like Behr paint. I normally buy Benjamin Moore, but I’d be willing to pay less. 🙂 ~ karen

      • Deb J. says:

        Benjamin Moore can do a match too – if that’s what you really want. A fan – not employee. 🙂

      • julie says:

        Ben Moore – November Rain 2142-60 or gray mirage 2142-50. or what i plan on using in my kitchen, Thunder AF-685. It doesn’t read bluish in my kitchen but each room is different! Aura paint is my ab fav paint ever.

  2. Emily says:

    I found it amusing that you specified the roast chicken was from the store. Although I guess if you hadn’t, someone WOULD ask which one you roasted!

    • Karen says:

      LOL! I meant a pre-cooked one. I won’t be in any shape to be roasting chickens in my kitchen for a while I don’t expect. ~ k!

  3. jane says:

    Grey. Neighbour. Flavour. Please uphold the traditions of the King’s English….it’s one of the things that separates us from our gun toting neighbour to the south…..

  4. Angela that London says:

    Why is finding that perfect shade so motherflippin tricky – I’m having the same problem with white – do you have a perfect shade of white Karen?
    I will be following your brave underfloor heating project with great interest. We also have a freezing cold kitchen and bathroom in our flat. Unfortunately it’s rented and on the 8th floor with concrete walls and floors so not sure we can do much.
    b.t.w. grey is spelt grey as in greige not gray/ graige. Hehe don’t say: You can suck it!

    • Karen says:

      Angela – Yes, I know it’s grey. Or Gray. 😉 The white’s I would recommend are both from Benjamin Moore paint. Cloud White (which is a warm white) or Decorator White (which is slightly cooler). My whole house is painted in Cloud White. ~ karen!

  5. Candice says:

    Have you checked Farrow & Ball? They’re a bit high end in price but such gorgeous colours!

  6. Jeanette Smith says:

    Karen, I have the perfect grey! give me a bit to go into the basement and I’ll get the name or the formula from the can. It may be a little light for what you want, but you can always ask them to double up on the pigments …

  7. Laura says:

    I too wanted a gray gray. I chose Smoke Embers by Benjamin Moore. I really like Behr paint so I went to Home Depot to match the color.

  8. Renee says:

    We just painted our first floor bm silver mist. It does have a lot of blue however if the light in your room is plentiful it comes off a true gray. I love it for the way it plays with other colors in the room, it reflects other colors.

  9. I went up one from Revere Pewter to Rockport Gray for my kitchen this spring..It is a different color depending on the time of day HOWEVER I totally LOVE LOVE it. I bought a sample 8.00 pot and painted two sections then lived with it for a week before deciding.

  10. Ann-Marie says:

    We are currently working on a sunroom that we have painted BM Elephant Gray and using Smoked Oyster to paint doors, with white trim.In trying to match paint colour to our new hardwood floor this seemed to be the best colour choice. I have never had more difficulty with how the colour appears at different times of the day. Sometimes it looks purple , other times it looks pale gray. We are now painting a wall of cabinetry with Silouette that I am hoping will tone down the purple undertone. Whew!!! Who knew that a neutral colour could be so complicated in presentation……..

  11. Kim says:

    I had the same problem with a gray paint and even though the color that I ultimately picked might sound brownish, I found it to be perfect. It’s Glidden Wood Smoke, and yes it is less expensive. It ultimately comes down lighting. Good luck!!

  12. Marti says:

    Tell me about the fried calamari? You can’t be doing that at home. It’s a universally accepted and known fact that frying calamari is THE messiest thing ever. (Having done it *once* I concur) So I’m curious about that.

    Vlasic pickles are amazing. Best for everything, except frying.

    • Karen says:

      It can be done. It’s true. And not a lot of mess. Just pour some oil in a deep pan or pot, heat, and fry. Oh. And wear a raincoat. ~ karen

      • Marti says:

        I ain’t doing it agin! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! I’m emotionally scarred and the place I did that in LA has been declared an environmental disaster. NOT. AGAIN. EVER.

        But if you post a blog on it, I’ll watch. And be fascinated to see how you do it. Don’t you have a small home fryer-gadget-do-hickey?

        • Karen says:

          I do have a deep fryer, but I don’t use it for any seafood. So I do seafood (like calamari or sole) in a deep pan with vegetable oil. Then I drain the oil into a can and throw it out. ~ k!

        • Marti says:

          Were those instructions for calamari there from the start?

          I didn’t see them there before. Of course, I know that I have to log in repeatedly to keep up with you, Karen, but wow… instructions for the calamari. Thanks!

        • Karen says:

          Um, well, yes. LOL. They were always there. Maybe you were drunk. ~ karen

        • Marti says:

          On carrot soup? (That’s all I have in my fridge right now.)

  13. Wendy says:

    Okay. The best pickle ever: Straub’s new dill. Emphasis on “new” because if you get the full sour dill, they’re much softer and gushier. My uncle can’t get them in Florida, so he contacted Straub and they kindly sent him the recipe and he now makes and gifts his own pickles which are most excellent.

    Grey: ugh. I am just beginning to think about painting (having someone paint, is more specific–I am not up to that job) most of my main floor. The trim is ugly gumwood (it will be Cloud White–good enough for those featured in magazines, good enough for me) and the walls were painted 10 years ago when we moved in, and now look tired and unfresh. I want a soft, warm grey. I’m going to check out Revere Pewter, because I think it might be right. If it isn’t, I’ll figure it out from there. I know someone who took ages to find the right grey. It is hard, and the tones change depending on the light/room. Unless you want a murky mauve, or a gukky green, you have to be really careful.

  14. Jeanette Smith says:

    CIL Dulux, bought at Home Depot; name is VEIL.
    I will post a photo or two on your FB page of the formula from the top of the can if you would like, and a room done in it.

  15. Jane says:

    Feel your pain trying to find “true gray”! I tried to do that when repainting my outside trim. Put on a new gray roof, painted the shutters myself, thought the color was fine….had to hire a guy to paint the fish scales in the peak…it’s too high and I’m too old! well….that is so close to the shingles that when it was done, the gray looks olive green…..wish I had the fish scales white now, but hubby would kill me to pay to repaint another gray so I’m telling myself I like it……but I don’t! I could find other houses with the color I liked but couldn’t get them to Home Depot:) Good Luck!

  16. kirsten says:

    AGREE on the hard-to-find gray — I painted (at night) with what I thought was the perfect gray… and behold, in the light of day and when it was dry it looks LAVENDER. Not quite what I was going for, but I’m not about to spend another 12 hours repainting the living room and hall. If you find the perfect gray, keep us updated!

    And also, AGREE on Vlasic dill! My very favorite pickles. Mmm.

  17. Jaimie says:

    I will tell you, as someone who painted a large portion of her house neutral grey, you might want to go with a slightly warm grey because it can be very tricky to find colors that don’t make a truly neutral grey look cold/blue in contrast.

  18. Amber says:

    My favorite way to find accent wall colours for clients: get the SO’s favorite sweater and match to it. It’s remarkable how often a deep burnt orange or pale blue shirt can change the room. And the SO is practically guaranteed to like it. Plus you can tack it up on the wall and see what a large area of that colour would be like.
    Go to the paint store where they have those racks of color chips. Take at least 6 of them and line up the colour you want to see. When you have a larger area you can see it more easily. Take all of them! Take them home! Make confetti!

  19. Anna says:

    Kendall Charcoal (HC-166). Same colour as your ‘More Stuff You’ll Like box. Or Amherst Grey – go for BM historical colours for your historical house.

  20. Cindy@ DesignLove says:

    I used to pay the price for BM paints, but now color match with Behr also at HD. Turns out fab! Good luck finding the perfect grey!

  21. Brooke says:

    We just had our house interior painted and chose Edgecomb Gray for the bedroom, bath, and kitchen cabinets, Cream Fleece for the living room, dining room, and halls, and Super White for all the woodwork and kitchen walls. All by Benjamin Moore. We LOVE it all! The gray and beige work beautifully together; the difference is noticeable, but not glaring. Take a look!

  22. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Gray/Grey..I can never remember which one is yours and which one is ours..But then I am the fool who went to the store to buy white paint thinking “No problem”..”White is white”..Boy did I feel like an idiot when I found out there are a gazillion different whites..Love calamari but never made I’m hungry for it..

  23. Laura Bee says:

    Calamari at home!? And the sea salt & balsamic sounds so much better than the creamy fat laden sauces you usually get with it at a restaurant.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Calamari at home. That really seems to stun people. I guess I should do a post on it. It’s really easy and really fast. ~ karen!

  24. Kimberly says:

    I’m going to totally stalk this chain of comments. I attempted to paint my bathroom walls grey-grey, but there is blue in it. Ahh!! Then I got 3 testers to find a better color. Still not grey-grey. Double Ahhhh!!!

    There is 1950’s pink and grey-blue tile all over the room, and the current greyish-blue is just about as bad as the pink the previous owners painted the walls. :-p

  25. tj says:

    Type “grey paint” into pinterest and you will receive an abundance of options. Good luck.

  26. Erica says:

    Best way to get gray is to just add black to white paint. Then it will definitely have no undertones.

  27. Christine says:

    We have just painted our dining room Kendall charcoal – bm. It is dark, but not to dark and a really nice warm grey.

  28. andrea meyers says:

    i would love to know what grey you come up with, i have been having the’ ‘true grey’ issue as well, and was inspired by your last revere pewter! also, Claussen is even better then Vlassic 🙂

  29. Cathy says:

    1. Quinoa ROCKS! Been eating creamy version (Digest Diet) for b’fast since Feb.
    2. Stay w/BM paint–Behr sloughed off my walls(….um, Ma’m, I think you better come look at this…) been using BM since this emergency
    3. Mix own gray but try on various walls so light can hit @ various times of day. Then take to BM to color match.
    I’m still looking for perfect shade to use in kitchen w/honey oak cabs. Will be willing to copy yours!
    –signed: NON-gun toting to south the 2nd amendment needs an update neighbor.

  30. Cathy says:

    Just in—my fav decorator, Sarah Richardson has line of paint only avail. in Canada. She has talent for fab color choices.

  31. Jasmine says:

    Did calamari at home once-still waiting for the perfect day of hell freezing over to try it again…
    BM Silver Spring 2120-50 or Smoke Gray 2120-40 and get Home Depot to colour match Behr paint and primer in one-awesome paint. Or try Behr’s own colour UL260-11. My new favourite white is also Behr Simply White UL170-12, it’s more whipping cream than Cloud White. Love.

  32. Tonia says:

    Will also be awaiting your results for finding a true grey. We just painted our bathroom and guest bedroom. The guest room was painted BM dolphin. I love, love, love it. It might be darker than what you want, but I can’t stop going in that room just to look at the walls.

    For the bathroom, I wanted a very light grey. I even had a color consultation with the store owner/designer and we selected BM Horizon. It’s a pretty color but too blue in my room. I’m going to try and live with it for a few months and I still need to put up window treatments so that will affect the light. If it doesn’t grow on me then I’ll be back at it searching for something more grey. I’m considering revere pewter as an option if I decide to repaint.

  33. safetydog says:

    The tone of grey depends on your lighting and what colors it will be near. We painted several shades on poster board, then taped it to the walls in the room to be painted. Viewed in different spots and different lights. Sherwin Williams just had a 40% off sale, and we decided on Grey Screen. It is light, and hopefully a true grey.

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