Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beach House Kitchen and an Award

This Duck and Peach Salad is one dish I had to share with you.  I made it up on a balmy Summer night, when it was too hot to cook. I use it at least once a week, because I can use anything in my fridge. It's quick, colourful and very yummy. I have entertained  with it as well, with great success. There are a couple of must haves in this recipe, but they are staples of mine, so I usually always have them in the pantry or fridge.

In all these shots, the Duck Salad is sitting on my Caesarstone bench top.  I admit that last line is not a great segue, but I had to get here somehow. 

I love those Beach House bench tops, almost as much as I love Mr Beach House.  However, just like him, they came with a few faults. 

Apparently, in the case of the bench tops anyway, the powder was not mixed properly in the factory, so there is a small area where there looks to be finger prints.  The kitchen is very light and bright, so they really show up.  There is also a small crack in the stone. No one really knows the faults are there, unless I point them out. But I can tell you, they nearly did my head in, until I got some perspective.

I must say the Caesarstone company was VERY VERY difficult to deal with.  After visiting my home and telling me the faults originated in their production process, they basically dumped me.  They referred me back to my builder, as he had the contract with Caesarstone, not me. ARRGH!! 

 I was a lawyer in a past life and I know a thing or two about the law, but at that stage reason went out the window and I just wanted fault free bench tops. I don't know about you, but I think if you are paying top dollar, you are entitled to a faultless product.  

Luckily, the builder did rise to the occasion and reduce the price. New stone was not an option as the bench tops could not be easily replaced. They could not be ripped out without damaging the cupboards., so I had to go with the discount.  I have seen enough of the inside of a court room to know when to walk away and focus on what really matters in life.

Next time there is no way  I would let the stone mason glue them down until I had checked it and checked it again.  In fact next time, I would not use Caesarstone.  Kind of like those guys you date in your twenties.  Very good looking but you couldn't possibly see yourself sticking with them as they are all shine and no substance.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a post about a Duck Salad in a Beach House kitchen. Tomorrow the receipe if anybody would like it.

That's it from the Beach House kitchen today, but there was some lovely news last week that I want to share.
It was very sweet of Kirsty, over at

Kirsty Girl
to feature me and nominate me for a stylish blogger award.  My first, so it's very special.


She was very kind to nominate me and if you would like to read what Kirsty said about Desire Empire, click here.

Now, I am a new kid on the block, so I referred back to Kirsty as to just what all this means.  Apparently, the etiquette of this lovely gesture, is that I am to pass it on to 8 other bloggers.  But, to make it really special, I have decided to award it to just one blog.  The reason is, I am just soooooooo appreciative of all her help in getting the design of this blog up and running.  So, I award the Stylish Blogger Award to the wonderful Shari over at


No question or request was too difficult for the gorgeous Shari. She was supportive of all my design briefs. I believe the results are fabulous.  I really recommend her services.

Well my loves that's enough excitement for one day.

Lots of Love
Today I'm linked up at
Kitchen Favourites
Elements Interiorsand Beyond The Picket Fence


buttonwithstarfishandand come over and join the party


  1. Thanks so much Carolyn!
    I've gotta say great pick for your nomination! I love Shari too! Such a sweetie and an absolutely awesome blog designer! Her headings are always especially gorgeous!

  2. Yummy......hope you might share that salad, it looks heavenly. Love the kitchen and the ceasarstone..fabulous looking. Glad to have discovered your lovely blog....please visit me, I have a newish one, about two months about the building of our new home and my passion for decor/design.

    Have a great day!

  3. PS Shari deserves that award..she is awesome, so sweet, talented and super patient:-)

  4. That sure looks delish...
    I'm lovin' your blog...
    congrats on the award,
    and I'm your newest blog follower ♥

  5. I dislike dealing with companies like that, so sorry you had to jump through some hoops but glad that they gave you a discount. I love your kitchen and that view out your window is heavenly! The salad looks delicious!!
    Congrats on the award and Sheri is so wonderful, so glad that she has helped you out!
    Have a great day!

  6. LOVE THIS! Come on ova' and link up to my Linky Party! xoxokara



  7. Wow! This was a long post. So, here we go. First of all, I totally hear you about paying top dollar for a product or a job well done. We've had similar problems with trades people. It just boils your brain. However, good for you for trying to have perspective - it really is the only way to go so you don't stress out. Secondly, the salad looks delicious, so recipe would be great. And finally, congrats on the blog award. So cool and fun!

    p.s. thanks for your sweet compliment

  8. Congrats on the award! I love your salad and your kitchen looks so fresh and modern, perfect for a beach house! I'd love the recipe for your perfect salad, I'd love to make it, we're big on salads!
    Im also your newest follower, hope you come over and follow too.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. Wow! That was fast...thank you so very much! I looove that salad, just great, I'm making it this weekend that I'm having guests: my daughter, her hubby and our granddaughters...oh, they're going to love it. We love lamb too, terrific! We'll keep visiting.

  10. Congrats on your award and the dish and your kitchen look delicious.

  11. It doesnt matter HOW MANY times I have looked at this post...It still makes my mouth water...I WANT A BITE!

    Im now Following:)

    Thank you for linking this up at Whassup Wednesday! I hope to see you again this week :) Great Post!

    I'd love for you to Follow me:)

  12. I'm glad you got what you watned in the end. Dealing with builders can be sooooo frustrating, can't it?!

    But I love the look of your kitchen. It's gorgeous!

    Thank you so much for coming to my Kitchen Favourites party.


  13. Eek! I just ordered some Caesarstone! Thank you for the tip.
    (visiting via Modern Country Style's blog party)

  14. Hi Caroline, just visiting from Sarah's kitchen party....your kitchen is gorgeous...but it's a pity that you had such a negative experience. We put a new kitchen in back home in Australia (just prior to moving to UK)...and we used Caesarstone for the bench fact the installation was hilarious...the stonemasons were Greeks and believe me, you couldn't get a more traditional Greek looking crew...including one young man who was a true Greek 'Adonnis'...absolutely I probably would not have noticed any faults....luckily there were none!! Robx

  15. I am popping over from Sarah's Kitchen Favourites party to see your kitchen. I am glad you made your peace with your kitchen - and sorry you had to deal with a crummy company.

    You can see my kitchen in my Chicago Vintage apartment. Can you stay for tea?

    Glenda (link # 62)

  16. Caesarstone is known for not standing by their promises!!! Furthermore, the product is not high quality as they claim.
    Will never touch them again !

  17. Waaaa....and I'm about to book people from Caesartone for a quote. Now I'm having second thoughts.


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