Remodel with a Purpose {Parmesan, Almond & Rosemary Cocktail Cookies}

parmesan rosemary crackers

If you stopped by our house after the kitchen remodel, you would immediately notice the upgraded appliances, new wood floor or expanded center island. But perhaps the most important element of the project is something you can’t see – and it was “installed” with a Sharpie.

We aren’t the first couple to go looking for a new dishwasher and end up remodeling the whole kitchen…{You can see the results here.}

Once it was determined that some adjustments would have to be made to the kitchen island where the dishwasher would be installed, we started asking those “What if we did this…” questions. So, what should have taken no more than a few hours and a reasonable budget ended up taking 10 weeks and way more money than we’d planned on spending.

But as Husband and I talked about whether to pull the trigger or not, a few things helped us agree that it was a good idea. First, I was about to make a change in my business that would give me more flexibility and the joy of working from home – so I’d be able to spend more time in my happy place. Second, we absolutely love entertaining – so part of the deal was if we did this remodel, we’d open up our home for friends and family considerably more than schedules had previously allowed. Third, I welcomed the opportunity to sort through 20 years of “stuff” and get rid of the excess. Finally, we looked at this as a fresh start to living out our faith by sharing what we’ve been blessed with.

We absolutely love the result – and our guests do to. But one of our favorite parts is something you can’t see.

The morning that the wood floors were going to be put down, John and I each grabbed a permanent marker and strategically wrote some scripture references on the subfloor in some important spots. The verses are there as reminders to us about how we’re to live our lives and where our blessings come from.

On more than one occasion, I’ve been sitting at the dining room table, about to launch into a rant, or spread a tidbit of gossip, when I remember that Philippians 4:8 is written right beneath my feet.

scripture on floorplan scripture on floorplan with am credit

Entry ::

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Dining Room ::

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Kitchen Island ::

Psalm 51:10-12 – Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Pantry ::

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Psalm 111:5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

We absolutely love the results of the project. And years down the road, if another owner remodels this house, maybe our scribbles will have an impact on them too.

These Parmesan, Almond & Rosemary cookies are a great way to start off an evening with friends – and they’re wonderful paired with a crisp white wine. I’ll often make these along with the Chocolate Cayenne Cocktail Cookies to serve with red. Go ahead and double the batch, they freeze really well.

Parmesan, Almond & Rosemary Cocktail Cookies
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (1 ounce)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 large eggs yolks, beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 10 minutes, until golden. Turn off the oven and let the almonds cool.
  2. In a bowl, rub the sugar with the rosemary until moist and aromatic. In a food processor, combine the rosemary sugar with the almonds, flour, cheese and salt and pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and pulse until large clumps of dough form.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently until it comes together. Divide the dough in half and form into a rough log shape. Place dough on parchment and use the parchment to help roll the dough into a smooth log that is about 1½ inches in diameter. Repeat with other half of dough. Place logs onto a baking sheet and freeze for 30-45 minutes, until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350º and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Working with one log at a time, slice into ¼ inch thick cookies. Arrange the cookies about 1 inch apart on the parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until they are just firm; shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.


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