Still Working Hard Blue Cheese & Rocket Crostini

30 Nov

I´m starting to sound like a scratched record now, I´m sorry. Work continues but with huge progress.

Last night, in House Number 1, we mopped the final floor, we screwed in the final light bulb, polished the final window and left a Welcome Card and bottle of wine for our lovely new tenant.

It was all a little emotional if I admit the truth. It was our first truly joint business venture and blood, sweat and tears (literally) went into the work. We feel happy with a job well done, to a high standard and we were happy in our time spent in the little house.

Who remembers the bathroom that went from this…


…to this…?


Or the kitchen (sorry about my nose causing a big shadow!)…


…which now looks like this


And that scary hall….

Scary carpet...this house needs some love!

Scary carpet…this house needs some love!

..sorry, I know you loved that carpet….but it had to go!


Last night we were exhausted. Too tired almost to eat. But we rallied for a bottle of bubbles and a little celebratory snack.  I was reminded of a fabulous recipe From the Bartolini Kitchens and created some tasty little crostini which went perfectly with our “end of the first part of the project” drinks. Simple, tasty, perfect.

Gorgonzola Bruschette (1)


  •  Slices of toasted ciabatta (or other dense bread) drizzled with a little olive oil
  • Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • A few handfuls of rocket leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Coarse Sea Salt & Freshly ground pepper

Spoon some crumbled cheese over the little toasts and then sprinkle over some rocket leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and honey, add a tiny sprinkle of salt (optional, blue cheese is typically very salty) and a good grind of black pepper.  Raise a glass, put your feet up and enjoy.

PS. Thank you all so much for your patience, and apologies for not being able to get to all of your great posts as much as usual.


56 Responses to “Still Working Hard Blue Cheese & Rocket Crostini”

  1. themateriallady November 30, 2012 at 19:26 #

    Well done Tanya and the Big Man! You deserve your treat of bubbles very much. I hope your tenant appreciates all of your efforts. Good luck with house number 2.

    • Chica Andaluza November 30, 2012 at 20:06 #

      Thank you so much (blush, blush). It feels good to have finished and House Number 2 is about two thirds done now…phew!

  2. spree November 30, 2012 at 19:30 #

    Tanya, so happy to see what you and Big Man have done! Was thinking of you yesterday, wondering when we’d hear. Everything looks Wonderful – the kitchen Amazing! Congratulations – you two clearly were meant to team up! (But of course you knew that!) (And I’ve done John’s crostini too, and they’re a celebration in and of themselves!) Hope you’ll be taking the weekend off and popping at least one more cork! x

    • Chica Andaluza November 30, 2012 at 20:06 #

      Ah thanks Spree! We have rallied today and are going out for a celebratory meal tonight – yay 🙂

  3. narf77 November 30, 2012 at 19:36 #

    I dunno…that wallpaper in the bathroom was pretty spesh…and I actually liked the floorboards…all sort of Upstairs Downstairs styley…The kitchen, however, is a triumph! a tiny space turned into a perfect galley kitchen that even Nigel Slater would be happy to potter around. Is that a dog door on the door? If not, what is it? I may lay in bed tonight unable to sleep because of my nosey need to know! That simple meal is the kind of simple meal that makes me twitch with degustory delight. You nailed it girl! House number 1…tick…now, on to house number 2!

    • Chica Andaluza November 30, 2012 at 20:05 #

      Yes, sleep well my friend, it´s a cat flap (or very tiny dog flap). Our fairly little dogs could only get their heads through – which was quite entertaining!

      • narf77 November 30, 2012 at 20:31 #

        Are you going to allow your tennant to have a cat/tiny dog?

      • Chica Andaluza November 30, 2012 at 20:35 #

        Yes indeed – she has a little Cairn terrier who is gorgeous and has already made friends with our two 🙂

      • narf77 November 30, 2012 at 20:42 #

        My nan had a Cairn terrier called “Tuppence”… I think she cost a LOT more than that, but she was adorable. She DID get very fat in her old age so hopefully your tennant doesn’t run to spoiling her little uber Tuppence like my nan did and poor U.K. Tuppence gets stuck in the door…now THAT would make a hilarious post! 😉

  4. bitsandbreadcrumbs November 30, 2012 at 20:41 #

    Wow, love the renovations. And you guys certainly deserve to celebrate your success. The crostini looks so good and I especially love it with the addition of the rocket. Congrats to you both on a job really well done, and keep the champagne flowing!

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:40 #

      Thanks so much Betsy – flowing champagne is always a good idea 🙂

  5. thecompletecookbook November 30, 2012 at 20:57 #

    Tanya – WOW – congratulations to you both on an excellent job! I cannot believe the transformation – absolutely magnificent! Hope you give yourselves an extra pat on the back for this.
    Hmm, sadly (as I think you may know) I cannot do the blue cheese thing so I will just wonder back to the photos of the renovated brilliance.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:41 #

      Ah yes, couldn´t make this for my bestie either. How about some nice runny camembert or brie instead?! Thanks for the kind words, am patting Big Man on the back right now 🙂

  6. Karen November 30, 2012 at 22:05 #

    You two make the best team…you did a great job. Glad you celebrated with bubbly and the blue cheese croistini. Enjoy your celebratory dinner!

  7. restlessjo November 30, 2012 at 23:26 #

    Raising my glass of red to you- job well done!

  8. mrszeg December 1, 2012 at 00:42 #

    The house looks amazing! Great work!! So does the crostini.

  9. Michelle December 1, 2012 at 01:18 #

    Bravo! So (and sorry if I missed this earlier), are y’all planning to rent the place out? If so, I’m in!

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:44 #

      It´s rented out (yay!)…but maybe you can pitch a tent in the garden 😉

  10. Bam's Kitchen December 1, 2012 at 01:31 #

    Your house has transformed to a beautiful place. However that retro carpeting was kind of cool…. LOL

  11. MySpanishAdventures December 1, 2012 at 02:40 #

    Oh it looks fantastic! I’ve been chomping at the bit waiting to see the final pictures. The two of you did such a nice job! I can’t wait to see House #2!!

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:45 #

      Ah, thank you so much. House Number 2 is nearly ready to show its face to the world!

  12. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen December 1, 2012 at 02:45 #

    Given that I sell real estate and I love decorating.. nothing is more exciting for me than a home make-over.. as long as I don’t have to do the work, lol. Congratulations.. you’ve really outdone yourselves and made a beautiful home for someone! I can see why you’re emotional. I recognize those crostini’s, it might be time to make a few:D

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:47 #

      High praise indeed from a true professional – thank you! I need to try to not think so much with my heart but I´m an emotional half Italian chica with a Spanish Big Man…now wonder I do get like this! The crostinis were fab…highly recommended!

  13. Tandy December 1, 2012 at 06:32 #

    Well done! It looks amazing Tanya 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:47 #

      Thanks Tandy – we´re pleased with it. Simple, neutral but perfect for letting out.

  14. cookinginsens December 1, 2012 at 07:54 #

    Wow, you guys really did a fantastic job!

  15. ChgoJohn December 1, 2012 at 08:11 #

    Tanya, you two did a wonderful job! That kitchen and bath look so very nice. Hard to believe their original condition. Simply amazing! You’ve made a very nice home for you tenant.
    Before Max, I had a Cairn, “Bully”, that looked just like Toto from the Wizard of Oz. They are a great breed and make a fine housepet.
    Thank you for the shout out, Tanya. As busy as you two have been, I kinda like knowing that you took a break and enjoyed some of these crostini.
    Take care and don’t work too hard! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:49 #

      Thanks for inspiring us with the crostini – actually I made another dish inspired by one of yours so really should be wearing a From the Bartolini Kitchen Fan Club shirt 🙂

      We started to forget how awful it was to start with – it´s only when you look at the “before” photos that you realise quite what you´ve achieved!

  16. Food,Photography & France December 1, 2012 at 09:41 #

    Fantastic job. Your new tenants are very lucky people. Full of admiration.

    • Chica Andaluza December 1, 2012 at 17:50 #

      Ah thanks Roger – the tenant can now put their own “mark” on it, I think they´ll be happy there!

  17. Mad Dog December 1, 2012 at 18:53 #

    Congratulations and don’t apologise, these posts are every bit as interesting as those in Spain 🙂

  18. Promenade Claire December 1, 2012 at 19:51 #

    3 cheers !! A fabulous job Tanya well done to the pair of you! I know how exhausting it can be and wow, look what you achieved. But the carpet, sob, sob, sob….. yeah right 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 2, 2012 at 15:39 #

      Well, I know you loved it so have saved a piece for you for a Christmas pressie 😉

      • Promenade Claire December 2, 2012 at 17:20 #

        I could swap with you – I still find remnants of the pink carpet that was on my allotment – used to smother weeds, but as it was down so long the weeds had started to grow through. I still find teeny bits – perfect present size 🙂

  19. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy December 2, 2012 at 01:29 #

    Fantastic work! Congratulations…..

  20. gardenfreshtomatoes December 2, 2012 at 13:12 #

    And, now, On to the Next! 🙂
    If there are Bubbles at the end in celebration, it’s ALL worth it!

  21. cecilia December 2, 2012 at 16:08 #

    darling girl, look at that amazing transformation.. magnificent.. so clean and professional looking.. now I do hope that you carefully rolled up that carpet for me.. really though tanya, i am very impressed.. and would be more than happy to be one of your lucky tenants too! have a lovely day, only one more to go?. c

    • Chica Andaluza December 2, 2012 at 16:12 #

      And we´d love to have you as a tenant – but I´m not sure Daisy and the Shush sisters would fit in the garden 😉

      • cecilia December 2, 2012 at 16:33 #

        Daisy said she would breathe in .. Charlotte has already bagsed staying with you in spain actually, she is not fond of the damp!! c

  22. Rachel December 2, 2012 at 17:09 #

    I knew you were busy but – wow!! I hope you can take a step back and glow at what you have accomplished!

  23. Tammy December 2, 2012 at 17:26 #

    Your place looks amazing and so does your ciabatta. Great work.

  24. Pendle Stitches December 2, 2012 at 19:11 #

    Well worth all the work and effort….just lovely. And the crostini don’t look bad either! 😉

  25. Calico Stretch December 2, 2012 at 22:54 #

    Thank GOD the carpet went. And thank GOD for bubbles and enough energy to open a bottle! Congrats its all done. Does that mean you get to sleep soon? :o)

    • Chica Andaluza December 3, 2012 at 04:39 #

      Eek that carpet! Should really be sleeping now…damn my overactive brain!

  26. grosir jilbab murah February 2, 2016 at 16:51 #

    beautiful place … Your place looks amazing, great work

  27. Wardhani April 17, 2016 at 08:09 #

    Wow… beautiful place.. That kitchen and bath look so very nice.
    Simply amazing. Great Work.

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