Living. Making Memories. Using space wisely.


The pool table that started it all…

But I digress a bit.

I know, Knead to Cook is a food blog.  But I do share, through my other social media outlets and even on my website, running/training/races that I run and glimpses into some of my favorite things.  In my effort to share more behind the scenes of Knead to Cook, I wanted to open my life up a bit and share a bit of who I am, my life, home and just some of my awesome friends.  With that beginning, I wanted to provide a bit of background on the reason for my epiphany on my home, which I love so much.

We have, like many of you do, rooms in your house that you don’t utilize as much as you would like.  I had two… my formal dining room and my formal living room.  Bill and I happily are NOT formal people.  We like to relax when we get a chance, hang out and live a comfortable, unpretentious existence – no offense to those who are more formal.  So while on vacation we were posed with an opportunity to purchase a friend’s pool table because they are downsizing and moving to MN.  Knowing that my husband and father both have been discussing this for about 2 years, I jumped at the chance and purchased the table.  As I finished my Cabot Fit Team Beach to Beacon 10k — we walked around Portland Maine and made all of the arrangements to have this table disassembled and reassembled in our home late August.  I happily chose navy felt for the top being NY Giants and Yankees fans, we thought it was quite fitting.  The plan was for it to be in the basement near our bar.  Okay, fine and dandy.

We come back from our travels, and Monday I’m at the gym bright and early at 5 am and it dawns on me… why don’t we put this billiards table on the main floor of our house… but where?  We had already moved my desk into the formal living room so we could use that space.  But it hit me, right there on the elliptical.  Move my desk into my formal dining room (we have an eat-in kitchen) and move the billiard table off of our great room. Perfect!  Well, long story short, that’s just what we did.  We took our dining room and sold it.  Kept our beloved buffet that was a wedding gift and transformed that into a bar.  Moved my desk.  Added a new rug, pictures, artwork and we gained about 700 more feet of usable space.  Love it!

To celebrate we wanted to gather some friends and kicked off the Labor Day weekend right  – wine, good appetizers and billiards.  The night was filled with laughter, food and great memories.


The room that started out as a formal dining room now repurposed to my office.  Amazing how much we all use this space now.


My formal living room, past office, now billiards room.  I love it!  We upcycled our buffet, it was a wedding present and a gorgeous antique I couldn’t part that now serves as our bar.






I have to sneak some recipes in on this post so among some of the snacks served that night, I made my chili lime roasted nuts.  Also served some locally made pretzels and Twizzlers for the players.


And from our all-time favorite movie –  A Christmas Story.  Now I just need to hang our Red Ryder gun above this picture.


And moving on to the kitchen.  Candles set the mood.



This crazy little treat was overwhelmingly popular!  This is my cake batter dip made with Chobani Greek yogurt.   Kids and adults were gobbling this one up!  Serve it with graham crackers.


This is my all-time favorite cheese from igourmet.  Black truffle cheese that will leave you yearning, yes -yearning for more!  It may have a fancy name but it is downright, insanely good!  And the salami was packed with flavor and quite the favorite paired up with Maille’s rich country Dijon mustard.



Two other notable cheeses that came highly recommended from igourmet and everyone agreed were – Big John Cajun cheese that has a spicy rind and mild center.  I could’ve eaten all the rind… the heat was addictive and a favorite with the guys who were drinking beer.  Think game-day snacks!  And the Gouda that paired perfectly with the roasted nuts. For a super easy and relaxed appetizer tray, pile on some good quality Genoa salami, prosciutto, boccachini mozzarella along with olives, cornichons, Dijon mustard and fresh tomatoes.  I also served some fresh baguette slices to make little sandwiches.  Grab and mingle.



I also had some Cabot extra sharp cheddar on my cheese board because it is the best!


On ice, various light wines – my favorite was the Menage a Trois rose.  Always plenty of Pellegrino and water.


Glasses lined up for everyone to be able to serve themselves.

And let the fun begin.  Rack ‘em up!  My father and his best friend Glenn.


The funniest shot.  Our friend, partners with my father, covering his eyes for the last, and possibly winning shot.  BTW, my dad got it!


Our sweet friend Chris playing with an injury.


It was so great watching these guys play and laugh it up.




In true form, my father is watching over.  Intimidation, taunting, and diversions are key.



Mingling with friends.

This was at about midnight, the party was dwindling down.  Sam was nestling on my dear friend Julianne and the boys kept playing pool.


The morning after.  Great night with even greater friends.  I can’t wait host everyone again.



— Knead to Cook


  1. I’m really digging this, I mean you always have many post on FB about you, your lovely family and many things you enjoy and like. But this felt much more personal and a very good way to invite your followers into a deeper Knead to Cook aka Robin…very nice and thank you for going that extra step to share your Home, Family and Friends.

  2. My husband and I struggle all the time on what to do with both our formal dining room (which has never been used) and our formal living room (which only gets used for photography when the light is good in there :) Yours looks like an ideal solution!!

  3. I love your Christmas Story sign. Did you make it? The whole room looks awesome!

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