Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Paint

We decided that the kitchen was too bright and needed a bit of contrast. This is a sample of what we are thinking. I hear black is very in these days.

Just kidding. I was pulling your leg.  We like bright and airy. This is magnetic paint to hold up our spices. It will soon be covered over with the white paint once again but will retain its magnetic appeal.

Warning for those of you who try this at home, this is not water soluble and is in no way, shape, or form low VOC. As soon as I opened the paint can I broke out my handy ventilator.

As soon as the white paint is back in place I will snap some photos of the spices hanging magically magnetically on the wall.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What is so good about about a hood?

Hoods... they keep your head warm, they are attached to your jacket or sweater so you don't loose them. Oh wait this is not a clothing blog.  

So let me start again... the benefits of a hood are many. It whisks stinky cooking smells right out of the kitchen and to the outside to be dispersed. It has lovely built in lights to help you see you what you are cooking. It even has a low level light for "mood lighting". This particular hood turns itself up when it senses that the stove top is getting to hot. I might not like that feature so much in the winter time but boy will it be wonderful in the hot, hot summer. Another benefit is that it pulls the grease right out of the air and traps it in filters that are dishwasher safe. Have I told you how much I love my dishwasher?

Here are the installation pics.
Up goes the cabinet that the hood is attached to.

The pots had to find a temporary home while we (Colin) installed the hood so that they would not get knocked over.

He he hee. I don't know why I think this is so funny but it makes me laugh every time I see it.

And because I was not thinking we do not have any during pics. But here is a nice profile.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finally a Diagnosis

Well two actually.  I have been diagnosed with Addison's disease (an adrenal issue) and a thyroid disorder. I have a few more test to complete and then I can begin treatments and I will soon be feeling quite a bit better.

The kitchen diagnosis - Colin got the hood installed this weekend! Now I can whisk those unpleasant meat cooking smells away. I will try to take some pictures this afternoon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What is left to do?

Not too much. Wow, seems weird to say that.  Here is a quick list of items to complete the kitchen remodel.
  1. Hang the hood above the range
  2. Install the cabinet below the microwave
  3. Kick plates
  4. Baseboards
  5. Some sort of shade for the underside of the light box Colin made
  6. Concrete counter tops (this won't happen until spring or early summer when it is warm)
Can there really only be 6 tasks left? Maybe I should count the counter tops as like 400 tasks, since they will be very complicated.  So, can there really only be 406 tasks left?

My next question is what should I do with the blog when the kitchen is all said and done? Do I move on to other areas in the house that need improving? Do I archive the blog and call it done as well? Thoughts to ponder.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What is a kitchen for if it is not for making cakes?

This last weekend Colin took a break from the kitchen to enjoy the snow we had recieved and get some good skiing in and I took some time to do something I love- baking. I figured that he, Eric, and his parents would be tired and hungry when they got back. So I decided to make them a thank you dinner, it was not nearly enough to thank them for all that they have done to help us, and me while I have been sick.

What did I make? I made a Morrcan stew with couscous, salad, green chile cheese roles, and the best part... Chocolate cake with carmel whipped cream filling, topped with carmel and fried bananas.

Here is a sort of reciepe. I say sort of since I made it up and had to improvise since Idid not have enough ingredients and I am not sure I remember everything perfectly. That and I don't use measuring cups very accurately. I just heap stuff in.

For the Cake:
Melt one stick of butter and four handfuls of chocolate chips together. Maybe five handfuls ( I will leave that up to you.) In a mixing bowl mix 2 egss and 1 an 1/2 cups sugar. After beating for a minute add in the chocolate mixture. Then add 2 cups of flour, a pinch of salt, vanilla, and 1 teaspoon backing powder. Mix completly and divide into two greased springform pans - mine were 9 inch ones. Bake at 350 for say 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool then take off springforms.

For the carmel:
Melt 1 and 1/2 cups sugar in soucepot. It will get clumpy then it will smooth out. Be careful melted sugar is much hotter than boiling water. When sugar is melted and slightly brown ( not too brown) add a stick of butter. Stir as you have never stirred before ( I used a silicon whisk). When butter is incorported add 1 cup of heavy cream. The mixture will get clumpy but keep it over the heat and keep stirring and it will smooth out again. When smooth take off heat and let cool, away from tasting fingers.

For the creamy middle:
Whip another cup of whipped cream until stiff peaks form. Add is some carmel. Probably about 4 tablespoons. Or until it looks yummy.  Keep whipping until the carmel is incorporated. Spread this onto one of the cakes and then place the other cake on top. Then pour the rest of your carmel sauce over the cake. (I kept some in the bowl for my morning coffee.)

For the bananas:
Slice up several bannans - I think I did 5. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a non-stick fry pan and then add the bannanas. Fry until soft and browning on the edges. Place on top of the cake.

For the eating:
Dig in - what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sink plumbing part two and the final sink progression

Colin got the second half of the sink plumbed. Colin had to get a bit creative and get the camping stove out and heat up some pvc pipe to bend it a bit so that everything would fit together. He is quite amazing at stuff like that. We can now run the water down both drains and it will go where it was intended. I got the doors on the sink cabinets and it really is starting to look polished.

I recently joined FLYLady to help organize cleaning tasks and I was pleasantly surprised when step one was shine your sink- and I could do it.  Lets take a look back through the sink progression.

Wow what progress!

Time and Space to get Better

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update today. I have decided to leave my job in order to give myself the time and space to try and get better from this aweful unknown illness that I have had for the last 6 months. On to happier times!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Brrr- Honey it's cold outside

So I know I am going to seem really wimpy to some of you who live in actual cold places but I am going to write this anyway. Temperatures in New Mexico in the winter are normally in the 30s in the day time and the 20s or high teens in the nigh time. These last few days we have experienced record lows. On top of that there have been rolling gas blackouts due to some problems with the natural gas lines in Texas. So instead of being chilly all night with hundreds of blankets piled on us we decided to do the smart thing and move the mattress into the living room where the wood stove is. That was we could turn down the furnace and hopefully save some natural gas for people who don't have any other way to heat their homes. It was kind of fun, like a slumber party or something. The only problem with this plan is since the bed was on the floor Luna thought we had put it down for her. So she kept jumping up on us in the middle of the night.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

3/4 of a sink

We now have three quarters of the sink plumbed and ready. Colin did the hard work for the plumbing and I did the standing back and saying how nice it looks.

By 3/4 of the sink I mean we have the faucet, and the small side ready, and the garbage disposal installed. The big side and the grey water system still have to be installed. Maybe this weekend.

It is a good thing we got the faucet installed. The record breaking cold temperatures here have caused many peoples pipes to freeze. So since we have a faucet-we can leave it dripping so that our pipes stay nice and unfrozen- which is important because we don't have a crawl space so it would be a difficult thing to fix if they did break.

A pretty place to perch

I think stools are the easiest things to recover ever! I had to remove four hex bolts from each stool. And then I was able to remove this ugly vinyl with just my hands. one or two staples needed a pair of needle nose pliers. Then I laid the seat on the new fabric and cut it to size and used a staple gun to fix the fabric in place. Then I placed the seat back on the stool and screwed in the four bolts. Easy peasy!


The new  fabric brings in the blue-turquoise that the rest of the kitchen will have. Now we just need a bar to sit at with our bar stools.

 Click here to see other cool DIY projects. Or add your own the party.