Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Cupboards are Here.........

I was able to sneak in and take a few pictures of the cupboards while the guys were at lunch.   They are actually a bit darker than what they appear.  I am thinking I really like them.  They have to cut the template for the counter top yet.  Hopefully that will be done by early next week.  Appliances will be here maybe Monday. 

Jo Jo is checking out the pantry probably thinking it would be a great place for treats!

The flu bug has been at our house the last couple of weeks. My son was first, then our oldest daughter.  Well, yesterday was my turn.  Luckily it is short lived, but it sure zaps your energy.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be feeling better.

Crock pot meal for tonight is spaghetti.  Just browned the burger in the crock pot and added the sauce. I have a hot plate to cook the spaghetti on.  It's not smelling too good to me right now.  I may just be toast again!!

Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kitchen Update and an Antique Find

Hello.  Progress on the remodel has slowed a bit.  We are having the drywall done now so only a little bit a night can be done.  Hopefully by next Tuesday or Wednesday, we will be able to get it painted.  The cupboards are to be in early next week and they will set the lowers and begin putting the laminate wood floor down.  Yeah!!!

I took a trip to the antique store last week...needed a break from the noise.  And besides, I was looking for something new for the kitchen.  I definitely found it.  OK, there is a story behind this piece.  About 3-4 years ago, my friend, Ann ( A Hole in the Basket Primitives) went to the antique store near Sauder Village.  We both saw this but didn't get it because the price was about $80.  Fast forward to last week.  I went in, looked at it like I have for the past 3-4 years and what????   A new tag was attached and the price was $30!!!!  I snatched it up super fast before someone else could get it!! With the cash discount offered, I bought it for a little over $25!  I was so excited.  So, what is it you ask.....

It is a from France (so the tag said)  and it was used to serve rolls or bread.  It is about 40" long and 4" wide.  I can see it with some filler and votives sitting on our new island. 

I jinxed myself with the crock pot recipes....I made a mac and cheese last night that was OK, but not on the make again list.  Tonight we are having chicken Parmesan.  I found a recipe for it, but thought it would be easier to use the Shake and Bake mix.  Place the chicken in the crumb mix, and place them in the bottom of a greased crock pot.  Top with mozzarella cheese and a jar of spaghetti sauce.  Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or high for 3-4.  Serve with noodles. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful evening!!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 2 begins............

I am bit ahead of schedule today.  I was able to go out and get a couple of pictures while everyone was at lunch to show the day's progress so far.  Can lights are in and the insulation has been blown into the walls. They are now putting the bat insulation up and the wall board. 

I have been trying to upload more pictures, but can't seem to get them today. 

Tonight's supper is the old standby of roast, potatoes, and carrots.  We are trying a crock pot dessert of  layered brownies.

Crock Pot  5 Layer Brownies

1 16 oz package of brownie mix
1/4 melted butter
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup oats

This is for a mini 1.5 quart crock pot.  If you use a larger one, you will need to add more topping
ingredients to spread over the entire brownie.

 Melt the butter (this can be done in the crock pot while doing other things).  Add water, egg, and brownie mix.  Stir until no powder is left dry...mix will be quite thick.

Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top.  Cover with the walnuts, coconut, and oats.

Cover and cook on high if using a small pot, low if using a larger one.  Test with a knife after two hours and if it comes out clean, cook for another 20-30 minutes with the lid off to get rid of extra moisture.  The edges pull away from the side when done. 

The time for a mini crock pot is approximately 4 1/2 hours.  You just have to keep checking. 

I will let you know how this turns smells wonderful as it is cooking!!

I'll be back soon with more pictures.  I seems much more fun watching it get put back together instead of being torn apart!!  Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 4................

The electrician was the only one here today.  He will be back Monday along with the crew to insulate the walls and the contractor crew.  I was wishing the insulating people would have been here last night to keep the house a bit warmer.  There was a strong SW wind blowing and that is the end of  the house we are working on. The wall of plastic was moving right along with the draft.It was toasty in the rest of the house though!!  It's much better tonight.  Thank goodness.

Here is a picture of the floor that is in the entire downstairs of our house except the kitchen and utility room.  It is about 2" wide oak laid at an angle.  I suppose it could be very pretty, but it  just isn't our taste. I'm sure many think we are crazy, but I guess you like what you like.

Last night's supper was another new crock pot recipe.  It too was very good.  Kinda scary as I am 3 for 3 so far. 

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Barbecue

3 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 t pepper
1 T cider vinegar
2 T mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 cups ketchup

Brown ground beef in skillet, drain grease.  Place the cooked meat, onion, garlic, celery, salt, pepper, cider vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and ketchup into a slow cooker.  Stir to combine.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
Can be used on buns, hot dogs, nachos.  I like it better than sloppy joes!! 

I'm sure I'll take the next couple of days off since there won't be any construction happening. 
Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 3..............

As I sit here right now, I am hearing some sort of saw or sander or something making LOTS of noise and probably just as much dust.  I keep telling myself it's only for a short time and the outcome will be so worth it!  Yesterday, the old floor came up...both layers of old linoleum and probably a sub floor.  This was all under the laminate we had put down a few years ago.  We should have taken it clear down then, but we didn't.  All that is left is the old boards.  The contractor thinks the kitchen was added at some point because the studs aren't native timber like the rest of the house. It also doesn't have the oak floor that is in the rest of the house.  I will get a picture of that tomorrow since I don't want to go in and look like a goof ball taking a picture of the floor with everyone watching!!  Here are the pictures of how it looked last night.  Nothing too exciting!!

We do know the utility room was added at some point as well. Maybe they were at the same time.  I really wish I knew or could see pictures of what it once was like.  It has seen so much change in its almost 100 years.   This chunk of concrete  was in the middle of the floor in the utility room....would love to know why this is here.  Maybe it was an old step??!

The electrician is also here today.  We are putting in lots of can lights and outlets above the cupboards.  I think we will need sunglasses to go out there.  Much better than now where you can't see much of anything!

Okay, last night's Crock Pot meal was a success.  Here is the recipe....

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (12 oz) bottle of BBQ sauce
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken in slow cooker.  In a bowl, mix the BBQ sauce, salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour over chicken.
Cover and cook 3-4 hours on High or 6-8 on Low.

I drained the sauce off and kept it in another bowl. Then shredded the chicken, put it back in the crock pot and added the sauce.  It was less soupy that way. 

Well, guess that's it for today.  Thanks for following the progress!! 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 2 Pics.....................

Here I am on the 3rd day of reconstruction.  The wall is out and the support beam has been put in place. Still crazy to think that 3 thick boards turned on their sides placed on top of a few two by fours stacked together takes the weight an entire wall once did.  I would not make a very good engineer. This picture is very dark so it's hard to see the beam across the room.  

This one is a little better. That wall of plastic has been a sanity saver.  There has been dust but not nearly as much as I was expecting.  Today they are ripping up the floor in both the kitchen and utility room.  Hopefully the sink and washer and dryer will be hooked back up by this evening so I can get caught up again!

Jo Jo had to scope things out last night.  Her big concern is that her treat drawer is no longer where it was.  It was a squeaky drawer that she could hear from anywhere and would come running to get treats.  We are going to have to figure out a new one for her now!

I have been making good use of the crock pot the last couple of nights. Beef stew the first night and last night was Crock pot Enchiladas.  They were very good.  Thought I would share this recipe. 

Crock pot Enchiladas

1 pound ground beef
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas, quartered
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
1 1/4 cups water
1 (12 oz ) jar chunky salsa
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Brown ground beef in skillet.  Add taco seasoning and water and simmer 15 minutes.  In medium bowl, stir together the soups and salsa.  Add most of the cheese, reserving 3/4 cup for later.
Place a layer of tortillas covering the bottom of slow cooker.  Scoop a layer of soup on top and then a layer of hamburger.  Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients, ending with tortillas.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours. 

I served it with rice and put the salsa on the side rather than baking it in.  Very good.  I think I will try it with chicken next time!!

Our daughter did get her license yesterday so now we have two drivers on the road.  Crazy how the time just goes by!! Speaking of time, I need to be using my time a bit more wisely I do believe.  Our oldest graduates in June and I have soooooooo many scrapbook pages to get working on.  I keep thinking the scrapbook fairy will show up if I just leave everything out, but she hasn't shown up yet!!   Oh well.  Once I get started, I will be OK.  I just need a big push first!!

Hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping by.  I will be back soon with more pics and more crock pot recipes....if they are good ones!! Take care.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And so it begins.......

 Good morning.  Hope you are all having a great day so far.  Just wanted to share a couple of pics of what is going on here at our house.  This was my kitchen this past weekend. 

Here is my kitchen as of last night!!  I can't believe how quickly it goes from cozy and prim to downright ugly and scary!!!

We are removing the wall that you see to make the room larger and to open it up to the family room.  The way we have it now is such that you have to make a little jog around the kitchen table on both sides  to get through the room.  We are doing away with the table and adding the island.  This was kind of a tough decision because I love the old kitchen table.  We don't have a dining room so we can't just move it there.  We agreed that we would get much more use from an island on a day to day basis.  We can always pull the table into the family room if we need to.The wall we are removing is a load bearing wall so we are having a beam put in to take the weight.  It was a good thing that we removed the wall because a big beam that runs the other direction and ties into the kitchen is resting on a beam that doesn't look to be in the best of condition.  I guess things happen for a reason.

Thankfully we have a large enough house that we have moved all of our stuff into the living room.  I call it our "hillbilly kitchen".  If anyone comes to the front door, they are going to wonder what the heck is going on!!!  I am getting good use out of the hot plate, microwave, and crock pot!!  We will see how long the novelty of cooking with these last!!

Well, I'm off to take our daughter to her driver's test.  Wish us luck!!  Have a wonderful day.