Archive for ‘Renovations’

July 3, 2011

Sunday Soup with a side of Grout please!

Today is Sunday, therefore it is Soup Day! My parents were going to come over today, and I planned a soup with my fathers two favorite foods, avocado and steak. I was going to make a Avocado Soup with Grilled Steak garnished with Guacomoli. But plans changed and so did my soup choice. The soup choice changed because my husband is not a huge avocado fan. He is just now starting to try it with different types of foods, and I felt making a soup with avocado was going to be to risky for me to make just for the two of us. It will be made in the future though! When, is the question. So today I made a White Bean Tomato Soup in its stead. The cool thing about it was that I made it with homemade veggie stock. The soup was pretty darn yummy! and simple.

White Bean and Tomato Soup Recipe:
about 3 tbsp olive oil
Half red onion diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves
about 3 celery stocks diced, with leaves
about 4 cups peeled cut tomatoes
5 1/2 cups veggie stock
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
2 cans of caninellini beans, drained and rinsed
Pour the olive oil around the pot a few times, let heat up. Toss onion, garlic, and celery in and let cook for about 5 minutes. Toss in tomatoes and let cook with a few turns of the spoon, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then add stock, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 
Meanwhile, take flour and butter in a bowl, using a fork smash them together to make a paste. When soup has simmered for its lotted time, add the paste one small chunk at a time. Making sure each bit has completely dissolved before adding more. Add beans, let cook for 5 minutes.
(this is where I take a hand blender and gave it a whirl, being sure I didn’t blend it perfectly. I wanted it chunky and smooth. Its not what the recipe called for, but I took the liberty. its all about what you like!)
Plate, toss torn parsley atop and serve.
There were a few things that the recipe called for that I didn’t use, because I didn’t have them. Those items are Red Bell Pepper diced and Tomato Paste. I am sure they would have been a nice touch.

(cookbook used: 1 stock, 100 soups. bought at world market. I used a different recipe for the veggie stock)


Today was not only Soup Sunday, but day 4 of our pantry project. Not a had labor day, but a time consuming day. Grout is spread down over the tile, let dry then wiped down with water and a sponge a few times.

Now all thats left is the small details. Like the quarter round, bookshelves and organizing the pantry. Reclaiming my dinning table!

July 2, 2011

Pantry Project – part 3

Day 3 – tiling the pantry floor.  This was totally a husband project. So while he tiled, I baked. Before I go into the details of the tiling, here’s my cookies!

So yesterday, when my son took the longest nap ever! I had a little time on my hands, so I decided to see if I can make a better chocolate chip cookie. The picture on the right is what happens when I follow a Betty Crocker recipe. The cookies to the left is what happens when I adjust the recipe just a bit.

Here’s the recipe that I will be using:

3/4c granulated sugar
3/4c brown sugar
1 stick of soft butter
1 egg
2 1/4c AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 palmful of chopped nuts
1c or half bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together the sugars and the butter. Once its mixed well, add the egg, flour, baking soda and salt. 
Once its all mixed, add the nuts. (I like chopped walnuts) Let that mix well, then add your chocolate chips.








Now your ready to prep them for baking.  I like to use a tablespoon to measure out my cookie size. It keeps me from making huge cookies. Therefore keeping my calorie count down! Scoope out your cookies, spreading them a few inches apart. Then bake for about 10 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for maybe 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Now that you saw what I was doing during day 3 of our pantry project, here is what my husband was doing:

His first step was to line up a few of the tile, then used the chalk string tool to make sure that he has a straight line.

Once he had that figured out, he started the dry run.  Thats allows him to set everything down, make sure he has all the tiles. Also to cut the tiles for the edges.

Measure twice, cut once.

While I was in the kitchen baking away, he was doing all the tedious measuring and cutting. From time to time I would hear a loud crack and a choice word or two escape from his mouth, and I knew a tile snapped in the wrong way. With time, a few curse words his dry run was finally completed. The rest was easy from there.

Now the tile sits over night, and tomorrow, it will be grouted and I will have a finished floor in my pantry!

July 2, 2011

Pantry Project – part 2

Day two of our pantry renovation is complete. My dinning room is covered with everything that was packed into our pantry. This picture actually doesn’t show everything. This is about half.

Today I had the joyful task of painting the pantry. Changing it from dingy yellowed old paint to nice new bright white. Thankfully, God interceded and my 4 month old took a 3 1/2 hour nap today. Which he has never done before. That left me with plenty of time to paint, and even take a break for lunch.

That brings me to a nifty trick that my husband taught me when we painted the rest of the house. If you need to take a break for a few hours or over night, take some plastic wrap, completely cover your brushes. That keeps them from drying out. Its a very helpful trick.

Tomorrow we (by we, I mean husband) will start the tiling of the floor.

June 30, 2011

Pantry Project – part 1

Forth of July weekend will be spent reworking my pantry. Its a horrible mess. Everything will come out.

Encluding the carpet. Our home is wood floors except for the closets! The previous owners left the closest carpeted. My husband will replace with tile. Walls will be painted. New shelves will be put in.

Then everything will have a place! I will be able to find things! I can’t wait. It begins tonight! You get to see our daily progress. Lucky you.