Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking a break

I'm taking a weeklong break from blogging since I'm covered in Driveway Kote, paint, and dust.  I'll emerge by Friday because we are having company for the weekend and it will all just HAVE to be done!

I also have two catering jobs and a day at the Surgery Center ahead of me.

Life is busy.

I have a million recipes I want to share.  Okay. Maybe not a million, but I am photographing as I cook so they are all on my hard drive just itching to get posted.

Stay tuned.

I can't stay away forever.

The Lunch Lady

Friday, May 27, 2011

Guess What I'm doing today?


Yep. It's my life right now.  I just want to get the kitchen done.

I had a bit of a setback yesterday with a recurring sore throat (Naso Pharyngitis) that just won't quit. It's a real pain in the neck! But enough about me.

I'm a day behind in my mind.  And my mind can be a scary place.

The knobs are on the cabinets. My husband picked out the awesomest knobs. 

They are square with a brushed copper edge.

Most of the cabinets are up. I have to finish painting the last few doors.  The backsplash is done!  I'm very happy with the shiny white tile result.  I'm wondering why I didn't do this years ago.

I also have to finish painting the darker brown color above the fridge.  It's getting there. 

I think the kitchen matches the rest of the house now.  It's moved up a few decades in age.

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend fellow Americans.
We don't have any big plans. Painting, mulching, sealing the driveway, visiting Grandpop, and eating.

Speaking of eating, I just made the most awesome Banana Pancakes for breakfast.  I will post it soon.

The Lunch Lady

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Off-roading, Boy Style

Our long curvaceous driveway is good for two things; Sledding and off-roading.

The winter has really taken it's toll on it just like all the streets around here.  Salt, shoveling, and plowing has given it an "off-road" feel lately.

It's also another one of those house projects that we are working on.

My men are getting huge muscles filling holes and repairing and sealing.

Our final 2 weeks of school are all about home repair and fixing stuff. That's the useful stuff in life in my book.

L3 and L4 decided to take their truck up the driveway for a ride.  It's one of those battery operated ones that we've had for 8+ years and we no longer bother with charging the battery. I'm not sure if it would even hold a charge any more.  But the wheels still work and the boys sort of still fit inside.




Be still my pitter pattering mother heart.

At least they're wearing bike helmets and pants.

No helmets = no ride.

He's waving ya just can't tell cause they're going so durn fast.

It's time to wash the truck boys.

Your Mama Said So.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kitchen Makeover Part 4: Painting the Tile Backsplash

We have old  brown Grandma tiles.  I've strongly disliked them since we moved here five years ago.

They weren't as noticeable with the leafy brown wallpaper and tan counters because they all blended in but once we replaced the counter tops and ripped off the wallpaper, they stood out like a sore thumb.  I have a sore thumb right now, I should know.

And bruises! We had a huge ladder in the middle of the kitchen for 3 days and I kept running into it. It's now against the wall.

They kinda clash right?

Much better.

The tile wraps around the windows above the sink and most of the counters.

The tiles needed to be de-greased first so I gave them a good cleaning.

The first coat is a PVA primer. My 13 year old taped off all the counters and did a lot of the priming with me.

He's awesome.  He offered all on his own.

He's growing up.

This is one coat of primer and one coat of paint.  I imagine they will need 3 coats of paint but since there isn't a lot of tile, it should go pretty quickly.  I use an artist brush to fill in the cracks and a mini roller loaded with paint to paint over top of the tiles.  They are textured so it's important to get enough paint on them. 

I'm amazed at how much they look like plain white tiles now.  Since they don't have a big grout space and the paint has a gloss quality to it, they look so bright and clean!  I used the same paint as on the cabinets, the guy at Lowes said I could. I like the guy at Lowes. It meant I didn't have to buy another gallon of paint.

I'll post more pictures once all of the back splash is finished.

We put up the cabinet doors late last night.

Today's tasks:  Finish touch up painting, paint the back splash tiles, and re-organize the kitchen.  The only thing left to do will be to paint the ceiling but first we are replacing the sky light.  We also need to pick out new knobs for the cabinet doors.

It's coming together! Slowly but surely...
The Lunch Lady

Kitchen Makeover: Part 3 Painting the Cabinets

We decided to repaint the kitchen cabinets. 

Taking off the doors was fun. All the boys got a screwdriver and a job to do. We got the doors off in record time.  It's a great way to teach them how to use tools and be careful with the "real stuff." 

I always thought I had white cabinets in my kitchen but I realized after I picked out Ultra White as the new paint color that they must have been more of an almond color. They were chipped, beat up, and dirty.  Now, I do realize some people pay money to have their cabinets distressed, but mine were past distressed. More like abused.

I'm happy with the bright white. We chose a Kitchen Soft Gloss paint so it's washable and durable.  The kitchen feels so much brighter and I haven't even put the doors back on yet.

We set up shop in the garage.

The older boys helped with a lot of the base coat painting and the work went twice as fast.

A sea of cabinets...

This is definitely a three to four day project when you have 25 cabinet doors to paint. I'm painting both sides at least twice to get a nice double coat.

Even though it's a lot of physical work, I have enjoyed working together with my family on these projects. It's so nice to be side by side with your kids and your husband.

Working brings families together.
The Lunch Lady

Painting the tile backsplash...coming up next!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Upside Down Apple Cake

I made this cake for myself on Mother's Day.
 I love it that much that I would make it for myself on Mother's Day.
It's easy.

I always make two at a time.

One just is never enough in our house.

Chunks of apples and cinnamon.

You can't go wrong.

Dice up one large apple, or two medium.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and a few small dashes each of allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and or cloves.

I don't bother with a measuring spoon for those.

Your wet ingredients are 2 eggs, milk (or apple juice), oil, and applesauce.

I always use liquid sweeteners like agave nectar or raw honey so I add them with the wet.

Add the wet to the dry.

Add apples.

Mix till just combined.

Bad picture sorry.

I spray the bottom of 2 cake pans and THEN sprinkle them with a bit of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

Slice up 2-3 apples in thin slices

Make it pretty. I will be the top of the cake.

You can use any fruit you like. I've been experimenting with blueberries, raspberries, and pears.

Posts to follow...

Bake on 375 for 20ish minutes till browned and done.

Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Then, using oven mits, place a large plate over the baking pan and flip the pan onto the plate in one smooth move.

I think this is company worthy.

Or Mother's Day breakfast worthy.

Upside Down Apple Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A shot of nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup sweetener (sugar, agave, honey)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (or apple juice)
1 cup oil (or half oil, half applesauce)
4-5 apples

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry. 
Dice 2 apples. Add to the wet and dry ingredients. Mix till just combined.
Spray the bottom of 2 round 8 inch baking pans.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Peel and slice up 2 apples, arranging the slices in a pretty pattern.
Add the batter over the apple slices.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes till browned and done.
Cool on rack for 5 minutes.
Place a large plate over top of the baking pan. Using oven mits, flip in one smooth motion.
Cool before cutting, if you can wait that long.

Happy Camper.

I'm a happy camper too.
The Lunch Lady

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kitchen Makeover: Part 2 (of many)

Yesterday I painted the kitchen.

Milk Toast and Tender Twig.

It's the color of creamy coffee and very milk chocolate.

I was hungry all day.

I picked out the lighter and darker tones of the counter top.

Obviously, the tile back splash needs a new color.

That's on today's list.

The ever growing list.



 I used a Satin Finish and I'm very pleased with the result.  It gives a warm sheen that flat paint lacks, but isn't shiny like semi gloss.

Our next jobs are touching up yesterday's mishaps, removing the cabinet doors, de-griming the tile backsplash, painting the tile with a bonding agent, and painting all the cabinet doors and cabinets and tile with the color Exaltation. A lovely white. Brighter and cleaner than the current white.

We aren't sure about the knobs.  Currently we have the white balls that are antique knobs. They may be too modern for the look.  That sounds funny doesn't it? We brought them along from our last house in Connecticut. 

Since our accents are copper, we may look into a copper like knob or pull.

My list just keeps getting longer.  It's a good thing I have 4 willing (ahem) boys to help.  They are working towards XBox time today.  A worthy goal for them.

Editors Note:
I just cracked open the paint can.  Exaltation is a lovely shade of ballerina baby pink.  NOT WHITE.  I won't say who picked out the paint. 

The Lunch Lady