Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shorty McShort Short

I was  able to move all of the foodstuffs into the cabinets, but I definitely need to install some cabinet organizers--perhaps some of those pull out baskets for the lower cabinets and the hard to reach spaces.  Not that I am being lazy or anything...

I also need to invest in a very sturdy step stool. Because I  can not reach the back part of the upper cabinets on the second shelf. And most definitely not the top shelf at all!

This is MY actual eye level for the upper cabinet. 

I have visions of knocking myself out trying to reach cans of food.

The cabinets are standard height  for "off the shelf" cabinets. They are installed at the standard 18 inches above counter top height. I am apparently more vertically challenged than I thought because THIS is what I see when  look up. Now I know how a toddler feels, haha.

Reach for it!
Pretty sure I will end up moving all my stuff around (probably a few times) until I figure out what works for me.

Besides my issue of being short...ummm vertically challenged, I appear to be short on actual storageHow can I have new kitchen and still not have enough storage space? Did my things multiply while they were stored in the half dozen (or so) plastic totes?

Part of the issue is the missing 2 cabinets (the 12 inch wall and base cabinets I talked about HERE). They are not going to be installed after all, because if I do install them I will lose the option to upgrade to a bigger refrigerator. That kinda bums me out.  Taking a look around the kitchen, we were trying to figure out where we could gain more storage.

There was 1 viable option remaining. Okay, two- the 1st option pains me to say this-but I could purge the hoard stash of kitchen gadgetry and other kitchen stuff.  Hahahahaha, yeah so NOT happening! The 2nd option--which I prefer--will extend my run of cabinets from the lazy susan cabinet. That will eliminate the the big remodel plans I had for the space on the other side of that wall (bathroom and laundry area) but I will discuss that later. An added bonus is I don't need to worry about a custom cabinet for the little  space behind the lazy susan cabinet I talked about HERE. Although it will irk me to no end KNOWING that unused space is there! 

We added a 24 inch base cabinet

One little snafu is this new run of cabinets will sit directly over the heat vent. Though not to worry, because it is an easy fix. Stay tuned for this work around.

So what? Are we gonna preheat our food in the cabinet?

I am running low on funds so I wasn't able to get the pantry cabinet which will end the run of cabinets. We plan to purchase and install in about a week. But once we add the pantry, we also are planning on adding some open shelved storage for my large glass jars (storage for my sugar, flour, pasta, beans and rice) between the 2 cabinets.  And I will continue the puck lighting from the underside of the upper cabinets to the underside of the shelving. This is sorta what it will look like.

The pantry is 18 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 84 inches tall. That's alot of storage!

The ideal is all the food stuffs will be over in this area, whereas all my dishes will be on the left side of the stove area, except for the glasses and coffee cups which will be in the cabinet above the dishwasher, closest to the sink and coffee maker.

Holy kitchen reno, Batman!! It is really looking good! Woot! So how do y'all work around your storage issues?


Here's my list from my earlier kitchen remodel post with some additions/ modifications
  • Finish tearing out the plaster and lathe on the North wall--DONE!!
  • Tear out ceiling--DONE!!
  • Cut out the wall boards in the sink area to remove mold. It appears to be contained in a few spots. Decided to do a complete tear out--DONE!!
  • Patch/ repair the remaining 2 walls. Possibly skim coat. Decided to do a complete tear out
  • Build temporary supports for new headers over door and window.--DONE!!
  • Cut out a  2 foot by 8 foot floor section (sink area)--DONE!!
  • Sister the joist beams and shim where the floor slopes--DONE!!
  • Determine if sill plate needs repaired  Damage is minimal-yay!--DONE!!
  • Install a floor jack on North-East corner--where the the sill plate is water damaged
  • Move the stove outlet from floor to the wall and update to a new receptacle-DONE!!
  • Build bump out wall (west wall/ kitchen sink side) to accommodate for out of plumb wall.DONE!!
  • Lay a new subfloor--DONE!!
  • Replace, update and attach the outlet to a stud on east wall--DONE!!
  • Add 1-2 new receptacle(s) to the east wall (window wall)--DONE!!
  • Add 1 new receptacle to west wall-DONE!!
  • Purchase recessed light housing and trim kits
    DONE!!
  • Order focal/ center light--DONE!!
  • Move center junction box, DONE!!
  • Install recessed lights perimeter of the kitchen (3 on each wall) and install dimmer switchDONE!!
  • Install/ wire in electric for stove exhaust hood--DONE!!
  • Replace the window--DONE!!
  • Insulate and seal. Minimize any possible cracks, leaks or vermin/bug/ draft entry points-IN PROGRESS
  • Electrician inspection--DONE!!
  • Drywall, mud, tape, prime and paint --DONE!!
  • REPAIR THE EXTERIOR WALL FROM INSTALLING A SMALLER WINDOW--IN PROGRESS
  • Install the linoleum -- DONE!!
  • Install plugs and light switches--DONE!!
  • Final electric connection to the breaker--DONE!!
  • Purchase additional corner cabinet DONE!!
  • Install cabinets-- DONE!!
  • Figure a solution for the 6 inch gap in run of cabinets (stove side)--DONE!
  • Order remaining counter top (stove side of the kitchen) Order NEW counter tops due to laminate being discontinued--14 days lead time
  • Install counter tops
  • Plumbing!
  • Install sink
  • Install garbage disposal
  • On demand hot water? Maybe???
  • Order and install stove exhaust hood--DONE!!
  • Paint and install the new entry door
  • Purchase door hardware--DONE!!
  • Install door hardware, including kickplate
  • Add a peephole to the door since it is windowless
  • Trim work (doors, the window, baseboards, crown molding and cabinet toe molding)
  • Purchase  tile for backsplash--DONE!!
  • Install tile back splash (sink area), considering backsplash installation on stove side?
  • Install stove and refrigerator
  • Purchase end panel for dishwasher installation--DONE!!
  • Purchase and install a dishwasher--IN PROGRESS
  • Purchase and install cabinet hardware--IN PROGRESS
  • Purchase ceiling medallion--DONE!
  • Install the ceiling medallion and chandelier
  • Decide on window treatment--DONE!!
  • Order and SEW fabric for window valance/ curtains/ shade--IN PROGRESS
  • Paint  mobile island/ cart
  • DIY some wall art
  • Purchase/ DIY 2 kitchen stools
  • Accessorize
  • Cook, bake and ENJOY the finished kitchen!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Are you sick of me talking about my kitchen remodel yet?

Sorry, I am just so dang happy it's almost finished!!!

After using my old dark and disgusting kitchen for so many years, I longed, dreamed,  fantasized about the the day when I would have a kitchen that reminded me of sunshine. A room which was light, bright, and happy. I would say I am well on my way.

Here is the kitchen with all the recessed lighting finally installed. The center light fixture won't be installed until after all the crown molding goes in to avoid damaging it, but it has 3 additional lights. And don't forget, I also have under cabinet puck lights to install as well. Although I have to admit when we flip the light switch on (especially in the morning) it is somewhat jarring. Who needs caffeine? heh


Notice anything else?

Remember the issue I had with the 6 inch gap next to the stove? Well my brother-in-law shifted the cabinets to the left so the gap is no longer next to the stove. It is now at the end of the run of cabinets behind the lazy susan cabinet. Why didn't I think of that? Ummm, because he is the professional, and I am not!

So I think the plan will be to block of the back of the lazy susan (under the window area) so things (or my animals) can't get stuck back there.


Block access to the dead space behind the lazy susan cabinet.

Although it is making me crazy KNOWING that extra space is there and will be unused!
Unused space BEHIND the lazy susan cabinet.
To bad I can't have some fancy high tech gadgetry, that raises and lowers a TV...wait a minute...These things actually exist?!!  How fancy is that? Not that I could EVER afford something like that. But it is nice to dream, eh?


You really can find everything on Pinterest!
 I took a little artistic license to render an ideal of what this would look like with an access panel/ door


The space is 7.5 inches wide, has a maximum depth of  28 inches and a height of approximately 30 inches by the time you factor in the construction of the cart/ shelf and clearance. Just imagine the possibilities for storage! I could stash the pet food, have small roll out pantry shelf or store over-sized platters and baking sheets. 

Hmmm, what else? I bought the cabinet hardware and the fabric for my curtains. I am still scouting ideals for a bar stool or 2. I am prepping my kitchen island makeover and have some decorative objects for the kitchen...but more on these later.


Here's my list from my earlier kitchen remodel post with some additions/ modifications
  • Finish tearing out the plaster and lathe on the North wall--DONE!!
  • Tear out ceiling--DONE!!
  • Cut out the wall boards in the sink area to remove mold. It appears to be contained in a few spots. Decided to do a complete tear out--DONE!!
  • Patch/ repair the remaining 2 walls. Possibly skim coat. Decided to do a complete tear out
  • Build temporary supports for new headers over door and window.--DONE!!
  • Cut out a  2 foot by 8 foot floor section (sink area)--DONE!!
  • Sister the joist beams and shim where the floor slopes--DONE!!
  • Determine if sill plate needs repaired  Damage is minimal-yay!--DONE!!
  • Install a floor jack on North-East corner--where the the sill plate is water damaged
  • Move the stove outlet from floor to the wall and update to a new receptacle-DONE!!
  • Build bump out wall (west wall/ kitchen sink side) to accommodate for out of plumb wall.DONE!!
  • Lay a new subfloor--DONE!!
  • Replace, update and attach the outlet to a stud on east wall--DONE!!
  • Add 1-2 new receptacle(s) to the east wall (window wall)--DONE!!
  • Add 1 new receptacle to west wall-DONE!!
  • Purchase recessed light housing and trim kits
    DONE!!
  • Order focal/ center light--DONE!!
  • Move center junction box, DONE!!
  • Install recessed lights perimeter of the kitchen (3 on each wall) and install dimmer switchDONE!!
  • Install/ wire in electric for stove exhaust hood--DONE!!
  • Replace the window--DONE!!
  • Insulate and seal. Minimize any possible cracks, leaks or vermin/bug/ draft entry points-IN PROGRESS
  • Electrician inspection--DONE!!
  • Drywall, mud, tape, prime and paint --DONE!!
  • REPAIR THE EXTERIOR WALL FROM INSTALLING A SMALLER WINDOW--IN PROGRESS
  • Install the linoleum -- DONE!!
  • Install plugs and light switches--DONE!!
  • Final electric connection to the breaker--DONE!!
  • Purchase additional corner cabinet DONE!!
  • Install cabinets-- DONE!!
  • Figure a solution for the 6 inch gap in run of cabinets (stove side)--IN PROGRESS
  • Order remaining counter top (stove side of the kitchen) Order NEW counter tops due to laminate being discontinued--14 days lead time
  • Install counter tops
  • Plumbing!
  • Install sink
  • Install garbage disposal
  • On demand hot water? Maybe???
  • Order and install stove exhaust hood--DONE!!
  • Paint and install new door
  • Purchase door hardware--DONE!!
  • Install door hardware, including kickplate
  • Add a peephole to the door since it is windowless
  • Trim work (doors, the window, baseboards, crown molding)
  • Purchase  tile for backsplash--DONE!!
  • Install tile back splash (sink area), considering backsplash installation on stove side?
  • Install stove and refrigerator
  • Purchase end panel for dishwasher installation--DONE!!
  • Purchase and install a dishwasher--IN PROGRESS
  • Purchase and install cabinet hardware--IN PROGRESS
  • Purchase ceiling medallion
  • Install the ceiling medallion and chandelier
  • Decide on window treatment--DONE!!
  • Order and SEW fabric for window valance/ curtains/ shade--IN PROGRESS
  • Paint  mobile island/ cart
  • DIY some wall art
  • Purchase/ DIY 2 kitchen stools
  • Accessorize
  • Cook, bake and ENJOY the finished kitchen!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beat the Clock Beef Barley

Soup...Stew...Stouwp?  I literally had 15 minutes before I had to leave for work this morning, when I remembered the package of stew beef in the fridge that I needed to use. Not to mention, I needed something for dinner after a day of working and then running to appointments when the work day is over.

A 60 second check of the pantry and freezer indicated I had everything I needed. Disclaimer--this is not a wholesome from scratch recipe but it will give the appearance and taste of one. 


Spritz the crockpot with some cooking oil. Toss the stew beef and dry gravy packet together and pour into the crockpot.


Add to this:
1/2 cup of barley rinsed
12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup frozen diced potatoes
1 cup of frozen mirepoix
8 ounces of  canned tomato sauce
2-15 ounce cans low sodium beef broth
 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
pinch of salt and several dashes of pepper (I prefer to add more salt and pepper to taste upon completion of cooking)


Give it a good stir or 2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.


The final result is a thick, rich and hearty soup/stew/ stouwp.  Very flavorful and rich--with beef so tender it falls apart.


I served it with some take and bake french bread -slathered in butter of course-- and a big ol' glass of moo juice. Not too shabby for less than 15 minutes of pep time, eh?



What are y'all cooking?