Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Promises, Shmomises! A few "kitchen-free" favorites!

Okay, my loving DH reminded me that I promised in my D'itchen post to share some of my favorite convenience, go-to, gluten-free foods!

Well, I apologize I have not made good on that!


Breakfast, the last few kitchenless weeks has been fun to say the least. When I do eat it, I'm eating EnviroKids Panda Puffs OR an apple and a cheese stick, or a Glutino Breakfast Bar. These are all easy grabs! When I have time, and feel like putting in the effort, breakfast is two over-medium eggs over jalepeno cheese grits. MMMMM....

Okay, how in the world do I make jalepeno cheese grits...here it is...this serves 2:

1/4 Cup quick grits (make sure source is gluten-free, of course!)
1 cup water
pinch salt
2 slices jalepeno jack cheese
1 tbs butter
pinch salt

Place 1/4 cup quick grits in a micro wave safe bowl, add water and 1 pinch of salt. Cook on high 2 minutes, stir and cook again for 2 minutes. If still too runny, cook another minute.

Immediately add butter and break up jalepeno jack cheese slices into hot grits and mix so they melt well, add salt to taste.

I usually let set up for a minute or two while I make my eggs.

Okay, lunches have been standard fare of salads, or salad sandwiches (where you use a romaine lettuce leaf as the bread!). I've also come to love Kinnickinnick Pizza Crusts. I toast on both sides for a couple minutes, then top with sauce and cheese and pepperoni...mmmmm. The other night I slathered in butter and used as a bread spoon for Pulled Pork! Very Yummy.

Dinner has been a lot of take out (eeek...the word itself sends shivers up my spine!). I'm trying my best to cook at home and relying on some quick "toss in the crock-pot" recipes.

A new snack favorite has totally come into it's own for me! I had tried it once before and not been too impressed, so either my taste buds have changed OR they changed their formula, because they are delicious! Lundberg Rice Chips are AWESOME and come in some really neat flavors. My favorites are Pico De Gallo, Fiesta Lime and Santa Fe BBQ. I have a bag of Sea Salt and a bag of Honey Dijion to try too. I served them one day to my dad (who is not gluten-free) and my husband one day when I was out of other crunch options...they both LOVED them and ate my whole bag. Needless to say, I'm starting to hide them! LOL (just kidding honey, I'll share!).

Popcorn is also a favorite. Fridays are movie nights with the kids, cuddled on the couch with a big old bowl between us all, it's fun!

The kitchen is in countdown mode, and I hope to post some updated pix tomorrow (charging my camera!). Hubby's working seriously hard, and its starting to come together!

:) Thanks for hanging in with me!

It's coming...

No pictures right now.

Cabinet construction has officially begun! All of the wall cabinets are in, and a few of the base cabs!

I'll post some pix tomorrow - camera battery is dead right now! :D

Thought you could use at least an update!

I'm DYING to get cooking again. Crockpots, toaster ovens and microwaves are great for the short term, but I miss cooking so much! Planning my first few "kitchen all done" meals! I'll post for sure!

:) Hang in there Baby, it's coming!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ode to a Ceramic Tile Floor

I am very upset that I have used the "a thing of beauty is a joy forever" as a title for another post. I so hate repeating myself, so I did not.

The tiles we have had for the flooring for almost 2 months have been sitting in our garage. We've been planning colors, etc off this tile (that we got from Home Depot for .49/square foot, I might add!). I liked the tile. Was not sure that I liked it with the paint color we were using...but I liked it. It was always just a little off, but I figured it was my inability to imagine the finished product in my head (unlike my husband who can do that with almost anything! BNB - Big Nasty Brain!) My husband had sent me to Home Depot to look at it, after he had found it the day before...I liked it, so he told me to buy 20 cases...I did. Remember...this was 2 months ago!

This morning, he and my BIL were getting ready to lay the tile floor. I ran off to Home Depot to get 1/4" tile spacers for the job. As I walked into Home Depot, I went RIGHT BY the tile display that had been there when I bought the tile (2 months ago!). There was our tile, I looked at it...but, right next to it was the same KIND of tile with just a little darker color palette. I started to panic. I liked THIS new tile BETTER! Uh Oh. Well, I bought one to take home to hubby and walked in the door and said "You're going to hate me, but, I like this one better". TURNS OUT THIS WAS THE TILE I WAS SUPPOSED TO BUY THE FIRST TIME!!!! SO... we loaded the 20 cases back in my trunk...I took them over, unloaded, returned, reloaded and got the RIGHT ONE this time! I am ecstatic that we did not lay the wrong tile flooring! That would have been sooo soo sad! Not to mention, all my fault and that guilt would follow me to the grave (my mother trained me well in the guilt department). I'm grateful for the divine providence that took me to Home Depot this morning.

As the picture shows...it's on it's way down to the floor. My husband underestimated just how happy this tile floor would make me. I have wanted ceramic tile floors in my kitchen since we married almost 13 wonderful years ago. And this isn't the first time we've remodeled a kitchen! (last time the floor was just not level enough for it so we went with linoleum tiles). I am so tickled that it's the best tile, it's tile, and I can clean it easily, and the color palette of the newer tile (which was only .68/square foot!!!) is PERFECT.

So...hum "Ode to Joy" to yourself as you read this post because I am one happy chickie!!!! :D

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Check out my D'itchen!

What is a D'itchen, you ask? A d'itchen is a noun meaning kitchen in a dining room! It is a noun that this family has been living with for two weeks. We're holding our own, with a few kinks (sorry honey!!!). I'm finally feeling like I'm getting into a rhythm with it. I think for me, the hardest adjustment is not having a sink. You don't realize how often you need a sink until you have NO sink!

I'm using some disposable things which are certainly playing on my "Story of Stuff" guilt, for sure. We are using more disposable items than we have used in a while. I am looking forward to having my kitchen for more than just being able to cook. I feel very wasteful right now! I'm trying hard to wash things like morning cereal bowls, and reusing the plasticware as much as I can before it gets tossed...but, let's face it, eventually it does end up getting tossed. I'm trying not to let the guilt overwhelm me.

This weekend's major project was for hubby and BIL to move the gas line. The cook top will now be located in an island and not part of an all-in-one range. I had troubles with the gas smell giving me a headache. Even though I was reassured often that the gas was off, they were working on a long pipe which had residual gas in it. I ended up taking my youngest and oldest and going shopping. When I came home, my house did not smell as bad, and my house didn't blow up (not that I was REALLY worried...but, you know... :D). I have to confess to being astoundingly impressed with my hubby and BIL that they know how to do this and can do it correctly without causing mortal harm to our family! WAY TO GO GUYS!!!!

We had quite an exciting week as far as the electric was concerned. My dad spent most of his time trying to figure out the "what in the hecks" and the "why did they do THATs?". He was able to separate out things that had no business being attached to a kitchen, and was able to create a map to go forward. He will be returning this week and hopefully will be able to complete the electrical, if not at least make a great big ole dent in it!

We also made a lot of major decisions this week. Okay, ones that probably SHOULD have been made before we tore everything out. Some you just have to make on the fly! Those who are flexible will not break!" We changed our approach to the countertops, and will be returning the ones we previously bought from IKEA. Thanks to DIY Network, we saw a couple redoing their kitchen and using granite tile instead of a solid surface granite. Hubby found a beautiful one for our countertops; and after pricing it all out, it's really not much more expensive than the IKEA and will look so much more sophisticated. We also decided on the glass tile for the backsplash (even ordered it!) and we are really happy with the way the colors look with all the other style elements in the room. We're set for the wall color, and now just shopping for an accent color that will fit with our palette .

Probably the most exciting news, is after days pouring over the internet and catalogs and hitting the bricks, we found a very cool solution for the pass thru lighting! We were growing concerned we would have to either forego the lighting or have something that we were less than thrilled with due to the electrical restrictions (transformers, junction boxes, etc etc, over my head!). Well, a trip alone to Home Depot and he found one that is absolutely perfect and has these really neat amber glass shades...SO EXCITED.

Here's a sneak peek at our colors, etc...the wood is obviously the cabinets, the black is the granite for the countertops, the green/grey tile is the flooring, and the multicolor tile is the glass tile for the backsplash. Going with warm tones, coppery, ambery, a light touch of a green...

Stay tuned! MORE TO COME!!! :D

Later this week, I'll be posting a few of my favorite gluten-free convenience foods that I've grown addicted to in the last few weeks! :D