Monday, July 26, 2010

Meals for the week July 26-31

Again, I don't designate one of these for each day, instead opting to decide that morning what we are having.....or even that night if I don't need to defrost something for the meal. This is actually the plan from a couple of weeks ago, but that way I can let you know what was good and what wasn't and how easy it was!

Meal #1-Burgers and Oven Fries
This one is pretty self explanatory. I didn't do anything special with these burgers. Seasoned them up with grill seasoning and Worstechire sauce and grilled them. For the fries I just slice up Idaho potatoes Texas fry size and drizzle a little EVOO on them along with some finely minced garlic and bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning a couple of times. They should get crispy and the garlic gets roasted. Yummy!

Meal #2-Tilapia Tacos and Spanish Rice
For these tacos I take a couple of fillets of tilapia and marinate in the following:
1/2 pkg of taco seasoning (McCormick is GF)
juice of 2 limes
Let that sit while you are making the other stuff
Combine the other 1/2 pkg of taco seasoning with 3/4 cup of sour cream
Dice up one mango
Make pico de gallo (or buy fresh salsa) and add one diced avocado.
Chop up fresh cilantro
Now place the marinated fish on a baking sheet and put in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Assemble some of each ingredient on a warmed corn or flour tortilla. I find that soft ones work better for this recipe.
Oh, and here's the spanish rice to go along with. Be aware this recipe makes a ton so you might want to cut it in half.

Meal #3-Blackened Chicken and Mashed Potatoes
Mmmmm that doesn't mean burnt....its a combo of seasonings. Here you go!
Oh, and my mashed potatoes don't have measurements but about 3-4 Idahos, peeled and diced, boiled then mashed with 1/2 stick butter and 3/4 cup sour cream and Tony Cachere's seasoning should do it.

Meal #4-Salmon Patties, Quinoa and Green Beans
Salmon patties can be a pain when using canned salmon b/c of the bones. Just make sure you carefully pull the fish out and open it and you can usually get the in one fell swoop. If you want to use fresh, be my guest too. I just tried to make these like my grandpa used to. On that note, they taste so much better if you fry them in a cast iron skillet. I don't know why, they just do!

Quinoa is a fairly new food to me. If you want to read up on it, by all means do. It has:
More protein than any other grain
tons of fiber
and is GF!
It is very similar to cous cous except much better for you!
Here's a yummy recipe using it.

Meal #5-Breakfast Waffles

There isn't much of a recipe here, just making it from the GF package. I do add in vanilla and cinnamon to mine. I also topped them with fresh blueberries and syrup.
We also made sausage to go along with the sweet waffles!
Jeremy and I both like brinner (breakfast for dinner) and being that it is usually a quick and easy dinner, I usually make some form of it once every two weeks. Sometimes more. As long as you don't get carried away with the sweets and remember to add in fruit and protein, it isn't too bad for you!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bathroom Before/After

So, this was a very long drawn out process. I guess I will start. Makes me sick to my stomach to think back on all the headaches. Okay, really I am starting!
These are pics from our viewing of the house.

One of the first things was to tear out the icky moldy shower door. I am all for nice shower doors, but this thing was pnuemonia waiting to happen. Oh and that over the toilet thing had to go too.

I decided early on to try to work with the pink and burgandy instead of fight it. So pink flamingos it is! The yellow is a little "rubber duckie" but it worked....for a while.

But after a while, we decided it all needed to the faucet broke and we had no access to it. :) So started our month long adventure.

I thought tile would be easy, you know, just tap it a little and it comes off whatever it is glued to....just like on HGTV. Well, not in a 50 year old built to withstand hurricanes house. In our house tile is put up on top of 1.5" of concrete reinforced with metal lathe. Yep, I still have a scar on my hand from cutting myself trying to get this stuff off.
Oh, by the way, did I mention this is our only full bathroom in the house? We showered at the gym for a month. Fun! Now do you see why I get sick to my stomach thinking about this?
So anyways, here we have taken out all the wall tile. We think most of demo is done......wrong!

Oh this is just a fun "whats in your walls" shot.

I thought the walls were bad....the floor tile was on top of about 3" of concrete. Let me tell you, I can't say this house isn't well built! It was fun to pound on the floor.
So here we are.....absolutely cleared out. Oh, and see that hole in the floor? Its for the drain for the tub.....unfortunately, it also allowed all the dust, concrete, tile chunks to fall into the basement half bath. What....a....mess! I still find pieces of tile..2 years later. is where we started putting up new greenboard....I know, its purple.....its called greenboard.....water resistant sheetrock.
And this is the durarock. the stuff you put the tile on. You do put up a moisture barrier behind this but I forgot that picture....besides this isn't a how to blog! Oh and I started the first row of new tile in this pic.

Skip ahead....all the tile is in....and yes, I have a plastic sheet duct taped around my window. It lived there for a while until I could get the edge pieces of tile in for the window. Something about them being backordered....blah blah blah. We used a stainless tile accent you can see better in a later shot.

This is the new floor tile. I felt like it needed to give a hint to the age of the house but still be neutral.

And here it is today. New Angela Adams rug and shower curtain, the smallest cabinet that HD carries without being special order and the new privacy window(that part we didn't do).

Did I also mention this room is only 5' x 6'6" including the shower space? Yeah, its tiny, but now its updated! And mark my words....I will never do this in a house that only has one shower again. I can't believe I didn't have a heartattack, or a hernia, or something stressful during this process.

Oh, and how can I forget! Remember me saying the house was built to withstand a hurricane? Well, I know we live in Ohio, but in the middle of this renovation, we actually had a storm that they called a hurricane. I think the wind was around 78 mph. I realize this is timid compared to stuff in Florida, but our trees (many of which are old) aren't palms. We lost power for about 5 days and lost our beautiful Bradford Pear tree in the front yard. Needless to say, it seemed like a cruel joke that this happened while we didn't have a bathroom. Haha, I guess at least I can laugh now!

Outside Before/After

So, yesterday's before/after was so fun I thought I would start doing the rest of the house. This is the photo from our house's listing 5 years ago. Original windows, original siding(painted...I think it was dark brown(ick) originally, and 3 (yep 3, people) layers of shingles...4 at the edges!
So I think this was our first Christmas at the house. Not much has changed. We planted azaleas in the front bed but everything else was still the same. Oh, we did rip down the falling apart (ie: disintegrating) railing on the front stoop.

Again, I was not very good at taking inbetween pics on this one but this is last year. We had the roof redone in 2008 along with the gutters. Then last year we had the siding replaced and the windows and shutters. Jeremy and I took one weekend Sunday afternoon and tore out the landscaping timbers and replaced them with these stones. We also have changed the plants in the front flower bed twice now but I think these are staying.

And now this is the new front doors we had put in about a month ago. (Sorry this isn't a picture of the whole house.) Notice how much the lilacs next to the door have grown since the last picture (a year ago)!
I always wonder if my taste is a little crazy....even though I don't really care if it is. Most of the houses in our neighborhood are brick and have white siding. Again, from the previous post.....not a fan of white. So when I went waaaay out on a limb (sarcasm) with this khaki color and green shutters and then the orange door, I kind of wondered what our neighbors thought. Well, apparently they like it! We had a yard sale and had multiple people stop and tell us they have admired what we have done over the years to the house! Yipeee! But we all know I was happy with it either way!
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kitchen Before/Afters

This is what our kitchen looked like 5 years ago when we bought the house. The dishwasher was tiny, the floor was awful and the walls were very very white. For those of you who know me, you know I am not a white wall fan.

I don't have a bunch of inbetween photos, but here you can see we painted (right after we moved in), then over the years we have added a bigger dishwasher, a new countertop, new floor and door pulls.

Well, I got a wild hair up my patootie and decided we needed a backsplash. I priced out tile but it was pricey and I wanted to be cheap (creative)!:) So we ended up with this. A painted gray with a travertine and glass mixed border.
Oh and because I can't do anything normal....the paint isn't just paint; its chalkboard paint! I found this company online that does chalkboard paint in about a bagillion colors. So, I can write my grocery list up there as I go and then just take a photo with my phone and have it when I go to the store!

I cut the final pieces today. I really liked how the colors went with the stone look countertops.

Oh, and yes that is the Pioneer Woman cookbook on my stand. I use it a its one of the funnest cookbooks to look through!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meals for the week

Ever since going gluten free, one of the most common things I hear is "Isn't that expensive?" or "that seems like too much work." While I can't make up Hamburger Helper or just grab a frozen pizza (Actually Amy's makes one that is GF), its not as hard or pricey as it sounds. Here are our meals for this week.

In no particular order (b/c we usually decide what we want to make the day of):

1. Cookout Meal: Baked Beans with Ground Beef, Coleslaw, and Potato Salad
The nice thing about these dishes is that they can be made ahead. You can make them when convienient and then just pop the beans in the oven to heat up.

Baked Beans
1 lb ground beef
1 lb bacon
2 cans of Bush's Original (22 oz)
Medium Onion-diced
1/2 cup Montgomery Inn or favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar

Brown bacon and remove from pan. Drain most of the bacon grease. Add onion to pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, then add ground beef and cook till brown. Add in other ingredients with just a squirt around the pan of mustard. (I also add hot sauce) Transfer contents to a 9x13 baking dish and put in oven for 30-40 minutes at 350. You can also put in a crock pot. The longer this sits the better it gets!
( I only made a 1/2 recipe of this and we still had a bunch of leftovers)

Creamy Carolina Cole Slaw-from the Southern Living 2005 Annual Recipes Cookbook

1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp hot sauce
2 (16 oz) pkgs of shredded coleslaw mix

Stir together everything but the shredded mix. Then add slaw and cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Bacon Potato Salad-from the Southern Living Cookbook
Note: I modified this b/c I already had so much bacon in the beans

6 to 8 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled (left out)
6 green onions
2 celery ribs (left out)
2 Tbsp. diced pimiento (left out)
3/4 tsp sale
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
things I added: capers, fresh parsley

Cook potatoes and cool. Mix together all other ingredients and toss gently with potatoes. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

2. A Southern Gumbo Night

Southern Gumbo-from Allrecipes

Cornbread- package of Bob's Red Mill Cornbread Mix + 2 Tbsp. of sugar

Key Lime Pie for dessert- Allrecipes ( I made this the night before so it had time to sit in the freezer)

3. Pizza Chicken and Pasta

My friend Kim makes this and always tells me about it.

Bake chicken in oven until mostly done. Add spaghetti sauce ( I used Ragu) and any toppings you would put on your pizza. I used mushrooms and pepperoni. Top with shredded mozzerella and put back in the oven until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese melts.

We serve this with a GF pasta with butter and parmesean tossed in.

4.Lemon Thyme Chicken Wings

You can serve this with french fries and apple sauce or something healthier like a side salad.

5. Ham and Swiss Breakfast Pie-from Southern Living 2005

Because my husband loves brinner (breakfast for dinner) I usually make one a week.

1 2/3 cups water

1 cup whipping cream

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 Tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2/3 cup uncooked quick cooking grits

1 1/4 cups shredded swiss cheese

8 large eggs

1/2 bl cooked ham, diced

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup milk

Bring 1st six ingredients to a boil. Whisk in grits vigorously or they will clump. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 yo 7 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cheese until melts. Remove from heat. Lightly beat 2 eggs and still into grits mixture and pour into a 10" deep dish pieplate.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, remove and increase oven to 400.

Saute ham and onions for 5 minutes. Layer mixture over grits crust. Whisk together milk and remaining six eggs; pour over mixture. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 400 for 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minues, and cut into wedges.

Serve with fresh fruit.

Sorry about the double spacing all of a sudden. If anyone knows why blogger suddenly started doing this please let me know! :) Oh and another thing, my grocery bill for the week, including some other stuff I bought for breakfast and lunches, was only $51.49. I did already have chicken from Sams, and a lb of ground beef in the freezer, but as you can see, you can easily do 5 meals for under $75 for the week.