Thursday, August 31, 2017

Homemade Mayo (corn-free, df, gf, sf)

We recently had C retested for allergies.
It had been about 10 years since he'd had one
and we wanted to see if there were any changes.
Turns out, a new allergy popped up-corn.

Do you know that corn is pervasive in most store bought items?
Another culinary challenge is not what I needed,
but thankfully, there were options available.

The perfect addition to any sandwich or salad dressing.

Since the brand of mayo we usually use is made with distilled vinegar,
we called the company to find out if it was corn-based.
It was.

That meant that I needed to find an alternative.
This recipe is made using apple cider vinegar
and so is safe for corn-free diets.
And since it was revealed that he was no longer sensitive to apples, it was the perfect choice.
The bonus is that it tastes so much better than store bought.

Homemade Corn-Free Mayo
(Cooking God's Way)

1 egg yolk 
1 whole egg
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t sea salt
1-2 t honey or maple syrup
pinch paprika
pinch garlic powder
1 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil 

Add yolk, whole egg, (both room temperature) lemon juice, 
ACV, salt, spices and honey to food processor.
Pulse a few times to incorporate.
Turn on processor and begin adding oil in a small stream
while machine is running in order to create an emulsion.
Once you see the ingredients melding together,
(the processor actually makes a different sound),
continue adding oil until all is incorporated.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Transfer to a glass jar and store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bad to the Bone Beadboard!

Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters in Texas.
May God give you the strength you need to get through this difficult time.
We are all in this together.

Welcome back to our home.
We are today featuring a project that is thus far my favorite.
Slowly, we are adding our personal touch
to each and every space.
Each month, we have a list of small tasks to complete.
This month we worked on our office space.

The previous owners used this room exclusively as an eating space.
We knew that it would have to serve double-duty for our purposes.
The picture on the left is how it looked when we first toured the house.
The other photo is shortly after we closed on the house,
before we actually did any work of our own.

We currently use this as an eat-in spot
as well as our office.
Our dining will be done at the island in the kitchen
once we get our new counter tops.
We've never needed a designated dining room,
so we can use the spaces to suit our needs.
Eventually, we hope to have two work areas,
one on each long wall.
One side will house the computer and file cabinets,
while the flip side will have a multi-purpose table.
I'm hoping to be able to do my sewing here,
as the light is amenable to any kind of handiwork.

We first painted the walls to match the living room color.
The pastel turquoise shade really opens up the space. 
The next step in our transformation was to add beadboard.
We picked up panels and the appropriate molding at the big box store.
After researching several ways to install the wainscoting,
we decided on panels versus individual boards.
We are SO grateful to all those YouTubers out there!

We bought the panels that measured 32" H X 24" W.
We decided to leave the panels at 32 inches,
so that they would sit above the existing window.
The only trimming needed was the width,
which was cut with a jigsaw. 
A circular saw would probably be more efficient,
but we used what we had.
After cutting to size, Liquid Nails was added to the back.

The panels were also nailed into the walls for extra security.
The gap remaining to the left of this first piece will accommodate the finish molding. 

We took our time, and the molding went up without much drama.
We left the baseboards in place,
although it is recommended that they be removed before putting in the first piece.
We saved that step and fortunately, the boards look pretty doggone straight.
Big K cut around the electric boxes by measuring from the adjoining panel.

 The beadboard installation itself took only a few hours.
The molding we used on the top and outside corners
were not the ones recommended, 
(hmm, there seems to be a theme here),
but they worked out just fine.
We wanted a clean, streamlined look.

 This little nook by the garage door was a bit tricky.
Big K figured out how best to lay out the panels 
so that we didn't waste any of it.
(A few leftover pieces will be used 
for a craft project I have in mind.)
With a bit of forethought, the job was easy to complete.
With the molding in place,
Big K filled in along the top molding with caulking,
as well as in the inside corners.
The whole kit-and-kaboodle will be painted white,
as it comes primed, but not painted.
We'll get that done this week.

Overall, I'm so pleased.
I've adored beadboard for as long as I can remember,
and it's a thrill to see it come to life in our new home.
I still need to make some cafe curtains for the space,
and I'm working on the set-up for our tables.
Sister brought me two rustic pieces of wood 
that I am thinking will fit the space nicely.
I also want to add some original photography
to the walls (think black and white). 
Having our files organized is something I'm looking forward to tackling.
I live for organizing projects.

The goal was to have this room done by the end of August.
I may not make that deadline,
but I can live with that,
as long as the end result matches the vibe I want to create.
We'll get there,
one step at a time.

Have you been working on any home improvement projects?

New Home Series:
The New Homestead
Moving Toward Bliss
Organized Downsizing
A Fresh Look
Under the Spell of IKEA
Closet Project

Friday, August 25, 2017

Garden Friday

Another Garden Friday is upon us.
Cooler temperatures are gracing our area this weekend,
a nod, perchance, to autumn?
Some fall crops have been started,
with many more in the works.
With the weather cooperating,
I can hardly wait to get out there and get dirty!
Let's check and see what's "growin'" on...

While most of our neighbors' tomatoes are pretty well done,
we have green globes on the vine.
It's such a thrill to see these gems growing,
as this has been my personal goal for some time.
Once harvested, I will consider myself a proper farmer.

 With several varieties maturing at different times,
there should be a good sampling.

 The jalapenos were so easy to grow,
I will definitely be planting peppers again in the spring.

 The Vates curly kale has been up,
but the Dino variety never germinated.
I'll be reseeding that in the next day or two.
Love me some kale!

Germination was hit-or-miss with the chioggia beets,
(you can see them coming up on the right),
so they will be reseeded,
as well as adding a pot of Detroit Red beets to the mix.

 Slenderette green beans are coming along,
although I want to start another couple of plants going.

 The sugar snap peas are still hanging in there,
and I'm hoping that this change in the weather will help them get some height.
More of these will also be started in another pot.
Snap peas are one thing I can't get enough of!

 New seedlings of broccoli emerged this week,

as well as eggplant.
These had been eaten by something at the seedling stage before,
so I'm hoping that these make it past that.

 All the lettuce on the deck is doing well.
Once the cooler weather sticks around,
these pots will be moved to the main garden area.
Here, we have Red Sails,

and Buttercrunch.
Red Salad Bowl and two types of spinach are also growing out there.
It's wonderful to have a few different varieties in a salad.

 The parsley is bursting out of its pot.
Some of this may be transplanted out front,
so that the butterflies can use it as a host plant.
Black swallowtails and others need this plant to survive.

I'm hoping to carve out some time this weekend
to plant some seeds.
The main garden area is still in the planning stages,
so it will be my goal to get all the materials together
so that I can start on that come spring.
For now, our little veggie patch suits me just fine.

How's your fall garden coming along?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Closet Project

This is the tale of two closets.
One of the only improvements we made in our last house in Florida,
was installing closet systems.
It's unbelievable how much more you can fit in the same space
by installing these.
It's one of the first tasks we completed here in our new home.

C's closet is a bit deeper than a standard sized closet,
but he had a ton of stuff to fit in there.
We got to work on his closet right away.

We found the closet system we've used before at a big box store.

A drill and a screwdriver are all that are needed to put this together.

We assembled the drawers first.
They are sold separately,
as the closet can be customized to fit your needs.

The drawers glide smoothly
thanks to the provided hardware.

We used two towers in C's closet,
one tall unit in the center,
and another that we divided into two pieces on each side.
The directions are fairly straight-forward
and it doesn't take much time to put it all together.

The bottom part of the center tower was placed first.
We added 4 drawers so that C could fit most of his clothes in it.
He doesn't have any dress clothes, or many things that need to be hung,
so the majority of his clothing fits right in these drawers.

Here it is while he was sifting through his items
to figure out what he wanted to keep
and what he could do without.
Many things remained in boxes
while he went through this process.

We decided to use 1 rod on the left for the few things he needs to hang,
and added the hardware for a rod on the right,
in case he should need it in the future.
For now though, 
open shelving works best for him.
He has a large fire alarm collection,
as well as many electronic components that he can easily access.

It may not be the conventional closet,
but it works for him.
That's one of the things we love about these systems,
you can configure them to suit you needs.
Along with paring down many of the things he had
(he's selling a lot of things on Craig's List),
he organized his leftover items in bins,
labeling each one for easy identification.
That's my boy!

Here's the closet in my room after we painted.
It's a unique shape,
but we had no trouble working around the obstacle in place.

The doors were removed to give me more space in the room.
This is the smallest room in the house,
and I decided to make a curtain for the closet to save space
(I'll show that when it is completed).

The middle tower is the foundation of our build.
It is two pieces that are stacked on top of each other
to form one tall piece.

Here it is with the second section added on top.

 A second, smaller tower was added to one side
to efficiently use the space that was left.
The towers can be fitted with doors or drawers,
or simply left as open shelving.
I only needed a few drawers to house my everyday clothing.

We chose to use two towers next to each other,
since we had to work around the A/C filter box (on the lower left),
with one rod across for hanging items.
All of my dressier shirts, dresses and pants can easily fit here.

These angled pieces are secured to the side of the cabinet
as well as to the back wall.
This ensures that the piece will stay put.

The closet contains:
1.  hanging clothes
2.  sewing machine and sewing toolbox
3.  clean feed sacks ready for sewing
4.  completed daisy totes
5.  folded clothes (shorts, shirts, pjs and unmentionables)
6.  shoes
7.  scrap feed sack pieces (for other projects)
8. supply box
9.  fabric scraps
10.  upper storage shelf

You may notice there is still more space underneath the bottom shelves,
but I prefer to keep things off the floor,
so it will not be used for storage.

It's so fabulous to be able to fit not only all of my clothing in this standard-sized closet,
but also all of my crafting items.
There is still room on the top shelves for more storage that is not being used right now.
(Maybe that'll be a great place to hide Christmas presents!)
This closet might not work as well for someone who has a large wardrobe,
but since we've decided to simplify and keep only what we truly love,
it does the job just fine.

This job took us a couple of hours and cost around $350,
which is much less than what it would cost using an installer.
The system that we use gives us about 3 times the storage space
in the same sized closet.

It's well worth the time and expense if you plan to stay in your house a while.
Another project we can cross off of our list!

New House series:
The New Homestead
Moving Toward Bliss
Organized Downsizing 
A Fresh Look 
Under the Spell of IKEA