Friday, March 30, 2018

creamy jalapeno bacon biscuit bombs

I tried these Sunday evening for our snacky dinner 
and they were a big hit
so I figured I'd type up how I made them,
so I can make them again,
and you can make 'em, too,
if you're so inclined.

I'll try them at some point 
with my favorite low carb bun recipe
 and share the verdict,
but right now,
life is calling for canned biscuits.

I'm not thrilled with that,
but I am well acquainted with my limits,
and let me tell you,
I'm pushing them.

Canned biscuits it is.

And that's okay.

Mix together
8 oz softened cream cheese
about 1/3 - 1/2 cup bacon bits
about 1/4 - 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 small-med or 1 large jalapeno, diced small

After it's all mixed,
sorta smooth out the cream mixture
and cut it into eighths.

Pop open your favorite brand of flaky biscuits,
the kind with 8 large biscuits per can.

Smash a biscuit between the palm of one hand
and heel of the other
until your biscuit is about 4-5 inches across

spread 1/8 of your cream cheesy goodness
in the center of your biscuit pancake
and fold the biscuit up around the cream cheese,
pinching it to form a seal
and place on baking sheet
(lined with parchment if you've got some)

Repeat 7 times

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15 minutes
then sprinkle with grated cheddar
and bake another 10-15 or so minutes more,
'til the biscuits and cheese are golden.

Cool 10 minutes or so before eating
(Honestly, I have no clue if you need to do this.
That's about how long they sat 
while I finished up the rest of the food
and they were scrumptious.
They might be equally delicious piping hot...
I dunno...)

If you happen to have any leftover,
warm it/them up under the broiler
(but not too close)
for about 4 minutes.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

big things are happening

It's been kind of a big week here,
with plenty more goodness
(3 birthday parties, a wedding, and of course, Easter!)
still to come in the next few days.

I've been so bad about documenting life , 
that I figured I better pop in and record these 2 3 biggies
lest they fall off my radar
and never end up on the blog.

The biggest bit of news 
is that
Brandon started an engineering internship 

He is going to continue working 
his tutoring job at the University
through the end of next week,
so his days will be extra extra full.

The other item of great impotance
Lexi got to meet quilting guru
Angela Walters!

Angela does The Midnight Quilt Show,
which Lexi just loves.
She's always asking me if there are any new episodes
(incidentally - there is a new one right now
that we haven't had time to watch yet)
and peppers quilting conversations with
'Angela says this or AngelaWalters 
(she says it as if it's one word)
says that'-
and knows Angela's go to quilting thread color.

So, when I learned that Angela Walters
was coming to town,
I figured I best take the girl to see her.

See her, indeed!
Angela was sooo sweet to Lexi. 
talking with her,
encouraging her,
and oohing and aahing over her quilt 
and bag that she made for the occasion
(that she also shared Show and Tell style
in front of a room of over 100 quilters!)

Angela even let her help unpack 
and re-pack her quilts
and Lex' loved being able to see
up close
some of the quilts she's watched Angela make
on the Midnight Quilt Show.

It was a special evening
and I got about a dozen "Thanks, Mom"s

Oh, and another big bit o' news!!
Brandon just (literally - just a minute ago!)
received notification that he has
been named
the Mechanical Engineering Sophomore of the Year.

Awesome, Bud!!
We are so proud of your diligence and persistence!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

let's get organized, organized, I want to get organized

(you sang that, right?!)


Right about the time we started moving 
over to the new house,
Tyler said,
"Now you get to focus on your second hobby!"

"Second hobby?" I asked.



I hadn't really considered organization a hobby,
I don't necessarily enjoy  the process,
but I do like things organized...

Because I also like things even
and I knew I wanted a stack of drawers,
I designed 3 32 inch 'sections'
in the 8 ft run of cabinets along the wall in the kitchen.
Which meant I ended up with rather large drawers.

Standard purchased drawer organizers
were out of the question.
They'd be pricey for one thing,
but also too small.
Plus - 
(and perhaps even more important)
what is with drawer organizers being 1 1/2 - 2 inches tall??

What about the other 1 1/2 - 2 inches??
What a waste!

So Tyler and I headed to Lowe's
to figure out what we could use to make our own.

After spending a rather ridiculous amount of time
looking at various options
that didn't seem right,
but almost settling on some of them,
Tyler leaned over into my face
and with Italian hands
"What do you want?"

What I really wanted was dimensional lumber,
not plywood
(though I was okay with it
 if that was the most affordable option)
but the thinnest dimensional lumber
was nicer than we needed,
still 1/2 inch thick,
and cost more than I wanted to spend.

We considered buying 1x4s and planing them
to about 3/8 of an inch
but that seemed awfully wasteful.
And it was still a more expensive option
than I was wanting.

We were about to just get plywood,
when we split up 
and walked around the lumber area one more time.

I remembered reading about using cheap boards for planking a ceiling
on a remodeling blog a few years ago,
and thought I'd try to find that stuff.

I did find it
(or something like it)
and wouldn't you know it,
(once we ran them through the table saw
and cut off the tongue and groove portions)
they'd be the perfect height,
and they were already 1/3 of an inch thick.

Even better,
there were six 8 ft boards in a package
for $10.97!

I put a piece of kraft paper in what was to be 
the silverware drawer
and marked where(ish)
I wanted the dividers to go.

Over the course of a few evenings,
pieces of my new organization system
just showed up in the drawer
(thanks, Love)
and Friday night, it was finished!!

Isn't it fabulous?!

We only used 1/2 a pack,
so (not including labor 😉)
this custom drawer organizer only cost $5.50.

Everything can stay neat and tidy,
and no losing the top 2 inches of the drawer.

Now all I need to do,
is move the paper to another drawer,
and draw new markings.... ;-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

the heart of the home

Friday the 9th was a big day,
and the day that followed
was pretty much a game-changer
for life as we know it.

The 9th,
was Countertop Day!

Drop in the Sink Day.

And that all went so great,
it quickly turned into
 Add the Exhaust Vent Day.

Hook up the Stove 

After that,
there was no stopping my man.

he added the faucet,

sink plumbing,
and installed the dishwasher.

we had a working kitchen!
We didn't have to cook and eat in the old house
any more!!!

We went out to eat to celebrate 

The kids and I keep sorting through and bringing things over
and I hurry up take forever
to find *just* the right spot
for everything.

As the cabinets filled up,
 knobs and pulls
rose to the top of the to-do list,
so we tackled that a few days ago.

Slowly but surely,
things are getting done,
and this place is becoming more and more

Friday, March 2, 2018

People. meet my PANTRY

This one was a long time coming.

I bought the boards several weeks ago
(right after we bought the wood to re-do Jeremiah's bed, actually)
and then worried about them getting ruined
before we even had a chance to paint them,
much less use them.

They weren't nailed together yet, but we had the upright and 3 shelves in place, and I was holding it all up
by pushing on the upright, while Tyler was looking at my plans, trying to ascertain what should happen next.
I was bragging about pointing out how great my plans were. I mean, I had even noted which boards needed to be nailed in,
and from which direction, and precisely where those nails should go (to avoid the shelf nailing debacle of early 2018)
I had just finished saying, "I'm so impressive" when, in my expressiveness, I knocked the ladder that was next to me.
The (brand new) little nail gun started falling off the ladder, so I turned to grab it, and stumbled,
and let go of the upright board. All of the shelves came crashing down.
Oh how we laughed and laughed at how very impressive I am 😂😂

I'd chosen MDF
since I'd decided painting would be faster than staining and sealing
and it's cheaper than plywood
and waay cheaper than dimensional lumber
and I'm really just 
ready. to. be. done.
with all this building stuff.

But since it was MDF,
and moisture could ruin it,
we shouldn't keep them in the garage 
with the other wood that's in there
waiting to be used.
And we couldn't paint in the house,
since floors were all finished,
and I didn't really want stacks of boards 
that would have to be moved elsewhere to paint
just laying around in the house
(that is about 40% construction /60% living)
but we aren't ready
to turn the old house into a paint booth
because we still have most of our crap in it.

So. yeah. I worried about my boards.

(Look at me - writing on walls like a real contractor/builder!)
This little guy sent me back to my plan.
My shelf was originally going to be a bout 2 inches lower.

we had 2 warm sunny days,
and on the first one, Tyler primed the boards
and on the second,
I painted them
(and then I laid them all out in the (new) house)
so I could finally start building my pantry!

Which would take
- like, a day -

You would think.

But you would be wrong.

I had wanted to use galvanized conduit for my upright shelf supports. We were going to cut
circular grooves in both the bottom and top of the shelves to hold the pipe in place, like we
did for the stair railing. But then we started worrying that all of them stacked on top of each
other, with the weight of loaded down shelves might cause the metal to cut into the shelves
further, so we decided no conduit.  I didn't want to go with 1x2s, because I already had the
image of  beefier supports. I thought about painting fat dowel rods silver, but I didn't want faux
metal and I didn't want stained dowels, 'cuz that just seemed weird. I decided I'd split a 2x4
in half.    The only 2x4 we had in the garage that wasn't being used to support concrete, was
one that the painters had used when they were spraying clear varnish on cabinet shelves. In
order for the board to take the stain, I had to get rid of the varnish. I sanded a ton, but obviously
didn't get it all sanded off. Which was fine, because we decided we actually really like it that way.

The pantry shelves
took me almost the whole dang week!
And the only reason they are done,
and I am typing this up,
instead of still building right now,
is beacuse
Tyler took the afternoon off work yesterday
to be with me.
And since I was building my pantry,
he helped.

And now it's done!
(except for the 2 dowel rods I need to purchase)
(what is it with me forgetting to purchase dowel rods??)
and I am so, SO tickled with it.