*new* White Kitchen

Dave and I have a long term plan for our kitchen and the work that we have put into it till now, is prep for the remodel/gut job.  One of the things that we recently decided on was the choice of a white kitchen.  In order to confirm this choice, I painted our lowers to match our white uppers.

Before:

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Current:

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Here are some inspiration shots:

 

Love the floors and the slick fronts of the cupboards

This one is very close to what I like….just a few tweaks to my taste

This plywood and white kitchen is amazing….and gives me so many ideas.

 Our plan is to extend real wood floors throughout the entire top floor.  Hopefully, the flooring will be reclaimed flooring from the farm.  With the flooring comes the opportunity to take out the L shaped wall where our pass through is and make it a true island.  Since we are doing all that work, we would like new cupboards.  I am happy with the all white, as it brightens the whole kitchen AND dining room.  It is going to be an act of extreme effort on my part to narrow down my likes and preferences into one cohesive design and get it in…without changing my mind a few hundred times before and after it is completed.
What do you think of the white?  And which parts of the inspiration picture do you like?

Changing the dining room

In my decluttering quest...I was distracted.  I was putting away the paint that I had in the dining room for touch-ups I had been working on….when I decided that I should paint the patio door.

Here is my before:

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I want to say that I painted the patio door black….maybe a year ago???  I can’t really remember….and I really like it….. it just seems to darken the room.  I fight against a contrast of too dark and super glare-y all the time so I am trying a new color to see if if helps with the too dark half of my problem.

To combat the glare – Dave pitched in by hanging a curtain rod for me and making sure it was properly anchored.

Ikea:  Kvartal single track

Ikea: Kvartal ceiling fixture

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Paint:  I used Valspar Ultra as my paint of choice (matches all my trim).  I prepped the surface and went to town.

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And from the kitchen:

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As distractions go….It was a pretty good one.  I am super pleased with how it turned out.  I will need to work on how the curtains hang and how to drape around our water dispenser but even with those things on my list…I like it.

Garden Tomato puree base for future meals

My garden is exploding in tomatoes…which I love…..I am just adjusting my plans with the tomatoes that are ripening as I go.  I have only had a handful ripe at one time, so I have been able to easily make meals and/or snacks with them.  This past week, I have had too many to work into our meals and not enough friends who like tomatoes (hello!).  Hopefully, towards the end of summer – my mom and I will be canning together….but now I am making a frozen tomato puree to use in future meals.

Like my hard water??

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  • 20 roma tomatoes
  • 6 heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon basil, oregano, thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 chopped extra large onion or 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • salt/pepper

I used my blender to puree all the tomatoes with a cup of water and added that to a large pot…..um..that pic doesn’t have all of them.

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At this time, I started sauteing the onion with a dash of salt and pepper.  Just towards the end, I added in the garlic….being careful not to burn it.

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Then it all goes into the pot with the tomatoes.  Then add the rest of the spices and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

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I taste tested mine as I went to ensure that it was not overpowering on the spices and still maintained a strong tomato taste.  I want to use this as a base in future meals and since I have different options as to what those meals will be….I want to keep it loose.

After the mixture cooled, I poured it into some freezer bags and placed them in the freezer.

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All in all – I am happy with the result and will let you know what meals I end up using this for.

Right off the bat, I am thinking – spaghetti, barley soup, chili and chicken makhani.

Freezer Meals – Crock Pot style

My schedule is changing next week and in preparation I decided to try a series of freezer meals.

I devoted the evening before to finding recipes that my family and I would be interested in eating over the next few weeks and then compiled my shopping list.  I spent 30 (!!!!!) minutes in Costco getting the items that I needed -spending less than $200.  I only walked away with a few things in my cart that weren’t on the original list.  My recipes came from two different locations – http://www.5dollardinners.com/ and The New Creative Crock Pot Cookbook by Robin Taylor Swatt.  As I was choosing recipes – I picked those based on what I could alter to use similar ingredients and also to adjust based on my families taste.

This is as close a list as I can get – I made 2 each of the recipes.  So my list below is set up to support making 2 freezers bags of each recipe.

  • 25 to 30 chicken breast
  • 10 –  15 oz cans of diced tomatoes or 5 of the 28 oz cans and split each one in 2
  • 6 cans – 15 oz can of corn
  • roughly 20 lbs of potatoes
  • 1 bag onions
  • 12 red, yellow or orange peppers
  • 12 apples
  • sausage – I purchased a chicken apple sausage, based on recipe on http://www.5dollardinners.com/
  • 1 large bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 8 pork chops
  • 1 package stew meat
  • 2 boxes chicken broth
  • 4 cans of beans – your choice.  I used black beans
  • 2 cans coconut milk

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From the Crock Pot Cookbook

Chicken Provencal – adjusted for us……..Add into a Freezer bag

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 pepper – diced
  • 1 onion – sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • salt pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning = 1 tsp each

Curried Apple Chickens – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3 apples – peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • curry, salt, pepper = 1 tsp each
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Sunday Dinner Roast Beef – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 1lb of the stew meat
  • 3 potatoes – chopped or sliced
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper = 1 tsp each

Italian Stew/Roast – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 1lb of the stew meat
  • 3 potatoes – chopped or sliced
  • 1 pepper – diced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes or half the large can
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper = 1 tsp each

From www.5dollardinners.com\   (you should check this site out – if you haven’t already – when I was searching for freezer meals, this was the first one that kept popping up)

Freezer meals

To make each one – dump in your crock pot and cook as listed below:

  • Thawed:  low for 6/8 hours
  • Frozen – kinda thawed:  low for 8 to 10 hours

I am excited to try the new ones and see how the 2 hours in the kitchen and the 1/2 hour of shopping pays off in the long run.  Do any of you guys do freezer meals?  This is new to me, so I want to know how it goes over the course of time.