Sunday, January 6, 2013

World's Best Quiche

A couple of weeks ago Ethan was reading a book that mentioned quiche.  He asked me what it was and when I told him, he started begging me to make it.  I came across a new recipe that I wanted to try and it turned out to be AMAZING.  I made it for breakfast one Saturday and our whole family devoured it!

World's Best {and easiest} Quiche

2 shallow pie crusts or 1 deep dish pie crust, unbaked
5 eggs
 1 1/2 C half and half
2 C shredded cheese ( I used colby-jack, which is our favorite)
3 Tbsp flour
9 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled (I always have Costco pre-cooked on hand)
1 green onion bunch, diced

Mix everything together and pour into the pie crust.  It will fill two shallow crusts perfectly, or one deep dish with a little bit remaining.  Don't fill the crust all the way to the top because the eggs will slightly expand when cooking.

The recipe doesn't call for it, but I sprinkled it with a little bit of dill weed on top for extra flavor.  So good!

Wrap the pie edges in foil so they don't burn, and bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes.  Let set for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.  It'll be gone in a few minutes!

Friday, January 4, 2013

How To Fix a Drawer Face

 Is something missing in this picture?
 Perhaps, a drawer face?  We have five kids.  And five kids equates to messes and destruction around every corner.  The kids are always using the drawers as a ladder to climb on top of the counter, and it was only a matter of time before one of the faces broke off.  But when it broke and I looked at it, I was really shocked to find just how shotty a job they did building the dang things.  The entire box of the drawer is just stapled together, and badly at that.  There's not a bit of glue or screws on ANYTHING except what attaches the face to the box.  I always knew the boxes were made of particle board, but I didn't ever pay attention to how cheaply they are put together.  So it's no wonder the thing finally broke off.  Now I'm waiting for more drawers to start breaking.

 You can see where it had been stapled in because when it broke, it literally ripped apart from the staples.  Quality!
 Before I removed the backing, I carefully traced exactly where the backing sat.  Very important step!  And just look at how gross the back of the face was.  Ew.
One of the hardest parts of this job was removing the staples from the box.  This was really difficult because when the face ripped off, the staples bent.  And the staples were in there very tightly, and they were very hard.  It took me about an hour to remove everything, but a couple pieces remained.  I had to work around what I couldn't remove.

Because I was going to the trouble to fix it, I was NOT going to replace the back with particle or MDF board.  I used good, solid lumber.  But the problem what that the backing was exactly 3 inches tall, which is NOT a standard size of anything.  Even a 1x3 isn't really one by three inches.  It's actually more like 3/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches.  So I first cut a 1x4 to an EXACT measurement to fit the space.  I kept the old, broken backing and used to to go by.  You have to be careful to cut it exactly because it needs to fit in there like a glove.

 I then used a jig saw to "rip" the board all the way across to make it flat with the top of the box.
I Gorilla Glued the sides and bottom to the box, where the staples used to be.  Gorilla Glue is amazing stuff, but you have to be very careful to follow the instructions and WEAR GLOVES!!  It cures with moisture so you first have to lightly dampen both surfaces that you are gluing together.  After it was glued, I secured it all together so it would dry nicely and tightly.  Kept it secure for at least two hours.

The next day I used some wood screws to add support into the new joint of the box.  I did two 1 1/4 inch screws on each side, none on the bottom because it didn't need it.
Remember how I traced where the original backing had fit?  I lined the box up perfectly on the of the traced face back.
I find where the original screw holes where.  On this drawer, there were three of them.  Because I didn't want to overlap holes (it would take away from the strength)I  marked on the new lumber a line to indicate where the old screws were so I DIDN'T duplicate the holes in the same place.
Now, I fit the box on top of the face back perfectly.  Good thing I traced it!  I secured it with a little masking tape so it wouldn't shift while you drill it.
 Drill the holes as centered as you can, obviously avoiding the old holes.
I again used a 1 1/4 inch screw, which is slightly longer than the original screw because the lumber is thicker than the old board.

Ta da!  Since I was already working with my power tools, I went ahead and added some hardware to the drawers and cabinets (something I've been wanting to do for years).  Now when we have people over I don't have to duck tape the drawer facing from the inside, just to make it look normal.  I'll post later about the perfect way to install hardware like this.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How To Save Your Carpet From Pee & Vomit

There are a few things that I can't help buying when I'm at the grocery store.  No matter what, I always end up buying sour cream, cream cheese, and cream of chicken soup.  Lately I have added baking soda to my list of staples.  Why?  Oh, why NOT!!  I have now potty trained four children and our poor carpet has taken such a beating as a result.  But it wasn't until a few months ago that a friend of mine turned me on to a different way of dealing with peed on carpets and rugs.

On Saturday we had a little accident on our practically brand new carpet in the basement family room.  My friend's 2 year old just couldn't hold it so we found a puddle on the floor.  The old me would have panicked because it's NEW and EXPENSIVE carpet.  But the new and educated me didn't mind at all.  The old me would have ran for a bottle of Resolve and some wet rags.  But the new me just sent Cody upstairs for a box of baking soda.

You see, carpet has a few enemies, and one of the biggest enemies is water.  Seems pretty harmless, right?  Water is a killer of carpet pads and carpet fibers.  The second killer of carpet is soap.  Any kind of shampoo cleaner leaves a nasty residue on the carpet which over time, attracts more and more grime.  

So in the case of peed on carpet (which let's face's gonna happen with small children in the house!) the very best thing to do is find the area as QUICKLY as you can, and pour a lot of baking soda on it, straight from the box.  The properties of baking soda are simply amazing.  In this case it acts as a sponge and an odor neutralizer.  After you pour it on, within seconds you can see it becoming soaked with liquid.  And in the case of urine, light yellow liquid.  It can't help but absorb every bit of moisture within it's reach.  I don't believe that any carpet cleaner or steamer could do the same job as good old fashioned baking soda. 
It's the easiest fix.  Leave it on for at least 24 hours, and then vacuum away.  Because the soda is so fine, you will want to do a very thorough job of vacuuming.  Make sure you get all the pee soaked (and now dried) particles of baking soda up.  And then comes the fun and kind of gross part.  Stick your nose all the way into the carpet and take a deep breath.  What do you smell?  You should smell NOTHING.  And the great part is that it's not a superficial fix.  There will be NOTHING left behind.  You see the above picture?  Two days ago there was a sloshy puddle off tinkle on that area.  Now you can't even see an outline of where it used to be, because there is nothing left behind!

The same exact concept can be used for vomit on carpets and upholstery.  The difference is that vomit usually carries some sort of virus or bacteria, whereas urine is sterile.  Smells and looks nasty, but you can actually drink the stuff.  Puke, on the other's just gross and will make you sick.  If a child throws up on an area, clean away as much as you can with rags and a little bit of Resolve.  Sometimes there's just no way around using shampoo on carpet.  But after it's as clean as you can get it, throw a box of baking soda on it and let it sit for a day or two.

A few months ago Garrett had a stomach bug and threw up for a week.  And that boy, for whatever reason, has the most sour smelling vomit!  The smell stays on anything is touches, even after being washed on hot two times.  He threw up all over our carpet upstairs and for the life of me, I could NOT get the smell out.  One day I bought some new pillows for our bed and somehow they got dragged out to the floor and they were sitting on the spot where it smelled so bad.  An guess what?  Those pillows ended up in the garbage because they never smelled good again!  

And that's about the time that my friend told me about the baking soda method.  Even though the vomit had long been cleaned up and the carpet was dry, the smell still remained so I doused the whole area with three boxes of soda.  Two days later, there wasn't a hint of the smell anywhere! 
Oh, and I should add that this applies to mattresses as well!  This afternoon Devin napped on our bed and had an accident.  Luckily I caught it as soon as he did it.  Ha ha, this actually happened right after I got through vacuuming the pee spot on the downstairs carpet from this weekend, thus being the inspiration for this delightful post.  So I stripped the bed and threw a bunch of soda onto our $1,300 mattress.  And I'm not even worried about it!  

And there's what I have to say about baking soda.  It's on my favorite household items list! 
So inexpensive, so easy, and so affective!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Potato & Ham Chowder

I said I was going to start posting again, and looky here! That's just what I'm doing!  It's been almost a week since our Christmas Eve feast, and my fridge is still loaded with leftovers.  And like every year, there's a large Tupperware container of leftover ham.  What do YOU do with all that leftover ham?  Well I turn a large part of mine into an amazing chowder.  If you have potatoes, celery, onion, carrots, butter, and ham, you probably have everything you need stocked in your kitchen!

Potato & Ham Chowder

9-10 cups potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes (I peel half of them and leave half the peels on)
1 cup chopped celery, including leaves
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups cubed ham
9 cups water
8 chicken broth cubes
1/2 or 1 tsp salt, depending on taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 stick butter
3/4 cup flour
4 cups milk

Boil together everything EXCEPT flour and milk, then let simmer for about an hour.

Take a potato masher and mash up everything in the soup until the potatoes are in partial pieces and the liquid looks really murky. (make sure you wear an oven mit!)

In a blender, blend together the flour and milk until the lumps are gone.

While the soup is simmering and very hot, slowly pour the milk mixture into it while stirring the entire time.  Continue to simmer and let it thicken.

Serve with a little bit of grated cheese and green onion on top.  Can't beat it on a 20 degree day!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hey There, Old Friend!

Remember me?  Yup, I used to post here.  And then life with five kids got insanely busy and it just went to pot.  So maybe now that life is a little less chaotic (HA!!) I will start documenting my projects again.  I got some new tools for Christmas and I have a garage full of lumber and supplies and it's just BEGGING me to come and play. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two New Creations

I have to apologize to my whopping eleven readers for being absent for three months now. I have been extremely busy working on something. His name is Garrett. Can you believe I made this adorable guy? He became a finished product on April 3rd. Wow, five kids has been a real trip. But it's been a fun trip.

And I finally finished the picnic table I've been wanting to build the kids for months now. Life seemed to prevent it (understandably so) but I finally found the time to do it. And I'm happy to say that my dining room floor has stayed remarkably clean as of late because my kids have insisted on eating all of their meals out on their new table. I need to take a picture of them all sitting around it. One of these days. It fits six children perfectly, from my seven year old down to my twenty month old. I love how it turned out! It is sanded and ready for a finish of some sort. I'm debating between an apple red enamel or a natural looking wood stain. Either one will be weather resistant of course. Decisions decisions! My good friend pointed out that it looks just like something she saw in a Pottery Barn catalog once. And I know the exact one she is thinking of. It too was candy apple red and it cost $350. Yikes!

I've had people ask me about this little table and if they can get one. Of course! I will make one for you at a price of $100. It will only be for local pick up (Salt Lake City area) so if you are interested, let me know. I will also do any finish you want for an extra $25, or you can get it sanded and naked and finish ready at no additional cost. I can also cut a hole in the center of the middle plank for an umbrella. The dimensions are 48" long and 38" wide. Contact me

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Homemade Wall Shelf

We have an awkward sized wall in our dining area, and for the five and half years we have lived here, I have not been crazy about what's been on it. I've tried out a few different things, but it always seems to look too cluttered or too bare. I've wanted a simple shelf along that wall, hanging high enough so heads don't hit it, but low enough to be able to display things. But as my problem always is, our studs don't ever line up to anything I like, AND everything I find is either too expensive or just not the right size.

So what did I do? I decided to make something of course. All I did was get a 1x8 pine board and two pre-holed brackets in a style that I liked. The best part? The board was only $8 and the brackets were $1.98 a piece. I picked them up at Home Depot and you can find them in the lumber dept. But after looking at it, it looked a little too plain. So picked up a long piece of trim that I liked. I like this leaf pattern because it goes along with a lot of stuff in our house (and it cost about $5 for the whole piece).

I cut the board to the length I wanted, and it's somewhere around 4 feet long. Can't quite remember. I sanded it down very well, and the glued on the trim (making certain it was all cut to size to fit the three sides) and then used finishing nails to nail it in place. Then I spray painted the trimmed and molded board and the brackets in Rustoleum colonial red. Then I added just a hint of glaze to make the detail on the trim pop out.

I was lucky enough to find studs in the wall that were "almost" centered to hang my brackets on. This part was a little tricky, as is getting anything centered and LEVELED on a wall. If it's not level, it looks horrible. So first I hung the brackets, then I put some wood glue on top, placed the board exactly where it needed to be, let it dry, took the whole thing off the wall (being extremely careful because it wasn't quite sturdy and I didn't want the newly dried brackets to snap off). Then I nailed the brackets securely into the board while the whole thing was on the floor. I didn't want to be nailing the pieces together while it was delicately hanging on the wall.

Now that it's all glued and nailed together, it's very sturdy. It is just the right size for that wall and for what I wanted to display on it. Do you like the "LUCKY" blocks? I made those a few years ago and they were super simple. It's just pieces of 2x4s, green paint, and white lettering. I am pleased with how the ensemble turned out!