Each month I come up with a "word of the month" to sort of guide me but also reflect on where I am personally, professionally, and here in this little creative space. I've been bad at sharing these lately, but my goal for August in this space is more consistency, nope that's not the word ;).
I usually come to my "word" by taking a few quiet moments, clearing my mind and waiting to see what swirls to the front. It's so crazy because immediately I will have 3 or 4 words circling around and I'll think, Yes! That's it! However I wait just a little bit longer and all the words start to fade until one becomes really clear to me and I just know. Sometimes I'm not really sure what it means in that moment but it always seems to end up making sense.
Remember that time I decided to renovate my own kitchen during a global pandemic? Oh the crazy things that I decide to do. To be fair, I had decided to do all this prior to the stay at home situation, so it was ready to go, and if you're going to be stuck at home with a kitchen that is slowly sinking by the day...you may as well use your new found time to do something about it.
I've been trying to update on progress, but sometimes I get in a rhythm and get stuck in the "big picture." So I'm going to try to break down some of the components of this reno. Let's talk countertops...what I used..how I did it...what I messed up on...what I would do differently. If I can do this with no previous experience, so can you. Ready? Okay let's go.
I wanted to jazz up the "porch" window at our seasonal RV site. Some of the other campers have faux shutters so I decided to see if I could make some of my own out of scrap wood. I also added a faux window box (also out of scrap wood).
Both of these were very easy and would work well for a seasonal RV site or for a shed.
As I was designing this kitchen, this was the space that I could see before everything else. A big beautiful farmhouse sink. After looking at prices, I thought it would never happen, not to mention there's a global pandemic limiting me from being able to shop in stores. I resorted to trying to build a sink out of concrete. Just as I was starting the research process for that I found her. The most beautiful sink at the most incredible price, on Amazon. Soon after I found the faucet and it all fell into place. This space is nowhere near done, but here are some of the sources so far!
We love pizza in our house. We even opted for pizza for our rehearsal dinner (fancy pizza and cheeses and meats, but pizza none the less). It is our dream to have a pizza oven, but until that comes to fruition, pizza on the grill is a very close second.
We've been grilling pizza for some time, usually making it with pizza dough. However my husband's coworker recently tipped us off to using naan bread as a pizza crust.
We tried it on the grill and IT.IS.EVERYTHING. If you like coal fired pizza, this is the easiest and yummiest way to get that same taste at home.
Yeah, yeah, I jumped on the trend. If you know me though, you know I can't just leave well enough alone, so I changed it up a bit. I love cinnamon and coffee, so here's my twist: Dalgona Coffee with Honey Vanilla Cinnamon milk!
It seemed silly to me to make this luxurious foamy top for my coffee but then just put it over plain ol' milk. So, I decided to make a cinnamon honey vanilla milk and top it with the Dalgona coffee.
Guys..... this. is. everything.
We had planned on an addition/kitchen remodel in the near future. Unfortunately with the state of things right now, and the financial uncertainties of the future, we've decided to postpone most likely a few years.
While I am sad, I also decided that it doesn't mean we couldn't do a refresh. The goal was to build a kitchen, cash only, not dipping into any kind of savings. I believe the term is "shoe string" budget.
Adding to this problem? We're in a global pandemic, you can't just go to a store and get stuff. So I've been relying on a combo of materials I had on hand and whatever Amazon was willing to deliver. I decided to do everything possible from scratch to save even more. Here's where we are at one month in.
My grandmother's banana bread is unparalleled. Unfortunately she refuses to give the recipe to anyone. She claimed to have given it to my aunt, but I believe it was a fake. Oh those grandmothers and their secret recipes!
I've long given up trying to replicate hers and instead have spent some time making different ones.
Quarantine has brought about an abundance of overripe bananas in our house. I decided to challenge myself to make a banana bread from scratch, using what I had, but try to elevate it some way. I ended up making a banana cake of sorts, it had the flavor of banana bread and the texture of a piece of cake it isn't really one or the other so maybe it's a banana brake (Can you tell I need to get out of my house?. I bet you have all the ingredients I used. This hit the spots; sweet, nutty, and comforting.
In trying to keep a sense of normalcy around here, I thought I would take some time to do a cookbook review, this being Saturday and all!
With everyone being stuck at home, I know that many people have increased their cooking and baking. I've been thinking about why this is, but I think in part it's because there is an extreme sense of comfort to be derived from being in the kitchen. The world feels very overwhelming right now, and things feel a bit out of control. But cooking? You can control that. If you whisk eggs and cream and butter, you know what you're going to get. There's comfort in that.
For this week's review I've selected the Magnolia Table cookbook from Joanna Gaines. I am reviewing her first book as she has her second one coming out this week.
I remember helping my grandother clean up after Thanksgiving on eyear, and she instsisted on putting everything away herself. At first I thought she was being stubborn, but one year she admitted, "if I don't stack everything just so, it doesn't fit." At the time I didn't understand, but I now have a kitchen built at roughly the same time as my grandmother's. If I don't stack everything "just so" it doesn't fit.
Prior to starting this kitchen remodel, I made a list of all the "problem" areas in my kitchen and vowed to come up with solutions to fix them. One such area was the fact that our pots and pans were stacked and you had to move them all to get at the one you wanted. As I began building the cabinets, I knew their had to be a better way. I turned to an Ana White plan, and I'm thrilled with the results.