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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Kitchen Renovations Continued - Braised Ribs

I have to tell you that I am tiring of the ongoing kitchen renovations. They basically started the moment we moved in with removing built-in appliances and roughly fitting ours in. At that time we had planned on having the kitchen completely renovated within a month. Then came injuries for both of us, his 5 stitches across the knuckle and my 8 stitches in the arch of my foot. Then came family events, electrical issues, plumbing issues, flooding issues, Christmas, winter vacation, sewer issues (yep we had a blue port-a-potty for 5 days!), spring vacation, one of our kid's weddings and finally we are getting the kitchen done! In short, life got in the way and when you are a DIYer that can really slow things down.

Surf & Turf

Before I get into a bit more about the kitchen I want to share my husband's birthday meal. We don't do things like birthday gifts, cards or go out. The reason for this is we try to make each other feel special every day of the year. Besides instead of small gifts throughout the year we save that money for our quarterly vacations. What we do for each other if make a special birthday meal.

This year my husband wanted steak and scallops for his birthday dinner. The steak was grilled to rare served with broiled bacon wrapped scallops, steamed red potatoes, sautéed mushrooms with red onions and side salad consisting of mesclun mix, tomatoes and cucumbers with fresh lemon juice in place of dressing. We dined in the upper screened in sunporch enjoying the sights and sounds of the water.

Tiling Started

This is how my kitchen looked Monday (August 4) night after both of us spending a very long and sometimes frustrating day of working on the kitchen. The night before my husband burned out the circular saw for cutting the sink and base which resulted in an unexpected trip and purchase setting us back. The water was beckoning us to forget the kitchen and get away on the boat. It would have been ever so easy! We resisted and kept plugging away.

The tiling is going amazing smoothly considering up to this point the only thing I had tiled was the base for a wood stove in one of our former homes. My husband has no tiling experience aside from observation. He had to learn quickly how to use a tile saw and the clippers but picked it up nicely. We started with the window frame and were going to leave the top piece because he thought it needed bracing but after checking online we found we could go ahead and do it. Miracle of miracles it stayed up! We moved down to the walls where the first obstacle was cutting an opening for an outlet. By now hubby has learned a few tricks so the end result is quite nice looking.

Tonight (Aug. 5) we are working on the bridging for the back of the stove and small counter. I doubt we will get to the breakfast island but if we do that would be great. The time frame looks to be by Wednesday night we will have all the tiling finished. The tiles need to sit 24-36 hours before grouting of which I want to do all the grouting at once so we won't be grouting before Friday morning. The grout has a 3 day cure period where you have to mist it for proper curing. Then we can put the grout seal on - 2 coats at 3 hours dry time so by next Tuesday the kitchen will be fully operational!

BTW, the new sink and downdraft system can be seen where the stove opening is. The stove is in the right foreground, fully protected with the cartridges removed. Oh and the grout is white so that will really change the look again.

Braised Ribs

I am determined to put good food on the table despite the renovations. From previous experience (4 houses) renovations create laissez-faire attitude towards meals. Let's face it kitchen renovations are the worst as far as disruption! Either the meals are kept so simple they are boring no cooking required meals or more often that not end up being fast food or take-out. Both really are expensive and cut into the unexpected expenses of remodelling. So I'm relying on a well stocked pantry and freezers because grocery shopping is the last thing I want to do right now as well as those resources I have at hand.

My stove is out of commission until at least next Tuesday but I'm not concerned. I have a gas grill with side burner, slow cooker, rice maker, deep fryer, toaster, microwave oven and countertop roaster so being without a stove shouldn't be a huge problem. I also have a campstove somewhere in the unorganized garage from our move here. We also have room for a fire pit so that could be in place within a day and I do love cooking over an open fire. The dishwasher and fridge are operational but will be disconnected for brief periods of time and I have a large sink in the laundry room. Anyway, I'm digressing.

Monday night's dinner was braised ribs done in the countertop roaster. When they were partially finished I poured on a little Diana's Gourmet Western Steakhouse sauce. Then I added quartered red potatoes. I steamed the broccoli on the grill side burner. It was a nice hearty meal that didn't take much in the way of preparation.

3 food lovers commented:

sheila sultani said...

All that food looks so yummy - I've been eating rice cakes and salads for 2 months now and pictures like that are going to make me cave - did you do the surf and turf on the grill? I could almost smell it!

Garden Gnome said...

Thank-you for the lovely compliment Sheila! We occasionally eat rice cakes but salads are a different story. We have those almost daily with our dinner and sometimes for lunch. The greens of choice tend to be mesclun or spring mix. If you want to make a salad sparkle without the calories, sprinkle fresh lemon juice over the greens and vegetables.

The steak was grilled but the scallops were done in the oven.

Tara @ Feels like home said...

Those two pictures look soooo good! It's bed time, so I can't go on or I'll talk myself into having a snack. Yum!