Wordless Wednesday: The Rising Sun

The rising sun illuminating clouds and contrails. 


-Joshua

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Bathroom Remodel: Excavating the Past

The next phase of the bathroom remodel is to remove the tile and fix the floor underneath. I have been holding off on removing the tile because I knew there was rot in the subfloor around the toilet. 

To get to the subfloor I had to peal back the layers of time. So far as I could tell nothing had ever been taken off the floor before. Everyone in the past had just added another layer to the top. 

Many layers makes for a tall floor.

The first step was to smash the tile so I could remove it. Surprisingly, there was actually concrete backer board under the tile. I didn’t think that the tiling had been done correctly in the past. 

Under the tile and concrete board were 3 layers of linoleum. Removing linoleum isn’t difficult, but no one had ever felt the need before I guess. 

Wood look linoleum with yellow underneath

Beneath all that was the original layer. I am not exactly sure if it was linoleum or something different. It didn’t look quite like linoleum to me, but I don’t know much about the stuff.  This layer looked somewhat like parquet I think. 

Original floor covering

Lastly I had to remove a layer of 1/4th inch plywood that was attached directly to the subfloor. 


While it was a lot of work to remove all these layers it was interesting to see how people had decorated in the past. None of these floor coverings appeal to me, but somebody thought they were great at some time. 

-Joshua

Spelt and Cornmeal Biscuits

The Internet is great for finding recipes, but sometimes, there is nothing like getting a cooking magazine in the mail. I don’t remember how, but I ordered a subscription to Cooking Light magazine, and a few days ago, we got the latest issue. I decided to make use of it and look through it for dinner ideas. I came across the toasted quinoa soup that I mentioned in my quiche post and also came across two recipes that I decided to try together: whole-grain spelt and cornmeal biscuits and beef and barley stew. The beef and barley stew was amazing; I think this was mostly due to Josh’s fresh veggies from the garden and my dad’s grilled tri-tip that I used. The spelt and cornmeal biscuits were a big hit with my whole family… except for me!

Josh and I love cooking and baking with alternative flours. We think it’s fun, even when the results aren’t to our liking. So when I happened across spelt flour, I had to get it, even if it did sit in our cabinet for a while before I found a way to use it!

The biscuits were very, very crumbly! In fact, my daughter enjoyed smashing her biscuit into crumbs and eating the crumbs. Silly girl!

I don’t think this was the fault of the recipe though. At some point in the past, I ordered cornmeal through Amazon Pantry. The problem is, somehow I ordered MEDIUM grain cornmeal, four 12 ounce bags of them. At first, when I saw the bags, I thought that it was great I would have cornmeal to last me awhile. Then, I tried baking with the cornmeal, and the cornmeal was so coarse that I was gritting my teeth on it! I use the cornmeal now just because I need to, but I certainly don’t like baking with it very much.

I’ve tried “chopping” it to a finer grain using a food chopper, but it didn’t help.

Anyway, that cornmeal is what I used in these biscuits. And that is most likely why I didn’t like them. And probably also why they were so crumbly. So these biscuits would turn out great with a different cornmeal. Then again, my family loved these. My oldest even said he liked these better than the plain drop biscuits I had made two days ago!¬† So as Josh told me, maybe I’m just weird!

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Spelt and cornmeal biscuit with butter smeared on top

-Lynn

Back to the Drawing Board: Pumpkin Scones

I mentioned in a post last week that I was going to experiment with pumpkin scones again this week. I did actually get to it this time! Unfortunately, I was not happy with how these turned out.

I made two changes to the previous recipe. I reduced the pumpkin puree from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, and then I increased the heavy cream from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. I guess this wasn’t the right way to go! The scones were a little bit dry, and they didn’t taste pumpkin-y enough!

This didn’t seem to matter to my kids. They ate them all up at breakfast the day after I made them.

But, they aren’t good enough to sell, so I’m going to go back to the 3/4 cup pumpkin puree and the 1/4 cup heavy cream and work from there. With my next batch, I will keep the 3/4 cup pumpkin and increase the heavy cream, since it seems like the dough is too dry.

I know that there are great recipes out on the Internet for pumpkin scones (I keep seeing the copycat pumpkin scone recipe for Starbucks!), but it seems like most scone recipes use eggs! I don’t want to use eggs, just because I love the original recipe so much that I want to keep that texture.

I did drizzle some maple icing on the scones, but even that was too sweet. I think I might need to temper it with some butter.

I also cut these scones the wrong way. Oops! I should have used the rectangle method instead of the circle method. These scones definitely need to be bigger and fatter!

So basically, I liked my first attempt better than my second attempt. But that is why this section of the blog is called Kitchen Experiments. I get to make mistakes and try to correct them! Thanks for reading!

-Lynn

 

 

Sausage and Veggie Crustless Quiche

I’m trying to be better about blogging regularly, and I think I’ve finally found the right time to write blog posts. At night, after everyone else has gone to bed! Before my macaron post last week, it had been about two weeks since I had written a post. That doesn’t mean I didn’t bake or cook anything interesting. I just didn’t have time¬† or didn’t feel it was worth documenting. The past week has been just crazy with dentist appointments for all the kids one day and annual physicals for all my kids which took about 3 days total. So I haven’t been cooking all that much really. We just finished with the physicals today. Phew!

Today’s bake was Josh’s idea. He asked me if I could make a quiche using kale. I had not thought of anything for dinner yet (I am a horrible, horrible dinner planner), so of course, I jumped on board and said I could make that for dinner. I’m so glad we were planning on being out and about already, so I was able to pick up a few things to go in and with the quiche. Once I got home though, I realized that I probably wouldn’t have time to make pie crust, so I decided to go with a crustless quiche instead.

As a base recipe, I used Summer Garden Crustless Quiche from Allrecipes.com. We didn’t want it to be just veggies though because of picky eaters, so I added 4 links of crumbled, cooked Italian sausage to the veggie mixture. I also doubled most of the recipe since one quiche no longer feeds all of us. I have a feeling this is something I will be doing a lot: doubling recipes to feed all seven of us!

I also added about half of a red bell pepper and half of an Anaheim pepper diced into small pieces. These I cooked with the mixture after adding the kale. Once the veggie/sausage mixture was cooked, I spread it evenly into a pie plate and a 9″ round cake tin (I wanted one of the quiches to be a little larger than the other, since I was adding hot sauce to the smaller one for Josh and me).

Then, I whisked together 10 eggs and 1 and a half cups of milk. After adding in about 3 handfuls of cheddar cheese, I poured the egg mixture into the pie plate and cake tin and into the 350 degree oven they both went for about an hour.

The above pics are of the quiches before baking. The one on the right has Cholula drizzled over the top. Josh and I like spicy, but our kids do not.

Here are the quiches after baking. They might have been in the oven a little too long; I’m not too sure. The edges were browned a little bit too much. Looks like I might need to practice!

My kids didn’t ask for seconds, which didn’t surprise me, but they did finish their food without too much complaining. Josh and I did get seconds of our quiche though. Josh’s kale is fresh from the garden so it never tastes bitter and I hardly noticed it in the quiche.

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I did attempt a plating picture. I cooked some asparagus to go with the quiche (yes, more veggies!). Surprisingly, my youngest boy loved the asparagus and asked for more! I also had bought a loaf of french bread, and of course, all my other kids loved the bread.

I think I liked using a cake pan better than the pie plate, because I didn’t have to worry about overflow as much with the pan. I also would have liked the quiche to be a little higher, but that is probably due to the splitting of the mixture between two pans.

Tomorrow, I plan on making toasted quinoa soup. I’m sure that will go over really well with the kiddos!

-Lynn