Recipe Review: Regrettable(?) Recipes (A 12-Step Program)

Step 1: One part of your brain goes “NOMNOM. I want a Snickers bar.”
Step 2: Anther part of your brain goes “Don’t you want to fit into your skinny jeans? That shit does not help. DON’T DO IT!”
Step 3: First part of your brain coyly replies “But don’t you remember that recipe on Pinterest? You’ve been meaning to test it out. It’ll be a good learning experience, it’ll be better for you because it’s homemade (and homemade is always better for you, right?) AND you can GIVE THE LEFTOVERS TO PEOPLE AT WORK! They love eating free food. It’s a win-win for EVERYONE. And who doesn’t love a win-win?”
hmsnickers-1-2
Kryptonite? Source of all happiness? (Recipe from How Sweet Eats)
Step 4: Go purchase ingredients for said recipe because, of course, you don’t have everything on hand. Look smugly at said Snickers bar in checkout line and think, “You’re so inferior to the amazingness I’m going to make.”
Step 5: Purposely avoid looking at your receipt total for recipe ingredients.
Step 6: Make homemade Snickers. Eat half the pan because they are so damn delicious.
Step 7: Give tiny sample to husband. Listen to him rave. Pat yourself on the back for making something so good.
Step 8: Monitor his intake of Snickers bars because you’ve got to have the last bite. Sneakily finish them off when he’s not looking. Do not take any leftovers into work.
Step 9: Pull out skinny jeans. Put them away because you have no interest in resembling sausages or muffins.
Step 10: Realize that the money you spent on the recipe was 10x the amount of one Snickers bar.
Step 11: Curse Pinterest. Vow to stop trying new recipes. Take a break for a couple of weeks.
Step 12: Craving hits… and repeat.

Recipe Review: The Hell of Homemade Ice Cream

I coveted this baby for a long time:

Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker

And I was deliriously happy when I got it for Christmas. I literally pulled out the laptop right then and there (screw whatever other gifts I received that year) to start reviewing all of the recipes I pinned that could ONLY be created using this totally necessary tool.

Have you ever really looked at any of those ice cream recipes you’ve pinned? Even more importantly, have you watched the dessert round of Chopped and thought, “oh, that’s not too bad”?

When I mean not too bad, I mean the ease at which it seems to come together. The chefs throwing a couple of ingredients together, pouring it into the ice cream maker, then removing it at the right time. Seems pretty simple, especially if you have a recipe to follow.

NO. IT’S NOT SIMPLE.

The ice cream maker above is nothing like the Chopped ice cream maker. And if you get a craving for ice cream… well, better hope you still have it until tomorrow. Cause that’s how long it usually takes to actually make ice cream. Here’s the process:

Step 1: Think about making ice cream. Gather all ingredients. Realize you’re missing something. Go to store. Come home.

Step 2: Make your custard base thing. It involves boiling.

Step 3: Chill your base. Recipes typically suggest overnight. Freeze your ice cream maker at the same time because you can’t just keep it in your freezer since it’s so full… despite the fact that you have a chest freezer as well.

Step 4:  Next day, pour your base into the frozen ice cream maker WHILE THE CHURNY THING IS SPINNING. Curse because the maybe-soon-to-be ice cream splatters everywhere. Churn.

Step 5: Guess what? It’s still not ready to eat yet. Pour it into a container and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

And 25 days later, you have homemade ice cream! If that hasn’t made you tired, then here’s a couple of recipes I’ve taste tested, just for you:

Obviously my ice cream maker never got any use. Obviously.

house post alert: let there be light!

when i laid out the plans for the house, we didn’t want to waste precious window space on the bathrooms. first of all, they’re not very big. second of all, the windows are always awkwardly placed.

i recently went on a modern home tour with my friend, matt. and pretty much all of those houses had that problem. it would be a gorgeous bathroom with lots of natural light… but your neighbor could see you peeing or showering – basically being a creeper. look at this beautiful tub and say hi to your neighbors at the same time!

so, we did not put windows in the bathroom.

but  i still wanted to find a way to get natural light in there. welcome to the world of solar tubes, sometimes known as sun tunnels.

solatube example
image courtesy of lubbock skylight

you may be wondering, does it really bring in that much light? the answer is yes. and it’s a great quality light. so we installed one in each bathroom right above the shower/tub.

but, per the usual, there were challenges.

i planned on just getting the typical 10″ ones you can purchase at home depot. however, you’ll notice that it looks like it goes for a sloped roof. we don’t have a sloped roof. so, those easy-to-install kits were not gonna fly.

so, we ended up with 14″ commercial-grade tunnels, complete with a larger chunk of change out of our pockets. and then our contractor informed us that the installation was going to take even more out of our pockets – not a shock. i knew when glancing through the installation instructions that it was going to be an increase, but that doesn’t mean it felt good.

and there's light!
and there’s light!

it does actually look like there’s a light on in the bathroom. if there’s any light outside, even at sunrise, you really don’t need to turn a light on.

little bit better of a pic of the master shower
little bit better of a pic of the master shower – minus the blurriness
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and the the guest bathroom – a noncreepy shower/bath awaits your visit!

when you (yes -you!) come to visit, you’ll get to enjoy some lovely daylight-lit showers and/or baths. what are you waiting for? maybe for kelly to move out? good news! that’s happening literally as i type! when she gets settled, i’ll take pictures of her new place – just renovated as well. or you can visit and see this all for yourselves.

house post alert: creating the northface jacket

we passed our framing, electrical and plumbing inspections!

so now we need the northface jacket. most of you are probably saying, huh? what the heck do you mean? well, think about it this way…

on a windy day, you want to wear a windbreaker, right? and a cold day you want to wear a sweater. on a cold windy day, you want to wear both. well, your house needs the same thing.

the envelope – the very outside layer of the house – needs to be sealed up. any cracks between the sheathing, the floor boards, anything like that, are like holes poked in the windbreaker.

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wiring going into the basement. it’s all sealed up now. no holes in the windbreaker.

after everything is sealed up, ya gotta install insulation – a warm sweater for the house. in all walls, floors and ceilings between unconditioned and conditioned space, like the house and the attic. a lot of houses use batt insulation.

but we’re special. so very special. so we went with spray foam. it’s a combo of sealing and insulating. it’s more expensive, but it works really well in our situation and with how many cracks, gaps and seams there are in the framing and sheathing.

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kitchen is all sprayed up!
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it’s gonna be nice and cozy in the living room too.
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same for the guest bedroom.

and what about the interior walls? well, the only time you need insulation for interior walls is when you want it to help dampen sound. otherwise, interior insulation is not necessary.

house post alert: sprucing up the entrance

did you know that, on average, a front door purchase has a 100% return on investment?

neither did i.

so, of course, we’re replacing the front door. i thought about keeping it. it does have character, but it just doesn’t add enough light. and it also doesn’t open the right way. and it’s hanging crooked. here’s a nice reminder.

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it’s got character, but it’s not in the best condition

my contractor’s door and window guy looked into a door for us and came up with this. not so modern, huh? if it was almost any other house in the neighborhood, it’d work. not so much for a boxy, modern house.

so, i started looking into doors. and i found some great ones. but before i ordered anything, i needed to check measurements on the door.  most doors are 36″x80″. that size  is pretty easy to find and there’s a lot of choices. is our front door 36″x80″?

of course not. that’d be too easy.

so, i searched again. and i found very few doors that size. i finally stumbled upon the Doors 4 Home website. found a door in the right size! they also seemed to get good reviews. it’s still nerve wracking, though. you’re placing an order that can’t be returned. it’s a lot of money.

luckily, the company came through – and in a much shorter time frame than they quoted. in less than a month, i had a custom door delivered. so, Doors 4 Home, i’d recommend you for sure.

it’s not installed yet because we’re waiting on our other door (not the same company… and a whole different story), but at least you can see it.

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needs to be painted, but is lookin’ good

things i should be doing

i should be editing a powerpoint presentation right now. that’s my work task.

but i need a break. and i don’t know where some of the information is that i need. which makes it hard to edit said powerpoint. plus there’s the additional frustration that i’m the one editing the powerpoint.

master’s of architecture = qualified to edit powerpoints

sigh.