Friday, February 11, 2011

Egg Scramble

I'm sure no one cares about this wall, newly covered in sheetrock. I'm getting sick of it myself. This is only the first coat of mud, applied to the screw holes and over the tape, along the joints. It will get at least two more coats of mud with at least a day to dry in between each coat. It's so boring, I don't even want to work on it. Instead, I made eggs.

I haven't been cooking much at all lately. We've been surviving on coffee, soup, peanut butter and jelly, whatever is fairly instant. This morning, however, I woke up in the mood to have a filling breakfast so I whipped up one of my hearty egg scrambles. (Not that I consider this any kind of elaborate cooking.) This one turned out more decadent than most, due to the addition of some cream cheese. Every time I make an egg scramble, it turns out differently, depending on what ingredients I have on hands. So this 'recipe' can be altered in a number of ways to suit your taste or fridge contents. For that reason, I am not very specific with my measurements and quantities.

Egg Scramble
(serves 2)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil or other oil for frying
1/2 cup diced onions
handful of diced red bell pepper
a bit of diced jalapenos
a clove or two of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cilantro chutney
a few chopped green olives (about 8)
4 large eggs, whisked
heaping Tablespoon of cream cheese
1/2 cup canned black beans
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
dollop of salsa
grated parmesan cheese

Instructions: Heat oil in large skillet. Add onions and simmer until they start to brown. Add the next 5 ingredients and simmer a few minutes.

Meanwhile, soften the cream cheese in the microwave and incorporate it into the whisked eggs. Add to skillet, stirring it into the other ingredients. Add the beans.

Be sure to rinse the beans or the drab colored juice will make the whole dish an unappetizing color. It will still taste good, but... just rinse them please!

Add the parsley, salt and pepper and incorporate everything well. Plate the portions, topping with salsa and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Six more weeks!

In the midst of enjoying the Super Bowl and watching blizzards (well, from afar!), planning a garden, and knitting scarves, I didn't forget that we had another very important holiday last week... Groundhog Day! We like to celebrate the event by getting together with family, watching the Bill Murray movie of the same name, and having foods that relate to the movie as well. So last Wednesday night we enjoyed donuts/pastries, rocky road ice cream, sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist... you get the idea.

Now I'm feeling a little bit like a groundhog on a sunny day, because I have about six more weeks of work left on this bedroom and bathroom overhaul. That's partly because I work very slowly, and always seem to have other interruptions.

I decided to paint the pocket door, rather than stain it. Well, I'll admit that I tried staining it first, and did a lousy job, using water-based stain. I think it must be impossible to put down a coat of that kind of quick-drying stain on the whole door in the small amount of time you have before you have to wipe off the excess. So mine dried before I could tend to it and became very streaky. Also, working in smaller sections didn't pan out too well either, as each 'line' where I left off was noticeable. So I quickly decided I could be alright with having a 'Spalding Gray' painted door on the bedroom side and 'Montpelier Ashlar Grey' on the bathroom side. The trim is getting stained though, as I am confident I can work that small of an area in time. So the lesson I've learned is that I will have to go ahead and purchase oil-based stains for larger projects in the future and deal with the turpentine for clean-up. OOOORRRRR, use disposable foam brushes and rags, and throw them all away when I'm done.

Here are the latest (limited) views of the new wall:

I just happened to have the green mold/moisture resistant sheetrock on hands, so that's what I used. This is a shared wall between a bathroom and bedroom, so it's more important to have it on the bathroom side. But we intend to have a water feature in the bedroom eventually too. Obviously, I haven't done the taping and mudding yet. I've never done this before, so I'm in for another learning experience tomorrow.

Last week, I also learned how to do very basic electrical wiring. I installed 4 new outlets (one of them GFCI) and a double switch (single pole) to operate two of those outlets. Notice the outlet up high by the ceiling. That's to feed power to the crown moulding/rope lighting effect we want to install around the ceiling someday. The other part of the switch powers an outlet down towards the floor that will be used by the water feature (that I still have to make!) But while the wall was open, that was the time to plan for these things and get the juice in place!

This is the door panel I built to hide the shower controls from the other side of the wall. Of course, it needs sanding and painting still. We'll probably never have to access it, but nevertheless, I wanted it to look better than the old panel that was crudely screwed onto the wall I removed. This has a fun little magnetic latch that opens when you push it once, and then closes when you push it again.

So, it seems like very little progress for the amount of time that has passed. But the important thing is that I am doing something everyday. It's a lot of fun to learn new things and watch something like this evolve.