Archive for March, 2017


Poached egg with bruschetta and tomato relish

Quick breakfast brunch, made bread with fine Italian flour with a touch of whole wheat graham flour.

Toast the sliced bread, serve egg with spicy tomato relish.

Last night loaves, one already eaten. 


counter tops, before and after

Yep , they make it look so easy on TV.

Remodeling ! the scourge of the homeowner, it can be frustrating or a gainful experience. Many years ago (if you are that old) the great rise of the big box home supply stores came on the landscape, only before there were the local lumberyards that serviced the homeowner. A minor upgrade, priority one, replace the kitchen counter tops. Well not really  replace them but resurface them. The amount of home improvement ideas will hit you like a tidal wave, now narrowing it down to counter tops alone, granite ? solid surface ? composite? stone? cement? laminate?  What’s your budget is perhaps the first question of the re-modeler before picking up that hammer. The sky’s the limit so why bother, just get a home equity loan and call a contractor and thousands of dollars  later your dream house renewal is done.  Not so fast! With a bit of sweat equity this small task won’t run us into the poor house or a second mortgage

Now that we have decided on the method, re laminating the worn kitchen counters, we search the websites and stores for samples, probably the only way to view the hundreds of combinations of styles and colors that the manufacturers (laminate products are most dependent on 2 manufacturers) supply since chances are none to zero that the local home center will have a counter top made with the laminate you like on display. Fortunately the manufacturers will mail laminate samples free of charge and usually in 2 sizes. This combined with the website will allow one to select the style, color, size of the sheet goods needed and finish of the sheet goods. Also the ordering process is easy with the local home centers  have mostly all the selections available for online ordering AND delivery. Years ago one would need a truck delivery of sheet goods because of there size but now they are packaged in such a manner to facilitate delivery to the home undamaged. Purchase and ordering without visiting the home center. So we poured over the samples only to make multiple decisions and to change them last minute. Ordered, done deal.

One 5 by 12 foot and one 4 by 8 foot Wilsonart laminate delivered in one large box.

canvas6The before, a mismatch of colors, years ago I worked for a real estate developer and did some laminating on the job. We were able to order though our employer at the time. Some scraps served use as a small counter lower type desk was added to the kitchen years ago.


The counter tops will stay in place, usually they could be removed from the cabinets, new tops constructed, laminated and re installed. But to the nature of the kitchen construction, the counter tops are part of the cabinets, not easily explainable as the cabinets were constructed in place when the house was built one advantage is that there are no dividers between the cabinets. One might want to replace the cabinetry but you need deep pockets to absorb the skyrocketing cost.




The new re-lamination



Before view…







Before , laminate is brittle and chipped when moving the stove years ago.




DONE !   (years ago I converted and painted the cabinets and  doors and draw fronts to overlay  from the wood finish originals and replace the hardware).




High wear area next to the sink and edge banding that didn’t match.





The completed area, the total job  job was broken down into several steps, (weekends) one was the completion of the counters previously pictured, on one week end. After the laminate purchase a new sink was purchased to replace the well worn heavy cast iron original. The sink was actually replaced before the resurfacing of the counter as to eliminate any plumbing problems that might arise as the new sink drain positions did not match the originals and the original faucet connections failed upon disconnection . A bit of plumbing expertise allow me to use slip couplings to remedy the drain alignment and to allow the drain lines to remain on the sink as it was removed with only one disconnection point, the other were the hot and cold supply and the dishwasher drain. Again know your limits, sinks alone can run much money even before you get to the selection of faucets that can easily exceed the cost of the sink, and even though we didn’t plan on replacing the faucet till later, when disconnecting the sink, problems arose as to necessitate replacement sooner than later.  Anyone who messes with plumbing knows that is where the major labor cost (time) can be so getting this aligned (plumbed) before the actual lamination procedure of the counter top is a way to split up the labor hours (unless you have a team of plumbers at your disposal). 😉 and to avoid any plumbing surprises when removing and installing sink to re laminate the counter top.



New sink and faucet, decisions, decisions, Pull up? pull out? separate sprayer? soap dispenser? 3 hole sink? 4 hole sink? stainless? chrome? nickel? black?  Diane was happy to find this model that didn’t have the base plate and accommodated a 4 hole sink and only after stops at 2 home centers. A faucet is kind of a thing you want to see in person but some store displays have them beyond reach. All in all it is quite higher arc than the previous one but better fit for filling pots and pans. The pull out, or pull up integrated sprayers were passed by as it could be a wear factor over the years and another movable parts and another button to push on the pull out spray head. Plastic pipe abounds on these faucets made to ease the installation, no more sweating copper lines or trying to bend metal tubing for the feed lines, afraid at first of tugging out the plastic lines the installation was quick, clip together fed lines to the valve and sprayer and flexible plastic supply lines had me on my back for only a short time.


Whats next ? Solutions for the floor !

What I plan to add to this blog is the actual process description, cutting , gluing and trimming of the Formica laminate.




Meat n’ Wheat

Bread has been a passion, the home baked variations are many. The succulent taste of meat combined with bread is a flavor perhaps learned from the humble hamburger. I have thought of the best recipe to combine the meat with bread, Beef Wellington,  Empanadas  and the likes, even considering baking bread with ground beef in the dough. But for me the real deal was not bread but wheat, cooked to absorbed the juices of the particular meat chosen and at the top of my scale is lamb. So this is the  recipe, adaptable to other flavors.

In a suitable pan for cooking the meal brown the meat, here , lamb loin chops. Salt and cracked  pepper of course.


Set the meat aside keeping the  the juices rendered during the browning process in the pan.

Prep ingredients….



The magic ingredient here is Bulgar.

Saute up the root vegetables then add the tomatoes, here onion ,shallots and garlic are used. As to your liking herbs and spices, I used a smattering of cinnamon and just a few coriander seeds for small burst of flavors.

Add the Bulgar to absorb the juices now in the pan, and cook for several minutes. I added sesame seeds, a frequently used staple in cooking and baking . Not toasted in this recipe.


Return the meat to the pan atop the Bulgar.


Add liquid, stock is preferred, roughly twice as much by measure as the amount of wheat. If stock is not hot, bring pan to a boil first.


Cover and simmer or place  into a hot oven if you like, about 20 minutes, remove from heat and let rest covered a few minutes.

The finished result is tender meat surrounded by a most favorable wheat mixture.


MMMM…. the flavor of the lamb is incomparable when combined with the Bulgar. A close recipe is Kibbeh, also a favorite which is very close to a Meat n’ Wheat ultimate combination.    WOW recipe link , 6 years ago !


shopping, groceries

current purchases and pricing:

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March 2017

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