Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Kitchen!

So, if you can remember how excited I was for the new stove... try to imagine my current excitement:

We're completely redoing the kitchen:
(Photo courtesy of myself, on my cell phone. The dome isn't up, but please feel free to admire the boob light.)


Nothing exciting now... (actually, this was last night) but IT WILL BE. Since this picture was taken, we went to Home Depot and picked up all our cabinets, counter top, knobs, paint, blah blah blah... Nathan already did 2 layers of spackle (while repeating "I hate sheetrock. I hate sheetrock. Our entire real house will be knotty pine."), tomorrow, he's doing one more layer and sanding.

Hopefully, we'll be painting on Monday... cabinets will get hung Tuesday, counter top will be put together on Wednesday, finishing touches on Thursday... it would be pretty sweet.

So imagine this space full of oak cabinets (we wanted hickory, but Home Depot said 7-10 days and really meant around a month, so no thanks), a golden/brownish/yellowish granite-looking laminate counter top, and paint that I think is called "tea time" and is also a goldish brown... Don't imagine baby poop, because that's what that description sounds like to me right now.

Until the kitchen is done, I'm not cooking anything. But, I will tell you about my romantic Valentine's Day meal! Since we're redoing the kitchen, we're strapped for cash. I offered to cook dinner. So, I made my mom's meatloaf and double-baked (cheat) mashed potatoes! And then we had a side salad. And Valentine cupcakes for dessert!

1 sleeve of Ritz, 1 lb of ground meat (venison for us), 1 egg, a "swoosh" of milk (something less than a quarter cup, gotta love Mom's directions), and enough ketchup to make everything look red. I say: The more ketchup, the better.
Crush up the Ritz into tiny pieces. Combine everything (except meat) in a large bowl. Then, add the meat. Mix it all up thoroughly. Form a "loaf" in some kind of oven-safe pan, I use a pyrex. Bake at 350° for an hour. Remove it from whatever you baked it in so that the grease doesn't harden onto the bottom of the loaf.

1 box of mashed potato flakes (too much work is involved in 'real' mashed potatoes for 2 people to eat, even on Valentine's day), water, milk and butter (as called for on box), 2-3 tbsp of cream cheese (or sour cream if you prefer).
Make the mashed potatoes according to the directions on the box. Then, pour them into something you don't mind using your hand mixer in (it would've scratched the pot I cooked originally cooked them in). Add the cream cheese (feel free to use a lot more, the more you add... the creamier and more delicious they are). Mix, mix, mix. Put into an oven-safe pan, I used another pyrex. If you were to bake them directly after originally making them, they'd need about 10 minutes in the oven. I made them in the afternoon (along with the meatloaf) so I could just stick everything in the oven once Nathan got home. That made them cold (duh). If you're moving them from the refrigerator to the oven, give them about 25-30 minutes. I added them at the end of the meatloaf's bake time, so the oven was still at 350°.

To make them both super festive, I made the meatloaf in the shape of a heart and sprinkled some swiss cheese on top of the potatoes in the shape of a heart. I was hoping the cheese would bake and get a little dark (so it would actually be visible), but that's alright. Here's a picture of them on the butcher block before I set the table:
(Photo courtesy of me, on my cell phone.)

Pillsbury Valentine's day funfetti cupcakes (vanilla, with red sprinkles mixed in to make spots). Pillsbury vanilla frosting (already came pink, didn't even have to use food coloring) with sprinkles. Followed the box directions (but didn't cover them afterward, so the one I bit into this morning was as hard as a rock).
(Photo courtesy of myself, on my cell phone. Ignore the failure of the bottom left cupcake).

So, I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. And I hope my kitchen gets finished on schedule!
Tonight, we had sauerbraten at my mom's to celebrate my sister's birthday... I'm hoping to conquer that dish one day, but it's definitely not happening anytime soon...

So, what's for dinner at your house tonight?

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