Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm here honestly

Well hello everyone! I haven't forgotten blogland, I've just been very busy and in a lot of pain with my hip. My back kinda went out before spring break and then I guess that caused this severe flair up of my hip bone spur. The kids have a play performance this weekend so things have been very busy with that. I'll post pictures after the event. Work has been killer because this is state testing week and my co-worker and I collect and count all the tests to ensure that none are missing. The weather has been unseasonably warm. I believe one day was 98 this week. So no fun with a bum hip out chasing around the school campus finding tests. Enough complaining. Hopefully I'll post more after this weekend. Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

First you need a #10 cast iron skillet. Add 1/4 cup butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar to mix in.

Then add a large can of drained crushed pineapple. Mix into butter/brown sugar mixture and level out the whole mixture.
Then add pineapple slices with maraschino cherries.

This is the part where I cheat. I just use a boxed yellow cake mix done according to the package directions and pour over the pineapple mixture. You could make a yellow cake from scratch and it would be just as good. I don't usually use a boxed cake mix but this is one time I do. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before turning out of pan onto a large plate.

I use a large glass cake plate that I have. I then invert it onto the plate.

Of course be careful because it's very hot. This makes the best pineapple upside down cake.

Some of you might be familiar with Mary Jane's magazine and farm, but if you're not then head over to her site for some wonderful advice on just about everything. The last issue of the magazine had a fantastic article on cast iron and some recipes I can't wait to try. I would also bet that this pineapple upside down cake would work just fine in a camp dutch oven. If you're not familiar with camp dutch ovens then check out Lodge. They'll get you started. I love my cast iron and I've had several pieces for many, many years.

Have a great day. Hugs, Amanda

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Closet Project

I thought I would catch up with my computer work as I'm down with my back. I had so much planned for this week of spring break. Like finally finishing the kitchen. Thanks a lot sciatica nerve.
As most of you know, we are a homeschooling family. This is our 11th year homeschooling and we're nearing the finishing stretch. The charter school we homeschool through has a senior seminar requirement. It involves picking a topic, writing a research paper (10-15 pages), doing a project, a presentation and a portfolio. Seth chose do his topic on "green" remodeling. He's always been into recycling and a paper he had to write last year sparked his interest in the construction end of it. Most of you also know that we live in an older home. She's celebrating her 69th year this year. Like most older homes she's got her quirks and weak areas. Just like other older homes from the same era she has a linen closet or rather she had one as of Friday morning. Seth chose (with mom's persuasion) to pull out our aging linen closet and replace it with eco-friendly stuff. He had hoped to reuse the wood for the project but most of it proved too thin. We also decided that adjustable shelving would be a better option anyway. He'll reuse the wood in other projects, like some bird houses for the backyard or something. So here's the digital record keeping of the project. Enjoy. The hallway seems much bigger now without the closet. I'm sure once the new door is in and everything it won't feel that way again.
Here it is right before demo.
Seth getting ready to work. I got the hard job of filming. Once we get his video clips edited I'll try to post them on the site. He sounds like a DIY show.
Ms. Kitty always has to inspect the new projects. I'm not sure she's approved it yet.
Now it's empty. Actually the shelves were in great condition but the drawers were just falling apart. I also wanted a place to stow the vacuum cleaner which we should be able to do with the new design.
All the molding stripped off.
The hallway ceiling was dropped when they added the master bed/bath and central ac/heat in the 60s. I guess they didn't want to redo the closet then so they just sealed off the top of the linen closet. We found an old baby food jar filled with old newspaper clippings from 1963. It even mentions Kennedy's death. That's how we figured out the date they probably sealed it off.
Off with the facing frame!!!
Out with the shelves.
It's really just a box.
Off come the sides.
With a little persuasion of course.
3 hours later no more linen closet. Now the rest of the work begins.
Thanks for stopping by. We always like having visitors drop in. Come back soon.