Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cold Prevention

I haven't had a cold so far this year *touch wood*, but I've come close a few times. When I start getting a scratchy throat, like I did yesterday, I do two things: megadose on vitamins, and have a spicy stir-fry.

Vitamins
I don't take any vitamins at the moment, but if I do feel a cold coming on, I immediately start taking Cenovis Echinacea, Garlic, Zinc & C
source
I usually take two with each meal (approx six per day) for two to three days after I start feeling yucky. Apparently if echinacea is taken at the onset of a cold it can help reduce the cold's duration - works for me!

Spicy Stir-fry
My meal of choice is a Thai basil beef and chilli stir-fry. It all started about five years ago when I was feeling unwell and not up to making dinner. I bought a basil beef stir-fry from our local Thai takeaway, and the chilli and onions helped to clear out my sinuses. Since then I often make one when I start to feel a bit sinus-y. The last couple of times I've used Marion's Kitchen Thai Basil & Chilli Stir-fry meal base. The first time I made it according to the instructions on the packet (with red capsicum and beans as my vegetables), but found that the meat needed longer cooking time than 1 minute at the end of the stir-fry process (although I am cooking with an electric frypan at the moment) and it came out quite tough as a result. Last night I cooked the meat as I usually would for a stir-fry: browned it in batches at the start of cooking, removed it from the pan while cooking the other ingredients, then returned the meat to the pan when everything else was nearly ready. Much better!

And I'm feeling fine again today.

Do you do anything special to prevent a cold?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Painting Started

The electrician still hasn't come back to finish off the wiring (which means no oven or cooktop). Luckily we still have two working powerpoints in the kitchen so the electric frying pan and microwave have been getting a good workout. Rob has been making our espresso coffee on the wok burner on the BBQ.

In the meantime, I decided to make a start on the painting. You might remember that we originally had one green wall in the kitchen, with the adjoining wall a 'taupe' colour

Way back in April I put some prepcoat on the green wall as I was planning to paint it a lighter colour. This weekend I finally got around to painting the walls at that end of the kitchen. The first pic below was taken Saturday afternoon, with painters tape applied to the cornices so I didn't colour outside the lines. The second pic was taken on Sunday afternoon after the second coat of Dulux Clotted Cream.

The paint was still wet when I took the second pic, so it looks a bit patchy. It should look better once it's dry. I haven't painted below the windowsill as the splashback will cover that area. Speaking of windowsills, that's next on the list to paint.

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Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
Slowly Coming Together
Delivery Damage, Plumbing & Heating
Wiring, Plasterboard and Benchtops
Plumbing Complete

Monday, June 13, 2011

Plumbing Complete

We have running water again in the kitchen - yay! The novelty of washing dishes in our teeny tiny laundry wore off pretty quickly.

So here's our new sink and tap. The sink is a Domsjo from Ikea. The Aquaport tap has a lever on the left side for filtered water, and a lever on the right side for regular hot and cold water

The dishwasher and gas cooktop have been plumbed in too but won't be operational until the electrician does his bit.

Related Posts
Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
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Delivery Damage, Plumbing & Heating
Wiring, Plasterboard and Benchtops

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wiring, Plasterboard and Benchtops

Edited to add a pic of our new benchtops

On Thursday I finally ordered our new rangehood

The electrician also came in and disconected our old oven, put in wiring for the dishwasher and rangehood, and added wiring for a couple of new power points. We now have little holes all over our kitchen...

We discovered that area behind the old splashback was held together by...
masking tape

No plasterboard, just masking tape then the exterior brickwork. At this stage I realised I didn't have the time or resources to put in new plasterboard before Stuart came to install our benchtops, so I rang him and asked him if he would be able to put in some new plasterboard for us as well (he is a carpenter by trade). He agreed, so in the meantime I began fixing cabinets to the wall that had good plasterboard.

This morning Stuart came and took out the rotten board and masking tape and put in new plasterboard

Once that was done he modified the sink cabinet to fit our new sink, fixed the remaining cabinets to the new plasterboard and installed the wooden benchtops he made for us.

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Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
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Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

No Exercise = No Appetite

I've been doing a lot of nothing since hurting my lower back. And as a result my appetite has significantly reduced. I'm not really interested in eating anything first thing in the morning, start to get hungry around lunchtime (have mostly been having soup as it's so cold here at the moment), then eat a regular dinner (spaghetti bolognese has featured a lot lately). I might have a snack in the afternoon or before bed, but that's about it. Rob commented yesterday that I looked like I'd lost weight, so this morning I got the scales out to see if he was right.

For about two years now I've been exercising regularly and usually eating pretty carefully (but way more than what I'm eating at the moment) and my weight has hovered around the 62-63kg mark.

I haven't done any exercise since Saturday (today was the first time I ventured out of the house) and haven't 'worried' about what I've eaten - I had a baked potato with butter before going to bed last night because that's what I felt like.

So what was the number staring back at me this morning? 59.7kg. Huh.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Delivery Damage, Plumbing & Heating

Delivery Damage
When our dishwasher was delivered I got the delivery guy to take the packaging off and take it with him. I'm not sure why I didn't do that when our new oven was delivered yesterday, but I wish I had. When I opened the box, here is the sight that greeted me:

The handle didn't look quite right, so I took a closer look:

Yep, a bent handle! I wrapped the box back around the oven and there it was, a ding in the packaging where the damage must have occurred:

Luckily it's just the handle that's damaged, so I'm waiting to hear back if I can get a replacement one.

Plumbing
We have been living with the sink like this for a while now

Today the plumber came in and took the old sink and tap out.

He then moved the plumbing slightly to the right in preparation for the new sink and tap

There's a bit of plasterboard there that's going to need replacing

Another skill for me to learn, LOL.

Heating
The plumber also moved the kitchen's gas ducted heating vent, which was sitting where we want our new cabinets to go.

Before, in the floor

After, in a new kickboard, which will have new cabinets sitting on top.

Tomorrow the electrician is coming (fingers crossed!)

Related Posts
Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen
Slowly Coming Together

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Frustrated

Warning: negative post ahead

I was feeling pretty happy on Friday last week. I finished an in-house contract job and was looking forward to having this week off while the tradies did their stuff in the kitchen.

On Saturday I injured my lower back. You know when you see someone on TV bend over then can't straighten up again? That was me - I bent over to pick up my socks and my back froze. I'd been doing far too much sitting (train travel, lunch breaks in front of the computer etc) and one of my lumbar discs decided to 'derrange' itself. I can't move much without feeling sore, tired or nauseous, so I've been lying on the couch watching lots of movies.

So far this week two of the tradies didn't turn up when they said they were going to so I've had to rearrange everyone else as each bit of work is dependant on what has gone before.

Today our new oven was delivered. The handle for the oven door is bent. Sigh.