Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We-Design-Day: Lights... Action!

This past week, I've done more research into lighting and have likely over thought the whole process but I'm more confident that I've figured out a solution that will fulfill my lighting needs.

Although there are many tools available on the Internet to help you calculate how much lighting one will require for any space, if the understanding isn't present, they likely won't help. This is what I found out this week. Although I understand the concept and even know the recommended schematic used when lighting certain spaces, ensuring that an adequate level of light is obtained isn't as easy as typing a few key words into a search engine.

After probing a coworker (who is an electrical engineer) he further explained that sometimes the information that is posted on an information sheet can be misleading if you don't have the formulas to calculate the answers.

Trust me, that last sentence had me staring blankly into space too. ;)

What I did learn is that more is usually better - as we age, our eyesight deteriorates. All of us require more light to see appropriately. Reread that last sentence and memorize it. I think it's so important, I'll type it again.

All of us require more light to see appropriately.

What that means is that even though we all think we see just fine with our current lighting levels, more lighting would make it easier to see. Furthermore, with the increasing popularity of compact fluorescent (and the phasing out of conventional light bulbs) more of them are usually required to recreate the same light levels that conventional bulbs create.

I finally decided on two, two lamp fluorescent fixtures spaced over the two main work spaces in the studio space. Additionally, I'm going to install a under counter light strip under the Expedit unit I'm going to hang on the wall. I also want to add spot lights on the bookshelves and possibly some art-type lighting on different series of artwork I want to hang. I also have task lighting on my sewing cabinet and I have task lights for the computer desks as well.

Reflected Ceiling Plan

In the family area, I had thought about adding more lighting, but we've got two floor lamps we'll be moving downstairs. I did want to add a new fixture in the games area, but naturally, there are too many things in the ceiling (pipes, ducts and such)! we'll be changing out the existing halogen fixtures for new pendants - bulb type to be determined.

Lights, we all need them - planning for them can be tricky but if you figure out what you're doing in the space and how much light the fixture you want puts out and marry it to the figures I provided last week, you could be well on your way to illuminating your life!

Thanks for stopping in and I look forward to seeing you again next week!

Write like you've got something to say...

It's been a dry spell here at Barefoot Deliberations... I've been swallowed by my basement renovation, enjoying the few fleeting days of summer, transitioning into a new position at work, preparing myself for TroubleMaker's first day of playschool and just trying to keep up with life.

And the one thing that has fallen by the wayside is my writing.

I know, personally, I love logging into Blogger and seeing all the awesome updates the blogs I follow have done... And I know the feeling of disappointment when my favourite bloggers haven't done anything new!

I've read consistently, since starting to seriously blog, is that one should write everyday, even if they've nothing to say. I've never subscribed to this theory, mostly because even though I always have something to say, it isn't always worth saying... ;) But I've really gone a long time without blogging and it makes me sad!

I guess it's about priority and only trying to put 'quality' material out in the ether. Please don't take that to mean that I don't admire and envy bloggers who write and post everyday - we are all 100% different and I love and embrace those differences, I guess I mean that within my life, I have to try and balance my priorities according what I think, feel and believe.

But tomorrow is Wednesday and I've made it my priority to write my We-Design-Day article so I best get to that! I appreciate everyone who pops in and gives me a read now and again, thanks for standing by while I work through all the fun things in life!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We-Design-Day: How do you solve a problem like...

How much light do I need in my work space?

Today, I'm going to explore more about lighting design. If you remember this post, we discussed the types of lighting - today, I want to get a little more in depth about how we can use those lighting ideas and how you can employ them to creatively, aesthetically and functionally design the lighting in your home or office.

As always, first we must cover a bit of terminology (put your learning hats on)...

Lumens the unit of measure of light output - traditionally defined as one lumen equals the same amount of light put out by one candle
Wattage determines the energy used by the light*
Light output how much light a light source will generate
Colour Rendering Index a measure of how precisely an artificial light source displays colours
Colour Temperature colour temperature of a light source indicates the colour of the light put out by the source and is measured in degrees Kelvin (the lower the value, the warmer the light put out. Higher values are cooler. Incandescent bulbs are lower (more yellow) as where fluorescent bulbs (especially traditional ones) are more blue
Efficacy is the ratio of the lumens produce to wattage consumed (or used)

*We all know bulbs are sold by watt - 40, 60 or 100 watt (incandescent) and now we've got 15, 22, 32 (and many more) in fluorescent bulbs. This number does not equal light output by the bulb (or brightness of the bulb). This number - the wattage of the bulb - only specifies the amount of energy used by the bulb each and every time the light is turned on. To measure the brightness, we have to use Lumens. Additionally, looking at other factors, like temperature or colour rendering index of the brightness quality will also aid us in selecting the correct lighting for our homes.

The next step is to examine the space we are designing the lighting for and the activities that will be going on in the room. All rooms in our homes have different requirements and needs based on the function of the space. There are variables we can try to accommodate when developing our plan.

Who is using the space and how is their eyesight? As we age, our eyes require more time to see things and we require much more light to see. The type of tasks being done are also a key factor as to "how much" light will be needed.

Professionally, I have used a set standard when doing lighting designs and similar principles and guidelines should be employed. When we look at lighting as a whole, standardized light levels can be (and have been) employed. Naturally because every situation is different, the levels can be adjusted to meet the needs of the space, client and design.

Here are some averages to give you an idea:
Space Recommended Light Output (lumens/square meter)
Kitchen 300 - 550
Living room 300 - 500
Home office/workshop 500 - 1200
Dining Room 200 - 350

During my research, I happened upon a gem of a resource. It is a simple and effective planning guide for lighting! Provided for free download from our friends at the Office for Energy Efficiency with in the Department of Natural Resources Canada, is the Home Lighting Design Guide Pocketbook

I'm going to wrap it up here for this week - there is a lot of information to digest and because its a big subject, it is important to take the time to sit back and think through the space you are going to be illuminating.

Natural Resources Canada
Home Depot Canada
BC Building Info
Image courtesy of Outdoor Wedding Lighting

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Barbecue Week!

It's hot - finally - and for more than one day in a row. We actually hit 30 degrees Celsius on Sunday - the first time all year...

So cooking when it hot sucks... Grilling when it's hot makes it seem like summer... Granted, many Canadians grill all year round - we don't. We reserve the yumminess that is grilled anything for the short, short summer months.

Our menu may be adapted as the store where we purchase all of our meat has recently had an advisory issued for Listerosis! So I'm a little bit (ok, one hell of a lot) hesitant to eat any of their products... I'd trusted them whole heartedly and to see it on the news - especially when my husband just picked up our order on Thursday (the day of the SECOND recall - with not even a word to him about the advisory - as the were still handing out free garlic or ham sausage with every order over $50)! We ate some of their sausage Thursday night. It likely was the contaminated product - so now (after some additional reading while writing this post) I'll have to watch the family - me because my RA leaves me a "weakened immune system"... Yikes!

August 22 to 28

Monday Grilled Chicken with Caesar Salad

Tuesday Grilled Hotdogs

Wednesday Sandwiches and vegetables with dip

Thursday Grilled Veggies & Pasta Kebabs

Friday Grilled Beef Burgers

Saturday Dinner at my Dad & Step Mom's new house

Sunday Grilled Sirloin Steak with Grilled peppers, mushrooms & onions and ???

As I was reworking our menu tonight, our Thursday dinner, which was to be recycled from last week (as I didn't make it), I thought it would be interesting to do something other than "salad" with the Ravioli... Being I have a fridge full of peppers and other vegetables, I thought it might be neat to create a marinade and make kebabs!

Recipe wise, the Easy Refried Bean Burritos were a HUGE hit and will be added to regular rotation... The Grilled Roast Beef - I decided to not to that recipe but still used indirect heat on our grill and created a "rub" of olive oil and seasonings and served it thinly sliced on fresh crusty buns! Definitely a YUM!

For more great menu ideas and helpful resources, check out the Menu Plan Monday hosted by the Organizing Junkie! Thanks for popping in and happy planning!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We-Design-Day: Wallpaper - the real deal

Have you every wall papered? Anyone? Anyone?

Would you do it again?

Have you ever removed someone else's wall papering job?

Did you swear you'd never, ever wall paper any surface afterwards?

I did. In our old condo - the home of "hey, screws evade us, let's glue the mirror to the wall" and "oops. ran out of wall paper paste, let's use leftover glue from the mirror project instead".

Yet even knowing all of this, i was lured in by the appeal of textured, paintable wall paper during my recent trip to the paint store.

You see, I went in for paint... Just paint - Benjamin Moore's Natura NO VOC paint in Sherwood Green (HC118) and Hawthorne Yellow (HC4) colours.

While I waited for the paint to be mixed, I happened upon a very large and shiny bin of textured wallpaper... Properly, embossed wallpaper.

Photo courtesy of Modenus

Generally, I've seen this applied to ceilings and it makes me crazy with envy... So the idea of having it on a feature wall in my studio... Well, I fell madly and deeply in love! It was on sale so it could fit the budget, it was random match so that meant no finicky pattern matching - it was perfect! Yay!

Then I went to hang it. And I remembered very quickly why no one really likes wallpaper. Oh sure, it always seems like a good idea in the safety of the store. How hard could it be? Imagine how fantastic it would look! Yes, it says "easy to install" so I'm sure I will be successful!

Thankfully, it was prepasted. Unfortunately, it was prepasted.

It was so goopy and sticky and sloppy that my three year old ran away yelling "EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and refused to help. My husband just shook his head and said to call if I needed help but quickly retreated to his office.

As a designer, I love the look of materials with texture and depth and love working with space in new and creative ways - using geometry to push design in a new direction.

As the installer of my own designs, I think I'm nuts.

In all seriousness, I learned a few things about installing wallpaper and to save you the trouble of experimenting on your own, please learn from my mistakes...

1. Wallpapering is a two person job
2. Have more drop cloths than you need and cover every imaginable surface.
3. Carry a rag around with you to wipe the goop from your hands.
4. Wear something to cover you hair.
5. No wall is square.
6. Contrary to the instructions, one cannot successfully trim the excess wallpaper while it is wet.
7. The only thing you'll ever see after you finish is the seam that didn't quite line up because of the problem outlined in number 5.
8. Drinking beer will not help the walls become more square.
9. Crown moulding was invented to hide the messy trims made while trying to cut wallpaper while wet. Too bad crown mouldings don't work with T-Bar ceilings.
10. Unless you are experienced, don't try to do anything but random match your first time wallpapering. If you do not heed my advice, buy two extra rolls of wallpaper.

Even with my silliness and self criticism aside, I am really quite pleased with the outcome of the wall. Granted, from a distance, it just looks like a plain wall (I'm hoping the paint will add some depth to it). It was a tough job but one I think was worth taking!

I'll post pictures in the coming weeks when I'm ready to fully reveal the space! Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you again soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - What's your Favourite Easy Dish?

Menu Planning is becoming more and more difficult for me... I realize it isn't easy doing it - it is, after all, work. I'm tired of cooking up new menu plans, new meal ideas and looking for inspiration.

My time to cook is limited - I like to have dinner on the table by 5:30 or 6pm - that means I need something quick and simple. I hate to say our tastes are bland - they aren't per se - but we have a typical repertoire of meats that we cook with. Chicken, beef, pork and vegetarian. Fish isn't high on our lists of "likes" (even if TroubleMaker asks me weekly for a "real fish dinner") and other sea foods aren't enjoyed either.

I've been combing blogs and recipe sites and I've found a few things, but nothing that has really made me go "wow"! My husband didn't quite understand my issues tonight as he did a huge grocery shop for us on Thursday (based off a list I'd made) and said "there is lots of food in the house!" There is, that is true... It's just what to make with it is the problem!

So what are some of your weeknight favourites? Please share with me in the comments with links to your blog or recipe!

August 14 to 21
Monday Grilled Chicken with grilled potatoes & mushrooms

Tuesday Ravioli and Greens Salad

Wednesday Easy Refried Bean Burritos and Nachos

Thursday Perogies & Sausage

Friday Hamburger Casserole

Saturday Potluck @ my Brother's House Warming Party

Sunday Grilled Roast Beef

If you need inspiration, check out all the people linked up at the Organizing Junkie! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you feel inspired!

Friday, August 12, 2011

52 Week Challenge: Purging "stuff"

What do you do with two full boxes of stuff you don't want and/or need any more?

Naturally, if you're married to a photographer, you have it all professionally photographed, edited and touched up and made purty!


Then, once all that is done, you commence the big PURGE.

Any guesses on what this is?

I asked Laura a question a while back about a couple of appliances I had that I never used but didn't want to part with because I might need them one day... Her advice was something along the lines of if I hadn't used them (at that point, it was 10 years) would I ever and what could be in that space that I really do use.

I didn't have the courage to ask her what to do with things I've purchased that I don't remember buying...

I'm sure I thought this was really cool when I bought it...

This little treasure involved a box of wine... Need I say more?

I know - harmless little picture frames... Except for the fact that I made these up more than 10 years ago for our old kitchen. My husband thought they looked stupid (I'd framed pictures of various spices I'd cut out from the side of a gift bag - he had no vision) so I never hung them up. Ever. I tossed them in a box... And they stayed there for eleven years...

Eleven years... Who hangs on to stuff they aren't using for eleven years?

I don't know how to do counted cross stitch.

This is a piece of very stiff, hand woven 'cloth' from the Philippines. In my defense, I bought it as part of a fundraiser the women in the cafeteria where I used to work were doing. In 2005.

Spring tension rod: 1999 New, in package...

See, if there really ever was someone who needed the 52 Week Challenge, it most certainly is me! All of this stuff (along with items like unopened Christmas ornaments from Ikea, four partially painted birdhouses, a ream of 11x17 vellum, a magic eight ball, and 17 plastic embroidery framing hoops) is diligently being posted on our local Earthcycle and Freecycle groups. because one person's junk is always another's treasure!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We-Design-Day: Upcycling Old Furniture

As part of my basement renovation, I salvaged an old and ugly two piece storage unit from my parents. It was the quintessential dark wood look laminated particle board unit with ugly brass pulls. It is massive too - both pieces are just a little below waist height and about 5 to 6' feet long.


But as period as it is and as heavy and as awkward as any furniture piece could be, I saw the awesomeness that was laying with in. I needed a solution that had ample storage, was flexible in design and could house a variety of items, had a a few doors because I need to be able to tuck away some more dangerous products (like glue - nothing can be more dangerous than a bottle of glue in a toddler's hand). This unit allowed me all of that and more.

Sure, it was a little shabby and I would be it's third or fourth owner and nothing irritates me more than painting laminated wood, but I couldn't watch this gem to to the landfill!


I got ready to refinish this piece. Paint, scrappers, sander, wood filler, nerves of steal, patience of a saint and one very helpful three year old. We set to work late on a Monday morning.

After wiping away a layer of dust, I decided to scrape the chipping layer of paint that had been previously applied to the top of both units (my parents had the units sitting side by side and used the top for display). TroubleMaker kept asking if I was done scrapping as he really wanted to get painting! It took a lot of scraping to get it all chipped away but a short while later, it was done!


Now, I've painted laminated wood before and I'd used melamine paint. It was stinky, hard to work with and not something I saw myself battling again - especially with my extra special helper assisting! I wanted easy, water clean up, a primer/paint all in one and a durable washable paint. I ventured to my local big box home renovation retailer and the paint counter attendant recommended Behr Interior/Exterior Primer/Paint product. Once I'd taken the paint off the top, I got my Palm Sander and started to sand. It made no difference. I had hoped it would rough up the smoothness of the laminated covering but it didn't.

Next I got some wood filler and filled in the holes where the door handles were and filled in a couple of scratches. The product I used is tinted to simulate wood but it is also paintable so it worked perfectly! As TroubleMaker painted the back of the unit, I worked my way around the unit. Once I'd rolled on a good coat, I went back and painted in the corners. By this time, TroubleMaker had lost interest and was off riding his extra cool tricycle with trailer around!


After one coat of paint, it became obvious that this was going to take many more coats... And the surface wasn't as durable as I required. Items will be moving in and out of this unit frequently and I need it to stand up to use. This past weekend, I did the second coat and it does look much better (one more coat should do the trick) the need for a sealer became obvious.

I researched the potential possibilities and have settled on a Minwax Polycrylic Gloss polyurethane. It is suitable to put over painted surfaces and is supposed to resist scuffing... I'm hopeful that it will work!

If I had to do it again, I think I would have specified an enamel paint. As much as I don't like working with them, I like the resiliency of the finish. Design Tip Don't always take the word of the person at the paint store - the Internet is a great resource for finding the right product for your job!

I have a certain paint that I generally use for interior applications - and I buy it from the store - yes, it costs me more and yes, I have to actually go out of my way to get to a store but it is a paint that's quality is rivaled by none. That said, I do use 'cheapo' paint or paint from the local home store. This is one of those situations where I knew what I wanted and what I should've used but deferred to the 'experts' and was (again) let down.

Here are few places to check out - the have product specifications, helpful hints, online paint viewers and access to a whole host of information!

Benjamin Moore
Behr Paints
Sherman Williams
Pratt and Lambert

Please note, I am not affiliated with any of the above paint companies. I do use a few of them personally (and professionally) but paint selection and what type you use is often based on personal preference and experience.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Recipe Review! Pronto Spanish Rice & Beef

Last night, I stuck to our menu and made the Kraft Kitchen's Pronto Spanish Rice and Beef for dinner.

Firstly, I had read some of the reviews that said it was good, but bland... Knowing that my husband prefers it when i follow the recipe to the letter the first time, I attempted to not "enhance" the flavour.

That said, I used basil instead of oregano, added a whole green pepper and an entire small onion and I added a touch more rice (like 1/4 cup) and about the same of beef broth. Furthermore, I have a lot of cheese in the house at the moment so I grated mozza and marble to add to it and reduced the amount of parm (mostly because of cost - the parm blend we use is crazy expensive and 3/4 of a cup is nearly half the container). I also topped the finished product with a handful or two of black olives.

It was easy and quick. The taste was satisfying and I like the "all in one" meal concept on weeknights when time of the essence. All around it was a hit and will be added to the usual dinner menu rotation.

I did not find it bland and thought it a perfect 'kid friendly' meal. Could it be 'jazzed up'? Of course - but as the recipe is written, it is good.

TroubleMaker took a picture of his dinner for the blog - I will add it later tonight when I download his camera.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

52 Week Challenge: 34 Years of Magazines

While I've been embroiled in home renovations, my organizing has taken a bit of a back seat - that said, renovations are like the ultimate reorg of your home but this renovation is part of the 'big picture' renovation that started with me organizing my office/studio space.

So this week, as I put on the second coat of mud and read about installing wall paper, my husband set to sorting and purging his magazine collection...

I've mentioned his ginormous collection a couple of times since I started participating in the 52 Week Challenge. Today, he went through and photographed his collections... He has decidied to finally get rid of all the magazines. All of them. Assuming he can find someone to take them... If he can't he'll take them all to the recycling depot.

I didn't realize immediately that he was doing this. He kept making trips up and down the stairs (his studio is on the main floor, the periodicals were stored in the laundry room). I offered to help after the fourth time I saw him, but he declined... I think it was his way of "saying goodbye".

As I ventured upstairs to see how it was going, he said...


"1996 to 2011 - that's how long I've been collecting Jeep magazine."

I looked at the magazines stacked all over his studio. Fifteen years of magazines were strewn about in neat, orderly piles. No doubt sorted by year, then my month. He's very organized that way.

"Initially, they only published three or four a year so there aren't as many as I thought there would be." he added.

A while later, as I was preparing dinner he requested my presence in the studio.

"1991 to 2010 - 4WD and Sport Utility magazines."


Nineteen years. Who keeps 19 years worth of magazines?

My husband. The organized pack rat. I am very proud of him for doing this - it is hard to get rid of something. He started reading both magazines because of his keen interest in "off roading". He got his first Jeep in 1991 and his passion and love for four wheeling was born. Passions and people change and all our purging will make way for new adventures and excitement!

For more fantastic inspiration, check out the Organizing Junkie's 52 Week Challenge and get inspired today! Thanks for stopping in and we'll see you next week!

Menu Plan Monday - Trying something New

I'm so proud of me. It's Sunday, before bedtime and my menu is done! It's a shopping week so I'd like to get my act together so we can go back to saving money with Menu Planning! I've been having some trouble sticking to my plan - in part because I'm just blogging it and haven't printed one out and because the things I've been planning just don't appeal to my taste buds. My husband and I have been discussing "getting healthy" and so I'm trying to figure out how to make nutritious, easy meals that would better balance our need for weight reduction, satisfy our tastes and allow TroubleMaker to continue to grow and flourish.

August 8 to 14

Monday Pronto Spanish Rice and Beef Dinner
Tuesday Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tossed Salad
Wednesday Fish sticks and fries
Thursday Speedy Chicken Stir Fry
Friday Assorted Submarine Sandwiches
Saturday Easy Refried Bean Burritos and Nachos
Sunday Grilled Roast Beef

I'm trying a few new recipes this week - check back for reviews the day after we had them. I love recipe reviews because there are a lot of bad dishes in the world and I hope to make your finding one a little bit easier!

For more menu planning ideas, tips and inspiration, check out the Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday! Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you again next week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We-Design-Day: Blood, sweat and more sweat

After riding the high of last week's very successful demolition, bright and (not so) early Thursday morning, I came up with a list of needed materials. I drew and redrew the reflected ceiling plan*, trying different solutions that would minimize the need for new grid pieces (don't forget, I'm all Earthy and like to reuse, reduce and recycle where I can) and simplify the work. There wasn't an easy solution so I opted to purchase all new equipment for the space so that we could connect it to the existing ceiling. We needed lumber, drywall and some fasteners. Our total spend came to a surprising $332.68! If you recall, my budget was very near this number. I also realized I made an error (who, me?!). Design Tip Just so you know, a "Dummy Knob" is just a single sided door knob. I'm not really sure of what purpose it serves but it won't work for what we needed it for! So the cost of our knobs increased to $20.97 per piece. I also decided to not get new registers. What we have is fine and getting anything new may require alterations to the existing duct work.

Building a Bulkhead

We got to try our hand at construction. I am a great planner - I see everything from start to finish but I don't always understand how to make that vision a reality. This is where my husband is great. Between the two of us, we talk through the issue and "air draw" the solution. Hence this bulkhead. I could see it in my head and I could illustrate it on paper but it was the air drawing that solidified the plan forward.

Mud Trouble

Once we patched all the walls and erected the bulk head, we set to mudding the walls. I am most definitely the one with the "touch" for this job but the boys always help me. It took me a while to figure out why the full bucket of drywall compound was disappearing so quickly. I soon learned that TroubleMaker had his own method of applying it - thick, thicker and thickest!

The Weekend's Work (new floor)

We learned some helpful stuff along the way. Design Tip When you are patching a dropped ceiling, ensure that you line up the holes on the t-bar. We learned this the hard way... Thankfully, I had bought enough to rebuild the old ceiling (I had hoped to reuse what we took down). Having done it once, I wouldn't be afraid to do it again but it is fairly labour intensive. Having said that, it certainly is easier than hanging drywall!

New floor with ceiling grid

The floor was a labour of love. We decided to install it over the existing carpet. We patched the area where the walls once stood and laid it down. Over all, I am happy with the look of the floor and the decision. To take up the carpet and patch the million Hilti nail blasts to the concrete would have added time and cost to the renovation. It is a bit spongy but I'm hopeful that once we get the furniture in place, it will lose some of that soft feeling. TroubleMaker loves the new floor and has spent plenty of time dancing around on it!

I'm extremely proud of the work we accomplished over the six days. Although I had hoped to get the room fully finished by the time I went back to work on Monday, I've come to realize that there was far more work involved then I initially thought. Adding to my upcoming expense and time line are refinishing the walls. As we removed the baseboard, much of the paint peeled with it (and yes, we did "cut" the seam) and TroubleMaker thought it a good idea to try and rip some of it off! I look at this as a good thing - I wanted to real customize the studio and this will give me the chance to do it!

Next week, I'm going to go over some important information about refinishing furniture. As you may recall, I'm refinishing a hand-me down cabinet for a fabulous Upcycled Interior Chic project.

Thanks for stopping in and come back soon!

* A reflected ceiling plan is much like a 'floor plan' but it looks up, instead of down.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Back on the Wagon

I've been slack lately with a good many things... Menu planning, my participation in the 52 Week Organizing Project, blogging in general, housework, eating healthy... I'm just sitting back watching the world run by and the summer zoom past.

I'm not exactly sure where I got derailed but I'm completely off the rails.

There hasn't been a menu on our fridge since the first week in July! I haven't really organized anything in three weeks (although I did move the stuff from Week 28 twice in the past two days) and I just remembered I was going to wash towels and sheets today...

What I have I been doing?

Eating dinner in front of the television, trying to not sweat my face off, remodeling our basement and preparing to start a new job. I've also been staying up way too late chatting with friends, starting blog posts (but not finishing them) and daydream shopping on line. Pssssttttt! My fellow Canadians, did you know that Amazon.ca is FINALLY starting to sell some of the wicked cool stuff in Canada that they've offered for years to the US shoppers!?

On Sunday morning, my husband very bravely offered to go to the store and get a few groceries... So in two minutes, I sat down and planned a menu on the back of the grocery list and off he went.

Guess what?

I tossed the grocery list and receipt when I put the groceries away. What were we having? I don't remember. Neither does my husband. And if I ask TroubleMaker, he'll just tell me macaroni. So it will be another pieced together, use up stuff in the house menu. I dislike "winging" it. I am not a fly by the seat of their pants kind of girl. When it comes to food, I am very serious and without a menu, I'm LOST!

So here is another "toss together in 2 minute menu" that challenges my brainpower late this Monday night... For more organized and less chaotic menus, check out the Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday and borrow a bit of sanity today!

August 1 to 7
Monday Crispy Breaded Chicken Breasts with Caesar Salad
Tuesday Homemade hamburgers and chips
Wednesday Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Thursday Crock pot roast beef sandwiches (? - don't know if I've got a roast to make)
Friday Hot dogs and smokies
Saturday ~unknown~ my parents are moving and my husband will be helping - don't know when he'll be home
Sunday grilled chicken breasts with bbq vegetables

Crispy Breaded Chicken Breasts
For a long time, I've been seeking an alternative to commercial chicken coating product. I don't like the tasted, don't like the chemicals and all the salt! Through trial and error, I've come up with one that we all agree is tasty, light and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy!

2 to 3 cups corn flakes
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
dash or two of Chipolte seasoning
1 tsp basil
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp oregano

Place all ingredients into a large ziploc bag. Squeeze out all air and crush with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs remain.

Pour about 1/2 of the mixture into a large pie pan. In a separate bowl, whip one egg with about 2 tbsp of milk.

Dip chicken pieces (I only use boneless, skinless chicken breasts) into milk/egg mixture. Piece meat several times, turning to coat. Transfer to pie pan filled with crumbs. Turn and coat well with coating mix.

Transfer to an open baking rack placed on a lined cookie sheet. This step is essential to getting the crunch all the way around the meat.

Repeat with all chicken.

Bake in a 400 to 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is done (pieces with bone will take longer).

Serve hot with a fresh salad or other sides of your choice.

This recipe will do two to three batches of breasts for us (about 6 large breasts). I store in an air tight bag in the cupboard and I've yet to have it stale, however, we eat chicken at least once a week and would guess I use it up in about 2 months.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...