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weekending

How is it that project task lists multiply? We started with a two-step plan when our oven stopped working.

Step one: get a gas line installed
Step two: buy a new gas range

And then we decided that before our new stove is delivered, we might as well re-do the kitchen floors since you can’t just unplug a gas oven and move it out of the kitchen. And by some miracle, we pulled off installation of a new floor before the range was delivered and installed, although we still had to polish it.

Eventually we managed to get all 7 layers of polish. Seven! But since all the furniture and kitchen gadgets are out of the kitchen (and as you can imagine, I have A LOT of kitchen gadgets), we might as well paint the walls, right?

You would if your kitchen came with stenciled vines and beige and green walls. It seems worth it, but it is hard to squeeze all these projects in between late-spring/early-summer activities and busy work weeks. And I haven’t even mentioned that the painting led to replacing the cheap trim and also removing and replacing filthy caulk. And every single one of these tasks takes way longer and way more trips to the hardware store than you could anticipate. Our house has been chaotic for weeks as a result.


US, Sweden, and Washington flags all at half-mast on Memorial Day

We are SO close to being finished. And we celebrated “almost finished” with a trip to IKEA where we failed to find new window treatments.

Of course, a trip to IKEA means we have to squeeze in some Seattle food, right? Jess found us an incredible food experience in Katsu Burger. The burgers are different kinds of meat or tofu breaded in panko and fried, served on a giant sesame bun and topped with amazing sauces, pickles, or in some cases wasabi coleslaw.

They were the most gigantic burgers I have ever been served. Veggie burgers aren’t typically gigantic. Levi had a curry pork cutlet.

And then there were the fries. Oh my god. We shared an order of nori fries and curry fries with dipping sauces like wasabi mayo and a spicy mayo made with sriracha and magic.

And to complete the meal – milkshakes! Green tea pineapple and kinako cup (kinako, chocolate, and black sesame). Wow.

The perfect weekend is a careful balance of hard work accomplished and some fun. Sunshine and junk food help. And a bonus chicken Instagram (create your own caption, it’s fun):

My weekend still has one last day. Back to painting, caulking (say “caulk” a dozen times in front of a teenage boy and try not to laugh), and mitering for me.

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day seventeen


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $4.58 yesterday, January 18, 2011.

BREAKFAST

steelcut oats (from 1/3 cup dry) $0.10
2 tablespoons raisins $0.08
1 tablespoon slivered almonds $0.06
2 teaspoons brown sugar $0.02

LUNCH

chickpea of the sea sandwich on whole grain bread $0.92
2 large organic carrots $0.16

DINNER

kimchi quesadillas $1.61
green salad with radish and carrot $0.55
1 tablespoon sriracha buttermilk dressing $0.05

SNACKS

1/2 cup frothed soy milk (for coffee) $0.13
Gala apple $0.50
8 ounces organic plain yogurt with strawberry jam $0.40

total $4.58

Important lesson: we have got to plan and shop for meals for every single day of my work week before it starts. Otherwise it means a 6pm grocery run and really late dinner.

It was inevitable that we’d try some other tricks with kimchi after we fell in love with the grilled kimcheeze sandwich. And then Serious Eats had an entire slide show of things to do with kimchi Why didn’t I think of the next logical step: kimchi quesadillas?

Of course, we cut back a little on ingredients in part for cost and fat cutting, but also because how in the heck did that fit that much inside a quesadilla? We also added tofu that had been pressed, pan-fried in sesame oil, and tossed with a splash of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Here is our adaptation with cost calculation:

KIMCHI QUESADILLAS

for each serving of one large quesadilla:

2 10-inch flour tortillas $0.34
1 cup (2 oz.) grated cheddar cheese $0.24
1/3 cup kimchi $0.58
1/6 block extra firm tofu $0.33
1 teaspoon sesame oil $0.10
1 teaspoon canola oil $0.02 (to brush the tortillas for frying)
splash of rice wine vinegar and soy sauce

total $1.62

The only huge bargain price there is the cheddar cheese. We’re still slowly working through 2 pounds of Tillamook cheddar we got before the project for $3.99.

We also finally scored on organic yogurt – three giant tubs on clearance for $1.59 each! Hurray, generous serving of organic yogurt for 40 cents!

Oh, and if you decide to try the sriracha buttermilk dressing, we were too wussy for that level of heat. We started out making a half recipe and had to make a whole recipe using only half the sriracha. Levi decided he doesn’t like sriracha. He complains so little, I think it had a big impact!

I’d really like to read the Sriracha Cookbook, but our library doesn’t have it yet.

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