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FYI - my makeup air solution

posted by: fouramblues on 09.05.2012 at 10:16 am in Kitchens Forum

X-post from appliances...

The code for makeup air is not enforced where I live, but I wanted some sort of makeup air for peace of mind. We just couldn't/wouldn't pay for conditioned makeup air. So I lurked around here and some builder forums for any info I could find. This is what I came up with:

makeupairboosterfan

(A very quiet 500 CFM duct booster fan controlled by a switch under the cabinet next to the range)

Photobucket

(A motorized damper controlled by same switch)

The ducting is all in the ceiling. The intake is the proper distance from the hood exhaust, and the ducting terminates with an unobtrusive vent cover about 5' from the range. Sure, it doesn't turn on automatically when the hood goes on, but I use it only when the hood is on high.

So that's my $166 solution to the makeup air problem (not including the contractor's time to install the stuff). So far so good!

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clipped on: 09.05.2012 at 04:20 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2012 at 04:20 pm

Finished Kitchen

posted by: mmhmmgood on 08.26.2012 at 04:31 am in Kitchens Forum

First of all I feel like I must say a thanks to everyone here on the Gardenweb Kitchens forum. I found this site midway through the process while researching my countertop choices and quickly became an addict. I've found many useful, helpful, insightful ideas here that I've been able to incorporate into my new kitchen. It really is much better for having found this site. So thanks to all of you!

My DH and I were totally newbies to the reno process and ended up biting off a huge project. We started with a kitchen renovation plan, which grew into a general renovation of the main floor with some structural changes. Those spilled over into structrual upgrades in the basement and project creep turned it into a full on mainfloor and basement gut job. We had (mostly) excellent people working on our project, but there is also no question that the GW community here helped to keep me sane through the various bumps in the road. So again, thanks for that.

We've been done (or at least almost done ...) about 6 months now and I LOVE my new kitchen. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and there is nothing like working in a space that functions well, with the details important to me having been chosen by me. And it helps that I think it's pretty too!

Without further ado, here are photos and details of my kitchen (including some details of the dining room since it's completely open). And there's a few more in the photobucket album if you care to open it. Enjoy!

Cabs: Norcraft, frameless, maple, door style - "Firefox", paint/stain colours - "Mission White", "Rapture Red" and "Weatherstone"
Hardware: Amerock Blackrock satin chrome finish
Countertop: Anastacia Soaptsone sourced in Canada from M.Tex via Greensville Soapstone. Crappy fabricator to remain nameless.
Backsplash: between uppers and lowers - Tierra Sol Rex Bianchi 12"x24" cut to 10"x12", behind cooktop - Tierra Sol 1.2x1.2 Palissandro Polished 3D Mosaic
Paint: BM colour matched to ICI "Wood smoke", hallway and stairwell "Mansard Stone"
Floor: existing red oak floor refinished with Java stain
Prep Sink: Kohler stages 33"
Cleanup Sink: Ticor S3650
Faucets: Grohe Ladylux3, Chrome finish
Drinking water faucet: Insinkerator HC-wave, polished chrome finish
Hood: Faber Stilo 36"
Cooktop: KitchenAid 36" Induction KICU569XBL
Oven: KitchenAid 30" KEBS107S
Microwave: KitchenAid built in KBHS109S
Main Fridge: LG 36" counter depth LFC21776
Bar Fridge: Danby 20" DAR482
Dishwasher: Miele Inspira series
Island lighting: Kendal "Optica" 6 light chrome & crystal light bar x 2
Dining room chandelier: Elk "Dione" 6 light chandelier polished chrome finish with white fabric shade
Bar stools: Chair tech "Venice", Black and chrome
Fireplace surround: refaced with Eldorado stacked stone "Black River"

Befores:
before
before island
before

After:
dining room and kitchen
after 1
Photobucket
after 3

The kids' kitchen too ;)
the kids' kitchen :)

Island cabs:
island cabs

Island soapstone detail:
island soapstone detail
island perspective

toward stairs/office/laundry room

Island pendants:
island pendants

Backsplash closeup
backsplash close up

Spice drawer awesomeness (thanks GW!)
spice drawer awesomeness

And one just for DH:
I am your father ...

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clipped on: 09.05.2012 at 03:16 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2012 at 03:17 pm

RE: Loving it (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: lavender_lass on 06.25.2012 at 09:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

Gemini- Thanks for the cookie recipe! My mom loves lemon cookies, so this will be a fun surprise for her, next time we have tea :)

When I clicked on the link, I got an advertisement for Hawaii. Maybe it's just me, but here's the link if anyone else needs it. Thanks, again!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lemon cookie link

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clipped on: 06.26.2012 at 12:16 am    last updated on: 06.26.2012 at 12:16 am

RE: Did anyone purchase a new color KitchenAid stand mixer... (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: senator13 on 02.20.2012 at 09:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

You can repaint it yourself.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchenaid paint

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clipped on: 02.20.2012 at 11:54 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2012 at 11:54 pm

RE: Bostonpam's almost finished kitchen (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: bostonpam on 01.19.2012 at 02:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks for all the great comments. This kitchen and renovation is a labor of love.

tile - 3 x 6 subway American Olean in Bisquit. Every time ANYONE came into the house I would ask them what tile they liked and why and kept a running report for over a week. People thought I was nuts. Not one tile won in all lighting conditions (night, sunny, overcast, afternoon, etc.) but overall the American Olean came out the winner. I lucked out since it was reasonably inexpensive.

The tile is a very very light cream. I don't think it looks yellow-y. When you look at it quick I see a soft white - no yellow. If you look longer you see cream. I brought over 20 tiles home to find the right one. White tile was just too stark for me.

Legallin - wireless washable keyboard and mouse is from sealshield and you can supposedly buy from Best Buy, Walmart, etc. My DH found it - he's a software engineer and does his research. I have not sent it thru the DW yet.

kmmh - I really wanted Crown Point cabinets but couldn't afford the price. I got a great product with Cabico. My contractor thought I paid a lot more for the cabinets than I did - he loved how well they are made. He was very impressed with them. (Cabico is semi-custom cabinet manufacturer out of Quebec) My disappointment is how soft the cherry is. I never had cherry. I have many scratches, dents and dings. I was not expecting this much. I had maple before which is much harder. This kitchen gets a real hard work out and I have very young nephews here a lot. My kids cook a lot too starting at age 8 and don't necessarily respect things as I would.

willtv - I love my bluestar. My kids are having a tough time adjusting though. They keep following the food directions and I keep reminding them not to use the called out strength of the flame - especially on the 22K burners. They keep having to scrape food from the bottom of the pan. Eventually they will learn. I've been burning up wood spoons too. Because of food allergies and cross contamination I sometimes leave a wood spoon draped across a pan. The high flame/heat output can char a spoon. I'm on my 3rd set in 2 years LOL. I also LOVE my fan. For 1600 cfm - it's unbelievably quiet - less noise than my old recirculating fan. I was a bit worried with the talk of make up air and air pressure. Recently I had a free home energy audit and they measured the air pressure drop with all the fans going on at once. My HVAC systems are closed so it shouldn't be a concern. There was a small drop but not much. Of course with an old house it's not airtight.

liriondendron - my fabricator charged $150 for EACH runnel for a total of $750. Quotes from mutliple fabricators ranged from $250 to $1300. some charged per runnel, others for the entire job. There was a $4K price difference from the low end to the high end from the fabricators for my job using the same 2 slabs. I was out of the country so DH made the decision on who to use. Not my choice but I accepted it and they did an OK job. I have no seams so I wasn't as worried.

My runnels are 15" long and 1/2" wide. Measuring across the 5 runnels is 8.5". Next time I would add another runnel and make them a little longer. It's hard to measure but it looks like it's 1/8" deep at the sink and it's a gradual slope.

Here is a link that might be useful: Washable keyboard and mouse

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washable keyboard and mouse from seal shield
clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 01:43 am    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 01:44 am

Article: In Pursuit of the Invisible Seam

posted by: la_koala on 01.16.2012 at 08:09 am in Kitchens Forum

I ran across this article while looking for info about whether my installer/fabricator could have done a better seam.

http://www.stoneworld.com/articles/in-pursuit-of-the-invisible-seam

My thanks to Kevin, the stone pro who posts here, as I found the article by following links from his site.

--Lee

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clipped on: 01.16.2012 at 04:25 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2012 at 04:25 pm

Very Informative Website

posted by: Eric-E on 01.01.2012 at 03:18 am in Kitchens Forum

After watching the New Year fireworks, I was poking around on the web looking for ideas for my kitchen remodel, and I hit upon a site by a builder in Nebraska. I read an article on porcelain tile that was very good and glanced at a few more. According to the list of articles available on the site, there seem to be a large number of articles about remodeling and home renovation. Has anyone heard of this site before?

Here is a link that might be useful: Starcraft Builders Website

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clipped on: 01.01.2012 at 11:07 pm    last updated on: 01.01.2012 at 11:07 pm

Who had these family rules?

posted by: muskokascp on 11.02.2011 at 10:10 am in Kitchens Forum

I saved the picture but not the OP. Duh. A girlfriend and I want to do this - just wondering how it was done. Paint? Rub on stencil?

Does anyone remember whose kitchen this is from?

Photobucket

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clipped on: 12.26.2011 at 10:10 pm    last updated on: 12.26.2011 at 10:10 pm

RE: Steps to Planning Kitchen Remodel (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 12.22.2011 at 10:50 am in Kitchens Forum

1. Rob bank.

2. Rob liquor store---of liquor

3. Plan kitchen remodel while drinking liquor

4. Rob second bank to deal with the "while we're at it's"

5. Interview contractors.

6. Call ambulance to take to emergency room for heart attack.

7. Rob third bank to deal with emergency room bill.

8. Interview realtors to move instead.

9. Rob second liquor store because you are all out from the first.

10. Hire your cousin's contractor cousin because he promises you "two weeks" and is half the price of the other quotes. He has a nice face and is sorta family, so you go ahead and give him half down "for the materials".

11. File missing person's report on first contractor? Does Bermuda extradite?

12. Rob pharmacy for anti anxiety drugs to go along with the liquor.

13. Hire second contractor, and this time pick the most expensive guy because he says he'll show up and he's worth it.

14. Rob another bank, and liquor store, and pharmacy. You've lost count at this point.

15. Learn to love dust as the latest fashion accessory.

16. Learn to laugh hysterically in fear at the words "Look what they did here, that's gotta be fixed".

17. Never mind the piddling home town banks! Find locations of Federal Reserve Banks and enlist spouse as getaway driver.

18. Solve space time continuum problem by writing famous study of "contractor time".

19. Celebrate anniversary of project beginning by creatively combining drywall dust with water for decorative icing for store bought cake because you still don't have any appliances.

20. In a well practiced maneuver with bottle in hand, wave good by to the contractor's truck pulling out of the drive for the last time while you soothe screaming kids who've begun to think of "Uncle Billy" as a cool surrogate father and didn't realize this was only "temporary" * See time space continuum paper.

21. Call contractor back to fix problem of moaning pipes when your new pot filler is used. Refer back to time space continuum when he says he'll be there "right away".

22. Call contractor back about 5 different small things, one medium thing, and what you hope is a small thing but fear is a big thing but you can't remember what he said about it because you were drinking at the time. Get voice mail.

23. Find warranty paperwork and call manufacturer. Get their voice mail.

24. Give up on the 5 small things that no one but you sees, and get on the list for service from the manufacturer for the possibly big thing. Again refer to the time space continuum paper, as warranty work also falls under that.

25. Fix celebratory meal for spouse as all of the issues have been solved and you're ready to get on with life and spouse hints that there is a surprise in the works. You LOVE surprises!

25. Weep uncontrollably while robbing liquor store with spouse because surprise was surviving the downsizing but taking a job transfer to Outer Arctic Frost Minnesota.

26. Contact same realtor who helped you decide to renovate rather than move and find out her office hours so you can firebomb her car as a distraction to robbing the bank next door. Thanks to the reno, you've become quite efficient at difficult multi tasking like that.

27. Find different realtor to handle sale of house for move.

28. Rob another pharmacy for a drug cocktail when the current market analysis says your home is worth less now than before you put that 50K kitchen into it.

29. Do the split commute thing for a year while home sits on market overpriced.

30. Rob another bank to deal with the double responsibilities of mortgage and rent all the while investigating nearest fire hydrant and your home town's fire department's average response time at different times of the day.

31. Rob another bank to be able to bring 100K to closing and be done with the situation.

32. Pack kids and move north where spouse has found another "dream house"---except the kitchen needs work.

33. Claim temporary insanity---that has lasted longer than usual--as you are arrested for assault with a deadly weapon for trying to shoot spouse when he mentioned the words "kitchen renovation".

34. Say hello the nice staff in white. They're there to take care of you.

35. Oooh look! It's an all white room and if you close your eyes just right and take your medication, you can dream that you are once again back in your Christopher Peacock OTK inspired white vision........

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clipped on: 12.22.2011 at 09:00 pm    last updated on: 12.22.2011 at 09:00 pm

RE: Confessional - Enter Here (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: boxerpups on 12.20.2011 at 04:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

Forgive me for I have lied.

I put Almond extract in all the vents in my kitchen and FR
so when warm air blows in from the heater you can smell
almond. I sometimes use Lemon or vanilla flavor extract.

Visitors say "Wow your house smells so nice."

I say. "Thank you."

Sometimes people ask, "Are you burning candles? or is this
some kind of air freshner? "

I lie and say. "No, my house always smells nice."

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clipped on: 12.21.2011 at 01:40 am    last updated on: 12.21.2011 at 01:40 am

RE: Rust in my NEW Ticor Sink (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: kris_ma on 12.08.2011 at 09:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is from the Franke sink website,l but since stainless steel is stainless steel, the info would also apply to Ticor -- I don't think it's a problem with the Ticor, just the natural bonding nature of steel:

Below is the question copied from their Q&A page:

Q: I have rust in my sink - how can this be?!
A: Stainless steel is a wonderful material that does not rust. However, if given the opportunity, iron particles that do rust will bond to its surface - from metal cooking implements for instance. To remove this surface corrosion, place a small amount of Autosol� on a damp or dry cloth. Rub in the direction of the grain on the bottom or sides of the bowl. You may also use Scotch-Brite� on the bottom or sides of the bowl ...Thoroughly rinse and towel dry.

Sink tip: Regularly rinse and towel dry your sink after use to keep its surface exposed to oxygen. (It is the oxygen that reacts with chromium in the steel to form a strong, highly protective chrome oxide film on the surface. It is this film that makes stainless resistant to corrosion and gives it a remarkably long life)

Here is a link that might be useful: Franke Q&A

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clipped on: 12.09.2011 at 12:14 pm    last updated on: 12.09.2011 at 12:14 pm

RE: If you only use one soap for hand & dishes, which one? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: deedles on 10.27.2011 at 03:53 am in Kitchens Forum

The greatest all purpose (actual soap, not detergent) soap is called Miracle II soap. The story about how it came into being may or may not be true but no matter... this stuff is phenomenal. And very concentrated so you save big $$ over time. Another company that sells quality stuff is Five Star Soap... nicest shampoo and body bars ever. Again, highly concentrated so you aren't paying for water. I haven't bought any Big Corporate detergents, etc in years and find that I now have to avoid that aisle because the fake smells of all those chemicals makes me kinda sick. If you like more natural stuff.. google either one and you'll find them easily.

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clipped on: 10.28.2011 at 12:32 am    last updated on: 10.28.2011 at 12:34 am

RE: OT - mudroom lockers (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: Andi_K on 10.21.2011 at 04:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

While I love the look of lockers, I personally think you lose some space with the dividers. We took this pic we found on houzz and are modeling our mudroom after that. It's simple, but I actually prefer it. I think it allows the kids to just kick their shoes off under the bench and then use whatever spot they want IMO.

Here's what we are doing....

Photobucket

Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz Mudroom Pic

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clipped on: 10.24.2011 at 01:13 am    last updated on: 10.24.2011 at 01:13 am

Baci D'Alassio..using a pastry bag

posted by: trailrunner on 10.21.2011 at 03:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

DH is still working his way through Il Fornaio. This company opened bakeries in CA in the early 80's. The book came out in 1993 .

These Chocolate Hazelnut Kisses are so easy to make and taste absolutely scrumptious. We don't have hazelnuts so he used almonds. It worked like a charm. The name of the cookie is a seaside town in Liguria.

DH had never used a pastry bag before. He also had never made ganache. All new learning curves for him. I think he did a great job. I will link the recipe below. He substituted the chocolate ganache which is a departure from the cookbook but others have done it. Also the recipe says it makes 30 1" cookies...this is 60 singles that you pair with the ganache. IRL it made 200 ! So he made 100 finished cookies...OMG...who is going to eat all of these ??? I should link the directions to our house LOL.

pastry tube class 101 :

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one pan finished :

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bowl of ganache and cookies - ready to assemble :

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frost one side and stick them together- each finished cookie is the size of a walnut:

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oh yum !! :

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Here is a link that might be useful: baci d'Alassio

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clipped on: 10.23.2011 at 02:35 am    last updated on: 10.23.2011 at 02:35 am

RE: Help! Cleaner used Scrubbie on new soapstone... (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: enduring on 10.23.2011 at 02:27 am in Kitchens Forum

Well, who installed your counters? They should be able to fix this for you. It is an easy fix but you'd have to have some knowledge of working with sandpaper. Since you are afraid you might do more damage, I suggest that you get your installer to refinish it. There are youtube videos that show how to work with soapstone. Again, if you are uncomfortable with this get your stone worker to do this for you, and ask him to show you how to do it for the next time.

Here is a link that might be useful: demo of sanding out soapstone scratch

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clipped on: 10.23.2011 at 02:33 am    last updated on: 10.23.2011 at 02:33 am

RE: Don't make me hunt you down! (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: aa62579 on 10.20.2011 at 05:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

For those of us who are visual, here is what mama_goose said above.

Red = tags that you type in
Teal = paste the url in for the page you want to link
Green = the text that will appear as your link. Like this "Name of the Link" below.

I also did up one for posting pictures. The red is the tags you post in. The black is the image direct link.

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clipped on: 10.20.2011 at 05:57 pm    last updated on: 10.20.2011 at 05:57 pm

RE: Show me your white cabinets with *tile* floors (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: Dean_I on 07.27.2011 at 05:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's some pics of our newly finished kitchen. White cabs with tiled floor.

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Great bar stools!
clipped on: 10.01.2011 at 01:38 am    last updated on: 10.01.2011 at 01:38 am

RE: DH was busy... (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: trailrunner on 09.27.2011 at 11:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

Breezy do you make your own pasta ? I can give you a very easy recipe that DH uses...I just sent it to Rhome. I will cut/paste it here and you can ask if it is confusing. Glad you like it . It is so much lighter than store bought noodles. Also the texture is so much better and there is less filling but lots of thin layers

Eggplant Lasagna with home made noodles

1 1/2 c white KA white flour and 2 beaten eggs , a good pinch of salt and about 1 TBSP water. He makes a well of flour and pours the eggs and salt into the center. As he kneads and works the flour into the dough he sees if he needs some water. He added the TBSP as he worked the dough for about 10 min. He lets it set wrapped in plastic wrap on the counter for about 20 min to rest. He then passes it through the different roller settings on the pasta machine till it is velvety and for lasagna he went down to "5" .

He uses flour as he goes along to make sure it isn't sticky but he says his is never really sticky except at the very very beginning of rolling. He lets them dry after he cuts the rectangles on the counter for an hour. He then dusted them lightly with flour and stacked them...nothing between the layers, and weighted them with a plate so they wouldn't curl up.

He broiled 1/2 thick slices of eggplant till crisp..brush with olive oil and salt and pepper both sides.He had 18 slices...so 3 spaced out for each of 6 layers.

He put sauce ( home made by me the other day) uncooked pasta sheets ( they take up the liquid from the sauce so you needn't cook them ) brush the pasta lightly with ricotta ( I put 1 egg and salt and pepper and dried basil and oregano in 1/2# ricotta) then lay on a 3 slices of eggplant and then pieces of fresh mozzarella and then drizzle sauce. Don't use too much sauce. I was amazed at how little you need with the fresh pasta. About 16 oz for the 8x8 pan. This is an 8x8 pan and he made 12 oz pasta. Each sheet was 1 oz. We used them all for 6 layers. So you are doing very thin layers and very small amounts of filling and after each layer you pressss....down and kind of pack it in the pan. Top with grated parmesan and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 min and then uncover for 15 more. Let set for about 15-20 min to let it settle..

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clipped on: 09.28.2011 at 02:31 am    last updated on: 09.28.2011 at 02:31 am

buttermilk biscuit recipe: thank you!!!

posted by: lawjedi on 09.20.2011 at 08:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

Not too long ago someone posted their recipe for buttermilk biscuits and I copied it down. Unfortunately I forgot to write down WHO is was from...

I made them tonight - breakfast for dinner.... and was transported back in time. They were exactly like my Nana's biscuits for her biscuits and gravy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Here is the recipe I used.... looks complicated, but really it was very easy and the biscuits came together very quickly.

Buttermilk biscuits ( adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
Place 2 c AP flour 
1 Tbsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp baking soda
pulse till it is blended...few seconds.
Using a large hole grater , grate 5 Tbsp of frozen salted butter on top of the flour. Alternatively cut the butter into 1/4 inch dice and freeze on a plate. Pulse only till it is mixed...few seconds. Better to have tiny pieces of butter . Now pour this into a chilled bowl and add about 1 c very cold buttermilk. Toss lightly till every bit of flour is good and wet. Don't over mix just toss lightly. It may take even more. More is better than not enough. Gently turn the dough out on a well floured countertop. I use my soapstone . Turn your convection bake to 500. Have a flat shiny cookie sheet ready, and spray with Pam. Lightly pat the dough with floured hands till it is 1/2 to 3/4 " thick. Using a well-floured biscuit cutter press firmly straight down to cut the biscuits. DONOT twist the cutter and they won't rise. Reflour before each cut. Take the scraps and push them lightly up next to the other scraps and cut more. Donot overlap them. Smoosh them together from the sides...this is a scientific term:) Place the biscuits on the cookie sheet so they are just touching. Bake at 500 for 12-15 min in the top 1/3 of the oven till nicely golden brown.

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clipped on: 09.20.2011 at 10:23 pm    last updated on: 09.20.2011 at 10:23 pm

RE: Backsplash for Soapstone counters (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: honeychurch on 10.29.2010 at 09:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

I also have just a painted wall for most of my backsplash. I do have a 2" high beaded soapstone splash going all the way around, and over the cooktop I used copper:

Photobucket

I think the beauty of soapstone (obvious from everything so pretty posted in this whole thread) is that there isn't much that doesn't look good with it!

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clipped on: 09.14.2011 at 12:50 am    last updated on: 09.14.2011 at 12:50 am

RE: Trailrunner, recipe please :-) (2nd try) (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: trailrunner on 09.12.2011 at 05:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hey...sure I would be glad to share. Understand that we make it a little differently depending on what is available that day.

6 oz uncooked fresh pasta...that is enough for 2 of us
fresh Roma or regular tomatoes...very ripe cut in chunks
Fresh garlic very finely minced
paper thin slices of red onion
capers not drained
fresh basil leaves garnish
balsamic vinegar
EVOO
salt and fresh ground pepper
grated parmesan cheese

I cut the large pieces of tomato and place them in the flat bottomed pasta dish. I sprinkle them with the salt,pepper, minced garlic, capers, red onion, balsamic vinegar and EVOO. I toss this together and leave it to macerate while the pasta is getting ready. We cook the pasta till just done and drain quickly. Toss with some EVOO and then pour it onto the tomato mixture and toss. So you are putting hot pasta onto the raw vegs. Then toss on the torn basil...we don't cut it as it bruises ...we tear it. And the coarsely grated parmesan.

Serve...yum.

I do sometimes add red or orange or yellow peppers...yellow is the prettiest. I slice them very thinly. I also sometime saute the garlic and the red onion and the pepper slightly and add the tomato last to just heat it through, not really cooked. Add to cooked pasta. It is a dish that is so versatile. The main thing is to have very ripe tomatoes and let them let out their juice.

Hope you enjoy ! You are so sweet to ask. c

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clipped on: 09.13.2011 at 08:34 pm    last updated on: 09.13.2011 at 08:34 pm

Finished Bathroom Pics (two bathrooms!)--very pic heavy

posted by: cat_mom on 01.04.2011 at 11:07 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I finally took pics of our Master Bathroom and Hall Bathroom. Both bathrooms are small (MB is 5x7 the Hall Bathroom is 5x8), and therefore, very difficult (nearly impossible) to photograph well. Pictures really don't do them justice (they really do look nicer in person!). A friend of ours plans to take some pics for us with his camera, equipped with a wide angle lens, so I'll post some of those pics when he takes them.

The bathrooms were pretty bad before (and that's being kind!). We stuck it out for over 11 years, rather than take any intermediate measures (e.g. to make them slightly nicer), knowing that nothing short of a full gut-job would help (and we really didn't want to a) open a can of worms by removing any walls, tile, etc., or b) throw good money after bad).

So, starting last spring, we embarked on a 6+ month double-bathroom renovation. DH did all the demolition and construction. We had an awesome tile guy and an equally wonderful plumber. We had to work around each other's schedules at times (the old, "hurry up and wait"), but, as it often does, it all worked out in the end.

We were very lucky to work with some wonderful salespeople as well: a special shout-out to Sean at Hardware-Designs in Fairfield, NJ for our bathroom fixtures--you are the best! And for our tile and marble, thanks to all the folks at Greene and Roth in Bardonia, NY, Porcelanosa in Ramsey, NJ, and K&K Marble on LI. The guys at The Paint Can in Pearl River, NY very patiently endured my numerous visits, questions, and multiple sample purchases as we tried to choose just the right paint colors. DH was extremely impressed with the folks at Nu-Heat (and now that the weather has gotten colder, we are really enjoying our toasty floors!).

For us, all the research, planning, and work paid off. We finally have bathrooms we can enjoy using and very much enjoy looking at. Despite their small size, they are more than adequate for our needs and we are thrilled with they way they turned out--hooray!!!!

I'm including some before and after shots here, but you can take a look at a bunch more in my photobucket albums if you'd like:

link to MB Albums:
http://s141.photobucket.com/albums/r53/cat_mom/Bathrooms/Master Bathroom/

link to Hall Bathroom Albums: http://s141.photobucket.com/albums/r53/cat_mom/Bathrooms/Hall Bathroom/

MB Before:

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MB After:

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Hall Bathroom Before (don't mind the paint swatches/samples on the wall--lol):

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Hall Bathroom After:

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Details:

In both:

Tubs and tub fixtures: Toto 1525's, Hansgrohe Axor Stark tub spouts, Hansgrohe S-120 Air showerheads, Jaclo valves/ controls, Mountain Plumbing tub drain assemblies (?).

Crescent Shower Rods in brushed SS finish

Toto Soiree toilets w/ Brushed Nickel trip levers

Sonia sinks, drains, drain caps

Cifial Techno 25 lavatory faucets, satin nickel

Vanities--42" wide, custom made by a local guy (modeled after Sonia Europa vanity); MB stained ebony, Hall Bathroom stained bordeaux

Robern medicine cabs (M series in MB, 6" depth, PLM series in Hall Bathroom, standard depth); 30" H x 19 3/4" W

Panasonic Whisper Quiet vent fans

MB:

Towel Bars and TP holder: Ginger Motiv Sine

Floor tile: Atlas Concorde (AKDO); Glow in Cosmos 12x24, TEC XT grout in Raven (unsanded)

Field tile: Porcelanosa; Bari Blanco 8x20, TEC XT grout in Bright White (unsanded)

Mosaic tile; Porcelanosa; Moon Saturn Blanco (White Thassos circles), TEC XT grout in Bright White (sanded and unsanded mixed)

Trim tile, niche trim and shelves: White Thassos Select

Saddle: honed Absolute Black

Paint: BM Aura; matte finish on walls, satin on base molding, Affinity color Constellation

(shower curtain: Restoration Hardware)

Hall Bathroom:

Towel Bars and TP holder: Ginger Motiv Frame

Floor tile: Coral Peach travertine 12x12's cut down to 6x12", TEC XT grout in Almond (unsanded)

Field tile and Bullnose tile: Daltile Modern Dimensions Arctic White ~4x12", TEC XT grout in Bright White (unsanded)

Mosaic tile; Split Face Amber travertine 1x2", TEC XT grout in Almond (unsanded)

Niche trim and shelves: White Thassos Select

Saddle: honed marble

Paint: BM Aura; matte finish on walls, satin on base molding, Affinity color Handmade

(shower curtain: Anthropologie)

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clipped on: 08.31.2011 at 01:06 am    last updated on: 08.31.2011 at 01:06 am

inspiration photos (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: julize on 08.21.2011 at 01:55 am in Kitchens Forum

FYI, here are some of my inspiration photos. I love the red accents in this first one (my compliments to SoonerMagic--I hope it's OK that I'm re-posting this) but I'm just not sure if white subway tile might be too stark in our kitchen. Our cabs are white rather than off-white, there's no window above the sink and there won't be much painted wall showing. If we went with this color scheme we'd probably do something like BM Bennington Gray on the walls. Not certain if we'd use the contrasting grout or go with something whiter.

I like how the beige-y backsplash in this 2nd photo adds a little more color to the room. Was thinking a subway tile in this shade might still work nicely with red accents (with paint in a similar beige shade):

A third option would be to do a grayish paint (BM Gray Owl?) and go with a subway tile in carrara marble something like the one below (sorry--I'm not sure whose pic this is). The problem is I'm not sure that would coordinate well with the red in our dining room. It's also a cooler color scheme than I'd originally planned.

Any thoughts? Our floors are hardwood, by the way--similar to the color in pic #2 or just a touch lighter.

Thanks again for all the input!

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clipped on: 08.21.2011 at 06:22 pm    last updated on: 08.21.2011 at 06:22 pm

RE: granite countertops (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: suzie2003 on 08.07.2011 at 02:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

thank you... I started this project in a effort to make minor changes to a 7 year old kitchen and I'm so glad I found this forum. I think I'm getting smarter by the minute.

Here's a thought for the BS. What do you think? Too neutral? Found this within the KF.

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clipped on: 08.20.2011 at 12:57 am    last updated on: 08.20.2011 at 12:58 am

RE: Countertop Choices..Opinions Needed! (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: suzannesl on 08.19.2011 at 01:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hope this helps.

jbrodie's kitchen with soapstone countertop:

pip's kitchen with madre perla quartzite:

This isn't the same photo as above (it was in a video), but I think this photo has the same Colonial Gold. This is cali wendy's kitchen:

Here's a mascarello, but not extra-can't find that

Here's another mascarello, still not extra

Here's a sunflower and another

This is Minsk Gold and Juperana Persa

Here is a link that might be useful: How to add photos-my simple explanation

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clipped on: 08.19.2011 at 01:53 pm    last updated on: 08.19.2011 at 01:54 pm

What keeps soapstone darker longer. . .The answer! ! !

posted by: florida_joshua on 10.24.2007 at 04:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

So I did a little test to answer the question.

The products:

Clapham's Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish
Bee's Oil
Regular Mineral Oil
Mystery Oil

First a brief discription (my opinion)

Clapham's: It is a paste, inbetween a wax and a liquid. Goes on easy and feels amazing after you put it on. On the touch catagory it is the best of the bunch.

Bee's Oil: It is a wax. A little harder to get on but if you heat it up it would be easier. Has stay power. This is at the top when it comes to keeping the patina on the stone.

Regular Mineral Oil: Needs no discription. It's easy to apply. Would keep a bottle around for those lazy days. Feels oily compared to the wax or paste. That feel goes away quickly though (whithin a hour or two if you wipe it down with a rag).

Mystery Oil: It is a liquid similar to the mineral oil. Not so crazy about the warning lable. Feels a little bit more oily than the mineral oil at first. Seems to react similar to the mineral oil. In my opinion I would rather use the mineral oil just because of convienience considering the warning about it being combustable.

The proof:

This is unoiled stone.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is the stone just after application
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is a picture of the sheen each gives off
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A day after the first oiling
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I then oiled it twice more over the next 2 days and waited 4 days to see what we had. Here it is.
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The mystery oil evaporated the quickest, then the mineral oil, contiuing on to the clapham's, and finally the Bee's oil.

I could continue the process but I do believe that you will continue to see the same results. Over time I think you wouold spend less time applying with the wax products but I would keep the mineral oil around for quick touchups or lazy days.

This test also gives people a good idea of how soapstone will react when it is installed in their home. This process of oiling and or waxing lessens with time. Each variety of soapstone can react differently as well. This means some stone evaporates the oil or wax products off quicker and or slower. Some people leave it unoiled some oil it often. Some like it inbetween and only oil it sometimes. . . So it really is up to the owner to choose how the stone fits your lifestyle. I still have not figured out how describe to someone who does not know about soapstone in one or two paragraphs. I know it sounds cheesy but I feel it's an experience. If you don't touch it, feel it, live with it, you'll never really understand it.

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clipped on: 08.16.2011 at 01:26 am    last updated on: 08.16.2011 at 01:26 am

RE: How do you clean your KitchenAid SS Refrigerator (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: cat_mom on 08.15.2011 at 09:08 pm in Appliances Forum

Clean off any residue from other cleaners (esp oil-based cleaners/polishes); I used BKF on a blue scrub sponge to remove residue from our KA built-in fridge.

After you remove all the residue, you can clean your SS fridge (and other appliances) using a mixture of rubbing alcohol-water (I add lavender essential oil to mine--smells great and has anti-bacterial properties). I spray the mixture on the fridge and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.

Our fridge has never been easier to clean and keep clean.

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clipped on: 08.16.2011 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 08.16.2011 at 12:06 am

RE: Need under- cabinet lighting advice! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: seaduck on 08.14.2011 at 10:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

We have just had our undercab lights installed, and I couldn't be happier.

Through this AMAZING forum, I found a reference to Environmental Lights in California. I was interested in LEDs, but very leery of the light quality/color.

Long/short, we ended up ordering MaxLite LED strips from them. These are warm white (2700K -- I was very particular about that, cuz I can tell the difference with so called warm whites that are 3000K). They are dimmable. They do not require transformers or 'drivers' -- they connect to 120V. They come in 12" lengths; we got the ones with 33 bulbs/foot, which is 200 lumen output.

They look fabulous! Better even than I'd imagined... The electrician, who had never installed them, was thrilled...said they were incredibly easy.

And Environment Lights was terrific to work with. You can buy a sample -- one 12" unit with a plug, to see what it will look like.

You can (maybe should) bypass your local electrical supplier, and definitely bypass the bigbox guys.

Re spacing: I just bought them to run the lenght of the cabs to the nearest foot increment. They are not very big...maybe 3/4 of an inch?...so they tuck right behind the frame at the front edge of the cabinets. Could not be easier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Environmental Lights -- Self-Driven Dimmable MaxLite

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clipped on: 08.15.2011 at 12:51 am    last updated on: 08.15.2011 at 12:51 am

RE: I don't get it (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: natal on 06.27.2011 at 11:16 am in Hot Topics Forum

Demi, your appetizer reminds me of a similar one made with mayo.

Baked Sweet Onion Spread

2 cups sliced sweet onions
1-1/2 cups Swiss, Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Saute the sliced onions in a heavy saute pan over medium heat with a little olive oil until soft, translucent, and golden.

Mix the caramelized onions with the shredded cheese, cayenne, and mayo and pour into a shallow, oven-proof dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Serve with fresh baguette slices or an assortment of crackers.

------------------------------------------------------

I cooked great meals for 26 years in the old funky dark blue kitchen cave with crappy lighting and a tiny prep area. I still cook great meals, but I enjoy it so much more with a full peninsula for prepping, lots of natural light, and bright spaces. Dh often sits at the raised bar chatting with me as I cook or he joins me in the kitchen. There's room for both of us now. When we remodeled we also added on and have a small keeping room adjacent to the kitchen. We spend a good bit of our time in that part of the house now. We splurged on a few things like the built-in fridge and the Wolf range, but then we don't take vacations or have a second home. It's all about what's important to you.

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clipped on: 08.13.2011 at 05:04 am    last updated on: 08.13.2011 at 05:04 am

To fellow Kohler Stages Sink Users:

posted by: rjr220 on 09.18.2010 at 01:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

By accident, I found out that the Sterilite 1754 and 1753 15 qt plastic containers fit beautifully on the ledge of the sink, allowing you to slide the bin back and forth like the other accessories. It's handy to use as a dishpan, because it's shallower than a regular dishpan, it doesn't block the drain like the regular size dishpan. You can get them at Target.

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clipped on: 08.11.2011 at 03:04 am    last updated on: 08.11.2011 at 03:05 am