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Chunky Red Salsa

I guess we’ll start off slow. Salsa isn’t really cooking, but it is manly.

I planted 8 tomato and assorted pepper plants last year and they went nuts. The tomatoes overgrew their 4′ tall cages and doubled all the way back over to the ground. I also had a patch of assorted red, jalepeno and chili peppers to pull from. All in all my small salsa garden produced 58 cans of salsa, marinara and plain chunky tomatoes.

This was a typical haul, twice a week. Each time I brought them in I made salsa!

I google’d lots of different salsa recipes but wound up altering a plain one with spice and other ingredient levels altered to my personal taste. I just took all the peppers that came in and chop them up instead of using the amount stated in the recipe below. It’s a good starting point for a chunky salsa.

If you are making a ton of salsa get your boy in there with you and show him how to use a knife. Scale the recipe based on the number of tomatoes you have.

Recipe:

6-7 tomatoes, diced. (cut in half across its width first then squeeze the goo out if you prefer less juicy salsa)
2 Jalepenos chopped, seeds removed
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 green onions chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 8oz tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoon chili powder

Just chop it all up and mix together like a man.

I used this little mini roller dicer chopper thing and it chopped the peppers and onions into little pieces in no time.
Rolling Slicer Dicer Chopper

Alter the pepper levels to your taste. Makes a nice red chunk salsa, not that free soupy stuff you get at restaurants. I made different levels by adding more chopped peppers to different bowls to make them hotter.

Gamma2 Food Storage 5 gallon bucket lids

If you are planning on having adequate food storage when the zombies come, you probably thought of having some 5 gallon buckets for storage. These buckets make decent storage in that you can grab a handle, throw it in the truck and it can bounce around in the bed while you head for the hills and not break and spill your food. Hopefully you remembered the lid-removal tool but if you didn’t, these buckets would have made it a lot easier on you.

I was skeptical when I saw these in the store but I bought one to see how well it worked.
These lids have a removable center that spins out easy without tools but still retain their airtight seal when tightened down. These are a lot easier to get into than a regular bucket lid and come in all sorts of colors to sort your food. A 5 gallon bucket will hold about 25 pounds of dry food such as pancake mix, flour, sugar or rice. These lids make it pretty easy to get out a meal’s worth and seal it right back up.

Gamma2 The Gamma Seal Lid For 3.5 to 7 Gallon Buckets or Pails

Gamma2 The Gamma Seal Lid For 3.5 to 7 Gallon Buckets or Pails

Island is IN !!!!!!!!

Well it’s more of a peninsula, but I have fire and can cook! No more boiling water on the BBQ side burner in the snow! Prep sink has a 1.5 HP disposal, the faucet nozzle extends over to the grill, so nice to be back in the modern world.

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I finally have ovens!

Only took 6 months of cooking with the Foreman grill, ‘wave and BBQ to finally get this bad boy done. I had to get an isolated 220 circuit for it, but my breaker box was full so I had to replace my entire breaker box first, then wire the 220, build some footings for this heavy monster, and finally wire it in for use! Sorry for the crappy picture. It’s a Bosch 5056 we got on clearance from the Bosch store a year ago! First meal was Lasagne, garlic bread and brownies.

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A Proper Grill

Fire is required to cook like  a man. This is the nifty Siemens cooktop I got from my local Bosch store. The pieces are starting to come together for my new kitchen!

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36″ Siemens avantGarde stainless cooktop with 15550 BTU center burner.

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Just a kitchen sink

Memorial day weekend at HD turned up some good deals. Got this nifty sink and a truckload of cabinets. Might need to add a hole in the ledge for a hot water dispenser, but this’ll definitely do.

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Remodeling the kitchen!

When we bought this house last year, it took about 8 months for the current residents to move out, and it wasn’t exactly cleaned up. The kitchen had a very poor layout with the washer and dryer smack dab in the MIDDLE of it. The stove and center counter was backed up against the washer and dryer area which was in its own closet. The w/d area had gas, water and drains so I had hoped that it was all coming up through the floor so I could knock the whole area out and place a nice island there instead.

How the kitchen looked when we finally got into the house:

From the entrance, that wall is load bearing and makes up one side of the w/d closet.

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I started bashing the drywall away from the w/d side, and my hopes for easy access to the plumbing for the island were ruined. Everything comes from ABOVE. It would all have to be re-routed to allow for an island.  In the wall was the sewer from the bathroom above, the gas, water lines, with the vent and washer drain tangled up in a rusty double S trap hand chopped into the slab.

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I put Ts on the metal water pipes and used sharkbite PEX connectors to go across the joists to where the washer and dryer now sit in the floor above. The other side of each T is just capped and we’ll PEX into it when the island is ready. I was able to use some stock black pipe from HD which brought the gas line over to the side. Plain ABS for the washer drain above with the proper drain angle ( it was close) to the single drain below. Leaving one drain on the stub capped for the prep sink that will be in the island. I’ll put some shallow cabinets high on the left wall hiding some of the pipes on that side, then a little soffet to hide the rest of their trip down past the counter top. Island will have a gas grill and prep sink.

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From the entrance area. I have a nice Bosch double oven which will go where the red toolbox is. I put the little rickety table over the drain tree so I would quit tripping over it.

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Next: going to reroute the dryer vent and put 2×6 cross joists perpendicular to the upper floor’s floor joists, sink some recessed lighting housings in there, get the grill vent hood and exhaust locked in and get the island done.