Posts tagged DIY

9 Secrets to a Really Crummy Kitchen Cabinet Paint Job

My eyes! The glare from the cabinets is blinding.

If you’re looking to take double–no triple–the amount of time to paint your kitchen cabinets than you should, I’ve got the tips for you! These are the tips other professional painters won’t tell you. Promise. So if want kitchen cabinets that are truly unique, with personal touches like paint bubbles, streaks, and overly thick sections, here’s how to do it:

  1. Determine that you’re going to paint all of your kitchen cabinets in one day. No. Matter. What.
  2. Laugh when your husband says silly things like, “Maybe it’s too cold to paint today.” Or, “You know, you might want to paint inside.”
  3. Lightly sand your cabinets right before you paint them. Don’t bother to wipe them down with a towel or anything.
  4. Paint the front of the cabinets first.
  5. Paint in your garage when the outside temperature is 32 degrees or below.
  6. Keep going even when the paint starts to thicken from the cold.
  7. Add more paint to smooth out the thickening paint.
  8. Figure you already painted half the cabinets you outta finish the job even if the paint is the consistency of peanut butter.
  9. Whatever you do never, ever do a sample test of your paint color before you start! That saves way too much time when you figure out your paint is glaringly bright and shockingly shiny.

With these helpful hints (shhhh, secrets!) you too can have crummy kitchen cabinets like mine. And you can join me in spending a day–no three–stripping the paint off and then starting all over again. Bonus: there’s nothing better than spending your extra money on sand paper!

Scrapping, scrapping, and more scrapping in my future

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DIY Greek yogurt

It’s Greek yogurt week here at MKES! Lately, I’ve been throwing it into just about everything. I even came up with a yummy banana chocolate chip Greek yogurt cake last night that my kids loved. (I’ll post that next.) But before you go out and buy tubs of Greek yogurt at Costco like me, why not make it yourself? Jessie Voigts, Ph.D., owner and creative force behind Wandering Educators (if you haven’t checked out the site yet, you should!), graciously passed along her method for making Greek yogurt at home and one of her recipes for Greek yogurt cheesecake.

Here’s her take on making one of my favorite foods:

We eat  yogurt every day – cook with it, bake with it, make smoothies, eat it with rhubarb sauce, make dips…well, the list goes on and on. But do you know what is in some commercial yogurt? More than just milk and yogurt starter. Making your own yogurt is easy, economical, and you know exactly what goes into it – yogurt, and milk. Once you get started, you’ll never buy yogurt again!

Yogurt

It’s easiest if you have a yogurt incubator, available online or in thrift stores for a few dollars. If you don’t have one, that’s ok. You can still make yogurt easily.

Equipment you will need:

A large pyrex measuring cup (8 cups) or a pan

A glass candy thermometer

A yogurt incubator with jars, or 2 quart jars, a towel, and a small cooler.

Heat 2 quarts of milk to 175 degrees. I do this in the microwave. In my microwave, it is 19 minutes at 80% power. You can also heat it on medium low on your stove, but this requires careful tending. Once it is at 175, sit on the counter and cool until it is 110 degrees. You’ll see a film on the top of the milk. Remove it with a  fork right before the next step.

When the milk is at 110 degrees, stir in 2 T of yogurt. This can be storebought yogurt or homemade yogurt. If you have Greek yogurt, even better. Whisk the milk and yogurt until the yogurt is dissolved. Pour into your containers and place in your yogurt incubator. Or, pour into your 2 quart jars, wrap in a towel, and put in a small cooler. The point is to keep it at a low temperature for 12 hours, so the yogurt cultures can grow. Once your twelve hours are up, put the jars into the refrigerator and let sit for another 12 hours, to firm up. Eat and enjoy! Be sure to make your next batch of yogurt before you run out – you’ll need 2 Tablespoons to start your next batch.

To Make Greek Yogurt:

Put a strainer over a bowl, and line your strainer with a coffee filter (or doubled up cheesecloth). Pour in your yogurt and let sit for a few hours. If it is warm out, or you need to let it sit overnight, place it in the fridge. The whey will drain out (you can use this for other purposes, but I just throw it out. No haters, please). You’ll be left with nice, thick Greek yogurt.

Recipe: Yogurt cheesecake

Here’s a delicious, easy, and healthy recipe using Greek yogurt.

2 c Greek yogurt

2 T sugar (or to taste. You might want 1/4 c or more)

1 t vanilla

2 beaten eggs

If desired, a graham cracker crust

Mix up the yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Pour into a baking dish (pie plate, 8×8 glass dish) with or without a graham cracker crust. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the middle stops jiggling.  Cool and refrigerate for 4+ hours. Serve with fruit or jam.

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Cool, easy DIY aprons

It's my Martha Stewart pose...do you think she eats squid?

As a kid I remember choosing from a stash of bright-colored, hand-made aprons tucked into our cleaning closet. Some were made of stiff jean material and embroidered with faces made from shapes and google eyes, others had lace around the edges, I tended to choose the one that came pre-stained so that any extra smudges fit right in (I tend to wipe on my apron. A lot).

But I’m no seamstress so when it comes to making my own apron, I rely on my laptop instead of a sewing machine (the sewing gene just passed me by, my mother is amazing while I even mess up darning socks).

Here’s how to make your own personalized apron (and yes, these make great gifts with a whisk or cookbook tucked with it).

Purchase a plain apron.

(Or maybe you already have some plain ones in your drawer?) I’ve found that printing lighter colors on a darker apron turns out easier than dark ink on lighter aprons. I know it seems like it would be just the reverse. Plus, darker colors don’t tend to show cooking smudges quite as much. Stiffer fabrics are also easier to work with.

Buy Stretchable Fabric Transfer sheets.

You can find these at craft or even larger grocery stores. Make sure to buy the type that matches your apron color–bright (white) or dark (reds, blacks, dark blues).


Create your image.

You can use pictures, text, images whatever you can print. A few words of caution, though. Eventually, you’re going to be cutting around the letters, so bigger images and letters work well, more intricate designs and you might have to dig out the exact-o knife. And the blockier designs transfer onto the fabric better too. (FYI–these won’t work with laser printers.)

Print out your image.

Replace the regular paper with the transfer in your printer. I’d suggest doing a practice run so that when you place the transfer paper in you know it’s on the right side.

Cut it!

Carefully cut around the image as close to the edges as possible. Peel the white film from the backing paper.

Iron it on

Preheat your iron and make sure the steam is off. I don’t use an iron board for this next part, instead I break out my largest, wood cutting board and place a clean pillowcase on it, then the apron. Arrange the printed transfer paper on the apron as you’d like it to appear. Place a large piece of parchment paper over the design (usually a piece is included with the transfer sheets). Firmly iron the design onto the apron, holding for about 20 seconds over every printed part. Wait a couple minutes until the paper cools and then carefully peel off the parchment.

Wear it!

Now the transfer sheet instructions have this long list of don’ts: don’t wash with bleach, don’t wash in warm water, don’t line dry. You should be a bit careful with your printed apron but I’ve made aprons, t-shirts, Halloween costumes, and everything in between and so far they’ve washed perfectly–even when they accidentally end up in the hot water cycle:)

Let the kids create a design

DIY aprons is the perfect kids activity–personalize party treat bags, gifts for grandma, you get the idea.

Beyond crafting your own apron, there are so many other ways to brighten up your kitchen–and your whole house–to celebrate spring. That’s right, have you noticed it stopped snowing? I hope. I’ve been looking through Get Fresh this Spring ideas at Motherboard. It’s making me want to do more than just aprons–I’m itching to paint a room or two.


Your turn–are you doing anything to brighten up your house–or kitchen–to celebrate spring?

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