FINISHED WOOD FLOORS IN THE LANDING

July 19, 2016

My name is Rachel and sometimes I have dreams where I am laying wood floors. That is because on occasions we do it for a few hours every day for a week and then I cannot readily get them off my brain.

It is a small price to pay to have clean, smooth, pretty planks to look at.

FINISHED WOOD FLOORS IN THE LANDING

The landing gets the award for most underestimated room. It is small, so I viewed it as a quick item to check of the list on the way to finishing the bedrooms. I knew lots of doorways make for more work, but man, did this install drag. It took us nine work days compared to the living room (which is like, four times as big) taking six days.

I credit this to having to spend time working on the stair nose transition. I am okay with it taking more time, because having that look good is important and noticeable.

And also, that closet on the wall near the stairs I never really thought about because it scared me and had the worst green shag carpet. Well, now it has my beloved hardwoods, but I forgot how it was a pretty hefty nook. I mean, we plan to turn it into a second laundry closet, so I should have at least remembered it was big-ish. So more rows to lay. In a confined space. With special cuts. This equals a slow going pace as well.

LANDING BEFORE-2 FINISHED WOOD FLOORS IN THE LANDING-2 copy

But now it is done and that before and after comparison has your girl feeling so fly. I am still in the honeymoon phase when as I am walking up the stairs they take me by surprise each time. THEY ARE MUCH NICER THAN BROWN AND GREEN CARPETS.

Having the landing done was in a way the last remaining vestige of chaos in the house. Now that all we have left is isolated bedrooms, the whole second floor does not have to feel out of control while we are working on floors.

THE FLOOR TRANSITION FOR THE STAIRCASE

July 18, 2016

In the saga of refinishing our staircase, I completed up to the floor of the second level. This left the carpet curled over the top stair, and we were not sure what was underneath. The biggest mystery of laying wood floors in the landing would be how complicated (expensive?) it would be to figure out the stair nose transition.

Oh, staircase. You are always one for mysteries.

THE FLOOR TRANSITION FOR THE STAIRCASE-2 copy

The good news was we uncovered a nice wood stair nose under the carpet. This could be refinished in the same way I did the rest of the steps (with Minwax’s American Chestnut).

The obstacle was that the stair nose was level with the subfloor. The hardwoods go on top of the subfloor, which would then make the floor and the stair nose different heights.

THE FLOOR TRANSITION FOR THE STAIRCASE-3 copy

This was not terrible; all we would need to do is rip off the stair nose and put a piece of subfloor underneath so it would be the same height as the wood floors.

And again, it was a bonus that there was a nice nose at all. We were prepared for the possibility of needing to go to Lumber Liquidators and trying to find one to match our floors. Instead, this nose already had the perfect cuts and would be no extra cost.

THE FLOOR TRANSITION FOR THE STAIRCASE-4 copy

The nose piece was not the exact thickness of the hardwood floors, so we had to do some tweaking for their net height to match. We did not want to mess with the stair nose itself, so we worked on tweaking the subfloor.

With a combination of sawing and sanding, David got the subfloor pieces down to the perfect size to be flush with the wood floors. It is good we attempted to alter the subfloor’s height and not the stair nose’s because we had to do some trial and error to figure out the best way to get it thinned out.

THE FLOOR TRANSITION FOR THE STAIRCASE copy

As non-experts and makeshift-ers I was really pleased with how the final transition looked. I told David to just add it to his portfolio as one more cool thing he figured out and taught himself how to do.

It is, just, like, so much better than brown carpet.

THE FLOOR TRANSITION FOR THE STAIRCASE copy

Better yet, we are finished with the whole landing!

I am sharing all the photos tomorrow!

SAUSAGE MEATBALLS WITH GARLIC & BASIL MASHED POTATOES

July 14, 2016

I am not sure if this would extend to all husbands, but meatballs of any kind make my other half very happy. Chicken, beef, sausage, whatever. Meatballs are winners.

We always make them with this tip we got from Alton Brown (love him). Bake your meatballs in a mini muffin pan. The texture is so perfect. And, it gives that pan another job to do.

SAUSAGE MEATBALLS WITH GARLIC & BASIL MASHED POTATOESSAUSAGE MEATBALLS WITH GARLIC & BASIL MASHED POTATOES
Serves 3 to 4

1 pound italian sausage
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
8 red skin potatoes, cubed
1/3 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
4 tablespoons butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Fresh basil, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together sausage, egg, basil, garlic powder, and panko bread crumbs. Shape into small balls and place into mini-muffin pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain water from potatoes. In a stand mixer, mix potatoes with 6 tablespoons butter, milk, salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and parmesan. Make sauce by sautéing garlic in 4 tablespoons butter for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add flour, vegetable broth, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to sauce. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Serve meatballs over mashed potatoes topped with garlic sauce and basil.

SAUSAGE MEATBALLS WITH GARLIC & BASIL MASHED POTATOES
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound italian sausage
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 8 red skin potatoes, cubed
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup parmesan, grated
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ⅔ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh basil, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together sausage, egg, basil, garlic powder, and panko bread crumbs. Shape into small balls and place into mini-muffin pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain water from potatoes. In a stand mixer, mix potatoes with 6 tablespoons butter, milk, salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and parmesan.
  4. Make sauce by sautéing garlic in 4 tablespoons butter for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add flour, vegetable broth, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to sauce. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Serve meatballs over mashed potatoes topped with garlic sauce and basil.

 

Copyright © Rachel Schultz 2016