Thursday, May 30, 2013

Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

I made these for my stepdaughter and her family.  Needless to say they had no trouble eating the whole pan.

It is a very easy recipe that anyone can make.

1 cup butter melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs, I crush my own
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
4 additional TBL peanut butter

Ingredients laid out:

Using a plastic bag and rolling pin to crush the graham crackers:

All crushed up and ready to measure:

Next I have to measure the peanut butter.  I spray some butter flavored cooking spray in my measuring cup to help the peanut butter slide out easily:

Mix the melted butter, the graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup of peanut butter.  Pree the mixture into an un greased 9x13 pan:

Melt the chocolate chips with 4 TBL of peanut butter and spread over the crust:

Nice and smooth:

Cool in the refrigerator about an hour and you are ready to serve:

One big piece gone:

And served:

Give this one a try.  I bet most kids, even the adult kids, who like peanut butter will love it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chapter 152...The Trusses Are Here

Today is the delivery day for our trusses.  We have no idea what time the trusses will arrive but we have been told that the driver has our phone number.  Mike and I decided to take a ride over to our old roller skating rink which is now an antiques store to kill some time.  Sure enough as soon as we get out to the car the driver calls us.  Good timing.  Unfortunately when we pass him he is in our home driveway and not at the store.  We tell him to back out and follow us to the store.

All 25 trusses being dropped. looks like they are going to tip over.  

After they are on the ground, Mike and I cut the straps and bring them inside the building.  We have to go back to the house and get the tools we need to start working.  In the meantime we don't want to leave the trusses outside.

Now you will see why Mike and I only went 15 feet wide with this building.  The trusses are 16.4 feet long.  In doing this Mike and I can handle doing this ourselves.  You all know we hate when we have to deal with "other" people on our worksites, lol.

With two ladders ready to go I help Mike get the first end truss up.  We line it up with the edge of the building and Mike starts nailing:

We work together getting each truss on top of the building.  Then we stand them using the lines we made the other day for the correct placement.  I hold the truss in place while Mike continues to nail.  Once we have a few trusses up Mike nails in a 2x4 to help stabilize the truss.  We call these 2x4's rat runs.

Mike nailing in another rat run to the top portion of the trusses:

You can see we have 2x4 rat runs running along the bottom of the trusses and also underneath the top of the trusses.  We will do this for the entire length of the building and they will be a permanent part of the building:

Almost half way done:

Since we got a late start today we only got about 3/4's finished but Mike did call in an order for the plywood for the roof:)

The next day we go back with our tools and get set up:

We are working our way to the other end of the building.  It's going to get tight here so we decide to put all the trusses up top and slide them one by one into place.  The trusses are top heavy and always make me nervous when they swing down.  I tend to fight the natural momentum of them and Mike tells me all the time to relax, lol.

The rest of the trusses are up and hanging upside down:

Mike stays on one ladder on one side while I am on the other ladder on the other side.  One by one we flip the truss up into place and Mike starts nailing.  Here I am getting ready to flip a truss:

Getting down the to the last of the rat runs:

All of the trusses are up.  That wasn't too bad.  If you keep your store/home narrow and have a low pitch it is much easier to install yourself.  The bigger you make things the more you need help and we Mike and I don't like help, lol.

Mike cuts off the extra rat runs that don't reach another truss:

Our next delivery.  We got plywood for the roof, clips to hold the plywood together and trim boards for the outside of the store:

Mike and I measure the board to be cut.  These boards cover the outside of the truss and will run the whole perimeter of the building.  This is called fascia board.

Mike nails one in place:

The front fascia boards are up:

After that we carry all of the plywood and the other boards inside the building.  Since concrete floors are always damp we lay out some junk wood to protect the good wood.  We don't want to lay the good wood right on the concrete floor.  It will warp.  Next we have to cover everything up because the rain is coming...again!!

Ready for the rain:

That's all for this story.  We did pretty good getting the trusses up and now we are ready to start the roof.  Our next story will be about getting the plywood on top of the trusses...ugh!! and getting the roof started.

I hope you enjoyed this story and I will write again soon.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chapter 151...Painting The Store And Getting Ready For The Trusses

Mike and I almost have the store walls up.  All we have left today is getting the front door on and adding the remainder of the siding:

Mike putting in the header for the door:

And nailing in the siding along the side of the door:

The store walls and doors are done:


Now we are ready for the trusses.  Mike calls the truss company to see when they will be delivering and it is not for a few more days.  Since Mike and I don't like to waste time and wait for people we decide to paint the store even though it is not the normal order of things, lol.  Why wait around when you can accomplish something:)

We get everything ready for painting and pack up the trailer.  The first thing I do is sweep the T1-11(siding).  There is a lot of saw dust and small wood particles on this wood.  If you don't sweep it off it will come off after the paint is on and take some of the paint with it.  We don't want that.

Since we don't have water at the site yet we decide to use the small spray gun for painting.  It is less messy and much easier to clean even though it will take longer.  Mike starts spraying what he can without my help.  I need to move along with him and hold the cardboard at the top and also the bottom of the building so we don't make a green mess everywhere.  Mike spraying:

As a lot of you know Mike and I are terrible at picking paint colors.  For us it is much easier to go with what we know and what we like.  The color of the building is the same as our house.  It will also blend in nicely with the surroundings:)

Almost done with one long side:

While Mike does the spraying I start cutting paint in around the door.  T1-11 is terrible on a paint brush.  It takes forever to fill in the rough cut wood:

We went through one five gallon bucket of paint and we only got the front done, the two sides done and part of the back.  It's looking good but funny to see a building shell painted and no roof, lol.  Yeah...that sounds like Mike and I.  Get 'R Done!!!

While I was cutting in the doors, Mike sprayed out the remainder of the paint on the back wall:

The next day is raining so we go to town to pick up more paint.

The next nice day we are ready to go:)  Mike goes back to spraying the back of the building:

Almsot done.  Now I hope that the first batch of paint and this one blend in:

The first coat is on and the building is now protected from the bad weather.  Once we get the whole building enclosed Mike and I will paint a second coat on the whole building using the roller.

We heard back from the truss company and we are scheduled for delivery...yes!!!!  We have a few things left to do before the trusses get there that will make our lives easier once the trusses arrive.  So back to the store and Mike caulks the door frames in:

This is the part that will make our lives easier.  The trusses will sit on the front and back wall every two feet.  Since we have the time we decide to measure and mark off the 2 foot sections before the trusses get here.  This will save us so much time.

Mike started at one end and I held the tape ruler at the other end.  Mike moves along the wall and marks off the 2 foot on center.  Then he draws two lines to show where the truss will sit.  Our marks on the top of the wall:

Mike uses the ruler to measure the location for each truss and then draws the lines using a speed square:

Mike working his way to me:

We got the tops of the walls measured and we are almost ready to go.  The last thing we have to do is put up some temporary 2x4's to keep the first end truss from falling off the walls.

Mike screwing in the first temporary 2x4:

The 2x4's up and we are now ready for the trusses:

That's all for today.  I hope you all enjoyed this story and the next one you will get to see how Mike and I get the trusses on the store.

Have a great weekend:)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yum...My Grandmother's Pot Roast....So Good

My grandmother's pot roast. good:)  My grandmother used to make this and of course it was passed down to my mother and myself.  It's a very tender Yankee Pot Roast.

Start out with a rump roast which also may be called a bottom round roast.  You can get any size you want.  The one I made here was pretty small.  Maybe 3 pounds.

Put some oil in a pot and brown the roast on all sides.  Salt and Pepper the roast while you do this.  Be careful of any oil splattering.  I usually put the lid on the pot to help keep the stove clean.

Once the roast is browned I take it out of the pot so I can clean the pot out.  This will keep the roast lower calorie since I won't be leaving it in the grease from the pot.

After the pot is cleaned out I put the roast back in.

Add about 2 cups of water.  If you are making your own pan gravy add a couple of beef bouillon cubes:

Put the burner on low, cover the pot and simmer for about three hours.  The bigger the roast the longer you should simmer and the softer the meat will be.

During the last hour add some cut up carrots and some sliced onion.  Cover again and simmer.

Once the roast is done take the meat out to cool before slicing.  If it is not cool the meat will shred.  Put the veggies in a bowl to serve with the meat.  Make your gravy.  You can make your own pan gravy by melting butter in a pot and then adding flour until it is like a paste.  Then add your beef broth from the pot the roast was in.  Use a whisk to blend it until it comes to a boil.  Turn it down and add the meat.

To save calories I used a beef gravy mix.  I like to make the gravy, slice the meat and put the meat back in the gravy to soak up the flavors.

Serve it with mashed potatoes, the carrots & onions, and baby peas.

It's an easy meal that smells so good while it cooks.  Everyone in my family has always loved this.  The only thing my grandmother always had with her pot roast that I didn't have was rye bread and butter.  Yum!!!