Can you guess what this is?Read More »
Can you guess what this is?Read More »
I’m not one for following recipes. I scroll through Pinterest for inspiration and then make it up as I go based on whatever I have in the fridge. I’m also not one for buying ingredients for specific things but rather I’ll experiment with the staples I already have in the fridge.
Inspired by the beautiful tomatoes found this week at the farmers market and wanting to use up the pastry flour in the pantry, I decided to make a galette. After poking around a few blogs and looking at a couple of recipes, I had the basic idea and experimented from there. These free form pastries allow for a lot of creative freedom and are a great way to use up ingredients. I had a jar of artichoke hearts and ricotta cheese that were begging to be used with these tomatoes.
They are also really forgiving – the
sloppier more rustic the edges the better!
-Mix the cold butter and flour until crumbly.
-Stir in ricotta cheese, start with a little and add more if needed. I used the ricotta to replace the liquid and just kept adding a bit at a time until it formed a dough.
-Mix in salt, pepper and cheese and form a ball of dough
-Chill dough in fridge for at least half an hour
-Using a rolling pin (or an empty glass bottle) roll dough into about a 12 inch circle, no need to be perfect
-Put dough onto ungreased baking sheet. Use parchment paper if you feel like it, don’t use it if you don’t feel like it. This time I felt like it, most of the time I don’t.
-Slice tomatoes (zucchini, eggplants squash, whatever you’re using)
-Lay slices on a towel and sprinkle with salt to draw out liquids (I put the dough in the fridge, then I sliced the tomatoes. By the time the dough was rolled out, the tomatoes were ready)
-In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of ricotta with a good lug of olive oil and salt, pepper, garlic to taste
-Spread ricotta in the middle of dough, leaving about 2 inches of exposed dough around the edges.
-Layer your slices and whatever else you might be adding (in this case, artichokes) on top of the ricotta
-Fold extra dough towards the middle but leave the middle open
-Beat an egg and brush the egg over the dough – or skip this step. Whatevs, it will be good either way
-Bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes
Let sit for a while or if you’re a beast like me, dig in and then burn the hell out of your tongue. After you’ve chugged some water to soothe your mouth, the galette should be cool enough to slice and enjoy.
I’m calling bullshit on anyone who every says they can’t cook at home because their kitchen is too small!
During the construction of Little Lou, it felt like everything was always a mess and disorganized. We were constantly shifting materials to make room or hauling stuff in and out of the carport. It was a struggle to keep everything in order. I can be a bit of a control freak so the whole process was an exercise in letting go. Constant deep breaths and reminders that I can’t control everything.
I cherished the moments (ugh, that sounds corny) when the house was clean and tidy. It was a moment to reassess and allowed me to actually envision the structure as a house rather than a construction site. When we started, I had an idea of a floor plan but didn’t have everything totally laid out. I had drawn out several designs but found that many of my ideas didn’t actually translate well to the space. Another reminder that I can’t control everything, I have to be flexible and willing to change my plans.
The local news station featured Little Lou in a segment recently and they did a fantastic job! The story was short and sweet but really touched on all the hard work and love that myself, Seth and all my friends and family poured into this project. Also, the focus on the zero waste philosophy was much appreciated.
If you would like to check out the HGTV episode of Tiny House, Big Living it is available streaming on Amazon.
Buzz Feed recently posted an article filled with a bunch of questions for tiny house hunters.
Well I’m not a tiny house hunter, but I am a tiny house dweller. Surely that makes me qualified to answered some of these questions.
1. What actually qualifies, in your mind, as a “tiny house”?
Anything smaller than 500 square feet.
2. Have you ever seen a studio apartment in Manhattan, and if so, would you consider that to fall under those criteria?
Nope. It’s a tiny apartment.
3. Was your realtor a little annoyed because they knew their commission wouldn’t be as much?
Why would they agree to take on a client if they were going to annoyed?
4. Are there tiny house fixer-uppers and short sales, or is that just for bigger houses?
There’s a lot of tiny houses in varying states of completeness on websites like Tiny House Listing. Tiny houses tend to be less expensive than “normal” houses so I’m guessing the instance of short sales is lower. Many tiny houses, particularly ones of wheels, are not eligible for bank financing which would also lower the instance of short sales.
5. Be honest — how much did you really know about yurts before starting your tiny house hunt?
Before: Yurts are cute.
6. Be honest — how much do you really know about yurts even after getting a tiny house?
After: Yurts are cute and not very warm.
7. If you had a larger family, would you still want to do the tiny house thing?
Probably not a tiny house on wheels but probably not a big house.
8. If so…why? (I’m looking at you, family with four kids.)
I mean I’m wondering why anyone would even want that many kids in the first place. I’ll stick with being an “aunt” for now.
9. What does the rest of your family think about your decision to live in a tiny house?
My parents supported me because I was going to do what I want to matter what. Now they’re super proud. Generally, my family is on board. I’ve got a family filled with badass women (and men) who encourage me to be a badass woman and chase all my dreams.
Hamster are tiny – their cages, not so much. Definitely not the right choice for a tiny house. Henry the hedgehog used to live with me in a tiny apartment but his cage was too big. He has a new loving home now. But hot damn, he was cute.
11. How frequently do you plan on moving your house around, if at all?
Occasionally. When new adventures arise or my leases run out.
12. How do you choose which friend’s place to park your house at until you can buy your own plot of land?
Whichever friend says yes!
13. Do your friends actually want you to come and stay on their property for an undetermined period of time, or are they just being nice?
Probably a little bit of both.
14. Is it tough to get someone to come and install cable and wifi?
I’m a wifi (electric and water too) parasite. I mooch off the main house. Do people actually still have cable?
15. What does it take to disaster-proof a tiny house (as in, prepare for earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.)?
Construction is similar to a regular house. My rafters are connected with hurricane ties to stand up to strong winds (at home and on the road). Luckily, I don’t have to worry about many natural disasters where I live.
But when the floods come, I can move my house out of the way!
For the year prior to moving in, I hid clothes and household items under the bed or in the hall closet. This way, I was able to see how it felt to be without them. If I found myself digging under the bed or in the closet for an item, it came to the tiny house. If I forgot about it, it was donated. And my friends got to take pretty much whatever they wanted.
17. Do you have to be a really neat person to live in such a small space?
Nah. I go from one extreme to another – really tidy or a total pig. It all depends on your tolerance for mess and clutter.
18. Like, can you just take your shoes off and throw them on the floor like most people, or do you have to put everything in a very specific place?
I kick them off and leave them in the middle of the floor. Then I have a temper tantrum when I trip over them later..like most other people.
19. Do you ever get claustrophobic?
Yeah and then I go outside. I’m not trapped inside my house with no means of escape. I get claustrophobic if I’m inside for too long no matter how big the inside is.
20. Do people even come over at all? Like, can they fit?
Little Lou has hosted as many as five friends at one time! And that’s pretty much all the friends I have.
I haven’t had a big group over for dinner but I plan to host summer bbq’s on the lawn. If your house is small – or big- go outside!
22. Is it awkward when you have guests over and someone needs to fart in such a small space?
Meh. Farts are funny.
23. Is it even more awkward if someone needs to poop?
Nah. Pooping in the composting toilet is less awkward because it’s filled with sawdust instead of water. No embarrassing splash when you drop the kids at the pool.
24. And can everyone hear you peeing?
25. Is there soundproofing…at all?
Well everything is basically one big room. So not really. But the insulation, Roxul, actually acts as a sound barrier.
26. Can you have ~overnight visitors~ without things getting uncomfortable?
Yup. They sleep on the couch, share my bed with me or I sleep on a camping pad and they sleep in my bed. I’m pretty much the best friend ever.
Oh Wait…is this a sex question? Right, it probably is.
It’s not uncomfortable. And I live alone so I can enjoy activities-monopoly is a favorite-with overnight guests in any room in the house without worrying about being busted by roommates.
27. How often do you hit your head on the ceiling when you wake up?
Never. I can sit straight up in my bed.
You could probably find one but it seems like a waste of space to me if you have a lofted bedroom.
29. Why do you seem to expect that a full-sized kitchen will fit into your 150 sq. foot house?
Because you can do it. The kitchen in my tiny house is bigger than the kitchen in my last apartment. But you’ll have to sacrifice space somewhere else – like the living room.
30. Oh, and do you end up having to order a lot of takeout because the kitchens are so small?
Nope. I love cooking and hardly order take out. In fact, I order less take out now than when I lived in an apartment in the city because there is no delivery options at my new home.
31. Are you hoping to put in tiny granite countertops, at least?
Granite looks nice and you can afford to splurge when you have such a small area to cover. However, nothing beats free. If your house is on wheels, you need to be mindful of weight and granite is heavy.
32. Do you have to take out the trash all the time so it doesn’t start to stink up the whole house?
Nope. I compost all of my food scraps. With most of my veggies scraps, I save them in the freezer until I have enough to make a pot of stock then I compost the scraps. I keep the compost bin in the fridge so it doesn’t stink up the house.
I produce so little trash, that I’ve only had to take my trash out twice in the past 5 months. and I used grocery store bags as trash bags!
33. What’s up with those bathrooms that are just a toilet, shower, and sink combined into the same 10 square feet?
It’s called a wet bath and saves a lot of space since you don’t need a tub or a shower stall. But they’re also a pain in the butt. It’s hard to keep your toilet paper dry when the whole bathroom is a shower.
34. Why do you always ask if a bathtub will fit in your tiny house? IT WON’T.
Lies. I have a bathtub. It’s a horse trough that we put a drain in. You just have to be creative!
35. Do you ever have a hard time maneuvering in the shower and just give up trying to get fully clean?
No. I’m not a dirt bag.
Yeah but it’s hard to get up any stairs after a few drinks.
37. How many times have you fallen off the ladder/loft?
0 almost once. making the bed in the loft is hard work.
Rock, paper, scissors
39. Do you ever get into fights because of noise/light issues like this?
Nope. I like the people who spend the night at my house and tend not to fight with them.
40. Is there even enough space to have a fight?
Fight? Like wrestle? Yes. Argue? Yes.
41. And do you feel silly when you complain about not having enough space for something and then remember that, like…you chose to live in a tiny house?
Yeah but everyone complains sometimes. I feel the most silly when I loose something in the tiny house. It’s 240 square feet-how the hell do I still loose my keys all the time?!
well it was cold. now spring is here and it’s warming up. this was pretty a mild winter but march was unseasonably cold. the tiny house side of my brain was grateful because it was easier to settle into little lou when the temperature was above zero and the ground was bare. although, i would have liked to use snow to skirt my trailer instead of hay bales. the snowboarding side of my brain was really disappointed. regardless, i’m feeling grateful for the sunshine and warmer days ahead.
i’ve talked before about how much thought went into insulation for little lou. making sure the house would be warm enough for full time, year round living was the highest priority. so along with proper insulation, the house also needed a good source of heat. first i had to decide propane (scary, danger) or electric (expensive, grid tied). ultimately, propane appliances were the right choice for little lou.
then i had to select the best heater. like so many other tiny house builders, i love the dickson marine stove. it’s simple, functional and beautiful. but it probably wouldn’t be sufficient. i relied heavily on ethan over at the tinyhouse.net as a resource for tiny house living in vermont. his blog post on choosing the right heater is awesome.
the mini franklin was tempting because of it’s size and, well honestly, it’s pretty cute.but again, probably not sufficient in the depths of winter. i had no intentions of relying on a supplemental heater. one heat source had to do the trick.
based on thetinyhouse.net and some independent research, the williams direct vent heater proved to be the winner. it has enough btu’s to keep little lou toasty, is reasonably small and the price was right. the heater was converted from natural gas to propane by a professional who also installed the unity. installing propane is scary stuff so i leave it to the pros.
this winter, paranoia set in and i used a space heater a few times in the bathroom to prevent frozen pipes. it was overkill and expensive. the bathroom is the furthest point from the heater (which may have been poor planning) so i keep a thermometer in there to monitor the temp. it’s never more than a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house. i probably won’t do this again next year, except on the coldest nights – like 20 below kinda cold. to keep the kitchen pipes from freezing, the cabinet doors are left open at night and when i’m at work. this step would be necessary regardless of which heater was installed.
there is a small deck over the hitch that hold several 30 pound propane tanks which supply gas to the heater, instant water heater and stove. when it’s cold a 30 pound tank lasts about a week and a half. when it’s warm, a 30 pound tank will last at least 3 weeks but probably more. heating the house in winter can be expensive, but i live in the northeast. heat in the winter will always be expensive. however, high costs in the winter will be offset by minimal costs in the summer.
overall, this heater is great. but who knows- maybe next february i’ll be updating from a tiny house igloo about how this heater isn’t sufficient at -20 degrees.
We found the most awesome piece of barn board in the barn (that we may not have had permission to be in). If you look closely, you can see the bands from the saw. I love how much texture and character this piece has. This was the perfect width for what we had in mind and the extra length was used to create an extra storage nook. No cutting required! I sanded the board and sprayed it down with a couple coats of poly. I used the barn board and three upper cabinets to make a little entryway table/sideboard.
We used upper cabinets on the bottom for two reasons.
If you look closely, you’ll see that the doors are upside down. I could have patched the original holes and put the handles on the other side but I figured that was too much work. I know it might make some people want to scream but it doesn’t bother me one bit.
We found equally awesome piece of barn board to use in the space between the stove and the fridge. We also used a particularly gnarly piece as a back splash behind the sink.
The sink counter is not as interesting. I searched high and low for a used counter top that was the right size and matched the aesthetic we were going for. No luck. I also had zero luck finding a second hand sink. I really wanted a double basin sink but couldn’t find one that wasn’t massive.
I picked up a brown black counter top at Ikea. I liked to blue underside but after it was installed, it’s not as obvious as I thought it would be. It does the trick and it was affordable. I like the counter top but I love the sink. Is it weird to be in love with a sink?
I used to run a recycling center for non traditional recyclables (Traditional recyclables being plastic, cardboard etc.). Residents could bring in a whole bunch of things ranging from textiles to paint to books and we would send them off for recycling. A good majority of the stuff that comes through the door is crap that has reached the end of it’s useful life. But there was also a lot of really useful things that were no longer useful to their original owner. This place was the best place for picking and being the person who worked there, I got first dibs on picking. More than once, I would be on the hunt for something specific and not long after I said it out load it would coincidentally come through the door. One time I was on the look out for a wooden drying rack, mentioned it to someone and a few days later someone else dropped off a perfectly good one. Score!
Basically, this story is my version of “ask and you shall receive”. I followed a similar mindset when hunting for salvaged materials for the tiny house. I would tell anyone and everyone what I was looking for. Which is how I ended up with free kitchen cabinets from my best friends parents. I had no idea they were renovating their kitchen when I mentioned my quest for cabinets. They were kind enough to keep the cabinets intact for me to reuse. At 30 years old they were looking a little dated and needed a face lift. Hours of sanding, priming and painting later, I had beautiful solid wood cabinets at minimal cost. Too bad we couldn’t rescue those stylish green counters.
As always, beyond grateful to the friends who helped out! Thanks Sarah and Ashley for working through those hang overs to help me paint Thanks Sarah’s parents for putting in the extra effort to salvage the cabinets and save me a whole lot of money.
There’s a deck over the tongue of the trailer to hold the propane tanks that I use for heat, hot water and cooking. We built a box over the deck to help keep snow (which we have none of this winter) off the tanks, protect the electrical panel from moisture and provide extra storage space. It also was the abyss for everything we could possibly misplace while building. We rushed to get the box built in November so we could finish siding that part of the house but didn’t end up putting doors on it until December. By some sort of miracle – or, you know, climate change- we had a really mild December. I ended up painting the doors of the storage box in the middle of the night. Why would I paint exterior of my house in the dark? Because it was 50 freaking degrees!…In mid December…in the Adirondacks…and when the weather is that warm, you take advantage. Even if the only time you can do so is in the middle of the night.
Word of advice, try to avoid painting in the dark. It won’t look very good but it might look better than oatmeal colored primer.
The walls above 8ft are pine ship lap – a mix of rescued materials and new- with a whitewash finish. I found a big pile of used ship lap at ReSource Building Supply store but it wasn’t quite enough for the project so we supplemented with new. Some was rough and some was smooth. The rough stuff I stained dark brown and put it on the exterior. The smooth stuff was whitewashed and put inside. I like the way the interior and exterior subtly mimic each other. By choosing the ship lap for the higher parts of the walls, we were able to minimize waste and make the job a easier. Dry wall comes in 8 foot sheets and if we has decided to extend dry wall to the ceiling, we would have had to cut it to size and worry about a lot more seems. Same for the t1-11 on the exterior. Pretty much a win-win!