Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's cookin' good lookin'

It's still March and of course still craft month so I thought I should squeeze this next project in really quick.

I started this awhile ago when I was bored one Sunday afternoon and I just never actually attached the letters to the wall. Like my last project here I did the same technique. Although I didn't have Skittles this go around which was a big bummer I thought this project was a pretty good pick me up for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I decided  to mount the letters under the cabinets that are to the right of the stove and near my the coffee maker. I think it adds a perfect touch of special over there in that corner. There was plenty other wall space I could have put them but because the letters aren't very large I didn't want them to look out of place on a big wall. We will save the big wall space for other items, ones that are more to scale with the wall's dimensions.

I also decided to try a spin off from this recipe. I've tried her recipe for pecans and let me just tell you they are AMAZINGLY ADDICTIVE! I'm not kidding, we devoured the whole pan in a few hours last December.

I decided to try it with other nuts, how can they not be delish! My victim, the cashew.

I followed the same recipe and steps and when they were done I put them in a bowl.

I tried a few that night (who wouldn't) and they are good but not great. I think there is something with the pecan, maybe it already contains a "sweet" taste and blends perfectly with the sugar and vanilla or maybe it's the soft pourous skin and creamy texture of the nut that allows all the flavors to mingle and get to know each other and that is what makes this the perfect treat. Don't get me wrong the cashews are just fine and I am sure The Hubs is liking them but for me it just doesn't come close to beating out the pecan. I urge you to buy a pound of pecans and try this recipe, you will not regret it; well maybe after you consume the entire pound and spend the next day in self loathing but it's totally worth it!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Food Network in My Kitchen

I have been dying to put a TV in our kitchen. I want a 19 inch flat screen that will either mount to the wall or on a swinging arm to tuck under the cabinets when it's not being used. I know it seems really silly, especially in these economic times, to put a TV in the kitchen but I just know I will get a ton of use out of it. The dream started with a radio mounted under the cabinets so that I could have music while I was cooking and it rapidly morphed into having a TV so that I could listen to music or watch the Food Network.

Saturday my dreams became reality (sort of). We have a massive TV in our living room (it's a GIGANTIC 70 inches) and we also had a 27 inch in our bedroom. The one in the bedroom hardly gets used and is collecting a nasty amount of dust so The Hubs suggested taking the cable box and hooking up to a 13 inch that we had sitting in a closet. Perfect!

Now to just find the right spot for be honest there isn't a whole lot of space in our kitchen to put a TV where it won't be obtrusive or invade counter space. One corner of the bar is ideal for now (until my dream can fully become reality, the one where I get my flat screen). Currently this space was where we "filed", I use that term loosely because as you can see from the picture below it really was merely a 'catch all' for the bills and miscellanous mail among many other items.

First step is putting in a jack where there isn't one. We busted out the handy drill and drilled a hole in our floor close the the wall and the edge of the bar so that we could then put the cords along the seam of the wall and bar and in a way camouflage them. For me cords are an annoyance and I hate that they stick out like a sore thumb but if I can make them "blend" in any sort of way I am a much happier person.

The Hubs army crawled (literally) under the house and pulled the coax cable down the hole and across to hook it up to our satellite box. Then he came inside to test out the TV and make sure it works. That is when we discovered that the TV is a little outdated and requires an additional coax cable to make it work. Before I headed to Home Depot in search of a small cord we pulled the big 27 inch TV from the bedroom to test-it worked! I am off to Home Depot, woohoo! I grabbed a 3 foot cord, the smallest they had even though all I needed was 1 foot of cable, and rushed back home to test it out. It's's alive!!!! {insert creepy Frankenstien music and thunder}

Total cost for the project is $7.48 with the coax cable and 2 packs of 3M tape which I will also be using for a different project.




Note to self: make sure the object you are photographing is not reflective or clear the clutter out of the way. Clearly my next project will be cleaning the dishes. :)

Isn't she lovely though, you know for a piece of technology...awww swoon!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Peach Cobbler

I finally peeled myself from the radio show and Slim's Big Adventure blog and just in time, Spring has sprung folks. It's has been gorgeous outside this week; the sun is bright and cheery, the sky is blue and the birds are back and chirping.

I think of many things when Spring comes around, like when will I ask my mom to come out and plant/landscape (I kill everything I touch), Easter; will I host an 'eggstravaganza' (maybe next year), summer is around the corner (yikes bikini's) but mostly I look forward to the abundance of fresh produce and farmer's markets.

I couldn't wait for fresh peaches and I had a bag already in my freezer so I decided to make do with what I had. There just isn't anything like cobbler, fresh from the oven--hands down beats out most sugary desserts. Oh who the heck am I kidding....I could eat and LOVE anything that contains sugar!!

15 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 cup of sugar
4 Tbsp of flour
2 Tsp of cinnamon
4 Tbsp of butter, cubed into pieces

2 cups of flour
2/3 cup of shortening
1/2 Tsp of salt
6-7 Tbsp of water

First prepare the pastry dough; In a bowl, blend flour, shortening and salt by hand to a cornmeal consistency.

Add the water, one tablespoon as a time, until it is totally incorporated.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness (I eyeball this and mine turns out more 'rustic') and cut into long 1 inch wide strips. Be sure to flour your rolling surface and rolling pin so the dough doesn't stick and tear as you prepare it.

Place 4 or 5 strips across the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish. I cut mine in half because I was going to use a pie dish for the cobbler and I like the proportions to contain more filling. Just cut the strips to size for whatever dish you will be using and it will not matter.

I put sugar on these strips too to taste

Please note that the cobbler will be way too doughy if it has a solid bottom. Set aside the extra strips for the top of the cobbler.

Prepare peach filling by combining the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss thoroughly.

Pour the filling into the cobbler dish and top with a lattice-like work of the remaining pastry strips. If I really want to be fancy I will weave the strips in and out of each other but I was feeling especially rushed last night, afterall I had to get back to stalking. :)

Brush the top of the cobbleer with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly in the center.


This is so incredibly delicious and easy; anybody can pull this off. And just think of how proud you (or your spouse) will be that you made your own pastry! I about fell over the first time I tried this and it worked. I would have never been brave enough to make my own "crust", no way-no how but again super super easy! Now to conclude I must apologize to my co-workers; I had every intention of bring this scrumptious treat into work today but neglected to grab it. Sorry! Oh well, one person's loss is another's gain; I'm thinking of taking the leftovers (oh yah did I forget to mention I already helped myself to a "sample") to the in-laws.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Psychotic Rambling

I'm so very sorry to leave you all hanging for over a week now. I know you are devastated and're not!?!? Ok...moving right along. {choked up and crying in the corner}

Well as you all know life gets mucky and completely derails all plans of anything remotely bloggy. This last week or so has done just that; got all muckity muck. I did however start the chair and I hope to show that soon, I did do another decoupage project with letters (that aren't hung on the wall yet) and I have every intention of making homemade peach cobbler tonight and will post that soon as well.

But I must admit, I cannot tell a lie to my peeps, that for the last 3 days I have been stalking this radio show and another blog. Shhh...please don't tell the cops. But seriously my SIL has won a chance to travel across the country to Buffalo, NY in attempts to win cash, prizes and possibly a ticket the Zags game on Friday. There is no guarantee of food, shelter or even a Zag ticket; she is completely nuts but so far it sounds like everyone is in great spirits (no cat fights or hair pulling yet) and they are having a BLAST! I'm a tiny bit jealous and therefore am a psycho enthusiast getting on the blog every 20 seconds to see if something new has posted, listening to the radio at a very high decibal (as if the louder it is the better it will be) and taking my cell phone with me EVERYWHERE, just in case I need to email, call or text in a vote to help her win a prize. I promise that by this weekend I will have put the crazy back into the closet and completed (and yes even posted) a project or two. Please hold in there for just a few more days...please...I beg you!

Oh and P.S. I got the new BHG mag today in the mail...OMG, I love mail but most especially magazines. There is a fun little decor piece that I think I just have to make this weekend as well, provided I accomplish the chair.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Pan Jambalaya

I made jambalaya on Sunday and we are still eating the left overs. This recipe is super easy and super good.

1/2 Kielbasa sausage, chopped; I used turkey kielbasa
1 large onion
1 medium green pepper
1 medium red pepper
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb of chicken breast, cooked and cubed
28 oz can of tomatoes with juice; I used diced so they were bite sized
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of uncooked white rice
1/4 tsp of cayeene pepper (or more if you, like us, want it spicy)
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of thyme

First chop up all the veggies and the sausage

Then saute the sausage over high heat until it is crispy and brown on the edges. Add onion, celery, green and red peppers. Continue to saute ingredients until the veggies are tender.

Reduce the heat and add spices and garlic. I added about 1/2 tsp of salt also. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Add chicken, tomatoes, broth and rice. Bring to a simmer , cover and let the rice cook; about 15 minutes.

Then you are ready to serve and eat-YUM! Clean-up is a breeze since it doesn't require lots of pots and pans and this is a totally easy dish for a weeknight too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A few tweaks

For those of you lucky people tortured souls that have been to my house you may remember this chair; it resides in our master bedroom, it's FUGLY and I want to re-do it so bad.

See the the funky-junky "wicker" like sides?!

Oh yah...and the plaid fabric that goes with nothing since 1982. It's crying out for much needed hear it too? I thought so...

Mentally I had prepared myself for what I wanted to do with this chair. It took a couple trips to Joann's to figure out what fabric I would use. So many decisions and again scared to make a wrong one but I took the plunge. Then I went to Home Depot to grab a can of Rustoleum's 'Heirloom White'; it's all the rage around blogland and I have it in spray paint (LOVE). I skipped home, or so it seemed because I was on cloud 9, and told The Hubs my plan.  He hated it! The nerve, hating something that I love-UGH! He "passionately dislikes" all painted furniture-nerd (mumbles under breath)! Doesn't he know that this piece could be A-mazing with the paint. So we discussed like mature adults, minimal whining on my end, and decided that I would reupholster the chair, sand and stain it. I'm secretly hoping that if I mope around, gripe/whine and overall become gloomy that he may cave and see it my way (after all it is the RIGHT way). S.O.S!!!

On another non-related subject, I went out thrifting this weekend. I didn't find anything at the Goodwill's/Salvation Army's but I did check out Real Deals (LOVE!). They moved to a new location just off of Trent and Pines. I found a couple items there. One was a metal scroll piece ($10.00) that I thought would look fantastic above our pantry door.
Turns out that the scrolls are just a tad too big for this wall. Bummer! The Hubs suggested another wall for it and it looks fine (not great). 


I think the reason for this space not looking fantastic is it needs more decor pieces and some color. This particular wall was left white because of how it opens up into the living room.

I also took a trip to Pier 1, having not found anything at the thrift shops I was feeling a little down. No finds at thrift shops=Pier 1; I know my logic doesn't make sense but it works for me. I ran across these wine racks that were just P-E-R-F-E-C-T for our hutch. Originally 'J' was going to make wine racks, you know the ones that look like massive X's but because of the corners and angles on my corner hutch this was impossible. These work out so well though that I don't even miss that idea...

They were only $12.00 each-Score! I know that this post was random ramblings and just kind of thrown together but I wanted to share with you my wonderful finds. Have a great Sunday; I'm off to check with The Hubs on our activities today. Maybe he will let me paint the chair and keep it in the master bedroom when I'm finished. Here's to wishful thinking!