Friday, April 23, 2010

Hello there friends.  If you reading this - then you are still coming to my blog - and you deserve a round of applause! Wow!  Thanks.  I am been more than a little absent lately.  I don't know what it is about. 

I am doing lots of great projects and making good yummy food- but I just don't feel the same desire need to share it with the world. 

Until that day comes again, I am just going to take a break from blogging.  I will still ready all your lovely blogs and hopefully commenting, but without much to say so I won't be blogging about my life much. 

That is, until something really exciting happens.  Maybe when the house burns down or it rains cats and dogs.  You never know. . . . 

Thanks for making blogging and the internet such an awesome place to be.

Hugs.   

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Home Tour: Makeshift Hutch

As I sit here writing this avoiding packing for our short trip to New Mexico I realized something rather exciting . . . something magical has happened.  


My first posts about our new house were rightly titled "House Tour."


However, my last one, about the pink bench, was different.  Without thinking, I titled it "Home Tour."

I guess our new house has turned into our new home.  how.cool.

Anyway, I have one more thing to share- the last thing my parents brought with them from MN at Thanksgiving was this green dresser.

Pretty sweet, no?  It was at our cabin for many years, but now my childhood dresser is here  to live in Colorado for awhile.

I secretly love the dresser just for the its smell.  When you open the drawers it smells just like my childhood family cabin (weirdly- the cabin has a very distinctive smell- a bit of a musty fragrance- but I love it).

Right now it is in the dining room serving as a makeshift hutch.  We have all the linens (place mats and napkins) in the drawers.  I have thought about repainting, but the color is actually pretty good for the room.  Plus, it is naturally distressed- which I find to have more character than when I try to distress furniture. What do you think?

Thanks Mom and Dad- you guys are the best.

(We are going to NM for a long weekend to see Chris' grandparents.  I won't have my computer- so- see you next week!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Homemade Pie Crust




This weekend we made the quiche from my menu plan and I thought of homemade pie crust.  I wish I had made some.  Store bought just isn't as good.  However, before I learned the proper way to make pie crusts, I made several disasters.  One literally had the consistency of graham cracker crust.  

Luckily, my good friend offered to help me make a crust so I could see how to do it.  I have not tried to make my own since her help, but her crust was divine. 

Her instructions and advice are found below. 

Homemade Standard Pastry Crust
from family friend

Ingredients
  • 2/3 Cup plus 2 Tbsp shortening or lard (or butter)
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-5 Tbsp cold water
Directions

1. Mix flour and salt.
2.Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are pea sized.
3. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of water on dough and toss the dough with a fork.  Continue adding water until all the flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans sides of bowl.
4. Divide dough into two even pieces.
5. Gather dough into a ball; and shape into pie crust between parchment paper (or nifty pie things) with a rolling pin.  (Try not overwork the dough- then it won't taste as good.)
6. Try to use the crust as soon as possible.  I am not sure what happens if you don't, but Candice says its bad.

Good luck.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Home Tour: Entry (Phase 2)

I did it.  I found a bench that meets all of my criteria!

Remember my mirror?  It has sat on the floor in the entry since we bought it back in January.
I have been looking for a bench or table of some sort to go under the mirror with these criteria:

1. Be sturdy.
2. Be cheap.
3. Be longer than the mirror- over 60 inches.  Do you know how hard it is to find a bench over 5 feet long?  Neither did I until I started to look.

Preferences
4. Be paint-able. (Because chances are if it is #2 it is going to need to be painted.)
5. Have storage capabilities. Such as this one:
 image from Potterybarn.com  

For the past 3 months I was unable to find what I was looking for- despite looking bi-weekly at the various thrift stores around town.  And in the end, thrift stores would have been a rip off anyway. . .   Last week I saw a estate sale sign while driving Chris to work.  On my way home, I drove down the long and winding road until I came to the sale.

Jackpot baby.

Not only did I find an old garbage can for composting in for a buck, but I found this:
The entryway bench of my dreams.

Well, almost.  I am thinking about painting the pink to a nice beige.  And distressing the heck out of it.

Look at how many criteria it meets:
1. It is very sturdy- made of heavy wood. 
3. It is over 60 inches- almost 80 inches in fact!

4. Definitely paint-able. (I was right about needing to be painted, huh?)
5. And it has storage spaces! Although the bench is skinnier (only 9 inches wide) than I would have ideally liked it, it is a keeper.  Besides, as my in-laws pointed out, this one is so skinny it won't stick out from the wall too far and cause a shin bruise hazard.  Nice. 

What about criteria number 2, you ask?  Well, it was cheap.  Real cheap.

Care to take a guess?

No?  You sure?

Oh well, it was a fun game for Chris and I.

The bench was a whopping $2.

I know.  It really set us back.

I am so excited to get it painted and get the mirror hung on the wall!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I am going to try again- a new approach.  I am struggling to do a weekly or even a bi-weekly list- so instead, I just created a long list of meals that correspond with last week's sales and what we have in our pantry and freezer.

Whenever we come close to finishing this list, I will make another list.  Hopefully it will fall close to a Monday, but if not, oh well.  Menu Planning Thursday will work too- i just isn't nearly as catchy. . .

Meals:

  • Lasagna Primavera (Made and frozen in the freezer for a day when we need something easy) (Everyday Food)
  • Pasta with Chicken, Raisins and Almonds (I will abandon the almonds) (Everyday Food)
  • Vegetable Quesadillas with Corn Relish (Everyday Food)
  • Brown Rice Casserole from Joy in My Kitchen
  • Pizza
  • Quiche
  • Salmon (I have no idea how I will cook it yet . . . any ideas?)

Desserts:



Snacks:

  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Graham Crackers
I am excited for this. It feels good to have a plan and food in the house.

However,  I was reading that we should go to the grocery store almost everyday to get fresh produce.  But that does not appeal to me at all.  Ick.  So I hope we can survive with this plan- besides, frozen veggies are almost as good as fresh, right?  Especially when the fresh produce is coming from across the world. . . . (although I suppose I shouldn't be buying that food anyway . . .100 miles?)  Hmm.  

What is your take?  Go to the store every few days?  Every month?  

Check out more menu plans here.

Awarded- in November?!

I hope everyone has recovered from the obligatory sugar high that is Easter - I know I enjoyed far to many Cadbury Eggs in one single day.  But that is Easter for ya.  (I guess that Jesus guy coming back for the dead is kinda important too . . . )

Anyway . . . way back in the day (November) Rose from A Record of Rose gave me a Kreativ Blogger award.  Not sure what happened between then and now- but thanks Rose!  I really do appreciate you blog love!


I was also awarded more recently by Kayla at Livin' the Great Life!

She is so sweet- she gave me the Happy 101 Award (Anyone know why it is called that?)

Thanks Kayla and Rose!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Fail: Puppy Chow

Haha- just kidding.  You can't fail at Puppy Chow!

After my previous failures, I decided to go back to an old standby- Puppy Chow.  I have not had it since high school and well, I wanted to make something delicious, that would be very difficult to mess up.  I am pretty sure if you add chocolate, peanut butter and sugar together, you cannot go wrong.   

Puppy Chow!
from the back of the Chex box

Ingredients
  • 9 cups Chex cereal (any variety)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I only used 1 Cup)

Directions:
1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat,
stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
3. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
4. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal
bag; shake until well coated.
5. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cheesy Biscuits

Unfortunately, my failures don't end with the soup.  The same night I made soup, I also made these beautiful biscuits.

I am not sure what went wrong, usually SnoWhite's dishes are amazing.  But these biscuits taste odd.  Weird.  Not really all that edible.  And that is saying something for a family that loves both bread and cheese.

Cheesy Biscuits
from Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Ingredients
  • 1 C flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I did not add the salt because I didn't think we needed it- but maybe that would have made the difference)
  • 1/2 C extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 + 1/8 C milk
  • half of a 1/3 C olive oil
Directions

1. Mix together flour and baking powder.
2. Add in the shredded cheese and stir to coat.
3. Mix in the oil and milk until batter is moist.
4. Grease a cookie sheet and then drop biscuits by the teaspoonful (makes about 12 biscuits (I got about 18) onto the cookie sheet.
5. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, until biscuits are lightly browned.

Sigh.  Maybe things will come around soon.