Thursday, August 27, 2009
Looking forward to heading there this Sunday!
Here’s a sneak peek at what posts will come out of this IKEA trip:
o Distressing picture frames (Ribba Frames for $5!)
o Making a soap stand for Jacuzzi tubside (hard to explain, but I was inspired by a picture in The Nest)
o Room by Room – the Guest Bedroom (final pieces of the puzzle to be bought this weekend)
o Room by Room – the Master Bedroom (waiting on a full length mirror to lean against the wall)
Check out the IKEA Hacker blog for mucho inspiration for your next IKEA trip!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We got skunked when we got down to the last piece and found ourselves with two spaces left! A quick search around the table and even the plastic bag it came in. - yes, Bob went through the garbage to try to complete this puzzle - turned up empty. Much like the Sphinx with its missing nose, our puzzle too was "less than."
As we worked on that 1000 piecer, I thought about how you could decorate with a completed puzzle. . .
Puzzles are made more difficult when there is a large background area that is all the same or similar colors. Take advantage of this open space and create a multi-hole picture frame. Complete the puzzle - that's the hard part - and then break out picture size squares or other shapes. Glue or tape in a series of pictures that can go along with the puzzle's theme. Unfortunately, my travels have yet to take me to Egypt, so I am not able to fully realize the potential of this puzzle. Some random shots from Hawaii make sense, right?
Monday, August 17, 2009
Honey Pork Tenderloin Kebabs
Serves 8 (2 kebabs each)
1/2 cup bourbon (bourbon is optional; you can substitute 2 tablespoons cider vinegar)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup mustard
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into one-inch cubes
4 medium ripe unpeeled peaches, pitted and sliced
4 green peppers, cut into pieces
2 zucchini, unpeeled and cut into one-inch slices
4 yellow onions, cut into pieces
Olive oil for grilling
3 cups white rice
Mix first four ingredients in a bowl; stir well and set most of the glaze aside. Toss the pork cubes in the rest of the glaze while dicing the vegetables. Thread pork cubes, peach slices, green pepper pieces, zucchini slices and onion pieces alternately as desired onto each 10-inch skewer. Brush kebabs with honey glaze mixture. Lightly oil grill. Grill over medium-hot heat 5 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with glaze. Serve over white rice.
Feel free to mix and match alternative vegetables: sweet potatoes boiled and diced, mushrooms, red and yellow pepper, etc. Comments on allrecipes.com also mentioned marinating the pork overnight in the glaze mixture to really capture the flavor.
*This post's title is taken from my second favorite Flight of the Conchords song (Jenny still takes the cake).
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
One item that is not part of our balcony (yet?) is an outdoor rug. After an informal poll of family and friends, I seem to be the only one who sees this as a good addition. I believe the responses I got ranged from "what's the point?" to "sort of useless." I suppose I don't really need to define the grill space from the dining space with a rug under the table, but I sure do like the look - and price - of this one to the right or of this one from World Market! What do you think about the outdoor rug? Frivolous or Fun?
This little table grew on me while I stayed at Bob's place the month of May (my transient days between having to be out of my studio and us moving into this apartment). His TV sat upon this well-worn table that, if I am not mistaken, was a curb-side find of his back in Denver. My initial reaction was a resounding "To the Dumpster With You!", but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it as a patio table to hold plants and our gardening supplies. We've talked about painting it, which might still happen, but in the meantime this "little-table-that-could" is growing on me. . .
The bottom shelf holds our beverage tub, leftover potting soil and watering can. You might recognize the $1.99 watering can from IKEA catalogues, but I actually found this one at Home Depot. If we had any more plants, I would spring for a bigger size, but this little guy does the trick for now! For my birthday this past June, my mother brought down 3 potted herbs to get me started. We've got thyme, basil and oregano on the top of the table. I've gotten the most use out of the basil, but we recently used the oregano in a salmon dish and I've been on the look-out for recipes that call for thyme! I think next season we'll start on cilantro and keep the salsas coming!
One time when I was in college I woke up in the middle of the night, sleepily walked to the fridge because I was thirsty and took a big swig straight out of my new bottle of apple juice (something I do not condone under normal circumstances - get a glass!). To my tastebuds' surprise and dismay it was not apple juice, but white grape juice! I have a horrible habit of not reading labels when I'm at the store, throwing things in my cart willy nilly because they look like the item I want to buy. Why do I tell this story? Because I did it again when we were buying our plants and flowers! Our Home Depot trip to the Garden Center involved putting a lot of random plant life in our cart because we liked how they looked. If you check out the potted plant on the patio table, you may recognize it as a Hosta - which is supposed to be planted in the ground with at least 24 - 36 inches of room for it to grow. Oops. We'll see how long I can keep the poor thing alive in a pot. It did just start to flower - that has to be a good sign, right?
Our planters are filled with, among other varieties, marigolds and geraniums and have been doing pretty well overall this summer. I am definitely looking forward to next season when we will go into the Garden Center with a little more research and planning under our belts. While having some plant life, albeit a mismatched array, is a nice addition to the home, I always get a little jealous as I walk up our sidewalk and see the coordinated displays of our neighbors. Ah well, just call us eclectic!
Monday, August 3, 2009
So, I decided to compile a Recipe Book!
First, I went through all of the recipes and tossed the ones I knew I would never consider making or perhaps had tried and given it a thumbs down. This gave me about 45 recipes to record. I bought a photo album at Michaels along with a re-fill pack right away since the original only had 10 pages front and back. After adding the other 10 to the book - and needing to punch new holes in order for the pages to match up with the book, oy vey - I had 40 pages to fill up!
Although I don't keep a traditional sized scrapbook, the pads of paper you can buy for them always have such great patterns and work really well for the cards I make. I picked out a few pages and started cutting them up in random patterns sized for the otherwise white and blah pages of the recipe book.
Once the pages were all created, I took recipe cards bought for $1 at Michaels and wrote out the shortest recipes I had that would fit on one side of each. The rest I typed up in font size 10 to maximize space on the pages.
The recipes were categorized as: Sides and Starters, Main Dishes, Desserts and Beverages. I'm still hemming and hawing over adding tabbed pages, but at this point the sections are pretty easy to figure out.
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Sunday, August 2, 2009
We bought dough from the Pizza Station at Whole Foods and Bob rolled the three pies using a rolling pin and plenty of flour. Brush each pie with olive oil on one side and throw it on the grill, oiled side down, for only 1-2 minutes with the grill lid closed.
Brush uncooked side with olive oil and flip over.
Add your toppings to the cooked side - making sure to use toppings that don't need to be pre-cooked - and grill for another minute or two. Remove from the direct heat, close the grill and cook a bit longer.
We had a bit of a crisis when the gas in the grill ran out halfway through the process, but thanks to some generous neighbors, dinner was saved! They will definitely be getting some "thank you" brownies!
Pepperoni, Black Olives and Mushroom
1 can tomato sauce
2 small cans black olives, chopped
1/2 container mushrooms, sauteed in oil
1/2 sleeve pepperoni - or however much you want!
lots of mozzarella!
Spread sauce over pizza crust. Add remaining ingredients and top with cheese!
1 package prepared grilled chicken strips, diced
1 cup hickory BBQ
1 Tb honey
1 tsp molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup Gouda, shredded
1 cup red onion
Bring chicken, BBQ, honey, molasses, brown sugar and cilantro to a boil and remove from heat. Spread over crust, topping with onion and gouda.
1 can refried beans
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
Shredded American cheese (or pre-shredded Mexican style)
1/4 head lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, diced
Spread beans on crust, add cheese and pepper. Bake/Grill. Add lettuce and tomato just before serving.
The crust for the BBQ chicken pizza was a little wider than our sauce would stretch, so we cut off a chunk. We thought it might end up being a mini pepperoni, but we decided to try breadsticks! We brushed it with olive oil, added some garlic and a hefty amount of parmesan cheese. They grilled about the same amount of time as the pizzas and were delicious!
All in all, a great summer night eating dinner with friends on the balcony. . .and a great rest of the weekend eating the leftovers and not having to think about what to make!