Monday, August 30, 2010

Dotting I's and Crossing T's

I came across this artist Dalton Ghetti today and was just inspired by the beauty he creates in the tiniest package! Such precision and detail out of pencil lead. Truly amazing! Thanks for the beauty Design*Sponge :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thai Red Curry with Coconut Rice

What's better than cooking with one of your dearest friends? Just about nothing in my book. My sweet friend Kathryn and I made a delicious Thai dish that I found on Deb's Perfect Bite. She's amazing! Check out her website. I took some liberties with her recipe to make it my own and added in some veggies I love. Also, the curry sauce is a total cheat from Trader Joes, but its amazing!

First off, Kathryn made these amazing fresh spring roll appetizers that were just to die for!

Thai Red Curry w/ Coconut Rice

3 bottles Thai red curry sauce from Trader Joe's
2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1 lbs chicken tenderloins cut into small pieces
1 red bell pepper julienned
1 can baby corn
1/2 broccoli head cut into florets
couple handfuls of fresh green beans (with ends trimmed)
1 small yellow straight neck squash (halved and sliced)
1 can bamboo shoots

Rice prep: bring water and coconut milk to a boil. Add in rice and let it return to a boil. Bring down and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover allowing to set aside for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

Veggies prep: Empty 2 bottles of curry sauce into a soup pot and add in all sliced veggies. Cook over low-medium heat until veggies start to get tender.

Chicken prep: empty 1/2-1 bottle of curry sauce into a pan on medium heat and sautee until chicken is cooked through. Empty entire pan with sauce and chicken into big pot with all veggies.

Let veggies and chicken simmer in pot until veggies are tender. Serve over coconut rice and enjoy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The story of Danny and Annie

This is the sweetest love story I've heard in a long time. No need to say anymore, I just hope everyone watches it and learns to love this way.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Giving Bedside Tables New Life

Recently, I got a little tired of drooling over the DIY project section on Design*Sponge and decided to give it a whirl myself. For those who don't know, like me until recently, DIY stand for Do It Yourself. I had no idea!

I found a pair of bedside tables at Habitat For Humanity Homestore that had potential for only $40 for the pair, a steal of a deal. I thought I'd see what I could do with them. After many pep talks and picking the brain of my best friend Talitha, who has refinished many pieces, I jumped right in. Here are the tables when after I stripped them.

Supplies used:
paint stripper
scraper or stripping brush
2-3 sand blocks (medium and course grit)
1 quart espresso colored primer
1 quart Martha Stewart paint in Custard color
lint free rags or pieces of old t-shirt
2 mini-rollers (5 in or so) with handle
1 2 1/2 inch brush
wood filler (if needed)
new knobs

I decided to do a dark espresso primer underneath a beautiful Martha Stewart paint color called Custard, then give it a distressed look by sanding the edges to make it look worn and old. And of course, what re-finished piece of furniture is complete without beautiful knobs from Anthropologie?!

First, I had to strip both pieces with paint stripper. This was NOT a fun part. That stuff stinks! I was able to strip one piece to the wood, but the other had a layer of paint that just wouldn't budge. So, I just had to paint over it with the primer. Once the pieces were stripped, I cleaned them well and sanded them to remove any access paint and smooth the areas. I also used a wood filler to fill any areas that were dented or where unwanted holes were and sanded those areas. Then, I vacuumed out the pieces entirely. I painted them inside and out with the primer I chose, which was a dark brown. Once that was dry, I started coating them with the custard color. I gave it two coats since the primer was dark and showed through some on the first coat.

Once the second coat was dry, I was able to take a sanding block and distress them. I wanted them to look worn, so sanding the edges and corners let the brown show through the yellow. I especially sanded on the edges of the drawers since those get used the most and would likely have the most wear. Thank for the tip on this Talitha!

I picked up these pretty knobs at Anthropologie for the tables. Probably the most money I had to spend went to these babies, but they really brought it all together!

So, here is the finished product! I think they turned out great and make a nice addition to our bedroom! more books on the floor!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Found: 1 Amazing, Green Look-A-Like Vase

Wow, not 5 minutes after I posted a pic of the vase I'm drooling over today, my co-worker Mendy comes in my office with a vase she had in her car that is a pretty close look-a-like! Love it!!!! Thanks Mendy for making my day :) This makes me smile.

Wanted: 1 single, beautiful, green vase looking for a loving home

So, this probably doesn't merit an entire blog post, but I came across this lovely piece today and just have to tell the world I'm obsessed. This vase is the perfect picture of beauty, delicacy, and just plain amazingness. Guess it doesn't take a lot for me, but I just had to share. If you run across one of these look-a-likes and happen to pick it up for me, you'd make me the happiest little lady on the planet!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stuffed Squash with Pepper Relish

dOk folks. Tried something new tonight and it got a thumbs up from the hubbs. In an effort to use up the rest of what veggies we had from our CSA box, I created a stuffed squash. Yummy and summery :)

2 patty pan or green acorn squash
1 cup raw pearl quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes
4 ears of corn shucked
1/4 onion diced
4 cloves garlic
small peppers (variety of colors)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
fresh herbs (I used parsley, sage and oregano)
course sea salt
black pepper

Pepper Relish
Chop up 4-6 small bell peppers of various colors if you can find them. I used reds and greens. Take out ribs and seeds, salt heavily (1 tbls) and set aside in a bowl for about 20 min. The salt will draw out the water from the peppers. Combine 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. You can use any vinegar really, but I used rice vinegar. After you've drawn the moisture out of the peppers, drain, then add to boiling vinegar and sugar. Bring down to a simmer.

Apparently this is called a gastrique. New to me! :) Let peppers simmer until the vinegar and sugar form a sticky glaze to create the relish. This takes the longest, so start this first. Will probably take about 45 minutes to reduce down to the consistency you want.

Now, heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut top off and scoop out seeds of squash. Drizzle in EVOO, course sea salt and black pepper. Roast squash in oven cut side up for about 30 minutes or until tender. Alongside squash, roast cherry tomatoes for same time or until they look slightly tender and blackened in parts.

Bring 2 cups chicken stock to a boil. Can use water instead, but stock will give you a richer flavor. Stir in quinoa and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Cut corn off the ear with a knife. Use the back of your knife to "milk the cob" or get the rest of the sugars and juices from the corn. Saute corn in pan with 2 tbls butter, onion, salt and pepper. When quinoa is done, combine in pan with corn. Add in tomatoes when done roasting in the oven. You're done!

Spoon in the quinoa, corn, tomato mixture into your squash and top with relish. Delish!

Bon Appetit,

Potato Zucchini Frittata

Delicious recipe I found on The Kitchn.

1 medium to large zucchini sliced
6-8 red potatoes sliced thinly
1 large onion halved and sliced thinly (I like Vidalia)
8 oz bacon cut into 1-inch strips
6 eggs
salt and pepper
1 cup grated cheddar
olive oil

Heat 3 tbls olive oil on medium in saute pan. Thinly slice potatoes and onion. I use a mandolin slicer for the potatoes and zucchini because it gets them really thin and uniform in size so they cook evenly. Saute potatoes and onion until potatoes are soft, about 15 min.

At this point, go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove potatoes and onion from pan and set aside. Add thinly sliced bacon and zucchini to pan and cook on medium high until zucchini is soft, about 5 min. Bacon won't be crispy, but cooked enough and will continue to cook in the oven.

Remove zucchini and bacon with slotted spoon and place into a bowl with potatoes and onion. Lightly beat 6 eggs. Combine eggs, veggies and bacon, grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl together. Pour entire mixture back into saute pan and leave it to cook in pan just until the bottom sets and is firm, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer entire pan into the oven and let cook for about 10 minutes until the top is firm and set.

When removing from the pan, I like to do a flip and flip technique :) Yes, that is a VERY technical term. I cover the saute pan with a plate and flip. Then, I flip once more from the plate to the cutting board. This helps it to not break up when transferring. Your frittata is ready to slice and serve! Enjoy :)