Friday, July 30, 2010

I could stay in all day.

This kitchen is so dreamy. Makes me want to just stay in and cook all day. There's nothing more fun for me in the winter than to stay in a day every weekend and try a few new recipes. As much as I'm loving summer, I look forward to the comfort food of winter and the holidays every year.

Who wants to come help me refinish me cabinets? :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

25. Shortcake Biscuits

I needed something sweet and was completely out of powdered sugar for frosting (like I need another dang cupcake anyway). I had 4lbs of strawberries in the fridge and decided shortcake biscuits and sliced strawberries would work just fine. I immediately got to baking (and maintained a beautifully clean kitchen the entire time).

Please gather the following ingredients:
3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shortening

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl or stand mixer. I added mine to my stand mixer and used the paddle attachment.

Combine eggs & milk in another bowl, mix and set aside.

Add shortening to the dry mix and cut in with a pastry cutter or combine with the stand mixer on a low setting. I added 1/4 cup at a time while using the stand mixer on stir.

Once the shortening and dry ingredients are well combined, add your egg & milk mixture. Mix until dough becomes clumpy and sticks together.

Turn out on to the counter or cutting board and kneed for a few minutes until the dough feels well combined and a ball forms.

I split my dough down the middle and pulled it out in to big mess. I tore off pieces and placed them in a muffin tin line with papers for a rustic looking biscuit. You could also roll the dough to about a 3/4 inch thick and cut out biscuits with the mouth of a glass or biscuit cutter.

Place them in the oven at 450 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes.

My topping included sweetened sliced strawberries. I used 2 cups rinsed and sliced strawberries and 1 tbsp granulated sugar sprinkled on top. I mixed well and set aside.

My pretty little biscuits took their whole 15 minutes, perhaps due to the fact I shoved them in a muffin tin rather than rolling them out. So do keep an eye on them when baking depending on what option you choose. Allow them to cool.

I split my biscuit down the middle and used my pink pyrex for an overall pretty dish. I topped with a few scoops of strawberries and enjoyed! You could also butter your biscuits and drizzle with honey, or add whipped cream for a real strawberry shortcake treat!


Shortcake Biscuits

3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shortening

Mix together dry ingredients. Beat 2 eggs with 1/2 cup milk and set aside. Mix 3/4 cup shortening with dry ingredients (like for a pie crust). Add milk and eggs. Turn out on to counter or board and knead for a few minutes. Roll 3/4 inch thick and cut. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Monday, July 26, 2010

do-gooder turned jackass

It was baseball weekend with husband's family, and we stayed with his brother for the weekend. Today dad and younger brother headed back to Oregon, older brother and his wife headed off to work.

I took it upon myself to clean the kitchen, arrange the dishwasher so that everything fit and get it started. Easier on my pregnant sister-in-law who was such a good hostess.

Then I thought, why not go the extra mile and wash the carafe to the coffee pot.

AND THAT'S WHEN IT HAPPENED! This do-gooder turned jackass. I effing broke the carafe while rinsing it in the sink. Damn it all to the coffee pot graveyard.

So we headed out and bought a new one. And I left this note.

And this coffee pot with new filters (since their old ones won't work, and we tried to make that happen). I hope they like it.

Dear M&M,
I'm really sorry. I feel like an ass. But thank you for having us. It was great to see you.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baseball, baby!

Hello from Safeco Field! We are enjoying our yearly family Mariners vs Red Sox game today. Though I'm a daddy's girl (he was born and raised in Boston), I'm still a Washington girl. The family may be divided, but i still say Go Mariners!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 22, 2010

happy birthday husband!

That's right, handsome. Happy Birthday to you!

You are the absolute funniest person I've ever met.
You can also be my biggest pain in the butt at times.
Overall, every day with you is the best day yet.
 and I love you more than any other person I've ever met.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Candlestick Makeover.

I came across this idea here and figured it would be a fun and easy weekend project. I was pleased to find I was right!

It's now been made known by my husband that the sheer amout of junk shopping I've been doing could lead to all junk stores in Washington state soon being out of business. He fears I'll have to travel to a whole new state to continue the madness. I didn't think I was shopping that much.

I picked up these brass candle sticks for the low price of $.25 to $.75 at the thrift store the other day. They don't match, but I think that was supposed to be the point. And yes, I was looked at like a crazy person. I picked up a can of white semi gloss spray paint that ran me about $3.50, and used the primer from the chalkboards.

Wash each one well in hot water & soap. Make sure to scrape off any wax on the outside of the candlestick. Sadly the little guy on the right, the one with the fat middle - that doesn't look brass, he didn't make it. I didn't realize there was more wax on the base and let me tell you, that just doesn't mix well with spray paint.

After they are good and dry, prime those babies! Due to the shape and angles, it's good to spray them right side up and upside down. After the primer is good and dry, paint! I think the glossier the better. Black would have been great, but white matches my decor better.

Allow your paint to dry for a good amount of time before handling. I did two to three coats per candlestick, just based on angles alone. I think they turned out really beautiful. I even hit up another store in town and added 4 more to this collection. An inexpensive and satisfying project in my book!

*I've linked this project up with a lot of other fabulous projects over at Funky Junk Interiors*

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pretty Silver Chalkboards

This project is quick and easy. I think they have a really pretty vintage feel to them.

To create the chalkboards I used the following products:
Silver trays
Painters tape
Chalkboard paint
Small metal sawtooth picture frame hangers

Start by sanding down the center of each tray. You want to ensure the primer sticks, and if your tray has an etched design like mine did, you want to make sure that doesn't show. When you're done sanding, wash and dry.

Next, tape off the edges with painters tape. This is a little tedious, but it does give it a pretty clean edge. Make sure the edges of the tape are pressed down firmly, and if you choose a wide enough tape it should completely cover the edges of the tray so you don't get paint anywhere else.

Using a spray primer, spray the center of each tray and allow to dry between coats. I used two coats of primer.

Once the primer is good and dry, spray with chalkboard paint. I think 2 to 3 coats should do it. Allow paint to dry completely before pulling off the tape. I found that my paint had bled just a bit, but scrapes off easily with your nail since it's in an area that hasn't been sanded or primed.

I picked up a package of the metal sawtooth picture frame hangers for about $1. I attached them to the back of the tray with super glue. Allow it to dry for a good amout of time before hanging. The tiny nails included with in the hanging kit (the ones you'd use to attach the hangers to a wooden frame) were the perfect size to hang these on the wall.

How cute is that!

These would be great hung in the kitchen, dining room or even a bedroom. I think they'd make great house warming gifts or shower gifts. I plan to pick up a few more over my weekend for gifts.

The overall cost of this project was about $15. I still have plenty of primer and chalkboard paint left, so the only cost for future projects will be the trays. And under a dollar each, you can't beat that!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When your husband sleeps in, sneak out and go shopping.

I had a great morning out at the thrift store and came home with a few awesome treasures. When it came to housewares, they definitely had a good selection.

These cuties were $1.99 each. They've already been primed and have the first coat of white paint on them. I'm thinking of using them in my downstairs bath.

I picked up this solid wood frame with the intention of gifting it, but after sanding it I fell in love. I think I might keep it for myself.

These little trays are great and $.69 each. I bought them to turn in to a set of chalk boards for the kitchen.

I found this mirror hiding behind a desk. It was marked $9.99 and I'm sure once graced the top of a dresser. It has beautiful detailing, a little bit of a work look and swivels (though the metal needs a little work for a smooth ride). I plan to pair it with my vanity for the bedroom.

I got two projects done this weekend that I'll share later in the week. The trays are already chalkboards and hung (in a temporary spot I think), and I also finished the first end table for the living room (finally). Built from scratch and stained by me in the driveway!

I hope everyone is having a great week!

(P.S. Please excuse the formatting. I posted this from my iPhone last night through the blogger app, and it puts in unattractive line breaks where I'd rather them not be!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life in random order.

I've made a new habit of leaving the stove on. I'm not sure why, but apparently I'm just so dang excited to eat my oatmeal, it's just not important to turn off the burner.

I never loved eggs any other way than scrambled, that is until I got my new Circulon cookware set a few months ago. It was life changing and I eat eggs over easy almost as often as cupcakes.

Speaking of cupcakes, my husband has banned me from making them. I was told I've eaten more cupcakes in the last month than the average person consumes in a whole year. Guess what? I managed to make another batch. Why? Because a friend was coming for dinner and I made them for him. But I still managed to eat 4 cupcakes in the last 12 hours, including one for breakfast this morning at 7:15. I need an intervention.

I think if iPhones ever went away, I'd die. I've had my iPhone for 3 years and I'm pretty sure there is no phone better. And let me tell you, I loved my Sidekick 3. I'm currently streaming Pandora on my phone. How wonderful is that? Pretty damn wonderful.

Everyone around me is having babies. It's quite exciting. I've found far too many baby projects to know where to start. I've already spoiled baby Olivia to death and she's only 8 weeks old. A close friend is expecting her first early next year and I've already got a package in the mail congratulating her. And to top it all off, I'll be an aunt for the very first time! Husband's brother and wife are expecting their first child together. He'll be a very happy daddy to a new baby, and she'll be a second time mom after 12 years. I really need to get my sewing machine in for maintenance so I can get to sewing baby blankets!

My spaghetti last night was amazing. I'm now in the works of estimating exactly how much of each herb and spice I put in to the pot since I didn't exactly measure. Same with the bleu cheese meatballs. I still can't thank the Issaquah Brewhouse enough for their tasty menu selection they offered for me to knock off at home.

Master bedroom work is slow. We have so many projects to get done down there, it's hard to know where to start. Can't put the trim up on the beadboard until the trim is installed in the rest of the room. That requires interior doors, which requires replacing the floors in the laundry and bathroom, which requires paint and prior to that, tear out. Sounds like I just solved my problem. Tear out is next. Or I could just get back to tediously taping off those stripes in the closet. Ummmm?

A few months ago we started building end tables for the living room. We have one fully put together and headed out to the garage to get work done yesterday. Instead of building another, we just stained the one we had. It's beautiful and I'm in love. When it gets a little later in the day and I won't be waking my neighbors with a sander, I'll get out to get the last sanding done and put on the poly. I'm only 24 hours away from my new table gracing my living room!

My kitchen is begging to be cleaned as I sit at the bar and type away on this computer. As much as I'd love to do it, I really don't want to. The stand off begins.

And with that, I'm off to catch up on my blogs. Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The menu for tonight includes

Spaghetti with homemade spicy marinara sauce, bleu cheese stuffed meatballs and crusty sourdough bread.

Check back for the recipe!

And maybe this for dessert. Who doesn't love cupcakes and beer?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Livestrong Seattle: Better late than never

I celebrated the best Father's Day EVER this year.

I encouraged my dad to run with me, like I did my mom back in April. That man is one motivated champ! I am so proud of him. We registered, and we ran.

I worked the night before, and thanks to two very kind coworkers, with trading a few hours around they allowed me to get off early. I came home, pulled my clothes out of the dryer, got sucked in to an episode of Law & Order, then made the 45 minute drive to my parent's place.

Dad was so sweet, he even made sure the guest room (my old bedroom) was ready for me to get a little sleep. I got in 4 hours before our run. It was great.

We were up bright and early, he got a pot of coffee going and we headed out the door. After forgetting a wallet and not realizing until we were already 15 minutes from the house and me giving really bad directions to our chosen parking garage, we still made it down early.

Lined up at the start.

Getting in a before picture.

I ran with my phone in hand, it was the only camera we had. Dad had a ton of fun taking pictures while we were running.

We're on the move!

Dad mastered running backwards for this one :)

He's smiling, even up hill!

That's the finish! And I'm sure when I look up the pro photos from the event, he'll have me playing on my phone. Rad.

Happy Father's Day in chalk. So cute. We're waiting for my coworker and her dad.

There they are! He's a 3x cancer survivor and the happiest man you'll ever meet.

Here's our after picture. I'm so proud of him.

My run was in honor of Cindy. She's the sister of husband's coworker and close friend. He's one of those men that just shouldn't be single. He's much too wonderful for that, and I like to spoil him with home cooked meals until the right girl (that I approve of) comes along. With the exception of his only daughter, his sister Cindy is of top importance in his life. He loves her to the moon and back. Cindy has a rare form of brain cancer at a young age. Much too young for me to comprehend. She's a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother & friend. I'm so thankful that in spite of her cancer, Cindy has been living her life to the fullest. I hope she has many long days ahead of her, because I know life wouldn't be the same without her.

After our run we enjoyed breakfast, a little shopping for Livestrong attire and on our drive home we stopped at the Nike outlet to pick up a sensor for Dad. We went home to meet my sister, brother and brother's girlfriend for a little barbecue on a rainy day. We had the best chili dogs EVER.

Thanks Dad for the best Father's Day to date. You  know my life wouldn't be the same without you. I've got an interesting story to my life, but it turns out to be the best story because I have YOU.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Bedroom: In Color

I've thought long and hard on my accent color for my new bedroom, and finally came to a decision.

Given we're going for beach cottage-meets modern-meets vintage, I thought a shade of blue would be totally appropriate. Here's the kicker; I copied my mother. The room will still remain white with natural wood, white-washed and black furniture. I'll just have to figure out how to incorporate my new blue color.

She picked up her duvet set, in peacock blue, from HSN. It's Nate Berkus and you can find it here.

After further review of the Nate Berkus line, I found plenty that I loved. Will I pay the price for what  I love? Probably not. But I'm sure I'll find a way to add to my already long project list.

We've previously decided on this headboard:

However, I came across this one - and I tell you it has us thinking.

We're still searching for a reading chair for husband. This is why I have an obsession with Craigslist wingback chairs, even though I haven't picked one up yet.

Now we're thinking we really love this little sofa.

These little pillows were found under the Costal Living collection. They've also found their way on to my list for the bedroom.

I think this silk throw will look nice over white bedding. It's also on my must purchase list.

Though I wish we were already to this step in the bedroom renovation, we're not. Work is slow going, as tear out of the bathroom & laundry is next. Today however, we're going to get to work on finishing up our end tables we started last month. We have one to finish sand & stain, and another to build (pieces are cut). I'm also going to put together the plans for my bench that will go at the end of the bed and painted out in a nice blue color.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!