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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Backsplash Project

Project: Kitchen backsplash

This is our last major project for the kitchen (finally). We're using white subway tiles from Lowe's and white grout. We're having a little trouble with figuring out how to end the tiling. Typically, you would use tiles with a bullnose edge on the ends to finish it off nicely. However, the 22 cent tiles from Lowe's don't have options for bullnose edges.

It would have been nice if we had thought of this prior to tiling at least half of the surface area. If we had, we could have gone with a different type of tile. Unfortunately, this was not the case. And really, why would it be? We always like to make a lot more work for ourselves, it seams.

So, our option is to use a bullnose tile from Lowes that will create a sort of border on the edge. We're still figuring out exactly how to go about this.

I really want to get this project done this weekend so we can put the kitchen back in a nice, working order. We shall see. The tiling itself is really a piece of cake, it's the planning (or lack thereof) that is the problem.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I found this recipe at and knew I had to try it. I am a sucker for enchiladas, what can I say? They turned out so delcious, on par with what you might get at a restaurant. What really made the dish, though, was the fresh toppings.

2 cups shredded chicken (I used 2 medium to large breasts)
1 10.5oz can cream of chicken soup
8 oz light sour cream
1 cup Pace picante sauce (I used hot, of course)
2 tsp chili powder
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 6 inch flour tortillas (I only had 5 on hand so I just made mine a bit fatter and that worked out fine)
1 large tomato, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, chopped

To shred the chicken, I boiled the breasts in water sprinkled with southwestern seasoning for 20-30 minutes. Then I drained and let the breasts cool before shreddeding with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together soup, sour cream, picante sauce, and chili powder.
In a large bowl, stir 1 cup of the sauce mixture with the chicken and 1 cup of the cheese.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in prepared dish. Scoop the remaining sauce over the filled tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Spray a pice of foil with cooking spray. Place sprayed side down on enchiladas and cover tightly.

Bake for 40 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and bubbling.
Top individual servings with tomato, onion, and avocado.

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Avocado Arugula Salad

I saw this on tastespotting the other day (awesome website to find recipes). It came from this blog. I knew I had to try it because I love avocados and this was perfect to go with the chicken enchiladas I had planned for dinner.

Arugula leaves
Avocado, chopped
Thyme (I used dried)
Olive oil
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together to taste.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Caprese Towers

I can't wait until I have tomatoes on my tomato plant to use for this dish. Homegrown tomatoes are the best. When I can I pick up beefsteak tomatoes at the local farmers market. Those babies are good! This doesn't really need instructions but here they are.

Update 6/21/10: Retook the pictures for these. Still a favorite dish for the summer. Yum!

Fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
Tomato, thickly sliced
Basil leaves
Olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Kosher salt
Slice tomatoes and mozzarella. Stack tomato, mozzarella, then basil leaf twice over. Sprinkle generously with fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt. Drizzle with olive oil right before serving. Another good alternative is to add a little bit of balsamic vinegar, too.

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Stuffed Portabellas

Our first home-cooked meal in our new home! I picked this one b/c it is quick and easy. And delicious! My mom introduced me to this recipe and I believe she got it from the South Beach Diet Cookbook.

Update 12/17/10: This is a meal that continues to grace our table fairly often. Since it is a quick and easy vegetarian recipe, it is a great go-to recipe when you can't figure out what to make for dinner.

4 portabella mushrooms, stems removed
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
4 oz goat cheese
Several basil leaves, chiffonaded
Pine nuts, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375.

Wash the potabellas and remove their stems. Place them gill side down to drain while you prepare the other ingredients.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with a generous layer of tomato sauce (I usually use an entire jar). Rough chop the pine nuts.

Place the mushrooms gill side up in the tomato sauce. Cut up the goat cheese in chunks and distribute among the mushrooms. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the mushrooms and sauce.
Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes.

Chiffonade or chop up the basil leaves and sprinkle them over the mushrooms.

Linked to Fudge Ripple Tuesday Night Supper Club.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Apparently May was a busy month

I can't believe I haven't blogged in a month. We were in full-on kitchen mode trying to get everything done. We just had the granite installed last week and hooked up the faucet and garbage disposal over the weekend so it is fully functional! It looks like a kitchen now, a really awesome kitchen. It really has turned out beautiful, better than I ever expected. I want to post pics but I think I will wait until at least the backsplash and moulding is done (hopefully by next week).

Since I can start cooking again, I hope to try out some new recipes soon. I have been craving pasta since I haven't had much of it since we started this mess. I ordered a bunch of Dreamfields pasta from Amazon. My best friend uses it whenever she cooks for us. Its low carb and high fiber but tastes like regular pasta.

After the kitchen is complete we are going to start on our next projects (we are taking on easier ones this time for a break). Casey has already ripped out the termite infested decking in the backyard and will be building us a new deck. I can't wait to lay out there reading and sipping margaritas.

My project is the guest bedroom. It needs major patching, painting, baseboards, trim, new carpet in the closets, new closet shelving and doors. I also want to add laminate flooring (currently it is heinous parquet).

I hope to take a bunch of pictures this weekend to share some before and afters of what we have been up to.
C + C Marriage Factory: June 2009

C + C Marriage Factory