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Monday, November 30, 2009


I have been quite busy lately with the holiday and our latest reno project. We are working hard to get the living room/entryway back together in time to get the Christmas tree up before Christmas is actually here. It is going to be tough.

Thanksgiving went well, I made these same three recipes from Pioneer Woman that I did last year. All were super tasty, can't go wrong with PW!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Dinner Rolls

I also made this Caramel Apple Tart which was delicious but I didn't get any pictures of it. I hope to make it again and blog about it. It was super easy!

Finally, I made PW's cranberry sauce which was also easy and yummy. Highly recommend it.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Blog-iversary!

My blog is one year old today. I hope to try lots of new recipes, and delve in to many more unknown reno projects during this next year.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kitchen Before & During Sneak Peak

Okay, so I hate to admit this but the kitchen isn't completely finished yet. I mean once you get it to a certain point who cares if the trim isn't painted, a couple moulding projects aren't finished and you have no glass in your cabinet doors? Well, we care, but we just haven't had the energy to do those little menial tasks. But, we are turning over a new leaf and getting back to the grind so we can finish the kitchen once and for all. For now...

So here are a some sneak peaks at the before and afters. I was going to wait until everything is finished to post any but I can't wait any longer.

Yes, those spots on the trim/door/etc are nail putty still waiting to be painted over. And, yes, that is a piece of plywood in between the stove and d/w. But, keep in mind that the only people involved in this reno were Casey, myself, my dad, and the guys who installed the granite counter tops, tyvm. So we are pretty proud of how far we have come!

Almost complete:

Close up of the window, I'd like to get a roman shade in a cute green pattern here. Maybe something in stripes? I need to cover up those jailhouse bars.

Almost complete:

Almost complete:

Almost complete:

Almost complete:

Almost complete:

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ceiling Tiles

We purchased these painted ceiling tiles at Eastern Market recently. The vendor gets these tiles from rehabbed buildings, then paints them and sands them to look worn. We both fell in love the with unique textures and patterns. They came in lots of different sizes, colors, and patterns so we mixed and matched until we found a group that we liked, pulling in our accent colors of green and brick red.

Pefect (well, expect that green one looks a bit crooked). But, once we stepped back and looked at the entire wall these six tiles looked dwarfed on the massive wall.

So, we plan to make a return trip to pick up a few more. We thought about adding an extra row above or below what we already have but right now they are pretty much centered so adding a row to the top or bottom would make the entire set vertically off center. And we aren't too crazy about adding a whole bunch of new holes.

Another idea is to expand them out horizontally and add two new tiles on each end. Or, we could do something truly unique and do a triangle by adding a row of 5 up top, then a row of 4, row of 3, 2, and then 1.

Any ideas or suggestions???

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Great fall weeknight meal. These meatballs are flavorful and filling.

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
I also added about 8 oz canned tomato sauce, we like our sauce to be very saucy.

1 pounds uncooked ground turkey breast
1 slices white bread, made into crumbs (I substituted about 1/4 cup bread crumbs)
1 large egg
2 tbsp onion, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 oz uncooked spaghetti
4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt and pepper; cook, stirring as needed, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, to prepare meatballs, preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, mixing lightly. Form into 24 meatballs; place on a baking sheet. Bake until browned and slightly pink on inside, 15-20 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce; cook, stirring as needed, until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and place in a serving bowl. Serve, topped with sauce; sprinkle with cheese.

Serves: 4
Points: 8

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers

These are my new favorite burgers. They are so flavorful, moist, and filling and are a great twist on your everyday burger. They make a perfect, simple Friday night meal served with oven fries. I like to eat "bad" on the weekends so this meal makes me feel like I am eating bad but with still staying in my daily point values.

This recipe makes 4 burgers, I usually just cook them all up and then we will have the leftovers later on in the week. The flavors in the burgers really meld together in the fridge and they are almost better the second time around.

Update 7/21/10: These burgers continue to be a staple at our house. They are just so yummy and I love anything that is "Buffalo-style".

2 sprays cooking spray
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (like Frank's Red Hot - I use way more than this, we like it spicy*)
1 pound uncooked ground chicken breast
1/2 cup scallion(s), sliced
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs, plain-variety (I usually have Italian seasoned bread crumbs on hand and they work just fine)
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp table salt
4 mixed-grain hamburger rolls
2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
1 large tomato, cut into 8 slices
2 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled

Off heat, coat a grill or grill pan with cooking spray; preheat to medium-high.

In a small bowl, combine barbecue sauce and hot pepper sauce. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce mixture, scallion, celery, bread crumbs, garlic and salt.

Using wet hands (to prevent mixture from sticking), form chicken mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties; brush top of burgers with some remaining barbecue sauce mixture.

Place burgers on grill, sauce side down; brush tops of burgers with remaining sauce. Grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Lightly toast open-faced buns on grill during last minute of cooking.

To serve, place 4 bun bottoms on each of 4 plates. Top each with 1/2 cup of shredded lettuce, 2 tomato slices, a burger, 1/2 tablespoon of cheese and a bun top (cheese will melt a little from hot burger).

*I use about a tbsp of Frank's Red Hot in the sauce mixture and then add a bit more to the meat itself. That kicks it up a notch.

Serves: 4
Points: 6

Linked to Blessed with Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

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C + C Marriage Factory: November 2009

C + C Marriage Factory