Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reupholstering a Kitchen Chair

Very easy and fun so do not be discouraged.  You will need a chair pad you do not like, pretty fabric, an iron, staple gun with staples, screw driver (philips head most likely) or a drill to remove/replace screws.

First, iron the fabric that will go on the chair if it is wrinkled.

Remove screws from the bottom of the chair pad.  Should be four screws.

Remove the chair pad.  This was painted on.  Seriously, why would someone do this?

Flip over the new fabric so you are looking at the backside.  Flip over the chair pad on top of the fabric.  To me, it is kind of like wrapping a present and smoothing everything out when you are folding in the ends.  Do this around the chair pad and pull tight.  Staple gun each piece you fold over the chair pad.  You want to keep it tight so that when you sit on it, the fabric will not gather. When done, screw in nails.

And, voila!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Smelly Kitchen Drain

We do not have a garbage disposal and even though we scrape plates before hand washing, some food pieces slip down the drain.  I feel the kitchen always had a faint but weird smell.  I always thought it was the trash or something else. Last night, I decided that it could be the drain.  Who knows if they cleaned the drain before we moved in or if the past tenants ever attempted it, but it needed to be done.  We have a double sink so I poured a half a cup of baking soda in each and forced it down with the back of a utensil.  Then I poured a half a cup of white vinegar in each drain and let it fizz.  Followed by a pot of boiling water on each side.  It has not smelled yet and hopefully it stays that way.

Homemade Chicken Stock

When you roast a chicken you should not throw anything away and make homemade chicken stock.  Freeze it for later use.

After picking the chicken toss everything left over in a pot including the pan drippings.  Any juice left on the plate from carving the chicken can be tossed in. It will only add more flavor.  I also added two quartered medium onions, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped ribs of celery with the leaves still on, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary and thyme, and 10 whole black peppercorns. Add about 2 quarts of cold water. Bring to boil then simmer for 2 and a half hours.  Taste and add salt if needed.

Strain and put into a container.  Leave in refrigerator for 24 hours.  Skim the fat off and then you can freeze it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple, Onion and Herb Chicken with Apple Bake for dessert

My friend, Megan, inspired me to try this roast chicken.  I changed up a few things but nothing major.  It also gave me a chance to try the homemade stock recipe I have had for years.  Please note, I am horrible at taking pictures BEFORE I cut it up and serve. Please forgive me. I suppose I am just too excited and just ready to dig in!

We used just over a 4lb pound all natural chicken.  Remove innards, rinse with water, pat dry with paper towel.  Generously rub with sea salt.  Place breast up in roasting pan.  I snip back the skin from the chicken just a bit and stuff with seasonings. I feel it just adds more flavor to the meat.  Slice half a vidalia onion and half a sweet apple.  I used honey crisp.  Place some inside, under the skin and arrange on top.  I placed two sprigs of fresh rosemary inside, snapped one sprig and placed under the skin, and then sprinkled on top.  A palm full of fresh parsley inside, a bit less under the skin and then sprinkle on top.  I believe the rule is 20 minutes per pound or when the thigh reads 180 degrees.

All the delightful smells (and eating the rest of the apple) made me want to make a fall-ish dessert.  Towards the end of the cooking time melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a baking dish or large cast iron skillet.  Skin two apples and slice. Place on top of melted butter.  Sprinkle 1/4 of a cup quick rolled oats and 1/4 of a cup of brown sugar.  Sprinkle with spices... I did ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Cook for 20 minutes or til apples are tender when poked.  Serve with vanilla ice cream and dust with powdered sugar.

The stock is simmering now and boy does it smell awesome.  Will post when completed.

P.S- I believe I am ready for fall and more yummy apple recipes.

Afternoon Tea

Oh, how I love tea.  It is truly my favorite beverage whether it is served hot, cold, or with lemonade mixed in.  I love having afternoon tea.  I truly loved this concept when we visited London.  I feel the urge to host an afternoon tea one Saturday or Sunday when fall comes.  Robust tea alongside tiny scrumptious sweets and sandwiches.  Please stay tuned.
This is currently my favorite tea cup.  I love the little birds and flowers.  I found it at a consignment store in Ashland.  I forget the name of the store, but my friend and I found it by accident.  It did not come with saucers unfortunately.  The cupcake tea pot was a valentines gift from my aunt.  It is great for brewing a small pot of tea and only using one tea bag.  You can get two cups out of it and it is super cute.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Papel Picado

Papel picado is the Mexican folk art of paper cutting. Usually they are elaborate designs. It is kind of like a doily or a snowflake. They are displayed in times of festivity such as religious holidays, Day of the Dead, weddings, quinceaneras, and christenings.

When we were in San Antonio many houses had them displayed. I really wanted the flags and Chuy found them for me. Now, we are not Mexican. Not even close. But we just love all of the Mexican folk art and traditions. Our living room is full of it. People may just think the "flags" are tacky (especially with the plastic flamingos on the lawn- they do not help), but tacky is in the eye of the beholder. What I consider tacky.. actually probably is tacky to most. For some reason I am just attracted to some of that crazy stuff.

I can see us retiring in Mexico.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Moped Rides

So lovely to hang onto your favorite person while scooting around in the night on a moped.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome Back!

I would like to express how ecstatic I am to have two things back in my life:

1. Chocolate Ice Cream- being lactose intolerant was very upsetting when I had to give up my Turkey Hill Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream. I recently found out that the Lactaid Brand now makes chocolate ice cream.

2. Flats- My feet somehow decided they were going to be particular and hurt every time I put on shoes. Then I woke up and I could not walk on one foot. My metatarsals dropped and that was the end of cute shoes especially flats. As most know, I had to give away/sell most of my shoes to people/consignment stores. This upset me very much. I got custom orthotics (expensive) and my chiropractor told me that I need to buy well structured shoes and slip in my orthotic. A lot of the shoes that are very structured are also ugly. Skinny jeans/dresses/skirts with flats/flat boots were finished. This all happened last year. With much continued searching I have found a cute, well structured flat that my orthotics actually fit in and my feet never hurt!  Check these out if you have similar problems. I got them at Macy's. I could not find them on the website, but they have them on zappos. I am usually an 8, but got an 8.5 because my orthotics are thick.


Turkey Meatloaf


I whipped this up when I got home from work. It is easy and so yummy. Turkey is a great alternative for a leaner meal. It can dry out fast since it does not have as much fat as beef so keep an eye out.

1 lb lean ground Turkey
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup bbq sauce or ketchup (I like bbq suace because it gives it a little kick)
1 egg
1 tsp worcester sauce
1/3 cup dried chopped onions (I was out of a fresh onion- maybe about half a medium onion)
1 tbs dried parley (I was out of that too- about 2 tbs fresh)
2 tbs finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic (about 1 clove garlic)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Equal parts ketchup, bbq sauce and worcester sauce. I just did enough for a glaze and did not really measure. Few squirts of the worcester sauce and ketchup and one plop of bbq sauce. Squirt and plop are accepted terms of measurement in this household. Glaze on top when you have about 15 minutes left of cooking time.

Form into loaf pan. Cook at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. I served this with brown/wild rice with corn, carrots and peas. Cook rice as desired. I added equal parts sweet corn, frozen peas, and shaved carrots. I used half a can of sweet corn as the measurements for all. Again, I just eye-balled it. If you do not like those vegetables then switch it up. I usually use fresh veggies, but we have been in and out of the state traveling and I have not been buying much produce because it will just go bad.

If you are concerned about eating the correct portions then make mini meatloaves using a 1 cup measuring cup. Place on a baking sheet and cook the same way.