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Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Thanksgiving Recipe

I prepared Thanksgiving dinner yesterday for our family holiday celebration today. In the interest of less stress and more time to enjoy being with the family, I opted not to try a gluten-free stuffing for the big meal. I just mixed up the regular stuffing for the rest of the folks and I enjoyed the rest of the meal.

But stuffing used to be one of my favorite holiday staples, so I've been wanting to try out a recipe for some time now. So in the wake of the mass family exodus, I settled into my kitchen apron to whip something up. I had leftover gluten-free dinner rolls from a previous family gathering that I cubed and baked in the oven with light seasonings until dried out. Then I stashed them away in a plastic bag. So, using those, here is what I came up with.  

GLUTEN-FREE STUFFING (4 small servings)...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Catch Up

I forgot to share my finished table and chairs in its new home. Here she is!

My next project is this beautiful old table a friend entrusted to me with the understanding that I will make her fabulous. Let's hope so! She needs a pretty hefty face lift.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I Like Pizza

I'm off on another Whole30 adventure while I busy myself with rehearsals every night.  Which can only mean one thing.... I'm craving pizza.  Can't get enough of it. I usually have individual sized bags of pizza soup in the freezer that will hit the spot, or I whip up a pizza salad in the summer, but I also like these pizza burgers that for some reason I've never posted.

I pretty much use the same seasonings as my pizza sauce but mix in a few pizza ingredients. You could definitely mix it up for your tastes, but here it is.

Like my retro dinnerware? 
20oz ground turkey or beef
40 slices turkey pepperoni or regular pepperoni
1C green peppers, chopped fine
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp salt

1. Mix to combine ingredients.
2. I used about a half cup meat per patty and formed into 7 patties.
3. Cook according to preference, at least 160 degrees for safety.

NOTE: The regular pepperoni will produce a lot more grease as these cook. I use a grill pan that drains all that away from my meat.

I actually froze individual patties between layers of wax paper in freezer safe plastic bags for quick meals throughout the week. (Thank goodness! Is it ridiculous how many pizza recipes I have?) Enjoy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

In Progress

This set of chairs is still in progress. They all got cleaned, sanded, and primed. Then they got the spot treatment for little pops of color peeking through the finished product. Finally, they all received three coats of DIY chalk paint. Whew!

Three chairs have now been distressed and received the wax finish. So shiny! In retrospect, I wouldn't have primed because the white shows more than I would like. But I do love the little pops of color to compliment the fabric.

They are definitely going to be a completely unique set of chairs to go with the table I've already delivered to my sister. I can't wait until they're finished and delivered. Stay tuned for a picture of the completed set in its new habitat.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Life Is Funny

So I recently got all set up with my Wisconsin driver's license and vehicle registration. The super helpful lady at the DMV magically made it all happen even though I showed up unprepared.  The only catch is that I need to mail my car title to Madison so they can change it into a Wisconsin title. Now where did I put that title?

It seems I'm usually pretty organized.  I have important things in a fire proof safe, so I thought surely it would be in there.  Now where did I put the keys to the safe? Okay, got the keys, opened the safe, no title.  Well if it isn't in the safe, it is probably in my filing cabinet.  Digging through files, thinking they could be more organized, still no title.

So I pull out each file box to browse categories in the off chance something will ring a bell.  Is it in my passport folder? Nope. How about insurance? Nope.  What is this? Letters?

I have a folder of old letters I have saved, printed out emails, birthday cards, and your random newsworthy tidbit.  You can't just pull out a folder like this and put it right back because it doesn't contain the one thing you happen to be looking for today. No. What is the purpose of keeping all of this stuff if you never look through it?

So on this rainy afternoon, I enjoyed laughing at some lovely cards. I'm not really a greeting card kind of girl, so when it makes it to the folder, you know it's pretty good.  Thanks for the laughs and sentiments family and friends! There were some letters I knew I couldn't open at this time. But I did find a college prep writing project from my senior year of high school.  It is amazing to look at this short piece and instantly be transported to the place and time where I felt the need to write it down on paper.  If I recall correctly, I believe I had to read it aloud in class as well.

On this beautiful day of September
My friends and I will always remember
The wonderful times we had together,
Sharing joys and sorrows with each other.
We all will depart in separate ways,
Onto college and many new days.
Our trips will be, in their own way, distinct,
But our hearts will always follow instinct.
Our bodies divided by many miles,
I'll always treasure the look of their smiles.

Beth called me and said, "Dude man, I'll go dude.
Let's call Jenny, Robbie, and Squirly too."
"I'm up for anything," she said to me.
Everything I could think up had a fee.
Beth had no bills or change in her pockets.
"Will Shirley break out the card to spot us?"

The greatest runner in our group-Robbie.
It seems to him, it's more than a hobby.
Rumors have flown of bad behavior,
But he doesn't care, he's our own savior.
He is such a flirt, adored by the girls.
The guys are his buddies, and so is Shirls.

My kind-hearted friend, Shirley, came with us.
Her generous nature is always a plus.
She thinks of others as much as herself.
Always spreading joy like a magical elf.
My best friend, without a doubt in my mind.
There'll always be love and kindness to find.

Jenny McD can be fun as the rest. 
On the weekend last our friendship was messed.
I do care about her more than she knows.
I hope she doesn't get hurt by my foe.
What happened hurt me more than I can say.
I hope you'll still walk with me come this May.

I guess that just leaves me. I hate this part.
My sister, Sara, says that I'm smart.
I'm having my doubts, so I hope she's right.
I've got so many prospects in my sights.
I want a family with children in twos;
I want a job where I love what I do.
I hope to discover myself today.
About this pilgrimage: that's all I can say.

Life is a funny thing.  I just had to share it here today.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I Hate the IPhone

Let me just begin by saying that since switching to iPhone, my life has been not as rosy.  As if I hadn't been ignoring the blog enough, it is practically impossible to blog from my phone which I regularly did from my Android Galaxy SII.  (Let's have a moment of silence for the death of Swype in my life.) I hate the iphone. The keyboard is just the tip of that archaic phone iceberg.

Skip ahead to what I love.  I love a good sheen on a freshly waxed piece of furniture.  I've been working on a table I snagged at the local thrift store for $15.  I've been experimenting with DIY chalk paint recipes* and turned a can of Nutmeg I had into a chalky dream on this thrift store find.  It was with this can that I think I realized the cause of the consistency problems I've been having.  The recipe of 3 parts paint, 1 part water, 1 part plaster of paris works out great with the flat or eggshell finish paints.  However, a resourceful girl wants to use the can of paint she already has even if it is a satin finish. Bingo. Chunky, pasty mess. I usually just add more water until it gets back to paint consistency. And as you can see by this glimmery post-wax close up, it turns out just fine in the long run.

Isn't it pretty?
The table is completed and will be delivered soon, but the chairs are just starting their transformation. Last night I cleaned and sanded six dining chairs.  After waxing the table and sanding the chairs I'm certain that I'm going to have biceps of steel. One chair seat was broken, so I cut a new one and upholstered them all in striped earthy tones. First I ran out of staples, then I ran out of dust cover fabric for the bottoms.  So those are on hold as well.  Today I begin the priming, chalk painting process, which will likely take a couple of days with dry time and sanding. Then I'll get to wax those beauties as well and you'll get the full set reveal.  (And my sister gets a new table and chairs I hope will serve her family for years to come.)

Until then, enjoy some of these other creations I've completed with chalk paint.
This pair of chairs are painted in white chalk paint, distressed, and waxed.  With funky black and white fabric, I wish these were staying in my home! These chairs are available for purchase at Thrifty Pickin's.
This curvy table got the chalk paint and distressed makeover on the outside. Then I painted a surprise pink on the inside and decoupaged scrapbook paper to the top for a touch of grown up girly for my quickly growing niece.
This little table was stashed away in our basement in a state of almost repaired. I finished up the repair and painted it with a light blue chalk paint and heavily distressed and waxed for another niece with just a sliver of space for a bedside table. 
This chair has layers of treatment. There is an aqua paint under the white chalk paint so when I distressed I got wood showing, but also little spots of aqua peeking through. Then I decided it was too white, so I glazed with a light brown before waxing.  This chair is available for purchase at Thrifty Pickin's.

I've been wrapping up a lot of projects with the impending winter and closing of my garage workshop. Maybe I'll be able to move a few smaller projects indoors. I apparently can't stop, so I'll need to work something out!


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