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October 23, 2010

Dining Room redo in the works

Here is what my dining room currently looks like.....

I had Mr.A haul up one of the corner cabinets from the dungeon basement and hopefully we will bring the other one up tonight!  Here it is, waiting to be installed.....

I am also hoping to maybe use some of this fabric to redo the chairs and curtains but I'm still thinking on it.  I am going to be repainting the walls for sure and maybe my dining room chairs and the bottom of the table, I  just need some time to get this all going.  I am hoping to actually put the check curtains in my living room and make some drop cloth curtains for the dining room.

Stay tuned to see what happens next!  I am still trying to figure out how to put the linky on the bottom of the post so bear with me.  I'd love to see your dining rooms as well so if you have one to show off, leave a comment! 

October 18, 2010

Corner Cabinets in the Dining Room?

The same wonderful neighbor that donated his front door to me, also gave me these beauties pictured below. I have had them for 2 years now and they are still not in my dining room!    Sorry for the scary pictures but these are in the basement and we don't use our basement except to store things, it's really a mess down there and on our to do list.  I think it's more of a winter project because who wants to be in the dark cold basement in the summer when it's sunny and warm outside?  We'll save this for the blustery winter days ahead!

What do you think? Are they cool or too grandma like? What color would you paint them? Should I take off the urns on the doors? I'd love to hear your ideas on this one!!!  I'm thinking of maybe doing a greenish gray paint color for them, like this color at TheInspiredRoom.    I would paint the bottom half of my dining room white and add some square style trim like these at Thrifty Decor Chick.  I haven't decided on a color palette yet for the dining room which would also lead into the living room.  Anyways, I'd love feedback from anyone!  thanks!

Creme De Menthe Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes to make but more importantly one of my favorite to EAT! I am not a huge mint/chocolate fan, it's ok, sometimes I like eating but I don't crave York Peppermint Patties or Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. This cake is a hit every time I make it.  I got this recipe from my mom, she always made this cake for me for my birthday!

You will need one box of yellow or white cake mix, Creme De Menthe liqueur or syrup, one 8 oz. jar of hot fudge sauce and a 12oz. container of whipped topping. I have included a picture of my bottle of Creme De Menthe in case you wanted to see it. We only use it for making this cake so I am pretty sure this bottle could last us at least 10 years! Maybe we should make this cake more often!

Prepare the box mix as per the directions on the box except you will replace 1/2 of the water in the cake mix recipe with the Creme De Menthe. Bake according to the box directions. When the cake is baked and cooled, you are ready to spread the hot fudge topping over the cake. I warm mine up a bit in the microwave for ease of spreading but you don't want it to be hot and really runny. After the hot fudge topping is on, mix in a tablespoon or two of the Creme De Menthe into the whipped topping container and mix well. Spread the whipped topping on top of the hot fudge layer and then refrigerate the cake for at least a few hours before serving. Enjoy!

A few notes, alcohol bakes out of the cake so if you are concerned about using alcohol in your cake, it's fine. Really it is.
My husband makes my birthday cake every year and he didn't take pictures while making my cake so I only have a picture of one lonely piece.
Someone suggested to me that I try it with a chocolate cake mix but I just can't bring myself to do it.  So if you try it with a chocolate cake mix instead,  I'd love to hear your reviews on it!!!

October 15, 2010

New Project in the works

My next door neighbor came over the other day and asked me if I wanted his front storm door. It was wood, classic and cute but unfortunately it was the wrong size for our door. He was going to throw it out so I asked him if he'd take the top glass and top frame piece off for me. This is what I found in my garage the next day.......

I think I'm going to hang it in my dining room and I really want to put a big monogrammed letter on it, like the ones featured at Trey and Lucy , Notes From the Heartland,

What do you think?  Anyone have any other ideas for this window?  Or did you do a similiar project, if so, I'd love to see it! 

October 13, 2010

Two New Recipes for fall and they are both desserts!

In case you don't know this about me, I will share it here. I hate pumpkin food, such as muffins, cake, donuts, cookies, pie, bars and whatever else people make with pumpkin, all I can say is "yuck."  I am also allergic to apples so I don't do apple crisp, apple cider, apple pie, apple whatever else there is.   So, when I think of fall, I don't envision all the apple and pumpkin food I can make. Nope, I'm out for the chocolate, caramel, caramel, maybe more caramel, perhaps some molasses and maybe even some cinnamon! Here are two recipes I am going to try this month and I'm on the lookout for some recipes that have caramel in them so if you have one, I'd love for you to link it in the comment section below.

 Cramel Salted Cupcakes by Lemonde Makin Mama

Amaretto Cake with Cinnamon Swirl

October 8, 2010

Meal Plan Oct. 8th to Oct. 21st

I am so not in the mood for meal planning but it must be done as tomorrow is grocery shopping day. Somehow I ended up with extra meals leftover from the last meal plan. Here it is....
1.  Grilling out with our neighbors - brats/hot dogs and potato salad
2.  Grilling again- chicken, baked potatoes and corn on the cob
3.  Small Group night  no meal needed
4.  Brinner -- pancakes, hashbrowns, sausage and eggs
5.  Chili with Corn Bread
6.   Stuffed Shells with garlic bread and corn
7.   New Recipe - Enchilada Casserole
8.   Leftovers
9.   Stromboli and Creme De Menthe Cake (My birthday favorite!) will post recipe soon.
10.  Hawaiian Ribs with rice and green beans
11.  Eat out 
12.  Italian Bow Tie Pasta garlic bread and peas
13.  Sloppy Joes , french fries and broccoli
14.  Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie

October 7, 2010

My new old kitchen chairs

I have disliked our kitchen table and chairs for a few years now. They are the ugly honey oak color that I think almost every table and chair that was made in the early to mid 2000's was stained. Ok, well not every table and chair but every table and chair that we could afford at that time. I decided on a whim the other day that I was going to paint the chairs and table black. I really thought about doing white but with white kitchen cabinets and white beadboard, I thought the table might get lost or make it look like a snow storm hit my kitchen. I also debated doing an espresso color but I chose black. I thought for sure Mr.A would not like this idea so I sort of started the project before I told him what I was doing. He doesn't always like my project ideas when I explain them to him but if I do it first and don't tell him beforehand he usually really likes my projects. Well was I surprised when he said, "I actually thought of that the other weekend when you were gone. I thought it would be cool if I could do it for you and surprise you when you came home but taking care of the kids was enough for one weekend." That was so sweet of him!
I kind of went blindly into this project like I do so many others. I bought some primer and paint and a sponge roller. I sanded the table down with the palm sander first to get the polyurethane coating off the top. I didn't do the legs of the table or the chairs though. I then primed it all with the roller and then changed my mind on the paint and went back and bought spray paint instead. The first two chairs I didn't sand down the primer and I wish I would have but instead I just started spraying them. I did sand the primer off the rest of the chairs before spraying them with the black. In between the fist and second coat of spray paint I also sanded some spots that were a little rough. I didn't take any before pictures but I found this kitchen picture that shows the table and chairs in their oakiness.

Here are a few after pics of the chairs.  I am not done with the table but will post that soon (hopefully).

This is the spray paint I used on the chairs, I so far have used 8 cans and I need probably at least 2 more to finish the legs and apron of the table.  This picture didn't turn out the best but it's all I got for now!

I'm linking up my chairs here:


October 6, 2010

Cooking in the crockot - Lasagna

I was hoping to have a new meal to share earlier in the week but this week has just been flying by! Maybe the birth of my niece on Monday threw things out the door, not really sure but what a great reason to have your week go haywire! Anyways, this wasn't on my menu plan but I have all the ingredients for it and I thought I'd give it a whirl. So today I'm making crock pot lasagna! I even remembered to take some pictures, woo hoo! I got the recipe from Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking. and if you haven't been over there to check out her blog yet, what are you waiting for!?! 

I based my meal off of Stephanie's recipe but varied mine a little bit.  I used 9 lasagna noodles, you want the regular noodles not the oven ready.  I used one jar of spaghetti sauce but added some tomato sauce to it, I was hoping to add some diced tomatoes but I didn't have any on hand.  I added some crushed garlic to the spaghetti sauce as well.  I used about 9 meatballs chopped up and threw those in the spaghetti sauce.  I used a larger container of cottage cheese, mixed in two eggs and some parmesan cheese. 
I used my oval shaped crock pot and this worked out well.  I could do 3 noodles across but I had to break off some of the sides of the noodles to make them fit.  I added meat to my lasagna, I had some frozen meatballs that I chopped up and threw in with my spaghetti sauce.  I didn't get a picture of it but start with a layer of meat/spaghetti sauce in the bottom of your crock pot.  Then place the noodles on top.  I had already started putting this together in the crock pot before I thought about taking pictures.  So this is already a layer or two in but you get the idea.  Like my jagged broken noodle?

 Next I put my layer of cottage cheese or ricotta (whatever you perfer)  over the noodles.

Then I put the mozzarella over the top of the cottage cheese.  My cheese looks funny because I was trying to be all frugal and thought I could shred my own mozzarella.  I am saving you from pain and ugly cheese clumps by telling you to just by the shredded cheese, it's not worth it! 

Finally, top with your  meat/spaghetti sauce mixture.  I also ended my layers with this and it worked out well.  I also put 1/4 cup of water in my spaghetti sauce jar and shook it up and poured it over the top.  This also could be why the lasagna was really lwatery but not sure.

Then I sprinkled some real shredded cheese and some parsley flakes on top. 

This is what it looked like after cooking on high for 4 hours.

My camera doesn't take the best pictures but here it is, ready to be devoured served.

Another picture, maybe not the prettiest lasagna but it was yummy and that's all that really counts in my book. 

Mine was a bit watery but that could be from my scary chunky shredded myself mozzarella that came from the freezer.  My kids really liked this, well at least 3 out of 4 did which is a rarity in this house.  In fact, the eldest child asked if we could have this for dinner every week.  I will be making this again, I liked throwing it all together in the crock  pot and then walking away for 4 hours.  I let it sit for another hour after it was done on the warm setting and it was still hot and yummy.  If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.  If you try this, I'd love to know what you thought so please feel free to come and leave a comment!  Enjoy!