Tuesday, September 28, 2010

paintin pumpkins

This year the need to decorate hit me like a tidal wave.  Like a ton of bricks. Like a... like a... ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!  So, when I saw these pumpkins, I felt inspired and wanted them all for myself.

They are crazy easy, and crazy cheap.  For under $10, I picked up some ceramic and foam pumpkins from Tuesday Morning and Michaels.  Then, another $5 for spray paint, and VOILA!

So, a layer of plaint white (to kinda smooth the lines.)  Then a layer, or five, of the metallic paint...  

Let dry. Arrange. 

And bask in their glory.  

So, whaddaya think?  I had a moment where I thought it odd to start decorating a house that is 1/2 done, (I mean, come on!  The window behind these decorations is lacking, you know, TRIM.)  But... what the hell.  Tis the season for pumpkins!!!

Oh, and pay no attention to those pine cones.  Their day in the spotlight will come soon enough.

Friday, September 24, 2010

movin' on up to the east side!

Things, my friend, have changed!

1) My beau moved in.  And so did his stuff.  This is a good thing!  ...he has a KitchenAid.*
2) Old roomie moved out.
3) Almost every room in the house has been re-arranged.
4) The beau is hitting the ground running & helping get this place up-to-snuff!  Which means, small little home improvement projects EVERYWHERE!**
5) I am really, REALLY behind on posting about all of these.....

So, what is going to happen is, I will do a room-by-room update- from original condition to pre-bf condition to current.  BUT FIRST!  Take a gander at the mayhem:

waBAM!  That's right.  Solid. Wall. Of. Boxes.  AND this was after some "reorganizing so I can actually get in and out of the house"!

 There was a small aisle to get to the fishies (we realized that the poor buggers actually needed food.  And light-control.***)

Don't even think about getting back there!  ...sadly, the beau would ask where something was and I would immediately remember that it was in the back room.  The furthest room.  The hardest-to-get-to room.  Figures.

Oh, and the reason we didn't move everything straight into their delegated rooms (or at least, to more than ONE room), was that my renter was still in the house for another week.  Yup.  This was a week-long pleasure.  Next house: storage.  

The Sunday after move-in-Saturday, we re-arranged the master bedroom.  Even though the beau sold most of his old furniture, (except for a TV stand and DVD shelving unit,) we did keep his bedroom set.  Liked it more. This meant... 

 .... does anyone else live with a dresser covered in handy items?  Never know when you may need to grab that box-cutter & rush to a DIY emergency!

**Yup.  Tons of little projects.  No documentation.  Maybe I should make a New-Fall's Resolution...
***We've since put the fish light on a timer.  This is an excellent idea, if I do say so myself.  Makes life a lot easier for all those times we go out to dinner or sleep in... the fish can count on a regular cycle of "sun".

Thursday, September 2, 2010

twist and shout: black pepper & parm twists

It's alive... ALIVE!!!*

So, I am still plagued by my broken keyboard at home, (no "c" or apostophe keys,) which makes my enthusiasm to use the computer increadibly minuscule.  And if I suffer, than so must you!**

I made these Black Pepper & Parmesan Twists (with Dip) for a celebratory party at work.  I loved the crackers (/twists... whatever.)  But, they did have a HUGE pepper kick to them.  It's easy to forget that good ol' table shaker black pepper actually can give a kick, but it does!  Especially, when you use a lot of it or use it as a highlighted flavor.  Anyways, I would say this recipe verged on too much black pepper.  I have cut the required amount in half for the recipe posted below, (though, I admit I have not tried it like this!  Whoops!)  But, I feel this will allow you to be liberal with sprinkling it on top if you taste and find it lacking a punch.  Don't get me wrong!  I loved these.  I liked the spice that, after a moment, left a lingering desire for more!  And was cooled off well with the dip.  Just think this would satisfy a largely crowd if not as intense.

Sadly, I don't have a recipe for the dip.  Because I made it up and didn't think to write it down!  It was sun-dried tomatoes, feta, sour cream and any leftover parmesan.... yup, that's all you get!  AND it was a HUGE HIT!  So, that makes it even worse.  Here's a picture and rave reviews for a dip that I will not tell you how to make.  You're welcome.

*It = the blog.  Not the pictured dip.... that would be weird.
**Yes, in this situation, you "suffer" by not being graced with my blog posts.  I know, I know... make it stop!

Black Pepper and Parmesan Twists
Adapted from Naturally Ella

1c whole wheat flour
1c white flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1/2c parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
1Tbsp black pepper, plus extra for topping*
4Tbsp olive oil
3/4c water

Pre-heat oven to 400degrees.

Combine whole wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, cheese, and black pepper in a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Add 3Tbsps of olive oil and pulse until it looks like coarse meal.

Then add 1/2c water and let the processor run.  If the dough does not start coming together, start adding more water tablespoon by tablespoon.  Pulse after each addition until the dough comes together.

Scrape dough out onto a floured surface and roll out until 1/4" thick.  Try to shape into a rectangle as you roll.  Brush dough with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with extra cheese and black pepper.  Cut strips 1/2" wide and ~3” long (or to your desired thickness and length) and twist.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 14-15 minutes, until the twist are golden and crunchy.  You may need to adjust the baking time depending on thickness or size of twists.

*The original recipe called for 2Tbsp.  If you love black pepper, or want a cracker with a kick, up the dosage!  Just make sure not to go over 2Tbsps... or else!