Thursday, September 27, 2012

What's cooking tonight

Beer's not just for drinking anymore. Then again, it never has been for me. On more than on occasion Meg has come home late after a night with her friends or family and asked if I spilled beer or had hot dogs for dinner. If I'm not cooking hot dogs on the grill, they're being fried in beer. I've even ventured as far as using beer to boil pasta. Quick tip, add beer to the water, straight beer boils over fast and aggressively. The same tip goes for boiling lobster. Add a bottle of beer to the water and the shells will be easier to break through. But enough about me...

It's my birthday this weekend and I have an amazing wife that also thoroughly enjoys cooking with beer. She found a recipe for Espresso Stout Cupcakes via Pinterest. You can find the original recipe here. This is what we (Meg) made it look like. 

I was in love when I heard the idea. Espresso Stout also means that I get to buy one of my favorite beers. Great Divide Brewing Co. Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Bohemian Imperial Stout. That's a mouthful to say and at 9.5% ABV, it's a pretty hearty drink too. When we were in Colorado for our Beer Tasting Adventure (I swear I'll post about it eventually), I even bought the appropriate crystal tulip glass which, I swear, makes it taste better. 

Great Divide's motto is 'Great Minds Drink Alike' but if Meg is in charge, it applies to food, drink and food with the drink inside it. 

And just a quick FYI, I heard a local pizza company is also serving 'Adult Only' pizza with the toppings soaked in tasteful spirits. That gets a free plug from me. Salvatores Restaurants

Monday, September 24, 2012


To say we're Meg is excited for Halloween would currently be an understatement.  This is the first time since I was in 4th grade that Halloween has the potential to bring in a massive amount of trick-or-treater and for there to be a reason to decorate the house.  I grew up in Salem, MA.  Witch City, USA.  Halloween celebrations begin October 1st and trick-or-treating is the event of the year.  Now that we're in our new home - in the cutest neighborhood ever - we're hoping for lots and lots of kids and family fun.  Without kids of our own we will focus on great decorations and fun treats.  We want to be a house that is remembered.

Sticking to our free and cheap project goals though, we're picked out several budget friendly decor ideas.

  • Googly eyes - seen on
  • Window Shadows, also seen on - we're aiming for a "Ghoul and Goblin Party" appearance (I refuse to scare little kids)
  • Magnetic Spiders on the doors
  • Black Pumpkins - via chalk board paint
  • The good old - broom and with hat sitting on the coat hook at the front door (enhanced with a pirate hat and sword also hung up)
  • Possibly some yard graves and a wheel barrel full of dirt and bones
Hopefully we'll find time for all of this to happen and not get our hopes up for just a few kids.
What are your plans for Halloween this year? Will you go all out? Are you dressing up?!

I can't say the chalk board pumpkin is an original for sure, but I don't think I've seen it before.  I just painted it when I was paining everything with chalkboard paint, why not paint a pumpkin.  Plus - black pumpkins without chalk look very creepy to me.  This guy above was decor at my craft fair over the weekend.  I should have just brought hundreds of these and sold them for $10 - everyone liked him... more than my jewelry...

A tutorial really isn't needed.  Pick pumpkin, paint two coats for chalk board paint, let cure, draw faces.  (Just don't use a sugar pumpkin.  This little guy rotted out in about a week - the regular ones last for months)

And Matt though I was crazy for telling him not to throw away any of the sticks from the yard.  Well, I made this awesome witch broom for FREE! This also doesn't need too much of a tutorial - bundle sticks together to look like a broom - secure with floral wire - glue gun hemp around like so.

We've also started the hunt for our costumes - Matt is growing out his beard to be Abraham Lincoln the vampire slayer, and I already got my bow and quiver for my Katniss costume.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In the Works...

As usual, there’s a few projects in the works that have been started and only need a little more work to get wrapped up, or at least to a better spot. That second part is referring specifically to my El Camino. It’s in Massachusetts from my parents house in Connecticut, but it’s not quite home yet. I owe a huge thanks to Meg’s uncle Mike who helped get it here with the use of his trailer, and now it’s at the shop he works at so I can take a look under it and get it in working condition.

The other major project in the works is our front railing. We bought all of the parts and pieces from Home Depot a couple of weeks ago and the special order balusters came in over the weekend and now we’re just doing some math to make sure everything works right. The good part of working on AutoCAD for over 8 hours a day is that you can whip up an accurate sketch in no time. Here’s a sneak peek of what we hope the railing will look like. We’ll put up another blog post of the work and final product after it’s done. Stay tuned!