Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013!!!

Thanksgiving 2013 is only a few days away!!! This is my Christmas and Super Bowl wrapped into one day, I couldn't be more excited.  Is any one else hosting? Or will you get to bring a side dish to somewhere?  Keep reading for some great ideas and to find out what we'll be devouring.

The Plan: 9 guests - A little bit smaller crowd than last year
The Place: We have 5 place settings in the dining room and another 4 on a table we have set up on one half of the living room.  You do what you have to do.
The Time: honesly, I still haven't planned my day of time line, maybe 2? but they'll be apps in case it ends up being 3
The Bird: we've ordered a fresh turkey from Whole Foods which I'll be picking up tomorrow after work to start the dry brine!
To brine or not to brine: dry brining the bird!

The Menu

§  Cheese Plate with Walnut Loaf

§  Kale Artichoke Dip

§  "Monkey" Bread Rolls

§  Rosemary Lemon & Orange Turkey

§ Traditional Mashed Potatoes

§  Dad's Potato Stuffing

§  Roasted Root Vegetables 

§  Olive Oil Sauteed Green Beans

§  Baby Kale and Mixed Green Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

§  Apple Pie

§  Traditional Brownies

§  Chocolate Chip Cookies

     The plan this year was to keep things simple and traditional and ask for help where we need it.  Mom and Dad are helping with the potato stuffing and they'll be bringing the cheese for the cheese plate. Grammy and Uncle Mike are in charge or the mixed nuts for the cheese plate, white wine, and brownies.  And Jenny and Joe will hopefully bring some beer and the Apple Pie. 

How do you split up the meal?  I like to do the side dishes as well as the Turkey to keep all the flavors balanced.  But I sure love the help of appetizers, dessert, and drinks.  I'm hoping with this menu of very traditional items there will be a little less work in the kitchen, and more chatting and family time. 

What's your favorite part about the holiday?  Do you like to host?  I'm also looking forward to this years after dinner craft.  Last  year was candy turkeys!



Monday, November 18, 2013

Yard Sale Flip!

Because we're not busy enough with the biggest DIY ever I finally refinished one of our yard sale finds last weekend.  It was my first soup to nuts furniture renovation and now I'm hooked.  I did renovate the $5 Ethan Allen side table we featured in the completed guest bedroom, but now I realize spray paint isn't for everything.  
We found this very basic and very beat up oak coffee table at a yard sale around the corner.  And after paying our new neighbor $10 to take it off his hands Matt carried it home.  

Some quality prep work (which we've become quite good at thanks to having to prep and entire House!) and patience during the painting gave us a beautiful result.

Though I'd LOVE a coffee table more like this one from West Elm, we realize if we'd like to have a family soonish it's completely impractical and will be beat on ferociously.  A yard sale find painted with the addition of chalkboard paint will be fun for that time, but until then it will be super fun to label food when we entertain!
The project broke down like this:
2 Hours - sand all surfaces
1 Hour - prime
2 Hours - one coat of color and a few coats of chalkboard paint. 

Coffee Table: $10
Primer: $1 (we had some Gildden Gripper left over, we probably used less than a dollars work.) A gallon is $22
Paint: $15 - we bought a quart of semi-gloss Behr Premium Ultra in BM Adam's Gold.  Hardly used any of it - but we did buy the paint just for the project.
Chalkboard Paint: $2 (again, used leftover)

Total: 5 hours and $28

Have you flipped anything scored at a yard sale lately?!  We have lots of wooden furniture items we've now collected in the basement, ready for a make over!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Progress on the Exterior - Sanding & Scraping

We said it once before - this is the biggest and hardest DIY we've taken on yet.  The past few weekends we've devoted every daylight hour to our exterior paint job project. 
I took our last to do list on this project and combined all the steps so you can see everything all at once.

Back of house - fully scraped
Project List:
  • Scrape any old paint that will come off
  • New paint colors selected
  • Finish the never ending scraping
  • Replace any broken shingles
  • New flashing above lower window
  • New PVC window trim
  • Sand all cedar shingles
  • Prime everything - 75% complete as of 11/11
  • Flash AC unit
  • Correct bad flashing job on porch roof (wait until spring when we hire a pro and do a new roof here anyway)
  • Final coat of paint (if this can't happen, we'll need to prime again in the spring)
  • New fascia boards along eave (waiting until spring)
Dad flashes an exterior window the right way
Luckily we've been getting a bit of help from my Dad.  Between the three of us I've estimated we've logged about 150 man hours of very difficult labor.  
Matt finishing sanding

We also wanted to take this post to share with you the tools we've liked the most while tacking this project.

Scraping Tools:
Huskey bend scraper - Matt's choice 
Huskey 14 in 1 tool - Meg's choice
Safety Glasses - we wear safety glasses alot around here, splurge and get yourself a good pair.  These are Meg's favorite.

Sanding Tools:
DeWalt orbiting sander - best sander for the job!
The Mouse - only used for the hard to reach spots
Dry Brush
Safety Masks - we're using protective respirators rated for harmful dust.

Oh yeah - and though we're trying to forget about it, we are only finishing one of the 4 sides of the house this year...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blogger Pizza Party!

This is Paige's third installment of blogger food parties and I've loved everyone of them.  
Remember the tacos? and chili?  Today Paige asked us to have a party for a food that's had a party about it for a long time - Pizza!

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Arugula
So, this recipe is only half mine.  The BBQ pulled chicken is something I saw on Food Network by Ellie KriegerWe love the BBQ sauce from this recipe and that is uses a store bought roasted chicken, great when you have very little time.  Another great part is that if you get a large chicken you’ll get at least two meals out of this for a family of four.  (We’re not a family of four yet, we just eat like one!)

So make the BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches and save your left overs for this great pizza!

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Arugula Salad
Prep time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15-20 min

2 cups of leftover BBQ pulled chicken (recipe here)
1 ½ - 2 cups of smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 premade pizza dough such as buttoni
1 cup Arugula
pinch of salt
Juice of ¼ a lime
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

We use the premade pizza dough here instead of raw dough because it stands up better to the loads of BBQ chicken we add on.  Top pizza dough with BBQ chicken, then smoked mozzarella and cook for about 15-20 minutes.    While the pizza cooks, prepare the arugula salad.  Combine salt, lime juice, and oil in the bottom of a bowl, toss with arugula.  Top the pizza with Arugula salad before slicing. 

Make sure you check out the Pizza's our blogger friends made in honor of today!
Paige from Little Nostalgia
Kristen from Milo and Molly
Heidi from Rowhouse14
Marilyn from Pulp Sushi
Meg from 18 Preston
Kelsey from Be Like the Fox

And just to remind you one more time - the sandwiches are delicious as well!  Enjoy!