The term "gilding the lily" comes to mind regarding this post. While I adore my dress form Claudia just the way she is, I thought even she needs a new dress now and then. Over Christmas she came to me wearing a glorious pine skirt.
She ain't too bad "nekid" either.
But add some vintage sheet music and Claudia really sings. (Har, har)
And please excuse the horrible floors in this room. The people we bought the house from refinished all the floors except this room, dunno, they were odd.
I have lots to share, from fireplace mantles, new kitchen color, bathroom art, gallery wall, music stand lamps....stay tuned!
I'm not talking about the weather, although it has been keeping us on our toes hasn't it? We lost power for a few hours this week, when the sun was shining. Yes, only we can lose power when there is no storm. I even had to dry and straighten my hair at my desk!
The storm I'm talking about is that I'll actually be posting some projects soon! You're shocked, I know. I know I've been away, I even lost a follower...boo...hisss.... I'm sorry, I'm a busy chicka! Between working full time, graduate school, internships I barely have time to clean let alone decorate, photograph and post it!
As of this weekend I will only have a couple hours of internship left and no classes until the end of June, I don't know what I'll do with myself "just" having to work!
Ok, I do know what I'll be doing and here's the list for you.
Cleaning the backyard flower beds. It's like the Congo out there. I'm sure Mr. Toad loves it that way, yes, I have a toad that comes by every summer. Maybe "comes by" isn't a good term since our yard is fenced, he's likely more of a prisoner than a guest.
Tending to my garden. I planted a raised bed full of Beekman Boys Heirloom seeds. I have carrots, radishes, turnips, beans, cuckes, spinach and lettuce. My itty bitty carrots and turnips already have little leaves! If you want your own heirloom garden, go here.
Eating fresh blackberries. We planted a bush last year and it has grown like crazy, here's hoping we have big, fat, juicy berries soon!
Finding someone to eat the turnips I hope will grow. I hate turnips.
"Decorating" our back patio. It's a concrete slab with some wild and crazy hostas growing around it. It really is a pitiful sight. I think a vintage glider, a new rug, some potted plants, some Mason jar lamps will really spruce it up.
Hopefully enjoying the paver patio off the kitchen. We are getting estimates and hope to be able to afford it this summer.
Having a Jewel Kade party. Most likely on a Sunday in June, leave me a comment if you're in the central Ohio area and want to come and I'll send details when I have it scheduled!
Decorating my mantel. We have a fireplace in our den but it's never had a mantel, until tonight that is! I found this lovely on Craigslist and she's being delivered today. My initial thought was the den but the more I think about it, she might go live in the living room, decisions, decisions. Oh, and I only paid $55 for her, with delivery!!
9. The final thing I plan on doing this summer is relaxing some. I will still be in class,
but won't be doing an internship until August, so I want to enjoy the little down time I will have.
I've fallen alright, off the face of the bloggy earth. I'm sure you're all typing your blogger passwords into your computers with bloody stumps since you've been biting your nails in anticipation for my next blog post. Sarcasm? Yes. Bazinga! (10 zillion blog follower points if you can name that tv show.)
I'm sorry but I'm one busy bee. With working full time and graduate school and internships and husbands and mothers and surgeries and laundry and once in awhile sleep I just haven't had time to do anything. Well anything fun that is.
Ok, that is a bold face lie. I have be doing things I just haven't been able to photograph them and show you. I did a rather cool bathroom art project (for less than 25 smackaroos) and I've been arranging and rearranging and then getting up at 2am to rearrange again the bookcase I recently got. Again, no pics. And, I was the lucky winner of a great blog give away and those pictures are still sitting in my camera. If digital imagines can collect dust these babies have bunnies on them. I also made a rocking strap cover for my camera. See, big fat liar, pants on fire. I have been doing things.
I will do all that I can to get some pictures and a real post for you soon. I'm off Friday so hopefully I will prioritize my vacation day appropriately and make sure you get a blog post, with pictures I didn't steal from the net.
I also plan on making some of these soon. I found a bakery in Columbus that makes them, so I can actually taste one before attempting my hand at them. Ok, that is just fat girl logic to justify eating a cookie. Works though, don't it?
Just because they are amazing and I felt bad just teasing you with a cookie picture enjoy a couple of pictures of the pups.
Yes, he's about as "simple" as he looks here. But he's the kindest most loving creature ever. If he didn't eat his own poo I'd consider going through therapy dog training with him but if you're in need of therapy the last thing you need is a dog kissing you with poo flavored breath.
The best caption I can think of for this picture is "put down the camera and give me the cheese and no one gets hurt." Lilly Bean has no idea of what "personal space" means.
Considering work/internship/school has left me with so little free time that nothing gets done and I almost wore a dirty pair of panties to work today I don't have any exciting home decor posts lined up. Never fear though, I scored an amazing vintage barrister bookcase this weekend from Urban Farmhouse so I will show it off soon.
Instead I thought I'd share a recipe. I love to cook and bake. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen my backside. Recently in an effort to raise money for local food pantries we had a chili cook-off at work.
Have I told you, I hate chili.
Really, it's like the one food that if I am ever held captive for government secrets don't bother doing water torture, make me eat chili and I'll sing like a bird. (Yes, I realize how many possible fart innuendos there are in that sentence.)
So to help raise money I decided to make a white chicken chili, heck maybe I'd win the cook-off with my dark white horse. I made it the night before the cook-off and told E to help himself. He loved it and I thought what the heck, I'll at least taste it.
I ate two bowls. I was almost ashamed of myself for always talking so poorly about chili in the past then I realized that this, this glorious creamy concoction was not chili...it was white chicken chili. I guess I don't like the taste of chili powder or hard, gritty kidney beans but this chili was delicate, smokey and even I can choke down a few spoonfuls of cannelini beans.
Ironically, my chili was the only one that was entirely gone by the end of lunch. Everyone loved it and begged for the recipe. But, I didn't win. The judges were purists and chose a traditional red chili.
So while the chicken is in the crock pot at home waiting to become chili I thought I'd share my recipe. I pretty much made this up on the fly after reading pages and pages of white chicken chili recipes online.
Now, because I made this up there are some variations you can try, I will note those in the recipe.
If you make it, let me know what you think.
Beth's Even I Will Eat It White Chicken Chili
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken boobs (or one rotisserie chicken, left over chicken, some form of poultry, you get my drift)
2-3 cans of canellini beans, rinsed (reserve 1/4 c)
1-2 cans of diced green chilies with their juice
1 large can of chicken stock (low fat/low sodium)
a glob of butter (maybe 2-3 T, I don't know, just use a glob)
a small onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2-1 t cumin
1/2-1 t dried oregano
1/2-1 c heavy cream
a large handful of shredded Monterrey jack cheese
I cooked my chicken breasts in the crock pot in plain water all day or until they shredded easily with a fork. You could also use a store bought rotisserie chicken, left over baked chicken or even grilled chicken would be good in this. (In fact, the grilled might be really good, to give it that smokey flavor.)
In a large saute pan saute the onion and garlic in some butter/olive oil. I used butter because I wanted the richness since this is a creamy chili (and I'm a fatty like that.) Once the onion is soft (not browned) add the shredded chicken and the chopped green chilies (I used two small cans, you can use more or less) saute until all combined. At this point add your heavy cream then add your spices; cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and let everyone fall in love. Don't boil it, just let it simmer..think hot tub on low. This will make it thick, glorious and creamy.
This above chicken mixture is slap your momma good and would make amazing tacos or enchiladas.
Ok, back to the chili.
Once the chicken/chili/cream mixture is hot through and starting to thicken add the rinsed and drained beans (minus the 1/4 c you reserved, relax, I'll explain that in a moment.)
Now, my saute pan was large and high sided so I had lots of room. If you don't, have a larger pot available and pour the chicken mixture into it. Then add the chicken stock. I added about 3/4 of a large can. This is preference, if you like thick chili, add less, if you like it soupier...add more. Rocket science, I know.
Take the 1/4 c of beans you reserved and beat the hell out of them, mash them up with a fork until they resemble humus. Add this mixture to your chili. It will naturally thicken the soup and give it some texture. You can also add more cream if you want. (You'll want to, it's cream after all!)
Let simmer 30 or so minutes, then add a large handful of Monterrey jack cheese. This too will thicken the soup and give it a creaminess.
Serve with a glob of sour cream and some cilantro (ok and more cheese.)
The only "complaint" I got was this wasn't spicy. I liked that about it though, it was "warm" and smokey from the cumin, but if you want something spicy you could add some Cheyenne or saute some jalapenos with the onion. Personally, I like the little bit of warmth the chilies give it over something that will give you a ring of fire...if you get what I'm saying. But it's your butt, do what you want!
Slightly sweet corn bread/muffins make this even better!
Thank you for being patient my loves, life is just one insane day after another around here, but without further babbling ado here are the pictures.
I just love this little silver coffee pot. I actually think it's a creamer, it's tiny.
The large white bowls were a great Goodwill find. They are from Target, brand new, and I got all 4 for $1.89!!!
If you're wondering what's in the basket....here you go....
Those would be extra dog food dishes, travel cups, etc. All the ugly things that we needed to keep but didn't really have space for elsewhere.
Those little turquoise dishes were also a great Goodwill find, three of them for 59 cents!! One is currently holding the most divine confection you will ever have pass your lips. Ruth Hunts, Blue Monday candy bars. If you're not southern or have family who are southern you likely do not know about Ruth Hunt. I grew up on cream candy and Ruth Hunt makes the best. A Blue Monday bar is cream candy drenched in a luscious robe of dark chocolate. It's sinful, really. If you want to experience Ruth Hunt for yourself, and you should, you can order here.
Now, for the other side.
My favorite item on this side is this amazing blue bowl.
Isn't the color amazing?? I have been considering taking the bowl to Home Depot, having it color matched and painting the kitchen this color.
Well, there you go my lovelies, I hope it was worth the wait. I think it was, I love my shelves!!
A little financial breakdown for you:
I only had to purchase some primer, I didn't have enough left over from other projects. I use Zinser and I got a quart for $12.94, I know the left over will be used for something.
I did buy new dishes, but obviously if you do this project you could use your current dishes.
I got the seagrass baskets on sale at Kohl's, $11.94 for both, but I had Kohl's cash so I only paid $1.94 for them!
Besides the Goodwill finds I used what I had. So it was rather inexpensive for a huge change!
Now, for your entertainment and what happens when I'm in the kitchen trying to take pictures. This is what Boston Terrier owners call "bitey face." Trust me it's not as viscious as it looks but it does make taking pictures difficult.
It all begins with a look....
And then it starts.
Ollie going for Bean's neckmeat.
Craziness I tell you!!
Oh, one more thing. The jury is still out on this addition. While I LOVE the industrial look of the card catalog and it was intended to hold recipes, menus, etc. I think it's a bit big. What do you think?
I know, I know, I'm a slacker. I promised pictures of the kitchen shelving and I haven't delivered. What you may not realize is that the sun never shines in Newark, Ohio. Ok, it does shine it just only shines when I'm at work or school or internship. When I'm home it's dark, cloudy, grey, or it's midnight. None of those make for good blog pictures. (But as you'll see in a bit, anything would be better than what I currently have to offer.)
Not to mention I've been tweaking, rearranging and still shopping for things to make the shelves...sing if you will. I didn't realize how tough it would be to have open shelving and OCD. I'm sure normal people with open shelving do not stand and stare, wonder, rearrange, scratch their heads and sigh when putting dishes away. I'm getting better though, I'm only spending about 30 minutes obsessing over it, last week it was around 45 minutes. ;)
Guess what? The sun is shinning today and it supposed to shine ALL DAY!!!! AND I don't have internship tonight so I my plan is to get those pictures done today and posted tomorrow. (Ok, maybe by the end of the week.)
Until then, I'm going to show you what inspired me in the first place.
In all honesty, this amazing transformation was my utmost inspiration. Darby not only split her shelving up with her window, as I did, but she also has another closed cabinet on the right side, just like we do!
Do I even need to tell you where this comes from? If so, you have some homework to do, go read EVERY post at The Lettered Cottage.
And to tease you just a bit further, here is an awful cell phone picture of one side of the shelving. A lot has changed, moved, moved back, etc, but maybe it will wet yer whistle for the better pics (hopefully) coming your way this week!
OH that picture is just awful, the next time I make cookies I will send you each a box as an apology for this picture!
While I definitely could use a live in chef, this chicken dinner is because I'm a winner!! I won the gorgeous, and inaugural, give away at Honeycomb Creative Co. If you haven't checked out Courtney's blog, you need to, go now! Well finish reading this, then go.
Show the readers what Beth won, Bob.
You're jealous, it's ok, I would be too! That compote/bowl will be DEEE-VINE in my newly finished open shelves in the kitchen. Yep, I did it. If we ever get sunshine again in Central Ohio I will take some pictures and show you!
When I receive my beautiful gift I will also post pictures. Until then, read up over at Courtney's!