Saturday, March 31, 2012

To Quote my husband...on Adding Value

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crock Pot Korean Beef Short Ribs Tacos

Stop what you're doing, and prepare to be hit in the face with awesomeness. This is one of the tastiest meals that will ever punch you in the palette. {sorry for the violent analogies...I'm just so pumped about how incredibly delicious this was}

This story began earlier in the day, with a super romantic email to my dear husband...

To: Brian
Subject: Dude.

"Two things. Number one -- "Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant. Dude. DUDE. Listen all the way to the end for the money note. Number two -- I'm making Korean beef short ribs in the crockpot (for tacos tonight!) and it smells so freakin' fantastic, I feel like I need to punch something to keep myself from licking the walls."

You need to understand that this meal is serious business. The beef short ribs smell so ridiculously good while they're crock-potting, that well-intentioned, will-power-lacking individuals need not attempt it. I'm not joking. You will literally go grape-nuts-caliber koo koo bananas from the torture. Forget dark room interrogations! The mafia should be using this recipe to trigger confession. 

So without further ado, I followed this crock pot Korean beef recipe almost exactly, adding the extra optional water. I didn't have Srircha, so I used some Tabasco sauce instead. Go to the link above, and print out the recipe. 

I did not, however, use the cucumber garnish recipe on the link above. I created my own toppings and garnishes....and boy, I was glad I did! Here's what I made:

The beef has such a rich, sweet, almost-barbeque flavor, so it needs the tanginess of the "kimchi" 'slaw and the cool, creaminess of the jalepeno yogurt. The three components together really made the perfect bite. 

"Kimchi" Cabbage Ingredients
  • One quarter of a cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4-5 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Sesame seeds, to taste
Toss sliced cabbage and onions together in a bowl. In separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture over the cabbage and onions, and toss until cabbage mixture is coated. Use within an hour.

I'm calling this "Kimchi" Cabbage because I don't know how to make kimchi, but kimchi loosely inspired my choice of ingredients for this recipe. 

Jalepeno Yogurt Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 7-8 pickled jalepeno slices 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. 

We cooked up our tortillas (we have the "raw" tortillas from Costco that we cook at home - many thanks to my friend, Marlene, for the recommendation!!), and started building our tacos. Beef, 'slaw, and yogurt. Done.  

Our conversation during dinner consisted solely of approving grunts. Every once in awhile, one of us would slam our hand on the table, eyes closed, savoring the flavors. I cried at one point. Later, Brian held up his index finger and shhh-ed me (even though neither of us were speaking) simply to indicate that he was currently enjoying "the perfect bite." 

When the meal was over, our hands were so messy, we both walked straight to the kitchen sink with our arms up, like we were prepping for surgery. This was hands-down, one of the best things I've ever made. 


P.S. I'm linking up here:

Making Lemonade  Weekend Bloggy Reading 
Home Stories A2Z

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teak Table - A Kelly Green Experiment

I can't quite pinpoint the moment I knew I was in love with chartreuse. Like my love for teal and beef tartare, it just sort of surprised me one made me do a double-take. {"Well, hello there, chartreuse!"}

It was all downhill after that. Next thing I knew I was craving lime, aqua, kelly green, and marigold EVERYWHERE. So, I gave myself permission to experiment with kelly green and it went pretty well, if I do say so myself! And I do.

I picked up a few cans of kelly green spray paint, a reputable oil-based stain-blocking primer, and a new (cheap) paint brush.

Brian and I purchased this teak "catch-all" table during the first year of our marriage, over 8 years ago. It's changed in function over the years, and most recently lives at the top of our stairs. Over the past few months, I had been wanting to paint it, so it ended up being the perfect candidate for my kelly green experiment. 

Check out it's sexy bamboo legs! Ooo la la!

This was my first time using Zinsser's oil-based primer and I have to say I'm a fan. It boasts that it will work just fine on glossy, un-sanded surfaces, so I took it up on its offer. I did not sand the table. I gave it one coat of primer. If I was aiming for a smoother finish, I would probably give it a second coat and used a roller instead of a brush....but I wasn't too concerned about getting an ultra-smooth finish on this project, so I cut a few corners. My local Lowe's did not carry Zinsser in a spray can, which would have been preferred, but alas, brushing on the primer worked just fine for my project.

I started spraying light coats of kelly green paint. I was determined to master the art of "light, patient coats," as I typically get spray-paint-rage and end up with drippy spots. I really had to pysche myself up before each coat, and remind myself that if I stuck with it, the light coats would all come together into a beautifully rich finish.....this is after one coat. You can see why I have a tendency to get a wee bit impatient.

But, verily, I stuck with it, and many, MANY coats later, the table was done!!

I picked up some brass backplates and knobs on eBay and called it a day. Without further ado, here are are the before and after pictures.

Not too shabby! 

So.....confession time: what's your secret color crush right now? Come on, spill it!!

P.S. I'm linking up here:

   Making Lemonade

 Weekend Bloggy Reading   TDC Before and After Home Stories A2Z

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Along for the Ride

Greetings, friends! Today I'm honored to be able to be a guest over at Along for the Ride. Laura, the delightful mastermind behind Along for the Ride, is an amazing woman of God and I've enjoyed following her adventures for the past several months. Make sure you click the link below and check out my featured post on her blog, as well as enjoy the amazing words of encouragement she has to share.

Along For the Ride

If you're visiting from Along for the Ride, WELCOME!! I'm so glad you're here! I've got some great projects in the pipeline and I'd be honored if you'd try Pig & Paint out for a bit. Feel free to make yourself at fact, you can check out My Projects and My Home. And make sure you check out My Boxer, because she's pretty much the bee's knees. 


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Quote my husband...on Great Days

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Cover your Books

When we moved into our new home, our books and bookshelves that had previously enjoyed a glamorous life in our townhouse family room, were suddenly relegated to the loft until we could figure out what to do with them. See how sad they look in this haphazard location?

We recently moved the two glass-fronted bookshelves downstairs, flanking the front door, which really warmed up our entry. Unfortunately, the color cornucopia caused by the various colors of the books wasn't really workin' for I did the unthinkable.....I decided to cover my books.  You're probably thinking, "{gasp} That's a lot of books to cover!!" I thought the same thing. So, I decided to only cover the books sporting offensive colors, like red, yellow and orange. Anything rocking blue, cream, white, or black got to stay au natural.

I picked up a roll of easel craft paper (75 feet for about $5) at my local Michael's and got to work.

Covering books is extremely easy, so here's a quick tutorial for those of you who don't recall the process from your grade school days.

  • Step 1: Measure. Lay your book, opened, on your craft paper. Leave about 3-4 inches of excess paper all the way around your book. 

  • Step 2: Fold. Fold the top and bottom edges so that the paper is near the exact height of your book.

  • Step 3: Fold Again. Close your book and place it in the center of your craft paper. Fold the craft paper in half, over your book. Then fold each end of your craft paper under the front and back covers of your book. 

  • Step 4: Tuck. Tuck the front and back covers of your book inside the folds on either end of your craft paper. 

While I sat on the floor covering my books, one after another, Aybee sat atop our tufted ottoman...keeping watch over her momma. She has such a tough life. Check out her majestic snout.

Anywho....once you complete the steps above, your book is done! You probably noticed in the picture below that the cover isn't sitting completely flat on the book. I ended up addressing that issue by adding a small piece of tape across either end of the book covers.

I employed my awesome boyish penmanship (I've come to terms with the fact that my handwriting will always look awkward) and scribbled the book titles on the spine and got to work arranging my shelves. I'm so happy with how much calmer and streamlined the shelves appear.

And yep, that's some good ol' Dr. Seuss from my childhood underneath the glass sphere.

Indeed, I have a three copies of Jane Eyre, and nope, ain't parting with a single one any time soon.

I'm still chugging away at getting the rest of my books covered.....speaking of which, who's ready for a book-covering party? {wink, wink....cue mischievous laugh here} 

P.S. I'm linking up here:

  Weekend Bloggy Reading
  Making Lemonade  Home Stories A2Z

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