September 20, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I can't express how happy I am have to have a house. Although we are only renting, I still love the fact that we have an entire house. Ryan and I have been in a number of apartments over the past several years, some nicer than others, but this house thing is amazing! Not to mention this specific house is adorable. Nearly 100 years old and still beautiful. People have taken care of this house and it shows. Some of the features would cost a small fortune to put into a modern house. And to seal the deal our landlord is such a sweet man. He came over and mowed the lawn recently because he needed something to do while he waited for the painters.
Now that fall is moving in the house is even more pleasant. There were a few days over the summer that it was too hot to move inside. The cool weather is a nice change. This morning was actually chilly inside, and I loved it!

The house continues to be a work in progress. Ryan and I started working pretty quickly after moving in so there are still boxes in the cellar that need to be unpacked and pictures to be hung, but I thought I should at least share some pictures.

Here is our mantle currently. The entire living room is painted this dark red which matches all of our Asian-inspired decor quite well. I am currently working on some new curtains. The ones hanging are too dark and heavy for the room. I picked out some light fabric to hopefully brighten up the space.

Here are a couple pictures of the dining room. Our little table looks lonely in this giant room. New dining room chairs would probably help with that. We kept the Irish pub theme from our dining room in Kansas City and the color in this room worked really well for that. Unfortunately, the artwork looks a little sparse. We had much less wall space in Kansas City than we do here. That is not a bad thing though, it just means I will have to find some more pub decor to fill in the blank spots.

The buffet in the top picture is a dresser I have had for nearly 15 years. The plan is to refinish it to match the table.

This is not a great picture, but it is difficult to take a good picture in a room that is this yellow. I do love, love, love having a pantry though! So much storage space, which is good. Between Ryan's cooking and my baking we are quickly working toward having every kitchen gadget ever made. Not to mention, more spices than some restaurants!

These are all flowers from the garden behind the house. There are some pretty ones, but I am thinking about taking them out and replacing them with a vegetable garden. I love pretty flowers, but I think I would, not only benefit more from a vegetable garden, but also enjoy working in one more. Now, I just have to run this plan by my landlord. It would still leave the flower garden in the front of the house which is currently FULL of bulbs. I am anxious to see what pops up there next spring!

September 12, 2012

More Good Eats

Image: Noble Pig

These BBQ potato wedges are a nice alternative to boring french fries. They are easy to make, baked, and wonderful paired with a nice, juicy cheeseburger! I found the recipe at Noble Pig, a wine and food site that never disappoints. She always has unique and delicious recipes from sweets and treats, to appetizers and meals.

Ryan and I once spent an entire evening just browsing through old posts finding all the recipes we wanted to try.

September 6, 2012

Coconut Curry Chicken

While looking for new recipes that I could try out, I came across one called Lime and Coconut Chicken. I like lime and coconut, and we mostly eat chicken so this sounded like a winner to me. I have made it several times now, and while it doesn't really taste like lime, it is a wonderful coconut curry with a healthy kick.

This dish has become a new favorite for the whole family. So, here is the recipe should you be interested.

Start with approximately 2 pounds of chicken. I use boneless, skinless, but any will do.

For the marinade:

Dice one chile (for me the hotter the better. I have used Serrano and Hatch, but any variety will work. Add to small bowl.

Zest one whole lime.

Add 3 tbsp oil.

2 tbsp soy sauce.

1 tsp cumin.

1 1/2 tsp corriander

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp curry powder (I use a curry blend, but Ryan is the only one with that recipe)

1/2 cup coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen. Make sure you read your labels. There are a lot of coconut milks out there that seem to have everything but coconut listed in the ingredients)

Cayenne. Remember when I said the hotter the better for chiles? That goes the same for cayenne. The recipe I found calls for a pinch of cayenne, I put in a good deal more than that.

Whisk all the ingredients together and pour over chicken. I like to marinate mine for at least a couple hours. Overnight would work as well if you don't have the opportunity to mix and make all in the same day.

I have found that baking chicken is the easiest way to get consistently juicy chicken, but you could prepare this any way you normally cook your chicken.

Reserve the marinade. When the chicken is close to finished cooking, add the marinade to a small saucepan. Heat over high until mixture boils. Keep mixture at a boil and stir frequently, at least 5 minutes or until mixture thickens to desired consistency. I like to add some extra coconut milk and chicken stock to yield a little more sauce, but I am crazy about sauces!

There are never, ever any left overs when I make this dish. Good luck and happy eating!

September 3, 2012

Finish What You Start

I tend to have a problem finishing projects. I get really excited about something and work really hard, but only in short bursts. Then I have a tendency to get bored and move onto the next exciting project, leaving a trail of unfinished ones behind me. I have always known that I do this, but it became abundantly clear when I was sorting through my fabric stash after the move. In an effort to focus my mind, and increase my finished to unfinished project ratio, I have decided to finish what I have started before I start something new. This is incredibly difficult, but I am hoping that my desire to start new endeavors will help motivate me to finish old ones.

These pencil cases are one of said unfinished projects. I love pens and I love Sweet Verbena, so I got a little over zealous and cut out the materials to make three pencil cases. As soon as I finished the first one however, the rest of the pieces went into the drawer to be forgotten for an undetermined amount of time. This green one is number two of three. I hope to sew up the last in the series this week.

As I mentioned I found this tutorial from Sweet Verbena. I am sure I have professed my love for this girl and her tutorials in the past. But just in case, I absolutely adore her. Her tutorials are fun and easy to follow with lots of pictures. Plus she is just the cutest thing!