Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - August 29

We've been busy around here, filling the (last) dumpster in front of our house.  Anyway, I have been planning and we have been eating, so here's the plan for this week:

Monday: We're going to a benefit supper

Tuesday: Saucy Meatballs, Un-fried French Fries, and Beans from the garden

Wednesday: Chef Salad

Thursday: Southwest Sandwiches and more Beans

Friday: Grilled Steak, Potatoes, and Cabbage

Saturday: Sub Sandwiches and Chips

Sunday: Breakfast - Amish Baked Oatmeal
             Dinner - Doug's parents'

Monday: Breakfast - Sticky Buns
              Dinner - Sandwiches/Leftovers
              Supper - My parents'

Have a good week!

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Territory

I'm quite comfortable with most aspects of my life.

Obviously I'm not perfect in any part of my life, but mostly content.

I'm even comfortable remodeling, from doing the work to changing a house layout to making decisions about style and color.

But now I've entered new territory.

A place I've never had to challenge myself since we never stayed in a house long enough.

DECORATING.

I've spent the past weeks devouring magazines, decorating blogs and books.  And exploring thrift and second-hand stores, since I'm not after perfect and I love vintage and re-purposed pieces.  An area I had to (willingly) give Doug veto power over any piece I re-finish.

I'll have lots of upcoming posts on this, it's just a matter of finding making the time to sit down and do it.  Because I'm going to be looking for more feedback than Doug's "It's fine" responses. :)

Stage One: Bar Seating

I got the idea for this a while ago, and started it not too long after.

It's just the "completing" that I struggle with.

The pattern is from Ana White, called Small Easy Rustic X Benches.  There are so many things from her site that I have on my to do list it's not even funny.

I ended up painting them an off-white and then "dry-brushing" a brown over top to get the rustic look.  I like the effect, and it was much easier than my first (and quickly discarded) plan of painting it brown, and then white, and then sanding to give it the distressed look.  It would have taken a coat of prime, 1-2 coats of brown, 2 coats of white, and then careful sanding.  2 coats of white was enough after the primer, and the dry-brushing went - and dried - quickly.

You can't see the brown very well in the photo, but in person they look good.  Much better than the too-clean off white I considered for about the 10 seconds I had it setting by our counter.

And it was a very cheap project.  Well, anything that doesn't involve anything other than wood, screws, and paint is going to be really cheap for me. ;)  But even full price it would probably have been under $50, and that's including paint that I can use for lots of different projects I have planned.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan and How to Use Up Cucumbers

I haven't had much of a plan for meals lately, which is kind of a good sign since we're eating lots from the garden.

We're still well-supplied with cucumbers, tomatoes are ripening about 2 at a time, and I've made and froze a few batches of pesto from my healthy basil plant.  And after being half-eaten by rabbits or birds, my green beans have apparently recovered and flourished and now we'll probably be eating beans every-other night.

This week I actually have a plan:

Monday: Burgers, Grilled Corn, and Beans

Tuesday: Baked Fish, Buttermilk Rolls, and Cucumber Pickles

Wednesday: Sandwiches/Veggies/Use up the produce/Leftovers night

Thursday: Mexican Lasagna

Friday: Tavern, Un-fried French Fries, and Beans or Cucumbers

Saturday: Pizza and Chips (Hopefully I'll get to make the tomato and pesto one I planned to make all last year, but didn't have any garden tomatoes)

Sunday: Breakfast - Sticky Buns
             Lunch - Doug's parents'

If anyone else needs ideas for using up cucumbers, here are some of my favorites:

Pickles - 3-4 cucumbers sliced thin (we like ours peeled) and sprinkled with salt, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and 1Tbsp. vinegar.  Mix and let set for a little while - or serve right away if you remembered to make them as everyone is already on their way to the table.  Keeps just fine in the fridge for quite a while (if there's enough juice).

Cucumber Sandwich - Spread a little mayo on bread (top and bottom unless you want an open sandwich.  But I like bread.), sprinkle with dried dill weed.  Top with (peeled) cucumber slices and sprinkle with salt.  Yum!

Cucumber Tomato Salad - 1 (peeled) cucumber and 1 tomato, diced large.  Sprinkle with salt and stir in 1-2 tsp. Ranch dressing.  This one doesn't keep overnight very well.

I also made Microwave Bread and Butter Pickles and Crisp Freezer Pickles.

I also made Pico de Gallo this week.  When we were in Mexico, I could have lived on this stuff.  I smothered eggs and omelets with it for breakfast, I had it with chips and guacamole for dinner, and if I was lucky they included it in the condiments tray when we were seated for supper.  I started with a small amount, and then decided to make more, but this is the recipe I sort of followed (minus the jalapeno because I'm a very mild kind of girl).

Have a great week!