Monday, September 27, 2010

Top Ten!

Can you believe it?!

I entered my Fall Wreath at Fireflies & Jellybean's Iron Crafter and I'm in the Top 10! 


So.... If you have a minute today to hop on over and vote for me your favorite finalist, that would be great! Thanks!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

AKA: Coffee Table

Our coffee table isn't. It's not a table and it's not for coffee. It's not even the right height to put your feet up! I love it though.

My husband bought this trunk at an auction. I love that it's scratched and worn. Perfect for this:

And this:

I also use it as a desk as you saw in this post.

You want to know what's in it? Magazines! I'm afraid to put pillows or blankets in it, cuz it smells like moth balls inside, but I don't mind if old issues of Real Simple or Better Homes & Gardens smell a little funny.

We have two proper coffee tables in storage. And by "storage" I mean, taking up random space in the basement. One is currently used near the scary laundry corner to put clean clothes on. The other is at the foot of the bed in the guest almost finished room and it holds towels and/or suitcases. But this trunk works for now! 

What do you use as a coffee table? Something pretty to display more pretties on? Something comfy to rest your feet on? Something repurposed or unique?

My new friend Emily is having a coffee table link party. Stop by!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Homemade Marinara

Every time I go out to the garden I come back with about 10 tomatoes. I'm not complaining! We love tomatoes around here!

We canned some of our tomatoes.

I thought I would try making marinara sauce using some of the fresh tomatoes. It's so delicious and so easy! It does take a little time, but once you get started you can easily work on other things in between stirring the simmering sauce so it won't burn.

Start with just a few ingredients:

Chop the tomatoes (12-15) into chunks.

Brown 10-12 cloves of garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil.

Add tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup olive oil to the pot. (The recipe I used called for 2 tablespoons of sugar. I tried it that way and thought it was too sweet. I tried it again with no sugar and actually like it much better that way.) Then let everything simmer.

And simmer! I've found that the right consistency comes after about 3 hours of simmering. I stirred the sauce about every 10-20 minutes, depending on what else I was doing.

Just before you serve the sauce, add a handful of chopped fresh basil.

I also have chopped basil from the garden frozen in chunks using an ice cube tray. This is great when it's raining or I'm too busy to go to the garden to get the fresh stuff. I'm planning to make more sauce during the winter, so these basil cubes will come in handy!

Thinking like an Italian (did you know I spent a school year in Italy?), it's best to mix your cooked pasta directly with the sauce so it will get coated and really come together.

I served this last night when we had friends over. That's a huge bowl, by the way! I used a whole box of penne pasta and the entire batch of marinara for 7 adults and 2 kids. Everybody really liked it.

I hope you do too!

A Little Knick Knack

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall Wreath

I'm participating!

Inspired by all the pretty wreaths in blogland, I tried my hand at making my own. 

It started with this:

I traced a circle with two different sizes of mixing bowls.

I got this:

Then I cut it out and taped the seams.

I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped twine in messy layers.

It took all of nap time and another hour or so in the evening!

See those pretty round papers by the wreath? They're coffee filters that I had my boys paint the other day while my husband and I were canning.

I had J spray the filters with water and then use acrylic. When I was a Kindergarten teacher I used watered-down tempura paints. That worked much better!

I let J2 use those crayola baby markers on dry filters, then misted it with water. 

Here's how they turned out:

I folded three filters and tucked them under some of the twine.

Now it hangs on the basement door that is across from our entry door!

I love it! Do you?


Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

A Little Knick Knack


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