The NeverEnding List 2017

What to work on, what to work on??  Our 2016 list is looking good and I only have 2 items that are moving over  to 2017 and 1 (!) of them is already past the halfway point. (Hint: it’s the Basement Bathroom)

  1.  Basement Bathroom
  2.  Guest Bathroom
  3.  Stair Treads
  4.  Back Patio

Basement Bathroom

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So close, I can almost taste it.  Ceiling, shelves next to sink to balance out the retro (!) mirror and a small door to the sump pump.

Guest Bathroom

Hague Blue

All the things.

Stair treads

the happy crazy house entry stairs

A nice sand and poly is due for these babies.

Back Patio

the happy crazy house back patio garden raised garden

And here is a pic before the fence was put up in front of the Playhouse

the happy crazy house back patio

We would like to have a built in BBQ and kitchen in this corner….we’ll see what we can come up with.

Looking forward to getting on with these projects and crossing them off my list.  my favorite activity

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Garden Tomato puree base for future meals

My garden is exploding in tomatoes…which I love…..I am just adjusting my plans with the tomatoes that are ripening as I go.  I have only had a handful ripe at one time, so I have been able to easily make meals and/or snacks with them.  This past week, I have had too many to work into our meals and not enough friends who like tomatoes (hello!).  Hopefully, towards the end of summer – my mom and I will be canning together….but now I am making a frozen tomato puree to use in future meals.

Like my hard water??

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  • 20 roma tomatoes
  • 6 heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon basil, oregano, thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 chopped extra large onion or 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • salt/pepper

I used my blender to puree all the tomatoes with a cup of water and added that to a large pot…..um..that pic doesn’t have all of them.

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At this time, I started sauteing the onion with a dash of salt and pepper.  Just towards the end, I added in the garlic….being careful not to burn it.

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Then it all goes into the pot with the tomatoes.  Then add the rest of the spices and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

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I taste tested mine as I went to ensure that it was not overpowering on the spices and still maintained a strong tomato taste.  I want to use this as a base in future meals and since I have different options as to what those meals will be….I want to keep it loose.

After the mixture cooled, I poured it into some freezer bags and placed them in the freezer.

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All in all – I am happy with the result and will let you know what meals I end up using this for.

Right off the bat, I am thinking – spaghetti, barley soup, chili and chicken makhani.

Cherry Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta and Fried Green Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes with Angel Hair pasta and fried green tomatoes…….cause I can.  In case you haven’t guessed yet….I love tomatoes.  So that means that summer is my food heaven.

Cherry Tomatoes with Angel Hair pasta

  • Angel Hair pasta – made according to the package instructions and drained
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

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Melt the butter in your skillet, add in your minced garlic – being careful not to burn it.

 

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Add in your tomatoes and the lemon juice.

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Then your pasta!

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I plated with basil and mozzarella.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

  • green tomato
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

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Cut your tomato into roughly 1/4 inch slices.  3 bowls – 1 with the flour and paprika, 1 with the egg and milk, 1 with the breadcrumbs.  Put your slices in the flour bowl, then the egg bowl and finish in the bread crumb bowl.  In a small skillet with some canola oil – fry on each side till nice and brown.

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Oh My Goodness- fab.  Fab and Fast!  I did all this in less than a Drunk History episode on Hulu…..Specifically the Nashville one from Season 1.

 

Ginger Shrimp with 3 Fried Grit patties and Asian slaw

This is the most delicious dinner….but my recipe on this was all about throwing something together so I could get fed.

  • shrimp
  • canola oil
  • lemon juice
  • soy sauce
  • ginger
  • minced garlic
  • grits (spread into a sheet less than 1 inch thick and refrigerate)
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • bread crumbs
  • honey
  • rice vinegar
  • cabbage – shredded

IMG_2446Peel and de vein the shrimp – place in a bowl to marinate with a glug of canola oil, minced ginger, a teaspoon of garlic, teaspoon of lemon juice and teaspoon of soy sauce…..marinate as long as you can.

IMG_2447To make the sauce for the shredded cabbage – add together additional minced ginger, rice vinegar, garlic, dash lemon juice, canola oil and soy sauce…..all of the liquid was added in equal parts and the garlic and ginger was roughly 1 teaspoon.

IMG_2450I pulled the sheet of grits from the fridge and cut 3 round pieces out with a cookie cutter an inch and a half in diameter.  I ran each one through an egg wash and then bread crumbs.  Place in pan with heated canola oil until each side in nicely browned.

IMG_2451I then placed the marinated shrimp into a hot pan and cooked for a few minutes on each side…..till they were a pretty pink color.

IMG_2453For plating – I place the shredded cabbage on the side with the sauce over.  I added some tomatoes…..cause I love them.  The three grit circles go down and then I place the shrimp on top of those……added some more of the sauce from the cabbage and ATE IT!!!

 

 

DIY -Installation of the Front Door

It’s in.  It’s done!   I love it so.  Oh….wait a minute…let me back up and give you some back ground.

Many moons ago, in a land called Montana….there was this girl who bought a front door and wanted it installed.  The front door that was on the house was a good front door….just not the right one.  So after many internet searches, the perfect one was found and purchased……in March.

Old Door:

IMG_0045The new front door has been impatiently waiting to be placed in its rightful place…(ok – the impatiently waiting part was all me)

Dave was super awesome about the whole thing.  He had to do all of the work to get the hinges cut in and the holes cut for the deadbolt and door handle.

IMG_2344There was only one mis-step…..the door was up -but we needed to take it down and shave off a little bit from the side to ensure a good fit.

IMG_2345Isn’t it wonderful??  The slammer screen door kind of takes away from the overall affect.  But that slammer door is staying, at least for the summer.

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Transform: Indoor table to Outdoor table

When Dave and I moved into this house, I purchased a pub table for the downstairs…..sadly it got little to no use.  Recently, I decided to try and re-purpose it as an outdoor table.  I did quite a bit of research to find the right way to do the transformation.  The pub table is all fake pressed wood and totally meant for indoor use.  There are so many tutorials out there and each one is a little different in what they think is imperative.  I have the Valspar paint left over from painting (still not put up) but I needed some supplies from our local Lowe’s…..mainly the primer…..and while I was there, I found the Rust-oleum NeverWet…….Can’t wait to see if it works out.

IMG_2342I started with a quick sand to rough up the surface of the fake wood that is the pub table and then put a layer of the Zinsser primer on.

IMG_2319 I put 3 coats of the Valspar exterior paint over the primer (and I actually followed the directions on timing).  The Rust-oleum is a 2-parter, base coat and top coat.  It is a little rough as a top coat, but if it helps repel water, I am all for it.

IMG_2339Yup – can’t wait to have a get together and use this baby.

IMG_2340PARTY AT MY HOUSE.

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

My cousin made this for me years ago, and I begged her to find the recipe so I could make it for Dave and the girls.  She pulled through for me and searched through her plethora of recipes and found it!!  Click here for an electronic expanded (original) version. (jamieoliver.com)

I adjusted the electronic version for ease and for my family’s taste.

1 lb. chicken breast sliced into strips – or shredded chicken thighs

1 onion – sliced

1 serrano chile – seeded and chopped finely

fresh ginger (I used a piece 1 inch long and 1 inch thick) – peeled and thinly sliced

oil and butter

14 oz’s diced tomatos

14 oz’s coconut milk

1 jar (12 oz) tikka masala sauce – I used Seeds of Change (this is a time saver)

4 oz’s of sliced fresh mushrooms

handful of bean sprouts – use based on how much your family likes them

rice and/or Naan (I purchased pre-made in the interest of time as well)

lemon – if you like it

rice vinegar to taste

IMG_0064I placed a pat of butter and a glug of vegetable oil into a pot and started sauteing the sliced onions, serrano chile and sliced ginger.  Man does this part smell amazing.

IMG_0063Not kidding….this part smells so good.

Once the onions are translucent – add in your sliced or shredded chicken and the tikka masala sauce.  Toss that around for awhile, then add in the diced tomatos and coconut milk.  I simmer this for roughly 20 minutes – ensuring that it never gets dry (you can add water if needed).IMG_0065This is when I taste test……I tend to do it often….just to make sure the sauce is yummy.  Here is where I season to satisfy the family.   I added some salt, pepper AND rice vinegar……that is a specific taste and my kids love it…so in it went.  While this is simmering and between tastings – I made some rice and I pulled my small cast iron skillet out to saute the mushrooms and bean sprouts.

annnnnnnddddddddd.  Done.

IMG_0070I layered rice first, then the chicken tikka masala, and then the sprouts/mushrooms.  Naan to the side and a slice of lemon to squeeze if I so desired….and I so desired.