Monday, June 28, 2010

Yummy Recipes - Salad Dressing

I've been cooking up a storm this past week. Making up for lost time I guess. My sweet mom brought Kent and I many dinners during our mini-remodel so that we didn't have to take time out to cook and could just continue working. But after not cooking for so long, I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do. Last week I made: salsa, jalapeno bread, cinnamon rolls, banana pancakes, veggie quiche, oatmeal-peanut butter cookies and salad dressing, in addition to regular dinners. I've been really into making my own salad dressings lately. You just need to have a few staple ingredients on hand, and you can make a wide variety of dressings. Plus it's a great way to avoid preservatives and save money. Here are some of my favs:

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3-5 gloves garlic
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Whisk together vinegar, garlic and grated cheese. Gradually add the olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Lemon Garlic
from For the Love of Cooking

6 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp dried oregano

Whisk all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Taste and re-season if needed. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve. Enjoy.

Fran's Simple Vinaigrette
from For the Love of Cooking

1/2 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste (lots of pepper)

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly before tossing on your favorite salad. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day of the Dads

Father's Day was so fun. I really enjoy having everyone over to our home. The first time I volunteered our place for a get-together a few years ago, I was nervous about fitting 12+ people in our less than 1500 sq. ft. house, but no one ever seems to mind. Luckily we all like each other and don't mind sitting close! And a big backyard helps, too. We grilled brats and had lots of other yummy food and played ladderball, even though it was scorching out. What a great day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Down to the Wire

Whew! We completed our flooring redo with just minutes to spare. Did I mention that we had a deadline of a week and a half, because we were having 13 family members over on Father's Day? Oh yeah, minor detail.

Kent was still grouting the last room less than 24 hours before our get-together, and I was still hauling leftover tile, tools and junk out of the house, oh about two hours before our company was due to arrive. Yikes! But we did it, and we're thrilled with the results. I feel so much more productive in our "new" office, our master closet seems bigger and the new tile in the bathrooms give the rooms a richer look. There's still some minor finishing work to do, like the baseshoe, but the hard part is done. Check it out:

How about those new toilets, huh? They're flush-riffic! (Yes, we realize that we are a little too excited about our new high-efficiency porcelain thrones. It's not normal, but we're OK with that.)

Huge props to my hubby! I'm so lucky to have such a handy guy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

If you give a mouse a cookie ...

We're in the middle of our mini-remodel, I can't help but think of the children's book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as we go along. If you haven't heard of it, it goes something like this:

"If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw ..." and the requests go on and on.

We started out just wanting to replace our damaged floors. But the tile we picked clashed with the existing paint color in the study and hall bathroom. So I repainted both rooms to match. Now a dresser in the study doesn't go with the newly painted walls as well. So I painted it black. Since we're tiling both bathrooms, the toilets had to be disconnected and removed. Might as well just get new toilets then, right? Now we want new bathroom countertops to go with our new floors and toilets. But our bank account needs a break!

So just remember ... if you give a girl new tile, she's going to want to remodel the whole house.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Help! I'm a hoarder ...

... not really. Completely the opposite actually. But at the moment our house is probably the closest it will ever be to looking like a hoarder's house (Do you ever watch those shows on A&E and TLC? Disturbing ...).

We got some water in part of our house during last week's storm/flood. The study, hall bath, master closet and master bath were all saturated with water.

So we pulled up and trashed the affected carpets/vinyl tiles and have decided to replace it all with ceramic/porcelain tiles. Thankfully no damage was done to our hardwoods!

This meant that EVERYTHING that was touching the floor in these rooms had to come out and find a temporary home. Our guest bedroom and master bedroom received the brunt of the stuff.

So, our master bedroom which normally looks like this ...

... now looks like this!
Thank goodness that my eyes are closed for the majority of the time that I have to be in this room!

Aren't you just dying to come stay in our spacious guest bedroom?

I know it will all be beautiful and even better than before once it's complete, but for now, this organized person is going slightly insane. And to think that some people live like this (and much worse) ALL THE TIME!