Dining Room Chair Inspirations

Hmm... after watching HGTV as much as I do, I just have to post some dining room chair inspirations. Really, I do.

Because I can't decide if we should eventually buy fabric or wood or what. If you have upholstered dining room chairs, how often do people spill on them? How hard are they to clean?

I have to be practical. But not too practical, you know...

I love upholstered dining room chairs, but I'd hate to clean them if there was a spill (especially a red wine spill!).

None of my inspirations exactly match. But we don't have a house - so I don't expect them to until we have an actual space to decorate! HA!
Super cute Pottery Barn Tolix Cafe Chair $225 (Ack! I don't want to spend that much on a chair!)
And of course I can't forget anything from Anthropologie. The Bachelard Chair $298

GAH! Wonder how much money I'll have to save up for a dining room table!


Goodness Gracious My Mother Cooks

Which is why I haven't posted in about a week!

Never fear though... Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are my days to cook.

So, any good suggestions? It's hot here... around 90 degrees.

So really, any salads or quick pasta or summer veggie recipes will be greatly appreciated! Send me your cooking blogs/regular blogs so I can get some ideas!


Last Day In Our House!!

See ya in Minnesota!!!

We'll be there Thursday so more posts then.



When I Get Bored...

I crochet!
Well, kind of. I mean, I'm in the middle of making a blanket that I accidentally made way too big (so it'll take me awhile) and I need a break from that. Generally if I want a new hat, mittens, socks or a scarf I just make them myself. Trying to be more sustainable and keep my creativity.
We're moving and I need to clean. I only have microfiber cloths and I need something that could really scrub my pots and pans. I had some cotton leftover (though it's kind of bright) and so I made my own scrubby.

It'll only took an hour, mostly double crochets, then I made a border of single crochets to make it stronger.

No, I will not post my crochet items all the time. I think that would get boring.

Does anyone have any hidden talents that I don't know about? Like crocheting? Or knitting? Do you make anything fun that you could share with me?

(Did you know that I crochet?)

How to: Clean a Nasty Microwave

No close ups will be taken of my nasty microwave. I know it doesn't look too bad, but that's thanks to bokeh and photoshop.

Step 1: Combine several cups of water with the juice of 2 - 3 lemons.

Step 2: Microwave on high for 5 - 7 minutes.

Step 3: Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.

Step 4: Wipe down with damp sponge, rinsing often.

Et voila! Clean microwave!

I just used a regular sponge, I didn't need to use the scrubby side.

Seriously, in 20 minutes, this is the best way to clean a nasty, gross fraternity used microwave. Blech.

Ok, have fun cleaning if you dare!


An Old Favorite Revisited

A long, long time ago I blogged about Ina Garten's Parmesan Chicken.

And this time I didn't have parmesan but I did have mozzarella.

Bimmer Man's first taste of parmesan chicken was actually mozzarella chicken.

And so, I think I'll probably make this again with a variety of cheeses.

Unfortunately I'll probably be on a bit of hiatus the next week or so (or maybe I'll post about the adventures of moving across the country with a dog, an extra car and who-knows-what-will-happen).

Alas, make parmesan chicken. And try it with mozzarella. You may be pleasantly surprised!


Today's Cleaning Jobs

The fridge. Yuck. But it's mostly done.

Getting the cobwebs off the porch. Gross.

Cleaning the microwave and pantry. Yuck. But I've started. (Oh, I'll post my secret to cleaning the gross frat microwave later!)

Organizing dog stuff. And washing the dog bed. Yuck (so slobbery!!!).

Already completed today:

Purchasing short term health insurance
Donating dog food to the humane society
Washing towels
Organizing all the piles of paper. And there were lots. Boo.


Doggie bathtime!


T-7 Days Until The Movers Arrive

And here's my cleaning list for today:
  1. Wash all the breakable dishes so they don't get packed with dust.
  2. Clean the island thoroughly.
  3. Wash the appliances
  4. Make more cleaning supplies
  5. Drop off excess pet food at the Humane Society
  6. Clean out pantry and make meal plan for rest of week
  7. Pick up new bag of dog food for THE MONSTER.
Does that sound like it can be accomplished in one day? Eek, I hope so because tomorrow I'm deep cleaning the bathroom!

Salmon with Mushrooms

I love fish. If I lived near the ocean or near a freshwater lake, I think I'd be catching my own dinner several times per week.

I know that several people are afraid of cooking fish, but don't be. It's so easy and simple once you recognize when your fish is done cooking (when it flakes easily with a fork).
Simple seasoning - salt, pepper, olive oil and just a smidge of paprika.
Same for the sauteed mushrooms (salt, pepper, olive oil). But, add the salt in to the mushrooms after the mushrooms have browned a bit. You don't want to drain the mushrooms of their moisture.
Then saute or pan fry the fish or whatever on the stovetop. The pan should be at medium-high, then when flipped, drop it down to medium. In the picture above, the fish only needs about 1 more minute - just enough to be cooked through and still nice and flakey.

Start cooking skin side first, you want that side the crispiest (It's not that you eat the skin, it's just that you need the skin to hold the fish together so it doesn't fall apart when you take it out of the pan and put it on your plate).
Yum. You could even top with dill. That's a fabulous compliment to salmon.
Oh, fish... I love fish. I could be a pescatarian too.

Just try it. It's good, I promise, you'll love salmon!


Blogger Secret Ingredient: Bell Peppers

Food blogging events. How fun are they? Fun if you have the time to actually blog after you've made the dish!

I decided to join in when I saw the Blogger Secret Ingredient post on Bread + Butter (please add to your google reader if you haven't already!!!).

The secret ingredient: Bell Peppers.

So what did I make?

Gnocchi (duh) with red peppers, zucchini and summer squash.
Yum. So easy.
Top with either feta or goat cheese and you have the perfect summer vegetarian meal!

2 small zucchini
2 summer squash
2 red red peppers (I roasted them first because I didn't want the skins on in this recipe)
1 small onion
1 can of tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Oregano and basil to taste (I used about 1 tsp of each)
Salt and pepper to taste
Feta or goat cheese for topping (Bimmer Man used parmesan though)

Boil water for gnocchi.

Saute the onion in olive oil until half clear in a large pan, then add in the squash, zucchini, red peppers and garlic. Saute until there's some color on the veggies.

Add the gnocchi to the boiling water.

Add in the can of tomato sauce, oregano and basil to the veggies along with salt & pepper.

When the gnocchi is done, combine both in a large bowl. Top with feta or goat cheese.

See, easy? Right?

This is totally filling and you really don't miss the meat.



Summer Beer

So I'm a beer girl myself. I do enjoy mixed drinks and wine, but when I have a choice I go for beer. (I really like Michelob GOLDEN Light, which is only sold in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. I heard a rumor somewhere that it's Mich's rival to Bud Light. If anyone knows why it's only sold in the Upper Midwest, please tell me because other light beer drinkers need another choice besides Bud Light & Miller Light. Ok, small vent over).

I want to find the perfect summer beer. It could be an Ale, I don't really care. But I'm on a quest.
Goose Island is one of my favorite brewing companies. Their Summertime is nice and light, sweet and crisp. If the right temp, it's absolutely awesome. It's not really comparable to Blue Moon or Leinie's Honeyweiss, though similar at the same time. It still has a hint of fruitiness but not so overwhelming. Definitely great on a hot day! I'd put it in a frosty mug.
This Wacko by Magic Hat (Vermont) is way too sweet for me. I think actually that the fruit flies in the kitchen liked it more than I did. That's how sweet it is! It is also pink, so definitely pour this into a glass to get the full effect (it looks more like a cider gone wrong in a glass). Honestly, if I wouldn't have had the Goose Island first, I think I would've liked it more. This would be good to try if you're doing a sampler sort of party, but don't get a full 12 pack! That's a little too much sweetness that my teeth can't handle!

So, what's your favorite beer?!?!??? I want to try it!


This Is What I Make When Bimmer Man Is Gone

Absolute crap.

And oh, boy is it good! BWAHAHAHA!!!

(I also make other food, but I just can't help it. He's kind of a picky eater. But that's ok, I love him anyway!)


Cous Cous With Veggies & Black Beans

Seriously so easy.

1 box of cous cous (I used garlic & olive oil seasoned)
1 can of black beans
1/2 package Italian Style Frozen veggies

Defrost the veggies most of the way, then start making the cous cous. When you put the cous cous into the pot, dump in the veggies and black beans.

After the cous cous has cooked all the way, season with salt & pepper.

I'm going for simple here, it's summer! We need to spend way more time outside! Plus since this is all veggies, it can be served hot or cold. The perfect salad to go with on any picnic!

Best of Craigs List

If you get bored today, here's a fun link:

Best of Craigs List

Coming later this week:

Salmon & mushrooms
Gnocchi with roasted red peppers, summer squash & zucchini

And possibly a dessert. We'll just have to see what's on the menu!