Thursday, June 6, 2013

Double Post!

Yikes! I haven't posted since November?! Holy cow. Well, it has been a big year: getting a new job as a first year teacher, planning a wedding, getting married, buying a new name a few.  But I am ready to commit to my blog!  Hurrah!

As I mentioned, I am a new wife and homeowner.  This means that I am constantly making meals and projects for the house! We moved into a cute 3 bedroom ranch with a full, unfinished basement. We have been here a month and a half and it has been transformed!  Before I move onto home projects...let me share with you what was for dinner:

iPhone picture....blurry. Bleh.  Anywho...
I made a copy cat version of Panera's Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado, right along with P's herbed vinaigrette.  Here the ingredients for the salad:

1 bag lettuce (choose what you like! I kept it simple with Romaine)
2 tomatoes off the vine
3 hard boiled eggs
5 grilled chicken tenders (salt and peppered before hittin' the grill)
2 strips of turkey bacon *
1/2 avocado
a generous heap of Gogonzola

All of this gets mixed and happily tossed in a bowl.
About the asterisk... I use turkey bacon because I don't eat "real" bacon. Feel free to sub!

Now for the vinaigrette.
Seriously, I have made this salad a dozen times.  I've used poppyseed dressing, creamy asiago ceasar, Italian.... NOTHING compares to the amazingness that is this vinaigrette.  AND this was my first ever vinaigrette AAAAND it was super easy! Here we go:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 small glove of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons of tarragon
1 1/2 teaspoons of oregano
1 teaspoon of dried basil (or 1 1/2 of fresh)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
3/4-1 cup extra virgin olive oil.

The herbs need to be chopped real fine, as they will be eaten raw in the salad.  Big chunks of herbs will be a bit too shocking for your eaters! Then as you whisk (time to multitask!) slowly pour in your olive oil.  Keep up a rapid whisk to get things blended.

I made the dressing in advance and kept in the fridge for a few hours. The dressing should keep for a week.  And don't limit it to your salads!  I can't wait to pour some of it on a Panini this week!

I don't expect my posts to always get this lengthy...but I guess since this is a double post it gets a free pass...

I've been working on our master bathroom (yes, "master"'s a tiny bath but it is connected to our bedroom and therefore dubbed "master bathroom"). I should have taken before pictures.  Someday, I will learn.  But it was this hideous light purple-almost-gray color with light cedar-y looking trim.  It was clash-city.  I couldn't stand even being in there!  But I revamped it over the past 48 hours and here is the result:


Striping the wall really was not the hard part.  I just used my trusty measuring tape and marked off each section at 12 inches.  The wall was already gray, so I just made sure that the tape was falling into the gray section, rather than the section that was to be yellow.  Meaning, I drew my leveled line and made sure that EACH section was 12 inches.  The tape accounts for some of those inches in the gray sections.  Got it? Good!

However, if you were to ask me if I will ever stripe a wall again...I would probably say no.  It looks great, don't get me wrong...but it was a hassle.  The hassle part was all on me, too.  If there was one piece of beginner DIY advice I could give it would be this: STIR THE PAINT! Holy cow.  You can't see it here...but I neglected to stir my gallon on paint before rolling on the yellow.  I thought, "Meh, I just got this paint this afternoon.  The guy put it in that shakey's still fine!"  It was not fine. What I got was this super thick, cakey paint on the first roll.  Panicked, I gave up for the night.

The next day, I managed to sand down most of the--what I am calling--"texture."  I STIRRED THE PAINT and rolled on a second coat.  It's not perfect...but I'm learning!

So there we are!  I am about to go weed and water my new garden.  This is also a new venture for me.  Pictures to come!

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