Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Random Ramblings + This Week's Meal Plan

I've been feeling super antsy the last couple weeks.  Like, I need some sort of project.  It just doesn't feel right unless I have something torn up or some sort of something that has the house a complete disaster.  I asked The Dad yesterday if he wanted to start ripping up the floor in the kitchen.  He just rolled his eyes.  Instead, I sat on the floor in the living room with my folder of kitchen inspiration photos.  Drooling.  And dreaming.  And demoing in my head.  Someday.

I suppose I could finish painting the board and batten in our master bedroom.  


Or do something with the computer cubby that I'm hating more and more every day.  

Source: bhg.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Source: bhg.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Or paint the dining room.  
I love all the greige colors that are so popular right now.

Source: google.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Or, I'd really like a new light for in there.  
 I'm kinda diggin' these drum shades at the moment.

Or take a sledgehammer to the wall that divides the dining room from the kitchen.  

Source: bhg.com via Mindy on Pinterest

Source: designocd.com via Mindy on Pinterest


Then move the fridge to the other wall and make it look built in.

Or paint the bare wood on the front screen door that The Dad fixed months ago.  

Or refinish the dresser I bought for $10 at the neighbor's garage sale, that's now crammed into the garage. 

Or clean the garage.  

Or, or, or.

Instead, I will finish the 40 loads of laundry, clean the disgusting master bathroom that I never even use, commit to something for dinner in case I have anything to prep, and probably head out for a walk when Baby wakes up.  The projects will have to wait.

Here's the latest menu at our house:

  • 5 Ingredient Coconut Curry
  • Burgers with Horseradish sauce, Oven Fries and Baked Beans
  • Herb and Garlic Grilled Trout with Red Potatoes and Grilled Tomatoes
  • Garlic Baked Chicken, Risotto and Chard
  • Barley & Kale Soup and Bread (had this last night and it was yummy)
  • Chicken Tagine Stew
  • Mexican Black Bean & Rice Bowls (had this already - one of my favorite meals)
  • Grilled Eggplant, Tomato & Feta Naan Pizzas and Salad

There's a couple new breakfast and dessert recipes thrown in as well.  I'll post any worth sharin'.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Raspberry Bars

Prepare to be amazed.  Well, you have to actually MAKE them first.  You are making every single recipe I post, right?  Okay, well, if you aren't, you should start now.  'Cause these are delicious. 

Remember how I said we picked fresh raspberries at my aunt's house last weekend?  These bars were the fruits of my labor.  Or the kids' labor.  They picked more than I did.  They also ate more than I did, which is why I ate more of the bars.  Fair trade, right?

If you don't have access to fresh berries, or it's the middle of winter and you still must have these, just use frozen.

Here's the recipe with my notes:

Raspberry Bars

3 1/2 C raspberries
1 1/2 C sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 C oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Crumb Layers

2 C oatmeal
1 C brown sugar
1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda

To make filling, combine ingredients in saucepan.

 Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and let cool until only slightly warm.

 I literally could have sat down with that pot and a spoon, and finished off at least half of it.

For crumb layers, combine ingredients and mix until crumbly.
Hands work good.

 Press 2/3 of the mixture into bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan or baking dish.

 When filling is cool, spread over bottom layer in the pan.

 Top with remaining crumb mixture.

 Bake at 350 until topping is golden and the filling is bubbly in the center, about 40 minutes.

 Try to stop yourself from eating the entire pan.
I did myself a favor and sent some home with my sister and shared some with a neighbor.

Here's a piece on my plate:

 Now go make yourself some!

P.S.  Thank you, Russ, for sharing your secret recipe.  My tastebuds are eternally grateful.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Saturday In The Hood

Hood River, that is.

We went to my aunt's house in Hood River last Saturday for my cousin's birthday.  The kids pretty much thought they had died and gone to heaven.  First of all, the piece of property that her house sits on may as well be an entire continent, as far as they're concerned.  Especially considering the city lot we inhabit.  Second of all, my other cousin's 15-year-old daughter was there.  They LOVE spending time with her and were pretty much attached to her hips the entire time.  Poor girl.

The weather was perfect, so everyone was able to be outside.  A pig was roasted and a full-table spread was there for the eatin'.  I took Mango-Avocado Salsa.  Have you made it yet?  Deeelicous.  We also got to pick raspberries off of her bushes.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Here's our day in photos:

Goofy face Baby.
She and I watched hummingbirds for a solid 15 minutes.  
They'd zoom right by our heads.
I wish I was better at photographing them.

Here's the pig.
Well, what's left of him anyway.

 Here are some shots of her flower garden.
Ain't it purdy?

Berry pickin'.

 I came home with enough to make Raspberry Bars on Sunday.
Yes, I'll be sharing the recipe.
They're so good it'll make ya cry.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but my aunt's house is a stone's throw away from the house on the blog,  A Country Farmhouse.
When we were leaving Saturday evening, The Dad asked if I wanted to get out of the car and get pictures of it for my blog.
Then we continued on with the story and it was suggested that I get out and creep through the trees to get some really good ones.
After laughing at ourselves and our elaborate fantasy escapade, we decided people in that neck of the woods most likely own shotguns.
So no photos this time of me sitting on the porch with a glass of ice tea and a bouquet of just-picked hydrangeas in a wicker basket, ready for a vase.
I told you it got elaborate.
Maybe next time.
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