Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Amusing - Lady with a retriever

Lady with a retriever, originally uploaded by Antique Dog Photos.

Sometimes, I just love the internet. Party Perfect posted a dog party picture today which led to this great photostream at Flickr. I thoroughly enjoy people who collect random things, the more specifically random, the better!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dress Up - Spring Jackets at Kmart

Kmart Jackets
Kmart Jackets - by elecbunni on Polyvore.com

I needed something specific from Kmart today. While I was there, I was astonished to see they had a great selection of spring jackets. Better yet, the most expensive was STILL under $40! Stylish and a deal? Be still my heart...

Friday, March 20, 2009

How To - Everlasting Flowers

It's officially spring time, and in my little part of the world, everything is blooming! Lovely, but it makes me sad that they last only a short time. Luckily, there are numerous great tutorials for making blooms that will never wilt or die. Above is from the very fun domestifluff.

Of course Martha has her own marvelous ideas.

The lovely ladies at Vintage Glam Weddings have great instructions to make a pomander, which was from Martha, too, but has since been removed from her website.

Once Wed's always fabulous DIY section hit gold with these adorable fabric flowers. (You can see my attempt here.)

And last but not least, this cute topiary aptly named 'felt fabulousness on a stick' comes from lollychops!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Home Style - Cookbook Storage

A few of my cookbooks

Many thanks to Danielle over at apartment therapy SF for featuring my wire basket of cookbooks today!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recipe - Steph's Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

Many lazy Sunday afternoons find a chicken in my oven for dinner with friends and family. Roast chicken is one of those foods that nearly everyone loves. Whole chickens are cheap, adapt to lots of different flavors, and look mighty impressive when brought to the table, all golden brown and delicious. Luckily, a roast chicken is one of the easiest things for anyone with an oven to master.

My method is more about technique than recipe in the case of roast chicken. Adapt at will. No wine? Substitute beer or chicken broth instead. Don't like lemon? (And if this is the case, what is WRONG with you?) Try orange, or more garlic, or some onion and carrot. Use whatever herbs are handy. Throw some potatoes, parsnip or onion in the pan under the chicken. It is very very hard to screw up a roast chicken.

Flipping the bird multiple times does border on tediousness. Technically, you CAN cheat and flip once halfway through cooking. However, if you choose this path, only one side of the chicken will have glorious crispy skin. The side cooked down for the second half will be permeated with chicken juice, still tasty, but kinda slimy.

Roast Chicken

I never measure the ingredients when I roast a chicken. However, I measured last night to give some frame of reference. :)

1 whole chicken, any size
1/2 lemon, squeezed of juice and fruit reserved
1/2 cup white wine
4 garlic cloves, smashed, skins removed
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 375, move rack to middle of oven.

Combine white wine and lemon juice in a small bowl. Combine salt, pepper, and herbs in another small bowl.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. There may or may not be giblets in the cavity, check and remove if any are present. (If you have a dog or cat you are fond of, boil these and mix with their food. They will love you even more.) Place the chicken in a roasting pan, preferably on a rack.

Place the reserved lemon half and garlic in the cavity of the chicken. The chicken can be trussed now, but I never bother with that. Brush the chicken with the wine and lemon juice mixture on all sides, then sprinkle evenly with salt/herb mixture.

Place chicken in hot oven. Roast 20 minutes per pound, flipping every 20 minutes.

Roast Chicken

If there are any leftovers (which hardly happens in my house) they make the best chicken salad mixed with a little lemon juice and mayonnaise. Or, just eat them cold with some spinach like I did!

Day 67

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How To - Shamrock Garland

How to: Shamrock Garland

I created these to decorate the house for our St. Patty's party this coming weekend. I am ashamed to admit that I also shelled out money for some truly tacky decorations, so I needed something handmade to protect my reputation. The garlands are quite adorable, but I unfortunately can't hang them until the evening of the party. Apparently, my wild beast of a dog has a thing for eating paper shamrocks.

How to: Shamrock Garland

Start by cutting out many many shamrocks, about 2 1/2 inches long. I cut them out freehand, but a small stencil would work, too.

How to: Shamrock Garland

Using a sewing machine join the shamrocks by sewing down the middle of each shamrock, feeding the next shamrock though at the end of the previous. Keep joining them in this manner until you reach the desired length. Mine range from 5 to 8 feet long.

How to: Shamrock Garland

Admire the cuteness. I briefly considered making these into shamrock leis as well, but then thought paper cuts on the neck doesn't exactly encourage a fun party atmosphere. However, felt would be very cute. And I actually think I have a few yards of green felt hidden away somewhere. Excuse my while I rummage through some closets...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Home Style - Silhouetted Wood Coasters

If I could marry these, I think I would...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Holiday Freebie - St. Patty's stickers

St. Patty's stickers, originally uploaded by s_ripperton.

I have been a bad bad blogger. But this week produced both snow and a large pool of poo in my front yard, so it's been busy.

I made these stickers in honor of St. Patty's day. You can print a set yourself at home by going here to download the original size. We're having a party this year and I am planning on sticking them on all my guests who come within arm's length of me. If you're attending, consider yourself warned...

Also, look for another post soon for how to make a very adorable shamrock garland. That is, assuming the pool of poo situation reaches resolution soon.