Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's here

I can't lie.... This morning it was difficult.

My bed was saying "Bundle up and stay a while" but my head was saying "Time to wakey wakey and start your day".

There is nothing like when the air turns crisp and the first hint of fall shows it's face in the mornings. The mornings in the garden are no longer sunny and warm. They require fleece pants and slippered feet, rather than shorts and flip flops.

The wood was more weathered than usual, or so it seems. All glistening with dew from yet another midnight rain/hail storm. The garden doesn't like the hail but everyone seemed to be doing just fine despite the cold this morning. The geraniums made it through and seem to be quite happy about all this rain!
At the end of the day, the clouds form again. Soon the leaves will change, and the crispness will stay.

Then maybe, I along with my garden, can hibernate for a while. Myself in my bed and all my lovelies in theirs. Fall is here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Isn't it Thai-riffic!

O.k. that was just silly. I mean Thai-riffic. Just silly. Anyway, I just had to share this recipe with you because it is mmmm-mmm good and so easy peasy that anyone can do it.
My version of Thai-riffic (o.k. it stuck) Chicken Wraps.
I altered a version of Rachel Ray's Thai Chicken Wraps, so I guess It's part hers and part mine, either way, it's DEVINE. Now if you've never had Thai food, don't worry. This is one simple recipe that I dare you to try to mess up. Ya just can't. Plus, it's really just like a stir fry but so super yummy that you'll make it again and again and again. Well, you get the idea.
Alrighty, on to the recipe.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 c. sweet chili sauce
1/3 c. honey
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 lime
Handful of fresh Basil
Dash of red chili flakes (opt.)
1 Iceberg head of lettuce
1 c. cooked brown rice

Now you see green pepper here because when my hubs brought home the red pepper it was moldy! ewwww!
Start up your brown rice now (or really much earlier cuz this only takes about 15 minutes or so).
For this recipe I used a cup of white rice because the hubs brought home a new brand of brown rice and it takes an hour to cook. So we settled for white, I was up for quick and simple not long and nutritional. We still got the nutritional with a tinsey bit of white. Oh well.

Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. This chicken was cut into strips that were way to big. I don't know who did that but they should have known better.... now salt and pepper the chicken.

Turn on your the stove to medium/medium high and add approx. 1 tsp of Olive Oil. I don't measure but around one turn of a medium sized pan gets you about 1 tsp or so. Add chicken to pan and cook until golden brown on each side.
*Here is my quick tip regarding the chicken. When you first add the chicken to the hot pan let it sit for a few minutes. Let the first side get nice and brown and don't move it around. If you do the chicken will just tear apart and it will be unevenly cooked. I know it's hard to wait and you'll question it but really, don't move it until you see the underside gettin' all nice and toasty. Then turn and continue to turn until all sides are toasty roasty. Then add in red, uh I mean green (the green aren't nearly as good because they aren't as sweet as the red, oh well) bell peppers and cook until peppers are soft. RR says about 3 minutes.

Next, your gonna need that red pepper sauce. You can find this glorious stuff usually on the top shelf of the oriental section of your supermarket. Just look for what says sweet chili sauce and you have a winner. My hubs uses this stuff on everything now. It is tangy sweet deliciousness. Is that a word?

Add to the pan the sweet chili sauce and honey and let it start to bubble. Then turn down to Medium Low and let simmer to reduce sauce to about half. All the while stirring to coat the chicken. Add in rice and stir.

O.k here is another hint but one you might already know. When cutting the Basil, bunch it up like so, and cut it thinly. It really is the easiest way to cut Basil and it will make nice little ribbons. So pretty for garnishing!

Cut the head of lettuce in half and find the best cups.

Fill each cup with just enough chicken mixture. Don't overfill or you can't pick these puppies up with your hands. That's the only way to eat them!

Top each cup with a little Basil and a squeeze of lime juice. Don't skip the lime. It is devine! ;)

My camera died right before the final pic so this is missing the basil and the dash of chili flakes for my hubs but really, Isn't she lovely. Isn't she wonderful. Isn't she precious. Less than one minute old. O.k. pure silliness. Sorry. I'll stop.

Is your stomach grumbling yet? Mine is. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Knock? Knock?

It's DIY day over at ASPTL and thank you Kimba for making me get this simple little project done, finally. It's one of those easy ones that you think you'll do one of these days but personally I generally take on the bigger, more time consuming projects first, like new floors or the painted cabinets I'm currently working on. So, getting this done and reaping the benefits of doing something simply but beautifully just makes me giddy. I can't wait to do the next one.

If I'm still alive.

These cabinets might just kill me...No really...They might.

During the summer our front door is open 80% of the time so I stare at this ugly thing day in and day out. How have I put off this project for so long?

Do you like the big red NO SOLICITORS sign? Yep, it was there when we moved in and up until yesterday was still there! You would think that would keep the Comcast and security companies from ringing my door bell, but no. They must not be able to read simple english....
No soliciting at this zoo people!

I got out the tools and pried off that ugly red sign and boy, it wasn't easy but GONE!

Thank was about time.

And what do you think of the lovely plaque that is glued, and I mean SUPER DUPER glued, in the center of our front door. I have tried to pry this puppy off but I was always afraid of breaking it and having a big chunk of ceramic just hanging on my door. At least I could cover this up with various Happy Fall or Happy Winter signs since it doesn't always feel like a zoo around here. Not always.

So out came the paint that was leftover from my sisters bathroom DIY project. I can't tell you what color it is because I didn't buy it but it's a nice warm tanish earthy color. I covered the blue up really well and even though I could have gotten away with one coat, why when this project is so simple and fast? 2 coats did it and even covered up the inviting entrance to the zoo!

I painted the trim black and distressed it a bit. I may have distressed it a little too much for my liking but that's an easy fix. I'm going to live with it for a day or two then we'll see. I cut a piece of scrapbooking paper and fit it to the zoo sign. Ahh it already feels so much better!

Luckly, I have this handy dandy little machine

I cut out the all the necessary letters to finish this little project

Nope, you're right... I didn't iron that runner before putting it on my table.

I used transfer tape to lay out the letters and ensure that they are all straight and spaced correctly. Then transfer the letters onto the door. I suggest always using transfer tape. I like things to be straight and this allows you to see your project before that, you can't turn back, stage.

My transfer tape was too short for the whole word so I applied the other letters first then added the E. Again, transfer tape allowed me to make some adjustment to make sure my E wasn't askew. I burnished the letters to the door a little to ensure there were no air bubbles.

Then I just pulled off the transfer tape at a 45 degree angle and voila!

Isn't she gorgeous, all sunshiney and happy.
Now for that pesky zoo sign I added an S for our last name and the year we were married.

I love it! The black goes well with our wrought iron on the front porch and the tanish color blends in nicely with, well everything. Some day I might change that S to a monogram but until then I am so happy to say I will be greeting by this every single day!

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

~Emily Dickinson