Friday, July 29, 2011


I have three wonderful, beautiful sisters.  I love them so very much!

Today was one of those days where I missed them tremendously.

(me, Gretel)

(Amelia, Liesl)

I love you, sisters!  I'm thankful to God for you!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Garlic-Infused Olive Oil

Good morning!

I found this tip in the July/August 2011 edition of the Everyday Food Martha Stewart Magazine and wanted to share it with you all.  I would say it is a keeper of a recipe!  I hope you enjoy it! 

To begin, you smash and peel the cloves of one head of garlic.  Pour one cup of extra-virgin olive oil into a pot and and add your garlic.

Cook over medium-low heat until bubbles form around the garlic.

See those little bubbles?  That's what you want.  Let it cook for around ten minutes, reducing heat to low if the garlic begins to brown.


Remove the pan from heat and let cool to room temperature.  To store, refrigerate garlic and oil in an airtight container for up to one week.

This oil can be used in pasta dishes, marinades, dressings, you name it!  I must admit I'm pretty excited about this idea.  I already have plans to add some herbs next time and see what kind of flavors I can come up with.  Garlic-rosemary oil?  Yes, please!  I'm also on the hunt for a pretty glass jar to put my oil in instead of an old jelly jar.  That sad jar just isn't working for me!

My time is up.  My boys are awake now.  God's blessings on your day, friends! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Hike by the Beach

I am so thankful for the past few weeks.  This summer has been amazing.  I think it is because the boys are older and can do more things with us.  I've just been thinking about how different they are now that they're not babies anymore.  They don't require as many diaper changes or naps.  I don't have to sit quietly and nurse a baby.  If they get off of their schedule a little bit, it isn't that big of a deal.  Not that I don't love having a baby around.  I do.  I've just been enjoying the ages that my boys are right now.

The other day we (again) headed to the lake.  When Jason and I were first married we lived in an apartment in the cutest little town.  We headed back there to a trail that the boys had never been on. 

At the end of one of the trails, you get the best view.

While I'm enjoying the ages of our boys right now, I feel like they're growing up too fast.  I know I can't slow down time, so instead I'll try to enjoy every minute I have with them.

God's blessings on your day, friends!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rural French Chairs

Hello, All!  Happy Friday!

We found these two chairs at a consignment store in our downtown.  I had seen them the last time I was there but wasn't sure what I could do with them.  I didn't forget about them, though.  Oh no.  Some nights, I thought about them before I fell asleep.  Do you do that?  Think about the "I should have bought that" thing that you didn't buy but now regret?  That happens to me often.  Anyway, back to the chairs.  They were in pretty good condition (other than a small tear in the caning on each) and quite sturdy.  The cushions were pretty questionable and I knew I would throw them as soon as I traced the shape for later cushion-making.

The cushions were actually reversible.  One side was red leather and the other side was red suede.  Classy.

Here they are without the cushions.

I love the detail on the legs.

I washed them up and let them dry for awhile in the sun.  As I was washing them I found a tag on the bottom of one of the chairs that said, "Rural French."  The tag was pretty old and dirty and I couldn't read anything else on it.  However, it was fun to find and made me like the chairs even more for some reason.

While the chairs were drying, I traced those pretty cushions.  Imagine me washing my hands four times after touching them.  I know I've said it before but I can't reuse other people's fabric items.  Who knows what was on these.  Gross.  Same reason why I have a hard time sleeping in hotels.

After the chairs were dry I gave them two coats of primer.  I used Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Primer.

I then spray painted the cane part of the chairs a gray color.  I again used Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Winter Gray in their gloss finish.  I did two coats of the gray to both chairs.  After the paint dried I taped around the edges of the gray cane area with the green Frog tape.

I taped random plastic bags over the gray cane so that it would be protected when I painted the rest of the chair.  I did this to both chairs.  I used Rust-oleum Painter's Touch White in their gloss finish as well.

Here are the finished chairs.  I love them.  When I walk into my living room I smile.  Sometimes I walk in there on purpose, just so I can stare at them for awhile.

They add some much needed extra seating in our tiny living room without taking up too much space.

I love how the gloss of the white paint makes the details stand out.  Also, can you see the difference in the legs of each chair?  Leave it to my husband to point that out right away.  The legs on this chair are rounded.

The legs on this chair are more square.  Huh.  I didn't even realize that when we bought them!

All in all, this project was cheap and easy!  The chairs were ten dollars each.  Add in the cost for five cans of spray paint and you've got yourself some Rural French chairs for a fraction of the cost of something brand new.  I love how they turned out!

Have yourself a fabulous weekend, friends!  If you need me, I'll be in my living room staring at my "new" Rural French chairs.

I'll be linking this up to Miss Mustard Seed and Tatertots and Jello.  I love these blogs!  Love them!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grilling Pizza

Hello, Friends!

Awhile ago I posted about the best pizza crust I have ever made at home.  You can find that post and the recipe for it here.  I told you that we would try to grill it because that is our favorite way to make pizza at home.  Well, we tried it and it was amazing.  I am not the griller in our family.  My husband Jason handles that and does a pretty good job in my opinion.  We have a charcoal grill which takes more time than a gas grill, but the flavor can't be beat.  Here is how we go about making pizzas on the grill.

We begin by lighting our charcoal in a chimney starter.  We use briquettes because they retain their heat longer and that way we do not need to add any during the cooking process.  (Natural lump charcoal will burn hotter, which is ideal for grilling pizzas, but also burns more quickly. If you desire to use natural lump charcoal you may want to have a second batch heating in a chimney starter so you can add it during the cooking process if your grill begins to lose heat.) 

After the coals begin to be covered with a grey ash, pour them out on one side of the grill.  (You can even pour them out earlier than you normally would for cooking other foods so you will have a higher temperature for the actual cooking.)  This is where you will cook the crusts directly.  Leave the other side free of coals so that the pizza can cook indirectly once it has been topped. 

The last time I made this dough, the recipe said that it would make three pizzas.  For grilling, however, we prefer small, individual sized crusts because they are easier to move.  After I made the dough and let it rise, I took it and divided it into six small pizzas.  Once the grill was good and hot, we put the pizza crusts on the grill right over the hot coals (direct heat) and let them get those pretty grill marks on each side.  A spatula works best for this task.  The crusts should be crispy and lightly browned.  Stay next to your grill!  You don't want to leave them on too long or they will burn...if not now then later after you have added the toppings.  Once they are crispy and browned, remove them and place them on a baking sheet.  Now you're ready to add your toppings!

Before we even begin grilling the crusts, I make sure I have all my toppings ready.  This will ensure that the grill will stay hot.  The first time we grilled pizzas I did not do this and our pizzas took forever to cook.  We like to get creative with our toppings and make fun ones like Greek pizzas, barbecue chicken pizzas, etc. 

Mmm.  Look at those tasty little pizzas all ready to go back onto the grill.

When you have all of the toppings on your pizzas, place them back onto the grill.  This time you will want to place them on the side that does not have the hot coals (indirect heat). Keep them as far away from the coals as you can so the crust does not burn.  Then place the cover on the grill with the vent holes over the pizzas. This will draw the heat up "through" the pizzas, heating them and melting the cheese.

We cook the pizzas at a high heat with the cover on until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp.
Our grill was around 500 degrees.  Pretty hot indeed!

Again, watch your pizzas closely so they don't burn.  Don't leave them on for longer than is necessary to melt the cheese otherwise the crusts have a tendency to become tough.  Still very tasty, but can be rather unpleasant to eat.  If for whatever reason you want/need to crisp up the crust you could move the pizza back over the direct heat VERY briefly. They could also burn very easily so watch them closely.

Those pizzas look good enough to eat!  And we did.  And they were great.

We enjoyed our pizzas on our patio with a little Lambrusco, one of our favorite red wines.  Lambrusco has a little "sparkle" to it and goes well with pizza.

The next two pictures are courtesy of my husband Jason, who lifted up his pizza so that you could all see the bottom of his pizza crust...

and then all of his toppings slid off.  He played it cool by saying something like, "At least now it will cool faster so that I can eat it!"  I love him.

There you have it, folks!  This recipe for pizza crust still has the top spot for our favorite crust.  I can now recommend that you cook it in your oven and on the grill.    I hope you're all having a wonderful Wednesday!  God's blessings on the rest of your week!