Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New $5 Nightstand

This summer, my daughter and I hosted a bridal shower. The original plan was for the shower to be outside by the pool under the pergola. And one of the items I wanted to find for the shower was an old piece of furniture at a yard sale to use as the lemonade stand. 

I found a dresser for $5! JACKPOT!! And it had wheels. For $5, I could let it sit outside all summer as a serving buffet and at the end of the summer, dispose of it and no guilt. 

So I painted the piece with Annie Sloan Arlis. A beautiful Sunflower yellow that would be perfect for the lemonade stand but also for the summer. After the piece was painted, I color washed it with Old White. To color wash it, you water down the paint with a third of the paint with water. Brush on and wipe off with cheese cloth. It gives the piece a beautiful softening. Lastly, I clear waxed the chest. 

I lightly sanded the edges to distress it but also to let the former green color of the piece to peak through the yellow.

Well, at that point in the process, I fell in love and decided immediately that I would have to find room in the house for this lovely dresser. I knew my country guest room would be perfect..

And now it has a new home and new drawer pulls…. It is so lovely that I spent the rest of the summer looking for another piece to use as a serving buffet but never found anything as pretty as this piece. Oh well, I will keep looking!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tomato Pie

My garden was prolific with tomatoes, until the pumpkin experiment took over the plants. Then sadly, not one more tomato from the garden. 

But I do love summer tomatoes… who doesn’t? My two sons don’t love tomatoes, summer or otherwise!! Can you imagine?

I have been at the farmers market and may have gone overboard in buying tomatoes.... So what to do with all those tomatoes? 

Last week, I decided to make a tomato pie…. Start with draining four tomatoes on paper towels after you sprinkle with a little salt. 

Bake a  pie shell in the oven with pie weights for about 10 minutes to set the pie crust. 

Next, layer the tomatoes, some onions ( I caramelized an onion) you could also use green onions or shallots. And basil. Layer them twice.

Next mix 1 c. of mayo with 1 c. of shredded cheddar and 1 c. of shredded mozzarella. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

The tomato pie is so delicious…. A light summer meal or a wonderful side dish.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grocery Shopping and Menu Week Ending September 2nd

Today, I want to share how I grocery shop. No one really talks about their grocery escapades but sometimes we need to discuss how we shop.

 I grocery shop every week. One week at the grocery store and one week at Costco. My budget is $150 dollars. I don’t spend that every week but generally that is the budget. For $600 a month, I feed between 3 to 7 people for every meal.
I use to shop every week at the grocery store and then once a month at Costco but I spent way more than $600 a month on groceries. And I never knew what was in the pantry. 

We shop the Costco sales and I always buy only what I use. Occasionally, I buy things to try but only if they are on sale.

This system has done several things: 

1.    My freezer and pantry are full
2.    Much less waste, I use everything I purchase. During the Costco week, I shop for only the produce required for that week at the farmer’s market or grocery store.

3.    Grocery bill is much less.

4.   With a better inventory, I am able to whip a meal up out of the pantry and freezer much easier.

5.    We have given up eating out except two times a month. 

 On another note, school starts this week. I still have projects around here but the big projects are finished. School starting means fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving will be coming at a rapid pace. So my next goal is to plan all these holidays and what items I need.



Quiche Lorraine
Garden Salad



Mexican Pizza
Chips and Queso


Corn Fritters
Fried Green Tomatoes
Caprese Salad


Garden Salad
Garlic Bread


Steak Fajitas
Tacos with Corn Shells
Refried Beans


Broccoli Crunch Salad with Teriyaki Pork

Sunday Brunch –

Croissant Doughnuts
Scrambled Eggs with Ham and Chives
Hash Browns
Assorted Fruits