Yay how exciting! A fabulous blogger has featured one of my projects this week! I feel so honored and to be honest, now I feel pressure to perform and keep linking up projects. Ugh! You all know the pace at which I work :)
We took down the wall between our kitchen and our dining room about a year and a half ago. Now that our dining room is no longer a separate room, we repainted and totally changed the decor in that room. This one wall has been "in progress" ever since.
The first thing completed were the shelves. I found the little items over time and finished off the shelves the way I wanted over a year ago. But figuring out what to do with the space below it took much longer.
It looked like this for a long time. Picture frames with the pictures that come with the frame (I know, it's crazy). I bought the big letter "M" with the plan to paint it black a long time ago, but wasn't sure what else would go there.
I found this planter at a cute little shop by my house.
I finally put pictures of people I actually know in the frames, painted the "M" and now it's done! Only a year and a half later :)
I first saw this idea here, but have since seen multiple versions of this same project. So, here's my version:
I bought this silver candlestick and glass jar w/lid
I spray painted the candlestick in ivory silk. I was very happy with this color choice. I deliberated for way too long in the store over ivory silk or antique white, but I am happy with the results.
Then I attached the glass jar to the candlestick with gorilla glue, set a heavy book on top and let dry.
I added a little nest and bird eggs I bought at the craft store. Hung a little chalkboard message - I hated the gold thread that was attached to the chalkboard, so I just taped it to the back and used this blue ribbon instead.
There it is, my fun little Spring/Easter decor. I plan to make one for Mother's Day too. Not sure yet what I'll put in it, but I'll be sure to share when I figure it out :)
A friend of mine was talking about how she makes beans in her crock pot and how cheap and easy making beans is. So, I thought I'd give it a try. Then, I thought I'd make some rice to go with it. At some point, it turned into rice and beans and chicken and cheese baked together.
It was a real hit with the kids. Did I mention we have 6 kids this week? We are doing respite for 3 kids (2, 3, 4yo). Yes, we are crazy. But if you ever find yourself needing to feed a gang of kids, this recipe was a winner.
1 lb dried black beans, rinsed, soaked overnight
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 can Rotel (or any can chopped tomatoes and chiles)
salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder
1 lb cooked chicken breast, chopped
Soak beans overnight according to package instructions.
Drain and rinse the beans. Add rinsed beans to the crock pot with chopped onions. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin. Sorry, I never measure my spices. Mix well. Add broth, water, and rotel. Cook on low setting about 8hrs or until beans are soft. Add cooked chicken to the beans*.
*I used the frozen cooked, chopped chicken breast because it's easier (did I mention I have 6 kids this week?). Since it was frozen, I added the cubes of chicken to the beans for the last 30min of cooking. You could use any leftover chicken you may have or buy a rotisserie chicken and chop it up.
Heat olive oil in a skillet, add rice, stir constantly until rice begins to brown. Add spices, stir until well mixed. Add tomato sauce and broth, stir, reduce heat to low-med, cover and simmer 25min. Fluff with fork.
In a mixing bowl, mix chicken and beans (there is a lot of liquid on the beans, so use a slotted spoon or drain the liquid first) with rice. Mix in 2 cups of shredded cheese. Spread in 9 x 13 in pan. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup shredded cheese on top. Cover with foil, bake for 25min.
I forgot to take a picture after it was cooked. And it was eaten so quickly, I didn't get a picture. But just imagine this with the cheese melted :-)
My daughter orders this at every restaurant we go to. And she has a ranking order of who has the best since everyone makes it a little differently.
This is one of those recipes that I throw together and don't closely measure, so I'll give my best estimates. I make mine with a lot more spinach than many recipes call for because I like it that way. So, keep that in mind, reduce the amount when following this recipe if you don't like so much spinach.
1 lb frozen spinach
1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp mayo
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella chesse
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil 4 cups of water and cook frozen spinach 3-4min. Drain spinach and pat dry. Put cooked spinach back in pot and stir in softened cream cheese, mayo and artichoke hearts until well blended. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste (I like it pretty garlicky). Mix in 1/2 of parmesan cheese and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese. Spread mixture into glass baking dish. Sprinkle remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25min.