Sunday, January 18, 2009

Food Coma Sunday

Some days DH and I have "food coma" days. These are days when we eat so much food that we can't eat anymore (think Thanksgiving) and by early evening we are struggling to get off the couch.

Today was a food coma Sunday. This morning when I got home from grocery shopping I made blueberry pancakes, sausage and bacon for breakfast. This afternoon I made Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary. I found the recipe on Megan's Cookin blog. I've never cooked with chocolate and beef together and couldn't wait to taste these ribs.

The ribs look yummy. The sauce smells yummy. But I can't say I was totally impressed with the meal. Everything was cooked, but the taste wasn't there. It was a blah meal. I'm not sure what I missed or what I didn't do correctly. My only thought is that I used a food processor to chop the vegetables and I think I grated them too finely instead of chopping them. I'll try the recipe again sometime just to make sure.
We got another 12 inches of snow today. The plow guy is running out of room to put the snow. I'll have to get a photo of the pile outside our condo. Soon they'll be plowing my car in instead of plowing it out!

Sweet P

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Least Favorite Household Task

Ivy at Home Ec 101 has asked the question: What are the household chores you hate? I enjoy household chores. I enjoy making our home clean and comfortable. Granted, I don't have pets and my sons are adults and there is only DH and I in the house so I don't have a lot of messes and laundry like many people. Nevertheless there is one household chore I hate: cleaning the refrigerator.

I hadn't cleaned the fridge since Thanksgiving and it looked and smelled like it! Can you see the following items: three yogurt containers (one unopened and old, one almost gone and one with leftover Chicken Marsala from Thanksgiving weekend); carrot ginger soup (in the white bag), several bags of grated cheese in the meat and cheese drawer, all the beer? The lunch bag had a few items leftover from a meat and cheese gift pack from my mom. There was also a container of leftovers from New Year's Eve dinner.
I didn't take a before photo of the door, but here it is all clean. I didn't have to throw out too many bottles but I did organize it. By the way how many bottles of mustard and/or salad dressing do you have in your fridge? I have four types of mustard and three bottles of salad dressing.
Here is the fridge all cleaned out. The beer is still there. The old leftovers are gone and it doesn't smell anymore.
What's your least favorite household task?
Sweet P

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What I Like About Hotels

Who doesn't enjoy staying in a hotel? I'm fortunate my DH travels extensively for work and earns many free hotel points that he likes to use one weekends away for us. There are some pieces of a hotel stay that always interest me.

First, the bed. I love a king-sized bag with fluffy pillows, a pillow top. crisp and warm linens. Our bed had all of these features. I just wish I had taken a photo of it made up. Oh well, you can assume it was perfectly made.
The more unique the furniture in the room is, the better I like it. We had room service breakfast on Sunday morning. Now you see the table . . .
Now you don't . . .
The table slides under the desk when not in use. Isn't that cool? I would love a set up like this in my sewing room. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all the furniture in my sewing room and I wish I could put some of it away.
Hotel art is something else I love. Have you ever really looked at hotel art? It can be very beautiful. This piece was in the hotel lobby. A collage of photos of Providence, mixed with two dimension blocks of glass. Wouldn't this idea work wonderful with family photos? I may have to try and recreate my own version of this. Of course, I would probably use fabric instead of glass, but it would still be a fun project.
Some of the other items I enjoy in a hotel is a jacuzzi tub in the room (we didn't have one this time). Breakfast is a big meal for me, especially if there is a hot buffet included. The breakfast in the hotel was only a B this time. Free internet is great. However, when you stay at high-end hotels paying for internet is assumed. I guess I shouldn't complain since we didn't pay for the rest of the weekend.

What do you enjoy in a hotel room?
Sweet P

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cooking Ahead

One of my favorite cookbooks is Light Cooking For Two by Anne Chappell. I like it because it has recipes for everything from breakfast to breads to make-ahead meals for two. I took advantage of my day off today and made two recipes that make several portions so I could have a few meals ready for days when I work late.

First up is Hearty Meat Sauce. Ground beef, onions, celery, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth and a bay leaf simmering in the pan. I dressed up the recipe and added a splash of red wine and pancetta. This will make enough sauce for three meals for us. Can someone tell me why a recipe would call for canned whole tomatoes that you have to chop to use? Couldn't you just use canned chopped tomatoes? What am I missing?
The second pot is Brunswick Stew. Poached chicken with potatoes, onion, celery, lima beans and corn. I used frozen peas instead of drained canned tomatoes and added a splash of Marsala wine. We are having this for dinner tonight with hot biscuits. The remainder will be packaged for another two meals.
What kind of make-ahead cooking do you make, if any?

Sweet P

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year News Update

When DH and I were discussing what we wanted for Christmas, we decided we would finish the renovation on our bedroom. Last August I made this quilt and we decided to turn it into our headboard. It will be turned horizontally rather than the way it appears in the photo. I have the foam and plywood to finish the headboard. I have a bolt of teal microsuede fabric to recover a chair and ottoman.

DH chose the paint color. He painted the room yesterday. He has a few more touch up spots and then we can start putting the room back together. This is what it currently looks like:
Do you remember the Need This? Challenge I started last July? It sort of died because I didn't keep up on the posts. But I can tell you the box of kitchen tools I put away in July has not been touched so it will be donated later this month. I have added a few more items to the drawer, but I do use them. My spice drawer hasn't grown any. The pantry is fuller now and needs some sorting out. Overall I'm still happy with the results of my organizing last summer. How did you do?

I'm hosting a Homestyle Pay It Forward. What's Pay It Forward, you ask? Well, if you are one of the first 3 people who comment on this post and ask to join I will send you a Pay It Forward package of goodies for your home. The package will contain items I will select especially for you and will contain at least one handmade item. In return, you agree to post the Pay It Forward Challenge on your blog and agree to send a package to three people.

I've been a little lax on posting the last couple months. I've been juggling my new job, plus consulting hours, plus keeping up on the house and there hasn't been enough time for blogging. I'm happy to say that I have been offered a promotion at my new job and when it is finalized DH has told me I will no longer do the consulting hours. He doesn't want me working more than 40 hours a week for health reasons. By the end of this month I should be down to one job and I go back to enjoying my home as I was doing last summer. I can't wait!

Happy Homemaking!
Sweet P