Friday, September 19, 2014

Ready for the Weekend

Whew...what a week! I have been on the road for the last 4 or is it 5 weeks, honestly I have lost track so I am for sure ready for the weekend. Last weekend we had a nice relaxing weekend at home, we had plenty of projects to do inside and out...I was working on priming and painting the laundry sorter that Jake built me and mowing the yard...again...can someone please tell Mother Nature that it is September and the grass needs to die?!?!? And Jake worked on getting our barn ready for concrete, gravel to be put in the driveway and getting my trailer prepped for my big road trip to Texas in a couple of weeks (more about that soon!). In addition to all that fun stuff I spent a lot of time in the kitchen getting meals prepped for us for the winter, and making a few extras to give to three of my friends/co-workers who are have had/having babies in the next month or so. It is nice that I can work off my kitchen island and see the TV from there...I get to watch football and be productive at the same time! Double Bonus!!

I wanted to share with you some successful recipes from last weekend. I only share recipes from Pinterest that I've tried myself and I will always tell you if I modify them in any way.

First of all I made the meat sauce from this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna recipe. One thing I do is I remove the fennel from the meat sauce because well we aren't fans of fennel. You are probably saying why in the world is she making her own meat sauce, but that stuff out of a jar. Which is true and I do love a couple of jarred pasta sauces including Trader Joe's and Classico, but there is a lot of sugar and sodium in those, plus my hamburger is already browned in the sauce! http://www.closetcooking.com/2013/10/lasagna-stuffed-spaghetti-squash.html

Next I had bought a big package of chicken thighs at the store...I like them because they have a little more flavor and they are cheaper. I don't like them because they have bones and usually you have to remove the skin yourself but it typically does come off very easily. So I made a couple of these Artichoke Chicken Thighs. Now Jake doesn't care for those flavors so I made a big pan to take to a friend and then a couple of small pans that I can make for myself if he is on the road one night.
http://shasonta.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/artichokechickenthighs/

Then the sweets snuck in...so I have been doing really good about eating healthy, but it is Pumpkin season and well I LOVE pumpkin so I am not going to completely avoid the pumpkin but be better about what i made. So I made Pumpkin-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies, what I learned is that they are very soft and I should have left them on the baking racks to harden a little more than I did because they got overly soft in the container I put them in, but they were good none-the-less.
http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/08/pumpkin-oat-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Then what everyone should make this weekend, go buy your favorite baking apple and whip up a batch of the Pioneer Woman's perfect pie crust and make these Salted Carmel Apple Hand Pies.
http://www.justataste.com/2012/09/salted-caramel-apple-hand-pies-recipe/ I'm sure her pie crust is just as good but my mom said that PW's was a great one and my mom makes the best pies so that is the direction I went. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/12/p-p-p-pie_crust_and_its_p-p-p-perfect/ I will say the hand pies are only going to be good and carmel filled if they are warm so keep that in mind when you serve them.

Hope this crazy rant of a Friday post will provide you with some recipe inspiration for your weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Boot Storage - DIY

At the Rancho Not So Grande, we have a plethora of boots...not just cowboy boots but we do have our fair share we also have work boots, rubber boots, snow boots you name it we have them. So I wanted a good way to organize them in the garage right as you walk in the door so they weren't collecting in my laundry room floor all the time.

So I found a way on Pinterest and thought I would try it out. I just bought wooden crates from Michaels Art and Crafts store (note: they always have a coupon so download their app or go online so you don't pay full price because they add up when you buy as many as you need for this project). Then arrange them as you feel they would work best for you, as I mentioned we have a lot of boots so I needed more vertical oriented crates than horizontal, but I also created some space in and around the crates for extra shoes to go as well. I haven't affixed these together since I wasn't sure I loved the orientation and I like the flexibility to change it as I go, but so far so good. I also will still be on the hunt for some vintage crates or larger crates that can be swapped out on the bottom.



Before
After, it isn't sexy but it is functional!