Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Monday

We're right in the middle of a HUGE project in our yard involving lots of stone blocks and sand, so dinners will be pretty quick and easy this week.  Here's what we're having...

Mon: French Onion Soup Casserole

I love french onion soup. It's so cheesy and oniony and delicious. I also love casseroles. They are easy and warm and gooey. I'm hoping this will be as delicious as french onion soup. If so, I'll definitely be making it again.

Tues: Tomato Soup Mac and Cheese with a Salad

The last time I made mac and cheese it didn't exactly turn out right. I'm hoping that this version turns out better. It sounds a little weird to put tomato soup in maccaroni and cheese, but I think it's going to taste really good. Kind of like dipping a grilled cheese into tomato soup.

Wed: Crock Pot Sweet and Tangy Meatballs with Rice

I made these during the spring and KB liked them so much that he asked for them again. They are so easy and really do taste really good. I cut the recipe in half this time, so I'll probably put them in a dish down inside the Crock Pot instead of just in the Crock Pot itself so they don't overcook.

Thurs: Parmesan Basil Chicken Salad  (recipe on Pin)

Chicken salad and tuna salad are my jams. They are so creamy and delicious and wonderful. Our neighbor gave me a ton of lemon basil and regular basil and I need to use it up. I think this will be a delightful way!


Cinnamon French Toast Bake

I'm not a huge fan of french toast. I think it's because I'm not a huge fan of syrup. I really like cinnamon rolls though. I made this yesterday morning for breakfast and it was really good. I used just regular milk instead of heavy cream and it turned out fine.

What will you be eating this week???

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pinteresting Wednesday

It's time for another Pinteresting Wednesday post.  Link up with The Vintage Apple to play along.

Here are my favorite Pins this week...

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

What are your favorite Pins this week???

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Basement Redo

Our basement is serioulsy lacking.  It's completely white....except for a bright red terra cotta floor.  There are lots of cool built ins and a fireplace but it's seriously lacking character.

Here's what it looked like when we moved still pretty much looks like that.

I have no idea what to do with this floor (and replacing it or removing it is not an option).  I feel like terra cotta always looks cool in resorts in the Mexican Riviera but not so much in a basement in western North Carolina.

I've been doing some research into what other people have done with terra cotta floors and it looks like I'm either going to have to go full on kokopelli southwestern down there or pretty much leave it white.

I'm thinking I'm going to do some type of off-white with maybe some sort of stone accent.

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

I like how this one is sort of white but not really.  I also like the dark trim and hope that it's not too dark in a basement with only one window.

  Source: via Sara on Pinterest

I'm also thinking of doing some sort of rock accent wall on the fireplace wall and around some of the built ins. I saw in Lowe's the other day some sort of faux rock overlay thing that I think might work.

Any ideas? There's only one window down there and it's pretty dark, so nothing too crazy.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Menu Monday

I'm a little late for Menu Monday, but better late than never.  It's kind of a boring eating week in the Brown household anyway.

Here's what we'll be eating this week....

Mon: Spicy Black Bean and Turkey Wrap

I love turkey wraps and spicy stuff and black beans so I'm excited about this meal. I ended up getting just regular tortillas because the healthy ones were super expensive. I did score and get the burrito size ones. Normally the Wal-Marts only has the fajita size ones

Tues: Chinese Cabbage Salad

I've had a version of this slaw/salad before and it was really good. It used broccoli slaw and was really crispy - I think that's why I liked it so much. This one has Nappa Cabbage in it instead of cole slaw mix. I've never actually had Nappa Cabbage before, so it will be an experiment.

Wed: Tuna Salad with salad and toast

Because we're boring and I realized that I still had a 10 pack of tuna in the pantry from Sam's.

Thurs: Freezer Food

I have a ton of random bits of things that were too much to pack as lunch the next day, but not enough for a real I froze them.  We'll be eating random bits of things on Thursday.  Sounds appetizing.

What goodies will you be eating this week???

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pinteresting Wednesday

It's time for another Pinteresting Wednesday post.  Link up with The Vintage Apple to play along.

Here are my favorite Pins of the week:

What are your favorite Pins this week???

Monday, August 13, 2012

Menu Monday

Here's what the Browns will be eating this week:

I'm not a huge fan of stuffed peppers because the peppers always get soggy and mushy. I'm hoping this is just because I normally make them in the crockpot. These look really good and I really hope the peppers don't ruin it for me. I'll be substituting black beans instead of chick peas because the grocery store was out. I'm also going to leave out the raisins because I hate them.

Tues: Taco Mac & Cheese and a Salad

KB was sitting next to me when I made my grocery list and he picked this one out. I've had something similar to this before in a restaurant and it was really good. I'm hoping to balance out all the cheese, cream and cream cheese with a salad.

Wed: Fish in a Bag and a Salad

KB also requested this one. We've been eating it every week for about 2 months solid. It's really easy and takes really good (if you like lemon and fish). KB really likes fish so he wants it all the time.

Thurs: Deer Steak with Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad

We have a lot of deer to eat before hunting season (when hopefully the freezer will fill up again). I'm planning on marinating and grilling it and serving it along with this salad. I'll be substituting cous cous for the quinoa (the grocery store didn't have it) and will probably double the mango (because I really like mango).

Bonus Recipes!

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

I made this yesterday for a neighborhood birthday party/get together. It was really easy, tasted good and got a lot of compliments.

Crusty Bread

I made this as a hostess gift for our neighbor who hosted the party. I made mine with cheddar, rosemary and lemon. It was really easy and tasted good. I also made mine with whole wheat flour instead of white and the recipe worked fine. I'm definitely going to be making this again.

What will you be making this week???

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pinteresting Wednesday

It's time for another Pinteresting Wednesday - link up with The Vintage Apple to play along.

Here are my favorite Pins of the week:

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

What are your favorite Pins this week???

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fun Blog Award

I was nominated for a blog award from one of my newest followers from across the pond Zoe.

I love doing these little quizzes and things.  Here are my answers to her questions for me...

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I was creeping on other people...a lot.  I thought it would be less weird for me to creepily read their posts if I had my own blog to hide behind, but it turned out to be pretty fun and a cool way to get ideas and feedback from other people.

What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

I really like to read and sleep.  I like to do those on days that aren't rainy, but they just seem better when it is rainy.  I picked up a new book today.  Let me know if you'd read it.  It looks like it's some sort of collection of short stories.

If money was no object, where would you like to visit?

KB and I have very different tastes when it comes to vacations.  He likes to do adventurous things and I like to relax and do lazy non-adventurous things.  I think the only place that we'd both like to go is Greece (since their economy is terrible now maybe we could get a good deal!).  KB really wants to see the historical stuff (he knows a lot about that) and I think it just looks pretty and warm.

What was the last song you listened to?

The last song I heard was at work when I was listening to the radio.  Yes that is the song on the Internet Explorer commercials.  I spent all afternoon trying to figure out where I had heard that song.

Would you rather be a dog or a cat for a day?

I'd totally rather be a dog.  Specifically one of my dogs.  They get to lay around all day and then get lots of treats and love when they get home. Case in point...

If time travel was invented, where would you go?

I don't know if there's a certain period that I would like to go to.  I really like the old 60s James Bond movies, I'd like to magically time travel to a James Bond movie....preferably one on a tropical island.

Do you prefer city life or country life?

I'm not sure I've ever really experienced city life.  The biggest city I've ever had to deal with wasn't really that big in the scheme of things.  Regardless, I think I'd rather be in the country.  KB likes to pee outside and I want to get chickens.

What is your favorite brand of nail polish?

I used to really like OPI and think that it was the best.  Last year I got Essie's Carry On and really fell in love with Essie.  I'm a terrible nail biter, so I don't normally wear a lot of nail polish, but this one stays on really well and isn't that expensive.

High end or drug store make up?

I don't normally wear a ton of make up, but I guess what I do wear is a mixture of high end and drug store.  I normally wear Bare Minerals Faux Tan and blush daily with mixtures of Lorac, Mac, and drug store eye liners and shadows.  I always normally wear Maybelline Great Lash mascara in black.  I like it because it wipes clean easily.  I hate having clumps of mascara left on my eyelashes even after I've washed my face.

What was the last thing you bought?

I bought a Diet Coke today from Subway.  That's not fun at all.  I wish I had bought some sort of cool clothes or jewelry, but just a Diet Coke.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

I never know how to answer these things.  I'm terrible at describing myself.  If I had to guess I'd say smart, sassy and small.  I just like the alteration and I am shorter than almost everyone I know.

I'm cheating and nominating anyone that wants to participate - feel free to talk about random things about you too!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Menu Monday

It's time for another Menu Monday post.

Here's what we'll be eating this week...

Mon: Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Packs

We used to eat these at my grandma's house growing up and they were called mystery packs. It's not so much of a mystery when you have to make it yourself. These are really easy and you can pretty much put anything in them. This looked different with the stuffing in it. I've never had a stuffing mystery pack.

Tues: Easy Fish in a Bag

I bought a big bag of fish because we didn't have any left in the freezer and we've been eating this non stop. It's really easy and KB really likes fish. We'll be having it with corn and green beans from various people's gardens.

Wed: Herbed Up Spring Chicken Packet

It's a whole week of packets! Our tommy toe is the only tomato plant that has really done anything this year. We have a ton of them and I'm always looking for ways to use them up. This looks like a pretty good way to use up some of them.

Thurs: Huevos Rancheros

I've made this recipe a few times and it's amazing every time. You don't even really need a recipe for huevos rancheros. It's just a lot of Mexican goodness with eggs.

Bonus Recipes!

KB's aunts came over for dinner on Saturday and I made this:

Slow Roasted Cilantro Lime Butter Chicken

This was pretty easy (for roast chicken) and tasted really good. I cranked up the heat the last little bit of cooking time and the skin came out really crispy.

Herbed Potato Salad

I was right in the middle of making this when I figured out I didn't have any olive oil, so I ended up making it with mayonaisse instead. It turned out pretty good. KB's aunts really like it, but my family wasn't so much on it. I chopped up lots of herbs that we have growing in our yard, so it was a little strong.

Lemonade Cake

This cake was pretty good (and kind of hard to make). It's really lemony, so if you don't really like lemon flavor you probably won't like it. It tastes really good with a glass of milk.

What will you be cooking and eating this week???

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Around the Yard....

Following up to my Around the House post, we've also done some work around the yard.  Here's what we've been up to....

We've been cutting down a lot of trees and I wanted to use some to make some bird feeders and bird houses.  We made a pedestal bird feeder for our back yard on Sunday.  Rosa seems to approve.

Here's a close up of the top part.  I screwed the logs to an old piece of wood I found in the garage and then nailed it into the post.  The birds found it yesterday afternoon and have been loving it so far.  I've already seen 4 cardinals at it.

Our yard was professionally landscaped.....10 years ago.  Since then the people that owned our house moved and never looked back.  The yard (and the house) had been sitting empty for about 5 years.  Needless to say the yard is crazy, but the more we uncover the more we can see that it used to be really nice.  We also find some interesting this.  What is it?  Who knows?  We think it's a bird bath...or a plant stand....or some sort of gazing ball stand....or some sort of Indian relic that's going to make us rich.  Probably not.

We've cut down a on of trees, so there's stuff laying everywhere.  We've got to get our hands on a wood chipper before our yard becomes one giant brush pile.  The red chairs are our fire pit which is now covered in fallen trees.

I was also able to transplant some stuff this weekend.  We have a ton of lamb's ear everywhere.  I'm not sure if it does well in pots, but I dug some up to see.  This little guy is next to our front door.  KB's hunting boots seem to be a fixture there too.

I also tried to make a planter of "native plants".  We have tons of pine trees around our house and there are all these cool little plants growing under them.  I originally had lettuce planted in this box, but it never did much, so I decided to try some of the pine under growth in here.  So far it doesn't really look like the plants are liking it too much.  We'll see what happens.  There is lamb's ear, a hosta and some sort of ground cover type plant in there.  You can also see KB's tarp in the background (we found that in the yard too).  We're planning on making it into a green house.

Stay tuned for more updates......including a chicken coop hopefully coming soon.