I know many of you live in more temperate areas of the country, but here in New England it's still winter. That means it's time to decide whether the evening libation will be a nice warming glass of wine, or a hot cup of cocoa. Except that I no longer have to make that decision, Red Wine Hot Chocolate for the win!
I know what you're thinking, I recoiled a bit at first too, it just seems.....wrong.
The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I love chocolate and wine, and chocolate and fruit...soooo....I mean it kinda makes sense...right?
I assure you it does. It's incredibly rich and decadent, it has a totally unique flavor, and it feels very festive. It's not for everyone, and it is a bit of an acquired taste, but once you start drinking it, it's so unique and different that you'll find yourself finishing the mug without thinking. So if you're brave and looking for something different this winter, read on!
Although NYE will most likely be spent on the couch (though if I'm being honest that's usually what happens around here anyways), you can still have a fun cocktail! Champagne is the go-to for this night, but I prefer Prosecco or Cava. A friend gifted me little flavored sugar cubes for my birthday that were meant to pop into a glass of sparkling wine and add a fun twist. I loved them, and was wondering if I could make them myself. Well, you can. It's actually incredibly easy to make sugar cubes. It only takes a few ingredients (which you probably have laying around) and you can create a whimsical addition to your drink. These would also be great at a tea party or for a really sweet gift (see what I did there). Moving on, here's how you make them...
Missing your favorite coffee shop? Want to make fun and easy latte art at home? This is a fun and easy way! It's also a great way to jazz up hot chocolate and other winter beverages!
I planned to share this in April, but here we are, almost through December and I'm finally sharing some of the hidden storage in this kitchen. I really enjoyed the problem solving aspect of designing this kitchen. What did I need storage for? Where could I put that storage in a very small space? One thing I couldn't work around was the fact that there will only be three drawers. At first I was worried, but I had three drawers in the kitchen before I demo'd and one was completely inaccessible. We made due with just two, and after pairing down a lot of useless equipment, I realized that's all I needed.
We also spend all summer in an RV where we only have one drawer, so I think this helped to make me feel better about the design! That being said, two of the drawers in my design are really deep, and it felt like a waste (not to mention an organizational nightmare) to have them be left as they are.
I used an Ana White plan to create my own version of a double drawer. The double drawer allowed me to put baking utensils in the lower part, and smaller gadgets (peelers, presses, etc) easy to reach on the top. We've been using it for a few months and I really love it. Perhaps I will finally get rid of my potato masher as the only thing it does is prevent drawers from opening. Perhaps...
Here's how I did it.
I'll admit that fried chicken is not in my wheel house. I grew up with a very European centered cuisine, and while I love BBQ and have mastered other American comfort foods (mac and cheese, meatloaf, pot roast) fried chicken has remained elusive..until now.
It's never come out crispy enough, but I now know the trick, and it's a game changer. So if you want to make easy fried chicken that will rival the Colonel, read on.
I decided that a global pandemic was the best time to gut my kitchen and rebuild it myself, from scratch...I've had better ideas...I've also had worse ideas. For the most part, I'm really happy with how it's turning out.
The plan was a kitchen "refresh" as opposed to a full remodel. So the cabinets, counters, backsplash and decor was getting redone, but I was keeping the appliances. Which means the dishwasher that came with the house, that ugly but unfortunately it still works dishwasher had to stay.
So what's a gal to do with an ugly dishwasher in the middle of new cabinets...paint it of course! I decided to try to make it look like a built in "panel" dishwasher. It turned out it was super easy, inexpensive, and did the trick (until we can replace it)! So if you want to cover up an older dishwasher, this could be the solution for you. Here's how I did it...
It's that time of summer where I've had a lot of potato salad. I'm not complaining mind you, because I love it. However, my waist line may not. I was looking for a potato salad alternative that would still hit those classic flavors, just not be as heavy.
As usual, Ina Garten had the solution, Creamy Cucumber Salad! The cucumbers are great right now at my local markets, and if you've grown your own chances are you may have an abundance of them ready to eat. So grab 4 (or 5) and make this easy summer salad.
Each month I come up with a "word of the month" to sort of guide me but also reflect on where I am personally, professionally, and here in this little creative space. I've been bad at sharing these lately, but my goal for August in this space is more consistency, nope that's not the word ;).
I usually come to my "word" by taking a few quiet moments, clearing my mind and waiting to see what swirls to the front. It's so crazy because immediately I will have 3 or 4 words circling around and I'll think, Yes! That's it! However I wait just a little bit longer and all the words start to fade until one becomes really clear to me and I just know. Sometimes I'm not really sure what it means in that moment but it always seems to end up making sense.
Remember that time I decided to renovate my own kitchen during a global pandemic? Oh the crazy things that I decide to do. To be fair, I had decided to do all this prior to the stay at home situation, so it was ready to go, and if you're going to be stuck at home with a kitchen that is slowly sinking by the day...you may as well use your new found time to do something about it.
I've been trying to update on progress, but sometimes I get in a rhythm and get stuck in the "big picture." So I'm going to try to break down some of the components of this reno. Let's talk countertops...what I used..how I did it...what I messed up on...what I would do differently. If I can do this with no previous experience, so can you. Ready? Okay let's go.
I wanted to jazz up the "porch" window at our seasonal RV site. Some of the other campers have faux shutters so I decided to see if I could make some of my own out of scrap wood. I also added a faux window box (also out of scrap wood).
Both of these were very easy and would work well for a seasonal RV site or for a shed.