Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My grandma always talked so fondly about how my grandpa always enjoyed his first tomato of the season right from his garden.  He would take his Morton salt with him and bite into it like an apple.  I remember partaking in this with him and thinking that he had a "special" kind of salt and to this day, even though I know better, it is the only type of salt I buy. 

After nothing but months of rain, I had only one tomato pop out early this year.  I treated my little survivor like a baby, and when it was finally ready I dragged it to Charleston with me so that Michael could be apart of the tradition (Gracie had a piece too).  We had it for a midnight snack (hence the pj's) and it was a fabulous as it looks!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Something Old, Something New

About a month or so ago I stopped into the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to donate a couple of things.  This was Michael's first trip there and he was completely overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" they had and how reasonable it was.  We came across this headboard ($15), which I wanted to paint white and stick in my guest room, but Michael thought it would look better if we refinished it and stained it dark.  I agreed, but dreaded the extra work.  It was his plan to do it, but between his crazy work schedule and my expected company I went ahead and did it myself. 

I completely forgot to take a before picture, which sucks, but you can get a small idea of what it looked like before from the back of the headboard.  First I used a stain remover which I also bought at the ReStore for $10 and I still have over half left.  All I did was pour it on, let it sit for minute and scrub it with steel wool.  It took a couple of times, but this entire process took me less than 30 minutes. 

Next I went out it with my mouse, sander that is.  I started with a medium grade sandpaper and worked my way down.  This was actually kind of fun and only took about 15 minutes.  It would have taken less time, but there were a few nicks and dings I wanted to rub out. 

After being sanded, I wiped it down with a wet cloth and let it dry in the sun before staining.  The framing took two coats.  The inset part took a little longer because after it was stripped I discovered that it was particle board and not actually wood.  I did several layers, which took awhile to dry,  but I am super pleased with the way it turned out!

Every good carpenter needs a helper!  Gracie sunbathed while Mommy worked.  Michael did come to Huntington in time to help me connect it to the bed frame.  In total this project cost me less than $25 and I still have half a gallon of stripper left.  Not to mention one less thing in a landfill!  Now I just need something on the walls....

It's Grilling Time!

I have been harassing my boyfriend for months about trying to grill a pizza.  Well the stars finally came into alignment...we had one day with nice weather when Michael was actually in Huntington.  So I finally got my wish!

Grilled Apple & Pork Pizza:
1 12" pizza crust (we used Boboli, maybe later we will try homemade)
olive oil
1/2 lb boneless pork loin chops
1/4 Granny Smith apple
1/2 c BBQ sauce
1 c goat cheese
fresh parsley

Preheat grill to medium heat for about 10 minutes.  In the meantime, season pork and either cook on grill on in a skillet and slice thin.  Slice apple and place on grill for about 2 minutes, until tender. 

Spread BBQ sauce over crust, then add pork, apples, cheese and parsley.  Place pizza on grill four about 8 to 10 minutes. 

(This one had a little accident, I won't mention any names, but it was a lot prettier when it went on the grill, still tasted great!)

Thai Shrimp Pizza:
1 12" pizza crust
olive oil
1 c small raw shrimp cleaned
1/2 c green onion sliced
1 carrot cut julienne
1/4 c fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 c mozzarella cheese grated

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 c fresh lime juice with pulp
2 T sodium soy sauce
2 T green onion minced
1 T fresh cilantro minced
2 T crunchy peanut butter
1 T olive oil
1 T brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ginger minced
1/2 tsp lime zest grated
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic minced

Preheat grill to medium heat.  Combine lime juice, soy sauce, onion, cilantro, peanut butter, oil, brown sugar, ginger, lime zest, red pepper flakes and garlic in a small pot or sauce pan.  Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally.  One warm add shrimp and stir gently until pink. 

Reduce grill heat to low. Brush grill rack with olive oil. Using the indirect grilling method, slide pizza crusts on grill and cook until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned.  Turn pizza crusts over. Top browned side of pizza crusts with shrimp mixture with liquid to preference. Sprinkle with green onions, carrot sticks and cilantro and cheese.  Cover with grill lid and heat pizzas about 5 minutes or until crust is golden on bottom.