Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shrimp and Grits ~ Mmm!

For the grits:
3 cups water
salt (Must season water for grits!!!)
9 T instant grits.

For the shrimp:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound andouille or spicy Italian spicy sausage, cut in chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 to 3 bay leaves
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and de veined
Pinch cayenne pepper, adjust to personal preference
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 green onions, sliced

For the grits:
Bring salted water to a boil, add grits (stirring to prevent lumps) - turn to low and cook 20 min.

For the shrimp:
Place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic; saute for 2 minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until there is a fair amount of fat in the pan and the sausage is brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the bay leaves. When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the shrimp. Poach the shrimp in the stock for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are firm and pink and the gravy is smooth and thick. Add the cayenne pepper, Tabasco and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the parsley and green onion. Spoon the grits into a serving bowl. Add the shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Halloween 2008

It is August and I am thinking/planning for Halloween (I Love Halloween!).

My 5y/o has decided that he wants to be in a band (they grow up so fast) - it's only appropriate that he be a guitarist (Ku-tar-ist, as he says it)....he has the old, worn out jeans and a t-shirt with guitars and flames on it. The only thing I have to make for him is a guitar (I am too cheap to go out and buy one), we have these sheets of corrugated plastic (used to be coke signs). I sketched out, what I thought his guitar should look like, using the coke sign as the decoration for the
ku-tar. I made 5 guitar bodies alike and cut the center out of 4 (I took a hole punch and made 10 holes in the top piece where the rubber bands go) - I still have to make the neck. Using rubber cement, I glued the guitar together; well, I am in the process of gluing - like I said, still have to make the neck and cut a section out of the guitar body for the neck to fit (I can see it in my head). My 5y/o wanted flames on it too, so my husband drew the flames on the inside of the center part and then I colored them in.
In all I have spent $2 on this project (glue and rubber bands), with the clothes maybe $8-$10.
Basically, this is more of an advanced pre-school/kindergarten guitar made from Kleenex box, rubber bands and paper towel roll.

My 2y/o (he will be 2 on Aug 22) is going to be a lil monster doll. I spent about a buck .40 on fabric and then am painting the eye and mouth on (made a few mistakes - got too anxious and played with it before the paint was dry - Oops! So, I have to go back and fix all those mistakes).
I will put a long sleeve shirt (similar in color to the fabric) and then black sweat pants to finish the costume.

My husband...we are playing with the idea of him being the Absinthe Fairy (Euro Trip), would not go to over the top with this, but a black Tee with Absinthe (in a chartreuse color) painted on the front - maybe wings? and I will try to talk him into a little eye makeup.

I have No clue as to what I will be?

I will post pics when I get everything finished.

Halloween 2007

My oldest went as a Ghost Pirate.
This was a easy costume: 1 single white sheet torn at the edges and then I added glow in the dark paint to them (edges). A little face paint and a hat I got at Kmart.

My baby went as a Mummy, because at the time he was learning to walk and would balance himself by having his arms out in front of him.
His costume was a little more difficult - I took a white tee (thrift store) and gauze, other white fabric and more white tees cut into strips. I sewed all these strips onto the tee and then tea died it all (also made a cap for him). Paired with a long sleeve shirt and dark sweats.

My husband was Cap't Kirk (Pirates of the Great Salt Lake - this is going to be a rather funny movie, you can see clips at or
I hade to make his pirate hat (took a large circle of orange fabric - didn't have black and no money to buy any). I took a balloon to get the head part of the hat and then sewed it into pirate hat shape and painted black. We bought a belt buckle for $2 and I painted a skull and bones on it with metal paint, the rest of his costume came from the thrift store.

I went as Mother Nature and if you know me at all you would know that that was PERFECT!
I took a bed sheet and cut a hole in the center for my head, tore the edges and then sewed up the side which also made the sleeves. I took it outside and with watered down acrylics I sprayed on the color - I wanted it to have the look of the sky at the top and go down in color til it reached the ground (brown on the bottom torn edges). I bought some fake flowers and leaves and sewed them on - I added a little glitter paint to the costume too, to give it a fairy look. I finished the piece off with butterflies I made from polymer and I added brown ribbon and soft scarves to give it a wispiness.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Diamond in the rough

I have always wanted an armoire.

June 2007:

I bought an armoire from our neighbors for $5, it looked like a beautiful piece that just needed a little love, it was a diamond in the rough. It sat on the back deck for about a week before it moved to the basement (where it sat in a closet for over a year).

This past weekend I told my hubby that I wanted to work on it.

Day 1 - Saturday we pulled it out of the darkness of the basement closet to the backyard. Hubby began to take the panels out (we needed to replace the back, top, side panels and it needed a door panel). We spent $50 in new wood.

By the end of this day I had it white washed.

Day 2 - Hubby and I put the new panels in (back and top too). I also realized that I did not like the white wash (I can see all the flaws, not good). We brought it back inside where I could do a new paint treatment to it and get it in our room.

Day 3 - I spent a good 5.5hrs painting this armoire today (in between taking care of the kids, etc). I painted the main body of the armoire a chartreuse color and the panels a off white. I painted bamboo to the front and carried it over to the sides just a little. The inside I painted a fun, bright pink color. I am not one for New things, so I aged the piece with watered down brown paint.