Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fresh Cut Friday. Except it's Saturday.

This week's FCF comes to you a day late. But is also comes to you in a really cute container!

This is actually the package for a candle I bought a while back. I liked the colors and pattern so much, I held onto it. How cute is it as a vase? It definitely takes these $5 grocery store mums up a notch. I put the flowers in a short glass filled with water and set it inside the package. You can achieve the same look by wrapping a plain vase or glass with patterned scrapbook paper. So this week's Fresh Cut lesson? Don't toss those pretty containers and leftover paper. Reuse them. Because recycling is cool. Especially when it's cute.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken a la Nora Walker

If you're a fan of Brothers & Sisters, you may know where I'm going with that title. If you aren' will all make sense soon. I, for one, am a big fan of the show. Not only will I be watching it tonight, I also made Nora Walker's signature meal for dinner...Roasted Chicken. If you've never made one, or if it's been a while, do yourself a favor. Go buy a chicken and roast it today.

I'm not exactly sure how Nora does it, but here's my version. You will need...

  • A whole chicken - for 2 people, I buy a 4-5 lb bird.
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine (I use the cheap stuff)
  • 4-6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • Salt & Pepper
Preheat your oven to 425. Cut your onion in half. Slice half of the onion thinly and quarter the other half. Line the bottom of a baking dish with the sliced onion. This will create a nice little bed for your birdie. Now, remove the innards from your chicken and lightly rinse it inside and out. Pat the skin dry with paper towels. Now it's time to season and stuff the bird. The trick (Nora swears by it, too) is to separate the skin from the meat on top of the bird. You can do that easily by just running your finger between the two. Once you've done that, pour half of the melted butter down under the skin and toss some salt & pepper down there, too. Next, season the cavity of the chicken with salt & pepper and stuff the quartered onion, half of the lemon, and garlic in. Now, you want to tuck the wings under the bird so they don't burn. (Although, I forgot to do that this time around, and they didn't burn. So...not a big deal). Next, tie the legs together using kitchen twine. I was out of twine, so I used a couple of kabob skewers to keep the legs together. Then you want to pour the remaining butter on top of the chicken and season with salt & pepper. Squeeze the other two lemon quarters on top of the bird, toss the lemons in the dish and pour the broth and wine in the dish, too.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast for about an hour, until the skin is brown and crispy. You want to baste it about every 15-20 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, I tossed some fresh green beans in the pan to cook. crispy and juicy and good! I'll take chicken like this over a grilled chicken breast any day. Sure, it takes a little longer, but it really is so much tastier. If you want a thicker sauce to serve with the chicken, simmer the juices from the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat until it reduces into a nice sauce.

I also made these whipped potatoes, to go with the chicken. I basically boiled two potatoes, mashed them down a bit and added some light sour cream, green onion & chive flavored cream cheese, a little bit of butter, salt, and pepper...and then beat them with a hand mixer. Pretty tasty!

And there you have it...a favorite Sunday meal for the Janisse crew. And for Nora Walker and her crew. Oh yeah, be sure to enjoy with a nice glass of Ojai white :) Don't get it? Watch the show!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fresh Cut Friday

Spring has sprung! OK, so maybe it's just a temporary warm up. I know winter will be back to rear its ugly head before spring is officially here. But I'm going to soak up the sun and 60 degree temps while I can! And since tulips = spring in my book, I picked up 2 bunches from Trader Joe's yesterday, for this week's "Fresh Cut Friday".

Just in case you are, we do not have a 10 year old boy we've kept a secret from everyone. That is a photo of the Mr. back in his CYC soccer days. I discovered it in a box of old stuff his mom gave us and I decided to put it on display for a while. Love it.

Happy weekend to everyone! It's a long one for me. Hoping to tackle a few small projects on my extra day off. Thank you very much, Mr. Presidents of the United States of America.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I have an addiction.

I've tried to quit. I can make it a few days, but then I'm back at it. It may not be life threatening or illegal, but it's an addiction all the same. On the streets it's known as...

Yep. It's true. If I could get back the hours I've spent searching this site, I would be rich in hours. Like at least a few months worth. I just cannot help myself. I hop on it at least a few times a week, in search of "the one". The diamond in the rough. The house in the perfect neighborhood that just needs some renovation, creativity, and most of all love. My love. I've come across many that fit that bill. And I've declared to my husband, no less than 35 times, "I found our dream home!" To say he's a little sick of hearing that would be an understatement.

He and I don't exactly see eye to eye on this subject. He doesn't like the idea of taking a risk with real estate. And he can't walk into an 80 year old home in need of a total overhaul and see what it could be. Taking on a big renovation and buying a house based on potential only would be scary to him. I'm not going to pretend it wouldn't be a little scary for me, too, but even more so it would be exciting! To bring an old neglected house back to its original glory? Mouldings, hardwood floors, old tile and all??? Definitely on my list of things to do in my life. Right this minute may not be the time, but I will keep stalking the until the time is right and the real "the one" comes along. And I'll keep working on my husband. I think he's starting to come around. Or just hitting his threshold and giving in. Either way, I'll take it.

And just for fun, here are a few I am currently eyeing and making over in my dreams...

It has a carriage house!

A little bit of the Mediterranean right in the STL!

I'm a sucker for a butler's pantry.

This one doesn't need as much work.
But I am in love with the sunroom and its tile!

This lot is awesome, and the house is oozing with potential.

So am I the only one dealing with this addiction? Should we start a support group? Rehab perhaps?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fresh Cut Friday

For this week's Fresh Cut Friday, I wanted to use what I had. Not spend any money. Be thrifty. So, I snipped the few remaining blooms from my poinsettia plants, robbed half of last week's arrangement of its blooms, and came up with this...

I used four little bud vases (or whatever they were originally intended to be), and lined them up on the dining room table. Much like last week's flowers, they have a "Valentiney" feel to them. Wouldn't little arrangements like these be cute for a baby or bridal shower? The carnations look so girly with all of those ruffly petals! Not that poinsettias are available year-round. But you could use a different leafy plant in place of the poinsettia.

So there's another Fresh Cut Friday for you. Simple. Pretty. And FREE!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lamp Lust

In the market for a lamp, or 10? Wish I was. During my last trip to HomeGoods, I spotted these beauties, all of which were very reasonably priced. Like $39-$59. I wanted to take them home...every single one of them.

I really have a thing for lamps. And mirrors. And pillows. All of which are found in abundance at HomeGoods. It's a miracle when I leave empty handed. Not that it happens often.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Fresh Cut Friday

Get excited...I'm back with another "Fresh Cut Friday"! This week, I stopped in at Flowerama for my fresh cut flora. Normally, I would stay far, far away from a place like this. They have wooden wind mills and scary garden statues sitting out front to greet you. Not my kind of place. But I was wanting something pretty specific. Something I knew they'd have. Something I used to hate...CARNATIONS. I think I actually once told Jason I'd rather receive no flowers than receive carnations. Can you say snobby? But I seriously used to hate them! However, these days I think they're OK, in the right application. I'm still not a fan when they're mixed in with other more "sophisticated" flowers. But I do think they can look pretty charming on their own, displayed in tight little bunches.

Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and I don't have much V-Day decor, I thought I'd go "Valentiney" with the flowers. That led me to carnations. I think they last a while, so hopefully these cute little bunches will stick around until 2/14 hits. My mom got Jason and I these initial mugs from Anthropoligie for Christmas. I thought they'd make the perfect little vessels for my carnations.

Here is a bunch in Jason's mug...

And another little bunch in my mug...

I am loving the pretty pink hue and the texture of these carnantions. Perfect for Valentine's Day. Even for us reformed carnation haters. A girl can change her mind, right???