Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Review: Domino

Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy
By Deborah Needleman, Sara Ruffin Costello, Dara Caponigro

I had only picked up the magazine a few times when it was out (they are no longer publishing it), but always enjoyed it.

The book is beautifully put together. The format is interesting going room by room, examining what is important in each individual space. It is packed with great photos along with some basic design ideas, tips and suggestions that are helpful no matter what your taste. They illustrate many of the ideas using Domino staffer's homes so not all of the sources are listed which can get frustrating at times if you really want to do a room closely to the example. But it does force you to look through your own home and about to find a look that will not copy but fit your own style. And because of that this book is all about the photos to help you get the creative juices flowing when wanting to redecorate so it is a great place to start gathering your thoughts.

The cons of this book are that not all the resources are listed. The room styles are trendy so probably won't be of use later, but at the same time they are eclectic and some of that style can carry over and the tips won't ever go out of style so will be useful not matter what.

I want this book. I checked it out from the library and renewed it 3 times (the limit). And then several months later checked it out again and renewed it 3 times again. It is eye candy and I never tired of flipping through it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deviled Egg Ramped Up

Over Memorial Day weekend I made these and they were so good. With 4th of July coming up here in the USA, I am sure these would be a hit at any get together. I halved the recipe but the full recipe is on the website.

Bacon & Cheddar Deviled Eggs
Adapted from Incredible Egg

7 Hard Cooked/Hard Boiled Eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream (used low-fat sour cream)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (didn't use it as I didn't have any around)
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/8 cup finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 oz.)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives OR green onion tops

* Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks to medium bowl. Reserve 2 white halves. * Finely chop remaining 2 white halves.
* Mash yolks with fork. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice and pepper; mix well.
* Add chopped egg whites, bacon, cheese and chives/green onions; mix well.
* Spoon 1 heaping Tbsp. yolk mixture into each reserved egg white half.
* Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sloppy Joe

I am going to admit it...I have a guilty pleasure and his name is Sloppy Joe. I think it is because they bring me back to my childhood. I was craving them and caved into ultimate childhood feats of sloppy joes and tater tots. Very high class food. :)

1 Tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup chopped mixed bell peppers - use whatever is your favorite. I used a combo of green and red
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lb ground beef or ground turkey if you want to make it a bit leaner
1/2 cup ketchup
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes (I like the petite cut tomatoes)
two good shakes of Worcestershire sauce
black pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat. Remove vegetables from the pan to a medium sized bowl, set aside.

2. Using the same pan - heat the pan on high. Crumble the ground beef into the pan. brown and drain off fat.

3. Return the cooked ground beef and vegetables to the pan. Add the ketchup, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Stir to mix well. If it is very thick add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. You want enough water in it so that it is saucy and can simmer with bubbling from the heat. If it is too thick it will just burn to the bottom and sit like a lump. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve on hamburger buns. Serves 4.

This serves 4 using either bigger kaiser type rolls or using a very generous helping on regular hamburger buns. Or can serve 6 using smaller helping on a regular bun.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Favorites

Dover Projects - articles on many household projects - everything from creating a pet door, chalking a bathtub, how to insulate an attic door and many more. I haven't had time to go through a lot of the projects but the ones I did skim made me think it might be a good resource

Simple Organic: Natural Deodorant Challenge - With efforts to go more green and find ways to cut costs this I think is my push to try natural deodorant. In the comment section there is several links to recipes.

My Tomatoes - So this would be good for someone who works on the computer a lot or someone who has a computer that is in a living area with speakers. You start your task via My Tomatoes and then it will start a timer and you are to work for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off you, record exactly what you got done in that time. And then do a 5 minutes break before starting over. I think you get a longer break after 4 "tomatoes" done. It is based on this technique that has a downloadable book on the site.

Grilled Corn - it looks so yummy. I love the idea of putting it in the ziplock after. You will have to read it to see what I mean.

How to build a simple deck - from HGTV

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Back to the Basics: Cleaning the Toaster

I have been really busy the last several months. And so my usual cleaning lagged behind which created bigger cleaning issues. And the toaster was one of those issues. Also - I let it go a while because I knew I wanted to take a really bad before picture as every other time I tried it didn't show the crumbs that well.

If possible, consult your owner’s manual for tips to clean your specific toaster make and model.

1) Make sure toaster is cool. Unplug it.

2) Open up or pull out crumb tray, empty over trash can, giving it gentle taps or shakes to get all the crumbs out.

 Not all units will have a tray so you will move down to the next step.

3) There always seem to be some crumbs that just stick in the toaster or you might not have a crumb tray. Tip toaster upside down over trash can - give a gentle but firm shake. If there are still some crumbs, use a blow dryer set on low or use some canned air to spray into the spots and hopefully one of those 2 methods will dislodge any crumbs in tight spots. .

4) Wipe the outside of the toaster and the crumb tray. Spray cloth with soap and water or vinegar and water solution and wipe clean.  If there are crumbs that are burnt on or really stuck and are not loosening, use a toothbrush on them. After wiping down, dry and buff to shine with a microfiber cloth.

The crumb tray photo above is obviously clean I forgot to take a picture of it when it was dirty.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday Favorites on Saturday

It has been a busy week so a little late on Friday Favorites....but thought I would at least share things I found of interest this week.

Recycle Old Magazines into Coasters

For the Love of Cooking - quite a lot of vegetarian recipes

Dry Erase Board - how to make your own dry erase board

Want to Throw a Party? - Someone breaking it down how to throw party without breaking the bank and enjoying your time with friends

The Household Planner - I have only looked at some of the printables but looks like it could be an interesting site for that at least if not more

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Favorites

Less Trash to Take Out by Vocal Point - A short little article on reducing paper waste. But also if you just go to Vocal Point, through your free sign up they offer samples. I have gotten a lot of samples, plus then I get $1 to $2 off the product and then coupons to share too.

10 Tips on Finding Decorating Style - I think these are all good tips for finding your own or someone else's decorating style.

You Grow Girl - is a good resource for gardening in a modern world

Real Simple's Top 20 Reference Books - Many I haven't heard of and want to check out but there might be some good books to have in a personal library

Reusable Swiffer Duster - A find that I think could be interesting to try out. I got one of those Swiffer Dusters free in the mail a few years ago. I just have it sitting in a basket never used it before

Homemade Pancake Mix - to have on hand for whenever

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tuesday Morning Deal

We are on Tuesday Morning snail mail list so we get an ad from them every few weeks. We both go nuts in Tuesday Morning so it is usually good if we don't go in there too much. Really Master loves it just as much as I do. My sister is having a baby and I have already been eying so many things in there!

And our house really has many things from Tuesday Morning in it as they just have incredible deals. Several years ago we bought these hand blown glasses. And we are down to one as they were just too delicate. But I loved them while we had them and they were so inexpensive that losing them this quickly didn't feel like too much of a break in our budget.

***colors and coolness factor not really showing up great in this photo! trust me they were cool!

Anyway...the real point of this post about a book. I reviewed the book Martha Stewart's Cooking School almost a year ago. It is a book that I would love to have - and I think for those wanting to learn to cook or step up their basic cooking skills it is a must-have.

We received Tuesday Morning's ad yesterday and it has that book. The book normally retails for $45 and it is reduced on Amazon but still you would save if you bought it at Tuesday Morning as it is $19.99. I think that is a great deal. So if you had it on your wish list or were thinking of picking it up - now at Tuesday Morning you can get it for $19.99. And it is a big book packed with quality info. Please read my review for more info on it.


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