Sunday, August 28, 2011

Any Given Sunday

Happy Sunday!  The following pictures are for my sister!  We have been living in our house for about 9 months and she has not been able to come and see it yet (understandably- she has had few other things going on, like giving birth).  Anyway- here is the "before & after" of our living roomm and the guest bedroom.  Just like this post, there is a kitty hiding in one of these pictures, look closely, & you'll find Stella!

Living Room Before:
Living Room After:

Living Room Before:
Living Room After:
Guest Bedroom Before:

Guest Bedroom After:
That white couch is a hide-a-bed.  We thought about putting a full bed in there, but we figured a crib might go in that same room as some point, ergo we needed something that would allow for crib space.  PS- I'm not pregnant. 

I baked some of these this afternoon: 
These are Joe's Grandma's recipe, passed onto me by Joe's Mom- thanks Judy!
Zucchini Muffins
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla
1. Grease and flour bread pan or muffin pan
2. Mix all ingredients
3. Bake bread at 350 degrees for 60 minutes (muffins bake for 30 minutes)

I started school again this week.  I've finished one semester and I have 5 to go- woot.  I have class on Wednesdays which means I work from 8:30AM-3:00 PM and then I spend the next seven hours traveling to Columbia, sitting in class, and then traveling back home.  It makes for a bit of a long day, but I know people have done much more difficult things in the interest of furthering their educations.  I'm lucky to be doing this.
 I was talking to an old friend/higher-ed colleague on the phone  last weekend.  Her husband started working at a church this past year and she shared that she had observed how similar their jobs were.  She works at the University of Minnesota, which obviously doesn't have any religious affiliation.  I can't say I was too surprised by this, education and ministry have a history of being intertwined.  As a result, similarities are intuitive.  People that know better, do better.  Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had followed my original plan of working in ministry.  I guess I'll never really know.  But, I'd like to think that if you're in the business of challenging people to expand their knowledge, you're probably making the world an exponentially better place.  Knowledge will always be greater than ignorance. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Karma's Telling Me to Quit Watching Bacholor Pad

This is my first post from my new laptop!  I was watching a tv show on-line  in bed last weekend and I dumped half a nalgene bottle of water on my old one-opps!  I can't say anything bad about that old thing- it got me through my master's degree, my first job, my second job, the start of my third job, and my first semester of doctoral work- whew.  Rest in peace old lap top.  My cute husband bought some kind of cord on-line to get all my old files off the hard drive- what a guy- he is always quick to resolve my stupid problems! 

Alrighty- time for a recipe!  This is one I made up on my own for the most part.  I did consult for some guidance on the pesto sauce.

Pesto Pizza
1 roll of refrigerated pizza dough
Goat Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Veggies (Peppers, tomatoes, onion)
Kalameta Olives
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs pine nuts or almonds
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor

1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor- I use the Magic Bullet. (If you are using almonds instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3 Unroll pizza crust onto a cookie sheet.
4 Spread sauce over the dough using a rubber spatula
5 Top with veggies, goat cheese crumbles (careful, this stuff is potent), and mozzarella cheese.

6 Cook in oven according to the pizza dough directions.

Is your husband isn't crazy about pesto and goat cheese, you might consider making a more traditional side for him... with regular pizza sauce, peperoni, and mozzarella cheese;) 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Librarian's Worst Nightmare: A Book Wreath Tutorial

It's been a while since I posted a tutorial!  Today, I'm going to share the process for creating a book wreath.  Warning- no decent books were harmed in the making of this blog post. Nor were any library books destroyed.  "Summer People" was a Target purchase a few years back.  I can't imagine re-reading this book or bestowing such a dragging story on any friends or family.  I always liked the cover though- this book finds redemption in it's physical appearance, ergo, it's perfect for the following endeavor. 

Here's what you'll need:
1 Styrofoam wreath (mine is 10 in)
1 book you're willing to destroy
1 package of stick pins
1 hot glue gun and hot glue
Paint (gray, brown, or silver)
1 Paintbrush
Now, for the process:
1. Paint the edges of the book using gray, brown or silver paint.  This will help the pages to look aged.

2. Carefully rip all the pages out of the book. 
3.  Fold each page accordion, fan style.  I made 5 creases in each page, folding the short way.

Here's my little helper, making a little weasel bed in a pile of  the finished pages.
4. Glue and pin one layer of fanned pages onto the back of the wreath like this:
5. Turn the wreath over.  Glue and pin the next layer around the outer side of the wreath.  Apply the glue on a small tab like this:

6. Attach the pages to the wreath using glue and pins with the tabs pointing up  towards the ceiling.  After this layer is complete, the wreath should look like this:
7.  On the next layer, continue applying glue on the tabs, however, this time attach the pages with the tabs pointing down. 
8.  Continue making layers with the tabs pointing up.  The final layer should be attached to the inside of the inner ring. 
You're done! Great decor for any literary enthusiast!

While I fanned the pages for my wreath, here a a few other options:

Making strips and ringlets:

Or a combination of rolling and fanning:
This book wreath will be hung up in our guest room on an antique window that we found under our basement stairs.  I'm really in love with antiques lately!