Sunday, 23 September 2012

Party Hard-y!

Gosh, what a busy week.

It's the week I decided to start painting the guest room, even though I was also prepping for my daughter's TENTH birthday. Holy crap. Ten years old.

I went with a very typical fall theme. It's weird because my daughter is now at the age when cutesy themes just aren't cool anymore. It was a small affair of just family and two of my daughter's closest pals. The latter kept us up with their sleepover giggles and screams.

Here are a few snacks and treats I prepared. Thanks to Pinterest, I scored some fabulous recipes and ideas for yummy things to serve. The best part is that they are all super easy to make. Pumpkin fluff dip literally consists of whipped cream, canned pumpkin, one package of instant vanilla pudding mix, and pie spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove). The skewers were made from sliced strawberries, lemon cake cut into rounds, and whipped cream. Mmmmm, someone loves whipped cream ...

The acorn treats are fun to assemble, even of your kids want to help. I used almond Hershey Kisses, Voortmans mini coconut cookies, milk chocolate chips, and natural peanut butter for the glue. So. Good. And a little too easy to pop in your mouth, FYI.

I love the vintage quality that pennant or bunting garlands lend to party decor. I buy scrapbooking paper when it goes on clearance at craft stores, because you never know when it might come in handy. So I used that to make my pennants and they are especially cute when paired with pom-poms in coordinating colours. For the place settings, I made name cards from patterned paper and secured them to pinecones. These were then nestled into folded bandanas, which I thought felt pretty country and tied into the fall theme.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Yellow Vegetable Thai Curry

Every now and then, I get the urge to have a creamy coconut curry with noodles. Since our little dude loves tofu (weird, right?), I figured I could throw something together to suit us all.

I had picked up some smoked tofu the other day, which is something I've never seen before. Turns out, it's a great addition to this curry.

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp puréed garlic
1 tbsp puréed ginger
1 tsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp natural peanut butter
4 cups vegetables (I used sliced red peppers, white mushrooms, celery, carrots, and shredded zucchini)
1 can of coconut milk
1 pkg smoked tofu, cubed
1/2 cup water
Salt, to taste
1 cup toasted almonds, cashews, or peanuts

Heat oil in a pan and cook onion until golden. Add garlic, ginger purées and the curry paste and fry, being careful not to burn. You'll want to keep the heat on low for this part, as the puréed tend to spit - ouch!

Throw in the vegetables, peanut butter, tofu and turmeric and fry for a few minutes, until everything is incorporated. Pour the coconut milk and water in and simmer for 15-20 minutes. It should thicken into a nice, creamy sauce. Don't forget to add your salt at this point, if you dig it.

Serve on flat rice noodles or rice and sprinkle with toasted nuts. I have my almonds a little whir in the food processor before toasting, but you can do whatever the heck you want. Enjoy!

Fresh Start

Oh hey ... What is happening in the guest room?

All I'm going to say is that I've got a couple of projects waiting in the wings and they're all for the guest room. It might take a few weeks for everything to be done-zo, so stay tuned ...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

IKEA Lamp Re-Do

Woo! I've got a couple of projects on the go, but naturally, few are finished and documented just yet.
Except for one measly DIY IKEA hack that I slammed in about half an hour.

This was one of those projects that I put on the back burner because it simply wasn't urgent on my spruce-up-the-house list. When we got married and moved into this house, Scientist Husband brought with him a few IKEA rice paper shade lamps. Most of the shades didn't completely survive the move and this table lamp (actually, one similar, since I didn't take a picture of the poor thing) has been hiding in shame in the basement:

So I removed what was left of the tattered rice paper shade and decided to use some leftover fabric from the dining room curtain panels that Mom and I made in the spring. By measuring the length of the supporting metal rods inside the lamp, I cut out a nice swatch of fabric and decided I might as well tackle this one. The little dude was napping and I figured I still had a bit of uninterrupted time to concentrate on something.

At first, I wanted to use Modge Podge, but it quickly became clear that that wasn't going to do the trick. Hail, glue gun! I pretty much glued the fabric around each frame, waited for it to dry, and inserted the supporting rods back in place.

The lamp is going to hang out in the guest room until I decided to take the plunge and get started on its transformation ... Which is soon ...