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Monday, May 6, 2013

Projects and Pizza...

Kevin was gone this past weekend at the Knights of Columbus State Convention in Pendleton, Oregon. Yes, it's where Pendleton blankets and Pendleton shirts come's about a 7 hour drive from our house.
While he was gone, I took advantage of the time to do several projects.
First, I wanted to make a chalkboard menu for quite a while, but I wasn't sure if I wanted a canvas one, or a chalkboard frame. I decided this weekend while garage sale-ing, that the frame was the thing!
I found this chalkboard frame at a garage sale for pretty cheap but I didn't like the blue color. I don't have very much light blue in my house (well, turquoise in the 'spring' bathroom colors but no where else) so I decided to paint the frame and glaze it to make it fit in my kitchen decor.
I made my own 'chalk' paint using 1/3 plaster of Paris slurry and 2/3 latex 'antique white' paint (Behr) It was an 'oops' can from Home Depot for....ta da! $2 a quart!! Score!
Then, I used a dry brush to add an antique copper glaze (Martha Stewart- yah it was like $6 for a 1 cup jar but I'll use it over and over) and after letting it dry, I used clear Minwax paste to buff it to a light finish. Pretty nice! Yes, that was dinner when Kevin got home- a couple of petit steaks on the BBQ with Santa Maria BBQ seasoning, roasted Yukon Gold baby potatoes, roasted Asparagus spears and some delicious homemade coleslaw with a vinaigrette dressing!
I also used the carpet cleaner to clean every square inch of carpet in our house (oh how I hate carpet) and I also cleaned every window and pretty much every surface in the house. I also took down all the 'spring' decor and put up the Americana decor in honor of Memorial Day! OK, I know, I'm early, but I do love the red,white and blue...
New copper metal lights on the beautiful antique windows...

Can you say, "I love Restoration Hardware" online ordering? Two day shipping? Just sayin'.....
Today, we planted the tomatoes- I am SO proud of how full the 'seed starts' turned out- only problem is that we mis-labeled them so we are hoping after matching leaves we end up with 7 Roma style tomatoes for canning at least! We are pretty sure we have one Sungold cherry and one Sweet million Cherry, and the rest are delicious, enormous slicing tomatoes!

We buried them deep and put all the Romas on the right side by the rainbarrels since they are determinate and won't grow as huge as the others. The ones on the right will get a lot of full sun (as will the Romas) to help them grow well! We decided against the 'Walls of Water' so far since it's gonna be in the high 70s and mid 80s over the next 10 days- and the nighttime temps will be in the mid 40s. They should be OK- they have been hardened off gradually so we will see. You can see the drip system we will get started later in the week- for now, we will water by hand. Oh and the little red Radio Flyer Wagon- that's the Chicken 'sin wagon'. That's been planted with a bunch of swiss chard (and you notice it's behind the fence) so we can let the Chickens feast later in the season.
I also tried a new recipe today for pizza. As you probably know, I LOVE Sunset Magazine and get a lot of inspiration on food, fun and places to visit there! I saw that Michael Chiarello (SERIOUSLY one of my favorite celebrity chefs EVah!!) had a series in the May edition of Sunset on fire roasted pizza with an asparagus pesto salad pizza.
So tonight, I made the 'asparagus pesto'. All I can say, is this is incredibly delicious! It would also be delicious tossed with Spaghetti squash!
Here's my edition- I didn't have pignolias (pinenuts) and I don't like cheese in my pesto- and it's still fantastic! 
1/2 lb of asparagus, washed, and the hard ends snapped off
1/2 cup of freshly washed and DRIED basil
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of almond flour 
1/4 cup of EVOO
1 tsp kosher salt (or grey sea salt or Hawaii'an sea salt which is what I used)
Toss all of this in the food processor for 3 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and use within 2 days. HA! As if it will last that long...
Make pizza dough. You know my fav recipe if you read this blog. If not, go to this site - the pizza dough is easy and FANTASTIC if you have a food processor William Sonoma Fantastic Pizza Dough
Cut pizza dough into 4 pieces. Roll out two of them and poke with a fork. (Very important) Bake at 450 degrees on a pizza stone for 5 minutes until a little browned. Add toppings and cheese and bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Eat and enjoy!!

Kevin wanted red sauce, diced steak (leftover from last night) sauteed mushrooms and cheddar cheese with a little parmesano-romano; I had the asparagus pesto, artichoke hearts, diced fresh tomatoes and mostly paremesano-romano with a little cheddar. Yah, no pics of the finished pizza because...well, we ate it all before I remembered to take a picture. Sorry. You have to make this! It was GREAT!
So, today was a good day. A fun coffee talk with a friend, a little thunder and lightning, a little hail, a little super hard sideways pouring rain, some fun in the garden, a wonderful lunch of tacos and enchiladas at Jalepeno's, a delicious pizza dinner and it's time to watch some playoff hockey. GO KINGS!!! GO DUCKS....until you have the play the Kings, and then, GO KINGS!!!!

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