The weather in Portland this weekend was absolutely gorgeous! And it has me dreaming of my backyard deck renovation, hopefully kicking off a few weeks from now, maybe even before that if this weather keeps up!
Anyway, here’s a little outdoor space inspiration for your Sunday evening.
What a weekend! Our Seahawks are going to the Superbowl again!! Such a fun weekend up in Seattle, watching the game and hanging with friends. Along with that, lots of yummy football food and drink. Which means we needed something a little lighter for dinner tonight.
If you don’t already read or subscribe to Cooking Light Magazine, this is the month to do it! The recipes in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue are mouthwatering! I have not dog-eared so many pages in a food magazine before as I did in the current issue, and tonight’s dinner was one of them.
Lamb Chops with Farro, Arugula, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette
8 (4 oz) lamb loin chops
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
8 ozs uncooked farro
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tsps. honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsps. finely chopped fresh thyme
2 ozs baby arugula
1. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Sprinkle lamb with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add to grill; cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes.
2. Cook farro according to package directions. Drain and let cool.
3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and next 7 ingredients (through thyme) in a small bowl.
4. Combine farro and arugula in a bowl. Add half of dressing; toss to coat. Divide farro mixture evenly among 4 serving plates; arrange 2 lamb chops on each plate. Drizzle remaining dressing over lamb.
*Original recipe from Cooking Light Magazine
We moved into this house and one of the things I loved most was the huge open area off the kitchen where I could create a dining room complete with a farm table for entertaining. The only problem, and something I didn’t want to tackle, there was no overhead electrical in the room! Yes, I will add lamps to the room to brighten it up but you can’t have a gorgeous farm table with no rustic overhead light fixture!! It just felt weird.
This is what I came up with, inspired by the many pillar candle fixtures I’ve seen at so many home retailers.
Because there was no overhead electrical and because I didn’t want to attempt fixing that problem, I used battery operated flameless candles. This is a safer option anyway when the candles are overhead and in a not-so-accessible location.
Step 1: Measure in 1 1/2″ on each corner of the poplar board and use the 1/2″ drill bit to drill 4 holes.
Step 2: Stain or paint you poplar board to the color of your choice. I used Minwax Stain in Dark Walnut. I brushed on 1 coat of color and wiped off the excess stain with an old rag to let the wood grain show through.
Step 3: While the poplar board dries, attach you ceiling hooks. Determine the area you want your chandelier to hang. From the center, measure out 2 feet on each side, this is where each hook will go. As you screw the hooks into the ceiling, end with the hooks facing away from each other.
Step 4: Cut 2 pieces of rope, each 4 feet long (this length may vary based on how high your ceiling is). Lay your board in front of you, turned horizontally. Feed 1 end of rope #1 through the top right hole of the board. On the underside of the board, tie the rope in a knot so that there is about 1 inch of rope hanging below the knot. Feed the other end of rope #1 through the bottom right hole of the board and make another knot. Repeat on the left side of the board with rope #2. Place the center of each rope on the ceiling hooks and check for level.
By now you know that I don’t love veggies, but, they are very necessary for a healthy diet. When you only eat a handful of different vegetables, eating them can get old real fast. I needed to try some new side dishes to keep simple weeknight dinners interesting. Cue the bacon! I know, I know, it takes away a bit of the healthy edge. Let’s be honest though, getting my husband to eat brussels sprouts…I had to bring out the big guns.
By sautéing the brussels sprouts in the bacon drippings, you get amazing flavor and don’t forget to add in the leaves that fall off the brussel sprouts when you slice them in half. These leaves roast up to a nice crispy brown, my favorite part of this side dish!
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, stems removed and halved
8 slices thick cut bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2″ pieces
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook bacon in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until mostly cooked but not browned, about 7-8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from frying pan and set bacon aside.
2. Add brussels sprouts to frying pan and bacon drippings. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper and sauté until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
3. Transfer brussels sprouts and cooked bacon to a 11×8 baking dish, mix to combine and roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
To kick off the new year, and in the spirit of #flashbackfriday, I’m revisiting the top posts from 2014. I’m amazed at how far this blog has come in just 6 short months. I was a bit reluctant to start this project at first, thinking it would be more work than I had time for. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work, but it has become my hobby and what I love to do in any spare moments between my real job and daily life. I love sharing my journey of being a first-time home owner, DIYing herself through a home remodel with all of you and your support means the world to me. Thank you to all of you for paying attention to what I have to say, this blog wouldn’t mean nearly as much without you.
And with that…these are the top 5 posts from 2014, what you loved the most!