Monday, January 31, 2011

Productive Sunday, Making Egg Rolls, New Dining Room Tabletop, Spaghetti with a Twist

Thanks, friends! I'm loving our new party planning area - so fun! Mostly, i'm loving the space it freed up in the pantry - now to organize the pantry better! Here's to February. :) Here was yesterday's To-Do list - I think I did pretty good! :)
  • gym + reading (at least 4 miles while reading + chest) nope... today will have to kick off my workouts
  • grocery store (for book club) DONE - loved picking out some items for some new recipes - hit up Publix, Kroger and an Indian grocer!
  • blog reading catch up! DONE (almost - still have few more to do tonight!)- enjoyed seeing what you all have been up to!
  • baths for Reuben and Remy - didn't happen - they'll get them tonight!
  • recipe test: egg rolls - DONE - I made 4 'testers' then tweaked the recipe for when I make it for book club!

  • Make a few meals (at least 1 breakfast and 2 lunch/dinners) - DONE; I made 6 servings of breakfast risotto; 4 servings of a new recipe from Biz, Chicken Tikka Masala; and 4 servings of another new recipe called Chicken Curry in a Hurry.

  • Organizing January - March photos (in prep for '2010 in pictures' book) - didn't do it - will do tonight!
  • Order my cruise card - didn't do it - will do it tonight!
  • Make list of spices I want containers for - DONE - even went to BB&B and got 40 spice jars. Now I just need to make labels... :)
  • Visit Macy's for three gifts - didn't happen - couldn't stomach the mall on a Sunday - i'll beep by this week!
  • Visit Party City for more napkins for the buffet jar - DONE - also got some fun little items for the buffet including fancy toothpicks, mini forks, bamboo skewers, etc.
So not bad!! I do have a bit to do tonight but that's fine - i'm looking forward to a pretty chill Monday evening. Poor Austin is still sick - some kind of chest cold. Has him out of commission which is so weird - he NEVER gets sick. :(

So, not to dwell on the past or to talk too much about my dining room, but I LOVED my old dining room rug. It was a Pottery Barn Outlet find. Reuben loved it too. For those who missed all of the posts where I whined about it don't know, he loved to relieve himself on it to the point that we had to get it drycleaned. Which was a total fail and waste of $. Enter the new rug (another Pottery Barn Outlet find), which is a much more intense print which meant our printed place mats were no longer going to work. On Saturday when me, my mom and my sister all went up to Pottery Barn outlet they were setting up a display with a runner and these cool, heavy, awesomely rustic, candlesticks - with no candles in them. I loved it. I picked up 5 candlesticks (only $53 total) , my sis found the runner (only $15) in the store and game over - I was going to copy PB's tabletop for my living room for only $68. Here's how it turned out - not a major transformation but i'm much happier with the rug, and the room, now!

BEFORE: this is the new rug - you can see how the 'poppy' placemats were just kind of meh. As far as not just doing a single centerpiece in the middle - I was worried it would compete with the huge light that hangs over it! (not shown in this shot!)

AFTER: Candlesticks and runner instead - not competing with 'beehive' light... do you see little Reuben? LOL
Close up shot of candlesticks
The completed room - new tabletop and new 'party central' buffet!
So exciting! I can tell I have the house buzz again. But don't worry - the cooking buzz is still firing on all cylinders! Here's a new recipe we've been munching on this weekend! It's one I had had in my file for a while - here goes!

Cowboy Spaghetti
Makes 6 Servings
Recipe adapted from Blog Chef

Nutritional Information: 399 calories, 55 carbs, 8 fat grams and 25 protein grams.

Review: This one is a winner - a nice mash up between spaghetti and chili! I don't know if this is the right word but I would say TANGY! It has a lot of flavor. It really is like a spaghetti meat sauce, but with a great, flavorful kick and the bacon adds a lot too! I loved cooking with beer - first time! :) This one was easy, love the 400-calorie count and LOVE that it makes six servings. This one is a keeper!

Q: Have you ever made egg rolls? Do you like egg rolls? I usually don't eat them because they're so fried and bad for you - but I'm loving this light, baked version - i'll post the recipe later this week!

Q: What's your favorite centerpiece? I usually prefer something a bit more central - but i'm liking this longer tablescape and think it's super versatile for seasonal decor or for my everyday white squares!


Melissa said...

I make The Cheesecake Factory's Avocado egg rolls with that same sauce they serve with it and they are OUT of THIS WORLD!!!! :)
Your house is so beautiful by the way.

Erica said...

The mall scares me on the weekends too! I much prefer going at night during the week! Your dining room looks fabulous- the new carpet is super cute. I have been wanting to try baked egg rolls for some time now- I must get on it. Favorite centerpiece- I usually like a hurricane vase filled with unique to the season items

Kacy said...

I love egg rolls but I've never made them. Yum!

Hope said...

Your dining room is beautiful! I love how you decorated it!

I've never made egg rolls before. I have always wanted to try making them. They are so yummy :)

Heather (Where's the Beach) said...

I love the table set up. I keep trying to find a centerpiece or something that I like. So far no luck and I just can't stand my poor little, bare table. I'm impressed with how successful you were on that to-do list. Kudos!

I haven't made egg rolls in ages. Used to make them more frequently. I actually started baking them rather than frying.

Jess@atasteofconfidence said...

good job with your to do fav centerpiece are probably flowers:)

DecoratedAndExhausted said...

Love it! You did such a great job. What a beautiful home you have

Marisa @ Loser for Life said...

I love eggrolls! I made my own once, but they didn't look as yummy as yours!

You are THE BEST decorator!!!

Beth @ bride in the little white dress said...

Mmmmm, those egg rolls look so yummy! I never thought to bake though I've re-heated them in the oven/toaster oven before. Love the new rug, it brings just the right amount of sassiness to the room.

Christina said...

you are so domestic!!! i love it. teach me!

April said...

I like egg rolls...never made them. They look complicated and I want to keep the Chinese in business.

Tyler said...

If I could perfect eggrolls, Ryan would be one happy guy! I love the southwest ones at Chilis. Holy yum!

Tami said...

You are a busy cook

I love the new dining room look, it looks sleek and clean!

Gabriela said...

I actually really love the new dining room look!! We've always put a runner on our dining room table, too...along with a big vase of dried flowers, which my mom is obsessed with. Our house is Victorian though, so dried look and lots of candelabras work with the decor!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE egg rolls. Also, I adore crab rangoon -- cheesy filling with crab (or fake crab) meat? YUM! If you could make those healthier and share the recipe you would officially be my favorite blogger ever! :)

Our little apt doesn't allow for much of a formal dining room, but we do have a nice table I love. Right now it has a ton of stuff on it, but some relatives got us really gorgeous hurricane glass candle holders and a bowl to match. Once we have more space, I'm sure they'll feature prominently.

Kerr said...

dining room looks great as does all that food! you hubby is one lucky guy :)