Monday, August 25, 2014

Ham and turkey salad sandwiches- perfect for a party food or light lunch

I worked for a bakery when I was a teenager. I normally worked early (5am) on Saturday mornings. I remember the smell of  the delicious bread baking, one of my jobs was to run it through the slicer. I also frosted the cinnamon and orange rolls, and the giant sugar cookies... (Is your tummy growling yet?)
One of my favorite lunch items was a ham and turkey salad sang. Some days I crave it so bad I have to drive back to the bakery and get one! Today I am sharing my best "copycat" recipe that I have come up with, to save myself from running into the bake shoppe. These sandwiches would be perfect for a bridal/baby shower or party, especially in the summer as the salad is served cold.
I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Headboard before and after and a bedroom update

The moral of this story is going to be this- I am a procrastinator. 3 years ago my husband and I had a fight. Ok well, we have had a few fights since then, but that is beside the point. It was early December, finals were coming up, stresses were high and we had a fight. My husband is a dear, and he fights better than I do. What I mean by that is, I use my words as a weapon and say things I don't mean when I am mad. Or maybe some of the things I do mean, but they come out sounding like I am throwing a hatchet when really, if I took a moment to calm down and wait until I could say them a little nicer (or quieter) they wouldn't sound so bad. As for Shaun, he fights fair. He is a calm fighter, and when I really push him to his limits, he takes a moment to calm down and let things cool off instead of acting like... well, me. I love him for that and I am hoping to be better.
Anyway, that day in December when we were mad, he left for a little while. While he could have been off doing something for himself, studying, shopping for man toys, hunting or whatever the heck guys do when they are mad at their wives, he did something completely the opposite. He went to home depot, bought the materials and constructed a beautiful headboard. He was gone for quite a while, and by the time he came back you can bet I had calmed down, felt bad and was ready to mend things.
For Christmas that December, he surprised me with this beautiful headboard. He spent a lot of time making it perfect, filling all the imperfections with putty and making it as smooth as he could because he knew I would want to paint it.
To say I felt guilty is a big understatement. He knew I had wanted a headboard for a long time, and instead of buying one that we couldn't afford, he built one that we could. It is simple, beautiful and meaningful to me. He started it and I finished it. I love painting furniture and truth be told, this is the first "new" piece I have ever finished. I am really happy with how it turned out, it is so special.
My very favorite paint to use when I give furniture a new face is, BEHR paint and primer in one. No one is paying me or persuading me to say it. I love it and I continue to use it over and over again. I love the coverage and how it holds up over time. Since I like to decorate in sort of a vintage farmhouse style, I always use  the color "Ivory Palace" in satin. It is the perfect combo of cream and white and if you decided to antique your piece with stain, the ivory palace takes it very well, leaving a pretty cream color underneath.
Pre paint:

 Layer 1:
Layer 2 and 3. After 3 layers it looked great. I let it dry and my husband was actually able to secure it to our bed just a few hours later. He built it 3 years ago and I was able to paint it in a few hours and have it on my bed. What the heck took so long!? I guess since it is so special to me, and I am used to fixing up old furniture with lots of imperfections, I have been a little nervous.
I love how it turned out.
Our bedroom is very small but someday it will look gorgeous in a room with more space. Shaun will build a footboard to match when we have a little more room.
 Did you see THIS POST  on my original bedroom reveal? I like to change things around a lot. I added the white textured bedspread and the two chevron pillows from Ross.
What do you think?

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

French Apple Galette AKA easy free form apple tart

 By now you know by now how much I love apple pie.  I have shared many versions... salted caramel apple pie, sweet cinnamon apple pie turnovers, mini apple pies, 2 tips to change the look of your pie crust and my most recent (and possibly favorite) post on homemade apple blossoms.
Today I am going to break away a little from a full on apple pie, and switch over to something a little more simple, but still beautiful none the less. We can be fancy and call this a "French apple galette", galette meaning "free form" aka no stress over fitting the dough just perfect or making pretty edges, or we can be real and call it what it is. A simple no fuss, elegant to the eye and delicious to the taste dessert. It's easy, fun and when the scent of buttery crust and warm sweetened apples hits your senses you will find yourself wandering around your kitchen aimlessly until the timer beeps FINISHED!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. I found myself twirling in my apron dreaming of a fall day when I have a basket of freshly picked apples from a neighbor and warm quilt to wrap up in... ah fall, how I love you.  
Recipe for French Apple Galette
Slightly adapted recipe from here
Dough ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon  sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter cubed into small pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons chilled water
2 pounds about 8  apples (Granny smith, pink lady or any tart firm apple) peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 tablespoons butter  melted
 3-4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
peels and cores of apples
cornstarch (optional)
Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the cold cubed butter. Blend in a mixer or food processer until dough is chunky and butter resembles large peas.
Slowly add  in water, stir or pulse and then add remaining cubes of butter until dough just holds together. 
 Remove dough from food processer and flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 15 minutes.  On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Flour your rolling pin as well to resist sticking. 
Place your dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan, OR if you are going free form, roll dough up on your rolling pin, and unroll on to your baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Heat oven to 400 F. 
Slice apples thin and neatly arrange on your dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan or pie dish. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself; crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.
Brush your melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar over dough edge and 2 tablespoons over apples.
Bake in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown, 40-45 minutes.

To make glaze: Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar and lemon juice. Pour in just enough water to cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup and add back to pan. Use cornstarch to thicken if desired. (One recipe of glaze made a jar extra that I kept in my fridge for up to 1 week to use on other tarts.
When tart is finished baking, remove from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15-20 minutes.
Brush the glaze over tart, slice, and serve.
If you do not have a pie dish or a tart pan, go ahead and place dough on parchment paper on a baking sheet and build the apple tart galette style (free form), see pics below.

Free form option:


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Friday, August 1, 2014

Homemade {no boil} cinnamon and sugar bagels

I LOVE bagels. One of my favorite flavors is cinnamon and sugar with strawberry cream cheese. I have tried several recipes for bagels and to be honest, I have found that going and buying one from the bagel shop is much easier than mixing, boiling and baking them at home. It can be a big process.
I have really wanted to be able to make bagels at home to use for breakfasts throughout the week, so I have modified this recipe to be boil free and simplified. That saves money from buying them at the store, and you can freeze these if you don't use them all in one shot. I hope you like it! Every time I make these my little brother shows up at my home to steal them... This recipe makes 8 bagels so if you need more than that, make sure to double it or make two back to back batches.
Happy bagel making!
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