Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Saveur Soup

Today's recipe is a request made by "Genius" because it is a recipe that our kids won't eat but we love. This soup has been a keeper in my books and perhaps it will make it to yours......

French Onion Soup

Recipe courtesy of Saveur Magazine:

1 cup white wine
1⁄2 cup plus 3 tbsp. sherry
10 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. sugar
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
2 qts. Beef Stock
12 1⁄2"-thick slices baguette
2 cloves garlic, smashed
6 cups grated gruyère cheese
2 cups finely grated parmigiano-reggiano

1. Heat oven to 425°. Combine wine, 1⁄2 cup of the sherry, 8 tbsp. of the butter, sugar, onions, and salt and pepper in a 9" × 13" casserole dish and braise, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to brown, 40–45 minutes. Remove casserole from oven, cover with foil, and continue braising in oven, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 1 hour more. Keep the onions warm.

2. Meanwhile, tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni. Put bouquet garni and stock into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Remove and discard bouquet garni. Stir in remaining sherry and cook for 5 minutes more.

3. While the broth simmers, spread the baguette slices with the remaining butter. Toast in a skillet over medium heat, turning once, until golden, 5–7 minutes. Rub the slices generously with garlic and set aside. Discard any remaining garlic.

4. Heat broiler with rack 6" from element. Arrange 6 heatproof bowls on a foil-lined sheet tray, divide onions and broth between bowls, and stir together. Place 2 baguette slices in each bowl; top each with about 1 cup gruyère and about 1⁄3 cup parmigiano. Broil until cheeses are browned and bubbly, 3–5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Love it, hope.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Love your enemy?

Yesterday, as I was about my regular cleaning routine I kept thinking about God. Yep, just completely in awe by him and his power, his grace and his love for....ME?

I had an enemy for years now and as I stood in the hall of my home I began to see God in it. I began to see how he used my feelings toward her to discover areas in my heart that I wouldn't have before. How he worked in me and used every tear I shed in my battles. Of course, I didn't know it then but yesterday it all made sense.

Each day that she was on my mind, required me to work on myself. Each confrontation, pushed me to understand. And each time I felt I was letting it go the devil would strike again. I think I forgave her every day, just so I could feel relief. There were many times when I literally felt "attacked".

Standing there yesterday I couldn't believe that the person I am today is because of my "enemy". I was amazed at how God could use hatred to change me into a better person and how I blind I was about the situation. I started to remember all the things I said and regret filled my soul. I was so sorry I couldn't take them back and at the same time glad that I could be forgiven.

I wish I could tell you that she is my best friend now, but sadly she is not. Regardless, I am sure she will continue to challenge me for a long time. I know she can stir me up, push all my buttons and question my expectations. In this process I will learn with a new perspective, with a new direction and with a some-what better me, I will welcome it.

Today, I am so excited to close this chapter in my life. For those who don't know me, let me just say that what ever your battle is, it is yours and maybe what you feel is meant to be felt. I was disturbed enough about this in my heart that it consumed me. Each and every day. This is also for those that have had to hear my story, through the years. Thank you for all the advice in a time when felt I had nothing more to give.

What's your situation? Do you think god could be in the middle of it? Think about it.

Let's lift up, hope.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Play dough' Play date

They say that a child's birthday is usually more for the parents then their kid. You might not want to admit this but when the child doesn't understand the concept of his/or her for you. So, with Draker's turning two I decided to have a play dough' play date. My idea was to have a time when we would welcome children to play with eachother and sip on tea as we watched them, basically I wanted to divide the party in two directions and get the best out of both worlds.

Snacks for them.

Snacks for us.

Fun for them.

Fun for us.

All in all, they had a good time. They opened up every package on their plate and threw it around, then smooshed it. They colored on the the table and a few preferred the crayons over fish crackers. Of course they had a blast with play dough and did their job well, as to adding more to the pile that they had already created. It is true that there is no better fun, then a messy fun and a few kids together can show you that.

Young, hope.

Rough Draft

On my part, I have worked endless hours in painting the room. I have re painted, re touched and almost re...greted on starting the project. But then came today, my sons birthday. The room was in a stage that I would call a "rough draft" because it was still miles away from being finished. Furniture was still a big missing part as well as many other minor details.

To-do List:
(simple to hardest)

1. Paper planes
2. Hooks on wall
3. Hanging Art
4. Monkey Bars

I wish I could promise you better results sooner and it is very hard for me to leave a project unfinished so I have gone to concur a different room. Does anyone out there live with a princess?
I do.

Further, hope.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Progress

Draker's loves his new bed.

And I love the Charcoal Grey.

In the progress, I find my new inspiration.

This fresh coat of paint has me excited.

Re doing, Hope.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A New Day

I took a day to think. I organized the toys, saw more home-improvement projects and made mental notes in my head. Pacing back and forth between the rooms I walked into the room several times to remind myself that I indeed started a project.

Knowing that I can't rush ideas out of me, I turned my focus on the opposite wall. At first it was going to be green. I wasn't crazy enough about the color to be slapping more of it on the walls so instead I took out my color chart and looked for a new inspiration.

There is was "Charcoal Grey". I called the order in and picked it up. I was hoping this would set the mood in the room enough to change my mind about my stenciled wall.

Here are some helpful tips I found for picking paint.

1. Find something you love and look at the colors, right away you will know what your drawn to.
2. Don't skimp out on the name brand paint.
3. If you are going for light room, pick a shade lighter on the sample.
4. Compare the swatches that come before and after, to see what hidden hue it contains because it will tend to come out more when painted.
5. Even with tips, rooms can still disappoint. But sometimes it takes that to know what you want.

Painting, hope.

Getting Started

As in many of the design make-over shows, in between commercial breaks there is the first step to any project. It seems so simple on T.V. but the actuality of clearing a room for me is a whole day of work. There is the moving of previous furniture and the decisions that come with it. I chose to try to sell the bigger things but this also lead me to take photos for the ads. After that was out of the way, I began searching my garage for the bin of painting supplies that I vaguely remembered. It was found neatly stacked on one of the shelves, which brought up the point that we are some what organized but labels would have helped. I carried the bin upstairs, along with the ladder and buckets of just purchased paint. I was so close to painting.

The next step is the prep-work. All that masking made me question weather or not I wanted to do this, as well as remind me why I don't do this very often. I am sure that to many of you this is not as big of an ordeal, but for me, the one that was blessed to be is. Everything was going as planned and I painted my little heart out. It felt light, fresh and clean.

Disaster strikes, count on it. It turned out that my original idea was just not coming out so well on the wall. Being some what optimistic, I laid out a new plan in my mind. The results turned out better and it being late into the night I was relieved, just not satisfied.

Resting, hope.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Design a Room

It is now a full week into January. This is of some resemblance because my youngest son is turning two. For his second birthday we are taking him out of the nursery and instead he will be sharing a room with his older brother. For this month I want to take you into my journey for "Designing a room".

The Vision: I will be transforming a Bonus Room into a shared space for my two boys. Their are no closets, so storage will be very important. I am thinking a wall unit. It will also be the room where, when others come over they will play so it will need to be kid friendly. I am envisioning a play space that includes a television. Lastly, I have no budget so I will have to use things from around my home and abuse "Genius's" handy-man skills.

The First Step: I drew the room out.

Drawing gets your mind working without actually doing any work. Just by scaling the room on paper created the idea for painting "letters" on the wall. I will use the letters in their names to create a vocal point for the room.

Picking the color, is the hardest for me. It is as if there is no going back on the project. The advice I give myself, is to know my home well enough to know the junk that I store. This way I know what will work, what can match and what can be painted over.

I have 2 sheet sets. One in blue and one in gray. I have an airplane comforter, a corduroy gray comforter and a navy quilt. I have one wooden bed, one bed frame, 4 shelves and three mattresses. And the best thing I found was the green line in one of the sheets. Green. I was liking the sound of it and hoping to like the sight of it.

Time will tell, hope.