Friday, July 19, 2013

Fabulous Friday Five! Weekend Yummies

Happy Friday everyone!

Looking for dinner ideas this weekend? Mum and I have been eating our way through a new cookbook this summer while we've been up at the cottage.  It's called "What's for Dinner?" by Curtis Stone.  You've probably seen him cook on TV before. Tall, gorgeous, Australian. Yup, you know him ;)

I recommend the book for sure. He has recipes in there for every day of the week. Lighter fare on Mondays (after a weekend of indulgence), five ingredient Fridays for quick but yummy meals and entertaining recipes for the weekend. Yum!

This is a good one.
1. Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken should try it!
Ginger-Sesame Marinade/Dressing
1/4 cup (60 mL) reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp (45 mL) very finely chopped peeled ginger
3 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) hoisin sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame oil
1 tsp (5 mL) Sriracha sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (60 mL) minced scallions (white and green parts)

1 lb (500 g) napa cabbage, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise (honestly, I used a bag of coleslaw)
2 carrots, cut into matchstick-size strips
3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal
2/3 cup (160 mL) lightly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tsp (5 mL) white sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp (5 mL) black sesame seeds (optional)

To make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk the soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha and salt to blend. Transfer 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of the mixture to a baking dish, then add the chicken and turn to coat it. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, or up to 1 day, turning occasionally.
To make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar and scallions into the remaining marinade. Set aside.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, add to the grill pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced in the thickest part with the tip of a small sharp knife. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 15 minutes.
Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) slices.
To assemble the salad: In a large bowl, toss the chicken, cabbage, carrots, scallions and cilantro with enough dressing to coat lightly.
Mound the salad in the centre of four plates. Rewhisk the dressing and drizzle a little over and around the salad. Sprinkle the almonds and sesame seeds over and serve.
Serves 4.

We had this last night...
2. Orecchiette with Brown Butter, Broccoli, Pine Nuts and Basil
*We added sautéed onions, garlic and parmesan cheese to add a little more flavor that we thought it needed. With those additions it was super yum.

6 cups broccoli, cut into bite-size florets with 1-inch stems
1 lb orecchiette (or penne)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
kosher salt and pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted walter for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop broccoli out of the water. Set aside. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cooking for 8-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and stir for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for 1 minute. Gently stir in pasta, basil, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and stir in enough pasta water to create a light sauce. Drizzle each serving with olive oil.
Serves 4.

3&4. This recipe isn't in his book but it is on our weekend menu (I've posted this recipe before)
  • Marinated Pork Tenderloin
  • Roasted Tomatoes Topped with Basil and Mozarella
  • Summer Salad

5. Of course dessert! These will be yummy in the tummy (I hope!)

Preheat oven to 350; smoosh refrigerated cookie dough into the bottom of each well. Place Reese cup upside down on top of cookie dough (or an Oreo!). Top with prepared box brownie mix, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 18 minutes! HEAVEN

Have a fresh.fabulous.sophisticated weekend. I have a date with the lake and the water skis.

Keep it Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chicken a la...outta here! Chalkboard DIY

The previous owners left lots of "doozies" at the cottage. This chicken picture is one of them. They seemed to have loved all things chicken, rooster, cows and pigs. We just weren't feeling the chicken love...

So, we thought, why not turn this little chicken into a chalkboard.  Enter in a DIY!

I did a DIY - Chalkboard last year.  You can check it out here.

My mum was actually the DIY'er for this chalkboard. This chicken picture has a great little frame around it and all you need is chalkboard paint.

We wanted to paint the frame the same colour as this sign that hangs on the other wall. Mum just took the sign into the local paint store and they matched it up. Easy peasy.

She painted the frame...

Bye bye chicken, on goes a few coats of chalkboard paint

Voila! A fresh.fabulous.sophisticated chalkboard that fits the wall, re-used an existing frame and was super easy!  Bravo Mum!

I'm sure you have something in your home that could use a makeover, why not turn it into a chalkboard?

Keep it Beautiful.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fabulous Friday - Summer L.O.V.E

Happy Friday everyone!

Love Summer? I sure do. Summer is one of my favourite things in the whole world. I love the hot sticky days and cool nights. I've fallen in love many times as a teenager in the summer as well as had summer heartbreaks. Mr. Fix-it and I are actually summer sweethearts ;)

I love watching my kids glow on long summer days and fill their beds with sandy toes at night. Summer is cold beers, barbecues, sunkissed noses, smiling friends, late night guitar jams, no routine, roasted marshmallows and beachy hair. Summer is!

I'm back up at the cottage and the weekend is looking HOT! HOT! HOT! I have lots to share with you next week...a couple of DIYs, a cottage bathroom facelift and a few other things, but I thought I would leave you with a few of my favourite summer quotes to start off your weekend happy.

Here is one that I'm sure we can all relate to. It reminds me of being a teenager in the summer...
Here are a few more of my favs...

Summer never goes out of style.  It's always fresh.fabulous.sophisticated! Have a fab weekend. Get those flip flops on and get outside!

Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vote for Summer!

Hi everyone,

Yup, I've been a little MIA for the last little while.  It's summer, I'm on maternity leave and for the most part have the three kiddies with me.  So, I've hightailed it to the cottage. This is our first summer with the new cottage and so far, I'm in heaven.  My mum and I have been hanging with the kids through the week and Mr. Fix-it and my Dad and the rest of the fam have been joining us on the weekend. There is something so special about all of us having a space to come together and relax.  Well, let's be honest...with three kids to entertain I haven't exactly been sun tanning on the dock all day but it's still pretty fab.

Also, I'm no rustic kind of gal.  The cottage is a perfect combo of gorgeous and practical. It's a home on the water but if you need to run through to the kitchen when you're not completely dry, you can.

The kids are having a blast exploring and swimming and I'm in my happy place with them. 

However, my desire to create beautiful spaces is still ticking. Although my consumption of white wine has increased ;) and my stress level is at zero, there is still lots to do this summer! Yikies.

Here's the decorating to-do:

Guest Room 
Remember, it used to be our big guy's room but we did the switch-a-roo so it needs to go from little boy room to soft and calm guest room...

I'm thinking...
  • Farrow & Ball - Borrowed Light
  • Orange bedding
  • Scalloped fabric from Tonic Living as accents and seat covers
  • White curtains

Simple and clean.

Master Bedroom

Oh the Master. It's been the room we've neglected as we've focused on the rest of the house.  However, did I tell you our home is being featured on a house tour this Fall? We're very excited for it, but it means that we have lots to do, including our bedroom! Yeah! I will let you know more details about the house tour soon and what we're going to do in our bedroom. Hmm, so many possibilities.
This is what it looked like when we moved in...what we're they thinking???
Original photo to sell the house. Pink walls, blue carpet?
Mr. Fix-it begins to patch, paint and rip out carpet
  • I'm happy to say that the walls are no longer pink or the floor blue but we still have lots to do up there!
The Nursery

Now that the boys room is done we can focus on turning our little boy nursery into a pretty, girly room for our little lady. The furniture is white, but I'm thinking of doing a little DIY to the dresser because the top of it is a little scratched. I've had these paint chits on her walls for the past few weeks trying to decide on a perfect pink.  Pink is a tricky colour to pick.

Here is what I'm thinking...
  • Benjamin Moore - Ballerina Pink
  • Skip Hop Lattice Crib Sheet
  • Gold Polka Dot Decals for the crib wall
  • Light Brown Shag Rug
  • A little DIY dresser love

Other TO-DOs...

  • the kitchen backsplash. Remember when the new countertop was installed? It left a gap between the countertop and the backsplash. Grrr....
  • we're having the backsplash redone using subway tile again but this time, I think I'm going to do it in a herringbone pattern. Swoon! Maybe with light grey grout? Double Swoon!
  • Front porch - it needs to be sanded and repainted, along with the columns. Ugh. Mr. Fix-it already started sanding it while I've been summer lovin' it up at the lake. Thank God for Mr. Fix-it!
  • Oh, and there are a couple little projects that Mum and I have started and have in mind for the cottage this summer that I will definitely share with you. Mum is stripping wallpaper in the bathroom as we speak...that has to be one of the worst jobs out there! However, the result of fresh paint is always fresh.fabulous.sophisticated.
  • So that's all the big projects that need to be done before the Fall. I'm slightly worried about timing but WE.CAN.DO.IT! However, trying to pull myself away from this...and head back to the city is going to be the challenge!

Keep it Beautiful.

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