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made in earlysville: March 2010

made in earlysville

our family, our home, our food, our life.. all made in earlysville

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's finally done!

We finally (and by we, I mean Andy) finished the bathroom! I helped, I really did, but with a sick baby this week, I was a little less than helpful towards the end. And here it is (yay!!!):

Our pictures aren't fabulous, it's hard to get all of the space in without the help of a wide-angle lens (we're not quite that fancy in our household yet).

We wanted minimal decor since the trim was so much in a small space, I think it ended up working out pretty well. We removed 2 towel bars (one over the toilet and one on the wall opposite the toilet) to make it more of a powder room. It's not likely that anyone will use the shower unless we have a house full of people and a shower rush (again, not likely). And then in that event, if they need to hang up a bath towel it can go on the back of the door. The towel bars were just kind of ugly and we didn't want to mess up our freshly painted walls. We still might add a painting/picture of some sort but with as indecisive as we were with all of the other decor, that might take a while... maybe a family photo?

I'm working on getting a post together with how-to for the wallpapering with some help from my MIL but that may be a long time coming. We thought it was pretty easy, but then again we had her to help us and she's done a TON of wall paper in her days. Even without the super genius MIL, it was pretty easy and you can totally handle it. The wallpaper turned out really nice and painted really well. We were psyched that it was so easy and cost effective yet looked so fancy!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

This is one of our family's staple breakfast recipes for gatherings (formerly known as Sausage Squares) and it's really been known for the sausage, hence the name. Until yesterday. I'm renaming it and revamping it! I hosted playgroup yesterday so I thought I'd try a more healthy take on this recipe and let me tell you, it was a hit! The old recipe just called for sausage, eggs, cheese, and crescent rolls so I decided to add some of my favorite veggies (you can really add any you like) and use some lower fat cheeses.

Breakfast Casserole
Makes about 16-20 squares depending on who's doing the cutting :-)

8 eggs, beaten
1 lb reduced fat sausage, cooked & drained
2 pkg crescent rolls (leave in fridge until you put them on or they are a pain to work with)
1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I didn't have low fat but I'm going to look for it next time I go to the store)
1 zucchini shredded
3/4 lb asparagus chopped into about 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 9x13 casserole dish (I used fat free Pam). Saute onion and peppers in a pan on medium heat until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Put mixture in pan and spread out evenly. Top with crescent rolls (this works best if you break the roll in half and then use the rectangle shapes instead of tearing them into triangles). Bake for 30 minutes covered and about 5-10 uncovered or until full browned and cooked through. Cut into squares and serve.

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine has!

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What makes for a GREAT St. Patty's Day?

Beadboard wallpaper!!!

This is just a little snippet as we're only about a quarter of the way to finishing the bathroom but I was so excited I had to share! My husband is a builder and was a little opposed to the idea of wallpapering anything but we read this awesome post and had to try it out. So far the product is totally exceeding our expectations! Let's just say it's kind of amazing!

Here are a few looks at the bathroom in transition:

My fabulous hubby getting out the bubbles and unaware he was posing for a picture...

And here is what will be our new mirror! We've ordered the glass to fit inside this frame the hubby made (what can I say, he rocks!) and hopefully it will be ready this week. And yes, the bathroom was red before we painted it a bright and cheery blue.

More to come soon!

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Monday, March 15, 2010

"Un-Fried" Chicken & Lighter Mac & Cheese

Let me tell you, and some of you I don't have to, I LOOOOOVE Paula Deen. That woman knows how to make a great meal and she never disappoints. I don't think I've ever made anything of hers that I didn't like. She's fabulous. I love to cook and she is almost always my go-to woman for recipes. The only problem is she's not exactly known for her low calorie meals. I am trying to lose the last 20 pounds of baby weight (OK, maybe the pre-baby weight) so I am trying to cut calories in addition to exercising like "they" tell you to do. Paula's son, Bobby Deen, has come up with some lower calorie takes on her recipes and so far they've been great!

Here's what we had for dinner last night:

"Un-Fried Chicken"
Adapted from Bobby Deen
Makes 2 servings (but you can double/triple/whatever the recipe)

2 8oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed of all fat and cut in half
1/2 tsp Paula Deen House Seasoning (see below)
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (I used 2 tbsp bottled and no zest... I know, tisk tisk, but it was fine!)
1 egg white
1/2 tsp hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
1 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease shallow baking pan (I used Pam and a 9x13 glass casserole dish).

Sprinkle chicken with House Seasoning. Combine mayo, lemon juice (and zest if using), egg white, and hot sauce in medium bowl.* Add the chicken, toss to coat.

Place cornflakes and a small shallow pan and crunch with your hands. Dip chicken in the crumbs and cover all sides. Place in baking pan and spray very lightly with nonstick spray (I used Pam).

Bake until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Do not turn.

*This will give you much more than you will need for 2 chicken breasts but it's far easier than splitting an egg white, trust me, I found out the hard way.

Paula Deen House Seasoning

1 cup salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix to combine. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Lighter Mac & Cheese
Adapted from Bobby Deen
Makes about 4 servings

2 cups cooked multigrain elbow macaroni, drained
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fat free milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/8 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 cup panko (or regular/seasoned/whatever) bread crumbs
1-2 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 8x8 casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Put boiled & drained macaroni into casserole dish and add cheese while still hot.

Combine milk, egg, sour cream, mustard salt and cayenne in small bowl. Add mixture to casserole dish and stir to combine.

Combine bread crumbs and olive oil in small bowl. Sprinkle crumb mixture over macaroni and lightly spray with nonstick spray.

Bake until macaroni is hot and topping is golden, about 20-30 minutes (just check it).

I promise, none of this even resembled healthy or diet food. It was SO good and I'm making it again Thursday!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm back! And updates...

So I'm kind of a crappy and sporadic blogger and I am determined to change that. Starting today.

And we'll start with our house, which happens to be taking up any free time my daughter doesn't take. To make a long story short, we're buying our house (the one we live in already, weird, I know) from the in-laws and we're currently jumping through hoops with the County in order to be "allowed" to do so. This process has been going on for what seems like forever (maybe 6-7 months now?) and needless to say we're all a little stir crazy. So, the hubby and I have decided to start making small changes now to tide us over until we can start knocking down walls and digging up dirt (did I mention we're doing an addition? We are.).

We've long had a giant gravel parking lot in front of our home, called a driveway by very few, and it's been something we've wanted to change (sorry no pics, imagine extreme ugliness). After the piles of snow we so graciously received (grr) this winter and all of the plowing, that gravel parking lot has been quickly creeping into our yard and growing (think Ghostbusters pink slime). To put it nicely, it looked AWFUL and we had basically no gravel left so it was becoming not only ugly but a huge muddy pit. So last weekend we decided we would get out the rakes and at least bring the gravel out of the yard and put it back in the driveway. If you know my hubby, you would know that he couldn't stop there. No, he got out the tractor and instructed me to order a dump truck full of gravel (did you know you can get that in 1 hour?!?) and this is what we ended up with:

Needless to say, I love my hubby and my new circle driveway! Ignore the stakes and the muddy hole in the center. Imagine instead some darker dyed mulch with a beautiful white dogwood like this:

White Flowering Dogwood Tree

and some nice shrubbery that our deer won't eat (still working on that one). We're supposed to be getting a load of dirt next week to fill it in and then will come the mulch & tree. I can't wait for it to be finished!

Another thing I've been wanting since we moved in 3 years ago... are lights for our walkway. I ordered these from Home Depot and they came yesterday, so exciting!

You'll have to ignore our demolished liriope (remember the deer & shrubbery comment?) as well as the fact that all of our mulch has washed away... We haven't put all of the lights out quite yet because one of the boxes was damaged and we're exchanging it, plus we underestimated the length of our walkway so we actually need a 4th box. Apparently, being solar powered, they have to charge in bright sunlight in order to work and it's been raining here for the last few days so we won't have a true test until next week. Some were bright last night and some weren't on at all. Hopefully that's just because of the overcast and rainy weather and not a forecast of things to come.

Note, Mrs. Five C's, you may want to stop reading here...
We're redoing our main floor guest bath. It's been a bright and cheery Lilly Pulitzer bath to match our guest room (which is now in the basement) since we moved in. But I've since grown out of my college Lilly bedding days and am in need of a change (sorry Mrs. Five C's!). This is what we've gotten so far:

This is where we're going:


How funny that the walls in this pic are exactly the same color as our bath now? Now imagine the top half brown like this (maybe not quite as dark and with higher beadboard, yes I know that isn't beadboard pictured but let's pretend):

Here's a little inspiration:

You get the idea. To make a long story short, my Mom is remodeling a house and my hubby put up beautiful board and batten (about 3/4 of the way up) and she had the top half painted a beautiful chocolate brown. I've been in love with it since I saw it and we've decided to try it in our bathroom.

These are the paint colors we came home with:

We were both leaning toward Middlebury Brown (center):

What do you think?

More to come soon!

And can you believe Maddie turned 14 months yesterday???

Had to sneak this one in :-)

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