Friday, January 25, 2013

A Sauce-y Date Night


If I’m not out on the road for work, Hubby and I try to do a fun Date Night every Friday evening. It usually includes a yummy meal, and recently we even tried eating somewhere new.

In freezing-cold weather, by the way. I’m pretty sure our high that entire week was in the 40s. I know that some of you are choking on your scrambled eggs as you read that, but for some of us, that is ridiculously cold.

Yes, I used to live in North Dakota. But my blood has thinned quite a bit from my glory college days.


We had a coupon about to expire, so it helped us make our decision to eat at a local pizza and pasta eatery called Sauce. I’ve always wanted to try this place, and I am happy to report that it was just as yummy as our bellies were hoping!

I’m also happy to report that we tried the bruschetta. And that it was absolutely divine! Hot, buttered toast underneath chunks of fresh Buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes with a sprinkle of basil pesto and balsamic vinaigrette.

Holy cow, this was good. We each got two little pieces. I think that we would order two next time…it was that delicious!


Of course, my handsome date for the evening was this guy. And, despite what we may all wonder from this picture, he was completely sober! Maybe he was just tired after a long week at work?

He’s still handsome, even if he was tired.


So once we had successfully slurped up our appetizer, our individual pizzas arrived. I decided to get a pepperoni pizza with caramelized onions…one of my favorite things in the entire world.

I tried their signature flatbread crust tonight, while Hubby got the thicker, hand-tossed crust.

The employees seemed to be really proud that they also had a gluten-free option that was brought in from California every day. Hubby and I are actually quite happy with gluten, so we just smiled and nodded and then ordered exactly what we wanted.


Here is Hubby’s pizza with sausage and peppers. I had this crazy idea that we would just take any leftovers home.

Let’s just say that we had none to box up, mmmmmmkay?


Being the nice man that he is, Hubby even shared some of his pizza. And I shared mine, since he ate the last half when I was full! These came from a wood-burning fire oven, and the whole place smelled magical!

And I also loved the prices.

If you’re in the Valley, might I suggest giving Sauce a try? They have lots of locations out-of-state, too.

Tonight, we’re going waaaaaaaaay outside the box by trying Thai food! Considering that sometimes ketchup burns my mouth, this should be pretty scary exciting.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

House Tweaking – Yellow Lamp Edition

IMG_7201    IMG_7202

I have had this lamp for years and years, and it was passed down to me from family when they moved out of our shared apartment to get married. I painted it green about three years ago to try to update the look of it.

But if we’re being honest here, and why wouldn’t we, I’ve never been crazy about this lamp shape. So Deseret Industries to the rescue!


I recently found this bad guy while we were out shopping some sales. Who knew that twenty years ago, they would know that this year’s design color is emerald green? As much as I love green, I’ve never been much of an emerald green person. But I saw this lamp and knew that it could solve all of my lighting dilemmas!

Especially with a price tag of $5.

IMG_7207     IMG_7209

It had potential, I must say. I was immediately imagining these brass pieces a different metallic finish. And I loved that the light switch was located on the base of the lamp, so it was easy to use without reaching up inside the shade.

Because that’s so much work?


I still haven’t jumped on board the brass wagon. But I did go outside of my Satin Nickel box today by trying some Chrome Spray Paint from Ace Hardware.

And may I just say…I am in love! Where has this stuff been the past few years?! A little hole in my soul was filled when I discovered Chrome spray paint…


I prepped the lamp by giving it a good cleansing scrub. Then I wrapped the bottom portion to prevent it from being chromed. It was a beautiful day to spray paint, so I headed outside to change the metal forever.


Oh my goodness. Really, can it get any better than this?! I love it!


The arch and entire top half got a great coating of chrome. I was so excited thus far, so it couldn’t dry quickly enough to allow me to do the bottom half!


I brought it inside for a few hours to “cure.” Already, it is an improvement. I love seeing projects as they get better right before my eyes. Maybe that’s the best part about spray painting? Instant gratification!


Later that same day, it was dry enough to tape up for the bottom half to get sprayed. I had picked a new color from Rustoleum…Marigold in Gloss. I don’t work with gloss paint very often, but this experience has also changed that thinking forever.

Gloss is awesome!


And in this case, it looks like a big, yellow school bus. I actually dig it, yo. But now I can’t wait to see it combined with the new shiny chrome on top!

But I’ll wait. Because it’s awful to mess up a paint finish by trying to remove tape and plastic before things are adequately dried.

Patience, right? I’ve heard of that…


From what I could see so far, though, I really liked it.


I brought it inside once again to cure overnight. My duck seems to like it, too.

IMG_7213    IMG_7238

I made some lamp switches throughout the two rooms to make the new School Bus Lamp feel warmly welcomed. This blue lamp, another previously-sprayed favorite of mine, got a new home on the buffet.

Stamp of approval.


I have always loved the shape of this formerly-brass lamp. And I get all of my shades from Walmart…they have a gorgeous drum shade in white that works to make every lamp look its best!


This lamp switcheroo is successful! Now, let’s see where the new yellow one is going to fit in!


Can you see it? That bright, fun, happy pop of color on the end table? If you feel like staging a spray-painting intervention, you’re too late.

How can you not love doing something so cheap and easy that makes such a huge difference?!


This is my present view when coming down the hall. And I like it quite a bit.

IMG_7524    IMG_7526

And Mr. Horse got a new home from the fireplace mantel to here. I just wanted some bright colors to wake up this little corner in here.

Green horses and yellow lamps fit that requirement perfectly.


Because I used gloss paint, the surface still looks wet and shiny. And I surprised myself by absolutely loving the effect! Maybe gloss paint and I need to get better acquainted these next few months?


I’m happy to report that the twist switch still works, too. And a wood ball adds some natural texture to this side of our home.

Wha? Green horses aren’t natural?


This is the now-yellow view from the dining room. I really love how we now have a pop of brightness to balance out the dresser on the other side of the living room.

I hate to toot my own horn, but I’m really loving all of this!

Toot toot! (oops)


I’ve been watching for some new pillows these past few months, so maybe we’ll be having a “House Tweaking: Pillow Edition” post really soon!

Being picky and cheap cost-effective is not a good combination when wanting to update several pillows in a home, by the way.


Another “natural elements” spot in the living room. Texture and green plant color. You can’t go wrong with that combination!

Especially if it’s sitting on top of some shiny bling!


These are my winter “flowers.” They are just twigs that Hubby helped me cut to size from one of the countless trimming sessions on our I-passionately-hate-how-it-sheds Honey Mesquite Tree out front.

You know, because nothing says winter more than some dead twigs in a vase…


And we have a family of ducks residing in the living room now. In fact, they are about to be joined by an additional family member, but I’m considering repainting all of them a fun color!

Do I have a problem or what?!

Any House Tweaking going on in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Man and His Deep-Fried Turkey


So the best way to stick with some healthy new year choices is to give your husband a turkey fryer for Christmas. Or did you already know that?

It took us a few days to get mentally prepared for such edible joy. Hubby bought some peanut oil (highly recommended), and I defrosted a turkey breast (that I got on clearance after Thanksgiving) from the freezer. We were ready for this.


Luckily, we were both impressed and happy with the quality of the fryer. Certain pieces come off for easy cleaning and can even be placed in the dishwasher. We did everything by hand afterwards, because that’s how paranoid we are we roll.

The black liner on top is the vent, and the window below allows you to see inside during cooking. We couldn’t see much because of all the hard work that the grease was accomplishing inside.

IMG_7281    IMG_7283

We Hubby first washed the turkey breast and even removed some excess skin that was only going to hurt our cooking process. Then, Hubby patted the turkey dry, inside and out. This prevented the water from splattering as it hit the hot oil in the fryer.

The turkey breast next went into the fryer basket, where it would live for the next seven-minutes-per-pound, or about an hour. The breast needs a little longer to cook than just a plain ol’ turkey, which only needs four minutes per pound.

Yep. Turkey dinner in under an hour. Sign me up, please!


This little guy is ready to meet his maker the oil. Let’s get this into some grease, Hubby!


The instructions say to lower it very slowly…again, to prevent splattering. Hot oil, hanging out at a temperature of 375 degrees, wouldn’t be very fun all over us. He went nice and slow as he lowered this dry turkey into heaven below.


Then he removed the handles, closed the lid, and let this baby burn, burn, burn! You have no idea how delicious the house started to smell after a little while!


And lots of steam vented through the top so the temperature remained constant for the turkey. We are still impressed with this little machine! So far, so good!


We knew when to put the turkey inside the oil when this green light came on. After reading the instruction manual and knowing how to start, this fryer did all of the dirty work!


Soon, but not nearly soon enough, the timer went off. It was time to bring this deliciousness out for dinner!


Oh my oh my. I think that we have a successful first attempt at turkey frying! I’ve been told that once you go fried turkey, you never go back. And now I feel like I know what they’re talking about! (And agree).


We let it cool for about ten minutes inside the basket. This also allowed any residual grease to fall back into the oil below. We are healthy.


While we waited for the cooling, I prepared some salads to enjoy with dinner. You know, because a small dinner salad totally cancels out any deep-fried aspect to our meat portion tonight…


Once it was cool enough to work with, Hubby carved this sucker up. And we all tried a few small pieces as they came away from the knife. Because normal people can’t wait!


My goodness. Where do I even begin to describe this incredible treat. It was so juicy! And (for Charloe) so moist! This turkey was loaded with all sorts of flavor, without us even using any spices or rubs (you can do that, by the way). The outside had a nice, crispy texture while the inside just melted.

I approve. Whole-heartedly.


It only felt right to invite our best friends over to celebrate our first deep-frying turkey experience. Ted and Ann joined us for dinner and can vouch for how yummy this beast was!

Man, now I’m hungry!

How about you? Have you ever had deep-fried turkey? Do you ever fry in your house? Do tell! We are on the look-out for ideas of things that will be better after cooking in hot oil!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...