Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a girl & her cold...

Hi everyone...

This girl has a cold! ugh!

I had so many plans for my February break...a whole week of DIYing and finally, finally a bedroom with color! Instead, I've been sniffling & coughing up a frustrating!

Now, normally I'd relish in the chance to stay in bed all day & have nothing to do but flip through channels or catch up on my DVR list..not this time though.

I really, really wanted to be busy...Picture it: freshly painted walls...nice, comfy "new" headboard made by yours truely, and a sunburst mirror Martha Stweart could be proud of...can you see it?? Oh, it was going to be soooo GREAT!

But, alas, in a cloud of used tissues, that vision disappeared...*sigh* (gross, I know, but to be completely honest there was only 1 used tissue & all it did was catch a sneeze)

There was however an achey body, a throbbing head, and a burning no DIY for me...

EXCEPT...You had to know that a cold couldn't keep me down the whole time...

I did manage to get started on my sunburst mirror...remember I wanted to make my own for under $20...

My inspiration...the sunburst mirror made by Michelle at "Three Men and a Lady"
(I tried to post a picture, but couldn't so, find it & a tutorial HERE)

Now remember, its not finished...I have 2 more steps to go...

Step 1: find the perfect thrift store mirror as my base

I found this mirror at "Class & Trash" on South Main Street in Salinas. It had a $4 sticker price, but since it was a little beat up, I got it for $3...I know what you're thinking..eww..wicker! yuck! Open your minds gets better!

Step 2: Glue BBQ skewers (yes, BBQ skewers) to the back of the this:

I had an open bag at home so I only had to buy 1 more pack of 100 skewers for $2.15. To attach them, I used hot glue..see my big pink gun in the background?? Isn't she cool?? lol...

Step 3: Which I haven't gotten to is to spray paint the whole thing black...don't panic!! I'm not leaving it black..that's just a base for the silver that will be the final color, but that's step 4, and we can't get there yet because


ok, so here's hoping that next time you check back I'll have a freshly painted room & an amazing sunburst mirror to show you...

*fingers crossed*

stay healthy...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

my new addiction...yes another one...

Confession time...I'm addicted to blogs..need proof?? Umm, I'm blogging about blogs! That should be proof's the thing though...I'm not ashamed.

Blogs are so great! I happened to come across the blog called "Three Men & a Lady" (check it out HERE) as I was searching for DIY items online...Michelle, the author of that blog has a beautiful home she keeps improving with great DIY projects. Well, once I read her blog, all I could think about was finding more & more & more blogs...

Now I am a subscriber to so many that my Blackberry is beeping at all hours of the night...literally...and still I'm not ashamed...if you are a DIYer or have any interest in being crafty, thrifty, creative, etc...blogs are the answer. They are so helpful. I've gotten so many ideas from them.

I'm putting some of those ideas into effect this weekend..hopefully the weather will cooperate since I need to do some spray painting...

Want a preview?? Here it is...

I've been wanting something to hang above the headboard in our bedroom...well, while searching many a blog, I found these:

Beautiful, gorgeous, oh so sophisticated..Sunburst mirrors!! They are everywhere! On blogs, on magazine pages, in my head...everywhere!! I want one, but...they can be a bit on the pricey side...I did see one at Target for $24.99, which wasn't bad, but it was too I'm going to make my own...I love being crafty...I'm hoping the whole project comes in at under $20...wish me luck & check back to see the results...

Maybe you'll be inspired to make your own...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tortilla Soup

On a cold rainy day the best thing to have for dinner is something warm & filling...tortilla soup is just the thing...

I found this recipe online a few months ago and have made it twice so far. Now, the first time I try out a new recipe I do exactly as the recipe says...I read it so carefully & I'll admit I sometimes get a bit stressed...silly, right?

Well, the next time I make it, I tweak, tweak, tweak! I add more of what I like & leave out what I don't like or don't have in my pantry...the original author will never know! That's the beauty of being the chef in your kitchen...YOU are the BOSS!

So here is the recipe from courtesy of Wolfgang Puck's book "Pizza, Pasta, & More" with my own spin on now it's called...

TORTILLA SOUP ala BERNADETTE (or just tortilla soup if you prefer...remember, I'll never

3 ears of white corn
4 or 5 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 small onion (peeled & quartered)
1 jalapeno pepper (no seeds or stem)
2 tablespoons oil
5 corn tortillas (3 cut into small squares) Reserve the other 2 for garnish
2 large ripe tomatos (peeled, w/o seeds, & cubed...this is the "pain in the butt" part, but it must be done!)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 quarts (64ozs) chicken stock..I use low-sodioum, fat-free broth
Kosher salt & black pepper (to taste)
shredded chicken (optional)

1. Using a large knife, scrape kernals off of corn..DON'T throw out cobs
2. Put corn, garlic, jalapeno, onion in a food processor & PULSE a few should stay chunky (if you don't have a food processor you can give everything a rough chop) Set aside.
3. In a large pot, heat the oil, add tortilla squares & let them crisp up a bit.
4. Stir in the corn mixture & saute a bit.
5. Add tomatoes & tomato paste. Let simmer for about 5-10min
6. Slowly stir in the stock & the cobs (told you not to throw them out!) Cook over low heat until the soup reduces by a third or about 10-15min.

7. Remove cobs (now you can throw them out).
8. Puree the soup in a blender. Do this in batches. DO NOT fill your blender more than HALF liquid will expand so HOLD ON TO YOUR BLENDER LID. As you puree the batches pour them into a clean pot.

You're almost done...all you need now is the garnish!
1. Cut the 2 tortillas into small strips
2. Place them on an oven-safe tray & pop them into the oven (my oven doesn't work so I use a toaster oven) I set it to 375 degrees & leave them in until they start to get a bit brown..two steps shy of burnt!

The original Wolfgang version of this recipe called for cubed chicken breast, but who really has time to cook something else? Not me, so what I did was buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket & shredded up a leg & the breast..I'm such a

In the end you'll have this:
(shown w/o chicken...I was too busy eating it to take a picture of the soup once it had chicken in it..)

This soup is so yummy..I hope you enjoy it! Also I should say that I dedicate this post to my friend Karla, who I promised to send this recipe to so long it is Karla!!

Do you have any recipes you'd like to share? I'm always up for trying something new...

Happy Eating & I hope you don't get stuck doing the!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the first post...


Yay!! My first post!! Can you tell I'm excited?? NO?..well, I am...I'm sitting here watching FoodNetwork & eating crunchy purple grapes (ok, the grapes are a little soggy) and I am thinking of all the people that will be reading this are reading this blog aren't you?? I hope so...

Anyway...I'm thinking that you might be thinking that I have waaay too much time on my hands, but the truth is... I really don't. I'm busy...I have a job to go to, a husband to love, a house to keep in order, a book club, and an avid interest in learning everything I possibly can about anything interesting...and..hello...a facebook account to keep updated...thank goodness for our DVR or I'd never get my tv shows in...phew!

Well...that's it for the first post...come back for more...I'm thinking of tortilla soup for dinner tomorrow & yes, the recipe will be included...

~ Bernadette