ideal bookshelf

There are so many times when I wish I could paint more than just roses (and very elementary, low-quality roses at that), and now is one of those times.

I found this blog, Ideal Bookshelf, in InStyle’s Valentine’s Day gift guide, and was instantly hooked. This has to be one of the cutest ideas ever.

And it got me thinking, what’s on my bookshelf?

We’ve got the captivating operations, managerial economics, and financial accounting books that I have accumulated throughout my years and years of business studies… then the Atlas Shrugged, Don Quixote, and War & Peace-type books. There are dozens and dozens of Lunch in Paris, Summer in Tuscany, Nice Girls Do, Fabulously Fashionable, and Belle in the Big Apple-type books. The chick-lit, read-on-the-beach type of books.

I tried to recreate the Ideal Bookshelf’s genius idea with a few of my favorite book titles. The keyword is tried. It’s a really poor attempt at painting my ideal bookshelf with watercolor pencils, but you get the idea!



the chicken pie shop

One of my favorite restaurants is the Chicken Pie Shop, a restaurant actually devoted to making their famous chicken potpies. It’s a little hole in the wall… the type of place that people keep coming back to for the rest of their lives.

It looked delicious. Except that I ordered the wrong thing… a salad.

If there’s one thing to learn from this experience, it’s that you do not order a salad at a restaurant devoted specifically to chicken potpies. Big mistake.

And now, after deep, long-lasting regret, I am making my very own chicken potpie. With the help of my grandma and her “heirloom recipe.”

These potpies are just a little bit healthier than the gravy-coated chicken pie stew that awaited me at the Chicken Pie Shop… but that doesn’t mean they are any less tasty!

Grandma’s Heirloom Chicken Potpie Recipe

Makes 2 Large Chicken Potpies

You will need:
-2 boneless, skinless fresh chicken breasts (white meat)
-2 medium-sized white potatoes
-2 sweet white husks of corn on the cob
-2 stalks of celery
-1 yellow onion
-3 carrots
-Salt
-Pepper
-1 tablespoon flour
-2 Pillsbury pie crusts
-Butter

1. Preparation:
a) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
b) Wash all vegetables.
c) Cut corn off the cob and be sure to remove all silk strings.
d) Peel and slice carrots (1/2 inch pieces).
e) Peel and chop potatoes (1/2 square inch chunks).
f) Cut celery stalks (1/2 inch pieces).
g) Slice onion.

2. Vegetables:
a) Place corn, sliced carrots, and chopped potatoes in a large saucepan.
b) Fill saucepan with water until vegetables are completely submerged in water.
c) Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
d) Cook on medium to high heat for 20 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots appear soft, though not overcooked.

3. Chicken:
a) Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the grain of the chicken in 1 inch cubes (an option is to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken).
b) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan.
c) Add cubes of chicken to saucepan, and add salt and pepper for seasoning.

d) Sauté until chicken is lightly cooked and no longer pink.
e) Add onions and celery to chicken stir-fry, mix together, and heat for 5 minutes.

f) Turn off heat after 5 minutes.
g) Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour (this will make the yummy gravy inside).

h) Mix!

4. Mixture of Vegetables and Chicken:
a) Add vegetable mixture of carrots, corn, and potatoes to chicken sauté – be sure to add some of the liquid to add moisture to the pie.
b) Stir, place lid on saucepan, and let sit without heat for 10 minutes.

5. Pie Crust:
a) Unroll pie crust and fix in pie pan, smoothing down the bottom of the crust to remove air bubbles.

b) Scoop vegetables and chicken into pie crust. Spread 3 tablespoons of butter across hot vegetable and chicken mixture.

c) Unroll other piece of crust and place on top of vegetable and chicken mixture. Attach bottom crust to top crust and fold together to make a pleat (visible below).

d) Cut 4 vents into top of pie.
e) Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.



little miss easter

I was always a big fan of Easter.

This year, I spent the day making these cute paper covered Easter egg decorations.

They’re easy to make too! Here’s how you do it:

1. Start with your supplies:

-Plastic Easter Eggs
-Mod Podge (I used Gloss-Lustre, but the Matte works great too!)
-Small foam brush to apply Mod Podge
-A book or newspaper (I hope it’s not sacrilegious to use pages from The Notebook)
-Embellishments (ribbon, buttons, mini rosettes, etc.)
-Glitter – optional, but EVERYTHING needs a little glitter (I used Martha Stewart’s white gold glitter)

2. Coat plastic egg with Mod Podge and begin to apply newspaper (or pages from The Notebook like me), coating thoroughly. Cover egg entirely, and coat with another layer of Mod Podge to keep smooth edges.

When you’re finished, they should look like this:

3. From here, it’s all up to your personal taste. I embellished mine a few different ways:

a) Glitter

For glitter, coat the plastic egg with one more (light) layer of Mod Podge, and then lightly sprinkle glitter over egg.

b) Letters

Almost every time I read the newspaper, I collect the headlines and organize the letters into tubs like this:

If you do this, it’s really easy to look through your little letter tubs and put together cute Easter words to decoupage onto the eggs!

c) Ribbons, Buttons, and Mini-Rosettes

I used a hot-glue gun to attach the ribbons, buttons, and mini-rosettes to the eggs. Use a similar color theme so that the eggs look cute next to one another!

Here are some close-up shots of the finished products, 4 hours later.



hi, i’m star

Hi, I’m Star. I started this blog in 2011 to share my favorite recipes, crafts, design and DIY ideas, and other inspiration.

Thank you for stopping by!

Star



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