Monday, April 1, 2013

Milk Paint: Love it.

When my grandmother passed away last fall she left me 2 night stands. I think the shape is really neat and I love that they have removable glass tops for easy cleaning.  The dark wood didn't really match any of my other furniture so I have been planning to re-paint them for some time.  I saw this great paint called Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and thought I'd give it a try.  It's non-toxic, comes in powder form and you mix it with water. It creates a chippy look when painted with out a bonding agent, or smooth with the bonding solvent.  I opted for chippy.  I love me some chipped up paint.  I got the furniture wax to go over and seal it.  I must say I do really love the color.  It's called Grain Sack.

First: I took some sand paper and lightly gave them a quick "rough up" to get some of the varnish off and to really give the paint something to grab on to. 
Original wood.    

 Second: I took a paper towel, dampened with warm water and wiped them off.  Yuck. Varnish, wood. Dirt. 

Next I mixed up the paint: The recommended ratio is 1:1.5 Paint to water.  The exception is the lighter colors where you should use 1:1.25. I mixed up a cup of powder and 1.25 cups warm water. Stir 3-5 minutes.  
It's considerably thinner then regular latex paint.
I did the first coat on Saturday night around 8pm just as the sun was going down.  
Looked kind of grey with the dark wood peeking through.

The next day (after Easter brunch of course) I did the second coat.

Then after the paint dried (it only takes about 30 minutes) it started to get "chippy".  I ran my hand along it and flakes came off.  Then I use the furniture wax and gave it 2 thin coats.  
The end result:
My only issue is that you clearly cannot control how much/where the paint chips. (Hence the big ol' chip on the front)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bo's Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

So. I hesitate to call these muffins. I mean they are, but they are super dense almost like a granola bar, but softer.  Anyways. David has soccer games every Sunday and one of the wives on the team, Bo, makes these.  She is so thoughtful.  I had an idea to cut up oranges because that's what I remember most about playing soccer (yes, it was middle school) and we used to put them in our mouths and pretend we were monkeys. Was this just me? 

So I made a few additions like a pinch of cinnamon and chia seeds (just because I had them and thought why not?)

They are so delicious and are great for days as a quick healthy snack or yummy with coffee in the morning for breakfast.  No oil and no added sugar (except from the chocolate chips)

Everything you need

Preheat oven to 380.

Line muffin tins with cupcake papers. 
*I'd be willing to wager you could spray the tins with a bit of pam but the liners just make it so much easier to grab one and go.

 3 cups oatmeal (you can either use regular old fashioned oats or steel cut oats)
*Steel cut will give the muffins a much chewier texture.  I use about 2 1/2 cups old fashioned and 1/2 cup steel cut.
4 bananas smashed
2 eggs
1 cup almond milk
2 cups chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon baking powder

Cinnamon, just a pinch
Chia Seeds, about 2 Tablespoons

 In a large bowl:
1. Peel your bananas and get them smashed. I think a fork does the best job. You want them pretty smooth but not a puree.  

2. Add your milk and mash the bananas a bit more.  Add the remaining ingredients, saving the chocolate chips for the end. Fold chocolate chips in.

3. Scoop into muffin tins. I always use an Ice Cream Scoop to get perfectly neat portions. (One with a spring loaded handle) These will barely rise so fill them about 3/4 full. 

Bake at 380 for 20 minutes.

You can really add anything you want to these. I am going to try them with some coconut and blueberries next.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lavender Lemon Bars

So my girlfriend Kelly (A.K.A Miss Thang)  is having a baby in a few months and we had a couples shower for her this Saturday evening.  I am usually the "dessert person" and so in true fashion I volunteered to do the dessert for the shower. Kelly really loves peanut butter and chocolate so I made a Devil's Food cupcakes with Peanut Butter Mouse and dunked in chocolate ganache. No big deal. 

 Then I thought I should do something for any freaks non-chocolate lovers.  I personally love anything lavender and one of my other girlfriends Shelby (also about to have a baby) loves lemon so I figured this was a perfect choice.  The recipe says it's Gooey Butter Cake but it turned out like a lemon bar after being refrigerated, so I am calling it a lemon bar.  They turned out really well. Only thing I would do differently next time would be to line the pan with parchment paper so I could lift the entire thing out to cut it neatly.  

1 (18 1/4 oz.) package yellow cake mix

1 egg

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
2 teaspoons pulverized culinary lavender (just crush it in your palms as you add it)


1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened 

2 eggs 

2 large lemons, juice and zest
1 teaspoon vanilla 

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted 

1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, butter and lavender and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan. 

Crust Mixture. See the flecks of Lavender?

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Add the powdered sugar and mix well.

Lovely Lemons
  Spread mixture over the cake batter and bake until lightly browned on top and set but still jiggly, about 45 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey. 


 ***I cooked mine an extra 5 minutes. Cook completely on the counter then refrigerate and cut into bars. The filling is pretty sticky so I put mine in individual cupcake papers.  Ta-da!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Welcome back after the long weekend...what's that? You didn't want to get up this morning? Yah. Me either. I started a much anticipated project with my boyfriend David in his kitchen.  We have been talking about this for months and got going Sunday morning.  The plan: re-finish the cabinets and counter tops using this jazzy new product by  Rust-Oleum.  I'll give you a second...go check it out. Basically, this house is older (built in the late 1940's) and we wanted to update the look without lots and lots of money.  Supa-smart. 

We picked the lightest color, Pure White, and felt pretty proud walking out of Home Depot last week.  We had to order the counter top color in Onyx because they don't carry it in the store.  We also got white paint to do the insides of the cabinets, because let's face it, who wants white fronts with dark wood inside? Yah, no one.  We also got some sample drawer pulls and knobs to see what we were going to put on the finished product.  We thought the Martha Stewart pulls were pretty neat. 

So. We got home after a quick trip to the El Camion Tack Truck. I was so motivated to get things going. We started by clearing out all the food from the pantry and dishes from the cabinets.  Then Dave started undoing all the hardware, hinges and drawer pulls. 
Looks official doesn't he?

Meanwhile, I started peeling off shelf-liner and scrubbing all the cabinets and drawers with hot soapy water.  Sick. Really really sick.  The person who owned this house before was clearly a smoker. And from what I can gather must have been running a mini-Goodwill out of her home. Most of the shelf liner was new from when Dave moved in. Not so in the pantry. It was from 1950. Seriously.  Rank.

The knife was my best friend.

I wish you had smell-o-vision in your computer.  Once those were all stripped of the tacky, plaid goo-like paper I gave them a good wash and set them up for painting.



I then did the same think to all the drawers and cabinets. Can you even begin to imagine how sore my arms, back and legs are? (Legs?? Yes, I went to the hardest Barre class of my life at Flywheel South Lake Union on Saturday morning with my workout buddies Carly and Lindsay and could barely walk the next day.)

All in all, we went through 2 gallons of bright white paint and ended up needing to go back for more. We worked all day Sunday and Monday (thank you to the Presidents for the day off.)  We haven't even started the Rust-Oleum process except to use the de-glosser on the cabinet fronts.  Needless to say we ended the day with teriyaki which I promptly inhaled ate at 8:30pm before collapsing in to bed. I didn't even stay up to watch Teen Mom 2. You know I must have been tired.  We have a whole week of this ahead. Stay tuned.