Truly Delish: Sour Cream and Chive Scones

Mayo as stand-alone condiment slightly baffles me. Incorporated, it’s not as cray cray. Mayo in egg salad? I totally get it. Slathered on your sub sandwich or burger? No. Just. No. C’mon guys. It’s gross. It tastes liked unflavored creaminess. I like my creaminess flavored, like ice cream or milkshakes or chocolate mousse (I may be craving dessert right now…).

I guess that’s why I never got behind other things, like whipped cream or sour cream. In my mind, they really serve no purpose. In fact, I find they disguise the goodness of that pie hidden underneath. And why use sour cream on that baked potato when you have ranch dressing? ADD FLAVOR PEOPLE!

Anyway, sour cream entered our household this holiday season, obviously not of my own choosing. And after the potatoes were eaten, per the usual, there’s leftover sour cream. There’s always leftovers of this stuff.

And I feel very guilty for wasting it and any other food.

So, in walked these amazing biscuits from Baker by Nature, just cheerfully saying, “give me your leftover sour cream and your world will be a better place!” And I said, “okie dokie.”

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The original recipe said 8-10. I think I cut mine a lot smaller and ended up with 12. Not disappointed in the slightest.

It makes sense that these biscuits are amazing because they follow my protocol of incorporating, not forcing sour cream to stand alone. When you too are left with a lonely, half-used container of sour cream, grab this recipe and get baking!

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We’re pretending like it’s spring in our household.

To note: this recipe calls for fresh chives. I never have fresh chives because I haven’t figured out how to not kill plants yet and I’m too cheap to pay the $3.99 for tiny containers of fresh herbs. However, I have substituted dried chives and fresh green onions and had success with both.

 

January Cure 2017: Hi, my name is Lauren and I am a clean freak

When you live in a small house and you’ve inherited your mother’s (self proclaimed!) clean freak tendencies, surface clutter is your worst nightmare. I literally feel like the walls are closing in on me, panic-attack style. So, when Apartment Therapy’s January Cure rolled around again, I was positively giddy. Time to get (re)organized!

First on the list, I tackled our dining room storage. We have these two lovely IKEA Expedit (now called Kallax – why IKEA couldn’t just keep it the same name is beyond me…) shelves. They become a landing pad for anything and everything. Those bins were full of stuff that needed to be quickly hidden away. And then was promptly forgotten.

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So, last night, I did a reorg. AND IT FELT SO GOOD. It is now the home to a lot of Alex’s toys, some of his books and our outbox.

Now what is an outbox, you may ask? Again, a January Cure item. It’s basically a place to put stuff that you need to do something with, but can’t or don’t want to decide exactly what that’ll be at that moment. Here’s the basics from their website:

OUTBOX RULES
  1. Anything can go in the Outbox
  2. The Outbox is allowed to get messy
  3. Everything must stay in the Outbox for at least one week
  4. After that time you have several choices
    1. Take anything back out
    2. Leave anything you are undecided about for one more week
    3. Dispose of the rest by moving to the garbage, recycling bin, or giveaway pile

And the rest of it, it’s Alex’s toys! I reorganized his room when he got a little table and chairs set (thanks Mom and Dad!) and the toys needed a new home. Now they’re in all of these bins at the perfect height for him to pull out and get into. When done, I can scoooooop them all up, toss them back in, and shove the bin back into the shelves. Ahhh. Pure bliss for my clean freak self.

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Our outbox is the upper left bin

 

Recipe Review: Regrettable(?) Recipes (A 12-Step Program)

Step 1: One part of your brain goes “NOMNOM. I want a Snickers bar.”
Step 2: Anther part of your brain goes “Don’t you want to fit into your skinny jeans? That shit does not help. DON’T DO IT!”
Step 3: First part of your brain coyly replies “But don’t you remember that recipe on Pinterest? You’ve been meaning to test it out. It’ll be a good learning experience, it’ll be better for you because it’s homemade (and homemade is always better for you, right?) AND you can GIVE THE LEFTOVERS TO PEOPLE AT WORK! They love eating free food. It’s a win-win for EVERYONE. And who doesn’t love a win-win?”
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Kryptonite? Source of all happiness? (Recipe from How Sweet Eats)
Step 4: Go purchase ingredients for said recipe because, of course, you don’t have everything on hand. Look smugly at said Snickers bar in checkout line and think, “You’re so inferior to the amazingness I’m going to make.”
Step 5: Purposely avoid looking at your receipt total for recipe ingredients.
Step 6: Make homemade Snickers. Eat half the pan because they are so damn delicious.
Step 7: Give tiny sample to husband. Listen to him rave. Pat yourself on the back for making something so good.
Step 8: Monitor his intake of Snickers bars because you’ve got to have the last bite. Sneakily finish them off when he’s not looking. Do not take any leftovers into work.
Step 9: Pull out skinny jeans. Put them away because you have no interest in resembling sausages or muffins.
Step 10: Realize that the money you spent on the recipe was 10x the amount of one Snickers bar.
Step 11: Curse Pinterest. Vow to stop trying new recipes. Take a break for a couple of weeks.
Step 12: Craving hits… and repeat.

Recipe Review: The Hell of Homemade Ice Cream

I coveted this baby for a long time:

Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker

And I was deliriously happy when I got it for Christmas. I literally pulled out the laptop right then and there (screw whatever other gifts I received that year) to start reviewing all of the recipes I pinned that could ONLY be created using this totally necessary tool.

Have you ever really looked at any of those ice cream recipes you’ve pinned? Even more importantly, have you watched the dessert round of Chopped and thought, “oh, that’s not too bad”?

When I mean not too bad, I mean the ease at which it seems to come together. The chefs throwing a couple of ingredients together, pouring it into the ice cream maker, then removing it at the right time. Seems pretty simple, especially if you have a recipe to follow.

NO. IT’S NOT SIMPLE.

The ice cream maker above is nothing like the Chopped ice cream maker. And if you get a craving for ice cream… well, better hope you still have it until tomorrow. Cause that’s how long it usually takes to actually make ice cream. Here’s the process:

Step 1: Think about making ice cream. Gather all ingredients. Realize you’re missing something. Go to store. Come home.

Step 2: Make your custard base thing. It involves boiling.

Step 3: Chill your base. Recipes typically suggest overnight. Freeze your ice cream maker at the same time because you can’t just keep it in your freezer since it’s so full… despite the fact that you have a chest freezer as well.

Step 4:  Next day, pour your base into the frozen ice cream maker WHILE THE CHURNY THING IS SPINNING. Curse because the maybe-soon-to-be ice cream splatters everywhere. Churn.

Step 5: Guess what? It’s still not ready to eat yet. Pour it into a container and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

And 25 days later, you have homemade ice cream! If that hasn’t made you tired, then here’s a couple of recipes I’ve taste tested, just for you:

Obviously my ice cream maker never got any use. Obviously.

Living/Dining Curtains: An Accidental DIY

I love all of these great tutorials on Pinterest that are all like “hey, you can SEW YOUR OWN CURTAINS!” and then they show you curtains in some superduper cute fabric. You’re all like “oh WOW. Those are so cute and that fabric is so effing amazing! I’m gonna do it! And since it’s DIY, it must save me a little bit of money, right?”
And then you find out that said cute fabric is either $12.99 per yard and you need, oh, approximately 12 yards or so for your windows and you realize that it’d cost more for you to make curtains that to GO BUY REALLY FANCY ONES. So you’re all like, “well, guess I’m back to the drawing board…”
And then you walk through Target and you find really cute curtains for $9.99 per panel. You chuckle at those poor saps sewing their curtains.
But then you go to hang them up and it’s like the curtains were meant to be hung on windows that are for babies or something and you hang them anyway because you’re impatient and the baby is only down for his nap for another 20 minutes.
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We’ve all seen this picture on Pinterest. My curtains were “don’t” and they weren’t even touching the ground. Fail.
But it just looks tacky. So tacky. So who’s laughing now? Definitely the ladies who have perfect DIY curtains.
So then you have to go rouge and DIY it without a tutorial. Oh, the horror. But I did it and now they’re not tacky! I ended up grabbing some cheap solid red fabric from IKEA for $2.99 a yard. I think(?) I picked up 2 yards to add to the bottom of each of my panels.
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Looks terrible from the back, but gives you an idea of how they’re constructed.
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See? Can’t even tell

I made 4 panels – two for the living room and one for the dining room.

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And aren’t we classy with a slightly bent living room curtain rod? Thank you, dear cat, for climbing the new curtains. At least he doesn’t chew up all of our phone cord chargers like other dear cat.

 

Delish: 2 fer 1 Deal

As my husband has said, while shoving the last of dinner into his mouth, “I don’t believe in leftovers.”
I personally hate leftovers. Well, all leftovers except for pizza. I’m too cheap and don’t like wasting, so I eat ’em. But it doesn’t mean I like it. However, if it’s reinvented leftovers, it often becomes much more tolerable.
In this 2 fer 1 deal, you can do just that. You’ll end up with leftovers that can be easily transformed into a kind of entirely different meal. The first meal is date-night fancy. The second meal is put on yer E&D* pants and lounge in front of the TV while shoving food in your mouth.
Meal 1:
Pork tenderloin in white wine sauce (leaves enough to give each of you a glass before you open a second bottle because only one glass on date night? we’re not that boring yet, are we?)
Sauteed haricots verts (because why call them green beans on fancy date night?)
Your favorite recipe for mashed potatoes
Meal 2:
Shepherd’s pie (chop up the leftover pork, use the leftover sauce/gravy, use the leftover mashed potatoes, grab a bag of frozen veggies) I kind of used this recipe as a guide.
Your favorite salad and/or bread (anytime I write bread I think of Oprah)
*Eating & Drinking

House Post Alert: Learning Lessons

It remains to be told whether we learned our lesson or not. I think we have, but then again, we’ll see how we feel by the end of this next project.

We’re starting another renovation. This, however, is different than the last one. Why is it different? Let me list the ways:

  1. We don’t have to move out because it’s not impacting the inside of the house.
  2. I did not design this time.
  3. We are not demoing.
  4. We are not painting.
  5. We hired a contractor to do it all.
  6. Nick is very happy.

If you don’t remember what the exterior of our house looked like, good for you. If you do, sorry. It’s ugly. So what’s it going to look like now?

TA DAH!

new-porch

Hellllooooooo outdoor living room. I’m already imagining an afternoon avec un verre de vin on the beautiful outdoor couch we don’t yet own. We’re also landscaping the front yard, replacing the deck and cleaning up the backyard a little bit.

Glorious, I tell you. Glorious.