Monday, June 16, 2014

Mom's Place

A week or so ago I helped my mom make some lights for her dining room. After the old ceiling fan in there started smelling like smoke when it was turned on she figured a new fixture was needed. She found these DIY embroidery hoop globe lights and we gave them a whirl. Here's how they turned out along with some shots of some favorite spots in my mom's house.

The hoops are wooden but we spray painted them a Antique Bronze that gave them a metal look.

She moved the lighting situation from the center of the room to the far left so it created a little nook area and left the walkway open straight through from the front door to the kitchen.

How about that wooden floor detail? Love. When we she first bought the house it was all painted dark brown colors. So we went in a gave everything a nice pop of white all over. I told her to trust me when painting everything white. I knew she had all these colorful accessories (she collects cobalt blue everything) so I wanted those to be the focus.

I think it worked out nicely. This way she can mix patterns and colors (chevron, zebra, gold, turquoise) and it all doesn't compete.


She found these blue prints of the house rolled up in a kitchen cabinet and had them framed. They hang in the dining. They are so so very cool. 

Her pup, Eliza enjoys the deck.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Harissa Paste

Part of my food pantry make over has been getting rid of things that have unnecessary sugar in them. Why does Sriracha sauce need to have so much sugar in it?? So after coming across some recipes that called for Harissa Paste I decided I needed to make my own.

I found this recipe to be helpful. 

I should warn you though, that along with the necessary kitchen equipment you need to make this paste (food processor, grinder, etc) gloves and proper ventilation are a must. I picked up four different types of dried peppers and only one of them was marked on the "super hot" scale (the others were one up from the bottom of least spicy). But once you get your spices heating up on the stove and you are seeding your peppers, holy moley your throat is on fire. I went out in the garage and got a mask. No joke.

So first pick up some dried peppers, I found mine in the Hispanic aisle at Reasor's. I picked up four bags so I could have a variety. The tiny red ones are the spiciest.

First soak all the peppers in boiling water for 30 minutes. Then drain them so you can seed and de-stem them.

While your peppers are soaking you can heat up your spices. Have some windows open, the oven vent on high and honestly you should wear a mask. Trust.

Once the spices are heated, but not burnt, you grind them up.

Once you drain your peppers put on those gloves and de-stem and get all the seeds out. The seeds are what hold the spice in so get out as much as you like based on taste. I found that I couldn't get out all the seeds on any of the peppers so I didn't add any back in.

Then you dump your seeded peppers, spices, and garlic gloves in a food processor. Process on high until blended. You can save that liquid from earlier and pour in some at this point if you want it runnier. I poured in an additional 8oz.

Then you just scoop all that into a jar, top with EVOO and store in the fridge. I'm trying it on some chicken this week. So we will see how it goes. Eeeeek.