Our Wood Home

Our Wood Home: December 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

what to do with left-over wedding stuff?

At our wedding we had romantic/lovey quotes printed on cardstock and framed for each table.  We also had them at the gift and sign in tables.  I didn't want to be wasteful or try to scavenger a few bucks for each frame by selling them online, so I repurposed them in our home. 

Here is what they looked like at the wedding (pictures by our ah-maaazing photographer Jenn Austin-Driver)
shot by Jenn Austin-Driver Photography

shot by Jenn Austin-Driver Photography
 And this is what the frames look like in our house.

We also used mason jars to hold some sunflowers at each table.  There are a million uses for mason jars (Google it...) but I didn't find any that were practical for me.  I could have used them for canning or jam or whatever but I'm not going to fill all the jars. 
David discovered that they are the perfect size to hold a full can of Coke with the perfect amount of whiskey.  So now he uses them for drinks and will be storing them at the bar in the man cave for when his friends come over.  Yaaaay repurposing!


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vintage china (and some cool soup mugs!)

David's grandma gave us some china that we are told was hers when she and her husband were first married.  I'm not sure when we will ever have food fancy enough for such dishes but for now they sit in my kitchen cupboards with glass doors so people can see them!

unpacking

there it is!

kitchy soup mugs!

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our Christmas tree!

We just bought our tree last week and it's now up and decorated!  I wish I had taken a picture of the tree tied to David's car because it looked pretty funny. 
Our living room ceilings are slanted and are over 7 feet tall at the lowest...so we were pretty excited to get a big tree!

All lit up at night.  I actually had to stand upstairs in our dining room to get the whole tree in the shot.

We bought these on our honeymoon










































When I was a teenager my mom decided she would do a colour theme every year for tree decorations.  I remember doing blue+silver, red+gold, pink+silver, black+white...And every year she and I would make 90% of the ornaments oursleves. Sadly, this obsession was picked up by me.  I didn't actually plan my tree decor very well but ended up with silver, gold and red pretties.  David picked the multi-coloured lights which look SO GOOD! 









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Thursday, December 13, 2012

christmas in our house (sneak peek)

I love the holiday season!  The music, the smells, the snow on Christmas day ONLY (I hate snow all other days), the neat crafts...this is the first year I can actually have free reign of the house I live in so I'm hoping I can find the time to go all out!  Here is a sneak peek of the decorating I've done.






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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

soup for a sickie


My husband got the flu this past weekend…it was awful.  When I say flu, I mean the actual influenza virus.  We went to the emergency room and he was given a prescription meant to treat the flu virus.  Needless to say he didn’t feel like doing much of anything for the rest of the weekend.  He didn’t even feel like eating!  But he said he was okay with chicken soup so I scoured my recipe books for a good one (David isn’t fond of brothy soups and prefers stews so I was actually looking for a chicken stew recipe).   The original recipe I found was Farmhouse Chicken and Corn Chowder…but I modified it to suit our tastes.

 Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon pulled pork spice (I used this is place of bacon pieces)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large red potatoes, cut into pieces
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves                                             
  • 1 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into pieces
  • 1 red pepper cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons dried cilantro

 Directions:

  1. Put garlic powder, thyme, tomatoe paste, flour and  2 cups chicken stock in a large skillet or pot and bring to a boil
  2. Transfer to slow cooker and add the remaining broth, potatoes, carrots and bay leaves.  Add the chicken and cover.  Cook until chicken is tender (4-6 hours on low).
  3. In a small bowl microwave the red pepper in small amount of oil until pepper has softend slightly.  Add peppers and cream to slow cooker and stir well. 
  4. Serve!

 The recipe in my book called for bacon pieces but David doesn’t like bacon so I skipped it.  I think the bacon was included to bring smokiness to the soup so I substituted pulled pork spice.  I’m not sure how accessible this is to most people but we found it at our local bulk food chain store.  It’s a pretty strong spice so use it sparingly!  Chopped onions and a can of creamed corn are also supposed to be in this soup but I’m honestly not a fan of chopping onions.  The creamed corn was left out because David didn’t want it. 

I usually don’t like creamy soups or chowders but this soup was so delicious!!  David started feeling better after eating but he said it was really flavourful.  I thought that was a good thing but he said it was a bit overwhelming for his stomach…keep that in mind if you make this soup for a sickie.  Later that day I learned that red peppers are a natural fever reducer which would explain why he felt better after eating. 

This recipe is a great one for sickies because it’s hearty and contains good ingredients.  Buuut it’s also good as an everyday meal :)

 

 

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pigs-in-a-blanket...for adults!


When I was a kid my mom would make my brothers and I the most decadent of meals…pigs in a blanket.  We’d watch eagerly as she boiled the hot dogs and carefully opened that delicious tube of Pillsbury crescent roll dough.  Mmm…I’m not ashamed to say I would eat a pig in a blanket if one was offered to me.

I didn’t post my food memory just to be nostalgic; I posted it because I have created the adult version of pigs in a blanket!  Last week my husband requested ham for dinner.  I’ve only ever seen my mom make ham and she would just put a whole hunk of meat into the slow cooker and sprinkle it with brown sugar.  I asked David how he wanted me to cook it and he suggested I use the leftover Guinness BBQ sauce.  After a full 7 hours of slow cooking, we were ready to eat our glorious ham (yeah, I’m a bit dramatic).  I served it with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.  We had some ham leftover so David asked me to make ‘ham buns’ (similar to the pork buns I’ve made before).  I used the same dough recipe as I did for the pork buns and David declared pork/ham buns are his new favourite food.  As we were eating he said the ham kind of tasted like hot dogs.  I took a few more bites and agreed.  Then I told him the dough tasted like the Pillsbury crescent rolls…so ham that tastes like hotdogs + dough that tastes like Pillsbury rolls = PIGS IN A BLANKET FOR ADULTS!  Oooooh my goodness, what have I created?! 

Instructions:
  • place whole ham in a slow cooker and cover with the sauce (recipe here!)
  • cook on Low for 6 hours
  • remove the pork chops and shred them using a fork and knife (it's suuuuper easy!)
  • cool before placing on dough
  • pour remaning sauce into a colinder and strain out an large pieces
  • store strained sauce in a container in the fridge and use for dipping or adding to cooked buns
 
Dough Recipie and Instructions:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup cold milk
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients  
2.      Cut in butter until dough becomes crumbly

3.      Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk

4.      Stir to form a soft dough then turn out onto floured surface

5.      Knead 8-10 times and roll into a rectangle

6.      Place cut and cooled ham in a row about 2/3 of the way down dough

7.      Roll the dough and ham into a log by wrapping the bottom section of dough over the ham

8.      Cover that wrapped dough with the top section of dough and “glue” in place with melted butter

9.      Insert toothpicks to keep dough together if needed

10.   (I cut my log into 10 sections and placed them in a baking dish exactly the way they were before I cut them.  They looked like they had never been cut…it looked prettier this way when I served it)

11.    Bake for 25 minutes at 400F

 
When David ate these he placed slices of cheese inside.  I was toying with placing cheese in the buns while baking but I thought the cheese would burn instead of melt nicely.

I realize the rolling instructions may be a bit hard to understand (I wasn’t prepared to put my doughy hands all over my pretty camera!) but really, rolling it up like a standard cinnamon bun would work just as well!
 
I tend not to follow recipes perfectly when I cook so feel free to modify mine in some way but be sure to tell me about it!


 

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Monday, December 3, 2012

art in our home

I'm SUPER picky about art.  I've never actually bought a piece from a store because I don't like mass produced art.   I've never bought an original because they are really expensive and I haven't loved any.
Before we got married, I lived with my mom and brothers and I had all sorts of weird art in my room!  I framed pressed flowers, greeting cards, photographs I had taken, rocks, etc...I took all that art with me to my matrimonial home and have slowly been integrating into our large collection of what we consider art. 
Here are some examples of the art in our home with descriptions under each image.

This painting was a wedding gift from my cousin.  He's an artist who specializes in modern work.  Check out his site!

We ordered a custom rubber stamp for our wedding.  I stamped the back of all the invite envelopes and someone sent it back to me:)  So I framed it because I love it!  The little frame was found by mom mom at a yard sale.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these plaques.  I found amazing scrapbook paper for $1 at Michael's and had them plaqued at Wal Mart.  I love the tones, the images and the way the pages are designed.

I hung this grouping above my desk because each piece inspires me in some way.  The "home sweet home" piece is actually a housewarming card.  The pictures under it are a gift bag that I cut to fit my frames.  The photograph is one of our engagement pictures.  The Prada piece is another gift bag (it makes me feel decadent).  The frame next to it contains some dark room photography I did when I was 16.  I painted the birch tree when I was 13 and it's the only painting I love that I have done.  The framed leaves were collected at my mom's house because I love the colours of fall.

The macaroni picture was made by one of our groomsmen as an engagement gift.  I thought it was fun and a nice gesture so I put it on our bookshelf.  The antler belonged to David's grandpa and the vintage plate belonged to a great aunt on David's side (we got it as a wedding present). 


David (my husband) is always collecting rocks and flowers for me.  He knows I like Queen Anne's Lace so he found a  really nice looking bloom and pressed it for me.  This frame was just waiting for the perfect piece so I put them together.  I love the way it looks!  This currently sits between an old fruit basket and a soapstone chess set.

I'm a firm believer that art is whatever you make it to be.  My brother has collectable action figures displayed in his room; my mother-in-law loves a certain artist and only hangs pieces by her; my grandpa sets our his greeting cards in his living room so he can look at them all year.  Since your home should be a reflection of the people who live there, display whatever you love...and call it art!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my art.  My husband has his own collection but it's not on display yet.  I'll get on him to put it up ;)


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