Friday, November 11, 2011

Sisters Word Art

Today I discovered something amazing:  wordle!  I've been looking for some "sisters" subway art and can you believe I haven't found anything decent.  I have this adorable green frame that I stuck in the girls' room that's just asking for some colorful word art.

Anyhow, I was browsing through some stuff on Pinterest, and came across a post that used wordle to design your own Christmas ornaments.  I gave it a quick try and after 5 minutes, came up with this:

Wordle: Sisters

Pretty cute, huh?  You just type in a bunch of text and then adjust the colors, fonts, and layout to your own liking.  You can even choose to make the words horizontal or vertical or more of either way.  I'm going to hang this one as a portrait, so I chose to make most of the words vertical on the layout. 

What a great way to throw together something new and fun in no time!  I think I'll make some for the holidays too!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things Your Mom Says & Jambalaya Recipe

In an effort to start keeping up this blog again, I'll be adding "what's for dinner" and some of our renovations from the house to keep it all well-rounded. ;)

You know those crazy sayings you heard growing up from you mom?  It turns out that some of them actually make sense!

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch!"

When we started working on this house, we were ready to tear out all the dirty, tar-covered cabinets from the kitchen.  Except we spent all of our "house savings" on paint and refinishing the floors and a new mattress and ... well, we don't have any left for new cabinets.  It's a good thing we didn't tear them out after all (for now!).

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

What we did take out was that very dirty range/oven.  It was a gas oven, but the gas line was cut, and nothing else in the house used gas, so we decided to buy new (or used).  We also decided to rearrange the cabinets and fit the fridge against the wall as it was so very oddly placed and very soon we will begin painting the existing cabinets.  In the meantime, I've been using my trusty crock pot, a little toaster oven, and an electric skillet to cook as the new oven and stove and cabinets haven't been installed (aren't kitchens always the last to finish?!).  Sometimes you gotta do with what you have!

Last night I used the skillet to make one of my mom's go-to recipes:  Sausage Jumbalaya.  It was very easy and everyone loves it!


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion*
   1/2 cup chopped green onion*
   1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
   1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley*
1 cup (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
   1/4 tsp crushed dried mint
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 lb. smoked sausage (I used Oscar Mayer turkey sausage)
salt to taste
hot sauce or ground cayenne pepper to taste

In large skillet heat oil over medium heat and saute' onions, bell pepper and parsley til onions are clear.  Stirring, add tomato sauce, garlic, mint and wine, then the rice, salt, hot sauce (if desired) and smoked sausage (half and slice), and enough water to cover rice by about 1 inch.  Cook til most of juice is gone.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour, don't lift lid for at least 45 minutes.  This makes a red jambalaya.  4-6 servings.
From Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cookin'

*I use 2 cups of chopped onions and don't bother with the green onions.  Maybe a tbsp of dried parsley in place of the fresh.  I don't put hot sauce in it while cooking but let everyone add their own individually if desired.  I do not cook it that long; the rice cooks dry pretty quickly after letting the juice cook down before covering, so keep an eye on it and check after maybe 20 minutes.  Consider it done when the rice has cooked dried (and tender).