Monday, November 18, 2013

Privacy please- window makeover

Pinterest was the inspiration for this home project.  Eye actually have a "to do" list of crafts that I will eventually get to. I'm the kinda chic that LOVES checking off the tiny boxes next to my to do list. It's more fun than vacuuming sandy carpet. (that is fun, btw) try it sometime.

Back to the post. So, I found this amazing and cheap project from 7th house on the left. Love their blog too, so well designed.
After I got permission from the Mr. to stick things all over the window, I decided to get right to it. Well it did sit in my head for about 4 months, but then I jumped right on it.

A quick trip to Target for the contact paper (under $5) yippie! Then tracing stencil shape and cutting about 80 of them out. So, if you didn't know already I did teach Kindergarten in the late 90's and besides being certified in herding cats I can cut a shape out like a scissor ninja! Yeah, so put that in your back pocket!

Who really cares about all the steps and such you can read that on 7th house on the left's entry. Let's just get to the photos. These aren't super good since I shot them with my phone AND towards a window, sorta a no-no in good exposure rules.

This is a metal/glass door that leads to the back porch. It has a blind that goes over it and filters the light.  This blind is a unique size and has been up for many years prior to when we bought the house. It's always been yucky and not worked well. So this was the perfect place to try this project out since it's so temporary and not permanent.
Isn't this yucky! The hands hit the blind when you turn the door knob. I was happy to toss these.
The most challenging part was where to start and how to get it evenly spaced out. I did trace the shapes with a chalk marker first to see if I'd like it and how well they fit. That helped a lot in getting Mr.'s approval.
We got quite a few of the shapes stuck on and had a system going. I would peel em, Mr. would stick em, and I would smooth them out without any bubbles! We still have some 1/2 shapes to get done, but it won't take too much more effort. 

This is taken from the outside of the door into the den. Isn't the pattern nice!

Mr. used his Xacto skills to trim the shapes that weren't whole ones. I don't like the Xacto knife, scary!
Eye know you're wondering just how this might look from the outside at night so, wonder no more! The blob at the bottom is Legend, our dog. Light still passes through but no more of that ugly blind. I am very pleased with the final result and have plans to do the small windows on the garage doors.

This door still needs some serious TLC, like rust prevention and a paint job, those will come soon!
Do you have a project to do list? Do you ever get them done? What are you working on now?
If you need some ideas, follow me on Pinterest!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Italian Night

"Italian Night" 
by Cindi Williams (a.k.a. Cindi with an eye)

As a child I knew it was ‘Italian night’ at our home when I smelled the homemade sauce simmering on the stove top. A peek under the lid revealed that it indeed would be a night filled with pasta and good conversation around our table.

I am the child of a German-American mother and a Sicilian-American father. Notice, not Italian, Sicilian. I was schooled on that very early in life. "You are a descendant of Sicily, be proud of it!" said my father. My maiden name, Mendola, means Almond tree. I guess I always knew we were some kind of a nut. Growing up Sicilian is a lifestyle… and a privilege. I learned very quickly that everyone is my cousin, most of them have a accent, and they are allowed to visit anytime and stay as long as they want. I also learned that mealtime was the center of our existence. Cannoli, Ravioli, Lasagna, Macaroni, Manicotti… these were members of the family… invited to our dinner table at least once a week, if not more.  However, my father insisted on homemade sauce. Sauce that was made from tomatoes picked in a field, canned, simmered, and seasoned just perfectly.

As a grown woman and mother of two I was recently invited to learn the secrets of the sauce. It's no secret really, just days of work that turn an ordinary tomato into a sauce to die for! Mangiare o morire!

I was excited to spend the morning canning tomatoes with my mother, Sally. It was several uninterrupted hours spent steaming and peeling, slicing and pureeing. Our joy was not only transforming cases of red, ripe tomatoes but sharing candid conversations about relatives, those still living and those no longer with us. Having that time to pick my mom's brain about her mother and their canning days. She shared with me stories of how her mother canned everything since it was too expensive to buy fruits and vegetables out of season in upstate New York.  I remember my grandmother Ruth with a fondness, she smelled of berries and had the softest white fluffy hair. She cooked pies like no one else I knew, I guess it was the fresh fillings that satisfied me the most. My grandmother canned peaches, strawberries, beans, tomatoes, other foods, even corn. They had a fully stocked pantry in the basement always ready to supply a family of six. I wondered at that moment why hadn't I learned to can sooner, all of the food I could have stock piled by now. The savings on trips to the grocery store would be enormous and the security of knowing what I was feeding my family when I opened the can or jar.

The aroma of fresh-picked tomatoes filled the kitchen and my mind wandered to my childhood. The simpler times when I could sit on the stool and watch my momma stir the sauce, swinging my feet back and forth waiting for a sample to see if it was properly seasoned. We canned all morning long and it was enjoyable and rewarding to know I was making food for my family. Good food, healthy, organic, safe and from the heart.

The real challenge came two days later when I lovingly prepared a spaghetti and corn beef meal and invited my parents to our home to share in the meal. I prepared the "sauce" myself, seasoning it with fresh herbs grown in my garden. It was rewarding to enter into my garden in the warm sunlight and snip the herbs I needed for the sauce. I felt the presence of my mother, and my grandmother when I collected them in my hands, hands that were starting to resemble the weathered hands I once watched do this very job. 

The table set for my family and my parents was a scene from Sicily. Our screen room filled with filtered sunlight, happy faces, and good conversation. I sat with trepidation as my father took the inaugural bite… Meraviglioso!! That beautiful evening I officially became a Sicilian and am proud to say “I can make the sauce!" 

Email Cindi with an Eye

Cindi's Website

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tomato Pie

Wow, it's been too long since we've spoken! Eye'm so sorry to be an absentee blogger. With the new home in Georgia and Cindi with an eye back on track, I find it hard to find time for us to get together.

I'm growing a beautiful veggie garden in a raise bed on my N. Ga property. I enjoy checking on it daily, pruning it and coming up with creative ways to keep the cute and ravenous bunnies out of it. The tomato bush is producing about 2 LARGE tomatoes a day! So what's a girl to do? I gave some away to a neighbor and now I'm exploring recipes using tomatoes.

Last night I treated the family to a "Tomato Pie" for dinner. Oh, was it delicious. I'm sure it's not a calorie friendly meal, but hey, what's that about!? Enjoy yourself, stay active and eat healthy!

I'm not a recipe blogger, meaning professional so I'll try my best to make this easy to follow. Let me know how yours turned out and would you change any part of the recipe. Leave a comment below.

Classic Tomato Pie
Ingredients for one 9-inch pie
10 biscuits from a 7.5 oz package
2-3 large, perfectly ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves (as many as you like), sliced into thin strips
1 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Duke's)
1 cup mozzarella diced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick spray. Then press the biscuits against sides and bottom of plate to form a crust. Layer thick slices from 2 large tomatoes on the dough, and give them a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Then toss on a handful of freshly-chopped basil. Top the pie with one cup mayonnaise combined with one cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes on the middle rack of a preheated 375-degree oven. To insure a firm, not runny pie, let rest for 30 minutes before serving. (I usually can't wait!)
Use any brand you like! I get what's on sale.
My fave mayo, by far! Thanks Marcia for introducing me.

This week's crop!
Some people have used cheddar cheese, but I'm a true Italian!
FRESH basil from next door! Thanks Willie!

This is the part where you "smush" the biscuit dough into the pie plate.

chop it up
slice them thick

layer the tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil on top of the pressed biscuits

chop the mozarella and mix with the mayo

spoon it on top of the pile, mine oozed over, not clean! but still yummy!

Bake in the 375 oven for 30 mins. Allow to rest, or eat it right away like me!

You can serve this dish hot or cold. We ate a few slices for dinner, and packed one serving for lunch for each of the parents, and there's still more to enjoy.