Saturday, July 27, 2013

DIY Bedroom: Design & Paint

Will and I knew right away that we would want to re-paint the master bedroom. The pea soup green wasn't working for us -- especially for my gray/blue color palette.

I have 2 pictures of the room with the green walls. Will and I had already added the chandelier and some decorative touches.

We chose a dark slate blue for the sitting area and the wall with the windows. We thought it would be nice to have an accent color to the gray. The pictures below show the finished gray color.

I managed to snap some pictures of Will painting the sitting area.

Here are the after pictures of the bedroom:

These amazing chairs and pillows are from Big Lots. 

On the left is Will's side, and has a Valentine's Day gift I gave him and his place card at the wedding.
On the right is my side, and has a date night jar that we received at one of our showers and my place card at the wedding.

I love the different patterns in the room. I heard once that you should have 5 different patterns in a room, and I think I have 7 patterns (whoops!).

We bought the bed and side tables at Big Lots and inherited the beige bedroom furniture from Will's parents.

I picked up these lamps at Kirkland's.

This hanger that I got for the wedding hangs next to the closet. It was one of the first things we hung in the room.

We scored the sign above our bed from Hobby Lobby. It has one of our favorite verses from Song of Songs.

We absolutely love how our room turned out!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Will loves the chicken gnocchi soup from Olive Garden, so I wanted to re-create this satisfying soup for my hubby!

I used about 1/2 a yellow onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic...

... and minced them.

Will pulled the chicken meat off of the rotisserie chicken -- it yielded about 2 cups of meat.

I melted about 2 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of EVOO in a large pot.

I cooked down the onion and garlic mix until the onion was translucent. 

While the onion and garlic was cooking, I took 5 stalks of celery and sliced them pretty thin.

I then added the celery to the pot.

Once the celery was cooked down, I added 2 more tbs of butter and 4 tbs of flour to make a roux. 

When making a roux, it's important to continue to stir the mix so that it doesn't burn and thickens correctly.

After the roux is ready, I added a quart of half & half and the chicken.

While the soup was warming up, I gathered enough carrots to make about 1 cup of shredded carrots.

I peeled the carrots...

... and continued to use the peeler to make nice shreds of carrots.

I then added the carrots to the soup.

At this point, I got the seasonings ready. This soup needs 1/2 tsp of salt, thyme, and parsley. And lastly, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg.

After adding the seasoning to the soup...

... I grabbed the package of potato gnocchi from the pantry.

You just add them to a pot of boiling water. They don't take long to cook!

When they're done -- I added them to the soup.

I then added 14 oz of chicken broth (no sodium!) to the soup. You could add more top make the soup less thick.

All done!! And I swear it's better than Olive Garden!

I paired this amazing soup with a garden salad filled with romaine, artichokes, heart of palm, red onion, green pepper, shredded mozzarella, and croutons.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chocolate Trifle

I think the reason this dessert is such a hit is because it is a "healthy" option.

This recipe is super easy to put together, the ingredients include: 
  • Cool Whip
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Milk
  • Chocolate Cake Mix (plus eggs and oil)
  • Heath Bar Bits
  • Mini Plastic Cups

I started by baking the chocolate cake in a 9x13 pan.

I placed the cake on a cooking rack...

... and put the cooling rack in the freezer for about an hour.

When the cake was ready, I placed it on a a cutting board.

I sliced the cake vertically...

... and then horizontally.

Here's a sweet picture of my buddy Gideon :) He loves hanging out with me in the kitchen!

I made the pudding while the cake was in the oven, and I made sure the Cool Whip was soft and defrosted in the fridge.

The first layer in the mini trifle is about 4 cake cubes, and then pudding.

Then there is a layer of Cool Whip.

Then I repeated the layers...

... and sprinkled Heath Bits on top.

I put the mini trifles in a cupcake tin, which kept them stable.

These are so mouth watering!