Shabby Kitchens

Pinterest is my new favorite thing. Whenever I am looking for inspiration I get on my computer and  pull up pinterest. PINTREST HAS BECOME SUCH AN ADDICTION!

Today I went looking for shabby chic kitchen inspiration and as usual was not disappointed. Look at these gorgeous kitchens I found.

Shabby Kitchens 1

The first photo is from Shabby Chic White via Pinterest.The first thing that drew my attention was  how cozy and inviting this all white kitchen is. The natural wood flooring and white beadboard paneling bring  texture and warmth to the room.  I love the nontraditional open shelving. Not only is this a great way to display vintage collectibles, it also makes them more accessible. You all know what a big fan I am of using fabric skirting to hide unsightly appliances or anything else you want to keep hidden.

Shabby kitchens 2

In this photo from media-cashe2 via Pinterest, a to die for farmhouse sink is calling my name. The combination of the unique elaborate upper glass door cabinets and the rustic two toned bottom cabinets are perfect together. I long for a kitchen island but it’s not a possibility in my galley kitchen.

shabby kitchens 3

In this photo from the Ticking and Toile blog  a fabulous chandelier hanging over a distressed island brings vintage character to this otherwise modern kitchen.

Fabric Ideas for Patio

I decided to update my boring beige and green back patio with some more colorful fabrics and paint.  I didn’t realize how expensive outdoor cushions were until I started pricing them. So I started looking at discount stores and fabric stores for some inexpensive alternatives .Trying to find coordinating fabrics from different stores and manufactures is not an easy task but I did find these prints with the same aqua color that I think go together well.  I found a yard of outdoor fabric  to cover the cushions on the 4 dining chairs, a small chair cushion  and a set of two larger ones for the price of 1 seat cushion in the high end stores.  I plan on using the blue’s and green’s from the cushions to paint the chairs and table.

Patio Fabric 1

Does anyone have any inexpensive and colorful  DIY projects I can incorporate into my patio makeover?

Patio Fabric 2

Cynrhia Sass Recipes +Nate Burkus

This morning on The Nate Berkus Show, Cynthia Sass demonsrated some of the healthy
recipes out of her book Cinch! that helps conquer craving, drop the pounds and loose inches.

Cinch book

Give your diet a healthy boost with Cynthia Sass’ green tea chicken with avocado corn salad, zesty cinnamon basil berry tea, and more.
Green Tea Chicken with Avocado Corn Salad
3 oz cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
½ tsp green tea leaves mixed with 1/8 tsp each black pepper, garlic powder and lemon zest
1 1/2 cups field greens or baby romaine
¼ cup all natural jarred salsa and sliced red onion
½ cup fresh or frozen, thawed sweet corn or kernels sliced from 1 medium ear of fresh roasted corn
1/4 of a medium avocado
Rub chicken with green tea mixture and set aside. Toss greens and onion with salsa to coat. Transfer greens to bowl, top with corn then chicken and avocado.
Zesty Cinnamon Basil Berry Tea
1 bag green tea
¼ cup 100% Concord grape juice
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp freshly grated orange or tangerine zest (use organic fruit to avoid pesticide residue)
3 sweet basil leaves, torn
Optional: Unflavored all natural seltzer
In a large mug, add tea bag to 6 ounces boiling water. Use cinnamon stick to stir in the juice and zest. Leave cinnamon stick in mug. Add basil and steep, covered for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag but leave other all ingredients and enjoy.
Optional cold beverage version: Chill tea, transfer to a tumbler and mix with ½ cup effervescent all natural seltzer. The longer the tea sits in the refrigerator, the more it becomes infused with flavor. You can even chill it overnight but for freshness. Just be sure to drink or discard within 24 hours.
Savory Spaghetti Squash with Citrus Zest
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
½ cup whole wheat angel hair pasta
1 Tbsp basil pesto
1 oz aged Asiago cheese, shredded
½ tsp tangerine zest
Toss cooked spaghetti squash and angel hair with pesto to coat. Transfer to plate. Garnish with Asiago and sprinkle with zest.

Small Space Gardens

The upcoming arrival of Spring takes my thoughts from indoors to outdoors. I love to grow my own herbs and vegetables and am always looking for creative and attractive DIY ways to utilize as much available space as possible for gardening. This includes using attractive pots on my porches and deck, so I was thrilled to find this post at Apartment Therapy which repurposes a wooden pallet into a beautiful garden display perfect for any small outdoor space.

Patio Garden 1

And who would have thought to turn old plastic storage tubs and trellises into a useful porch garden.

Patio Garden 2

For more great “gardening without a garden” ideas like these check out the original post here.

Chicken Meatballs and Mushroom Gravy-The Nate Show

Burkus Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Saw this recipe on the Nate Burkus show today. Can’t wait to make it.

Chicken Meatballs
Makes about 2 dozen 1 ½ inch meatballs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
2 large eggs
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.
Combine the ground chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, white wine, salt, fennel, and pepper in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 ½ inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.
Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.
Mushroom Gravy
Makes 4 cups
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, halved and cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 ½ tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 pound button mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into ¼ -inch slices
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions have become soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook until almost all of their liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine and continue cooking until the pan is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and continue cooking until the stock is reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the butter and flour in a small bowl and mix together with the back of a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms. Add the paste to the simmering gravy and whisk continuously until the paste has completely dissolved and the gravy has thickened. Stir in the parsley and add pepper to taste.

Thrifty Finds

At a thrift store in downtown I found a vintage Daher tin for only .25 cents. As I love all things blue this little tin immediately caught my eye. Taking a closer look I saw it was stamped on the bottom.

Later I stopped at Ross and in the clearance section I found these terrific metal keys for  a $1.49.

I also found this cool mirrored soap dispenser also for only $1.49.


  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 cooked skinless boneless chicken breast halves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese


  1. Mix the rice and vegetable broth in a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion until tender. Mix in the zucchini, chicken, and mushrooms. Season with cumin, salt, and ground cayenne pepper. Cook and stir until zucchini is lightly browned and chicken is heated through.
  4. In large bowl, mix the cooked rice, onion, zucchini, chicken, mushrooms, beans, chiles, carrots, and 1/2 the Swiss cheese. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Cover casserole loosely with foil, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Uncover, and continue baking 10 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 337 | Total Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 77mgPowered by ESHA Nutrient Database
Nutritional Information
Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole

Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 337

  • Total Fat: 21g
  • Cholesterol: 77mg
  • Sodium: 412mg
  • Total Carbs: 11.5g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.3g
  • Protein: 25.3g

Chocolate Trufffles Recipe from The Nate Berkus Show

Classic Ganache Chocolate Truffles (Paul Young)
 Yield: 50 chocolates
The two key elements of a truffle are the ganache – an emulsion of melted chocolate and cream- and the tempered chocolate, which is used for coating the truffle.
9 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup packed light brown sugar
First, chop the chocolate into small, even-sized pieces or use the small chocolate disks called pistols, which require no chopping, and place in a heat proof mixing bowl. Place the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. This will fully dissolve the sugar and kill any bacteria that may be present in the cream.
Turn off the heat and allow the cream to cool for 1 minute. (Pouring the cream onto the chocolate while boiling will scorch it and cause the cocoa butter in the chocolate to separate, resulting in a curdled ganache.) Now pour the rested cream over the chocolate pieces and mix well with a rubber spatula or whisk until smooth and very glossy.
Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature. Place it, covered, in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until firmly set.
Rolling the truffles
Remove set ganache from the fridge. Using a teaspoon, scoop even-sized pieces of the chocolate and place onto a sheet of parchment paper.
Powder your hands with cocoa powder, and then, using your fingers, begin to roll the ganache into evenly shaped spheres. Take care not to take too long over this as the ganache will begin to melt and become impossible to roll. Place the rolled truffles bake onto the parchment paper.
You can eat the truffles at this point, as they are dusted in cocoa powder, but I think a real truffle needs to have a crisp shell to protect it and to give a textural difference. To create this shell, you will need to coat your truffle in tempered chocolate. (If you are not eating the dusted truffles, place them in the fridge until needed.)


Paul’s Venezuelan Chocolate Chile Chicken
Serves: 4
4 organic chicken thighs
4 organic chicken drumsticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 3 oranges
14 ½ ounce can tomatoes, chopped
3 fresh red chiles, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons dried pure ground ancho chile (or any other mild chiles, ground in a spice grinder)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
5 ½ ounces Venezuelan dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup coarsely torn cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a casserole dish over medium high heat, brown the chicken pieces in batches, and put on a plate. Add the shallots and garlic and stir until softened, about 1 minute. Pour in the orange juice and zest and stir up the browned bits in the casserole. Add the tomatoes with their juices, fresh and dried chiles, coriander seeds, and sugar, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, lift out the chicken and stir the chocolate into the remaining sauce. Return the chicken to the casserole, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve with the sauce smothered over the chicken

Linking to:
Mod Vintage Life
A Bowl Full of Lemons

Favorite Valentines

So shabby chic @ Uncommon Ground

Simple but Fabulous @ Craftberry Bush

Love the pinks and reds with the chevron pattern @ ?

Tri-colored @ Love Sweet Love

Upcycled Valentine @ Pamela Joyce

Word Valentine @ Yankee Doodle Designs


 Love the pink and burlap @ My Blessed Life

Valentine subway art @ Sweet Lil Gals

From ordinary to eye catching @ Tatertots and Jello

Linking to:
Tales of a Trophy Wife
Six Sisters Stuff