Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Interior Painting

I decided I needed to start putting some color on the walls in my house.  I had it painted a base coat white (that is really way too tan) and I've been ignorning it the past 2 years.  I don't really like to paint and I'm not very patient with the whole process.  So why I decided to try this project the week before Christmas, I really don't know....

I wanted to paint this wall in my long hallway so it was a darker blue at the bottom and faded up to a lighter blue at the top.  I spent a bit of time painting swatches and looking at the colors during the day and a night. 
I decided I liked these blues and went a head and bought enough paint to cover the wall.

So I started with the top...

and worked my way down.

Once it dried I wasn't very happy.  The line between the dark and the lighter color was way to distinct.  And I could still see the old paint swatches through the new paint.  I'm sure there are ways to blend these colors so you don't really see a distinct line.  Adding some 'wet edge extender' would have also helped.  Blending the paint along the edge with a sponge would have helped too.

But since I didn't do any of this I just mixed the 3 remaining colors together and put another coat on the whole wall.  It still looks a bit streaky to me, so I may need to have more paint mixed and put on a 3rd coat.  But I'm going to wait until spring to decide about that.

I do have some blue semi gloss, so I'll paint the trim when I get back home next week.

AND, I'm going to hire a painter to re-paint the rest of the house.  Now I just have to decide which color(s) to paint :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Food Blogs - Sausage & Rice Stuffed Squash

I haven't been blogging much lately, but I've been reading a lot of blogs.  Food blogs to be precise.  The last couple of months, I've really been addicted to food blogs.  As a result, all of the Christmas cookies I made this season have been new recipes.

A few days ago I ran across a food blog recipe for sausage and rice stuffed squash.  It had all sorts of good stuff in it, in fact I think the title was "All good stuff" or "Everything Good" or something like that. Unfortunately I couldn't find it again, so I had to come up with my own recipe to stuff an Acorn squash.

I started out with the squash.  Cut it in half, cleaned out the seeds and put the 2 halves upside down in a baking dish with a bit of water.  350 for 40 min and it's pretty much steam-baked tender.

While the squash was baking I started some brown rice.  One cup of short grained brown rice in 2 cups of chicken broth.  Cover it, bring it to a boil, then turn down to simmer and let it cook for 50 min.

Then I sauteed 1/2 a sweet onion in a little olive oil.  Once the onion was tender I added 1/2 a tube of Jimmy Dean Sage sausage.  I added a bit more sage seasoning, and some fresh ground pepper.  Once the sausage browned (on low heat) I added a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic and almost 2 cups of cut up mushrooms.  A few min of stirring and then the rest of an old bottle of Pinot Noir.  Maybe 1/2 a cup, but I'm sure any wine would due.  Put a cover on the pan and let the mushrooms cook down for 5 or 10 min.  I thought it needed a bit of salt, so I added a tablespoon of chicken bouillon.

All in all, it was a pretty good meal.  Salty, spicy and very filling.  I'd try it again but next time I'd add some chopped up water chestnuts for the crunch.  And I'd like it to be a bit more creamy in texture.  I'll have to think about other changes to make.  Maybe adding some spinach would be nice.

About this time the squash was done so I took it out of the oven and salt and peppered the inside.  Then I added the cooked brown rice to the sausage mixture and stirred.  I mixed some mozzarella cheese in with a couple of scoops of the rice mixture, just to hold it together.  Scooped the rice/sausage mixture into the hollow of the squash and sprinkled some Parmesan and Romano cheese over the whole thing. And 10 more in in the oven to melt all the cheese and it was dinner time.