April 5, 2015 By Amanda Brown
Wondering what to do with all the leftover Easter ham? This Ham and Swiss Quiche is a perfect breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is quick and easy to throw together! Enjoy!
Ham and Swiss Quiche
Preheat oven to 350°.
1 9-inch pie shell
1 ½ cups chopped ham (if buying at deli, ask for 2 thickest cut slices)
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Swiss cheese (fresh vs prepackaged makes a big difference in flavor)
1/4 t. dried basil
1/4 t. salt
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup skim milk (for richer quiche, use whole milk or half and half)
sprinkle of dry mustard
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into pie crust. Place quiche onto a cookie sheet to collect any spills while baking. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes to one hour or until top is light brown.
March 20, 2015 By Amanda Brown
This tutorial is way overdue, but recently, my Craigslist Hutch Makeover went crazy over at Hometalk and on Pinterest, and I realized I never posted how to spray paint the brass hardware with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint! So several years (yes years!) later, here is how to spray paint brass hardware.
Below are the Before and After photos of our Craigslist Hutch Makeover, and you can clearly see what a difference a little spray paint can make for brass hardware!
Dropcloth or large piece cardboard
Steel Wool, Grade 000
Toothpicks (for swing pulls like these)
Spray Paint Gun
Metal Primer (Rustoleum)
Oil-Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint (Rustoleum)
*The oil-rubbed bronze that I used is a paint/primer combo. You can skip the primer step if you use this product, but I wanted the assurance of good coverage after my first attempt failed. (See below).
An inexpensive spray paint gun like this one below will ensure even coverage.
First, sand your hardware with Grade 000 steel wool. You do not have to remove every tiny bit of brass. The goal here is to remove the top coat and to scratch it up a bit so the paint will stick better. After sanding the hardware, wash with warm soap and water and allow the hardware to dry completely.
To show you exactly what will happen without sanding first, see the photo below of the oil-rubbed bronze paint sprayed directly onto unsanded hardware! Fail! I did some research and started over.
If you have “swing pulls” like these, you will need to secure the handle in mid-air so the spray paint will cover the entire piece! Pull the handle out and insert a toothpick to keep the handle upright. You are now ready to paint!
Attach the spray paint gun to the primer can. Spray the first side of the hardware with primer according to the directions. Be SURE to follow the directions, allowing the specified amount of time for drying. Repeat process for the opposite side.
After the primer has dried for the specified time, spray the hardware with a first coat of oil-rubbed bronze. It has been a while, but I know I painted at least two coats, allowing the paint to dry for the specified amount of time listed on the paint can.
To be on the safe side, I allowed the hardware to “cure” for 2-3 days before re-installing onto the hutch.
Be sure to check out the full Hutch Makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! Happy painting!
March 17, 2015 By Amanda Brown
It’s finally spring here in Mississippi, and we’ve gone straight from snow and ice to tulips and perfect temps. With Easter around the corner, our naked front doors desperately need a fresh look for spring. Oxford has zero craft stores (or a Target! I know, how do we survive?) to browse for ideas, so I’m constantly on the lookout for inexpensive online decor and supplies. In my recent search, I found that Trendy Tree sells these fabulous moss-covered grapevine crosses in addition to many other wreath bases for nearly every occasion! The prices can’t be beat.
These crosses would be beautiful dressed up with spring florals and ribbon, but I decided to create a simple Easter front door this year. I’m even tempted to hang one over my dining room mirror for Easter lunch.
All you need is the grapevine cross, florist’s wire, wire cutters, ribbon and fishing line for hanging.
The cross comes in two pieces.
Easily secure the two pieces with florist’s wire. I wrapped it a few times diagonally, going both directions, as shown below. Snip the excess wire once the cross is secure.
Using this bow tutorial from On Sutton Place, I tied a pretty bow with spring ribbon and hot glued it to the very top of the cross.
Simple and exactly what I was looking for to welcome our guests over the next several weeks leading up to Easter.
March 6, 2015 By Amanda Brown
Simple spaghetti tends to be a go-to, weeknight dinner for most families, and if you are like me, spaghetti in the regular meal rotation starts to get
intolerable boring. Spaghetti remains on our rotation because my all people will actually eat it, and any mother knows that is a feat in itself. Years ago, an Arkansas neighbor shared Taglierini Alla Chitarra with us, and this heavenly version of spaghetti has remained a weeknight and a “good-enough-for-company” favorite.
The star of Taglierini Alla Chitarra is thinly sliced pancetta, aka Italian bacon. Pancetta is paper-thin meat in the deli section of your grocery store, sold prepackaged (vacuum-packed) or sliced fresh at the counter. If purchasing at the counter, ask the attendant to slice it as thinly as possible. Prosciutto can be substituted if Pancetta is not available. I do not recommend the prepackaged cubed version of either meat, as the taste/consistency is lacking.
Another note: Pecorino Romano from the deli may only come in portions larger than 3 oz, but you’re actually buying enough for a few meals if you freeze the unused cheese for later.
Taglierini Alla Chitarra
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
7 oz Pancetta, cut into julienne strips (can substitute Prosciutto)
28 oz. can peeled, crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (can substitute 1/8 cup dried)
Ground black pepper
3 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (can substitute regular Romano)
Fresh Parmesan cheese wedge (topping)
Pasta-Barilla Spaghetti alla Chitarra or Angel Hair
Large saucepan with top
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and Pancetta and brown for 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, pepper and Pecorino. Simmer, covered, over very low heat for one hour.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Serve red sauce mixture over cooked pasta and sprinkle with *grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
Freeze any leftovers you do not use.