Saturday, February 16, 2013

Define: Fail

Last week I tried to make honey cloud pancakes.  It did not go well.

The recipe says to whisk the egg whites until "peaky."  I whisked and whisked and whisked and they never got peaky, so I thought the bubbly stuff I had was good enough.


The pancake was fluffy until I put it in the oven, where it collapsed and never recovered.  I thought a flat pancake was no problem, but the problem ended up being that it just tasted like eggs.  I didn't use eggs to measure the egg whites, I already had some and thought I could just eyeball it.  I will not try to do that again.

I'm sure that when you make these correctly, they are delicious.  However, I did not, and my results were not delicious.

Tonight I'm trying french bread.  I already realized one oops, the recipe calls for instant yeast and I used active dry yeast, so we'll see how that goes.  I didn't even know that there were different kinds of yeast until reading through the comments while my dough was (not) rising.  Ahwell.  The comment says her dough didn't rise either, but that it still worked, the bread was just kind of heavy.  I can live with that.

Actually, the bread is really good.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Define: Chevron

I have been meaning to post about this for a week now....

Since our second bedroom was already gray and yellow, we decided to just keep it those colors for the nursery.  They're also pretty gender neutral colors, and we're not going to find out what we're having. :)

The big project with this room is going to be the floor.  There was carpet when we moved in, but our pets....well, we took the carpet out, let's leave it at that.
There's wood floor underneath, but it needs to be sanded and refinished, which is going to just be time consuming.  We were planning to have it done when the floors were fixed from the radiator fiasco, but it was going to cost $600!  Ridiculous.
Anyway, we haven't really gotten started on that yet, but it's definitely at the top of the list.

Since we weren't ready to tackle the floor yet, I decided to spruce up the paint a little bit.  I wanted to do something to the walls in that room, and when I saw a chevron tutorial on Pinterest I knew it was meant to be.

I started out by measuring the wall, and dividing it up into squares, mapping it the design out on paper.  I don't know how I thought I was going to do this on the wall, but I ended up buying a chalk line.  I LOVE IT.  There is no way this would have turned out as well as it did without it.

It's a little hard to see the lines, this was my first time using a chalk line.

After making the squares, I taped my design.  The squares made this so. easy.  It was a little time consuming, but once I got into the swing of it, it really didn't take too long.

Before I painted the gray, I went over the edges of the tape with the yellow paint, just to make sure the gray didn't seep through.  This may have worked, it may have been a waste of time, I really can't say.  I can say that I have nice, crisp edges on my lines though.

There are still some lines from the chalk, I was too excited to wait to take a picture until it was dry enough to wipe them off.

I am so proud of the way this turned out!  I was telling Jamin before I did this that I was afraid I couldn't make gray and yellow gender neutral, because everything that I like in these colors is kind of girly, but I think that this helped man it up a little bit.

I let the paint sit for a few days before wiping off the chalk with a damp towel.  It came right off!

Now I just have to find other places in my house to do more fun paint things... :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Define: Resolutions

Basically my only resolution this year was to try one new Pinterest recipe a week.  So far, so good!  I did leave out the week that we were in Greece, but I ate new food, so that counts, right?

The first thing I tried was this creamy garlic pasta.  Jamin is not a big fan of sauce on his noodles (he likes them plain, with salt.  boring.), so when I found out we had a friend coming for dinner, I was excited to finally try this one!
I won't say that it was a disaster, but it didn't come out the way I had planned, either.  I was also making chicken fingers, and it turns out that the pasta is not something you should multitask while making.  Not at the beginning anyway.  The garlic got a little too done, and I think it just got kind of bitter.  Is that a thing?  Does garlic get bitter if you burn it?
Anyway, Vicki said it was good, but I didn't really like it (owing to my errors, not the recipe).  This is one I'll definitely try again, and I think it will turn out much better the second time.

After we got back from Greece, I decided to try pierogis.  These were awesome.  Jamin was surprised how well it came out for being the first time (I don't think things go wrong that often.).
I made some of them with potato and cheese filling (I love making mashed potatoes, so I took some liberties with that part of the recipe.), and some with chicken and cheese.  Jamin is really picky learning to try new things, but he doesn't love potatoes (yet), so I made a few just for him.  I just cooked and shredded some chicken breast and added cheese.  Simple.
This is definitely one to make again, probably tonight.  Another thing I really like about this one is that you can freeze them!  I make huge batches of spaghetti sauce and freeze it so that all I have to do is defrost it while making the noodles.  So. Easy.  I'd rather spend a few hours making a big batch so that when I get home from work all I have to do is heat something up.
I will say that these are time consuming, but overall really easy.

Last night was a big night, I tried two!  I made this copy cat Pizza Hut pan pizza, and Olive Garden breadsticks.  Both were pretty good, I think I just need to make bread a few more times before I really get the hang of it (they both just seemed really heavy, any suggestions?).  I also wasn't impressed with the cheese we used, but that's an easy thing to change next time.