Monday, January 31, 2011

Estate Sale Goodies

I took advantage of a slow Saturday morning and went to an estate sale a few miles from my house. It's always interesting to get a glimpse into someone's life, their hobbies, their quirks, their style.  Estate sales in my neck of the woods are usually the contents of a middle class home whose last resident has passed away.  It's often "granny style" items that family members are ready to let go.  That said, I've never failed to find something of use. This particular sale was a Friday/Saturday sale with everything going for half price on Saturday.  I wish I had thought to take some photos while at the sale. The last resident clearly had a thing for Marilyn Monroe, anyone searching for MM memorabilia totally hit the jackpot.  The basement was also full with a massive record collection and extensive "DJ equipment". I don't know the lingo but there were turntables and speakers galore.  Here are a couple of my finds from the sale:

This enamel ware refrigerator dish can suit a multitude of storage needs. Currently serving on the back porch as a sidewalk chalk container. Love the navy blue on the inner rim.

I'm still trying to research this hotel ware.  It's made by Wallace Silver Company and is marked "silver soldered", "The Alba". Apparently The Alba was a 1920s hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.  Was this used for room service or strictly in the kitchen? It looks like a miniature dutch oven pan and is only 3 or 4 inches in diameter.  Anyway, a fun find for $4. Not sure of it's purpose in our household yet...

I'll save the other treats for another day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weeknight Fish Tacos!

A good friend introduced me to an easy, kid-friendly way make fish tacos. At least once a month I make fish tacos on a weeknight. It doesn't require much planning ahead since most of the ingredients are basic refrigerator staples or freezer/pantry items.  I usually spread the taco "fixins" (yee haw!) on the dining table so everyone can make them to their liking.


The easy part of this taco is the fish. Use fried fish fillets (cut after heating) or fish sticks from the freezer section!  Yes, yes, fried is evil...but when served inside a taco with other toppings the fried serving is fairly small.  As you can see in the BLINDING photo above, there are some healthy components to these tacos.
These tacos are largely a matter of assembly but I'll give a quick recipe I created for my version of the tacos:

Salty Lime Purple Cabbage

1/2 head purple cabbage
juice of 1-2 limes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon oil
dash of pepper if you feel like it

Squeeze lime into medium size mixing bowl. Add salt and oil, whisk.  Shred cabbage and add to bowl with lime mixture. Toss. This gets better as it soaks up the lime, so if you have the time let it sit in the fridge for an hour.

The next step is to stick the fish into the oven. While the fish is heating add about 2 cups of frozen corn and 1 TBSP water into a cast iron skillet on low heat.  Take a few minutes to prep your other toppings (avocado, sour cream, lime slices).  Crank up the skillet so that your corn gets roasted, the water should have evaporated and you should see browning on the corn after a few minutes. Add a rinsed and drained can of black beans (or heat them separately).  

We use corn tortillas for our tacos, but whole wheat flour is tasty also.  Warm these in the skillet as you're taking the fish out of the oven and then rustle up the cowboys! Everyone takes a bowl or two of fixings to the table and you are ready to enjoy.

Since taking these photos about a month ago I have discovered the macro setting on my little cheapy camera.  I really regret not playing around more with the camera and I want to kick myself when I think of the hundreds of cruddy photos I've taken of my kids!  I'll try not to torture you with horid photos in future posts.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kitchen Succulents

I mentioned in a previous post that I bought some beautiful cuttings from etsy seller "The Succulent Garden".  They're still alive and adding some life to my kitchen!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mirror Makeover

Without fail, you can walk into any thrift store and find a small framed mirror.  The frames are often beat-up or too cheap to actually hang as-is but they're perfect for an easy makeover.  I buy these mirrors every now and then and have a collection of eight.

I'm hanging a few things on the wall of one of the kids' rooms and I've prepped four of the mirrors to hang in a cluster.  What kid doesn't love staring at themselves and making goofy faces?

The project:

I'll confess that I tend to take the lazy route for most home projects.  The thought of taping all four mirrors and then peeling tape and scrubbing after spraypainting seemed a little tedious.  So...I folded and creased newspaper and stuck it between the frame and mirror at the corners.  I layered a little more to be sure the mirror was completely covered before spraying.  After covering the first mirror I realized some of the thicker advertising inserts would work even better.  Scrap cardstock? Perfect. 

I sprayed one coat of the Rust-oleum product seen above and let that dry while I did something more exciting (laundry!). The second coat seemed to cover the frames thoroughly but when I got a good look in the bright sunlight I hit a couple of areas a third time.

These are hung on the wall and being enjoyed.  I'll snap a few shots and post the results....someday.