Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fall Egg Melt

I am addicted to sandwiches.  I usually cannot go a day without eating a sandwich.  No, I don't want to go to meetings to cure my problem.  A world without sandwiches is a world I don't want to live in.  If you think you don't like sandwiches, think again.  Sandwiches are not all sad excuses of lunch meat with processed cheese product on them.  Get creative with it.

Fall is approaching quickly.  We already started getting pumpkin shaped candy in my store.  I am super excited, because when fall comes around I put pumpkin in everything I eat (everyone who lives with me hates this time of year after a week).  It is not quite time for that yet.  Still, when I got home from work yesterday, I wanted a taste of fall.  Thus, the fall egg melt was born.

It isn't hard to make, and most of the ingredients should be on hand.

Start off by sauteing about half of a small yellow onion.

Fun fact: this is my special sandwich pan.  Only sandwiches and sandwich ingredients allowed!
Sandwiches = serious business
 You just have to get them translucent.  You can cook them a bit longer if that is what you prefer.  Caramelized onions would be awesome for this, but alas, I was hungry and didn't have time for that.

While the onions are doing their thing, put a few pinches of dried cranberries on a piece of your favorite whole grain bread.  Don't like whole grain bread?  Whats wrong with you? You can use pumpernickel instead, just add a few more cranberries.

They taste great and are great for you, what's not to love?

It may sound odd to some people, but trust me on this.  The slight hint of sweet in the savory is awesome.  Get out of your comfort zone a little.  

Once the onions are finished, add them on top and cook up an egg white.

Then go ahead and put the egg white on and add a little shredded mozzarella.

Add another slice of bread to the top and put the whole sandwich back on the stove.  You want to finish it off like it is a grilled cheese.  If you normally burn your bread before your cheese is melted, try turning down the heat.  The key is a lower heat for a longer time. Here is the finished product:

This sandwich was so good, I almost didn't breathe while I was eating it.  It is a nice healthy way to bring in the fall.

Here is the recipe:

2 slices of your favorite whole grain or pumpernickel bread (I used Arnold's Healthynut with flax)
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 egg white
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
nonstick cooking spray

1. Spray a small pan with nonstick cooking spray and let it heat up
2. Saute onions until translucent
3. Put dried cranberries on a slice of bread
4.Pick at some dried cranberries while you are cooking
4. Add onions to the slice of bread
5. Cook egg white in same pan as onions
6. Add egg white and cheese to the bread
7. Close sandwich and put it into the pan
8. Cook as you would a grilled cheese sandwich
9. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Birthday Card Charity

I have been looking through scholarship opportunities recently when I came across a neat one from Do Something.  To apply you have to hand make birthday cards for homeless children and mail it to a local family shelter.  I thought this was a super fun way to give back, and I had always wanted to try my hand at card making (I make awesome painted cards, but I never really tried any paper crafts).

I went out that night and picked up some supplies.  

Okay, I had some of this stuff laying around
I started off with a basic idea of what I wanted them to look like and played around with it before gluing everything.

It was all surprisingly easy, then again, these are not the best homemade cards in the world.  They do come from the heart though, and that is what kind of counts.

Soon I was adding more and more embellishments to them.

Before I knew it, I had over 20 of them completed.

Fancy shot

All slayed out

Hopefully any kid that gets one will enjoy it.  I know I had fun making.  I think I will keep working on my skills with this one until I am able to make those fancy cards!

The picture I took for Do Something's website

If anyone is interested, Do Something has some pretty interesting ideas on how to give back to the community.  Most of them will make you eligible to win a scholarship, but honestly just giving back is the fun part.  By the time I started this project, I already stopped caring about the scholarship.  It's all about helping others yo.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paint Fail

Sometimes it is hard to find good advice in a small town.  Especially when there is no specialty shop in the area for what you are doing.  So I did the next best thing.  I looked up what to do on the internet.  I found a site that told me exactly how to do what I wanted to do.  Then I went to my local home improvement store to get the materials that I needed.  The woman that was helping me asked me what I was working on, I told her, and then made the mistake of listening to her advice.

I had an old CD storage stand that I was turning into a spice rack.  I currently keep my spices in a terrible place (above my stove) where they go bad so quickly.  My new spice rack would look so nice next to my counter and save my spices.  The only thing I had to do was paint it white to match my counters.

I knew from my research that in order to paint something made out of particle board, without having to sand it, you should always use an oil based paint.  Armed with this knowledge, I went into the paint section and asked for an oil based white paint with a satin finish.  After talking to the woman for a bit, she told me to use this other water based paint instead.  I figured she worked in the paint department for a living, she had to know her stuff.  I should have been stubborn and stuck to my original plan.

The piece looked lovely when it was done.  Until I tried to put the shelves back on.

This happened.

I let it dry for a week.  I even put on this fancy top coat.  I was so upset.

I know it is possible to paint partical board without having to sand it.  After all, I painted my white bookshelves black over eight years ago and they still look okay.

And this thing takes a pounding!
So now I am waiting on borrowing an electric sander so I can do this project the right way.  

On a little side note, you can now expect this blog to be updated every Saturday.  Hooray!