August 28, 2011

Eggplant Lasagna

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We can't eat grains or dairy in this house due to allergies. I know - you're feeling bad for us aren't you? Not to worry! It was a hard transition in the beginning,  but now it's no big deal. I have actually really enjoyed learning to cook with new foods and find substitutions for grains and dairy, which are normally pretty big staples in most recipes.

I've never shared a recipe on this blog. This blog is more for fun stuff like making slipcovers, repurposing old furniture and great vintage finds. But this meal was so good that I couldn't not share it! And before you go thinking this couldn't possibly be tasty, I promise you won't even miss the noodles and cheese. Everyone that has tried it has LOVED it! And if you have anyone in your family who has a gluten or dairy allergy this is perfect for them!

Ok, so here is is:

2 large eggplant
1 onion, diced
4 oz mushrooms, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 lb ground beef (or turkey or sausage or whatever you like)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
3 cups of fresh baby spinach

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Peel and slice eggplant.

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I tried to slice it pretty thin. The idea is that it's subbing for the noodles. You could use a mandolin, but I'm always worried I will lose a finger so I just used my knife. (I rarely find eggplant this large in the store. If yours are smaller, you may need 3 or 4).

Arrange eggplant on lined cookie sheets and drizzle with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, add EVOO to a large pot and heat on medium. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.

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Then add zuchinni and mushrooms. Continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, italian seasoning and salt & pepper. When beef is no longer pink, add crushed tomatoes. Simmer on low for 20 minutes to thicken.

When sauce is ready, add a thin layer to the bottom of your pan.

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(I love my Le Crueset lasagna pan, but a 9x13 glass dish would work too. Or if you are making for 1 you could half the recipe and use an 8x8 glass dish).

Next layer eggplant, another thin layer of sauce, then spinach, more eggplant, the remaining sauce and more eggplant for the top layer.

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Cover with foil and cook on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.

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I hope you try it and I hope you love it as much as my family does!

August 18, 2011

a farmhouse table update

The building phase of my farmhouse table is complete! yay!

Major props to the husband for this one. It is majorly hot where we live right now and we really don't have the proper tools and equipment to take on a project like this. Never the less, he happily obliged and never complained about it once.

Speaking of not having the proper tools, we definitely didn't have the tools needed to make the turned legs I was wanting. I knew this from  the beginning and thought I would just purchase the legs pre-made. I searched online and at my local hardware stores and just couldn't find what I wanted. And then I stumbled across these at Lowe's.

Yep, fence posts. I really liked the chunkiness and the curves and I knew they would work.
They were 45" long though and I needed 28" legs. Unfortunately for the husband, Lowe's cutting machine won't fit lumber this chunky so off to work he went with his hand saw.
I felt bad for him out there sawing all these by hand. And of course the wood didn't want to cut evenly so he ended up having to even some of the cuts up with a hammer and a chisel.

Guess who wanted to be right in on the action?
As if hand sawing through chunky fence posts in 100 degree heat wasn't enough work, he had to do it with a little monkey climbing on his back. A cute monkey, at least. ;)

The little man loved every minute of being out there with his Daddy.

Take notes, little man. One day you can build things for Mommy too.
{You can never have too many handy men around the house, am I right?}

I am super happy with how it came out and I can't wait to show it to you guys!
I just have a little painting left and then it will be ready!!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! 

August 15, 2011

a pair of thrifted chairs

As you know, I've been on the hunt for old chairs to go with the farmhouse table the husband is building me.
Last week, I ran in a new thrift store on my way to the gym. I only had about 10 minutes, so when I stumbled upon these at $35 for the pair I grabbed them and ran to the register.

I love pretty legs :)
Wonder who thought it was a good idea to cover the seat in that hideous, blue vinyl?

Oh and they were filthy too so I gave them a good washing when I got home.

I am in  the process of painting them white and recovering that lovely, blue seat :)
Be back to show you soon!

Happy Monday!

August 09, 2011

my very own farmhouse table

I've wanted a farmhouse table for a very long time. I've looked and looked at all my favorite thrift and antique stores and just never came across the right one. So a few months ago the husband announced that he would build me one this summer.

Well the week before summer started, I flipped my car in a ditch. The damage was pretty bad and it spent 6 weeks in the repair shop. Booo.
Since my car is the only car we have that can fit large pieces of lumber, we had to hold off on the table construction.

But my car is finally back and this weekend we picked up the wood for the table top!
So a lot of nailing and sawing and the like was going on in our garage on Sunday.

I am super excited, of course! The top is complete. Now we just need the apron and the legs and I have to paint it. The final reveal should be coming soon!

If you have a favorite shade of white paint, shout it out! I'm having a hard time deciding on what white to chose.

August 08, 2011

a chippy chair

There is a consignment / thrift store about 30 minutes from my home that I have been wanting to go in all summer. This is not the kind of place I want to bring my wild toddler, but last week I got the chance to head out during nap time.

Upon arrival, I immediately kicked myself for not coming sooner. So many great pieces. Lots of great furniture just waiting for a fresh coat of paint and lots of odds and ends like this vintage canning jar I couldn't resist.

 I've been on the hunt for chairs all summer. I never knew before, but apparently I am quite picky about chairs. I haven't come across anything I like so far. But this chair was perfect. The minute I saw it I knew it was exactly what I had been looking for.

The only downside was that they didn't have three more of them. 

But the owner told me they get chairs like this all the time so now I have an excuse to make weekly visits, right? Do you thinks the husband will go for that reasoning?

Happy Monday! Have you been treasure hunting lately? Any exciting finds?

Linking up for Good Life Wednesday with Sarah at A Beach Cottage

August 04, 2011

Mara's Nursery

My friend, Mara, asked me to help her with a little inspiration for her baby's nursery. Her and her husband are not finding out the gender so we are doing a fun, gender-neutral nursery in blues and greens. I am super excited to help! The bedding she picked is Sprout from New Arrivals. I love it and can't wait to see how this room comes together!
Here is my initial inspiration board.....

Nursery #5

August 02, 2011

a little pinterest love

Sorry for my very sporadic blogging this summer. I usually update the blog after I put the little man to bed in the evenings. But a few months ago the little man decided bedtime was for losers and he has been fighting it hardcore ever since. It takes me hours every night to get him to sleep. It's exhausting and frustrating and by the time he is finally asleep, I am ready for bed myself. Hence the neglected blog.
BUT....I've got a plan and it started tonight with a bang! He was asleep by 7:25 pm with no fuss. Keep your fingers crossed that it continues to work! :)

Ok, on to the fun stuff!
Are you familiar with pinterest? Do you pin? Are you completely obsessed like me? It might be my favorite website of all time! I am constantly finding the best home inspiration pictures. I was thinking it might be fun to share my current pinterest favorites every once in a while. So here are my most recent favs!

I am in love with this room. The white paneling on the walls and ceiling is TO. DIE. FOR.
And those views....definitely my dream house.

This little polka dot spoon makes me smile. I adore polka dots. Putty and white happen to be my favorite polka dot color combination. I wish I knew where this spoon was from. I *need* a few ;)

This door has simple lines, but the blue makes it stand out. I love the color, the style and the hardware.

How fun is this ruffle pillow? I think I can make my own which is good because it's no longer available through West Elm.

I sort of went a little crazy when I saw this blue tile. I've never seen tile like it before and I really really love it. The hubs thinks I'm nuts for gasping out loud over tile, but I sort of think this tile is gasp-out-loud-worthy. Don't you?

Polyvore is one website I haven't gotten in to, but I do love pinning some of their outfits. Gray is one of my favorite colors to wear and I love simple basics that can be mixed and matched and thrown together easily. And I love scarfs. And that bag. LOVE that bag. Too bad it costs more than my monthly mortgage payment. Oh and we can't forget the adorable ballet flats. Unlike, the bag they won't break the bank at $44. I might *need* them :)

How cute is this blue bed? Have you noticed I like blue yet? I really love metal bed frames, but I've never thought of a blue one. Wonder if the hubs would go for it? Probably not, but a girl can dream right?

I really love organizing. And I really love gift wrapping. So this is perfect for me. A place to organize all my gift wrapping! I will tell you a secret. I dream of having a house with a gift wrapping room or at least a large gift wrapping station. The husband laughs at me when I tell him this.

Are you tired of my blue obsession yet?
This is the last blue item, I promise. A blue, chippy door. LOVE! I love this whole set up actually.

OK, so that's all. I hope it was worth the wait!
And I hope tonight's bedtime success continues so I can update this little 'ol blog a bit more frequently.

Happy Wednesday! Linking up with A Beach Cottage