Monday, February 10, 2014

Repurposed: From Spice Shelf to Mail Organizer

Recently, the Man of the House mentioned that we were in need of a mail organizer.  Something other than letting it pile up on the corner of the kitchen counter.  I looked and looked... in stores and online; but found nothing that was really doing it for me.  Then I realized the answer was right under my nose (or to be more precise - hanging right in front of it!)

I had this little shelf rack, which I used to use as a spice shelf.  But I had also recently gotten a counter top spice rack so this little gem was just begging for a new purpose.

**Cue the creative light bulb going off**

The first thing to go were the wooden pegs - those were going to have to be upgraded!

Next up - lose the light blue backing!  I painted the inside a creamy white.
*Helpful hint #1: If you have a small painting job - those sample size jars of paint at the home store are ideal!

I then cut strips of decorative ribbon the length across the front, plus a little extra for folding under
*Helpful hint #2: a flat iron is perfect for ironing ribbon!

Once the ribbons were ready I attached the to the front side edges of the shelf with upholstery tacks

 I used two strips along the bottom of each shelf opening to create a little "front" to the shelf

Last, I added two porcelain knobs found at World Market (for only $1.99 each!) where the wooden pegs used to live.  And....

Hang it back on the wall..  pop a little basket on top.. and it's a whole new look and use for an old item!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Teriyaki Sauce

I like to make as many of my own sauces as I can because it lessens the number of preservatives my family eats. I also like that I can adjust recipes to my family's tastes. This Teriyaki sauce is one of the best I've ever had. Let me know what you think!


¼ cup corn starch

¼ cup cold water

2 cups sugar

2 cups soy sauce

1 cup cider vinegar

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoons ground black pepper


In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients on high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens.

I'll try to add some recipes that I make with this sauce soon, but it's great on chicken!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sunday Pork Roast

Even though I call it Sunday Pork Roast, it is perfect for any day of the week. I also love that we have leftovers for another night. Less cooking for me! My apologies...I haven't taken a picture, but I will the next time I make it.

Pork Sirloin Tip Roast (or any other roast)
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 can Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 to 4 cups beef broth
1 large onion
2 cans green beans
Baby carrots or sliced carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons corn starch
½ cup white cooking wine
Can of sliced mushrooms (optional)

Rinse and pat pork dry.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown in skillet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Combine Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, beef broth, onion, green beans, and sliced mushrooms and place the roast on top.  Deglaze the pan with a little white cooking wine and pour over roast.  Cook on high for 6-7 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. Approximately 30 minutes before serving remove some of the broth and whisk in the cooking starch. Add it back into the crockpot along with the carrots.     
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