Hand Painted Wallpaper!

The hubs and I have been living in our fabulous apartment 2 blocks from the beach for a little over 2 years now. We love the location and are really enjoying our time there….BUT we are ready to buy our first house! So of course, in the middle of house hunting, I decide to take on a fun little decor project in the very apartment we are trying to leave. I just couldn’t help myself.

I blame this all on the very talented designer Emily, who documented this project on her blog…Jones Design Company. The second I laid my eyes on this tutorial, I was hooked and literally could not shake this project from my DIY obsessed mind.

I won’t go into the tutorial since you can easily see it on Emily’s site, but I will share the fact that I did make her template a bit larger to give a more dramatic effect (plus it really cut down on time spent on this hand-painted wallpaper project…it only took 3 evenings from start to finish!!). Also, to get this color, I mixed in some white paint with the paint I had originally used on this wall (good thing I had it saved under the kitchen sink!). 

What do you think of our new wall?

Posted in DIY

Clams in a Tomato Sauce

I love me some clams. I love ’em raw. I love ’em cooked. White wine sauce. Red tomato sauce. I can seriously eat hundreds of clams without getting sick of them.

That’s actually pretty much how I feel about all seafood.

This time for dinner, I decided to whip up clams in a tomato sauce….and they came out fantastically! I ate the dish like it was a soup and the hubs soaked up the sauce with a yummy fresh baguette after devouring the clams.

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CLAMS IN A TOMATO SAUCE

  • 100 clams (with shells)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely cut in rings
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  1. To rinse out the sand, keep the clams in cold water for a few hours. Use a scrub when rinsing them off to get rid of anything stuck to the outside of the shell.
  2. Fry onions until soft in pan with oil.
  3. Add crushed garlic.
  4. After a minute, add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, herbs and white whine and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  6. Add washed clams to the sauce and cook, removing each clam as it pops open and placing them in serving bowls. After about 15 minutes, you should be left with mostly sauce and a few stragglers refusing to pop. I would discard them, just in case.
  7. Pour sauce over clams and sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiana cheese.

How did your clams turn out? Share your recipes of other clam dishes you have prepared!

Naan Pizza!

Last night, we had the privy of enjoying the delicious goodness of roasted veggies, buffalo chicken and cheese layered on golden brown, puffy Naans.

I made Naan pizzas once before. I don’t remember what I topped them with, but I definitely won’t forget what I topped them off with this time!  Of course, I had to make two different kinds because one is just. not. enough.

  1. On the whole wheat Naan, I smeared herb pesto and then layered roasted veggies, mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, baby artichoke hearts and goat cheese, in that order.
  2. On the garlic Naan, I spread out the buffalo chicken mixture, sprinkled Monteray Jack and Cheddar cheese mixture and then topped off with blue cheese crumbles. I sprinkled some chopped up chives right before serving to add some color contrast.

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza

  • 1 Large piece of Naan bread (I used whole wheat for this one)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 handfull of mushrooms, sliced
  • handful of green onions, chopped
  • handful of artichoke hearts
  • 1 Red pepper, sliced
  • Cream Cheese
  • Goat Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese (I’ll use fresh mozz next time)
  • Herb Pesto (buy or make your own with various herbs…I used fresh resemary, thyme, green onion, garlic, some parsley and chives, in the food processor with some extra virgin olive oil)

1. Lay the green onion, mushrooms, and red pepper on a pan, toss in salt, pepper and oil and roast in the oven until everything is soft.
2. Coat the naan with mixed herbs.
3. Throw the roasted veggies and artichokes onto the Naan.
4. Spread the Mozzarella Cheese over the veggies.
5. In a medium bowl, mix a good chunk of goat cheese and cream cheese together to make an even consistency.
6. Lay the slices of tomato on top of the Mozzarella and top with a small ball of the goat cheese and cream cheese mixture.
7. Throw the pizza into the oven until the cheese starts to brown and enjoy.

Buffalo Chicken Naan Pizza

  • 1 Large piece of Naan bread (I used the garlic Naan bread for this one)
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken (remove skin and bones, shred)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, depending on your desired heat
  • 2 super ripe tomatoes (chopped with juice) or 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • A handful of chopped chives

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir in Worcestershire, hot sauce and chopped tomato with juices.
3. Add shredded chicken into the buffalo mixture to coat.
4. Cover the Naan with the saucy chicken, cheeses.
5. Bake until cheese is melted. Top with chopped chives prior to serving.

And of course….Gatsby!

Enjoy the pizza! It’s delish!

Chicken Souvlaki

Guys! I have not cooked in over 2 weeks! TWO WEEKS!!!

My poor husband is probably wishing for an annulment.

Since I started my new job 3 months ago, I have been a little lazy when it comes to cooking. Let me explain….I’m out of the office around 6pm most days and as I have mentioned before, I shop pretty much only for the ingredients that I plan to use that night. This means after driving back from work and hitting up Wegmans, I don’t get home till around 7:45ish. I then start cooking. Nick doesn’t get home until about 9:30, which leaves me with plenty of time to cook – the bad side being that I’ve gained 10lbs in the past 2 years we’ve been living together because of the late eating schedule – but not enough down time. So that’s where the laziness comes in, and instead of cooking, I plop on the couch, watch my DVRed shows and then proudly announce to Nick that we (really him) are getting takeout when calls on his drive home from work.

Anyway…enough with the laziness….and on with the cooking! HEALTHY COOKING!

Last night, I decided to go Greek….so CHICKEN SOUVLAKI it was.

And the finished product:

I stuffed most of the food on my plate into that lovely whole wheat pita. It was a sloppy mess, busting at the seams…..and I loved every second of it!

The homemade Tzatziki sauce was spot on and the chicken was great. I cooked mine on a panini press due to the vertical challenge we face living on the 4 floor of our building with no access to a grill, but I bet it would have been even better with that yummy grill flavor along with the delicious marinade.Of course, it’s never just the 2 of us…..Gatsby can’t pass up the opportunity of fabulous food and delicious cocktails.…….that’s just water 😉

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

For the tzatziki sauce:

  • 12 oz. plain non-fat Greek yogurt (I used 0% plain Fage)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and grated
  • A few twists of sea salt
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill

For the chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3-4 oz. each), cubed
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar + 1/8 cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

For the tzatziki sauce:

  1. Add grated cucumber to a bowl with salt.  Let sit for 15 minutes or so.
  2. Wring out cucumber with a kitchen towel to remove excess liquid then combine with yogurt, garlic, pepper and dill.
  3. Mix well and set aside.

For the chicken:

  1. Heat up panini press or if you’re using the grill, spray it with cooking spray and heat on HIGH.
  2. Combine ingredients 2 through 6 in a bowl then add cubed chicken, mixing well so all the chicken is coated.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Thread chicken onto skewers – I ended up using up 10 bamboo skewers – if you’re using the grill, make sure to wrap your skewers with tin foil or use metal ones..
  4. Lay skewers on the hot grill turning frequently and cooking until chicken is nicely browned on both sides.
  5. Remove from heat and serve with whatever your little heart desires…. we sliced up some cucumber, diced tomatoes and some mixed greens.

Enjoy!