Sunday, September 21, 2008

Like a brand new kitchen

My dear father was generous enough to donate his time and patience to help me put up this gorgeous backsplash that I picked up at Lowe's last weekend. It's added an incredible dimension to the kitchen, and I can't be happier at the results. Take a look! Above is the before. I didn't do a good job of cleaning up before. That definitely helps add to the After. Please bear in mind I haven't put up the outlet covers yet. There are matching contact paper sheets you can put over the outlets, so I have to do that yet. But what a difference a few hours make. (Although had it not been for my dad, I think it would have taken a few weeks and wasted $$ messing up a few panels along the way)

These panels can be purchased at Lowe's or Home Depot. You can also order samples online at

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Green Mountain Coffee at Target!

In September 2004, I received a coffee maker as a wedding shower gift; however, I didn't enjoy drinking coffee. I thought it would be good to have for guests. I don't know how it started exactly, but a few months after sitting idly on my counter, we started grinding beans and brewing coffee. Months after that, it became a daily necessity. We have the Melitta Mill & Brew, which sadly seems to be discontinued. It's a phenomenal coffee maker, single-handedly turning me into a self-described "coffee snob."

But in order to achieve Coffee Nirvana, the right beans must be brewed in the perfect machine. One of my favorites is Green Mountain Coffee. I was thrilled to see it at Target. It was $7.68 for 10 oz. plus I had a 10% off pass. At $6.91, it was a steal! They carry it in whole beans and ground. I saw Breakfast Blend, Decaf, and French Roast if my memory serves me correctly. I've made it Saturday and Sunday and am thrilled that I can pick this up at Target and avoid the shipping fee. I just hope they don't raise the price after they get everyone hooked on this great coffee.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


So I thought I'd start this thing off with my participation in a new program by General Mills to try out new products and discussing them with others. Looks like the first item is something I use regularly, broth.

Here's the details:

100% Natural Broth100% Great Progresso® Taste• 99% fat free, no preservatives, artificial flavors or MSG*• Chef-inspired broths are slow cooked to deliver rich flavor• Convenient, resealable 32 oz. cartons*except that which naturally occurs in autolyzed yeast extract

The broth comes in Beef, Chicken, and reduced sodium Chicken.

I normally use Pacific Natural Foods Organic Free Range natural chicken broth and buy it in bulk at Costco. I never liked the canned broth because I feel like I can taste that "tinny" flavor infused in the broth. I also like being able to reuse the broth from the container.

Lately I've been using my broth for cooking farro (emmer). I regularly order vegetable farro, a dish at our local restaurant, Pandolfo's. It's what I order every time we go. I recently decided to buy my own farro and take a stab at making my own. And I have to say, I'm pretty impressed. I bought my farro from a farm in Washington state, Bluebird Farms. I cook it in the broth. Four cups of broth to 1 cup of farro. You cook it for an hour, then drain the broth. It's getting pretty expensive to use the organic broth, so I'm excited to see if I can save using the Progresso.