Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I received a gift today...

My in-laws are in the process of gutting and updating an old house.  While we were walking through it with them last week to admire their plans and progress, they commented they were replacing all of the windows in the house with vinyl ones.  

Having no use for them, they were just going to throw away the old windows.

And you'd better believe I jumped on that train!

Their new windows arrived today, so my "shipment" did, too. 
I'm so excited! There are ten total, and while I have some ideas to do with some of these beauties, I'm not really set yet on what to do with ten.

I'm going to be gone for a couple of weeks to visit family in Michigan...
{kisses, beautiful state with all those trees!}

...and since I'm not a big-time blog or anything, (not to mention proactive this week...)

...the posting may be a little thinner for a bit.  But I'm still here for now, and I've got some things ready to go, not to mention things to post when I get back! 

If you've re-purposed an old window, or you've seen  one someone else has done, tell me about it!  I'm searching for ideas, too, and I'll share them with you as I find them.

Wait... does this mean we have reached an all-important crossroads here at Dorese's Pieces, and have progressed to having themes?

Indeed it is, friends!  Our new theme for future Inspiration Station posts is Old Windows!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Sweet and Sour Meetball Kabobs

I found a recipe several weeks ago on Kraft Foods and just got around to making them one day recently for lunch. They were absolutely delicious!

Here's my version:

Sweet and Sour Meatball Kabobs
32 (1-inch) fully-cooked meatballs (homemade or frozen and thawed)
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares 
1 can pineapple chunks or tidbits
1/4 cup apricot or peach preserves or jam
1/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Famous Dave's)

Thread meatballs, peppers, and pineapple alternately onto 8 skewers. (My layering went Meatball, red pepper, green pepper, meatball, pineapple, green pepper, meatball, etc.)

Microwave jam in a small bowl on high for 15 seconds, then stir in the BBQ sauce.  Brush half of this mixture onto the kabobs.

Grill 8-10 minutes until meatballs are heated through, turning occasionally, and brushing with remaining sauce mixture.

YUM. They were so fast to make that they have become a weekday no-leftovers-in-the-fridge lunch STAPLE for us. Try them before you put your grill away for the winter (if you do that sort of grown-up thing...) - they're amazing!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

... and we're back!

Whew!  That little break turned into more than a month!  Sorry for my unexpected absence! 

We'll return to regular posting starting today! I've got some good stuff to share over the next while, and can't wait!  I was just uploading the pictures off of my



...and came across some I had forgot about from a few weeks ago.

We had a crazy, unusual storm come through one evening a few weeks ago.  We walked outside, saw the sky, and jumped in the car to go see it in a more open area.  We forgot to grab the big camera bag, but luckily, I had my purse with me. :)

I grew up in NE Ohio, where the grass is naturally green, the trees are plenty, and the rolling hills are just beautiful.  We moved to Idaho when I was 13, and I've lived in different parts of the state since.

Some parts are less humid than others... and we happen to live in an area that is classified as 
"high plains desert"

I still have family in the "Middle East" as I like to refer to the area just east of the Midwest, and every time I visit, I think "some day I'll move away from the desert. Someday..."

But I've never seen so many breathtaking sunsets as I see here, all summer long...

...this particular sunset was an exception, however.  
Every direction we looked, the sky looked completely different.


We took all of these pictures within the span of about 10 minutes as the sun set. 
 We were in a park next to a lake, so we just turned around in circles shooting the sky with my little point-and-shoot camera (sorry for the quality on some)

This next one shows the wind...

Looking at these pictures helps remind me to look for the beauty around me.
Sometimes I get caught up in the sage brush and sparse landscapes, lack of trees and general changes in topography.  But then I see a beautiful sunset, and I am reminded of that tiny little thing called perspective.

What do you do to find beauty in your surroundings?


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garden update!

Here's another installment in the unofficial series Makin' Mama Proud
I'm sure she loves seeing these pictures! 

This is one of the Big Bertha Sweet peppers I planted (I have two varieties in there).
It's hard to tell from this angle, but the pepper is already 6 inches long and still has half its growing season to go!

This picture is just a close-up to show you how I staked them down. 
In my last garden post, I asked about supporting the droopy tomato plants, and this is what I came up with:
12-inch tall dowel rods, and old knee-high panty hose. As these mondo peppers grow larger by the day, I needed to support them as well as the tomatoes.

 Here are some of the blooms on one of the "Bell Boy" regular bell pepper plants.

Here's a close-up of one of my tomatoes :)
This is one of two fruits on the 4th of July plant (I planted one of these, and 4 Goliath plants)

Here's the vegetable bed!
(Far cry from this picture I last showed you, eh?)
The huge-o plant handing over the edge is one of the Goliath variety tomato plants.
The rows of plants in this picture are, from right to left: 
strawberries (3), tomatoes (5), peppers (8), onions (10), and herbs (2 chives, 2 parsley)

I just picked a whole bowl of strawberries yesterday (mostly off of one plant!), but these two weren't quite ripe yet, so I just got them today.

Here's a look at the Acid Lover's bed. :)
This one has 4 blueberry bushes in it, and about 10 raspberry plants.

The raspberries are coming along GREAT!
I can't wait for some fresh smoothies this summer! :)

As far as whether the blueberry bushes would thrive, or even survive, in my experimental pH bed,
this picture should answer the query:
This is ONE PLANT. Those huge leaves on the right are part of the plant in the front left, back left, center, and back right of the picture. (See the how much they've grown, here.)  One plant! :)

Some more of the season's early bounty
{LOVE these little sweeties!}

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Recipe: Fruity Ham

Welcome back to the return of the Weekend Recipe series! 

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you. 
It's nothing spectacular; in fact, I just sort of created it one day and haven't gone back to boring ham since! 
Oh, and it takes very little time to throw together!

Fruity Ham

1 Ham, any size or shape
1 Can pineapple slices
1 Jar any fruit preserves (I used apricot this time)

Put your ham in an oven-proof pan (or throw it in the ol' crock pot, if it will fit!)
Secure pineapple slices around the ham usingtoothpicks.
Brush the entire exposed surface with fruit preserves.

Now, if you're cooking it in your crock pot, just cover it and let it go!
(My crock pot was too small for this particular ham, so I put it in a regular old casserole dish to bake it in the oven.)
Cover with foil and throw this puppy in your oven.
Following the directions on the package my ham came in, it said to bake the ham at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours. Mine baked for about 2.25 and it was perfect.

See all those juices in the bottom of the dish?  They make a delicious gravy if you mix them into a roux of fat and flour (like any gravy).  I just melt a little bit of butter, add the juices, and then some flour and heat it until it thickens.

If you're somewhat new to cooking (like I swear I feel like every time I try to think of what to cook for dinner...), don't be afraid to try things out!  I discovered this delicious ham because I remembered seeing hams with pineapple rings on them, and decided the half-jar of apricot preserves in my fridge might be put to good use if I threw it in, too. Et voila!

Have you made any delicious discoveries in the kitchen?  I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Amazing bookshelf transformation!

I discovered Amanda at The Hand Me Down House only a few weeks ago,
and I was instantly hooked!

I saw this yesterday and couldn't believe the simplicity of it.

I actually started this post yesterday afternoon, but didn't have time to finish it up until now.
And it's a good thing! 

Check out this chandalier transformation, and what she made with the leftover lantern casing using Mod Podge!

Here are those project links again:
For the bookcase makeover, click here
For the original chandalier makeover, click here
and for her outdoor lantern, click here

So go visit Amanda at The Hand Me Down House, but be prepared to stay a while!

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Well sheesh!

I have always found so much inspiration and so many good ideas from "linky parties".  Do you know what I'm talking about?  For examples, check out the following that are happening right now: here, here, and here (to name only a few).

I am one woman who has benefited enormously by the project ideas and helpful information shared in these "parties" - it's like one-stop-shopping!

Not long ago, I started sharing some of my own projects and ideas by linking up to some of the different parties around.  I wanted to contribute back to the wealth of knowledge I had borrowed from, and maybe help inspire someone else.

So this morning, I saw an increase in traffic on the ol' blog.  Curious, I checked around a bit, only to find:



I'm so excited!  I mean, it's bound to happen that you get noticed eventually, but I wasn't really expecting it to happen to me.

So welcome, visitors!  We'd love for you to stick around!

Have a great weekend!