Thrifted Side Table Rehab

Would you believe I paid only $10 for two of these? Yea, my husband couldn’t believe it either…

but, with only a few hours of elbow grease and a couple of dollars worth of sandpaper and paint I now have these beauties in my living room. ūüėÄ

I used an inexpensive black satin finish paint on the wood and metallic silver spray paint on the knobs. I love them!

By the way, I am in the (slow) process of making over all of the common areas of our house (kitchen, living, dining, entry) and I’m doing so on an almost non-existent budget. So, stay tuned for more DIY projects and make-over ideas!

For now, I’ll leave you with this.

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Sewing Machine Necklace (and a bonus Nowak Stir-fry)

I love to sew.

I also enjoy being able to make something that would otherwise never exist.

Enter, my 20 minute sewing machine necklace.

The inspiration for this came from a similar necklace I saw on Pinterest of a camera.

Buy it here on Etsy: MAKE PIE not war

It’s so adorable but I’m not a camera junkie (although I’m working on that so I can provide some better pictures for you guys). I googled for almost an hour trying to find a sewing machine that resembled it to no avail. When I finally admitted that what I wanted didn’t exist I decided to make one. Easy. Peasy. Right? ūüôā

Actually, yes!

Here is what I used

Lobster clasp and jump rings, chain, 20 gauge wire, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, white spray paint, and crude drawing plans

Figure out your shape and draw it on scratch paper. I went with a bit of an older looking machine. Then draw it out in the size you want the necklace to be. I made the starting point where the needle would be and then just fiddled with the wire and pliers until I got it close enough. Then I clipped the wire, twisted it to secure and then did some more fiddling until I had it right. After that, I took it outside and spray painted it. This is not necessary if you have silver or gold wire and like it that way. All I had was copper and I didn’t like the way it looked. I figure if I get tired of the white I can paint it any color I want as many times as I want.

Now on to the bonus: Yummy Stir-fry…Nowak style

This is sort of a¬†collaboration of my husband’s and mine. We received bok¬†choy, broccoli and red bell peppers from the co-op this week so we were inspired to do a stir-fry since we already had all of the other¬†ingredients on hand. We have made similar dishes before with a bit less luck (it always seems something is not quite right) though, we have never even bothered to seek out a recipe (not sure why??). What I’m telling you is that I don’t know if this is how a stir-fry is supposed to be made but this is how we made it and it was¬†yum. I think the key to this one turning out was the little bit of cornstarch added to thicken up the sauce a bit. Bear with me because this has a lot of ingredients. So, here you go.

**Important note: This serves EIGHT.¬†Enough for the four of us to eat a serving¬†and then the rest was mixed together in a foil casserole¬†dish, covered and put in the freezer. This is part of my current undertaking which I’m calling “operation-make-double-of-everything-and-put-half-in-the-freezer-in-order-to-avoid-fast-food-and-expensive-eating-out-during-Jonathan’s-football-season” (currently taking suggestions on a new name).

Supplies:

Wok

Steamer

Sauce Pan

Ingredients:

2 stalks (?) bok choy

3-4 broccoli crowns

1-2 carrots

1 large red bell pepper

1 medium onion (any)

3-5 cloves of garlic depending on size (smaller ones from the inside of the head are stronger so, 3 if they are small and 5 if they are large ones from the outside)

1 chunk of fresh ginger root (2-3 tbsp when minced)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups of dry rice (I use jasmine but you can use any, really)

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp peanut oil

For the sauce:

1/2 cup mirin

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp Worcestershire (sp?)

1 Tbsp chile garlic sauce (this stuff)

1-2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1/4 cup chicken stock

2-3 Tbsp corn starch

Spice Rub:

2 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp chinese 5 spice

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp clove

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Garnish:

3 green onion stalks

1 Tbsp black sesame seeds

1 Tbsp white sesame seeds

Ok. Whew! That’s long!

First:

Cut the florets from the broccoli crowns and get them going in the steamer. Then make your rice. For Jasmine it’s one part rice two parts water. Cook the broccoli until its just before tender as it will cook a bit more later.

Next:

Prep your other veggies. I did matchstick-ish cuts on the carrots but you could also just grate them. The pepper got a medium dice. The green onions I sliced on the bias. The big onion sliced in little inch long bits and the garlic and ginger was minced.

Meanwhile, Bo prepared the chicken breast by trimming and cutting it into bite sized pieces then seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and then the spice rub. Place it in a bowl and set aside.

Heat up your wok. Mix together all of the wet sauce ingredients and then whisk the cornstarch in until most of the lumps are gone.

Add the oils to the wok and allow to heat just until it starts to smoke then add the chicken. Cook the chicken through then add the bok choy, carrots, onions and bell pepper. Cook until almost tender then add the ginger and garlic and cook for just another minute or two. Add the broccoli and the sauce and cook just until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.

Plate with rice on the bottom, spoon the stir-fry over and top with green onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Eat with chopsticks!

Please reprimand me in the comment section if I left something out or it doesn’t make sense…the little one is tugging at me saying “hold you, mommy. hold you?” so, gotta go!

**UPDATE**

I forgot to mention that you can regrow bok¬†choy from the discarded end piece. Cut about 2 inches from the bottom and place it cut side up in a bowl of shallow water and¬†in a spot that has¬†some natural light. After a couple of days you can plant it in soil with the dirt coming up to just cover the original cut part with the new growth exposed. In a month or two¬†it should be ready to harvest. You can then replant it as you did the first time. It’s an endless cycle!! See my “grow it” page for a list of other veg you can do this with.