"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mop Philosophy Monday

 I've had these old cushions for years and once again they are taking on a starring role in my living room.  I'm doing a little re-decorating featuring blues and reds.
 The September flowers mesh with the theme nicely.  How do you like them in the copper champagne bucket?  Copper is such a festive, autumnal colour, don't you think?


We've embarked on a big project: having our dining room chairs re-upholstered.  We bought our dining set six years ago, sourced at an estate sale.  One of the best things about it is that it came with TEN chairs.

Here's a look at our chairs BEFORE.  You can see the dusty rose pink and blue stripe through the filthy dirt they've accumulated these last years.  Well, they weren't pristine when we bought them but of course The Rascals really did the number on them!
Some of them were covered with red glitter glue, it's true.
Dining Chair BEFORE

Dining Chair AFTER
 I chose an extremely heavy 100% linen fabric in shades of ivory and aqua.  I thought about finding something really dark to deal with Rascal Mess but I think I have them trained now to wipe their hands on their napkins... not their chairs.
The red glitter glue will have to be kept well away from the dining room.

I thought I'd share my recipes for my Sunday Best lunch.

I've been working on perfecting my vinaigrette recipe.  These days I am finding a shallot vinaigrette just the thing.  The key is to chop up your shallot, soak it in a tablespoon of white vinegar and a bit of salt, and then add in about three times as much oil after an hour or so.
Shake it up and you're good to go.  I made two lots, one of them featuring some fresh dill.
I go through stages of being crazy for different herbs.  Right now it's dill.  I've been adding lots of fresh dill to a mixed green salad, try it, it's delicious!
 Since I had this giant clump of dill hanging around I decided to saute it with my chicken for lunch.  The chicken is chopped into bits to ensure even cooking throughout, sauteed in butter and some garlic olive oil as well as the dill.  I just flick it around until it browns up nicely.
 About 10 minutes before serving you'll want to add in some heavy cream, about a third of a cup.  This will bubble up and thicken, creating the most delicious sauce.  It is Rascal Approved.
The frites that accompanied this lunch take it into Delicious Bistro Food Territory.  I love some oven fries and they're so easy.  Simply chop your scrubbed potatoes into matchsticks, I'm not the best chopper in the world so mine are usually chubby matchsticks.  Then scatter them all over a large baking sheet which has been lined with parchment paper.  The parchment paper is KEY.  My theory is it crisps them up.
 Once scattered you'll want to glug olive oil (or grapeseed oil) over all of them, don't be shy with it, they need the fat for maximum deliciousness.
Then sprinkle liberally with a fine sea salt, throw them in your 350 oven and remove when they are perfectly golden brown.

You can see this makes a fresh yet filling lunch!
I like this so much I'm going to make it for dinner tomorrow night.  I'm not sure I could ever get tired of it!
I hope your week is off to a brilliant start.
xoxDani

24 comments:

  1. Love the old pillows - love the comfy look.
    The upholstery is indeed lovely. It is one of the few things I can do is redo chair covers. I spray my potatoes as when I glug it seems to be uneven and someone always gets left out. So I decant to a spray and then everyone is happy!

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    1. Naomi I've eyed up those oil spray things in kitchen shops, they'd be perfect for cutting back on the oil, but for now my brain needs the help of those fats! I've tried recovering chairs but they end up looking rubbish. That is a good skill to have!

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  2. The fabric you have chosen for your chair is very nice and I love your flowers in a champagne bucket! I usually have mine in a glass jug, but I will sure keep your idea in mind!
    Your recipe looks yummy. I love cooking, but my preferred part is desert! I had guests this weekend and I made them an apple tart with speculos crumble...
    Take Care
    Steph

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    1. Steph that apple tart sounds delish. I try to avoid sugar and now that I can't have any gluten most desserts are no-go for me anyway. Of course I still drink white wine which has sugars in it, I guess that's my treat.
      I might use the copper bucket all winter for flowers, I love the look of it!

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  3. Oh for years I was desperate for an Andrew Martin sofa that looked just like your cushions, so cosy and hides and tea stains! Great rug too and as for chicken and chips, that was my favourite meal when I was growing up, such a treat.

    Oh I've never ever made my own dressing, I really should learn, our mayonnaise bill is huge!

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    1. Tabs make your own dressing, use my recipe, I should have said it's olive oil I use. You can also make your own mayonnaise with an egg yolk (which might make you squeamish as you hate eggs) some oil, a bit of lemon and salt. Of course it is lots of whisking but apparently quite good. I can't eat mayonnaise it makes me queasy!

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  4. Dani, Thanks for the dinner suggestions,that's one meal that would please everyone in the house. Love your fabric choise, it's funny how just a small change can make a room look fresh and updated. what color are your walls? Can't wait to see the finished results ! Thanks and happy Monday!

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    1. Hi Anon, the walls are Richmond Gold by Benjamin Moore. It's a great warm colour, really a neutral in my house as it matches the draperies perfectly and sets off art and furniture.
      I hope you try the dinner!

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  5. Your new upholstery looks beautiful! I wish I could get a new dining set, my kids have destroyed the table and chairs in the past couple years. They are still really young, so many more years of abuse to come! Thank you so much for the recipes. I have been desperate for some new dinner ideas and this looks easy and delicious.

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    1. Louise hold off on the dining set! My youngest is now 11 and I'll still have to really watch her. This linen has a very heavy texture and it does scrub up well, I did a test before I committed to the process, which is very expensive with ten chairs.
      I hope you like the dinner, it is easy and a crowd-pleaser, maybe it will make it into your weekly rotation!

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  6. Happy Monday Dani! Your new upholstery fabric is beautiful, I love the colours. I'm interested too in knowing what colour your walls are. I'm going to paint our dining room Edgecombe Grey by Benjamin Moore. At the moment it's a terracotta colour, which actually goes quite well with the furniture and pictures, but it doesn't flow well with the rest of the ground floor.

    We plan to get a new dining set sometime in the near future. We've had our table since before we got married; i'ts pine, with evidence of small boys getting busy with sharp pencil points!

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  7. Happy Monday Dani! Your new upholstery fabric is beautiful, I love the colours. I, too, am interested in knowing what colour your dining room is. I'm going to paint ours Edgecombe Grey by Benjamin Moore. Currently it's a terracotta colour, which actually goes quite well with the furniture and pictures, but doesn't flow so well with the rest of the ground floor.

    We're planning on getting a new dining set in the near future. We've had our table since before we got married; it's pine, with evidence of small boys getting busy with pointy pencils etc.!

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    1. Patricia I would say you're safe now for that dining set! We had a pine table when the kids were really young, funny those tables do look better with scars and age. It is now in our office where we use it as a boardroom table, a rustic one but somehow it works in that space.
      I know that shade and it's a beauty. I use a terracotta shade called Italianate by Ben Moore for our initial front hallway, I'm thinking of bringing it right through the hallways as it meshes well with the Richmond Gold in the living/dining rooms and the yellow and blue kitchen.
      I'm afraid to start painting, it's going to be such a lot of work!

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    2. Dani, I never want to redecorate again but I am going to have to get the sitting room painted next year as it looks filthy - dreading the upheaval already.

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  8. Love the new cushions Dani - just the thing!!!! I love to make my own vinaigrettes, too - never could understand anyone buying from a store as it is so simple! I think I will make frites for supper now - am hungry and it is just us tonight with the vegan so maybe a kale salad and frites!

    As for the copper bucket - you know I worship it!!!

    I suppose we will eventually have to re-upholster our dining room set - was my great-grandparent's set, made in the 1880s and was recovered in the 50s in maroon leather, which has held up very well and is good for those sticky hands!

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    1. WMM you could just wipe those chairs clean, I would stick with them! Kale salad how delicious, I think I'll buy some kale this afternoon, thanks for the idea.

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  9. LOve the new dining room cushion covers. Very restful and elegant. I am not a master at home made salad dressing, no matter how hard I try. I am a big fan of Trader Joes Tuscan Vinagrette, but unfortunately it does not have olive oil in it.

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    1. KnitYarns I hear so much about this Trader Joe's place, I must go the next time I visit my Dad!
      I find the key to homemade is not to add too much vinegar or lemon, whatever the acidic component of choice is. And of course the right amount of salt is always key!

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  10. Such nice colors you have together. We have a red and blue room in our basement office with a semi-antique Heriz carpet, red and blue wool plaid chair and leather sofa.

    Still herbs here too; are you having a frost this week? I think inland will be tonight but not here. So sad...

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  11. I like EVERYTHING in this post:).

    I'd come for dinner but probably the flight times won't work out...

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  12. I would like to officially rent you as my mom for a few days. You can decorate and cook what ever you want, I promise not to wipe my hands on the furniture and rest assured I will love anything you feed me.

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  13. That chicken dish looks utterly delicious! I love your re-upholstered chairs, too. Beautiful fabric!

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  14. You have just reminded me I need to re-re-upholster our dining room chairs. I'll put it on my list.
    That chicken looks wonderful. You'll have to do a guest spot on the Cook in your kitchen :)

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