Friday, August 29, 2014

labor day round up and a couple fun new sites..

i can not believe it's going to be september and this weekend is our last big weekend at the lake.. then it's time to put the boat away and clean out the trailer and camping weekends begin..this year for labor day we have a house full!! lots of family and friends are coming for the weekend and if you can believe no hotel rooms so we are pulling out the air mattresses and bunking on the couch.. you know what a lot of people means.. there will be bbqs!!

i was asked by this awesome site man crates to create a list of what i think are must haves for any bbq!! below are my suggestions!! besides the recipes i posted a few other must haves for any out door bbq are s'mores made with kahlua dunked marshmallows!! {i'll share that with you next week},  a few dark and stormys {if you haven't had one check back next week they are amazing!!} and most of all family, friends, laughter and love!! i can't wait and i hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend also..

{seriously check out their site it's so cute and any hubby, dad or son would love to get one of their crates!! they are going to cringe when they read i referred to their site and cute.. they fancy themselves a manly site ha ha}

i was also asked by this awesome site thebesty to give a list of my 5 favorite restaurants in my home town.. so go check it out!! and remember

enjoy and get bbq'n!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

throwback thursday.. enchilada stack with a creamy jalapeno sauce..

i love this recipe.. i first made it back in 2012 that post here enchilada stack.. my entire family loved it.. it's so easy and so good.. this time around i used fajita size flour tortillas and i might even like it better than the first time i made it..

i love enchiladas!! there is a restaurant in town that serve cheese enchiladas with an extra spicy enchilada sauce.. ::swoooon:: i love them.. so for this recipe i used the "hot" enchilada sauce but you don't need to the mild kind is just as yummy..

enchilada stack


1 lb. ground turkey (beef can be substituted we just don't ever eat it..)
1 can of your favorite enchilada sauce.. (green or red) oh and they have a HOT RED one it's amazing!
6 or so small/medium tortillas
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey or pepper jack cheese
1/2 an onion, diced
cilantro, chopped
diced onion
creamy jalapeno sauce {recipe below}
or plain sour cream
cook ground turkey in your skillet over medium until browned and cooked through, if using beef you will want to drain it off, add about a 1/4 of a cup of your enchilada sauce .. spray a pie plate with pam.. add a little enchilada sauce and swirl it around to cover the bottom of the plate.. start with a tortilla, swirl around a little enchilada sauce on top of the tortilla then add meat, then onion then cheese then top with another tortilla and keep going until you finish with a tortilla on top add a little swirl of sauce.. cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree {f} oven for 40 minutes.. remove cover add a another swirl or 2 on top with enchilada sauce and top with cheese.. bake another 15 minutes .. let sit for 5-7 minutes then slice into wedges.. top with jalapeno cream sauce or sour cream, cilantro and onion and serve with home made re fried beans.. {my recipe for beans is found creamy refried beans}

creamy jalapeno sauce

prep time: 5 minutes


1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2-3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped {or a small can of diced jalapenos}
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
dash of cumin
salt and pepper


combine all ingredients and keep in the fridge until ready to use..

i didn't have mayonnaise for the above sauce so i used cottage cheese.. that's why it looks kinda "bumpy" ha :)

i made the same sauce and served it as a dip for veggies it was so yummy!!!
{please excuse the photos!!}
enjoy and get cook'n!!

take my word for it wednesday.. this is the quickest, easiest and yummiest tomato sauce you'll ever make..


take my word for it wednesday.. {sorry it's a day late} this is the easiest yet quickest sauce you will ever make.. it's soooooooo good!! so easy.. you must make this!!!

creamy pink pasta sauce

prep time: 1 minute
cooking time: 15 minutes
serves: approx. 1 cup


olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tblsp. tomato paste
1/8 cup vodka {optional}
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tblsp. italian seasoning
salt and pepper
3 tblsp. cream


in a non stick skillet heat two twirls around the pan of olive oil over medium heat.. add garlic and cook until fragrant.. 1-2 minutes.. add tomato paste, vodka and broth.. whisk until well incorporated.. add seasoning, salt and pepper.. drop to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes.. remove from heat.. whisk in cream.. and then it's ready to use... {you could use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.. you could use white wine instead of vodka.. you can eliminate the alcohol all together and use more could use fresh herbs instead of dried.. have fun} you could serve over pasta, tortellini or in baked mostaccioli or over polenta like i did below... it really is very good!

polenta with a creamy tomato sauce

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 4


polenta tube {i used san gennaro polenta}
creamy sauce {above}
grated parmesan cheese


pre heat oven to 350 degrees {f} cut thick slices of polenta approximately 1/2 inch thick and arrange on a foil lined lightly oiled baking sheet... spoon sauce over polenta and sprinkle with parmesan.. bake for 15 minutes.. remove from oven and serve immediately.

enjoy and get cook'n!! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

tip trick tuesday.. refurbished yard sale chairs..

we did quite well a few weeks ago yard saling.. i was able to pick up the above chair for 10 bucks.. i love it.. i especially love it in my craft/work out room..

i painted the chair in annie sloan chalk paint old white...

i did 2 coats of the old white.. 

it's a drexel heritage chair so it's pretty sturdy..

at first pete was very skeptical about painting the cushion.. so i took him into a great store called bloom in boulder city that sales the annie sloan products so he could see the painted furniture and see that you can in fact paint fabric..

i painted the cushion in ascp graphite.. 3 coats with 1 coat of the clear wax at the end... then i used a clean cotton cloth and "buffed it" until it was smooth..
this is after 2 coats of the graphite..


this is after 3 coats of the graphite and 1 coat of the clear wax for the cushion and 2 coats of the old white on the chair and a coat of clear wax then dark wax on the chair itself..

here is a tip and i might go back and "fix" my chair not sure because i am kinda really loving it.. the chair and desk where painted with the same product and same application for the old white part but the dark wax on the desk had been in the fridge and was much harder so less was used but the dark wax on the chair had been sitting in the garage over night and was "looser" so more was used.. now if i decide i think the chair has to much dark wax i can always just go over it again with the clear wax and it will lighten it up.. just now sure i want to yet.. the room is coming along nicely.. it's not done i still need some things for the walls, plug and switch covers,  a tv.. etc.. but so far i am liking it..

next yard sale score were these bar stools.. there are 5 of  stools and we drove past a yard sale and i yelled stop they have bar stools.. so i got out first and then got back in the truck and said noo i didn't like the cushion they were 100 for 5.. blah blah.. then we drove away.. i said oh wait maybe you could take the cushion off and we could just use whatever the base is.. so we went back.. i inspected them and decided no that would be to much trouble.. we then left again.. about 20 minutes later i couldn't get them out of my head so we went back again.. and pete got out this time and declared them well built and sturdy and replacing the seat would not be a problem so he tried to "dicker" the owner down but they were pretty firm on the 100.00 for all 5 seeing as how they paid 300+ a piece {how crazy is that} so we handed over our money and went to lowes and bought wood and the stools were done the next day.. 

pete took the cushion off one and removed the fabric and stuffing and used it as a template..

we got a nice size piece of wood and pete measured out the seats with his template..

then using his skill saw he cut out the pieces..

he then sanded the edges with a belt belt sander..
talk about a mess after all that sheesh the garage was full of saw dust!!
i tested them out on the stool.. perfect fit..

this is the product i used to "stain" the bar stool seats.. it's also from bloom and it's amazing it dries like you wouldn't believe so fast.. now over the years pete has made us several pieces of furniture, which he stained the "old fashion" way.. and he was very very impressed with this product.. i screwed up though i didn't use the java color i used antique walnut, oops sorry.. i also only used the flat top coat and not the satin..

pete suggested i do the edges first then the bottom.. allow it to dry then stain the top and that way the top is not face down with the stain on it allowing anything else to try.. i did 2 coats of the gel stain and 3 coats of the flat top coat since they would be outside.. 

i am going to paint the wrought iron but we are having a labor day party so i will have to do it after that bbq but before the next big party which is pete's 50th b day..  

the back yard is kind of crazy right now since we are gearing up for this weekend's party.. see the brick wall and what the arrow is pointing to? well that is an old truck tailgate we got.. pete made hinges and used old chain and mounted it to the wall and then with the chain you can lower it and it becomes a bar.. {i'll post how pete did that soon}

i am loving them wood seats and so glad we decided to go back and get the bar stools.. 

love love them!!
enjoy and get yard sal'in and diy'in!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. somedays you just need a perfectly grilled rib eye steak w/ whiskey spiked butter, crispy oven fries and spicy ketchup..

today is take my word for it.. and today you need to.. this recipe is so scrumptious...we've been working on our outdoor kitchen and soon i will be showing all the fun things we've done.. pete got a cheverolet truck tailgate and built a bar.. we bought 5 heavy wrought iron barstools at a yardsale and refurbished them for the outdoor kitchen.. i can't wait to share with you all the fun things.. but in the meantime i thought i would share a recipe you could enjoy outside at your house.. it's easy.. it's delicious.. and it's steak.. my 3 favorite things!!

grilled rib eye steaks

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 5-7 minutes
servings: 4


4 rib eye steaks 1/2 inch thick {if you can get prime its so worth the extra cost}
salt and pepper
whiskey spiked compound butter {recipe below}


make sure your steaks are brought up to room temperature and not straight from the fridge.. pre heat your gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat.. sprinkle each steak with salt and pepper.. when grill is ready grill steaks for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.. your looking for an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees for medium rare.. once they are done remove grill place on a platter and top each steak with a pat of the compound butter.. allow to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving..

whiskey spiked compound butter


1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. minced parsley
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. whiskey
salt and pepper


in a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients with a fork until well combined.  spoon butter unto a sheet of plastic wrap.. roll up and smooth out to form a "log".. place in fridge until ready to use..

crispy oven fries with spicy ketchup

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 35-45 minutes
servings: 4


2 large russet potatoes, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then halves cut into fries
1/2 cup olive oil


preheat oven to 425 degrees {f}.. cover a baking sheet with foil and place in hot oven for 5 minutes.. in a large mixing bowl toss potatoes in olive oil and liberally salt.. spread fries on hot baking sheet in a single layer.. roast for 35-40 minutes..1/2 way through remove from oven and with spatula flip fries over to the other side.. cook until brown and crispy.. remove from oven and salt if needed again.. serve with spicy ketchup..

spicy ketchup

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tblsp. sriracha
squeeze of lemon


combine all ingredients well.. if there is any un-used ketchup keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

enjoy and get cook'n!! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. skillet enchiladas are so easy and so good.. also introducing gullo garage!!

we are back to another wednesday and another day for me to ask you to take my word for it.. i believe in the past i've been pretty good on my "advice".. so today i have 2 things i want you to take my word for.. 1 being this recipe.. ahh mayyy zing.. i referred to this under 30 minutes skillet lasagna as being the best thing i've ever made in one skillet.. well let me tell you this dish i am sharing with you today gives the lasagna a run for it's money.. it's the same exact concept as the lasagna.. same ease.. same under 30 meal prep.. but totally different flavor profile.. however equally yummy!!!!
the second thing i want you to take my word for is that my brother-in-law started a fun and family interactive blog.. it's hanging out in gullo garage.. and while i give you recipes and tip and tricks for crafts, cooking and what not.. his blog is about boats, cars and other garage projects to share with your kids and family and get the family back in the garage doing projects together.. he'll be sharing with you some great projects.. i will share with you soon a bench for the garage that he and pete made.. i love it.. i can't wait for my very own.. we will also from time to time share posts, recipes, projects, etc., between each others blog... so take my word for it.. you will want to check out his blog!! tell him the smarter gullo sent you.. *giggle* ok don't say that but you can think it if you want he he..
on to the recipes!!
{p.s. the pictures are once again funky.. it was so overcast the night i made these.. it's been monsoon weather here and wow has mother nature been taking it pretty serious..}
i used la tortilla factory home made style corn and whole wheat tortillas in this recipe and i love love them. i love their flavor and that they are made with whole wheat flour as well..

cheesy easy skillet enchiladas

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 4


1 lb. ground turkey {or beef if you prefer}
olive oil {i used chili infused olive oil, if you don't have that once you've put your olive oil in pan sprinkle with 2 tsp. of chili powder}
1 onion, diced and separated in half
1 14.5 oz can of enchilada sauce i love the "hot" pete's like the medium..  {also you might need a little water or chicken broth if needed}
8 6 inch corn tortillas, cut into bite size pieces.. {you could use flour instead but i believe it would definitely soak up more moisture and you would need to add a splash of water or chicken broth}
1 cup shredded cheese {i used 1/2 sharp cheddar and 1/2 monteray jack, but you could use pepper jack instead of the monteray}
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper

toppings: {all optional}

sour cream
onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped
green onions, chopped
black olives, sliced {which i totally forgot but wanted to use.. boohoo}
sliced avocado


in a large non stick skillet {with lid} heat two twirls around the pan with chili oil or olive oil and 2 tsp. of chili powder over medium heat.. once the oil is hot add 1/2 of your chopped onions.. cook until tender, about 3 minutes.. add ground turkey and cook until longer pink.. about 5-7 minutes.. add enchilada sauce..stir well to combine well, add cumin, salt, pepper and garlic powder.. add your bite size tortillas.. stir until all the tortillas are covered in sauce, if it doesn't appear you have enough liquid add a splash of water or chicken broth.. continue to stir.. once all the tortillas are submerged in liquid cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 5-7 minutes.. {now most of the liquid will be gone and that's a good thing..} add cheese and cover and cook another 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melty and yummy.. add a few dollops of  sour cream, the remaining onions and cilantro.. or any other topping you desire and serve immediately..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

tip trick tuesday.. refurbished old wooden ladders..

i was able to pick up a couple of ladders for $2.50 each...  i painted one for my backyard in annie sloan chalk paint {ascp} pure white then old white and one for sam in ascp olive {pictures to come}..   
first coat was pure white that had been mixed with water.. a quick light coat..

then a coat of old white that has been mixed with water also.. 

then a coat of clear wax... 

 i was really liking it and not sure i wanted to add a coat of dark wax but i went for it..

I did a coat of dark wax all over it.. 

then i wrapped the side with silk ivy.. {that dark spot is actually just a shadow it's not from paint or anything}

i also wrapped it with small twinkly lights.. it really turned out cute.. took a few hours to paint.. i really like it..
this is sams chair before i put the clear wax and dark wax on it..
i also did a yard sale chair in the olive also .. i am really liking this color..
enjoy and get diy'in!!