Thursday, March 30, 2017

BBQ Chicken Meat Loaf

 I have several young men to feed and they eat a lot (I have girls too, but they don't eat nearly as much!)... The guys get hungry again often. I wanted to figure out a meal with more protein, but one that wouldn't cost extra, so did some experimenting.

We have had it several times now and it is something enjoyed by the family. It is also quite easy to make, which is even better.

In order to simplify meal making, I like to cook meat ahead of time and freeze it in containers to use for soups, casseroles or other meals requiring meat. This is a post about that:

        Save Time and Money On Meals

 It speeds up the time needed to make a meal and it saves money also. Here is a post where I marinate chicken in the crockpot and make pulled chicken or use it in other ways.

      Strange Marinades For Chicken

I use some of the marinated chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, onions and peppers and olive oil. Put it all in the bowl and stir.

After mixing the above ingredients, add BBQ sauce and stir.

 Put the mixture into a greased 9" x 13" pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes - 1 hour.

We had it with potatoes and raw celery. It was a tasty meal and enjoyed by all. Best of all, I was able to make it quickly and put it into the oven, then it only needed to be served.


                        BBQ Chicken Meat Loaf

     3 cups cooked chicken-shredded or cut up 
       24 oz (3 cups) cottage cheese
       3 eggs
       1/2 cup onions and peppers (I used the frozen mixture)
       3 Tbsp olive oil             ...............................................Mix all together 
       3/4 cup BBQ Sauce       ...............................................Mix, then put into greased  9"x 13" pan
       1/4 cup BBQ sauce        ...............................................Spread over loaf

        Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 min-1 hour


This is an easy meat dish......  and it is a variation from the usual meatloaf.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a great week. 

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Family Room Project-Paint Change

We needed to change the color of the family room...  the walls had been a strong green color and we had really liked it, but after 10 years or so, we were ready for a change.

This picture shows the wonderful bookshelves made by our oldest son... you can read about that project in this post...

Adding Built In Bookshelves

This is the strong green color we used about 10 years ago... it looks nice, but we are changing things.

On the wall where the picture and wall lamp are, is where the new book shelves were added. That little wall beside the stairs was also removed in an earlier project. You can see that on this post:

Removing A Little Wall

This is the wall that will have the bookshelf... the work began.

 The color still looks good... but the room ends up being a bit dark... I was picturing something lighter... not pastel, but more of a muted shade of lighter green/gray for this time.

This picture shows the ceiling that has the old popcorn ceiling.... we have been removing that from our house... what a messy job!

Also, there were 2 electric wall lamps on this wall that were not very useful, so those were removed and our son added ceiling lights on the ceiling. What a HUGE  improvement, and a picture of that will come later.

The popcorn ceiling has been removed! Messy work, BUT we did it differently this time and it was a LOT better.  We used a wide tool and vaccuumed it off. Still messy, but not as much.

Again the green color looks nice... even after 10 years of continued use with a large family. 

 These are the new built-in bookshelves.... Our son tried to match them with the built-ins beside the fireplace.

He sure did a great job!!!!  :)

Now, time to paint, but we didn't have much money to use for the project... and we had a lot of odds and ends of paint. Since I am an artist and like working with colors, I decided to experiment... and try to save some money.

I used a 5 gallon bucket... after we cleaned and dried it. I dumped various pastel greens, darker greens, even a brighter green... then beige, grays, creams, whites, etc and kept mixing.

I would go into the family room and smear some of the color on the wall. For several times, I just wasn't satisfied, so went back and added more of this color and that color...

All of these paints shown here were used in this project, plus more that are not shown. It was nice to be able to throw out a lot of empty paint cans after we were done. Many of these were color samples from other projects... or from garage sales.... some were free and some were inexpensive.

TIP.....  Use up old odds and ends of paint to make a new custom color. Be sure to mix latex with latex and oil with oil paint and don't combine the two with each other. Some paints won't mix well. I use only latex anymore... I don't like the clean up required with oil paint. Latex is so much easier. Store your new paint color in an airtight container and label. You can even choose your own name for the color.

  Here is one of my color check smears. It is obvious that the color is much lighter than the green we wanted to cover.

This is the color we ended up using. I wanted it to be enough color to look nice with white trim... I also wanted it to be a lighter color, but not boring.

The color is a grayish green. When my husband saw the paint by itself, or even on the wall,  he was not too excited, but he has learned that he likes what I come up with even though he cannot imagine it. He has a very hard time picturing what he cannot see. So we started.

TIP - Put your color smears of your new paint on more than one wall, so that you can see how the color looks in different light. If possible, it is nice to look at them for a day or two, at various times of the day, since the light will change.

 Here, my husband is starting to paint the top of the fireplace... 

This is the end of the room with the fireplace and the built in bookshelves that were here when we moved in. We have painted them a couple of times before now.

The fireplace is in the middle and the top part is already painted in this picture... with the new color. You can see that it is much lighter.

This is the other end of the room... the end with the new built-in bookshelves.

By the way, we chose a grayish green color for the walls, but I wanted a contrast for the backs of the inside of the shelves. We have done that before and loved the look. I decided to go with a bluish color.

TIP: Because I wanted the light green/gray wall color and the blue in the shelf backs to harmonize well, I used some of the gray/green wall color in another container and kept adding blue colors until we liked it. Since it HAS the grayish green in it also, it blended very well together. I made extra paint at the beginning so that I could do this.  Sometimes it is difficult to choose two colors that look nice together... and this can help to simplify that process... especially since this paint was not expensive to "play" with.  :)

You can see that we have started the blue painting... and the old green paint is also visible.

This picture shows the new wall color.. a faint green color and you can also see the backs of the bookshelves. In this picture, the ceiling has now been painted.

Notice the two ceiling lights are now in place and working. I wanted them placed like they are to make it easier to see the books on the bookshelves when we get the project done.

There is more to this project which I will show in future posts. There has been something very satisfying about this project. We were pleased with the colors... and the money saved by using paint that we had on hand.  This project has had many steps...  it is a big project and the room is also quite large. It was also nice that the whole family worked together on this in one way or another.

Are you working on some home improvement projects? Some of them can be quite a challenge. I hope you are pleased with your projects.. or are looking forward to some in the future.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you have a wonderful week.  :)

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

From Hose Holder To Fun Frame!

This is a before and after project... a re-purposed item that has a use after being broken. 

  We had a pretty metal hose holder which I liked and it looked nice... until it broke.

 This is what was left.... it is sharp and needs to be replaced. The other part was thrown away as it was "no good."

 I'm so glad I found it....  I picked it up and looked at it.... and held it this way and that, feeling like there should be some use for it.

My son groaned, "Oh Mommmmm..... it's trash... can't we throw it away?"

Well, I throw broken things away, but this... had potential, even if he couldn't see it. 

I removed the metal pieces until it was uniform and I thought it looked pretty good.  It could be a wall hanging for inside or outside........

 Then I figured out that it would also work as a frame for photography, so I tried a few things....

 So many possibilities...

 Sherlock wasn't too thrilled, but he posed anyway.... 

It was just a little thing.... a little re-purposing project.... not a big deal, but it was fun to "save" that item and turn it into something else that I find useful.

I'm so glad that God also does re-purposing as He salvages our lives and turns something broken into something pleasing to Him... something that honors Him. What a blessing that He didn't just throw us out like trash.... even though on our own, that's all we are.... What a blessing that His work of salvation is given to us if we accept it.

I'm so glad not to remain that "old creature" that I was... and that He has re-made me into a "new creature". I hope you also know Him as your Lord and Savior. What a God we serve.    :)   Thank you for visiting...

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 
                                                2 Corinthians 5:17

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