Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


You know that room in your house.  C'mon, you know the one, the junk room. The room where you throw the books that you keep forgetting to take to the library sale and the clothes you meant to take to the attic when it got hot. The place where you shove stuff you don’t want to keep but can’t commit to throw away.

I had a room like that. My house started out as a
one family home. During World War II, it was made into two apartments, as many homes were in this military area. Another owner consolidated it into one house once again. The room I am describing is entered through pocket doors from the master bedroom. It was originally a nursery. It was a kitchen in the apartment era. An owner in the seventies turned it into a huge closet, with one wall of clothing rods top and bottom and built-in cedar lined bench storage units. Think very beige and lot of seventies track lighting. I loved the storage space, hated the room itself.

When I couldn’t stand it one minute longer, I removed the nasty wall to wall carpeting, painted the floor with high gloss enamel and turned it into a study/dressing area. I was stumped for a week on how to hide the clothes for cheap, cheap, cheap. Finally, I hung PVC piping from chrome chains anchored in the ceiling. The sheets are Mainstay twin sheets from Walmart, I just cut open the top hem and hung them. $4 per pair.

Almost everything else in the room I either had already, bought at Goodwill, or rescued from the curbside as follows:
Desk – my Papa made it for me
Dresser – Goodwill
Blue and red wicker storage bins – on sale Michaels
Globe – thrift store
Red Table – rescued from the curbside and painted.
Blue chair – belonged to my 3rd great grandfather who fought in the Civil War
Window seat stuff – Goodwill
Sailboat painting - Goodwill
Decorative items on open shelving - Goodwill
Decorative plates - Goodwill

FOOD: Wherein I post about a special dish; special because of convenience, taste, price or all three.

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.  ~Luciano Pavarotti

I like to keep a package or two of frozen creamed spinach (in the boil-in bag) in the freezer.  It goes on sale from time to time.  I don't use a great deal of convenience food, but the calorie and fat count on frozen creamed spinach isn't too bad.   

Last night, I had an hour and a half to fold two loads of laundry, put in another bunch of dirty clothes, feed the dogs, make dinner, research how to make a headboard out of an old door, and get ready for Bible study.  Here's what I threw together for dinner.  The prep time took five minutes.  I used the cooking time to take care of all the other tasks.

Chicken Florentine For a Busy Night

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 fresh ground pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 pkg frozen creamed spinach
Parmesan cheese

Brown the chicken breasts on each side. Mix spinach and spices. spread a small amount of creamed spinach on the bottom of an oven proof casserole with a lid. Place chicken in the casserole. Put creamed spinach mixture on top.  Bake with the lid on at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.   Serve with parmesan cheese on top.

I served the chicken with frozen mixed veggies and a baked yam to rave reviews.  I sliced the chicken up into bite-sized pieces, but you don't have to. 

I always have baked yams cooked ahead.  I bake 6 at a time and use them for lunch or for a side with dinner.