Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Holiday Inspiration

I hope you all have an amazing Easter weekend!! In the meantime I wanted to droll over some incredibly creative people and their GORGEOUS Easter eggs!! Much more fun than the old way!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cooking with the dillmans

We eat a lot of pork and beef in our house. I really love pork, (chops, bacon, sausage, tenderloin, ribs, bbq, etc.) and we do love beef (steaks, ground beef, etc.) So I like to try to use some different meats from time to time. I've been buying a bit of ground turkey and making turkey burgers out of them, so that hubby will eat it.

We have a great burger place near us, Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, and they have the Frenchie burger which is turkey, brie, applewood smoked bacon, grilled apples and garlic mayo. Yum-o! Well we adapted out own version of this last night. We skipped the bacon to make one less step but I think next time it might be a good idea to add some crunch. We also didn't add the mayo, but we DID add caramelized onions!
Photo via Once Upon a Cutting Board I like her recipe a lot too!!!

I adapted our recipe from Bobby Flay's:

2 pounds freshly ground turkey
Four 1-inch cubes of Brie cheese, 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper (feel free to add garlic powder/onion powder, etc.)
1 large granny smith apple, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick crosswise
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large yellow onions
BACON! (to your liking of course)
Four rolls


To prepare the burgers:

Start by caramelizing the onions, as this step can take up to half an hour.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, stir to coat with oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Spread onions out evenly across the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.  Don’t stir the onions too often so they can brown, but don’t leave them alone long enough to burn or stick to the pan.  You may need to reduce the heat or add a splash of water to deglaze the pan a few times to prevent onions from burning.  Once they’re done, set aside in a small bowl.  This step can be done ahead of time and onions can be warmed up in the microwave before topping burger.

 Shape the meat firmly into 4 round uniform patties about 1 1/2inches thick. Make a small indentation in the center of each patty and place 1 cube of the cheese in each. Knead the meat slightly to cover the hole. Brush both sides of the burgers lightly with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Cook the burgers to your liking. Brush the apples on both sides with the vegetable oil. Grill (in a grill pan) until golden on both sides. Place a burger on the bottom of each roll, top with 1 or 2 apple slices.

Yum yum.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quick Storage Solutions

Our place may be a tad bigger than our old apartment but there are less storage options for us surprisingly. Like where does the wine go?! Of course a visit to Ikea allowed me quick and easy storage options in a small area. We have an empty wall next to our pantry and of course needed wine storage but we also installed two shelves to add some extra color and depth to the wall, and here's the final product!
Easy peasy! Two of the Vurm wine rack for $20 ($9.99 each) and two PS 2014 shelves for $10 ($4.99 each). So cheap too! YAY!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cooking with the dillmans

I absolutely LOVE Mexican food. I crave it and could eat it almost everyday. Cheeses, meats, veggies, sour cream, guacamole, etc. I LOVE IT. We tend to have some type of ingredients to make a Mexican meal at home and I came across this recipe last night on Pinterest and decided that is what's for dinner. A "healthy mexican casserole with roasted corn". YUM!

Photo via Pinch of Yum
It was easy to make and includes some great veggies. We used the Frontera enchilada sauce to keep the sodium down and because our Uncle is the graphic designer for all things Frontera so we love to support him and Chicago! It's also more fresh. (I HIGHLY recommend the Frontera guac starter, it's super tasty!) So here's the recipe for the casserole via Pinch of Yum! 

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno or 2 chipotle peppers (optional – just for more kick)
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon is a good ballpark measure)
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese (mine was a Sargento blend)
  • 18-20 corn tortillas
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • cilantro, guacamole, or sour cream for topping

  1. Roast the veggies: Dice the peppers and mince the onions. Heat a large nonstick skillet with NO oil over high heat. Add the onion and peppers, sprinkle with chili and cumin, and do not stir. This allows the peppers to roast and brown on the outside. After a few minutes, give the pan a shake or stir and let the peppers sit again for a few more minutes without stirring. Remove and set aside. Repeat the roasting process with the corn, sprinkling with chili and cumin, removing from the heat when browned and roasted on the outside. Sprinkle the roasted veggies with a little bit of salt and toss to coat.
  2. Prep the ingredients: Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tortillas into thin strips. Put the refried beans in a bowl and mix with a little bit of water to make them easier to spread.
  3. Assemble: Spread a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in order: half of the tortilla strips, ALL the beans, half of the veggies, half of the sauce, half of the cheese. Cover with the other half of the tortilla strips, veggies, sauce, and cheese.
  4. Bake: Cover with foil (I usually spray mine with cooking spray) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Serve with guacamole, fresh cilantro, sour cream, or anything in the world that you want.
The Dillmans

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dining Room Progress

I'm back y'all, sorry for the hiatus, I truly missed you all!!

So! As you might have remembered I purchased a bamboo/rattan dining set off Craigslist when we bought the house and I had big ideas on changing it for my own personal style and taking advantage of only paying $85 for a table to fit our space. My mom and I tackled the project of spray painting the table one weekend. Turns out you need a decent amount of spray paint for a table and four chairs, so stock up.. We ended up taking 3 trips to Lowe's.. whoops!

To spray paint any item really, you'll want to start out by sanding down all the rough spots on the chairs and paying close attention to where there is a lot of wear and tear or you know there is a lot of use (like the top of the chair). After sanding down the chairs it's best to wipe them down with some type of cleaner with alcohol in it to take off any extra dirt or residue and allow to dry. Then you'll spray paint the first layer in slow smooth strokes, allow to dry, and then paint the next coat.
Almost after!

All in all, it took about 8 cans of black lacquer spray paint to get these beauties up to par. The paint can definitely add up and give you quite the arm workout but they came out fabulous! I really love the shiny black. You may also remember I showed you how to recover the cushions for our newly painted chairs, and here's the final resort. (Sidenote: I wish I was a better photographer.. hopefully soon!)

So here's how the dining room looks now! We also installed our beautiful ikat curtains, compliments of my favorite fabric store, Premier Fabrics. I LOVE how dramatic the fabric is and I think it's just fun and different! (Oh and again the fabric on the chairs is from Premier Fabrics as well!)
An up close of the curtains. Fun turquoise, orange and black ikat!
Right now we (I mean my mom) is in the process of redoing a new piece of furniture for the wall next to the fridge. It's going to be a buffet that has been lacquered in white. Then I'll probably put a lamp on either side(?), perhaps a mirror or a really cool piece of art over it as well. That will be determined later. Until I get the piece, this is what is currently there.. I know it's a bit of hodge podge but I figured I'd be honest and show you the before.

So one more time, here's our somewhat finished project! That light STILL has to go, but I think we have something up our sleeve for that. I had purchased a rug but I think I'm against the rug for the time being. Once the new piece of furniture is here maybe I'll have a better idea of whether a rug will work or not, but I'm not dying to have one anyway.

Hope you all liked the finished project!