Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Coffee Table Re-do

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The industrial rustic decorating style has been holding some appeal for me lately.  I had been looking for the right project to tackle and finally found it!

This was one of the easiest and fastest furniture makeovers ever.  Really. It started with this clearance Target table (11.00).  The faux wicker and glass had to go, it was the metal base that I was interested in.

Next, the new top.  I headed to Home Depot and the "cull" bin at the back of the store.  I scored two pieces of lumber for only 1.01 each.  I measured the length of the old top and cut the boards to be about the same, 41 inches.  The old top was 20 inches wide, but with my lumber it was 22...close enough.

Some sanding and then I clamped the two boards together.  I cut 3 wood pieces (scraps from my shed) to connect the two pieces together.  I used the nail gun to tack them in place, then used screws to make the connection more secure.

More sanding with the palm sander.  I applied the stain (a mix of golden oak and kona black-it was what I had in the garage) and let it dry.  I finished it with some Minwax Finishing Paste, let it dry overnight and buffed it out.

I attached the table top to the base frame using some screws from underneath.

Total investment: $13 and 1 day of working time and a day of drying time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mango Coconut Vanilla Artisan Popsicles

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I recently returned from a trip that included a stop in Indianapolis, IN.  As luck would have it, I was there on a Statehouse Market day and I discovered that artisan popsicles are apparently all the rage.

Where have I been to have not known about this?  Obviously I haven't been searching Pinterest nearly enough.  Well, I am happy to step up to the plate on this one (especially since it will be over 100 degrees pretty much every day this week).

The hardest part for me was deciding what flavor to make. Like many of you, I started thinking I wanted to do this project late at night...on a I had to use what was in the house.  Luckily, I had a few options (ruled out, but saved for a future day are Key Lime Coconut, Strawberry, Chocolate Pudding and Pineapple/Greek yogurt).  I reviewed several recipes online for inspiration, but I really just went with what sounded good.  If you wanted to make these completely dairy free, skip the condensed milk and use sugar or honey as your sweetener instead. Don't have coconut milk?  Use half and half instead.

Here's what you need:
Popsicle molds
2 ripe mangoes
1 can coconut milk (13 oz)
1/4 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out)
1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk

Peel and dice up the mangoes and then puree them in the blender--you may need to add a splash of water to make it easier on the blender.

Pour the mango puree through a strainer into a bowl with a pour spout (you'll strain out a bunch of stringy fibers that would otherwise make your popsicle less enjoyable to eat).  Add the coconut milk, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk.  Stir it up.

Pour into your molds and put in the freezer.  I set the timer for 1 hour and then I put the sticks in.  In my mold, if I put the sticks in right away, they sink and leave me with no handle.  If the mixture was a bit thicker to begin with, you could probably put sticks in from the get-go. 

I indulged in a popsicle and some time in the inflatable pool in the backyard with one of these babies today!