Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Floating Shelves for Cookbooks

I love cookbooks.

I seriously read them like a book.

I tab pages with sticky notes for recipes I want to try.

I write notes in them when I'm cooking like they are college text books. It's great when you flip through to read comments and see the date when I made something. Dorky, I know. But it makes me happy.

Some of them are like dear old friends. One book is from my mom. It has a few go-to recipes (cheese sauce and banana bread) that are so symbolic I can't imagine ever giving it away.

When I was little we had home-made cheese sauce every time we ate broccoli. I seriously thought you didn't each broccoli without cheese sauce. I'm sure there are a lot of kids out there today who would love to eat their broccoli smothered in yummy cheese sauce.

Fast forward to 2015. You don't really need cookbooks anymore. You can get every recipe you need online.

Have no fear cookbook writers! I still like cookbooks, and I still buy them. And I know I'm not alone.

Why? I'll tell you why.

I want to take notes in my cookbook, and flag recipes that look good for future meals. I like pictures. (I'm that cook.) I want to see if it looks like it's supposed to. And I know I'm not the only one. I can't do that with the recipes online. Not the way I want to anyway. Plus, the cookbook does not go into sleep mode right when my fingers get messy. That is the most annoying part of all.

I'm telling you this because I needed to get my books organized. (I promise there is a point to all this rambling.) So, we bought two new shelves and they look so pretty I wanted to share it with you. We have a very small, compact kitchen. So I was looking for something with style that would match the sideboard.

We went with these cool floating shelves that we found online made of reclaimed barn wood. We liked the rustic look and chunkiness. We always see them installing shelves like this on our favorite HGTV shows. So I had to have them too. They were a bit of a beast to install. Things are never as easy as they should be. Especially when it comes to DIY projects at home.

I am happy to report that they look great. The hubby did a super job. They even survived a mild 3.0 earthquake the day after we put them up. Everything is still standing. And my prized bottle of Casamigos Tequila with George Clooney's autograph is still right where it should be. Not shattered on the floor in a million pieces. (oh, the horror!)

My stud looking for a stud. ha ha

Each shelf is two pieces.

The shelf slides on the dowels. So clever!

Ta da!

Are there other cookbook fanatics out there? Or are you a digital recipe hunter?

Want your own barnwood sheves? You can buy them from Barnwood Designs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to make Zucchini Noodles

by Kris Mulkey

I've spent the past year coming up with creative ways to eat pasta-like dishes which don't contain any wheat or pasta. We tried spaghetti squash at my moms house last year. It exploded in the microwave and shot all over the kitchen. This was hysterically funny, as squash flew everywhere including all over the dogs head, but I wanted to try and avoid catastrophes. Plus I was looking for something that was more like a spaghetti noodle.

Lucky for me, Don bought me a fancy (and extremely sharp) mandoline a while ago, so I took it out of its ninja-like case and discovered I can slice zucchini in long julienne strips. The trick is to also not slice any fingers off. This has proved to be the most challenging part for me.

The zucchini noodles have a firm texture, mild flavor, and taste great with a tomato-based pasta sauce topped with a Parmesan cheese blend. We like these noodles so much we don't even miss pasta.

Zucchini Noodles
1 medium sized zucchini (per person)
salt and pepper
butter/olive oil


Cut the ends of each end of the zucchini. Slice the zucchini into long, thin, julienne strips. Season with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes on a plate. The salt will draw some of the water out of the zucchini. Drain the water. Pat the zucchini dry with a paper towel.

Heat a large saute pan on medium-high. Add a bit of butter/olive oil to the pan. Saute the zucchini for just a few minutes (2-3 minutes). It doesn't take long to cook.

Top noodles with your favorite pasta sauce and cheese.

Mandoline Slicer

This is the mandoline I have. You can buy it here for about $50.