Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Creative Kitchen Crafts!

This week I started a little project for our new kitchen (premature I know, but I saw something similar online and it looked fun!).  For the original project I saw, they took a simple metallic tart pan, and placed a recipe printed out on fancy paper in the middle.  Then, voila!  Wall art that's fun and functional!

I like the idea, but after looking at different tins I decided to change it up a little bit.  The metallic looking ones didn't really fit with the idea I have for a more country kitchen feel, and the ones that did were way too expensive to hang on a wall.  So, I bought three different size cake pans and a giant paint brush and went home to get to work!
All the supplies!  Ready to rock and roll!
Over the last day and a half, I painted each one a different color using paint I already had - one red, one yellow, and one brown.  It took about 4 coats of paint with an hour to dry in between each one.  I would definitely suggest using some sort of spray sealant on the pans once you've painted them so that nothing chips off.

Next, I picked recipes we often use and Colin always requests whenever I ask him what he'd like for dinner :)  I picked a fun font, and printed them out!  I saved the informational papers from the inside of each tin so that I knew how big to cut the circles.  I wish I had nicer paper to use, but our Walmart is currently under construction and has limited sections open.  Of course - crafting isn't one of them.  Unfortunately, we don't have any other crafting stores in Glens Falls.  Sad, right?  I'm thinking I may change it out once we move and have more of a selection.

Finally, all you have to do is add a picture frame hook on the back with super glue, and you've got yourself some functional wall art!

The finished products!
After $6.50 for the small cake pan, $7 for each large one, and $2 for the paint brush, I was able to get everything I need for only a little over $20!  Keeping in mind I already had the paint and the wall hooks.  It would also be a fun ongoing project to search thrift stores for different size pans, and continue adding to a recipe wall.  Functional art is the best!

In honor of this fun project,  I've decided I'm going to share these recipes with YOU! So click in to read more.

Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5½ cups milk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4½ cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
1¼ cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound elbow macaroni

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Tear bread into small cubes and place in a medium bowl.   In a separate medium bowl heat milk in the microwave. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

Cook macaroni 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s time.  Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1½ cups cheddar and ½ cup Gruyere or ¼ cup pecorino Romano; melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss.  Scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake 30 minutes. 

I initially got this recipe from Martha Stewart, but tweaked it a little bit to work better for us.  It is without a doubt the best mac I've ever made/had.  But, this is coming from a girl who thought absolutely no one could ever top Kraft.

Grilled Salmon

1½ lbs Salmon
Lemon Juice (or lemon pepper)
cup EVOO
cup Soy Sauce
cup Brown Sugar
cup water
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Marinate in mixture for at least 2 hours. Grill for 14 minutes, meat side down for the first 7 minutes, then flip.

So simple yet so Delicious!  Definitely one of our summer favorites.  Don't be weary about placing the salmon meat side down first, the brown sugar caramelizes and holds everything together.
Buffalo Turkey Burgers

        2 tablespoons EVOO
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 pounds lean ground turkey breast
    A palmful grill seasoning
    1/4 cup hot sauce
    1/4 cup (about a palmful) chives plus extra for garnish, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
    3 stalks of celery, cut into sticks

In a large bowl, mix the turkey, grill seasoning, hot sauce, chives, parsley, garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Form 4 large patties.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with two tablespoons EVOO.  Saut√© the burgers about 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Serve on toasted bun with ranch.  Instead of fries, serve carrots and celery.

This is a take on something I saw on Rachel Ray, and a Glens Falls classic (she's originally from the Adirondacks!) She uses blue cheese, and more garnish, but we like to keep it simple.  They are absolutely a delicious alternative to a regular burger.

 I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have!  If you test one out, let us know how it went in the comments! Also, in honor of the warm muggy day we had here in NY, feel free to add any summer favorites your family enjoys!

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