Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dinner of the Week: Roasted Pepper and Sweet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Evan makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich.  He adds all kinds of cheeses, veggies, and sauces to his, and this version below has got to be my favorite.  These sandwiches are full of sweet and spicy goodness.

Roasted Pepper and Sweet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Ingredients: 
- 4 small loaves of ciabatta bread
- 4 strips turkey bacon
- 1 package fat-free cream cheese
- 2 jalapenos
- Handful of grape tomatoes
- Orange marmalade

First, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat to cook the turkey bacon.  You can use regular bacon, too, but this is our attempt of being healthy.


Then, place the whole jalapenos in a small casserole dish, and drizzle with olive oil.  Broil them on high in the oven for 5 minutes to roast them. (I forgot to take a picture of this!)

Meanwhile, slice the ciabatta loaves in half.


Also slice up the grape tomatoes and the roasted jalapenos.


On the bottom piece of each ciabatta bread, slather on a 1/4 of the cream cheese packet.  Add the cooked turkey bacon and a couple slices of the grape tomatoes and roasted jalapenos.


Spoon out the orange marmalade and coat the top slice with it.  Place that slice onto the bottom half to make a sandwich.


Heat a dab of butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sandwiches to the skillet.  Cook on high for a few minutes on each side, until the bread is toasted and the cream cheese begins to ooze.


Slice each sandwich diagonally and serve immediately.  Enjoy!



The roasted jalapenos and cool marmalade provide the perfect spicy and sweet combination to these sandwiches.  I'm craving these just by looking at these pictures.



Hope you'll like them, too!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Get Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyDukes and DutchessesFunky Polka Dot GiraffeI'm Topsy TurvyMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee CraftsTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyLife with the Crust Cut OffThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThe Style SistersThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyIf It's Not BaroqueJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DIY Glass Tile Accent Wall

Our master bathroom is my little getaway.  Two years ago, I completely overhauled it by painting the walls and ceiling, refinishing the vanity, replacing the light fixtures and faucets, spray painting the tub faucet and other bathroom fixtures, framing the bathroom mirrors, and installing crown molding.

Remember the before?


Here's the after.  More photos may be found at my Master Bathroom Reveal post.



I absolutely adore the way this bathroom turned out, but wanted to take it one step further by installing a glass tile accent wall on the main wall above the garden tub.  Installing this wall took me a full weekend to do, but in all, it was easy, affordable, and well worth it.  A full tutorial of how to install a similar wall in your own home is below!


First, choose the tile you want for the wall.  Tile can get really expensive, but you can avoid that by checking out the clearance sections of any home improvement store near you.  I found these 12" x 12" meshed tiles on sale for $3 each at Lowe's.  Measure the wall by measuring and multiplying the wall's height by its width.  I recommend buying a few additional tile sheets than you actually need, just in case you make any mistakes along the way.


Other supplies you need:
- 1 tub of tile adhesive (also known as thinset or mastic)
- 1 mosaic tile cutter ($10-$15 at a home improvement store or craft store)
- 1-2 tubs of pre-mixed grout in a color of your choice
- 1 notched trowel
- 1 rubber grout float
- 2 large sponges
- 1 bucket and access to water
- 1 pair of scissors
- Disposable gloves (Or live it up and get dirty. That's the tomboy in me.)

Then, clear out the space.  Scrub the wall with a damp rag just to get rid of any dust or dirt buildup. Definitely place down a drop cloth or a couple of trash bags because this whole project is going to be real messy.


Start in the top or bottom corner of the wall, and complete one row at a time.  Scrape on a thin layer of adhesive onto the wall, using the straight side of your notched trowel.  You don't want to slather too much adhesive, or it'll ooze out from the cracks of the tile.  Work in small sections.


Once the layer of adhesive is good to go, run the notched end of the trowel over it to create a line of divets.  This will help set the tile firmly.


Then, place one sheet of tile directly onto the adhesive.  Press it down all over to ensure a tight grip.


Move on to the next, and repeat!


Use the mosaic tile cutter whenever you need cut the tile.  This tool is extremely effective and doesn't result in shattered or sharp glass.


To use it, simply place the two circular, sharp ends over the middle of the tile where you want it to be cut.  Then squeeze the handle (no prior scouring or anything is necessary!).


The tile piece should snap quickly in two.  You might have to squeeze a little harder if you're working with a combination of glass and stone tiles.


If the sheet of tiles is too big for the particular section you're working on, simply trim off the mesh backing with a pair of scissors.


And that's really it.  Easy, right?  The hardest part is that this is a tedious job, especially if you're covering an extra large surface completely with tile.  Turn on a movie or crank up some music to keep yourself from going stir crazy.


It took me about eight hours to complete the wall, so I waited to grout the tile until the next day.  If you want to get it all over with in one day, just wait at least 4-6 hours after you adhere the tile to the wall for the next step.


When you're ready to grout, you'll need your bucket(s) of pre-mixed grout, a rubber float, sponges, and a bucket.  Fill up the bucket with water.


Take a glob of grout onto the float, and swipe it across the wall in small sections.  The goal is to apply the grout without leaving behind too much grout on top of the tile.  The float will help ensure that the grout will be pressed into the grooves of the tile.  Feel free to use your hands to apply the grout if it's an awkward section and the float doesn't fit within it.


Dunk one of the sponges into the bucket just enough to dampen it.  Then scrub the section of tile with the sponge to remove all of the excess grout.   Rinse, wipe again.  This is really easy for glass tiles, but if you have any stone ones intermixed, you'll have to throw in a little more effort into scrubbing the grout off.  Take your dry sponge, as well, and then wipe off any water or grout residue that's left over.


Pick up the rubber float and grout again, and repeat the process until the wall's finished.  This part is pretty easy, but just like the adhesive step, it's time-consuming.  Definitely turn on some Netflix while you work.


When you're completely finished with grouting, you'll just need to buff the tile to make the glass shine.  I found that the easiest way to do this is to take one of those blue kitchen sponges (non-abrasive kind), soak it in water, and give the wall a thorough scrub.  Follow suit with paper towels to clean the water up.


Then, take a step back and enjoy your handiwork!






A few details: 





I absolutely love this wall; it's my favorite part about our DIY bathroom.  If I could, I'd install glass tile accent walls everywhere!


Where would you like to see a glass tile accent wall in your home?

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Get Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyDukes and DutchessesFunky Polka Dot GiraffeI'm Topsy TurvyMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee CraftsTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyLife with the Crust Cut OffThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThe Style SistersThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyIf It's Not BaroqueJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dinner of the Week: Skinny Chicken Tenders with Spicy Honey Mustard

I was one of those kids who ordered nothing but chicken tenders in restaurants.  I'm thankful my parents didn't want to disown me, and even more grateful that I grew out of that awkward phase.  However, that doesn't mean that I don't crave them from time to time! eMeals provided us with a recipe for "skinny" versions of my childhood favorite, which are cooked on the stove with healthier ingredients and never fried.  They are fantastic and perfect for everyone, especially those chicken tender aficionados you may have in your own home.

Skinny Chicken Tenders with Spicy Honey Mustard
Courtesy of eMeals.com

Ingredients: 
- 1 package fresh chicken tenderloins
- 1 cup Italian-style Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Your favorite hot sauce of choice

First, wash and clean the chicken tenderloins.


Add the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder in a mixing bowl.


Stir well, and set aside. 


Grab another bowl and beat the egg with milk.  Add approximately 1 teaspoon of hot sauce with the mixture, and stir well. 


Take one chicken tenderloin at a time and dust it completely with the flour mixture.


Then, toss it into the egg mixture to coat.  


Pour the panko bread crumbs onto a plate, and then take that same piece of chicken and coat it with the crumbs.  You may use bread crumbs instead if you prefer.  I had Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs on hand, so that's why these chicken tenders look a little green.


Repeat the same process for the rest of the chicken tenderloins.


Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Spray each chicken tender thoroughly with a non-stick cooking spray.  Then cook the tenderloins on each side for approximately 5 minutes each, until done.


To make the spicy honey mustard, combine the honey, mustard, and a a little hot sauce in a small bowl.  Continue adding hot sauce to taste.


Then enjoy!


I feel that the panko bread crumbs really make the difference here.  The crust is perfectly flaky while the chicken underneath is tender and piping hot.  The hot sauce and cayenne, too, helps give the chicken a little bit of heat, too.  These are, without a doubt, the best homemade chicken tenders I've ever had. I think this same coating would taste great on chicken parmesan, as well.


The homemade honey mustard dipping sauce was pretty amazing, too.  I had no idea that honey mustard was so easy to make.


Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Get Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyDukes and DutchessesFunky Polka Dot GiraffeI'm Topsy TurvyMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee CraftsTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyLife with the Crust Cut OffThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThe Style SistersThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyIf It's Not BaroqueJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

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