BEFORE & AFTER - RETRO STOOL GOES MOD

http://oilandblue.blogspot.com/2015/07/before-after-retro-stool-goes-mod.html

I know, I know, someone somewhere out there has been searching for this exact vintage stool and I've ruined their lives.  Okay, now we can move on.

I found this stool for half price at a thrift store, which is almost nothing (or, $1.50) and loved the legs and the lines but not so much the shiny chrome and the heart-shaped back rest.  Yes, it's old and I did cut off the heart shaped back, but, in my defense, I kept the amazing gold flecked upholstery!  See, I'm not so bad after all.  At least no books were harmed in the making of this project.

BEFORE & AFTER - UPDATE A BRASS CEILING FAN

http://oilandblue.blogspot.com/2015/07/before-after-update-brass-ceiling-fan.html

Don't replace an outdated ceiling fan- those suckers are expensive!  Instead, consider painting it a different color.  I'm not a huge fan (haha, so punny) of the spray-paint-everything-in-sight-watch-out-pets-and-small-children-nothing-is-sacred pinterest-fueled trend of using a can of paint to fix your decorating woes, but in small doses it can do wonders.  In the 1990's the ceiling fans in our house would have been glorious.  In a 100+ year old Victorian house, though, our shiny look-at-me brass ceiling fans were woefully out of place.  The Man let me know that replacing them with a regular light fixture was out of the budgetary and reasonable things question- he's definitely my voice of reason.  Plan B: paint the ceiling fans! Weee!

There was one little catch- I couldn't take them off of the ceiling if I wanted to do this myself, and I wanted to do this myself.  For one, I don't trust myself with electrical things.  After I electrocuted myself just by hanging wallpaper (who does that?!), I didn't feel like tempting fate.  Secondly, I have the arm strength of a 5'2" T-Rex. Holding up a fan motor while removing it from the ceiling and standing on a ladder that has a leg nearly chewed off by a squirrel because we left it outside once would also be tempting fate.  So, I figured out a way to paint it nicely while it was still attached to the ceiling. 

Click through below for the how-to steps and the before and after (hooray for actually remembering to take before and after pictures!).

LEMON THYME GRILLED POTATOES

http://oilandblue.blogspot.com/2015/07/lemon-thyme-grilled-potatoes.html

The rain and humidity brought a sad and early end to my potatoes this year.  Blight hit them the worst, along with my tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and squash.  The survivors are on a steady diet of a milk and baking soda spray solution and I think they'll pull through.  My potatoes were another story- they withered and yellowed and died within just a few days and I couldn't save them.  It wasn't all bad, though, it just meant that we'd be eating lots of itty bitty new potatoes as quickly as we could.

It was a year of purple for my garden.  I tried out growing indigo rose tomatoes, purple kale, purple peppers, and, purple potatoes!  Well, they say they're blue and they are in the store, but when you dig these out of the ground they are the most beautiful jewel toned amethyst color you've ever seen in a tuber!

Anyhow, I'll cut to the chase and give you this easy recipe.  It's perfect as a side dish to grilled burgers or anything else that you're making on the grill because it's too darned hot outside to cook inside.

CLASSIC APPLE GALETTE

http://oilandblue.blogspot.com/2015/06/easy-apple-galette.html

Apple pie is, of course, the perennial favorite of all the pies.  Whether it's a crumbly-topped Dutch Apple or a double-cruster, apple pie is definitely the king of pastries here in the U.S. of A.  I love the making and the eating, but for some reason, I can't stand the part where I have to put the crust into the pie pan.  Maybe I have a deep down suppressed fear of pie pans after some unfortunate incident with one as a child (I'm cautious around glass pop bottles after one shattered and cut me as a kid- I guess that dates me a bit, too).  Or, maybe I like the freedom of just tossing the crust on a pan, dumping the ingredients in, and flopping the edges up.  I think I kind of understand the joy of "dump cakes" now, although I still maintain that the name should be changed.

Regardless of your stance on pies, pop bottles, or dump cakes, I think you'll like this apple galette.  It's a crowd pleaser, it's easy, and it looks like something you picked up at a french bakery. Win, win win!

FIRE ROASTED JALAPENO MANGO SAUCE

http://oilandblue.blogspot.com/2015/06/fire-roasted-jalapeno-mango-sauce.html

This is another one of those oh-crap-I-don't-know-what-to-get-the-man-who-has-everything presents for my dad.  My dad just buys whatever he needs and my mom takes care of the socks and dress shirt thing.  I think dads kind of get screwed over on Father's Day- Moms get presents and dinners and flowers and dads get ties and socks or some Pinterest craft.  I don't know about anyone else's dads, but mine wouldn't exactly be thrilled about a poster with candy glued to it and a cheesy poem about how his coolness relates to candy bars.  Maybe one king-sized snickers that also came with spending a whole day with his kids and in-laws.  Or a six-pack of beer (please don't arrange it into a cake and tie ribbons on it- this is Father's Day, not a baby shower) that comes with a huge steak dinner, a nice new set of sharp knives, and a day spent fishing- now we're talking.  Dads are practical.  Dads like food.  Dads like manly things.  Dads like spending time with their kids.  If you don't like the idea of food, though, I also wrote a post on Manly Presents that you can make yourself.

In that line of thought, I made some of this spicy, garlicy, just a little sweet sauce to go with the beef jerky that I made for him this year.  I may throw in a cutting board, too (let's face it, they get ruined when you leave them in a sink of dishes or lazily run them through the dishwasher- I'm totally guilty of both).  You can almost never have too many nice, small cutting boards.

Just a quick note, I didn't actually can/process this stuff, so keep it in the fridge.  It won't last long in there, I promise! ('cause you'll eat it, not 'cause it will go bad- it should actually last several weeks in the fridge).

EASY BEEF JERKY

http://oilandblue.blogspot.com/2015/06/easy-beef-jerky.html

Father's day is just around the corner and I've been scrambling to find something for my dad.  It's hard when you get to be this age.  A gold pasta picture frame is no longer acceptable, yet I don't make enough money to gift my parents with cool vacations or grandbabies.  I'm stuck in the middle and need to make gifts, but I'm almost always at a loss for ideas.  Homemade gifts usually ride a very fine line between really crappy and wonderfully thoughtful.  Unfortunately, most DIY father's day gift ideas out there are for little kids to make and they look like it.  Apparently I'm not "adulting" very well and, just like when I shop for shoes, I'm relegated to the kids section on this one.  Maybe someday...

Anyways, I scoured pinterest and googled my little heart out for "cool Father's day gifts" and "Father's Day gifts he'll actually like" to no avail.  I've already exhausted my Manly Presents blog post by giving all of those things at Christmas.  Jeez, I have no self control when it comes to gifting.  So, I resorted to food.  I thought beef jerky was a pretty safe one, too, as I don't know a man alive who doesn't love it.  I present to you, easy beef jerky: