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Monday, May 30, 2011

Potluck Four Bean Salad

This recipe is a family favorite and is perfect for BBQs and potlucks. The vibrant colors of the different beans looks great and the dressing really brings out all the flavors.

I call it Grandma Freda's Bean Salad but I've been told its derived from a Betty Crocker recipe but I haven't found it on their web site. My Great Grandma Freda died 6 years ago and I always get nostalgic when I eat this salad. It reminds me of summer vacations I spent at her house as a child.

Makes about 10 cups.

2 cans cut green beans
2 cans wax beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 red onion
1 bell pepper (yellow or orange looks best)
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup salad oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

  1. Open all cans of beans, drain, and place beans in a large bowl.
  2. Slice bell peppers about the same size as the green or wax beans. Add to bowl.
  3. Cut onion into medium squares, about 5/8". Add to bowl.
  4. In a 2 cup glass measure, combine all remaining ingredients for the dressing. Whisk and pour over beans in the bowl. (I love the dressing so much, I usually double the dressing compared to the beans)
  5. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
Mix the ratios of beans based on your preferences. I like to add an extra can of wax beans. I don't like bell peppers so I don't usually include them unless its for a potluck while my grandmother leaves out the onions.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Custom Cover for an Ikea Henriksdal chair

Since we got married, we've had the leaf in our table to accommodate all of our house guests and have been using folding chairs for the extra chairs. It is about time the dinning table grew up! So this weekend I purchased 2 Ikea Henriksdal chairs for the ends of the table. The chair is about $60 and you can buy different covers for $10 to $30 based on the fabric.  But why not make your own custom cover to fit your decor?

1 $10 Ikea Gobo White cover
Large paper, like wax or wrapping paper or paper grocery bag

2.75 yards of 54" fabric (more if matching stripes)
0.25 yard of muslin or simple cotton
4 yards of 1 to 1.5" velcro... just the loop (soft side) only

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seasonal Decorating: Springtime

Decorating for holidays has always been a big tradition in our family. On the first day of every month my mother would have us all help take down the past month's decorations and put up the next month's.  Now I'm 'nesting' with my husband and creating our own holiday decorations.  We got married in October so I started decorating for my favorite holiday, Christmas. You can see a few pictures of the decorations in our Facebook photo album. I also kinda decorated for Valentines but didn't take any pictures because we had decided to upgrade our TV which lead to us getting a new couch, a new TV stand, a new coffee table and a new clock. It was a lot of work but we've finally finished rearranging our living room! Then it was my turn to decorate!

Springtime Decorations
The decorations all started with a remnant from Joann's. I love remnants!  They are small pieces of fabric, usually a yard or less at the end of a bolt and are 50% off!  We get a lot of remnants because most of our projects like our historic Barbie dresses don't need a lot of fabric.  The remnant was beautiful, but it was only 18" and I needed 18.5" inches to make an 18" pillow cover. So my mom, Jeanine, and I spent 15 minutes hunting for the bolt or roll of this beautiful modern cream, mustard, teal, green and brown leaf fabric that was perfect for my room.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find it anywhere.