Wow- last week was so terrible and awesome all at once, and in so many aspects of my life! When I talked about my new year’s resolutions, I spoke about a theme tying them all together- and that theme was balance. Let me tell ya, it’s been truly, truly tested this last week. Last week was very much like most of last year- good day at work, tough day at home; good day at home, tough day at work.
Out of all of the toughness of last week- I did discover something. See, last year, when something (anything, really) bad happened, I let it color my entire day, week, and sometimes month. I let anything bad drastically outweigh anything good that may have happened; and I found myself unable to enjoy much of my everyday life (because something bad was always bound to happen). It was dramatic, annoying, and unhappy.
Things at work haven’t really changed much- the same stupid stuff continues to happen, but I respond differently. Whereas before, I would silently rage about how I was mistreated- I stood up for myself this time. Several times, actually. That specific resolution about not being a doormat at work? It’s been tested so many times over this past month. But I’ve done it- I have voiced my concerns, my opinions, and my view on the iniquities at work; things have been a little bit better each time I do. That’s not to say, of course, that everyone always agrees with me- but I have found my voice.
So, I have achieved some measure of inner balance, even though the world around me hasn’t changed. That is very much what I had set out to achieve with these resolutions. I am kinda proud of myself! <3
In other news, I made Julia Child’s Onion Soup last week, which I think will be heavenly for braising a beef roast. It was delicious! She even teaches you how to do the croutons and cheese, if you want it gratineed. Of course, I halved the butter and used Olive Oil, and I really do think it was delicious!
5 c. yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. Whole Wheat Flour
1 qt. brown stock (or Fonds Brun, see 1st week’s post)
1 qt. water
1/2 c. dry white wine
salt & pepper to taste
In a 4 qt. pot, melt the butter in the oil over low-medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until softened but not yet browned. Add the salt and sugar, raise the heat to medium, and cook for about 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently. When onions are a deep caramel color, add the flour, and stir for about 3 minutes. Add the stock, water, and wine & whisk all of the flour off the bottom of the pot. Cover & simmer for another hour or more, to allow the flavors to deepen. Salt & pepper to taste.
Saturday, I undertook her recipe for Gnocchi with Mornay (Swiss Cheese) Sauce. It made the best gnocchi I have ever had- and I added in the green beans and cauliflower to the baked gnocchi, so that I could try a couple of recipes with Mornay Sauce at once! It was absolutely fabulous, comforting, and rich. The gnocchi were the most tender, delicious gnocchi I have ever tasted. I will say, though, that making the gnocchi was very time-intensive and labor intensive = not a good weeknight meal. The sauce was delicious and easy, though- and I will definitely make cauliflower or broccoli and cheese with that sauce again!
Here’s the recipe, at another fabulous foodie blog, with gorgeous pictures, explanations, and illustrations: Gnocchi Mornay. Seriously, if you have a snowy/rainy weekend day, this would be a really comforting, nice dinner. Also, we had some friends over while making this dinner- which I highly recommend because it makes a ton of gnocchi- and one of our friends had the fabulous idea to add sausage to it! And Mr. Handsome, of course, endorsed adding bacon to the dish, lol. So- we will be trying it with either/both of those!
Here are some pics of the gnocchi, which is purple because I used purple potatoes to make it!
The last thing I have to share is a project Mr. Handsome & I undertook yesterday- and completed in the same day. We made a headboard for our new king sized bed! It was desperately needed for the space- which, since we rent, is full of white, sterile walls. My inspiration came directly from this blog- Centsational Girl – and that link takes you directly to her website and step-by-step instructions for how to make the headboard. Now, she does call it a “Simple Tufted Headboard,” but being a newbie at this, I have to say, I didn’t think it was necessarily simple. It wasn’t super hard, either, but it took some doing, for sure. Surprisingly, Hubby was there every step of the way- from picking out fabric (shocking, I know), to picking out plywood, to tufting the darn thing (not easy, especially if you are using a small needle, lol!!). So, he definitely was a trooper through this- and also surprisingly, he loves the result!
So, here’s when we decided to document the making of the headboard: the plywood was cut and shaped. Important lesson learned: handsaws do not work for this. Just spend the extra $7 and get the jigsaw. Lol.
Seriously, he’s man’s best friend 🙂 xoxo
Here we are cutting out the foam to match the plywood:
And she is, too! <3
And once we had the foam cut out, we covered it in batting and stapled it to the wood. Important lesson #2: all staplers are not equal, and this project did not qualify as “light upholstery.” Second stapler bought, and the project moved forward, lol.
So after we successfully covered it in batting, it was time to cover it in the fabric we picked out together:
I love this fabric. It’s velvety. It’s chocolatey. It’s luxurious. Then, we had to tuft the darn thing. Important lesson learned #3: use a big BIG needle for this. Small ones turn into literal needles in a haystack. At this point, there may or may not have been some frustration (hint: there was SO MUCH frustration!!!)
But, it’s tufted. And gorgeous.
Then I attached the “D” Ring Hooks to the back to mount it to the wall while Chris put the nails in the studs. Important lesson #4: studs are usually spaced every 16 inches, no matter how badly you wish it was 15″, since you just installed the “D” ring Hooks 15″ apart. Just reinstall the stupid “D” Ring Hooks already. (Whose dumb idea was 16″ apart, anyway?!)
I started to lose my mind…and this is actually supposed to be me making a scary face! lol!!
So I had to redo the hooks…
And it’s done!!!
And I love love LOVE it. Happily ever after! <3