Friday, August 24, 2012

Ta-da the table is done and a quick stir-fry - just cause it's Friday!

Every good story has a twist and a turn when you aren't quite expecting it.  I think this dining room set turned out the same way for me.

I had the best intentions of turning it into a cream and red masterpiece.  I put a coat of cream on everything and well it wasn't calling my name.

Just when I had resigned myself to a blah table, Ms. Sugar Overlord dared me to paint it blue.  Hello, I couldn't say no to a dare and now I'm the proud owner of this blue masterpiece.  So please go thank Sharon for her brilliant dare and feel free to partake in some of her yummy recipes while you are over there.

Putting the blue over the cream created an instant antiqued finish.  I used a new paint I found at
Lowe's.  I had been reading up on chalk paint and was thinking this was their version of it.

Not sure if I'd use the paint again.  It was difficult to get an even coat and I tried putting a sealer on the finished paint and it took the paint right off.  I had to sand half of it and re-do it.  Then I used a finishing wax, which didn't take the paint off, but I don't think the finish is going to be durable for the long run.  Good thing I was going for an antique look and I don't care if it gets beat up down the road.

Once I saw the finished table I knew the red fabric I had picked out wasn't gonna make the cut, so I swapped it out for a black and cream toile.

I also swapped band-aids often, because pulling all those staples and nails is rough on the manicure.

I took a detour from the project to make some special birthday cupcakes for a super special friend.  I know these mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream, salted caramel drizzle and a macaron put a smile on her face. You guys probably wouldn't want the recipe for these; they were horrible (absolute lie).

Ever had one of those long weeks when you just need something fast and good?  Try this Italian beef and veggie stir-fry with orzo.  It only takes a few minutes and maybe it will save you from the cupcakes in lieu of dinner route.

You'll need a few things:
8 ounces Orzo pasta
1 pound beef fajita meat
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
2 or 3 zucchini
Olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Put a small stock pot half full of water on to boil.  When the water is boiling, add a little bit of salt to the water and then add the orzo.  Stir and cook till done, about 8-10 minutes.    

People sometimes complain about cooking orzo because it's hard to drain.  I have one of those pots with a draining lid and I love it because the water drains and the pasta stays in the pot.  

Put a skillet on medium high heat, add a little bit of olive oil then add the meat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a plate when done.

Cut all the vegetables into 1 inch pieces and add them to the empty skillet, cook for 5 or 6 minutes or until al-dente.  I like veggies crisp, but if you like them softer just leave them on a couple of extra minutes.

Drain the pasta, but leave a 1/2" or so of the cooking liquid in the pan.  Add the butter and cheese and grind black pepper over the top.  I like lots, but it's up to you.

Leaving a little water makes the orzo extra creamy.  Serve the veggies and meat over the orzo.

Serves 3-4.
Happy Friday,



  1. The table and chairs look great! I really like the blue with the black and cream toile.

  2. Thanks Kath, I'm happy with it now too.

  3. Good job Cookie Queen, it looks great!!

  4. The table & chairs are beautiful, I need you to obviously give me some lessons in upholstery. Very impressive.

  5. The table and chair set is stunning. Wow, you did such a great job.

    I'm loving the orzo dish. I've only recently discovered it and am a big fan so you know I'll be all over this one. :)

  6. You have done a fantastic job my frinend, and what a beautiful stir fry to top it off :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. GIna,
    I. love your new color combination. Very impressive! I definitely need DIY help.

  8. Congrats on the new table and chairs! You did an amazing job of changing the entire look. Your stir fry was probably a welcome sight! Looks very tasty!!!

  9. Your table and chairs came out great! Hope your fingers are feeling much better. But are you really not going to tell us about the mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream and salted caramel drizzle? 'cause THAT'S JUST WRONG, GINA! ;P Happy weekend to you, just the same!

  10. You did a GREAT job! Congratulations, Gina.
    Love quick stir-fry, Friday or not.

  11. You are SO creative!!! I've painted walls, but never a piece of furniture. Well done!!! And I really do like the blue. And the stir fry? Yep... I'm loving that too!

  12. Your table and chairs came out great-love the blue table;-) After all that work on the table you still made dinner-very impressive my friend! My MIL always made a dish with orzo and it was pretty good as I recall, will have to give your recipe a try;-)

  13. The blue turned out great - and that fabric is perfect for it. Good job! And good job with the stir fry too - sounds wonderful. Thanks for this.

  14. Your table and chairs turned out absolutely beautiful. You are so talented not just with cooking and baking but taking on a job like this is 'sheer' love! You must love to do painting-staining, upholstery, and most like are great with crafts, as well!
    Love the stir-fry over the orzo. Gives it more of a 'rustic' touch, and taste!

  15. Wow Gina it turned out beautiful! What a brilliant idea or dare Sharon gave you. All the colors in the room look great, and that bright light really makes the table and chairs shine:) The stir fry looks delicious! Yes, I've been having that kind of week for about a month now. Lol. Hope you are doing great!

  16. that table takes my breath away! i have the ugliest, chipped green thing and i just haven't got up the guts to do something really interesting with it. you have inspired me.

  17. The table looks beautiful, Gina! I know I was a fan of the cream, but the blue works very well!

  18. Oh my! The table looks FABULOUS! I've been loving that shade of blue lately. Thank you for sharing both your experiment and this quick and fresh stir fry. Too good!

  19. I seriously love your blue table and hope you will use it for your photo shoot! I'm jealous. I had been wanting to paint our old desks for my son and daughter (we had two sets) but I was way too lazy and I give away to someone who wanted them. Grr.. Now I feel like I could use it for photo shoot on those desks (with two different colors!)

    Your stir fry looks easy and quick, a great recipe that I need for week night!

  20. I'm in love with the blue table! What a great color. Great tip on the paint, we had some problems with some paint we bought from Home Depot.
    The cupcake is so funny!

  21. It looks GORGEOUS!!! You made the right choice!

  22. Your table looks great! I love *love* the fabric!!

  23. Hi there Gina! AWESOME table, love it!! Thanks so much for the shout out too m'dear! Now I have to add a nommy recipe to keep up. I've been on a pie kick... maybe Raspberry this time. Anytime you need someone to dare ya, give me a shout! lol I'll be moving in Jan 2013 to Oregon from the East Coast. Maybe I'll dare ya to paint my new apartment. ;)