Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed!

This was what I meant to title the post a few days ago when I once again felt the urge to blog about what was going on here in my delightful apartment. My bed has finally arrived! On Tuesday, my dear Da came and helped me take the horrible metal Ikea death trap back to the evil place from whence it came, set up my new AWESOME golden pine "Liberty Loft" as it is called by the company that makes it, and took me on a massive grocery shopping trip. Ikea isn't really evil, just the bed I guess, and now we have some store credit which is kind of fun! Finally finally finally I have managed to get settled in, and my first week of summer school is over. This afternoon, I reorganized the kitchen and did some final clean up, and took pictures of the finished product! Hurrah for Bag End!

 So this is the living room, and my beloved comfy couch! Above the couch I have a super gorgeous Monet print. The cushion and carpet mach the couch awesomely considering they were things my flat mate S's mom just happened to have! The lamp is from Target, I think, and the table and chairs were a consignment store purchase once again by S's mother. Thank you so much! The napkins on the couch are some super cute things I picked up at Ikea in the "As Is" department, which is where all of the real bargains are!

 SO CUTE! I think I want to make them into a bag of some sort, but I'm not quite sure yet. Anyhow, on with the tour!
I ended up totally reorganizing the kitchen yesterday, finally. The blue bins on top of the fridge are breakfast food and bread, and the brown one on top of the cabinet is baking supplies such as flour, sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips, etc. In the slow cooker on the stove, which I am learning to love love love is cranberry barbeque chicken breast that turned out ABSOLUTELY DELISH! I also made a simple beef stew earlier in the week, essentially tomato soup, carrots, potatoes, and stew beef. I am excited to experiement with it, maybe put in some celery and peas next time. The gorgeous little red and white china pot that holds spatulas, whisks, etc. is another thing picked up from my favorite thrift store, and then salvaged from mummy's garden (sorry mum!). I just installed the magnetic rack thingy above the stove and I must say I really like it already for convenience and storage of metal kitchen items that I want handy.
Now, these two bins may not be much to look at artistically, but I am so excited about them, because they have all of my new spices and necessary cooking supplies! I must say, I am really surprised at how much I adore cooking. I guess it falls in line with my crafty creative self, but I always just assumed I would be rubbish at it ( as did my parents, friends, and boyfriend). Having cooked yummy food three times in a row now, I am gaining confidence and really learning to love making good food. To paraphrase one of my fave web comics (Questionable Content) "Cooking is wonderful! It's like science for hungry people!"

This is the first thing I cooked and it was SO GOOD!! The recipe is from Church Suppers: 722 Favorite Recipes From Our Church Communities, a cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas last year. I reproduce the recipe here with the disclaimer that its not mine, I am not doing it for profit, and it was originally someone's home recipe so sharing it is hopefully not illegal or offensive. Anyway, its a christian recipe book so I figure sharing is par for the course!

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BBQ Roasted Salmon
Courtesy of Cathy Jobe, Northbrook United Methodist Church, Roswell, Georgia

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 (6 ounce) salmon filets
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cooking spray
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Combine the first three ingredients in a zip lock bag; seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the fish from the bag and discard the marinade. Combine the sugar and the next five ingredients in a bowl. Rub the mixture over the fish. Place the fish in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

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When I made this, I actually forgot to put the cooking spray on the baking dish, and I only marinated the salmon for an hour, but it was honestly one of the most delicious salmon dishes I have ever eaten, high end restaurants and living in a coast side town notwithstanding. We ate it with broccoli and lemon, fried rice leftovers, and sourdough bread. Yum! My parents were absolutely ::shocked:: that I had cooked something for myself other than instant mac and cheese.

Anyway, moving on from the kitchen area and my newfound cooking obsession, here is the rest of the house!
Bookshelf in the living room, Ikea. Another Monet print!
My beloved walk in closet. The mirror was a steal from my ever favorite thrift store, $10!!! I finally have everything unpacked and hung up. Sorry about the picture quality, there is no natural light in here and the non flash pictures came out super fuzzy.
This is my darling roomie A's side of the room. She is not in residence, sadly, but for now my childhood bed, now her bed, is acting as a sofa/futon relaxing kindle-reading area. The picture above the bed is my mother's water color! Isn't it just b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. ? I can't believe she let me have it!!
This is my desk/sewing area under my bunk! The hanging pictures are, from left to right, a print of my mom's favorite painting, a tulip painting from the thrift store, and an Alfonse Maria Mucha print on wood that I got from a local street vendor. The first picture is more in focus, but the second is much more true to life as far as the light in the room, so I decided to post them both and maybe you can kind of just merge them together in your mind?
Finally, here is my pride and joy! It is so sturdy and pretty. I really like the natural wood color and it never shakes or wobbles when I am climbing up and down. I have always wanted to have a loft bed, since my brother had bunk beds to himself. It could be a pirate ship or the swiss family robinson or a castle fort, all with a few blankets and some imagination! Now I finally have my own awesome loft. It is a lot different form being on the top bunk in a dorm too, now that I don't have to deal with a person under me who talks in their sleep... you know who you are <3 but I still love you E! I also really like the desk/bed setup. The ceilings are higher here than in the dorm, so I the space under the bed is comfortable enough that I don't have to watch my head every time that I stand up, but I also have enough room to sit up in bed with no worries! It is just a dream. I am so in love with my whole apartment that I can forgive it its shortcomings, which is does have. Where you may ask?
This is my bathroom, whose ceiling has been leaking on and off since we leased the place. It has been kind of a hassle, but I really actually like my repair guy, David. My landlord insisted on calling in a plumber as well, thus the hole in the ceiling, but I really agree with David that the whole thing could have been solved with some well placed caulking in just one visit if the idiots upstairs didn't insist on ignoring his instructions not to shower for 24 hours. As annoying as the experience has been, I am now on good terms with the repair guy for my building, which can only be a blessing as he is also coaching me about how to convert two prong outlets into three, tightening my locks, replacing my kitchen and bathroom light fixtures, and telling me where not to hang pictures because water pipes run through the walls. (Apparently S's room used to be a kitchen) Anyway, the whole thing is moving towards resolution. I was happy my mom didn't say I told you so after her warnings that no apartment was perfect and I insisted that this one was the exception to the rule.

So, that's essentially the place! I am so glad I finally had some time to sit down and write this post what with laundry, organizing, moving in, and 3 hours of Japanese class plus 5-6 hours of studying per day. Its really hard but I hope I will eventually gain some semblance of fluency. Anyway, I am off now maybe to collage, maybe do some altered booking, or maybe just nap and read Nero Wolfe mysteries on my trusty kindle. Have an awesome weekend!

Ta!

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