REFINISHING BENTWOOD CHAIRS

September 20, 2018

For a while I had these vintage bentwood chairs. I love this classic silhouette. They were dirty and in rough-ish shape, but I got them on craigslist a while ago for I think $20 or 30 for all of them!

They probably are not my most ideal dining chair. Maybe I will upgrade to something more comfortable in the future. But I like the look and they have my new biggest requirement for seating at dining areas – NO UPHOLSTERY (except for leather.) Got to be able to easily clean!

Working on furniture with lots of curves and nooks is a bit of a different strategy than when doing something more squared off like a dresser or shelf.

First we cleaned them with a damp cloth to get any obvious dust or easy dirt off. Then we did two rounds of citristrip gel on the entire chair to remove the old stain. The citristrip goes on with a paint brush then after thirty minutes you can remove the gel and the old stain with rags and steel wool.

David used a painters tool and a putty knife to clean out the many crannies where the citristrip got stuck and was unreachable with the rags. When the chairs were dry, we sanded everything with 120 grit sandpaper to remove any remaining residue. To get the chairs really clean and finish it off, a soapy rag and a toothbrush for detailing did the trick.

At this point the chairs were ready for a protective finish. We chose a rub-on water based polyurethane because I DID NOT WANT YELLOW-ING  and rub-on products work well for curved surfaces where brushes would leave drips.

To prep the surface for the polyurethane we sanded once more with 120 grit sandpaper then cleaned off the dust with a damp cloth. To apply the polyurethane, we used a lint free cloth saturated in the product to wet all the surfaces of the chair. You have to work fairly quickly since the water based finish dries quite fast.

We did three coats of the poly, lightly sanding with 120 grit sandpaper and cleaning the dust in between coats (except for the last one!). To make sure the finish cured all the way we left them outside for a few days before using them.

They were more orange-y before and I much prefer the look of the natural wood with just clear poly! That makes us one step closer to finishing the dining room. Now I just have to get this stupid vintage rug I bought clean!

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SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

September 17, 2018

Eating this for lunch one day, a couple friends asked me what I was having. It’s hard to reply “spaghetti carbonara” and not feel pretentious. So I was downplaying as much as possible and sneaking out the words. BUT IT’S REALLY NOT A COMPLICATED DISH. You could do it. And then you can be non-chalant with your impressed friends.

The other reaction people have is, “Oh. What actually is spaghetti carbonara?” Simply a pasta dish based on eggs, cheese, and pepper.

It’s popular to add green peas too. And I, of course, did bacon.

Fettuccine CarbonaraSpaghetti Carbonara
Serves four

1 pound bacon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces linguine
1 cup frozen peas
1 egg
1 cup grated parmesan
6 green onions, sliced

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Do not drain bacon fat when done. Season bacon with pepper.

Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Add peas one minute before cook time is finished. Reserve one cup of pasta water.

Whisk 2 tablespoons pasta water into warm bacon fat.

In a small bowl, whisk egg. Add 2 tablespoons of bacon fat mixture to egg and whisk together. (This warms it up so it won’t scramble when added to pan.)

Add all of egg mixture to pan and stir. Toss with linguine, peas, parmesan, and green onions.

Top with additional parmesan.

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bacon
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 6 green onions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Do not drain bacon fat when done. Season bacon with pepper.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Add peas one minute before cook time is finished. Reserve one cup of pasta water.
  3. Whisk 2 tablespoons pasta water into warm bacon fat.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk egg. Add 2 tablespoons of bacon fat mixture to egg and whisk together. (This warms it up so it won't scramble when added to pan.)
  5. Add all of egg mixture to pan and stir. Toss with linguine, peas, parmesan, and green onions.
  6. Top with additional parmesan.

Adapted from Six Seasons.

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QUICK CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

September 13, 2018

We really like enchiladas! A special thing about this recipe is it has kind of become David’s forte. If, for some reason, he is making me dinner maybe for a special occasion, this is one of his go-tos. For anyone they are QUICK and GOOD.

I love pretty much all mexican food, but enchiladas are like all the great things about tacos with a warm and baked saucy-ness that makes them kind of like a more cozy mexican option. Cooler months are coming! I am READY.

As for sauce, I have made my own in the past. But for convenience, there’s a brand I’ve found and really liked called “frontega” that is in all my normal grocery stores. They have a green and red version. We are fans of both and normally switch between them.

Quick Chicken EnchiladasQuick Chicken Enchiladas
Serves eight enchiladas

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I use a rotisserie chicken)
15 ounces black beans
15 ounces corn
3 cups mexican cheese, divided
1 tablespoons taco seasoning
8 tortillas
1 cup enchilada sauce (homemade or store-bought)
Cilantro
6 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together chicken, black beans, corn, 2 cups of cheese, and taco seasoning.

Fill tortillas with mixture and roll, folding in the ends of tortilla.

Place enchiladas in a 9×13 baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Top with cilantro and green onion.

Quick Chicken EnchiladasQuick Chicken Enchiladas

5.0 from 2 reviews
QUICK CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 15 ounces black beans
  • 15 ounces corn
  • 3 cups mexican cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • Cilantro
  • 6 green onions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Stir together chicken, black beans, corn, 2 cups of cheese, and taco seasoning.
  3. Fill tortillas with mixture and roll, folding in the ends of tortilla.
  4. Place enchiladas in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes.
  6. Top with cilantro and green onion.

 

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