Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The art of making new things old

Just last week I went over to my friend's mother's house and she taught us how to antique wood. The process is rather simple:

  • Paint the wood (a couple coats are good).
  • You can then paint a different color on top, so that when you sand it, the 1st color comes up (optional).
  • Sand the wood lightly and unevenly using sand paper that's 150-200 grain (I don't know if this is the correct terminology).
  • Stain the wood so that the part that was exposed through sanding is not bare. This step also brightens the color. 
  • Wipe off the stain. 
  • Add a wax to seal the project and protect it from water.
And that, my friends, is the art of making new things appear old.

*Keep in mind, I am not an expert. However, I do know that if something is already finished w/ a gloss, you will need to sand that down so that the paint will stick to the wood. More projects to come. Here is my first ever attempt in antiquing a piece of furniture (refer to picture).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Portuguese Fish Stew

I found this recipe at

 Portuguese Fish Stew

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons paprika (smoked or sweet)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds skinless striped bass, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 slices crusty bread, toasted

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves and paprika and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

Add 1 cup water and reduce the heat to medium low. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then nestle the pieces among the vegetables in the pan. Cover and simmer until the fish is just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Divide the stew among bowls. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro. Serve with the bread.

*I pureed all of the veggies and used tomato sauce to eliminate any chunks. Also I used Cod because Striped Bass is hard to find here in MT.