Friday, June 22, 2018

Dreamy Boho Garden Spaces III

Dreamy. image via nature

There is nothing more beautiful than nature itself, which is perfectly expressed amid Bohemian decor full of the colors and textures of nature, but with a dreamy, ethereal vibe that only Boho style allows. 

Take a peek and be inspired by these amazing and beautiful Boho garden spaces and maybe you will add a touch of this relaxed, colorful style to your own home and garden decor. 

Colorful hanging lanterns add beautiful bursts of bright color

Cow skulls& succulents image cowgirl magazine

Pitch an amazing tie dye tent

Upcycle an old tin lunch box or biscuit box and use as a charming planter

A vintage dining set below a sunlit arbor of grapevine leaves

Boho moon bird feeder

Add cushions to tree stumps

Create a Celtic knot or mandala with stones

Cozy cushions and pillows for lounging and reading or meditating

Water lily in concrete stone trough via Pinterest

Grapevine wreaths with succulents as dreamcathers

Amazing boho garden spaces

Create your own Boho mobile windchime with branches or driftwood. Attach stones, shells, and beads with bits of old chain or cord.

Moss covered Buddha. Encourage moss growth with buttermilk. 

Which is your favorite? 

Have a great week!

Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

What Is City Chicken? Old Fashioned City Chicken Recipe

If you have never heard of City Chicken then read on!

What is City Chicken? What is the origin of City Chicken?
City Chicken is a Depression-era meal that is not found in cookbooks. Believe it or not, there was a time in history (pre-1940's) when chicken was actually more expensive than pork, veal, or beef. Poultry farms weren't yet industrialized and available everywhere like they are today, so chicken wasn't as accessible as you might think. 

Yup, it's true! Since folks couldn't afford the expensive chicken, they would use pieces of pork, veal, and/or steak, and skewer them onto a bamboo skewer, bread with seasoned breading, and then fry and/or bake. What exactly is City Chicken? It's not chicken at all, but is made from other meats and shaped to look like a drumstick! 

So gather your supplies, whip up a batch of mashed potatoes and gravy, saute some asparagus or fresh green beans, and make your first batch of City Chicken! 

Best City Chicken Recipe

For this recipe you will need:
Bamboo skewers (about 8 inch long)
Shake & Bake Pork flavor
*For the meat, I use about 1 lb of pork and 1 lb of steak, for about 4 people, so you can adjust accordingly:
Lean pork cubes (I use cup up boneless pork chops)
Lean steak cubes
2 large eggs
splash of milk (about 1/4 cup)
Olive Oil & Crisco solid shortening

Gather all ingredients.
1. Soak the bamboo skewers in warm water for a while before you start, at least 30 minutes is good, a few hours is better. While they are soaking, find a casserole dish that will accommodate the length of the skewers for when you bake them in the oven (I usually use a big lasagna pan).

2. Cut pork and steak into bite-sized pieces for skewering.

3. Skewer the pork and steak cubes onto the bamboo skewers, alternating pork and steak. Do not fill the entire skewers end-to-end, instead leave some space at each end. One inch or so is good. This will make them easier to handle.

4. Put Shake & Bake coating into the bag provided (you can also use regular bread crumbs if you prefer. I find the Shake & Bake makes them nice and crispy).

5. In a pie plate or dish large enough to fit the skewers, beat the two eggs with the milk. 

6. Doing one skewer at a time, dip the meat-filled skewer into the egg and milk mixture and coat the meat on the skewer completely.

7. Allow excess egg to drip off of the skewer and then place the skewer in the bag with the breadcrumbs/Shake & Bake and coat the meat completely with the coating, using your hand outside the bag to squeeze the coating onto the meat. Squeezing it on will make the breading stick very well. Remove skewer from bag and set aside on a plate. Repeat steps above until all skewers are filled with meat, dipped in egg mixture, and breaded. 

8. In a large frying pan melt about 1/3 cup of Crisco solid shortening on medium-low heat until melted and hot - you can use half Crisco and half olive oil instead, or whatever frying of that you prefer. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Once shortening/oil is hot, place a few of the breaded meat skewers into the oil and lightly fry to brown the outsides for just a minute or two each. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Use tongs to turn them and once they are brown, remove them and place them on a plate covered with paper towels to drain off the excess oil. 

10. Once all skewers are fried and drained, turn off the oil and remove from heat. Transfer each of the skewers from the paper towels to a lasagna dish or other casserole dish. Cover with foil.

11. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for one hour.

12. Optional: bake for an additional 5 minutes with foil removed to dry out a bit if they look too wet. 

Soak the skewers ahead of time so they won't singe when you fry and bake them

Prepare your egg and breading mixes and set aside

Cube your pork and beef into bite-sized pieces

Skewer the pork and beef, alternating them if you like

These are ready to be dipped in the egg mixture and then breaded

Breaded and ready to be fried up

Fry for a just a minute or two to brown the outsides

Drain the fried skewers on paper towels to blot off extra fat and then place them in a baking dish, cover, and bake for one hour

From oven to table! Golden baked City Chicken. Best city chicken recipe ever!

Serve with a veggie of your choice and mashed potatoes and gravy: perfect comfort food!

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I hope you enjoyed this post.
Please leave me a comment below!

Have you ever eaten City Chicken? 

Have a great week!

Article & images copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tropical Plants, Succulents and Cactus Plants Made From Upcycled Plastic Bottles

At first glance, they look like window sills full of little cactus plants and succulents. But take a closer look! 

Yup, those are all plants made from recycled - or upcycled - plastic water bottles and plastic soda bottles. Awesome, right?!

Which is your favorite? 

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

Monday, June 18, 2018

Rock Hunting Surprise: Early American Revolution-Era Slag Glass

I collect rocks. I also love to look for arrowheads, and anything else old and cool and interesting. I love history, especially American history, so these items fascinate me. 

I recently turned my oldest daughter into a rock and arrowhead-hunting addict—she's been bitten by the bug too so we search together, which is so much fun. 

Walking along a riverbed recently we came across a unique find - a few chunks of slag glass scattered and semi-buried along a riverbank. Bright to deep blue, green, and turquoise, this glass is a by-product of an American Revolution-era forge from a ways up river. Washed down the river and buried over a span of about 250 years, it found its way to my feet. 

I love the history—as well as the look and feel of the imperfect chunks of glass, and knowing their age and origin makes them even cooler. 

Finding a piece of slag glass that is close to 250 years old. I wondered if this could be made into a piece of unique and beautiful jewelry.... hmmm

Here are just a few pieces that I found during one walk. It's neat to see the different colors, the different shades of blue and green, as well as how the different pieces are in different stages of form - you can see how some are kind of frozen in their once-molten stage, full of holes from air bubbles, air pockets, with traces of metal or minerals present, and how other pieces are in clear, more smooth vitreous, glassy form. 

The bottom left piece is butterscotch jasper, and I suspect it is a piece of an ancient arrowhead or Native American Indian tool, as there was no other jasper visible in the area and it's shape and form fit that of an arrowhead common to our region. 

Stay tuned for some unique jewelry creations made from some of this very cool glass, which has a history as unique as it's look and range of colors and textures!

What do you think?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved

Sunday, June 17, 2018

New Broken China Jewelry Dishfunctional Designs

Here's a quick look at some of the new pieces of broken china jewelry that I finished this week and just listed in my Etsy shop. Broken china necklaces, pendants, hearts, lots of new pretty pieces and some with patterns that I haven't used in a while. 

I have more in the works so be sure to check back again for the first look at my new pieces. I have been trying to go through some of my inventory of plates and dishes and pull out some patterns that I haven't worked with in a while...I hope to get some new pieces made with some of those patterns over the summer.

What do you think?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved