Lemon Pantry DIY: Furniture Rehab

Hello again! I thought I'd try something different in the upcoming weeks.  Since the weather is finally warm enough to enjoy being outside I have a couple DIY posts coming your way! 
This week I've been enjoying the fruits of my labor on a dresser I found.  I liked this particular dresser because of the size and the drawers are slam-proof.  I got a great deal on it but didn't love the yellow/tan stain that was on it.  I currently have a vanity and bedside table that are stained white with some distressed, antique-y vibes so I decided to try my best and match them. 

I took pictures of my beside table and brought it to my local unfinished furniture store.  After a couple questions the gentleman there kindly directed me on what materials to use and walked me step-by-step through the process.  I think he could tell I was a newb. 
I ended up with a quart of "Snow White" waterbased paint (my recent obsession with Once Upon a Time was tickled) and a pint of "Vandyke Brown" waterbased glaze, both from General Finishes.
I also made a stop into Wal-Mart for some denatured alcohol, a paint brush and some water based polyurethane to help protect my dresser without it yellowing over the years.

First, I washed the dresser with a mixture of water and the denatured alcohol.  Next, up I sanded the entire thing.  I started out with sandpaper but soon moved to a sander to speed things up.

After wiping the dresser down, I began the first of 3 coats of Snow White paint.  Each layer took 2-4 hours to dry. 

Next up, was the more intricate part.  I watched a few YouTube videos for help and used the advice from the furniture guy to help me get the exact look I was going for.  Eventually, I ended up with a method that worked for me.  1) Paint a small section of the dresser with the brown glaze.  2) Wipe away excess with a damp cloth.  3) Go over with a dry paper towel to achieve a lighter glaze in some areas. 

Once the glaze was completely dry and looking the way I wanted, I worked quickly to apply a thin coat of the water based poly. 

Finally, I purchased some new knobs for each drawer and screwed them in. 

1 large bucket
1 or 2 cloths
1 quart denatured alcohol (plus equal parts water)
2 inch paint brush
3 inch paint brush
1 quart Snow White water based paint (General Finishes)
1 pint Vandyke Brown water based glaze (General Finishes)
8oz water based polyurethane (I used clear satin)


Pear and Fig Pizza Appetizer

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I went for a nice hike with my mom and dog, refurnished a new dresser I bought and enjoyed some R&R around the house between coats of paint.  After our hike on Saturday morning my mom and I stopped at the Blue Hill Co-Op as usual and they had some beautiful fresh figs for sale.  Now, figs can be pretty pricey, and by that I mean these were 15 dollars a pound(!).  You'll be happy to know this recipe only calls for 3 figs which comes in around a couple bucks and the flavor they add is totally worth it.
I made a recipe similar to this one a few years ago but since figs weren't in season at the time, I settled for fig jam and used it as the sauce for this "pizza".  Fig jam is a much more economical way to make this pizza but keep in mind it also is much sweeter. 
This recipe makes a great appetizer that is really easy to prepare.  You can cut it into rectangles or into triangles to serve.  Or if you're like me you can enjoy a whole one for yourself with a glass of wine and an episode of Will & Grace after a long day of furniture rehab. 
Have a great rest of the week!  See you back here soon!

Pear and Fig Pizza Appetizer
by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 4

2 peices Naan bread
3 fresh figs, sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 cup arugula
1 oz goat cheese
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.  Place naan on pizza stone or baking sheet.  Place half the arugula in a layer on each peice of naan.  Arrange pear and fig slices on top of the arugula.  Using your fingers, break up the goat cheese and sprinkle it on top of the fruit.  Drizzle olive oil over each pizza and place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until goat cheese just starts to brown.  Let cool slightly and slice into strips or triangles. 

Nutrition Facts: 224 Calories, 6g Fat, 36.7g Carbohydrates, 7g Protein, 3.6g Fiber, 168mg Sodium, 159mg Potassium


Salmon Cakes with Old Bay Sauce

So, I have a routine where I buy two pieces of salmon and grill them on Monday, eat one and have the other for dinner on Tuesday.  It's been a good routine, and a delicious one I may add, but after several months I've started to crave a little variety.  On a whim this week I decided to make some salmon cakes (or salmon burgers).  It may have had something to do with the crab cakes they were serving in the cafeteria at work which sound good but aren't all that healthy (or tasty if we're being honest.)
My version is lighter and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil.  Serve them with a side of Greek yogurt mixed with Old Bay seasoning or on top of a salad and you have a perfect ten minute dish for summer!

Salmon Cakes with Old Bay Sauce
by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 1-2

100% olive oil spray
5oz salmon, cooked
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice (plus wedges for serving)

1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Heat non-stick spray or olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat.  In a small bowl, combine salmon, breadcrumbs, yogurt, lemon juice and seasonings with a fork.  Using your hands, make two patties from the mixture and place in saute pan.  Cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden brown.  Meanwhile, mix together remaining yogurt and Old Bay seasoning.  Serve each salmon cake with about a tablespoon of Old Bay sauce and a wedge of lemon.

Nutrition Facts: (for 1/2 recipe) 381 Calories, 13.5g Fat, 26g Carbohydrate, 40.5g Protein, 2.8g Fiber, 921mg Sodium, 568mg Potassium


Spicy Tilapia Bowl

With both wedding season and swim suit season fast approaching, I can't be the only one who is trying to eat a little more mindfully!  I know I've said it before but I love Mexican food because of how much flavor it packs in and how versatile it can be.  Almost once a week I make some sort of "burrito bowl" at home by layering brown rice, black beans with lettuce and either shrimp or fish.  Since the variations are endless, I never get tired of it!
This week with tilapia on sale and a fresh bottle of Trader Joe's Cilantro Salad Dressing in the fridge, I decided to whip up a tilapia bowl topped with Greek yogurt.  I have been on a Fage Greek yogurt kick lately so it just made sense to save a few calories by losing the sour cream.  Hands down one of the best "bowls" to date...and one you can feel good about indulging in!

Spicy Tilapia Bowl
by Ali Caron, RD
Serves 2

8 oz tilapia
1-2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Cilantro Salad Dressing
2/3 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons salsa (Trader Joe's Cowboy Caviar Salsa)
1/2 cup guacamole
2 tablespoons 2% plain Greek yogurt
Sriracha Sauce to taste (optional)

Directions:  Marinate fish for several minutes with cilantro dressing while you heat a sauté or grill pan over low-medium heat.  Spray pan with non-stick or olive oil spray.  Cook fish for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, layer half the rice, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole and salsa in 2 serving bowls.  Once the fish is cooked, place 1 portion in each bowl.  Top fish with 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt and drizzle with Sriracha sauce.

Nutrition Facts: 568 Calories, 9g Fat, 85g Carbohydrate, 39g Protein, 11.5g Fiber, 265mg Sodium, 1118mg Potassium