Saturday, 21 December 2013

Amazing DIY || Turn Plywood into Wide Plank Wooden Flooring

I know it's now the Saturday before Christmas and this is not really anything to do with Christmas, but I discovered the most amazing DIY tutorial online yesterday afternoon while I was on Pinterest. And lately I've noticed if I leave something, it tends to go on the back burner so I thought I would just go ahead and post it. If you're doing a home renovation or a shop renovation and you're on a budget, this is the most brilliant way to fake wide plank farmhouse style wooden flooring. I just wish I had seen this before we put carpet downstairs in the barn. I found it on Jordan Reilly's brilliant blog Picklee - click here to take a look.

Jordan turned this lot of plywood she picked up at Home Depot (I guess that is like B&Q or Wickes here in England)....

.....into this, farmhouse style wide plank wooden flooring:

Isn't that incredible? All the details and how to are featured on the Picklee blog, including how they spaced out the boards so perfectly, what paint mix she used, and how they attached it to the sub-floor.

Definitely the best DIY I've seen in a long time, and for a fraction of the price of real hardwood flooring. What do you think?

Image Credits: Jordan Reilly / Picklee Blog, produced with kind permission.

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Perfect Christmas Canape

Well it's the Friday before Christmas and I don't know about you, but my mind is definitely focused on all the yummy treats we get to enjoy over the next week. This is my favourite Chrismas canape - bacon wrapped water chestnuts, super easy, you can prepare them in advance and pop them in the oven before your guests arrive.

TIME: 40 minutes (including prep)
QUANTITY: 20 approx.

250g Streaky bacon
225g tin of water chestnut
3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp water
Handful rocket

Start by draining the water from the tin of water chestnuts. Don't worry if they are different sizes - you can just use a bigger or smaller piece of bacon accordingly. So take a strip of streaky bacon and with a knife in one hand and the end of the strip of bacon in the other, push the back of the blade along lengthways to thin out the bacon.

Then simply wrap each piece of water chestnut in a strip of bacon. And so on until they are all wrapped.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (foil is not so good as they tend to stick). Secure each wrapped chestnut with a cocktail stick and place in rows on the tray. (You can cover with cling film and put in the fridge at this point if you're making them in advance).

Place in the oven for 20 minutes until slightly browned and crispy. Meanwhile mix together the mustard, sugar and water in a jug. If it is very thick add a little more water to loosen it.

Remove the tray from the oven and brush the chestnuts with the mustard mixture. Place back in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Place on a serving plate and garnish with fresh rocket. The wrapped chestnuts are always super hot when they come out so do warn your guests if you plan to serve them immediately. Oh and they definitely taste better with a glass of bubbly...enjoy!

I've got a Pinterest board with lots more Christmas entertaining recipes on it - click here to take a look.