My Shabby Chic Coffee Table(2)

My Shabby Chic Coffee Table

Just before Christmas I painted and distressed my grandparents’ old brown mid-century coffee table.

Here is how it turned out:

Coffee table  close up

Coffee table leg

Coffee table front

Coffee table side

Coffee table top

My Shabby Chic Coffee Table

The tutorial for how I distress furniture can be found here.   However, on the coffee table I used a 120 grit sandpaper sponge block to give it a more well-loved look.

I think it turned out great!

Have you distressed furniture before? What tips and tricks do you recommend? Tell me in the comments.


Valentine’s Day at Idaho Wineries

Valentine’s Day is this Saturday and I can’t think of a better way to spend it than at an Idaho winery!

Are you spending the day with that special someone? Take your sweetheart to events during the Chocolate and Wine Weekend on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail.

Single? Get your friends together and go urban wine tasting in Garden City.

Here is a breakdown of the winery events statewide:

Garden City

Coiled & Telaya

  • February 14, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Valentine’s Day Dance!  Commemorative wine glass, live music and a pasta truck will be on-site.
  • $10 per person.

Split Rail Winery

  • February 14, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
  • Pouring 3 wines, each paired with a sweet treat.
  • $7 per person.

Sunnyslope Wine Trail

HAT Ranch Winery and Vale Wine Co.

  • February 14 and 15, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wine pairing with specially prepared chocolates including chocolate dipped berry truffles.

Hells Canyon Winery & Zhoo Zhoo

  • February 13, 14 and 15, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wine tastings, sweet treats, discounts on bottle and case purchases.
  • $7 per person, $5 wine club members.

Huston Vineyards

  • February 14-15, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Release of 2014 Chicken Dinner White  and 2012 Private Reserve Petit Syrah.  Paired with chocolates and s’mores!

Sawtooth Winery

  • February 14, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wine, gourmet cheese, chocolate and live music. 
  • $20 per person, $15 wine club members.

Ste. Chapelle Winery

  • February 14, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wine tasting, chocolate fountain with pretzels, angel food cake, marshmallows and a wine glass.
  • $10 per person.

Williamson Orchards & Vineyards

  • February 13-14, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
  • Pouring 12 different delicious wines paired with chocolates and caramels. Buy 3 bottles of any red wine and get a bottle of Late Harvest Viognier free.
  • Free photo booth!


Indian Creek Winery

  • February  14, 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
  • Valentine’s Bazaar includes blending station, wine tasting, chocolate, wine glass, crafts, live music and a taco truck will be on-site.
  • $10 per person, $5 members 

Coeur d’Alene

Coeur d’Alene Cellars

  • February 13-14, 6:00 p.m.
  • 3 course dinner with wine pairings.
  • $60 per person, $55 wine club members
  • February 13-14, all day
  • Valentine chocolate and wine tasting experience.  3-wine flight and 3-truffle pairing.
  • $15 per person, $12 wine club members


Colter’s Creek Winery

  • February 13-14, 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • Four course meal with wine flight option.
  • $50 per person, reservations required.

Lindsay Creek Vineyards

  • February 14, 5:00 p.m.
  • Dinner, wine and after dinner dancing to live jazz band.
  • $75 per couple, reservations required.

Please drink responsibly and find a designated driver whenever necessary!

For more information on any of the wineries listed, please see the Idaho Wine Commission website.

Food Hack Friday - Turning Leftover Spaghetti Sauce into Chili

Food Hack Friday – What to Do with Leftover Spaghetti Sauce? Chili!

At our house I’m cooking for two, and sometimes it’s impossible to make a dish that doesn’t leave tons of leftovers.  I freeze them, I box them for lunch, and on occasion I hack them by turning last night’s dinner into today’s brand new meal!

I think everyone, regardless whether they’re feeding just themselves, or four people, or fourteen, ends up with leftover spaghetti sauce. We manage to get the noodles right, but somewhere during the process the sauce triples itself.  After one such occasion it dawned on me that all the sauce might work well as a chili base.  I’m happy to say that it did, and even better it works with pretty much all types of spaghetti sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here's what you'll need!

Leftover spaghetti sauce
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 can chili beans in sauce
1 can black beans, strained
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp ground pepper

Let’s hear it for spices!  They are the key to this hack.

Here’s how you hack:

In a large pot soften bell pepper and jalapeno in olive oil over medium heat.

Diced yellow bell pepper and jalapenoIn a large pot soften bell pepper and jalapeno in olive oil over medium heat.

Add chili beans with the sauce from the can and the strained black beans.

Chili beans in sauce and strained black beansAdd chili beans with the sauce from the can and the strained black beans.

Mix the spices in a small bowl (brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, ground mustard, ground pepper, salt).

Mix the spices in a small bowl

Pour them in the pot, stir, and let them cook with the beans and veggies for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Pour spices in the pot and let them cook with the beans and veggies for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and water.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and water.

Throw in the leftover spaghetti sauce!

Leftover spaghetti sauceThrow in the leftover spaghetti sauce!

Stir it up nicely and cover!

Reduce the heat to low-medium and cook for one hour stirring occasionally.

Stir, cover and cook chili for one hour

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn chips!

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn chips!

As I mentioned earlier any type of spaghetti sauce works.  I used a ground turkey based sauce, but could have gone with chicken spaghetti or vegetarian and the chili would still be delicious.

What do YOU like to do with leftovers?  Please let me know in the comments!

An Introduction to Idaho Wine

An Introduction to Idaho Wine

When people’s thoughts turn to American wine regions, they usually think of Napa Valley and other California American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) such as Sonoma or Lodi.  Outside California, other sites like Walla Walla in Washington and the Finger Lakes AVA of New York make the list.

I’m guessing that unless you’re an Idaho resident or a total wine nerd you probably haven’t heard of the Snake River Valley, which is Idaho’s first and only AVA.

As someone lucky enough to live (and drink!) in the great state of Idaho, I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  Idaho wine is kind of a big deal.

Why? Because the pieces that could motivate wine lovers enough to get the Gem State on the map are coming together right now.  First come the growers, then the winemakers, then the ever-growing customer base.  People start drinking, talking and writing. Awards and acclaim follow.  This IS happening and it’s an exciting time!

So let’s talk about Idaho for a minute.  The following is an excerpt from my blog post about terroir:  “It’s in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s not a coastal state. We experience four full seasons.  Weather in Idaho can be kind of weird, cloudy morning, sunny afternoon or vice versa.  We can have warm days and cool nights.  Summer months are H-O-T! Rain and snow levels tend to be moderate (mountains excluded).  Huge swaths of the state are maintained as arable land to support numerous farming operations, while other geographic areas have been clearly marked by a history of volcanic activity.  Lots of rivers and lakes can be found, as well as a vast flood plain.”

In other words it’s ideal for grape growing.

Last September Idaho held its 5th annual Idaho Wine Competition, held by Great Northwest Wine at Ste. Chapelle Winery in the heart of the Snake River Valley (to see a complete list of winners please go here.

I’d like to share a few of my favorites that claimed top awards.

Huston Vineyards 2012 Malbec

Huston wine

Winner Best Red and Best in Show.  Huston Vineyards 2012 Malbec is 14.3% alcohol.  Fruit, spice, and earth revealed on the nose.  These transfer nicely on the palate with warm tannins and a spicy mouthfeel.  Lingers on the tongue well after the swallow with a solid finish.  An A wine (see how I rate wine here).

Coiled Wines 2013 Dry Riesling

Coiled wine

Winner Best White Wine. Coiled 2012 is 13.1% alcohol by volume and has less than 1% residual sugars, making it dry by definition.  It has floral fruity scents, particularly melon and citrus.  That fruitiness translates to the flavor which is wonderfully tangy with just a bit of acidic bite.  The strong finish clinches my A rating.

Sawtooth Estate Winery 2013 Classic Fly Series Cinsault Rose’

Sawtooth wine

Winner Best Rosé.  Sawtooth Cinsault Rose’ is 13.30% alcohol by volume, 95% Cinsault and 5% Muscat Blanc.  This is a dry delightful Rosé with a sweet strawberry-peach smell and vague floral notes.  Though it has definite fruit flavors, it is quite dry with a crisp mouthfeel and smooth finish, an A wine.

I hope this inspires you to buy Idaho next time you are pursuing the wine aisle!

*This article first appeared as a Guest Post for The Desert Wine Guy.

The Living Room Project

2014 – The Year of the Living Room

Happy New Year! Wine Dine DIY back in action yo!

Many of you have reached out during the last month to ask if I am still blogging and the answer is an emphatic YES!  I took an unplanned, unannounced hiatus this holiday season, but I am back and ready to fill the new year with wine reviews, recipes, and DIY projects.

Before we move on, let’s wrap up the great project of 2014: The Living Room Saga.

As you may remember I started this project because the living room consisted of dirty old carpet, mauve walls and brass light fixtures.  I felt sure there was hardwood under the carpet, and that it would be a fairly easy room makeover.


Oh, there was hardwood all right!  It was just hidden under a layer of linoleum.

Linoleum City

And another layer of adhesive and glue.

Underside of the adhesive backing

Then I found out that the rich hardwood turned into nasty-ass plywood not even halfway across the room.  Much swearing took place.

I persevered and went on to sand and stain the floor and even managed to paint the ceiling and light fixtures.

When last we met, the room looked like this:

hardwood and plywood

After having stained, I decided I still hated how the plywood looked and pondered that situation.

Whilst I thought on the floor I painted the walls!  It’s a blue-gray color called Montage and I love it.

Blue Walls

Since that turned out so well, I went ahead and painted the floor too! Here is how I did it:

First I measured the width of the hardwood planks.

Measuring width of plank

Then I measured the same distance (2 inches) from the walls and marked the spot.

Marking 2 inches from fireplace

I moved a few inches, measured and marked again.


Then connected the dots with a line.

Connecting the dots

This formed a square, which I outlined with painters tape.

painter tape square

I primed it.


Then painted.

Painted Floor

Then sealed it with a water based polyurethane.


Ahem! I have an announcement to make…


Living Room before 2Living Room after 2

Now comes the fun part, the decorating!

Living Room Before 1Living room after 1

As I see the before and after photos now I find it so funny that I picked a color to paint the floor that is similar to the carpet we had! I picked that color because I had it on hand and I thought it would brighten the room having picked a dark wall color.

Nick and I love the look of the new room.  It was definitely worth all the effort though I think I’m going to pick a much simpler project for 2015.

Famous last words eh?