Cocktail Tray Happiness

There are days when Jonathan disappears into the garage for hours (days) at a time.  I peek out every once in a while to try to sneak peeks at whatever it is he is making.  Sometimes he lets me in on his brilliant projects, and other times I get a “none of your business, you will see it when it is finished.”  This project falls into the latter category.

A few weeks ago I mentioned the need for something for the top of our coffee table.  We have had this table for a while but it recently made a journey from the basement sitting area to our living room.  I love how BIG this table is, but it just felt like it was missing something.  We looked all over the place at trays and various options that might be the missing piece to our table top.  Nothing was right. Most of it was just too small.

On Friday (long weekends are the BEST), Jonathan disappeared into the garage.  I didn’t know what he was making, but it looked like it was going to be pretty cool.  It started as a welding project, we had some left over steel from another project that didn’t get used.  At first glance, I assumed he was just putzing and perfecting skills.  The next time I popped my head out, the frame he had welded had this going on:

Which is pretty darn cool all on its own.  But then he did this to it:

Just wow.  Coolest customized cocktail tray ever!  That boy I love is crazy talented.

Missing piece…found!


  • Angle steel welded into a square
  • Fence post scrap wood
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Sander/sandpaper to give it some character

I think this technique would make a really cool headboard.  A project for another day!

|Kelly Tenkely|
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Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna

Fall is a perfectly wonderful time of year.  At our house it includes a lot of pumpkin, leeks,  and sage- I seem to buy all of these at least once a week.

I had some left over pumpkin from some Pumpkin Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup that I made for breakfast (those things were AMAZING), so naturally, I had to create a dish to use all of that extra deliciousness.  No sense in being wasteful.

I decided to throw together some ingredients I had on hand and came up with this gem.

Pumpkin Sausage Lasagna

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

.5 lbs ground Italian sausage

1 Tbsp fresh, chopped sage leaves

3 Barilla no boil lasagna noodles

3/4 cup shredded Italian cheese

1 cup pumpkin puree (also known as canned pumpkin, unless you want to get really fancy)

1/2 cup milk (we used 2%)

3 Tbsp chopped leek (white part only)

1/2 Tbsp butter

1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup sliced baby bella (crimini) mushrooms

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 cup ricotta cheese

1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)


1.  Brown sausage in a sauce pan

2. Melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Saute leeks, garlic, sage and mushrooms until leeks have just started to caramelize.

3.  Add drained sausage to leek/mushroom mixture.

4.  Heat pumpkin puree and milk over low heat.  Stir until combined.  Add pepper to taste.

5.  Spread 1/3 of pumpkin puree into bottom of a small bread loaf pan.

6. Top with 1 lasagna noodle.  Spread thin layer of ricotta over noodle.

7. Layer 1/3 of sausage mixture, 1/3 of the Italian cheese and pumpkin puree.

8. Continue layering (step 6 and 7) until you are out of the good stuff.

9.  Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan over the top layer of Italian cheese (don’t skip this step, it makes it EXTRA tasty).

10.  Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.

You will get something that looks a lot like this:

Jonathan thinks it is very hilarious to call creations he has never seen before “goop;” as in, “mmm, that goop smells like fall.”  He calls it goop right up to the moment he puts a bite in his mouth. Then it gets a shmancy name worthy of its deliciousness.

Prepare to be happy in your mouth.

We recommend you light some candles, put on the soundtrack from Midnight in Paris, open a bottle of wine (we like LaCrema Chardonnay or Beringer Knights Valley Cab), tear off a chunk of crusty bread, and enjoy some time together dreaming up your next project.


For the Love of Projects

We love projects.  LOVE them.  We really are at our happiest when we have spent a day (days if we are really lucky) working on projects.  I tend to lean toward the cooking, decorating, paper, sewing projects.  That-boy-I-love, Jonathan, leans toward the larger projects.  The building of major appliances (powder coating oven), works of art, welding, woodworking, furniture, etc.  A match made in heaven.  I’ll do the majority of sharing here…but you should know that he has been added as a contributor, so he could choose to grace us with his presence now and again.

This blog is dedicated to those sparks of creativity, those works of pure genius, those moments of happiness.

Wishing you many moments of creating happiness and large doses of inspiration.