Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

The Hubby and I moved into a loft almost a year ago and we have been slowly decorating and making it a home ever since. Surprisingly we did not have to buy very much new stuff, because most of our furniture ended up looking better in this space than it ever did in the house we were in before. Still there have been projects that have needed our attention. First up and the most important was, “What to do with all of our books?” We both have quite a few books and knew a standard bookcase would not do it. Nor would it complement our new space and high ceilings. We quickly realized we would have to do some sort of custom-built in. We both always wanted a full wall with a floor to ceiling bookshelf, but to have that put in was going to cost us quite a few pennies. So I hit Pinterest and searched for a way that we could accomplish the look we needed while not breaking the bank.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGGI stumbled on the idea of using plumbing pipe, which not only would look great in our space, it’s also pretty easy to work with so any novice DIY junkie could pull it off. I found a couple of different options that we liked and combined a few different processes to make the most economical bookcase for our needs. See below to see our process and I will let you know along the way the things I like and the things I would do differently the second time around.

Supplies

  • Wood Lumber
  • 3/4 Galvanized Pipe (2 for each shelf plus 4 additional for the top wall connection)
  • 3/4 Flanges (4)
  • 3/4 Elbow Fittings (2)
  • 3/4 Coupling Fitting (2 for each shelf)
  • Wood Stain
  • Miter Saw
  • 7/8 inch Rotary Drill Bit
  • Sand Paper

Directions

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

1. Cut the wood the length you want you shelves to be. Be sure to take into account that the pipe on each side is going to shorten your actual space a bit. Also be sure not to make them too long, because depending on what you are putting on the shelves, you do not want them to bend due to weight.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

2. Measure 4 inches on each length end and make a mark that is centered width wise. This is where you are going to drill your holes for the pipes. You want the wholes to be big enough for the pipe to slide through but small enough for the stopper to hold the shelf up.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

3. Sand the cut wood to clean up the edges. Be sure to get rid of all slivers around the areas that were cut. I added a bit of rounding to corners to make them look a little less than perfect. Each one is a little unique, which I like.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

4. Stain your wood in a well ventilated area. Follow staining directions until you reach your desired color. We did not put any seal on top our stain because the shelves were going indoors and would not be subjected to any weather elements or moisture.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

5. Once your stain is completely dry you can start building your piece. Start with 2 flanges on the floor. I decided to paint the flanges to match the grey industrial look of the pipe and we also cut a perfect piece of cork to place under the flange so it would not ruin our hardwood floors. You will also want to wipe down all of your pipe before handling it, because it is covered in a greasy residue.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

6. After you have reached your desired length with the pipe, couplings and wood, use the 2 elbow fittings, 2 short pipes and the flanges to attach the bookcase securely to the wall. Don’t forget to admire the view if your Hubby is helping you.

Plumbing Pipe Bookshelf - The EGG

6. Now it’s time to start staging your shelves. I thought this would take me forever,but it actually just all fell into place. Next we are going to have to build complimentary ladder so we can actually reach the high shelves and if we buy anymore books we are going to have to build another bookshelf, because this one has no more room! Looking at this picture I am realizing we also might need a larger mirror. Something that is much more of a statement piece.

NOTES: I am super happy with the shelves. After the brick walls it is my favorite thing about our space. However, if I had to do over again I would make a few adjustments. I might have considered doing the version that does not require holes and each shelf has 4 flanges drilled into it. It may have been a more expensive but it would have made a sturdier shelf. Trust me the shelves we did are sturdy, meaning they definitely are not going anywhere, but when there are no books on the shelf the wood part does wobble a bit back and forth. Nothing falls off, but with the hole down the middle version there is nothing holding it completely steady. So if that is a concern for you I would opt for a different style. Try this one that I found on the Pottery Barn Blog. I wish I would have seen this one before I built mine. I probably also would have not made the 2 really tall shelves. We did a mix of 6, 8, 10, 12 and 18 inch shelves. I think we could have done without the 18 inch. Or at least only incorporated one.

Egg McMuftin

The perfect high protein, low carb breakfast - The EGGToday was day one of my Atkins Diet, so I had to spend a little time making breakfast since I could not just grab a banana and go. I have been wanting to try out the eggs and bacon in a muffin tin recipe for a while now and what better time than when I am on a low carb high protein diet. Since it was my first time making them I made 3 just in case I screwed one up. Plus, for the sake of the photo, I thought 3 Egg McMufftins would balance out the look of the plate. I only ate 2 of them and half an avocado for a total of about 3.5 net carb breakfast. Making these little guys was so easy. They are pretty much idiot proof and they come out super cute! You could easily make a bunch of these for an army of people if necessary. Not that I have an army, since it is just the Hubs and me, but you never know. Someday I may have an army or maybe a football team and this recipe will come in handy.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • 2 grape tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 pieces of spinach (chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • Tabasco (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Cook bacon in the microwave for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds so it is almost fully cooked, but still bendable. Dab off excess grease and let bacon cool until you are able to handle it by hand.
  4. Wrap bacon pieces around the edge of the muffin tin.
  5. Put half spinach and half of the tomato in the bottom of the tin.
  6. Break one egg in each tin.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste and add the rest of the tomato and spinach on top.
  8. Cook on middle rack for 12-15 minutes depending on your desired yolk consistency.
  9. Serve immediately with avocado and Tabasco if you fancy.

The perfect high protein, low carb breakfast - The EGG

NOTES: You could also add cheese to this recipe or even add some other veggies if you like, such as onions, mushrooms or bell pepper. Try breaking your yolk and mixing all egg ingredients together in a separate bowl before adding to the muffin tin. This way they become little bacon wrapped omelets. Such a fun, cute and easy recipe.

Italian Club Sandwich

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGGI have been dying to do a post about this Italian Club Sandwich I stumbled upon on Crepes of Wrath about, oh I don’t know, 2 years ago… Talk about procrastination. Really I was just waiting for the perfect opportunity to try this recipe out, and I finally found it. Last weekend I threw a Bridal Shower for one of my very best friends and in true non reality living Elizabeth form I decided I wanted to make all the food myself. Normally not a ridiculous order, unless you are planning a 32 person sit down meal kind of shower… My grandmother thought I was crazy, but entertained my lofty plans with little push back. The food portion actually worked out well and I would definitely recommend using this tasty little number for your next event. It tastes delicious, looks pretty, and you can make it the night before. However, next time I may cater or at least hire somebody to serve so I can enjoy the party a little more… Who am I kidding I am way too controlling to ever be able to sit down and enjoy anything.

Ingredients

  • Large Loaf of Ciabatta Bread (sliced lengthwise)
  • Fresh Pesto
  • Sliced Sopressata Salami
  • Sliced Prosciutto
  • Sliced Provolone Cheese
  • Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • Basil Leaves
  • Plastic Wrap

 Directions

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGGSlice the ciabatta bread lengthwise. Spread fresh pesto over the bottom piece of bread. Ciabatta is pretty hearty so no need to skimp, but be sure not to use so much that the bread becomes soggy.

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGG

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGGTop the pesto with a layer of salami, layer of prosciutto, then a layer of provolone and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Top the cheeses with another layer of salami followed by a healthy amount of fresh basil leaves.

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGGAdd a layer of pesto on the top half of the bread. Why? Because I love pesto, so more = better. Plus the additional pesto helps the sandwich all stick together in the pressing process.

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGGPlace the top of the bread on the sandwich and press down on the sandwiches with your hands, then very tightly wrap them in plastic wrap.

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGGPut the wrapped sandwich in the fridge and top with lots of heavy books, or whatever other heavy objects you can find. I used 1 very heavy book, then put a couple 2 liter bottles of soda on top of that. Don’t be afraid to over do it on the weight factor. If I had more room I would have done more. Let them sit in the fridge overnight. This gives the sandwich plenty of time to press into perfect little packages and all the flavors have a chance to marry together. If you are pressed for time and don’t have time to press (haha get it?) then add more weight and you sandwich should be good to go in about 4 hours.

Delicious cold pressed Italian sandwich recipe - The EGGWhen you are ready to eat, unwrap the sandwiches and use a very sharp knife to cut the sandwich into about 2-inch wide pieces. These will keep well after being sliced in an airtight container for up to 2 days – we ate them as leftovers after our party and they were still absolutely delicious.

EGG Signature

Breakfast Tacos

Delicious breakfast tacos done right - The EGGIf you live in Texas than you know all about the Tex-Mex staples… Breakfast Tacos and Queso. Sometimes they can even be served together, but both stand strong on their own. I have friends (ok one friend) who considers Queso a suitable meal for dinner… Her husband does not agree. Personally, I have an interesting relationship with both of these foods. Although I was not raised in Texas and did not arrive until I was 18, I still feel as though I have always known about them. It’s sort of similar to nobody every having the “sex” talk with me, I just always knew where babies came from… I’m weird I know. Anyway, when it came to Queso I was unaware of the geographic disconnect until my aunt came to visit me and was amazed at the thought of melted cheese in a bowl suitable for chip dipping. Like I said, I thought everyone just knew about it. I was further stunned when I went home for Christmas and my uncle brought Queso as an appetizer. I remember everyone crowding around in awe and him explaining how he mixed Velveeta and ground beef together to make a clogged artery waiting to happen. The only thing I could think of was, “Well fist of all you made it wrong… Where’s the Rotel?”  You wouldn’t think there was a way to screw up melted cheese, but trust me there is. Breakfast Tacos are definitely along the same lines. While the name is pretty descriptive (one would imagine its a tortilla filled scrambled eggs and such), it still is not common on the west coast and is definitely possible to do wrong. Texas is by far the best place to get Breakfast Tacos, specifically Maria’s Taco Express in Austin, but that’s just my humble opinion. I think I make a pretty mean breakfast taco as well, but again that’s just my not so HUMBLE opinion.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (color is not super important – use whatever you have on hand or prefer)
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded, and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced cilantro leaves
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 slices of bacon (or whatever meat you choose, sausage, chorizo, etc.)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Salsa/Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook bacon and chop bacon (I cook mine in the oven at 400 degrees – Add bacon to cold oven and cook for about 20 minutes)
  2. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeño, and tomato, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft.
  3. Reduce heat a tad – (don’t want to burn the eggs)
  4. Add cilantro and chopped bacon to the egg mixture and add to the pan, folding eggs over in large curds occasionally, until cooked through.
  5. Serve on warm flour tortillas with plenty of fixings (avocado, salsa, hot sauce, cheese, cilantro, etc.)

NOTES: To warm tortillas perfectly wrap them in a damp dish towel and heat in the microwave for 3-4 minutes at 50%. 

EGG Signature

Vinyl Wall Art

Projector Wall Logo - The EGGSo far the best thing about the Hubby starting his own business has been me getting to do all the fun DIY projects for his office that I have not had an excuse to do at home. First I got to paint the company’s logo on one of their walls using a huge projector, which was so much fun. I have been wanting to try the projector project at home but never really had the use for it. However, I still kept pinning projector ideas and How-To tutorials on Pinterest waiting for the day I would have a reason to do it… and then Voila! In fact I started writing this post back in August and since then the company has expanded to a larger office in the same building. The new office meant I had got to paint another wall logo. Lucky me!

DIY Vinyl Wall Quote - The EGGAnother project I got the opportunity to do at the new office was a quote wall. I finally got to use my new Cricut machine to cut out vinyl letters to spell out an Aristotle quote on one of the walls in the engineer room. Click the link below to check out my process.

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Happy New Year

New Years Photo Booth Backdrop - The EGGWell it has been a hot second or two and a lot has happened since the last time we spoke… For one it is now 2014, so Happy New Year! For two, we sold our house and moved into a swanky downtown loft. Fancy schmancy I know. It is so not me, but then again so me all at the same time. There has been lots of decorating, cooking, entertaining, traveling and creating in the mean time, and I have definitely deserted you all in the process. Some may not have noticed at all, others may not have even cared, but that’s ok either way I am back… For the time being.

I got the urge to write again, because I was inspired to cook something new. I was watching the Food Network yesterday and one of my faves came on, Barefoot Contessa. When she is cooking Italian, as she often does, it’s pretty much guaranteed I am going to like it. I have a couple of staples on the Food Network that rarely steer me in the wrong direction. Between Ina Garten, Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), and Giada De Laurentiis my husband will never go hungry. Now if I could just convince one of them to move in and do all the cooking. Anyway, Ina was making Spaghetti and Meatballs and it looked delicious. I know it sounds very basic, and it is, but it inspired me to want to cook so it is worthy of a blog post in my opinion. Check out the recipe below and I will let you know how it goes. I think this might be a Pasta Sunday dish. I also posted below some pics of what I have been up to for the past 5 months or so.

The EGG Projects
3DENT Logo Wall Decal // Thanksgiving Invitation // Painted Mirror
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies // Engagement Party Favor Stickers // CranCherry Cocktail
Jute Wrapped Bottles // Holiday Card // Glitter Champagne Bottles

Ingredients

FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving:
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have 14 to 16 meatballs.
  2. Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.
  3. For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  4. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti.

“Healthy” Cheesecake

Healthy Cheesecake ~ via The EGGI say “healthy” because come on, when you are baking how healthy can you really be? But in terms of cheesecake this one is definitely not AS bad for you as the standard to die for cheesecake. It does not contain any of the usual cast of guilty characters, cream cheese, sour cream, or milk. Rather it substitutes all of that wonderful go straight to your thighs goodness with Greek Yogurt. And trust me when I tell you, it looks like cheesecake, smells like cheesecake, feels like cheesecake… Heck it even tastes like cheesecake. It must be CHEESECAKE! Or maybe it’s yogurt cake dubbing as cheesecake. Who cares? I will take it if it means less time on the treadmill. Ha! Who am I kidding? It is hard to spend less time on something that I never use. All well it sounded good. Here is how I made mine…

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) I used vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take your pre-made crust and crumble it smooth into the bottom of a springform pan. If you like you can make your own, but I just assume using the store bought kind.

Beat together the eggs and the sugar. Add the vanilla and flour and mix to blend thoroughly then gently whisk in the yogurt.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until barely set in the center. You want the cake to still be jiggly in the middle but have that perfect done look to it. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the pan exposing the dark edges. Be sure to not over bake. Turn off the oven and allow cake to cool inside.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGGBring cake to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I let my sit overnight in the fridge and then dressed it up the next day to serve for desert after a lovely Beer Can Chicken dinner.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGGServe cake with your favorite topping. I used peaches because it is what I had on hand, but you can use cherries, strawberries, blueberries… You get the idea. If you really have a sweet tooth, you can warm honey and drizzle it over the fruit.

Healthy Cheesecake made out of Greek Yogurt ~ via The EGG

EGG Signature

Atomic Buffalo Turds

Fiesta Bridal Shower ~ via The EGGLast month I went to one of my best friend’s engagement party in California. I was asked to bring an appetizer, but not just any appetizer. They requested the little smokies wrapped in bacon. I am not much of a meat lover so these sounded totally boring to me. I am, however, a heat lover, so when I saw the recipe for bacon wrapped little smokies laying on a bed of spicy cream cheese stuffed inside of a jalapeno, I thought those were much more up my alley. Plus it was a fiesta themed engagement party, since they will be getting married in Mexico next year, so I thought the jalapeno version tied in a little better with the whole vibe of the event. They ended up being very easy to make and everyone, except my grandmother, seemed to like them as well. The only drawback of this recipe is the name. Atomic Buffalo Turds. I was slightly embarrassed/sort of excited when I had to tell people what they were called. Some people laughed and others looked at me like I was crazy and very unladylike, which for the most part they were spot on. I am definitely not the most prim and proper of gals, but saying the word turd to my best friend’s future mother-in-law is something I don’t ever want to do again. I still can’t decide if the name is based on what they look like or because of what they do to you if you eat one. Either way I think these poor little guys could use a revisit to the naming factory.

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh Jalapenos (You can use bell pepper for heat haters)
  • 12 slices of bacon
  • 24 little smokies
  • 1 package of room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 cup of grated cheese (I used 4 cheese blend)
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 shallots minced (I did not have shallots so I used regular onion to taste)

Directions

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGStep 1. Cut jalapenos in half length wise and take out the seeds and membranes. If you do not mind spicy leave some of the membranes in, but remember that your cream cheese filling will have cayenne pepper in it which will  add a kick as well so be careful.

Step 2. Mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, minced shallots, and cayenne pepper. Be sure to mix evenly.

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGStep 3. Spoon mixture into the jalapeno.

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGStep 4. Place a little smokey on each jalapeno bed.

Step 5. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap the jalapeno and smokey in bacon half. (Somehow I missed photographing this step, but you get the idea.) you may want to use a toothpick if you are having a hard time keeping the bacon around the jalapeno, but I did not. My bacon stuck pretty well on its own.

Step 6. Bake ABTs for about an hour at a low temperature until bacon is nice and brown. I think I cooked mine at 250 degrees, but others say you can cook them at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes if you need them done quicker. I wanted my jalapeno to be very tender so I opted for low and slow, but next time I am going to try the higher temperature.

Step 7. Let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Then stick them with toothpicks and serve.

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGI did not get a great picture of them when it was all said and done, because I was a little preoccupied with the party and the PHOTOBOOTH (see photos below).  All in all, I think they were a hit and so was the party, but next time I think I will jazz up the ABT’s cream cheese filling a little more. Maybe add some garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, or maybe some other herbs and minced veggies. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.

Congrats Angela and Brock!

photo 4 (6)photo 4 (7)photo 5

Guess Who Got A Cricut!

Cricut

More details and projects coming soon…

EGG Signature

Tortilla + Pizza = Tortizza

Basil Collage 2Last night the Hubby and I decided to eat at home, but did not want to go to the store to get anything, so I figured I would use what we had on hand and would just make it work. I did not want boring chicken and broccoli ( I saved that for tonight’s dinner) so I decided to use the left over tortillas to make some pizzas, or what I like to call tortizzas!

I love when I can use stuff I already have in the pantry/fridge/freezer to put a meal together. It makes me feel resourceful. What I like even more is that not all these ingredients came from the kitchen, one of the them came from the garden. Ok, ok, ok I know it was just basil, but this was the first time I grew something and then ate it. I think it was quite and accomplishment. Plus the added ingredient made it possible to make 2 different types of tortizzas. I already had everything I needed to make the garden garlic chicken, but now I could make a margherita with fresh basil, which is way better than the dried I had in the pantry. It was very tasty!

EGG Signature

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