My New Signature Pizza and the Cactus Show

I’m ready to declare this my signature pizza:pizza with apricot preserves, roasted garlic, rainbow chard, parmesan cheese, smoked gouda, and brie

  • thin crust
  • olive oil
  • apricot preserves
  • roasted garlic
  • rainbow chard (heat a little olive oil over medium head, add chard, fry (covered, stirring occasionally) for approximately 10 minutes until pleasantly soft, add salt and pepper to taste)
  • a little parmesan
  • a little smoked gouda
  • thinly sliced brie (I remove the rind)

So good. It’s kind of similar to the last pizza I made with chard, although that one is a lot more work.

Sorry the only picture I have is the bad one I just took of the microwaved leftovers at work (the other slice has red sauce, roasted garlic, yellow peppers, onions, and parmesan/mozzarella/gouda).

We went to the Colorado Cactus and Succulent Society show at the Botanic Gardens yesterday. It was cool. We bought a cactus that’s winter hardy and will allegedly grow to be 5 feet tall. We also got the guy below, who was picked out by Soren. I have a thing for cacti/succulents in glass containers, if that can be considered a thing.

succulent in a glass jar

Do-It-Yourself Pot Rack

In this edition of HBP Cheap-Ass Decorating Tips, I present the do-it-yourself pot rack Ben just made out of random crap.

Ben had been talking about making a pot rack forever. His original plan was to use a bicycle wheel, but at some point that became a light fixture in Soren’s room. part of Soren's roomThe next plan involved some sort of shelf with hooks on the bottom, but the only place for it would’ve been over the stove, which didn’t seem like a good idea — it would’ve been either too close to the stove or too high for my 5′ 6″ self to reach without climbing on something, and I’m not fond of climbing on stuff because I’m quite clumsy.

The pot rack project became more urgent this weekend, because we’re trying to (finally!) baby-proof the kitchen, for real. (Ben installed cabinet locks a long time ago, but there’s still a lot to be done in there.) Part of the baby-proofing project involved finding a new home for the pots, pans, and lids, which were residing on our little mini-island cart thing. We let Soren play with pans, but don’t want him pulling them off something himself and getting hurt. So, a pot rack. But how?

After vetoing the shelf idea, I turned to Apartment Therapy, which awesomely had just what I needed: DIY Pot Racks for Every Small Space Situation. Our kitchen isn’t really small, but I like these options because they’re, well, do-it-yourself and cheap, plus I didn’t want some giant pot-rack thing hogging space in our somewhat weird kitchen.

Our inspiration was the fifth option, the over-the-door pot rack made with replacement grates for a grill. Awesomely (apparently that’s my word of the day), we had an unused bun-warmer grate that came with a grill our friends gave us. It didn’t really fit on the grill and we’re not fancy people who need a specific grate for warming buns, so we wouldn’t miss it. We didn’t want to put it over a door (hell, our kitchen doesn’t have any doors even where it probably should — our house is a little door deficient), but we did want to put it over a window. I know that sounds weird, but we have a window in the kitchen that looks out to our scenic laundry/utility/DJ room. I never liked having a curtain on this window, but it wouldn’t be bad to at least somewhat block the view of Oxyclean and the drying rack that usually is covered with BumGenius diapers (the ones that aren’t supposed to go in the dryer).

In addition to the grate, our pot rack required the following items:

  • 6 “Exterior EZ-Cable Clips,” which are used to attach cables to the outside of your house
  • 2 “Rubber Insulated Cable Clips”
  • one piece of copper pipe (we already had)
  • 16 small S hooks
  • one large S hook (we already had)
  • 12 screws (we already had)
  • 2 5/8″ x 2 1/4″ stainless steel screw eyes
  • some 16 gauge galvanized wire (we already had)

Total cost for new supplies from Home Depot = $13.

Ben attached the grate to the window frame with the EZ-cable clips. This setup didn’t seem sturdy enough to support the weight of the pots and pans, so he added the copper pipe, which he attached to the window frame with the rubber insulated cable clips. He attached the small S hooks (he used the small ones because you can crimp the top of the “S” so they won’t fall off the rack when you pick up a pot) at even intervals on the top and bottom of the grate, and then hung the one large S hook on the side for the stock pot. The screw eyes and wire are a safety precaution to protect the window from swinging pots and pans and are hidden from view when the rack is full of pots and pans.

DIY pot rackDIY pot rackDIY pot rackDIY pot rackDIY pot rackpot rack in context

The last picture shows the pot rack in the context of our weird-ass kitchen after dinner preparation is underway. There’s a lot of fake meat on the stove here.

It’s not the most groundbreakingly stunning thing in the world, but it’s pretty much exactly what we wanted — an unobtrusive, functional pot rack the baby can’t reach that also partially blocks an ugly view. Woohoo! (Check the photos on Flickr for notes if you want more specific information, not that you would.)

I might do something with how the lids are arranged — I’m not loving how they look here. Also, I might hang a few utensils from the empty S hooks. And, while I’m thinking about it, we probably should put some of that frosty window film stuff on this window, so you don’t have to see diapers while I’m telling you about our pot rack. Sheesh.