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May 20, 2010

Home | We Built a Fence!

Mr. Darcy can not be trusted outside without a leash... Some dogs are able to be let out to go potty or what-no and then come right back inside. Not Mr. D. He takes off running as quick as he can... the guy loves to be chased! So, it was high time we put a fence in to keep him from escaping our grasp.

We had to submit the above design to the city of Fairway to get a building permit for the fence. Our objective was to prove that the new fence would not block the sightline at the stop sign.

While I can take credit for the layout and design of the fence, I cannot take much credit for the actual building of the fence... turns out digging post holes is, as much as I hate to admit it, really hard. Mike was much better at it than I was.

Materials :

30 - 4" x 4" x 6' posts
20 - 8' dog eared cedar fencing pre-assembled picket panels (Lowe's)
100 - single pickets for customized sections
12 - 2" x 3" x 8' pieces of wood for rails of custom sections
2 - Black Wrought Iron Gate Kits
2 - 1 pound boxes of 2 1/2 decking screws
10 - bags of concrete
10 - bags of gravel
1 - level

I laid out the fence with garden stakes and string that I leveled to gage where we would need to lower the panels of fencing. I plotted the posts 8 feet apart (except where the gates would be). Mike dug the post holes 24 inches deep and 10 inches in diameter.

As we went along, we found that it was easier to install the panels as we go vs. setting all of the posts and then hanging the panels.

Here is Mike setting a post. My job was leveling the posts and panels as Mike installed.

We will trim the posts later this week and top them with tailored post caps... I'm looking for them online today!

Besides leveling and designing, my job was painting... photos to come soon!

Recipes | Summer Chicken Parmesan... Sort of

I created this fresher "summer" version of one of our favorites - Chicken Parmesan. Instead of frying the breaded chicken, I grilled it with a roasted garlic seasoning and olive oil, then topped it with fresh mozzarella. In the sauce, I started with my usual crushed tomato sauce, but added extra fresh basil and halved cherry tomatoes.

Tomato Basil Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 - 16 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound of angel hair pasta

In a sauce pan, saute garlic in olive oil for just 30 seconds then add crushed tomatoes. Next, add sugar and salt, then simmer for 5-10 minutes. Reduce to low and add tomatoes and basil. Cook for only 3-5 minutes to avoid over cooking the tomatoes. Serve with cooked angel hair pasta

Grilled Chicken Breast with Fresh Mozzarella

1 half of chicken breast, butterflied
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of roasted garlic & herb seasoning
4 ounces of fresh mozzarella, sliced

Cut the butterflied breast into 2 pieces (for 2 people). Coat chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with herb seasoning. Grill for 5 minutes on each side until the chicken is done. Place mozzarella on top of the chicken and spoon over hot sauce to slightly melt the cheese.

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