Staple Guns and Happy Accident Pasta

24 Mar

It’s been a busy old time here and writing has been virtually impossible. Floorboards are up, plumbing is going down, kitchen units have been delivered and it’s freezing cold. Oh well, I think we’ve got to the stage where it can’t possibly get any worse, just better, so onwards and upwards.

In between the mucky stuff, we’ve continued to eat well. Never fear, Chica and Big Man won’t fade away. I had planned one evening to make a carbonara but got home to find, shock horror, not an egg in the house. As we have no chickens here, I had to make do and ended up with what I call my Happy Accident pasta.

Happy Accident Pasta (1)

I fried some garlic and finely chopped onion then added a few rashers of finely chopped smoked streaky bacon and a handful of sliced mushrooms.

When the pasta was cooked I kept a little of the cooking water and stirred in the bacon and mushrooms plus a good dollop of crème fraiche, some finely chopped spinach and about half a cup of chopped up dolcelatte.

Result? Creamy, delicious, quick pasta but most definitely not carbonara.

Then it was back to work tidying up some dining chairs we bought second hand. Quite a traditional style but it will work in the house. The chairs had a regency stripe silk material covering them but it had seen better days…many bottoms had clearly sat on them and enjoyed countless meals around the table.

Dining Chair Seats (3)

So it was off with old material.

Dining Chair Seats (4)

Cutting out of a new piece using the old one as a template (and the fabric was recycled too from a friend’s kind donation of unwanted curtains). Fortunately Luna and Alfi (who appears to be headless in the photo) were around to comfort test the fabric.

Dining Chair Seats (6)

A staple gun frenzy followed.

Dining Chair Seats (10)

Now we have six fancy new dining chairs…who wants to come round and help wear them out?!

Dining Chair Seats (13)


78 Responses to “Staple Guns and Happy Accident Pasta”

  1. rutheh March 24, 2013 at 14:17 #

    What a fun post. The dogs seem to approve of your fabric choice!

  2. PendleStitches March 24, 2013 at 14:20 #

    I think those chairs are going to have some very good stories to tell their grandchildren.

  3. Lipstick and Chaos March 24, 2013 at 14:23 #

    Reblogged this on How To Make It Look Easy and Still Have Time for Lipstick and commented:
    this recipe looked delish and super simple!

  4. Marianne March 24, 2013 at 14:35 #

    I love “happy accident” type pasta – I make it all the time!

    Love your new seat covers, Tanya 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza March 24, 2013 at 15:25 #

      Store cupboards and the back of the fridge are great places for finding inspiration for Happy Accident dishes!

      • Marianne March 24, 2013 at 15:40 #

        They are indeed!

  5. cookinginsens March 24, 2013 at 14:36 #

    Nice looking pasta. My grandmother had that same regency stripe 🙂 You are doing a fantastic job.

    • Chica Andaluza March 24, 2013 at 15:25 #

      Thanks Rosemary. I think that Regency Stripe appeated in homes the world over a while back!

  6. Food,Photography & France March 24, 2013 at 15:33 #

    You are working seriously hard, and I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits. The pasta looks great. I’ve just finished gardening – taking advantage of wonderful sunshine – and I’m deciding what to cook for late lunch. Could it be pasta?

    • Chica Andaluza March 24, 2013 at 15:34 #

      Pasta is good for aching limbs I’ve found! Oh, and wine of course 🙂

  7. Tandy March 24, 2013 at 16:07 #

    If you are making that pasta, yes please 🙂

  8. ChgoJohn March 24, 2013 at 16:15 #

    Accomplished chef, gardener, home contractor, seamstress, and now furniture restorer. Is there a Wonder Woman costume in your closet, Tanya? 🙂
    If I haven’t had this same pasta, I’ve had its close cousins dozens of times, all because I didn’t want to run to a store for a missing ingredient. Here it was an egg. It could just as easily have been the crème fraiche or one of the others. Mistakes are going to happen and, with a little luck, they’re as delicious as this pasta of yours.

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:19 #

      Have not yet had time to whip up a wonder woman costume and I’m not sure they make lycra quite powerful enough to contain my …er…curves…so I find that wine and food give me super strength and creativity 😉 Have you heard the expression “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”…well I’m Jill to that Jack!

  9. Karen March 24, 2013 at 16:20 #

    I would be thrilled to have a bowl of your accident pasta while sitting in one of your lovely chairs. I do think it is uphill for the two of you on your new home. Next year you can reap the rewards.

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:20 #

      Oh yes, next year we’ll be back and we’ll look back and reminisce but look forward and enjoy!

  10. 76sanfermo March 24, 2013 at 18:33 #

    I do the same , improvising new recipes…! When my children ( two adults , actually) tell me : “mamma ,write this down!” , I know I’ve been successful !
    Congrats for your new chairs,they ‘re so elegant!

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:28 #

      I know when I ring Mamma and ask her for a recipe, it makes her really happy as she knows it is a good one!

  11. Mad Dog March 24, 2013 at 19:28 #

    Excellent and those chairs look good too!

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:28 #

      Thanks MD…hopefully they’ll get put to good use soon 🙂

  12. gardenfreshtomatoes March 24, 2013 at 20:10 #

    That’s a familiar refrain – “Hey, we DON’T have (insert vital ingredient here)!” It always comes out fine – or better!

    Love those chairs 😀

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:29 #

      I think we all have those kitchen moments don’t we…that’s how new dishes get “discovered”!

  13. restlessjo March 24, 2013 at 20:49 #

    I’m impressed with the industry. It’s coming along great. Then again, you have to keep busy to keep warm in this weather.
    Good idea with the pasta- I’ve never tried reserving water to mix cheese/creme fraiche in, but will give it a go. I’m hopeless at making proper carbonara so this might suit me better. Thanks for the tip

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:30 #

      Tell me about the cold…our boiler doesn’t go in until tomorrow so we work bundled up liked Michelin men! Yes, keeping a tablespoon of the cooking water is great for loosening up the sauce, I do it with my carbonara too!

  14. MySpanishAdventures March 24, 2013 at 22:45 #

    The pasta looks so yummy! I love whipping up “concoctions” with whatever we have on hand. I think I could eat a whole bowlful of your Happy Accident Pasta!

  15. {Main St. Cuisine} March 24, 2013 at 23:32 #

    I’m loving your pasta and your finished dining room chairs! Your pets are so sweet….my dog would’ve been right in the middle of any chair makeover (trying to distract as I stapled)!

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:31 #

      My dogs always like to be where we are, so they are currently covered in dust and plaster and have a great desire to jump down between the floorboards which are currently propped up against the wall 🙂

  16. Calico Stretch March 25, 2013 at 02:07 #

    Lord when I read the title I hoped this wasn’t one of those ghoulish posts about accidents and cooking. LOL. Yum pasta and I make something similar but with cream. Probably will make it tonight and what a good idea to whack in some mushrooms. Kids can pick them out and give them to ME 🙂

    Nice chairs. I hope many bottoms enjoy countless meals around your table seated on these cushions too.

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:36 #

      I nearly called it “I have a staple gun and I’m not afraid to use it” but I wondered if wordpress might censor it! Fortunately no pasta was stapled during the cooking process 😉 I love mushrooms too, so I’d be fighting you for them!

  17. Eha March 25, 2013 at 04:30 #

    Have made pasta sauces all my life and I don’t think any two have ever had the same ingredients : yours sounds moreish . . . and I love the chairs result too! Have seen this DIY ‘staplegun methodology’ before on all our “Home & Garden’ shows – don’t know that I ever believed it really worked like that 🙂 ! Super!!!!

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:37 #

      Staple guns are fantastic, you can hide a multitude of sins, and when you get fed up of the covers, just redo them again in a couple of hours! I’m with you on the pasta sauce, mostly they’re made from whatever we have to hand 🙂

  18. narf77 March 25, 2013 at 08:02 #

    Those chairs look LOVELY :). Kudos on your friends good curtain taste (and your good luck 😉 ). We did the same thing with a sad old vinyl covered (cigarette burned…”DAD!”…) stool and a HUGE leather jacket that my daughter bought from a thrift shop to act as an umbrella to get her home. It turned out amazingly well and restored my faith in my ability to do “stuff” :). Your chairs are a triumph girl!

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 10:40 #

      Love the sound of a stool covered with a leather jacket! And isn’t it great when you can repurpose something like this. My pal was downsizing and used to make costumes for a local drama school and I now have bags of fabric, lace, beads, curtains…it’s so exciting!

  19. thecompletecookbook March 25, 2013 at 10:17 #

    I’m on my way – keep one of those chairs for my rear please – oh and a portion of that pasta would hit the spot too!
    Can’t wait to see the end result of all your and Big Man’s hard work.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  20. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen) March 25, 2013 at 13:41 #

    I love happy accidents in the kitchen. Your pasta looks so creamy and delicious. I was quite concerned with your title that you were going to sharing an incident with the staple gun and someone in the ER and so happy to see it is your beautiful chair coverings instead.

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 15:10 #

      I am rather accident prone, so I think quite a few people expected a story of high drama and staples in the wrong places! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  21. TBM March 25, 2013 at 14:19 #

    You’re accidents turn out better than mine. If you need help next time Miles will comfort test the fabric. All he needs as payment is a hug. He love hugs.

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 15:10 #

      There are always plenty of hugs to go round here!

      • TBM March 27, 2013 at 11:04 #

        I’ll send him over. After his morning nap of course.

  22. dedy oktavianus pardede March 25, 2013 at 15:31 #

    actually i had some accidental menu make overs,
    i invates some of my friends and pnat to make NASI GORENG/ fried rice, i forgot to cook the rice before and end up with pasta as a quick substitution for the seasoning….
    btw, your dining chair even looks better then ever…..

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 19:21 #

      Oh dear, but from the look of your blog (which I’ve just been browsing) I don’t imagine you have too many kitchen accidents! Love your recipes, will be back soon.

  23. bitsandbreadcrumbs March 25, 2013 at 16:16 #

    Happy Accident recipes might be my favorites…there’s such great pleasure in the discovery as well as the taste! I’d love to come over and wear out your chairs anytime. 🙂 So glad things are going well and moving along.

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 19:22 #

      I should have a Happ Accident, Chair Warming Party 🙂

  24. Maggie March 25, 2013 at 16:30 #

    So delighted to see my bags of material and trimmings used so cleverly. What next I wonder
    Mags x

    • Chica Andaluza March 25, 2013 at 19:10 #

      I was so thrilled with all the bits…they’re already finding places around our new home! Thank you again 🙂 And I think Auntie Mabel’s cabinet is travelling down to us this week!

  25. spree March 25, 2013 at 18:46 #

    What a pretty change you made to those cushions,Tanya! You’ve got enough volunteers to last you several seatings, but sign me up for the next available chair! You’re awfully handy with tools, girl! We just never know what you’re going to come up with next! From skirts to aprons, pastas to bathrooms! A Twenty-First Century Renaissance Woman!

    • Chica Andaluza March 26, 2013 at 13:55 #

      How flattering, thank you! Maybe everyone could come over and we could play musical chairs!

  26. Promenade Claire March 25, 2013 at 22:18 #

    You know I’ll happily come and wear them out 🙂 And I just loved the title of your post !!

    • Chica Andaluza March 26, 2013 at 11:58 #

      Our kitchens should be finished next week, so hopefully those chairs will soon be in business!

  27. Barb Bamber (@justasmidgen1) March 26, 2013 at 03:14 #

    Only you could make a “happy accident” look planned and gourmet! Just like those chairs.. they look brand-spanking new, imagine accomplishing that with just some new fabric. This is a great idea.. I’m going to have to go to some thrift stores to see what I can find.. xx Oh, and yes, I’d love to come wear them out, when will you be expecting all of us, lol?

    • Chica Andaluza March 26, 2013 at 12:00 #

      Ah thanks Barb! And I think I have a bit of a chair buying obsession as we already have 11 for a small flat which is only intended to be a holiday home!

  28. waterfallsandcaribous March 26, 2013 at 16:12 #

    Looks better than Carbonara! Yum 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza March 26, 2013 at 16:41 #

      I’d rather have some of that amazing Indian food you’ve been eating!

  29. The Seas Of Mintaka March 26, 2013 at 18:24 #

    Mmmhhhh! Just mmmhhhh! I’m going to have to have them with “lazos” too sometime.

    • Chica Andaluza March 26, 2013 at 20:12 #

      That’s the word for them…I couldn’t remember it! In Italian they’re “farfalle” or butterflies which is lovely too 🙂

      • The Seas Of Mintaka March 26, 2013 at 21:16 #

        Oh yes butterflies, that’s what they’re called. Wish I had some right now (and some bacon too, and cream, and spinach, and……….)!

  30. themateriallady March 26, 2013 at 20:31 #

    Count me in for that gathering – I will even bring a bottle ( and some Bonios!). The pasta and the chairs both look great.

    • Chica Andaluza March 28, 2013 at 20:44 #

      Oh yes, the bonios would be most popular with the pups!

  31. idiosyncratic eye March 27, 2013 at 13:37 #

    That come up in my email as ‘Staple Guns and Happy Accidents’, the mind boggled. 😉

  32. kathryningrid April 2, 2013 at 01:24 #

    Ooh, gorgeous! Both the chairs and the pasta. Clearly one must sit upon an exquisite little throne in order to fully appreciate the delicacy of the fantastic dining. Well done!

    • Chica Andaluza April 2, 2013 at 12:34 #

      I love the idea of sitting on an exquisite little throne!

  33. Charles April 2, 2013 at 23:53 #

    Aw, I love that original style of material there (the one that was removed)… I never knew what it was called though – thanks for telling me the name! The new fabric is nice though – my parents have some stuff in a similar design 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 3, 2013 at 10:16 #

      I think most households of a certain era had at least one piece of furniture covered in that fabric!

  34. Rak Sepatu Gantung August 8, 2016 at 02:20 #

    becarefull sist, that stepgun will hurt you!


  1. Chinese Spiced Aubergines & Cast Iron Excitement | Chica Andaluza - April 6, 2013

    […] do you think of the fabulous cast iron fire surround some pals gave to us? They of the lace and fabric are now giving us an amazing Victorian original which came out of their home during a refurb. Love […]

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