Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roasted Zucchini

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I saw this recipe an thought I need to try that and than with veggie co-op this week, I got a huge I mean huge zucchini in the bunch so I was excited. I sliced it up and I got an amazing amount  from the huge zucchini.  I put some EVOO on the pan and than seasoned with italian seasoning and garlic salt (which is my new favorite thing to spice things up). I roasted it for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees and they were perfect tasting.

I served it with the new Poblano Queso Chicken sausage they are now carrying at the grocery store which was so awesome. I usually buy the spinach feta chicken sausage and sliced that up in Alfredo sauce but this might be my new favorite plus both kids ate it and it was not at all spicy.

So success with a Pinterest recipe which seems to be all the rage now. I so want to do a Pinterest food party where everyone picks a dish off the site and makes it because there are some awesome ideas on there. I tried the strawberry brownie cupcakes that someone made using the recipe and will so make those myself one of these days. I actually searched those out on there.

The zucchini was quick and such a great idea and I think it would work great on the grill as well making foil pack with the same ingredients.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A bag for all things

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I really liked my little bagI showcased last week and decided to make myself using that idea a bigger one. I start doug thinking that I wanted it to be a certain size and created this one.

I liked it but it was HUGE, so i cut it all apart and went back to the drawing board with it. I trimmed off the top, the sides and bottom. I trimmed out the handles and recreated it again in a much smaller version and it was way more of the size I wanted. I plan on sticking my nook and iPad in it when we travel.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

New Stamps and New Colors

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I got the preview some of the new things going to Stampin Up and I am so excited. The new colors are fun and these are some of the new Hostess Sets (these are what you can get when you host a workshop).

I so love the Stay Calm set and there are many more things you can stamp to go along. I a was inspired by one I saw on Pinterest. The Cherry on top set also has so many things we could do with it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Greek Inspired Chicken Pita Sandwiches

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I love a good sandwich. For me it can be a complete meal which you just pop in your mouth. I love pitas and picked some up the other day at the grocery store. So I thought what could I make and bingo Chicken pita sandwiches were born.

I took thin sliced chicken breasts (about a punt and half) and marinated them in a lemon pepper marinade all day. I used one of those thirty minute ones or you could totally make your own. I than grilled the chicken on the grill as well as the pitas.

I took some plain greek yogurt which was actually hard to find among all of the nine million varieties of greek yogurt out there. I remember the days when you easily spotted the plain. I cut up a cumber into small pieces and added that and the yogurt to a bowl I also added about a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt and mixed it up. I did let it sit for like 15 minutes to get all the flavors together.

I served the chicken pitas with the yogurt sauce and some sliced tomatoes. Sliced onions would be good but they don't like me very much so I passed. I served the pitas with some rice pilaf and browned new potatoes which are very Greek inspired.

For the rice pilaf, which I always make from stretch, I took 1.5 cups of ater and 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon. I than brought that to a boil and added 1.5 cups of instant rice. As the water was boiling, I browned some spaghetti noodles which I broke apart and browned with some butter. When they were done I added it all to the sauce pan with the rice. Stirred together and let it sit covered for about 15 minutes to let the noodles soften. My pilaf stayed warm but if your doesn't just stick it in the microwave for a minute.

I had left over chicken so I made some chicken salad out of it. So now I have lunch today as well. I always tend to make more chicken than we need so I can make chicken salad.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Bags

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I LOVE Pinterest. If you haven't gotten on yet, please do. It has so many awesome ideas. I saw these bags the other day and thought I need to make those. So in my crazy sewing frenzy that I have been in I finally created not one but two of these bags. But of course because I always like to make things my own, I did modify the bags some.

I added income thin batting and quilted the outside. I used Stampin Up's Spice Cake and Flirtatious Fabrics. I got canvas like handles from the fabric store. Miss O liked them so much, she already tried claiming the Flirtatious one. I think these are great little bags to carry those odds and ends or even give as a gift bag with a fun present inside.

Mr. L saw them and I had just enough fabric left over from his Duvet project to make him one as well which he proceed to stick all of his cars in. I loved making these because they were quick and so cute.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Two Buck Cake Stand

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I so hav been seeing all sorts of cake stands on Pinterest and I have been wanting one. I looked at the craft stores to see if I liked any and I did but not the price. So I have been looking at the dollar store ever since I saw make your own. I look at the Dollar Store and nothing has caught my interest in putting it together. Than today I was at the Mecca of Dollar stores and found candle holders and the cute white plates So the total cost (not including the tiny amount of super glue) TWO bucks. Yep two whole dollars to make this and of course I made two. I love this idea for a quick and fun Hostess gift and of course add some goodies on it. I set my brownies on them though they aren't as nice looking as the two dollar cake plate!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baked Salmon Sammies

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I was watching the news the other morning and was inspired to make some Salmon Sammies (yes using the RR term now). I had bought frozen 4 oz pieces of salmon and thawed them out. I than baked them at 425 for about 15 minutes. I seasoned them prior to the oven with some italian seasoning I had.

I than took some nice role grain bread and toasted that in the oven as well. I topped the sammie with lettuce, tomato and homemade seasoned may- (1/2 cup of mayo, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, and some chopped up basil from the garden- mix it all together).

I served it with some basil pesto pasta salad on the side. It was a nice light yet fulfilling meal for the warmer weather. You could also serve it as a cold sandwich as well. Just chill your salmon after  you bake it. You can also grill or broil the salmon as well- I was just lazy and it was easier to bake it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mom's Mother Day Gift

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My Mom has actually been asking for this so I finally had some time to sit down and create an full length apron for her. She wanted it so when she did Happy Hour at the Assisted Living Home she works at, she could cover up her shirt. She is so much like me, we are spillers!

I used some Mary Engelbreit fabric that she admired (I actually made a purse out of it for her last year). I just layer out about a 1/2 yard of fabric for each and build upon that. It is two sided so she can choose which side she is in the mood for that day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

End of the Year Teacher Gift

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When we are on our field trip a few weeks ago, the room Mom and a few of us got talking about end of the year stuff for Miss O's teacher. We brainstormed for a few minutes when it popped into my head to make the teacher a pinwheel wreath.

I started off thinking about doing it in red, black, and lady bug paper but I couldn't find the right paper. So walking around the craft store and thinking about what I already had in my stash, I decided to do a more summery one and add the lady bugs as accents.

I used the cutest brads with bees, ladybugs, and dragonflies on them. I also punched out circles in two sizes and created 24 ladybugs for each of the kids names as all as the year and the teachers name. I hot glued all the pinwheels onto a grapevine wreath that the room mom had (you can buy wreaths for a buck at the dollar store).

I love how it turned out and we are going to stick gift cards in it for the teacher. I really think she is going to like it because Miss O's teacher is crafty like me!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Car Trips are Hell

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SO summer is fast approaching which means car trips are in our forecast. We are going to Arizona and likely to Wisconsin as well. Last year we did two car trips and on the first one to Florida, I was so mad because the one kid lost one of the cords to the DVD player. I must of yelled for like 50 miles My Father in Law who was with us had never seen me so mad.

So on our way to WI and after I ordered a new cable, I made sure that it all stayed together. This year I had a brilliant idea pop into my head and I created boxes for all of that stuff because it ends up every where (I still have a crayon stuck in the sliding door). I ended up buying clear bins and decorating them with contact paper to hid the items in side as well as make them look cute. Mr. L actually picked out the green contact paper.

I made a bin titled "media" for the dvd player, cords and movies. The rule will be that if it is not in use, it needs to stay in the box plus I have a place for the movies which always seem to get lost as well. I made the kids each of their own to stick all of their stuff in like iPod and DSs. The small one on the top is for our chargers and cords we take along. That will slide nicely under the console between the driver's and passenger's side.

I am REALLY hoping that this will make the trip a little easier and organized. I keep the car pretty clean most of the time but when we are on car rides it seems to be packed full so I am hoping this lessens it some by limiting what they can bring and keeping it in one place.

Now I just have to figure how to efficiently pack four people up with all of our clothes plus the things we need to take with us to Arizona and Wisconsin when we go. So please say a little prayer for me and pray that I have hair b y the end of the trips!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jalapeño Popper Quesadillas

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Yes I took the rest of the Jalapeño dip I made and created an AWESOMe quesadilla that was out of this world. I took the mixture and spread it between two tortillas and sprinkled some extra colby jack as well. I  than toasted it up in a pan and sliced it up. I than added on some homemade pico, avocado, and some light sour cream. It was so good and it was an easy left over thing to make. I think I would easily make this again using that mixture.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mr. L's new Duvet Cover

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The kid is madly in love with Cars. Anything Cars he seems to have to have. He saw Crocs in Cars and couldn't put them on fast enough so when he saw the Cars panel at Hobby Lobby, I decided I would make him a new duvet for his comforter using the panel and the matching fabric.

His comforter is the basic crib size one from ikea I actually bought for Miss O. I did have a cheap duvet on it from Ikea (I think it was like 10 bucks).  I just took the old duvet over and measured that out. I added about 7 inches on the top and bottom of the full Car pattern to make it the right length.

I than used that same fabric for the backing of the duvet. It was a pretty quick sew job and I still need to get some black fabric and make him the matching pillow case as well. For now he has his other Cars pillowcase I made quite awhile ago for him.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gift Part 2

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It is a whole week of things for the teacher so last week I showed the water bottle gift for Miss O to give. this week I have two for you. The first one is the Bag of Popcorn which I covered with a piece of Summer Smooches and printed up using my MDS a quick tag. The second project is for the "Write Stuff" which is a flower pot of  pencils for the teacher. Each were quick and fun gifts to give. I know I would love to receive these personally so I hope Miss O's teacher does as well!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

You say Moussaka, I say delish!

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I know you must be thinking why are you showing me a half rated casserole but I wanted to  show the layers of the moussaka as well as that my family ate half of it (the six year old had two helpings of it).

I was in my garden and noticed I had a ton of eggplants and my plant seemed to be not doing so well, so I picked them off. I than thought what the heck could I use all of these eggplants for and I did a search on the internet for s recipe. Lots of things came up but these were small eggplants so many didn't work out. I than stumbled upon a easy Moussaka recipe on I thought hey I have all of those things (I usually try to have a well stocked pantry so I can experiment with recipes that I find.

The basic recipe is as follows and I added some of my own touches as well added in to make a meal that my family loved.

I took about 5-6 small Japanese eggplants and diced them up.
I than added two small red peppers and diced them up.

I sautéed them in a pan with some olive oil untie they were turning brown.

I than drained them onto a plate and reheated the pan and added the following:

1 large onion chopped up
I lb of ground beef
1/2 cup of butter

I browned the onions and ground beef. Once they were browned I than added one 8 once can of tomato sauce (I think one can of season diced tomatoes would work as well). I than added a tablespoon of cinnamon, minced garlic, garlic salt, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon.  I stirred it all together and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

I than boiled 2 dry cups of noodles (you could use egg, or elbow) as directed. As that was boiling and the meat mixture was simmering, I than started on the béchamel sauce which tops it all.

I took 4 cups of 2 percent milk and heated it till it was just about boiling. I than took another pan, and added in 1/2 cup of butter, and 6 tablespoons of flour. I melted the butter and whisked in the flour until smooth. I than slowly added in the hot milk, stirring as I went. The sauce thickens up pretty face. I seasoned it with salt and pepper as well.

Once all of that is done , I start the layering. Moussaka is basically Greek lasagna. I started off with a 9x13 pan and first added the layer of eggplant and peppers. I than topped it off with the meat mixture and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. I than added the boiled noodles on top of that. Finally I took the béchamel sauce and spread that over the top. I added another 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and some paprika to add some color. I baked it at 350 for one hour. I served it with a Caesar salad and some bread.

Of course because I made it for Sunday dinner we finished it with our favorite Blueberry Cobbler.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Tabletop Quilt- Dresden Pattern

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I hinted at this last week and well it started out with an idea to make a pillow and well once I got it all done and the border around it, I thought this is way to big to be a pillow so instead I made it a tabletop quilt.

I used Stampin Up's Dresden Die, specifically the smaller one of the two on the die. I cut them out using the new Summer Smooches fabric and alternated  the white based and red base around the circle of the white muslim I used as my base. When I got it all laid out, I than pinned and did a decorative stitch around the petals and the center. I than trimmed the piece up and added on the blue borders.

I really did want a pillow but it was going to be a huge one, so I decided at that point to make it a tabletop quilt. I added some backing and batting and quilted around the outsides of the piece and around the center. It is very little actual quilting. I than alternated the binding between the two fabrics. Overall I used less than each of the fat quarters in the pack. I had used a small amount before to make my camera strap.

I really liked how it turned out. It is nice when a project turns out better than you expected.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Summer is right around the corner

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I can not believe there is like a month left of school and than summer starts for us. We are excited for the break but also will miss school. It seems like just as you get use to the routine, it is over and you can have a new one.

The first week, we are heading to Arizona to visit the inlays and than back to jut relax as much as possible. I would like to venture up to Wisconsin as well but the thought of two long car rides isn't my idea of fun. We will have to see on that.

The other thing is that I decided that we are going to at least do thirty minutes of school like stuff all summer so Miss O stays on tops of things and it isn't a horrible headache getting her back up and running when 1st Grade starts in August. I have plans for reading and math as well as integrating fun things in as well into the summer.

I am planning on just relaxing and having a fun summer with my kids. I missed her a great deal all year when she was on school but now I can enjoy her for the summer.