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Showing posts from November, 2011

How To: Dry Erase Calendar

This is a quick little project that you can completely customize to fit your space based in the paper you select!

First select a frame with glass for this project. Any large frame will do 16 x 20" or larger. Mine shown is 24 x 30".

I wanted something bright and selected my background paper first. It has a look of vintage lines notebook paper, with ivory, red and light blue as the main colors. purchase enough background paper to cover the entire size of you frame in a tiling formation. Scrapbook paper works well for this. With soapy options, you can even change this seasonally.

Next, I selected solid color scrapbook paper in the three main colors of the background paper. You will be writing on these, so nothing too dark!

This is where some measuring comes in. Take the width of your frame and divide by 7. Then subtract .5 from this number. Your result is how many inches wide each square should be, leaving one half inch between squares.

Cut your solid color squares to this si…

World's Best Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust

Talk about a show-stopper. This pie crust looks so amazing, it should be so much harder to make! The perfect finish to almost any pie, you no longer have to decide - cinnamon roll or pie?

Ingredients:
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust2 tsp cinnamon (I added 1 tsp Williams-Sonoma Cinnamon Sugar)1 tbsp butter, meltedYour choice of pie filling (I used 1 can pumpkin pie mix with 2 eggs and 5 oz. evaporated milk to make Pumpkin Pie) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Brush with butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and slice into 1/2-inch rounds, like miniature cinnamon rolls. You will use both pie crusts in the box to fill the pan.
In a circular layout, press miniature cinnamon rolls, flat side down, evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass pie plate, making sure there are no spaces between the rolls.  Lightly brush crust with one beaten egg white. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin pie filling…

How To: Framed Chalkboard

If you caught the post earlier this week about being inspired by the Pottery Barn catalog but wanting to recreate items on a budget, look no further for this step-by-step on creating your own Framed Chalkboard.

Here is the original inspiration for this post:


Here's how I made it work for my house (and for only $14.35!)
Ingredients: 16" x 20" Black Frame with plexiglass (mine was from WalMart - $9.99) Chalkboard Spray Paint (I used Rustoleum from WalMart - $2.97) Chalk (WalMart School Supplies aisle - $1.39) You can use a variety of bases for the chalkboard. I used the Plexiglas the frame came with. After 3 light coats of chalkboard spray paint, it works just as well as spraying foam board, glass, wood, or most other low-non-porous surfaces.  Take apart the frame and Plexiglas. Wipe the Plexiglas with a lint free cloth to remove any dirt, dust, hair, etc. Place on a covered surface (I laid it on newspaper in the grass). Use short, quick strokes with the chalkboard spray pa…

Salted Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

They do exist.

These are my favorite cookies right now, hands down. The combination of salty, sweet and peanut butter is heavenly. I originally came across this recipe on Pinterest and have adapted it. Yield: Makes 24 cookies
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour1/2 tsp. of salt1/4 tsp. of baking soda1/2 cup of butter at room temperature1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar1/3 cup of granulated sugar1 egg (beaten)1 tsp vanilla extract 1 package Tollhouse mixed Peanut Butter Chips and Chocolate Chips3/4 cup broken up pretzel piecesPreztel Salt or Sea SaltDirections: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips, pean…

Turkey Sandwiches on Parade

Let's face it. By the end of this week, there will be leftover turkey in your fridge. Here are some yummy sandwich ideas to enjoy that leftover turkey:

Thanksgiving Sandwiches
3 slices turkey
2 slices white bread
1 t Dijon mustard
1 lettuce leaf
1/2 c leftover stuffing
1/4 c leftover cranberry sauce



Cuban Panini Sandwich

3 slices turkey
3 slices ham
1 T Dijon mustard
2 slices Swiss cheese


Spinach Artichoke

3 slices turkey, diced
1 T cream cheese
1/2 c spinach artichoke dip
1 ciabatta roll



Cream Cheese and Bacon

3 slices turkey
2 slices raising walnut bread, lightly toasted
2 T chive cream cheese
3 slices cooked bacon


Provolone and Giardiniera

3 ounces turkey
1 ciabatta roll
1 t olive oil
1/3 c Giardiniera (pickled vegetables, drained and chopped)
2 slices provolone


Watercress and Apple

3 slices turkey
2 slices white or wheat sandwich bread
1 T butter
1/4 apple thinly sliced
1/2 c watercress



So what are your favorite turkey sandwiches? If you make any of these, we want to see pictures! Su…

Gnocchi and Turkey Meatballs ala Vodka

No recipe here -- just a way to cheat through a weeknight dinner and make it look awesome. Ingredients: Frozen Turkey Meatballs Vodka Sauce (I used Archer Farms, from Target) Whole Wheat Gnocchi from Woodmans (check your grocer's refrigerated section of pasta, usually near the cheeses)
Set a pot of lightly salted water to boil. In a saucepan, combine sauce and meatballs over medium heat until sauce begins to bubble, stirring occasionally. Turn to low heat, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally. 
Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook until the dumplings begin to rise to the top, then cook one minute longer. When you open on up, you shouldn't taste a flour or gummy taste. They should be light and fluffy. Strain from the water, toss with the meatballs and sauce, and you're done.


Design Inspiration: Pottery Barn Home Accessories

I love Pottery Barn anything.

My wallet, however, does not. In an effort to have Pottery Barn home in an economic downturn, I've been scoping some PB accessories that are easy DIY projects. I'll post tutorials as I begin creating these items myself, but here is a glimpse of what is to come:

I have been searching for the right item to work into my kitchen on the wall space next to our china cabinet. For this project, I am going to start with a frame and it's glass pane. Matching chalkboard paint on both the frame and glass with fun quotes of those I admire should serve this space well!


I love these knob hooks. Deck finials from Home Depot stained and sealed will serve as our materials. I plan to use these for coat hooks just inside our garage door entrance.


These pillar candles are going to be recrafted with white pillar candles, decoupage, an with lace or another similar textured material.


Who doesn't have papers to keep handy? Invitations, permission slips, paint samp…

Baby Zoe Grows!

A little photo library of my adorable niece, Zoe Catherine! She's almost 10 months and already changing so much!

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my favorite freeze ahead recipes. I adapted my mom's Chicken Pot Pie recipe. If you want to make ahead to freeze for a weeknight meal later on, cover well and freeze after you put the pie crust on top and before you bake.

Ingredients:
2 10 ounce cans Chicken Breast, drained (or 20 ounces cooked Chicken Breast, shredded)
2 cans mixed vegetables (I used peas, corn, green beans, and Lima beans), drained
1 can diced potatoes, drained
1 can chicken broth
1/4 c melted butter
2 T flour
1 T dried tarragon or rosemary
1 t black pepper
1 egg yolk
1 box Pillsbury pie crust (makes two crusts)

In a large sauce pan, whisk together the butter and flour until there are no lumps. Add broth and simmer over medium for 4-5 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Add vegetables, potatoes, chicken, and spices. Stir together and simmer another 4-5 minutes as sauce begins to thicken.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. To make ahead, I split this recipe between two 9x9" pan…

Baked Ziti with Beef

What do I live most about this meal? It's Freeze-Ahead Friendly!

A few weeks go I had a 'cooking day' where I prepared the following, all to go into the freezer for later consumption:

Baked Ziti with Beef
Baked Ziti with Squash
Meatball Lasagna
Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
Northern Bean Soup
Chicken Taco Soup
6 c Homemade Marinara Sauce
5 c chopped chicken meat
3 c chopped carrots
3 c chopped celery
3 c chopped onions

The first 4 items were frozen in 9x9 inch disposable pans (2/$.99 at walmart). Each recipe filled two pans. The last 7 items were all frozen in one cup increments for easy later use.

The purpose is still the same for all of the above: preparing for easy cooking at a later time.

Tonight, I can home from work, put the Baked Ziti with Beef in the toaster oven for 75 minutes, an popped it out for a nice, baked dinner without having to spend more than 3 minutes total in the kitchen.

Best part: It's also a Weight Watchers recipe!


Ingredients

2 t EVOO
2 garlic clov…

How To: Twine Monogram Door Hanging

I'm a sucker for all things monogram. Combine that with a need for a non-seasonal door hanging, and we have this quick, affordable project.

Approximate price: $8/door hanging

Ingredients:
1 chip board letter
1 spool twine (yarn would also work)
Hot glue gun
2" length of ribbon
1 or 2 silk flowers

Start with hot gluing the twine on the edge of the letters, then begin wrapping the twine around the letter, keeping the twine taut, and continue around the letter.

In our family, all of our last names being with "P" (except my rogue sister-- she is an "M"). I found all of my tools for this project at Hobby Lobby.


I looped the ribbon around the top of the letter, then wrapped the twine around to secure the ribbon.

Once all of the letter is covered in twine, secure the loose end of twine to the back of the letter with the hot glue gun. Secure the silk flowers in the same manner.

Hang and enjoy!