Friday, July 30, 2010


So. Sorry it's been a minute. Hubby's a teacher and baby and I are soaking up as much time with him as we can. We've grown positively humongous from all of the wonderful memories and moments we've had this summer.

I don't have much time this evening (date night and all) but I created a recipe for dinner. I think I do my best work when I have 10 minutes to throw together something nutritious and wonderful) and this was definitely one of those evenings. Through a series of events our plans for going out to dinner were scratched and (luckily I had cooked some country style ribs earlier to save them from going to waste) I created this recipe to share with you.
Have fun with it. Mix it up and make it your own!

Drum roll............................. ( I know maybe the  picture isn't the best but I had another picture taken from an aerial view and the ribs looked inappropriate)
Southwestern Bruschetta! And can I just say... YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(If I am not mistaken, bruschetta is sliced baguette with a tomato topping).
So! I have Texas Toast (garlic bread) toasted and then topped with steamed: bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, corn, and summer squash all diced and stirred up with some chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, canola oil, sea salt, and lime juice. (All of this is to taste. You can add your own seasonings, but I recommend (since you have so many hearty things that are delicious and shouldn't be skimped on) using the Texas Toast for a more southwest feel. Nevertheless, do as ye will.
So I top the lightly browned garlic bread with the mix and then broil it just to get the veg some extra color.

p.s. for some amazing ribs (I hate eating off the bone, I feel like a cannibal or feral child doing that) I buy boneless country-style ribs and braise them on each side for some nice brown color with a little sea salt. Then I lay them in a 13 by 9 baking dish and pour in 1/4 c (about) chicken broth (you could use beef but I use chicken with pork when I am doing a light taste and beef when I want something more hearty) and then about 1/2-3/4 c. of liquid salsa seasoning (mine is honey, garlic, and herb) and stick a quartered onion in with it.
Slow cook them for 2 hrs or more at 250*.
I broiled mine again at the end to make sure the bits that sat in the juices (which helps keep them tender) weren't soggy.

I made sauce with 1 C. of the juices from the pan and 2 T. each flour and butter. Melt the butter, whisk the flour, then pour in the juices and stirring constantly cook until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste if it's bland. This is a no-fail way to make gravy! I never get any lumps!

Happy cooking!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Free E-cookbook
Go to Mr. Food to download a free e-cookbook called decadent desserts. (thanks rockin' deals). You have to sign up for their free newsletter but then you get the pdf download! Kinda cool, thought I'd share since I know we have a lot of cooks out there.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Straw Bale Garden

check this out
ok. So. I am not advertising for this person (although I suppose I really am) but I do a garden every year in pots (apt. living... what can you do?) and saw this ad on FB. Clicked the link and was very intrigued. I don't know if I am going to buy the book or not but it's definitely something to think about. Click 'check this out' to look at what I am talking about.
Have you done anything random for planting? What's your favorite way to garden? Normal (in the ground), square foot, pots, topsy turvy (has anyone ever done those? Do they work?), etc?

Let me know what you do!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What's my style? The hyper chameleon.

I don't know about you, but I don't have a million dollars to hire a decorator or to go pick out everything coordinating from a store all at once to decorate my house; therefore I usually end up struggling to know what I want to do with my space or wondering if the new lovely bauble I found would really go. I also kinda struggle to know what my personal style is. Do you? Maybe you have it in your head and you know exactly what you like. Lucky. I am the same way with my clothing choices, by the way. Oh. and my make-up.
I tend to wear whatever strikes me and sometimes I am casual with a little 'bling' for fun and other times I do my best to dress like Penelope... I don't have that much in my closet that really goes because every time I go to the store I pick out what looks cute and then get it home and I have nothing that goes with it. Do you struggle with this kind of stuff????
I came across this kind of fun thing. Ethan Allen has a little style quiz on their web-site. You click the picture that sticks out to you first. Do this a couple of times and then they try to define your style and show you pieces that fit you. Kind of fun. click the 'style quiz' below to try it out.
What was your style? Was it accurate? Did it surprise you at all?

Style Quiz

Friday, July 2, 2010

4th of July wreath project

So. No. this is not a wreath. BUT. I have this fab wreath. Simple but perfect for spicing up for each holiday. Thought I needed something for the 4th. I don't have any decorations for this holiday. Considering I am up for a party any time and love holidays because they provide the opportunity to do just that... this is a weird thing!

I got this really awesome frame at the thrift store. Big, chunky, awesome. Ugly, too. That's where my plan began.

I bought some thin carboard at my local craft/school supply store and used their die cutting machine to cut out the star. I cut out two carboard stars so I could glue them together to make it more sturdy.

Using spray adhesive I glued the two cardboard stars together and then glued my paper on. I had traced my stars onto the paper and then cut them out. Had I been thinking I would have just die cutted my paper stars too. oh well, huh?

I sanded the edges where my paper hung off. If you die cut you can skip this part. I took barn red acrylic paint and just painted the edges of the star where you could see the cardboard.

I then had my ultra-strong hubby punch a hole through the star.

Mod Podged the whole thing front back AND edges/sides.

Spray the frame and the star with clear coat (I use matte) so it will hold up outside.

I used one pattern on one side and then another pattern on the other so I could have a more cute one and then a fancier one. I might layer a smaller star in the middle, add some glitter... but for now I wanted to put it up AND I thought it was pretty cute as is. Just hang the star by a thread so you can flip it if the mood strikes.

Have fun and happy Fourth.

Thursday, July 1, 2010