Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Best Breakfast Potatoes

We've been getting a lot of potatoes from our CSA box recently, and along with them have come some pretty good looking recipes. We whipped these up for Saturday breakfast and instantly knew this recipe would be put in the remake pile. So good!

What you need:

2 lbs potatoes, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 big bell pepper, chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 stick butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt & pepper

What you need to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, garlic, onion, bell pepper, olive oil, butter, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and some kosher salt and pepper.

2. Pour the potato mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan twice. Raise the heat to 500 degrees and bake until crisp and brown, 15-20 minutes, tossing twice.

3. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper before serving.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

October Focus: Recommended Books

For October I decided to read only books that people recommended to me. I asked for suggestions on Facebook and got an influx of great book ideas! So many, in fact, I may need to dedicate November to this theme as well.  Plus I really really enjoyed all of these books...obviously my friends have great taste!

Here is what I read:

Read: Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Read: Longbourn
Read: The Illustrated Man
Read: The Twentieth Wife 
Read: The Rook
Reading: Outlander
Reading: Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

I've always been wary about squash soup but after making this recipe...I'll never make that mistake again! This butternut squash soup is amazing. The perfect balance of flavors and the perfect creamy texture. Mm!

What you need:

2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
4 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 package 8 oz cream cheese

What you need to do:

1. Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet. Stir in onions until tender.
2. In a crock-pot, add in onions and all the other ingredients except for the cream cheese.
3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
4. Using a blender or food processor, blend the soup mixture until smooth. Return the soup to the crock-pot and stir in the cream cheese. Cover and cook on low for about 30 more minutes. Stir with whisk until smooth.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Focus: Kurt Vonnegut

I love Kurt Vonnegut. To be honest, though, it did take me until college to really appreciate him. I tried to read Breakfast of Champions in high school and was just not ready for it. Then I started reading him heavily during the summer of 2007 and really connected with him. I loved his writing style and I loved his ultimate message of people needing to be kinder to each other. Recently, I'd been thinking about him again so I dedicated September to be all about Vonnegut.

Here is what I read:

Slaughterhouse-Five  (reread)
Letters (first read)
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (reread)
Galapagos (first read)
Drawings (first read)

I also really wanted to reread Breakfast of Champions but the library was not cooperating with me!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Spicy Little Apron

A couple Christmases ago, I made this apron for my mom!

This was one of those sewing projects where I learned so much more about sewing. I learned how to use binding, sew a button hole, make a ruffle, and use different stitches on my sewing machine. I was at my parents' house recently and noticed it had unraveled a bit after being washed. I took it back with me and mended it back up. I love giving new life again to an old project! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Homemade Bread with Whey

I am somewhat obsessed with making bread these days. I blame the cheese kit that I bought a couple weeks ago. Ever since I started making cheese, I started having a lot of excess whey leftover. And what do you do with whey? Make bread, of course! Here is the original recipe that I used.

My first loaf of bread!

What you need:

2 cups warm whey (warm water can be substituted)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 packet dry active yeast

1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour (white or wheat)

Here is what you do:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar into the warm whey. Then mix in the yeast and salt. Mix in the flour until just combined. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let sit for two hours.

2. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the oven racks so that one is in the middle and one is directly below it.  Put your cookie sheet in the oven to heat it up. Pour one cup water into a baking pan and put on the bottom rack of the oven (this creates steam that keeps it moist but still gives it a crunchy outside).

3. When the dough has doubled, mix in any seasoning you may want. (I've tried oregano and basil so far but my favorite is cinnamon!) Knead the dough on a floured surface--only for a minute or so.

4. Put on your cookie sheet and cook for about 20 minutes or until the outside is brown.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Focus: The Public Library

Ok, so I use the public library probably 75% of the time when I'm picking up books--so this month isn't too much of a challenge for me. But, I had a massive stack of library books that I needed to get through so I decided to make my month a broad theme of books/movies from the library!

Read: The Silkworm
Watched: Nebraska
Watched: Inside Llewyn Davis
Read: Flora and Ulyssis
Read: Dear Mr. Knightley
Read: Dad is Fat
Read: Landline
Read: The Devil in the White City
Read: Daddy Long Legs
Read: The Death Class
Reading: TransAtlantic

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Zoo Animal Puppets

I love making little finger puppets...which works out well because I love giving them to people. Here is a set that I made up for one of my pregnant friends!

I looked up a bunch of ideas on Pinterest but mostly based my puppets off of these!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tasty Zucchini Fries

Oh my gosh these are so good. 

This is the perfect recipe to make when your garden is overflowing with zucchinis...or in my case, my CSA box! I looked at a bunch of different recipes but I ended up liking this one the best. Enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Soft Flannel Baby Blanket

Here is a lovely little baby blanket I made. It is so soft and light, I think this will be a cozy, versatile blanket for my friend's upcoming little baby!

How I did it: I pinned two yards of fabric right sides together then sewed around the edges. I left about six inches open and flipped the quilt inside out. I then stitched the hole shut and sewed all the way around the edges again about 1/4 inch away from the edge. I then tied it off with yarn. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Napa Cabbage Salad

This recipe is so delicious. So delicious. I grew up with something like this but recently discovered it again here when I was searching for what to make with a head of napa cabbage that I had gotten in my CSA box.

Here is what you need:

1 head napa cabbage (shredded)
1 bunch green onions (minced)
1/3 cup butter
1 (3 oz) package ramen noodles, broken
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Ok, here is what you do:

1. Combine the green onions and cabbage in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Melt the butter in a pot. Mix in the ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven until they are lightly browned.
4. Meanwhile in a small saucepan heat the vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
5. Combine the dressing, the ramen mixture, and cabbage immediately before serving.

Enjoy! Try not to eat it all immediately. Take it from me...you'll get a stomach ache.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Zucchini Tater Tots

The other night, I was practically starving and considering ordering a pizza but decided instead to whip something up. I saw this recipe here and decided to give it a try. And you know what? So much better than pizza! Really!

You need:
  • 1 c potatoes (shredded)
  • 1 small zucchini (shredded)
  • ¼ c breadcrumbs
  • ¼ c shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ t onion powder
  • 1 egg
Here is what you need to do:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
  2. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the shredded potatoes and zucchini.
  3. Place the potatoes and zucchini in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin pan and press them down a bit. You can make these smaller (to get about 20 tots) but I made mine a bit bigger and made 12.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Spicy Caramelized Purple Cabbage and Basil

I've never done anything with cabbage before but was really pleased with this recipe. It had some spice to it but the sugar really gives it a nice balance of flavors.

You need:

1 Small Head Purple Cabbage

1 Half Onion

3 Cloves Garlic

Large Handful of Basil

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Powder

1/4 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes

Sea Salt and Black Pepper


First heat a large pan on medium and add the oil, cayenne, and red pepper. Slice the onion; throw into the pan and cover. Cook the onions until they start to caramelize. In the meantime, quarter the cabbage, then slice it into finger-wide slices. Chop the garlic up fairly well and set to the side. Once the onions start to get a light brown color, throw in the cabbage and give the pan a good toss; cover and let cook down for about 4 minutes. Roll up all of your basil and give it a slice. Once the cabbage has reduced in size a bit, season with salt and pepper and throw in the garlic. Give it 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat and toss in half of the basil; plate immediately and cover with remaining basil. Sprinkle with sugar.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Zuchinni Pineapple Loaf

I saw this recipe over here and wanted to give it a try! I am a sucker for any type of bread so I pretty much knew I would love this...and true to my taste buds, I did!

Here is what you need:

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups zucchini (grated)
1 cup pineapple (crushed)
3 hours flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg

Here is what you need to do:
Whisk eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in zucchini and pineapple. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix everything together and stir until moistened. Pour into two large, greased loaf pans. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stumbled Upon Favorites

I love this short film. So funny.

I Love Summer...and water slides.

A backpack bike! So amazing...and handy!

I want my own set of red boxes now...

This turtle video is so adorable and also very frustrating to watch...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

An Easy Shirt Revamp

It is amazing what a few simple chops can do to revive an unwanted shirt. I had this shirt for months and never wanted to wear it. The color is a bit brighter than I typically wear so it was a bit overwhelming to me with the addition of colorful sleeves. So I chopped those sleeves off and am so much happier with it! Funny how such a small of difference can make a shirt seem like new.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Focus: Memoirs

I read A Girl Named Zippy about six years ago and  I've been a sucker for memoirs ever since. I love having the chance to see glimpses into another person's life--and when the voice is unique and the stories are powerful...it is the perfect combination! I had been stockpiling a couple memoirs for quite some time now so I figured July would be a great month to focus on them.

Wow--I read a heck of a lot of books this month! Here is the list:

Read: My Stroke of Insight
Read: My Brain on Fire
Read: The Bedwetter
Read: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Read: Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Read: I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Read: Breaking Night
Read: Are you there, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
Read: This Boy's Life
Read: The Duke of Deception
Reading: Same Kind of Different As Me

Let me know if you have any memoirs to recommend!