Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kale Chips


I started growing Dinosaur Kale in my garden (see the pics here) after reading an article in Martha Stewart Magazine and an article about kale chips. We have made kale chips twice and they are really good. I saw some reviews online about the kale chips tasting like potato chips and I wouldn't got that far...but they are pretty tasty and you can't eat just one!

Ingredients:
Bunch of kale
Olive Oil
Season Salt

Wash and dry kale and remove the stems. You can do this by grabbing the end of the stem and pulling off the leaf with your other hand.

Tear the kale into piece and toss with olive oil.



Spread on a pan and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350.


Sprinkle with season salt and enjoy!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crochet Sock Monkey Hat

I also made this sock monkey hat for my friend's one year old son. I used this pattern here. Update: The original pattern is no longer available. There are lots of other pattern on Ravelry.

I crocheted it with a G hook to make it smaller. I should have removed a couple of rows from the bottom because it was a tad bit too big. Not to worry though because he will grow into it.

I also made up the ears and mouth myself since I thought the ones from the pattern were too small. I basically added more rows to both of the ones in the pattern.

I used black buttons for the eyes to give it a more authentic look. I have no idea what kind of yarn I used since it was a hand me down from my friend that was cleaning out her stash.

This was a big hit at the birthday party since my friend had been browsing etsy in search of a sock monkey hat and she was glad she didn't buy one :)


crochet sock monkey hat



I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.


Crochet Owl Hat

My friends son just turned one so I made him this owl crochet hat. I used the pattern I found here. It was super easy and I whipped it up in a couple of days.

I used Lily Sugar n Cream cotton to make it. I got the yarn from a friend that was cleaning out her stash and I don't think they make this blue anymore. I've tried to find it at Joann's and Michaels because I really like it but the darker shades of blue just aren't the same.



crochet owl hat



I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pesto and Summer Squash Pasta

In my quest for recipes to use up summer veggies I found a recipe for a pesto and summer squash pasta. I have been making this recipe for a few years so I have made it my own. It is great served warm or cold. I made this batch to bring to a party so I kept it cold so I wouldn't have to worry about heating it up.


Ingredients:

2 summer squash ( I used patty pan but zucchini and yellow squash also work)
1 box of pasta (I only used about 3/4 of the cooked pasta)
1 large onion
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt

Cook pasta as directed on package. While pasta is cooking put olive oil and pressed garlic and salt in a pan and heat on medium heat until garlic starts to sizzle.

Roughly chop onions and squash. Add onions to hot pan and cook until slightly translucent about 3-4 minuts. Add squash and cook until you can pierce the squash easily with a knife. The flesh also starts to look more translucent.

Add squash and pasta into a large dish. Stir in pesto until well covered. Stir in parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

We made the pesto from a huge batch of basil fromt the garden. It is super easy, tastes great and it easy to freeze. I will post about the next batch we make.


Linking up

Monday, September 12, 2011

DIY Chalkboard

Mike and I wanted to get a chalkboard for the kitchen to write our grocery list on. We looked everywhere and what we were looking for does not exist so we decided to make our own.

We went to Lowes and picked up a can of chalkboard spray paint. They also sell it in small cans but we figured we wouldn't need that much. We had a large picture frame in our basement that was collecting dust.

Mike took the cardboard piece out of the frame and sprayed several coats of paint onto it. Once it was dry he put it back in, minus the glass piece and hung it on the wall.

Voila! A place to write our grocery list. I also took half the board to write down the veggies and herbs we have from the garden so we always know what we have to cook with.



We picked up a huge box of chalk at Target for only .99! We also hung the board with a cute clock we picked up a garage sale. It came in very handy the other day when our power went out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

What do you do when you forget to pick a zucchini from the garden and it looks like this?



Make zucchini bread!

I have the best recipe for zucchini bread ever. It come from The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book. Every time I make it I get a ton of compliments. I will share this awesome recipe with you and my take on it is to add chocolate chips because they make everything more delicious.


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour (I like to use half white and half whole wheat for a heartier bread)
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (1 medium)
1/2 bag chocolate chips ( I think this is a cup)
You can also try it with a 1/2 cup walnuts instead or in addition to the chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 metal loaf pan.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl with fork mix oil, eggs and zucchini.

Stir zucchini mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.


I made a quadruple batch (this was a big undertaking for me!) since I had some other smaller zucchinis I wanted to use up. I ended up baking two batches in a larger 9 1/2 x 13 pans. I kept them bread in the pan and served it more like a cake. I brought a batch into work and received rave reviews :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Veggie Casserole

Our garden is in full swing and full of peppers, summer squash and tomatoes.




I decided to make a casserole to use up some of the bounty. I really like the creamy goat cheese pasta I made last week so I decided to use it as a base for my casserole.


Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked pasta
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes (This is spicy. If you like it mild ad 1/4 tsp or omit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
  • 11 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes.
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 package bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 summer squash (zucchini or patty pan)
  • 1 large or 3 small peppers (banana or bell)

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and the red-pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and wine, and cook until wine has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add chicken and bacon and cook until heated through. Add goat cheese and water, stirring until sauce is creamy.
    2. Add pasta, diced squash, peppers and tomatoes to a large baking dish. Pour sauce over top and lightly mix. Add the Parmesan cheese to the top.
    3. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
    4. Enjoy!

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Outdoor Furniture Redo

    This spring we did a quick update on our outdoor furniture. The paint was starting to get tired and we wanted a fresh look. We got some balck spray paint from Lowes in a matte finish. We pulled out the tarps in the backyard and sprayed away. It's amazing how easily spray paint can transform something.

    Here is the couch before


    A few quick coats of black spray paint later



    We have a fresh look for the couch and chairs. Now that the weather is finally cooling off we can enjoy sitting in the gazebo in our backyard!

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