Archive | February, 2011


20 Feb

>February has been a whirlwind. Somewhere in the madness I have been trying to make more meals at home. This is such a time, money, and gut saver. I tend to eat much healthier when I am controlling the ingredients in my food. More importantly we are trying desperately to get out of debt and eating out is such a money suck. It has gotten so expensive for 2 people to just run out to a fast food joint (15.00 bucks or something…outrageous). The key for us has been planning 2 meals a week BEFORE going grocery shopping. These meals should be either doubled or the type of recipe that makes leftovers. This gets us at least 2-3 meals a week from one planned dinner. It can be challenging and has been an adventure for me to see how much I can squeeze out of one grocery trip..but definitely not easy.

Don’t be scared. She really is genius.

I hate to say this but Martha Stewart is my favorite recipe source right now.  It’s not until I started crafting and cooking more did I realize that this woman’s empire is frighting yet genius.  One of the reasons I started cooking her items more is mainly because the recipes are simple and they don’t use a bunch of junk (hydrogenated fats, meat substitutes, and other processed yuck).  Plus, many of you know that my husband is notorious for not liking many foods…so I have to plan accordingly and keep it simple. I’m excited to say that all of these recipes got the Johnny B thumbs up!

1. Baked Ziti with Garlic Bread.  I substituted whatever fresh veggies we had for a salad. I doubled the recipe to make a large pan (Pyrex dish) full to freeze some..but we loved it so much we didn’t freeze any.  Vegetarian and delicious!
2.Tortilla Soup with Black Beans. Another good vegetarian option. Could have added some shredded chicken and would have been yum too. This recipe wins for the quickest/easiest recipe I made this month.
3. Sloppy Joes. I need to preface this recipe to say that I hated Sloppy Joes as a child. I actually hated any meat and tomato combo. I thought this sounded good and I wanted to try it. We used Grass Fed/humanely treated ground beef. P.S. you can afford good quality meat if you reduce your overall meat consumption, which is what we do. I made it last night with a side salad and some oven fries. John ate two sandwiches so needless to say it will stay in the rotation.
4.Turkey Meatloaf. This is an Emeril recipe that was posted on Martha’s website. We have made it twice now. It is wonderful! I doubled it and definitely tweaked it though. Added thyme and fresh sage (turkey and sage go nice together). Substituted Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for plain..because that’s what I had on hand. Omitted the Emeril Essence seasoning and didn’t use the peppers because both attempts to make the recipe I didn’t have any on hand. The peppers would be a good addition though.
5. Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, and Pecan Cookies. I subscribe to Everyday Food! The last page of this months magazine was for these cookies. I can’t find the recipe online to share but they were very similar to these. I took these to work (very small office with not alot of people that love sweets) and they were gone in 2 days. So, I think they were a hit.

Where do you get recipes/food inspiration from?



5 Feb

>Here is my first crack at homemade tile coasters. I found this adorable paper at one of my favorite online shops, Paper Source. I purchased my wedding invitation supplies from them in 2008. I love their selection and quality.

The blue/chartreuse coasters were a birthday present for my sweet friend Jerri. The other few are for our place. I still need to make some extras. This was my practice batch in case something needed to be tweaked.

I am really pleased with the finished product. What do you think?

If you interested in this project you will need:
-some pretty paper (or you could use photos)
-Tiles. I got mine from Home Depot for .16 cents a piece!
– Modge Podge (3 coats)
-acrylic waterproof sealer, I used Plaid (1 coat)
-felt,cork, leather or whatever strikes your fancy. I used felt. I included a photo so you could see the back of the coasters.
– waterproof glue, I used Liquid Fusion Urethane glue. It worked like a dream and no nasty smell.
-foam brush
1.Cut paper to fit the tile. You may want to cut them to fit or fold them. Some folks sand the corners of the tile to make a rustic look. I folded the sides. If you have extra paper on the sides you can also fold over because the felt will later cover this.
2. Place light coat of Modge Podge on tile (front and sides if you are doing the sides). Place paper down and smooth all air bubbles out. (let dry 24 hours)
3. Coat the paper/sides with a coat of Modge Podge. Remember that your brush is going to make paint marks so try to stay in one direction. (let dry 24 hours).  Repeat this step 2 more times (with 24 hours in between). This will total 3 coats of Modge Podge.
4. Spray or brush coaster with waterproof sealer (you can buy it in spray or paint form). I used the spray. I would use this outdoors. Let the sealer dry and air out for a couple of days. Be sure to spray any paper that you folded under so moisture doesn’t seep in.
5. Cut felt/leather/cork to fit the bottom of the coaster. Put thin layer of glue on the bottom of the tile. Not too close to the edge so it doesn’t run off. Let glue dry according to directions. 
6. Enjoy!