Friday, April 18, 2014

Getting Back to Basics

Spring and summer is the time to start or renew the idea of eating more simply. I recently put together a dinner of slices of roast butternut squash and a crunchy lentil salad. It was healthy and satisfying and plenty of food. Good and simple.  Hopefully it will inspire you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reclaiming Your Study

I use a filing system and really like it - but sometime you want to pull things off the shelf and have them in a book or binder format. For example :: recipes. I have a huge ungainly recipe binder full of all kinds of recipes I never use. So I started over with a new binder only filled with the recipes I make over and over again. I put all the recipes into clear plastic sheets so I can read them but keep them clean and I marked the side of the binder so to make things even easier. I also have a notebook with all kinds of cleaning, organizing and decorating ideas. Once you have a place to put things it makes it so much easier to fill those places up with good accessible ideas!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pretty Flower Pots

I bought some African Violets a few weeks ago and wondered how to make them look nicer in on the ledge of my dining room window. The store-bought containers were unattractive, and I did not want to spend money on a really large planter that might accommodate all of them. And then I happened to think of all the little tins that items come with - particularly the tea tins I have in the house. I added to these some pink "buckets" I picked up at Target for $1 each - and I had a project!

  I simply nailed holes through the bottom of the tins so water could escape, then added packaging peanuts for better drainage.

Outside I added potting soil and then transferred the plants to their new dwellings!

Aren't they adorable? You could easily have them inside on a window ledge or outside in the porch or on the front steps! Happy Spring!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Simple on-the-fly Pasta Dish

The other night, I decided that I wanted a fresh and easy pasta dish for dinner but was not really sure how to make it. I just threw some ingredients together and lucked out! I did consult my brother-in-law about the details of the sauce - and although I did not have wine, broth worked well instead. I started with lots of chopped garlic sautéing in olive oil. When golden but not too brown I added defrosted and shelled edamame along with strips of roasted red pepper. As I was cooking this, I made a pot of whole wheat spaghetti. After the vegetables were cooked a bit, I added some chicken broth - although white wine was preferable. This adds some needed sauce without actually making a separate sauce. Then I added the pasta to the vegetables and shredded parmesan cheese on top! It was delicious and quick - and just what I had envisioned for dinner!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Organizing your Batteries

 The other day, I finally had it with the crazy battery situation in my house. We had loose batteries scattered throughout several drawers in the kitchen - and no one ever knew which worked and which were dead. If you found yourself in need of a fresh and charged battery - it took hours to get your gizmo working because you inevitably had one bad battery amongst the four you needed! So one day strolling though the isles at McLean Hardware I came upon a battery tester for about $11.  And all the battery pain we had experienced flashed though my mind and I said - "Never again! We're buying it!" And let me tell you it was money well spent. I went home and the kids thought it was a fabulously fun project to test all the batteries and throw out the dead ones and store the good ones in a orange shoe box. Now we know that every battery in the box works!! EFFICIENCY!

Monday, April 7, 2014

What I'm Reading

This book is hilarious.  If you are a fan, pick it up.  If you're not, try it!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Is Here!!

Look what I finally am able to pick and put in my house!! Even though it's still raining and sadly colder today . . . the flowers are coming up. Enjoy early spring - and all the flowers!! Have a nice weekend.