Sunday, July 31, 2011


So I have been trying to shake things up a little with my scrapping. This one is a true new fav of mine, I havent felt like that with a layout in a long time....there's a little inspiration from Mel mixed in with some good ole raw chippie from Scrapware  which I think I can never tire of and that gorgeous Hambly rubon.

Till next time...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

i{heart}2stamp Sketch with a Kite

I almost missed this month's sketch from i{heart}2stamp and I knew exactly what I was going to do from the day that I saw it at the beginning of July!

The sponsor for this month's challenge is My Favorite Things.  When I saw the sketch, I had just purchased these fun kite and cloud dies so I knew I was going to make a summer scene.  I had originally intended to include one of their sweet Pure Innocence children, but the paper and colors of the card just took over and I didn't end up doing any stamping at all!  I deliberately left off a sentiment because I think it is a perfect fit for many different occasions.

(This is my second post today)

  • Paper: Stampin' Up Island Indigo, Poppy Parade, and Confetti Cream; Papertrey Ocean Tides, Harvest Gold, and New Leaf; WeR Memory Keepers Comstock Sky (background paper), Cosmo Cricket Togetherness Mini Deck (kite)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Creamy Caramel (on edges), Papertrey Ocean Tides (on clouds)
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Kite and Cloud dies, Quickutz Sun Die, Papertrey buttons in Fine Linen, Lemon Zest and Pure Poppy, Papertrey Ocean Tides ribbon, Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch

Smashed Spiced Chickpeas

While on vacation up in Ohio, my friends and I decided to take all 8 of our kids to the drive-in movie theater.  Even though we packed all kinds of snacks and drinks, the kids still wanted to go to the refreshment stand.  Surprise!  Surprise!

When I was younger there wasn't too much of a variety at the refreshment stand.  The usual popcorn, hot dogs, and maybe a corn dog if you were lucky.  Nowadays they have all manner of things: pizza, meatball subs, cheeseburgers, jalapeno poppers, deep-fried macaroni and cheese, nachos, chicken tenders, hot dogs, soft pretzels, and wait for it.......they even have hummus served with pretzel chips!  I admit, even I had to laugh when I spotted that hummus.  It hardly seems like drive-in food, but I had to have it.  Hummus is one of my all-time favorite things to eat.

So there I am, walking back to my friends with my goods.  I have a soft pretzel for my daughter, some fries for my son, an order of deep-fried macaroni and cheese to share, and an order of hummus with pretzels chips just for me.  Let me just go ahead and say right now that I'm probably never going to live down that hummus.  My friends thought it was hysterical that I ordered it and they gave me the hardest time.  In fact, they're still joking about it.  They were like "who eats hummus at the drive-in?"  Apparently I do and I would again.  I would eat it wherever, whenever, with whoever.  I would probably eat it everyday if I could.
 Smashed Spiced Chickpeas
*aka chunky hummus*
Adapted from The Naked Chef Takes Off
Serves 6 - yeah right!
One 14 oz. can of chickpeas or use 6 oz dried ones, soaked and cooked until tender
a good pinch of cumin seeds, pounded
1-2 small dried red chiles, crumbled
1 clove of garlic peeled and pounded to a paste (I used 3 cloves)
juice of 1 lemon (I used juice of half a lemon)
salt and black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Jamie says "This is so simple to make.  Really it's all about personal taste - the way I look at it is that chickpeas need a good kick up the backside to really get their flavors happening.  So by smashing them up and adding a good pinch of cumin for a bit of spice, a little dried chilli for a touch of heat, garlic for a bit of ooorrrggghhh, a good squeezing of lemon juice to give it a twang and seasoning to taste, you pretty much hit the nail on the head.  Then add extra-virgin olive oil to loosen and flavor.  Love it. "

Notes/Results:  Normally I like my hummus to be ultimately smooth and creamy, but I loved that this version didn't call for breaking out my food processor or my blender (I don't like cleaning either of those appliances).  This is a quick version of hummus that is fun to make.  I had fun using my mortar and pestle and was able to get out all my frustrations.  I added a bit more garlic and left it kinda chunky and I really enjoyed it with some store-bought garlic and chive pita chips.  I've determined that hummus is the perfect food to eat anytime, but is especially tasty in the summer months when the heat is oppressive and you can't imagine eating yet another salad.  Viva la hummus!

Theme: We Be Chillin'

CAS-ual Long and Short with Color Lab

I am finally back!!  I was only gone last weekend for a long weekend but I got back to this mess and it has just been too darn hot to clean it up. 

Plus, Scott, Erik and I have been working at the local pool's snack shack most days - think small, unairconditioned room, with multiple refrigerators, freezers, microwaves and pot of hot water generating even more heat.  Technically, the high school marching band runs it every summer as a fundraiser, but the flaw in that plan is that they have a two week marching camp in July and they go back to school early August (even though the pool is open until Labor Day) - so we parents get to run the snack shack!  Wave at my boys...

Enough whining!!

Here is my card for CAS-ual Fridays (to make a 4x9 card) and for this week's Create Ink ColorLab.

I LOVE this sentiment!!

I had a real problem getting back into cardmaking - I had two full false starts on this card...  (I didn't spend any time editing these pics)

This one just seems too dark!

This is my favorite of the batch
but I see "wedding" when I
look at it!

I even failed on my posted card.
I had originally colored the candles
in Coral thinking it would highlight
the yellow stickles, but it just
looked orange!!

I am so hoping that my cardmaking block is over...I have a wonderful weekend of cards in front of me and I am thrilled to be back in my craft corner with ink on my fingers and glitter on my eyebrows!
  • Stamps: Lawn Fawn images, Morningstar sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Calypso Coral, Baja Breeze, Daffodil Delight
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake and a small piece of Baja Breeze dsp
  • Accessories: Oval and Scalloped Oval Nesties, Yellow Stickes, sheer ribbon rubbed across the Daffodil pad, small piece of linen thread

it's official!


Ahhhhhhhhhh! Patrick and Ashlee were "officially" engaged last night after a romantic dinner at La Caille. We are beyond excited. We love, love, love Ashlee and it brings us so much joy to see Patrick so happy.

They've decided on January 6th as the date and will be married in the Salt Lake Temple since that's where both Lynn and I and Ashlee's parents were sealed. Love it.

More to come.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I am sorry!

Please excuse my absence from my little pink blog for the last couple of weeks. I will probably be missing for at least another good week.  
I have been seriously ill, and as such, unable to blog. 
The fact the I am finally letting you know means that I am finally turning a corner, but I am not there yet...
Thanks for your understanding.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fettucine Limone Parmeggiano

Sophie and her chef fiance, Victor, are going on a pre-honeymoon trip to Verona, Italy where they plan to spend some time together before their wedding.  Instead of the romantic vacation she planned, Sophie finds herself traipsing all over Italy with Victor while he does culinary research for his new restaurant.  It soon becomes clear to Sophie that Victor's top priority is not Sophie, but his new restaurant.  Poor Victor doesn't even realize his ways.  He's so obsessed with food and everything regarding it that he doesn't even realize he's losing Sophie.

As soon as I observed Victor's behavior I completely identified with it.  How hard would it be to love food and not get consumed by it while in Italy?  I don't really fault him.  I would most likely behave in a similar way.  Maybe not to the extreme he did, but still.  Poor Sophie.  If only she were a noodle, or a great vintage wine, or perhaps a truffle then maybe then she would get some attention from Victor.

The movie inspired me to keep my priorities in check and not be so consumed with food.  I decided to make a quick dish, one that can be made in the time it takes to cook the pasta.  Don't you just love those types of meals?  I've always wanted to make Pasta Limone, a dish redolent with lemons, parmesan, and lots of fresh basil.  I picture this as the type of thing I would eat if I traveled to Italy.

Fettucine Limone Parmeggiano
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter
Serves 4

3/4 pound fettucine
Coarse salt
1 lemon
1-1/2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan, plus extra for serving
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-5 tablespoons of pasta water, to thin
Handful fresh basil leaves

Boil the fettucine in salted boiling water, according to the package directions.  

Meanwhile, using a Microplane, grate the zest from the lemon into a large mixing bowl.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl.  Add the 1-1/2 cups Parmesan, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and mix in the olive oil to form a wet paste.

When the fettucine is perfectly cooked, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the cooking water to the lemon and cheese mixture.  Add the fettucine to the bowl and toss thouroughly, adding another tablespoon or 2 of pasta water if necessary so that the sauce coats each strand.  Roughly tear in the basil leaves.

Serve each portion with a sprinkle of coarse salt, a fresh grind of black pepper, and a few gratings of extra Parmesan.
Notes/Results:  This pasta dish was so fragrant.  The smell of lemon and basil just permeated the kitchen.  We could definitely taste the lemon, which we loved, and we found this dish to be refreshing and light.  At the same time, there was a certain creaminess to the pasta (from the cheese and the addition of pasta water) and it was very satisfying.  Another selling point was that I was finally able to showcase some of my opal (purple) basil.  Purple is one of my favorite colors and I searched high and low for purple basil this season.  I didn't notice a difference in the flavor of the basil, but the color sure does make me happy.  All in all, a great and quick pasta dish!

Food 'n Flix is being hosted right here at Stirring the Pot this month.  It's not too late to submit your recipe inspired by the movie Letters To Juliet.  For information regarding a submission, please click HERE.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

little red caboose...

Another layout from Camp mojo last weekend. This one features my youngest and his love for the story the little red caboose. He absolutely adores it and asks for it over and over and over!

 Don't you just love that Scrapware frame!
Till next time..

Monday, July 25, 2011

Roasted Shrimp Salad

There were a couple of reasons why I was drawn to this recipe.  First and foremost, it's hot as hell here and for the first time in a long time I haven't really felt like standing over the stove.  Maybe more importantly though is the fact that I've never had shrimp salad before and I was really drawn to all the gorgeous flavors in this recipe.  Plus, I've watched and listened as Ina has went on and on about how roasting shrimp really brings out it's flavor and I was curious to give it a try.

The pictures of the salad in her book are gorgeous and I've grown to have high expectations for Ina's recipes.  She almost always delivers and I've never really had a recipe of hers be a "fail" for me, until now. 

So, did roasting the shrimp bring out any extra flavor? It was certainly an easier way to cook the shrimp, but I didn't feel like it added any additional flavor.  The shrimp were perfectly cook and they were good, it's just that I don't think the roasting really added anything.

The major problem with this recipe for me was that there was just too much flavor.  "Too much flavor" usually isn't ever an issue for me, but in this case I felt that the flavor of the shrimp was masked by the other ingredients.  While I love the flavors of orange zest, dill, capers, and red onion it was just a little too much for the delicate flavors of the shrimp.  However, this recipe has received a five star rating on the Food Network and quite a few people have sung it's praises, so it could be that it's just me.  Either way, I learned a good lesson in how I like to enjoy my shrimp and from now on I will be sure to pair it with more delicate flavors (unless of course we're talking about garlic and in that case I say the more the better).
Roasted Shrimp Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten's How Easy Is That?
Serves 6

2-1/2 pounds (16 to 20) per pound) peeled shrimp
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup good mayo
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons small-diced red onion

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place them on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and toss together.  Spread the shrimp in one layer and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once while cooking, just until pink and firm and cooked through.  Allow to cool on the pan for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  When the shrimp have cooled, add them to the sauce and toss.  Add the dill, capers, and red onion and toss well.  The flavors will improve if you cover the salad with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.  Otherwise, chill for up to 6 hours and serve at room temp.

Notes/Results:  We didn't care for this one too much, but that doesn't mean that it's not for someone else.  Many reviewers indicated that at first they weren't sure of the orange zest with the shrimp but then declared that they loved the combination.  Although I love the flavor of orange I really didn't care for the flavor when it was mixed with the shrimp.  Additionally, dill and capers are some of my favorite ways to flavor food but in the case of this recipe it was just too briney and too tangy.  I think the dill and capers could really be scaled back in this recipe.  That said, I'm glad I tried this one because I learned quite a bit about how I like to enjoy shrimp.

What about you?  Do you think you would enjoy these dominate flavors with shrimp OR are you more into delicate flavors when it comes to seafood and fish?

For Deb @ Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Banana, Peanut Butter, & Honey Smoothie

This week is Bevvies week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and my original plan was to buy some champagne and make peach bellinis, my favorite drink ever.  The problem is that I procrastinated and now it's Sunday and I live in a dry county.  The liquor store in the next county doesn't open up until 1 o'clock and by then I have other plans, which include sweating in the hot sun.  Perhaps one day I'll learn to stock some champagne here at the house.

Because it's a million degrees here in Kentucky no one really felt like having a hot breakfast so we opted for Jamie's banana smoothie with peanut butter and honey.  This was my first time making a smoothie with half and half and naturally I really liked it.  The half and half definitely makes the smoothie extremely thick and ultimately creamy, kinda like a milkshake.  I've also never added peanut butter to a smoothie before and wasn't quite sure what to expect but the peanut butter only lent a very light peanut butter flavor, kinda like a subtle little secret.  My husband and I really loved these smoothies and I would most definitely make them again.

 Banana, Peanut Butter & Honey Smoothie
Adapted from The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver
Serves 2-4

2 bananas (I used 1 frozen, 1 fresh)
1 cup light cream (I used half & half)
approx. 2-1/2 cups of ice
2 tablespoons honey
2 heaped tablespoons peanut butter

Place the banana into a blender and whizz for 30 seconds.  Add the ice and cream, honey, and peanut butter and whiz up until you get a semi-slushy milk shake consistency.

Theme: Bevvies

Friday, July 22, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

 I ran across this recipe for Rachel Ray's Buffalo Chicken Meatballs when I was searching for recipes using ground chicken.  I thought the idea of buffalo chicken meatballs was totally genius and knew my husband would be absolutely crazy for them.  What man, or woman, wouldn't, right?

Rachel's recipe is more of an appetizer with the buffalo chicken meatballs being dunked into blue cheese with celery and carrots on the side.  I needed something I could serve for dinner so I decided to make the meatballs and serve them over rice.

I couldn't believe how easy this recipe was.  It's a matter of 5-6 ingredients, a quick mix and shaping of the meatballs, some time in the oven, a nice bath in buffalo sauce and you're totally done.  Not to mention the entire meal was less than $5 and serves four people easily.  Best of all, these meatballs are absolutely delicious and fun.  

 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Adapted from

Serves 4
  • 1 pound ground white meat chicken
  • 1/2 small onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken with the onion, garlic and parsley, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Flatten out the meat in the bowl and score it into four portions using the side of your hand. Shape each portion into four balls – you should have sixteen meatballs in total.

Arrange the meatballs on a nonstick sheet pan and drizzle them with EVOO. Place in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through and golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the hot sauce and whisk to combine. Toss the baked meatballs in the hot sauce to coat.  Serve with blue cheese, carrots, and celery sticks as an appetizer OR serve over rice.

Notes/Results:  Not only were these meatballs delicious, but they were easy, quick, fun and economical to make.  I'd definitely like to serve these as an appetizer with the blue cheese, celery, and carrots BUT we really enjoyed them over rice for dinner.  My husband especially enjoyed them and has asked for them again.  A keeper recipe for sure and another Rachel Ray winner.  Rachel is definitely winning me over lately.

I submitting this post to Deborah over at Taste and Tell for her Saturdays with Rachel Ray event.

An easy summer cathedral window!

I love the look of cathedral windows!!!!! I do not have the extra time it takes to stand and iron so I found a great and super easy tutorial that has a LOT less ironing and still has a great look! April over at Making Ends Meet has a great tutorial :o) Thank you so much April, you have made my lazy days of summer not too lazy!!!!!!

Measure out 10 inch squares

Fold in half and sew the two ends (1/4 inch)

Press seams open and line up the other side ( leaving a small opening to turn in the middle) and sew.

This is how it will look. Do not forget to press that second seam. Guess who did :o)

After you have turned it the right way out press the points to the middle. This will cover the small hole you had to turn the square.

Add a few stitches across to secure the ends

I forgot to take a pic of this next step...sigh...summer senior brain...

You take the squares and secure them but zig zaging them together. Just put them side by side and zag!

(This is what the back will look like after you have sewn the pretty fabric in the center)

Choose your fabric and for this one I cut a 3 inch square. Fold the sides of the squares over the center fabric and pin it down!

I machine sewed mine because I have no idea how to hand stitch *blush* I used the center of my foot as my guide. 

Let me just say...I LOVE Amy Butler fabric!!!!! Perfect blues and greens!!!!! I am only making a pillow or two using this method but it is a great way to get your feet wet in the windows without having to commit time for those that do not have any extra!!!!

This method is super fast and easy and thank you again April!!!!!!!