Saturday, February 25, 2012

chalk labels

The current craze is chalk. Labels, boards to hang in your home, you name it! I have no problem with this. It's a fabulous idea and super cute. Who better than Martha to run with it and create some great inexpensive items for all the chalkboard lovers. I took advantage of her new line at Staples and picked up some adorable labels to add to some current organizing projects. First stop was my pantry! I am drop dead in love with these. And it helps keep everything in its place. Jeff has even made sure to keep up with it. If you know my husband than you know that it HUGE!

Friday, February 24, 2012

spinach artichoke pasta

I have been extremely successful the last couple weeks with recipes I've found on Pinterest. This was one of my faves. When I picked it out, it reminded me of the spinach artichoke casserole I've been cooking for around 15 years. And that casserole has since become a must have at all holiday dinners. Hopefully my horrible iphone pic still makes this dish somewhat appetizing! Here is the super easy recipe:

Ingredients :
1 (13 oz) box shell pasta
1 tsp butter
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 8 oz package reduced fat (not fat free) cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1T lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained and chopped
10 oz chopped, frozen spinach, thawed, with as much excess water squeezed out as possible
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped cooked chicken (optional)
Additional Parmesan for serving

1. Cook pasta according to package directions

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add garlic (we added a little extra 'cause let's face it...who doesn't love more garlic!). Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Slowly stir in milk, then add sour cream, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach, Parmesan cheese and chicken (if using).

3. Drain pasta and add to artichoke mix. Toss and season to taste with salt and additional lemon juice as needed. Serve with additional shredded Parmesan.

And voila! Enjoy!!


Friday, February 17, 2012

pizza night!

We decided to make pizza and get some help from our little guy. This would be his first time helping in the kitchen. We started with our favorite toppings...pepperoni, olives, pineapple, and extra cheese. Yum! 

Of course Ashton couldn't help but get started eating the toppings. I'm guessing that was probably his favorite part. The kid just cannot resist cheese!

It turned out super delish and I seriously question why we get take-out pizza all the time.

Friday, February 10, 2012

tinted mason jars

On my search for a aqua vases I found some tutorials on Pinterest for tinting my own. I love the antique blue mason jars which unfortunately are not in production anymore. There's plenty of knock offs and people selling their old ones, but I was getting kind of annoyed at the prices. I had the jars so why couldn't I just make my own? All you need are a few simple supplies. 

~Glue. Elmer's works great. I just happened to have 
some Martha Stewart Glitter Glue on hand 
already. It's basically the same thing.
~Food coloring
~Sponge paint brush
~Bowl to mix "paint"
~Vase or jar

Mix the around a tablespoon of glue with a small amount of water. I think I could have made mine a little thicker but it worked out in the end. Add food coloring to get the color you want. The finish lightens as it dries so it took a few tries for me to get the right hue.

Paint the inside of your vase or jar in even brush strokes. The mixture will dry pretty even. I did a few coats since I was trying to get the right shade. And every 20 minutes or so I would use my foam brush to get the excess along the opening off. Dry them upside down so you don't have that excess puddle in the inside of the jar. It's much easier to even out that out along the rim.

And there you have it. I love the shade and can't wait to get some flowers in them! 

**Note: these are not meant for live flowers in water. The water will break down the coating. I plan to use some crepe paper flowers or silk flowers.