Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dinner Deconstructed: Basil Cream Cheese Penne

Hello lovely readers. It seems that this has been a week of recipe posts.  Today, I'm introducing a new post series that I plan to do on a regular basis, 30does, dinner. 

I'm hopeful that over the next few months you will come along with me as I make some changes to my blog, the post quality, variety of post topics, and hopefully design.  I have lofty goals for this blog, but it's an evolving process. 

This recipe comes from my collection of vintage Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks.  Collecting vintage cookbooks and home keeping manuals are a little hobby of mine; this little collection is from my mother-in-law and from a local library purchased for $.25.

What I love about vintage cookbooks is the dated vocabulary, ingredients (such as lard, MSG, and many pre-made "name-brand" goods), and interesting descriptions.  It's really a little piece of cultural history.  Often many of the recipes are not my thing, but every once in while, I come across a real goodie.

This "Green Sauce" is so quick, easy, and tasty that it has become a staple in my house when I'm "fresh out of dinner ideas".

Note: You can use fresh herbs; although the recipe calls for dried.  Also, I usually use whole wheat penne and add sauteed seasonal vegetables and crumpled, crispy pancetta. 

So, you seriously just mix everything together until cream cheese is melted and toss the cheese sauce with freshly drained, warm pasta.

For this version, I added farm-fresh zucchini sauteed with shallot in olive oil, a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes from our backyard, and of course the crispy pancetta. 


Sharing at: 
Weekend Wrap-Up Party at Tatertots and Jello
Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Farmer's Market Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Along with the 1/2 peck of peaches we picked up at the Farmer's Market, we also gathered some fresh tomatillos, poblano peppers and sweet onions, which, by the way, are so sweet and tasty you can eat them raw. 

What did I do with these fresh ingredients? 

I threw them into the food processor with 2 cloves of garlic, pureed them and basically drank the resulting salsa with a few corn chips in tow.  

If you would like to replicate this fresh salsa, 

take 5-6 tomatillos
2 poblano peppers (stems cut off, but seeds included)
1 medium-sized sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
pinch salt

place all items in a food processor and pulse until just pureed. Enjoy!

Sharing with:
Creative Share at Trendy Treehouse
Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Farmer's Market Peach Crisp

This past Saturday we visited the Wildwood, MO farmer's market.  While it is a smaller-scale farmer's market, it has just the right number of local farmers/gardeners selling just the right amount of fresh produce, herbs, eggs, and flowers.  Even better, a local BBQ joint serves up freshly smoked sandwiches for hungry husbands in tow and "take home" size containers for dinner.  There was even a nice Irishman crooning old Van Morrison songs and a friendly Hawaiian Ice peddler.  Overall, it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. 

My loot was small, but purposeful; it included 1/2 peck of fresh Calhoun County, IL peaches, which has led to this tasty post. 

Farmer's Market Peach Crisp

1. Peel, pit and chop 7-9 peaches into hearty slices and/or chunks. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
(a quick way to peel peaches is to place them in boiling water for 30 seconds, let them cool, and peel away)
2. Mix peaches with 1/4 sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1-2 tsp freshly grated lemon rind, dash cloves and a pinch of cinnamon.  Place mixture into pie plate.
3. Mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking), 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  Cut in 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over top of peaches.  Bake about 25-35 minutes until topping is a crisp, golden layer.
(this recipe is for crisp lovers. we love the crisp as much as the peaches.)

Sharing this with:
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog
Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative

Friday, July 23, 2010

Laughing Penguins

On July 3rd, my younger brother got married in St. Louis to a wonderful red-headed (as a family of red-heads, we are, of course, pro other red-headed folk) pediatrician.  While the entire day was great, the best part of the reception was the "photo booth" by Laughing Penguins, a local, female-owned, St. Louis company.  

While the concept of a wedding photo booth is not novel, the design, craft, and personality of Laughing Penguins sets it above the competition and makes it a must for your next party, wedding, mitzvah, anniversary, and/or corporate shindig.

Design-open layout, white background, photos are displayed on a projector screen from an LCD projector to inspire more photos and fun conversation!
Craft and Personality-Darby, the fabulous photographer and Laughing Penguins owner, takes quality, well-framed photos of wild party attendees and encourages spontaneity through her bright smile and relaxed personality, no pushiness or over-the-top pose directions here, just be yourself, have fun and create some lasting memories people!
The Best Part-During the event, the Laughing Penguins staff prints off your pics in black and white 4x6's (includes your four best poses) for you to take home as a token of remembrance! And, even better, after the event, you can purchase your fun photos starting at $.99 for a 4x6 on up.  

For example:

Okay. The pictures say it all.  Take the pressure off, let someone else record your special moments and have fun at your next event with Laughing Penguins.

I'm linking up today:
New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge

Thursday, July 22, 2010

before and after lamps

I can't believe it's been 1.5 weeks since my last post.  Maybe it's the heat, but I've been lazy and uncreative. 

However, recently I made over two lamps for our bedroom.  I've been slowly pulling it together, but instead of purchasing new lamps to match the new look, I made over the one's I had. 


After 1 Coat of Primer: 

After two coats of white Krylon spray paint and Ralph Lauren "brownish"(I can't remember the exact hue) glaze. 
I purchased two shades from Target for $14.99. 

What do you think?

Parties I'm Linking To Today: 
Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Chic Cottage
Get Your Craft On at Life as Lori
Power of Paint at Domestically Speaking
Penny Pinching Party at The Thrifty Home

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Activities/Favors for Kiddo Parties on Great Day St. Louis

This morning I will be back on Great Day St. Louis (and if you are visiting from Great Day, "Welcome!") to showcase a variety of fun and thrifty favors/activities for kiddo parties including recycled broken crayons and party pinwheels.  If you've got a kiddo or are planning a party for one, check out these simple, thrifty and cute ideas at 10am CST on KMOV Channel 4 or online.

If you would like the printables for the color-me fans from this morning's show, read on after the jump.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

party pinwheels

What's a party without some pinwheels?  

Pinwheels make a great party decor, favors, and fun.  These DIY pinwheels can be made ahead of time or after your party goers decorate them with a little flair.  

We are planning the big #2 party for our kiddo and part of the party fun will be making these pinwheels.  First, the kiddos in attendance will decorate their paper with fun bug-themed stickers and their new chunky crayons; then, the adults will assemble each one using a 3/8" dowel, a tack, a glass bead, a hammer and a dab of gorilla glue.  Simple and fun.  

any questions?

A few pointers:
1.  You've got to work with it a little after assemble to get it to spin fast.  A little tug here, a little tug there.
2. It may spin faster if you use a hole punch instead of poking the holes with the tack.  
3. Supervise the kiddos while they use these, the chance of the tack coming out is possible.  Although, with the use of gorilla glue, it lessons the chance of it coming loose with "normal" use. 

These pinwheels have endless versatility.  How cute would they be on pretty double-sided printed paper?  Or, with painted or ribbon-wrapped dowels? Or with fun stamps all over?  The options are endless. 

If you like this idea, I will be sharing in on Monday morning, July 12 on Great Day St. Louis.  In addition to these pinwheels, I will also be sharing how to use broken crayons as a party favor, mess-free finger painting, DIY fans, and pocket coloring books.  Tune in Monday at 10am for the fun!

Parties I'm Linking to Today:
Get Your Craft On at Life as Lori
Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple 
Crazy Domestic at All Things Domestic

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

recycled broken crayons


Beautiful color.

I love this idea. 

Place broken crayons in a mini-muffin tin.  A fun-shaped muffin tin/mold would be great to use as well, think hearts, flowers, etc.  Put muffin tin in preheated 300 degree oven.  Watch closely until crayons are melted into a nice, hot wax.  Remove muffin tin from oven. Cool.  Flip over and pop out these chunky new crayons. 

This is a great idea for recycling your kiddo's old, broken crayons.  You can also buy a $1 box of crayons and make fun color-themed kiddo party favors or to accompany a gift.  Plus, these large, chunky crayons are great for small hands. 

These are for my kiddo's upcoming 2nd birthday party favor boxes.  

On Monday July 12th, I will share recycled crayons along with four other simply DIY kiddo party favors and activities (including...mess-free finger painting, paper fans, pinwheels, and pocket coloring books) on Great Day St. Louis.  For my other appearances on Great Day, check out the left sidebar.

Parties I'm Linking To Today: 
Whatever goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Penny Pinching Party at the Thrifty Home
Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple
Crazy Domestic at All Things Domestic

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a wedding rehearsal

a rehearsal dinner invitation...

a bouquet from a pile of ribbon...

and a trail run...

my little brother got married this weekend; these are just a few things i wanted to share from the rehearsal. i will have more to share from the wedding day soon.
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