Tuesday, March 16, 2010

perfect : accessories

Pink bunny crochet knit coin purse (perfect for the easter basket!).

photo by paper source

Sunday, March 14, 2010

menu : week eleven

Open tacos with refried beans (The Joy of Cooking)

Beff Bourguigon
Mashed potatoes

Pasta and sauce

Leek and cheese tart (The Kitchen Bible, page 229)
Roasted beet salad over mixed greens

Breakfast night
Belgian Waffles (The Joy of Cooking)
Simple homemade sausage (The Art of Simple Food)

Baked Shrimp Scampi (Back to Basics, 128)

Sauage, bean and cheese nachos (Food Everyday, January 2010, page 33)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

menu recap : week ten

The end of our week got a bit messed up. We were all set and ready to drive down to Richmond yesterday for my oldest sons soccer tournament, however, early Friday morning just a few hours before we would have left we got a call saying that it was cancelled due to the bad weather that was heading there and scheduled to come our way. I had nothing planned for the weekend so we headed out for pizza on Friday night and I put together a menu for the rest of the week.

We do not eat steak here very often, but when we do the kids love it. We made a bit extra to use for sandwiched on Sunday night. The corn pudding was not a bit hit with the kids.

Our day was a mess. Everyone had to be somewhere different and no one seemed to be home at the same time. No. one and my husband had to head to the soccer field for training from six until eight so it was not a good night for a nice sit down dinner. I made the kids steak sandwiches and they ate when they were home.

Broccoli and cheese and bacon and cheese loaded potatoes came out great. The kids loved them. They were a lot more work than a thought they would be, but I like to mix things up once in awhile.

I thought the roasted potato leek soup was amazing. No. two does not care for soup, so I knew going into it she would not like it. However, I was a bit surprised when no. one did not care for it. The other two ate tons. However, it made a ton, so in order for no. three not to have to have it for lunch everyday for a week I gave some to a friend, I never heard back so maybe she did not like it either. My husband was out that not and did not have any, so while I was reheating it the next morning I made him try it and he was nice enough to give it a try and said that it was the best soup I have made recently.

The chicken parmesan burgers were a hit with the kids. It is served on a french bread and it fell apart on then a bit. Next time I think I would just serve it on rolls for them.

I switched up what the plan was. I spent hours outside cleaning up the yard and decided to just do a clean up the fridge night. I wanted to get as much as I could done outside since we were scheduled to be away all weekend and the weather did not look good for the next few days.

Friday, March 12, 2010

crumb topping

I some nice blueberries and blackberries left that I needed to get rid of so I decided to bake a batch of muffins for the kids. I uses the recipe for the muffins that I posted about here, and I added a good crumb topping to them. The recipes makes enough for twelve muffins, but the crumb topping is the only part of a muffin that I like, so next time I will make one and a half times the recipe.

5 tablesppons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until mixture is moist and you can form crumbs.

Press topping on top of each muffin before baking.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

signs of spring

No. four and I have been spending lots of time outside. During the big snow strom we lost lots and losts of pine branches (I think at least fifty) and now they need to be cleaned up. It is a boring and messy job, but it is nice to finally be outside.

While doing our work we spotted signs of spring!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

baked blintzes

This past weekend I made baked blintzes with blueberry sauce from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. My husband and the girls really liked them. They are a bit time consuming to make, but they would be perfect to serve at a brunch. They made a ton (9 x 13 baking dish) and my husband ate them with maple syrup for dessert and I sent the rest in with the girls for lunch.

Monday, March 8, 2010


My husband brought me home some lovely sorry you hurt your hand flowers last week. They were a nice way to kick off the great weather we have had the past few days.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

menu : week ten

I did not make two of the meals last week, so I carried them over to this week.

Steak with chimichurri sauce
corn pudding

Broccoli and cheese and bacon and cheese loaded potatoes

Roasted potato leek soup (Back to Basics, page 63)

Chicken parmesan burgers (Bon Appetit, March 2010, page 48)
Homemade fries

Vegetable soup

Saturday, March 6, 2010

menu recap : week nine

The menu was a bit of a bust this week. On Tuesday night I fell in front of the kids school on the way into the science fair (damn fair) and may or may not have fractured my hand. I decided that it was not broken because it would be too much of a pain if it was. However, it was really messed up for several days and since it was my left hand and I am sadly left handed, I was unable to get much done for a few days. Dinner was one of the things that suffered.

The oven roasted pull pork sandwiches turned out great. We used a pork should that was almost eight pounds (we could not find any smaller) put we split it in half and saved the other half for the pulled pork tacos.

The pasta with pecorino and black pepper was not a huge success. I cut back by almost half on the pepper, but it was still too much spice for two of the kids.

A mess of a day.

Luckily I had some dim sum in the freezer that I steamed for the kids. I spent a lot of the day trying to get my hand looked at with no luck.

The pulled pork tacos were really good. I knew I was going to have a hard time rolling out the tortillas so I enlisted the help of no. one who did a great job. Earlier in the day I went to a few place to try and find a press, but I had no luck. However, this past weekend my husband stopped into the mexican stall at the farmers market to get some tamales for lunch. The place is no bigger than 6 feet by ten feet, but they make awesome food. We thought they only made tamales but they were out by the time he got there and he came out with a bunch of other amazing food and a TORTILLA PRESS. I was so excited. Those things are hard to find, go figure.


Friday, March 5, 2010


The kids had a half day today and since there were no activities after school I decided to take them into the city to meet my husband for dinner. We took the train up, which went better than it usually does. We then hit a few stores on our way down to his office. The kids and I hung out for a bit and then we went over to Crumbs and we let the kids each pick out a cupcake (they lasted the kids three days). Their cupcakes almost make me wish that I liked cake. We then all headed back towards mid-town for some dinner. We decided on Korean BBQ. We all really like it and we do not have a place around us that we can get it. There is a good Korean market, H Mart, that is near us and we sometimes go there for lunch. We hit the place that we went to last time. I have the name and once it is located I will post it, it is worth a stop if you are in the area.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce

For breakfast this past weekend I made ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce for breakfast. The kids and my husband said that they turned out great. Next time I will have to make a double batch, this did not make nearly enough. I had to give them a blueberry muffin on the side.

Ricotta Pancakes
Makes about twelve 3- to 4-inch pancakes.

For the pancakes
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Melted butter for brushing the griddle

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, the ricotta, the sugar, and vanilla, add the flour, and stir the mixture until it is just combined.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks. Fold about one fourth of the whites into the ricotta mixture, then fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Heat a griddle over moderately medium heat until it is hot enough to make drops of water scatter over its surface and brush it with some of the melted butter. Working in batches, pour the batter onto the griddle by 1/4-cup measures and cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden, brushing the griddle with some of the melted butter as necessary.

Blueberry Sauce

2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In a medium size pan combine the berries, sugar and 1/4 cup of the juice. Heat over medium heat and cook until the berries start to burst.

In a small bolw combine 1/4 cup of the orange juice and the cornstartch. Mix until the starch has dissolved. Add to the blueberry mixture and cook for one minute.

Reduce the heat and add the lemon juice to the mixture. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve warm over pancakes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

perfect : jewerly

Necklace by eninaj.

photo by eninaj.

Monday, March 1, 2010

blueberry muffins

I often make muffins for the kids. They are a good snack to send into school for lunch. Sometime they also get them for dessert. I tried tons of recipes and have finally come up with one that is a hit round here.

Blueberry Muffins
adapted from The Joy of Cooking
Makes: 2 dozen 2-inch muffins

1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastery flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
8 table spoons butter, melted
2/3 cup of light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1-3/4 cup fresh blueberries

cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Either line or butter a 12-muffin pan.

In a large bowl mix together the two flours, salt, and baking powder. Take one tablepsoon of this misture and toss with the blueberries in another bowl and set aside.

In another bowl whisk eggs add melted butter and whisk. Then add the milk, sugar, and vanilla and whisk until combined.

Combine the liquid and flour ingredients with a few swift strokes, do not over mix. Fold in blueberries into the batter before the dry ingredients are completely moist.

Fill cups two-thirds full, sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar and bake 18 to 25 minutes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

menu : week nine

Oven roasted pull pork sandwiches
homemade fries

Pasta with pecorino and black pepper (Back to Basics, page 143)

Vegetable soup

Broccoli and cheddar and bacon and cheddar loaded baked potatoes

Pulled pork tacos
black beans and rice

I am going to make another attempt to take the kids into NYC to meet my husband for dinner.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

menu recap : week eight

The indian dinner that I made turned out great. It is a ton of work and took hours to make that many dishes, but it was worth the effort. Everyone loves indian food and there was just a bit left that I packed in the lunch boxes.

Pasta with roasted vegetables and arugula was just a ok. I will not make it again.

The Pan Bagnat was a success. It is a great make ahead meal. Everyone likes theirs a bit different, but they are not hard to make so it is fine. I can never make enough rosti, all four love it.

Pork Stir Fry over Crispy rice is a fast and good dinner that all the kids love.

Pasta with sauce is one of my husbands favorites. I made a big pot of sauce that allows me to freeze some to use for other dishes.

I tried a new pizza dough but was not impressed with the recipe. I will go back to mine. It took me almost a year to come up with the one that I use all the time now. See below for my recipe for dough.

Pizza Dough
3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 envelope active dry yeast

2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil


Pour the warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast begins to foam, about 5 minutes.

Add sugar, salt, and olive oil into the yeast mixture and mix. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until dough forms a ball. Test dough to make sure it is not to sticky. If it is, add more flour by tablespoons until dough is no longer sticky. Mix for a few more minutes until dough is smooth.

Lightly oil a bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn dough in bowl to lightly coat the dough with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then cover with a dish towel. Let the dough rise in a warn draft-free area until doubled in size.

After the dough has risen punch the dough down. Split the dough into 2 or 3 balls. Cover the balls that you are not using. Dust working surface with flour and roll out the dough. Start in the center and work your way out. Make the dough a little smaller then your baking sheet.

Preheat over to 550 degrees.

Sprinkle baking sheet lightly with cornmeal, this will prevent the dough from sticking to the pan. Transfer rolled out dough to pan.

Top with whatever you desire.

Bake pizza until it is browned on the bottom and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.


Friday, February 26, 2010

perfect : decor

Wall art by Prairie Path.

photo by prairie path.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today was the kind of day where you think to yourself I really need a treat. However the day was such that it has drained me and even looking for a treat is a task. If I could treat myself to a treat I would have one of these.

photo by levain bakery

Sunday, February 21, 2010

menu : week eight

Onion Bhajis (Food Bible, page 50)
Naan (The Joy of Cooking)
Raita (The Joy of Cooking)
Chana Masala (The Smitten Kitchen)
Aloo Patak

Pasta with roasted vegetables and arugula (Food Everday, January 2010, page 13)

Pan Bagnat (Food Bible, page 89)

Pork Stir Fry over Crispy rice

Pasta with sauce

Homemade pizza

Saturday, February 20, 2010

menu recap : week seven

The roasted turkey, avocado, bacon and balsamic onion marmalade sandwiched from 'wichcraft were really good. I could put the onion marmalade on everything. The kids always love homemade fries.

The pork dumplings turned out well. I changed the recipe a bit, but I think it was for the better. I also made my new favorite scallion pancakes that I posted about already.

Prosciutto ravioli are easy and a hit with everyone. I made a sage brown butter sauce to serve them with for the kids. I then made a fast fresh tomato sauce for my husband.

Tuscan bean salad with crispy italian sausage is a dish I make often. No. one decided he did not wnt to eat it this week. Whatever!

The stir fried turkey in lettuce wraps turned out to be a huge, huge hit. They are crzy easy to make. I made white rice and we put it in the wraps. Next time I will double the sauce so we have more to serve on the side.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I added these note cards to the shop. They are a new product.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

scallion pancakes

The last time I made scallion pancakes I thought they were bland and I knew I needed to find a new recipe for the next time that I made them. This week I tried them again using a recipe that I found here, they were so much better. The new pancakes have much more flavor and also have a better texture. Give them a try!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

more winter

The snow never seems to stop around here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

menu : week seven

Roasted turkey, avocado, bacon and balsamic onion marmalade sandwiched ('wichcraft, page 122)
homemade fries

Pork Dumplings (Family Fun, February 2010)

Prosciutto ravioli (Everyday Pasta, page 103)

Tuscan bean salad with crispy italian sausage
crusty italian bread (I might try to make some)

Stir fried turkey in lettuce wraps (Food Everyday, January 2010, page 92)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy valentine's day

What can be better than a Krispy Kreme heart shaped doughnut for Valentine's day?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

menu recap : week six

I switched the menu around a bit this week. After being snowed in on Wednesday and outside playing and shoveling, a pasta salad did not sound good, so I switched the meal to the three bean chili. Then on Friday I had to make eighty cupcakes for the kids Valentine's Day parties at school. They had a two hour delay that day and then I went with no. four who had no school and ran my seven miles. After that we headed over to the school for the parties and for some reason they take a lot out of me. Trying to organize two of them and then running around to three of them is not my idea of fun. By the time I got home from the school it was late and I was drained, so we ordered pizza that night. Saldy we are no longer a two pizza family (only with the trenton style) and I only got a slice because the kids were hungry. Next time I know to get three.

Tuna and roasted tomato melt was a hit. It is easy to make, but the roasted tomatoes take a long time.

Potato gnocchi with pork and wild mushroom ragu was a hit with no one and three as well as my husband. No. two was sick, so she did not eat it and for some reason no. four did not care for it. It is time consuming to make. I think next time I would make the gnocchi the day before.

Three bean chili over rice was perfect for a snowbound evening. I put out salsa, cheese and sour cream to top the chili with.

The Antipasto Salad is always a hit. I have made this a few time before. It is a good dish to make ahead if you need to. I think that it gets better as it sits.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

menu : week six

Tuna and roasted tomato melt ('wichcraft, page 113)
homemade french fries
roasted beets and celery root

Potato gnocchi with pork and wild mushroom ragu (Bon Appetit, February 2010, page 73)

Antipasto Salad (Everyday Pasta, page 81)

Pork Dumplings (Family Fun, February 2010)

Three bean chili over rice

The other day my son had to bring his favorite chocolate item into school for a chocolate party. They have recenly read a chocolate themed book and the teacher thought it would be a fun treat for them all to share their favorite. He decided to bring in Heath Bars. I had a half of bag left over and decided to make some heath bar cookies. They were a huge hit.

Heath Bar cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 12-ounce package small heath bars, coarsely chopped (use as much or as little as you would like)

Heat oven to 375° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the heath bars.

Drop tablespoon-size mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Monday, February 8, 2010

project : valentine's day cards

Still don't have the Valentine's Day cards done? Print out these colorful Valentine’s Day gift tags from Hello, Good Gravy and attach to a pencil or sweet treat.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

menu recap : week five

Grilled cheese and short rib sandwiches with pickled caramelized onion and arugula were crazy good. We will make these again. I only made half of the short ribs which was plenty. Also, instead of slicing the onions, I would dice them next time.

Rigatoni with sausage, peppers and onions is an easy and good pasta dish.

Cheddar, bacon and chive biscuit ham sandwiches were delicious. The recipe makes a lot of biscuits, so I gave them to the kids for lunch the next day.

I changed the dinner to grilled cheese and bacon panini. Our schedule changed and I needed a fast dinner.

Shrimp dumplings, rice and scallion pancakes turned out well. The kids loved the scallion pancakes. I thought that they were a bit bland. If I make them again I will look for a different recipe.

Mac and cheese is always a hit. I have a few different recipes that I use, but this one is our favorite. I served it with spinach on the side so there is something a bit healthful.

Friday, February 5, 2010

project : valentine's day cards

More free printables for Valentine's Day.

Love and Rockets printable Valentine’s Day cards by Cameron of Cottage Industrialist.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

project : valentine's day cards

Free printables for Valentine's Day.

Sweet owly Valentine’s Day cards and bookmarks by Amy at Living Locurto.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Thinking of spring.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

two years

It has been two years since I started selling on etsy. The first year went well, but this past year was a disater. I think I spent more money trying to sell stuff than I actually made.

Here is to a better third year.

I added these italian print tags over the weekend. I love the patterns.

In celebration of the third year, buy and three items and get free US shipping. Just mention third year in the message to seller. I'll keep this offer up until Sunday.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Still adding new items to my shop.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

menu : week five

Grilled cheese and short rib sandwiches with pickled caramelized onion and arugula (bon appetit, february 2010, page 18)

Rigatoni with sausage, peppers and onions (everyday pasta, page 95)

Cheddar, bacon and chive biscuit ham sandwiches (bon appetit, february 2010, page 44)
roasted asparagus

Ravoli with red pepper sauce

Shrimp dumplings, rice and scallion pancakes

Mac and cheese (Tyler Florence's Ultimate)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

menu recap : week four

Pasta with walnut ricotta sauce was only a medium success. Only half liked it enough to have it again.

Potato bacon, Three cheese, Plain, Puttanesca with cheese
Homemade pizza is always a good dinner. My favorite is the potato and bacon.
Tortellini with brown butter sage sauce is good when I need a fast dinner.

Pork paillards with sour cream paprika sauce over noodles was a hit. Everyone liked it. If I make it again I will double the sauce.

Miso soup with shrimp and vegetables is another good dinner for a busy school night.

Chicken quesadillas always a good dinner to make. I roast the chicken breasts with olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper and then shred then for the quesadillas. I serve them with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

Sadly we did not make it into the city. I was way to cold to take the kids in and walk around. Instead we went out to a new mexican place when my husband got home. The place was good. It is not our new favorite, but is a place to go again. We are lacking for restaurants in this area.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I added these tags to my etsy shop. I have lots more patterns to add.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

perfect : crafts

You're a fox craft kit available at Red Velvet Art.

photo from Red Velvet Art

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I pretty much gave up on trying to sell cards and some how this month, out of the blue, I sold seven packs. In full disclosure, four were to my sister-in-law (thanks!!), but I'll take what I can get.

Inspired a bit, I listed a few sets and will try to get some more up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

project : barrettes

These are sweet. You can learn how to make them over at The Purl Bee.

photo by the purl bee

Sunday, January 24, 2010

menu : week four

Pasta with walnut ricotta sauce

Potato bacon, Three cheese, Plain, Puttanesca with cheese

Tortellini with brown butter sage sauce

Pork paillards with sour cream paprika sauce over noodles (MS Living, January 2010, page 61)

Miso soup with shrimp and vegetables

Chicken quesadillas
Mexican rice

Dinner in NYC (fingers crossed)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

menu recap : week three

Burgers and fries

It was mild enough to grill, so who does not love burgers on the grill. I make my own fries, very easy. Just cut up the potatoes into long frie shaped slices, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a four hundred degree oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until crip outside and soft inside.

(Birthday dinner)
Roasted duck and mushroom gravy
roasted beets
chocolate and pistachio cream pie

As I wrote before this dinner was a hit. I call it the white meal.

Italian white bean, pancetta and tortellini soup

This was a hit. Very easy to make. Serve with a good crusty bread.

Confetti Chili

I make this a few times every winter. The kids love it. I served it over rice and topped with cheese and sour cream.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

This turned out fine. The boys were not crazy for it, but the girls loved it. I had a bunch of sauce left, so I will use it for the girls lunch.

Chicken tikka masala
basmati rice

This meal turned out well. The sauce was pretty spicy. Luckily my kids can take a decent amount of heat. Th naan was killer. I will make it again. I tried the sauce and was not thrilled with it. I was wishing it wad more like the one that we get at the Indian place we like. I have come across a few other recipes for the chicken, so I will give one a try in a few weeks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

birthday part two

Along with the scarf that I made for my friend I also got her a six pack of cupcakes from Crumbs. She has a sweet tooth like no one I know. My husband was kind enough to run and pick them up for me and I dropped them off when he got home. He picked out six different types: red velvet, s'mores, sprinkle, apple pie, snowcaps, and peanut butter cup. I hope that they were a success.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


A friend is having a birthday on sunday so I made her this felted scarf. No pattern, I just made it up. I think that this is the fifth or sixth scarf that I have made her (along with two hats). She is the only person that I know who wears scaves as much as I do.