Archive | April, 2011


28 Apr

I recently discovered this fantastic website…I love it so much I had to share it with everyone! The website is called Yummly. It’s a recipe search engine. I know what you are thinking.. just Google chicken recipes, or visit food network’s website or Martha Stewart’s website. Why should I check out this one? Why is this one so special?

A while ago, I tried a recipe out that I found for mint chocolate chip cookies. I searched on google for mint chocolate chip cookies using fresh mint. I don’t remember which site I got it from, it was posted online and I stumbled upon it. It was the only recipe I could find using fresh mint, that might have been my first red flag. Second red flag, no fresh mint cookie recipes on Food Network either. I made the cookies according to the recipe posted. Needless to say, it was a complete disaster! These cookies literally have me gagging at even the smell of mint! They were TERRIBLE!

The purpose of telling that story was to say finding legitimate recipes online via goggling is a nightmare. Searching through pages upon pages of results is annoying. Enter Yummly!

Yummly let’s you search, browse or discover recipes specifically to fit you! What a great idea! I can search recipes based on the food..then narrow my search by cuisine, my tastes, allergies, diet and more! It searches recipes from even the most reliable resources, such as real simple, food network, Martha and more… It is now my go to for new recipes! Check it out! I know you’ll bookmark it just as I did!

Terrific Tile

27 Apr

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about tile lately. I know that sounds extremely random to you, but I am a Certified Kitchen Designer…I get random questions about tile, cabinets, appliances and more everyday. I decided it might be a good idea to share my thoughts and tips on design every once in a while.

Tile can be an excellent way to add design and style to a bathroom or kitchen. It’s also a great opportunity to bring some color and/or texture to the party. Today, I thought I’d share kitchen backsplash ideas.

There are tons of different tiles on the market today. Tile has a wide price range and you can easily fall in love with a very expensive tile. I come across this problem quite often. I have a great tip though… By using an inexpensive field tile and creating a border or decorative inserts with the tile you love, you can save money, add some style and interest to your space! These are some examples of kitchen backsplashes I designed…

It’s important to plan your backsplash design. In cases where you add a border or other decorative trim, make sure that your outlets, switches and the covers will not interfere with your design. The same goes for a planned equal layout of decorative insert tiles, or a “mural” design.

Lastly, backsplash field tile should be no larger than a 6×6 tile. Remember that a standard backsplash, from countertop to bottom of the wall cabinets, is typically 18″ high and any tile larger than a 6×6 will require many cuts and can complicate a design if you chose to add inserts or borders. Personally, 4×4 tiles are a perfect size.

Green Thumb or Dumb Luck?

26 Apr

UPDATE: My little flower box is still alive! You may remember when I first wrote about it…well I have managed to not kill the plants! I thought for sure that the only flowers left would be the fake decorative ones. Seeing how I managed to keep these plants alive, we decided to tackle another planter in our yard. I am no plant whisperer, I have no gardening secrets…just water, Miracle Grow, fingers crossed. Any gardening tips will be greatly appreciated! Please share!

Surprising Summertime Sweets

25 Apr

This past weekend my husband schooled me in the kitchen for the second time this month. He says he’s going to be the Master Pie Maker in our house! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though…this is only his second pie and he baked the same kind each try. I must admit though… I was surprised he tackled the task of fruit pies in the first place.

Strawberries, so sweet and delicious. I love strawberries and am so thankful I didn’t get the family gene that’s allergic to them. I bought 2 large packages of strawberries from my local market on sale. They sat in the refrigerator for about a week. My husband doesn’t let anything go to waste in our house so he decided to make his first fruit pie! It turned out so good, I bought two more packages hoping for the same result…it worked!

Floral Fashions

24 Apr

This week, my mother-in-law gave me some old fabric she had in the back of her closet. In the bag was this pretty floral fabric that is fitting for Spring. I decided to make a light weight tank with it. I pulled out this pretty lace tank as a guide for size and fit. I cut around, sewed the seams and finished! It was a pretty simple design and didn’t take long to whip up. I can’t wait to wear it! Hoppy Spring Everyone!

Cool Coloring

23 Apr

Better hurry and color your eggs! Last night we finished ours. We tried a new tie-dye technique. Super cool! ….HAPPY EASTER!!!

Egg-cellent Leftovers

22 Apr

With Easter only days away, I’m already contemplating what to do with all the dyed, hard boiled eggs we will have. Of course coloring eggs is a must each Easter because the kids love it so much…but what do I do once the Easter bunny leaves them?

There are the tried and true recipes we can all fall back on. I’m sure each of us has our own version of deviled eggs, egg salad for sandwiches and our favorite homemade potato salad. All of these are great ways to use up the leftover colored eggs. I was thinking of something different…

My husband really likes what he calls a BLAT or what everyone else calls them, a BLTA. A delicious and simple bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwich. I was thinking of trying a BELT sandwich. I will use my hard boiled eggs, sliced, with tomato, lettuce and bacon on toasted whole grain bread. This is a great option to have for lunch on Monday or any day following Easter Sunday!

If breakfast is more your thing, try sliced hard boiled eggs with a toasted English muffin, bacon, and cheese a la McDonald’s.

Easter Inspiration

21 Apr

Need some inspiration for planning your Easter spread? 

Well, this cake not only tasted great, but it looked great too!  This is three thin layers of chocolate cake filled with mocha frosting.  The outside is your standard vanilla frosting with a dark chocolate glaze drizzled around the edge with a spoon.  The candy eggs finish the look with a festive flourish. 

Now all you have to do is fight over who gets to eat the eggs!

Dress Up Your Eggs

20 Apr

Every year for Easter we gather at Grandma’s house and have the traditional fare followed by an Easter egg hunt in the backyard.  Each family is tasked with bringing 6-12 eggs for hiding. 

A couple of years ago, instead of dying my eggs, I dressed them up with cute little covers.  The covers were made primarily from baby socks!  The rest of the supplies are various craft items that you might have on hand: pipe-cleaners, small poms, feathers, google eyes and some wool felt. 

Everyone loved them and my Grandma saved them to be used again!

That year I managed to under-boil the eggs, so they weren’t great for eating, but they sure looked cute!

Weekend Retreat

19 Apr


I don’t know about you, but sometimes you need to break away from the day-to-day routine for some much needed R&R. I know for us, right now, our schedules don’t allow for long vacations to Hawaii, Mexican Resorts, cruises, etc. We tend to opt for short weekend getaways. Our favorite place to go is our family’s desert retreat. It’s a great escape and extremely quiet! It’s so nice to just sit outside and hear nothing but the desert breeze blowing by.

Our favorite pastimes while in the desert are long walks, reading, exploring, star gazing and resting. I’d say that the best part is watching how much fun the kids have. We collect rocks, look at the stars in the night sky, watch for lizards and jack rabbits…it’s an adventure for them every time we go!

While most people would avoid the desert because of the weather, we enjoy the different seasons. In the Winter, we get the fire going in the wood burning stove. In the Spring, we check out the flowering cacti. In the Summer, we enjoy splashing in the pool and in the Fall, we enjoy the early sunsets and BBQing.

What are your favorite weekend get away trips? Any place you went as a child that you remember most?

%d bloggers like this: