Archive | October, 2011

Halloween Time

25 Oct

Who’s been to the pumpkin patch? We gathered up the kids and went to Pa’s Pumpkin Patch in Long Beach. The kids had such a great time! They went on lots of rides and left with a small pumpkin each.

We are quickly approaching the last weekend before Halloween! Have you gotten your pumpkin yet? Any fun Halloween traditions you’d like to share?

Pinteresting Pilaf

20 Oct

I tag lots of things that look good and inspire me on Pinterest. I like to pin my favorite crafts, recipes, etc to my boards and hopefully one day actually trying some of them out. The other night I tried my first Pinterest recipe courtesy of!

I pinned this recipe from Jane Wang because it interested me. My husband likes greens and I don’t like eating just the greens cooked. I thought that the kale married with quinoa was a great idea! I made this recipe the other night, paired with chicken, and it was really great! The mixture of flavors, kale and quinoa were delicious. I also enjoyed the touch of crunch from the toasted pine nuts.

It was great trying something new… also it’s nice knowing that all that time I spend pinning is not wasted!

All tied up

19 Oct

You know I’m a huge fan of up-cycling apparel…so, is it a surprise that I absolutely love this project? This summer, I up-cycled a men’s necktie into this fabric necklace. I can’t wait to try making these cuffs! I also have another necktie project in the works so stay tuned!

Source: via Stephanie Carpenter Harvey on Pinterest

Tofu Stir Fry

16 Oct

What do you do with a bunch of random vegetables and firm tofu?

You text your friend Agnes and ask her. She will respond by telling you to stir fry ’em. Duh!

no grocery list required:

2 Tbls olive oil

1 or 2 cloves of garlic, sliced up

Some onion or shallots

whatever veggies you have in the fridge, chopped, sliced, diced, whatever

package of firm tofu, cut into chunks of squares or rectangles


Saute garlic and onion or shallots in the olive oil, the add veggies and tofu.

Stir Fry it up… add some sea salt and fresh crushed pepper to taste.

Note: Agnes says to cook it a little longer so that the tofo soaks up the flavors of the veggies.

We used a package of asparagus, some carrots, a yellow bell pepper, and shallots for the onions.


13 Oct

Remember Cookie Magazine? When I had my first kid Cookie and Milk were my two ultimate favorite magazines. Vanity Faire was put on hold and Martha Stewart took third. Milk was all about the beautiful photography and Euro kid fashions but Cookie had great articles for the “cool mom” as well as all that other baby/kid stuff that I was learning to deal with.

One of my favorite parts of the magazine was one-page for food. It had an image at the center like ground turkey then around it said something like, “if you have this, then you make that” with images of easy ingredients that you would most likely have in your pantry or fridge.

Well, last night as I was making a recipe my grandma used to whip up for us grandkids I thought of that. I think we should do something similar on the Whoopie Cookie (every once in awhile). So, if you have this:

Then let’s make my grandma’s calavasa (I think that might be my grandma’s Spanish slang for zucchini):

shopping list:

2 – 3 zucchinis (cut in half then sliced or sliced)

1 can of diced tomatoes, drained

1 can of corn, drained

1 small onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced or sliced

2 or more cups of monterey jack cheese, shredded

olive oil


Add some olive oil in a medium heat skillet, saute onion and garlic until the onion is transparent

toss in zucchini (practice saying calavasa like your grandma)

wait a bit (this comes from Yvette’s instructions, I use this “wait” time to drain the can of tomatoes and corn)

toss in drained tomatoes and corn

wait for the calavasa to get soft…

toss in cheese and combine until cheese is melted.


I was talking to Yvette about posting this recipe online and she had a great idea. She noted if you add vegetable soup and some tortilla chips you have tortilla soup. One of us will have to explore this and get back to you all.

The Ugly Pumpkin

12 Oct

One Sunday afternoon, the kids and I took a field trip to the bookstore. I so much rather spoil them at a bookstore rather than the toy store. I love that the kids enjoy books and reading!  Reading is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. Anyways, now that it’s October, the bookstore had lots of great Halloween books out and The Ugly Pumpkin caught our attention. This story was so adorable and heart-warming, we recommend it for your library.

Later at the grocery store, all the pumpkins and other winter squash were displayed and the Ugly Pumpkin had inspired me to try something different. I found a great butternut squash, on sale, and thought I’d take a stab at it. I researched online different recipes and they all looked so complex. Butternut squash risotto, stuffed butternut squash, roasted chicken with butternut squash and potatoes, all sounded spectacular and complicated. I need something easy, let’s get back to basics! I decided to just simply roast the squash in the oven.

First, I cut the squash in half-length wise and spooned out the seeds. I squished the two halves into a 9×13 glass baking pan and added 1/4″ to 1/2″ of water at the bottom.

I rubbed the tops of the squash with butter then sprinkled on salt, pepper and brown sugar. I also cut small pads of butter for melting and left those on top. Once finished, I stuck them in the pre-heated 400 degree oven and waited. The roasting takes the longest time, at least an hour, but it depends on the size of the squash.

When finished, I let them cool for a few minutes then I carefully scraped the flesh out. I only scooped out one half and saved the second half to make a small batch of soup! Sometimes, the basics are all you need to have a great dish!


11 Oct

Gone are the days of pulling out the silver to serve our guests.  Well, at least for most of us!  But sometimes we do need a tray to place drinks or bites.  Silver wouldn’t really go with my decor anyways.

With a baking sheet, a bit of your favorite coordinating fabric, a piece of plexi, and some spray adhesive you can have a stylish tray for service.

I purchased baking sheets especially for this project.  I found this set of 3 for only $9.99.  I bought some fabric from IKEA and spray adhesive from my local craft store.

All you have to do is spray the adhesive according to the package directions and then place the fabric on your cookie sheet smoothing it out as you go.  I used my Martha Stewart Bone Folder to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles.  The backside gets a little tricky.  Think of it like wrapping a present.  But lets be honest, no one will see the back side anyways!

Once its dry you can have a piece of plexi cut at your local Home Depot and drop it to protect the fabric.  And bonus!  If you buy the set of three you easily have two gifts ready to go!

Fall in love with Cheesecake

7 Oct

I saw this on Pinterest and am intrigued. I love cheesecakes and these little cheesecake bars look fabulous! It really looks like a “Fall” kind of dessert to me. Is it sort of true that along with wardrobes, desserts have seasons too?

When I think of “Fall” desserts I go to the basics: pumpkin pie, apple pie, anything cinnamon, etc. I like the idea of merging all the greatness of apple pie on top of a smooth and creamy cheesecake. What are your favorite desserts for Fall? What do you serve for dessert on Thanksgiving?


An Apple a Day

6 Oct

This week my daughter is learning about apples in preschool. They are learning everything there is about apples, including seeds, apple trees, and apple blossoms! On Wednesday they made applesauce and tried apple pie, apple butter, apple jam and other apple foods. I decided I’d make a special treat for her friends at school, apple shaped pops. I thought about making cake pops, but that is too much work on a Tuesday night. I saw this idea online, apple shaped Rice Krispies treats! I changed it up a bit and they turned out great!

Step one: Make the Rice Krispies treats as directed. Once the marshmallow is melted, add in foor coloring (before adding the cereal).

Step two: spray your hands with cooking spray and hand roll the treats into an apple shape. This is a little bit of a sticky mess, but the cooking spray really helps! I put my finished treats into the refrigerator for a little bit while I did the next step. I really wanted to cool them down to set.

Step three: This is my prep step for decorating. I cut pretzel sticks to make stems, mixed three kinds of green sprinkles I had in a small bowl and melted some chocolate almond bark in a Wilton plastic piping bag.

Step four: Take the melted almond bark and pipe leaf shapes onto wax paper. I used chocolate because I had some open already. You can used white almonda bark or even the Wilton green candy melts. While the “leaves” are still melted, spoon the sprinkles over them. Once finished with the leaves, you can tap the extra sprinkles into the bowl. I exchanged these in the refrigerator for the rice treats.

Step five: Using the melting chocolate, dip the tip of the pretzel in the chocolate and gently press into the top of the rice treat. Repeat the same with the pop stick.

Step six: Add the leaves! Gently remove the leaves from the wax paper. Using a toothpick, “paint” the back of the leaf with melting chocolate and gently press close to the “stem” of the apple.

I wrapped my pops in individual plasic for the kids to take home. You can also cut out worm shapes and tie them on as little name tags. It’s a cute treat for a summer party, back to school or whenever you feel like making something fun! I want to try orange for pumpkins on Halloween!

In other Apple news, we have lost a great innovator, a game changer- Steve Jobs. My Apple a day makes so many things easier, my life more organized, brings joy to my kids and so much more. Thank you Steve! Rest in Peace.

You glow girl!

5 Oct

I saw this while scouring Pinterest this week and I think this is such a great idea- glow sticks and balloons! Of course it would be fun for just the kids to play.. but what about for parties too? I think I’ll have to try it out!

Orange pumpkin balloons for Halloween? Red and green for Christmas? This would also be awesome for some posh outdoor evening party floating in a swimming pool! I sure wish I had a swimming pool in my backyard just for this purpose, I guess I’ll be stringing these balloons across the yard instead.

What do you think?

Source:   via Samantha on Pinterest

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