Saturday, March 26, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

How often do you do something and expect nothing in return? I know that I rarely think of doing things that are completely selfless. This weekend we (two bloggers) will be going around town doing random acts of kindness for as many people as we can.

In the next couple weeks we'll post about all the fun things we did and hopefully that will inspire you to do something nice for someone you've never met. We filled a small booklet of 3 X 5 cards with notes for people, which we will leave at each thing we do.

Each note has the following verse and a short, anonymous note...

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." I Peter 4:10

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What's Cooking: Kale Chips

Until a week ago I'd never heard of Kale. It's a lettuce type vegetable that's apparently really good for you. The recent issue of Real Simple suggests making Kale Chips with it and I tried it out.

After washing the kale, rip off the main stalk and rip it into little bunches. Then toss it in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the pieces on a baking sheet and cook at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes.

(the finished chips)

The final product are crispy little ugly leaves, but they taste almost exactly like potato chips! I don't know if I would have believed it if I hadn't made them myself, but they really do. The after taste is a bit odd, but not bad and much healthier.

Photos by moi.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Make Your Own Bunting Stationary

It seems like we get loads of junk mail. No matter how many paperless bills I sign up for, it still comes streaming in. So here's a great way to put those security envelopes to good use.

When you receive one with a pattern on the inside, save it. Once you have a few different patterns, cut small triangles out of the pattern. Then take some blank stationary (I cut my own out of card stock) and make a diagonal line with a sharpie in any color you choose.

Use a glue stick and glue the various patterned flags across the card, along the line. The finished cards look like bunting is strung across them and they're perfect little blank cards.

Photos by moi.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How To Poach An Egg

I finally learned how to poach an egg. I followed a step-by-step tutorial from Smitten Kitchen. I dropped the egg into a whirling pot of water and (after a few tries) I had a poached egg! The instructions are brilliant and include pictures. If you've ever been afraid to try it, I was, this is the time.

Photo by moi.

Friday, January 21, 2011

TV Wall Decoration

I'm not sure how to decorate the open space about a TV. In theory, you'll be looking at the TV when you look at that wall, so you don't want a busy piece of art or something above it. There was a small white shelf on the wall when you moved in (as seen above) and we decided to put a few open cubes up to add a little something. I would love to get a flat panel TV stand and a flat screen TV to open up some space, but that's not currently in the budget.

Instead we added these cubes, which hold some fun items. The jar of sand is from our sand ceremony in our wedding and the wooden heart was a souvenir from a trip I took to Austria.

In the above picture you can see how it looks now. I'm curious what other people put above their TVs.

Photos by moi.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bathroom Cabinet Organization

Sometimes the simple things in life can be the most frustrating things. Like opening your bathroom cabinet every morning and having stuff fall out or never being about to find what you're looking for.

When the problem is simple, the solution usually is to. I found an OXO Good Grips organizer set on amazon and I knew it would be perfect.

The best part is that both pieces (the holder cup and dividing shelf) have a rubber-like substance on their bases. This means when I clumsily reach for something it won't easily knocked over. Just one more thing to make my life a little easier.

Photos by moi.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What's Cooking: Tomato and Meatball Soup

I finally got a chance to make something in my dutch oven! I found a recipe for Tomato and Meatball soup and tried it out. It was delicious! This one will definitely become a winter staple at our house.

I made the meatball mixture from scratch and was skeptical about how it would turn out. I's never cooked raw meatballs in a soup, but it worked!

Here's the complete recipe and directions from the wonderful Hip Hostess...

Tomato and Meatball Soup

Serves 6 to 8


2 slices of white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces**

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp fresh thyme, minced

1 large egg, slightly beaten

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 lb extra lean ground beef


8 oz whole wheat rotini pasta

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 carrots, small diced

1 onion, minced

2 Tbsp tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes in puree

4 cups low sodium chicken stock

grated Parmesan

julienned basil


Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, place the milk and bread and allow to soak for a minute or two. Using a fork whisk the two ingredients to combine. Stir in the parm, garlic, thyme, egg, salt, and pepper. Add the meat and mix together with a fork to keep the mixture light and not dense. Wet your hands and roll 1-inch meatballs, placing them on the baking sheet. You should have 30 - 35meatballs.


Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cool water and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook an additional 5 - 7 minutes until translucent but not brown. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds until garlic becomes very fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and stock. Add the meatballs without stirring, and bring the temperature up to a simmer. Cook until meatballs are tender but cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add the pasta to the soup and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve each bowl with a sprinkle of Parmesan and julienned basil on top.

After Flannel Man and I each had a big bowl we still had plenty left to freeze for another night. It was the perfect hearty meal for a cold night.

Photos by moi.