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Too Much time on my hands: August 2011

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Too Much time on my hands

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Too Much time on my hands: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31

Now I Know My ABC's...

We have 4 step stools in this house, and somehow it still doesn't seem to be enough.

I need one in every bathroom and the kitchen. Mostly for potty emergencies and so these kids can wash their hands without mama's help. 

Here is the Modern ABC step stool. 

All the cool kids have 'em.

 The little knobs are very handy for dragging it from bathroom, to closet, to pantry ( to reach something they aren't supposed to have!).

This fun little piece is going in my ETSY shop. 

It opens tomorrow!

Just a reminder!

In case I forgot to mention it!


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Tuesday, August 30

Howdy Pardner- Party Box

I have a new favorite Birthday Party in a Box

Wild West Birthday Bash

I am definitely on a western kick lately!

Love the torn edge details 

The goodie bags came out  rustic, but still cute

The straw toppers and drink labels fit on any beverage

Just an all around good time!

This party in a box will be in my ETSY shop. 



Check back here for all the information and a 
HUGE giveaway announcement on September 7!

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Friday, August 26

Crispy Eggplant Caprese Bites

I have a lot of tomatoes.
Like hundreds of ripe ones. 
All the time for the past 3 weeks

My poor husband, who loves tomatoes, is begging me for a meal without tomatoes. So when we went to my sister-in-laws for dinner last Sunday, I had to bring something that got rid of some of those tomatoes. This is what I came up with.
And it was REALLY good.

Crispy Eggplant Caprese Bites


For the eggplant
1 Japanese Eggplant - peeled and sliced into rounds
1 egg 
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
Olive oil 

For the topping
fresh mozzarella- sliced and cut into bite sized pieces
1 Cup grape tomatoes- cut into quarters
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
fresh basil- chopped
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix the tomatoes and balsamic in a bowl to marinate while preparing eggplant.

2. Beat the egg and milk in a bowl. Mix the panko, Parmesan, and garlic in another bowl.

3. Pour 2 TB olive oil into a hot pan. Dip each eggplant round into the egg mixture and then the panko mixture. Place into the hot pan. Fry until lightly browned on both sides. Drain and press onto paper towels.

4. Top with one piece of cheese, a few tomatoes, a bit of the fresh basil, and a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan.



Wednesday, August 24

My New Fave Lamp

A poor lamp has been hanging out in my family room feeling so blah. 
But not anymore!

She didn't seem blah with our bright red sofas. But those poor microfiber sofas went from bright red
to deep chocolate brown slipcovers, and the lamp looked....blah. 
(That d*** salesman should have warned me that drooling toddlers would ruin microfiber-
but that is a story for another day.)

I missed the red, so blah lamp, I'd like to introduce you to ra-ra-red!
I spray painted some super bright red that was in the garage. Then I toned it down and dry brushed some black onto it. 

I wrapped the gigantic drum shade in left over drop cloth and finished it with some jute cord.

Much better. 

My 4 year old daughter walked in and said, "Wow, I sure do  like that red!" She also likes to wear winter boots with her swimsuit, so her sense of style is questionable, but I think I agree with her in this case.

 Now, if I could only figure out that tutu lamp I am working on for my daughter!

P.S. Did you enter the giveaway to win a Shabby Apple dress? You only have till Sept 1!

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Saturday, August 20

Best Grilled Pizza EVER

  There are so many things to love about summer, but one of my favorites is grilled pizza with lots of fresh veggies from our garden.

I make homemade pizza just about every Friday for dinner and this dough recipe is quick, easy, and so much cheaper than buying pre-made dough. The kids LOVE to help and get messy. They each make their own pizza (boring cheese) and gobble up every bite.

Last week I charred some bell peppers and zucchini on the grill,

picked some sweet yellow and red and yellow cherry tomatoes from our tomato trees, and put my basil and oregano plants to good use for our toppings.

I used a small amount of tomato sauce and a mix of mozzarella, fresh parmesan, and cheddar. Then  I sprinkled some balsamic on top of the entire pizza. It was A-MA- ZING

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 ¼ cups white flour
2 TB olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 TB minced garlic
1TB finely chopped fresh basil
1 cup whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, combine yeast and warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Mix in the white flour and stir well. Add oil, salt, garlic, and basil and blend. Add the whole wheat flour and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Roll into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover plastic wrap or towel, and let sit in a warm place until it doubles in size ( an hour or so depending on how warm it is). Punch it down and roll out a floured surface.

To grill it:

Place dough directly onto grill grates over medium flame and poke a few air holes in the top of crust. Cook for just a few minutes and flip over. Add your toppings and grill until the cheese is all melty and the dough is cooked through. On my grill it is about 8 minutes.

A few notes:
1. I do half wheat half white flour, but you could do all white if you prefer. Just don't try to do all wheat, it is no good, trust me. 
2. I sometimes add parmesan cheese  or other spices to the dough. Throw in whatever you have on hand.
3. I usually double the recipe and freeze half of the dough for later. It comes out great!
4. Don't go too topping crazy, if you load it up too much the dough won't cook through.

Yummers and so good for you!

P.S. If you haven't entered the contest to win the Shabby Apple dress head on over before Sept 1!


Tuesday, August 16

Dear Food Network Magazine,

Dear Food Network Magazine,

A reader tip for ya....

you are on a 3,000 mile road trip with your husband, dog, 4 year old daughter, and 2 year old potty training son

you decide to read the Sept 2011 Food Network Magazine during the last 3 hours of the trip

you happen to discover the best Pizza in the country article (p. 164)
(UGH, pizza gets me every time!)

you discover that the best pizza in Wyoming is a mere 1.4 miles off the interstate

You talk your husband into the hairbrained scheme to get off and grab a pie


When you get off the interstate and get sucked into a 10 mile detour in the lovely and thriving town of Laramie, Wyoming


Just Sayin

Lil' Buckaroo Western Step Stool

  I may need to start making these for a living!
Ha Ha

I had so much fun creating this step stool for our friends' new little girl. They live in Bozeman, MT, in a fab and rustic log home they designed. I wanted the step stool to be fun, but still fit in with their decor. 

I found the bandana tissue paper, 

which led to the end caps,

which led to the rustic finish,

   which led to the horseshoes!

Then I needed a little something on top and a monogram made it personal!

I really love it and my kids are crying that they want to keep it. I have a ton more ideas from the inspirations I found here, so maybe I need to make one for each of them too!


I could make a few and put them in my ETSY shop! Help me,

1. How much would you pay? 

2. What designs or themes do you think would be popular?

 I can't believe how much time it is taking to get everything ready for the store opening on September 1. I have tons of articles printed out for reading on our vacation next week. Along with a million magazines and my new reads Honolulu and The Book of Awesome! I can't wait!

P.S. If you haven't entered the giveaway for the Shabby Apple dress, head on over before September 1!


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Thursday, August 4

Earth Day Thursday- Better Than Mayo Recipe

As Wendy and I were sitting with her cookbooks perusing our CSA score for the week, we discovered a very fun recipe that I had to try immediately.

It is called "Vegetable Sandwich Spread", but I am calling it "Better than Mayo." It came from the Farm Fresh recipe book Monroe Organic Farms sells. This is an amazing resource because the recipes focus on the veggies grown on this farm and that I receive each week. I was beginning to wonder what else to do with my turnips when this little gem was discovered.

4 med turnips, quartered
1 small onion, quartered
3 cloves roasted garlic
salt an pepper to taste
1-2 T extra-virgin olive oil

steam turnips and onion and then combine with garlic in a food processor. Puree until smooth drizzling olive oil as the processor is running. Use instead of mayo.

How stinkin easy is that? It was also quite fortuitous that all three of those veggies were present in my bag last week. It tastes so good and very creamy and rich.It is delicious on sandwiches and I am going to be using this ALL the time.


Even if you don't belong to a farm or CSA, they are a great resource for recipes and ideas of how to use local produce from your area.

Next up, what the heck am I going to do with all of those beets?

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