Monday, June 13, 2011

Square Book/Map Wreath

So my new front door is my enemy! I really really dislike it! It has two windows in it so whoever comes up to the door can see right in! Discussion of what to do regarding those no-privacy windows just kept taking back burner to larger projects.
Until I had this strong crafty pull to make a wreath! I had this great 16x20 frame that I thought I'd put on one side of the door and then make another frame for the other side. And they'd help with visibility into the house from the sidewalk etc..
Here's my quickly painted and a few flowers and a "M' taped on frame.

Then I came across this blog and LOVED the look! so I attempted to duplicate :-)

 Book and or Map you will be ok cutting up (I really wanted to use Charlotte's Web or a Dr Seuss, but couldn't make myself cup them up.. so I got a very interesting teen novel for $1 at Goodwill that I had no issues destroying!)
Cardboard- the sturdier the better (as you will see I learned the hard way)
Hot glue gun
Giant paper punch. Mine is 2in scalloped edge but kind of wish I would have gone with the 3in. Buy at JoAnns not Michaels!
a pencil
a piece of ribbon
box cutter

Step 1 Punch out book pages. I was able to get 6 punches per page and I did all 200some pages of the book (really only 100 because front and back..) Did not use all of them. You could probably get away with 50pages...

I did mostly book pages with some map cutouts too.

Traced the frame onto cardboard using a sharpie then cut it out with box cutter.

Step 2 Take pencil end and wrap punched paper around it to form a cup/flower.. whatever you think it looks like. I did a large group of them at a time then hot glued. You could probably glue right after this step but I thought making a ton of paper cups at a time was more time efficient.

Step 3 DON'T BURN YOUR FINGERS! (aka hot glue paper cups down.) I added in some of the maps.. basically just tried to cover all of the cardboard.
I attached a very small ribbon on the top and glued paper over it but so on the back I could thread different ribbon around that ribbon to hang it from... so I could switch out visible ribbon if needed..

And tada.......

(Oh and it's suppose to be a rocking horse, goes with the name of our street.. but Husband informed me couldn't see the bottom of it and "We're not THAT country to have a horse on our front door!")

So it lived there for awhile but what GREAT IDEA I had of the two wreaths (M frame inside and this one outside) did not work out.. They did NOT match up and I was going to need to paint the back of both wreaths! And we kind of have some crazy wind at our house so this poor flimsy cardboard wreath was not holding up to the "wild nature" of Southern Cali! Would work ALOT better to glue onto a frame! Then it could have stayed out front!

So I moved it inside and instead of taking the time and painting both backs to hang back on the door I found it a new home (for now)!
Hope you got inspired!


Amazing Grilled Sandwiches!

Love Love Love Grill Season!!! (which is most of the time in Southern California) But there is something about those warm early summer days and firing up the grill!
We stumbled across the recipe while trying out the 'one vegetarian meal a week" idea.
Here's the originalrecipe from But of course we've changed things up a bit... :-)

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

1 Red or Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, cored and pulled apart into two halves
1 Zucchini, sliced longways
1 Yellow Squash, sliced longways
Half Red Onion, sliced
Mushrooms, if desired, either buttons sliced or Portabellas- they would make a pretty hearty huge sandwich
Loaf of Really Yummy Bread- (we normally go the focaccia route) sliced horizontally and vertically
Feta Cheese, crumbed
Olive Oil for drizzling

Preheat grill to medium high.
Brush veggies and grill grate with oil. Place veggies on grill about 3min each side. Watch carefully though some may cook alot faster! (when I do mushrooms I do them inside in a saute pan and just saute with some garlic powder and pam spray)

(you can see the kids' ham and cheese side, but we did veggies
on their other side. Also added some parm cheese this time too!)

Place bread on cookie sheet. Spread both sides of bread with pesto. Pile on veggies (one side or both- sometimes hard to put together if on both sides) Top with feta. Pop them under the broiler for a few mins (could also put back on grill)

and ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sorta Soba Bowl

I really enjoyed watching Rachael Ray when I became a newly stay at home mom. She has such great recipes and understands the need to make a quick healthy meal. I don't get much time to watch her show now (Kids keep me too busy for that!) But we have some favorites of hers that we always come back to.

Sorta Soba Bowl
 Feeds 4-6 Adults

1lb of whole wheat spaghetti (we normally have a ton of leftover noodles but I freeze them or use them up         the following days)
2tbs vegetable oil- basically a few turns in the pan to help with sticking
1 onion diced
2+cloves of garlic-chopped
3 "handfuls" of store bought shredded carrots- I don't shredded my own carrots- more power to you if you do!
10ish shiitake mushrooms- thinly chopped
1 large zucchini, cut into half moons then sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large bok choy or 3 baby boks- (remove middle part if using large bok choy) chop
6 cups of stock -chicken or veggie works

1/4cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2tbs ground coriander
1/2tbs chili powder
cayenne pepper- just a pinch depending on how spicy

Soy Sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Once it boils add some salt and the noodles and cook until al dente- try not to overcook.

While water is boiling for noodles, swirl veg oil in a large soup pan/pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook until onions start to get tender (4-5mins)

Add mushrooms, zucchini and bok choy- cook for another 2-3mins. Add stock and bring to a simmer for 5mins.

In a small bowl mix topping ingredients together- reserve for a garnish for soup.

Take cooked noodles and drain. Toss with a little veg oil and place in individual bowls. Drizzle some soy sauce over the noodles. Then pour veggie soup over noodles. Top with sesame seed topping.

For our little ones, I leave off the spicy topping and just sprinkle regular sesame seeds on theirs. I also serve it with forks and spoons for them. I, myself, use just a fork. We have left it vegetarian before but have also added shrimp and/or chicken to it. If chicken, I will marinate the chicken in some soyaki (from trader joes) or just some regular teriyaki sauce. Then bake in marinade and shred or dice cooked chicken and add into soup last minute.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bbq ribs!

Best ribs! Rub recipe makes a ton, but we normally make the whole rub then keep it on hand. Think its lasts us 3 times... So you could half or third it.
Takes some planning since it is best starting it the night before-though we've done it last min too.

2-3 racks of ribs-i like pork, we normally get them from costco.
1 cup bbq sauce

1tbs of each
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Dry mustard
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup paprika-normally thats a whole jar
1 cup brown sugar

Night BEFORE mix rub and apply all over ribs. Wrap in plastic wrap and put back in fridge.
Grill ribs indirect heat (or 350 oven) for 90 mins. I normally flip mine to get grill marks.
baste with bbq sauce-all sides and cook 30 mins longer. Again I'm a flipper..
Then slice up and enjoy! So yummy!
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