December 9, 2010

House Warming Gift and Custom Recipe Cards



My friend recently moved into her first place and found herself without some basic kitchen essentials. It can be overwhelming to furnish a new home so I decided to put together a little care package for her.

I made recipe cards using Word and then just typed the recipes in and printed them on cardstock. I chose recipes that are quick, easy and require only a few ingredients so that my friend wouldn’t need too many supplies.  I also tried to pick recipes that used the same dishes and utensils.




Then I purchased measuring cups and spoons, dish towels, hot pads, oven mitts, spatulas and wooden spoons. I tucked it all into a 9”x13” glass baking dish along with the recipe cards and a few jars of spice mixes (recipes coming soon).



December 6, 2010

Vegetarian Spaghetti for Meat Lovers


This spaghetti sauce doesn’t have any meat in it. In fact it’s vegan. But I have served it to many a carnivore and never had any complaints. The hearty flavors from the mushrooms and wine make it seem meatier. If you aren’t a meat eater, consider it just a really good veggie sauce.



1 Tbs olive oil

12-15 medium crimini or button mushrooms, stems removed, halved and then sliced (about 3 cups)

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 medium zucchinis, diced

1 medium broccoli crown, cut into bite sized florets

3 Tbs Italian seasoning

1 cup of red wine

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 cans tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste

1 tsp pepper

1 pound dried pasta


In a large soup kettle, heat olive oil over medium heat. When it looks shimmery, add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are browned. About 5- 7 minutes.

Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies and the Italian seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the wine, scraping the browned goodness off of the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce until it’s almost completely absorbed by the vegetables.

Stir in the tomatoes, sauce, paste and pepper. Bring to a boil and then cover with the lid ajar and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Serve sauce over hot pasta.



December 1, 2010

Ribbon Advent Calendar


I decided to make an advent calendar for my boyfriend to help get us in the holiday spirit. However, I couldn’t find a container to hold the gifts I had purchased. Then I saw a bible verse advent calendar on and adapted their idea.


First I bought 24 small gifts and rounded up matching wrapping paper, cardstock and ribbon.


I wrapped all of the presents.


Then I cut a piece of ribbon about 5’ long and 24 pieces about 18” long.


I attached the shorter strips of ribbon to the long one with hot glue. I spaced them about 1” apart in order to fit all 24 gifts on one ribbon.


While the glue was cooling, I cut 24 2” circles out of cardstock and the numbers 1-24 with my Cricut. You could also use number stickers if you don’t have a Cricut. I glued the numbers onto the circles.


Then I punched a hole in the top of each circle to thread the ribbons through.


Ok, time to assemble. I tied each present onto the main ribbon and then threaded the number tag on and tied a bow.



After all of the presents were attached I made a big bow out of wired ribbon and tied it onto the top of the advent calendar.


Isn’t it festive?