5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Weekend…

Food for thought heading into your weekend!

RECLAIMING YOUR CASTLE

Ocean Island Living Ocean Island Living

Saturday and Sunday are the fastest two days of the week.  Why?  Because instead of getting up early and following a routine like we do the rest of the week, these days start later and often include several hours watching America’s Next Top Model reruns while folding laundry.  If your still young enough to go out at night than most likely your weekends consist of too much alcohol, Waffle House at 2AM and breakfast at noon.  While there’s nothing wrong with that on occasion, falling into a routine of mundane weekends leaves you feeling like you’ve wasted precious time and uninspired when Monday rolls around again.

Here are 5  ways to revamp your weekends and utilize your two days of freedom.

#1.  Plan a Day Trip or Weekend Get Away

If you live within a few hours of the beach, the mountains or even a state park plan a short trip.  Leave Friday night…

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Smart Tiles..Before and After Makeover

Last weekend I decided it was time to revamp my kitchen and I wanted to start by doing a tile back splash.  Neither my husband or I are very “handy,” and by that I mean our tool box is not a box at all but rather a small duffel bag. The thought of grout and a wet saw was a bit overwhelming.  I had almost given up until I came across these Smart Tiles at Home Depot.  I will be honest…at between $6.97 and around $10.00 for a 9.7 x 10.95 in. wall tile they are not much cheaper than the real thing.  What they do offer, however, is a quick and easy makeover with little to no mess and I was super impressed by the results.

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This was our starting point.  I read some tutorials and hit up YouTube for installation recommendations and all suggested wiping off the wall with a degreaser or all-in-one cleaner prior to placing the wall tiles.  Other than that, all we needed was a straight edge and a box cutter.

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The sheets or wall tiles are peel and stick so getting them up on the wall was the easy part.  The challenge was making sure that they were lined up correctly.  If you take this project on this Spring make sure to do your measurements!

All together I had the tiles in place and the outlet covers back on in about 3.5 hours.  Here is the finshed product!

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Although to me the tiles look pretty great on their own, I added a line of white caulking between the Smart Tiles and the counter tops to give it a more realistic feel.  Total cost was about $120 and the kitchen looks like a totally new space.  Clean up took just a few minutes…love it!

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Basil Pesto Turkey Meatballs

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I discovered a version of these meatballs last year when my husband and I made an attempt to eat nothing but a low carb, paleo based diet.  It was a great idea in theory but neither our budget nor our children were capable of supporting that life choice 🙂

So, this recipe morphed into what it is today…a delicious weeknight staple that is still relatively healthy and packs a lot of flavor with the addition of creamy basil pesto.  (Here’s me posing with the meatballs…and wishing I wasn’t still in my work clothes making dinner)!

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Ingredients

2 lbs ground turkey 
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 7-10 oz container basil pesto
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
1 jar spaghetti sauce (2 if your family likes a lot of sauce…which mine do)

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • In large bowl, mix all ingredients (minus the spaghetti sauce) until well combined.
  • Shape mixture into balls; place on rack or cookie sheet coated lightly with cooking spray.

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  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until thermometer inserted into the center of the meatballs reads 165°F.
  • Begin heating spaghetti sauce in a separate sauce pan. Spoon the meatballs into the sauce, cover, set to low and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.

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They look good, right!  That’s it.  Serve them over pasta noodles or stuff them into a toasted roll and top with provolone cheese (one of my husband’s favorite ways to eat them).  If you have any cheese sticks in the fridge, cut them up into bite sized pieces and stuff them into the meatballs before you put them in the oven to bake (mom trick).

 

Enjoy!

Beautiful Beds and Bedrooms…Design Inspiration

John Robshaw Textiles

John Robshaw Textiles

I love decorating and redecorating my bedroom.  I’ve done several posts on bedroom color combinations and design and bedding…I just can’t get enough!  For me, the bedroom is really the only place in the house that’s completely mine (well, and maybe my husband’s? :-)) It’s my reading nook, a place to relax and think…the perfect set up for a late night bowl of cereal and a few hours of HGTV.  Every time I come across an inspiring bedroom picture I pin it and I’d love to share a few of my favorites with you.  Follow the link to the Board ‘Beautiful Beds and Bedrooms’ for some more bedroom inspiration!

Lauren Elizabeth

Lauren Elizabeth

This bedroom is proof that you don’t need a large space to create a sitting area.  Instead of several small pieces there are a few large ones that fill the space perfectly and separate sleeping from lounging.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

Boho Bedroom …love it, tried it…cannot pull it off.  Those who can throw 15 colors and patterns together and still come out with a cohesive look should be given a medal.

Architecture Art Design

Architecture Art Design

What makes this room stunning is all the attention to detail.  A mix of modern and classic design with pops of bright colors and soft neutrals give the room a chic contemporary feel.

The Rooster and the Hen

The Rooster and the Hen

Simple and elegant.  I’m known for picking up mixed matched pieces and I really enjoy the eclectic look that creates.  This room, however, is symmetry at it’s best…the simple layout and pale neutrals really encourage rest.

Home Designing

Home Designing

My husband saw this picture and told me he was moving in with that guy.  I can’t blame him.  Pretty awesome.

Houzz

Houzz

Orange and grayed jade might be my favorite color combination.  The french doors and bright natural light make this room really special…lovely.

Ozvip

Ozvip

I have a 9 year old son and I’m pretty sure he would never leave this bedroom.  As much as we as adults need a clean and organized place to end our day, our children really need the same thing.  I love the idea of picking a theme, in this case vintage airplanes, and building a room around it.

Indulgy

Indulgy

…and for my 4 year old little girl.  The painted barn board is precious and whimsical and the colors and perfect.

10 Must Have Side Dish Recipes…Savory and Delicious!

Eat, Drink Paleo

Eat, Drink Paleo

Sometimes I get distracted by side dishes.  It’s easy to upstage even a beautifully cooked piece of meat when it’s next to a rich, creamy pasta or a dish of savory sautéed mushrooms.  I love storing up these kinds of recipes to avoid the boxed side dish rut – fresh ingredients taste so much better and they’re so much more fun to work with!  Here are 10 Must Have Side Dish Recipes…

#1. Red Wine and Garlic Mushrooms

Drag Through the Garden

Drag Through the Garden

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup red wine
16 oz. mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

visit Drag Through the Garden for Instructions!

#2. Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Eat, Drink Paleo

Eat, Drink Paleo

Ingredients

  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 6 prosciutto slices/strips
  • A little ghee for frying

visit Eat, Drink Paleo for Instructions!

#3. Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

Ingredients:
 Instant mashed potatoes (made from 1 full packet — follow directions on the box)
** You can use homemade mashed potatoes too.
– 2/3 cup Colby Jack cheese, grated
– 1-1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
– 1 large egg
– 2 tbsp chives, chopped

visit Just Putzing for Instructions!

#4. Eggplant Tomato Pie

Key Ingredients

Key Ingredients

Ingredients

1 eggplant
2 tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 c. breadcrumbs
1 egg
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp pesto
shredded cheddar cheese
fresh parsley

visit Key Ingredients for Instruction!

#5. Kerrygold Mac and Cheese

Kerrygold Mac and Cheese 2

Bon Appetit Hon

Ingredients

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • kosher salt
  • cayenne pepper or chili powder (optional)

visit Bon Appetit Hon for Instructions!

#6. Bacon Collard Greens

Taste of Home

Taste of Home

Ingredients

visit Taste of Home for Instructions!

#7. Chipotle Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Easy-Cookbook-Recipes

Easy-Cookbook-Recipes

Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes (pick ones that are a good shape for twice baked potatoes)
1 lime, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or regular if you can’t find chipotle)
1 whole chipotle, minced
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

#8. Broccoli Casserole

Babble

Babble

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups milk
2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 eggs
2 cups crushed crackers or panko

visit Babble for Instructions!

#9. Black Bean and Kale Enchiladas

Vegan Yumminess

Vegan Yumminess

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion (minced)
  • 1/4 green bell pepper (about 1/3 cup, chopped)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (about 16 ounces total, unseasoned)
  • 1/2 can tomatoes and green chiles (about 5 ounces total)
  • 1 tablespoon pure cane sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • salt to taste

visit Vegan Yumminess for Instructions!

#10. Sage, Onion and Smoked Bacon Stuffing

HGTV

HGTV

Ingredients:

1 onion, finely chopped
3 strips organic or free-range smoked bacon, chopped
9 ounces cooked sausage meat (optional)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1 heaped tbsp. chopped fresh sage
salt and pepper
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
a little fresh parsley, chopped

visit HGTV for instructions!

4 Recipes for One-Pot-Pasta…Easy Weeknight Meals

Random Thoughts

The Londoner

So, One-Pot-Pasta is a new phenomenon; it’s everywhere!  And that makes sense because it’s the epitome of an easy weeknight meal.  Some pasta, some herbs, a few tomatoes maybe some shrimp or chicken, 30 minutes and ba-bow (as my husband would say). Here are 4 One-Pot-Pasta meals to add into your weekly rotation.

#1. Tomato, Roasted Pepper and Arugula Pasta

Recipe Sweet

Recipe Sweet

Ingredients

  1. 8 ounces, weight Pasta
  2. 2 teaspoons Olive Oil, Divided
  3. 1 whole Shallot, Minced
  4. 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  5. 1 cup Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  6. ½ cups Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped
  7. ¼ cups Fresh Basil, Chopped, Divided
  8. 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  9. ½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  10. ½ teaspoons Salt
  11. ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  12. 2 cups Fresh Arugula
  13. 2 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Diced
  14. ¼ cups Parmesan Cheese

visit Recipe Sweet for Instructions

#2.  Penne with Shrimp, Feta and Spring Vegetables

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 12 ounces penne rigate (ridged)

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined frozen shrimp, thawed

  • 8 ounces snow peas, trimmed and halved on the diagonal

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup crumbled feta (4 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

visit Martha Stewart for Instructions

#3. Life-Changing One-Pot Pasta

Family Bites

Family Bites

Family Bites

Family Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 – 12-14oz. package of spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 cups diced boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Visit Family Bites for Instructions

#4. One-Pot Pasta

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces linguine

  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 1/2 cups water

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

visit Martha Stewart for Instructions

30 Minute Chicken Marsala…Easy and Elegant Meal

Savory Sweet Life

Savory Sweet Life

When I first got married I remember being panicked about what to make for dinner every night.  Often times I would fall back on what my mother used to make for me…chicken and rice, spaghetti, nachos maybe (one of my favorites).  But as I got more comfortable in the kitchen I began branching out and trying new recipes… and soon I found that with a little direction making something quick and delicious didn’t have to be all that hard.  That’s what I was reminded of when I came across this recipe by Savory Sweet Life; Chicken Marsala in 30 minutes…sign me up!

Savory Sweet Life

Savory Sweet Life

{Easy Anytime Dinner} Chicken Marsala Recipe
Author: Savory Sweet Life
Recipe type: Chicken
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  30 mins
Total time:  45 mins
Serves: 4
An easy but elegant chicken dish!
Ingredients
  • 2 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all purpose flour or corn starch for gluten-free
  • up to ½ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces container of mushroom, sliced and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup sweet Marsala wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup sherry or dry white wine
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Garnish with chopped parsley or oregano

visit Savory Sweet Life for Instructions!