Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wonderful Wonderful Wallpaper!

When most people think of wallpaper they think of their great aunt Martha's old stuffy house filled with collections of thimbles & spoons.  The words "old" "outdated" & just "ugly" come to mind.  But I happen to LOVE wallpaper. As an accent wall, in a powder room or even as a simple backdrop in a bookcase (love this), it just makes a room more personal.  While our current home has no wallpaper, we will be gutting a bathroom (hopefully) this summer & I'm hoping we can incorporate wallpaper in some facet.  Whether you choose a bright & bold pattern or something simple with a little texture, wallpaper will make a room look instantly more interesting. Here are some of my favorite uses of wallpaper:

 

 

Photo Credit: Houzz

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

 
Photo Credit: Element's of Style

 
Photo Credit: Doodle Home
 


 
Photo Credit: This Life, Designed
 
Yes, this IS wallpaper!
 
Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

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Note: As always, I try to source any photos I use that aren't mine. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to trace the photos back to their origin. All the photos in this blog post were found online. If they belong to you/you know the source, please contact me & let me know. Thanks!


 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Skinny "Pastitsio" Stovetop Pasta



If you aren't familiar with the traditional Greek pasta dish, Pastitsio  then YOU ARE MISSING OUT.  It is my absolute favorite Greek dish, so when I saw this recipe for a "skinny" stovetop version, I FREAKED OUT.  The typical dish is quite hearty & indulgent, no wonder I love it so much.  Now, this dish from Lemons for Lulu was super tasty & delicious, but in my opinion it cannot replace traditional Pastitsio, it just can't.  Guess I'll just have to find a traditional recipe to try & make myself!  This is a great dish to make during the week. It doesn't require a lot of ingredients & was relatively simple to make.  I will definitely make this dish again!

Skinny "Pastitsio" Stovetop Pasta
Serves: 4
Cook Time according to me: 30 mins max
How difficult was this for Rachel? Easy! 

Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef (you can sub turkey, but I ALWAYS sub turkey, so we went with very lean ground beef)
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tsp McCormicks Greek seasoning…it was a bit difficult to find, so good luck
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 lb penne pasta
Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:
Prepare pasta according to packaging

While noodles are cooking, heat the ground beef in a large skillet.

Once brown, add onion & garlic for another 2 mins on medium heat.

Add in Greek seasoning, nutmeg, salt, pepper & tomato paste.

Slowly mix in heavy cream & Greek yogurt. Reduce heat & let thicken, about 1 min.


Drain pasta, saving 3/4 cup water.

Add meat mixture to pasta (with water) & mix well.

Top with Parmesan & serve immediately.


Enjoy!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Grilled Cheese-A-Palooza


Grilled Cheese might possibly be one of the greatest foods of all time. I don't need to justify why I would make multiple kinds of grilled cheese at once, but just to make sure you know I wasn't just gorging on these by myself (I mean, I totally would), it was for the Super Bowl. One of my dearest friends is a vegetarian & after all the meat I was making, I thought this would be such a fun addition.  I didn't plan too much ahead of time what I was going to put in each sandwich, I just bought a bunch of cheeses, mushrooms, avocados & tomatoes (that I didn't end up using).  Besides being able to completely customize each sandwich, I toasted them in the oven so we could make them in bulk.  Here are some of my favorite combos:




The options were endless!  I also made a "white" grilled cheese, but seemed to have lost the photo.  I also planned on making a bacon tomato grilled cheese, but got lazy.  For the most part I used wheat bread in an attempt to make these a tad healthier, but really? Who cares.  I served them as halves so everyone could try the different combos. Such a fun & different snack!

Oven Toasted Grilled Cheese
Serves: As many as you make!
Cook Time: 25-30 mins
How difficult was this for me? EASY.

Ingredients:
1-2 loaves bread of your choice
Suggested Cheeses: Cheddar, Swiss, Colby-jack, Mozzarella, American
Suggested veggies: tomatoes, mushrooms, avocados
Suggested meat: bacon or ham

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Take 2 pieces of bread & butter one side of each piece. Fill sandwich with whatever you'd like with the buttered sides facing out. 

Bake sandwiches for 10-12 mins until toasted well.

Remove baking sheets & flip sandwiches.

Bake an additional 8-10 mins.  

Cut in half & serve!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Turkey Buffalo Balls



Well, these are genius. The Buffalo Chicken Dip is always a staple for gatherings, but for the Super Bowl this year (yes, I am a bit behind) I wanted to spice things up.  These were AWESOME & a huge hit, despite being a healthier alternative to wings. It might have had something to do with the insides being infused with a bleu cheese/cream cheese mixture.


I had every intention of making these tasty treats with ground chicken, until I couldn't find it at the grocery store.  The ground turkey though was a perfectly acceptable substitution.  Kudos to Mellissa at I Breathe I'm Hungry for the awesome recipe. I will definitely make these again!

Turkey Buffalo Balls
Serves: 32 balls
Cook Time according to me: 35-40 mins
How difficult was this for me? Pretty easy!

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey or chicken
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
6 tbsp crumbled bleu cheese
1 tsp black pepper 
8 oz butter, melted
1 cup buffalo sauce
Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing (for dipping)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees 

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, cream cheese, egg, bleu cheese & pepper.

The mix will be sticky & gooey, but that's normal.  Take mixture & roll into 1.2-2 inch balls. 

Place on tinfoil-lined greased baking sheets


Bake for 10 mins & remove from heat but leave oven on.


In a mixing bowl, combine butter & buffalo sauce.

Carefully place each ball in the sauce & cover completely. Place back on baking sheet.


Place back in oven & bake an additional 12 mins.


Remove from heat & serve! Enjoy!!