Sunday, April 29, 2012

Guest Post – Garlic & Lemon Laced Spinach

I’m not a big fan of the taste of cooked spinach but when my husband made today’s recipe I was very pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. Check out his recipe for Garlic & Lemon Laced Spinach below and be sure to visit One Hungry Dude on Facebook!

While watching Paula Deen's Paula's Best Dishes on The Food Network recently, I was surprised to see her make a recipe that was actually somewhat healthy. Deen likes to cook with butter, and other food with a generally high fat content — which can result in delicious meals, but problems for a waistline. While this recipe was modified slightly from the original version, it is a fantastic and easy addition to a dinner meal, and really complements beef or other hearty entrees well. I actually made this for the first time earlier this week, when a friend joined us for dinner, and everyone really seemed to be impressed by the simplicity of the dish.

• 2 Tbsp Margarine
• 1 clove Garlic, minced
• 1 five ounce package of fresh Spinach
• 1 Tsp Lemon Juice
• Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place the margarine and garlic in a sauce pan or large pot, and bring to medium heat. Stir frequently, until the garlic begins to brown, about five minutes. Lower the temperature by half, and add the spinach, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Continue to stir until the leaves begin to wilt, about three to five minutes, then serve.
This recipe yields about six servings.

— Recipe inspired by Paula's Best Dishes

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby Name Wall Art

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve been here to post a craft – I hope there are some people still reading! Today I’m sharing some simple name wall art that I made for my baby’s room. This project was very easy to put together and I made it over the course of two naptimes.

Baby Name Art

To make your own you’ll need chipboard letters, paint, scrapbook paper, a length of ribbon, chipboard stickers/embellishments, scissors and glue.

I started by painting my chipboard letters blue. Once they were dry I cut out circles of scrapbook paper (you could do all one pattern but each of my letters is different) and glued them to the backs of my chipboard. The circles don’t need to be perfect since no one will ever see them up against a wall. Next I added some chipboard stickers to the fronts of my letters. You could use regular stickers but I liked having my embellishments overhang a bit.

Baby Name Art Close Up

Then I took my length of ribbon, folded over the top and glued it down to make a loop. You’ll need this for hanging. I took a large chipboard sticker and attached it to the ribbon, overtop of the loop I made. I thought this “Something to crow about” sticker was really cute but anything goes! Then I just hot glued my letters down the length of the ribbon, spacing them evenly. And that’s it!

Baby Name Art Top

To hang your ribbon just tie a little piece of curling ribbon through the larger ribbon’s loop and hang it on a finishing nail. This is a cute project to hang on a skinny bit of wall that won’t accommodate much else –  I’ll be hanging this next to Nathan’s closet.

Nathan is really starting to take more regular naps these days so I’m hoping that means I’ll have more projects to share soon!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Guest Post - Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

It’s time for another recipe from my husband, One Hungry Dude. As a vegetarian I can’t really comment on the deliciousness of this one but Chris has served it to guests on several occasions to rave reviews.

parmesan crusted pork chops 2

These pork chops are a staple in my household, and work well on the barbecue, or pan fried — though this recipe deals specifically with the latter cooking method. The chops are salty and savoury with a hint of sour, and the marinade only takes a few minutes to prepare.

• Four Pork Chops, Preferably Bone-In
• 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
• 6 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
• 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
• 1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 Tsp Dried Basil
• 1/4 Tsp Hot Sauce
• 1/4 Tsp Paprika
• Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place the pork chops in a ceramic bowl. Then combine the Olive Oil, Parmesan, Lemon Juice, Worcestershire, Basil, Hot Sauce, Paprika, Salt and Pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together, then pour the marinade over the pork chops. Make sure each chop is fully enveloped by the mixture, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

parmesan crusted pork chops 1
When ready to use, take the pork chops out of the fridge, and let sit for about 20 minutes. Then pre-heat a frying pan over medium high. Wait until the pan is hot (you can splash a drop or two of water on the pan, and if you can hear sizzling, it's ready for the meat). Place each chop, and about half of the remaining marinade, in the pan, and brown for about one minute on each side. Then reduce the heat to medium, and cook for an additional eight to 10 minutes (though cooking time could vary, depending on the thickness of the chop) turning over once after five minutes. Take the meat out of the pan, and let rest for about five minutes, then serve.

Though you can refrigerate fresh pork for several days before it goes bad, seriously consider using the meat within 24 hours of marinating. Otherwise, the meat can get stringy or mushy. The Joy of Cooking also suggests marinating only in glass, stainless steel or food-grade plastic, to avoid a chemical reaction with the container.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Guest Post – Garlic Cheese Mashed Potatoes

I’m surprised that my husband (aka One Hungry Dude) is sharing this recipe for Garlic Cheese Mashed Potatoes as this is one of his go-to impressers whenever we have company. I thought he’d want to keep it for himself! These potatoes are so cheesy and flavorful - not great for the waistline but absolutely delicious! When you’re done reading the recipe be sure to click over to like One Hungry Dude on Facebook. And watch for the blog launching soon!

This was one of the first recipes that I learned to make with my dad. It's simple, and doesn't require a lot of ingredients, or effort — though their taste often leads people to believe I've slaved over an oven for a day. We've had these potatoes with turkey, ham and beef roasts at Christmas, New Year's Day and other special occasions, but they also work quite well with hamburgers, chicken breasts, meatloaf and other standard family entrees.


• Six medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
• 1/2 Cup Milk
• 1/2 Cup Margarine
• 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
• 1 Tsp Paprika, plus enough to sprinkle on top
• Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in a pot, then add enough water to just cover the top of the spuds. Cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 F. Once the water is boiling, remove the lid, and reduce the temperature to medium heat. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes, and place them back in the pot.

Add the milk and margarine to the pot, and mash until most of the larger chunks are broken down. Add the cheese, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, then either continue mashing, or use a mixer to blend until smooth. Place the potatoes in a greased glass or ceramic oven-safe dish. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to evenly spread the potatoes throughout the dish. Sprinkle paprika and pepper on top of the potatoes, and place the mixture in the oven for about 30 minutes. Turn on the broiler, and cook for an additional five minutes, or until the top of the potatoes begins to brown. Remove from the oven, set aside for five minutes, then serve.

Consider making more potatoes than this recipe yields, to reheat portions throughout the week. Fry leftovers on the stovetop, by adding a spoonful of margarine, and they become an easy to prepare and filling side dish for a quick meal.

This recipe yields about eight servings.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. My little guy is obviously too young for egg hunts and chocolate but we found another way to have some Easter fun :)

Mommy's Little Bunny 4


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Guest Post – Tender Yet Crispy Roasted Potatoes

We celebrated Easter with the family yesterday so Chris’ (aka One Hungry Dude’s) recipe comes a day late this week. Hopefully these delicious roasted potatoes, a real favourite in our house, are worth the wait. Happy Easter!

crispy roasted potatoes 1

When you're looking for a side dish, the potato can often be the perfect answer. It's a versatile tuber, and can be mashed, blended into soup, or fried. But this roasted potato recipe offers an easy and low maintenance compliment to beef, pork, chicken, and many other entrees.

• 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
• 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/4 Tsp Club House or similar brand Italian seasoning

Heat the oven to 425 F, and place a baking sheet inside. Thinly slice each potato quarter into wedges (each quarter should produce about eight to 10 pieces). In a bowl, toss the potatoes with vegetable oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Remove the sheet from the oven, and spread the potatoes onto it, in a single layer. Place the potatoes in the oven, cook for 10 minutes, then flip. Reduce the temperature to 400 F, and cook for another 20 minutes, flipping the potatoes once more during that time. Remove from the oven, toss with parsley and serve.


crispy roasted potatoes 2

Pre-heating the baking sheet helps reduce sticking, and allows you to flip the potatoes easily. And cooking at such a high initial temperature helps make the potatoes crispy on the outside, while ensuring they become soft and tender inside.

This recipe yields four to six servings.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Paper Flower Garland

This past weekend not only did I make kusudama flowers but I also made a quick and easy paper flower garland.

Paper Flower Garland (3)

I was inspired by the Easter Egg Garland over at Happy Clippings but instead of making my garland Easter specific I left off the eggs and just used flowers. Basically you create heart shapes with strips of paper and then glue them together to form flowers. I added buttons to the centres of mine.

Paper Flower Garland

It only took me about an hour and a single double sided 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper to make eight flowers.

Paper Flower Garland (1) 

Then I strung them together using a piece of twine and hung the garland in our living room to add a touch of spring!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Kusudama Spring Flowers

I love paper crafts and how easily you can make beautiful things with just a bit of folding and gluing. These kusudama flowers are a perfect example of how, in less than an hour and with less than one dollar you can create something lovely for spring. To make a single flower all you need are 5 3x3 inch square pieces of paper, some hot glue and a little patience.

Kusudama Flowers

They actually look a lot more complicated than they really are. I used this tutorial from Folding Trees and made my first flower in about 15 minutes. Essentially you fold 5 of the same shapes and then you glue them together like you see in the picture below. I used scrapbooking paper for my flowers because that’s what I had on hand but they would be easier and turn out more exact if you used something thinner like origami paper.

Single Flower

I’m going to add some stems to mine and make myself a pretty paper flower bouquet to add to my spring decor!