Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I like you - Sparklers

With the 4th of July right around the corner, I like most everything red, white, and blue. Sparklers hold a special place in my heart, though, pulling me back to the days of bare feet, and cool grass, and mosquito bites while running with a sparkly light through the front yard. I will be in a fire-works friendly state for the 4th this year, so I am looking forward to reliving part of my childhood via fiery lit sticks.

However, if you find yourself in an anti-sparkler state or town, consider trying one of the crafts below to get your sparkler fix. Best part is, no chance of burnt fingers!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meatless Monday - Zucchini Caponata

Zucchini Caponata with poached eggs

There's something about summer that makes eating meat-free seem effortless. With so much gorgeous fresh produce available, I really don't even think about meat, until the husband starts to revolt. So get thee to your local farmer's market and worship at the altar of local fruits and vegetables.

I developed this recipe to use up some pretty zucchini I picked up at our farmer's market. A caponata is traditionally made with eggplant, but I think the other ingredients equally compliment fresh dark green zucchini. We topped a piece of toast with the caponata and then capped it all with a poached egg (also from the farmer's market). The caponata would also be delicious tossed with hot pasta or spread on toasted baguette slices and topped with some melted mozzarella.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large zucchini, cut into a 1/4" dice
1/2 sweet onion, cut into a 1/4" dice
2 Tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano and thyme
1 teaspoons chopped capers

Heat oil over medium high heat in a saute pan. Add onion and zucchini and saute until nicely browned, 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped sun dried tomatoes and garlic, stir to combine. Lower heat to medium low and cook 1 minute. Add vinegar, stirring well, and cook 1 minute. Add herbs and capers, stir to incorporate and serve immediately.

Friday, June 25, 2010

FriDIY - Home Spruce Ups

This week's FriDIY features a few projects to spruce up things around the house. Like the cool lampshade above. Most home improvement stores sell hanging lamp kits (Ikea, too) and the rest of the materials are readily available and inexpensive. I'd love to see a bunch of these in coordinating colors hung from a portico for an outdoor party.

I love the curly ribbon wreath above. The directions are super easy to follow and I especially enjoy the summer-ready colors she chose. If I saw a wreath like this on a front door, I would just know I was going to have a good time in that house!

Finally, this project is one that would make the husband roll his eyes at me. He wouldn't be able to understand putting time and effort into making perfectly sized boxes. But I do, and luckily Sharilyn at lovelydesign does, too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Like You - Brightly Colored Heels

I'm starting a new weekly feature called 'I like you -' and anything I like is fair game. It could be Prince William, or mixed tapes, or pixie hair cuts, or limeade. I like a lot of very random things and I am looking forward to sharing them!

This week, I like brightly colored heels. What's not to like, really? They make blah neutral outfits go HIYA! LOOK I HAVE STYLE, SEE MY SHOES! In the land of nude pumps, the hot pink stiletto is queen.

1. Poetic License Dazzling 2. Stuart Weitzman Lovechains Pump 3. Nina Electra 4. Basic Platform Pump 5. Mossimo Isabella Satin Platform Pump

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meatless Monday - Pasta with artichokes and sun dried tomatoes

Getting back on the horse here with the blog. I'm in the midst of a 30 day course in which I have to set goals (yikes) and then actually follow through (double yikes!). Blogging regularly falls neatly in to the measurable goal category.

So I'm back with a very tasty meatless recipe to kick things off. This one came about because of poor planning. I had been too busy over the weekend to get to the grocery, so come Monday evening, very little fit to eat remained. Luckily, I had some delicious pantry staples on hand and whipped this easy recipe up in no time.

1/2 lb farfalle pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 can artichoke hearts, quartered
2 Tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup cream cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute just until onion softens a bit, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute more.

Add artichokes and sun dried tomatoes to the pan, mixing well. Cook 1 minute.

Add wine and stir. Let cook about 2 minutes more.

Add cream cheese and stir constantly while it melts to mix well with other ingredients. Add cooked pasta to pan and toss with sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.