Saturday, January 26, 2013

Baby Jonah

This weekend was baby Jonah's baby shower for one of my good friends.  I found a pin on Pinterest of "60 Popular Baby Shower Gifts" which included a "New Baby Kit."  Using the same main cotton print, I created bibs, burp cloths, a lightweight blanket, and changing pad.  It was really easy to assemble as most of the items were simple sew right sides together, reverse and topstitch.  Follow the links below for the FREE tutorials to all these projects.  I hope you (and baby Jonah) will enjoy!
Cute bibs from Sew Funky: Make a Bib  
I used a cotton print for the front, toweling in the middle, and a flannel for the back.

I love these contoured burp cloths; I've made them a few times before.

Lightweight blanket with decorative stitching around the border

Changing pad with pocket for diapers/wipes.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

My husband loves seafood and bacon, so when I saw this recipe I knew it'd be a winner.  You have to like scallops, obviously, to like this dish, but I'd say give it a try because bacon makes everything taste delicious.  So simple and easy, it makes you seem so fancy!  I hope you enjoy!

  • 8 scallops
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • Black pepper

Cut each strip of bacon into two shorter strips.  Wrap each scallop with a piece of bacon and fasten with a toothpick.  Lightly sprinkle the bacon-wrapped scallops with black pepper.
Lightly coat a pan with oil and heat over medium heat.  Cook the bacon-wrapped scallops for several minutes on each side until both the scallops and bacon are fully cooked.

Original Post Here

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Slow Cooker Ham and Beans

Yes!  I love the slow cooker! The comfort of warm ham and beans waiting for you when you get home.. delish!  I used a ham hock instead of a smoked ham which didn't give me as many ham chunks as I would've liked in the finished dish.  I'll definitely do the smoked ham next time.  Serve with cornbread for a complete meal.  I hope you enjoy :)

1 lb dried great northern beans (mixed if desired) or 1 lb other dried beans (mixed if desired)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 large sweet onion, chopped coarsely
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 lb smoked ham or 1 lb ham hock
6 cups water or 6 cups broth

Sort beans and soak in enough water to cover overnight.  Or you may sort them and place in a saucepan with 2-inches of water to cover.  Bring them to a boil, boil for 3 minutes, then cover and remove from heat.  Allow to sit for one hour after boiling (don't lift the lid).  Whichever method you use, rinse and drain the beans before placing them in the crock pot.  Put the rinsed beans, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, cloves, ham (chopped into large chunks) or ham hocks into the crock pot along with 6 cups water or broth.  Cover crock, and cook on low for about 8 hours, or until beans are tender and creamy.  Skim any excess fat, if necessary, before serving

Broiled Tilapia with Mustard-Chive Sauce

I have to admit that we don't eat a lot of fish.  So, one of my New Year's resolutions was to learn how to cook fish different ways.  Here's an easy recipe from Giada De Laurentiis that is both fresh and healthy.  I have never broiled tilapia before, so I'm off to a good start with my resolution.  It wasn't my husband's favorite dish probably because of the tangy of the yogurt, but I enjoyed it, so I hope you enjoy!

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 4 (5 to 6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the fish: Preheat a broiler. Spray a small baking sheet or glass baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
Drizzle the tilapia fillets on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the fillets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and broil until cooked through and the flesh flakes easily with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
For the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, agave nectar, and mustard until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer the tilapia to a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Slow Cooker Sweet Pork Carnitas

I've been obsessed with the slow cooker lately, mainly because I now have a longer commute to work.  Who wants to drive an hour, then cook for an hour? Not me!  (Well, sometimes..)  Anyways, sorry no picture, but this is a delicious way to start off a Tex-Mex meal.  I actually made them into enchiladas  but you can do it however you like.  Don't shred it too much, or it'll become mushy.  I hope you enjoy!

For original post (with picture) click here.

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder (aka Boston Butt Roast)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, or more to taste for a sweeter pork if desired
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Place pork roast in a slow cooker. In a mixing bowl whisk together light-brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add in chicken broth and tomato paste and whisk mixture until well blended. Pour chicken broth mixture over pork roast in slow cooker. Cover slow cooker with lid, cook on low heat 7 - 8 hours. Remove roast from slow cooker, remove fat from roast and shred (I don't shred the pieces very small because it will kind of have a "mushy" texture if you over-shred it). Ladle out some of the fat (the shiny orange layer of liquid) from the top of the broth in the slow cooker and discard. Return shredded roast to slow cooker and allow to rest on warm heat for 1 - 3 hours. Strain broth. Serve inside tacos, enchiladas or burritos or serve over nachos, salads or tostadas.

Tuscan Sausage Soup

I love warm soups to eat on a cold day.  I altered the recipe a little from the original mainly by using regular sausage instead of sweet Italian and not using small macaroni shells.  Soups are great ways to experiment with different ingredients, and I think this worked.  We loved it.  It does make a lot, so cut it in half or quarters if you're serving a small crowd.  I hope you enjoy!

2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon dried basil
1-lb (16-oz) whole wheat shell pasta, uncooked
8 ounces spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping (if desired)
What you’ll do:
Remove sausage from casings and brown over med-high heat in the bottom of a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon as it is browning. Add the carrots, onion and garlic and saute until tender and starting to turn a bit golden, about 7 minutes.

To the meat and vegetables, add the chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and basil. Bring to a slight boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and continue cooking until pasta becomes a bit tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Top the hot soup with grated Parmesan, if desired.