Sunday, July 29, 2012

Zucchini

Last Sunday, the farmers market came to me.  My parents were passing through town on their way up north (up north is Minnesota speak for visiting the cabin, usually on a lake, somewhere in outstate Minnesota).  My parents were heading to Grand Marais and my aunt's place on Lake Superior and they brought me some vegetables from their garden:

  • cucumbers
  • potatoes
  • sugar snap peas (so good, wish I had more)
  • eggplant which I breaded and fried and didn't really like.
  • shell peas which I froze
  • green and yellow beans which I froze as well
  • zucchini - some of which I grated and froze so I could make this and this later.  And I made these:
    • Sausage stuffed zucchini boats from skinny taste.  I loved these.  I used three zucchini so I had six boats and I could have eaten them all at one meal because they were that good.
    • Sausage zucchini spaghetti - I had extra filling so I just added some of the marinara to it and served it with spaghetti the next day.  Delicious.
    • Sneaky meatball subs from Iowa girl eats.  What's so sneaky you ask?  The meatballs are made with grated zucchini.  The addition of the zucchini makes these meatballs so juicy and yummy.
I'd say that was a very bountiful harvest for me.

And one last thing to share - my latest popsicle - Neo-neapolitan pops.




Saturday, July 28, 2012

iPhone Case Insert

{Pinterest Challenge}
Here's a quick project I did one evening recently.  It's my twist on the popular DIY cell phone case insert.  My twist - instead of scrapbook paper, I used one of my own original photographs.




Here's what I did:


1.  Bought a clear iPhone case at Target.


2.  Printed a photograph.  My photo was landscape so I made a 5"x7" print.  If yours is portrait, it can be a 4"x6" print.



3.  Measured inside of phone case.  Mine was 2 1/4"x4 7/16".

4.  Cut photo to size.  I used my paper cutter for a straight cut.  Scissors would work just as good.

5.  Rounded the corners with a scissors.

6.  Cut out hole for camera.  I wish I had a good tip for this step but I don't.  I used a paper punch, small scissor, and an exacto knife trying to get the perfect shape.  It's a little rough but the black edging covers it nicely.

7.  Inserted cut photo into case.



This would be a great way to showcase a photo of your kids or pet.  {I have neither so I picked a pretty flower.}


I am sharing this tutorial at these parties.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sweet Corn and Quinoa

{Farmers Market}
I love sweet corn season.


Remember when you were a kid and you told your friend you loved something and they would respond by saying you should marry said thing?  Well, I am going to marry fresh sweet corn.


Sweet corn season brings back fond childhood memories for me.  I remember sitting on the front step husking the corn {from our own garden} with my mom, soaking up the hot evening sun and tossing the husks into the silver bushel basket nearby.


Last weekend, I made this sweet corn and quinoa with honey lemon vinaigrette from Iowa Girl Eats for lunch.  It combined an old favorite, sweet corn {fresh from the farmers market} with something I had never tried before, quinoa {it reminds me of couscous}.




Other than my minor boo-boo of being too heavy handed with the lemon juice, I loved this dish.  Don't be intimidated if you have never made quinoa - it is like making rice or couscous.  {Be careful when measuring the quinoa so you don't spill.  Those little guys get away fast and can make a big mess.  Not that that happened to me.  wink wink}  Simple and easy ingredients in this dish pack a healthy and delicious punch.




I enjoyed this dish with some other fresh favorites from the farmers market - blueberries and cucumbers.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Scrappy Lampshade

I came across this awesome scrappy lampshade from the Pleated Poppy one day.  I fell in love with it instantly and pinned it to my Pinterest craft board with the comment that I might use the idea on a wire basket instead.  I wrote that because I didn't really foresee the need for a this kind of lampshade anywhere in my house.  {Most of my light fixtures are ceiling fans.}


But then I started doing some rearranging in my craft room {which is also my guest room}.  I moved my ironing board/working space to the corner from the center of the room.  The only problem was it was a little dark in the corner which is a bit of a problem when trying to pin, iron, or do other detail work.  Do you know where I'm going with this story yet?


To make a long story short {even I'm bored with it already}.  I decided to put up a wall mounted lamp in the corner.  Of course, the best part of this idea is that I now had a place for a scrappy lamp shade!




I already had tins full of scraps for this project so all I needed was the lamp and lampshade.




I decided on this lamp from Menards and had my dad install it.  But the lamp shade included didn't work for this project.  {It didn't have any vertical supports.}  The hunt for a lampshade was probably the hardest part but I did find one at Homegoods.  




I carefully cut off the fabric and was left with the desired lamp shade skeleton.  One problem, though.  It was silver and gold and that really wasn't working for me.  So I painted it with spray paint - Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Aged Copper.




All that was left to do was to put on the scrap fabric.




I cut the scraps one inch wide and tied them on the lampshade, alternating sections starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top.




I didn't bother to measure the length of the strips because I was trimming them after they were tied on.




A few snips of some stray strings and I was done.  




I absolutely love it!  It's a perfect addition to my craft room.  {And a great way to repurpose fabric scraps.}




P.S.  Do you see my small button jars and magazine holders on the bookshelf?


I will be sharing this project at my favorite parties.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Corn and Blueberry Salad

{Pinterest Challenge}
Two weekends ago at the farmers market I overheard Peter at Peter's Pumpkins {my sweet corn vendor of choice} say that he would have sweet corn the following Saturday.  I was so excited!


I have tons of recipes I want to make with fresh sweet corn {and more importantly, nothing beats the taste of fresh local sweet corn.}  I decided to make this Corn and Blueberry Salad  first.  I knew blueberries were in season and hoped cucumbers would be as well.  However, assuming I would have sweet corn was my mistake.  I got to the market 10 minutes after it opened and he was sold out.  Ugh!  But the good news was I got blueberries and a cucumber.  I stopped at Whole Foods to get two ears of sweet corn {from Florida - not exactly local.}




Don't be fooled by the strange mix of vegetables and fruit in this salad.  {P.S. - I made the salad without the cilantro and jalapeƱo pepper.}  It is so ridiculously good.  It is fresh with some crispness.  I really have just one word for this - Yummy!




Try to stay cool everybody.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Camera Strap Slipcover

It's vacation time.  Yeah!  That means taking lots of pictures.  This project has been on my to do list for a long time but yet I waited until the day of my vacation to finally make it.




{Okay, so that's not exactly true.  I made one a week before vacation but somehow messed up the measurements and it didn't fit my camera strap.  I did attempt to "make it work" but only made it worse so I ended up tossing it.}


There are tons of great instructions for making a slipcover and I decided I liked this one from Brassy Apple found at Moda Bake Shop the best.  You don't need much to make it and it is a very quick sew {which was especially great for me since I literally had one foot out the door as I was sewing it}.  


Instead of using a charm pack, I used the leftover fabric from the ruffled kitchen towel I had made.  I measured my strap and divided that number by 8 and added 1/4" for seam allowances and 1/2" for the two ends.  {For my ill-fated strap, I used four blocks but decided I wanted to go with 8 for this one.  Two of each print.}  For the width I measured the strap and multiplied by 2 and added 1/2" for seam allowances and added another inch just because.  {That is the part that give me so much trouble the first time.}




I followed the easy step by step instructions and in no time I had this super cute slipcover on my camera.




I think it's picture perfect!  What do you think?


I will be sharing this at my favorite parties.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Raspberries

{Farmers Market}
This week at the farmers market I picked up some raspberries, raspberries, and more raspberries.


What did I make with all these raspberries?  I'm glad you asked:


  • Triple Layered Rocket Pops from the book Perfect Pops - except mine aren't rockets.  I should have made these for the Fourth of July.


  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry Scones from Buns In My Oven - These were my favorite from the weekend.  {Oh wait, there was something better but I'm not ready to share that one quite yet.}  I followed the directions for freezing them and then popped one in the oven this morning for breakfast.  Besides them being delicious, the idea of freezing them is brilliant.  {Especially for a single gal like me who should only be eating one at time.  This way I can bake one whenever I want without the mess of baking an entire batch.}

Raspberries weren't the only thing I bought this week at the farmers market.  I also got:
  • Kohlrabi - love to bring that in my lunch.
  • Lettuce Mix - nothing beats lettuce fresh from the garden.
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Blueberries {Which were in the Triple Layered Pops.}
The last two were part of that awesome dish I mentioned previously.  Stay tuned for next week to get the dish on that.  {Or check out my Pinterest boards and see if you can figure it out.}

Have a great week.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Frame Your Feet - Travel Photo Idea

Last month, my mom, niece and I took a road trip to Niagara Falls for our summer vacation.   Before we left, my mom showed me a photo idea of taking a photo of your feet wherever you are vacationing.  She read about it in Reader's Digest.  {My parents are old school - no internet.  I think my mom has been subscribing to Reader's Digest my entire lifetime, give or take a year or two.  Here is the digital version of that article.}


Here are my feet photos I took on our trip.  I think I need to work on this technique but I like the idea.  {Especially since I don't like having my picture taken but my feet don't mind.}





What do you think of this idea?  Will you give it a try on your next vacation?


I am sharing this idea at these parties.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Raspberry Dressing

{Farmers Market}
I love going to the Farmers Market.  I live in a townhouse so I can't have a garden so the farmers market is the next best thing.  I can container garden though and I have two tomato plants this year - one roma tomato and one sweet 100 tomato.  But no tomatoes yet {not even close.  Which reminds me - I need to water my flowers and tomatoes this afternoon.}  The Bloomington Farmers Market is just about the right size - not too big but not too small either.  Yesterday, I picked up these goodies from the market:
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries {yes, I know, the season is pretty much over but my vacation coincided with the peak of strawberry season and therefore I didn't get to enjoy very many strawberries this year.  I just couldn't pass these up.}
  • Kohlrabi
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots
  • Mixed Salad Greens
This is what I made this weekend with my market harvest:
  • Tutti-Frutti Pops with the raspberries and strawberries.  I got pop molds and the book Perfect Pops for my birthday and I am having fun trying the recipes.  These are going to be great this week with a heat wave in the forecast.
  • Sweet Fruit and Nut Breakfast Wraps with the strawberries.  I might try it with raspberries too.
  • Pasta Primavera with the carrots and sugar snap peas.  Had I read the recipe a little closer, I could have picked up mint at the farmers market as well.  Too bad there were no cherry tomatoes at the market.  {I skipped the yellow peppers and goat cheese  when I made this.}
  • Salad with the mixed greens and raspberries.  

I made a yummy raspberry dressing for the salad.  Last summer, I made sure I got this recipe from my mom.  I don't know where she got the recipe.  It's so good {and easy to make} and I'm going to share it with you:

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 Tablespoon dairy sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Whisk together all dressing ingredients.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour.

Oh yeah, I didn't forget about the kohlrabi.  I'm going to pack that in my lunch this week.


Next week the rumor is that there will be sweet corn at the farmers market.  I. CAN. NOT. WAIT!

Have a great week!