Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spring Rolls

Ok, you know I only do easy so go ahead and give these a try. I procrastinated attempting this because I thought the rice paper would be difficult to work with, but I was wrong. It’s delicate, but really megasimple to work with. 

You will need rice paper and any veggies you like. We used green onions, avocado, yellow and green pepper, carrots, mini cucumbers, romaine lettuce and cilantro. At the last minute I decide to throw in some shrimp which worked out well.
Slice all veggies up as thinly as you can. This makes eating the rolls easier.  I used a vegetable peeler to shave the carrot.  I also only used the green parts of the green onion.
After your shrimp and veggies are ready it’s time to prepare the rice paper.  All you do is put it in some warm water for maybe 20-30 seconds.  It tends to curl up right away, but I just pushed the edges down in the water with my fingers and they flattened out and softened up nicely.  Lift the rice paper out carefully and let the excess water drip off. 

Lay it on a plate and you are ready to fill it up.
Fold the bottom half up over the veggies.
Fold one side in.
Fold the other side in…
and roll up.
We ate this with a Pad Thai sweet and spicy sauce and some sweet and sour sauce. 

I also threw together some quick salads with romaine hearts, avocado, cilantro, green onion, mandarin oranges, rice noodles and a sesame ginger dressing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dining Etiquette 101

Here is the poster I mentioned yesterday. My research revealed that it originated from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Etiquette by Mary Mitchell. Who knew asparagus was a finger food? Who has that much silverware? I did find it useful in the respect that I can never remember which side of the plate the fork and knife belong. That’s about as sophisticated as our dining etiquette gets around here.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Fresh Market Salmon Dinner

We are back in the cooking mode again. Sometimes we get in an eating out rut, but summer brings with it more time for us to grocery shop and cook more.  A visit to The Fresh Market helps facilitate the transition back to cooking, especially healthy cooking. 
Last night we had Bourbon Glazed Salmon, roasted baby white potatoes with fresh herbs and broccoli. It was so easy, fast and healthy.  Kent cooked the salmon to perfection (only 4-5 minutes per side) on our mini charcoal grill.  I quarter the potatoes and added some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted them for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees. I picked some fresh rosemary, dill, parsley and chives from our herb garden and added those just prior to serving.  The broccoli boiled for 3-4 minutes and it was finished. 
The table setting is megasimple and doesn’t come close to proper table setting etiquette.  Coincidentally, I came across a  very useful table setting poster on Pinterest yesterday, but clearly didn’t reference it. We’re about simplicity here, not perfection, but you never know when the poster and real etiquette rules might come in handy so I pinned it. I’ll see if I can find the original source and post it for you tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crosby Arts Festival

I blogged about the Crosby Arts Festival and The Fresh Market last year (here) and we visited both again on Saturday.  The weather was perfect and the gardens were gorgeous. I’d love to go back and visit the gardens again. They are really large and I think we missed several parts.  You can find more information about the Toledo Botanical Gardens here.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Do you pin? I’ve wanted to try this for a long time, but I knew it would be in my best interest to wait until summer. Here is my fair warning to you…You will love pinterest and it will love your time. With that being said, I think it is genius.

Pinterest is a visual display of all things beautiful and of interest to the person pinning.  I would describe it as an easy to view, visual display, of the best of every blog. It’s a real inspiration source. I’ve just started pinning and already have some new DIY projects and recipes to try. The picture above is a screen shot of my boards that include my first 18 pins! 

It’s very easy to get started. First, just click on the screenshot above.  Then, at the top left of the page click on “request and invite”. Enter your email and click on “request invitation”.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and happy pinning!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberry Ice Cream

I forgot to mention in my last post that we picked our strawberries at Johnston’s farm in Swanton.  The boys helped Kent make homemade strawberry ice cream in our Cuisinart ice cream maker.
The recipe we used is from It turned out really well considering it was the first time we tried this particular recipe.  It made for a perfect father’s day treat that we enjoyed with Grandpa on Sunday!

3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 cup sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups whole milk
2-3/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or purée half the berries.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries, and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Strawberry Jam

strawberry picking
Our nephews spent the night and we went strawberry picking last weekend. We got caught in the rain which I was thankful for because it was hot. Wil ate the whole time and Sammy was very focused on picking.
sammy    wil
If you’ve ever thought about canning/freezing, jams are about as easy as it gets so it’s a great first recipe to try. The recipe I use comes from the Sure Jell box. I typically freeze my jam because it is so fast, but you can also hot water bath jams to store on the shelf.
jam jars2

Freezer Strawberry Jam
1. Wash and rinse freezer containers.  (I use small plastic or small canning jars)
2. Prepare fruit. Wash, de-stem and mash with a potato masher or food processor.  Don’t puree, but pulse to a very fine chop.
3. Measure 2c. of smashed strawberries
4. Add 4c. of sugar to the strawberries. Mix well. Let stand 10 minutes.
5. Stir 1 box of Sure Jell pectin and 3/4 c. of water in a small saucepan.
6. Bring to a boil on high heat stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
7. Stir pectin mixture into fruit mixture. Stir until sugar is dissolved about 3 minutes.
8. Pour into prepared containers leaving 1/2 inch of headspace for expansion in the freezer.
9. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours or until set. Refrigerate for 3 weeks or freeze for 1 year.jam jars
Did you purchase new silver rings and lids? I finally caved even though I have plenty of the gold, but I do like the way these look. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wrapping Paper at Cambria Cove

wrapping paper wrapping paper2
I read via designmom that Cambria Cove is going out of business. Everything is 50-70% off. I picked this pretty paper up at 70%  off the original cost!

How was your weekend? Ours was busy and productive. I’m working on some posts related to strawberries (peaking right now) for later this week! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Reverse Summer List

cornflake dreams
While doing a little Google research on lists/list making,I came across a super cool blog, Cornflake Dreams, by Jillian.  This is her summer bucket list. Sounds fun and so pretty too.

Are you a list maker/crosseroffer? Don’t you find satisfaction with crossing items of a list? The cross off signifies accomplishment, but also comes with expectation.

I’m reversing the list making process for summer. Instead of listing everything I want to do and crossing it off, I’m adding things to my list as I go that have already been completed. The only expectation is that I have a list that portrays a summer lived purposefully and well. 

Do  you have a summer bucket list? Anyone else want to make a reverse summer list?

It’s only June 15th, but I think my summer has been one of the best yet! Here is the start of my Summer on Purpose List…

Pelotonia Garage Sale #1
50 mile bike ride
Pelotonia Garage Sale #2
Michael Buble Concert
Planted a vegetable garden and an herb garden
Family weekend together for Alex and Morgan’s graduations!
Mud Hens Game


Friday, June 10, 2011

{Thirty Five}

pink rainbow cake
Happy Birthday to my twin, Emily, who is thirty five today! Isn’t this the perfect little birthday cake?!I found it via Oh Hello Friend, but it is originally from Call Me Cupcake

Thank You!

Our Pelotonia Garage Sale was a huge success! Thanks to all who donated and stopped by to shop! Special thanks to my Mom and Emily who did a huge amount of work to make the sale a success! We are well on our way to reaching our total of $2425!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Garage Sale Update

Our sale starts Friday at 7am! We will be open until 6pm and on Saturday from 8AM-1pm. ALL proceeds will be donated to Pelotonia, in support of one goal, to end cancer! Thanks to those who have donated items already! We will be working in the garage getting ready tonight. If you still want to donate items for the sale, stop on by! Some items for sale include…

Crazy Coupe Car

3 other small riding toys

Bucket of Side Walk Chalk

Fertilizer Spreader

Rubber Stamping Supplies

4 small wood student chairs


Black picture frames


2 shelf bookcase

3 shelf bookcase


Longaberger basket

Desk with Hutch



IKEA Curtains

Pottery Barn Books, Pillows and Dining name card holders

Christmas Decorations


Hope to see you there!