Friday, July 25, 2008

Look What I Found!

Riverbed Brown Beachstone Placemat

Delight your family and friends with organic decor! This natural beachstone placemat is created by hand using river rocks that have been washed, polished and individually attached to a nylon backing.
Dimensions: 15" by 15" $12.00

Check out Chroma Studio

Lady Lynn
Lady Lynn's Boutique

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Daily Dinner Ideas #7

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Make this family favorite with sweet or hot sausage.Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
Table salt
1 pound ziti or penne
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer sausage to bowl.
2. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and garlic, and cook until fragrant but not brown, about 1 minute. Add crushed and diced tomatoes, return sausage to skillet, and simmer until thickened, 15 to 18 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until slightly underdone. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, drain pasta, and return to pot along with reserved water. Stir in tomato sauce.
4. Pour half of pasta into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of each cheese. Pour remaining pasta into dish, sprinkle with remaining cheeses, and sprinkle with parsley. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

Diva Sprout

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Daily Dinner Ideas #6

It is Monday again.....and if you are like me, it can be a challenge to get a dinner routine going after the weekend. No worries, Slow cookers/Crock Pots are your best friend! Prepare this Pot roast recipe before work and let it cook all day. When you return home, you will be relieved to know dinner is only minutes away.

Southwestern Pot Roast
Serves 6
Corn tortillas are used to thicken the gravy for this pot roast. Vary the heat by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper. Serve with rice or egg noodles. In most markets, you will have to order a large 5 1/2- to 6-pound chuck roast. Alternatively, use two 3-pound roasts (which are common in most markets).

1 boneless beef chuck roast (5 1/2 - 6 pounds), tied
Table salt and ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions
, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper
, chopped
4 medium jalapeño chiles , seeded and minced
8 medium cloves garlic
, minced
1 can ( 28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 - 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 corn tortillas (6-inch)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Season roast liberally with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer browned roast to slow-cooker insert.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to empty skillet, along with onions, bell pepper, chiles, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to slow-cooker insert.
3. Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes and 2 cups broth to empty skillet, scraping up any brown bits with wooden spoon. Add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and oregano and bring to boil. Transfer to slow-cooker insert.
4. Tear tortillas into small pieces and combine in medium microwave-safe bowl with remaining 3/4 cup broth. Heat on high power until softened, about 2 minutes. Puree in food processor until smooth. Transfer to slow-cooker insert.
5. Set slow cooker to high, cover, and cook until tender, 6 to 7 hours. (Alternatively, cook on low for 9 to 10 hours.) Transfer roast to carving board; loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface. Puree liquid and solids in batches in blender or food processor. (Alternatively, use immersion blender and process until smooth.) Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Remove strings from roast and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer meat to warmed serving platter. Pour about 1 cup gravy over meat. Serve, passing more gravy separately.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares recipe - 138 calories

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Butter a 13×9x2-inch baking pan.
3. In a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, the butter pieces and the coconut.
4. Process until moist clumps form.
5. Press onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes (until the edges are golden).
7. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 cups sugar, baking powder, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup flour until well blended.
8. Pour over the hot crust.
9. Bake for about 25 minutes (until the topping is set and light brown).
10. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
11. Cut into squares and dust tops with powdered sugar.

Servings: 36 squares

Nutritional information for one serving:
Calories: 138
Calories from fat: 55
Total fat: 6.2g
Cholesterol: 37mg
Total carbs: 19.7g
Fiber: 0.3g
Protein: 1.6g
WW points: 3

recipe courtesy of Diet Recipes Blog

Friday, July 11, 2008

Daily Dinner Ideas #5

If you like fish and chips, then you are going to love this Italian-inspired dish......

Crispy Crusted Red Snapper
Chef's note: Don't worry if you can't find Red Snapper. Flounder, Tilapia and other flat fish fillets work fine.

1 cup tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 T. garlic, minced
4 red snapper fillets ( 6 oz. each), boned and skinned
1/2 course bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup plain potato chips, crushed
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. cayenne
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T scallion, thinly sliced
Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. Spread on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Arrange fillets on top of vegetables; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine crumbs and next four ingredients; toss with melted butter. Divide crumb mixture evenly over watch fillet, pressing into the fish.

Bake 20 minutes or until fillets flake easily with a fork.

Sprinkle with scallions ans serve with lemon wedges.

Serve with a side of lemon snap peas or your favorite rice.


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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Daily Dinner Ideas #4

I don't know about you but it is a hot one in the South today baby! So get outta that kitchen and fire up the grill for an all time favorite......

Grilled Steak & Potatoes
with Garlic Butter

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes , scrubbed and halved
1 tablespoon
olive oil
Table salt and ground black pepper
4 tablespoons
unsalted butter , softened
2 tablespoons
minced fresh parsley leaves
3 cloves
garlic , minced
4 boneless strip steaks , about 1 inch thick

To speed things up , grill the steak and potatoes at the same time-
placing the steak on one side of the grill and the potatoes on the other.

1. Toss potatoes and oil in medium microwave-safe bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high power until slightly softened, about 4 minutes, tossing potatoes halfway through cooking.
2. Beat butter with fork in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in parsley, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
3. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Grill steaks over hot fire until well browned on both sides and internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (medium-rare), 5 to 6 minutes per side. Grill potatoes, starting cut side down and turning several times, until soft and grill-marked, 7 to 8 minutes.
4. Transfer steaks to serving platter and top each steak with 1 tablespoon parsley butter. Cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Toss potatoes with remaining tablespoon parsley butter in serving bowl. Serve steaks with potatoes.
Happy Grilling!

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I'm Having An Affair

I have a serious love affair with my Keurig coffee pot. I'm really not kidding. It's the first thing I greet in the morning and it doesn't even care that my hair is messed up or my pjs don't match. I think my husband secretly is in love with it to, but he would certainly never admit it out loud.

This coffee pot is the best thing that ever came into our kitchen. Mine is over 2 years old and I see now they have more bells and whistles. In fact the one pictured here is even fancier than mine. But I don't mind, really. I'm not in in rush to upgrade. I've given one to both my mother-in-law and my parents.

Why do I love this coffee pot so much? First of all, it makes one fabulous cup of coffee. A cup of coffee fit for a queen, which is undoubtedly me. I order my Kcups on the website and they are shipped right to my door. I'm a member of the Coffee Club Awards Club and I get 15% off each time I order 4 or more boxes. When I first started ordering, I picked out several "assortment" boxes so I could nail down exactly which coffees I liked the most. I have also ordered teas and hot chocolate Kcups. Have to share the love with my kids too. If you don't want to deal with the little cups, you can order a filter basket and use your own ground coffee.

So if you are in the market for a new coffee pot, you need to visit I promise, you will never go back to your old multi-cup coffee pot again. I also promise that this is not a paid promotion post. I really do love this coffee pot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Daily Dinner Ideas #3

I absolutely love Greek salads and Feta cheese is one of my favorites. So of course I love this pizza. The flavors are so wonderfully mingled and it can be prepared in about 30 minutes.What a fab way to end a busy weeknight.

Greek Pita Pizza

Packaged hummus is available in many flavor varieties; red pepper hummus works very well here.

4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

4 (8 inch) pita breads

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper

1 small red onion

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

1/2 cup hummus (see note above)

1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 cups arugula

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.

Brush 2 Tbs. of oil all over top and bottom of pita breads. Transfer to baking sheets and bake until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine remaining oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste in bowl. Toss onions, olives and 2 Tbs. vinaigrette together in separate bowl.

Spread 2 Tbs. hummus on each toasted pita round. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over hummus, then top with onion mixture. Bake until onions soften and cheese is melted. About 6-8 minutes.

Just before serving, toss arugula with remaining vinaigrette. Arrange arugula on top of pizzas and serve.


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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Daily Dinner Ideas #2

Creole Pork Chops

4 loin or rib pork chops. 1" thick
1 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
2 T. butter
1 medium yellow onion (minced)
1 medium sweet green pepper (seeded,cored and minced)
1 1/2 c. canned tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
1/4 tsp sugar
2-3 dashes liquid hot pepper seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove excess fat from chops and brown them 5-7 minutes on each side over moderately low heat in a skillet. Brush them with oil and transfer to a lightly greased or buttered 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.
Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of drippings from skillet, add butter and saute onions and green peppers over moderate heat 8-10 minutes until onion is golden.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour sauce over pork chops, cover and bake for 50-60 minutes until fork tender.

Serve over your favorite garden rice or spicy creole beans.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Daily Dinner Ideas

Are you stuck in the dreaded daily dinner discussion? What do you want? I don't care? blah blah blah....

Well worry no longer! Diva Sprout is to the rescue. I will be posting daily recipes for a fantastic family dinner. So without further all time favorite dinner recipe just for you!

Carrie's Chicken Enchiladas

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pkg. taco seasoning

1 - 8oz sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 Lg can Enchilada Sauce (El Pato is my fave)

4 - 5 c. shredded fiesta blend cheese

1 pkg. 20 count flour tortillas

Boil chicken breast in water with taco seasoning. Drain chicken and shred with a fork or chop in food processor.

Mix together soup and sour cream

In a 9x13 baking dish, add a small amount of Enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of dish. In a flour shell, spread a tablespoon of soup mixture on the bottom, top with a little of the shredded chicken and add a tablespoon of enchilada sauce. Top that with some of the cheese and roll. Place in baking dish and repeat process until dish is full.

Spread the remaining soup mix over top of enchiladas and then pour remaining enchilada sauce over that. Cover with remaining cheese.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

This recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated the day before.

Serve enchiladas with Spanish Rice (Zataran's is my fave)and re fried beans.

I love these enchilada's and I hope it will be a favorite of yours too.


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Wine Racks and Wall Art

I simply love the look of wine bottles vintage and new. The shapes,sizes and colors are beautiful and can be a great way to decorate in your home.
So to my surprise I stumbled upon this great find.

The hanging wine rack, designed and manufactured in Europe by Black & Blum, is modeled to reflect vertical flow. This wall mounted wine rack features polished stainless steel construction and will hold up to eight bottles of your favorite wine. The bottles are stored in a unique horizontal position that seems to defy gravity. No matter where you decide to hang this beautifully crafted wall mounted wine rack, it is bound to add a touch of class and modern style to your abode.

Wall Mounted Hanging Wine Rack

Size: 21" vertical length
Weight: 2½ lbs
Brand: Black & Blum
Usually Ships within 24 hrs
Price: $49.95

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Patriotic Dessert

Are you needing a dessert for a Fourth of July Party? Well here is a delicious and Patriotic pie that will fit the bill.


1/2 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crust (1 crust)

1 quart fresh strawberries, divided

4 squares (1 ounce each) white chocolate for baking

1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened

3/4 cup cold milk

1 package (3.3 ounces) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup thawed, frozen light whipped topping

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Let pie crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Gently unfold onto lightly floured surface. Roll to an 11 1/2-inch circle using Baker's Roller™. Place crust in Deep Dish Pie Plate, pressing dough into bottom and up sides. Prick bottom and sides using pastry tool. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

2. Rinse strawberries and pat dry on paper towels. Select eight uniformly sized strawberries for dipping; cut in half through stem ends using Paring Knife. Set aside. Hull remaining strawberries; slice using Egg Slicer Plus®.

3. Melt white chocolate in Small Micro-Cooker®, uncovered, on HIGH 1 minute, stirring every 10 seconds, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Do not overheat. Dip strawberry halves in melted chocolate; place on a sheet of Parchment Paper, cut side down. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until set.

4. Using Skinny Scraper, scrape remaining melted chocolate over bottom of prepared pie crust, spreading evenly to coat entire bottom and sides of crust. Layer sliced strawberries over bottom of crust.

5. Beat cream cheese in Classic Batter Bowl with Stainless Steel Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk until well blended. Add pudding mix; whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Spread mixture evenly over strawberries using Classic Scraper.

6. Arrange blueberries evenly over top of pie filling. Attach open star tip to Easy Accent® Decorator and fill with whipped topping. Pipe topping evenly around edge of pie. Place dipped strawberry halves on whipped topping border. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into wedges using Slice 'N Serve®.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 370, Total Fat 20 g, Saturated Fat 11 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Carbohydrate 44 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 290 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tips: Vanilla instant pudding and pie filling can be substituted for the white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling, if desired.

Recipe from Pampered Chef "Just Desserts"

To view more great recipes and purchase the book click here JUST DESSERTS

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