Monday, June 29, 2009

Dill Turkey Havarti Casserole

I made this for my family tonight, it turned out great. For the bread I used a multi-grain bread from The Fresh Market bakery. We had leftovers that had gotten a bit stale.

Another tip: Do you have leftover cheese slices from a luncheon and won't be using them for a while? Put them in a zipper bags in individual portions and freeze! Pull them out when it's to use, allow for defrost time if you plan to use on a sandwich. Frozen cheese slices chop very easily for a recipe like this.

Dill Turkey Havarti Casserole

2-3 cups chopped/pulled turkey breast (another idea for those leftovers you put in the freezer!)
3 cups cubed multi-grain artisan bread (a nice firm bakery bread)
1.2 cups chopped or shredded Havarti cheese
1 Tbsp dill weed
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp butter, melted
4 large eggs
2.5 cups skim milk
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste (1/4 to 1/2 tsp)

Loosely layer in a 13x9 baking dish the cubed bread, turkey, and cheese. Sprinkle dill over top. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a large bowl until eggs are well beaten. Pour over the bread mixture. Allow time for the bread to soak in some of the liquid- at least 30 minutes. This can be prepared the night before and kept covered in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 1 hour. A knife inserted should come out clean or with very little liquid. This should serve approximately 6 adults.

I think your family will love this! Do you love cranberries or raisins with your turkey? Try this recipe with a cranberry artisan bread (such as the one from Great Harvest Bread Co.) or a raisin walnut artisan bread (such as the one at Lowes Foods). No matter how you make yours, I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Caprese Salad Skewers

I saw this in a publication some time back, and had to do it! It just looked so fun! It was really very simple. And it makes such a bold statement! I chose to put ours into a small glass hurricane for dinner tonight. If you're wondering how to pronounce caprese, click on this link (but don't forget to come back)!

This would be very easy if you needed some hors d'oeuvres for a large group of people. Find a large unique serving dish.

Another idea would be to do maybe 3 per person and do them in individual stemless wine glasses for a dinner party.

Trim your wooden skewers shorter, to the length desired, using hand held bush/flower trimming scissors, something that cuts through twigs easily. I trimmed mine just longer than halfway.

At this point I would like to give a big shout out to The Fresh Market! I grew up shopping there and was so glad when they finally opened up here in our area. I will always say it, silly as it may sound, it's not just a grocery store, it's an experience!

I picked up some teeny fresh mozzarella balls from the olive bar, some strawberry tomatoes (grape size would also work well), and fresh organic basil leaves. I already had at home the EVOO (olive oil) and balsamic vinegar.
I simply sliced the tomatoes and mozzarella balls and pierced them into the skewers, tore a couple of basil leaves into pieces and dropped them in, and poured the EVOO and balsamic over them.

It has such an amazing flavor, not overpowering at all. There's nothing like fresh mozzarella. Happy eating!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baby Shower Card...

There was a baby shower at work for some coworkers. I was asked to create a card, and of course, I did! I needed to make something fast, so I pulled out my Sizzix die cuts and created this baby boy with argyle overalls, by using some cute Designer Series papers from Stampin' Up! A coordinating paper was used as the blankie underneath, simply cut an angle to fit the card. The blue cardstock is Buckaroo Blue from Stampin' Up. On the fly, I came up with the idea to use a button, upside down, as a pacifier! See the close up to see how cute it looks as one:I used my "baby blessings" sentiment (by Wordsworth) in Chocolate Chip ink on Blush Blossom cardstock (same color used for baby skin), distressed the edges of that as well as the layer of kraft cardstock. This turned out really cute, and was very fast to make.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Love Shrimp!

This week is hectic because of activities with the kids (it's VBS week at church), but I want to share what I made to take to work for lunch today, it was phenomenal!

Grilled Shrimp Spinach Salad

5-6 jumbo shrimp, grilled with garlic and pepper, refrigerated (leftovers from dinner!)
1.5 cups triple washed organic spinach leaves
1/8 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp dry roasted sunflower seed kernels
1/4 cup mandarin oranges

Dressing: 2 Tbsp EVOO Italian dressing

This salad was fast to make and was a fantastic gourmet lunch on the go! The recipe is for one person, so if making for a group, be sure to multiply.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two ways with Tortellini

I bought a 20 oz package of FRESH tortellini (from the refrigerator section of the grocery store). I had a soup recipe, which I'll share, that only used half of the package, so tonight I served the other half with an organic marinara sauce. I used my microplane to grate some asiago cheese over top- just a bit, since the tortellini is filled with cheese. Note: I have tried tortellini and ravioli that is dried, and there is truly NO comparison to the fresh stuff.

For those of you who have never used a microplane (originally a wood working tool), here are some things you can do with one (and once you have it, you will never want to live without again):
  • Zest citrus fruits for recipes
  • Grate cheeses (finely)
  • Grate fresh ginger for your Asian cooking
  • Grate nutmeg
  • Dusting and grating fresh chocolate onto desserts
Now as I mentioned, I made a soup with the other half of the tortellini, and it made enough for about 7 servings, 6 of which I put in my deep freezer for lunches and/or a don't-know-what-to-make-for-dinner night. More on freezing in a later post. As for the below recipe, change it to suit you and your family! This is fast, healthy, and easy to make.

Turkey Tortellini Soup

10 oz fresh cheese tortellini
2 boxes organic chicken broth, preferably low sodium
2 cups chopped or pulled turkey breast (did you freeze some when you cooked your last turkey?)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups triple washed organic fresh spinach
2 tsp ground tarragon
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Parmesan or Asiago cheese

In a soup pot, boil the chicken broth. Once boiling, add the tortellini and turn the temp down to medium high. Boil for about 6 minutes. Add the turkey, bell pepper, tarragon and fresh cracked pepper, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add the spinach. Stir and soup is ready to serve when spinach wilts. Grate or cut small curls of the cheese and serve on top of the soup.

Enjoy your meal!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dinner out and roses...

Dinner out doesn't always have to be fancy, and is not always defined by going to a restaurant! Tonight we decided it was nice enough to eat outside on the deck. We bought roses for our daughter's dance recital this weekend, and she requested them to be at the dinner table.

I always remember Sunday nights being family night growing up. We'd head over to my grandparents' house for dinner. Normally if the weather was nice we'd eat out on the porch overlooking the backyard. I have very fond memories of that house. I hope for my daughters to have the same fond memories of our family and the things we do together.

I like to get out the nice tablecloth when we eat outside, and still eat off the real dishes, it just makes the meal feel special. Even the food doesn't have to be fancy. Tonight we made wraps. Here's what was out to choose from:
  • Tortillas
  • Chicken strips
  • Black Beans
  • Corn
  • Black Bean Chipotle Dip (Fresh Market)
  • Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • Cheese
  • Sliced Red Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Sour Cream
Isn't it time for you to have dinner out?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Strawberries, and smoothies in the morning!

Who doesn't love strawberries? I love to pick them every year. I have a favorite farm that I love to go to, they have farm animals for the kids to look at, a fresh produce stand, and of course the best strawberries in the area. You can make so much stuff, and also hull some to freeze whole to enjoy year round. Just hull, wash, lay them out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and place in the freezer. Once frozen, put them in a freezer safe baggie.

The frozen ones are perfect for throwing into the blender for the perfect smoothie.

Easy Strawberry Banana Smoothie:
1 whole banana
1 cup (or more) frozen strawberries
1 cup skim milk

Blend together for a quick morning drink that will leave you (and the children) smiling.
*If you like, add a container of your favorite yogurt for a creamier texture.

If you have kids, take note: you know those kid's cups at the restaurants, the ones with the lid and straw hole? Take them home, stick them in the dishwasher. Buy a bag of straws, and they make the perfect smoothie cups, you can toss them if they leave the house, or rewash them and use them again if they stay at home!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Welcome to my NEW blog!

I'm so excited to start this new blog, where I'll share so many more ideas besides my papercrafts and jewelry. I have really enjoyed my last blog, Bright Bold and Beautiful, which I am leaving up but will not post new creations to. I found myself wanting to post about other things, too, there are so many other facets of the home that I'm passionate about. I'm planning to include recipes, gardening, and so much more! But to start you off, I will share some recent card creations.
Tomorrow is a baby shower for a coworker, who is expecting a girl soon! Babies are such a blessing, aren't they? There will be a gift card inside for the new parents. I made the card in the ever popular pink and brown, as they decorated the nursery in those colors.

I also will be giving a gift on Friday to my older daughter's teacher Rachael, who has been an amazing teacher this past school year. Even though our daughter has just left her class, we plan to continue contact with her in the near future- she teaches piano, and thanks to my grandparents, we're now in need of a piano teacher!
I ordered her a great paisley bag from a local canvas bag company. It will be monogrammed in turquoise. I made her these monogrammed notecards that I will put in the bag, and they happen to match! I want you to know that these monogrammed cards are SO easy, truly anyone could do it. I used my JustRite stamper, some different paper punches (scallop circle, circle, scallop oval, oval, and 2 sizes of square), some inks to match. The secret here that makes these SO easy, is that the note cards and envelopes came from Target! I purchased them with the intent to "add a little something" and make them unique! On the teal cards I added a couple of brads to the oval, just kicked it up one notch:
Below is the card I made to write out to her. I pulled out a bunch of random buttons from my antique button jar (estate sale). Aged the edges of the rust colored card with some chocolate brown ink, this really is a simple card, and the sentiment is from an old retired Stampin' Up stamp set.
Thanks for stopping by my new blog, I hope you will come back for more! Click on the link on the side of this blog to follow my blog with your blog reader!