Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On The Menu: Zucchini "Spaghetti" and Marinara

That Zucchini up there was probably close to 18 inches long!
My brother and sister have a garden this year
(actually ALL my brothers and sisters have gardens this year... and I do not!)
and grew this gigantic one along with a few others.
So, several family members received some Summer goodness,
and they still had plenty for themselves.

This little guy hung out in the produce basket in our kitchen for a week or so,
because I wanted him to serve a great purpose and be used for deliciousness.
Then one evening,
we had different scraps of this and that but nothing to really be used together for a complete meal...
and then I looked over and saw him.
And we both knew the time had come.

I had just stopped by a local farmer's market for some tomatoes
so the creative juices,
as well as the tomato's,
began flowing.

Chop the tomatoes into small chunks and place into a quart pot. Add a couple minced cloves of garlic, basil, and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. After boiling for several minutes, bring to a simmer and let simmer until sauce thickens. This could take anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour depending on how saucy you are. Check and stir every so often until it is at the desired consistency.

Zucchini "Spaghetti":
Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Use a cheese grater and begin grating the Zucchini*. Once grated, place in a bowl and add a little bit of olive oil, enough to cover the top or so, add some minced garlic, basil, salt and pepper to taste, and then mix together covering all the strands of Zucchini. Place in a roasting pan, and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. The strands will soften and the mixture will shrink considerably, and it will be perfect and taste wonderful. Once the strands are softened, remove from the oven and serve with the Marinara and Parmesan.

One of my other sisters recently made a meal similar to this (when my eyes looked over at that Zucchini, and my mind remembered how delicious her meal was, I immediately had to have it, so I used what was on hand to best re-create it!), however she just used sliced Zucchini. I chose to shred this to make my children (and my husband) think of it more like Spaghetti. It didn't work. I very much enjoyed it, though. It was a very light, fresh, Summery meal.

*TIP: When I do this again, I will peel most of the outer skin from the Zucchini. The pieces that were mostly the skin, became a bit too brittle and crunchy in the roasting process.

What are your favorite ways to use a giant Zucchini?

Monday, July 30, 2012

"I Made That Monday!": A Productive Week

I found myself in project mode last week.

Two pillowcase dresses for two little ladies.
These are not actually pillowcases, but SO simple to create.
I have STACKS of fabric pleading to become
the wears of the tiny fashionistas around here.
I may even get really crazy and make myself one.

A leather flower.
Oooh, this has been a dream in my mind since I began creating these hair pins,
and I have to say that this one is my favorite yet.
That mustard color and those white vintage gems together make me smile...
every time I look at it.

Arm Candy.
I had seen a wrap bracelet in a local shop here and SWOONED over it.
It was so incredibly beautiful.
It was also $40.
I could not spend $40 on a bracelet.
Fortunately, a few weeks later,
some fellow crafters and I worked our magic little fingers to the bone
to create our own.
I BEGAN the bracelet one evening,
worked on it for a good hour and a half to two hours,
and finished it a few days later after spending at least another two hours on it
(Granted, I am a perfectionist.).
That wrap bracelet I saw in the local shop here...
worth every single penny.

Custom Canvas Art.
This is so simple, 
and such an easy way to create words throughout your home.
I had originally seen it done here,
and then began seeing it all over Pinterest.
The original one I saw is actually a Paint-By-Number painting picked up at a thrift shop,
with Vinyl lettering placed together to make the quote and then painted white.
Mine is actually a canvas,
painted with colors that I chose,
Vinyl lettering over that to create the quote
and then spray painted with a glossy white paint.
Let the paint dry for the afternoon, or overnight,
and then peel away the letters.
My Love created a video of our life together put to the music of "Stand By Me";
this will hang in our room.
I may be going overboard with these soon.

Also, plans have begun for the 2012 Fall Red Barn Outdoor Market.
The musicians are lined up;
The food Vendors are tweeking menus;
and the Vendors are registering and preparing.
If you are local, come!
(and even if you're not... ahem... Becky! It's worth a little weekend trip.)
It is magical.

Get creative today!

Friday, July 20, 2012

{Maternity} Bryan & Kiera

The little guy still being knit together in this belly
may not ever know the extent of his parent's joy because of his existence.
The prayers that have been lifted up for him are too numerous to count;
perseverance, faithfulness, and love have taken root in the hearts of many
because of his story...
The rejoicing that will take place when he enters this world will be breath-taking
(just imagining it gives me chills!).

And speaking of breath-taking...

Kiera's outward beauty doesn't even come close to
the loveliness going on in her heart!
She is amazing.
Their little guy still has a few more weeks to go,
but the peace that springs forth from his momma is unshaken.

Bryan and Kiera,
thank you SO much for allowing me to illustrate just a few chapters of this story.
When I say that I cannot wait for him to get here...
I mean...
I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

{Babes} Jonas

In celebration of his first three months on Earth,
Baby Jonas donned a little cap and his best onesie,
thought about what his future holds,
loved being loved on,
and wondered just HOW long he must endure this crazy lady with a camera.
He endured.
And good gracious! Look at that face.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"I Made That!" Monday: Rose Cabochon Pendants

Let me fill you all in on something...
Each morning I wake up to some crazy little munchkin people running into my room;
they cuddle and snuggle and jump and finally realize that they are ready for breakfast
and just start saying over and over, 
"I'm ready for breakfast, I'm ready for breakfast...".
So we're up and at em' pretty quick getting breakfasts made and bellies filled.
in the time that they are cuddling and snuggling and jumping,
I am usually checking emails...
looking for one very special,
very exciting email...
each morning.

It's my daily deal from The Plaid Barn.
The Plaid Barn is a website that offers you an
on some kind of craft supply or DIY kit each day
at FRACTIONS of their normal costs...
seriously like up to 90% sometimes!
For someone who LOVES a deal
has an addictive personality...
well, you can just imagine.

These were actually two different daily deals:
(which also came with an epoxy cover...
the girls and I have already made some Mod Podged pendants and used those...
and they are CUTE!)
the Tiny, Petite Rose Cabochons.

I saw these sitting together one day and decided they would combine
and be the perfect little afternoon project for me.
I painted a few of the pendants,
but loved the look of the wood for some of them.
Then I just glued the little cabochons on,
and the connector for the chain,
and voila!
And I still have some left over...
so some sisters may be getting some treats soon,
we'll see.

Be lovely today!!