DIY salt & pepper shakers

My house is an endless project, always adding and changing. I don’t believe in decorating all at one time. I feel that to create a great space it takes time collecting pieces until it all comes together. Sometimes it never comes together because I decide to change it up! Drives my husband crazy, but he just doesn’t understand ūüėČ I’ve been needing a house project and surfed Pinterest until I found the perfect one. I think Pinterest needs a support group because one can get addicted!

I was in need of some cute S&P shakers and found a DIY that some one did so I decided to give it a go and change it up to fit my homes style. It was so easy! I did this project in 5 minutes and it only cost me around $5. Score!

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I got everything at Hobby Lobby. Most of the things there are usually on sale or you can use a 40% off coupon that you can find online.

All you do is hammer small holes into the top of the jar cap with¬†a nail¬†and add vinyl chalk board¬†labels to the front. You can also paint the jars with acrylic paint and distress them with sand paper for a shabby chic look. Add salt and pepper and you’re¬†ready to season with style¬†ūüôā

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I think it turned out really cute and is a perfect addition to my table décor.

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Hopefully I inspired you to create something beautiful in your home ūüôā

Thanks for reading!!

J

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Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is one of my favorites to order at restaurants. I just love the lemony flavor and capers mmmmm. So I decided to try to make it myself at home, it came out even better than the one I ordered from Cheesecake Factory over the weekend! I was very happy with the result so I wanted to share it with you all.

I got the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis¬†and made a few changes to it. I added a splash more stock and half a garlic clove minced. I just realized I forgot to put in the parsley in the end but I guess it wasn’t missed… add it if you want.

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breast, butterflied and then cut in half or use thin sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, or more if needed
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

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image1¬†(I forgot to take more pictures of the steps, I got into cooking mode and don’t burn the chicken mode.¬†You are going to have to use your imagination from here.)

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, garlic and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning and add more stock if it is too tart. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Serve with your favorite pasta and veggies. I served it with parmesan mashed potatoes, sometimes my German/Italian side comes out in my food. I can eat potatoes with every thing!

Let me know if you end up making this or any other recipes on my blog ūüôā

Enjoy!

J

Greek salad and homemade Vinaigrette

Switching gears from the norm Italian and making Greek tonight! Since our weather here has been feeling like summer, I decided to make a fresh salad for dinner.

Salad serves 4 or 2 hungry people.

Greek Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed¬†lemon juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • pinch of S & P
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

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Combine vinegar, lemon, garlic, oregano and S & P in a bowl. With a whisk, slowly stream in olive oil and whisk into the mixture. You will see it thicken up a bit.  Crumble up feta cheese and whisk into vinaigrette mashing any big chunks. Then add a pinch of sugar to lessen the acidic level.

*Vinaigrette adapted from here. I added a few things to it.

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Store in a jar with a lid and shake up really well before each use.

This dressing is great for salads and marinades

Greek Salad

  • Romaine lettuce (10 oz. bag)
  • Feta cheese
  • kalamata olives
  • Persian cucumbers
  • 2 breast of chicken (boneless skinless)
  • Italian salad dressing for marinade
  • pita bread

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Marinade the chicken the day before in Italian dressing or in the vinaigrette if you made it ahead of time.

Cook the chicken in a frying pan. Get your salad ready by putting the lettuce in a bowl, dicing up cucumbers, cutting olives in half and crumble up cheese. When chicken is done, put in fridge to cool and add to salad. Put salad inside a pita pocket or enjoy alone.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for reading ūüôā

J

Lasagna

As you may notice, I love to cook Italian food. Lasagna is a classic that I love to make for my family when I want some¬† leftovers or when I’m cooking for a lot of people. Everyone is always left with happy tummies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound package of ground turkey
  • 1 pound Hot Jimmy Dean Sausage
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounce)¬†Hunts Tomato Sauce
  • 3 cups of Low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 bags of mozzarella cheese
  • 5 leaves of fresh basil (julienned)
  • 3¬†tbsp. oregano
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 whole beaten eggs
  • Lasagna noodles (about 12)
  • fresh baby spinach

Instructions:

Boil lasagna pasta, add salt to water for flavor and a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking.

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In a large skillet combine, ground turkey, sausage and garlic. Cook over medium heat until brown. Drain half of the fat, keep some for flavor. Add tomato sauce, 1 tbsp oregano, basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 45 mins.

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I made my sauce separately but either way works. just combine with both are finished.

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While sauce is simmering, in a mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of parmesan, beaten eggs, 2 tblsp oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper. stir to combine and set aside.

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cook lasagna al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water so its easier to work with. I lay mine out of non stick foil first.

To assemble

Arrange a layer of pasta on bottom of baking dish overlapping. (about 4 pastas)

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spoon half of cheese mixture over the pasta.

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spread a layer or mozzarella cheese over ricotta mixture.

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layer of baby spinach

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spoon a little less than half of meat mixture

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Repeat, ending in meat mixture. Sprinkle top generously with parmesan cheese.

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so pretty!

Cover with foil and bake 350 degrees for about 30 mins or until hot and bubbly. The last 15 mins of baking, remove foil.

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I’m not very good at getting it out in one piece

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enjoy!!

xo,

J

Broccoli Cheese Soup & Grilled Turkey Sandwich

Lately I’ve been trying to make new recipes to share with you all but its been a lot of miss more than hit. I like to blame the source, but who knows.

A little thing about me is that I hate sea food.¬†Yes, that strong word, hate is necessary.¬†The other day I made a pad thai from a recipe I found¬†from William Sonoma, and it called for fish sauce. I didn’t think it’d make the whole thing taste like stinky fish! I threw the whole things out and my house smelled like fish vinegar for a few days. Such a fail.

So the point is, not all my meals turn out good and are blog worthy. Sometimes my poor husband has to resort to cereal for dinner. But I’m still learning and what does turn out good I will share it with you and try my best to make it fool proof.

Here’s a new recipe from my favorite food blogger Pioneer Women¬† <—look! I figured out how to do a direct link ūüôā

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole onion, diced. (I skipped the onion, because I don’t like them in my soup)
  • 1 stick 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 heads broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese (mild, sharp, whatever your heart desires)
  • small dash of salt (more if needed, I needed a lot more actually)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • chicken broth if needed for thinning (I used a splash)

Instructions:

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, then add onions, if you like them. Cook the onions for 3-4 mins, then sprinkle flour over the top. Stir to combine and cook for about 1 minute.

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Pour in your milk and half and half. Add nutmeg, then add broccoli, a dash of salt and plenty of black pepper.

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Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the broccoli is tender. Took mine about 45 mins. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.

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Taste and adjust. I added a load of salt and pepper til I got it right. Mash up with a potato masher to break up broccoli or you can transfer to a blender to puree. If you puree, return to stove to allow it to heat up again. Splash in chicken broth if you want it to be thinner. I splashed in a bit for flavor and to thin a little.

Grilled Turkey Sandwich with Pesto Mayo

My favorite place to eat is Corner Bakery, so I wanted to create a sandwich to dip in my soup. yum yum!

ingredients:

  • sliced sour dough bread
  • mayo
  • pesto
  • turkey
  • provolone cheese
  • butter

Instructions:

Mix up equal parts of pesto and mayo for the spread.

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Spread on both pieces of bread, add cheese to both sides and add turkey.

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butter top for grilling

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Grill them up and enjoy!

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I like to dunk them in my soup, hardly use the spoon.

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Now I can enjoy my favorite Corner Bakery meal at home!

Thanks for reading!

xo,

J