Monday, April 30, 2012

Three-Meat Ciabatta Sandwiches

One of my favorite things to make and eat are sandwiches.  I love them!  And really, what's not to love?  They're a quick and easy dinner.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to what to what type of bread to use, what to put inside, and the condiments used to enhance flavor.  This particular sandwich is one of our favorites as of late.  It pairs well with a hearty potato chip or oven fries and a crunchy pickle.  My husband would include a good pale ale in the list of pairings, but that's a man for you!  Here is the recipe.

Three-Meat Ciabatta Sandwiches

Serves: 6

Garlic Butter:
3 tablespoons butter
3-4 garlic cloves, minced

Vinegar Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chives, minced

6 Ciabatta rolls
1/2 pound sliced turkey
1/2 pound sliced ham
1/4 pound sliced hard salami
1/4 pound sliced provolone cheese
1 large tomato, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced

Preheat the broiler.  In a small skillet, melt the butter and saute the garlic until softened.  Remove from the heat and spread onto the inside bottom of each ciabatta roll.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, chives, salt, and pepper.  Let the mayonnaise sit while you assemble the sandwiches as to incorporate the flavors.  Layer the turkey, ham, salami, cheese, tomato, and onion on the bottom half of the rolls.  Spread the mayonnaise mixture onto the top of each ciabatta roll.  After the sandwiches are assembled, place them under the broiler and toast until golden brown.  Watch them closely so they don't burn!  Serve immediately and enjoy.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ollie's Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares

My little Ollie loves peanut butter.  Peanut butter and jelly are his go-to lunch almost every time when he is given a choice.  These bars are among his favorite desserts.  Today I'll share the recipe with you, just in case you have a peanut butter lover in your home like I do.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups Rice Krispies

Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Combine the sugars and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Slowly bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add the peanut butter. Working quickly, add the vanilla and the Rice Krispies.  Spread into the pan, let cool, and cut into squares.


{This recipe was adapted from Lucinda Scala Quinn's No-Bake Peanut Butter- Rice Krispies Cookies because I didn't quite have all of the ingredients to make them correctly one day.  Oh the joys of running out of things in the pantry.  You can find the original recipe here}.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our Front Door For Spring

My plan for our front door began last fall, particularly in the month of October.  I knew that I wanted some color by our front door and decided to plant some tulip bulbs in two pots that would sit on either side of our front porch.  The boys and I set to work and planted some pink tulips in preparation for some spring weather after a long, cold Wisconsin winter.  I kept the pots in the garage all winter long so that they would not freeze too hard.  Once things began to bloom in the yard, I brought the pots outside.

These are the tulips we planted.  They are called Mistress Triumph Tulips.  However, as you will see in the following pictures, the tulips are not quite the color shown on the bag.

Here are the tulips in full bloom.  They aren't quite the pale pink I imagined, but they are still pretty.

Strangely enough, there seem to be a combination of a light red and a bright pink in both pots.  I have no idea how that happened as the package shows pale pink tulips.

Next year, I'll plant some tulips in the window boxes my husband made for me as well.  The planning has begun already!

Do you have any spring flowers welcoming visitors to your home?  I would love to see them!  Does anyone know why my pretty pink tulips morphed into red and hot pink ones?  Because seriously, I have no clue...

Have a great evening!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Family Room Progress: Easy Pillow Covers Made From Cloth Napkins

We are continuing to plug along in our basement family room remodel.  The mantel needs one more coat of paint.  Jason wanted so badly to get it done before his spring break was over, but he caught a nasty cold virus instead.  I am so excited to share it with you though!  In the meantime, I made some pillows to help brighten the room up a little bit.  While shopping at World Market a couple of weeks ago, I spotted these napkins on clearance.  I had seen other people make pillow covers for throw pillows out of cloth napkins before so I thought I would give it a try.  Turns out, it was pretty easy and very inexpensive!

Each pillow required two napkins to make the covers.  The price for each napkin was $1.98, making each pillow a great deal.  I didn't need to buy any inserts because I was recovering some throw pillows I didn't care for anymore.

Here are the finished pillows.

While I was at it, I also made some covers for the living room.  These pretty yellow and brown napkins were a Pottery Barn clearance find awhile ago.  I love how throw pillows no longer have to be an expensive luxury now that I have something to sew with.  How thankful I am for that little machine!

Do you own a sewing machine?  What is your favorite thing to make with it?

Thank you so much for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Breeze-Way Make-Over

This particular breeze-way belongs to my parents.  This quaint little space connects their back door to their garage.  They use this space as a place to keep shoes and coats as well as garden tools.

Last year, my Mom re-decorated this space and I love how it turned out!  I wish I could show you a before photo of the space, but unfortunately my Mom didn't take any.  (No big deal, Mom!)  To make up for a lack of before pictures, I'll tell you what it looked like instead!  The paint color in the room was a sage green.  The floor was carpeted with brown indoor/outdoor carpet.  The wicker furniture was a natural brown color with sage accents.  It was a cute room but dated and didn't match my Mom's cute style anymore.  She painted the walls a soft gray color and added brown tones with splashes of red and black to add some color and interest throughout the space.

This little cabinet was made by my Dad years ago.  I think it was fomerly their liquor cabinet.  Oh so scandelous!  It now hides garden tools, gloves, and bottles of weed killer and bug spray.  The knobs are from Anthropologie.  The boots were a gift to my Mom from my sister Gretel.

The wicker also got new coat of spray paint and a fun new cushion.

I think the best part about this make-over is that my Mom didn't go out and buy tons of new things to fill this space.  She simply used what she had and made it better with paint and bought a few inexpensive accessories to add an element of fun and style.

This weather barometer belonged to my Grandpa Bob, who is my Mom's father.  It was given a fresh coat of black spray paint to update it a little.  The coat hook was made by my Dad and painted the same color as the walls.

This wire plant shelf was purchased at Crate and Barrel last year and currently is home to an elephant and a lantern.  That adorable elephant is from a pizza place near my parent's house.  They unfortunately do not carry them anymore.

The curtains in the room might be one my favorite parts about the entire make-over.  Placemats from TJ Maxx were turned into curtains by using curtain clips and a curtain rod.

The doorknob is original to the house, which was built sometime in the forties.  I love how it stands out now with the new paint color and looks pretty stylish now!

Thank you for letting me share your make-over, Mom!  Job well done!  I love you!

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jason's 30th Birthday

My Jason had his 30th birthday on Good Friday.  Normally we don't do so much for his birthday.  He doesn't "like a fuss."  However, turning 30 is a pretty big deal so celebrate we did.  Here are a few pictures of his day.

We had cinnamon scones for breakfast.

I love this birthday boy.

For dinner I made Jason his favorite meal:  Snapper Hemingway with Spring Risotto.

No cake for Jason this year since we were headed to my parent's house the next morning.  We had brownies in a mug which did not disappoint.  If you've never had them, we suggest you try them!  They're wonderfully easy and taste so good!

Happy birthday, Jason!  I love you and am so thankful to God for you!  I pray that God grants you many, many more happy birthdays!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Easter Weekend

We had a wonderful Easter weekend!  Here are some pictures to fill you in on what we were up to.

Good Friday was Jason's birthday.  We had a nice, quiet day at home until it was time to go to church.  While we were there, the boys noticed some crosses made from sticks that decorated some pillars inside of the church.  The boys set to work making some as soon as we got home.

On Saturday morning, we headed to my parents' house.  The weather was beautiful, so my Mom, the aunties Liesl and Amelia, the boys, and I played at the park.

While we were playing, my brother-in-law Ryan and Jason helped my Dad install some fencing along the side of my parents' yard.

All of my Mom's flowers and plants are starting to look so pretty!

Unlike last year, the boys liked dyeing eggs. Their strategy this year was to quickly put them in and immediately take them out of the dye.  I think were were done in a record time of five minutes.  We were going for pastels this year, apparently.

I think they're lovely!

On Easter morning, the boys found their baskets from the Easter bunny on the front porch.

Among all of the candy were some extra treats, such as new pajamas, whoopee cushions, plastic animals, Big League Chew, parachute men, and a new Matchbox car.

After a beautiful church service we took pictures in the backyard.

Auntie Liesl always fills eggs and hides them for the boys.  She's the best Easter bunny around!  Oliver took his time finding the eggs and would open each one and dump the contents into his Easter basket.

However, Henry was a man on a mission and sprinted to each and every egg with such a determined look on his face.

It is always wonderful to go home to be with my family, although we miss my sister Gretel and her little family who live in Nebraska.  Family time isn't the same without them.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend with the ones you love!

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!