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Parmesan Tomatoes

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Recipes | Comments Off

Years ago, I lived in a garden level apartment in a part of the city where things were hopping.  I also had a great roommate who happened to love cheese as much as I do (we are true mid-westerners).  We would do such things as sprinkle shredded cheese on tin foil, broil it, and eat it….imagine the good almost burnt crusty cheese on the edge of lasagna or pizza.  Yes, delicious.

One day we thought we would expand our cheese eating ways and try to incorporate a healthier version by sprinkling the cheese on tomato slices.  We added a little of this or that and came up with the following idea.  I have since seen the similar idea on the internet and couldn’t believe my eyes.  I thought it was so ingenious that no one could create such an easy and delicious side dish or light meal, other than myself.

You can make them as simply as slicing tomatoes, topping them with parmesan, and broiling them.  Or you can use all or a combination of the following ingredients to add more flavor and substance.

What you’ll need:

*note – I just sprinkle these various ingredients on the top of tomatoes.  There is no measuring or science to it.  Put as little or as much of any or all ingredients as you prefer.

  • Tomatoes, sliced about about 1/2 inch thick
  • Olive oil
  • Bread crumbs (this helps soak up some of the watery juice and makes them a little more substantial)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil, chopped (dried from a jar works too)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Balsamic glaze

  1. Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil (for easier clean up)…the step isn’t necessary.  Neither is putting a little cooking spray on it, but you can to ensure they won’t stick.
  2. Layer the above ingredients in the order they are listed.
  3. Broil for 10 minutes or until the parmesan starts to turn golden brown.

This is virtually a mess free food.  All you have is a knife and cutting board to clean.  I sometimes eat these for lunch or make them as a side dish.  They are so easy and have so much flavor.  Mmmmm!

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5 things I use painter’s tape for…other than painting

Posted on May 25, 2013 in Lifestyle | Comments Off

There is a saying that a person only needs two things in life to fix anything…duct tape or WD40.  I disagree.

I use painter’s tape weekly….a roll of it sits handily in my ‘office supply’ kitchen drawer.  I think it’s the best thing that’s come along since hair dye.  Here are 5 things that I currently use it for:

1.  Marking artwork: Roll up a small piece of tape and loosely place it against the back of a picture frame… where the hook is.  Set the frame against the spot on your wall where you want it positioned and press.  The tape should stick to the wall, so you can easily place the nail where you want it.

2.  Holding together loose plumbing:  ok, so this isn’t an everyday use, but I currently have a wiggly faucet and the tape is doing the trick until I get something new. I have been looking but there are entirely too many to choose from. I have narrowed them down to this so help me pick something out from Kohler Bathroom Faucets …I’m excited for a bathroom upgrade!

3.  Labeling food:  it doesn’t leave a residue on dishes or food storage containers.  I make my kid’s baby food in bulk, so I just re-use some previously purchased baby food containers, label them, and freeze it.  I reuse the containers over and over, so this tape works awesome.

4.  Hanging artwork (or letters):  I have both my kid’s names on a wall in their bedrooms.  All I had to do was paint the letters and secure them with a bit of tape.  My daughter’s name has been up for 2.5 years and the letters have never fallen down (granted, they are very lightweight).

5. A ‘chip-clip’:  It’s resealable.


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Freezer Tracking

Posted on May 16, 2013 in Home Projects | Comments Off

I don’t always live the most organized life.  I try to put things back orderly and know where things are, but sometimes things just slip away from me.  One area of my home that seems to always be hard to keep orderly is our deep freeze.  Food piles up, items get lost at the bottom, and digging in it to see what is in there is a big pain.

I came up with a simple solution, so I can keep track of what is in the freezer.  This helps me plan meals easier, use food that may have been forgotten about, and not have to dig through to see what I have.  I purchased a basic dry erase whiteboard to log what goes in and out of our freezer.

To make a board you just need a few items:

  • a whiteboard
  • a dry erase marker
  • a permanent fine point marker, like a Sharpie
  • something to adhere the board to your freezer or wall next to the freezer (my board came with stickies, but you could use magnets too)
  1. Draw lines on the board with a permanent marker.  This way you can erase food items as you use them without ruining the lines.
  2. At the top mark the quantity of items, description, and date you put it in the freezer.
  3. Update the board as you add or take items from the freezer.

This is an example of what I’m dealing with and why I need to keep track of the items outside of the actual freezer:

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An Elmo inspired birthday party

Posted on Apr 25, 2013 in Entertaining | Comments Off

My daughter was really into Elmo.  She couldn’t get enough of him or watching “Elmo in Grouchland” last year (I, on the other hand, definitely got enough).  When her second birthday came rolling around this February I figured having an Elmo themed party would be just the way to celebrate.  Here are some ideas if Elmo is something your little monster is into.

*To see ideas from my daughter’s first birthday click here

I made invitations from card stock paper.  You could use construction paper too, but they would just be a little flimsier.

For the Elmo cake pops I used little eyes that I found in the cake decorating section of a craft store and orange Tic-tacs for the nose.  I think using orange Skittles would have been cuter.  If you want to learn how to make cake pops click here

I made a fruit platter with strawberries, clementines, marshmallows, and and chocolate chips.  You could also make a vegetable platter with cherry tomatoes, black olives, and carrots.

My daughter’s cake is the little Elmo face.  I found Elmo rings online that I used to decorate cupcakes for the children and just simple polka dots for cupcakes for adult.

I used pre-made red frosting, large marshmallows, 1/2 an oreo, and an orange peanut M & M to decorate her birthday cake.

A little construction paper taped to balloon and Elmo helped decorate Lauren’s chair.

You can make Elmo ice-cream treats.  Here I used a cherry Dilly Bar from Dairy Queen and decorated them with Mentos, a peanut M&M, and 1/2 and Oreo


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DIY Sparkly Phone Case

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 in DIY & Crafts | Comments Off

So I’m starting to think that I should have named this site something like ‘All that Glitters’, considering how many glittered projects there are!  After seeing some of the projects I’ve done a friend asked me if I could make a phone case for her with a turquoise glitter….of course I could!

*If interested in making glittered washable glassware click here

*For basic glittering directions click here

I knew it would have to be pretty durable, as most of us throw our phones in our purses, counters, floors, etc.  This meant a few more steps than a typical glitter project, but nothing difficult.  If you want to make one for yourself or a gift follow these directions:

What you’ll need:

  • A plain phone case (or anything you want to have durable glitter… such as a camera case, compact mirror case, etc)
  • A strong adhesive for a base coat.  I used E-6000
  • A permanent adhesive for the glitter.  I used Gem-tac
  • Glitter
  • Lacquer spray to seal the glitter

This is what I did to make the case:

  1. First thing I did was folded a piece of tape (or use double sided tape) to adhere the inside of the case to a little soup box.  This made it easy for me to work around the case as I needed without smudging anything.
  2. Applied E-6000 to the phone case and let it dry (basically super glue).  I just speared it on smooth with my finger.   The reason I put this on first was to create a surface that the glitter would stick to and not easily scrape off over time (like the smooth plastic of the original case)
  3. I used a paint brush to apply a layer of Gem-tac and then sprinkled the glitter. I used this adhesive instead of Mod-Podge, like most glitter projects, because it’s more durable.  I let this dry and then tapped off the extra glitter.
  4. After  24 hours I sprayed a coat of lacquer on the case to seal it.  Since it will be getting so much use I sprayed a few coats of it throughout the day.  I let it all dry another 24 hours before using it.

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