Thursday, February 23, 2012

Love {February Photo Challenge}

This picture means love to me.  My oldest daughter took this picture of me and my hubby last week at the park.  It was an unusually warm Winter day so we headed out to play and enjoy the sunshine.  We had a great time at the park and loved spending time together.  I love the shot and I love the fact that my 8 year old took the picture and my 4 year old suggested the pose.  {smile}

Monday, February 6, 2012

My version of Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip...

Melissa's Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
(i have lost my favorite recipe for spinach & artichoke dip so i have started experimenting....i did not put tomatoes in this because like everything else i forgot, but i do think that a can of diced tomatoes would make this prettier and yummier)

12oz of marinated artichoke hearts
12oz of cooked frozen spinach
8oz of crumbled feta cheese
6oz of shredded mozzarella
8oz of cream cheese-softened (or i used the whipped kind)
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp minced garlic
ground pepper

Add all of this together in a bowl, mix well (add tomatoes-drained, if you'd like)
Top with some shredded mozzarella
Put in a baking dish in oven on 350 until bubbly
Serve with your favorite dipping food (chips, bread, celery, your finger)
Enjoy  :)

pre-baking & i did not get an after shot...duh!  too busy stuffing my face!

Rachael Ray's Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms...

YUM!!  These are the best mushrooms EVER!  I have stuffing left over...trying to decide what to stuff with it.  I am thinking pasta with cheese sauce or I may just eat it with a fork...  Enjoy!
(i made a couple of changes...i used 1 roll of Jimmy Dean Sausage and NO red peppers)

Rachael Ray's Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (recipe at bottom)
mmm, sauteed mushrooms and sausage cooking

Adding the spinach to the vegetable mixture (minus the peppers)

can you smell that?

bread crumbs...

ready for the oven


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, one turn of the pan
  • 24 large gourmet stuffing mushroom caps, stems removed and reserved brushed with damp towel
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, half a turn of the pan
  • 3/4 pound sweet bulk Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 20 stems mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery and green, leafy top from the heart of the stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) box chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 slices white bread, toasted and buttered, chopped into small dice
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, 2 handfuls


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and mushroom caps and season caps with salt and pepper. Saute caps 5 to 7 minutes, until they are lightly browned and tender on edges. Turn caps up and let juices drain away from caps. Transfer caps to a small nonstick baking sheet. Wipe out skillet and return to heat. Add a touch of oil and sausage to the hot skillet. Brown and crumble sausage for 3 minutes. In a food processor pulse and chop the garlic, add mushroom stems and pulse to chop the mushroom stems. Add celery, onion and red bell pepper to the mushrooms and pulse to chop. Remove mixture from the processor and saute veggies and mushrooms over medium high heat another 3 to 5 minutes. Add dry, defrosted spinach and stir into stuffing. Add chopped bread and cheese to the pan and toss stuffing until bread is moist and stuffing is combined, 2 or 3 minutes. Fill caps with stuffing using a small scoop or large spoon. Place caps in hot oven and reduce heat to 450 degrees F. Bake 6 to 8 minutes to crisp edges of stuffing and set stuffing in mushrooms. Transfer stuffed mushrooms to a serving plate.  

New Art Room {complete with original art work}

check out our new art space in the basement....
from finish
we really needed a space to be able to work on crafts & such and not have to put everything up so we could eat on the kitchen table.  :)  this little piece of basement had art written all over it and the best part is everything minus the floor & 2 tables from Ikea we recycled, so cheap, cheap project! 
OH and the VERY BESTEST has TWO Jake Cordle original art pieces.  {smile}

before basement...

handy man at work...

and of course he had helpers all the time

Jake designed the sun and mural based on Disney's Rapunzel {a FAV in our house}

after basement

who knew we had this much stuff around the house!

cool dowel rod holder (designed and made by Jake) work!

so this is our little slice of art heaven, we have had fun so far and can't wait to use it more. 
once we get the whole family well at once, we're there!
thanks Jake for all of your hard work and amazing paintings!  (am i a lucky girl or what?)