1
Making Your Door Into a Chalkboard
2
Frozen Pesto Cubes
3
Heart Shaped Ricotta, Basil, Tomato Tea Sandwiches
4
Beach Thursday
5
Kale Turkey Meatballs

Making Your Door Into a Chalkboard

I have been in the mood to change things around our loft space.  I will soon be painting the walls around my desk area, but before I get to that I wanted to change the back of our front door.  Lately I have seen great ideas involving chalk board paint, but I wasn’t sure where to do this.  Then one day after coming home once again after forgetting to send out the mail (4 days in a row) I thought to myself “I need a reminder right by the door”.  There the idea of a chalk board on the back of the front door was born.   We can use the door for lists, reminders and more importantly we can leave happy messages to each other.

Chalk board paint is a pretty easy process.
IMG_5790
Prepare where you’re painting.  For the door I just cleaned and wiped it down.
IMG_5791
Then I used some painters tape to tape the edges.  I eventually did the entire thing.  Xanadu helped.
IMG_5794
She really helped.
IMG_5793
This is the chalk board paint.  You can also get colors but they are sold in smaller cans. You can find this at Home Depot by the spray paints.
IMG_5799
I had to apply 2 coats to the door for it to take evenly.  Let it dry a few hours in between each coat.
Now here’s the hard part.. let it dry completely.  It needs to sit for 72 hours before you do anything.
photo 2.JPG
72 hours later:  Then you take a piece of chalk and use the side of it to completely cover the paint.  This creates a coat on the paint to protect the paint and seal it in.  Then you erase it completely with a chalk board eraser. Do not clean it with water until 10 days after painting.
photo 3.JPG
Now comes the fun part! Get the chalk out!
photo 4.JPG
Halloween is soon, let’s be festive and decorate the door too!
photo 5.JPG
The door is finished, and ready for any loving notes you want to leave.  One thing has been added to the door: Send mail out!
Have fun.. the ideas are endless!

Frozen Pesto Cubes

DIY frozen pesto cubes! Perfect to use for easy dinner recipes!

If you are growing herbs in  your garden then right now you might have alot and not sure what to do with them. Do you dry them? Do you use them as is? How about we make delicious pesto and freeze them? Yes, let’s do that!  Here we will use our fresh parsley and basil.  Just think about in December when it’s freezing out and you’re in a bad mood because your boot has a hole in it and you stepped in a big slush pile.  You come home, cranky, boil some pasta.  What to put on top.. pesto… from your garden.. oh the summer time  memories.. everything feels better now. 🙂

What can you do with pesto besides put in pasta? Use it as a pizza sauce.  Marinade chicken or steak or shrimp in it.  Use it as a vegetable dip.  Make soup.  So many options!

frozen pesto cubes

DSCF5966

Let’s make some pesto and freeze it!

Directions: Blend all ingredients together. Put in ice cube trays, freeze for a few hours.  Take out and then package in freezer bags.  Can it get more simpler?

From the recipe/ingredients above I made 2.5 batches of it which equaled 6 cups of fresh parsley and 1.5 cups of basil. I also made a quick batch of just basil pesto.

DSCF5945

Gather your supplies.

DSCF5946

I have 2 bags of walnuts just in case.  I totally didn’t need all those but I’m overly prepared (in life).  I have so many bottles of soy sauce in the pantry.. just in case.

DSCF5949

Beautiful fresh parsley and basil, picked minutes before.  MMMM. Smell it!

DSCF5950

Parsley, I love you.

DSCF5953

Basil, I love you.

DSCF5954

Put your herbs and your garlic in your blender/processor.

DSCF5955

Add your cheese.

DSCF5956

Add your nuts. I like to use walnuts,  some people use pine nuts.  Whatever.

DSCF5957

Put your olive oil in.  Look at this.

DSCF5958

Blend, blend, blend.

DSCF5959

Take it out and put it in a plastic bag.  Seal it shut.

DSCF5960

Get your ice cube trays and some scissors.  Cut the bottom corner of your plastic bag, you’re basically going to make it into a cake icing bag.

DSCF5963

Start to fill them up…

DIY frozen pesto cubes! Perfect to use for easy dinner recipes!

All done? Yay! Cover them up with wrap and put them in the freezer.

DSCF5994

Magic, they are frozen now!

DSCF5998

Now you need to work quick when you take them out of the freezer because they like to melt pretty quickly.  Work them out of the trays.

DSCF5999

Put in bags. Label them if you must.

DSCF6001

Enjoy these frozen pesto cubes!

Frozen Pesto Cubes

DIY frozen pesto cubes! Perfect to use for easy dinner recipes!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Directions: Blend all ingredients together. Put in ice cube trays, freeze for a few hours. Take out and then package in freezer bags. 

Recipe Notes

What you’ll need to freeze:
Ice Cube Trays, Clear Wrap, Freezer Bags

 

Heart Shaped Ricotta, Basil, Tomato Tea Sandwiches

I made these for a tea date lunch that I had with some dear friends.

Ricotta and Tomato Tea Sandwiches

EASY Ricotta and Tomato Tea Sandwiches that you can make ahead! This easy recipe makes a ricotta garlic mixture to spread on the bread! Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the bread - perfect for a afternoon tea party or baby shower!

Course Side Dish
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • shake of salt and peper
  • 8 oz ricotta
  • 5 fresh basil leaves minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 16 pieces of whole wheat bread

Instructions

  1. Add diced tomatoes to a small bowl, add olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix and then cover in the refrigerator, letting it chill for at least 1 hour.

  2. In a separate bowl add ricotta, basil leaves and garlic.  Mix so basil and garlic are completely mixed up with the ricotta.

  3. Cut your bread into shapes with a heart cookie cutter.

  4. Spread some ricotta mixture on a slice of bread.  Add a small spoonful of the diced tomatoes mixture.  Add additional basil leaves on top if desired.  Finish with top piece of bread.

  5. Serve and enjoy! Or keep chilled in the refrigerator until the next day.

photo 1.JPG

photo 3.JPG

photo 2.JPG

 

[divider]

photo 1.JPG
You want to marinade your tomatoes overnight.  Just a little tablespoon of olive oil goes a long way.

photo 2.JPG
Mince your garlic and basil.  Smells so good!

photo 3.JPG
Add your ricotta.  Store overnight.  Tastes so good!

photo 4.JPG
Right before your tea date, get your bread ready.  You will basically be able to do one heart per piece of bread.

photo 2.JPG

photo 3.JPG
Well aren’t they lovely…

photo 5.JPG
Now put some ricotta on top of each one.

photo.JPG
Top with a fresh basil leaf..

photo 4.JPG
Or a marinated tomato.

photo 5.JPG
Serve fresh or throw in the refrigerator if your friends like to be late (*cough cough*).

photo 2.JPG
Have a great afternoon! 🙂

Beach Thursday

It really feels like the end of summer.  Matthew will be attending a electronic music festival until Sunday and then Tuesday we begin teaching for the Fall semester, so we wanted to get a last “summer day” in there.  The answer: the beach.  This was the first time at the beach all summer for me, and it was a good day of just plain ol relaxing.
photo 3.JPG
Taking the subway out about 90 minutes will get you to Rockaway Beach which is our favorite NYC beach.  Upon getting there, we knew we would need some shade to survive, so we were going to rent a beach umbrella to lay under and read for hours (my Kindle is amazing for reading in the sun).  Surprisingly to buy a beach umbrella cost about the same thing we expected to pay to rent one, so we now own a neon pink beach umbrella!
photo 4.JPG
The funny thing is that we weren’t really equipped to get a umbrella into the sand so when we first put it in, it immediately came out and blew down the beach.  As I ran after the umbrella trying to catch it but always missing it by arm lengths, children shouted to their parents to look at the girl chasing after her umbrella.  It was just one of those experiences… Finally I caught it!
photo 1.JPG
Then we began the afternoon which always starts with attending sunscreen crazily all over.  This reminds me of how I used to look as a kid when my dad applied sunscreen to me except he never really rubbed it in. I have pictures for proof.  Thanks Dad.
photo 1.JPG
Then it was lunch time, and I was starving for my first meal of the day.  We picked up deli sandwiches on the way.  I was a little “eh” about  my orange cheese, but it was pretty good to be honest.
photo 3.JPG
The real winner of the day were these pretzel crisps.  Have you tried them? You need to, immediately.  You should stop reading right now and go buy some!
photo 2.JPG
I forgot how good it feels to just bury your feet in sand and do nothing but close your eyes.
photo 5.JPG
Matthew didn’t go into the ocean, but I sure did.. many times! I forgot how fun it is to just let the waves knock you down, and then try to catch one to swim in.  It brought me back to my childhood vacations spent at the beach, I would play in those waves for hours everyday while covered in sunscreen.
photo 3.JPG
Thanks for the good day beach! Next summer, we’ll be sure to spend more lazy days there..
photo 4.JPG
We’ll bring along our umbrella too!
photo 5.JPG

Kale Turkey Meatballs

Our kale in the garden is out of hand, it’s basically taking over. So last night I decided to pick some to make kale meatballs!  Not only are the ingredients easy, but the directions are as well.  While eating dinner Matthew proclaimed “This is the best spaghetti meal I ever had in my life”.   Good job kale! 🙂

photo.JPG

Update: 

We put these meatballs on the grill and boy were they delicious! So if you are grilling this summer, try this recipe. I like adding sticks inside them once they’re  done, makes eating fun!
photo 4.JPG
photo 1.JPG
photo 3.JPG
photo 3.JPG

Kale Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Pinch of dried rosemary parsley, oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and chop it up. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it’s all combined.
  3. Form this mixture into 1 inch balls.
  4. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil into your previous pan, turn to medium-high heat and then add your meatballs. Cook until browned on both sides (make sure to flip them).
  5. Serve with some spaghetti, sauce, cheese on top..and some bread on the side!

Recipe Notes

These work great on the grill too.

For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.    |     Privacy Policy