Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I am so excited to announce that I am now a Certified Interior Decorator! Decorating has always been a passion of mine and now I can use this passion to bless other. With C.I.D. I can receive discounts for my clients at many design businesses such as Pier 1, Ballard Designs, and Smith + Noble pro. I can also access entry into trade showrooms! I so can not wait to utilize that! I am so grateful for my hubby who has encouraged me to take some classes and get certified in this field. By doing so I can now turn my hobby into reality. How awesome that God had granted us with creative gifts that we can use to bring glory to Him!? Now I just need a name for my business so that I can order cards. :)
Rachel R, C.I.D.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Functional Art

I've recently transformed my family room into a play/school/office room. I am in the need of my own space as I get ready to go "back to school". My room is decorated very functional right now with lots of cream and black. I have black and cream buffalo check curtains (that I made and LOVE) on beige (I think the color is called sand) walls and black accessories (i.e. fireplace doors, bookshelves, wall hanging and desk). I needed a little something to spruce up my wall that I stare at over my desk. Plus, I need the space to do double duty as all my other wall are taken up with school stuff for my kids. I found a brown cork board that was from my room growing up (I know it was mine b/c my name was written on the back...don't want Sa to think I stole hers! For those of you who didn't know us "back in the day" the twins shared a room growing up!) I had my kids paint it black, they loved working on this project for me. Then I pulled out my trusty hot glue gun and went to work gluing on some cute flowered fabric. Added some green ribbon and a flower clip and my desk space now how a piece of art. I haven't hung anything on it yet b/c I don't want to mess it up w/ push pins! However, I did find some cute green ones to use when I need my art to do double duty as a cork board!

Flower Power

I am loving the new "flower" craze that has hit the hair accessory world. I also love that cute hair bows aren't just for little girls anymore! You can so dress up a plain ponytail with a cute flower hair clip and wahlah you look sophisticated, ready to conquer the town looking hotter the any of the "real" housewives. You can buy some really cute ones at any megamart, but who wants to get a nice complement on your cute flower hair clip and have to admit that you purchased it at Walmart!? I'd much rather say I got it at some cutesy boutique in NYC! Better yet isn't great to say "oh that little thang? I made it!"
***if you're interested in dressing up that ponytail with a cute flower clip let us know! We've got more colors and sizes to choose from! And if you really wanted to be nice and share, you could attach them to a stretchy headband for your baby or little girl. But we're thinking you'll probably want to keep these ones all to yourself! =)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Zany about Zucchini

It seems like all I've posted about lately is food...guess between taking care of the fam/home there hasn't been much time for creativity. Thank goodness I get to cook! It's my one creative outlet these days-good thing I get to do it everyday! =)
Here a few Zucchini recipes that we are enjoying this summer. Since I didn't plant zucchini this year I've gotten my share from the farmers market and now from my parents garden! I swear the ones from mom and dad really do taste better!

Tomato-Zucchini Tart (Southern Living) I make this all the time. It's easy and delish.

1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 3/4 lb.)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch tart pan according to package directions; trim excess. Prick bottom and sides of piecrust using a fork.

2. Bake piecrust at 450° for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.

3. Sauté zucchini in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until tender. Arrange zucchini in bottom of prepared piecrust. Arrange tomatoes on top of zucchini.

4. Stir together basil, cheese, and mayonnaise. Drop by teaspoonfuls evenly on top of tomatoes, and spread gently. Sprinkle with pepper.

5. Bake at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese mixture is slightly melted.

Zucchini-Crusted Pizza (Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen) All of her cookbooks and recipes are AmAzInG!

31/2 cups grated Zucchini

3 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup grated mozzarella

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1 Tbs. fresh basil leaves, minced

salt and pepper

Salt the zucchini lightly and let it sit for 15 min. Squeeze out all the excess water. Pre-heat oven to 350*

Combine all crust ingredients, and spread in to an oiled 9x13 baking pan. Bake 15-20 min-until surface is dry and firm. Brush the top w/ oil and broil it, under moderate heat for 5 min.

Top with your favorite pizza sauce, cheese and toppings. Heat the whole thing for 25 min in a 350* oven.

Penne w/ summer squash & ricotta (Mario Batali) Mom found this rx in People Magazine! Can you believe that? We're having it for dinner tonight!

1 cup fresh ricotta

6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving

2-3 tbsp warm water

1 lb. summer squash or zucchini, cut lengthwise in half and sliced into 1/3-inch thick half-moons

sea salt

1 lb. penne

6 tbsp fresh basil , coarsely chopped

coarsely ground black pepper

  1. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in a large pot and add 3 tbsp kosher salt to boiling water.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta and 3 tbsp oil together in a small bowl. Add the parmigiano, whisking until it is evenly incorporated. Whisk in 2 tbsp warm water, then another if necessary to loosen the consistency.
  3. Heat remaining 3 tbsp of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring regularly, until just tender and golden-brown, about 4-5 minutes. Season well with sea salt and remove from heat.
  4. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup pasta water. Add the cooked pasta and the reserved pasta water to the squash, stirring and tossing over medium heat to mix well. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow to steam together for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the basil, season with more sea salt (if necessary) and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Garnish with dollops of the ricotta mixture.
    • Zucchini Pancake (Ina Garten)
    • 2 medium zucchinis
    • 2 tablespoons grated red onion
    • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Unsalted butter and vegetable oil

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

    Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater. Immediately stir in the onion and eggs. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder, salt, and pepper. (If the batter gets too thin from the liquid in the zucchini, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.)

    Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the butter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil to the pan, and continue to fry the pancakes until all the batter is used. The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

    Zucchini-Tini (I made these for our "Gourmet Cooking Club" and they were a hit! YUM!)

    • 1 large zucchini
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons simple syrup recipe follows
    • 2 tablespoons zucchini water
    • 1/2 cup unfiltered sake, cold
    • 1/4 cup ounces gin (used vodka in place of gin)
    • 2 thin slices zucchini, for garnish

    To make the zucchini water: Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater and put it in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let stand for 15 minutes. Press the zucchini to extract as much water as possible.

    To make the cocktail: Put the simple syrup, zucchini water, sake, and gin in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into 2 chilled martini glasses. Float a zucchini slice in each drink and serve immediately.

    • Simple Syrup:
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water

    Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat; stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool and transfer to an airtight container. Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    It’s so easy being GREEN!

    Growing a garden can be so much fun, it can also be a time consuming backbreaking job. Our solution: Container Gardens! It’s the perfect choice for the inexperienced gardener or just someone who doesn’t want the chore of keeping up with a huge garden. For me it’s the perfect choice because I’m not really the “outside” type. I don’t like dirt or bugs but I do like fresh veggies. I keep my containers close to the house in hopes of keeping the deer away (it doesn’t always work). This year I’ve opted to only plant basil and herbs since we joined a farm co-op for our fresh veggies. Last year I planted tomatoes and zucchini in my containers and they did great until the deer ate them! =(

    We love pesto so I plant a lot of basil. This year I planted four medium containers with two sweet basil plants in each. I also planted flat leaf parsley, cilantro and mint in small containers. I use pretty much all my basil for pesto. I make big batches through out the summer and freeze them for us to enjoy all year long. Here’s my recipe.

    4 cups fresh basil leaves (stemmed and cleaned)

    1 -11/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

    ¾ cup Walnuts

    5 cloves of garlic

    ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

    Pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a food process or blender. Puree until smooth. Separate into containers or freezer bags. To use, thaw on counter and enjoy over pasta or as a sauce on meets, chicken and sandwiches. I add back pepper when I am ready to use, if you add it before it will lose its flavor in the freezer. I adjust the recipe to taste as I am making it. Lately, I’ve been adding a few ounces of softened cream cheese to my thawed pesto, toss with cooked pasta and top with fresh grated cheese. It’s simply amazing! ENJOY!

    *You could also add Spinach to the Basil leaves for added vitamins.

    **I use whole-wheat pasta with my pesto sauce. I don’t usually like the taste of whole-wheat pasta but you can’t taste the difference in this dish!

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    The Joy of food!

    This past year we both gave birth to baby boys. Our newest additions were born 14 weeks apart to the day! We had so much fun being pregnant together and our boys are going to be best buds! Since we've both done the baby thing before we felt as though there wasn't much we hadn't tried. However, neither of us had ever tried making our own baby food. So as our little men grew older we grew wiser and decided to try our best to "create" and "care" for out little men as best as possible! WOW! What a fun experience! We both can't believe that we hadn't tackled baby food with our other babies. What were we thinking? It's so EASY and YUMMY! Have you every tried the stuff out of the jar? So not yummy! Our little men are loving what we make for them and we love that we know every little ingredient that they are eating! Now neither of them will even eat the jar stuff and we are obsessed with making different types of food combinations for them! With just a few easy steps you can make baby food for your little ones. The benefits are amazing; healthy food for you baby and extra money in your pocket. And our personal favorite-the feeling of pure joy after creating in the kitchen!!!
    Step 1. Pick out what veggies and/or fruit you want to make. (We suggest starting your 4-6 month old on yellow/orange veggies 1st)
    Step 2. Bake or boil your veggies. Most veggies retain more vitamins and taste better if baked. Step 3. Peel and cube veggies. Blend/puree in food processor.

    Step 4. Freeze in icecube trays. Once frozen, remove from tray and place in Freezer bags. Will last in freezer for one month.
    *Avocados are a great 1st food and they don't have to be cooked! Slice and freeze on baking tray, once frozen move to freezer bag. The color will darken when thawed but the taste is the same. So easy!
    We hope this encourages you to make "homemade" food for your little ones!
    Check out this website for more help

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Girlie-girl Hair-bows

    We love to accessorize!!! "Accessories, the last thing to put on and the first thing to be noticed" is one of our favorite quotes. One of the joys of having little girls is to dress them up! We love letting them wear earrings, neckless, bracelets and rings (and they both have plenty, thanks to their Nona!) One easy way to add an accessories to a little girls outfit is to add a hair bow. You can dress up shorts and a tee by just adding a cute bow. The effect is amazing. Who doesn't love a little girl with a big hair bow? Truly the last thing to put on, but defiantly the first thing to be noticed!

    We love making our daughters their hair bows and recently we started make these new types. If you are interested in any of them let us know.