Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Propagate Basil

If you follow me on Instagram you may remember the photo I shared of tiny basil clippings lined up on my windowsill back in April.  I'm pleased to say that the propagating technique worked and my garden is now bursting with basil.  If you love basil as much as I do, you are going to want to try this!
1.  Start with a healthy basil plant from the grocery store or garden nursery.
2.  Cut of sections of basil at the top of the plant, making sure to cut the center stem at the intersection of 3 stems.  See example in photo below:
3.  Place each basil cutting in a small glass jar filled with water.

4.  Place jars in a sunny windowsill.  Watch water levels and refill with fresh water every few days.
5.  In a couple of weeks, small roots will appear!  Continue to refill water in jars until roots are 1/2" to an 1" long.
6.  Plant each cutting outside in your garden and watch it grow!  If you don't have a garden, basil grows very well in containers.  Plant a big pot with your cuttings and you'll be all set.
Who knew that propagating basil would be so easy!  I can't wait to enjoy countless capreses and lots of pesto this summer.

Friday, July 3, 2015

4th of July Lanterns - DIY

I recently saw these easy patriotic lanterns on the Michael's website and knew I had to try them - I wasn't about to turn down a craft so prominently displaying the American Flag! 

4th of July Lanterns - Supplies:
- Small American flags (close to 4"x 6"in size)
- Smooth sided mason jars
- Decoupage medium
- Small foam brush
- Twine
- Sand
- Candles

1.  Carefully remove flags from sticks, taking care not to rip the fabric while removing the staples.

2.  Using foam brush, apply decoupage medium to the back side of the flag and apply to a jar.

3. Apply additional decoupage medium to the front of the flag and let dry.

4.  Wrap twine around mouth of jar several times and tie to secure.

5.  Place a small amount of sand in the bottom of each jar and place candle on top.  Light candle and enjoy the glow from your patriotic lantern!

It took me all of ten minutes to make these!  And the best part about 4th of July decorations?  They are also perfect for Memorial and Labor Day!  

Have a wonderful Holiday weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Perfect Summer Beer Cocktail

 Have you noticed how popular beer mixers & beer cocktails have become recently?  One restaurant near us has a fantastic variety on their menu of beer cocktails.  The one I'm sharing here became a favorite of mine the first time I tried it last summer - it is the perfect cocktail to enjoy on a warm summer day.
Big thanks to sister who keeps the DKU Lakehouse fully stocked with St. Germain and provided it for this cocktail. Have you tried it?  It is a delicious elderflower liquor that's easy to use in so many different cocktails. 
The Perfect Summer Beer Cocktail
 For each cocktail, you will need:
- 1 bottle of Stella Artois Beer
- 1 shot of St. Germain
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- lemon wedge, for garnish
Add lemon juice and St Germain to glass; pour Stella into glass.  Use a cocktail stir stick to gently stir and combine.  Add lemon wedge for garnish to the side of the glass.  Now, sit back and enjoy.  Cheers!

 I couldn't resist including a photo of the begonia I have in our screen porch.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

No Cook Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce

This pasta is so quick and easy - you're going to love it.  Perfect for hot summer days when you don't feel like slaving over the stove. 

I used orecchiette pasta for this recipe because it's one of my favorite shapes of pasta for holding sauce.  Also, it means "little ear" in Italian, which is adorable, don't you think?

{ Recipe adapted from one of my favorite food blogs,  The Italian Dish. }

- 1 lb of your favorite pasta
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan-Reggiano cheeses, chopped into chunks
- 8 oz jar of sun dried tomatos packed in oil (do not drain)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you don't like the spice)
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

1.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions.  Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of water, and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.  Add cheese to food processor or blender and process until it is coarsely ground.  Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, pepper, salt, and reserved pasta water.  Process until sauce is combined and almost smooth.

3.  Toss with pasta and enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Gingham Baby Quilt

Happy Friday!  Are you glad the weekend is almost here?  I sure am!
I made this quilt earlier this Spring for a friend who had a baby girl.  I made a quilt for her first baby ( see it here ) when she was pregnant and made it gender neutral since she didn't find out what she was having.  This time, I waited until the baby was born.  I'm glad I did - I was able to go all out and make it super girly!
Sewing for babies is one of my most favorite things.  The items are small, and the best part - babies don't notice your mistakes! 
I adore this tulip fabric.  I found it at my local fabric store during Tulip Time. I thought it was the perfect backing for the pink gingham front. 
This quilt was easy to sew and would be a perfect quilt for beginners.  I am working on a tutorial and hope to have it up in a few weeks.
Happy weekend!


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