Friday, August 12, 2011

Fresh Cut Friday

My FCF bouquet for this week is a cheery bunch of sunflowers. 
They came home with me from TJ's yesterday, for just $3.99. 

I cannot remember the last time I bought sunflowers.  It's been years. 

I've never noticed how neat the center of a sunflower is.  The most impressive things come from nature, don't you think?

Have yourself a great weekend! 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Laundry Hooks

A few weeks back, I spotted some cute wall hooks at Hobby Lobby.  You know how they have their knobs and hooks 50% off like every other week?  Well lucky for me, the sale was on, so I scooped up five hooks for $2 each.  I knew exactly where they were going...on the empty wall in my laundry room. 

Here it is in all of its blah and boring glory before...

And here it is after, with the hooks on the left and a new little grouping next to the window. 

I realize this mini transformation hardly qualifies as a dramatic before and after.  But now I have a place to hang drying clothes, jackets, Q's leash...whatever my little heart desires.  And it doesn't hurt that it's nice looking, too!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dinner Inspiration

I've been having a tough time coming up with weeknight meals lately.  I don't know what it is, but I'm just out of ideas and tired of the same old stuff.  I hit the grocery store yesterday, to find something quick for dinner.  I had no clue what that would be when I walked through the doors.  But then I noticed some homegrown eggplant that looked really good.  So I tossed one of those in the cart, followed by portabello mushrooms.  Both sounded good, even if I didn't know what I was going to do with them. 

Then I saw this fresh pasta...

and this marinara...

and suddenly I knew exactly what I was making. 

I brought all of those goodies home, along with two chicken breasts from the meat counter, and made an easy and tasty pasta. 

First, I cubed the eggplant and mushroom caps and sauteed them in some olive oil.

Not just any olive oil though.  This stuff came from Italy, via my mother-in-law.  She recently spent a month there exploring.  Jealous?  Yeah, me neither.

I didn't take any other photos of the process, but basically I added some seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes), shredded cooked chicken, cooked pasta, and the marinara sauce.  Then I topped it all with shredded parm.

In my husband's words, it was "popping with flavor".  Which is a pretty good, albeit interesting, review for a dish inspired by one little eggplant. 

Now what's for dinner tonight?  Grilled cheese.  Because inspiration doesn't strike everyday.