Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Paula Deen's Tastes Like Lasagna Soup

Not sure what to make for dinner? 

Let me help - and you can thank me later, 
for you will want to.

This is Paula Deen's Tastes Like Lasagna Soup
and it is deeeelish!!!

It is so simple, you could actually run to the store, get anything you need, and still have dinner on the table in an hour-ish.

Here are her instructions, or you can go to her link here:


  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups broken lasagna noodles
  • 1 (5 oz) package grated parmesan cheese and more for serving
  • 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 thin French baguette
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic


In a large Dutch oven, combine ground chuck, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.

Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls. Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Add a garlic crostini slice on top. Serve immediately.

For the garlic crostini:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut bread into 1/4-inch round slices. Place on baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Rub each side with smashed garlic cloves.

The only things I do different from the recipe are:
          1.  I replace half of the ground beef with Italian 
          2.  I skip the bread/cheese melting bit.  
              I like it better without that.

There!  Now you don't have to eat out tonight.
You're Welcome!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Plate Rack Upcycle To Burlap Cork Board

Something I see often when I'm thrifting are plate racks designed to hold 3 or 4 plates.  I don't know if people don't want to hang plates anymore, or if they have too many racks already, or if they don't like that particular style now.  It just seems you can pick up some very pretty ones fairly inexpensively.

If plates aren't your thing, you could use them to display picture frames with pictures, or even make a jewelry hanger/memo board.  Here is one idea:

I took 3 oval frames and painted them to match.  
Then I covered cork with burlap, and put that inside the frames.

To cut the cork the correct size, I placed a sheet of paper over the back opening of the frame, and did a pencil rubbing to create a pattern.  I cut out the oval that appeared on my paper, and then placed that oval on my cork.  By doing a second rubbing over the edges of the paper onto the cork, I could see exactly where I needed to cut the cork.  It works best to cut slightly smaller than the line, and my kitchen shears worked great for the cutting.

Elmer's Glue-All was perfect for gluing the burlap onto the cork.  Just spread a nice even layer.  You want enough to soak into the burlap and hold it, but not so much it oozes out the front of the burlap.

That's it!  I know this is kind of a no-brainer craft, but thought someone might have a plate rack in their garage sale pile who would decide to hang onto it instead.  I actually find lots of uses for these racks.  Here is how I used this one before I changed it up:

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Ever Changing Picture, Picture

I bought an ugly picture, and I'm not even sure why.

You see, I went to a junk sale at a super fun place called 
The Chicken Farm in Jones, OK.  To learn more about it and the dates of their sales - check them out here.  They are so cool!


.....it was the end of the day and these two ladies were selling this picture.  For some reason - they seemed to really want me to have it.  (Do I look like a jungle cat woman - or do they just know I'm a sucker for a good deal?)  They started reverse wheeling-n-dealing with me until the price was so low - who could pass it up?  What the heck - I could paint the frame or something.

I stuck it on my Dining Room wall just to fill the space for a bit, and you know - it actually kind of grew on me.  It started to look rather nice - imagining it without the brown mat and the cats.

I thought it would be fun to paint a mat with chalk board paint and write something like Eat, Pray, Love on it.  However, the mat ended up such a gorgeous black - I chose not to mess it up with chalk.

I also chose not to tear apart the mat and mess up the little gold frame embedded in it.  Instead, I poked holes in each of the corners and glued a small power magnet in the hole.  This allowed me to add a picture and hold in it place with metal of some sort.

Isn't it pretty?

The best part - it is like Picture, Picture from Mr. Rogers.  I can change the picture whenever I like.

Here is one I made for Fall.  It is so elegant in my Dining Room - so much nicer than the jungle cats.

Thanks for talking me into it ladies - it really is my style.  Hope to see you at the Chicken Farm again soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Victorian Sofa Updated With Annie Sloan

You know those times when you think it would be fun to have your hubby tag along while you're Junkin' so you can spend some time together.......then you realize what a bad idea that is because you want to buy something, but he hates it......?

Like this amazing, cool, just what you've been looking for sofa!

Only he thinks it costs too much (because any amount would be too much), and he hates Victorian because it doesn't fit our house (but he hates Victorian anyway), and it smells bad, and it is gold from the 70's with stains, and we have no place to put it anyway.  

Why did I think this would be fun?

But then he says, "Well, would you buy it if I wasn't here?" 
Did he really open that door?!!!

Want to see what I did with it.......?

I know some may think I'm crazy for painting it, but that is really why I bought it.  I am in no place to refinish something like this right now, but I did want to paint a piece of upholstered furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - just to see how it turned out.

I read from several others who had tried it and were happy with the results.  I guess I just had to know for myself.

So, here are my thoughts:

1.  The coverage was fairly good, and I was painting with a 
     50% water/50% paint mixture.  I painted 2 coats for 
     better coverage.  It covered the stains nicely, too.

2.  The paint went pretty far.  I think I used 1.5 cans for the 
      entire sofa.

3.  The fabric ended up stiffer than I hoped.  I did put a nice 
     coat of clear wax on, and it now feels about like a leather 
     sofa.  It is not as comfortable as it was when it was 
     fabric, but it sure looks and smells better.  This is not our 
     TV watching sofa, but is in my little shop - so it is fine.
     The pattern sure looks pretty.

4.  I read to spray the sofa with a mist of water before 
     you paint.....well, I did on part of it, but then forgot.  I 
     couldn't really tell much difference.

5.  It did take a little longer than I expected, but I think all 
     projects do.

Overall I'm very pleased, and think it turned out quite pretty.  It is not entirely the result I was hoping for softness wise, but it could not stay as it was.  

So, what do you think?  
Could you let yourself paint a chair or sofa?

I certainly would again!  I just may have to leave Edward behind.  I doubt I can drag another such beauty home with him in tow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Personalized Carved Pumpkins

Would you like to carve some pumpkins that are personalized to your family?  Here's an idea for making a pattern with a little help from Picmonkey.

Take or find a picture of the person you wish to carve on a pumpkin.  I used this picture of my son wearing my sunglasses.  (He will be so thrilled!)

In the case of this picture, I cropped and edited out everything I didn't want in the background.  To crop in Picmonkey, select the top icon on the left, and then choose CROP.

To create the pumpkin pattern - select the Magic Wand icon on the left, and scroll down until you find POSTERIZE.  You will only want to use 2 colors, and probably slide the Details Bar until you get the look you want.

You should get a picture that looks something like this!  Isn't that cool?

All you need to do now is save your picture to your computer.  To print the pattern - insert your saved picture into a Word document and adjust the size.  Trace the design onto your pumpkin, and shave away all the white areas of the picture.

This is just a mock-up, but it gives you an idea of what your carved pumpkin would look like.

Wouldn't it be fun to use pictures of your kids with crossed eyes or sticking out their tongues?  Just remember to keep it simple, or you'll be carving forever and writing icky comments to me!

Lavender Tub Tips:  When taking the pictures - try to use a plain white background with really good lighting.  You want strong contrast in your pic.  If it is not turning out the best on the POSTERIZE - you might need to play with it by going Black and White, or upping the contrast.  Each picture I've tried has been a little different, so you might need to play with it a bit.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Happy Autumn Y'all - 8x10 Printable

I put together a little Autumn printable.  If you'd like to print it - just save it to your computer, open a Word document, insert the pic from your computer and then adjust the size to 8x10.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Family Message Board With Cork And Chicken Wire

See this handsome kid?

Well......he is mine.  Would you believe this darned kid grew up, and we moved him to college about 2 weeks ago?  Honestly, this is the first I've been able to say anything about it because I've been kind of sad.  No......I really, truly have.  But, I'm adjusting.  Since he is living in a campus apartment and left his bedroom completely empty, we have been switching rooms around.  The silver lining - I now have 
a studio of my own to put all my machines and messes in!  Woot!  Woot! 
I'll show you pics of it when I get finished, but for today - I told you all of that so that I could get to this:  I stole our big message board for my new studio - so now we need another for the family.  LOL!  Here is what I came up with:

I took a frame, cut an old piece of white marker board to fit, turned it around, spray painted the back, glued a cork tile on the top, added chicken wire (for hooks and magnets), and..........voila!

I also added scrapbook paper painted with a chalk board medium (see my post here to learn more) to the cork tile.  It is only tacked on so I can change it with the seasons.

Since it is smaller than the one I stole, I can put it in a more convenient place.  I think everyone will see it here.  It works!