Tuesday, September 30, 2014

35 Minute Skillet Lasagna

Think you don't have time to make a great dinner?
Think again!

In 35 minutes or less you can make this
awesomely delicious one pan Skillet Lasagna!
No kidding.

Let's put 35 minutes on the clock, shall we?

In a LARGE skillet, this one is 14"...
brown and crumble your meat...in this case,
ground turkey and bulk Italian sausage.
At this time also add the garlic, onion, and salt to taste.

While the meat is cooking, assemble your cheese ingredients.

25 minutes: When the meat is done, stir in spaghetti sauce and water.
Add the extra spices now if you are going to.
Dump in your noodles, stir and make sure they're all covered with sauce.
Cook according to noodle box instructions.

Meanwhile...stir together your ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses.
Then mix in the fresh ground pepper, parsley, and salt to taste.
Don't forget to stir the noodles occasionally.

15 minutes: Drop the cheese mixture in small clumps all
over your noodle/sauce/meat concoction.
Sprinkle with extra mozzarella if so desired.

10 minutes: Set heat on lowest setting, or turn off...
cover and let sit 10 minutes until all the cheese has melted.

0 minutes: Remove the lid and dig in!

Skillet Lasagna
click here for a printable version (print page link at bottom of page)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb bulk ground Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed, smushed (or 2 tsp jar or dried for faster service)
  • 1 tbsp dried, minced onions.
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (I use Classico roasted tomato and garlic.  NO added sugar...tastes YUMMY!)
  • 3 cups water
  • 8-10 oz. broken lasagna noodles OR mini bowtie pasta...it works perfectly!!!
  • 1 1/2 tsp each dried basil, oregano, and thyme, optional
  • 1 cup whole ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • salt to taste
  1. In a LARGE skillet,brown and crumble your meat. At this time also add the garlic, onion, and salt to taste. While the meat is cooking, assemble your cheese ingredients.
  2. When the meat is done, stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Add the extra spices now if you are going to. Dump in your noodles, stir and make sure they're all covered with sauce. Cook according to noodle box instructions...about 9-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile...stir together your ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses. Then mix in the fresh ground pepper, parsley, and salt to taste. Don't forget to stir the noodles occasionally.
  4. When the noodle timer goes off, drop the cheese mixture in small clumps all over your noodle/sauce/meat concoction. Sprinkle with extra mozzarella if so desired. Set heat on lowest setting, or turn off...cover with the lid...and let sit 10 minutes so the cheese can melt.
  5. Remove the lid and dig in!

A tasty homemade dinner in less than 35 minutes.
I told you it could be done...but I bet you didn't believe me.
Sorry, I can't help with the clean up.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pre-Blogging Projects

Or:  I Was a DIYer Before It Was Cool...

Maybe that was a bit dramatic.

I've always been "crafty" and I don't mean sly.
At least as far as you know.

For many years I would make one of the
Christmas gifts I gave out to everyone each year.
Then something strange happened and I don't
seem to have time for that anymore.

When I was in high school I found this awesome lantern at a garage sale.
It was baby blue, poor thing.
I sanded it, sprayed it a muted metallic gold...
and started my love affair with spray paint.

It's all downhill from there...

So...here are a few things I did before there was an everlasting record on the interwebs:

Our dining room table...

We bought in the height of the "everything must be Hunter Green" years.
It had green legs and a stained top.
Armless Windsor chairs that matched.
About  8 or 9 years ago I got sick and tired of that green paint.

I took it all out onto the front porch...took it apart and started painting.
I sanded the top of the table, which may or may not
have had a large burn area from a candle mishap.
(You know, the kind you cover up with a placemat and large hurricane)
I used a stain/poly combo which I wasn't thrilled about but it was okay.
It could use a light sanding and new coat now.

It was an amazing difference and we've loved it ever since.
The table is great and sturdy, the chairs have since been
replaced because they were not so much so.

For a long time, in our old house, I used this old
steamer trunk for a coffee table in the living room.
Now everyone thinks it's a fresh, new idea or something. :)
It now sits at the end of my bed and serves as a bench of sorts.

Jon and I built this rustic baker's rack from cedar fence planks about 10 years ago.
(so, sorry, no build plans, we just winged it)
It has a Z back like a barn door and is super sturdy.
We've been talking about building a new one...a little more refined...
and converting this one into a potting bench complete
with an enamel bowl "sink" for my mom.

In other kitchen news...although I don't have a picture...
in our old house...we used an antique ladder over the island as a pot rack.
My kitchen now has a ridiculously tall ceiling..so that won't work now.
Boo hoo.

Don't ask me why there's a rainbow sock monkey in the kitchen.
I'm not really sure myself.

I'm about to make you jealous.
See my antique wire locker baskets?
I've had them for a long while.  Before they were all the rage.
They're awesome for cookbooks and cloth napkins.
I paid about $30 for all 3 including shipping.
Please don't hate me.

This chalkboard I made before the chalkboard craze.
Nowadays you can't turn around without seeing some chalkboard
in some fashion somewhere...even in print ads.
I know, right?

Yes, it might be time for the grapes to go...I told you it was a while ago.

Not long after we moved in to this house,
we did a little update to the master closet.
It's an odd shape, and when you opened the door {inward, no less}
you couldn't get to anything behind the door.
You would have to go in, back against the wall, and close the door.

We just took the stinkin' door off...
hung a small rod on the inside of the closet and hung spa-like curtains...
which is perfect since it is off the master bath.

I know some of you don't like those wire shelves you see here, but believe me...
they work very well for us.  We redesigned the inner space so there are
2 levels of hanging on the left, one on the right for longer things...
and shelves along the back wall and up top.

I'd give you a closer look, but it's usually a disaster anyway. :)

Here's a copycat project I did when we when we moved in.
I love the pet food tins from Ballard, but really...
who is going to pay $45 for a tin can to put cat food in?
Well, not me.

I got a big popcorn tin from a candy store...pretty cheap...
Spray paint and vinyl lettering...
Mine was about half of theirs...and it matches the food bowls.
And, it's bigger...probably the $54 size!

Essie likes to sit up here when she thinks I'm neglecting my
feeding duties and remind me, loudly, that she can see
the fishie in the bottom of her bowl.

She doesn't quite get the fact that with her fuzzy butt
on top of the can, I can't get to the food anyway.

This fold down front secretary desk has been mine since high school.
It was white with gold detailing...French Provincial that matched my canopy bed.
Yes, I did.  And you're wishing you had one, too.

I painted it...omg...
so long ago I can't quite remember...maybe 17 or 18 years.
I even used a crackle medium and antiquing glaze.

It might be time for another change.

I changed all the hardware...filling screw holes
and re-drilling for the new handles.
I was so proud.

This is certainly not a comprehensive list...
some things I just don't have pictures of.
Like: 1. When we moved in to our OLD house...
which was a rental with a flexible agreement I won't get into...
we had to gut half the bathroom and install a new shower surround and sub floor.
Not to mention paint over some cow stencils with angry red udders. :)

2. I used to use a real tree branch as a curtain rod in our "nature" bathroom.

3. We laid a herringbone brick patio there from some leftover building bricks.

And all the other little things that are always
going on but not always worthy of documenting.
You know, like the fact that I am currently attempting
to organize our kitchen cabinets.
That seemed like a better option than trying to steam the
wallpaper border off the walls in Sara's bathroom so I can paint. :)

Wish me luck!

sharing here:

AKA Design
Crafts a la Mode
Glitter, Glue and Paint
Craft Dictator
Horrific Knits
Love of Family and Home
The DIY Village
Love Bakes Good Cakes
The Golden Sycamore
Six Sisters Stuff
Lolly Jane
Made from Pinterest
I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Kitchen Table Art
The Dedicated House
Upcycled Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life
Love Grows Wild
Sowdering About
Just a Girl and Her Blog
Designs by Miss Mandee
Crafty Allie
Savvy Southern Style
Fluster Buster
From My Front Porch to Youra
The Turquoise Home
Embracing Change
Lamberts Lately
Saving 4 Six

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

18 Easy Updates That WOW! {A Curated Board for Hometalk}

Have you ever heard of Hometalk?
Well....it's pretty awesome!
It's all things home and garden...remodels, makeovers, inspiration.
It includes posts from pros, bloggers, and non-bloggers.
It's an awesome resource for DIYers and gawkers alike.

I was recently asked to curate a board all about
It started with that shiny, red KitchenAid mixer...and snowballed.

These updates are all pretty simple...and most of them only involve paint.

We all know the transforming magic of paint.

Here are a few of my favorites:

would be a happy greeting every day.

I love how this striped, painted porch
from Creatively Living looks so fresh and bright.

Can you believe the difference in this

This one isn't paint...but it's so pretty...
makes me wish I had some bookcases to makeover.

Whew...it was hard to pick my favorites...
I was trying for just 3, but you know how it goes.

To see the details on these and all 18 easy updates,
check out my Small Changes ~ BIG Difference board on Hometalk

It's okay, you can go right now.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Summer might be almost over,
but there's always time for ICE CREAM!!!

I had this hankerin' for some cheesecake ice cream...
and I had some strawberries calling out to me from the freezer.
I couldn't find a decent recipe so I gleaned the basics
from a couple and decided to experiment.

Now, in my best mad scientist voice I will tell you...

Okay, back down off the roof, Frankenfurter.

It was too good not to share.
I scooped up a pint and took it to the neighbors along with some cookie bars.
They have been awesome and I couldn't think of a tastier way to say "thank you."

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pint strawberries {fresh or frozen}
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk the eggs until well blended.  Whisk in the cream, milk, and 1 cup sugar.
  2. Slowly heat to a simmer, stirring frequently...let cook at a bubble about a minute. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from heat.
  3. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and stir into the hot cream mixture until mostly smooth. Cool mixture completely in the fridge.
  4. Using a hand blender, chop strawberries with remaining 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice. Leave them a little chunky. Crumble the graham crackers...but don't make them too fine.  I just beat them on the counter with my hand. :)
  5. When the cream mixture is completely cool...add to your ice cream maker. Mine takes about 15-20 minutes...after about 10 minutes, I added 1/4 cup or so of the strawberry mix and half of the graham crackers.
  6. Add the remaining graham crackers close to the end.  Swirl in the remaining strawberry mix with a spoon when you transfer it to a freezer container. 
  7. Eat it right away as a soft serve or stick it in the freezer for later!
I know, it seems like a lot of instructions, but it's really simple and totally worth it!

How about you, would you share?
Labor Day is just begging for ice cream!

Have a fabulous holiday weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Planked Wall Bathroom ~ Behind the Scenes

When I told you about our new planked wall bathroom a couple weeks ago,
I promised I would come back and give you some of the details.
Yeah, well...it just took me a little longer than expected.
Shocking, I know. :)

As a refresher, here is the before and after:
{warning: this is kinda long}

Of course you know that with any good makeover project,
you've got to tear some stuff up first!

Removing this ceramic tile from the backsplash was NO fun.
As you can see, I got a little brutish and took out a big chunk of drywall.


I filled it in with some plaster filler and smoothed
it before we put the planks up, don't worry.

This was some super duper adhesive on these puppies...that was the problem.

We have these mini pry bars...but the combination of the extra strong glue
and apparently soft drywall caused me to find inventive ways to get the tiles off.
I used a small board to aid with leverage and protect the wall behind.
There may have been chisels and a hammer involved, too.

This totally made me rethink the possibility of taking out the tiles
that serve as the backsplash in the kitchen.

I think I mentioned that once I started painting I wasn't
totally sure I still was in love with my paint choice.
I mean, it has been two years since I bought this paint.
By the way, this is Chocolate Turtle from Valspar, color matched in Behr.

Once we got the planks on the walls, the world began to right itself.
I could see my vision becoming reality and all was well.

These are cedar v-groove planks from Lowe's.
They come in a pack of 6 I think...and are eight feet long.
The Lowe's website doesn't show a picture of the pack,
so there's no visual for that...sorry.

Also...I neglected to take any process pictures.
I am sometimes a sorry excuse for a DIY blogger. :)

But not to fear, they are really simple to put up.
They are tongue and groove and the pack gives the basic guidelines for installation.
We used long finishing nails and went right into the studs.
Don't use adhesive unless you know for sure you'll never take them down!

Jon helped a lot with the planking...because it was just easier with two sets of hands.
Especially when you're trying to use the level and hammer at the same time.

Our biggest challenge was that the boards are not all exactly the same height.
Because of that, there was some finagling at the corners
to get them to line up as closely as possible.
You can see the corner above is not perfect.
We ripped a narrow board to place there knowing it
would not be visible once we trimmed it out.

I remembered to leave this space here so I could frame out 
the mirror without some weird notch taking place.
Which I also did not document.
But really...measure trim...cut trim...attach to mirror...paint.

Oh...and whenever you put something on your wall...
or even a thick outlet or light switch...you'll need to remember to
get some spacers to bring your outlets out farther.

We used some 1 X 2 trim for the top "shelf" of the wall...
and some small square trim right below that...for visual appeal and support.
You can kind of see it below here on the left.
The baseboards are just chunky casing.

We trimmed out the corners with some lathe...because
it's thin and I didn't want it to stick out too far.
And, yes, I know that part around the light isn't painted yet.

Once everything was up, I filled nail holes, filled gaps, filled knot holes...
with nail hole filler and paintable caulk...and sanded till my arm nearly fell off!

Well, almost.
I had a little electric sander that gave out about 2/3 of the way through.
The rest was all manual labor.
My arm did NOT fall off...guess the time at the gym is good for something!

I did use a coat of primer on the cedar.
I didn't want it to soak up all the paint and
I didn't want it to smell like a hamster cage forever. :)

When I did the mini makeover in our master bath, there was
some discussion after the fact about other options for the counter top.
One of the things talked about was Envirotex Pour On Resin.
Sooooo...I decided to use it here on a small surface.

I love the way it filled itself in against the wall and the sink...seamless.
However, trying to get all the air bubbles out was a pain in the rear.
And I had a heck of a time keeping the edges smooth.

It pours on, so the top levels beautifully when you spread it a little...
but then you have to be vigilant on the sides and edges.
I was in there the whole time it was setting up to
smooth out the sides...and they're still bumpy.

I don't know what I could have done differently, but am open to suggestions as to how to fix it.
It's also very shiny...high gloss.  Which I knew it would be.
Even when it's cured, it looks like it's wet.

There are instructions on the box to achieve a satin finish...
How did that work out you ask?  Not so well...but I'm still brainstorming.
So...I would not use this again for this application, but it would be awesome
on a bar top...which is kind of what it's made for.

Below is how it looks now...but still not the final product...
as I'm still looking for the best solution.
I will update you when I find it!

Here is a close up of the top trim and corners.
This odd angled wall made measurements fun to figure out!

You can see how the mirror framed tucked into the planking and trim.

The counter and cabinet got a coat of primer before paint.
This BIN primer is the best for glossy surfaces like cabinets.
It seems thin when you apply it, but it's really great.

It doesn't even look like the same unit.
The planking and cabinet are Sherwin-Williams Creamy.

The light fixture got a dose of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
And see? I remembered to paint the wall behind it.

This canvas is a custom piece of art I made myself!
I created it using basically this method from Lake Girl Paints.
I just used craft paints and maybe a random sample pot.
I can't describe to you how awesome it looks.
I love it so.

It is an excerpt from a poem called Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver...
who I discovered, when looking this up, was born in Maple Heights, OH...
which is a neighboring city to my hometown of Twinsburg.
Crazy, huh?

The wreath was in here before, but it looks so much better in its new surroundings.
The basket with towels is from TJMaxx.
The faucet is one of two I picked up for a song on the discontinued rack.

I don't have a cost breakdown because I forgot to keep track.
I know the planking ran about $100 for all we needed.
That did not include the trim and baseboards.
Might it have been cheaper to rip thin boards
ourselves and space them with a nickel?
But then it might have taken me another year to get it done. :)

None of the links in this post are sponsored or affiliated.
I just wanted to let you know what we like and what we used.

If you have any questions or I left anything out of this very long post...
drop me a note and I'll do my best to answer.

I'm trying to find my notes from this delicious Bourbon Cedar Salmon I made...
if and when I do...you'll be seeing it here!
Until then...keep smiling!

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