Homemade Roasted Salsa (To Die For)

August 3rd, 2011 | Category: food

When I first moved to Omaha I had just turned 18, was going to college and working two, sometimes three jobs. It was at one of these jobs that I met my good friend Amanda. She was the coolest boss I’d ever had, and we became good friends. I didn’t know how to cook back then –  I was completely inept in the kitchen.  Amanda is an amazing, inventive, risk-taking foodie – just what I needed! Hanging out with Amanda helped me realize it’s fun to cook, and real cooking doesn’t mean Panburger Partner (word to my ShurFine friends) or Mac-n-Cheese! I asked Amanda to help me make some homemade salsa last week, and it turned out soooo good. It is very easy to make, and it’s a nice healthy snack. This recipe is pretty mild. If you like more heat, just add some extra jalapeños or if your feeling sassy, some habaneros.


Guest Post for Summer Tomato!

July 28th, 2011 | Category: local

I had the opportunity to write a guest post featuring the downtown Omaha Farmer’s Market for one of my favorite blogs, Summer Tomato, last week. Check it out here!


Hand-Me-Down Plant Stand

July 1st, 2011 | Category: diy

My mother-in-law gave me this plant stand a while back, and it’s been sitting in my garage collecting dust. I decided to give it a paint job the other day, and I think it turned out rather nicely! Here’s the before & after.


Weeknight Meals – Chicken Fried Rice

July 1st, 2011 | Category: food

Fried Rice is one of our favorite weeknight dishes. It’s a very forgiving recipe, and you can add whatever type of meat your heart desires. If you need a vegetarian option, omit the chicken and eggs, and substitute extra veggies or maybe some tofu. The rice will take the longest to cook, but I have a wonderful solution for that. (No, it’s not minute rice.)  Darya Pino runs a wonderful blog by the name of Summer Tomato, and I picked up this rice cooking technique from her. It is absolutely wonderful, and if you’re looking to get more intact grains into your diet, this process makes it almost painless! After cooking a big batch of rice, you can freeze it into individual servings. They defrost in the microwave in about 5-10 minutes, so it’s a perfect time saving solution.


Scrap Wood to Rose Trellis

July 1st, 2011 | Category: gardening


I have three 45 year old rose bushes in my backyard that I have promised not to kill. When we moved to our home on 2009, I knew virtually nothing about plants, gardening, weeding, mulching….. Needless to say, I was a little nervous when the seller (who was in her 90′s) told me her late husband planted the roses when they first moved in 45 years ago. I told her I would do my best to take care of them. Thank God for my mother-in-law, Donna, who has a great understanding of all things green. She has been such a helpful resource, and has helped me keep my lawn, landscaping, and roses looking nice and healthy!


How To: Pocket Pillow Covers

June 30th, 2011 | Category: decor, diy


Do you have some throw pillows at home that don’t make you happy? Maybe they came with your couch, you bought them in college and they are not your style, or they are just plain old and ugly? Well for that, my friends, I have a solution! I call them Pocket Pillows. (Not to be confused with these…..) Basically, my version of the pocket pillow is a cover that you can use to cover up ugly or old pillows, providing your pillows still have their shape and stuffing. One thing I have to apologize about before hand is this: I am not a good “pattern sewer”, so much of my sewing is guess work and more of a creative process than a technical one. I will do my best with the instructions, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section.


Thrift Store Finds – Lamp + Lampshade

June 29th, 2011 | Category: thrifting

In Omaha, there is a Goodwill on 72nd & F that I love! It is called the Goodwill WearHouse, and everything is sold by the pound. On my last trip, I found some really fun stuff, including this lamp. It was hideous color of purple – sorry, I don’t have a good before pic! I started painting, then realized I’d forgotten to take one. Anyway, you get the idea. I also found this lampshade in perfect condition. I think the cost of this lamp was around $2 + spray paint. Score!



How NOT to Renovate Your Kitchen Floor

June 28th, 2011 | Category: decor, diy

I started renovating my kitchen floor in March of 2010. I finished in December of 2010. As you can see from the picture above, when we purchased our home, our kitchen floor was blue and white, 1960’s, and carpeted. Gross. Not to mention, unsanitary. It had to go, and soon!


Homemade Corn Tortillas

June 27th, 2011 | Category: food

A little something inside me dies whenever I purchase store-bought tortillas. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list?! It goes on forever, and I can’t pronounce most of the words. Needless to say, they are full of chemicals and preservatives I’d rather not have in my body. So, I decided to try my hand at making them myself. If you live in Omaha, I highly suggest you check out  Jacobo’s Grocery in South Omaha (24th & L). It is a little Latin grocery store that makes amazing fresh salsa everyday (Michael’s favorite). I purchased my tortilla press there, and you can also buy fresh Masa, which is the dough you use to make these tortillas. If you want to mix the dough yourself like I do, no worries, it only takes a few minutes. I use Maseca, which is basically ground up corn and  can be purchased at any grocery store in the Hispanic section.


Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

June 24th, 2011 | Category: food

Ok, I know summer and soup don’t necessary go together, but I don’t think I can wait till fall to share this recipe. (Plus, it’s been a pretty cold spring so far in Omaha – too much rain – I feel like I’m in Seattle!) I absolutely love this soup, and I don’t think I can wait until fall to share it! It is easy to make, healthy, delicious, versatile, and freezes easily – what’s not to love?! I make it hearty with brown rice, corn, and black beans, plenty of vegetables, and just enough spice. This recipe is vegetarian, but you can add shredded chicken, turkey, or pork if you like.  I like to serve with crunchy homemade baked tortilla strips and lime. If you eat dairy, a little sour cream on top is a lovely option. This soup has a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that scare you, it is very simple to make.