Friday, March 16, 2012

Tricks of the Tray

I may be just now tuning into an old trick, but through the awesomeness of Pintrest, I've notices a lot of great tips for ways to use ice cube trays that make so much sense. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

1) Freeze lemon juice, left over stock, tomato sauce, juice, wine, veggie pulp from your juicer (thanks Arlene!) and more and use in recipes later when you need just a bit. Store the frozen cubes in freezer bags once formed and be sure to label and include the date. 

Fresh Lemon Juice

Tip from Frugal Living:
How much liquid does a cube hold? One ice cube is generally the equivalent of one ounce or two Tablespoons. Here are some conversions to help you determine how many cubes you'll need to use in a recipe:
2 cubes = 1/4 cup
4 cubes = 1/2 cup
6 cubes = 3/4 cup
8 cubes =1 cup

2) Freeze cookie dough into cube size portions, then bake just a few at a time whenever you want! (This is a perfect option for the hubby and I since he usually eats just one anyway!)

Recipe from Fooducate Blog

3) I like this idea for kiddos. What a fun way to get them to eat a few of all the food groups!

More Great Ideas from Home Made Simple

4) Freeze herbs before they go bad. Drop them into soups and sauces rather than buying a full new bunch each time you need just a little!


You can do non-food-related things with ice cube trays too:

5) Pour paint into ice cube trays and use as a painter's palette for you or your little one. Depending on the type of paint, you can freeze it and use it again later when it thaws.

From Real Simple

6) Store small things like fasteners, buttons, jewelry, nails, screws and more. The little compartments provide the perfect way to store little things without getting them mixed up and lost.

From Better Homes & Gardens
From Real Simple

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our New Favorite Pizza!

We have a new favorite pizza at the Donnelly house. It's what I like to call the "Trader Joe's Special" because all of the ingredients are from there. I still have it on my to-dos to try making my own crust (I promise April and Jon, I will do this one day!) but until then, this recipe is delicious and quick.

The Ingredients: 

1 package pizza dough (we use the plain one, but the whole wheat would be good too)
2 tsp corn meal
1/2 jar pesto sauce 
1/2 block reduced fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)
3-4 slices Italian Turkey Meatloaf (from the refrigerator section) (cut into small chunks)
10-15 grape tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup parmigiano cheese (shredded)
1 tsp dried oregano (optional)

before baking
The Directions:

Let the pizza dough come up to room temperature. Spread the corn meal onto a surface (cutting board, counter, etc) and roll out the dough to desired thickness (I like thick, he likes thin, so we go somewhere in between!). Place on cookie sheet or pizza stone.

Spread an even layer of pesto over the dough leaving the edges free for the crust. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the mozzarella over the pesto sauce. Spread the turkey meatloaf chunks and grape tomato halves evenly on top of the cheese and then cover with remaining mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses. Sprinkle oregano on top of the cheese and bake as directed on the dough package instructions until the crust is golden brown.

after baking

Slice and eat!

I know, this doesn't sound all that impressive, but there's something about the combination of the spices in the meatloaf and the flavor that develops in the grape tomatoes when they cook along with the pesto that is super delicious.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Homies 2012

Found some really great new blogs this week via The Homies Awards on Apartment Therapy. Thought I'd share some of the nominees in case any of you are into the DIY thing. (click this link to see them all!)

(The hubby is in Vegas and I'm home drinking wine, eating sushi and catching up on my blogs!)


Best DIY Blog

Voting ends March 2nd, 2012 at 11:59PM EST
The Art of Doing Stuff
711 votes
Bower Power
586 votes
A Beautiful Mess
490 votes
Centsational Girl
465 votes
Ana White
363 votes
Vintage Revivials
337 votes
I heart organizing
289 votes
Girl In Air
252 votes
Old Town Home
241 votes
Little Green Notebook
236 votes
154 votes
Manhattan Nest
146 votes
112 votes
House Tweaking
110 votes
Chris Loves Julia
103 votes
Chez Larsson
91 votes
House of Hepworths
89 votes
Thrifty Decor Chick
88 votes
The House Of Smiths
88 votes
Funky Junk Interiors
87 votes
Just a Girl
73 votes
The Design Confidential
67 votes
Improvised Life
63 votes
Dollar Store Crafts
60 votes