Father's Day Gift Guide

Monday, May 25, 2015

Are you searching for the perfect Father's Day gift?  Gosh, isn't it hard to find something fun and unique for the men in your life?  The guys in my life just go out and buy something if they "need" it.  That makes gift buying extremely difficult and let's be honest frustrating.  

That's where UncommonGoods comes into play.  Just like their name suggests, UncommonGoods features unique designs and handcrafted gifts while striving to incorporate recycled and/or up cycled materials.  Half of what they sell is made by hand and they believe it is their duty to impact the world in a positive way.  How cool is that?  

Here are my Father's Day picks for the men in your life! 

1. Custom Lake Art Cribbage Board.  Perfect for the lake-loving man.
2. Cider Making Kit.  I have seen beer making kits in the past but not cider!  I love a crisp apple cider.
3. Wall Wine Bar.  Perfect little bar for the guy who wants a bar but has little space in the man cave.  
4. Beach Sounds Portable Speaker.  I have had my eyes on this baby for a long time!  Maybe I will get it for my husband...to share :) 
5. What I Love About My Dad Book.  This would be so cute to fill out with a kiddo!
6. Coffee Cold Brew Gift Set. Such a good idea for the coffee loving guy.  So fun to be able to make your own and save a few bucks while you are are it! 
7. Beard Pack. For the rugged, bearded man in your life.
8. Terra Time Watch. Super unique watch that I am sure will get tons of compliments. 
9. Cardboard Animal Heads. ::fingers crossed:: you can swap these out for the real deal.
10. Home Plate Doormat. For the baseball loving guy.

For additional gift ideas, check out UncommonGoods website.  It is super easy as they have gifts for dad here, gifts for husband here  and gifts for men here

Happy Shopping and Happy (early) Father's Day to all of you dads out there!  

Strawberry Margaritas

Monday, May 4, 2015

Just popping into share a quick Strawberry Margarita recipe for tomorrow, Cinco de Mayo!  I had to perfect it before the big show tomorrow.  Being 100% honest, I will be the only one drinking them, my husband doesn't like tequila.  WhAT!?  Yep.  More for me I guess!  

These Strawberry Margaritas are so easy and delicious! The most difficult (if you could call it that) part is making the strawberry simple syrup.  It makes quite a bit so you can make a few margs or you could save it and flavor your lemonade!  It's so so good.  

These Strawberry Margaritas would go perfectly alongside my queso and spicy Mexican chicken, Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Pasta,  Crockpot Chicken Salsa Bowls or Taco Pizza!

I hope you have and awesome Cinco de Mayo!!! 

Strawberry Margaritas 

2 ounces Grand Marnier
1 1/2 ounces tequila 
2 ounces lime juice
2 1/2 ounces strawberry simple syrup (recipe below) 
strawberries and limes for garnish
salt and sugar for the rim 

Using a lime wedge, go along the edge of the glass, dip in margarita salt and sugar.  Fill the glass with ice. 

In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Grand Marnier, tequila, lime juice and strawberry simple syrup.  Shake for a few seconds.  Pour over ice in the glass.  

Garnish with lime wedges and strawberries.  


Strawberry Simple Syrup

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries 

Combine water and sugar in a medium sauce pan on medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Set aside to cool.  

Once the syrup is cooled, combine with strawberries in the blender.  Blend until it is smooth.  

I don't care for a lot of strawberry seeds so I strain it but you don't need to.  

That's all! Enjoy in margaritas, lemonade, ice tea, the sky is the limit!  

Recipe by: How Sweet It Is

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My husband and I are trying to eat less carbs.  Yes, it sounds horrible, especially since I'm still breastfeeding all I want is carbs.  #bringmeallthecarbs.  But really, we should eat less pasta.  I'm a pasta freak and let's be honest, making pasta is super quick and easy!  Especially when the baby needs to be held from 4:00 until bedtime :)

But, we are trying to eat less carbs and I am being forced to become more creative.  These little Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are an awesome testament that you don't need pasta...well you don't need pasta all the time.  

They are made with everything you love about chicken parmesan without the noodles!  They are baked which is awesome since let's be honest, turning meatballs in a pan blows and you can make a whole mess of them in no time!  

I made a bunch, we ate some of them, I saved some for lunch the next day and the remainder went in the freezer for another dinner!  These would be super cute for an appetizer too, just sayin'.  

2 lbs ground chicken breast
1 medium onion, finely, FINELY minced
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon olive oil + 2 tablespoons for brushing
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs 
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 jar marinara sauce
1/2 block provolone or mozzarella cheese 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with sides (jelly roll pan works best!) with tin foil. Set aside for now. 

Combine the ground chicken, onion*, garlic, dried basil, 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix using your hands, until just combined, being sure not to over mix.  Over mixing will cause tough meatballs.   Using a cookie scoop out the meatballs onto the cookie sheet.  I like uniformly round meatballs so I go back and roll them between my hands so they don't look like cookies.  Brush each meatball with the remaining olive oil.  Pop in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer to be sure they are 165 degrees, you will not be able to tell if they are fully cooked by looking at them. Mine took exactly 30 minutes.  

Remove from the oven, spoon on a little marinara sauce, and top with a square of cheese.  Pop them back in the oven for a minute or two, just until the cheese melts.  

To serve, ladle a little of the marinara sauce onto the bottom of a bowl, place the meatballs on top.  Shred additional cheese on top of the meatballs and sprinkle with parsley.  


Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz 

**NOTES:  Be sure to finely mince the onion.  If you don't the meatballs will have a funky texture and fall apart! 

If you plan to freeze some of the meatballs, don't add marinara sauce to them, simply let them cool (naked) on the baking sheet and put in a container/freezer bag and freeze them.  The easiest way to heat them up would be to add them to marinara sauce and let them simmer on the stove! 

Also, you know, you can serve these over noodles. It would make an awesome dinner.

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs