Nod to Summer Pasta

Nod to Summer Pasta from Relish the Feast

Cooler (and downright cold) weather is here, and I miss my tank tops already. In homage to summer, I made this simple pasta dish. It’s hearty enough for the current season with a freshness reminiscent of the warm, lazy days of summer.

Ingredients

  • Cooked pasta
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 Polish kielbasa
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Salt, pepper and oregano to season

Directions

  • Chop the bell pepper and begin sauteing it on medium heat in a little olive oil.
  • Slice the kielbasa and add it to the pan. Bump the heat up slightly. Cook for roughly 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • While the pepper and kielbasa are cooking, chop the summer squash.
  • Reduce heat back to medium and add the squash to the pan.
  • Let everything cook together until the squash begins to look shiny and barely translucent, roughly 5 more minutes.
  • Season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Stir and cook for another minute.
  • Plate your prepared pasta and top with the bell pepper, kielbasa and squash mixture.

If this is too dry for your taste, drizzle a small amount of olive oil on it. I wouldn’t recommend adding cheese.

Enjoy!

-L

Italian Inspired Sandwich

Italian Inspired Sandwich Smells Good via Relish the Feast

I’m not the only one who thinks it smells yummy.

This is sandwich is simple assembly. The combo tasted fresh and flavorful. It would be wonderful for lunch in the park.

Italian Inspired Sandwich Layer 1 from Relish the Feast

  • Slice a whole grain baguette. Add a smear of mayo (or tzatziki if you have it) on one half and balsamic reduction or glaze on the other.
  • Add sliced radishes, roasted red peppers and red onion.

Italian Inspired Sandwich Layer 2 from Relish the Feast

  • Add a layer of thinly sliced mozzarella cheese.
  • Finish with a layer of thinly sliced prosciutto.

Italian Inspired Sandwich Being Eaten on Relish the Feast

Not the fanciest of ends for this sandwich, but it was delicious! Hope you enjoy it, too!

-L

Chip Dip for One

Lola Would Like to Share

She’d like to share. But this is not a dog snack. Well, maybe 1 chip.

As a rule, I don’t buy chips. If there’s crap in the house, that’s what I’ll eat, so I don’t buy it. The exception: parties. I will happily buy junk food for parties. Usually, there are leftovers – like a half demolished bag of chips, which I then have to eat…indulgently…on the couch…with Lola…while watching a Law & Order marathon or Jeopardy! (and yelling answers at the TV). Guilty pleasures rock.

To add to the indulgence after the most recent get-together, I made this quick, easy chip dip for one.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbls. sour cream
  • ⅛ cup chopped onion
  • ½ tbls. dried dill
  • ½ tbls. dried Italian mix herbs

Directions:

  • Mix it all together.
  • Eat.
  • Don’t feed it to Lola. Onion is a no-no. A couple plain chips only for her because I’m a pushover.

Enjoy!

-L

DIY Recycled Halloween Wreath

Halloween Wreath

It’s the spookiest time of year, and to help my house get in the spirit, I made a wreath using materials I already had. The only part that had to be purchased was the wreath form. Below are instructions for how you can make one, too.

Materials:

  • 1 Styrofoam wreath form
  • Jersey cotton fabric. I used an old t-shirt (orange) and an old pair of exercise pants (black) from a stash of even-Goodwill-wouldn’t-want-this stuff. It really didn’t take a lot of fabric either, maybe ¼ of a yard.
  • Buttons, beads or sequins (or a combo)
  • Ribbon
  • Yarn
  • Hot glue
  • Needle and thread (could be optional)
  • A small(ish) nail

Directions:

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Covering the wreath form

  • Cut the fabric into roughly 1-inch strips. If you use old fabric, the lengths might vary, and that’s ok.
  • Measure the fabric on the wreath. Starting on the back, wrap the strips of fabric around the wreath, overlapping on each go-around to cover the form. Play with where you want the different colors.
  • Once you know you have enough fabric to cover the wreath form, unwrap everything and plug in your hot glue gun.
  • Repeat step 2, but this time, adhere the fabric to the wreath with a line of hot glue along the back and at every start/end to a strip of fabric.

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The flowers – This type of flower is fairly simply once you get the hang of it. The directions look involved, but it’s all layering.

  • For each flower you’d like to make, cut 4-5 circles of varying diameters out of one of your fabrics. The biggest circle will be the bottom of your flower. Stack the circles, using the smallest for the top. If you’d like bigger flowers or more textured flowers, add to the number of layers in your stack or play with the sizes and placement of the circles. Note: My circles are never really true circles because I’m lazy like that. I eyeball it. Flowers are all a little different and imperfect in nature, so it’s ok if mine are too.
  • Choose a center decoration for your bloom. This is where the buttons, beads, sequins, etc. come in. I used a button on 2 of mine and a mix of beads and sequins on the other.
  • Hold the end of a spool of ribbon in your hand and make loops that are larger than your biggest fabric circle. Once you have like 5-6 loops and/or you think it will create a nice backdrop for your flowers, cut the ribbon off the spool. The ribbon was the most annoying part of the entire wreath making process for me. It kept slipping out of my hand. I only did ribbon on the back of 2 of my 3 flowers, partially because I liked the look of the 3 grouped that way and partially because the ribbon was aggravating. Once you have the ribbon cut, you might need to re-loop it to adhere it to your flower.
  • Stack all but the smallest of the circles on top of the ribbon and sew the layers and the ribbon together, keeping your stitches in the center. Try to keep the top stitches tight, so the smallest layer will cover the stitches. Once you think everything’s secure, attached the smallest circle and any decorations. I did the flower in two steps so I could be slightly messy with the first stitches and then not worry about it all falling apart while I did the pretty decoration part. Note: If you use hot glue to secure the layers instead of thread, work one layer at a time to ensure everything stays together.

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Decorating the wreath

  • After your wreath is wrapped and the flowers are made, it’s simple assembly. Figure out where/how you want the flowers placed on the wreath and hot glue them on.
  • I added some yarn detail here as well using the same technique that I did with the original fabric layer. I glued the beginning of the yarn to the back and wrapped. Then I glued the end down. The beginning and end of the yarn began to fray a bit, so I cut small squares of fabric and glued that over the yarn ends on the back of the wreath to help keep everything together. No one sees the back, so it can be kind of messy.

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Hanging the wreath

  • To make it possible to hang the wreath, I made a loop with ribbon and knotted the ends together. I hot glued the knot onto the back of the wreath and then, while the glue was still gooey, shoved a nail through the knot and into the form, adding an extra layer of hold in the hopes that it won’t fall off my door. I also added some extra hot glue here because I was worried.

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Hang it on the door and smile! You made a wreath. Hope that helps if you decide you want to make one. Enjoy!

-L