Cup of Tea Recipe | Tomato Pesto


Oh man, I love this pesto.  It screams summer at me!  I’m not a huge fan of the traditional pesto because this one has ruined me.

Do you see these ingredients?  That’s all you need to make the yummiest dinner!  And, with summer produce coming, it’s even MORE tasty with in season tomatoes and basil.20140521-235946-86386193.jpg

I love a dinner that can be whipped up in about 5 minutes.  And it’s all done in the food processor!20140521-235947-86387040.jpg


You can actually make this pesto faster than it takes to cook your pasta!


Yum!  Want to make it?  This really easy recipe is below!


Tomato Pesto
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

1/4 c Walnuts
12 oz Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
2 Garlic Cloves (or more if you’re a garlic fan!)
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1/3 c Olive Oil
1/2 c fresh Basil Leaves, julienned
1/2 c shredded Parmesan Cheese

Put the first four ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until blended (15-20 pulses).

Slowly stream 1/4 c of the Olive Oil while the food processor is in the On position.  Shut off the processor and check/taste the pesto.  The pesto should be a creamy consistency, but you should not see the oil pooling.  If you think it needs more oil, turn the food processor back on and add the rest of the oil.

Spoon the pesto into a serving bowl.  Stir in the basil and parmesan cheese.  Serve over top of favorite pasta (I like penne with this).

If you choose to make this ahead of time, don’t add the basil and parmesan cheese.  Wait to add those until serving.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Leftovers are delicious as a sandwich or panini spread.


Toys That Aren’t Toys…

Isn’t it funny that we spend significant money on entertaining baby toys, and let them take up tons of space in our homes, only to have our sweet babies end up loving the most random objects?


Here’s a round up of some of my sweet girl’s random favorite items right now.

Empty Wipes Container – I’m sure this little friend will be in our lives for a while.  Here at the house, I use the refill wipes that go in a refillable container.  Elizabeth has always been interested in closing the little lid on the container once we finished diaper changes.  Now she has a spare, empty one for all her lid-closing enjoyment, outside of the nursery!  I’m sure she’ll soon figure out how to shove little objects into this container.

Empty Wipes Package – Along the same lines, Elizabeth loves the travel wipes packages!  She loves the crinkling plastic.  When I haul out an empty wipes package for her to gnaw on, we certainly get strange looks.  But, hey!  Whatever keeps her entertained!

Laundry Basket – When Elizabeth was learning to sit up on her own, she wasn’t road tested to just sit on the floor and turn your back for a moment.  You had to constantly watch because she’d fall over!  Enter the laundry basket!  In that month she was learning to sit up, you could sit her in the basket, give her a few toys, and if she fell over, it was more of a controlled slide, instead of a hard head hit! 🙂  She’s outgrown this now, but it was genius at the time!


But do you really ever get too big to sit in a laundry basket?  I guess you don’t… (that’s me in college!)20140520-152639.jpgMom’s Necklace – Are my days of wearing necklaces over for the foreseeable future? Elizabeth spots it and instantly starts grabbing at it.  And if she gets a hold of it, it goes RIGHT in the mouth.  And it doesn’t have to be just my necklace.  All necklaces are free reign.  (Sorry lady at church… you asked to hold her!)

A Finger – God must have designed us with fingers to provide instant toys for teething babies. My finger, dad’s finger, stranger at grocery store finger, baby finger.  Doesn’t matter.  All up for grabs!  Bonus points if you have slobber that runs down to your elbow.

What about you?  Any unusual toys that your little ones have latched onto?  I’d love to hear about them! I know our cardboard box days are coming up quickly! 🙂

Menu Monday!


Hey hey!  I’m looking forward to this week. Basically because there aren’t major appointments!  I love looking at the calendar and seeing nothing on the schedule.  Lovely!  It’s a chance to catch up with some things.

Hope you had a nice weekend!  We were pretty busy.  I was sick all day Friday (bummer), but recovered completely by Saturday.  Saturday we had church, a birthday brunch, and then a 1 year old birthday part in the afternoon.  We were pretty pooped.  Sunday was fairly quiet.  Hubby was working on a presentation all day, and I caught up on some housework that I would have done on Friday.

This week’s menu cracks me up!  It’s basically a repeat of last week 🙂  We had dinner at a friend’s house on Thursday, I was sick on Friday (no one would want to eat what I cooked!), and I planned on cooking dinner Saturday (silly me!), so we had several meals that I had ingredients for already.  So why not?  It’s also my turn to host my good friends and their sweet babies for our weekly play date/lunch gettogether, and I just have to make that Kale, Black Bean & Avocado Burrito bowl again.  It was SO GOOD!!

For more information on how I menu plan, look at this.  

Tomato Pesto Pasta
(My own recipe, but adapted from an old Cook’s Illustrated)

Vegetarian Meatballs and Wild Rice
(My MIL’s recipe – our favorite comfort food!)

Mexican Scrambled Eggs with Tortillas and Smoked Cheese
(From Fields of Greens, pg. 292)

Kale, Black Bean & Avocado Burrito Bowl
(From – Making this for our play date and eating leftovers for dinner)

(Our version of build-your-own taco salad)

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas
(Adapted from this recipe found on Pinterest)

Mexican Pizza with Salsa Roja & Cilantro Pesto
(From Fields of Greens, pg. 180; this recipe makes a double batch of the sauce,
so making the pizza a second time is pretty easy! Plus, it uses that smoked cheese.)

*Grocery store this week: Trader Joe’s

Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

Yo – Friday.


Anyway, on to the highlights!

1. We had a fun Mother’s Day on Sunday.  The highlight was breakfast out.  Breakfast is my favorite time to go out to eat.  Yum!


2. I’m so excited for my tripod and wireless shutter release for my iPhone (in case you’re looking to buy the tripod, FYI, you need to buy an additional phone holder. I learned the hard way)!  I take all of my pictures and videos with my iPhone5. I plan to use the tripod to take videos for the blog.  Plus, I’m planning on taking some outfit pictures to wrap up my Wardrobe Refresh series.  Not to mention we can finally take a family photo (we don’t have one! Shocking!).

3. Speaking of blog fun, I bought a new planner!  I love planners. One of my favorite things is buying a new planner, sitting down, and filling it out.  I plan on using it specifically for blog planning.  We’ll see how it goes!  May be a blog post in the future.


4. The little one turned 7 months on Sunday!  I did an update about what she’s up to.  But she’s such a delight!


5. If you’re ever wondering “Katie talked about making ____ recipe on her last Menu Monday.  I wonder what it tasted like?”, well good news!  This week we had the Kale, Black Bean & Quinoa bowl for dinner Wednesday night, and yum!  It was SO GOOD!  I actually woke up Thursday morning thinking, “Yay! Leftovers!”.

6. Yep, a sixth.  Just wanted to give an update, in case you were wondering.  Elizabeth’s sleep study that was done on Monday night was…. fine, I guess.  I mean, what do you expect when you take a 7 month old and stick little wires all over her, including a little probe up her nose? She hardly slept, which means I didn’t sleep at all.  But I don’t anticipate any negative results.  We just had to go home from the sleep study to get some sleep.  Ironic.

I wanted to end by talking about a Facebook group I am apart of, called Blog 101 for Moms.  It’s a small group, made up of blogging moms (some newbie bloggers, others experienced).  It’s a fantastic support group!  It’s a closed group, so we can feel comfortable asking questions about blogging with the other members, swap post ideas, and share tips.  We also share our daily posts with one another, visit one another’s blogs, leave comments, and support.  If you are a blogging mommy, and are looking for a small blogging support/networking group like this, feel free to check it out!  Request to join!  I hope to see you there!

So that’s it!! What were you up to this week??  Share! Share! Put a link in the comments if you have a similar post, and I’ll swing by and say hi!  Spread the blog love!

Linking up with:

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


Quick Home Organization | Refrigerator


I have “little piles” around the house.  You know what I mean?  There are disorganized areas that bug me.  I could rattle them off – office desk, laundry room counter, husband’s under sink cabinet in our bathroom…. blah blah blah.

I tackled one on the list a few days ago – the top of our refrigerator!  I was inspired by my friend Vanessa over at Mamma’s Happy Hive.  If you haven’t visited her blog, do!  She highlights fun Montessori-inspired activities for her sweet boy Little Bee and has amazing organization tips!

Vanessa shared this post about ideas for organizing her kitchen, and she mentioned putting baskets on top of her refrigerator to hide stuff.

I literally DOL (that’s Duh Out Loud, in case you’re not in the know).

I have a problem with clutter on top of my refrigerator.  1) We don’t have a pantry inside our kitchen, which means I’m always looking for a place to stash perishables.  And 2) my husband likes quick access to tortilla chips.  So we’ve been keeping miscellaneous food items up there for a while.  I was also storing some random eating-related items that Elizabeth hadn’t quite grown into yet.20140513-143635.jpg

It was a mess.


I went to Home Goods for a wander (bad idea – Home Goods is like Target for me.  I just can’t wander in there.  My car trunk will get full…) and I came across a large basket, perfect for the top of the refrigerator!  20140513-143706.jpgIt’s large and deep, which means I won’t be able to see the tops of packages.  The basket also had this fun plaque detailing.  It looked like it might be a chalkboard slate, but it’s not.  Oh well.  It may be a pain to haul down, but it’s pretty!  Hey, for $16.99, I can put up with anything!

Once I got home, I took everything down and sorted through it.  What needed to stay up on the refrigerator?  What needed a home elsewhere?20140513-143650.jpgIt was clear the food items should stay up on the refrigerator (quick access to chips!), but the baby things needed homes elsewhere.  Once I got that sorted, the food went into the basket, and the basket went up to its new home up on the refrigerator.

And it looks great!


Much better, right?


Husband has already complained it restricts his access to the tortilla chips.  I get it.  You have to haul down this basket any time you need something from there, but hey!  I’d rather do that than stare at the jumble.

Ready for a before/after?  Ta-da!

20140513-143759.jpgAny recent Quick Home Organization projects at your house?  Did you blog about it?  Share a link with me in the comments!  I’d love to stop by and visit!