Monday, January 23, 2012

Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

pesto stuffed tomatoes

After all the heavy (and delicious) comfort food of the holidays, I've been feeling a desperate need to eat a little lighter and have something slightly summery. I made some pesto the other night for baked chicken and these yummy stuffed tomatoes are what I did with the extra.

To make it super quick, you can definitely use store bought pesto (but I never really like it as much). But, if you're feelin' frisky and have a few extra minutes, here's my pesto recipe:

2 c. firmly packed basil leaves (I've also used 1 c. basil and 1 c. spinach... so yummy and ups the health factor)
3/4 c. grated Parm cheese (for me this is usually a rounded 3/4 c. ... I like the cheese. What?!?)
1/4 c. nuts (traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, but I use pecans because that's what I have in my freezer)
1/2 c. olive oil
3 cloves garlic

Jshushe all this up in a blender or food processor and voila! you've got pesto!

pesto immersion blender

I just got this new immersion blender/food processor combo thing for Christmas. It's mostly for making soups but this attachment came in handy for the pesto and its WAAAY easier to clean than my blender. Thanks Mom!

Now here's the skinny on the tomatoes.

tomato basil mozzarella

Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes
4 - 6 tomatoes (I like vine-ripened, but romas work ok, too)
1/2 c. pesto
1/2 - 1 c. grated mozzarella cheese (depending on how cheesy you are, I mean how much cheese you like)

pesto stuffed tomato

Crank up the broiler in your oven.

Step 1. Halve the tomatoes (if you use romas, make sure to cut them longways so they will sit flat in the pan).

Step 2. Scoop out the insides, seeds and all.

Step 3. Add your pesto to the tomato guts.

Step 4. Chop up the chunks and mix this concoction together.

**Add salt and pepper to taste at this point.**

pesto stuffed tomato

Step 5. Spoon the tomato and pesto mixture back into the tomato halves and place on baking sheet. Something with sides is necessary because A LOT of juice runs out of these babies. I even make a little pan-inside-a-pan from aluminum foil to keep the juice from sloshing all over my oven when I get the pan out.

Step 6. Add mozzarella cheese to top of each tomato half.

Step 7. (not shown) Broil tomatoes for 5 to 8 minutes (depending on ripeness of tomato).

Step 8. Chow down!

pesto stuffed tomato

I love this recipe along side pretty much anything, but my favorite is sitting it next to a steak. Something about the cooked, warm tomato and its juice mixing with the juicy, almost rare, yumminess of my steak. I don't know. That's my fave.

Are you craving lighter, summer food? Got any good recipes to share to beat the cold, dreary weather? I know its Vegas but its 45 and rainy out. We (sort of) have winter here, too! I'm making my favorite tomato soup tonight with grilled cheese. Talk about comfort food!

Linking up to:

Home Stories A to Z
Crafty Confessions
Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't be jealous

So. Its January 19th and THIS is what I'm dealing with today...

Jealous? I didn't think so.

I guess thats what happens when you have guests until December 27th, then leave for 3 weeks a day later (

All I really want to do is open these...

But, I promised myself I'd clean up Christmas before checking out my new goodies.

Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel, by the way. So maybe you can be a little jealous of that.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Word of MY Year 2012

I love the idea of picking a word to guide my goals and resolutions for the year. But, man! I had a tough time settling on just one. I tried to look ahead at what this year holds for my family and I and there shouldn't be too many big changes (which is a biggie when you've moved 7 times in 10 years). No moves, no new family members (planned anyway), no career changes, etc.

Then I thought "Wow, TEN years! I've almost been married TEN years. I've been out of college for TEN years!" So my word for 2012 is TEN.

Word of the Year

T: Trust

I will trust God to guide my decisions, put my TRUST in HIM so that I can have a better relationship with everyone in my life and most importantly, a closer relationship with HIM!


I want to ENJOY the here and now. I don't want to think about where we'll move in 2013, how much I'll miss G when she goes to school next year, whether or not I should go back to work in 2013 or 2014... I am going to ENJOY my girls at their current age and current stage. I am going to be positive with The Hubs and ENJOY the time he is home, instead of crying over he times he isn't. I am going to ENJOY the home I currently have instead of dreaming about my "dream house.". Iam going to ENJOY the opportunity to see my family and friends far away whenever I get the chance.


I am going to NURTURE my relationship with God through Bible study this year. I want to wake up before my girls at least twice a week (yikes!) so I have time for personal devotion. I think this will also help me NURTURE my relationship with my family because I will enjoy this early morning time and be able to devote more of my day to them after I have renewed my spirit through time spent studying God's word. I also want to NURTURE my relationships from my past by visiting with them either in person, on the phone, or through email. Not just a quick "your kids are cute" on Facebook but real conversations. And NURTURE the all relationships I have by being a good friend, giving back to those who give so much to me, and being the kind of friend to others that I am always looking for.

So there you have it! My word for the year 2012... TEN!

I know, it's a bit of a cop out doing a 3-in-1, but it's my word(s), my year, and my blog! Do you have a word of the year? Share it over at The Lettered Cottage and link to it here so I can be inspired by you!

Word of the Year Link Party

I also have a checklist of to-do's for the year but I'll share that with you another day (it's more to keep myself accountable to get a few things done).

Also, you can check out my Home Goals 2012 to see my major decorating plans for 2012.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Home Goals 2012

There are a million things I'd like to get done in 2012 when it comes to decorating our house, but I know that being realistic, both in terms of financiances and failure-reduction, I should keep my list short. So here are my top 5 home goals this year:

1. Finish the bonus room (this is actually a three-fer)

I need to get some window treatments up in here (up in here, up in here!). I have some white, light, and airy curtains that lived in windows of houses past. But they've been hemmed too short. So I'm thinking I'll add a band of fabric to the bottom...

Or, hem them even shorter... (what do you think of this look?)

Or a combo of the two?...

I also need to get rid of our bulky TV and finish toy organization and room layout with our new Expedit units.

And I really, really, really want to get a sleeper sofa for our guests. I have my eye on this one but want to pick out another fabric than those in stock.

2. Add a dining table to our breakfast nook ('cause the teensy weensy PBK version that currently resides there isn't cutting it)...

I'd like to thrift something and paint it, but this black pedestal table is too much of a steal to pass up. I don't need the chairs because...

3. I want to add a bench as seating for our dining table.

I'll move 4 of our current chairs to the breakfast table (I like the contrast between the wood chairs and black table), add the bench to the formal dining table, and voila! Eclectic seating and a look I know I'm gonna love!

4. Paint entry, upstairs hall, master bedroom, and master bath.

These spaces are still blah, boring, builders white. I love bright, airy white-walled rooms (like my childhood room and the entire 2nd floor of my parents' house), but that look isn't right for my current furniture and decor. So, Kilim Biege it is. We already have the paint, I just have to get 'er done. I probably should have put this as goal #1 but I'm more excited about the other to-do's so, #4 it is.

5. Hang G's chandelier...

So I can finally call her room complete! Then take pics and share with you all, of course. It's definitely bah-right, but I love it and I think my sweet girl does, too.

So that's my list and I'm sharing it over at The Nester's. Share your home goals for 2012 over there and here with me, too!

And, I'll be back next week to share my other, non-decorating 2012 resolutions, hopes, goals, future failures, whatever you want to call them.