Happy Monday to you! If you are new to Arthurized Home, you may wonder why I only plan 5 dinners each week. That’s done in order to leave room in the schedule for eating out or having a leftovers night. Throwing away food that’s expired is a huge pet peeve of mine!
The produce is rolling in from Pa Kettle’s and Wanda and Ed’s gardens (thank you!), so we’re eating all the veg this week!
Easy Baked Enchilada Chicken with Green Beans – That name makes it sound like this came out of an Easy Bake oven. Remember those? I couldn’t find a green enchilada sauce that did not have canola oil, so I reduced a mild salsa verde on the stove and used that instead. This chicken bakes up moist, tender and delicious! https://www.eatingonadime.com/baked-enchilada-chicken/
Tomato and Cheese Pie adapted from The Supermarket Diet Cookbook Prep: 20 Minutes Bake: 30 Minutes Makes: 4 Servings 1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese 4 large eggs 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp. salt, plus additional for sprinkling 1/8 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional for sprinkling 1/4 cup milk 1 T. cornstarch – I use arrowroot powder 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped 1 pound ripe tomatoes (three medium), thinly sliced
1) Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, with whisk or fork, beat ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper until blended. 2) In cup, with fork, stir milk and cornstarch (arrowroot) until blended; whisk into cheese mixture. Stir in basil. Pour mixture into 9 inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Arrange tomatoes on top, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. 3) Bake pie until lightly browned around edge and center is puffed, 30 to 35 minutes.
Keto Snacks: Mousies! – My grandma referred to these little ham, cream cheese and dill pickle appetizers as “mousies” because they look like little mice when they’re wrapped inside the ham! She certainly wasn’t afraid to be a little wacky; and we loved her for it! https://kalynskitchen.com/easy-recipe-for-ham-and-dill-pickle/
Beautiful Carbs for Hubby: Fresh Cherries *sniff*, Bananas and Watermelon
Treats: Raspberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs – I’m still loving fresh berries as a treat, but I’m going to keep a batch of these in the freezer. I used one stick of butter, one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, 6 oz. of fresh raspberries and 8 packets of green stuff to make approximately 2.5 batches of this recipe. I refrigerated the mixture until it was firm enough to scoop onto a Silpat using a 1″ cookie scoop. My batch yielded 28 bombs. https://hungryforinspiration.com/raspberry-cheesecake-fat-bombs/
I’ll just come right out and say it. Blue Ridge is the best race. Regardless of which distance you are running, this one will keep you coming back year after year. Spoiler alert: It will beat you every time.
Isn’t ‘insanity’ doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Maybe so, but you will love this insanity! Blue Ridge truly has something for everyone: Carilion Children’s 1 miler, Anthem Star 10k, marathon relay, half marathon, full marathon and for those of you with zero good sense, the double marathon! Seriously. You really can run the full, twice in one day. You’ll earn a sweet double finisher gift if you do.
Blue Ridge boasts of being America’s Toughest Road Races for good reason. Unless you’re doing the children’s 1 miler, you will encounter some crazy elevation gain and loss throughout each race course. Forget PRing this one. Just focus on finishing it, and enjoying the gorgeous views and the outpouring of community support along the way.
The pre-race expo is always a good time. Bring some extra pocket jingle to buy race gear like the hoodie my husband, Mark is wearing here. If you see something you like, buy it. Race merchandise is limited and sells out quickly.
Mark chose to interval this as his first full marathon with twin goals of staying on course and beating the sweep. His walking pace is faster than my running pace. Also, you can’t get lost at Blue Ridge. They do a great job of marking the course and there are helpful course marshals everywhere. Just follow the arrows that match the color of your bib.
I pre-registered for the half marathon but planned to switch to the 10k, because I was rehabbing a bone bruise in my foot and had not been able to train properly. At the last minute, I decided to stick with the half and walk it. My friend Kelly was walking the 10k, so we adventured together for the first 5 miles, stopping to take selfies with everything and everyone. Race day is a much different experience without the pressure of trying to PR.
The community support for Blue Ridge is second to none. Homeowners along the route come out to bolster the runners with music, signs, words of encouragement and unofficial aid stations. Our friends Donna and Lorelie have awesome front yard cheer stations, families offer apple juice boxes and other treats to the runners, homeowners set up their sprinklers streetside to run through. There are some quirky surprises to look forward to as well.
Don’t be concerned about having to walk during the race; nearly everyone walks the uphill sections. You’ll meet some great people with interesting stories to tell if you’re chatty. A few years ago, I met a 72 year old lady who was walking the half with her teenage grandkids and trash-talking them the whole way up Mill Mountain. She was so funny! This year, we met some nice people who were visiting from Pennsylvania and we gave our beer tickets to them. #glutenallergy #designateddriver
Smile for the photographers along the race course! Blue Ridge offers free race day photos. You can search them by your name or bib number after the race.
There’s a party at the star with food, drinks, music and lots of opportunities for picture-taking. Pause your tracking app, take a selfie or two and soak in the panoramic views of the Roanoke Valley.
Once you’ve had a moment to rest at the star, it’s time to head back down the mountain. The “Old Road” is very picturesque and offers beautiful woodland views. You won’t be on it for long before you start to see some curious signs.
These ladies serve up mimosas to the runners at Rockledge, an historic, stone home on the side of Mill Mountain. Whether you enjoy a mimosa or not, pause a moment and take in the stunning city views before leaving Rockledge.
You won’t lack for entertainment during Blue Ridge. There are funny signs along the course.
And musicians to serenade you.
Kelly and I said goodbye at the Walnut Avenue bridge where the 10k course heads to the finish and the half course pops onto the greenway towards South Roanoke. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
Enjoy the relatively flat section of greenway through McClanahan; you’ll start to climb again on 22nd Street and as you wind your way through the rolling hills of SoRo. The calm before the storm that is Peakwood.
Round the corner onto Somerset and enjoy one last water stop before it’s time to climb again. I had just barely started up Peakwood when a man yelled to me “It’s not far now! You’re almost to the top!” Liar. You tell beautiful, beautiful lies.
As you climb, you’ll convince yourself that the top is just around the next curve.
Or the next one.
At mile 8.8 there is a short downhill section that, for the uninitiated, may trick you into thinking that was the worst of Peakwood. Don’t be fooled. You’re going to climb again. Even more demoralizing, full marathoners will breeze right past! Resist the temptation to trip them.
And just when you’ve given up all hope of ever cresting Peakwood, there it is! The party in the cul-de-sac! These friendly volunteers will greet you with champagne, fresh fruit and more importantly, with smiles and words of encouragement.
Grab an ice-cold towel to wash the sweat away before you begin the trek back down into SoRo proper.
The downhill stretch from West Ridge Road through Rosalind Avenue is the reward for completing Peakwood.
South Roanoke in the springtime cannot be prettier. These gorgeous views almost make you completely forget the pain that is Blue Ridge.
Be sure to stop for a selfie with the mannequin. ‘Cause that’s not awkward at all. I told you there are quirky surprises!
Cresting the bridge in front of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Jefferson Street. One more mile to go. But who’s counting?!
After I finished the half, I met up with our friends Nikki and Michelle to wait for Mark to finish. He earned bragging rights within our circle of running friends by being the first in the group to tackle the full.
I haven’t said ‘never’ to a full marathon, but after watching friends limp around post-race in various levels of pain; let’s just say I’m not currently interested. When I finish a half marathon thinking ‘Boy, I could really go for another 13 miles right now!’, I’ll sign up for a full!
I’m super proud of this guy. I honestly expected him to be in serious pain by the end of the race. Two blocks from the finish line, he yelled to Nikki, “This is fun; you’re doing it next year!”
After receiving your finisher medal, hobble on over to the the Fleet Feet Recovery Zone and have your aching muscles rolled out by a friendly volunteer, or enjoy a massage by a physical therapist.
Once you can walk upright again, visit the food tent for post-race pizza and other snacks, or head into the Elmwood Park amphitheater for live music, food trucks and craft beer. It’s time to revel in successfully completing one of America’s Toughest Road Races!
For more information on the Blue Ridge races, click here: https://www.blueridgemarathon.com/ While you’re there, go ahead and register for the next race. Blue Ridge will kick your butt, but you’ll love it. Promise.
I’m not in partnership with any brands mentioned in this race review. I’m simply sharing my experience with this race.
In an effort to stretch my gardening dollar as far as possible, I like to plant easy care perennials; those garden work-horses that will return year after year.
Also, I hate planting annuals. I have no patience for a plant that will grow for one year and then die off. Kiss it goodbye. I’d rather save the time and effort, plant the $50 bill and be done with it. (Our porch is in deep shade and I make an exception for annuals there.) However….
Coleus are tender perennials so they behave like annuals in Virginia. After one summer in the sunshine, they are done. Sadly, I can’t overwinter them because our house has few sunny windows in which to grow plants. (And I need those windows for blog photography!) These plants are showy and worth every penny. They are ridiculously simple to care for. Plunk them in the ground in a sunny spot, water regularly and admire them. It’s just that easy!
While my taste in flowers tends toward ‘cottage garden’; these beauties are a punch of abstract art. The Andy Warhol of perennials, if you will. They provide edgy contrast to my restrained daisies and lavender. Give them a try! I think you’ll like them!
Y’all. It’s hot in Virginia. Like, surface of the sun, hot. Gimmie all the salads, hot. Too hot for cooking, hot. Maybe we should grill a burger or piece of chicken? Keep that heat outside of the house.
Strawberry Chicken Salad – New Recipe! Don’t let the garlic in the dressing scare you away; you won’t get dragon breath. My avocado was a little green, and I think the dressing would have been creamier with a ripe avocado. Maybe you can catch your avocado during the fifteen minute window of time between unripe and rotten?! https://cleanfoodcrush.com/clean-eating-strawberry-chicken-salad/
Dilled Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes – New Recipe! My cousin made this delicious tuna salad and shared the recipe with me. Thanks, Ruby! I’ve made it twice three times in the last week. I might be just a little obsessed.
Dilled Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes adapted from The Supermarket Diet Cookbook Prep: 25 minutes Makes: 4 servings 2 cans (6 ounces each) solid white tuna in water, drained and flaked 5 T. mayonnaise – I like Sir Kensington‘s 2 medium cucumbers, unpeeled, cut into 1/4 inch pieces – or one English cucumber 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill, finely chopped 2 T. capers, drained and finely chopped 2 T. fresh lemon juice 1 T. Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 4 large, ripe tomatoes (12 ounces each)
1) In medium bowl combine tuna, mayonnaise, cucumbers, dill, capers, lemon juice, mustard and pepper. 2) Cut each tomato, from blossom end, into 6 attached wedges, being careful not to cut all the way through. Spoon one-fourth of tuna mixture into center of each tomato.
Snacks: I’ve found that I’m not really hungry between meals on keto. See also: too hot to cook. Delicious carb snacks for hubby: Watermelon, Cherries (Oh my gosh, the cherries are beautiful this year), Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
Are you all worn out from the Fourth of July? Did you stay up too late watching the fireworks? Our local fireworks were postponed due to thunderstorms, so we stayed up too late watching a movie. If you still have a pool party or backyard BBQ (or several!) to attend over the weekend, bring these cute treats for the dessert table.
These cookies are a simple project for kids to make! My niece decorated these while we were at the beach. For both cookies, she piped the frosting using a medium sized, round decorator tip.
Flip Flop Cookies Materials: Nutter Butter sandwich cookies Icing – We used Wilton decorating icing in yellow Small, decorative candies – Any tiny candy will work here. Well, maybe not those candy eyeballs! But, just about anything else.
Pipe the straps for the flip flops onto the cookies in an exaggerated “Y” shape. Place the decorative candy in the center of the strap. So easy!
Ice Cream Cone Cookies Materials: Nutter Butter sandwich cookies Icing – We used Wilton decorating icing in pink Tiny, round sprinkles and small, round red candies (I used Jelly Belly jelly beans sliced in half. Cinnamon red hots would work as well.)
Spread or pipe the frosting in a circle on one end of the cookie, make those sprinkles fall like rain on the icing, then place the “cherry” on top. Done!
And….if you get tired of decorating cookies, you can always decorate the plate!
I hope your summer is off to a great start!
I’m not in partnership with any brands referenced in this post. I simply enjoy their products, and I hope you will too!
There are very few events in life that I find more frustrating than trying to pack the car the night before a trip. I’m generally tired after a long day (or week) of work, distracted, maybe hungry, definitely cranky. Perhaps hubby is as well? Not a good dynamic.
To top that off, we’re over-packers. I don’t know why, but we load up like we’re vacationing in the hinterlands, not 10 minutes from a shopping center. We’ve tried to change our ways, but I’m not sure we can.
Imagine that late-night scene of us cramming stuff into the back of the car only to realize that it won’t all fit. CUE: DEFCON 1 readiness
Here’s the good news. By using this one simple tip, we can avoid all of that drama: Pack and unpack for your trip ahead of time. Yep, I said unpack.
Do this a few days ahead, a week ahead, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to pack your clothes at some point, anyway. Might as well do it early.
After you’ve loaded the car with everything you’re taking, snap a picture of the trunk or cargo area using your phone’s camera.
Next, unload the car one layer at a time, taking a picture after each layer is removed.
This whole process of loading, photographing and unloading the car should not take very long; and it will save you from a massive headache when you’re ready to hit the road.
Simply pull out your phone, follow the photos starting with Layer One and re-pack the car.
You’ve got a handy reference on your phone for packing the car at the end of your vacation. You can hit the road relaxed, happy and have a great vacation!
Don’t you love going to a hotel that serves infused water to their guests? I do! You can recreate that same experience at home, and stay on top of your hydration at the same time.
Whether I’m at home or at the office, I keep my water bottle nearby, and sip from that all day. When we go to the beach, I like to set up a dispenser of ice-cold, infused water. As we come and go throughout the day, we can re-fill our water bottles. This idea is fun for parties and cookouts as well.
Vegetables: Cucumber, Carrot, Ginger Root (I’ve seen celery in spa water recipes, but I haven’t tried it. I would use sparingly.)
Herbs: Mint, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme
Spice: Cinnamon sticks
Thoroughly wash all produce and peel it if necessary. For cucumbers, I remove strips of the peel.
Adjust these amounts to the size of your dispenser. In my 1.5 gallon dispenser, I use: Ice to fill halfway Approximately 2-3 cups of cubed or sliced fruits, berries or vegetables 1 very generous handful of herbs Water (of course!)
Pour ice into the dispenser until it is half full. Place the fruit or veggies on top of the ice. Add a handful of herbs that you have crushed slightly. Crushing the herbs releases the essential oils. Fill the container with water, give it a little stir, and store in the refrigerator. Your infused water is ready to drink!
Here are some combinations that we like: Cantaloupe / Cucumber / Mint Cucumber / Lime Basil Cucumber / Mint Lemon / Lime Lime / Orange / Mint Strawberry / Mint
What do you think? Would you give infused water a try?
There are a couple of go-to techniques that I use when antiquing a painted wooden item. One of them is the wax resist technique that I used on the race medal holder. Today, I’ll share how to antique a piece using stamping ink.
Materials: Painted wooden item Sandpaper Chocolate brown ink pad – water based, not pigment Small paint brush – use an old one Rag – for wiping excess ink off the piece Spray sealer – optional
It’s important to use water based stamping ink. Because pigment ink is so thick, it will smear over the surface of your project, not soak into the wood.
When distressing a painted piece, focus on the areas that would be naturally worn through use. I’m distressing a child’s canoe paddle, so I’ll sand the handle and sides, where the paddle might bump into the canoe. Sand down to the raw wood.
Because you’ll be rubbing the ink into the wood, use a paint brush that you’re okay with ruining. Kid’s craft brushes are perfect for this project. I’m using a foam brush. Dab the brush onto the stamp pad and then onto your project. Make sure to cover the exposed wood completely. Keep a rag handy so that you can wipe excess ink off as you work.
Once you’ve antiqued the raw wood, use the brush to lightly sweep a little ink onto a few of the painted sections of your project. Rather than leaving the painted areas pristine, this gives the piece an overall look of age. I inked a few places on the word “cabins”.
If your project will be handled during use, seal it to protect the finish. I like spray matte sealer.
This antiquing technique can also be used to age paper crafts. For that application, I would use a kid’s craft brush and gently dab the ink on until the desired coverage is reached. I’ve seen this used in dollhouse miniatures to give a time-worn look.
I hope you’ll give this technique a try on your projects!
What was your favorite thing about going to summer camp as a child? I loved swimming in the lake, doing crafts, visiting the canteen and crushing on the hot lifeguards. They all seemed so wordly to my ten-year-old self. I hope they’re not all bald and paunchy now. I’d be so disappointed. Anywhoo.
As I decorated the summer Hoosier, I began to realize just how much camp decor we have. I don’t normally do themes, but figured it would be fun to give our bedroom and bathroom a quick and inexpensive refresh for the warmer months.
The Hudson’s Bay blanket featured in the fire starters post became the jumping off point for the color scheme. These blankets are traditionally wool, but mine is acrylic and very lightweight. It’s all we need for a bed covering in the summer.
I used the back side of a Christmas pillow for the bolster.
The map pillow is made from a bandana given to my husband at one of his favorite trail races.
Several years ago, one of our sweet nieces embellished this vintage paint-by-numbers scene with a daring saying. I just love it! I’ve had the cottage arrow for ages, and recently found the red arrow at an antique store.
This fan was inherited from my husband’s great aunt, as was the plaid throw under the picnic basket. The fan is not safe to use, so I cut the cord off of it. Don’t want anyone to lose a digit.
I love this birch canoe for displaying bracelets. And yes, I would totally pack all of these for summer camp! #soextra #dontjudge
Did you play jacks as a kid? This decorative jack is a dedicated place to park our rings while doing yard work, sports, working with power tools or other dangerous pursuits. See also: Keep your digits, above.
Now, on to the bathroom: The vanity holds a variety of products for pampering hands. The jar that looks like grey sand is “Man Grit” (bought locally, I couldn’t find this online) an amazing-smelling hand scrub for hubby. The jar with the wooden spoon is “Moonshine“, my favorite “sugah” scrub from Charleston Soap Chef. Their “Sweet Tea” product is fantastic as well. That hunk of turquoise is a Soap Rock, one of my gift-giving favorites. Roanokers can find them locally at Present Thyme, or you can buy them online at Bloomingdale’s.
Beach towels hung on hooks lend a bathhouse feel to the bathroom. The green, pink and aqua stripes are a cheerful nod to 1950’s decor. I made the “Cabins” sign from a child’s canoe paddle.
I bought the upper tennis racquet from a thrift store. I noticed the previous owner’s intials written on the frame and thought “It looks like it’s written in pencil, I’ll just erase it.” Later, I decided to keep the initials because it is part of the history of the piece. Then it hit me. They’re the same initials as my brother Matt, who we lost to cystic fibrosis when he was nineteen. I was meant to bring this one home.
Almost all of the decor was on hand in the Arthur Archives, thrifted, gifted, or from the flea market. Pa Kettle loaned me the dart board and croquet balls, which he refers to as “crochet balls”!
Because I’m nosy, and love to know how much things cost, here is a breakdown of what I spent and where I found the items I purchased for this makeover.
Total spent on the bathroom: $22 $2 vintage tennis racquet – thrifted $20 for two, colorful beach towels (currently on sale for $8) – Tarjay
Total spent on the bedroom: $27 $3 picnic basket – thrifted $9 red arrow – antique store $6 lake cottage painting – antique store $9 ’10’ sign – antique store
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour and are inspired to give your own decor a refresh. Now, I just need a cabin in the Adirondacks!
Much like Peeps marshmallow candy, deviled eggs are polarizing. You either love them or you hate them. We’re in camp Love Them. Deviled eggs that is, not Peeps.
Because they’re are a pain in the butt to make, I usually make a large batch of deviled eggs, 8-10 whole eggs at a time. We eat them until we don’t want to see another one for six months or so.
To make hard boiled eggs: Bring a large pot of water (mine holds 7 quarts) to a rolling boil. Gently, gently lower 8-10 eggs into the water. Don’t crowd them. Leaving the pot uncovered, lower the heat to a medium simmer. Simmer for 14 minutes and transfer the eggs to an ice bath for five minutes. Peel the eggs.
Once the eggs have cooled enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and release the cooked yolk into a mixing bowl.
Classic Deviled Eggs For 8-10 eggs, mix 1/2 cup (or so) of mayonnaise, a little finely ground salt and white pepper into the cooked egg yolks. Add a teaspoon of honey, or other sweetener to taste. Mix until the filling has a smooth texture. Pipe or spoon into egg halves and lightly sprinkle with paprika and chopped flat leaf Italian parsley (optional).
Classic Deviled Eggs with Bacon Because bacon makes everything better! Mix bacon crumbles into the classic filling, spoon into whites and sprinkle more crumbled bacon on top.
Guacamole Bacon Deviled Eggs: Not the prettiest deviled egg, but dang, they’re tasty! Serve these babies immediately so that the avocado doesn’t oxidize. My version is loosely based on this one. Instead of making my own guacamole, I take some help from the store and use pre-made. I like the classic guacamole from Aldi.
For 8-10 eggs, I use 6 – 8 oz. of guac. I substitute Cholula hot sauce for the jalapenos, because I never remember to take my contacts out before chopping jalapenos and things get ugly from there. Mix bacon into the filling, sprinkle more on top.
Bring literal deviled eggs to your next Halloween party with little slivers of red bell pepper for horns. So cute! The horns would work well with any of these variations, with or without other garnishes.