The summer is over which means that our Hot or Not?! series must also have its finale. It was such a great series, I know my sister and I had so much fun trying out new products, reading your comments, and following your suggestions!
We’ve decided that we will still put together Hot or Not posts here and there throughout the year so stay tuned and keep sending along suggestions for products that you would like us to try.
As promised, we will be giving away a goodie box FULL of great HOT products. I used my estate sale merchandising skills to put together the above preview of what you can expect to find in your mailbox if you are the winner! In addition to the items in the photo there will also be a Kuzak’s Closet t-shirt in your size, woot woot!
Today is your last chance to enter to win so please roll the dice and leave one last comment for us! All of the comments will be put into a spreadsheet and a lucky winner will be announced this Friday so keep your eyes peeled! Thank you and Good Luck!
My husband Chris and I made a resolution to eat healthier dinners over the summer and to help keep us on track I decided to have a Summer Salad Series here on Kuzak’s Closet every Wednesday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It was an interesting project and I am so glad that I committed to blogging about it because it forced me to try a new recipe each and every week.
It’s Wednesday but it feels like it should be Friday! Today I am sharing a vegetarian chopped salad for my summer salad series. I found this recipe over on the Aida Mollencamp site. If you’ve never been there you should hop over and check it out, lots of great recipes and photography.
I was looking for a fresh and easy salad, preferably vegetarian and this one looked like the perfect fit. Plus I thought it would be fun to photograph all of the pretty colors. The directions look lengthy but it is really just a lot of chopping which can be relaxing.
Today’s summer salad reminds me a little bit of the chickpea salad that I made a few weeks ago. This salad uses orzo, a pasta that I have not cooked with before. It is similar looks similar to rice but has the texture of pasta. The original recipe from My Recipes called for feta cheese but I decided to use Parmesan instead. This would be an easy salad to pack for lunch and I think kids would like it too.
Sorry I didn’t post a salad last week for my Summer Salad Series but I was too busy wine tasting in Napa Valley, ha! Today’s spicy salad will more than make up for my absence and I hope you give it a try!
Today my Summer Salad Series continues with a guest post from my sister Ashlie over at Brining Babies. Our mom always had pasta salad in the fridge all summer long growing up. She would use left over veggies and cheese and mix it with pasta she stocked up with on sale. Today my sister is sharing her version on our family favorite, enjoy!
I love to make pasta salad in the summer. It’s a perfect light summer meal or can also be a super side dish at all of your summer get-togethers. Usually when I make it I go through my fridge to see what veggies and meats I can use up to create something tasty for my family.
I recently tried using the frozen cheese tortellini that you find in the freezer section at grocery stores and it was an instant hit with my girls. I even sent this creation in their lunch boxes a time or two when I was packing daily for day-care.
Simple Pasta Salad
1 package of frozen cheese tortellini–cooked and drained
1 large english cucumber sliced
1 small container of cherry tomatoes quartered
Fresh dill to your liking
Italian dressing (I used 1/3 of a bottle)
Combine all ingredients and chill in refrigerator 3 hours before serving. Enjoy!
*Another combination that is also very yummy is the cheese tortellini, cooked and sliced up chicken, and ranch dressing tossed together.
Thanks for filling in for me Ashlie! I love pasta salad too! The camera shop called and they can’t fix my camera but they will replace it with a new one so that is good news. Hopefully that means I will be back with my own salad recipe next week.
As I mentioned in Monday’s picnic table reveal post my camera is in the shop being repaired. I have had to live without it for 4 weeks and it is killing me because I take it everywhere! Today is my 7th summer salad in my summer salad series and I asked my facebook friends to let me know if they had a recipe they would like to share with all of you. Thankfully Tari from Palo Alto emailed me with her husband Kent’s veggie summer salad and a picture, thanks Tari!
I hope you are enjoying this fun healthy summer series, let me know if you have a salad that you would like me to share!
Here’s a vegetable summer salad that your readers might enjoy. My husband, Kent, created it. Quantities are guesstimate, as it’s more a “look and feel” process…
1/4 head small cabbage, shredded
1/4 head cauliflower, chopped small
1-large or 2-small broccoli heads, chopped small
3-4 small/medium tomatoes, chopped
1/8-1/4 C roasted pine nuts (walnuts work, too)
1/8 C dried cranberries (Kent uses orange cranberries from Trader Joe’s)
1/3 C Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro
1 C chicken, diced (we use the Costco rotisserie chicken)
Vinegar & Oil dressing of your choice (he makes his own with 1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1/8 C Balsamic Vinegar, salt & pepper)
Other things you can add:
Cooked frozen corn and/or peas – we typically use any left-over previous meals
beets, diced (Kent roasts fresh beets in the oven…yum!)
Toss ingredients together. He adds a little salt and pepper to taste.
Every Wednesday from Memorial Day to Labor Day I am sharing a healthy main course salad recipe and I am calling it my Summer Salad Series. This chickpea salad has been my go-to lunch all summer long. My friend Jamie shared the recipe with me, I think she found it in Bon Appetit Magazine. It can easily be made ahead of time and I think it actually tastes better after spending a few hours in the fridge. I have been so busy lately that I have had to have a cooler in my truck so that I can eat on the road and this salad always hits the spot. Give it a try as a snack or side dish too!
My husband Chris challenged me to post a new salad recipe on the blog each week to help motivate me to try new things and eat a little healthier this summer. I’m calling it my Summer Salad Series. I am surprised how quickly this challenge changed our dinner routine, we now have salads for dinner 4-5 times a week now.
It has been my goal to find tasty main course salads that are healthy, easy to assemble, and affordable so I have been searching the world wide web for inspiration. I found this salad recipe on the Martha Stewart and it instantly sounded appealing because it is vegetarian, easy to make, and affordable.
It’s Wednesday and that means today is another salad recipe for my Summer Salad Series. Today I am sharing a recipe that was featured as one of Sunset Magazine’s best salad recipes. If you like traditional greek flavors you will love this salad. The original recipe used pita chips but I grilled pita and cut it into triangles for my salad (that way I could use the left over pitas for sandwiches later in the week).
2 boned, skinned chicken breast halves ( you could use rotisserie chicken to save time) About 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
4 ounces block feta cheese, broken into chunks
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 cups pita chips (I grilled pita bread and made my own)
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high heat (450° to 550°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 2 to 4 seconds). Coat chicken breasts with 1 tbsp. oil and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the center and grill marks appear, about 7 minutes total. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, 1/3 cup oil, oregano, and pepper; set aside. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, drop in asparagus, and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
In a medium bowl, combine chicken, cheese, asparagus, tomatoes, olives, and pita chips. Pour reserved dressing over mixture and toss gently to coat. Add arugula and toss once more just to combine.
If you have a salad recipe that you would like me to try please send me the recipe! I am also looking for guest bloggers to share their favorite main course salads so snap some pictures at your next healthy dinner and send them my way.
It’s Wednesday and that means I am featuring another salad for my summer salad series. Today’s salad has been my go-to salad for the last few weeks, a simple strawberry pecan goat cheese salad. The poolside restaurant on my Hilton Head vacation served it and I couldn’t get enough of it.
It is so easy to make and involves little chopping or prep which is nice. The goat cheese cuts the tang of the homemade balsamic dressing and the pinch of garlic salt gives it a nice finish.
I hope you all had a great weekend. We went out to dinner for our 7th wedding anniversary (which is actually today) and just had a quiet weekend around the house. I just started “The Plan” yesterday so I’m on a 3 day cleanse. The plan is all about identifying which foods aren’t healthy for your body’s chemistry. After the short cleanse I will start to introduce food items one day at a time to see if I have a reaction. Ever since I found out that I have an inflammatory problem last year I’ve been sticking to a list of good foods and avoiding “bad” foods but I don’t know if it is really working for me. I decided to do The Plan to see what really works for me once and for all. The process is 20 days long, I hope I can make it to the end!
Prior to starting The Plan I made this great recipe for summer corn chowder. There is nothing better than fresh corn on the cob, hopefully it will be one of my good foods! We have a local farmer’s market every Thursday and the corn booth is one of my favorites because the farmer is really funny. He is always trying to talk me into dozens of ears of corn so I’ve been trying to find other ways to make it besides boiling it or grilling it.
Moving is a great opportunity to clear the clutter and enjoy a fresh start. When a client hires Kuzak’s Closet to help manage their move and organize their new home we take care of all of the details – from the space planning to the unpacking.
We’ve been working on several relocations lately and today I wanted to share my favorite tips and some pictures to inspire you to embrace the opportunity to start fresh.
Tip#1: Sort and purge before you move! So many people pack up all of their possessions and take them to their new home without sorting and purging. Why bring unwanted clutter into your new home? Take the time to eliminate all of the items you no longer use or need. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to unpack!
I develop a sorting and purging schedule with my clients prior to their move. We typically schedule 4-5 sessions to work on each space in the home. This helps me understand their storage preferences and gives me an idea of how often things are used which is a great help when it comes to setting up systems in their new home. This is a picture of a toy pile that I sorted through the day before one of my clients moved…
After my vacation to Maui I am in need of a big cleanse. Last week I tried to eat as healthy as I could but still found myself in front of a margarita and a plate of fajitas on Friday night. I made up for it on Saturday on a big hike with my friend Lori but I am not off the hook yet.
I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, if it was up to me we would eat mac and cheese with potato chips on it for dinner every night. Chris is really the one that pushed me to make healthy low carb dinner options. As much as the idea pains me at first I’m thankful in the end that he is the pinacle of health. He is willing to cook dinner during the week and some weeks I really rely on him to plan, shop, and cook. It is always fun to watch him in the kitchen because he has a big mess going and nothing timed right. Instead of trying to control the situation I have learned that the only way he will learn better time management in the kitchen is by trial and error. Hopefully after a few more trials he will start to understand how to time things and clean up as he cooks.
One of my very favorite client organization projects is creating a home Command Center. Every home has multiple catch-all spots for every day items like mail, office supplies, magazines, instruction manuals, gift cards and coupons. I want to help you consolidate everything into one central location, so I am sharing my best how-to tips.
I cannot believe that July is already here! Because the 4th falls mid week my husband has Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off, perfect because I could really use his help with my upcoming estate sale in Atherton this weekend. Just what he wants to do with his time off, ha! Anyway, with the 4th just a few days away I know most of you will be hosting or attending fun summer parties you will be looking for summer recipes to try so I put together a list of some of my favorites. Enjoy!