Friday, January 21, 2011

"I am __ months old today!"

Notice how this trend has become popular lately? Facebook seems to be overloaded with pictures of babies posing by a sign that says "I am __ months old today!" I think it's a cute idea, so that you can look back chronologically at how your baby has grown each month.

As Gypsy Lane Designs has been growing month by month, I have tried to nurture the business and mold it into something special. My custom work has been thriving, but as it is utterly time consuming, I want to offer more "ready made" items. As I started brainstorming baby-related ideas,  I couldn't help but think about this new popular trend. Most people print out these signs using some sort of word processing program.

Wouldn't these signs look better with a little color and flair? Better yet, wouldn't it be cute if they were interactive, and you can change the number (with something like velcro) on the sign as your baby grows older? Maybe these prints could even be displayed in the nursery so they serve a pretty decor purpose as well.

And there I go brainstorming. Of all my "ready made" item ideas, this one is my favorite so far. Since I'm swamped as always, I don't know how soon I'll bring this idea into fruition. But it is on my "to-do" list. I love coming up with new ideas.... to be honest, I have millions of them... the problem is having time to execute!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Caprese Paninis

Happy New Year! It's always so anti-climactic after the holidays end. It was such a fantastic week filled with time for painting, family, friends, and of course, food. We had our neighbors over one night during the holiday break for a last minute dinner. Since I didn't have much time to prepare, I just decided to make something that is on my "regular" menu that I knew were infallible, my CAPRESE PANINIS (along with salad, grilled vegetables and cheddar potatoes). They have become a routine dinner for Scott and I, and I almost forgot how phenomenally and simply delicious they are. Our guests seemed to love them. As I am fairly new at cooking successfully, it is still thrilling when people love my cooking. These are so easy to make, yet so amazing! A few special ingredients like freshly baked bread or basil make such a quick and simple sandwich a treat. I just love these things so much, I wanted to share!

Fresh Mozzarella
Bread- (I found "Portuguese Rolls" at the market that work perfectly, but you can substitute a lot of other kinds of breads, like Italian or Ciabatta bread)
Olive Oil
Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar

Cooking Instructions

  • Cut bread and brush outside of bread with olive oil 
  • Stuff bread with a few slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and 2-3 basil leaves
  • Brush with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle on just a little salt and pepper to taste
  • If you have a panini press, could sandwich on each side on medium heat for 4-6 minutes. I use the Calphalon Panini Press and it's pretty awesome. It's very easy to clean.
  • If you do not have a panini press, you can cook on a large nonstick skillet, and top with another heavy skillet. 
  • You can get creative with your panini and make some additions like grilled chicken or peppers. I do think the beauty of these paninis is the short list of ingredients so each flavor really shines!!