Easy DIY: Wine Box Turns Recipe Box











Wine boxes are not only cool looking, but they may hold some sentimental value for us. What can we do with them? My husband had a kinda genius idea. This past year we made a rule to give each other handmade gifts. Since I’m a foodie and a winey girl, he came up with this idea for me. (I’m still having trouble believing he didn’t get some help! wink,wink)

What’s extra amazing is he killed two birds with one stone on this diy project. Check out my old technique for storing my recipes…










Yes, I had recipes on napkins, index cards, Post-it notes, magazine pages and print outs. You could find them in any crevice of the kitchen too. I’m notorious for sticking Post-it’s inside my cabinet doors with recipes. Not exactly the ideal organization technique. Because I would just set the recipe papers next to me while cooking, they are covered in every ingredient imaginable. Just look at my favorite recipe…










I could re-write it at this point, but I love the character it shows from all the years I’ve been making it. Think wrinkles for recipes. In fact one day it might be fun to frame it. But for now, it is protected in one of my binder pages neatly organized under the appetizer section.

















I just store my wine box on my kitchen counter. It not only matches the decore, it’s practical and serves a daily purpose! All this thanks to my genius hub












Tutorial Here


  • This makes a great wedding gift. Gather recipes from friends and family to add to the binder. Mod Podge their wedding invitation on the top of the recipe book or on the inside of the box somewhere.
  • If the box comes from a winery you visited, line the bottom (see tutorial) with a map showing the vineyard location.
  • Add a “take out” menu binder to store in the box along with the recipe binder. There’s plenty of room for both.



Sunday’s Supper: Braised Short Rib Goodness











Sorry I didn’t make any soup this week, therefore it’s Sunday supper instead of soup. I think you’ll forgive me after you see what I have in store for you…short ribs! I normally use another recipe, but decided to try out this one from my new cookbook, How To Cook Like A Rock Star. Anne’s recipe has more of a tomato flavor base. It’s very satifying and will have even the pickiest of eaters singing praises!

Short Rib Recipe Here

Changes I made to the recipe:
  • I used 1/2 cup tomato paste only.
  • Instead of short ribs on the bone, I used boneless.
  • I made mashed potatoes for my side, which I think is the perfect compliment. My second choice would be pasta, given the tomato flavors of the dish.








In case you’re wondering why Sunday supper is posted on Friday night, it’s so you have time to get the groceries and plan for Sunday!
Buon Appetito!



Sunday’s Soup: Split Pea










I decided to start posting Sunday’s soups on Saturday to give you time to get groceries. Today I’m am sharing my son’s favorite soup. He looks forward to winter because he knows mom’s homemade split pea soup is in his future! (Don’t worry, he doesn’t read my blog, so he won’t know I’m embarrassing him right now.)

This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s, Parker’s split pea soup.  I’ve made a few changes such as adding ham and have turned it into Spencer’s split pea soup.

Find my recipe here.




  • Double the recipe and freeze some for next week when you get home late from work.
  • This soup is definitely company worthy. To make the presentation a little extra special, serve it up in a sourdough bread bowl.
  • Having dental work done soon? This is the perfect meal to feel satisfied without needing to chew.
  • Leftover ham? You guessed it, make this soup for sure!

Sunday’s Soup: Rosemary Bean











What’s for dinner? Rosemary bean soup by my go to girl, Ina Garten. This is a wonderful  Sunday soup recipe. It is very simple to make, but is packed full of aromatic flavors. Basically, it will taste liked you slaved over the stove when you didn’t. By the way, it’s just as good any other day of the week too!

You can find the original recipe here: Rosemary Bean Soup

As usual, I’ve put a few of my own spins on her recipe. (a.k.a. short cuts) I used canned beans instead of dried. I also used canned chicken stock instead of fresh. Finally, right before serving, I add a dollop of crème fraiche. Everyone will devour this, I promise!

Salmon on Salt











What do you buy your foodie friend who has everything? How about a Himalayan salt block.  For my attempt at using one, I tried a simple salmon dinner recipe. Well, maybe I should say my husband did. He’s the expert salmon chef around here. According to my nephew Cameron, he’s never had salmon as good as Ryan’s!

Salmon on Salt– (2 servings)

ingredients needed:

  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon filet (cut into 2)
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pepper


  • preheat the salt block in a 350f oven
  • mix together all the ingredients in a little dish
  • rub mixture on salmon filets
  • place the salmon directly on the salt block and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness
  • remove very carefully and serve immediately
  • prepare a simple side of linguine pasta with fresh garlic, olive oil and basil from the garden


Freshly cut from ancient mineral deposits, hand-cut blocks of translucent pink salts can be used for cooking meats, fish and more. They conduct heat beautifully, lending foods a wonderful depth of flavor. Use them on the grill, in the oven, or chill them for a beautiful way to serve sushi, appetizers and more. Himalayan salt blocks are naturally anti-microbial and easy to clean without detergent. Just scrub the surface with a brush, pat dry, then air dry to use again and again.

  • We did not season the salmon with salt ahead of time and found the seasoning to be perfect. I’ve read a lot of reviews saying it comes out too salty. We didn’t have that outcome. It was perfect.
  • The salt block seemed to make the salmon more moist than usual.
  • It’s heavy and very hot to handle so this could be a problem for those like my sister. (wink, wink)
  • Cleaning it isn’t the easiest task. You have to scrub pretty hard with something like a wire brush. I couldn’t get the surface 100% clean. I think in this case, it’s smart to have one side you cook on and the other for cold food presentations.
  • It’s definitely a cool novelty and conversation starter for anyone who loves to cook and entertain. However, the difference between cooking the salmon on the rock and not, may not be worth it for everyone.

Our next adventure with our salt block will be with something chilled. I have a hunch using it in this capacity will be my favorite. Stay tuned…

WHERE TO BUY: I’ve gotten a lot e-mails asking where to buy one. Mine was a gift, but I know a lot of kitchen home stores carry them.

Here is a link to the best priced one I could find.



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