{DIY} Curtain Rod Gallery Wall

With an ever growing family, my mom was looking for a good way to display photos and swap them out or add to them whenever she wanted. A traditional gallery wall includes a lot of nails and holes, so that was not an option. My mom came up with this great curtain rod gallery that is perfect for the person who wants to spare their wall from dozens of puncture wounds. It is simple, interchangeable and is a great place to add holiday accents as well!

What you need:

Sturdy curtain rod and hanging accessories
Shower curtain hooks
Picture frames
Triangle or rounded picture hooks and small screws
Cord or ribbon

Measure out and center your curtain rod. Drill holes and hang according to directions. Make sure to use a sturdy curtain rod and reinforce the screws so the rod can hold the weight of the pictures.

On the back of the picture frames, drill proper sized hole in the back of each frame. Screw down the picture hooks to each side.

Cut ribbon or cord to desired length and string through the hooks. Tie in a knot or bow at the back.

Add shower curtain hooks to the curtain rod. Loop the top around shower hook to hang up each picture frame.

Stand back and admire your work!

When the pictures hang at different lengths it gives a great visual effect and helps to fill a large wall. You can turn the frames vertical and horizontal as you switch them out. During the holidays, this curtain rod is a great way to display a festive wreath, or string some ornaments or garland.


Filed under Decorate, DIY

Smoked Salmon & Egg Baguettes

Ok so I promise this will be my last salmon post for a little while but when the gettin’ is good it’s just too hard to not experiment. My brother-in-law spent an afternoon smoking some of his fresh catch and passed a little our way so I put it together with some equally bold flavors and texture for a super fast and hearty weeknight meal. I especially love the way the gooey egg yolk binds it all together.

Smoked Salmon Baguettes
1/3 C cream cheese
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 bunch asparagus
Drizzle olive oil
1/2 Tbsp butter
2 C smoked salmon
4 eggs, cooked sunny side up
1 large baguette or loaf of french bread, cut into 4 large chunks
cracked black pepper
Kosher salt

In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix together the cream cheese, dill and garlic powder until well blended. Set aside.

Heat a grill pan on medium and place asparagus on the pan. Lightly coat with olive oil just enough to not burn. Cook asparagus for about 4-6 minutes depending on thickness, turning with a tongs until each side is slightly seared and asparagus becomes tender. Season lightly with salt.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium. Once pan is hot, crack eggs and cook sunny side up (or over easy if you prefer) for approximately 4 minutes. Egg whites should be opaque and the yolk should be just beginning to cook.

While eggs and asparagus are cooking, slice the baguettes and spread the inside generously with cream cheese mixture. Top with several piece of salmon. Once asparagus and eggs are cooked, place asparagus,then the egg on top of the salmon. Finish with freshly cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt.


Filed under Breakfast, Main Dish, Quick & Easy, Uncategorized

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts

One of my favorite places to dine in the Milwaukee area is Parkside 23, a great farm to table restaurant with fresh, local ingredients and unique flavors. Twice I’ve eaten their roasted beet salad and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I have never been a beet person and usually think they taste like the ground they came from, but this salad changed my mind. I love the addition of the golden beets, which are not quite as earthy and the apple cider vinaigrette boosts the flavor. I just picked apart the salad and kept the idea in my head and attempted to make it at home. And with good results! The critics actually preferred this salad to the original.

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts
1 lb red beets
1 lb golden beets
2 oz goat cheese
1 C walnuts
2 TBSP brown sugar
4 TBSP pure maple syrup, divided
1 C spring greens
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1 TBSP honey
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash beets. Trim greens and tips off of beets. Individually wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast in oven for 45 minutes to one hour. Check every 20 minutes, timing may vary depending on beet size.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Add walnuts. Mix in 3 TBSP maple syrup and brown sugar. Stir often, allowing syrup to thicken. Heat for 8-10 minutes. Spray rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove nuts from heat and place on tray. Add to oven. Bake for 8 minutes – moving nuts around with a spatula every 2 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from oven.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add vinegar. Slowly add olive oil, whisking quickly to emulsify the liquid. Continue to whisk and add honey, maple syrup, dijon mustard and salt. Set aside.

When the beets are completed. Unwrap and set aside to cool enough to handle. Peel the beets using either a sharp knife or just peel within your fingers. The roasting should make this easy. Dice the beets and add to a mixing bowl. After the beets are fully cooled, drizzle a tablespoon or two of dressing into the beets. Add walnuts and mix. Crumble goat cheese and gently stir. Spoon into ramekin. Add spring greens around the outside.

This salad serves 4-6 people as a side dish.

I hope you enjoy it as much as me! Or at least go to Parkside 23 and try the original version.


Filed under Cook, Healthy, Sides

And the winner is…

We are proud to announce the winner of our Organic Valley and Kickapoo County Fair winner…HAP reader Karis, from www.karisann.com. We hope you enjoy making more ice cream with some Organic Valley cream!



Filed under Uncategorized

Campfire Cones

We were invited to Stef’s house for a BBQ last weekend and she asked that I bring a dessert.  It was roughly 105 degrees out, so turning on my oven was not an option.  I had come across the idea for campfire cones on pinterest, and decided to give it a try.  They were quick and easy to make and were a huge hit!  Adults and kids were drooling over these rich and gooey treats.

Campfire Cones
Ice Cream Cones
Mini Marshmallows
Mini Chocolate Chips
Chopped Nuts
Peanut Butter Chips

tin foil

Start with a cone and fill with marshmallows and other treats.  Cover with foil and place on inderect heat on a grill or campfire for about 5-10 minutes or until all of the contents are melted.

Unwrap and enjoy!


Filed under Cook, Grill, Treats

{GIVEAWAY} Organic Valley Products & Kickapoo Country Fair

Happy weekend to all of our HAP readers! We are excited to be giving away a great package of goodies from Organic Valley. Next weekend kicks off the 9th Annual Kickapoo Country Fair. Held July 28 at the Organic Valley headquarters in La Farge, WI, this fair is the Midwest’s largest organic food and sustainability festival. It’s a weekend full of delicious organic food, cooking demonstrations, live music, readings by renowned authors, bike and farm tours, theater, kids’ activities, and dancing – all offered at an affordable price for families. For more details on the fair, visit www.kickapoocountryfair.org.

In celebration of this great event, our friends over at Organic Valley are giving away tickets to the fair as well as coupons for free Organic Valley products and an Organic Valley packable shopping bag. To enter our giveaway, please leave a comment telling us about your favorite Organic Valley product or your favorite recipe using something from Organic Valley. For an extra entry, go over to Facebook and Like Kickapoo Country Fair. Let us know you did!

You must enter your comments by 11 pm CST on Tuesday, July 24. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 25. The winners name will be added to the will call list at the fair and the prizes will be mailed to your address after the fair.

You must be 18 years old and a resident of the continental United States to enter. Winners are chosen at random. The final prize package includes:

Four (4) tickets to attend the fair on July 28 (a $20 value)
Five (5) coupons for free Organic Valley products (a $50 value)
An Organic Valley packable shopping bag

Thank you for your entries! We hope you have a great weekend!


Filed under Giveaway

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Watermelon Salsa

With the Salmon-a-Rama fishing tournament (yep, you read that right) in full swing in Milwaukee my fridge is overflowing with fresh fish. Which is a good thing since the drought situation we’ve got going on has left me with a garden that’s struggling to survive.

I don’t usually make tacos with salmon but I figured, why not? Grilled with a simple, spicy dry rub and paired with a crunchy-creamy cool salsa they made for a light and healthy dinner to beat the summer heat.

Grilled Salmon Tacos
1 lb salmon fillets, skin removed and de-boned if needed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chipotle powder/chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 small tortillas

In a small bowl, stir together garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt. Form a “cookie sheet” of aluminum foil and place on a plate or cutting board. Place fish on the aluminum foil and gently and evenly apply olive oil, then dry rub to fish. Heat grill to 400. Transfer “cookie sheet” to the grill and grill for about 6 minutes. Salmon should be opaque and slightly flaky.

Watermelon Radish Salsa
1/2  C watermelon, diced
6-8 radishes, trimmed and diced
1/2 C cucumber, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced
pinch kosher salt
pinch cumin

Dice watermelon, radishes and cucumber into evenly sized pieces and transfer to a small bowl. Toss together. Chop cilantro and mix into salsa. Season with salt, cumin and lime juice and toss. Dice avocado and gently toss into salsa, taking care not to smush the avocado.

Place salmon in tortillas and top with salsa and hot sauce if desired.

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Filed under Grill, Healthy, Quick & Easy

Grilled Romaine BLT Salad

My trip to Dole in May has inspired many an inventive salad dish in my house. In the past, I had seen plenty of recipes to grill Romaine lettuce, but never tried it. It was no surprise that I loved it upon trying it out in Monterey. Just a little char and a little warmth on the crisp lettuce goes a long way. It makes a salad feel like more of a hearty dinner.

Try this out next time you are at the grill. It is easy, fast and delicious!

Grilled Romaine BLT Salad
4 pieces thick-cut bacon
1 head Romaine lettuce
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 C croutons
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Lite Blue Cheese dressing

Bake bacon in oven. Chop into pieces and set aside.

Preheat the grill. Brush whole Romaine head with 1 TBSP olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on hot grill. Grill 2 minutes on each side, enough to create char marks. Remove from grill.

Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in small skillet. Add tomatoes, oregano and salt and pepper. Saute tomatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until heated through.

Place tomatoes over Romaine. Sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomatoes and croutons. Drizzle blue cheese dressing over the top.

To serve, cut into chunks and place on plates using a spatula.

If you want to use your grill only, you could skewer the tomatoes, drizzle them with olive oil oregano, salt and pepper and grill them next to the lettuce, until heated through.

If you want to lighten it up a bit, skip the blue cheese dressing. You could add just a small sprinkle of lite blue cheese or gorgonzola.


Filed under Grill

Chicken Enchiladas with Corn and Spinach

My husband and I love Mexican, but my daughter refuses to eat anything that has even the slightest spice to it.  I made up these enchiladas one night and added ingredients that I knew she would like.  The flavor combination was so wonderful, we didn’t even miss the heat!  If you can’t live without it, add some diced green chilies to the mix.

Chicken Enchiladas with Corn and Spinach

10, 6 inch flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
½ cup corn, cooked and cooled
½ frozen spinach, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheese, any kind you would like
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Mix together the chicken, corn and spinach. Add 1 cup of cheese and mix to combine.

Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture, roll up and place in the pan, seam side down.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and stir to combine, cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth little by little until smooth. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the sour cream.  Pour over the rolled up tortillas and top with the extra 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

I always make these expecting to have left overs, but the entire pan gets eaten every single time!

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Filed under Uncategorized

Mango Strawberry Smoothie

When it is 104 degrees outside, cooking is the last thing on my mind. Smoothies are one of my favorite ways to beat the heat. They replace the need for ice cream and are filled with great ingredients to help your body stand up to the heat. Recently, I’ve been using mango in my mixtures. It gives the smoothie a wonderful creaminess. When it is too hot to even drive to your nearest frozen yogurt stand, try this recipe out!

Mango Strawberry Smoothie
1 C no-fat vanilla yogurt (I use Stonyfield Organic)
1 mango, sliced
1 C sliced strawberries
1/2 TBSP agave nectar
1 C ice cubes

In a blender, add yogurt, mango, strawberries and agave nectar. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes and crush until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

I promise this will be my last recipe involving strawberries for a while. I just can’t help myself!

What food or drink recipes do you make to beat the heat?


Filed under Healthy, Quick & Easy, Treats