Archive | June, 2011

Serve Up Patriotic with Pinterest

I’m “Serving Up Patriotic” for 4th of July entertaining this year with a little help from my buddy, Pinterest!

Visit my Pinterest boards for some inspiring and patriotic ideas for your 4th of July.

4th of July Serving Style with Pinterest from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 1 }

Serve Up Simple- 4th of July Simply Delicious Menu

Serve up simple.  Simple and delicious, that is.

If you’re entertaining for Independence Day, I have a recipe to make your life a lot easier.  Skip the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs and try this menu:

4th of July Menu from The Organized Cook


By marinating the steak a day or two in advance and making the salads which take just minutes to prepare, you’re time will be free to enjoy 4th of July festivities.

What’s great about this menu is that it covers all the basics- steaks, potatoes, pasta.  So, when guests ask, “what can I bring?” tell them to bring easy items like fruit or drinks.

4th of July Menu Flank Steak from The Organized Cook

If you’re not entertaining, it’s the perfect combination for just you and the family- I know- because this is what we had for dinner this past Saturday night and it was delicious….tasted like summer.

Toni’s 4th of July Menu


  1. Flank Steak 3-4 lbs, cut into 2-inch strips against the grain
  2. Dijon Mustard -1/2 bottle
  3. Soy Sauce- a few shakes

    4th of July Menu Red White Blue Potato Salad from The Organized Cook

    Dice potatoes into quarters

  4. Red Wine Vinegar- about 1/3 cup
  5. Fresh or Dried Oregano & Basil


  1. Petite Red, White & Blue (purple, actually- but close enough) Potatoes (I found the perfect ones at Trader Joe’s), cleaned and quartered
  2. Blue Cheese Crumbles- 1 small container
  3. Sour Cream- 1 cup


  1. Cavatappi Pasta- 1 lb
  2. Zucchini & Squash- 1 each, diced into half-chunks
  3. Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint

    4th of July Menu Cavatappi Salad from The Organized Cook

    Dice zucchini and squash into halves

Where I got my potato salad inspiration- basically, I think making traditional potato salad is a ton of work.  You have to peel, cook and dice potatoes and eggs, dice potatoes, etc.  So, unless my mom is here to make it (she makes a great potato salad), then I want to find an easier alternative.

I was shopping in Trader Joe’s and spotted these miniature potatoes and thought how perfect they would be in a salad.  I wanted to make it lighter, without mayonnaise, so I decided to try sour cream.  With some blue cheese to add to my “red, white and blue” theme, this potato salad came out better than I’d hoped.

4th of July party menu from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook




  1. A day or two in advance, combine mustard, soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl or casserole pan with about a half cup of olive or canola oil; mix well
  2. Season steak with salt, pepper, basil and oregano
  3. Dip steak into marinade and coat evenly
  4. Place steak in zip-top baggie and pour remaining marinade in; seal tightly and place in the refrigerator on a plate or platter to marinate overnight


Potato Salad (can be made a day in advance)4th of July Menu Red White Blue Potato Salad from The Organized Cook

  1. Place oven on Broil
  2. Place potato chunks onto baking sheet
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with some salt; use your hand to toss
  4. Broil until potatoes are brown, approximately 35 minutes
  5. Transfer to mixing bowl
  6. Add blue cheese and sour cream; toss


Pasta Salad (can be made a day or two in advance)

  1. Put zucchini and squash slices next to potatoes to Broil until brown, approximately 20 minutes
  2. Boil pasta in salted water until tender; drain and rinse under cool water
  3. Add vegetables to pasta
  4. Drizzle with olive oil; toss4th of July Menu Cavatappi Salad from The Organized Cook

When it’s time to eat, just grill steak- or hand it off to the hubby to grill like I do.



4th of July Menu Flank Steak from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Happy 4th of July!


If you’re looking for a summer beverage for 4th of July party, try my Summer Sangria!

Summer Sangria from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

And, for the absolute most adorable place setting, check out this Patriotic Place Setting design by Social Couture.





Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }

Manic Monday Giveaway- DIY Chalkboard Menu from The Organized Cook

Manic Monday Giveaway Winner Announced!

Jennifer is the lucky winner of our Manic Monday Giveaway and will receive the instructional on how to make her own chalkboard menu along with a Michael’s gift certificate to purchase the necessary supplies.

Contestants were asked to post a comment about their family’s favorite dinner on Facebook, and here is what some answered:

  • “chicken and pasta”
  • “chicken parmigana”
  • “homemade chicken wings”
  • “anything that is eaten around the table with all 5 of us sitting down”– my favorite answer; thank you, Anne!
  • “Mom’s french onion soup”
  • “tacos!”

For more ideas on answering the question, “what’s for dinner tonight?” with the answer, “What’s For Dinner This Week”, visit our Weekly Meal Plan Store.

Awhile back I posted this adorable menu board from Creative Designs by Toni– a DIY chalkboard menu she made from a frame- as our Manic Monday Giveaway.

Not only is it clever and decorative, it also compliments The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System.

DIY Chalkboard Menu from Creative Designs by Toni

Since then, I’ve made one for myself and I love it.  I get so many compliments about it’s functionality and charm.

Now, Toni and I (Toni- yes, we have the same name) probably didn’t think far enough ahead to realize how difficult an item this is to ship.

DIY chalkboard menu from Toni Spilsbury The Organized CookManic Monday Giveaway

But after making my own menu board I realized how simple it is to make yourself.  So, for this week’s Manic Monday Giveaway from The Organized Cook I’m giving away the instructions and a $40 Michaels Gift Card to purchase chalkboard paint, vinyl lettering or stencil kit and the frame to make your own chalkboard menu.DIY Chalkboard Menu from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Not only does this menu keep me organized and inspired, it’s somewhat comforting for my family to see our dinner menu at the beginning of their hectic day and know that we’ll be sitting together this evening to eat Chicken Madeira.

Ready to enter?  Simply visit and “like” our Facebook page and leave a comment about your family’s favorite dinner routine.



Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 4 }

A Summer Garden Photo Shoot

Every Spring I usually get professional photos of the kids, but this year was unusually hectic, so Spring, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day all came and went… without photos.

With my new camera and a growing garden, I thought, “why not a summer garden photo shoot?”.


It was a windy day and since Connor doesn’t like the wind, he didn’t last long outside.

We’re very proud of our garden.  Readers need to remember that we reside in Las Vegas- not the ideal place to grow vegetables.  So, combine my lack of gardening knowledge with the the most undesirable soil for growing, and yes- we are ecstatic.

Pumpkin vines.

For blogs about Toni’s Garden:

The One That Got Away

Seeds of Hope

A Bit of Earth

The Earth Is Generous To





Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }