Herb Compound Butter - 3 Ways @themerrythoughtMy hips don’t lie, I love bread, and butter, a lot. I’ve been wanting to try making my own compound butter – that’s just a fancy way of saying butter with some mix-ins – for a long time. I made my own butter with the boys a while back, so this was just next in line. And now I’ve made it and I’ll never go back. It’s really easy and really delicious. It’s a great way to use up some leftover herbs you may have kicking around. Or the abundance that grows in your garden this year; I’m anticipating stealing herbs from Caitlin’s new garden later in the season and whipping up compound butter all summer long. (That would be my entire gardening how-to post, steal produce from your family & friend’s gardens 😏). You can use any combination of herbs/seasoning you have or like. I went with these three because it’s what I had on hand/used a few of my favs (that’s you cilantro & rosemary). These are delicious on bread (duh, of course!) and would be great for veggies (can’t wait for sweet corn season!) & meats. Compound butter is also perfect for those upcoming Easter dinners & spring brunches, looking so pretty & fancy, but being simple & easy to make. And since I had so much fun making this, I’ll be sharing a post soon with sweet compound butters. Cause my motto for life: butta makes it betta!Garlic Basil Herb Compound Butter @themerrythoughtGarlic Basil Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons basil, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash together with a fork. Once thoroughly combined, place herb butter on a sheet of wax paper and shape/roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm.
Garlic Basil Herb Compound Butter @themerrythoughtCilantro Lime Butter @themerrythoughtCilantro Lime Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
3-4 tablespoons cilantro, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil, optional
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
2-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash together with a fork. Once thoroughly combined, place herb butter on a sheet of wax paper and shape/roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm.
Cilantro Lime Herb Compound Butter @themerrythoughtRosemary Lemon Butter @themerrythoughtRosemary Lemon Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons rosemary, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash together with a fork. Once thoroughly combined, place herb butter on a sheet of wax paper and shape/roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm.
Rosemary Lemon Herb Compound Butter @themerrythought


  • Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 10:14 am

    Natalie Harney - This post speaks to my soul on a deep and spiritual level. I’m 100% a bread and butter girl and these look incredible, I’m just imagining that garlic and basil one on fresh bread at a picnic

    – Natalie

    • Friday, April 14, 2017 - 9:00 am

      Manda - Yes, you must try it!! It’s so.good. And now I’m thinking my bread & butter and I should go on a picnic today! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 7:08 am

    Maha Khan - Wonderful recipe.I like this and I think this is very delicious.
    I am going to make this recipe for my family and husband
    Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel


Maybe this title should be DIY Watering Jar? Either way… this post is bringing me back to the days when DIY was less for fun and more just for practical, everyday use. Honestly, I wasn’t even going to share this on here but I’ve been using this every day – so maybe one of you will need one for something similar! Since I started my seeds for my new garden this year, I needed a watering can that could hold more than 1/2 cup of water like the one I have now – I have to refill it 50 times to water all the plants throughout the house. I’ve had my eyes on a few beautiful watering cans (here. here. and here.) for around the house but hadn’t committed to one yet and my little seedlings are popping up and need some water! So I grabbed an old pickle jar that was about to go out with the recycling and put together this little watering can with some scrap leather!DIY Watering Can @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Old jar
-Leather lace
-Leather strip
Leather punch
-Heavy duty super glue
-Paint brush
DIY Watering Can @themerrythoughtDIY Watering Can @themerrythoughtHow to make it:
-Drill small holes for the water on one side of the lid.
-Drill a few air holes on the opposite side of the lid.
-Paint lid if desired.
-Cut leather strap to length – so it reach the neck of the jar and wraps at least halfway under the bottom of the jar with room for your hand to grab in along the side.
-Punch two holes along the top of the leather and thread the leather lace through and secure around the neck of the jar.
-Use the glue to secure the leather strap along the bottom of the jar. Hold in place and let dry completely before use.
DIY Watering Can @themerrythoughtDIY Watering Can @themerrythoughtSuper simple, super useful and I don’t hate how it looks on my shelf.:)That’s a win in my book!

xo. Caitlin

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 12:05 pm

    /ks - That sure is a pretty neat watering jar (: Thanks for the DIY – it’s a really good idea. Did you glue the end of the strap in the middle of the bottom, or how did you do that?
    I like your blog!

    • Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 10:08 am

      Caitlin McGrath - The strap is glued along the whole bottom side of the jar – from the edge of the jar into the center.ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 3:38 pm

    Natalie - This is such a lovely idea, and the little handle is so cute. I’m currently using an old water bottle for all of my watering needs but this is much nicer

    – Natalie

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 9:19 am

    Steph - This is awesome. So glad you shared it :)ReplyCancel


Gardening for Beginners: Getting Started @themerrythoughtIf you’ve been reading along, you probably know that my cousin bought a house last year and we’ve been working on renovating and finally got to move in this winter! One of the things I was most excited about was finally having a backyard space! After living in an upstairs apartment with no outdoor space for five years, it was about time! One of my goals I’ve had for years was to start a garden once I had a patch of yard to call my own. So this year I’ve decided to attempt to learn how to garden! I don’t have a green thumb at all but my Aunt and Uncle have the most incredible gardens at their house and they said they would be willing to help me start my own! So I’ve decided to share the journey on here – partly because I need the accountability so I actually go through with it (ha!) and partly because I’m so excited about it and am hoping someone else might want to jump in with me and start your own! Today I’m just taking you through the beginning steps that I’ve taken to get things started!Gardening for Beginners: Getting Started @themerrythoughtHere’s a run down of what I’m growing this year:
Carrots, garlic, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, asparagus, cucumbers, jalapeño, brussels sprouts, kale, greens mix, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, lavender, and basil.

Some of the regulars (tomatoes, onions, etc) are missing because eww or I just wouldn’t use them enough for it to be worth it. But I’ll share some tips for all of the veggies and herbs that I’m trying out this year.

What to buy:
-Potting Soil
-Seed Starter Kit
-5″ Plastic Pots

Getting started:
-Set up a space where you won’t mind soil getting everywhere.
-Take your bag of potting soil and set aside a few handfuls of dry soil.
-Leave the rest of the soil in the bag and mix water directly into bag until the soil is about the texture of pie crust – not too wet! When you squeeze it, it should stay together but you should still be able crumble it apart easily.Gardening for Beginners: Getting Started @themerrythoughtI started with my seed starter kit – it had five little trays inside with 10 holes per tray. I assigned one vegetable per tray so that if one starts growing quicker than the others, I can remove it and plant it as needed. I used this for the kale, mesclun greens mix, cucumbers, jalapeño, and brussels sprouts.
-Fill each hole with lightly packed soil up to the brim of the tray.
-Create a small hole for the seed (make sure you are making them the depth noted on each individual seed pack.)
-Place two seeds in each hole.
-Cover with a thin layer of the dry soil.
-Label each tray so you remember what is planted inside – I used popsicle sticks.
-Cover tray with a plastic cover (mine came with one) and place in a warm place.
*-Once they start sprouting, they must be in a warm, sunny place.

For my herbs (thyme, cilantro, rosemary, lavender, basil), I used 5″ plastic pots.
-Fill each pot mostly full with lightly packed soil.
-Lightly scatter seeds across the top of the soil.
-Cover with a thin layer of dry soil.
-Label each pot.
-Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place.
*-Once they start sprouting, they must be in a warm, sunny place.

For the sweet potatoes
-I purchased organic sweet potatoes from the store
-Fill glass mostly with water and place one end of the sweet potato inside.
-You can use toothpicks in the sides to help hold it up in the glass.
-Wait until it starts to sprout.

On my TO BUY list for the next step are:
-Carrot seeds (these will go directly into the garden)
-Rhubarb plant
-Asparagus plant

Are you still with me? Have you done any gardening? Planning on trying this year?

xo. CaitlinGardening for Beginners: Getting Started @themerrythought

  • Friday, April 7, 2017 - 2:10 pm

    Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake - Aaahhh I’m so excited for you! And also for spring :) . I started gardening two seasons ago with flowers and then grew herbs last season. They were truly the most delicious herbs I’ve ever had!ReplyCancel

  • Friday, April 7, 2017 - 3:32 pm

    Niki LaRock - We started our planting indoors WAY too early this year. We planted cucumbers, radishes, green onions and a few different flower varieties. Definitely learned our lesson for next year to wait until late March early April.ReplyCancel

  • Friday, April 14, 2017 - 2:08 am

    Lucy M. Clark - It will be very exciting! You will definitely enjoy gardening. I am also doing gardening and I feel connected with nature. This is so refreshing to visit the garden in morning.ReplyCancel


DIY Wooden Paper Towel Stand @themerrythoughtSince the kitchen renovation we had been in the habit of throwing our roll of paper towels haphazardly into our pantry most times after we use it because we couldn’t decide where to put a paper towel bar. Lately our paper towel roll has been found out on the counter more often after use and I decided to whip together a simple stand for it so that it looks like it belongs out there. A little unfinished wood and leather (a few of my favoriteeee things) and our paper towels now have a home!DIY Wooden Paper Towel Stand @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-6″ round piece of wood – look for clock faces or flat plaques
-1″ dowel
-Hand saw
-Forstner bit
-Wood glue
-1/2″ brad nail

How to make it:
-Use your hand saw to cut your dowel to 15″ long.
-Use the saw along the top of the dowel to create an angled side along the top.
-Cut a 2.5″ long strip of leather and fold in half.
-Use the hammer & nail to secure the leather in place along the angled side of the dowel.
-Use a drill and a forstner bit the same width as the dowel to create a hole in the center of the 6″ round piece of wood. Drill most of the way through the wood but not completely.
-Use wood glue to secure the bottom of dowel into the drilled hole (making sure it is standing up straight) and let it dry.
DIY Wooden Paper Towel Stand @themerrythoughtDIY Wooden Paper Towel Stand @themerrythoughtDIY Wooden Paper Towel Stand @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin


Roasted Tomato & Artichoke Grilled Cheese @themerrythoughtGrilled cheese is a favorite comfort food for so many of us. And since April is National Grilled Cheese month, you can feel free to indulge a few times this month! I like to try adding different ingredients and cheeses to my sandwiches to keep things interesting. A couple years ago we shared a post with 10 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (yes, go check it out they are a must try!). And since then, I’ve been loving creating new, delicious sandwiches.
This time I used a couple favorite veggies, tomatoes & artichokes, roasting both beforehand. (I think the sandwiches would still be great without roasting if you’re in a hurry and need to skip that step). And I used a couple of my favorite kinds of cheese: fresh mozzarella (can never go wrong there) and gouda, which I think is my all time favorite cheese. Ever. These warm, gooey, flavorful sandwiches have quickly become a favorite! I didn’t list measurements for this, as I feel liked grilled cheese is an add-as-much-as you-like kind of recipe. Plus every ingredient amount would change depending on how many sandwiches you make.Roasted Tomato & Artichoke Grilled Cheese @themerrythoughtRoasted Tomato & Artichoke Grilled Cheese @themerrythoughtRoasted Tomato & Artichoke Grilled Cheese

tomatoes, cut into slices
artichokes, halved and patted dry (I did use canned)
garlic clove, minced
olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
fresh mozzarella, sliced
gouda, shredded
basil pesto
good bread, sliced (I used Garlic Tuscan)
butter, softened

Preaheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and lightly grease. In a small bowl mix together olive oil and minced garlic. Gently stir in tomato slices & artichoke halves until coated. Arrange on baking sheet in a single layer. Season with salt & pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes (the timing really depends on how thick your slices are and how many you have on the pan, so just keep an eye on them) or until soft and beginning to brown on the edges.

Spread pesto on the inside of a slice bread. Top with cheeses, tomatoes and artichokes. Top with another bread slice, butter the outside of both bread slices, and cook on a flat skillet over medium low heat until golden. Enjoy!
Roasted Tomato & Artichoke Grilled Cheese @themerrythoughtRoasted Tomato & Artichoke Grilled Cheese @themerrythoughtAny favorite grilled cheese recipes we should try out this month?


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  • Monday, April 17, 2017 - 8:21 pm

    Ivory - This sandwich looks so tasty. Thanks!ReplyCancel