Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crafty Before and Afters

Last year I made a fall wreath using supplies I had at home. While I liked the look of it, several months of working with silks and making wreaths at work inspired me to improve it.



I like the improved look much better!

I recently acquired (for FREE!) a mirror from our delivery driver at work. I love the shape, but the bright yellow and scratches were not pretty. I had a can of red paint left over from painting my desk, so my free mirror got a free makeover.



Much better.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Easton Henry Miracle 10.21.11

I am officially an aunt!
My nephew Easton Henry Miracle arrived last Friday morning!
This past week I've been in Texas with my mom helping Dustin and Elissa out with their new arrival! I will post more pictures later this week :).
Isn't he adorable!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Good Eats

These are some of the recipes we've tried the past couple weeks!
Sorry there's no pictures- we were too busy eating :).

Spicy Hummus
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 rounded tablespoons tahini sesame paste
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Pita breads, grilled and cut into wedges for dipping
Combine beans, tahini, oil, pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, garlic, salt, and lemon juice in food processor bowl and grind into a smooth paste. Transfer to a small dip dish and surround spread with warm pita wedges. *Recipe from the Food Network

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Saute sweet potatoes and onion in 1 T. oil just until tender. Add black beans, cumin, cinnamon, and salt, cook until heated through. Divide bean mixture and cheese among tortillas and roll up. Place in 9x13 in. baking pan. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, and fresh cilantro. *Recipe from "Simply in Season"

Baked Penne with Zucchini
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced, about 6 cups
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 jar (26 oz.) pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, optional
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish. Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat oil in skillet, saute zucchini, pepper, and garlic until tender (about 5-10 minutes on medium heat). Add pasta sauce and basil. Transfer cooked pasta to baking dish. Top with pasta sauce zucchini mixture. Top with shredded cheese and parmesan. Bake for 20-30 minutes until heated through. Serve hot.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Menu Plan

Last weeks menu was AWESOME!
I will try to post those recipes at some point this week.
We went to the farmer's market on Saturday and got some great deals on peppers, zucchini, watermelon, and sweet potatoes! Can't wait to use it all up in meals this week :).

What's For Dinner?
  • "Chicken" (Lentil) Noodle Soup
  • Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos
  • Baked Penne with Zucchini
  • Scrambled Eggs with Sausage, Peppers, and Broccoli
  • *Leftovers eaten for lunches and in-between days

A couple things I've learned from cooking with mostly beans and vegetables...

  1. A good food processor is a necessity.
  2. Stock up on spices, onions, and garlic (almost every Veggie recipe I've used calls for these).
  3. Don't rush, be patient. Cooking beans and veggies takes longer than most meats.


Did you know toasted cashews smell like fried chicken?!

1/4 lb. pork sausage (one serving) has 200 calories and 7 grams protein. 1/4 cup lentils (one serving) has 80 calories and 10 grams protein. CRAZY.

Monday, October 3, 2011

3/4 Vegetarian

I don't blog recipes a lot... and when I do it's usually a dessert :).
I've toyed with the idea of blogging weekly menu plans for awhile now for these reasons:
  • Spend less on groceries
  • Stay more organized
  • Avoid the evening panic of "what's for dinner???!"
Over the past couple months DJ and I have talked about going more meatless in our diets. We are not ready to give up meat entirely (not sure we ever will, I love a good hamburger :), but in an effort to decrease our carbon footprint on the earth, the growing costs of meat products, and an increased knowledge of animal slaughter (ugh), we are ready to go vegetarian for most of our meals.

Since there are only two of us, I will plan three vegetarian meals a week and one meat inclusive meal a week (mainly chicken or fish).

So far the challenge has been getting used to the different flavors and textures of veggie dishes. Veggie meals use lots of spices I wouldn't normally have in my cupboard. The protein in the dishes are also flavors we're not used to eating a lot of (chickpeas, tahini, and edamame, lentils).

This is our second week of going mainly Veggie. We are enjoying the challenge of grocery shopping for new ingredients and trying out new recipes! We have switched grocery stores as well. Our Walmart's produce and ingredients are lacking in quality and quantity... like finding half eaten apples on the display... or being completely out of carrots!! So, we are now shopping our local Dillons, which is WONDERFUL. I thought we would be spending more on groceries at Dillons but we're actually spending less. Plus we get gas points for money off at the pump, AWESOME.

I am really hoping we can stick to this. My biggest concern is that we get enough protein and actually feel full at the end of a meal. So far it's been great. I am also very lucky to have a husband who's not a picky eater. He'll eat whatever concoction, veggie or meat, that is put on the table!

  • Dilled Crockpot Chicken, butter brickle cake (yummy)
  • Spicy Hummus with toasted pita, salad, tropical fruit
  • Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna, salad
  • Curried Cashew Burgers, salad
  • *leftovers eaten for lunches and in-between days
If it's a great recipe I will try to post it on the blog :)