Monday, November 25, 2013

Menu and Recipe Review (trying to get back on track)

I don't even know where the time has gone. Wait, no. . .I do know. I was preparing for this past weekend. I'll share some of what that entailed later. For now, it's been a whole heap of too long of a time since I shared my menu and recipe review with you. Here goes.


Breakfasts: Cereal, Smoothies, Cheese omelets, Raspberry and Oatmeal Swirls (parfaits), Whole Wheat Waffles, Eggs and toast
Raspberry and Oatmeal Swirls
 
Lunches: Soup w/grilled cheese, Tuna Noodles, Pita cheese pizzas, Turkey sandwiches, Leftovers, Cheese Pizza

Fancy Mac and Cheese from The Pioneer Woman
Dinners
Fancy Mac and Cheese (1/2 recipe w/no meat) w/steamed broccoli
Veggie Burgers w/Sweet Potato Fries
Spicy Peanut Butter Tofu w/Green beans & rice mix

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Recipe Review

While I haven't shared my menu in a few weeks, I've still been making the menu. As such, I have quite a few recipes to review. I do apologize for getting so far behind. 

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce from The Mushroom Channel

Pasta with creamy mushroom sauce:This recipe came together pretty quickly and was tasty indeed. I did add a touch of wine with the cream for some additional flavor. This is supposed to be for 4, but I think it could feed 6 or more. It's a TON of food! I'm looking forward to the leftovers. I will possibly make it again, though only as a splurge as the fat and calorie count on this one is pretty high.

Lettuce wraps with peanut-hoisin sauce: These were pretty good, but really made a mess of the kitchen. If I could find a way to narrow down the number of pots, pans, and dishes used then it would totally be a winner. I might make it again.

Roasted cauliflower & butternut squash: I'll admit that this was a recipe just to see if we even like Butternut squash as neither Pat nor I had ever eaten it. I felt we were safe to try it with the cauliflower as I knew we would eat that. In the end, we liked it pretty well. I probably won't make this exact recipe again unless feeding a crowd as it was a ton of food. Tasty, but just too much for the two of us.

Roasted broccoli & cheddar soup: This was okay. It wasn't as thick or as creamy as I had hoped but it was super easy. I will continue to search for an awesome broccoli soup recipe.

Caprese Cordon Bleu from The Fit Cook
Caprese cordon bleu: I think Pat really liked this one. As soon as he bit into it, he started nodding. Of course, I'm not sure if it was the stuffing or the general fried-like texture of the chicken that he liked. In any case, I also really enjoyed it so I may just make it again.

Baked mac-n-cheese: It was okay. It came together quickly, but the cheeses just didn't meld together. It wasn't creamy. The best part was that I accidentally added too much granulated garlic and that gave it the best flavor.

Slow cooker black bean soup with shredded pork: Meh. It was edible. The pork was good, but the beans just didn't seem to be done. There was very little flavor. I probably won't make it again.

Sauteed tofu (minus the greens): This had a really good flavor and I may use the marinade again.

Amish breakfast casserole (1/2 recipe): This was really yummy. Super rich, but really yummy. We even ate all the leftovers. I will make it again sometime but rarely because of the richness.

Pecan Pie Muffins from MissAmy on Tasty Kitchen

Pecan pie muffins: I have made these before. They are really yummy, but so very sweet they really are just about a dessert. I'll make again, but also rarely.

Fontal polenta with mushroom saute: I have made this before and loved it even more the second time around. Here's the link to my first review. I'm still not sure Pat's convinced about it, but he ate it. I will likely make again.

Thanks for letting me catch up a little. Now that I've finished that list, I'm feeling a little famished. I'm so excited about the fancy mac and cheese, it's one of my favorites!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On and Off the Craft Table

Is it just me or is it the nature of a Monday to progress out of our control? And, now I'm thinking Tuesdays have a similar ability as it is now Wednesday and I can't figure out where all my time has gone. In any case, it's past time for a blog post and I thought that today I'd show you some of the items that have recently come off my desk and what's currently on it. Let me start with the completed bits.

As I was organizing the bead cabinet last week, I pulled aside any beads that were just down to pairs and bagged those up for earrings. While watching college football over the weekend, I turned those pairs into some earrings.

This bracelet and necklace (not a set) were also pulled together recently. The pendant on the necklace was one of the resin pieces from last week.

I worked on some decoupaged pendants from Tim Holtz tags and book images. One quickly turned into a necklace.

I still have to finish the backs on the other two.

So that's one of the things to do on my desk, another is to finish working on this. . .concoction. 
That's some kind of hardware piece that I found (somewhere) that I'm working on altering. It started as just the hoop portion with the outer prongs.

Where my arrows are (above) I filled in the prongs with some jewelry clay, inserted head pins into them, and sprinkled with some matching Pearl X Powder. It's now cured so I can start deciding what to do with the rest of it. I'm totally thinking more resin-ating inside the circle as well as the outer ring. I'm kinda excited about it.

Last, I really need to sort through my recently made jewelry and get some pictures of it. This is my 'bucket' of new jewelry that hasn't been photographed for the shop yet. Yeah, I'm real organized with my PILE of jewelry.
I don't know how I let myself get so far behind on these things. Taking pictures of these is going to be an ALL DAY process. Sigh!

So that's what's been going on in my corner of the crafty world. What about in yours?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Currently I'm. . .

Bookmarking: Most recently, I shared/re-pinned the following on Pintrest
Lemon Chicken Parmesean
DIY Faux Druzy Necklace

Creating: I’ve been making all kinds of stuff this week, but the major thing(s) was my resin-ating of these beauties.
I like all of these and have a few favorites, but how cool are those Christmas lights!?

Enjoying: The cooler weather. I can actually wear my fun, colorful tights again. I do love some brightly-hued legs.
Feeling: Really good about our diet this week. We got a Ninja blender last weekend and have made a ton of green smoothies. In addition, we also packed in a lot of other healthy foods.
I learned how to get the fruit out of a pomegranate yesterday, but not without this massacre scene.

Giggling: Over this picture. It’s not appropriate in the least for its language and content, so I won't share it here except for the link. But it seriously cracks me up. Be warned.
Hoping: My sunflowers last a good long time, they do brighten my kitchen so!
They were an impulse purchase at the grocery store. I couldn't resist their beauty!

Needing
: To get organized. Something about Fall hitting full force has had me straightening the house and craft room. You might have seen my bead cabinet post, but I also organized my washi tape collection.
I really love this tape, despite not finding a way to use it consistently. I can't help but buy it though!

Reading: Pat got me Allegiant for my birthday and I’m really close to finishing it. Other friends who have read it seem desperate to discuss it. So I’m interested in seeing how it all ends.
Watching: It’s a Saturday in the Fall, so College Football obviously! Roll Tide!!
Wearing: Again, it’s college football Saturday so I’ve got my favorite Alabama t-shirt on.
Wishing: The days didn’t seem so short since the time change. I really don’t like it getting dark so soon in the evenings, but I do love the golden color as the sun starts to set.
I had to pull onto the side of the road when I saw the golden light in the oak trees. It was spectacular.

Wondering: If I can eke in some jewelry-making while I watch the games today.

Since there was a great deal of interest in the last blog post I wrote in this format I thought I'd share a longer list of topic prompts that I compiled. Here ya go!

Bookmarking
Cooking
Creating
Drinking
Eating
Enjoying
Feeling
Giggling
Hoping
Knowing
Liking
Listening
Listing
Looking
Loving
Making
Marveling
Needing
Noticing
Opening
Playing
Reading
Sewing
Smelling
Thinking
Waiting
Wanting
Wasting
Wearing
Wishing
Wondering

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Bead Cabinet

Way back in August I showed off some of my most recent Thrift store scores. Among them was this amazing cabinet.
Remember that beauty!?

While I've had it for about three months now, I just recently finished organizing and labeling it. There are 33 drawers in all and I've filled all but six of them. Deciding how to organize my beads was easy. . .ROYGBIV order, obviously! And filling them wasn't a problem either.
 

Most of my clear plastic containers fit in it, no problem.

I did get stumped when it came to labeling the thing. I started by just sticking on some post-its. Those stayed there for WAY too long.

As you can see, the cabinet has built in areas for labels, but I wasn't sure exactly how crafty I wanted to get to make the labels. In the end, I went simple and pulled out a multitude of colored cardstock.

The small rectangle was my template for all the other sheets. I matched up the color of cardstock to the color of beads inside. It got tricky when it came to the metal beads, multi-colored beads, clear beads, crystals, and miscellaneous bits, but I worked it out with some non-solid papers, vellum, and a trip to the craft store.

Before long, it was all labeled!

Upper drawers
You can see that I just used an old-school label-maker to write out the actual words.

Lower cabinets
I even used different colored labels to distinguish between beads and findings.

The mixed metal bead drawers are probably my favorite labels. The paper is an almost glitter, bumpy paper that shines some. It's perfect for metal.

I could keep showing you pictures of my awesome bead cabinet but that just wouldn't be right. I don't like to be a show-off. I just wanted to make sure I shared what became of my thrift store find.

How would you have made the labels for the cabinet and would you have organized it differently?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Avocado Veggie Dip Recipe, Menu, and Recipe Review

Let me start by thanking all of you for your kind words and support in regard to my Halloween tribute to Crissy. Your response was really overwhelming and I'm so thankful to have an encouraging online family like y'all. It meant more to me than you know. Thank you.

Now, I stayed so busy making my meal plan and getting photos of the recipe below that I just didn't get a chance to share either of them with y'all yesterday. I'm not going to let all that hard work go to waste. 

Breakfasts: Smoothies; Yougurt w/granola & berries; Juice; Freezer meal (waffles, pancakes, or egg sandwich); Eggs w/bacon, toast, & fruit; PB&J croissants

Lunches: Cheese quesidillas w/salsa & fruit, Soup w/grilled cheese, Bean burritos, Chicken salad sandwiches w/veggies & string cheese, Cheese pizza w/salad, Hummus pita w/veggies, Leftovers

Dinners:
Ravioli in marinara w/ salad
Chicken Caprese cordon bleu w/smashed potatoes & peas

I'm going to try to link this up to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie, but since it is Tuesday....we'll see.
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Recipe Review
  • Spicy honey roasted chicken: This was really easy to make and was quite tasty. I will admit that I don't eat the skin and that's where all the spicy honey flavor was so I didn't really get any of that. I may make this again.
  • Easy blueberry muffins: These were really delish and LOADED with blueberries. I think I want to try them with wheat flour next time, but otherwise they were great!
  • Wild mushroom pattitsio: This was really kind of blah. I read all the reviews and a few said the same thing, but I didn't believe them as all the ingredients sounded yummy. It wasn't BAD per se, it was just bland and boring without much flavor. I thought I fixed that with some white wine and additional garlic and ground mustard, but nope. Bland as all get out. I'm pretty sure I won't make this again.
  • Beef with snow peas: I have made this recipe several times before. It is always quite yummy and will definitely be made again.
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I absolutely love avocados, but since the hubby isn't fond of them I don't include them in a lot of meal plans. I do tend to add them to the side of some dishes if possible though. However, they often ripen before I remember I have them. When that happens, I make this yummy veggie dip. It's pretty much a version of this Greek Yogurt dip recipe but with more avocado, less yogurt, and onions added. It comes together pretty quickly. I like to make it in a plastic container to keep the mess down as well as to go ahead and stash it in the fridge.

Avocado Veggie Dip
Ingredients: (all to taste)
Avocado(s)
Onion
Cucumber
Tomato
Lime (juice from 1/2)
Plain Greek yogurt
Salt & pepper
Granulated garlic
Dill
I know there aren't any exact measurements, I just tweak it according to my taste and what I have on hand. In this case; I used 2 avocados, 3 grape tomatoes, 1/4 an onion, and 1/5 a cucumber.
1- Dice the avocado(s) in their shells and scoop the meat out. Then, mash the avocado.
2- Dice the other veggies fairly small and add them to the bowl.
3- Squeeze in some lime juice (this just keeps the avocado from browning and looking nasty).
4- Add yogurt (I probably added about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup) and mix. Add more until you get your desired consistently.
5- Add salt, pepper, garlic, and dill to taste.
6- Store in fridge for at least 30 minutes to let flavors meld, though eating it right away isn't unheard of.
I like this dip on wheat crackers or other veggies, though I could probably just eat it by the spoonful.

Enjoy!!