Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Gift



With Christmas right around the corner, we're getting ready for our Christmas lunch/ Secret Santa reveal at work. For the past couple months we have been exchanging little gifts, candy, etc. You know the drill.  Well, I have a few things around for my person, but I wanted to make her something.  Before we began, we each filled out a sheet to give ideas of what we liked.  This saying was my person's favorite so I wanted to make a picture with it displayed. 
I would really liked to have had more time (because 2 months just isn't enough ;). I would have done it with paints like I did for the picture I made my Father in law. Being that I was a procrastinator, I decide to use a permanent marker instead.  It was much faster and it actually worked well.  
If you would like to make something like this, it was easy, cheap, and it will mean something to her. 

All you need is:

Picture frame (I found one at Good Will)
Burlap
Permanent marker
Scissors
Duct Tape (that's right!)

1. Find a picture frame you like.  Pick a phrase.
2.  Remove whatever is in picture frame and clean glass well. 
3.  Measure the burlap and cut.
4.  Write saying. 
5.  Replace burlap for the paper in frame. 
6.  Put backing on.  Because I didn't have staples, I neatly placed duct tape.  Grandpa was right, you can use duct tape for everything.  Don't judge. ;)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Juicy Orange Slices

 We've been wanting to do this for awhile. We found this recipe in our cookbook. They were so good, my mom asked us to make them for a party we're having next week.
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
4 Oranges
1 lemon (lemon juice works too)
1 1/2 tbs. Sugar
 
TOOLS:
 
Bowl
1 tablespoon
A knife
plate
 
 
 
 
1.  Peel the oranges.
 
 
 
2. Then cut the oranges in slices and take out the seeds.
 
 
 
 
 
3. Put the lemon juice in the bowl.
 
 
 
4. Then drizzle it over the orange slices, or squirt a few drops of the fresh lemon juice over them.
 
 
 
 5. Then sprinkle sugar over them.
 
6. Refrigerate them for five minutes.
 
 
 
 Enjoy!!!
 
 
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Quick and Easy Fiesta Chicken Bake

This morning as I was wondering what to make for lunch, I went to the cupboard and saw that we had some chicken, a little rice, and lots of tomato soups, pastes, and other tomato-ey cans of food. So I looked up what I could make and BAM! Fiesta Chicken Bake! :)
This recipe is so easy! It literally took me 5 minutes to throw together! What you'll need:

1 - 11x7 inch dish
1 can tomato condensed soup
3/4 c. rice
3/4 c. water
1 tsp. chili powder
A dash of salt
A dash of pepper
2-4 chicken breasts

First preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next mix your tomato soup, rice, water, chili powder, salt and pepper in your baking dish.

After you have mixed the above ingredients together. Lay 2 to 4 thawed chicken breasts on top of the mixture. (I just made two chicken breasts for the two of us.) If you like, season with some more chili powder on top of the chicken to add flavor.

Put a lid on the dish and bake for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Black Bean & Sweet Potato "Chili"

This time of year is the best for those hearty, warm meals. Not long ago we were outside enjoying the crisp fall air and the crunchy leaves on the ground. Now you can't even see the ground! The snow came hard and fast this year. Which makes it the perfect time for a meal like this one.

This recipe is great for a cold day! It's full of flavor and really fills you up. I made it meatless, but you could certainly add some in there if you'd like. :) It's hearty and healthy!


Ingredients

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tsp. garlic paste
2-3 c. vegetable or chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss diced sweet potatoes in a little olive oil to coat and spread on a large baking sheet.
Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are becoming tender and edges are starting to "roast".
While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, heat a large pan or dutch oven on the stovetop over med-high heat.
Add a little olive oil and toss in the onions, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until veggies are becoming tender, but not mushy.
Add remaining ingredients (except the potatoes) and bring to a boil.
Once it reaches boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Stir in sweet potatoes a few minutes before serving.
Serve with your favorite breadsticks or cornbread. :)









Monday, November 17, 2014

Oven Roasted Buddha Bowl

Until a few months ago, I had never heard of a buddha bowl. I wasn't even really sure why it was called that until I looked it up. Basically, what I found was a compilation of opinions on what a buddha bowl is. What it boils down to is that a buddha bowl is meant to cleanse your mind and body. It is generally whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.) and fresh vegetables (cooked or raw). A yummy pile of good-for-you deliciousness.

Since there are so many variations, there are no wrong vegetables to use. This is a very basic recipe so go ahead and add any veggies or fresh herbs you get the hankering to toss in there. If you aren't sure about the garbanzo beans, please just try it! My husband and I both agree that they add so much to this dish. If you decide you don't like them, they are very easy to pick out. :)

We've made buddha bowls so many times since we found the first recipe. They also never taste the same for us! We have a tendency to mix it up and never really quite follow a recipe for cooking. Baking is another story, but when we cook, a recipe always tastes similar, but never the exact same. The recipe below is the base of what we generally make. The best part is that no matter how we make it, we both always enjoy it. It's a great go-to meal that is easy and you feel good about eating. Which is good, cuz I think that's the whole point. :)

*If you don't like the dressing, or don't have nutritional yeast, feel free to use your dressing of choice. However, I strongly suggest giving this dressing a shot. Just remember, a little goes a long way. :)


Ingredients

1 small head cauliflower
1 small head broccoli
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas or garbanzo beans
olive oil
salt & pepper
brown rice or quinoa, cooked

Dressing
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic paste
1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
1/3-1/2 c. water
salt & pepper


Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Clean and chop the broccoli and cauliflower into florets. 
Dab dry with paper towels, if needed.
Rinse and drain chickpeas.
Place on paper towels and pat dry.
Combine broccoli, cauliflower, and chickpeas in a large bowl.
Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top. 
Gently stir, adding a little more oil if needed to coat it all evenly.
Add salt and pepper and gently stir again.
Spread on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
(If you have more veggies than me, it will be pretty full. You may need to use 2 sheet pans.)
Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes without touching them.
Gently shake pan to move the chickpeas around and return to the oven.
Bake another 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender and edges are crispy.
While the veggies are roasting, go ahead and make your dressing.
Add all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Set the dressing aside. (It will be pretty runny.)
When veggies and chickpeas are done, remove from the oven.
Scoop onto a bed of quinoa or brown rice and toss.
Serve immediately with dressing drizzled over the top.

************************************************************************

(Directions with Photos)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Clean and chop the broccoli and cauliflower into florets. 
Dab dry with paper towels, if needed.


Rinse and drain chickpeas.
Place on paper towels.


Gently pat dry.



Combine broccoli, cauliflower, and chickpeas in a large bowl.


Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top. 


Gently stir, adding a little more oil if needed to coat it all evenly.


Add salt and pepper and gently stir again.


Spread on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
(If you have more veggies than me, it will be pretty full. You may need to use 2 sheet pans.)
Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes without touching them.


Gently shake pan to move the chickpeas around and return to the oven.
Bake another 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender and edges are crispy.


While the veggies are roasting, go ahead and make your dressing.
Add all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Set the dressing aside. (It will be pretty runny.)


When veggies and chickpeas are done, remove from the oven.


Scoop onto a bed of quinoa or brown rice and toss.
Serve immediately with dressing drizzled over the top.








Friday, November 14, 2014

Quick Chicken Alfredo



I don't know about you but I am in a cooking rut!  Let's be truthful.  It's actually what you would call lazy.  Now working full time, the last thing I want to do is get in the kitchen at 5:00 and start dinner.  However, as much as we love hummus (which we pretty much live on hummus lately), I think I need to start getting in the kitchen and making some real dinner. 

With that in mind, I got home last night a little after 5 and decided to make something. The stipulation being that it was quick.  Mike and I had a Kroger coupon for a free Prego (gotta love Kroger coupons.  If you don't have a Kroger in your area, you're missing out), so we decided to try the alfredo that was available.  

Looking in the pantry, the alfredo was sitting there, along with the rotini noodles.  Figuring I better use up the broccoli before we let it go bad, broccoli chicken alfredo was the obvious choice.  Would throw some green beans as a side dish and ...done. 

It was a quick meal...not hummus...and I got in the kitchen.  All in all, it was a successful evening. 

(By the way...anyone with easy meal ideas, Mike and I would surely appreciate them. ;)

QUICK CHICKEN ALFREDO

Rotini noodles
Chicken tenders
(worshteshire, liquid smoke, minced garlic, salt, and pepper)
1 large onion
broccoli
Alfredo


1. Prepare noodles according to package.  I made 3 servings. 

2. Saute brocolli until just tender. 


3. Set aside the alfedo sauce you will be using. 


4.  While the noodles are being prepared, cook your chicken with seasonings of your preference. I just used Worcestershire (hence the beautiful color), a little liquid smoke, garlic, salt, and pepper. 


5. In a separate pan, saute onions to your liking. 


6.  Add a good tablespoon of minced garlic. 


7. Throw all the ingredients together. 


8.Stir in the alfredo, season more if you would like, and heat through.  All done!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Buried Treasure Muffins


Ingredients:
 
      3/4 c.  flour
3/4 c.  cornmeal
1/4 c.  sugar
2 tsp.  baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 egg
1/4 c.  oil
3/4 c.  milk
3/4 c. fresh fruit (Optional coconut or
cheddar cheese instead)
  
Tools:

muffin tin
12 paper muffin cups
2 bowls
mixing spoon
measuring cups and spoons

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Get out your muffin tin and fill with paper muffin liners.
 (If you don't have paper muffin cups, you'll have to get your fingers greasy with butter or solid shortening and then smear them around the inside of the 12 cups of the muffin tin.
2. In a big enough mixing bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. In another bowl, break the egg and then mix with the milk and oil.
4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until it's a little lumpy.
5. Now add the fruit and take a medium scoop to scoop it in the muffin tin (or muffin
cups.)
 6. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Enjoy the muffins!!!