Family weekend is over. My parents and Harper made it safely home late last night. Classes started back again like normal today. (A three hour night class given me reason to dread Mondays.) Life goes on. I treasured every minute I got to spend with little princess Harper. She is getting so big! Her #1 request was that we do arts and crafts, so early Saturday morning we got to work.
In whispers (my roommates were asleep) we exclaimed at each others beautiful cards and caught up on six weeks worth of crafting. Here is the card Harper made. She put so much work into it. Both sides reflect each other. She said this would surprise whoever she gave it to. I was surprised myself at how good she has gotten at gluing, cutting, stamping, tracing, and punching. She is the craftiest 6 year old I know.
Here is a recipe that I absolutely love for a quick Asian flared stir fried noodle bowl. I love how Asian dishes can incorporate so many vegetables. They give a dish a color and character. Who knew veggies could be beautiful?
Single Serving Stir Fried
2 ounces dry spaghetti noodles
1/3 cup frozen and shelled edamame
¼ cup chopped frozen broccoli
2 tbsp chopped onion
3 tbsp shredded carrot
1-2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oil
dash of garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper powder (optional)
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package and allow
it to reach room temperature. Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium sized
pan. Add the vegetables and cook until lightly browned, stirring every so
often. Finally, toss in the pasta, soy sauce, and seasonings. Cook for another
minute or so, stirring so the soy sauce does not burn. Add more soy sauce to
Sorry I have not posted these past couple of days, but I was busy with some long awaited visitors.
Can you guess who drove down to see me? It was family weekend at my college, and Harp, Mom, and Dad drove the 10 long hours down to spend the weekend with me. Unfortunately Sydney couldn't come, but I loved to get to see the rest of my family. Harper's favorite part was the arts and crafts. She was so excited when I told her she could use whatever she wanted to out of my craft supplies. I will share her creation with you soon. It was too cute!
I have good news for all you coffee lovers out there. Today is your holiday- National Coffee Day. As today is National Coffee Day and Sunday, I thought it would be great to share a slow cooker coffee bread recipe. Since I'm not really a coffee fan, I had to put it into a loaf of bread to enjoy it. The smell was amazing, and waiting for the crockpot to finish its job was agonizing. So grab your favorite cup of joe, and dig into a lovely slice of bread.
And, yes, I made a loaf of bread in the crockpot. It was really an ingenious idea, right? As I said before, the worst part was the wait. The whole house smelt like coconut and coffee. When it was finally done, everyone crowded around to admire my delicious creation.
Cooker Gluten Free Coconut Coffee Bread
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 cup oatmeal
2 tsp instant coffee granules
½ cup shredded coconut
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup sugar
½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
¾ cup yogurt
2 tbsp oil
Preheat your Crockpot to high heat. In
a blender or food processor blend together the first 8 ingredients until they
have the consistency of a fine flour. Now blend the last five ingredients until
creamy. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Oil a large loaf pan
and pour the mixture into it. Place two tinfoil balls at the bottom for your
Crockpot, and put your loaf pan on top. Cover and bake on high for 2- 2.5
hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the Crockpot,
let the bread sit for 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack to cool.
My gym professor grew up on a sweet potato farm, and talks about them all the time. Apparently they are a super hard starch to grow, and they require a lot of manual labor to harvest. I have never really been fond of them, but her description of the backbreaking work that it takes to grow them has given me a whole new respect for sweet potatoes. Also, they are a autumn specialty in the south. These sweet potato biscuits give you the full taste of fall. And while you are munching, don't forget to think of the farmers who worked hard to grow those sweet potatoes for you.
10 1 ¼ cup flour 1 tsp baking powder 3 tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon dash of nutmeg ½ tsp salt 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed 1 ripe banana
Place the cubed sweet potato in a
microwavable bowl. Cover it with water, and microwave on high for 6 minutes.
Drain and allow the sweet potato to cool. Blend the banana and sweet potato
into a puree. In a mixing bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients. Add
in the banana and sweet potato puree. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface
about 1” thick. Use a 2” biscuit cutter to make 10 biscuits. Bake on a large
stone at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
I have had too much fun making all these turkey cards lately. This one has feathers made out of a scallop punch. I thought the idea was too cute to pass up.
There is something about steel cut oats that just make them taste more filling and warming than their rolled cousins. They are the perfect autumn morning breakfast before a long day of classes. (Especially when you have to walk ALL across campus to get to these classes. It's the perks of being in the freshmen dorms.) Anyway, this really is the ultimate bowl of oats, complete with bananas and creamy peanut butter. You will never see oats the same way again... Enjoy!
The Ultimate Peanut Butter and
Banana Steel Cut Oats
½ cup steel cut oats
1 ¾ cup water
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup peanut flour
cinnamon, to taste
brown sugar, to taste
Bring the water to a boil and stir in the steel cut oats. Reduce the
heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until all the water has been
absorbed. Blend the peanut butter, bananas, and peanut flour together. Stir it
into the oats. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to taste.
This is one of the cards I made the other day when my friend Virginia and I got together to craft. It was a lot of fun, and it put me in a bit of a Christmas spirit. Only 3 months from today and it will be Christmas!
Are you in the mood for a three course Italian feast? I cannot think of an occasion when I would not be. The following three recipes are Italian inspired with ingredients like pastas, pistachios, and parmesan cheese. (Do you see another theme running?) I hope you enjoy these tasty dishes.
Baked Couscous Balls
½ cup dry couscous
½ cup boiling water
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp hummus
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
Mix the couscous with the boiling water. Cover and let it sit for 5
minutes. Fluff the couscous out, and allow it to cool once all the water has
been absorbed. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the
ingredients together. Roll the mixture into 10 balls. Bake on a nonstick stone
for 30 minutes.
The pasta balls have a crispy outside, soft cheesy inside, and are filled with the flavor of Italian herbs. They far outshine any appetizer you'll find at a cheap Italian chain as will the following pasta carbonara recipe. It's vegetarian because of the lack of bacon in it, but the creamy noodles are so good that you won't miss the meat one bit.
Vegetarian Mushroom Carbonara
1 egg yolk
2 ounces dry spaghetti
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp paste water
Italian seasoning, to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions
on the package, reserving 2 tablespoons of the water. Meanwhile, sauté the
mushrooms in a little oil over medium heat until they are golden brown. Whisk
together the cheese and egg yolk. Once the pasta has cooked, immediately stir
the cheese and egg mixture along with the reserved pasta water into the pasta.
(It has to be super hot for the egg to cook.) Stir in the mushrooms and Italian
seasonings to taste.
Wrap up your meal with these delicious cookies made out of one of the best nuts on earth: pistachios.
three dozen 2 cups oatmeal 2 cups pistachios still in their shells 2 tsp cornstarch 4-6 tbsp almond milk ¼ cup melted coconut oil ¼ cup sugar 1 tsp baking soda 2 tsp vanilla extract 150 grams pitted dates ½ tsp salt
Place the dates in a bowl of very hot
water and allow them to soak for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the oatmeal into
a flour. Stir together the oat flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, and cornstarch.
Shell and chop the pistachios. Drain the water off of the dates and blend them
together with the coconut oil, milk, and vanilla. Mix the wet and dry
ingredients, stirring in the pistachios last. Scoop out one tablespoon at a
time of the dough onto a baking stone and press the balls flat. Bake at 375 for
8-10 minutes. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes before removing to a wire
Not to be outshined by the delicious meal, this pumpkin card is all ready for fall. All I did was cut out three ovals and piece them together to make the pumpkin. It's a super simple and cute trick.
Seriously, I could not get enough of these Greek yogurt muffins. They were fluffy and light unlike your traditional dense muffins, but they still had that quick bread quality about them.
It was love at first bite.
Greek Yogurt Muffins
makes 8 large muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup instant oats
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup sugar
Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat together the
yogurt, oil, and eggs. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Scoop out the
batter evenly into 8 oiled muffin tin holes. Bake in an oven preheated to 350
degrees for 20 minutes.
I am very aware that Thanksgiving is quite a long while away, but I just couldn't help but get ahead of myself with some Turkey Day cards. This one actually features a giant turkey made out of cut out shapes. The body is a medium circle, the head is a slightly smaller one, the feathers are ovals cut in half, the eyes are two hole punches, the wings are ellipses, and the wattle is a cut out heart.
Today's slow cooker recipe is far from your traditional shredded chicken or crockpot soup. Today's recipe is a dessert.
Dessert in the crockpot? No way.
I am not even kidding you. Now you can make an awesome slow cooker chocolate chip cookie cake in miniature. And it is completely cooked in your small crockpot. (I'm sure you could double or triple the recipe for a larger crockpot, but I have not tried it yet.) Enjoy!
Peanutty Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
½ cup peanut flour 1 cup oatmeal 3 tbsp yogurt 28 grams coconut oil ¼ cup milk 1 egg yolk 70 grams pitted dates ¼ cup brown sugar ½ tsp salt 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp cornstarch 3-4 tbsp chocolate chips
Soak the dates in hot water for 10
minutes. Meanwhile, blend the oatmeal into a flour. Mix all the dry ingredients
together. Now blend together the dates, coconut oil, egg yolk, milk, vanilla,
and yogurt. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together. Finally, stir in the
chocolate chips. Line a 2 quart crockpot with tinfoil. Spray the tinfoil with
oil and pour in the dough. Cover and bake on the high heat setting for 75
minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
This card is all out pumpkin for all you pumpkin lovers. From the paper, to the stamp, and even to the ribbon, everything is pumpkin themed. It is the perfect fall card.
Tonight I am just going to do a very quick post. I was out late crafting with one of my new friends. She probably thought I was a bit odd making Christmas cards in September, but we had a great time. I promise to share the cards with you later (and a new folding technique), but tonight I am too lazy to upload the pictures off my camera. You will just have to be satisfied with this super lazy night pasta recipe.
The name is not deceiving. Hummus pasta is basically just hummus, pasta, and some cheese for good measure. It can be quickly thrown together when you are pressed for time, but want something good. Any type of hummus would work, but I used roasted garlic hummus on mine with mozzarella cheese. Other good pairs might be roasted red pepper hummus with goat cheese or plain hummus with feta. Enjoy your Saturday evening (or what's left of it)!
2 ounces penne pasta, dry
3 tbsp hummus (I used garlic and herb flavored hummus.)
1 tbsp pasta water
mozzarella cheese, to taste
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook your pasta according to the
directions on the box, reserving 1 tablespoon of the water. Combine the hummus
and pasta water together. Toss the hummus mixture with the pasta. Sprinkle cheese
on top to serve.
This post is all for Harper. That child east blueberries like none other, but she only likes one brand name of frozen ones. They are good. Even I like them, and I hate blueberries. Anyway, she can just eat a few bowlfuls of blueberries for breakfast and be satisfied, but I like to experiment with what I can use them in. Here is a super quick smoothie recipe and a super filling breakfast pizza recipe. Enjoy the blueberry bonanza!
½ cup milk 2/3 cup fresh blueberries ½ cup fresh strawberries 1 frozen banana 1 stalk celery
Blend together the milk and celery
until there are no more chunks. Add the fruit. Blend until creamy and enjoy!
Banana Breakfast Pizza
1 banana ¼ cup flour 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tbsp sugar ½ cup oatmeal ¼ cup milk ½ tsp cinnamon 2-3 tbsp fresh blueberries
Blend ¼ cup oatmeal into a flour.
Combine the flour, oat flour, oatmeal, sugar, and cinnamon into a bowl. Blend
1/3 of the banana into a puree along with the vanilla and milk. Combine the wet
and dry ingredients. Spread the dough out onto a baking stone or parchment
paper so that it is about ¼ inch thick. Slice the rest of the banana into thin
slices. Press the banana slices and blueberries into the dough. Bake in an oven
preheated to 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before
cutting and serving.
If Harp were here right now, she would be begging me for some blueberries. She'd probably pick them off the pizza and throw the crust and bananas away.
Luckily I got to enjoy every last bite of it myself- down to the very last slice. Delish!
Harper and I might share a fetish for those blueberries, but we both also love to get mail. Here is the latest card I made for her. I cannot wait to see her next week when she and my mom come to visit. Six weeks without my little sis has been so hard! (I don't know how long it will be until I see Syd. She can't make it down next week because of soccer.)
My roommate, Hannah, had her half birthday the other day. I decided to make her something special. The first thing that came to mind was a never ending card. (Remember this one?)
Her favorite color is purple, so it was not hard to choose the color scheme.
These are the types of things you do (and can afford) in college. Having roommates does have its benefits, if not only to make cards for.
18.5 isn't that bad of an age to be. :)
Whenever we go to a Chinese or Japanese restaurant, at least someone in my family is going to order soup. You can get miso soup or clear soup at Japanese places and wonton or egg drop soup at a Chinese restaurant. My favorite are the wonton soup with the meat filled noodles and the clear soup with the pieces of yummy seaweed. Today I decided to blend the two into the ultimate Asian fusion soup. I even took the liberty of replacing the pork inside of traditional wontons with chicken since I'm not much of a pork fan. The results were amazing. Best crossover soup ever.
Chicken Wonton and Seaweed Soup serves 5-6
4 sheets of nori (seaweed)
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup cooked shredded chicken
1 tbsp soy sauce
16 wonton wrappers
Mix 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, the chicken, and the garlic powder together. Place 1 tablespoon in the middle of each wonton wrapper. Wet the sides of the wrappers, pull up the corners to meet in the center, and press the sides together. Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth and 2 teaspoon of soy sauce to a boil. Cut the nori into long strips. Add the nori and wontons to the boiling broth. Cook for 5 minutes and then serve.
Yesterday I mentioned my recent quinoa phase. Today I am going to share how you can incorporate quinoa into three different meals. You can have a whole day of quinoa. Try it and see how one of the world's healthiest grains can be so delicious. (Plus it is gluten free, has lots of protein, and gives you a good serving of whole grain fiber.) Just cook a big batch of quinoa in the morning (I'd advise about 1 cup of dry quinoa for all three recipes.), and you will be set for the rest of the day.
First off on our list of quinoa filled recipes is another muffin recipe. What is a better way to start out your day than by tucking into a nice warm muffin straight from the oven? These are gluten free, so they are perfect for those of you with an intolerance. And those of you who can eat gluten will still love their nutty taste and chewy texture.
Banana Quinoa Muffins makes 12 muffins
1 cup buckwheat flour
2/3 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup quick oats
2 medium bananas, mashed
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup oil
2 tbsp applesauce
¼ cup milk
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and oil a 12 large holed muffin pan.
Mix together the buckwheat flour, salt, baking powder, oats, sugar, baking
soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and quinoa together.
Combine all the ingredients together. Stir until well mixed. Divide the batter
between the muffin holes. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick
comes out clean. Let the muffins sit for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling
rack to cool. (Or do like I do and attack them right out of the oven.)
Lunch is a quick, but scrumptious affair with an Asian inspired wrap that you can put together in minutes. It would go great in a lunch box or on the run when you don't have much time.
Asian Peanut Quinoa and Chicken
makes 1 wrap
1/3 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbsp sliced red onions
2 ounces cooked shredded chicken
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chicken broth
½ tbsp. peanut butter
dash of garlic powder
1 large flour tortilla
1-2 leaves of lettuce
Sautee the onion in a little oil over medium heat until lightly
browned. Meanwhile, stir together the soy sauce, garlic powder, broth, and
peanut butter until smooth. Combine the quinoa, onion, and chicken into a bowl.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. To put the wrap together, place some lettuce
in the center of your tortilla, and top the lettuce with the chicken and quinoa
mixture. Roll up like a burrito, and enjoy!
Finish your day off right with a dinner of egg fried quinoa. I substituted it for the normal rice, making the meal that much healthier and filling. Feel free to experiment with the veggies you add in or the proportions of soy sauce.
Egg Fried Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled overnight
½ cup shelled edamame
3 tbsp sliced onion
3 tbsp sliced carrot
3-4 sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped broccoli
1 tsp oil
1-2 tsp soy sauce, or more as needed
dash of garlic powder
Heat the oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables
and sauté until lightly browned. Stir in the quinoa. In a separate bowl, beat
the egg. Pour it slowly over the pan, stirring once it has set. Once the egg is
cooked, mix in the soy sauce and garlic powder. Remove the pan from the heat
This card is not made out of quinoa, but it does look good enough to eat. I went to Kroger on Sunday, and they were all stocked up with their Halloween candy. Candy corn is my mom's favorite, so I made this card to send to her later on in October.
My mom sent me a box of delicious quinoa, and I planned out tons of recipes I wanted to make out of it. Cooking quinoa only takes about 20 minutes, but I like to make a big batch and divide it out between a few different recipes. Over the next couple of days I will share some of them with you. First I have delicious quinoa muffins. They are moist, slightly chewy, and quite good.
Quinoa Applesauce Muffins
makes 12 muffins
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Oil a 12 hole muffin pan. Mix the
flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, and salt together.
Add in the quinoa, applesauce, milk, oil, and the egg. Stir until everything is
well incorporated. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin holes. Bake at 400
degrees for 20 minutes. Remove to cool on cooling racks.
Here is another fall card. This one is stamped with a leaf, and the bottom is cut out with a border punch. It will make a great little note to stick on someone's desk to brighten their day. (The bad thing about college is the lack of lockers. There is no good place to hide notes.)
My morning bike rides have began to be a little cooler, and the evening breeze has a crisp feeling to it. Fall is in the air. Soon the leaves will start changing, scarves and sweaters will replace t-shirts and shorts, and everything pumpkin will start popping up on menus. (They are already selling pumpkins at Kroger.) I will miss the summer, but I look forward to posting fall recipes and crafts.
For some reason I have a bunch of Halloween/ Thanksgiving stamps that I never really use. This year I have decided to change that. I plan on making Thanksgiving cards for all the people around campus (like my RA and the dining hall people) just to tell them I appreciate them. I'm starting now so I will hopefully have them all done before Thanksgiving break. I made this card the other day with an old scarecrow stamp and two newer fall stamps.
I have made many bagel recipes in the past, but this one is sure to please any die-hard pumpkin fan out there. I baked these gems back in May, but I wanted to wait until fall to post them. They were a big hit, and the pecans were a great topping.
3 ½ cups all purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup pumpkin puree 1 cup warm water (110 degrees) 3 tsp yeast ½ tsp salt ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice ½ cup packed brown sugar 3 tbsp granulated sugar ½ cup chopped pecans, plus extra for topping
Mix the warm water, yeast, and granulated
sugar together. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Combine all the ingredients
except for the pecans into a kitchen mixer. Mix until everything is well
incorporated. Take out the dough and knead the pecans into it for five minutes.
Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to
sit in a warm place for 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough
into a snake and break it into 12 even balls. Push your thumbs through the
middle to create a hole in each one. Cover and allow the bagels to rest ½ an
hour. Bring a pot of water to a boil with 2 tbsp granulated sugar in it. Drop
each bagel into the water two at a time. Boil each side for 1 minute, flipping
them over with a slotted spoon. Remove the bagels and place them on a baking
stone. Sprinkle additional pecans over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 18
Of course little Miss Harper had to have a special cheese bagel. I made it in the shape of an "H", and she loved it.
I cannot believe I have been at college for five Sundays. Then again, I cannot believe it has only been five Sundays. Every week seems so long and so short at the same time. I wonder if the fact that I'm actually in college will hit me by the time I graduate.
Today's slow cooker recipe is for chicken and millet. It's so nice not to have to keep your eye out on a pot of millet boiling on the stove or worry about over cooking your chicken. The slow cooker takes care of all of it for you. All you have to do is make the effort to throw it all in.
Cooker Chicken and Millet
1 1 cup chicken broth ¼ cup dried millet 1 chicken breast (about 5-7 ounces) 3 cloves of garlic ¼ cup sliced onions salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all the ingredients into a
small crockpot and cook on the low temperature setting for 4-5 hours. Check the
chicken with a thermometer to make sure it is 165 degrees. Season with salt and
pepper to taste, and enjoy.
I made this card for my friend who is away at boot camp right now. I was happy to find the blue paper with white stars and the red and white paper. Hopefully it will brighten his day.