Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you had a fun night of candy and trick-or-treating. I worked all night and then came home to do dishes. Fun times.... Anyway, one bonus was that I did sneak in enough time this afternoon between classes and work to make some awesome cookies. Enjoy!


Almond and Apricot Cookies
makes 30 small cookies
1 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
10 dried apricots
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup melted honey
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. apple juice
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Finely chop up the almonds. Stir them into a large bowl along with the sugar, salt, cinnamon, oats, flour, and baking soda. Mix in the butter, honey, egg yolk, and apple juice. Last of all, chop up the apricots and stir the dough until it is well mixed. Roll 2 tablespoons of the dough out at a time and space about 2 inches apart on a nonstick baking stone. (Or several.) Press the balls flat, and bake for 8 minutes. Allow them to sit for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Secret Trick

One surefire way to make a wicked bowl of pasta is to boil it in milk instead of water. Paired with a cheesy sauce, the pasta creates a sinfully creamy dish. Here is a recipe for a quick version of this milk boiled pasta that serves just one. You'll be sure to make more next time, though, or be forced to share. It is that good.
Why did it take until now to discover this amazing secret? You tell me. I am too busy stuffing my face.
creamy pasta cooked in milk (2)
Cheesy Pasta Cooked in Milk
serves 1
2 ounces dry penne pasta
1 cup milk
1/3 cup cheese
dash of garlic powder
Bring the pasta and the milk to a simmer in a small pot. Let it cook for about 20 minutes, or until the pasta reaches your desired texture. Make sure to stir the pasta every so often to prevent the milk from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the garlic powder and cheese, and serve.
Here is a simple gift idea that is sure to lead to lots of laughs. Christmas movie trivia! Just Google some trivia questions from your favorite Christmas movies like Rudolph, The Santa Claus, The Grinch, and A Christmas Story. Then write them on notecards along with a Christmas stamp, sticker, or drawing. Then enjoy the laughs and fun times with friends and family.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Raspberry Oatbran Muffins

Since coming to college, I have been making a lot of muffins. They do not require my high powered blender that I could not bring, they are delicious, and a muffin pan is one of the only types of pans that I was able to bring. And who doesn't love muffins? I think I will probably try out every type of muffin there is on the face of this earth before I graduate. Feel free to join me on my muffin exploration.
raspberry oat bran muffin (2)
Raspberry Oatbran Muffins
based off this recipe from Peas and Thank You
makes 12
2/3 cup oat bran
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
½ cup applesauce
½ cup milk
¼ cup orange juice
¾ cup raspberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil a regular 12 holed muffin pan. Mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add in the egg, oil, applesauce, milk, and juice. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Divide the batter between 12 muffin holes. Press the raspberries into the batter. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the muffins to sit for five minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy National Chocolate Day!

Now this is one day that should be celebrated every day. I thank the people living in Mesoamerica in 1100 BC for first discovering how wonderful chocolate really is. Can you imagine life without chocolate? I certainly cannot, and I would never want to. Here are a few randomly thrown together recipes that involve chocolate in some way or another.

Have you ever looked into the pantry to discover that you are out of chocolate? Well, fear no more. As long as you have cocoa powder and coconut oil (sugar too if you're not a 100% dark kind of person), you can whip up your own chocolate bar whenever you want.

Chocolate Bar
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp sugar

Microwave coconut and sugar for 20 seconds. Stir in cocoa powder and freeze until hardened. (This takes about 15 minutes.)
I want to apologize now for the poor picture qualities. When making something chocolate, I always just get a bit carried away and want to dive in without all the camera fuss. This next recipe is for a raw yogurt truffle. Harper saw me eating one, demanded a bite, and then made me make her some too. I do not know why I was surprised. Harper likes chocolate even more than I do. (My mom was not too pleased since the recipe involves a raw egg. The risks we take for our chocolate...)
yogurt truffle
Chocolate Yogurt Truffle
makes one large truffle
1 egg yolk
½ ounce Greek yogurt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp honey
Combine the yogurt, egg yolk, honey, and 2.5 tbsp cocoa powder. Form into a ball and roll in the remaining cocoa powder. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Finally, here is a healthy chocolate cookie recipe to keep you on track while still allowing you to have some of that wonderful chocolate flavor. There is peanut butter mixed into the batter too, making it even better. I am so glad chocolate is god for you. :)

chocolate pb cookie balls
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Balls
makes 20
¼ cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
2 egg yolks
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
Blend the oatmeal into a flour. Mix the dry ingredients together. Melt the peanut butter a little bit, stir it in with the milk, and add this to the dry ingredients. Finally, stir in the egg. Roll into balls and bale at 350 for 12 minutes.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Slow Cooker Sunday

This slow cooker recipe is the ultimate savory peanut butter dish. A creamy peanut butter sauce served over crockpot chicken thighs is the perfect fall dish when you want something a little more ethnic. I loved it, and I am sure you will too. My only recommendation is that you make sure the peanut butter is well mixed into the sauce so there are no chunks. A creamy peanut butter would work best, especially one that is pretty oily.
Slow Cooker Indonesian Peanut Chicken
serves 1
1 bone in, skinless chicken thigh
1 tbsp diced onion
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
½ tbsp. soy sauce
dash of garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper powder
Place the chicken and onion in a 2.5 quart slow cooker. Mix together the remaining ingredients. (You may have to heat it up a bit to melt the peanut butter so it will stir smoothly.) Pour the sauce over your chicken. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.
Only 59 days until Christmas. (We are actually in the 50s!) You better get crackin' on some cards if you expect to get them all done in time. A simple way to shortcut is by using fun stickers, stamps, and patterned paper. The right supplies can save you a lot of time without sacrificing looks.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wonton Ravioli

What do you do when you are away at college and have no access to your mom's pasta machine? Make ravioli out of wontons, of course! These delicious ravioli come together in half the time it takes to roll out homemade dough, stuff it, and form it into the ravioli. I am normally a full advocate of everything homemade, but in this case, the wonton wrappers did their justice. That, or I am so starved for a homemade meal after having so much nasty dining hall food that I will eat anything. I will let you decide.

4 cheese wonton ravioli (2)

Four Cheese Wonton Ravioli
makes 16 ravioli
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup shredded romano cheese
¼ cup shredded smoked provolone cheese
1 tsp Italian seasonings
32 wonton wrappers

Mix the cheeses and seasoning together. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the center of half of the wonton wrappers. Wet the sides of the wrappers with water, and place the remaining wonton wrappers on top. Seal the sides and edges very well, or your cheese will explode out the sides. Bring a pot of water to a low boil, and cook the ravioli 4-6 at a time for 2 ½ minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Remove the ravioli from the pot with a slotted spoon, draining off the excess water. Serve topped with more cheese.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Best Granola Bars in Town

What do you get when you mix peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate chips? A whole lot of yummy, that's what. Here is a recipe for granola bars that are easy to throw together and even easier to eat. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter and Banana Granola Bars
makes about 10 bars
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups puffed cereal (wheat puffs, Rice Crispies, ect.)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil an 8X10" pan. Mix together the honey, peanut butter, cinnamon, and banana. You may need to microwave it a bit to get a runny consistency. Stir the wet ingredients into the oats. Add the cereal and chocolate chips. Spread the mixture out onto the baking pan, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until oats begin to brown a bit. Allow the pan to cool before cutting the granola slab into bars.

My little neighbor that I always used to babysit is turning three in a couple of days. I cannot believe how fast time has flown! It feels like her mamma was just telling us that she was pregnant again just the other day. Now Miss Nora is a bright, funny chatterbox. She is pretty much a child prodigy too. That kid knew her ABCs and how to count right after she turned two. I cannot imagine how much smarter she will be when I see her again. Anyway, I sent her this card the other day to wish her a happy third birthday.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Almond Butter Cookies

I splurged on some almond butter the other day because I had never tried it before, and wanted to see if it tasted like peanut butter. Man, was that a bad idea. It was love at first spoonful. If you know me, you know I am a die-hard peanut butter loving fool. I don't like peanuts, but I can't live a day without peanut butter. Well, that was before I met almond butter. Made out of my favorite nut (along with pistachios), almond butter is creamy, nutty, and simply divine. The container of it in my fridge was calling to be made into cookies, and this recipe is what I came up with. Seriously, these are some of the richest and most delicious cookies you will ever taste. Don't take my word for it, though You have to try them yourselves. (And I have to go buy myself some more almond butter.)
almond butter cookies (4)
Almond Butter Cookies
makes about 20 cookies
2 cups quick oats
½ cup toasted almonds
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup almond butter
1 egg white
1 tbsp coconut oil
¼ cup honey
1 tbsp almond milk

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Finely chop the toasted almonds. Blend 1 cup of the oats into a flour, and mix this together with the cinnamon, sugar, baking soda, almonds, and salt. Combine all of the wet ingredients excluding the egg white. It will be easier to mix everything together if you melt the almond butter, coconut oil, and honey in the microwave first, but this is not necessary. Stir in the egg white last of all, and combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. Roll about 2 tablespoons of the dough at a time into balls, and flatten them out with the back of a fork. Line the cookies up on an oiled baking pan about ½” apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Once the cookies are out of the oven, allow them to cool for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

I know getting ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving is a big no no. Doing it before Halloween is an even greater social disgrace. That being said, stores put out their holiday stuff earlier and earlier each year. I think that is perfect justification for me making Christmas cards so early on. If you're not okay with it, come back next month and check out this card. I am in the Christmas spirit already. :)


It has been a while since I finished the parade of pancakes, so I was ready to pull my pancake gear back out and get cracking on a new flapjack recipe. This one has a healthy oat and bran pancake base that would have been good enough by itself. I just could not stop there, though. They were calling to be drenched in a creamy peanut butter sauce. If these don't get you up out of bed for breakfast, I don't know what will.
Oatmeal and Bran Pancakes with Peanut Butter Sauce (1)
Oatmeal and Bran Pancakes with Peanut Butter Sauce
makes 10-12 pancakes
For the pancakes:
½ cup wheat bran
¼ cup flour
¾ cup oatmeal
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp oil
1 ½ cup milk
1 egg
¼ cup applesauce
For the sauce:
¼ cup peanut flour
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup milk
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Whisk in the wet ingredients until everything is well incorporated. Preheat a nonstick pancake pan to medium heat, and pour a few tablespoons of batter onto it at a time. Flip once the top begins to bubble and look dry. Cook both sides until golden brown. Whisk the peanut sauce ingredients together, and serve the pancakes topped with the sauce and extra cinnamon.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Mexican Goodies

I told you a couple of days ago that I have been on a Mexican kick. Today's recipes are for a traditional Spanish breakfast that immigrated to the New World and adapted some of its own twists. These migas are a great addition to your breakfast table, but are commonly served as a dinner dish at Mexican restaurants in the States.

Tex-Mex Migas
serves 1
1- 6" corn tortilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup queso quesadilla cheese
dash of cumin
dash of garlic powder
pinch of cayenne pepper powder
3 tbsp diced red onion

Cut the tortilla up into small pieces and cook in a little oil over medium heat on the stove. Once the tortilla pieces are nice and browned, remove them and place the onions in the pan. Sauté until golden. Mix the eggs with the spices, and pour into the pan along with the tortilla pieces. Scramble the eggs until they are done. Last of all, sprinkle the chees on top and serve.

I made some cheesy chicken taquitos for lunch today. Made with cream cheese, shredded chicken, and some of the best queso in the world, these taquitos sure do beat Jose's variety. Plus, for anyone else with a tomato allergy, these taquitos are tomato free unlike the Jose Ole variety. Enjoy!
Baked Chicken Taquitos
makes 12 taquitos
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup queso quesadilla cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper powder
12- 6” corn tortillas

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the cream cheese, seasonings, and chicken. Heat the tortillas one at a time on a small pan over medium low heat. Using a warm tortilla, spread a couple of tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the edge and sprinkle some cheese over top. Roll the taquito up, and place it seam side down on a baking stone. Repeat the process with the next warm tortilla. Once your taquitos are all rolled up, spray them with oil and cook for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Recipes

Since I carved my pumpkin, I have had pumpkin seeds on my mind. I am not a fan of pumpkin flavored things, but pumpkin seeds are a different story. With or without the shell, pumpkin seeds or pepitas when shelled) are a great snack or addition to salads, baked goods, or cereal. Enjoy these two recipes and the taste of fall!
Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 18 cookies
1 1/2 cups flour (I used oat flour.)
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp. corn starch
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup pepitas

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and oil a large baking pan. Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and corn starch. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, egg, butter, honey, vanilla, and oil. Mix the wet and dry ingredients, stirring in the chocolate chips and pepitas last of all. Scoop a couple of tablespoons of the dough out onto the baking sheet at a time. Press the balls flat with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10 minutes, and then let the cookies sit for five minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


Baked Pumpkin Seeds
After carving up your pumpkin, remove the seeds from all the guts that you took out of the inside. Wash them off and let them dry. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with oil, and spread the pumpkin seeds out. Bake for about 25 minutes, spray with oil and toss on salt, stir, and bake another 25 minutes. Allow the pumpkin seeds to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkin Carving!

My whole dorm building got together yesterday morning for a great pumpkin carving event. We all crowded around my RA's living room and got to work gutting and hacking at our pumpkins. (One of the girls literally had one foot on the top of her pumpkin, jabbing away with a really big knife. She is a pre med major, and I am really scared to see what type of surgeon she will become.) With the amount of stabbing, seed throwing, and knife flailing, it is a wonder that the pumpkins even turned out. I think we have a pretty nice patch, if I may say so myself.

Here is my pumpkin. It's a cat sitting on a moon, if you can't tell. I traced mine, but the girl who did Tinkerbell drew it free handed. (And she has a broken arm, so it is even more impressive.)

It's Sunday again, so that means another slow cooker recipe! Today's is a perfect fall breakfast, snack or even dessert: crockpot apples.
crockpot apples (1)
These tender and flavorful apples give out a nice fallish aroma. What says fall more than apples and spices?
My favorite part is the oatmeal goody stuffed inside. Yum!
crockpot apples (8)
Crockpot Apples
2 apples
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup applesauce
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp oil
Oil the bottom of a 2.5 quart crockpot. Mix the oats, applesauce, cinnamon, and sugar together. Core the apples, stuff them with the oat filling, and place them in the crockpot. Cook on low for 3 hours, and then turn the setting up to high for 30 minutes. Move them around about halfway through the cooking time.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Quinoa Breakfast

I just wanted to share this quick quinoa recipe with you before I headed off to bed. It comes together easily in the morning, and makes a great light breakfast. Maybe tomorrow you should try some quinoa. It's not just a dinner side dish.
quinoa with apricots and pistachios (2)
Quinoa with Apricots and Pistachios
serves 1
½ cup cooked quinoa
2-3 dried apricots, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp roasted pistachios
1 tsp orange juice

Mix all the ingredients together, and enjoy!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mexican Fiesta for One

I have been cooking a lot of Mexican recipes this week. Everything from tacos and nachos to tostadas and taquitos with some quesadillas for good measure have been added to my weekly meal plan. Here are two recipes that are easy, fun, and inexpensive to make. I just picked up a pack of corn tortillas and some queso quesadilla cheese. After that, my imagination went wild. These two recipes are single servings. Who wants to eat leftovers when you have so many fun things you want to create? First comes an amazing hard shell taco recipe that is the perfect serving for just one. There is no deep frying involved, but the corn tortillas crisp up nicely. The soft bean and cheese filling works perfectly in them.

Black Bean Tacos for One
inspired by this recipe
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup sliced red onion
2- 6 inch corn tortillas
¼ cup shredded queso quesadilla
dash of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
dash of garlic powder
dash of ground cumin
oil, as needed

Spray the bottom of a small nonstick pan with oil, and turn your stove up to medium heat. Add the onion and black beans, and cook until the onions are golden brown. Remove the onions and beans from the pan, mix in the spices, and mash the beans up with the back of a fork or a food processor. Wipe out your pan, spray it with oil again, and place one of the tortillas onto it over medium heat. Spread half of the bean mixture over one half of the tortilla. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of cheese over top, and fold over the other half of the tortilla. Cook each side for a couple of minutes, or until lightly browned. Repeat this process with the other tortilla and remaining filling. Enjoy!

This tortilla casserole is cheesy and full of Mexican flavors. I seriously was about to go crazy waiting for it to cook up. The aroma was tantalizing, and it felt like it took forever for the eggs to firm up. In the end, I was glad that I waited. You will be too.
Single Serving Tortilla Casserole
½ cup queso quesadilla
½ cup milk
1 egg
3- 6 inch corn tortillas
½ cup red onion
½ cup bell pepper
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper powder
dash of salt
1 tsp oil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Chop up the onion and pepper, and cook over medium heat in a small pan with the oil. Meanwhile, whisk the egg, seasonings, and milk together. Cut the tortillas into triangles. Layer 1/3 of the triangles on the bottom of an oiled 5” ramekin. Top with ¼ cup cheese and half of the cooked vegetables. Put the next 1/3 of the tortilla triangles on top, and repeat the process. Layer the remaining tortilla triangles on top, and pour the egg and milk mixture over all of it. Sprinkle on a little more cheese, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the egg has set.


I had fun making this Jack-O-Lantern card. Like a real pumpkin, the paper card was a blank slate waiting for a unique face. The best part? This pumpkin had no gross filling that I had to dig out. I just cut out the shape, and it was ready to go.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Savory Muffins

I made these muffins tonight as a snack, fell in love, and just had to share them. I usually stick to sweet fruity muffins, but the cheese and herb variation made me question my usual habits. I hope you like them as much as I did.


Savory Herbed Cheese Muffins
1.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp salt
 1 tsp herbs de Provence
2 ounces cream cheese
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp. oil
.5 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
.25 cup shredded parmesan cheese
.25 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil a 12 hole muffin pan. Mix together the milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside. Meanwhile, combine the baking powder, flour, salt, and herbs. Melt the cream cheese slightly, and whisk it into the milk along with the oil and eggs. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing in the cheese. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins sit for five minutes before removing to cooling racks to cool completely.
Halloween is just around the corner, and although I do not really like the holiday, it is still fun to create candy themed cards. Here is a mini candy corn card I made the other day for some of the kids I babysat. Have a nice night. I am off to do some muffin dishes and go to bed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Memories

While browsing through a Stampin' Up magazine, I saw this adorable stamp with two children playing in a wagon. It reminded me of cool fall days when Sydney and I would spend hours outside playing in the leaves, pulling each other in our little red wagon, or running through the woods. That's how life should be when you are a kid, and those days are some of my most valued memories. All this being said, I knew I had to copy the stamp and create a card with it. Here is my result:

Today's recipe is for a quick and easy couscous fruit salad of sorts. You can make the couscous the night before, and throw some fruit and the toasted almonds in the next morning for a light, but satisfying breakfast. Switching up the fruit gives tons of variety and options. Any way you make it, it's guaranteed to be a success.

almond couscous with fruit (1)

Almond Couscous with Fruit
1/3 cup dry couscous
½ cup almond milk
3 tbsp whole almonds
½ cup fruit (I used strawberries, mango, and pineapple.)

Bring the almond milk to a boil in a small pot. Stir in the couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let it sit for five minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork, transfer it to a bowl, and store it in the fridge until cooled. Meanwhile, toast the almonds over medium heat until aromatic. (Make sure you watch them so they don’t burn.) Cut up the fruit into bite sized pieces. Throw it all together and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Questionable Veggie

Mushrooms have always confused me a bit. I want them to be vegetables, but they are actually a type of fungus. More specifically, they are the fleshy, spore bearing fruiting body of a fungus. That description just freaks me out, so I'm going to continue to classify mushrooms as vegetables in my mind and leave the fungi to peoples' feet.

Why am I rambling on about mushrooms? It's National Mushroom Day, of course! So grab your favorite fungus vegetable and enjoy a nice meal of scrambled eggs, mushrooms, and humus.
hummus and mushroom scramble (2)
Hummus and Mushroom Scramble
3 eggs
¼ cup roasted red pepper hummus
1 tbsp water
½ cup sliced mushrooms
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp oil
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, and sauté until golden brown. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, water, and hummus together. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Once the eggs have started to set, scramble them up with a spatula. When the eggs are done, stir in the cheese and serve.
I made this card for my roommate's parents who so kindly allowed me to stay over during fall break. Along with being super hospitable and friendly, they are also fellow mushroom lovers. (As it is National Mushroom Day, I had to incorporate that somehow.) To make this card, cut out three solid cardstock circles and three circles from patterned paper. Punch a heart out of the cardstock circles, and layer the patterned paper beneath them. Stick them on your card with a sentiment, and you're done!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

I did not have school today because it was my last day of fall break, but our neighbors to the north had a different reason to take the day off. It is Canadian Thanksgiving! Celebrated on the second Monday in October, Canadian Thanksgiving is pretty similar to ours. I have compiled a few recipes to help you celebrate the day.
multigrain mini loaves (7)

First off is a recipe for a multigrain loaf. Spread with a little butter, this bread would pair greatly with some turkey or ham. It would be a great start to your feast.

multigrain mini loaves (2)
Multigrain Mini Loaves
makes 2 mini loaves
½ cup rye flour
¾ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 egg
4 tsp dry active yeast
¼ cup warm water (110 degrees)
½ cup scalded milk
1 ½ tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey

Mix together the yeast and warm water. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flours, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a mixing bowl. Stir together the dry ingredients in an electric mixer. Slowly add in the honey, oil yeast mixture, egg, and milk. Mix on low speed until all the ingredients come together. Increase the speed to medium and let the dough knead for ten minutes. Spray two mini loaf pans with oil and divide the dough between the two. Keep in a warm place for one hour. (I let the bread rise in my oven which I had preheated to about 110 degrees. Don’t let it get any hotter than that, or your bread will start to cook. Remove the bread from the oven before you preheat it.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and bake the bread for 25-30 minutes.
multigrain mini loaves (6)

I don't have a baked turkey recipe for you or anything, but another dish my mom makes for Thanksgiving is mac and cheese. This rendition lets the side double as a veggie while making a healthier version of the original.

cauliflower mac and cheese (2)
Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese”
4 cups cauliflower florets
2/3 cup milk
1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tbsp flour
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Italian seasonings

In a small sauce pan, combine the milk and cheese. Whisk in the flour and seasonings. Stir constantly over medium low heat until all the cheese has melted, and the mixture has thickened. Stir the sauce and the cauliflower together. Bake in an oiled dish at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir and bake for another 10 minutes.
cauliflower mac and cheese (1)
Even if you are not celebrating Thanksgiving today, it is National Dessert Day. This is a great excuse to make this creamy peanut butter pudding right away. It's simple, quick, and delicious. (And what would Thanksgiving be without dessert?)
peanut butter pudding (2)
Peanut Butter Pudding
serves 4
3 cups milk
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup sugar
½ cup peanut flour

In a large microwavable bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and peanut flour. Whisk in the milk until everything is well combined and there are no lumps. Microwave for two minutes and then stir. Make sure it doesn't explode while you are microwaving it. Microwave four more times, one minute each time. Stir between each time. Separate into individual cups and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least three hours.
Lastly, I did not want to post a Pilgrim card or anything. I am not sure if that is part of the Canadian Thanksgiving. I settled on sharing this fall themed card that has a unique fold to it.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving/ Monday!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Orange Chocolate Oatmeal

I had my last day of classes today before hitting the road with my roommate. We got to her house this evening where we had a lovely dinner and night with her family. It is nice to get off campus and have a home cooked meal. Anyway, I have openly shared my love of oatmeal with my host family. Here is a recipe that I would not recommend to novice oatmeal eaters, but the flavor is delicious for those of us who are already oatmeal fans. It beats those chocolate covered orange peels by far, and is a great breakfast idea.


Orange- Chocolate Oatmeal
3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ cup yogurt
¾ cup oatmeal
1 cup water
¼ cup orange juice

Bring the liquids to a boil. Stir in the oats, cocoa powder, and yogurt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until your desired consistency is reached.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cookies Made out of Chickpeas?

Sorry, but tonight is another quick, cardless post. I just got off from a 5 1/2 hour shift, and I have homework to do. Tomorrow is the last day before fall break, and I am going home with my roommate to Nashville. I am excited, but I don't know when the next time I can post will be. I will try to do it while I'm at her house, but there are no promises. Anyway, here is a scrumptious recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies made out of chickpeas. Like my chocolate chick cookies, they are the perfect snack or end of the day treat. I like to make up a whole batch or two and freeze them for whenever I want a cookie throughout the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately I am out right now, but they sound like a good idea to make for my next night shift.... Enjoy!

oatmeal raisin chickpea cookie
Chickpea Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
makes 2 dozen
½ cup flour
2 cups oatmeal
1- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup applesauce
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup raisins

Blend one cup of the oatmeal into a flour. Add the chickpeas and blend until they form a paste. Add the eggs, baking powder, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, flour, oil, sugar, and applesauce to the blender. Blend until everything is well incorporated. Stir in the additional 1 cup of oatmeal and the raisins. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the dough onto a oiled or nonstick cookie sheet. Press the balls flat with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.