Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Breakfast Quiche

When I was younger and at my parents home for Christmas, my Mom would always make a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning. She made it for a couple reasons. One was that it could be made the night before and baked on Christmas morning. An other reason was that it was a tasty, warm, comfort food. Her casserole ingredients included sausage, whole eggs, milk, cheddar cheese and bread. 

I wanted to make something festive for Christmas morning for our family. I was striving for something healthier then Mom's casserole but still easy to make. I came across a recipe from Trader Joe's for a Soy Chorizo Quiche and modified it to my needs. If ended up being very tasty and was very easy to make. I do believe we have a new holiday tradition at our house.

This is the original recipe from Trader Joe's: 

Soy Chorizo Quiche
  • 1 cup TJ's Shredded Hash Browns
  • 1/2 package TJ's Soy Chorizo
  • 3/4 cup TJ's Manchego Cheese, grated
  • 1 container TJ's Cage Free Liquid Egg White

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Cut soy chorizo link in half, remove casing and crumble. Layer potatoes, soy chorizo and cheese in a 9-inch pie plate. Pour egg whites over layered ingredients. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown and center has set.

The changes I made:
  • I used homemade hash browns. I baked and shredded a potato and seasoned it with salt, pepper, onion powder and dehydrated onions. 
  • I used a grocery store brand egg white, manchego and soy chorizo.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Decorating With Wine Bottles

Christmas season is here and I am taking the opportunity to decorate with some of my wine bottle crafts.

The painted bottles look very festive.

And the cut bottles look amazing when illuminated by a string of lights.

To see how I painted the bottles, click here: PAINTING WINE BOTTLES

To see how I cut the bottles, click here: CUTTING GLASS BOTTLES

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Faux Frozen Yogurt? That's Banana's!

I have a confession. Some time over the past year, I have grown to love frozen yogurt. Being a health conscious person, this was a bit disturbing to me. I craved fro-yo so intensely I just had to have it. I dont have cravings like that. Since eating in moderation (a few times a week) became increasingly difficult I knew I needed a solution. Not to mention I don't feel good about consuming sugar and dairy like that. 

My solution is a treat I had made in the past. It is pureed, frozen, bananas. I am shocked each time I eat it because I don't like bananas. This doesn't taste like bananas, it tastes like fro-yo and I am actually getting some nutrition from it. BONUS!

Ingredients for one serving:
1 medium banana - sliced and frozen
2-4 Tablespoons of Almond Milk ( I use Silk Almond milk because it's my favorite)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder (more if you like the flavor of cocoa)

Place frozen bananas in a food processor. 

Add milk, vanilla and start to grind. (It will clunk like mad!) Add cocoa and blend until mixture is smooth.

Serve it up like frozen yogurt. I tossed a few carob chips in mine and look forward to experimenting with more flavors.

This is so good and incredibly satisfying.

Vegetable Enchilada Pie

My family loves veggies. We also love Mexican flavors so I made this recipe to satisfy both of those loves. 

1 Onion- diced
2 medium sized sweet potatoes- diced
1 medium sized zucchini - diced
1 can of Black Beans- drained and rinsed
1 can of Enchilada sauce
Toppings: Whatever you like! Cheese, sour cream, guacamole, olives, etc.

Saute onions. Add zucchini and saute until tender. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook diced sweet potatoes until just soft (you don't want them to be mushy). It took me about 4 minutes. Drain potatoes from water and add to onions and zucchini. Add black beans. Add enchilada sauce.

 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a pie plate begin to layer tortillas. I cut mine to fit my dish.

Layer 1/3 of the filling on to the tortillas.

Repeat as if making lasagna. 

Once you have the third layer down, put into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 

 After 20 minutes, pull the pie out and top with tortilla pieces. Return to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the top layer is a little crispy. 

Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. This makes it easy to cut into pie shaped pieces. Because I don't cook much with cheese, when I removed the pie from the oven I sprinkled the top with nutritional yeast.

We love this pie so much, I actually spaced taking a picture of it before we ate it with all of the beautiful toppings on it. This was the one piece left over. Tasty!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bottle Cap Tray

Having an adequate supply of bottle caps for crafts, I made the plunge and made a bottle cap tray. 

I purchased wooden tray from the craft store. 

Then I spray painted the tray white.

After the paint was dry I spread out my caps and found a pattern I liked.

Then I bought an acrylic kit from Michael's. I mixed the concoction and waited for my tray to dry. A few things about this... I bought the wrong type of product for this project.  I poured that incorrect product over my caps. After waiting for it to cure a few days I ended up with a sticky gel covering the caps. Oops!

My second attempt was more successful. I bought the correct acrylic. Poured it over and in just of 2 days it was nice and hard.

I think it looks awesome. I cant wait to use it and have it out to display.

A Few Important Notes:
  • If you buy a basic wooden tray, it is not going to be leak proof. The acrylic will pour through the cracks. Be prepared and be careful. I propped my tray up (off it's bottom) and let the acrylic leak through into another box lined with a trash bag.
  • Use this type of product for your tray.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cutting Wine Bottles

 I finally gave in and bought a wine bottle cutter from Michael's. With the temptation of a 40% off coupon and a return I had, it seemed like the right time.
g2 Generation Green Bottle Cutter

First I removed the labels from the bottles, washed and dried them. DH assembled the cutting unit and the fun began. 

First we scored the glass.

Then we heated a large pan of water to a boil and held the bottle in the hot bath for about 8 seconds.

Immediately following the hot bath we dipped the bottle into an ice bath for the same 8 seconds. 

Back and forth with the hot and cold dipping until the glass crackled a separated. 

Our first break was a bit crooked.

We got better with the second and third bottles.

 I was pretty happy with the results. A few pointers from me are to wear safety glasses and use the sanding paper that comes with the cutter kit to smooth the edges.

Happy bottle cutting!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Seitan Baked Fajitas

I made seitan and this time it turned out good. Last time I tried boiling it and DH wouldn't even eat more then one bit. It was nasty. This time I baked it and the texture was much better.

I used this recipe: making a few modifications. I used less soy sauce and think I will cut it back even more next time.

What is seitan? It is a meat substitute you can make or buy. It uses gluten flour to give it its chew factor. 

First I sliced the seiten into strips.

Then I sliced some green peppers and onions.

Chopped a fresh tomato.

I sauteed the peppers and onions in a skillet.

Once they were cooked down, I added the tomato and seitan.

The tomato helped make the mixture saucy.

Added a handful of fresh cilantro and a teaspoon homemade taco seasoning mix.

I pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees and rolled the fajita mixture into whole wheat tortillas. I baked them for 15 minutes until crispy on the outside. Then served the with guacamole, salsa and another pinch of cilantro.

Baked Fajitas

1 or 2 pieces of seitan
Green pepper
1 tomato, chopped

Fresh cilantro
Taco Seasoning
Toppings you like: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.
Slice the seiten into strips.
Slice some green peppers and onions into strips.
Saute the peppers and onions in a skillet. Once they are cooked down, add the tomato and seitan.
Add a handful of fresh cilantro and a teaspoon taco seasoning mix.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and roll the fajita mixture into tortillas. Bake them for 15 minutes until crispy on the outside.
Serve with guacamole, salsa and any other toppings you like.