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Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Smoothie for You

We've started making smoothies in our house.  Well, my husband started making them. And when my husband makes food he doesn't worry about superfluous things like flavor or texture.  It's all about nutritional value and using up whatever's in the fridge.  Since this was my kids first experience with smoothies, they weren't very excited.  Neither was I...

Until I started buying frozen fruit at Costco!  I've been trying to get rid of processed food in our house and had heard that frozen was better than canned.  I made a frozen pineapple smoothie and WOW! did it taste good!  So now, my boys and I are not afraid of smoothies anymore.  I actually made one for breakfast today and, since the (super-picky) 12-year-old approved,  I thought that you might also.

Here it is:

Pineapple Cherry Smoothie

About 15 1" pieces of frozen pineapple
About 15 frozen cherries
1 smallish banana
1/2 cup almond milk
1-2 tablespoons flax meal

Throw it all in a blender and smoothie it up.

CAVEAT: Don't drink this too fast.  Brainfreeze!


Friday, February 15, 2013

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The Invention of the Century

You're gonna laugh when you find out what it is, you really are...

Today, I did not eat breakfast.  When my husband came home around noon, he grabbed a bag of tortilla chips and salsa.  I wanted some, but I hadn't eaten breakfast yet.  If you're one of those lucky people blessed/cursed with OCD, you'll understand.  I needed to have breakfast food before I could eat snack food.  So, I thought I would scramble some eggs real fast, then have some chips and salsa.

Microwave Nachos are one of my favorite snacks.  My kids love them too.  Hey, they're better than a jelly doughnut, right?  My brain put this together with breakfast and ~voila~  Scrambled Egg Nachos!

My 12 year-old son walked in while I was making them (which took all of 6 minutes) and called them The Invention of the Century.

I scrambled two eggs, threw some chips on a plate, grated the cheese, microwaved it all for a minute and had tasty nachos that lasted all of 20 seconds between myself and the 12-year-old.



Saturday, February 9, 2013

S'mores Bars

So today, oddly enough, my 16-year-old son dragged himself out of digital-land long enough to create these extremely tasty s'mores bars.  We had a bonfire one night and had tons of stuff left over so he was playing around with it, making a dip, etc.  The bars were the end result of his experimentation and I'm writing a blog post about them to keep myself from sneaking back into the kitchen to have another one.  I did sneak a small bite as I took the picture, but don't tell anyone...


S'mores Bars
6 regular-sized Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars
(I'm assuming you know exactly what size I'm referring to)
8 large marshmallows
1/2 cup of milk
12-14 graham carckers, broken in to 1/2" pieces.

Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate bars and marshmallows, stirring continuously (very important.)  These kind of things take special attention otherwise you end up with a dried up fresco painting.  After everything is nice and gooey, add the milk and let it all mix together.  I kind of zipped in and out of the kitchen during this part and he was being very attentive!  I also helped him break the graham crackers up into pieces.  I try not to hover, but that was just too much for my OCD to handle.  I'll let you manage yours on your own...BUT be sure not to get them too big, and try not to squeeze them so that all you have is fine dust instead of small cracker bits and you really do have to break them by hand, no putting them in a zip-loc and smashing them.  Ok, now I'll let you manage it on your own...

Spread butter over the bottom and sides of a pan, not too big of a pan because this doesn't make a huge amount. 

I left the house at this point to deliver the other child to an activity.  I came home and opened the fridge and there they were...waiting.  They taste exactly like s'mores minus the charred marshmallow (which I love btw.)  So I would say this recipe would make about 8-10 medium sized bars.  I really don't know because, during this past hour, we've all been sneaking into the fridge and cutting off bite-sized pieces and acting like we were just looking for something...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sausage Breakfast Pizza

WOW! Is this good!  Just made it tonight and plan on making for every overnight guest we have for the next 10 years...

Click the photo to visit the magazine that delivered this goodness to us!  However, just in case, I've included the recipe below.

It's super easy, but I would encourage you to read the entire recipe before you start.  I didn't do everything exactly right and though it turned out awesome, a read-through would have saved me some time.  ENJOY!




SAUSAGE & EGG BREAKFAST PIZZA

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 envelope country gravy mix
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1¼ cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded pepper jack cheese
Directions:
  1. Separate crescent dough into 16 triangles and place on a greased 14-inch round pizza pan with points toward the center. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of pan to form a crust; seal seams. Bake at 375 degrees for 11–13 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion and green pepper over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Prepare gravy according to package directions. Stir into sausage mixture; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add egg mixture; cook and stir until almost set. Spread gravy mixture over crust. Top with eggs, mushrooms and cheeses. Bake 5–10 minutes longer or until eggs are set and cheese is melted. Cut into wedges.

Fun Earrings by Melki Way

So, I'm Jewelry-Sitting for my friend Guitta and we moved out of a store that we both rented space in at the end of December.  Now, I've got this stand of all her cute, very non-Tammy's style earrings sitting in front of me and every time I sit down to work I see them and start thinking those would look good with...and, yes, I snagged a pair.  Leaving the comfort-zone, stepping outside of the box...

Today, I have tendonitis in my right arm and it hurts so badly that I can barely think and certainly not make jewelry so I thought I would share Guitta's very cute (and reasonably-priced) earrings with you before I start wearing all of them!  I think there's a pair to match almost every T-Shirt I have...

Click a photo for a better view and more info~

Don't Forget Your Bags!

I try, as much as possible, to "do my part" where the environment is concerned.   The parable of the man on the beach, tossing starfish back into the sea runs through my head when I think of how overwhelming the attempt to be environmentally conscious is with huge corporations, unenlightened (or unwilling) countries and behemoth automobile owners undoing everything that I do in less than a second.

Having gathered several reusable grocery bags over the last few years, I made an attempt in 2012 to really commit to using them.  Here are a few of my strategies to make sure I follow through:

1:  I have a bad habit of forgetting my bags in the car.  I used to just say "Oh well, next time."   But next time, became next time and then next time... and I'm sure you get the picture.  My youngest son took Tai Kwan Do and every time someone was late for class, they had to do push-ups.  It wasn't punishment, but a "reminder exercise."  So my "reminder exercise" for forgetting my bags is to walk back to the van and get them. Simple enough.  Unless I've already started putting groceries in my cart.  Then my "reminder exercise" becomes a little more complicated.  At that point, I have to make a pact with myself that I will not use any bags at all.  I will load my groceries in the cart and transfer them to my car a la Costco!  I've gotten some weird looks and have given in to the cashier's pity offer of one bag if I have lots of small items BUT it's one bag instead of seven.

2:  Don't bag your milk.  At my grocery store, the cashier sometimes asks if I want my milk in a bag.  I always say NO!  Because if they bag it, they're not just going to put it in one bag, they're going to put it in TWO bags because gallons of milk are heavy and cause those little handles to rip right out of your hand and no one wants to clean up after a busted milk jug.  So, I actually keep two bags out of the landfills instead of one when I JUST SAY NO!

3:  Recycling the bags is a great option, unfortunately, if I take the bags home, they get used.  Mainly, for trash bags for my little garbage cans.  I've been struggling with this one because trash is, well... gross and I don't want to have to touch it.  The most logical thing would be to not use the grocery bags in the small cans, then empty those into my large kitchen garbage.  I researched this (ie, typed it into the google box) to find that some even suggest not using can liners for the large kitchen can either.  At that, I simply closed my eyes and repeated "I saved that one, I saved that one," not letting the OCD monster take control.  Anyway, I think I might be able to get away from the small can liners (grocery bags) by running the small cans through the dishwasher once a week (month?) or so.  Now to convince the family...

4:  Another weak link in my reusable bag effort is getting the bags back out to the car so that they're available if I do, indeed, remember them at the store.  Nothing's worse than accomplishing something like remembering your bags and opening the back door only to realize that all of the bags were dumped on top of your washing machine after the last grocery trip.  I began putting the bags right beside my back door, under my keys and am training myself to see the keys and look for the bags.  Intentional, intentional, intentional!

Some of these things may be second nature to a lot of folks out there and they probably would be to me too if I didn't have one thousand and one other things that I have to think about and execute every day!
I LOVE these!

So, join me and Don't Forget Your Bags!  Lots of places sell cute bags so you don't have to go into one grocery store carrying the competitor's logo AND you'll be Environmentally Chic!


Find these at Baggu.com for only $9 or less if you buy more than one.


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