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Some days life gets crazy!  You work and work and still you feel like you have not even scratched the of of the list.  I have an issue with not being caught up.  It worries me, it makes me fret, it makes me stress…  Not even getting something on the list done makes it better.  Welcome to my dysFUNctional part of paradise. 

I get crazy when I miss a deadline.  So I remind and remind, and make lists and leave notes, and on and on and on…it goes! 

The prep for the block party got me a bit behind in some of my monthly swaps that I participate in.  I tried valiantly to keep up, but I flailed and flailed.  I finally realized that something had to give and I needed to slow down and get it done when it gets done.  I was really starting to stress myself out over it.  Silly me!  I know I do it, but I still do it!  Welcome to my world!

Anywho, I am going to take some deep breaths, slow myself down. 

And here is what’s for dinner tomorrow. 

Thanksgiving Swap

 

Debra hosted another swap.  For this one we had to create a paper doll and an ATC with the theme Dress Up and Eat Your Dinner.  We were also to send along a recipe that went with the Thanksgiving theme.  My partner for this swap was Molly of Fattycake Designs.  I really enjoyed the last swap that Debra hosted and liked making the paper dolls. 

 

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The ATC was an easy one once I settled on the image to place on it.  Thankfully, the family I spend the holidays with is a little bit of each kind of family so I never feel bad about choosing both.  :O) 

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I named my paper doll Prudence while I was working on her.  Since Molly resides in North Carolina I felt that the appropriate name for a Southern Belle.  I used a face from an old advertising images book for her face.  I thought that the updo fit her.  I also had to place a flower in her hair.

I had to edge her skirt in pink tulle.  A proper Southern Bell must have a skirt that twirls. 

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And what proper lady doesn’t wear an apron while she is cooking?  I decided to make it a lacy one and to adorn it with some tiny acorns.  I also used some very tiny buttons on her top. 

Prudence certainly looks like she has not lifted a finger and so put together as most true Southern Belles do. 

I also sent along to Molly a few other surprises and Paula Deen recipe for the holiday, Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle.

 

 

What desserts are you making for Thanksgiving?

 Edited to fix recipe display.

Yesterday went pretty well in orientation.  I am on information overload.  My new job is working for a regional hospital so part of the training was about disease and the importance of hand washing.  She placed a lotion on our hands which works similar to that red pill when the dentist is teaching you how to brush.  Under the black light your saw where you missed. 

In case you are curious as to the proper way to wash your hands you can find that here.  Another important area to clean that is not covered are the nail beds. 

I also learned the proper way to cough or sneeze

  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Funny, as I always thought these people were doing it wrong

    Now that I have you a bit cleaner and hopefully healthier, here is what I made for dinner tonight.  I only used 5 cups of the broth as my skillet wouldn’t hold 7, but it all worked out okay.  That is the only reduction I made. 

    Lately, I LOVE chickpeas and try to eat more beans for my proteins.  I had a cholesterol issue a while back and making this change along with taking 1000 mg. flax oil daily helped me to lower it enough to get off the medicine. 

    Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and Parmesan (From Real Simple)

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    7 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
     Kosher salt
    1 pound angel hair pasta
    1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    1/4 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, red pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley.Divide among individual bowls and top with the almonds and Parmesan.

    NUTRITION PER SERVING
    CALORIES 652(22% from fat); FAT 14g (sat 1g); SUGAR 6g; PROTEIN 26g; CHOLESTEROL 8mg; SODIUM 782mg; FIBER 7g; CARBOHYDRATE 110g

    Another day of orientation to go!  Hope your week is going well!

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    I Have to Say organized this swap, so be sure to check her blog for others that are participating in the swap. 

     

    Sorry, the week has gotten away from me and I didn’t realize that tomorrow was the big day.  I have not had a chance to try either of these, but plan to this weekend.  The pumpkin theme is totally unintentional, but both recipes interest me. 

     

    On the job search front, I had an interview yesterday and have another this morning.  I am hopeful that things will open up for me soon…really soon….not soon enough soon….like yesterday soon…..really, really soon…..did I say soon? 

     

    Pumpkin Oat Muffins

    Moosewood Restaurant© Low-Fat Favorites, ISBN 0-517-88494-1

     

    1¼ cups unbleached white flour

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 cup rolled oats

    1 egg

    1 egg white

    ¾ cup pumpkin, winter squash, or sweet potato puree

    ¾ cup evaporated skimmed milk

    ½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice

    2 tablespoon canola oil or other vegetable oil

    ¼ cup packed brown sugar

    4 to 5 tablespoons apricot preserves

    Preheat oven to 400º and prepare muffin tin with paper liners and cooking spray. 

    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Whirl the oats in a blender until they are the consistency of corn meal (I would leave them whole as I like texture) and add to the flour mixture.  In another bowl, lightly beat the whole egg with the egg white.  Stir in the pumpkin, evaporated skimmed milk, pineapple juice, oil and brown sugar.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. 

    Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and dot the center of each muffin with a teaspoon of apricot preserves.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and dry.  Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then tip onto rack to cool completely. 

    Makes 12 muffins*prep 15-20 minutes*baking 20-25 minutes

     

    Since I love black bean soups and I have a can of pumpkin I plan to try this one. 

    Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
    Gourmet, November 1996

    Yield: 9 cups

    Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
    1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
    1 1/4 cups chopped onion
    1/2 cup minced shallot
    4 garlic cloves minced
    1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
    4 cups beef broth
    16-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 cup dry Sherry
    1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice
    3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

    Garnish: sour cream and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds

    In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.

    In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

    Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.

    Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.

    I have posted other recipes on my blog and you can find them using this link

    Now go forth and make YUM

    Trackback URL: http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/2247980/25797644

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    I Have to Say is holding a recipe swap.  On Thursday, February 7th, I will be posting a couple of my favorite recipes here on my blog and I invite you to do the same on your blog. 

    I love recipes that are quick and easy with very few ingredients, that whip up quickly and are yummy.  I don’t ask for much! 

    For the recipe swap, I am going to try a pumpkin oatmeal muffin from my Moosewood Lodge cookbook.  It has an ingredient that I didn’t even know they made, Evaporated Skimmed Milk.  I found it and have to buy some unsweetened pineapple juice.  Wish me luck as it is a bit more involved then I care to get, but it looks yummy and unique which will cause me to venture out of the quick and easy!

    Leave a comment on I Have to Say’s blog to let her know that you will play, too. 

    Now let us all say it together “YUM!”

    button fairy
    Nenufar Blanco creates the most lovely button fairies and got the whole button fairy party started.  I found that she had an Etsy shop and was selling little button fairy brooches and HAD to have one.  She arrived in all her loveliness and I am thrilled.  She is a cutie, no?
    I had previously given a sneak peek of the back of this postcard for Barbara.  She has received it so I can now show you the front. 
    barbara’s postcard
    See what I meant about the fabric dictating the design?  I loved the mix of the candy cane fabrics and thought it made a very cute postcard.  I found all 3 of the fabrics along with another one with a Christmas tree print the same day at Goodwill for 99 cents. 

    Photo courtesy of Not Quite Vintage

    Today, I will be working on this for the family I spend Christmas with each year and the lady that hosts the Christmas Day brunch I attend.  I try to have a little something for all of them.  I have the felt cut, the jumbo paperclips bought and now the sewing will commence.   You can get the tutorial here
    Before I sign off, here is the recipe I created last night.  It is sooooooo good.
    Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
    Submitted by: Linda White Prep Time: 20 Minutes
    Cook Time: 1 Hour
    Ready In: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
    Yields: 14 servings

    “Delicious, moist and tangy bread. Good for lunch boxes and anytime snacks!”
    INGREDIENTS:
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    2 cups white sugar
    1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
    puree
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    DIRECTIONS:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 9×5 inch loaf pans (or 4 mini loaf pans).
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt.
    3. Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil in small mixing bowl, beat until just blended. Stir the wet mixture into the dry with a wooden spoon until batter is just moistened. Fold the cranberries and walnuts into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pans.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. (If using mini loaf pans, begin checking bread after 25 minutes.)
    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2007 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 12/20/2007
    As it my style, I dive in before assessing the status of all the ingredients.  I found that I only had about 1/8th of a cup of oil (I mean you NEVER run out of oil!).  I had some EVOO and thought, “oh well”!  It was great and you cannot taste the EVOO flavor.  I was torn between adding that and adding applesauce  as a substitution.  Glad I went for the oil as it is moist and lovely as pumpkin bread should be.
    The weekend before Christmas is about here.  Enjoy!  Hope your list is either done or thisclose to done!

    Sorry for the wrapping of the post, wordpress codes are not working today.

     Some of you may not be old enough, but I remember Henry Kissinger always talking about Detente.  I knew it had to do with warring countries and making nice, but not much more than that.  I guess the USPS and I are working on a new kind of detente.  I comment on them and the mailman brings the peace offerings.  That is detente I can get behind!

    dé·tente    (dā-tänt’, -täɴt’)  n.  

    1. A relaxing or easing, as of tension between rivals.
    2. A policy toward a rival nation or bloc characterized by increased diplomatic, commercial, and cultural contact and a desire to reduce tensions, as through negotiation or talks.

    Look what he brought me on Saturday.  This certainly helps!

    bella1

    This lovely packaging and the added FQs were only the beginning.  Inside was the sweetest little button fairy in my favorite colors of pink and yellow. 

    bella2

    Tangled Threads painted the wings and glittered her up prettily.  She is really cute and I love her.  She was for a 1:1 swap on swap-bot.   

    And here is what I have been working on over the weekend and a bit this morning as I watched Regis and Kelly.

    girl brooches

    A couple of brooches.  I used a page from a thrifted Latin/English dictionary for the background.  The images on top came from a magazine.  I am going to try some new techniques inspired by Perpetual Plumand we shall see where they go.  I like the touch of adding the embossing powder and the acrylic sealer instead of the mod podge. 

    And one of the button fairies for my swap-bot swap is headed to Germany.  I started working on her first.  The lady that is the recipient I am quite a fan of her work. I cannot read most of her blog as it is in German, but I love the eye candy and her creations, too.  I have participated in a few swaps she has headed and feel a bit of pressure to make this one great.  Enjoy, if you are checking, here is a sneak peek. 

    enjoypeek

    As you can see, I found glitter!  Enjoy mentioned glitter twice in her profile, so I believe that means it is important to her.  I still need to do a bit of tweaking before she is mailed, but hope to have her out later this week. 

    Here is a recipe I found in Real Simple.  It looks super easy and YUMMY!  I need to go to the store to get the biscuits and the bananas, but will give them a try.

    Quick Sticky Buns

     

    1 1/2 T butter, sliced into 10 pieces
    1 medium banana, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
    3 T brown sugar
    1 (7.5 ounce) tube buttermilk biscuits
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop a piece of butter in the bottom of each of 10 compartments of a muffin tin. Arrange the banana slices on top. Sprinkle the pecans and brown sugar over the bananas. Top each compartment with a biscuit. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Place a baking sheet on top of the tin while the buns are still hot. Carefully flip the tin over, tapping the bottom to release the buns. Serve warm.

    YUM!  Sweets always start the week well! 

    I spent so much time yesterday in the morning staring at the snow, that I forgot to do much of anything.  Add to that a trip to the post office to mail a package. 

    But FIRST! May I have a mini-tangent now?  How ludicrous of the postal system to enact a rule regarding packages over 13 ounces and the mailing thereof.  If they are not mailed according to the rules they are returned to you.  You can read it here.  What is the difference between using on-line postage and stamps?  Can you tell me that?  Now the line at my local post office which was always long to begin with is now out the door as every local mom, pop, kid, and person is at the post office with packages. 

    I try to use the APC whenever I can, but man oh man!  I have to find a parking space first!  They privatized the post office a while back and enacted some changes to help it make some money.  My stamps go up every time I turn around and they continue to make it more inefficient to use their services!  And while I am at it…how come I can mail a package to Oregon and it makes it there in 3 days, but a letter to a location 30 minutes away takes that same 3 days or longer? 

    {Deep breathing!  Cleansing breaths!  Thinking happy thoughts….ice cream, cakes, pies, visions of sugarplums!   Santa is watching!}  Better now, but still wondering!

    Yesterday, I created some new felty pins.  I have a bit of a mitten fetish lately, I am afraid.  I just think they are too cute, but don’t own a pair.  I have seen some tutorials to make my own from felted wool, but have not tried them yet.  Also, working on perfecting that cup of tea brooch.  One day I will get it exactly like I want it. 

    mug mittens

    And here is a recipe I tried the other evening.  It was YUMMY and very easy, too.   I didn’t have the Teriyaki, but did have some ginger sesame dressing so used it instead. 

    Aimee’s Quick Chicken
    Submitted by: Aimee Woolwine Prep Time: 5 Minutes
    Cook Time: 30 Minutes
    Ready In: 35 Minutes
    Yields: 4 servings

    “Chicken breasts baked with Dijon mustard, teriyaki sauce, bacon bits and Parmesan cheese. That’s it! Yummy!”

    INGREDIENTS:

    4 skinless, boneless chicken

    breast halves

    4 ounces Dijon mustard

    1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

    1/4 cup bacon bits

    1/2 cup grated Parmesan

    cheese

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Place chicken in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Slather mustard evenly over chicken, then pour teriyaki sauce evenly over all. Sprinkle with bacon bits, then cover with cheese.
    3. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2007 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 12/6/2007

    Enjoy!  Maybe take it with you to the post office?  You may just need it! 

    “A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg

    even though he knows that you are slightly cracked”

    Bernard Meltzer

    I have hit that illustrious 100th post.  I actually hit it about 2 days ago, but noticed it today.  Wow, 100 bits of inspiration {cough}…100 bits of revelation {choke}…100 tidbits of wisdom {gasp}.  Along the way I have made lots of new friends, received encouragement, wisdom and lots of laughs!  I want to thank each and every one of you.  Whether you lurk or you post thanks for stopping by. So what illuminating bit of wisdom does the 100th post warrant?  How do I condense the first 100 into a nugget you can take with you?  I can get that down to just one sentence, but it is not original and I believe someone came up with it first:

    Just DO it! 

    Blog, craft, inspire, daydream, believe, wish, love, laugh…whatever you feel like doing, just do it!  It is never acceptable to say “I won’t,” but to think “how can I?” 

    I believe a giveaway is in order, so here goes:

    If you post a comment on this thread by the 3rd of December (eek, December already?) and tell me something new that you have either have done or want to do and you are in the drawing. 

    You and I will discuss  your likes from all of the items from the vast pool of craftiness that is Cindy is Crafty and one of them will be yours.  Keep in mind that it may not be exactly the same due to fabrics, buttons, etc. 

    There you go!  By the time I get to 200, I might rethink this concept.  Hey, I am new and first 100 post giddy right now…take advantage of it!

    And lastly, here is a recipe that I made this morning to take to a friend today.  It is a holiday favorite of my friends and I and soon, I hope, yours too!

    Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

    1 pkg. 8oz. cream cheese
    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 tsp. vanilla
    2 Tbs. brown sugar
    3/4 cup confectioners sugar
    3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
    3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (I use walnuts, like in the cookies)
    Graham Crackers or Ginger Snaps

    Beat softened cream cheese, butter, & vanilla until creamy. Slowly add sugars until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Place mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll ball in pecans (or walnuts). Serve with graham crackers (or ginger snaps).

    It tastes like chocolate chip cookie dough!

    And, Christy, here is your sneak peek of your item for our December swap.

    sneakpeek

    Thanks for spending time with me every so often!

    Today I am working on some projects involving the left over tie pieces from my necktie scarves.  I use every bit of the ties.

    From the 2″ at the very end I use this pattern for necktie daisies. And for the piece in between I make necktie roses.  Mine are not as full as I am not using as large a piece of tie.  I use about 12″ or so depending on the length of the tie.  I also stitch the pin back directly to the flower instead of gluing.  I feel it is more secure.

    And here is a recipe to share.  It is much more appetizing than its name!  Even better when warmed up the day after and topped with whipped cream and/or ice cream.

    Dump Cake
    Submitted by: Wilma Hull
    Rated: 5 out of 5 by 66 members
    Prep Time: 10 Minutes
    Cook Time: 40 Minutes
    Ready In: 50 Minutes
    Yields: 24 servings

    “This cake is just as easy as dumping ingredients in a pan.”

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie

    filling (or any pie filling)

    1 (15 ounce) can crushed

    pineapple (tuna can sized)

    1 (18.25 ounce) package

    yellow cake mix

    8 ounces chopped walnuts

    1/2 cup butter (1 use 1 stick of margarine)

    DIRECTIONS:

    1. In a 9×13 inch pan dump cherries and pineapple.  Do not mix. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pineapple, and cherry mixture stir until just combined. Then sprinkle walnuts over top. Drizzle top with melted butter or margarine. (I cut the stick of margarine into pats and be sure to cover the entire top as this helps to brown it.)
    2. Bake in a 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 35 or 40 minutes or until golden brown.

    Enjoy! 

    Quote O’ The Month

    "What this world needs
    is a new kind of army
    - the army of the kind."
    ~Cleveland Amory

    E-mail Me

    cindyforeyes at earthlink *dot* net

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    1221 Bellevue Ave.
    Richmond, VA

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