Tag Archives: food

Fav Things: Cinco de Mayo Style

We have had the best spring weather here in the unpredictable DFW so far. I guess you could say we have actually had a spring, which is nearly unheard of.

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and my Pinterest feed is already featuring ideas and recipes for a get together or party. I will be working on that day (and have way too much on my to do list to add anything else)! However, my husband and I will be making homemade tacos tomorrow. We didn’t really plan it for any special occasion. It was really because avocados and tomatoes were on sale when I went grocery shopping (and I can’t get enough of homemade tortillas. That’s the honest truth).

However, if I were to plan a Cinco de Mayo celebration, here are some ideas I would love to try:

Creamy and Refreshing Horchata

I’ve made Horchata once, but it wasn’t super authentic. These appear more so. They were also super sweet, but tasty. I used the Martha Stewart recipe. The sweetness did add a wonderful touch when we splashed a little rum in for a treat after a hard day’s work.

Tacos and Homemade Tortillas

These are actually what we will be eating tomorrow. I made my own taco seasoning (using this recipe) recently, and you can tell a huge difference between it and the store bought. It’s surprising (also super cheap, easy, and way less salty).  This will also be my third time making my own tortillas! I found the recipe I love, and will be continuing to use, last time and I’m super excited to devour them once they are done.

Sides

Of course there would have to be some serious guacamole and salsa. I have been wanting to make my own salsa for a while now. It seems very straight forward. I’ve just been busy, lazy, distracted, sleeping, doing laundry (choose one?).

Decor

Decorations!? I guess that means I’d have to take down my few Easter pieces. Well not yet! But if I were to decorate, it would have to be these Cactus Pinatas from ohhappyday.com

mini.cactus.pinata.done1_.600

image from ohhappyday.com

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Horchata!

I am happy to say that I’ve put a bit of a dent in my endless pins. February was a successful recipe experimenting month. The recipe I ended the month on was Horchata.

The insane Texas weather was wonderful and warm this weekend, so I wanted to try a cool drink. I’ve had a Horchata once in Austin and look back on it as a tasty and refreshing experience. I did some research and chose Martha Stewart’s quick and easy version as my first attempt.

Simmering Milk and Cinnamon

Simmering Milk and Cinnamon

If you love milkshakes and cinnamon, this is perfect for you. I used one cup less milk than the recipe and it was still amazingly thick and overwhelmingly sweet.

Horchata in my Prancing Pony Cup

Horchata in my Prancing Pony Cup

In the future, I want to use less milk and more water and possibly half of the condensed milk the recipe calls for. But mark my words, I will be making this again. Indeed.

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Local Organic Experimenting

I love food. It’s pretty obvious. Food is the best.

So I should be more conscience of what exactly I’m putting into my body. Thankfully, this seems to be a trendy and popular topic. This means that I can easily find information, research, articles, and so many other people looking into this topic with great information as well.

I want to start eating more “real” food. You know, foods you know, can pronounce, and are amazing for your health. That being said, I don’t have time to search for local farms or visit farmer’s markets every week. I also don’t have time to have my own tiny garden again because of how little I’m at home to tend it. And the fact that the chickens would eat it up before I could. Rude!

I found a great little website called Greenling. It’s a delivery service that will deliver to your house local and/or organic produce. They also inform you of what’s in season and which farms your food is coming from. A DREAM COME TRUE!

I just had to try.

Let’s talk about the food. I got “juicing” oranges. They were not pretty. They were a little smooshy. Little did I know that these were optimum oranges to be transformed into juice. This made the best, most delicious orange juice I have ever tasted in my entire life. WOW.

I also bought butter lettuce and tomatoes. The texture and color of both is amazing. The taste is, for lack of a better word, real.

I think we are going to try this service on and off. The price is just a bit more than what I’m interested in (but that’s because you are supporting local farms directly AND it’s getting delivered straight to your front door).

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Snack Tastums

Homemade Larabar!

This is one I’ve made a few times before and I think I almost have it down.

This time I smashed up the nuts and cut up the fruit before blending. It helped a ton and wasn’t as loud in the food processor.

Homemade Larabars

Homemade Larabars

Blended Goodness

The one thing I can’t seem to get is how to keep them from crumbling. It doesn’t bother me too much, I’m just curious. Mine is more like a super sticky granola. A delicious granola bar.Homemade Larabars

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Bean Tortilla Casserole

A recipe I tackled this last week was a Bean Tortilla Casserole. As usual, I made some alterations. I boiled my own black beans instead of using some from a can, ignored the olive oil and salt, and didn’t use sour cream.

We really enjoyed this recipe. It didn’t take long, which is always a plus, and the resulting meal was very tasty. We even added some hot sauce I got Nick for Christmas. It is Tiger Shark Chipotle sauce and added a nice hot and smoky flavor.

black bean casserole

That’s one more Pinterest adventure down and one more successful taste bud experience. I can’t really think of anything I would change next time I make this. It’s a good thing.

bean casserole

Melt-y cheesy goodness

 

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Adventures Through Pinterest

Long time no post! 2013 got busy and productive, and I might have forgotten my username for a while. 🙂 I traveled to new places, saw new things, tried new things, had a blast, and am now welcoming 2014 with open arms. Last year had it’s ups and downs and now I’m ready to set some high goals and do my best to achieve them.

One of the things I’m trying out is to work my way through my hundreds and hundreds of Pinterest posts.

I love my Pinterest. I might be on it too much, but it’s a great one stop shop to research tons of ideas, learn new things, and become inspired. I figured instead of just collecting tons of fun looking pins, that I should start working my way through them.

First pin I tackled this year was a Black Eyed Pea Dip. It was easy, a little time consuming, fresh tasting, and delicious.

black eyed peas

It was time consuming due to my decision of cooking the black eyed peas myself. Everything else was super quick.

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black eyed pea dip

I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter. I always alter as I go. I left out the onions due to an intense dislike on my part, and the oil to save on calories.

All in all, this was a promising start to something I hope to continue all year.

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Easter Egg Fun

Nick and I enjoyed dying eggs our own chickens laid for Easter. It was interesting to see how the dye made certain imperfections in each egg stand out. Our chickens lay delicious eggs, but they are hardly ever the perfect shape you find in stores. I love seeing the odd shapes we get sometimes. Every once in a while, we get a super oval egg instead of the slightly more pear shapes you commonly see.

Egg Dying Kit

When we were ready to dye, we had saved up ten eggs, so that is how many we hard boiled and played with. We had three normal dyes and three “marble” dyes. To turn a dye into a marbling dye, you just need to add a tiny bit of canola oil to the dye.

Egg Dye

I think it was quite fitting that we used our chicken mugs to dye our chicken eggs.

Easter egg

Orange egg

Marbled egg

Here was our little setup. You just can’t dye Easter eggs without a little “Running Man” going on in the background. Can’t beat Arnold with a beard.

Easter egg station

I hope you are all having an amazing Easter weekend and get to do something fun and colorful as well!

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

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Pinterest Post Power!

I love Pinterest. I pin almost daily about foods I want to make, inspirational illustration and graphic design, things I love, future house ideas, and way too many more.

Problem is, I’ll never get to try all these amazing how to’s and ideas if I just keep pinning them. So I’m going to be proactive with my Pinterest. Instead of only drooling over amazing illustrations I come across, I’ve started sketching more. When I’m feeling stuck, I’ll browse through my inspirational pins and find one that is perfect for my mood and use it to jump start the sketch of the day. You can see some of my latest doodles on my instagram or twitter.

I’m also trying to bake, cook, and crockpot my way through the food pins that have been piling up.

Today I started out with a quick Spring Fruit Pudding.

I emptied a cheesecake flavored instant pudding packet into a mixing bowl with a can of pineapple and the juices. I stirred these two together until they were well blended. The mixture started to get thicker, almost like a pudding. Imagine that!

Pineapple and pudding mix

Next, I just added sliced bananas and strawberries and mixed it all up again.

Fruit

As a final touch, I dashed some cinnamon on top and did a final stir. It has a great texture and the pudding just adds a nice flavor to the fruit. Surprisingly, it isn’t the hero to this dessert. The fruits themselves shine, and the pudding plays a nice supporting roll.

Spring Fruit Pudding

Noms

 

Since I was feeling peppy, I decided to knock out two food ideas today. The second one I crossed off my list was home made granola. You can find the original recipe here. Me being me, I changed the recipe a bit.

I combined 1.25 cups old fashioned rolled oats, a big dash of cinnamon, 4 tablespoons of shredded coconut, and a handful of craisins in one bowl. In a second bowl, I mixed 1/4 cup sugar free syrup and a half cup of cinnamon apple sauce. These two bowls got together, mixed things up, and became the start of some sweet granola.

making granola

I spread the mixture out in a pan that had been sprayed with Canola Oil and baked it for 15 minutes at 325. When that was done, I alternated mixing up the granola, breaking up the chunks, and cooking for 5-8 minutes until it was no longer soft and became more like real granola.

Homemade Granola

It’s going to be hard not to just eat the whole things in one sitting. Will probably at least double the recipe next time I make it.

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Adventures in Cooking … With Color!

This last weekend we celebrated Nick’s birthday! Last year, on his birthday, I baked him jalapeno cheese grits. This year I continued that little tradition and added another detail. A Dalek cake!

dalek cake

The best part of this cake? The chocolate icing? The fact that I didn’t destroy it while baking?

Or the colorful inside?

I wanted Nick to be surprised when he cut his piece. The cake wasn’t just tasty, it was fancy!

First of all, I started with our own fresh eggs from the lovely ladies in the backyard. I also bought cake mix, the icing, and food coloring. Since it is super close to Easter, the choices for food coloring were all Easter themed. Luckily, Nick just loves anything colorful.

chicken eggs

I prepared the batter as described on the box, then I separated it and used food coloring to get four brightly colored sections. Next, I just poured a little bit at a time, allowing the batter to spread each colorful section beneath it. Great news here, you can be as messy as you want, or are naturally. The messier your pour, the more wacky the cake will be. Just don’t stir it all together. It would lose the different colors.

colorful cake

I went with a French Vanilla flavor because the cake without altering would be white, so the color added would pop easily. I love how it turned out once it was all finished. I’m craving it just typing this up and looking at the pictures again. Yikes!

colorful cake

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Spring in Jan

Apparently we are done with winter in Texas. This last weekend was amazing. The weather was beautiful, bright, warm, and breezy. How better to celebrate than try out some water. What? Water…

Yup, lemon/cucumber/mint water. It’s amazing. I found the recipe on this website! and tried it out.

I’ve been working hard on my second round of p90x and drink a ton of water. It does get a little boring and I crazy juice, chocolate milk, anything really. So, make water fun. Problem solved. This mixture also promises to promote healthy benefits, which are a huge plus. Also, you can just keep refilling and use the same fruit over and over until, you know, you replace.

Lemon Water

Lemon Water Startin!

I’ve tried this kind of water once before at a dinner with friends. I’m sad it took me this long to get on the bandwagon myself.

With this batch of water, the cucumber is a bit strong for my taste, but only just. If i dilute it a bit, it’s perfect. I might just still be a little burned out on cucumber since we had our mini garden last spring/summer.

Time To Soak

Time To Soak

Speaking of gardening, I’m sad to say I might have to take a haitus this summer. I have been excited to try my hand a second year since I feel that I learned so much last year. Sadly, we aren’t sure of our living arrangements and if we end up moving, it would be easiest without plants to relocate. We shall see.

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