Monday, June 30, 2014

{Recipe} Vegetarian Taco Pie

I knew there was a reason I wanted to whip up my own taco seasoning and this was it.
My version of Vegetarian Taco Pie is quick, filling and delicious.
 Ingredients:
1 frozen pie crust
1 pound of Beefless Ground (I use Trader Joe's brand)
olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can of black beans (rinsed)
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used light Mexican blend)
 Pre bake the pie shell according to the package directions.
In the meantime, saute onions and peppers with some olive oil until softened, add the Beefless Ground and stir to mix. 
Add black beans and taco seasoning plus 1/4 cup of water, bring to boil then reduce heat, stirring to combine.
 Remove pre baked pie crust from oven.  Transfer the beefless/bean mixture to the pie crust. Top with cheese and return to oven.
Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes until the crust has turned golden brown and cheese is melted.
 Cool to wire rack and cut immediately to serve.
This was a hit with the family!
It's easily adaptable to your taste and you can even add ground beef or turkey or just do all beans(which I'm going to try next time).
Linking up with:

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

{Photography} Working in Photoshp CS6

I have been logging a lot more hours on my laptop with my latest photography class and learning Photoshop in the process.
It's tedious but the more I use it, the easier it gets.
This assignment was to try a vintage photo shoot with props.
This one was from the 'magical' week and I added fairy dust.
More from the vintage photo shoot, turning a daytime photo into a night time shot and making the lantern glow. 
I took this photo and made it look vintage. I thought her outfit and headband were perfect for the assignment. Lucky coincidence!
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday} Name Change

It looks like I'm going to have to come up with a new name for her. 
No more Miss Middle School..it's on to high school in the fall!
Linking up with:
Wordless Wednesday @ Create With Joy

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

{Recipe}Cauliflower Mashed Faux-tatoes

Rich, creamy, smooth...I'm talking silky smooth mashed potato like goodness without a potato in sight.
Not that I don't love a mashed potato but sometimes I want something less 'carby'.
My {brilliant} sister gave me this recipe idea.
Steam or microwave one head of cauliflower (cut into florets) or one bag of frozen cauliflower florets until tender.
Now, here's where the creamy comes in.  Add the hot cauliflower florets and 3 wedges of Light Laughing Cow cheese to a blender or food processor. 
 *Be careful with hot things in the blender!*
Mix, mix, mix until smooth. The Vitamix has brought these  faux-tatoes to a whole new level. I used to make them in my food processor and they were delicious but I'd get a few little bits of cauliflower remaining in the finished product. The Vitamix makes them super smooth.
Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Don't feel guilty if you eat the whole batch.
Enjoy piping hot!
Linking up with:
Tickle My Taste Buds Tuesday
Home Sweet Home

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Father's Day Weekend--Disc Golf and Dinner

Father's Day feels like it was so long ago already.
Cute card, right?
We had a quiet Father's Day weekend but I think the Mister enjoyed it all.
 We went disc golfing the night before in our local park.
 Have you ever gone disc golfing?
 I was going along to take pictures but realized I didn't have my memory card with me so I had to use my Iphone.
 Each hole had a different name, like "Serenity Now" or "Needs More Cowbell". 
Just like in real golf, some of the holes are harder than others.
 I get easily distracted.
 It's such a peaceful way to spend a few hours and get a nice hike in the woods.
 We go to this park a lot to walk but I had never been on the disc golf course.
 "Bazinga"!
 Here's Mr Click in action.
 The view after we finished our game.
On Sunday we had a relaxing morning and gave him his presents out on the deck.  
Miss Middle School made him this Pinterest inspired card. 
She also had an ice skating lesson and a (short) piano recital that day. Our lazy day got a little busy!
Then we met our cousins for an early dinner at Bonefish Grill and hit up Target afterwards.
A great way to round out our Father's Day weekend. :)


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Friday, June 20, 2014

Another Successful Thrifting Day & Patriotic Decorating

We had a very successful thrifting day.  I wasn't planning to get so many patriotic items but I ended up with quite a few.
Now our mantel (seen here last year  with more thrifty finds) is sporting a few new to me pieces. 
Looking into the family room (avert your eyes from the open cabinet under the tv, please).
Another close up of the mantel. That tall silver vase will probably be staying up there year round. My No -Sew Patriotic Bunting is still looking good.

This patriotic printable got a fresh new card stock matte and now it really pops!

That cute red Italian jug is perfect for holding the 1776 flags.
I scored this vintage child's folding chair for photo shoots but I could use it as a plant stand too. 
A few of our items aren't pictured Miss {Last Day of }Middle School found a few treasures and I found a great trench coat that I'll have to post later.
Linking up with:


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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

{Entertaining} Trail Mix Bar & Wild Book Club

Did I catch you with that title...wild book club? :)
 Our book last month was Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.  It's a memoir of her harrowing, 1000 mile hike from the Mojave Dessert, through California, Oregon and ending in Washington State. She did this alone and in her 20's!  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.  It reads likes a novel.
Since I was hosting book club, I had to come up with some food and beverage ideas that went along with out book.   A trail mix bar sounded like fun.   She eats a lot of trail mix on her hike.
I used different cereals and popcorn as the base and then had lots of mix-ins to customize it. 
{Cereals:}
Bran Buds, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Life & Puffed Wheat
Popcorn
{Mix Ins:}
Dried fruit, Almonds, Teddy Grahams, mini M & M's, peanut M & M's, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pretzels. 
***
I had plastic cups to mix up our trail mixes in and spoons for easy eating.
I also served french fries because she was often fantasizing about the meals she'd eat when she would make camp in a town--usually involving a burger and fries.
 Cocktails are a must at book club and we usually stick with wine (everyone tends to bring a bottle) but I thought it would be fun to make a Wild themed cocktail.
 In the book, the author craves Snapple lemonade so mixed up a Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail (aka Blueberry BFF).  
I found the recipe here.  
{Ingredients:}
Vodka
Blueberries
Lemonade 
Club Soda
***
Put a few blueberries in a glass and muddle a few of them to release the flavor.  Add a handful of ice and one shot of vodka.  Fill the glass halfway with pink lemonade and top off with club soda. 
Add a few more blueberries and a fun straw.
 These were very light and refreshing.
I served home made hummus with home made tortilla chips (it was nice to have College Girl home to make these for me!), veggies and a few other nibbles. College Girl had also read the book and sat in with us for some of our discussion.  That was a welcome first!
The Trail Mix Bar was a big hit and will probably be showing up at a future party around here.
Linking up with:
Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Creative Corner Hop
Sunday Showcase
Creative Mondays
Alphabe-Thursday
Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday
Home Sweet Home

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

{DIY} Make Your Own Taco Seasoning

I'm never going back to store bought taco seasoning after trying this recipe.
 It's easy to mix it up yourself with spices you probably already have in your spice rack.
Mix the following spices together and store in an air tight container.  
Use 1-2 tablespoons per pound of protein of your choice along with 1/2-3/4 cups of water.  Simmer on medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Great for fajitas too!
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Friday, June 13, 2014

{Recipe} Rice & Veggie Stuffed Peppers

These stuffed peppers are a weeknight staple around our house.  I probably make them at least every other week because they are so versatile and easy.  Everybody likes them too (bonus!).  I make mine vegetarian, but feel free to add your favorite ground meat.
I don't have exact measurements for this recipe.  
Ingredients:
Bell peppers (1/2-1 per person)
Cooked brown rice (1-2 cups)
Assorted chopped up vegetables (onions, peppers, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, etc)
Olive oil
Grated cheese (I like to use a light Mexican blend)
Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
***
Cut off top of peppers (reserve) and then cut in half and remove seeds, microwave for 5 minutes to soften then blot dry.  Set aside in an oven safe dish.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add vegetables. This time I used onions, cut up pepper tops, shredded carrots, and spinach
Saute veggies until cooked, adding minced garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Add cooked rice to vegetable mixture (about 1 cup).  Stir to combine.
Add tomato sauce (or spaghetti sauce) and mix together (if I don't have sauce on hand I skip this step, diced canned tomatoes also work in a pinch).
Turn the heat down and add in grated cheese (around 3/4 cup), stir until mostly melted (I leave this out for College Girl and make hers with nutritional yeast before adding cheese for the rest of us).
Stuff pepper halves with the mixture, it's ok if some of the filling spills out into the dish..that will be yummy too.
Add a bit of Parmesan cheese if you like and bake at 350F for approximately 20-30 minutes.
Enjoy your cheesy, veggie creation!
What's your go-to weeknight dinner if you're cooking?
Linking Up With:
Say G'day Saturday

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