I don't know why I've never mentioned this before, but there is an awesome website called They Draw & They Cook that features illustrated recipe "cards" from various contributors. Not only are the cards fun, pretty & quirky there are some great recipes. I can spend a lot of time just browsing all the recipe cards! I especially like the look and idea of this card for Sensational Foil Packet Vegetables. What an easy but tasty side dish this would be. Just cut up your veggies, set them on a foil sheet, sprinkle some Kraft Zesty Italian, Parmesan, close up the packet, throw it on the grill and after about 5 minutes on each side you will have yummy veggies. Such a great idea!
I'm super swamped. Beyond swamped. Like, buried under a 7 foot pile of trash and trying to fight my way back to the top. It's going to take a while but I'll do my best to at least get the Friday Recipes out. And if you aren't already a follower on the Facebook Page go over there and "like" it because there are more tips and recipes being shared there.
This is going to be a busy, busy week for me. So here are few “Crumbs” to keep you busy:
5 Minute Homemade Mac-n-Cheese by Picky Palate. I wouldn’t normally trust a quick mac-n-cheese but Picky Palate makes some pretty great food, so I’m going to give it a try. Oooh, and I just saw that she has a new cookbook coming out later this year!!
Stamped Wooden Spoon: what an easy and clever way to personalize something you use every day! Would be a great wedding shower gift.
Bree and I made this for our last Girl’s Wine and Cheese Night. It was yummy and not too bad on the calories because it’s made with ricotta. I think next time I would add a little more garlic, a little more rosemary, a pinch more salt, then let it sit in the fridge for an hour so the flavors meld before baking.(click the pic for the recipe)
I like the flavor of pork: pork chops, pork tenderloin, country ham, bacon… it’s all yummy to me. But I have to admit, I don’t have a lot of pork recipes up my sleeve although my brother and I have worked out a really great pork chop recipe, I’ll have to share that soon.
When I saw this recipe for an oven roasted pork loin I knew I had found a winner. Carrots and potatoes are favorites too but a pork loin is just so versatile, it handles spice so well. And if you cook it right, can be really moist. Low fat too, 3 oz. of a pork loin has about 48 calories and only 2 grams of fat!
Bonus: this recipe uses a big cast iron skillet, which I have. I love to use my cast iron.
Take some garlic, dijon and thyme and schmear it all over the pork loin. While that’s resting, cut up your veggies and start cooking them in the cast iron pan. After those have cooked for a bit, add the pork loin on top and finish in the oven for about 45 minutes. As Ina says, “How easy was that?!”
I’ve got a lot on my plate this weekend but I’m going to enjoy every minute of it! Have a great weekend friends!
PS: If you haven’t popped over to the home page lately be sure to go look at the new design bits!
For those who are new around here, occasionally I share what I call my Everyday Art. Everyday Art is anything that inspires me enough that I will stop and take a picture of it with my phone or camera. It can be something I find beauty in or something funny or just something that makes me stop and think. Just 3 pictures today, from the top left going clockwise:
That is a rainbow trout my brother caught on the river last week. We grew up on the river and fishing is a favorite family pastime. It is a way of life for us. It is our culture and our heritage. I have photos of my grandparents' lawn with rows and rows of fish caught on the same river and my Grandma still gets out to the ponds from time to time to wrangle a large mouth bass. I see a beauty in that fish that most people would miss. And I know how hard it is to hook one of those!
I was having a particularly stressful week last month and while walking through Michael's I looked up and saw this sign. I started laughing right there on the clearance aisle. Relax, Carey. Just relax.
I few months ago I was working on a project for a class I took from Brave Girl's Club. This quote spoke so much to me so I created an art piece with it and I wrote below: "I'm still here, there must be a reason." There were more than a few times over the last several years that I wasn't sure my physical body would make it another year. But I'm still here, and I spend everyday trying to honor that gift.
Until next time my friends. And I hope you will stop and admire the Everyday Art in your own life.
Last year on the ATC Facebook Page, I posted a link to a tutorial on diy knotted flip flops. That tutorial caught my eye because it reminds me of my Steve Madden flip flops that I l-o-v-e:
But in my busy-ness I never got around to actually doing the project and forgot about it. That is, until a FB page follower asked me to repost that tutorial, which I did this morning. And that’s when I remembered how much I loved that tutorial so I raced down to Walmart and picked up a pair of cheap flip-flops.
I already had some scraps of fabric to use so this project cost me a whopping $2.50! You can see the original tutorial over at The Mother Huddle or you can following along with my version below.
You will need:
1 pair of cheap flip flops, something you can cut the straps out of and not feel guilty
4 strips of thin fabric, preferably something silky like polyester. Cut the fabric into 4 strips that measure 24”x4.5”
Some craft or kitchen scissors
The first thing you have to do is clip off the “plugs” on the bottom of the shoe, the part that holds the strap onto the shoe. Just push the straps down and the “plug” will pop through the bottom. Snip-Snip!
So now you’re left with strapless flip-flops. You may proceed.
Cut each end of each strip of fabric to a point. This will make it easier to thread the fabric through the holes.
Take two strips of fabric, line up the point ends, and push the point ends through the top hole (the one nearest the toe"). Push it through till there is about 3-5 inches of fabric coming through the bottom of the shoe.
Tie a knot on the bottoms of the shoe by separating the 2 strips of fabric and tying a knot as close to the hole as you can but also keeping the tails as short as you can. In the picture above, my tails are too long, I should have made them shorter. Tie a basic ole double knot, making sure it is tight. Then snip off the tails.
Flip your flip-flop over so you are looking at the top. You should have two strips of fabric coming up through the hole. Keeping those strips together, tie another knot about 1 inch from the shoe. The 1” surplus is what will go in between your big toe and the knot will keep it in place. I put it on my foot, then measured where the knot would go, tying off the knot with the shoe still on my foot. It just made more sense to me that way instead of trying to guess. You can add a second knot just above the first knot, if you choose. That’s how The Mother Huddle did hers, I only did one knot because my fabric was textured and a little bulky.
Next separate your strips so that there is a right and a left. Cram the right strap down into the right hole so that it pops out underneath. Do the same for the left.
Once again knot the fabric so that it will stay secure, snipping off the ends when you’re done. I put mine on my feet and measured, just the same as before. You want the knots to be snug because fabric will stretch over time and you don’t want loose flip-flops. You will probably have to do some adjusting, untying the knots, retying, tightening, etc. until they are just the way you want them. Once you have them perfectly snug, snip off the ends and you are DONE!
The whole project took about 30 minutes and I couldn’t be happier. They are comfy, they were cheap and I can make many, many more versions. All I have to do is switch out the fabric.
If you so desire, you can use smaller strips of fabric, you can finish the edges (I left my edges raw) or you can experiment with different fabrics, ribbon, rope, etc. The Mother Huddle also shows a version with tie-backs on the heels. You could even add embellishments like a flower or shoe clip. It’s up to you!!
I repeat, this is not a recipe. It is simply the 5 minute meal I made for myself the last two nights 1) because it was so fast and 2) because it was so darn good and 3) because I was allowed to have it.
I probably forgot to tell you that somehow I got suckered into doing P90x exercise program for the next couple of months, diet and all. Yes, I am breaking one of my own rules and adhering to a high protein/low carb diet but only because it is perfectly calculated to fuel you through these intense workouts. To tell you the truth, the hardest part of the diet has been eating that much food. I have to fit 7 portions of protein into one day! It's not easy to fit in work, my daily workout and cooking all that protein.
But yesterday I "cooked" a great throw together meal! It's too simple to call it a recipe but here is what you need:
one box of quick couscous (Near East is my favorite)
precooked frozen fajita meat, beef or chicken (the one at my Sam's Club is not frozen so it's even quicker); I don't now the amount, just eyeball it
1 bag of sugar snap peas from the produce aisle; again, I don't know the weight of the bag, I told you this wasn't a recipe!
a drizzle of olive oil (but you can add up to 2 teaspoons if you are not on a restrictive diet like me)
Follow the directions on the package to prepare the couscous, it usually is something like this: bring 1 1/2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of oil and the contents of the spice pack to a boil. Stir in the couscous and remove from the heat. Put the lid on the pot and let sit for 5 minutes.
While your couscous is boiling or resting, you can heat your fajita meat up in the microwave. About 1-2 minutes depending on if it's frozen.
Also while your couscous is resting and your meat is reheating, cut your sugar snap peas in half on the diagonal, because it's prettier on the diagonal. And the smaller pieces just make more sense.
Once your couscous has rested, take the lid off the pot and give it a small stir with a fork to fluff it up. Stir in your sugar snap peas and dish up onto plates, about 1/2 cup on each plate. Top with your fajita meat and ta-da! A filling, healthy meal in just about 5 minutes!! Hoooray!!
Of course, you could add more veggies to your couscous, depending on what you have on hand. Some caramelized red onions or chopped green onion tops or halved grape tomatoes would be yummy, too. Or you could leave out the meat and use a package of fajita veggies. Throw in the kitchen sink for all I care but give this quick weeknight meal a shot, I think you'll make it again and again. I know I will.
Normally for our Friday Recipe I will go through my Google Reader or my Pinterest Food Board and share something that has caught my eye recently. Other times I will actually pull out an old family recipe or a recipe shared by a friend. But today, it all comes down to what I am craving and I am seriously craving one of these:
Yep, a good ole fashioned Orange Julius. I want the frothy, citrusy, creamy goodness! The problem is, there is nowhere in my town to get one. And while we’re at it, there’s no where to get a good soft pretzel like Auntie Ann’s. I was craving one of those this week too.
So, I will have to resort to making one at home this weekend. And that’s OK because I’m sure it will be a lot cheaper to make it at home than driving 45 minutes to the mall and paying for an overpriced drink.
Now… over the years I have heard that the secret to an Orange Julius is… well, actually I’ve heard there are 2 secrets:
Egg whites. I can already some of you screaming “Ewwwwww!” Settle down, you can omit it or use egg white substitute and I’ve even heard of using egg white powder. I guarantee the original is NOT made with raw egg whites (due to health codes) so my best guess would be powdered egg whites and I hear you can get them at Walmart. However, raw eggs do not scare me in a recipe so I might give it a shot.
Powdered sugar. I have seen recipes with regular granulated sugar, and I’ve seen them with powered sugar. And I’ve seen recipes with both types of sugar. The powdered sugar makes sense to me because it will dissolve better and it has a touch of thickener in it so it will add some body to the shake. I’m sure either will taste good. And if you are one of those people who must use a sugar substitute or honey, I’m sure that will work quite well too.
I’m going to give you a few different links, some with eggs, some without, some with powdered sugar, some with regular, some with milk, some without. You can pick which one you want to try!