Welcome to my creative outlet

I believe that every person needs some form of creative outlet. This is mine, my personal recipe's, small projects and ramblings from life's lessons.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dairy Free Rice Pudding

Tonight for dinner we had stir fry using my left over Terriyaki Sauce from last weeks post and I had a couple cups of rice left over. I knew tomorrow morning was going to be hectic and thought, "hmm it would be so easy if breakfast was all ready to go in the morning.." So I decided to wing it and recreate my mom's rice pudding she use to make when I was a kid. I love homemade rice pudding! But of course I can't have dairy and my husband and kiddos can't do cinnamon so this recipe is with a twist and is very delicious!
You have to love it when you wing it and it turns out to be a winner =D

Things you need:
1 cup Original coconut milk
2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2- 2 cups cooked rice (brown or white are both good)
1/2 Tsp of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
In a blender/magic bullet whip the coconut milk, eggs, brown sugar and nutmeg until evenly incorporated.  Scoop the cooked rice into a pie dish and level out (don't pack it down). Pour the egg mixture over the rice.

Cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes until the center is firm.
Once the rice pudding is out of the oven remove the foil and allow to cool for about 30 minutes, you can enjoy while still warm or put in the fridge and enjoy cool for breakfast or as an after dinner treat.

This is so delicious, with the nutmeg and sweetness from the coconut milk I don't even miss the cinnamon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

(Gluten free) Teriyaki Chicken and veggies made easy

  • Teriyaki Marinade
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)
  • cup water
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 -2 tablespoon honey
  • Slurry for thickening....
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water

Directions for assembling your marinade:

Mix all but cornstarch and 1/4c water in a sauce pan and begin heating. Mix cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve. Add to sauce in pan .Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness. If you thicken the sauce too much add a little water to loosen it up.

Things you need for the stir-fry:

3 large chicken breast (thawed or fresh)
One bag of frozen stir-fry veggies or fresh veggies of choice
Wok or large saute pan
3 cups of rice (uncooked)
3 cups of water

Marinate your 3 chicken breasts in  1/2 of the cooled teriyaki sauce in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to an hour.

  1. Cut your chicken breast into 1/4 inch strips (I use meat scissors for ease) and  toss into a  preheated (high) wok or saute pan. It's important the pan is super hot to quickly sear the pieces, otherwise the moisture seeps out and steams the chicken instead of fry it.
    Throw in your veggies (thawed or fresh) once the chicken has a nice sear on it.

    Only add the remaining half of the teriyaki sauce after the veggies and chicken are completely cooked, then  tossed until heated through and serve over your rice.

     You can use the teriyaki sauce the chicken was marinaded in but you have to make sure it's heated to a boil so the raw chicken is completely cooked. Then you end up with extra sauce for next time. Or if you want to play it safe throw out the marinade in the freezer bag and use the half that was untouched =)


    For convenience I use minute rice which is equal parts rice to water and microwave for 5 minutes covered. 
    You can use what ever works best for your dietary habits. I like it with out a starch too, and also yakisoba noodles.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Easiest Salmon dish that even non-seafood eaters will love

I am going to be honest with you...I'm not much of a seafood person. I should be put to shame for being a self proclaimed foodie that does not like seafood! On the other hand, my husband loves salmon. I had to create a salmon dish that I was willing to eat with Karl and that Nadine would eat too. After a couple tries I'm pretty sure this is the easiest and yummiest salmon dish I've ever had.

2 bonesless salmon steaks (about 4 oz each) preferebly fresh not frozen
4 tbs of orange marmalade
4 tbs of orange juice
1 bag of mixed veggies (either the "steam ready" or frozen)
season to taste: salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder

Take a large sheet of foil and line the inside of a cake pan or cookie sheet,
drizzle foil with a light amount of olive oil
place salmon steaks on foil (scale side down) with room to curl up the foil for making a packet
Season salmon steaks, top each steak with 2 tbs of orange marmalade
Pour the bag of veggies over the salmon and season lightly
add 4 tbs of OJ for moisture
roll up the sides of the packet (adding more foil if needed to cover the whole thing), seal tightly
place in the preheated oven 350 deg for 45 minutes
remove from oven and serve over rice or as is =) for super easy and yummy rice I get the the frozen jasmine rice it only takes 3 minutes to microwave!

Each serving has less then 300 calories!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I love Pinterest.com and I get inspired to try crafts, clothing styles, recipes and etc. Today I was inspired by all the braided hair styles being pinned. I went to work trying out hair styles on my mini me (Nadine). 
I separated Nadine's hair into three sections (crown, middle and bottom) I did a loose french braid on the bottom and middle sections going in a down angle. Then I combined the two sections into one braid in and upward motion...

I continued the french braid up the side of her head to the crown and back down until  all loose hair was in the french braid, with the last 4 inches of hair I did a standard braid and tucked it behind the braided crown of her head and fastened with bobby pins and hair spray.

I chose to do it in a beehive style bump but the same process could be done in a tighter braid to not have the beehive affect. The volume is very cute as is or with a headband.

I used 5 bobby pins, 3 squirts of hair spray and it took a total of 15 minutes =) I think this is a keeper hair style for our next family pictures!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Waffle irons are good for more than just waffles...

I am all about easy ways to make yummy food. Today I made waffles for breakfast and at lunch time my waffle maker was still on the counter. I of course wanted to avoid making additional dishes so I opted to use the waffle iron as a panini press. Our grilled cheese sandwiches turned out crispy and our daughter got a kick out of the pattern.

Butter or olive oil on both sides of the bread, my kids did plain grilled cheese but I opted for goat cheese, fresh basil and sprinkled garlic powder on the outside of the bread as well. (DELISH!)
There you go folks! Easy and quick clean up!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Up-cycled lace infinity scarf

About an hour ago this was a plain black T-shirt and 1/4 of a yard of lace from the clearance section at the craft store~

I started with a T-shirt and cut off  just below the armpit all the way across and then cut off the bottom hem to make a tube of fabric.

Then cut open the tube on just one side.

line up the lace along the tub and cut 2/3 the length of lace as the jersey material. Sew the ends together to make one solid circle.

Take the hem you trimmed off of the bottom of the "tube" and cut in to two sections. Run the thread all the way through  and then cinch it together to make the shape of a flower. Sew the bottom to keep the flower intact.

(My mom graciously modeled the scarf for me)  Attach the flowers so  they tie in the lace and jersey material together.  I  chose to tack the two pieces together so I wouldn't have to re-adjust the scarf every time I put it on but you can do what ever you want =)

Total time: 1 hour (hand sewn)
Total cost: $2.50 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Homemade Apple Sauce

I love applesauce! It's best when freshly made, and oh so easy. Save yourself some money and make your own batch. You can either can them or just refrigerate and eat. We actually went through our jars so quickly that I'm not sure the whole canning process was necessary ;)

What you'll need:

3lbs of apples

Cinnamon and brown sugar to taste.

Canning jars with quick seal lids

large pot to fully submerge the jars

Canning tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water

Let's get started!

Peel, core and quarter apples.

You will need 3 to 3-1/2 pounds per quart of applesauce.

Place in large saucepot.

Cook apples with just enough water so they don't stick.

Cook over medium heat until soft.

Puree in food processor or food mill until smooth (I like my applesauce a little chunky so I used a masher 

and mashed by hand)

Return to pan and bring to a boil.

You may add sugar if desired.

Taste to see how sweet the apples are.

You can also add cinnamon

Keep applesauce boiling and ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Cap off with the quick seal lids and place on wired rack to cool. When the lids make a popping sound they 

have properly sealed! so easy! and delicious. 

Canning is always fun to do with a friend. This one goes by so fast when you have two or more sets of hands pealing the apples.

Later I will post an awesome pork chop recipe that uses our homemade applesauce!

Easy baking gift (Cookies in a jar)

For Christmas we love to give out goodies to our friends and family but everyone always ends up being overwhelmed with sugar treats so a friend an I got together and made these adorable cookie mix jars where all you need to add is 1 softened stick of butter, one egg and 1 tsp of vanilla.

Here's what you need (per jar):
  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/8 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (6-oz.) mini chocolate chips
  • 1pt Jar and swatch of cloth 
  • To Assemble (it's so easy!)
  • Layer the ingredients in the jar contrasting in color to create a layered look. Place the seal down and fabric on top then screw the lid ring on to secure. I included my baking directions in a separate card but have also tucked the corner of the instruction tags under the lid ring. It's super easy and fun.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

15 minute Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Dairy Free)

Pancakes are one of the few food items I could eat anytime of the day and over and over... well and waffles.
One of these days I will make my own pancake batter from scratch but for now I have a super simple, super delicious recipe that fits the bill! Sorry folks this one is not gluten free although you could just sub out the pancake mix for some of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix.

Things you will need:
1 cup of Bisquick
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Semi Sweet Chocolate chips (careful! Nestle has dairy in it!)
Canola oil

Let's get started!

If you've been following my blog you know I have a love affair with my Magic Bullet, I use it for everything that doesn't require my Kitchen Aid mixer. If you don't have one then just mix the ingredients in your blender or whisk really fast! 

Throw all your Bisquick, egg and coconut milk into the Magic Bullet and blend away until it's all evenly incoroporated. You'll notice the volume increases a little with all the delightful little air pockets that make these pancakes so fluffy! 

Heat your skillet and grease with the canola oil (I like using the Smart Balance Omega3)
Pour in your batter and sprinkle in the chocolate chips right before flipping. The key is to wait until the first side is nice and golden (you'll see several air bubbles rise and pop on the surface) then flip. You should only need to brown the 2nd side for a few seconds which means the chocolate doesn't burn.

Your first two may take a little practice with timing but then it's easy! From start to eating I can make enough to feed my family of 4 in 15 minutes. 


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mojitos! Cheers!

During the long rainy fall and blustery winter that Oregon serves up for about 5 months straight I like to cheer myself up with a summery drink! I crank up the heat, turn on ALL the lights in the house and make some fresh mojitos to go along with our dinner. It's a great pick me up to trick your body for a couple minutes into feeling festive instead of cold and damp. Keep in mind, I am not in any way making traditional mojitos these are my version of what I got on a cruise in Mexico =D

Here's what you need:
Fresh mint (I grow ours but you can also find it in your produce aisle with the herbs)
Limejuice (unsweetened)
Brown sugar
Club soda

First I "muddle" the brown sugar and mint, this for me is a fancy term for using the end of my ice cream scoop in a bowl to squish up the mint leafs with sugar releasing all their yummy oils and flavor. Next I add 2 shots of rum (I like to use Captain Morgan's Private Stock spiced rum) swish it around to pick up all the sugar and mint then dump it into a cocktail shaker (you can stir vigorously too) add a handful of ice and top off with 2 shots of lime juice. Shake until it's nice and chilled and equally mixed. Then pour into your serving glass, top off with a little bit of club soda and a lime wedge or mint leaf to garnish.

For the brown sugar I use 2 tbs to a shot of rum, but we like our drinks a little on the sweeter side =)