Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zucchini & Sauce {fast and healthy!}

Ready for a super easy, super yummy, and very healthy recipe?
Hip Hip Hooray!

Here is what you will need:
- Zucchini {for my fam bam of four I used 4 large zucs}
- a jar of a low sodium pasta sauce {I buy Gia Russa brand, its no salt add and is 20mg per serving which is 1/2 a cup}
- organic Italian chicken sausage or ground turkey

First brown your meat.  While thats browning, cut your zucchini ends off and slice down the middle.  Then take a peeler or if you are fancy shamancy a mandolin and make thin ribbon slices.  Once your meat is browned add sauce and let simmer.
While the sauce is simmering add zucchini to a medium size sauce pan with a large dash of olive oil and pinch of salt. Cook while gently stirring for around 5 mins over medium/low heat.  
Add to a bowl with a serving of sauce.

PS: adapted from my StepMomma's recipe.

In other food news, there are a few "we play with our food" plates I have done for Bean over the past couple of weeks...


Making food fun can lead to kids trying all new foods.

Monday, September 17, 2012

DIY Fall Hanging Art

So, its officially Fall.
And the only reason I know this to be true is Starbucks released PSL 
{for those not in the know thats a Pumpkin Spice Latte}.
And since I base all change of seasons off Starbucks drink rotations, I decided some fall decorations were in order.

WAAAAY back in the blogging day, Eighteen 25 Girls had blogged this really fun technique for painting with corn syrup.
I had always wanted to try it, so I thought this was a perfect time.
I teamed up with my buddy Kori from Paper & Pigtails to help come up with some
cute fall images to use for this project, they can be downloaded here 
{Feel free to use these for other fall projects, just remember they are for personal use only}

So what you will need:
- Corn syrup
- food coloring
- freezer paper
- printed sheet of images
- black crayon
- paint brushes
- small bowls at least 5
- tape
- scissors
- fishing line or something similar
- a branch

First thing will be to lay your printed images under some freezer paper {shiny wax side down} and tape it in place.  Then with a black crayon trace them out.

Once you have traced as many images as you want, take a tbsp of corn syrup and mix in a few drops of food coloring, I made orange, red, yellow, green, and brown. And start painting.  You want it to be a little thick in the application.  And the cool thing with the crayon is if you get some corn syrup on it, the wax propels it and it will disappears off it.

These will take at least 24 hrs to dry.  

Once they are dry cut them out. Then I took a tiny hole punch to each one and strung up a branch above our table {I have a little hook up there all the time for hanging things} And then started hanging the pieces.  The owls I decided to add to the branch as though they are perched...

I love how it turned out!  
Another option would to be make a garland to hang around the windows to still get the stained glass affect they give.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Chicken and Fried Quinoa

You may or may not know my feelings about quinoa.
But lets just say, I love it.
Which basically makes me think about different ways of using it during the week,
This week I made a Chicken and Fried Quinoa dish.
And the best part of this dish, the chicken can easily be replaced with tofu for a veggie dish.

Here is what you need:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1lb to 1 1/2lbs of fresh chicken tenders - chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 low sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- canola oil

Cook the quinoa per bag instructions.
Once quinoa is cooked, heat a tsp of canola oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
Add garlic and ginger a cook until garlic starts to turn brown, then add chicken with sesame oil.
Cook chicken through about 5 mins.
Add eggs and scramble.
Remove from pan.
Heat some more oil and add onion, carrots, and peas, cook for 5 more mins.
Then add quinoa  and soy stirring, for another 5 mins.
Lastly add back chicken and eggs {with any juices}.
Serve right away with a little chopped scallion and sriracha. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Reusable Produce Bags

A few Christmases ago my girlfriend gave me a bunch of reusable produce bags.
Well fast forward to this past weekend and I found myself down to two bags.
And when 90% of your shopping happens in the produce section they come in real handy.

So when I got home I gathered up a few things I had around to make some more.
What you will need:
- tulle fabric, stiffer the better {thats what she said} sections cut in 9 1/2in x 13in two for each bag, I folded mine so my two pieces were already attached at the bottom
- twine or thin ribbon
- sewing machine
- scissors

I sewed up both sides of the bag 1/4 inch in.

Then laying the twine down and then turn the top over.

Then cut a small hole on the each side of the seam on one side to pull the twine through.
So the cord ends inside the bag. Then sew the fold over down all the way around.  

Turn inside right, tie the ends of the twine together and BAM you have reusable produce bags.

Now run off to Wholefoods or the farmers market and dazzle all crunchers people around you when they ask where you got your bags, and say, "Oh these? Just a little something I whipped up."
PS: would make a great housewarming gift, filled with fun little household items.


Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Skull Tees {and guest post}

Today I have the honor of guest hosting on the eighteen 25 girls blog!
They have a spooktacular September, and everyday posting great Halloween projects and giveaways.
After making my project for them, my mind started turning and thought it would be cool to make some tees.

But instead of using freezer paper, cause the thought of recutting the stencil over and over made my head hurt.  So I came up with another approach.

I took a plastic divider and cut a reusable stencil out of it.
For my details on cutting out the stencils check out my guest post.

Then to stick it on I used a little double sided tape. Just cutting around the stencil so it fit the back.

And for this project I made two different versions, a bleached one {which again check out my guest post for details} and a black dye version. Which is pretty straight up, stick the stencil down and spray.

I cut the neck off mine and the bottom 3 inches off.  And then took some gold paint and gave mine a gold chompers.  


{photo credit to my sweet husband who walked away from the TV on the first football Sunday of the season to take these for me}

They rock the casbah!

Again to see how this skull madness started head over to eighteen 25 to see how this "cool guy" was made... 

Here are a few projects of Halloween past:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

I have been seeing different versions of these popping up on Pinterest.
I loved the idea of a healthy little protein/fiber packed snack just sitting in the fridge.
But most of them had things either that I did not have on hand or would HATE to eat {shredded coconut, which to me has the texture of finger nails}.

So I picked a few things from several different recipes and here is what I came up with:
- 1 1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup honey {if you can get your hands on local honey this is a HUGE benefit with allergies}
- 1 1/2 cups powdered milk
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 4 Tbsp flax seed meal 
- 1 cup raw sliced almonds

You pretty much just add everything to a bowl {minus the almonds} and mix {I used my stand mixer}.
Once all mixed using your hands mix in almonds.

Then roll into three to two bite size balls.
You should get around 30.
Place in freezer for 45 mins.
Then transfer to a airtight container or ziploc and keep in fridge.

Prefect little pre work our snack, midday boost, or even a little dessert.
My kids LOVE them.