Thursday, February 28, 2013

brussel sprout fritters

Inspired my my recent diet challenge, I decided to try and transform this recipe by Heather Christo Cooks.  To do this I replaced the flour with rice flour, the cheese with blue goat cheese and the bread crumbs with whole grain rice cakes. Because I'm a lazy chef, I also decided to make the whole thing in the Vitamix, which cut down on all the chopping and cleaning. If you don't have a Vitamix or similar blender, then simply chop up and mix the ingredients by hand. 

You'll need
2 cups Brussel Sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons rice flour
1/2 cup blue goat cheese (or other kind of cheese you enjoy)
2 eggs
1 rice cake

Place all ingredients (minus the oil) in your vitamix and mix until blended. 

It will be a shocking green and smell like...brussel sprouts!

Form mixture into patties and place on pan in oil. Cook on each side for about two minutes or until done. 

And here you have little green, gluten free latkes!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

craftastic round up

In lieu of crafting this week, I'm including a round up of some of my favorite recent craft finds. With spring break looming, I'm hoping to have more time to craft with the kids. But today, I've reserved for adult crafting. When's the last time you made something for yourself?

Milk carton planters from Martha: 

I love the look of these!!! We were just talking about how we need to get some house plants! (did you know they absorb toxins in your home?)

I love these three-legged vases from apartment therapy! 

Patterned soap anyone? These would make the perfect host gift. 

Also from Martha. Go figure. 

I want to make one of these in every single possible color combination. These are from the Purl Bee and while they are advertised as baby blankets, I'd make 'em larger as a throw blanket. 

I received my first cake stand and glass cover for Christmas this year. I love it! It makes my piddly baking projects look legit! Who knew you could make your own!

Want more projects that inspire? Come follow me on Pinterest! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

my new favorite holiday

Did you know that two days ago it was National Margarita Day?

Well, we celebrated around here!

Fresh pineapple juice margaritas!

three amigos
I followed the recipe from Smitten Kitchen Margaritas but substituted pineapple juice for blood orange juice. 

the pineapple gets juiced

Saturday, February 23, 2013

black bean burgers with a kick

So, long story short I'm on a new eating plan. In case you were wondering why all of my recipes are suddenly free of delicious doughy, breaded items. Turns out, I was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It took about a year to figure out what was wrong with me. I would go through these awful episodes of being tired all the time and I'd have bouts of severe joint pain. My fingers swelled and darkened. They thought it was a virus, but I couldn't seem to shake it. 

In any case, I was told to go on a Malaria drug that I'd have to take the rest of my life. At 36, I'm hoping "rest of my life" is a long time and the thought of being on strong meds for that long scares me. I'm not knocking the efficacy of meds for people who need them. This is just my personal choice. And should the time come where the disease progresses too quickly, I will reevaluate. I am not in debilitating pain, so when my integrative doctor advised doing a diet overhaul as an alternative to medicine, I jumped at the chance. 

So here's my new diet: No wheat, no dairy (goat milk / cheese is fine), no sugar, no coffee, no soy, no corn (which excludes like every packaged product on the market) and when I'm flaring no nightshades: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers). 

Needless to say it's been a major adjustment. But I'm learning and I'm getting creative. I have lots of stored recipes that I've been sifting through going, "now how can I rearrange this so I can consume it?" It's actually turned into a fun game. And I like a good challenge. I've been on it for three weeks, but then totally went off it in Mammoth, which I completely regret. I got so bloated and my skin broke out like I was in 9th grade all over again. 

In any case, I'm back on the wagon and hope that you will still enjoy these newly visioned recipes aimed at getting my health back on track!

While I can still eat organic, lean meat in moderation, I'm trying to eat less of it, so this is my meat burger alternative. 

1/4 yellow onion cut into slices
1 can black beans
1/2 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
a large pinch of sunflower seeds
2 shakes chili powder

Saute onions in olive oil until cooked.
Place beans, rice, sunflower seeds, chili powder and paprika in blender (or mash in bowl) Blend well. remove and form two patties. Place in olive oil on heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook on each side about 4 minutes per side on medium heat. 
Remove and cover with sliced avocado and whatever other condiments you enjoy! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

ski vacation!

We just got back from the best ski vacation in Mammoth, CA. 
We got the car ready for the 5-hour drive:

The drive itself went surprisingly fast! Lots of little towns to look at and the mountains were beautiful!

We stopped for lunch at the Mohave Airport restaurant and looked on the map wall to try and see where my parents are on their trip to Vietnam:

The town itself is so charming!

We travelled on Valentine's Day and we were sad that we wouldn't be able to continue our V-day fondu tradition. But, guess who stumbled upon a French cafe that night?!!

Fondu both savory and sweet:

Poor Mr. Meremade had a bad cold. And I was without makeup. Doodle suffered from altitude sickness for the first 24 hours. You're not believing me that it was the best trip ever!

We spent the rest of the trip in the snow! Sledding in it:

standing in it:

flying over it:

skiing up it:

resting in it:

posing on it:

these little guys worked so hard! (I kept telling the kids I wore a bright green jacket so they could find me easily...judging by the people in the backround of this photo, I guess I wasn't the only parent with this brilliant plan)

and I ran into Wooly the Mammoth at the top of the hill:

He also showed up at the tube park and tubed with us. Getting dressed in all those layers was the hardest part for these beach boys. 

I slowly got over my fear of heights with each gondola ride:

And the boys got new cozy pj's. I can't count the number of times those butt buttons kept "coming undone."

This beer tasted SO good after a long day of skiing:

and there was an outside sandbox to play in at the kids' favorite restaurant!

We ran into some friends from home!

There were evening bon fires:

more sledding:

and good sleeps for all!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

fabric giveaway winners

Hello! Sorry for the silence. I was whisked away on a ski vacation with the family for the long weekend! More on that soon, but first, I have two winners to announce!

The winner of the "nice" fabric bundle is:


And the winner of the "naughty" fabric bundle is:


I will contact you soon to get your mailing addresses. 

And I loved how some of you were torn between naughty and nice. That's how I feel most days. 

Back soon with a full snow report. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

v-day labor

It's been a busy day prepping for Valentine's Day. 

Instead of a card this year, we decided to bring out the laminator and go with a bookmark. At least that way, maybe it won't get tossed at the end of the day!

Using my favorite cityscape stamp set (totally unrelated to love, but who doesn't love a city scene?) we stamped away to our hearts' delight!

And a little love for the back. 

Now everyone knows my one true love, after my family, is books. I think it's Mr. P.'s as well. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

dessert for breakfast

Why would I not want to eat a Blueberry Pie Smoothie for breakfast?

Click here for the how to over at healthy blender

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

giveaway: fabric love

Are you naughty or nice? That's what you get to decide for this Valentine's giveaway.

I am giving away two bundles of fabric - I hesitate to call them "scraps" because most pieces are much more substantial than scraps and range from 8 x 8 quilting square size to fat quarter. 

First the nice:

This one has more of a floral, nautical, traditional flare. 

And the naughty:

This one features funkier, brighter, brassier fabrics. 

So, what are you? Naughty? Or nice?

To enter this giveaway, you must become a follower of this blog and then simply let me know in the comments section if you'd like to win "naughty" or "nice." Be sure and include your email address so I may contact you if you win! One entry per person, please. Open to US mailing addresses only. 

This giveaway will close on February 17h at 11:59 pm. I will announce a winner by February 19th. 

Good lucky!

Monday, February 4, 2013

from kitchen scrap to edible plant

I'm sharing this great post from Black Thumb Gardener today because it's such an informative piece on how to easily grow food from kitchen scraps. 

Before you toss that scrap into the compost bin, consider planting it near your kitchen window instead! Makes for one less "to do" at the market. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

one resolution - reading list - January

I tend to get all laundry listy when it comes to New Year's Resolutions. In an effort to simplify everything in my life, this year, I decided one resolution was all I got. 

But what should it be? After watching my "to read" shelf expand onto a pile on the floor, I decided my 2013 resolution would be to read at least one book a week. Furthermore, I resolved to be non-judgemental in choosing said weekly book. Parenting, fiction, non-fiction, romance novel, young adult, juicy memoir.....anything, as long as it's a book. 

Now that it's officially February, I am happy to announce I was able to abide by my one and only resolution last month. 

Here's what I read:

Secrets and Surprises by Ann Beattie - This is a collection of short fiction that I really liked, but not as much as her next  collection, Burning House, which is one of my all time favorites.
Next was The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. Moments of this book were hysterical as two children of performance artist parents navigate the waters of a f&$cked up childhood. They manage to reach adulthood, but their parents still remain dedicated to the art of spectacle, no matter the cost. 

Blue Nights by Joan Didion - After having read The Year Of Magical Thinking, a heartbreaking memoir about losing her husband, Blue Nights is even more depressing, exploring the loss of her daughter to a massive hematoma. But both are just so well written that even in their darkest moments, these books are impossible to put down. 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Suspense / mystery novels have never been my genre, but after hearing everyone and their mother talk about this book, I ran to the local library to give it a whirl and finished it two days later. It was a fast-paced whodunit that is apparently coming to a theater near you!

So I did it! Los Angeles Public Library, watch out! Here I come! (and just so you know, when I love a book, I do buy it.....) And my library just started offering free downloadable e-books to borrow the same as a library book. So fun! (and easier to return.....I tend to accrue late fees, but totally justify it by telling myself I am merely helping finance the services offered at the library.