Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life Lately

Hi all!  I hope you've all had a wonderful month of May.  I can't believe it's already almost over!  This month has been CRAZY busy for me (I actually took a little break on Tuesday).  So, a big apology to all my blogging friends because I've fallen way behind on all of your lovely posts (I'll be catching up soon!).  I've been on the job hunt and then in the process of getting my teacher's license.  I'm almost done with it all; next week is the last week of student teaching, I've got a job lined up for next school year, and almost all of my paperwork is ready to go for my license.  Phew!  I don't know about you, but I am definitely going to savor this summer break!

In other news, this month featured the final, at long last, arrival of spring in Minnesota.  I even got to plant our pots for the front and back yards.  And, as always, there were lots of walks and cuddles with Inga :)

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend and a rest-filled weekend ahead!  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Potato, Green Bean, and Tomato Salad with Shallot White Wine Reduction

Long title, but totally worth it.  This is a tasty meal that is perfect for that time in between spring and summer.

For two servings, you will need:

  • 3 small to medium sized red potatoes
  • 1 cup fresh green beans
  • 2 handfuls of grape tomatoes, rinsed
  • Mixed greens
  • Shallot, finely diced
  • White wine
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sugar
Cut the potatoes in half and boil for fifteen minutes.  Then, run under cold water to cool them quickly.  Cut into smaller chunks and set aside.
Next, blanch the green beans by adding them to boiling water for 5-7 minutes and then submerging them in ice water.  Set aside.

While the veggies cool, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook until soft and buttery.  Splash in some wine and simmer until slightly reduced.  Then, add a sprinkle of sugar and a small splash of apple cider vinegar.  Simmer until reduced.

Add your mixed greens to a plate, and top with the potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle on the shallot white wine reduction.

Oh, this is so good!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ham and Smoked Gouda Quesadillas

Sometimes, I need a super simple dinner.  You know, on those days when you are exhausted, but shells and cheese just won't cut it.  This fits the bill!

You will need:

  • Flour tortillas
  • Smoked gouda, shredded
  • Black forest ham, sliced thin
  • Margarine

Simply layer your gouda and ham on top of a tortilla and top with a second tortilla.  Butter both exposed sides of the tortillas and grill over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.

Slice it up and enjoy!  (Try it dipped in some mustard)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blueberry Pie Bars

Yum!  Pie is delicious, so I say eat it in as many ways as possible :)  For this recipe, all you need is your favorite pie crust recipe (I use one from Williams Sonoma) and your favorite pie filling.  In case you don't have a favorite recipe for pie filling, here's one to try:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups frozen blueberries
  • Juice from 1/2 of an orange
Combine the dry ingredients in a pot and then whisk in your water.  Bring the mixture to a boil and pour in your frozen blueberries.  Stir constantly until it starts to look like pie filling.  Hahah.  Seriously, though, stir it constantly while it is boiling until the mix becomes dark and thick, and the back of the spoon is coated with a semi-translucent coating.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Roll out your pie crust and lay it over a 9x13 pan.  Press the crust around the edges, removing any excess.  Cover with tinfoil, pressing it against the crust.  Prebake with the tinfoil on for fifteen minutes or until the tinfoil peels back without sticking.

After you remove the tinfoil, continue to prebake for another 10-15 minutes or until it is golden brown.  Lower the oven temperature to 375.

Sprinkle the crust with flour and sugar, then add your blueberry filling.  Pop it in the oven for an additional 30-35 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling bubbles.

Optional: top with a dusting of powdered sugar.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prize Coffee Cake

I'm not sure what prize this coffee cake won, but that's what Granny calls it, so that's what it must be!  I made this for mother's day and it was a tasty treat.  Since my mom doesn't like nuts, I left those out and the results were delicious!

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Streusel mixture:
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoon melted butter
    • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Combine your cake mix ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth.  Mix up your streusel mixture in a separate, smaller bowl.

Spread 1/2 of the cake mix in a bread pan and top with 1/2 of the streusel mix.  Repeat.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes.

Slice it up and enjoy! (I may have had seconds... or thirds)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

DIY Mother's Day Cards

Here is a simple mother's day card you can make with just a few different types of paper and some metal pieces you can find at Michael's.

Pick your papers- have a common color scheme and at least one with a pattern.

Cut a series of scalloped pieces to span across the card, cut another strip to go across the bottom, and tear a third piece to cut diagonally across the card.

Arrange your papers, and then glue them on starting from the bottom layer and working up.  Use super glue for any metal pieces.

Finally, add your message :)  I think that a hand made card is such a nice way to say happy mother's day!
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