What a busy weekend! Do you ever have those weekends that you are so busy and have ton of fun, but Sunday night you realize, you got absolutely no rest? I guess, that is why I feel like a zombie this morning. But the fun that was had, was well worth it.
This recipe is actually healthier than it looks. Aren’t those the best? By using as many fat-free or low fat ingredients as I could or ones with whole grains, I give all of you permission to pig out on this one! Any dish that has crackers, cheddar cheese, and cream of chicken soup you know is going to be comfort food…simple…and tasty…and don’t forget, simple!
Oh, and did I mention, I had 2, yes 2, chefs eating at my house when I made this? Both got happy plate awards x2! haha
Having a chef as a husband = lots of herbs and spices. Most of our herbs were bought in big bulky containers too…restaurant grade of course. We even get gifted herbs and spices, it’s just the nature of who we are I guess! Our pantry is smaller than our coat closet (our one complaint with this house). And no spice rack has ever been large enough to accommodate the number of different spices we have going on in our cabinet. See…(and we have more stashed away!)
I got fed up with these taking up a whole cabinet, when we have other things crammed elsewhere because these spices were taking up so much room. I was walking around the hardware store and saw it…MAGNETIC PRIMER. This idea just popped into my head and I knew I had to do it! The back of this pantry door was destined to become a SPICE DOOR!
When buying this magnetic primer, make sure to have the paint person put the can in the shaker. The magnetic metal can clump up and it must be dispersed to apply evenly and give you a strong magnetic finish. Grab some extra stir sticks too, because you have to stir through out painting, more so than with regular paint.
The box the primer was packaged in and the can itself has pretty good directions. Either apply 2 thick coats or 3 thin coats. I did 3 (ok 4, I was paranoid) thin coats. This takes real guts and I suggest warning your spouse, significant other, roommate, who ever you live with, the back of the door is about to be BLACK for a few days…
Once you are finished applying all the coats of primer, time to return your door back to white or paint it some fun color you’ve always wanted to try. This took me 3 coats to accomplish. Use a label maker to print out labels for each of the spices. You will need to stick labels onto the magnetic containers or else a bunch of dried herbs are going to look the same! (The best deal I could find on magnetic containers was at IKEA, they have a 3 pack for $4.99)
Then fill your magnetic spice containers with the spices…which was tricky. I didn’t think about each herb and spice having a different density or weight to them. But they do. Some herbs I could fill the whole tin with and some I could only fill to a quarter. So don’t do what I did and fill every tin to the top with all your spices, because you will make a huge mess putting spoonfuls back into the bulk container.
Pop those babies onto the door and you are finish! Shew, thank goodness this worked out, or else we would’ve needed to buy a new door. And you maybe thinking, that isn’t very many spices…I have 30 more to go…yea…but, that cabinet is now EMPTY! 🙂
Most of this blog is about food, but I do work at a plant nursery and I do have a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. And, I also have my new toy that I purchased a few months ago, my Canon Rebel t3i. Because of the bipolar winter we had, I was too nervous to bring my camera to work until today. Here are some pictures and plant names to get your gardening panties in a bunch!
Some things I learned:
-Don’t be afraid to get down in the dirt to get the angle you want
-Before you do anything else, find which direction the light is coming from
-Keep snapping, it may take 30 takes to get 1 awesome picture
-Natural light is the BEST
-Looking down on a plant gives you a whole new perspective (Paris sp.)
These images have not been retouched or edited in anyway. I did resize them down so they would upload quicker. That’s it. And for those of you who are much more experienced or are professional photographers, no laughing, this is the first time I’ve gotten to use my camera to photograph plants…outside! ha
|Helleborus x hybridus dbl picotee purple-white|
|Helleborus x hybridus ‘Winter Dream Black’|
|Oxalis crassipes ‘Cherry Spritzer’|
|Oxalis crassipes ‘Cherry Spritzer’|
|Primula x polyantha ‘Supernova’|
|Ranunculus ficaria ‘Colarette’|
|Vinca minor ‘Illumination’|
|Helleborus niger ‘Nell Lewis Strain’|
|Primula x polyantha ‘Supernova’|
If you’ve seen me on FoodBuzz, you’ve read my quote. And I’ve recently added it to “About Me” on the right side of this blog. Well it just to happens, one of my favorite cocktails is a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Yep, you can drink a cake.
So it was only natural that I poured myself a stiff one of these for the baking of the Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes.
-Pour equal parts of the vanilla vodka, amaretto, and pineapple juice into a glass with ice. (By equal parts I mean… 1 shot of vodka, 1 shot of amaretto, and 1 shot of pineapple juice. Which ever measurement you use, use for all 3 liquid ingredients. But if you refer to “equal parts” you’ll sound like a professional!)
-Stir the drink up, add a cherry (I prefer 3), and drink your socks off.
(some classier bartenders may tell you to use a shaker for this drink. Fine. Go ahead, do whatever you want, the ingredients are what’s important in this one 🙂
Here’s a new one for you, enchilada cupcakes! I’ve seen quite a few recipes using wonton wrappers and decided to give them a try. We were in the mood for enchilada casserole and then I had the thought to stuff some wonton wrappers with enchilada ingredients. To our surprise, they turned out!
The “cupcakes” were relatively easy to put together, and we should’ve known, anything cheesy is definitely going to be yummy. Nate ate his with a fork and knife (with manners), and I just picked mine up with my fingers and ate it like a cupcake. These would be great for party appetizers. And if you are in a pinch and ALL of your kitchen utensils are in the dishwasher, just whip these suckers up! I’m not one to judge about eating with your fingers.
12 wonton wrappers
1 lb of ground beef, browned and drained
salt and pepper
1 bag of shredded cheese
1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce
1 cup plain yogurt (low fat)
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
juice of half a lime
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Brown the ground beef with salt and pepper. Make sure to drain any extra grease before using.
Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray
Press 1 wonton wrapper to the bottom of each muffin tin.
Begin layering ingredients:
1 teaspoon cheese
1 tablespoon ground beef
2 teaspoons enchilada sauce
2 teaspoons cheese
1.5 teaspoons ground beef
1.5 teaspoons enchilada sauce
Top with shredded cheese
(I used spoons for the beef and sauce, but just used my fingers for the cheese. So these are estimates on how much of each ingredient to use for each layer. The main goal is for the last layer to be enchilada sauce. Then top the sauce with cheese)
Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the sides are brown. (mine took 26 minutes!)
Let sit for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges. Use a knife or a fork to remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin.
Top with sour cream, salsa, cilantro, any of your favorite toppings.
Just mix 1 cup of plain (low fat) yogurt, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. This is a GREAT alternative to sour cream. And even when using sour cream, I like to mix the cilantro right into it.
*You could use any ground meat for this recipe. Or even shredded!
I can’t say enough great things about this recipe or Christine’s blog. Head over to Food Thoughts of a Wannabe Chef or find her on Twitter! @FtofChefWannabe
And you might be asking yourself, orange liquor, for breakfast? Nothing wakes you up like a nice kick in the face 🙂 Just kidding, it is barely enough to give the lightest-weight a buzz. For this recipe, the liquor serves a purpose! Read the recipe to find out.