Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Little Delayed

With all of the other fun things going on I've kind of become behind on posts. I meant to post this one a few weeks ago (when I took the pictures) but never did. So here goes...

I knew that when our seeds started to grow in their egg crates, Izabella and I would need to put them in something else before the ground. While eating my breakfast the idea hit me...Yoplait yogurt cups! They were just the right size and since I eat yogurt for breakfast every morning they would be pretty easy to get a hold of. So, I starting saving them, and saving them, and saving them...until I had about 20. I was even eating the desert flavored one's at night (not that I really mind with light flavors like Key Lime Pie and Red Velvet Cake). I also thought I would turn them in to an art project for Izabella and have her paint/decorate them.

After Izabella painted them, I poked 3 holes into the bottom of each for draining.

The reason we used newspaper under our paint area :)

After they were dry we filled them with dirt

 We used dirt from our backyard and found some fun bugs along the way

 We also put sticky backed felt stars on each one. On the stars I put the first letter of each veggie so we would know which was which.

Since this picture our plants have become HUGE and we will be transplanting them into the ground tomorrow. I will post about that soon...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monsters for Friends

While flipping through the JoAnn's mailer that came in a few weeks I ago I spotted ADORABLE monsters made out of fleece. I asked Izabella if we should make them, of course she said yes. We decided we would also make one for our friend, Hannah, and my Niece, Abigail, so we headed to the store. We weren't able to find the pattern at the store so I decided to do draw them.

Izabella picked out the fabric (Popsicle for her friends and princess for hers), face parts and what each monster would look like. She also helped me stuff each of the monsters with "snow".

 Monsters in a Tree

Monsters in a bush

 Hannah with her monster

Abigail with her monster

Izabella with all the monsters (her's is in the front)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Sweet and Savory Roasted Almonds with a Little Spice

I wanted to make my own fuel giving snack for all of the hiking my family did this past weekend in Joshua Tree and this is what I came up with. I ended up adding some raisins to give it a little bit more sweet. It was a huge hit!

1/4 cup = 1 serving

2 cups whole almonds
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp Splenda brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Spread on a baking sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes.

4. Wait until cool, and mix together once more.

 Separate into 8 individual bags, or leave in 1 big bag, and store for a great snack all week long.

*Don't want the heat? Just take out the cayenne pepper :)

**Want a little something more? Add raisins after the almonds are done cooling. (these are not added in the nut. into)

4th Annual trip to Josuha Tree

Every year my family takes a weekend trip to Joshua Tree to enjoy some of the beauty Southern California has to offer. This year was our 4th year. 22 people came - our biggest group so far. We're already planning how to make next year bigger and better!

At one of our favorite restaurants in 29 Palms, The Carousel

Barker Dam. We had NEVER seen this much water there before!

Petroglyphs near Barker Dam

My Dad and me on our way through Rattlesnake Canyon to the waterfalls

Family friends, Jon and Jennifer, and the first set of falls

The second set of falls

The whole groups for dinner at Edcahadas in 29 Palms

My crazy family

There's more pics of our trip here

Monday, March 15, 2010

Over The Weekend

I remember spending hours and hours and hours and hours at Irvine Park when I was younger. Hiking, paddle boat rides, birthday parties, bike rides, the little zoo, feeding ducks...We went this past weekend for a quick little trip. While most of the "attractions" were already closing down for the day, Izabella had a great time learning about peacocks and playing at one of the many jungle gyms.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How Does You Garden Grow?

Inspired by the garden we had every year growing up and my cousin, Stephinie at Gypsy Forest, Izabella and I have started a backyard garden. Nothing too big or fancy since we don't have a lot of room. Our little area (that already has a trellis behind it!) will have cherry tomatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, cucumbers and maybe some watermelon.

We started our seeds out in cardboard egg crates using soil that was already in our backyard.

Since we didn't have a way to do type markers, I marked the top of eat crate with the first letter from the veggie's name and an arrow pointing to the side it was planted on.

She kept wanting to pour the ENTIRE packet of seeds into each little cup :)

Pushing the seeds in

A completed tray!

We water them with a spray bottle a couple times a day.

They're starting to grow!!

Since it's been really chilly here at night we are currently taking the seeds in and out of the house each morning and night. Izabella loves checking on them. When we had our first sign of life she was SO excited! She loves petting the leaves and talking to her plants, telling them how pretty they are. She started doing this all on her own. I love the kind hearted nature of this kid!

We will be transplanting them into empty, painted and decorated yogurt cups soon. I can't wait to show you those!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Mini Egg Frittatas

While messing around on Twitter this week I came across this recipe created by What's Gabby Cooking. As someone who spends a lot of time on the go I truly appreciate the Grab-And-Go breakfast. I made a few changes to the original recipe to fit my taste. They came out super tasty and were perfect for my dash out the door this morning. I hope you grab one some morning soon!
 Happy eating!

I used the BIG HUGE muffin pan that we have which means  

1 Frittata - 1 serving

1/2 red bell paper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
4 oz zucchini, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
9 eggs (I used egg whites)
5 large mushrooms
1.5 tbsp olive oil for drizzling (I used spray)
Salt and pepper to taste

Spray Oil
Muffin Pan
Wax Paper

This recipe entails a lot of dicing (something I'm not very good at/fond of). To make it easier and faster I love using one of these choppers. It's by far my favorite kitchen gadget we have and I use it every time I can for almost every veggie I eat. 

It makes everything perfect, evenly cut squares that my OCD self just loves


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

2. In a large 10 inch skillet heat the olive oil on medium high. Saute the zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and red and yellow peppers for about 5 minutes until they are slightly soft. Season with salt and pepper. 


4. Add the sauted vegetables to individual, lined muffin molds. I also sprayed mine with a little olive oil to help prevent them from sticking.

5. In a seperate bowl wisk the egg whites and salt and pepper. Add equal amounts to each mold.


6.  Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until eggs are completely set.

Great served Hot or Cold. Microwave for a few seconds to reheat if desired.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Tons o' Veggie Vegetable Alphabet Soup

I missed the past few weeks with recipes because the things I was making didn't turn out very good. But I have a good one this week that I'm really happy about it. Plus, I really like the sounds of "Tasty Tuesday" over "Recipe Wednesday" so I'll be posting new recipes on Tuesday now.

The website that I'm using for weightloss, has a recipe website as well called I've really been wanting a hearty veggie soup lately so I started looking on there. While I found some REALLY good one's I decided that I wanted to make my own, picking and pulling from the things I liked in those. I also added some few things too, which makes this recipe pretty much my own!! As I've said before I'm not really good at coming up with my own recipes so this is great! I'm starting to feel more courageous with me cooking :).

This recipe made a TON of food and totally overflowed my crock pot so I had to transfer it to a big pot!

One of the things I really like about using SparkRecipes is that they calculate all of the nutritional info and give  the per serving breakdown (which is what I post with each recipe on here).

Here's my recipe for Vegetable Soup! Happy eating!

1 serving = 2 cups (recipe will make 8 servings)

- 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 32oz vegetable/chicken/beef broth (recipe uses veg)
- 3 cups water
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1.5 lb red potatoes, diced
- 1 leek, sliced (white part only)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3 tsp Mrs. Dash Table Blend (or your favorite seasoning)
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 2 cups peas
- 2 cups corn
- 2 cups green beans
- 1 bay leaf (1/2 tsp crushed)
- ½ cup alphabet pasta (or similar small pasta/rice)

1. Combine broth, water, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes, leek, onion, thyme, garlic, Mrs. Dash, and bay leaf in a large crock pot. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

2. Add corn, zucchini, peas, and green beans. Stir well, recover and continue cooking on high for 1.5 hours. (This is when I had to move mine to the bigger pot. I cooked it on a medium/high level)


3. Add pasta, cover and cook for another 15mins.


Serve in a bowl and enjoy! Perfect for warming tummies on a cold day!

*If you used a full bay leaf remember to remove it before serving.
**I served with french bread that I sprinkled some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on and toasted.