Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Black Eyed Peas Dip For New Year's Day

Black eyed peas, according to Southern folklore, are the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day, for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead. 

Add this black eyed peas bean, corn, salsa, and sour cream dip to your breakfast menu. Serve with scrambled eggs as a wrap, or with pita chips. Who wouldn't have luck in the coming new year?

black eyed peas dip

Ingredients used for this dip:

1 can 14 oz. Black eyed peas
1 can 8.75 oz. whole kernal corn
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespone salsa
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used grated, dairy free cheddar cheese)
8 slices jalapenos
1/4 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
For a spicier option- a dash or two of hot sauce or red pepper flakes

black eyed peas

Instructions to prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain the black eyed peas and partially mash leaving some whole.
Add all of the other ingredients, stirring to combine.

Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. I stirred the ingredients together in my cast iron skillet and placed the skillet in the oven.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until dip is hot and bubbly.

Not only could you serve this as a breakfast item, but also serve with tortilla chips at a family gathering. Or, for a healthier version, serve with cut up cauliflower and broccoli.

This dip was easy to create. An added bonus, my house smelled delicious. The dip was extremely tasty and oh. so. good. The sweetness of the corn blended well with the spiciness of the jalapenos. This dip had a kick to it, but not so much that it made your eyes water. If spicy is what you prefer add hot sauce to the ingredients.

Now to you-

Would you prefer the mellow black eyed pea dip, or is a spicy dip more to your liking?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Gluten Free Hershey Kiss Mini Pies

These little bite size, chocolate pies are a delight as a quick dessert appetizer. While the pie crust was a bit tricky to work with, the results of these mini Hershey Kiss pies was simple to create. Place a single Hershey Kiss inside a square of pie dough, wrap pie dough around the Hershey Kiss and bake. Maybe not the most "gourmet" looking pie crusts, but the result was delicious.

gluten free mini pies

Ingredients you will need:

Any bag of your favorite variety of Hershey Kisses
Gluten free pie crusts
1 egg
Your desired toppings-confectioners sugar, Hershey syrup, or sprinkles

pie ingredients

The gluten free pie crust is not very forgiving to work with and was a tad bit crumbly. So, to the best of my ability, I placed a Hershey Kiss on top of a 1 inch square of pie dough. Then, I pieced together two roughly sized 1 and a 1/2 inch squares of pie dough and carefully pinched them together around the Hershey kiss.

The size of the dough is approximate, because not each piece of dough was exactly the same. Gluten free pie dough is tricky. 

I brushed the egg across the top of the mini pie and placed them in a 350 degree oven. They baked for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Time will vary with the temperature of your oven.

Garnish with your choice of topping. I had confectioners sugar in the cabinet. But chocolate drizzle would be a good substitute.

I discovered this recipe while scrolling through Pinterest. I saw a picture of a Hershey Kiss wrapped in raw pie dough. Pretty self explanatory. I knew I had seen gluten free pie dough at my local grocery store. So, I gave it a try. 

Now to you-

Have you recreated a pastry that was not picture perfect, but the results were plenty delicious?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Simple Tips To Roast Spaghetti Squash

Roasting spaghetti squash in the oven, drizzled in olive oil, looks easy and delicious. The caramel coloring of the finished spaghetti squash is amazing. With Mark Bittman's simple tips for cooking spaghetti squash, you can create this amazing dish. 

Here is the recipe for Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Brown Butter And Walnuts.

When I discovered this video, I had to watch more. On the You Tube channel, If Our Bodies Could Talk, Dr. James Hamblin discusses off beat perspectives on health topics. For example, if you are a pregnant woman, Dr. Hamblin and his guest discuss, Things Not To Say To A Pregnant Woman. Let's just say, this was too funny. Mothers, here is proof that napping during the day is beneficial to your health. My favorite.

The woman's voice in the background and banter that conspires between these two is comical. I had to rewatch the videos because, they were extremely entertaining.

Well, I am off for a nap.

Now to you-

Have you discovered these videos?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas To All

Wishing you and your family a joyful holiday!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil Pizza

This recipe is a quick alternative to take out pizza. Broil the gluten free Ciabotta bread. Add on the ingredients to the bread and eat. Invite friends over for an easy, homemade pizza party. Or serve as appetizers at a family holiday gathering.

This is a versatile recipe the whole family will enjoy. 

fresh mozzarella piza

Ingredients you will need:

1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf of Ciabatta bread, split in half
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 pieces (6 to 8 ounces each) of fresh mozzarella cheese, mashed
2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered
1 cup basil leaves, shredded
Salt and pepper

fresh tomato basil pizza


Before you begin, place your garlic in the extra virgin olive oil to infuse the garlic with the oil.

Broil your bread until the top of the bread becomes a toasted, light brown. 
Brush the top of the bread with the infused garlic oil.
Top with the oregano and spread with the mozzarella cheese.
Top with the tomatoes, basil and more garlic oil.
Season with the salt and pepper.
If so desired, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, or a bit of hot sauce.

An easy, quick dinner idea for those busy days when you are too tired to cook.

"When I eat with my fiends, it is a moment of real pleasure, when I really enjoy my life."
Monica Bellucci

Now to you-

What are your favorite toppings on your pizza?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Is This Minimalist Living Too Much For You?

With the start of the new year, in a couple of weeks, bloggers will be publishing posts about ideas for simple living plans in the coming year. Such as, 

Live Frugal
Live Simply
How to do more with less.
Less is more. 
What to do with all of this stuff? 
Declutter with me.

The blogs will offer great ideas on how to live with less, because less stuff equals less stress.

But, I ask you. Have you seen the new, tiny houses that are being built. 

140 sq. feet

221 sq. feet

Over 200 sq. feet

320 sq. feet

207 sq. foot family of four

My family had a cabin on a lake. It was approximately 200 square feet. There was no electricity and no bathroom plumbing. We used an outhouse. If we wanted water to flow through the kitchen faucet, first you needed to prime the well outside the cabin. The cabin was one room with a built in screened porch. That porch is filled with many great memories.

The memories I have of those summers spent in that cabin on the lake are some of the best memories I have of growing up. We lived simply with only the basic of material possessions. Yet, I felt as though I had everything a heart could desire. 

Yes, my husband and I would sell our material objects and move to a small, tiny house. If the opportunity ever presented itself, my husband would move in a heart beat. But would you? Does the idea of living with less appeal to you? Would you feel too cramped? Would you have any desire to live in such a simplistic manner?

Now to you-

Could you live in one of these tiny houses?

Friday, December 19, 2014

$5.00 Goodwill Challenge: Christmas Edition

Who doesn't like a challenge? And a challenge that will only cost you $5.00. The rules for this challenge are to visit a thrift store, or garage sale, and only spend $5.00. Then, share with everyone how you incorporated your find in your Christmas diys or decorations. 

I decided to first try my local Goodwill store. With a little searching, I discovered a few items that I can use in my Christmas home decor.

thrift store challenge

First, I found the snowman soap dish for .99. I decided to use this by my kitchen sink as a scrubber holder. I washed and dried the snowman, put a new scrubber in the dish and he looks very festive. 

Well now, the Santa mug is pretty self explanatory. I filled him with hot chocolate and whipped cream. I purchased the mug for $1.99.

I discovered the pretty glass ornaments in a basket filled with other items. I washed and dried the ornaments and hung them on our Christmas tree. I purchased the ornaments for .99.

"If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich." Lao Tzu

The snowmen were attached together and sold as one. The price on the tag stated they were .99. But the color of the tag for the day was yellow. The ornaments were then reduced to .49. One of the snowmen was in perfect condition. However, the other snowman needed a little repair. I pulled off some hot glue that was stuck on the present. I tied some jute twine around the neck of the snowman where a wooden scarf had broken off. He now looks very well dressed hanging on the tree.

I came in under budget for this challenge. Including tax, I spent a total of $4.85. 

This challenge required you to think "outside the box" so to speak. For example, I never would have even picked up the soap dish snowman because, we use liquid soap. But, the snowman was the right price, so I bought it. I, also, would not purchase broken ornaments, but because these fit within the budget, I bought them. I was going to throw the broken ornament away, but I decided that was not part of the challenge. So, because I repaired and fixed the ornament, it now hangs very nicely on our tree. 

This was fun to participate in the challenge and to anyone who reads this post, I challenge you to this $5.00 Goodwill Challenge: Christmas Edition.

Now to you-

If you decide to take on this challenge, please share your web address in the comment section below, so that we can see your fantastic finds.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Step By Step Instructions For DIY Daily Planner Coil Clips

I need to add a few pretty cards to my daily life planner. Because this planner is coil spiral bound, you can not add pages to your planner. When I searched for ideas on how to attempt this project, all of the videos for this tutorial required an Erin Condren ruler. I do not own that specific ruler, so, I designed my own coil clips.

My step by step instructions on how to create your own DIY coil clips for your daily life planner.

step by step instructions for diy coil clips

You will need:
A pencil 
Scotch tape
A 1/8 hole punch
Post it repositionable tabs
Any pretty card or picture

planner coil clips

First, peel off one of the repositionable labels and place the tab on the coil ring. The Post it tabs are thin enough to see through. To hold the tab in place, attach the tab to the coil with the Scotch tape.

coil clips

With your pencil, place a pencil mark on the spiral rings that show through the tabs.

Use your hole punch and punch holes where you placed the marks with your pencil. (I found my hole punch at Joann Fabrics.)

I could not see where to punch the holes, so I pulled the cover of the hole punch.

Once the holes are punched out, cut slits from the end of the tab to the punched hole.

Attach the tab to your picture. I cut the adhesive end in half, but you do not need to cut the tab in half, especially if your card is significantly heavier. I chose to use the repositionable tabs. They are very user friendly.

The end of the tab was a tad long for the space between the coils. Because of this, I trimmed down that section of the tab.

Now, not only do I have a working coil clip, but I also have a template to create many more.

Place your new coil clip on top of a new tab. Position the holes where you want the holes to be punched on the tab. Follow the steps, listed above, needed to create a new coil clip. I cut off the yellow strip on the tab, this color does not match the color scheme of my planner page. I also cut only one slit in the tab from the end of the tab to the punched hole.

Here is the completed coil clip. I prefer the way this clip fits in the planner. 

"For me, every day is a new thing. I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did. And I get the sweats. I go in and start working, I'm not sure where I'm going. If I knew where I was going I wouldn't do it." Frank Gehry
The total cost of the project was less that $5.00. The 1/8 hole punch was originally $4.99. The punch was on sale for $3.49. Plus, I had a coupon for 20% off the total purchase. The Post it tabs were $2.79.
I would like to add that because the tabs are thin, the added picture or card with the tab does not make your planner too bulky.
I hope this project helped you get an idea of how to create your own coil clips for your planners.
Now to you-

Please share with us any of your diy accessories for daily planners.