Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter possibilities

   This week, I'm throwing around some ideas for an Easter brunch. I will probably just be hosting my parents, brother and a couple family friends. The only 'new' thing on the table are the beautiful Russian egg paper boxes...details at the end of the post.

I used the blue and white quilted runner my mom made, with the matching napkins. The napkin rings were a gift from her also...on her last trip to Russia. 
I set the table with rattan chargers, Italian Countryside dinner plates, Denmark blue dinner plates, Saxony saucers by JB and an egg box. 
A friend asked about my dishes last week. Perhaps, it's a bit deceiving when I mix things up. I only have complete sets of Italian Countryside and my infamous Indies Blue. These Denmark Blue, for example, I have 4 plates. They were on clearance at TJMaxx and I thought they were pretty and I could mix them in with dishes I already have. The saucers, I have 4 of them also, no cups. I hope to get some tea cups, but I'm patient:) They were a great buy on eBay, so I'm holding out!
The glasses are my usual goblets and cobalt blue swirls. As opposed to last week's mix of blue glasses which I only have two of each.  I have 8 of each of these, but I've had them for almost 10 years.  The silverware is my grandmother's eclectic mix. 
I got out the Easter basket...this is at least 5 years old from Target. It's filled with plastic eggs and nestled in with two bunnies from my collection when I was little. The salt and pepper bunnies are from World Market last year and the birds are from Pier One. 
   I'm still looking at recipes, buy I know I'll be making salata de boeuf. It's a Romanian potato salad with carrots and peas and pickles. It really is amazing! I'll post the recipe soon! I finally got a new dutch oven, so I'll probably be making a pork roast. My mom and friends will also bring some lovely things to the table!
  Here are the egg paper boxes. I think she thought they'd all be blue and white...but surprise! surprise! The details are exquisite! Each box has a plastic shrink wrap like wrapper that you can boil on an egg to made it cover the shell. 
I'll probably make the eggs and put them in a pretty dish and use the boxes for candy!!

 I'm linking up!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bean & Cheese Tostados with Spicy Slaw

This recipe is a hit with my husband and 2 year old...the 4 year old, not so much, but we're working on him!
It's originally from Nutritious Eats
12 oz bag broccoli slaw (pre-shredded broccoli, carrots & red cabbage)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup sliced red onion (~ half onion sliced on the vertical)
1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1-3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced (mine was super hot so I used 1- if yours are mild, add up to 3 jalapenos)
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon water
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. For the dressing: combine the lime juice through pepper and whisk together. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine slaw, carrots, red onion, cilantro and jalapeno slices. Toss with dressing and serve. Yield: 6 servings.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

I used a bag of coleslaw mix (red and green cabbage and carrots), no cilantro or jalapenos. I added sweet mini peppers, honey in place of sugar and parsley. I also used a pinch or two of chili powder. It's a zesty change to typical mayo-sugar based coleslaw. Give it a try. It's a great topper for tostados!
Our tostados are topped with refried beans, colby jack cheese, avocado and corn and black bean salsa.  My boys attacked these like candy!

I'm joining 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring & Happy Birthday with Talavera Pottery

  This week I decided to add some beautiful spring colors
 to my usual blue & white Indies Blue by Johnson Brothers. 
I used some talavera platters as my centerpiece with limes. I found one at a garage sale and the other two at a 'side of the road' kind of store here in San Antonio. A lot of times, vendors come up from Mexico, so you can buy talavera rather inexpensively. The tortilla warmer was my mom's. A store was closing here when she was redoing her kitchen and she bought several pieces at a huge discount. The salt & peppers were from that sale too.
I've had these glasses forever. They're all Mexican cobalt, but from Ross, Pier One, Pottery Barn and Mexico! I used clearance napkins from Target in blue and yellow to play off the colors in the pottery. My mom gave me her place mats a while back. I used them as a runner today.
     I added my World Market red handled forks for a little extra pop of color.  
My husband's birthday is tomorrow, so we're having tostados (beans, avocado, cheese and sour cream), Mexican rice, chips and roasted salsa, and spicy chili lime coleslaw, and cake...not sure what I'll make or buy yet...he did get another apple cake on Sunday to commemorate his birthday week:)

I'm joining 

I'll post the spicy coleslaw recipe later this week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day table and Apple Cake

I used my talavera plates and bowl, Mexican water glass,  goblet from Target, my grandmother's silver, and a white estate sale napkin in my beaded rings. I believe this runner was from World Market a few years ago.
 This is my best attempt at being green for St. Patrick's Day. I made this delicious apple cake yesterday in my mom's vintage bundt pan, probably a wedding present, but I love it. I thought it appropriate, considering this is a recipe from a friend's grandmother. Ah, some of my favorite recipes are passed down from generation to generation...

 Apple Cake Recipe...from my friend Brandi's Grandmother
1 1/4 c oil
2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 c chopped unpeeled apples (granny smith)
1 c chopped nuts
preheat 350
mix oil and sugar.  add eggs one at a time.  add vanilla.  sift dry ingredients and add to mixture (I have never sifted, rather just mixed).  fold in apples and nuts.  spoon into bundt pan.  bake at 350 for 1 1/4 hrs.
***I used small pink lady apple and about 8 of them! My recipe made a bundt and two ramekins. The ramekins were done in about 35 minutes.*** 

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Friday, March 9, 2012

No bake energy bites


 No Bake Energy Bites
  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.  (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.)  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls. Recipe from Give me some oven
I didn't have any flaxseed, used only dark chocolate chips and added craisins to the mixture! I gave some of these to my Boot Camp instructor on Wednesday. She has Lupus and eats a vegan diet. She said they were heavenly and made a double batch for her and her family. Her kids both eat gluten free, so this made for a very happy treat! In her words, "I let them eat a couple for breakfast and it was like I was letting them eat donuts!!"
I'm joining Designs by Gollum from Rattlebridge Farm for 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Vegetable Chicken Chili

Spring is just around the corner and I love seeing all the new produce at the local Farmer's Market and the rows and rows of fresh vegetables and herbs to plant this time of year.
In trying to be a healthier eater, and help my family make good choices, I am crowding the plate, so to speak. My friend and boot camp instructor talked about this on her blog a while back...crowding your plate with vegetables to get the added bonus of good healthy nutrition at every meal.
So here is my rendition...I am no vegetarian and my husband just told me a couple days ago that he has to have meat every once in a while, but I will put vegetables in every meal, wherever I can, so my boys will eat them!
Vegetable Chicken Chili
2 calabasa squash chopped
1 onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
3 ribs of celery chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
handful of cherry tomatoes
1 can hominy rinsed and drained
2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
1 can green chilies
1/2 can of salsa verde (more if you like it spicier)
1/2 jar of roasted salsa
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bag of frozen corn
salt and pepper
taco seasoning, chili powder, garlic seasoning mix (from Sprouts)
1 shredded chicken breast
chicken stock 
 Saute calabasa, onion, red bell pepper and celery in a bit of EVOO. 
Add garlic and tomatoes. 
Add black beans, hominy and corn. Add seasoning and stir.
 Add canned tomatoes, salsas and chilies. 
Add water from each can to the pot. 
Check for seasoning and add more salt, pepper and parsley if needed.
Add chicken stock and chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer til ready to eat. 
I took one picture when I finished making it, but we ate it a couple hours later...with shredded Colby Jack and avocado!
It was so, so good and my boys, 
yes even picky picky Adrian, who always says, I don't like vegetables...ate it all!!! 
Score for mommy!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chicken Vegetable Stew

I saw this on my friend's blog here. She is a health nut and I love sweet potatoes.

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 tablespooon olive oil sauteing
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup peeled and sliced sweet potatoes, 1 inch slices (I think I did about 2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 rib celery, diced
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 cup of frozen peas, no sugar added
2 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
I put everything in the crockpot because we were going to Sea World. I didn't use peas, and since I didn't have canned tomatoes (?!?) I used the last of the cherry tomatoes from a big container from Sam's. The consistency of the sweet potatoes was a little too mushy for my taste the first night, but the leftovers were amazing! I would probably leave the sweet potatoes out until the last two hours if I was eating it that night. The allspice gives it a unique 'not your average stew' flavor! Enjoy!!

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