Monday, December 21, 2009

Meatless Monday! Nacho Bread Pizza

Here's another one we have often, but I didn't take a picture...sorry! It's another Rachel Ray fave:

Nacho Bread Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf baguette or semolina bread, day old is fine (whole wheat is great)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped or 1 pickled hot pepper of any kind, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans(I use refried, vegetarian style)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup prepared salsa, any variety
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar, smoked Cheddar, Monterey Jack or pepper Jack
  • 1 heart romaine or 1/2 iceberg head, shredded
  • 1/2 cup green olives with or without pimiento, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion or 2 to 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 plum or vine tomatoes, seeded and diced

Directions

Split bread lengthwise. Hollow the bread out and cut each half in half across, making 4 boats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil, 1 turn of the pan, garlic and hot peppers. Drain beans. Add half of the beans then mash the remainder of the beans in the can using a fork. Add mashed beans to the pan and combine with whole beans. Season beans with hot sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. When the spicy beans are hot through, spread them evenly across all of the bread. Top with salsa and liberally sprinkle with cheese, covering bread to all edges. The boats will only be half-full. Melt cheese in the oven until it bubbles and begins to brown.

Top Nacho Bread Pizzas with lettuce, olives, onions and tomatoes and serve. You can pick it up with your hands, but eat over the plate (or the kitchen sink, like me).

Want more Meatless Monday ideas and reasons for going meatless once a week? Visit Meatless Monday.com

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fibers on Friday on Saturday (night)!

I was reluctant to post my progress on this sweater last night because little progress had been made this week. But, on this snowy afternoon, I was able to squeeze in a couple hours of knitting and now I feel it's worthy of a progress report.

You'll remember last week I had completed the front, back, and one sleeve of the sweater.

Well, here's the progress on the second sleeve as of right now:

I think it's important to stress maybe not how much I've been able to finish, but instead what I've learned along the way. When we set out for our long drive to MA two weekends ago I found myself having four uninterrupted hours to work on the sleeves. To do this, I needed to know how to increase stitches. Well, the only increase I could remember at the time was *knit into the front and back* of the stitch. Fine. Good. Except this method leaves evidence that a you've increased a stitch...it's not very pretty or inconspicuous. But, at the time it's all I knew and I didn't have books or the internet to consult, so I rolled with it.

When I was finally able to look up other methods of increasing stitches I discovered a VERY easy way, which is virtually invisible. Take a look at my little tutorial, click to enlarge if needed, and ignore that I wrote "Viola" instead of "Voila'" in step 3. :

PS: Aforementioned tutorial....yes, just learned how to put that little beauty together...so, chalk up another learning experience.

PPS: My four year old took those pictures. Natural, I say it!

So, there you have my Fibers on Friday progress report for this first attempt at a sweater which is intended to go to Afghans for Afghans once it's finished.

Did you get to play in snow today? We did!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meatless Monday!

This is what's for dinner tonight....so no picture yet! It's from Cooking Light. Visit Meatless Monday.com for other ideas.

Spaghetti with Caramelized Onion and Radicchio

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups thinly sliced yellow onion (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
  • 3 1/2 cups thinly sliced radicchio (about 1 head)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 15 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until deep golden (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add red pepper and garlic. Cook 3 minutes; stir occasionally. Add wine; cook 4 minutes or until liquid evaporates.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Add reserved cooking liquid, pasta, radicchio, parsley, and oregano to onion mixture. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper; toss to combine. Top with cheese.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Are We There Yet?


I'm on it, dog'on'it! I worked on this week's CPS Challenge on this rainy day. I was in desperate need of a masculine "get well" card for a dear friend who, although only in his thirties, had to undergo full knee replacement surgery. Yikes! Poor guy! So, this week's sketch, coupled with the adorable Mr. Campy stamp set from Cosmo Cricket (thanks Steph...you da best!), made for the PERFECT card for our friend in Deutschland (keep it a surprise, Kati :-).

This may be my favorite card to date! I Love, Love, Love the sketch first of all. I love all the layers of paper. I Adore, Adore, Adore this paper from Cosmo Cricket. And I'm Proud, Proud, Proud that I had the vision to create the hill by ripping paper and chalking the edges (click image to enlarge for detail). The other day Elise created chimney smoke from using vellum! I shook my head in admiration of her creativity and vision. Now, I'm no Mamacow, but I love my hill! Thanks for the inspiration, Elise! You're outta this world!

So, it may be an uphill climb right now for our friend's recovery, but hopefully he'll be on the downhill slide real soon! He needs to be ready for some bike rides when we visit Germany :-)

***The Kraft cardstock is from PTI
All patterned Paper is Cosmo Cricket (Mr. Campy)
Stamp is also Cosmo Cricket (Mr. Campy)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Got Snow?

Here's my new little Snowman Stamp (A Muse) applied to this week's CPS Challenge.


We don't have snow :-( But we have the c-c-cold weather. I'm anxious to get some snow fun in with my girls this winter. Might have to hit Massachusetts again to hot the BIG hills!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fibers on Friday: We have a sleeve

So, evidently I was very delusional, or painfully uninformed, last Friday when I posted my intentions of FINISHING this sweater during our car trip to Massachusetts. Couldn't someone have warned me that sleeves take AS LONG, if not LONGER, than knitting the body of the sweater? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? Brit Knitter?

I knitted for 4 hours straight on the way to MA....barely ever looking up! I knitted for several hours while in MA. I knitted for maybe 2 hours on the way home, but the sun was at such an unfortunate angle and was flickering through the trees in such a way to make my semicircular canals and cochlea and cilia and other ear related/vertigo related organs not very happy. All that.....and I didn't even complete one sleeve! I finished it up when we got home, but the seams aren't even stitched! UGH!

Oh well, I'm doing the best I can. I'm sorry, little Afghan child, for the delay of this sweater. I have the best intentions.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meatless Monday! Spring Noodle Stir Fry

This is another Rachael Ray recipe. It's quite yummy. Nice flavors, it satisfies our craving for Chinese Food....which we are quite lacking in these parts.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dark sesame oil
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 pound vermicelli or capellini pasta
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons sesame oil, the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper.

  2. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain.

  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil over high heat. Add the onion and asparagus and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and the sesame oil sauce; cook for 1 minute over high heat. Lower the heat to medium, add the pasta and cook, stirring, until heated through, 2 minutes. Top with the walnuts.


If you'd like to read more about going meatless once a week, visit Meatless Monday!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fibers on Friday

Front and back are done. Sleeves are started! We're off to a weekend trip to Massachusetts, so I hope to complete this sweater during the car ride! Enjoy your weekend, all!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thinking of You

On Monday one of my girls proclaimed, "Mommy, I want to scrapbook all day long"! Be still my heart, child! You got it! We set to work, although "all day long" equates to about two hours in a four year old's life. And I loved those two hours although I didn't get an ounce of my own craftiness in. This is what she created based upon my holiday hugs card from a few days ago:

Is it not precious?

So, yesterday I made some time for my own craftiness and set to work on the CPS sketch for the week. I made it fit with the SPCC color combo, too.

Have you ever made a card and just could.not.stand.it? Well, I have no earthly idea where my creativity was/is, but here's what I originally came up with:

Oh my gosh! Dreadfully boring! Unless you're into straight lines, no visual interest, and very strict adherence to the sketch. I could not sleep last night just thinking about how dreadful it was!

So, this morning I tore it all up and added some stuff. Yes, I tore it all up, instead of starting fresh, because I'm cheap environmentally conscious like that. I scalloped the border of the lavender paper, added a layer of the patterned paper which has really cool velvet red circles (so texture) and green to match the chair, and added a scalloped piece of lavender paper on top of the red plain circle (which is opposite of what we generally do, but it looks cool, I think.) I like it better now. Now it's more worthy of entering these challenges.


The image is from Stamping Bella. She's cool and fun to color with copics.

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009