Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus

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Alright, so I am finally getting around to a post here!
That took a lot longer than I anticipated. I was all excited to dive back into blogging, but for the last week I was designing and creating, and I am so excited to post that for you soon, but for now I really wanted to share this amazing recipe!
About a year ago I really wanted to try making hummus.
I searched through recipes to get an idea of how it should all come together and then my husband and I kind of created this one.
I am not going to lie, it is a little time consuming, but the results are SO worth it!!
Ingredients
Approx. 2 c. prepared Garbanzo beans
2 medium red bell peppers, roasted
1 jalepeno, halved and seeded
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 large garlic clove
olive oil
lime juice
salt
pepper
cayenne  pepper
cumin
I've got step by step pictures to show you how this all comes together.
Start out with 1 c. of dried garbanzo beans. (After soaking and cooking the beans will double, so it will end up making about 2 c.)
Place beans in a bowl with about 3 inches of water above the beans and let it soak for a couple of hours or overnight.
After soaking the beans will have expanded.
Drain the water and place the beans in a pot with about 3 inches of water above the beans again. Bring water to a boil and then lower to a medium boil for about 40 minutes or until you can lightly mash the beans with a fork.
Drain the water and shell the garbanzo beans. (This is the part that is time consuming).
Once shelled, place the beans in a food processor.
For the roasted red bell peppers, you can check out another recipe I posted here with step-by-step photos, or read on and I will give you a brief run-through.
First, cut the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and brush the top with olive oil.
Broil peppers for about 8 minutes. (The skin will start to turn black).
Remove peppers from the oven and place in a brown paper bag for about 10 min. This will steam them and make it easier to remove the skin.
Remove and discard the skin and add the bell peppers to your food processor.
Add the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, about 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp lime juice, and other seasonings.
We haven't really measured the spices, we just taste and add what we need.
Cut the jalepeno in-half and remove and discard all of the seeds, then add the jalepeno to the food processor.
Puree everything together, and make sure to taste it and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
You want the consistency to look similar to this.
And you are ready to enjoy!
You can eat the hummus how ever you prefer.
We love to fill pita bread with the hummus, grilled chicken, and fresh tomatoes from the garden.
It's so good! I will make sure to post that recipe in the future.
Refrigerate the leftovers for a couple of days.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to Work!

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Hello world!
It has been a long time.
Even though my oldest started school 2 weeks ago, I feel like Summer is officially over now that we have had Labor Day, I think I was just holding onto it as long as I could, so please be patient with me as I try to get back into the swing of things around here!
We had a wonderfully fun and busy summer this year.
We moved...again...this time though it will be more of a long-term stay...at least 5 years or so is what we are thinking.
We purchased a new home and moved in about 3 weeks ago. We are all unpacked and have even started decorating here and there.
 There are so many projects I want to try out, so I am excited to share those with you in the coming months.

At the beginning of August my baby had his first birthday!
That was crazy because we were closing on our new home, packing, and trying to squeeze in a party for him. We also had family members on both sides of our family out of town on different days, so it was hard to put something together for him.
It kind of broke my heart that I wasn't able to do more for him. I LOVE planning parties, and I had been thinking about his for a while.
I had wanted to do a Jungle themed party, and I had even found some cute decor on clearance, but when it came down to it I was only able to make a cake.
This is the cake I made for him.
I had seen this design on the decor at the store and I thought I would challenge myself and try to recreate it.
I was pretty proud of how it turned out for just free-handing it.

I am so excited for the coming Fall season. It is one of my favorite times of the year!
Be sure to follow along so you can see all of the new posts coming.
Thanks as always for your comments and I'm excited for the upcoming months!

Monday, July 21, 2014

FREE Sign up for $50 gift card giveaway!

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 Without any prior planning, I have been taking a break from the blogging world this summer, and I have just been enjoying time with my family.
I wanted to give you a heads up though. 
Giveaway Goddess is hosting a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! If you are a fellow blogger, click below to sign up to be apart of the giveaway. If you are not a blogger, plan on coming back to be entered to win!!
*UPDATE: Giveaway Goddess has actually cancelled the giveaway until further notice.
50 Amazon

Giveaway Goddess is hosting a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway and we need your help promoting! This will be a high traffic giveaway so get on the list early to have your links towards the top of the RC.  You can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Picketfence, YouTube, and Instagram.

Dates: 8/4 – 8/18
1 Prize $50 Amazon Gift Card
Promote 4x per week

SIGN UP HERE

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

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I have a new recipe to share with you!
This dish is delicious folks!!
The great thing about this recipe is that it can work with whatever pasta you have on hand. We've used shells and tortellini. You could use ravioli, penne, spaghetti, anything! You can even go gluten-free here.

Ingredients
1 lb box pasta
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
salt 
pepper
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 white onion, chopped
2 Tbsp flour (or corn starch for gluten-free version)
1 1/2 c. half and half

Begin by boiling the pasta and cooking it according to package directions.
In a saucepan, saute chopped onion and minced garlic with a little olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and chopped spinach. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and half and half and add to the tomato mixture. Add the Parmesan cheese and bring to a low simmer for about 5 minutes.
Toss cooked pasta with sauce and serve.
Enjoy!   

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Recipe adapted from Bombshell Bling

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ice Ball Maker {Review}

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* This is an advertorial. I received this product free in exchange for an honest review on my blog.

When I saw the opportunity to review the Ice Ball Maker I jumped at the chance, I think I was just really curious to see if it would work :)
Well, I am happy to say that it did!
I wish the shape of this cup didn't make the ice ball look lop-sided, it actually looked pretty cool.
This is what the tray looks like.
Each ice ball is about 2".
The tray is made out of a flexible silicone type material.
 To make the ice balls, place the top part of the tray over the bottom part, and pour water through the opening in the top of each mold.
This part was a little messy at first, I think it takes a little bit of patience. You need to fill the water up to the fill line, but the water kind of overflowed a little bit into the other molds, and out the side.
We dumped it out and started again, this time going a little slower.
After successfully filling the molds with water we placed the tray in the freezer.
My son was so excited to see how these would turn out, he asked me every few minutes if the ice was frozen yet.
I was reading through some of the reviews on Amazon, and someone had a brilliant idea of using the tray to make popsicles and put a stick through the hole! We will definitely be trying that out in the near future :)
After a little while in the freezer, voila!
An ice ball :)
 It was a perfectly round shape, but it did have a few pieces of ice sticking out the side where the excess water was.
We had family over on Monday for Memorial Day and had them put the ice balls in their drinks, and they were quite the hit :)
The ice balls do take longer than normal ice cubes to melt, leaving your drinks cold and undiluted.
I would have to say the only down side is you can only make 4 at a time, but if you are planning a get together, you can freeze some ice balls in advance and have enough for everyone!
You can order the Ice Ball Maker on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8RVMC8
or you can visit the Home-Complete website at www.Home-Complete.com to see the ice ball maker along with all of the other products for sale.
Enjoy your drinks this summer!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

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I am so excited to share this soup with you today!
This recipe was added to our rotation just a few short months ago, and we've made it A LOT :)
Before making this I had never cooked with cauliflower...ever...weird, I know.
I was intrigued when the recipe said to roast the cauliflower first, and was excited to try this new technique.
I have to tell you, after I roasted the cauliflower, I snuck a couple because I wanted to see what flavors I was dealing with, and it was so good! You could actually just eat it like that. But, you should also try it in this amazing soup :)
Just a quick note, if you recall, my mom is a celiac and my parents were over one night while I was making this. I wanted them to have a chance to try it, so I decided to substitute 1 Tbsp corn starch for the 1 Tbsp flour, and it became gluten-free!
Ingredients
1 whole head of cauliflower
3-4 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced (or 8-9 baby carrots)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp flour (or corn starch)
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. water
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400.
The first thing you'll want to do is roast the cauliflower and garlic. 
Cut the cauliflower into individual florets and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the cauliflower on a cookie sheet covered with tin foil. 
Toss the garlic with a small amount of olive oil wrap it in tin foil. Roast both the garlic and cauliflower for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the chicken broth, water, bay leaf, and roasted garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and add the heavy cream. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper and heat through.
You can leave the soup and eat it this way, or working in batches, you can transfer it to a blender and chop or puree.
We've had it both ways, and we prefer it chopped in the blender.
Add a little parmesan cheese and enjoy!

For a printable version of the recipe click here

Recipe adapted from Cooking for Seven

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Square By Square Game {Review}

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Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Hi everyone!
I have a review for you today that I am really excited about.
This is a game called Square by Square.
As soon as I had read a little about it I knew I wanted it for my son. 
Are you wondering why?
Well, I love anything that will challenge his growing and developing little mind, and it's fun!
How can you go wrong with that?!
So, the game comes with 14 blocks, 60 cards with different puzzles (with hints on the back...yes, I did need to peek a few times!), a game board to hold the blocks in place, a little pull-out drawer to store the cards, and a mesh bag to keep it all together.
The game actually arrived while my son was at school, and I have to admit I couldn't wait for him to get home...I totally opened it and tried it out :).
I picked up my son and my nephew from school, and as soon as they came in the house they started playing.
It is a 1 player game, but they actually decided to take turns, and they would even pick out puzzle cards for each other to try and stump one another.
 On the box it states the game is recommended for 5 and up.
My son is 5 and my nephew is 7, and I think it was perfect for them.

I am so thankful for the opportunity we had to review this game, and I would highly recommend it!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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