Friday, October 28, 2011

Irish Hand Pies

As many of you know, I am trying to go vegan.  Even though I would be ecstatic if my hubby and kiddo would jump on the vegan bandwagon with me, it is not something I will even consider pushing on them.  I am doing this for me, mostly to avoid any reactions due to my milk allergy, and I feel it is up to them to make such a decision for themselves. 

Although I offer a taste of anything vegan that I am eating, I know they prefer a more traditional menu.  Because I am tired of cooking two meals every dinner, I have been researching dinners that can be pre-made, frozen, and then thawed and cooked in a hurry.  I already have an arsenal of vegan burgers and sides packed up in the freezer, so now it's time to do the same for my omnivorous family. ;)   I made some Irish Hand Pies to freeze for later.








Recipe:

1Tbs. oil
¼ head of cabbage, sliced
1 ½ lbs. redskins, cleaned and diced
½ onion, diced
1 lb. ground meat (I used a combo of turkey and beef)
1 cup water
3 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. dried thyme
S & P to taste
2 rolls of pre-made pie crust, thawed.

1.)  In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil.  Add potatoes and cabbage, toss to coat.  Saute on med-high for about 8 minutes, until the cabbage is wilted.  Add onion and ground meat and cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring frequently.
2.)  When meat is fully cooked, add water, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and thyme.  Stir to incorporate. Reduce heat to medium and cover.  Simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are soft.
3.)  When potatoes are soft, mash everything with a fork or potato masher.  Then, remove from heat and let cool completely.  Divide cooled meat mixture into 8 equal servings.
4.)  Divide each crust into 4 equal parts, roll to ¼" thickness, in the shape of a square.  Place a portion of meat on one side of the prepared crust, and fold crust over to cover.  Wet the edges of the dough with water and press with a fork to seal.  Cut a few vents in the top.
5.)  You can wrap each pie in plastic and freeze at this point.
6.)  From thawed, bake in a preheated 400 oven for 12-15 minutes.  From frozen, bake in a preheated 400 oven for 30 minutes.


I think I will try to make these vegan sometime soon, maybe using lentils or soy crumbles instead of ground meat.  (I used a vegan Worcestershire sauce anyway, and the pie crust is 'accidentally' vegan.) I also think these will go great with a vegetable type soup, like a creamy tomato.  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Visitor


I love looking out my kitchen window, I always get a glimpse of something wonderful. 
This last weekend, I woke up to a morning visitor perched on my fence.  




There are many hawks around our house.  This is not the first time they've perched on my fence.  A few months ago, I actually had two hawks sitting in my mulberry tree (although I doubt they were there for the fruit.).  




This little guy is a juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  
From what I have read young Cooper's have yellow eyes, and as they mature, their eyes turn to a red color, and their young brown and rusty colored feathers turn to a steely blue and brown.  




I took a few pictures, and then just stood there watching him watching me.  
I hope he comes by again, I think he is so beautiful.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sign for Kiddo's Room


Blame it on the Pinterest....



I saw a sign (if you are on Pinterest, you know the sign I am talking about) and I really wanted to recreate it for my daughter's room.  The quote on the inspiration sign was from the song, "A Bushel and a Peck", which is a song I sing to my daughter.  It was a song my mother and grandmother both sung to me.  I can't stop giggling when I hear my daughter singing it to her stuffed Piggy (her favorite toy).  :)

Trying to avoid any accidents, I decided this sign would not be made out of anything heavy (like wood).  I just know since my daughter helped me make it, she would probably touch it a ba-gillion times, and I do not want it falling off the wall on her.  Besides, I could make it wicked light and cheap by using foam poster-board.  Done and done.



I used my new Cricut and some cheap-o vinyl shelf liner to make up all the wording.  I used the only font cartridge I have- the Cricut's Don Juan.  I spray painted the board Heritage white to match her bedroom furniture.  Then when it dried, I carefully stuck the vinyl letters on.  (I probably should have used a ruler, instead I just eyeballed the letter placement. )  Then, I got out three colors of acrylic paint (They all match her bed quilt.) and we got to work with some painted hand prints.  Because I am impatient, I used my blow-dryer to dry the different layers of paint.  By the time the paint was dry, Kiddo had finally finished washing her hands, and we continued painting with the next color.



After all three paint layers were on and completely dry, I carefully peeled off the vinyl.  Now, all I have left to do is it hang it up!  I have a trick up my sleeve (ok, truthfully, from Pinterest again. ) on how to hang this picture.  I will post more on that one later. :)


BTW:  I had the paints on hand.  The poster board cost about $2.50 and the roll of vinyl was $2.  Not too shabby!  :)


Linking up:


A Little Knick Knack

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

... ♥ ...



My daughter picked all these clover flowers for me today.




Who says "You can't measure love"?




*Sigh*  I love that little one.  :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Last Bit of Summer

You know what?  This was my first time making, and eating, fried green tomatoes.

Aren't they beautiful?  This vibrant green color is so refreshing.  



I doubt we'll see it again for a while, but that's ok.  
I love the fall and winter seasons, and welcome them with open arms!






Anyhow, here's the recipe:

2 green tomatoes
1 tbsp. flax seeds, freshly ground and mixed with 4 tbsp. water (or other egg replacer)
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond milk (or other plant based milk.  I like almond because its very thick and coats well)
3-4 tbsp. oil for frying
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.) Cut slices of tomatoes, blot the extra moisture with paper towels. 
2.) Heat up a heavy bottomed pan on med-high heat, add the oil. Set up your 'dipping station'.
3.) Dip the tomatoes in milk, then in flour, then in flax mixture and finally in the cornmeal.  Make sure to press the flour and cornmeal in to make a nice crust.
4.) Add to the hot pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fry about 3-4 minutes on each side.  I enjoyed these on toast, with fresh red onion, lettuce and vegan mayo.  




Paired with a stack of sweet potato fries, this was a perfect Indian Summer dinner.  



Friday, October 14, 2011

Winner!

We have a winner for the UPrinting.com giveaway!

There was not a huge turnout... I was a little disappointed we only had two people enter... 

But, anyway,  

♥   GAIL  ♥




You have won 100 personalize postcards 
from UPrinting.com!

Please email me as soon as you can!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Giveaway Ends Soon!



Don't forget to enter the UPrinting.com giveaway!  
The winner will receive 100 free personalized postcards!

Click HERE to enter.


*Giveaway ends Thursday, Oct. 13th at midnight (EST)*


It's the little things...

I know I've been posting tons about food lately.  My apologies to those coming here hoping for crafts.  It's just that I have been trying really hard to avoid all milk products (due to my allergy) and in doing so, I have discovered a new world of yummy foods.

Usually, I don't miss any sort of milk products at all.  But every once in a while, I come across something that reminds me of what I have been going with out...

And it is JUST. SO. GOOD.  




Sigh... This vegan cheese spread is made from oatmeal, pimentos, nutritional yeast, a little oil and onion powder.  (Who would have thought to mix those things together??)  And it tastes just like pub/beer cheese.  It is low in calories, and has no cholesterol.




I am one happy girl.  :)



Monday, October 10, 2011

If it Ain't Broke...

Is it just me or did Blogger go a ruin a good thing??

I'm having the hardest time with their new 'Updated Blogger Interface'!  It's extremely restrictive when it comes to changing your template or backgrounds....  Ugh.

Is anyone else having trouble with it, or am I just one of those people that is terrible at getting used to changes?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pinterest: Wreaths



I have been loving Pinterest lately... Maybe even a little too much... I have so many ideas of things I would like to do, I don't know where to begin!  :P   

I do need to gussy up my front porch area for fall.  I haven't done anything 'big' to that porch since last year with my painted rug and rocking chair.  I suppose I should start with a new wreath.


Pinned Image


Pinned Image


Pretty fall wreaths


Pinned Image




Pinned Image







Pinned Image





Now I just need to figure out which one I like best.  
Any suggestions?

All images were found on Pinterest, and any links provided from there I linked up with each image.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giveaway!!!

Hey folks!  I was recently contacted by Drew from Uprinting.com , and he is giving one of my readers an amazing prize package!




As you all know, the holidays are already coming full steam ahead.  Get a heads up on your Holiday cards this year! Postcards are one way to express your affection and care to your loved ones. Leading online printing companies have come up with various designs that will suit up your creativity. One lucky winner will get the following prize:


100 (5" x 7") Post Cards
14pt Cardstock Gloss
No Folding
Front Only Printing
With FREE SHIPPING (2 Business Days Print Turnaround)

Pretty sweet deal, huh??  You have FOUR chances to win!  
• Follow A Day in the Life... (or tell me you are already following! BTW, you don't have to follow to enter, it just gives you an extra chance.)
• 'like' UPrinting on Facebook (click HERE)
• Follow UPrinting on Twitter (click HERE)
• Sign up Giveaway Blogs (click HERE)
PLEASE, leave separate comments for each entry.  


Details:
• A winner will be chose via Random.org on Thursday, October 13th.  
• If you leave a comment anonymously, please be sure to include a first name and your email address.
• If the winner does not contact me by Friday, October 14th, they automatically forfeit their prize, and a new winner will be chosen. (Again, by Random.org)
• You can only win this giveaway (with UPrinting) once in a 6 month period. Giveaway open to US residents only.






GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!  :)




*This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive a postcard for hosting.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tomato/Carrot/Pasta Soup

Since the weather got chilly here today, and it had been storming all day long, I felt I needed a good hearty soup.  A soul-warming kind of soup.  Something chunky, something savory.  Luckily, Pinterest offered some good ideas to get me started on just what kind of soup I would make today.

I followed a link found on Pinterest to find this recipe, and I used it as the base for tonight's dinner.  I made a few tweaks to the recipe to come up with something that I know I will be making again.  :)


Here's the recipe for the soup I ate tonight, including the 'tweaks' I made:
2 Tbsp. vegan butter (Or you could use olive oil)
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. bottled minced garlic
pinch dried thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil 
2 cans of diced tomatoes plus liquid
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup Silk's PureCoconut milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pasta* (I made homemade, recipe below.)

1.)  In a Dutch Oven, melt butter over med-high heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and thyme.  Saute until the onion and celery are soft. 


2.) Add basil, both cans of tomatoes, vegetable broth and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1/2 hour or until carrots are soft.  Add coconut milk (this helped to cut the acidity of the tomatoes, it gave it a little sweetness.  I recommend Silk coconut milk over the canned variety- it has less fat and isn't quite so 'coconutty').


3.) Now, add your pasta and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is done.  I made homemade pasta, in which case I boiled in a separate pot so it didn't thicken the soup up too much. *Now that I have tasted this, I know next time, I will use tortellini or gnocchi.  This soup needs a heavy pasta.



Pasta recipe:
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used ww white flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup water


1.)Add all to a food processor or mixer.  I used my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook, and it worked perfectly.  Mix until a smooth dough ball forms.  Add a tsp of water at a time if the dough appears to be too dry.


2.)On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/4" thickness. Cut into pieces/strips.  Shake more flour on top, and let rest on a baking rack for about an hour.  


3.) Boil for 6 minutes in salted water, and then add to your soup. 



This was a great soup.  I can tell its a very versatile soup, too, whereas you can add just about whatever type of pasta/grain you have on hand, and any other types of veggies.  I think next time, I may add some corn.  Tonight, however, I just enjoyed it with a little Daiya Mozz on top (vegan mozzarella). 


Thank Goodness for left-overs!!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Skunk'd.....





My dear pup Coe, in all of his doggy wisdom, decided to play with a skunk yesterday in the middle of the night. Hubs and I were staying up late watching a spooky movie, and all of a sudden, we could smell something awful. (To tell you the truth, it didn't quite smell like true 'skunk' at first.  It smelled like something awful was burning!)  I peeked out of the back door and saw Coe trying to rub the stank off of his face with his paws, and then frantically rubbing his face in the grass.

After a quick trip to Walmart, I came home with the necessary supplies to make the magic recipe to help de-skunk a dog.  (And no, it is not tomato juice!)  If this ever happens to you, mix this recipe together and shampoo your pet immediately with it.

De-skunkin' Soap:
1 quart of Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4  cup baking soda
1-2 Tbsp. Dawn Dishsoap (I used Hypoallergenic)

I made a double batch right away and hosed off poor Coe in the backyard.  Not something I really want to do again on a Saturday night, but, at least it worked.  I really think Coe got sprayed full blast (and at close range) right in the face.  He seems pretty lethargic today, but he has a good appetite and a cold nose, so we're going to wait this out and see how he feels tomorrow.

And just to show that I have no hard feelings to the stinky little guy that ruined 'Movie Night', here's some really cute pics of skunks that I found.  And a video. (Who can resist any kind of animal baby videos?)







Aren't they just so STINKIN' cute??

(Click on pics to see their sources)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Goodies From Afar...

Yesterday felt like Christmas for me.



I ordered my gifts from Novica and was told they would get to me between September 13th and September 20th.  So, like a normal person (who never gets their mail in a timely manner), I expected to receive these items on or around September 21st. When my door bell rang, I was shocked to see the Fed Ex guy holding some packages for me!  I quickly signed for them and ran inside.

Want to see what I ordered??


Two Condiment Cups (from Bali)

Aren't those little Lizards so cute??

Pearl Earrings (from Thailand)

My first Pearl earrings...

And a Shoulder Bag (also from Thailand)

I know, It needs to be ironed... I couldn't help my self !  Iron, Schmiron!

I am so happy with these gifts!! They are beautiful and well made.  They were wrapped up so beautifully, I would love to order some gifts from Novica for my family.

Thanks so much, Ricky and Novica, for giving me the opportunity to see what your company is all about!  It couldn't be any better.  I will definitely be a repeat customer.   :)



Here's some other links I think everyone would be interested in:


** I was too excited to wait and iron the bag, and we had to errands to run so I threw my wallet and such in the bag and left!  And you know what? Those pesky wrinkles fell out on their own!  Score!! **

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New things....

Well...  My little girl is just growing up too fast.  It's bittersweet, really.  I'm a little sad that time is going by so fast, but I'm so excited for her to meet new kids and make new friends and have new experiences.




I know she's going to have so much fun 
making artwork for us to proudly display on the fridge. 




She's totally ready for school, and I am the one that's taking baby steps!