Monday, July 28, 2014

Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Thanks to

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Apricot Pistachio Cream Cheese Spread

This dairy-free spread is delicious and while it may not look like much, with the crunch of pistachio, a hint of honey, and sweet apricots, this is the perfect topping for scones or toast!
Apricot Pistachio Cream Cheese Spread 4 ounces dairy free cream cheese spread 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped 1/3 cup dried apricots, sliced into thirds lengthwise 1 Tablespoon honey (or agave nectar if preferred) 1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and when ready, pour over apricots and allow to rehydrate for 10 minutes. 2. When apricots are ready, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, incorporating until smooth.

Potato, Soy Chorizo, and Egg Tacos

These vegetarian and gluten-free tacos are delicious (my husband even went back for thirds). They are filling and the perfect alternative to traditional Mexican dinner options.
Potato, Soy Chorizo, and Egg Tacos 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded 2 cups peeled golden potatoes, cut into 3/4″ cubes 1 package soy chorizo, removed from plastic and crumbled 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 8 small corn tortillas Salsa to top, if desired 1. Heat broiler and place the four yellow bell pepper sides, flattening them as you place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil pepper for 7 to 10 minutes, or until browned and roasted. Remove from oven and place in a brown paper bag, allowing them to cool. When cooled, peel the skin off of and slice lengthwise. 2. In a medium pot, add potatoes and bring 2 cups water to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until fork tender. 3. Drain potatoes and add potatoes to a large skilled. Add crumbled soy chorizo and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until chorizo and potato beings to brown. Add egg and cook, stirring until cooked thoroughly. 4. Spoon potato mixture onto tortilla shells and top with bell pepper.

Grilling Vegan Style

Grilling Vegan Style is a great book for vegans, vegetarians, and those interested in incorporating more healthy ingredients into their diet. This books is filled with colorful pictures of delectable foods such as No-Bake Lasagne and Grilled Peaches. Schlimm goes into great detail at the beginning, explaining the variety of grilling methods and elaborating on the best vegan ingredients. Shlimm is very relatable, and his recipes are too – there is nothing in this book that is too difficult, even for beginning grillers. Also, there aren’t lots of processed ingredients (he doesn’t go for the convenience option like spicing up Tofurkey links or using Veggie Burgers in every recipe) – refreshingly, he uses fresh vegetables and seasonings that will appeal to everyone. Beyond great grill recipes like Grilled Vegetables on Focaccia and Seventh Inning Stretch Tacos, the book provides a number of sauce and condiment recipes that are extra tasty – Finger Lickin’ BBQ Sauce, Homemade Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, and King Wasabi Marinade make this book worthwhile. There are also desserts which can be grilled (a complete surprise) – Vanilla Pound Cake with Lemon-Lime Glaze and Tropical Kebabs with Raspberry & Cointreau Dip – and there is an entire chapter on cocktails and drinks to go along with all of your grilled fare. This book is filled with insight and information for anyone considering becoming a vegan – it is a real hit and well worth space on your shelf.

Crispy Onion Rings

These vegan oven-baked onion rings are delicious! I am normally not an onion ring fan, but with grilling weather in full swing, I had to try to revise a time tested recipe. These aren’t greasy and taste light and crispy – not overdone or soggy at all. They are the perfect side dish to a veggie burger or summer sandwich.
Crispy Onion Rings 2 large white onions, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rings 1 medium bowl ice water 1 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup, divided 2 cups non-dairy milk 4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 Tablespoon paprika 1 Tablespoon garlic powder 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 3 cups cornflakes, crushed 1 cup panko bread crumbs 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted (this will not taste like coconut as the refining takes out the coconut flavor) 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with aluminum foil. 2. Separate the larger onion rings from the smaller ones – reserve the smaller ones for another use and only use the larger ones to make onion rings. Place the onion rings into the ice water and submerge completely. 3. In a pie pan or other flat, shallow dish, place the 1 cup flour. In another pie pan, pour the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to thicken a bit, stirring occasionally for approximately 5 minutes. Stir in paprika, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper, as well as 1/4 cup flour, mixing to incorporate thoroughly and remove any lumps. In a third pie pan, Mix cornflakes and panko, tossing to blend. 4. Arrange pie pans so that you take onion rings from the ice water, dip them into the flour, then the milk-vinegar mix, and finally into the crumb mix. Lie onion rings on prepared baking sheets in a single layer. When completed, brush melted coconut oil over the onion rings. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip over, brush opposite side with more melted coconut oil, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Almost Amish

This book was just what I needed to remind myself to slow down and focus on the good things in each day! Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman is a great read that reinforces the beauty of slowing down in order to really appreciate what is most important in life. Julie, a stay-at-home mom who is harried by the daily demands of raising her children, maintaining her household, cooking healthy dinners, and all that life brings. When her sister-in-law, Susan, a domestic goddess, gets the opportunity to participate in a reality show about living an Almost Amish lifestyle for three months, Julie jumps in just for a change of pace. As part of this experiment, Julie brings her two teenage kids, Whitney and Brian, and Susan brings her teen, Angie, and they head to a small farmhouse, far away from society in Tennessee. While Julie’s focus is to slow down, appreciate the “simpler” aspects of her Amish-esque lifestlyle, reconnect with her children, and find her God-given gifts, Susan is striving for perfection, realizing that if she fails in this reality-show, and is not well received by audiences, her chances of being successful as a cookbook author and television personality will vanish. As the women learn to do everything from bake with a wood stove, plant a garden, dress in modest garb, and raise farm animals, Julie comes to appreciate this life that is not easier, but more intentional, yet Susan feels just as hectic as ever (refusing to stop cleaning and cooking in order to appreciate the moment). With Kendra, a rude and commanding producer, putting increasing demands on the family, both Julie and Susan are pushed to face the challenges of their Almost Amish experience while also learning new things about themselves, and their children. The honesty of the characters is endearing – Susan is struggling with a recent divorce and Julie is having a hard time dealing with the expectations that others place upon her. Additionally, the teenagers gain a new appreciation for modern conveniences, and develop deeper relationships with their parents and each other. With an underlying focus on faith, and approachable dialogue, this is a great read that is refreshing and a wonderful reminder to slow down. There are a few moments which are a bit predictable, but overall, this is well worth a read!

Swiss Chard and Sausage

My husband’s family made lots of dinners that revolved around Swiss Chard and Sausage – whether on polenta or in another form. This recipe was all his idea, so he deserves credit, but he was okay with me making it vegetarian. If you are not a vegetarian, feel free to use any Italian sausage that you like.
Swiss Chard and Sausage 4 Vegetarian Italian Sausages (I used Tofurkey) 4good quality hot dog buns or rolls 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 bunch Swiss Chard, trimmed of stems and narrowly sliced 2 Tablespoons crushed garlic 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper Salt and pepper to taste 1. Prepare sausages by boiling them and cooking until tender, approximately 5 minutes. 2. Prepare Swiss Chard topping by warming oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add Swiss Chard and garlic, stirring until wilted. Sprinkle with red pepper and salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. 3. Toast buns if desired. Place sausage in bun and top with Swiss Chard. Serve immediately.