Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gourmet DIY Hotpockets

I know I promised DIY home improvement projects but I just had to share this recipe A.S.A.P.  It is amazing.



We both turned 30 last year *GASP* and with turning 30 (I accidentally typed 40 and almost fainted - I do not age gracefully nor willfully) we had to get a physical for health insurance purposes. Hubs' cholesterol came back pretty darn high for a 30 (there is that ugly number again) year old.   He decided to make better life style choices to help bring his numbers down to a normal level without medication.   Awesome, right?!

Well, one of his lifestyle revamps was to become a vegetarian.  This threw me for a loop.  The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right?  The way to his heart was via chicken wings, bacon, big rare steaks, any sort of barbecued flesh and more bacon.  Apparently, those were heading directly to his heart and clogging the darn thing up. Definitely a needed change but I was quite resistant.   Vegetarian recipes tend to be heavy on the curry or peppers. Both of which I do not dig.  My recent break through was the discovery of mushrooms. Mushrooms are the new meat around these parts.Yum!

Dinner was going to be rough last night. We were down to just some random stuff left in the freezer and pantry. I was determined to use it up and not run out to the store and blow our budget the last (extra) day of the month. From a moment of desperation came a moment of genius. OK, maybe that sentiment is a wee bit strong, but we at least had a really tasty dish!

Gourmet Mushroom 'Hotpockets'

Ingredients:
2 onions
Olive Oil
salt
blue cheese crumbles
spinach
1 lb white button mushrooms, sliced
pie crust (make your own or cheat use the rolled up kind like I did)
Preheated oven at 425 degrees

First, I caramelized the onion.  It takes a while but is worth the time invested to get such rich yummy flavor.  You just slice up the onion, add it to a hot large pan with some olive oil - at least a table spoon per onion.  I stirred it every 3-4 minutes for the first half an hour and then watched more closely for the next 15-20 minutes.  At the 10 minute mark, I added a dash of salt.

After the onions were caramelized, I took them out and tossed the mushrooms in the pan.  I sauteed them until brown and added a few handfuls of spinach at the end.  Just long enough to let it wilt.

Next, I rolled out the pie crust and used my sandwich cutter to make squares.  One box of pie crust yielded 20 squares.

On 10 of the squares, I placed about a tablespoon of onions and 2 tablespoons of the mushroom and spinach mixture.  I topped the pile with about a teaspoon of blue cheese crumbles.  Next time, I will use a bit more as we LOVE the flavor of blue cheese but was running low this time.

I placed the other 10 squares on the topped squares and used a fork to crimp the edges.  This helps the filling stay inside the crust while baking.

I popped them in the oven for 20 minutes and out came little golden brown pouches of YUM.


Yes, I used a pizza pan.   The cookie sheets were in the dishwasher.  Didn't think this was going to be good enough to blog about.  Boy,  was I in for a surprise!!


Hubs and I also thought this would be amazing translated into a quiche or a frittata.  The blue cheese gave it just a bit of tang while the sweet onions and savory mushrooms worked perfectly together.   The pie crust was definitely not healthy but the filling could hold it's own without the butter laden crust.  Maybe as pizza topping, even?


Have you every come up with an amazing dish using random ingredients left lingering before market day?  I'd love to hear about!  



Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pinterest!

Is anyone as obsessed with this website as I am?  It has seriously taken over my life.  I reference it for anything and everything I need to do.  What's for dinner?  Check Pinterest.  Need a craft for the kids?  Check Pinterest!  Party planning - definitely Pinterest.  Home improvement? Pinterest, again.

Hubs isn't so fond.  In fact, he jokes if he ever meets the inventor, he might punch him.  I think it has something to do with the fact I start every other conversation these days with "HONEY!!  Do you know what I just found on Pinterest?!  We are SOOO going to do/try/make that this weekend."

I have some awesome posts lined up, all inspired by Pinterest.  We have tackled the faux leather floors using just varathane, Elmer's glue and brown craft paper.  Last weekend, we put up easy DIY door casings and they have absolutely transformed the look of our house.

Can't wait to share the pictures!  If you happen to be as obsessed with Pinterest as I am, feel free to follow me!  

Follow Me on Pinterest

  Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello? Anybody Out There?

Excuse me while I dust the cobwebs off of this ol' blog and get back to some regular posting.  Life is great here with our newest addition.  Pregnancy was not kind to me.  It was all I could do to keep my two already born children fed, clothed (I can't promise they were always in matching clothes but they were not naked) and out of harm's way.  Now that babe #3 is 4 months old, I am ready to rejoin the world.  Or maybe just the world wide web.  Taking all 3 out by myself scares the pants off of me.  But, hey, this is a start - right?!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Motivation

The winter blahs have set in big time around our household. I have rid the house of the last vestiges of Christmas.  No more needles to step on or tinsel for the cat to eat.  Yet, somehow, the house still feels cluttered.  Santa was wa-ay to nice to my sometimes naughty children and we have toys and new clothes coming out of our ears.  I have De-Crapify on the top of my to-do list, if only I could find motivation to tackle anything on my list it would surely be done first.   Don't even get me started on home-improvement projects.  Our baseboards have yet to be nailed in but at least the dishwasher was installed.

I do have a good excuse to be lacking in the motivation department.  Our little family is expanding by one come spring time.  We are expecting baby #3, boy #1 in May.  I hope he likes wearing pink hand-me downs, my little pony toys and doesn't mind that our baseboards are not nailed in. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

What'cha Gonna Do About It



It's a NKOTB reference! You know what that means! A countertop update! 

If you are NKOTB fan, you can tell by the title that this is not going to be good.  I wish it was.   Oh boy, do I wish it was. 

First, I have a confession to make.  I am stuck in the 80's.  Ok, you don't need to hide your shock.   It was the decade my childhood.  A time of happiness, irresponsibility and innocence.  You already know NKOTB has a warm place in my heart.  Well, so does Hello Kitty.   She is just so stinkin' cute.  I just can't get over her.   Lucky for me, my two daughters feel the same way.   They are my excuse for having adorable kitchen appliances like this:Hello Kitty Waffle Maker - KT5221

and even this:Hello Kitty Toaster - KT5211  Hello Kitty's face greeting me on my toast every morning?  What a happy way to start the day.  Poor Hubs.  Unfortunately for him, the Transformers franchise does not make a toaster.  He is also surronded by women (even our dog is a girl) so he is forces to eat kitty shaped waffles and smear butter over a darling round kitty face, despite being a very manly man. 

Why am I confessing that I (not so) secretly love my kitty waffles and toast?  And further more, what does this have to do with our countertop transformation?   Behold the horror.




The most adorable waffle maker on the planet has left perfectly round little dots all over our countertop.  The dots mysteriously started to appear about 4 months after completing the countertops.  Because most of them are near the sink, I assumed they were some type of splatter from the sink.  When I went to clean them up, they didn't budge.  I even broke my trusty magic eraser, still nothing.  My heart sank.  This was a bigger issue than some sink splatter.  Of course, during this time we went about using the waffle maker, like the clueless hello kitty obsessed waffle lovers we are.


It took two months and a counter top full of perfectly spaced concentric circles before I was able to connect the dots (cheesy pun definitely intended- ha!) 

The marks are not burns.  They are some kind of penetrating stain on the top coat.  Hubs thinks it has something to do with the rubber knobs on the waffle maker reacting with the topcoat.  By the time we figured out it was the waffle maker, my once amazing countertops now looked like this.
I called up Modern Masters, you know because of the awesome guarantee I was promised with the product.   I had to leave a message at first but my call was promptly returned.

When I tried to explain what was going on, I was told they were burns.  When I explained that they were not burns, (Hello Kitty may be cute, but she is definitely not  hot) the service agent then told me that the product was only guaranteed for normal daily use with countertop appliances.   What is a waffle maker, if not a countertop appliance?  No response.   I was disappointed the agent was so short with me.  She curtly asked me to send email with pictures.  I sent in the photographs on this post.  I received a follow-up call maybe a day later.  The agent agreed that they were most likely not burns and not surface stains. They had never experienced an issue like this.  The only solution provided was to re-do the entire countertop.  While the process was not difficult, it was time consuming and so soon?  I mean, it has only been 9 months since we first used the Countertop Transformations product.  The box promised years of use.  I was offered an additional kit sent to me, but never a full refund- again what the box promises.    I declined the kit.  For a mere 9 months, the work involved seems overly daunting.

My spotted countertops are better than the world's ugliest circa 1992 forest green laminate but I do feel a bit let down by Modern Masters.  The box promised great things.  I wanted to love it.  As the NKOTB song goes, ' Girl, why you done like this, I know I still love you, check it out.
What'cha gonna do about it, girl, what'cha gonna do?'

My girl was Modern Masters answer and my answer was not much.  :(   Our dotted and spotted countertops are now on the chopping block and money is being stashed for granite.  Was the $300 worth it for 9 months of pretty?  At almost $10 a week,  I don't think so.  I would have rather lived with the ugly and saved my $300 to invest in new countertops.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Just Call me Laura Ingalls

Hubs travels a fair amount for business.  With two small kids with fairly early bedtimes, that can make for some lo-ong nights.  Don't get me wrong, I do love a bit of alone time.  The thing is after about day 3, I get a little stir crazy.    This last trip I was desperate for something sweet.  We do not keep junk in the house.  No chips, no cookies, nothing.  It is not because we are some kind of health freaks.  It is to prevent us from immediately consuming said junk.   If we want junk, we have to REALLY want it enough to beg ask Hubs to go fetch it for us.  Another strike against the 'burbs- delivery men won't bring you anything your heart desires.  Phooey.  So without Hubs services or the aid of a delivery man this past week, I was forced to get creative.  The contents of our pantry and fridge were sparse so I had to be extra resourceful.




Lucky for me, we have a huge mulberry tree right off our deck.  Allrecipes.com + three cups of mulberries and I was well on my way to a delicious mulberry pie!

I felt a bit little home on the prarie-esque collecting the mulberries.  Most of the tree was out of my reach so I had to shake the heck out of the tree and then resort to picking the fallen berries off the ground.  My  purple stained hands were an unfortunate side effect.

After collecting enough berries,  I had to clean them up.  Picking berries off the ground also meant a fair amount of grass clippings ended up in my measuring cup.  Boo.  

While the berries were draining, I put together the pie crust.  This is were my experience is decidedly not Little House on the Prairie and more Big House in the Suburbs.   I always keep roll out pie crusts in the freezer-quiche is a staple meal in our house.  Why the roll out kind and not just the frozen pie crusts?  Well, I can pass off the roll out kind as homemade if need be.  (shhhhh...don't tell)












I dumped the clean berries into my pathetic excuse for a pie crust and added a cup of sugar (and some butter for good measure--one can never have enough butter).


40 minutes in a hot oven later, my pie was finished!






I figure all that work meant I could indulge in two slices guilt free.  Mmmmmmmm!!






So what is the craziest thing you have done/made/eaten to cure a sweet tooth craving? 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mouse Bound!


We are taking the girls to visit Mickey Mouse and I cannot be more excited. Hubs and I have been to Disney World about 2.4 million times (well, more like 10 but still that is a lot!) but have not yet been brave enough to tackle 'The World' with kiddos.  I think  hope we are now.

Disney prekids was all about going on the biggest, fastest, tallest rides repeatedly until someone (usually me) got motion sick.  I'm pretty sure this time around we will spend the majority of our trip on the Small World ride.  Nevertheless, it is going to be amazing.  To see our little munchin's faces light up when they see the castle for the first time- I get chills just thinking about it.

Do you remember the first time you saw the castle?   
I was 9 the first time I went to Disney with my family.  It was miserable.  My parents were of the 'we paid huge money for this experience, we are going to do everything in the park AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!' variety.  Hubs and I are of the more laid back just want to enjoy the day variety. 

Any veteran Disney families have any tips for this Disney with kidlets novice?  
I'm thinking about getting one of theseApple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)  for the plane ride.  I really really want one and what better way to justify the expenditure than say the kids 'need' it? ;)  Just like my minivan has to have leather seats because it is soooooo much easier to clean up kid messes.  It has nothing to do with how much mommy loves heated leather seats.  Oh, how I sacrifice for these kids. 




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