Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa

I realize it is still 110 degrees outside... but I still made chili for dinner tonight. I am ready for some cooler weather and all the Fall food that comes along with it. This is a really yummy chili recipe that is different then most. It's a vegetarian chili topped with a fresh avocado salsa. I got the recipe from my Mom, who always made this for us. However, I think it originally came from Cooking Light. This time I made it I added some corn to the recipe.


-2 teaspoons canola oil
-1 cup onion, chopped
-1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
-2 teaspoons chili powder
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1 4.5oz can diced green chiles
-2/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
-1/4 cup water
-1 15oz can black beans, drained
-1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
-1/2 cup frozen corn
-1 14oz can vegetable broth
-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
-1 lime, cut into wedges
-Tortilla chips
-Avocado salsa (recipe below)


Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until tender. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, and green chiles. Saute 1 minutes. Stir in the barley, water, tomatoes, corn and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer. Cook about 20 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, chips, and avocado salsa.

Avocado Salsa

-1 avocado, cubed
-1/3 cup tomato, seeded and chopped
-1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
-1 tablespoon jalapeno, seeded and diced
-1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
-1/8 teaspoon sea salt

 Toss together in a bowl and serve over the chili.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tofu Pad Thai

Tofu Pad Thai is always what I order when Casey and I eat out for Thai food. For that reason I was excited to try making it at home, but also wary that I wouldn't be able to make it as tasty as they do at the restaurants. However, I really liked how this recipe turned out! By making it at home I knew, and could taste, that it is was healthier. I followed the recipe from Martha Stewart, however slightly modified it.


  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving (3 limes)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 package firm tofu, drained, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 5 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped plus more for garnish

Soak the rice noodles according to package instructions. Whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, and brown sugar.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Add eggs and cook until just set, then transfer eggs to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Next add some vegetable oil and and a little bit of sesame oil to the pan and heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Next add a little more of both oils to the skillet with the carrots, garlic, and scallion whites. Cook until softened. Add the lime-juice mixture and bring to a simmer. Now toss in the noodles, eggs, and tofu until heated through. Place noodles onto plates and top with peanuts, cilantro, and scallion greens. Serve with lime wedges and garnish with extra cilantro.

*If you want it spicy you can add chili sauce such as Sriracha sauce to the lime-juice mixture.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Salmon with Mango Salsa

Here's a great recipe for Salmon with Mango Salsa, it's one of Casey's favorites! However, salmon has a lot more to offer then just great taste. It is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help protect our bodies from heart disease, promote healthy skin and joints, and they are essential to the proper neurological development in children and unborn babies.

Salmon with Mango Salsa

2-4 Salmon Fillets
Olive oil
Seasoning mix:
1 tablespoon paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Heat large cast iron skillet over very high heat until it is beyond the smoking stage. Combine seasoning mix in a small bowl. Rub each fillet with olive oil then sprinkle seasoning mix generously and evenly on both sides of the fillets. Place in hot skillet. The fillets can also be grilled with this recipe on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side.

Mango Salsa:

1 mango, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup red onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Toss all of the ingredients together and serve over top of the Salmon.

Baby Taggie Blanket Tutorial

 I haven't sewn anything is a while, but now that my due date is approaching I have been thinking of lots of baby girl sewing projects. The trouble is finding the quiet time to make them, but this taggie blanket is super quick and easy to make! It would make a great handmade baby gift. 

-Two 16" squares of fabric
(I used two different colors and patterns of minky fabric
that I bought locally from Create Your Own Joy Studio)
-16 to 20 5" longs pieces of ribbon (I chose 3 different colors and sizes)
-Sewing Machine

 First place your 16" square pieces of fabric with the right sides facing each other.

 Next cut 16-20 pieces of ribbon each 5" long.

 Begin folding the ribbon in half to create the tags for the blanket.

 Tuck the ribbon with the folded edge inside the two pieces of fabric, leaving some of the other side sticking out. Pin each ribbon into place.

 Once all of the ribbons are pinned into place you can sew along the edges. When I passed over each of the ribbons I sewed back over then 3 times to make sure they held in place. Also make sure to leave a small opening in between two of the ribbons so that you can turn the blanket the right side out when you are done sewing. 

 Once the blanket is turned right side out it should look something like this. Now you can sew up the small hole either by hand or with your sewing machine. Then you are done!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Easy Dinner Recipes

This was a really easy dinner to throw together! I even made mine earlier in the day, stuck it in the fridge and when we got home later that evening it was ready to go in the oven for a quick 30 minutes.

This is a great healthy dinner; meatballs without all the carbs to go with them. We ate ours with a Greek Salad on the side. I improvised a bit with this recipe for the meatballs using what I had on hand and they came out great. Don't forget to make some taziki for on top!

This is a really easy dinner to throw together quickly. I made mine with whole wheat bow-tie pasta and used freeze dried basil instead of fresh.

I love salads for dinner, especially in the summer because it means I don't have to heat up my kitchen. For the chicken in the salad I bought a rotisserie chicken and in place of sour cream in the salad dressing I used Greek Yogurt.

I love finding new recipes on Pinterest, however I pin way more then I am able to keep up with making! These are a few recipes that I have actually made, tried, and loved! Hope you enjoy them as well! You can follow my Recipe Board HERE.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadilla

There are many days during the week that I am eating peanut butter and jelly with the boys for lunch, but when I am wanting a little something more this is one of the lunches I often turn to. It is quick and easy to throw together, and my kids sometimes like it too. It could also make a good appetizer.


  • 1/4 cup of Refried Black Beans with Jalapenos
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 1/2 Avocado, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of Butter
 Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat with butter. Spread the black beans onto one of the tortillas, then sprinkle with the cilantro and goat cheese. Press the other tortilla on top and saute in the butter, flipping half way through. Cook until the tortilla is golden brown on both sides. Use a pizza cutter to slice. Serve warm with sliced avocado and garnish with cilantro.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Organizing Outside Toys

I finally got around to organizing the outside toys! I was inspired by a picture on Pinterest a while ago via Random Thoughts of a SuperMom, you can see the pin HERE. I loved the idea of having buckets for all the little outside toys that can get scattered all over the yard. I used my silhouette machine to cut black vinyl labels for each bucket. We bought the galvanized buckets and shelf at Home Depot. Having the buckets labeled makes finding toys and cleaning up easier for Hudson...and it looks cute too. :)