Friday, December 16, 2011

Foodie Friday: Shakshuka

A friend recently shared this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I added it to the menu for the month and last night was its night to shine. Mr Cherry wasn't too sure about the combination of tomato and eggs, but we all ended up loving it. The sauce had great flavor and the eggs added the substance and protein. Peachy loved the name as well as the flavor. I highly recommend you add this dish to your family's menu.

Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)
Based off a recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 jalapeƱos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (Smitten Kitchen used more, but since Peachy would be eating this, I kept it on the bland side)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
6 eggs
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (The original recipe calls for parsley, but  I had cilantro on hand)
Warm pitas, for serving

Directions:
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and cilantro and serve with pitas, for dipping.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

{Homemade Holidays: Week 5} ABC Card Set

Looking for an excellent children's Christmas gift? I made these ABC card sets for Peachy's playgroup last year and they were a hit. I used the free alphabet flashcard printable from Homemade by Jill. I had them printed at a print shop to save our home printer and then had them laminated. Index card boxes made the perfect holders with ABC vinyl stuck to the front.

I am linking to these wonderful parties this week.
Today's Creative Blog
Making the World Cuter

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Make Mine Peppermint, Please

This year I have developed quite the taste for peppermint. Give me a Peppermint Mocha any day of the week. Yum! While I have always loved the Peppermint M and Ms this year I found the more adult version, Dove Peppermint Bark. One bag is not enough.
I haven't had a chance to try any of these recipes yet, but I think I will have to add them to my holiday repertoire this year.
Peppermint Popcorn Crunch from Bake at 350
Make your own Peppermint Coffee Creamer from Alli-n-Son

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies from Our Best Bites
And Peppermint Bark Cookies from the Garden of Yum
So those of you who I share my Holiday treats with, I hope you like peppermint, too.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

{Homemade Holidays: Week 5} Tea Wreath

I saw this tea wreath at Kojodesigns last year and made it for my grandma. (Hi Nana!!)
It was a fun project that turned out really well. I love that you can customize it with different paper and different teas to suit the receiver.
So if you are in need of a last minute gift, whip one of these up!

I am linking to these wonderful parties this week.
Today's Creative Blog
Making the World Cuter

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mommy Time

I used to be the kind of person who was always 5 minutes early. I felt that I was late if I arrived somewhere exactly on time. (I blame my father for this. He trained us very well growing up.) However, now that I have kids it seems that no matter how hard I try I cannot leave the house on time. No matter how hard I try I just can't get out the door in a timely manner. There are times I think that we will be leaving in time to arrive somewhere on schedule, but it seems that something always comes up to change that. Thankfully most of what I attend is designed for moms with kids and being on time is not expected. If I had a job outside of the home I would be in big trouble!
Recently we were going to meet some friends at the mall at 9:30. The morning was going so smoothly that I foolishly told myself we might not only be on time, we might actually be able to run another errand before going to the mall. This was even after changing Peachy's sheets due to a diaper leak. I was feeling like super mom at this point. I sat down to feed Miss Cream before heading out the door and she decided that it wasn't time to eat. No big deal, I would just pump and give her a bottle when we got there. After getting a bottle all set, she decided that it was time to eat. As I am feeding her the bottle, Peachy announces that it is time to go potty. She heads into the bathroom and begins the pooping process. (Wow, two mentions of poop on my blog within two days. Sorry about that folks. This is my life.) Cream is done with her bottle. Peachy is in a clean diaper. We head down to the entryway to get bundled up to go. At this point I receive a text from my friends wondering if I a still coming. I look at the time. It is after 10 already. So much for being on time.
It is almost as if there is some sort of time vacuum around our house. When you need time the most it all of a sudden gets sucked right up before you even know it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Cream: 3 Months


Last week our little girl turned 3 months old. I really have a hard time believing how big she is getting. She is definitely not a newborn anymore. She is still doing really well. Her fussy periods in the evenings are starting to diminish. She is still doing well with her eating and her sleeping. (Although she was sleeping through the night for a while, now she is back to waking once a night.) She has an adorable smile that lights up her entire face.
I just love seeing her personality now. Her little thighs are starting to get rolls. Love it!! She is still an eratic pooper. She will go for days without pooping and then it all comes. (I am sure you all wanted to know that!) She also still has her clogged tear duct. (She has had this since birth and apparently they usually clear up within the first year. It means that her tears can't drain normally so she ends up with a goopy eye much of the time.) We have started giving her a bottle more often and she is doing well with it.
She prefers to be sitting up most of the time, but is getting a bit more content with being on the floor. However, tummy time is still not much fun. She has been battling a cold for the last few weeks, but thankfully it doesn't seem to bother her a whole lot. She also is working on getting her first teeth!! Peachy was an early teether as well, but it still seems so early. Her fists are constantly in her mouth lately and she is drooling like a fountain. We don't go long without a drool bib right now. She is a fairly content baby, but when something goes wrong, watch out!! She will let you know.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Foodie Friday: Happy Joes Knock Off Taco Pizza


When my friend Kim posted a recipe for Happy Joe's Taco Pizza it was all that I could do to stop myself from running to her house and giving her a hug. (This would have been quite the trick as we live states apart. Oh, and we have never met each other in real life.) Happy Joe's Taco Pizza is my all time favorite of the Taco Pizza variety. When I am there for the lunch buffet, you better watch out when that Taco Pizza is set down. I will be making a bee line for it at full speed. Kim nailed the pizza on the head. The trick is the combing of re-fried beans, taco sauce, and pizza sauce. Yum to the yum yum!!

Happy Joe's Knock-Off Pizza
Ingredients:

-1/2 c. re-fried beans
-1/2 c. taco sauce
-1/2 c. pizza sauce
-1 pound ground beef
-1 packet taco seasoning
-Mozzarella cheese, shredded
-Mexican-style cheese, shredded
-Shredded lettuce
-Chopped tomatoes
-Taco Chips

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2) Brown the ground beef and season with taco seasoning according to directions.
3) Stretch your crust until they are the desired thinness. We use a pizza stone in our house. I made three small pizzas rather than one large.
4) Mix taco sauce, beans and pizza sauce together. Kim suggests using about 1/2 cup each of the beans, taco sauce and pizza sauce. Spread this over the crusts.

5) Top with shredded mozzarella, then ground beef, then Mexican blend.
6) Bake until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden. Mine took around 15 minutes.
7) Then cover the pie with lettuce, tomatoes and crushed taco chips. Serve with additional taco sauce and sour cream.