Friday, January 30, 2015

Tortellini Kebobs with Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce

During the holidays, it’s party time and that means potluck dishes to prepare for all the big events. First up was my husband’s annual work potluck, so we needed to decide on a few covered dishes to make and share.

I suggested going the healthy route with my new favorite one pot Mexican Quinoa recipe that is super yummy. He loves it too, but didn’t think the work boys would appreciate it, so we went with a theme for his food this year. Since there was a ton of crockpot meat dishes already on the menu, we decided to leave the crockpot at home and bring “food on a stick” making it official by writing it on the sign up sheet.

Who knows what everyone thought he would bring? Corndogs perhaps, not a chance!
Tortellini Kabobs with Pesto and Marinara Dipping Sauce (marinara not pictured)
We prepared tortellini kebobs with pesto and marinara dipping sauces. Although no one else probably noticed, I love that the Christmas colors of the green pesto and red marinara made this dish feel even more festive.

To assemble, we cut kebob sticks in half and put two or three tortellini on each stick careful to only skewer the tortellini on the stick end that was factory finished (not our scissor cut end) so no one accidentally got a splinter in their food.

Tortellini on a stick works well as an appetizer, light side, or topper for a soup or salad.

Whatever you want to call it, potluck pleasers, food on a stick, or simply party food, the fun "on a stick" presentation helped make our simple and tasty covered dishes a success. My husband even received several positive comments from the work crew about his potluck dishes!

We also took a dessert on a stick that I’ll share soon.

Our Summer CSA Experience - Week of June 5, 2014

What’s in the box this week? June 5, 2014

This week's USDA Certified Organic Share includes:
- Sugar Snap Peas - 1 qt
- Lettuce - 2 heads
- Napa Cabbage - light cabbage flavor
- Beets - bunch
- Kohlrabi - bunch - nice broccoli flavor, raw or cooked
- Spring Onions - bunch
- Radicchio - head - really cool, green type radicchio
- Kale - bunch
- Boc Choy
- Parsley - cut herb

 Price is $35.00

What to do with all the fresh produce?
We love sugar snap peas stir fried, but these sweeties were so good they disappeared before I had a chance to cook any…we ate them raw.

More delicious salads with fresh lettuce. Best salads ever, hope they keep the lettuce coming.

The napa cabbage had some bug damage so it took a little longer to clean and prep, but that’s OK with me if it’s grown organically. We loved this cabbage, it made the most delicious salads from the Nourishing Meals and The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbooks.

We sautéed the beet greens with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Then we roasted the beets in the oven. Not everyone in our house is a beet fan, but they all liked the beet greens prepared this way. Our baby enjoyed the roasted beets with me.

Kohlrabi was new to us. Thank goodness for the internet or I would have no idea what to do with some of these unusual veggies. I learned how to peel and cut the kohlrabi and found most people recommend just eating it raw. I sliced it into thin discs, sprinkled on some flavored sea salt, and called them veggie chips. Everyone enjoyed this new to us vegetable.

We sprinkled chopped spring onions on salads and on top of a few Mexican dishes.

I never had a whole head of radicchio before. It was quite bitter, so I mixed it with lots of lettuce and we ate it in salads. Radicchio is probably our least favorite item of the season, but it was fun to try a new veggie. Hopefully I’ll learn new ways to prepare and enjoy radicchio next year.

The kale was used in more green smoothies, our favorite way to eat kale.

We made the same boc choy recipe we tried in our first share of the season, yum.

We used the cut parsley to top a few frittatas.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Washi Tape for Attaching Batteries to a Gift

The dreaded words, batteries not included, were emblazoned on the packaging of a gift we purchased for a young relative. Even though the toy is fun without the lights and music the batteries enable, I think gifts should include everything that is needed. I wanted to include batteries so the parents didn’t have to buy or find something extra to allow their child to play with the gift.

Attaching Batteries to a Gift - another great use for washi tape!
We attached 3 AA batteries to the packaging using bright pink polka dot washi tape. We supervised as the child opened the gift and promptly added the batteries to the secure battery compartment in the toy.

I’m becoming a big fan of washi tape. It’s colorful, fun, and has a ton of uses.

More posts you might like:
- White Elephant Gift - Gift Not Included!
- Back To School Teacher Gift - Excited to "Bee" in Your Class with Lip Balm - I used wash tape to complete this teacher gift.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Candy Cane Shaped Pancakes with Raspberries

I enjoy making fun food with the kids. They made a special request, strawberries for Christmas breakfast, so we added them to the grocery list. A trip to the warehouse club and grocery store revealed super expensive, less than desirable looking strawberries, so we ended up bring home a big container of raspberries instead. The kids were on board with the change of plans, they both love all kinds of berries.

I thought we could use cookie cutters to make our favorite pancakes into fun shapes. As I was digging through my stash of holiday cookie cutters, I rediscovered a candy cane cookie cutter that was just begging to be used along with the fresh raspberries to transform an ordinary pancake breakfast into a fun food adventure of Candy Cane Shaped Pancakes.

My husband whipped up a new family favorite recipe we like to call blender pancakes. They’re grain free, made with almond flour, egg, and banana. Rather than traditional round pancakes, he made them long and narrow so we could easily cut out candy canes shapes with our cookie cutter. I cut a few raspberries in half and then cut the top and bottom of each half on the diagonal to make red stripes to decorate the candy canes. We served them with extra raspberries and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

My son made his own breakfast candy cane pancake by simply adding whole raspberries on top.

None of the raspberry or pancake scraps went to waste, those were just as tasty as the cute cookie cutter shaped pancakes.

Our Candy Cane Shaped Pancakes are an easy and delicious holiday breakfast treat to remember! The only special supply needed to make this breakfast is a comfort grip candy cane cookie cutter and your favorite pancake recipe. They may even work with fresh strawberries, but I’m so glad we got raspberries since they inspired this fun food breakfast for our family.

Hope you had a happy holiday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

FREE Twining of London Tea - 3 Free Twinings Tea Bag Samples in Flavors You Pick

I posted about this fun freebie the last few years and it's back!  Twinings is again offering 3 Free Twinings Tea Bag Samples in varieties of your choosing.  There are over 50 varieties to pick from including several organic and fair trade options.

Hurry, these free tea samples are only available while supplies last.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

How To Deal with a Scratchy Shirt Tag without Cutting It Out

It never fails, when it’s time to head out the door a catastrophe strikes. On this fine school morning, I thought we were good to go to the bus stop when I noticed my son doing some unusual dance moves and then he started scratching the back of his neck. On the clothing front, I’m lucky as he typically wears whatever I have ready for him without complaint. Today’s wardrobe malfunction was courtesy of a super scratchy shirt tag.
Knowing we didn’t have time to run upstairs to grab a different tagless shirt, my first reaction was to cut it out. After inspecting the tag, it was sewn down both sides solid, so we wouldn’t have been able to cut it out completely. Perhaps with a seam ripper, but lets face it we didn’t have time to grab a new shirt so we certainly didn’t have time to break out sewing tools. I needed to cover it up and make it comfy quickly, so I came up with the next best thing and slapped a bandaid on it. It worked!!! No more complaints and no more interesting dance moves.
Sure it’s only temporary and I’ll need to remember to remove it before throwing it in the wash, but it got us out the door on time and we didn’t miss the bus. If only all of life’s problems could be so easily solved by simply slapping on a bandaid!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bat Decoration using Kid Handprints - Halloween Craft

I love all the super cute crafts my son brings home from school, especially when they include his handprint. Here’s a project he brought home from Pre-School last year just before Halloween.
It’s a bat with his hands cut out of black paper for bat wings! He loved cutting out the face of the bat all by himself, gluing on googly eyes and a pom pom nose, and he even added a smile with “teeth” (I love how he draws smiles that look like ladders right now). We hung it on a door to help decorate for Halloween. Can’t wait to see what art project he brings home next.