Cannelloni

Just to change things up a bit around here, I’m going to share recipes I’ve tried from Pinterest…along with my thoughts of them.

This last week was my husband’s birthday. He adores Cannelloni. So this year I was determined to find a good recipe and make it for him.

The filling turned out delicious. We had to use the leanest ground beef we could find as they do not sell minced around here. It worked quite well though!

I didn’t use frozen spinach, I used a bag of fresh. I sauteed it in a bit of olive oil and some fresh minced garlic. It retains a lot more flavor this way plus there is no need to squeeze liquid out.

Now, the main thing I had issue with is the cook time. There is no way it needs a hour to cook! It ended up with the sauce all dried out. I would say no longer than 45 min, tops. I’ll play around with that aspect next time.

All in all, I would definitely make it again – just adjust the cook time!

~eg

https://www.miomyitaly.com/cannelloni.html

 

canelloni

Berry Chocolate Smoothie

So I have been doing ‘green’ smoothies for about 2 weeks now.  I’ve talked about them a lot on facebook and figured I would blog the recipes we try and like.

In the first two weeks having them for breakfast and lunch, I have dropped my blood pressure 10 points and lost 8.5 lbs.  Yes, I have them instead of meals.  NO, I am not hungry.  Promise!  And I am a horrible snacker!!

What is a green smoothie? One that contains greens!  Spinach, collard greens, kale, etc.

Where I buy my stuff:

I buy most berries (strawberries, rasberries, blueberries, blends, etc) at Costco in the frozen foods section.

I buy other produce there as well.  Oranges, grapes, etc.  Pineapple I will buy there, cut two up and then freeze them.  Oranges and grapes I have thus far left fresh.  I prefer Cara Cara oranges.

I buy HUGE bags of spinach (2.5 lbs, triple washed) fresh from Costco and then freeze it.

I use a VitaMix for my smoothies.  You can make them in a regular blender, but it may smoke and you may burn out your motor.

With all green smoothies, you may want to lower the amount of greens initially.  I do not really taste them much so I use more.


Berry Chocolate
1 c frozen strawberries
1 c mixed berries (blueberry, blackberry, rasberry)
1 peeled cara cara orange
2 T chia seeds
2 scoops chocolate muscle milk powder
2 c frozen greens (we use collard greens or spinach – bought fresh, then frozen)
1 c water

Acrylic Alpha Freebie and Asparagus….

I know – asparagus….but really and truly, we found an awesomely easy and delicious recipe!  The boys (and myself really) have never been asparagus fans.  But we saw Melissa D’Arabian make some and thought we’d give it a whirl…..but she used some ingredients I don’t care for.  I liked the lemon zest idea so I just googled “lemon asparagus recipe”.  I came across a few, but we tried this one from the Food Network website.

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Butter


It took about 5 mins to prepare and 5 mins to cook.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!  And everyone LOVED IT!  I mean really loved it.  So much that we bought more asparagus the next day.   Now they each want their own bundle of asparagus – because they don’t like sharing!  I think that’s pretty awesome!  I use half the butter it calls for because I like more lemon, less butter flavor.  But this was so easy and yummy!

Imagine the looks we got from other shoppers when each boy had a bag with two bundles of asparagus in it and they were discussing whether we had enough or not….hey, I’m all for them loving a good veggie!  So try it out!   You will be pleasantly surprised!

And now for the last of the Acrylic freebies – Acrylic Alpha.  You can find the others here:

Acrylic Bits

Acrylic Frames


Acrylic Alpha:

*DOWNLOAD ACRYLIC ALPHA HERE*

Please do not share the link – you can refer others here to download it themselves, but do not share the link directly, thank you!


Enjoy!

FOOD!

Yep, it’s a post all about food!  I’ll start with a few more Bento lunches – although before pictures, I am going to share some links.  I ended up purchasing my goods from 3 ebay sellers.  I was really happy with 2 of them (the other had great prices, but slow shipping – all ordered the same day and that one came 5 days later than the other two….and it was the closest to me!).  I won’t share that shop name, I’ll just share the great ones!

I ordered all my boxes (and a bunch of other stuff) from Bento Obento.  She was SUPER fast, had great communication, sent a little gift, and she has a site with webisodes on different Bento ideas.  I highly recommend her shop.

Bento Obento

BentoTV

Another I ordered several smaller items from was Bento Mama.  She also had SUPER fast shipping, so I definitely recommend her as well!

Bento Mama

Now, before you check out from any ebay store – make sure you ask the seller to combine your shipping.  Even if they offer this, it is not always automatically done by ebay.   No need to pay extra shipping if you don’t have to!

Here are two recent lunches I made for Alex – the other two wanted school lunch those days.  Alex REALLY loves this kind of lunch because he prefers fruits and veggies, meat and cheeses over the junk school lunch serves.  Plus you can really get quite a lot in these, and he’s a pretty big eater!  I will list the foods under the photos, but remember my disclaimer about not wanting advice!  I don’t mean that in a mean way, but I’m not asking for unsolicited nutritional advice, okie dokie?

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swiss cheese cut into sticks with turkey wrapped around them (love the cute little picks to hold them together!), yellow bell pepper, grapes, gogurt, coconut cashews (from Costco!), hershey bar, and more swiss cheese

Now this is a slightly different style box – I love the clasping sides as it holds both the layers together.  (It was from Bento Obento.) And the little penguin doesn’t fit inside the box, but it holds sauces.   This time it was ranch for his carrots.  How totally adorable is that?!?!  Now I did get some animal sauce holders that are flatter that will fit in, like these – but I did not get them from this seller so I cannot vouch for them{HERE} and I got these adorable monkeys {HERE} as well – but they are really small!

Ok, The penguin has ranch in there – the yellow “beak” comes out and is a little spoon/scooper.  Too Cute!

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ranch, turkey/swiss sticks, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrot sticks, gogurt, fun size milky way, the egg is covering cashews, and more cheese

And here is how that container looked all stacked and clasped together.  I love that you can pick this up by the lid and it all holds together.

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And now for another foodie thing – not Bento related!  The boys and I watched The Next Food Network Star this summer and we really enjoyed it.  I absolutely love Melissa – who won.  She has the best ‘real cooking’ tips and advice.  I mean stuff that you would actually need to know or tips that you can use in every day cooking.  And her recipes rock!  The boys and I will sit down and watch it together every week….then we make the stuff!  So far we have tried 3 of her recipes and they have all been winners!  Here’s a shot of what we made Saturday night….

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It was really good!  The boys LOVED the chicken, we saved the unused marinade and they used it as a dipping sauce for their chicken.  And they were so happy to eat the one leftover chicken breast for lunch today.  They all had seconds and they all loved it.  Best part – both the potatoes and the chicken went in the oven for the last 10 minutes….I was able to clean up the kitchen and wash all the dishes used in the rest of the prep during that time – perfect!  That’s an A+ meal to me!

So here’s a link to her info on the Food Network:

Melissa D’Arabian

And here are the recipes we have tried so far:

Chicken a l’Orange – we used boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Still great!

Crispy Potatoes – I might take the butter out or lessen the oil next time, but these were a HUGE hit.  Already bought more potatoes to make them again!

Potato-Bacon Torte – Andy refers to this as the dinner that tastes like a dessert.  With the bacon and the heavy cream, I’m sure it’s not low-cal – but it was delicious!  We have made it twice!

I hope that made you nice and hungry!  We’ll be enjoying round 2 on those crispy potatoes for dinner tonight!


Enjoy!


Fresh Apple Cake – again….

Alright – here is that recipe I promised!  My Mom made this while we were home over Thanksgiving and the boys LOVED it!  So of course I had to get the recipe!  I don’t know where it originally came from, but a church friend passed along to my Mom – thank you Peggy!   The boys have now declared this their favorite food that my Mom cooks – and she’s a great cook!

Fresh Apple Cake

(Peggy Roderick)

4 cups peeled, diced, apples

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 ½ tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

 

Mix all dry ingredients.  Add diced apples.  Stir to coat apple pieces.  Mix eggs, oil and vanilla.  Add to apple mixture.  Stir well…it will be quite thick.  Add nuts if desired.  Bake in greased 9×13 pan at 350 for 50 minutes.

Now I do not add nuts to mine – nuts are like adding dirt to your food!  I did want to show how the batter looks because it is quite thick.  Most of your liquid will come from the apples during the baking. So the batter is pretty thick and lumpy.

 

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Apple Dessert Sauce

 

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup heavy cream or evap milk (I use cream)

1 tsp vanilla

Cook for 3 minutes after mixture comes to a boil.  Serve warm over cake.

 

Now that is the key – serve it warm with the sauce warm over it.  Seriously – it will melt in  your mouth!  This is not a diet food – but it is absolutely delicious!!  And it’s got lots of apples, so that’s healthy – right?!?  Here’s how it looks served with the sauce on top…..and the cake should be a pretty dark brown from the cinnamon.  We used apples from my grandparents farm – so so good!  Now I think I need to go make this again!

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*ignore my cheesy plastic bowl…..we are currently on the hunt for the perfect bowl, lol!*

So there it is!  Enjoy!  You can find all my recipes {HERE}!

Easy Lemonade Pie

I know – it’s been forever since I have shared a recipe! Partly because I’ve been in a funk lately about cooking. This is probably why I’ve gained 10 lbs in the past 4 months. That and turning 30…..darn it! Anyway, this is a SUPER easy recipe and it is absolutely yummy!

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Easy Lemonade Pie

6 oz frozen lemonade concentrate – slightly thawed

4 c vanilla ice cream – slightly thawed

graham cracker pie crust

Mix ice cream and lemonade in a bowl. Pour in to pie crust. Freeze. Eat.

Seriously, that’s it. And you can use all sorts of flavored concentrates to change it up! You could top it with whipped cream…..but I don’t like whipped cream so I didn’t. And to make it fun for the kids this time, I used the individual graham cracker crusts so they each got their own tiny pie. They loved it! YUMMY!

If you wanna see any of my other recipes I’ve posted in the past, you can find them at the top under my header – just click on Recipes. Or click <here>.

And just a reminder about my friend Rachel’s store. She’s still liquidating everything so catch it while she still has it! I saw she got some of this luscious paper by my fave – Corina Nielsen – it’s her newest line for Prima, Whisper. I got a bunch – for just over $10 it’s a steal!!! And I opened mine up and the papers are so gorgeous!!! And it comes with a few matching prima’s – what could be better?!?

Alrighty – it’s field day at the boys school tomorrow. I promised I’d stop by for a bit. I am pretty excited that it’s only a high of 76 tomorrow instead of the boiling 90 or something it was last year on field day. I can tolerate 76!

Stamping Space Sunday (late), a recipe and a winner!

Well, technically it is still Sunday (9:30pm) so how about a Stamping Space Sunday! I haven’t done that in forever. Mostly because you’ve seen my stamping space and overall – it hasn’t changed much! If you haven’t seen it, you can click <here> and find all the Stamping Space posts. But I thought I would share something new I just added. Tiffany gave me one of these the other day – something she found while getting ready for the garage sale. I’ve been looking for some type of shelving or storage so that I could put my Making Memories paints out. I wanted to be able to see all the colors easily and piling them up on a wire shelf in my closet just wasn’t cutting it. I picked up a bunch of these (basically every color I didn’t already own) during the Recollections going-out-of-business sale. So I have quite a few of these little bottles now. This seems to work pretty well!

It’s called an expand-a-shelf. It’s one shelf that is 14″ wide and you can pull a second one out from inside it to expand it to 27″. Anyway, I figured it would work perfect on my second table since I had just cleaned it off and rearranged it anyway (I have the cuttlebug in front of the paint on the table).

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I also have a new recipe to share. The boys love fish and salmon and we’ve been trying to incorporate it into the menu once a week since it is so good for you and I’d like it if they grew up liking some healthier foods like that! So we tried a new recipe for Salmon with Mango Salsa. Well…..it was good and all…..but we really liked the Mango Salsa! Cause of course we had to taste test it before we put it on the fish! And well, we just kept eating it! So we added that to the Super Bowl menu and just had it with tortilla chips! Anyway, I thought I would share the recipe with ya.

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Mango Salsa

1 mango – peeled and diced (1 cup)

1 sm avocado – peeled and diced (1/2 cup)

1/4 c red onion, diced

2 T fresh cilantro – chopped

1 t salt

1 t lime juice (I also squeezed 1 fresh lime over ours)

1/8 t ground cumin

1/8 t ground red pepper

1 1/2 T papaya lime serrano sauce (by Fischer Weiser) – the recipe calls for 1/4 cup Consorzio Mango fat-free dressing but my store didn’t have that so we used this other stuff instead

Just toss it all in a bowl and stir. Serve with chips, that’s it!

And the winner of the Valentine stamp set is:

Michelle Says:
Oh wow! How cool – these are great stamps – thanks for sharing!

I really like the Buddy Monster – the monsters are sooo flippin’ cool & cute!

Congratulations Michelle! Email me (emily@emilygiovanni.com) and I will get that in the mail for you!

I’ve got something else exciting to share tomorrow and watch for that Color Challenge!

Last food thing, I swear!

Can you tell I’ve done jack squat the last few days?? (speaking of jack squat – that brings up a hilarious story!) My allergies have been terrible and frankly – I’ve just napped a lot! Mostly my allergies give me awful headaches or I am extremely tired. This time it was tired.

Kid story alert!

So Adam often says words he shouldn’t and we tell him he can’t say that. It’s his way of testing the boundaries. Sometimes he gets soap in his mouth, sometimes he gets sent to his room (I think this actually irritates him more because he does it for the attention). Anyway, he doesn’t do this as much anymore. But now he’ll ask if a work is appropriate or if he can say that word in our house (or if he can say that word in my room if he’s hanging with me in the stamp room). And at times, he’ll ask if it’s appropriate (well, his version of pronouncing that word) several times….like lots. Totally annoying.

So the other day, he asks me if he can call me Jack Squat. I really had to control myself to not laugh in his face. Because it wasn’t just what he said…it was the way he says “Jack Squat”. I told him sure, you can call me Jack Squat if you want to, lol! And then we had to go through if “sure” was an appropriate word and if we can say “sure” in my room…..so it began all over again.

Now, if I ever hear Jack Squat – that’s all I think of…..Can I call you Jack Squat???

Ok….back to the food…and I do swear this is the last one. I promise REAL crafty goodness tonight! Promise! I’ve been working on a project that I can’t share until next week, but it’s about finished and I am taking the afternoon off to make some other things. So I’ll show you those! But this is what we had for dinner last night…

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YUM! That’s Eggplant Parmesan…in all it’s saucy-cheesy-goodness! Makes my mouth water! This is probably my favorite dish ever. Mine is usually 3-4 layers deep. Yum! The younger two won’t try it and as much as I am all about ‘this is dinner – eat it or don’t eat,’ I do not waste it on them if they won’t eat it! So they had ‘naked noodles’ – or noodles with a little olive oil, garlic, and stuff. Andy has loved it since he was about 18 mos old though – smart kid!

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Spaghetti sauce

Breading:
2 eggs
2 T water
Salt
Oregano
Pepper
¼ c flour
1/3 c parmesan cheese

Wash and peel eggplant. Cut into ½ inch slices. Mix middle ingredients together to form a runny pancake batter. Dip eggplant into batter, then cook in hot oil. (4 to 6 minutes)
In large baking dish, pour thin layer of sauce. Place eggplant on sauce, sprinkle with sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until all eggplant is used.
Bake in oven at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes. (I usually double or triple the recipe – and it is just as good warmed up for leftovers, and I hate leftovers!)

Also, when I was at Ikea I looked for my hot pink chair. When I went last time, they were out of the hot pink. But the seat of the chair is sold separately and it’s only $6 to buy the seat. Well, this time they had pink! So here’s my new chair – again, please ignore the disarray that is my stamp room…..it’s actually kinda clean-ish there!

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notice all those cd cases and dvd cases of stamps to the right? Yeah….gotta get better storage for those, huh? It’s on my list……

Revisiting Apple Pie….

Cause I just love it! I’ve not crafted at all this week, but am gearing up for a day of catch up. You know – I have not even finished MY blocks for the mantle yet?? So bad. Anyway, the boys and I are not going anywhere today. I don’t have any extra children in my house today. So it’s craft day! Alex got the Cuttlekids for Christmas along with the pirate and the dinosaur dies. He *loves* it! I don’t think regular cuttlebug dies can be used in it, but it’s really cute and now they can crank to their hearts content and not break my machine!

Anyway – back to pie. I love apple pie. Probably my favorite non-chocolate dessert ever. I’ve posted the recipe before, but I thought I would revisit it today since I have an uber cute pic to go with it…..and I’ve got nothing else to share! I promise lots of better craft goodies in the next few days! (Oh and I ordered some fab Valentine papers so I’ll get to work with those as soon as they get here! Are the finished mailboxes something any of you would like to see in my ‘store’ page?)

So before I ramble on and on – how about some pie? Here’s Andy and Adam giving it Two Thumbs Up! They asked if I would make them each their own pie so they don’t have to share….yeah right!

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Apple Pie:

1 1/4 c sugar

1 1/2 T flour

salt

1 t cinnamon

Put bottom crust in pie plate and poke with fork. Combine all ingredients and mix. Add 5-6 granny smith apples (6-8 small ones – I like to do more cause I love apples.). Mix together and pour into pie crust. Slice a few small pats of margarine onto apple mixture. Put top crust on and make three slits in the top. Brush with milk and sprinkle sugar on top. (the last part is the *secret* step for the boys – they think it’s the part that makes our pie special).

Bake for 10 min at 425. Then lower temp to 350 and bake for 45-50 min.

There ya go! I am actually going to *gasp* work out this morning before I get to the stamp room. I have not worked out much since I had foot surgery this summer….and it shows! Feeling a little jiggly and this is one of my new year’s resolutions – not weight loss or anything, just getting in better shape. Perhaps it will help me finally kick this sinus stuff too – yes, my ear is still funky. Guess I’ll have to call the dr AGAIN.

Peanut Butter Balls and a Penguin….

Another Christmas favorite of mine – Peanut Butter Balls.  Just love those suckers!  One of the things I am bringing to Christmas (lunch) Dinner is the cookies and peanut butter balls.  Since we ate dinner with some friends last night, we made these up to take over there – and now I’ve got them made for Christmas as well.  Here’s a plate of the cookies and peanut butter balls!

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Yum!  Now, my pb balls aren’t very prettily coated in chocolate because Matthew and Adam did the chocolate part today, but that’s ok – they still taste good!   Here’s the recipe I use…

Peanut Butter Balls

1 c peanut butter (recipe says crunchy – I use creamy cause I don’t like nuts)

1 c rice krispies

1 c powdered sugar

2 T melted margarine

almond bark (or other melting chocolate)

Mix all ingredients (except chocolate) in a bowl.  Slightly chill.  Roll into small balls.  Chill.  Dip in chocolate (I use the almond bark that comes in cubes – like an ice cube tray – and I use half chocolate and half white chocolate – or vanilla).  Chill.  Eat.

That’s it!  Really easy and tasty!  Here’s the card I took over with it – this is a re-take on one I did last Christmas.  It’s one of the cards we made at the class I did at my Dad’s work earlier this month.  I stamped up the extras this afternoon and used one today.  The rest I stamped with thanks so I can use them as thank-you’s after Christmas!

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supplies: white, black and cool caribbean cardstock; palette noir ink; gingham ribbon; snowflake cuttlebug folder; SU punches; dimensionals, image from Wild About You by SU, and sentiment from GinaK Designs

I hope you are all ready for Christmas – cause man – it’s getting crazy out there at the stores!  The boys and I went to Target yesterday and it was a madhouse!  I think the toy area was just plain ransacked!!