Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ratatouille's Ratatouille

Last night we were invited to a friends house for a BBQ and guess what?!? They didn't serve meat. She asked if my kids would eat hot dogs... wherein I was obliged to explain our eating habits... and she was nicer than anyone I have ever had to explain it to. Then when we got there she had prepared all these amazing veggie dishes. They were SO good. We had THIS Ratatouille recipe served on top of couscous and topped with a little sour cream (the recipe called for goat cheese but that stuff is gross so she substitued sour cream. It was really good but I would call it optional... Corey had his without). and I told her I MUST have that recipe. I will never make my recipe of Ratatouille again. This one was SO good. Anyway I wanted to share it with ya'll seein' how I love ya so much! I am wondering if she substituted tomato sauce for crushed tomatoes... but I think it would be delish either way. Also I think she just covered with tin foil instead of doing the paper. Whatever. It was great!

Hope you're all having a lovely morning!

PS- I think I am going to have to peruse Smitten Kitchen a bit more... her recipes look great!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Veggie Burgers

Ash has an awesome Black Bean burger recipe that is an Ashlee Original, and it is delicious, I just found a new one that we like a lot too, so I wanted to share.

I found it from Allrecipes, and I am never really sure if it is ok to just copy and paste someone else's hard work, so I am going to link over to it and give credit where credit is due and then put the whole thing on here too...just so we don't have to go jumping from one site to the other.

We really liked this burger. It stayed together really well. We most recently had ours with corn on the cob, seasoned oven fries, and strawberry and raspberry salad. Delicious!

I do have to say one more thing. I have a hard time getting my 'veggie burgers' or 'black bean burgers' to be the right consistency. I really liked the idea of the rice in this recipe to help it stay together a bit. Also, it give it a bit more protein, and there is not a ton in there, but it seemed like just enough to keep it together a tad better.

Recipe from
Best of Everything Veggie Burger

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup water

2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I found if I let mine dry for a bit, it works better too)
1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded (I used an orange pepper, I loved the added color)
1 onion, quartered
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (I used WAY more mushrooms than this :))
(also, I think that really any veggie that you want to add will work, I have had veggie burgers with corn and other things added as well.)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (we omitted the cheese, We normally like to have a slice melted on the bun that we are using)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce (Ok, this is where I always use my own seasoning. I didn't follow this at all. I used a BBQ seasoning rub, and it was delicious! Probably more sodium, but we didn't use a ton of it, and it was really good)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, or as needed

Bring the brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes.

Mash black beans in a large bowl with a fork until thick and pasty; set aside.
Place the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor, and chop finely. Stir the bell pepper mixture into the mashed black beans.

Place the brown rice into the black beans and mix. (the original recipe says to food process the cheese and the beans, we didn't do this)

(We like ours chunky. I didn't food process anything, I just chopped everything really fine, and added it into the black beans. I added the rice whole as well.)

Whisk together the eggs, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and hot sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the black bean mixture. Stir in the bread crumbs, adding additional bread crumbs as needed until the mixture is sticky and holds together.

Divide into 6 large patties.

To bake the patties: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

We almost always serve our sandwiches or burgers with sliced red onions, red leaf or romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, avocado, sprouts, and mayo and mustard.

So, after reading over the recipe the original way, and the way we did it, that might be the reason I have a hard time having my burgers stay together or be the right consistency, I change things up too much! ha! Ah well, these ones worked really well for us! :D

Burton Breakfast Hash

Hey guys! It's MEEEEEE blogging from my HOOOOMMMEEE! I wasn't without the internet that long but it sure felt like it. I will not normally be posting during the day, I will save the computer for when the boys go down at night, but I couldn't resist doing one tinsy post before I head off to work, just for the pure joy of POSTING again.

This particular recipe (an Ashlee Original) is dedicated to Katie:

Burton Breakfast Hash - serves all 4 in my family with a little leftover

4 medium russet potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3-1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 bell pepper, diced
2 eggs
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

Wash, dry, and chop potatoes (skins on) into small cubes. Rinse and pat dry with towel. Spread on microwave safe plate and microwave for 8 minutes until they are just fork tender stirring once during cooking to ensure the guys in the middle get cooked as much as the guys on the outside. (they will cook more later so don't get them ALL the way done).

Meanwhile, heat half of the oil in a large nonstick pan on med heat. Add onions and cook till soft. Add garlic and cook 1 min. till fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook 2-3 min more. Break eggs over the veggies and scramble. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining oil over med to med-high heat. Turn pan to coat with oil. Add potatoes when they are done in the microwave. Fry potatoes in pan stirring occasionally to brown all sides of the potatoes. Season with Salt and Pepper. When potatoes are done frying add the set aside egg/veggie mixture and black beans. Heat through.

Serve with:
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce
Barbeque Sauce

Aly and I do a dollup of SCream and Salsa, Jack does strictly BBQ Sauce, and Corey does HSauce and Salsa.

We love this for breakfast and occasionally have it for dinner. Yumm!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Okay, I'm Not Done Yet.....

See, what did I tell you? I can't stop! I just wanted to let you know, (if anyone is seriously considering the big switch) that I think I've found a new favorite diaper. And it wasn't mentioned at all last post, so it deserves it now.
Ta-da! Isn't that the cutest thing ever?!! Okay, I really struggle with this, because I know in my head, it's going under pants so what does it matter? But I can't help myself anyway. See, the truth is, you only save money on cloth diapers if you can stop buying them. But then they come out with new styles and prints, and they know they've got the suckers like me out there.

Anyway, in all seriousness, this is one of the Thirsties Duo Diapers. This happens to be the Alice Brights print. Let me tell you why these diapers rock. They are the pocket style that I told you before I love so much, but here's the cool parts:
  1. The pocket has an opening in the front and the back. This is cool for two reasons. You can stuff from whichever end floats your boat, and......are you ready for don't have to un-stuff the diaper after it's been used. The inserts agitate out in the wash. (Note: I haven't actually tested that feature out. I'm in the habit of pulling out my inserts anyway, and haven't dared tempt the fates, but I haven't heard one complaint that it's not true. I'm just paranoid.)
  2. It comes with two inserts as do most pocket diapers; one is the usual microfiber terry, but the other is hemp! So you get the extra absorbency at no extra cost, (although you can still stuff extra if you wish). This is nice because not only is hemp more absorbent, it's a more "trim" material; making the diaper thinner and a better fit under pants. Again, make sure the hemp insert is furthest away from baby's bum. I forgot that once. Won't do it again. :)
  3. This is a "two-size" diaper. Meaning, it comes in two different sizes that adjust further for a better fit than your typical one-size diaper.
  4. This diaper comes in the absolute cutest colors and prints ever. Really, if this diaper doesn't make you want to switch, nothing will.
  5. Price point. This is one of the most reasonably priced diapers I've found. Especially considering all Thirsties products are made right here in the U.S.A. MSRP for these is $18.50 for solid colors and $19.50 for prints, but if you click on the link found above, this store offers them for $17.50 and $18.50 respectively. And again, look for package deals. They're out there. I know, I know, this sounds like a lot for one diaper, especially considering you do have to buy two sizes, (still better than perfect size diapers, which usually have 4-5 sizes). But, I think this is one of the highest quality diapers out there, and (remember the hemp insert that comes standard?) this diaper is comparable in price to the BumGenius 3.0 mentioned in the last post. Way cooler diaper for the same price. (Note: BG 3.0 has been discontinued as of like yesterday. If you had your heart set on those, better act fast. There is a buy 5 get 1 free promotion going on. And watch for something cool to come from BG to replace it. I'm hoping for something to rival the Duo.)
  6. I almost forgot! How could I? Leg gussets! Okay, I know that sounds like a silly term. See the photo below? See around the leg openings that extra bit of fabric? That my friends, is a leg gusset, and it is the best thing ever for containing blow-outs. Other diapers have a bit of bunching fabric around the elastic casing and call it a leg gusset in the photo, (see BG image from last post) but it's nothing compared to these babies.

In short, if I was a rich lady, I'd buy a whole stash of these in girly colors for my new babe to be and Paige.....and then buy them all over again in boy colors someday, but alas.....I'll have to save up or trade in to get any more. My diaper budget has capped out for the moment.

Thanks for tolerating my diaper posts. ;) It's good for me to get it out here. Brandon's tired of hearing about my uber-enthusiasm. He can only get so excited about a "poop-sack" as he terms them.

And bear with my technologically un-savvyness. And my grammar. I tried changing some font sizes and it changed more than I wanted and I can't figure out how to fix it. And I didn't dare do the color thing, because, saw what happened last post.