Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School: Breakfast on Hand

For me going back to school meant the end of two things:
1. Sleeping in
2. a "fancy" breakfast
Gone are the days of casually making Paula Deens Praline French toast in your jammies while the kids watch cartoons. It's a whirlwind of backpacks, homework papers, signed forms, lunch boxes & car horns and somewhere in that chaos breakfast needs to be had. I am going to share a fabulous list with you of breakfasts that can be made ahead {or quickly} and on hand for on-the-go portability. I've tried all of these and they all have my Go-To Breakfast stamp of approval!{click on the title and it will take you to the recipe}

So this one is to be made when you have a little more time in the morning, but the leftovers are good!! {if there are any} This makes your whole house smell like yummy vanilla and not only is it good and good for you - it will keep you full. Baby S. ate 4 helpings of this in one sitting....yeah it's that good!!
Hands down the BEST blueberry waffle I have had to date. And the best part? This makes a great big batch that is perfect for freezing! Leggo of those cardboard eggos and get your hands on these. I freeze them in layers with freezer paper between and on those mornings where I need something fast {or don't want to make anything} I just drop these into the toaster and Ta-Da! A yummy blueberry waffle.
These are GREAT!! They are great for a quick breakfast, mid-day snack, after school snack, pre-game fuel - heck! I'd eat these for dessert! When you eat these you will have no idea how great ground flax seed tastes. Using easy, healthy, on-hand ingredients you can make these beautiful balls of deliciousness. Make them. You'll love them. I made them once for a late night cast rehearsal and one of my cast mates hates coconut, but loved it in these!
Good with a capital G. I know. You are thinking "really Michelle....oatmeal....really?" Well stop thinking that and make them so you can taste how great these are! Again this is a recipe where you make them in a big batch and freeze in their cute individual cups! Instead of reaching for the variety pack of granola bars that are filled with calories & scientific ingredients you can reach in your freezer for some honest to goodness good for you breakfast in any flavor variety you choose!
This smoothie tastes so good and it has spinach in it!! Yeah spinach!! When I was making it Mr. S told me "just don't put in the spinach" well....I did anyways and he couldn't taste it at all. Not only is there spinach, but Kate has you put in some yogurt & groats {like oats but..well I'll let her explain it}. It's fruity, filling and great for on the go! Try it! You AND your hubby, kids, etc will love it!
Thank you to all the great blog authors that allowed me to share their great breakfast recipes with you!
and good luck to all you back-to-schoolers out there!!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Homemade Maple Syrup

Oooooh yeaaaah. Maple syrup, it's a must honestly. I know I can't eat a pancake without it.
Maple Syrup is to pancakes as Ryan Gosling is to The Notebook {as a small side note: they now have a Ryan Gosling coloring book...can you believe it!?! brilliant. I think I would color in it while I ate my pancakes}

Okay - back to the syrup - I was one of the lucky girls who's mother made homemade maple syrup. I loved it. It was made every Saturday in large batches for our breakfast pancakes on Saturday & Sunday mornings. While my Mom's syrup wasn't as thick as the kind you find in the store, it is still what I prefer. Ask anyone who had a sleep over at my house and they'll tell you - my Mom's syrup is the best!

To go along with this fabulous syrup a kindred spirit of mine gave me this awesome retro dispenser. I love it. It gives this syrup the finishing touch. I love it so much that I wrote a haiku about it:

Yeah, I really like syrup and the dispenser {and Ryan Gosling}. So I am going to share this syrup recipe with you so you can start creating as many maple syrup memories as I do:

Mapeline or Maple Flavoring

I was taught this recipe by my Mom who didn't use measurements and you know me and measurements! This is a guesstimate at measurements {I should have taken pictures sorry} so please get back to me with any problems. I'm going to start you out with a small batch

Put 1 Cup Sugar and 1 1/2 Cups Water in a small saucepan. Put on med-low heat and let heat until it starts to boil. While boiling you want to add your Mapeline. Add enough to make the simple syrup a nice dark color {pictured below}, 1-2 tsp.

Turn the heat down to Simmer and let simmer until the desired consistancy is reached {or the pancakes are ready & everyone is hungry}. If you don't like your syrup on the "Watery-side" like Mr. S states it. You can add a tablespoon of corn syrup and let it simmer in. I don't like to put in too much corn syrup if I'm doing a big batch because if it goes too long it turns into maple candy.
Pour your hot syrup in a retro dispenser, gravy boat or a glass liquid measuring cup {something with a spout is preferable} and Enjoy!!!

I'd love to hear some feedback on this recipe. Let us know! Leave a comment here, on facebook or e-mail:


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For the Grill of It - Quesadillas on the BBQ

When it comes to cooking in the Texas summer, there aren't many options: you can either heat up your house by cooking on the stove, or you can stand outside in the heat to cook on the grill.  No matter how you look at it, it's going to be HOT.  Last night I tried a little culinary experiment using both my stove and the grill, and I was rewarded with delicious results!  I'd been planning to make chicken fajitas for dinner (there are lots of recipes out there, but I used a seasoning mix for mine) and decided to kick them up a notch.  The result was:

BBQ Grilled Quesadillas


These quesadillas are easy to put together.  Here's what you need:

I used good ol' flour tortillas.  I'd recommend you use the 10" size or smaller so that they're easy to handle on the grill.
*Shredded cheese
I used a mixture of cheddar and pepperjack.
I used my chicken fajita filling, but you can use whatever sounds good to you!

Heat your grill to medium-low.  Put a tortilla down on the grill, then top with some cheese -- just eyeball it.  I used enough to lightly cover the surface, leaving a little bit of bare tortilla at the edges.  Spoon on your filling. Don't put a ton on; you want these to stick together well.  Top with more shredded cheese and then another tortilla.  Cook on one side until tortilla has nice grill marks and the cheese is starting to melt, then carefully flip over and grill until done.  If needed, use a spatula to kind of smoosh down your quesadilla so that both tortillas stay on.

That's all there is to it!  Enjoy!

If you want more grilling inspiration, check out this post or this one!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quick Craft: Glass Etching

Here's a true story.

Mr. W and I moved into our house about two months ago (goodbye, tiny apartment!).  One of our favorite things about our house is our master bathroom, complete with...drum roll...TWO SINKS!  It's wonderful.  Dual sink ownership did present one small problem, though: where to put those "shared" items, like the toothpaste?  Do we store it in one person's drawer, or do we just let it roam the counter, homeless?  (I know, I know.  First world problems.)  The answer to our little predicament came in the form of an empty candle jar and some etching cream.

I didn't try glass etching until a few months ago; I was worried that it would be insanely hard or that I would mess up and cause serious, irreparable damage to the item I wanted to etch.  If you have these same concerns, put your mind at ease!!  Etching is seriously easy, fast, fun, and addictive.  And if you buy the etching cream with a coupon, it's really cheap (it's still pretty cheap without the coupon, too).

Please note: Etching is PERMANENT!  You cannot undo it once it's done, so don't go etching a priceless family heirloom!

Start out with your glass item.  I used an empty candle jar.

Decide what you want to etch onto the glass and where you want it to be.  The areas you do NOT want etched need to be taped off so that no etching cream can touch the glass.  I decided that I wanted the letters on my jar to be clear glass with etching around them.  I used my Silhouette to cut out vinyl letters, but you could also use masking tape and a craft knife.  As you can see, I also taped off the top and bottom of the jar to create a defined area for the etching.
Everything that isn't covered will be etched.  If I'd wanted the words themselves etched into the glass, I would have applied the vinyl with the letters removed so that only the letters were exposed.
Apply the etching cream, following the instructions on the bottle.  I used a foam paintbrush to spread the cream onto my jar.  Make sure you cover your work area.

Let the etching cream work its magic!  I let mine sit for five minutes, according to the bottle's instructions.  When time's up, thoroughly rinse off your glass and remove the vinyl/tape.  I like to wash the glass with some soapy water to make sure the cream is totally gone.

Ta-da!  You just etched some glass.  Congratulate yourself!  You may find that you have a burning desire to etch more glass.  Search online or check Pinterest for more glass etching inspiration.  I think my next etching project will involve tinting mason jars like this and then etching them.
Sorry; it was hard to get a good picture of the finished product!
This little jar now sits between our sinks, holding our toothpaste and floss.
And we all lived happily ever after.

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