Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Morning Dog

Go Stros!!! One of the biggest lures Houston has had for me, after moving from the hill country, is that the Home of the Astros, Minute Maid Park ball park, actually has SOY DOGS! I was in pure heaven when, while at my first Astros game, my husband surprisingly brought me back an actual ball park hot dog! I haven't been able to partake in this American tradition in....EVER! So Houston immediately went up in hot dog brownie points.

Oh. I'm pretty sure we lost that game. Against the Red Sox maybe? Was there a game even going on??? Errr....sorry, but I was too busy documenting everything in my mind about this momentous occasion of me eating a hot a baseball game!

OMG - anyway, I had come across an article in the Vegetarian Times magazine that gave me the Good Morning Dog idea. Pure holy yumminess is the only way I can describe if you use the veggie dogs and veggie bacon like me, there is more protein than fat, and who doesn't like that???

*You can obviously replace the veggie dog and veggie bacon with the real stuff for this breakfast, but why do that???? ;)

Good Morning Dog
You'll need: a vegetarian hot dog, unsalted butter, vegetarian bacon strips, an egg, American cheese, and a whole wheat hot dog bun

1) Spray a skillet with PAM (or whatever cooking spray you use). Slice the hot dog(s) lengthwise and grill both sides.
I like to use the panini grill to get both sides evenly grilled at the same time.

2) Heat 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat and cook the "bacon" according to whichever-brand-you-are-using's directions. Put aside.

3) Add another 1 tbsp of butter to the skillet and reduce heat to medium to fry your egg. Flip your egg (when it's firm enough to be flipped) and cook for another minute.
*If you are using EggBeaters like me, 1/4 cup = 1 egg.

4) Toast the hot dog bun. (I literally just put mine in the toaster)

5) Add a slice of cheese to the top of the egg. When the cheese gets nice and "melty" (thanks to the use of Taco Bell's lovely descriptive, almost poetic terms in their advertisements, my vocabulary keeps expanding), move the egg into the hot dog bun.

6) Add a couple strips of "bacon" on the egg. Put the dog on top of the bacon, and then wrap the bun around it and enjoy!

These are so good and so filling. One is enough for me and that will get me through breakfast AND lunch. Whenever I have make these for breakfast, I always think that Adam from Man vs. Food will appear and attempt to eat 20 of these in 30 minutes. Maybe because it reminds of the types of things he eats on the show or maybe because it reminds me of my fantasy of having him over, forcing him to stay and then replacing him myself as the host...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crockpot Potato Soup

I always look forward to a hot dinner, especially during the cold weather! And soups are great for warming you up on a chilly night! However my only knowledge on making a soup comes from what I learned on Top Chef. So to sum up all my soup facts, basically it's all about timing and seasoning. Two things which I suck at am still learning.
So when perusing pinterest, I came across not only a crockpot potato soup recipe, but one where I didn't have to dice any potatoes! Heeellllo Beeeautiful! I was instantly hooked. So of course, I changed it into a vegetarian recipe, but you can find the original recipe here! It was as easy as the site said it would be!

Crockpot Potato Soup (vegetarian version):
1 30 oz. bag of frozen, shredded hash browns
3 14 oz. cans of vegetable broth 
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 pkg. cream cheese

In a crockpot, combine everything EXCEPT for the cream cheese. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. I did 6 and it turned out great. About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese and keep heated until thoroughly melted. I served mine with cheese, bacon bits, & chives. And YES, I used plain ole artificial bacon bits and it still tasted great!  NOM NOM NOM!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

I'll get right to the point. Delicious & healthy??? With more protein than fat, I say these are a definite healthy treat! Plus no guilt trip feeding these to my son (or eating the whole batch myself???). I saw this recipe on Dr. Oz a while back and tried them out. They turned out great and were pretty easy to make. Ever since, I've been replacing 'real' brownies with these and have had no complaints from my family. I love them and my husband even gets excited when I whip these up. So I thought with a lot of healthy New Year resolutions out there, I'd share this recipe.

Black Bean Brownies
15 oz can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp mini semisweet chocolate chips

1) First, preheat the oven to 350°. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with PAM.
2.) Mix all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a food processor (or blender). Chop until smooth. Scrape down the sides and blend for another 15 seconds or so.
3.) Pour into the baking dish and spread. 
4.) Sprinkle on the chocolate chips. (You can stir in or leave on top. I like to leave mine on top...and okay, okay, I add in a few extra chips as well....)
5.) Bake for 20 minutes (until the toothpick test comes out clean). Cool and serve!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vegetarian Crescent Burritos

I'm always looking for a quick and easy dinner to make, so I thought I'd share this easy one. It only takes half an hour!
I got inspired from the Pillsbury website - they are always sharing quick recipes using their crescent rolls. So I took their beef and bean burrito and made a yummy vegetarian version!

Bean Crescent Burritos (vegetarian)

1 lb Boca meat crumbles (vegetarian) or Quorn veggie meat crumbles (vegan)
(1 lb is usually the whole package)
*you can always substitute the veggie crumbles for real meat if you want
One 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons of taco seasoning
2 cans of Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 slices of cheddar cheese
handful of shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1. Mix the veggie crumbles, beans, and taco seasoning in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring throughout. I cook until the beans are hot (by this time, the crumbles should be completely thawed and cooked as well).

2. Separate dough into 8 long triangles. Since I used the crescent rolls, I pressed the perforations together by using my fingers to create a seal, pushing one finger up on the perforation and one finger pulling down at the same time. It should look like this:

3. Place a piece of cheese on each rectangle. Then spoon the bean mixture down the center. Starting with the short end, roll the dough up like so:
(I like making enough for left overs, so you will have a bit of the bean mixture to spare. Place the leftover in tupperware and set in the fridge. You can make yummy egg tacos with it in the morning.)

4. Pinch the edges to seal and place the burritos seam side down on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes and then serve! I served mine with some quick Spanish rice and tortilla chips.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bleach, Floss & a Butter knife

I usually keep a pretty clean kitchen. It's a never ending chore, but I try my best to keep it constantly clean because it's where everyone ends up most of the time. However, moving into an older house, the appliances and fixtures have a bit of build up that I tend to gloss over in my daily cleaning. But NOT ANYMORE! My first tackle to a better 2012: the kitchen sink!
I'm sure there are a million people out there with spotless sinks with no build up, but apparently I had failed to notice how disgusting my faucet was. So for this reason, I thought I'd share my accomplishment in case anyone else had failed to notice theirs.
Ewww, even from here you can see the gunk that has built up around the faucet's rings! Anyway, point is, I went from this:

To this: much better

First I doused the faucet with bleach. Then I took some floss to get in between the pieces and flicked some of the gunk out.
Then I took the flat edge of the butter knife (which also works well to get in between the crevices) and popped off some of the gunk that was really stuck on there. After that I scrubbed with some SoftBleach and rinsed and was done! 
Hopefully, when I now look at my kitchen sink, my kitchen will automatically feel cleaner to me and inspire me to tackle some other details I've ignored in the past!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Closet Genie

Happy New Year!!!
 Okay, so everyone has a new year's resolution, and each year I try to come up with one that is at least believably realistic for me. Like one year, I tried to give up cussing. Uhhh yeah, I didn't last two weeks. So this year, I am going to try really hard to GET ORGANIZED! 
  My whole house needs organizing though, so I needed to pick a starting place. I figured I might as well get the worst over with first. My closet. 
The picture below shows my 2011 organizational skills.

I brought in professional help (aka - AsSeenOnTV products). Introducing...
 So basically I took some of my shirts and did this with them:

It definitely gave me more space in my closet so I could as least have all my clothes hung up. That's a start. My closet is an ongoing project so I will keep you updated on my progress (and hopefully not lack thereof)!