31 August 2011

Angel Food Cake Skewers

Angel Food Cake Skewers 038
Here we are, the last day of August…  So how are we going to celebrate?  With these!!
By the way, I’m also celebrating the fact that when I walked out of my house this morning at 6:15, I actually felt cool! 
It was such an unexpected and welcomed surprise!  It didn’t last long so if you weren’t out at the crack of dawn, you missed it. 

Angel Food Cake Skewers 011
The skewering crew.

Angel Food Cake Skewers 019
I froze the angel food cake to make it easier to cut and skewer without making too much of a mess.

Angel Food Cake Skewers 021
Then I let the girls drizzle some melted chocolate over the top.

Angel Food Cake Skewers 023
I guess we could have used honey instead but we don’t indulge in chocolate very often around here (as evidenced by the overload of chocolate drizzle… and drooling mouths). 
Besides, it’s the last day of August and didn’t you hear??  It was actually COOL this morning!! 
Go ahead, celebrate something big or little today!   

Cajun Shrimp Pasta in Cream Sauce

Cajum Shrimp 063
Again, work with me here on this picture...  I don’t have the greatest natural light in my kitchen (esp. around dinner time) but I assure you, it was quite tasty!  In fact, too tasty not to share! 
My family loves shrimp and I make it pretty often but I’ve never made it with Cajun seasoning, until last night!

Cajum Shrimp 010
The veggies you’ll need…

Cajum Shrimp 016
As well as some butter, half  & half, and some Cajun spices. 

Cajum Shrimp 027
Liberally coat the shrimp with Cajun seasoning. 

Cajum Shrimp 028
Cook Linguine to “al dente.”

Cajum Shrimp 032
In the meantime, sauté shrimp in butter for about 1 min. a side.  DO NOT cook the shrimp all the way through before removing from pan.  Overcooked shrimp is rubbery and no bueno.
Cajum Shrimp 043
In the same pan (with all the yummy bits left from the shrimp) sauté veggies until softened. 

Cajum Shrimp 050
Add 1 Tbsp. flour and cook into veggies for a minute or two (step not shown).  Then add some half & half.
Season with S & P, plus additional Cajun seasoning (if desired).   

Cajum Shrimp 063
Toss noodles directly into the same pan, mix, and serve!
*I also used about 3 ladles full of pasta water to break up the thickness of the sauce.   
Ok, so we don’t go to The Cheesecake Factory very often but when we do, Morgan always orders the same thing, their Cajun Jambalaya Pasta.  Although my dish didn’t have any chicken in it like theirs does, Morgan ate every bite, asked for more shrimp, and then proclaimed it tasted like his favorite dish at the Cheesecake Factory! 
Ding, ding, ding!!!  That’s exactly what I was going for!! Winking smile
The girls weren’t crazy about the new spices but they’ll come around…
This was definitely a decadent dish for us.  I don’t often cook with creamy sauces but this was a special treat!  I also love how quickly everything comes together.  It only takes about 10-15 mins. start to finish.
I love me a quick, easy, and delicious weekday meal!    I’ll definitely be making this again!
Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Cream Sauce
1/2 - 3/4 box of linguine, cooked al dente
1 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. shrimp, peeled/deveined
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup half and half
Cajun seasoning
salt, pepper to taste

Heat the butter over medium heat in a skillet. Sprinkle the shrimp liberally with Cajun seasoning, and then sauté in the pan for 1 minute per side (you are not cooking it through here). Remove with a slotted spoon.
To the skillet, add the onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are tender. Add the flour and stir it for a minute or two, to cook off its rawness. Add the half and half and stir, thickening. Put the shrimp back into the skillet to cook through. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and more Cajun seasoning, if desired). Toss with hot pasta, add pasta water to loosen the thickness of the sauce,  then serve.
*Recipe adapted from Jill
Thanks, Jill!  You’re not only crafty, you make some delicious food,  too!

Birdie Thumbprint Art

Birdie Thumbprints 028

Our family of birdies. Smile


Birdie Thumbprints 001Birdie Thumbprints 002

First, paint your branch.


Birdie Thumbprints 003

Then thumbprint your leaves…


Birdie Thumbprints 015Birdie Thumbprints 017

Follow that with birdie bodies…


Birdie Thumbprints 019

Secure googly eyes and draw a beak.


Birdie Thumbprints 020

Add some final touches…


Birdie Thumbprints 023

The girls LOVED making this craft!


Birdie Thumbprints 028

Here’s Faith’s.  She said that’s daddy on top since his favorite color is blue. 


Birdie Thumbprints 030

Grace’s birds appear to be singing!

The girls had so much fun making our family of birds!

Inspired by Jill

My craft challenged brain has been getting lots of cute and crafty ideas from her.  Most are super duper easy, too!

30 August 2011

Sprout’s Field Trip


Our local Farmers Market Grocery Store.


Sprout's FT 003

All our homeschoolers.


Sprout's FT 007

Yummy cantaloupe samples.  YES, please!


Sprout's FT 010

Don’t forget your carrots, too!


Sprout's FT 012

Getting a behind the scenes tour of the grocery store business…


Sprout's FT 014Sprout's FT 016

Working in the refrigerated section, Mr. Jose cleans and preps the produce.  He also talked to us about local farmers and organic foods.


Sprout's FT 026

Every department had a sample for us.  We tasted cheese at the deli…


Sprout's FT 031ASprout's FT 032

… and freshly made bread pudding at the bakery. 


Sprout's FT 034

The kids with Miss Dani, our tour guide. 


Sprout's FT 038

Pam (the store manager), gave the kids their very own shopping bag, stuffed with all kinds of healthy kiddie goodies!


Sprout's FT 040

My two growing sprouts! Smile


Sprout's FT 042A

Me and the girls.


Sprout's FT 043

Here’s what we think about Sprout’s!!  

The folks at Sprout’s gave us an outstanding field trip this morning.  The girls learned about organic vs. non organic foods and the fact that there are many different kinds of milk.  They especially liked the back room where it was cold and Mr. Jose was washing and prepping the produce. 

Community bonding, learning with friends, and Oh- my grocery shopping is done for the week! 

What a nice morning it was!         

29 August 2011

Pico de Gallo

pico de gallo 06

Oh, how I love the flavors and freshness of Pico de Gallo.  In fact, I prefer it to it’s liquidy cousin, salsa.  Not that I don’t like salsa… my family pretty much LOVES Mexican food and we could eat it everyday, in some form or another. 
I whipped up this batch of Pico over the weekend and it was gone in a flash.  I guess that’s what happens when you eat it for breakfast, lunch, and a snack!  Sadly, it never made it to dinner…  but boy, did we enjoy it! 
SO easy and SO very yummy!

pico de gallo 01
Use firm roma tomatoes.  They have less juice. 
pico de gallo 02
Discard the seeds.

pico de gallo 04pico de gallo 05
Use a whole jalapeno and take out the seeds (or keep them in for more spice).  Dice up some onion and cilantro.  Add s&p.

pico de gallo 06
Squeeze in some lime juice and give ‘er a taste.

pico de gallo 07
Seriously, SO good-  it’s addicting.  I could eat it by the spoonful, without chips.  Wait, I did.

pico de gallo 08
The first helping was gone right away.  The leftovers (in tupperware) were gone by the next afternoon. 
We enjoyed it with breakfast burritos, topped over grilled chicken, and lastly, scooped up with tortilla chips! 
It’s been said, “A day without Pico is like a day without sunshine.” 
Viva Pico!

On Instagram

© Brave Soul. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.