October 31, 2010

2010 Pumpkin Carving

The strangest thing happens to the television on Sunday afternoons. For some reason, it only tunes into channels with football on. No matter how hard my Fiance tries, he can only watch football games on Sunday afternoon =P So I decided to spend the afternoon carving pumpkins. Here's what I came up with this year:

October 26, 2010

SLP Project: Window Decor

In the speech therapy clinic I work at, we all have large windows in our therapy rooms. Unfortunately, those windows don't face the outside world, but it's better than nothing. I like to decorate my windows for the seasons, and I especially like to get my patients involved in the task.

Living close to the beach, I wanted to incorporate water/ocean/sealife into my window. I ended up finding some free clipart line drawings of fish (searched Google Images), made a bunch of copies, and let my patients color them at the end of their sessions. Then I cut them out, put their names on them, and hung them up in the window! I wanted to add a little extra, so I made some waves and an octopus. The kids loved it and I adored their creativity!

a close-up of some of my favorite fish

A couple weeks ago I took the fish down, and sent them home with their owners. Later this week I'll post my Fall Window, which I am in love with.

October 23, 2010

{recipe} Potato, Carrot, Zucchini Pancakes

Weekly Test Recipes - week 41!

This is a recipe I got from my younger sister when we were discussing healthy recipes. It's chock-full of vegetables and pretty easy to make - IF you have a food processor. I do not. So I had to shred potatoes, carrots, and zucchini by hand. That took a long time. I guess it was worth it though, because the end result was pretty good.


1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 pound baking potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups)
1 large carrot, shredded (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. canola oil

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly coat two small baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Drain zucchini in a colander, press to squeeze out excess liquid. In a large bowl combine zucchini, potatoes, carrot, flour, one of the eggs, thyme, salt and pepper.

In extra-large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat. To make a pancake, spoon about a 1-cup portion of potato mixture into skillet; evenly press and round edges with back of spatula to form a pancake. Cook two at a time, 4-5 minutes each side or until golden brown, turning once. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining oil and potato mixture.

With the back of a wooden spoon or a 1/4 cup measure gently press each pancake, to make a 3-inch diameter depression, deep enough to hold an egg. Pour one egg in each nest. Place pancakes with eggs in oven, being careful not to tilt baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, 10-12 minutes or until eggs are cooked through. Transfer to serving plates

I thought these were good, but the first batch I made I cooked too long and the egg got a really tough outer coating to it. I was scared about undercooked eggs. If you follow the recipe you should be fine ;) The thing I didn't like was the thyme. Any suggestions for substitutes? I made a half recipe and used 1/2 c. measures to make each pancake. This resulted in 4 servings. Also, I fried all four pancakes in the oven, but only baked two with the eggs to eat that night. The other two I fried and then put in the fridge for the next day. Then the next day I just put the egg on top and baked as directed.

Rating: GOOD

{recipe} Chicken Spinach Quesadillas

Weekly Test Recipes - week 40!

Here are some simple, easy, and fast quesadillas that are perfect for a weeknight meal.


You will need:
* chicken (I used rotisserie)
* fresh spinach
* tortillas (I used spinach wraps)
* cheese - Mexican blend, pepper jack, mozzarella - whatever you like
* ricotta cheese
* diced onions
* olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook a few minutes until tender. Add spinach and cook a minute or two until wilted. Place onion/spinach mixture on paper towel to drain. Shred chicken and mix with cheese and ricotta. Spread chicken/cheese mixture on half of tortilla. Top with spinach. Fold in half and cook in skillet over medium heat until cheese is melted and outside of tortilla is crispy. Flip to get both sides crispy.

This was very good! Since I used rotisserie chicken it was very quick to make. I think next time I'm going to try adding some fresh mushrooms. And I'm going to add some cayenne pepper or chili powder to the chicken/cheese mixture for some added spice.

Rating: GOOD

October 11, 2010

{recipe} Apple Crisp

Weekly Test Recipes - week 39!

Apple Crisp. It screams fall. There is no such thing as Fall in South Texas. Last week there were a couple mornings where it was "only" in the 70s on the way to work. I loved stepping outside in the morning and not immediately sweating. I couldn't help but laugh audibly as my co-workers were wearing sweatshirts and saying it was chilly. I miss fall. I miss leaves that change colors. I miss going out of my way to step on the crunchy leaves. I miss wearing long sleeves. I needed something to make it feel like fall here, and apple crisp was just the ticket.

This was actually brought into work for my co-worker's birthday. September - November has the majority of birthdays at work, so be on the lookout for lots of new sweets on here in the coming weeks.

I don't have a 'go-to' apple crisp recipe. I do have a fantastic Individual Apple Crisps recipe that is perfect for one or two people to get their fix. I'll have to post that some time. But for now, here's the recipe I made a couple weeks ago.

APPLE CRISP (allrecipes)

10 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used 5 Granny-Smiths and 2 Braeburns)
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted

*side note - it took FOREVER to peel and slice all those apples by hand. Like, 45 minutes. I definitely need to invest in one of those all-in-one peeler-corer-slicer dohickies*
lotsa apples
Place the sliced apples in a large bowl. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Stir a few times to coat apples. Pour water evenly over all. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture. Bake at 350* for about 45 minutes.

this photo is before baking
This recipe got rave reviews! A couple of my co-workers had never had apple crisp but are now fans! I'm definitely going to keep this recipe, but tweak it a little bit. I like a sweeter topping and thought all the flour in this oen made it a little too dry for my taste. Next time I'm going to make it using half the oats and half the flour, aiming for a topping with brown sugar/butter in the forefront. Make it today to celebrate fall!

 (this is the coffee cup I use at work - it makes me happy to think of home every day!)


October 7, 2010

{recipe} Milky Way Cake

Weekly Test Recipes - week 38!

We had another office party a couple weeks ago, and I never posted the recipe I tested - Milky Way Cake. The fiance helped me pick out the recipe, and he didn't even get to try any because it was gone before I came home! It was super easy to make because it has a box mix as the base.

MILKY WAY CAKE (You'veGotSupper.com)

10 oz. Milky Way candy bars, divided
1 pkg. yellow cake mix with pudding
10 Tbsp butter, divided
3 eggs
1 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray 9x13 pan with flour. Melt 5 ounces of chopped milky ways with 2 Tbsp of water in a sauce pan over medium-low until smooth. Set aside. Beat cake mix, 1 cup water, 8 tbsp melted butter, and eggs until thick and well combined (2 - 3 minutes). Add 1/2 of the batter to the bundt pan. Add the other half of the cake batter to the milky way mixture. Add 1 Tbsp flour and stir. Pour on top of the batter in the pan. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Bake for 45 minutes or until done. Let cool and then turn upside down on wire rack. For the glaze, melt the remaining milky way bars with 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp water in the saucepan until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Place cake on a platter. Spoon glaze over top so it drips down the sides. Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes and serve.

This cake got rave reviews at the office. I thought it was just meh. Maybe it was the box cake mix. The glaze was my favorite part, but I didn't think there was enough of it. Next time I would double the glaze recipe. The original recipe said to use a bundt pan, but I don't have one, so I used a regular 9x13. Next time I think I'll use two rounds and make a layered cake, so the glaze can drip down the sides like the recipe says to.

Rating: GOOD