Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{RECIPE} Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Okay, another family favorite.  I used to work at a cute little sandwich shop in Cedar City, UT, called The Pastry Pub.  Among many of their dishes I LOVED their pasta salad.  It was so simple and so fresh.  Each was made to order by tossing feta cheese and vegetables with tri-colored rotini pasta and drizzled with a geek feta dressing with a dash of hazelnut.  

So based on that concoction, I came up with my own version, which we have enjoyed many many times with family and friends. For me, there are no exact measurements, the amounts I give are approximate for the food item chopped/sliced.  I will try to qunatify, but I never measure.  You can add or leave out whatever you want. 

(be sure to scroll down to download a printable version)

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
1/2 box pasta*
20 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1/2-3/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
1-2 avocados, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup colored peppers (I mix green, red, yellow, and orange peppers)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2-1 c Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Mediterranean Sundried Tomato & Feta Cheese dressing from All Seasons**

Prepare pasta per box instructions, rinse, and cool.  Prepare vegetables as directed, place in large bowl with pasta and cheese.  Squirt as much dressing as you'd like on to ingredients.  The pasta will absorb some, so don't keep it too dry.  I tend to use atleast half a bottle if not a tad more with these approximations for ingredients.  Stir together and chill.

* I like Farfalle, can also use rotini or the tri-color rotini. I usually use the Barilla yellow box that is multigrain and protien enriched.  Also healthy with whole wheat pasta.
** I never use regular Italian dressing. I try to use a meditereanean/greek dressing or sundried tomato. I am sometomes able to find a low fat/fat free version of sundried tomato, it tastes great and makes the salad virtually guilt free.

I have also included artichoke hearts before.  I have thought it would also be tasty to try capers, but I haven't tried those in it yet.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{PRIOJECT} Teacher Love!

Cameron has been in preschool for 2 weeks now! On the first day of school  we had camera difficulties.  When we left for school I unwittingly discovered the battery was dead . . no problem right? Just charge it up and take it when I pick him up.  So I excitedly took the camera in to snag a pic by his locker and found that I left the SD card home! ugh!

SO, we have 2nd Day of School pics, lol. He got dressed head to toe all by himself! Notice the upside down socks. My baby is so independent! That being said, here's his "2nd Day of School" pictures:

On the first day of school he was very excited to bring the gifts I had made for his teachers.  I made a set of 3 cards each for each of Cameron's teachers (there are 2 teachers). I tied them each into a bundle with sheer red ribbon and a tag. (The camera was dead when we had to leave, thus no packaged picture) I even put an apple seal on the back of each envelope. =) 

Fun printable project and SO easy! It's not too late you can do it too.  Just head over to Lil' Luna to snag the printable and instructions.

Happy card crafting!

Monday, August 29, 2011

{RECIPE} Slow-Cooker Chicken Posole

SO I found this fabulous slow cooker recipe a while ago when searching for some new ways to make slow cooker dinners.  I was looking for recipes that were not just a roast with veggies.  Chicken Posole has become a family favorite and is INCREDIBLY easy to prepare.  The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I use chicken tenderloin and it worked just fine . . and a lot less fat with no bones to pick out. Just stir it around to break up the chicken once cooked, you don't have to remove it like the recipe says. Also,  I like to use a 28oz can of green enchilada sauce and double everything else.  The fresh lime juice and cilantro added at the end bring a great freshness to the dish.   I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

(be sure to scroll down to download a printable version)

Slow-Cooker Chicken Posole
1 can (15 oz) yellow or white hominy, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) Mexican-style diced tomatoes
1 can (10 oz) mild green enchilada sauce
2 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
5 chicken thighs (1 1/2 lbs), skin removed
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
Tortilla chips

Combine hominy, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, carrots, onion, garlic and cumin in a 4-qt slow-cooker (6-qt if you are doubling like me). Add chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 3 to 3 1/2 hours  (6-8 hours on low) until chicken is cooked through and vegetables tender. Skim and discard any fat from the surface.

Remove chicken, pull meat off bones into large shreds. Stir back into slow-cooker. Stir in cilantro, if using. Serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.

Makes 4 servings

per serving:
262 calories
80 mg cholesterol 1083 mg sodium
26 g carbohydrates

5 g fiber

Happy Cooking!

First Post!

Okay, so I am constantly dabbling in all things crafty and have been asked MANY times by various people if I have a blog.  Well, I have decided that the time has come to have a specific place to share and archive my crafty exploits.  I hope you can find some inspiration from my adventures and share with me your endeavors as well.  

Some of the things I dabble in:
- digital design
- scrapbooking
- cooking
- sewing
- organizing
- party planning
- cake decorating
- paper crafting

So keep an eye out for my latest projects, products, and recipes.  I will also have some of my CRAFTED products available for purchase in my shop.

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