Evening light in the clouds

Ok, so I took a little liberty with Lightroom with these photos. But as I was driving home I saw the light coming through the clouds and really wanted to capture it. I went for the dramatic, maybe one of these will be used for a project someday.

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Garden Week 3

Some plants are just fast growers, I guess. The weather is still horrible and my plants are really getting big. I bought some disposable transfer pots to transfer the pods into. I’m hoping to keep these going for a little while longer until it warms up enough outside.

With my new found space in the tray I have bought a few more seeds and am going to add broccoli, cauliflower and dill to my garden.

Here’s the progress on the green beans and cucumbers.

Garden

Cucumbers

Garden

Green Beans

  More pods that are growing.

Garden

Chickpea and Spinach Veggie Burger

veggie burgers_0413_05I don’t even know what spurred this, but Friday I decided I wanted to make a veggie burger. Ok I do know a little bit of what started this thought track. My husband and I have been getting Morning Star® on sale and they came out with a new flavor called Mediterranean something. Anyway I saw some whole chickpeas in it and thought, “Well I could make something like this.” Now my only problem is I don’t buy beans in a can. Other vegetables I do, but beans, just something about it I don’t like. Because of this it takes a lot of planning for things like chili, hummus and now veggie burgers.

Since I had no clue where to even start I hopped on Pintrest to get some chickpea based burger recipes. I found this recipe from Splash Dash Mom. It has the basic instructions and the spinach ingredient inspiration. Below is my rendition. I did sample it and it’s actually really tasty.

Chickpea, Spinach and Roasted Garlic Veggie Burger

2 c chickpeas
¼ c black beans
2-3 garlic cloves
½ tsp oregano
½ c (60g) white onion
1 tsp olive oil
½ c (25g) fresh baby spinach
½ c crumbs (I used corn flake crumbs)
1 egg

I started with having to cook Chickpeas soakingthe chickpeas. Soaked them overnight and cooked them for a couple of hours the next morning. Just be aware these guys soak up water like crazy. As you can see by this photo. They were covered not that long before.

Combine all the ingredientsThe next step is to mix everything together. I started out by using a hand potato masher thingy and found that would take a bit longer than I wanted, so I put everything in my Vitamix on low. This did the trick, but I would recommend using a food processor so everything has more room to move.

veggie burgers_0413_03This is everything all mashed up. Next step form it into burgers. I made 8, but they are larger. I use the sandwich thins buns, so I wanted these to fill out most of that space.

formed burgersI tried putting these on a George Foreman, didn’t really work out. Following the original instructions I tried browning them in a small skillet one at a time. This seemed to cook them pretty well. They were a bit crumbly and need to be handled carefully. I think some tweaking will be done to the next go round, maybe add more oil? If anyone has any suggestions for making them less crumbly that would be great!

finished burgersThe finished product. Some I left longer than others, just judge that for yourself, how brown you would like them.

Cross Stitch-An update

It’s been over a year since my last post of my cross-stitch. Honestly it hasn’t gotten much farther. Many days my husband tells me I have my goals set a little too high with all my projects. I have decided that I will spend at least a couple of evenings this week working on it. I have a couple of photo events this weekend and still have photos from last weekend to go through, so next week will be a photo week. This week will be TV and cross stitch. Sounds like a plan to me!

updated photo of angel cross stitch.

updated photo of angel cross stitch.

 

My Garden Part 2

It’s been a week since I planted the seeds. The cucumber is already too large to fit under the lid. From what I can tell almost everything except the peppers have at least started to sprout.

The one that I wasn’t even sure were seeds oregano sproutswas the oregano. This is what they look like now…I honestly wasn’t expecting anything to grow and now look at it. —>

 

 

And below are the updated photos of how the garden is sprouting up today.

The yellow tape marks the top of the tray so I know what’s growing where. I designed a map as I was planting so I would know what everything was once it started sprouting.

My Garden part 1

Since moving into our first house, my husband and I have been making sad attempts at a garden. We were lucky enough to find a house that came with a small strip up the side of the yard ready for a garden, it even has asparagus. Now we are going into our third summer at the house and if it ever stops snowing we might be able to get going on this whole garden thing again.

Here’s the run down, year one: I tried planting multiple things in the same row. Cucumber, beans, and squash all crammed together did not go so well for a successful garden.

Year two: I made a map of what I was planting. Gave the plants with big leaves lots of space. Ended up a drought year and pretty much everything died. But had lots of small tomatoes resulting in bruschetta overload.

Year three: You get to join me on the adventure this year! I have bought seeds. Not sure if I have all the things I want, but like I said, it’s not the largest space. We had my dad till in the fall. We even took up the netting stuff for the tomatoes so the dirt should be fresh this year. I hope we can get it tilled once more before planting.

Instead of trying to plant seeds outside and hope things will grow, I will be using a starter kit inside with little dirts that will grow when watered. I will be keeping you posted on their progress.garden_0413_02

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Meringue Coconut Brownies

merignue brownies_0313_06-EditThis is a fun recipe. I managed to read the name and ingredients and still believe I was making regular old brownies with some coconut. I’ve heard of meringue, but had no idea what it entailed to make it. And let it be said that before this recipe I had only successfully gotten my egg whites to create stiff peaks once. Now that I have accomplished this feat for the third time (I’ve had to use my new found skill since) I think I might remember what to do.

In case you don’t know how to get your egg whites into stiff peaks as some recipes ask merignue brownies_0313_03this is how: Get your electric handheld mixer out and put on the whisk attachment. Put your egg whites in a bowl that you can use your mixer with. Then whisk away. One recipe said it takes about a minute, I would say more than that. So it’s super simple, but for some reason until recently this was a very challenging part of baking for me. Now onto the recipe you clicked on to begin with! Please note that I cut down the sugar from the totals listed below.

Makeover Meringue Coconut Brownies

(Found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

 ⅓ c butter, softened
⅓ c plus ¾ c packed brown sugar
⅓ c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
⅓ c fat-free milk
1 c (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 c flaked coconut
½ c chopped walnuts
3 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar

In a small bowl, cream the butter, ⅓ merignue brownies_0313_01cup brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Press into a 9×13-in greased baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.

merignue brownies_0313_02

In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over the top. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake).

Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator (this is super important!) They will be super sticky if you don’t.

merignue brownies_0313_04So there you have it, these delicious bars that claim to be brownies in disguise.

merignue brownies_0313_05