Valentine’s Pie Pops

It’s not too late if you’re still needing to make a few cute Valentine’s treats for tomorrow! These cuties use simple store bought ingredients and are snap to put together. Here’s how I did it.

First, I picked up some pre-made pie crusts and some jam.

Cut circles out of the pie crust using a small glass.

Next, you spread a thin layer of jam in the center of one circle.

And cut out a cute little heart out of the other side.  Too cute, huh?

Then, you put them together with a lollipop stick inserted between them. You can get the sticks at Michael’s or wherever.

And just to put the cuteness over the top, use another lollipop stick to make crimps all the way around.

Now you’re ready for mass production.

Once you’ve got them all put together, place them on a cookie sheet and brush the tops with egg whites.

Stick them in the oven at 350* for about 15 minutes – you’ll want check on them to make sure they don’t burn.  Once they are golden brown, take them out of the oven and let them cool.

I packaged mine up using a simple clear bag and a super cute label I downloaded for free – Be My Sweetie Pie!  DY-ING – too cute! I can’t wait to spread a little love tomorrow. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

P.S. This is the first non-gluten free thing I’ve posted on my blog but you could easily make a simple pie dough with the Cup4Cup flour I love so much and make these gluten-free!

Mini Frittatas

Us busy mamas gotta stick together, and this recipe is one for us!  A while back, I wrote up my typical prep for the week and this recipe is now on rotation in our house. These mini frittatas are prefect for busy mornings.  All of us love them, especially my one year old.   In fact, they are great for parties or brunch too – I made a big batch for a brunch gathering a few weeks ago, and they were gobbled up by the dozen!

You can totally use whatever you have on hand in your fridge.  I try and load them up with lots of veggies so we get some of our veggie servings in at breakfast, but really anything will do.  I typically start with dicing up and cooking some bacon in a big skillet.

While the bacon is cooking, I get 12 eggs into a big bowl – and whisk them together with 1/3 cup of milk.

I add in some cheese with the eggs, about 1/2 cup.

And prep whatever veggies I am going to use. This time I used some leftover green onion, zucchini and yellow bell peppers.  I always use some kind of onion and most of the time some kind bell pepper … and I’ve tried adding in frozen/drained chopped spinach, diced mushrooms, chopped asparagus, and all sorts of other yummy veggies. Whatever you’ve got – throw on in!

Just dice up whatever you’re using.  Once the bacon is done cooking, remove it and let it drain on a plate with some paper towels.  Just throw the veggies into the same skillet and let them cook up in the bacon grease – yum! It takes about 10 minutes on medium heat to really cook the veggies through.

You’ll want to get your oven and muffin tins going while the veggies are cooking.  Set your oven to 350* and get out your mini muffin tins.  If you only have regular muffin tins, those will work too.  No biggie.  Just melt some butter and brush each muffin cup with it – don’t scrimp, you don’t want your frittatas getting stuck in there.

Once the veggies are cooked, remove them from the skillet and let them cool.  Once they are cool, add them and the cooled bacon into the egg, cheese and milk mixture.  Mix it all together really well and scoop into the buttered muffin cups (I used a small measuring cup to make transfering the mixture into the cups easier).  Here they are all ready to go into the oven!

Let them cook at 350* for 30 – 35 minutes, before taking them out and popping them onto a cutting board to cool.

Don’t they look good?  The best part of the whole recipe is that once they are cooled on the cutting board, you can pop them into bags, stick them in the freezer and they are ready to go for quick breakfast meals during the week!  Just pop one (or more) into the microwave for a minute or so and you’re ready to go.  Even my little one loves these things!

 

Well, Hello There!

Greetings all of you Get Rich Slowly readers!   I am so honored that J.D. talked about me on his blog — I feel famous!   I’m so glad you came over to check me out, and I thought I’d make it easy to find a few things you might be interested in.

Here’s a round-up of my posts about making stuff from scratch — everything from yogurt, to vanilla extract, to granola, to chevre cheese, and so much more!

Lots of people like my version of the gluten-free guide.

And my yummy and easy (and pennywise!) go-to quiche.

I love to give gifts, but love even more to make them — here’s some things I made for the holidays, out of my yard, and just because they are yummy (can you say salted caramels!).

Here’s a simple tour of our backyard chicken coop.  Backyard hens are so fun!

Thanks for popping by – and if you’re in the Portland area and want to check out my fund-raising class J.D. talked about,  the next session actually starts in just two days on May 26th (despite what it says online when you register) and you can still sign up.

Thanks for coming – come back soon. Or better yet, add me to your reader!

New Gardening Tool

We’d better get a move on it.  It’s already the middle of April, and we still haven’t really cleaned up the yard and garden from last year.  It’s not that we’ve been lazy, it’s just we’ve had a few other things to tend to.  Well, namely one BIG thing.   Bet you can guess what that is by our new favorite gardening tool for 2011.

Yep, we had a baby!  Little Miss is a few months old now and we’re still figuring out how to get out in the yard with an infant around.  I think the pac n play on the patio might just do the trick!

Eating Out Gluten-Free

Before our first little peapod makes her big arrival, we’ve been trying to heed the advice of our already-parent friends to get out and about while we can sans baby.  We’ve hit two excellent, new-ish restaurants in the last month that restore my faith that having celiac disease and being gluten-free doesn’t have to be the end of eating out. 

First up, we checked out the new little Bistro Allium in our ‘hood of West Linn.   The chef is well known Pascal Chureau, formerly of Fenouil.  The ambiance is amazing; the food even better. 

I emailed Pascal about a week before we were planning to come in, and he assured me that there were many things on the menu I could eat and that he’d be more than happy to help me out when we arrived.  And boy, he didn’t disappoint.  I think the steak I had was one of the best I’ve ever had – ever.  The really cool thing about Allium, besides the yummy food and gluten-free friendly service, is their deep commitment to local, farm fresh foods. They source most of their food from local farms and host these awesome “Neighborhood Dinners” once a month that feature amazing food from local farmers. 

Up next, we went to the newly opened Irving Street Kitchen in the Pearl (downtown Portland).  I have to say the gluten-free service we received was the best I’ve ever had.  I, again, emailed the chef in advance and asked about gluten-free options.  Sarah was amazing, assurred me she knew what gluten was and that there were many options for me.   She also asked that I tell her the date and time we’d be coming in so she could be ready.  

When we got there and were seated, the server already knew — without me having to say anything — about my gluten-free needs and even told me that his son can’t eat gluten and so was well equiped to help me navigate the menu.  The food was excellent and the vibe is fun and hip.   They, too, like to source their food locally and even do a cool thing with their wines where they have some “on barrel” — kind of like beer on tap, except they have select wines in large quantities in a barrel from the winery.  Super cool!

I’ve found that eating out gluten-free in and around Portland is surprisingly easy — if you take a few key steps….

1)  email the chef or contact the restaurant in advance to check out what they know about gluten and if they can accomodate your needs

2) stick with the nicer restaurants that acutally make their food from stratch — that way they know exactly what’s in ther dishes they make.  It’s way harder for restaurants that rely on pre-packaged or frozen food to help you out (plus from scratch is always better, anyway!)

3) get to the restaurant at a non-peak time.  I try and be really realistic when it comes to eating out — preparing food for large groups of people every night is hard work and as much as people want to help, I always try and keep in mind that in a commercial kitchen, there’s a lot going on… so I try and go when it’s less busy and the chef actually might have time to pay a little extra attention to little ole me and my food.

There are lots and lots of gluten-free friendly spots in Portland, and I’m so grateful!  Happy eating, everyone.  🙂

Gifts from the Yard

We’re headed over to to a BBQ this afternoon at our friends’ place and instead of bringing a bottle of wine or a cute dish towel or one of the usual “thanks for having me over” kinda of gifts you bring when you go to someone’s house, I thought I might try to see what goodies I could bring from my yard.

Not only is it more economical (aka cheaper), it’s more personal and kinda fun — and since it’s the height of harvest season, we have lots to choose from.

I think the basket I put together turned out pretty, cute — don’t you?

We’ve got thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, broccoli, green beans and lettuce in there.  What do you bring when you go over to people’s houses?

Garlic Overload

It’s been 9 months since I planted my garlic, and it is finally ready to harvest!  This was the first time we tried garlic, and it really took off.  We now have 31 heads of garlic — each from one little clove we planted.  How cool is that?

Here they all are after being pulled out of the ground and washed off.

And now they need to dry out in the sun for a few weeks before we store them for use the rest of the year.

Oh, and speaking of that 9 month growing period for the garlic… I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA on the blog lately but it’s because I’ve got my own (very first!) 9 month little peapod in the works.

Happy July, everyone.  Hope your garden is being good to you!