Friday, February 27, 2009

Ham, Bacon & Mushroom Quesadillas


My latest creation. I had some leftover ham and was trying to decide what to do with it. So I came up with this low cal recipe and I must say it was quite tasty. This makes enough for 1 8-in tortilla size quesadilla.

Ingredients:
2 slices center cut bacon
1/2 c. chopped cooked ham
1c. sliced mushrooms (or more)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. finely chopped onions
cilantro and pepper to taste
2 8-in flour tortillas
2 to 3 tbsp. shredded low-fat Mexican cheese blend

Reduced fat sour cream for serving

Directions:

Heat oven to 400. Fry bacon in a nonstick pan and then remove from pan. Let cool on paper towels. Remove the bacon grease from the pan and wipe out with a paper towel.

Spray the pan with cooking spray and saute garlic, onions and mushrooms on medium till slightly tender. Season with pepper and cilantro. Crumble the bacon and add it and the ham and cook for 1 minute more. Set aside.

Spray another non-stick pan with cooking spray and add 1 of your tortillas. Cook on med. high till crispy and lightly browned and then flip and brown the other side. Do the same with your other tortilla. Spread the ham mixture on one of the tortillas. Top with the cheese and place the other tortilla on top. Bake at 400 till heated through and the cheese is melted.

Note: this is just an estimate and depends on the tortillas you use, but 1/2 a quesadilla with a small dollop of sour cream is about 250 calories.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Winter Centerpiece


I like to change my dining room table centerpieces with the seasons. I have very simple (though I like to think kind of classic/modern even if that's an oxymoron) decorating tastes and I love this one. It's just some garland from Pottery Barn stuffed inside a glass vase.

Cake Plates


This is what you do when you have a limited budget, a small apartment and you collect cake plates. You take a cheap white bookcase, layer pretty wrapping paper in the back and viola you have a display case. And it looks a lot better in real life than it does in this picture. And while it may not be beautiful it is at least interesting.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day


I made this card for my Mom for Valentine's Day. Isn't it cute? The instructions are on Martha Stewart.com.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gravity

I was recently walking my dog when a squirrel knocked an acorn onto my head and the above text message conversation ensued. I was amused so I took an old Christmas picture of my family, uploaded it to photoshop.com, made it "sketchy" and added our conversation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rubber Duck


I love wrapping presents. I did this for a baby shower gift for some friends recently and I thought it was cute and a fun bow alternative. And it was for a girl (obviously) so the girly rubber duck was perfect.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cupcakes

I made these carrot cake cupcakes for someone's birthday and I really like this picture I took of them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cookie of the Month Club


In 07 I I decided to do a Cookie of the Month Club for the people I worked with. I used this picture (of some chocolate chip cookies I had made) on the front of a post card and listed the monthly options on the back to let people know about it. I offered a different kind of cookie every month (choc. chip, snickerdoodles, peanut butter, oatmeal - raisins opt. - white chocolate macadamia nut and chocolate with pb chip) and sold either full or half batches. It was a lot of fun (although a lot of work too).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Work Christmas Presents 2008



I like to make food presents for my coworkers every year. I do a more involved gift for the people I work directly with and something simpler for my whole department. This year I made "cookie jars" which were mini green paper bags with a picture of a cookie jar on the front and which listed the contents (caramel oatmeal bars, chocolate chipotle brownies, walnut cream cheese cookies and dark chocolate truffles). For the simpler gift I did just a few dark chocolate truffles with a homemade Christmas tag.

Family Christmas Presents 2006-2008




Every year I like to do something in addition to the regular presents I get for my family. Here's what I have done over the past 3 years.

2008: I created a game board to be reminiscent of the game Life, using pictures of the 4 seasons as my background. On each of the silver game tiles, I placed an event from our brief and farcical family history.

2007: I cut out a round piece of silver paper and etched lines on it to look like a record. I put it in a record frame and listed its "contents" on the front. I chose a real song that commemorated what was going on in each of our lives at the time (for example "Chapel of Love" for my little brother and his fiance who were getting married that February). I made up fake band names that referred to the person the song applied to.

2006: I chose some of my favorite family memories for each of our family members. I found cartoons (mostly Calvin & Hobbes) that illustrated these memories, traced the pictures and wrote in my own words. In the center I put portions of a poem that I thought fit perfectly (Shakespeare's Sonnet XXX).

Christmas Place Cards 2008


I wanted to do place cards for Christmas this year. I decided to make candy bar wrappers for twix candy bars and place one at each person's plate. I put a picture of each person on their candy bar with funny glasses (so they'd look kind of like comedians) and quoted Jimmy Kimmel and Saturday night live underneath them. Here's my wrapper (without the Twix). This was a quote (as I remembered it so its probably not exact) from Amy Poehler on Weekend Update (SNL).

Party Ideas

I love to throw parties. Don't have any pictures of these actual parties (wish I did) but these are some of the decorations I used for the Oscar Party and shower. The one above is the Isaac Mizrahi table cloth I mention below.


My sister in law's shower: Right before they were married my little brother and his fiance were coming home for Christmas. My mom and I decided to throw her a shower. I used most of the decorations I listed for the Oscar Party below because her colors were black and champagne. We made mini egg souffles, sweet potato tartlets, zucchini bread with cinnamon sugar butter and mini fruit tarts.


Oscar Party: I bought quite a few beautiful black and white decorations (an Isaac Mizrahi table cloth, black candlesticks with white candles, beautiful white vases with fake black flowers, black and white table runners) from Target and used various black and white and silver dishes I already had. I served mini hot dogs with all the fixings, individual mini bags of homemade rosemary parmesan and macadamia butter crunch popcorn, hummus with pita chips, cheddar cheese spread with crackers, root beer floats and cookies with little Oscar cutouts on top (I included the menu on the evite I sent). And of course printed out the ballot and had people fill them out. For the top 3 winners I did various prizes. The number 1 prize was a ceramic popcorn bowl from Crate and Barrel, a gift certificate for Brewsters and a big chocolate candy bar.

Easter Brunch (no pictures): I served Chicken Salad, Pistachio Crusted Salmon Cakes, Cucumber Sandwiches, Stuffed Mushrooms, Zucchini Bread and Blackberry Tartlets. I did it for my Bible Study girls and I also set up an egg decorating table where we had fun decorating some eggs I had hard boiled. And as favors I made mini paper Easter baskets (idea from Martha Stewart) and filled them with mini vases containing daisies and Easter candy.

Thanksgiving 2008 Place Cards


I wanted to do some fun place cards for Thanksgiving this year. I got the template for these on Martha Stewart's website (Sitting Pretties) and cut out pictures of my family's heads. Not really specifically Thansgivingy but funny. I took this picture right after I made them but for the place cards I folded them so they sat at each person's place.

Poems

I have 5 favorite poems. I was inspired by these great frames from Crate and Barrel to choose 4 of them and I found pictures online to illustrate the poems. This is one of the 2 frames I did, which has two Robert Frost Poems: "The Road Not Taken" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." In the other frame not pictured I did "The Rainy Day" and "My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun."