August 30, 2011

Breakfast Pizza

Oh man, this was good!

Lately I've made an effort to keep turkey sausage or turkey bacon in the fridge/freezer so that I can make breakfast for dinner, since I always have eggs and bread on hand.  I saw this recipe at Fake Ginger and knew it would be a hit at our house. Since it was just the two of us and I was sure that we could devour the whole thing but wasn't sure we needed two eggs each,  I just did one egg on each side.  The original recipe makes enough for four people, each getting an egg. 

Breakfast Pizza
  • 1 homemade or store-bought pizza dough
  • 6 strips bacon (I use turkey bacon)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozarella (for my cheese, I just used an Italian-blend shredded cheese mixture)
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (nope...use more than that.  A lot more than that.  The chives are what make this pizza delish!)
  • olive oil

1. Preheat oven to temperature recommended on your pizza dough pacaking/recipe.

2. Cut up the bacon and fry. Drain on paper towel.

3. Pizza dough- spread it on your pan (I love my pizza stone).  Top with cheese and bacon. Brush edges of crust with olive oil.  Crack eggs on top and season with salt and pepper.

4.  Put pizza in oven and just keep an eye on it.  You're watching for your eggs to get done and the cheese to get bubbly and brown.  My cheese got brown before my eggs were done, but it still turned out fine.  This is going to take 10-15 minutes depending on what temp you're using.

5. Sprinkle chives on top and devour.

This was a WINNER! Serve it with a light salad and you've got yourself and quick and yummy dinner. 

Cast Party Wednesday


August 26, 2011

Warm fuzzies...

Happy Friday!! Lately I've tried to remind myself that whenever I think of something sweet to do to remind my husband that I love him and I'm proud of him, no matter how silly it might be, to just DO IT! I challenge you to do the same, whether it be for your spouse, family, or friends.  We all have good intentions of making people we love feel special, but how often do we act on it?

Pinterest was a source of some fun inspirations.  I saw this birthday morning surprise and loved the idea, but knew pulling it of for Adam's birthday morning would be difficult.  So when Adam began his degree completion program with Bryan College recently, I knew it would be a perfect chance to celebrate this big step he's taking. I am so proud of him for working towards this goal, and I'm especially thankful for his work and for sharing the dream of me being able to stay home with kids one day, and this is a HUGE step in the right direction! I didn't have quite as many balloons as the inspiration link, but he got the point. :)

Also on Pinterest was this secret message idea and as we both take bananas with us to work for a snack most days, I knew I could pull this one off no problem.  Or so I thought... Adam ate his "secret message" two days in a row before he ever noticed that this was no ordinary banana.  Thus the final, and successful, message:

I love the banana message idea for people with kids! Simply use a toothpick or a bamboo skewer to write a little note on the peel.  It won't show up in brown until some time has passed, making it a fun surprise at snack time. 

Short and sweet post on this Friday afternoon.  Busy weekend planned including work-related events and a trip to visit my sweet mother-in-love.  Hope you have fun plans!

What are some fun things you have done to surprise your loved one or remind them how much you love them?

August 23, 2011

The muffin that will change your life...


I mean...woah.

It started with a desire to make muffins for us to have for breakfast for a few days, which I often do on the weekends.  I wanted to find a good oatmeal-based muffin because for one, they're yummy, and two, they are much more filling than just a flour-y muffin.  Google came to the rescue with this recipe from Simple Bites.  The creator, Aimee gives tips on how to improve your own muffin recipes and shares a basic oatmeal muffin recipe that you can whip up with your desired add-ins.  I chose to mix in white chocolate chips and fresh blueberries.  My mouth is watering just thinking about them...

Please.  Make these soon.  And please don't let the pictures make you think they are any less delicious than they really are.  Still having to use the stupid phone for pictures until our camera is fixed. Here are the ingredients for the version I made. Please note that the first step of soaking the oats takes an hour, so make sure you start these early if you want them ready in time for breakfast!

White Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar (if you have it on hand, you can use 1 cup buttermilk in place of the milk and vinegar)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (recipe calls for dark, I used light...ain't no thang)
  • 1/2 cup butter melted, slightly cooled
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1  cup blueberries
1. Combine milk, vinegar, and oats in a large bowl and let sit for one hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375 and grease twelve muffin cups or use paper liners.

3. Add egg and brown sugar to oat mixture and combine.  Stir in melted butter.

4. Stir in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Stir gently, do not over mix.

5. Gently fold in the blueberries and white chocolate.

6. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Doing this I got 10 muffins.  10 muffins did not go far in our house...

7. Bake for 12-14 minutes.  The recipe calls for 10-12, but when you're using fresh fruit it can take longer.  Bake until light brown.  Let muffins cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before digging in.

Try these and let me know if they don't make you a certified muffin nut. I promise you'll never want to resort to a Martha White mix ever again! I had visions of quitting my job and making and selling just these muffins to support our family.  Until I get my commercial-sized oven (and a place to put it) I will settle for sharing the recipe with you :)  I think next time I will try the cranberry/pecan version.  And by next time, I mean AFTER I make these again...


The DIY Show Off

The Shabby Nest

August 22, 2011

Cooking Challenge: Pancakes! And Willow House Winner!

For starters, I have so many projects and recipes I want to share with you all but I feel bummed and unmotivated to do new posts because our camera is out for repair (for the second time...ggrr...) and no one likes a blog without good pictures! My phone takes okay pictures, but if I'm going to share an awesome crafty craft or a delicious recipe I want the pictures to do it justice! So, bare with me. K, thanks. Now on to the fun stuff!

Breakfast is my FAVORITE meal.  I could eat bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy every day...forever.  But whenever I talk about making something for breakfast, my sweet husband gets a little sparkle in his eyes and says "pancakes!!!!".  I don't know why but pancakes can stress me out.  Flipping them over freaks me out and I get frustrated that one side always looks better than the other.  And they make me think of IHOP and how everything in the whole stinkin place is covered in syrup. Sticky menus, sticky utensils, sticky table. 

All this aside, he loves pancakes and so I occassionally give in.  One time when we were dating I made pancakes and snuck a gummy bear into one of them. Bad idea. Cooked gummy bears stick. Badly. And so this cooking challenge is dedicated to him and is an effort to jazz up the ordinary pancake. Sans gummy bear.  Here are your choices:

1. Blueberry Pancakes
What can be bad about sweet blueberries in fluffy pancakes? That's right- nothing. These sound delish.

2. Oatmeal Pancakes
I love baking with oats because they give baked goods a great texture and make them so much more filling.  I'm going to be honest...even if these don't get chosen these will be made soon! haha

3. Banana Pancakes
I used to not be a big fan of banana/banana nut-flavored things.  But then I grew up and realized how cheaply you can make stuff with ripe bananas, so now I'm ALL over it.  We eat banana nut muffins all. the. time.

4. Grain and Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes
mmm...these sound so good and filling.  I've always wanted to try whole wheat pancakes and this sounds like a good place to start.

So, which pancakes make your stomach growl and make you somewhat excited about getting out of bed? I can't wait to see what you pick! Leave me a comment letting me know which of the recipes you want me to try out for you and feature here at Our Life's Legacy.  I'll take votes until next Monday, August 29, 2011. 

Finally, I used to pick the winner of the Willow House Giveaway and the lucky gal is....

Donna, from Dreams of Grace!!! Congrats, sweet lady! I will get in touch with you soon to get your contact info so we can send those pretty wine stoppers your way!

August 16, 2011

Pinterest is eating my brain...

I remember my first semester at Union University when we first got facebook, way back when you had to have a college email address to register. I remember students staying up ALL NIGHT LONG and not getting any work done because they were so addicted to facebook.

Move over FB, helllloooooo Pinterest! The worst thing that has ever happened to my productivity. haha.  But let's try to look at this positively, shall we? Let's just remember that its a place of inspiration which may result in productivity...right? Here's some things I've got on my "Crafts" board and if you've ever been on Pinterest I'm sure you've come across them too...

Interchangable picture frame.  Duh, why didn't I think of that?? Why didn't we ALL think of that? I want to make one for my desk at work.

It's no secret I love wreaths, and I have quite the surplus of yarn laying around so this would be a great project.  I think this would make a great gift! But of course I'll probably make one for myself first :)

Source: flickr

So I'm not going to cover my walls in thumbtacks but this made me realize that thumbtacks could be used in a really cool way to design something on canvas.  Plus, they're cheap and I already have a ton left over from my DIY vase fillers.

I think this is just so cute and totally up my alley since it involves mirrors from the dollar store! My favorite! These simple mirror boxes make a big statement when grouped together like this.

Last but not least this is on one of my food boards and I'm eventually going to HAVE To put my foot down and make this for myself...

Homemade Cream of "Something" Soup Mix! It looks so easy and I would love to make my own rather than use the salty canned stuff.  Call me crazy, but I think this would make an awesome gift for the cooks in my life! Don't you agree?? I was going to make homemade vanilla extract for some friends for Christmas, but this would cost a lot less and may be used more often for those who cook more than they bake.

So, what about you? Are you obsessed? Have you completed any projects that were inspired by Pinterest? If you'd like to follow me there just click below!

Follow Me on Pinterest

August 11, 2011

Eggplant Frittata

Sometime last year I bought an eggplant and was so excited to try what I just knew was going to be my new favorite meat-free meal: eggplant parmesan. Fail.  It was probably a combination of things I did wrong, but I ended up throwing away the majority of it and proclaiming myself anti-eggplant.

But they're so darn pretty. And they are full of nutritious good stuff and when they are on sale they are a great option for vegetarian dishes. And most importantly, I believe in second chances! So when my local grocery store had them on sale of 99 cents per pound last week I decided to try again.  I searched Pinterest and found this recipe for eggplant frittata on Chico's Kitchen and I went with it.  Here's the original recipe posted by Cherine...

Eggplant Frittata
  • 8 eggs
  • 1.5 pounds eggplant, peeled every other strip and cubed (I used half this much and thought it was still a lot of eggplant.  The full amount would have been overkill for me.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (my local grocery store had this in the deli section. You know over where the hummus and prepared pasta/potato salad is. The cost for the amount used in the recipe was about $1.40.)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (I used dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

1. Sprinkle chopped eggplant with salt and let sit in a colander for thirty minutes.  Rinse well and dry with a paper towel.

2. Heat olive oil in skillet and saute onions.  When they start to get translucent, add the eggplant and garlic. Cook on medium low heat, stirring often, until golden brown and soft.

3. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cheese, and salt and pepper.

4. Pour egg mixture into skillet and move around the eggplant a bit so the eggs can cover the bottom of the skillet. Cook on low heat, covered, until eggs are set and cooked through.  This took way longer than I thought it would... probably because I kept uncovering it...

5. Slice it up (4-6 servings depending on how hungry you are) and sprinkle with parsley.

My thoughts.... this whole anti-eggplant thing is all in my head, I'm sure of it. This fritatta has a great flavor, which I think has a lot to do with the onions and the Gruyere cheese. Props to Cherine for putting the whole thing together. But I kept finding myself pretending the eggplant chunks were mushrooms, and that made it better for me.  In the end I liked it (even more so today as I eat leftovers for lunch). But will I make it again?  Probably not.  But I do hope YOU will try it and if you like eggplant, I think you'll love this.

By the way, this recipe felt very fancy in a simple-yet-fancy French cuisine kind of way, so much so that I even wore my new apron while I made it. I had to balance that out somehow... by serving it with simple steamed broccoli.  And store-brand boxed macaroni and cheese. I'm classy like that.

So do you like eggplant? How have you used it? Is there anything you've given a second chance but just decided you didn't care for it?

Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods

Cast Party Wednesday


August 9, 2011

Nautical Baby Shower

If there's anything worth celebrating, its a new baby. And you can't have a celebration without great food, some fun decorations, and fantastic friends. So...we did just that!
My friend Brenda and I co-hosted a baby shower for some sweet friends who will soon be adding a little boy to their crew of two girls.  Baby Tony's room is being decorated in a really cool vintage nautical/surf theme and so we decided a nautical-themed baby shower would be perfect for the summer celebration. Let's walk through some of the details that made the day fun, shall we?

The drink station was kept pretty and simple and included an ocean-colored punch with a cute little sail boat on top.  Top secret secret: that tablecloth is actually a shower curatin.  You gotta improvise, ladies!

People come to parties for the food, and most baby showers have their staples: chicken salad sandwiches (and pb and j's for the kids!), fruit salad, pigs in a blanket, chips and dip, and cake.  I lost my close-up shot of the napkins, but if you look carefully Brenda tied up the silverware with some twine and a life saver candy.  So cute, right?? Some of our sweet guests contributed to the food table, and we were very thankful...especially because it was all so delicious! In a future post I'm going to share the recipe for the dip I made because it is SO. FREAKIN. GOOD.  It includes avacado, black beans, and corn and I could literally eat the whole bowl.

The cake is always the main attraction at a baby shower (second to the glowing pregnant lady, of course...) so I decided to try something new.  They're just regular cupcakes with a thin layer of icing which is then dip in a mixture of finely crushed graham crackers and some light brown sugar.  SAND! The seashells, starfish, and sand dollars were my first time working with fondant. Definitely not my favorite crafting medium.  My husband is very creative and great at all kinds of art, so I knew he would be helpful with the fondant, and he was.  His shells were way better than mine.  He even made one cupcake "manly"...with a shark tooth...

I brushed a little gold pearl dust on the fondant (except for the manly shark tooth), and it made them very pretty.  The cupcakes were displayed on a cupcake stand and a vintage-looking tray that I got at Goodwill well over a year ago and stashed away for such an occassion. Perfect!

The mantle was done up with some netting, candles, a couple of nautical accents and this wreath that I made for the family to hang in Baby Tony's room. Gotta love a yarn wreath :)

The coffee table was super simple.  Just a basket from the dollar store filled with shells and vase with flowers. (This display was soon removed because of all the little people walking around wanting to eat seashells. See the cute example in the background?).  You may have seen these cute red vases on the food table.  Guess what? They were not red when I bought them at the Dollar Tree!

Yep, it's yarn.  This was so easy and was a great way to take a cheap vase and update it for the party.  Vase, yarn, hot glue. Done.

And last but not least, here's just a couple of pictures taken during the game portion of the shower. My word, was that funny... In our circle of friends we generally do co-ed baby showers.  Trust me, guys just add "something" the event.  I think they're much more fun this way!

Here's me and my bottomless pit of a husband in the baby food eating contect.  We put up a good fight but didn't win.

This is the BEFORE picture for the husband-styled hair do competition. The point here was that when a new baby comes along, the husband may have to help with some tasks that he normally wouldn't do...

And... the results...

Adam trying to pull all of my hair out...

You'll notice that one of us was luckier than the rest and got some nice-looking pigtails.

It was a fun afternoon with friends and we're so excited to meet the newest addition to the Holland family.  Congratulations, Hollands!

Me, Amanda (mom-to-be), and Brenda

Just a reminder for you to get in on the action over at my Willow House giveaway. It's easy to enter and the winner is going to get the cutest set of wine stoppers. Good luck!


The DIY Show Off

The Shabby Nest

Boogieboard Cottage

August 7, 2011

Willow House Giveaway!

Have you guys heard of Willow House? I didn't know about the company until recently when I saw that one of my oldest friends, Jessica, had joined in on the fun as a consultant.  I DARE you to visit the site and not find something you love. You're going to find things for cooking, entertaining, decorating, and even things to make your outdoor spaces beautiful. They have products for every budget and what's really great is they have weekly and month specials along with an online outlet store with DEEP discounts on some their great items.  I'm loving the ramekins ^ up there ^. I would love to serve dessert in those beauties! Want to see some other goodies that I'm adding to my wishlist?

I *big puffy heart* love this vase and think it could make your average grocery store flowers so special!

I've been looking for some prep bowls, and these are perfect. Those of you with kiddos would love these, too for serving ice cream or small snack servings.  I can see these being useful for entertaining as well. I would totally use these for different salad toppings... or ice cream toppings! :)

I always take reusable bags with me to the grocery store, but these are SO much cuter than your average bag.  Plus they snap closed!

I know you don't want to think about it, but Christmas will be here before you know it! Why don't you start shopping now and mark some of those lovely ladies in your life off the list at Willow House. Ordering online is easy.  And while you're there, be sure to contact Jessica if you're interested in hosting a party (in the Middle TN area) or becoming a consultant yourself.

Because she's fabulous and loves a good giveaway as much the next person, Jessica has offered to give one Our Life's Legacy reader this bee-utiful set of Carrigan Wine Stoppers!

These are going to be great to have on hand at your home OR to officially begin working on marking people off that Christmas list! Here's how you can win.  One entry for each thing you do:

1. Visit Willow House and leave a comment back here telling me one thing you'd love to have for yourself or give as a gift. Or something you would like to give your good friend Dana... :)

2. Become a follower of Our Life's Legacy and leave me a comment letting me know you did.  If you're already following, leave a comment letting me know!

Be sure to include your email address in your comment(s) so I can get in touch with you if you win. Giveaway ends Sunday August 21, 2011. Good luck!