Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tag x 2

(I can't get over his "super hero" face...and by the way, he won't hardly TAKE a picture anymore without shooting his spiderman webs)
I LOVE reading tags...I'm just a bit slow in completing them myself
6 quirky things about me

1. The latch on the gas tank door of my car gets stuck (umm, every time). Its the kind that has to be popped open from a button inside the car, you can't open it manually. Sooooo, I have to stand on one leg and use my other toe to push the door while simultaneously reaching with my hand and pushing the button inside the drivers side door. Picture a low arabesque (everyone remember back to your ballet class). Except it's not so pretty at the gas station. Just weird.
2. I don't love air conditioning. Only when necessary for survival...I think it smells funny.
3. I take off ALL my jewelry when I'm home (including my wedding ring) only because I just don't like how it feels to be wearing it.

4. And maybe that's why I didn't get my ears pierced until I was 23. I wanted to wear cute earrings at my sister's wedding (my own wedding?...I guess not) that and maybe the 4th graders I was teaching told me they thought it was very strange that I didn't have my ears pierced. Sheesh, peer pressure.
5. My favorite job (before teaching of course) was also the worst job I had. Baker at Einstein Bros Bagels...summer before college. I ADORED baking all the bagels, muffins, bread and cookies...setting up the salad line, sandwich line and cream cheeses...brewing all the coffee. Ohh the smells... SO FUN. I love "setting up" and arranging all the food. I drank an almond steamer each morning. I HATED that I had to be there at 3 am...all by myself until 5:30 am when the manager would come in. So scary to be 18 and open a store in the middle of the night by yourself. I NEVER felt safe. Sometimes David would drive to the store in his little red pickup and sleep in the parking lot until the manager would show up. love that guy!

6. I love nightstands. Aesthetically: I mean...how cute that they get to hold lamps, clocks, candles, flowers and such! Practically: how awesome is it to plop your book down when you're tired, throw your pony tail holder on it or set a glass of water?

That was fun! Thanks Missy! I tag : Abbie, Christy, Erin, Lindsay and Margaret

Ok, Natalie came up with the Dinner tag...this concept I love! I mean, who doesn't love tried and true recipes from friends? 5 to be exact!

Homemade Granola

(Please imagine how AMAZING this smells baking at 8:30 am...let me tell you...not as good as EATING it at 9:00 am! By the way you can basically add or subtract any ingredients...what do YOU like in your granola)

Mix in bowl and set aside:
6 c. oatmeal

2 c. shredded coconut
1 c. powdered milk
1/2 c. nuts (I like almonds, pecans, walnuts)
1/2 tsp. salt
**1 c. Rice Krispies
**1 c. raisins
**flax seed

Mix well...and pour over ingredients:
1 c. honey

1 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract

Bake (a little at a time...I do two batches) on a cookie sheet (with sides) at 350. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
** add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips after granola is out of oven, but still warm
(**ingredients are optional...but not for me! :)

Sassy Black Bean Soup

(EASY, ECONOMICAL, DUMP and HEAT recipe shared by my momma)

1 TB olive oil

1 c chopped onion
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cans black beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1/2 c. salsa verde (original recipe calls for picante sauce...use the verde...trust me)
1/4 c. water
1 tsp ground cumin
2 TB lime juice

Heat oil, add onion and garlic...saute for 5 minutes. Stir in beans and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice.

(garnish with, you know...whatever...I like sour cream)

Grilled Open-face ham, brie, and arugula sandwiches

(SHUT UP these are so good...the bitter arugula dressed with tangy lemon combined with sweet brie and ham on warm toasted bread...my mouth is watering) Oh yeah, the recipe calls for grilling the bread, which would be divine, but we had to give up our grill in the move and I've tried these "grilled" on the stove...works nicely too. eat them. eat them. (oh yeah, it makes 20 sandwiches...so halve the recipe...but who am I kidding, sometimes, I don't)

1/4 c. olive oil, plus more for grilling bread

Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
20 slices (1/2 to 3/4 in. thick) ciabatta (1 loaf)
1 lb brie cheese, cut into 1/4 by 2 in. slices
3/4 lb ham, thinly sliced
About 1/2 lb arugula, washed and spun dry

1. Put 1/4 c olive oil, the lemon juice and zest, garlic, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste in a blender and pulse to combine.

2. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Brush oil on both sides of bread and put on grill; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill 2 minutes. Turn over, top with cheese, close lid, and grill until cheese melts, 1-2 minutes.

3. Top cheese evenly with ham. In a large bowl, toss arugula with vinaigrette and arrange a handful on each sandwich. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over sandwiches.

Halibut in Parchment

(an oh-so-good Martha recipe...I use all kinds of white fish in this recipe, tilapia..whatever is on sale honestly)

Serves 2
1 large russet potato, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 in. thick

1 clove garlic, finely chopped ( I use 2)
2 oz baby spinach, well washed (I use more)
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Two 6-ounce halibut fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
Course salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using two 12 by 17-inch sheets of parchment paper, fold each sheet in half crosswise.

2. Place 1 sheet of parchment flat on a work surface. Place half of the potatoes, garlic, spinach, shallots and 4 lemon slices on once side of crease; season with salt and pepper. Place halibut on top of lemon slices, and season with salt and pepper. Fold parchment over ingredients. Make small overlapping folds along the edge to seal.

3. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake until packets have puffed, and fish is cooked through, about 18 minutes. Transfer packets to individual plates. Serve immediately, opening packets at the table. Garnish with any remaining lemon slices.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares
(and finally, because it's November, and because I made these last night and could take a picture, and because I love them)
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz) evaporated milk
2 large eggs
2 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. brown sugar
Whipped Cream (please...the real stuff...ummm)
PREHEAT oven to 350
COMBINE flour, oats, brown sugar and butter in small bowl. Beat at low speed until crumbly. Press on bottom of ungreased 13x9 inch baking pan.
BAKE 15 minutes.
COMBINE granulated sugar, pumpkin, milk, eggs, and pie spice in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes; pour over crust.
BAKE 20 minutes. Combine pecans and brown sugar in small bowl. Sprinkle pecan topping over filling. Continue baking 15 to 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan. Top with whipped cream.

Thanks Natalie! (I hope a couple of these count as gluten-free!)

I wish EVERYONE would play along with this tag! (please) but whenever you say "everyone or anyone"...that translates to no one. So I'm gonna single you out! :)

I tag Brittany, Isaura, Katherine (both of you), Nicole, Sarah, Lisa, Alissa....seriously...I want you all to play!


Nicole said...

okay your hair is adorable, i love it!!! i wish my hair looked like yours!

as for your tag, i'm super intimidated. if it's more than 5 ingredients, yeah... no. :) my husband and children are the pickiest eaters, my recipes are quite litmited... but i will do it, let me just think of 5 recipes first :)

Isaura said...

ohh tara, this is gonna be tough but fun..and I do the EXACT same thing with my jewelry. MArc gets on me becasue I have jewelry under the couch, under the bed, near every sink,etc. i always joke that i have some kind of sensory integration disorder. the pumpkin bars i'm gonna have to try, they look yuuum

Missy said...

You are gorgeous Tara.

I love reading tags too. I think that is why I follow up with them just so that I can read others and I LOVE when others follow through with it. Thanks for playing.

I'm sort of with you on the jewelry thing - it's hard to feel like wearing it at home sometimes. And I sort of didn't get the description of how you have to open your gas tank, but it sounds hard and tricky and will probably be even more tricky in the months to come for you!

Lisa said...

I need to do some "tag" catching up! Can't wait to try some of your recipes!
I'm totally with you on the wedding ring. I actually leave on my watch but all the rings come off when I am home.

Christy said...

first of all, your haircut is so cute! isn't lora the best?

also, i loved learning all these crazy facts about you! i will have to think of some myself... i accept the tag. :)

shakenbake said...

Just made the granola...yummmmmm--added M&M's, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips--I had to counterbalance the healthy ingredients. Brady helped me make it and he was actually ASKING if he could eat the raisens and peanuts. Knock yourself out!

Unknown said...

we love you
Aunt Nancy and Aunt Jean

Lora said...

Tara your hilarious! You have such a cute family! You have to hang around til we get back!!

Whit said...

Ohh those pecan bars look delish! I decided NOT to go home...it will be less stressful overall and heaven knows I have enough stress in my life already. Kinda stinks, but that will make Christmas that much more exciting :)

Kristen M said...

i made the black bean soup tonight since i needed something i could make last minute. it turned out yummy. thanks for sharing!