Friday, August 28, 2015

Garlic Parmesan Cheese Bombs

I found the recipe for these yummy little cheese bombs at The Recipe Critic. I'll post the recipe below, but you really should check out the site for the mouthwatering tutorial.

Garlic Parmesan Cheese Bombs
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits (like the ones by Pillsbury - I used their Texas-style biscuits)
  • 3 mozzarella cheese sticks, cut into 4 pieces each (so you have 12 total)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease a baking sheet. Separate each biscuit. Place one piece of cheese in the center of each biscuit, pinch the sides around the cheese so it is completely encased by the biscuit dough. Place seam-side down on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.
  2. Melt butter. Stir in garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. When biscuits are done baking, brush butter mixture over each biscuit. Serve warm.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Another Blast from the Past

Last week, I reminisced about Scholastic book orders. This week, I pay tribute to another relic from my childhood that my kids still enjoy. When I was a youngster, the arrival of my HIGHLIGHTS magazine subscription made any day a little brighter. I loved the stories, the projects and, who can forget the hidden pictures! Now, my youngest loves her HiGHLIGHTS subscription as much as I did. Of course, I have to sneak a peak at her issues! Who said you shouldn't live through you kids?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Is Your Sugar #Vegan ? Do You Care?

I don't use much sugar except occasionally to sweeten tea, so I have no problem substituting Turbinado sugar for white sugar. Why do I want to?

I learned, to my sorrow, that cane sugar is (not invariably, but frequently) whitened by filtering it through bone char. That's charred bones. The bone char is so processed by the time it gets to work filtering sugar, it barely qualifies as an animal product -- kind of like Spam or Velveeta. But still.

Beet sugar doesn't have to be filtered with bone char, but, while some sugars proudly label themselves "cane sugar," I have yet to find one that labels itself "beet sugar". Wonder why?

Let me reiterate, since people don't seem to believe me: I AM NOT A VEGAN. I just cook like one on the internet. Actually, as I've said before, we have a vegan daughter, so I like to make my kitchen as free of culinary booby-traps for her as possible.

Besides: bone char. Even I ain't that Goth.

While researching this post, I learned that Whole Foods has a cane sugar that is not only filtered through non-animal charcoal, it's part of the Whole Trade Guarantee:
  • Meet our high quality standards
  • Provide more money to producers
  • Ensure better wages and working conditions for workers
  • Care for the environment
To sweeten the deal, we also donate 1% of all Whole Trade product sales to the Whole Planet Foundation, which funds micro-credit loans around the world with the mission to help end world poverty.

Way cool!

What kind of sugar do you use?

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, August 21, 2015

Making Pie Crust from Cake Mix?

Mini Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Meringue :: Recipe on HoosierHomemade.comI found this tutorial/recipe on Hoosier Homemade. The page teaches bakers how to make vanilla and chocolate pie crusts from boxed cake mix. It's really cool, so check it out! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's Still Around!

I am so happy that they still do it! School kids still get the Scholastic flier (aka "book order"). My heart used to skip a beat when the fliers were handed out at my school. I am thankful my little girls have experienced the same joy over choosing a new book. Do you remember the Scholastic fliers?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Eggy Spinach Thing #vegetarian

I made this, and it was very good:

I forget what it's called, but the base of it is Choux pastry -- the same thing you make cream puffs from.

  • 1/8 cup butter (or vegan margarine)
  • 1/4 cup water
Bring to a boil. Add:
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Remove from heat, stirring till ball forms. Let rest 5 minutes, then add:
  • 1 egg
  • bit of ground mustard
  • cheese of your choice
I did something not quite right, so it doesn't look like it's supposed to. Don't know if I used too much shortening or didn't let it cool long enough. As my grandpa used to say, "It didn't hurt the eatin' of it."

Okay. Now.

Spoon the choux around the edges of a buttered baking dish. Fill the center with veg. Cauliflower is nice. I used spinach and mushrooms. Top it with cheese.

Bake at 400 F for 45 minutes or so, maybe longer. It looks like it isn't going to do anything, then it starts to puff up and rises around the veg.

Um yum!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, August 14, 2015

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love pumpkin muffins. Check out the video below and then go to the site for the recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My New, Favorite, Animated Book-Turned-Movie

HOME is a most adorable animated film based on a book entitled THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY(written by Adam Rex). The movie introduces us to an adorable, but typically antisocial alien group know as the Boov. In order to escape a dangerous intergalactic threat, the Boov take over Earth. On Earth, a curious, little Boov named Oh meets a human girl named Tip. Unlike other Boov, Oh craves social interaction. Although, they do not always get along and understand each other, Oh and Tip find a way to help each other; and become friends in the process. This movie is hilarious and heartwarming. Watch it, and it will make you want to get your Boov on!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Homemade #Vegetarian Pizza? #OhHELLYeah

So this happened.
That's homemade crust, but you could use a boughten one.

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • teaspoon or so of yeast
  • sprinkle of salt
  • enough flour to make a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl
Add enough more flour so you can knead the dough. Let it rise for about 15 minutes, then roll it out and put it on a pre-heated pizza pan. Roll the edges up a little.

I topped it with spaghetti sauce, sliced green olives, raw mushrooms, onion powder (since Charlie can't eat onions), and Meatless Griller Strips chickeny non-chicken. Oh, and as much cheese as I could find in the house.

Baked at 450F for about 15 minutes. The crust was thin and crispy and it was all freakin' delicious!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Watermelon Cake!

Check out this fantastic watermelon cake tutorial from Yolanda Gampp of How To Cake It! She makes it look so easy! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What my Kids are Reading

Today is the bittersweet, excited-for-a-new-school-year/sad-about-the-end-of-summer, first day of school for Calli and Skylar. Yesterday, we ended summer break with a trip to the hairdresser, lunch and shopping at the bookstore. Pictured are two of the books my daughters bought. Judging from how they had their noses buried in their books on the ride home, they must be good reads!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Your Friends Won't Care It's #Vegan

Oh, happy summer days of farmers' markets! We got two pounds of the cleanest, freshest, mostest beautifullest green beans you ever saw in your life!

Some of them were a leeettle too big, but still plenty good. Most of them were in The Goldilocks Zone (just right). Some of them were very wee and teeny, and that's one of the ways we like them best.

We had some leftover Jasmine rice and we had some mushrooms (I almost always have some mushrooms!), so we heated some vegan margarine in a skillet and bunged everything in. This was the result.

Good? Oh my dear me gosh and golly YES, it was good! OM-nom-nom-nom-nom!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes