Monday, October 31, 2011

My First Blog Post

There have been many times I have contemplated starting a blog and here I am!  I am 25 years old and have a passion for cooking, exercise, crafting, family, and serving the Lord.  I plan to incorporate all of these into my blog and hope it will be enjoyable to all who visit.

Pictures are always great to get an idea of what you are reading about!  To be honest, pictures are what I look at most when I look at a blog.  These pictures should give you a glimpse of my personality and the things I get excited about!  Hope you enjoy!

 This is me at Hershey Park!  As you can tell, I get excited about chocolate and you will see that more and more in my blog!

 My hubby and me!  We love to hike and this is us at Vallecito, Colorado.  I grew up going to Vallecito almost every year for family vacation.  This was our first time to go together and we loved it.

This is my husbands favorite meal-Chicken Parmesan.
 This is a fun night of food with my friend Kristen!  We happen to love all the above foods-popcorn (stove-top baby), pretzels, peanut m&m's, candy corn, dry roasted peanuts (gotta be dry roasted peanuts in this mix), hummus, and pizza!!! 

Black-bean burgers, home-made bun, and sweet potato fries.  This is my healthy side-I try healthy recipes often and I really like healthy foods!
I have to laugh at this picture-I am just being weird before the Beach to Bay relay marathon!  This was my second year to run it and it was fun-very hot and tiring but fun.  I exercise almost every day!

I can't finish this post without saying Happy Halloween!  Hope you had a good one.

Recipes from this post:

Husband-Approved Spicy Black Bean Burgers
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 T ground flax + 3 T water
4 tsp buffalo sauce or 1 jalapeno
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion (I used bulb of green onion)
2 T tomato sauce
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp cumin
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
avocado for topping
olive oil (or canola oil)  for frying burgers

Add garlic cloves and onion to a food processor (or high speed blender) and mince finely. (Alternatively, you could chop them yourselves very finely but it's just easier at this point to throw them in a food processor.)
Add one can of beans to the onion/garlic mixture and pulse to combine. Add cumin and salt and pulse until mixture resembles chunky black bean dip.
In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax and water. Let sit for five minutes.
Transfer the mixture in the food processor to a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, tomato sauce, flax and corn. Stir well until everything is combined. Add remaining black beans.
Form black bean mixture into 5-6 patties and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  
Heat a little olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat.  Fry for about 4 minutes per side, until golden and crusty brown.
Serve burgers with avocado slices, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and ketchup.
Should make 5 or 6 patties!

20 minute prep.  30 minutes fridge.  20 minutes cook

***Note these burgers were a little hard to keep together so be careful when you are flipping the patties.

Bread recipe for buns:
Refrigerator Rolls (Grandma Mary's Recipe from Mom)
2 pkg yeast (I use quick rise)
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 Tbsp. Oil
1 egg
5 cups flour (this is not exact, usually I use a little more)

You will need 2 large mixing bowls.  Grease one of the mixing bowls before you start the bread.  In other bowl add 1 cup warm water (don't over think this-just warm to the touch not to hot).  Sprinkle 2 pkgs. yeast and then 2 Tbsp. sugar into the water.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes (it should bubble a little).  Stir and add 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, oil, and 2 cups flour and beat with mixer until mixture is moist.  Add one egg and beat again until smooth.  Add flour 1 cup at a time and continue mixing with mixer until it is too stiff for beaters.  Continue adding flour gradually and kneading with hands until it forms a stiff dough.  I usually knead it for 5-7 minutes.  Place dough in lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap or lid (oil the lid or wrap to prevent sticking).  Place bowl in refrigerator overnight.

Punch down dough in the morning and evening and it can be stored in fridge for about a week.   

When you are ready to make the rolls, form 2 inch balls (3 inch for buns), and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Let rise for about 3-4 hours in a warm place.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Makes about 2 dozen if torn in 2 inch balls. 

**Note:  this is the recipe that I used when I first started making bread.  This recipe is very easy and hard to mess up-trust me if I can make them you can but feel free to ask any questions!     

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