tasty eats and treats

This is going to be my attempt at a sort of “holiday” post.  Here’s the deal, I’ve gotten a bit grinchy in my later years so I don’t have super cute stocking pics to post or anything like that.  However, I did want to put a few things out there that might be helpful to all of you!

this is an accurate depiction

1.  The nice and easy-ish giftie

My supervisee gave this to me – isn’t it cute?  She went to the dollar store for the mug and maybe the ornament? and then proceeded to stuff it with all of the goodness that is hot chocolate.  She also put a tin of homemade cookies in there with it.  It was such a sweet (ha – see what I did?!) gift and it looks great.

giftie2.  Giftie #2

This was also from a co-worker.  Originally a version of this was in a white elephant exchange I was part of – and then someone stole it from me.  Rude.  But she brought me one anyway – a “baby” from her spider plant in a container that was recycled from something in her apt.  I love it!  Such a cute idea.  She told me the only thing she spends money on is the soil and the containers are from different upcycled items.  Brilliant.

a perfect gift for all ocassions!
a perfect gift for all occasions!

3.  Giftie #3

Can you knit or crochet?  Well, neither can I but I got a coozie from another supervisee wrapped in some hot chocolate.  I’m digging the homemade gifties this year.

Foods… so if you are partaking in holiday gatherings this year, I’m guessing many of them are potluck style.  So here are a couple of ideas.

1.  Go to Costco.  Seriously, I felt bad about going there and scooping up some Ivar’s clam chowder (made in WA!) but then I stopped feeling guilty when I dumped it in the crock pot and could continue planning the rest of the holiday gathering.  Those $11.00 were well spent and it was gluten-free so it was a guaranteed dish I could eat.

2.  If you want to get your chef on, I made chili tacos last week.  I am not going to include a picture because they certainly aren’t the prettiest of all goodness.  BUT they taste so good!  I’ve made it for groups in the past and they always look at me like I’m a nutball and then they gobble it up.  And yes, I always wear a smug smile on my face as they are scraping the last of the bowl.  I made a single batch because it makes a lot.  I forgot to decrease the spices but I added quite a few more veggies so it worked itself out.

Chili Tacos

2 onions chopped                            2 green peppers chopped

3 cloves of garlic                              2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin                          1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika                         1 bayleaf

Large can tomatoes                        1 can of beef broth (regular size)

6 oz can of tomato paste                 2 beef bouillon cubes

2 pounds of ground beef                 1 1/2 to 2 potatoes – peeled

Brown meat and drain the fat.  Put in veggies with the meat.  Stir in all of the spices and simmer for a few minutes.  Add tomatoes, paste, bouillon cubes and beef broth.  Stir.  Bring everything to a boil.  Simmer a 1/2 hour or longer.  Then shred peeled potatoes into the mix.  You want the consistency to be a bit on the thicker side so this is why it’s either 1 1/2 or 2 potatoes.  ***I came up with a brilliant plan:  Just used frozen (probably thawed) hash browns rather than shredding the potatoes with a cheese grater over the pot.  This is by far the most annoying part for me and I said to myself, “why can’t there be potatoes already shredded?!”  Sometimes my brain shuts down.*

3.  Finally, a cookie treat.  I haven’t made these yet so I could be putting the cart before the horse, however, I tasted one so it’s kind of the same thing.  A co-worker brought in a tasty ball of heaven… without the recipe.  I’ve coveted more of these tasty balls of heaven and still, I can’t get the damn recipe.  He is basically holding it hostage.  I pinterested the ever-living daylights out of it and the best I can come up with is they were Martha Washingtons.  I’m going to give them a go – mostly because I can’t stop thinking about them.  They require quite a bit of butter so I am going to swap this out for coconut oil – I think this will work.  Who knows, I’m still new to this replacing ingredients thing.

this recipe is from Deep South Dish
this recipe/picture are from Deep South Dish

4.  Oh wait!  One more!  I found a gluten-free frozen pizza!  For some reason, I really do love frozen pizza.  I was bummed until my friend sent me to Costco and I found Sabatasso’s.  It only comes in 4 cheese (at least here) so I added yellow/red peppers, some sausage/bacon crumbles, olives and goat cheese.  It was good.  Craving satiated.

That’s all I got – remember to take a rest or something this weekend!

*Instead of the bouillon cube, I used one of those concentrated flavor packets.  The cubes had a bunch of ingredients that I don’t mix well with my stomach.  The dbl batch recipe is listed above.  I still added a single packet to my 1/2 batch.