Friday, May 30, 2014

Meatless Friday - Meatless Panini

Here is to another Meatless Friday! This is a quick meal you can whip up in minutes! And if you have panini maker, it will make your life even easier. Here we are enjoying it with my homemade potato salad... click here to get the recipe 

You will need:

2 slices of bread per portion
butter at room temperature for easy spreading
grated cheese

You can use this kind of bread or the bread I love making for my family ;-) click here for the recipe.
Spread butter on one side of each slice.

Sprinkle grated cheese. I use raw cheddar but you can use whatever cheese you prefer.

Spread salsa...

Next is cut up avocado... If I have some, I use guacamole instead...

Sprinkle some greens, for example baby arugula or any sprouts.

Regular or red onion is next on the list ;-) Also sprinkle more grated cheese on the other half of the bread.

Cover the sandwich...

Place the sandwich into a panini maker or just simply on a pan, medium to low setting.

I use panini maker so I just close it and wait a bit. If you are using the pan, wait till the cheese melted on one side so when you are flipping the sandwich, things don't fall out easily ;-)

Some other options for panini fillings:

hardboiled eggs
... and whatever you have at home and feel like it could work for you ;-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This small trick will ensure continuous lettuce and spinach harvest in your garden!

I am finally able to collect my first goodies from the spring veggie garden bed!!! I have some lettuce, spinach, and radishes. How is it going at your end? What are you able to use from your garden now?

I used to pull my spinach and lettuce plants straight from the ground with the roots and called it a day. But that meant the plant would be all done and I wouldn't get any more out of it! So here is a trick to keep it growing and ensure that it will keep giving you more and more harvest.

The trick is to cut the biggest leaves of the plant and keep the rest of the plant in the ground. 

That will cause all the nutrients to start going into the smaller leaves and help them mature faster. I have done this for the entire week now and I still have harvest from the same plants! These pictures are from my first harvest of the season so the leaves are not too big just yet.

This gave me enough for one salad but now I gather enough for 3 to 4 salads a day and the leaves still keep on coming. My next batch of spinach is slowly catching up and I will have even more for a while. This second batch I planted two weeks after I planted the first one. I hope this helps in growing your own produce!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Meatless Friday - Potato Salad

Happy Friday Everyone! I put together another fabulous recipe from my grandma's kitchen back in Czech Republic. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Link up to my MF link party below!

You will need:

4 large potatoes
1 bag of frozen carrots and peas mix
1 medium onion
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 hard boiled eggs
2 pickles
1 cup mayo
yellow mustard to taste

Put potatoes into a large pot and boil until they become soft (try with a fork).

When they are done, peel their skin, and cut them into small cubes. I use this tool, which makes it super fast and easy.

Put the cubed potatoes into a large bowl and pour the carrot/peas mixture over it. 

Cut the onion and put it in the bowl.

Sprinkle salt and pepper. You can add more of both towards the end according to your taste.

Cut pickles and hard boiled eggs.

Include them now into the mixture. I use the same tool for the eggs that I used for the potato earlier.

And now you are ready to simply add the mayo and mustard and mix all the ingredients up. 

I love this salad with a regular sandwich or panini. If you wold like to get a recipe for my favorite panini, tune in next week! In the mean time, enjoy the link party below...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Meatless Friday - Two favorite meatless recipes from this blog

How has the Spring been treating you where you are? It has been very hot and stormy... and then very cold and rainy over here. This week I decided to repost two of my and my readers' favorite recipes. in case you missed these, here they are...

First is my grandma's recipe for Potato Pancakes. You can click here to try them out yourself. They are surprisingly easy, so don't get scared of.

Next is a recipe for homemade Spinach Feta Cheese Flat Bread. This has been repined, favorited, and viewed almost three hundred times. Click here to enjoy it yourself!

I am back to having you link up to my Meatless Friday posts. I had to figure out how to use the tool and hopefully I learned all there is to it. So please, if you have any meatless recipe you could share with us, link to my linky party below! Thousand times thank you for any inspiration!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dandelion Honey Recipe

I wasn't going to make dandelion honey this year. I am so behind on everything around here because of our traveling that I have no time for anything but chores these days. But the second kids saw the dandelions all over our yard, they were begging and begging until I gave in...

I had the kids do all the work picking the flower buds.

You will need:

4 cups of dandelion flower buds
1/2 gallon of water
3 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 medium size lemon

Some people use only the yellow part of the flower but my mom and grandma always used the flowers with the green part as well (no stem thou) and the honey turned out great. Place the flowers in water, cover the pot, and boil for about 30 minutes. Then let them sit overnight. 

The next day strain the flowers. The liquid will be close to honey brown.

After you get rid of all the big pieces, put the pot back on the burner, and bring it to boil. Add the sugar and juice from half a lemon.

You will be boiling this mixture on low for about 4 hours. Then let it cool down and check the texture. If you are not happy with it, return it to the burner and boil for longer. This is what I did - I let it cool down and placed it into a fridge for few hours. Honey gets generally more runny when warmed up so you will not be able to tell the real texture when it is hot. 

I like my homemade creations to be in mason jars but you can use any clean glass jar you have available. I boil all my jars before I use it to store food in them. Since I have only 2 jars of honey, I will keep them in the fridge but you could can them and store as you would any canned food.

My kids love dandelion honey on their toast...

Good luck, and share any tips you have about this recipe ;-)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why it's a great habit to drink water right after you wake up

You heard it million times - it is important to drink lots of water... stay hydrated through the day... But let's be honest, you just can't remember to pick up that glass, right? Well, at least I can't...

Apparently America is one of the most dehydrated countries in the world. Is it the problem of our busy lives or lack of knowledge? In my case it's having too much on my mind to remember to drink. So I decided for a new habit! Drink a glass of water right after I wake up... and there is more to it...

First of all make sure that your water is room temperature! Don't drink cold water out of the refrigerator!

The first reason for drinking a glass of water right away after you wake up and before you eat something, makes your body hydrated right from the start of your day. I pour myself water at night and put it on my bedside table. This way I drink it right after I wake up, during my devotional. I feel like I am doing two beneficial things at once ;-)

How long were you asleep? Probably anywhere from 5-8 hours at least... your body hasn't had anything to drink, yet your kidneys were working just the same! They need their fuel!

Third reason this will make you happy is a better bowel movement. The glass of water will help push anything in your stomach and intestines down and will help you go to the bathroom. 

My last reason for this new habit is the fact that I like my coffee in the morning and that dehydrates me. If I drink glass of water before that, I assure that my body is properly hydrated and will not suffer though the day because of my coffee habit. 

I see major difference since I started drinking water right after I wake up. This is why I wanted to share this with you on my blog and I hope that this will help you feel better and wake up with a fresh feeling!

Hope this helps!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Meatless Friday - Butternut Squash Soup

I am so sorry I missed last week everyone! I was trying to regroup on vacation in Florida and there for I didn't post anything to my blog... I hope to make up for it with this great recipe for Butternut Squash Soup that I have been "famous" for and that many people enjoyed while dinning in my house... Yes, I will share my recipe with you ;-) But promise me that when I invite you over for dinner to our little house, you will pretend that you have never eaten it and you will be surprised by it's deliciousness ;-)

You will need:

1 whole butternut squash
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons thyme
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 cube of vegetable bouillon
2 cups water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. First you want to get your squash soft so you can blend it into a liquid soup. Peel and cube the squash (you can also buy already peeled and cubed squash) and put it into large bowl. Add cut up onion, salt, thyme, and olive oil. Mix together and spread it onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes (ovens may vary).

While the squash is baking, pour 2 cups of water into medium pot and boil the bouillon till it dissolves. When the squash is done, put it into the pot and mix. I use hand mixer to blend all the ingredients, but you can use your regular blender as well. 

Watch for the consistency you like. We like the soup to be thicker but if you would like it more liquid, add some water.

Always start with less water because you can always add more but it is difficult to do it the other way ;-) It is ultimately my favorite soup! It is especially delicious in the Fall but we enjoy it even through the warmer months!

I am linking over at my friend Jen's blog with Fabulously Creative Friday!