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Handmade Cakes and Invitations

20 Aug

Handmade Cakes and Invitations

I originally starting crafting handmade wreaths but got into paper crafting after seeing some of the beautiful cards my neighbor was making.

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

3 Jan

broccoli quinoa casserole recipeBeing vegetarian, I am forever on the hunt for meat-free alternatives to bring to potlucks and holiday gatherings. In response to the general lack of protein-rich dishes at most holiday tables in mixed company (not pointing any fingers), I wanted to create a dish this year that would “fill the void”. I’m not sure I was 100% successful in creating something that could substitute as a main dish, but it will definitely fill you up enough to avoid swoops through the cookie table!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is a little nostalgia, mixed with one large part comfort food, and lightly topped with a sprinkle of protein-rich nutrition. I used my aunt’s broccoli rice casserole recipe as a starting point, substituting rice for quinoa, and using a variety of other sources to add in some comfort staples like mayonnaise, nutmeg and just a hint of sugar.

Finally, a dish carnivores and herbivores can agree on!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole Recipe

This will generously feed 14 people; the recipe outlined below fills a 13 x 9 casserole.

broccoli quinoa casserole ingredients

  • 2 10 Ounce Cans Cream of Mushroom (or Broccoli) Soup
    Gluten Free? Not to worry, I’ve got you covered:
    Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise (Reduced Fat OK)
  • 4 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Dash Nutmeg
  • 5 Cups Cooked Broccoli
  • 3 Cups Cooked Quinoa
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

How To Cook Quinoa:

1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Quinoa
3 Cups Water

cooked quinoa tails

Quinoa is Done When Tails Are Visible

  1. Rinse quinoa until water comes through filter clear.
  2. Place quinoa in pan with water.
  3. Bring quinoa and water to boil over high heat.
  4. Once boil has been reached, reduce heat to simmer and cover.
  5. Cook for 15-18 minutes, stir a few times during cooking process to prevent sticking to pan.
  6. Quinoa is done when tail becomes visbile. Take care not to overcook.

How to Make Casserole:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 13 x 9 casserole with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Combine soup, mayonnaise, milk, cheddar cheese, sugar, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl until well mixed.
  3. Stir cooked broccoli and quinoa into mixture.
  4. Pour mixture into greased casserole, using spatula to evenly distribute mixture throughout entire casserole.
  5. Cover top of casserole with parmesan cheese. Save some for finished casserole.
  6. Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes or until casserole is golden brown and bubbling.
  7. Serve with freshly grated parmesan on top and ENJOY!

recipe for broccoli quinoa casserole

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

28 Dec

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

flourless cookies

PB Cookies with Homemade Almond Milk

They’re GLUTEN FREE too!

These are quite possibly the easiest, most delicious cookies I have ever made. 5 simple ingredients and about 25 minutes is all it takes to make these peanut buttery wonders.

One word of warning though – you will want to be prepared with a tall glass of milk (I prefer almond*) – these cookies are VERY sweet!

*For anyone curious, here’s a link on How to Make Almond Milk

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 3/4 Cup to 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips (could also substitute butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips, etc.)

How To:

  1. Mix Sugar and Baking Soda together in large bowl until combined.
  2. Add Peanut Butter and Egg to bowl.
  3. Beat on low briefly until dough is formed (will be sticky and pull away from sides of bowl easily).
  4. Pour Chocolate Chips into mix and combine with a spoon. Add 1/4 cup of Chocolate Chips at a time and eyeball to see when you’ve added enough. Take care not to add too many chocolate chips as the dough will not be able to stick together properly if there are too many chips.
  5. Using a medium sized spoon, scoop out enough dough to fill the spoon.
  6. Form a rounded dough ball and place onto baking sheet, gently flatten center of cookie once placed on the sheet.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes.
  8. After removing from oven, allow cookies to stand on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes to prevent breaking when moving from baking sheet to cooling rack.
  9. Enjoy!

flourless peanut butter cookies

Easy Holiday Dog Cookie Recipe

19 Dec

easy dog cookiesThe perfect present for your furry friends!

This is the recipe I use to make our treats at home. The result is a very hard, crunchy cookie – just the way our guys like ’em.

The directions suggest you leave the cookies to cool overnight in the oven, but if your canine companions simply can not wait that long – it’s ok to serve after cooling on a wire rack (they just will not get as crunchy).


I’ve found that these cookies stay good for about 1-2 weeks in an airtight jar. They also freeze well for up to a year. (more…)

Shabby Chic, Vintage, Elegant Holidays

14 Dec

Shabby Chic, Vintage, Elegant Holidays

A Heart Handmade Blog Holiday Feature

Today’s feature spotlight should give you some good ideas on how to display a few of the ever-so-important aspects of your holiday dinner – THE DESSERTS! Inspired by shabby chic and vintage elements, Deborah puts rare, antique and one of a kind pieces together to beautify your holiday table.

Oven Bag Tofurky

7 Dec

How To Make TofurkyOver the past few holiday seasons I’ve tried various preparations using both Tofurky and Quorn Turk’y faux bird products. I am really hard pressed to say which I like “best”, as they each have their own unique place on the vegetarian holiday table.

What I will say is that the major difference between the two is that the Tofurky always seems to be a bit more moist (and less actual turkey-like) than the Quorn products. I imagine this has something to do with the fact that the Tofurky is soy/wheat based, whereas the Quorn Turk’y is made from mycoprotein – a fungi resulting from the combination of oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals.

In any case, for Thanksgiving this year I had a special request from a newly turned herbivore who wanted a Tofurky. As a Tofurky virgin, I wanted to go with a recipe that I could be extra sure would not send her running back to dine on our feathered friends. Here’s my recipe for Tofurky made in an oven bag. Please do not feel compelled to stick to the veggies I used, as I’ve used all types of items in the past including: sweet potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, leeks, etc.

Tofurky Recipe – Oven Bag Tofurky

What You’ll Need

Tofurky Recipes Ingredients

  • 1 Tofurky
  • 1 Oven Bag
  • 6 Celery Stalks
  • 1/2 Small Bag Baby Carrots
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion

Basting Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Finely Chopped Raw Garlic (optional)

How To Make Tofurky

  1. Thaw Tofurky in refrigerator for 24 hours prior to cooking. If you forgot to thaw, no worries – you’ll just need to cook it longer.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Remove casing from Tofurky and place in oven bag.
  4. Cut carrots, onion, celery into large bite-sized pieces.
  5. Place vegetables into bag with roast.
  6. Whisk together olive oil, sauce sauce, maple syrup and garlic.
  7. Pour 3/4 of liquid into bag with roast and vegetables. Mix ingredients in bag together so that roast and vegetables are all covered.
  8. Place bag into shallow roasting pan and trim end of bag so it does not hang down. You will want to use a pan that fits the bag and ingredients tightly. I believe the one I used was 9×9.
  9. Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (if thawed). A frozen Tofurky will take about 3 – 3 hours and 30 minutes to cook thoroughly.
  10. Once cooked, remove roast and vegetables from oven bag, placing into pan.
  11. Cover roast with remaining basting sauce and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Do not overcook as it will cause exterior of roast to become dry.
  12. Enjoy!

Word to the wise – the thinner you slice the Tofurky, the more like turkey it tastes!

Christmas Tofurky Recipe

Easy Green Bean Casserole

6 Dec

This is an adaptation of classic Green Bean Casserole, with a bit of a fresh twist using fresh onion and portobello or baby bella mushrooms.

Gluten free holiday revelers need not worry, I’ve also included a recipe for Gluten Free Cream of Anything that can be used in place of the standard, canned cream of mushroom soup.

This Green Bean Casserole recipe will *barely* fit within the confines of a 9 x 13 pan.

I’d estimate this size casserole ¬†will serve at least 12-14 guests with leftovers.

What You Will Need

gluten free green bean casserole

  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1 box baby bella (portobello) mushrooms
  • pat of butter (just enough to cook mushroom and onion)
  • 3 10.75 ounce cans cream of mushroom soup OR 3 batches Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 6 cans no-salt green beans (I advise against frozen as they tend to get soggy/watery in the casserole)
  • ~3 cups of milk – enough to fill empty can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 8 oz. french fried onions
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3-4 teaspoons soy sauce (optional)


Apple Quinoa Salad

21 Jul

Looking for something new and simple to try for your next picnic? I present you my new favorite recipe – Apple Quinoa Salad!

Perfect (non-animal) protein + nature’s perfect fruit + maple syrup = levels of wonder you never dreamed possible in one simple salad.

You’re welcome.



24 Nov

Crafters Against Canned Cranberries

Join CACC on it’s fight to bring real, preservative-free cranberries back to holiday tables everywhere!

This holiday season do something for your family and your community by taking the pledge to eradicate our overcrowded turkey day tables of cranberries formed to the shape of a can. Using the simple recipe below you too can make a difference this holiday season. (more…)

Pies in a Jar: Delish!

7 Oct

Pies in a Jar: Delish!

The best part of making individual sized pies is learning all the fun uses people have for them. We just made some apple pies with “World’s Best Teacher” labels for mom to give to her kids’ teachers instead of plain old apples.

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