DIY Tea Bags

Hello everyone!

I got a little crafty last night while watching a latino soap opera (El Color de la Pasion).¬†I had seen tutorials on Pinterest on how to make tea bags out of coffee filters, and I just had to try it. I didn’t buy anything since I had everything at home. It was one of the easiest DIY’s I have done in a while. It did take me a little over an hour to finish making the 8 bags of tea; I think that if you use a sewing machine, 8 bags could be done in a matter of minutes.

tea bags

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • coffee filters
  • scissors
  • needle and thread (or sewing machine)
  • loose leaf tea
  1. I started by straightening out my coffee filters and then folding them in half twice. You will get 4 layers.
  2. You can eyeball this part, but if you have already bought tea in tea bags, grab one and use that as template. I had both square and circular ones. I decided to go with the square ones this time around.
  3. Cut out your squares. Make sure that one of the sides of the squares is the folded edge (less sewing). You should have 2 pieces which will turn into 2 bags.
  4. Then go ahead and sew up one side then, fill up your bag. I added about 1 tsp of tea to my bags, and continue sewing all the way around.
  5. Repeat with your other bags and enjoy a nice cup of tea!

There are different ways of making your own tea bags. I have seen tutorials where sewing is not needed and all you need are coffee filters, tea, and a stapler like this tutorial here. I don’t mind sewing so I think I will be doing something like this next time! The hearts are just so cute!!

Thanks for stopping by and keep an eye out for my “Try it Out Tuesday” post. My brother asked me to make a fruity dessert…so far, I am thinking mangoes! I have about 3 hours before dinnertime so hopefully I can come up with something good and tasty! ūüôā

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Easy Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

Hello world! I am alive!

I made a really yummy turkey noodle soup yesterday. I wanted nothing but soup. It was quite easy and fast to make since I didn’t want to be standing by the stove for too long.

I have been some specie of a zombie these past few days. I really don’t know (or recall) how I got quite a bit of packing done, walked the boys twice a day, and even did some laundry. My throat has been quite stubborn lately; it’s been bugging me and bugging me. My eyes just don’t want to stay open, and my head refuses to stop pounding. I will not crumble and give in to this bug that’s trying to overpower me. It will not happen. There are times when I just want to sit down and rest (like now), and there are times when I just go-go-go and then flop down and rest.¬†I am taking it easy today. I think I feel better although my throat itches a bit.

This will be a recipe sans pictures, but I promise the result is quite good!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 turkey breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 10 cups water (I used 4 cups homemade veg. broth and 6 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup celery, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • salt to taste
  • chunk of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • spaghettini pasta, 1/4 of 900g package
  • water for cooking pasta (as per package directions)

Directions

  1. On medium heat, saute the thinly sliced onion for 5 minutes or until soften. Make sure not to burn the onion. Add in garlic and cook for another minute stirring it around.
  2. Add in turkey breast cubes and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on this, do not let it burn. Once the turkey breast is soft and a little brown, add water/broth. Stir a couple of times. Increase heat to medium-high and wait for it to boil.
  3. On another pot, cook pasta as per package directions. I did not measure this amount. I simply opened a 900g package of pasta and took out about 1/4 of it. I broke it in half and followed the cooking directions on the package. I used spaghettini pasta because it’s what I had on hand, and because it’s similar to the pasta used back home when making chicken soup. When the pasta is done, drain and set aside.
  4. When the soup starts to boil, add in the celery, peas and corn. Taste and add a little bit more salt if needed. Let the vegetables cook for another 5 to 10 minutes and turn stove off.
  5. Add drained pasta to soup while it is still hot. Stir. Add in ginger and oregano. Stir and serve!

I love the taste of ginger in soup. It is so refreshing, especially when you’re having an off relationship with your throat. I used a chunk of ginger about the size of my thumb and then thinly sliced it. Ginger is not everyone’s cup of tea, so if you spot it in your bowl of soup, don’t eat it, but if you do, embrace the flavour!

If you don’t have broth of any kind, you can also use bouillon cubes, but make sure to follow package directions. I’ve also seen a product called Vegeta at the grocery store, it’s some type of seasoning, but I think it has MSG.

I hope you enjoy this turkey noodle soup. If you do, please let me know. It is now time for my tea with lime and honey. Yum!

Thanks for stopping by!

Try It Out Tuesdays: Moist Chickpea Brownies

Hello everyone!

Today I would like to share a recipe for chickpea brownies. I found this recipe by pure chance. I was on Pinterest searching for low-fat, preferably vegan cake frosting. I found an interesting one that calls for avocados! I tend to check the related pins under a pin I like, and that’s how I found a pin for chickpea blondies. I added a few ingredients and changed an ingredient here and there, and that’s how I came up with nice and moist chickpea brownies!

Chickpea Brownie

Ingredients

  • 1 can (540ml) chickpeas
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 3 tbsp honey (use maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease baking dish.
  2. Drain chickpeas, and blend until smooth. Scoop out creamy chickpeas to bowl.
  3. Fold in bananas. Add peanut butter, cocoa, honey, baking powder and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
  5. Scoop out onto prepared dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool down and enjoy!

My mom wont get to try out these brownies until tomorrow. I’m keeping my fingers crossed she’ll love this recipe. I mean, it is healthier than the average brownie. It has chickpeas! I just wont tell her that part. It must stay a secret if I want her or my brother to at least try them.

Thank you so much for stopping by and please let me know if you try this recipe. Take care!

Try It Out Tuesdays: Vegan Apple Cake

Hello all!

I’ve been absent for a while…maybe two weeks? This super long winter has not been good to me. I’ve been tired lately, really tired. I really need to eat more iron rich foods, but I’m too tired to bother looking them up. I’m feeling a lot better and needed an excuse to try out a few cake recipes this week. My mom’s birthday is in 9 days and I have yet to find a suitable cake recipe. I have found several yummy recipes, but I want an extra special one.

Today’s cake is quite good. It is very soft and very moist. I am very pleased with the results. This one however, will not be THE birthday cake; it will be Sunday’s breakfast cake though. It is very easy to make which is perfect for busy Sunday mornings.

Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cup rolled oats, pulse them a couple of times on your blender.
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil – I used evoo
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 medium sized apples, chopped – a little over 1-1/2 cups.

Topping (optional) –

Mix 1 tsp cinnamon with 2 tbsp sugar.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime into the soy milk and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, spelt and quinoa flour. Add the baking soda.
  4. In a large bowl mix the bananas, sugar, and oil. Add the vanilla extract and soy/lime mixture (milk should be curdled).
  5. Add the oat and flour mixture slowly. Mix well. Now add apple slices. Mix.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and lightly sprinkle topping. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

I hope you like this recipe, and if you try it, please let me know how it turns out!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Try It Out Tuesdays: Peruvian Broccoli Torrejas (fritters)

Hello everyone!

Today I have a super quick and easy recipe that can be whipped up in no more than 30 minutes. I had a super busy morning, even woke up extra early at 5:45am to get everything ready for the day. Let me introduce you to the Peruvian torrejas!

Peruvian Torrejas

These fritters were the perfect thing to make in such a small amount of time. Peruvian¬†torrejas¬†are done in various ways. My mom would usually make them for us with spinach and broccoli, and sometimes with cooked white rice. I know some people also add cauliflower, but I was never a fan of cauliflower growing up, so my mother rarely ever used that vegetable. I’m kind of comfortable eating cauliflower now, but only if I really REALLY have to.

The torrejas I made for lunch are quite simple. No spinach, just broccoli. The recipe makes about 10 torrejas. 

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small broccoli heads, separated into smaller pieces
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked (3-second whisk)
  • scant 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese (optional – add more or less according to your preference)
  • 1/4 white rice (optional – I had a bit leftover)
  • pinch of salt (optional if adding feta cheese)
  • oil for frying

  1. In a large bowl toss the minced garlic, the onion and the broccoli.
  2. Add in the whisked egg and white rice (if adding) and mix.
  3. In a smaller bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt (if adding).
  4. Add the flour mixture to the vegetables. Mix well. Crumble the feta cheese and mix again. The mixture should be like a lumpy pancake batter.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan in medium-high temperature. You want the bottom of the frying pan to be completely covered.
  6. When the oil is a bit warm,  spoon out and drop the torreja mixture in the frying pan. The mixture should spread out a bit like a pancake.
  7. When it starts to brown around the edges, flip it over and fry the other side until both sides are golden brown.
  8. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  9. Serve with a side of white rice, or for a light lunch, with a red onion & cucumber salad! Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think. I love¬†torrejas. I could eat them everyday for breakfast lunch and dinner, but I don’t. I’m not a big fan of frying. Maybe if I figure out a way to bake them then I would probably have them more often, or if I found someone who would make them for me!

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day!

The Swiss Chard Pie Chronicles

oh the Swiss Chard Pie…It became a 2-day project.¬†

On day 1, I made the dough, but couldn’t find my pie dish. I was sure I had brought back my pie dish when I moved in. I looked for it for nearly 2 hours. I looked everywhere, including the basement and under every single plant my mother owns.¬†I had a sneaky suspicion she might have used it as the plate under potted plants.¬†She ended up buying a 7-pack aluminum pie plate that evening.

Pie Dough Ingredients

  • ¬†1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 tbs non-dairy butter (cut into pea-sized pieces)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of ice cold water (you wont use all of it)
  1. Mix flour and salt together.
  2. Add butter to flour with 2 tbsp of water.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour, make sure to distribute the butter evenly.
  4. Add water slowly so that it starts to come together.
  5. Once the dough comes together, mix with your hands and form 2 balls. Don’t over do it.
  6. Wrap each ball with cling wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

pie dough2

I did the rolling of the dough part on day 2, but if you have a pie dish available, go ahead!¬†When you’re ready to roll out your dough, make sure to do it on top of a floured surface. To make it easier on yourself, also dust a bit of flour on your rolling pin. Keep on flipping the dough as you roll it to avoid having it get stuck on your surface. When you have the desired size (a little bigger than your pie dish flipped upside down), roll the dough slowly onto the rolling pin and carefully transfer the dough on top of your pie dish.

Use your fingers to push the dough into the dish, and with a fork do a few pricks at the bottom. Make a pretty border and you’re all done!

swiss chard pie1

On day 2, I made the filling and topping. It was a relatively easy process. The topping did not convince me though and next time I will try something different…I am thinking something with sweet potatoes! I was a bit skeptical about trying this pie, mainly because it has been over 10 years since I have had swiss chard. I just wasn’t too sure that I would like the taste of it and I wasn’t sure if I would like the beets addition.

Filling: Beets Layer

  • 1 medium sized beet, thinly sliced
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of garlic salt
  • drop of evoo
  1. In a bowl toss beet slices, oregano, garlic salt, and a little bit of evoo.
  2. Lay out beet slices on a single layer on a sheet pan.
  3. Bake them at 375 for 20 minutes.

Filling: Mushroom, Spinach, and Swiss Chard 

  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 2 garlics, minced
  • 1 container of mushrooms (you can add more if you want more), sliced
  • 1 bushel of swiss chard, chopped.¬†Get rid of the middle vein, that part is tough
  • 1/2 bushel of spinach, chopped
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  1. Saute the onions in medium heat. When they start to soften, add the garlic. After a minute or two, add mushrooms and let them saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add broth when the mushrooms are soften. Mix well and cook until most of the broth is evaporated.
  3. Add the swiss chard and spinach and cook until they wilt a little. Remove from heat when done.

swiss chard pie2

 

Pie Assembly

Make sure all your layers are cooled before assembling.

  1. Lay the beets across the bottom of the crust.
  2. Spread the swiss chard mixture. Make sure it is evenly spread.
  3. Cover with the 2nd pie dough or another topping. The potato topping I imagined was a failure in reality.
  4. Bake in oven at 375 for 25 minutes.

swiss chard pie4

The verdict: I loved the filling. It was quite yummy and next time I will do two layers of beets. The topping is still a work in progress. The pie crust was ok to me, but my mom really liked it. Maybe I was enjoying the filling too much to notice the crust.

My brother, who is a VERY picky eater, liked it. Of course, it did take me almost all day to convince him to try it. Maybe he tried it because I bugged him too much and threatened to sing out loud. He’s really not a fan of my singing. But he liked it and even went for seconds! That’s good enough for me!

Please do let me know if you try it out. And if you do, what topping did you use? I’ll be making this again this coming week so I’ll share a hopefully successful topping then!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Try It Out Tuesdays: Pie Dough in the making…

Hello all!

It’s been quite the beginning of a new week!! My parents are in the process of selling their home, so they have had real estate agents coming in and out all weekend. I’ve been helping my mom pack up a few things to get rid of some clutter. It’s been tough.

I wanted to try a new dish this week. I picked up some swiss chard over the weekend and have yet to use it. I’m thinking of making a spinach/swiss chard pie. I’m considering using beets in the pie, but I am not so sure how the beets will be incorporated (if they are). Any ideas? I also picked up some mushrooms and I think I will be using those.

I made the pie dough tonight!

pie dough

 

I wrapped it in cling wrap and will roll it out tomorrow! I am keeping my fingers crossed that the dough rolls out nicely and doesn’t crack.

I also made more muffins today…more banana muffins. Yes, I am banana obsessed! This time though, I incorporated about 1 cup of blueberries. I followed the same recipe I shared with you all last week.

banana blueberry muffins

 

They look yummy! I can’t wait to try them out tomorrow morning!! I’ll be packing some for lunch too!

My brother will be undergoing a medical procedure tomorrow and I will be accompanying him. Tomorrow will be another busy day, but I already anticipated that. Sometimes though, it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I am already falling asleep. Maybe I will take a break from packing tomorrow. It is exhausting. I already got a “to donate” pile which needs to go to the local goodwill. *sigh* yet another item that needs be added to the “to do list”.

Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you’re all having a great week!