Pieced Pastimes: January 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Eating healthy doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite things. I have a small addiction to all things 'chocolate' and needed to come up with a healthier way to satisfy my cravings.
Keeping healthy in mind, I came up with this recipe for a 'Chocolate Banana Smoothie'. 
It is creamy, delicious and still manages to be good for you.
You will need a blender to make this recipe. I recently bought the Ninja Mega Complete Kitchen System and I must say that I really love this thing...no affiliation-just a satisfied customer! It has power galore and has been able to handle anything that I have thrown at it so far.
Now, onto the recipe....

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Makes 1 Serving

5 to 9 Ice Cubes
1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk - I used Almond Breeze.
Half of a Frozen Banana - Peel and cut a bunch of bananas in half.  Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze.
1/4 Cup Non-fat Greek Yogurt - I used Chobani. 

2 Tbsp Clean Eating Nutella - This is my favorite recipe for homemade Nutella!
or
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa
2 Tsp Honey, Agave or Stevia (add more or less to suit your taste)
2 Tbsp Chopped Hazelnuts

- Place 5 Ice Cubes in blender, followed by remaining ingredients. Pulse blend until smooth. Check the consistency and add additional ice if needed to achieve a nice thick smoothie. 
We all have our weaknesses and chocolate is definitely one of mine. This drink hits the spot whenever I am having one of 'those moments'.

Linking up to the following parties:
Its Party Time at Three Mango Seeds
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
A Bouquet of Talent at Life on Lakeshore Drive
Sunday Link Party at Suburbs Mama
Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time
Our Sunday Best Showcase at Twigg Studios
Worthwhile Wednesdays at Crafty Allie
Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes
Give Me The Goods at So Much Better With Age
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Sparks Link Party 47

Welcome to Saturday Sparks 47!
Another week to share your creative side and find inspiration from the talents of others.
Now, onto the Fabulous Features from Saturday Sparks 46.

Cozy Comforts of Winter at Chateau Chic. Mary Alice gives us a home tour of her winter decor with a 'warm and cozy' theme - perfect for this frosty winter so many of us are having.

Back to Normal Tour at Fabby's Living. The Christmas decor has been put away and Fabby shows us her pretty home in it's 'everydayl' look.

Royal Elephant Pillow Cover at Yesterfood. Joy had the urge to sew something, so she created this cute pillow and shares the 411 on how she made it.
Drop Cloth Owl Pillow at Vintage Paint and More. Cathy shares the steps involved to recreate this oh-so-cute Owl Pillow made from Drop Cloth fabric and lace.

Crochet Rose Valentine Pillows at Priscillas.  Red ticking fabric and duck cloth are adorned with sweet crocheted roses in the symbol of love - perfect for Valentine's Day.

Fabric Strip Rag Quilt Tutorial at The Crafty Blog Stalker. Katie shows us how she made this fun Rag Quilt using strips of fabrics. She says its a great beginner project.

Valentines Knitted Hat Pattern at Crafty Allie. Allie made her daughter this adorable hat just in time for Valentines Day and shares the steps involved to recreate it.

DIY Tic Tac Toe Board at Let's Drink Coffee, Darling. Saxon was inspired by Pottery Barn and created this fun Game board as a gift for her husband.

How to Clean Your Oven Racks The Pixie Dust Way at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. Jill shares a simple way to get those oven racks clean without endless scrubbing.

Vegetable Soup with Kale & Crunchy Garlic Toasts at Home Little Home.  Ginnie has decided this cold snap is officially soup weather and shares this savory recipe for a Vegetable Soup that sounds like the perfect choice for a cold winter day.
24 Sweet Valentine Treats at Kleinworth & Co. - Gina does a roundup of some of her favorite features from the Create Link Inspire party.
Chocolate Ganache Meringue Tart from The Novice Gardener. Angie explores her blogging voice with this post and shares a decadent recipe for a Chocolate Tart.
And lastly, a recap of my share from the party - 2014 Winter Mantel. Winter is the most tranquil of seasons and I wanted our mantel to reflect the quiet beauty that surrounds us this time of year.

Pieced Pastimes

 Thanks to everyone for linking up to last weeks party.
If you were featured, please grab the featured button to add to your blog.

Now, onto the party!

Link up your latest inspiring posts including:

Home Decor
Crafts
Sewing
Gardening
Recipes
DIY
Repurposing

Links are open through Friday morning.

I will post features next week to Pieced Pastimes, Facebook and Pinterest.

I can't wait to see what you have been working on!

Pieced Pastimes

 Party Guidelines:
- Post the party button (above) with a link back to the party on your post.
- Share your own projects - something that is made by you.
- Follow Pieced Pastimes via one of the social media links at the top of the sidebar.
- No advertising, Etsy shops or giveaways.
- Pin feature photos to Pinterest from the original source and not from this blog.
- Visit other links and leave a kind comment.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese has long been a favorite in this house. 


For this variation, I combine tomatoes, peppers, basil and two different cheeses.


I used homemade 'Vermont Cheddar' bread from the 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day' book to make this sandwich (no affiliation - I just happen to love this book) ......


.....but any good toasting bread will work.


I prefer to use freshly chopped basil, but the grocery stores so-called 'fresh' was wilted and past it's prime - so I opted for dried instead.

Now for the recipe....

Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese

Makes 4 Sandwiches:

8 slices Bread
4 slices Hoffman Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 slices McCadam Muenster Cheese
2 Roma Tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
8 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped (or 2 Tbsp Dried Basil)
Olive Oil Spray

- Layer bread with one slice of Cheddar, a few tomato slices, chopped peppers and basil. Cover with a slice of Muenster and another piece of bread. Repeat for other 3 sandwiches. Heat a pan to medium/low. Spritz olive oil on outsides of bread and slowly toast in pan. Once golden, turn and repeat on other side.


Don't rush the cooking time, as a slower cooked sandwich will yield a nice golden brown bread with a marvelously melted cheese and vegetable filling.
Enjoy!



Linking up to the following parties:
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Saturday Sparks Link Party 46

Welcome to Saturday Sparks 46!
Winter is in full swing and I see many people are taking advantage of the time spent indoors - getting creative, getting organized and cooking up some delicious recipes.
Now, onto the Fabulous Features from Saturday Sparks 45.
First Project of the Year at Chateau Chic. Mary Alice shows us the beautiful results of an 'a-ha moment' that she had. 
DIY Large Chalkboard at Suburbs Mama. Rita transformed a craigslist find into this wonderful chalkboard and shares the DIY steps involved to recreate it.
Milk Paint Dresser at Practically Perfect Home. Lisa gives a dresser a DIY vintage look and shares her experience with using MMS Milk Paint.
2013 in Review at 24 Cottonwood Lane. Jenna shows us the most popular posts from 2013 as chosen by her readers.
Valentine Spoolies at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson. Jann created some lovely 'spoolies' using vintage Valentines and goodies from her stash.
Family Activities to Survive January at Lou Lou Girls. Kimberly has complied a list of fun things to do with your kids during the winter months.

Having to Say Goodbye at Little Brags. Christine's gentle giant 'Brucie' was called home and the family is feeling the pain of losing him. Please stop by and offer your condolences.
Wood Photo Ornament at Artsy Vava. A unique business card inspired Artsy Vava to create this personalized ornament for a friend.
Spicy Edamame & Healthy Snack Ideas at Hello Little Home. Ginnie kicks of her new monthly series: Motivation Monday with this post filled with healthy snack ideas.

Dairy Free Stuffed Shells at ABC Creative Learning. Victoria shares a recipe for Stuffed Shells that are dairy free and she says still manages to be delicious.
  Weekend Breakfast Recipe at The Blessed Hearth. Faye shares a recipe for 'Herb and Garlic Spread' that sounds amazing. Perfect timing for us as one of my daughters was told that Dunkin Donuts (a popular - like one on every corner popular - coffee and donut shop in New England) is discontinuing their Chive Cream Cheese.
 Winter Energy Cookies at Yesterfood. Joy shares a healthy cookie recipe that she says are tasty, filling and satisfying.
And lastly, a recap of my share from the party - Tassel Wreath Tutorial. This wreath was a fun project that works up quickly. I hope it inspires you to make one for yourself.
Pieced Pastimes

 Thanks to everyone for linking up to last weeks party.
If you were featured, please grab the featured button to add to your blog.

Now, onto the party!

Link up your latest inspiring posts including:

Home Decor
Crafts
Sewing
Gardening
Recipes
DIY
Repurposing

Links are open through Friday morning.

I will post features next week to Pieced Pastimes, Facebook and Pinterest.

I can't wait to see what you have been working on!

Pieced Pastimes

 Party Guidelines:
- Post the party button (above) with a link back to the party on your post.
- Share your own projects - something that is made by you.
- Follow Pieced Pastimes via one of the social media links at the top of the sidebar.
- No advertising, Etsy shops or giveaways.
- Pin feature photos to Pinterest from the original source and not from this blog.
- Visit other links and leave a kind comment.


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Winter Mantel 2014

Winter brings a peace unlike any other season. Freshly fallen snow insulates the ground and creates a silence that I crave.
I wanted our winter mantel to reflect the stillness of the season - a simple and uncluttered mix of objects that represent the time of year. 
Winter branches with a hint of snowflakes are tucked into an ironstone pitcher and placed next to an old lantern.
 The vintage 'North Pole Freezer' comes from an era when life moved at a much slower pace.
Ice skating has long been a favorite pastime for so many and invokes childhood memories of skating on the pond at our families farm as a child.
Taking time to admire the beauty of the season and the serene landscape that nature has provided is time well spent.
You will find my 'Tassel Wreath Tutorial' here.
Winter may sometimes bring slippery roads and power outages, but it also brings a tranquility like no other time of year.
The peace and quiet of winter will always be welcome in our home.

Linking up to the following parties:

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