Monday, April 19, 2010

Dinner with a Tropical Twist

A while back I asked the fiancé to go through a few of my cookbooks and mark recipes that he thought sounded good. One of them was Mango Chipotle Pot Roast from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes. It is a gluten-free recipe which would made it perfect for dinner Friday night since my parents were coming over.

I also remembered a recipe I’d wanted to try from an old Whole Foods magazine; Pan de Coco (Coconut Bread). I thought the coconut would go well with the mango and thus started a meal inspired by a semi-tropical theme.

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad
Pan de Coco (Coconut Bread)
Mango Chipotle Pot Roast
Brown Rice (to go with the pot roast and because not everyone could have the rolls since they definitely were not gluten-free)
Hawaiian Crispies (for dessert)

Details, reviews, pictures, thoughts and recipes are listed below if any of the above menu items catch your interest.

Clearly I’m still infatuated with spinach, I’m not sure this would even qualify as a recipe since it’s so incredibly simple, but it was very good.

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad

Mandarin oranges
Sliced almonds
Poppy seed dressing

Place spinach in bowl(s), top with mandarin oranges, sliced almonds and poppy seed dressing.

Aside from the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls, I’ve never made any type of bread/dinner roll. It actually wasn’t that hard at all. The majority of the time is spent waiting on the dough to rise. The rolls turned out very well. They didn’t taste as coconut-y as I thought they would, it was more a hint of coconut, they were still good though.

Pan de Coco (Coconut Bread)

From Whole Foods magazine March/April 2009
The recipe is also online and can be found here:
I would note that I did two things different from the recipe. One, I used Light Coconut Milk; it worked fine, but I wonder if regular coconut milk would have provided a stronger coconut flavor to the rolls. Two, I used sweetened coconut because I couldn’t find unsweetened.

The pot roast was pretty good and pretty simple since everything went into the crock pot in the morning and just cooked all day. I will say though, I’m not a fan of recipes that have you place hot vegetables and juices into the blender. As the recipe instructed, I covered the blender with a towel but it still exploded hot liquid all over my arm and the kitchen.

Mango Chipotle Pot Roast

If you like slow cooker recipes, check out Sandra’s book.
Make according to recipe in book; serve with brown rice.

Since everything else was a bit tropical I wanted to keep the theme going for dessert, so I went over to Tasty Kitchen and searched for some recipes. Actually, originally I was going to try to spice up the rice that went with the pot roast so I entered rice into the search field and Hawaiian Crispies was one of the results.

If you haven’t checked out Tasty Kitchen you definitely should, it’s a lot of fun. It’s not just an online resource with TONS of recipes, but it’s also a community of people that enjoy cooking and sharing. If you sign-up, let me know and I’ll add you to my friend list. I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe (noted below) and it turned out great; my mom LOVED them.

Hawaiian Crispies

The recipe can be found here. Although, I did make a couple of changes to the version I made Friday night.

First, I halved the recipe. Second, I added a little bit of coconut milk in with the melted butter and marshmallow mixture, not a lot, I’d guess maybe about a teaspoon at most. Third, I didn’t cover the top completely with candy melts, I thought that might be a little too much sweetness, so I just drizzled some on top and then topped with shredded coconut.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My New Handbag!

Those of you that know me – and let’s be honest, if you’re reading this chances are you do know me since currently my followers consist of a few friends and family – anyway, you know that I am NOT a girly girl. Not even close. I don’t obsess over style magazines and seasonal make-up colors and I pretty much hate shopping for shoes and purses.

With that said, this post may seem a little out of place, but it just shows what a GREAT bag this is; I LOVE it!

Photo from Glitzy Gals

It’s handmade, very good quality. It’s big enough for all my stuff and still fits over my shoulder. And it’s black, white and red, which I love.

I first saw this bag at a local festival last summer, but it was way more than I’d ever spent on a purse and I wasn’t sure I could justify it, plus I didn’t want to carry it around all night. I politely took the lady’s handout and went about my evening.

I couldn’t get the bag out of my mind!

At one point I e-mailed the ladies to ask if they would be back in the area anytime soon for another show, but no such luck, they only come to Colorado about once a year.

Then last week I saw that they launched their very own web site (previously they just had an Etsy page). I looked through all the offerings and there was my bag again... but it said it was out of stock. I e-mailed anyway to see if they expected to get more material in (between still loving the bag and my fiancé regularly pointing out that my previous purse could rarely close all the way because I had so much stuff in there I figured it was now justified to purchase the new handbag). I quickly received a response back; they were getting in more fabric. I placed the order and when I returned from a weekend away, my new bag was waiting for me!

It’s made by Glitzy Gals. They have lots of fabric and a few different styles. Mine is the ‘Chloe Pleated Hobo Bag’ in Sophia Black & White print with Red lining.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spicy Spinach Scrambled Egg Wrap

Wednesday night I went into the kitchen with the intention of making an egg sandwich for dinner (my dad makes very good egg sandwiches, much better than mine). I planned to just put spinach on the sandwich, because as I mentioned, I'm currently obsessed.

As I was getting all the ingredients ready to go, I decided to try something a little different. Here's the result:

Spicy Spinach Scrambled Egg Wrap
2 eggs
packet of red pepper flakes (the small packets that come with pizza delivery)
low fat shredded cheese (a generous pinch or two)
handful of spinach
diced tomatoes
In a small bowl combine eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and red pepper flakes and beat with a fork. Then mix in the shredded cheese and spinach. Place in a non-stick skillet and cook like plain scrambled eggs (the spinach will wilt down). Once cooked, place into tortilla, top with diced tomatoes and enjoy!

Sorry, I didn't get a picture. But I promise it was good and fairly healthy. It could probably work as a breakfast option as well.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I've been a little obsessed with spinach lately...I can't get enough and I've probably had spinach once a day (or at least once every two days) for the last couple of weeks.

I love strawberry spinach salad and make it at home fairly often (spinach, sliced strawberries, sliced almonds, poppyseed dressing, and you can add chicken if you want a heartier salad)...very yummy.

A few weeks ago I tried the spinach salad at Spicy Pickle. I LOVE Spicy Pickle, my favorite sandwich is the Roma, you have to try it! Anyway, their spinach salad consists of spinach, walnuts, diced green apples, blue cheese crumbles and apple cider vinaigrette. Also very yummy and I usually don't like blue cheese.

I've been getting spinach on sandwiches at Subway and putting it on sandwiches I make at home.

I even threw it into my dinner creation Wednesday night (more on that later) and asked for spinach in my pasta tonight at Macaroni Grill.

If you have any good spinach recipes, please let me know.

At least it's a healthy ;) Right?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


As we shared the news of our engagement in January, my fiancé and I received many congratulatory comments and well wishes from friends and family that were just as excited as we were.

Some even sent us cards.

It was so sweet of them to acknowledge our engagement. I very much love receiving ‘fun’ mail rather than junk mail.

We are very thankful to have so many great family and friends to share this special time with; we feel very blessed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lots of Ideas

A while back I showed you the large stack of bridal magazines I had received. At the time, I’d barely gotten started.

Now, I’m happy to say, I’ve read through every single one!

Lots of ideas!