Trial file: Veggie Pie by texaskillet


So occasionally as you know, I receive recipes in my organics box.  It is important for me to keep most of these, unless they are truly disgusting, and try them out when I have the energy.  This one was really really delish so I thought I would pass it on.


4 tbsp oil

1 onion (white, yellow, whatever)

1/2 lb baby bella’s or crimini mushrooms sliced

1 cup of white wine

2 sweet potatoes (or yams)

3 medium carrots chopped up

2 tbsp sage, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup vegetarian broth

salt and pepper





4 medium yukon gold potatoes, chopped

1 head celery root, peeled and chopped

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

In a large frying pan, heat half of oil over medium high heat.  Saute onions until translucent, about 2-3 minutes, add mushrooms and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Deglaze with white wine and simmer until wine is almost completely absorbed.  Transfer to bowl.

Heat remaining oil in pan and fry potatoes and carrots until just tender, about 10-12 minutes.  Add sage and garlic and saute for another minute or two then add broth.  Simmer until liquid is reduced by half.  Salt and pepper to taste and then combine with onions and mushrooms.   Set aside.

For topping, steam first three ingredients until easily mashed with a fork, roughly 15-20 minutes.  Mix well with butter and heavy cream, but still chunky.  Fold in Cheddar.

Assemble filling in layers in a 9×9 inch baking dish.  Top with mashed veggies.  Add grated Parmigiano cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until sides are bubbly and heated through.WP_20121227_008WP_20121227_010

Happy Eating and leftovers most likely for a day or two!  YAY!

Trial file: Pecan Pie with Cranberries by texaskillet

Hey, long time no typie…yes, I hope to make a comeback, but I might need some encouragement.  🙂

There’s this thing that people like to do, it’s called substituting.  I tried out a recipe that substitutes some bad stuff in Pecan Pie (mainly corn syrup), for some more whole stuff (mainly honey and sugars) and adds a little bit of tart for folks that need a break from all that ooey gooey sweet stuff.  So, I made this pie and got RAVE reviews from everyone who tried it.  The boyfriend said it was the BEST PECAN PIE he’s ever had.  Not even lying…well, he might have been, but I am not. I found the base recipe in a magazine and so of course I tore it out, put it in the pile with all the other stuff to try.  Low and behold this one actually got done, with a little TxK elbow grease.  Not really.. like there’s not really grease in it, just a little butter.

Pecan Pie with Cranberry deliciousness (my grandma would probably disapprove):

1/1/2 cup pecan halves.. I used 2 since I like a LOT of pecans, I partially chopped them but made sure I had whole pecan halves on top.

1 cup fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries.. I used fresh (tis’ the season)

1 or 2, 9-inch prepared piecrusts, depending on how deep you want your pie, I like a good buttery crusty type, but you probably have your fav.

3 large eggs.. courtesy of my girls out back (thanks ladies)

1/3 cup sugar.. as real as you want it to be

1/3 dark brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted.. obviously I used butter (duh)

2 tsp. grated orange zest

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (opt for alcohol free if you can find it)

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt (fine ground sea salt works great)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Spread pecan halves on baking sheet, and toast 5 to 7 minutes in the oven or until light brown and fragrant.


2.  Lightly crush cranberries until broken, but not mashed.  Spread in the bottom of the pie crust.  I left a few whole and made sure they were floating in an asthetically pleasing distance from each other.  I like patterns, what can I say. 🙂


3. Whisk together eggs and sugar in a bowl.  Whisk in brown sugar, honey, butter, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.  Stir in pecans, then pour filling over cranberries in piecrust, redistributing pecans and cranberries as desired.



4. Bake 40-50 minutes (for 1 pie) or until toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.  Serve warm.. or just eat for days on end until it’s gone.



Finished pecan cran pie

More serving suggestionsBrandy creme sauce, heavy whipping cream with a touch of extract to bring out more nuttiness or possibly citrus flavor, ice cream (cinnamon or vanilla would be really nice).

Okay for the nutritional detail:  Per slice; 331 calories, 4g prot, 20 g total fat (only 4g sat. fat), 36g carb, 59mg chol, 192mg sod, 2g fiber, 24g sugars

If you decide to give this a go, I would love to hear how it went for you.  I took it to the family Thanksgiving this year and I was super happy I did since folks liked it.  You may have to nudge those Pecan Pie traditionalists, but they won’t regret it. 😉


Day two of the raw food cleanse for busy people by texaskillet
September 18, 2011, 12:16 AM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, raw, texaskillet, vegan

Okay so it’s day two of the effort.

I got on the scale this morning and I was 1.4 lbs lighter. We’ll see if this continues or if it’s just that first bump.

It would be cool if it did, but I am not really expecting that. J

Breakfast/Lunch smoothie:

½ bunch of Kale

2 apples

Carrot juice

Mango juice

In all actuality this is what I blended up for breakfast but we ended up having leftovers from the smoothie dinner last night. Then we were able to jar this, stick it in a lunchbox and take it with us to the punkin chunkin competition. YAY! It was awesome. I am sure people thought I was drinking baby poop or possibly baby food spinach, but whatever. There was an unexpected side effect: a bee really really wanted my smoothie. J Oh well.. I denied him like the cruel woman I am.

Afternoon snack smoothie:

We treated ourselves to a Jamba Juice smoothie. We went with the all fruit and veggie ones since really I didn’t feel like making another one until later.

I had the Carrot Karma and he had the Mega Mango (at least that’s what I think they were called).

It was great to have those to suck on for a while.

Then.. I got to thinking (later when I got home)…well what is that nosh factor item for today?

I dug around, found some artichokes, had a two second conversation with myself about how these were not raw when you get them to edible form.

Meh, not sure I was in the mood to care. I think home is the hardest place to be when you are trying to make changes. When you are out you can fool yourself into thinking that people know you are cheating if you decide TO cheat and so therefore be convinced by weird internal talk, NOT to cheat. Not so at home.

So, each of us had one steamed artichoke for dinner. I am now on my second follow up glass of water to ensure that things are moving and such. Artichoke no matter how you look at it is… fibrous. The great thing and this is entirely what I was going for… is that these take so long to eat and are so much work, you are just kind of done when they are gone. YAY!!! I’ll have to do some research on if you can do ANYTHING at all with these in their natural state.

It may have been my trip to Thrive the day before which reinstituted that there are very very very few people in this world that are all raw and if I can get to 80%, I would be pleased as punch.

Okay, more tomorrow. Be good!

Day one of raw food cleanse for busy people by texaskillet
September 16, 2011, 12:16 PM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, gluten free, raw, texaskillet

Today I begin my journey of the raw food cleanse.

For quite a while I have been thinking… why not?

Well I can wax you quite a tale about why not. However, this time it’s all about the why too.

Last night, I bought the Vitamix. Yes a little last minute but that is kind of how I am with most things. Not sure if it just keeps stuff exciting or if I really can’t help it due to some very smoothly worn pattern in my brain which provides those neurons a path of very little resistance.

This morning’s smoothie recipe/combo of fruits and veggies:

2 apples

2 oranges

Several handfuls of spinach

Tomatoes from the garden.. about 2 in total as there were a bunch of small ones(golden and red)

Carrot juice to thin it to a reasonable drinking consistency


…And can I just say.. yummmmmm


For lunch:

Remnants of the above smoothie, combined with:

2 pints of blueberries

1 leftover apple

Carrot juice again to thin

1 honking huge zucchini.. I am really serious here.

I’ll check back in after I return from building trails for the day of caring to let you know how I felt through lunch hour WITH doing manual labor. 😛

Should be interesting.

Okay.. all back now!!

For dinner the smoothie was this:

½ bunch of Kale

2 Peaches

Mango juice

2 bananas

Keep in mind that I am smoothie making for two people so for one you could just cut everything in half. J

I will have to admit that after the day of caring out at the Nature Consortiums project which is the largest contiguous forest in Seattle.. we were a bit fatigued. We stopped in at Thrive… had a smoothie boost from their kitchen which was great and shared a mighty thai salad which is cabbage, carrots, red bell pepper, a few raw cashew as garnish and their special vegan thai spicy sauce. It was mega yum. This led us to the possibility that we would want to gnosh on something once a day to satisfy the urge if we are going to take this past the 3 or 6 day mark and into the 15 day mark or even the 28 day mark. As long as that something is vegan for the first week and then at minimum vegetarian for the next week and then only going into animal protein dishes maybe two or three times a week for life. We’ll see how that pans out. Of course that animal protein will have to be purchased somewhere reputable, etc,etc, etc.

Okay… next 9/17 info… coming right up. J



Nephew “yet to be named” has a quilt! by texaskillet
July 12, 2011, 10:37 PM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, craft, sewing, texaskillet

Well I did it and a good thing too seeing as my dad surprisingly surprised me with a worry free ticket to Austin for the baby shower… next weekend. J

Sometimes you have to wonder where people just keep coming up with new combinations of fabric and new ways of putting that fabric together.

For this one.. I am calling it “Riding the Rails of the Baby Train”. Why.. because I was inspired by a quilting magazine to create a rails pattern and then well.. because Ozzy said at one point that he was riding on the rails of the Crazy Train… babies are crazy… bada bing bada boom: Quilt name.

Here are a few snapshots of the process. Please email me if you want to know more even if it’s just some small detail.

Planning to do a little needlepoint to insert my name on the Handmade by tag… don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten. J

One week down, one week to go! by texaskillet
May 13, 2011, 9:00 PM
Filed under: inspiration, penny saver, texaskillet

Well today officially marks 7 days of no spending outside of my meager cash allowance for emergencies. I’ll post the rundown of what was considered an emergency at the end of the two weeks… I mean I do have a WHOLE other week to go. J

How has it been you might ask? Refreshing I would say.

It’s nice to have an out and it’s even nicer to save some cash stock piling. J

The count of times that I have been tempted has been plenty. The times when someone has said, hey let’s go grab a bite or a drink or a smoothie have been several.

Today, my preplanned Amazon Fresh order will show up on my door step between 6 and 9pm. Yay for that! I think it has been a focal point and saving grace to know that in the midst of my experiment I would receive a burst of fresh produce. I mean come on people; I am but a human with teeth that were meant to nosh on fresh things. J

During the summer if I do this again, which I think I will, it will be easier when my small spaces garden has come to life and is producing and then maybe I can sustain my desire for freshness off of what I’ve grown.

Another interesting thing to note is that I have been suffering with Vertigo induced by either allergies or hormones since Monday. Talk about taking some of the punch out of my bowl. Nothing says stay home and stop moving like when your whole world is spinning and you can’t make it stop unless you stop and sometimes not even then. It’s too bad really because I was hoping that by not spending and not “going out” I would make more time for my physical wellbeing and for my craft hobbies. Gee thanks Universe, you are my favorite. L

Anyway, onward and upward as some people say. I have been thinking this over and I have decided that my next maneuver will be to save double spend half. This will mean that a latte really costs me 6 bucks (let’s be honest, it’s more like 8), because I will have to save as much as I want to spend. Result: $4 to my savings and $4 to the coffee shop. I need to spend a little time thinking about whether or not this happens over a timed period or if I make it a regular habit. I guess if I ever want a house with chickens in the yard, I should just go ahead and make it a habit. Though, it may be deserving of a trial period. I don’t want to be one of those people that are sooo focused on signing up for a house that they stop living for a while. I mean what if now is all the time that I have. You just never know so you should always consider the possibility.

Anyone out there have any saving tricks? If so, would you be willing to share?

My dad once said that I should just freeze my credit card in a bowl of water and keep it in the freezer, and then I would have to think long and hard before I use it. I did that for a while. It was interesting. Might go back to it, but I am open to other things. J



Worms!!! LIVE HERE< EAT HERE by texaskillet
May 9, 2011, 12:26 AM
Filed under: Clever Chickadees, kid friendly, project, texaskillet, work space

Project for the weekend; create a new home for the worms that Doris so generously left in my care.

I was reading a book called The Urban Homestead and project 2 right out of the blocks is to make a worm bin. Awesome. I love this book by the way; I get a ton of inspiration from it. You should check it out. I can only hope that our book will be as awesome. J

My worms were in a wooden toy box. Like the kind you pick up at Ikea and put together yourself for like $25.00. Since I cannot keep my worms in the garage, they have been up against the house trying to keep warm and subject to the wet Pacific Northwest winter… soooo time for a water proof home that will last a few years.

I needed to be able to keep them by the back door so that I would be better about bringing the kitchen scraps to them as well as the shredded junk mail and coffee grinds.

What you’ll need:

-Two Rubbermaid 8-10 gallon containers that nest or are stackable solid in color, not see through. Worms do not appreciate bright sunny days like we do.

-A drill with a ¼ inch bit and a 1/16 inch bit.

-The two lids for the Rubbermaid containers

-Two blocks of wood (I still have to salvage these)

-Shredded newspaper, like a whole Sunday paper

-WORMS: Red Worms (Eisenia Foetida)


Ready set go!

  1. Drill 1/16 inch holes an inch from the top and bottom all the way around BOTH Rubbermaid containers
  2. Drill 1/16 inch holes in ONE of the lids
  3. Drill ¼ inch holes in the bottoms of BOTH Rubbermaid containers
  4. Place the non-drilled lid on the bottom in the spot you have selected for your bin
  5. Put the two blocks down on top of the lid
  6. Stack one of the bins on top of the blocks
  7. Stack the second bin inside the first bin
  8. Put your soaked and then wrung out shredded newspaper in the bottom of the top bin. It would be great if you could get about four inches worth in there.
  9. Place your worms in there
  10. Place any dirt you already have in there for darkness and to start them off with digestive grit. This makes me think of Pigeons.
  11. Wait a few days for acclimatization, only put a handful of scraps in at first.

As it turns out, worms can be sensitive to a few different situations. Too wet. Too dry. Too much light. Too Hot. Too Cold.

If after night one you check your worms and find them trying to escape you’ll need to assess your worm home to see if one of the above is the situation.

Good luck with your worms. There are a few worm references out there and you may want to pick one up for good measure. Of course you could rely on the internet. J




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