Monday, April 30, 2012

Burgers - The Veggie Way

I am absolutely crazy about black beans. I've had black bean burgers at restaurants before, and once GB even made a black bean burger at home. The recipe he used was a little wonky, so I did some sleuthing on The Food Network website and found a great recipe from Sandra Lee. 

2 cans of black beans
1 onion
bread crumbs
crushed red pepper
parsley flakes
burger buns

I chopped the garlic and onion crudely. 

Next, I busted out the Ninja to do the rest of the work. I used the Ninja to finely chop up the onion and garlic.

Next I drained the first can of black beans. 

 I then rinsed the black beans.

I added cilantro and parsley to the ninja followed by the black beans, chili flakes, and one egg.  

In a large bowl I combined the other can of black beans (drained and rinsed) with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. 

I combined those ingredients with the pureed beans and veggies. 

It turned into a cookie dough texture. After reading the comments of this recipe on The Food Network website, I took someones advice and put the mixture in the fridge for about 20 minutes to increase firmness.  

The black bean burgers were extremely fragile. I was sure they would crumble once placed in an oiled pan. But they didn't!

Flipping the burgers was a little sketchy, but somehow I was able to keep them together. 

Time to gather the toppings. I have been so sick of our lettuce going bad quickly, like below. 

Following the advice of my good friend B, I bought live lettuce instead. It's definitely more expensive, but because the root is in tact, the lettuce lasts twice as long as a head of lettuce. 

I added muenster cheese to my black bean burger. 

So, are you wondering how they tasted? Incredible!!! GB was so impressed with my cooking skill. I was impressed with myself too, which is rare. I would definitely recommend this recipe. However next time, I would only puree 1/2 can of beans to have a chunkier burger patty. Let me know if you give this recipe a try! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sew Cool

If you were hanging out at Kiss My Smash last week then you saw all the hard work GB and I put into revamping our sun room. 

The last time I left you I had some grey pillows on our pallet couch. 

Over the weekend I set to work on tossing in some splashes of color. 

Using the same technique as in the I'm Sew Crafty post I made some smaller throw pillows. 

I'm obsessed with the Missoni print I got at Joann's! The receipt literally said, "Missoni." I am really fancy. 

I have been obsessing about what type of large cushion to make for the bench. The pillow forms and cushions at crafting and sewing stores are outrageously expensive. 

My original plan was to buy a large dog bed and recover it with a fabric of my choice. 

I made sure to measure the width of the bench. 52 inches may not seem huge - but it is. None of the dog beds I found were close to that size. 

I then thought I would use some body pillows. Unfortunately, the local Target I shop at was all out. 

These pillows were $2.50 a piece and 26 inches long! Multiply that by 2 and you have 52 inches! 

When I tested out my theory at home - I realized I didn't take into account the height of the pillow and how that shortens the length of the pillow. 

But I didn't care. I was over the searching process. I decided to make some cushions anyway. 

I started by hand basting the pillows together so they wouldn't separate under the cover.  

The fabric was so huge I had to use the floor to cut and pin. 

I set to work and sewed 3 sides together. 

I turned it inside out and set to work shoving the pillows inside. 

GB and Lonnie cuddled and gave me moral support. 

I temporarily lived in struggle city. 

All done! Well.... almost. 

I was relieved when I saw how much fabric was on the edge. This would make it so much easier to sew closed. 

I had to clear off my entire sewing table to accommodate the big, purple monster. 

I am thrilled with the color combo! 

Al finished with both cushions! 

So it's not the most comfortable bench I've ever sat on - but it ain't too shabby. I think over time I may add more pillows for even more fluffiness. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adult Fun

I recently had a few girlfriends over for the 'adult party' that I mentioned earlier this week. It was such a great time. I love having time with the girls and giggling all night. 

Although this post is not a what not to do tutorial I thought I would share a few sweet things. I'm getting better at throwing parties. 

I love labeled food for parties, so using the same great paper I used for the banner, I made some great labels. 

I made this flags for the homemade guacamole and spinach dip. 

Keeping with the theme, I made little wieners and pretzel balls. 

Using a new beverage dispenser I served Sex on the Beach cocktails. 

With the Real Housewives of O.C. playing in the background, we dug into the yummy snacks and drinks. It was a great time! 

Overall, I'm pretty proud of the banner and labels. I love a theme! I can't wait for another themed party so I can go above and beyond! 

What's the best party that you've thrown?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sexy Time

This week I am having some girls over for a, how should I say this, adult party. You might know what I mean. A bunch of girls get together and shop for some, uh, toys. It's like a tupperware party - only much more inappropriate. 

In preparation, I put together a banner. I am going to hang this near the food table. 

I was able to get these scrapbook pages on sale! 

First, I drew and cut out large triangles for the flags. 

Using the polka dot paper - I cut out the letters and glued them on the flags. 

Last, using my Xacto knife, I cut holes on either corner of the flags. 

I had some burlap string from a previous craft so I wove it through the holes. 

All done! The letters are horrific. I really should have used a stencil. There are huge differences in sizes and style. 

It may not be the cutest thing ever - but it's a nice touch to have at the party. I'll show you the rest of the party details this week!