The Pin Junkie: July 2013

Zucchini & Green Chili Quiche

zucchini quiche recipe
Zucchini Green Chili Quiche

I live in New Mexico where we take our chili very seriously.  We're proud of our green chili and put it on almost everything.  For those of you who aren't familiar with green chili, it's just a sauce made from green chili peppers (not bell peppers).  The peppers are roasted, skinned, and then chopped up to make a sauce that can be anywhere from mild to hot depending on how hot the chili peppers are.  I like my green chili mild.

Every fall when the chilies are harvested, you can buy a 15 to 20 pound burlap bag of chili peppers at just about any local grocery store and get them roasted on the spot.  Many people fill their freezers with their fresh roasted green chili and even ship it frozen to loved ones who live out of state and miss the taste of home.

I don't have a big freezer, so I just buy the canned green chili.  If you've never tried green chili, look for it next time you're at the store.  It goes on just about everything from tacos, enchiladas, and even hamburgers.  If you can't find canned green chili at your local grocery store,don't worry.  This quiche would still taste good without it.

My mother-in-law makes delicious quiche, but it's very rich and heavy and you feel like you have to lay down for a while and take a nap after you have a slice.  She makes hers with at least six eggs, cream, LOTS of cheese, and bacon.  This recipe is a little bit lighter.  It only uses three eggs and low fat cottage cheese.  I wasn't sure I would like cottage cheese in quiche.  I don't like the way you can see pieces of it in the quiche.  I don't know why that bothers me, it just does.  It really doesn't affect the texture or the taste of the quiche at all.  In fact, this quiche is light and fluffy without being heavy and eggy.  It tastes so good!  I had three pieces and probably could have gone back for fourths, but I had to show some self restraint!

This recipe is from Mom On Timeout.

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Inspired by this pin for zucchini green chili quiche.

Book Review: An Object of Beauty


An Object of Beauty

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin is the fictional story of Lacey, an art dealer.  She begins her career at Sotheby's cataloging pieces of art and later works for a private art dealer.  Eventually she is able to manage her own gallery.  The story is told by another character in the book, Lacey's friend David, an art writer who "discovered that (his) artistic aspirations were not accompanied by artistic talents."

While reading this book, I was often frustrated by the pace of the story.  The long descriptions and commentary on art, art collectors, and the culture of the art world sometimes bogged the story down.  Often the story felt like it lacked a plot.  The reader is given a hint about a secret between the narrator and Lacey, which is revealed at the end of the story, but turns out to be a bit of a disappointment.   Besides a mysterious package and some stolen artwork, there isn't much of a plot. 

Beside the slow moving plot, I was also frequently frustrated with the story's main character, Lacey.  She just wasn't a likeable character.  Throughout the book, she is described as educated and extremely attractive, but often her dialog is harsh and sometimes even crass.  She frequently uses her looks for personal gain and she comes across as arrogant. When men have feelings for her, she is unfeeling and selfish in return. 

For all my criticism of An Object of Beauty, I still found myself compelled to read this novel.  This book is much like a piece of art that you may not appreciate upon first viewing it, but something about it compels you to keep looking and you are drawn to it.  For me, what drew me into this book and kept me reading, despite the characters and lack of plot, was Steve Martin's writing. 

The author makes the argument that in today's world, art is not only enjoyed on an aesthetic level but also as a commodity.  Art dealers and collectors appreciate art for it's monetary value as much as, or even more than it's aesthetic value.  In the art world, art is collected, bought, and sold much like the buying and selling of stocks in the financial world.  It is apparent that Steve Martin is extremely knowledgeable about art.  Although this is a work of fiction, the author references real pieces of art.  I appreciated the color insets of the art that related to the story as it helps the reader to have a visual reference.

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler recipe
Peach Cobbler

I've made other fruit cobblers before, but I can't remember the last time I had peach cobbler.  I saw a pin for a peach cobber recipe on Pinterest and decided I needed to make some.  This peach cobbler is easy to make.  Just slice some peaches, sprinkle on the topping, and bake.  The results are truly delightful!  I love the mix of warm peach cobbler with cold vanilla ice cream.  You just can't beat this desert!  It's important to use ripe, fresh peaches for this desert and I was lucky enough to find some really juicy and sweet peaches at the store.  These peaches were so good, our family enjoyed eating them by themselves and almost didn't bake them into this desert!  We all enjoyed this peach cobbler so much that everybody asked for second helpings.

I got the recipe from Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. She says it's a recipe that's been in the family for years.  I can certainly see why!  Thanks Rhoda!


cherry cobbler


homemade apple pie




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Inspired by this pin for peach cobbler.

Friday Link Party #27


Welcome to the Pin Junkie Link Party!  I'm so glad you're here!  This week I went to an estate sale and got a load of craft supplies for just $15.00.  I got glue sticks, a pack of mini clothes pins, a pillar candle, two canvases, a pictures frame, and two lanterns with candles and everything was brand new!  I can't wait to see what Pinterest projects I can make with these goodies!  I'm guest posting at the Stitchin' Mommy today were I show another one of my estate sale finds.


chocolate zucchini cake

white wine sangria

and I found a great way to clean a tile floor.
how to clean tile grout the easy way

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There were so many great projects shared at last week's party!  Thanks to everyone for sharing your projects, recipes and tips.  I can't wait to see what you will share this week!  But first, take a look at some features from last week's party.

porch decorations
Therena at Little Bit of Paint made some
really cute updates to her porch.


painted dresser makeover
The Koenigs shared a great
before and after painted dresser.



felt mushrooms
I'm in love with these adorable
 felt mushrooms from Karen at Bridgit's Bell.


Panda express copy-cat orange chicken recipe
I really want to try this orange chicken
from Pam at Brown Thumb Mama.


rolo milkshake
And for desert I'll have a Rolo Milkshake
by Parrish from Life With The Crust Cut Off.

Now it's your turn to share what you've been working on.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to link up your projects, crafts, and recipes!


How to Clean Tile Grout

How to clean tile grout
How To Clean Tile Grout

I have tile in a large part of my home.  It's in the dinning room, kitchen, entryway, and hallway, which tend to be the heavy traffic areas.  Since the tile gets a lot of use, the grout lines started to look seriously dirty.  It doesn't help that the tile and the grout are both very light in color and show dirt easily.

There are many pins on Pinterest that tell you how to clean tile and grout.  I used a mixture 7 cups water, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/3 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup vinegar and a lot of elbow grease.  I mixed everything in a spray bottle and sprayed the mixture on one grout line at a time.  I scrubbed the grout with an old toothbrush and then wiped the grout with a rag.  I kept a small cup of water nearby to rinse the toothbrush periodically.  I did the spray, scrub, wipe routine over and over again for each grout line.  Yes, it's time consuming and a dull task, but I did a small section at a time and was able to get in done in just a few days.  If anyone knows of a better or faster way to clean tile grout, please let me know! 

How To Clean Tile Grout

The tile floor looks so much better!  Now that I've got the grout clean, I'm wondering how to keep it that way.  I've heard the grout needs to be sealed.  When I went to Lowe's, the only grout sealer I could find was in a teeny tiny bottle that didn't look like it would cover all the grout lines and at $13.00 a bottle I didn't want to buy multiple bottles.  Does anyone know how to seal the grout and keep it clean?  If you have any tips or suggestions I'd love to hear them!

Find more great cleaning tips here!

how to clean organize anything

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Inspired by this pin for cleaning tile grout.

White Wine Sangria

white wine sangria recipe
White Wine Sangria

Do you like the picture?  My incredibly sweet and talented sister-in-law took it for me.  She's a pretty amazing photographer.  Her and her husband spent some time visiting with us from Texas.  We had a lot of fun and spent time catching up.  We had beautiful weather, perfect for sitting outside on the patio, enjoying good company, good conversation, and sipping a cool glass of sangria.  I've made this two times, and on both occasions, a full pitcher didn't last long!

I found this recipe on Pinterest which led me to High Street Market.  There weren't a lot of directions or information to go with this pin.  Normally I'm a little hesitant to try a pin that doesn't have a lot of info, but I decided to go for it.  Here's what I used:

Ingredients:
1 bottle of your favorite white wine, chilled (I used Riesling)
3 cans Fresca soda, chilled
1 ripe peach, sliced
3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 pint red raspberries
fresh mint

Directions:
Just mix everything together in a large pitcher.  Feel free to change the kind of wine or fruit to what you like or what you have on hand.


4th of july mocktail



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Inspired by this pin for white wine sangria.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

chocolate zucchini cake recipe
Chocolate Zucchini Cake

When I got my bundt pan out to make this cake, I couldn't help thinking of this scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding! 

 


This recipe for zucchini chocolate cake is from Mom On Timeout.  I made this cake for a potluck and everybody loved it.  One person even said it was the best cake they'd ever had!  The secret ingredients in this cake are zucchini and applesauce and they work together to make the cake really moist.  You can see the zucchini, but you can't really taste it.  Honestly, you just taste chocolate.  There's only seven tablespoons of cocoa powder in this cake, but it has such a deep chocolaty taste.   If you wanted to make the cake even healthier, you could leave out the chocolate chips and skip the frosting.  You'll still have a very moist, chocolaty cake.  I'm not recommending that you leave out the frosting though, because that frosting is fantastic!  Make this cake for your next get together or pot luck and I guarantee it will be a hit!


zucchini and tomato recipes

carrot zucchini bars with cream cheese frosting



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Inspired by this pin for chocolate zucchini cake.

Friday Link Party #26


Welcome to The Pin Junkie Friday Link Party!  I'm so glad you're here!  I hope you had a great week.  We've enjoyed some cooler weather and rain!  The timing couldn't be better since we have family visiting.  Here's a peek at what I've been up to this week:

lemon sugar cookies

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

origami paper flowers

make your own natural air freshener

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There were so many great projects shared at last week's party!  Thanks to everyone for sharing your projects, recipes and tips.  I can't wait to see what you will share this week!  But first, take a look at some features from last week's party.


clothespin sunburst mirror
Clothespin Sunburst Mirror by Jenny at My Nearly Empty Nest.


watermelon slushie
Aniko at Place of My Taste shared a Watermelon Slushie.


stained glass vases
Kaci and Alek at Tarnished Silver shared stained glass vases.


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Now it's your turn to share what you've been working on.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to link up your projects, crafts, and recipes! 

All Natural Air Freshener


Natural Air Freshener

I got this idea for natural air fresheners from this pin from Monica at The Yummy Life.  She has whole list of recipes for different scents.  She even says you can store them in jars in your refrigerator for up to two weeks and she also gives different ways to warm them.

I love this idea of making your own air fresheners because it's all natural, easy, and inexpensive.  I also like that it makes your house smell nice, but it's not overpowering.

I've made a similar air freshener before which was nice for winter because it had apples, oranges, cloves and cinnamon.  This one is great for summer because the lemon, vanilla, and rosemary smell so fresh and clean and perfect for summer.  Just mix two cups of water, one teaspoon of vanilla, one sliced lemon, and three sprigs of fresh rosemary in a pan and simmer on the stove.  If the water runs out, just add more.

Doesn't it look nice in the jars?  They look so pretty, I'm tempted to give them as gifts.  I would include a tag with the ingredients so the person receiving it could make more if they wanted to.

Find more great cleaning tips here!

how to clean organize anything

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Inspired by these pins for natural air fresheners here and here.