Saturday, March 10, 2012

This Week's Blog Post

New Bracelets
I just posted a new green aventurine and a new black onyx bracelet! Available at Miss Val’s Creations.

Quinoa Lasagna Casserole
This was delicious.

I came across the idea of quinoa lasagna when reading recipes. The quinoa is layered in place of pasta for a much healthier dish. It tastes very close to regular lasagna but its texture is much different, like a casserole!

We cooked the quinoa first. Then added a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of quinoa. Next we added a layer of vegetables that included chopped mushrooms, diced red pepper and chopped zuchinni. Then we topped that with ricotta and shredded mozzarella.

We repeated these layers until the 13” x 9” pan was full. Then we baked this at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the veggies were cooked through. Mmmm! Where Jim likes to call our cooking making love in the kitchen, he felt this was wild sex in the kitchen (I agree). It is probably because neither of us had eaten lasagna in a long time!

Leftover Quinoa Idea

There was some leftover quinoa in the fridge to for dinner one night I scrambled a couple of eggs and added them to the heated quinoa with a little margarine and black pepper. Delicious!

Homemade Cheesecake
We had another couple over for dinner last weekend and I planned on checking out a bakery next to our favorite wine store. However when I looked online I read terrible reviews that it is way overpriced and lacking in quality! I looked at their website and they charge $4.75 for 1 cupcake! Is that nuts or normal? Anyway I cannot justify that since I am not wealthy!

So I then decided to attempt cheesecake for the first time!

I have a promotional cookbook from Philadelphia Cream Cheese and thought who better to write the perfect recipe! This one was great since it did not require a springform pan which I do not own since I am not much of a baker!

This is a great beginner recipe if anyone would like to whip up this tasty treat!
6 honey graham crackers crushed (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine, melted
5 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 can (21 oz) of pie filling of your choice

Heat oven to 325 degrees

Line 13" x 9” pan with foil, with ends extending over sides (I had to use a 9" x 9" pan since the big one was needed for eggplant parmesan)! Mix graham cracker crumbs, 3 tbsp sugar and butter. Press onto bottom for pan and bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, flour and vanilla until blended. Add sour cream, mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely and refrigerate 4 hours. Use foil handles to lift cheesecake out of pan before serving. Top with filling.

I laughed when writing this because I realized I screwed up badly when preparing the filling. I only used 1 package of cream cheese versus 5!!!! What was funny is that it tasted great and the texture was perfect. So I know that making the recipe accurately will be phenomenal. So I will definitely be trying this again when cheesecake seems appropriate!

My girl Alice is pretty much afraid of her own shadow. I do not know if she had been abused or was born on the streets, but something prior to my adoption made her this way.

I was so proud of her because she came out from hiding and was letting my friend pet her! She is making great strides to be a braver girl!

Saved Dolphins
If you did not see this video from March 5 yet and are in need of something uplifting, this is worth the 4 minute viewing!

Approximately 30 dolphins began to beech themselves on a coast in Brazil. Luckily there were plenty of bystanders willing to give them a hand. All appeared to be saved and unharmed. It brought a happy tear to my eye!

Have a wonderful week! ~Val


  1. Those are two beautiful bracelets. The lasagna looks so delicious as well as the cheesecake. I think I could eat either for breakfast right now. I'm so bad! lol

  2. Awww...the video - heartwarming ♥ Thank goodness for those people helping them.
    Love the bracelets, the aventurine especially!
    I tried quinoa once, but never as lasagne - brilliant idea!

  3. Your bracelets are beautiful!

    I have the same problem with a local bakery. The cupcakes went up above $5 (and they are just normal sized cupcakes - like the size of the cupcake pan in my kitchen). I just can't shop there anymore. Your cheesecake looked delicious!

  4. I'm going to see how I can use quinoa, your lasagna looks really good. Ahh aventurine, the color is so pretty. Hope Alice continues to make strides, she wants to trust and feel safe, yes? Cheesecake, one of my favorites. Have a great week!

  5. Beautiful bracelets, the black one looks very classy. :) I adore quinoa, both the taste and the texture, and your lasagna looks super delicious! I might have to give it a try, minus the cheese. ;) Your cat is beautiful, and how lucky is your friend that she made an appearance, how very brave of her. I especially love the name Alice, also my middle name. :) My girls saw this dolphin video online, and were just telling me about it yesterday. :)

  6. tus pulseritas preciosas,y esa lasaña rica rica.Un beso

  7. Now you are killing me with all that food! Even so, your quinoa leftovers look so tempting to try! Only couple years ago I've discovered the quinoa, tastes so good ;)

  8. Wild sex and cheesecake...sounds like you had a fun weekend...LOL :)
    Angel is such a pretty girl...glad she's coming out of her shell :)

  9. Ooop...Alice, not Angel! She reminds me of a friends cat named Angel :)

  10. Val, you and Jim make the most amazing food. Everytime I see photos on your blog of your latest delicious meals, I feel I'm right in the pages of a food magazine. Please send a piece of that cheesecake over to me> Love your bracelets.

    Martha Stewart...move out of the kitchen because here comes Val. Have a great week.


  11. Hi ;o) Thanks for coming by my blog ;o) Your bracelets are gorgeous! And, I was very hungry looking at all the food! Well done ;o)
    The video was so precious! Take Care ;o)

  12. Goodness I wouldn't pay $4.75 for a cupcake either!!

    yay!! for Alice being a brave girl and for humans (that's what Xavi calls adults!) helping out those dolphins back in the water so glad they didn't end up as tacos!!

    Man I need an oven :( your wild sex in the kitchen looks delicious and tasty specially the cheese cake.

    Hope your week starts off great! ;)

  13. Your lasagna and cheesecake look absolutely delicious! And now they are tucked away in my "recipes to make" part of my computer! I've never had quinoa, but heard it's really good!

  14. Lovely aventurine! And anything in lasagna form needs to be consumed with wild abandon - I hope you saved me a piece.

  15. Your bracelets are fantastic. So beautiful with the details in silver. Your creativity is also in the kitchen. Wow. Kind regards, Synnöve

  16. Beautiful bracelets!!! I love the Lasagna !!!!
    Have a good week!

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  17. Nice bracelet ! and that lasagna casserole looks delightful :)

  18. Gosh Val, that lasagna looks like something out of an exclusive food magazine!! Love quinoa, so this is a "must try!"

    Alice is a sweetheart, and looks so comfortable!

    LOVE that onyx bracelet!


  19. All of your food looks soooooo good. It's dinner time here and you are making me hungry! The quinoa lasagna is something I am going to have to try.

  20. That looks absolutely delicious!
    ur blog is so awsome! i'm a follower now! what about following eachother? :)

  21. Oh I love the lasagna. Quinoa is looking better and better and a good healthy option.
    And cheesecake is love.

    P.S. I am in my late 20's :)

  22. Love the two bracelets! That lasagne sounds amazing too. Yummy!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have to clarify that I did not make all the invitations but a card for the party girl!

  23. Beautiful bracelets!! I also like the idea of using quinoa in place of the noodles. Quinoa is awesome.

  24. The bracelets are beautiful, the quinoa lasagna sounds lovely, and I can't wait to try it. The cupcakes are insanely expensive. Here in Boulder we have a place called Tea & Cakes and the worlds best cupcakes (by my standards) and their cupcakes are about 3 bucks a pop, and that's pretty pricey. Almost 5 bucks for one is just unjustifiable. The cheese cake looks awesome too. Maybe i should try it. Never made cheese cake. Too afraid of eating the whole thing in one sitting...

  25. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes. The cheesecake looks really tasty. You bracelets are very pretty, they would be fun to wear together.
    Everyday Inspired

  26. Beautiful blog and posts! Would you like us to be friends and follow each other?
    Fashionhypnotised girl

  27. Thanks sweetie, I just followed you back!
    Wish you an amazing weekend!:*

  28. Looks yummy! =)


Thank you for stopping by! I love reading visitor comments! ~Val