Saturday, June 21, 2014

Super Food Breakfast of Champions

{FYI this is an in-depth post about yogurt.  Yup, I'm weird, deal with it.}

For always I've had a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  I love milk and cereal, so why not?  But as much as I love a bowl of crunchy cold goodness, it never filled me up for very long.

So not too long ago I made the switch to a breakfast still rich in dairy but packed with a lot more protein.  Oh yes, I'm talking Greek yogurt people.  And to make it even more awesome, I've jazzed it up to basically be a super food all-star meal to get your day off to the best start that has all the awesome elements - creamy, crunchy, and fruity, boom.

> 1/2 cup 2% or Full-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Fage).
> 1 teaspoon Raw Honey
> 1 to 2 Tablespoons Slivered Almonds
> 1/2 cup Blueberries

Oh yes people these are four awesome foods for you all in one! What's not to love?

Some things to note about the yogurt:
-- 2% or full-fat, none of this non-fat nonsense.  You need some fat in your diet -- especially in your diary.  Sometimes (a lot of times) it's hard to find the full-fat greek so 2% will do.
-- Also, plain.  Trust me, it might take a week or two to get used to but the honey adds just enough sweetness.  And after you make the switch, that sugar packed yogurt will taste gross (because it is).

Process -- I mix in each ingredient one at a time to make sure they get fully incorporated (honey, then almonds, then blueberries), but that's just my method to the madness.

On the weekends when I'm feeling crazy I add a couple of drops of vanilla and almond extract and 1 Tablespoon of chocolate chips. I know, crazy! Crazy delicious.

And, for a sweet treat at night, I'll do chocolate chips and blackberry syrup (no honey needed). Jam would work too. (Basically non-frozen yogurt...)

So yes, all this is to say - I've switched from cereal to jazzed up yogurt in the AM and it's awesome. I'm now nicely filled until lunch from a breakfast of champions full of super (delicious) foods. 


Monday, June 9, 2014

food lately: lately probably doesn't apply anymore

Really food that has been made in 2014.  But we don't need to dwell on that. Here you go, ideas for all seasons: 

Kale pesto pasta

 Fresh tomato & garlic pasta (from Franny's)

Eggplant pizza with Franny's crust

Tuna cake open faced sandwich

 Fried PB&J with Milk, because snow storm 

Baked eggs & greens with yogurt sauce from Plenty 
Seriously, this is my current favorite cookbook, a must get! 
Especially if you are looking for delicious vegetable recipes (that are also vegetarian) 

Sweet potato cakes also from Plenty. So delicious. 

 Vegetable enchiladas 

Greens & Beans with butter beans, roasted beets & turnips (and garlic bread)

Lettuce wrap BLTEs 

So yes, pretty much everything under the sun.  But all good.


hello hello s'mores

Why yes, it's summer now.  How that happened, I have no idea.  But anyway, it is summer so it is s'more season!  And I've been all about them this year.  

But sometimes you aren't by a grill (i know, that's ridiculous, it's SUMMER!) Don't despair. you can have s'more dip anytime!

I saw the ridiculously easy dip here and decided to make it for game night following the hot cocoa party when i had all these leftover marshmallows.  Yes, the hot cocoa party was in January and that is when I kicked off s'more season...

S'more Dip

Preheat the oven to 450.
Grab a pyrex and grease it with a little canola oil.

Fill with a bag of chocolate chips and top with marshmallows.  I used the jumbo ones so I cut them in half.

Bake until golden brown & gooey.  Mine took longer (probably because of the jumbo size), about 15 minutes, but smaller ones may go faster.

Serve with graham crackers and enjoy!

Yes, it is delicious. Enjoy!


Monday, March 24, 2014

the round up

by the way, some of the random goodness that has been happening:

We finally got a Chuy's!!! Seriously, I can't even explain how happy this made me -- delicious Tex-Mex finally to be had in North Carolina. I will eat all of their flour tortillas if you let me.  Also, look at that adorable caped corgi! I love this place. 

We won a cheese ball at trivia! We were at the Pinhook in Durham for awesome trivia and came in second and won a cheese ball! Can you even believe? Best trivia winnings ever.

Casey put both dogs in a box.  And they stood their like the good pups they are.  They weren't in time out or anything, just hanging out in a box...


Chloe was a party animal for Halloween.  Get it?! 

Jonathan made me many a feast, including this one -- eggplant parm, delicious! 


better together, but a tad ridiculous

I'm talking about Mac & Cheese and Sloppy Joe's (or Jeff's in our case).  Oh yes, why not turn Sloppy Jeff's into a casserole by topping it with Mac & Cheese?  Obviously it had to be done.  
This past fall was a cold one, so I was inspired to make some more ridiculous comfort foods. This one is pretty straight forward to make as well as being delicious, assuming you are comfortable making the two parts separately.  

Mac & Cheese Sloppy Jeff (Joe) Casserole Recipe

1 recipe Mac & Cheese mine has:
         1 1/4 cup macaroni noodles
         2 Tablespoons butter
         2 Tablespoons flour
         1 1/2 cups milk
         1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese 
Extra shredded cheese for topping the casserole 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Bring a pot of salted water to boil (for the pasta) and cook as directed; drain when done

While that is happening, make up some Sloppy Jeff's (vegetarian) or Joe's (I used my vegetarian recipe) and place in a 7 x 11 pyrex pan, like so:
Then head back to the Mac & Cheese: 

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat
Then whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute
Turn down the heat to medium and slowly pour in the milk
Continue to whisk frequently until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken 
Turn the heat down to low and slowly add in the cheese, as much as you like, which is obviously a lot
Once it is all melted and up to your desired cheese-level, mix in the drained cooked pasta:

Then spread that mac & cheese over your sloppy jeff's and top with some more cheese for a good crust

Bake the casserole for 25-35 minutes until golden on top

And then, enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

cabin camping in the mountains

last weekend we went camping.  it wasn't actually camping - we rented a cabin, but I kept calling it camping, because really, for me, it's the same thing.  We got a place near blowing rock, north carolina.  Jonathan & I joined the team late on Friday due to an exciting party (more on that later). 

Saturday we spent most of the day hiking the Julian Price Memorial Trail off of the Blue Ridge Parkway

We managed to get some decent photos of the group in front of Casey's VW bus, which is actually challenging with 6 people & 3 dogs

and then we set out on a lovely hike
with lots of mini waterfalls

on the way back to the cabin we hit up the Blowing Rock Brewing Company
They (along with a handful of B&Bs) cater to a weekender/resorty crowd in downtown Blowing Rock. The beer was fine -- not the best and not the worst, but certainly refreshing after an afternoon of hiking. (btw - we could sit outside with the dogs)

We basically did nothing except for lounge and eat for the rest of the day.  On Sunday on our way out of town we stopped at two more breweries: Fonta Flora Brewery in Morganton and Olde Hickory Brewery in, you guessed it, Hickory. Olde Hickory was good with lots of choices including some fancy ones like the 11% Bourbon Honey Stout Jonathan had. The atmosphere was less enticing as it's also a pretty large restaurant. 

Fonta Flora, however, was special.  
It's housed in a charming corner building with lots of open space but plenty of seating. It has a solid local crowd that filled the place pretty well for a Sunday afternoon in the South. The beer was delicious with a decent variety for a small setup. 
It's dog and people friendly -- they were all very lovely and friendly.  A friend of the brew team stopped by to hand out cupcakes and candied bacon because she was testing out some new recipes! I mean really people, a brewery with bacon?! What more do I need? (Nothing is the answer.) 

They are also trying cool things with beer and local ingredients to make things like a beet saison! I had their irish stout on nitro and it was awesome. Hopefully, we will be going back to this one sooner rather than later.  

I (obviously) highly recommend Fonta Flora if you are ever in the area.


happy hours

happy hours are wonderful of course but actually illegal in north carolina, for bars that is.  i kid you not, they think it encourages binge drinking... Ignoring the ridiculousness of this, the ban on drink specials means that we host our own, with lovely cocktails and treats. so each month, the ladies gather and we gab, sip, and munch, like so:

keep sipping ladies.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

book clutch -- part 2, sort of

A while ago Ashley and I began a three-part craft to make clutches from books.  The first part went pretty smoothly but then we were put on hold by her being in DC for the summer. 

Upon her return we attempted part 2, which was just to cut out the pages to form the cavity.  This seemed pretty straight forward. And I guess it is, but it's pretty time after one attempt and a hundred or so pages cut, the books are on hold.  

Thin books make for thin clutches...but they would have been done by now.


well, back from the break

i'm not going to even try. it's been a long time. life is busy, but good. so,
here are some pictures from today! look at me being on top of it!

Jonathan, Jen, Evan, and Tom all ran the Merge 25K this morning like crazy/impressive people.  Because what better way to celebrate 25 years of records than by running from Chapel Hill to Durham? I know. This is why I was support crew, along with Chloe of course.  They all rocked it with amazing times, despite all the hills this area brings.  Luckily, the weather was perfect, a beautiful 75 degrees today, giving me hope that spring is actually around the corner...even though we have snow predicted for Tuesday...But anywho, some pics:

Miss Chloe stealing the show, per the usual:

Miss Olive making the best face ever:

 Some of the crowd, soaking up the sun and beverages:

Hope you are enjoying the weekend and lovely weather! 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

mini, helps

As mentioned, I've been behind on the crafting.  But, I've managed to do some mini projects:

I picked up some mini glass candle holders/planters/i-don't-know-but-they-were-cute/ things at some point and painted them using Martha's all-purpose craft paint in pink and gold.

I made more cards/postcards - these were with stamps and craft chalk.

I screen printed a shirt for the boy with  his home state of Arizona and a little cactus cut out around Phoenix. 

I sewed a utensil pouch to match my sandwich wrapper.  I keep a fork and spoon at the office, and now they have a nicer place to live than just in the drawer. and it's seersucker, so it's extra classy. 

i do love a mini project, finishing something in a couple of hours is so rewarding. 

keep crafting it up!

chilly days

Spoon is having none of winter. even the mild form we've had this year. 
So he's been curled up with the heated blankets:

and looking pretty adorable too. 

He has some new joy - Keeri gifted him a fresh catnip plant, and he seems to enjoy rolling around and looking ridiculous:


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

surprise! it's a cake! no, it's a fruit!

jonathan's birthday was in august. so of course, i made a cake. but the boy loves fruit, so i went with something i'd seen on the ever inspiring pinterest and made a surprise fruit cake. no, not the terrible kind you eat at christmas, but rather a cake made from fruit that looks like a cake but is really just a lot of fruit.

it starts with a medium sized watermelon. i cut off the top and bottom and then cut off the sides to form a cylinder

then i cut mine into two 'layers' and put the bottom layer on a platter

next i whipped up some cream with some sugar and vanilla and spread a layer on top of the watermelon and then topped it with kiwi and pineapple 

and then another layer of whipped cream

followed by the second piece of cake, err watermelon 

then i frosted the entire 'cake' in whipped cream 

and decorated it with more fruit

and then a lot more fruit. i also drizzled some caramel sauce on it, because, why not? 
doesn't look like a watermelon from here...

and the big reveal! 

he was happy. obvi.