Weekend productiveness…kind of

Mondayyyyyy…it’s here again.

Last week I mentioned I went to the fair with work and here’s my recap! I wasn’t there very long but it was still a blast! My night in pictures:

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Salt n Peppa signing autographs!

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Rain's coming!

Rain’s coming!

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When the downpour arrived, we hid out in the International building…it contains both food AND booze!

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And it’s right next to the wine slushie tent…a quick dash in the rain for pure yumminess!

wine slushieeeeeeee = best part of the fair

wine slushieeeeeeee = best part of the fair

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Betsy and Krissy 🙂

An that’s all I’ve got picture wise! It was a blast! And gyros are delicious…yes.

Now…

This past weekend I was kind of very productive… 🙂

Saturday I woke up bright and early and cleaned a lot. The place still needs work (We still have just too much stuff!) but it was so much better than before. I bought dried garbanzo beans, almonds, and wheat berries and so I had to get to soaking. I always have used canned chick peas but thought I’d give the dried ones a shot and possibly save a little money! I soaked them overnight Saturday and then Sunday, I rinsed them and the put them in a pot with water, added a little salt, boiled them for 2 minutes, then let them simmer for about an hour until they were the perfect softness…hardness? They were soft but not too soft because I planned on freezing them and read that if they are a little solid still they hold up better. I plan on making hummus with a lot of these guys!

I also soaked some almonds because I wanted to make my own almond flour! I’m trying out some gluten free recipes because Kev’s mom read that eliminating gluten from your diet can help with ADD/ADHD, which Kev has. Almond flour is so expensive! So I thought it would be at least a little bit cheaper to try and make my own!

I soaked the almonds overnight, took the skin off them on Sunday (It slides right off), ground them until they were a meal texture in the food processor, spread the crumbs on two cookie sheets and dried them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 175 degrees F until the were dry. Then I put them in my coffee grinder in small batches to grind them into a finer texture. Perfect! I made these cookies…And they are our new favorites!! Dark Chocolate and Bacon cookies…YUMM I don’t have any pictures because we ate them too fast!

I also soaked the wheat berries (which if you have never had them, shame on you, they’re chewy, nutty goodness and full of fiber!!) And cooked them up on Sunday. I made a nice little FILLING salad with them. I mixed them with some chick peas, edamame, sun dried tomatoes, and then a quick little vinaigrette. It came out so yummy and is perfect for me to take to work this week for my lunch!

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Doesn’t look too pretty but it tastes amazing!

And lastly yesterday I made chocolate donuts per Kev’s request! It also gave me a chance to try out my new donut pan! They came out a little dry but the quick chocolate glaze I made worked a little bit to add some moisture (And I followed a recipe Kev found…so I am taking no responsibility for the dryness 😉 They also weren’t very chocolately, even with chocolate chips in them (again, the glaze definitely came into play here). At least they look delicious!

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Sorry about the crappy photos…I kind of spilled a lot of water in my purse…while my phone was in it…and some of the water got in there and yeah…it wasn’t good.  I really need to invest in a camera (or borrow/steal Kev’s ;)).

Well anyways, have a great Monday!

Question of the day:

Did you try out anything new this weekend?

~Amber

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Transformation Tuesday #4 Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt!

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So I decided to make today’s Transformation Tuesday a recipe because this recipe has seriously transformed my breakfast recently. It’s seriously so delicious and you wouldn’t even believe it’s healthy!

I was at the store a few weeks ago and saw that Chobani came out with a mint chocolate chip yogurt. I had to get it and it was so good!

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I loved the taste but one of these mini 3.5oz containers has 100 calories, 12g of sugar and 8g of protein…I thought I could beat it! I decided to make my own!

Here’s what I did. I assembled my ingredients:

1 6oz cup of plain greek yogurt

1/4-1/2 tsp mint extract

1 stevia packet

1 Tbsp mini chocolate chips

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Just mix it all together and enjoy!

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I used this to make my overnight oats mint chocolate chip too! It’s like dessert for breakfast! So cool and light too! I hope you guys enjoy!

(Not counting the chocolate chips, my version has almost double the yogurt, 4g less sugar, and 7g more protein!! Can’t beat it!!

Question of the day:

What’s you favorite kind of yogurt?

~Amber

What’s Up Wednesday: Walnut Pesto!

After yesterday’s blunder with the chair, I have a great recipe for you today! Walnut pesto!

But before we get to that, can I just say how hard it is to get a garage sale together by yourself? I hope I can pull it off!! I haven’t had time to even touch the wing-back chair since Saturday because I’ve been so busy. Wish me luck! I plan to have a full recap of how it went next week 🙂

Now, back to pesto. I have a couple container gardens in my back yard. One of them is full of basil, parsley, and rosemary. I haven’t been using them like I had hoped so they are still lush and full. I plan on finding ways to preserve the herbs so that I can use them over the winter. MY beautiful basil:

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I started with basil and decided to make pesto and freeze it! I looked at a lot of recipes and then just decided to wing it. I looked for pine nuts at Wegmans (only the most glorious grocery store ever) in the bulk section but couldn’t find any. They had some prepackaged but they were $9! No thank you! So I decided to get walnuts out of he bulk section instead. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

4 cups basil

2 cups spinach (My pesto wasn’t as green as I wanted so I added it for it’s color as well as its extra nutrient boost!)

3/4 cups Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup walnuts

4 garlic cloves

the zest and juice from 1 lemon

1/2 cup-1 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except oil.

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While processing, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is a pesto consistency. Make sure to frequently scrape down the sides. Then you’re done! I put half of the mixture in an ice cube tray to freeze. (Yes, the water bottle kind was the only one I could find that wasn’t being used)

gegwAnd the rest I put in the fridge to use in the next couple weeks!

gwThe first dish I made with it was a cold pasta dish. I had some leftover pasta in the fridge so I mixed it with some pesto, along with some diced zucchini, some grape tomatoes, and some red onion. So delicious!!!

gsI can’t wait to create more recipes for you guys soon! Once this garage sale is over anyways and I have my life back! Have a great hump day!!

Question of the day:

Does anyone have any advice for me on hosting my first garage sale? I could use some!!

~Amber

Juice your heart out!

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I recently got a brand new juicer! I bought it off Amazon. You can get the same one by clicking here! I didn’t want to buy a super expensive one because I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, but even so, the one I got works awesome so far! I bought the Hamilton Beach 67601 Big Mouth Juice Extractor .

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I was so excited when it finally came!!

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So pretty!

I obviously had to start juicing right away 🙂 This first week I kind of just played around with different fruits and vegetables trying to find which ones I enjoy the most.

bI prepped all my produce the night before and put it in one container to make it easy to just pop them all through in the morning before work.

I also put a grocery bag in the part where the excess skin and such comes out for easy clean up 🙂

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My favorite combination so far has been:

3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, 2 green apples, a 1″ piece of ginger, 1 kiwi, and the juice of 1 lime.

My large mason jar is 3/4 of the way full with this combo too! I’m very happy with the results.

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6Clean up is a breeze too! Everything comes apart easily and I just rinse it all off with hot water. It also comes with a handy brush to clean the strain out with. In the morning before work, it takes me about 2 minutes to juice all the produce I’ve already cut up and then only 3-5 minutes to clean the machine. I’m getting really fast at it so it’s definitely closer to 3 minutes.

One downfall for this juicer (but it doesn’t bother me at all) is that it’s kind of loud…probably as loud as a blender. To some people that might be a deal breaker, but it doesn’t really matter to me. Like I said, it’s a quick juicer so it’s only loud for about 2-5 minutes, depending on how much produce you’re putting through.

The other little issue with it is the one time I tried it, it didn’t really juice kale very well. I only did it once and not very much, but it just basically chopping it finely and spit it in the waste bucket. I plan on definitely trying it again soon with hopefully better results.

I can’t wait for apple picking season! I plan on making so much apple juice it’s gonna be great 🙂

So if you’re like me and want to try a juicer but don’t want to spend a whole lot of money, I definitely recommend this one and again, you can purchase it here.

Have a great day!!

Question of the day:

What is your favorite juicing combination? I’d love to try your favorites!

~Amber

What’s Up Wednesday: Jalapeno Poppers with a Garlic Dipping Sauce

Happy Hump day!

So Remember all of those jalapenos that I got at the farmers market last week?

photo (68)Well I finally got around to using them to make delicious and spicy jalapeno poppers! Filled with gooey cheese and bacon and surrounded my a crispy crust…all I can say is yummmm!

Here’s how I made them.

Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Cut the jalapenos in half width wise and remove the seeds and stems. Place the halves in the boiling water for 5-10 minutes (the longer you keep them in there, the less spicy they become) Once they’re done, put them on some paper towel and let dry.

photo2While they dry, cut up 4-5 strips of bacon into small pieces and fry up in a pan.

photo1Now, while the peppers are drying and the bacon is frying (like my little rhyme there?) mix together the cream cheese, the shredded cheese, and the Worcester sauce. Set aside.

When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Save the remaining bacon grease in the pan.

photo (99)Next, mix the bacon with the cheese mixture.

photo (98)Now time to stuff! Stuff the peppers with the cheese and bacon mixture.

When they are all stuffed, add the vegetable oil to the bacon grease in the pan and heat up.

Set up your dipping and coating station: flour, egg (whisk the eggs before dipping), and panko bread crumbs.

photo (97)Roll the filled peppers in the flour, then egg, then panko and drop into the hot oil. Repeat this step for all of the peppers and flip when golden brown.

photo (96)(Sorry for the blurry pic, I was trying to keep the process moving)

Put done peppers aside on some paper towel to drain.

To make the dipping sauce, just mix together the mayo, chopped garlic, and Worcester sauce.

Then plate up and enjoy!

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photo (92)Mmmmmmm so good! They’ve definitely got some spice but the dipping sauce is the perfect addition to cool them down 🙂

Jalapeño Poppers with a Garlic dipping sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 10 minutes          Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

12-14 jalapeños, cut in half and seeds removed

4-5 strips of bacon, chopped

8oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)

1tbsp Worcester sauce

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1-2 cups vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce ingredients:

3/4 cup mayo

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp Worcester sauce

1. Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Cut the jalapeños in half width wise and remove the seeds and stems. Place the halves in the boiling water for 5-10 minutes (the longer you keep them in there, the less spicier they become) Once they’re done, put on some paper towel and let dry.

2. Cut up 4-5 strips of bacon into small pieces and fry up in a pan.

3. While the peppers are drying and the bacon is frying, mix together the cream cheese, the shredded cheese, and the Worcester sauce. Set aside.

4. When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Save the remaining bacon grease in the pan. Mix the bacon with the cheese mixture.

5. Stuff the peppers.

6. When they are all stuffed, add the vegetable oil to the bacon grease in the pan and heat up.

7. Set up your dipping and coating station: flour in one bowl, egg (whisk the eggs before dipping) in another bowl, and panko bread crumbs in the last bowl.

8. Roll the filled peppers in the flour, then egg, then panko and drop into the hot oil. Repeat this step for all of the peppers and flip when golden brown. Put done peppers aside on some paper towel to drain.

9. To make the dipping sauce, just mix together the mayo, chopped garlic, and Worcester sauce.

Then plate up and enjoy!

I hope you try out and enjoy this recipe as much as I did!!

Question of the day:

What is your favorite way to use jalapeños?

~Amber

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Zucchini Boats

Happy hump day!

I’ve got a great recipe for you all today but first can we just talk about something? About how much I am in love with this stuff:

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It’s so good and good for you! I first steeped it in about 3/4 a cup hot water and then filled the rest of my glass with cold water and ice. Best iced tea I’ve had in a while. And they have these cute quotes attached to each tea bag too!

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Now, lets get to today’s recipe! I’ve seen zucchini boats all over the Internet lately and have been wanting to try them. I bought these giant zucchini from my local farmers market and they are perfect for something like that! So I decided to combine a few things and this recipe is what popped out! Buffalo chicken quinoa zucchini boats!

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

2-3 zucchini’s
1 chicken breast
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tbsp chives
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cooked quinoa

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Preheat the oven to 400•F. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. (I got this big bag of quinoa from BJ’s for like $3-$4 and its lasted me forever!) Bring a large pot of water to boil.

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While you’re waiting for the water to boil, season chicken with salt and pepper and sauté until no longer pink. (I used 4 chicken tenders instead of a breast because it was what I had on hand)

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Cut your zucchini’s in half length wise. Cut it so the curve is facing up so that the halves will lie flat.

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Place the halves in the boing water for 1-2 minutes just to soften them up a little bit.

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When the chicken and zucchini are done, put them to the side to cool.

Next, in a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, yogurt, and hot sauce.

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Add the blue cheese, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the quinoa.

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And lastly, dice up the chicken and add to the bowl along with the carrots, celery, and chives. Stir until well mixed so you get a little of everything in every bite!

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Now back to the zucchini. Using a spoon, scoop out the insides to form a boat shape ( I was able to carve the inside out in strips so I got some great zucchini noodles out of this recipe too!!)

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Put them in a 9×13 pan.

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Fill with the filling!! I sprinkled some extra hot sauce on top and the put the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.

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Put in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes until the cheese is all melted and just starting to brown.

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Mmmmm soo good!! Let it set up for a hot second…

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Then dig in!!!

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Hope your guys enjoy this recipe!! Next time I make it I think I’m going to try some toasted Panko breadcrumbs on top!!

Question of the day:

What’s your favorite kind of tea?

~Amber

Sunday Boredom

First off, just want to give a little “told ya so” to my Man. Today we were sharing my desk to work on our laptops because he likes my office better than his 😉 I didn’t mind because I loved the company! His office is on the complete opposite side of the house so it felt nice to have him close.

Anyways…

Happy Sunday!

I hate Sundays. It’s the day before Mondays and you go the whole day with the prospect of the work week hanging over your head. Horrible, just horrible.

My morning started off a little rough…I had a few glasses of my favorite Riesling wine, Relax, last night and woke up with a little headache and was definitely dehydrated.

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I made a feast for breakfast for the man and I that included some turkey bacon, a veggie scramble, and some toast. To hydrate, I made some fresh green tea (I just put a few tea bags in a pitcher with some cold water and put it near the window) It was so yummy!!

Veggie Scramble...yummm

Veggie Scramble…yummm

Since it was such a rainy morning and early afternoon, I used that as an excuse to not really do anything. Man and I were going to bring some stuff to the scrap yard and then go to the mall to look at some new TV’s, but then we decided not to last minute. So then the boredom set in.

I watched a movie and perused Pinterest, checked my email, etc. The thing is, I was so bored but I didn’t really feel like doing anything! The rain outside just reinforced that.

Around 1:30, I was thinking of things that I could cook to try to alleviate my boredom, when I remembered I had some fresh beets in the fridge that I bought last week at the farmers market that I had to use. Now, I have never in my life had a beet. Never. I’ve been seeing them all over the blogging world lately however so when I saw them at the market for $1 a bundle, I decided to give them a go!

A week later, they were still sitting in my fridge, just chillin. So I decided today was the day to try out a recipe. I was a little skeptical to just eat a beet salad or something of the like right out of the gate, so I chose to make this recipe since I has all of the ingredients on hand.

The thing about beets is that they have this deep red coloring that makes the mixture look similar to actual ground meat.

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This recipe is phenomenal! I loved the lemony bite it had. I can’t wait to try these!!

I love homemade veggie burgers. They’re so easy to make, you can adjust them to your liking, and they freeze great to make quick weeknight meals! Obsessed with them. In my freezer right now I have some black bean burgers I made a couple weeks ago, these beet burgers, and the ones I am about to show you.

Buffalo Chickpea Quinoa Burgers! This recipe came from Natalie over at Once upon a Cutting Board. You can view her blog here. I subscribe to her blog via email and when I saw these, it immediately went on my TO DO list. I definitely recommend these, so easy and seriously good. I couldn’t wait to dig in and try one. I ate mine sans the bun and with mozzarella cheese, blue cheese dressing, and some extra hot sauce on top. OMG so good!

Buffalo Chickpea Quinoa Burger

Buffalo Chickpea Quinoa Burger

Around 5pm, boredome set in again. Man went outside because it was finally sunny out and started ripping up some ugly ground covering/dead plants/weeds. I decided to go out and hang out too!

Our backyard mess

Our backyard mess

We got to talking and next thing you know we were on our way to Walmart. (I convinced him to go to Wally World instead of our mutual love of Home Depot because I needed milk and vanilla extract for my overnight oats for my breakfast!) Anywho, we got some nice black mulch to cover all the dead space. We have some touching up to do in the front yard too so we got a lot. We plan on getting plants next weekend to make it all pretty 🙂

Promise not to judge me, but while at Walmart I may or may not have gotten little miss Sophie a collar and leash so she can chill outside with us too 😉 She loves it!

Now it’s getting late and I’m getting sad because tomorrow means work bright and early… but anyways, I plan on spending the rest of the evening hangin out with Sophie and Man and reading “Skinny Bitch.” (So far I love this book…so honest!)

Have a great night and hopefully Monday doesn’t bring too much stress!!

~Amber