Monday, September 28, 2015

Girls Weekend in Chicago

I needed to get out of town and clear my head plus catch up with my friend Kristin, who moved to Chicago several years ago. We had an awesome time with all-you-can-eat sushi, crossfit, improv, and walking all of the cool neighborhoods in the area. Can't wait to go back!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bloody Mary in a Jar

This was a fun gift that I put together for a co-worker's birthday (thank you Pinterest!). It's a mason jar with a local bloody Mary mix, mini bottle of vodka, mini Tabasco sauce, snack pack of green olives, and a little tin of bloody Mary rimmer salt. So cute!

Sweet Potato Noodles

1 pound flank steak or top sirloin
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sherry
3 nests sweet potato noodles (from the Asian grocery store), about 8 oz.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 large yellow onion, julienne
1/2 lb broccoli florets
1 cup frozen tri-color bell pepper strips
5 oz tamarind water (from the Asian grocery store)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sriracha (optional)
Cilantro (optional)
Fried egg (optional)

1. Freeze beef for 10 minutes and thinly slice, discarding fat (shave against the grain). Toss beef with cornstarch, salt, and sherry.
2. Simmer salted water, add noodles and cook until no longer chewy (about 6 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil.
3. Combine tamarind, fish sauce, and sugar. Heat wok with 2 tablespoons of oil and allow to get hot. Add onion and cook until brown. Add vegetables and red pepper flakes, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook about 2 minutes until veggies are cooked but crisp. Add beef, noodles and tamarind sauce to pan, cok 3 more minutes.

Recipe by Emily Lane, Personal Chef

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

I subbed carrots for mushrooms and next time I think I'd add in some cauliflower rice to help make it more 'casseroley' but otherwise pretty tasty!

Warm Avocado Chocolate Custard

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small squares
1 cup avocado flesh
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine butter, avocado, sugar and cocoa powder in food processor until smooth. Put in sauce pot and add cornstarch and milk. Cook over medium lo heat until warm and thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Great with whipped cream (solid part of coconut milk whipped with vanilla and powdered sugar)!

Recipe by Emily Lane, Personal Chef

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

A comforting bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce never gets old!

PaleOMG Two Toned Cookies

Recipe to come...

Butternut Squash Kale Baked Frittata

8 eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk
4-5 cups chopped kale, sauteed in butter on stove top until wilted
3-4 cups of roasted butternut squash (tossed with oil/salt and roasted at 400 for 40 minutes)
Salt, pepper, parsley, onion powder

Roast squash and saute kale. Whisk eggs and coconut milk, then add in seasonings and veggies. Pour into greased dish and bake at 400 until set (no jiggling and cooked through), about 30 minutes.

Lamb Curry

Recipe to come...

Fall is Here

Well almost, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to try to usher it in sooner! I was itching to do some shopping and got it out of my system with a $10 clearance bag at Old Navy (to carry gym clothes in), some new all-in-one body wash/shampoo, pumpkin spice tea, and a mini pumpkin from Trader Joe's. Bring on the cooler temps!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Turkey with Celery Root Mash

This is a nice easy way to toss some odds and ends together into a tasty mash. The turkey is a frozen Butterball 3 that I defrosted and threw in the crock pot with a sliced stick of butter. It is sitting on top of a few small potatoes, parsnips, carrots, a chopped celery root, and about 1/3 cup of full fat coconut milk (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, and onion powder). After about 6 hours on low I removed the cooked turkey and mashed together the softened veggies, finishing it with an immersion blender to make it really smooth. I served the mash with some pulled turkey on top, garnished with a little leftover greenery from the celery root. Voila!

Gift Card Bouquet

After seeing an online success story from one of the area foster homes (a young man aging out, getting a good job, and moving into his own place), I asked if I could donate something for the apartment but it turns out everything was already covered and they said gift cards would be helpful. So I decided to jazz them up by making it a candy/gift card bouquet! Dollar store mug with a piece of foam pool noodle inside (fits perfectly!), then skewers stuck in that have the different items hot glued to them, then a little bit of shred to hide the noodle.

Pesto Spaghetti & Meatballs

Zoodles (zucchini noodles) + pesto + meatballs from Whole Foods = easy yummy lunch

Trail Mix Chocolate Bars

Life has been more stressful than I would like and instead of completely diving off the deep end I'm trying to find not so bad ways to indulge. This is melted chocolate (with a tablespoon of coconut oil) mixed with cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, and shredded coconut in a plastic mold and frozen. Great when the sweets cravings come!

Chicken and Peppers

I've been working a LOT lately and it's definitely impacted my meal planning and time available for grocery shopping and cooking. So I've had to go simple and accept that pretty good is better than nothing at this point. This is pulled chicken from Jim 'n Nicks with a sauteed CSA bell pepper and the Jim 'n Nicks white sauce (they sell it at the restaurant).

Indiana Conference

Okay, let's just start by saying that Colorado was a tough act to follow. I was home for not quite 24 hours before getting on a plane to Indianapolis to attend a national gymnastics conference. The conference was excellent--great speakers, learned about acro, and met some Olympic athletes! The city however, was just meh. We were there over a long weekend and it was just so...quiet. Not much going on. Clean, safe, just kind of boring. But I got to tick another city off of my travel list and had the opportunity to dive back into the gymnastics world, which was really fun!

Colorado, How I Love Thee

As we've done the last few years, my husband and I decided to book a fairly last minute adventure for my birthday. This time we flew into Denver, then rented a car and drove to Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, down to Silverthorne, Vail, and back through the Continental Divide to Denver. We hiked, ziplined, handstanded, and ate a lot of really good food. Perfect weather, amazing views, and I can't wait to go back!