Thursday, June 26, 2014

random...

a couple of my coworkers were cleaning out one of our storage units at work and came across this beauty!  apparently this is a "vintage condom dispenser".  vintage?????  this thing came out of the 1980's, but it gave us all a good laugh in the office today! 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

best buds...

i was all by my lonesome last weekend, so what does that mean!?!?!?  3 wine nights in one week with my bestie and the dogs get to play too!  so we went to traders to pick up our usual snacks and wine, and we got the dogs a treat too.  bailey finished his bone (a 12 inch bully stick) in less than 5 minutes, and wilfred chewed at it for over an hour and half, and barely made a dent in it.  at home this bone would last him a week or so.  this picture is so funny to me, because bailey is patiently waiting for wilfred to get up so he can finish the rest of his bone.  and he did!  wilfred went inside to get water and by the time he got back, bailey had finished it off, poor wilfred was so confused.  i love wine nights and doggy play dates.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

power pancake...

i recently posted about how i have mastered the pancake, and with my low carb diet, that recipe is not the ideal weekend breakfast option for me.  but i miss them!!!!!  so i attempted to make a "power pancake" to curb my craving and get in a good breakfast.  first try and i think i nailed them!  they are tasty, filling and nutritious! 

ingredients:

2 T flaxseed meal
1/4 cup pancake mix (substantially less than my real recipe)
1 egg
2 T shredded coconut
1 t coconut oil
1 t vanilla
2 t chia seeds
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 water
1 mushed banana

how to:

mix all ingredients together until smooth, the batter should be thick.  i have to make silver dollar like pancakes with this one, i tried to make a thin pancake, but the consistency is not right for crepes.  on medium high heat, pour 3/4 cup of batter into pan and flip when you start to see bubbles. 


Saturday, June 21, 2014

pancakes...

yes, i know i just posted about going low carb, but these pancakes are what i make my husband for breakfast every weekend.  unfortunately i won't be able to enjoy them for a while, but here is my recipe for the best pancakes...



ingredients:

2 1/2  cups of your favorite pancake mix (i use trader joes buttermilk pancake mix)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 T coconut oil
1 T vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
 2 T butter (for cooking)





how to:

turn burner onto medium high heat and heat large (12 inch) non-stick fry pan.  combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until completely smooth (no lumps).  take some of the butter and let it sizzle in fry pan, using a ladle, pour a 1/2 cup of batter into pan and swirl around, making a thin pancake.


you will know the pan is hot enough because it will start to cook immediately and you will be able to tell when it is ready to flip because of the air bubbles forming.

use a spatula to release the edges to make flipping easier. 


he pancake should be golden in color and will take a very short time to cook on the 2nd side.  continue this process until you are out of batter.  this usually makes 8-10 large thin pancakes.  top with your favorite syrup, jam, fruit or as jarad likes chocolate chips on the inside.


**helpful tips**

~this batter should be on the runny side, making for a more crepe like pancake.  you may have to adjust the ingredients and add more water if the batter is too thick.  the pancakes should be stretchy and tender.
~if you do not like the subtle taste of coconut you can use vegetable oil
~butter the pan every other pancake to get crispy edges and make flipping easy
~if you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute with greek yogurt or sour cream (use half the amount and a little more water)
~try adding flaxseed or chia seeds to the batter for extra fiber and protein
~sometimes in between pancakes you need to wait a minute for the pan to get hot enough again

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

chopped salad...

i am making my best attempt at a low carb diet these days...and for those of you who know me, i am addicted to carbs.  i love bread, rice, pasta and sugar!  and unfortunately carbs are everywhere, so i am trying my best to cut out grains and sugar.  this has been my new favorite lunch and it is easy, delicious and low carb diet approved!

ingredients:

salad mix (i use trader joes all american salad mix and chop it finely)
6 fresh basil leaves (rough chop)
2 slices of deli turkey meat (rolled and cut into strips)
3 slices of salami (cut into strips)
handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil, balsamic vinegar and your favorite salad seasoning for dressing


you can get creative with this salad, but this is my favorite combo so far.  you can add tuna, ham, chicken or a hard boiled egg.  i love fresh basil in my salad, but you could also jazz it up with some peperoncinis or olives. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

happy birthday mom and happy fathers day!

happy birthday to my beautiful mama...she is the epitome of strength, sweetness, wisdom and LOVE!


happy father's day to the man who can always make me laugh, is the most positive person i know and who is truly a rock to our family. i love you always!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

happy birthday jamie!

happiest birthday to my favorite sister and friend, wishing you a great day and the best year yet!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

dog beach...

during our trip to santa cruz a couple of weekends ago, we took wilfred to the dog beach for the first time. unfortunately he doesn't like the water, but he had fun running in the sand and chasing other dogs. he sure does look like one happy pup!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

communication...

in a tech savvy world, we often find it easier and quicker to text and email, but many times our messages can be misunderstood. without eye contact and verbal communication we are left to interpret someone's mood, attitude or emotion through words alone.  never underestimate the power of conversation or the art of the written letter.

Friday, June 6, 2014

music...the smiths

been on repeat for a few days now.  "please, please,please, let me get what i want", the smiths...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

guacamole...

guacamole is one of my most favorite foods, and it is even better if served outdoors and with a cool cocktail.  i believe guacamole should be chunky, fresh and simple.  here is my recipe that is the perfect size for 6-8 hungry people as an appetizer.

ingredients:

7 medium sized avocados
12 oz pico de jallo
1 lime
3 cloves fresh garlic (finely minced)
1 jalepeno (de-seeded and finely minced)
salt and pepper to taste

how to:

cut your avocados in half and cube the flesh (save the pits for later).  in a bowl combine your avocado with your pico de jallo (which is equal parts tomato and onion with jalapeno and cilantro).  i use a good quality store bought pico de jallo, of course this could be homemade but i find that you can't tell the difference and it saves a lot of prep time.  add your finely minced garlic and jalapeno, juice of one line and salt and pepper.  i used my hands to gently combine all ingredients, so that it keeps the guacamole chunky, but depending on how you like the consistency of your guacamole you can use a fork or potato masher to get it smoother.  serve with your favorite tortilla chips and ideally a margarita too!  enjoy!


***helpful hints***

~when trying to figure out how many avocados to use, i figure one avocado per person is more than enough
~it's best to make guacamole fresh, but if you are making ahead of time, place the avocado pits in the guacamole and it will help keep it from turning brown.  the lime juice also helps with this as well.
~cover your guacamole with plastic wrap, and place it so that it is touching the guacamole, this is a good way to store it without it turning brown.
~i believe guacamole should always be homemade, but if you are in a pinch, my favorite store bought brand is trader joes reduced guilt guacamole, made with greek yogurt.  it is delicious!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

sorbet pie...

it seems like everyone is on a strange diet these days or has a special dietary restriction, which can make cooking and entertaining for others difficult. we had a dinner party this weekend for a vegan couple, and i was in charge of dessert. i went to my go-to vegan source (one of my co-workers who has been vegan for 6 years) for some sweet ideas. i didnt have much time to bake this weekend and wanted something easy and refreshing for summer. we came up with a sorbet pie! apparently keebler graham cracker crusts are accidentally vegan as well as sorbet, which seemed like a good combo.

ingredients:

1 keebler graham cracker crust
2 small containers of sorbet (i choose raspberry and mango)
fresh fruit to top (i choose raspberries and kiwi)

 how to:

you have to do the sorbet layers in 2 steps. so first pick which sorbet flavor you want to be on the bottom. i put my raspberry sorbet on the bottom so that the mango sorbet would look good against the fruit. allow the sorbet to melt slightly as to make it easy to spread. then put the pie back in the freezer to harden. when the first layer is hard, you can do the same process with your 2nd flavor. then allow the pie to freeze again and serve with your favorite fruit. i am also serving this pie with cool whip on the side, although it is dairy free it is NOT vegan.