Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blueberry Corn Salad

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I'm going to miss summer!
It's been so nice to go out on our deck and grab a cucumber and a handful of cherry tomatoes
or stop by my parents farm for potatoes, zucchini or whatever vegetables they may have an abundance of.

On my visit this week mom gave me a bag of corn on the cob and some green peppers.
Since this will probably be the last of the sweet corn I decided to make a special salad for our
labor day weekend cookout.

The blueberries provide a pop of color, while at the same time adding a touch of
sweetness to the salad.  I loved the combination!

Goodbye summer.
You are my fave!

Blueberry Corn Salad

8 ears sweet corn, husked
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cucumber, chopped
1/4 C red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot of boiling water, cook corn for 5 minutes, or until tender.
Set aside to cool.
When corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn from the cobs.
Combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, onion, cilantro and jalapeno in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over salad; stirring to combine.
Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Serves 6-8

Note - salad can be made up to one day in advance.

Recipe adapted from BHG

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blackberry Spinach Salad

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During the summer months there's nothing like a fresh cool salad for lunch or dinner.
Romaine, baby spinach and kale are my favorite greens.
I like to top my salad with some type of fruit, a little protein and then a few Diamond nuts
to add a little crunch!
Sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pine nuts - I love them all!

Diamond Nuts recently sent me a few packages of nuts, along with some recipe cards to inspire
me to come up with some new salad combinations.
The beautiful blackberries I purchased last weekend at our local farmers market were just the
inspiration I needed.

I love the contrast of the berries against the greens and they are a tasty combination too!

To give this salad some extra pizzazz I topped it with sliced almonds, fresh avocado and a
lemon poppy seed dressing.  I'm not a huge fan of cheese on my salad, but if you are I think
feta would be a nice addition.

Now isn't that a pretty salad!

Blackberry Spinach Salad

4 cups baby spinach
pinch of sea salt
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 avocado, chopped
1/3 cup sliced Diamond almonds
1/4 cup feta cheese, if desired

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

2 T olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Put baby spinach into a large bowl, sprinkle with sea salt.
Add the blackberries, avocado, almonds and feta cheese; tossing gently.

In a small mason jar, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, poppy seeds, salt
and pepper.  Shake until mixed.

Pour dressing over the salad; tossing to coat.

Serves 4

Disclosure - I was provided product from Diamond Nuts for this post, but as always, 
all opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread with Oat Streusel

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I'm going to miss summer and all of the free veggies from my parents garden!
My mom planted five zucchini plants just for me and my sister-in-law and we have been
loving it.
Zucchini for daaayyyzzzz :)

You can read about how I freeze zucchini here.

I haven't baked in awhile and I was having withdrawal, so with four zucchini sitting on my
kitchen counter, I decided on zucchini bread.
Not just plain zucchini bread, but zucchini bread with chocolate chips and a buttery
oat streusel - yummy!

You can make this zucchini bread in a regular size loaf pan if you like, but I love making
mini loaves to give to friends and co-workers.  That I way I don't eat all of them!

It only takes a few minutes to make your baked goods look extra special using small cellophane
bags, ribbon or fabric twist ties.

Your friends will love it and think you're all Martha Stewarty :)
Give it a try!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread with Oat Streusel

Oat Streusel:
2/3 C rolled oats or quick oats (I used a combination of both)
1/2 C light brown sugar
2 T flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 C unsalted butter, cold
1 T mini chocolate chips

Zucchini Bread:
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C canola oil
1 C grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one large loaf pan or 6 mini loaf pans with cooking spray.
Set aside.
Make the streusel by adding the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour in a medium bowl.
Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or use your hands.  Mix until the streusel resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl combine the beaten egg, sugars, oil, zucchini and vanilla; whisking until incorporated.  In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spatula until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
Spread batter into the prepared pans.

Directions for one regular size loaf pan:  Bake bread for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with the streusel, pressing it down into the top.  Return to the oven for additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  You are adding the streusel later to prevent it from sinking to the bottom as it bakes.  Allow bread to cool in the pan on a wire rack for one hour before removing it from the pan.

For my mini loaf pans I used a large cookie scoop to fill the pans, using 2 scoops per mini pan.
I baked the loaves 8 minutes before removing them from the oven and adding the streusel.  I returned them to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Makes one large loaf or 6 mini loaves.

Recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Raspberry Chia Smoothie

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Hi friends!
I'm back with healthy treat this time!

Smoothies are one of my favorite healthy snacks.
I love how you can change them up depending upon what fruit you have on hand.
I had frozen raspberries that I needed to use, so tonight I whipped up
this Raspberry Chia smoothie.

Since I was home alone this evening, this smoothie was my dinner : )
It was filling enough to help me get through my 3-mile walk.
I did snack on some baby carrots and hummus afterwards.
Oh and some dark chocolate chips : )

Sometimes I add spinach or kale to my smoothies, but tonight I kept it simple with just fruit
and protein powder.
I use Whole Foods 365 brand of vanilla protein powder, but any brand will do.

Want some other smoothie recipes?
Try this one, this one or this one.

Raspberry Chia Smoothie

3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 banana
1 scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. chia seeds

Add raspberries, sliced banana, protein powder and almond milk into a blender.
Blend until smooth and creamy.  Feel free to add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick and won't blend.  Pour into a glass and sprinkle with chia seeds.
Add a cute straw and enjoy!

Serves one.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Keurig Isn't Just For Coffee Lovers!

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Remember when I posted this happy photo on Instagram?
Well my mornings just got a whole lot better my friends!

I was recently given the opportunity to review the Keurig K-Cup Single Brewing system
and now I am wondering how I have lived without this sweet little machine all my life!

I am not a big coffee drinker, but I do LOVE my morning breakfast tea, my mid-day chai tea
latte and my evening cup of green tea.
Keurig K-cups are available in all of my favorite teas and hot chocolates.

The Keurig program feature lets me brew my breakfast tea in seconds, helping me to
be a happier morning person and starting my day out right :)
The 3-cup size selection fills my mugs perfectly, even my travel mug for hot tea goodness on the go.

I love that there are over 200 K-cup varieties from leading gourmet brands.
I plan on stocking up on several varieties of coffee, tea and hot chocolates to have
them available whenever guests arrive.
The Keurig K-cup will help me be the hostess with the mostess :)
Cupcakes and coffee anyone?

If you prefer using your own ground coffee, you can purchase a reusable k-cup coffee
filter.  I didn't get one yet, but I will be purchasing one soon.

Overall I am very pleased with the performance of the Keurig brewing system.
I am excited to try more delicious flavors and to try brewing my chai tea latte over ice too.
Iced chai is one of my favorites at Starbucks - now I will be able to make my own at home!

Be sure to follow Keurig on Facebook for information on new flavors, contests and more!

Disclosure - I was sent a Keurig K-Cup Brewing system to review. 
I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

No-Churn Cookie Dough Ice Cream #IceCreamForOXO

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It's summer y'all.
Time for some chilly treats!

After receiving a box of handy OXO ice cream tools from the super nice people at OXO
I knew exactly what kind of treat I was going to make.
Cookie dough ice cream!

I made the cookie dough cubes a few days before the ice cream just to save some time.
The recipe for the cookie dough makes way more than you will need for the ice cream,
but extra cookie dough is a good thing right :)

I keep the extra cubes in the freezer and grab one or two when I get the craving for something sweet.
The cookie dough is egg-free, so no need to worry about getting sick from raw eggs!
I also use the cubes as the filling for my cookie dough cupcakes.

Here's how I made the cookie dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, at room temp.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars.
Add vanilla and milk.
Spoon in the flour and salt; mixing just until combined.
Fold in mini chocolate chips.

Spoon dough onto a cookie sheet.  The dough is easier to work with once chilled, so place it in the fridge
for 15-20 minutes.  Pat dough out to cover cookie sheet and place in the freezer.
Cut frozen dough into cubes and store in an air-tight freezer container.

Try not to eat 20 cubes in one sitting :)

Now onto the ice cream!
Just 3 ingredients - that's it!
Heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract.
And the best part is you don't even need an ice cream maker!
The easy, peasy recipe is at the bottom of the post.

I love this angled OXO measuring cup!
It lets you read the measurements as you're looking into the cup - genius!

Measure the vanilla using the OXO mini measuring beaker set.

No churn ice cream keeps great in the OXO Lock top container that can go from the freezer
to the microwave and dishwasher and the OXO stainless steel ice cream scoop is the best!

No-churn ice cream is so simple to make.
What are you waiting for?
It's summertime!
Make some ice cream!

No-Churn Cookie Dough Ice Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form (about 3 minutes).
In a large mixing bowl, stir sweetened condensed milk and vanilla just until combined.
Fold whipped cream into the milk and vanilla mixture.
Pour into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer until ice cream firms.

Note - I add the cookie dough cubes when the ice cream is slightly frozen (after an hour or two) so that they
don't sink to the bottom.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hello Monday on Wednesday

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I had my Hello Monday post all ready to go for you on Sunday night, but for some reason I forgot about it and posted how I freeze zucchini instead.
So I will say Hello Monday on Wednesday.
It is my blog so I guess I can say hello whatever day I want - ha ha.

Anyway, here is a glimpse of what I have been saying hello to lately.

Hello first zinnia bouquet of the summer.
Zinnias are one of my favorite summer flowers and my mom plants hundreds of them.

Hello to visiting my parents farm and watching my Dad rake hay.
He loves the farm!

Hello to making cookie dough cubes for homemade ice cream.
Recipe coming soon!

Hello to my fascination with Little Free Libraries.
I want to start one in my neighborhood!

Hello to pool time - my fave!
What's in your pool bag?

Hello to adding fresh blueberries to corn muffins.
So good! Try it!
You can use this recipe or simply add them to your favorite cornbread mix.

Hello to trying ReNola.
Grain-free granola from LaraBar.
It's delish! You should try it too.

Hope you are having a great week so far!
Long weekend ahead!
Happy 4th of July!!

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