Thursday, May 29, 2014

Apricot White Chocolate Biscotti

Yesterday, I had such good intentions for getting stuff done.  I was going to do my homework for my programming and mapping classes.  I was going to apply for jobs.  I was maybe even going to go to the gym.

Instead?  Instead I watched hours of makeup tutorials online.  It was one of those YouTube time warps where you start out one place and then just keep going deeper into the rabbit hole and end up in a totally different area of the internet.  I don't know how it happens but I know YouTube is really good at it.
And I'm really not even that into makeup.  I mean, sure, I wear some...sometimes, but I wouldn't say I need to dedicate hours out of my day to learning new techniques!

Maybe it's ok to waste some time every once in a while.  I just hope next time I do that, it's over coffee and biscotti instead of vlogs.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Milkshake

Austin is allergic to fresh strawberries.  All fresh fruit actually.  Even though he'll complain about me "forcing him to eat fresh fruit and build up a tolerance," I'm positive he's actually really grateful that he can bite into an apple, eat a peach, and I'm pretty sure he's really glad he can slurp up a strawberry milkshake on a hot day made with real, fresh strawberries.
Before he'd built up a tolerance, he used to ask the waitress if the milkshakes were made with fresh strawberries.  Almost 100% of the time, they would say, "yes, of course!"  When Austin would tell them he was allergic, then they would get honest, and say, "well, not fresh, fresh technically..."

This one is fresh, fresh.  You can taste the difference.  And since it's already supposed to be in the high eighties here tomorrow, I have a feeling I'll be making a lot more this summer!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cheese Danish

Around Christmastime every year, we make these cheese cookies.  They have cheddar cheese, a lot of butter, and rice krispies in them.  I know they don't sound good, but they are.  Actually they are tied for my favorite Christmas cookie.

I know this post is not about Christmas or even cookies.  My point is that sometimes things that don't necessarily sound like they go together, most definitely go together.

Whenever I hear "cheese" followed by "danish," I think, "those 2 things together would be disgusting."  But then I remember that cheese danishes are possibly my favorite pastry out of all the pastries and there's no sharp cheddar involved.
It's weird how you can just forget how much you love something.  There have been quite a few foods from my childhood that I've rediscovered in the past few years and for the life of me I can't remember why I don't eat them every day!

I can honestly say that I'd never had a homemade danish of any sort before I made these a little while ago (even if they are only semi-homemade), but I promise you cheese danishes, I'll never forget about you again!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Going Green Smoothie

Going green is really cool right now.  It should have been cool a lot earlier, but now you can collect your reusable grocery bags without shame, you can ride your bike to work and look like a hipster (say what you will, but 'hip' is in the name), you can shop at fancy grocery stores and try new foods you've never heard of before.  Basically, the door is open.

There are drawbacks to doing your part of course.  Now you have to store all your reusable bags.  You show up dripping with sweat everywhere you go.  You're spending more on groceries than rent.  But you should do it anyway.
There are a lot of things you should do that aren't always convenient.  Like exercising.  Like eating healthy.  Part of our problem is that we think these things are hard.  'It's hard to remember my bags when I get to the checkout.'  It's not that hard, just put them in your car.  'Exercise is hard."  Find something you like, it feels less like a chore.  'I don't have time to make healthy meals, I'll eat out instead.'  You do have time.  You just do.

This smoothie takes about 30 seconds.  It will give you energy all morning.  It's full of things that are good for you: protein-packed spinach, fresh pineapple, grapes, and banana.  You also get to feel cool when everyone asks you what you're drinking.  Another perk: it tastes really really good!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Aloha Smoothie

When I flew back into Salt Lake City on Sunday night after spending 9 days lounging at the beach, I was greeted by snow!  I really do love snow.  In the winter.  On Mother's Day, it's a different story.
You'd think that the beach would be the thing to motivate me to eat tons of fresh fruit and sip on smoothies all day, but for some reason all I eat when breathing in the salt air is more salt and junk food.  I ate more potato chips in those 9 days than I will the rest of the year.  I ate burgers and fried chicken and lots of ice cream.  Besides a couple pieces of watermelon one morning, I don't think I saw fresh fruit.

So, when I got back, I was walking through the grocery store and immediately drawn to everything bright and juicy.  It's nice to be able to channel some of the beach into my daily life in the mountains too.  And until the rest of the snow melts, I'll just have to keep pretending.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pizza Crust

For being a person who spends a lot of her time thinking about food, I'm really not all that picky of an eater.  Besides not eating seafood, I'm pretty much happy with anything edible.
The same cannot be said of people who fancy themselves "pizza aficionados."  I'm not talking about people that like to eat pizza often.  I'm talking about people who make their own dough.  They've developed their recipes and tested and redeveloped and retested.  They have notes that go on for pages about the temperature of the water and exactly how many times the dough should be kneaded at each step.

I can't be tied down to something like that.  I need the process to be much more forgiving.  Also, I don't think I'll ever call myself an aficionado of anything.  Maybe sarcastically.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Banana Sheet Cake

Do you remember when the one kid in 'The Mighty Ducks' calls the other kid on his team a cake eater?  I never understood what it meant.  I always figured it was just some made up insult by the Disney crew so they wouldn't get into too much trouble.

According to Urban Dictionary, it's a slang term for a rich person.  Someone who can have their cake and eat it too.  Another explanation is that most people only get cake on their birthdays and other special occasions, so people who can have dessert all the time are spoiled.  Still pretty mild and fairly safe on Disney's part, but it's more of an insult than I thought when I first saw the movie as a kiddo.
Even though it's an insult, I would love to eat cake every day.  And I do eat cake a lot of days.  But when you're making your cake out of food that's on the verge of rotten, does that still make you spoiled?  Yeah, probably.

If you're tired of making banana bread out of your brown bananas, here's another option for you.  Bonus: it's covered in homemade cream cheese frosting!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tossed Fruit Salad

Sometimes when you move away from a place, you miss everything about it.  Sometimes you miss a certain feeling you got when you were there.  Or the weather.  Or the people.  I've moved around a lot the past few years, and each place I leave has a unique set of things that I miss.

When I left Washington DC though, I'll admit, I didn't miss much.  I was so happy to get out of there, that I didn't think much about leaving.  Of course, we made friends there that I wish we could see more often, but I don't miss the traffic, or the stinky people on the metro, my job, the insecurity, or the noise for a second.

There are so few things that I remember fondly from my time in DC, but one thing that keeps popping back into my mind is Chop't.  If you don't have a Chop't near you (I feel ya), it's a salad chain that makes you a bucket of salad filled with whatever you ask for.  They chop it all up small (hence, the name), and it's probably the best thing in our nation's capital.
My friend, who might as well be a rabbit, would always get hers loaded up with carrots, peas, tomatoes, peppers, and then top it off with just a tiny bit of lemon vinaigrette.  I was never that healthy.  I'd get cheese, croutons, maybe some veggies, probably some fruit and then spoon on a pretty heavy dose of a cream-based salad dressing.

This tossed fruit salad is a combination of the two.  I'd say it makes a pretty good compromise.

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