Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blueberry-Coconut Mug Dessert

This afternoon I had a hankering for something sweet, and I remembered I had pinned a mug cake (never tried it).  Well it was a chocolate recipe and I, surprisingly, didn't want chocolate...I wanted something sweet AND fruity.

So I made my own Blueberry-Coconut Mug Dessert

For the ingredients I used the following:

3 Tablespoon Whole Wheat Flour (reg flour would be great too!)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Egg White (egg not pictured)
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (yep that's homemade!)
20 Blueberries
1 Tablespoon Coconut Flakes
~extra blueberries added later~

 I mixed my 2 dry ingredients.  Then I mixed in my Honey, Egg White, and Vanilla.  After that I plopped in my blueberries and topped them off w/ Coconut Flakes...I stirred only a little.  I microwaved it up for 1.5 minutes and it was perfect!  I then topped it off w/ a few more blueberries (I told ya I was craving something fruity!)

I let it cool, and stirred away: 


***notes for next time, use regular, not whole wheat flour, and maybe add a tablespoon of sugar :)  or more honey!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

At Home Buffalo Chicken Salad

I am very excited to share one of my husband's favorite recipes with you.  It's the only one I can think of that consists mostly of greenery!

He always makes up the buffalo chicken, so sorry, there is no exact amount of spices and sauce he uses, but that leave room for adventure!  Right!?

First he cuts all the fat off the chicken and then cuts it into bite sized pieces.  Then puts that in a bowl and starts to combine it with Franks Red Hot sauce, cumin, chili powder and some Creole (any mix of spices with a kick will work)

After letting the flavor soak in for about 20 min, he heats a pan up on the stove top and cooks on medium until the meat is done (sometimes he will add more red hot sauce too if it's looking dry...he likes it spicy!)

In the meantime, I am making the salad part of this meal.  I use romaine hearts, Parmesan cheese, whole carrots, celery and (not pictured here) toasted nuts.

Quick demo on chopping romaine that my dad taught me: 

 Evenly chop straight down
 Diagonally chop the rest

Salad spinner time (I love my salad spinner, I wash the salad, spin out the excess water, and then use the bowl to serve the salad!)

Next, I chopped up on celery stalk (hubby doesn't like celery all that much)  Then I grate my Parmesan and my carrot (one large one is all I need).

In the meantime, I have a small pan on my stove top with a mixture of almond slices and pecans.  I have the temp turned to medium-low, just enough to get them warmed and slightly browned.

Here's my salad combined w/ all my ingredients = SUPER YUM!  I could eat it like this without the chicken!

And a beautiful dish with my husbands buffalo chicken, some blue cheese dressing, and my salad creation!  Dinner is served!


2-3 lbs Chicken - cut to bite size
1/4 Cup Franks Red Hot
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Chile Powder
2 tsp Creole Seasoning
***above seasoning and sauce are approximate go to our minimum or maximum hotness***
1 1/2 Hearts of Romaine
1 Large Carrot
1 Stalk Celery
1/4 Cup Parmesan (I use a cube or Parmigiano Reggiano and grate my own - way better this way)
1/4 Cup of Nuts (pine nuts, almonds, pecans are my favorites)

Cut the fat off your chicken and then cut it into bite sized pieces.  Combine your chicken with your hot sauce and seasonings.  Let sit 5-20 min. cook on skillet at medium temp until done.  In a smaller pan at medium low, start to toast the nuts.  For the salad: Cut and wash your romaine.  Wash your carrot and celery.  Chop celery.  Grate carrot and Parmesan.  Mix in the nuts.  Put some lo-cal dressing (I recommend blue cheese) and top with your chicken!  


Whole Wheat Healthy Berry Muffins

This morning I woke up CRAVING carbs, but I knew we didn't have anything other than Ezekiel Bread (which is delicious btw) and I wanted something more, so I figured - muffins!!!  I had just purchased blueberries and blackberries and knew I wanted to put them in my muffins. 

I wanted to keep these whole wheat and w/ as little un-needed extras like sugar and butter as possible.  And well I took a leap and decided NOT to use either!

After searching through a few of my recipe's saved to my Pinterest, I took a jab at trying this one from eat-yourself-skinny.com  

I exchanged the canola oil with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I cut out the sugar and used some Huckleberry Honey (super yum) and tweaked a few other things to use what I had on hand. 

Here's the final product! 


Here's the recipe with a few switches I chose to make:

1 Cup Skim milk
1 apple (processed in food processor to consistency of applesauce)
1 egg
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Milled Flax
2 Tbsp Wheat Germ
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 Tbsp Honey (I used Huckleberry)***
3/4 Cup Blackberries - cut up a little
3/4 Cup Blueberries

Oven 400 degrees F.  Bake for 15-20 min (mine was 18)

Process your apple to applesauce consistency.  Combine it, milk, egg, oil, lemon juice.  Add in flour, flax, wheat germ and baking powder.  Then stir in the sweetness of your fruit and honey!  Make sure you add this to a muffin pan that's lined or sprayed!

***you MUST try huckleberries if you haven't already - I ate them all along a 2 mile hike in Salmon, Idaho one day and FELL IN LOVE! So on my way home I purchased some huckleberry products including this honey! :)


I sprayed my muffin pan and put it aside.

It was time to process my apple so I chopped it up (took out the seeds and stem) and put it into my food processor:

 The outcome = great!  Glad I kept the skin on too for extra nutrients:

Then I mixed my wet ingredients.  My entire processed apple (about 1/2 cup), 1 C milk, 1 egg, 1 T EVOO, lemon juice.

I combined my dry ingredients straight into my wet (could have used another bowl but it wasn't clean....so I just mixed it in...lazy, I know!)  My 1 3/4 C whole wheat flour, 2 T milled flax, 2 T wheat germ, and 2 tsp baking powder.

After cleaning and chopping my blackberries, I added them, my blueberries and my honey!  You can add your own fruits of choice and honey of choice.  I just LOVE my huckleberry honey I got while on my adventure out west!

I baked it for 18 min at 400 degrees F, and I think they turned out awesome!

Finished Product:

Served with Turkey Bacon and 2 over medium eggs :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Come On In! (Our Entryway)

It was imperative, in my mind, to have a statement piece in our entryway.  This is what I was working with...a blank canvas:

I immediately knew what I wanted to do.  I had seen a design with bamboo and rocks on HGTV and had fallen in love, so I looked it up on their website.

Along with a focal wall, I had four other walls to deal with.  My other main concerns...covering the small windows on either side of the door with something other than blinds, finding a place for my husband to sit and take off his dirty work boots, and hanging a leash/coat rack.

Before making my bamboo focal point, I had to paint.  I had picked out a burnt orange color of one of my t-shirts (bottom right) and went to the paint store to get a custom color...and here is what happened:

AHHH it was UT Volunteer ORANGE!  Or at least that's the way I felt!  I was anything but in love with the color.  So...I mixed some tan we had from painting our living room in with it and decided to rag roll the wall with my mixture:

I think it turned out pretty nicely. But I still had work to do!

And after going back to the store (I always buy paint from the same place - PG Porter) they asked about my custom color and I told them I didn't like it at all and ended up rag rolling over it, they gave me a coupon to use to get my next can of paint Free!

As for my bamboo creation...I was off to Hobby Lobby. I purchased my bamboo for about $2 each (only buy when they have the item on 50% off). I got 12! Then I decided I wanted more depth and bought some smaller cane reeds and zebra reeds (4 total bundles w/ about 15 reeds) for $3 each...making my total around $36!!! And I had extra and used them in vases we already had!

When I got home though, my husband informed me he couldn't easily make me the beautiful base/bamboo holder like the one in the picture above since we didn't have an electric circular saw and we could wait until we had one, but I knew that would be MONTHS and I am impatient sometimes. That was in July...we got the saw finally in December.  So I spent about $24 on two planters...but we had gift cards :)

I cut my bamboo down to size using a HAND saw...took a little while.  I wanted to put a round mirror in the middle of the wall and shape the bamboo around the mirror.  I had my husband bring me small rock from some mixtures they use at work (he's in the concrete industry).  I used that along with a combination of crumpled newspaper to steady my bamboo in my planters.  Then I placed the larger rocks on top:

The front windows were bothering me (I didn't like that people could see straight into the house).  I purchased some vinyl wall covering for a total of about $15 with shipping.  The install was simple, clean the window, cut your vinyl to size, put a little water on the window, place the vinyl in the window and squeegee the excess water.  (Not gonna lie, I didn't do this, my dad's girlfriend did while Dad and I painted the office!)

I think it turned out GREAT!

I already had the chair (which my husband promises to replace w/ a wood bench), the vases holding the rest of the bamboo were a wedding gift, and we already had the coat/dog leash holder, and our splurge purchase was the black round mirror from Hobby Lobby for about $50. And lastly, I recently swapped the extra tan carpet patch we were using in front of the door for a clearance $10 rug from Target!  Making my total out of pocket cost was around $110. 

It's a little more cash than what I would have wanted to spend, but doing the bamboo and painting myself made me feel creative :) 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mutt Munchies - The 4 Ingredient Treat

Today we officially adopted Walden!!! 

Walden has been with us for about a month now as a foster puppy and today he was neutered so we were able to sign the papers for the official adoption :)

He's a cutie :)

So to celebrate, I thought I would make some homemade treats!!! (he and his big sister decided to eat a year's worth of free treats I had won from a local pet store...they were all natural and holistic treats...to say I was disappointed when I saw two stuffed puppies and a floor covered in ripped bags and containers was an understatement...but this is beside the point...today is in CELBRATION of Walden!)

Back to the treats...

I found this recipe on Pinterest (link takes you to browneyedbaker.com) and have been wanting to try it out for some time.  It has 4 simple ingredients.

2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 Cup Low-Fat Milk
(oh, and cute cookie cutters!)

Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Combine your dry ingredients (flour & baking powder).  Then I used a blender to combine my milk and peanut butter...mixing it by hand in a bowl was not working!

Then add your wet mixture to your dry mixture and combine.

Put your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it out.  Get your rolling pin and roll away until your dough is 1/4 in thickness...then get your cookie treat cutters and cut out your shapes.

I didn't grease my pan as the original recipe calls for b/c I had some good non-stick pans. I baked them for 20 min and wah-la! Beauty!

Then the puppies came over...first looking so cute...then - SNEAK ATTACK!  Sasha caught me off guard!  She's licking her lips and enjoying the treat in the last pic :)

 Now here are some cuter ones :)


Try it yourself!  I hope your pup enjoys them as much as mine!!!

 Again, find the original post where I got this yummy recipe here.