Sunday, September 14, 2014

Berry Salsa

I found a great recipe for berry-apricot salsa in my Vegetarian Times magazine. It's great for chips if you want a fruity alternative to real salsa, or you can use it as a healthy topping on plain yogurt.  If you ever read the ingredients label on a flavored yogurt, you'll want to start buying plain. It's packed with things no one can pronounce. But if you buy plain and add your own fruit, you know exactly what's going in it! Here's the recipe, with my modifications: 

1 cup raspberries, divided
3 tablespoon apricot preserves
1 cup diced fresh apricots, nectarines, or peaches (I used peaches)
1 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger

1. Mash 4 raspberries in a small bowl and mix with the apricot preserves.
2. Add peaches, blackberries, remaining raspberries, and ginger to a bowl.
3. Toss to coat with preserve mixture, add salt and pepper if desired (I didn't).
4. Allow mixture to stand so flavors can combine.

I really like the way it turned out! My only complaint is that the ginger is too strong, especially when you get a big piece in a bite.  Next time, I'd leave it out all together - it doesn't add much to the salsa and the fruit can stand on it's own.  

I'd like to try this with different fruit/preserve combinations.  It's definitely one I'd make again!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lasagna Cupcakes

Hello world! It's been months since I've blogged. Guess I've been busy having a life, whaaaaaaat. 

Hillary and I made these adorable little cupcakes today and they are too cute to not share. Check it out! 

First, cook some lasagna noodles and cut them in half.  Cook ground beef, season it however you like, and add marinara and diced tomatoes.  Add cheese on top, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the noodles starts to get crispy around the edges.

You'll see other recipes out there (Pinterest) but they tell you to do silly things, like add extra seasonings. Who has time for that? No one. Don't bother. Keep it simple. 

My cute roommate

 Let them cool, and voila! Cute little hors d'oeuvres for a party...or if you're like us, just hungry. Noms!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend in Review

This weekend was so productive! I got in plenty of social time, baking and sewing!

Hillary and I made some cake pops shaped like eggs for Easter.  They're unfinished  and a little misshapen, but if we can decorate them cute enough you'll see more later! Don't count on it though, because does anyone realize how hard cake pops actually are?? Aint nobody got time for that! 

Better than the egg-shaped cakes, I got a soft serve ice cream maker, just in time for summer! I would be making ice cream instead of blogging right but the bowl has to freeze first. Stay tuned! Homemade ice cream, sherbet, and sorbet oh my! 

I made Easter brunch with the girls this morning.  Berry scones and mimosas anyone? Who doesn't love brunch and girl time? 

My favorite accomplishment this weekend: this pillow! My couch is a little bare and sad, so I'm making pillows for it.  This is the first one! There's a monogram there, but the white is a little hard to see in the picture.  I made another pillow a while ago - if you want to see the tutorial, you can find it here. I can't wait to make more! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring in DC

Spring has finally sprung! It sure took long enough- I have never seen snow in April until I moved here.

This weekend was perfection.  The weather was amazing! To kick it off, on Thursday Hillary and I went to a shopping party at Anthropologie (swoon).  There was a candy bar, and the staff followed us around with champagne.  I could get used to that! 

Saturday I spent most of the day in DC - enjoying the weather, walking around Capitol Hill and getting a tour of the Capitol. Saturday evening Hillary and I decided to go see the Cherry Blossoms that DC is so famous for. I'm not sure what possessed us to go other than the weather, because I've never seen so many sweaty tourists in my life. The 4th of July in DC may be the only exception.  BUT! It was worth it. 

The blossoms were gorgeous. It was so nice to sit under the trees (and do some quality people-watching).  I'm so happy spring is finally here!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Homemade Granola

I just got a "clean eating" cookbook that has a recipe for homemade granola. Yummmm!

The cookbook says it's much healthier to make at home and I believe it! Something tells me the store-bought granola comes packed with sugar and preservatives.  Bleck! 

 I'm not sure sure about the healthiness of the maple syrup, but it has to stick together some how... at least it's natural! I think that's the #1 priority in the cookbook- that every food item is actually real food and not over-processed. 

Here's the recipe:
1/2 cup all natural organic maple syrup
1/2 cup natural organic honey
1/2 canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 cups natural rolled oats
1 cup toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup natural pecans, measured then chopped
1 cup natural walnuts, measured then chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups honey wheat germ

What I actually used was a little different.  I used the syrup and honey to make the mix, but I didn't have canola oil so I used vegetable oil.  I don't think there's a huge difference, so that's what I went with.  Also, the recipe calls for eight cups of oats.  Can we just stop for a second and think about HOW MUCH eight cups is? I used two cups and that was plenty. I didn't use any wheat germ either.  Not important.  

The nuts are crazy expensive, but they're so good for you! This is a good time to suck it up and pay the $12 for the walnuts, I promise.  I used more than one cup of each too. I didn't measure, but  it was probably closer to 2 cups?  Instead of chopping the nuts by hand, I put them in a bag and smashed then with a hammer! It was a great way to let out frustration.  

First, I mixed the goo- syrup, honey and oil. Next, I added in the dry ingredients and mixed until it was all coated.  I spread it out on a baking sheet and baked it for 15 minutes at 325.  When it started smelling good, I knew it was time to take it out and stir.  I did that a few times so all parts could bake evenly. 

Granola - pre-baking

Granola - post-baking

Once it was baked, it firmed up quite a bit. And oddly enough, it tasted even better after it cooled! I'm a big fan.  And it's even semi-healthy! The cookbook says a serving is 1/2 cup and 369 calories.  


I even added some of the granola to a parfait- it was delicious! I think I'm also going to try to make some granola bars. Mmmmm.