April 30, 2013

Massaged Kale Salad

If I could describe the flavors of this super healthy recipe in one word it would be: Happy!
I made a big batch of this recipe on Sunday to eat for lunches throughout the week, at the recommendation of a friend, and she did not steer me wrong!
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Massaged Kale Salad. Guest post by Georgia Pellegrini, recipe submitted by TK member Karla (KGracie71) of Forty Cakes.
  • 1-½ cup Cooked And Cooled Quinoa
  • 5 cups Kale
  • ½ cups Walnuts (I toasted these, because toasted nuts are just 100% better)
  • ¼ cups Dried Cranberries (I used dried currants because I had them on hand)
  • 1  Apple, Chopped
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1  Lime, Juiced
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • Preparation Instructions

    Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Let cool.
    For the vinaigrette:
    Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, juice from the lime, garlic and the honey. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
    *See note below
    For the salad:
    Put chopped kale in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over the beautiful leaves. Massage the vinaigrette into the kale for about 5 minutes. The size of the kale will decrease significantly and you should be able to feel the kale becoming more tender.
    After the massage, add in the quinoa. Toss together with the kale.
    Once those are well combined, toss in the walnuts, cranberries and chopped apples. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, to taste.
    *I have a confession to make.  I looked at the ingredients for the vinaigrette, than I looked at the ingredients in this dressing that I already had:
    And they were basically identical, so I just cheated and went with the bottled dressing.  Don't judge.  It's still healthy and happy.
    I also added chicken sausage, also at the recommendation of my friend.  It made it a little more meaty and satisfying.  It just kept getting better! 
    I was afraid that I wasn't going to love the salad because I've never had "raw" kale and I was afraid it would be too earthy (AKA: "gross").  But it wasn't at all.  The massage I gave it (te he he) made it soft and tender and delicious.  I felt so healthy eating this for lunch yesterday.  And today...and the next 2 days.
    Make a batch next Sunday for your weekly lunches.  I halved the recipe and it made enough for 4 lunches.  The serving size was about a cup.  What better way to start the week than to force feed yourself this delicious, nutritious vitamin and protein packed "salad"?!

    April 29, 2013

    Dog is my Copilot

    Having a dog is a GAME.  CHANGER.
    Not only do I have to be responsible for another living, breathing, being, but I also now have to plan my schedule around letting the little miss out to pee and poo. 
    At first I was like, "Why did I do this?!  I gave away my freedom for no reason!"
    And then I realized, oh wait, I wasn't exactly curing cancer in my free time before Rosie, so perhaps it is best that I have a reason to not stay out until midnight on a Friday, not sit on the couch all day on a Saturday, and not only go outside when I need to get in my car to get more food. 
    So it turns out she's really helping me more than I'm helping her.
    Downward Dog Revisisted
    I also have met a lot of new people on our walks.  I am not even exagerrating when I say that in the last week alone I have had 4 perfect strangers pull their cars over to get out and meet Rosie. 
    I also had one person yell out their window and ask me if I was walking a squirrel. 
    But mostly she's getting good feedback...
    If her popularity level keeps up like this, I am going to have to start really primping before our walks!  I can't be lookin' a hot mess while my dog is working the streets and getting attention from everyone and their mothers.
    Just try leaving this little face in the morning to go to work.  Breaks my little heart.
    And if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, please bare with me as I try to contain my desire to post 600 pictures of Rosie per day.  Pictures really don't do her cuteness any justice, but it's impossible to not share her cute little mug with the cyber world.

    April 26, 2013

    Toasted Almond Coconut Macaroons

    Looking for a quick and easy sweet to make this weekend?  Try this:
    I've been wanting to make macaroons for the longest time, so when I finally saw this 6-ingredient recipe in the back of People Magazine, I knew my time had come.
    3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
    1 cup sliced almond
    1/8 tsp. salt
    2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 large egg whites
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a baking sheet; toast in oven for 4 minutes.  Let cool.  Put almond on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes (may take less, keep an eye one it).  When almonds cool, pulse them in a food processor (or coffee grinder) until coarsely ground.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in coconut and salt.
    2. Combine condensed milk, vanilla, and egg whites, then blend into the coconut mixture.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
    3. Scoop out small rounds of dough, about 1 1/2 tbsp. each, onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until faintly golden on the tips and sides.
    *This recipe is adapted from a recipe in One Girl Cookies.
    I really loved the simplicity of this recipe.  It was sweet, but not too sweet, with a crunchy and chewy texture.  Plus it was just fun to make!  I made half the recipe because I didn't need 36 macaroons.  Well, hell, I didn't even need one, but it's nice to have a little sweet treat available during the weekend.  Treat Yo Self.

    April 24, 2013

    2 Weird

    Living Social strikes again.  But this time it isn't their fault that the deal sounds ridiculous.  It's the fault of whoever named their fitness studio "2 Sexy Family".
    My friend sent this to me with the caption: "It sounds like a Chinese dish."  So true. Yet so wrong.
    It also sounds like a direct translation from a non-native gone terribly wrong.  Like the time I saw a store in Buenos Aires called "Big Sexy Pants".
    It also:
    1) Makes me associate families (i.e., children) with sexiness and makes me feel suber disturbed.
    2) Reminds me of this song and totally redeems itself!

    April 23, 2013

    25 Ways to Live Life Like Karen Walker



    What better way to end the most unremarkable day of the week than with this:
    (AKA, my favorite person, real or fake, to ever exist).
    I really can't pick a favorite because they are all FREAKING AMAZING, but if I had to pick a top 5 it'd be #'s 6, 18, 20, 21, and 23.  But really just all of them.
    She's everything.

    Go Hard or Go Home

    I just found this really amazing article:
    I have looked at this picture so many times and each time I just burst out laughing.  Not just at the mere sight of a police officer holding 2 pounds and over 2 feet of pot.  Also at how positively giddy the tank-top wearing spectator is.  I bet he totally had the giggles, brah.
    "According to a report from KTVU on April 21, the incident happened on April 20, or 4/20, which is a day to identify oneself with the marijuana subculture."
    What a sophisticated way to describe international weed head day.  The hard hitting news goes on to describe the following:
    'Oh dude, we’re going to court, man; we’re totally going to court,” one of the students said.'
    That is freaking groundbreaking.
    It sounds like the person who wrote this article might have also "identified oneself" with the day in question. 
    I don't know what they did with the evidence, but whoever took care of it probably also needed to confiscate like 400 bags of Doritos.
    If you do click on this article, which I suggest you do, please read the comments.  There are some gems in there.

    April 22, 2013

    I Do...Prefer Comfort Over All Else

    Sometimes I feel like I have pulled off a wedding miracle if I can avoid wearing the following items on my person:
    1) Spanx - you know, because I like to take full breaths
    2) Strapless bra - self explanatory
    3) Bare shoulders - I am always, always cold and nighttime temperatures make me miserable.
    4) Heels - because I'm not a masochists
    This weekend I achieved all three.  And with the exception of feeling pretty highly underdressed, I was comfortable all night long.  I wore a long maxi dress, a sweater that hopefully looked like it was part of the ensemble, and sandals.  I had one goal in mind ----> to not freeze.
    Sometimes to feel the way you want to feel you have to get creative...and risk looking like someone who lost their suitcase and had to fashion an outfit at the local Wings on a last minute's notice.  But you didn't hear me complaining all night long!

    April 18, 2013

    No Balls McGee

    Either this person got punked or is getting laaaaid on the regular.
    Or he is just in a really dominating relationship in which his wife wears the pants. 
    Either way, bold statement my friend.
    True Story: I bought one of these for Grant and my BFF's husband once.  Either Grant or the other guy immediately took it off his car and didn't think it was funny at all.  I can't remember who, but that did not go as planned.  The other one went un-stuck.  Money well spent for sure.

    April 17, 2013

    I think you forgot something

    Um, parents.  I think you forgot something.  And it's not your puppy's food. 
    It's your baby!
    Poor little guy, left so far behind with no faux sticky parents to change his nappies.
    Oh, maybe the baby is allergic to the dog?  No, wait, they should still take the baby instead of the dog.
    That's just messed up CR-V.  Someone call Child Services.

    April 16, 2013

    Love Your Butt

    There are a lot of terrible things in the world.  Some preventable, some coincidental, some genetic.  That being said, you have to give mad props when someone finds away to make one of these terrible things lighthearted.
    I'm not talking about the Boston Marathon bombing.  As far as I can tell there will never be anything lighthearted about that.
    I'm talking about your hot off the press DC bus ad to love your butt.  AKA, your Badonkadonk.  Not only is this awesome, it also finally clears up my age old question of how to spell the word Badonkadonk.
    Thank you DC bus and my sister for sending me this well executed ad.  It caught my attention, it made me confused, and then it made me giggle. 
    You know...because butts are funny.
    Especially when you can get a point across about getting checked for colon cancer, while simultaneously making an Apple Bottom with your two hands, unabashedly using the word badonkadonk, and giving me a reason to have a tab on my computer open that says "Love Your Butt".  Well done, Chris4Life Colon Cancer Society.  Well done.
    And by the way, I can't tell you how excited I am now that there is an international symbol for "butt" catching on.  Now, if I could just get my hands on one of those t-shirts!
    Do you love your butt?  What do you call it?  I'm pretty much a badonkadonk girl myself.  (The saying of the word, not the having of the donk.  I am a white girl after all.  Although with the way I eat on the weekends my ass could push ethnic boundaries any day now).

    April 12, 2013

    Hay No Fever


    You know how Albert Einstein said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
    Well, Marilyn Rush just recently said, "The definition of annoying is talking about pollen and hay fever every year and expecting it to not reappear and/or suck."
    If you are a resident of the east coast of these United States of America, you best recognize that pollen is a fact of life. 
    Being a veteran of the front desk of various offices for an unspeakable number of years, I can tell you that there is nothing people love to complain about more than the weather.  The #1 weather component of which is pollen.  Let me just tell you, all future visitors of my body circle - I know that pollen exists.  I see it on my car.  I see it on the ground.  I see it all around. 
    How about we just agree that I understand from here on out that it is ruining your life.  Every spring.  Every year.  That way you don't have to tell me every time you come inside. 
    My dad recently asked me if the pollen was bothering me.  My response: "Only when people talk about it."
    Zing.  Shut up with the pollen.
    Do you want to hear girls talk about how we want to lose weight all the time?  Because that's also something that will always be a thing.  But it's still obnoxious.  See how that works?

    April 11, 2013

    Simple Shredded Asparagus Salad

    I have recently decided that asparagus is my favorite vegetable.  Besides the fact that it makes your pee stank, it is so, so good and goes with almost anything.
    It's funny that I love asparagus now because I have a distinct memory of trying it at my grandparents' house when I was younger, than immediately dry heaving all the way to the bathroom because I hated it so much.  Clearly my palette has come a long way since I was a pre-teen.
    I roast asparagus at least once a week and it never fails me.  However, this week I decided to try a new method to get in my asparagus fix.  And I was lucky enough to stumble upon this recipe:
     (Recipe from MuscleandFitnessHers.com)

    3/4 lb asparagus, (the thicker the better)
    red pepper, finely chopped
    1 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 tsp
    Dijon mustard
    1 TB + 1 tsp olive oil
    2 TB
    balsamic vinegar
    1/4 tsp each:
    onion powder, sea salt (more or less, to taste), ground black pepper (more or less, to taste)
    2 TB reduced-fat, grated
    parmesan cheese

    How to Prepare
    1. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into paper-thin slices into a large mixing bowl. Hold the tough ends/stems and shave towards the spear. Throw out the tough end once stalk is shaved down.
    2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Enjoy!

    Simply Shredded Asparagus Salad
    In hindsight I'd really like to know how I did stumble upon this, because heaven knows I am not a regular reader of Muscle and Fitness Hers.  But that's neither here nor there.
    This was SO good as a side dish.  The balsamic vinegar gave it a nice rich tang and the whole vinaigrette just went perfectly with the dainty strands of asparagus.  I served it with chicken sausage and tomato sauce, which was totally random but well received.
    I did cook my asparagus for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees even though it didn't say to, just because I didn't know if I'd like it raw and didn't want to ruin my whole side dish if I did.  But the dressing is so good I think raw would be just as delicious.  I also shredded about 70% of the asparagus and left some chunky for a variety of textures.
    I can't recommend this enough!  I have some for leftovers today and I'm already excited for lunchtime :)

    April 10, 2013

    This is just disturbing

    My sister sent this to me.  That acronym stands for "You Love Her Coz She's Dead".
    That sends shivers down my spine.  Please let that be the name of a band I am too old to know of.  Otherwise, sister, next time pan up, jot down the license plate on that whip, and call the police!
    If that doesn't have potential ax murderer written all over it, I don't know what does.

    April 09, 2013

    Covered in Dog Hair and Loving It

    Diva Says What has a new mascot!
    Her name is Rosie and she is a whole lotta cuteness.
    She is a big fan of this crevice.
    She's also a whole lot of work.  Who knew a 4 pound princess could require so much attention!
    That's her BFF/arch nemesis Elefante
    Having a puppy for me so far (this is day 4) has felt like having a huge crush on someone.  You think about them all day.  You wonder what they are thinking.  You are desperate for them to love you.  And you always end up bringing the conversation back to that person. 
    I hope she has a crush on me too!
    If she likes me half as much as she likes spontaneously collapsing into naps than we are in good shape.
    In addition to being grateful for having the privilege of loving such an adorable dog, I'm also really grateful that this didn't happen to me.
    Well, not so much grateful as glad I'm not stupid.  Because those "dogs" look 100% like rodents.  Who thinks of these things!?

    She's Works Out

    My sister has found some real gems recently.  Here we have the uneccesary "I Workout" decal sticker.
    It's like the 13.1 and 26.2 stickers runners put up, but way more general and brazen.
    I feel like if you put that on your car you have to have an amazing body.  Otherwise people will see you, see the sticker, and be like, "Maybe you should stop wasting your time."
    Either way, this person clearly has a spacing issue.  I mean, move that sticker 4 inches to the left for the love of balance!
    On the plus side, it got this stuck in my head and brightened my day:

    Hashtag Free Cone Day

    Happy Free Cone Day to all you ice cream loving mothers out there.  Just in time for warm weather, you can stop by a Scoop Shop near you and grab a free ice cream cone!
    That should help take a little bit of the suck out of a Tuesday.
    Unfortunately I don't have a Scoop Shop in my neck of the woods, but that's OK because I probably eat enough ice cream recreationally on my own.
    Cones up!

    April 07, 2013

    Ice Cream Sundays - Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch

    This week's flavor was amazing, obviously.  For some reason I thought I'd tried it so I hadn't bought it for all these months.  Then I cross referenced my flavor list with the options in the grocery store freezer and realized I had never had the pleasure of Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch!
    (Yes I have a list.  Yes I bring it to the store.  Please do not approach me if you see me referencing it because I will spontaneously die of embarrassment.)
    It was absolutely delicious.  Creamy vanilla ice cream, which is my all time favorite.  Plus big chunks of Heath Bars, one of my favorite candies of all time too.  I love how they get a little sticky between your teeth.  That's how you know they are totally sugar free ;)
    What made this flavor even more outrageously delicious was adding this to it:
    My friend's husband makes this fudge locally and it is sold in some stores in Wilmington.  It is out of this world.  Sometimes I eat it with just a spoon.  It's that fudgey and good.
    I think they are pausing production temporarily, but I'll let y'all know when are where it's back on the shelves when it is.  You have to try it!

    Flavors Tried - 40

    Favorite Flavors - Mint Chocolate Cookie, Creme Brulee

    April 05, 2013

    Shredded Baklava Cups & a Trip Down Memory Lane

    Last weekend I made this dessert and, lo, it was glorious!

    It had all the taste and crunch of traditional Baklava but took about 5 minutes to make.  The recipe is from EatLiveRun.com and it is posted here.

    I made real Baklava once in Santorini, Greece and it was challenging but so worth the effort. 

    This was the Baklava we made in Santorini.  Not your typical triangular shape.

    This was me making a Greek salad with the chef during our cooking class.  World, if you're listening, please don't ever call on me again.  Audience + Me = Perspiration.

    Look tandem pony bops!  I'm not usually a fan of male pony tails, but when it comes on the head of a hot, authentic Greek chef...I'ma let that slide.


    I was going to try to make it again from the recipe I received at the cooking class I took there, but once I un-scrolled my scroll and realized it looked like this, I decided to find an alternate recipe:

    I don't speak grams and "glasses".

    Do you ever wonder why my pictures look like poo, because I do...
    So crunchy.  So sweet.  So perfect.

    Nonetheless, it was absolutely delicious and got rave reviews from my dinner mates.  I can't recommend this enough.  It was unique, came together in a flash, and was easy as baklava cups pie.

     Make it this weekend for dessert!
    And in case you were wondering if the news exaggerates the turmoil in Athens, they don't.  This was just a typical Tuesday outside of our hotel room.  Bomb squad and all.

    April 04, 2013

    I Smell Bacon

    Well if this isn't the most unnecessary invention ever, I don't know what is. 
    It looks like bacon.  It smells like bacon.  And it tastes like bacon.  Allegedly.
    No really...I don't know personally.
    You know, because everyone loves bacon...? 
    This is too awkward to really comment on, knowing that a couple I like to call "Mom and Dad" read the ol' blog.  But read the article for yourself to find out more details.  If you dare.
    I, myself, might be swearing off bacon for life, in the likely scenario that I can never get the word "baconlube" out of my head.