Friday, June 15, 2012

More Blanket Making

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Baby season is upon us. Lots of babies coming this summer and fall, and I’m lovin getting to make some gifts for them. IMG_5716


Caprese Salad Lunch


If you have some extra ingredients on hand from this pasta salad, they make a great easy, healthy lunch. IMG_5899IMG_5897

Just take some toothpicks, skewer the cheese, basil, and tomato, and then drizzle the plate with balsamic. Healthy, quick, and delicious.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BBQ Quinoa Salad


Thank you Pinterest for keeping my recipes interesting. Helps me a lot in a rut. Last night I made this BBQ chicken quinoa salad for dinner and it was amazing! So easy, healthy, and delicious… Basically the 3 requirements for a good meal!


Ingredients: quinoa, BBQ chicken (used the crock pot for this), avocado, cilantro, corn, black beans. The recipe also called for cheese but I left it out to keep it healthier and it still tasted great.


Link again to recipe:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Salted Caramel Shortbread

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These are amazing. At first I thought they were too salty, but after they set for a couple hours I’ve really liked them. They have orange zest and orange extract in them, which adds this perfect subtle burst of fresh flavor.IMG_4985

The recipe threw me off because there is salt in the actual caramel, not just on top. That being said, I used less salt than it called for because it just didn’t feel right. I might even use a little less next time.

Recipe here:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sugar Free Cookie Dough Dip

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Original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie here:

This dip is amazing! I ate it with apples every day for a week until it was gone. You will not believe what’s in it could taste good, but just trust me, it’s delicious! I had to make my husband try it before I told him the ingredient list.


  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
  • heaping 1/8 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, some people say it has a slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so you can sub oil if you don’t want that.)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup pitted dates (I used SunMaid, from a regular grocery store)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (see link below, for sugar-free option)
  • 2 T oats (You can omit)
  • nondairy milk as needed (depending on the consistency you want. I used a few T.)

In a bowl, cover the dates with 1/2 cup water. Let this sit for at least 8 hours. Then add all ingredients (including the dates’ soaking liquid), except chocolate chips, to a food processor and blend until very smooth.

If you wish, you can use: Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips.

Homemade Black Bean Burgers

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Combine one can of black beans (drained), bread crumbs, and salsa, Mash with a potato masher or mix by hand. Slowly add flour until mixture is thick enough to form patties. Form patties (we like to make them thin) and cook on a skillet over medium-high heat.

These taste great with mango salsa and/or avocado/guacamole on top. You can also put some jalapeno yogurt dip from Costco on the buns, and it is delicious.


Homemade Masaman Curry

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A staple in our house.IMG_4444

Here’s what you need: masaman curry paste (look for it at Asian markets), coconut milk, sugar, basmati rice, and whatever veggies you like. We like carrots, potatoes, onions, and peas. I cook up the veggies then add the milk and paste. It’s nice to get it ready early and simmer for a while. Each paste will call for a different amount so look at the instructions. You can also add meat or tofu of course!IMG_4437IMG_4441

Coconut Mango Sticky Rice

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One of the best Asian desserts you’ll ever have! IMG_4448

Here’s what you need:

Glutinous rice (sticky rice), coconut milk, sugar, and mangoes. Cook the rice, combine 1 can coconut milk to 1/4 c. sugar, scoop balls of sticky rice into a bowl and cover with coconut milk mixture. Serve with fresh chopped mangoes on top.IMG_4446IMG_4445


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We had a church activity the other week to learn watercolor. Here are my paintings, which paled in comparison to some of the women in our class! Turns out Crayola watercolors are just as good as any, as our instructor taught us.


Ina Garten’s Orange Cake (Vegan or Not)

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Every year I make this cake for my dad’s birthday. It is divine. The recipe comes from Ina Garten’s Lemon Cake, and is just adapted with orange zest/juice in place of lemon zest/juice. IMG_4592Here is the link to Ina’s original recipe:

This time I challenged myself to make it vegan, and it still turned out great! I substituted applesauce for the eggs, Earth Balance for the butter, and soy milk for the buttermilk. You should try it! Either way it’s delicious!IMG_4586

Activity Days: Gifts for Moms

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Last week we made gifts for the girls’ moms… homemade mugs! I purchased the pens at JoAnns—specifically designed for writing on glass or ceramic. All you do is draw with them then bake the ceramic for 30 minutes to set the color and make it dishwasher safe. We had a blast!IMG_4670IMG_4678IMG_4672

Friday, April 6, 2012

Brown Rice Salad

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When I make rice, I like to make extra to use in lunches and other recipes like enchiladas or salads. This is one of my favorite lunches: brown rice, spinach, avocado, tomato (or you could really use any veggies you have in the house). I like this with the rice chilled so the salad tastes fresh. On top I like a chipotle dressing or even salsa is good too. You should try it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Caprese Pasta Salad

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The best way to have a pasta salad—barely any oil and lots of fresh ingredients! I make this one a lot.



- Short cut pasta

- Fresh mozzarella (at Costco you can find it fresh in small balls, perfect for the salad)

- Small vine tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

- Fresh basil

- Balsamic vinegar

- Olive oil to taste

I usually cook and chill the pasta, then add remaining ingredients, with a little salt and pepper at the end, to taste. Enjoy!IMG_3572IMG_3573

Activity Days: Easter Craft, Treat, Lesson

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I was recently called to be the activity days leader—quite possibly one of the best callings ever created. I get to teach lessons, do crafts, learn skills, and cook with the 8-11 year-old girls from church. IMG_3386
IMG_3438Last week was my first lesson. I wanted to have a lesson, craft, and treat. Details are below.
First I did the lesson. I followed the 12 Days of Easter lesson found here:
I had each girl grab an egg when she came in, look up the scripture, and read/explain it for everyone. Then I shared a couple stories and testimonies of prophets as well.
Next for our craft, the “He is Risen” print. I made mine beforehand so I could help the girls. I wanted to have a craft that focused on Christ, as opposed to lots of egg and bunny crafts I saw online. I thought it would be good to emphasize how Latter-day Saints focus on the Resurrection when they think of Easter, rather than the crucifixion. I hope this can be a celebratory thing for the girls. I made the prints beforehand and gave the girls options to choose from:
Once they chose a print it was time to paint the (Dollar store) frames in a color of their choice:IMG_3371IMG_3372
I had pre-made all these bunting banners for each girl:IMG_3373
Finished product! We had so much fun.IMG_3387
Then we frosted some sugar cookies. IMG_3436IMG_3431IMG_3441IMG_3438
Happy Easter!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Genevieve’s Quilt

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Before Genevieve was born I made her several blankets and a small crib sized quilt. However, I want to have a nice quilt for each of my kids and still hadn’t finished Vieve’s until last week, even though she just turned 8 months old. Oops! IMG_2794

I’d had the top finished since before she was born, but with my knee surgery and our big move to Minneapolis, I didn’t find the time I needed to finish.IMG_2783

Last week I forced myself to finish. Finally!IMG_2775

And the finished product. Note to self: get blankets done before the baby arrives.IMG_2795

Friday, February 10, 2012

Greek Couscous Salad

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We’ve been trying to eat as many meatless meals here as we can. At the beginning of the year I always seem to get on a health kick and am able to stay with it better. I love making meatless meals that have lots of grains, veggies, and of course flavor. Last night we had this Greek Couscous salad with homemade bread. It is delicious.



Here’s the recipe for the salad from Our Best Bites:

2 cups vegetable broth (it called for chicken but I used veggie)

1/2 tsp. dry oregano leaves

1 tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. crushed dry rosemary

2 cups dry couscous

2 cups diced tomatoes or 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 medium cucumber, diced

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


And here’s the Greek dressing (I altered it slightly):

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. sugar

Just cook the couscous and chill it. Mix all other ingredients with the couscous when chilled, then pour on the vinaigrette. Then chill again for an hour or so. It tastes delicious when chilled. Serve with warm bread!