I know that it’s still August, but even Trader Joes has tempted me with Fall by bringing out their Pumpkin Ales. Soon Starbucks will have their Pumpkin Lattes, and Dunkin Donuts will bring out their famous Pumpkin Muffins. Well, why not make something much more delicious at home and the correct portion size?
This past weekend I had the best time with a couple of my friends up at Lake Ossipee in New Hampshire. We had planned a weekend of swimming and hiking up near the White Mountains. One thing we all agreed on was that we wanted to eat decently healthy. It almost seems like a waste to enjoy the outdoors and pig out only on chips, preservatives, and food mostly made of fat. So I wanted to go over some tips that I have learned and still learning during my great outdoor adventures.
Summertime makes me think of a couple of main things. The smell of BBQ wafting into the streets as you drive or walk by. Sunscreen white as snow sticking on sections of your face you forgot to rub in. Cold ice tea or lemonade dribbling down thirsty lips and throats. Fire cracker red, white, and blue popsicles in all their patriotic glory. Of course, the one thing I always look forward to is caprese. The room temperature mozzarella clinging to the juicy ripe tomatoes with basil to accent it all into perfection. A wonderful snack, and an even better panini sandwich.
This is the most easy snack or meal you could ever make besides a PBJ.
- 1 large ripe tomato
- large fresh basil leaves
- thick cuts of mozzarella, but if you are watching potions you can use the thin pre sliced at your local market
- olive oil
- 2 slices of your favorite bread. I think pumpernickel would be amazing with this but I lacked it. Whole wheat worked.
- Grilled mushrooms (optional)
1. Make your sandwich with mozzarella, tomato, basil and optional mushrooms.
2. Lightly coat each outer side of the bread with olive oil. You can make it grilled version in a skillet or put it into a panini press.
3. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until you get how you like it cooked.
So I feel like I’ve been MIA for a good month now. With weddings and my application to college for the fall… it’s been busy. Well enough of that! Back to the food! I’ve missed writing here and sharing more experiences with you. Since I last talked to you all I’ve:
- Been to 2 weddings
- Took a wine making course (post to follow soon)
- Bought my first wine making kit.. it’s going to be a Malbec!
- Got accepted into the Honors Program at the college I applied to! Woot!
- Learned some new recipes
- Found out that ignoring your garden can still get you something
- Was shown a raised garden and given advice for my future gardening endeavors.
- Went to an amazing tea shop in Portland Maine called Dobra Tea.
Apparently June 4th was National Cheese Day. I find this post very appropriate for June now, and I’m glad I waited on posting. If you have never tried Groupon, I suggest looking at their deals. I’m finding I’m able to sign up for more classes and activities than I did the previous years without bankrupting myself. This was one of the deals, and I took my mom with me. It was an hour-long course with a starter at-home kit to make the cheese.
After a long good 5-6 hours working on my garden area, I felt I deserved a healthy and delicious reward. We had a ton of variety of fruit in our fridge, and I needed to take advantage of that. Smoothies are really easy to make and they can be made however you prefer it. All you really need is a blender to make a smoothie.
Alicia’s Fruity Sa-moothie
1/4 cup strawberries cut
1/4 cup of pineapple
1 cup of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
1/2 cup Orange Juice (no pulp)
1/2 cup peach non fat yogurt
Happy May Day everyone! This is my month! YEAH! Well.. more like my birthday is in 20 days. WOOT! Beyond that, I was in the mood yesterday to have some homemade rice pudding. I found a couple of recipes, but most of them called for an egregious amount of Half and Half. Last thing I wanted was 3 cups of Half and Half in my rice custard. I also wanted to use brown rice over white rice to change it up a bit. This weekend was mostly dedicated towards my garden area and celebrating Arbor day late. So here is a simple and delicious recipe for Vanilla Brown Rice Custard.
You will need:
- 13.5 ounces of milk (coconut milk, soy, or almond would be delicious too)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar for step 1 of the recipe
- 2/3 cup sugar for Step 2 of the recipe
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 1/2 cup of half and half
- 1 1/2 cup of vanilla non fat yogurt or greek yogurt
- 5 eggs
- 1 Tbs of Vanilla Extract
I’ve heard multiple ways of making this mousse and most are vegan. I personally wanted milk in mine and real sugar for the taste factor. Chocolate seems to be my weakness lately, and I wanted to make a dessert that would satisfy my craving, but not make me cringe next time I step on the scale.
You Need for Avocado Mousse:
- 2-4 ripe avocados
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup white sugar (or some other sugar option like agave or truvia)
- 1/2 cup milk (as always I used lactose free milk. This time I used a 2% milk because I wanted it a little creamier)
- 1 Tbs of vanilla extract
- 1 Tsp of peppermint extract (optional)
- pinch of salt
For Other Layers in the dessert from the picture:
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds without the shell (nuts could work really well for this too. Almonds would be perfect)
- French Vanilla Non Fat Yogurt (you can really use any yogurt. Imagine that sprinkle of instant coffee or heathbar yogurt. Heck you could make it a frozen yogurt on the bottom. MMMMmmmmm)
- Raspberry or berry of choice. You could even do chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips.
- Mint leaf
1. Whip the avocados in a food processor until creamy. Then place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and sweet enough to your liking. Mine tasted more like a dark chocolate. With the mint extract it really made the flavors burst. Use a spatula to make sure all is getting blended on the sides of the blender.
2. The sunflower seeds are going to be chopped up. Make sure it’s not too finely chopped up or it will be more of a thick powder. Remember you are looking for a sort of crunch.
3. Layer your ingredients into a dessert dish of choice. Serve and enjoy!
It was a lovely, close- knit family day. No extended family, and everyone had prior places to go. For once there was no rushing. I sipped my coffee to make it last those extra minutes that would be lost in the madness of a holiday. Now, I enjoy having friends and family over, but there is something about not having a set time when things must be done. You can taste the spices, lick the spoons, and consider sprinkling more sugar on the tops of cookies.
Patty Griffin helped me get into the mood too. I love this song.
Friday is usually pizza night at my house. Even though pizza can be cheap.. buying for a family can get expensive, especially if it’s every week. That’s a lot of dough. On top of that, I feel this ping of guilt for eating away the calories I just burned off. I mean, I just came back from the gym with my best friend Kelly. We both did 2 miles. Her and I are trying to get in peak shape for this summer. So to gorge away all those burned calories hurts mentally and physically. So what to do? My dad mentioned we had some left over meat sauce from pasta night on Wednesday.