Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Victory Garden Update

2 little cucumbers now!

A little green pepper!

Tomatoes are getting tall but no flowers yet...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blueberry Buckle

I love a good summer fruit recipe. Actually, I love most any fruit recipe...this recipe is from a little cookbook called "Baking with Spelt" by Barb Waldron. It calls for spelt flour (great if you are allergic to wheat, but it is not gluten free). I'm sure you could make it with whole wheat flour and get the same yummy result. I usually use frozen blueberries and there is no need to thaw and drain - I just use them straight from the freezer.

I added a sliced nectarine on top of the fresh blueberries this time and it was delicious!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2 Ingredient Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

I saw this recipe on Pinterest here and decided to make these muffins tonight. Only 2 main ingredients (I added a few more for fun) and you have some quick, yummy muffins! I wouldn't exactly call these health food (boxed cake mix??), but they are low in fat and fairly low in calories too (under 200 per fairly large muffin).

These taste really good too! You can't even tell they have pumpkin in them - they are just a light, moist, yummy, chocolate-y muffin. Feed them to unsuspecting victims as you see fit.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lunch Outside

Enjoying a lovely lunch outside...so nice!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Broccoli Salad

I bought a lot of broccoli on sale last week. I noticed yesterday that it was still sitting in the crisper drawer, staring back at me. There was too much to just steam and eat plain (obviously I am the only one in my household who eats broccoli...), so I knew I had to take drastic measures. This called for some...broccoli salad!! I made up my recipe as I went along, using ingredients I had sitting around.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Portland Weekend

Well, my pictures do not want to go in the order I want them to. So, here they are in random assortment!

Friday night

Chicken Pad Thai Takeout for dinner
Made the vegan muffins for my mom!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Funny

(I'm not sure where this is originally from, I found it here.)

Victory Garden Update

Growing a little cucumber!!

In their pots and ready to grow!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sounders FC vs. Chelsea FC

Once upon a time, there were two happy crazy kids named J and V. One day, J and V got married and then went on an awesome honeymoon in London. In Chelsea, to be exact. They had a super wonderful awesome time they will never forget.

The apartment we rented...lower right side of this building

J and V circa August 2009

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Easy Pudding Protein Bars

And the quest for portable protein-y breakfast continues...these bars don't look that appetizing, but they do taste good! They can be made really quickly in the evening and then they just refrigerate overnight and await you eating them in the morning.

They have a hefty 23 grams of protein and only 260 calories each. The only downside, which is not that big of a deal, is you have to eat these with a fork. They are pretty sticky and gloppy and would be impossible to eat by hand. I really like the consistency though; it is kind of like pudding and the oats get really soft so it's not hard to chew. And I guess the Jello pudding isn't exactly health food, but hey, you can't win on every count every time...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

French Bread Pizza

This is not a healthy recipe, but it is super easy and really yummy. I don't think I've had french bread pizza since high school hot lunches, but it sounded really good so I thought I would make it! Great for those days you can't or won't or don't want to cook a "real" dinner (um, every day for me?!).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

I halved the recipe and used 8 oz of coffee and 4 quarts of cold water

Let it soak overnight

Give your pitcher a cool turban

Here is how to make some good cold-brewed iced coffee. This recipe comes directly from the Pioneer Woman blog, which has lots of other great recipes too! Here is the actual recipe link.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vegan Whole Wheat Blueberry Bran Muffins

I'm not vegan. Or vegetarian. Nor will I ever be either. But I do find it interesting to make (usually bake) things using "different" ingredients and see how they turn out. I do not have a problem with weird ingredients - I just want the results to be decent and not taste like pig slop (is that offensive to pigs? It's what they eat, right?).

I was looking for a healthy whole grain blueberry muffin recipe and I found one on food.com that happened to also be a vegan recipe. I added protein powder and specified oat bran because it is yummy. I thought it would be fun to take a break from the norm of eggs/milk/other non-vegan things in muffindom and give this a try. (When we visit Portland and go to Voodoo Doughnuts, I always see the vegan doughnut selection and wonder if they are any good...haven't tried one yet, though.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brown Rice Pudding

When I was growing up, my mom used to make German Milchreis (white rice pudding) a lot and we would spread it out thinly over large plates and sprinkle it (heavily) with cinnamon sugar, and it was super yummy! (Also I used a fork to make rows the entire length of the plate and pretended it was a farm and I was going to plant it with seeds. And then I ate it. Good times!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga Class

I went to a new yoga class last night - it was a 60-minute hot (though only 95 degrees, not 105!) power vinyasa class.

Vinyasa means "flow", so basically you flow from one pose into the next in what is supposed to be graceful movement. I found it harder than regular hot yoga because you have to really know the poses in order to do them in quick succession correctly. Also, there was a lot of arm strength stuff (side plank, lots of pushup position into other poses, etc.) that was challenging for me too.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Valerie's Victory Garden

Or it might be more of a defeat (wannabe) garden...we will see how it goes. One of my coworkers has a large garden/greenhouse and she had lots of plantlings to give away. I took a few tomatoes and cucumbers and a basil plant. They look very happy now and I know they have had a happy life so far. I hope to continue that trend so they feel comfortable enough to produce some yummy veggies!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Best Crock Pot Turkey Chili

This is one of my favorite recipes to have for Sunday brunch with my family - it makes a lot and I always have yummy leftovers for lunches. It is also easy to make while I'm at work since it cooks for 8 hours. It makes the beans super soft, which is great because there are few things worse than crunchy beans (besides gory movies and the dentist). You can keep all the ingredients on hand -- ground turkey in the freezer and almost everything else in cans -- so another easy meal to whip up with minimal effort.

You can find the original recipe here. (I always omit the onion and no one notices, but I suppose most people would add it so I left it in...) Makes 9 servings - 260 calories each (303 grams). Serve with your favorite toppings -- cheese, cornbread, tortilla chips, etc.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

3 Ingredient Creamy Pineapple Dessert

I saw this dessert on Pinterest here and thought it was too good to be true (not really, I just thought it looked easy and yummy!).

Can you guess the three ingredients? Hint 1: one is in the title; Hint 2: see next picture.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sunny Weekend

Got my hair cut on Friday!
Date night! Jeff had fish and chips and caesar salad
I had cobb salad...really good but I'm not a huge fan of blue cheese...
Today we went for a bike ride on the Burke Gilman Trail. Gorgeous day!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Random Fun Stuffs

I'm not sure where this came from, I saw it on Facebook...
Had lunch outside on our deck on the 4th of July!

From our upstairs on July 4th

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

Sometimes I enjoy making weird things and feeding them to unsuspecting bystanders (aka family at our 4th of July barbeque). This is a prime example. They look and taste like fudgy brownies for the most part, and I doubt anyone knew they were eating beans...even my darling (super-picky eater) husband.

Easy Baked Salmon Fillets

This weekend I found some gorgeous Wild Caught Alaskan King Salmon Fillets on manager's special at Fred Meyer. I am slowly starting to get into eating more fish, since I previously have not eaten much seafood and didn't really like it. I usually go for the white fish (cod, sole, etc.), but I know salmon is very healthy and has lots of good Omega 3s and essential fatty acids, so I gave it another try. I found a super easy recipe from foodnetwork.com and cooked it up last night for dinner.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Variations on a S'more

S'mores are an integral part of the camping experience. You can make them the same way every time for the rest of your life (no prob!); or, if you enjoy variety in life as much as I do, you may enjoy this list of yummy variations. I found some here and here and some came from my own brain. Disclaimer: I have not tried any of these yet, but I am planning on it!

Monday, July 2, 2012


This weekend, Friday and Saturday nights, Jeff and I went camping with his sister and her husband at Mount Rainier National Park. I had forgotten how beautiful it is there! Even though it rained off and on, we were able to go on some awesome hikes and have a great time and eat some good food (s'mores!!!). I can't wait to go back again; next year for sure!