Fun 4th of July Recipes!

Independence Day is nearly here!

Since we’re moving tomorrow, I won’t be around the blog much between tonight and Monday, and who knows when we’ll get internet set up at our new place.
(I may or may not have just thought about this whole internet setup thing while typing this paragraph…whoops.)

Growing up, my sister, mom, and I always made a red, white, and blue dessert to bring to our big family picnic.  With a few days to prepare, I thought I’d share some fun 4th of July-themed recipes I’ve seen floating around the internet.

Easy & Healthy Fruit Dessert Pizza

from Happy Healthy Mama

(can someone please make this one for me?)

healthy 4th of july fruit pizza

Red White & Blue Sangria

from Punchbowl

Red, white and blue lemonade

Patriotic Taco Salad Recipe

from Taste of Home

patriotic taco salad recipe

Blueberry, Strawberry, & Jicama Salsa

from Two Peas & Their Pod

blueberry-strawberry-jicima-salsa

Patriotic Watermelon & Feta Flag

from Wenderly

(so easy and fun)

watermelon and feta flag

Lattice-Topped Blackberry Cobbler

from My Recipes

1007p113-blackberry-cobbler-m

or maybe a

Classic Sour Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust

from Epicurious

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and last but not least…

Red, White, & Blue Blondies

from Pink Cake Plate

red-white-and-blue-blondies-4-550x422

Let me know what foods you’re making for/eating this weekend!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a happy Independence Day!

July: Seasonal Produce

Happy July 1st!

This means we’re halfway through 2015 already.  How crazy is that?!

A new month means I have a new list of now-in-season produce for you.  This is quite possibly the best time of year for fresh produce.  Let’s take a look at what’s available in July…

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

farmers' market strawberries

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market and area farms, food co-ops, and grocery stores this month!

Fruits:

  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Plums & Pluots
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Veggies:

  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cilantro
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Green Onions
  • Greens (various varieties)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (various varieties)
  • Mushrooms (various varieties)
  • Okra
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

**if you’re searching for a farmers’ market in your area, check HERE – this is also a great site for learning about local-to-you produce since the above lists can’t be completely accurate for every geographical region**

Enjoy!

June: Seasonal Produce

“I can’t believe it’s (insert new month name) already!”  <–what I say at the beginning of every month.  Time flies, people!

For many reasons, I’m excited the summer is here, or nearly here at least.  The weather in northern California certainly doesn’t feel like it, however – it’s been cool and cloudy for weeks now – but I know the warmer weather will come around.

Strolling through the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings has become a weekend must for us, and I love seeing what’s new and fresh each week – the tables full of produce are always beautiful!

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

farmers' market strawberries

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, and grocery store this month:

fruits:

  • apricots
  • avocados
  • berries…
    strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries
  • cherries
  • figs
  • grapes
  • limes
  • melons…
    honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • pineapple

vegetables:

  • asparagus
  • beets
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • corn
  • cucumber
  • green beans
  • leafy greens (several varieties, including kale)
  • lettuce (several varieties)
  • onions
  • peas
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

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The fresh produce that’s currently available certainly varies by region…what’s catching your eye at the farmers’/grocery market lately?

May: Seasonal Produce

I love the month of May…flowers are blooming, wedding season begins, schools are wrapping up and graduations are fast-approaching, the weather is becoming warmer and sunnier, summer is nearly here, and there’s more and more fresh, delicious produce becoming available each day.

Here’s a look at what foods we’ll be seeing more of this month…

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

May farmers' market haul - strawberries and peaches

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, and grocery store this month!

fruits:

  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Honeydew
  • Lemons
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries (my favorite!)

veggies:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beans (fava and green)
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Greens (collard, mustard, arugula, dandelion)
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peas, particularly Snow Peas
  • Radishes

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What’s your favorite in-season produce this time of year?

April Recipe Roundup

I hope you had a good weekend!  Ours isn’t over yet so I’ll be recapping it later this week :)

April is coming to a close so it’s time to take a look at the recipes I made this month to keep on point with one of my 2015 goals.  I made quite a few this month!

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Blueberry Spelt Muffins
from the Whole Foods Market website

Blueberry Spelt Muffins from Whole Foods Market

These turned out pretty well – both of us liked them – but they were a little on the drier side and weren’t anything impressive so I doubt I’d make them again.

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Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Loaf
from He and She Eat Clean

Peanut_Butter_Can_Be_Made_With_Almond_Sun_SunButter_Banana_Bread_Breakfast_Loaf_High_Protein_Healthy_Fats_He_She_Eat_Clean_1

This recipe turned out great!  I loved the ingredients list.  The bread was pretty moist so I’d recommend storing it in the fridge.

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Spinach Pancakes
from Weelicious

Spinach-Pancakes

I made this as waffles for brinner last week and they turned out really great.  It’s definitely a recipe I’ll make again because the spinach was totally unrecognizable so, I figure, why not add it to waffles?

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One Pan Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
from the cookbook “more peas, thank you” by Sarah Matheny

20150424_140925

These were really good – interesting to have a slightly sweeter taste to a dip that’s typically very savory and cheesy.  Pretty easy to make and we enjoyed leftovers for a several meals afterward because it makes a full pan.  Come to think of it, this would make a great freezer meal (noted for when it’s closer to baby time).

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Spinach Artichoke Calzones
again from the cookbook “more peas, thank you” by Sarah Matheny

spinach artichoke calzones

WOW these were good.  The filling alone was fantastic.  I’m sure I’ll make the filling, at least, again because it would make an awesome dip.  This was my first time eating a non-dairy spinach and artichoke dish and I liked it more than any cheesy one I’ve tried.

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

PaleoChocolateChipCookies1

YUM.  I highly recommend this recipe.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
from Nutritious Eats

ChocolatePeanutButterBalls-12-590x826

I made these on Easter and they were just as good as I’d expected they’d be.  They lasted in the fridge for just over a week – the batch made several so I snacked on one or two a day.

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Peanut Butter Avocado Cookies
from The Lean Green Bean

peanut-butter-avocado-cookies-2

I’ve actually made these once before but they were so good I had to make them again after spotting them on Pinterest.  I recommend storing them in the fridge and dipping them in whatever kind of milk you like.  The recipe also makes quite a few so I put about half the batch in the freezer – they’re delicious cold, just minutes out of  the freezer.  Another one I’d definitely recommend you make sometime!

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*click on any picture to be directed to its original source

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What recipes have you recently made?  
Feel free to leave a link in your comment!

Marathon Monday! plus scenes from the weekend 4.20.15

Happy Marathon Monday!  I’m so excited to watch all of the runners in Boston today.
I’m not promising anything right now, mostly because I’m pregnant and miss running like crazy, but I kind of want to run the Boston marathon one day.  It’s quite a lofty dream, but I just know that it would be a challenge like no other with a reward like no other.  We’ll see what the future holds!

Anyway, back to the weekend…here are a few scenes from it….

Jesse snapped this picture on Friday night…Zida was really hoping to feel the baby kick! :)

Zida and pregnant baby belly

Saturday morning scripture reading

Bible scripture reading

oh my goodness, you guys…
these strawberries!!
I told Jesse the one thing I really had my heart set on for the weekend was to go to a farmers’ market and find strawberries – they’re my absolute favorite food and I was really craving them – success!  (and they’re already gone.)
Plus we also scooped up some lemons and avocados.  I think this is just the start of an awesome summer of produce and great market finds.

April farmers' market - strawberries, lemons, avocados

the Wild didn’t quite pull off a win for game 2

Wild game on tv

we went out for Greek food for dinner on Saturday night – this gyros wrap was delicious.

Greek food - gyros wrap

a little work on Sunday

Wellness with Danica work

picked up a few groceries on our way back from our childbirth class, and then spent the evening at home watching the ACM awards

whole foods trip

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Are you watching the Boston marathon today?  Do you personally know anyone that’s running?

What’s your absolute favorite food?

April: Seasonal Produce

Happy April 1st!

No April Fools’ Day jokes from me today.

Spring is here and that always means one special thing to me…fresh in-season produce is back!

This certainly varies depending on region for how early in Spring you see fresh foods popping up at your farmers’ market, and I’ve got to say that’s one thing I’m excited about in regards to living in California.  I have very high hopes for the markets here in the coming weeks!

Let’s take a look at what’s in season for this time of year…

When you eat fruits and veggies that are currently in season, you consume produce that contains an even higher nutritional value.  The produce is also more flavorful, fresh, and cost-effective!

September produce from the farmer's market

Be on the lookout for the following fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, and grocery store this month!

fruits:

  • grapefruit
  • honeydew melon
  • mango
  • oranges
  • papayas
  • rhubarb
  • strawberries (my favorite!)

veggies:

  • artichokes
  • asparagus
  • avocados
  • beets
  • beans (fava, green)
  • broccoli
  • cabbages
  • carrots
  • chard
  • chicory
  • chives
  • cucumbers
  • endive
  • fennel
  • garlic
  • greens (including dandelion, collard, and some lettuces)
  • sweet onions
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What about Springtime do you look forward to most?
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February Recipe Roundup

Continuing on with one of my 2015 goals, here are the recipes I made this month:

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Sticky, Ooey, Gooey Paleo Cinnamon Rolls

from Paleo Grubs

cinnamonrollrecipe

We made these on Valentine’s Day.  They really didn’t stick together well but they tasted awesome.  It’s definitely a recipe we’d make again, I just would bake it as a full log and slice it up after baking instead.

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Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper 

from Iowa Girl Eats

Crunchy-Taco-Homemade-Hamburger-Helper-iowagirleats.com-01_mini1

We actually made this recipe last month I just forgot to include it in that roundup – oops!  Anyway, this was a great dinner.  Jesse and I really liked it and I also think this is something I’d make again.  It only takes about 30 minutes to make, from start to finish, and produces quite a bit, so it’s perfect for busy families during the week and for anyone that likes to have leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Almond Flour Pizza Crust

from The Healthy Apple

almond flour pizza crust from the healthy apple

This is a good recipe – it’s probably the best of the paleo pizza crusts I’ve tried (and I’ve tried out several).  I will say this though, I’ve pretty much decided that when I make pizza, it just needs to be more of the *real thing,* you know?  This recipe is where it’s at.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

from The Fitnessista

spbbchili_thumb1

This is a favorite of ours – it’s so simple to make, it’s healthy and delicious.  I highly recommend it.

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Spiced Pumpkin Cornbread

from Daily Garnish

spiced pumpkin cornbread by Daily Garnish

…to go with the chili, of course!  This is another favorite of mine and I (almost) always make it when I cook the above chili.  It’s also awesome for breakfast the next day – reheated in the toaster oven, topped with melty butter, and served alongside eggs.

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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies  (grain-free)

from The Detoxinista

Detoxinista grain-free cookies

These. were. awesome.  They immediately became a favorite recipe – easily the best grain-free or paleo cookies I’ve made.

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I’m really enjoying this goal of making more recipes each month.  It’s helpful to avoid “food ruts,” and I’m hoping that by sharing what I’m cooking up, you’ll find something new to try, too!

–each picture in this post if from its original recipe post…you can click on the picture to find its original source–

January Recipes

I like to throw my own meals together, but if I do that too consistently I’ve found that we get into a bit of a “food rut.”  Plus I’m more motivated to make new things when I have a recipe to follow.  So one of my goals for 2015 is to make at least 3 recipes every month.  Ideally they’re new-to-me recipes, but even old favorites will do just fine.  And every recipe has to be from someone other than myself – from a pin on Pinterest, bookmarked from a blog, or from one of the cookbooks I own.

I thought it’d be fun to share the recipes I make each month so that, for the ones online at least, you can make them, too.

Here’s a look at the recipes* I made in January:

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins by Dr. Axe

gluten free blueberry muffins by dr. axe

Seriously, this was one of the best muffin recipes I’ve ever made.  I used frozen blueberries instead of fresh but kept everything else as the recipe called for.  Jesse and I both loved them, and as he ate the last one he coyly said, “I just wanted you to know that I definitely wouldn’t hate it if you made these again.” ha

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Gluten-Free Banana Bread by Elise

gluten free banana bread

This recipe is awesome.  Please try it!  I’ve already made 2 (mini) loaves of it.

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Amazing Paleo Banana Nut Muffins by Paleo Grubs

paleo banana muffins from paleo grubs

I subbed in organic peanut butter for the almond butter, just because that’s what I had on hand.  These turned out really well!  I recommend storing them in a sealed container in the fridge (so that they last a bit longer).  They’re fantastic reheated in the toaster oven with butter melted on top.

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Triple-Bean Veggie Burgers by Jenn

triple bean veggie burgers by Peas & Crayons

This is a household favorite recipe.  They do take a while to make, but the recipe makes a lot of burgers and they freeze perfectly.  I usually freeze half the batch – wrap each burger in aluminum foil (individually) and then pop all of the wrapped burgers into a ziploc bag and into the freezer.  Then just warm them up in the toaster oven before eating!  They’re awesome in traditional burger form (on a bun with ketchup, lettuce, pickles, etc.), on top of lettuce for salads, crumbled into a quesadilla, or just by themselves dipped in ketchup or dressing.  This recipe may be one I use later this year for filling the freezer before baby comes (you bet I’m already thinking about that!)

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Crockpot Chicken Chili by Lee

crockpot chicken chili by fit foodie lee

This was a new-to-me recipe and I’ve added it into the rotation.  Crockpot recipes are the greatest.  This made quite a bit so we had leftovers for lunches during the week and it was just delicious.  I definitely recommend it!

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Cheeseburger Casserole by Skinny Taste

cheeseburger casserole from Skinny Taste

This the recipe Jesse made for us for lunch last weekend.  It was good!  And he did a great job :)  I think the only thing I would change about it if we made it again would be to maybe use some sauteed veggies in place of some of the pasta.  Jesse also went a little lighter on the cheese than the recipe suggested, too.

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Salsa Chicken (okay, this one is from me)

salsa chicken taco recipe

It’s one of our favorites!  And it had been too long since I’d made it last.

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Penne Pasta Pizza Bake by Cathy

Penne-Pasta-Pizza-Bake-4

This turned out really well.  We used only pepperoni, no salami, and went a little light on the amount of pasta and cheese.  Something fun and different, though it’s honestly probably not a dish I’ll make again.

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Healthy Cookie Dough Bites by Liz

healthy cookie dough bites by I heart vegetables

These were awesome.  Make sure to follow Liz’s advice about letting them cool in a bowl in the fridge before you make them into little bites – I was antsy and because of that the first few fell apart.  Once I let them cool a little longer though they held together just fine!  And I didn’t have any chocolate chips on hand at the time so I used cacao nibs instead.  Again, both Jesse and I thought they were delicious.

*all pictures are from the original recipe posts. click on the picture to take you to its source.

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scenes from the weekend 1.12.15

Farm Burger, fries & burger

Saturday’s lunch at Farm Burger
(aka the most delicious & healthiest burger I’ve ever gotten from a restaurant)
All of their meat is from local farmers, is grass-fed, free of all antibiotics and added hormones, and everything is freshly made.  I added lettuce, mayo, tomato, ketchup and pickles to mine, on a gluten-free bun, and had freshly made sweet potato fries on the side.  If you ever go, I highly recommend the garlic fries though, Jesse got those and I liked them even more than mine.

new gym card

new gym membership!

library

we also explored the local library, which was beautiful inside (no justice is given with this picture)

sunset

pretty evening sky/sunset

chicken chili - dinner

crockpot chicken chili for dinner

Zida cuddling with Jesse

caught Zida cuddling up to Jesse (one of her absolute favorite hobbies)

2015 calendar

our 2015 calendar arrived!  I love it.

pictures into books

While watching the Golden Globes I worked on getting photo albums updated with, you know, real (printed) pictures.  I try to stay on top of that and I just wrapped up 2014 so I’m feeling pretty good about that.  One of these days I’ll actually make a wedding album…maybe for our 3rd anniversary in June?  oops.

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What restaurant has the best burger you’ve ever had?  What do you top it with?

Do you have a gym membership?  What’s your favorite part about having it?

For those who watched last night, what did you think of the Golden Globes?

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