Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sunshine Smoothie

Sunshine Smoothie
Do you need a recipe to make a smoothie? Probably not. Am I going to give you one anyway? You betcha!

Most of my smoothies are the result of needing to use up some fruits, veggies, yogurt, get my drift...that might otherwise go bad. No real measuring, just piling everything into the blender and adjusting until I have a good consistency. My guess is that a lot of people probably do the same. Every once in a while, I come across a perfect combination, and promptly scold myself for not measuring what I put in.

What I'm trying to say is that it amazes me when people create brilliant smoothie recipes. On purpose.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Luna's Larder: Homemade Chicken & Cranberry Cat Treats

Homemade Chicken & Cranberry Cat Treats
It's that time again! Time to delve into the food stuffs of our furry family member, otherwise known as Luna's Larder. Last month we introduced Rachael Ray's Nutrish Zero Grain Cat Food, which is still Luna's preferred food. We also tried the Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe food, which isn't grain-free, but she liked it, as well. This month I decided to share something that I've been meaning to share for years (I know, I know) now—homemade cat treats.

I used a combination of light and dark meat chicken, that I poached gently (bone-in, skin-on) until it was just done, and then let cool. Really, you could use any type of meat your cat likes; beef, turkey, white fish, tuna, salmon, duck—they're all good options. I like to use meat that I've cooked myself, so that there is no added salt or seasoning. Too much salt can be poisonous to cats, as can onion and garlic. Better to play it safe than sorry.

Originally I was going to add a little spinach to the mix, but in typical form, I forgot to set some aside when I made spinach for dinner a couple nights before I made the treats (even though I originally bought it with the treats in mind). So, I'll have to put it in a future batch.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins + #VegFlavorBible Giveaway!

Spiced Blueberry Peach Streusel Muffins
I'm super excited about two things today: delicious muffins (I'm super picky about muffins...weird, right?) and an amazing giveaway—both of which are related to a book that you have to get your hands on if you don't have it already, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. As you may have guessed, this comes from the same people who brought us The Flavor Bible, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.

If you're not familiar with either, they are both very useful, working books. Not so much cookbooks, because they don't contain recipes, but rather tools. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible has around 550 pages...the first 90 or so are an introduction to a proper vegetarian diet. You'll find vegetable protein sources. as well as tips on how to maximize flavor. Plus, there's an extremely cool timeline of Vegetarianism Through the Ages. Even if you do not adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, there is so much to inspire in the first 90 pages alone.

Moving on to the remaining 450+ pages, you'll find ingredients listed alphabetically from Acai to Zucchini Blossoms—this is where you'll turn to match flavors. Under each ingredient is listed most (or all) of the following things:
  • Season: peak growing season for ingredient
  • Flavor: ingredient's primary taste
  • Volume: relative flavor, or "loudness" of ingredient
  • What it is: a brief description of less common ingredients
  • What's healthful about it: nutrients, health benefits, etc

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake #bloggerCLUE

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake
Welcome to another edition of the Blogger C.L.U.E. Society, where we are (semi-) secretly assigned another member's blog to "investigate" and find a recipe that fits our theme for the month—all the while learning a little bit more about each other (more details at the bottom of this post, if you're interested). Our theme this month is Berries, and the blog I had the good fortune of spending time at Rebekah's blog, Making Miracles.

Making Miracles is a blog about food, family and making memories. Rebekah is a mom and a wife, and has also been the surrogate mom for 4 little girls—how amazing is that! You can learn more about Rebekah and her surrogacy experiences on her about page. But now, on to the food! Making Miracles is full of family-friendly recipes of all sorts, including a page of baby/toddler food recipes. But what I was on the hunt for was berries!

Can I just tell you that I love the process of searching and exploring a blog each month? I really do. I like searching a general term, then more specific terms, all the while clicking on recipes that catch my fancy. I usually wind up with about 10 tabs open, and then try to narrow things down to about 3 to choose from.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Chocolate Chip Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake #brunchweek

Chocolate Chip Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake
Are you ready to make the most insane, over-the-top coffee cake in the history of ever? We're talking a super thick layer of streusel sitting boldy atop a sour cream cake swirled with a spiced cocoa and walnut mixture and dotted with chocolate bits. You'll have no less than 5 dirty bowls staring you in the face once you slide the pan in the oven, but every single one is worth it.

I recommend having a pot of coffee and a gallon of milk nearby when you're ready to eat. Because not only is it over-the-top in thick streusel, tempting swirls, and the amount of dirty dishes it makes—it's also incredibly rich and decadent. It needs a beverage to hold its hand.

I also recommend you share. There's a shit-ton (actual measure) of butter and sugar here. It's definitely not something you want to eat every day, or even every month. Save it for special occasion or holiday brunches. Make it when—and only when—you're prepared to cut yourself a big slice before waving goodbye to the rest. A potluck brunch is the perfect occasion.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thai Fish Soup (a guest post at The Not So Cheesy Kitchen)

Thai Fish Soup
If you're looking for a simple, fast, and delicious meal option for any time of the year, look no further than this bowl of Thai Fish Soup that I'm sharing over at my friend Bea's place, The Not So Cheesy Kitchen! It's a brothy soup enriched with coconut milk that's loaded with chunks of mild white fish, whatever vegetables you have around, and a big handful of fresh herbs. I hope you'll drop by to check out the recipe.

A few more quick and healthy meal options featuring seafood:
Blackened Tilapia w/ Quick Collard Greens
Salmon and Cucumber "Noodle" Salad
Salmon BLT

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sparkling Pineapple Mojitos #brunchweek

Sparkling Pineapple Mojitos
Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that brunch and cocktails go hand-in-hand. I usually wind up with a full plate in one hand, a sweaty glass in the other, and all eyes peeled for a good place to lay out my bounty. I don't mind (at all) the usual brunch drink offerings. I'm all in for a Bloody Mary, several Mimosas, or a Bellini bar. But it's kind of fun to switch things up every now and again.

Last week, I shared a lovely Mother's Day brunch cocktail option that spoke to me of spring. Today I'm thinking warm and sunny with a pitcher of sparkling, grapefruit and mint-infused pitcher of mojitos! Why yes, I am in need of a vacation, thank you very much. I think I've earned a week of brunch on the beach. At least a day.

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