Monday, June 25, 2012

Bloggy Olympics - Kitchen Event Favorites!

I had so much fun checking out all the entries for the Kitchen Event of the Bloggy Olympics! Everyone is so talented, and all the food looked so yummy; it was hard to pick just 3.

Before I get to showing you my own personal favorites from the Kitchen Event, be sure to hop on over to Shaken Together and Adventures in Dinner to check out their favorites for the same event.

Now on to my favorite tutorials of the Kitchen Event!

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Oh man. This looks so good. Plus, it's good for you! Congrats to Robin from Happily Home After!

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I know, I know. Two ice creams as my favorites? Well, it IS summer. And this looks just as good as "first place". Plus, it's EQUALLY good for you! Wow. Can't wait to try this. Congrats to Raia from Raia's Recipes!

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There we go. Something savory. Doesn't this look good?! Plus, it's totally customizable. What a great idea. Congrats to Mythreyi from Yummy Odds!

Robin, Raia, and Mythreyi: Be sure to pick up an "I PLACED" button so you can brag to your friends! :)

Let Birds Fly

Now be sure to hop on over to Primitive & Proper, The Bold Adobe, and Craptastic to check out the next event in the Bloggy Olympics - PAINT! And, as always, head on over to Hating Martha to find out more about the Bloggy Olympics.

Have fun at the Paint Event!
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

CARROT CAKE SMOOTHIE

A long time ago (okay, not that long ago), I hated cooking. Seriously. I think I was just overwhelmed with the options, and so I just always made sandwiches. Now don't get me wrong, sandwiches are great (and I can make a mean one), but they aren't that great when that's all you're having.

In 2006, I developed a food allergy. To gluten. And back then, there was no gluten-free bread sold in the grocery stores. So I had to say "bye-bye" to sandwiches and "hello" to a whole new world...of cooking!

I now do not consume gluten, dairy, processed sugar, soy, and barely any meat. I also try to stay away from corn. People think that it gets harder to cook with the amount of ingredients I have to take away because of my food restrictions. But it's quite the opposite...I find it easier to cook now! With less ingredients, the easier the choice is of what to make.

To new cooks: I know it can be overwhelming. There are so many food choices out there! So just narrow it down.

Start like this...
Choose a main ingredient from the list: chicken, red meat, veggies, tofu, eggs, fish, starch, bread.
Choose a cooking method: saute, bake, fry, grill, raw, soup, salad, slow-cook, boil.
Say I pick fish and bake. Next step is to google "how to bake fish" and you'll find a recipe! Repeat this method until your meal is complete with all courses desired.  
  
Carrot Cake Smoothie
  
This smoothie does NOT taste like it's good for you, but it totally is! It's actually super healthy and perfect as a breakfast or snack, and great after a workout.

  
Carrot Cake Smoothie
1 cup chopped, peeled carrots (baby carrots are fine)
handful of ice
1 banana
1 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax)
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch cinnamon
3/4 cup coconut milk
small squirt of honey (optional)

1. Place all ingredients in blender, in order shown above (except honey).
2. Blend for about a minute, until smoothie consistency, with carrot chunks blended thoroughly.
3. Taste and add honey if desired.
4. Blend again (if honey was added).
5. Serve and enjoy!

Super easy and super good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

THE BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER | NW ARKANSAS

Recently, the hubs and I had a chance to visit my younger sister in Arkansas, where she is in nursing school right now.

Since the weather was so perfect, we went on a short camping trip to the Buffalo River, which is about 2 hours from Fayettville. This river is quite possibly my favorite river ever. And I've been to my fair share of rivers. I mean, just look at all the photos! Gorgeous.

The pup got to come with us to the river. Even though he doesn't enjoy water, he LOVED getting to romp around the riverbanks without having to be on a leash.

Now my sister's dog is another story. Ruca is her name, and she LOVES to swim. So she was in the water all day.

Uh-oh. Time to cross the river. Since Quinn hates getting in water, we had to put his leash on so he would follow us. Good thing he's a good dog, otherwise he could just stand there with us pulling as hard as possible and not budge, as big as he is. :)


"I have to SWIM?! Across that huge river?! Oh, please, no." :)

Doesn't even know what's coming. :)

Oh, he hates it alright. Tee hee.

"Get me outta here!!" Haha.

Beautiful, huh?


That's me on the left, and my sister, Carley, on the right. I love us!

The fam. Mark, myself, and Quinn's bottom.

These pups had so much fun playing tag while we were there. I love them. And i love Quinn's bunny ears in the last photo. :)


We camped near this little lagoon.

This was our campsite. To the right of the tent is the river. The pups loved all the room they had to chase each other.

This is called Twin Falls (although there are three). You can drive up to the trailhead of these falls, park, and then it's only about a 5 minute hike to the falls.

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Quinn almost got stuck up a really steep hill next to the falls. But he braved it and got down. Good pup. :)

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Mark found his way to the top of the falls. I was a little scared for him. hehe.

Wishing I was back at the Buffalo!

[All photos were taken in April 2012.]

Monday, June 4, 2012