Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#100 Happy Days (vol. 3)

Ok, this post is getting really long and I'm missing some pictures - I'm sorry!  But enjoy my happy moments from the last few weeks :)


Day 16 (7/1) Lazy day with some reading :)


Day 17 - My flowers are blooming!


Day 18 - Went to see a friend's band play

Day 19 - Happy 4th of July!  We had great weather for our badminton games :)

Day 20 (7/5) - Date night with my husband :)

Day 21 - In between rain showers went rollerblading!

Day 22 - We avoided the rain and got some volleyball in!

Day 23 - So proud of myself for cleaning out my closet and my dresser.  Have two bags of clothes to donate!

Day 24 - Woodfired Pizza with my mom in the teeny tiny town of Berne

Day 25 (7/10) - Laundry and getting ready for camping again!

Day 26 - Another hiking club password

Day 27 - Celebrating my birthday with friends (and later family), my friends even surprised me with a birthday muffin while camping

Day 28 - Monday night means volleyball night - love this Monday night tradition!  Matt even played this week

Day 29 - Breaking in the new measuring spoons and cups I got for my birthday

Day 30 (7/16) - so happy with how my flowers are doing this summer!

Day 31 - Tried a new recipe of chicken and potato kabobs - definitely a keeper and recipe coming soon!

Day 32 - Capped off the night with some awesome weather for volleyball in the valley.

Day 33 - Bachelorette party one of two for the weekend - celebrating with my husband's cousin!

Day 34 - Celebrated my future Sister-in-Law's bachelorette party - I'm pretty proud of the garter set I made.
Day 35 - Saw an Eagle while Canoeing

Day 36- we won two games in volleyball tonight!!!!  And I served 10 in a row to help lift out team to victory in the first game - it was an awesome feeling!

Day 37 (7/23) - Visit from my momma!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins

Love Love Love me some summer produce!  One of my all time favorites - strawberries!  I get so excited when the Driscoll strawberries start appearing in stores and the prices on berries start to drop - it means strawberry season is on the way!  This year our strawberry season was a bit late (due to our late spring) and only started in mid-June.  I, however, was super happy with the late season, since the opening of strawberry picking coincided with my first day off for summer!  I got a little over zealous (of course) when I first went picking, and picked about six pounds (Side note - I love that there is a pick-your-own strawberry patch just outside of town - literally less than 10 minutes away.  Makes it easy to go every few days so we can always have fresh strawberries to eat as long as they are in season!). 

So, I had six pounds of strawberries, and while my husband is a champion strawberry eater, this was a bit much for just the two of us.  I also knew I didn't want to freeze the berries, as I haven't really found myself using up the berries I freeze - they just don't compare with the fresh ones!  So while I was definitely enjoying strawberries, yogurt, and my homemade granola for breakfast, I needed another way to use up some berries.


So I did what any girl does and headed to Pinterest and started searching for strawberry recipes.  I found a few strawberry muffin recipes and was intrigued.  When I saw this one was even "healthy" I knew I wanted to give it a try right away.  These muffins are about 110 calories each - perfect for breakfast for my husband or a morning snack for me - and they're delicious!

Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins
Recipe adapted from Dashing Dish

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (may also use Greek yogurt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup Driscoll strawberries (diced and patted dry)
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line muffin tins with silicone muffin cups, or use a silicone muffin tin.  (The regular paper cupcake liners do not work well with this recipe, if you don't have silicone muffin cups or a silicone muffin pan, use foil liners instead)
Place the oats in a blender or food processor and chop them up until they are a fine powder.  Blend in yogurt, eggs, sugar, baking powder and baking soda and mix until smooth.  Stir in strawberries by hand.
Divide batter into 12 muffins and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Eat warm, eat when cooled, or freeze for a later date!
Enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lamp Post Cards

So now that school is out, I'm finally having some more time for crafting (yay!).  One thing I want to do quite a bit of this summer is make some cards, both for myself, my family, and some for Operation Write Home as well.  I sent off my first package of cards to Operation Write Home at the end of May, and I'd like to send even more before the summer is over.  I have a goal of making at least 52 cards this year (my first year participating), one for each week.  Some people send in hundreds of cards (amazing!) but I'm trying to not overwhelm myself and just starting out with averaging one per week.  You can check out my progress over time on my sidebar :)


I'm really really really happy with how these cards turned out.  They were pretty simple to make, once I got the idea in my head (hardest part of card making for me - coming up with ideas of how the card should look!).

The background paper is from Michaels
The black silhouette was cut using my Cameo and is a shape from the Silhouette store
The sentiments are Paper Smooches
Have a great rest of the week!
Linking up at some of these great parties!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

#100 Happy Days (vol. 2)

I'm back :)
Here's what's been making me happy lately

Day 6 (6/21) - So so happy to be able to drive my car again (even if the AC still isn't fixed, at least I can drive my own car again!)

Day 7 (6/22) - Our new screen tent - which I love - no getting eaten by bugs while trying to relax or eat dinner!

Day 8 (6/23) - Hiking with my husband in Tettegouche State Park

Day 9 (6/24) - Sleeping in my own (dry!) bed!

Day 10 (6/25) - Got to spend a little quiet time reading from my Nook



Day 11 (6/26) -  It was cool enough in the morning to make some cookies and I tried a new recipe!

Day 12 (6/27) - Had an awesome run - maybe my hip is finally starting to feel better!

Day 13 (6/28) - Celebrated the wedding of one of my college friends, with one of my best friends!

Day 14 (6/29) - I was feeling lazy after my late night last night, but I spent time in the afternoon making cards - happy with how they turned out!
Day 15 (6/30) - Volleyball was canceled tonight - which was not a happy thing, but I relaxed and did some reading instead.



Monday, June 30, 2014

Painted Star Cookies

Happy 4th of July week!  I can't believe June has come and gone already.  Why does summer go by way to fast?  I'm excited to be sharing this post and participating in Raise.com's 4th of July Celebration! (PS - Raise.com has an exchange program to buy and sell gift cards, if you haven't already checked it out, I encourage you to do so!)  But back to this delicious (and easy!) recipe!
I love celebrating the 4th of July!  Even though my husband has to work, we still make it a good day.  We always have our friends over for a badminton tournament in-between my husband's morning set up, and having to go back to work for the concert.  We love to play badminton with our friends and we always have lots of good things to eat and grill and have our own early cookout.  Of course, I have to make dessert :)  Usually I make a cake, but sometimes cookies are good for sweet treats on the go!

I found these cookies when I was searching for a recipe to use an egg yolk.  (Let me tell you, it was a long search!).  When I make sugar cookie bars, they need one egg and one egg white.  What to do with the leftover yolk?  I have been on the hunt for recipes that use just one egg  yolk.  This is one that I came across that I think I will be making a lot more in the future - super duper easy and gives the impression of frosted cookies without all the work!
What do you do with your family to celebrate the 4th of July?

Painted Star Cookies
Recipe Adapted from Gwenny Penny

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup Crisco/shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk
Directions:
To begin, cream together the shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Slowly blend in the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Chill dough for at least an hour.
Once dough has chilled, roll out on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.  Aim for about 1/4 inch thick.  Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet (or baking sheets covered with silicone mats - I love 'em!).


 Now for the fun part - decorating!  Do this before baking!  Mix one egg yolk with 1/4 tsp water.  Separate the mixture into small bowls and color with food coloring - I used gel food coloring for a richer color. Once you have reached your desired color, take a paintbrush and paint the egg yolk onto the unbaked cookies.  I just used paintbrushes from the kids section at the craft store that I got for a dollar. 



Once decorated, bake at 400 degrees for six minutes.  Don't over bake!  And bam!  You have decorated cookies, that you don't have to frost after baking - love simple recipes like this!


Happy 4th of July!



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Friday, June 20, 2014

#100HappyDays

I'm late to the game with #100happydays I know!  However, I saw that The Questionable Homesteader was restarting the challenge, I thought maybe I would participate too.  I don't currently have a smartphone, so participating on Facebook the way everyone else was would not work for me - but posting pictures on the blog every week or so sure would :)


So's here's my first few pictures.  Happy Day everyone!

Day 1 (6/16) - Strawberry season started today! I can't wait for my husband to get home so I can surprise him with this strawberry-y goodness.  Love fresh picked strawberries!

Day 2 - Canoeing for the first time this year, my parents came along too!
Day 3 - More rain - but I think the birds are enjoying the birdbath at the end of our drive way.  Right before I took the picture, three more were there splashing and playing.

Day 4 - Our power was out from about 4 am till noon.  I was bored... but productive and got my desk all cleaned up!

Day 5 - It finally stopped raining long enough to do some laundry!




Monday, June 16, 2014

Cornbread

I love expanding my cooking repertoire and lately I've been looking at making some favorites from scratch, rather than from a box or a mix.  Enter cornbread.  Corn muffins were definitely a favorite in my family growing up.  My dad and brother and I would often scramble to grab as many muffins as we could when they were hot out of the oven. 

We always used a box to make our cornbread muffins and I'd never made any from scratch.  Recently, I decided I wanted to change that, when I had a craving for cornbread.  This recipe turned out really nice (though would probably work better when we have company - an 8x8 pan was definitely too much for my husband and I to share! However, the leftovers were also delicious when warmed up in the microwave for 15 seconds).

Homemade Cornbread
Adapted form Caramel Potatoes
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk (can substitute 1 TBSP lemon juice or vinegar and enough regular milk to make one cup)
  • 3 eggs

Directions:
Let your butter cool for a moment so that it won't scramble your eggs!  When it has cooled, whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs together.  Add in dry ingredients and stir well, but do not over mix.  Mixture will be a little lumpy.
Heat the oven to 400 degree.  Pour the mixture into a well greased 8x8 baking pan (9x9 may also be used for a thinner bread)
Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Enjoy!

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