Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gluten-free Pizza & dessert

I received some fabulous samples from Udi's Food. I was so excited when I received the box of goodies!
I got bread, pizza crusts & cookies!

Last night I threw together a couple pizzas using Udi's crust & another gluten-free option I had previously picked up: Rustic Crust.
They were both very tasting... but very different from each other. The Rustic Crust came out rather bready and crumbly. It was much more dense than Udi's. Udi's was more like a traditional pizza crust. It was very thin and a bit tough, but overall I liked it much more.
 Udi's Crust
Rustic Crust
I used very similar toppings on both. Very Veggie is a good name for them!

Very Veggie
Sauce: Udi's- Red Pepper tomato sauce
            Rustic Crust- Farmer's Market Pesto I picked up last weekend (yum!)
Yellow Squash
Orange Bell Peps
Feta Cheese

I used raw veggies & refrigerated crust (not frozen). I cooked them at 375ยบ for about 10-12 minutes.

I also had to sample out the delicious gluten-free cookies Udi's sent me!
I love baking so I don't usually have the highest hopes for packaged cookies. So I was pleasantly surprised by how good these were!
They were SO moist and had the perfect consistency. I was in heaven! And went back for seconds.
Thank you again to Udi's! I am looking forward to trying their bread too. I'm sure its just as tasty!

GIVEAWAY reminder:
My first giveaway ends tonight at midnight!

Super simple guidelines to enter:
1} Become a follower
2} Leave a comment on the giveaway post.

Good luck! xo

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quinoa Salad

Yesterday I made a delicious lunch. I had leftover quinoa in the 'fridge and decided to make a Quinoa salad with it. Cold quinoa was a first for me and I have to say, I wasn't really looking forward to lunch. But it was amazing! I loved my salad and repeated my recipe for today!
Quinoa Salad
1/2 c Quinoa
1 c Spinach
~10 Heirloom tomatoes
1T feta cheese
1T Girard's lite champagne dressing
*Other topping options: avocados, strawberries, cucumbers, black beans, chicken

This salad was so delicious & fresh. I loved the cold quinoa!
(Excuse the Tupperware & keyboard)

Today I linked up this post with Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oats 'n Wine

But not together... at least not mixed in!

I finally ventured out into the Overnight Oats in a Jar world... what others refer to as OOIAJ. I had been waiting for the 'almost empty jar of nut butter.' When I finally got down to the last tablespoon or so, I was super excited to try them out. I took my tips from some of my favs: Lee, Ashely, Heather, & Kath.
One of my absolute favorite butters! This brand is soooo creamy & delicious!

Simply OOIAJ
1/2c Oats
1/8c Oat Bran
1/2 water
1-2t leftover Almond Butter
Dash of Cinnamon
Dash of Vanilla
In the morning, I topped my oats with homemade granola & fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries & raspberries).

Breakfast was very fulfilling. It wasn't very sweet, so feel free to add a little sweetener to your mix. Next time I am also going to add almond milk to make the consistency a little more creamy.

Thank you for all your sweet weekend comments! We had a blast pouring at the wine event. Just to give you a little background, my mom owns a winery in northern California, Rack & Riddle. After leaving my first career after 4 years, I moved back home and began working there.

A couple of our wines won a medal in the Los Angeles International Wine Competition and we poured the gold medal winner: Blanc de Noir at the event.
It is a fabulous sparkling wine! If you are interested in further details, feel free to contact me. Also, we offer custom wine labels for special events, weddings, etc, so if you are interested... let me know!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Fancies + GIVEAWAY

Happy Friday lovelies! I am in SF today and am off to LA this weekend for a wine tasting event. {That I am working at... not necessarily attending.} But before I go, I wanted to link up with Long Distance Loving's linkup: Friday Fancies! I used Polyvore to create my board today. What a fabulously fun site!
I used Summer Solstice this week to inspire my Parisian-isque theme today:

I realize going through this list... I forgot shoes! Whoops! Welp, if we really are in Paris, I am pretty sure the fashion mecca of the world will supply us with a pair. :) Ok, maybe its more Caribbean, but they have shoes too.

I also wanted to announce my very first GIVEAWAY:
Remember that cleanse I partook in once upon a time? And all those smoothies I slurped?

{Berry Almondy, Carrot Cake Shake, Cashew Kale Smoothie, Purple Power...}

Well the protein supplement I used in the shakes was Amazing Grass. They use several blends to create a delicious and super nutritious enriched addition to any juice or smoothie. Soooo. They have graciously provided me with 1. a bunch of samples to give away to my readers! Not only that, they also sent me 2. a shaker to mix your favorite blend in.
The deats:
To be eligible for the giveaway
{1} become a follower of my blog
{2} leave a comment below telling me your favorite smoothie

Giveaway ends Thursday, June 30th @ 11:59pm.

Can't wait to send off my first giveaway goodies! Good Luck & Happy Friday! xo

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Entertaining

I am joining a linkup today at No Minimalist Here for Summer Entertaining! Any excuse to peruse through Pinterest, I'm in!
Very fun ideas for outdoor entertaining... I would like invites to all these parties please!

Happy Thursday! Tomorrow is Friday... And even more exciting than that: I will be hosting my first GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Poker & Baseball

What a weekend! It was crazy busy... fun, but exhausting!

Friday: A couple great friends came into town from Orange County. They went to Napa for a celebration. More about that tomorrow! How I love seeing and staying in touch with my old friends. Sigh. We met them in St. Helena for dinner at Market. Delish!

Saturday: I am now officially yoging again! YAH! My mom & I are training for a 1/2 marathon in August and are doing a trial period at a local Yoga Studio: three dog yoga.
Its the only power yoga I have found since moving up here. {In Orange County, I was loving Core Power Yoga. If you have one near you... its fabulous- check it out!} Afterwards, the bird & I hit up the farmer's market. Then went to my bro's little league championship game. I am excited to announce they took it all! What a stud!

On Saturday night, we had a Texas Hold 'em night scheduled. Let me first explain... I have NEVER played before. But awhile ago, the fam & I auctioned for the tickets at a little league fundraiser. And won. I made the bird give me a quick tutorial on the ride over. I was so nervous! Those guys on tv are so intense!

It was a blast! It was nice spending time with the fam. And not to make a big deal out of it... but I actually won! So ridiculous! And all beginner's luck!
Here is me with my winnings... still in quite a bit of shock!

SUNday: Father's Day! We took my dad & brothers to the Giants & As game in Oakland.
Huge Giants' fans!

And then there's the bird...
And I am sorry to report, not only did the As win that game, they swept us and won every game of that series. Boo!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oaty oats

I am working (& summer schooling) from home on Fridays now. I have to say, the best part of my morning was making stove top oats. I love having oats for breaky, but am often throwing them in the microwave. So I was really looking forward to good old fashion stove top oats. And they were DELICIOUS!
Oaty Oats
1/4c oats
1/4c oat bran
1/2c water
1/4c unsweetened almond milk
1t vanilla
1-2t flaxseed meal

Topped with:
1/4c almond milk
shake of cinnamon
1T peanut butter
Actually, I 'bottomed' my oats with peanut butter. Before placing the oaty oats in the bowl, I dropped the pb in. That way it would be melted, gooey and easily mixable in the oats.

This was soooo good & soooo fillling!

Happy Friday & Father's Day weekend! Which I know does not particularly pertain to anyone reading this, at least not on the receiving side. But still, its a reason to celebrate! The bird & I are taking my dad to the As v Giants game on Sunday (GO Giants!) then going out to dinner with Big Bird (aka, the bird's dad).

What are you doing for Father's Day?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dirty Dozen

The new Dirty Dozen list just appeared... and is working its way around the 'net. Ew!

I have to say... its pretty awful to think about slopping up pesticides while eating my veggies. Although, at the same time, its no easy buying organic ingredients all the time at the prices they're going for. At least this list tells us which items we should splurge on to buy Organically Grown and where we can save a little.

Without further ado...

Dirty Dozen
1} Apples
2} Celery
3} Strawberries
4} Peaches
5} Spinach
6} Nectarines
7} Grapes
8} Sweet Bell Peppers
9} Blueberries
10} Lettuce
11} Kale
12} Collared Greens
And while these next few didn't make the dirty dozen list, it is recommended they be bought organically as well:

13} Fatty Meats
14} Milk
15} Coffee
16} Wine
17} Chocolate
And finally... Here is a list that you can relax about. These are so clean there is hardly a need to buy organically:

15 Clean
1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapple
4. Avocado

5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mango
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe

10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Information found at the daily green

Thursday, June 9, 2011

SoCal wrapped up

The trip to San Diego & Orange County was fabulous! I was so sad to see the trip end. But we came back with some incredible memories {like my mom kicking butt at the marathon}, fabulous pictures & wonderful time spent with old friends.
The first night was reserved for my bestie, Jeanine! Oh how I miss that girl! We went to Wine Steals in Hillcrest... so fun!

The next morning we hit up a San Diego crowd fav... if you're from the area, you know what I'm talking about!

On Saturday, the fam came into town!
My beautiful mother gearing up for the big race.

While the brothers & I enjoyed the beautiful San Diego weather... a huge change from the rainy weather we'd been having up north!
And bright & early, we hit the streets of SD and met her during the marathon. We caught up with her at mile 16 & 18:
And of course the finish line!
YAH mom!
She absolutely rocked it! We were so proud of her!

Lastly, we headed up to Orange County on Monday & Tuesday to meet up with our dear friends in Orange County.
They are fabulous... and let me just say how gorgeous & glowing my friend is! We can't wait to meet their little tike in September!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mixt review

... Not to be confused with a mixed review. Just wanted to make that clear. Because this place was uh-mazing!!!

On Friday, as I waited for the bird to get off work (before catching our flight), I had a scrumptious lunch. I went to Mixt Greens in SF. I was so stoked I stumbled across this place. Here is their menu. And that is just for their salads, they also have sandies that looked amazing. But this girl was in need of and craving some greens. And that is just what I got.

This is what I saw when I walked in this place.
If I wouldn't have checked out their website before walking over, I would have been a bit discouraged. So glad I knew better.

I did a "design your own" salad.
Behind the 'tossers' is a huge wall of lettuce buckets. And in front of them, a long line of ingredients & mixins. (You can visit their site to see much better pictures.)
Here was my order: 1/2 mixed greens, 1/2 spinach. My mixins included: black beans, edamame, quinoa, chickpeas, walnuts & marinated tofu. Swoon! I was in absolute heaven.  I topped it with fat free balsamic and a side of unsweetened peach green tea.
Amazingly fresh ingredients, so many options, and generous portions!

There are multiple locations in Los Angeles & San Francisco. I highly recommend this place if you are in the area.

And just so we're clear: This blog receives no payment or other compensation for advertising. And I did not receive payment or other compensation for this review.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Snacks & Bars

Today we leave for San Diego, as I mentioned last week. My mom is running a marathon on Sunday! Woo Hoo! We are going to cheer her on and visit some friends while we're down there. I used to live in San Diego & Orange County, so its a good excuse to stay a couple extra days and make the rounds.
For the trip, I made & packed a couple goodies that I wanted to share.

First up is a Blueberry Crumble Bar from How Sweet it is. She seriously has wayyy to make great recipes. So I warn you about visiting her site... its extremely addicting! :) Plus her posts are so humorous & entertaining. All around great blog to peruse.
 Slight crispiness on top
But still so delicious & gooey inside!

The only thing I altered was using 1/2 unsweetened applesauce & 1/2 butter. My excuse to eat more! These are so good. They would be great for breakfast, snack time & even crumbled on top of ice cream or froyo!

I also made Oatmeal Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, courtesy of Carrots 'n' Cake. She also has a fabulous blog full of delicious recipes! She has a great way of combining scrumptious & healthy, which we know is not always an easy task!
And after. 
These were so oaty & gooey!

Both recipes were so easy to make. They only had a few, basic ingredients, which made them easy recipes to chose for the trip. The Bird was very excited when he came home & saw the snack pack coming together! :)
Happy Friday All! Any fun plans for the upcoming weekend?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Crunchy & Creamy

I made a couple great eats over the past week I wanted to share with you.

This weekend I made a second round of homemade granola. This time I used a recipe I adapted from Kath Eats Real Food: Crunchy Buckwheat Granola.

I didn't change much on this recipe. I loved how simple and amazing it sounded. We did use coconut oil, instead on Canola and 1/2 agave, 1/2 honey. I didn't opt for any of the mix-ins this time. Plain Jane & delicious!
You can see all the lovely almonds, buckwheat & oats. Crunchy goodness!

Next up, homemade Almond butter. A first for me.

Vanillamon Almond butter
2c almonds (I used whole, roasted, unsalted)
2T cinnamon
1t salt
1/2 vanilla bean
1T chia seeds
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth & creamy.
It was my first time baking with vanilla bean as opposed to vanilla extract. Vanilla beans are expensive! Wowza! But it was worth it, even if I have to live off this granola only for the month! ;)
 I had to stop & scrape the sides a few times, since the almonds were sticking.
YUM! So creamy & vanilla-y!

Do you have any good nut butter recipes to share?
BTW, tomorrow is Friday! :)