Entries Tagged as 'porch'

Berry Mango Yogurt Popsicles

Posted on: June 12, 2012

Okay, I did it. I’m sorry but I totally jumped on the popsicle bandwagon. I realize there are currently 10 billion popsicle recipes circulating the blog world right now but I wanted to add my two cents on the conversation, oookkay?

To be completely honest, what I REALLY wanted this summer was a turquoise ice cream maker to whip up this vegan Salted Caramel Pretzel treat but my boyfriend forbid it; he claimed it would end up in the pile of other specialty kitchen tools (like miniature pie molds, 500 cookie cutters, winter thermos picnic set, donut pan, etc) that we only pull out once or twice a year (although- I love having ALL of these things, thank you very much).

Anyways, I compromised on these popsicle molds because not only are they smaller and cheaper but you can make sooo many healthy summer treats with them! I actually picked them up with the gift card that BakerInRecovery (Formerly Baker Bettie) sent more for my cookie recipe.

Anyhow, I figure since I eat greek yogurt every morning anyways, why not make a popsicle out of it so I have an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast? It’s genius, really! And on top of that, they turned out delicious and I have no guilt at all knowing all the healthy ingredients that goes into them. Mmm! Cannot wait to experiment with other flavors this summer!

Berry Mango Yogurt Popsicles

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut off the pit
  • 1 banana
  • 5 large strawberries, washed and tops cut off
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used coconut flavored but feel free to use whatever)

In a blender, mix all ingredients until well combined. Taste and add more honey if it’s not sweet enough for you.

Pour into popsicle molds and let freeze for 3 to 4 hours.

Enjoy on the humid porch watching the sunset or on your way to work for a delicious breakfast!

Tofu Thai Lettuce Wraps

Posted on: May 20, 2012

Continuing with my “health kick” this week, I decided to whip up these lettuce wraps for a refreshing and light dinner. I use to live in Nashville, TN and would go to the PF Chang (sorry- I am USUALLY not a chain girl) just to get the tofu lettuce wraps appetizer. This is my version of those and it’s fantastic; stocked full of refreshing veggies and flavorful sauces and then wrapped in a light lettuce leaf. There is something about the kick from the chili powder followed by a cool down from the lettuce that counteracts each other perfectly.

And if eating these because they are delicious and healthy weren’t enough, they are so much fun to assemble and munch down on! It’s like you’ve been given permission to play with your food (for once!). Also, if you are feeling like these won’t fill you up, think about adding some Scallion Wonton Bites as a side.

PS Omit the egg if you’re vegan!

Tofu Thai Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 block of tofu, drained and cut into small “match-like” sticks
  • 1 carrot, cut into small “match-like” sticks
  • 6 small mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 a head of red cabbage
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • dash of chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • dry roasted peanuts, for garnish

In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a minute. Next, add in the tofu, carrot, mushrooms, cabbage, and spring onions and saute another minute (if the pan gets try add a little water). Mix in the lime juice, soy sauce, chili powder and Teriyaki sauce.

Push ingredients to the side and crack the egg in the skillet. Stir quickly to break the yoke and then incorporate the egg with the rest of the mix. Once the egg is cooked, remove from heat and add in the bean sprouts.

Assemble by filling a whole piece of lettuce with 2 or 3 tablespoons of mixture and then sprinkle peanuts on top.

It’s probably impossible to tell because of the long hair but this is Wyatt munching down on some lettuce wraps! Mmmmm.

Cherry Beergaritas

Posted on: May 17, 2012

On my trip last week, I made a list of summer goals! I have not had a summer without classes in almost 4 hours and I decided I better start giving myself some things to work on before I waste the whole summer playing in the sun (okay, to be honest, that would not be so bad either).

Anyways, I shall post my summer list here so that I can slowly cross it off with that handy little font tool that wordpress has!

Summer Goals

1. Learn to like Mushrooms

2. Make homemade marscapone and ricotta cheese

3. Pickle my own grown cucumbers

4. Take some time to do a little yoga everyday

5. Try new cocktails

6. Make my first recipe zine

7. Get my Etsy shop up and running

8. Make Homemade dog biscuits for Tuko

9. Go camping at Turkey Run and Hoosier National Forest

10. Eat Vegan once a week (I think I will be making it every Wednesday)

Okay, that is enough of a list. I also have ‘decorate my new house’ on my list but that is going to have to happen regardless of whether I make it a goal so I’ll leave that off.

Back to number 5. I have already starting trying so many new cocktails this summer and absolutely love the learning experience that comes with seeing what mixes so well with what. I’ve also learned that I am not really an Old Fashioned kind of gal but do love me a Dark and Stormy. However, there is one super easy cocktail that I have already revisited about half a dozens times this summer…the good ol’ Beergarita. Beergaritas taste a lot like margaritas but the soda gives them an extra frizz similar to what you get when you drink a mimosa. The recipe I use is a revamped one that turns the traditional beergarita into a Cherry version that is so satisfying when sitting on your porch and soaking up the sun.

  • 1 – 12 ounces corona
  • 12 ounces of tequila
  • half a tube of limeade concentrate (should in a frozen tube in the freezer section)
  • 12 ounces of Cherry Sprite
  • Ice
  • Maraschino Cherries, for garnish
  • a splash of maraschino cherry juice, for color

Pour the corona into a pitcher. Use the empty corona bottle to measure out the same amount for the tequila and sprite. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Serve over ice to all your friends!

And perhaps with some guacamole or corn salsa (you’ll probably need these snacks after the tequila sneaks up on you!).

Moody Monday: Porch Naps

Posted on: April 9, 2012

Monday, agaiiin? The weeks are going by so fast! I graduate in less than a month and am in no way ready for “the real world”. I feel too young and niave still…I feel too entitled to everything still. I am not ready for that reality check.

On a happier note, I went to the first Farmer’s Market this past Saturday. Oooooh, how I love the market! Fresh produce, plants, baked goods, puppies! As I noted in my previous post, I got some yummy produce that I used right right away and am already ready for next week’s market! Oh summer…you are approaching fast!

Anyways, Moody Monday… I think I shall write today’s post about porch naps. I have an absolutely fabulous porch AND a plant filled sunroom which I have become keen to on windy days. Both days this weekend I took some afternoon naps on them and could have not been more satisfied. What is a better feeling than waking up to fresh air and beautiful sunshine?

This is the view of my paper crane mobiles when laying on my couch in the sunroom. The thought of porch naps will be what gets me through this week!

What’s your Moody Monday perker?

Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade (Alcoholic or not!)

Posted on: March 18, 2012

 

Some days you have to just let yourself sit out on the porch all day and not feel guilty about it. To be honest, I’ve been doing this a lot lately but I am hoping that the charm of this weather will wear off within the next few weeks and I won’t be a total waste of life all summer (but if it doesn’t then so what? I’ll survive!)

There’s nothing like lying around on a warm day and drinking some lemonade. I, personally, am a little addict when it comes to Andre (or any cheap champagne) so I used that to give this drink some fizz but feel free to keep it alcohol free for the kiddies or what not.

 

 

Make lemonade according to the package directions. Then mix everything together in a cute vintage pitcher and enjoy with all your friends (PS- I suggest smashing the blackberries a little because they release more color that way!)

 

My roommate thought she would be able to write her thesis paper over Spring Break. Yeah, don’t worry, I didn’t let that happen.

Wild Rice Chowder and Open Faced Grilled Cheese

Posted on: March 14, 2012

It’s hard to believe with this 80 degree weather that I was craving soup just two days ago. But, putting myself in those shoes, it was a beautiful 60 degree day last Saturday and we enjoyed sandwiches and big coffee mug fulls of wild rice soup during a lovely picnic on the porch.

The chowder was delicious. I honestly have never hard wild rice soup before. This whole thing came about because I was at the store awhile back and saw the wild rice gleaming at me from the bulk section. It’s so colorful and vibrant and I’ve never tackled a recipe with it so I decided purchasing some would be a good challenge. Unfortunately, it sat on my shelf for the next three months before I decided that this avoidance had to come to an end. I looked up recipes with wild rice in them and came across dozens of patties, salads, thanksgiving sides, and soups.

I was sold on the idea of soups but most of them used meats and the “vegetarian” ones were just blander versions of the original. I decided to take one of the meat recipes and completely revamp it for all your vegetarian needs!

I was nervous that I’d end up with a flavorless soup myself but this was not the case. It was so delicious! And thank goodness at that because it made enough leftovers for me to eat it three times a day for the next two weeks (AKA I may suggest cutting this recipe in half if you aren’t looking for a large amount of yummy leftovers).

 

Wild Rice Chowder

  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups meatless crumbles
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bring the two cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and set aside (do not drain so the rice can absorb up the excess water!)

In a large cooking pot, heat the olive oil up over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes. Then add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Next, add in the flour and stir constantly for a minute. Then add the broth and whisk until a milk mixture is created. Add in the potatoes, carrots, thyme, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Next, add in the corn and meatless crumbles and simmer for another 20 minutes (or until the vegetables are tender). Then add the half and half and cooked rice and stir until everything is warmed up and creamy.

Serve warm in cute animal mugs with yummy sandwiches!

 

We also made these simple and delicious sandwiches to go with the soup! Enjoy!

Open Faced Grilled Cheese

  • Half a baguette, sliced in half length-wise
  • 1 fresh tomato, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese (or however many to your liking)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Turn your broiler on low (if you have two options). Combine the olive oil, basil, oregano, and salt/pepper in a small bowl. Lather the bread pieces evenly with the mixture.

Top with the tomatoes, swiss, and then garnish with a few a bit more dried basil.

Broil for only a few minutes (I don’t want to give exact times because everyone’s broiler is so touchy and different). I would just turn the light on and watch it until the top gets brown. No more than 2 or 3 minutes.

Enjoy with yummy soup and your favorite porch spot!

Nom Nom.

Tuko being so cute and good while we enjoy our picnic on the porch!


Moody Monday

Posted on: March 12, 2012

Monday, again? Thankfully I have a semi-easy week with it being Spring Break…although I remember when spring break meant having a week off…now I only manage to have Tuesday and Thursday off and have to work the other days. Oh well, I like my job…alot..so no complaining.

Anyways, my Moody Monday post is about my huuuuuuuge brick porch that could be a house in itself. It’s absolutely amazing and I love spending all of my free time on it. It was so nice this weekend that I was able to not have one but TWO picnics on it!

On Saturday, Ella (my wonderful roommate), Tuco (pictured below), and I had a coffee date with biscotti and Turkish tea! Mmmm

And then last night, Wyatt and I had a dinner picnic full of yummy soup (post about this adventure to happen ASAP) and open faced sandwiches.

And my porch has the best view for me to lean against the brick and watch my boys play!

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Posted on: March 10, 2012


This recipe evokes fond memories of when I first started learning how to cook. When I was 19, I moved down to Nashville, TN for the summer to try to pursue my music business career. It was the first time I had ever lived on my own and I had a tiny apartment all to myself. It wasn’t much but it was all mine and that was what mattered. I had a lot of goals that summer (perhaps to help with the fear of moving to a city where I knew practically no one) and one of them was to learn how to cook.

Don’t get me wrong, my mother is an amazing person but she didn’t appreciate when I would bake and get half the ingredients in the bowl and the other half on the floor. In my kitchen, I was free to create whatever I wanted without anyone being able to judge me. If I failed (which I did, too many times to want to admit) I could chuck it and start fresh without any criticism. And if I succeeded, I had yummy baked goods to offer to the neighbors in my apartment complex and try to make friends (the people below me smoked far too much and were always more than happier to try out my concoctions).

Anyways, this is one of the recipes from that summer; I remember being blown away by the fact that I was capable of making something so delicious. It’s funny to look back on it because I was so strict about following recipes word for word back then and I’ve managed to play around with so many times since.

Today was a beautiful sunny Saturday so I whipped these up while my roommate made some Turkish coffee that she acquired abroad in Jordan last year. We had a cute little tea [coffee] picnic on the porch this afternoon with these delicious treats!

Also, can’t wait to spend my lazy spring break mornings laying around and munching down on these with coffee.

 

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep two baking sheets by buttering them and then brushing flour on top.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, cayenne, and baking powder. Stir to combine.

In another mixing bowl, cream the sugar, vanilla extract, and butter with a hand mixer. Once smooth, add the eggs and beat until well blended.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until stiff. Then add in the chocolate chips and almonds and (preferably with your hands because the dough will be stiff) knead until everything is well incorporated. Slit the dough in half and make two long logs on each making sheet. Dust both with powdered sugar and then use a knife to pierce slices about an inch from each other.

Cook for 35 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes. Use a knife to slip the pieces fully and turn them their sides. Put back in the oven for ten minutes.

Let cool completely and serve with warm, yummy coffee. Or have a tea party with your favorite pooch (like mine shown below).

 

Moody Mondays

Posted on: January 30, 2012

Today’s Moody Monday theme is ‘eating outdoors’. I am in love with being outside (when it’s nice out. I am the biggest wimp when it comes to snow). Anyways, nothing makes me happier than to spend a free afternoon lounging around on a blanket while eating some grub and hanging out with friends.

Top left: This picture was from  my birthday last year when I had a bunch of friends over to grill n’ chill (arg, isn’t that a Dairy Queen slogan?). I have an amazing porch that is perfect for grilling, eating, and beer pong. I am sooooo excited to be hanging out on this porch and am looking forward to spring!

Top Right: Winter picnic with my boy. My favorite type of picnics are waterfall picnics (I don’t know anyone else who makes subgenres for picnics but I love them so much that we must categorize and theme them). Anyways, I got an awesome thermal set that just had to be christened with a picnic. This waterfall is amazing because it’s beautiful, you can get right up next to it, and it’s so far in the podunks of Indiana that it’s never crowded.

Bottom Left: Lake Monroe is one of my favorite parts about Bloomington. Growing up next to Lake Michigan, I felt alittle landlocked when I moved down here because I couldn’t go to the beach after school. Luckily, Lake Monroe filled any longing I may have had for the water. There is this awesome place that all the college kids hang out at called ‘Flat Rock’ which is super secluded and you never have to worry about being bothered. In this picture we are having a ‘Whiskey Cider’ picnic to keep us all warm!

Bottom Right: Campfires! AHHHHH, I love camping so much! This is me in Acadia National Park in Maine which was one of the best trips I have ever taken. Maine is absolutely gorgeous and I am a little bit in love with it (luckily, I’ve heard about their winters so I’m not going to be running away to there anytime soon).

yup. So these are a few memories/favorite things that I am hoping will carry me through the gloomy Monday. Oh also, sneak peak action- I made homemade pasta with my roommate yesterday and am hoping to post about it later tonight! So so so yummmmy.

PSS Oh and this

Chipolte Butternut Squash Burrito Bowls

Posted on: September 25, 2011

I really wanted to start this post of by talking as if I was the burrito but my editor (AKA my roommate) highly discouraged me against it so I guess I’ll just talk about the food instead. But before I talk about the food, let’s talk about beergaritas. Have you ever had one? Well you need to fix that and preferably soon. I’m not going to go into details about why you need to because the name itself is pretty self explanatory and although it may not be the classiest drink you’ll ever have…who wants classy anyways?

Yummy yummy mix ins

Please keep in mind that the ingredient amounts can be adjusted completely for this recipe…I mean I’m sure you knew that but if you like sour cream with a side of burrito than have at it (My point being don’t take the ingredient list too seriously down below). Also, the great thing about Mexican food is that it makes mass quantities and all the supplies are always super cheap so feed your friends. Or your entire 12 piece family. Or the cat lady next door. Whoever.

Porch burrito bowl!

Chipotle Butternut Squash Burrito Bowl

(Adapted and simplifed Closet Cooking)

Chipotle Butternut Squash

  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 chipotle in adobe sauce, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon adobe sauce
  • couple dashes of cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
  • oil

Burrito Bowl Add ins:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • half a lime
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese

First, heat oil in a skillet over  medium heat. Add onions and saute for five minutes or until softened. Throw in garlic and cumin and cook for another minute.  Add chipotle, adobe sauce, ketchup, and butternut squash and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked all the way through.

While letting the squash cook, combine the rice, cilantro, and juice of half a lime in a bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes to absorb their flavors.

Assemble burrito bowl in this order (or dont- I don’t really care either way and it’s gonna be amazing regardless): Cilantro-lime-rice, chipotle butternut squash, black beans, salsa, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.

Munch.

*Important Side Note: Eat on a porch to make it a porch burrito (and preferably with a beergerita)

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