On the Bandwagon

Hi Friends,

Now that the weather is warmer, I have been enjoying smoothies for breakfast almost every morning.  I was intrigued by recipes for overnight smoothies I spotted on Michelle and Emily’s blog and knew I had to give it a try.

Blackberry Pie Overnight Smoothie

- 1/4 cup rolled oats

- 1 TB chia seeds

- 1 tsp cherry pie spice

- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

- 1/2 a frozen banana

- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries

- unsweetened coconut for topping

- Combine oats, chia seeds, cherry pie spice, and 2/3 cup almond milk in a jar.  Shake to combine and leave in the refrigerator overnight.

- The next morning, place oat mixture, frozen banana, blackberries, and 1/3 cup almond milk in the blender and blend until smooth.  Top with coconut.

I was very pleased with how this turned out.  The oats gave it a thick, creamy texture.  The cherry pie was an awesome addition.  I took home a sample from the store.  I haven’t seen a cherry pie spice blend in the grocery store before so I am not sure what they typically contain.  The one from work had plenty of cardamom which I enjoy.  This will be a fun recipe to experiment with throughout the summer!

I picked up The Perfect Scoop at the library last night.  My head is swimming with creative ice cream ideas this morning.  I may have to start a batch before heading to work this afternoon :)

Any great smoothie or ice cream ideas to share?!?!

Later,

Kate

Weekend Recap

Hi Friends,

It was a bit of a crazy weekend.  But I enjoyed lots of quality time with family and friends.  Of corse lots of good food was involved too :)

After hitting the gym Saturday morning, Art and I traveled to my  home town to visit with my grandparents, parents, brother and his girlfriend.  I do not get back there often since my parents don’t live there any more.  My grandparents live on one of the lakes and the weather was lovely on Saturday.  Hello happy  hour on the deck and grilled dinner!

My fam.  It is hard to capture us all smiling at the same time.

Switch out Dad for Mom.

Flashing the ring.

The view off Grammy and Grandad’s deck down to the lake.  I spent a lot of time there in high school :)

Dinner!  Before it met the grill.

Dessert!  An assortment of mini cakes my parents picked up from their local bakery.

I had to include at least one shot of Molly, my parents’ yellow lab.

I worked at the store on Sunday.  Typically Sunday’s are outstandingly slow and I usually read a cookbook or something in between helping customers.  Not the case on a holiday weekend.  I was busy and selling all sorts of yummy food.  I was the only one on the schedule which meant I didn’t get a bathroom break for the entire seven and half hour shift.  Not cool.

I came home Sunday evening and threw together a tasty dinner including barbequed local free range chicken, a strawberry and avocado salad, and a hunk of Rustica baguette.  Best baguette in the twin cities hands down. 

The chicken stayed nice and juicy.  I wish I could tell you how I did this, but I have no idea.  I am clueless when it comes to cooking meat.  Sometimes I get lucky, other times I don’t.  The breast was pretty big so I have leftovers for lunch this week.

The meal was enjoyed while sipping on this lovely cocktail.  The store I work at is now selling a lemonade sweetened with local honey and infused with lavender and mint.  Add a splash of vodka and you have heaven in a glass.

Today we met up with the family again for lunch and a birthday dessert.  We went to Cheeky Monkey Deli which is quickly becoming my new neighborhood fav spot.  It serves basic sandwiches, salads, and treats with an extended menu for dinner and a weekend brunch.  Art and I have been a few times and always leave satisfied.  Good food for a good price with in walking distance of the apartment.  How can you go wrong?!  Plus they now have a patio :)

What did you do this weekend?!

Later

Kate

Big Smiles!

Hi Friends,

Thank you so much for your kind words on my last post.  Needless to say, I am pretty excited.  I have absolutely no idea how to go about planning a wedding but I am sure we will get there somehow.  For now, I am totally enjoying the ring on my finger and knowing that Art and I committed to doing life together for the long haul.  I think we will definitely enjoy taking the ride with each other.  I realized this sounds a little lame, but I am pumped to register for kitchen gadgets and wedding gifts :)

I have a busy weekend with parties, work and a trip to my hometown to celebrate with my grandparent.  I will be back on Monday with some photos to share.

Later,

Kate

In the last 24 hours…..

Hi Friends,

A quick update as to what I’ve been up to since my last post.

- Turned 29.

- Enjoyed a massage from my dear friend Denise who recently opened a massage practice.

- Finished Mockingjay, the last book in the Hunger Game series.  Read them this summer if you haven’t already done so.

- Got a free Northern Light Caramel Cooler at Caribou Coffee.  Nothing says happy birthday like a  caffeinated splenda bomb;)

- Visited the most adorable old school candy shop and may have started an anise gummy bear addiction.

- Had a lovely happy hour with some friends at one of my favorite Minneapolis bars.

- Got some lovely flowers from Art.

- Talked to oodles of family and friends.

- Laughed a cried a few happy tears.

- GOT ENGAGED!!!!!

It has been a very nice 24 hours :)  More complete post to follow soon!

Kate

Reclaiming my Mojo

Hi Friends,

I have been in a cooking/blogging slump for a good month now.  Yesterday afternoon I had enough and decided it was time to get my booty in the kitchen.  It was great fun :)

First up, a batch of Genius Blondies from Katie.  In strange move, I decided to get rid of all my square/rectangular pans because I my round/oval ones were so much nicer.  I question my logic behind this choice now and blame my tiny, apartment kitchen set up….. So I ended up with a 9 inch pie plate full of gooey, vegan blondie goodness.

There was a most lovely doughiness in the middle of these guys.  I love vegan baked good because you can totally get away with under cooking them a bit.  I topped with some greek yogurt and maple syrup for dessert last night. 

I was craving bacon for dinner and recalled seeing a little bacon/avocado/socca creation on Lori’s blog a last week.  It had been far too long since I had made anything from Clean Food so I decided to adapt the Green Goddess Dip a bit to use in my dinner creation.

Into the food processor went half a box extra firm silken tofu, half a large avocado, a big handful of cilantro, 4 chopped green onions, juice from a small lemon, a big spoonful of miso, a big squirt of spicy brown mustard and a splash of rice vinegar.  I am kicking myself for not measuring more closely.  The dressing is a nice mix of creamy, tangy, and greeeeeen :)

I made a half batch of socca and topped with the dressing, romaine, cherry tomatoes and bacon.  Partnered with grilled asparagus, it made for a lovely little dinner.

It felt so good to spend the evening in the kitchen cooking again.  I think my mojo is back and Art certainly appreciated a nice dinner. 

Later,

Kate

Son of a Bee Sting

Hi Friends,

This morning I am in a crabby mood.  I found out yesterday afternoon that I did not get a job I recently interviewed for that I was super excited about.  And I somehow inadvertently erased all the pictures I had taken of painstakingly long process of making homemade coconut milk ice cream bars.  CURSES!!!!!

The job thing has me pretty bummed.  Over the weekend I attended the annual dance recital that my hometown dance studio put on.  It made me remember how much I used to love dancing and teaching dance.  I did my undergraduate in dance and education so I’ve found myself questioning lately why I did not go into that after graduation.  It seemed like a scary thing to do back then and I didn’t really think I was good enough to make it. 

Sometimes I feel that I just like too much stuff.  It makes it hard narrow down what I actually want to do for a profession.  Could I be happy being a dance teacher at a studio?  Could I be happy working as a health coach?  Could I be happy working on the administrative team at a non profit holistic health clinic?  Could I be happy making and selling vegan ice cream in the Minneapolis/St Paul area?  I could honestly say yes to all of those things. 

I know that whatever is meant to happen will happen.  Apparently working at the particular health clinic I interviewed at wasn’t suppose to happen.  It still sucks.  Anytime this stuff wants to figure itself out, I would more than willing to listen…..  BAH!

Anyway,  the weather is lovely today, school is officially over for the summer,  I have a freezer full of homemade ice cream bars and I am planning on watching this weeks episode of Glee on Hulu.  Life isn’t all that bad.  Just a frustrating start to the day.

Later

Kate

Magnum Ice Cream Bar Review

Hi Friends,

The end of the semester push is on!  Only one class left and our thesis lit review and introductory section due.  I can do this, I can do this.

I was very excited to find a little note from Foodbuzz and coupon for a free sample of Magnum Ice Cream Bars that I received through participating in their Tastemaker Program.  After tittering at the word magnum, which automatically makes me think of condoms, I headed to the nearest Super Target to pick up a box.

I ended up the Dark Belgium Chocolate variety.  The bars came packaged in a box of three which is a little unfortunate for a household of two people.  Art definitely ate two while I was at class and work before I told him about the need to photograph and review the product.  Hence the crappy photos of the one remaining bar.  Sigh.

So I with one treat left to review I got to tasting.  I really enjoyed the size of the bar.  It was big enough to feel like you were having a “treat” yet not gigantic.  The ice cream was super creamy which I really enjoyed.  It has been a while since I have had real dairy ice cream that I almost forgot about the texture.

The chocolate coating left me a bit disappointed.  The box boasted that the bars were made with 60% dark belgium chocolate so I was expecting to be blown away with dark chocolately goodness.  It was only sort of “meh.”  Two bites in, the coating cracked into pieces which I ended up eating first.

All in all, I do not know if I would seek out these specifically due to their extreme awesomeness, but I would not hesitate to buy them again.  They did leave me with inspiration for my next ice cream making challenge.  I leave you with a teaser photo :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kate

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