Category Archives: Uncategorized

Taking a short break

Hi guys, a lot has changed since my excitement on Monday, and I’m taking a short break to get my life back in order. Hopefully I’ll still be able to visit with all of you this week, and I hope to be back here in a week or so… but right now life is happening and it’s crazy.

Spill it Sunday: Bookworm Confessions

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE lover of books (right up there with my tea obsession!). I even have a pinterest board dedicated to some of my favorites ūüôā So when Arman announced the book theme for this weeks confessions I was all over it. In fact I’m sharing my favorite post from that board in lieu of a selfie today, because it’s totally worth the laugh.

Sadly I’ve never read that particular book… but I have lots of other favorites!

1.¬†Favourite novel of all time? This is nearly impossible. I’m going to say Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (never seen the movie but I imagine it won’t do it justice). It’s one of those books that hits you hard while you’re reading it and does it again with every re-read.

2.¬†Favourite genre¬†Totally depends on my mood… I love a good love story but I also love the richness that comes with well written adventure/fantasy novels, and everyone needs a good thriller once in a while ūüėČ

3.¬†Favourite childhood novel/Favourite teen novel- The Wild Magic quartet by Tamora Pierce. I was well down the fantasy rabbit hole by the time I read these in middle school, but everything from the strong female character to the suspenseful romance of the plot keeps these near the top of my list… and that’s saying something because I read a LOT of YA fiction.

4.¬†Favourite Series? My guilty pleasure series is the Temperance Brennan mysteries by Kathy Reichs (they’re the basis for my favorite TV show Bones). My favorite series overall would have to be the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings for the sheer history and depth of the writing (though if I ever start the Sherlock Holmes stories there might be some competition for this top spot).

5. Which book would you hope future generations will continue to consider a classic? In terms of new classics I would hope the Harry Potter books continue in popularity as my generation grows up. Not only are the books well written for kids to grow with the whole magic of the series was something historical and I would love to pass that same enthusiasm down to future generations.

From literature that is already classic I hope that the works of Jane Austen are around for a long, long time!

Shout out with a recommendation below! I’m always looking for something new to read.

Spill it Sunday: Musical Chat Roulette

Good morning everyone! Looks a little different around here, huh? You’ll have to be patient with me as I settle into my new home here at WordPress, but I’m hoping to have all the bugs worked out by the end of the week ūüôā

This week Arman has us basically playing Chat Roulette¬†¬† with our musical devices… so things could get interesting. Be sure to swing by The Big Man’s World to see what everyone else is listening to.

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I always keep my phone loaded with music because the commute get’s pretty boring pretty fast without it. I actually just stocked up on a bunch of new CD’s at the library yesterday so I’ll be adding even more variety in the next few weeks.

If you only knew: Shinedown, The Sound of Madness

Shinedown has been in my collection since High School, it started when I heard a song I liked (What a Shame) in the background of a Harry Potter fan video… yeah yeah nerd alert… ¬†and I’ve since had the chance to enjoy all of their albums since.

All I wanted: Paramore, Brand New Eyes

One of my childhood friends has been in love with Paramore for as long as I’ve known her (and for a while she had the bright red hair to match). We don’t talk much anymore, but she’ll occasionally send me links to their songs on Facebook.

Renegade: DAUGHTRY, Renegade 

We’re moving into guilty pleasure territory with this one. I remember watching Chris Daughtry on American Idol with my dad, and little high school me just loved him! I’ve since moved on from the man but I’m still a sucker for his music.

U +UR Hand: P!nk, I’m Not Dead

The title on this one is self-explanatory, no? P!nk is my go to when I need angry girl music, music for a girl’s night, or a good cry. Seriously her albums cover everything (and her athleticism is to die for).

I’ve been: Original Broadway Cast, Next to Normal

Seriously it’s my Iphone, you knew a musical was bound to come up ūüėČ This is one of the best songs from one of my favorite modern shows. Go check it out, I promise it’s a goodie!

And I suppose since it’s Sunday I should throw in a selfie for good measure, right? It’s a comfy morning before work with my glasses on and my mug of tea. I’m also wearing the BF’s shirt…

spillitsunday

shh don’t tell him I stole it

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CKC #2: Reveal Day

Hey guys! I’ve got a big recap for you all on what I’ve been up to lately, but I’ll save that for tomorrow because we’ve got some cooking to do today ūüôā

I teased you all on Instagram last night with my take on this week’s ingredients:¬†
salad greens, tomatoes, and cayenne pepper. 

I added some eggs, tortillas, queso fresco, and salsa ingredients
¬†(onion, peppers, and I’m not sure what else because my brother made it…)
And the result was a super fresh and filling “Breakfast”
 burrito that I had for dinner last night. 

 The cayenne on top of the cheese before I got everything all warmed together 
not only makes these pretty but it sneaks a little extra heat in there ūüôā¬†
But enough about me, I want to see what you were able to make out of this weeks ingredients!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Good morning I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th! I’ll be recapping yesterday’s festivities (and this weekend fun with the BF!!!!) next week, but for now I have a sweet little treat to end the week with.¬†
I love when rhubarb is in season! Strawberries are fine and dandy but to me they are second best to the texture and tang of fresh rhubarb. Especially when it comes to crisps…
Can I just say for a second how much I love “desserts” like these? Fresh, ripe fruit baked under a golden crust of oatmeal goodness. It almost sounds good enough for you to serve up for breakfast. Not that I’ve done that… on several occasions…

At least I only add ice cream in in the evening ūüôā¬†
My mom found the original recipe she wanted to try on the Smitten Kitchen, but their topping was a little too flour heavy for my gluten free tastes. We make an awesome apple cranberry crunch in the fall with an oat based topping and ¬†decided, why not? Since we were making alterations I changed up the thickener and cut out some of the sugar as well (don’t tell my mom!). Based on how quickly the latest batch disappeared I don’t think anyone noticed.¬†

A pan that could easily serve 8 is lucky to last a full 24 hours around our family of 4, so consider yourself warned! It really is a perfect summer dessert, fruity, fresh and not too heavy. Plus it couldn’t be simpler to make.¬†

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp 
adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
Serves 6-8

60 minutes

Filling 
1 quart strawberries, rinsed and sliced
5-6 stalks of rhubarb, rinsed and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup sugar
5-6 tablespoons of tapioca starch (you can use corn starch, but tapioca gave the filling a smoother, more gel-like consistency)

Topping
1 1/2 cups oats (GF if necessary)
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour (I used brown rice, but feel free to substitute regular or GF all purpose)

Preheat oven to 350*, combine fruit and sugar in the bottom of a 1 quart baking dish*. Combine lemon juice  and tapioca starch in a separate dish and mix into the fruit. Melt butter and stir into oats, flour and brown sugar. Spread topping evenly over the top of the fruit (fell free to sample any bits that stick to the bowl!).  Bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Serve warm or room temperature, plain or topped with ice cream or plain yogurt. Try not to go back for second third helpings in a single night.

*Really any size dish that holds your fruit will do, the smaller/deeper dishes just mean a thicker layer of topping which is never a bad thing!

What’s your favorite “dessert” to eat for breakfast?¬†

Comments!

Sorry to everyone whose comments I just deleted today ūüė¶ I was trying to clean out all of the spam that had been building up on old posts… one click too many and half your comments were gone!! I’m trying to see what I can do to bring them back (anyone else who has managed to do this before and has any suggestions please let me know!)

Bulk shopping swag!

I have decided I love the bulk food store! Let me just say it again, this place is wonderful ūüôā I stopped by last week to stock up on goodies for the start of the semester, and I forgot how many truly wonderful things can be found for oh so cheap!
If I was furnishing my own pantry, I would have been all over the assorted spices and herbs (it took all my will power as it was to stay away from the loose teas!) but I was there to make trail mix. 
Fruity, nutty,delicious trail mix was mine for the making with a seemingly infinite array of combinations. Of course my aim was to be as healthy as possible so I gravitated to the more natural options. I have one mix of dried cranberries (plain/unsweetened), almonds (for protein), pumpkin seeds (plain/unsalted) and m&m’s (leftover from Christmas haha). The other mix is¬†banana¬†chips (baked, unsweetened), more dried cranberries, walnuts (for brain power!) and semi-sweet chocolate chips (because¬†who doesn’t love¬†chocolate).¬†

I was able to make these two huge containers (with some walnuts leftover for breakfast, and some¬†crystallized¬†ginger for tea… I couldn’t resist!) for $30. Considering nuts and dried fruit (with all those additives and flavorings) at the grocery store are $5-$10 a package…. I think I will be making this trip on a regular basis.
You all know my fondness for snacking in class, so I make sure to pack a baggie in my lunch each day. I also always keeps a jar sealed in my car for traffic and other emergencies, and as you can see I need to re-stock ūüôā
Anyone else have any fun at a bulk store lately? What’s in your ideal snack mix?¬†

A new tradition?

Don’t you love it when things don’t work? Sorry for the delay on this post, when I came home on Friday my lovely laptop booted up with a critical error message… The lovely folks at Best Buy assure me it’s all better now (we’ll see if that’s true…)

Anyways the BF and I continued our holiday tradition (we’ve done it two years in a row, that counts as a tradition right?) of Christmas in the city for just the two of us this week. We spent a beautiful night at The Wit hotel, went browsing through the Christkindlmarket, ice skating at¬†Millennium¬†park the whole nine yards. It’s a nice little treat that gives us to relax and enjoy the season together before spending the holidays with our individual families.

This year we decided why not extend our pre-holiday time together with a little cookie making (totally his idea, I swear!). So we spent Friday baking and decorating a batch of GF sugar cookies.

We never did this when I was a kid, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. The BF however, used to do it all the time with his Grandma and cousins so I was happy to defer to his childhood expertise.

The first thing we needed was a big old batch of cookies, I chose¬†Annie Hall’s Butter cookies, from Susan Branch with my dad’s GF flour blend for our base. We made the dough Thursday and let it chill over night, which left it the perfect consistency on Friday morning.

Then it was time to prepare 8 different batches of Simple Sugar frosting (powdered sugar with a tablespoon or so of milk, stirred to the desired consistency) in all the necessary colors. Then we cranked up the Christmas tunes, laid out the wax paper and got busy ūüôā



5 hours later we had quite a collection, candy canes, presents, snowflakes and snowmen.

We even made a cookie version of ourselves (aww!)

By the end of the day we split them up evenly and I left with two¬†delicious¬†plates of cookies for the upcoming ¬†family¬†festivities¬† Even better I left with the start of what I hope can become our shared holiday tradition for many years to come ūüôā

Happy Christmas Eve, eve everyone! Best of luck with any last minute holiday shopping, baking or gift wrapping. Look back here for the final installment of the Christmas Photo challenge on December 25th!