Monday, July 28, 2014

Pool, Potluck and a Pitbull!

This weekend I spent a lot of time next to the pool! Only way to live through 100+ degree weather!

And got to meet an awesome Pit bull named Malish (малыш). Who love playing in the pool with us :-)

There was a lot of delicious food that everyone brought! I made fruit salad, black bean corn salad, piroshki and meatballs.

These are some pics of the meatballs. I didn't take that many pics because I was running late on getting everything ready. Even forgot to take a final pic of meatballs with sauce. On Pinterest I had been seeing pins about sweet and sour sauce made of grape jelly and chili sauce and decided to try it. Highly recommend it for a potluck! I received so many compliments for this dish! 

Meatballs: 
3 lbs Ground Turkey
1/2 Onion Minced as fine as possible
3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 TB Garlic Powder
1 TS Salt
1/2 Bunch Parsley
1 Dinner Roll
Sauce:
1 Bottle Grape Jelly (18 oz)
1 Chili Sauce (12 oz)
Preheat oven at 360F. Soak dinner roll in water for a few minutes. Drain as much of water as possible. Mix all ingredients. Just until combined well. Form meatballs, should come out to about 30. 
Bake for 20 minutes. Next whisk grape jelly and chili sauce together in a crock pot. Add meatballs and allow to warm up at low for 1 hour.

I also made these poppy seed piroshki. Turned out fantastic! Here is a recipe I previously posted, http://discoveringoptions.blogspot.com/2013/01/pierogi.html. For this version I actually used 3 eggs, no Greek yogurt and less butter. 

Still need practice sealing them!

Lastly I made a black bean salad and a fruit salad. Fruit salad was just a whole pineapple, 1 lb strawberries and 2 cups grapes.

Black Bean Salad
3 Ears Grilled Corn
1/2 Orange Pepper
1/2 Red Pepper
1/2 Yellow Pepper
1 1/2 Cups Halved Cherry tomatoes
1/4  Cup Chopped Cilantro
1 Cup Black Beans

Dressing:
3 TB Avocado Oil
4 TB Lime Juice
1 TS Cumin
Salt and pepper
It's best if you let it sit overnight to combine all flavors.

Monday, July 14, 2014

There is a fundamental question we all have to face. How are we to live our lives; by what principles and moral values will we be guided and inspired? H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Fairly recently I've been evaluating my personal values. What they mean? How I've come to identify my values? Are they constant?


I came across this quote and can't help but question whether you can compromise a value you have for a moment in time? Can you adjust your values for a period of time and then return to the way you thought before? Would compromising it make the value disappear from your life in general?

What if, comprising it means you'll be happy for that time? Regardless how long that time lasts... That moment in life would later turn into a memory. If it was a happy moment, it would still remain that way. Although that's the scary part... how do you keep it a happy memory and not allow that memory to get clouded with negative factors.

Obviously I have no answers to my own questions. Just something that's been circling in head and wanted to share in case anyone else is asking similar questions. I believe no one is ever alone in pondering things but sometimes it feels that way because we forget to let others know how we feel or what we're thinking.

Good luck to developing your values or reevaluating them...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chicago/Milwaukee Trip

I just got back from a trip to Chicago with my cousins! We had a blast!
The Bean
We had lunch at Signature Room on the 95th Floor. The food was okay but the views were worth it!


Buckingham Fountain.

I danced a lot...

In the streets...

In the grass...

With my nephew Isaac... 

In the sand...

In the water with my sister...

We also had deep dish pizza at Giordano's
I really didn't like it but had to try it!

I then had pizza at Classic Slice in Milwaukee! 

The slices are huge! And even though pizza isn't healthy I don't regret eating this awesomeness!

It was delicious, my favorite!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fun with Friends!

I've transitioned this blog to food and other adventures! I'm in such a happy place in my life right now despite road bumps I've had at the beginning of the year. I truly believe life is what you make it and you shouldn't spend time being miserable or give up on what's important to you! If you give up what you value are you truly living?

This weekend I had the opportunity to go to Payson and enjoy the trees thanks to my friend Misha!
Woods are my happy place!!

Feeling the wind! I'm ready to fly!!

We even got a workout in!!

 Last month I was in Mexico with my gorgeous and amazing friend Albina!

We had the most bomb Cóctel de Mariscos! 
We made it after getting home for Albina's housewarming but forgot to take pics of all the food :-(

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chipotle Couscous Salad with Flounder

Earlier last week I had a bunch of jalapenos in my fridge that I had planned to make salsa with but never got around to it. Then I ran out of tomatoes so salsa just wasn't happening. So I decided to to roast the jalapenos in the oven at about 400 degrees for 30 minutes and then was hoping I could come up with a way to use them. When Saturday came around I finally needed to use the jalapenos so they wouldn't go bad! I decided to make a couscous salad to eat with flounder.

I baked flounder in the oven at 350 for 12 minutes. Just sprinkled with cumin and salt.
Next I made a mango salsa to put on top of the flounder. Chopped up one mango, half a small white onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1/2 cup chopped jicama. Season with salt and pepper and juice a small lime.

Mix and store in fridge while making couscous salad. 

For the couscous salad you will need:
3/4 Cup Dry Couscous
2 Roasted Jalapenos
1/8 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar 
2 Ears of Cooked Corn
1 Cup Jicama

First bring 3/4 cup water or broth to a boil. Remove from stove stir in 3/4 cup couscous and cover pan for about 15 minutes. Couscous will be packed. 

Once all your remaining salad ingredients are ready fluff couscous with a fork.

Cut corn off of the cob and chop jicama and roasted jalapenos.

Combine 1/8 Cup Olive Oil, 1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 TS of Chipotle Sauce. Pour dressing over salad.

Mix everything really well.

You can add any protein you want to this meal. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Southwestern Kale Salad

I'm so excited to share this salad with everyone because it was prepared with the help of two very special students, Jazmine and Edward. 

They work in my office at the front desk and are so fun to have around.

 We started off by first preparing the marinade and soaking the corn. Soaking the corn makes it tender.

The Chipotle Marinade came from Laurie on Simply Scratch . The longer you marinade the better the flavor will be. Unfortunately we only had 30 minutes to soak both the corn and marinade the chicken. 
Jazmine prepared the marinade. We used chicken tenders this time because Jazmine and Edward like chicken. But this marinade would be great with shrimp as well. 

Next we made the cilantro avocado dressing. 
Combine all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Put in fridge while grilling.

Dressing
6oz Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Avocado
1/2 Juiced Lime
Bunch Cilantro
4 TB Olive Oil
1/2 TB White Wine Vinegar
1 TS Dijon Mustard
1/2 TS Cumin
4 Cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper

Next we assembled all the veggies in the salad. 

Salad
Kale
Arugula
Jicama
Tomatoes
Corn
Black Beans
Green Bell Pepper
Onion
Salt and Pepper

Jazmine learned how to cut tomatoes!!

 Grill everything! 

Lastly cut corn off the cob and mix salad together with dressing.

Enjoy and have fun cooking!!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wheat Berry Arugula Salad

Today I bring you a wheat berry arugula salad topped with pan seared cod.

Ingredients
1 Cup Cooked Wheat Berries
1/3 Cup Chopped Onions
1 1/2 Cup Chopped Brussels Sprouts
3 Small Mini Peppers
Arugula
1 TB White Wine Vinegar
! TB Avocado Oil or Olive
1/2 TS Dijon Mustard
1/2 TS Honey
Cod Fillet

First step is to soak wheat berries. Soaking overnight is minimal. I actually prefer to soak them for 24 hours. Then cook in water or vegetable stock for about 30 - 40 minutes. They will still be chewy but not hard.

Next saute 1 1/2 cups of chopped brussels sprouts and 1/3 cup of chopped onions.

Add 1/4 cup of dried cranberries and chopped sweet pepper.

Make the dressing by stirring together 1 TB White wine vinegar, 1 TB avocado oil, 1/2 TS honey and 1/2 TS dijon mustard.

Dress salad and combine well.

Lightly coat cod in bread crumbs and sear in same pan used for brussels sprouts. After it's seared on both sides I finished the fish off in the oven for a few minutes.

This makes a really big salad so I divided in half and saved it for lunch the next day. For the lunch protein I chopped up a boiled egg.