Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rich Vegetable Soup

Ryan asked for soup with sandwiches this week for a meal. My mom had dropped off a ton of produce from the garden and I knew I had to get creative. This soup has a ton of rich and deep flavor from the Worcester sauce and smoked paprika. I threw this together and you can make soups like this too. Look in your fridge and pull out whatever veggies you have. That is really all this soup is and it turned out great.

What you need~
2 cups of carrots
5 small potatoes
1 large onion
1 cup of mushroom
1 cup of  auliflower
2 stalks of celery
1.5 cups of cabbage
2.5 cups of green beans
4 cups of vegetable stock
4 cups water
1 tablespoon of bouillon
1/4 cup Worchester sauce
Smoked paprika
Nature's seasoning

My mom's garden carrots are small and it took a long time to peel and chop them. Worth it though. Place them in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Chopping up the cabbage. It is in season and cost me .39 cents. Awesome grocery store find. You can put it in like everything and it is really healthy.

Cabbage layered on top of the carrots. Already looking tasty.

Layer all vegetables in the crock pot as you dice them up. Should look like above pictures. I tend to layer the potatoes and carrots closure to the bottom so they will be closure to the heat source.

Once all the veggies are added you want to add the liquids including the Worchester sauce and seasonings to the top. With Seasoning you should really season to your taste. I tend to season to the point that I think it is too much and then I know it is just right. Notice the thyme branches on top. After cooking on low for 8-10 hours remove these from the pot before serving.

This was so tasty. I may have went a little overkill on the oyster crackers but it still filled up my belly with warm happiness. I really like being creative and throwing stuff together. Lately my best food items are things made last minute with no recipe what-so-ever.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Friday, August 26, 2016

Strawberry/Pineapple/Peach Smootie

It is finally Friday. Sometimes I am not in the mood to physically eat anything. That is the perfect time for a smoothie. I like to keep it simple I do not do all those fancy weight loss shakes or anything. I like to have my normal yogurt/fruit with some juice and almond milk. 

What you need~
Handful of frozen fruit. (strawberries and peaches)
1/2 cup of fresh pineapple
2 ounces of orange juice
4-6 ounces of almond/cashew milk
1 container of vanilla yogurt

It is really easy. Put all the things in a blender. Pulse once or twice before setting the blender on level 2 till it is the thickness you like. The key to a good smoothie is using the frozen fruit. I buy in bulk from Sam's Club every couple months. They have killer deals on frozen fruit. I hope that in the future instead of buying those pre-made smoothies for $5 you try to make your own.

Layer up the items.

                                         Mix it up!

Prepare for travel to work.

I had made this for dinner last night. Way to much pineapple left over. Smoothie heaven!

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sharpie Nail Pedicure

I like to have fun nails in the summer and I paint them every other week usually. One of the new things that I stumbled upon was using a sharpie marker as a dotting tool. For years I have used a bobby pin and polish to make dots. This is so much easier.

What you need~
Base coat
Nail polish (mint)
Sharpie marker ( black and silver)
Top coat

Put on your base coat and at least two layers of your colored polish. I used a mint china glaze color that took two layers to be this rich of a color. 

Looking good. Let it dry completely before moving onto the decorating step next.

My foot looks really long here. Creepy.

Using the sharpie as a dotting tool put some dots down in whatever style you want. I only had silver and black on hand. I want to go buy some more fun colors to try out. Make sure you let this dry for a while before you put on top coat. This way the colors will not run. Something easy and fun for you to try if you do your own nails.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Travel Adventures: Auto-X Road America

A couple years ago one of my husband's co-workers asked him to go to a auto-x ("cross") event that he was racing in. We went and Ryan wanted to do it immediately. I of course being a nervous wife did not want him to do this as racing is "dangerous". He assured me he was going to take a class on it that they were offering to learn to race properly and learn from the experts. This class was good it showed me that racing can be safe if you are taught properly and know the limits of your car.

So we were off and that was almost 3 plus years ago. Now we go to 2 maybe 3 events a year. I always jokingly tell Ryan he has to go get out his need for speed.

Around the track we go!
Chilling in grid.
I guess I should explain what auto-x is. We usually go to the ones that are set up on a go-kart track. The course is set up with a series of orange cones. The goal is to make it around the track as fast as possible without hitting the cones. Most tracks you do not go overly fast on. I would say 60-70 MPH max. If you hit a cone it is a deduction and if you go off of the track with more than two wheels it is a disqualification for that round.

We had fun this past Sunday. Road America is one of our favorite places to race. The go-kart track is right next to the normal track so in your down time you can watch the track which is cool. They have nice bathrooms and serve food.

It was so hot let that engine cool.
Sexy support car.
This time the course that was set up was relatively hard and fast. Some of the corners made my belly get butterflies. Ryan had a goal of getting 51 seconds and he reached that goal which is always nice.  People always ask if I will ever race my MINI. We have a rule where we only race one of our cars and the MINI is a good support vehicle. It is always stocked with a cooler of water and snacks.

The last event of the year we will maybe go to is here again. Always a fun time.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Monday, August 15, 2016

Creamy and Easy Frittata

I make this a lot. Almost every other weekend. It is easy and honestly any toppings can go in it. I have made like a lasagna type, Mexican, gyro type. I have put in steak, chicken, pepperoni. The options are endless. I have listed the ingredients for this specific type that I made Saturday. Feel free to  change up the toppings though to your liking.

What you need~
5 eggs
1 cup of milk
3 cups of kale
1 cup of salsa
1 cup of green peppers
1 cup of chicken (pre-cooked) 
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/2 mozzarella
1 avocado
Taco seasoning 

Put your green peppers (diced) in the pan and let them sweat with a little olive oil on medium heat. Season with taco seasoning. Make sure you use a pan that can go into the oven. Pre-heat your oven to 350
degrees F. Add the salsa to the pan. Add chicken to the pan.

While the salsa and green peppers are heating up crack your eggs and mix in the milk. Season with the taco seasoning and add a little hot sauce. Whisk this really well.

Add your kale (chopped) to the pan and let that cook down a bit. While that is cooking down cut up the remaining avocado and cheese.

Pour your egg mixture over your toppings once you feel the kale has cooked down enough. Let this sit for about 2-3 minutes. Giggle the pan and see if the sides of the frittata are set. Once they are top with the cheese and avocado. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes.

In the oven!

Once the frittata is set and browned in the oven remove. I topped with some black olives before serving.

 I love making this. As I stated before it is so easy to make and really tasty. I recommend you make it really soon!

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mouth Watering Grilled Cheese

I was raised on the classic grilled cheese. American craft singles sandwiched between two pieces of white bread. My mom always grilled these sandwiches to perfection after coating the bread with real butter. None of that crappy fake butter (looking at your margarine). Sometimes if you were lucky she would pair it with tomato soup. Classic meal growing up that I still crave. Now-a-days I want something a little more complicated but just as tasty. Here are my tips for the best mouth watering grilled cheese.

1. Bread- The quality of bread will directly effect the outcome of your sandwich. I try to find something that is not skinny. What I mean by that is that the bread is wide and tall. This way you have room for toppings. I really like a good local sourdough if I can get it or rye.

2.Cheese- We want good quality cheese. If you are into America Craft Singles that is cool but let's be real that is not really cheese. Be honest with yourself on that you need and deserve some good cheese. A good option we have found is brie with gouda. Both of these cheeses melt really well. Brie gives a good mouth feel while gouda has a nice smokey flavor profile. I found brie on super sale yesterday and it make me so happy. Will work well for a pizza idea I have.

3. Toppings- I said it. I won't take it back. Some people argue that if you put toppings on your grilled cheese it is not really a grilled cheese. I would have to argue that no one is actually going out to their grill and putting cheese on it. I mean that is technically what you should call this sandwich. ANYWAY. If you do not want toppings don't put them on then. I personally like to put some on. The options are endless. Last night we did figs and mushrooms that were fried up first. That with some cranberry mustard. Just drool worthy. 

4. Butter & olive oil- This sounds crazy but it works. I coat the outside of the bread with a spray olive oil. This helps the bread get perfectly brown. Ryan found that melting a little butter in the pan and placing the sandwiches in it helps too.

5. Put it all together- Stack your toppings in your sandwich. Put your mustard or sauce on the bread after spraying the bread on the outside with the olive oil. I recommend you do this on a napkin or plate. Layer cheese, toppings and lastly the other piece of bread. We like to cook ours on a flat top. On the flat top (or pan) put some butter and let it melt. Then place sandwiches on the butter. I use a giant lid of a pan to cover the sandwiches and steam them a bit so the cheese gets all melty. When it looks about done on one side carefully flip it. Cook a little longer and try not to burn yourself when you eat it.

I cannot express how amazing this is. Taking the time and money to do this right is soooo worth it. Go out and explore some fun flavors!

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Monday, August 8, 2016

Travel Adventures: Pizza Luce Block Party & Summit Brewery

It was epic. It was fun. Can we do it again? 
 Went to MN to see my friends new house, their kittens, go to a bunch of fun meals, Pizza Luce Block Party and a special brew release at Summit. It was a whirl wind of fun.

This is Pickle. He likes to help others play games before going to fancy dinners. He was not very good at writing with a pen. Ryan had to help a lot. Kittens are so cute. Him and his brother Gordon are such little personalities.

We ate a ton of amazing food this weekend. The restaurant Chimborazo was no different. Hornado Con Papas is what I ordered. Roasted pork with llapingachos (potato cakes with cheese) and tomato- onion curtido. Don't worry I poured the aji crillo (magic sauce) all over this as well as all my other food items. Man it was packed with intense flavors and if it was not awkward I would have licked my plate. 

It was hot and it was magically with all the pizza/music. Pizza Luce Block Party never disappoints. I had two pieces of pizza (Athena which was packed with veggies) & (Luce think onions and garlic). Both were fantastic. I also had a Summit London Brew that was refreshing on a hot day. Here is a picture of the stage. I have to do a shout out to the guy that played the washboard like a boss. No idea what your name was but you rocked! 

Gordon the seal cat. I mean no weekend is complete without cute kittens right? I had a ton of time to play with these adorable little cats. My hands are full of scratches and I do not care.

Onto Summit we go! Summit Brewery is nestled into a industrial park. They have a huge tap room with rows of large windows flanking the walls. Tons of setting/games and puzzles to play while you taste the beers on tap. They even had great outdoor seating, clean bathrooms, well organized gift shop AND a food truck. Perfect night.

The special beer we were here to try. It was refreshing with a light mint after taste. I really enjoyed it.

Overall we had a fabulous time. I always love visiting friends and having fun adventures like this. With the weather we could not have asked for a better road trip weekend.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily