Friday, May 24, 2013

high five for friday!

happy happy friday, ladies!

another week down! and a 3 day weekend...woohoo! normally weeks go by fast to me, but this one dragged on for some reason...it was a great week, though! see for yourself:
1. fro yo last friday night! i was soooo excited because unlike the rest of the population {who seem to eat it at least weekly!}, i've only ever had it once & it was a year ago. true story. needless to say, it was the bomb. cake batter fro yo {i talked about the cake batter obsession last week} + oreos & strawberries.

2. after fro yo, i also stopped in at earth fare {think whole foods, but quite a bit smaller}. i was on cloud 9 and kinda sorta having a health-food-lover-girl freak out. i browsed for a ridiculous amount of time, and it was heaven. of course, i picked up a few things, including edamame, which i can't believe i hadn't tried before! i love it, and it's a fab protein source that made it's way onto all 3 salads i ate this week.

3. baby birds! there is a nest under our deck and the birds came out of their nest on sunday! they were so cute and since they were babies, they could only fly about 2 feet high, which is how we were able to get so close to them and take pictures!

4. my last jillian michaels dvd purchase came with a free subscription for fitness magazine. heck yes! my first issues came yesterday, & i can't wait to read it. {p.s. being the jillian fanatic i am, i bought another dvd of hers yesterday, and it came with another free subscription. i obviously don't need 2, so if any of you would like it, let me know & it's yours! first to leave a comment about it gets it. and it is actually free- no gimmicks. they don't ever ask you for a credit card or anything!}

5. i've tried many a protein bar. these are the ultimate.they are absolutely delicious, protein packed {20g!!}, and the best part: NO sugar! how awesome is that? they seriously taste great & aren't filled with craziness either. :)

i have a pretty busy weekend ahead of me...what are your plans? wishing you all the best tres dia fin de semama!

Friday, May 17, 2013

a dose of random.

hi loves!

happy friday! so excited for this weekend, as always... also, i somehow just could not think of 5 things from my week to tell you about for my usual high 5 for friday, so i'm just going to tell you random things in bullet point style like so:
oh. my. gosh. you guys. i've been a cake batter ice cream lover for my entire life-- i've been ordering cake batter ice cream from cold stone since the ripe old age of 6. i just have a mild {read: EXTREME} obsession with it! so back to business: the ice cream tastes like cake. and then there are sprinkles. and then there are CAKE PIECES. it is my new ultimate favorite ice cream. it's heaven. i proclaimed all of this the entire time i was eating it. {can you tell how unnaturally excited it makes me?}

it's all over instagram, so i started doing the squat challenge. i'm half way through it so far and loving it! and i'm doing them with just body weight, so i'm already planning to do a squat challenge 2.0  using weights after i finish this one!

speaking of squatting ..i sat at an extremely overcrowded table at lunch yesterday. i had less than an inch of space on the end of a bench. so i was literally squatting with my right leg (and half my left leg...) for 20 minutes straight. not the most comfy, but at least it was good exercise. :)

random selfie from this weekend...but i love it because i feel like it makes me look a little more adult-like. it's ridiculous being perpetually a preteen. everyone thinks i'm 12! because 12 year olds drive cars.... i have so many examples, but here is one from last weekend:

at costco, i grab a sample of chocolate covered pretzels off a tray. the lady looks up at me and says, "where are your parents?"
i'm shocked. i fumble around with my words and say, "ummm...umm..." a lot.
she proceeds to ask me how old i am. i tell her. she apparently doesn't hear me, so she asks again, "how old?" i tell her, and she give me the most incredulous i-absolutely-do-not-believe-you look i've ever seen in my life.
finally, she hesitantly say, "okay..." and let's me go.
and the pretzels weren't even good.

the official "you can grab a sample without your mommy and daddy" age is supposedly 13 {which is think is entirely to high in the first place...but that's for another post}, so obviously the lady thought i was 12. i know looking young when you are 40 is great, but when everyone mistakes you for 12 it's just frustrating and upsetting.


i've decided i want to get into running. outdoor running {which is kind of a big deal for me because i'll pound out an 8 minute mile on the treadmill any day, but i h.a.t.e running outside. sidenote: i'm so surprised that it's the opposite for most people! how?}. anyway, i need shoe recommendations! what are your favorite running shoes? i'm headed out shopping this afternoon to get some!

and...i think that's enough pointless rambling for today. also, i'm really hoping to get back to posting more regularly + more substantial posts in the next week or two! the beauty of summer. wishing you all fabulous weekends! xo!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

roasted cauliflower soup.


i actually made this soup way back in february, on a day i was home alone {yes, this is the kind of stuff i eat when i'm alone!}, but somehow it never made it's way on here.

it delicious! it's crazy simple & also crazy healthy {& low-cal!}. it reminds me a lot of potato soup...so even  if you aren't a huge cauliflower fan, you may still like it! cauliflower has a mild taste, but roasting it makes it 10 times better. back in the day, my mom used to make the frozen potatoes + broth + country gravy mix potato soup. but...country gravy mix is definitely not vegetarian, so i don't eat that anymore. {also, i'm not sure why i haven't made a vegetarian potato soup yet...i should!} anyway, this is a thick, amazing-tasting way to get your soup fix + your veggies all at the same time. and it happens to be vegan. try it!

 roasted cauliflower soup

1 medium head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3-4 cups vegetable broth

  • preheat oven to 400˚.
  • cut cauliflower head in to small pieces. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast until tender, 20-25 minutes. 
  • in a large pot, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Stir in roasted cauliflower, thyme, salt, pepper, and 3 cups veggie broth. bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 8-10 minutes.
  • remove from heat and using a blender or an immersion blender {what i used}, puree soup. return to a medium heat and let cook for 3-4 more minutes, tasting and adding more salt/pepper as needed. enjoy!
linking up for taste of tuesday!

Friday, May 10, 2013

high five for friday!

happy friday, ladies!

another week down! i may have mentioned it once or twice {or 17...ahem} but i'm getting so excited for summer! but i'm also excited for this weekend...{baby steps}! this weeks top 5 looks a little something like this:
1. my aunt's wedding was last friday! it was super small {maybe 40 people all together?} and the ceremony was in this cute little chapel while the reception was at her house. it was a lot of fun, and she looks so happy!

2. i've mentioned this before, but i have a little bit of a guacamole/avocado obsession {it's right behind peanut butter}. for the last 5 days in a row i've eaten something mexican for dinner basically just so i could eat guac with it. this quesadilla was delicious, though!

3. when you want chocolate but are trying to have self-control and not just pig out on chocolate chips, you make this: 1 container of greek yogurt {vanilla or plain}, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder, 2 tsp. PB2, and a drizzle of honey {+ a little granola if you'd like}. no joke, it is ah-may-zing. i'll be eating it regularly from now on. and the best part? it's actually super healthy, protein filled, low sugar, & low cal {aka. it's perfect}.

4. a giant rainbow on wednesday. each picture is only 1/2 of the rainbow {yes, it was so big it wouldn't fit into one shot!}.

5. i found this is in a study book and it kind of made my day. {if you can't read it, it says, "Commodore Matthew Perry (not the one from Friends)"}. i died. a friends reference!

wishing you all fabulous. sunny weekends {& mother's days}!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

lemon layer cake.

not the greatest photos today...bleh. and also, i really, really, really, really want need a cake stand! a portable cake caddy is handy, but definitely not pretty for pictures. ;)

i come from a family of major lemon lovers. my grandpa, my dad, everyone is pretty much obsessed with it to an extreme level. i'm the main baker in my family, and i usually get to bake dessert for any family gathering. my uncle's birthday was on sunday, and he requested something *surprise, surprise* lemony.

so, this cake happened. i was pretty proud because i created the cake recipe on my own, with adaptions from my go-to perfect yellow cake recipe. the filling is a delicious lemon mousse {like, i may have ate spoonfuls in between filling the cake good}, and a buttery vanilla frosting. it's pretty much the bomb.

it isn't an in your face, extreme lemon cake. it's lemony, but it has a good balance, especially with the vanilla frosting. it all works together & it tastes so amazing! i *like* lemon, but i'm not a die-hard lover like some people in my family...however, i could seriously eat this entire cake myself! it's that good.


lemon layer cake.
cake:
3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups vanilla/plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup milk {i used almond}
1/2 cup canola oil
4 tsp lemon extract
zest of 1/2 lemon
preheat oven to 350 F. line 3 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and/or spray with cooking spray. combine all wet ingredients (including lemon zest) and mix thoroughly. in a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients, and mix well. add dry ingredients to wet in 3 stages, mixing until just combined. bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 


filling:
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon extract
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup heavy cream

in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. add in powdered sugar and beat until combined. add in lemon extract and lemon zest and beat for 2 minutes. in a separate bowl, use a mixer to whip all of the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. beat 1/3 of the whipped cream into the lemon cream cheese mixture to lighten, then lightly fold the other 2/3 of the whipped cream in until well combined!

frosting:
1/2 cups {3 sticks} butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

in a large bowl, use a mixer to whip the butter for about 1 minute or until smooth. add in powdered sugar and mix until just combined. add in vanilla, heavy cream, and sea salt. turn your mixer on high and whip until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

to assemble: place one cake layer on a platter. evenly spread half of filling onto layer. add second cake layer on top, and spread other half of the filling onto it. top with remaining cake layer. frost the outside of the filled cake with the frosting, adding whatever decorative touches you like. enjoy!

linking up for taste of tuesday!

Friday, May 3, 2013

high five for friday!

happy happy friday, lovelies!

i  am so excited for this weekend! it's going to be incredibly fun & busy, oh and not to mention one other thing {see #1 below}...



1. it's a 3 day weekend for me! yay!  yep, i'm off today! {the selfie is totally random & unrelated, in case you were wondering.} and why am i off? well, because it's the day before the derby {aka oaks day}. when you live in louisville, the entire city basically goes insane shuts down for the derby. i'll admit, i do not get it whatsoever {i'm from cali!}. but, any excuse for a day off!
2. i've been eating lots of salads lately. yum! salad is the best {and btw, roasted chickpeas for protein is where it's at!}
3. and then...when i didn't eat salad, i ate pancakes for dinner. what can i say, sometimes you just want breakfast at 6pm. my favorite banana oat pancakes, topped with peanut butter & the other half of the banana {pancakes only use 1/2}.
4. i spent a ton of time over the weekend with this little cutie {my cousin, lily}! i mean, seriously. check her out with her little diaper bag & baby! the rest of the family worked on putting together her new pink minnie mouse bedroom, while i hung out with her and colored, played kitchen, and ran laps around the house. :)
5. dinner at my grandparents house last night! they made steak but my grandma was nice enough to buy me boca burgers {she said she had to search all the aisles in the store to find them! even the employee apparently didn't know what/where they were? but now her granddaughter has a supply of vegan burgers in her freezer.}. oh, and mashed potatoes also happened. :)

wishing you all the best of weekends, ladies! my aunt's wedding {derby themed, of course...}, which you've probably seen me mention, is tonight! and then my uncles cinco de mayo birthday party is sunday. i'm making lemon cupcakes and i'm really excited about it. xo!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

april foodie pen pals!

hi ladies!

i'm pretty sure it's no secret how much of a "foodie" i am--food is basically my life {dramatic, but quite true}. so, it seemed like a no-brainer to sign up for foodie pen pals, hosted by the lovely lindsay at the lean green bean! it was my first time participating, it was so much fun!

i was sent a package by a lovely {non-blogging!} lady named nicole. she sent me an email to get all of my food likes/dislikes, restrictions, and anything i wanted to try {how thoughtful is that last one?}. here is what she sent me:

 snapea crisps & {everything} pretzel crisps
 dates  & sugared kiwi slices
über bars

it was seriously the most perfect package ever for me! full of healthy snack foods, which is kind of what i told nicole i would love. the kiwi slices are so addictive...i'm kind of obsessed with them, and i only wish they weren't from her local farmers market so i could buy some more! i've seen snapea crisps around a lot lately, and i can see what all the hype is about. yummy!

i told nicole i would love to try them, so she was nice enough to send me all of those über bars...they were delicious! and on the larabar note, i plan on using those dates to make some homemade larabars!

i've already signed up for next months foodie pen pals...it's seriously so much fun and a great way to try new foods. you can find all of the information about signing up on lindsay's blog! if you'd like to see what other people were sent in their boxes, the april reveal link-up is here. :)

wishing you all a great day!
 
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