1) Matching coffee mugs from Anthropologie – I originally picked out this “T” mug for my husband as a souvenir from Seattle a few weeks ago. Then I decided to get the “S” mug for myself so we could match when we have our morning coffee together at the breakfast table on the weekends. Which almost never happens… who has time to sit down and have coffee in our house?
2) Drinking Green tea instead of Coffee – While I was on vacation for two weeks, which included traveling from Georgia to Seattle, I lost a lot of sleep (crossing three time zones in 24 hours) so I was drinking coffee every day. Add in the extra sugary treats and not so healthy foods I consumed on vacation, and I needed to detox! Once I got home from vacation, I started drinking more green tea instead of coffee which I enjoy both hot and iced.
The inspirational quotes on the tea bags are just a bonus!
3) Testing new recipes I find on Pinterest – Last weekend I bought a pint of freshly picked blueberries from the local farmer’s market. A picture of a blueberry donut on Jenna’s blog made my mouth water and my creative juices start flowing. Instead of making my predictable (but delicious) Blueberry Banana muffins, I was inspired to make my own donuts. I found myself clicking on over to Pinterest to search for recipes. Two of them looked easy and appetizing, so I made two different batches for taste testing.
The first recipe included cake flour, buttermilk, applesauce and fresh blueberries (of course). While I did not make any changes to the batter recipe, I did switch out the orange juice for fresh squeezed lemon juice in the glaze. Before the donut pan went into the oven, I was worried because the batter looked thin but it ended up making beautiful donuts. After cooling for about 10 minutes, I dipped the spongy donuts in the sweet, lemony glaze. They tasted light, fresh and photographed beautifully.
The second recipe included all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, applesauce and almond milk. That combined with the blueberry yogurt (or in my case, plain yogurt with added crushed blueberries) gave the second batch of donuts a darker color. This batter was THICK, which made it difficult to spoon into the donut pan without over filling. I also thought the crushed blueberries in the glaze made them less visually appealing but they tasted more like a cake donut than the first recipe.
My biggest mistake was not eating them all right away, when I woke up the next morning my day-old glazed donuts were soggy and sad-looking.
4) These cute little pumpkin shaped zucchini – I bought at the local Farmers Market last weekend. Their unique shape caught my eye and by the time I was forking over my three crumpled dollar bills, I was already dreaming up new recipes for them; sliced and grilled, oven fried chips, sliced and layered in a lasagna… oh, I could go on and on.
5) Setting the table for one – Personally I like my house to be peaceful, quiet and a relaxing environment for the entire family. I have yet to actually live in that house but it lives on in my fantasies. So last Sunday evening after caring my for daugther who had strep throat, cooking my Supper Sundays and looking ahead to a busy week at work I decided to take a time out for myself. Setting just one place mat, napkin, glass and fork on the round patio table in our backyard made the kids give me a “mom’s crazy look”. Luckily my husband knew this was a sign that mommy wanted some alone time and told the kids to go play in their rooms. We enjoyed a relaxing ten minutes outside (I let my husband sit with me, I just didn’t make him a plate of food) then went back in to deal with the mess our kids had made in our absence.
6) My new double-insulated smoothie cup - which inspired the return of Green Monster smoothies! Part of the SWAG that I received from BlogHer Food a few weeks ago, this cup does not sweat on the outside even when it has a luscious frozen smoothie on the inside. I blended 1 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup of frozen mango chunks, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, a large handful of baby spinach leaves, a drizzle of honey and 5-6 ice cubes in the blender. It makes a large serving so I shared the smoothie with my 3 yr old son. When my daughter came home from a playdate, she saw the blender on the counter and a little of the smoothie left in my cup. After stealing my last few sips, she asked me to make her another spinach and banana smoothie… that girl knows how to make her mommy proud!
7) Coconut Palm Sugar – Another SWAG item from the BlogHer Food conference, this organic sweetener can be used as a substitute for brown sugar in baking or sprinkled on top of oatmeal, muffins or cereal. I used it in a new recipe which leads me to #8…
‘8) Trying MORE new recipes I find on Pinterest - like this baked oatmeal dish. I tweaked the ingredients a little by using regular rolled oats, substituting the coconut palm sugar for the brown sugar and omitting the fresh raspberries. I also poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, then folded the sliced bananas into the batter. The aroma in the kitchen was similar to chocolate chip cookies so the kids felt like they were getting dessert instead of dinner. Yes, I served them dessert for dinner last night. They loved it and they did not go to bed hungry so it was a win-win for everyone.
9) Recreating my favorite restaurant recipes at home – like this Chicken Burrito Bowl which is inspired by Chipotle. I love Chipotle. My husband loves Chipotle. However my wallet does not like to go to Chipotle as often as my stomach does, so I decided to create my own chicken burrito bowls at home. This time I even prepared my own cilantro-lime brown rice, roasted fresh corn, seasoned the black beans and made fresh creamy guacamole. My favorite jar of Texas salsa and leftover chicken breasts that my husband grilled the day before completed the Chipotle inspired chicken burrito bowl.
Hopefully I left you with your mouth-watering! I’ll be posting the recipe for these burrito bowls later this week!
What is one thing you are LOVING right now? A new necklace, pair of shoes, refreshing summer drink or a new Pinterest inspired recipe?