My family owns a cabin on a lake and it is my haven where I cannot be bothered. My sister was lucky enough to live there last summer and I was so jealous. It is so peaceful and relaxing. Laying on the dock, tanning, swimming, drinking fruity beverages, and having no worries.
What do you call your summer living establishment by a lake? Cabin, that’s what I say. Cottage, that what my Grama says. Lake house, yeah right.
When my grandparents are at the cabin, breakfast is always a big deal. Always around 9AM, everyone is always there to eat. Same. Thing. Every. Time. Bacon from the local meat locker. Eggs, either scrambled or fried. Milk and orange juice. Toast with grape jelly. It is super nostalgic and I love it. I am thinking this would be a great addition to our lovely breakfast time. Not that I can break a hard-pressed family tradition or the lack of love for vegetables in my family members… but this could be tweaked to their liking.
Serves 6 (Grama, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, Sister and Myself)
(Revised from Betty Crocker)
- 1 (9.6oz) package turkey sausage crumbles (Jimmy Dean)
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (1/2 medium pepper)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion (1/4 medium onion)
- 1 1/2 cups grated sweet potato (1 small)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, separated
- 1/2 cup bisquick mix
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 eggs + 2 egg whites
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 pan. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sweet potato, bell pepper and onion for 6-8 minutes, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add in the turkey sausage.
In a large bowl, mix together the bisquick, milk, 1/4 cup of cheese and eggs until blended. Add in the turkey and veggie mixture and pour into the greased pan.
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and bake until melted, about 3 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, cut and serve.
Cabin time is just around the corner!
Does anyone know when I can find a fully functioning brain? Because mine has just vanished. Seriously. It seems as though after my capstone presentation day, I have not been able to function normally. I can’t form sentences when speaking, I keep tripping and falling, I feel it is unsafe for me to drive, and all I want to do is nap and be extremely sedentary.. and I’m NOT EVEN DRUNK! Ugh so frustrating. It needs to turn back on and QUICK because I start my residency in about two weeks and I am going to need it to be sharp and smart!!
While I search, please enjoy this savory quinoa recipe. Yum!
Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad
(Revised from Ambitious Kitchen)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage (1/2 head)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup green onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 the juice of 1 lime
Cook the quinoa as directed on the package. When it is done, let it cool for about 10 minutes. While it is cooking, chop your veggies.
Add peanut butter and agave in a small microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, juice of a half lime and both oils. Stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. Thin with the lime juice.
Add all of the dressing to the cooked quinoa. The more the merrier.
Next fold in the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and chickpeas into the dressed quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
The longer this sits, the better it gets. All the flavors dance in the fridge as it waits for you to eat more. This is a GREAT meal to take for lunch! If you are going to pack it for lunch wait to add the cashews or they will get a little soggy.
If you happen to locate my wandering brain, please email me!
Yeah. Jacki and I are did a three day cleanse. The beginning of May was a wee bit stressful which means I make poor food/nutrition choices (why I do this, I don’t know. But I wish I didn’t). SO now that I have completed my last
suggested eight page paper, I attempted to flush all of my toxins and bad grad school memories from my system.
The cleanse comes from Dr. Oz. Yes, I think he is weird and actually don’t care for him much. But this cleanse looked
the easiest least difficult and painful. I can’t afford a juicer and all you need is a blender for this; another reason I chose this one.
Step 1: Right when you wake up in the morning. (7am-9am)
Start the morning off with some detoxifying green tea with lemon.
<I enjoy tea, so having a cup in the morning was not hard for me>
Step 2: After you have finished your tea (7:30am-11am)
Red Beauty (Breakfast Drink)
- 8 oz water
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1 banana, chunked
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
<The red beauty is tart from the raspberries and lemon. You can taste a hit of the almond butter, and it is thickened by the chia seeds. Overall not a bad smoothie>
Step 3:After you have finished the breakfast drink. **Many people I know, including myself get very upset stomach/nausea if you do not eat before talking certain supplements.**
One probiotic supplement and half of a multivitamin
<Probiotics are really freaking expensive. Oh the cost of beauty…>
Step 4:Take this around your natural lunch time (12pm-2pm)
The Green Monster (Lunch Drink)
- 4-oz almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 cup kale leaves, packed
- 1/2 green apple, chopped
- 1 cup pineapple, cubed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
<I call this the green monster because it is very green and there is a lot of it to drink! Aside from the fact that it is kind of unpleasantly chunky, it really doesn’t taste that bad. The pineapple and apple give it enough sweetness so that you don’t really feel like you have to choke it down>
Step 5: Again, take these after you have finished your lunch drink.
One omega-3 supplement and half of a multivitamin
Step 6: No blender needed! Drink during your afternoon snack time. (2pm-5pm)
Spicy Lemonade (Master Cleanse)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons pure natural maple syrup (grade A or B)
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 10 oz cold filtered water
<This tastes like lemonade but with a kick, or a hot punch in the back of the throat. The faster you drink it, the faster it is over. Take it down like a champ>
Step 7: Dinner time! Obviously, drink for your dinner! (5pm-7pm) Try to finish this drink at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed so it has time to digest.
Purple Spice (Dinner Drink)
- 12-oz coconut water, natural no sugar added
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 cup kale leaves
- 1/4 avocado, cubed
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
<This one is tasty as well. Aside from the cayenne punching you in the throat again, it is very do-able>
Step 8: This was more challenging for us because we do not really fit in our bathtubs. Small tub + large human = cold knees or cold chest (lose-lose situation). But we figured this was an important step so we attempted it anyway. (Before bed)
- 2 1/2 cups Epsom Salt (lavender scented)
- Tub of hot water
<Even though I’m not really able to fit in my tub, it was still very relaxing. The lavender helps with that too>
In conclusion, things I have learned:
- On a 3-day cleanse, I think I looked bloated and only my fingers lost weight
- I need to take more baths
- A detox cleanse makes you super tired (or it was me releasing all the stress from grad school)
- I am a much happier person when I am able to chew and eat food
- I will probably not do this ever again
Unfortunately I cannot take credit for these amazing little gems, but I wish I could because they are so smart and lovely. I love dark chocolate. A lot. Want to know the best combo out there? Ghirardelli Dark Sea Salt & Caramel Squares. Not a joking matter, they are life changing. Not that I actually need to justify eating dark chocolate, but adding some healthy nuts and fruits to it will make me think I am doing the body good… Whatever.
Jacki and I are both done with our clinical placements for grad school this year! We only have a couple large things to complete and we will be FREE!! We are great students so we decided to mass produce these buttons and give them to our supervisors and classmates. Damn we are nice and thoughtful.
And of course save ourselves some. These couldn’t be simpler.
Dark Chocolate Trail Mix Buttons
(Revised from Undressed Skeleton)
Makes about 50 buttons
- 1 10-oz bag dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 60% cacao)
- Lots of Toppings (about 1 to 2 cups): pre-made trail mix, pre-mixed nuts, dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, blueberries, apricots, pineapple, mango, raisins), nuts and seeds (peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, pepitas, sunflower, chia), other gems (toffee bits, caramel, sea salt, bacon), seriously, almost everything taste better with chocolate
Place a large piece of parchment paper on a flat surface to make your buttons. Get all your toppings prepared!
Melt dark chocolate in a double-boiler. Stirring every few minutes. Once the chocolate has completely melted, add quarter to half dollar sized circles of chocolate on the parchment paper. Add on your desired toppings. Let set and keep in a cool dry place (or the refrigerator).
My favorite bread sticks are the ones from Pizza Hut. I do not like their pizza but the bread sticks from there are BOMB! Buttery, salty, Parmesan-y. Just mind-blowing. Surprisingly, this focaccia tastes similar, which in my mind is awesome!
Sundried Tomato and Parmesan Garlic Focaccia
(Bread Base from Tyler Florence)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) dry active yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 to 4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- cornmeal, for dusting
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary (you can add more, but it’s not my fave)
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the yeast and gently stir. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until foam appears.
Add in the salt and begin to add the flour stirring as you add. Pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil and stir until it starts to come together.
Dump out onto a floured surface and begin kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball so it does not form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap and left rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Once the dough has doubled, turn it onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out on the sheet pan. Cover again with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and use your fingertips to make little dimples in the dough. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with all of your toppings! Bake on the bottom rack for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown.
And when you burn all of the sundried tomatoes…
just pick them off and call it Parmesan focaccia instead. Whatever, roll with the punches, and burns. This is still super good. Bread is so simple and chewy and perfect for sandwiches or as a dipper. I brought this to a wine, cheese and bread party that I had with my classmates. School sucks so we drink wine and eat cheese and bread to make things better.
This recipe had a hiccup or two, as I expected it would.
My class had a wine, bread and cheese party so I decided that I was going to MAKE my cheese and BAKE my bread. Stupid me trying to overachieve at unimportant things. It DID end up working, but my impatiences usually takes over. I will make this again!
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
(Slightly modified from The Italian Dish)
- 2 quarts whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- cheesecloth or paper towels
Line a large strainer with the cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
Slowly bring the milk, cream and salt to a rolling boil in a large heavy pot over moderate heat. Be sure to stir it occasionally to prevent scorching.
Add lemon juice and reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. **Caveat: I brought to a rolling boil, added in the lemon and reduced to a simmer… nothing happened. So I stared at the milk mixture for a while, wondered that the eff to do. Brought it back up to a rolling boil, reduced to a simmer and voila! It worked. Yeah, probably totally against chef-code of cheese making but I am not a chef and I wasn’t about to throw my hard work down the drain.**
Pour the mixture into the lined strainer for 1 hour. Make sure there is room for the liquid to drain. Discard the liquid and chill in the fridge, covered.
It will keep for 2 days.
At the wine, bread and cheese party, I spread the ricotta on a plate and drizzled a thick balsamic vinegar over the top. Oh goodness…
The ricotta is silky and creamy, the balsamic really adds a great kick of sweet acidic flavor. Luckily my friends really liked it. It was worth the wishful thinking and staring into the pot of milk.
I would continually change out the paper towels to try and get all of the moisture out. But eventually, you just have to slather it on a piece of toasted baguette and eat it.