Thursday, August 6, 2015

Out of This World Lemon Blueberry Scones

I have been really loving this summers plump, sweet blueberries and have seen them paired with lemon a lot lately. This morning I ran across this Glazed Lemon Blueberry Scone recipe on Pinterest It sounded so delicious I finally decided to give the combo a try.  The recipe came from Sally's Baking Addiction blog. Don't walk but run to her blog to get the recipe it is that good! I promise you won't be sorry.
 Now I'm not a big fan of scones. They tend to be too much on the dry side for me but the recipe sounded so good that I ran out to get the cream and those juicy plump blue orbs of sweet goodness so I could make the scones for dessert tonight.
Well, the Lemon Blueberry Scones were a hit. I noticed my husband went back for seconds. They are easy to make and I followed the recipe. The one cup of blueberries is enough so you get juicy berries in every bite!
Now there is a lovely Lemon Glaze that you can top your scone with and I did as you can see from the photo above but they really don't need it if you are trying to cut back on sugar or calories.
I also grated the butter frozen like it said in the recipe and I think maybe that is why they are so tender and moist. So you might not want to skip that step.
If you try this recipe I would love to know how they turned out. 
Happy baking!

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Set of Four

Good morning! A few post back I shared a card that used a sunburst technique and gave the link to where I found the tutorial. Well, I love the technique so much that I have made a few more cards.
They are similar but slightly different.
This one I used a chipboard flower and inked it with blue and green ink then sprinkled clear embossing powder and melted it with the heat gun. While it was still warm I sprinkled more embossing powder and heated it again.
 I put the focal point in the middle of the card and I had a small piece of the twine leftover that was just long enough to make a small bow.
 I put the sentiment in the middle of the scalloped circle instead of on the right bottom corner of the card.
 I again put the focal point in the center and on this card I inked the edges of the inside mat with dark blue ink.

 This last card is my favorite. I love the chipboard butterfly. I inked the butterfly with blue ink and again sprinkled it with clear embossing powder and used a heat gun to melt the powder. I did it one more time so I had two layers of embossing powder. I then added the big pearls to the body.
I like how the chipboard still shows through in some areas of the butterfly. In real life it is really shiny and looks so much prettier.

I also made a wedding card in black and white using the sunburst. I think it turned out so nice in the black and white pattern paper.

Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful weekend.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Delicious Dinner

Dinner was cooking all day today. Well at least part of it.
When I came back home from shopping and running errands the house smelled heavenly of roasted chicken. I finally tried my hand at roasting a whole chicken a few months ago. I'm not a fan of touching raw whole chicken but I finally got over it and just did it. First time I roasted it in the oven and the second time I roasted it in my best friend, the crockpot and I used olive oil instead of butter on the chicken. I was afraid the skin wouldn't brown in the crockpot but it did although the skin does not get as crispy as in the oven but that doesn't matter to me as I don't eat the skin

This time I used butter on the chicken and it didn't seem to brown as well as the olive oil so next time I will go back to the olive oil.
Also maybe the skin didn't brown so much because I kept the crockpot on low. The first time I had the crockpot on high the whole time so it would cook faster. It really was done. The legs just fell apart and the meat was all tender and juicy.

I keep my roasted chicken pretty plain. Butter or olive all over the chicken inside and out then I put two or three slices of a lemon, a sprig of each rosemary and thyme inside the bird cavity and salt and pepper the whole chicken inside and out. Oh, I forgot I added three cloves of garlic to the inside of the chicken this time.
I cut an onion in wedges and put in the bottom of the greased crockpot for the chicken to sit on and to keep it from sticking to the bottom. You should tie the legs together with kitchen string but I did not have any this time. The crockpot kind of helps keep the chicken together because of its small size.

Along with the chicken I wanted roasted vegetables and I found this recipe for roasting them. I kept to the recipe for the most part I just changed the veggies to what I had on hand: sweet potatoes, red potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, red bell papers and yellow onions.
 Love all the pretty colors of the veggies.
 Once the veggies were chopped it was time to get the oil, seasonings and herbs going. The recipe called for 1/4 olive oil but instead I used a sundried tomato and Parmesan garlic flavored olive oil and two Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Mixed this well and chopped up some fresh
 thyme and rosemary and
 added that to the olive oil mixture.
 Next you pour the olive oil mixture over all of the chopped veggies and gentle stir until all the vegetables are completely covered with the oil mixture.
 Here are the vegetables on my Demarle silicon pan all ready for the oven. Set your oven to 450 degrees and put your vegetables in when the oven is preheated. It said to bake 35 to 40 minutes stirring every 10 min. I have a convection oven and I think it cooks faster so I only baked it for 22 min stirring only twice.
 They smelled and looked so yummy when they were done. They were nicely browned too.
 Roasting really brings out the flavor of vegetables especially sweet potatoes. I love roasted sweet potatoes!
 I made the chicken and roasted veggies and my son, Travis cooked up some soaked and sprouted  lentils.  We also had some Ruby Red Kraut to finish off the meal.

The kraut is raw otherwise I wouldn't touch it. I can't stand the smell or taste of cooked cabbage. I also don't care so much for beans to be sprouted (seems like your eating a plant instead of a bean) but you are able to get more nutrients from spouted so I ate them. I actually mixed the lentils with the kraut because there is so much flavor in the kraut and not so much in the lentils so they compliment each other very well. The ruby red kraut is a mixture of cabbage, beets (hence the red color) and carrots. It is naturally fermented and is suppose to help your gut flora and aid digestion.
It was a pretty delicious meal with lots of flavor and color from the veggies and kraut and best of all it is all healthy. The chicken is organic as well as all of the vegetables, lentils and kraut.
Wish we could eat like this every day.

Thanks so much for dropping by!


Coconut Blueberry Chia Muffins

About two weeks ago my daughter, Amber and I were in Costco and she spied a bag of coconut flour and saw that it had a recipe for blueberry muffins on the back of the bag. After we looked over the ingredients I said I had everything to make them so we threw the bag of coconut flour into the cart and off  we went excited to get home and make a batch of these healthy for you muffins.
These yummy muffins are gluten and dairy free as well. 

I was short an egg but we were in too much of a hurry to run to the store just for one egg and decided to go with just five and they turned out great. 

The reason for so many eggs is that coconut flour is very thirsty so you need to add more moisture to whatever you are making or it could turn out dry and not hold together well.
 I used my Demarle silicon muffin pan so there were no problems with sticking and...
... they turned out great. Very moist and yummy! They also had a very light coconut flavor.
Everything I used in the recipe was all organic making them even more healthy for us (except the baking soda). No sugar, just honey was used as a sweetener. So we ate them pretty much guilt free! LOL.
 Here is the ingredients on the back of the coconut flour bag and...
...the directions on how to make and bake them.

Wanting another way to use the coconut flour I searched Pinterest and found a recipe for blueberry coconut pancakes. They also turned out great.

Just a note to self: Don't put the fresh blueberries into the batter or in the cakes as they cook. It makes the pancakes too heavy and hard to flip without falling apart. It would be best to sprinkle the blueberries over the pancakes after you cook them up. Delicious either way!

I also had about a cup of Coconut milk left over from making the muffins so one morning I was making a fruit smoothie for breakfast and decided to use coconut milk instead of regular milk. I used 1/3 cup of coconut milk and it turned out delicious by giving the smoothie just a slight coconut flavor. I made another on the next morning and only used a quarter cup of the coconut milk and I couldn't taste any coconut flavor in it at all.

You just don't want to use a lot of coconut milk as it is pretty high in calories. One third cup has 140 calories, but at least they are healthier calories.

I also noticed that when I made my smoothie with the coconut milk it kept me full longer. Usually smoothies don't keep me full very long and I need a snack before my next meal but I think the fat in the coconut milk is what kept me full until lunch time.

Let me know if you try the muffin recipe or if you have other recipes using coconut flour or milk to share. It is so fun to share and learn new things from one another!

Have a great day!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Mr. & Mrs.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my daughter so I thought I would go ahead and make this post even though it is getting late. I am up any way so I might as well get something done.

A few posts back I shared a card that I had made using the sunburst (or starburst as it is sometimes called) you can see it here. It is the last card in the post. I also shared the link to the tutorial where I learned the technique. It is super easy and fun so I have been making a few more in different color schemes.
On this card I switched from horizontal to vertical and made it a wedding card. The black and white is so classic and some of the patterns I used were more on the masculine side so it isn't too girly.
 I added a pearl to the flower's center and die cut some leaves out of black cardstock.
 Memento black ink was used for the stamped image and the "Mr. & Mrs. I added smaller pearls to the stamped image.
The sentiment was stamped in Versa Mark ink then embossed with white embossing powder.
Let me know if you try this technique and share how you used it.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mini Vacation

Just got back from having a girls weekend with my daughter, Amber. Except it really wasn't during the weekend because she works most weekends. So it was Sunday evening through Tuesday afternoon. I drove the three and a half hour trip Sunday afternoon and arrived at the hotel at 6:00 PM. Amber arrived around 7:00 after she was done at work and we hung out for a while and thought about where we wanted to eat dinner. I was up to pretty much anything just as long as it was a place I had never been to before. While traveling I always like to eat at places that we don't have in our hometown.
It was finally decided that we would try out a place called Oswego Grill in Willsonville that was new to both of us.
 It was amazing food and service was great also. I had the Stuffed Chicken Breast. The chicken was stuffed with provolone and mozzarella cheese and spinach then topped with a capper cream sauce. It also came with Alfredo pancetta pasta and apple hardwood grilled asparagus. I especially loved the capper cream sauce as it went really well with the stuffed chicken.
Amber had the chicken fajita which came with sour cream, guacamole, cheese, pica de gallo and I think it came with some kind of sauce. It was fresh and awesome too!
We decided to have a glass of white wine with our dessert which was heavenly. It was a simple dessert (which sometimes can be the best right?) of two slices of pound cake with some vanilla ice cream sandwiched between the slices of cake, sliced strawberries drizzled with a warm strawberry sauce and topped off with whipped topping. It was divine! We both agreed this would be a place worth coming back to.

If only our hike we had picked out to do on Monday would have turned out as good as our restaurant choice it would have perfect but alas it was pretty much a failure. Although we made the most of it. Either we couldn't follow the book's directions or the road signs. We never did figure out where we went wrong. But we did know that after spending all morning and into the early afternoon and some 100 miles later we still hadn't been able to find the trail head that would have led us to Memaloose Lake.

But like I said we made the most of it and did see some beautiful sights along the way.
 We knew we were climbing up but didn't realize that we had drove this far up until we caught sight of this view.
 Even though it has been so dry all summer a few wildflowers were still blooming.
Just so you can see what some of the back roads we were driving on looked like I took a couple of photos.
Yep, they were pretty narrow, mostly gravel and full of pot holes, boulders and you had to be careful of branches sticking out over the road and there were lots of squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks that kept running across the road. I tell you it was slow going some times. We did meet someone else on the road so that was a little tricky getting by each other. We stopped to ask if they had any idea how to get to the lake and found out they were just as lost as we were except they were trying to find a rock quarry. We ran into them two more times and we wondered if they ever found it. They seemed just as determined to find their destination as we were.
This is Amber's car on one of the back roads and this was not even the worse one. One was a four wheeler track but that was where her GPS told us the lake was. So we just parked the car and hoofed it up the track that eventually ended. We couldn't figure out why someone would build a road that went no where.  Any way it was nice to get out and stretch out our legs before heading back the way we had come.
On the way back we decided to stop at this tiny, peaceful lake.

 It was surrounded by lush vegetation,
 and it was another chance to enjoy the sun and stretch our cramped legs.
We also thought there might be a trail of some kind but no such luck. By this time we had finally given up and found another hike in the book that was pretty close and the directions seemed a bit better. So we were off to chase down another adventure.
On the way back down the mountain we caught a glimpse of Mt. Hood.
Well to make a long story short we couldn't find it either so heading back home we came across  Milo Mclver State Park and decided to give that a try. There must be a trail we could hike there. First we found a picnic area and ate our lunch then set off to find us a trail to hike.
 We did find a sign for a trail so we pulled off the road by this pretty grove of pine trees to park the car. We walked down the road to where the trail began and started walking just happy to have a trail to walk not knowing where it would lead or how long it was.
 The next thing we realize we are back by the road and oh look there is a car just like yours!
 Because it was her car and there had been a path to the trail right across from where we had parked. We totally missed it! We had a good laugh from that.
Most of the hike was in the woods which was nice since it was hot out.
We did find the picturesque Clackamas River at the end of the trail.
It was a relief to sit on a rock, dip our hot feet in the cool water and just enjoy the scenery and quietness before heading back.
 We also saw what I think was a blue heron but I'm not sure. Any way it was cool to watch it.
 We made it back to the car without any mishaps and drove back to the hotel to clean up. Our plans for the evening were to go shopping then dinner, which all went very well.

I think I will finish up our mini vacation in another post as this is long enough.

Thanks for stopping by!