Friday, September 14, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party and Giveaway!

Welcome to yet another wonderful party!  This week we have a new fantastic prize given to 1 randomly selected entry.  We have to limit it to one because Miss Macie has such crazy demand, that is all she is able to share.  These are so adorable!  I can totally see why her demand is through the roof!  If you are the lucky winner, you will receive an awesome handmade spoon ring.  Good luck!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Corn and Black Bean Salad

This salad is such a staple at my house that I will even make it when the main veggies are not in season.  I just can't live without it!  It is a wonderful compliment to any Mexican dish and a fresh alternative to the Spanish rice standby.  It can be made in advance (you know how I love anything that streamlines the dinner rush!) and can be served cold or room temperature.  We enjoy this dish with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, you name it!  I sure hope you give it a try!


1 C dried black beans, cooked and drained (or a 15 oz can)
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed (or 2 C frozen)
2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
1 small red onion, diced
2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Place beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, and parsley into a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing into the veggies and stir to combine.  Can be served cold or at room temperature.

Adapted from Earthbound Farms - Food to Live By

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Product Spotlight - Gardein Sliders

While I do try to stay away from frozen meals, I will admit that I occasionally indulge.  When I was at Whole Foods recently, I noticed these Gardein Beefless Sliders in the freezer section!  I just had to try them.  Since becoming a vegetarian, I have really missed sliders.  They are just such a fun food!  Well, I was very happy I had them in my freezer because I have not been in much of a position to do extra cooking (you know what I mean if you saw the end of yesterday's post).  So I decided to try them for lunch.

The package included 4 patties and 4 buns.  It only required the use of a skillet to heat everything through.  While the burgers were cooking, I sliced some farm fresh tomatoes and onions and organic lettuce.  The entire meal was ready in about 8 minutes!  I have to tell you, I was worried about the bun. I thought it was going to be dry, but it was really good!  Along with the veggies, I added organic ketchup, mustard and relish.  The patties were juicy and had a very good texture.

Overall, I was very pleased with the Gardein Beefless Sliders.  They were a quick and easy meal that was perfect for a time when I really couldn't cook.  The fact that they only include the patty and the bun means you have a variety of customizations you can make!  You can build BBQ sliders with onion rings, Hawaiian sliders with teriyaki sauce and pineapple, add some caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms...the possibilites are endless!  I am very pleased that Gardein products use non-GMO ingredients and the quality is consistently impressive.  If you see these items in your grocer's freezer, pick them up and give them a try.  I really think you will like them!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Birthday Party

This past Saturday, we celebrated my baby's first birthday with family.  I'm still amazed at how fast the year has flown by!  We are lucky to live within an hour of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, so they were all able to attend (except one uncle who is away for work).  We had 8 adults and 7 kids total ranging in age from 1 to 14.  Of course, I did my best to have a good balance of fresh and healthy foods with some delicious indulgences - it was a party after all!  :)

For appetizers, we had some fresh organic fruit,

organic veggies with homemade ranch for dipping,

and a tray of caprese bites.  These were my favorite!  Halved cherry tomatoes, basil, and ciliegine (cherry-sized mozzarella balls) held together with a toothpick on a tray drizzled with olive oil and lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper.  They were so easy to serve and a fun idea I will use again!

For the main course, we had chicken alfredo pasta (my husband's selection) and cheese tortellini.  I have to confess, we brought those in from a local restaurant.  C'mon!  I have a 1 year-old and a 3 year-old!  I did the best I could!  :)  Sorry, but I forgot to get a photo of them.

I did make some amazing garlic cheese bread (thanks to the recipe over at Chindeep).  I made some modifications - which I will share later - but her original recipe is great!!

The cakes were beautiful!  We got them from Whole Foods because I am not very talented when it comes to cake decorating.  I love the Whole Foods cakes because you can choose to have organic fruit filling inside, and they will make an adorable smash cake for the birthday girl!  

The big cake

 The smash cake (about 6" in diameter)

She loved the cake!  :)  I apologize for the gruesome nature of the photo. 

The party was a huge success and everyone had a wonderful time!  Until...

I took a bad fall with the birthday girl in my arms.  I tripped over a riding toy on our concrete backyard, and fell straight back clutching her as tightly as I could.  I slammed my head in the ground and she began to scream.  My sister-in-law quickly grabbed her and took her inside to get a better look while I tried to get up.  We soon discovered she had a bloody nose and my head was killing me.  Fearing a broken nose for the baby and a concussion for me, my husband wanted to take us the the ER.  So this is how we ended our night. 

Luckily, she was fine and I did not have a concussion.  I am still pretty banged up with scrapes, bruises, and a very sore right elbow and neck.  It was certainly an eventful birthday filled with family, great food, fun, and a little extra adventure. 

Hopefully she will only remember all the good stuff!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Earlier in the evening inspecting some gifts.  :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekly Menu

Hello friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We celebrated my baby's first birthday with extended family on Saturday.  It was so much fun!  I will share some highlights (and lowlights) tomorrow.  Let's just say the baby and I ended up in the emergency room.  Luckily, nothing was too serious.

But what do you think of these lovely veggies we got from the farm?  So delicious!  We are in between seasons here, so you really don't know what you'll find week to week.  We picked up a red watermelon, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, carrots, sweet Maui onion, tomatoes, green beans, and cantaloupe.  We also have some sweet corn left over from last week.  Because of the events at the end of the party this weekend, I will only be able to cook two meals.  Here is how we plan to use them:

  • Portobello and Red Pepper Quesadilla with Corn and Black Bean Salad
    • using the last of the remaining corn and tomatoes

I will be using the cherry tomatoes and carrots for snacks for my toddler and I will be cooking the broccoli and carrots for my baby.  We will be enjoying the watermelon and cantaloupe for dessert.