Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad with Basil & Mint

This is a refreshing cold salad that is perfect for summer cookouts.  The zucchini noodles mimics pasta so you'll feel like your eating a pasta salad!  I also added shirataki tofu noodles to add extra volume to the dish.  You can find them in your refrigerated produce section of your supermarket or here.


You'll Need:
  • 1 large zucchini or 2 small
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of red pepper flakes (if desired)
If you don't have one of those noodle spiral tools to make your zucchini noodles simply use a mandolin with a french fry slicer inserted and set to slice at about 1/8 in or as thin as you can set it.  Begin slicing your zucchini length wise to get long spaghetti type noodles.  Place into a bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes to allow the zucchini to soften and absorb the flavors.  Serve with feta or shaved Parmesan cheese!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Greek Yogurt French Toast

This recipe came about one day because I was out of milk.  I decided to try adding a scoop of Greek yogurt instead and to my surprise it made the french toast even more delicious!  It made it extra thick and custardy and because of the addition of Greek yogurt it has an extra boost of filling protein!
credit: https://www.flickr.com/x/t/0090009/photos/avlxyz/2569577535/

You'll Need:
  • 4 slices bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Whisk the eggs and yogurt together, it may take a minute to get the yogurt incorporated into the eggs but keep whisking until there are no lumps.  Add in the cinnamon and vanilla.  Soak each peice of bread and place onto a buttered skillet.  Grill on each side until browned.  Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar and seasonal berries!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Easy Creamed Corn

Corn is so abundant this time of year but to be honest I get tired of eating plain old corn on the cob (as much as I love it)!  Creamed corn is so silky and delicious and nothing beats homemade.  This version is lightened up using reduced fat milk but if your feeling indulgent go ahead and use the cream!  This recipe is also perfect for using up leftover ears of corn :)

credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnchin/68401637/


  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tbl butter, melted
  • 2 cups 2% milk (or whatever you have on hand, although 2% gives it just enough creaminess)
  • 1 1/2 tbl cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbl real bacon bits (not the hard, imitation kind)
Melt butter in a medium size saucepan and add in onions and bacon bits.   Cook until onions are translucent and bacon begins to crisp, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, remove kernels from the corn into a bowl and scrape down the cob to release the milk and remaining pulp.  Add the milk, cornstarch and corn to the pan and mix well.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly then reduce heat to a simmer until slightly thick.  Season with salt and pepper.

Lucy~





Monday, July 14, 2014

The Healthiest Sunscreen For Your Kids

 Zinc Oxide and seed oil are the safest, most effective natural SPF for your kids (and adults, too for that matter). Below is a list of scary ingredients in common (the majority) sunscreens. I'd rather not slather that on my little one with a harmful, toxic, chemicals that will do more harm than the sun, thank you very much.

  • Oxybenzone – The most commonly used ingredient in toxic sunscreens. It acts like estrogen, alters sperm count,  causes hormonal disruptions, and linked to endometriosis.
  • Homosalate – Disrupts estrogen & progesterone production
  • Octocrylene – High rate of skin allergies
  • Avobenzone - Linked to cancer
  • Octisalate – Environmental toxin
Sunscreen is designed to block UV rays. But while it’s at it, it also blocks vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to:
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Common colds & flu
  • Skin cancer
Wait….what?!? Low levels of vitamin D can lead to skin cancer. And sunscreen blocks vitamin D, thus increasing our chances of skin cancer?? That seems a bit counterproductive, doesn’t it?
The best way to get more vitamin D is by taking fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) everyday. Read more about FCLO here and find it here. In addition to having lots of vitamin D, FCLO is an anti-inflammatory. A sunburn is inflammation of the skin caused by UV rays. Therefore, FCLO helps prevent sun damage before it starts.  Keep in mind that not all cod liver oils are made the same. You want fermented, vitamin rich cod liver oil. FCLO is one of the best natural sunscreens you can find.

DIY Natural Sunscreen

Making a nontoxic, DIY, natural sunscreen is easy. Here is a list of natural sunscreen  ingredients that provide sun protection when applied topically:
ThinkBaby brand (found here) and Neutrogena Pure & Free (found here) are two of the safest sunscreens out there. 


~Sizza

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Oven Fried Pickles

If you have never had a fried pickle you are missing out!  They are so delicious and make a terrific fill in for french fries....or better yet top your burger with them!  If your feeling indulgent go ahead and fry them but here is a lightened up version of the fried pickle :)  For an appetizer combo serve up with these fried green tomatoes!  

credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joo0ey/5700772363/

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz) jar sliced dill pickles or use these homemade overnight dills
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  1. Preheat your broiler to high.  Prepare a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a shallow dish mix the eggs, buttermilk, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce until combined.  In a separate dish place the flour, garlic powder and Cajun seasoning.  Finally in another bowl place the cornmeal with the salt and pepper.
  3. Coat your pickles in the flour mixture, then wet them in the buttermilk and egg mixture, finally dredge them with the cornmeal.  Place them onto the wire rack.
  4. Spray the pickles with cooking spray and broil for about 3 minutes on each side.
Serve with ranch dressing....if you like it spicy mix in a few dashes of hot sauce to the dressing!

Lucy~

Monday, June 30, 2014

Our Pick for the BEST Hot Dogs - Applegate! Plus a Giveaway from Applegate!

Summer grilling is in full effect and hot dogs are a staple!  What do we love about Applegate hot dogs?  First, the quality of the meats.  The animals used in their meats are raised naturally without added hormones and antibiotics so the animals grow at their natural rate without passing artificial growth hormones onto the meat. 

 Check out these facts about Applegates meat:
  • Animals are fed 100% vegetarian diet and never fed animal by products
  • Animal feed is free of GMO's, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides
  • No chemicals or nitrates are added
  • No fillers
  • No GMO ingredients
Now that's a hot dog I want to feed my family!  If you are one of the 92% of Americans who buy hot dogs for their family consider feeding them hot dogs without all those chemicals and additives!  Instead give them a quality dog whose ingredients you can pronounce!  Choose Applegate!  SHARE this post on Facebook for a chance to win a fun "Wienervention Kit" giveaway from Applegate!!! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Strawberry Honey Vanilla Syrup

This syrup is a great substitute for maple syrup.  The vanilla is delicious paired with the honey and strawberries!  Goes great over almost anything from pancakes to shortcake or even ice cream!


You'll Need:
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbl water
  • 1 vanilla bean
Place strawberries, honey and water in a medium sauce pan.  Gently slice and scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean and add to pan.  Simmer on medium low until simmering and allow strawberries to break down, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly to place into jars.  Serve warm.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Simple Grilled Szechuan Green Beans

These green beans are frll of spicy flavor!  They make a great easy snack or side dish to any meal.  I love to use fresh green beans from the garden!


You'll Need:
  • 1/2 lb green beans
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbl chili garlic sauce
Place all ingredients into a foil packet and place onto a medium heat grill.  Allow to steam for about 10 minutes then remove from grill and serve!  Great warm or cold :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beer Snow Cones

Beer + snow cones....what could be better?  These slushy treats will be sure to refresh your guests at the next BBQ!

credit: http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0093009/photos/snow-cones/8147450008/

Ingredients

  • 2 (12 oz) bottles of your favorite beer
  • Flavored syrups (recipes below)
Pour beer in 8 or 9 inch baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes.  When ice crystals begin to form on the side of the dish begin to move them around with a fork.  Freeze 3 hours longer stiring every 45 minutes until completely frozen.  The mixture should be a slush consistency. 

Strawberry Lemon Syrup:  In medium size sauce pan mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.  Using a sharp knife, remove the yellow peel from 1 lemon and place into pan along with the juice from that lemon.  Also add in 1 cup of diced strawberries.  Heat to a boil until sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain out the fruit.  Refrigerate until needed. 

Blueberry Lime Syrup:  In medium size sauce pan mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.  Using a sharp knife, remove the green peel from 1 lime and place into pan along with the juice from that lime.Also add in 1 cup of blueberries.  Heat to a boil until sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain out the fruit.  Refrigerate until needed.

Orange Syrup:  In medium size sauce pan mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.  Using a sharp knife, remove the peel from 1 medium size orange and place into pan.  Squeeze juice from 6 medium oranges into the pan and heat to a boil until sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Strain out the fruit.  Refrigerate until needed.

To serve, spoon some of the beer slush into a cup and drizzle with your favorite syrup!

Lucy~

Sunday, June 08, 2014

"Frozen" Olaf Cake Pops

Hosting a "Frozen" party?  These adorable desserts can be eaten on the go which make them guests to enjoy on their way home.  Kids will have fun rolling the batter into balls for their own Olaf!
credit: http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0095009/photos/50139225@N05/8196800360/

You'll Need:
  • 1 box of cake mix (your favorite flavor)
  • 1 container of frosting (your favorite flavor)
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • tootsie rolls & non parels for the hat (optional)
  • fruit leather for the scarf (optional
  • small candies for eyes and nose (mini m & m's work well)
  • lollipop sticks or skewers will also work
Bake cake according to package instructions and allow to cool completely.  Crumble cake in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup frosting.  Mix until moist and crumbly.  Roll into balls, make one half of the balls slightly larger than the others.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow them to set. 

Place balls onto the stick with the larger ball on the bottom and smaller on top.  Melt white chocolate over a double boiler until completely melted.  Dip the stick with cake balls into the melted white chocolate and drip off any excess.  Place onto baking sheet and press on the eyes and nose.  Continue with remaining balls.

With remaining chocolate, assemble the hats.  Place 1 tootsie roll onto a non parel candy with a small amount of chocolate or remaining frosting (to act as the glue).  Place a small amount of chocolate or remaining frosting on the snowman head for the hat to stick.  Finally, cut the fruit leather into thin strips for the scarf.  Gently wrap the scarf around the neck of the snowman.  The fruit leather should be sticky enough for it to hold together with a gentle press but if it doesn't use a dab of frosting to hold it together.

Lucy~