Tag Archives: inspiration

Homemade Apple Butter

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Fall is here!!

Apple lovers REJOICE!! I made a trip to my local apple orchard and am so excited to be making delicious apple butter to share with friends and family this fall and for the holiday season.

Apple butter was one of my favorite spreads as a child, and I just can’t resist SPREADING ūüėȬ†the love with my loved ones.

BTW, it’s hard to make brown goop look appetizing but trust me, this is¬†DELICIOUS!!

This is a super easy recipe and process to making your own apple butter. I have removed the processed sugar and replaced it with honey (my own personal preference) but you can still use sugar if desired. If you choose not to water bath your recipe, it should last about a week refrigerated.

Give this delicious fall recipe a try and enjoy the awesome smells of fall throughout your house. Better than any candle can produce!

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Ingredients:

  • 10cups apples (peeled, cored & chunked) your favorite variety
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (1 cup sugar if you prefer)
  • 1tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1‚ĀĄ2teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1‚ĀĄ2teaspoon allspice
  • 1‚ĀĄ23‚ĀĄ4teaspoon¬†ground cloves
  • dash of pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

  • Place apples in crock pot; cook on high for 4-1/2 hours (covered).
  • After 4-1/2 hours stir and add remaining ingredients. Cook for another 4-1/2 hours with NO lid.
  • Using a hand mixer, mix to the desired consistency
  • Using a ladle, fill jars with 1/4 inch left at top. seal in jars. see sealing instructions below.
  • *Can seal in hot water bath¬†

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Finding peace and happiness within yourself.

An inner soul is a life you lead inside of yourself; a place no one else can visit unless they are personally invited. I know it looks different for each of us, but all souls have this in common: they are a place of reflection, safety, peace, power, and shelter. If you look deep enough, you will be able to find the images in your mind of your inner soul; your own place of safety and peace.

My inner soul is definitely serving more than one purpose depending on how I need to renew, strengthen and relax. One part of my inner soul enjoys sitting on my back deck and watching nature or spending time in my vegetable garden harvesting what I sowed. These are the places I go when I need to feel at peace. They are a place where I can rest and renew my soul because I feel safe and protected there, with very little noise coming from my mind that tends to distract me during the day.

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My soul is mostly a peaceful, warm and sunny place. Although, I also have days where it is difficult and empty. There are no birds singing, no squirrels chasing each other with joy ( or at least I think it’s joy) and no flowers blooming. Everything that I love outside is just quiet. The trees are bare, the sky is gray and all I can here are cars and trucks going every which way. It’s like my brain is a busy highway that has one side zooming by and the other side all backed up with trucks and cars honking, sirens blaring, and people yelling at one another. That‚Äôs the inner soul I go to when my life is stormy and I‚Äôm dealing with challenges that I‚Äôm not quite ready to confront.Screenshot 2017-08-11 at 11.08.16 AM

When I‚Äôm there, I hear my inner voice of self-doubt, self-judgment, guilt, and shame. It‚Äôs a place I go when my inner bitch takes me there. When I know I need to look at things about myself that are so comfortable but yet uncomfortable and I need to make a¬†change. I sit there and listen to the noise in my head and take it in with gratitude (most of the time) because if I didn’t¬†have that part of my inner soul, there would be no change. For that, I am thankful.

My happy place is where I go to help me face the usual stresses of daily life. Sitting in a traffic jam, going to the doctor, standing in a long line can all direct me to my happy place. That long deep breath to push away the frustration place that we go to. My inner soul is a place I go to for reflection. A place I go to find power and peace.

Can you visualize your inner soul, your own place of power and peace? What does it look like?

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Photo: My back deck… My happy place ūüôā of power and peace.

 

3 simple ways to live your best life now (2 minute read)

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1. Follow your heart.

You should always follow the direction your heart pulls you no matter what everyone else is saying. So often people are caught up following what everyone else is doing and ignore who they are.We tend to follow a path that society believes we should follow in order to become successful and happy. Be careful about what you do and why you do it because you can often lose yourself in the process. Follow what your heart feels and set yourself up for happiness.

Read: The ultimate guide to following your heart

 2. practice self-care.

Are you someone that is a people pleaser and is always putting others wants and needs in front of your own? Do you ever focus on things that make you happy? Do you actually know what makes you happy? Some action examples of self-care for me are: Working out, blogging about food, taking long walks by myself and reflecting, getting into nature, gardening, drawing, pottery, and as boring as it sounds just spending time alone.

What do you do to practice self-care? If you don’t do anything, what are some things you would like to start doing?

 

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3. Being kind and giving to others.

Have you ever given your time and energy to someone in need? How did that experience make you feel? I have been involved in and infiltrated many projects to help people in need. One memory imparticular still sits with me to this day. Last Christmas I organized a Christmas tree drive for families with children in need. We collected donated Christmas trees and decorations for families who could not afford it. We even had enough donations for gift cards for the families. It wasn’t a lot but it was more than they had. To see the excitement in the children’s eyes when we brought the tree in was heart warming. To see the tears in their mother’s eyes was extremely difficult. Those families were so grateful for something so small that many of us take for granted.

Even tho it was extremely hard to watch struggling families it also gave me a sense of purpose. I was sad for them but I felt great that I was able to provide just a little bit of joy. I believe when we give of ourselves and get nothing back in return ( except for gratitude) that is when we are our best selves. I left there in tears because I couldn’t do more but I also left there with a full heart because I know that we were able to provide a just a glimmer of joy. When you give of yourself it’s a win win for everyone involved.

Ask yourself these questions

1. What do I love? What direction does my heart tell me to go?

2. What could I implement tomorrow to practice self-care?

3. What is something I could give of myself to help someone in need?

Share some of your ideas with us in the comments. ūüôā

Red Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Loving this delicious Red Buddha Bowl that I just through together with the ingredients I had in my garden and fridge. I had made 4 cups of red quinoa ( which if you have ever made quinoa you know that makes A LOT of quinoa!!) so that I can have it throughout the week. I grabbed some ripe tomatoes, basil from the garden, and beets I had roasted for when my daughter comes to visit. She recently just discovered them and loves them and I love them too so wahlah!! roasted a quick batch real quick. I found the easiest  Roasted Beets recipe on Pinterest.  Try this healthy and delicious vegetarian recipe.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup cooked red quinoa or regular quinoa( directions in link above)

4 cherry tomatoes

1/3 avocado

2 roasted beets (follow the how to link above)

3-4 basil leaves

broccoli sprouts

crumbled feta cheese

1/4 tsp of “everything but the bagel”

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  1. add all ingredients into your favorite bowl ( arrange however you please)
  2. sprinkle with everything but the bagel seasoning, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. enjoy!!

Vegetarian Tostada w/ spicy black beans and cilantro lime tomatoes

First, let me say, I am about 70/30 % vegetarian. I do occasionally eat meat ( filet!! YUMMMMMMM!!) but for the most part, I do not. ¬†This recipe just came from a Hodge¬†podge of ingredients I happened to have in my kitchen. I am always mixing and matching ingredients. Sometimes they are a HIT and sometimes… YUK. This one was delicious and super easy and would be delicious with shredded chicken.

Ingredients:

1 Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla

1 14.5oz can of red gold Lime and cilantro diced tomatoes

1 can of spicy black beans

as much or as little spinach as you like

as much or as little Colby jack cheese as you like

Jalapeno, cilantro and sour cream as a topper ~ again, to taste

1/2 tsp everything but the bagel seasoning

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Directions:

  1. in a small sauce pan, on low, warm up beans and tomatoes together
  2.  toast tortilla in toaster oven or oven, until 1/2 to desired crispiness.
  3. add cheese to tortilla and put back in toaster until desired crispiness.
  4. remove tortilla from toaster add spinach, black beans & tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and sour cream.
  5. sprinkle everything but the bagel seasoning on top

Ezekiel avocado toast with spinach & tomato.

Who doesn’t¬†love creamy avocado, fresh tomatoes, and spinach from the garden?

This is a perfect breakfast for Meatless Monday.¬†It’s super quick to make before work and unbelievably tasty! I could have an avocado every day. (I practically do)

Do yourself a favor and get everything but the bagel seasoning. It’s so delicious and I now put it in just about everything. I’m obsessed!!You can find it at Trader Joe’s or online. You won’t be sorry.

If you are looking for other Meatless Monday ideas check out these fabulous recipes.

Mexican Fiesta Skillet

Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Feta

Banana Split Chia Bowl

Ingredients:

1 slice Ezekiel Sprouted BreadScreenshot 2017-07-23 at 6.56.26 PM

1/3 avocado sliced thin, lengthwise

2 yellow sugar cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 red cherry tomato cut in half

3 baby spinach leaves

1/2 Tsp Trader Joe’s “Everything but the bagel” seasoningScreenshot 2017-07-23 at 7.00.43 PM.png

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Toast bread to desired darkness
  2. arrange veggies whichever way makes you feel good. I like to eat pretty food.
  3. sprinkle with everything but the bagel seasoning
  4. ENJOY!

Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Feta

Doesn‚Äôt it feel so easy to cook this time of year?!? I wouldn’t even consider this salad cooking if you ask me.

I don‚Äôt know about you, but I take one¬†glance at the rainbow of beautiful summer veggies available at the farmers market ( and my garden) feels like .. Wham! .. an instant inspiration to want to run¬†home and cook¬†something fresh and healthy! ¬†Don’t you?

With all of the fresh greens in season lately, I’ve been making kale and spinach and spring greens salads galore, which always feel so good.  But for something different tonight, I decided to make a refreshing cucumber salad.  I have cucumbers and tomatoes in abundance lately, so I grabbed some from the garden and tossed it with some fresh basil, ( also from the garden) red onion, and feta I had on hand.  And then added in some quinoa for extra protein, and tossed it all with a simple lemony vinaigrette.Screenshot 2017-07-23 at 4.34.15 PM

 

The result?

A fresh, fun, and fantabulously flavorful salad that I already can’t wait to make again!

 

CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD

This Cucumber Quinoa Salad is made with lots of fresh basil and feta, tossed with a simple lemony vinaigrette, and it‚Äôs SO fresh and delicious! Plus, it‚Äôs naturally gluten-free and quick and easy to make. Perfect for a side dish but it’s my dinner tonight!

 

INGREDIENTS:

CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups¬†chilled*¬†cooked quinoa¬†(see this tutorial for how to cook quinoa) I usually make a large batch to have throughout the week.
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup julienned or roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)

LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS:

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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Trader Joes “everything but the bagel” seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
  • pinch of Himalayan salt and black pepper or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CUCUMBER QUINOA SALAD:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Serve immediately.

TO MAKE THE LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
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