Monday, April 13, 2015

Daily Photo: Week Twenty One

Day 146: Easter, the aftermath.

Day 147: I'm not usually a post gym photos type but I've been going so often it's become a pretty big chunk of my life so I figured why not. Not that you would believe me since the weights in this photo are only 10 lbs, but I'm getting stronger I swear!

Day 148: Big cups of coffee at work this week. Also, one of the companies we work with has this new logo and I love the bright green color. I told them I loved it and they sent me a whole stack of notepads and pens!

Day 149: Every Wednesday I have to go downtown to the post office for work and I realized, why don't I take more pictures while I'm down here? I only had my iPhone with me this time, but I'm going to start making sure my camera is with me. It's also fitting to show of Safeco since baseball season started up again this week.

Day 150: On Thursday Travis and I had dinner with his family before seeing our friends' band play. We had time to kill between the two and grabbed a drink at this bar I've been wanting to try for awhile, The Maple Bar! I made the official declaration that this is going to be a new regular spot.

Day 151: Inevitably the gloomy weather returned and I was needing some comfort food for the end of the work week.

Day 152: Saturday I had a total mental health day, which included an unfortunately unsuccessful attempt at getting a new power source for my record player.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Deviled Eggs: Classic, Chipotle, Avocado

Easter marked the end of my Vegan diet and I can say that it was hard, but I did actually enjoy it. I have more recipes and things to share from the experience but for now eggs! 

Eggs honestly might have been the most difficult part of being vegan for me. Thankfully, Easter is already big on eggs so I had an extra excuse to make lots of eggs. I love deviled eggs but I haven't ever made them before so I decided to try a few different types.

Classic, chipotle, and avocado. Each recipe follows the same general instructions, with their respective ingredients.

To start, boil your eggs. My grandma taught me from a young age the fool proof way to boil eggs:
Fill a pot with cold water and add your eggs. Put it on the stove on high heat. Once the water is at a rolling boil, cover the pot and turn the burner off. Leave the pot on the hot burner covered for 10 minutes. And then, ta da! Works every time.

Once your eggs are boiled you want to cut them in half long ways and scrape out the yolks into a bowl. When peeling off the shells be careful because you want the egg whites to stay in tact. I used 4 eggs per type of deviled egg recipe I was trying.

Mix yolks with ingredients thoroughly.  (Ingredients for each type listed below with the full recipe.) Spoon the mixture back into the middle of the egg whites. I recommend putting them in the refrigerator to chill and harden before serving.

I really liked the classic and chipotle recipes, the avocado was a little bit strange. It was very avocado-y, which normally I really like but I think if I did this again I would use mayo and avocado, instead of avocado just in place of it. Either way, they were a great appetizer for Easter and they at least looked wonderful!

Fool Proof Way to Boil Eggs:
Fill pot with cold water and add eggs
Put on stove, turn heat to high
Once water comes to a rolling boil, cover the pot
Turn off the stove and leave the pot on the hot burner for 10 minutes
Drain water and add eggs to cold water to cool

Classic Deviled Eggs
4 eggs, boiled
2.5 tbsp mayonaise
1 tsp yellow mustard
1.5 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped onions
Parsley and paprika for topping

Once your eggs are boiled and peeled slice them in half long ways and scrape out the yolk into the bowl. Mix the yolks with the remaining ingredients. Spoon filling back into egg whites. Top with paprika and parsley. Chill before serving.

Chipotle Deviled Eggs
4 eggs, boiled
3 tbsp mayonaise
1 chipotle pepper, chopped finely (I bought a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and added a bit of the sauce from the can)
1 tsp Sriracha (more, if desired)
Garlic salt to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped onions

Once your eggs are boiled and peeled slice them in half long ways and scrape out the yolk into the bowl. Mix the yolks with the remaining ingredients. Spoon filling back into egg whites. Chill before serving.

Avocado Deviled Eggs
4 eggs, boiled
1 small ripe avocado
2 tsp mustard
Juice from half a lemon
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Salt/Garlic salt to taste

Once your eggs are boiled and peeled slice them in half long ways and scrape out the yolk into the bowl. Mix the yolks with the remaining ingredients. Spoon filling back into egg whites. Top with parsley. Chill before serving.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Skagit Valley Tulip/Daffodil Festival


Two weekends ago was a really wonderful weekend. It was spent adventuring, watching soccer, seeing some live music, and laying around watching movies. Probably the highlight of this all was that Travis and I went up to the Skagit Valley Tulip/Daffodil Festival. I was really in it for the daffodils, even though they were starting to wilt a bit, but the tulips were beautiful as well. As we were getting close and I could see the fields of yellow I was so excited, I maybe squealed a little. Just maybe. 

I have been living in Washington for almost 7 years now and this was the first time I've gone to the festival. I highly recommend going if you have the opportunity. It's only $5 to get in and it's a fun place to just walk around and take photos. Speaking of, here are some photos from our adventure!

This photo by Travis.

And the tulips he bought me!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Taco Tuesday Side Edition: Rice! (Vegan, or not)

It's been far too long since I have done a Taco Tuesday post, and for that I am deeply sorry! This Taco Tuesday, as the title states, is the side edition and includes two different types of rice. A few weeks ago I did a taco night with my church group, which is where this stemmed from. Taco night is a great way to have a communal meal if you're looking for an activity to plan a night around! Just about all of the items that come together for a taco night can be made stand alone. Some in charge of meat, someone shells/tortillas, someone else for veggies, someone else for salsa and guacamole, and someone in charge of margaritas (of course). 

For our taco night I was in charge of rice and I decided to do two different types, Classic Spanish Rice and Cilantro Lime Rice. I made these in the simplest way possible, and vegan! The recipes do call for butter, but I used vegan smart balance to cut out all animal products.

I decided to make two types of rice that included similar ingredients so that I wouldn't have to spend a lot of time making each one. The most important thing in both of these recipes, and really all Mexican food in my opinion, is cilantro. Both recipes also used roasted garlic and lime.
Rather than roasting cloves of garlic and trying to spread them evenly in the rice while they are soft I roasted pre-minced garlic by folding it into some foil and baking.

I made this really simple for myself by cooking 3 cups of rice ahead of time in a rice cooker and separating them into two bowls. By doing this, all I needed to do was mix the ingredients together. Cooking the rice in a pot using broth and mixing the ingredients in can make it more flavorful, but also takes more time.

Classic Spanish Rice 
1.5 cups of cooked rice
1 can fire roasted dice tomatoes
1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Juice from 1/4 lime 
1 tbsp roasted garlic
1 tbsp chipotle seasoning
Salt to taste
*For the seasoning, I have a premixed seasoning that my Uncle puts together himself and passed along to me. You can buy premixed chipotle seasonings, use taco seasoning, or make your own using cayenen pepper, paprika, garlic salt, and anything else you may like depending on your preference.

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together. Heat in oven if necessary, serve warm.

Cilantro Lime Rice
1.5 cups of cooked rice
3 tbsp "butter"
1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Juice from 1/2-1 lime
1 tbsp roasted garlic
Salt to taste

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together. Heat in oven if necessary, serve warm.

Happy Taco Tuesday! Xo

Monday, April 6, 2015

Daily Photo: Week Twenty

Day 139: More flowers! I can't help myself.

Day 140: I had a real craving to make some guacamole on Monday, and personally I think it was my best batch yet!

Day 141: Current reads. I'm pretty happy with how many books I've gotten through so far this year.

Day 142: Easter planning! Also, I got a coffee table that I'm in love with, especially the color so there may be quite a few photos that look like this.

Day 143: Using A Beautiful Mess' app to make birthday cards. April is a ridiculously busy birthday month for me.

Day 144: THIS KEY CHAIN. My friend bought for me. I'm in love.

Day 145: Easter candies and another shot of things on my coffee table. Woops.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Favorites: March Photos

Happy April, everyone! Is it blowing anyone else's mind that it is April already? I feel like this year is flying by more than in the past, but it's been a great year so far. Maybe that's why I feel that way! Anyway, now that March has ended here's the third volume of monthly fave photos!

Favorite DSLR photo: A snap from while we were driving to the Tulip Festival, which I still have loads of photos from to share.

Favorite iPhone photo: Seeing a show at the Hi Dive in Ballard, and it was so good! Check out Verlaine, I was an instant fan.

Favorite Instagram photo: I cracked myself up with this photo, probably because I was delirious. I was so sick earlier this month, I haven't been that sick in a really long time. Travis accidentally called me when he meant to call someone else and I think I scared him, as he put it "death answered the phone". Yeah. That bad. But, he rules and he brought me over SO much ramen, gatorade, cough drops, and orange juice.

Favorite "selfie": Travis, Patrick, and I at the Sounders game a couple of weeks ago all decked out. We got lucky and the rain stopped for the few hours we were at the game, plus we tied which isn't too shabby.

Can't wait for April adventures! Xo

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Feature Post: Pi Day!

Hey guys, this is Hannah! She's a math teacher, a great baker, and most importantly one of my really wonderful friends. A couple of weeks ago was Pi Day (03/14) so she came over and made some ADORABLE pies that you get to see on feature today!

Being a math teacher means that celebrating Pi Day is pretty much mandatory. It is a day however, that I have always enjoyed because I am fascinated my pi. It is absolutely amazing that no matter how large or small a circle is, its circumference divided by diameter is always a constant number, pi. Anyway, I won't bore you too much with the math because we all know that the real reason we celebrate Pi Day is to make pie! I decided on mini pies because they are perfect to share. My all-time favorite flavors of pie are berry and key lime so of course, that's what I made. These are so delicious that they could be made any day of the year, but I decorated them for the holiday. I made my own stencil to cut out pie crust in the shape of the pi symbol to place atop the berry pies. I had planned to write the digits of pi on the key lime pies using writing icing but the icing separated so I gave up and left them plain. They were so delicious that they really didn't need the extra decoration.

I hope that you enjoy these recipes!

Mini Key Lime Pies
  • 6 graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with liners. Make graham cracker crumbs using a food processor (or crush them in a Ziploc if you don't have a food processor). Mix together with butter and sugar. Divide crumbs evenly between cupcake liners and press down into a firm layer. Bake for 8 minutes and then remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the sweetened condensed milk, egg, lime juice, and Greek yogurt until smooth. Fill each cupcake liner and bake for 15 minutes or until the custard has set.

Let them cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for a couple hours until they are cold. Serve with whipped cream!

Mini Berry Pi(e)s
  • 2 boxes of refrigerated pie crusts (you can also make from scratch)
  • 2 packages (12 oz) raspberries
  • 2 packages (12 oz) blackberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 c sugar (may need more to taste)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Mix all of the filling ingredients together. Smash berries slightly so that you get an even amount in each of the mini pies.

Lightly cover work surface with flour and unroll dough onto it. Use a 4-inch round cutter to stamp out rounds (I used a plastic lid from a parmesan container)

Place rounds in muffin wells and crimp to fit. Fill wells 3/4 of the way up with filling.

To create the pi symbol: I created a stencil by printing off a pi symbol the size of the muffin wells and mounting it on cardboard. Then, I placed this stencil on top of the crust and used a knife to cut around it.
If it is not Pi Day, you could also create a lattice for the top crust.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool and then serve with vanilla ice cream!

Downloadable recipes here: Mini Key Lime Pie & Mini Berry Pi(e)