FOOD & DRINK

MORNING SMOOTHIES

10/13/2016

c96a6233We are a smoothie and juice loving family right here. We either make or buy (from our favorite local spot!) various juices or smoothies at least 4-5 mornings per week. It’s a surefire way to get some good nutrition and vitamins into these picky eaters of mine, and makes for a quick and easy clean up. Plus, as someone who has always been prone to skipping breakfast, for those mornings when I don’t have time or am not hungry, it’s easy to make a smoothie alongside my cup of coffee.

We have been longtime OLLY multivitamin users (I love the Beauty Vitamins), so I was naturally excited to hear that the brand recently released a line of plant-based smoothie protein powders. OLLY created nine different flavor options each slated for different dietary and wellness needs. From probiotics to workout enhancers to energy boosters, there are plenty of options for just about anyone (even little ones!). Some of the flavors include chocolate peanut butter, creamy strawberry, and salted caramel.

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c96a6221We were sent three to try—the Kids Smoothie, the Workout Smoothie, and the Nourishing Smoothie protein powders. The unique blends are designed to only need water for mixing, but we doctored up each one a bit with a few ingredients for extra flavor and nourishment.

Kids PB&B Chocolate: 1/3 frozen banana, ½ tbsp peanut butter, 8 oz milk, 2 scoops of smoothie protein powder.

Workout PB&B Chocolate: ½ frozen banana, 10 oz. ice cold water, 2 scoops of smoothie protein powder.

Carrot Ginger Zinger: ½ of medium carrot, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 cup cold water, 2 scoops smoothie protein powder.

Luckily, OLLY is offering a “Smoothie Style Sweeps” that includes over $1,000 in prizes. So, check it out and get to blending!

This post is in partnership with OLLY.

SATURDAY MORNING TRADITION

07/20/2016

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Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times to spend together with my family. After a long, crazy week of work, school, and activities, we get woken up by the little kids, bright and early for breakfast and Saturday morning cartoons—yes, we still watch them. We watch the classics like Tom and Jerry, Loony Tunes, Garfield and Friends, or the old Micky Mouse episodes on the computer in our kitchen, since the networks no longer air the nostalgic Saturday lineup we adults loved as kids. When I grew up, there wasn’t access to 24-hour, on-demand cartoons and Saturday mornings were really special. I still want that for my kids, even though times have changed, so this small tradition is one that we look forward to and it always starts the weekend off right.

We usually make a bunch of different breakfast foods to cater to each of our likings or cravings week-to-week—eggs, pancakes or waffles, french toast, biscuits, sausage and bacon, skillet potatoes, and cereal and milk. We stay in our pajamas and powwow around the kitchen, talking about our weekend plans, watching cartoons, telling jokes, and playing this Q&A/trivia game that our family loves. Early morning bed-heads, tired eyes, giggles, the smell of fresh coffee, kids helping crack eggs and stirring batter, the sizzle of bacon, an ice-cold bowl of crunchy cereal, drinking the milk out of the bowl—it’s so incredibly simple, but to us this is the good life.

This past Saturday we watched Chip and Dale classics over a bowl of our favorite new cereal from our friends at Annie’s. The kids love the fun bunny-shaped varieties and the cocoa and fruity flavors (as parents, we’re thrilled we found a line that’s certified organic and free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. Pancakes and fruit were part of the lineup, as well as frozen juice pops that we made the night before. We filled molds with oj, apple juice, and chocolate milk. They were the perfect after-breakfast treat. Even Bijou got in on this weekend’s breakfast party—Birdie poured her a tiny saucer of milk.

This upcoming Saturday the big kids fly home from their summer break in Florida, so it’ll be an extra-exciting day for us and our weekly morning tradition will be even better with everyone here.

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952101611131731212737385358645661bThis post is in partnership with Annie’s Homegrown, a brand we support and have loved for many years. Birdie and Sailor’s pajamas are from Mabo Kids.

THE PALOMA / MY NEW FAVORITE DRINK

06/28/2016

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6On our recent Texas trip, we discovered the most incredible drink called The Paloma. We were out one night, while in Austin and I asked the bartender if he could make me a margarita. He said “Yes, but it will be shit. We only have sweet and sour syrup and it’s not good. Let me make you a drink that you will love.” I was, of course, appreciative and agreed. I watched as he mixed blanco tequila, pink grapefruit juice, soda water, and squeezed in fresh lime. He didn’t give it a name after he handed it to me, but I tasted it and was quite happy. A friend later told me that it was called a Paloma. We were hooked and here’s why:

Reason one: blanco tequila (100% agave) does not give you a hangover. I repeat, it does not give you a hangover. At least, in our experience it did not, and let me tell you, there was a lot of blanco tequila consumed on our trip.

Reason two: it’s quite possibly the easiest drink to make. Yes, you can impress you friends at your next get together.

Reason three: It’s refreshing, delicious, and pink, and it reminds me of Dr. Seuss—”The ink he likes to drink is pink. He likes to wink and drink pink ink.”

Reason four: 15 more reasons why tequila is good for you.

So here’s the recipe for The Paloma, my current drink of choice, plus a little Marfa-found addition that makes it ever better!

You will need:
100% agave blanco tequila. We prefer Espolon
pink grapefruit juice
soda/sparkling water
fresh lime
hibiscus rose bitters (optional)
ice

I have become quite the pro-Paloma maker, so I just eyeball, but here is my best approximate ratio. Mix 1 part tequila, 1 part grapefruit juice, and two parts soda water. Top with a nice squeeze of fresh lime and add a few drops of hibiscus rose bitters. Stir and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wedge if you’re feeling fancy.

FOUR EASY GREENS TO GROW INDOORS

06/20/2016

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I’ve been cooking more (one of my New Year’s goals that I have managed to follow through with!), and it has brought a lot of life into my kitchen. Instead of always running to the store for that missing ingredient, I’ve learned that you can easily grow greens right on your kitchen counter—from basil to parsley to mint and many more. There’s something a little special about growing your own food and it’s way more convenient, too! Here are four easy indoor edible plants I want to grow…

Scallions. Place a handful of scallions (with their roots attached) in a full glass of water, then place in a sunny window. Cut off what you need to use for cooking, and the scallions will regrow overnight! Who knew? Tip: change the water a few times a week for maximum growth.

Cilantro. This herb requires plenty of sunlight and nutrient-rich soil. Make sure to only water when soil is dry, and plant in a pot with plenty of drainage holes (terra cotta is preferable). When growing inside, start with seeds or starter plants, and make sure each plant is at least 4 inches apart. Mexican food is a staple in this family, so our cilantro will be used on the reg!

Basil. Similar to cilantro, basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors. All that is required is to plant it in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. It is important that the pot provides adequate drainage, as the basil roots will rot if over saturated. Basil should always be placed in a sunny window, and ideally receive at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.

Avocado. I was surprised to learn that you can grow your own avocados indoors. I eat avocado almost everyday, so this is huge! The process is a bit more labor intensive than the others, but I’m betting it’s well worth it. First, remove the avocado pit and rinse it under cold water until clean. Root the pit with the pointed side up and stabilize with four toothpicks along the side of a dish for balance. Next, fill the dish with water until the pit is halfway submerged, and make sure to change the water every few days. Once the stem reaches 6 inches long, cut it in half and let it regrow. Then, when the roots become thicker, plant it and let the stem grow to a foot in length. It may take up to a year for the plant to start producing fruit, but that’s worth the wait for avocado lovers like myself.

Photos courtesy of: 17apart, divinecaroline, motherearthliving, and inhabitat.

 

A HANGOVER CURE?

06/15/2016

hangoverWe’ve all been there… Waking up with a pounding headache, feeling nauseous, and desperately searching for the nearest cup of water. And while we obviously try to avoid these mornings, sometimes they just happen. Over the years, I’ve heard of various hangover cures: greasy food, hair of the dog, sports drinks, an ice-cold Coca-Cola, Pedialyte, coffee, pain medication, and the list goes on. A couple of weeks ago, I was at my friend’s house and after a couple of margaritas I started worrying about the potential hangover in my near future. She then looked at me and said “Charcoal!” I was puzzled and asked her what she meant and she handed me a few charcoal supplements and swore by their magical powers to prevent that morning-after dread. I looked it up, and learned that activated charcoal capsules work as a digestive aid and essentially absorb dissolved chemicals (i.e. alcohol) as they pass through the body. I woke up the next morning feeling like a million bucks. It was a miracle cure, and an easy one at that! Beware though, activated charcoal can cause constipation—that’s one thing my friend didn’t mention. ;)

You can read more about activated charcoal and other hangover cures here, and feel free to share any of your personal remedies below.

Footnote: I am speaking from personal experience. I am not a doctor, nor is my friend. It’s always a good idea to check with your care provider before taking supplements.

Image above via Getty.

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