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Jumping on the Juicing + Smoothie Bandwagon

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It’s official. The Blendtec Blender is in the hizzouse. We’ve officially jumped on the juicing and smoothie bandwagon. We are “those” people, walking into work with our 22oz glass bottles (glass only!) filled with a strange mixture of fruits, veggies and other concoctions. I tried this for a time last year with our old blender which meant most of the time was spent straining out what didn’t blend up very well. It was so time consuming and didn’t last more than a few weeks. I knew this time around the Blendtec would pulverise everything in it’s way. But I still needed a way to speed up the smoothie making process in the morning. I commute most days with my husband which means the hubby train leaves when he’s ready. There’s no waiting at the station for slowpokes (Me!) Continue Reading

Recipes: The Cookie Exchange Part Two

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It’s that time again all! Cookie Swap fever has begun! This post from last year continues to be one of my most loved posts, so I thought I would whip up a Cookie Swap Part Two for you this year! I’m actually quite partial to this year’s post because let’s be honest, is there anything better than a cookie shot glass?! Happy Baking! Continue Reading

Food + Drink: A Gluten Free Thanksgiving

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Just because you follow a gluten free lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in Thanksgiving Day favorites! With Turkey Day right around the corner, the below recipes are my favorite for this upcoming Holiday (it’s next week guys, can you even believe it?) from around the web. You can find all of the recipes on my Pinterest Board, Gluten Free Thanksgiving, too!

If you follow a gluten free diet, what are your favorite recipes for the Holidays?

Cocktails:

+ Spiced Apple Cider Sangria
+ Pumpkin Chai Hot Buttered Rum Mix
+ Skinny Cranberry Punch
+ Pear Vanilla Sparkler
+ Pomegranate Apple Spritzer

 Starters:

+ Roasted Squash, Beet and Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
+ Stuffed Artichoke Hors d’oeuvres
+ Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon Garnish
+ Rosemary and Cranberry Spread
+ Ricotta Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

 Side Dishes:

+ Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato and Hazelnuts
+ Green Bean Casserole
+ Skinny Scalloped Potatoes
+ Cauliflower Mascarpone Gratin
+ Sweet Potato Casserole

 Main Course:

+ Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
+ Thanksgiving Meatless Loaf
+ Bacon Wrapped Turkey
+ Sticky Asian Glazed Ham
+ Cranberry Glazed Cornish Hens

Dessert:

+ Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts
+ Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake
+ Vegan Maple Pecan Pie
+ Apple and Cranberry Crisp
+ Dark Chocolate Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting

Image Credits:
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How To: Roast Veggies

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In finishing up the Beach Body 21 Day Fix a few weeks ago, I came to the realization I don’t eat near enough vegetables on a daily basis. We always have a veggie with dinner, and I sometimes take a salad to work. But after using the containers that come with the program (they help you understand food measurements instead of having to weigh your food and count out a serving size), I was seriously lacking in the veggie eating department. There are some days I cannot stomach another salad for lunch. And there are more days than I care to admit where I’m too lazy to make myself a salad in the evening or morning before work. I needed another way to get veggies in during the day. Enter roasting.

Now you’ve probably read just like I have that roasting isn’t the best way to go about cooking your veggies. Raw is of course number one, and I can handle raw. I can handle raw veggies when they are doused in hummus. Delicious? Yes! But not when I end up eating about an extra 200 calories. I sorta have a hummus-eating problem. Sure steaming is good, but I can maybe stomach a bite or two of broccoli before I’m wishing I had snuck a container of my hubby’s ranch dressing to work with me. Again, not the best option.

I didn’t come up with roasting veggies on my own, I’ll be truthful. After a weekend stay with close friends, I learned my college BFF’s hubby roasts huge pans of veggies for her on Sunday for the week. Easy. Delicious. Right up my alley. I’m telling you, if you need more veggies in your life (I’m sure we all do most days), this is the way to do it. Ready? It’s so simple,

Step One: Pick out your veggies. I normally roast two pans of veggies on Sunday afternoon – a pan of broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. And a pan of sweet potatoes and sweet peppers. I’m pretty sure you can roast most any veggie your heart desires.

Step Two: Cut and season your veggies. I toss mine in a little EVOO and season with sea salt and my new favorite seasoning ever – Perfect Pinch Salt Free Fiesta Citrus Seasoning. It adds a little bit of spice and a little bit of citrus flavor that works perfectly over the veggies.

Step Three: Use this handy-dandy chart for oven and cook time. This chart helped me determine which veggies I could roast together and for how long. Of course everyone is different. I prefer my veggies a bit more charred than most would like. (I love the burnt, crunchy leaves that fall off the brussels sprouts..yum!)

Step Four: Roast away!

I love the way the natural sugars caramelize on the veggies, adding a little bit of sweetness to the taste. They last about a week in the fridge in an air tight container. Towards the end of the week, they aren’t the most delicious and do get a little bit soggy. So I bring more of my favorite seasoning to toss on. It helps from both a taste and texture standpoint. I feel good knowing I’m now getting in my veggie allotment each day, and I’m less ravenous when I come home from work, staying fuller much longer. I still have dreams about dunking my veggies in globs of hummus. Those cravings….well..they don’t go away just like that.

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How To: Order Wine

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Wine. Yum.

I could end the post right there, but I won’t since it took some serious skillz to create the above diagram for you. Lucky for me (and you!) my day job has turned me into somewhat of a powerpoint expert with a sprinkle of photoshop on top. Good times. So yes, wine. We love to drink wine, right? My college bestie and I are known as the “one more bottle” girls (or OMBGs if you prefer) because we always need just one. more. bottle. Makes perfect sense, right? Most of those around us are usually quite certain another bottle is NOT what we need and it just means loads of trouble, which is pretty much the case each and every time. A little extra glass (or bottle) of wine never hurt no body. Don’t be jealous. We just wear our big girl pants when we drink. Suckas!

Alright so we already know drinking wine equals much happiness. But the ordering of the wine…sometimes the ordering process can be a bit intimidating. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a beau that is a walking wine atlas (don’t hate because my hubby is a wine snob). But maybe you’re not. And maybe without your living and breathing snobby wine atlas around, you get a little uncertain when you’re handed this gigantic book of vinos from around the world. Just. Don’t. Panic. You can do it! Take it step by step and narrow the list down based on food preference, table preference, glass vs. bottle preference and price preference. Once you hit those basics, it makes the ordering process less scary. And you’ll probably end up with something you’ll enjoy instead of gulping it down because well, you paid so much for it. When all else fails and the list gets the better of you, ask for a recommendation. Most in-house sommeliers are chomping at the bit to provide you insight into their favorite wines. Just keep in mind, if you end up being a “one more bottle” girl or guy yourself that evening, save your pennies and go for the cheap. You don’t want to throw down some serious coin for a delicious wine you won’t remember in the morning. Trust me, I’m a tried and true OMBG. The only thing you’ll be “remembering” when the sun rises is why multiple, bass drumming rabbits are running through your head. Yep, It’s the one. more. bottle curse. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!