Monthly Archives: May 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Recipes

This weekend officially kicks off the start of summer picnics! If I had to pick just one thing that I love about summer, it would definitely be the picnics. There’s nothing like getting to try great food with great company outdoors in the sunshine.

The only downside about picnics for me is that I tend to over-think what I should bring. In case you’re like me, I thought I would round up a few recipes that are major crowd-pleasers and are sure not to let you down. Have a happy Memorial Day weeekend everyone!

(Click on the recipe title to see the full post and recipe)

Healthified Buffalo Chicken Dip

People really do go crazy over this buffalo chicken dip. You can let everyone feel better about dipping into this by letting them know that it’s made on the lighter side with the healthy swap of Greek yogurt for the calorie-heavy Ranch dressing.

Sweet Corn Guacamole

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that you can never go wrong with a dip or spread at large get-togethers. This guacamole is packed with fresh ingredients that just scream summer! Serve it alongside some colorful veggie chips for a pretty display.

Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

As I don’t know too many kids who would be brave enough to try a tapenade, this dish is probably best reserved for a gathering of mostly adults. I enjoy this tapenade best with pita chips, but feel free to serve it with any type of cracker or bread!

Capr-easy Salad

This tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes. The flavors are fresh and summery and pair well mixed in with a leafy green salad, in a sandwich made with crusty bread, or stand out just on their own.

Curry Chicken Salad

From the moment I tried this curry chicken salad for the first time last summer, I was smitten. It has become a staple in my household and I am not exaggerating when I say that I have made this salad almost every single week for the past year. It’s just a bonus that it’s on the healthy side with the substitution of Greek yogurt for mayonnaise.

Mint Oreo Truffles

I don’t think these truffles need much of an introduction or explanation as to why they are such a crowd favorite. Make them and watch them disappear off the table faster than you can say mint Oreos.

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

There is a reason why these cheesecake stuffed strawberries are still one of the most frequent items that I see on Pinterest. What better time to make them than right now as strawberries are just coming into season?

Jell-O Fruit Slices

Summer, fruit, Jell-O. There isn’t a better combination in my opinion.

Strawberry Basil Sangria

I don’t know of anyone who turned up at a party with booze who wasn’t received well. People like their drinks and this sangria filled strawberries and basil is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day!

Out and About: Seattle

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Dear Seattle,

I’ve missed you. Thank you for being sunny and showing me a great time this week. I hope I don’t have to wait as long before seeing you again. Please take care of yourself in the meantime.

All my best,

Me

Strawberry Basil Sangria from Pinterest

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It’s a running joke among my friends that my life is now controlled by Pinterest. From my holiday decorations to just my regular apartment decor, I draw a lot of inspiration from Pinterest.

I don’t see anything wrong with that since that’s the whole purpose of the site. It can get a little embarrassing however when I’m continually telling people that practically everything in my life – from my outfits to my food – comes from Pinterest. Where’s the originality?

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Well, this sangria is no different although I wish I could tell you that I was the person to come up with it.

About a month ago, I saw a pin for strawberry basil sangria and could barely wait to bring another pin to life. With just a few simple ingredients – strawberries, basil, apples, sugar, white wine, white grape juice, and club soda – I had a light and delicious drink that was perfect for the upcoming summer season. I differed from the original recipe slightly by chopping my basil instead of scoring it and using Pinot Grigio instead of the recommended Chardonnay. My only criticism was that I could taste too much of the grape juice for my personal preference, so next time I would probably cut back on the juice, and add it to my taste preference.

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A very happy drink, indeed.

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Just wait until tomorrow when I show you what I paired the drink with for dinner!

Turning Two

Would you believe that today this little blog turns two? Where has the time gone? Last May, I was in the midst of making move preparations, so I never even celebrated my one year blogiversary.

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It seems like just yesterday I was picking out a name for my blog and drafting up my first post. This blog was started partially out of a desire to become active in the healthy living blogging community, and partially out of boredom and the desire to find a hobby to help occupy my time.

Even though I categorized myself as a healthy living blogger, the blog didn’t have such a clear direction when it started and I think it showed. Wanting to emulate some of my favorite bloggers, I adopted the 2-3 times a day posting schedule and documented everything I ate like a food journal. I cringe every time I look at some of my early posts and am always tempted to delete them or set them to private. It’s very clear that I didn’t have my own voice as I mimicked other bloggers and used phrases like, “good morning, Daffodils” and “I got my snack-izzle on”. See? Cringe-worthy. Who was that person writing because it sure doesn’t sound like me!

It only took a few months for me to realize that the food journal style posting was not really for me nor was posting multiple times in a day. I floundered a bit as I struggled to figure out what to do with the blog. Should I abandon it? Should I try to write about something other than healthy living?

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I don’t know if I would still say that I’m a healthy living blogger. Sure, I try to post healthy recipes from time to time, but they can also be unhealthy too. I suppose I would call myself a food blogger now since that’s what most of my writing focuses on, but I’m hesitant to put myself into a niche since I also enjoy writing about other topics as well.

If someone asked me what style blogger I am, I guess I would like to say that my style is ME. This blog is the best representation of what I like, how I feel, and what I do. It may not fit into one particular category, but that’s ok.

The question still remains though, why blog?

I blog because it’s a creative outlet for me. Writing is something that I’ve always enjoyed and this blog gives me the chance to do that multiple times a week. I like having a “journal” of my life that I can come back and read and that someday my children might come back and read.

I blog because it has led me to discover new interests and hobbies like photography. A few years ago, photography was something that intimidated me and didn’t interest me very much. I would have never imagined that I would have a “fancy” camera and would look forward to taking pictures and editing them.

And I blog because it has been so wonderful interacting with all of you. From the people that I actually know in real life to the people that live on opposite corners of the world, it’s fun to “talk” to you all and hear your thoughts and opinions both on the blog and on Twitter.

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I would like to think that I would still write this blog even if it was just my mom reading it, but it really is so much better knowing that you are reading it too. Yes, you. So thank you all for visiting my little corner of the internet and making this blog a fun and happy place.