Friday, September 28, 2012

Lactose Free: So Delicious Giveaway

As promised, here is another exciting giveaway! So Delicious sent me 3 free product coupons to share with my readers. How sweet is that?! {See below for your chance to win}

I've know about the So Delicious company for a few years now and I have to say it was love at first bite. :) I'm trying to remember what I tasted first - it was probably the ice cream!

What I like most about the So Delicious company is that they're dairy free! This takes the worry out of wondering where the milk came from, how the cows were handled, pasteurization issues, etc. Plus, I seem to to just plain feel better when I eat natural ingredients versus cow's milk and refined sugar for a dessert. A win, win :)

I also want to point out that some of their products are certified gluten-free for those of you with gluten-intolerances. They are really big into the coconut ingredient, too, which I love!

So Delicious offers Dairy-Free:  
  • Coconut milk yogurts
  • Coconut milk "ice creams"
  • Greek yogurts
  • Coconut milk creamers
  • Almond milk beverages
  • Almond milk ice creams
  • Almond yogurts
  • They also have soy milk ice creams

I like to use the So Delicious cultured coconut milk as a thickener and probiotic source for my green smoothies. :) 

The giveaway starts now! I will select and announce THREE winners 1 wk from today (that's Fri, Oct 5)! Each selected winner will received one (1) So Delicious free product coupon valued at $11. What a treat! Literally. I can't wait to see which 3 of you will win! Ooh -- anticipation, anticipation. :-)

So Delicious is sponsoring this giveaway and the only request they have for entry requirements is that each participate either  Like the So Delicious on FB or follow them on Twitter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I'm interested to know how if you have tried any of the So Delicious products before so comment and let know. :) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homemade Lasagna for Dinner!

I hadn't made a homemade lasagna in what felt like forever until today! The perfect comfort food for a lovely fall day. :) I love how having friends over for dinner gives me the perfect excuse to make a special dish!

I prepped ahead yesterday by frying up the meat, making today a little easier. :-)

The layering station! I wanted to try something a bit different than the norm today so I used a beef/sausage combo as part of my meat mixture, going off this recipe as a guideline {click here}.

I doubled this recipe because the event this was for was quite the crowd! But, you can adjust the measurements to suit your needs, if you decide to try it. :)

I also made some light wheat rolls to go along side. Here they are gettin' ready to go in the oven!

The finished product! Light and fluffy, if I do say so myself. :) They're about 1/2 wheat flour & 1/2 white flour. If you're interested in the recipe, here's the link. Pretty much the only thing I changed was the white sugar for sucanat sugar.

I had a little extra dough on hand and had the brilliant idea of turning it into a pan of sweet rolls :P The filling consists of butter, cinnamon & honey w/ a shake of nutmeg and a few chopped pecans. Yum!

I had a nice green salad @ lunch topped w/ seasoned black beans a Bubbies pickle. :)

And, this was supper! I served the lasagna along side a large spinach/romaine salad and topped with lots of nutritious goodness: yellow bell pepper, sprouts & cherry tomatoes. Tried to get some color variety in there :P

Nothing quite like a bowl of candy corn to add the finishing touches to your decorations this time of year. :)

Dessert was freshly baked cookies (whole wheat & coconut sugar) w/ a scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Such a treat!

So, this evening's meal doesn't rank among the the healthiest I've ever made but I'm OK w/ that. :) Special occasions are just that - special. They're not everyday. It's what we do most of the time not occasionally that makes us up. I'm becoming convinced that the daily habits are life changing. After all, it's the little things that make up those big things - right?

It's a rest day for me workout wise. I'm sore from yesterday's squats & lunges. :P The guests just left, full & happy. The edifying conversation was stimulating and enjoyable for all. So thankful for good friends!

What are you thankful for today? Are you a lasagna lover, too? Comment and let me know!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Welcome Week

I feel refreshed and invigorated! Don't you just love those weekends that propel you into the coming week?! And, I'm so excited about this wonderful fall weather at the moment - you'd think I was a little girl at Christmas time! 

My day was kicked off bright and early w/ time with God, reading my Bible and prayer. My day seems to go much better when it's started right! After devotions, it was onto my workout before breakfast. I ran for 25 minutes and covered 2.8 miles. Getting better but still a ways to go. :) 

This pic is from Saturday's supper. It was so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fresh lettuce leaves with carrot shavings, homemade BBQ chicken, and a zucchini/onion medley. 

There are still plenty of apples laying around here and it would be impossible to eat them all! With that in mind, all sorts delicious tempting desserts are being dish up. :P Apple crisp was a recent luxury- ah, yum!

Saturday I made a quadruple recipe of pumpkin muffins. I know that sounds like a lot, but I promise - they weren't all for me. :P A dear friend just had a baby and healthy food makes a great gift so I sent some to her. I also made some for my grandma, gave some more away to another friend and figured the rest would make quick & easy options for breakfasts this week.

Sunday evening we let our hair down and made pizzas. :)

I put mushrooms on my sandwich today, along w/ tomato, red onion and some organic leafy lettuce. Yum!

It was SO refreshing! One of the best lunches ever - I need to do this one again! This afternoon felt very productive; I always love it when I get that feeling. :-)

Once I got home from work, I was itching to go outside but made myself practice music, first. Not that I don't love music too (I absolutely do!), but the beautiful outdoor weather was calling my name today. :) Thankfully, I got to spend some time out on the farm right before dinner enjoying it! The temp here is perfecto!!! I know I would say I wish it was like this all the time, but then I probably wouldn't appreciate it so I'm glad for the variety the different seasons bring. :)

Supper this evening was delish! A bean soup with a side of freshly baked muffins. Thanks, Mom!

I've still a few things to finish up before I hit the sack in a couple of hrs so I'd better scoot. I hope you've all enjoyed a wonderful day!  See you soon. :) Stay tuned for another giveaway coming up soon (hopefully later this wk)!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wholesome Pumpkin Muffins

Happy Friday, folks! I've had a great day and hope you have too! I'm just back from a classical voice recital at a local university. My vocal coach was performing this evening along with a mezzo-soprano, accompanied by a talented pianist from Korea. They sang songs in German, Italian and French. Beautiful, that's all I can say. :) A taste of heaven!

I mixed up some healthy (naturally sweetened) pumpkin muffins to go along side a bean soup for this evening's supper. 

I pretty much followed this recipe {click here} but substituted the whole wheat flour with barley flour and instead of white sugar I used honey crystals. Oh, and I went a little heavier on the cinnamon spice. :) 

Here's the update recipe - 

Flour mixture
1 1/2 cups barley flour (you can you any flour you want, though)
1 cup honey granules (I think honey, agave, coconut sugar or sucanat would work just a well)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg 

Pumpkin mixture
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 can of pumpkin puree (that's 1/2 of a 15oz can)

Mix together the flour & pumpkin mixtures separately. Then, dump the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture stirring together only until combined. Be sure to spray your muffin tins, pop them in the oven and bake @ 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

My sister made these delicious kale chips. I had some for lunch today. :) I'd love to do a recipe post on this, would you like that? 

This was what I packed to take to the office for lunch yesterday. Sprouts, tomato & mayo are a great threesome! It looks like I added a little carrot there, too. :) 

Ahh, yes - here's a picture from today's lunch. :) I kind of ate in the midst of a project . . . 

I got in a 1.75 run before supper this evening along with some stretching in the sun! It was such a gorgeous day! Looking forward to many more!!! What do you love most about this time of year?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Last Rose of Summer

The weather was gorgeous today! A great way to end the summer. :) Can't wait for tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Apple Pie Season!

{Laying down the lattice}

Fall is officially just 2 days away and I can't wait! With tons of delicious apples laying around the kitchen from picking at the orchard earlier this week, I thought a freshly baked apple pie would top off a late summer, early fall supper just perfectly. :)

{Coconut sugar is a substitute for refined white sugar - it's mildly sweet}

I did a little research on what I wanted to go into my recipe. There are so many incredible recipes out there! Slightly overwhelming . . . :P My goal with this recipe was to make something good for ya and good to ya! It can be healthy, but I'm definitely after taste & texture, too!

4-5 huge jonagold apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons maple sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

{My recipe inspirations came from: That' & Healthy Happy Life}

{Lots & lots of spices!}

I was a little nervous about the crust turning out heavy since I made it with whole wheat flour. It was good, butI'm still on the lookout for a really good wheat pie crust recipe. If you know of one - please share!

Freshly baked!

For lunch today I threw some spinach with leftover rice and some diced tomato into a tiny tubberware and took it to work. Yum!

I got these flax seeds at a cute little country store on the way home from Virginia. Ooh, they're going to such a great addition to future green smoothies :)

There's a little boy that I tutor & help to keep up with his school so lesson plans have been on my mind of late. :) This little guy's diligence is inspiring!

Supper tonight was served with a side of roasted vegetables. Yum!

I got in a 1.75 mile run this morning. What was your workout today? Any fall foods you can't wait to try? 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soak Up the Sun

I took my stretching regime outside both yesterday and today because the weather was so perfect I couldn't stay inside! It's been in the 80s here of late, making me super exciting about fall. :-)

These are my grandparents. I think they make such a handsome couple! Don't you agree? I had lunch with them yesterday and decided to snap their picture :) 

This salad bar had lots of great toppings: boiled eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and olives :)

"Action" shot!

I seem to always learn something when I spend time with this dynamic couple. To say the least, I love these two SO much! Did I mention my grandfather is 81 and an avid Apple fan? He was just telling me how his iPad has completely replaced his day timer. Way to go, Pap!

I partnered with my mom last night to make a vegetarian bean soup for supper. The current cool evenings are perfect for this kind of food!

Of course, when there's leftover birthday cake in the house it's criminal not to eat it - right?! Right. Plus, we have this "rule" in our family. The day after the birthday all the cake reverts back to the baker, and it in this case - that's me :P Just something silly that we through around, it's not serious or anything, at least most of the time . . .

Actually, I thought this cake tasted much better today (it's 2nd day). In my experience, most cakes are like this. It's like they need "marinate" a little to be at their peak. :)

I really enjoyed my run this morning! It had been a while since I'd gone 4 miles straight so it felt good :)

Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, if you can! I'd better scoot, dinner date tonight with friends :-) 

What's the weather like where you live?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

We Made It! Recipe #7 - Banana Pineapple Green Smoothie + A Berry Good GS

green smoothies

Congrats and "great job!" to all of you 7-Day Green Smoothie Challenger participants! It's day 7 of 7!!! And, for the rest of my readers - thank you for supporting us and we'd love for you to join us next time!!! I'll try and give more of a heads up for the next challenge. I got tons of e-mails with lots of enthusiasm but saying schedules were tight so I'll try and project for ya a little more next go around :-)

bible study

Church was this morning and the sermon was taught from Isaiah. I am very thankful to have a church that teaches and preaches expositionally, straight from the Word of God! What spiritual truths were you reminded of today?

Okay, so my green smoothie for today was easy peasy - actually I have two recipes for you. :) I thought since it was the last day we'd go out with a bang. :P

pineapple gren smoothie

This morning I mixed together a banana pineapple green smoothie before leaving for church. It was SO delicious! Actually, it was my first experience adding pineapple to a green smoothie. :)

banana green smoothie

I enjoyed a few ounces of this succulent smoothie, but shared it with the fam because I was afraid I might be put into a tail spin with all of that fruit sugar! I loved how distinct the pineapple taste was.

Banana Pineapple Green Smoothie
1 cup fresh pineapple
3/4 banana
2-4 cups spinach
8 oz water
1-2 cup ice

{Recipe credit: Rawmazing}

Then, this evening I decided upon a Berry Good Green Smoothie. :) Remember, green smoothies don't have to be the color green! You'll notice this if you add pretty much any kind of berry to the mix.

berry green smoothie

Berry Good Green Smoothie
8oz almond milk
1 cup frozen berry mix (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
2 cups spinach
1 cup ice

healthy peach cobbler

This week, a friend brought by the house a whole box of fresh peaches! Wow. There is no way we can possibly eat all of these fast enough! With that in mind - they'll be great to toss in the freezer after peeling and slicing for tasty additions to future green smoothies. :)

Okay, time for a funny story . . .  :P This morning I was rummaging around through the freezer trying to find an ice pack for my snack cooler when I found this plastic bag filled with something shaped like a banana, but looked like chicken. "What is THIS?" I stared at it for a moment and then it dawned on me. "Yew!!!". You probably will laugh your head off when I tell you that, yes - it was a chicken neck.  Apparently, the last time my bros processed a batch of free range chickens they wanted all of their hard work to go to good use - even those chicken necks! Sorry, but I'm not volunteering to roast that . . . And, I'll be sure to be a vegetarian for that meal :P Appreciate your thriftiness, though, guys! It's the heart that counts . . .

Well, I hope you all are enjoying a restful Sunday, spending time in God's Word, and recharging for the projected week. The weather is absolutely gorgeous here and I was able to spend some time outside this afternoon enjoying it. :) A bright blue sky, decorated with puffy white clouds and a shining sun makes me smile!