Thursday, December 4, 2014

Exciting News!!!

Hey everyone!

Yep I still exist!

Sorry it's been awhile, but I have some exciting (well, I hope it's exciting) news.
But first, bad news. Since you all have probably heard me moan and complain about my crappy camera, I am sure that deep down in your secretest of hearts, you will be elevated to hear it broke. I have zip, nada, no camera.

So I have two options: buy a new camera, or stop taking pictures. Seems like an obvious choice, doesn't it? Of course I should buy a new camera! Who can have a blog without a camera?

Me, that's who! You see, I am in no position to be investing in a high quality camera with high quality lenses. Sorry. At this point, I am still blogging for fun and not getting paid, so I am not too eager to shell of that much money.

And I definitely don't want to go around in circles chasing my tail by buying a new low quality camera!

So I am transitioning my blog. I don't know if it is even possible to have a food blog without pictures. So maybe a book blog?
No, I don't read enough.

A gardening blog?
Too dull.

A health blog?

A fashion blog?
Oooh, now there's an idea.

My blog is officially restarting in 2015, and it's going to be devoted to fashions and styles and patterns and all things amazing.

So let me ask you now. YES, YOU.
Should I make this fashion blog a completely new blog with a new title and everything, or should I make it a continuation of this blog?
Comment below any thoughts or opinions.
See you next year! <3 Danielle

12/26/14 edit: to visit my new blog, Styelleish, click here to preview. It will officially launch next week!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oatmeal Rice Pudding (Dairy free, Healthy)

For most people, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are defined by pumpkin pie, candy canes, gingerbread, sugar cookies, egg nog, and so on. At least this is true for foodies.

For me, its always has been rice pudding. See, being Scandinavian, my grandma and aunts always make huge pots of rice pudding for gatherings. They even follow the tradition of slipping an almond into the dessert, and whoever gets the serving with the almond gets a prize. As if the pudding itself isn't a prize in itself!

Delicious as it is, there's no denying how unhealthy the treat is-- sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and white rice aren't quite health food. So, I took on the challenge with my trusty friend, Oatmeal.

Now you can enjoy this fluffy, elegant pudding without a trace of guilt! This makes a large single serving, just so you all know.

"Rice" Pudding Oatmeal
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup water, or almond milk for an extra creamy result
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup almond milk
Sweetener of choice, to taste
2 large egg whites
cinnamon or nutmeg, optional

  1. Cook the oatmeal in the cup of liquid (water or milk, 1 cup) on stove over medium heat, stirring frequently
  2. After all liquid is absorbed, stir in sweetener, milk, and extract and cook until the milk has thickened slightly
  3. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  4. Fold eggwhites into oatmeal gently, over low heat until egg whites are cooked. 
  5. Serve immediately. Top with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desires.
Enjoy It! 
It's healthy enough to eat for breakfast--I mean really, it's oatmeal and eggs!

P.S. By clicking on the black icon above and to the right, you can hop on over to Blogaholic Designs and enter into a giveaway for a free blogger template!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christmas Wish List

Hello everyone!
Wow, it's sure getting cold out, and I must confess,  I have already started listening to my Pandora Christmas stations I can't wait till Christmas!
I remember when I was a kid, I couldn't wait until Christmas morning to rip open my Christmas presents and eat German pancakes for breakfast, subsequent to several handfuls of chocolate I found in my stocking, of course.
But now that I am older, it's the Christmas spirit that get me excited, as cliche as it may sound. You know, the lights on every roof and in every town square, Christmas carols blasting in department stores and on the radio, nativity scenes displayed in front of churches and homes, Christmas cards and packages arriving on my doorstep, snowflakes decorating the sky like glitter from heaven. I love it ALL.
But still, there's a part of me that also loves to receive gifts. Even though 99% of the time, I'm the one who buys them for myself. Throughout the year. Like that wristwatch I bought myself on Sunday. And the eight books I bought last week.
Anyway whether it's a shopping list or suggestions for the generous souls in my life or recommendations for you guys's lists, here are some things I want:
$19.99, Kohls
$19.99, Kohls
$9.99, From comejew on Etsy
$49.99, From ModCloth
$32.99, From Modcloth
$35.99, ABADAY

$34.92, Amazon

So that's it! What are you wishing for this year? To visit any of the items on their respective sites, click their image.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Meringue Pie Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin pumpkin everywhere. Some hate it. Some love it. I am lucky enough to be in the latter category. I mean really, though, what's not to love? Pumpkin desserts are basically a hug from fall. I may not be in love with fall, but I am not opposed to hugs. Or pumpkin.

And what better way is there than to start off your day than with a dessert-like hug from fall? (The answer is no way, to those of you who were wondering)

Now, to be perfectly honest, I'm already listening to Christmas carols. Yep.

*ooh, I can feel you judging me*

But that doesn't mean that I am not also embracing the beauty of fall at the same time...
...and now you can, too!

Pumpkin Meringue Pie Baked Oatmeal
Serves one

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5 cups pumpkin puree
1.5 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp almond milk
Sweetener of choice, to taste
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
For the meringue: (optional)
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar, optional
1/8 tsp. Cream of tartar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease a single-serve ramkin
  2. In a small bowl, combine together oats, spice, and baking powder.
  3. Softly stir in pumpkin, milk, sweetener, and vanilla.
  4. Put in ramkin and bake for 15 minutes if using meringue, or thirty minutes if not using the meringue.
  5. If making meringue: while oatmeal is in the oven, beat egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Continue to beat in vanilla, cream of tartar, and sugar, if using.
  6. After the oatmeal has been in the oven for fifteen minutes, top with the egg white mixture, and return to oven for an additional fifteen minutes, or until the meringue has cooked through.
  7. Enjoy your hug from fall.
<3 Danielle

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blogger vs. Wordpress

Hey everyone!
Would like to share with you all today a matter of which I was extremely curious about until recently. This is Blogger versus Wordpress. And just so you know, I am discussing the free stuff, you know, when your blog url is like;, or  I believe that this information is important to those who want to start a blog, but don't want to throw a ton of money into it yet (like me!).

  • Not many templates for setting up the blog
  • Each template, though is very customizable
  • You get the whole package with the free site
  • Easy to use, but glitchy at times
  • Tons of templates for setting up the blog
  • Very limited customization 
  • There's a limited amount of stuff that can be done for free. It almost seems like they were trying to trick me into spending some money at some points because so many things that I tried to do while designing the webpage led to a message announcing that that particular action could only be done if I upgraded.
  • Easy to use, but kind of confusing at times
Another thing I'd like to point out is that I find that Wordpress sites have that WOW factor, whereas it almost seems like if you've seen one Blogger blog, you've seen every Blogger blog.

Having said that, I have reached my conclusion:
     Blogger is for you if: you prefer to get a basic template, but then customize it to fit your needs, and especially if you don't have plans to upgrade.
     Wordpress is for you if: you prefer to not mess around with customizing your site, and just want to get a pre-set-up design, and also if you have plans to upgrade (and start spending money in the near future.

I hope this helps!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

How to Make Your Shower Like New Again

You know when you spend the night at someones house and wake up the next morning to shower, but find the state of the shower revolting? And then you decide to just not shower that day?

                             Just me? 


Well after going through this several times, one day I stepped into my shower and was completely shocked to see that my shower was in even worse of a state than any of the other showers I had been in!

The filth just kind of snuck up on me, I guess. And it's totally out of my comfort zone to show you the dirty shower, but I do know from experience that I am not alone in the struggle of cleanliness, so brace yourself:

Crazy, huh? And here's how I did it:

The main product I used was Norwex Descaler. This stuff is a miracle worker. 

It works like a dream-- just spray it on the surface of the area you need to clean (you may want to test a small area first to make sure that the product works with that type of surface) and wait 5- 10 minutes before scrubbing away. Anything that does not come off with the descaled can probably be sprayed  and scrubbed again with your all-purpose bathroom cleaner,  or whatever you usually clean your tub with.

Now, I'm not going to lie, this job took a good deal of elbow grease and determination, but the end product was soooooooo worth it!

<3 Danielle

Disclaimer: This post was NOT sponsored by Norwex, I just wanted to share with you all a great product with awesome results! Be sure to read the instructions on the Norwex descaler and any other cleaning product that you use containers before using the products. Using the products wrong can cause damage to your property or body. I am not responsible for any of these damages.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Did you miss me? I'm sorry I skipped several days of blogging, but I have a confession to make: this is going to be kind of a new norm.  I never want to be that blogger who fades out and you never know what happened to them. But my posts are going to be spaced a bit farther apart. My goal is to post once a week. 


Blogging has kind of gone from being a huge passion to a huge chore.


I love the concept of blogging, don't get me wrong, I love all of you and getting creative with what I post and all that jazz. But here's the thing: I do EVERYTHING-- taking photos, editing them, and writing the posts all on a Kindle Fire. And said Kindle only has a front facing camera. Yeah. It's been tough and at this point, I don't have the extra money to invest in a quality camera.

So things will be almost normal around here. I'll just be posting less often.

So anyway, here's a recipe for A single serve oatmeal, using the most beautiful, fflavorful fruit in the world.

Cherry Baked Oatmeal

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 banana, mashed
12 cherries, pitted and chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit. Grease a single serving ramkin.
2. In a small bowl, combine the oats and baking powder. Stir in milk, vanilla, and banana.
3. Fold in cherries. If you'd like, save some and place them on to of the oat mixture after pouring the batter into the ramkin.
4. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, or until center no longer is very wet.

<3 Danielle

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to be Gluten Free Naturally

With so many people being gluten free these days, companies are beginning to catch on and create g.f. packaged foods, full of junk that does not belong in the human body.

Now I'm not vegan, paleo, or anything like that, I'm just gluten free and mostly dairy free, but I still believe it is important to feed our bodies whole, real foods. It might be easier to pick up a package of granola bars off the shelf of the grocery store, but in the long run? Your body will thank you for choosing an apple and peanut butter, or something like that instead.

So below, I'm going to list some gluten free foods that are just naturally g.f. please note that I am not a doctor or certified nutritionist, and I'm not recommending that anyone go gluten free. This is for the many people who are gluten free, but would like to remove packaged foods from their diet.

Certified G.F. Oats
Coconut oil
Olive oil
Maple syrup
Cocoa powder
Nut butters

Please note also that you should always double check each item listed here to see if it really is g.f. because sometimes there can be a glutenful product in a place you least expect it.

Hope this has helped you! This is not EVERYTHING that's g.f., So be sure to explore your options around you!
<3 Danielle

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Simple Thai Spaghetti Squash

Suddenly, it's freezing out. The grass and garden are dying. Leaves are changing colours, I've traded my tank tops for sweaters. Ugh.

The good news is that I have a whole bunch of winter squash to use up! 
Between the pumpkins, butternut squash and spaghetti squash from my garden, I'm set for the winter!

Spaghetti squash is the star of this dish. It gives the illusion of pasta, with a slight crunchier texture and a more earthy taste. I showed you how to cook these bundles of perfection in this post.

The chicken packs the protein. its what will keep you full until your next meal. The green beans add color, flavor, and nutrients. The ones pictured above were actually home grown! Then comes the sauce, contributing a Thai-like flavor that comes from soy sauce, garlic, and of course I couldn't leave out peanut butter!

I also recommend sprinkling crushed red pepper flakes over the top, of you want to give it a little kick!

Simple Thai Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
1 cup chopped chicken, cooked
about 20 green beans, cleaned
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar (can substitute water)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
crushed red pepper flakes to top (optional)

  1. Cook and remove flesh from spaghetti squash with a fork.
  2. Steam green beans in a sauce pan with 1 inch of water until soft (about 15 minutes)
  3. In a small cup or bowl mix peanut butter with vinegar until smooth. Add in the soy sauce a little at a time, stirring constantly to keep a smooth texture. Finally, stir in the garlic powder.
  4. Toss together the chicken, squash, green beans and sauce, and red pepper flakes if using.
  5. enjoy your meal!

Hope you al like it!
<3 Danielle

Monday, September 22, 2014

Links to Make You Smile

Hello everyone!
Sorry I never posted yesterday! I caught a bug and slept in,  and then I was feeling too gross  and tired all day to be creative enough to write a post. So basically I needed something to cheer me up. Sometimes the best medicine in the world is a smile or laugh, of  course accompanied by a huge mug of tea.
So here I'm going to share some links to thing that make me happy. Hopefully they'll make your day, too.

Happily Ever Eloped by That is What She Read

These gorgeous pictures from World of Wanderlust

This confetti eyeliner from the beauty department

Have you ever seen any of these Honest Trailers? They're pretty funny... and accurate!

How about this prank from The Ellen Show?

Well if I made you smile at all, comment below which link tickled your funny bone!
<3 Danielle

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mango Sorbet

This is summer in a bowl. I mean really this and summer have so much in common:
They are bright and cheery
They make me happy
They are both things I always look forward to
They make you forget your worries and cares
They go by really fast. 
And I mean fast. One bite of this and I started shoveling it in my face as fast as my spoon could travel. It's so silky and sweet, and its only one ingredient. One. Just one. Yeah.

I am always skeptical of recipes advertised as one ingredient, because a lot of the time it's some kind of processed packaged product.
But not this. This is about as fresh as you can get! And even fresher if you have access to mango trees (if this is the case, I'm so jealous)!

Mango Sorbet
1 mango

  1. Peel and cube the mango. Find out how to cut a mango like a pro here.
  2. Freeze the cubes until solid.
  3. Process until smooth in a food processor. Enjoy immediately.
I hope you love it as much as I do!
<3 Danielle

Monday, September 15, 2014

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Oh boy, do I have butternut squash on my hands. As someone who rarely uses squash, I really didn't know what to do with it. The only logical thing I could think of was soup.

Butternut squash has kinda a sweet flavour, so the next step was to decide what to pair it with. Should I play off the sweet and add cinnamon and cloves, or add onions and garlic for contrast?

The latter won. And I'm glad it did. This soup had a flavour profile that blew me away-- curry, garlic, carrots, onions, sriracha, and (wait for it........) peanut butter!

I'm sorry, guys... I just couldn't resist adding a tablespoon. It's totally optional; add it if you like love adore fantasize over peanut butter. And before you add it in, let me warn you: that little bit adds quite a punch!

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
3 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
1 tbsp peanut butter (optional) 
1 tbsp. Curry powder
1/4 cup basil leavers (fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups milk (I used dairy milk, 2%)
  1. In a large soup pot, steam all ingredients except for the milk in the broth until soft (about 30 minutes). Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Blend in batches with milk. Make sure each batch is blended with milk, for example, it took me 4 batches, divided into 1/2 cups of milk.
  4. Return to pot and bring back up to temperature. If it seems too thick for you, add some more broth.

Enjoy it! I know I did!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Life in Pictures: Wisconsin

Welcome to my very first Life in Pictures Link Up!
Last week, I was invited by Linda to join the Life In Pictures Link Up. Basically, it's a bunch of pictures from your day or week with as little text as possible. Click on the graphic below to access the link up! 

I normally don't do much of anything super interesting on a daily, so I thought I would show you all some pictures of my vacation I took in Wisconsin last week! Can you all guess where in Wisconsin I was?

Fit Fed and Happy

Well that's it! I hope you enjoyed the pictures! This is my first link up ever, so sorry, Linda if I did it wrong, and thank you all for reading looking! Comment below what you think!
<3 Danielle

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Easiest One Pot Mac 'N' Cheese

Ahh the joys of being a kid. I remember spending every morning watching Sesame Street, and on occasion, Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood.

Often, in the afternoon in the summers, I'd go outside and swing on the swing set shared by my siblings and I, or I would ride my bike down to the playground near my house. When I was lucky, my best friend would be allowed to come over and we'd jump rope.

Winter time was all about sledding. My backyard was sloped, forming the perfect sledding hill. When sledding grew old, me and my brothers and sisters would build snow forts and wage war on each other, with snow balls as ammo. Then when our cheeks and toes were so frozen that we couldn't have anymore fun, we'd go inside and sip hot chocolate by the wood burning stove.

Ahh the joys of being a kid. But wait, there was a terrible part of my childhood. A dark and murky shadow over the highlights of my youth: boxed macaroni and cheese. Blah! Back then, I though it tasted fine. But check the side panel of the box. That list of ingredients? Don't be ashamed if you aren't able to read them, the list and contents of that list are waaaay too long!

So today I am going to share with you a recipe for macaroni and cheese that really does not take much, if any, longer than the boxed junk! This is so easy in fact, that you won't believe that it's at least 1000000 times better than it's packaged  cousin.

The Easiest One Pot Mac 'N' Cheese
3 cups elbow noodles, uncooked
1/3 cup milk of choice ( I used 2%, cow milk)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
6 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt to taste

  1. Cook elbow noodles according to package in a 4 quart saucepan. Strain when done and leave in collander.
  2. In the sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in first the flour to make a roux. Then stir in the milk. Once the milk is very hot, but not yet boiling, stir in the cheese. Continue to stir until melted and sauce is thick, seasoning with salt. 
  3. Return the noodles to the pan and toss with the sauce. 
Enjoy your Mac 'n' Cheese!
<3 Danielle

Layered Berry and Banana Baked Oatmeal

Okay, so I am sorry-not-sorry that I am sharing two oatmeal recipes in a row. These are just sooo amazingly delicious, and I wanted to post them before the fruits go out of season!

My grandma grew up in the Great Depression, and to this day, she does not waste anything. Absolutely nothing. Not an exaggeration.

While this can be an admirable quality that many of us could use more of, it's almost obsessive on my grandma's part. She's walks around her house in the dark to save on the electric bill. Air Conitioning is only for  when company is over. Moldy cheese or bread? Cut off the mold, and eat the rest. But the killer is that after meals, she sweeps the crumbs fallen from the plates onto the table during the meal into her mouth.


I am not nearly that obsessive, but still,if there is a sane way to avoid waste, I try to take it.

So when I saw the bananas in the fruit bowl were on the verge of blackening completely, and the berries in the fridge were not getting any younger either, I decided to make them into a baked oatmeal.

And let me tell you, not wasting food never tasted so good (definitely a lot better than crumbs from a table)

Layered Berry  Banana Baked Oatmeal
2 Very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Milk
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/3- 1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a single-serving ramkin.
  2. Stir together oats, baking powder, and cinnamon. 
  3. Add milk, bananas, and vanilla to the oat mixture. Gently combine.
  4. In the ramkin, layer: strawberries, oatmeal batter, blueberries, strawberries, oatmeal batter, blueberries, oatmeal batter.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is no longer jiggly.
<3 Danielle

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal

Why, oh why is cherry season so short?

Why, oh why do cherries cost so much?

Oh the problems I have. When I do have cherries, I try make the most of them. However, usually my attempts are in vain, as I end up snarfing them down by the handful... oops!

But this year, I managed to save some for this oatmeal! And guess what? It was definitely worth it!

The juice from the cherries spread throughout the oats while cooking, letting off a subtle flavor that pairs well with the chocolate.

So if you have self control enough to save your cherries, try this out. It'll be worth it!

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1.5 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 banana, mashed
12 cherries, pitted and chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk, or milk of choice
  1. In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients except for the almond milk until thickened.
  2. Add almond milk, then bring back to a boil and let thicken again.
  3. let cool slightly before enjoying!
Serves one


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Do chicken nuggets sum up anyone else's childhood? It's not just me, right?


Well, they were always my favorite. Whenever and wherever we went out to eat:
Burger King

.......Just to name a few. But that was before I was very health-consious, obviously.

These little gems I have for you today are much healthier, and baked. To be honest, I've never deep fried anything in my life. Grease just doesn't appeal. At all. I don't even remember the last time that I ate fast food!

Anyway, you should definitely give these a whirl, they are sooooooooooo much better than McDonald's. Although, I guess that's not saying much, but you get the picture.

Chicken Nuggets
2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 eggs
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
2 slices bread (stale is good. if it is super stale, skip step no. 2)
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

  1. In a food processor, grind the chicken until it forms a thick paste. Add the eggs, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp. garlic powder, 2 tbsp. oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt, and combine until everything is evenly distributed. Set aside.
  2. Dry bread out by toasting on low until very stale.
  3. Crumble bread into super small crumbs (this can be done in a food processor). mix with remaining ingredients.
  4. Take chicken mixture 1.5 Tbsp. at a time, form into a slightly flattened ball, and coat in breadcrumb mixture. Placeon a baking sheet lightly greased with coconut oil.
  5. Once all the chicken is used (you'll probably have leftover breadcrumbs. Just throw them away), bake in a preheated (400 degrees Fahrenheit) oven for about ten minutes, or until heated through and golden brown and slightly firm. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying!
I hope you like them as much as I do!

<3 Danielle

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thoughts are Stars

Inspired by the quote from John Green, I painted this piece of art several weeks ago on a day when I was feeling particularly scatter-brained. Lately I have been feeling inspired by starry nights and the moon.

There's just this overwhelming urge I get sometimes to paint an image I get in my head. Does anyone else get that?

I am extremely strong-willed. once an Idea gets into my head, theres only a very small chance of stopping me. For example, although I've never {successfully} sewn an article of clothing, around Easter, I got this idea into my head that I needed to sew myself a new dress. So I went all out. Not only did I sew my vintage-styled dress, but I also designed it. In fact, I was finally able to apply the calculus class I took to real life! But that's for another day. . . .

Whats inspiring you these days?

<3 Danielle

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Hello everyone! Remember my garden with the GIANT cucumbers? 
Well, I had to figure out a way to use all of those cukes up, not to mention the plethora of tomatoes!  So, I made this super simple salad. This is perfect for a party, because it can be made the day before, or ten minutes before! Can't get better than that!

I wish I could say that I grew those onions as well, but last year, when I tried growing onions, they all got eaten up by worms (blah!!!).  Does anyone have any secrets to growing onions? I could use some advice!

Anyway, you should totally make this because it's basically a taste of summer, and we need to stretch summer as long as we possibly can, no matter what the school districts or lawmakers say.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad
1 Large Cucumber, Chopped (about 3 cups)
1 tomato chopped, or twelve grape tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp. basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, store in fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve or up to 3 days.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

How to Cut Mango Like a Pro

Mangos are by far my favourite fruit. Yeah, I probably eat more bananas than any other fruit, but to be given the choice between a banana or a mango, the mango would win hands down.

Unfortunately, much of my life wasted away without the knowledge of how incredible this silky, sweet, juicy perfection is. Why was this?
When I was a kid, my mom never bought mangos. She said they were too much work for not much fruit.

I didn't care too much then, because I had no idea what I was missing out on. But then, one night everything changed. I was probably in seventh grade, and I was over at a friend's house. She cut up mango and offered me a piece. My mom's mango- free reign was beginning it's downfall.

I begged for her to invest in some mangoes, and she gave in. Then came the errors many make:
1) it was under ripe when we cut into it.
2) we attempted to cube their flesh of the fruit while it was still in it's skin
3) we tried to remove the fruit from the skin with a spoon

She stopped buying mango after that.

Years later, I gave them another approach, and this time, I won the battle with the mango. And the rest is history. So for all you mango fearers, here's the secret to success in your match against the tricky mango:

This is the best method, in my opinion, to get the most bang for your buck. Cause mangos are expensive. And I am cheap. 

Also, you're probably not going to want to use a peeler that you got for fifty cents at the dollar store, by the way. Believe me, investing in a good quality peeler will be worth it, not only for mangos, but also potatoes, apples, etc.

So enjoy your mango!

Friday, August 22, 2014

One Pan Stir Fry

Note: sorry this post came a little later in the day than usual, I am out of town staying in a house of no WiFi, so bear with me for the next week or so... I'll do my best to post regularly!

Some nights, I just don't feel like cooking.

Some nights, I have too empty of a pantry to make anything fancy.

Some nights, I just want to eat something delicious, but don't have much time.

Some nights (read: every night), I crave Asian food. 

That's when I make this stir fry.

This is super adaptable:
Don't have the right veggies? Mushrooms, green beans, sugar snap peas, etc. work well
Don't have chicken? Omit  or  substitute cooked pork, tofu, or beans.
No rice? Use quinoa, spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, or your favourite grain.

So, there is no excuses not to make this!

One Pan Stir Fry

2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 cups uncooked rice
3 large carrots
1 head broccoli
2 large stalks celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (I love Little Soya brand)
pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. sriracha sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  1. In a large skillet, simmer rice in water for twenty minutes, or until soft.
  2. While rice cooks, chop vegetables to a uniform size, or as shown in the picture above.
  3. Strain the rice. in the same skillet, steam vegetables until tender, about ten-  fifteen minutes.
  4. Once they are soft, remove steaming liquid from pan, and add rice, chicken, soy sauce, pepper, sriracha, ginger, and vinegar to the vegetables. Heat everything through, and keep heated until serving.
Serves about 6-8

Hope you all like it as much as I do!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Berries 'n' Cream Oatmeal Parfait

Why oh why can't it be summer all year long? Probably because without winter and fall, we wouldn't appreciate summer quite so much. One of my favourite summer features is the fruit. Especially:


I mean, sure, fall has apples and pears, winter is prime for citrus, and spring is the time for rhubarb (at least in my garden), but really? Summer trumps them all.

So here's a recipe calling for berries. Enjoy it now as we cling to the last wisps of summer, or forever hold your peace (because really, winter lasts FOREVER).

Berries 'n' Cream Oatmeal Parfait
Serves one

1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almond milk, or milk of choice
4 strawberries, stems removed
6 blackberries
15 blueberries
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Sweetener of choice to taste, optional
3/4 cup yoghurt of choice
Optional: granola, chocolate chips, more berries, coconut, etc.

1) In a blender or food processor, puree milk, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, sweetener, and vanilla.
2) in a small saucepan, cook oats and milk/berry puree until oats are soft and most of the liquid has absorbed. Cool overnight, or until it's cold. This is sped up if it's placed in a shallow bowl.
3) Layer the oatmeal and yoghurt and optional ingredients in a container. Enjoy immediately.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Autumn Things

Wow, the blogging community has really been embracing autumn! Me? Not so much.

You see, the reason why I dislike fall is because it leads to winter.
This may seem like a strange statement considering that my favorite season is summer, then winter, then spring, then fall. winter is boosted up to second place for several reasons, one being that my business really picks up in the winter (I sell heating pads and greeting cards). 

But the main reason is Christmas, which not only symbolized Jesus's birth, but also it just fills the air with joy and love and cheerfulness.  also, I looove Christmas carols. And Christmas movies. And Christmas lights. And Christmas trees. And egg nog. And Black Friday. 

Back on track. Besides, since winter doesn't start until December 20, most of those things happen in fall. so, maybe I do like it. Except for the weather. I live in the midwest, where we have HOT summers and COLD winters. I'm talking negative degrees, people. And that's in Fahrenheit.

So I decided that to convince myself that autumn is a good thing, I'd make a piece of art.

What you'll need:
cardstock (white)
water colors

1) Using different calligraphies, write fill the page with things you love about fall.

2) Fill the spaces with doodles corresponding to the words

3) Using the watercolors, fill in illustrations or letters to create a busy, somewhat abstract masterpiece.

So, do you like fall?

<3 Danielle

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Summer is most definitely my favorite season. No doubt about it. But every year a small part of me aches for cool winter temperatures. Why? One word: soup. I just don't understand why it's less acceptable to eat soup in summer than it is in winter? It tastes delicious year round! Sure, it's hot food, but then again, so are hotdogs, burgers, and baked beans, and those are traditional American summer foods. Hmmm...

Anyway, although I've never been a "rule breaker" when we had a few cooler days last week, I wasted no time. This cauliflower soup is so simple, yet so yum. There are no chunks, if that bothers you, add some extra steamed cauliflower after blending. 
{excuse my chipped nail polish}
So if your like to break rules, if you like soup, or if you get a blast of cooler weather, be sure to put this on your to do list. 

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

2 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup rice, uncooked
6 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 c. unsweetened milk of choice (I used cows' milk)

  1. In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, melt the butter, then add the onions, cooking them until they become translucent. Add rice and 4 cups of the broth and heat them until they boil. After reducing heat, simmer for 20 minutes. Add the salt and pepper before pureeing.
  2. Steam the cauliflower in one inch of water until slightly tender. Remove the cauliflower, but leave the water to reduce to less than one cup.
  3. Puree the cauliflower and the reduced cauliflower water, adding a little of the already pureed soup base, if necessary.
  4. Mix the soup base and the pureed cauliflower in the saucepan. Then add the extra broth and milk. Heat through, adding any extra salt and pepper if needed.
This keeps about a week in the fridge.

optional: Add some larger chunks of  steamed cauliflower to the finished soup if the lack of chunks bothers you. I rarely do this.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tips for Homeschoolers Part One

Wow. School's starting already... where did the summer go?

For some kids, this means getting on the bus every weekday, and heading off to a building of learning, friends, lockers, and school lunches (blah)...

for others, this means heading to the kitchen table and opening a textbook to be taught by their parents.

I personally for my entire education was lucky enough to be in the latter category, so today I am going to be giving some tips for homeschool moms (or dads!).

(Although I do not have any children yet myself, I do hope to homeschool some day.)

  1. Be firm. Make it to your children that school hours are school hours, and TV, extracurricular activities, and such need to be saved for after school hours. For some families, The parent will set a time at which school hours will start and end (such as 9 AM- 3PM), or some set a quota of what needs to be done that day (as in one unit of history, 30 math problems, and so on) and once the quota is met, then school hours end. I personally believe that the second one is more efficient for students who tend to get distracted and are not as dedicated to their work, because it helps them to stay motivated to finish their work.
  2. Become connected with other homeschoolers. From the third grade on, I was involved with a homeschool co-op (attending classed taught by other homeschool parents. The one I attended met once a week), and it helped me to be able to work with others. As a parent, it will be a time to connect with other homeschool parents and receive suggestions on curriculums, techniques, and to receive support. Also, say math isn't your strong suit, as your children get older it will get more difficult to teach them math, so co-ops allow those parents who have math talent to teach your children instead.
  3. Have fun. Yes, school can be fun, and the more your child enjoys it, the more likely he will thrive in school. See a science experiment that involves making a solar system out of marshmallows and gum balls? Go for it, make school fun!
  4. Cirriculum suggestions: Different curriculums work differently for different people, but These are the ones that I love most:
Math: Saxon
Science: Apologia
History/ Geography: Alpha and Omega (Lifepacs)
Grammer: Easy Grammar

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Baked Oatmeal

Well do I have a treat for you! I went into making this without high expectations, but as soon as the first forkful passed my lips, I was in foodie heaven.

Normally, no matter what anybody claims, "hidden" bananas in recipes can be detected from miles away, even if your name is not Sherlock Holmes. And unfortunately, it seems, the less one likes bananas, the better they are at tasting them. Me? I adore them in recipes, as you may have noticed, but I only tolerate them plain, as the flavor os just mediocre, in my opinion. Does anyone else find the aftertaste disgusting?

Anyway, the banana is barely detectable. I say barely because although I could faintly taste it, the flavor blended in so well with the lemon and blueberries that it definitely would have taken home a medal for hide and seek. Does anyone else think hide and seek should be an Olympic Sport? Gosh, that would be fun to watch!

Back on track, Danielle..... okay, so all that to say, seriously, make this. You will not be dissappointed. IT'S LITERALLY THE BEST!

Blueberry Lemon Poppy Seed Baked Oatmeal
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Poppy seeds
Zest of one lemon
2 tsp. Lemon juice
1/3 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 large ripe banana, mashed
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 heaping cup blueberries

1) Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
2) In a small bowl, stor together first five ingredients.
3) Gently mix in almond milk, banana, lemon juice, and extract, in that order
4) Fold in blue berries.
5) Bake in a greased single serving ramkin until the center is no longer wet, anywhere from 20-30 minutes.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lyric Art

Have you seen this floating around Pinterest? Well it just so happens that it was created by yours truly last year. If you look on the far right towards the bottom, you'll notice my signature hidden within the floral crowd. 

The quote is from a Mumford and Sons song, and I think it is really an important snippet of wisdom to keep in mind as I invest time in my passions. 

Please do not make prints without permission.

<3 Danielle

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Right Way to Crack an Egg

I know, I know, you're thinking, "what on earth? Everyone knows how to crack an egg!)

Well, I always thought I did too:

1. Hit egg against rim of bowl.

2. Put fingers in crack and pull apart.

3. Let white and yolk fall into the bowl.

4. Fish out egg shell bits.

I guess the "right way" might be common knowledge, but I didn't discover it until a few days ago, so just pretend like you're interested.

What I was doing wrong:
    Cracking it on the rim of the bowl...
                                                               goes so. Much. Better. When you crack it on a flat surface. This make it have the perfect sized web of cracks to put your thumbs in before pulling the two halves of egg shell apart. Really.

You're bored? Oh... Sorry.... I thought it was pretty smart.... I'll try to keep my post a a bit more interesting in the future...

 Question of the day: was this news to you, or have you always done it this way?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

5 Things I Look for in a Blog

Okay, I follow a TON of blogs. A TON. But even so, I have my standards. And now that I too am a blogger, I'm setting my goal to change these standard into personal goals for my blog. So I thought I'd share them with you all today.

«1» Consistency. Consistency to me is probably the most important thing a blog should have. I don't like to follow blogs that post something every daybfor a week, take three months off, and then post two more posts, take a week or two off, post five posts, and so on. After a while, I just stop checking in if there's no new content for a long time.

«2» Good photos. Yes, yes, I know, I need to work at this one. But it really is a draw when the photos are well taken.

«3» Variety. Some blogs are dedicated to one thing, such as varieties of oatmeal which is awsome, but if a desserts blog only posts a million different variations of, say, mud buddies (AKA puppy chow), it becomes rather monotonous.

«4» Good blogger-reader relationships. I'm not so sure how I am at this yet, but I really like it when bloggers can be personal with their readers.

«5» Easy to navigate. As you may have noticed, the format of my blog has been changing rather frequently. I want to have a site that's easy to use.  What do you think of the set-up I currently have? Should I change it?

Thanks for reading!