Sunday, June 30, 2013

For the love of Avocados...

We are in LOVE with Avocados!

We LOVE eating them plain with a little salt and pepper.
We LOVE putting them on top of our delicious lunch-time salads.
We LOVE making homemade Guacamole with them!  

I used to be afraid of Guacamole and Avocados, worrying about how loaded with fat they are.
HOWEVER, they have the GOOD fats that our body needs! 

I have learned that fats are not the enemies to our bodies that we once thought they were.
Here is just one of many articles stating the wonderful health benefits to why we should be including more avocados in our diets.

Guacamole is as easy to make 
as putting ingredients in your blender 
and blending until smooth, 
letting it chill and then dipping chips in it!

Creamy Guacamole 
1/2 cup sour cream
3 avocados peeled and seeded 
2 cloves garlic 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
Juice of one lime 
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (OR, you could add in freshly chopped jalapeno)
1/4 tsp. cumin
(salt and pepper to taste) 
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Put in container with tight sealing lid in the fridge and let chill for at least an hour.
Top with chopped green onions and tomatoes.
Dish into bowls, dip chips in 
and ENJOY!  
We can't get enough avocados...
We can't get enough Guacamole...
especially during the hot summer months!

SO glad that something that we love so much 
has added health benefits as well!
Enjoy some yummyness today!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Salmon... it's what's for dinner!

 We are a family 
that LOVES salmon!  
In fact, salmon usually 
graces our table at least once a week.
It is usually served with baked sweet potatoes, or steamed broccoli or other veggies.
Sometimes, it's just grilled up and put on top of our green salad.

However, it's always a treat when we take our salmon,
grind it up and make it into delicious burgers!
(both of my boys chose this for their birthday dinners these past two years). 

From baking the buns to making the burgers...
every step is SO easy!
AND, best of all, they are 
delicious, healthy and something that tastes like a restaurant!

Yummy BBQ Salmon Burgers 
1 pound fresh salmon (I buy frozen salmon filets and just defrost and then pull off the skin if it still has the skin on)
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs 
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, OR, Asiago Cheese 
2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce 
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard 
3 cloves garlic finely minced.  
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. onion powder 
(homemade buns HERE for recipe) 

Put salmon in a food processor and pulse until it's slightly ground.
Put salmon in a large metal bowl and add in other ingredients mix until combined. 
(I just use my hands so I can get everything all blended together really good). 
Form into 4-6 patties (depending upon how large you want them).
Heat a large skillet (add in a drop or two of olive oil). 
Put patties in skillet and cook on medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side.
YUMMIEST when served on homemade buns, 
with mayo and LOTS of BBQ sauce.
Also, top with lettuce, red onions and tomatoes!

If you like salmon,
if you like burgers, 
you'll be sure to love these!
Enjoy a taste of heaven today!

Monday, June 24, 2013

It's a beautiful life...

(Beautiful Irises blooming in my sister-in-laws yard)
Life is beautiful and wonderful 
and this week was exceptionally so!

It was filled to the brim with 
Beautiful flowers...
The skull of a Yak...
Water Fun and picnic with my YW girls...
First day of summer...
Gorgeous sunsets
and the SUPER MOON
Getting up close and personal with wind turbines...
A nature hike on a Sunday evening...

I love this quote and it is SO very true:
"Too many times in our lives we get too concerned with the things that we don't have to appreciate the things in life that we do have that make life the most beautiful. Think of all of the beauty that is still left around you and be happy". 
~~Anne Frank  
 My "Miss Kim Lilac" bush in my yard,
 is blooming hearts.
The way the clusters come together, 
there are lots of heart shapes on the bush. 
Makes me smile... Makes me happy, 
OH and it smells wonderful as well!
You can tell we live in the country
 when we came across this sight on one of our walks!

Water FUN and picnic 
with some of my favorite 12 & 13 year-old girls!
Beautiful purple flowers
 and a unique stone path at the BYU-I gardens!

(YES, I'm a crazy nut as I couldn't resist, taking off my shoes and laying down and snapping a photo!)
I love the unique building 
where I get my hair cut.
This old sign and gnarly piece of wood
 always catch my eye, every time I come here.
Friday June 21st...
First day of summer 
and the longest day of the year!
Summer Lovin'...

I can't believe how small Jade looks 
standing next to this wind turbine 
that stands over 220 feet tall! 
We took a detour on the way home from Idaho Falls 
and were amazed by the size and the sheer number of wind turbines! 
Turbines as far as the eye could see and what a beautiful drive as well! 
(It's no wonder we can see their blinking red lights 
from our bedroom window each night).

Gorgeous colors in the sky...
SUPER moon rising
and MORE amazing sky colors!
I had to stay outside 
until the sun was completely set 
because it was so beautiful  
and I didn't want to miss a minute of it!

I love weekends with my family...
I love nature! 
I love when all three are experienced together! 
Thanks to Ethan who begged that all he wanted to do was go on a hike this weekend, we enjoyed the best nature hike on Sunday evening! We're lucky that 15 minutes from our house we can be enjoying such beauty. It's not the Tetons, but, it feeds the soul just the same! 
 "I go to nature to be soothed and healed
 and to have my senses put in order..."
Anne Frank was really on to something 
when she quoted that...
YES, notice and appreciate the beauty 
that is ALL around us and be happy!
as you can see, beauty is EVERYWHERE 
not just in flowers!

Happy and Beautiful 
week to you my friends! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Delicious Summertime Strawberry Recipes

I love everything that's associated with it!! 

I love grilling on the grill.
I love garden fresh salads.
I love homemade Popsicles, homemade milk shakes and cold refreshing drinks.
I love flying the flag, fireworks, sunrises and sunsets. 
I love wearing sandals and the long summer days 
where it's still light at 10:00 at night.
I love all of the beautiful flowers in my yard.
I love backpacking and hiking!!

I thought I would share 
some of my strawberry favorites...
Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Lemonade
Strawberry Banana Milkshake
Strawberry Salad Dressing 
Strawberry Topped Summer-Time Salad 
From Scratch Strawberry Pie 

(in a heavy sauce pan mix the following)
1 cup water
2/3 cup OR 3/4 cup sugar (depending how sweet your strawberries are)
1/4 cup Corn Starch
1/4 tsp salt
(whisk together to make sure there are no lumps)

Bring above ingredients to boil and then add in:
1 cup crushed strawberries

2 Tbsp butter
Continue cooking until heated through...
Remove from heat and add in:
2 tsp. vanilla
Let cool slightly 
Prepare pie crust (here for my favorite pie crust recipe)
Cover the bottom of cooked crust with a little bit of glaze.
Fill baked pie crust with fresh strawberries
Pour glaze over the top of strawberries (add a few more strawberries to the top 

and chill 2-3 hours.
Serve with whipped cream.
Enjoy Strawberry Pie
without using a box of "Junket" for the glaze!
You'll be amazed at how yummy and how easy it is.
 Strawberry Lemonade
(The perfect amount for a family of four...
Double the batch, to make a gallon for more people.)

2 quarts water
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Citric Acid
2 capfuls of Lemon Extract
1 large lemon sliced
1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
Stir together well.
Let chill for at least one to two hours and then pull out the lemons

(if the lemons are in the drink for longer than 2 hours, they will make it bitter).

Strawberry Banana Milkshake
1 cup milk
4 cups strawberries (leave the tops on as the green tops provide some great Chlorophyll)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 bananas
2 cups of ice
Blend together in your Vita-Mix until thick and smooth.
Pour into glasses, add a straw and sip away!
It's amazing how yummy this tastes, it's healthy as well and the most amazing thing, is that it doesn't have any ice cream in it.

Strawberry Dressing 
1/2 cup strawberries
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, (OR, Raspberry Vinegar)  
1-2 Tbsp. white sugar 
1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds 
Put in blender and blend until smooth. Chill.

Summer Salads are SO great! 

You can add whatever garden produce you have to them and they always taste delicious!
This time of the year, spinach is VERY abundant and so that is the base of our salads.
Add in fresh fruit, 
some kind of meat (salmon and chicken are always a hit) 
Toss in whatever other veggies you like,
Sprinkle on some chopped nuts and or sliced cheese
(you can even form the salad into a cute heart shape)
Drizzle with some homemade Strawberry Dressing
and wow  
You have a delicious salad that is filling and really hits the spot!

Whether you are swimming in an abundance of strawberries from your garden, OR, you are taking advantage of the sales at the store on strawberries this time of the year,  
bring joy, taste delicious and can be enjoyed for each meal from breakfast to dinner!