April 8, 2014

Recipe: Harvest Grains Salad with Feta and Spinach

This recipe came from our friends Kaylee + John who made it for a Superbowl party. I've had it saved in my phone and had been meaning to re-create it and I finally got that chance over the weekend. Originally made with quinoa, I ended up switching up some ingredients based on what I had in the kitchen. I used the Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe's that had been sitting in my pantry for a few months now, just waiting to be used. The blend mixes together Israeli couscous, split dried garbanzo beans, orzo and quinoa - super hearty and filled with good whole grains. 

This salad is good just on its own - I've been piling it with spinach and love the salty crunches of cashew with the sweetness of the raisins. Make a whole batch on Sunday and you've got lunch for the rest of the week! 

Harvest Grains Salad with Feta and Spinach
  • 2 cups cooked Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend, cooled (Quinoa would be good too!)
  • 1 cup golden raisins or cranberries
  • 1 cup cashews, broken into pieces
  • 4 oz of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

for the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp water
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Mix the cooled Harvest Grains, raisins, cashews and feta up. For the dressing, whisk up all the ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour dressing over the salad mix and stir to combine. When ready to serve, stir in the spinach. Makes 5-6 large portions.

March 11, 2014

ellie's favorite things

dog things

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

It's been seven months since we've got our little Ellie bean and she has grown up way too fast!  Through this harsh winter, we tried to get her to the dog park if it was anywhere above 10 degrees - which felt like never. If we had to spend evenings indoors, we tried to tire the girl out with tricks + treats and lots of "catch" inside the house. Puppies of all kinds tend to have a lot of energy and since our girl is an Australian Shepard, she is FILLED with energy. Honestly, she could be at daycare all day, come home exhausted, take a 5 min nap and be ready to play again.

This girl loves to play tug and catch, though she is not the best about bringing the ball back. We found that she loves to chew on Simply Orange containers so the Crunchcore (4) was the perfect toy for her. She also loves her peanut butter or cream cheese filled Kongs (8) + bully sticks (5). Since the pup has a sensitive stomach, she has been sticking to a grain-free diet and pumpkin pops (frozen pumpkin) as a treat. These are just a few of Ellie's favorite things.

November 20, 2013

Winter Puppy Things

Snow is coming. Weather reports are saying that Thursday will be the first official snow fall and I cannot wait! Ellie, on the other hand, has yet to experience snow in all its 2-foot glory. A couple weeks ago when it sleeted, all she did was try and eat the flurries. We see dogs at the park with outwear but haven't decided if she needs it quite because 1. she has quite a bit of fur. 2. will she hate us for it? 3. Joe totally hates the idea. Though the full on coat may be out of the question, I think she still might need some winter booties. Here are some things I've been eyeing.

winter dog gear


September 19, 2013

Aimee's Braised Green Beans

These green beans. These green beans are inspired by Saffron - the restaurant I went to for my birthday last year and was recommended by my friend Aimee. Ever since visiting Saffron, we've both talked about their slow cooked green beans. Then one day, Aimee came into work and said that she finally found a good re-creation and sent me the recipe. So here it is! You can just let these green beans sit on the stove on Sunday evening and have that smell warm up your home.

Aimee's Braised Green Beans
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 12 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 whole garlic cloves, smashed but still intact
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 cinnamon
  • Pinch of all spice
  • Black Pepper

In a large skillet w/ straight sides set over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, garlic and pinch of black pepper. Cook the onions down, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and all spice. Stir and cook for a few minutes. 

Add green beans and stir well, making sure to coat beans in oil and spices. Stir in crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and cook for 50-60 minutes -- no need to check on them.  If you want to reduce the sauce a bit after braising turn up the heat to medium high, remove the lid, and reduce to desired consistency. Serve hot or cold.