Fast food

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Sautéed portobellos, red cabbage, carrots, and onion. Sprinkle some liquid aminos and add a pinch of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. If you really want to kick it up a notch, you can wrap this in collard green leaves! Yum-mayyy!

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Get Churning! Homemade Butter

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Making butter invokes visions of sitting on the front porch of an old farmhouse on a warm summer day churning away. Well, for me at least, it did. But, thanks to modern technology (yay, Kitchenaid!) you really don’t have to do much of anything to create smooth, creamy butter in a matter of minutes.

To make one cup of butter you will need two cups of heavy cream.* Simply, place the cream in the mixer bowl and using the whisk attachment begin to mix the cream. Start on the lowest setting gradually moving up. Be careful, because the cream can splash if you move up too fast! Once the cream forms hard peaks and begins to turn into butter, change to the beater attachment. You will know when to do this because the butter will clump up, leaving buttermilk at the bottom of the bowl. Stop and pour the buttermilk into a container to be used for something else (I use mine to make biscuits). Start mixing again. While the butter is mixing get a glass of ice water and pour a small amount of water into the bowl. After a couple rotations stop and pour the water out. The water will have a milky appearance. Repeat the water step a few times until it runs clear. This will ensure that you have removed all of the buttermilk from the butter. Take a wooden spoon and press down on the butter to squeeze out as much of the water that you can. After you squeeze out all of the water, you’re done! Place the butter into a container and put it in the fridge.

If you want to get fancy you can add various herbs or honey to make flavored butters to use on breads or meats. The process is the same, you just add them after the water has been squeezed out. All in all, the process should take about 5 minutes.

* Heavy cream is the thick, fat-rich part of milk, which rises to the top when milk is fresh and is skimmed off. You can find the cream in grocery stores, farmers markets, and the like. I bought the Giant store brand. It was 1.99 for one pint. The next time I make the butter I will buy the quart size that way I can make a couple batches for just 2 dollars more.

30-Day AB Challenge

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Over the last few months I have been making an effort to eat a clean diet (aside from a few cheat days!) and exercise. While making better food choices hasn’t been a problem, sticking to an exercise regime has proven to be a bit more difficult. I have found that my issue with exercising is not the act itself, it’s making it a part of my daily schedule. I think that if I treat exercise as another aspect of my day, like lunch or checking my email, I will stick to it. So, along that vein, I will be utilizing monthly  challenges to assist me in my fitness goals! Since bikini season is near, I figured an ab challenge would be a great start. Today, May 1st, will be the 1st day of the challenge. Do you have any fitness challenges? How do you get/stay in shape?

30 day ab challenge

Playing Catch-up

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Playing catch-up, yet again…

I have been such a bad blogger! I have been focused on work and in the midst of making some professional changes and have not had the time (or drive) to post. I have to admit that losing all the work I put in on my first blog took a lot of the wind out of my sails. I am promising you, and myself, to do better!

Aside from work, I have been redesigning my backyard vegetable garden. I’m really excited able all the changes that are taking place. There’s still more to do before the season gets into full swing, but here are a few pictures of the garden so far:

Emergency Fund Challenge

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Emergency Fund Challenge!

If you’ve been on Facebook at all for the last week I’m sure you’ve seen this picture floating around. It’s called the 52 Week Challenge and the goal is to show you how much you can save in a calendar year, one dollar at a time. What makes this method a bit easier to swallow than some others (i.e. saving a set amount each week) is that you start small and ease into saving larger quantities later. This is great for those who don’t have much disposable income* (especially right after the holidays!), and/or not in the habit of saving. I just put my first dollar away! My goal is to beef up my emergency fund, but you could use it for just about anything! 🙂

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*Since you start with such a small amount, you could add extra whenever necessary to cover the greater amount due later in the year. Think of it as a “pre-deposit”!