Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes {National Blueberry Pancake Day with Driscoll's}

Did you know today is National Blueberry Pancake Day?!?

Pancakes are never my first choice, especially when going out to eat. That is until I tried the pancakes at Mimi's Cafe. I craved those pancakes all the time. Perfectly fluffy, creamy, and didn't turn to mush when drizzled with syrup.

Sadly though, Mimi's in Des Moines closed more than six months ago. I didn't even get a chance to go there one last time. I drove by one day and it was just empty. :(

Since Mimi's wasn't an option anymore, I was back to being indifferent about pancakes. I mean, I wouldn't turn them down, but they weren't my first choice either.

That all changed though when I put this recipe together! These pancakes are the perfect combo of ingredients and are now my new favorite pancake recipe! A great replacement for the Mimi's breakfast I'm still missing.

I knew National Pancake Day was coming up and I just had a basic recipe rolling around in my head. I planned on dressing them up with some props and blueberries to make the pictures pretty. Although when driving the other day, the thought of adding buttermilk to the recipe popped into my head. Directly behind it, the idea of pairing lemon with the blueberries also came. I was sold! Lemon and blueberry is a great combo to bring out this time of year when everything is dreary and gray. The end product turned out delicious!

Blueberry, Lemon, Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes 4 large, thick pancakes.

1 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Mix butter, egg, and buttermilk until mixed well.
2. Add vanilla, lemon juice, zest, and sugar. Mix well.
3. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Fold in blueberries.
5. Add 1/2 cup or so of batter to heated skillet over medium heat. Flip when bubbles appear in batter. Let cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from pan. Top pancakes with powdered sugar or maple syrup.

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Driscoll's. I was compensated for my time and also with Driscoll's berry coupons. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

This Weekend I...{January 23-25, 2015}

This weekend was a great one!

had pizza from one of my favorite places, Casey's! Yes, a convenience store in this area, but they also make some the best pizza around!

stocked up on my favorite Valentine's candies. After getting a text message from my dad requesting I deliver his some cherry hearts the next time I come home, I figured it was time I bought myself some of the seasonal candy that is out this time of year. I have eaten these every Valentine's Day for as long as I can remember. A must-have this time of year in our house when I was growing up.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III on Friday night after our pizza and a walk with the dogs. A couple weekends ago we watched the new remake that was just released. That had Tim and I reminiscing over the old ones from the early 90's. A search on Amazon and I found the set! Last weekend we watched I and II, and this weekend we finished up the series. Such good memories! Josh was more than obsessed with the Ninja Turtles when we were little. So fun watching the movies again. Annnnd I found the cartoons on Amazon Prime!

took the dogs for some play time! Saturday morning it was too nice not to be outside and the dogs definitely need more exercise this time of year so after breakfast we headed out to the dog park so Squeaky and Ciera could run around for awhile.

Before we left the dog park, we explored the beach area by the lake.

met up with some friends, Jamie and Megan, for lunch! Sadly, though, this pic of my salad is the only one I have from our meetup.

saw a dance show, Diavolo, at Des Moines Performing Arts Saturday night. My friend Summer invited Kaydin and I to the show and we happily took her up on her offer. I love seeing shows there and a dance themed one was right up Kaydin's alley.

straightened Kaydin's hair Sunday morning. We rarely time the time since it takes so long, but it's nice to do it in this weather since there's no humidity. Makes it look that much better.

took a quick trip to the mall, Costco, and Home Goods by myself after I dropped Kaydin off at a birthday party.

snacked on perfectly red and juicy strawberries (and unpictured blueberries and blackberries) from said trip to Costco. They have some really high quality berries in our store right now.

made an easy dinner with just these two ingredients. Roasted spaghetti squash topped with a pasta sauce I found at Aldi this fall. The squash had been hanging out on the counter for a few months now and I finally thought it sounded good. Super easy dinner on a Sunday night is always a win!

ended Sunday evening with a nutrient packed dessert, vanilla chia seed pudding. Made with almond milk, vanilla extract, honey, maple syrup and chia seeds. (Based off Cassie's recipe.)

And that was our great weekend with some pretty awesome January weather! Topping out around 45-50 degrees, I will definitely take it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hello, Hi, Hey There!



Hey there!!!

It's been a long time. Too long. But such is life!

Let's just jump right in and ignore the fact I've been absent for a few weeks, shall we, and I'll let ya know what's been going on!

First and most exciting, I'm headed to Colorado this spring for Blend! So excited already! Can't wait to see everyone! #blend2015

And speaking of CO, I still need to get my act together, upload some pics, and tell you guys about our trip there last summer.

I found this Instagram account, tonight. Follow it. So funny!...and a little disturbing.

Another awesome Instagram you need to follow, yourshittyfamily. Such crazy, but actual texts. Has me rolling!

Ok, sticking with the screen time theme, I LOVE the new TV show, How to Get Away with Murder. So good, so addicting. I had been saving up episodes to watch over the time between Christmas and New Year's. Now that I've seen some episodes, I don't know how I was able to hold off for that long. If you are not watching it yet, start!

I got my seed catalog in the mail a few weeks ago and earlier this week I finally flipped through and made a list of what I want to grow this year. So excited! Soon I plan to get a post out there documenting my 2014 garden.

Another post I owe you is the one for Kaydin's 8th birthday. Yes, this little girl is 8!!
I've been making fruit and yogurt parfaits for breakfast. Super easy and perfectly portable to take to the office every morning. Just some plain Greek yogurt, a little honey and whatever frozen fruit you'd like.

Hmmm, what else can I share....?

Well, I am definitely ready for spring. I'm over winter and ready for some warmer temps, green grass, the growing season, outdoor activities, and strolling through the farmer's markets. Even though it's been pretty warm here in Iowa, I know it's not gonna last and we've still got about 6-8 more weeks of the winter season. Oh well, one of the things I actually do like about where I live is the changing of the seasons and experiencing four distinct seasons every year. I wouldn't be sad though if winter abruptly disappeared a couple weeks after Christmas.

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

How have you all been lately? What's new?? :)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Black Bean Baked Tofu Chopped Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing {+Nasoya Tofu Giveaway}

This is the perfect recipe for January 1. Light, healthy, full of nutrients. And best of all totally delicious!

I'm guessing everyone is feeling like me right about now. Indulging in their last treat of 2014 and ready to turn the corner to 2015 that features lighter fare. December and the holiday season is always fun and I never feel guilty about all the seasonal treats. Believe me, I do not hold back.

I'm one that does not believe making certain foods off-limits. Balance is key. But after a few weeks of higher-than-normal sugar consumption, I am more than ready to turn to some meals and snacks of the lighter, healthier variety. This recipe is the perfect option for your first meal to come down off of your sugar high.

Plus it's a simple recipe. Just what you need to help keep those healthy habits. Most often people fall off track from healthy eating and that's sometimes because the extra effort can be overwhelming. This recipe doesn't require much hands on time, only a short bake in the oven and assembling a salad. Easy peasy!

And to make this salad even easier, choose Nasoya's new product, TofuBaked. This comes already baked and flavored! I searched high and low for this new variety but couldn't find it in any of my local grocery stores. It is available in many, many areas though so hopefully you have better luck than I.

Organic Sesame Ginger TofuBaked

I settled for their Black Bean Tofu Plus variety. One I hadn't tried before and I loved it! Great texture and flavor. I found this at Whole Foods.

Organic Black Soybean TofuPlus

Black Bean Baked Tofu Chopped Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 package organic black bean tofu (or any other soy tofu is ok. Firm or extra firm is best.)

1. Drain water from package of tofu.
2. Chop tofu into cubes and put into a medium size bowl.
3. Mix all ingredients minus the tofu in a small bowl.
4. Pour liquid mix over tofu cubes and lightly toss.
5. Cover and let sit overnight or at least a few hours.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay out on baking sheet in a single layer.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 8 ounces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp honey

Mix all ingredients in a mason jar or other glass jar with a lid. Shake well.

Makes 1 large salad
2 cups chopped coleslaw mix (I used Dole chopped salad, Asian Blend)
1/2 cup tofu cubes
2 tbsp dressing
1 tsp of sesame seeds
1 tbsp green onions, chopped

Want to try Nasoya's new TofuBaked or other tofu variety? Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was given coupons for free Nasoya product in exchange for a review and hosting a giveaway. All opinions are my own.