St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Food

St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #stpatricksday #green #partyfood

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! Here are 10 fun food and treat ideas you can serve that your friends and family will get a kick out of.

St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas: Green Candied Popcorn by Find Your Happiness via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

Green Candied Popcorn via Find Your Happiness

 

St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas: Shamrock Tortilla Chips by Pizzazzerie at Spiced via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #stpatricksday #green #partyfood

Shamrock Tortilla Chips by Pizzazzerie via Spiced

 

St Patrick's Day Food Ideas: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies by Life in the Lofthouse via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies via Life in the Lofthouse

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The Olympic Games Party Treat Ideas

The Olympic Games Party Treat Ideas via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight! Here are some last minute treat ideas you can serve that will make the games just a little more fun to watch.

The Olympic Games Party Treat Ideas: Rice Krispie Treats via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com
Olympic Colors Rice Krispies Treat via Rice Krispies®

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Football Food – Appetizer Ideas

Super Bowl Sunday is on February 2nd! Who are you rooting for this year!?

Super Bowl Sunday Appetizer Ideas via Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.com #superbowl #football #appetizers

Food is a huge part of game day! So, I have rounded up 10 amazing appetizers that will make you want it to be Super Bowl Sunday every day.

Football Food: Buffalo Beer Cheese Fries via Bake Your Day Buffalo Beer Cheese Fries via Bake Your Day

 

Football Food: Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread via Just a Taste Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread via Just a Taste

 

Football Food: Super[Bowl] Food Guacamole via The Emerging Foodie  | Ashley Hackshaw / lilblueboo.comSuper[Bowl] Food Guacamole via The Emerging Foodie
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Quinoa Tabouli (or Tabouleh) Recipe

Quinoa Tabouli (or Tabouleh) Recipe adapted from Costco via lilblueboo.com #recipe #quinoa #tabouli #recipe

One of my favorite things to eat in the whole world is tabouli. I eat it with water crackers, with chicken, anything. Costco used to carry Hannah’s but ours stopped. Costco makes its own too…but only during the summer months. Trader Joe’s makes some but I end up tweaking the mixture (plus I eat the whole container in one sitting). So I came up with a blended version…and it’s yummy. I eat it alone or sprinkle with feta cheese and pine nuts.

When I prepare it I don’t really measure anything but if I had to approximate it you’ll need:

2 cups white quinoa (dry, will yield about 4-5 cups when cooked)
1/2 of an English cucumber
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch of fresh parsley
2 lemons worth of juice, squeezed (or about 1/2 cup)
1 tbsp garlic salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
fresh ground black pepper

Optional:
Feta cheese
Pine nuts

1. Prepare the quinoa the night before (according to directions) and leave it to chill in the refrigerator overnight. (you can prepare it the same day, but I prefer the texture once it’s been chilled)

2. Finely chop the parsley. Mix into the quinoa.

3. Chop the peppers into small 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces and add to the mixture.

4. Chop the cucumber into small 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces and add to the mixture.

5. Mix in: garlic salt, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper.

Enjoy!

It keeps for several days, so I usually make a large bowl of it and it lasts for lunch and snacks during the week: [Read more…]

Choosing Health: The Joy of Energy

I want to be healthy so that I have energy.  I want to feel good. I used to crash diet, and starve myself, run marathons and tri-atholons….never with the idea of getting healthy. It was always with a goal of having the perfect body. It was like chasing the wind.   My mother-in-law used to tell me: it’s not what you are eating, it’s what’s eating you.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness….  -Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

There are always so many new resolutions in January to get healthy or get in shape. I stopped those long, long ago.  A heard a guy on the radio yesterday say he’d been in the gym for 10 days straight, and had even forgotten to take the price tags off his gym clothes.  That sounds familiar.  I used to start out with good intentions, but the problem was I jumped in all crazy.  I finally figured out that I needed to just make small changes here and there…otherwise I’d burn out, and quickly.

New Year's Baby Steps on a Healthy Year, Whole Foods, and an Active Family... A wonderful cycle if it's strengthened. #quote #theyearofjoy

Me On Exercise: I try to hike as often as possible…with my husband, as a family, or with a friend. It makes the time pass quickly and I tend to push myself a little more. My goal is 4 days a week and it usually ends up being about 2. Sometimes 1.  A quick walk around the block is perfect sometimes.  Mr. LBB and I both have the 7 minute app. I try to do that at least once a week. One workout fit into 7 minutes. Boo loves it.

Me On Eating: We try to prepare dinner and eat together as a family every night. Not only is it quality time together but we are more aware of what we eat. The preparation changes our orientation to our food. We eat as much raw, living food as possible.  As we make small gradual improvements, they stick. I love visiting the farmers market and trying new vegetables from Trader Joe’s and Clark’s.  I try to stick to the simplest of preparation so that we avoid MSG, preservatives, and sodium.  Food I used to crave seems intolerable now. Boo lights candles at dinner…it’s a celebration of gratitude.  I think the food you eat, and how it’s prepared, should be filled with joy.

Love yourself and love your body by choosing health this year over dieting.

There is joy in energy, and energy in joy.

As a family we’ve started to incorporate little things over the last 12 months to make them habits. And it has to be natural and easy, otherwise we will drift off the path. We tried juicing but it just took too much time. It doesn’t mean we failed, we just shifted our focus to work for us.  Now we use make smoothies with a hand blender. We all have our different preferences too…this one’s mine:

 

The Green Colada: healthy smoothie recipe with pina colada taste #smoothie #healthy #recipe

I switch up ingredients but this is my basic recipe: [Read more…]

Easy Holiday Appetizer Ideas

10 Easy Appetizer Ideas for you next Holiday Party via lilblueboo.com

 

 

The holiday season is upon us. Here are 10 easy appetizer ideas that will surely impress your guests or party host!

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Baked Goat Cheese Salad

Baked Goat Cheese Salad via lilblueboo.com #recipe #appetizer #salad

This is another favorite around the LBB household: Baked Goat Cheese Salad

If you don’t like goat cheese….good….more for the rest of us!

It’s a quick and easy meal to quickly throw together. Sometimes it morphs into different variations but the basic ingredients remain the same.

Basic ingredients:
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Grape Tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
Mixed Greens for Salad

I make my own balsamic vinaigrette from scratch (recipe found here).

Optional: Grilled Chicken, Pine Nuts

PREHEAT OVER TO 350 DEGREES

grape tomatoes and goat cheese from Trader Joe's via lilblueboo.com

First I take a handful of tomatoes and slice them to butterfly and lay them out onto parchment paper on a baking pan. [Read more…]

Lentil Bruschetta Recipe

Easy appetizer: Lentil Bruschetta #recipe #appetizer via lilblueboo.com

 

I went to a party at my sister-in-law’s house last year and she made lentil bruschetta.  I ate 78.67% of the bowl.  It’s pretty much the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  I didn’t even know there were lentils in the recipe until after I’d eaten it all.

The recipe is really not a recipe….it’s just mixing 2 items from Trader Joe’s together into a bowl.  Both are from the refrigerated section: Fresh Bruschetta Sauce and Steamed Lentils

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Homemade Pizza Bar

Homemade pizza bar (and a few recipes) via lilblueboo.com

 

Last night we set up a pizza bar and made mini pizzas. We recently got a new extra large pizza stone from Williams-Sonoma that could fit several pizzas at once in the oven. We leave it in the oven all the time……it just needs to be moved based on what we are cooking. If I am just cooking one pizza at a time I dust the stone with cornmeal. If I’m making multiple pizzas I just use parchment paper and they are easy moved around.

How to use a pizza stone via lilblueboo.com

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Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookies

Contributed by Alaska from Scratch.

 

Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookie Recipe by Alaska from Scratch via lilblueboo.com

December has arrived and the holidays are in full swing. We’re wearing our scarves and boots and warm winter coats. We’re making Christmas cards and hanging stockings. We’re taking to the town with our shopping lists in one hand and hot, steaming seasonal coffee shop beverages in the other.

Holiday Dessert Idea: Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookie Recipe by Alaska from Scratch via lilblueboo.com

In light of all this holiday cheer, here is one splendid coffee-shop inspired Christmas cookie recipe. These cookies are packed full of Christmas splendor. This simple shortbread is tender and buttery, full of chocolate and coffee flavor, and topped with an easy mocha glaze and crushed peppermint. You’ll absolutely want to add these to your Christmas baking list. They travel and package well for food gifts, too, for all the holiday-coffee-lovers in your life.

Holiday Cookie Idea: Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookie Recipe by Alaska from Scratch via lilblueboo.com

Peppermint Mocha Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

    • 18 Tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks) butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 Tablespoon finely ground coffee/espresso
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the Glaze/Topping:
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup crushed candy canes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the cocoa, followed by the flour, ground coffee, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. The mixture will be crumbly at first. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue beating until it all comes together.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon, scoop the dough into equal-sized portions and roll them into a ball. Slightly flatten each ball into a disc-like shape (because they don’t spread out on their own much – I used the back of a spoon for this) and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until set and cracked on top, but still soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Place the cooling racks over parchment paper or newspaper to catch the glaze.
  4. To make the glaze, put a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together the cocoa, powdered sugar, hot coffee, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes while the cookies finish cooling.
  5. Using a teaspoon, spoon the glaze onto the center of each cookie, allowing some of it to drizzle over the sides. Immediately follow with the crushed peppermint (don’t wait too long or the glaze will set and the peppermint won’t stick). Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow glaze to set about 30 minutes before serving/storing. Makes 3-4 dozen small cookies.
Recipe and Photography courtesy of Maya from Alaska from Scratch.

 

About Maya from Alaska from Scratch via lilblueboo.com

 

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