A Fabulous Start

a fabulous way to start the day.

The orange zest in the icing was such a great addition to these semi-homemade cinnamon rolls. Awesome breakfast. now off to church.


They fell short...

Oh yummm our Seafood Fettucine dinner turned out great last night! We served it with fresh steamed broccoli... I'm thinking it would be nice with double the mushrooms and broccoli in the mix... next tiiiime.

My mom and I spotted a little girl eating a shortbread cookie as we were eating lunch at Panera and we haven't been able to stop thinking about them since! Panera has the best shortbread cookies. oh my gosh so good! sooooo when I got home I decided to try making a batch of my own!butta.
I can't believe shortbread has only 3 ingredients! Cream 1 c. butter and 1/2 cup sugar and 2 1/2 cups of flour. It mixed together quickly and went into the frig for an hour. As my dough chilled I drank hot chocolate. I can't get enough of this stuff... I think this is our 3rd batch this winter! Yikes
Back to the shortbread-- I pressed, cut, and pricked my dough, popped it into the oven and then waited... a loooong time! These took 15 more minutes than they were supposed to. [convection oven? larger pan? why didn't it work out like the recipe!?]
And the result?! ..........eh decent. They taste great, maybe a bit too sweet for traditional shortbread, but my one problem?! They are ugly! I want my desserts and dishes to look good and hopefully appetizing! These, however, look a bit sketchy.
Bummer. I have some ideas for next time.... arrivederci!


ch ch chia

I've said it before and I'll say it again... I have the best job. I just love it! Yesterday (and tomorrow) we are working on a photo shoot at the gorgeous Salisbury House, which is a local castle/museum in downtown Des Moines. Here's there site -- Salisbury House. We're working on a Halloween photo shoot which is turning out beautifully. Yesterday when I was sent out to find different olives for our martinis I stopped by Gateway Market. I love that place! I found my olives at the olive bar aaaaand I also found something I have been looking for for a while...

Chia Seeds!! Nearly all of the food blogs I read use these tiny seeds in some way or another and I've been so excited to try them!
-they are the same seed used for chia pets
-these little power houses have been used for centuries by south west Indians and Mexicans.

-known as "running food" as they are a high energy endurance food
-when combined with water they create a gel (from its high soluble fiber content)
-this same gel-forming phenomen takes place inside the stomach by creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes which slows the conversion of carbs to sugar
-prolongs hydration
-and the list goes on and on and on.... I sprinkled 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds on my peach yogurt this morning and topped it with a sliced banana, sliced almonds (my favorite!) and some fresh pineapple. It was awesome!

The chia seeds added a little crunch/pop, kind of like poppy seeds, and little flavor. I'm so glad I found them!
A few quick things--

TLC Mediterranean Bruschetta crackers are awesome. They taste great and they are healthy crackers with lots of whole grain. give 'em a try!
I picked up a Larabar yesterday at Gateway Market, too! IGE loves her larabars and I have been wanting to try them! and lemon bar flavored?? yummm!
Check out the ingredient list... lots of healthy fats.
Have a great day! It's almost Friday :)



I am loving guacamole lately... This recipe is so easy!

Mash on avocado, add 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup tomatoes, juice from 1 lemon or lime, and a bit of black pepper. I love black beans and have been adding those in too.

I finished my book project for ArtGr 482 last night and boy does it feel good to be done!
Now its time to start refining my portfolio and applying for jobs!!


Pizza and greek yogurt

I just realized I didn't photograph the brownies I made. Delicious! (Smitten Kitchen's cocoa brownies) or the lemon bars I made. Preeetty good. (an old recipe my Mom had) Bummer! ... oh well guess that means I'll have to make them again!
Last night, after working on projects all day, I made such a great dinner. so good that I am recreating it today for lunch!
green & red pepper, fresh mushrooms, one crumbled black bean & veggie burger, lotsa basil, garlic powder, and thin slices of muenster cheese. All on top of a FlatOut Flat Bread and pizza sauce!

Try it! You'll love it!

A quick breakfast this morning...
oatmeal with almond slices sprinkled with Kashi Blueberry cluster cereal and blueberries
and a quick snack...
pumpkin??.... I've been inspired by reading so many blogs about the addition of pumpkin to yogurt, as well as the use of greek yogurt. It is very high in protein (a whopping 15 grams!) and low in fat. 0 grams of fat in fact!
I mixed in about 1/3 cup pumpin and stirred until it was almost completely incooperated. I'm particular and like the variation in color, so I do not stir it completely.
After toasting slivered almonds
I added a bit of homemade granola, and brown sugar.looks great!!.... tasted.... um... like sour cream. bummer. I had to add more sugar and after about half of the dish I couldn't finish it. I added honey and oatmeal. a little overnight oats anyone!? :) I love IGE and she has inspired me to try overnight oats. Check out her recipe and creations at Iowa Girl Eats.