7.31.2011

Gilroy Garlic Festival

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Evan and I headed to the 33rd Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival today. I love garlic, so of course I was excited! Also the money raised benefits local charities and being a nonprofit employee, I love events like this. :)




Gosh, isn't California gorgeous? I love it here.


Anyway...when I spotted a sign for "roasted corn with garlic butter," I was sold in an instant.




Mmm!




I think roasted corn might be my new favorite thing. Or garlic butter. Yes, I'll go with garlic butter. Dang, that stuff was delicious! :)


There was a Garlic Showdown between four chefs, and Angelo Sosa from Top Chef Season 7 was the MC for the showdown.




I never watched Top Chef when he was on it, so I really wasn't familiar with him. He was a little out of control during the showdown and a little awkward - but it was entertaining nonetheless!


There was a booth handing out free garlic ice cream, but the line was so long...we decided against it. Sounds pretty darn interesting though - maybe next year!


I hope you had a beautiful weekend, friends. 

7.29.2011

No-Bake Choco-PB Cookies

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I was a ravenous beast the other night and craving something sweet! When I stumbled upon this recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, I just couldn't get to the kitchen fast enough.




Apparently in my quest to satisfy my sweets craving, I skimmed over the recipe/completely read it wrong.




Once I was done melting the butter, I kept it on the stove while adding the remaining ingredients. Mine don't look like Jenna's - her chocolate chips stayed chocolate chips, whereas mine completed melted.


Melted into a delicious warm chocolate sauce!




So technically, yes, this was a kitchen fail. But my goodness - what a delicious fail these were. Mmm!


Head on over to Eat Live Run for the recipe (or at least to see what they're actually supposed to look like!).


Has a "kitchen fail" ever turned out in your favor?!

7.28.2011

Coconut Curry Carrots & Cauliflower

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Check out that alliteration! :)

Hey! How's your day going? Tomorrow is Friday, so that's pretty darn exciting!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...sometimes pre-packaged goods are OK to  incorporate into your meals.



Especially when the ingredients look like this:


Heck yes, Trader Joe's. That place has yet to let me down!

I have to admit that I also used one of their frozen foods as a side for these chickpeas...


Yes...that's their garlic naan. It's flipping amazing. Go get it. Now!

Before you judge me for having a packaged dinner, I did make a seriously delicious vegetable side dish. 


This Coconut Curry Carrots & Cauliflower dish came together in a flash. It's simple and full of flavor. Now that I know I like cooked carrots, I see this becoming a regular!

Coconut Curry Carrots & Cauliflower
Source: The Granola Chronicles Original

Ingredients:
1 cup sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon coconut oil (I used Tropical Traditions)
1/4 teaspoon curry

Directions:
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add carrots and cauliflower - boil for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain.

Return saucepan to stove - reducing heat to low. Add in remaining ingredients and cook for 1-2 minutes for the flavors to absorb. Enjoy!

Yield: 2 servings

Do you incorporate convenience/packaged foods into your meals? I can't be the only one!

7.27.2011

Dinner and Dessert

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Hey, all! How's your day going?!

It feels like June and July just flew by in The Granola Chronicles household. Between Evan's trip to India, our trip back to Nebraska and hosting friends and family, it's been a crazy two months!

Now that we've returned to our somewhat normal lives (because really, what's normal?!), I've been back in the kitchen and loving it. Here are two recipes that turned out perfectly - one for dinner and one for dessert!






I put that fresh basil to good use last night and made a version of Angela's Vegetable and Edamame Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce
. I swapped out the peppers and tomatoes for cauliflower because we still had some from last week's CSA box. 

I will definitely make this again!


I finally tried making Super-Charge Me Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. I get it. I get the obsession. These things are delicious!


Ok, I'm feeling the need for a little mid-week pick-me-up...

Tell me the best part of your day!

Mine was the coffee Evan made this morning - he always has it ready to go by the time I get out of the shower in the morning!

7.26.2011

TGFA and CSA

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Yesterday I spent $50 on oatmeal. Definitely the most expensive oatmeal I have ever purchased, but it was for a great cause.



I do not know Susan. In fact, I had never even read her blog, The Great Balancing Act, until recently. But you know what? She's 25-years-old and was recently diagnosed with cancer.

The Great Fundraising Act, hosted by Janetha, raised over $25,000 for Susan's medical expenses. What a beautiful blogging community filled with generous and supportive people. I wish Susan nothing but good vibes and prayers as she fights cancer.

**********
Community Supported Agriculture

I just picked up our CSA produce for this week and am excited to share it with you!


Gorgeous, right?! I'm excited for the yellow ones to bloom!


Check out those ginormous peaches. I can't wait to have one of those with my breakfast tomorrow morning.


It's no surprise that we got strawberries again this week - no complaints! I was also happy to see the return of grapefruit. We got grapefruit a lot in January and February, and then it sort of disappeared. I'm definitely going to introduce a grapefruit to my new juicer!


We got some great leafy greens this week: dino kale, lettuce and spinach (I forgot to snap a pic!).


That, my friends, is fresh basil! I'm going to be using it tonight in a new recipe - hope it turns out. :)


And finally, we received cucumbers, carrots and zucchini. 

Well, I need to finish some nonprofit work and then squeeze in a workout before dinner. Hope you've been having a great Tuesday - enjoy your night!

7.25.2011

Thrifty Juice

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Good morning! Gosh darn it - the weekends seem to fly! If you're playing catch up, here's what you missed:


- I posted a recipe for Lemon-Cumin Carrots.
- Evan and I enjoyed a great evening on our balcony with wine.
- We indulged in a bakery breakfast.


**********
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I scored a super great deal at Goodwill last week.



That, my friends, is a Hamilton Beach juicer that I picked up for $10. Yes, ten dollars!



The only thing missing is the little white part that pushes the produce down the tube. We tried it out for the first time yesterday and didn't even miss that part!




I wasn't for sure how much power the juicer was going to have, but it juiced carrots without a problem!




After our 3-mile run yesterday, we made a super refreshing orange juice!


Outrageously-Orange Juice
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 nectarine
- 1 orange





The juicer is really easy to clean - I was kind of surprised by that! I think the $10 investment will help us stay on top of all those carrots we receive in our CSA produce box. Definitely worth it!


Do you have a juicer?!

7.24.2011

Bakery Breakfast

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Good morning! Are you enjoying your Sunday?!


Evan and I just got back from Trader Joe's. We like to go early on Sunday mornings because there are no crowds. In and out. Easy peasy!


I wanted to share yesterday's breakfast with you - it was too good to go unnoticed! We walked to Palo Alto Baking Company. I've had their food at various work events, but this was Evan's first time.




Evan got a Sticky Bun (on the left), and I rolled with a Walnut Spiral. So buttery. So delicious.




We also shared a quiche - mmm!




Evan kept it simple with a plain coffee, but I was feeling something different. Check out that chai latte...it was amazing. 


We loved being able to start our day with a walk. It's so refreshing to leave the car at home - we're blessed to have so many stores within walking distance of our apartment!


Hope you have a beautiful day. :)

7.23.2011

Always Right

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Ok, so I may not always be right, but I certainly was yesterday when I declared wine would be making an appearance during our Friday night!


Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's...nothing but the best for us!


We had Mama Pea's Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna, which is another favorite of ours. It's fairly simple to make and extremely comforting!

After dinner we headed out on our balcony to enjoy some cheese and crackers and just catch up on each other's lives!


Evan loves these crackers from TJ's: Raisin Rosemary. I'm not the biggest fan, but I must admit that they tasted alright with the soft fontina that we had!


Evan and I are so, so blessed - which was a main topic of conversation last night. Such a great night to reflect on our lives and talk about our future!

Anyway, we're about to walk to a great little bakery to enjoy some pastries and coffee this morning. I hope your morning is off to a great start (or your afternoon if you're on the East Coast or Midwest!).

7.22.2011

Lemon-Cumin Carrots

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Hola, friends! Three cheers for Friday. Gosh, weekends are so fun. I wish we had them a few times a week. :)


As you know, Evan and I are up to our eyeballs in carrots. We've seriously received them every week since we joined the CSA program in November. That's a lot of carrots. Like, a lot.

While I love nut butter carrot fries which are roasted, and carrots in soup - I really don't enjoy any other type of cooked carrot. They just taste...weird.


Or so I thought!


I decided to try boiling some carrots the other night. I added a simple little glaze of lemon juice, olive oil and cumin. 

I could NOT stop eating these! Absolutely delicious. 

Lemon-Cumin Carrots
Source: The Granola Chronicles Original :)

Ingredients:
8 medium carrots, 1/2-1 inch slices
juice of half a lemon
1 t. olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add carrots and boil for 10-12 minutes. Drain and transfer to serving bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drizzle over carrots and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

Yield: 3 servings


I'm not exactly sure how Evan and I will be spending our evening. He's finishing up some statistics homework right now and should be home in a bit. Whatever happens, you can bet we'll be enjoying some wine! 

Enjoy your Friday night!

7.20.2011

Greek Orzo Salad

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Hey! How's your day going? It is a h-o-t one today in Palo Alto. We hit 85 degrees, but I suppose I shouldn't complain considering the Midwest has had heat indexes in the triple digits lately. There are some things that I don't miss about Nebraska - hot, humid summers are on that list! 


I've mentioned before that I have little desire to turn on the stove or oven when it gets hot outside. While this Greek Orzo Salad does require some water to boil, that's the extent of heat!




Evan proclaimed that this was his favorite side dish, and I have to agree. It's simple, refreshing and crisp. 



You know how some pasta salads are coated in thick dressings? Not this one! The dressing here consists of lemon juice. That. Is. It.




We had this with some chicken-less/no-egg salad from Mama Pea. I think I'm addicted to her recipe! If you're a tofu newbie, try this recipe. It's amazing!


This Greek Orzo Salad would also be good with kalamata olives and red onion - I just kept it simple!


Greek Orzo Salad
Source: The Granola Chronicles Original :)


Ingredients:
1 cup orzo, uncooked
1 (15 oz.) can marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 cup cubed cucumber
1/2 cup feta cheese
juice from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt & pepper, to taste


Directions:
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add orzo and cook according to package directions (8-9 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water.


In a large bowl, add cooked orzo, artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese. Toss to combine.


Add in lemon juice and oregano, stirring gently to coat everything. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

7.19.2011

Fun Flowers

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Hola!


So I have to do a little bragging before I get into this week's CSA produce post. I actually got up this morning and headed to the gym with Evan before work! If you know me, you know how hard of a time I have waking up. We're talking multiple snooze button sessions. It felt great to finish my workout early in the day! 


Ok, CSA produce + flowers time!




Surprise, surprise. Evan added on an order of flowers again. What a guy!




I love that coral color - so pretty.




This week's haul is a good one. Although...when is it not?!




Nectarines: should I make this pancake treat again? I think so!




Of course some strawbs - this week's are really shiny!




We also got some carrots and cauliflower (and some plums that are hiding in there).




This zucchini is literally bigger than my arm. Goodness, gracious.




And finally, we received celery, cucumbers and broccoli. 


Tell me a summer vegetable you're loving right now!


I can't get enough cucumbers - so refreshing and crisp!

7.18.2011

Beach & Burgers

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Hey, friends! Hope you're making the most of this Monday!

Thanks so much for your sweet comments about our adorable little niece - she's pretty darn fun! You know how I said that my sister is pregnant, so Garrison will be getting a little brother soon? Well, Bryn is also pregnant, so Elyse will get a sibling in January! This is such an exciting time for our families - Evan and I love being an aunt and uncle!



*****
We headed to Half Moon Bay on Saturday and had a great time at the beach!



While it was cloudy, the weather was actually pretty perfect. There was absolutely no wind - which is odd for being right by the ocean!


Elyse got a little camera shy and wouldn't look at me - but she was having a great time playing in the sand!


We stopped at Trader Joe's beforehand to pick up some picnic items (bread, deli meat, cheese, chips, etc). I had a cheese sandwich with mustard - brings back some great childhood memories. I lived on cheese sandwiches growing up!

After getting home from the beach, I whipped up some black bean burgers courtesy of Eat Live Run



Elyse loved the burgers! The avocados were a different story - hence the piece just sitting on the table. :)

I also made an easy green bean recipe that I found in a Trader Joe's cook book.


Take two bags (8 0z. each) of haricot verts - boil them for about 7-8 minutes. Drain the water, then add in some chili/corn salsa and top with feta cheese. They were great!



Yeah!!


*****
Well, I'm going to head out on a 3-mile run. I haven't worked out in a while - between Nebraska and having family out here, life has been a little hectic. I think things have returned to normal, so I'm excited to get back to my 10K training!
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