1.31.2012

Citrus Complaint

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Side note: the more I look at the word "citrus," the more I think I'm spelling it wrong. It's just one of those words that if you stare at it too long, it looks weird. Am I right?!

ANWYAY! Hey! How's your week going? Nothing too exciting here, but I just got back from picking up our CSA produce for the week!

Another week, another great haul of organic, local produce. Yay!


Leafy greens made an appearance: dino kale and baby spinach.


More green veggies...leeks and broccoli.



Yams!


Orange galore: carrots, oranges and tangerines.


And some apples for good measure.

Don't get me wrong, I love all of this produce...but I'm kinda sorta maybe just a little getting a bit (just a bit!) bored with all the citrus. I know, I know. First world problems, eh?

I really shouldn't complain, but I think we're in full-on citrus overload mode right now. Maybe I just need some new and creative ways to enjoy all that orange goodness?

Anyway, I hope you have a lovely Tuesday night!

1.29.2012

Splendid Saturday

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I know I rarely share intimate details of my life here on this blog, so Friday's post was definitely out of the norm. I cannot thank you enough for your sweet comments, tweets and messages. More importantly, thank you for keeping the families of Phil and Nancy in your prayers. It truly means so much.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day spent with Evan. For breakfast he made a delicious egg and potato scramble topped with salsa and Greek yogurt - a great start to the weekend!



We went to the Stanford Women's Basketball game yesterday afternoon. They're currently ranked #4 in the country and were playing their big rival, Cal (Berkeley). It went into overtime, and the Cardinal won!

We decided to go to church last night, so we could relax this morning. Evan and I found an amazing church in our area, and we both just love it so much. It's a great feeling.


We came home and made my latest obsession. I just can't help myself!


We finished the day with a little Pinot Noir and Scrabble. I am so, so blessed.

I think we're going for a hike later today; it's gorgeous outside. Do you have any fun plans for today?!

1.27.2012

Comfort

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I've been gravitating toward comfort food this past week. My heart has been heavy and my emotions all over the place. Isn't it funny how certain foods can truly comfort us?

Last week a brave man I knew from college made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He was killed in action in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber. He was 25. Twenty five. He was supposed to come home next week. I can't stop thinking about his wife and what she must be feeling right now. It truly makes me sick to my stomach. My heart is hurting for his entire family.

This morning a very, very dear family friend lost her battle with cancer. While I know she is done suffering, the news is still very hard to digest. Cancer sucks.

I am finding comfort in prayers. A lot of them to be exact.

And I suppose it becomes clear as to why I've been craving comfort food. 


Have you heard about the three ingredient tomato sauce? It's literally just canned tomatoes, butter and an onion. The ultimate comfort food.


Exactly what I needed. 

Hug your friends. Call your parents. Give thanks for your blessings. Let your loved ones know how much they mean to you. 

And eat all the comfort food you can. 

1.26.2012

20 Questions

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Hey, friends! I've been seeing this "20 Questions" post going around the blog world, so I thought it might be fun. Truth be told, it totally reminds me of those email chains back in middle school, and I'll be the first to admit that I loved those surveys. 


1. What is one of your favorite ways to spend your Saturday?
Wake up (semi) early and walk to a local coffee shop, then head out for a hike.


2. Name your top three favorite TV shows.
Parks & Recreation, Modern Family and Seinfeld 


3. Would you rather be in pictures or take them?
Both!


4. Why do you blog?
I absolutely love food and enjoy sharing recipes with others. My husband is also very busy with grad school, so this gives me something to "work" on while he does his homework. :)


5. Share five websites you visit regularly.
Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and CNN 


6. If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list, who would it be?
Andy Borowitz (@BorowitzReport). He. Is. Hilarious.


7. List a few of your favorite snacks.
Wheat Thins, popcorn, string cheese and CANDY. I don't lie.


8. Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?
No = a major sad face. Our apartment doesn't allow them (but we're moving in June!).


9. Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?
iPhone, Bare Minerals foundation and my MacBook Pro


10. What's your favorite drink?
Morning: coffee. Night: wine. Don't make me choose.


11. Do you enjoy cooking?
YES.


12. Do you have children?
Not yet, but maybe soon! And when I say "soon," I mean in like 3-4 years. :)


13. What are your favorite hobbies?
Reading, cooking, baking, hiking and drinking wine


14. Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing?
Outgoing!


15. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
I am a worrier, and I'd like to not be one. 


16. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Actor: Ryan Gosling. Actress: Julia Roberts.


17. What's the coolest thing you've done this week?
Um, make banana bread! I'm cool!


18. Do you live near your family or far from them?
Far and that's the one thing that is tough about being in California!


19. List three of your talents.
Event planning, cooking(!) and being a very welcoming person


20. What is your greatest attribute?
Compassion 


Your turn! Answer any of the questions above, so I can get to know you better!

1.25.2012

Spicy Lentil Soup

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Sometimes I start cooking dinner and am a bit skeptical. Of course I like to think every meal I make is absolutely delicious, but the truth is that sometimes recipes just turn out to be meh. Not bad but not oh-my-gosh-that-was-amazing. 

I started feeling that way tonight when I began making a version of this lentil soup from Cooking Light. I knew Evan and I would both enjoy it, but I was afraid it was going to be just ordinary. Ordinary it was not!

I used a short-cut (my favorite short-cut of all time!).


Steamed Lentils from Trader Joe's. This is one convenience food item that I just love!


I think the lemon juice + cayenne pepper were the magic ingredients. The lemon juice provided a nice refreshing taste, and the cayenne pepper added a kick!



This is a deliciously healthy recipe that is absolutely comforting. Enjoy!

Spicy Lentil Soup
Adapted from: Lentil Soup with Chard

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces
1/2 package steamed lentils (about 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:
In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots - cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Stir in the seasonings (cumin through black pepper) - cook for one minute and then add the broth and water. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in kale, lentils and lemon juice - cook for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

1.24.2012

It's Back!

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I do believe it's high time for a CSA produce post. The last CSA post was on December 6th...but who's keeping track? Between a three-week vacation in Nebraska and neglecting my blog for a few weeks, I'm beyond excited to share this week's local, organic produce with you.

Here's the group shot:


Leafy greens and citrus seem to be the theme this week.


Kale and rainbow chard...


Carrots, broccoli and satsumas (aka: tangerines)...


Green cabbage, red potatoes, apples and oranges...


And some baby spinach - can't wait to make smoothies!

Do you know what I love about CSA produce?


Branches and leaves! Ok, not exactly those things, but the fact that this produce came straight from the farm...and you can see it. There's dirt. Water, branches, leaves! Sometimes there are even bugs. And I love it. 

I know I've asked this question before, but I also know there are some new visitors...do you belong to a CSA?

1.20.2012

The Lovely Winner

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Hey! Can someone please pour me a glass bottle of wine? Please and thanks. This has been quite the week, so I'm very excited it's the weekend. 

Let's make this short and sweet, so I can get to that wine...


Congratulations, Chelcie! You won two bags of Love Grown Foods granola! Send me your mailing address: granolachronicles@gmail.com.

Hope y'all have a great night!

1.17.2012

Lovely Giveaway

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Good morning, friends! Hope your Tuesday is off to a great start.

I'm running a bit behind this morning...trying to get back into the swing of things after a long weekend. Let's just cut to the chase!


As you may know, I'm a Love Blogger for Love Grown Foods. Today I'm sharing the LOVE with one lucky reader!


One reader will win two packages of granola: Sweet Cranberry Pecan and Raisin Almond Crunch.


The winner will be able to make these dangerous White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan No-Bake Cookies. I know!

Love Grown Foods Granola Giveaway
US Residents Only
Enter by Friday, January 20 (I'll pick a winner that afternoon)

Leave a comment for each entry:

1. What are you loving right now?! (it could be anything!)
2. Follow me (@GranolaCourtney) on Twitter
3. Follow @LoveGrownFoods on Twitter

1.16.2012

Homemade Donuts

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Hey, everybody! How was your weekend? Mine was super relaxing! Evan and I went to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Saturday (so good, go see it!), and of course I watched the Golden Globes last night. To be honest, I thought they were a tad on the boring side - Ricky Gervais was (unfortunately) pretty darn tame!

Anyway, check out one of my Christmas presents from my in-laws...


We put  it to great use on Saturday morning and made some good ol' do(ugh)nuts. I know that technically "doughnut" is the correct spelling, but I always prefer using "donut." Tell me I'm not alone!


I followed Iowa Girl Eats' recipe for baked donuts, and they were perfect!


Evan requested chocolate glaze, so I used a recipe from Joy the Baker (love her!) and cut it in half - which yielded the perfect amount for six donuts.




I can't wait to try different varieties now. Donuts rock! In fact...donuts make people happy. ;)

I have a LOVEly giveaway coming up tomorrow, so be ready for it! Hope you have a great Monday.

1.13.2012

Winner!

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Happy weekend, dear friends! Since I've been fighting a cold for the past two weeks, you better believe I'm excited for the three-day weekend. Any big plans?!

Source: OXO

I just wanted to share the winner of the OXO Egg Beater giveaway, then I'll let you get back to your Friday night. :)


Number 36 - Shannon K.! Congrats, Shannon - send me an email with your mailing address: granolachronicles [at] gmail.com.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

1.10.2012

Lemon Ginger Water

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Hola! Hope your day is going well! Besides the fact that I can't breathe through my right nostril, things are great. I worked from home today because of the little cold I'm fighting (and have been fighting since last Monday!). The pressure I have in my nose and head is completely out of control.


Good news though: my throat doesn't hurt anymore! I believe I owe it all to the combo above.

I woke up on Sunday and yesterday with a terrible sore throat. Last night I drank some hot water with lemon and ginger, and my throat was back to normal this morning. Coincidence? I think not!


I posted about this little concoction almost a year ago - apparently getting a cold in January/February is my thing. 


This hot drink is easy to make, and it seriously warms the soul. I'm currently making this a bit stronger than last year, as I've increased the lemon and ginger.


Lemon Ginger Water
1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup hot water

I'm on my second cup today - here's hoping I feel better tomorrow! Also...don't forget to enter  my giveaway!

Do you have any home remedies for fighting colds?

1.09.2012

OXO Egg Beater (Giveaway)

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Happy Monday, friends! Be sure to check the end of this post for a giveaway!

As you may know, Evan is in charge of breakfast on the weekends. He's been known to make some delicious treats like these pumpkin scones. This weekend was no different - he made sourdough French toast! 

I had a huge craving for French toast and also wanted to try a new product that was sent to me from OXO...the Egg Beater! While I received this product through the OXO Blogger Outreach Program (+ another to give away), the honest opinions are my own (and Evan's!). 


Evan picked out a crusty sourdough loaf from Trader Joe's to use. 


He made a basic mixture for the French toast: eggs, milk and cinnamon.


Then he put the Egg Beater to work! He said it was so simple to use, and I quote, "This is better than using a fork or a whisk!" There you have it, folks. The Egg Beater is a keeper in this household!

The French toast was perfect. We served it alongside some Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage and fruit. 




Do you want to win an OXO Egg Beater?! Here's your chance! OXO has so graciously offered to give an Egg Beater to one lucky reader.

OXO Egg Beater Giveaway
US Residents Only
Enter by Thursday, January 12
Winner will be announced Friday

There are multiple ways to enter!
Be sure to leave a separate comment for EACH entry.

Entries:
1. Answer this ?: have you ever tried an OXO product?
2. Follow me (@GranolaCourtney) on Twitter
3. Subscribe to The Granola Chronicles
4. Follow @OXO on Twitter


Good Luck!

1.08.2012

Scenes from Nebraska

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Hello! Hope you're enjoying your Sunday...whatever you may be doing!

I'm sipping some coffee and reading the Sunday edition of the New York Times. No complaints here!

I thought I'd share some pictures from our trip back to Nebraska. Of course I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to but was able to snap a few. 

PS - I have a sweet giveaway coming up tomorrow that involves an OXO product - you won't want to miss it!

Enjoy the pictures! :)








1.07.2012

Varsity Donuts

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Hey, friends! I hope you're enjoying this beautiful Saturday! I'm relaxing this morning and then going for a hike/walk in just a bit with a dear friend - should be good for my soul.

Last week at this time, I was in Manhattan, Kansas, visiting my sister and her family. There is a new donut place in Manhattan called Varsity Donuts, and we went there for breakfast last Saturday. 


Seriously - best selection of donuts I have ever seen! Chocolate-mint donuts, donuts sprinkled with Fruity Pebbles, and even a smores donut back in the fall. 


Both of my parents tried the crushed Oreo donut. And that one on the right? Yeah, that's a red velvet cake donut - topped with cream cheese frosting that was at least one-inch thick. Holy richness. It was...amazing.


Evan had a peanut butter & raspberry jelly donut (on the left), and we got a maple bacon one to all share. I know, right?!


Varsity Donuts also sells t-shirts, and you better believe I got the red one that says: donuts make people happy. True statement.


Our little nephew, Garrison, who just turned two in October, played a mean game of Scrabble against his Uncle Evan (who he just loves). There were  a lot of random games set up - the vibe at the donut place was really laid back and fun!


Apparently, Varsity Donuts also hosts birthday parties. They'll supply the donuts and glaze, then the kids (I suppose adults too!) can decorate them with colorful sprinkles. How fun would that be?!

If you happen to be in Manhattan (are there any Kansas readers out there?!), definitely hit up Varsity Donuts!
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