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Farmer’s Market Salad

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A while back I posted a picture of this salad. It was so meaningful on so many levels. I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there that has put selfcare on the backburner. I always have selfcare on the brain, but when I finally get a chance to do a little something for myself, I’m exhausted. So selfcare essentially means falling asleep early, usually in my son’s bed, and still feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s easy for me to get to that point, I have anxiety and try to work through it rather than medicate. Most of the time, it’s ok, but certain things trigger it. My son getting sick just happens to be one of those things. I’ve gotten better, but I still panic. Also, I work full time, so finding care when he’s ill isn’t often easy and honestly, I want to be able to take care of him. I love being a mom! So in typical fashion, I tested his temperature about 500 times – I’m sure, I barely slept, I didn’t eat, and I basically sat there monitoring his fluid intake and staring at him. It’s weird, I know. Also, he’s 4 and insists that I worry too much. Guilty! Thankfully, I was able to somewhat pull myself together and I spent time in the kitchen making this absolutely beautiful and equally delicious salad. I have so many tomatoes from my garden and I needed to use them up. Healthy, a bit fancy – sounded like the perfect selfcare moment to me! It’s so simple and have I mentioned delicious….because it was….

For the dressing, I used the immersion blender as the original recipe suggested. It won’t combine everything fully, at least is didn’t for me, but it definitely chopped the basil up nicely. Then you have the rustic croutons, that are literally so good I had to stop myself from eating them all before they made it to the salad. I cannot recommend this enough. I would describe it as a heavier caprese salad perfect for a main dish but also great as a starter.

 

Farmer’s Market Salad

Farmer’s Market Salad

Instructions

  1. To make the crostini, heat your oven to 400 degrees F (alternately, you can heat a grill and grill the toast). In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix until evenly combined. Spread some of the butter mixture on each side of the bread slices. Place the bread on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the bread is toasty., flipping halfway through.
  2. To make the vinaigrette, combine the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil leaves in a liquid measuring cup. Blend until mostly smooth with an immersion blender. If you want a more smooth vinaigrette, you can use a food processor.
  3. Place the tomato wedges, in a medium bowl. Drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper, set aside. Place the cheese in the center of a serving platter. Arrange the lettuce leaves around the cheese on the platter. Add on the toasted bread slices and the tomato wedges. Sprinkle with the additional chopped basil. Pour as much vinaigrette over the entire platter as you would like.

Notes

Original recipe from Everyday Annie.

So. Much. Zucchini.

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So your garden has most literally exploded with zucchini and now you’re wondering what to do with it. I have rounded up some of our favorite recipes to use up that zucchini.

First, is not quite a recipe but more of a suggestion. Give. It. Away. Bring it to the office and leave it in a common area for people to take. Or, give it to family and friends, though in our experience they have probably already received so much of it from you anyway, you may want to revisit option one. When that doesn’t work, and you are stuck eating zucchini for days (and days…and days…..and days……) you are going to want a variety so you don’t get sick of it. If you search for zucchini here, I have a couple of recipes that I love. Classic zucchini bread, a buttery casserole, and some summery risotto.

We planted so (ie too) much zucchini which resulted in what felt like one million zucchinis. To help use them up, I had to go beyond the usual and I wanted to share some of our new favorites.

ZUCCHINI FRIES

Photo Credit: Chrissy Teigen “Cravings”

I love fries and I love Chrissy Teigen, so when I saw this easy to make zucchini version in her cookbook, it was one of the first things that I tried. I mean it’s a recipe from Chrissy Teigen so it’s going to taste good – amazing actually. If you don’t have her cookbook, get it. If you want a similar recipe now, you can just go here.  But really, buy the book, there are so many good recipes.

 

SAUTEED SHREDDED ZUCCHINI

Photo credit: Everyday Annie

Another one of my blog favorites is Everyday Annie. She was the first blogger I discovered when I Got more into cooking. Literally everything I made was delicious. Now her blog is so much more, which I still love, and the recipes are still fantastic. This one is so so simple and unbelievably delicious. It’s a great way to use up your zucchini, left overs are great and you can also scramble it into some eggs or an omelet in the morning. Mind. Blown.  You can find her recipe here.

 

ZUCCHINI GRATIN

Photo Credit: Smells Like Home Blog

Another favorite blogger is Tara, from Smells Like Home Blog. I absolutely love her recipes. This recipe here, though. Any time I have an opportunity to combine cheese with anything, it’s like I’m experiencing love at first sight. I made this recipe and served it with some rice as a meatless meal. It was amazing.

 

TACO STUFFED ZUCCHINI

Photo credit: SkinnyTaste Blog

I slightly adapted this recipe for dinner one night. What I love about stuffed zucchini is that you can really do anything and it will likely come out great. I substituted ground beef and added corn and black beans to mine. I served alongside some tortilla chips and it was seriously delicious. I had no problem eating this for lunch and as left overs for dinner it was seriously good.

 

ZUCCHINI BREAD COFFEE CAKE

Photo credit: How Sweet Eats Blog

Honestly, enough said. I had to end this post on a high note. I love baking, I love sweets, so to incorporate a vegetable into that is amazing. I made this quick bread and I was not sorry. The minute I put it into the oven it made the house smell so good. I basically sat on the kitchen floor waiting for it to be done. I will say there was a lot of streusel topping here. I did make mine in a bread pan, but you could easily use a baking dish rather than the bread pan. This bread takes breakfast…and snacking… to a new level. Life changing.

Third Times the Charm

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I felt like I needed to write something, since it’s been very quiet here for a while. When I launched this blog it was a way for me to share recipes that I love. It was so much fun putting everything together, taking mediocre photos, and sharing stories. But I started to feel restricted, so I re-branded. And I’m feeling like the re-brand was a bit half-assed to be completely honest, and I was getting bored. I was sort of walking in circles trying to figure out the best direction to go. I work full time as well, so I want to focus spare energy on something that I’m excited about and it was becoming a struggle.

The thing is, I’m tired. I’m tired of just sharing recipes, I’m tired of trying to get the “perfect” shot. I want so much more for this space. We’re not perfect, but we have fun together, individually, but more importantly honestly. So it got me thinking, if I want more for this space, how about making this space more. Duh! After talking to my husband, we agreed to take a leap and take this on as a family. Giving us a chance to share more about us individually, and together. My husband is into gaming and grilling and guy things. I’m into gardening, and cooking, and knitting and sewing, my son is a silly 4 year old who loves to review toys for us, and get in the kitchen and just have fun! I always ask myself, what DO you want to do when you grow up? I know I want to enjoy the little time I have with my family, write (almost literally) our story and share it with people who are interested. I want to celebrate the things that make us unique, maybe boring at times, but hopefully relatable to other people out there.

So, we are going to rebrand again. Third times the charm! If you follow me on social media, you might have seen me use the hashtag “Growing Up Morales”. Well…..Drum roll……  this is going to be our new brand! The blog, maybe a vlog, and definitely a whole lot of fun. We will have our separate spaces where we can share our interests but also document us “growing up” as a family. I hate the term growing old, although truly what happens, I prefer the concept of always growing up – personally, literally, as individuals and together. There will be a little of everything on here, so I hope that you come back to check it out. We do not have an official date in mind to official reveal everything, but we will share when we do! Follow me on social media as Live Everyday Fresh and follow us at #growingupmorales.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnut Muffins

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There has been a whole lot going on here the last few weeks. The blog has unfortunately taken a back seat because of this, but all very exciting, all very much puppy/rescue focused, and all for a later time. But, I feel like I am redeeming myself with these muffins. They are on the healthier side, I mean oat and whole wheat flour, and absolutely delicious because they taste like doughnuts. I happened to have a few apples and some oat flour that needed to be used up and had the exact amounts needed. Because things have been a bit fast paced over here I’ve been wanting simpler things to grab for breakfast or snack. I have to be honest, my diet as of late has consisted mostly of carbs and cheese, but I felt like I was diversifying by including some apples. Good news, I’m back on track with a varied diet, eating like a grown ass adult (I totally stole that from an awesome podcast I just listened to) and enjoying these delish doughnut like muffins.

Update, if you are looking for a great cooking resource, I’ve got you covered! Visit https://www.village-bakery.com/ to find recipes, appliances, cookbooks, articles, you name it it’s on there!

 

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnut Muffins

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnut Muffins

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the apples to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and browned, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. When cool, transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tine or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to blend. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the melted butter, milk, yogurt and egg. Whisk until well blended. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together, just until incorporated and no dry streaks remain. Fold in the chopped apples.
  3. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each about 2/3 full (I did to the top). Bake, rotating halfway through the baking time, until the muffins are lightly browned and just set, about 20-22 minutes total. Let cool in the pans about 5 minutes, gently remove them from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To finish, melt the butter in a small bowl. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combines. Dip the top of a muffin in the melted butter, then into the sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining muffins.

Notes

Recipe from Everyday Annie.

Granola Bark

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Anyone else need a breakfast or snack face lift? Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m craving easier and lighter foods. Thank you Jesus! My diet has largely included the beige part of the rainbow, you know, the one for whole grains, or carbs, like bread. Not that any of them are bad, at all. But the amount I’ve relied on for energy as of late should be criminal. But this healthy little recipe right here, is just what I needed to help me branch out. I’ve recently discovered how good apples with peanut butter and this granola bark broken up a bit is, as a snack or light lunch. The more obvious yogurt, fruit, granola bark combo is also divine. It’s super super easy to make. Seriously super easy. It also tastes amazing. Once it’s cooled, you just break it up into large pieces, like any other type of bark you would make, and enjoy! I love grabbing a couple of pieces to have in a pinch. Add this to your list of recipes to try. I highly recommend it!

Granola Bark

Granola Bark

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x18 - inch baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cinnamon, oats, almonds, coconut, flax, chia, and almond flour. Stir to blend and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, water, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and let cool to a warm temperature.
  4. Once the maple syrup mixture is cooled, add the olive oil and egg white. Whisk to incorporate. Pour into the bow with the oat mixture and mix well with a spatula.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Use the bottom of a pot to press the mixture down firmly, compacting it. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the sheet about halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. During the 45 minutes, open the oven a few times to release steam.
  6. Leaving the oven on, transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool until the surface of the granola is crisp. If the surface is still tacky, return the pan to the oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, checking every 5 minutes to avoid over browning. Once cooles, break the bark into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Notes

Adapted from Everyday Annie.