Monday, August 7, 2017

Truth About Thinx

Time to get real...periods suck and you know it! 
It might be my age or the just the sudden kick in the pants we have gotten lately but a movement of strong female power has been washing over the world. It took a complete idiot for this ball to get rolling but I am seeing a change all around me! With this shift from girl power to woman warriors we are being more open, accepting and free. I am learning more about myself now merely by learning about you. While some topics are a bit personal, one thing that I've learned is that the natural process our bodies go through is not something to hide or be ashamed of. With that being said, I wanted to share my experience and a company with a worldly goal.
After undergoing a uterine fibroid surgery last year and the super fun weight shifts and anxiety that came with it, my body hasn't been the same. Even with switching birth-control pills it seems that what used to work for me isn't working anymore. I have had surprise spotting off and on and lived in fear or ruining my favorite panties. I was going through boxes of tampons...on top of being wasteful and expensive it was annoying as hell. Pads weren't much better...bulky as can be! 
Enter Thinx!
 Despite a rocky start and some bad publicly, Thinx are still pushing forward to tackle the stigma of periods, inspired by their own period adventures and the fact that millions of girls around the globe miss school during their "time of the month". The proceeds from Thinx go toward their Global Girls Program to help educate girls all over the world.
So in the midst of getting a handle on my female hormones I thought that Thinx could save me. I was truly skeptical but so curious about these magical period saving panties. After looking through YouTube reviews and numerous blogs my conclusion was to give Thinx a try for my spotting, that seemed to be the best use for them. I chose the boyshorts to try around the house and they were surprisingly comfy. Very much like a swim suite bottom with less pantie-lines!
As far as my spotting, the nervousness was gone. If my body decided to surprise me again, it was okay and that felt great. I moved about free and whenever I needed to pee, no problem! No tampon BS! 
Of course I couldn't wear my new panties 24/7 but they were easy to clean. Just rinse after use, cold wash and hang to dry! The material lends itself well to a quick wash and I did not find any difficulties, just make sure to not use any bleach or fabric softeners.

I would love to try their other products. Thinx really thought of everything, including active wear. I'm so curious to see how their Thinx thongs hold up during the stress of High Fitness ha ha! 
Check below for the links and remember, periods are a fact of life for women. We must break free of this negative stigma and share. Maybe that will help others become more comfortable as well. 
Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 24, 2017

GOT Modern Blueberry Tart

Game of Thrones is Back!
The race for the throne is back this month and I couldn't be happier! To celebrate I made a Modern Blueberry Tart from the A Feast of Ice and Fire Cookbook! Perfect for those tense yet sweet moments GOT brings. 
This tart was super easy but there is also an option to make a Medieval Tart which I will try in the future he he! I started by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and got out some pastry dough. The book recommends their Lemon Pastry Recipe from page 10. Yum! I pressed the dough into a tart tin evenly. Next, after rinsing them off I poured my blueberries into the tin, leaving a few for later. 
Then I sprinkled the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the berries and popped them into the oven. After about an hour (or once the filing started bubbling) I took out the tart and topped it off with the remaining berries and some powdered sugar. 
Once the tart cooled a bit it was ready to serve! This made for a very happy viewing party ha ha! Scrumptiously tart with a lightly sweet flavor. As the book suggests, it pairs well with some champagne! he he
Cheers, Bunny

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Daily Harvest Scoop

Behind every good woman is a nutrient rich diet! 
In the journey to a healthier me, I have filled our fridge with more fruits, veggies and exchanged some of our usual snacks with healthier options. Still I was having trouble finding time to cook or meal prep. With a new job further away from home and I was often exhausted by the time I was off. I could feel myself getting weaker and in need of more nutrients than a protein bar could offer. Insert Daily Harvest, fun combinations of super-food in compact cups, just add the liquid of your choice. Their smoothie and overnight oats options looked especially intriguing so I decided to give them a try. On Tuesday afternoon a big Daily Harvest box was waiting on my porch...I love getting mail...especially mail I can eat ha ha! It contained six cups all frozen using dry ice. They make sure to mark the ice and keep it separate, for safety. Along with the cups came little instructions and some magnets! Such a cute idea!
I started with the Chia Parfait Blackberry and Majik which had two options, heat now for 3 to 6 mins or let soak overnight. There was no way that I was waiting so I added some vanilla almond milk, stirred a bit then heated up the cup. I could immediately smell the sweet berries as the parfait came to life. Filled with chia seeds, blackberries, coconut and banana this parfait was scrumptious. Adding to the antioxidants is organic blue majik, a blue green algae super-food sure to pack in flavor and health benefits. This chia parfait was quickly one of my favorites!
Next, the smoothie I was the most curious about, the mint and cacao! It sounded perfect but I was skeptical that the healthy ingredients could match the mint-chip flavor I desired. I added almond milk and began blending the ingredients, immediately peppermint and cacao filled the air. After transferring back to my Daily Harvest cup, I took my first sip and to my surprise it tasted like ice cream. This little cup of green mush was a dream! Plus I did not feel guilty about slurping it down either...perfect! 
My third selection was the Mulberry and Dragon fruit Overnight Oats. I let them soak during the night with some almond milk and packed them up on my way to work the next day. Overnight the oats soaked up all the almond goodness and the complete flavor of the cup came through. Complete with raspberry, blueberry and mulberry this beauty was packed with vitamins. The cup was a fun pink color too and the mulberries added a flavor that I don't often get. It was subtle but sweet. That's one thing I appreciate about Daily Harvest, they take ingredients that I would normally never put together and make something healthy and delicious. 
So the verdict...Daily Harvest is yummy and easy to make. Perfect for those that need a quick meal and/or are starting to step up their food game. For me it works on so many levels. They give me a chance to try something new and to think about my meals. I've always found nutrition a challenge and these little cups help push me in the right direction! I can't wait to try out more flavors!
Thanks, Bunny
Ps. So now I think I am addicted to the Mint/Cacao Smoothies. Soooo good!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blood and Sand

On the bar menu for our beach day: 
Blood and Sand from the True Blood Cookbook. 
This cocktail comes from the marvelously dramatic Lorena, where the smell of cherry brandy inspires memories of the carnage she and Bill created. They spent their nights partying and drinking blood until the sun came up. I wish the show would have dove a bit deeper into her past but from the small sampling of Lorena's hard yet deeply loving persona...this drink is a match. A bit of sweet royal blood and rough abrasive sand, mixed to perfection. 
I was worried that the whiskey and vermouth would be too strong for me but I was pleasantly surprised, thank you orange juice! Blood and Sand had a delicate balance of tartness to sweet, with a smooth finish and curious undertone of cherry and oak. Creating the perfect cocktail to sip as the waves roll in. I loved that the color was sandy too, fitting it's name and looking a bit creepy, what else could a Truebie ask for! 
Thanks for readin! -Bunny

Friday, June 16, 2017

Styled by Amie

Happy Friday! 
If your handwriting is anything like mine, legible only when typed, then you can really appreciate these chalkboard and lettering skills! Styled by Amie takes boring signs to another level using her stylish and eloquent penmanship. She has done work for Scentsy, Lularoe and other pop-up shops helping to give every event a special and personal touch. 
I was fortunate enough to have Styled by Amie create a few signs for me, for my bridal shower, and they did not disappoint. 
Totally on-point with the Alice in Wonderland theme and super adorable. I wanted to take them home! She even added moss and some playing cards. This girl should seriously create an Etsy shop and take over the calligraphy world! Check out her IG!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sakara Love

So I am in complete love with these Dark Chocolate Cardamom Cookies from Sakara! LOVE! I didn't even know I liked cardamom. Such a great treat...not too sweet, not too savory. Perfect! They are so yummy but a bit too pricey to order all the time :(
A week or two after my last cookie had been eaten I started craving the spice and nutty almond butter of the Sakara cookies. I had to have more, so I decided to try making my own. The main ingredients call for almond flower, almond butter, cardamom and honey. While these still have sugar in them, it was nice not adding in a stick of butter, sugar and a few eggs. Also, you add in chopped dark chocolate. I have never been a huge dark chocolate fan, it can be so bitter, but these cookies turned me around! Such a good combo!
For this mix you have to let it chill out in the fridge over night but that didn't stop me from eating some of the dough he he! 
After rolling out little dough balls onto my cookie sheet and giving them a quick bake, they were ready! So delicious and just like the Sakara ones. They look a little different but it's probably how I molded each one...a little too smooth/round.
Tip: Definitely use a paddle mixer instead of a whisk. The dough became thicker with each ingredient and wasn't the easiest to mold. Plus I added in dark chocolate chips but will chop up the chocolate a bit more when I make them again. That's right, again, again and again ha ha! 
Or I may add the Sakara ones to a Clean order as a special treat. See the link below for the Sakara Clean Boutique. Such great products! I would recommend the beauty and detox waters as well!
Cheers, Bunny

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Comfort Foods

First of the menu, Penne and Arrabbiata Sauce with a tangy carrot and tangelo salad! Pasta will always be a comfort food for many, us included. We tend to watch our carbs so this was a real treat!
This is another dish that I came home to. My sweet hubby already had it prepared and even down-played the spiciness on my portion. I guess Arrabbiata means "angry sauce" named for it's heat/spice due to the combination of tomatoes, garlic and dried red peppers. I didn't mind the spice it had and found the creamy mozzarella melting around the pasta  mouth-watering! I mean...who wouldn't! It was glorious! 
The side dish of carrots and tangelo was juicy and hearty. I enjoyed it a lot. A combo that neither of us would have thought to put together. 
Next we have the yummiest comfort food of them all, grilled cheese! This specific grilled cheese has a healthy twist including beets that I very much appreciated. I present Fontina and Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. For these I need to quote straight from the card, 
"These gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches combine creamy fontina with sautéed arugula and—for a layer of delightfully earthy, tart and sweet flavor—pickled beets." 
That would have been enough for me to down this sweet sandwich but then you rub garlic on the toasted sourdough. Come on....amazing! The citrus salad was very seasonal and refreshing as well. Good flavor combo.
Such a perfect comfort food feeling. Brought me right back to my mom's kitchen. I will definitely have to remake this!

Smoky Seared Cod from Blue Apron

Hi There! 
Here is another Blue Apron meal that we really enjoyed. I love that they are able to send fish and other items without them spoiling. Even so we made sure to cook this one, with the cod, first and it turned out to be a great choice!
When I hear the word cod I don't immediately get excited ha ha! It's a bland white fish but that works well with the other ingredients and spices. Especially the shallot and dates. Like most BA meals, this took about 30 mins overall and was pretty easy to make. The bulk of the work was cooking the cod and roasting the potatoes after slicing them.
The overall flavor is light which I really liked. Each piece was evenly paired and the potatoes were heaven. God I love potatoes! The cod does also have a distinct smokiness as Blue Apron mentions, to go along with the Spanish-style sauce of dates and butter. I would love to have this again! 
Thanks, Bunny

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Quiche from Blue Apron

So I was beyond excited to get the items for this dish. Maybe more excited than someone should be about food LOL but I love me a good Quiche! I rarely get to have one so it was extra special. Side note: Kelly's French Bakery on the Santa Cruz west side have AMAZING quiches. So buttery and scrumptious!
This Blue Apron Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche had everything. It was savory and flavorful, marrying each ingredient together creating a satisfying dinner. I liked that I knew what was in the quiche and it was yummy but a bit healthier than maybe a store bought one would be. Adding the goat cheese was a smart choice too, giving the quiche a little bit of tanginess. I will definitely try to recreate this!
In all honesty...I did not like the Arugula salad...arugula is not my friend and the lemony dressing did not help. My taste-buds immediately rejected it! Craig ate mine ha ha!
Thanks Blue Apron for such a yummy dish!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Beautifully Broken Bisque

 The lust for blood has returned...True Blood that is and I wanted to pay homage to one of the best characters I've ever had the privilege of watching. He is charming, snarky, eloquent, strong, weak, passionate and cultured. A true villain that you couldn't help but be fond of. Some nights I will re-watch TB snuggled in my covers and skip to Russell's scenes. To honor his bloodlust and his love for Talbot here is his Beautifully Broken Bisque. This dish wasn't too complicated and tuned out to look just like the original. 
In a sauce pan, heat up the olive oil and add the onions. Cook the until soft then add in the carrots and then the beets. Cook for another 5 mins. Add the lemon, salt, pepper, broth (I chose veggie) and water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer for about 30 mins and make sure the beets are soft.
 Remove the beets/mixture from heat and let it cool a bit. Then add to your mixer. I only had a blender handy but it worked he he! Once pureed your bisque is ready!
Plate the bisque while warm and garnish with sour cream. We added a bit more pepper and seasoning as well. The bisque was gentle if that makes sense...light and quenching. The beet flavor stood out and while it wasn't powerful, it was hearty. The sour cream completely adds to it as well. Looking like a true bloody bisque, Talbot would have been proud! 
FYI: Be careful with the beets/ of our kitchen looked like vampires tore thought it LOL!
On top of the bisque, I made hush-puppies! A Maryanne/Sam recipe. These little balls of dough were perfect and fun to dip! First you combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add in the cornmeal and stir to blend. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well with a wood spoon, until smooth.
Pour in the buttermilk and mix until absorbed. if the batter is too dense add in more buttermilk. I found that I needed to add a little bit more flour and cornmeal. Once the batter holds it's shape, add the green onions and garlic.
Heat up your vegetable oil in a pot, about 2 inches deep, until it reaches 360 degrees. Plop in rounded tablespoons of batter and watch them form. It's kind of interesting to see them take shape, no two the same. You can drop in about 4 to 5 at a time, it really depends on the size of pot and/or batter.
Turn the frying batter over in the oil to make sure all sides cook evenly. This should only be about 3 mins.
Once cooked, drain each one on a paper towel. You may dust them with more pepper or seasoning if you would like. Voila! perfect hush puppies! These tricked my brain, while I liked them I thought they were supposed to be sweet. They resembled beignets a bit ha ha! I wanted to cover them in powdered sugar! Instead I stuck to the bisque and Craig to his hot sauce...always with that hot sauce! 
Thanks for readin! -Bunny

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blue Apron Love

Happy Friday!
While I have taken a small break from cooking/baking, I have been receiving scrumptious meals from Blue Apron. Each week I opened my door Monday morning to find a huge Blue Apron box. Inside the items are kept in insulated wrapping and on top of two huge ice blocks. All meat items are kept closest to the ice. The box contained three recipes for the week (which you can pick/swap on their website) and each item needed to prepare the meal. We mainly did vegetarian options and two that included fish. Craig always adds some more meat to his portion if needed. It was fun to match all of the ingredients together with their respected receipt card and then pick which to try first. I was always excited about the ones with cheese! he he
I was working late the day after our boxes arrival and came home to a rich and flavorful home. Either driven by hunger, curiosity or love, Craig surprised me with our first Blue Apron meal. It was the sweetest thing! The Indonesian-Spiced Salmon was delicious. It's something that honestly I would have never tried. I didn't know if my tummy or taste buds would be able to handle it but they did. The flavor was light but well seasoned. The freekeh paired well with the salmon and was indeed sweet, spicy and sour!
The Fettuccine with beet, goat cheese and poppy seeds quickly made it's way to the top of my love list. The noodles were so deliciously homemade and the added beets and chard turned them pink! The addition of the veggies and cheese took this seemingly simple meal to another level! I must recreate this he he!
The Za'atar-Roasted Broccoli Salad was another dish I would have strayed from but was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the Fregola Sada paired with the broccoli. Plus the egg brought in more flavor and the roasted almonds a bit of crunch! Good call Blue Apron! 
With our last dish done we felt so accomplished, so adult. We had put meals together before but none so simple yet intricate LOL!  I love that Blue Apron comes with everything you need, even if you still have to chop, slice and season yourself, it's fun and teaches you to try new things. I wasn't really sure how some of these would taste...I am always weary when it comes to spices but was pleasantly surprised. Each ingredient combination worked perfectly. 
Unfortunetly Blue Apron is a bit pricey, at least for us, but we still have a few recipes to try this week! I can't wait to share! 
They have shown us a peek into the amazing flavors the world offers. I would definitely recommend! 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bunny Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Happy Friday!! 
To celebrate a bit of spring showing through all of the rain, I made bunny shaped vanilla sugar cookies. My sister-in-law gave me this little kit for Christmas! It came with mix, marshmallows and a cookie cutter. 
I simply added an egg and some butter, mixed until the it turned to dough. I covered it in saran-wrap and put the dough in the fridge for about an hour.
I preheated the oven to 350 and began rolling out my dough on a cookie sheet using plenty of flour. I cut out little bunnies and arranged them on the tray to bake for about 10 mins. *check on them to make sure they are a little brown on the edges but be careful not to leave them in for too long. A couple of my bunnies didn't make it...they were cut a bit too thin LOL!  For added awesomeness I sprinkled a few of the bunnies! I do love my sprinkles! 
After baked and still warm, add the marshmallows for little cute bunny tails. Voila! Vanilla Sugar Cookies ready to serve. Super adorable and tasty! 

 I thought that Craig might like them with some chocolate so I melted a half cup of dark chocolate chips and drizzled them on top. He was thrilled he he! Thank you Amy for this wonderful gift, perfect for a Cake Bunny!
Thanks for readin!! xoxo
Love, Bunny

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bread Pudding First Attempt

Bread pudding has always been yummy but my true love for it bloomed while we were in New Orleans. For our anniversary date we went to the Commanders Palace which in it's own right was magical and had their famous bread pudding for dessert. Every bite was a piece of heaven!
 I found an older cook book for the Palace and decided to try their bread pudding recipe. For an amateur baker I believe it turned out rather well but there were a few little problems. Which is why I say that this is my first attempt! Even though I really don't need more delicious pudding around the house. I have absolutely no control when it comes to desserts...I can not be trusted! he he

Pudding Ingredients:
1 cup Sugar 
8 tablespoons Butter; softened 
5 Egg; beaten 
1 pint Heavy cream 
1 dash Cinnamon 
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract 
¼ cup Raisins 
12 slices French bread, fresh or stale; 1" thick 

Rum Sauce:
1 cup Sugar 
2¼ cup Water 
1 Cinnamon stick; OR 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground 
1 tablespoon Butter, sweet 
½ teaspoon Cornstarch 
1 tablespoon Rum, light or dark 

To start I cut up my bread into 12 slices and preheated my oven to 350. 
Then started on the mixture, adding the sugar and butter first then the eggs (beaten), cream, raisins, cinnamon and vanilla.
 In a small pan I added the mixture and placed the bread pieces over the top. I let them soak for 5 mins then flipped them over for another 5 to 10 mins. After the bread has hopefully soaked up a lot of the pudding mixture, push them to the bottom of the pan. 
Place the pan in a larger one with about a few inches of water. Cover the pan with tinfoil and place in the oven.
Cook for 35 mins and then remove the tinfoil and cook for an additional 10 mins.
 I think this might have been where I went wrong, I may have not cooked the pudding long enough. It was still a bit soupy. I tried to cook it for a bit longer and it got a little firmer.
While the dish cooked I made the rum sauce! In a pot I stirred together the sugar, water (2 cups), ground cinnamon and butter, bringing it to a boil. Then added the remaining water and cornstarch, switching to a simmer and stirring. The sauce is supposed to become clear but I couldn't get it that close. Either way it was yummy! Once "clear" I removed the pot from the heat and added the rum.
I spooned out some of the bread pudding into a bowl and added the rum sauce....what resulted after that moment can only be described as pure satisfaction...the look of contentment and joy washed over our faces as we consumed bite after bite. This bread pudding was warm, sweet and hearty. Even though it was not quite Commanders status it was no less scrumptious. I will definitely be giving this a second try!!!
Thanks for readin! -Bunny