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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

From Your Kitchen To Mine: Recipes 81-85

5 new recipes from 5 different blogs today! And a delicious bonus recipe at the bottom of the page that you should definitely check out.
 The 5 recipes from this week brings the total number of recipes completed thus far to 85!  Can you believe that??  85 recipes from 85 blogs.  Only 15 left!  If you have any tasty recipes from your blog that you'd like to share, please pass them along.  Or,  if you've spotted or tried any tasty recipes from someone else's blog, please send me a link and I'll feature you in the remaining 3 weeks! 

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**If your recipe is featured today, feel free to grab my button and tell the world you were featured here!
I'd love it :)!**







Check out this week's recipes!


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Baked Calamari
 
 
Scott and I love to order calamari as an appetizer when we go out on dates, but let's be honest, fried calamari isn't really the best for our health.  I thought it would be fun to try a healthier option to this fried dish, so I set out on a mission to find a good recipe.  Thankfully, my search didn't take long and it led me to deux chicago.  The recipe is super easy and there actually aren't a ton of ingredients involved.  In about 15 minutes, our tasty appetizer was ready for consumption!  So great!  Thanks, Alison!


Click here for the recipe.

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3 Ingredient Ravioli

3 ingredients for ravioli?  Really?  Those were the questions I had when I first saw this recipe on Healthy Addiction. When I read the ingredients, it was pretty clear:  only 3 ingredients for the ravioli.  There are 3 types of sauces listed that have additional ingredients.  All of the sauces sounded so good, I couldn't decide which one to choose.  I asked Scott which kind of sauce he would prefer and he said the mushroom sauce sounded good, so I went with that!  This was my first time making ravioli--while I didn't make the actual noodle from scratch, I had an amazing sense of accomplishment when I looked down the little ravioli all bundled up.  It took some time to fill all of those!  Anyway, we were very happy with the outcome of the dish.  I can't wait to try some of the other sauces. 

 Click here for the recipe.

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Tuna Risotto

Mmmm...risotto!  I love it so.  When I came across this clean tuna risotto recipe on Eve Was (Partially) Right, I got pretty happy.  The best of both worlds: clean and tasty!  We got all of the flavor without any of the guilt.  While risotto isn't the most difficult thing to make, it does take your full attention and supervision.  Constantly stirring it and adding ingredients kept me pretty busy.  Because tuna was added to it, I treated that as the main course of the meal and accompanied it with a sized of squash--delicious!  Thanks so much, Maura!
Click here for the recipe.

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Skinny Sloppy Joes
 

Confession:  Anything that has the word "skinny" in front has a good chance of catching my attention, especially when it comes to recipes.  There's no surprise that this Skinny Sloppy Joes recipe from Allie's Changing Kitchen caught my eye then, huh?  Confession #2:  When I say "sloppy joe," 9 times out of 10 that old SNL "Sloppy Joe" skit's song pops in my head (is it in yours yet??).  The recipe was so easy to make and loaded with great veggies!  I substituted the pork for ground lean turkey to keep it on the ultra skinny side.  The picture above shows a little of how sloppy this meal really was.  In this case, sloppy=perfect!  Great flavor and really satisfying...yum!  Thanks for sharing this recipe, Allie!

Click here for the recipe.

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Asian-Style Pan Seared Salmon

This recipe came from Mari at Once Upon A Plate.  I was excited to try this recipe when I read the ingredients list for the sauce.  The list showed so much promise for great flavor--and the promise was fulfilled!  I made one change to the sauce, instead of using brown sugar, I used honey and it still turned out great.  A few days after I made this dish, Scott and I went out to eat at a really nice restaurant.  The special for the night was salmon dish that sounded just like this one so I decided to try it out.  It tasted exactly like this dish!  Delicious!!  I let Scott try a bite and he agreed.  This will be a repeat meal for sure!  Thank you, Mari!
Click here for the recipe.

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BONUS!!

Mushrooms and Peas with 
Miso Quinoa Dressing

This bonus recipe came from my good friend, Andrea.  She found it on the Whole Foods Market Recipe App and thought I may want to try it out.  I'm so glad she did--this side dish was amazing and went perfectly with the pan seared salmon (above).  Thanks so much Andrea!  

Ingredients: 
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups packaged miso broth or 2 cups water mixed with 4 teaspoons miso paste
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup diced green onions

Directions
  1. Place quinoa in fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Drain quinoa and set aside.
  2. In a heavy medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add diced carrot and sauté about 2 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms, garlic and ground ginger and sauté until garlic is fragrant and vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Add quinoa and stir for about 1 minute. Mix in broth. Cover and simmer over low heat until quinoa is almost tender, about 12 minutes. 
  5. Add peas, cover and continue simmering until quinoa grains are translucent and liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes more. 
  6. Transfer to bowl and stir in diced green onion.
 

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Well, that's it for this week, I hope you all enjoyed the recipes  
~From Your Kitchen To Mine~!  

85 Complete- 15 left

  I'll be back with 5 new recipes next week....




If you're interested in having your recipe sampled and featured, click here for more information. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Lighthouse Edit

Happy Thursday, friends!  How are you?  I hope all is well!  This week's Edit Me Challenge photo came from Desirae at Sommerfugl Photography and Design.  


Desirae is a mother, web designer, blogger, graphic artist, photographer, pencil artist, wife, daughter, freelancer, animal lover...whew, Desirae, how do you do it all?  So glad she found time in her schedule to snap and share this really cool photo for us to edit this week!  



Here's the photo before: 


Here's the photo after my edit:

For those of you who've been following along on my Edit Me Challenge journey, you may know that I keep things pretty conservative.  Well, this time, I decided to have lots of fun with the edit and do something out of the ordinary--for me, that is!  I wanted to make the lighthouse look like it was glowing and really emitting light

Here's what I did: 

- I cropped the picture so the lighthouse was centered.
- Increased the temperature and decreased the tint a little bit
-I upped the exposure a bit, but not too much.  But I really increased the recovery, fill light, and blacks. 
- I increased the brightness quite a bit (almost maxed out).  I had the contrast levels pretty even at first, but I like the way increasing the contrast made the edges look. 
- I decided to give the photo a true glowing effect by giving it a post-crop vignette to darken the edges. 

What do you think?  What would you do?

Thanks for the cool shot for us to edit, Desirae!  
Edit Me

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

International Spies!

For Father's Day, Scott and I traveled up to Virginia and spent the weekend with my dad, and my brother & his wife.  We went into DC one day and checked out the International Spy Museum--pretty cool!  Here are some pictures I took of our time in DC.  

The International Spy Museum--very cool!  Have you ever been?

My brother was wearing some pretty cool shades with an awesome reflection--I caught this shot in his sunglasses.

My brother.  I mean, if I saw him on the street, I wouldn't think he was a spy...would you?

Me and Scott outside of the museum before our exploration began.

My brother and dad catching up.
Trying some different angles.

And there's me...snapping away!



Linking Up Here: 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From Your Kitchen to Mine: Recipes 76-80

Hey All!  5 new recipes to share with you and they're all clean!  I hope you enjoy.  Let me know if you try one and what you think about it.  But if you do, make sure you also tell the person who provided the recipe!

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**If your recipe is featured today, feel free to grab my button and tell the world you were featured here!
I'd love it :)!**




Check out this week's recipes!

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Steak Tacos With Avocado Cream Sauce

This recipe came from Kayti at Incredible Shrinking Mom.  I love Southwestern/Mexican food, but there aren't always healthy options that fall in this genre.  When I saw this recipe, and that it was clean, I knew I had to try it.  This meal didn't take long at all; the thinly sliced steak cooked pretty quickly.  I was amazed at how much flavor there was even though it wasn't drenched in salsa or another type of sauce.  The avocado cream sauce was pretty tasty, but if you're not up for creams, regular guacamole will work well too.  I'm definitely making this again.  Thanks, Kayti!


Click here for the recipe.

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Crispy Chipotle Bean Burrito

This recipe came from Healthy Working Mom.  Yes, we were in the mood for some tacos and burritos last week.  This recipe, like the previous one, was also very tasty and surprisingly easy to make...except for one part.  Since I began this series, I've made more recipes with phyllo dough than I've ever even thought about phyllo dough in the past 10 years, but I'm still having a little trouble getting it to fully cooperate.  I'm getting a little better, but I think I'm doing something wrong because the dough breaks on me so easily.  Any pointers??  Anyway, aside for the phyllo dough drama, it was a great meal.  Scott and I really liked it and we happily consumed the leftovers (yes, it made leftovers) the next day for lunch!  Yum!

 Click here for the recipe.

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Alfredo Tutto Giardino

This recipe came from Sarah at Cooking Through Books.  I was so excited when I came across this recipe.  A clean alfredo dish??  Yes, please!  After chopping up and cooking all the yummy veggies, I attempted to make the alfredo sauce.  Note, I said attempted.  I'm really not sure what happened or what went wrong, but there's a definite difference between the look of the sauce on my pasta versus the one in Sarah's picture.  Somehow, it managed to still taste great.  If for no other reason than to get the sauce right, I'll be making this again!  But there is another reason:  we loved it!  Thanks, Sarah!

Click here for the recipe.

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Overflowing Portobellos

Overflowing portobellos--delicious.  This recipe came from teen chef, Ann Claire, over at A Flourishing Foodie.  There are some people who don't like mushrooms--Scott & I don't fall into that category.  If you don't like mushrooms, or if you're allergic, obviously this is not the dish for you.  This dish was super tasty and I'm so glad I tried it out.  I almost made a huge mistake while making it...I almost forgot to add the balsamic vinegar.  Don't make my almost-made mistake.  I think the vinegar is what really ties in the flavors and enhances them.  After we finished dinner, Scott asked if I could make this again.  The answer is:  Yes!  So tasty and super easy to put together.  Thanks, Ann Claire!

Click here for the recipe.

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Porcini & Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I don't make mashed potatoes often, but I thought it would be fun to try a healthy version of this side dish.  I found this recipe on Cleaning Up:  A Clean Eating Journal.  I liked that there wasn't a ton of milk and no butter for this recipes--nice and clean!  The ingredients were pretty straight forward, although I did have a tough time finding procini mushrooms.  Aside from the unique ingredients list, making procini and garlic mashed potatoes was really no different than making any other kind of mashed potatoes which made it pretty easy.  I ended up with a lot of mashed potatoes at the end--plenty to go around!  Next time, I may experiment a little more with the seasonings.  Overall, we really enjoyed this side dish.

Click here for the recipe.

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Well, that's it for this week, I hope you all enjoyed the recipes  
~From Your Kitchen To Mine~!  

80 Complete- 20 left

  I'll be back with 5 new recipes next week....
Here's a preview of one of the recipes I'll be sharing.



If you're interested in having your recipe sampled and featured, click here for more information.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gravity and Love



“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”
 -Albert Einstein



But it is responsible for this maneuver my husband calls "The Trust Fall."  A trust fall consists of Scott spontaneously falling and trusting that I'll catch him.  Thanks to our friends at Parapet for catching this shot!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An Update & An Edit

Hey Everyone!  I have some exciting news to share with you all.  Do you remember the amazing giveaway that I had back in January?  So sorry if you missed out on it.  Parapet Photography was generous enough to offer a free photo shoot for the winner and a bunch of other fun things in the package.  Well, I have an update for you...the photos are back! 

Source

Our lucky winner, Christy, used her photo shoot to capture some fun bridal pictures with her husband.  They have some beautiful shots and Parapet Photography has been generous enough to give us a little glimpse of some of them on their blog.  Click here to check them out!  Congratulations, again, to Christy and a BIG thank you to Parapet Photography--you all rock!

Source

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The Edit Me Challenge photo this week is from Jaymi at Live, Love, Travel.  Jaymi gives great photo editing advice and shares some amazing shots on her site--you should check it out!

I was SO excited when I saw the picture.  It looked beautiful before the edit, but I was excited to brighten & warm it up a bit. 

Here's The Before: 

Here's My After:

Here's what I did:  
  • I wanted to keep the look and feel of the picture natural.  
  • I decided not to crop the photo because I liked the rocks in the background and I really just didn't want to cut anything out. 
  • I decreased the exposure a bit but upped the fill light and the blacks of the photo
  • I increased the brightness and contrast slightly as well
  • To give the photo some warmth, I increased the vibrance and saturation, but I tried not to overdo it. 

What do you think about what I did?  What would you do differently?



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Fitness Goal

It's been a little while since I've shared anything about fitness goals and that's largely due to the fact that it's been awhile since I even set a fitness goal for myself.  Well, my friends, that has changed.  Actually, it changed two weeks ago but I haven't shared anything about it here--and that changes today.

For the last few months, I've gotten out of shape and started to put on weight.  Most of the weight gain came from not eating balanced meals and working out sporadically.

Two weeks ago, I created and started to follow a pretty good fitness program.  The focus of the plan is on getting cardio in 6 times a week and strength training in at least 4 times a week.  Of course, a good workout plan should be accompanied by a well-balanced meal plan.  For those of you who follow my From Your Kitchen To Mine series, you've seen that I've been choosing to share healthier options for meals.  They're healthier but soo tasty!!

My Motivation
The fitness plan I created for myself is 12 weeks long.  Over course of the plan, I've decided weigh myself once a week to track changes in body weight and keep track of inches lost by recording my measurements.  My overall goal is to stick with the 12-week program and finish it.  As a result of sticking with the program, I hope to drop 20 pounds. 

Let's talk about motivation.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a super cute dress in the store.  I tried it on, and it fit, but it just didn't hang right on my body, but I bought it anyway.  I typically don't do that, but I think when I reach the *12 pounds lost* marker, it will look much better.  When I got home from the store, I showed Scott the dress and told him I lose 12 pounds, I'm going to put the dress on and he's going to take me on a hot date!  He agreed and I'm pretty excited to reach my goal.  (He's probably way more excited than I am).  The dress in the picture  isn't the exact dress I bought, but it looks a lot like it--it's my motivation!  After 2 weeks, I'm already down 6, I'm halfway there!  6 down, 6 more to go.

I also told Scott that when I meet my final goal, he has surprise me with something really cool.  I'm interested to see what it is, but until then, I'll keep up with my plan.  10 more weeks left and then I'll develop another one.

Do you have any fitness goals?  If so, I'd love to hear them!
 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From Your Kitchen to Mine: Recipes 71-75

5 new recipes today and all of them are clean and healthy!!  


Let's take a look!

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**If your recipe is featured today, feel free to grab my button and tell the world you were featured here!
I'd love it :)!**






Check out the recipes!

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Southwest Turkey Meatballs & Salsa

This recipe came from Christina at Hungry Meets HealthyI'm a big fan of turkey meatballs and I thought it would be fun to try a new recipe.  I came across this recipe and was really excited because of the Southwestern flare and salsa that accompanied it.  I wasn't disappointed--neither was Scott.  We both really enjoyed this dish.  The recipe was straight forward and very manageable; it didn't take long to get everything put together and cooked up.  It was great to have enough for leftovers too!   For some reason mine turned out to be more of a soup, and I'm not too sure why.  Maybe I should've let it simmer a little longer?  Oh well, it was still delicious!  Thanks, Christina!!


Click here for the recipe.

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Smoky BBQ Halibut With Scallions

This recipe came from Begins at Sundown Cooks. Begins at Sundown used cod for her dish, but I read on her blog post that the original recipe called for halibut, so I used halibut to make the meal.  I was surprised by how easy and tasty the BBQ sauce was.  Wow!  There seemed to be a lot of random flavors put together, but they blended beautifully!  I used our indoor grill to cook these up and accompanied the halibut and scallions with some sweet potato fries.  The whole meal left us both satisfied.  Very tasty!  


 Click here for the recipe.

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Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna



This recipe came from Sarah at Peas and Thank You.  Sarah has an abundant supply of vegan recipes at her site; something I'm just starting to dabble in (right now my goal is one per week).  I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, because I've never used zucchini strips as lasagna noodles--nor have I even thought to.  While Sarah's lasagna maintained form, mine did not.  I guess I should've heeded Scott's advice and let it cool a little bit, but I was so hungry, and it smelled so yummy that I wanted to dig in and try some.  WOW!  Talk about great flavors.  We both loved this.  I told Scott that next time I'd try cutting the zucchini differently and actually let it cool.  He responded:  "Next time?  Good, there's gonna be a next time.  This is great!"  Oh yes, there will be a next time!  Thanks a bunch, Sarah!
Click here for the recipe.

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Cheeseburger Pizza


I love trying healthy versions of pizzas.  This recipe came from Angie at CLEAN FREAK.  I was intrigued by the culinary equation of cheeseburger + pizza + clean...I wanted to learn for myself what that would equal.  Scott and I discovered, like Angie, that the combination of those three variables = amazing!  This meal was a breeze to make and fun to put together.  I had to transform my thinking from traditional pizza toppings to cheeseburger toppings.  I used whole wheat pizza dough for the base and lean ground turkey meat instead of angus beef.  We had plenty for leftovers and enjoyed them for lunch the following day.  Thanks, Angie!

Click here for the recipe.

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Thai Peanut Noodles With Shrimp


While constructing the meal plan for the week, I asked Scott what kind of cuisine he'd like.  After he asked for something Asian-inspired, I started my quest to fulfill his one culinary wish for the week.  Thankfully, I found this recipe on Cookin' In Our Bubbleworld.  As complicated as this dish may sound and as intricate as it may look, it's not.  It was so easy to make!  I really appreciated the flavors of the sauce.  Honestly, I wasn't sure if the sauce would provide enough flavor for the dish, but it did--we were both happy with it.  You know what I was even more happy about?  That it made extra!  Finding/making lunch the next day was a breeze and a treat.  Thanks Doug & Sheilah!!
Click here for the recipe.

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Well, that's it for this week, I hope you all enjoyed the recipes  
~From Your Kitchen To Mine~!  

75 Complete- 25 left

  I'll be back with 5 new recipes next week....
Here's a preview of one of the recipes I'll be sharing.
 
If you're interested in having your recipe sampled and featured, click here for more information.  

 
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