Yesterday the Hubz and I headed out bright an early to start on a 15 mile hike on the Long Trail. We started at Codding Hollow and hiked to Eden’s Crossing, climbing Laraway, Butternut and Bowen Mountains reach the summit at each and both the north and south summit at Bowen. This hike was one of the most difficult that I have done but it was an amazing time. We hit tons of mud, steep climbs, a set of stairs to get to Ritterbush Pond outlook which just killed me because it was at the last 1.7 miles and after 9 hours of hiking I was pretty beat. One of the most difficult areas however was a section called Devil’s Gulch which is all rocks, so there was a lot of sliding down on my bum to get through. One of the best things we purchased recently was a Camelbak backpack which was great because we had to refill the bladder twice, which made the Hubz happy because he got to use our water purification stuff. Next weekend we are hiking another section at Smugglers Notch while we camp so it should be an adventure.
Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to blog this morning because the Hubz and I are getting ready to go get bagels and then head out on a 12 mile hike on the Long Trail.
Last night we had our first dinner party at our new home! I made a peanutty pad thai, cucumber salad and tempeh lettuce wraps.
After dinner we played a game “What is Yours Like” which was pretty fun, however, the best part of after dinner were the Coco-Zen Truffles that we ate. Isn’t the tin really cute that they came in? It turns into a lunch box after!
Also I am excited to say that all of my OpenSky stuff that I ordered on Tuesday came yesterday, service was quick and efficient!
Q: Have you ordered anything from OpenSky yet?
Last night the husband and I had a cleaning/prep night for our first guests to our new home. We are so excited to have people over however I wish that we had more furniture so that things didn’t look so empty and that our style was displayed more. I honestly just wish that Young House Love pair would just stop on over and make everything look amazing. Until then here is a sneak peak of our “before” pictures- I hope that within the next 6 months I will bee able to show you the “after” photos. I am open to your ideas at inexpensive ways to improve our living space so let me know!
Not photographed: Laundry/Storage Room, Pantry, all of the closets, and entry way.
After all the organizing and cleaning/prepping for our guests I felt a lot like this:
So I decided it was time to make some dinner, enjoy a glass of wine and some chocolates.
For dinner I decided to keep things easy with a yummy veggie and tofu fried rice.
- 1/2 head of kale ripped into small pieces
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1 corn cob of kernels
- 1 small onion minced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1/2T sesame chili oil
- 1/4t white pepper
- 1/4t chili flakes
- 2T low sodium soy sauce
- 1T mushroom soy sauce
- 2 Cups of cooked rice
In a wok heat the oil over high head and toss in all of the vegetables; cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients and toss together until heated and evenly coated. Top with baked tofu.
After spending a little time hitting the books the Hubz and I sat down with a glass of wine and some delicious chocolates. Again I whipped out the Ravi Wine Chiller and enjoyed a glass of vegan wine; a great suggestion from the wine shop in downtown Burlington.
Coco-Zen sent me a sample of their Truffles-To-Give: 2 Tier Chocolate Orange & Chai to try and the hubz and I are in love. These are the most decadent, creamy, delicious truffles I have ever tried. I am absolutely hooked and can’t wait to buy these as treats again and for gifts fro friends and families.
Disclaimer: Coco-Zen provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
I used to eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning but once the weather got warm it just wasn’t as appealing for me and ever since I have struggled to find something that fills me up and keeps me satisfied until lunch. I tried oats with soygurt, toast, cereal, smoothies and fruit but none of them seemed to work. Now I am back to my old ways and in the oatmeal groove and I’m loving it.
This mornings oats included my favorites: Irish Style Oats, cinnamon, chia seeds…..
banana and coconut peanut butter!
Nothing goes better with oatmeal than a french press of coffee in a tiki mug!
Q: What is your go to breakfast?
Yesterday was busy with meetings, appointments, CSA pickups and lots of organizing before our first guests visit our new home. Since it was going to be a busy day the Hubz stopped and picked up iced coffees for us after his trip to the gym.
After our whirlwind day we finally sat down to a meal that was filled with delicious items from our CSA. In our CSA this week we received 2 lbs Red Beets; 2 lbs Onions; 1 Bunch Kale; 1 Bunch of Thyme; 1.5 lb Beefsteak or Heirloom Tomatoes; 1 Bag Spicy Brassica Mix; 6 ears of Sweet Corn; 1 Qt Frozen Winter Squash Puree. Last night I used half the kale to make baked kale chips, 2 corn on the cob for baked corn and 1 tomato for our pita pizzas.
The kale was tossed with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne and baked at 425F for about 7 minutes; just until it began to crisp up. The corn was removed from it’s husk and rubbed down with a little Earth Balance and then sprinkled with nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper and rolled up in aluminum foil and baked at 425F for 15minutes. The little pita pizzas had a slice of vegan cheese of half of a pita with a leftover bean&rice burger, tomato and quarter of an avocado.
After dinner I caught up with my BFF for awhile over skype since we hadn’t talked via phone/skype in over a month and then I decided that it would be a great time to try out the Ravi Wine Chiller. I learned something new last night that red wine is often served too warm! I was unsure about the Ravi Wine Chiller at first thinking that maybe it would make my red wine too cold but it was perfect! It has a great little valve on the side that the more your thumb is over it the slower the wine pours out and the colder it gets; so for red wine you just let it run through the chiller and it brings it to a proper temperature without making it cold.
Q: What is your favorite type of wine to drink? or do you enjoy wine?
P.S. From now until August 16th you can save 25% of your total purchase when you use coupon code EXCITE25; this a one time use only so make sure to check out other items on my OpenSky shop as well as others shops before checking out!
Disclaimer: Ravi provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
Yesterday after work I wasn’t feeling great so I just spent the afternoon relaxing on the couch with the fur baby. I wasn’t really feeling up to solid foods but was hungry so I decided to make myself a smoothie. In the smoothie I had original 1 cup unsweetened hemp milk, 1/4 of a cantaloupe, 1/2 banana and about 1 cup of frozen mango.
It was so cool and refreshing I think it is my new smoothie love. I also tried out my new GlassDharma straw which I absolutely love! It as a little weird to drink our of at first but I really like it. Above is just one of the straws I have and I can’t wait to show you the others! Not only are these straws pretty but they are sustainable, dishwasher safe, kid friendly and they have a life time guarantee; you can’t beat that! Also at first I was like how am I supposed to clean this thing? Well GlassDharma includes a cleaning brush which makes things so much easier because otherwise I would have had a hard time getting that smoothie residue out of the straw. They are also part of my new OpenSky Shop where right now until August 16th you can save 25% of your total purchase when you use coupon code EXCITE25; this a one time use only so make sure to check out other items on my OpenSky shop as well as others shops before checking out!
Finally dinner time rolled around and I knew the Hubz would not be down for a liquid dinner so I decided to use up some veggies and rice that was in the fridge and make bean and rice burgers. This is one of my favorite things to make when I have left over grains, veggies and beans in the pantry. I also love how easy it is to make these because there is very little work that I have to do; I just stick everything except the spices, condiments and rice into the food processor and pulse. In last nights mix there was: 1/2 parsley, 10 olives, 1 carrot, 1/2 onion and 1 can of drained and rinsed white beans all tossed into the food processor.
Pulse everything until it is pretty well combined but there are still some small chunks.
Once the mixture has reached the right consistency dump it into a bowl and start adding the remaining ingredients: 1 cup of cooked rice or grain (I only had white rice; need to restock the pantry), 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1t salt, 1/2t black pepper, 1t chili flakes (optional), 1t paprika, 1 heaping tablespoon each of dijon mustard and tomato ketchup, 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce and 1t garlic powder.
Mix to combine all of the ingredients and then scoop out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a 425F oven for 23-27 minutes, flipping part way through. I then topped mine with a little BBQ sauce and served it up with roasted broccoli.
I get this question a lot of time from friends and family: “I really want a food processor however they are a lot of money, do you have any suggestions for a lower cost one?” YES! I do have a great suggestion! I have always wanted wanted a really nice Cuisinart 14 cup food processor, however these are around $200+ and just not in my budget at this time. I one day was checking out reviews online for lower end food processors and came across the Black & Decker Quick & Easy and decided that the price was right and that I would get one. I have now had mine for a few years and I love it! I can make hummus, dips, veggie burgers, cookies and baked goods, and my favorite banana ice cream in it with no problem. When I was looking through OpenSky to see what items that I love and use in the kitchen I was excited to see that they actually had this food processor so now you can have it too!
For now I am going to be glad I have a good food processor that works but I still am dreaming of the day when I will come home to a nice big Cuisinart food processor.
Q: What one appliance do you wish you had but don’t?
This morning had a pretty lazy start to it but now that I am looking at the clock I realize I have to make this quick and get ready for work.
I made the Hubz and I some oatmeal and coffee to start our day. In today’s mix there was Scottish Style Oats, chia seeds (which you can now buy in my OpenSky shop), cinnamon, stevia, banana and Justins Chocolate Almond Butter. I love almond butter and what a treat it was to have some a touch of chocolate with it!
To go with our oatmeal I made some of my favorite Kicking Horse Coffee in my Bodum Brazil French Press which is another item that is available in my new OpenSky store. In my last post I went through my process of making coffee using a french press but if you have any questions let me know!
The Hubz and I spent the remainder of the morning looking over this:
We have been trying to get out and do a few day hikes here and there so we were trying to decide where we would go the next two weekends. This turned into a discussion about where we should go for our week long hike next summer; yes I have been convinced to do a week long hike and I’m pretty excited about it. At this point it is a matter of picking up the supplies that we need over the next 9-10 months.
Q: Have you ever done a week long backpacking adventure?
Also a reminder that from now until August 16th when you use coupon code EXCITE25 you’ll receive 25% off any product on OpenSky.