Monday, April 17, 2017

Shouting from the roof tops.

Sometimes I feel the need to tell people all the things that I am loving.  Like I am a bad person for not sharing.  Of course almost everything is food.... okay I think everything on this list is food.  But the other thing I am loving right now is books and I just did a whole post about books.  So here we go, things that I am absolutely in love with right now.

1. Quinn Popcorn

Popcorn has been a big thing in my family my whole life.  Every Sunday it was typically our evening meal.  There was only 1 way to make popcorn in my house.  Air popped with melted butter poured all over it.  I hate microwaved popcorn.  Until now.  I almost feel guilty telling anyone about Quinn microwaved popcorn because IT IS SO expensive.  Like almost $5.00 for 2 bags!  Yikes.  But it is so so so stinkin' good.  Like better than any popcorn I've ever had good.  The kernels are better than any other.  AND the dehydrated butter poured over the popcorn is DELICIOUS.  For some reason even better than just regular butter?  Weird.  I know.  But so delicious.  So like I said I feel guilty telling anyone because once you've had this popcorn it will be darn near impossible to go back to any microwaved chemical tasting stuff. 

2. Artisan Bread

Both Erica and Marcie hadn't made this, so I feel the need to share that it is the most AMAZING fool proof bread in the history of the world!  (Yes, shouting from the roofs tops, if possible)

So easy.  And looks so impressive.  I've made it a few ways.  Here is my personal favorite.

12-24 hours (I've even done it 3 hours before and just upped the amount of yeast and it turned out great)  before you'd like to eat the bread mix the following ingredients in a bowl.
1.5 c water *water temp doesn't really matter
3 c flour
1.5 t salt
.25 t yeast

stir together.  Cover with a lid or wrap.

Let sit on your counter for 12-24 hours.

About 2 hours before you want to eat the bread, turn on the oven to 450.  Either put the insert to your crock pot, or a casserole dish with a lid or your fancy dancy French named dutch oven or in our case, our actual camping dutch oven in the oven to heat up.  (If you use your crock pot insert or any other pot that doesn't have a lid, plan on putting tin foil to over the bread for the first 30 minutes of baking)

Pull the super sticky dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface.  Knead it 4-5 times (it'll be super sticky so I put flour on my hands first and just work with it until it resembles a roundish ball.  And then place the dough on a piece of parchment paper.  Let it sit for 30 minutes while the dish in the oven heats up.  After 30 minutes place the parchment paper and dough into the super hot dutch oven.  Bake for 30 minutes then take off the lid or tin foil for another 15 minutes.

Take the bread out of the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting (if you want it to look good, otherwise DIG in!)

Best easiest bread ever.

3. Brie Fondue
This recipe came from Erica.  And it made the PERFECT delicious fancy dancy meal with the bread mentioned above.

Read for how easy.

Mince some garlic.  Cook the garlic in olive oil * like a tablespoon or 2 until golden brown on medium heat.
Cut the rind off a round of Brie.
Turn the heat down to medium low.  Add the Brie and cook until melted.
Garnish with fresh or dried rosemary.

Yes, easy as that.  AND SO delicious.

4. Good Morning Power Muffins

I love this recipe because it has no added sugar, just molasses.  Carrots.  And quinoa!  When I have leftover quinoa from dinner I make these!  So so so yummy!

5. Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes
I shouldn't admit how often Jason and I eat these Lava Cakes.... ok, almost every night.  It's true!  They are soo so  easy.  And they make 6 cakes with our ramkins so we bake 2 and put the batter in the fridge for later.

Having made this recipe at least 2 dozen times.  Yes embarrassing.  Here are some things I've learned.  
Our changes:
- She talks a lot about having quality chocolate.  We aren't convinced that is really important.  We have done both really high quality and not and really can't tell that big of difference.  (Maybe our palettes aren't refined enough?)  So we now just use whatever semi sweet chocolate chips we have around.

- We cut the butter down to cube rather than 10 T because 10 T is just annoying.  And honestly we can't tell a difference.

- Also we just use 5 whole eggs rather than 3 whole eggs and 3 yolks because that just gets annoying as well.  And once again we haven't been able to tell a difference.  

- We cut back on the sugar to like 1.25 cups sugar.
- I whip the eggs like she suggests for a few minutes but then I just add all the rest of the ingredients and whip them rather than folding them.  Once again we haven't been able to tell a difference.  

- Baking time is where it really gets tricky.  It will just depend on your oven and how cooked you like your molten.  
Here's what mine looks like straight out of the oven.  Delicious! 

6. OH this reminds me of my other favorite product!  Baker's Joy
I LOVE this stuff.  It make be full of chemicals (I haven't really checked) but I love it!  It is a cooking spray with flour added!  So you don't have to grease and flour baking dishes any more.  It is wonderful.  (So wonderful Jason bought 5 cans last time we went to Walmart...)

7. Fruit AND Vegetable pouches
I am sorry for all mothers that had to have kids without these!!!  Finding fruits and vegetables that Brad will eat in a hurry is SO hard.  These pouches have been a life saver!  Of course they are not all created equal.  I always look from pouches that have almost 100% vitamin A because that way I know there are a lot of vegetables in it and not just apple sauce.  I laugh at all the baby products that advertise vegetables in them and then have absolutely no nutrient value.  Anyway, love these.  I have always purchased the reusable pouches.... but sadly, this working mom doesn't have energy to make my own concoctions right now.  Maybe someday....

8. Grape Ice Breakers Ice cube
A little bit random but I have been loving this gum.  And it has xylitol in it.  Which according to 2 of my best friends in my singles ward who have now made whole careers off of selling gum with xylitol, it helps to prevent cavities.  So there you go.  

9. Some other recipes I have been making a lot lately,.
 Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup  
except I leave out the bacon because I am too lazy and I think the sausage adds plenty of flavor.

Mongolian Beef

Chicken Verde Soup
except I just use bottled Salsa Verde rather than making it. 

10. Okay I'll throw in ONE none food related item:  It's hard for me to swallow my pride on this one because I am actually pretty upset about it.  Step Aerobics has been my workout of choice for 10 years.  I love how hard it is, how it keeps your mind working, and how you can easily increase the intensity if you want.  Well.... step is hard and there is definitely a learning curve.  And new gym goers aren't willing to learn it.  So it is a dying art.  So. Sad.  So let me be clear.  I will always prefer Step to any form of indoor cardio.

That being said.  I am jumping on the bandwagon.
In case you aren't familiar with the new Mormon fitness craze that's sweeping the nation... it is a choreographed hour long workout that does lots of jumping, burpees, and some body weight strength training.  I have lots of things I can easily criticize about it, mainly that I don't feel like it is that hard of a workout, but last time I attended a class I wore my heart rate monitor.  I was shocked.  My heart rate average was about 160 bpm for the entire hour.  (Which is about the same as if I was running a 7:30 minute mile for me)  So I figure I need to jump on the bandwagon.  ESPECIALLY because it doesn't feel very hard!  So I guess I have caught the High...

11. BCAAs from Idealfit
What is a BCAAs?  Honestly I have no idea.  It's the huge craze right now in the fitness world I am currently apart of.  Does it really make a huge difference?  I don't know, I love the taste and I like drinking it while I workout.  I feel it helps but who knows.  The taste of Raspberry Lemonade on the other hand, absolutely delicious.  (I just got the grape.... not bad but definitely not as good as Raspberry lemonade.)

Here is what their website says BCAAs are: BCAAs stand for Branched Chain Amino Acids, and they're essentials for muscle growth and recovery. IdealLean BCAAs not only contain a proven 2:1:1 BCAA ratio to maximize recovery and endurance, they also pack in a unique Fat-Loss Blend to help me stay lean, and coconut water powder so I’ll stay hydrated. Making weight can be the hardest part of any fight, and IdealLean BCAAs help me stay on track because they’re 0 calorie, 0 sugar, and 0 fat.

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