Thursday, August 28, 2014

Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe + Vita Nut Milk Bag Giveaway!

I am really excited about the new recipe I just tried...Strawberry Almond Milk! I was recently asked if I wanted to review a Vita Nut Milk Bag...not quite sure what I was going to do with it yet, I said of course! I'm always up for a fun, new things! Plus, they are giving my readers the chance to win their own Vita Milk Bag too...hoooray! (giveaway below).

I have never been a huge almond milk fan. Not because I didn't like it or anything, just because I could drink regular milk so I didn't really see the point. Well it is now evident to me that I have been completely in the dark about something so awesome for so long!

With my new Vita Nut Milk Bag came a free e-book download. Which is awesome because I didn't even know where to begin. My eye immediately caught the Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe for a few reasons. 1. It sounded delightful and 2. I only needed 4 ingredients for it and one of them was water and I had honey. So I would only need to buy two things. I LOVE when I only have to buy two things to create something awesome!

Here is the recipe from the Vita Nut Milk Bag that I used and LOVE! And I am happy to say so does everyone who has tried it. I love spreading the YUM :)

Strawberry Almond Milk Recipe

What You'll Need - Only 4 Ingredients!
• 1 cup of raw almonds
• 3 3/4 cups of filtered water
• 3 tbsp honey, or sweetener of your choice
• ½ cup of strawberries

Makes about 4.5 cups!



Directions:

1.  Soak almonds for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

2. Drain the water from your nuts and rinse well.
3. In your blender, add your water and almonds and blend until the nuts are
adequately pulverized.
4. Place your Vita Nut Milk Bag (or other means of separating out mini chunks) over a large bowl and slowly pour the mixture into the bag. Hold the top of the bag closed and gently squeeze the bottom of
the bag to release the milk.
5. Rinse blender and return liquid to it.
6. Add honey (or other sweetener, if desired) and strawberries.
7. Blend until desired consistency is reached.
8. Enjoy! Or save for later...pour into a glass, airtight jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting.


This really was a fun and easy recipe to make. And the Vita Nut Milk Bag really came in handy. I've never tried to make almond milk before, so I'm not even sure how I would have done this without it! I hate feeling like I sound like an infomercial, but this was a really nice product. Bonus: it was super easy to clean! Here is a link where you can buy a Vita Nut Milk Bag or find out more if you are interested. It comes with a free e-recipe book which is really helpful and has some great ideas. I think I might try a pulp-free juice recipe with mine next!



Now for the giveaway! Win your own Vita Nut Milk Bag so you can make your own Strawberry Almond Milk (or other things!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be selected an random and announced here on the blog and via email!
Winner will just need to pay for shipping from Amazon (so if you have an Amazon Prime account it will be free anyways!)

**A huge thank you to Vita Nut Milk Bag for letting me review your product. Don't worry readers, my opinions on this product are fully my own and I will never tell you I like something when I don't!I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Boil Eggs - Easy Hard Boiled Eggs


Welcome to the first ever, How-To Tuesday!

First up...How to boil eggs. I know, it sounds so simple. But it's just one of those things that I have to look up each and every time I do it.

How to Boil Eggs

Believe it or not, I just started boiling my own eggs. I avoided it for years because every time I tried I either cracked every single egg (what a waste!) or I overcooked them, or undercooked them. Anything that could go wrong boiling an egg...I've done.

But I am happy to say I finally have it down to a science and you can too!

How To Boil Eggs - Easy Hard Boiled Eggs

1. Place desired amount of eggs in pot.
2. Fill with water so the water completely covers all eggs.
3. Place on stove top and bring to boil.
4. As soon as the water starts boiling, remove from burner and cover with lid for....

  • 4 minutes: soft boiled eggs (still slightly runny)
  • 6 minutes: medium boiled eggs **(shown in the image above. This is my favorite!)
  • 10 minutes: hard boiled eggs
5. Rinse under cold water.
    Then you can either peel and eat, or save in the fridge for up to 5 to 7 days.

That's it! Simple, right?! ;)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Best Ever Chicken Salad Recipe

Chicken salad sandwiches have become a staple of summertime beach lunch for me. That's why I was determined this summer to create the best chicken salad recipe, ever!

*Pregnancy side note: Plus, for any pregnant women out there, it is recommended that you don't eat store made chicken salad because it may contain listeria but it's perfectly fine to make your own...which could put a hamper on summer chicken salad sandwiches cravings if it wasn't for this recipe!

I did A LOT of research for this recipe, but when it came down to it I had three requirements:
1. It had to be fairly easy to make (can't waste that precious beach time!)
2. It had to include grapes AND apples.
3. It had to be delicious!

Here is what I came up with:

The Best Ever Chicken Salad Recipe

What You'll Need
2 lbs chicken breasts - cooked and cubed
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1 cup green seedless grapes, halved
1 cup chopped apples
pinch of salt & pepper
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

As usual, I recommend using these measurements as guidelines and taste and adjust to your own preferences as you go.

For Sandwiches Add: Rolls, Lettuce, Tomatoes

Directions: Literally just mix all of the ingredients together.  (so simple it doesn't seem right!)

If you still want my play by play:
1. Cube chicken and put in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes
2. While chicken is in oven, cut up the grapes and apples.
3. Mix everything together in a large bowl so when the chicken comes out, the only thing left is to add it into the mix.
4. Generously heap onto rolls/wraps, top with lettuce and tomato....




...Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

8 Must Try Mocktails + Big News!

I'll take a Bloody Mary, extra olives, a slice of bacon, celery, throw in some shrimp - oh, and hold the liquor.
For wherever reason, if you find yourself not drinking in a situation where everyone else is...do not fear. These amazing mocktails have you covered. One sweet (or spicy!) sip and you'll forget you are about to be the only sober one in the room! The best part, no one will ever know the difference so you get to avoid the most annoying question ever: "why aren't you drinking?!"


These have been a life-saver for me for the past 20 weeks....if you haven't guessed yet from the title of this post Mocktails + Big News....I'm Pregnant!!!!!!!

8 Must Try Mocktails

Going sober? You don't have to be stuck just drinking shirley temples with the 5-year-olds. Don't get me wrong, I love a good shirley temple, but it's nice to have options! These are some of the best non-alcoholic beverages I could find around the web! Click on any pic for their source!

#1. Virgin Blood Mary. I'm not going to put these in any specific order, but I just have to call special attention to my favorite mocktail these past few months. The bloody mary has kept me happy on many social occasions recently! Just create your favorite bloody mary recipe and leave out the vodka or just ask the bartender for their most delicious bloody mary...virgin! So easy!

or depending on how hungry you are (which I always am even when I'm not pregnant), 
I just found this little gem....


#2. "Safe" Sex on the Beach Mocktail!  Another standard during the hot summer months - Refreshingly good. simple (only 4 ingredients) and it looks pretty!
http://momstestkitchen.com/2014/01/safe-sex-beach-mocktail-cocktailday.html

#3. Cranberry Sparkler Mocktail - Heading into the holiday's could be tough...but with these scrumptious cocktails, you won't be left out of any toasts!
http://cupcakesandkalechips.com/2012/12/16/cranberry-sparkler-mocktail-for-sundaysupper/

#4. Cocoa Mock-Tini. Everyone knows how much of a sucker I am for martinis. I still haven't figured out a way to create a virgin dirty martini (if you have any suggestions PLEASE let me know). But this decadent chocolate martini should hold me over for now...

#5. Hibiscus Iced Tea Sparkler. Pretty, delicious and healthy. Check, check and check.
http://diethood.com/hibiscus-iced-tea-sparkler/

 #6. Banana PiƱa Colada. All I can say is YUMMMMMMMM..
http://blog.freepeople.com/2012/08/summer-mocktails-banana-pia-colada-genius-twist/

#7. Pomegranate Sangria Mocktail. For all you sangria lovers!
http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/sparkling-pomegranate-sangria-mocktail/?crlt.pid=camp.08FjX8AxsfQP

#8. Baby Bellini. Last but definitely not least! No drink menu would be complete without a bellini, and this one so happens to have the word "baby" in the title making me love it even more right now!
http://spoonful.com/recipes/baby-bellini



For even more delicious non-alcoholic beverage options, check out my Mocktails board on pinterest where I'm always adding new deliciousness!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Top 5 Food Fest Tips

Whether you are going to a Taste of something, a Food Truck Festival or any other kind of public Food Tasting or Food Fest, there are a few simple tips that are guaranteed to make your experience easier and more enjoyable. 

After attending my fair share of food events, I have learned some crucial tips that I hope can be as beneficial to others as they have been to me. 

Here's my Top 5 Food Fest Tips:

1. Bring bottles of water. Preferably cold and at least one per person in your group. If it's hot you will really appreciate having them handy in lines. Plus, you get to save a little extra money or food tickets so you can try even more food instead of spending it on water!

2. Show up hungry...but not Starving. Ok, I know that sounds like it goes against the idea of going to an event just to eat. But trust me, if you show up famished and anxious to eat, you might be very dissapointed or even worse HANGRY (Hungry/Angry) when you find you have to wait in a line for your first taste. If you decide to chance it, at least bring a small snack with you...just in case :)
   


3. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. There is usually a lot of walking, standing and possibly sitting on the ground involved. Especially if you've never been to an event before, just be prepared for anything. 

4. Have a plan. If the event provides a vendor list/map, I usually print that out and highlight all of my top picks for the day. That way, I can be sure to try everything I really want. If there are really long lines, I usually go for a shorter line first (see avoiding Hangry above). As soon as I get that food, I jump in another line so I can eat and wait. Multi-tasking at it's best! If you are feeling really productive that day, divvy up the lines between your group so you can try even more!

5. Patience is a virtue. Food never just magically appears. It takes a lot of someone's hard work to make, and then serve, a delicious bite to eat. Everyone is just there to eat and have a nice time, so take your time and enjoy!


Take these 5 tips along to any food event you go to and you will surely be on your way to Food Fest Bliss :)

After attending the first annual CT Food Truck Festival and reading all of the negative feedback from other attendees, I realized that some people could have had a better experience (despite any shortcomings of the event) just by doing a few simple things. Mainly, bringing water. Water is key. Hope these help. Please feel free to share and comment with any tips you have for surviving food events below!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Connecticut Food Truck Festival

People love food trucks. I love food trucks. There is just something about them. The aroma, the fun atmosphere that surrounds them, the gourmet delicacies being made to order right out of a vehicle in front of you. I'm sure the allure is different for everyone, but the fact remains the same, the food truck obsession is real.

The 13.6K that replied as going on the event's Facebook page, plus the 1.2K that responded with a maybe and the actual turnout on the first day is a true testament to that. And still no one, not even the event's organizers, could have anticipated just how popular this event was going to be. The CT Food Truck Festival event page is reporting DOUBLE those numbers with an estimated 15,000 people on Saturday alone! WHOA!

CT Food Truck Festival

Cars backed up on all highways leading into the North Haven Fairgrounds where the first annual Connecticut Food Truck Festival had begun. Parking lots quickly filled up and closed, long lines formed in front of each and every participating food truck in the field and the much anticipated eating of all of the delicious food the day had to offer began! 

And so did the public opinions. All over social media are leftovers of both frustrated festival goers and fed and happy food truck lovers.

Chris Collibee of WFSB Ch. 3 pretty much summed it up with this tweet:

The day was not a failure despite a few kinks and I would definitely tell people who might be questioning going on Sunday not to be swayed by some of the negative feedback. Yes, there were lines and traffic, but any public event (especially one that revolves around food) has it's fair share of lines and a crowd. It's just to be expected. And there were plenty of tweets about people enjoying their food!

Here are some of my top food picks from the day:
(I was also tweeting throughout the day so don't forget to follow @SearchforYUM for live updates before my posts!)

Vanchetta

My very first stop AND it was delicious AND they gave me a free Stroopwafel cookie for liking Vanchetta on Twitter, so it holds a special place in my heart! 

Ordered: Chicken Caprese sandwich and Patatas Bravas



 Big Country's BBQ
Easily one of the best mac 'n cheese recipes I've ever tasted...ever! 
Ordered: Pulled Borked Mac 'n Cheese with Bacon (topped with extra BBQ sauce!)
YUMMMMM!!!


Tampa's
 Ordered: Absolutely amazing chicken and waffles with syrup.
Tip: Make sure you get the syrup on it!
(also, sorry for the half-eaten pic...I obviously couldn't wait!)


Fruit Whirled
Bicycle blended organic smoothies - peddled to perfection :)

There were SO many other amazing food trucks I just couldn't get to - or fit in my full belly! But I will definitely make sure to start taking more advantage of Connecticut's rich food truck scene!

Great job to everyone and anyone involved. I'll definitely be back searching for YUM next year and I already can't wait!

(This has actually inspired me to write a post with my top food event tips so be on the lookout for that soon!)

Did you go or are you planning on going still? Please feel free to comment with your thoughts/favorite food truck below!


Monday, May 26, 2014

4 Ingredient Red White & Blue Dessert: Memorial Day and Fourth of July Recipe

This red, white and blue dessert is fun, festive and delicious! Only 4 ingredients and 4 easy steps. If you are looking for a quick and easy Memorial Day or Fourth of July recipe....this is the recipe for you!

Bonus: It is guaranteed to impress your friends and family!

Ok, so it's not a from scratch recipe. But seriously, who has time for that all of the time?! Sometimes short cuts are OK. Especially if the outcome is this good:


After whipping up this Patriotic recipe, you'll have time to check a few more things off that to-do list or even sneak in a little extra me-time!

4 Ingredient Red White and Blue Dessert


What You'll Need:
  • Pound Cake
  • Cool Whip
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
Directions:

1. Thinly slice the pound cake and lay out so the bottom of a casserole dish is covered.

2. Spread cool whip evenly over the base of pound cake.

3. Place washed strawberries and blue berries over the cool whip to get desired look.

4. Enjoy!