Monday, September 26, 2011

New tastes

As you most likely are aware, I like trying new foods and experimenting with my tastebuds...especially when there's a healthy alternative. A couple recent recipes I tried include a Waldorf Salad and brownies. The healthy spin on these is the fact the Waldorf Salad is made without the mayo and the brownies are made with black beans.

Waldorf Salad: I can't say this complete recipe came from my noggin but I did combine a few different recipes so I suppose I could say this my own version of this salad.

1 McIntosh apple; cored and cubed
1 Granny Smith apple; cored and cubed
1 celery rib, sliced thin
2/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves; washed, dried and chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup cran-raisins
1/4 cup walnuts (or pecans)
2 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and toss well. Serve over lettuce.
Verdict: Thumbs Up! I've made this twice already. It's such a colorful dish and has so much flavor!

Here's a photo of my little chef practicing her mixing skills while I was making the Waldorf Salad. What a cutie!!

Brownies: I over heard someone at work talking about black bean brownies so I did a little research and here's what I found:

1 can of black beans
1 box brownie mix

1. Drain and wash the black beans. Place the black beans back into the can and fill can with water.
2. Place water and beans into blender and blend until smooth.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together brownie mix and blended black beans. Pour into a greased pan and follow baking instructions on your brownie mix box.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Once I took a bite, the only thing I could taste was beans so I wasn't a big fan of this recipe. These are suppose to be healthy for you but since they don't satisfy my tastebuds, I don't think I'll be making these again unless I can find a recipe that doesn't make these taste like beans. Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finishing touches

So at the beginning of the summer, my husband and I decided we had some exterior house projects that we wanted to complete before summer ended and snow began to fall. The main project consisted of painting our house. This large task then lead to many other smaller tasks we wanted to do to the outside of our home. One thing leads to another, as I'm sure you know. These "to do's" consisted of tearing out some evergreen bushes, new house numbers, adding an American flag, and installing new doors. Now, not all of this is complete but we are getting there. The snow hasn't started falling yet, so we still have time.

As we were looking for paint colors I think we tested 4 colors of green/gray and 3 different trim colors. Once the decision was made to go with Connected Gray and Roman Column, we decided to wait until July when Sherwin Williams has their 40% of paint sale. We made sure we bought more than enough paint and only had a few can's tinted the house color and the trim. That way, if we didn't need all the paint we could return the un-tinted cans. If we needed more paint tinted we could bring it in and get the tint we needed with no extra charge (since we'd already bought the paint). We are very happy with the way the color turned out. You know you made a good choice when your neighbors tell you they really like the color. I think it's beautiful!

Thank you to my husband and my father-in-law for all their diligent work on completing the majority of the painting in one weekend.



Our house is becoming a home and I love it! Stay tuned and I'll post new photos as we complete our list of exterior "to do's".