hot weather treats

As I mentioned in my last post, it has been super hot in Colorado this summer. We've consistently had temps in the high 90s for the last few weeks with no rain. You've probably heard about the terrible fires we have burning all around the state. The dry air, gusty winds and hot temps have created terrible conditions for the fires. It's hard to complain about the heat when I see the destructive fires harming so many. It's hard to think about cooking when it's so hot out, so I've been looking for cold food and easy to make recipes. Turning on the oven is out of the question and I can't even think about things like soup.

This week, I made cold rice noodles with peanut lime chicken from smitten kitchen.

cold rice noodles

Don't let the recipe intimidate you. There are quite a few ingredients listed, but most of them are for the sauces. This is a perfect summer meal. It's light and summery with fresh basil and mint. The noodles are cold and the sauces are perfect. I loved this recipe and it's definitely going into the keeper pile.

Grapefruit-and-Strawberry-Greyhound_Endless-Simmer-333x500

For dessert, I made popsicles. I'm a sucker for anything with grapefruit. When I saw this simple recipe with grapefruit juice and strawberries, I couldn't resist. Especially since I had a few grapefruits and some fresh strawberries.

This recipe would be great without the alcohol, but if you want an adult popsicle, put in the vodka or gin. Mmmm. Refreshing, tasty and healthy!

What are you doing to stay cool this summer?

belated birthday post

Saturday was my birthday! If you've been reading for a while, you might know that last year was my Golden Birthday. I turned 28 on the 28th. I celebrated by doing 28 things. Compared to last year, this year wasn't quite as exciting. My main plans were to go for a bike ride, but after a big bike wipeout on Friday, I had to take it easy and nurse my cuts and bruises on Saturday. I did receive a few new "toys".

1. A pasta maker

pasta-makerMaking pasta seems complicated, but it's quite easy. I'm not sure why it took me so long to try it. You simply mix flour and eggs together (2 eggs for every cup of flour) and then knead it.

It is admittedly much easier to make it with a pasta maker. The dough is very stiff and can be hard to knead by hand, but little Italian women have been making pasta by hand without a pasta maker...

The great think about the pasta maker is that you just have to mix the dough and then flatten it enough to send it through the machine a few times until it comes elastic and easy to work with.

Once you get it to the desired thickness, you put it through the side that cuts the pasta. And just like that, homemade pasta.

I let mine dry for about an  hour before cooking it, but you can make it and store it to use later.

I want to experiment with different thicknesses. The pasta I made this week was a little too thick. But practices makes perfect and I intend to use this for all my pasta dishes going forward.

2. Zoku popsicle maker

zoku

I'm a little obsessed with popsicles in the summer. I eat them everyday. I'm really excited that I can make them on my own now.

My biggest frustration with homemade popsicles in the past was that you had to wait hours for them to freeze before you could enjoy them. When I crave a popsicle, I want it now...not in 24 hours.

Enter Zoku.

You keep your Zoku in the freezer and the liquid core stays cold and frozen. So when you want a popsicle, all you have to do is take it out, pour in some juice and in only 7 minutes, you have a delicious frozen popsicle...or two or three. You can make up to 6 at once with my little Zoku.

I'm really excited to try some of the recipes on the Zoku blog like Cucumber Mint Margarita, Apple Pear & Orange and Berry Mojito. Adult, happy hour popsicles? Sounds like an excellent summer time treat.

3. Electric kitska

My last birthday treat was an electric kitska for making Ukrainian Eggs. I can't wait to try this out next Easter and see if the electric kitska helps make smoother lines!

4. One last thing

Those of you who are on my email list might have received an email from me on Saturday. I had great intentions of holding a birthday sale on my knitting patterns. But then I made a mistake and forgot to change the subject line of my email. So it probably looked like I was sending a duplicate email inviting you to join me on Pinterest, when really I was trying to offer you a special discount on my patterns.

Originally, I had the sale ending on Sunday, April 29th at midnight, but I'm extending it until Sunday, May 6th.

The 3 knitting patterns I have for sale in my store are:

During the sale, you can have all three for only $5! 

As an added bonus, if you purchase this special birthday bundle, you'll get my next pattern for free. It's a crochet blanket made using the Afghan/Tunisian stitch and should be ready in a week or two.

All four patterns would typically cost $16, but you can have them at 70% off!

Buy Now! 

You have until Midnight (Mountain Standard Time) on Sunday, May 6th to order. I will email you the patterns within 2 days after your purchase (to the email you use on PayPal). If you prefer to receive the patterns at a different email address, please email me with your PayPal purchase ID and the email address you used to purchase the patterns.

smoothie recipe

Smoothie RecipeI'm on a big smoothie kick right now. Smoothies for breakfast. Smoothies for lunch. Smoothies for snacks. It's an easy and fast way to get healthy calories and I've been burning a lot since I started my road bike training this spring. I accidentally biked 72 miles on Saturday. The weather was perfect and I didn't map out my route. I had an idea of where I wanted to go, I just didn't realize how many miles I committed to with my loop. Around mile 65, I realized I didn't want to keep biking. So I called home for a pick up and biked another 7 miles.

When I got home, my leftover breakfast smoothie was divine. And the enormous hamburger I ate wasn't too bad, either.

There are endless varieties to this smoothie. When I have spinach and kale, I throw a handful of that in for added nutrition.

But this one is a good ol' fashioned fruit smoothie.

Step 1: In your blender, throw in 5-7 frozen strawberries and 1 banana (fresh or frozen)

Step 2: Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of yogurt. I used Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Step 3: Add in your powdered ingredients. I used 2 teaspoons of ground flax seed and 2 teaspoons of vanilla protein powder

Step 4: Add in about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk or almond milk

Step 5: Mix it in the blender & enjoy!

Smoothie RecipeSmoothie Recipe

Smoothie RecipeSmoothie Recipe

PS...can you tell that Instagram finally released an Android app? I'm having fun with it...

pinterest finds

Is anyone else loving Pinterest as much as I am? Maybe you're loving it a little too much? (If you still need an invite, email me and I'll send you one.)

Here are my favorite finds this week (Make sure you scroll to the end of this post for the funniest one.)

Print this

state printouts

Show off your state love by downloading your favorite state print out from The Vintage Lemon. You can find most states and place the heart where you want it. These 11x14 prints would make great gifts, too! I want to print out a picture of each state I've lived in over the past 10 years (Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington, New York and Pennsylvania) and frame them for a wall in my house. After all, you leave a piece of your heart in each of the cities you've lived.

Color this

pinterest finds

When was the last time you colored something? I can't remember the last time I colored, but when I saw this free print out it made me want to dig up some crayons or colored pencils and have some fun coloring. It sounds really therapeutic, right? Maybe I'll color while re-watching Downton Abbey and drinking wine. That sounds like a great way to spend a snowy and cold winter night. You can find more coloring print outs from Dover Publications.

Eat this

Pancake

I love the color in this photograph. Doesn't this fruity pancake look delicious, too? Find the recipe on Things We Make.

Don't do this

Crochet Pants

I saved the best for last...please, please, please do not do this. Don't make these. Don't wear these. Just...don't. But do laugh. Because it's hilarious. And do click on this link to The Ugly Sweater to see another funny thing you shouldn't crochet. Undergarments made from granny squares? Definitely a bad idea...