Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Harvest Salad

Enjoying the awesome fall produce right now doesn't mean we have to cook it to death in order to enjoy it. After all of the hearty, piping hot soups and breads lingering around this season, sometimes we just need a salad. Something crisp, something green, something light. But it must be filling, or what's the point?

Fall Harvest Salad
Sweet and tangy, this salad highlights fall's pears and apples, along with the saltiness of a sharp cheddar. Dress with a light dressing, like poppyseed, for a filling lunch.
2-3 cups salad greens (spinach + arugula is in season)
1/2 pear
1/2 tart apple (Granny Smith)
1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon salad dressing

1. Wash the greens, chop the fruit and cheese into bite-sized pieces, and layer all on a plate.
2. Top with poppyseed dressing for a little sweetness.

Happy lunching!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guilt-free Pumpkin Spice Frappe!

Friends, Portland is cold and wet and very Fall-y. It's so fall-y, that I'm convinced I've never experienced real fall until this year. Just imagine, going through 28 falls and it takes this one, the 29th, when I experience the real thing. You know...
  • trees changing color
  • trees becoming colors I've never seen before...yellow, golden, ruby red, pumpkin orange, and a strange puberty stage when they're half green/half red. It's cool, really.
  • leaves everywhere. On the deck, the streets and driveways, falling in my hair. Big, small, wet and icky, crisp and vibrant colors.
  • the need for many hoodies (b/c I always get more wet when trying to maneuver an umbrella in the rain) and even more dry socks. 
  • cold, crisp air that makes you want to eat everything pumpkin and apple-y in sight. (Don't worry, I've done this.)
And that takes us back to food. Oh yes, I've been making warm, cozy concoctions for the last month and am ready to share with you. But let's ease into it, with a COLD treat that has great fall PUMPKIN flavors. Mmm.

I will admit, I love every seasonal Starbucks treat in existence. But I do not like the sugar headache afterward or the empty calories after the giant-big-as-my-face venti drink. Plus, all that whipped cream makes me swim in a dairy coma that leads to a tummy ache. Wow, do I really love those drinks? Is it worth it? Sometimes. But, when you want something with a little less fat/calories/sugar-coma and a little more money in your pocket, this Pumpkin Spice Frappe might be the next best thing.

Guilt-free Pumpkin Spice Frappe!
2 servings; 5 minutes to make (+ freeze time)

1 cup cool coffee
1 cup milk (of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 TB brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (a dash)
1/3 cup canned pumpkin

What to do:
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Pour into 2 ice cube trays and freeze. (2 hours or more)

2. Once frozen, drop the cubes into the blender and blend until creamy. Serve in a glass with chocolate chips or whipped cream on top! 
1 serving of this tasty treat (without whipped cream or choc chips)

 This drink makes two servings, so you must share with a friend (or at least pace yourself and enjoy it two days in a row). Simple, easy, cheap, tasty. Hope you enjoy!!

Happy eating!

Everything's Coming Up Rosie

'Oh! I once heard a poem that goes:
"A rose is a rose is a rose"
Well I don't agree,
Take it from me,
There's one rose sweeter than any that grows!
That's my Rosie,
I'm so glad she chose me;
Life is one sweet beautiful song to me.'

(Adams, Strouse, as sung by Dick Van Dyke in Bye Bye, Birdie)source:

Who doesn't love a rose every now and then? And since Portland is the City of Roses, we thought we'd check out the International Rose Test Garden, the largest test garden of roses in the U.S. Now you might be thinking roses are so Valentine's Day circa 1992, but this garden was huge, colorful, and the intoxicating smell might bring back your love for the world's top selling flower.

Tie Dye made it onto flowers, naturally

Can you believe this is a rose? A big one with a bunch of tiny ones, all grown together!

The Rosie O'Donnell Hybrid Tea
Okay, just wanted to cheer up your day. Are you looking at barren trees and miss the green? Are your toes numb, in spite of the 877 pairs of socks layered onto your feet? Just remember...spring will come back in the not-so-distant future!

Happy blooming day!