Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese


Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
7-8 slices bacon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 (5oz) bag baby spinach
2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half (hardest part of the entire meal) and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the olive oil over the spaghetti squash. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the bacon and break it into small pieces. You can cut the bacon into pieces prior to cooking it, but I just prefer to do it afterwards. Add the bacon back into the skillet.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the red wine vinegar to the bacon and bacon grease. Cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the maple syrup to the mixture and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the baby spinach to the mixture, one handful at a time. Cook until all of the spinach is combined.
  6. Go back over to your spaghetti squash. Using a fork, scoop out the inside of the spaghetti squash. 
  7. Combine the spaghetti squash, bacon/spinach mixture, and goat cheese. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Green Belt: Sculpture Falls


I have been dying to visit Sculpture Falls!! I've been seeing posts on Instagram and it just looked so relaxing!! Neil and I both had the day off so we decided to take a mini-adventure to find the falls. We drove to 1710 Camp Croft Rd Austin, Texas (The Scottish Woods Trail which leads to the Greenbelt Trail).  When you first enter the park make sure you take a good look at the map (we got a little lost). The trail will go almost straight all of the way down to the water where you'll come to an intersection. If you go straight you'll find this beautiful area:


There are even some fun rope swings:

If you want to go to Sculpture Falls then turn left at the intersection instead of going straight. This path will lead you along the water. There are lots of areas to hop in the nice cool water along the way.  After you pass mile marker 6.25 you'll start looking for the falls. There will be a small sign pointing to the falls (same size as the mile maker signs). 

Bam...after a 1.5 mile hike you're there!! 


We finally made it!!


Don't forget to save some water/energy for the hike back up! It might be downhill on your way to the falls, but that means it's uphill when you're headed home. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Green Belt-Twin Falls



We went to the Green Belt today and went for a little swim!! The water felt amazing, I just can't believe I've lived in Austin for 2 years and this is the first time I've ever been to the Green Belt!! Ah...sssoo beautiful!! 

Here's a good description of how to get to the Twin Falls entrance: http://austinot.com/austin-greenbelt-guide

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole


Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
1 (10 oz) can mild enchilada sauce
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles (drained)
1/3 cup canned corn
1/2 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 avocado (diced)
1 roma tomato (diced)

Directions

1) In a large pan, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.
2) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
3) Lightly coat an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
4) In a large bowl combine quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
5) Spread the mixture into the 8x8 baking dish. Top with the remaining cheeses. Place in oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
6) Serve immediately with avocado and tomato as garnish.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

DIY: Tote Bag



My friend Jessica asked me to help her make a cute summer tote bag. We ended up making a craft night out of it!! Here are the steps we took:
  1. I created the images on my Cricut and cut it out on Freezer Paper. 
  2. We then ironed the Freezer Paper stencil onto the tote bags. 
  3. Next, we inserted a paper bag inside the tote bag. You can use anything that will stop the paint from bleeding through to the back of the bag. 
  4. We then painted the totes using fabric paint and a foam brush. 
  5. We immediately removed the Freezer Paper stencil from the bags. If you leave the Freezer Paper on the bags for too long, it's hard to remove and the paint is more likely to bleed through. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Honey Lime Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


Ingredients

4 medium sweet potatoes (scrubbed and pierced several times with a fork)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 (15 oz) can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 1/2 tbsp lime juice
3 1/2 tbsp honey
salt and ground pepper
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and broth to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  3. Heat oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for about 4 minutes, adding in the garlic during the last 30 seconds. 
  4. Add onion mixture to cooked quinoa.
  5. Add black beans, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, lime juice, honey, and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Cut cooked sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the center to create a bowl shape. Leave about 1/3 to 1/2 an inch of sweet potatoes around the edges. 
  7. Fill sweet potatoes with quinoa mixture. Sprinkle the tops with cheese. 
  8. Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for a few minutes, just until the cheese has melted.