Let the Adventure Begin!

Recently I took on a new job. But as these past three months have gone on, I realize this isn’t the place for me.. So where am I going to next? No idea. I just know that I’m going to have fun wherever I go and enjoy the adventure that comes along with it.

I’m young, determined and so ready to try new things.  I just have to be fearless and not take no for an answer! Prove myself because this career isn’t for the faint of heart.  Obviously.  Work at places that will continuously bring me closer to my goal in life.  Owning a restaurant. Which seems to be every Chef’s dream, but some settle for less and some settle for working under someone else. I’m determined to have my own place, and to get there I need as much experience as I can get!

On a side note, later this week I will be taking an adventure to Gilmer, Texas! My family is apart of a four wheel drive club and we are going to MegaRun! Anyone ever heard of this?

Hundreds of families come out to the mountain this weekend with their Jeeps, Wagons, Dune Buggies pretty much any vehicle made into a four wheel drive is out there. I mean HUNDREDS of people! It’s so much fun! I’ll definitely be posting tons of pictures and video if I can figure out how to post one of those up here. haha. So stay tuned for that!

Now on to the best part of the blog, the FOOD! I have a crazy recipe for you today.  A Kale Salad with some interesting flavors. :)

I can’t seem to link the picture on here, but you can find it on my Instagram! http://instagram.com/p/kn9MTcjbkG/

Kale Salad:

1 package Baby Kale

3-4 Blood Oranges, peeled, segmented

2 Small Red Beets (pickled, recipe down below**)

1/4 cup Pecans (chopped)

Quick Pickle Beets: 

2 small beets, sliced thin into triangles, or whatever shape you like

1/2 c water

1/2 c apple cider vinegar

1/4 c sugar

2 T pickling Spices

Instructions: 

Mix the pickling liquid and spices together and add the beets, let sit for at least 20 min, or longer!

Toss ingredients together with vinaigrette and enjoy this flavor explosion in your mouth!

 

Vinaigrette: 

Juices from the blood oranges (from segmenting them..)

zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 T honey

salt and pepper to taste

6 T olive oil

Instructions: 

Whisk together the ingredients, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.  I like my vinaigrettes  sweet, so I added a bit more honey until I liked the taste :) But make it however you like! add more flavors or completely do another vinaigrette! Make it your own and let me know what you came up with :)

Enjoy!

-April

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Day One… Announcement!

So did you guys guess where I’m at yet?!

well…. I’m in Laguna Beach, California! Vacation at its finest :)

I’ve had quite the time here so far, my plane was delayed and had some issues along with that haha and we ended up finally getting off of the plane at 12:13 pm when we were supposed to be getting here at 9:05 am.. Craziness. The passengers, as well as myself were not that happy.  But nonetheless we are here and I’m having a ton of fun :)

We have been to farmers markets and a bunch of little shops around the beach area. Went to Main Beach today and I got to join a pick up game of sand volleyball with some students studying abroad from Switzerland, Germany, England and China! That was really really cool and exciting to hear their stories!   Watched the Pageant of Arts play-type thing, which was absolutely fabulous.  They showed famous works of art, but the people painted in the regular ones were replaced with actual people painted just like it! Standing still in the same position, not moving a single muscle… How is that even possible?! You couldn’t even see the people breathing! Insane. BUT so awesome.  Had an adventure on the trolley ride home with some drunk people getting a little too ambitious with their words haha but it was really funny.

Now for pictures! Because I know thats the best part :)

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All sorts of Kale.

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an all herb stand. It was crazy busy. And had some herbs I had never heard of before .

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pomegranate pluots… those things were ridiculously amazing!

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sunset from my room :)

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this was at the play, we were in an amphitheater but I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the actual play so I decided to take some before it all started haha, of the wonderful mountains :)

 

have a wonderful day :)

-April

Separation anxiety

Wow… I’m kind of disappointed in myself you guys.. I can’t believe I didn’t post anything all summer. I have taken loads of pictures and everything with every intention to post an entry with my new recipes and so forth. Shame on me. I apologize for being a poor blogger. Haha

So the separation anxiety title. Means many things in this case. I’m away from my parents and my boyfriend for the first time ever on a trip. And also because I haven’t been taking good care of my blog like I should be! But that should change because I’m asking that you keep me accountable and I have also asked my boyfriend, Drew to keep me accountable and do my entries! I have so many ideas and I want to share them with my fellow readers. Y’all are my support group! :)

With that aside, this week for sure I’ll be on track because guess what!!??
I’m on a trip. By myself. I feel so grown up you guys. Wanna guess where I am? :)
I’ll give you a hint, it’s on the west coast!
And I’ll be posting pictures soon of my travels and then finally tell you where I am! Hehe I like playing games so join me and lets play the guessing game! :)

Much love,
April.

You Dip, I Dip, We Dip! Triceps :)

I have another workout for you, my fellow readers! :)

Legs and Triceps my friends! I know everyone focuses on those legs for the summertime and well, of course I do too.  Because swimsuit season is just around the corner everyone is working hard to look good! Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Nothing weird about this, but alas, I am here with a wonderful workout to help you along your way. :)

Whenever I was doing this workout I started laughing because it made me think of an old song from the 90’s (from when I was a kid!!) Da’ Dip! Which in fact came out in 1996, I was three when it came out. How crazy is that?! Anyways, whenever I was doing the triceps dips that song popped in my head… “when I dip you dip we dip, I put my hand up on your hip…”  Its good motivation, eh? :) And while I’m talking about this song, my favorite part in the song, well the funniest part, rather was “This is my world I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut so what’s up?”  It’s just funny to say.. and then you get to thinking about some squirrel that just wants to be left along because all he wants is his little acorn.. haha Makes me think of Scrat from Ice Age.

Okay, enough goofing off. Let’s get down to business, the whole reason for this post! THE WORKOUT!

Da’ Dip Workout

Run (I ran about 1 mile and 3/4)

60 Walking Lunges (I did 30 half-way through my run and then 30 at the end)

after your run:

100 Squats (You can even add weights!)

50 Tricep Dips

100 Crunches (i.e. 25 each of raised leg, elbow to knee L+R and normal)

finish with stretching and foam rolling!

Feel free to add or take away from this workout. I know my legs were dying by the end of this workout haha but its nice!

Enjoy and have a nice day! :)

-April

Challenge Accepted? Yes, Please!

It’s been a while… I have been meaning to get on here and share many things with you fellow readers! But today I made a semi-Paleo dinner and that is what I’m going to share with you guys.

I got to thinking and I have decided that I will be doing Paleo in moderation for a bit.  Maybe by doing this I can get the rest of my family on board with me in doing the full on Paleo “diet.” Slowly but surely we will go full on Paleo! Hopefully!  We had a grain in our meal tonight, and to be more specific, it was Quinoa. But hey! It’s not like quinoa is terrible for you!  There is a large amount of fiber, vitamins and protein in that little grain/seed.. whatever you want to call it.

The more I started thinking about this whole Paleo in moderation thing for us, the more I realized that 90% of the time before I had already been cooking semi-Paleo! I started reading more and getting more involved in this, and that’s when I started finding it more difficult to plan meals every week and such. I don’t want to slide off of the path, if you will.  Granted I was doing just fine without reading all of this extra stuff.  Now that I am becoming more educated it is quite nice to have conversations with people and get to explain what in the world you’re doing and why you’re eating such things.  I think this way of eating is way better than eating frozen crap that parents just stuff their kids with for dinner every night.  It’s sad really.  Kids are growing up not knowing how to cook a scratch meal for themselves, let alone a spouse and eventually their family.  In a way it kind of depresses me.  I mean I started cooking around 3 years old, and from then on I started cooking dinners for my family.  I think that children should be involved more with family.  Turn off those video games, the iPads, your cell phones… etc. Get involved in that kitchen! Or do crafts, work in a garden.. Heck, go play paintball or air soft! All of it is fun! Hiking, fossil collecting, four wheeling… It is all so fun and good for you! Exercising, playing sports, going to church.  There is so much to do. Yet no one seems to do anything like that anymore.  Technology has taken over! :(  So after reading this, I want to challenge you to  go out with your family or if you’re not married yet, go out with friends! Do something active and good for you.  Whether it be running, drawing, baking, hiking, road tripping or even gardening it is still an activity that frees your mind.  You will be amazed how stress free it is when you can just escape and relax for a while.  Do it! You’ll love it, I know you will. :)

On to this Semi-Paleo Recipe.. That I sadly have no pictures for.. but it was delicious by the way!

 

Grilled Shrimp Packets with a Pineapple Salsa

(serves 4-5)

1 1/2 lbs shrimp

1 cup quinoa

1 bag of baby spinach (or more!)

2″ piece of ginger minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

3 roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 pineapple, cubed

1 lime, juiced

1 bunch of cilantro, minced

1 avocado, cubed

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

Fire up your grill!

Partially cook off your quinoa.  (leave about ten minutes left for it to cook.)

Peel and devein your shrimp (if needed), combine garlic,  half of the ginger and half of your cilantro and toss shrimp in the mixture, season with salt and pepper as well.

You will use foil, about 18-20″ long.  Start with spinach leaves, then add the partially cooked quinoa and add your shrimp.  Pour over a little water.  Wrap your packet up and make sure that it is sealed decently well, you don’t want it to leak out on your grill!

Put the packets on the grill for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, other half of the cilantro, pineapple, lime juice, and the other half of the ginger in a bowl. Add salt to taste. This is your salsa.

Pull those packets off  open them up and serve with the salsa and avocado on top! Delicious!

 

Sounds good doesn’t it? I know you want to try it! This would also be a fun recipe to do with your kids because you can teach them how to clean shrimp, start a grill and basic knife skills! You can even piddle around in the yard if you wanted to while you’re waiting on the packets to cook! I hope you enjoy this recipe, just like my family did. :)

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and let me know how it turns out for you or if you made any changes!

-April