• sides

    Garbanzo and Green Bean Salad with Mint

    If you’re anything like us, then you might be trying to eat a little more Mediterranean or emulate those lauded “Blue Zones,” so captivating for their lifestyle and the longevity and good healthy their inhabitants tend to have.

    If this sounds like you, then you definitely should be adding more delicious legumes to your diet!

    Here’s a beautiful side for you to add to your repertoire. It features garbanzo beans/chickpeas, green beans, green onions, and is full of fresh flavor with star ingredient, mint!

    1 lb green beans, cooked and trimmed
    1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry 
    6 green onions, finely chopped 
    12 large mint leaves, Julienned (technique tips from Jamie Oliver)
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    Pepper to taste 
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (we buy it on Amazon since we use it for everything from salad dressing to tea!)
    1 tablespoon capers
    1 tablespoon olive oil 

    Blanch green beans in boiling salted water, 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove immediately to an ice bath to shock them and retain their bright color. After they’re cooled, drain and pat them dry, then slice into 1 inch pieces. 

    In a large mixing bowl, add sliced green onions, chickpeas, mint leaves, salt, pepper, cider vinegar, capers, olive oil and green beans. 

    Toss to combine, taste and season with additional salt if needed. 

    Serve at room temperature.

    Be sure to Pin this if it sounds good to you, and if you make it, we hope you tag us on instagram @northwestfavorites

  • Favorites,  Food & Drinks

    Healthy Granola Oatmeal Cookies

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    These healthy granola oatmeal cookies are so delicious! It’s a bit of a taste “cheat” to use the yummiest granola you can, partially because they’ve done some of the work for us, but hey, you’ll all busy enjoying life right, so saving a little time is a major “YES” in our book! 

     

    Ingredients / Shopping list:

    3/4 Cup Flour (any kind you like)

    3/4 Cup Quick Oats

    3/4 Cup of of your Favorite Granola (For this, we tried Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin and Flax Seed, Yum!)

    1 1/2 tsp baking powder

    1 1/2 tsp salt 

    1/4 tbsp chia seeds

    2 tbsp butter, softened

    1 large egg, room temperature

    1/2 cup agave or honey

    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    1/4 cup raisins

     

     

    Here’s how to make them! Get ready for a complicated recipe, just kidding, it’s a total breeze!

     

    Preheat oven to 325 Degrees

    Prepare a cookie sheet with a sil pat.

     

    Whisk together the Flour, Quick Oats, Granola (you may need to break it up a little), baking power, salt chia seeds, salt.

    In a separate bowl (we use the kitchen aid mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the butter, egg, agave/honey. and vanilla.

    Add the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. 

    Once blended, add in the raisins!

     

    Get your ice cream scoop and scoop about 12-15 cookies out. Press them down slightly with a spoon.

     

    Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the sides are golden!

     

    Great ready to devour! They are perfect for breakfast, road trips, Fika, you name it!

     

    If you try these, be sure to tag us in your post or stories @northwestfavorites so that we can see! 

     

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  • Food & Drinks

    Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Loaf

    This light loaf is the perfect addition to your Sunday morning coffee. It’s light, yet rich and lemony too! You could also add a blueberry compote with a scoop of ice cream and serve it for dessert! Yum, Yum!

    Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/2 granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • zest of 1 large lemon (add more if you want a pucker!)
    • 3/4 vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups greek yogurt
    • 1 cup fresh blueberries (if using frozen, thaw before adding and drain out water)

    Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

    In the bowl of a mixer, whisk sugar and eggs together until pale and smooth, add olive oil, coconut oil, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Stir in yogurt.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

    Fold in blueberries. Place the batter in the prepared baking dish, smooth the top and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

    Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

  • Food & Drinks

    Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

    These cookies are perfect for Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or any “tines” day! Cake-like, full of flavor, and fun to make, bet you can’t just eat one!

    Makes 20 cookies 

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/3 cups flour
    • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking powder 
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup brown Sugar
    • 1/3 cup white sugar 
    • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature) 
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla 
    • 1 tsp red food coloring 
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 

    In a bowl combine your dry ingredients; flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & salt. Give it a quick whisk and set aside.

    In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix together until combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix together until thoroughly combined. Add in red food coloring a few drops at a time while mixing until a deep, bright red hue is achieved.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour powdered sugar onto a plate or in a shallow bowl. Scoop chilled cookie dough into small balls and roll in powdered sugar. Once you’ve rolled all the cookie dough balls in powdered sugar repeat this step one more time, roll in the powdered sugar once more to get a good coating of powdered sugar on each cookie.

    Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before you transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for later.

  • Food & Drinks

    Chocolate Drizzled Pretzels!

    These chocolate covered pretzels are so delicious, they add the perfect amount of savory and sweet, and are the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or tea! 

    Makes 16 Pretzels

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
    • 16 pretzel rods 
    • Valentines day sprinkles 

    Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minutes at 50% power, remove from microwave and stir. The chocolate chips won’t be fully melted so continue to microwave on high in 10-15 second intervals, stirring in between until all chips are melted! Set aside. 

    Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, lay 16 pretzel rods on the cookie sheet and drizzle chocolate over them. Keep drizzling until you’ve reached your desired “chocolaty-ness”

    While the chocolate is still wet, add your sprinkles and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. The chocolate will be set and your chocolate Valentines day pretzels are ready to serve! 

    Enjoy and Happy Valentines day!

  • Uncategorized

    Tips to Keep your Manicure from Chipping!

    Lately, I’ve been really into neutral nail colors, they’re versatile, classic, and don’t show chips as well (I’m a stickler for good-looking nails without chips). I’ve been painting my nail since I was about 12, and I’ve learned a thing or two to keep them from chipping! 

    Essie Colors listed in in photos: 

    Without A stitch 

    Feeling Wellies

    Bare With Me

    Private Weekend

    Wild Nude

    Hubby For Dessert

    Here is what I have learned: 

    • The shorter the better, I usually cut my nails just to the tips of my fingers, which leaves plenty of nail for color and less area for chipping! 
    • Use good quality polish, my personal favorites are Essie and OPI- they usually only require one coat but I typically do two since I’m a sucker for nice nails
    • If you like, use a neutral color, that way if your nails do chip, it will be less noticeable! This is also a great choice for travel- since a nice manicure always goes great with a vacation (and all your Instagram worthy photos!)
    • Top with a clear coat for extra protection and shine! 
    • Don’t rush and shake between coats for optimum coverage. 

    Best ‘at home’ manicure ever- #nailedit

    xx, 

    T

  • Food & Drinks,  Wellness

    “Healthy-ish” Peanut Butter Cups

    These “healthy-ish” Peanut butter cups are really tasty, loaded with protein and refined sugar-free these peanut butter cups are sure to please. These are a great snack with a cup of tea or perfect for the kids lunches! 

    Makes 6-8 Peanut Butter Cups

    Ingredients

    Chocolate Layer

    • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    In a mixing bowl, Mix together the coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla until combined. Layer into a square baking dish or muffin tin (since these are for valentines day you can use a heart shaped mold!). and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes. 

    Peanut Butter Layer

    • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter (salted, chunky peanut butter)
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds  (optional) 
    • Powdered Sugar for garnish

    Mix together Coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla until combined. Pour on top of chocolate layer, Sprinkle with chia seeds. Freeze for 15-20 minutes. 

    At this point you can either slice with a warm knife or cookie cutter, or unmold! 

    Place on a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

    Enjoy!

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Light, Sunday Morning Banana Muffins

    Sunday Mornings call for tasty treats and these muffins are de-lish! They are a great use for those sad brown bananas and are pretty quick to prep. Bonus – you can use only 1 bowl (less dishes to wash…yes please!). Most importantly, they are scrumptious!

    When you allow bananas to turn brown and almost mushy, they become extra sweet, which makes them the perfect ingredient to use when trying to bake using less sugar. These muffins use agave nectar as a sugar substitution which adds a slightly “nutty” flavor. Slivered almonds the perfect complement if you are a nut lover.

    Take to bananas out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you cook start prepping!

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees 

    2/3 cups coconut oil

    1/2 cups agave nectar

    2 eggs

    1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1 tablespoon chia seeds

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 1/2 cups flour

    1/2 cups slivered almonds or walnuts

    Prepare your muffin tin by greasing all 12 muffin cups.

    Melt coconut oil in the microwave until it’s fully liquid. Add agave and whisk, once combined, add 2 eggs and combine thoroughly. Add in bananas, baking soda, vanilla, chia seeds, salt and flour. Mix to combine and until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Fold in nuts.

    Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups.

    Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Let these babies cool and serve!

    Enjoy the perfect little snack, quick breakfast or mid morning pick me up!

    xx,

    gracegrl

  • Food & Drinks

    Truffled Rosemary Monkey Bread Muffins

    Upgrade your biscuit game with these incredibly delicious, simple and fun to eat muffins! I like to serve these with soup and they would be great at your holiday table as well! The cool thing is that because they’re cut into smaller pieces and tossed in the coating all the pieces have flavor! 

    Makes 12 large muffins

    • 2- 16 oz packages buttermilk biscuits (you can find these at the local supermarket or my favorite store, Trader Joes!)
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
    • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
    • 2 Tablespoons truffle oil
    • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
    • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

    Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, set aside. Open biscuit packages and cut each biscuit into 6 pieces. 

    In a large bowl mix rosemary, butter, truffle oil and salt. Whisk together until combined, add biscuit pieces and toss until completely coated. 

    Sprinkle parmesan in the bottom of each muffin tin and fill with coated biscuit pieces until all pieces are gone. Press each one down slightly so the pieces stick together. 

    Bake for 9 minutes until the tops start to brown, then turn down the oven to 325 degrees, cover with foil and bake for another 9 minutes. 

    Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin. 

    Enjoy these taste morsels of goodness! 

    xx, 

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Baked Broccoli

    This is one of our most favorite sides. Baking the broccoli brings out a somewhat “nutty” flavor and it can be the perfect addition to a salad, pasta dish or just have it as a side dish. This recipe is simple, foolproof and well, downright delish.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees

    • 3 cups broccoli, trimmed into bite-sized pieces (I usually make them smaller if they’re going into a salad)
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt,
    • 1/2 tsp pepper

    Place Broccoli in a mixing bowl, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

    Bake 20-25 minutes

    Warning: Once this comes out of the oven a few pieces will inevitably be consumed by passers-by, for this reason, I always add a few more pieces than I think I need just to account for the missing florets.

    Happy cooking!

    xx,

    gracegrl

  • Food & Drinks

    Fancified Avocado Toast

    Step up your brunch game with this outside the box take on Avocado toast. Instead of using “toast” we opted for mini waffles. They sure are a crowd-pleaser, they’re hearty, healthy and they look super cute too! 

    Waffles

    • 1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
    • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 Cup
    • 1/2 Cup plain greek yogurt
    • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted

    Topping

    • 4 eggs
    • 3 small tomatoes
    • 1 small avocado
    • Salt
    • Pepper

    Place waffle batter in a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth and combined. Drop spoonfuls onto waffle iron and cook to your desired “done-ness” 

    Place 1 waffle on a plate, top with fried egg, avocado slices and 2 slices tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper!

    Enjoy this tasty weekend breakfast! 

    xx, 

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Corned Beef, Cabbage,​ and Sweet Potato Pizza!

    This is a St. Patty’s day tradition in our house, I make it almost every year and we always say “we should make this more often”! It’s a fun twist on a traditional Irish classic! Making the dish in “pizza” form is fun and interactive, you could even do mini pizzas for a party too!

    • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
      1 (about 3 lbs) corned beef brisket already brined.    
    • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
    • 2 cauliflower pizza crusts (you can use regular too!) 
    • 2 Tablespoons truffle oil. 
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 lb bag shredded cabbage
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth

    In a slow cooker, place carrots and sweet potatoes.  Remove corned beef from package, and rinse (I like to rinse it to remove some of the saltiness). Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of vegetables add enough water to almost cover meat (about 6 cups). Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, about 6 hours on low.

    Melt butter in a saucepan, once it’s heated add cabbage, salt, Pepper and broth, sauté until cabbage is translucent and completely cooked (about 5-10 minutes). Let cool. 

    Once meat is cooked, prepare pizza crust as directed on package. I opted for cauliflower pizza crust but you can use regular pizza crust too,  Once crust is baked sprinkle generously with truffle oil and a light sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, now build your pizza! Start with veggies, shred beef and add that, then top completely with cabbage and the reminder of the mozzarella cheese. 

    Turn oven to broil and broil pizza on high, just until cheese is melted and browned. 

    Now let cool for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy with a cold Guinness. 

    Happy St. Patricks day!

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Rustic Cheesecake Bites

    These cheesecake bites are rustic and delicious! They’re lightened up so you can eat two or three and not feel guilty! They’re also not super sweet either, with just 1/4 cup brown sugar, you don’t have to worry about that sugar high. (wink wink) You can also make these ahead of time so they’re the perfect little bite for an afternoon tea or dessert with guests!

    Makes 30 mini cakes

    • 1 1/4 cups crushed Graham Crackers
    • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

    Preheat oven to 350

    Line a mini muffin tin with mini cupcake liners. Put 1 package of Graham crackers into a Ziploc and whack with a wooden spoon to make crumbs! Mix crumbs with butter and place in the bottom of each baking cup, press firmly to pack and create the crust! Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely (about 10 minutes).

    For the Cheesecake

    • 1/2 cup cream cheese at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese at room temperature
    • 1 cup fat-free yogurt at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 egg at room temperature

    Place all ingredients in a large bowl, mix together with a whisk until well combined and smooth. Using a teaspoon, spoon cheesecake on top of each graham craker crust, tap gently on table to remove any bubbles and ensure the tops are smooth after baking.

    Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes, remove cheesecakes from muffin pan and let cool an additional 10 minutes. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Chill completely before serving (chilling ensure they’re properly set!).

    Special note: The reason for the “room temperature” ingredients is that it helps keep the cakes from cracking after baking and further ensures that smooth top!

    Enjoy these tasty morsels, if you want to get extra fancy, top each one with a fresh raspberry! Yum Yum.

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks,  Wellness

    Green Goodness Smoothie

    Need a great, nutrition-packed smoothie? This is just the ticket. It is really tasty, and you can make it sweeter depending upon your tastes (just add some agave nectar). Healthy, delicious and bursting with superfoods! This can be your new go-to recipe when you’re craving a smoothie.


    • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
    • 2 handfuls spinach
    • 1 handful kale
    • 1/2 large banana
    • 1/2 frozen blueberries
    • 1/2 plain or vanilla greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup orange juice

    Ready for a really complicated process? Put everything blender, and… drumroll, please?

    Blend it up!  Pour into your favorite glass and savor the healthy, deliciousness!

    Note: depending upon your blender you may have to add the spinach and kale in batches to ensure it blends smoothly!

    Happy Healthy Eating!

    xx,

    T

  • Hygge

    50 Activities To Do while you’re stuck at home!

    It can be hard during times like these to stay positive and excited about life when let’s face it, folks are a little down right now. But never fear, we’ve got a list of 50 activities to keep you busy while you’re stuck at home. Whether you’re busy working from home or are taking care of your kids, this list certainly has at least a few things to keep you busy during your homestay! 

    Spring Cleaning: 

    -Move furniture and vacuum behind and under it (Goodbye 3 year old dust bunnies!) 

    – Detail your car- Wash, Vacuum, squirt and spray, also while you’re at it top off all fluids!

    – Clean gutters- it may not be fun but it’s certainly a good thing to do and you’ll be happy you did it too! 

    – Wash floors- Grab that bucket and a brush and scrub away!

    – Clean Grout- While you have your bucket out from washing the floors, clean your tile grout too! 

    – Wash your windows, not sure about you but with the sun streaming in we’re definiltiy seeing windows in need of washing 

    – Tune up your lawnmower- There are tons of great lawnmower tutorials on youtube you can look at to make you mower function at its best. 

    – Tidy your laundry room, it’s probably one of the rooms you spend lots of time in, why not keep it clean and organized

    Culinary Projects: 

    -Try to cook a new recipe with things from your cupboard/fridge

    ⁃Bake cookies- Chocolate chip, oatmeal, shortbread, so many options! 

    -Make homemade bread

    -Try making homemade pasta

    – Try a new cocktail recipe 

    – Make chocolates

    Outdoor Activities: 

    ⁃Do some gardening, finally prune those trees, weed that bed, org

    ⁃Have a picnic in your backyard

    Staying Active: 

    -Jump rope- Good for your heart rate and it’s fun too! 

    -Walk with kids and make a game of finding/identifying flowers- Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths

    -Go for a bike ride

    ⁃Find a new workout app so you can workout at home (try fittbe!) 

    ⁃Go for a walk 

    ⁃Head to the local lake and go kayaking or paddle boarding

    Organization Activities: 

    -Organize your digital or printed photos, something you probably rarely have time to do normally 

    -Organize your garage- it can be daunting but take it one section at a time. 

    ⁃Organize your closet, go through clothes and figure out what you want to keep or not

    ⁃Organize cabinets/drawers- office and kitchen! Sort things to donate and keep! 

    Staying indoors: 

    ⁃Watch a movie that you’ve been wanting to look at for a while

    ⁃Rearrange living room furniture

    ⁃Do soduko

    -Make a flip book

    ⁃Learn a new card game, cribbage, euchre, gin, bridge

    ⁃Start that blog!

    ⁃Make seasonal cards

    -Watch old family movies- you’re guaranteed a laugh or two during your trip down memory lane!

    ⁃Write a gratitude list

    ⁃Do a spa day, take a bath, paint your nails, do a facemask, drink tea and read a book

    ⁃Do a puzzle

    ⁃Tie Dye things

    ⁃Make homemade play dough

    ⁃Make homemade bath bombs

    ⁃Learn origami

    -do your taxes (not fun but must be done!) 

    – Learn how to tie useful knots 

    – Do a funny photoshoot 

    – Decorate for the next holiday (Easter)

    Tech Things: 

    ⁃Unsubscribe from junk emails

    ⁃Make a new playlist of songs for the upcoming season

    ⁃Organize computer files

    -have a virtual happy hour with friends

    -virtual church 

    -research a DIY on YouTube 

    Hope this list of fun activities helps you live your best life during the quarantine time! Leave a comment below and let me know how you’re trying to stay positive and have fun during this time!

    Stay healthy and wash your hands 😉

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Butterhorn Cookies

    I love the taste of Butterhorn cookies and have recently learned that they’re quite hard to find. I checked our local coffee shops, even Starbucks and Nordstrom cafe with no luck, so on a rainy Monday afternoon I decided to make my own, and I really liked the result (By liked the result I mean I ate 5 in the first 20 minutes of cooling!!) 

    Preheat oven to 350

    • 2 cups flour 
    • 1 tsp. Salt
    • 8 Tbsp Cold Butter (1 stick)
    • 5 Tbsp. Cream Cheese (2.5 oz)
    • 3/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
    • One Egg yolk

    Filling:

    • 3/4 Cups Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tsp. Cinnamon

    Mix flour, salt, Butter and Cream cheese until crumbly. Stir in Greek Yogurt and Egg yolk. Just until combined (You’re basically making pie crust!). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. Remove dough from Fridge, Cut dough into 3 equal pieces and roll out into a thin 12” diameter circle. 

    Mix Brown sugar and cinnamon together and spread about 1/4 cup onto dough being sure to reach almost all the way to the corners. Cut into 12 triangles with a pizza cutter, roll them up and pinch together. Place on a cookie sheet seam side down. 

    Repeat with all remaining dough and filling. 

    Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely before serving. 

    Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee! 

    xx,

    T (Peanut Butter & Jelly Chronicles)

  • Food & Drinks

    Delicious Chickpea Salad

    This Chickpea salad is divine! We made it last week to accompany grilled salmon and it was a winning combination. It’s packed with veggies, protein and goat cheese too! It’s super versatile and you can add whatever veggies or cheese you have on hand!

    Ingredients

    • 2 cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup grape tomatos
    • 1 red bell pepper chopped
    • 3 green onions
    • 1 avocado
    • 3 tbsp goat cheese

    Start by rinsing 2 cans of chickpeas. Slice grape or cherry tomatos and toss them in.

    Next, slice half a cup of green onions and add them to the bowl. Follow this with one chopped bell pepper. I love avocado, and bonus for those great healthy fats, so the addition of avocado was a must for me!

    Add salt and pepper to taste, and dress with your favorite vinaigrette. For a creamy treat, sprinkle goat cheese on top!

    Check out the video below!

    Enjoy this delicious recipe, it evokes memories of summertime on the deck. Warm weather and a nice cool glass of rose! Now that takes me to a very, very, happy place!

    xx,

    gracegrl

  • Food & Drinks

    Rustic Rhubarb Tart

    I recently was given fresh rhubarb from a friend and I’ll tell you what, I couldn’t get home fast enough to bake it into something scrumptious! Tart, sweet, and well downright delicious, this will have you sitting by the oven like a child on Christmas morning!

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    • 1 package store-bought pie crust
    • 4 Cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/4″ slices
    • 1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered
    • 3 tbsp flour
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • ½ cup of sugar 
    • 1/4 tsp orange zest
    • 1/2  tsp cinnamon

    Slice rhubarb into 1/4 inch slices, place in mixing bowl, add sliced strawberries and mix with flour, vanilla, sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon. Set aside for 15 minutes so flavors meld. 

    Roll pie crust out into a 15″ diameter, place rhubarb/strawberry mixture in the center of the crust, leaving about 1.5 inches of crust around the filling. Fold crust over fruit creating the ‘rustic’ tart, brush crust with water (to keep it from burning) and sprinkle with granulated sugar if you’d like.

    Bake for 35-45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is browned, take out and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

    Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

    Enjoy this tasty dessert!

    xx,

    T (Peanut Butter & Jelly Chronicles)

  • Food & Drinks,  Wellness

    Fresh and Fab Carrot Orange Smoothie

    This smoothie is SO delicious. It’s sweet and slightly nutty from the hemp seeds. Great for breakfast or a mid-day pick me up or just your daily dose of vitamins! 

    Makes 4 smoothies

    • 1/4 cup Hemp Seeds
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Tumeric
    • 3/4 cup yogurt
    • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
    • 1 scoop collagen powder
    • 1/2 banana
    • 1/3 cup chopped carrot
    • 1/2 cup orange, peeled and cut into small pieces
    • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
    • 1 cup frozen mango 

    Place all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve!

    Enjoy this tasty treat!

    xx,

    T (Peanut Butter & Jelly Chronicles)

  • Food & Drinks

    Summertime Fish Tacos

    These tacos are great for a hot summer evening, they don’t require very much cooking and best of all, most of this recipe can be made ahead of time. All you need is a margarita and some cute summertime cocktail napkins and you’re good to go! 

    Fish:

    • 1 1/2 lbs cod or white fish
    • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
    • 1 lime, juice and zest

    Place fish in a ziplock bag, sprinkle with taco seasoning and add lime zest and juice, let marinate for at least 4 hours or more. 

    Salsa: 

    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 3 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
    • 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn or regular frozen corn (but I like the trader joes fire-roasted option)
    • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 
    • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
    • 1 lime, zest, and juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper or more taste

    Extras:

    • 1 package small “street” taco tortillas
    • Fresh cilantro for garnish 

    Mix tomatoes, garlic, corn, black beans, avocado, lime juice and zest, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl, set aside and let it sit so that flavors meld. 

    Cook fish in saucepan for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through, place fish and salsa inside a tortilla and voila, your dinner is served! 

    Garnish with fresh cilantro. 

    xx, 

    T (Peanut Butter & Jelly Chronicles)

  • Food & Drinks,  Wellness

    Rainbow Smoothie

    Lately, we have been trying to “eat the rainbow” everyday! Focusing on healthy food choices and eating as many fruits and veggies as possible. This smoothie contains all the colors, Red berries, Orange zest, Yellow banana and mango, green spinach, and Blueberries! Not only is it nutritious but it tastes great too!

    Makes 4, 1 cup servings

    • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
    • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
    • 1 cup frozen blueberries
    • 1/2 cup frozen fruit medley (we used mango, banana, strawberry medley, you can use any berry assortment that you like)
    • 3 tablespoons oats
    • 2 big handfuls spinach (definitely an official measurement!)
    • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (really good for reducing inflammation!)
    • 2 teaspoons flax seed
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • pinch of salt
    • Optional: 1 scoop of protein powder or collagen powder

    Blend all ingredients together, if the smoothie is too thick for your taste just go ahead and add more almond milk!

    Enjoy this tasty treat and daily dose of nutrients too!

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Superfood Breakfast Cookies

    This is the perfect ‘grab and go’ cookie. They are not only nutritious and loaded with superfoods like pumpkin, flax seeds, cinnamon and of course some chocolate but they’re also really durable, I like to pop one into a baggy and toss it into my purse to curb my afternoon “hangriness”!

    Preheat oven to 325

    • 1 cup oats
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1/2 cup pepitas
    • 1/2 cup rasins
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoon flax seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) 
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 tablespoons agave nectar 
    • 1 tablespoon milk

    Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. 

    Mix pumpkin, butter, and agave together until fully incorporated. Add dry mixture and fold together until partially combined, add milk to moisten the mixture and continue to mix until fully incorporated.

    Drop equal sized cookies on a cookie sheet and flatten each cookie. 

    Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

    Makes 18-20 cookies depending upon your scoop size!

    Enjoy these tasty morsels, they’re exceptionally good with coffee or tea.

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Healthy Coffee Breakfast Smoothie

    Smoothies are a great way to start the day, especially if one contains coffee and an entire banana! It’s a great way to get some good protein to kick start your day and be the best version of you! 😉

    • 1 cup of coffee- cold
    • One banana 
    • 1/2 Greek Yogurt (I used plain but vanilla would be awesome too)
    • 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
    • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon half and half
    • 1 tablespoon collagen or vanilla protein powder

    Place all ingredients in the blender. Mix on high until completelty blended. Pour into 2 glasses and serve. If you like it a little sweeter just add some agave nectar.

    Enjoy your protein forward smoothie, giving you the power to conquer your day!

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Salmon “Nicoise” Salad

    I’m a HUGE fan of ‘main course’ salads, Nicoise Salad definitely fits that bill. Since I love salmon I decided to mix it up a bit and use salmon for the fish! I also opted to use asparagus, another springtime staple in my house and when I walk by it at the grocery store, I just can’t resist it! This salad will be your new favorite way to get your greens! 

    • 1.5 lbs Wild Caught Salmon (For purchasing tips check out this website
    • Salt 
    • Pepper
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 lemon slices

    Preheat oven to 425. Rinse and pat dry salmon, line a cookie sheet with foil. Cook salmon at 425 for 15 minutes. Bake salmon for 15 minutes or until completely cooked through (about 145 degrees) 

    • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
    • 1 lb. gold potatoes
    • 1 lb asparagus, cut diagonally
    • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
    • 6 cups Spinach
    • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into wedges
    • 1/2 cup olives
    • Vinaigrette dressing (purchased at my local TJ’s!) 

    Place eggs in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a full boil. Turn off heat and let the eggs sit for 15 minutes, then douse in an ice bath to cool. Peel and cut into wedges.  

    Boil potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes and slice into quarters. Sauté potatoes in olive oil, add salt, and pepper to taste for 5-7 minutes or until they just start to brown. Set aside. 

    Place asparagus in a corning ware dish, add 1 tablespoon water, cook on high for 7 minutes in the microwave. Drain water and douse in an ice bath. Set aside. 

    To assemble the salad, dress Spinach greens in a large bowl and arrange on a serving platter. Place salmon fillet across the spinach greens and now get your creative juices flowing! Add eggs, potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes and olives. 

    Serve immediately! 

    Imagine yourself sitting on the patio of a French villa surrounded by clipped boxwoods and cypress trees, you see your glass of Chardonnay glistening in the hot Italian sun, This colorful, fresh salad is on the table, as you take your first bites you think, “this is the epitome of the perfect French meal”. Bon Appetit!! 

    ENJOY every bite!! 

    xx, 

    gracegrl

  • Food & Drinks

    Monster Cookies

    Monster cookies are truly the perfect cookie. Once you make the ‘base’ dough, you can really add anything you’d like. Have fun and make these cookies your own! They’re the perfect companion for your afternoon cup of coffee or tea!

    Makes 30 scrumptious cookies

    • 1 1/2 cups creamy or chunky organic peanut butter
    • 3/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
    • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
    • 3  eggs
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats 
    • 2 tsp baking soda 
    • 1/2 cup walnut baking pieces 
    • 1/2 cup golden raisins 
    • 1/4 cup chia or flax seeds
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter M&M’s 
    • 1/2 cup peanut M&M’s 

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats

    In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the peanut butter, agave nectar, and butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla unti combined.

    Add the oats through flax seeds stirring with a spatula until all ingredients have been fully incorporated. With a medium ice cream scoop, drop batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. Place 3 M&M’s each cookie and flatten slightly before baking. I chose peanut butter and peanut M&M’s but you can choose your favorites. They taste amazing with caramel as well!

    Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes before placing them on metal racks to cool completely.

    Bet you can’t just eat one!

    Happy tea time!

    xx,

    T

  • Food & Drinks

    Antipasto On A Stick!

    Antipasto is top on my list of “go-to” appetizers! The only problem is that most require plates, and cutlery, leaving you with even more dishes to do at the end of your soiree! Enter Antipasto Skewers! They offer the perfect mixture of everything and are a tasty “2 biter”. Be sure you have some cute cocktail napkins, and cocktails of course, and you’re good to go! 

    Antipasto Skewers: Purchase your favorite Antipasto fixings. I always opt for a combination of the following:

    • Olives
    • Salami
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Sun-dried tomatoes
    • Mozarella cheese
    • Fireroasted peppers 

    Gather some cute skewers and start building! It doesn’t get much more simple than that!

    My formula usually starts with mozzarella and ends with an olive!

    Happy Hosting!

    xx,

    T

  • Hygge

    50 things that make us happy!

    Because we’ve been feeling like life is really, really good, we’re sharing with you 50 things that make us smile!!

    1. That first cup of morning coffee

    Thanks, Jametlene Reskp for the photo!

    2. Puppy’s (always make anyone smile)

    3. Sunflowers

    4. Jade Roses

    5. Little kid hugs

    6. Spotting a deer

    7. Going to bed with freshly washed sheets!

    8. Watching a Gossip Girl Marathon

    9. Joel Kanitz’s voice (if you don’t know who this is…you NEED to…voice of an angel!)

    10. Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway on a perfect day

    11. Country music sing-alongs

    12. Watching it snow (not this time of year…but in the winter)

    13. Hanging out with our girlfriends

    14. Christmas Dinner

    15. Getting a new pair of shoes

    16. Getting a cute text

    17. Eating a box of French Macarons in the bubble bath with Chardonnay ala Ms. Blair

    18. Discovering a new recipe

    19. Tom Ford scents

    20. Getting the newest issue of Instyle magazine

    21. Receiving a compliment

    22. Finding the perfect gift for a loved one

    23. Getting invited to a party! (always exciting especially when you usually host!)

    24. Sunshine when rain was predicted

    25. Freshly clean and waxed car!

    26. Making eye contact with a cute stranger

    27. Pilates

    28. Feeling like you could run forever

    29. Freshly painted toes

    31. A really good glass of rich, smooth Cabernet

    32. Finding your favorite jeans at half price

    33. Finding money in your pocket when you go to do the laundry

    34. Getting a handwritten letter in the mail

    35. The smell of freshly cut grass

    36. Eating peanut butter right out of the jar!

    37. A book you can’t put down

    38. Filet Mignon

    39. Silk robes

    40. Baby chicks

    41. Friday nights

    42. Smell of the air after a spring rain

    43. Rainbows

    44. Paris…everything Paris

    45. Receiving a beautiful bouquet

    46. Watching Dynasty on the telly

    47. In our crazy world finding out that Gentlemen still do exist!

    48. Playing Scrabble with funny people

    49. Harvesting crops from the Garden that you’ve grown

    50. Reading comments from people on our blog

    That’s 50 things that make us smile! Leave us your comments and tell us what your top 10 are! Have a phenomenal day!

    xx

    T

  • Healthy Baking,  Uncategorized

    Healthy Cookies: Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip

    If you are like me, you have a tough time serving refined sugars to your loved ones! The great thing is, that you and truly get a great tasting cookie with this combo of agave nectar and honey. Bonus, if you are trying to lean toward more healthy fats – you can feel good about just using a bit of olive oil instead of butter.

    We do debate about these “healthy cookies” in both the Fittbe and NW Faves camps. Some of us are all for the healthy choices, and some say, “hey, if I’m going to eat a cookie,” it better be a real treat and somewhat of splurge. Which one are you? Let us know on Instagram at either our NWFavorites account or Fittbe, depending upon which one is more your jam. And speaking of jam, we have some favorite jam picks for your cozy autumn tea and toast morning.

    On to the cooksters… These are so easy to make, and you don’t even need to putt out your Kitchen Aid. Believe me, I love it – but the thing is heavy and I don’t keep it out on the counter, lol!

    Recipe:

    Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.

    Wet Ingredients

    • 1 egg beaten
    • 1 tablespoon homey
    • 3 tablespoons agave nectar 
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    Dry Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Method: Ready for this easy method?! Simply blend together the wet ingredients and set aside. Then mix up your dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and then add in your raisins and chocolate chips.

    Scoop with an ice cream scoop onto a cookie sheet with sipat. Bake for about 12 minutes, and voila, you have delicious, healthy cookies that are perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea, or even road trips, (my absolute fave – it’s a great way to make the time go by, right)! If you make these, we’d love to see! Tag us on instagram @fittbeapps or @northwestfavorites.

  • Pilates,  Workouts

    20 Min No Equipment Arm Workout!

    WORKOUT

    Pilates Mat: 20 Min No Equipment Arms

    We absolutely adore this 20 minute, feel amazing, arm workout from Fittbe. You’ll be surprised at how wonderfully engaged and strong your arms feel after you’re done!

    Remember, to go at your own pace, and enjoy the process! If you want to do more Pilates, Barre, and Yogalates with Kira, we invite you to start your free trial of the popular Fittbe Pilates or Barre App!

     

     

  • Uncategorized

    Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs!

    Don’t you just LOVE Easter? It’s one of the very best weekends of the year. It’s all about rebirth and renewal, thankfulness for our beautiful word! In preparation for a great weekend packed with egg hunts, treats, Easter baskets and more, we made naturally dyed Easter eggs! ????????This was a first try, and we must say, we were happy with the results! The colors came out well, so lovely and pastel.

    To make them yourselves add the following to 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt!

    .
    Blueberry ???? 2 cups boiled (These were our fave!)
    Yellow onion ???? 2 cups boiled
    Coffee ???? just black coffee
    Beet ❤️ a cup of juice and a tbsp vinegar
    Turmeric ???? 2 tablespoons ground

    The best thing about naturally dyed Easter eggs is that if you decide you’d like to eat them, then you have no worries about only good things being inside! If you make these, be sure to tag us on instagram so that we can see and comment! We are @northwestfavorites. Happy Easter You Guys!!

    Here is a little video of us making these fun Easter eggs!

  • Food & Drinks

    To Wine or Not to Wine?

    Need a fun weekend activity? How about throwing a wine tasting party? It’s so much fun and obviously contains lots of….Wine-ing!!!

    Thanks, @kelseychance for the photo!

    We began by inviting 4 friends…totaling (8 people..4 couples!) and had each couple bring a bottle of wine wrapped inside a paper bag, Each bag was then given to 1 person (the sommelier) for the evening and the fun began!!

    What you need…

    1. FRIENDS…preferably ones that like wine might be a plus!
    2. 1 friend designated as the “sommelier” they won’t be as into the tasting as they’re somewhat “working” but they can still play along
    3. printable “tasting” notes cards…find one on the internet or make it up..!
    4. Snacks…! cheese platter, grilled meat, and my all-time favorite, smashed potatoes (scroll down for recipes!)

    Viola, that’s it! All that must be done now is copious amounts of wine must be consumed, laughter must ensue and snacks must be eaten…I would say that’s an evening well done, don’t ya think?

    Stay classy!

    xx,

    T

  • Wellness

    What’s the Best Exercise Program for Results, and Fast!?

    I know it sounds too good to be true, I promise it’s true! With Fittbe Pilates, it has never been so easy or fun to get fit. Popular, amongst celebrities, dancers, and athletes, the effectiveness of Pilates just might blow your mind. The Best thing is that you will start to see the results fast. Founder, of the method, Joseph Pilates explained that in “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”! 

    Now, ready for a shocker? Pilates has a cumulative aspect. It’s not just that the more you do, the better you will get. It’s actually that you’ll get more out of each exercise! A perfect example of this comes from the woman who formally trained me to teach back when I was 17 years old (wow, a loooong time ago). Now, to get a mental picture… This woman was supermodel gorgeous. Not skinny, but strong with these long limbs – just, wow. She was in her mid 50’s. As she stood in front this group of eager, green, soon to be teachers, she described that she could get her own full Pilates mat session done in about 15 minutes. 

    I found myself wondering whether she was suggesting that a shorter workout was better than a long one! She then took to the mat to show us. She began with a classic warm up like imprinting and roll ups, then moved to leg circles, the clock, scissors, and beyond. To my surprise, she only did about 8 scissors. 8! The thing was, these 8 scissors, along with every other exercise she showed us, were absolutely perfect. The placement, the precision, and her mind-body connection. She worked up a sweat in 15 minutes worthy of a full hour because she deliberately put so much effort into each perfect movement.

    What does this cumulative honing of your skills earn you? A method of exercise uniquely suited to give you major results. You will see and feel muscles that have been hiding, and awaken a feeling of balance and beauty! So, keep going in your practice. Keep experimenting in order to feel the connection in your own body. As you get stronger, it’s your job to make sure that you put more into your practice! Be sure to share your results with me at Fittbe Pilates. Your journey will inspire others! Who’s ready to hit the mat!?