Posts tagged ‘gifts’

May 3, 2011

Grilling…Avocados?

Hello out there 🙂 Well, we got through Monday! The rest is easy peasy my friends…

Sunday Night I made THE most incredible side dishes while we grilled out. Grilled avocado stuffed with Strawberry-Mango Salsa and Sesame Miso Cucumber Salad. Strawberries, Cucumbers and Mangoes are SO fresh right now (which also makes them extremely cheap) and there is nothing better than having a fresh and inexpensive meal.

Grilled Avocados & Strawberry Mango-Salsa (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado, just turning soft, not fully ripe
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound strawberries (about 1 cup), hulled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions
  • Preheat a grill brushed with olive oil to medium-high, 300°F to 400°F.
  • Slice the avocado in half lengthwise, and carefully remove the pit; do not peel them.
  • In a small bowl, mix the agave with the oil.
  • Brush the avocado flesh with this mixture, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool place (do not refrigerate).
  • In a medium bowl, mix the mango and strawberries with the vinegar, orange juice, and lemon juice. Let the mixture rest for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the flavors can blend.
  • Grill the avocado, skin side down, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin begins to lightly char and take on grill marks.
  • Brush the flesh side of the avocado again with the agave-oil mixture and place them, flesh side down, on the hot grill for another 2 or 3 minutes.
  • With a spatula, carefully remove the avocado from the grill and place them on a plate.
  • Fill the seed cavity with mango-strawberry salsa, generously dribbling some on top of each half. Serve with a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh and salsa.
Sesame – Miso Cucumber Salad
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced seeded cucumber
Directions
  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  • Seed cucumbers by cutting in half and taking a spoon to the middle and scooping out the seeds.
  • Slice cucumbers.
  • Add cucumber; toss to coat.

These made the perfect spring side dish for our first official grill night. We are in love over here 🙂
Sunday is Mothers Day (for all you boys who forgot…I know girls don’t!) and if you haven’t gotten your Mom a gift I’ve put together some ideas for you. My mom reads my blog daily so I will not be adding the gift I my brothers and I got her 🙂

Kindle

Who doesn’t love to read? The kindle is a great gift because it can hold more than one book at a time on the device and magnifies the pages so you don’t have to squint.

Wine of the Month Club

Let’s face it… We all know why Mom’s drink wine every night now that we are adults. The real world is stressful (especially if you have kids). This Club sends you 2 bottles each month. That should last them about…5 days? 😉

Custom Hand-Painted Wine Glasses (or margarita, beer etc..)

My girl Alyssa over at Life of Blyss paints wine glasses by hand and does an AMAZING job. Check out her site!

Pandora Bracelet

What do you get for the mom who has everything? Start her a charm bracelet from Pandora. They have fun charms that go with specific lifestyles – shopping bags and high heels for the shopaholic, wine glasses and cheese for the social mom and of course their colorful beads to go in between.

Gift Certificate to Spa

There isn’t one person I know who would ever turn down a chance to be pampered. If there is please let me know so I can have a serious talk with them… Get your mom a gift certificate to a spa in the area for a manicure/pedicure, massage or a facial. Or if you’re feeling really generous, all 3!

If you want to make your mom breakfast/brunch I’ve added some of my favorite recipes below to add for your mom’s special day.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (Healthy)

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes w/ Apple Topping (Vegan & Healthy)

French Toast Casserole

Banana Pudding Muffins

We all know no meal is complete without dessert so here are a few of my favorites

Tagalong Crunch Cake 

Peach Thumbprint Cookies drizzled with Milk Chocolate 

S’mores Cookies

QUESTIONS: What do you usually do for your Mom on mothers day? Have you ever grilled an avocado? DO IT!!

April 4, 2011

Love is Sweet (French Toast Casserole)

Happy Monday! Let’s make this week a good one 🙂 I’ve been on the go since Friday and finally have a chance to get back to my computer – 3 days without a computer is unheard of for me! I’m ready to take it easy and get back into routine.

Weekend recap:

Friday – Sushi & Fro Yo with my friend Jenn

Can you guess which fro-yo is mine??? I’m a toppings kind of girl!

Saturday was spent getting together last-minute things for  a Bridal Shower for my friend Ali aka running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I’m happy to say everything turned out successful and just the way I imagined, beautiful! Here are a million pictures to prove it 🙂

The Dessert Bar 🙂

Some of the food before my camera died :/

Some of the decorations

The girls

The favors

I want to open up my own wedding/event planning company. Who wants to hire me 😉

Are you ready for the easiest and yummiest French Toast recipe you’ve ever come across? This is perfect for two reasons. 1. You make it the night before and just stick it in the oven when you’re ready. 2. It feeds a small army. 3. I’ve never loved a breakfast food more than I love this. I know I said 2 reasons but I had to add the third.

Warning: This is NOT healthy. But it is tasty. A little piece goes A LONG way.

Overnight French Toast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 24 eggs
  • 32 pieces of white bread
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 HEAPING tsp of butterscotch instant pudding
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • dash of nutmeg

Directions

  • Grease a 9×13 inch pan
  • Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in bowl.
  • Dredge bread in egg mixture and layer in pan (makes 4 layers)
  • Pour remaining egg mixture over slices of bread
  • Mix brown sugar, melted butter, butterscotch instant pudding, syrup and cinnamon.
  • Pour paste over bread like icing.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Next morning stick in oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 degrees
  • Serve immediately!!

If you have company over this is the meal to make – All you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning and serve your guests a warm, fluffy, sweet breakfast casserole. MAKE THIS!! That is a demand 🙂

I’ve been feeling extremely blah today – Hope I’m not getting sick!! See you tomorrow 🙂