Four Bean Salad with Dill Vinaigrette

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Hello all ūüôā

I was on a mini hiatus which I feel awful about but it has been a crazy, crazy few weeks. ¬†And it’s only getting crazier from here on out.

First off, I have finals all this week and next week. Then my graduation ceremony.  Then my graduation party.  Then moving.  And then college.  Plus everything in between.  AHH!

Only two more months and I’ll be laying on a beach in Hawaii…

But until then, I have to keep up with my normal daily life.  Eating right, working out, etc. etc.  Sigh.

Luckily, it hasn’t been too difficult to eat right some of the creations I’ve been coming up with lately. ¬†Seriously, I’m on a roll. ¬†Expect some awesome recipes when I get around to blogging them (again, hiatus, sorry).

But first, I’ll start off with my four bean salad.

This salad was perfect alongside grilled chicken and asparagus for dinner and then a turkey and pepper jack sandwich the next day.  It pretty much goes with everything summer-y.  Which is awesome because I am in the summer mood!  Seriously, how many more days of school?

The reason I chose 4 beans instead of the traditional 3 is simple.  The beans were on sale 4 for $5.  And I used cannellini and navy beans in place of green beans just because I like the taste better.

I’m quite complex aren’t I?

Ingredients:

1 can kidney beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can cannellini beans

1 can navy beans

1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

3-4 Tbs. olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs. honey

2 tsp. dried dill (you can replace with fresh)

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. parsley

1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. dill pickle juice (optional, but highly recommended)

Drain and rinse the beans in a colander.  Mix together in a big salad bowl.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Pour over beans and mix together.

You can serve it immediately or after a day or two.  I like to let it marinate the beans for a day before I eat it because it makes it so much more flavorful!

It’s quite possibly the easiest recipe and it tastes so good! ¬†You could also add onion, celery, or whatever else you want.

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Let me know what you all think of this recipe!

XOXO Sara

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How to Shrink TOMS and Why Tuesday is Not my Friend

This title may sound weird but it is definitely true.  Tuesday is not my friend.

But not just this Tuesday, every Tuesday. ¬†Tuesday to me is the Monday to most people. ¬†If that makes sense. ¬†Why do I despise Tuesdays so much you ask? ¬†Because on Monday, I can accept that I have to get up at an ungodly hour, try to put on my makeup still half asleep, eat a breakfast I’m not hungry for, and then spend 4 ¬†hours at school before completing the numerous tasks I have to do at home.

But then I have to do it again on Tuesday?!  Ughhhhhhh.

If I could choose the events that occur throughout my Tuesday, it would include these activities (in no particular order):

Eat Chinese food (preferably for breakfast)

Blog.

Have somebody bake me a cake that is not myself.

Buy clothes.

Stare at my ceiling.

Eat Chinese food.

Eat cake.

Eat ice cream.

Make a craft I’m not obligated to make.

Write a song.

Eat Chinese food.

Sleep all day.

Watch “Friends”

I wish life were like that. ¬†However, since it’s not like that I try to make the best out of my Tuesday.

Things I found particularly good that made my Tuesday a little better:

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Making these confetti cupcakes.  They were so delicious (sorry, no recipe.  Then there would be no reason for my cupcake business ;))

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My piano.  Because I love my piano.

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Running shoes.  Because even though the thought of working out makes me cringe, I feel so much better afterwards.

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And lastly, the summer weather. ¬†Only about 14 days of school left and I’m ready!

Clearly, this is my new attempt to make the hard days a little better, so if I post these once in a while, just work with me here.  Okay, now what you came here for.  How to shrink TOMS!

This year for Prom I decided to wear TOMS with my dress. ¬†I bought them but when I tried them on they slipped right off my feet like flip flops ūüė¶

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Sorry about the pictures.  They were taken at night time.

I wanted to shrink them in the wash, but I guess that will tear them to pieces. ¬†Which I expected. ¬†I mean, come on, handmade shoes won’t hold up being thrashed around in a medal cylinder.

Here’s how I shrunk my TOMS the easy way!

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Rinse your TOMS with hot water trying to avoid the leather part. ¬†This will be really hard to do, and you will probably stop caring and give up. ¬†It’s okay, it will dry. ¬†They might stink a little though, so use some odor powder to rid of that!

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Set them out where it is hot! ¬†Since I’m in Vegas, that was not difficult. ¬†Next time though, I will dry them outside. ¬†I just did it in the garage, and it was not as hot as I expected.

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When they’re dry, put them on! ¬†They should shrink about 1/2-1 size. ¬†If they are any bigger than that, return them.

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Here’s a picture of my and my boyfriend on Prom. ¬†You can’t see my shoes but this is the dress they went with. ¬†I’m so excited to see the pictures taken by our photographer! ¬†Really can’t wait.

Also, it’s already 107 degrees in Vegas. ¬†IN MAY! ¬†This is getting crazy. ¬†If you’ve never been in extreme heat like that, then you know why I’m so distraught.

Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday ūüėČ

XOXO Sara

Healthy Baked Potato Chips with Low Fat Garlic Parmesan Aioli

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I had to take this picture with my iPhone during dinner because I couldn’t keep these chips away from my family long enough to get a decent shot.

They’re that good. ¬†My mom, who is trying to stick to mostly meats, fruits, and veggies couldn’t resist them. ¬†She can’t resist any potatoes for that matter. ¬†We call her the potato hoe. ¬†Is that dysfunctional? ¬†Don’t answer that.

Also, I don’t think anything is better than garlic aioli. ¬†Seriously, it’s good on fries, burgers, sandwiches. ¬†So much stuff. ¬†If it wasn’t frowned upon, I would eat it by itself.

Okay maybe not.  But still, I really like it.

To change it up, I added some parmesan and also made it low fat so that I could indulge without consuming mega calories.  As for the potatoes, I just got tired of roasted potatoes covered with garlic.  So I decided on chips.

The result was amazing.

Ingredients:

Potatoes:

2 lb. red potatoes

2 Tbs. olive oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1-2 tsp. garlic powder (according to your taste)

1/2-1 1/2 tsp. onion powder (according to taste)

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular if you can’t find smoked in your local grocery store)

Preheat oven to 400* F.

Slice potatoes with a mandolin or on your food processor attachment.  Soak potatoes in ice cold water for 15-20 minutes.

See why here!

Drain the potatoes, dry them, and place them on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.  Mix with your hands to make sure the potatoes are completely covered in oil and seasoning.

Lay them in a single layer on your baking sheet.  Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy.

Low Fat Garlic Parmesan Aioli

1/4 c. low fat mayo (I recommend Hellmann’s. ¬†You could try with Greek yogurt too but I haven’t!)

3 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. ceyenne pepper

1/3 c. Parmesan, grated

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbs. olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the low fat mayo, lemon juice, ceyenne, parm, and garlic.  While whisking, add the olive oil.  You may add some milk or some more oil to get the right consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the baked chips.

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You should be jealous!

Alternatives

  • Vegetarian: Use Greek Yogurt instead of mayo.
  • Gluten Free: You’re good (;
  • Vegan: Add Veganaise or homemade vegan mayo.
  • Paleo: Use zucchini instead of potatoes and Greek Yogurt instead of mayo.

Let me know what you think.

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffins

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I wish I had that muffin right now.

Because I made them 2 weeks ago, and have been meaning to post the recipe since then.

And I’ve been a bad blogger. ¬†I apologize. ¬†I was sick all last week, which seems like the perfect time to blog if I hadn’t been sleeping the whole time.

But on another note, we finally got a new investment home my boyfriend and I will be living in for the next few years! ¬†We are so excited to start painting and moving. ¬†I also can’t wait to have such an awesome kitchen that I get to start cooking in. ¬†Nice and sunny for perfect food pics!

Back to the muffins.  They are super yummy, cinnamon-y, and kind of have a caramel undertone to them.  Everything is good about these muffins.

They took a little trial and error at first, but the muffins eventually became just right! ¬†The only downside is they fell a little flat which I wasn’t expecting. ¬†Apparently, I need to work on a little baking soda/powder ratio.

However, the flatness did not take away from the taste at all!  They are definitely worth a try for Christmas morning or brunch with your family.

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Ingredients:

Muffins

2 c. AP flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. allspice

2 eggs

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. melted butter, cooled

1/2 c. buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. milk (about; I estimated a little)

Topping:

1 c. flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 c. butter, softened

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cinnamon Swirl:

3 Tbs. butter, melted

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar, sifted

2 Tbs. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven at 350* F.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the spices.  Set aside.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, and cooled butter together.  Add the dry ingredients, buttermilk, and vanilla.

 Mix the milk in lastly until just mixed.  The muffins will be dense if you overmix!

For the topping, mix the first four ingredients.  Then mix the butter and vanilla in until crumbly.  Set in the fridge.

Combine the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon until the brown sugar combines into it.  Microwave for a few seconds if necessary.

To assemble, spoon the batter into lined muffin tins.  Using a toothpick, swirl 1 Tbs. of brown sugar/butter mixture into the batter, and top with 1-2 Tbs. of topping.

Bake the muffins for 12-14 minutes.

While the muffins bake, mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.

When the muffins are finished baking, drizzle the glaze over the warm muffins.  Then they are ready to eat!

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I really might need to make these again this weekend.  They take a little bit of time, but they are by far worth it.

  • Gluten Free Version: Replace flour with quinoa or rice flower
  • Vegan Option:

Let me know what you guys think.

Stay Serendipitous!

XOXO Sara