Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Brunch ideas!!!


Cinnamon Rolls

sugar mixture:
1/2 c. shortening
3/8 c. sugar
1 t. salt

1/2 c. hot water

yeast mixture:
1 T. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
(combine and let sit)

2 eggs

3 3/4 c. flour

1/2 c. cold water

1/2 c. sugar
2 T. cinnamon
1 T. nutmeg
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Add hot water to sugar mixture, lightly whisk. Add eggs and yeast to the sugar mixture, lightly whisk. Add flour alternately with cold water mixing until all of flour has been added. The dough will still be a little gooey.
Rollout on a floured surface until it is a large rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, and roll length wise. The dough will be cut into about 15 pieces (about 1 1/2 inches). Place in a buttered 9x13 pan. Cover and let raise for about 45 minutes (the dough should double in size). Bake at 375 for 17-20 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces of cream cheese (half a box)
2 T. milk
4 T. butter
1 T. vanilla
dash of salt
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese until softened, add milk slowly, and continue to beat until lumps are gone. Add melted butter vanilla and salt, beat until completely combined. Add powdered sugar slowly and mix till combined (don't beat on high).



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An oh so delicious breakfast casserole!


Broccoli and Feta Bake

1 8 ounce container of feta crumbled
1 large head of broccoli, cut into small bites
9 eggs
1 c. of cream (or 1/2 c. milk)
1 t. salt
fresh ground pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Butter a 9x9 pan. Even distribute broccoli. Sprinkle half the feta cheese and half the cheddar cheese over the broccoli. Whisk the eggs, cream, salt and pepper together, and pour over the broccoli. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until it looks as though the eggs have set (a toothpick or knife should come out clean). Sprinkle the rest of the feta and cheddar on top and continue baking until melted, about 5 minutes.

You can make this dish the night before, and it makes brunch the next day very easy. Simply bake the egg dish for about 25 minutes and refrigerate. The next day, right before serving, bake at 350 for 10 more minutes, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 5, and you're ready to serve.
** You can use any cheese that you like. Not everyone loves feta, although its one of the healthier cheeses, but you can try a white cheddar or gruyere, or a sharp cheddar, something with a lot of flavor at least.



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Cheeseburger Night!

Tonight I made dinner for the fam, and choose cheeseburgers.. why? because while on our cleansing diet, that's about all we could think about! I want to try my best to stay away from fast food, so we're going to start making our favorite meals! Here's my choice burger (I tried something new tonight)

I had lots of fixings, including:
sauteed mushrooms (Sliced button mushrooms sauteed in the same pan I cooked the bacon, after I removed most of the oil. Salt and pepper, and cook for about 5-7 minutes.)
feta cheese
lean hamburber
swiss cheese
red leaf lettuce (one of my favorite)
spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper
(I don't like onions, everyone else does though)

We also tried the whole grain buns, as opposed to plain white, they were very tasty.

Kettle chips, salt and vinnegar and baked barbeque.. the only potato chips I really like

I also decided to try sweet potato fries, but baked, instead of deep fried. They didn't crisp, but they were still delicious! I'll come out with a good recipe for these soon!

All in all it was an amazing dinner, and pretty quick to fix!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

lets be healthy!!

This week, the love of my life and I embarked on an intense journey; a cleansing diet. I have done a few cleansing diets, the one I think is most effective is the "lemon juice detox." It's a juice made up of lemon juice, organic maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, that is meant to cleanse your digestive tract. You can google the diet and lots of blogs and websites will come up, all with basically the same idea. A book entitled the Master Cleanse was written in the 70's by Stanley Burroughs, a health philosopher, was the first with the idea; since, several, if not hundreds have renamed and redesigned it, but it is basically still the same thing.

The purpose of the Master Cleanse:

•To dissolve and remove toxins and mucous from the body.
•To clean the kidneys and digestive system.
•To cleanse the glands and cells of the body.
•To remove waste and hardened matter in the joints and muscles.
•To relieve pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries and blood vessels.
•To create a healthy blood stream.
•To return youthfulness to everybody, even the elderly.

After completing a cleansing diet (which I do anywhere from 3-5 days) I feel refreshed, energized, my fatigue and constant feeling of being tired is alleviated, and it's like starting new. Your liver controls your metabolism and it works to detoxify your body, but because we live in a country where unhealthy and unnatural foods are a part of our every day diet, it becomes over worked and unable to do it's job to it's fullest. When I have stayed on the cleanse for 4-5 days (which is really key) I not only lose about 5 pounds from my midsection (stomach size decreases, intestines clear up, and any swelling or inflammation disappears) but I also notice my skin is clearer and has more elasticity, and cellulite diminishes!! That's what really sold me on this diet the first time around. Cellulite is created from toxins that were unable to be processed by your organs and so it settles in the layer of fat just below skin level, which then creates a dimple or pinch, and doesn't allow the fat to lay smooth. Now unfortunately some damage done by cellulite is irreversible, but not all of it. I only stayed on the cleanse for 3 days, and because of that I didn't notice as much of a change as I have in the past, but it is possible.

Because this diet does slow you down for the first few days I'll admit that it doesn't fit in everyone's schedule. Martin and I chose Monday to Wednesday, because he doesn't work and we don't have any huge responsibilities on those days. But, I have good news, there are less dramatic ways of reaching the same results; but it's a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

A few years ago (well more like 5) I stumbled upon the studies of Dr. Perricone, a dermatologist that studies anti-aging. Actually, my dad first introduced me to him because he used to frequent our public television station with lectures and information about his books; Ageless Face, Ageless Mind, 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health and Longevity, and The Perricone Promise. His concept of dieting and lifestyle are all about removing inflammation (which is what causes cells to be damaged and then regenerated, which increases the aging process, in your skin and internal body). He encourages you to take daily vitamins, eat lots of fish (especially salmon) and lean meats, nuts and legumes, and incorporate fruit and vegetables in every meal. Sounds pretty logical right?? Well, you have to be careful with what fruits and vegetables you eat, they need to be low on the glycemic index and therefore low in starch. A quick way to figure that out is, eat lots of berries, and green veges. Berries have very high amounts of antioxidants (which are very good for you) and green vegetables are usually full of fiber and vitamins (of course there are good vegetables of other colors though).

After my excitement in finding this amazing doctor, I found out he had a book specifically written about acne!! At the time, I was struggling with acne, and had been taken medications for years, that would all eventually stop working, and I was trying to stray from daily medications anyways. I went on amazon, bought the book, followed his 28-day guide, and within a week, I noticed a dramatic improvement. The acne diet, unlike the others he has written about, has a high intake of fats, good fats though. Who would've thought, that eating more fat would improve your skin. For years in my dieting I would try to cut out all fats, well that will never happen again. Not only did my acne go away, and after a few months of following the diet relatively closely, I noticed it was gone for good, not just short term. I can go days without taking care of my face, or eating healthy, and it doesn't make a difference, that never used to be the case. So my acne cleared up, my energy levels were amazing, I had lost some unhealthy weight and couldn't believe all I had to do was change my eating habits; no drugs, no face washes, or creams, it was amazing!!

I've said a lot, I know, but it's because health has always been a passion of mine, and I've been wanting to share this with you for a while, and I finally had my excuse!! This is my first day off of the cleansing diet, and I intend to eat according to Dr. Perricone's diet. It's almost completely gluten free also, so I don't have to worry about altering it to fit my current health needs.

Being healthy should be a lifestyle, not a fad, and I truly believe that. It seems as though everyone wants a quick fix or someone to tell them that you can cheat and still lose weight or still be healthy and that shouldn't be the answer your looking for. If you want to change your health you need to think about what you eat and what you're putting into your body. We weren't created to eat the food that we have available right now, that's the truth. Any doctor, nutritionist or health specialist will tell you, you can eat bad food, and no you won't die, but you're slowly doing damage to yourself, and taking away from how good you can feel.
I wish you all good health, and maybe just start with some small changes. Eat fruit in the morning instead of carbs and dairy. Eat one less sweet a day. Try a salad at lunch or dinner, instead of pasta.
with love,
Kristin :)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

oh how I love...

orchids, and all potted plants actually!! I wanted some pretty and green for my bathroom, so I created this little number. I bought 3 mini potted plants (ferns and some other leafy green) and a mini orchid (from trader joes, they're so awesome there), found the perfect size pot at target, and combined them all. Orchids don't actually grow in soil, so, I kept it in the pot it came with (a double pot, so that you can pull the plant out and put it anywhere). The other three plants were taken out of their pots and put in the large one, and then surrounded with soil (that I bought separately). I left a pretty decent size space for the orchid and nestled the pot in place. Now I can pull the orchid out once it loses it's bloom, because it is in a tiny plastic container but the ceramic pot remains with the rest of the plants, and you can just replace it. Orchids are awesome because they can keep their bloom for several months if you keep them in the right environment. They like indirect sunlight, and lots of moisture in the air. Our bathroom is perfect because there is no fan and after every shower it is quite steamy. The shelving unit was found at ross, isn't it great!!
The baby tears (little green leaves growing around the rest) are from my dad's garden, I thought it would be a nice touch. You could also use rock or bark or pete moss to fill over the dirt to make it a little more in house appropriate.


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Monday, March 22, 2010

Lisa's Bridal Shower!!

Again, congratulations Lisa, you're such a beautiful girl.

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