back in action

Our friends are back in Charlotte and now it’s time to catch up!  I got a lot done today, since I was up at 4am!  I’ve been doing 20-30min of yoga for the past 4 days, each morning, and I’m loving it.  I’m always stiff + tight in the morning and I can’t even explain how much better I feel after a quick 20min.  I am more alert, relaxed, loose and can even breath better!  Other than yoga, I didn’t get in a workout today.  Back to the regular schedule tomorrow.


Purple slurple time.

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Hemp Fruit Smoothie

  • ice
  • ~1c milk
  • 1c blackberries
  • 3 strawberries [all I had left]
  • 1/2c blueberries
  • ~1/6 avocado [makes it so creamy!]
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3T Living Harvest vanilla spice hemp protein powder
  • 1T chia seeds

Topped with:  Love Grown Foods deeelicious granola

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So so good.  I’m also now obsessed with drinking out of my plastic straws.  I drink a lot of water, but I drink even more using straws.  Weird!

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This smoothie was GIGantic.  This mug is monstrous…not your typical coffee mug size.

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FAVorite hemp protein powder.  The flavor is very nutty and mixes well with fruits or anything I’ve ever used with it.  Hemp protein definitely has a distinct earthy/nutty flavor.  What I really love is that this does not use Stevia! Yay!

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Then I did a little baking for a blog header photo shoot!

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I have a new obsession.  Pickling cucumbers.

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I have another new obsession.  Making + eating pickles.  Like it is my job.

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These little cuties are local + organic and cost 3 for $1 at the local market.  Sweeeet.  I saw a blog post from the lovely blog, Little Blue Hen, on how to make pickles.  I was pumped.  AND these pickles you can start enjoying in 4-6hrs after you make them!

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I went to Whole Foods and bought a bunch of spices in the bulk spice aisle.  This save sooo much money!  I probably bought about 2-3T of each spice.

Coriander.  So cute.

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I followed her recipe for one trial, but then did a LOT of experimenting. 

cloves – carroway seeds – allspice berries  - Spices are sort of adorable :)

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Baby bags.

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I can’t even tell you how easy these were to make.  I save almost all glass jars.  Whether it’s from applesauce, nut butter, brown rice syrup, etc. I save them for things like this.  I brought out all the spices I wanted to use and made about 6 or so variations in about 45min. 

Crunchy deliciousness.

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Now for the variations!  Edited from Little Blue Hen’s Delicious Overnight Pickles

6 Spice Pickles

  • 12oz pickling cucumbers
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1T coriander seeds
  • 1T black peppercorns [whole]
  • 1/2T mustard seed
  • 1T caraway seed
  • 1T allspice berries
  • 4 crushed cloves
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 3/4c distilled white vinegar
  • water to cover
  1. In a 1qt glass jar add a few sprigs of dill to the bottom of the jar.
  2. Slice cucumbers however you want.
  3. Add in cucumbers and the rest of dill in between.
  4. In a bowl mix the salt + vinegar.
  5. Add all of the spices and garlic on top of the pickles.
  6. Pour in salt/vin mixture and add water to cover.
  7. Refrigerate 4-6 hours and then eat!

They were definitely already spiced up after 4-6hrs but were even better the next few days! 

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All of the pickles have the same directions, unless otherwise specified.  I didn’t use the full 12oz of cucumbers in each jar, because some jars were smaller than 1qt.  However, not a problem, just decrease all of the measurements a bit.

They’re all approximated anyway.  It’s hard to mess these up!

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Simply Pickled

  • 12oz pickling cucumbers
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1T coriander seeds
  • 1/2T mustard seed
  • 1T black peppercorns [whole]
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 3/4c distilled white vinegar
  • water to cover

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Red Hot Pickles

  • 12oz pickling cucumbers
  • 6 sprigs fresh dill
  • ~5 grinds black pepper
  • 1t red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2T sugar [I used sucanat]
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 3/4c distilled white vinegar
  • water to cover

*When mixing the vinegar/salt solution, also add in the sugar and stir to dissolve.

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Lemon Basil Pickles

  • 12oz pickling cucumbers
  • 1/2c, loose packed, chopped fresh basil
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • 1 crumbled dried bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3T lemon juice
  • 1t lemon zest
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 3/4c distilled white vinegar
  • water to cover

*Mix lemon juice with vinegar mixture.

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Sweet Garlic Pickles

  • 12oz pickling cucumbers
  • 8 sprigs dill
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • 1 crumbled dried bay leaf
  • 1/2T mustard seed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 3/4c unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • water to cover

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Variety Review:

6 Spice Pickles – You could definitely detect a slight hint of cloves + allspice but it balanced well with the other spices.  This was FULL of flavor.  

Simply Pickled  These was the recipe from Little blue Hen with 1 or 2 changes.  They were delicious.  Probably my 2nd favorite.  Awesome flavor. 

Red Hot Pickles  Whoa.  Just when you think the spice is mild, it starts to build + build + build.  If you like heat these are for you!

Lemon Basil Pickles – I would have never thought to add basil when making pickles, but I had some in the fridge.  Wow, what a good combo!  I loved how different these were.  They were very fresh + summery but still had a distinct pickled flavor.  It’s neck + neck between these + “simply pickled” for my favorite.  There was a hint of sourness from the lemon that I also liked. 

Sweet Garlic Pickles  I wanted to try using apple cider vinegar in one batch to see what happened.  It definitely worked and gave a little sweet/sour flavor to the pickles.  I really liked these as well.  Crushing the garlic really helps the flavor come through.

Making all of these varieties was SO SO much fun and it was even better because Kelsey was here to help me make batches 3-5!  We kept thinking of more + more things to try.  I definitely want to try a variety spiced with rosemary next!

The great thing about these pickles are that they are super easy + quick to make.  I like that you don’t have to wait weeks for them to finish “cooking.”  However, you will need to eat these 1-2 weeks max.  Everyone was skeptical before trying them, including myself.  They have been tested and approved and obsessed about by myself, Chris, Eric, Kelsey and Kurtz. 

I like using the pickling cucumbers because the seeds are smaller than typical cuc’s and they are extra crunchy!  Can you sense my excitement about these??  We even took them on in our cooler Monday when we went exploring around in the mountains.  I’m pretty sure we went through 6 jars of pickles in 4 days, with 4 people.



A few more tidbits…

Since Chris started work today, and we only have 1 car, and he has a 1hr commute, I will be getting everywhere by foot or bike during the week!  I’m actually pretty excited about this.  I rarely use the car during the day anyway but now I’ll be biking to the store as well!

First experience!  It’s not far at all and no major streets.  Not a problem!  However, it’s hard for me to walk away from the grocery store with 1 backpack of goods!

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I actually packed quite a lot in there.  WF had a few really good sales that were ending.  The 2lb brick of cheese will last a really long time and was $3 off.  I LOVE Organic Valley cheese.  Gotta jump on the sales!  The spelt pasta was on sale and I’ve been wanting to try it.  The Rudi’s bread + Ezekiel muffins were also on sale. Score!

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They had a ton of spices 1/2 off [or more] as well.  These cost $2-2.50.

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Sometimes I make a completely random dinner.  And sometimes it is delicious. 

Tonight it was delicious.

  • Kale Chips
  • oven roasated potatoes with onion and seasonings [s/p/garlic powder/parsley]
  • black beans heated in a pot with organic valley pepperjack cheese

I had more of everything.

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Gooooodnight!  It’s 11:45pm.  I haven’t been to bed before midnight it a verrrrry long time! Weeeeeee :)