Weeknight Staples | Salmon Cakes with Lemony Chive Greek Yogurt Sauce

salmoncakes

Today, we’re talking about one of my all-time favorite ingredients: Salmon! No matter how you prepare it, I love it. Baked, grilled, smoked, sushi, sauteed, broiled…you name it! It’s so delicious, it’s healthy, it’s good for you, and it’s usually very easy to cook!

I have many friends (including my husband!) who aren’t huge fish fans, but they enjoy/tolerate salmon–I think it’s pretty mild, usually not ‘fishy’, and it does a great job of taking on the flavors around it, without losing that hint of oceany, salty, deliciousness! Give it a try, non-believers…you might be surprised!

My dad used to take my brother and I Steelhead Fishing on (you guessed it), Idaho’s beautiful Salmon River when we were younger–I remember it being FREEZING cold, sitting in a little dinghy with a tiny heater on the floor, and always outfishing dad.😉 I think I need to get back to being a fisherwoman…

This recipe is easy, quick, and even the husband likes it (and always has seconds!). I love the Kirkland (Costco) boneless, skinless Wild Atlantic salmon for this recipe–it really is wonderful. I’ve also had great success with Chicken of the Sea pink salmon–I’m sure fresh would be epic, too, but I just love eating my salmon fillets…well, filleted.🙂

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s totally customize-able…add red peppers, jalapenos, whatever you want! I created this by throwing stuff in a bowl and mixing/matching until we found a combination we loved!

Hope you enjoy! In case you were wondering, one serving (two 4″ cakes) of these (including oil for frying) come out to 347 calories and 31g of protein.

Salmon Cakes with Lemony Chive Greek Yogurt Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Patty Ingredients:

  • 2 5 oz. cans boneless, skinless salmon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T Fat Free Greek Yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 t soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1/2 t hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coconut Oil for frying (about 1/4 C)

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C Fat Free Greek Yogurt
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 T chives, diced
  • 1/4 t salt
  • freshly cracked pepper (adjust for taste preferences)

Instructions

1. Mix sauce ingredients in bowl, stir together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (can be done up to a day in advance).

2. Bring oil to 350 degrees in saute pan.

3. Mix all ingredients (except oil🙂 ) in medium bowl.

4. Separate mixture into 7-8 balls and form each ball into a patty.

5. Fry the patties 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

6. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.

Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 11.36.12 AM

Quick & Easy | Mini Corn Dogs

My favorite sports season is officially wrapping up (sad day!), which means it’s World Series time! Game 7 is upon us, and the series this year has been crazy…talk about home field/crowd advantages! I made these little corn dogs last night from (you guessed it) a Pinterest inspired Betty Crocker recipe, and they were fantastic! They’re great finger food for the game, they’re light and airy, and they don’t feel heavy or overly greasy for being fried. I only made a half batch, but the recipe below is for a full batch. I served them with ketchup, mustard, and a side of broccoli…fries would be amazing, too! ha! Give them a try tonight for the big game! Dare I say…Go Giants?😉

Mini Corn Dogs

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 

IMG_8557Ingredients

  • Oil for frying
  • 1/2 C gluten-free Bisquick (regular would work fine, too!)
  • 1/2 C cornmeal
  • 1egg, beaten
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 T honey
  • 2/3 C milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 package of your favorite hot dogs/sausages, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 T Bisquick

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over stovetop to 350 degrees
  2. Combine and stir together Bisquick, cornmeal and sugar.
  3. Add beaten egg, honey, salt and half of milk. Stir until well mixed, and continue adding milk until batter reaches consistency similar to a thick pancake batter.
  4. Let mixture sit for about 5 minutes (this gives the baking powder in the bisquick a chance to activate/rise a bit).
  5. Place cut hot dogs into a plastic baggie with 1 T of Bisquick and shake gently to coat sausages
  6. Dip each hot dog in batter mixture, shake off excess, and fry in hot oil, turning once (about 2-3 minutes, total)
  7. Dry on paper towel lined plate and enjoy!

Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 11.36.12 AM

DIY | You’ve Been Boo-ed!

You've Been Boo'ed!
Have you ever been Boo-ed?! I haven’t!

This fun little neighborhood cheer idea is so dang cute! You can read in the photo above, but basically you take this cute little note and secretly drop it off at 2 neighbors’ homes with a little autumn treat or bag of goodies, and they get to ‘pay it forward’ and ‘boo’ 2 other families!

I’ve heard of great little Christmastime ‘ding dong ditch’ activities, but this was the first I’d heard of the Halloween variety. I can’t wait to Boo! our neighbors!🙂

I took lines from a few of my favorite online templates and made my own. I kept it very simple and black and white, as part of the activity requires that you make copies of the note or print off your own…I thought simple was better in this case!

I’m excited to spread some autumn cheer, and I hope the beautiful fall weather in Boise joins us soon…80 degrees in October is a little warm for me…ha!

Click on the photo above to print your own Boo note, and get to spreading some love and sunshine in your own family, neighborhood, office, church or wherever you want!

Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 11.36.12 AM

Life Lately | Seattle Girls Trip 2014

I had the BEST weekend in Seattle with the most amazing women.🙂 My parents and their friends (endearingly called ‘the gang’) from childhood, high school and college in North Idaho are still all very close–it really is so neat. They all had kids around the same time…so, though we didn’t necessarily grow up physically near each other, we definitely grew up ‘with’ each other, and when we’re together, it’s like we haven’t missed a day. I love it. This weekend was spent with some of the gang moms, and the second generation (‘the crew’!), and was full of laughter, good food, impeccable Seattle weather, tourist sights, love, happy tears, story telling, and we made so many wonderful new memories. I count my lucky stars every day for the incredible people in my life–I am truly blessed. Here’s a little sneak peek of our weekend…cheers! Stay tuned for a recap of next weekend’s Leavenworth Oktoberfest adventure!

Dessert | Autumn Pumpkin Bread

image2Happy first day of Fall! My favorite series of seasons has finally arrived! I LOVE fall and winter! I love spring and summer, too, but there’s just something about those crisp mornings, leaves under your boots, scarves, warm drinks, pea coats, snowflakes falling outside your window…you can’t beat it!🙂

This recipe is one of my all time favorites. It’s from allrecipes.com, and the first time I made it years ago, I didn’t alter a thing. Let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS! But, these days, I have a hard time justifying eating something that has a CUP of oil and THREE cups of sugar in it…eek!

I’m a firm believer that you should enjoy what you eat, and for me, that means there’s more to food than just fuel for the body. I want to be mindful of what I’m putting in my body, but I also want to enjoy my food, and I want it to taste good, too! Cooking and baking are a relaxing, fun experience for me anyway, so it’s even better when what I’m making comes out extra delicious AND healthy(ier).

SO – here’s the recipe from allrecipes.com, modified a bit to be a little healthier, but still just as tasty! Note: I up the pumpkin spices in everything pumpkin I make (I like it spicy!), so feel free to decrease the amount of cloves and cinnamon if you prefer yours to be less intense!

PUMPKIN EVERYTHING comin’ right up…I LOVE FALL! What are your favorite fall recipes?

Autumn Pumpkin Bread

  • Servings: 24
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

image1

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 3/4 C no sugar added applesauce
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 2/3 C water
  • 3 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water, honey, and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 11.36.12 AM

DIY | American Flag Racerback Tank

flag4DIY Sunday was a major success this week! Will and I got to hang out with our sweet nieces (2&4) Saturday night…we made our own pizzas, went to the park, made ice cream in the ice cream maker, crafted their American flag swimsuit cover ups for Bammer’s (Will’s grandma) 4th of July celebration, made a fort and watched the Lorax, and woke up to make breakfast together! Whew! It was so super fun having them over – they’re such good girls!picstitch   I am a HUGE 4th of July fan, and when I found the glittery foam stars at Walmart in a clearance bin, I knew I had to do something with them! One can NEVER have too much ‘America’ apparel, so off I went on a craft supply mission, and after making the girls’ versions, I had to have one. And I had to make one for my BFF, too. Obviously.😉 We spend the 4th in Idaho’s mountains every year! My husband’s hometown is stunningly gorgeous, and the people there are the absolute most wonderful–it’s easily my favorite place to visit!

35196_589488368824_7110475_n

The view from Will’s parents’ dock!

Both of these tanks (without drying time) took me no more than 30 minutes total to make! They’ll be perfect to wear while we sip drinks on the boat and play in Payette Lake over the weekend! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Oversized white t-shirt or tank top (I went 2 sizes up for both of ours – if you want a tighter fitting tank, just use your regular size)
  • Glittery sticky-back foam stars OR star cut outs/stickers (you can totally make your own!)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Red spray paint
  • Blue spray paint
  • Newspaper/magazine scraps
  • Fabric (or other sharp) scissors

How to: 1. Lay out your tank/t-shirt on a flat surface, and adhere stars to the left side, in whatever pattern you like. Next, lay painter’s tape down in a striped pattern, adjusting thickness to your preferences. (I used two strips per stripe!) photo 2   2. Once you have the design you like, take your project to a place you’re comfortable spray painting (we chose the backyard because Will would mow it anyway!). Fold your shirt in quarters so only the stars are showing. Place newspaper under the first fold of the shirt, so you don’t get any overspray on the striped areas. Spray those stars blue! Don’t worry about getting paint on the neck, as you’ll cut that part off later. photo 3 3. Unfold your shirt and lay a clean piece of newspaper over the stars/blue you just painted. Spray the stripes red! photo 4 4. Carefully pick up the shirt and place it in the sun or somewhere warm to dry for a few hours. Peel off stars and tape, and voila! You’re ready to cut.photo 1 5. Starting at the shoulder seam, make a cut down and around the neck, stopping at the midpoint of the cut. photo 5 6. Fold cut piece over and match to the other shoulder seam. This will help make sure your neckline is even. Finish cutting the neckline by guiding your scissors along the fabric from your first cut. flag6 7. Follow the same procedure to cut along arm holes (or sleeves if you’re using a tee). Remember, the lower you cut, the more ‘open’ the shirt will be on the sides. flag8 flag9 8. Cut the very bottom strip of fabric off of the t-shirt and reserve a 6″ section of your cut for the back of the tank top. flag2 9. Try your tank on and grab a friend (or your husband!🙂 ) to help you place the tie where you’d like it to be. Gather the fabric together where you want to place the tie, and tie the reserved scrap from the bottom of your tee around once. Wrap the ends around a few more times if you’d like a thicker band! flag3 10. Last but not least, give everywhere you made a cut (neck, both sleeves, and bottom) a solid tug. Stretch the fabric out just a bit so you get a little bit of ‘curl’ in it to get that distressed look. If you’d like a softer tee (and to not be as stinky like spray paint!), you can totally toss these in the wash, inside out, on a cold cycle. I did that with all four of my tanks, and they all came out great with no fading or bleeding, and the spray paint smell was completely gone! I’ll tie the strings on the back into a cute bow for the day we wear them, too! Ta da! You did it!🙂 flag4flag5 More pics to come of Erin and I actually wearing our tanks!😉 Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July weekend celebrating with friends and family! xo, m

health and fitness | my running essentials

This morning, Will headed into work early to finish up some drawings (he’s an architect in training)…he’s so dedicated, and he sure loves his job! Our little Scout just got spayed a few days ago, so I stayed in bed with her until about 8 (love having an excuse to sleep in a little haha!) while she rested. I made some jet fuel coffee, and sat on the patio with the dogs and enjoyed the cool morning breeze. As I scrolled through instagram on my phone, I noticed that two of my favorite bloggers had already been up and out on a morning run. They’re in Texas, which is an hour ahead of my time, but it still made me want to kick my lazy Sunday buns into gear (don’t you love digital accountability?!).

I ran over 4 miles today, and only walked up one (long and steep) hill!!! I run slowly, but darn it, my feet are moving underneath me, and that’s faster than sitting on the couch (or porch in this case haha!). Today’s run was the best one I’ve had in as long as I can remember. Will and I have been running together just to get our bodies moving for a little over a month now, and (for the most part), I’m loving it. It makes me feel good. In my personal experience, running for a heavy, out of shape person can be really tough, more physically painful, and it takes a lot of mental grit to keep pushing yourself to finish. But I’m quickly learning that I CAN DO IT, and that feels awesome, too.🙂 Anyway, here are a few things that are helping make running easier for me and that made my run today so great!

1. FUEL. First person I texted before I hit the pavement was one of my best friends, Monique. She’s SO dang smart and will be earning her PhD in exercise science/kinesiology in the coming months. She’s my go to fitness gal (look for a guest post from her soon!). I’m not a huge breakfast eater, but I knew I’d need fuel for a longer run. For running performance, she suggested peanut butter on toast or a bagel. The quick release carbs give you immediate energy, and the peanut butter keeps giving you energy throughout the run. After the run, fruits (or something with natural sugar) and protein. Here’s what I had:

pGNC1-13828027t300x300

bagel

 

 

 

 

 

shredded-chicken

Unknown

 

 

 

2. A GOOD SPORTS BRA. Hallelujah! I’ve found it!!! IMG_6883After lots and lots of research and many failed attempts at finding a sports bra that will actually hold my 36D knockers in place, I FOUND ONE. You guys, it’s worth $40 (on sale at Zappos!) 10 times over. The Moving Comfort Juno Bra is where it’s at. I have to step into it (it’s a real chore to put on haha), but it is by no means uncomfortable in any way once it’s on. It doesn’t feel restrictive or too tight, it doesn’t rub, and the straps are adjustable. Did you read that right? THE STRAPS ADJUST! In the front! You don’t have to go find a friend to help you get dressed anymore! LOL.  So, whether you like your bra super snug or a bit looser (or if you change your mind mid-workout), you can make it do whatever is comfortable for you. My chest does NOT move in this baby. It’s miraculous. This was one of the more painful parts of running and other aerobic exercises for me in the past, but not anymore. Big chested ladies, GO BUY THIS BRA! Sorry for the awkward picture and boob sweat, I was too tired and hot after this run to sit up and take a real one. But SEE, they’re held right where they should be, even laying down!😀 [note: if this one is too spendy, I actually think these Old Navy bras are right up there as far as support goes…and I got mine on sale for $7 each! Score!]

 

IMG_68853. SHOES. This has made, by far, the biggest difference for me. Everyone is different, so PLEASE go to your local running store (not a big box store) and get fitted. I am a heavy runner, a moderate overpronator, a mid-foot striker, and I plan to run 30+ minutes each run. Neat! All things I didn’t realize contributed so heavily to what kind of shoe I needed to wear. I used to be a die hard Asics fans, which was a major carry over from my volleyball days! My mom bought me a pair of Brooks Glycerin runners a few years ago, and I fell in love. I wasn’t doing heavy or consistent running in them, but they were great for the occasional  workout and for running around town. Those are what I started running in. Overall, I was okay. But I did have some pretty intense shin splints in my right leg and some curious pain and clicking in my left knee. I found out from the running store that my shoes were too old and had lost their support and cushion (seems like an obvious ‘duh’), and that my over pronation (done that my whole life haha) in an improper shoecould be contributing significantly to my troubles. I took the plunge and purchased the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14. They’re designed for a heavier runner, who moderately overpronates and wants a mix of cushion and stability. Magic! My knee still clicked and was very mildly painful (something to keep an eye on), but my shin splints were virtually gone. Also, I really felt like I’d been wearing these for months. It was brave (read: crazy?) to wear them for the first time on a 4 mile run, but I had zero issues, blisters, hot spots, or anything. I am so grateful for a new, supportive shoe that makes my life easier and my workouts so much better!

3. DIGITAL MOTIVATION. I like to keep track of my progress, and even shaving one or two seconds off of my mile pace or another tenth of a mile on a run makes me feel significantly more accomplished! You won’t always see what you want on the screen, but I think it’s so important to track, and to be proud of yourself that you’re even out there trying!

  • I use Runmeter on my phone to track my pace, route, speed, distance, elevation gain/loss, calories burned, weather, etc. It’s pretty amazing, and doesn’t drain my battery too quickly if I lock my phone. There are so many great run/exercise tracking apps out there…research and find one that works for you!
  • My Garmin heart rate monitor watch (obviously) tracks my heart rate, but also shows me a more accurate calories burned count, and tells me distance as well.
    IMG_6890
  • I also have a Fitbit One that I wear all day every day, and on runs, to track my distance and steps. It challenges me when I’m at work all day, and ‘competing’ with friends for steps is always fun.
  • Hands down one of my favorite apps I have is Rock My Run. It’s a playlist compilation app, and they have SO many great running playlists. You can search by genre, BPM, playlist length, and lyrics–then, you can download the playlist (in the app), and it will play without using any data. If you’re not using a GPS app on your phone (like me), you can turn it to airplane mode and conserve some serious battery on your run! I tend to be SUPER motivated by music–if my playlist isn’t great, I simply don’t do as well. Since I’ve found this app, my times are improving, and running is absolutely more fun for me! The premium upgrade ($4/month) is worth it for me–I spend that on 2 coffees in a week. I can give up some morning sunshine for a good music app😉
  • My friend Melissa recommended Smashrun.com. It’s another great place to challenge your friends and see your progress. It gives you detailed reports of how you’re doing, etc., and it’s easy to export the data from Runmeter to the website to keep me on track.
  • Take progress pictures, and write things down…if you’re on the road to weight loss, your hard work doesn’t always show on the scale (you’re also doing really cool things like build muscle and drink more water!)…look for those awesome NSVs (non scale victories)! Does your shirt feel like it fits better today? Do you have saggy butt jeans now? Did you only have a few bites of dessert today? Did you meet your calorie goal? Did a friend tell you you looked strong and beautiful? Do you feel good?! Every one of those things count big time! Don’t rely only on the numbers…it’s so much more than that!

4. HUMAN MOTIVATION. Be proud of yourself. Tell your spouse, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your siblings, your friends, your coworkers…heck, tell a stranger! But tell them what you’re doing, what your goals are, what you need their help with, share roadblocks and ‘I know I can do better that that’s…they’re your biggest support–allow them to share in your journey and be proud of you, too!

Don’t ever feel bad that you’re run/walking a 15 minute mile or that you did 2.5 miles today instead of three…IT’S OKAY!!! YOU are DOING THIS! For you! For your kids, for your family…whatever it is that motivates you…find that little spark inside of you that says ‘get up, get going, YOU’VE GOT THIS!’ I’m proud of me, and I’m proud of you–all of you marathon runners, you trampoline jumpers, you ’round the block walkers, you city league softball players, you injury rehabbers, you water drinkers, you jumping-up-and-down-at-your favorite-concert-ers, you donut-decliners, you ‘I’m starting this today-ers’…every one of you is on your own journey, and we only have this one body, our whole lives…so let’s make the best of it and work to be the best version of ourselves, whatever that means to you. I’m proud of you! Now, put your phone down or hop up from your chair and get movin’!😉

I’ll see if I can get these two hooligans moving, as well. ha! IMG_6888

Happy Sunday!

-M

1 2 5