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Fun Fact: Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011 1:01 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Every year on the fourth Thursday of November we stuff ourselves with turkey, graving, and stuffing (my personal favorite) of course. You probably remember your 4th grade play where you and your friends dressed like Pilgrims and Native Americans and said something about making life long friends on Plymouth Rock. Well you weren't entirely off. Thanksgiving is a combination of European and Native American celebrations at the end of a harvest season to give thanks for a good harvest. There is evidence of a harvest festival thrown by Spanish explorers in Florida in 1565, but the he Thanksgiving tradition has actually been traced to a 1621 celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In 1623, there wasn't enough food to feed over 100 of the colonists, but the Wampanoag Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to fish and gave them seeds.

It wasn't until 1863, by presidential proclimation, that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated on the same day by all the states. Before that, each state decided when to celebrate on their own. In order to foster a sense of unity between the Northern and Southern states, Presdient Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to be on the final Thurday of November. Then, on December 26, 194, President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed to sign a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth (not final) Thursday in November with the reason of giving the country an economic boost.

So, Happy Thanksgiving! Stay tuned to see what my family made for our Thanksgiving meal :)

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Salty River Bars

November 22, 2011 12:40 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I want to make something for dessert...what do I have in my pantry? Enough to make these Salty River Bars! They're the perfect combination of salty and sweet with a satisfying crunch.

1 box Saltines (Actually, about 1 1/2 sleeves. I used whole wheat in an attempt to be healthier. The original recipe calls for club crackers, but I like the saltiness of these instead)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter (You can also use peanut butter chips)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (For fun, I added a heaping, and I mean heaping tablespoon of Nutella)
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
coarse sea salt

Line 8 x 8" glass or metal baking pan with foil so that it's hanging over the edges of the pan. Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray or grease lightly with vegetable oil or butter.

Place about 13 saltines in the bottom of the pan (break crackers in half to fit)

Melt the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted, bubbly around the edges, smooth and creamy (about 5 minutes). Pour 1/3 of this mixture over the crackers and spread as evenly as possible. Then, add another layer of crackers and peanut butter caramel on top. Then, another layer and then finish with a layer of crackers.

Finally, melt the chocolate chips (and the Nutella if so inclined) in a bowl in the microwave with the vegetable oil, stirring in 30 second increments until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Spread chocolate evenly over crackers. Allow the chocolate to cool ever-so-slightly then sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt.

 

(Inspired by Blue-Eyed Bakers)

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Ramen Burger

November 17, 2011 12:59 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I don't know why, but I love ramen, so I was incredibly excited to get a cookbook from my friend. It's full of 101 creative recipes using ramen. I was going to make burgers for dinner anyway, so why not spice it up a little with some noodles? I even mustard fried them a la In-N-Out.

1 package beef ramen noodles, with seasoning packet

1 pound ground beef

1 egg

hamburger buns (I used sandwich thins)

condiments

 

Cook noodles 1 1/2 minutes and drain. Add beef, egg, and seasoning packet. Mix well and form into four patties. Grill or cook 5 minutes per side, or until done. To mustard fry, spread mustard on patty before flipping. Serve as desired. Makes 4 hamburgers.

 

(Inspired by 101 Things to Do With Ramen Noodles)

 

Filed under: ramen, Burger, Yum, recipe Tagged with: Ramen Noodles, in-n-out, Yum, ramen, burger, recipe
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Patrick's Roadhouse

November 15, 2011 12:26 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I've driven by this place so many times and finally went in after hearing that Guy Fieri visited for an episode of Diner's Drive-ins and Dives. It's now one of my favorite places. It's right on the PCH and with outdoor seating and plenty of windows, you can really enjoy that beach air.

Here are pictures from my first visit. We got the red omelette and breakfast burrito. Both were delicious! On our next visit we tried Silvio's, an egg scramble named after the owner, and an avocado burger. We also got a banana cream pie complements of Silvio. He's helpful, friendly and basically awesome. He even pre-apologized for any dissatisfaction in the future, because he takes all the bad reviews on yelp personally. Patrick's Roadhouse definitely has 5 stars in my book! Besides amazing breakfast, they have great sandwiches, burgers, and dessert too! Plus the prices are pretty reasonable. Most everything is under $10. I can't wait to go back!

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Cinnamon = Amazing (10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon)

November 10, 2011 12:44 pm · Posted by Lauren G

If you don't remember, I love cinnamon! Besides the fact that it tastes amazing, it also has some amazing health benefits. Did you know...

  1. Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
  2. Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people withType 2 diabetes.
  3. In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
  4. In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
  5. It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
  6. In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
  7. When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
  8. One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
  9. Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
  10. It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

 

(Inspired by healthdiaries.com)

 

Filed under: cinnamon, Health Benefits, Yum, fun Tagged with: health benefits, Yum, cinnamon, fun
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Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

November 8, 2011 1:15 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Mmmm Cinnamon. I love sprinkling it on everything, including donuts! Too bad a hunk of fried dough isn't incredibly healthy. Good thing I found this amazing recipe for donut muffins. They're like donut holes that you bake in a mini muffin tin. You can cover them in icing, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar like I did here.

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup margarine, melted

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

 

1/4 cup margarine, melted

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups.

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup margarine, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, then mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill the prepared mini muffin cups about half full.

Bake until the tops are lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

While muffins are baking, place 1/4 cup of melted margarine in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Remove muffins from their cups, dip each muffin in the melted margarine, and roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Let cool and serve.

(Inspired by Allrecipes)

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Multi-Purpose Kitchen Gadgets for Kate's Wedding Registry

November 3, 2011 11:56 am · Posted by Lauren G

Congrats on your upcoming nuptuals Kate! Deciding what can be on your wedding registry can be such a daunting task. I'd probably just put anything and everything, but if you really want to reduce your kitchen clutter, there are a lot of amazing appliances that can perform multiple tasks.


Ninja Kitchen System - This "blender" if you can even call it that, comes with 5 different attachments to juice, blend, chop, and mix just about everything. You can make salsa, knead dough, even turn peanuts into peanut butter!

 


Cuisinart Blender and Cook Soup Maker - What? This blends and cooks? No, it can whip up smoothies, crush ice, chop, mince, saute, simmer, and boil. Wow.

 


Cuisinart Griddler - 5-in-1? Yes! This works as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. You can even buy waffle plates.

 


Triple Slow Cooker - I know you love your Crock-Pot, so how about this one with 3 stoneware removable cooking pots. It even comes with 3 serving spoons and matching glass lids for serving in style.

 

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Fun Fact: Turnip Carving

October 31, 2011 12:36 pm · Posted by Lauren G

It's time to get dressed up and go trick or treating! That's pretty much what Halloween has become. But why all the jack-o-lanterns and slutty costumes? Some people say the holiday dates all the way back to Ancient Rome, but it's more commonly linked to a Celtic festival named Samuin, which translates to "summer's end." There are some mentions of supernatural encounters in Scottish Folklore, but there isn't much evidence to support that. The name "Halloween" comes from "All-Hallows-Even" "Even" means "evening" so the original Halloween was the night before All Hallows Day which is also referred to as All Saints' Day.

Now instead of carving a pumpking, how about trying a turnip? Believe it or not, jack-o-lanterns originated from the tradition of carving turnips into lanterns to remember the souls held in purgatory. Pumpkins were much more available in North America than turnips, and they were bigger and easier to carve. Carving pumpkins wasn't associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century. Originally, it was associated with harvest time in general.

(Inspired by Wikipedia)

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Stacked Heel Boots

October 27, 2011 1:19 pm · Posted by Lauren G

Continuing my love affair with stacked heels, I saw these boots at Nine West which are exactly what I've been looking for in a boot. A knee high, round toe, leather boot with a stacked heel, and it's comfortable, stylish, and casual enough for day time. The only problem is that these fit too high on my leg, and go up to the middle of my knee. An over the knee boot like this would be amazing too, but I haven't been able to find a good option. Here are some other great boots that I'll be keeping my eye on.

Filed under: Boots, Fashion Tagged with: Stacked Heel, Nine West, leather, boots, Fashion
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Stacked Heels

October 25, 2011 12:15 pm · Posted by Lauren G

I saw these pumps at Steve Madden last week and they're definitely on my Christmas list! I'm so tired of stilettos...these stacked heels are so modern in an amazingly retro kind of way. I hope these are the next trend in footwear. They're much sleeker than wedge heels, but more stable than stilettos. While $110 isn't completely unreasonable, I'm still waiting for them to go on sale. Steve Madden has a version with a slightly slimmer heel for only $90, but I'm still holding out for the original...

Filed under: pumps, heels, shoes, Fashion Tagged with: Steve Madden, leather, pumps, heels, Fashion, shoes

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