WIAW: Easter Lunch

WIAW: Easter Lunch

I haven’t done a WIAW post in awhile, but after Sunday’s eats I thought it was worth bringing  back into the blogging line-up.  I don’t have a lot of pictures to share, but I did want to include a few of the highlights.  Note that my un-pictured eats included a ton of fresh sliced veggies as appetizers and a sliver of chocolate ‘dream’ cake that my mom made for my brother’s birthday in place of cake.  The slices went too fast before I could even take a picture, but just imagine a chocolate pudding pie with whip cream folded into the filling and then placed in a pie crust.  It reminded me a lot of a French Silk pie and was especially tasty topped with a little extra whip cream.

Since I knew treats would be enjoyed later in the day, I wanted to keep breakfast light while still indulging in an Easter themed meal.  Carrot cake is a classic spring and Easter dessert, so I decided to use my Vitamix to whip up a healthier version in smoothie form.  I am going to share a recipe for this Carrot Cake Smoothie on the blog soon, but for now I will just share a sneak peek. Carrot Cake Smoothie How good does that look?  I used coconut milk as the base and it’s topped with raisins and walnuts.  One of my favorite muffins ever is the Better Morning muffin from a local coffee chain, Boston Stoker.  This smoothie reminds me a lot of that muffin with a hint of sweet cinnamon along with all the traditional flavors found in a classic carrot cake recipe. Carrot Cake SmoothieIt was definitely a great way to start Easter morning; healthy, satisfying and still playing into the flavors of an all-time favorite Easter treat. Our Easter lunch was filled with all the classics including ham, roasted veggies galore and even a roll or two.  I am not a huge fan of mashed potatoes so I usually skip those in place of a soft, carby roll instead. Easter LunchMy request was a lot of roasted veggies and my mom definitely delivered on those.  I piled my plate high with roasted asparagus, brussels sprouts, zucchini, squash, cauliflower and onions.  It was all good, but I think my favorite bite of all was a combination of roasted onion with ham and a little gravy.  The salty ham along with the strong bite of onion really played off each other well.Easter Lunch Along with a few bites of the chocolate pie that I mentioned above, I also had a little chocolate out of my Easter basket for dessert.  I have a couple dark chocolate bunnies that I am saving for those times when I need just a bite or two of something sweet after dinner, so I had a tiny dark chocolate Easter egg and half of my favorite cream filled chocolate to end my Easter on a sweet note.  They come from a local chocolate shop, Esther Price, and it is my all-time favorite brand of chocolate.  It reminds me of my childhood with each and every delicious bite! Easter Basket 2014 I had another small serving of veggies and ham for dinner later in the evening, but besides that I think I covered all my Easter Day eats.  Thank you Jenn for hosting today’s WIAW!

Conversation Time.

  • What was on your Easter Day menu?  What was the best thing you ate?
  • What is your favorite chocolate to find in an Easter basket?  Is there a kind that reminds you of your childhood?
  • What is your favorite Easter dessert?
Easter 2014 Celebrations

Easter 2014 Celebrations

Can I just say that this past weekend was one of the most beautiful Easters I can remember… I had such a nice weekend with my sweet family and I feel so incredibly blessed!  The weather was gorgeous, the company was great, and the time spent celebrating the resurrection of The Lord made for a most wonderful past few days.  It seems as if spring has finally sprung and I plan on soaking in every minute that we get!

I had to work Good Friday, so by the time quitting time rolled around, I was more than ready to kick off the weekend.  We ate dinner and took care of Tebow before heading out to do a little shopping.  Now that the warm weather is starting to make a steady appearance, the winter clothes are being put away and its time to get a few lighter things to wear.  I found a couple cute new maxi skirts, as well as a new pair of shoes and a few basic tees.  I am sure you will be seeing them on my Instagram and the blog soon, (hint – scroll down for a sneak peek)!

Saturday I woke up without a single alarm (unless you count Tebow of course!) and I took him on a nice long run.  I knew we would be gone in the evening so I wanted to get him outside and active as much as I could.  The weather was absolutely perfect and we probably ran about three miles total and walked a bit as well.  Being outside just felt so great and made us want to keep going.

Spring Morning Run

Saturday evening was spent celebrating at Tim’s parents’ house.  Holidays are always more fun with kids and his family is definitely not short on this attribute!  We ate dinner and then watched his nephews search for Easter eggs before calling it a night.  I wore one of my new maxi skirts and t-shirts to dinner and was so comfortable. Seriously, maxis are my new go-to!  I was glad I brought my jacket though because once the wind picked up and that sun started to go down, it got chilly pretty quickly!

Jana Fashion - J. Crew, Merchant 31, Banana Republic

Easter morning came quickly and we packed up and headed to my family’s home for lunch, a tradition we have had since as far back as I can remember.  Holidays tend to be pretty informal at my parents’ because there aren’t many of us, so comfy clothes and lots of relaxing is a must.  Our Easter meal was filled with all the good things; baked ham, rolls, roasted veggies, and even a little chocolate pie for dessert.

Easter Dinner 2014

Easter Dinner 2014 - Deviled Eggs

Easter 2014 Dinner - Roasted Vegetables

After lunch my mom and I took Tebow on a walk in the sunshine since he was looking a little left out of the fun…

Easter 2014 - Tebow the Dog

…Hearing that it was time for a walk definitely got his attention though!

Easter 2014 - Tebow the Dog

Oh, and yes, I do still get an Easter basket every year, even at age 25!  My favorite Esther Price dark chocolate bunnies, gift cards, nail polish, and more…My mom definitely knows me well!

Easter Basket 2014

Easter Basket 2014

I am certainly blessed, and not just for the ‘things’ in the basket, but for having such a thoughtful, wonderful mother who continues to want to take care of us even as we get older.  I am looking forward to making my own babies their little baskets someday too and I know their grandma will be excited to make them one as well!

Overall, I had such a joyful and relaxing Easter weekend!  The true meaning of His resurrection remained constant in the day and we can feel peace in knowing that The Lord has risen and we are forgiven.  I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for the peace that brings to both my heart and mind!

Conversation Time.

  • What did you do over Easter weekend?  Did you have family events to attend or did you spend the day with close friends?
  • Who else took advantage of the beautiful weather over the last few days?  Anyone do anything fun outside – social gatherings, family dinners, or egg hunts?
  • Do you still get an Easter basket or do you make one for someone else?
  • What is your favorite Easter candy?
Living Dayton Easter Segment

Living Dayton Easter Segment

Well looky here… I have been on quite the blogging roll this week!  Honestly, I miss my every day posting a lot.  I feel as if there is just so much I want to share with all of you, but there isn’t enough time in the day to fit it all in!  Hopefully I am keeping you entertained with my drop-in posts lately though.  Next week I am hoping to give a little update on what’s been going on in my life, and I will also be sharing a new campaign partnership that I have been working on as well.  Lots to come so make sure you stay tuned!

In case you missed yesterday’s Living Dayton Easter Egg Decorating segment, I wanted to share the link –> here!

Living Dayton Easter Egg Decorating Segment

Image via Living Dayton

 

Also, if you would like a more complete guide to creating festive Easter eggs, feel free to visit yesterday’s blog post as well.

Festive Easter Eggs - Use Chalkboard Paint, Looking Glass Spray or Glitter!

Have a great day and if I don’t talk to you before the weekend, enjoy your Easter holiday!

Conversation Time.

  • Tell me something new that’s been going on in your life!
  • What are you making for Easter dinner this year?

 

Festive Easter Egg Decorating

Festive Easter Egg Decorating

Easter is a very important holiday in my family and as far back as I can remember, decorating Easter eggs was always a fun part of the tradition.  Easter is truly for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that is what was always remembered in the midst of the fun, but we also enjoyed many secular Easter activities as well such as visiting the Easter bunny, receiving Easter baskets, and decorating Easter eggs.

Festive Easter Eggs - Use Chalkboard Paint, Looking Glass Spray or Glitter!

We used the basic dyes to color the eggs, but I never imagined all the possibilities back then for taking decorating to the next level.  Today I will be on Living Dayton sharing a few fun tips and tricks for making your Easter eggs extra festive this year, and I wanted to share those ideas here as well!

Festive Easter Eggs - Use Chalkboard Paint, Looking Glass Spray or Glitter!

First things first, boiling the eggs.  In my opinion though, there is a better way to cook them…

The Easiest Way to Hard Boil Eggs Actually Requires No Boiling at All!

Baked ‘Hard Boiled’ Eggs

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Step 2 – Place un-cracked eggs into a cupcake baking pan (One egg into each cupcake section)

Step 3 – Bake 25-30 minutes

Step 4 – Place eggs into an ice bath to stop the cooking process

Step 5 – Dry egg and decorate as desired!

Once the eggs are cooked, cooled and ready to go, decorating is the final step.  How you want your eggs to look is obviously a personal preference.  Store bought dyes are the most popular way, but you can also use natural items like brewed coffee, wine, grape juice, beet juice, or even blueberries to color the eggs.  Here are a few more ideas that will be sure to take your Easter eggs to the next level! (Please use parental supervision as needed.)

Festive Easter Eggs - Use Chalkboard Paint, Looking Glass Spray or Glitter!

Festive Easter Eggs

Chalkboard Paint

  • Spray and let dry.  Kids can design and color their own eggs with less mess by using chalk instead of dye.
  • Feel free to mix up the chalk colors including pastel pinks, greens and yellows (Perfect for spring and Easter!)
  • Hint – you may need to do a couple coats of chalkboard paint in order to write on the egg.  Also, a high quality chalk with a smooth flow will work best.

Spray Adhesive + Glitter

  • Feel free to get creative with this one by mixing up the glitter colors and the amount of glitter used.  (I recommend saving this craft for the older children)
  • If it’s a nice spring day, head outside to glitter your eggs, or use a box to contain the spray adhesive + glitter inside.

Looking Glass Spray

  • Gives eggs a sparkly, ‘mirror-like’ finish.
  • It’s okay if the paint is not perfect and the egg is not fully covered!  A drippy look adds character to the egg as well.

I like to save the egg container to store the eggs after they dry.  Make sure to keep eggs in the fridge for freshness!

Festive Easter Eggs - Use Chalkboard Paint, Looking Glass Spray or Glitter!

Conversation Time.

  • Do you celebrate Easter at your house?  What are your favorite Easter memories from your childhood?
  • Do you decorate Easter eggs?  Have you ever tried to decorate in a different way besides dyes?
  • What are your Easter plans this year?

 

 

Peanut Butter Cocoa Green Smoothie

Peanut Butter Cocoa Green Smoothie

Over the weekend I received an amazing surprise from my thoughtful husband…

Vitamix

Seriously, I almost fainted when he walked through the door with that box.  I have been yearning after a Vitamix for years, but spending as much on a blender as I would on a full kitchen appliance made me feel a little nauseated.  I wanted to finish the rest of the kitchen before purchasing such an expensive blender and now that I finally had my new stove delivered last week, pictures coming soon for that beauty too (!!), I began hinting around again that I would really love a Vitamix.  With warm spring and summer weather well on its way, I knew it would be put to good use with smoothies, shakes and frozen treats galore.

Tim just happened to be at Costco Sunday evening picking up a few grocery items and spotted a Vitamix for a great price.  (I like to think it was a sign of fate, but Tim seems to just think it was a special offer running that week.  Either way, I am not one to argue about a gift!)

Vitamix

Now that my Vitamix is finally home, you can just imagine how much I am anticipating creating some delicious treats daily.  I think two recipes I am looking forward to making the most though are almond milk and peanut butter.  I have a feeling there will be a lot of those two items being made in my blender-using future!

A few months ago I began a Starter Green Smoothie series, and I plan on continuing to add onto the series every so often.  So far I have shared a recipe for a Berry Banana Green Smoothie and a Peanut Butter and Berry ‘Jelly’ Green Smoothie.  In honor of my new Vitamix, I thought I would share a recipe today that would be perfect for just about any blender.

The Starter Green Smoothie: Peanut Butter Cocoa Green Smoothie

Today’s recipe is one of my absolute favorites for green smoothie beginners because it literally tastes like a peanut butter and chocolate milkshake.  I could easily eat this smoothie for breakfast, a snack, or even for a healthy sweet treat after dinner. Don’t let the green tint scare you either; any smoothie that can sneak in spinach and still taste like dessert is a winner in my eyes!

Peanut Butter Cocoa Green Smoothie

The Starter Green Smoothie: Peanut Butter Cocoa Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

1 ripe, frozen banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup ice

2 cups spinach

Optional Ingredients:

¼ teaspoon xantham gum (Helps thicken the smoothie.  A little goes a long way so be careful when adding!)

2-4 teaspoons stevia (I don’t use any extra sweetener in my smoothie, but some people prefer theirs to be a bit more sweet!)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (In case you want your smoothie to have extra staying power.)

2 tablespoons chocolate chips (For fun!)

The Starter Green Smoothie: Peanut Butter Cocoa Green Smoothie

Directions

Place all ingredients into a blender except the spinach.  Once smooth, add in spinach and finish blending until combined.  Serve immediately for best results.

The Starter Green Smoothie: Peanut Butter Cocoa Green Smoothie

Conversation Time.

  • What was the last kitchen gadget or appliance splurge that you made?  If you could buy one thing new for your kitchen, what would it be?
  • Do you have a Vitamix?  What are your favorite recipes to make in it?
  • What is your favorite smoothie recipe?