8/24/16

5 Minute Breakfast Idea: Lemon Blueberry & Thyme Smoothie Recipe


I love the flavors of fresh blueberries, lemon and thyme together.  This morning, I had my mind set to make a lemon, blueberry, and thyme coffee cake with streusel topping.  But--I have been making a really great effort in avoiding gluten and refined sugars; so, I resisted the urge to bake.  Since I couldn't shake the urge for lemons and blueberries--I opted for a healthier breakfast and whipped up a quick breakfast smoothie instead!  What is my recipe for a Lemon, Blueberry & Thyme smoothie



Ingredients for a Lemon, Blueberry & Thyme Smoothie
1/2 Medium Sized Banana, cut into chunks
1/2 c. Blueberries, frozen
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/8 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
1/2 c. FAGE Greek Yogurt or 1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
1 tsp. Stevia In The Raw or Honey
1 c. Silk Vanilla Almond Milk

Instructions for a Lemon, Blueberry & Thyme Smoothie
Place all of the ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth.

Serve while still cold.

Mama's Notes:
These smoothies make great afternoon snacks too.  The  natural sugars and protein really help me fight away those afternoon snack cravings--and keep me full until dinner!

I sometimes use dried thyme in these smoothies--but, literally, use just a dash as dried thyme is a little stronger tasting than fresh thyme in these drinks.

Disclosure:  We were not compensated directly for this post.  We may; however, receive slight compensation from affiliate links located on our site.  We only link to products that we personally use and recommend for a recipe or project.



8/23/16

5 Minute Breakfast Recipe: Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal


I have always been a notorious, "breakfast-skipper"--and I have been trying to break that bad habit for a long time.  I am a morning person--but, I like to hop up and get as much done as quickly as possible.  Breakfast is just one of those blah tasks that I prefer to avoid, skip, drop from the schedule.  If I am to force breakfast into my day--it must be quick and easy to prepare.  This Strawberries and faux-Cream Oatmeal recipe fits my criteria perfectly.  It takes around 5 minutes to prepare and it contains a variety of my necessary food groups in one bowl.  What is my usual recipe for Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal?



Ingredients for Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal.
1/2 c. Quick Cooking Oats
1 c. Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2 c. Sliced, Fresh Strawberries
1 Tbsp. Chopped Walnuts
Honey, Stevia In The Raw or Agave , if desired

Instructions for Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
***Quick Cooking Oats are easy to prepare either in the microwave or on the stovetop.  I tend to make oatmeal on the stove because I forget to pay attention to it in the microwave...and it poufs over the bowl and I have a 20 minutes mess to clean up!

Stove Top Method..In a small saucepan, bring the almond milk to a light boil over medium heat.  Add the oats, stir, reduce heat and cook 3-5 minutes--or until desired oatmeal consistency is reached.  I prefer my oatmeal thick--so, I almost always cook it for nearly 5 minutes.  Remove the oatmeal from the stove and spoon into a serving bowl.  Stir in the sweetener, if desired, and then stir in the strawberries and the walnuts.  

Microwave Method.  If you are using the microwave, simply combine the oats and the almond milk into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes--or until oatmeal reaches the desired consistency.  Remove the oatmeal from the microwave carefully as the serving bowl will be hot.   Stir in the sweetener, if desired, and then stir in the strawberries and the walnuts. 

Serve warm.


Make Ahead Note:  This is also an easy pack and go breakfast.  Either prepare at home and pack in a travel container or plan to make it at work.  Simply combine the oats, sweetener and milk into a travel container...take along the berries and nuts, and prepare in the microwave at work or at your destination.

Check out my other, favorite, 5-minute oatmeal recipe:  Cinnamon Sugar Oatmeal with Raisins and Walnuts


Disclosure:  While we were not compensated directly for this post; we may receive slight compensation from affiliate linking within our posts.  However, we only link to products that we use and recommend for our recipes or projects.
 

8/22/16

Haven Book Spotlight, Giveaway and a Guest Post on Creating your Own Fantasy World


We have the pleasure of putting the debut novel from Katherine Bogle into the spotlight on the blog today! I love young adult fantasy novels--and, it is always a joy to discover new authors! We have an extra treat today; as Katherine Bogle also shares a guest post with her tips for creating your own fantasy world as a fiction writer! Enjoy her insights--and be sure to enter to win a prize in the book spotlight giveaway at the end of this post!

Creating your Own Fantasy World 
Guest Post by Katherine Bogle

From the sprawling worlds of Middle Earth and Westeros, to the quaint regions of the Dells in Fire, fantasy worlds are complex, typically beautiful, and damn hard to make. When creating a fantasy world, there are endless possibilities to consider. From politics, to land mass, and climate, each world is unique, and has a lot of aspects you may have yet to think of – and don’t get me started on creating a map for the world.

As we have history on Earth, so should your fantasy world. Though you may not know it yet, your characters know who created their kingdom, or who assembled the realms again whatever bad guy they faced. Your characters know what a typical meal looks like for upper, and lower class families. They know if magic is forbidden or relished. They know the wilds, the country, and who the first Emperor was. They know all of these because they were born knowing, and yes, they should know if these things ever come up in a novel.

They know, but if you want a fantastic fantasy world, you have a lot of decisions to make. What does the land look like? Are there cities? Oceans? Volcanoes? Is the earth covered in sand, or water? Is there a monarchy, a democracy or a republic? Do they have a well-known magic system? What do the people look like? Does one country hate another? Why? These are only a few of the questions you’ll have to ask yourself, and believe me, it is a ton of work, but it is so worth it.


Quick Summary of Haven (Chronicles of Warshard #1).  Princess Haven was never meant to be Queen. Her immortality has saved her time and time again, but when the last of her royal family dies at her feet, she is next in line to rule a nation on the brink of war. With no formal training on how to be Queen, Haven must rise to the occasion with the help of her best friends, and personal guard, or risk losing everyone she has ever loved.

With war to the West, and no escape to the East, the evil tyrant Kadia sets her sights on the six kingdoms. Haven's neighbors are quick to fall under the swords of Kadia's shadow soldiers, leaving a sea of bodies and a clear path to Haven's only home. Haven must make a choice; take her people and flee to the foreign Republic across the sea or lead a last stand against a powerful dictator. 




Buy the Book:


Meet the Author:

Katherine Bogle's debut young adult novel, Haven, came second in the World's Best Story contest 2015. She currently resides in Saint John, New Brunswick with her partner in crime, and plethora of cats.

​Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unchained Melody Book Blast and Giveaway


unchainedmelodybanner

I am sharing a book blast today for Cynthia Roberts latest book in her Love Song Standards Series, Unchained Melody.  If you enjoy romance novels--this series may be a keeper for your reading list!  Be sure to enter to win a prize in the book blast giveaway at the end of this post too!

Quick Summary of Unchained Melody by Cynthia Roberts.  Pamela Landers had it all, a senior partnership with a top law firm, expensive car, and a luxurious condo. What she desired most was a loving husband, children and a life filled with precious memories that would comfort her through her golden years. Funny how fate has a way of steering you down that path where dreams really can come true.

When Pamela encounters Gavin Templeton along her journey, she has some life-altering decisions to make that eventually lead her to happily ever after she always dreamed of.

Buy on Amazon / iBooks / Barnes and Noble
Get it on Smashwords for only $.99!!!!  If the ebook isn't already .99 use Coupon Code: AN23P  

About the Author.
My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family. It wasn't until much later in life I actually took up the pen to write my first historical romance, Wind Warrior. I really don't fit into one specific niche. Once a story starts to flow, it's only then I know what genre/sub­genre it will fit under.

I have only one regret, and that is not getting to this point in my career much sooner, rather than later. Life has a way of setting up road blocks, which for me, was supposed to work out that way. Because of those detours, I have become a more passionate and expressive writer, allowing me to create the kind of raw human emotion I want my readership to feel.

It is my hope you walk away with not just an entertaining read, but the importance in knowing, "Without imagination & dreams, we lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities."

Follow the author Website / Facebook / Google+ / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Enter the Book Blast Giveaway!
Cynthia Roberts is giving away an ebook set of her Love Song Standards series. 
To enter you must be 18+ Open INT. Ends 8/25 @ 11:59pm EST 
Fill out the form below to enter.

8/21/16

Quick and Easy Breakfast: Mediterranean Vegetable Omelette Recipe


Okay.  I know.  If you read my recipes with any regularity--you know I have been on a slight Mediterranean theme again recently.  We simply love the veggies and spices in Mediterranean food!  One of my favorite breakfasts in recent weeks was this beautiful, vegetable loaded, Mediterranean inspired omelette.

This is another one of those meals that I could, quite literally, eat day after day.  An additional, plus side is that the vegetables are so easy to chop, prep and even saute in advance, in larger batches, for multiple omelettes--so there is absolutely no excuse for me to not spend 5-10 minutes making a warm, healthy breakfast every day.  Even on our busy mornings!  What is my recipe for an easy Mediterranean Vegetable Omelette?

While we were not compensated for this post--we may receive slight compensation from affiliate links within our posts.  However, we only link to products we personally use and recommend in our recipes and posts.  

Ingredients for my Easy Mediterranean Vegetable Omelette (Makes 2 Omelettes)
2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Green Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
2 Tbsp. Red Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
2 Tbsp. Yellow Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
2 Tbsp. Broccoli Florets, Finely Chopped
1 Tbsp. Red Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Tbsp. Mushrooms, Finely Chopped
2 Tbsp. Black Olives, Sliced
1 Roma Tomato, Seeded and Chopped
1 tsp. Greek Seasoning (I love Konriko Authentic Greek Seasoning--but, if I can't find it on my store shelves--I use this Greek Seasoning Recipe from Taste at Home Magazine.)
2 Tbsp. Crumbled Feta Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (Approximately 2 Tbsp.)
2 tsp. Butter or Margarine
4 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten or the Egg White Equivalent *(plan to use 2 eggs per omelette)
2 Tbsp. Milk  (for 2 omelettes)
Salt and Pepper

Instructions for my Easy Mediterranean Vegetable Omelette

Saute the Veggies.  When I say that this omelette is loaded with vegetables--it is loaded with vegetables.   Some people find fresh broccoli and red onions a little strong for breakfast-so feel free to omit vegetables or sub in more mild variations (such as sweet onion or a handful of baby spinach)  Simply preheat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat until hot.  Add the chopped vegetables and saute until crisp-tender--or until the reach your desired texture. Season with the Greek Seasoning.  Set aside--but, keep warm.

Prepare the Omelette Base.  Whisk together 2 eggs and 1 Tbsp. Milk in a small bowl for each omelette.  Preheat an omelette pan with 2 tsp. butter or margarine until melted and the pan is hot.  Pour in the egg/milk mixture.   Spread the egg mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Allow the egg mixture to firm up a bit--then move the egg from the sides of the pan gently toward the middle--letting the liquid move toward the edges to firm up.  Allow the omelette to mostly set through.

Add the filling and close the omelette.  Spread 1/2 of the sauteed vegetable filling down one half of the omelette base.  Sprinkle both the mozzarella and the feta cheese over the filling.  Tilt the pan gently to one side--and use a thin, sturdy spatula to fold over 1/3 of the omelette base over the cheese and vegetable filling.


Serve.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.  Serve with rye toast.