Peanut noodles with Edamame

Found this ditty in Real Simple and it’s been waiting to be made.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice noodles
  • 2 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup corn

 

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the edamame during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, puree the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, and ½ cup water in a blender until smooth.
  3. Toss the pasta with the corn, and peanut dressing in a large bowl.

Maxwell Falls Hike

Fourth of july – time to get out and explore colorado and get in a hike!

Maxwell Falls Hike

Length: 3.8 to 4 miles, depending on your gps

Difficulty: Moderate – lots of ups and down, but shaded

Time: Less than 2 hours (lots of stops for dog training and resting at the falls)

Rating: Good hike, close to home! Shaded so not terrible in 80 degrees, should try again in the fall, see the colors.

I had done this hike with a friend a few years ago, but never found the falls. This time i did a smidge more research, and knew hubby and the boys and I could find the falls!

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We got up at an acceptable time, got ready and headed out to evergreen. I got a little nervous when it was only 9am and 80 degrees on our way out of town…  When we reached Evergreen the temps dipped to 75… good think we were going into the woods!

We found street parking, not terrible – and ran across the street to the trail head! Careful of the sharp blink curve, and of note, no trash cans at the trail head, to pack in and out your poop. Thanks boys! (TMI – paco pooped twice and winston once – sigh!)

The trail was up and down and up and down and up and down! Not too terrible but definitely not flat! There were a couple stream crossing, and when we eventually got the falls, as you can see – nothing spectacular, but still fun and cute!

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Surprise Lake and Camping at Cow Creek

Last weekend – the last weekend prior to the 4th – which will now become an annual event, i got 2 fabulous campsites right on a reservoir and invited a bunch of different out doorsie people to join me/us!

Here is the campsite to the left

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To the right, and closer to the right, you can see the tree in both! Great place to be!

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We had found this camp site last year and decided to come again this year but get both the sites in what i call a “culdesac”

We had good times around the fire and enjoyed some serious relaxing and bonding time

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Saturday was a hike we had attempted last year and were thrwated by the mosquitos! this year we were prepared and so were the pups! We had deet they had puppy spray – lemongrass and catnip and they are on heart worm! Suprise lake! It’s a portion of a much longer hike (9.3) – we did the 2.6 each way one!

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It was the first time i had hiked with such a big crowd since girl scouts, but it was great!

Most of the time we were in the woods, mosquitos swarming, but not too too hot! Views were amazing and the columbines were gorgeous!

Hubby and another of the fellas say the hike was straight up hill… I thought it was ok!  ;)

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Definitely hope to do the whole 9.3 next year, or at least hike around Surprise Lake, it was so pretty!

Lessons learned:

  • The deflate portion of the air pump for the air mattress is amazing
  • We can put up our tent in super windy conditions
  • Being without cell signal can be an amazing thing

The boys turn 4

Has it really been that long? Are the boys really that old?

It seems like only yesterday that we brought them home with us!

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It’s been an eventful year, full of camping, hiking, and hanging around with mom and dad!

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Doggie mini muffins

Found this recipe for more cakes for the pups! I changed it up a little, like i don’t have brown rice flour and i don’t frost cupcakes for my pups… They don’t know the difference and I was making mini muffins

Mini pup-cakes!

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup  peanut butter
  • Banana
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash the banana in a large bowl. Add the skim milk, 1 cup of the peanut butter, 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, honey, eggs and vanilla and mix together until well combined. Combine the flours, baking powder and baking soda and mix well or sift together. Slowly add into the wet ingredients until blended.
  2. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake or muffin cases. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cupcakes have risen and spring back when pressed with a fingertip. Insert a knife into one of the pupcakes; if it comes out clean, they’re done. Remove the tray from the oven and let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Doggie carrot cup cakes

It’s coming up on the boy’s 4th birthday! Time to create new treats for them!

Found this site and this recipe! The only change i made was i didn’t have unsweetened apple sauce, and i added a little water. Well and i didn’t bother with the frosting – and i made them in mini muffin pans. Next time i would cook it for 20-30 and check on them after that.

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Ingredients:

Muffins:

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour

Frosting:

  • 8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened

Instructions:

Muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Lightly spray cups of muffin tin.
  3. In a large bowl stir together the carrots, eggs and applesauce. Set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl whisk together the cinnamon, oats and flour.
  5. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Stir until well blended.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tin. The dough will be thick, so you may wet your fingers to press the dough into place.
  7. The dog cupcake will not rise very much, so do not worry about over filling the muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting or serving.

Frosting:

  1. Blend both ingredients with a hand mixer until well blended.
  2. Spoon into a pastry bag for easy decorating.

Storing: These dog cupcakes will keep fresh in your refrigerator for 2 weeks. You can freeze them for up to 2 months. If you are going to freeze them, do not decorate with the frosting until they have thawed. For more information on how to store homemade dog treats please review our tips.

Chex-mix trail mix bars

Found this recipe and it looked interesting, of course i didn’t have the ingredients i really needed, so i did it my way!

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Ingredients

3 cups Chex cereal
1 cup fiber one
1 cup shredded coconut
1  1/2 cups granola
1/2 cup mini m&m’s
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup coconut oil

Preparation:

1. Butter a 9 x 13 pan. Set aside. In large pot, melt coconut oil completely. Add Chex cereal, Fiber one cereal, coconut, granola, choc and chocolate chips.
2.  Mix all ingredients gently until they are complete coated in melted coconut oil.
3. Pour into 9 x 13 pan and pat gently. Let cool completely. The coconut oil should return to a solid state and hold everything together. Cut into bars. Wrap in waxed paper if desired.
Verdict:
Fail. My mixture never congealed and i’m not sure it’s worth experimenting again…  If i did i would use less cereal. But it was delicious.

T-shirt Market Bag

Saw this on Michaels web site a couple weeks ago, i had some t-shirts i wasn’t willing to part with…  and so i decided to see what i could do!

Wash and iron a T-shirt. Flip the shirt inside out.

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Sew the bottom hem of the shirt closed with a sewing machine, or by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine. Flip the shirt right-side out again.

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Cut off the T-shirt’s sleeves, and discard them.

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Cut off the neckline of the T-shirt, making a large square. This will become your bag’s opening and handles.

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I used this one tonight to bring snacks to jazz on the park, it definitely expands and can hold alot!  It was a fun experiment!

Mount Falcon – Castle Trail hike

Memorial day finally arrived, so it was time to get this hiking thing/season, and off on a bang!

Sadly the weekend was icky until monday, when it was finally not 40% chance of rain and 50-60 degrees – it was 75-80 degrees and bright sunshine!

Castle Trail Hike – Mount Falcon

Length: 6-8 miles depending the route

Difficulty: Strenuous – it’s up, straight up. The turkey trout side is a less steep option, but also a little longer. We took that on the way out… it sure seemed like forever!

Time: 3 hours.

Rating: A good hike in the off season, no shade. Although all the wild flowers were gorgeous! Can get crowded with bikes and people. The view of Denver and red rocks were fabulous!

Note: Parking is small, so go early or go late!

Here is another option to make the hike shorter and less strenuous, and all the trail descriptions are here.

Imagine this trail iamge being a full circle, as if i didn’t forget to turn on my tracking until 1/2 a mile in!

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Heading off to get our hike on:

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Panoramic view near the top! Such a great view!

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Amazing views of Red Rocks!

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Some of the wild flowers!

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Cute couple at the top!

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Back to the parking lot – tuckered, hot, but accomplished!

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Tofu with Black Bean Paste and Red Peppers

A CL recipe i’ve had on my to-do list for eons! Seriously!

My main concern was not having the Black Bean Paste, i had only every found Garlic and Black Bean sauce… Alas, that was going to have to do and i think it worked out just fine!

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Ingredients

  • 1 (12.3-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, drained
  • 2 teaspoons macadamia nut oil (just cause i didn’t have grapeseed, use whatever!)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 dried hot red chiles
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

Preparation

  1. Cut each block of tofu in half lengthwise. Place tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. If using eggplant, peel and cut into cubes (salt and sit etc if desired) Pan fry
  3. Pan fry tofu – hubby doesn’t like squishy, so i get as much surface crunch prior to starting the recipe
  4. Heat  oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and chiles; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add bell pepper, and cook 3 minutes or until tender (i don’t like crunchy peppers, so it was more like 10… maybe next time do the peppers first), stirring frequently. Stir in sherry; cook 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Stir in tofu; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce, bean paste, and sesame oil, stirring gently to combine.

Verdict – very easy, very delicious and very quick!! Sad that i waited so long to try this one!