Herb Crusted Tofu with Mushrooms over Greens

So. . . I have this new love affair with mushrooms. Before I'd always been just like, eh, about them. To be honest, I can be a bit of a picky eater at times. I mean, I do love a whole array of flavors and I will try absolutely anything at least once. There is not a single vegetable or fruit I dislike. I think mostly it is more of a texture thing than anything. That is the thing that I hated the most about meat. Something about the texture of mushrooms has always thrown me off; it is almost a bit meaty and well, spongy. But I decided to give them a try again recently and I'm so glad I did. I guess I am over the texture thing (maybe) because they are so delicious! I feel like I have missed out on a whole array of mushroom related cuisines in my life and I must make up for it! So I've been putting them in everything I can think of. Here's a little recipe for a sort of salad I ate for dinner last week.

Herb Crusted Tofu with Mushrooms over Greens (adapted from a Revolt recipe: Herb Crusted Steak)
Makes 3 to 4 servings

One 12.3 oz package extra-firm Tofu
1/4 cup minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 
kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

Fresh mixed greens such as spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, etc.
Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to taste

Directions: Prep your tofu by removing as much moisture as possible and slice into thin pieces. Combine garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper, and olive olive together in a bowl. Lay out the tofu slices and coat each side thoroughly with the herb mixture, rubbing it in a bit. Put into a tupperware container and refrigerate overnight (for up to 24 hours).

Directions (cont): Slice up the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms (zucchini is delicious here too). Place the sliced vegetables in a pan with a few tablespoons olive olive and lightly grill over medium heat. In another (large) pan cook the prepared tofu over medium high heat. There should be enough olive oil coating the slices, but if the tofu starts to stick at all add a bit more oil to the pan. Grill on each side, flipping as needed, until slightly crispy and golden brown. Arrange a mix of fresh greens in a bowl and top with a drizzle of both extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss. Top the greens with a portion of the warm vegetables and some slices of the grilled tofu.

Enjoy your mushroom paradise.

Moisturizing Cinnamon Honey Salt Scrub

My skin has a tendency to really dry out often. It's due to the dry air here, I think. Exfoliating scrubs and intense moisturizing are a regular must of mine, lest I want my skin looking dull. But you know, what? Beauty products are a little (or a lot) too expensive for my liking. And 9 times out of 10, I can't use store-bought stuff anyway thanks to my sensitive skin. It really reacts poorly to all those harsh chemicals. I've heard it said that you shouldn't put anything on your skin that you would be uncomfortable eating. Because, in truth, what you put on your skin is going to be absorbed by your body. So I make nearly everything I put on my skin at home; my skin is all the better for it.

Body scrubs are no exception. I love salt scrubs because, well, they are so simple to make. Also, they always leave me wonderfully smooth. Have you ever used a store-bought exfoliating scrub that ends up just drying you out even more? This recipe won't; I promise! It is a great moisturizer, too. I've experimented a lot with different salt scrubs, throwing in a variety of ingredients from my kitchen. This is my favorite concoction yet. It rubs on great, washes of clean, and leaves you feeling smoother and moisturized. The scent is very light and just a little sweet. Just how I like it.

For this Cinnamon Honey Salt Scrub you will need:

1/2 cup coarse kosher salt or sea salt or a mixture of the two
1/4 cup almond oil
1/8 cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

First, choose your container. I like to use old glass jars (this one once contained pesto I think), they store well in a bathroom draw and I can just pull it out when I need to. I don't keep glass jars in the shower all the time out of fear of knocking it hard enough in the tub and shattering the glass. You can use a plastic container, if that suits you better. Combine the salt and oil in your container. Oil doesn't really like mixing with anything, so really get it stirred around well. After that, measure out and add the honey and cinnamon, stirring well to combine thoroughly. If it is a little too oily, add some more salt until desired consistency is reached.

That's it! I told you it was super easy. Of course, there a tons of different combinations you can do to make a great salt scrub. You can also add some essential oils, for a more scented scrub. But this is a combination I am really loving. Mostly because of how great it is for my skin.

Olive oil is so great at moisturizing. The Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians even used it as an anti-aging remedy, thanks to it's rich supply of Vitamin E that can restore skin's elasticity. It also contains Vitamin A and other antioxidants which allow it to work as a cleanser, moisturizer, and skin protector.  Almond oil is also rich in Vitamins E, as well as Vitamin B, healthy fats, proteins, minerals, and dietary fiber. People who suffer from eczema and psoriasis can use the oil to help reduce inflammation, redness, and itching. You can even rub some almond oil under your eyes to get rid of dark circles and reduce puffiness. Honey is really wonderful for all skin types, even very sensitive skin like mine. It is an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, which helps defeat acne. Honey is also full of antioxidants and will remove impurities and helps detoxify your skin. Not to mention it will also naturally clean skin while also moisturizing, leaving it real soft. Cinnamon is another one that is great for the treatment of acne, as well as eczema. Cinnamon can be slightly irritating when applied to skin, though, but combined with the oil I have experienced no irritation. However, I wouldn't use a salt scrub more than once or twice a week.

No matter what combination you choose, keep in mind that a little separation is natural and most likely going to happen. Just give it a quick stir before using it.

You can even make this into cute little gifts. Or just cute for yourself; I'm all about that. To use, just apply to dry or slightly damp skin. Give it a good rub and scrub, and then simply rinse off with water. Your skin may get a little pink or red, but don't let that scare you. The redness should go away quickly, as will all those impurities and dead skin cells. And all that good oil will instantly make your skin feel so wonderfully moisturized. I've been using this a lot lately, thanks to the terrible sunburn (I got on this trip) that is now peeling like a meanie. Oh boy, has it helped so much.

Do you make your own salt scrubs or beauty products? What has been your favorite creation?

Liebster Award Nomination

The lovely Rita from Champagne-n-Pizza has nominated me for the Liebster Award! Thanks, Rita.

The Liebster Award is an award for blogs with under 200 followers. Liebster is German for dearest, or beloved and a blog nominated for the Liebster Award is said to be worth watching. The main aim of the Liebster Blog Award appears to be an attempt to offer public recognition to relatively new and unknown bloggers for their blogging. I think this a lovely idea, so I suppose I will play along.

There are a few things to follow once you have been nominated:

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you with a post.
  • Share 11 facts about yourself.
  • Then answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List up to 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you believe deserve some recognition.
  • Post 11 new questions for them to answer.
  • Notify all the bloggers you've selected that they've been nominated.
  • Do not nominate the blog who nominated you.
Pretty simple and a bit fun, too! So without further ado...

11 Facts About Me:  
  1. I have a legitimate and annoying fear of birds. 
  2. I am legally blind in my left eye. It has always been that way, but it is getting worse.
  3. I absolutely love tattoos. I only have one so far, as they are expensive, but I have plans for at least 3 more.
  4. I have a few musical abilities. I was a choir child, participating in choirs of some sort as far back as I can remember. I may have dabbled in music theater, as well.  I even took voice and piano lessons growing up. I also played the flute for years in band. I miss choir the most. If you really want to creep on me here is an old, poor quality video of me performing in a high school variety show. Haha.
  5. Here's a secret: I am 22 and still do not have a driver's licence. #2 is part of the reason for that, and my severe anxiety is another. Obtaining my licence is a goal of mine I am still far from accomplishing. 
  6. I have really wide spaced toes. They are also pretty long and curl a bit. I am pro at picking things up with my feet.
  7. I didn't graduate from college. I could write a post on what not to do in college. I may go back and do things just completely and entirely different. I would love to get a degree in graphic design.
  8. My ultimate dream is to build and own a Tumbleweed Tiny House, with my love, in a nice place in the woods. I wouldn't mind living somewhere on the pacific coast, either.
  9. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I love love love heights. I would totally do base jumping, sky diving, bunging jumping. Sign me up!
  10. Will and I had only been dating 3 months when we decided to move-in together. I think we scared a lot of people :)
  11. I love to cook for people. If you come over to my house, I will feed you.
And the 11 questions that Rita asked me to answer:
  1. How'd you decide to name your blog? I love whimsy little things, and I think I am a little whimsy myself. I picked out the name for my blog way way way before I ever had one.
  2. What is your favorite thing to do when you get home? Well, I am home most of the time these days. But in my free time, I love reading and playing with my pups and snuggling Will.
  3. First word that comes to mind in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... go! WINTERFELL!
  4. Never have you ever... been snow skiing. It is a tragedy, I know.
  5. Weirdest place you've... eaten. I once climbed over the barriers at Shoshone Falls and ate some sandwiches on the edge of a cliff overlooking the waterfalls. Not so much weird as cool.
  6. Favorite food to eat?  (You must eat it tonight now.) Ugh, this question is always so hard because I love food way too much. Can I be boring and say pizza? It has just never let me down, okay? And my homemade pizza is to die for. 
  7. What will you name your first child or next animal (if you don't want a kid)? Children really scare me, but I may or may not have names picked if I ever decide to have them (not likely, but ask me when I'm 35?). I love the name William, Liam for short, which is fitting considering who I love. I love Finley or Sagan for a girl. Maybe I will just name my next pets those names :)  
  8. Hot button issue:  gifboom or A Beautiful Mess.  Which app do you like more? I don't use either, just not much of a fan of those apps :)
  9. If you were to take me on a blate (blate= blogger date), where would we go? I would wake you up early to go hike some trails in the Boise foothills. I'd then treat you to some coffee and breakfast downtown!
  10. What is the most interesting thing you know about Texas? I was actually born in Texas. Is that interesting enough? Haha. 
  11. How excited are you that I nominated you for this award? Super duper excited?!
I am nominating:
  1. Kristen from This Radiant Life
  2. Gi from Trials and Tribulations of a Fat Girl
  3. Kailagh from Love Always, Freckles 
  4. Stephanie from Stephy Penny
  5. Brianna from We are the Hodgkins
  6. Vicki from Oh Abby Day
  7. Heather from After the Hill
  8. Fariha from Fariha is Here
  9. Lisa from Something Infinitely Interesting 
And some questions for you lovely nominees to answer:
  1. If money wasn't an issue and you could travel freely, where is the first place you would want to visit?
  2. What is your favorite tea? If tea isn't your thing, what is your favorite thing to drink?
  3. Do you have any pets? TELL ME ALL ABOUT THEM!
  4. What is the best book you've read recently?
  5. Have you ever been to Idaho? How much did you love it!?
  6. Favorite Film(s)?
  7. If I was having you over for dinner, what would your request be?
  8. What is your favorite woodland creature?
  9. What is a go-to stress reliever of yours?
  10. Where is the coolest place you have roadtripped to?
  11. What is your favorite thing to blog about?
Thanks again, Rita! I loved answering your questions. Check back later today, or maybe tomorrow (I'm tired, okay?) to see a little concoction I created for a DIY body scrub!

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend was again not very adventurous, but it was still plenty eventful! We had plans to hike all weekend, but those plans kept getting pushed aside thanks to all the rain. As much as I wanted to get out and explore, I didn't mind the quite, relaxing weekend with my love one bit. Here's a look at what we spent our time doing instead.

Friday: Will and I made one of our favorite recipes for dinner, Green Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices. It has been a little uncharacteristically chilly outside lately, so warm curry soup was a perfect treat. Plus, this soup is pretty healthy! Not to mention super delicious. I recommend it. We also spent the evening relaxing and catching up on a bit of TV. If you haven't seen the latest Bill O'Reilly episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you are missing out. Oh, those two.

image source: the traveler's lunchbox

Saturday: Saturday we had a bit of sun; we lounged about in it all morning listening to good tunes and playing with the pups. Saturday was also national wine day which I obviously celebrated accordingly. A glass of wine in the sun? Yes please. A glass of wine with lunch? Yes please. A glass of wine, or two, or three with dinner? Yes please. We had a lovely dinner over at Will's parent's house, and Pippin had the time of his life when Bill (Will's papa) handed him a steak bone to gnaw on. Oh goodness, that was one happy (and slightly confused) pup. He also rather enjoyed the chickens, or he would have had we let him run around like a crazy after them.

Sunday: We had rain almost all day. I didn't mind. We did decide to get out of the house for a bit despite it and saw a lovely movie and grabbed dinner after. We saw The Reluctant Fundamentalist at The Flicks. It is the best film I have seen in a very very long time. So beautifully done. Such phenomenal acting by Riz Ahmed. I can't say enough good things about it. After the film, we walked across the street and had a bite to eat at Tablerock Brewpub. I had the lemon quinoa salad. I could write a song about it, it was so tasty. Will had the pesto blt. I finished the night with a good book reading session.

Monday: We were hoping to drive to Leslie Gulch for a day of hiking and exploring, or at the very least hit up a trail here in Boise. But alas, rain. My dad did manage to squeeze in some grilling before it really started to pour, though, and we enjoyed a little barbecue with my family. Other than that, I was forced to play a bit of some dancing game on Bee and Tyler's wii, we got grocery shopping done for the week, and I spent a lot of time curled up with my book.

Mostly, I was just happy to spend so much time with this lovely guy. I hope your Memorial Day Weekend was fun and relaxing. I hope you got to enjoy more time outside than I did! Oh goodness, the fact that today is Tuesday feels so weird, right?

Revolt Check-In: End of Week 4

Things have busy and fun over here, hence my lack of posts this weekend. So, excuse me while I try to squeeze in a little Revolt progress post for you, lovelies.

It has been a month now since my start with Revolt, and things are always just more and more wonderful. Revolt, and fitness in general, is slowly becoming a natural part of my day. I no longer have to talk my self into workouts; in fact, I am experiencing the opposite. On rests days I feel incredibly anxious and restless. I have discovered that exercise is something my body really enjoys and now craves. I'm excited to be changing my lifestyle not only into something that is good for me, but something that will last for the rest of my life. I know I've still a ways to go until my goals are reached but I've never felt better than I do now.

I didn't loose any weight this week (again), but don't let that fool you. I have a feeling that now I've lost some initial weight, the weight loss will be slow coming. Especially since I don't have much to lose. And I'm still definitely seeing results. I'm keeping this in perspective and focusing on the fat loss, as well as my improving strength. My push ups are getting so much better, and my endurance is through the roof! I think I am going to add in some running at least once a week (perhaps on Wednesday's rest day) now to my training; I'm hoping to run a 10k in August with my mom!

image source: tribesports

I also decided to start this plank challenge this week, as part of my warm up, and was surprised that I could already hold for a minute, easily. Woo hoo, ab strength! This challenge should be fun.

How are things with you and your personal fitness lately? Are you doing Revolt? How has it been for you? If you're not, you can check it out more here and sign-up for a free week/kickstart!

Disclaimer: I was chosen as a Revolt Fitness Program blogger and received free membership to try the fitness program. All results are real and my own. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Interview on Mary Makes Dinner

If you've had a look at my 'darling sponsors/friends' section on my side bar, I'm sure you've noticed I've been working with Mary from Mary Makes Dinner. She is one hell of a woman, and one of my new favorite bloggers. She posts so many delicious healthy, ethnic, and sometimes even vegetarian recipes.

Mary has started a new interview series, featuring food bloggers, and I am so lucky to be the first.

Check out my interview here, and be sure to browse some of Mary's recipes as well. I promise they will have you drooling.

Green Goddess Smoothie

I talk all the time about how great the food on Revolt is, and how wonderful all the new recipes every week are. Well now you can have a little taste of one of my favorites so far. This is a smoothie I have been enjoying once a day this week as a snack. I am completely smitten. I was already a fan of green smoothies, but had only ever tried spinach. Kale is even better, guys! It is not bitter in the slightest and blends so perfectly with other ingredients. I was a little nervous to try this smoothies, though, as I am not the hugest parsley fan. But I love it, and I bet you will too.

Green Goddess Smoothie, Serves 1-2:

1 cup Kale, stems removed and chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, sliced
1 Ripe Banana, sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed Italian Parsley
2 cups Cold Water

Combine kale, apple, banana, parsley and half of the cold water in a blender. Blend until smooth. If needed, add more water and blend until smooth. For a slightly sweeter smoothie, try adding coconut milk or coconut water instead of plain water.

A perfect afternoon snack. Enjoy!

Today is a bit Grey

It's cool, grey, cloudy and threatening rain outside today. I can't complain too much; I appreciate a break from the sun and the heat occasionally.

No, it's not the weather that is bothering me today, but the fact that I am feeling a little under the weather. Actually, I've been feeling off all week. It's as if someone has reached in and jumbled my whole schedule and left me the mess. I haven't been sleeping well, I have quite a few projects I can't seem to get done, and all my perfectly organized things seem a troubled mess.

My terrible allergies are finally living up to their reputation and are catching up to me. I've also had a migraine  and nausea since waking up yesterday. My plans for today include napping, drinking tea, reading my book, wearing a cozy sweater and the cool comfy pants my sister got in Jordan, maybe (a huge maybe) catching up on the workout I missed while feeling sick yesterday, a walk with my pups, updating a few things around the blog, and transporting some plants to better homes. Today I'm just trying to take things easy and give myself a rest; it is hard to do when you feel like there are a million and one things you should be doing instead.

I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully fully rested, to share a little recipe with you. Until then, lovelies, take care of yourselves.  

Weekend Update

Unfortunately, this weekend did not include as much adventure as the one before but it was still rather lovely. After all the excitement from last week's camping trip, it was nice to stick around town and get some things done. My skin also enjoyed a bit of a break from the sunshine.

1. Dessert last week was real yummy 2. Pippin's Saturday morning face 3.Will and his brew

Friday night my mom was hosting a bridal shower for a friend, so Will and I got my dad out of the house and met Bee and Tyler at the theater. The unanimous selection was obviously Star Trek: Into Darkness. We're all Sci-Fi enthusiasts over here, and my father instilled a love of all the great classics in me. I have loved the reboot but I think this second film by far outshone the first. That opinion may be partially swayed by the fact that I am completely enamored with Benedict Cumberbatch. If you haven't seen BBC's Sherlock, YOU GO DO THAT RIGHT NOW (I'll see you in a few days). Anyway, Khan is just such a good character. Go see this movie; it's definitely one that is worth the money.

Saturday was casual and I loved it. I slept in a bit, ate good food, and got a lot of chores done around the house that I had kept putting off. Will was even more productive than me. After showing up at the campsite last Friday and realizing our headlamps' batteries were dead,  he went through all the camping equipment and took inventory. Did I mention that we have found FOUR ticks on Pippin so far this year?! Those things are nasty. Keep your pups safe.

Sunday we had a little celebration for my sister, Jenica. She graduated earlier this month from the University of Idaho with her Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language. Lots of time with family and lots of food. I made a delicious, healthy quinoa salad that was a hit; I'll probably share the recipe for it here soon.

^ my siblings and I ^

After that winded down, Will and I went out with Jeni and her boyfriend Kirk for a beer. Then I grabbed my groceries for the week! I'm excited for this weeks Revolt recipes.

Hope your weekend was lovely as well.

Spinach Pesto Pizza and The Best Pizza Crust Ever

Let me brag for a minute. Will and I are the best pizza makers ever. Okay, I'm done.

No, but really, we make a mean pizza pie. And by mean I obviously mean absolutely delicious. It's our go to when we cook food for friends or family. I've got the crust down and Will makes the best sauces, both tomato and pesto. Unfortunately, basil isn't quite in season yet and buying enough to make fresh pesto now is a little difficult. But we were in the mood for it, so we cheated and used store-bought pesto for this recipe. I'll definitely share his pesto recipe with you in the late summer time!

But don't you fret, I'll still share my legendary dough with you now. I've tried many many many different recipes and this is by far my favorite. That might be because this is also the easiest, but I swear it turns out perfect every time. I even healthified it a bit (I had this pizza yesterday on my cheat day, but didn't want to cheat too much, ya know?) and it is still equally delicious.

The Best Pizza Dough Ever, makes one thin large pizza (double for two thin pizzas or a thick fluffy crust):

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/8 teaspoons yeast or 1/2 a 0.25oz package of yeast
1/2 of a tablespoon Truvia
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 of a cup warm water

Mix the first four ingredients together in a kitchen mixer or in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Once combined slowly pour in the warm water and mix with the dry ingredients thoroughly. Also add the olive oil at this time. If making in a stand mixer, allow your mixer to knead it for you for a few minutes while you add in a bit more water, if needed.

No need to let your dough rise (I've tried both letting this dough rise and using it right away. It did not seems to make a huge difference to me). Remove the dough from your bowl and place on a clean, floured service. Knead the dough and work it around in your hands a bit, for 2 minutes or more. Gently roll the dough out as large and thin as desired. Place on to a pizza baking sheet or a baking stone and roll the edges up to form a crust. You can now add toppings to the crust.

Spinach Pesto Pizza:

1/4 a red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 a red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup spinach
1/4 of a cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh shredded mozzarella cheese
pesto sauce

Onto your prepared crust spread pesto. I know pesto is tempting and delicious, but it is also oily; so avoided soggy pizza by only spreading a thin layer. Add your thinly sliced red onion and red bell pepper. Top with half the cheese. Add the slices of tomato. Finish with spinach, breaking the leaves smaller if necessary, and fresh basil. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Let the pizza cool for a few minutes and then slice it up! Enjoy a piece or three with some balsamic vinegar for dipping or topped with a balsamic glaze. Wine in a mason jar also helps.