Mitten Girl In A Big World

Moving, Cooking, Living


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Finding Cooking Again

These past couple months have been rough, hence falling off the blogging world.  I actually meal planned and went to the grocery store this morning to get some real food. Eating out at work and then coming home and either not eating dinner  or curling up to a bowl of Cheerios is just not going to cut it anymore.

I love to cook.

Cooking makes me happy, especially on days where nothing seems to go right.  No matter if the recipe turns out exactly as it was supposed to look, it’s usually yummy and I know I did a good job.

So as not to go full-blown into cooking something with an insane amount of ingredients and more instructions than I know what to do with, I turned to a recipe I saw the other day from fellow blogger Lee at Fit Foodie Finds.

Mexican Quinoa and Sweet Potato Casserole with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

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Yay! for leftovers and having something to bring for lunches this week!

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Thank you for this amazing one pan recipe that is full of color and goodness. Can’t wait to add the yogurt and avocado.

On another happy note, I also signed up for BLEND. It’ll be my second year and I’m excited that it’s in my backyard again. Last year was one of the best weekends of 2013 and I can’t wait to reconnect with all the wonderful ladies again.

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Have a wonderful week and enjoy the extra hour of sunlight tonight.


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Trader Joe’s Adventure

So Trader Joe’s opened up about a year ago here in Utah and I had not gone for a visit. At first it was just the big crowds and them running out of food from the newness of the store and then it kind of was just not part of my regular routine.  Well last Saturday, “gangly boy” brought up going to Trader Joe’s. We keep getting their monthly Fearless Flyer in the mail and every time he reads through it he gets hungry.  So since it has been absolutely beautiful here in SLC, (70’s) it was the perfect day for a walk.  We decided to take advantage of the weather and living downtown and make the 3-mile round-trip walk. This was also a plus for monetary reasons, as the more I am going to have to carry on the walk home, the less I buy. So I made a list and stuck to it!

We just walked up and down each aisle looking at all the interesting yummy things. I didn’t end up getting everything I had hoped for but I think the bounty turned out pretty good for the first trip.

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Every evening when I come home from work I walk past this tree in the park, the yellow leaves are so vibrant this time of year. It brings a smile to my face after a long work day.

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After cooking dinner all week, I thought it would be nice to go out for an early dinner on Friday. I had been craving, Mexican, but wanted something a little different. We ended up going to Taqueria 27 and it did not disappoint.  It turned out to be more casual than I thought t was going to be, but I loved the simplistic trendiness of it.

My go to drink is a mojito. The mojito I ordered was delish, it had a hint of chocolate syrup, which made it very interesting and yummy.

The restaurant had about 6 different guacamole versions, it was so hard decide. I think I literally could have just got a sample plate of each one and just ate that and tortilla chips all night.

We ended up sharing the Roasted Guacamole with blackened sweet and spicy chilies, caramelized garlic, balsamic and herbs.

There were so many interesting tacos on the menu, but I ended up going basic and just got the grilled fish.

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I wasn’t too hungry for desert, so I just nibbled on the boy’s dessert.

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One of the things that I really liked about this restaurant was that everything tasted fresh and the portion sizes were perfect. It was nice to have just one plate of chips and guac brought to the table and not basket after basket. I also liked how you ordered whatever sides you wanted. This was I didn’t have to feel like I had to finish everything on my plate or was wasting food. We ended up just sharing a small cup of the cilantro lime rice.

Saturday, “the gangly boy” requested that I go and get more sourdough bread at Trader Joe’s. So I went again. Man not going on over a year since it opened and now twice in 7 days.

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Yesterday, was supposed to be the last of the 70 degree weather and the last night before we change the clocks and it’s dark by 5 o’clock. We decided to take a walk around the capitol. We were not alone on our thinking, there were so many people out enjoying the weather and the last bits of daylight.

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A lot of the leaves are pretty much all changed and a lot have fallen on the sidewalks and ground. Look at how massive the maple leaf on the left is. He must have ate his Wheaties ;-)

 

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Have I mentioned how much I adore crunch leaves. Big piles of leaves reminds me of when I was little. My sister, brother, and I would rake mazes around the yard and then switch and try and get through each other’s leaf pile at the end. Well this fall something has just come over me and I get this giddy feeling every time I see tons of leaves. In the winter I always make snow angels. I have no issues with getting down and pretending I’m a kid again. So this time I decided to make a leaf angel. It was AWESOME! I was so happy afterwards, that I saw another huge pile of leaves and skipped through them, kicking them up. I’m sure all the cars driving by, thought I was just weird. But maybe it made them smile a little and reminded them of their childhood.

 

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I just love walking around the capitol. Any time of year.

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The capitol is located up on a big hill and if the weather is right you can see the Great Salt Lake.

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We decided to sit a while longer and watch the sunset as it will be a while longer before it’s light that late again.

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Well I’m off to take our dinner out of the crock-pot and make some rice. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I’ll leave you with this last cute image on our walk home.

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If you shop at Trader Joe’s, what is your favorite item to get there?

What’s your favorite memory of fall from your childhood?


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Back on the Healthy Dinner Wagon

I’m back on the healthy dinner wagon again. Last night I made this yummy recipe, BBQ Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs that Ashley posted the other day on her blog.

BBQ Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs

Servings: 4 – 6 people

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400* F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well until everything is combined.
  3. Roll into meatballs and place them on the baking sheet.
  4. Cook for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and slightly browned on top.
  5. Eat them atop mashed potatoes, pasta, or by themselves. Top with extra barbecue sauce if needed!

~Ashley @ My Food ‘N Fitness Diaries

 

We had a staff meeting this morning and I made blueberry and banana muffins for breakfast so I already had the muffin tin out. I was like this would be perfect to bake the meatballs in so one so they don’t roll around on the flat baking sheet and two I won’t dirty another pan.

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I already had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge so I just used it all and they still tasted good. Super moist!

I was still on the sweet potato kick from over the weekend so I ended up pairing the meatballs with sweet potatoes and broccoli.

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We have eaten out or at a friend’s house the past 4 nights in a row so I was so glad to get back in the kitchen and make something so colorful, healthy, and simple.

 

I couldn’t taste much of the pumpkin even though I put in more than it called for. And of course the best part: Leftovers! :-)

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Thanks Ashley for this great recipe.


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Yes, it is Tuesday and I am just posting about the weekend happenings. Hopefully I will get better at posting more on time with things.

Friday I only had to work a half day. Awesome! This was my view from my desk at around 8:00am.

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Friday was our night to order in, “the gangly boy” was in the mood for pizza, so we got delivery from this local place. We ended up getting The Amori with Pink Sauce, Artichoke Hearts, Chicken, Spinach, Green Peppers, Pepperoni and Roma Tomatoes. It was soo good!

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I have been wanting to go up to Sundance this year before the leaves are all gone. We went last year for the first time and I absolutely loved it, so I decided I wanted to make this one of our fall traditions.

We decided to take the long way up and drive through Park City and Heber. I love how fast you can be up in the mountains out of the hustle and bustle of downtown Salt Lake.

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I love Sundance for the simplicity of it. It is just nestled into this mountain side. All the buildings are wooden and it is this small, resort that was built around the natural beauty that is already there and doesn’t take anything away from that. We ate lunch at the Foundry Grill.

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Does anyone else just love when there’s fresh flowers on the restaurant table?

This view wasn’t too bad to look at either ;-)

My drink came is this adorable copper cup. You all know how much I love neat cups and dishes. It was awesome too, because it kept my drink cold the whole meal. We decided to share the garlic shrimp as our appetizer. It was yummy and the garlic was not too overpowering which I loved. For my meal I got the grilled fish tacos and sweet potato fries. Holy cow. I was impressed with how much food was on the plate. I think I could have just had a plate of sweet potato fries. (I love them!) The tacos were on fresh homemade tortillas. The good thing about having a large portion and having the will power to not over eat; is leftovers! “The gangly boy” got the grilled salmon sandwich with dill dressing and a mixed greens salad on the side. The verdict, especially for anyone that loves dill, which he does, “it was amazing”.

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After lunch we decided to look through the general store and then head outside to enjoy the sunshine.

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I loved the witch’s hat tent they had for Halloween.

There is a stream meandering through the property and there are a bunch of wooden bridges to walk across. I love bridges.

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We got back in the car and drove up through the aspen trees towards Mount Timpanogos and back down towards home. It was such a wonderful romantic and enjoyable day together. The rest of the weekend was spent grocery shopping and going over to a friend’s house for Sunday dinner.

I will leave you with this last picture of Sundance. It is a perfect place to sit back, relax and focus on the simple things in life that seem to bring so much easy joy.

Has anyone else been having issues uploading pictures on WordPress? It took me forever to get this post up.


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Does anybody else think this is crazy?

So ya know those annoying junk inserts/advertisements/coupons that  you get in the mail. Well I get them all the time and let me tell you it fills up my skinny little apartment mail slot. The other day “the gangly boy” brought in the mail and of course put in on the kitchen table for ME to sort through. I think going through the mail scares him :-)

Anyway, so I normally just put those junk ads in the recycling, but I thought today I’ll see if there are any coupons. And what did I find??

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Burger King Delivers?? This is crazy. Now I have to say I can’t remember the last time I ate Burger King, but it was just crazy because I was just talking about what it would be like to live in NYC where you can get pretty much everything delivered. The boy was like, why are you so excited you’re never going to get that delivered. I just thought it was crazy that Burger King now delivers. From a nutrition standpoint I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I guess it intrigued me enough to write a post about. 

 

What is the one food you wish you could get delivered?

 


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Fall/Winter Weekend

This weekend was much needed after a long, trying work week. The temperatures at the end of the week had been in the high 30′s at night so I knew if we went camping it was going to be chilly up in the mountains. I was excited to go back up in the mountains again to savor every bit of the fall colors. The drive up on Saturday did not disappoint. It had snowed about 4-6 inches the previous night. The white covered pine trees mixed in with the fall foliage was beautiful!

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We were headed up into the mountains Southeast of SLC on the Mirror Lake Highway. It never ceases to amaze me the new things that I see living out here in the West. On our way up the highway we saw lots of signs letting us know there was cattle on the road from being herded down to the lower valleys for the winter. 

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There were actual cows on the road! I couldn’t stop saying it as we were sitting there waiting for them to pass. I felt like I was in a movie. Of course they just looked sooo cute! 

We finally made it to our campground and I couldn’t wait to get out and feel the crisp air and tour my surroundings. 

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The Shady Dell campground sits at about 8,000 feet. There were only two other campsites out of 20 occupied, so it was very peaceful and quiet. I love exploring, so when I saw a dried up river bed, I headed right that way. I kept walking and walking and just enjoyed all the heavy snow that was stuck to the pines. After a while we decided it was probably best to head back. One so we didn’t get lost and two because there was lots of hunters out and we didn’t have any neon orange on. So we headed back and walked the campground road to the end until it got too cold and started flurrying snow. 

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Finally it was dinner time. I was excited, Camping is the only time I make chili, so it was a treat!

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After dinner we went for one more walk and watched the beautiful sunset. I may or may not have had a glass of wine with dinner. And it may have made me a bit giggly, so I was ready for bed after that. 

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Saturday morning I huddled under the covers until I couldn’t stand it anymore and had to get up. It had been freezing overnight. I think it got down into the high teens. I had more layers of clothing on and 3 blankets to keep warm; and we were in a camper. 

We got up and made a yummy breakfast with eggs, bacon, and pancakes with apple butter. 

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After breakfast we headed out and drove further up the highway to check out the views and snow. 

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This is Mirror Lake. It was in the low 30′s and the wind was whipping outside. Needless to say I snapped a few pics and hopped back in the truck. 

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I was sad to have to head home that afternoon, but I had a lot to get accomplished on Sunday and wasn’t sure about freezing another night. 

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Goodbye Fall Colors…..

 

Sunday we ended up getting a ton done by about 11:00am! I was so proud. We had some free movie passes that we finally decided to use. We went and saw The Butler. It was such a good movie, I even teared up a little. Forrest Whitaker did an amazing job and  the movie was made even better because it was based off a true story. I would highly recommend it. 

Well that’s all for now, until next time :-)

 

What good movies have you all seen lately?

Has anyone else gotten any snow yet?


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Park City Weekender

The one thing that I do love about living in SLC, is that the mountains are just a quick 20-minute drive away. So this past weekend 36 hours were spent in Park City. I have been in need of some new jeans for sometime now, so the outlet mall in Park City was the place to go. For those of you who don’t know me, I hate to shop. I have to be in the mood, ya know? Luckily, I was in the mood and walked away with some new jeans, a few tops for work, and a new hiking t-shirt. Success! Shopping was followed by fish tacos at Loco Lizard (sorry no pictures, I was too famished by the time it came to even bother). 

This weekend was some time for a little mountain refresher for my soul and about Image

 

We found an amazing deal online for a hotel in Park City and could not pass it up. We stayed at the Yarrow Hotel. The room was spacious and our room overlooked the pool. What  I loved the most about it was that the town shuttle was just up the street a block, so it was easy to go and enjoy the city. 

ImageI love going out to new restaurants in new places, so the plan was to find a yummy place to eat downtown. Last May during the Blend Retreat while walking downtown with the girls I had remembered stopping in front of one restaurant to take a group picture. The restaurant was 501 ON MAIN I ended up eating there on Saturday and let me tell you it was amazing!

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I knew when I walked in that I would like the restaurant. It was small, quaint and rustic. When I looked over the menu I instantly knew I wanted the lobster bisque and was not disappointed. Plus I have this weird thing for different shaped bowls and dishes. I got all excited when the bisque came in a cute little square bowl. 

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Does the word bisque remind anyone else of Seinfeld? 

I am not a red meat person typically, but I had bison once before in Jackson Hole and loved it. I decided to get it here again and was pleased. My favorite part was that it was served on a Ciabatta bun, that just made it seem extra smancy ;-) 

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My sweet tooth was calling for a little dessert so it was on to Java Cow for a pumpkin spice latte and some mini cupcakes. 

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The red velvet with cream cheese frosting satisfied the tooth and we headed back out into the 30 degree weather to catch the bus. (Yes that’s right it is already cold in the mountains at night here in Utah)

There is something about sleeping in on Sunday that just brings a smile to my face. After finally getting ready, it was on the bus again in search of a fun breakfast spot. Did I mention how much I do love the free bus service in the fall. 

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Once again, I have this thing were I know when I walk in, if  place is gonna be great and this breakfast place was no different. The Bridge restaurant is coined as American with Brazilian Flair, I was intrigued. The walls were painted in vibrant yellows and green that just woke you up and made you happy. I immediately fell in love with this painting on the wall and was so close to asking if they’d sell it too me. 

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I have become a fan of eggs benedict, although I have to admit I don’t really like hollandaise sauce, so I always get it on the side and lightly drizzle. This eggs benedict was fresh and exactly what I wanted. It had tons of fresh spinach and tomatoes and the two little eggs were perfect, just the right amount of runny. And let’s just talk about the perfect view from our booth of the Town Lift Chair. I could have sat there all day and day dreamed. 

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To prolong getting back to reality we decided to slower walk back up main street to catch the bus and of course stop by Java Cow again. :-) 

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This time I got a caramel macchiato. Wow! I can definitely tell that I hardly ever drink this much caffeine. Boy, was I wired! Giggling and being loopy the whole way back. Speaking of smiling, don’t you just love to say “macchiato” It’s such a silly word that every time I say it I have to enunciate it really big. 

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To prolong the journey back to reality,even more, we decided to take the scenic way back over Guardsman Pass to look for some fall colors. 

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The aspen tree groves were perfectly golden and the mountain tops were dusted with snow. 

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Well another great weekend was had, onto the next adventure!

 

Are there any words like “macchiato” that you think are just plain silly?

Where is your favorite place to see the fall colors?

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