For some period of 5-10 years growing up, every Valentine’s Day my family would have a nice meal together, a special dessert, and then we would receive a special gift. Pajamas from Mom, and plants from Dad! This was a tradition that just… emerged. I think that plants are the frugal version of flowers, they keep on living, and they are easily found at the grocery store, but MAN receiving a live plant always feels like a special gift. And February is so cold and dark there is nothing more comforting than new pajamas! Some of these PJs are inspired by my family’s Valentine’s tradition and combine my affinity for plants and pajamas. Since I am still holding off on personal spending, this is a wish list or hard hint to my family or boyfriend.
Plants on Pink
The Truth is Out There
Speckled pink and a classic robe
So simple. Ready?
Cut 2 sweet potatoes into fry-shapes. Don’t just chop down the middle! Cut the fries off the sides. It is easier.
Drop these fries into a pan with olive oil, top with salt, black pepper, and cinnamon. Roast for 20 minutes at 425°F.
Cut the florets of broccoli and add to the pan. (I like to use broccolini when I can find it!) Add salt and pepper, and pop those suckers into the oven!
Roast until the broccoli is bright green, and the potatoes are toasty.
Eat! Enjoy! Save some left overs for lunch, tomorrow.
Related: More Greens and Green Chile Green Chili
With weeks of back-to-back travel ahead of me, I have made sure that I am well-stocked with snacks. These are my favorite reliable snacks to bridge the gap between the time that you had dinner and the time that your plane lands, or the snack that lets your skip a fast-food joint on the road, saving you time/money/nutrition. What is your number one go to snack while traveling? (I knew a family who always bought gas station corn nuts while on the road. Admittedly, I will usually stop just for an Arizona tea.)
In-shell Pistachios, if you are not driving. (Out-of-shell if you are!)
Mix almonds and craisins for THE BEST salty/sweet flavor combination
My favorite pre-made trail mix is Target’s Sweet Cajun
I like to hide emergency Clif bars in my purse or backpack or that middle console in the car so that they are there if I really need them. I especially love these caffeinated mint-chocolate bars.
Sometimes you are home alone and crave something decedent- and why shouldn’t you, you deserve it! I have made my share of cake-in-a-mug and small batch cookie doughs. Here is my ten minute Solo-size Strawberry Mascarpone Tart.
Solo-Size Spiked Strawberry Sweet
-5-10 crushed ginger snaps or graham crackers
-2 tbsp of butter
-strawberries (as many as you please, rinsed and diced)
– 1/4 cup mascarpone
-2 tbsp of sugar
-1 tbsp rum
-1/2 tsp vanilla
In a ramekin (or mug) mix the crushed ginger snaps and butter. Bake in toaster oven at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool while mixing the mascarpone, rum, vanilla, and 1 tbsp of sugar. Combine until smooth and creamy, and keep cool in the fridge. Use the other tbsp of sugar to sprinkle over the strawberries, making them sparkly sweet. Once the crust has cooled, fill with mascarpone filling and top with berries. May use other fruit or flavor combinations. Enjoy!
Lemonade is all anyone wants after a hot day in the sun. However, I hate the aftertaste or sugar and chemicals that comes with store bought lemonade. The walk to the grocery store was a long and hot one, and I started craving lemonade. As I bought the lemons, I realized that I was on the path to the perfect home remedy to the sinus infection I had been battling. Armed with a heavy dose of vitamin C and nature’s best antibiotic, I headed home to brew some lemonade.
Cold Cure Lemonade
Makes 1-2 glasses
If you have more lemons, double or quadruple the recipe and fill a carafe!
-Juice of 1-2 lemons
-Honey equal to half the juice of lemons
-Ice cubes & water
Juice your lemons and pour the juice in something you can shake or stir. Your total volume of lemon juice equals 2 parts. Add 1 part honey, taste it, add another part if you like it a little sweeter (tasting at this stage will be very tart, as you haven’t diluted it yet.) Mix the lemon juice and honey- I like to shake a giant jar together if that option is available. If it is proving difficult to combine the two, feel free to heat the liquid up in the microwave or on the stove to melt the honey and ease the mixing process. Finally, add loads of ice to cool it instantly, especially if it is hot, or some water and some ice. Add enough liquid to essentially double your liquid, or more according to your taste preferences.
Enjoy! Take as a tonic for your health or a sweet and tangy summer treat.