Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 in Review

2015 has been a year of love and heartbreak, sickness and health, new friendships and loss of loved ones, time with family, growth in the gospel and growth in myself, times at home and times of adventure, and it all wrapped up with me finally graduating. Although there have been a lot of trials, they have been far outweighed by moments of joy and love. I will definitely say 2015 ended up as one of my most eventful years yet, and I am looking forward to what 2016 holds. 

In honor of 2015, here are some of my photo highlights:

Celebrating my 23rd B-Day!
V-Day hike
Yosemite Valley 
Monterey Bay
no pictures were taken

Indian Mounds/Ruins near Atlanta, GA
Ma & Pa enjoying Florida beaches
3 generations at Temple Square
At the top of Antelope Island
Grandpa Holbrook's 90th B-day Bash!
Visiting G&G Gray
Visiting G&G Olson
Hebgen Lake
Last picture before my camera went into the lake
New Roommates!
Peach Days
Annual Haunted Hollow group
Tony Grove with Kenna. 
Christmas Eve Pajamas!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

Today I am blogging from Cheyenne, Wyoming! I am here for the long-weekend because my awesome big brother and his family live here! No offense Dan and Alyssa, but Milah and Brielle totally steal the show most the time; you made cute children.

They live in a nice house, on top of a hill that looks out over the city with lots of windows. My favorite window in the house is when you go to the bathroom there’s this giant window right there. So I always have an awesome view, even when using the baño it’s awesome! There are also a ton of cute bunnies everywhere, so I feel like I’m in a fairytale with all the woodland creatures. 

Okay, so to the recipe. This past week I made a delicious Butternut Squash Chili. I don’t know why, but lately I have been really craving chili, so I gave you a chicken one last time, and this time I’m giving you a vegetarian option! I also love how the butternut squash makes this chili look so bright and fun.

2 medium Onions, diced
2 C Bell Peppers, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium-small Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
2 cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Diced Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. Cumin
2 tsp. Paprika
4 C Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Begin by, Sautéing Onion, Garlic, Butternut Squash, and Bell Peppers until browned and soft in a large pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes.

Done! Top with your favorite toppings.

Recipe from: Spark People

Friday, October 9, 2015

Healthy Crockpot Chili

In the spirit of Halloween, I will share with you a story. Once upon a time in Logan there was a house. On the outside it looked like a normal house, normal yard, nothing out of the ordinary. It was what went on inside the house that caused concerned. Inside the house a cult resided, it started out mild with strange rituals that eventually got more extreme with animal sacrifices. Then, there were rumors of human sacrifices. Word got around that this was happening and a neighbor called the police; the next day, the house was abandoned. Nothing had moved, the furniture is still the same, the books on the shelf haven’t moved, the car and trailer still in the driveway. The only thing different is the people had vanished.  The house now sits empty on this normal street haunted by its past and rumored to be watched over by an old cult follower. This is the creepy house that I learned about this week, and took a super short visit to. Wow. What terrifying chills were felt. 

Also, learned how to long-board a little bit yesterday. Well, I can go on flat ground. Funny story with that; I was going a little bit out of control and I was coming up to a group of people. So I thought, I better get off because I really can’t steer where I’m going very well and I don’t want to run into them. So I was getting off, and then all the sudden my foot launched the board straight into this couples ankles, and I almost fell into another small group of people. Luckily they stopped the board so it didn’t hit them, and that I caught my balance just in time to not fall into the other group. It was literally everything I was trying to avoid happened. So embarrassing. 

So, another college tip from me, make a big batch of soup at the start of the week, and you can eat it for lunch the next few days. I am also obsessed with my soup thermos, because then I can bring it to school and have a hot lunch, which is way yummier on a brisk fall day than a cold, squished sandwich. I bought mine from Wal-Mart about 2 years ago, and it was definitely worth it. So here is this weeks lunches; Healthy Crockpot Chili!

2 cloves garlic, minced
½ C Onion
1 C Zucchini, diced
1 C Corn, fresh or frozen
1.5 lbs. Chicken Breasts
1 (14.5 oz.) Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes w/ liquid
1 (6 oz.) Can Tomato Paste
1 ½ C Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Black Pepper
Salt to Taste
1 (15.5 oz.) Can Black Beans
Avocado and Cheese for garnish, optional

Combine all ingredients into crockpot. Cook low 6-9 hrs. or on high 3-4 hrs.

Shred chicken and serve with toppings. Yum!

Recipe from: Smile Sandwich

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Power Greens Quinoa Bowl

It’s only Tuesday and I’m posting! That is because I am really excited to share this yummy and healthy recipe. The freshness of it was perfect after a whole day of power snacking (i.e. Pumpkin Spice Oreos and shots of Whipped Cream). Like I said, it was nice to eat something healthy. But if you were wondering, overall the start of my week has been really great. Nothing crazy, normal school stuff, but that’s fine. I can handle normal. :)

This week I did my own meal planning and it was fun to pull out some recipes I hadn’t made for a while, one is this Power Greens Quinoa Bowl. This is so quick and easy, literally took 20 minutes. It makes two servings; I ate it warm for dinner, and then cold for lunch the next day.

1 C Quinoa, uncooked
2 C Water
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/3 Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 C Edamame, frozen
1 Zucchini, chopped
2 C Kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

 ¼ C Tahini
¼ C Lime Juice, or Lemon
1 Tbsp Agave or Honey
Salt to taste

In a medium pot add quinoa and water. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté garlic and onions until softened and fragrant. Add Edamame and Zucchini, cook for about 5 minutes and add Kale.  Cook until softened, season with Salt and Pepper and remove from heat.

Prepare dressing by adding all of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Add a little water if too thick.


Scoop quinoa into bowl and top with vegetables and drizzle on the dressing. Enjoy! Yum… health!

adapted from: The Glowing Fridge

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pork Egg Muffins

This week has been super busy. Wow. A lot of homework assignments were due, and tests had to be taken, and I am SO glad it’s the weekend! All I wanted to do this week was eat cupcakes, pizza, brownies, all of it; I am a hard-core stress eater.  But alas, I am still doing my paleo-ish challenge, which is probably good so I didn’t gain a thousand pounds. All of my snacks were carrot sticks, snap peas, and frozen banana “ice cream”, which really don’t turn into fat very easily... and also not very comforting. And fall is upon us starting again today, after a super hot week of 80-degree weather, it’s kind of nice to pull out my sweaters and thick socks. Also, fall activities and October festivities may now commence. I look forward to bonfires, movies in the mountains, steamers, carving pumpkins, and making treats with pumpkin as the main ingredient. What do you like to do in the fall?

Today I am sharing with you an awesome breakfast secret. Make it once and eat it for the next few days, what is it? Egg Muffins! Not only are these delicious, they are healthy and paleo approved. Which is important if you decided to take a weird leap and are trying it out for a hot minute like yours truly.

1 lb Ground Pork
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp dried Oregano
2 tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Black pepper
½ tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
½ C Water
10 Eggs, whisked
1 Red Bell Pepper
¼ Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine Cumin, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add ground pork, cook until browned and chopped into little pieces. Drain.

Add Spice mixture, Vinegar, and Water to pork. Let simmer until liquid is reduced.

In a large bowl, mix together Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Eggs, Garlic, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, and Pork Mixture.

Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour mixture into 8-10 greased muffin tins. Bake about 30 minutes or until cooked completely through.

DONE! Enjoy hot!
Refrigerate leftovers.

Recipe Adapted from: Paleomg & Jessi's Kitchen