Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spicy Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Can you believe it is SEPTEMBER?!?!?

I can't.  It feels like I was just finishing up the last year of school.  I can't believe I am already into my third year of teaching!  School is going really well so far and I am having a great time getting to know my students.  I have high hopes for this year and I can't wait to see how it goes.

Since it is September, I figured we could celebrate with a fall-like veggie burger recipe.  Now, I don't want summer to end, but I feel like good food can help ease the transition.  Fortunately, the weather is still certainly summer-like.  I hope it stays that way for a while!  While, fall is nice, winter is the worst.

I LOVE The Kitchn.  It is a great site with tons of amazing recipes.  Also, I love that the recipes are super use friendly and they all come with tons of tips, variations, and explanations.  I found this Sweet Potato Veggie Burger on their site and then I just changed small tidbits based on what I love and what we had in our fridge!  Please head over to the site for the recipe!

I made the sweet potato patties according to the directions, but here are the few things I added/changed.
1. I did not chop the sunflower seeds.  I wanted a bit of a crunch in there, so I left them whole.
2. I also used my food processor with a grater attachment to grate the sweet potato.  This made things go super quickly!  Then, I simply added the beans to the food processor and pulsed to combine.
3. Finally, for my toppings, I used some sliced tomato, sliced avocado, spicy cheddar cheese (sliced), and BBQ sauce.

Holy moly it was delicious!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vegetarian Black Bean and Avocado Burritos

Today I am sharing some really big news! I got a new job!  I am still teaching high school math, but now I am at a school much closer to my home!  I used to commute for about 1 hour and 15 minutes each way to and from school.  Now, my commute is about 25 minutes.  It's amazing!  Plus, I am working at this amazing new school in Chicago and I am learning so much.  I have been there for a few weeks getting ready and now the first day for my students is right around the corner!  I can't wait! 

I have been really busy with all the changes so I have been a little bit behind on cooking and sharing what I'm cooking.  However, I am starting to adjust to this new life and a 25 minute commute means I get home much earlier than usual and therefore have more time to actually make dinner!  Here is one of my new dinners that I am really into.  It was really easy, vegetarian (so Bri's a big fan), and quick.  It is a great weeknight meal and you end up with leftovers for lunches! 

Vegetarian Black Bean and Avocado Burritos
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
Oven ready burritos!
12 whole wheat tortillas
2 chiles in adobo sauce, minced
1 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt
2 15 oz cans of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 avocados, peeled and diced
2 cups of your favorite salsa
1 cup shredded light Mexican cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch pan.
2. In a food processor, combine the chiles, a few tsp of adobo sauce, and greek yogurt.  Add in 1 can of the black beans and pulse to combine.  You should get a nice paste mixture.  
3. In a bowl, combine the black bean paste, the other can of black beans, and the chopped avocado.  
4. Spoon a few tbsp of the mixture into the center of a tortilla.  Roll to create your burrito and place seam down in the pan.  Repeat with the rest.  
5. Pour the salsa over the tops of the burritos and then top with the shredded cheese.  Wrap tinfoil over the top and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wedding Planning Wednesday Part 8

Catering! Food! Woo!

We have found a few possible caterers and now we are dealing with tastings.  This is such a fun part of the process and I am so excited that it is here!  Once we decide on our caterer/food, we have ALL the big things done!  We will have a venue, DJ, photographer, officiant, wedding party and caterer!  Then, the next thing will be the florist.  Wedding planning is sort of like a part time job and I always feel so good when we get something done!

We are tasting with Catered By Design, Beyond Events, and Food Evolution.  If anyone knows anything about these, I'd love some advice/recommendations!!  I can't wait to try everything and find our caterer!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My California Trip: Davis, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Sonoma

Cali was a great trip for me and Bri.  We have been there before, but we had never gone to these areas and so it was a blast!  We did a lot of sightseeing and a lot of eating!  I went for a couple runs and it was a really nice time!

Our trip started out in Davis where we visited Bri's brother, Kevin.  He showed us around campus, I went for a run through their beautiful arboretum and since he's a vet student, we got to play with kittens!  While staying in Davis, we decided to drive out to Lake Tahoe to see some gorgeous sites and eat some yummy burgers.  We went to Burger Me for lunch and then walked around the lake area.  Then, we went to Emerald Bay to get a good view of the lake as well as the scenic mountains.  

Back towards Davis, we went to Track 7 Brewing Company.  Bri and I love visiting tap rooms and drinking different kinds of beer.  At this place, we found a Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout!  It sounded pretty strange, but ended up being amazingly good!

We spent a night out for dinner and dessert in Sacramento.  For dinner, we headed to Pizza Rock for dinner and ate some amazing pies.  Kevin and I split a BBQ style pizza and Bri got a calzone.  Everything was delish.  Afterwards, we walked down the street to Rick's Dessert Diner.  This place was PACKED.  Obviously it is a place to be and it did not disappoint.  You can find every kind of dessert you can imaging in this cute diner.  I, of course, got a slice of the Red Velvet Cake.  

After all that eating, we felt like we needed to get moving.  We spent some time strolling through Muir Woods. I thought that fairies were going to fly out at me.  This place feels incredibly old and magical.  The redwood trees are simply stunning.  Pictures do not do them justice.

Following our Muir Woods excursion, we spent the day in San Francisco.  We started off with brunch at Sweet Maple's.  This place was also a hopping spot.  We stood outside and waited for our table for quite some time, but it was totally worth it.  I got a scramble that was out of this world and the "million dollar bacon" was also a huge hit at our table.  I am not a big bacon person (gasp!...I know), but it even tempted me.

San Francisco is a great place.  We just loved it.

We even found dessert as a middle of the day pick-me-up at Dandelion.  This place happens to be one of the best chocolate shops in the world.  Go there.  Get the Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar.  Trust me.

Then, because you just ate your brains out, go walk up a hill and check out this gorgeous city.

And then find beer...

Tasting at 21st Amendment Brewery
At this point, you're probably wondering: "So this girl went to California and drank beer the whole time?"  Bri is a huge beer fan and I enjoy it quite a bit.  However, the answer to that question is, nope.  We definitely got our wine fix in Sonoma:

Wine Tasting Tour

Wine Tasting Tour

and more beer :)