Beeeeets

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I have been on a maaaaajor beet kick lately. For one thing, beets are crazy good for you. For another thing, they are pretty. And for one more thing, they are yummy!

Apparently, heating them too much zaps a little bit of their nutritional umph, but what can I say, I like my beets roasted. The last few weekends, I’ve bought three beets at the grocery, chopped off the greens, and roasted them whole with a little olive oil and salt. The temperature and cooking time for this varies a bit, but I just throw them in the oven along with the other things I prep Sunday nights, and just check them once in a while. I like them to still have a little bit of firmness, but you should be able to stab them with a fork. After they cool, I chop them into salad-sized cubes and store in a large ziploc baggie in the fridge. I recommend not putting these in your plastic storage containers, as they will most deifnitely stain it. Oh, and they will stain your fingers, so either be cool with that or wear some gloves. And wash your cutting board right away!

The salad pictured above is among my favorite salad-combos. In general, I treat spinach like another salad ingredient rather than a base. I like to just mix all my goodies together in equal proportions. So here, for example, we’ve got spinach, tomatoes, shredded carrots, onions, black olives, beets, avocado, and baked chicken. I really don’t use salad dressing because I find that the creaminess of the avocados plus the juices of the tomatoes and beets add plenty of moisture to the salad. I honestly really don’t get sick of these salads at all – that’s seriously my ultimate power salad right there, and I can’t argue with how awesome it always makes me feel for the rest of the day. And if I’m still feeling hungry (not cravings, but actual hunger) after about 20 minutes from finishing my lunch, I eat an apple or pear.

Do you have secrets to spicing up your salads? Any fun ingredients that just make you totally happy??

 

Berry Crumble Bars

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Berry Bars - Megster Meter

Even though it was just the two of us for Easter this year, I still really wanted to at least make ONE Easter breakfast treat! So I made a huge pan of these awesome Berry Crumble Bars from Willowbird Baking. I only made a few adjustments to her recipe – I used 4 cups of frozen mixed berries, and I only used half the cornstarch and sugar to coat them. I also replaced two of the three cups of flour with whole wheat flour. I highly recommend these!! I think they could have used a bit more lemon (maybe some zest?) but I just love the cakey texture of a good old fashioned breakfast pastry. YUM.

Berry Bars

Do you have any Easter brunch or dinner traditions? We are only just beginning to establish our own traditions!

Happy Easter, everyone! HE is RISEN!!!

J&M

Springtime Decorations

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So I don’t really have tons and tons of spending money sitting around to decorate our house with Easter decor. I wish we did, but sometimes you just need to keep things simple and get a little creative.

Over the weekend, I picked up some $1.50 shimmery Easter eggs from Walmart and filled up my prettiest vase with them. Voila! A centerpiece!

photo 3photo 2And while it’s not my favorite wreath I’ve ever put together, I was able to make it pretty on the cheap, as well. All you need is a plain wreath, a few fake flowers, and wooden letter + paint. Brings a little brightness back to our house!photo 5photo 4

What about you? Any spring or Easter decorating? Share your tips!

Single Serve Breakfast Skillet

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Breakfast Skillet Single Serve

So, remember my sweet potato hash and egg skillet? Pretty much my all-time favorite breakfast, and I can’t get enough of it. So lately, I decided to find a quicker way to make it on a weekday morning, just for me.

The plan. Shred one sweet potato at the beginning of the week and season it with salt, pepper, celery salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Keep it in a container in the fridge, and each morning, put a little handful of it in a small crock or baking dish. Add any other veggies or meat you might want – spinach, tomatoes, sausage, etc – and top with your two eggs. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes while you’re finishing getting ready for work. Check on it until you get to the consistency you like.

Perfection! Enjoy!

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

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THIS IS THE BEST DISCOVERY EVER.

Seriously, of all of the delicious, amazing foods I ate during my Whole30 (and since), this is a freaking awesome find. Super healthy, and literally tastes like creamy mashed potatoes. In fact, testify to you right here and now, blogosphere, that I never even need mashed potatoes again. I’d almost call this BETTER. There, I said it!

All that said, it’s not the most photogenic dish. So you here you go…food processor + cauliflower. Sorry friends.

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Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients
1 head of cauliflower
4 large cloves of peeled garlic (feel free to add more for extra garlic-y love!
1 tablespoon ghee, clarified butter, or extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions

1. Remove stem from cauliflower, and place florets into a pot of water. Add the garlic cloves as well. Bring to boil and cook until the cauliflower is completely soft (about 15 minutes).

2. Once cooked, strain the cauliflower, and add it to the food processor along with the ghee and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Blend until completely pureed.

ENJOY!

Super Throwback Thursday

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I don’t really participate in the TBT thing. I really should, considering how much I enjoy flipping through old photos and reliving fun moments of the past. But last weekend was like if you took every throw back Thursday that I have not participated in and rolled it into one massive throwback weekend. I went home to Wisconsin, where I helped my mom clean out a few sections of the house, which were mostly clutter with items from my adolescence.

And, WOAH. Like, seriously, major major woah.

I found school projects from grade school, notes from middle school crushes, and my high school swing choir “warm fuzzies.” I found newspaper clippings of my accomplishements over the years. I found my prom court sash. I found a mug from high school graduation that I do not remember receiving. I found the letters and bars I earned, although I never bought a letter jacket. I found diaries, which all only had a few pages written in them ranging from “mom doesn’t get me” to “I can’t believe I ever liked him.” I FOUND MY BARBIES, PEOPLE. And also, my Polly Pockets.

One thing that really stood out to me was that there were a few things from teachers along the way. I really hadn’t realized the impact some of them had on me. My first grade teacher apparently had an envelope of my first grade work, and sent it to me when I graduated high school, as you can see here:

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Our choir teacher had us write warm fuzzies to each other after our solos, and apparently, I kept them…

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I AM SPECIAL! At least, my family thinks though. But thanks, teachers, for making sure I knew.

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My amazing AP Comp teacher, who we lovingly called Doc, wrote this note at one point. I’m not sure when or why, but it’s a pretty nice message any day.

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And a few other gems, as I mentioned above…

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And of course, I found evidence of my college application process. What a lucky, lucky lady I am to have landed where I landed. GO DORES!!

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30 before 30

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Happy Friday, y’all!!

It’s been a rainy week here in Ohio, but I am NOT complaining, because rain means SPRING IS COMING!! And spring means that everything is fresh and rejuvenated. Can you feel it, people? It’s HERE!!

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And with spring, I’ve decided to bring back an old theme to my blog: Lists. If you’ve been around Megster Meter a while, you may remember my 101 in 1001 list. I can hardly believe it ended 2 1/2 years ago on my 26th birthday…I mean, WOAH. Where does the time go? I loved doing this list, and it’s so fun to read through it and relive some of those awesome moments all over again. What a lucky lady I am. And really, let’s be honest. I love a good list.

That said, I’ve decided to creat a 30 before 30 list in honor of this spring weather. It’s pretty self-explanatory: 30 items to complete by the time I turn 30 years old. It sounds so far away but, alas, my 30th birthday will be September 7, 2015, so not too far away at all. I’m stealing this idea from my lovely friend Katy. We are list-loving friends :)

Megster Meter’s 30 before 30 List:

1. Audition for a show.
2. Bake a cheesecake.
3. Buy a house.
4. Complete another Whole30.
5. Create a blog just for my sweet treat creations.
6. Do a color run.
7. Do pull ups.
8. Get my wedding dress cleaned and packaged up.
9. Give up elevators for a month.
10. Go on a picnic.
11. Go on my honeymoon!
12. Go on our big Europe trip post-husband’s graduation.
13. Go to a music festival.
14. Go to an opera.
15. Go with out TV for a week.
16. Grow fresh herbs.
17. Have a spa day.
18. Have a technology-free day.
19. Host a dinner party.
20. Learn to can / jar something.
21. Organize a girls weekend out of state.
22. Put at least ten items into my Etsy shop.
23. Read the Great Gatsby.
24. Redesign this blog (or really, give it some design for the first time).
25. Send 5 random gifts to friends.
26. Spend a cozy weekend in a cabin somewhere.
27. Take a class of any kind with my husband.
28. Take a course on Coursera.
29. Try 10 new restaurants.
30. Visit a new country.

Tools & Support for your Whole30

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After posting my Whole30 results on Monday, I’ve had a few friends ask me a little bit more about it. Let me preach it: DO A WHOLE30 – YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

But I also want to mention that I had some really great support. Here’s what helped a lot for me:

1. A partner in crime. Even though my mom lives some 500 miles away, we decided to do the Whole30 together for the month of March. We talked about it on the phone, kept each other motivated, emailed recipes, and we even started a pinterest board that we could both contribute to. It was fun bonding for us, and now we both feel AWESOME!

2. Pinterest. For real, don’t you just adore pinterest? Like I said, my mom and I made our own Whole30 board during our journey. And all you have to do is search “whole30″ and you’ll get like, a million recipes popping up. Of course you can google recipes too, but when I was planning my groceries for each week, it was fun to browse my board and pick out a new meal or two.

3. Official Whole30 Emails. It costs $15, but I really enjoyed getting these daily emails throughout my 30 days. The Whole30 Daily provided tons of great snipits, support, and information.

4. The Whole30 website. You’re probably like, well duh, but I re-read these eight steps in their entirity several times before starting my 30 days, and during.

5. It Starts With Food. Buy the book. Read the book. I’m not even finished with it yet, but reading it throughout the journey just motivated me more. Also, I really love science, so I liked understanding the reasoning behind these choices. But don’t worry…you can skip the super sciencey parts if that’s not your cup of tea!

6. Testimonials. Nothing makes you want to change your life more than reading about how tons of other people have changed their own lives. If they can do it, I can do it. And if I can do it, you can do it.

7. Club soda with a twist of lime. Okay, I know it’s not delicious. But it got me through many a social event without it being completely obvious I was not drinking. Don’t need any phony pregnancy rumors going around!

So there you have it. That’s what worked for me! And now, while I will certainly cheat from time to time, I know what it is that makes me feel like my best self. It’s only the beginning! Go start your new journey!

Crawfish Boil!

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Over the weekend, the hubster and I were talking about summertime and how we’d love to go to a crawfish boil in New Orleans someday, and how I’ve never had crawfish. And then, alas, when we were at the grocery on Sunday, we saw crawfish at the seafood counter!! So we did it. We bought ALL the crawfish (about 2 pounds). And my sweet hubster cooked up a legit crawfish boil in our kitchen! It was my last dinner of Whole30, and a pretty darn great way to wrap it up if you ask me!

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I don’t really know all the magic he did in the kitchen, but he seasoned up the water so well, tossed in some corn and potatoes, and the crawfish came out tasting SPLENDID.

And of course, we enjoyed a bit of March Madness on our cozy Sunday night at home!photo 1 (2)

We maybe sort of played with our food a little…

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And then they were gone…

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Happy CRAWFISH BOILING!!!!photo 3

 

 

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