Saturday, August 8, 2015

Easy Cumin Couscous with Sautéed Tomatoes

Hello friends. Hope your weekend is off to a good start! As far as food goes, this recipe isn't for the faint of heart. It has a lot of flavor.  It supposedly "raised the roof of Ken's mouth" (direct quote from Ken). :) 

I didn't grow up on couscous. Soy sauce, rice, meat and taters were staples at our house. China meets all-American is what Bobby Flay would "throw down" if he were our personal our dreams! Both of my parents and my grandma are excellent cooks which may be where I developed a love for cooking. 

Because I struggled with my health through college, it was hard to hold a job. So during the summers I'd have dinner ready for my parents when they got home. It was a great experience. I made mistakes, and still do. Although I wish I could have been working, I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn more about cooking during that time!

My dad encouraged us to try non-traditional food. "Don't knock it til you try it" was the motto. I'm glad he pushed us to try things we normally wouldn't. I have had couscous prior to this recipe but couldn't remember what it tasted like. I saw some raw couscous in our pantry and thought, why not try it again? If couscous is a "non-traditional" food for you, give the grain a fighting chance  or enjoy a different version of it with the recipe below! 

Easy Cumin Couscous with Sautéed Tomatoes


For the Couscous
1 cup couscous 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin

Sour Cream (optional)
Parsley finely chopped (optional)

For the Tomatoes
12-15 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil


    Prepare couscous according to package 
    Add olive oil to couscous and stir so that no couscous is sticking to the pot 
    Gently stir the next 4 ingredients into the couscous
    In a small pan heat olive oil on medium-high heat 
    Place tomato halves in heated pan 
    Sautee tomatoes until tender (about 5 minutes) They should turn a darker shade of red and the
    edges will brown.  
    Add the cooked tomatoes to couscous and stir until well combined (it is fine if you add the oil from
    the tomatoes to the couscous as well-it gives the dish a better texture

    Sprinkle couscous with parsley and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy! 

If you have any questions about the recipe, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to help! 


Friday, July 17, 2015

10 Gluten Free Coupons and Newsletters

When I started this journey to find out what was wrong with my health I made several changes in my diet...including cutting gluten. I don't have celiacs but I feel horrible when I have too much gluten. So I'd say it's a "gluten intolerance". My Lyme doctor is hard core on diet. No gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, alcohol, etc  Side note: cigarettes are horrible for you in general, but even more so with Lyme. If you're a Lymie, avoid them! 

Although I don't follow a strenuous diet any more I still try to avoid gluten. Ken is a big, 6'6" eater and I'm a GF eater. This takes a toll on our grocery bill. You may have a similar situation. Here are some coupons and newsletters that will get us on our way to saving money on GF items!

1. Glutino

Every time we've bought glutino there's been a $1.00 off coupon enclosed for our next glutino purchase! Many mainstream grocery stores carry this brand- as opposed to some brands that you have to purchase online or at a specialty store. Out of all the glutino foods I've tried I'd have to say the garlic chips are my fave. Grab your coupon! 

2. Ian's

I think I've had Ian's once and it was yummy. They offer frozen foods like chicken nuggets that would be great for kid's lunches. When you visit this site “like” their FB page and you'll get the coupon. 

 3. Bob's Red Mill

Bobby throws down GF like a boss! The cornbread mix is great. Sign up for offers! 

4. Krusteaz

I've used the Krusteaz GF all purpose flour. Food made with this flour doesn't taste that much different than regular flour foods! 

Can't wait to try these "Plentils"! Enjoy the special offers! 

6. Schar

Use Schar's "Coupon Rocker" (<-----love this name!) to get great GF coupons! 

7. Udi's

I love Udi's! And these snicker doodle cookies sound SO tempting. Get the coupon when you click the link above and then more offers when you sign up for their newsletter. 

I've tried Van's GF waffles and they're tasty. Might have to give these pancakes a try! Sign up and enjoy. 

Not too familiar with Rudi's but I was thrilled to see that they offer tortillas. It's always hard to find GF flatbread to wrap up yummy food. Gotta find these! I'll be using this coupon right along with you. 

Ok. I had to put this glorious pizza in the line up. I try to stay away from dairy but on occasion I splurge for this pie. Ken will even sneak a piece...because it's that good! Don't eat this if you're lactose intolerant. If you are just GF then I doubt you'll regret this purchase! 

I hope you found this list helpful. You will find loads of recipes through these links as well. Most sites let you reprint the coupons after some time passes. What GF brands do you like? Are there coupons?! 

Happy GF eating! 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

5 Design Resources for Your Blog

Over the last few days I've been wandering around Pinterest and searching the internet trying to learn all I can about blogging. I haven't even scratched the surface but I have learned a few things and thought I'd share them with you! Here are some awesome websites that will help you enhance the look of your blog. Since I'm currently a "DIY" blogger (meaning I'm not paying anyone to design my website) I find these sites extremely helpful because many of the resources are free. 

1. Canva

This is hands down my favorite design site so far. It's free to join and easy to use. The site also has a gazillion icons, pictures, shapes, layouts, fonts, etc... Having various templates for social media is also nice. Canva offers free templates for your fb cover photo, twitter header, google + header, etsy banner, and more! There is a custom dimension option as well. 

I'm spending the majority of this post on Canva because the site is making it super easy to enhance my blog (and it can do the same for you!). For instance, I made my blog header with the help of Canva and images from Angie Makes blog. She kindly offers beautiful freebies for personal use (do not sell her images!). Thank you Angie for the beautiful watercolor vector images. 

First I did a custom template for the header. Next I downloaded the images below and drag+dropped them into Canva. You'll need to be on the "upload" tab in Canva to do this. Then I had some fun! Use the images included in Canva and others in your personal collection to make something fabulous! 

This girl is talented. I love these flowers she created! 

2. The Hungry JPEG

This site has some good freebies! Their online store launches this month as well. 

I've looked into Photoshop (you can get a 30 day free trial) and it seems like it's going to be a bit of a learning curve. However, PicMonkey seems to be easier to use and it is free. You can pay for more features within PicMonkey if you like. I have played around with it a little and here's a picture from our wedding that I wasn't pleased with until...PicMonkey! 

4. Creative Market

Another site with great freebies but they offer an endless supply of bundles at reasonable prices as well. I'm on a tight budget so I'm thankful for the sites that offer free material. I will definitely return to this site in the future for their bundles! Oh, P.S. they send you freebie updates via email every Monday! Just sign up for their newsletter. 

5. Kaboompics

Kaboompics offers an awesome selection of photos! From fashion to food to breathtaking landscapes Kaboom will hook you up with rich images for your blog or business. The picture from the top of this post is from Kaboompics. I drag+dropped the pic into Canva then got creative. 

Hope these resources help you with your new blog or in sprucing up your existing blog. Now go and conquer your next posts! 

Stay inspired!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Best Thoughts During Construction

Under Construction

After ordering new business cards for our Etsy shop I got inspired to freshen up my blog (and start blogging again!). I didn't want to pay so I whipped something up myself. It's still "under construction" and I have lots to learn from other bloggers (like adding all of those cool, sparkly "pin it" buttons). You can "follow me" on Pinterest here. I have a board named "blogging and business". You'll find some awesome blog tips through this board. Hope you are inspired by my other boards as well!

Best Thoughts

While I'm in the middle of working on my blog design and coordinating it with Etsy and FB I thought I'd share some cards. We are working on a large order and I'll be sharing some of the cards for the order. If you see something you like, visit our Etsy Shop to place an order!

I used the Best Thoughts set from the new Stampin' Up! catalog. I colored the flower and added lots of sparkles of course!

I hope you were inspired to create and also to keep working toward you goals...even if you have to take a long break. If you have advice on blog design I welcome it! Especially how to design a cool signature for the end of a blog post. :) 

Lots of love,