Holiday Feasting:  Bacon, Pecans, & Blue Cheese Green Beans

Howdy y’all

First up on my Holdiay Feasting series of blog recipes is my favorite way to enjoy green beans. A few years ago I played around with a few recipes for green beans casseroles and created this deliciousness treat that has now become a traditional dish with my family. Seriously, bacon, pecans, and blue cheese! I had myself at bacon! This recipe is simple and relatively quick leaving more time for other recipes or the reason for this joyous holiday. Celebrating all that we are thankful for with our loved ones. 

Ingredients:

– 1 lb fresh green beans 

– 4 slices of bacon 

– 3/4 cup of blue cheese crumbles 

– 1/3 cup chopped pecans

– 2 cups of ice

Directions: 

  • Chop stems of green beans
  • Boil green beans
  • Fry bacon to extra crispy 
  • Drain green beans and shock in ice bath until completely cooled
  • Drain green beans and pat dry
  • Toss in pan with bacon grease 
  • Add blue cheese crumbles and allow to melt
  • Last stir in chopped pecans and bacon

Quick, simple, and delicious. 

 
 
 
   
  

Enjoy, 

Sydney Charming 

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Reverb and Dave Matthews Band Bama Green Project

Have you read Laudato Si’’ ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME by Pope Francis? Applause if you have and completed it. I’m only at section 64 of 240 sections. Obviously I can’t speak too in depth about it. So far I under stand we should be more aware of our environment and help to care for it.

We must be grateful for the praiseworthy efforts being made by scientists and engineers dedicated to finding solutions to man-made problems. But a sober look at our world shows that the degree of human intervention, often in the service of business interests and consumerism, is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey, even as technological advances and consumer goods continue to abound limitlessly. We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves.

Yes! I love volunteering! I found a pretty cool organization called Reverb, that I recently volunteered for. They are definitely making some moves to change the impact music tours have on our environment. Austin is know for live music and amazing concerts. So Reverb coming through helps with band tours help our community greatly.

REVERB is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2004 by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her musician husband, Adam Gardner of Guster. REVERB creates and executes comprehensive, custom programs to green the tour itself while engaging concertgoers to take action for the environment.

Pretty cool huh? I had the opportunity to volunteer with them for the Bama Green Project for the Dave Matthews Band 2 sets tour, at the 360 Amphitheater Circuit of the Americas. Some of the things they do consist of setting up Eco Villages, encouraging recycling, providing bands with aluminum reusable water bottles to refill, switching the tour busses to biodiesel, just to name a few. But so much work and planning goes into these tours. The volunteer coordinator explained to us that our volunteer t-shirts and the merchandise were designed about a year in advance. Organic merchandise, shirts made out of recycled materials.

Johnson’s Backyard Garden was the local organic farm they partnered with. As a volunteer, I helped sell these awesome water bottles, made from recycled materials, before the concert started. The money that was raised selling the water bottles was donated to Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Then the monetary value of organic produce from JBG was donated to the Austin Food Bank. So much done for the local community!  Oh, and by volunteering, I got general admission into the concert. I highly recommend volunteering with them when they come through your town.

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Taste: ThaiTexican: Thai Fried Quinoa with Fajita Chicken

Being half Thai and half Texican, sometimes I like to combine recipes. The Thai fried quinoa recipe, is the exact same recipe my dad taught me for Thai fried rice, just a little better for me.

Fajita Chicken

  • 4 thin sliced chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water

Now I don’t like to make the fajita chicken too strong in flavor, since the Thai fried quinoa will already have a full taste.

Place the chicken in a baking dish and cover with the Worcestershire sauce. Then add the garlic powder and fajita season on top. Last add about a cup of water and place back into the fridge to marinate for about an hour.

Once an hour has passed cook boil chicken in a frying pan with a cup of water.

Thai Fried Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup sliced onions
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chili
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil

First cook quinoa, usually it’s double the amount of water for the amount of quinoa. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Once done put in the freezer to chill, while cooking the rest,and some the excess moisture will dry out.

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Next, heat peanut oil and then toss in onions. After onions start frying, crack egg and continue to stir fry/scramble. Once egg is cooked mix in garlic chili. Then pull quinoa out of the freezer and add to stir fry evenly mixing ingredients. Pour in fish sauce and Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce and continue to evenly stir fry. Take the heat down to a low setting and add in cilantro, scallions, and palm sugar.

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Now add the fajita chicken and enjoy!

Que Pasa Central Texas

Mid-September is already here and festival season has begun. There’s so many events happening in Central Texas this month. So pack your sunblock, bug spray, and water bottles and head out to an event on this list, deep in the heart of Texas. See y’all out and about.

*Oui! Wednesday|Passport to Paris: French Language
Where: San Antonio- McNay Art Museum
When: every Wednesday- December 17
Time: 2pm
More information
Cost: Free with museum admission

*Art|Music|Food-Second Thursdays
Where:San Antonio- McNay Art Museum
When:every 2nd Thursday of the month
Time: 6-9pm
More information
Cost:Free

*Movies in the Park: “Raising Arizona”
Where:Austin- Republic Square
When: September 11
Time:8pm
Cost: Free

*2nd Fridays: Art Walk
Where: San Antonio- N.St.Marys street & Josephine Street
When: September 12
Time:6pm- 10pm

*Second Saturdays
Where: San Antonio- S. Flores St.
When: September 13
Time:6pm- 10pm
More information
El Campo will be an awesome band to checkout

*Banger’s Smoke-out Saturday
Where: Austin- Banger’s on Rainey St.
When: September 13
Time: 11am
More information

*Utopiafest
Where: Utopia-Four Sisters Ranch
When: September 12-14
More information

*Capitol of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta
Where: Austin- Palmer Event Center
When: September 12-14
http://www.captxquiltfest.org

*Los Lonely Boys
Where: New Bruanfels- Gruene Hall
When:September 12
Time: 8pm
http://gruenehall.com

*Viva Mexico!
Where: Austin- Mexican American Culture Center
When: September 13
Time: 7pm
More information

*Échale! Block party
Where: San Antonio- History Pearl Brewery
When: September 13
Time: 1pm- 6pm
http://atpearl.com/calendar/echale

*Kings of Leon| Mechanical Bull Tour with Young The Giant and Kongos
Where:Austin- Austin360 Amphitheater
When:September 13
Time: 5:30pm
http://austin360amphitheater.com/events/kings-of-leon-with-young-the-giant-and-kongos

Tour de Vin by The Food & Wine Foundation of Texas
Where: Austin- W Austin
When: September 18
Time: 6pm
http://www.winefoodfoundation.org/events/tour-de-vin/

*Fowler Fest 2014
Where: Austin- Nutty Brown Cafe
When: September 20
http://nuttybrown.com/concert-calendar/fowler-fest-2014

*Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Where: Austin- Fiesta Gardens
When: September 27
http://texascraftbrewersfestival.org

*South Texas Corn Maize opens
Where: Hondo
When: September 27
More Information

*Schlotzsky’s 32nd Bun Run with fastest dog in Austin race
Where:Austin- Alterra Parkway & Kramer Lane
When: September 28
More information

*San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Bar-B-Que Off & Festival
Where: Freeman Coliseum/ AT & T Center grounds
When: September 25- 27
http://www.sarodeo.com/attractions/bar-b-que-cook-off-and-festival

Transformation Tuesday: Getting Healthy

Just a few weeks short, from two years, since I had the shingles. Oh what terrible experience! About six months before I started working out with my friend, Brandon, that is a personal trainer. Now I’ve always been relatively petit, but I wanted to be fit.

We’d workout once or twice a week, cardio, boxing, weight. My work schedule at the time never allowed me to get on a constant routine. Eh, I was still slowly getting stronger. Now, I did not change my diet, if any thing I probably ate worst. So I wasn’t seeing results, just feeling stronger.

It was about mid-September when I woke up in the middle of the night. There was a stinging feeling along my lower right side of my back wrapping around my hip. There was a trail of bumps that looked like spider bites along my hip. The next two days I went out and about with my day, but the pain was getting worse.

I showed my grandma, telling her I thought it was spider bites. She gasped and told me it reminded her of when she had the shingles. She said it follows my lower back nerve line, “and those bumps that look like spider bites are going to start blistering.” Of course, she was right. I went to the doctor the next day and sure enough, diagnosis, Shingles. I was quickly put on pain meds, given a strict diet, and instructed to stay away from babies and senior citizens.

What is Shingles? Well, you chicken pox? The virus never leaves your body. It stays dormant in your nerves, your whole life. When it reactivates, it painfully emerges as the shingles. It can be activated, by stress, low immune system, etc. It starts off looking like bug bites. It follows a nerve line. As days progress without treatment, it’ll start to blister. Then after about 2-4 weeks the blisters go away and you are left with scares and pain. The pain level, during blistering, is said to be worse than child birth.

It was about 4-5 days in before I started any treatments so my case ended up being relatively severe. Since it was along my long back and hip nerve line, I could barely walk. I grew very weak and was in bed for about three and half weeks. The strict diet limited pretty much everything, so my body would absorb the medication better. My scars have mostly healed, but the pain still slightly lingers.

Once I recovered, and was able to have a regular diet again, I started running. I tried running a few fun 5k marathons to help get my strength and endurance back up. I still felt weak and my weight, was way under healthy, my size. So, I decided to just eat everything I want for a few months, no holding back to put on some weight on.

In April this year, I finally reached a weight a little over my previously normal range. I was so excited, because I wanted to start working out again. This time with a goal to reach my peak fitness. Now I don’t want to become one of those scary buff looking girls. I’ve concentrated on making healthier choice. Subbing quinoa for rice has made a huge difference! You have no idea how hard it is for an Asian to give up as jasmine rice.

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Taking my vitamins everyday has also helped me have more energy, making workouts and running a little easier. I’m not as strong as I want to be yet, but I definitely on my way to being my healthiest self yet.

Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe

Paleo Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingridents:

1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup first press or premium coconut milk
1/3 cup raw honey

Turkey Sliders with French Onion Quinoa Buns

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Turkey Sliders with French Onion Quinoa Buns

Ingredients:

1/4 cup quinoa

1/2 tablespoon dry Ranch French Onion dip seasoning

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon milk

Ground Turkey

Yields: 2 sliders

Quinoa French Onion Buns:

*preheat oven to 350 degrees F

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-boil quinoa as directed on package

-add in ranch French onion seasoning as water starts to boil
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-beat egg and milk in a separate bowl

-when quinoa is finished boiling separate into 4 portions

—about 1/4 cup each

-shape quinoa portions into buns and dip in egg and milk mixture

-grease baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil

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-then place on a baking sheet (I placed mine into mini bundt cake baking sheet)
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-let bake 15-20mins or until outside is golden and crispy

– let cool the pop out

Turkey Slider Patties:
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So for this you can sub a ground meat of your choice

-while the quinoa buns are baking I take that time to shape and season my patties

-place on the grill or skillet until fully cooked and done

*my sliders I added:

-slice of white cheddar cheese

-fresh spinach and arugula

-Parmesan Asiago balsamic vinaigrette dressing