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 

Advertisements

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.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

This Is My Confession

Big girls don’t cry right? If only that were true! So I wrote about PMDD in The Fear of Falling Apart II, and how it can bring me to tears. Of course, life must go on, and I can’t let it define me. Even though I can be in an incredible amount of pain, sometimes I have too much going on to stay crying about. How do I pull myself together and look put together?

  image

Let me introduce you to my best friend for that, Confessions of a Concealaholic by Benefit. The current kit I have was a little dismembered by one of my Godsons that wanted to color.
image
It’s s adorably packaged like a diary. Inside, there’s a mirror! Perfect if you’re using it on the go.
image
There’s also a booklet, detailing how to use each product, creatively written like journal entries.
image
My knowledge and use of make products is not very vast, but this takes me from a blotchy-eyed mess to a glamorous bright eyed beaut.
image

My questions for y’all:

Has anyone else used this fabulous miracle? What did you think?

Any other recommendations?

A Family Tradition: Quinceañera

I remember turning 14 and my mom asking me if I wanted to have a quinceanera. (These extravagant birthday parties take about a whole year in advance of planning.) “No thank you,” I replied. I was a really shy kid. A crowd of people watching me attempt a dance. Nope.

 One of my cousin’s recently had her Quinceanera in our family’s hometown of D’Hanis, Texas. Emily has grown into a beautiful lovely young lady. I remember there was quite a big scare when she was born. Her mother is my second cousin. (It’s weird cause she looks much like my mom but she’s family so that makes sense.) Anyway, my cousin Donna went into labor at just a mere 25 weeks of pregnancy. I remember Emily was so tiny. There was neonatal experts taking care of her.

 She made it through and now she’s 15 years old! I’m not really close with her but a birthday celebration is a huge milestone and it was amazing to see who she has become.

 She was surrounded by her parents, and school friends. She still seems kind of quiet and shy, just like I was.   Quinceaneras usually have a Mass at church, then a dinner followed by a waltz and then a dance for everyone to join in. While the finally set ups for the dinner were taking place we were entertained by some mariachis and a little dancing. I had to leave before the dance to get back up to Austin but again. I love getting celebrate and see how lovely of a little lady Emily has grown into. 

Peak Fitness: Workouts for gym or home

Ever go to the gym, see all the machine, and get overwhelmed? Thinking: what do I do? Where do I start? How much do I do? Help! help! help! I just want tone up. I did all the time until I started working out with my friend Brandon. He showed me a bunch of workouts I could even do at home, to help me tone and reach my peak fitness.  Now, by peak fitness, I’m not talking about bulking, lifting, shredding and looking like a he/she. Eh not for me. Some of my friends do that and some look great but some I have to take a step back, do a double look and remember if they are a girl or guy.

I just like to stay active, fit and toned. I’m naturally petite so a big thing Brandon helps me focus on is breathing right. Elementary right? You’d be surprised how many people don’t breathe right during their workouts and it makes a world of a difference, in seeing results and staying toned.

Modified push-ups: putting an emphasis on keeping the core tight, and exhaling when stretching for your target.

image image

 Leg pull-ins: place your hands or elbows on the ground, inhale as you fully extend your legs, and exhale as you contract the legs in, focusing on keeping your feet level with your line of vision.

image image

 Bridge: this workout starts with your feet planted firmly on the ground, with a separation between your feet equal with your shoulders, exhale and raise the hips up, focusing on using your thighs and gluteus to push and tighten your core.
image

 Alternating arm-raises: tightening your wrist and placing s slight bend in your elbow, exhale as you raise the weights to shoulder level, inhale as you lower your arms and rotate them to the forwards position, repeat to completion.

imageimage

imageimage

 “Punch-crunches”: start in regular sit-up position, hands on the side of your head, exhale and reach across your body, aiming to get your elbow parallel to your knee
image image image

 Modified Mountain Climbers: start in the push-up position, and rapidly bring your knees up to your elbows, across the body, and exhaling as when you bring your knee to your elbow

image image

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.

image  image

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

photo (3)

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

tumblr_n8ti9rHq461rmtkvco1_250

-boil quinoa as directed on package

-add in ranch French onion seasoning as water starts to boil
tumblr_n8ti9rHq461rmtkvco2_250
-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

tumblr_n8ti9rHq461rmtkvco7_250

-then place on a baking sheet (I placed mine into mini bundt cake baking sheet)
tumblr_n8ti9rHq461rmtkvco8_500
-let bake 15-20mins or until outside is golden and crispy

– let cool the pop out

Turkey Slider Patties:
tumblr_n8ti9rHq461rmtkvco5_250
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