summer breakfast

It’s hot. Summer is hot, proven by my social media feed filled with people posting photos of their car thermometers or screenshots of their weather apps. (do you remember winter….and the ice and snow? yeah, me too.)

It’s that wake up hot,
…go to bed hot, kind of hot.

If you’re like me and you don’t like a big breakfast (and if you can remember to prepare this before bed, which I know I’m asking a lot) this is my new favorite breakfast treat.

I know, there’s a billion recipes for these online. In fact I even saw pre-made “Refrigerator Oats” at target last week.

Some call for cute mason jars or fancy spices and yogurt

But, after experimenting and testing different methods my favorite recipe is this:

OVERNIGHT OATS:

in the smallest of my Pyrex Snapware (the little orange one):

1/2 cup gluten free oats
1 Tbls shredded coconut (unsweetened)
a few blueberries
some chopped pecans
1 Tbls maple syrup (agave, or other liquid sweetener will work)
1/3 cup milk of choice (coconut works great!)

Don’t stir, just snap the lid down, refrigerate overnight and in the morning you have a cold refreshing, (gluten free, dairy free) nutritious breakfast!

Of course the options to modify this are pretty endless; I find that the combination of the crunchy (pecans) and the sweet (blueberries) with the texture (coconut) make a great balance.

Enjoy! And stay cool ūüėé

 

 

 

All images © 2013-2017 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

odds and ends.

Working our way east, to take care of some business (those pesky health things that just don’t go away)¬†we rushed through most of the¬†entire west-to-mid-west. we ticked five (yes FIVE National Parks off our list in under two weeks (can you say exhausted) and stopped in at some tourist-trappy gems like Wall Drug and the Corn Palace along the way.

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We somehow even had the timing gods lined up so perfectly that we were in Sturgis, SD just in time for what Sturgis is famous for.

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We saw amazing things, breathtaking things that I will never forget. The herd of bison that we found ourselves in the middle of as they crossed the road in Yellowstone. The sun setting on the Grand Tetons. A forest fire up in the hills at dusk outside of Cody, WY.

Badlands National Park.

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The Oregon Coast. Olympic National Park where we hung out with this beautiful creature for about 15 minutes.

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Glacier National Park….Rainier.

And during the long, straight road through the midwest, this:

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miles and miles and miles of sunflowers. “stop!! I need to get out!!”

cars and trucks speeding by on I-90 watching the crazy lady with the camera take a billion photos of the sunflowers.

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I mean, how could I not?  just look at all of them!

For an updated look at where we’ve been….¬†we have a map for that.

thanks, as always, for reading…more to follow ūüôā

 

 

All images © 2010-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

 

 

home is where you make it.

When I was about seven, we moved from the tiny brick bungalow, and the only home¬†I’d known, into a shiny, new, yellow aluminum sided four bedroom colonial. It was nestled on a the end of a cul de sac in a neighborhood that was full of strange kids who would become my walk to school friends, kick the can buddies and all around partners in crime….and ¬†I was excited. I love change.

In the past five years since getting divorced, however, I’ve moved seven times. Change at that rate gets a little old. Kick the can games fewer and far between.

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kitchen kitsch

My latest stop has me renting a condo, which means the month that you decide to go “off lease” and rent month to month is exactly the time the landlord calls and tells you he has someone interested in buying that condo. Change? It seems to like me more than I like it at this point.

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map wall

But, on the other hand, maybe it’s a good thing.

I’m also turning (a BIG number birthday…like a really big one…halfway to being mentioned by Williard Scott and being sponsored by Smucker’s big) this week and have always dreamt of seeing this amazing country¬†of ours.

We (my current partner in crime and myself) have been slowly planning, plotting, budgeting…a way to travel around to the National Parks¬†— seeing everything I’ve / we’ve / never gotten to see. Hence the big map on our wall.

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After all, home can be anywhere…..in a big, shiny, yellow aluminum house on a cul de sac, or in the front seat next to your best pal driving across the country…..

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stay tuned.

 

 

All images © 2013-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

well, that went by fast.

seems like just yesterday it was the beginning of spring, and here we are talking about pumpkins and apples and feeling the chill in the air.

I’ve been working hard getting ready for a holiday craft show (more on that at a later date.) also, walks on the beach, lots of swimming and a few really fun times with some of my favorite people who happen to also be my offspring.

not a bad summer, not bad at all.

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oh, and I’d be a bad friend if I didn’t let you know about the great new things coming from doTerra: click below to learn more. xoxo

NEW

so.

 

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sometimes things don’t go as planned.

so, alas we are moving again. moving; and moving on.

I am ready for peace, and to focus on our goals.  life this past year has been seriously crazy. I means seriously crazy; the stress landed me in the hospital the other night.

 

but now,¬†I’m ready to attack the next year.

 

and hope it doesn’t attack back.

 

beds.

the last morning with these two boys, in my tiny studio apartment on the Hudson River, I told them they could only watch a movie if they made my bed.

“we don’t know how to make a bed!”

figure it out, I told them. and you need to do it together, with no fighting.

it was a big bed, a king, with lots of pillows, two blankets and a quilt. they struggled for a few minutes, and then put their heads together and sure enough….they made that bed. I hope they take that lesson with them, and realize that by working together, they can¬†face¬†any challenge, and get things done if they stick by each other, as a team.

Imagenow, here I am in Ohio and making new beds. of the garden variety.

the plan calls for five raised beds (one for herbs, up near the house and the remaining four down near the stream will hold vegetables of all kinds)

as we planned them out; measuring, estimating, researching costs…we realized that the largest expense would be the wood to frame out the beds. finding old wood seemed like the best solution. and just as we asked for it, the Universe (or garbage day) supplied it in the form of a neighbor ridding himself of a picket fence. the pickets were the perfect, pre-cut size and add an adorable home-made re-purposed farm look to the boxes.

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we ordered up some good clean dirt and got to filling our herb garden box. my nephew was in his glory. “dirt!”

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planting the first plants….¬†

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the final boxes awaiting their dirt delivery….

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and this old guy just enjoying being in the sun (and photo bombing most every shot I seemed to take)….

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our team working together to get things done.

 

ginger lemonade.


Lately I find myself craving ginger in any form. I think it started when we bought a juicer and I discovered the wonders of orange/carrot/ginger juice (a must have now on a daily basis) The spiciness of the ginger adds a refreshing zing and helps settle my stomach as well.
Last night I whipped up some ginger syrup, so today I could make some ginger lemonade.

Ginger Syrup:

1 cup rough chopped, scrubbed, ginger root.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water

place all ingredients in medium saucepan, bring to a boil. simmer for one hour. strain.

Ginger Lemonade:

Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3-4 Tbls. ginger syrup
8 ounces water
ice

Shake all ingredients in a mason jar until well chilled. Adjust syrup to taste. (I used 4 Tbls., but I like it zesty)

Drink on your balcony.

this tropical heat calls for some coconut.

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I’ve been holed up in my cement tower (aka my 4th floor apartment, which thankfully includes all the air conditioning my little bones can handle) but there’s a rumor going around that it’s hot out. I actually verified this by stepping out onto my balcony to water the plants. Tropical is how I would describe it. Which got me craving coconut drinks…..

Alas, I whipped up some coconut cream scones instead.

They hit the spot. For the moment, anyway.

(available in my shop should you, too, have the craving)

the graduation party.

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My son graduated from college this month, and in the midst of everything going on we threw together a lovely little party. It was a relaxed, casual gathering with close friends and family and good food.

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I served my grandma’s ‘famous’ bbq chicken, which is an oil and vinegar based marinade with lots of pepper and poultry seasoning in it. It was so great to hear the boys comment on the food, and ask “where it came from”, as they had been to many ‘pizza and deli tray’ parties before this one. I think they were rather impressed with the homey goodness before them…which aslo included my mom’s broccoli salad, potato salad, a lentil/arugula salad and a white bean salad.

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A big hit was the drinks in mason jars (an idea pinned a billion times on Pinterest, I know) but really a big hit, and super practical, it turned out. We made watermelon/ginger/lime/vodka coolers and then had vodka-free ones for the kiddies. Also, in the house fridge for “special guests” I had a higher end cocktail….but don’t tell anyone.

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Of course a party wouldn’t be a party without treats, and I had plenty. In addition to these yummy devils food cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting (which no one knew were gluten free) I had three different hand pies; cherry, blueberry and peach. (I think I’ll do a whole separate post on those, they were a lot of work and turned out adorable!)

It was a great night….I didn’t even realize how exhausted I was until it was all over.

Now, on to the summer!

corn dogs and craziness.

Well, it has been a month. 

One of those, “I hope I don’t have to live through that again” months. Packing, moving, unpacking, planning a party for a graduating son, dealing with crazy ex-landlord. You know, “that” kind of month.

But that is all behind me, and now it is time to think about the summer. And that means great food, right? I had a hankering for a corn dog last night, so I pulled out my mini-loaf pan and whipped up these fast, delicious, oven baked corn dogs. They were just the ticket, with a side of pickle and pepper relish and big glass of lemonade.

Summer has begun.

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recipe:

1/4 cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 Nathan’s Original All Beef Gluten Free Hot Dogs

Heat oven to 425¬įF. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in sour cream and milk. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining ingredients. Beat just until mixed.

Pour 1/2 of batter evenly into greased mini loaf pans. *I used my 4-loaf pan and it was just the right amount. Cut about a 1/2‚ÄĚ off each end of the hot dogs and nestle one per loaf into the batter. Spread remaining batter to cover the dogs.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm; with ketchup, relish, mustard or whatever your heart desires.

(serves 4)