Ogunquit, Maine

by simplylife on June 10, 2014

One of my favorite things about living in New England is all the places accessible by just a short drive!

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We recently took our first trip to Ogunquit, Maine.  It was less than a 2 hour drive, and I’m pretty sure it has quickly become my new favorite place in New England!

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The town of Ogunquit was quaint and charming, the people were friendly, and the views along the shore were just breathtaking!

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~Where is your favorite beach?

{ 15 comments }

Roasted Salmon Salad

by simplylife on May 28, 2014

I have a confession.

One of my favorite foods to eat is salmon.  Yet, you may not be able to find a single recipe with salmon on my blog.

While I constantly hear how “easy and simple” it is to cook, I’ve always been intimated to bring it into my own kitchen.

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Until recently.  There was fresh salmon on sale at Whole Foods, the warm weather was nudging me to prepare a salad, and my husband said he would help  if when I needed it.

So we brought home our fresh salmon and I prepared it as simply as possible:  1) rub salmon with olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper; 2) roast in oven with skin-side facing up.

I’m so glad I tried this!  The recipe was so easy to follow (I know, I know- of course it was! ;) ), and it made the perfect light meal on a warm spring night.

Roasted Salmon Salad

by Simply Life

Keywords: roast appetizer salad entree seafood leafy greens spring summer

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1/2 pound salmon filet
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cucumber, quartered
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Dressing of choice

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a baking rack atop the baking sheet.

2. Rub salmon with 2 tbs. olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Brush baking rack with remaining olive oil. Place salmon skin-side up on baking rack and roast for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Let cook slightly, then break into large pieces.

3. Toss remaining ingredients together. Top with cooked salmon. Serve and enjoy!

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And while salmon may be an ingredient that rarely finds its way into our kitchen, one staple that we never go without is some type of nut butter.  So when I was contacted by PB Crave to try their peanut butters, I was definitely looking forward to it!

I was sent their Razzle Dazzle, Cookie Nookie, Coco Bananas and Choco Choco peanut butter.  I am very impressed with their unique flavor combinations!  Their peanut butters are also gluten and cholesterol-free.

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I couldn’t wait to dig into the Cookie Nookie flavor!  Peanuts, honey and chocolate are definitely a winning combination for me, and this did not disappoint!

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~What food(s) are you intimidated to cook?

{ 11 comments }

How We Live Simply

by simplylife on May 12, 2014

Simplicity.

It’s something my husband and I are constantly striving for in our lives.  In the foods we eat, the items we own and they way we live.  Though we’re still far from where we’d like to be, here are a few things we have found that have helped to create simple living:

  • Get rid of something old whenever we bring home something new.  If I really need a new pair of running shoes, it must mean it’s time to get rid of the last pair.  I used to want to hold onto items in case of “what if” scenarios, but really, how many times do you lose a pair of running shoes and are relieved to know you’ve held onto that other pair that no longer supported your soles?  This rule not only applies to shoes, but shirts, coats, scarves, accessories, etc.

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  • After I wear (and wash) an item, I hang it back up on the far left side of the closet.  I used to have my closet organized by the type of clothing (sweaters, blouses, etc.), but I find that I would still reach for the same handful of items, so having them close together hasn’t made much of a difference.  It has, however, made it much more obvious which items I’m not wearing and can easily say goodbye to (almost the entire right half of my closet!).

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  • If we’re going to buy something decorative, we try to also makes sure it could serve a purpose.  For example, baskets in different shapes and colors look nice, while also helping us stay organized!

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One of the ways I strive for simplicity is on the nutrition label of the foods I’m buying.  So when I had the chance to try Taste Nirvana I was very excited.  The ingredient list on their Real Coconut Water: Natural Coconut Water & Coconut Pulp.  Doesn’t get simpler than that!

Every Taste Nirvana product is originally from Thailand and their production process is based in Thailand as well. The coconuts in Thailand grow in the perfect weather and soil condition which makes their products unique.  Part of their mission is to “provide the most authentic and real food experiences in which the country of origins intended” and to educate their customers of history and culture of the food they make.  Also, Taste Nirvana products are packaged with recyclable glass bottles and BPA free cans. They offer Real Coconut Water, Real Coconut Pulp, Real Coco Aloe and Real Coconut Water with Thai Chili Extract in addition to a coffee line and some other food products.

While I must admit, I’m simply not much of a coconut water fan, I did enjoy the slightly sweet and refreshing taste of the Real Coconut Water.

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~What are things you do to live simply?

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Whole Wheat Blackberry Ricotta Scones

by simplylife on April 28, 2014

You know how there are certain aspects of the weekend that you always look forward to?  What naturally happens nearly every Saturday and Sunday without you even realizing it, and makes you feel “off” when it doesn’t occur?

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Is it the feeling of waking-up naturally, without an alarm clock, and taking your time getting out of bed?

Maybe it’s staying-up a little bit later on Saturday night?

Or maybe it’s getting caught-up on the news (or your favorite T.V. shows) from the previous week.

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Personally, one of the things I look forward to most about the weekends is breakfast.  While I enjoy my oatmeal and cereal during the week, I crave anything but those foods on the weekends.  When I recently saw blackberries on sale, I just couldn’t resist adding them to my basket and enjoying one-too-many homemade scones.

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I love this recipe.  It’s not overly sweet, allowing the fresh blackberries to truly shine, and it has just the right amount of crumble vs. crunch.  It was a lot easier to prepare than I was anticipating, and is absolutely perfect to enjoy on a quiet morning alone or to serve to guests.

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Whole Wheat Blackberry Ricotta Scones

by Simply Life

Keywords: bake breakfast brunch summer spring

Ingredients (12 scones)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbs. unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 cup half-n-half (or heavy cream)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and add into flour mixture. Mix together until butter looks like the size of peas. Stir blackberries into mixture. Mix ricotta and cream into mixture and stir together to form a dough. Using your hands, gently knead dough together to form a large ball.

Transfer dough onto the parchment paper and shape into a circle, about 1-inch high. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with sugar than plan back in oven, on broiler setting, for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly, serve and enjoy!

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~What do you look forward to most on the weekends?

 

{ 17 comments }

Basmati and Black Rice with Chickpeas, Raisins and Fried Onions

04.18.2014
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Oh, hello. I missed you. I’ve been writing this blog for nearly 5 years, and I think this may have been the longest I’ve gone without saying hello?! I must admit, we had a glimpse of the perfect spring in Boston!… …for  about 5 days… It was glorious!  Our windows were open (finally, we could […]

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Pasta with Goat Cheese and Asparagus

04.09.2014
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Since I’ve started eating more seasonally, I’ve become more aware that certain foods have an incredibly short “season.”  Asparagus is the first one that comes to mind.  I have literally been buying bunches of asparagus weekly, knowing that the season is short-lived. I’ve enjoyed it roasted and sautéed, over toast and under poached eggs, on […]

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Broccoli Rice Bowl with Poached Egg

04.02.2014
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Prior to our departure for Tokyo, Japan, I was imagining all the delicious meals we would be eating.  I was ready for sushi roll after sushi roll, noodle bowls and lots of tea. While I was definitely accurate in these predictions, there were also a few surprises I was delighted to encounter: Coffee vs. Tea. […]

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Pappardelle Pasta with Artichokes and Olives

03.24.2014
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We all need quick dinner ideas ready to go in our back-pocket.  The ones that don’t require measuring cups or an entire afternoon spent in the kitchen and still taste great. When it comes to quick dinners, I typically resort to pasta.  All it requires is a pot of boiling water.  Mix it with just […]

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Mushroom Machego Lasagna for Two

03.19.2014
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I’m Italian.  I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement of my heritage to be able to make a good pan of lasagna. Yet, somehow, it’s the one dish that I haven’t even attempted, let alone mastered. A large pan of lasagna always seemed way too complicated to make for just my husband and I (while I […]

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Chocolate-Hazelnut Tart

03.12.2014
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You know those recipes that you save, hoping to make one day, but they’re never quite right for what you’re looking for in the moment? Yeah, this is one of those.  I saw it in a Food Network Magazine in March 2011 (that’s THREE years ago!), and have been saving it ever since!  Every time […]

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