Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Throwing caution to your social media

Angie was not what you might call a social butterfly, in fact most of her daily communication was with her customers as she cut and styled their hair on a daily basis. When it comes to using social networking she did not consider herself the kind of person who used her social network heavily. Other than Facebook and a few other social sites, Angie preferred to avoid using social media, unless she needed to contact one of her friends or family members. She was extremely concerned about the information that some users posted on these sites and promised herself that she would avoid following in their footsteps.

Some people use personality development activities to help them advance in their careers, yet some of these same activities have a tendency of causing a negative reaction to the ones using it. With personal growth activities, you can improve the way you feel about yourself, but if you choose to take it one step further and take part in personal identity activities, you might need to restrict the  way you implement some of those activities. When we use social media as part of our personal activities, we can allow ourselves to build a crutch that may be difficult to get rid of.

himalayan salt inhaler
One of the great things about social media is the fact that they are generally free to use. Membership is free, usage is free and you do all the free posting you want. Because of this, some people have found that this sort of forum posting atmosphere works wonders when it comes to promoting their business. With all this free posting comes the risk of “over posting” where people publish anything they can think of at the moment, including situations that have no right to be of any influence to their friends.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Old-Fashioned Sunday Dinner

This year, whenever I go to the farmer’s market, I plan to purchase something that I’ve never had, made or used before. Most (sane) people would probably head for the okra or patty pans – don’t worry, I’ll get to those this summer – but this past weekend I felt compelled to purchase a whole chicken.

Honestly, I have no idea why. I’ve never cooked a whole chicken in my life.

The farmer who I purchased it from seemed so passionate about his farm and the quality of his free-range, organic chickens, that the next thing you know I was caught up in his enthusiasm and walking away with a 3 lb. chicken.

After consulting some family members and with encouraging words from my blogger friends, I decided that I would roast the chicken and make a nice Sunday dinner for Joe and I. As it turns out, that dinner was well deserved after eight hours of yard work and a 13-mile run (Joe, not me).

On paper, roasting a chicken seemed way too easy and I was worried about the end result, but I threw caution to the wind and gave it a go.

First you need the bird. To spare my vegetarian friends, I didn’t take a picture of the uncooked chicken. Trust me, it didn’t look pretty.

From there, I stuffed the chicken with lemon, garlic, thyme and rosemary (look at that beautiful rosemary, it’s from my herb garden!)

Next step, buttah.

Generally, we don’t use butter in our house. But, I decided that an old-fashioned dinner deserved some old-fashioned butter. I only used about a tablespoon and put half, cut into chunks, inside the chicken and the other half rubbed under the skin.

Final step, rub all over with salt and pepper.

By the way I really like the Himalayan salt. You should read more about benefits of himalayan salt. It's so useful for our health. I bought two himalayan salt lamps, one for the bedroom and another one for the kitchen. But I digress. Let's back to our chicken.

After about 80-90 minutes in a 425 degree oven and a 10-minute rest on the counter, the chicken was cooked and ready to eat!

Dinner also included balsamic roasted potatoes, garlic sauteed swiss chard (also from the farmer’s market) and homemade chicken gravy.

Not the best photo, but I was really happy with how everything turned out.

I showed that chicken who’s boss!

I’m excited to see what the farmer’s market bring me next week? Have you ever been intimidated to cook something?

Getting My Vegan On

In my opinion, there is no better way to celebrate that fact that it’s Friday than with cupcakes. Double Chocolate Cupcakes to be exact!

In full disclosure, I’m not a huge cupcake fan. Honestly, I not a huge sweet fan, but I love baking and watching people enjoy what I’ve made (hmm, that might sound a little creepy.)

This was my first venture into vegan baking, so give the following recipe a go and let me know what you think.

Vegan Double Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cupcakes (yields 10 cupcakes)

    1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/4 – 1/2 cup cane sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1/3 cup carob powder
    1/2 cup oil
    1 cup water
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tbsp vinegar

Mix all ingredients together, portion into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Seriously, this is such a quick and easy recipe. I think it may even be faster than opening one of those box mixes!

For the icing I was planning to use almond butter, but then I found this:

(Insert Angels singing) We all know my dislike of nut butters and that fact that I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but this stuff is amazing! In fact, Peanut Butter & Co., you may have forever changed my outlook on peanut butter!

Peanut Butter Icing

    1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams (or other nut butter)
    2 tbsp butter alternative , softened ( I use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
    1 cup confectioners sugar
    2-5 tbsp soy milk (or almond, hemp, etc)

With a hand mixer, mix together peanut butter and butter until creamy. Keep mixing and slowly add confectioners sugar. Add soy milk until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.

Oh yes, there is nothing wrong about that!

Once the cupcakes are cool, feel free to frost and enjoy!

Please ignore the Christmas plate, I didn’t realize the theme until I had already put all of the cupcakes on it (Dawn, please ignore that this is a plate I borrowed from you at Christmas two years ago).

Now go ahead, enjoy a cupcake and savor the fact that the weekend is only a few hours away!