Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Monday!

Wow! Today is my first "real" Monday since August!! It's my first day of my new job! I am extremely excited to start! I'll be working as a Teacher Assistant at a Christian School just down the street from our home. I'll still have plenty of time to reach my goals with Wildtree, but I'll be able to get out at meet more people here in our new town. 

I know I disappeared this weekend.....I am actually a horrible weekend blogger. I tend to keep myself super busy. My weekend eats weren't anything to brag about either...They consisted of several strawberry smoothies, eggs and G-Free pancakes....



I also took on some rainy day runs........

Don't you love that Safety Yellow rain jacket?? I look like a stuffed sausage in it......blah!!


There was also plenty of cuddles to go around. We also spent tons of time at the soccer field kick the ball around. I can't believe how hard soccer is on my body! 


This morning I started my day off Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats, topped with a dollop of strawberry greek yogurt and some HUGE strawberries! 



On a side note, I think I am going to sign up the Two-Bear trail Half Marathon. It's not until September 11th so I'll have plenty of time to train for it and it's up in Whitefish near Glacier National Park so we can make a mini trip of it. I'm a tad nervous about it.......like when I read the website I get super nervous (you know what kind of nervous......)! 


Well, have a great Monday! I'm off to enjoy my first day of work!! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Whole Wheat Shortbread Cookies


Good Friday Morning!! Can you believe it's already Friday?? Only 3 more days till I start my new job, and I am super excited for it!! Yesterday I was getting the itchin' to bake something, but I am out of bread flour, white flour and Xanthan Gum! All I have is Whole Wheat flour, so I looked around for a recipe. I found this Whole Wheat Shortbread  recipe from The Seattle Time from 2003!! I made a few changes, by adding a bit more sugar and adding vanilla, and I also sprinkled them sugar before baking them. 


Whole Wheat Shortbread
 adapted from The Seattle Times 
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup 
Turbinado sugar or "Sugar in the Raw"
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted imported or "European-style" butter
1 Teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with baker's parchment.

2. Put the whole-wheat flour, the raw sugar and the salt in the work bowl of a food processor and process briefly 
just to blend. If you don't own a food processor, stir the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

3. Cut the butter into half-inch bits and add them to the flour mixture. Process, pulsing the motor on and off until 
the mixture comes together to form a crumbly dough. If you're working without a food processor, use a pastry 
cutter or your fingers to press the butter into the flour. Shape the dough into two logs, each about 6 inches long, 
and slice the logs into half-inch slices or roll out and dough and use cookie cutters.

4. Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before storing in airtight containers. 
The cookies keep for up to one week, but are best eaten a day or two after they are baked. 





They turned out pretty good, I am glad I used 1 cup of sugar rather then just 1/2 a cup,
 they were just sweet enough. Today it's raining and chilly in Montana, so I after my workout I
might take myself out to a movie!  We don't really have any weekend plans, do you??

Thursday, May 19, 2011

BBQ Chicken and Slaw

Good Morning my dear blog friends and family! I know that I have disappeared off the internet for a few days. I haven't done much commenting on your blogs, and I haven't done much posting on mine. You know those times where you slip into a bit of a slump, well I'm in a little slump. I relate it directly to missing my family and friends back in Virginia (hi guys!). I feel much better today, and I really can not wait to start my new job on Monday!

Last night after Justin got out of work we headed over to the University's soccer field to kick the ball around for a while. Let just say that I hurt everywhere today. From all the sprinting, kicking and falling (yes falling) I forgot just how much soccer can kick your butt. Literally all the tendons in my feet hurt and my groin muscle. Last night I learned that I actually kick alot better with my left foot, and all along I have been using my right. I also play pool better as a lefty and when I snowboard I have a goofy foot. When bike riding I also use my left as a brace, when I clip out at a light I can only do my left foot.

After a fun time of playing soccer and of course me giving up and begging to leave, we came and made a pretty quick and easy meal. The night before I had roasted an entire chicken (which lasted 2 dinners and 2 of Justin's lunches....cheap!!), I actually wrote an entire post about it yesterday, but due to my avoiding tendencies I didn't post it. I had Justin strip the chicken for shredded meat, while i made biscuits and slaw.



I used this recipe for biscuits from The Runny Egg, only I used Wildtree's Creamy Ranch. I made them a little small, but they were awesome! Fluffy on the inside and flaky on the outside.

I also used a Dash Recipe for the coleslaw, although I made a few changes which I noted.


CRUNCHY SUMMER SLAW

Liven up your summer barbecues with this fresh, simple side.
INGREDIENTS:
½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
½ head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded ***I didn't use carrot, instead I used a red onion
¼ cup plain yogurt ***I used non-fat Greek yogurt 
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine vegetables in a large bowl.

2. Combine yogurt, mayo, and mustard in a small bowl. Toss with cabbage. Chill ½ hour. Add salt and pepper.


For the BBQ chicken I used a new product from our new Spring 2011 line, the Cactus Pete's Agave BBQ Sauce. 


Dinner was ready in about 30 minutes and we sat down in just enough time to catch Modern Family, even though my mom had already talked me through the entire episode it was hilarious! Dinner was spectacular and made me feel like we were in the South again. 

Between now and Monday I only have four days left of my 3 month vacation. So I want to get super organized around the house and do some deep cleaning, plus I need to get in some exercise and self love time...more on that latter! 


By the way...how do you like my new blog design??? Check out Jenn at Munchkin Land Designs, she did a fabulous job and did it in a timely manner too!! If you are in the need for a makeover I really recommend her!




Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekend Disappearing Act

Good Morning All!! I know I pulled yet another weekend disappearing act, but we kept so busy! After my great experience at Lewis and Clark on Saturday we headed back there on Sunday on Monday as well!

 When we went on Sunday I decided to hike with Ridley instead of mountain biking with Justin. We hiked almost 6 miles, alone...without bear spray, sorry mom! 

Ridley and I really enjoyed our hike, he even met his first cactus.



The Wildflowers were starting to grow like crazy...it's absolutely wonderful! 






I did pack my pocket knife, you know to save myself in the event of a bear or mountain lion attack. 



The views were amazing, the weather was perfect and the sun was shinning bright! Montana is finally feeling spring like with a wonderful mountain breeze. 



There were tons of families camping, but Ridley and I came across zero other hikers and only came across Justin once the entire time. Being alone really allows your imagination to go wild. 


There was a few times I thought I heard a bear, although I'm not exactly sure what sound a bear would make, I still thought I heard one. I still have huge strides to make to become a real Montana girl. 







On Monday Justin and I went back and we both mountain biked the trails, and I had a mild breakdown with the loss of my fitness and weight gain. However, after our ride.......I ate my worries away...



Today I will be preparing my very first full chicken all by myself.....wish me luck!!! :)

Also, after 3 months of looking I finally found a job! I'll be working as a teacher aide at a preschool down the street from our house! I'm so excited!! I'll still have plenty of time to grow Wildtree and reach all my goals! I'll be starting sometime next week. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Recipe and New Trails

I can't believe it's already Saturday evening! Our weekend is finally beginning....who am I fooling, everyday is a weekend for me! 

This morning Justin headed out for work, and I headed to Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park to hit some (new to me) mountain bike trails. It's a bout a 45 minute drive out of Bozeman, and there was completely different weather! Here in Bozeman today it's chilly with wild 50 mph winds, in the park it was warm, sunny and humid. The trails were lush, fluid and had some good climbs. The park was already blooming wild flowers and was bustling with campers. I think we might be taking a family trip there tomorrow or Monday. 

Views of the Jefferson River from Lewis and Clark Caverns

(source)



Tonight our dinner was a recipe from Dash Recipes



Justin found a Dash Recipes insert (it's part of Parade Magazine) in the newspaper at work and really liked the looks of all the food in it, so obviously he challenged me to make some. For this evenings fare I went with the Hearty Italian Couscous (which is the food so nice they named it twice). 




HEARTY ITALIAN COUSCOUS
Turn a favorite side dish into a main course
INGREDIENTS:
1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausages 
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided **I used Grapeseed Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced **I used green
2 garlic cloves, minced **I used Wildtree's Roasted Garlic Grapseed Oil 
1 cup plain couscous
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons ** I used Cilantro 

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat broiler to high. Broil sausages until cooked, about 10 minutes, turning once. Slice on diagonal, ½ inch thick. 

2. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, pepper, and garlic; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1¼ cups water; bring to a simmer, then stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 7 minutes. 

3. Fluff with a fork. Transfer with sausage to a bowl; toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, and basil. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. 


The turkey sausages were amazing...well, everything was amazing! I'll have a few more recipes coming from Dash Recipes soon!

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, wither it be shopping, gardening, decorating, painting or mountain biking! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons......

Good Friday the 13th to you all!! I hope you have been spared from any Friday the 13th harshness! At least it's Friday right??!!

Well, sadly Blogger was down yesterday and half of today! I felt like a lost puppy without it. I did however let my husband eat his dinner in peace rather then with the camera! 

It has been so warm here in Bozeman, and I am LOVING it! Early this morning Ridley and I hiked a (new to us) trail called the Drinking Horse Trail. It's only 2.2 miles long but it goes straight up for 700 feet for the first half, which is great butt workout. Once we got to the top I really noticed how everything is turning so green here and the views were lovely! By the time we were done I was super sweaty and so glad I brought my camelbak! 

Today I want share a fun recipe I made this week! Since the warmer weather has moved in I have been craving summertime sweets!


Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes!!


I adapted Ina Garten's Lemon Cake Recipe


  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups raw cane sugar sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups King Aurthur Cake Flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare cupcake tins
2. Cream the butter and 2 cups raw cane sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly in the cupcake tins. 
4. Combine 1/2 cup raw cane sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup. When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.



For the frosting I combined one stick of  unsalted butter, 1 8 oz cream cheese and 4 cups of powdered sugar plus 10 chopped strawberries. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 


I also candied lemons following these directions, except after 24 hours of drying I wasn't in love with results, so I also baked them at 200 degrees for one hour. 



These cupcakes are delicious! They also fare better in the freezer or fridge since the frosting is thinner from the strawberries. That can be remedied by more sugar, but I thought it was sweet enough as it is. 


This weekend I have plans to hit the Lewis and Clark trails on my mountain bike, they are located just out of town! Our warm weather isn't sticking around for good, but I plan on enjoying it while it's here!

I hope everyones Friday is awesome! 

** I opened up a Virtual Party for Wildtree, if you are interested in ordering click this link!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sweet Pineapple Chicken Salad

Good Afternoon! So all my plans for the have changed! As I was heading out the door to see the Special Olympics Ridley gave me a terribly sad look that tugged my heart strings. So instead we booth headed out for a hike and to swing by the library. Our library is the ending point for a trail that runs all through town, so disobedient Ridley and I hiked it for a while before I stopped into the library. The area around the library so so awesome, there are sculptures from local artists all over the place. Luckily I packed my camera......

But first....my lunch!!! I make a chicken salad with Wildtree's new Savory and Sweet Pineapple Sauce, greek yogurt, Tzatziki Seasoning, cilantro, green onions and chicken! 


I also included romaine, cukes and carrots! I love carrots, sometimes I forget that. 



And of course, a piece of last nights corn bread (or 2) for the side.......delicious!! I was really happy until Justin texted me a picture of a piece of carrot cake......plain 'ol carrots who??? Now I need to make a carrot cake. 


Today really is an awesome improvement on our spring. The trails were busy, people were picnicking and the cool mountain breeze was just lovely! 


Ridley started out unleashed, but his behavior was out of control and ended up back on the leash. 


A 5k??? Maybe? Especially if I can wear an afro wig.






All the trail intersections are labeled, which is super nice for those of us who are new to town. 



Everything is really starting to turn green here! It makes me so excited! 

Gorgeous scenery!


Now, onto the library artwork.......



This bench is a sun sit bench. It soaks up the sun and stays really warm.....I wanted to try and catch a tan, but Ridley doesn't like sitting around.





Someone left their children on the benches so long they turned to stone....









So cool........













My plans to ride with Justin this evening were foiled as well, he has to run the Women's Bicycle Clinic at work tonight till 8......so I'll be heading out soon......! 

Bye! 

Also, I added a goals page! Check it out! 

Munchkin Land Designs Image from iStock

Welcome!

My name is Chelsea and I am 25 (nearly 26 year old) housewife/Wildtree Independent Direct Sales Rep. This blog follows my hubby and I as we set up a new home in Bozeman, MT where we don't know a soul, healthy living, exercise, food (usually Wildtree) and life with the worlds most stubborn chocolate lab. I love sweets and veggies and I am constantly learning how to balance the two!

Our Son Ridley

Our Son Ridley

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I am a direct sales rep for a fabulous company called Wildtree! Wildtree sells a natural food products as wells as grapeseed oils. Every Wildtree product is natural, containing no additives, MSG or food dyes. For more information please email me cjraynes (at) gmail.com!

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