Greek Kale Salad

One of my dear friends from college came all the way from Boston to shoot engagement photos of my fiancé and me. She brought her dashing boyfriend with her, and they are the dream team of photographers.

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Katie used my camera to take photos, while he used hers, and I finally have the itch to really understand this camera. It’s intimidating. It’s big and it has a lot of buttons and features and words that I have no idea what they mean. However, it takes a mean and beautiful photo, so I am excited to give it a try.

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I’ve dabbled with auto focus and have had success, but the time has come for me to graduate to manual. I can do this. I can do this. Katie is an unbelievable inspiration with her photography, between taking photos of landscapes, people, and food. She also makes a mean mojito.

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So, with my inspiration shining bright, I decided to plunge back into blogging. I cooked for the fiancé, wrote down the recipe, and snapped a few pictures. I’m quite proud of myself, actually. Goal: two posts a week. What do ya say?

This greek kale salad is pretty amazing. If you’ve never massaged kale, you’ve clearly never lived. Raw kale is crunchy and tough and predominantly unappetizing. However, massaged kale is soft, tasty, and full of whatever flavor you rub into it. Add it to some tangy feta, salty kalamata olives, and juicy edamame, and you have a summer salad at its finest.

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Greek Kale Salad
Adapted slightly from Jeanette’s Healthy Living

4 stems of kale, leaves ripped off and washed
1/8 tsp garlic pepper
1/8 tsp lemon pepper
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/3 c kalamata olives, rinsed and sliced into thirds
1/3 c crumbled feta
1/4 c olives oil
1/4 c raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. In a medium sized bowl, massage 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic pepper, and lemon pepper into kale leaves until leaves turn dark and softer.
2. Add zucchini, kalamata olives, and feta to the bowl of massaged kale.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 c apple cider vinegar, thyme, and oregano. Pour over kale salad and top with fresh parsley.

 

Funfetti Cupcakes for Three

Hello.

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I am ashamed to even be typing on this blog right now because, well, I have abandoned it. And you. But for good reason. So, the last time I posted on here, well, it was January. And now it’s May {and actually the last time I worked on this post, it was April}.

A lot has changed in the last 4 months. I got into the dietetic internship which, for those of you who don’t know, is like THE most competitive and incredible thing to get into. It’s also required in order to become a registered dietitian. And I did it. All of those hours of studying, volunteering, interviews, networking, and working in kitchens finally paid off.

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Well, I also got engaged. Hah! I feel weird just spitting that out there so nonchalantly. But it happened last month and I couldn’t be more excited.

In other exciting news, over the last few months, my fiancé got into grad school, two of my closest friends and my fiancé had birthdays, and… I graduate. TODAY. These cupcakes were actually for his birthday but they are essentially a symbol of all things celebratory in 2015. They are so delicious and moist and fresh with the perfect combination of vanilla and sprinkles. And they make the perfect amount — 1 for me, 1 for the finance, and 1 for the last two CRAZY years of my life that are now OVER and complete with a Master of Science in Nutrition. I will probably post more on that later but for now, cupcakes.

Funfetti Cupcakes for Three
Cupcakes from Sprinkle Bakes; frosting adapted from this recipe 

Cupcakes:
1 large egg
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp confetti sprinkles + some

Frosting:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put three cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, sugar, and vanilla with a whisk. Whisk in the oil.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until just combined. Then, add the milk.
4. Fold in the 2 tbsp of sprinkles and divide the batter into the three cupcake liners, filling them no more than 3/4 of the way full.
5. Bake for 2min at 350°F, then turn down to 325°F. Bake for 10-12 more minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Allow cupcakes to cool on a rack. While cooling, make the frosting.
7. Mix all frosting ingredients in a mixer on medium speed until thick and combined.
8. Frost cupcakes.

2014 Recap

It’s a little late to be doing a 2014 recap, isn’t it.. Whoops. Well, it’s still January so we can just roll with it.

So in 2014, I had 15,000 page views, 254 of which were on January 14th. This was the busiest day of the year for Skinny Muffin. Also, apparently I predominantly post on Mondays. And here are my top-viewed posts in 2014:

Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt

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Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

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Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

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Funfetti Cookies

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Roasted Vegetable Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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So, what about the rest of my life? Well, in non-blog world, a lot happened in 2014:

Found Cake Batter Chapstick in January.

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Made a minion cake for J’s birthday in February.

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Reveled in a lot of snow in March.

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Started Tone It Up in April.

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J graduated from college with his Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry  in May.

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Started a job as a cook in a kitchen in May.

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Got a kitten, Caribou, in June. He is my child and I love him more than I knew possible.

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Traveled to Boston spontaneously with J  in June.

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Visited this pretty lady in Atlanta in July.

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And I started volunteering at the hospital in August.

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Saw Dirty Dancing with my mom in the theatre in September.

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Finished my 365 Photo a Day challenge in September.

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Celebrated my 2 year anniversary with this fine guy in October.

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Went to my first Chicken and Waffles place in November.

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Became a Starbucks Gold Card member in December.

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I am excited for what 2015 will bring. Thank you so much for believing in Skinny Muffin and following my blog throughout the years.

 

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tortilla Casserole

Things are happening. Big things.

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I am officially in love with my new camera. Like, seriously in love. I have no idea how to use it – probably won’t until this summer – but it’s fun. The pictures are crystal clear and the little manual zoom lens, obsessed.

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Also in love with spin class. Back in high school, I went to spin class all the time {2-3 times a week}, sometimes even at 5:30am. Talk about dedication. And Friday I got really randomly motivated to workout. With Tone It Up, we count mileage, and I realized I was running a little behind, so I spontaneously decided to go to RPM Express at 6pm on Friday night. I also convinced my friend to come, and I think we are going to make it a tradition! It was the best spin class I’ve gone to in a while.

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And I’m cooking. If you’ve followed my blog for longer than a few months, you know that I used to blog. A lot. Like four, five, six times a week. I really don’t know where I found the time. BUT I have started back. And I am hoping to keep it up. Also, I am bringing Dietetic Dish back. Yay!

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PS: I REALLY need to stop posting her recipes but THEY’RE SO GOOD. Next recipe will be more original, okay? Cool.

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Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tortilla Casserole
Adapted slightly from Oh She Glows

1 sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, and cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can enchilada sauce
1 c lettuce or spinach
8 small corn tortillas
1/4 c cheddar cheese
Cilantro for garnish

1. Place sweet potato cubes in a pot with just enough water to cover the sweet potato. Bring to a boil, then boil 7-8 minutes.
2. Saute onion and garlic until translucent over medium heat, about 8-10 minutes. Add the bell pepper, black beans, lettuce, and 1/4 c enchilada sauce. Cook until lettuce has wilted slightly and bell peppers are softened. Add the sweet potatoes.
3. Spoon a little of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the an 8×10 pan. Lay 4 of the tortillas on the bottom of the pan, then top with half of the black bean mixture.
4. Add the other 4 tortillas, then top with the remainder of the black bean mixture, more enchilada sauce, and the cheese.
5. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Top with cilantro when serving.

Balsamic Pear, Avocado, and Portobello Salad

So I have been gluten-free for two weeks today. And dairy-free for… 10ish days. I really wanted some shrimp scampi from Costco, so I decided to see how dairy went. Plus, a lot of chocolate has dairy in it and this girl needs chocolate.

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This is my first gluten-free, dairy-free post, despite my dietary change for the past two weeks. If you want to see what my current speculation is on my stomach problems, you can read that at the end. For now, the best salad ever.  Continue reading