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Chocolate Covered Banana Pops

11 Jun

Posted by: Katie

Now that it’s summer and super hot I have had a constant supply of popsicles in my freezer. In anticipation of one of my favorite people coming home from Taiwan, I made sure to make one her favorite treats, chocolate covered banana pops!

The supplies:

Supplies (without the parchment paper)

A big bunch of bananas,

wooden skewer sticks

semi sweet chocolate chips

a make shift double broiler

parchment & wax paper

I peeled the naners, cut them in half and put skewer sticks through them.

Ready to dunk

I do not have a double broiler right now so I macguivered one with a small pot and loaf pan. Careful trying this at home folks, but it has worked perfectly for me. I put water in the pot and brought it to a slow boil and put the bag of semi sweet chocolates in the loaf pan. It slowly melted and I used a spatula to mix it up until it was completely smooth. Then I dunked the bananas on skewers and spread the chocolate around the banana with the spatula.

Makeshift double broiler

Dunk & Twirl

I placed the chocolate covered bananas on the parchment paper and wrapped them up in saran wrap to stick in the freezer.

When you take them out of the freezer you get a chilly and tasty treat!

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Friday, I’m in LOVE…

6 Apr

…with Best Friends Forever
This show’s pilot just aired Wednesday night on NBC (7:30p Central). It’s so hilarious; please set it to record on your DVR, you won’t regret it.  *Liz*

…with Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter
Holy heaven in a jar.  It’s like eating a giant tub of mashed up Reese’s cups, but it’s actually not incredibly unhealthy for you.  It contains no cholesterol, no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, and no high-fructose corn syrup. It is also gluten-free.  Yum. *Liz*

Available at Whole Foods, Fry's, and Safeway

…with Mom-made Easter Eggs
My mom is super artistic and creative, and a couple of years ago she painted a bunch of wooden Easter eggs.  She gave a set to Colby and me; a girl one and a boy one haha. I pulled them out to put on my bookshelf at least two weeks ago and they make me smile every time I see them. *Katie*

Friday, I’m in LOVE…

2 Mar

…with Lemon Plums
My new favorite fruit.  These were displayed at the front of the grocery store last weekend and the produce grocer recommended I try them.  They are sweeter than a regular plum and really delicious on a warm day! *Liz*

…with Running On Happiness
A new favorite blog!  I found her via Pinterest; she has such great (and inexpensive!) style and takes great photos.  Anyway, check out her blog here! *Liz*

Running On Happiness Logo

…with Whiska’s latest commercial
It reminds me of Dave and Cookie Monster every time I see it! *Liz*

 

…with Butter nail polishes
These pretty polishes are a bit pricey at $14 a bottle but they have really nice coverage and I only need one coat. Today I am wearing Yummy Mummy on my hands and MacBeth on my feet. *Katie*

Friday, I’m in LOVE…

17 Feb

…with Pasadena, CA
Last weekend I visited Pasadena. It is such a charming place and I took some pictures of some of the things that made me smile. *Katie*

City Hall, Cherry Blossom Trees, Succulent Wreath & Rose Bowl Swap Meet

…with Awards Shows
The Grammys are always one of my favorites. This year’s show was great and even though I didn’t get to catch the whole thing because I forgot to record the first part I had some high and low lights. Highlights: Adele rocked it. She had an amazing performance after recovering from all of her throat problems and really won my heart with her humble and excited acceptance speech. Katy Perry took her cue from Adele and used her breakup with Russell Brand to perform a great new angry song. Lowlights: Nicki Minaj. From her red carpet arrival with the “pope” to her creepy exorcism performance I wasn’t feeling any of it.  *Katie*

uh uh

…with Valentine’s Day
I have always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day, probably mostly because it is my brother’s birthday, and I always had so much fun giving and receiving silly Valentines in school. This year was extra special because it was Arizona’s 100th birthday and of course, I got to celebrate with my Valentine. *Katie*

…with Häagen-Dazs Sorbet
This stuff is amazing.  I did my grocery shopping this week with every intention of not buying cookies or cake, but we all know I can’t go a day without something sweet so I settled for this sorbet.  I bought the Raspberry, Strawberry, and Blackberry Cabernet flavors; all are so delicious and sweet, and they’re all natural with ZERO fat calories.  They also come in Orchard Peach, Zesty Lemon, Mango, and Chocolate.  I’ll be going back for more this weekend. *Liz*

…with DVR Catch-Up!
South America was AMAZING (I’ll post all about it next week)!  However, our DVR is so backed up all I’ve been doing after work this week  is parking myself on the couch in my little nest of a couch-bed and watching as many shows as I can.  Also, Cookie Monster couldn’t be more excited we are home. *Liz*

Tea Time

8 Feb

Posted By: Katie

In my opinion, tea time is one of the best times. At the end of the day or on a chilly afternoon it is one of the best ways to relax, reflect, and unwind.

Tea time at Mohonk

Black tea with a little milk

I am always on the lookout for my next favorite tea and certain brands have really stood out. I was first introduced to Harney & Sons teas on a cruise that served their Chamomile flavor and I was hooked. I ordered a couple of boxes when I got home and when I had a Royal Wedding viewing party I looked to them for a couple of teas to add to the beverage options. They did not disappoint with flavors called Earl Grey Imperial, Tower of London Blend, and even Royal Wedding Tea.

And look how pretty their tins are!

I have also found that I really like tea with hibiscus flowers in it. One great tea with hibiscus is Starbucks Passion tea. You can get this at Starbucks or buy the tea packets for home.

Hibiscus teas

Teavana is a great place to go for really unique and delicious teas and blends. Their accessories are very expensive though. I got a cast iron tea pot that is just as pretty and functional as any pot from Cost Plus World Market  for $15 as opposed to $150. I also got a cast iron teapot warmer (you place a tea light in the middle to keep your teapot warm) there for $10.

Their blooming teas are fun to try

Cast iron teapot and warmer

If you’re into trying new, girly things, a fun activity to do with either girlfriends or your grandmother/mom/aunt is to go to high tea at a local resort. If you live near a Ritz Carlton, check it out and make a reservation for tea and an assortment of treats or finger sandwiches.

Also, if you go to London make a reservation for tea at the Georgian in Harrods. I made sure to go to an afternoon tea there when I was living in London for the summer after college. It was so much fun! Before we went to the Victoria and Albert museum, and afterwards we explored Harrods and tried on fascinators!

Tea at Harrods

Favorites from the Weekend!

9 Jan

Skiing!
We did it! Dave and I taught ourselves how to ski!  Granted, we read tutorials online and watched some YouTube videos, and received advice from friends and family. But we got out there and let our instincts take over.  I’ll post more details later this week! *Liz*

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I read the books so I was excited to see this movie.  It was very similar to the Swedish version and I really enjoyed it.  If you’ve read the book you know about Lisbeth’s story and what to expect, but if you haven’t just be prepared for a few gruesome scenes. Also, Dave has a massive man-crush on Daniel Craig.  He didn’t disappoint. *Liz*

Culinary Creations!
This weekend we made beer chicken for dinner one night with sauteed cucumbers and onions (I didn’t know you could saute cucumbers!) and garlic and rosemary potatoes. We also made homemade potato chips another day! We used a cheese slicer and also sliced them by hand as thin as possible and put them in a frying pan with coconut oil in it and waited until they were crispy and golden brown on the edges. Then put them on a paper towel and sprinkled them with ground sea salt. Fun in the kitchen 🙂 *Katie*

Hiking Camelback
This weekend was the perfect weather for hiking so on Sunday afternoon we went on a hike up Camelback on the Cholla Lane side because we had only done Echo Canyon before. *Katie*

O.N.E. Coconut Water
Coconut water is super hydrating and has natural electrolytes. I get dehydrated a lot so I have tried it a couple times hoping to love it and get quenched (ha) but most of the time I find it a little bit hard to drink. I tried this brand this weekend when I saw it at Sprouts. The first one I tried was the guava flavored one, and I liked it so much we went back and got the pinapple and regular flavors. I like it better than the other brands I have tried but I definitely prefer the guava flavor to the unflavored version. *Katie*

Pho a Delicious Meal, Try Vietnamese!

5 Jan

Posted by: Katie

Pho is one of my favorite things to eat ever! It is basically Vietnamese chicken noodle soup ( I get pho ga, chicken pho, but the most common pho is with beef) and whenever it is rainy here (which actually isn’t that often, but still, whenever it is) I feel like pho for dinner. It’s only been a couple of years since I first had pho and realized how amazing it was but since then I have become a bit of a wanna-be connoisseur. I have been to, I think, every pho place in Phoenix.

I strongly believe that the best pho comes from the shadiest of places. The sketchier the better. This might be confusing to the people who know me best and my food paranoias ( I will not keep milk out long enough for it to touch the counter or I think it has gone bad) but pho, oops for, some reason I don’t have that kind of mental block when it comes to Vietnamese food.

I also like that you can get creative with the name, ex. “Pho serious?”.

Favorite Pho in Phoenix and around the Valley

The authentic and mildly sketchy locations:

  • Da Vang on 19th Avenue, south of Camelback is generally fantastic
  • Pho Thanh on 17th Avenue and Camelback is my favorite of the moment.

We went to dinner there a couple nights ago and I took these pictures:

Feast! Colby's beef pho & my chicken pho with basil, bean sprouts, cilantro, jalapenos and lemons on the side

Spring Rolls

My favorite pho condiment is Hoisin sauce, but a lot of people love Sriracha

Delicious pho!

  • Maxim on 19th Avenue & Osborn has great pho but it’s location is the scariest to me so I go there the least.
  • Pho Avina in Glendale on Thunderbird and 49th Avenue is great and they also serve boba tea.

The nice places:

  • Cyclo in Chandler really breaks my rule on the shadiest places having the best pho. This place has awesome authentic pho, a nice atmosphere and a very friendly owner. It is a great place to take people to try pho for the first time because it is an all around wonderful experience.
  • For a huge variety of spring rolls I like Rice Paper, a cute, trendy restaurant on 7th St between Thomas & McDowell. They tend to run out of pho quickly so I only have tried it once, but the spring rolls were more interesting.
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