Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ugh. Okay. Okay. I caved. I started out with the gluten free Krispy Pumpkins this morning but when I found the cutest marshmallows EVER, I just had to put them to use.

These sweet and simple BOO-Cakes will be attending ToddlerBaby's Halloween Party this afternoon as well.

I make no guarantees that the red velvet cake and icing will not cause a bit of a disaster, but hey, Halloween is all about the guts and gore, right?

Happy Halloween Yummies!
1 box of red velvet cake mix
3 large eggs
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of water
1 jar of chocolate icing
1 bag of BOO Marshmallows

  1. Prepare the cake mix as directed in a large mixing bowl
  2. Bake as cupcakes at 350 for 18 minutes
  3. Let the cupcakes cool
  4. Use a cake decorator with a flower tip to ice the cakes
  5. Top with one white ghost marshmallow

Too cute to BOO-t!

Happy Halloween Yummies! We're so excited to celebrate all the ghoulish goodness that comes with this holiday. However, there's a lot to be done before the trick-or-treating begins. ToddlerBaby has his Halloween party at school today and I have been tasked with cooking cupcakes for his classroom.

The thought of eight toddlers with icing was the scariest thing we could imagine on Halloween. Therefore I took the snacks a different, less terrifying, direction.

Below is a traditional Rice Krispies treat recipe with a few festive changes.


3 tbsp butter
1 bag of regular sized marshmallows
6 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal
Red and Yellow food coloring drops
Mint M&Ms

  1. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a large saucepan
  2. Add 10 drops of the yellow food coring drops and 5 drops of red
  3. Add the Rice Krispies cereal and stir together
  4. Remove a handful of mix at a time and form it into a ball
  5. Add the green mint M&M to the top 

And there you have it! Your very own Rice Krispies pumpkins. Perfect for toddlers, kiddos and mommas who want a mess-free Halloween party.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's that time of year. A time when we reflect on our accomplishments and our failures. Where did the last 11 months get us? 2013 is coming to an end. Did we do everything we wanted to? Did we check any items off the bucket list? Will this year's resolutions roll over into next year's list?

So often we focus on the unattainable. We challenge ourselves with lofty goals that, in reality, set us up to fail. Time, work, family, friends,  and so many other factors become obstacles to life goals on the daily. Who has time to learn a second language when we spend eight hours a day as an employee, three hours a day as a parent and another two hours just preparing to repeat it all again tomorrow?

We learned about the blog A Beautiful Mess from the beautiful, talented Maddie Richardson at Maddie Richardson Designs. Both blogs are participating in the 4 Simple Goals Challenge. Make improvement attainable by setting 4 Simple Goals for yourself that you know you can work on every day.

So here goes…

As a person.
1::: Pay It Forward
So many times I get caught up in what I need and what I want that I forget to appreciate what I have. There's no better way to appreciate your gifts than to share them with others. Spreading the love is so important and I want to focus on showing my support for the hard work of others every day whether that's through liking a new blog, listening to a new song, reading a new book. Encourage creativity.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend
2::: Make it personal
I can't tell you how much I miss hearing the voices of those I love. Social media has given us many wonderful things but I miss the vulnerability that came with hearing someone's voice on the other end of the phone. Texting, Tweeting, Facebooking, heck - Blogging! It's all encased in a laptop and punching keys doesn't offer the same investment of time and love that actually talking to someone gives us. Make a personal connection every day.

As a professional
3::: One day at a time
Little victories count too. Enjoy them. They will eventually add up to something more. Take one step towards success every day. Do something that you can say put the train on the tracks in the right direction.

As a woman
4::: Learn to love your body
Women are so hard on their bodies. Bigger boobs. Thinner thighs. Straighter hair. Longer legs. We beat ourselves up trying to fit into someone else's definition of beautiful. Be healthy. Be happy. Love your body for what it is. We are amazing beings capable of so much. Nourish your body with what ever exercise you can and a healthy food every day.

I promise to keep these 4 Simple Goals in mind for the remainder of this year and hopefully continue to practice them in the New Year as well. Just writing them down has given me a newfound sense of hope.  Thank you to two beautiful blogs and three beautiful women for sharing this project. I hope others will join in.

As someone who suffered from an eating disorder in her teens I am increasingly concerned with the latest "fat letter" trend. First, California schools take it upon themselves to send notes home with students whose BMI indicates they are obese. When faced with public criticism of this act the school district Super Intendant claimed they were acting in the child's best interest and aiming to trouble shoot potential health risks in the future. Fair enough. But isn't there a better way to address the issue other than branding students with a scarlet "fat letter."

At least the school district had the medical backing of a nutritionist and dietician. Now, a woman from Fargo, ND has taken it upon herself to hand out "fat letters" to children on Halloween whom she feels do not need candy because they are "moderately obese."

This woman has no medical background. No social work background. She's going off of what she sees with her naked, untrained, judgmental eye when she answers her door tomorrow night. How shattering is that to the child who, instead of a candy bar, gets a piece of paper? In front of their friends and the whole neighborhood!

I suffered from anorexia and bulimia. The primary reason for my eating disorder was a lack of confidence. I never thought I was good enough, and for some reason "good" to me meant "thin." I thought I'd be more attractive, more popular, a better athlete, a better dancer and my future would be brighter if I was skinny.

And I didn't have people telling me I was fat all the time.

Imagine if I had!

I had people telling me I was perfect the way I was. I didn't need to lose weight. I was already too skinny. But I didn't listen. I still didn't think I was good enough. It wasn't until I dropped down to 93 pounds as a Junior in high school and had to see a doctor for a torn esophagus that I realized I wasn't doing myself or my future any favors. It was time to get healthy.

I feel awful for these kids. Kids! So much younger than I was when I went through my own problems.

Society needs to back off.

Yes. This country has an obesity problem. Yes. Children are overweight. Guess what? Children are also underweight. Children are also insecure. Children are also dealing with baggage that their school systems and neighbors know absolutely nothing about. Do we honestly think overweight kids don't know they are overweight? Do we really need to formalize the announcement and make it official for them? What do we expect this to result in psychologically?

I'm getting angry. This is a form of bullying at its worst. It's grown adults picking on children to make themselves feel better. They think they are doing something noble. They think they are "saving" these kids from a future of diabetes, heart disease and a thousand other weight-related health issues. But they're not. They're just not! They're leading these kids down a path of self-hatred, insecurity and depression.

If there's a problem with my child's weight I want to hear about it from their doctor. Not their teacher. Not our neighbors. If my son's health is at risk I want to know from a certified, medical professional. And that's the only person allowed to comment. Everyone else can shove their "fat letters" where the sun doesn't shine.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween is this week, and if your family is anything like ours you're spending many an evening in front of the TV watching a scary movie. While monsters growl, zombies crawl and ghosts spook, we munch on Bloody Halloween popcorn. Looks scary, tastes spicy and offers your taste buds that extra BOOst of flavor.

Have a deliciously scary Halloween movie night Yummies.

1 bag of microwave popcorn
1 tsp hot sauce (we use Cholula)

  1. Let the popcorn cook and add it to a large bowl
  2. Pour the hot sauce over the popped popcorn and and toss until coated throughout the bowl

They did the mash. They did the Munchster Mash!…Okay, just had to get that out of our system.
No more, we promise.

This morning was Yumology's television debut! We were thrilled to be working with the lovely people at KWCH Channel 12 in Wichita, KS.

Brian, Kara and the entire Morning Show crew were absolutely delicious and we hope we can join them again soon.

Here we go Yummies. Lights. Camera. Action!

Grape, White Cheddar and Arugula Salad

1 bag of arugula
1 cup of halved, seedless grapes
1/2 cup of diced white cheddar pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  1. Mix all of the ingredients into your salad bowl
  2. Top with oil and vinegar
  3. Toss until well coated

Pear, Gorgonzola and Honey Peanut Salad

1 bag of spring mix salad
1/2 Bosc pear thinly sliced
1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
2 tbsp honey roasted peanuts
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Add the spring mix to a salad bowl
  2. Lay the pear slices across the middle
  3. Sprinkle the gorgonzola crumbles down the center of the pears
  4. Sprinkle honey roasted peanuts over the top of the entire salad
  5. Whisk the olive oil and honey together then pour over the top of the salad

Kit Kat Halloween Parfait (*Can be done with any chocolate bar Halloween candy)

1 cup of chopped KitKat bars
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
2 tbsp caramel topping

  1. Layer the candy bar pieces at the bottom of the cup
  2. Add the yogurt on top of the candy pieces
  3. Squeeze the caramel sauce over the top of the yogurt
  4. Repeat if you desire a larger serving

Our Praline Crusted Banana Bread recipe can be found by clicking here.

Many thanks to KWCH for allowing us to come out and show off some of our favorite fall recipes. 
We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Seeing as how she is young, unattached, ambitious and adventurous, I have taken the liberty of making CakePop my Travel Editor. As an intern for the Africa Travel Association, CakePop recently returned from a business trip to Cameroon, West Africa. While there she encountered many interesting traditions, infrastructures, people and foods. I asked her to give you Yummies a full account of the charm and challenges embodied in this developing country.

Hang on to your plates!

Guest Post by CakePop
 Mount Cameroon

Cameroon.  I had little to no background information on the country and what it had to offer. After doing a lot of research on the tourism board and attractions of the country, I found a lot on soccer and the big cities of Yaounde: the capital and Douala. I had not heard much about Buea, where I would be staying. I had no idea what to expect and what unfolded on this adventure would end up being an experience I would never forget.

We flew over the golden Sahara desert, which gave way to deep green forestry of West Africa and landed safely and in style at the Douala Airport. In a haze of jet-lag and adrenaline we boarded our bus and began our treacherous journey from Douala to Buea. As the sun set behind the rising majesty of Mount Cameroon in the distance, the full moon began to shine through. Night fell as we drifted in and out of villages. There was no light between towns except the eerie glow of the moon and the lightning storm over Yaounde in the distance.

I peeked into the lives of Cameroonians outside our dusty bus windows. Houses were made into homes despite the lack of walls and the wandering chickens, dogs and other wildlife. The sights left little to be desired but the intoxicating smell of roadside barbeque, fresh fruit and homemade bread accompanied by sights of cold beer and soccer games on TV at the local bars made me realize that maybe walls are not a priority for making a home in Cameroon.  Rather great food, warm hospitality, friendship and family made a house a home.
Village of Buea
Once we arrived at our hotel after a very bumpy ride we were shown to our rooms. My colleague’s room contained the luggage and personal effects of another guest, which we had to ask the hotel staff to remove. Luckily my room was empty of luggage, insects and other things that one worries to find in an African hotel. In fact, it was very clean and well put together. All but the bathroom. I will not go into detail here but let’s just say we yet again had to repeatedly ask the friendly hotel staff to take care of that situation.

On that note, let’s move on to the dining room. There seems to be a lot of protocol in Cameroon. Even if you are surrounded by accommodating staff, they’ll tell you that they are only responsible for certain things and that many of the staff in the dining room do not take orders but relay the wish for orders to be taken to one man who is not only the sole waiter but the sole chef.

Two fish took two hours to prepare. Luckily enough the staff realized their Cameroonian service was not going to work with this particular crowd of clientele and a lunch buffet was served during the remainder of our stay.

Once the food did arrive I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious meal provided. I ate mainly fish and plantains because they were some of the few dishes I trusted my stomach to digest properly.

The fish was exquisite. Every fish I had in Cameroon, especially the fish that had been grilled and smoked over open flames, was the freshest, juiciest, softest and most delicious fish I have ever had in my life.

Mealtime traditions are a big part of Cameroonian culture. One is not allowed to eat before the Ministers. When we arrived at the Hotel Fini in Limbe after a long day of exploring the wildlife centre and botanical gardens, hundreds of delegates were tired, hungry and ready to eat. The food was hot and ready to serve. The delegates were waiting to be fed and the ministers were nowhere to be found.

I turned to a fellow co-worker after a few glasses of wine and asked where the minsters were. He then tells me they are in a meeting. I glance at the food, glance at the large and bustling room of increasingly hungry and restless delegates, and glance back at him. “I’m going in. Cover me."

I snuck up to the buffet. As I realized that I had not been discovered, I reached for a knife and when it barely touched the wrapping an anxious young server came storming over waving his hands furiously and yelling to me in French. “Madam! Madam! You can’t! You can’t!” I then replied in Americanized broken French “Why not? Why not? We are all hungry and the food is getting spoiled.” He then told me that we had to wait for the Ministers. I then told him their time was up. I had started a revolution.  The delegates from Israel joined me in my crusade for dinner as did some other media delegates from America and Africa.
A full plate from the buffet included spiraled cassava root, fried plantains, curried chicken and fish and spinach mash.

As we ambushed this unfortunate young server I told him that maybe he should go get the ministers and tell them we are all hungry and ready to eat. He did and the minsters arrived. We had all calmed down but still had to wait for the minsters to get their food, before every man got what they could of the delicious buffet.  And people wonder why there are problems of hunger in Africa.

Once you managed to eat the food was delicious. My go-to meal was the avocado salad served with thinly sliced onions and a sprinkle of lemon juice.
Avocado, onion and lemon salad

Next, the “El Capitain” a thin filet of sole served with lemon herbed butter and fried plantains. Delicious, delicate and satisfying, the fish and avocado salad were complimented nicely with the country beverage of grapefruit soda.
El Capitan dish of sole and plantains
These dishes energized us for our country excursions to the Limbe Wildlife Centre and Botanical Gardens, Bimbia Slave Port and the Tole Tea Factory, all of which left lasting impressions as did the magnificent views of the towering Mount Cameroon with our hotel settled safely at its base.  

At the Botanical Gardens we found some culinary wonders: a sour tasting fruit that littered the ground and smelled strongly of chocolate.
Sour Fruit
The Tole Tea Factory invited us to explore the entire tea making process, from plucking to drying and grinding to packaging. The smell of the tea both calmed and energized the visiting delegates. At the end of the tour, we were all greeted with hot cups of the finished product and animal crackers.
 Freshly grown tea leaves

 Harvested tea leaves

Dried tea leaves

The final product

It was refreshing and a beautiful reminder of the wonderful culinary potential and hospitality that Cameroon, West Africa has to offer. I hope more people choose to experience the beauty and wonders that I encountered on my unforgettable and delicious stay in Cameroon.
Cameroon Sky

Picture permissions courtesy of CakePop and the Africa Travel Association (ATA)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Antioxidants are the order of the day. We need 'em. Badly. We need to utilize the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available in our produce section and set aside the sodium-laden, over-processed tins of concentrated soups found on aisle five.

In an attempt to eat cleaner Yumology developed the following roasted cauliflower, red pepper and pinion soup recipe. It is sugar-free, lactose-free, gluten free and flavor FULL.

One large head of organic cauliflower, two fresh red bell peppers and almond milk make up the primary ingredients of this bowl of wholesome, hearty goodness you won't soon forget.

Have a delicious day!
1 large head of cauliflower (stems removed and florets broken off)
2 large red bell peppers (sliced cored and seeded)
2 cups of plain, unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp roasted pine (piñon) nuts
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp sea salt (separated into 2 parts)


  1. Preheat your over to 350 degrees
  2. Toss the cauliflower florets and red bell peppers in the olive oil
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of sea salt over the oiled veggies and roast at 350 for 30 minutes
  4. When the peppers have blistered and the cauliflowers has browned remove them from the oven
  5. Add the roasted vegetables to a large food processor
  6. Begin to pulse while slowly pouring in the almond milk
  7. When the soup is smooth transfer it to a stove top pan
  8. Heat the soup until warm
  9. Add the pinion nuts to a frying pan and toss until toasted
  10. Transfer the soup to a serving bowl and garnish with toasted pinion nuts

Enjoy Yummies!

Everyone thinks salads are for summer. Cold, crisp, refreshing bites designed to cool you off on those days when 90 degree heat abolishes the thoght of eating anything cooked. Well, we at Yumology feel differently. We say "to heck with summer salads!" Bring on the warm, salty, melt-in-your-mouth flavor that warm fall and winter salads embody.

Cooked salads are a great start or accompaniment to many hearty cold weather meals. Below is a simple warm salad of corn, crispy bacon, melted blue cheese crumbles and fresh green onions. We realize it is difficult to find fresh corn this time of year, but frozen or canned corn will work just as well. Enjoy Yummies!
Our warm salad of bacon, corn, blue cheese and green onion recipe can be found on Yummly. We are excited to work with one of the most popular food sites out there today.

Yummly is an online community of chefs, writer, food lovers and you! Create you own delicious profile and begin saving recipes to your recipe box. Download the Yummly app to your smart phone and you'll have shopping lists, health info, cooking instructions and so much more at your fingertips.

A big THANK YOU to Yummly for featuring Yumology on their blog again today! Previous Yummly features can be found on our Press page.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We've all heard the rumor "Sugar makes kids hyper." But what is the exact science behind sugar, diet and hyperactivity.

While sugar is often the culprit for out of control kids, recent studies out of the U.K. have also explored the link between food dyes, food coloring, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). The results determined that reactions in children varied based on their age range. Children at age 3 reacted differently to certain dyes than children at age 8 or 9. Hormone levels, brain maturity and a number of other factors came into play when analyzing the relationship between the dyes and the children's temperament.  Researchers also found that natural based coloring from additives like beta-carotene, grape skin extract and/or saffron produced less dramatic results than synthetic colorings created from chemicals like FD&C Blues No. 1&2.

Sugar tests were less complicated. There is a basic science behind sugar and blood glucose levels. When sugar is consumed those glucose levels rise and can spike when high quantities are digested. These glucose spikes are what doctors warn against when claiming too much sugar can lead to diabetes.

While a child can become more active during the sugar-induced glucose spikes, they are also known to "crash" and become cranky and irritable when coming down from their candy-coated high. Striking a balance with your child's sugar intake is the best way to approach their diet. Cutting sugar out completely is unrealistic and sugar-free substitutes are proven to have even stronger links to cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and a number of other health problems.

If you are attempting to reduce your child's sugar intake be warned that drastic and sudden measures can often come with side effects similar to drug withdrawals. Here are some tips to help you get through a sugar-free transition smoothly:

1) Eliminate refined sugars first.
2) Taper off your sugar intake over several weeks.
3) Respond to cravings with physical activity.
4) Drink lots of water and increase your protein and fiber intake.
5) Rid the house of tempting sugary snacks once you have completed the transition.

As of today there is no scientific evidence that links sugar to the cause of ADHD. However, scientists have advised parents who's children suffer from hyperactivity disorders to eliminate food additives from their diets since they appear to contribute to symptoms.

Have a delicious day!
WebMD Study on Food Dye and ADHD
WebMD Sugar Addiction Slideshow

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

If you've ever had a traditional tiramisu you know it's made with booze-soaked ladyfingers, not Milanos. You know it's full of whipped cream, not yogurt. And you know it's delicious no matter how messy that initial slice comes out.

Never ones to shy away from a mad-capped recipe, we came up with this little beauty as we were camped out in the cookie aisle. 


2 tbsp Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
2 tbsp RumChata (dairy rum liqueur)
1 jar of sweet orange marmalade
1 cup of plain yogurt
2 bags of Milano cookies
2 cups of chocolate pudding (or one entire 4 pack)

Add the Grand Marnier to the bottom of your dish
Layer the Milano cookies into the Grand Marnier so they soak up the booze
Mix the chocolate pudding and RumChata together in a mixing bowl
Mix the yogurt and orange marmalade together in another mixing bowl
Top the first cookie layer with the chocolate pudding mix, then the orange yogurt mix
Repeat the layering - cookies, pudding, yogurt
Top with what's left of the Milano cookies and brush the tops with Grand Marnier
Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the cookies soften before serving

Yesterday was our six-year wedding anniversary. It's funny how things change…

Our first wedding anniversary CoffeeMaker and I spent a romantic weekend at a luxurious spa in Santa Fe, NM. Massages, hot tubs, wine, candlelit dinners, more wine and…well…you get the idea. 

Our second anniversary we spent way too much money on a trendy new sushi restaurant and wine, more wine and cozy night at the movies. 

Our third anniversary we partied it up at a family wedding. Danced until dawn. Wine, new shoes, wine and a killer hangover. 

On our fourth anniversary I was pregnant with ToddlerBaby and we had a nice romantic dinner at one of the fanciest restaurants in town before opening the envelope that revealed we were having a baby boy.

Our fifth anniversary we were parents for the first time. We had a delicious eight-month old BabyBaby who was still in that snuggly, immobile, gurgle-filled phase. CoffeeMaker made us dinner and we spent the evening on the couch as a family.

That brings us to yesterday. The six. We are now parents to an opinionated, very mobile toddler who makes going out to eat a bit of a challenge. I have to pack ahead of time: snacks, sippy cups, toys and books are all weapons I need to arm myself with. My reflexes have to be on point to intercept the throwing of knives, forks, glassware and even food. I have to swallow my food whole instead of savoring each and every bite. I also have to be willing to sacrifice my food if and when ToddlerBaby decides he'd rather eat what I'm eating while sitting in my lap. It's exhausting and I usually leave a restaurant either hungry or with indigestion.

Due to the current challenges of parenthood, CoffeeMaker and I decided to spend our six year anniversary having lunch rather than dinner. ToddlerBaby was in school and we finally had time to remember what it was like to taste our food and enjoy a bottle of wine together.

We decided to celebrate at the newest restaurant in town, Firebirds. The setting is lovely: Fireplace in the bar area, comfy chairs on a secluded outdoor patio and service that sets them apart. I'm a sucker for good service. I will spend more, drive farther and stay longer if the service is amazing. Seriously. You'll have to kick me out.

When we sat down at our outdoor table our server, Andre, greeted us with a smile. He made exquisite recommendations, wished us a "Happy Anniversary" and made our experience pleasant from the jump. 

We ordered a bottle of wine at 50% off, had the decadent lobster queso as an appetizer, the crab cake salad and Durango burger as our main courses, and the carrot cake and creme brûlée cheesecake for dessert. All were lovely and we enjoyed every bite in blissful, unhurried peace and quiet.  

Andre kept our wine glasses full, our plates clean and topped off an amazing anniversary lunch with a very thoughtful card signed by the entire staff. Way more than we ever expected. 

We left Firebirds feeling lots of love. Love for the staff and the food and the wine of course, but more importantly a newfound love for each other. We didn't buy each other expensive presents this year. We didn't dance until dawn or watch the sunset on an island beach. We reconnected. We took two hours to be us. Not mom. Not dad. Just us. People we hadn't been for the last two years and people who will undoubtedly make us better parents.

Happy Anniversary CoffeeMaker.  I love you.