Thursday, June 26, 2014


A few days ago one of my lovely blog buddies, Christine Arel, owner of the delicious site No Gojis No Glory, honored me with a shout out in her blog tour. She then challenged me to carry on the tour here on Yumology.

For those who are intrigued, a blog tour is one of those lovely self-indulgent things we bloggers do to let you, our readers, in on our process. So often all you see are the tasty images, shopping lists and recipe instructions, all packaged up in some quirky language. What you don't see is where the inspiration comes from, what one post truly involves and all the hard work that goes into getting that perfect, moth-watering picture worthy of being pinned to your food board.

So here goes…a little bit about my blogging process and other bloggers I admire.


1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
Oh geez, so many things. I've had a long list of projects for Yumology since the day I started the site many moons ago. Right now my main focus is on improving my photography and branching into video content. I don't have the most photogenic kitchen, so a bit of remodeling is taking place before I am HD-ready.

2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
I've made no secret of the fact that I hate to bake. It seems that every other food blogger on the planet thrives on delicious recipes for cookies, brownies, cakes and pies. But not me. I'm much better at savory dishes that require very little precision on measurement. That's another dirty little secret…I hardly ever measure out my ingredients. I once read that that was a trait of true chefs, they go by instinct rather than instructions. If that's the case just call me Julia!

3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
Well obviously I love to cook. I started blogging about it because I had many people asking me for the recipes I had created for them. I thought it was much easier to park everything in one spot and send them a link rather than writing out recipes over and over again. If we're talking about the tone and banter that surrounds each post, I guess that's just me. I'm a tad-bit sassy and a lot smart-assy and I find it's best to be yourself. Your readers will trust and appreciate you more.

4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
It's pretty organic. I think of a recipe I'd like to try, I shop for it, create it, photograph it and then write about it afterwards. That sounds simple but it's a lot more work than you'd think. Sometimes recipes can inspire long stories with a ton of history, others stand alone as just "something I thought I'd try." I'm not much of a process person, this is probably why I work best alone. I'm one for pioneering new ways of doing things, walking your own path. I may not always be as popular as other blogs, but I'm me a that's the key to my success and happiness. Well, that, and coffee. Lots of coffee.


BLOGS THAT INSPIRE ME

There are so many different components to a blog, and I admire different blogs for different reasons...

If we're talking about inventive, ground-breaking recipes one of my favorites is A Brown Table. Nik makes incredible concoctions from his Roasted Purple Yam and Molasses Ice Cream to his Mango Spiced Baby Potatoes with Buttermilk Sauce.

For fun family recipes I know my son will enjoy I can think of no one better than Matt Robinson at Real Food by Dad. Matt is armed to the teeth with weeknight meals like Mexican Cheesy Chicken Bake and sweet treats like Brownie Bite Pudding Pops with Salted Caramel.

When it comes to writing style there is no one who can make me laugh like my girl, Kristy Gardner at SheEats. Kristy's wit speaks to her talent and intelligence all at the same time. Do yourself a favor and pour a bourbon-neat as you join Kristy for an evening of whole foods and fun.

There are a plethora of excellent food photographers out there but the ones who really knock my socks off are My Name is Yeh, Princess Tofu, Frolic Chocolate, Une Gamine dans la Cuisine and Lady and Pups. Be sure to eat before you visit these sites because if you weren't hungry before you found them, you will be after.

So there you have it. My blog tour. I hope it's given you a little more insight into Yumology and the inspiration behind it. I truly appreciate every single one of you who has joined me on this journey, and I hope you'll stick around for many more delicious adventures to come.

Cheers, Yummies!
xoxo

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


There are those dishes that just scream summer.

For me, this salad is one of them.

It's so simple but I don't make it nearly as often as I should.

Earthy flavors of fresh spinach combine with the salty spice of white onion, the tart freshness of mandarin oranges and the creamy sweetness of poppyseed dressing.

But enough talking about it. You taste it!


YOU WILL NEED

4 cups of fresh spinach leaves
2 tbsp of small diced white onion
1/2 cup of small peeled mandarin orange slices
1/4 cup of poppyseed dressing

GET COOKIN

  1. Add the spinach and onion to a large salad bowl and toss.
  2. Sprinkle the mandarin oranges evenly over the salad and pour the dressing over the top.
  3. Toss and serve.


An excellent side dish for meats fresh off the grill, or a fresh lunch for you to enjoy on your own.

Cheers, Yummies!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ALOHA paid me to write an honest review about my experience with their products. 
All opinions within this post are my own and are based on my own unique reaction to the product.

As a food blogger I eat a lot of crap.

Let me rephrase…

I eat a lot of delicious food, not all of which is as wholesome as my body would like.

It was after a particularly delicious and unhealthy couple of months that I found myself researching detox diet programs.

I knew I wanted something all natural. Something without a 40 page instruction manual and a 15 page "side-effects may include…" section. I wanted something that was reliable and could be easily integrated into my daily diet routine.

ALOHA was the perfect choice.

I noticed their ads in many of my social media feeds, did some online research and reached out to their marketing department to see about working with them on this post you're reading now. I was sent a FREE trial and the rest was history. My Daily Good green powder packets came in the mail and I was hooked.


If you read the literature you'll see that ALOHA's Daily Good can be consumed a number of ways. Just add it to your favorite smoothie, juice or salad dressings once a day for five days. Five days is the length of the FREE trial, but you can order more if you're like me and want to continue to feel fabulous for as long as possible. 

I got fancy and began to experiment with my Daily Good packets in a few fun recipes which I'll share with you over the next two weeks. The ingredients on the packet are highly encouraging for those seeking to live a more natural lifestyle. The power in the little packets comes from the following "14 nutritious thoughtfully sourced whole foods."

ORGANIC SPIRULINA
ORGANIC SPINACH
SUSTAINABLE MORINGA
ORGANIC GREEN PEAS
ORGANIC WHEATGRASS JUICE
ORGANIC WILD BLUEBERRIES
ORGANIC RASPBERRIES
WILD-HARVESTED COCONUT WATER
ORGANIC LEMON
ORGANIC KING TRUMPET MUSHROOMS
ORGANIC ENOKI MUSHROOMS
ORGANIC OYSTER MUSHROOMS
ORGANIC HAWAIIAN YELOW GINGER
HAWAIIAN RED ALAEA SALT

I'll admit, I had to look up what some of these things were, but when I did I had a much better understanding of the health benefits The Daily Good provides.

DETOXIFIES AND HELPS BALANCE WEIGHT
IMPROVES AND TIGHTENS SKIN
KEEPS ENEGY UP AND HYDRATES
PROVIDES POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS
BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM
ONLY 40 CALORIES

After day one I definitely noticed a difference in the way my body processed water. I felt less bloated and I was using the bathroom more frequently. I did notice a significant boost in energy as well. I don't doubt that this came from The Daily Good packets, but I also think that the psychology behind beginning a detox program like this one helps give people a boost. I was so excited to be doing something I knew would benefit my body in so many ways, it changed the way I tackled every daily task. More positivity and more patience.

I haven't quite felt the skin benefits kick in yet. I'm sure they will as I continue my regimen. A whole foods diet is bound to expedite the process, so be sure to avoid processed foods as much as possible if you are planning to embark on this wellness journey.


The FREE trial of ALOHA is worth it! Just like any detox program please be sure to consult with your doctor if you have any health concerns or are pregnant or nursing. I hope you will share your ALOHA Moments with me in the comments section below. Please be aware that any comments can be used by ALOHA in the promotion of their products. 

Cheers to a healthier, happier you, Yummies!
ALOHA paid me to write an honest review about my experience with their products. 
All opinions within this post are my own and are based on my own unique reaction to the product.

Friday, June 20, 2014

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

For many people summer means ice cream. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good popsicle just as much as the next person, but these days, as I get older and am increasingly concerned about my child's health and eating habits, I am constantly seeking healthier options for my family.

Believe it or not, the very first post I ever wrote on Yumology was about discovering almond milk. I wrote about how the sweet, creamy, earthy flavors were a welcomed alternative to regular cow's milk, and how it was a relief to find a product I could rely on without the nagging questions of how the cow's had been raise, fed treated, etc.

For anyone doubting the quality and health benefits of Silk Almond Milk, I invite you to try it. Collect coupons from Silk's Facebook page and try their new Silk Protein + Fiber Blend in your morning smoothie or coffee. Be extra adventurous and dare to sample the Silk Almond + Coconut Blend, a refreshing mixture of coconut milk and almond milk together. One of my favorite summer treats is frozen blueberries and fresh basil leaves in a tall glass of Silk Almond + Coconut Blend milk.
Encourage a healthier summer for your family. Share your favorite Silk Almond Milk recipes and snacks in the comments section below. Comments submitted may be displayed on over websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

Cheers!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, June 19, 2014



I know that using a slow cooker in the summer is considered a rare form of foodie-insanity, but I couldn't resist. I had this huge craving for curry that had to be dealt with.

When we lived in New York we could order the most delicious, authentic, flavorful curries any hour of the day. Now that we're in Kansas, finding good Indian food is a challenge. Ergo, I took it upon myself to recreate my favorite tandoor takeout with a midwestern twist.

Moroccan and Middle-Eastern foods are very spice-heavy so be prepared to give your spice rack a major workout!

YOU WILL NEED

6 chicken drumsticks
6 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup of grated yellow onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp saffron powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric 
1 cup of pitted green olives
Juice from 2 lemons
1 cup water

GET COOKIN
  1. Remove your chicken drumsticks from their packaging and wash them.
  2. In a large bowl use your fingers to mix together the cumin, ginger, paprika, salt, black pepper, saffron powder and turmeric.
  3. When all of the spices are mixed gently massage in the olive oil, minced garlic and grated onion to form a paste.
  4. When the paste is well mixed slowly add the lemon juice and water and whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the chicken drumsticks to the slow cooker and pour the sauce over them.
  6. Toss the drumsticks in the sauce to make sure they are well coated, then toss in the olives.
  7. Cook in your slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours.
  8. Serve with basmati rice.
I let my drumsticks cook in this sauce for six hours and the chicken just fell off the bone. It was so tender and flavorful. I hope you try it. 

Enjoy, Yummies!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Klondike, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #KandyBar  http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

I'm a new parent. My son is only two years old, but I am rapidly being initiated into the summertime chaos of soccer camp, swimming lessons, basketball camp and play dates. Our daily schedule is non-stop. 

While I love the fact that my son is engaged in activities that keep him happy and healthy, all this physical activity makes him constantly hungry! My bag is always packed with snacks, drinks and goodies that will get us from one stop to the next. 

 Grabbing himself a Klondike Kandy Bar snack, and one for mom too!

Cheese!

Portability is key when feeding a toddler. It has to be something that comes neatly packaged ready to be eaten in small bites. That's why I was so excited when one of our favorite brands Klondike, came out with Klondike Kandy Bars, chocolate-crunch-coated bars filled with ice cream, caramel or chocolate filling. They're the size of a candy bar so they're easy for little toddler hands to hold.

Our family likes to enjoy our Klondike Kandy Bars outside after dinner. Since toddlers can't sit still very well it's the perfect time for us to enjoy summer nights playing in the driveway or taking our dog for a walk. 

Silly faces while we enjoy our evening treat.

Right now there are three different flavors of Klondike Kandy Bars to choose from: Fudge Crunch, Caramel & Peanuts and Cookies & Cream. I myself am a big fan of the Caramel & Peanuts, my husband likes the Cookies & Cream, but my son loves the Fudge Crunch. We leave it to you to decide which one will be your favorite! 


You can get Klondike Kandy Bars at your local grocery store, WalMart or Target in their freezer sections. Klondike makes it easy to beat the heat this summer!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Klondike, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #KandyBar  http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH





Tuesday, June 10, 2014


So, I have this friend.
Who bakes.
She makes the most amazing sweet treats.
Her brain just operates on a higher Sunkist level of bake-waves.
…I should trademark bake-waves…

You should bake this.
Like, now.
Now.

YOU WILL NEED

75 pretzel sqaures.
1 box of brownie mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of caramel sauce
1/2 pretzel salt.

GET COOKIN'
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9x9 baking dish add two layers of 25 pretzel squares on top of each other. (50 squares to form the crust base.)


Prepare the brownie mix as directed on the box (mine required 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 1/4 cup of water.)

Pour the brownie mix over the pretzels then add the final 25 pretzel squares to the top of the brownies and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the brownies firm.


Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool for 20-30 minutes.

Pour the caramel sauce over the top of the cooled brownies and spread it evenly.


Sprinkle the pretzel salt oven the top of the caramel sauce.


Cut and serve as squares.

In related news, I really need to cook with pretzels more. 

Cheers, Yummies.
xoxo

Friday, June 6, 2014


Hi Yumology! I'm Becky from The Cookie Rookie and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be here today! This is my very first guest post, and I am so honored it's on Yumology. I had the pleasure of meeting Megan this spring and let me tell you, she is just as sweet as she is on this blog. She has been such an encouragement to me on this blogging journey, and I'm always blown away by her extreme creativity in the kitchen!


I hope you head over to The Cookie Rookie to check out what we have cooking. (And be sure to see Megan's beautiful post on my blog, Baked Avocado Fries! YUMM!) Cookie Rookie is all about learning how to cook, one recipe at a time. I started cooking on my 30th birthday (yep...late bloomer), and have truly found my passion since. I love so much about having a recipe blog, but I have to say, the fun cocktails just might be my favorite part!! I whipped up a cute, fun, and delicious cocktail for the 4th of July, Red White and Blue Sangria! It really doesn't get easier than this cocktail, and its the perfect way to beat the heat this summer. Wow your guests with this fun and festive drink. Its especially cute for the 4th, but I think its great to drink year round. You cannot go wrong with a fruity sangria! If you love this recipe, please come say hi over at The Cookie Rookie! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram as well. I would love to see you! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: 2 bottles sweet white wine (I chose Reisling) ½ cup Strawberry Vodka ¼ cup fresh lemon juice ¼ cup Agave nectar ½ cup ginger ale Strawberries (sliced) and blueberries for garnish Instructions: Place sliced strawberries and blueberries in pitcher. The more the merrier! Pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir, stir, stir Serve over ice. Enjoy! It was such a pleasure being here today. Come say hi! Blog:
http://thecookierookie.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/cookierookiebec Twitter: https://twitter.com/cookierookiebec Instagram: http://instagram.com/thecookierookie Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/beckygallhardin
















It's National Donut Day!
But…I don't bake.
I'm so on the J.V. team of baking.
Which is why this recipe was born.

Every time I work with yeast and dough and rising and falling, I fail.
But, the simpler the ingredients and the simpler the recipe, the better off my baking becomes.

… I know…I'm working on it.

Anyway. I love banana bread and I had a pile of ripe bananas, so here we go…

YOU WILL NEED

3 ripe bananas
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup of cocoa powder (if you want to make them chocolate)

Glaze

1 cup of confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp milk

GET COOKIN'

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the bananas, egg, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar to a bowl and beat until smooth.
  3. In another bowl add the flour and baking powder together.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat until the dough is smooth.
  5. Add the batter to donut forms if you have them, I didn't, so I had to use a cupcake tin.
  6. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes.
  7. Remove the donuts/muffins from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk and almond extract to form a glaze.
  9. If you had donut forms then proceed to dip your donuts into the glaze and let them set on a wire rack. 
  10. If you used a cupcake form, punch out the centers of your donuts and then dip them in the glaze and set them on a wire rack to cool. 

Okay, so I know these aren't teeeeechnically donuts, they're more like punched out banana bread muffins, BUT they're dipped in sugary glaze and they're low on oil, butter and saturated fat, so…WINNING!

xoxo


Thursday, June 5, 2014


My family is Italian, so I feel comfortable cooking Italian food.
I grew up in New Mexico, so I feel confident cooking Mexican food.
In no way, shape or form do I have any ties to Asian Pacific culture whatsoever, therefore I feel like a real fish out of water cooking with Asian flavors. (No, pun intended for this recipe! LOL.)


Allow me to explain.
I love Asian food.
I've never been to Asia - unless Tahiti counts? No? Okay moving on… - but I'm sure it's lovely.
I could easily eat my body weight in sushi bathed in wasabi, soy sauce, duck sauce and all of the above, but when it comes to making Asian flavored dishes at home, I'm scared stiff.

Rewind to last night. I knew I wanted to make salmon cakes, but I wasn't sure which direction to take them.


There's the old salmon, lemon and dill standby that everyone has tasted over and over again.
I was craving something different.
Something exotic. Something that would surprise even me.

That's when I decided to put my big girl pants on and brave the Asian spice aisle. 
This happened next…

YOU WILL NEED
1/2 lb of fresh boneless salmon (cooked)
1 egg
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup of diced spring onions
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp of salmon fish rub (I used one with paprika, brown sugar and thyme as the primary ingredients)
1/4 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp coconut oil

NOTE: I bought the Ginger Miso Dressing pre-packaged. The primary ingredients were ginger, sweet carrot juice, miso, garlic and sesame oil. It was super-yummy!

GET COOKIN'
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a medium frying pan.
  2. Use a fork to scrape the salmon meat off of the cooked filet. Be sure to avoid any bones.
  3. Add the salmon meat, egg, 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, the toasted sesame seeds, spring onions, sea salt, 1 tbsp of salmon fish rub and the orange zest to a large bowl and mix together for 2-3 minutes.
  4. On a flat plate pour the other cup of panko bread crumbs and the second tbsp of salmon fish rub out, then use a fork to mix them together.
  5. Use your hands to create a patty out of the salmon cake mix.
  6. When your patty is formed lay it in the seasoned bread crumbs, coating both sides.
  7. Gently lay the first patty into the hot coconut oil.
  8. Cook on one side over medium-high heat for 1 minute, then flip to the second side and cook for another minute. Be sure the outer crust has browned.
  9. Transfer your cooked salmon cakes to a paper towel-lined plate and allow any excess oil to drain off.
  10. Repeat until all patties are cooked. You will likely need to refill the pan with the second tbsp of coconut oil by the end of the second or third patty.
  11. Serve with your Ginger Miso Dressing or another Asian flavored dressing of your choice.
I realize these are not hard-core Asia Pacific flavors. In fact these are probably the most introductory flavors one can find. But I hope you'll join me as I attempt to become more adventurous in the kitchen this summer. 

Cheers, Yummies!
xoxo 




Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I'm having MAJOR travel nostalgia today.
Do you ever take a bite of a dish and automatically get transported back that place?
That place where you first tasted those decadent, exotic flavors.
Where the salt was saltier, the freshness fresher and life was just sweeter.

Two years ago my entire family took an amazing vacation to the north of Italy.
ToddlerBaby was only 3 months old at the time and his squishy little face took in the Veronese sunshine, Venetian breezes and had his first bites of delicious, fresh mozzarella.

Prosciutto runs rampant in Northern Italy.
Thank goodness.
You'll find it on pizza, in pasta, in salads, wrapped around melon, mozzarella and asparagus.
Today, I found some delicious slices of hearts of prosciutto on sale, and I decided to transport myself.
Back to Italy we go.


YOU WILL NEED

8 slices of fresh white peaches
8 thin slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella 
1 cup of fresh baby arugula
8 thin slices of prosciutto
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp of sea salt

GET COOKIN'

  1. Lay the prosciutto slices out on your workspace.
  2. Add a peach and mozzarella slice to one end of each slice of prosciutto.
  3. Add a small bundle of arugula to each slice of proscuitto, drizzle with a small about of olive oil and a small sprinkle of sea salt.
  4. Roll the prosciutto up with the peach, mozzarella and arugula on the inside.


The flavors of this little snack are incredible. Sweet, salty, spicy and fresh, just like Italy. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014



Truth. Bloggers learn best from fellow bloggers.
Even more truth. Most of what we know we learned from Ree.
You see Ree is The Pioneer Woman in more ways than one.
Sure, that's her blog title, her brand, and now her empire.
But she's so much more than that.

Ree is that voice inside every food blogger's head that tells them "You can do this."
She's America y'all.
And not just because she rides horses and lives on a ranch and makes a mean meatloaf.
She's the embodiment of the American Dream come true.
That dream we all have of working hard every day towards a better life for our families.
That dream we all have of never being able to call in sick because we are the boss and the kitchen is our office.
That dream we all have of eating cookie dough in our pajamas while watching black & white movies in the middle of the day and calling it work.
That dream.


I've only been doing this a short time.
Okay, I've only been taking this seriously for a short time.
I first started three years ago when I was bored in a cubicle one day and decided "Hey, a blog might help pass the next 7 1/2 hours. How about a blog?"
I didn't have the whole "Hey, maybe this blogging thing could turn into a full-time career..." conversation until 9 months ago.
I know. I've always been the last one to get the joke. Slow roller over here.
Although I am still semi-new to blogging as a business, and although I am slow to pick up on things, there was one thing I was 100% certain of, Ree.

I've never met her.
I hope to one day.
Until then I am taking her advice and following her lead day by day in the hopes that I too can be a Pioneer Woman in my own way.

For now, I'm putting my own little spin on Ree's Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies - and reverting back to  my 10 year old self - with my favorite instant strawberry oatmeal.


YOU WILL NEED

1 cup of softened butter
2 cups of dark brown sugar
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 whole eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups of instant strawberry oatmeal (about 6 packets)

GET COOKIN
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In one bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla and egg to the butter and beat again for two minutes.
  4. In another bowl sift together the flour and baking soda.
  5. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the batter and beat until smooth.
  6. When the dough is smooth add the oatmeal packets and use your hands to work the oats into the dough.
  7. When the oats are worked into the dough add a spoonful at a time to a greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake your cookies at 350 for 12 minutes.

The bulk of this recipe is exactly like Ree's, I left out the salt and obviously used instant strawberry oatmeal packets instead of plain oats.

I hope you enjoy both recipes if you decide to try them!

Oh, and Ree, I totes took a bite of the dough after the second step…and the fifth…and the seventh…and I did hate myself a little bit afterwards. But it was worth it.

Big hugs!
xoxo