Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad

They have a new pumpkin line out at Bath & Body Works and I am in love.

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Things like pumpkin cupcake and pumpkin caramel latte candles are sweeping the store, and I need them.

I am on the fence about fall, though. I’m ready for school, for structure and learning and a challenge and the road to being a dietitian. I am ready to smell these candles for the rest of my life (if they go on sale and I buy them..). I am not ready, however, for jeans and falling leaves and nippy air and being cold at night. I still want to wear dresses and sip mojitos and eat watermelon on my back porch.

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I am also not prepared for being a real person. While I am not in the real world, I am having to figure out how this whole electricity, gas, renters insurance, and internet thing works. Apparently you’re supposed to allow a two weeks heads-up at the electricity company, but because there is someone still living in my apartment, I can’t set up my internet.

So I was all willy nilly, hanging out, relaxing until the 1st of August to deal with these things and then holy mackerel it’s August 2nd and I need electricity sooner than two weeks or they won’t let me in if I don’t have it and now I want to crawl in a hole and cry because WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO DANG STRESSFUL?

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Let’s just hope this is one of those moments that is stressful in the moment and we laugh about later. Sound good? I thought so. Who wants feta + avocado + peas + quinoa? Cheese heals stress. Duh.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad
Inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod

1 c quinoa, cooked
1/2 c peas
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 c feta
1/4 c pine nuts

For dressing:
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro (about 5-6 small leaves or 3-4 big ones)

1. Combine quinoa, peas, avocado, and feta.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a mini food processor, and drizzle over quinoa salad.

Red Bean Salad with Feta, Corn and Cilantro

As you all know, I have been doing some serious reminiscing as I read through years of journals. I had countless sleepovers, to the extent of almost every single weekend in freshman and sophomore year in high school.

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For all you 12-17 year old girls out there, I have some tips for how to throw the best sleepover. Now, things change when you get older. Sodas are replaced with wine, and talks about crushes may have changed to talks about marriage, kids, and the real world, but nevertheless, girls nights are essential for womankind.

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How to throw a fabulous sleepover:

1. Have snacks. Lots of snacks, including, but not limited to: frosting, chips and salsa, ice cream, pretzels, and sodas.

2. Take lots of pictures. And videos, if you want. My friends used to create a dating game show where we would choose contestants that were fitting to date the designated candidate. It was always a little biased of who won, according to the current crush.

3. Watch a movie. Whether you watch it, it’s background noise, or you fall asleep to it, a movie is crucial for a girls’ sleepover.

4. Create a spa situation: nails, makeup, and back massages. Have lots of options for nail color and be sure to have lotion handy for back massages.

5. Prepare to not get much sleep. The best sleepovers are the ones that end around 4 or 5am, when everyone falls asleep from sheer exhaustion from laughter.

6. Pancakes in the morning. There is nothing better than whipping up a batch of pancakes for a lazy morning after a crazy night.

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Keep the sleepovers alive, ladies. We are never to old for girl time and never too young to start remembering (and journaling!) all of these crazy memories.

Red Bean Salad with Feta, Corn & Cilantro

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 c quinoa
1/4 c corn
2 tbsp feta
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 mini bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
1/4 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Combine all!

Guacamole

1. If this isn’t the stinking cutest thing you’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.

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2. One of my best friends just got engaged. For the win. Can’t even handle the excitement.

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3. All this rain is doing me in but these thunderstorms are freaking awesome. That deep, periwinkle, storm blue? I wish I could capture that in a color and paint my room in it.

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4. My boyfriend’s fabulous sister got this avocado slicer for me. People, you don’t know what you’re missing until you get one. It not only slices the avocado, but it also pits it. Hello, new favorite gadget.

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And just in time for guacamole! How handy, right? I’ve been wanting to make guacamole forever. It’s been on my recipes bucket list, my summer bucket list, my hungry belly bucket list…

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Guacamole

1 avocado
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
Zest of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Mash avocado and add remaining ingredients.

Coconut Lime Malibu Cupcakes

Happy birthday, Mom!

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Today is my mom’s birthday. And if you have followed this blog for a hot minute, you know about her obsession with cupcakes.

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For past birthdays, I have made lime cupcakes with blackberry buttercream, mocha brownie cupcakes, as well as coconut cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream and peppermint mocha crunch cupcakes for Mother’s Day and Christmas celebrations.

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Cupcakes galore. For her birthday, I also gave her a cupcake tablespoon set and a cupcake mug.

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These cupcakes are the ones she picked out of long list of cupcakes.

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And man did she do good. Seriously, these are divine.

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Mango Malibu + a hint of green = delicious cupcakes for celebration nation.

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Coconut Lime Malibu Cupcakes
Adapted slightly from Bananamondaes

Cupcakes:
1 stick butter
1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 shot Mango Malibu rum
1/4 c light coconut milk
Zest of a lime
1/4 c shredded coconut

Frosting:
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) butter
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
2 capfulls Mango Malibu rum
Green food coloring

1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer. Add eggs in, combining well between additions.
2. Add in flour and baking powder.
3. Add coconut milk and rum.
4. Fold in zest and coconut.
5. Bake in muffin tins for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, at 350°F.
6. Once cool, frost with Malibu frosting.
7. To make frosting, beat butter in mixer. Add in powdered sugar, then mix in vanilla and orange extracts and rum.