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Friday, September 30, 2011

Waste Free Lunch Options! (One Bag: Post 4)

I got chosen as one of 10 bloggers to be a part of a collaboration of Foodbuzz and Glad to promote recycling, compost, and elimination of waste. As part of this, I received Glad products, and a trash can/recycling bin. Even though I was compensated for these posts, the opinions contained in the post are all my own. 

As a closure to my posts on recycling, composting, and eliminating waste, I decided to make a video to show some easy ways to make waste free snacks and lunches. These are also really quick last minute ideas too! 

Here's a little disclaimer for ya: I'm totally cheesy and fail at being on camera, so just don't judge too harshly :) haha
The cheesy smiles at the beginning and the end are my favorite! Also, it totally makes me look like this.

It's really so easy to cut back on the amount of waste we create. If you have any questions about recycling, composting, or eliminating waste, feel free to ask in the comment  box! 

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Recipes From My One Bag Event

Here's the recipes from my party! They are pretty fab! All the recipes are from the Layne Family recipes unless otherwise noted.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 c. artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 c. frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
dash of pepper

1.Thaw spinach and artichoke hearts. Chop.
2.Heat cream cheese in a saucepan over the
3.Add spinach and artichoke hearts. Stir well.
4.Add remaining ingredients.
Serve hot with crackers, chips, or toasted bread
for dipping.

Layne's Vegetable Dip

1 c. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbs parsley flakes
1 Tbs minced onion
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp beau monde

1. Mix together and chill. Serve with veggies.

Stuffed Mushrooms & Jalapeños 

1 lb. Jimmy Dean Sausage
8 oz cream cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 boxes of mushrooms, stems removed OR 10-15 jalapeños

1. Cook sausage in frying pan and drain grease.
2. Stir in cream cheese and green onion.
3. Stuff mixture in washed mushrooms/jalapeños
4. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Chocolate Fondue
(adapted from Simply Recipes)

12 oz chocolate(we just used some chocolate fondue disks from the cake decorating section in Walmart)
8 oz heavy cream

1. Warm the cream over moderate heat until tiny bubbles show and it begins to lightly and slowly boil. Add the chocolate and whisk until smooth and fully incorporated.
2. Immediately transfer to a fondue pot heated at low, or serve directly from the pot.
3. Dip fruit, marshmallows, pretzels, cookies, etc into the chocolate. Eat immediately.

Dewbies(Apple Dumplings)
(From the Pioneer Woman)

2 whole Granny Smith apples
2 cans (8 oz cans) crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 can (12 oz) Mountain Dew soda

1. Peel and core apples. Cut the apples into 8 slices each.
2. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9x13 buttered pan.
3. Melt butter, then add sugar and lightly stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Sugar Cookies 

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 c. flour

1. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon. Blend well.
3. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.
4. Roll out fairly thin, then cut cookies(I used a cup for the circle cookies)
5. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
For frosting, I used my Cake Batter Frosting and a Royal Icing recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Bag Event! (Post 3)

I got chosen as one of 10 bloggers to be a part of a collaboration of Foodbuzz and Glad to promote recycling, compost, and elimination of waste. As part of this, I received Glad products, and a trash can/recycling bin. Even though I was compensated for these posts, the opinions contained in the post are all my own. 

This is finally my post about my actual One Bag Event!  
You can read the previous posts here: Post 1 and Post 2

It was so much fun, and we used hardly any trash! I didn't get a very good picture of our "one bag," but I have this for you: 

If you can't tell, that is paper plates in a trash bag. The only trash we had at our party were plates and napkins. In my other posts, I talked about how using reusable plates would be a really great way to cut down on waste? Well I looked at literally every store in town and there was NOTHING! I could not find any plastic sets, let alone glass, to save my life! I guess that's what we get for living in such a small town! I did get some super cute serving plates though. 

Yay! Recycled cans! 
Fun story: When I was stapling this classy homemade sign onto the cardboard, I stapled my finger. Holla. 

Fun people came: 

Chris & Monika

Kaitlin, Laura & Jessica

Troy & Kathleen

We ate tasty food: 

Veggies and dip, Spinach Artichoke Dip with chips, and Stuffed Jalapenos & Mushrooms.

Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Sugar cookie, fondue, & fondue dippers.

Sugar cookies!


Marshmallows for fondue. 

Strawberries & Bananas for fondue. 

Stuff to dip in fondue. 

Awesome chocolate fondue!

Sticks for dipping in fondue. 

And what's a party without my adorable nephew Blake?

Things I did to ensure that we only had one bag of trash: 
*I announced to everyone at the beginning that this was a "One Bag" event, and explained that the point was to only get one bag of trash. 
*Brought soda as a beverage, and had a clearly labeled recycling box for the cans. I showed everyone where it was, and made sure they recycled. It was funny because if someone forgot and started to throw theirs away, someone would always remind them. 
*Tried to purchase items with minimal packaging. The only thing that had excess packaging was probably the creme puffs because they were in a box, and then a bag inside the box. 
*Used earth friendly plates that were made from recycled material(next time I will be using plastic though!)
*Used finger foods so that we didn't have to use plastic silverware. 

I'm so glad my party turned out the way it did. It was a lot of fun to plan, and even more fun to actually throw! I felt successful in getting the "less waste" message across in a non-forceful way. 

Sadly, I only have one more post about the One Bag Event. Stay turned for that next week!

I know you're all stressing, but don't worry! Recipes for these will be coming your way ASAP! 


Monday, September 19, 2011


So I started up another semester of school last Monday, and the amount of "crazy" in my life has increased a hundred fold. We went camping this weekend(just overnight) and that was a nice break from the crazy. We had a huge rainstorm too, which was exciting. I'm very excited for fall, not so much for winter though.

My "One Bag" event was a huge success! We only used about 1/4 of the bag. I have a ton of pictures and such that I will be posting later this week.

I don't have too much extra time today to post anything cool, so here's some pictures from camping! Stay tuned for better posts later this week :)

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Have you tried this?

When we were in California, I got to go to Trader Joe's for the first time. I was really excited, because I'd heard so many great things about it. I bought some fun stuff that is hard to find in smaller towns(like the one we currently live in) like coconut milk, cous cous, gnocchi, and the South African Smoke Seasoning Grinder.
This is seriously one of my new favorite spices. I added it to taco soup and chicken salad so far, and it's been a superb addition to flavor!

On their website, they describe it as the, "African-grown paprika that is slow-smoked for 48 hours over a sustainable African hardwood called Acacia Saligna, commonly used as barbecue coals. This process enriches the paprika with a smoky, roasted flavor that evokes the South African braai, or barbecue. The smoked paprika is blended with sea salt, garlic and basil and packaged in a grinder, giving you fresh-ground flavor in every twist."

I got mine on sale for $1.99, but it sells currently for $2.29. Go get some! You won't regret it!

(photo via Trader Joe's)

ps. this isn't a sponsored post, I just am really in love with this seasoning and wanted to share my find!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recycling Expert Interview (One Bag Event: Post 2)

I got chosen as one of 10 bloggers to be a part of a collaboration of Foodbuzz and Glad to promote recycling, compost, and elimination of waste. As part of this, I received Glad products, and a trash can/recycling bin. Even though I was compensated for these posts, the opinions contained in the post are all my own. 

In preparation for my event, I got the chance to talk to a recycling specialist to get some ideas for my One Bag Event. You can read my previous post about this event here: One Bag Event: Post 1

A lot of the ideas that I already had were similar to the ones that she offered me. 

One of the biggest things that she emphasized was focusing on things that are reusable before using recyclable or compostabe items. Recycling and compost are both great, but being able to reuse something is even better. 

One of her biggest suggestions was to go to a store and buy a "party" set of plates. She suggested buying 20 or so fun  plates that you can use and reuse for parties. She suggested getting cups, cloth napkins, and even silverware to match. This is a great way to be more eco-friendly, because you can always reuse them! 

As an alternative to the above, she suggested just going to a thrift store and buying a bunch of random plates and cups, so you have a bunch of fun and different patterns as your "party," set. 

Another thing she brought up was to find out what sort of recycling programs my school (BYU-Idaho) had. I already knew of boxes around the school for cans and paper, but I guess we actually have a recycling center. She suggested I talk to them to see if they could help with creating a recycling program at my apartment, when I do in the future.  I work in an office on campus, and we have recycling boxes as well, but a lot of the documents we deal with are confidential, so its more difficult for us to recycle. 

Talking to her really helped me to decide what I wanted to do for my party. 

My first idea was to have a party for my apartment complex and design a recycling program for our complex(since one doesn't exist) and then use the party to introduce everyone to it. Since I only have a month to plan and host my event, and this would take a lot more time, I decided against it, although, I still want to establish some sort of recycling program here in the near future. 

My second idea was to have a Back to School party (since we just started yesterday), invite our friends, show friends how easy it is to recycle, and only create one bag of trash from the party. 

The second option is the one I chose to go with. We are hosting a party on Thursday night. We've been planning lots of great food and fun, and I'm really excited!

Stay tuned for next week's post, in which I will post pictures of the party, and show you exactly what I did to ensure that we only created one bag of trash!

On a side note, isn't California beautiful???

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I was in 5th grade when 9/11 happened. I remember walking downstairs and seeing my mom standing in front of the TV crying. I walked over and she hugged me and we watched as the second tower hit, and then stood there in shock. The impact of this event didn't fully hit me for a few days. Newspaper articles and the News made me realize how close to home this was, and to feel that sadness and pain that those people in NY were feeling, and the sense of loss our country felt as a whole.

There are tons of tribute videos floating around the web today, and I'm sure they are all really great. I saw this one on Facebook, and I especially love how it shows the support and love that other countries showed for our nation during this time.

I'm so thankful every day for those brave men and women who fight for our amazing country.

May we never forget those who lost their lives that day, whether they be on the plane, in the buildings, in the city, or those brave firefighters who gave their lives trying to save others.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Forever ago, I went to California and said I'd blog about it. I haven't decided yet if this will be a two part or three part serious yet, but regardless, enjoy!

Here is pictures of food:

We stopped at Mad Greek in Baker, California on the way there. This was the first time I'd ever had a gyro, and it was pretty good. Super expensive, so I'm not sure we'll go back, but it was a tasty meal! I'd heard great things about Mad Greek, but I didn't realize what a popular spot it really is. It's in the middle of nowhere, but it was absolutely PACKED! 
P.S. you can do some really good people watching here

This is at Hokkaido, which was a Seafood buffet. Papito(Father-in-law) had heard it was good, so we went mainly for the Sushi, but for the other stuff as well. It wasn't too good, but I loved the jello cubes(seen above), their coconut shrimp(it was super sweet and so tasty!) and their crab legs. Plus they had soft serve ice cream, which is hands down my favorite thing in the entire world. The sushi wasn't too good though. 

Our favorite sushi place in LA is Sushi Sumo. It's a rotating belt and the chefs put out fresh sushi all the time. I highly recommend it!

I'm really mature and still mix my leftover foods at restaurants. 

We went to Sprinkles bakery! 

I got a chocolate marshmallow cupcake. It was pretty tasty!

Funny story: Sprinkles was busy, so we sat outside to eat our cupcakes. I took out my camera and was taking pictures of the cupcakes, and a homeless lady came up and tried to steal mine. She reached right for it. I was so shocked, I didn't even know what to say, so I just blocked her hand so she couldn't touch it. Thankfully, she backed off. I guess I shouldn't expect anything less from downtown Beverly Hills. haha. 

More pictures: 

Some Gaga impersonaters in Hollywood

LA Temple

Dodgers game! They played the Rockies, and sadly my home team lost. :(


Woods and I

Love this!

Pardon my firework pictures, I was trigger happy. 

LA at night

I'll post mores pics from the trip later. It was so much fun!  

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Bag Event: Post 1

I got chosen as one of 10 bloggers to be a part of a collaboration of Foodbuzz and Glad to promote recycling, compost, and elimination of waste. As part of this, I received Glad products, and a trash can/recycling bin. Even though I was compensated for these posts, the opinions contained in the post are all my own. 

As part of this program, I am supposed to host a "One Bag," event, meaning that there is only one bag of landfill bound waste. In order to achieve this, I'll have to use other means of disposal, like recycling and compost. 

When I was growing up, my mom always recycled. One of our chores that we rotated through was called "Recycling," and it meant that you took the cans/cardboard out to the recycling bin. 

When i came up to school for the first time, I realized that we didn't have a recycling bin. For the first week, I saved my cans in hopes of something turning up, but nothing did. Instead of tracking something down, I just gave up.

The trash can we got from Foodbuzz has two sides, one for recyclables, and one for trash. It'll be much easier to recycle, now that we have a spot to put it, and we can just take the bag straight to the recycling center. Why didn't I think of that before? 

I researched recycling a bit in preparation for my party, and I learned that you can recycle sooooo many more things that just cans and cardboard. Reading glasses, books, screen doors, shingles, car batteries, and old jeans can all be recycled. For more things you can recycle, visit here

Compost was another thing I grew up with. My mom would have a collection in the kitchen that we'd take out to the compost bin in our garden every day or two. This was another thing that college lacked. I didn't have a garden to take the compost to, so I figured that it just wasn't possible. 

Since receiving my recycling kit in the mail, which also included an in-home compost, complete with filter, I've had a re-ignited excitement for composting.  The bags included with it have "Odorshield" technology as well. 

I know I'm a nerd, but I'm totally excited about both the compost and my new trash can! 

I've been doing a lot of brainstorming lately, trying to think of what I can do to create less waste for my party. 
Here are some of the ideas I came up with:

  • Using mason jars instead of paper cups. Not only does this save paper, but it's super cute too!

  • Having an ice cream sundae bar using homemade chocolate cups

  • Having a bar-b-que using foods that aren't too messy and easily disposed of (ie hamburgers with corn on the cob(this could go to compost) )
  • Using plates, cloth napkins, silverware, and cups from your home. If you're having a dinner party, this definitely can help eliminate waste. 
  • Serving hors d'oeuvres or finger foods, so the only thing party go-ers need is a napkin or a small plate. 

  • Ice cream sundae bar with the waffle cone bowls

  •  Serving soda, or other beverages that come in aluminum cans(easily recyclable)

  • If you do use paper or plastic cups, have markers or stickers nearby so that guests have a way to identify their cup, and prevent them from using multiple

  • This is totally a personal preference thing, but plastic silverware is able to be washed in the dishwasher. if you collect the used silverware at your party, you can wash it and re-suse it at your next one. 

I'm still brainstorming more ways to eliminate waste at my party. Do you have any more ideas you can think of? 

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Thursday, September 1, 2011


Have you seen that commercial about animal abuse where it shows all the pictures of cute dogs and plays Sarah McLachlan in the background?

Me either.

Actually I watched it once, and felt sad and missed my dogs a lot, and now every time it comes on, I have to change the channel.

I LOVE my dogs. Not all dogs, but my precious little lap loving sweet hilarious chihuahua's Chloe and Bronx.

Love them.

ps. I look like a demon in this picture. its old. don't judge :) also note that our fridge doesn't normally look like that

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