Tag Archives: Food

7 Tips for Creating a Balcony Garden

Apartment patio balcony container garden shade east-facing space 7 Tips for Creating a Balcony Garden by The DIY Homegirl thumbnail

My parents have more gardening knowledge than I do (which I utilize!), but for the last few years, I’ve specialized in gardening in a tricky spot: the shaded balcony. These tips are helpful to follow even if you don’t have a shaded balcony & instead have another outdoor space such as a patio, deck or sunroom.

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Day ???: No Diet Soda Challenge

Over one month ago was my last post about eliminating diet soda from my life. Full disclosure: I have continued to drink it on occasion, just not nearly as much as I used to. And definitely with the intention I used to, which was of dependence.

In light of that, I’d say I was less successful than I could have been, but am very glad I persisted with breaking the dependence. I’m still drinking my green tea in lieu of the soda and feel great for this replacement.

When I have partaken in the faux sugared soda, I have noticed a sense of familiarity. When I first drank it, it felt like a treat and something rare. Perhaps due to more times of drinking it, that sense went away. Thankfully, I’ve got the awareness to know I could fall back into drinking it regularly again.

As noted before, removing the soda from my diet has coincided with less fast food. I’m still making more meals at home and improved my nutrition as a result. I’m considering doing another challenge in which I truly abstain from diet soda… to further emphasize its importance on my health. At least for now, I’ve moved beyond the dependence. :)

Recipe: Baked Chicken Breast with Rice Pilaf

Baking is more of my forté and I can cook a few good dishes, but I’m working at developing my cooking strengths. One thing I have trouble with is knowing the proper amount of seasoning and spices. I struggle with finding the Goldilocks moment. Sometimes it’s not enough and sometimes it’s too much.

My goal is also like to cook by experimenting and not according to a recipe, ultimately creating my own recipe, so last night I did this and baked some chicken with rice pilaf. I enjoy grilled chicken, but sometimes you want something different or with some texture/crunch.

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Testing a New Recipe: Chai Cream Pie

My employer gave out free subscriptions to Cooking Light magazine for taking part in a weight loss challenge. Pretty sweet huh? I’ve read lots of recipes in this magazine that sound tasty and healthy, but this is the first recipe of their’s I’m trying out. They featured a few recipes for healthier versions of cream pies; I decided to make the Chai Cream Pie to take to my mom’s  for Easter dinner.

I fell in love with chai on a vacation to Arizona years ago. I’ve never been a coffee girl, so I tried a chai latte when out at a coffee shop with my friend. I hadn’t even heard of it before. It was awesome and is one of my favorite teas.

I once tried a recipe for Chai Banana Bread, which consisted of brewing the tea and adding to the batter. Unfortunately, the bread didn’t taste very much like the tea. The Chai Cream Pie recipe, however, calls for a home-made version of the tea with whole cloves, cardamom pods, fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, and black tea.

I tweaked the recipe a tad and used a chai teabag plus added some vanilla paste. I also didn’t make the dough or buy it pre-made; I bought a pie crust instead. I’m looking forward to trying it out! I will post a new blog with a review after I get to test it.

Road Trip: St. Augustine, Florida, Part II

Next on my itinerary was lunch/dinner at a restaurant called The Present Moment Café. Naturally, the name of their establishment intrigued me and when I learned it was an organic, vegan and raw café, I was even more sold. 

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