Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Sandwiches

I pack a lunch every day for work, so I am always looking to switch things up from the basic sandwich or salad (two of the easiest things to pack).  A recent favorite that has graced my lunch pail and attracted glances from fellow coworkers has been this recipe which I adapted from a Taste of Home magazine.

Since I like to make things a little healthier and I am always looking for excuses to add some of my favorite ingredients (avocado), my adaptation is . . . well better :)

1-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast (I like to have hubby grill mine)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I like to use Greek yogurt)
1 squirt of reduced-fat mayonnaise (so squirt is not a technical term, but I never measure the exact amount used)
1/2 an avocado (this can make the mixture have a brownish color the next day, so if the discoloration that  occurs from the avocado turns you off and you plan to keep this in the fridge for more than a day, use less or eliminate altogether)
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

I start out by having hubby grill half a package of Jennie-O turkey breasts.  You could also use any boneless chicken - and the way you cook it is up to you.

Next, I mash up my avocado half and mix in the yogurt and mayonnaise squirt.  Add the celery salt and pepper to this mixture.  Set aside.

Then I chop up the remaining ingredients (turkey, celery, apricots, onions).  Leave the cashews for now.

In a larger bowl combine chopped ingredients (except for the cashews) and the avocado mixture.  If serving immediately, add the cashews.  Since the cashews can get soggy easily, I add them in right before I eat my lunch.

Serve between two slices of delicious bread. (I prefer Ezekiel since it is free of wheat gluten, but it is a personal preference).

For variety, you can substitute dried cranberries or cherries for the apricots (I've tried it and love it).  To be even healthier, add some green stuff - spinach works best, but other green-leaf lettuces also work.


Live the moment, love life!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pretty on the Inside

I love pencil skirts and think they are perfect for wearing to work on a daily basis.  However, I have a slight pear shape, making buying a pencil skirt with an ideal fit a little difficult.  I either end up with something that fits well in the waist and is too tight across the hips and rear or something that accommodates my larger "assets" and is a little big in the waist.  I usually opt for the second option and just wear it a little lower on the waist and problem solved.  Lately, I've wanted a pencil skirt that I can wear at my high waist, so I decided to make one.

When I saw this pattern on Burdastyle, I thought it was perfect.  It looked like it already had a great pear shape and could be tailored to my body.  I think I came close to achieving what I wanted with this skirt and it had a perfect fit until I added the lining.  The lining seemed to make things a little tighter, still a nice skirt, but I think that next time I will add a but more wearing ease to this skirt.  Since the pattern did not have a slit, I used Sunni's tutorial to add a back vent in my skirt.

So the name "Pretty on the Inside" comes from two sources.  First of all, my favorite part of this skirt is my finishes on the inside.  I used french seams along the inside of the lining and serged the edges of the wool.  I also added a satin ribbon along the inside facing similar to many of my RTW skirts.  Lastly, the skirt is hemmed with a lovely ribbon on the inside.  Just looking at this skirt in-side-out makes me happy!

The second inspiration source for the title comes from my desire to get on my blogging soapbox and proclaim that women are pretty from the inside out!  I often find myself becoming self-conscious when I go to post pictures of myself on this blog.  I typically go through my days without ever wearing makeup, yet when I decide to post a picture of myself wearing one of my recently made garments - I take the time to get all dolled up with makeup.  Then upon reviewing my pictures before posting, I find myself focusing on all of my flaws.  This is not what we as women need to focus on!  Our beauty comes from the inside - who we are and where our heart is.

So, although I did take the time throw on some makeup and fuss over how the camera adds ten pounds, I choose not to be brought down in what I don't like.  Instead, I see that my beauty comes from the heart, and hopefully that is what radiates on the outside.

Live the moment, love life!