Saturday, July 21, 2012

Guest Post - Ellen's Asparagus Soup

Hello everyone, I'm Ellen from Ellenbcookery .   I'm so pleased to be guest posting again here at Laurie's cravings and happy you're back today.  Laurie and I would like to show you what was done with the leftover asparagus stems we didn't use in yesterday's stuffed pepper recipe .  Since the previous recipe only calls for the asparagus tips, I also made an asparagus soup with the remaining sticks.  It's really tasty and uses simple ingredients.  We hope you enjoy!

- EllenB 

  • 1 large organic onion, diced
  • approx. 3-4 cups of water (add more if you'd like)
  • 1 organic vegetable bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 organic potatoes, quartered
  • leftover asparagus spears
  • splash of cream (optional)


Saute the organic onion in a large pot until well cooked. 

Add water to pot,  an organic vegetable bouillon, salt & pepper.  

Once bouillon dissolves, add 4 quartered organic potatoes and cut up asparagus sticks.  

Once potatoes are cooked, puree with hand blender.  

Tasty on it's own, or you could add a splash of cream.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Blogger - Ellen B's Baked Open Faced Pepper Surprise

I'm so pleased to be guest posting on Laurie's Cravings.  I'm more than thrilled to help Laurie while she takes this time to bond and get into a routine with her newborn son, Jared.

This stuffed pepper recipe is one that I found in a Belgian TV guide like magazine while I was living in Belgium.  It was so similar to something my mother-in-law used to make.  I hope you enjoy.  This recipe only requires asparagus tips.  Please come back tomorrow and we'll show you what I did with the remainder.

Cook Time: 30 minutes @ 350F

  • About 4 bell peppers
  • 4 finely sliced small zucchini
  • 1 diced large tomato
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 3 diced garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • asparagus tips
  • crumbled feta cheese

Thank you tons to Ellen B for such an awesome post - check out her site (Ellen B Cookery)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Guest Post - Kayleigh's Chardonnay Steamed Mussels with Garlic Baguette

Chardonnay Steamed Mussels with Garlic Baguette
Hi everyone! I’m Kayleigh from Cooking with Kale. I jumped at the chance to guest post for Laurie while she was busy enjoying her new bundle of joy. Laurie and I have very similar approaches to food: that it should be as seasonal and delicious as possible.
Summer, to the culinary-conscious mind, is full of promise. Who doesn’t love cracking into the first lobsters of the season, or biting into perfectly grilled corn on the cob? With all of this potential at hand, I try not to enter the market with a grocery list. I like to see what looks best and then I work out the perfect dish from there. This week I spotted fresh mussels, beautiful ears of corn, sweet shallots, large bunches of flat leaf parsley, and freshly baked baguette. There is nothing I enjoy more than soaking up savory broth from steamed mussels with crusty baguette. 
How I Chose My Ingredients & Why
Mussels have the ability to absorb a multitude of flavors and they are a very cost effective choice when you’re craving shellfish. The trick with mussels is to pull the little beard off before you eat them, and to discard any mussels that remain open (as they are dead). Corn at this time of the year is sweet and bursting with flavor. Grilling the corn will add a smoky element to the dish. As a base, Chardonnay is perfect, dry white wine at its finest. There is also the consideration that you should never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink. Combine this with some butter, sweet sliced shallots, fresh corn, and pungent garlic- and you’ve got the perfect sauce.

Chardonnay Steamed Mussels
with Grilled Baguette
Yields: 4 Servings
2 ears of corn
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups Chardonnay
2 pounds Mussels (cleaned)
1 baguette
4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
kosher salt
black pepper
If you’re feeling extra hungry:
3/4 lb Linguine

Preheat your grill to medium heat. Rub the ears of corn with one tablespoon of olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Put them on the grill for fifteen minutes (turning them every five to make sure that they don’t burn!)
In the mean time: slice your shallots, mince your garlic, and chop your parsley. Pull the corn off of the grill, and slice the kernels off of the cob.
Preheat a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter, and once it’s melted, add the shallots. Cook the shallots for two-three minutes and then add half of the garlic. At this point, add the corn kernels and the Chardonnay and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Add the mussels and cover the pot for 8 minutes.
In the mean time, combine the other half of the minced garlic, two tablespoons of olive oil, and two tablespoons of chopped parsley. Slice your baguette in half lengthwise and brush it with this mixture. Throw it on your grill for four minutes (or until it’s golden).

Toss the remainder of the parsley over the finished mussels. Add a nice big scoop of the mussels and their juices to a bowl and add a piece of grilled baguette. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Blogger - Liz's Tips for Staying Motivated to Stay Active

Hi! My name is Liz and I blog over at TurnUpTheEat. I am so excited to be doing this guest post for Laurie while she focuses on her new little bundle's arrival! I've been following Laurie's posts and just love her approach to taking her favorite meals and cravings and making them work double duty as delicious and wholesome, good for you recipes. This is also something I try to focus on over at TurnUpTheEat, along with keeping up with some type of a fitness routine. I am here today to share my tips for maintaining motivation to stay active!

We all know it can be TOUGH to always keep that energetic, positive attitude toward exercising. Trust me, this is something that does not always come easily to me either! After working a full 8 or even more hours sitting in a resting state then getting into your car and sitting again during your commute home, it can be hard to get your energy levels up to feel a desire to be active. Not all people have office jobs and sit for hours on end a day, but many do, and those who do not still often struggle with with the time factor. There can be so many other priorities you feel like should come before taking a little time to work out, right? What about your family, your laundry, who's going to make dinner, feed the cat, etc., the list goes on.

I get it, believe me. I don't even have kids and I get it, so I can't imagine how working moms must feel sometimes.

 Tips for Staying Motivated to Stay Active

This brings me to Motivation Tip # 1
1. MOVE FOR YOUR MOOD! A little exercise goes a long way - for your mind, your sanity and your outlook. You don't have to run 5 miles, sometimes even just getting out and doing a 20 minute walk when you can does a lot for you. Breathing fresh air and getting out in the light of the world can bring a new perspective and kind of "reset" things. Plus, doing something is better than doing nothing. This is key on days where you really just can't get there mentally with the whole exercising thing. 10 minutes on an eliptical or just walking is better than laying on your couch eating ice cream from the carton!

Motivation Tip #2
2. BEAT YOUR EAT! Exercising helps control cravings and hunger. I know this to be true. The nights I work out or go for a run I guarantee are not the nights (or even day's after) where I "accidentally" polish off any and all chocolate I can find in the house. They are not the nights that I give in and eat grilled cheese and french fries for dinner because I am too tired or lazy to make anything else. Nope. I always find I am more motivated to make sure I eat healthy and replace my body with the nutrients it needs after a good work out - not a bunch of garbage, processed food.

Motivation Tip#3
3. ENERGY! Behold this scenario: You leave work, wake up on a weekend, whatever. You know you have plenty of time to go to the gym and get in a decent workout or run, and what do you do? Not workout or run. Find 14 other excuses why it just won't happen for you right then. This happens to me after work more often than I like to admit. My energy is zapped, my brain is fried and I just want to go home and put on my pjs and drink wine. Despite my craving for comfort and rest, this is NOT what my body needs. Sure my energy is low but that's just because I haven't actually moved in a few hours! The second I do get moving, the blood gets flowing and I feel that little bounce in my step, like yeah!, I know my energy is on it's way back up. My body was literally just at a resting state for so long and that's hard to come out of.

Motivation Tip #4
4. MUSIC MAKES IT HAPPEN! I honestly do not think I could make it through some tough runs without a playlist that gets me fired up. My go-to music involves a lot of Eminem, Nicki Manaj, and almost any of the new trend hiphop-house blends. I have no idea what that's called. But it could be anything that gets your heart rate up. As long as it's sparking you to get moving that's all you need.

Motivation Tip#5
5. CHANGE IT UP! Don't feel like you have to do the same routine every time you are the gym or run the same route or stick to the same classes. In fact, it's GOOD to involve a variety of different workouts and routines to what you do. It keeps your brain from getting too bored or comfortable and keeps your muscles guessing. I used to love my weekly kickboxing class I took for stength training an then I would supplement this throughout the week with 2-3 mile runs.

The takeaway here is that although it may not always be easy to carve out time for a workout or you may just be feeling drained, it's so good to just suck it up and do SOMETHING. Even if it's just a walk around the block or 10 minutes on a workout DVD. It will make you feel better and you'll be glad you did it. Make it a time that is all your own, with your favorite music and keep it interesting by throwing in a new class or trying a new running route. Act like it's a fun activity and it WILL be a fun activity. The more positive you view being active, the more likely you'll be to stick to something for more than a week.

I am going to go take my own advice now since I just caught myself daydreaming about a nice dinner and early bedtime rather than hitting the gym like I planned. That's not happening today!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest Blogger - Jen's Date Balls

Hey everyone, My name is Jen from JenBeansBlog.  This is my very first guest post and I wanted to create something nutritious and simple and doesn't require cooking or baking or actually turning on any large appliances for long periods of time and something sweet to satisfy that sweet tooth for the new moms out there. 

Here's a recipe for something nutritious, and super easy, and super yummy:

Date Balls 
(I'm sorry but that's the best name I can come up with at 11:30 pm!)


  • About 200g (7oz) Medjool dates, pitted
  • About 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • About 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts/filberts
  • Other coating options: shredded coconut, ground walnuts, chocolate sprinkles, cookie crumbs

In a food processor, process dates with a teaspoon of cocoa powder and 2 teaspoon of ground hazelnuts until smooth. It should be sticky but not overly sticky. Dust your fingers and palms with cocoa powder and roll into balls. Roll them over more cocoa powder and ground hazelnuts and they are ready to eat! (or refrigerate for later)
If the dates alone are not sweet enough, add a bit of honey or syrup during the processing step. If they are too sweet, add a bit more ground nuts to dilute the sugars in the dates.

Enjoy with a hot cup of herbal tea. Happy eating!

Keep your eyes peeled for another delicious date recipe this upcoming weekend! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's a BOY!!!

I want to apologize for my absence the past week, but I have a great reason.... I had a baby boy!! Jared Ryu was born Tuesday morning (July 10th) completely healthy and absolutely adorable. We are so blessed!. As he is my first child, my husband and I, are learning the ropes and enjoying being new parents. 

I'm planning on being away for another week or so. Since I have been anticipating the birth of my child for awhile, I planned ahead and scheduled a few guest bloggers to post in my absence. So starting tomorrow, I'll be feature some great recipes and tips from some of my friends. 

I want to thank everyone for understanding and supporting me through such an amazing time in my life. I promise to be back and posting soon!