We have the opportunity on the daily to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Whether one goes through their day searching for good deeds to be done,
or simply takes advantage of random opportunities to spread love,
every action (or inaction) has a resounding impact.
The question is: Is your impact today going to be positive, negative, or indifferent?
I have been told that one person can't make a difference.
I affectionately call these people "dummies"...
Those who actively try to hold the rest of us down,
those who would rather watch you drown than help you soar, those who can't grasp the power of positivity to create change.
Whether it's a great recipe found, or an uplifting story to share, you can be sure to find it here.
Let's start a Positivity Revolution, and drown out the dumb!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Homemade Tortillas

I despise wasting food, not just because it wastes money, but because there are so many people who cannot afford the luxury that is stocking their fridge once a week. I express my love through food, so buying things that I don't eat, like flour tortillas and frozen pizzas for my boyfriend, is common. The long and short of this is that I buy flour tortillas that sit in our fridge for two weeks until I throw out half of the package because they're crusty. I cringe every time I throw food away, and am always on the prowl for homemade alternatives to store-bought items.
I finally found an easy recipe for flour tortillas, using ingredients that I always have on hand. I might be in love with the idea that when we need flour tortillas, I can whip them up with confidence in about 30 minutes.

Here's the recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups warm water (approximate)

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, add shortening until the dough is mixed and resembles crumbs. Add water and knead until smooth (smooth-ish, I didn't have the patience to knead my dough for more than a few minutes). Cover bowl and let dough rest for about 10 minutes. After resting, pinch pieces of dough off in 1-inch increments, fold and knead to make a tight ball. Let these balls rest about 10 minutes. 
Now's the fun part! Sprinkle a cutting board with flour, and get out your rolling pin. Roll each tortilla ball into a fairly thin disk, turning and flipping dough as you roll to prevent sticking and to keep a roundish shape.
I have one of those AMAZING green pans that nothing sticks to, which is perfect for tortillas, because you don't need any extra grease to prevent the dough from sticking. I seriously use this pan every day!
Cook each tortilla on medium heat until you notice tiny bubbles appear, then flip. It may take a couple "testers" to determine exactly how much cooking time you'll need, this will depend on your cookware. My tortillas took about a minute on each side. I cooked all of my tortillas at once, and used them to make two batches of chicken enchiladas with my homemade enchilada sauce. YUM!
Do you have any money-saving tips to share?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Smoothie Files

I love reading articles, and will notoriously research any topic that I want to learn more about. Ah, the joy of the internet! I can quickly learn about nearly anything, and fully accept that I am a product of our technology-driven world. My brain is full of tidbits, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Learning something new every day, even if it's generally unimportant, keeps me energized!

My most recent Google Escapade was inspired by seeing an article about Wellness and eating more fruits and vegetables. The suggested daily intake of fruits and veggies has always seemed to be impossible to meet, and I find it hard to believe that ANYONE can take in 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. I knew without a doubt that I come nowhere near the recommended intake, so some creative solutions were necessary. I learned that with a 2,000 calories per day intake, I should have 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables. Every day. Yuck.

After trolling recipe websites for delicious vegetable recipes, I decided upon a "Green Smoothie". I like the idea of a smoothie, because I can make it ahead and take it to the office. I never realized that working in an office full of ladies would cause complete diet failure due to all the delish treats they are constantly bringing in, so bringing in something healthy has become a necessity to ward off hunger and unnecessary donuts or cookies or chocolate on a daily basis. Those evil temptresses! (I of course meant the treats, not the ladies, heehee.)

The green smoothie recipes I found sounded just terrible, but I decided to give it the old college try...After several failed attempts at green, chunky, unappealing drinks, I finally found the combination of fruits and hearty greens that is both delicious and super healthy. I still can't get my boyfriend to drink one, but I think they are just amazing. I like to divvy up all my fruits and veggies at once, making about 8 or 10 shake packs at once to freeze.

While researching smoothie recipes, I found information about about Chia seeds, which are supposed to be a raw, organic superfood that also staves off hunger. My mom, who is a health officianado, corroborated this finding, she uses Chia seeds on everything. If it's something that she would buy and use on the reg, I know it must be good for me. I found a 1-pound bag of these seeds online for $10, which was a third of the cost that I found at the health food store. Boom!

Okay, enough about articles I've read, here's my recipe. Combine all ingredients evenly between your smoothie bags, place in freezer for grab and go ease. I'll start with about 8 ounces of purified water and the Chia seeds, then add a smoothie pack and blend until smooth. Each bag makes 16-20 ounces. Enjoy!


8 sandwich size ziploc baggies
4 bananas, peeled and cut in half
4 medium red apples, cored and cut in half
4 Bartlett pears, cored and cut in half
2 avocados, cut in quarters
3-4 cups red or green grapes (1 large bunch)
1 large bunch kale
1 8-oz. package frozen spinach (or 1 large bunch fresh spinach)
4 oranges, peeled and cut in half
1/4 tsp chia seeds per smoothie pack (I typically add these right before blending, I don't know if the nutritious properties fade when these are frozen)