Summer Grilling: Teriyaki Sea Scallop and Shrimp Kabobs

There’s something about the smell of kabobs on a smokey grill that brings people together. This recipe is perfect for a light, yet full flavored grilled lunch by the pool, lake or on the porch at sunset.

Seafood can get expensive when eating out at restaurants, but this recipe feeds six people for about $5 per person. If that’s too much, switch out the sea scallops with cod or another white fish for the price of about $3-$4 per person! Delicious meal, for a delicious price!!!!

Pair this recipe with corn on the cob for a lunch setting, or over a serving of brown rice, for a nice dinner! Garnish with a lemon, and chives.

Simple, Yet Extravagant  Photo By: Jessica Whitehead

Dinner Setting is Simple, Yet Extravagant
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Ingredients:

Sea Scallops (1 bag frozen, or fresh from the seafood department at your grocery store)

Large Raw Shrimp (1 bag frozen, or fresh from the seafood department at your grocery store)

1 Package- White Mushrooms

1- Sweet Onion

1- Zucchini

1 Jar- Teriyaki Sauce

Directions: Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces; keep them similar in size for equal cooking times. Thaw the frozen, or fresh scallops and shrimp before skewering. If the scallops are extra large, feel free to cut them in half to get more yield. Skewer all the ingredients on metal or wooden sticks. If you use wood, make sure to soak them in water before skewering to avoid them burning on the grill. With a basting brush, gently brush the teriyaki sauce over the skewers. Grill the skewers on Medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side. Use the leftover teriyaki sauce for dipping! Enjoy!

Summertime Grilling by the Pool, or on the Porch Photo By: Jessica Whitehead

Summertime Grilling by the Pool, or on the Porch
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Tips on grilling corn:

Peel back the husk from the corn, without removing completely. Take out the silks and lather the corn with butter, chili powder, pepper, and garlic powder before covering the corn with the husk again. For more tender corn, wrap it in aluminum foil before placing on the grill to keep the heat in better. Grill for 15-20 minutes on medium to high heat rotating the corn periodically. Enjoy!!!

The Grilling Crew! Photo Courtesy from: Megan Noyer

The Grilling Crew!
Photo Courtesy from: Megan Noyer

Spend 1 Day in 3 Cheap Ways

“Sunshine, sunshine, it’s fine
I feel it in my skin, warming up my mind,
Sometimes you gotta give in to win,
I love the days when it shines, whoa let it shine”  -Atmosphere

One of the best parts about summer is the feeling of sweet sunshine warming your soul. It’s the time of year to take advantage of outdoor adventures. It’s a little bit harder to get out of the house in the frigid winter, but all anybody needs to have a good day in the season of sunshine is an open door to the outside world.

Horsetooth

Enjoying the Scenery at Horsetooth Reservoire Beach
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Pack a picnic and head to the beach!

No beach close to you? Think again. Just because it’s not the ocean, doesn’t mean the lake or river can’t supply the same essence of a real beach. Close your eyes, hear the waves or flow of the river. Now that’s tranquility for the price of next to nothing

Bust out that cooler that’s been gathering dust in the closet, and pack it with wraps and a few snacks to munch on as you soak up those sweet rays. Don’t forget margarita materials, or a favorite canned brew to really take the edge off.

Summer Nights by the Campfire

Summer Nights by the Campfire
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Spend the afternoon at the disc golf course.

It’s like golf, but better. The courses are free, and you don’t need a tee time. It’s dog friendly. It’s fun and the best part is that it’s easy to learn! Not everyone can pick up a golf club and make a good swing at a little white ball. But just about anyone can throw a frisbee. Even if you don’t own discs, you can find them for less than $10 online or at local sports stores. If that’s too much, you can even buy a cheap frisbee and go for it! Maps of Northern Colorado courses

Gather wood for a campfire with marshmallows and a few friends.

Nothing says summer nights like a classic night spent around a campfire. All your senses will be heightened with the sight of flickering flames, smell of burning oak, taste of perfectly browned marshmallows and the sound of laughter from good company. Nothing beats free fun like a campfire.

Once everyone has quieted down, enjoy the sweet lullaby a campfire sings.

Experts Advise How to Rid Yourself of Unwelcome Stress

Being a strong believer in the power of yoga and other stress relieving activities, I experimented by trying some new remedies to relieve stress without spending hundreds of dollars on massages and unnecessary medications. Life is full of stressful circumstances, and it’s important to stay in touch with yourself. You can get to know your inner being even better that you already do just by spending some quality time with yourself, and by doing so your stress will melt away.

“Listening to yourself helps you to get to know yourself. Knowing yourself is the first step to managing yourself, and your stress” -Lynne Soraya, Psychology Today Blogger

Psychology experts give some advice as to how they relieve the stress in their lives. From plugging in headphones for some jamming to your favorite songs, to simply taking a few deep breaths before soaking in the nature around you, there are many ways to relieve stress anywhere at any time. No purchase necessary.

Life lesson: sing like your happiness depends on it, because it just might. Studies show that singing not only improves your mood, it also reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves breathing, boosts your immune system, provides comfort and the list goes on. So whether you’re a shower singer or a car singer, let your vocal chords loose.

“Even if you can’t control the event causing the stress, you do have some control over your response to it. “ –Mindy Greenstein, Ph.D

Pour yourself some green tea, and feel the benefits Photo By: Jessica Whitehead

Pour yourself some green tea, and feel the benefits
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Not only is yoga beneficial to your mental and physical health and wellness, but research shows that it also has a positive impact on your gene expression. Differing from standard workouts, yoga’s impacts happen almost instantly. Studies show that yoga is more effective in relieving inflammation in your immune system known to cause stress than any other workout.

Green tea is more than just a delicious zero calorie treat that can be enjoyed hot or cold, it plays a role in decreasing stress levels. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that aid in multiple health benefits and can help prevent a number of diseases. Theanine, found in green tea, helps focus attention allowing you to be more diligent.

Local Farms and Home-growers Supply Organic, Non GMO Foods

With all the buzz about genetically modified organisms (GMO) compromising the quality of the food we eat, there’s been a substantial growth in the amount of people switching to organic and local, sustainable foods, or even growing their own food all together.

“People are starting to become more educated and aware of what industrial farms are feeding them.” Said Tony Koski, master gardener for the Larimer County Farmers’ Market. “Buying from local farms, and home-growing your own food gives you the power to know where your food is coming from, and that it’s quality is safe to eat.”

The farms in Fort Collins are focusing their attention to growing produce organically and raising livestock the natural way ensuring quality foods for the community. With the growth of people choosing to eat organically, and buy locally, farms have grown substantially in the last five years.

“We started as a small scale, biodynamic farm in 2011, and now we have moved to a bigger farm where we jumped right in with the higher demand of people and businesses buying more local food.” Said Meghan Williams, from Spring Kite Farm.

With a farmers’ markets available four out seven days a week, it’s more readily available to the community. It’s also a way to bring the community together, with food sampling, live music and arts and crafts. It’s more than a market to go to for fresh food; it’s a community event promoting local culture.

Plenty of fresh food straight from the farm to you Photo By: Jessica Whitehead

Plenty of fresh food straight from the farm to you
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Many of the local farms in Fort Collins welcome visitors to tour their farms where they gladly show you the process in which they cultivate their crops.  For more information on touring farms, visit the Larimer County Farmers’ Market website.

“We love to have people interested in our produce. Our goal is to grow your dream garden, but with a selection you don’t see in an average home garden with familiar foods, and diverse foods.” Said Eli Hodapp, with Revive Gardens.

With the raise in awareness of GMOs and Monsanto, and what they do to the food we eat, the community has taken the initiative to make changes to the quality of the food we consume.

“We love delicious, nutrient dense food. We offer organically grown vegetables, grass fed lamb and beef, and non GMO fed pork and poultry.” Said Shawna, representative from Ole Dern Farm.

March Against Mansanto  pushes even more awareness into the nation, and asks people to take action against it. States across America, as well as 50 countries worldwide are promoting the act of supporting local and homegrown food to create a more sustainable, healthy way of life. Millions of people protested.

Fort Collins farmers agree with the idea, and take action toward growing food without genetically modifying it first. The farms in Fort Collins are working more and more to become year-round suppliers, since a lot of the food we eat is seasonal. But with growing need for supply, many of the local farms are incorporating greenhouses into their systems.

“We farm all four seasons using innovative and sustainable growing practices. We really strive to provide the freshest, tastiest and healthiest produce possible all year.” Said Nick Koontz, owner of Native Hill Farm.

Along with the larger local farms, home-growers who grow more food than they can eat contribute to the farmers’ markets. The markets even feature information booths, where anyone can go to ask questions about growing their own personal supply of food.

“I grow the majority of the produce I eat. I know I’m not eating food that’s been modified to be shipped long distances for days.” Said Koski. “It’s more work, but if you can grow your own food, you don’t have to buy it from money-sucking industries. You pick it off the plant, and eat it.”

Audio Story Transcript:

(Locals playing folk music at Larimer County Farmers’ Market)

Fort Collins local: “I’ll take some radishes.”

Katie Slota (Native Hill Farm): “Pick whatever ones you like.”

Fort Collins local: “Um, I like the mix.”

Katie Slota: “Ok! $3.”

Tony Koski (Master Gardener for Larimer County Farmers’ Market): “This market started 30 years ago? More than that, 40 years. The reason for the market originally was master gardeners were growing stuff in their garden, more than they could eat. So it was a way for them to share the food with the community, maybe make a few extra dollars from their own garden. Then it blossomed from there as we got more local farmers. So now we don’t have master gardeners really sell there anymore, we got a few that grow flowers and stuff. But they’re larger, regular full time .

Jessica Whitehead (Me): “The Larimer County Farmers’ Market is more than just a place to buy local organically grown food, it’s a community event that brings culture and sustainability to the city of Fort Collins. Other than the markets, most of the farms sell their produce and livestock through CSA programs.

Meghan Williams (Spring Kite Farm): “It’s um, it’s Community Supported Agriculture; is what it stands for. People will buy a share of the farm for the produce up front, and then they get a weekly distribution. They come in once a week, and the farmers will distribute that week’s harvest among all the members. It’s a way to support local agriculture.

Me: “Most of the farms do tours and samplings, so you can see exactly where your food is coming from.”

Eli Hodapp (Revive Gardens): “Yea, we’re trying to go for the diversified, biodynamic farm. A lot of people want to come, since we’re an urban farm, you know a lot of people want to be engaged, and that’s what we offer.”

Shawna (Ole Dern Farm): “Oh yea, we’re always open to showing people around and talking about everything. We do a variety of vegetables; last count was 48. Then fruits, eggs, beef, pork, chicken, milk shares.”

Tony Koski: “You don’t have to grow food that will stay fresh during shipping. You just have to move it short distance.”

Me: “What are you growing right now?”

Tony Koski: “Everything.”

Me: “Everything?”

Tony Koski: “Everything.”

You Can Live on a Budget, Without Giving up a Quality Life

Dollar Bills

Save all the ones you get from change in a month, and see how much you can stack up.
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Frugal life is the new glam life since the economy tumbled down in flames. People have reached to new lengths to save money. But living on a budget doesn’t mean you have to give up the quality of your life.

America’s economy was thriving until recent years, and people have been learning to budget their being without sacrificing the beauty in life by adjusting to a lower budget. There are many ways to save money in daily routines to keep some extra cash in your pocket for later, and even ways to add some. Learn more: Top 10 Tips for Living on a Budget 

“Experiences make people happier than material goods.” This idea is according to research done by Leaf Van Boven, a professor at CU Boulder. By investing in life experiences rather than materialistic riches, we can achieve a higher level of personal satisfaction by developing a better sense of ourselves and grow social relationships with others.

With cuts being made to nutrition programs, Sander Levin, Michigan Congressman and Dave Coulter, Mayor of Detroit suburb, Ferndale are putting themselves in the shoes of food stamp holders to gain some insight into the life of people struggling to feed themselves and their families. They are allowed a budget of $31.50 for a week to buy groceries. 

Congressman Dan Kildee is taking the pledge also. $31.50 for the entire week to spend on food; that’s $4.50 each day. Cheers to men with leadership taking a chance to gain an inside point of view for their communities.

3 Ways with Spinach Salad

There’s lots of reasons to indulge in that leafy green we all hated when we were kids. We know spinach is at the top of the charts when it comes to nutritional benefits, but we didn’t know it could taste so good. Living a meaningful life isn’t all about getting out and having fun, it’s also about taking care of your body so that you CAN thrive on the good life.

This week, replace those three trips to Taco Bell or McDonald’s and make your insides sing with one of these delicious spinach salads:

Yellow Goat Spinach Salad paired with homemade croutons

Yellow Goat Spinach Salad paired with homemade croutons
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Yellow Goat Spinach Salad:

Ingredients:

Half a bag of raw spinach

3/4 cup- chopped sweet Vidalia onion

3/4 cup- baby yellow tomatoes

1/2 cup- crumbled goat cheese

*Pair with homemade croutons (cubed french bread tossed in olive oil and spices then baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until crunchy)

Sauteed Tofu and Zucchini Spinach Salad:

Sauteed Tofu and Zucchini Salad paired with smoothie Photo By: Jessica Whitehead

Sauteed Tofu and Zucchini Salad paired with smoothie
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Ingredients:

Handful of raw spinach

3/4 cup- firm tofu cut into cubes

1/2 cup- sliced zucchini

1 tbsp- Olive Oil

spices- salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

Poppyseed dressing

*Pair this spinach salad with a strawberry, pineapple, banana smoothie with an orange juice base rather than milk.

Directions: Dry the firm tofu by wrapping the block in paper towels and applying pressure before cutting into cubes(or buy pre-cubed firm tofu). Slice desired amount of zucchini into bite sized pieces. Heat olive oil at medium to high heat in a saute pan before adding tofu and zucchini. Add spices and stir occasionally until the tofu is golden brown. Add the finished product to your delicious bowl full of spinach. Top with poppyseed dressing and enjoy.

Sprouting for an Egg Spinach Salad

Sprouting for an Egg Spinach Salad
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

Sprouting for an Egg Spinach Salad:

Ingredients:

Handful of raw spinach

1- hard boiled egg

1- small clementine

1/2 cup- sprouts

3- slices of cucumber

1 tbsp- toasted coconut

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions: Rinse sprouts before scattering on salad. Slice the hard boiled egg and cucumbers and place in sections on the spinach. Separate a clementine for decoration and flavor. Place coconut shavings in a saute pan with no grease and toast until golden brown then sprinkle over the top of salad. Dress salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Fort Collins Brewery Tours Offer Free Tours, and Free Beer

Beer Chandelier

New Belgium Brewery Beer Chandelier
Photo By: Jessica Bruner

 

 

New Belgium Brewery features FREE tours with FREE beer, and has people spinning wheels to get a taste of their belgium style brews. Bicycle wheels, that is. New Belgium’s founder, Jeff Lebesch started on a bike when he toured Europe in 1989, and the wheels are still rolling with many bicycling events such as Tour De Fat.

As one of the first Microbreweries to open in Colorado, Odell Brewery has been producing brews since 1989. Founder, Doug Odell kicked off the brewery by releasing 90 Shilling, and Easy Street Wheat, their two most popular brews. Today they produce 6 year-round beers and do FREE first come first serve tours.

The Fort Collins Brewery , formally named H.C. Berger Brewing, reopened with new ownership in 2003. Their opening was just in time for the explosive popularity of craft brewing. FREE tours are available every Saturday from 1 to 5 on the hour.

The newest brewery, Equinox Brewery, opened in 2010. They put an innovative spin on brewing by pairing up with Colin Wescott’s home brew supply store, Hops & Berries. They focus on educating visitors about the style and history of their brewing with short and sweet FREE tours and options to sample their beers.