Almond Pulp Thumbprint Cookies

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This is a follow-up post from how to make your own Almond Milk recipe I posted to start the year. My family makes a lot of soy milk (which will be another post someday), but sometimes we like to throw in some fresh almond milk. We live in Lodi so there is an abundance of fresh almonds we usually get (often still in its shell). Almonds eaten this way are the freshest of any almond. Store bought just doesn’t compare. But for those not lucky enough to experience the country life, store bought will work just fine!

After making almond milk, you are left with this pulp. The pulp of course can be dumped as compost for your plants, but this stuff shouldn’t be wasted if you have the time to convert it into something else! Online, there are lots of recipes on how to use up almond pulp. My sister requested it be these Almond Pulp Thumbprint Cookies!

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Date/Almond Energy Balls!

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So far in the past month, I have changed jobs, happily shopped til I dropped, and over the first quarter of 2016, I have checked off most of my 2016 New Years’ Resolutions!!! I have checked off these ones:

  1. Become better at makeup.
    • I have learned contouring, and have bought new brushes and higher quality makeup.
    • I wear sunscreen every day now!!! I have finally found one that I really love. I put my lotion on my face in the morning, slather the Revision Intellishade tinted sunscreen with SPF 40 on top, and apply my makeup!
    • Still lots to learn, but I am working on it!
  2. Get a facial.
    • Got one. Didn’t really care for it, and since my skin isn’t bad at all, the facial person couldn’t really do much with my face. Thus, I felt like it was just a massage of my face, and apparently they did a gentle mask. It was whatever.
  3. Be more solid financially and independently.
    • The hustle continues, and doesn’t stop, but I have made a very big step towards this goal by transitioning to a new job! Still on track for my ultimate goals.
  4. Understand the types of investments out there.
    • Check mark. My new job is a wealth of learning opportunities and such a sexy industry to be in. Super excited for all the things.

The second quarter will be my goal #1 this year – improve upon my blog. Once I settle into my new job, I will spend whatever free time I have to learn about this! Also, my #4 goal this year (get skinny/get abs) is still incomplete, but I have consistently gone to the gym 3-4 times a week. This will also be the other focus of the second quarter.

To kick start the quarter, I made some Date/Almond energy bites, rolled in bee pollen and hemp seeds. LOVE the sweetness of the dates, some chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla that rounds it out. Delicious and it will be my snack of choice, rather than Cheez-its I’ve eaten the past week. You can add whatever seeds, nuts, dried fruits, milks, you want. The world is your oyster.

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Tomato, Kale and Orzo Soup w/ Turkey Meatballs

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Hi all! Sorry for being MIA. I feel so apologetic all the time on the blog since i haven’t posted very much, and I keep telling myself I want to write more and learn to code. Haven’t done this New Year’s Resolution yet, but have worked on the other goals for the year. I have a great feeling that 2016 is going to be a great year for my friends and I. Change is coming (and has already as I moved a month ago) and I am SO ready.

Btw, it has been raining for 5 straight days in Northern CA. I know this year is going to be a great year because even through the rain, I am still out and about and in a great mood to be spending time with friends and family. Also, it has been a great time to make hearty soups. I am very fond of orzo, but had a un-love affair with orzo for a long time. I think I just hated the fact that it literally soaked up every ounce of liquid in everything. But for some reason, this time, I was actually craving those little morsel pastas.

Also, I have my hands on some real Burmese fermented tea leaf paste. I plan to make tons and tons of tea leaf salads in the future. Will post here once I do. Can’t wait!

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Homemade Almond Milk

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Growing up I really hated drinking milk. Milk that was plain, milk that had chocolate in it, etc. I hated milk in my cereal, I always preferred eating the cereal plain, straight out of the bag, straight crunchy. But I was forced to drink it every morning before school, since milk has calcium, and milk is good for strong bones. I later discovered soy milk and almond milk as alternatives, and my life dramatically became better. Hah! So I went through a period of time where I made smoothies with and drank plenty of soy milk and almond milk. I bought them from Trader Joe’s, but always felt that the almond milk there was a little lifeless. Not very creamy or full body. So I set my sights on homemaking almond milk to see if there was a difference. And there is! Homemade almond milk is creamy and delicious, and when its homemade, you can add whatever flavors to enhance it. Almonds kind of got expensive, so I don’t make it very often, but if you want to drink the difference, give it a try!

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Buffalo Turkey Meatballs + 2016 New Years Resolutions

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Happy New Year Everyone! I wish everyone a wonderful 2016. I have a feeling this will be a great year. I don’t normally make cheesy statements like that, but I really do believe 2016 will be the year for me, my family, and my friends. I can’t wait to actually see what this brings, and as always, I want to remember to take the time to appreciate time, and the daily happenings. I refreshed my memory on glaciers, and looked up the age of the Sierra Nevada – the granite that we see today was formed 100+ million years ago. Humans are on this Earth for a minuscule amount…take the time to enjoy every millisecond!!!

My 2016 New Years Resolutions:

  1. Improve upon my blog. The look, the feel, learn some basic blogging coding. I know it’s a long shot to actually be one of those beautiful long time bloggers making a ton of money, but I want this to be my life’s work/creation. Even if no one appreciates it, it is still something I wish to leave in this world for millions of years later.
  2. Become better at makeup. I gotta stay young and beautiful if I want to be in the running for a husband.
  3. Get a facial. Will be my first time!!! My sister just threw shade at me for only cleaning blackheads every three weeks; she does it 4 times a week.
  4. Get abs/get skinny. I start Monday.
  5. Be more solid financially and independently. Although I have a job, a lot of things are still paid for by my family. I want to turn the tables.
  6. Understand the types of investments out there. Investing is a vast vast, deep deep hole that you can go into and one thing leads to another, and before you know it, everything gets confusing. The terms derivatives, liquid alts, swaps, CROs, etc. I learned some of the terms while studying for a failed Series 63 exam, but I would love to know MORE, just to build a solid foundation as I continue to work in the industry.

What are yours!!!

To jumpstart 2016, we will begin with some healthy turkey meatballs in buffalo sauce. Light and friendly snack.

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Linzer Cookies!

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These adorable little things are traditional to Austria in the region of Linz. Love that the little circle/shape in the middle are called “eyes.” You can make these with any shape! I was in the holiday mood and had snowflake cut outs, then used a icing tip to cut out the circle in the middle. Tip: Make sure the dough is hard, but not too hard; have lots of flour on hand as the dough is super easy to break! Try them with different kinds of jams for different flavors and colors. I used homemade peach, grape, and orange jams to fill. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas :).

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Candied Orange Peels!

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We have organic oranges growing in our backyard and we have an abundance every year. My grandpa was a renowned fruit grower in China, with award winning satsuma tangerines being his most well-known. My dad remembers biting into those satsumas and juice just flowed. Thin skins, tons of juice, and the fruit, the size of an orange. My parents failed at growing the first orange tree, but my grandpa decided to step in to do the pruning in the winter for several years, and saved our second orange tree. Now, the tree produced over 100 pounds of oranges. 100 POUNDS! So every year now, we think about our grandpa and his pruning and it is an ode to his labor. Now that we have so much, we have to look for ways to not waste the fruit. So we have made orange marmalade and now candied orange peels. Takes a ton of sugar, but they end up looking SO PRETTY after. Also, you can give them away as gifts as these things store super well. Or dip them in chocolate.

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