7.26.2017

Healthy Recipe: Warm Quinoa Salad with Fresh Cherries

Cherries. They are sweet with a bit of tartness. They are filled with health benefits.  Life is perfect with a bowl of fresh cherries.

Fresh cherries are summer fruits and are in season late June, July and August.


At least my daughter thinks so. She has eaten so many fresh cherries this month that I've lost count. They are filled with fiber and powerful antioxidants. It's a food that I am glad she is eating.

Most cherries are grown in our Northwest state.  More than likely, what you find in your grocery store will be from this part of the country.

The Northwest is known for seven varieties including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and the unique golden-blushed Rainiers. Other popular varieties include the deep juicy sweet Tietons and heart-shaped Chelans on the shelves now, and late-season Lapins, dark Skeenas, and bright red Sweethearts. Aside from the light-hued Rainier (and its many sub-varieties), consumers can typically spot sweet cherries by their darker red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter. Fresh cherries should be kept in a tightly sealed bag or container and will keep for approximately two weeks when refrigerated. Rinse just before eating for best longevity.

I used Chelans from Washington for this healthy recipe. They were dark, sweet and delicious.

You could use this dish as a vegetarian entree or a side dish.  Once I prepared it, I ate it a lot for a late breakfast or lunch.  Liza,  my daughter, would not eat this. She continued to eat her cherries plain.

Healthy side dish or entree with quinoa and fresh cherries


Warm Quinoa Salad with Fresh Cherries 

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa cooked in vegetable or chicken broth
fresh basil
20 fresh cherries, quartered and pitted
15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
Green onions (optional)
1 tablespoon of white wine or white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
Crumbled Feta Cheese


Prepare quinoa as directed. Once quinoa is ready, combine all ingredients except feta cheese in mixing bowl.  Add additional salt or pepper to your taste. Once mixed, serve in bowls and top with feta cheese.

Enjoy.

When eating leftovers, I reheat in the microwave and eat in warm.

Easy recipe using cherries.


To learn more about cherries, visit www.nwcherries.com

Disclosure: NWCherry Growers Association sent me several bags of cherries to taste at no cost to me to help showcase the cherry season. The recipe is my own. My mom said the only thing she liked in it was the cherries. She's not a fan of quinoa. 

7.17.2017

Included with Hotel Stay:The Hyatt Brand Elevates the Breakfast Experience for Guests with Customized Parfaits and Breakfast Bowls



Fresh ingredients in Breakfast Bowls at Hyatt Properties
All photos in this post supplied by Hyatt and Getty Images

When families book hotel stays, many parents choose hotels that provide a complimentary breakfast for guests. Business travelers also keep their company travel expenses in check by choosing business hotels that offer breakfast. Bottom line, complimentary breakfast in hotels saves the guests money.

I've heard from readers in the past saying they don't always eat breakfast in the hotel because the hotel breakfasts are usually not very good in this select-service market.  Some say they would rather explore the area they are visiting by dining in local restaurants.  However, to many travelers, hotel breakfasts are convenient and for many, it is a morning necessity. The Hyatt brand wants its guests to enjoy its complimentary breakfast and are taking it up a notch by offering a new innovative breakfast experience that puts the power of breakfast in guests’ hands with customizable Build Your Own Breakfast Bowls and Greek Yogurt Parfaits.


Customized Breakfast bowls at Hyatt Place Hotels


I've stayed in both Hyatt Place and Hyatt House and on those stays, I thought the brand did breakfast service well.  When we were redoing our hardwood floors in our Raleigh home before putting it on the market to sell, I spent three nights at the Hyatt Place near the PNC Arena. The kids and I looked forward to breakfast each morning. It saved us money plus I didn't have to cook breakfast. 

Expanding on the “You’ve Come Too Far to Settle Now” platform, the Hyatt Place, and Hyatt House brands are inspiring guests to elevate their on-the-go routine with convenient dining choices that flex to meet their needs. The new Hyatt Place “Build Your Own” complimentary breakfast reminds guests not to settle when it comes toy the most important meal of their day. With the customizable breakfast bowls and Oikos® nonfat Greek yogurt parfaits, guests are sure to find the right balance to fit their morning routine – from premium ingredients, such as cage-free eggs and all-natural bacon and sausage, to more indulgent ones, including a warm caramelized banana yogurt topping.


Customized Yogurt Parfaits at Hyatt Place Hotels



Now available at Hyatt Place hotels across the United States and Canada, uniquely themed breakfast bowls and Greek yogurt parfaits are offered throughout the week to add variety for guests.

·         Classic American Bowl: Cage-free eggs, all-natural bacon or sausage, and a sweet side of pancakes or waffles (available Saturday-Monday)
·         Southern Comfort Bowl: Cage-free eggs topped with southern skillet potatoes, sausage gravy and hot sauce (available Tuesday)
·         Little Italy Bowl: Cage-free eggs topped with roasted Parmesan potatoes, all-natural sausage links and tomato bruschetta (available Wednesday)
·         California Dreamin’ Bowl: Cage-free eggs topped with ancient grain and kale blend, all-natural bacon and avocado salsa (available Thursday)


California Dreaming Bowls at Hyatt Place Hotels


·         Burrito Bowl: Cage-free eggs topped with roasted corn and black beans, oven-roasted sausage and potatoes, salsa and lime crema (available Friday)
·         Bananas Foster ParfaitOikos® nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt topped with bananas Foster compote and caramel (available Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
·         Tangy Berry Bliss ParfaitOikos® nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt topped with berry compote and French toast croutons (available Tuesday and Thursday)


The launch of these new breakfast offerings was celebrated with the first-ever #WhySettle Battle of the Breakfast Bowls cooking contest at Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South. Hosted and judged by Katie Lee, American cookbook author, host of Cooking Channel’s Beach Bites and co-host of Food Network’s The Kitchen, the cooking contest invited five student chefs from the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) to create the next iteration of the Hyatt Place Build Your Own Breakfast Bowls – in under 30 minutes! Submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges including Lee; Chef Mark Krystopa, director of culinary operations for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House; and Ksenia Avdulova, founder of @BreakfastCriminals, a digital platform dedicated to starting your day right.

Culinary Student Brooke DiResta created the Nomad Bowl. It will be on Hyatt Menu in 2018


The winning breakfast bowl, The Nomad Bowl, created by Brooke DiResta, featured premium ingredients including; soft-boiled cage-free egg, toasted ancient grains with kale, sausage crumbles and charred lemony asparagus ribbons. In addition to winning the coveted title of #WhySettle Breakfast Bowl Champion, Brooke also received USD $10,000 to continue pursuing her culinary passion  Brooke's winning bowl will appear on the 2018 Hyatt Place Build Your Own Breakfast Bowls menu.

Alongside the new breakfast experience at Hyatt Place hotels, Hyatt House hotels also recently introduced the new “Omelet of the Day,” enhancing the current made-to-order Omelet Bar by giving guests daily breakfast inspiration while on the road.

Omelet of the Day bar is available at Hyatt House


Additionally, the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands introduced new for-purchase menus in Knowing that traditional meals are evolving and consumers are changing their eating habits, the two brands incorporated new bar bites and shareable items into their menus, including street tacos, charcuterie boards, crafted sliders and more.

“Our guests are at the center of everything we do. We know they are looking for meals with high-quality ingredients and we want to be able to give them the opportunity to customize their dining options so that we can make every visit – from a one-night stay to a week – feel personalized and unique,” said Chef Mark Krystopa, director of culinary operations for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House.


Breakfast Bowls are part of your hotel stay at Hyatt Place


Visit our Book your Hotel tab plan your next stay so you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast from Hyatt. 

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in post

7.03.2017

#OutaboutNC Family Adventure Idea: New Zip Line Adventure now Offered in Blowing Rock, N.C.


High Gravity Zip Line Adventure in Blowing Rock,NC

High Gravity Adventures, an aerial adventure park in Blowing Rock, N.C.opened a new Zip Line Tour on July 1, 2017 adding to the park’s aerial ropes courses, Ninja Ground Course and Giant Swing. Guests, age 11 and up with a minimum of 75 pounds in weight, can now enjoy a full day of high-flying, family-friendly fun in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

High Gravity Adventures’ new Zip Line Tour takes guests on an exhilarating ride high above the forest floor through the trees of the North Carolina mountains. Adventurers will fly over scenic ravines as they make their way through a series of zip lines and a swinging sky bridge, the culmination of which is a 1000-foot line that propels guests directly above the trestle bridge at nearby Tweetsie Railroad. The experience ends with a heart-pumping 70-foot free fall.

“With the addition of this new Zip Line Tour, High Gravity Adventures has become the ultimate adventure destination in the High Country,” said Carson Rivers, Vice President of High Gravity Adventures. “Our new Zip Line Tour offers an experience unlike anything else around. Starting from our treehouse, guests will soar through a forest wonderland, take in beautiful views, cruise over the Tweetsie Railroad trestle bridge, and culminate in an exhilarating 70-foot free fall through the middle of our existing adventure course. With this addition, guests can now spend the whole day at our aerial adventure park zip lining, climbing, balancing and swinging to their hearts’ content.”


High Gravity Ropes Course


Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Boone and Blowing Rock, N.C., High Gravity Adventures is a family-friendly adventure park that is ideal for adults and children alike. Guests can combine the Blue Ridge Course, three-person Giant Swing, and the new Zip Line Tour to create “The Ultimate Adventure” for only $89. Zip Line Tour will also be available as an exclusive stand-alone experience. High Gravity Adventures also offers aerial experiences for those that like to keep their feet a bit closer to the ground, with challenges of varying difficulty levels ranging from 15 to 50 feet in the air. The park offers something to please everyone, from adults to teens and children as young as four-years-old, and all activities utilize state-of-the-art safety systems and the latest technology.


High Gravity  Three Person Swing


Boone, N.C. is home to Appalachian State University and ski resorts in the winter. I personally love this area in North Carolina and have visited the area many times. These are some of my older and popular posts on for this area. I have stayed at the Mast Farm Inn, the Courtyard by Marriott in Boone, and at the Chetola Resort. 


High Gravity Adventures also has three hotel partners they are recommended by them.
Country Inn and Suites  and others. This area has lots of hotels for your budget. Go to my Book a Hotel Tab to book your adventure.

Adventures in Blowing Rock, NC


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