Bound and determined to re-create this cuteness MINUS the bacteria ;)

The Gift of Botulism – A Christmas Story

“What a cute gift idea!” I thought, as I read through a blog detailing a DIY Rosemary Olive Oil Recipe. I’m no stranger to cooking or DIY gifts so I thought this was going to be a walk in the park. Little did I know, I was about to create little botulism bombs – NOT what I was going for!

Botulism Bacteria Under Microscope

Clostridium botulinum is found throughout the world in soil.
The spores it produces – even a small amount – can lead to severe poisoning.
photo: NPR

I ordered some teardrop-shaped glass bottles complete with corks & brown gift tags. Then I picked up 2 large jugs of olive oil from Costco. I also bought a [sacrificial] rosemary bush to be sure I had enough to go around, without killing my poor little outdoor shrub.

Avoid burning your rosemary: Test oil with a few drops of water to be sure it's not spattering. Luke warm oil is what you're looking for. Add all rosemary at once to ensure even cooking.

Avoid Burning Rosemary: Test oil with a few drops of water to be sure it’s not spattering hot. Luke warm oil is what you’re looking for.
Add all rosemary at once for even cooking.

diy rosemary olive oil, what a grand idea(?)

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m a Pinterest fiend at times. I collect recipes and DIY ideas year-round, in hopes that one day I’ll actually remember to check back to the place in which I have saved said ideas (anyone else?). This year I was determined that things were going to be different – and they were! I followed the article’s instructions to the letter…until I overlooked everything in italics

one of my worst recipe fails, ever.

I have botched recipes and went off course numerous times over my history as an amateur chef. Although those recipes didn’t turn out as they should have, they were still tasty and absolutely far from fatal. Thankfully I made the infused olive oil far enough in advance to notice something a little extra in the jars BEFORE I handed them out.

dry out rosemary or kill your friends

Fresh rosemary must be properly dried prior to putting those fragrant little sprigs in your adorable bottles (which are a huge pain to get out)! I cannot stress this enough! Immediately after noticing a murkiness and something icky looking on the rosemary sprigs poking above the oil level, I scoured the internet looking for the safest way to make rosemary infused olive oil, in a jiffy.

Bound and determined to re-create this cuteness MINUS the bacteria ;)

Bound and determined to re-create this cuteness!

3 trustworthy recipe variations i’ve found:

  1. Mix, Preserve, Dry Press – Olive Oil Source
  2. The no-cook method – Martha Stewart
  3. Make sure everything is thoroughly washed & dried – Pepper Design Blog

I am going to attempt to make another batch of rosemary, I haven’t decided which recipe yet. After such extensive research, the thoughts running through my head are more along the lines of, “I wonder how easy it would be to add garlic in there…”

What do you think?

Share links to your favorite Rosemary Infused Olive Oil Recipes below in the comments.

I’m open to suggestions, tips and always interested in learning more!

Battling Negative Self Talk

Free Positive Thoughts

Not a bad idea… :)

I have spent upwards to 20 years learning and coaching positive self talk. I learned it from my volleyball coaches, as a player, and taught it stringently as a coach myself. Negative self talk is the #1 thing that can take an athlete out of their game, regardless of physical abilities. With this sound knowledge and background, how is that that I identify myself as the #1 offender of negative self talk? Here’s my major hurdle day-to-day:

“I can’t do anything right”

I can’t tell you how many times I have felt that way, even when I receive just one criticism. Nowadays, instead of giving or receiving a criticism or congrats every 11-14 seconds (average volleyball rally time) I’m found working away, giving life and work 100% of my efforts until someone flips a passing comment that carries a negative connotation. This comment may mean nothing, but without getting that constant feedback from a guiding source the only comment I have heard is negative. Now that negative comment echoes in my head for days, sometimes weeks – sometimes I even have dreams about the specific failure over and over again. Life was so easy when I was constantly receiving kudos or tips on how to improve! Almost makes me envy those who just do the minimum…

Why this way of thinking is wrong:

Obviously I CAN do things right – I know that in my heart of hearts. The majority of the things I do are pretty darn awesome to be honest. Does it feel like that? No. Should it? YES. I need to take the time, regardless of what my family, my bosses or others fail to do – and celebrate my wins too. If we only focus on losses, life feels like a loss. Even if I have to force myself to do this at home or work or wherever, focusing on the positive needs to be done. Without this, life will remain a string of losses regardless of reality. We’ve all heard these wise words, “If you think you can’t, you’re right!”

Still feel crappy? That’s OK.

The worst thing you can do about these thoughts is feel bad about them. That’s just another negative thought you’re creating in your mind. Accept that this is human nature at its best (ha!) and learning how to change those thoughts will empower you. In my case, I’m a perfectionist and I sometimes just have to tell myself that I don’t give a sh*t what <insert name here> thinks about this because I tried my very best, did well and I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

Take it from a perfectionist that will always be unsatisfied with the status quo – you have bigger and better things to worry about than failure. Without risk there is no reward, without failure we would never know how good success really is. If you’ve come this far, you’re a winner in my book :)


Image courtesy: Pure & Simple Organizing

Recipes – How closely do you follow them?

Do you ever find yourself flipping through recipe books or clicking through page after page of recipes trying to decide what to make? I do. I look at more cookbooks and websites than I cook nowadays it seems. Last night I came to one I couldn’t pass up – Roasted Chicken Thighs w/ Lemon and Oregano featured on Bon Appetite. But why do I bother looking at all of these recipes – I hardly EVER follow them without changes or adjustments.

How I Didn’t Follow Bon Appetite’s Recipe:
Last night I didn’t have all of the ingredients that the recipe called for and wasn’t about to make another trip to the store. There was food in the house and I knew I’d make it work. Below is my version of Bon Appetite’s recipe, it turned out delicious. Truly the perfect late summer or early fall meal with the flavors of comfort food, though a much healthier choice.


Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano Rosemary


  • 4 Medium-large boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Small lemons, reserve 1/4 lemon then slice the rest thin
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Medium sprig rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1/2 Large onion, chopped
  • 6 Green onions, peeled and sliced
  • 5-7 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 5-7 Hatch chiles, seeded (mostly) and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 Celery stalks, sliced thin
  • 2 Cubes onion bouillon
  • 1/3 c. Dry white wine (I used Searidge chardonnay)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees F
  • Grab a skillet intended for stovetop and oven use!I failed here at first, had to transfer from one pot to another, bummer. My Le Creuset was the perfect solution.

Get crispy with it!

STOVETOP: Heat coconut oil in skillet on med-high heat, place chicken in fat down if there is any. Then add lemon slices to the top of the chicken and the rest of the slices surrounding it in the pan (these will caramelize). You want to brown and cook that side of the chicken, and halfway through tilt the pan back and forth, making sure that each piece isn’t sticking to the pan. Add onion bouillon, onion, green onion, chiles, celery, garlic and rosemary, stirring frequently until fragrant. Add wine and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring lightly, then cover immediately and remove from heat.

OVEN: Place in the preheated oven and bake for 23-27 minutes. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before opening lid.

This easy chicken recipe was perfect with a wild rice and lentil mix but would also be delicious with yukon gold potatoes.

What is the last substitution you used in a recipe?

photo: Bon Appetite


10 Gluten Free Recipes that Top My List

Eating Gluten-Free isn’t something I have to do, it’s something I do when I can. For people like my mom, living with celiac disease is something she had to get used to later in life. Life changed. The kitchen soon had duplicates of everything hoping to prevent any cross contamination, and Dad was eating all of her GF goodies in the house.

I figured – why not eat gluten-free whenever I can? Gluten isn’t necessary in anyone’s diet and it’s often repulsive to learn all of the products that have wheat in them. The one that grossed me out the most was deli meat…why?! From that day forward I’ve relied on brands like Columbus and Boar’s Head. Try it – cut out gluten and see how you feel!

10 Best Gluten Free Recipes:

Gingerbread Almond Butter

1. Looking for a tasty morning treat? Check out this recipe from Wayfaring Chocolate to spice up your breakfast toast! Homemade Gingerbread Almond Butter – Gluten-Free, Vegan.

Quinoa Mint Salad

2. The Gluten-Free Goddess weighs in on life with celiac’s and shares this tasty GF recipe for Quinoa Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime – Gluten-Free, Vegan.

Japanese Fried Chicken

3. I follow Gluten Free Girl on Twitter, have for years. If you want a quality gluten-free chef to follow, look no further! This is one of her infamous gluten-free concoctions that she made following a magical trip to Japan. Recipe Here: Tokyo Fried Chicken – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free.

Giant Lemon Fennel Beans Recipe

4. If you’re in need of a side dish that’s unique and easy to make, then start gathering provisions for this recipe from 101 Cookbooks: Giant Lemon Fennel Beans – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian.

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

5. Ah, breakfast. The most important meal of the day. Now you can make it feel like the most important meal with this fanceh one from Smitten Kitchen: Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms – Gluten-Free, Vegetarian.

Chicken Stock GF

6. Gluten hides everywhere – especially in beef, fish, vegetable and chicken stocks. The only affordable way to be sure your stock is 100% gluten-free? Make it yourself! Read here: Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free.

Chipotle Orange Chicken

7. Orange is the New Black isn’t just a hit TV show I love, it’s the why this recipe shines! If you like spicy and sweet, this is the allergen-free recipe for you: Chipotle Orange Chicken – Gluten-Free, Dairy Free.

Adorable Pocket Pies

8. Blueberry Peach Pocket Pies (Gluten-Free) are the most adorable little things! Especially if you wrap them up nice and pretty like Carol from Simply Gluten-Free :)

Gluten-Free Beer Bread

9. What’s a GF post without something to do with bread? Super informative – bread stays fresh for 3 days without toasting! Recipe Here: GF Beer Bread – Gluten-Free

Maple Blondies

10. A happy – sweet – ending for this post is in order. And what better to end with than this delectable maple-y buttery dish: Maple Butter Blondies – Gluten-Free

Sharing is Caring – GF Style

Have any good gluten-free recipes you’d like to share? Put ‘em in the comments below to help other Gluten-Free’ers out! Thanks for reading :)

MEET MILLIE, my instagram obsession!

Originally posted on DAILY NIBBLES:

My sister forwarded me this article about Millie, the rock-climbing/adventure-loving cat.

“Millie has all the qualities a good climbing partner should have. She never complains, no matter how bad it gets. She always wants to go higher, and she pushes herself hard. But she also knows when to stop. When she’s done, she’s done. She’ll find a cave or climb a tree and won’t move until she’s rested. She takes big risks and doesn’t bitch when they don’t pan out. And she cuddles at night inside your sleeping bag and keeps you warm. She isn’t annoyingly mono-focused on climbing, either. She’s happy to explore slot canyons, caves, deserts, fields, etc.”

So…Millie is bad-ass, no?

I’m now obsessed with @pechanga‘s instagram. It’s inspiring, adorable, and heart-warming.

View original

Green Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich

Tall Allergic Chick:

Looks amazing!

Originally posted on Karen in the Kitchen:


I call this a GREEN chicken sandwich because all the other ingredients besides the chicken are green in color: avocado, green onion, cucumber, and spinach.

I made this sandwich for a light lunch with friends.  It was a little fancier than deli meat and cheese, but not too difficult for a quick lunch.  It’s also great as a make ahead.


Start with two cans of chicken breast.


Mix in mayo, mustard, juice from half a lemon and salt and pepper.


Add in half an avocado, diced up in the skin.  You can then easily scoop this out with a spoon into the bowl.


Dice two green onions for a little kick.


Peel and dice up half a cucumber for crunch.


If you want a carb-free option, this would be great in a leaf of romaine lettuce too!


Toast and slice the ciabatta and lay down a bed of baby spinach.

View original 111 more words

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

If you want perfectly cooked bacon that doesn’t curl up, it’s time you learned how to cook bacon in the oven! I love bacon, but don’t like dealing with spattering grease and twisted up pieces. Plus, I really like drizzling each slice of pork candy with 100% maple syrup before I pop it in to bake. I hope you enjoy my recipe for oven-baked bacon. Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear how you do it too!

How to Make Bacon in the Oven - TallAllergicChick Blog

Draining bacon on paper towels removes excess grease.
photo: cookbookman


Baked Bacon Recipe


  • Metal baking sheet covered in aluminum foil
  • 1 Pkg. thick center cut bacon
  • 100% maple syrup
  • Paper towels for draining grease

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay bacon flat, piece by piece – make sure that none of the pieces are overlapping. You may need to get another baking sheet depending on the bacon width. Drizzle each slice with maple syrup. Place baking sheet, uncovered, in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes. If you like your bacon extra crispy add 1-2 minutes to cooking time. Remove perfectly cooked bacon from the baking sheet and place on paper towels to drip excess grease. Enjoy!

Turmeric and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Photo Credit: The Kitchn

Try turmeric with greens! Photo Credit: The Kitchn

I’m always a big fan of homeopathic remedies and avoiding the doctor at all costs. Let’s not forget, it’s the medical industry and in addition to symptom relief everyone is there to make money. When I found the link between turmeric and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I wasn’t surprised – turmeric root is an anti-inflammatory, but in addition what can you do to relieve carpal tunnel at home? If you’re looking for carpal tunnel relief start at home and start with the basics:

  • Avoid inflammatory foods and add more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet
  • Take vitamin B6 and a potent complex-B vitamin
  • Take the time to do carpal tunnel exercises daily
  • Start cooking with turmeric

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Photo Credit: The Golden Foodie

Explore turmeric in every shape and form – don’t shy away from the whole root!
Photo Credit: The Golden Foodie

WebMD defines symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as, “The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain felt in the fingers or, less commonly, in the palm.” Those close to me define it similarly with great emphasis on their carpal tunnel pain and sleepless nights due to it.

In an effort to find the best homeopathic remedies for carpal tunnel syndrome, I ran across a few commonalities; the most interesting to me was turmeric. Diet is always the first place I go when it comes to solving a health problem. You truly feel like what you eat, so make it something good!

Turmeric Benefits

The list of turmeric health benefits goes on and on, but some are very helpful for carpal tunnel relief. If you’re asking yourself, “What is turmeric?” then ask no more! Turmeric root is related to ginger root – you’re probably most familiar with its use in Indian cuisines, curry and even used for dyeing things a hideous vibrant orange hue. I like Melissa’s brand whole turmeric root from the our local Sprouts grocery store. The health benefits of turmeric  include:

  • Natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent – You can use turmeric in a pinch to disinfect cuts and burns.
  • Shown to block additional growth of blood vessels in tumors
  • Used in Chinese medicine to treat depression

    Photo Credit: Epicurious

    Click the photo for a tasty recipe! Grilled shrimp with turmeric, chili, cilantro and lime – So good!

  • Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it great when treating
  • Natural painkiller and cox-2 selective inhibitor
  • Natural liver detoxifier

With all of these healthy side-effects you may be wondering why turmeric isn’t used in everything (I know I was). Well, it looks like there was a person who reportedly took a ridiculous amount of turmeric – over 1500mg twice a day – and experienced an “abnormal heart rhythm”. Additionally, it shouldn’t be taken in medicinal amounts if you’re pregnant because it’s “likely unsafe”.

What do you think? —

Would you use turmeric instead of big brand drugs?

Did you give the recipe a shot?

Beer | Supplication by Russian River Brewing (GF People DO NOT READ – you will be jealous!)

I was really thankful when my tests came back negative for being allergic to gluten/wheat. That being said, if you are and are bummed that you can’t drink amazing beer, please proceed with caution…

Russian River Supplication Beer

Brewed in Santa Rosa, CA

Supplication is a sour ale that is barrel aged for 12-15 months in Pinot Noir barrels with cherries added. Russian River Brewing Company from Santa Rosa, CA produces this sour, dry and crisp American Wild Ale (7.75% ABV, Drink Responsibly) as thirsty beer lovers like me wait, with bated breath. This beer is really out of this world amazing…it makes you wonder if you have an additional flavor palette that just hasn’t been used until the moment you taste it!

The bottle I picked up was around $15 and was just under 13 oz. Small beer for a chunk of cash, right? WRONG. This beer is HUGE in flavor depth and I’m pretty darn sure it’s my favorite beer.

Quality, not quantity people!

Summer 2012 – Refreshing Green Papaya Salad

Out here in San Diego, we aren’t used to humidity and lately it has been hot and really humid – even at the beach! Something that is always cool and refreshing with a kick is Green Papaya Salad! Plus, it’s another excuse to use my food processor :)

Foodista’s Green Papaya Salad

400g Papaya (shredded)
4 Cloves Garlic
2-3 Green Thai chili
10 Cherry tomatoes
80g Long beans
3-4 teaspoon Fish sauce
4-5 teaspoon Lime juice
20g Dried shrimps
40g Peanuts (toasted)
3-4 tablespoon
Palm sugar


Peel the green papaya and shred the papaya with a zigzag peeler.

Soak the papaya in water to remove the acid and make it crispy.

Crush the chili, garlic, long beans, dried shrimps and peanuts with a mortar and pestle. Mix all the ingredients together and serve.