Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Life Update

Hi everybody! I’m back – wow, it’s been awhile! These last few months have been a little crazy – I graduated (yay!), started a new job, started therapy for my ankle (it’s finally improving – yay!), moved, and lots of other little things that have unfortunately kept me away from the blogging world 😦 But, I am happy to be back and share a new recipe that I found with you!

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I had to incorporate pineapples somehow into graduation 😉

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Moving day!

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Now on to the food! I love sweet potatoes – I have to admit even more than a regular potato! And I have found a recipe for making sweet potatoes even more delicious than they already are. I actually made them for Thanksgiving and was looking through photos and remembered that I never posted them! Better late than never right? 😉 These sweet potatoes even turned the sweet potato haters in my family (yes I know there is such a thing!) to sweet potato lovers. I found the recipe on Cafe Delites – I used the boil method. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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And can we just talk about these adorable sandals that the Easter Bunny left for me yesterday!!!!

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Stayed tuned for more from the Picky Girl 🙂

Downtown Market – Grand Rapids, MI

Happy Sunday everybody 🙂 This post is a little late…but better late than never right?!?! Earlier this month, I checked another 50 by 50 state off of my bucket list – Michigan. We went to the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. I have been there a few times before over the years and I have to say it just gets bigger and better every time. The location and layout are just perfect!

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As you can see there was just a little bit of snow when we went 😉

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Isn’t the inside just gorgeous?!?! It’s such an open concept with a beautiful upstairs area where you can look down at all of the little shops. They also have cooking classes and even a greenhouse! I’ve never taken a class there before, but really want to the next time that I go. They also have a few restaurants now that look delicious as well.

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Some of my favorite stands there are:

And there are so many more stands that I would have loved to try, but I just didn’t have time…sounds like a good excuse to go back if I do say so myself 😉

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Hope you enjoyed this little tour of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market and stay tuned for more from the Picky Girl!

Rock 2018 and just be…YOU!

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Happy New Year everyone!! This time of year brings new beginnings, new adventures, and for a lot of folks new resolutions (or “old” resolutions in some cases!). Popular New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, eating healthier, and/or going to the gym/working out more. Often times people set unrealistic expectations for themselves and typically put a lot of pressure on themselves to get that “perfect body,” which most of the time causes frustration when these unrealistic goals aren’t met – because lets be real, is there really such a thing as the “perfect body.” These types of resolutions typically end by February and have the person saying “better luck next year!”

Well I challenge you, and myself for that matter, to have your New Year’s “resolution” be as simple as just “being YOU” – trying to be the best version of yourself that you can be and accepting yourself for who you are. This resolution can honestly be interpreted in many different ways and have a different meaning to each person. In my interpretation, this doesn’t mean drastically changing your eating and/or exercising habits in one day. When I say, “be the best version of yourself,” I mean be comfortable in your own skin, do things that make you happy, nurture your mind, body, and spirit – and most importantly make these changes for yourself and yourself only, not to make anyone else happy.

Think about it: what do you think that you can do to “be YOU” or be the best version of yourself? Is it truly, to exercise at the gym for 8 hours a day and to follow a crazy fad diet for a month?? For most, the answer to the previous question is – probably not! Some examples maybe to “be YOU” are:  writing in a journal everyday, meditation, taking a cooking class, doing something that you’ve always wanted to do, train for a marathon, eating an extra vegetable a day, trying out that fitness class you’ve always wanted to, move to a different city, take an hour walk a day, take a yoga class, etc. – it really can be anything you want! You do know “you” the best out of anyone 😉

So, I challenge all of you to “be YOU” in 2018 and do something that scares you, have a new adventure, do something to better yourself, and to accept your beautiful self just the way you are!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and fun New Year,

The Picky Girl 🙂

Rose Apple Pie

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with lots of family, love, friends, laughter, and of course yummy food 🙂 Now who’s ready for Christmas? (Me!).

Now if you follow me on social media you know that I made my first ever apple pie for Thanksgiving this year and let me just tell you…it was fantastic!!!! A lot of people have been asking me about how I made it, so I thought I would share that with you today 🙂 It was a great pie for Thanksgiving, but with Christmas coming up, I think it would work for that holiday as well. Especially because it is red and makes a lovely centerpiece 😉

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I mean I could be biased…but isn’t that the one of the most beautiful pies you’ve ever seen?!? And bonus – it tasted delicious too! It was a very “light” pie, so it was perfect after a big meal. I of course am not this talented on my own though. I did use a recipe that I found on Pinterest to help me out. Follow this link to get the full recipe from Comfortably Domestic.

Some tips:

-I used Gala apples to get more of the red color.
-I only cut up 5 apples and actually had more than enough to finish off my rose. But, the extra apples do make a delicious snack while cooking just FYI!
-I never used the lemon juice – I completely missed where she said to use it (still can’t find it actually), so I just skipped that.
-In her step #2, definitely make sure your apples are “easy to bend,” some of mine weren’t and she is right it does make it a lot easier to shape the rose when working with “softer” apples.
-I also left my “foil ring” around my pie crust for the entire baking time; that way it got nice and light brown and not burnt!
Disclaimer – I used store-bought pie crust, because ain’t nobody got time for that…am I right?!? Some day I would like to attempt it, but Thanksgiving was just not that day!

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I hope that you all enjoyed this recipe! Send me pictures if you decide to try it! And stay tuned for more from the Picky Girl.

[P.S. Notice the butter turkey – it’s tradition 🙂 ]

Broad Street Market – Harrisburg

Happy Saturday everybody and more importantly – happy Small Business Saturday! I spent the morning shopping at some of my favorite small businesses in the Harrisburg area, including one of my absolute favorite places and my PA stop on my “50 by 50” tour, the Broad Street Market. And it has just gotten bigger and better in recent years 🙂 Check them out on Instagram to follow all of their happenings!

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The Broad Street Market holds a special place in my heart. I remember when I was little we used to go every Saturday after my basketball game and I would get a pretzel and a lemonade. Since then I have expanded my market pallet and enjoy more yummy treats then just the pretzels and lemonade 😉

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I love the entire market, so it’s hard to pick my favorite stands, but since I can’t fit them all in this post I’ll have to try!

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Some of the absolute best pizza around!!! Trust me, it is a must have a the market!

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Phyllo

For the very best Greek food 🙂

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Raising The Bar

For the best bread and you can’t go wrong with their peanut butter cookies!

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Hummer’s Meats

Tried some of their cheese today 🙂

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Fasta & Ravioli Co.

For all of your homemade pasta needs!

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Fudge-O-lutely

Bought an elixer flavor today to try 🙂

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Eva.nilla

Tried my very first cinnamon donut this morning and all I can say is yummy!

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The Produce Patch

For all of your vegetable and fruit needs 🙂

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Taquitos Atenco

All I have to say about these tacos is yum!!!

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Hope you enjoyed this tour of The Broad Street Market! I obviously couldn’t include all of my favorites in this one post, so you will just have to check it out for yourself next weekend 😉 I know I’ll be there next Saturday, there are a few new places that I still need to try! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay tuned for more from the Picky Girl 🙂

Baked Apple Chips

Happy Sunday everyone!! So excited to share this next recipe with you guys:  Baked Apple Chips. They are delicious and would serve as a perfect “light” Thanksgiving day snack before the “real” eating begins 😉

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**Side note:  they really aren’t the prettiest things but they sure are tasty! I don’t have a corer, so the slicing was a little messy. But who cares…they still tasted good! Definitely need to invest in one for next time though!

**Next time I also need to cut them thinner – more crisp that way! Ya live and ya learn though right?!?! 😉

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Ingredients:

-Apples (Granny Smith, Honey Crisp seem to work the best)
-Cinnamon

**Yep, that’s right, only two ingredients!!!**

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Wash apples, core if desired. Then thinly slice (to the best of your ability…it’s harder than it looks!) 😉
  3. Spread out apple slices on baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, then flip slices over, sprinkle with more cinnamon, and bake for another hour. (**You may want to cook longer or shorter, depending on the crispiest you want…I got a little impatient and I think took them out too soon!)
  5. Enjoy 🙂

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Hope that you all enjoyed the recipe! Happy (early) Thanksgiving 🙂 What is everyone’s food plans for Thanksgiving?? I think I am going to attempt another pie this year and need to find a good vegetable recipe too! Keep on the lookout on Instagram for some photos and stayed tuned for more recipes from the Picky Girl 🙂

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InsaneInflatable 5K

Tried something this weekend that I never have before…the InsaneInflatable 5K! It was an absolute blast and I am so glad that I signed up. It was actually a lot harder than I thought that it was going to be, climbing and sliding all over the place! haha

I’ve definitely got myself into a rut of being lazy and not working out, but lately I’ve turned over a new leaf and have been getting back into it! I’ve also thought of a new goal:  run in a race every month for a year…we’ll see how that goes! I do already have one scheduled for November, so that’s a start. Who says it needs to be January to make a new resolution?!?!

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If you’ve never tried it you definitely need to!! And any race that I get a metal, I’m in 😉 Have a great week friends 🙂