Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day + Giveaway WINNER!

We are so blessed to live on such a magnificent planet.  It's one of the things we tend to take for granted.  In order to keep the oceans blue and beautiful, the glaciers cold and icy, the forests green and full, and the air crisp and fresh, we need to do our part.  It is so easy to make simple changes that if we all do, it can make a big impact on the Earth, climate, and mother nature.  Let's all celebrate this big giant planet that we all call home.  Happy Earth Day!

And speaking of Spring, I would like to announce the WINNER of the Spring Giveaway!!!!

Congratulations to Francesca Couser!!  I will be contacting you shortly to send you or goodies!  A huge thank you to all participants!  I can't wait to do another Giveaway with a great brand such as Purely Elizabeth.  

As always don't forget to check out the Purely Elizabeth Spring Magazine.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Asparagus & Citrus Coleslaw

When it comes to Easter dinner, we usually stick to the good 'ole ham and scalloped potatoes.  And I'll tell you that my mom makes the best scalloped potatoes in all the East of Idaho.  I have been playing around in the kitchen for ideas to contribute something new and fresh for this year's Easter dinner.  I can't replace the ham nor the potatoes, so I chose to do a nice citrus slaw that will pair nicely with the ham. 

Using seasonal ingredients like asparagus, cauliflower, and radicchio, combined with a mild mustard and citrusy dressing and a touch of parmesan, I'm sure to win over some relatives. 

I hope you all have a very wonderful Easter weekend full of sunshine and good eats!  Don't forget to ENTER TO WIN the Purely Spring Giveaway in the prior post!  All comments and follows are good for entry on any post.  And also, don't forget to check out the Purely Spring Magazine for extra Easter ideas and recipes!  

1 small head of cauliflower
1 small radicchio
1 bunch asparagus 
1/2 C green onion 
1/4 C italian parsley 
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 C olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 C sliced almonds
1/2 C grated parmesan
*dried cranberries (optional)

In a large food processor, chop asparagus, green onion, and parsley, set aside

Chop cauliflower and radicchio into thin slices and put in a large mixing bowl

Combine mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, salt/pepper in a food processor and pulse until well combined

Add asparagus to cauliflower and radicchio and drizzle with citrus dressing

Throw in almonds, parmesan, salt/pepper toss and serve at room temperature


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Giveaway with Purely Elizabeth! CLOSED


Say Happy Easter and Hello Spring with these two fabulous brands!  I have teamed up with organic foods company, Purely Elizabeth, to bring you a fun giveaway to keep you eating and feeling your best!

Purely Elizabeth is an organic food company who's known for her wholesome grains granolas and oatmeals.  Using all-natural superfood ingredients, Purely Elizabeth has launched into a National brand name.  You can find her line of granolas and oatmeals, as well as cookie mixes, pancake mixes, and much more at Whole Foods Nation-wide.


1). Two packages of Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola Cereal
2). Two packages of Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal and Hot Cereal
3). Two boxes of Purely Elizabeth gluten-free cookie mix
4). BONUS Prize:

Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

I am an avid fan of the blog Smitten Kitchen and her ways of making tasty creations in her small apartment in New York City. She has gone from blogger to National Best-Seller and I am so excited to share her book with our lucky winner!


1). Follow @therootblog on twitter
2). Follow @purelyelizabeth on twitter and Instagram
3). Check out the Purely Elizabeth Spring Magazine and leave a comment below on what your favorite part about Spring is along with your EMAIL and NAME so I can contact you if you are the WINNER!



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shrimp Tacos with Mustard Greens

Tacos can be made so many ways.  From basic ground beef and beans, to halibut and gouda.  Hard shell, soft shell, I'm on a mission to find the best taco in Missoula!  We have about 5 different taco/burrito joints all claiming to bring your taste buds back to Mexico.  With the combination of fresh mustard greens and homemade spicy Pico de Gallo, my shrimp tacos could give them all a run for their money.  Pair it with a cold cerveza and you might actually believe you're in Mexico. 

Corn or flour tortillas
Wild Shrimp
3 tbsp butter
1-2 bunches of mustard greens chopped
Olive oil
1 small white onion chopped
Sea Salt & Pepper
3 garlic cloves
1/2 C feta cheese

*Pico de Gallo
1 jalapeno
1/2 red onion
2 large heirloom tomatoes
1 garlic clove
Juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp cilantro
Sea Salt
Drizzle of olive oil

*Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until chunky

In a large pan, bring water and sea salt to a boil

Add mustard greens to boiling water and cook 3-4 minutes, drain and remove from heat

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, add onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, add the mustard greens and cook for 2 minutes

Remove from heat and set aside

In a large skillet heat butter until just melted, add seasoned shrimp and cook approx 8 minutes or until cooked all the way through

Add mustard greens and onion to shrimp to skillet and heat on low

Assemble tacos: add shrimp to tortillas and top with lime juice, cilantro, feta cheese, and Pico de Gallo

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In My Beauty Bag

I try to keep my look as simple as possible.  For me, a little mascara goes a long way.  Some days I like to pair it with a bold lip, but most of the time, clean skin radiates the most beauty.  Today I want to share a few of my favorite beauty buys.  What I use on a daily basis to get the fresh face that everyone is always after.  It doesn't have to cost alot, but using products with simple ingredients that don't clog your pores.  And to be honest it all starts from the root, what you put in your body, that reflects your beauty on the outside.

1. One Love Organics - Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster - For those mornings where you just can't seem to get with it, this oil based serum helps to brighten, de-puff, and tone the skin, so you can wake up looking fresh and well rested.  Made with organic wild raspberry leaf, lemon, mint, and oils from ylang ylang and peppermint, this has become one of my beauty essentials. 

2. Pressed Juicery Juice - I'm a huge fan of the occasional juice cleanse but I don't always have time to make my own.  Pressed Juicery makes cold pressed juice with real ingredients.  None of that sugary crap they call "juice."  This is real, wholesome, straight from the farm liquid green.  An easy way to get your daily nutrients from fruits and vegetables.  Your skin will thank you for this one. 

3. bare Minerals Foundation - I have tried just about every type of foundation out there. I've always wanted that "I have just enough makeup on to cover imperfections, but not too much so I don't look fake," feel.  bare Minerals gives just that!  AND, it's great for your complexion.  Made with SPF 15 and a matte finish, you can reduce the appearance of pores, help your skin, and gives a flawless look all day.  

4. Coola Suncare  - Next to drinking 8 glasses of water per day, this one should be the number one beauty routine.  Protect your skin!!  I protect my skin with Coola Organic Sunscreen.  It's made with rich organic oils such as Kukui and coconut oil and Vitamin E to help protect the skin from sun damage.  

5. Benefit Bad Gal Lash - I'm not a fan of fake eyelashes, so when it comes to a brighter wide eyed look, I choose to spend a bit more money on a good mascara.  Bad Gal Lash from Benefit gives the perfect lash look.  Voluminous and lengthy lashes will have everyone fooled that they are in fact your own.  

6. Clarisonic Mia 2 - This 2 speed sonic cleanser has been the coveted piece of my beauty routine. Clarisonic cleanses 6x better than soap and water alone.  Reaches deep down to the pores to create a more toned, and refined surface.  After just one week of using my Mia 2 I saw clearer, better looking skin!  (the infomercial in me)

7. One Love Organics - Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm  - This has become a staple in my bathroom. From cleansing, moisturizing, and hair taming, this balm can do it all.  Composed of cold pressed plant oils, coconut oil, mango seed butter, jojoba, and chia seed extract.  This has become a life savior for dreadful winter skin!

8. Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee - Ever want that natural "flushed, like I just left the gym" look?  Perfect it with cheek gelee.  I love the natural look of rosy skin, but it's hard to get without spending hours on a treadmill. Cheek Gelee is made with coconut water in 6 shades to build up or tone down for whatever look you feel.  

9. Maybelline Baby Lips, Lip Balm - Being the Chapstick obsessor that I am, I've always steered away from lip sticks and gloss.  I hated the thick sticky feeling and always wanted a more natural feeling.  I'm a huge fan of a bold lip but I was always too shy for a full blown lip stick and liner.  Until I discovered Baby Lips.  I can get the same natural feel from a Chapstick, while getting the same bold color that I always love.  

10.  Estee Lauder Modern Muse Perfume - I think every woman should have a scent.  It could be a type of scent, not necessarily one but a genre which categorizes the type of woman she is.  Maybe it's the Elizabeth Taylor in me but I believe a scent says a lot about you.  Some love the florally sweeter smells, or the musky darker perfumes, while I prefer a clean, citrus, fresh scent. I love Estee Lauder's new Modern Muse Perfume.  It's chic, simple, and classy.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Potato and Kale Breakfast Skillet

Bacon.  If there's one thing I allow my self to completely enjoy in it's entirety, it's bacon.  The candied protein.  I don't think a little bacon now and then will hurt you.  

As you probably hear twenty times a day, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  And it just so happens to be my favorite meal of the day.  It sets the tone for the rest of the day.  It's the starting point for all your healthy eating choices you make.  So why not make it a delicious one?

I've been on a skillet frenzy lately, no apologies.  I think you'll like what I've got next.  Full of protein and veggies, and yes bacon, to keep you fuller, longer.  

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion (chopped)
3-4 red potatoes (sliced thin)
thick cut bacon (however much to meet your desire)
2 C baby kale
4 large eggs
1 avocado
salt and pepper for taste
**Cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add garlic and onion, saute until fresh aromas come out (2 min)

Add sliced potatoes, salt, and pepper to skillet, and cook on medium low heat while you get your bacon ready

Sprinkle your bacon on top of the potatoes, add the baby kale on top, and cook for 3 min

When oven is ready, make 3-4 holes in skillet and crack an egg in each hole

Place skillet in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes or until your eggs are cooked as you like them

Once cook thoroughly, top with avocado, and serve immediately

Monday, March 10, 2014

Beer Tasting Party

Missoula is known for its many a brew fests.  About four are held every year.  It's no secret that I have a fond taste for a good brew.  I used to drink Bud Light in college.  You know, the days of beer pong and flip cup.  Don't lie, you've done a few keg stands in your day.  Since college and growing older, I have found that I have acquired a taste for well brewed beer.  It may have something to do with the fact that I'm Irish.  I can hardly choke down a Bud Light now days and I opt for more robust flavor.  Go ahead and say it, I'm a beer snob.  And I'll fully admit it! 

As you probably should know it happens to be St. Patrick's Day next week and since I am unable to celebrate in Butte or Boston, yet alone Ireland, I thought it'd be appropriate to do a beer tasting at home.  

Here, I'll take you through my little set up to throw the perfect beer tasting party.

The Brews

Let's jump right into the main ingredient...the brews.  Most brewfests call for hundreds of taps but since mine was on a much, much smaller scale, I narrowed it down to four different beers with four very distict flavors.  We also threw in a few stouts and oatmeal lagers to taste and compare.  

Widmer Brothers Brewing Columbia Common Spring Ale (Portland, OR)  Widmer Brewing Company was founded by brothers, Kirk and Rob Widmer right in their own backyard.  They moved to North Portland in 1990 and now host the largest outdoor craft beer festival in the country.  The Columbia Common Spring Ale, a seasonal, has mild grassy and spicy hop notes complemented with a fruity zing and goes down clean. Amber Hue. 12oz bottle. 32 IBU. 4.7% ABV.

Rogue Irish Style Lager (Ashland, OR) Again, starting in a basement in 1987, Rogue became a household beer name in Oregon.  Opening a small brew pub in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon, started a world-wide beer revolution.  The Irish Style Lager is mellow, crisp, and has a smooth finish.  22oz bottle. 28 IBU. 

Glacier Brewing Company Flathead Cherry Ale (Polson, MT) Founded in the heart of the Mission Mountains is the Glacier Brewing Co.  The Flathead Cherry Ale is a blend of fresh Flathead Cherries and light ale.  

Missoula Brewing Company Highlander Beer (Missoula, MT) Highlander Beer dates back to the 1900s when it was originally called The Garden City Brewery.  The name "Highlander" came from the baseball team originally called "The New York Highlanders" soon to be known as The New York Yankees.  With the change of the name to the Missoula Brewing Company, the Highlander Beer stayed the same throughout all these years.  It's a Scottish red ale.  Looks heavy but goes down smooth.  

The Setting

If the sunshine had came out it would have been perfect to go outside but since it was overcast we kept it indoors and my mom and I made our own little farm setting with lots of floral, greenery, and reclaimed wood.  

The Tasting

Each person was given a tasting card and a small glass.  About an ounce to two ounces of beer was given to each person for them to smell, swirl, and sip (yes, just like wine...we like wine too!). On a scale of 1-4 stars would they give their rating (1 = dislike, 4 = like very much) as well as taking notes on the depth, color, hops, and drinkability.  

The Dessert

I could have served typical pretzels and brats or even corned beef and cabbage if we're being totally Irish, but I wanted to present some fresh spring time berries into a cobbler and have something sweeter.  Berry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream was surely the best taste of the evening. Recipe to be featured in a later post. 

Are you inspired to host a beer tasting party?  Get ready because the lucky day of the Irish is on Monday!

The Root. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.