Holiday weekend, here we come! Sort of.
Truth is, I’m working most of the weekend, but I don’t mind. Travel means working ahead before and catching up after, and Independence Day is sandwiched between trips for us. It is totally worth it to be able to do what I love every day!
I have lots of writing to do working ahead for our next jaunt. I’ll be working in Asheville, NC, with Ingles Markets to create new recipe videos for you. This time around it’s fast, easy, healthy lunches and meals for a busy lifestyle. Most of them are no or little cooking. Who’s excited?? (Besides me!)
Those new creations will comprise our July 4th menu here at home. Thankfully my little guinea pigs – I mean family – won’t mind. ;-)
This is one dish we’ll be videoing for you. It’s been on repeat for lunches at home lately. Zucchini “noodles” (or zoodles) with basil crema that is mind-blowing good! Sometimes we add leftover chicken or salmon and make it a fast, no-cook dinner.
THIS WEEK with Gigi – 30 June 2017
This is not sponsored content. It’s just me chatting with you about what’s going on each week. Make it a two-way convo by commenting!
Last week was totally no-cook everything because we were in Orlando. We ate so much great gluten-free food at Walt Disney World and Disney Springs. I am working on seven posts to add to the site ASAP so watch for those if you’re headed to see Mickey and friends soon.
I have a new food-related toy, too.
If you follow on social media, you saw my shares using the Nima Sensor to test food for gluten. This one about a popular protein bar caused a stir!
Above, that’s shakshuka from Oscar’s Bistro at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. I was actually having breakfast with folks from the Nima team. We had a long discussion about the device, I’ve since spoken to the scientists who developed it and I can’t wait to share some facts about this gadget with you next week! Like the quote up top says, I really do get a thrill from learning new things, and there is ALWAYS something new to learn!
Have you heard about Nima? There are differing opinions surrounding it. It’s time to tell you what I think and to share the Smart Nutrition Backed by Science facts about Nima.
If you have specific questions you’d like me to answer about this device, let me know in the comments!
Last week in Orlando was…humid. OMG, guys, it is so hot there in the summer. Being there in late June reminded us why we go in spring and fall.
One day, at Disney Springs, I almost melted into a little pool on the sidewalk, no kidding. I could not stay hydrated (and I promise I was drinking mostly water, because cocktails in the extreme heat are not good for me, although, you know there were cocktails). There was also a lot of salad like that salmon salad pictured above. No hot food when the heat index is 102F!
The BlogHer17 conference was amazing.
Highlight moment: taking this photo with Joy Bauer to text to my sweet Daddy.
If you watch Joy on TODAY and wonder if she’s really that nice and knowledgeable, well, she is! She’s also very short. I’m 5’2″ and I tower over her. In this pic, I’m wearing 3-inch heels and she’s wearing wedges. We’re short, and oh, so colorful!
The next day, she gave me a banana (didn’t photo that).
Speaking of produce, the container garden is rocking! All the rain is great for the plants. I need to harvest lemon grass. I haven’t grown it before, so I looked online for the how-to harvest and found this. Looks easy enough! I suspect I will have far more than I need, so if you have ideas on how to use it besides in Asian dishes and making tea from the leaves, let me know!
Yesterday, Dreamy brought home an amazing bounty of fresh produce from one of his vendors. I shared a quick video on my Instagram Stories if you want to see. It’ll be there a few more hours (they disappear after 24 hrs. if you’re not familiar with Stories). If you’re not following on Instagram, I hope you will!
Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly emails. I send them out on Saturday mornings (tomorrow!!). That’s where I share all my updates first. It’s free and easy to sign up here.
Last, a little fun for you! That’s not a pic from my garden. It’s from Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you don’t know about it, Pandora is a 12-acre attraction at Disney. It’s based on the Avatar film and is set generations after that. I didn’t see the movie and I’m not an Avatar fanatic, but I did enjoy this “world”, the Valley of Mo’ara, created by Disney.
It’s beautiful to walk through and see the bio-luminescent plants, wildlife, etc. and to get sucked into (in a good way) the stories about the Na’vi’s homeland.
One of the major draws is Flight of Passage. It’s a “thrill” ride that allows you to link with an Avatar (pictured above floating in a water chamber) to fly on the back of a wild Banshee.
The passage to the ride itself was designed to keep guests occupied for up to a 6-hour wait. We waited about 2 hours and honestly, it felt like half an hour. There’s a lot to see!
Outside there’s lots of gorgeous flora and fauna, fans mounted up top of the shaded walk and there are waterfalls. Even in the heat of the day, it was pleasant. Once inside, there is a cave with ancient inscriptions and finally, you enter a chamber that reminded me of the TV show, Lost.
I kept thinking about the DHARMA initiative and the Hatch from the show. Dreamy agreed, it was very Lost-like.
There were various science experiments in progress, giving you the feeling something was happening, or about to happen. The lead-up is to entering a chamber and being linked with an Avatar. Remember, this is going to allow you to be able to ride on the back of a wild Banshee. As usual, Disney pulls out all the stops and is very convincing.
While learning new things always thrills me, I’m a total chicken when it comes to “thrill” rides.
For reference, I love the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups at Magic Kingdom and Soarin’ at Epcot is tops for my desire for “thrilling” when it comes to theme park experiences.
That made Flight of Passage a touch too thrilling for me. Truth: I mostly kept my eyes closed behind the 3-D goggles we were given to wear. I was happy I did it, but now that I had the (grueling 4-minute) experience, when we’re back later this year, you can find me outside at the Nomad Lounge sipping a cocktail while Dreamy and Ma Petite take flight.
Are you Team Chicken or Team Thrill Rides? (I can’t be the only chicken, can I??)
Happy holiday weekend! Stay cool, safe and healthy, friends! Check out these tips for staying gluten-free if you’re grilling over the weekend!