The Best (and Most Delicious) Ways to Beat the Heat


You know what they say – if you can’t stand the heat…


stay home and watch Sex & The City! 8)


It’s hot, people. Real hot. Central Iowa is sitting at a scorching 116 degrees right now, and my poor AC just can’t keep up!


The local news station warned against going outside today, which I took as a rare invitation to do as little as possible – starting with sleeping in and watching Guliana & Bill reruns in bed, taking a quick trip to the grocery store, then watching Sex & The City all afternoon on E!. Not going to lie – it was pretty awesome! :D

It sort of reminded me of being snowed in in the winter, except I replaced a warm mug of hot chocolate and a blanket, with iced coffee and a tank top. Ooo, and brownies!

Yeah, they played the episode where Miranda almost eats an entire chocolate sheet cake by herself, so she throws it away but finds herself picking it out of the garbage can, so she pours dish soap over the whole thing to stop herself.

I am totally a Miranda. You?

Anyways, the cake looked so good that I did the unthinkable and turned the oven on to make my own chocolaty treat – Wuollet Bakery Brownies.




These babies are like fudge crack brownies. Dense and smooth. Plus I always have all the ingredients on hand to make them – which is usually not such a good thing – but today, it definitely was. :)


I also squeezed in a little T-shirt designing time in between episodes.


I was thinking about maybe launching a T-shirt shop when my site re-design launches in the next several weeks (yay – it’s still coming!) What do you think? Would you buy an IGE inspired Tee?


Either way it’s been kind of fun thinking up fun slogans/designs. :)


In other news, BEN’S BACK!!!!! :D :D :D :D


While my Mom and I have been enjoying ladies weekend, he, my Dad and little brother have been reveling in dude’s weekend, 10,500 feet above sea level, backpacking in Colorado. Check out these pictures!

waterfall rainbow




Ummm…I sort of demand to be taken with next time!


Or…not… ;)


Ben and my Dad had to drive home all day today, so I made sure I had dinner (and hugs!) ready when Ben stepped through the door – Quinoa Spinach Bake!


I know, I know – maybe not the manly meal you’d think he’d want – but it was sort of a take on the Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole he loves so much, so I took a chance.


It ended up being one of the best quinoa recipes we’ve ever tried!


Creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside.


It contains cooked quinoa, cottage cheese, spinach and yummy spices, all baked up into a nice, healthy casserole-type dish. (Again, I know with the oven. Nuts, but worth it.)


I followed this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, but used 1 package frozen spinach, added 1 cup feta cheese in addition to the cottage cheese, and separated the mixture into 2 different baking dishes since my 8×8 pan was all tied up with the aforementioned crack brownies. :)


And so ends another weekend, folks! This one went so fast – I can’t believe it’s back to the grind tomorrow! Off to go spend some time with my mountain man. See ya! :)

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  1. WANT those brownies!

    Shirts are cute- I’d LOVE an IGE tee!

  2. Paige 07.17.2011

    Ha I’m totally a Miranda too. Also, can I just say she has MAJOR eating issues – like when her boyfriend gave her an “I love you” cookie cake and she ate the whole damn thing. Between that and the sheet cake…homegirl has a problem.

  3. Crystal 07.17.2011

    Those brownies look insanely delicious! I’m definitely making them this week.

  4. You are so so brave to turn on the oven in this heat, of course I’d probably do the same thing for those brownies. :) Our oven is all jacked up, so I won’t be using it until our apt. complex fixes it this week.

  5. Machelle 07.17.2011

    beautiful Colorado pictures! and i dearly LOVE fresh cooked carrots! =))

  6. Holy goodness that is H-O-T!!! I think that heat is headed our way too grrr :/ I love the quinoa bake – and considering I just received 10lbs of feta this may just be going on the menu! Happy Sunday :)

  7. That dinner looks REALLY tasty! I wish I were eating it right now. I love backpacking and their trip looks nice!

  8. Oh WOW that Quinoa bake looks amazing! I’m totally making that this week! :)

    I’m totally a Charlotte (as much as I want to be city chic like Carrie!)

  9. Luv What You Do 07.17.2011

    I have definitely considered scooping a half eaten dessert out of the trash (and have eated half a sheet cake…not my finest moment). That is one of the funniest SATC episodes ever!!!

    Dinner looks delish! Will have to try that one for sure!

  10. Lindsey 07.17.2011

    116?! That is insane, here I am thinking it is a hot one here (I am up in Canada) at maybe 82? I would have done the same thing, lots of iced coffee and keep indoors!

    Love the t-shirt shop idea!

  11. Summer 07.17.2011

    ooo I really want a “Travel far” shirt!

    Totally a miranda too- actually some kind of strange miranda/samantha hybrid.

    good luck with the heat!

  12. Ah it’s SO hot here, too! I think I am a Miranda, too. Or a Charlotte. I’m going to go take an online quiz now to see what it says, haha.

  13. I love the “Will Run for Chocolate” shirt!

    I have been dying in the heat too. We had to drive back in today and it was awful–no AC in the car made for a very unhappy me. Stay cool!

    That casserole looks delicious! Definitely starring your post in reader so I can refer back to it and make that sometime soon!

  14. dmcgirl (Dawn) 07.17.2011

    Okay, I am so not going to preach… ok, maybe a bit. One huge reason not to turn on the oven is the heat.. yes, but the bigger reason is the power grid is getting too much use and the need to keep it at an all time low during weather like this is critical. People need AC!!! Now, go buy brownie already made dear! ;-)

    You cahRazZy girl!!!!

  15. Anna 07.17.2011

    Ooooo that casserole (and the brownies) look delicious! I also always seem to NEED to bake things on the hottest days, what is up with that??

  16. Ashley 07.17.2011

    I’m up in Ames and when I went to Hy-Vee today the power went out. In the entire store. Pretty eerie and also hilarious to be in a dark produce section. Come to find out that when I got home the power had gone out there as well. It’s so hot that all the a/c’s are overloading the grid!

    That quinoa dish looks so good.

  17. Lauren 07.17.2011

    It’s hot here too but it sounds like you guys are in a full out heat wave. Those brownies look incredible!! Always looking for a better brownie recipe so I’ll have to write this one down.
    Have a good night catching up with Ben!

  18. How fun that your dad and brother bring Ben along for the fun! I hope my future husband is that close with my family:)

  19. Kat 07.17.2011

    The tarp/tent arrangement that The Men actioned in the the mountains was some MAJORLY manly stuff.

    The heat has been absolutely oppressive up here as well – apparently it’s more humid in Minneapolis than it is in the Brazilian rainforest. How bizarre.

    p.s. LOVE that you made Wuollet’s brownies :)

    • Kate 07.18.2011

      I’m in Mpls too and heard that we were as humid as the Amazon! It certainly felt like a tropical jungle outside…

  20. Kaycie 07.17.2011

    Yep, it is SUPER hot:( Here in Kansas has been around 105ish for days and days….. Can’t do without baking though!!
    And YES – Iwould support your t-shirt business!!! I love fun t-shirts:)

  21. Lindsey 07.17.2011

    Yes!! I would buy the chocolate shirt! So cute :)

  22. Charis 07.17.2011

    I would TOTALLY wear one of of those tees!
    very cute :)

  23. would definitely get a shirt… travel far, yes please :)
    that quinoa dish looks so good!!!

  24. Kristin 07.18.2011

    Actually, your temp wasn’t 116 — that’s the “feels like” temp. Nonetheless hot. Limit your electricity use during peak hours, avoid exhertion and stay hydrated. It will be winter soon enough.

  25. Kate 07.18.2011

    Yumm, your dinner looks amazing! Will have to try this one for sure! Question though – did you use feta or cottage cheese? One paragraph says cottage cheese, and the next says feta! Just curious! (I think I’d like feta better! Mmm!)

  26. Amber 07.18.2011

    Yes, definitely a Miranda here. I’ve definitely thrown (and then pulled back out) desserts in the garbage. And our wedding planning approach was quite similar. “The gig is up!”

    I would totally wear the carrot shirt!!!

  27. Hope 07.18.2011

    That quinoa casserole looks so good! I’m definitely going to have to try your recipe!

  28. Yum, love me some quinoa. I will have to try when my fall crop of spinach is ready.

    And you got it right….it is sooo stinkin’ hot out.

  29. AJ 07.18.2011

    I’m going backpacking in CO in August. This will be my only vacation of the year, so I hope it’s fun. I’ve never been backpacking before.

    Those are cute tee-shirts. I coud see myself buying the “will run for chocolate” tee-shirt if the price is right. ($20 or less).

    Ray-Gun in the East Village in DSM makes cute tee-shirts. Been meaning to go in there sometime, but just haven’t gotten to it.

  30. Kate 07.18.2011

    I don’t blame you for turning on the stove! I did the same here in Minneapolis and made baked sweet potato fries and took you advice and skipped the olive oil. They tasted great!

    I think your t-shirt designs are neat, my favorite is the travel far.

  31. Shannon 07.18.2011

    I feel ya on the heat; I’m in Texas and it is sooo hot here!! But I also agree that it’s worth turning on the oven for brownies. Try to stay cool :(

  32. Omg, those brownies have me drooling!

  33. Lauren 07.18.2011

    I would totally buy an IGE shirt!!! Can’t wait to see the new site design.

  34. Melissa 07.18.2011

    I love summer and all but I am OVER this heat! Makes me feel so lazy and I don’t like that :) I would totally be interested in IGE t-shirts! Sounds like I’m not the only one who can watch re-runs of Sex and the City over and over and ooooover. Never gets old :)

  35. stina 07.18.2011

    Love the shirts!!! Love food, and you motivate me to workout so I can eat yummy things. Now to learn to cook more. thanks for the inspiration. you go girl!P.S. This heat is insane. All i want to do is be in my bed and watch tv with lots of water and fruity drinks

  36. I would love to steal some of your degrees of heat! I’m chilly today. Those brownies look addictive! And sex and the city rocks.. Any day.

  37. Love that episode. Hilarious. Those brownies look sooo good. I don’t bake very often because I’m afraid of having a Miranda moment lol. The quinoa bake looks tasty too!!!

    We’re experiencing some heat too, my doggie barely even wants to go on her walk!

  38. I would definitely make T-Shirts!! People will buy them and then you’ll have advertising everywhere. Can’t wait to see the new blog!

  39. Jen 07.18.2011

    I live in southern Iowa and I thought of the same analogy this morning. It felt like a snow day to me too just the extreme opposite! I too have been using my oven, it’s too hot to go out and fire up the grill! I am not being very green this week.

  40. jad18 07.18.2011

    Love the chocolate t-shirt! We watched a few SATC episodes yesterday and also watched The Lincoln Lawyer (so good!) to avoid the heat. I had to be outside at a ball game for about an hour today and thought I was going to melt. I am a Charlotte with a tiny bit of Miranda thrown in (her love of chocolate and her sarcasm at times).

  41. I am on the quest for the perfect brownie…..and you brownies looked amazing! I am so trying this recipe this week!

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