Your Favorite Recipes and How-tos

Happy Monday! The stats have spoken, and you all have your favorite posts here at Balance and Blueberries. It was fun to take a peak at what you like the most. If you’re curious, here’s a roundup!



Homemade Noodles–no special equipment needed!

Black Bean Chocolate Cake–it’s gluten free, and you’d never know beans were the secret ingredient. This is the only chocolate cake I ever make because it’s oh-so-moist.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken–this one is so easy! Don’t be scared at all, and give it a try.

Cinnamon Rolls–this recipe is based on The Pioneer Woman’s. You will use so much butter and sugar in this recipe, but it’s OK. Just go with it.

Mini Blueberry Pies–just in time for blueberry season. These are a bit labor intensive, but super adorable for a special event or party.

Zucchini Banana Bread–find some zucchini at the farmer’s market, and try this quick bread. The best of both worlds: zucchini bread and banana bread.

DIY Cleaning Products–rid your house of chemicals and clean out your under-the-sink cupboards once and for all with just a few (cheap) ingredients.

What else would you like to see here? More recipes? More travel? More DIY? 

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Saturday Small Talk

Saturday! What are you up? I’m looking forward to lots of outdoor time, great views, and a good bit of reading in the hammock. Luxurious. We’re unplugging for the weekend, and I hope it will be the recharge my mind needs.

In case you missed it…the easiest and tastiest bread recipe in the world and how to pack food for your next backpacking or camping trip.

20 somethings–set yourself up for a lifetime of success.

Stunning images of females in agriculture.

We’re all superheroes on the inside.

How to create the illusion of more space in your home.

Do you lose yourself when you have kids? (And is that a bad thing?)

The most gorgeous photos and travel tips for my favorite state.

A flowchart for coffee brewers.

Women: learn to pee standing up.

A Toronto company has an unlimited vacation time policy for their employees. What an amazing perk!

I’m a sucker for royalty, and these photos of Princess Charlotte’s christening feed the obsession.

Have a GLORIOUS weekend!

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How to Pack Food for Your Next Backpacking Trip

I love backpacking. Just out of college, my dear friend Erica and I decided we want to give it a try. We bought packs, pulled together our equipment, and made plans to take on the Smokeys. Though we didn’t finish the full distance we’d planned, we challenged ourselves and chalk it up to great experience.

Since then, Bob and I have backpacked in Virginia, Minnesota, and Michigan (here and here). Soon, we’re adding another destination to our list: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

It wasn’t until Isle Royale (our most recent trip) I felt we hit our stride in packing food. We brought just the right amount, felt satiated the whole trip, and had enough left over at the end that we could have survived in an emergency situation, but not so much we were hauling unnecessary extra weight.

For our upcoming 3 day/2 night trip, here’s what we’ll bring along:


The most important meal of the day! For two of us, we pack 1 cup of oatmeal for each morning (in a ziploc), plus one extra cup in case we get stranded. We also pack brown sugar and cinnamon to add flavor. For longer trips, we’ll also bring along a jar of peanut butter and mix in a spoonful each morning.


High protein meals are good when you’re exerting as much effort as you do hiking. We bring 1 tuna packet and 1/2 a sleeve of crackers for each of us for each lunch on the trail. There are so many different flavors of tuna– change it up so you don’t get bored!


For this trip, we’re bringing two meals we love: chicken fettucini alfredo and broccoli cheddar rice with chicken. It doesn’t even sound like camping food!

For two people for two meals, you’ll need:

  • Two side dish packets of pasta
  • Two side dish packets of rice–any flavor of quick cooking rice will do
  • Two packets of chicken

To cut down on trash, transfer the pasta/rice packets into a ziploc bag, and use a permanent marker to write the cooking directions on the bag.

For longer trips, we like the Bear Creek soup mixes–each mix will easily feed four people, so we prepare half of it early in the trip, and half later in the trip.

Snacks and Drinks

This trip, we’re bringing dried fruit, trail mix, and drink mixes. For longer trips, we’ll also bring granola bars and peanut butter, and maybe some gummy bears or fruit chews.

All told for our 3 days and 2 nights….

Not too shabby!

Have you ever gone backpacking? 

If you’re interested….tips for a great (first?) camping trip and our favorite backpacking destination.