Category Archives: Sides

Vans Creamy Garlic Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

Vans Creamy Spinach Pasta

HELLO THERE! My forgotten blog child!  Rather than jumping right into the stress that is my life these days, I’d rather talk about food for a little bit.  I’ll give you an update on the boys after we dive into some pasta heaven.

SO, as we all know, I may be SLIGHTLY busy these days and my time in the kitchen has been pretty limited.  It’s not to say that I wouldn’t love to be laboring over the stove on these snowy winter days cooking up all sorts of yummy goodness to share with you, it’s just that I don’t have the time to, period. And if I do happen to have the time to make something, I don’t have the time to photograph it before we’re shoving it into our face in the 2 seconds we have before the baby starts screaming.  I HAVE made some pretty delicious things that I would love to share the recipes for but I don’t have good photos for them, I may just share them anyways and use the crappy cell phone pics that I took. You don’t care right? Oh good, thanks.

Vans Creamy Garlic Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

So the other day I got a delightful little package on my doorstep from Van’s Foods.  I stood there opening the box at 4:00 in the afternoon, in my sweats, baby spit up all over me, starving because I hadn’t had a chance to eat any lunch.  First I saw their soft baked granola and literally started plowing through it before I could even see what was in the rest of the box. It may be the sleep deprived hungry fog that I was in but that stuff is NO joke! It literally tastes like you’re eating oatmeal cookie dough. I’ve been trying to save a few morsels so I can take a pic for you so if I get a chance, I’ll post about it later.

The next things I came across were their new pasta sides.  A few hours later I would be cooking up that deliciousness for a quick and easy dinner.

Van's Creamy Pasta with Spinach & Sausage

The pasta is gluten free and is made from whole grains & lentils, it really fills you up a lot faster than regular pasta.  You can serve it as a side but I decided to make it a main meal by adding some spinach feta chicken sausage, wilted spinach and good “sprinkle” of parmesan cheese on top.

Van's Creamy Pasta with Spinach & Sausage

It was so fast to make, I even had time to snap a few photos for you. Say thank you Van’s! I’m looking forward to trying the other varieties, Rotini & Red Sauce and Ultimate Cheddar Penne.  My ultimate review? Delicious as always.  Fast, easy & full of good stuff. What more can you ask for?

Ok, pasta. Thank you for helping me through this tough time. Your time is done, let’s talk about the cutest babies that ever existed.

Camden

Jax

A lot has happened since my “Life in the NICU” post.  Camden came home on January 8th and has been such a joy. He is seriously such a happy and lovely baby, we’re having so much fun with him.  Jax was probably about a week behind him when he came down with RSV in the hospital. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a really nasty respiratory infection and for a little 6 lb baby, it kicked his little bum.  They transferred him to the pediatric ICU since the NICU no longer wanted him there with a contagious infection.  He spent a little over a week sedated and on a ventilator while he pushed through it. It was really hard to see him like that, he went from a bright eyed little boy to being completely OUT for an entire week.  We weren’t able to bring Camden into the hospital so Tom & I took turns driving into the city to see him. We felt guilty not being able to spend much time there but when we were there, there wasn’t anything we could do besides watch him and talk to the doctors. It was a tough few weeks but he has finally come out of it. He’s had to basically relearn feeding and everything he was doing before the illness.  They wouldn’t take him back in the NICU so he spent a week on the general pediatric floor which was totally not the place for him. The poor little guy was laying in a normal hospital room in the middle of this huge bed by himself with nurses that only stopped in every few hours.  We got pretty upset about the situation and ended up transferring him to the Special Care nursery at a more local hospital. He is now completely over the RSV and doing SO well, we’re hoping he’ll be home soon.  He’s had quite the journey but he’s a strong little dude and we can’t wait for him to come home and be with his brother.

On top of all of that, we lost my wonderful grandfather who had been sick recently.  We were really hoping to make it down to see him with the boys but unfortunately we weren’t able to.  We did get to do a little video chat with him a few weeks ago so I’m glad he at least got to see them.  He will be sorely missed.  Needless to say, it’s been a rather rough winter.

Snow

Oh yah and then this. Snow. Snow. And. More. Snow. I don’t even know what to say other than I’m OVER IT. Spring please! Bring me sunshine and warm breezes and long days where I can take the dog & the boys out for long walks in the stroller. At this rate, we’ll have snow into August. BTW – how hilarious is it that this guy was actually driving his car like this? F for effort.

Ok, that’s all for now. Hope to be back soon! Thank you for not leaving me 🙂

Oh, and Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!!!

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

….AND…its Friday already! Woohoo!  This was the best week, it flew by, I was super productive with my work projects, the weather was beautiful and I got in some good crossfit workouts.  Now to move on to the OPPOSITE of healthy workouts and take a look at this creamy dreamy dip recipe.  Actually, it’s not THAT bad for you, but we’re definitely not tipping into the healthy scales at all here.

One of the very first recipes that I used to make when I was younger was a hot artichoke dip, in fact according to tradition, I still whip up a batch for our appetizer extravaganza every Christmas.  I decided it was time to come up with a cold version I could make in the summer that still had that oh-so-delicious creamy artichoke flavor but without the heavy (and hot) melted cheese.

SO, I came up with this version, and it was pretty freakin’ awesome if I do say so myself.

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

It’s as simple as throwing all of the ingredients in a food processor, blending it up, and pouring it into a bowl.  Its awesome kept simple with chips but I’m sure it would also be great on some grilled crostini or with some fresh crudités.

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

BTW – if you haven’t tried Kettle Brand Salsa Picante tortilla chips, they are the bom diggity of all diggity.  I picked some up for the first time this weekend and we gobbled them up with this dip.

Enjoy this summer dip while the nice weather lasts!  You can probably make it in the fall or winter too, I won’t tell.

Happy Weekend to all!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Getting a new body wash scent.

BodyWash

haha, sorry that picture is GINORMOUS, its like I forced my body wash to take a mug shot.

I’m generally a pretty brand loyal person but when it comes to body wash, I need a different scent, every, single, time.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever, once in my life bought the same scent twice.  Its a weird thing, its like its my life’s mission to try out every smell that exists on my body (in body wash format of course).  This piña colada wash is pretty awesome, especially since you know what a coconut freak I am. In fact, I think its time to go lather up with some right now after that tough workout today, see ya!

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 can artichoke hearts (14oz)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Medium scallions (white & green parts)
  • drizzle olive oil

Directions

1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth & creamy.
2. Pour into a bowl and store in refrigerator before serving.

Beet & Feta Salad with Maple Balsamic Drizzle

BeetFetaSalad1

Hey guys!  Is it Wednesday already?  I seem to be losing track of the days.  We’re currently on a “semi” vacation in Burlington Vermont.  We always rent a house with our family every summer but since it fell only a week after our previous vacation, we knew we wouldn’t be able to take another full vacation right away.  So we opted for joining in but working remotely from here.  It is nice to be able to join in on the festivities but EXTREMELY hard to be sitting on a computer at a desk while I look out at the gorgeous lake in front of me.  As a result I have chosen to spend my non-working time relaxing on the porch or floating in the water and NOT writing blog posts.  Sorry, actually I’m not sorry.  I work so hard the rest of the year, I deserve some relaxation during the summer so I’m going to take what I can get.

Anywho, I made this salad last week and wanted to share it with you but I never got around to it.

BeetFetaSalad2

Last week at the Farmer’s Market I bought an assortment of gorgeous beets.  Some were red, some were golden, and some had this great pink & white striped coloring.

BeetFetaSalad4

I started by scrubbing the beats and trimming the greens off.  then I placed them in a baking dish with a few tablespoons of water and apple cider vinegar.  I covered them with foil and baked at 350 for about 50 minutes.

Beet Feta Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

After they are done roasting, peel the skins off and slice into small wedges.  I made a dressing out of a little olive oil, balsamic glaze and maple syrup.  Season with salt & pepper, drizzle with the dressing and top with crumbled feta cheese and chopped herbs.  Its a little time intensive but the perfect side dish for a summer meal!

Hope you all are enjoying a fantastic summer as well!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Working with this view.

WorkAtLake

 

I’d rather be out enjoying it but if I have to work, this isn’t a bad view to have…

 

The Ultimate Loaded Potato Salad

The Ultimate Loaded Potato Salad

Hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July weekend!  I was really hoping to share this one with you before the holiday so you could whip some up for your weekend bbq’s but life got in the way and I had to hog this potato salad all to myself for a few days longer.  I made this for a BBQ last weekend and it was so good that I made up another batch this weekend when we had a party on Saturday.  I decided to do an ultimate classic summer bbq, we served pulled pork, cole slaw, potato salad, caprese salad, watermelon & feta salad and corn on the cob.  Everyone gobbled it up!

The Ultimate Loaded Potato Salad

I’ve made my fair share of potato salads in the past and I make a pretty good one but THIS ONE. I can’t even. It’s seriously the best one I’ve ever made, I may never make another potato salad again.  It’s not healthy, its not even trying to be healthy, its just potato salad in all its glory goodness.

The Ultimate Loaded Potato Salad

When Tom lived in the city, we used to walk to this little bagel shop called Bagel Rising every weekend morning to get our breakfast/lunch (back when we used to do something called sleep-in).  The bagels were good and the sandwiches were awesome but the potato salad! Holy yum.  After tasting that the first time, I decided to give it a try and see if I could replicate it.  I wasn’t ever able to make it taste exactly like their magic recipe but after this one, I’ll never try again, I think it might be better.  This potato salad is the potato salad of all potato salads, if you make it, you may have people bowing down to you hailing you a god sent from the heavens.

The Ultimate Loaded Potato Salad

Ok, I’ll stop gushing now, I guess you get it. Its good. Make it. Now.

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Happy babies.

BabyCharlie

Some of our best friends had their baby boy last week and he’s SO friggin cute.  It never gets old watching a baby sleep, they always look so peaceful and happy!

(Hope you guys don’t mind me exploiting your baby on here but he better get used it, this kid is gonna be famous some day).

The Ultimate Loaded Potato Salad

Allergy Egg
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 2.5lb yukon gold potatoes (washed & finely diced)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Medium carrots (peeled & roughly cut)
  • 4 scallions (trimmed)
  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1/4 cup diced pickles
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 4-6 slices uncooked bacon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place bacon slices on a baking pan and bake until crispy (about 10-15 minutes).
2. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside (reserve a tablespoon of drippings for the dressing).
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender (about 10-15 minutes). When potatoes can be pierced easily with fork, drain into a colander in the sink and toss with apple cider vinegar. Let steam for about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine carrots, 2 scallions, mayonnaise, pickle juice, pickles, sugar, salt, mustard & a tablespoon of bacon drippings.
5. When potatoes have cooled, transfer to a large bowl. Dice remaining 2 scallions and the bacon and toss with the potatoes. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat well (you may have extra dressing, just use what you need).
6. Cool in the refrigerator before serving.

 

Strawberry Cornbread

Strawberry Cornbread

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  Here we are, the 2nd day into a 4 day week, can’t wait for some 4th of July festivities!  Speaking of 4th of July, this strawberry cornbread would be the PERFECT thing to whip up for that bbq you’ll be attending this weekend.  Throw some slices on a nice festive platter or a patriotic napkin and you’ve got yourself the perfect side dish.

Strawberry Cornbread

Some friends invited us over for some bbq brisket and pulled pork the other night so I decided we would definitely need some cornbread to have an official bbq feast.  I’ve made cornbread so many times and its often crumbly and doesn’t have that great sweet flavor.  Not to toot my own horn or anything but this time I nailed it!  I did a little online research and found that the key to a moist cornbread is adding some melted butter and honey so I did just that.  Plus I added a ridiculous amount of fresh strawberries from our strawberry picking extravaganza last week.  I honestly don’t know what it was that made this all come together because I’m not baking expert but I can guarantee you, next time I’ll be making it exactly the same way.

Strawberry Cornbread

The 4th of July is the perfect time to make this because the Farmer’s Markets and stores are overflowing with ripe juicy strawberries, begging for you to buy them and make your cornbread moist.  I’ve got some left in the fridge from last weekend that are screaming a countdown at me every time I open the fridge.  I think I’m going to just make a quick skillet jam with them and call it a day because I don’t have much time to bake these days.

Strawberry Cornbread

Do you still need convincing?  Well..I made a 9″ square pan of cornbread which ended up making about 16 squares of cornbread.  there were 6 of us eating dinner and the cornbread was ALL gone by the time dinner was through.  You can do the math.

Strawberry Cornbread

It was so moist and flavorful that it was good to eat on its own but if you want to kick it up a notch, serve with a little flavored butter.  I mashed some butter with maple syrup and cinnamon and put a dish of that in the center of the platter.  If you have the time, it’s definitely worth it.

Hope you love this as much as we did!!

Enjoy!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Dining al fresco.

Alfresco

There’s something so relaxing about eating outside.  You can just lean back, enjoy the sun and watch all the weird people walk by.  On Sunday after I finished working the Farmer’s Market, we decided to go find a nice place to eat lunch outside.  We settled on the Lobster Shanty in Salem and it fit the bill perfectly.  I enjoyed a grilled romaine salad topped with fresh lobster meat and we watched all the people walk by and the belly dancers that decided to start dancing in the alley next to the restaurant.  Salem really is a special place 🙂

Strawberry Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted & room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 2 Large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries (sliced thin)

Directions

1. Preheat oven 400 F.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt & baking powder and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl add eggs, milk, half & half, butter & honey and mix to combine well. Slowly add dry mixture and beat until just combined. Add strawberries and stir until evenly distributed.
4. Pour into a 8 or 9 inch square buttered baking pan. If desired, garnish the top with more sliced strawberries.
5. Bake for 18-25 minutes until top is golden brown & toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Note

recipe adapted from Land O'Lakes Honey Moist Cornbread

 

Sun-dried Tomato & Feta Pasta Salad

Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

Pasta salad season is BAAACK!  I made this a few weeks ago and it was really good so I whipped up another batch for our memorial day BBQ last weekend.  It’s super colorful and flavorful and a little healthier than those pasta salads made with mayonnaise and eggs.  I basically raided the Whole Foods antipasto bar and then added it all together with veggies, feta cheese & a delicious vinaigrette.

Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

I was using quinoa pasta for this and I was so scared to overcook it that I think I took it out a little early so the pasta was slightly undercooked but the deliciousness in the rest of the salad made up for it, and you’re not going to do that so let’s pretend it never happened…

It’s kind of bothering me how it looks like there is a pound of feta on top of the salad in these photos, I swear I didn’t put that much on! Oh well, too much feta is a problem I don’t mind having.  When I get feta on my salad at restaurants, they always have this super soft creamy crumbled feta but whenever I buy it in the store, it’s so much harder with larger chunks.  Any favorite brands out there that makes a softer crumbled feta?

Sundried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

Ok, so I didn’t write specific ingredient amounts for this because it was just obnoxious to try to measure things like onions and chopped peppers but the good thing is that quantities don’t really matter.  Put in as much or as little as you like!  Here’s what the salad includes:

•  Tri-Colored pasta (cooked and then shocked under cold water & drained)
•  Sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil (the ones I used came with roasted garlic)
•  Finely diced red onion
•  Diced multi-colored peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
•  Chopped marinated artichokes
•  Crumbled feta cheese
•  Your favorite vinaigrette dressing (I made one with balsamic, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper & maple syrup)

Sundried Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

The perfect summer salad to bring to a cookout or serve on a weeknight alongside some grilled chicken or burgers 🙂

Hope you all have a great weekend!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My summer container plantings.

SummerPlantings

We don’t really have any land to use for gardening so I do everything in containers and they always work out really well.  I got all of my summer plantings done this weekend, it feels good to get them done.  I did 3 containers of flowers, 1 container of peppers, 1 container of mint (because it always takes over everything anyways) and then another container with basil, chives & parsley.  Can’t wait to get some ripe juicy tomatoes so we can enjoy some of that fresh basil!  I also want to make up a big batch of iced tea with fresh mint! yum!

 

 

Beet, Tomato & Gorgonzola Salad

Beet, Tomato & Gorgonzola Salad

Happy Friday! Wow, is it really Friday already?? On one hand I love how the weeks are flying by because that means we get to the weekend quicker but on the other hand, I have so much work to get done, I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.  I’m at this point where I feel like I should probably hire someone to help me out with my design projects but I’m so incredibly busy, the thought of spending time to find someone and get them ramped up stresses me out even more.  I also have troubles relinquishing control over things, I know that if I do it myself I will be happy with the quality of the projects.  I would love to find someone that I could partner with and trust handing design projects off to.  SO, if you happen to be a talented graphic designer with packaging design experience, shoot me a line! I need a partner in crime!

ANYwho, let’s talk about this delicious little salad shall we?

Beet, Tomato & Gorgonzola Salad

I can’t wait until I can get my hands on some sweet juicy summer tomatoes.  Until then, I’m making do with these cherry tomatoes.  I threw together this quick salad using beets, tomatoes and gorgonzola.  Actually, that’s a lie, I used blue cheese but gorgonzola sounds so much better in the recipe title so let’s just go with that…

BeetTomatoSalad2

I’ve been buying these balsamic-infused prepared beets at the store, they are fantastic in salads!  I’m probably paying up the bum for them compared to what I would pay if I roasted my own but I don’t have the luxury of extra time these days (see above).

Beet, Tomato & Gorgonzola Salad

This is a super simple side dish. Just throw together some sliced cherry tomatoes, diced cooked beets and crumbled blue cheese.  Dress with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.  I made a dressing using olive oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard and a dash of maple syrup.  If you don’t have any blue cheese, this salad would be great with feta or goat cheese as well.

Beet, Tomato & Gorgonzola Salad

I heard we’re going to get some warm summer weather this weekend, WOOOHOOO! Can’t wait to whip out the flip floppers! Happy weekend!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The most gorgeous signs of spring everyfreakingwhere!

SpringBloomsBlue sky, green grass, purple flowers, yellow bushes, white and pink trees, white fluffy clouds, birds singing, baseball games, I don’t even know if I can handle my love for spring right now! I think my head might burst.

No, really, my allergies are horrible 🙂 But its SO worth it!

 

 

 

 

 

Cheddar Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes

Cheddar Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes

So I bit the bullet and signed up for the Crossfit games open.  I’ve only been doing it for a few months so chances are I’m going to suck it up pretty hard-core but I figured why not?  I don’t have anything to lose and maybe it will push me a little harder to do something I didn’t think I could do.  We’ll be doing the first workout tomorrow so wish me luck!  The WOD is going to be announced later tonight, I should probably avoid looking at it until right before I go because otherwise I’m just going to stress about it.  Ok, I lied. I’m definitely going to look at it tonight 🙂  For people who don’t do crossfit, it’s basically a month of workouts where you record your score online and they rank you with all of the other athlete’s performing in the games.  If you perform really well, then you would move on to regionals, etc… That’s not going to happen for me but you have to start somewhere right?

Cheddar Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes

I’ve finally gotten back into the cooking routine this week and it feels great!  I went to Whole Foods on Monday and bought every vegetable I saw.  I’m proud to say that we’ve gone through everything but a head of broccoli.  Since Monday we’ve eaten a huge container of spinach, sprouts, assorted bell peppers, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower and beets.  Loving those vegetables!

For a side last night I made these cheddar roasted asparagus and tomatoes.  Just toss the vegetables in some olive oil and season with salt, pepper & garlic powder.  Then cover with shaved cheddar cheese and roast for about 15 minutes at 400 F until they are soft, lightly browned & the cheese is crispy.

CheddarRoastedAsparagusTomatoes3

The best part about this dish?  I think you know.  Clean up.  Look at all those crispy cheddar cheese bits on the pan. Oh yah, those are good.  I like to cover the pan with aluminum foil whenever I’m roasting, it makes for a much easier clean up!

Happy eating!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My new monitor setup!

monitor

I was starting to get frequent stiff necks and I think it was because I spend all day looking down at my laptop screen.  SO, I splurged and got a new 27″ wide-screen monitor. OMG, I love it so much!  I can see everything so clearly and I don’t have to scrunch my head up close to the screen anymore.  A designer’s dream!  Even though the apple monitors are beautiful, they cost upwards of $1,000 and this one was only $300, I call that a SCORE!

 

 

 

 

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

WHEW! What an awesome few days for Boston!  Its so fun to see how excited people get and how much winning brings people together.  I have to say I really enjoyed this World Series, I definitely got into the games.  I will admit that I wasn’t the most dedicated fan during the season and I won’t pretend that I was but these past few weeks have been fantastic!  It brings me back to the 2004 World Series when I was in college.  Everyone decided it would be fun to riot in the streets, flip cars and light fires.  Yah people, that’s a GREAT idea!  I’m glad everyone kept it less violent last night (at least as far as I know).  It was still just as exciting and amazing to watch them win for a third time!

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

So how about these kale chips?  There are a few things that I don’t make that often but when I do I think “Why don’t I make this more often?  I should really make it all of the time.”  But then I don’t.  Things on that list: kale chips, hummus, almond butter and protein balls.    Maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution next year, make more things on this list more often so I can have healthy homemade snacks around. ALL. THE. TIME!!

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

If you have garlic powder that’s been sitting around for a while, go get yourself some good stuff.  I use garlic powder ALL the time.  My go-to seasonings are salt, pepper & garlic powder.  I usually get mine from Trader Joe’s but I picked some up at the farmer’s market last weekend and it was great!  It was so delicious on these kale chips.  I ate almost the entire pan in one day.

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

If you haven’t made kale chips before, now is the time to start!  They are seriously so easy, I made them during my lunch break this week.  Just massage kale leaves with olive oil…

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

Season them well and then bake at 350 F until light & crispy (about 10-15 minutes).  See? Easy peasy!

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

Anyone figured out a good way to store leftover kale chips?  I haven’t figured it out yet, whenever i put them in a bag or container they get all soggy.  I guess I’m just going to have to finish the entire serving in one day, damn! 🙂

Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend!!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

These guys!

ALCS Tigers Red Sox Baseball

How can you not be happy seeing the pure joy that this team and the people of this city experienced after that win?  I know its just a sport but its so awesome to see everyone come together to celebrate.  Even in our little suburban neighborhood you could see everyone had their TV’s on cheering this team to their victory.  Ok guys, now go shave those nasty scraggly ass beards!

Garlic Parmesan Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 3 handfuls curly kale (washed and dried thoroughly)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder
  • salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Pour olive oil over the kale and massage oil into all of the leaves until every leaf is lightly coated.
2. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and season well with parmesan cheese, salt & garlic powder.
3. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until light and crispy.

 

 

Roasted Broccoli with Peanut Sauce

Roasted Broccoli with Peanut Sauce

Hope you all had a great weekend!!  Even though it was a bit chilly outside we decided to make the best of the day and go for a nice LONG hike on Saturday which was quite the adventure.  There were a few learnings that came from this hike.  #1 – discuss how long of a hike you’re actually looking to do before you set out on it,  #2 – figure out what the actual distance of trails are before you just point at one and decide to do it, #3 – bring some FREAKING WATER.  As you can guess by me calling them “learnings,” we did none of these things.  It was probably my fault even though I would really love to blame it on Tom.  It makes things so much easier when you can blame things on other people isn’t it?  About 2 miles into the hike we took a look at the trail map and realized we could either head back on the shorter trail or go around the lake and make it a longer hike.  I wasn’t really ready to call it a day so I probably pushed for the longer option (even though I’ll blame it on Tom).  It was a gorgeous day, I wasn’t tired yet, why stop then right? KEEP GOING!  So, that’s what we did.  We kept going and going and going.  About an hour later we ended up near a road and recognized a Mexican restaurant that I knew was a good 10-15 minute drive from where we started.  You heard the word “drive” right?  It was about at this point that I started to slightly freak out.  We had been out in the woods for 2 hours and we had no water and my lips were SO chapped.  I was seriously considering crawling down to the lake and drinking water from it.  I started to throw a little temper tantrum inside.  Isn’t it annoying that we can’t break down and throw temper tantrums like two year olds?  Sometimes it would be so nice to break down, throw stuff, scream and cry.  Just get it all out and move on.  SO, I was a responsible adult and kept my screaming inside and then got over it.  8 miles later we finally made it back to the car and got to drink WATER!  I seriously feel for people who have been stranded in the woods, 4 hours exercising without water was pretty miserable.

Lesson learned (TOM!! hehe jk).  Regardless it was a good hike and we got to have a big pizza for dinner with zero guilt!

Roasted Broccoli with Peanut Sauce

Know what’s delicious? Peanut sauce.  Know what’s also delicious? Roasted Broccoli.

This side dish will have you swooning if your a broccoli/peanut loving nut like me.  Creamy sweet peanut sauce with savory caramelized roasted broccoli. Um yah. Just do it.

Oooh, I just had an idea!  Throw some quinoa under this and make it an entire dinner! Who says it can’t be the star of the show??

BroccoliWithPeanutSauce1

(p.s. – this recipe makes a little more peanut sauce then you will need, just eat it with a spoon, its allowed, I won’t tell)

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The outfits I can wear when I work from home.

clothes

Case and point.  This is what I wore today.  A blue hoodie, ripped jeans and my polka dotted slippers.  I love not having to shop for two different wardrobes.  I just buy stuff that I like and stuff that’s comfy.  Its the BEST!

(like my ballet first position??)

Roasted Broccoli with Peanut Sauce

Allergy Peanuts, Soy, Tree Nuts
Dietary Vegetarian
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli (washed & cut into small florets)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Optional

  • crushed peanuts (for garnish)

peanut sauce

  • 1/4 cup creamy unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Blend all of the peanut sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth & creamy, set aside.
2. Toss the broccoli in olive oil and season well with salt & pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes until soft and lightly crispy.
3. Serve the roasted broccoli with a drizzle of peanut sauce and crushed peanuts.